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Old 09-27-2012, 01:33 PM   #1
It's a miracle! I stayed awake during the El Rio Del Tiempo ride!
Let's not even TOUCH the whole Dog vs. dawg vs. Dowg thing!
PLINKO baby!
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: The Triad, NC
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Righting the wrongs...our "do-over" deluxe-on-a-budget trip!

It was just DH (39) and I (36). No other family around to monkey with our plans. Lord knows our previous trip in 2010 was a huge disaster with my parents, my sister and her husband and my younger sister. Everyone wanted to do something different but NOBODY wanted to split the group up. So we suffered together. DH and I vowed to go again and do the trip the way WE wanted.

Luckily, DH has an uncle...a wonderful, awesome, generous uncle, who it turns out is a DVC member. HOw we never knew this nugget o'info I'll never know. But Uncle Awesome graciously offered us his points to book the trip of a lifetime. He had somewhere in the neighborhood of 320 DVC points burning a hole in his pocket...and we normally stay at Pop. So imagine the sight of two grown adults swooning and fainting when presented with the idea of staying at a DVC resort!

We chose a studio with a MK view at BLT for the first 4 days of our trip, and then the last 3 days at a 1br at AKLV. Let me simply say that while we LOVED BLT, it's a dang good thing we stayed there BEFORE we got to experience that 1br at AKLV...amazing!

The trip started on 9/16 and ran through to 9/22. We managed to get on the road from our sleepy little town in NC just before 7am on Sunday the 16th and we cruised straight to Orlando in juuuuuuust a hair under 9 hours. We pulled into the parking lot at BLT practically vibrating with excitement. The security guard called the front desk to let them know we were checking in and a CM met us in front of CR to help us get checked in. It was soooo cool being called by name and they were so friendly and wonderful. We went right to the desk inside and check in was a breeze. The CM gave us "Happy Anniversary" buttons (which garnered us non-stop well wishes from CMs all week!). This was a trip to celebrate our 7th anniversary.

We were told our request for a room on a high floor had been granted and we were sent to our spectacular room on the 11th floor. The view was amazing! We could see the CR, the monorail, the Sky Bridge, and Cinderella Castle and Space Mountain! It was like heaven! Unfortunately we couldn't dally here as we had a 5:10pm ADR at Ohana and it was already 4:30, so we dropped our luggage and headed to the monorail for the first of many rides on the "highway in the sky".

It was a short jaunt to the Poly and MAN was that place jumpin'! I was shocked at how packed the lobby/waiting area was. Wall to wall people. There was a HUGE line of people without ADR's waiting for a walk up, and chances are those poor souls are still waiting. I think we waited about 15 minutes to be seated. Our server was awesome and the food just kept coming. Personally, the sweet flavor everything had isn't my style, but DH loved everything. The food was hot, fresh and plentiful. We were sitting right next to the roasting pit where they cook the meat. At the end of the meal (after that wonderful bread pudding...) the server brought us an anniversary cupcake and sang to us!

Now I had carefully crafted our schedule and this evening happened to be evening EMH at MK, so we hopped back on the monorail and high tailed it to MK. I had no sooner stepped foot onto Main Street when the tears started flowing...from both DH and I! We were two weepy little kids just teary with joy at FINALLY being home in our most happiest of happy places.

Since it was about 6pm, we had a good six hours ahead of us to play in the park. We managed to fit in multiple trips on Splash and BTMRR, HM, PotC, Monster's Inc, TTA, Philharmagic and then line up for Wishes. After crying like a baby from the first firework to the last we walked all the way back to BLT and got all tucked in.

What a perfect end to a perfect day...

Up next, Day 2 at Epcot!
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:07 PM   #2
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Fellow Tar Heel here and I'm in to hear about the rest of your trip. Having an Uncle with DVC points...SCORE!!! Busy first day with the drive. I'm in Cumberland county and it's a 9 hour drive for us. I hate the drive.
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:11 PM   #3
It's a miracle! I stayed awake during the El Rio Del Tiempo ride!
Let's not even TOUCH the whole Dog vs. dawg vs. Dowg thing!
PLINKO baby!
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: The Triad, NC
Posts: 24,822

Actually, the drive is something DH and I enjoy...at least the drive THERE. The drive home not-so-much!

We're hoping, or maybe it's wishful thinking, that DH's uncle won't be able to use his points next year either and maybe, just maybe, he might offer us the use of them again. That'd be phenomenal!

Off to jot down day 2!
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:34 PM   #4
It's a miracle! I stayed awake during the El Rio Del Tiempo ride!
Let's not even TOUCH the whole Dog vs. dawg vs. Dowg thing!
PLINKO baby!
Jennasis's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: The Triad, NC
Posts: 24,822

Day 2...Epcot, done right!

