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Old 02-15-2013, 10:56 AM   #46
GrimGrinningStitch
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I'm glad that my ugly ride photos are such a big draw!
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:11 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by GrimGrinningStitch View Post
I'm glad that my ugly ride photos are such a big draw!
Hahaha, they really are. I don't think you will disappoint during this trip, either.

Also, is it weird I'm replying to your comment when you are sitting 3 yards away from me right now? I think so. A little bit.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:11 AM   #48
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Chapter One: And so it begins...
Day 1: January 17th, 2013


Our alarms were set to go off at around 5:30am, and when they went off, we both jumped out of bed.

Actually, no. Let's be honest here. Matt was up and getting ready, I was half-asleep and it took me about 30 seconds to realize we were LEAVING FOR DISNEY WORLD.

I hopped out of bed, did my happy dance, and took down the final number on our Disney World countdown! I also took a screenshot of my awesome countdown I had on my iPhone, and of course put it on instagram because that's how I roll.



Finally I got myself ready, finished packing the last-minute items, and got everything downstairs to the front door.

We had made the decision to have a town car come and pick us up to drive us to the airport, mainly because it was actually cheaper than a taxi. How, I do not know. But, they told us the driver would call us a half hour before pick up to inform us he was on his way. So 5:45am rolled around, and no phone call. I figured he was just going to call us maybe at like, 5:55.

Our friend Tanner, who was going to be watching our dogs/house-sitting, came downstairs since he'd stayed over the night before. We snuggled our dogs for awhile and chatted with Tanner, but still got no phone call! I had Matt give me the email confirmation I'd printed out and re-read it. It said pickup time of 6:15m....

Yes, M.

No AM or PM. I started to panic and called the number on the sheet, because at this point it was around 6:05 or so, and I figured this guy wasn't going to show up.

The phone number went to voicemail, and I left one in a somewhat panic for the lady... but at that point I just figured we'd wait it out.

I stood by our front window like a little creeper, staring out the window and saw a car slowly go by our house. That had to be him!!

Finally around 5 minutes later, the driver called and I confirmed that was him, and I guess he'd driven by our house and was confused.

Anyway, he finally got to our driveway and we said goodbye to Tanner and our little pups and kitty. It's always difficult saying goodbye to them, but I had to remind myself that they'd be fine.

Our driver was pleasant and off we went! It was still dark out, but I was just too excited to even care!



Traffic wasn't bad at all, so we got to the airport pretty darn quickly. We tipped our driver, grabbed our luggage, and walked until we found the Alaska Airlines terminal.

In Seattle, it's pretty nice because you have the option to basically skip the whole waiting in line to check your bags, and instead just load them yourself while an agent checks your tickets and IDs. It's hard to explain, but it really speeds up the process.

After we dropped off our bags, we went and found the security line which was somewhat long.



Of course, when you wait in the security line, you entertain yourself... WITH PHOTOS!

Matt was VERY excited, because hello, WE WERE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!



Now, Bruce and Amy were getting a ride from Amy's mom to the airport, so we told them we'd meet them near Starbucks in the main terminal area.

Even though the line was long, we got through security pretty quickly and were popping our sneakers back on before we knew it. Matt had received a text from Bruce saying that they were running slightly late because Amy's mom took them through some "back way" and it ended up taking way longer than the normal way, hahaha.

Matt and I made our way over to Starbucks, and quite quickly, because as you know, Matt NEEDS his coffee.

Of course there was a mile-long line, but like I said, when you're waiting in line, YOU TAKE PHOTOS.

It was Matt's turn to torture me with photos. Matt thinks it's hilarious to take photos of me when I'm not ready to smile, thus resulting in a lot of awkward photos of me..







Eventually we got to the front of the line. Matt ordered his usual Iced Venti Nonfat Vanilla Latte, and I went with an Iced Grande Nonfat Caramel Macchiato. I also decided to get a yogurt parfait for breakfast, and grabbed a scone to eat later on the plane. Matt got a breakfast sandwich and I think a muffin for the flight. I can't remember because the only thing I got a photo of was my parfait:



We sat down at a table and ate our breakfast, while also trying to figure out where the heck Bruce and Amy were. We finally finished and decided to walk back towards the security area to see if we could spot them. Sure enough, they were just getting done with security, so we waited for them to get their sneakers on, when I noticed Amy's amazing TOMs!







