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Old 01-18-2012, 02:17 PM   #1
ash-n-brensmom
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Remind me again what we did after Mission Space. JAN 2012 TR. Update, with Day 8!!

Welcome one and all to our January 2012 Trip Report!!

The facts...
January 5-12th 2012
Wyndham Bonnet Creek (which means no dining plan and no EMH)
6 day base tickets
Flew Southwest from Buffalo to Orlando


The travelers...

Me 39...alas I have no cute Disney name...


DH 38...aka Ferb


DD11..aka Stitch


DD7...aka Rapunzel


This is our 5th trip to WDW since 2008. We fell in love right away on that first trip and we have since purchased a timeshare to be used in Lake Buena Vista so we can go back every year!!
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:34 PM   #2
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Looking forward to reading about your trip.
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:09 PM   #3
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This is my second attempt at a TR. Ferb and I wrote one for our last WDW vacation in March 2011. This time around I was smarter and brought along a small notebook to take notes on our travels. That is where the title of this TR comes in. I found myself writing in the little journal while we were in line for rides, or waiting for meals to be served. But what was funny, was the fact that I was already forgetting everything we were doing. Good thing I brought that little book along. I was constantly having to ask Ferb and the girls what did we do after this or that. And anyone who was around for our previous TR is aware that I had to always ask someone what time it was. We didn't have a watch, or cell phone to check. On the final day of that vacation I finally bought a watch...guess what I forgot to bring along on this trip....YEP! That watch...so not only was I bugging the kids and Ferb to remember everything we did, but I was also bugging people around us for the time. Some day I will either remember that watch, or we will catch up to civilization and get a smart phone to take to the parks with us.

This trip was planned by me as a surprise for Ferb. We went on an adult only vacay in Oct and I sprang it on him then as an anniversary present of sorts. We decided to keep it a secret from Stitch and Rapunzel until the day we left. We had many close calls along the way, but we managed to keep it a secret! They were very surprised...we got it on video..but I am computer illiterate and I need Ferb to post it for me.

Our flight wasn't until 10:55 am so we had some time to get the girls up and have breakfast before we surprised them. But because we live in Canada and need to cross the border to get to the Buffalo airport, we wanted to make sure that we had plenty of time. The night before we set the clocks ahead one hour to get the girls in bed early. Then we got them up an hour earlier than normal to give us that time buffer. It worked well because it's winter and it was so dark they had no idea we fudged the time!

According to my little book....
Ferb and I were up at 5:30 and got showered and ready. Then we got the girls up and while they were at the breakfast table we sprang the surprise on them. I don't want to give it away before we post the video..but it was cute! We got finished getting ready pretty quickly after that and headed to the airport with no problems. There was a little traffic because it was morning rush hour, but nothing to worry about. Our first flight of the day, we had a connection, was running 10 minutes late. I figure that's not too shabby considering it's January and we are in the snow belt!

Here's someone who's just a little excited!


Our first flight was a long one...we flew past our ultimate destination and on to Ft Lauderdale. Such a stupid direction...oh well. This flight was good though, no problems. We had our snacks, drinks..played on our electronic devices and we were so excited to get to WDW!!



I took this shot just before landing in Ft Lauderdale:


Our second flight was running a few minutes behind as well. We had plenty of time to find something to eat, problem was...there was very little to choose from unless we wanted to head out of the secure area and then have to go through security all over again. We grabbed some pizzas and then hunkered down and waited...it seemed like forever!!!! Finally we made it on that flight...this one was so short they barely got through drink service before we landed.

We made it We love the Orlando airport....the smell there reminds me of VACATION!!!! We got on the fake monorail...




Love me some palm trees!! Another sign of vacation!!

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Old 01-18-2012, 03:30 PM   #4
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Sounds like a great adventure already!!! I LOVE SURPRISE TRIPS
I'm looking forward to hearing about your trip but also about Wyndham Grand Resort, on Barton Creek. My daughter and I will be staying there, in March for her spring break. The pictures of the place on line look fabulous, but can't wait to hear what you have to say about it and your thoughts.

