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Old 02-19-2013, 08:08 PM   #1
allears
"If I were not upon the sea..." I want to already have another cruise booked!
 
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Southern New Jersey
Posts: 2,501

Fantasy 2-9 to 2-16 as a Shinny New Platinum (Adding photos)

I’ve decided to do a fairly detailed day by day report this time, so apologies In advance if it gets a little long. I am also not including photos, as there seem to be a good number of reports with excellent photos included already. But besides trying to share information that others may find useful, I want to have a nice record of our amazing voyage to read through the year.
A little background, my partner and I booked this cruise last year while on board the Magic. This was my 11th and his 2nd cruise, but the first on the Fantasy for both of us. It is hard to believe how fast that year went and we spent the last couple of months in obsessive planning mode, which I really enjoy! We were so very excited about experiencing the newest ship in the DCL fleet and I have to admit a bit anxious about how I would feel not being on my beloved Magic. Our plans went through many iterations through the year but finally firmed up within the last two months, including a day at WDW and deciding on what to do or not do at the ports. So here goes!
Day One: Travel and Disney World
We took the first flight out of Philadelphia on Friday. The weather was giving us a bit of concern as two major systems were heading to the north east, and turned out to be a major blizzard for areas starting as little as an hour north of us. We had every intention of driving to Port Canaveral should it look like we would have trouble with our flight, but as it turned out we were out well ahead of any issues. We actually left home at 4 am, to make our 6:30 am flight.
The flight was great, left on time and arrived 35 minutes early! Once off the plane we headed off to get Magical Express to the Pop Century Resort. Very quickly we were on the bus and off to the resort, in warm sunny weather. The day turned out to be spectacular! When we arrived at Pop Century, it was immediately apparent that we had hit a cheer leading competition weekend, oh goodie!!! Despite being at 100% occupancy, our room was actually ready! This was around 10 am! We were very happy about that, since we could put some valuables, especially cash in the room safe and not take it with us to the park.
Off to the bus and the Magic Kingdom. We were very, very fortunate that a friend of ours offered us two of his cast member park hopper passes for the day! That was a huge savings and allowed us to plan to park hop, time permitting. We arrived at the park around 11 am, way earlier than we originally expected. We were immediately struck by how crowded it seemed, for a usually less popular time of the year. First touch of magic was being able to avoid the long regular lines and go through the cast member/electronic ticket line.
It’s always amazing and exciting going under the bridge and emerging onto Main Street! It had been a few years since either of us had been to the Magic Kingdom and we were way excited! We headed around the castle and the street party parade to new fantasy land. This area is going to be simply amazing once it’s all finished. So cool and so incredibly immersive! We were advised by a friend to try getting fast passes for Ariel while heading back into the new area, but the return time was 4:45 pm, seemed rather silly, so we skipped the fast past and just headed to the attraction. Where we found out that it doesn’t open until 1 pm!
Enchanted Tales With Belle, had a 60 minute wait, so we chose to skip that, then Mickey’s Philharmagic had like a 50 minute wait, and Peter Pan about an hour. We were thinking we may choose to hop to what we hoped would be a less crowded park. However, we jumped on It’s A Small World, and decided we were really hungry. So we got into line for Be Our Guest, which looked daunting but we had noticed that it moves kind of quickly. We waited about 30 minutes and were glad we did. The food was good, but the venue is amazing! The library is very cool, the ball room is incredible, you totally feel like you’ve stepped into the movie, especially with the snow falling outside the windows. We ate in the west wing, which is just totally cool!
We finished lunch right after 1, and since we were next door to Ariel, we walked onto the ride. It is really quite amazing. The advances in autio-animatronics is impressive. Our good park karma kicked in and we found ourselves in a good grove, getting on one attraction after another, with a maximum wait of 20 minutes. We did sacrifice seeing the parade to hit a couple of popular attractions. Our longest line turned out to be for dole whips, which we got while waiting for our fast pass window for the Jungle Cruise to open.
Not too long after 7 we found a great spot to watch the AMAZING projection show and then the beloved fireworks! Once over we headed into Tomorrow land, got a fast pass for Space Mountain, then some dinner. Took a spin on Buzz Light Year then our final attraction, Space Mountain. It was a little after 9 and we were heading out, doing a little shopping on the way. Then to the bus back to Pop Century.
The day was great, the weather beautiful! When we got back to the hotel, we checked the weather channel to check in on the blizzard that was taking place in the north east! Kind of forgot about that while running around in the sun.
Consolidated the stuff in our carry ons to our suit cases, so all we had to carry onto the ship in the morning would be a back pack. Put our cruise line luggage tags on and turned in! It was a great, but very long day. Very often we see threads about whether to go to the parks before or after a cruise. While I can see the appeal of extending the magic a few days after getting off the ship, my vote would be to do the parks first. I couldn’t imagine getting off a relaxing voyage to go park ninja, which is the only way I can do a park. We were very much looking forward to virtually no lines, relaxing meals and less walking!
Now it was just one sleep until we got to head to the port and the Disney Fantasy!
__________________
I only hope we never loose sight of one thing, that it was all started by a mouse. -Walt Disney
Things always work out best for those who make the best out of how things work out.

Disney Wonder 2000, Disney Magic, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, Disney Fantasy 2013 & 2014


Last edited by allears; 03-02-2013 at 06:59 PM.
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