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Old 09-21-2006, 09:19 AM   #1
RIDisneyFan
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My First Trip Report

I've been to WDW a few times, but this is my first attempt at a trip report.
Cast:
Me - 40 something mom who loves Disney
DH - 30 something dad, uses a wheelchair at WDW due to multiple sclerosis
DD6 - my little daredevil
DD9 - celebrated her 9th birthday at Disney on 9/15

Day 1 - 9/13/06: We had an early flight Wednesday morning, left shortly after 8:00 am. We flew on Southwest, and the flight attendants were wonderful. They were very funny, making jokes the whole flight. We arrived at Orlando around 11:00. There was a very short line to check in a Magical Express. However, we did have to wait a while for a bus going to Pop Century that had a wheelchair lift. The bus driver from the airport to the hotel was very good also, told lots of jokes but also gave us a lot of Disney information - park schedules, etc. There was a long line at check in, but they had lots of CMs working and the line moved quickly. Our room was ready (80's section, handicap accessible room with a connecting room). We went to the rooms to drop off our backpacks, the maid was just finishing cleaning the 2nd room. We found that the lock was broken on the door connecting the rooms. The maid called maintenance for us, and they were there within minutes; we left for the parks, and the lock was fixed by the time we got back.
We stopped by the food court for a quick bite to eat since we had a 4:15 ADR at Sci Fi Dine In - we had the free dining plan. We weren't really hungry yet, so we just used 1 of our counter service credits and split a chicken strips meal. Also filled up our mugs! I love those things - we drink so much soda and lemonade that they are definitely worth it for us.
Then we headed to MGM. We didn't get there until just before 3:00, so we were running a little later than I had planned. We couldn't believe the crowd level - it was so low! We walked on to Tower of Terror and Rock n Roller Coaster. Only DD6 and I went on TOT, DD9 is very timid and refused to try it, so DH waited with her. Then we all went on RNRC, talked DD9 into trying it; she did not like it at all. Me and DD6 loved both rides. Then we headed over to Star Tours (DH is a big Star Wars fan) and walked right on this one as well. We've done this ride many times in the past; it's a good ride, but I'd like to see them update it a little. The waiting area is cool too; we love the forest of Endor outside the entrance.
Then we went to Sci Fi for Dinner, actually got there a little early and were seated right away. DH did not like this place, way too dark for him. We had to ask the waiter for a flashlight so we could read the menu and see our food (I have posted dining reviews). DH did say something to the waiter about the lighting, and he had the manager come over to our table (although we did not request this). This man (Thom) is very good at his job! DH was a little frustrated about the lighting; the manager offered to get us a seat immediately at any other restaurant at MGM. Since we had already ordered and our food had just arrived, we elected to stay at Sci Fi; he did give us 4 coupons good for either a pin and lanyard or 2 snack credits each. We used 2 of the coupons for pins for the DDs (they love pin trading) and the other 2 coupons for snacks. I loved the atmosphere at Sci Fi (although I do agree that is should be just a little brighter); a thought the car tables were really cute, it really looks like an old fashioned drive in.
After dinner we went to see the Beauty and the Beast show. We all enjoyed this, especially the DDs. We stopped to get some Mickey ice cream bars after the show, then headed over to get seats for Fantasmic. We got there at 7:00 for the 8:30 show. Just sat and relaxed while we waited for the show; also talked to a very nice CM who was giving DDs tips about pin trading. It started raining a little before the show, then rained lightly during part of the show, but never hard enough for us to consider leaving, although some people did leave about half way through. This show was fantastic! It is a definite Must See at MGM!
The park closed at 8:30, so after Fantasmic, we headed for the bus back to Pop. Our luggage was in our room when we got back. We unpacked and then went to bed so we could get an early start the next day.
One other thing, there were a LOT of characters around - and I forgot my camera! I left it in my backpack in the hotel room. I almost bought a disposable camera just so I could get some pictures - there were a lot a characters we don't normally see - Cruella Deville, the evil queen for Snow White, and lots of others. I had never seen so many characters in one place. I didn't buy the disposable camera because we planned on coming back to MGM later in the week. Big mistake because our plans changed and we never made in back to MGM.