Looking forward to your TR
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Old 01-18-2012, 06:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjgrazi View Post


Looking forward to reading about your trip.
Welcome! You are first!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasBelle View Post
Sounds like a great adventure already!!! I LOVE SURPRISE TRIPS
I'm looking forward to hearing about your trip but also about Wyndham Grand Resort, on Barton Creek. My daughter and I will be staying there, in March for her spring break. The pictures of the place on line look fabulous, but can't wait to hear what you have to say about it and your thoughts.

Looking forward to your TR
TexasBelle
Carolyn
Just wanted to clarify where we stayed...it was Wyndham Bonnet Creek which is a timeshare resort. Wyndham Grand is on the same property, but is a separate hotel. We really like the amenities and location here. You will see how everything else is as this TR moves along. Welcome!!!
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:42 PM   #6
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We left off riding the fake monorail at MCO. When we got off that we split up. Ferb took the girls with him to claim our luggage and I took the elevator one more floor down to the car rental area. We had a car reserved with Alamo using a company from the UK. The reason we went this route is because they include all the insurance with the rental at a better price. It ended up costing us just over $200 Canadian for a midsize rental for the week with all the insurance. We could have done WAY better renting through Alamo and just using our own insurance...but that is not gonna happen if Ferb has anything to do with it. Old argument...I've given up on this one.
So, I got in a longish line but it was moving quite well. Until they got to me. The guy was so confused by the voucher I handed him, he had to go in the back room a couple times to ask a supervisor about it. But, in the end all was well...I signed my life away...allowed him to put a $230 deposit on my credit card ....and walked away with a contract. Just as I was reaching the elevators to wait for the rest of my crew..there they were! Perfect timing!
We walked over and picked out a car...Ford Focus, red..easy to see in a parking lot we figured. This car was CRAP though...it idled messy and it sounded like it had a hole in the exhaust. Makes me happy I drive a Civic. Moving on....
We got out of there in record time. Thankfully we knew where we were going sort of. We forgot our GPS in our car at the Buffalo airport! So using signs and previous experience we found our way to the Walmart around the corner from WBC and headed in to shop. When we landed it was around 65 degrees...by now the sun was going down and it was still warmish, I think the car said outside temp of 63...gotta love Florida!
We got our shopping done in no time flat...thankfully we had thought about what we wanted to get ahead of time and didn't waste time wandering aimlessly. What I can tell you is that the Walmarts have amazing selection in their Disney section. I think we will hit them up on our next vacation for sure!
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:58 PM   #7
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We left Walmart and headed over to WBC. It wasn't far, but it was dark and we were still feeling like major out of towners and took our time. When we arrived the security guard checked his list for our name and let us in the gate. Security is pretty good here. When we got to the front desk there was almost no wait....just waited for someone for a minute or so to finish up. We checked in with no problem and the staff there was very welcoming. Unfortunately we then had to go to the "parking pass" desk. I put that in quotes because they are really the sales desk. They try to talk you into taking a tour. We are owners so they said we didn't have to take a tour, just allow them to totally interrupt our vacation plans and do a survey with them in our room. No thank you, we have dining reservations in the morning. "What, every day?" Excuse me...b***h...did I just hear you correctly? That got me soooooo mad....are you saying I am lying? Well, yes I am ....but only because so are you! And no...we will not be taking your unnecessary survey...
We got our parking pass and left.
We were assigned room 417 in Tower 1. There are 6 towers and one main building with check in reception and the activities desk. We drove to tower 1, unloaded everything..luggage and groceries onto a luggage cart and brought everything up to the 4th floor.
This is where everything went down hill.
We always do a bed bug check when we stay away. Well...we put the luggage rack just inside the front door of our unit and had the girls stand there and wait while we checked their beds..all clear. Then went to check the master.....not so much. There were spots and then we found an actual bed bug...
I called the front desk, they asked what kind of bug we found....does it really matter? Well, it's only some ants...we'll sleep with those. No, it's black spots on the mattress and mattress label at the head of the bed and a bug ran away from the light. We can assign you a new room...ya think? Would you like the 7th floor or a new tower....new tower please!! Would you like to come get the new keys or do you want us to bring them to you....What do you think, jack ***? So now we have ALL of our belongings and our groceries hanging precariously on a rack..I don't want to have to load and unload all that again. So we decided to walk over to the next tower. Thankfully it wasn't too far, but in the dark with two scared children, worried now about bed bugs and trying to manouver this monster of a luggage rack..it wasn't fun. But then we had to wait another 10 minutes at the bottom of tower 2 for our keys...I even called using the house phone there and they said it was on the way....you know that game...I wanted to call bulls**t on them...but 10 minutes later a bell services guy shows up.
We check out the new room and it's clean...we have missed our ADR for Raglan Rd...we are all exhausted and frustrated and we have an early ADR the next morning. So we decided to just make sandwiches and go to bed, which was not easy with images of bed bugs dancing in our heads.
And...NO ONE APOLOGIZED for the situation we were in. NO ONE CALLED to check on us and see if our new room was okay.
Definitely not Disney!!!
Don't worry...our vacation was awesome from this point on! Oh and I promise that I won't sound like a trucker anymore either...
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:58 PM   #8
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I'm here!!! Just got home from school will go back and read now!
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:05 AM   #9
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I'm here!!! Just got home from school will go back and read now!