Amy's younger brother is a Disneyland cast member, and his girlfriend decided to make custom Disney TOMs for Amy to wear on the trip! Too cute.

They both seemed really excited to be going, but were in dire need of some coffee and breakfast. (In case you haven't noticed, us Seattleites really do love our coffee.)

We headed over towards our gate where there was another Starbucks, and Matt and I saved us seats while Bruce and Amy got breakfast.

I entertained myself by taking photos while we waited.





It was SUPER foggy out, and I was slightly concerned about our flight being delayed, but it wasn't an issue!

Bruce and Amy finally made their way back over to where we were waiting, and our flight actually boarded early, woohoo!

We were all sitting together, Matt in an aisle, me in the other aisle, then Amy was next to me, with Bruce sitting near the window. For some reason it took awhile to board, but we still managed to take off early, around 9am, which I always appreciate!

We always fly Alaska Airlines to Disney World because they are the only airline that has direct flights to Orlando from Seattle. It's a long flight (5 hours and 20 minutes), but knowing you are in Orlando when you finally land is THE BEST.

During the flight, I kept myself entertained with inflight wifi. It's $14, but for a 5+ hour flight, it's the best thing ever! I actually caught up on quite a few TRs on the DISboards, and tweeted a whole bunch from 30,000 feet in the sky, haha.

The downside to this flight was we were towards the back of the plane and I swear, at one point, more than half of the plane was waiting in line for the bathroom! Seriously, the line went all the way up to the halfway point of the plane. Which means we were getting bumped by people's arms and bums a lot. Noooot so much fun.

The other downside was that we were seated right behind a HUGE amount of young female teenage soccer players who were evidently going to a soccer tournament in Disney. Wompwomp. I was hoping this wouldn't be a sign of what was to come... dundundun...

But anyway! I decided to watch one of the Disney Parks specials I'd put on my iPad, and that made time go by really quickly, as well.

Before we knew it, we were officially landing in Orlando! We landed at around 5:20pm, a whopping 7 minutes early!



I took a photo while we sat for about 15 minutes on the plane, waiting for people to get off. DIDN'T THESE PEOPLE REALIZE WE WERE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD?! Evidently not.

As we got off, Matt was in front of us and literally booked it. No, seriously, with him being 6'5 and a fast walker, plus the fact he was beyond excited we were there, he basically left us behind. I even have photographic (albeit shaky) proof:



Bahaha, oooh Matt. I found him waiting right outside the gate, and once we were all together, we headed to the fake monorail!



Fake or not, WE WERE ALL SO EXCITED!







Our fake monorail dropped us off and I took the lead in seriously booking ahead of everyone because I WAS DYING to get to the Magical Express!



I actually remembered where it was, proudly enough, and just as we got down the escalator, I spotted a sign I recognized!



Continued in next post
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:12 AM   #49
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Chapter Two: "Um, I'm sorry, but does that say 459?"
Day 1: January 17th, 2013


As we walked up to Magical Express, a woman greeted us and looked at our Magical Express tickets... and I proceeded to run ahead to get a photo. I literally exclaimed "I'M SORRY BUT I NEED TO GO TAKE A PHOTO!" and booked it past the woman. Everyone laughed, including the lady, and I told her I was a little excited.

This was the photo I ran away from everyone for:



After everyone caught up to me, we walked into the Beach Club line, where there was one family ahead of us. I'm not even joking, I can't remember what I was thinking at this point except PURE EXCITEMENT.

Within 15 minutes, we were boarding our motorcoach! The people ahead of us took the very front seat, so we opted for a second row seat, and Bruce and Amy sat behind us.

We waited a little while on the bus for our driver to get back on, which took awhile and I was dying. But I had to take an obligatory photo of the Magical Express television.



Finally our driver got back on and started talking... and oh my GOD... Okay, you know the teacher in Ferris Bueller with the monotone voice (aka Ben Stein)? This guy had the same monotone voice and didn't end his sentences and decided he needed to tell us our bags were on the bus... 30 times. I can't remember his name so we'll go with Joe.

