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Old 11-06-2006, 08:18 PM   #1
Kay7979
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Our Seemingly Silly Semi-Illogical Four Day Whirlwind Trip

Sometimes we all need to do something a bit wild and crazy. Something impractical. It's what makes certain moments in our lives stand out in the sea-of-sameness and become memorable. DH has a saying, "Silly people have more fun." Maybe that's more profound than he knows, because most people spend waaaaay too much time wondering what other people think about their jobs, their car, their clothes, their house, their choice of vacation. They're too dignified to be silly, too wrapped up IN themselves to BE themselves. It's sort of sad, don't you think? So, after sprinkling myself with a generous dose of Pixie Dust for inspiration, (or was that Confectioner's Sugar . . . no matter) I set about planning a trip to WDW, that would be different, fun, memorable, and yes, a bit illogical and impractical.

Cast of Two:

Myself: Kay, 51, having a hard time figuring out how I was 30 a short while ago but suddenly over 50 now. Loves to travel. Actually goes on lots of vacations that have nothing to do with Rodents, Ducks, Giant Chipmunks, etc. but has some of the best times at WDW.

DH: Lowell, 46, has a mechanically-inclined sort of analytical mind but the ability to be silly, which is a winning combination. Tends to repairs things at the resorts, wherever we go. Likes Disney but is not as obsessive about it as me.

Date of trip: We leave Friday 11/10/06 and return Monday 11/13/06. Yes, that is short. Three nights, two hotels, one park. Just a bit silly and impractical, Hmmmmmmm?

I can hardly believe that such a thing as a PRE-trip report exists, and that people actually want to read them, but it is a documented phenomenon here on the DIS Boards, so I'll give it a try. First, let me say, I have only written one prior trip report, and at the time I had Noooooo idea what you people expected. I thought you wanted a nuts and bolts thumb-nail sketch of where we stayed, what we did, what we saw, so you could glean something instructional from it.

SSHHHHHEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSHHHH!

I guess I should have read more than five paragraphs of someone else's trip report before attempting one of my own. You guys don't want a report. It shouldn't even be CALLED a report. You want a Trip STORY. A long, detailed, get inside your head, action-packed, filled with drama, cliff-hanger ending at each installment Trip STORY. You're utter shameless parasites! Barnacles! Clinging onto whatever obliging WDW traveler will vicariously carry you along with them, letting you see, feel, and experience it all with them. Aren't you ASHAMED!?!

No, I didn't think so.

And from time to time I have, ahem, been known to indulge in this parasitic behavior, myself, however briefly. Maybe two or three installments. Oh, all right, fifty pages worth! Don't give me that look! I hope you're happy, now.

So back to the pre-trip report, errr uuh Story:

I had a couple personal days due me from work, which was the bare minimum I felt necessary to create a whirlwind, long weekend trip. It would have been more sensible to do a short, drive-somewhere-vacation, but we had already taken two weeks and had a nice, sensible vacation in the mountains this year. No, I needed these days off to do something a little silly and impractical. I've been yearning to stay at the Wilderness Lodge, and only the Wilderness Lodge would do. Fortunately DH likes the Lodge even more than I like WDW, so this wasn't too much of a sell-job. We've vistited a couple times, and eaten at WCC, but we are basically much too cheap and, um, well, practical to stay there. We own an off-site timeshare, and can stay there for an entire week cheaper than two nights at the Lodge, so it's tough to justify the expense. Ah, but a short, whirlwind trip makes it somewhat less painful, and when thoughts about money come up, I'll just remind myself that we're not just doing it for US. Heck no, there's the whole parasitic host of you out there counting on us to go, see, do, experience, spend money! And how selfish would we be if we let you down.

At first I thought I might have trouble getting the entire day off on Friday, so I booked the first night at a Value Resort so that we wouldn't be spending a lot of money only to arrive and fall into bed. Now, plans have changed, but I'm not sorry that we'll be staying one night at All Star Music, before transferring to the Lodge. I have never stayed at a value resort. I didn't think I liked the bright colors and icons, but I'm keeping an open mind. They're a bit silly and undignified and childlike and that's a good thing, right?

So, Friday we'll be at ASMu with an evening at DTD having dinner wherever the mood leads us, followed by cholocate and ice cream at Ghiradelli's.

Saturday we'll be catching the end of the Food & Wine festival at Epcot. We have never been to this, and the idea of grazing our way through several countries sounds most appealing. We've never been on Test Track or Soarin or Mission Space (give me the non-spinning version, please) so there are many great experiences for you parasites to experience through our inexperienced and uninitiated eyes. Just remember we'll be stuffing ourselves with every sort of sugary, trans-fat-laden, foreign delicacies for YOUR sakes, with barely a thought of our own comfort or health.