Day 2 - 9/14/06: Today we headed to Epcot. Again the park was not crowded at all; we walked on most rides, never had to use a Fast Pass or DH's GAC (Guest Assitance Card); some rides weren't even using the Fast Pass Machines. We went to the Land pavilion first, walked right on Soarin' - we love this ride, went on it a few years ago at Disneyland. We asked for the first row and still did not have a wait. The Living with the Land ride (DD9's favorite) was closed. Next we headed to the Seas pavillion. We had a very short wait for Turle Talk. This was great! It is amazing how they have Crush talk to the people in the "human tank." Then we looked at all the exhibits - DD9 loves anything to do with science or animals, so she loved this part. Next we went to Test Track; talked DD9 into riding with us; she didn't like it very much, but she did go on it twice - they let us stay on for a 2nd ride, since there was no line we didn't even have to get off and get back in line. DD6 loved this ride - she's just like her mommy, loves all roller coasters, and she's now tall enough to go on all of them. Next we headed over to Mission Space. I was the only one who went on this one (again, no wait, walked right on) and I did the original "more intense" version. I really liked this ride, it really feels like you are blasting off into space. I decided it was a little too intense for DD6 (she did ride the "less intense" version later in the week). I knew DD9 would not like it, and DH had done it last year, he liked it but spinning rides do not agree with him due to his illness (MS).
We stopped at the Electric Umbrella for lunch, then stopped at the Character Connection and got pictures taken with Mickey, Minnie, Chip and Dale, and Goofy.
Next we headed to Ellen's Energy Adventure. This show is pretty good but too long. The best part is the dinosaurs - DDs loved this and could name most of the dinosaurs.
Next we went to the World Showcase. DDs got a mask at the first country (Mexico) and we stopped at every country so they could pick up the little things to attach to them. We went on the boat rides in Mexico and Norway. DD9 liked these rides; the rest of us liked them only because they were relaxing we got out of the heat for a while.
The last stop was Canada, which worked out perfectly since we had reservations at Le Cellier. We had a 6:40 ADR but were not seated until 7:00. People without ADR's were being turned away. It was definitely worth the wait - this was our best meal of the week! The food was delicious, and our waitress (Katelyn) was wonderful.
We stayed to watch Illuminations (Katelyn told us some good spots to watch from). It was good, but not nearly as good as Fantasmic.

Day 3 - 9/15/06: This was DDs 9th birthday. We went to Magic Kingdom for the day. We stopped and got her a birthday button right after we got to the park. It was Little Ones early hours - Fantasy Land opened at 8:00 for Disney resort guests, the rest of the park opened at 9:00. We got to the park right after 8:00 and were able to go on the carousel, Dumbo, It's a Small World, Peter Pan's Flight, and the tea cups before 9:00. There were a lot of characters out as well - Stitch was riding on Dumbo with the kids. Minnie and Daisy were playing with the kids, did Ring Around the Rosie with a group of girls. One of the CM's noticed my daughter's birthday button and had everyone sing Happy Birthday to her.
I got a few pictures of the castle as we were coming into the park - you could still see the crane they are using to take down the decorations. Most of the decorations are down, but that ugly mirror was still up. By 9:00 the crane was down and out of sight.
Then we went to DDs favorite ride, Splash Mountain. Again, walked on all rides today, never used a Fast Pass. We went on Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad twice each. Then we went on the riverboat, a nice relaxing ride.
Went to Pecos Bills for lunch; DH loved the fixings bar. We used 3 counter service credits here instead of 4 since they give you so much food; saved a credit for our last day. We did this a few times during the week.
I can't remember the order of the rides, but we went on:
Pirates (I loved the changes - Captain Jack looks great)
Adaddin Magic Carpets
Jungle Cruise (DD9 loves this ride)
Haunted Mansion
Goofy's Barnstormer (another of DD9's favorites)
Space Mountain (one of DD6's favorites)
It was great, little or no waits on everything!
We ended up leaving the park early (around 2:00) and going back to the hotel; went in the pool for a while.
Then we went back to Magic Kingdom, went on a couple more rides, then headed to the Grand Floridian for dinner at 1900 Park Fare. This is a beautiful hotel (a little too "classy" for me though - I would feel out of place staying here). The dinner was good, DD got a birthday cupcake. The characters were good - Fairy Godmother, Cinderella, Prince Charming, and the mice Suzy and Perla.
Also, when we were in the candy store on Main Stree today, one of the CMs saw my DD's birthday button and had everyone in the store sing Happy Birthday to her. And the CM gave my DD a pin off of her lanyard.
DD had a wonderful birthday, she got lots of attention. In fact, DD6 got very jealous of all the attention and told me later that night that she wanted to go home. She changed her mind pretty quickly though - we explained that her sister wouldn't get more attention than her tomorrow since her birthday would be over.
When we got back to our hotel, we noticed that the maid had arranged DDs stuffed animals in the window of our room - it looked like they were all waiting for us to get back, it was really cute. And when we went into DDs room we found a towel animal!!!!