So essentially here's how we were welcomed aboard:

"Okay welcome aboard the Magical Express my name is Joe I am your driver I have placed all of your baggage underneath the bus I will remove your baggage when we arrive to your resort your baggage is on the bus if I took it from you and we're going to be driving for awhile so if you want to take a nap or a little snooze I will wake you when we arrive at our destination."

...

I kid you not. The man told us we were FREE TO SNOOZE. Literally all 4 of us were trying our hardest to hold in our laughter. This was the MOST unenthusiastic bus driver I'd ever come across, but it was so unbelievably hilarious.

I turned around and asked Amy if she planned on snoozing... and she promptly fell asleep.



Hahaha, I actually tweeted about his absurd speech because it was so unintentionally funny. We did eventually get on our way though!



Anyway, our overly enthusiastic friend Joe turned on the lovely video... It gets me EVERY TIME.



No seriously, I was so happy I had tears. I couldn't believe we were on our way! It was insane.

So I was alllll prepared to get a photo of the sign. I had my camera out... and promptly forgot to put it on the correct settings, so my photo turned out blurry. Nooooo.

Fortunately Matt had my iPhone and took a back up photo for me, because he's good like that. Funny how this one came out a bit better.



As soon as we drove under that sign, I was beside myself. Tears and all. But I didn't care. I was finally here, after nearly 9 months of planning, we were back in Disney World.

Joe enthusiastically (not sure that's the best way to describe him) announced we were stopping at Boardwalk first. I was a little sad because I was just dying to be pulling up to Beach Club, so I was hoping he'd be announcing us next.

AND HE DID! "Next stop Beach Club." Even though he was still monotone, when he said Beach Club, in my ears, I just heard angels sing.



I am fairly certain I shoved everyone else aside as I ran off the bus. Matt and I had agreed that I would go in and check us in while he handled getting our bags from Joe and tipping. Bruce decided to join me, so we headed on in... Or rather, I ran in and Bruce quickly followed along.

The second we walked through the doors, I remarked to Bruce, "THAT is the Beach Club smell." It was glorious.

I was home and I was so so happy. And even better, there wasn't a huge line to check in!

The cast member greeted me and was super friendly. We started chatting and she asked me where I was from. When I told her Seattle she got really excited and talked about how she was considering moving there. Matt caught up to me rather quickly, and we all started chatting away while she checked us in.

While she took care of printing out our room keys, I had to take a photo of this beautiful lobby.



We were given our keys and she asked us if we knew anything about the fancy RFID pinpad in front of us. We told her we were not, and she informed us that we needed to set up a pin number, so when we went to pay for things with our room key, we just had to tap the Mickey head on the RFID machine and put in our pin. Basically, it seemed like a much safer way for people to charge things to their room.

After a few minutes, she wrote down our room number on our welcome packet. I stared at it, thought for a moment, and asked:

"Um, I'm sorry, but does that say 459?"

She looked at me and curiously responded, "...yes?"

I sat there in disbelief and responded, "Uhh that's the exact same room we were in last year!"

I know some of you guys probably think I'm insane for even remembering what room we were in from the previous year, but I remembered because I'd taken a photo of our room number for my last TR and remembered Matt calling housekeeping for a pillow and sending them to the wrong room, 457.

Anyway, how insane is that?! Same room as the previous trip! And Matt and I were both thrilled because we loved our room last year! Higher floor, and we had a nice partial view of Spaceship Earth and could see the higher fireworks from Illuminations.

I mentioned we were celebrating our anniversary, so the CM gave us super adorable anniversary pins with our names on them!



We thanked our CM, and Bruce and Amy came over and revealed they were in room 463.. Perfect! Close by our room and all!

Bruce and Amy needed to go to the Concierge desk to buy their park tickets, so I hung back and snapped another photo of the beautiful lobby, with a little photo bomb of Matt.



I walked over to meet up with them, and while Bruce and Amy finished up at the Concierge desk, I spotted a little girl waiting for her parents. She had a Happy Birthday pin on, so I wished her a very happy birthday!

She said thank you and I asked her how old she was. She told me she was 5, but was about to turn 6! I told her that was very exciting and asked her if she was going to meet any of the Princesses. She told me she was, and then explained how Minnie Mouse was her favorite, and grabbed her stuffed Minnie plush. I told her that I'm sure Minnie Mouse was VERY excited to meet her. Her parents came over and I wished her a Happy Birthday again and smiled as they walked away. It was pretty adorable and I think the little girl enjoyed that someone was wishing her a Happy Birthday, haha.

