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Old 04-21-2013, 12:49 PM   #1
disneybound08
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Disney Dreaming by Land and Sea March 7-15 -UPDATED 10/06

Welcome to my first trip report. Our cast of characters includes my husband Gerry, myself and our six year son Cameron.




I've always had a love for Disney and I think I'm doing a great job installing this love in my son as well. My DH loves our trips to Disney but will often say "aren't there other places you want to go?" But he never takes much convincing to take another Disney trip.

Our last trip to Disney was in 2010 where we stayed eight nights at the All Star Sports resort. My stepson and stepdaughter also came with us on that trip. This would be the first time we would take a major trip without them, as jobs and friends become more of an important part of their teenage lives.

On this trip we stayed one night at the Holiday Inn Express in Syracuse before our flight, followed by three nights at Port Orleans French Quarter. After that we set sail on the Disney Dream for four incredible nights. Once our cruise was complete we stayed one night at Pop Century before catching our flight back to the cold land of Canada - although I will mention our time in Orlando was quite chilly. We were fortunate to travel (or unfortunate depending on your perspective) during a wonderful cold snap. Overall we didn't mind it, it was much warmer than home and we appreciated the cooler temperatures compared to our 2010 trip which was taken during the end of August. I hope that you will have fun following along with our trip. We had a wonderful trip and I can't wait to share it with some other folks who are just as crazy about Disney. Continued in next post.
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:31 PM   #2
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As a teacher we were forced to travel during our Spring Break, which we refer to here in Ontario as 'March Break' I ended up booking off the Thursday and Friday before March break as personal days so that we could beat some major crowds down to Disney World. We had dropped our dog off at my sister-in-laws the evening before, so we left for Syracuse right after work was finished on Wednesday. I picked up Subway for dinner and after a quick bite we were on the road by 4:30.



After a quick and easy crossing at the border we were on our way to Syracuse. As we were driving down Cameron starting talking about a Disney Cruise line commercial he had seen where the kids kept saying "ice cream break" and he asked if we would ever go on a Disney Cruise. Gerry and I replied that maybe some day we could go. Cameron would have a very big surprise in a few short days. We kept our cruise on the Dream a secret from him, and it was such a fantastic surprise, but more on that later.

We had booked a park and fly package at the Holiday Inn Express at the Syracuse Airport location. We arrived and were checked into our hotel by 7:30. We decided to head across the highway to have a quick snack at Taco Bell. We also grabbed some milk for Cameron at the gas bar because we forgot to order Cameron a drink in the drive thru. Gerry also couldn't resist beginning the trip with a king can of beer.



It was so cheap compared to what we pay here in Ontario. On the way back to our room we also grabbed a couple of the delicious complimentary white chocolate macadamia nut cookies from the front desk. We watched a bit of TV and then retired for the evening because we had an early flight the next morning.

Continued in next post.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:22 PM   #3
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:33 PM   #4
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following along
Welcome and thanks for following along!
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:54 PM   #5
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Our flight was scheduled to leave at 7:40am so I had the wake up call set for 4:45am. Of course I slept horribly and by 4:30 I just decided to get up and get my day started. Last night when we checked in we had signed up for a shuttle time to the airport. We had signed up for 6:00am. As a side note we also had to move our car to the lot closer to the highway since we were leaving our car there for the duration of our trip.

After we showered and dressed we gathered all our luggage and headed down to the lobby to grab some complimentary breakfast. Breakfast was good, sorry I didn't take too many food porn pics during the trip. I always feel like such a goof taking pictures of my food. We ended up finishing breakfast early so we grabbed the 5:45am shuttle to the airport since it was ready to leave and there was room.

We arrived at the airport and breezed through security with no issues. I had loaded up my old iPod with Wreck it Ralph before we left so Cameron passed the time watching it. As our flight time drew closer we began to get a bit anxious. Finally an announcement was made. Our flight was experiencing difficulties with the electronic equipment!!! A technician was currently on board trying to fix the problem. Yikes, we had planned to drop our bags at the resort and catch the first bus to the parks, now my precious Disney time was slipping away. Finally at 8:20am we boarded our flight. The announcer stated that sometimes planes just have trouble starting up in this cold weather?!?! Anyways our flight boarded and taxied to the runway quite quickly and we were off.



We actually ended up landing on schedule at 10:40am! Woohoo no precious Disney time lost! We made it down to the Magical Express and checked in with no difficulties. We had to wait about 5 minutes for our bus to arrive and another 10 minutes on the bus before it departed. Soon enough we were on our way.



Unfortunately we didn't get great seats so I couldn't take the trademark picture of passing under the Disney World sign that I have seen on so many trip reports. We were stop number 3 of 4 that day. We stopped at Old Key West and Saratoga Springs (I think) before arriving at Port Orleans French Quarter.