My first repeat customer!!! How exciting!
Hope you were able to sleep after reading the last post!
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:14 AM   #10
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The bed bug situation totally stinks. I am soo thankful that we have our camper for most of our travels.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:23 AM   #11
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We left off on this adventure after a harrowing escape from BED BUGS!!! And just in case anyone out there is living under a rock...they aren't dangerous in the same way as a venomous snake is..more along the lines of really bad lice. Except it would cost $1000's of dollars to remove them from your home if it gets to that point. So we are very glad that we check regularly.
And here is a site you can use for reference:
http://www.bedbugbattleplan.com/content/view/26/1/


Moving on to nicer topics.....

Day 2!!

Weather.com shows this day as reaching a high of 72 but it started with a low of 44! We were bundled up a bit this morning. We had an early ADR at O'hana. Our oldest's fave is Stitch...hence her name here on the boards....but really it also has to do with her CRAZY personality!!
Breakfast was a surprise for her. We got up at 6 and our ADR was at 7:30. We drove to the Poly with no problems this morning and parked in Valet to give us the freedom of parking all day if we should choose. They LET you do it..the valet attendant said so! We checked in at the podium and got our leis and waited a couple minutes for our family photo...it looked really odd with our faces all screwed up funny so we didn't buy it. Then we waited about 5 more minutes for the restaurant to officially open up. The staff came out and did a little chant about Ohana and family. It was really cute. We were the first family called and we headed in with our new "cousin". At this point our Stitch heard that her Stitch was going to be here and she got way excited! Ferb and I got way excited when we saw where our table was...here was our view:


We had a great breakfast and everyone had something they liked to eat....Rapunzel over did it with the fruit and she paid for that later.... Not to get too gross, but I don't do well with breakfast food either. This was purely for the character interaction. The food WAS delicious and the juice there FABULOUS!!

Here is who we met:
Rapunzel with Lilo


Both of my babes...with Lilo


There's a happy Stitch!!


Rapunzel with Stitch..


Aloha, Mickey!!


There's a good doggie!!!!


Even I got a pic with Stitch...


Can you see the book on the table? The red one...we used the WONDERFUL designs on the disign boards and ordered awesome hard cover autograph books from artscow.com. They were a hit with characters and photopass and even character handlers. Oh, and the girls loved them too!
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:05 AM   #12
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The bed bug situation totally stinks. I am soo thankful that we have our camper for most of our travels.
That's great! We have been pretty diligent since I read how to check here on the boards. But the website I just posted in my new installment has opened my eyes to where we have been lax. Gonna have to step it up a notch!
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:30 AM   #13
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With breakfast completed we took the Monorail over to MK to make it for Rope Drop. We made it just in time and headed with the crowd into the park with 2 majors goals this day. Ride Dumbo and BTMRR....the latter we needed to ride as many times as possible. It's Rapunzel's favorite ride and we knew it was going down for refurb while we were there. I scheduled 2 MK days early in our week to make sure we could ride these two both days.