Matt commented to me how I just seemed SO happy in Disney World, like I was a completely different person, and even Bruce and Amy said something, too.

It's not to say I'm not a happy person when I'm not in Disney, but there is something about Disney World that just brings out this completely different side of me. It's a happiness that I can't explain, but I'm sure a lot of you completely understand and identify with.

Anyway, after my fun little conversation, I told Matt we needed photos with our pins on and our DVC information packets, duh!





We headed over to the Beach Club Marketplace to pick up our lovely refillable mugs that came with our Dining Plan. While we did that, I was determined to trade a pin, so I busted out my carry-on, dug out a pin, and traded for an adorable Pluto one! Not bad for my first pin trade of the trip!



After we got our mugs, we headed off to find our rooms... Or well, we knew exactly where we were headed, haha.

I love seeing this sign so much..



YUP, we are home!





We got on our favorite elevator, and I had to snap the obligatory mirror photo!



We walked up to our room, 459, and walked in... It was seriously the weirdest feeling, to be back in the same exact room as last year, and nothing had changed! It really did feel like we were returning to our home away from home... and we were so happy.





Gotta love the Mickey head! The only towel animal we saw during our trip, and while I didn't really care that much, let's just say Mousekeeping left a lot to be desired during our trip... but we'll get to that later.



I went outside and snapped a photo of glorious Spaceship Earth. It's funny because the tree on the left DEFINITELY grew over the past year, haha.



I finished taking photos of our room, which as you will see, includes a pull-out couch, queen-sized bed, sitting area, television/drawers, kitchenette, etc. The normal things you'd see in a DVC studio villa.









We got ourselves settled in, and at this point it was around 7:20pm or so. A few minutes later, Bruce and Amy came to our room, and we set off for our first adventure of the evening!

Continued in next post

Last edited by danimaroo; 02-18-2013 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:25 AM   #50
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That is pretty incredible that of all the villas you ended up in the exact same one as the year before! And yay for uneventful travel days, because I know ours tend to be stressful. I'm with you on the direct flight, I will always choose being in a plane for a long period of time on a direct flight vs. breaking it up into multiple flights whenever possible. That was what we did flying from New Orleans to LA for our DL trip!

Great start.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:40 AM   #51
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Followed you over from your DLR trip report. Loving it so far. Having never been to WDW (yet), I love living through other peoples trips.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:43 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrimGrinningStitch View Post
I'm glad that my ugly ride photos are such a big draw!
Not ugly, just hilarious. We love them. Kind of a mocking love but it's love alright...
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:55 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pesky View Post
Not ugly, just hilarious. We love them. Kind of a mocking love but it's love alright...
It's alright, I'm just crying on the inside

Haha, I actually do them for everyone's enjoyment. I love seeing people get off the ride and laughing at the photo.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:26 PM   #54
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Loving your TR so far...
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:27 PM   #55
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That's so crazy that you wound up with the exact same room again! I'm sure that doesn't happen often.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:29 PM   #56
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Yay, you've started your TR! I just loved Amy's TOMs- how adorable?! And how cool is it that you ended up in the same room? I totally understand how giddy with excitement you can be on that first day, it almost feels surreal when you finally get there. I know I'm happier when I'm there.

Great start, I'll be back!
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:24 PM   #57
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I LOVE your excitement! And I totally get the being a different person and happier in Disney. I definitely morph into someone else!

I love those tom's. I've been checking etsy for different styles that I want to get for September!

I think the ME ride is my absolute favorite (on the way -- not back!)

I love wishing happy birthday to people there... Well, happy anything, birthday, anniversary, etc. It's such a great for me and I like to see people smile!
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:29 PM   #58
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Your love for the Beach Club has me so excited for our May trip!
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:29 PM   #59
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Oh no, I would have freaked out when the confirmation time only said m! Good thing that the driver did show up!!

Yay for an uneventful flight! Don't feel bad, I'm always trying to race ahead when we finally get to Magical Express too - it's hard to contain your excitement after waiting so long!!

That's awesome that you got the same room as the year before!!
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:48 PM   #60
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I will not just lurk! I am super excited to join in living vicariously through you
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