To be continued . . .
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Old 09-21-2006, 09:27 AM   #2
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Great start! Cant wait to read more.
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Old 09-21-2006, 09:36 AM   #3
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Sounds like you had a great time. When did you go? We were there at the end of Aug. The early hours for the kids was great, just how you described. We went to Sci-Fi to but we commented on how much brighter it was in there from last time we went. Even my mom who went with us said she could even read the menu this time.

Great job on you first report. On with the show....
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Old 09-21-2006, 04:25 PM   #4
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Great start! Wish my next trip was sooner. Ok you can't leave us hanging...more trip report please.
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Old 09-21-2006, 04:36 PM   #5
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Great job so far can't wait to read more.
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:04 AM   #6
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Day 3 - 9/16/06: Animal Kingdom today. A lot of people consider this a half day park, but my family really likes going here.
We got there just as they park was opening. There was a cute little motorized palm tree that was "talking" to the people waiting in line - it was pretty funny. I wanted to stay and watch it for a while, but my DDs were eager to get into thepark.
We headed for the safari ride first. We were hoping to see more animals by going on this first thing in the morning. We did see quite a few animals, but not as many as I was hoping for. We did see both lions (not very close though) and saw the cheetah for the first time.
Next was Asia. We did the jungle trek - DD9 loves the tigers, and then we all went on Kali River Rapids. We got pretty wet, but since it was hot and humid this was okay with us. In fact DDs and I rode it twice - DH wimped out after the first ride.
Then we went over to see It's Tough to be a Bug. This was the first time my DDs had seen a 3D movie, so it was a little startling for them, but they liked it. This is a fun show - I liked the end where they ask the real bugs to leave the theater first and it feels like they're crawlng under your seat.
Had lunch at Tusker House next. This was probably our best counter service of the week - DH really likes the salmon here.
After lunch we headed over to the bird show. DDs like all animals and DH likes birds, so they all enjoyed this show. I thought it was very good also - teaches you some things about birds but is very entertaining also.
Both DDs love dinosaurs, so Dinoland was next. We only went on a couple of rides here - DDs and I went on the triceratops spin (just like Dumbo but with dinosaurs instead of elephants), Dinosaur (just DD6 and I went on this one). And we let DDs play in the boneyard for a little bit while we relaxed. I like dinosaurs, but this isn't my favorite part of the park - I hate the carnival games part of it; it just doesn't seem right to me, I expect a lot more from Disney.
Then finally we headed over to Expedition Everest! Me, DH, and DD6 rode it (DD9 is a big chicken, couldn't talk her into going on it). We loved it! I really liked when the train starting going backwards. DH wimped out after the first ride, but DD6 and I went on it again. The lines for this ride were very short too, only had to wait a couple of minutes.
After riding Everest we decided to do the safari ride one more time. We actually saw more animals (and closer to the vehicle) in the afternoon than we did in the morning.
Since we had an ADR at Narcossees tonight, we left the park a little early and headed back to the hotel to change for dinner.
I was looking forward to this dinner - a relaxing dinner at a nice restaurant without the kids. After cleaning up and changing, we took the bus over to MK and then took the monorail over to the Grand Floridian. This is a beautiful hotel. I wouldn't want to stay there though - way to fancy for me, I would feel out of place. We dropped the kids off at the Mouseketeer Club. It's a small kids club but had lots of toys, games, videos, etc for the kids; the girls enjoyed it. When we got to Narcossees for our 6:25 ADR we were seated right away. We didn't get a window seat - we would have had to wait 25-30 minutes for one - but we were near the window and had a nice view. I have a more detailed dining review on the restaurant board, but overall I was a little disappointed with this dinner. The restaurant was very nice, and it was quiet, only a few kids were there. The food was good, but I liked Le Cellier better. I think my expectations were high since this was a 2 credit meal.