Keeping in mind that this trip is all about getting a do-over from our miserable trip two years ago...

On Monday we woke up bright and early to get to Epcot for park opening. We made use of the mini-kitchen in the DVC studio and planned for breakfast in the room each morning. Nothing fancy..just some Peanut Butter Capt Crunch (breakfast of champions!), and a little lingering on our balcony, watching the Avengerrail glide by and we were off for the day!

We walked the Sky-bridge to CR and then hopped on the monorail to the TTC for the change over to the Epcot monorail. I ask you, is there any more beautiful sound than "Por favor mantenganse alejados de las puertas" in the morning? LOVE IT!! We settled in for the ride to Epcot when I discovered something rather unfortunate...

I broke my butt! Literally. As I sat on the bench in the monorail, I discovered a shooting pain in the very tip of my tail bone, right at the top of my butt crack (sorry for the visual). It was pretty agonizing. The only thing I can think of is that I either bruised my tail bone somehow on the 9 hour drive the day before or possibly on BTMRR the night before when it pulled into the loading dock and stopped very abruptly sending us all lurching forward and back. But for the rest of the day and the next day it was extraordinarily painful to sit...at least to sit BACK. I found if I leaned forward when I sat, it wasn't so bad.

Anyhoo, so we make our way into Epcot and once through the turnstiles follow the herd to my favorite ride in the park...Soarin'! I took a picture of the Stand-by sign because it said "5 minutes". I figure it's not likely to look like that ever again! We grabbed a FP, rode standby and then used our FP to by pass the now 40 minute wait for a second ride. Then we did "Living With the Land" which we havn't done in years! It was pretty neat.

Then we stopped by Capt. Eo, rode Imagination, and said hello to Nemo and Crush. Then we created a pretty kick butt ride in the Sum of All Thrills...I think it was called the Shrieking Snake? And rode Mission:Space Green (we don't do Orange..it gives me panic attacks). By this time World Showcase was getting ready to open so we sauntered over to a mostly empty Mexico and made our way around the lagoon. We had a 12:45 ADR at Via Napoli to get to.

While exploring the countries in much greater detail than we usually do (we are usually on a much shorter visit so we have to rush to fit everything in), we found ourselves in a nearly empty China with Mulan just standing there completely alone. So I wandered over for pics and her autograph. Normally I don't wait in line for characters, but she was just standing there all by her herself. She asked me if I had met my husband in the army like she did, and I said I had met him at work, but not the army. Then we posed together and she signed my autograph book.

We made our way to Via Napoli next and got to the pavilion just in time to see SERGIO! He was a total hoot! We had a spot right up front and he picked on DH and I quite a bit. In fact, DH managed to get picked for stuff pretty consistently all week. It was awesome!

Then we checked in to Via Napoli and were seated in the main room right next to the big long table in the middle. We ordered the Arancini (soooooooooo goooooooood!) and I ordered the pepperoni pizza while DH ordered the Margherita. We are originally from NY (Long Island) and this pizza was simply to-die-for. Really outstanding. Again, we were brought an anniversary cupcake and the waiters sang to us. It was great!

This meal was one of only 3 ADR's we made for the week. Everything else was CS or snacks and we ate really really well all week! Later on at Epcot we ate a dark chocolate, caramel and sea salt square from Karamel Kuche, a strawberry oolong tea, pork bun and egg roll from China, Fish and chips from the UK, a chocolate mousse from France. All so good! We also watched the drummers and Miyuki in Japan (she made 5 different animals), listened to the band in the UK and saw the acrobats in China. Finally we found a bench with our fish and chips right by the water in the UK behind the fish and chip shop. I am Astounded we never found this spot before! It was perfect for Illuminations, so we just enjoyed hanging there for an hour with our food and chatting up the others around us. My butt was still pretty sore and DH, who had just had knee surgery 8 weeks ago needed the rest.

the view of the show from this spot was THE BEST!! I will definitely make my way there again on future visits. After illuminations, we took our time wandering out of the park and back to the monorail. I was hopeful there would be a direct bus back to the CR so we wouldn't have to transfer at the TTC, but alas there was not.

Back at our room we were dismayed to find our fridge on the fritz...or rather on the freeze. The milk and sodas we had put in it were frozen! We kept playing with the thermostat for the duration of our stay but never managed to get it set right. oh well.

We settled in for a good night sleep because tomorrow we head to the MK for a full day followed by a full night at MNSSHP! I'll post costume pics too! Stay tuned!
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:59 PM   #5
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I'm a tarheel too! Crystal coast resident here. Sorry you broke your butt.

DH DD ME Sandy

Last edited by summersalt; 09-27-2012 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:20 PM   #6
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Sorry about your butt! Did you ever find out what happened to it?

Besides that, sounds like a wonderful start to your trip!!
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