Sunday I've booked the Grand Floridian Tea. Never did that. Sounds slightly decadent. Sunday night, Hoop-de-do-Revue. From what I have heard, our "silly people have more fun" mentality should be right at home here.

Monday morning we have an ADR for the Kona Cafe, because DH and I both dote on Tonga Toast. It is one of the essential food groups and is high in vitamins, minerals, and what do they call those cancer preventing things? oh yeah, anti-accidents! It has lot of those.

In between all our other activities we want to soak up that wonderful, woodsy, relaxing magnificent, magestic atmosphere of the Wilderness Lodge. We will probably walk around poking each other and saying "Guess What," (A great many of my most profound, revelatory insights begin with this phase), "Guess what, we're really STAYING here." People will probably be hanging over the upper balcony railings, five floors above us, pointing and whispering, "Hey look, those CHEAP people are staying here." Guests in the Club Level lounge will look down in shocked amazement and pelt us with Uncrustables. People will drag their children toward the opposite side of the lobby as we pass. Oh well, they'll get over it with therapy.

I hope it will be a wonderful fun-filled four days of thrills and excitement, but if it isn't, and it turns out to be as dull as endless reruns of political ads, don't worry, because now I understand. . . you don't want a trip Report, you want a trip STORY. If nothing exciting happens I'll MAKE SOMETHING UP. You won't know the difference. And even if you did, you wouldn't care much, would you? Maybe we'll ambush the Flag Family and fly a flag bearing Lime Green Mickey Heads from the top of the Wilderness Lodge. Maybe when they're not looking, we'll pour rum in old ladies tea at the Grand Floridian. We might tackle a group of pool-hoppers, wrestle them to the ground, give them a whipping with their own towels, and send them back stark naked to their own resorts. We'll set up outside the gift shop and sell Refillable Mugs with free refills on any day of the week that ends in Y. Maybe we'll try some of these things even if the trip ISN'T dull, just because silly people have more fun. Stay tuned and find out.



INDEX OF EPISODES:

PART 1: PG 1 #5 MEET THE "LUCKY FOURTEENS"

PART 2: PG 1 #10 THE CHASM OF FIRE

PART 3: PG 1 #12 CHECKING IN AT ASMu

PART 4: PG 2 #16 THE BUS TO DOWNTOWN DISNEY

PART 5: PG 2 #22 WOLFGANG PUCK EXPRESS/DTD SHOPPING

PART 5 1/2: PG 2 #25 THE UNLIMITED DRINK PROGRAM

PART 6: PG 3 #40 THE TIME DILATION EFFECT

PART 6 1/2: PG 4 #48 BUZZ LIGHTYEAR SPACE SAVER INN

PART 7: PG 4 #57 WE ARRIVE AT EPCOT

PART 8: PG 5 #67 MISSION SPACE

PART 9: PG 6 #77 TEST TRACK

PART 10: PG 6 #84 SOARIN' & MAGIC WE PAY TICKETS

PART 11: PG 7 #99 LIVING WITH THE LAND

PART 11 1/2: PG 8 #109 MEAL OF FORTUNE

PART 12: PG 8 #117 CIRCLE OF LIFE

PART 13: PG 9 #126 FINDING NEMO

PART 13 1/2: PG 10 #138 MAGIC MY WAY WITH POOL-HOPPER OPTION

PART 14 PG 11 #159 TURTLE TALK WITH CRUSH/FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL

PART 15 PG 12 #174 FOOD & WHINE FESTIVAL/CAROUSEL OF PROCESS

PART 15 1/2 PG 13 #194 UPRISING AT IT'S A SMALL WORLD

PART 16 PG 14 #212 CHECKING IN AT THE WILDERNESS LODGE

PART 17 PG 17 #251 WE BUY ONE REFILLABLE MUG/TIME AT THE POOL

PART 18 PG 19 #271 WHAT'S IN THE TWEED BAG?