Day 5 - 9/17/06: Since MK had evening EMH today, that's where we headed. We skipped most of fantasy land and did rides like Splash Mountain, BTMRR, Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates. It was a little more crowded today but still just short waits. Had lunch at Pecos Bills again today, went on a few more rides, then headed back to Pop for a swim and a nap. Usually we don't take afternoon breaks, but it seemed to work well this trip - it was so hot and humid, the kids were worn out by mid afternoon. After our rest, we headed back to MK, did a few more rides, then took the monorail over to the Contemporary for our ADR at Chef Mickeys. We were seated on time, and actually had the same waiter we had last year! He was excellent - great service, refilled our drinks before we even asked, cleared our dirty plates immediately, and made sure all the characters stopped by our table. The food was good, and the characters were wonderful. They all stopped by our table at least twice; during the birthday song Chip (or was it Dale?) was dancing with DD9. After dinner we headed back to MK to see Wishes. Even through we got there just as the fireworks were starting, we were able to get a good viewing spot right in front of the train station. After wishes we went to see Mickey's Philharmagic. I really enjoyed this show, definitely worth seeing. We went on a few more rides (Splash Mountain and BTMRR again) then headed for the exit. As we were going through Adventureland I realized that I hadn't tried a Dole Whip yet! So of course we had to stop and get one. A lot of other people had the same idea, this was the only restaurant or snack place that had a line. It was delicious! Then we headed for the bus. There was a very, very, very, very long line for the Pop bus (did I mention there was long line?). It started at stop 18 (the farthest one away from the entrance to MK) and went all the way past all the other bus stops. Luckily, because they put the wheelchairs on first, we were able to get on the second bus.

Day 6 - 9/18/06: We let the girls decide where to go today, and they chose Animal Kingdom. We went on all the same rides as last time, skipped It's Tough To Be a Bug this time, and went to see Lion King. DH and DDs thought the show was okay; I really liked it. We had lunch at the Flame Tree BBQ this time; should have gone to Tusker House again, it's much better. After going on Evererest again, we headed back to the buses and took the bus to Wilderness Lodge for our ADR at Whispering Canyon Cafe. We got there too early for dinner, so we looked around the resort. This is a nice place; I would love to stay here - maybe next time.
Dinner was fantastic! We had so much fun. Our waitress was wonderful - she led the kids around the restaurant for the pony races. Then she told everyone else in the restaurant that my DH had volunteered to watch all their kids that night so they could have a night out to themselves. My DD9 asked for a purple crayon, and we had about 30 crayons brought to our table. I had the meatloaf and couldn't finish it, so I gave some to my DH, who then asked for ketchup - big mistake. We ended out with about 10 bottles. Of course, we got to bring them all to the next table that asked for ketchup. We had a great time - I highly recommend this place; we will definitely go here again.

Day 7 - 9/19/06: Our last day. Our flight was not until 8:15 pm and we didn't have to be back for the Magical Express bus until 5:15 pm, so we had a whole day left. After having some Mickey waffles at the food court, we decided to go to Epcot. Originally we had planned on going to MGM on our last day, but there just wasn't much there we wanted to see.
We did Turtle Talk again (DD9 got picked to ask Crush as question) and Soarin. Then we found out that Living with the Land was open today, so we had to do this one - it's one of DD9's favorites. They have updated it; a recorded narration instead of a real person on your boat; but we still enjoyed it, it didn't seem much different to me. We skipped the countries this time and just stayed in Future World. We all went on the "less intense" version of Mission Space, DDs liked it. DD6 and I went on Test Track again, then we all went on Ellen's Energy Adventure again. We got on the bus back to Pop just before it started raining. I walked around the resort and took a lot of pictures, DH and DDs played some games in the arcade, we just our last 3 snake credits for some ice cream, then it was time to leave.

Some random thoughts . . . .

Loved going this time of year - the parks were empty!
Expedition Everest was great!
I was amazed by what you can get for a snack credit at Pop - boxes of donuts, big bags of chips, etc.
Dole Whips are great!!!
Loved Fantasmic - a definite Must See.
Le Cellier had the best food by far, and Whispering Canyon was the most fun.
Turtle Talk with Crush is amazing and very funny.
I like the updated Pirates; DH thought they should have left it alone.
The Pirate Tutorial was good; the actor looked just like Captain Jack/Johnny Depp - didn't should just like him though.
FREE DINING IS AWESOME!!

Unfortnately, it will probably be a few years before we are able to go back to WDW. I liked Pop (it wasn't much different from All Star Movies, where we stayed last year) but I would like to try a moderate or even Wilderness Lodge next time; and DH thinks we should stay 10 days next time!
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Old 09-22-2006, 03:21 PM   #7
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Thumbs up on the 10 day idea for next time! Also - yes - try the WL next time. You will not regret it.

I enjoyed reading your trip report very much. Thank You!
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Old 09-23-2006, 06:18 AM   #8
spaceoddity
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Great first trip report!! Glad you had a great time Can't wait to hear all about it when you get back to work
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Old 09-23-2006, 07:47 AM   #9
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Thanks for sharing the drinks and fun
 
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Sounds like you guys had a great time - thank you for sharing!
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