So we walked down Main Street directly to Dumbo and got to ride at 9:08! Woo hoo...here's Rapunzel so excited to be going on our first ride of the week!!!


I love riding this one first thing in the morning...not just because the line is shortest then, but it just feels good to start the day that high up and seeing so much below you!

Me and Rapunzel..


Ferb and Stitch waiting to go up!


Checking out the Fantasyland Expansion:


After our ride on Dumbo we headed over to Frontierland to grab FP's for BTMRR. It was at 9:37 when we grabbed them and the wait time was posted at 10 minutes so we rode as well. While we were waiting they opened up the second side of the loading area and we got on a train right away! Rapunzel was so happy!! BTW, we are that crazy family that copies the spiel at the end really loudly..."This here's the wildest ride in the Wilderness"!!! We have fun!
After this we walked over to Adventureland and met Pirate Goofy by POC!


We knew he would be out here so we had a page made for the autograph books just for him..he liked it!

After this we tried in vain to talk Rapunzel into riding POC. So Ferb and Stitch rode while Rapunzel and I found the nearest washroom to deal with our breakfast....
We met back up with Ferb and Stitch and we walked back to BTMRR to grab more FP's. I wish I had checked the time on them to see now how late in the day it was. Again, that watch would have come in handy wouldn't it?
We walked over to Fantasyland but we stopped at HM on the way and again tried in vain to get Rapunzel to ride. So Stitch and I rode while Ferb took Rapunzel on SW. (Her second favorite ride at the time).

Stitch really enjoyed the new interactive queue area...





We met back up with Rapunzel and Ferb and decided to have some lunch...it was around 11 I think because the restaurant was still pretty empty. After lunch we grabbed FP for PPF and watched Philharmagic. After we decided to take a break back at WBC..it was going to be a late night and we had gotten up pretty early.
So we stopped to try this:




Someday it will happen! And then we headed out to take the monorail back to the Poly to grab the car.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:55 AM   #14
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When we got back to WBC it had warmed up nicely and we decided to go for a swim. The pool just outside our building looked kinda lame so we walked towards the pool at the main building. The water was sooooooo warm. We swam and hung out in the hot tub for a while. We rested in the room for a bit after then I got a quick dinner ready and we ate there. We headed back to MK via the Poly again and used our ticket from valet in the morning to park there again....and yes it's allowed. This ended up being more expensive in the long run than parking in the lot. Valet is only $12, but when you add two tips it was more like $22. Anyways, it was more convenient for us this way with our breakfast ADR.
We took the monorail over to MK and got in just in time to see the Move it Shake it Celebrate it parade. We even got Rapunzel out there dancing with me....it was fun. We had a snack while it was starting....ice cream for Ferb and Stich, Rapunzel got cotton candy. After the parade we walked over to Fantasyland to use our PPF FP. The wait time was listed as 50 min!! Then we headed over to Frontierland and used both of our FP for BTMRR. The wait was posted at 70 min and then 50 minutes. CRAZY!!!
Then we hunkered down in front of The Hall Of Presidents to wait for the MSEP. The time I have written was 7pm when we grabbed our spot. We had to wait an hour for the parade. We really didn't want to do anything else, though. I sent Stitch and Ferb on a mission though because they had ants in their pants. I sent them to Tomorrowland for a cream cheese pretzel and a frozen coke. They returned with 2 pretzels and it's a good thing too....we ate it all!
When we first picked out our spot there weren't too many people there. The ropes were already up and there was a mom with 3 little ones on the ground at the ropes and a family from Scotland on the brick wall we sat on. But it got crazy about 20 minutes before the parade started!!!
I'm not a huge fan now that I've seen this one...I prefer Spectromagic and I hope they bring it back sometime in the future. We hadn't seen this one though so it was worth seeing at least once. The girls enjoyed it!.

Here are a few decent pics Ferb was able to get with our rinky dinky point and shoot camera...