PART 19 PG 21 #310 WHISPERING CANYON CAFE

PART 20 PG 24 #350 SPACESHIP EARTH

PART 21 PG 26 #390 EL RIO DEL TIEMPO

PART 22 PG 29 #434 MAELSTROM

PART 23 PG 32 #467 THE TRAUMATIC BUS RIDE

PART 24 PG 34 #497 ADVANCING CIVILIZATION WITH TURN DOWN SERVICE

PART 24 1/2 PG 37 # 543 DISNEY VACATION CLUB - ANIMAL KINGDOM VILLAS

PART 25 PG 38 # 558 REDNECK CONCIERGE

Part 26 PG 40 # 595 TOUR GUIDE KAY

Part 26 1/2 PG 43 # 633 DISNEY'S GRAND GHETTO RESORT

Part 27 PG 45 # 665 AFTERNOON TEA AT THE GRAND FLORIDIAN (PART 1)

Part 28 AFTERNOON TEA AT THE GRAND FLORIDIAN (PART 2)

Part 29 I FINALLY TRY THE WATERSLIDE

Part 30 HOOP-DE-DOO REVUE

PART 31 WE GO TO THE POLY - LOTS OF PHOTOS

PART 32 AN EVENTFUL DAY AT THE POOL

PART 33 I SEE ANOTHER VIOLATION

PART 34 MAGICAL EXPRESS

PART 35 THE FINAL EPISODE

Last edited by Kay7979; 07-02-2007 at 07:36 AM. Reason: Thanks for reading, everyone!
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Old 11-07-2006, 02:07 PM   #2
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Quote:
If nothing exciting happens I'll MAKE SOMETHING UP. You won't know the difference.
LOL! That has to be the most truthful statement, I have heard in a long time.
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Old 11-08-2006, 06:55 AM   #3
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Sounds like you are hitting a lot of the "extras" WDW as to offer
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Old 11-14-2006, 12:23 PM   #4
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We're back and had a great time. I have at least 200 digital photos and plan to include a few with the next segment of the trip report, which I probably won't have time to write until next week.
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Old 11-23-2006, 08:24 AM   #5
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Our Seemingly Silly Semi-Illogical Four Day Whirlwind Trip w PICs

PART ONE:


Sleeping in is an odd way to start a short, whirlwind trip, I’ll admit it. But this time, despite only having four days, we didn’t take our usual early morning flight to Orlando. Normally, the objective is to leave early so we can have as many hours of fun as possible. The problem is, getting up at 3:30 AM to take a 7:00 flight means that when evening rolls around we’re tired and worthless, don’t want to be out late, and fall asleep at 9:30 in front of the TV watching something action-packed like the Weather Channel.

So this time we omitted our “two alarm” ritual. I always worry about sleeping through the alarm, or hitting “snooze” about six times until the alarm stops ringing and we fall asleep again, or the power going out so the alarm never goes off. So, in addition to our normal electric alarm clock, we always set up an old fashioned wind-up clock, across the room, where you have to get out of bed to shut it off. The right clock for this job is the Big Ben Chime Alarm model. It goes off with a slow, gentle, patient Ding Ding Ding, that is a rather charming melodic chime. If ignored, however, it becomes a progressively louder, faster, and completely annoying, Clang, Clang, Clang. I am quite certain that this is the reason most Big Ben alarms have multiple dings and dents from being repeatedly chucked off nightstands toward the nearest wall. You REALLY want to get to it and shut it off before it gets to the “clang stage.” So, instead of being jolted awake by the familiar progression of dinging and clanging, while muttering groggily to each other, “you get it,” no “YOU get it,” we simply woke up, rolled over and looked at each other and said joyously, “Guess What! No more days until Disney World!”

We had arranged to have our mail held, so our Friday morning duties included going to the post office to get last minute mail, then to the bank before heading for the airport. There is nothing more obnoxious than happy people headed to Florida on vacation when you are stuck at work on a cold gloomy Friday in western New York. Nothing, perhaps, except excited grown adults wearing Lion King and Minnie Mouse T-shirts. The clerks at the post office know us, know we love to travel, and are surprised at nothing. They didn’t bat an eye at our uncharacteristic weekday attire. As for the young teller who waited on us at the bank, she must have had a Disney-less childhood. When we scooped up our pathetically small inadequate stash of spending money and said, “Guess where we’re going?”and gestured at our Disney wear, we got a blank look in return. We said, “We’re going to Disney World!” She brightened a little and said, “You are? When?” To which we gleefully replied, “Right now!”

Yes, it’s probably mean to chortle over going on vacation while others remain behind plodding through their daily uneventful routines, but it feels so GOOD to be going that it’s hard to hold it in! You know the feeling.