We were so impressed by the beauty of this resort. I had completed online check in so when we arrived our package was ready along with our room! I did not expect our room to be ready. During the online check in I had selected upper floor and close to transportation. Our room was a corner unit on the second floor right across from Sassagoula Floatworks! We were so excited to be close to the food court and bus stops. When we stayed at All Star Movies our room was in the Tennis section and it was such an incredibly long walk. I worried a bit that it would be noisy given the location of the room but we never heard any outside noise our entire stay.





After dropping off our bags to our room we headed off to the bus stop. Where were we headed? We were going to Hollywood Studios! After about 5 minutes our bus arrived and we were on our way. Our bus stopped at Riverside to pick up guests as well adding some time to our trip. We found that the buses seemed to be shared with riverside in the afternoons on the way to the parks. We never shared in the morning or evening or when returning from the parks regardless of the time.

Next up arriving at Hollywood Studios.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:29 PM   #6
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Following along! We are doing our first cruise on the Dream in June so can't wait to hear all about it!! G
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:02 PM   #7
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Following along. Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip. We are going on the Dream for the first time in March 2014.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:49 PM   #8
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Following along! We are doing our first cruise on the Dream in June so can't wait to hear all about it!! G
It was our first cruise ever! I'm certain that you will love it!
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:50 PM   #9
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Following along. Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip. We are going on the Dream for the first time in March 2014.
I wish that we were going again next March.
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:06 PM   #10
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We arrived at Hollywood Studios and passed through the turnstiles at 12:30pm. I thought we made excellent time considering that we had only landed at the airport at 10:40am. I ran up ahead of the boys on the long shot that some fast passes just might be left for Toy Story mania but no luck I met the boys at Starring Roles. We were starving since we hadn't had anything to eat since our free Jet Blue snacks on the plane. Gerry ordered the turkey sandwich with chips and a coke. I ordered the ham sandwich with a chocolate milk that I gave to Cameron. Since we were on the quick service meal plan our meals also came with chips and dessert. We chose a muffin as one dessert and Cameron ate this as his lunch. We also got an m&ms brownie to share as a family. It was delicious!

After I was finished eating I went to grab some fast passes for Tower of Terror. Once Cameron was finished eating we headed to the Great Movie Ride. After that we had our picture taken by the photopass photographer.



By this time our fast passes were ready so we headed to the Tower. This would be Cameron's first ride. On our last trip Cameron had just turned four so we didn't take him on the Tower even though he met the height requirement. As we were waking up to the queue someone pixie dusted us another set of fast passes! Cameron did very well, although the look on his face during the first drop was sheer terror. Once we were off I asked him if he wanted to ride again. He said not right now, so pixie dusted the extra passes to another family browsing the gift shop.

We then decided to make our way back towards Toy Story Mania. We really wanted to ride because on our last visit to Disney this ride was down for refurbishment. I knew that we probably only had two options for shorter waits, lining up just before the parade or just before close. The studios were closing that evening at 7pm but I still wasn't sure if we would make it that long given that our day started so early back in upper state New York. Gerry went to grab fast passes for Star Tours while Cameron and I rested on a bench. Then we got in the standby line at 2:40pm. The wait time was posted at 85 minutes but we were on the ride within 40 minutes.







After that we used our fast passes at Star Tours, grabbed another set for later and then we caught the Indiana Jones Stunt Show. After the show we rode Star Tours again. From there we grabbed some dinner at Pizza Planet. Normally we love this meal but it just wasn't that great this time. I think because it was getting closer to closing time the pizza wasn't fresh. Then we decided to wrap up our evening with the Muppets 3D.


I just LOVE that show. So much fun! After that we headed out of the park. I believe it was shortly after six.

After returning to Port Orleans French Quarter we had a snack and did a bit of resort exploring. Of course we had to try the beignets. Words cannot even describe how much Cameron and I adored the beignets! They were heavenly.



If anyone from the Ottawa region knows where I can get some of these closer to home please let me know. We traded some pins in the lobby/store and then took a stroll towards the pool.




We had an amazing first day, but we were exhausted. Time for bed because we were off to the Magic Kingdom tomorrow.

Continued in next post.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:25 PM   #11
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Cameron is so cute! I love your family picture! I can hardly wait to hear what he thinks when you surprise him with the cruise! I have always wanted to pull off a surprise like that but man I am just not good at keeping secrets when I am so excited myself!