We followed the throng after towards the hub to hopefully get a decent spot to see the castle show and Wishes.
Ferb liked to have some fun with the camera...but you can see the bagallini I carry in the parks and the sweatshirt I got from Santa for christmas..


The crowds were a mess as usual, but we managed and watched both the show and Wishes. It was fun to see the christmas stuff they put in the magic memories and me show. We were exhausted at this point and headed out with the crazy crowd. It had been a wonderful day of sunshine, good food, favorite rides and even meeting some new characters. We went straight to bed....the next morning was Epcot and we only had one day here this week so we wanted to be sure to make it for rope drop. It's the marathon weekend...how is this going to go?
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:27 PM   #15
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Day 3

We got a decent amt of sleep the night before, merely from exhaustion and I think the bed bugs dancing in our heads had calmed down as well. We got up this morning at 6:30 to have breakfast in our room and get everyone ready to head out to Epcot today. It was the half marathon this morning, and we weren't sure how that would affect driving and parking at Epcot so we made sure we left with plenty of time to deal with it. It's a good thing, too! WBC is soooo close to Epcot it should only take 5 min or so to get there. We drove out into a mess of traffic and we figured since we drive straight into WBC from Epcot we should be able to drive straight into Epcot from WBC. Not so much...there's a reason that road is called Backstage Lane....cuz it's BACKSTAGE...meaning CM's only. We made it slowly down that road and into the employee lot and the security guard there very nicely let us keep driving through the employee lot to the other side and out onto the public roads. It was kind of neat in a way, but also kind of disappointing to drive through as CM's were parking and heading into work. You just aren't supposed to see that kind of thing, you know?
Anyways, we made it back onto the road and headed right into Epcot parking with no other problems. We parked up headed right into the park because we missed RD. No biggie...there isn't anything fun for RD anymore anyways. What we didn't realize was that the marathon ran right through FW. We got stuck waiting in a huge mess of a line to play frogger through the runners to get to Soarin! It was a MESS!! I get that the marathon is a big deal and I say good for you for running. But to make children run in between these runners is RIDICULOUS!!! Not safe if you ask me. We did have CM's there to control when you went, but still not a good situation.
We made it safely across, barely, and headed into FW towards Soarin for FP's and to ride..only when we passed the Character Spot there was NO ONE in line!! Well, I exaggerate, there were two kids in front of us when we got in there. I sent Ferb with our passes to grab FP and I took the girls in for pics and autographs. Ferb only took about 10 min and said it was a virtual ghost town in the land....that's cuz everyone is stuck still playing frogger!!









We ended up heading back into The Land and rode Soarin after this. The time was 9:20 when we were in line and the wait time was posted as 10 min. We headed the long way around to TT after this and got in line at 9:55 with a 5 min wait posted. Unfortunately the ride broke down for a little while when we waited...we exited the ride at 10:34.

We headed next door and managed to talk Rapunzel into riding Mission Space! I believe I bribed her with a Duffy if after riding she thought I had lied to her about how "not bad" it was. We rode the green side with a 10 min wait posted. She was pretty nervous and we tried distracting her everytime she started to get that worried look on her face while we waited. The only wait we really had was inside the briefing room. She rode it and survived and told me I had to buy her the Duffy because I said it wouldn't get dark. I told her there was a bright light in her face the whole time and it didn't count as going dark...did you notice the duffy in her arms in the pic in the first post?

So we then headed into Mexico and grabbed a treat. Churros....hey where's "That guy" when you need him? We walked around the inside of the pavilion and rode Three Caballeros. It was a very nice ride with no cameras flashing and quiet people on our boat! It was 11:28 when we rode that. We let Rapunzel color a duffy on a stick while Stitch and walked around the pavilion a bit.
Outside there was a PP lady and we got our pic taken....can't wait for the CD to come in! Then around the corner we saw these guys playing...check out the singer....


He was really good and there was someone in the crowd watching that knew the song he was singing and the two men were singing together...it was pretty cool!!


Gotta take a break and get the girls off the bus...it's snowing up a storm out there and I don't want them to have to walk alone in this!!
__________________
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