I love the nighttime POFQ pictures too. Makes me remember how much we loved that resort back in 2006. And oh the beignets... now I am hungry!!!
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:09 PM   #12
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After returning to Port Orleans French Quarter we had a snack and did a bit of resort exploring. Of course we had to try the beignets. Words cannot even describe how much Cameron and I adored the beignets! They were heavenly.
No Question!!!!
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:52 PM   #13
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We woke up and quickly got ready for our first morning at Disney. We headed over to the food court for breakfast. Gerry and I both ordered the breakfast platters and Cameron had the kids waffle breakfast. We all had some delicious chocolate milk to wash it all down. While eating breakfast we had some more pixie dust bestowed upon us. A little boy with his mom walked up to us and said that they were leaving for the airport and couldn't take their balloon with them so they generously offered it to Cameron.



We thanked them and headed back to the room to stow away our new balloon and our mugs. After a tasty breakfast we headed down to the bus stop. After a short wait our bus arrived and we were soon on our way to the Magic Kingdom. We arrived shortly after 8:30am and made our way towards the centre for a few pics before the crowd gathered.





We ended up standing towards the right hand side to watch the opening show. Can I just say how much I love that show. It's so exciting to hear the whistle blowing on the train and see all the characters pour off after it pulls up. I also adore the dancing at the beginning of the show, so magical. After the gates opened we headed towards Tomorrowland. We had a date with a very important space ranger. I rode with Cameron, then I left to grab fast passes for the new Little Mermaid ride while the boys rode a second time. We had made plans to meet at the Tomorrowland Speedway. Even though the line was not big it took forever to get on this ride. They did not have all the cars running and operating first thing in the morning. It was actually quite nauseating standing up on that bridge breathing in all that exhaust. The only thing that made it tolerable was knowing that we weren't standing here in the crazy humid weather of our previous August trip. But it was all worth it to see the smile on my little boy's face. He was so excited to 'drive' that car.



When we finished our leisurely spin around the track, we headed towards Fantasyland. A spin on the teacups was up next. I would have to say that as I get older those teacups are really starting to bother me. In my younger days I could ride without a worry in the world. Now the spinning is starting to bother me a bit. Anyways we had a blast, and I love the pictures we captured. For those of you wondering what's up with my husband, he's making his best 'dizzy' face. He sure does make me laugh.




Our fast pass window was open so Gerry went to go grab us a set for Big Thunder Mountain. While he did the run, I took Cameron for a ride on the carousel. I know that the time will come quite quickly when this ride won't hold the magic or bring the smiles that it currently does for my little boy. So we rode our beautiful horses and I cherished every smile, giggle, and glance.



We sat down by the gates to New Fantasyland and waited for Gerry to return with our fast passes. Then we walked into New Fantasyland!



The theming here really is quite beautiful. They certainly included a lot of details. We then took a ride under the sea with my favourite mermaid. Growing up I loved watching the Little Mermaid. I watched it so many times, and sang my heart out each and every time. Of course riding this ride was no different, I sang my heart out on the way through all the scenes.




This ride is just so cute. Cameron liked it too, but hadn't watched it for a long time. I wish we had watched it again before our trip but I was more focused on watching some of the movies that the cruise ship shows were based upon. Anyways he still enjoyed it so that's all that really matters. We then decided to make our way towards Frontierland, stopping along the way to ride Its a Small World. Gerry said that he was glad this ride was down for reburbishment on our last trip. After that we continued towards Big Thunder Mountain. Along the way we stopped to use the restroom. Normally I wouldn't comment about the restrooms, but today was the first day the Rapunzel area was open. We of course didn't realize this until we returned home.




Anyways on to Big Thunder Mountain. It was Cameron's first time. He was a bit apprehensive but ended up loving the ride.



We were getting pretty hungry by this point so it was time to grab some lunch. We headed to Sleepy Hollow for some delicious waffle treats. Cameron and I shared a waffle with Strawberries and whipped cream, and Gerry had a waffle with fruit and Nutella. I couldn't believe how much Nutella was on his waffle. I swear they used a entire jar! The waffles were delicious!




Our plan was to head back to the resort to swim in the afternoon because Cameron was dying to slide down the dragon slide. I thought we could maybe squeeze in one last ride. We took a peek at the Haunted Mansion but the standby line was just too long. So instead we decided to catch Philharmagic. I think that this is my favourite 3D, I mean 4D attraction in all of Disney World. I LOVE it! After that we grabbed a quick pic by the castle.


Then we decided to trek back to the resort for a much deserved swim and rest.

Continued in next post.
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:13 PM   #14
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Really enjoying your TR We stayed on the Riverside side and every time we took the boat to DtD I told DH how we should stay on the FQ next time!
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:41 PM   #15
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Really enjoying your TR We stayed on the Riverside side and every time we took the boat to DtD I told DH how we should stay on the FQ next time!
Thanks for following along. We loved the compact size of FQ, everything was so close, and we loved the boat ride to Downtown Disney. I should be posting another update later this evening.
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