I had done my homework before heading to the airport this time. My husband Lowell is one of the most patient and mild mannered men on the face of the earth. He almost never raises his voice or loses his temper. The only thing that gets him worked up and angry is when he feels like he is getting ripped off. No matter how much money we have, he won’t buy something he thinks is overpriced. Excessive taxes and fees give him fits. Especially airport parking fees. Last time we flew out of Rochester, he nearly went into cardiac arrest when we left the lot and they gave us our total. Apparently, unbeknown to us, the parking lot was arranged in sections with varying prices depending on where you parked. There was no obvious distinction between the areas, and no signs or markings to alert us that we were now in the Excessively Expensive Though Not Terribly More Convenient section of the parking lot. As Lowell spoke to the attendant, he went from incensed to outraged to the dreaded “give him a piece of my mind” stage which typically involves a heated lecture about what’s wrong with New York State and ends with how the excessive fees and taxes are driving everyone out of the state to other places that are cheaper. I was embarrassed, and tried unsuccessfully to shrink down into the crevices of my seat to hide among the stale bits of French fries and sticky lost coins until the tirade ended. I had no intention, this year, of inviting a repeat performance. No, we would be parking in the “red lot.” According to my research on the airport’s website, the red lot was a separate section of parking across the street from the airport, so there was no chance of being tricked into parking in an area where we would need a 36 installment payment book when we left.

The airline employee checking us in was amazed that we were only checking one bag for two of us. “We’re only going for four days,” I told the man.

“That doesn’t matter. A lot of people take half a dozen bags for no longer than that,” he replied with a grin.

He doesn’t know me. I am an expert packer. My suitcase has always been like the TARDIS in the Doctor Who science fiction series. For the uninitiated, TARDIS stands for Time and Relative Dimensions In Space. Basically it means that the inside space is in a different dimension and is vastly larger than it appears on the outside. I can get to my destination, open my small carry-on suitcase, and pull out three pair of shoes, four pair of pants, six tops, five shirts, two sweatshirts, a bag full of toiletries, socks and underwear, two swimsuits, a camera, suntan lotion, bug repellant, and a weeks worth of snacks.

In case I hadn’t crammed enough inside my TARDIS suitcase, I had a small tweed duffle bag that held a few carry-on items, predominantly “plane food.” I knew all we would be getting was a tiny bag of nuts or pretzels, so I made up my own blend of trail mix from the bulk dept. at the supermarket. The cashier ringing me up had looked at the bag quizzically and asked me what flavor it was. I told her “Airline Surprise.” By the time I had finished mixing together the contents of various bins, the result was tough to categorize, much less identify. As everything was the same price per pound, Airline Surprise was not a problem. For those of you wishing to duplicate the receipe, it’s a mixture of crunchy little cracker things with dried apple bits, yogurt covered nuts and raisins, assorted dried tropical fruits, and some butterscotch and chocolate bits. Yum.

Since we were married nine years ago, I have never had a window seat in a plane. Lowell loves sitting by the window and has flown less than me, so I humor him and let him sit there. On this Air-Tran flight, which was the first non-stop flight we’ve ever made to Orlando, someone else had already been assigned the window seat, so I couldn’t indulge myself in my usual martyr act, reminding him what a selfless and loving wife I was to give up the coveted window seat. The only consolation I could offer was Airline Surprise, which did turn out to be quite agreeably tasty.

It was a pleasant and uneventful flight that put us in mind of our first trip to Orlando nine years before, around this date, for our honeymoon. We had left behind a freak November snow storm and had begun our first days of wedded life in the Happiest Place on Earth. We had wonderful sunny weather in the low 80s that week, with hardly a drop of rain. It was all the more pleasant thinking of the cold weather and snow we left behind. At that time, we didn’t recognize it as the start of the Lucky Fourteens weather phenomenon. We think of ourselves as the Lucky Fourteens, as that is our special date. My birthday is on the 14th, Lowell’s is also on the 14th. We were engaged on Valentine’s Day -February 14th and married the following November 14th. No matter where or when we go on vacation, we always have unseasonably good weather, and it virtually never rains. Out of nine years, three weeks vacation each year to various places, we’ve had only one semi-rainy week. We have become fearless in making vacation plans. It doesn’t matter when we go, we will have good weather. Still, I had felt a moment’s doubt about this trip. We were only going from Friday afternoon till Monday afternoon. What if it rained most of the time we were there? It would ruin our trip. I checked the extended forecast the week before we left and saw clouds and rain in the forecast three of four days. Impossible! I was more indignant than worried. But as the week passed, the forecast changed to sunny and warm. Our luck was still intact.

When our plane landed I went into tour guide mode. Lowell has learned to accept and appreciate the fact that I like to travel. I like to plan trips. I like to research and learn all the little inside tips about the places we visit. I plan our vacations and then tell him “Guess where we’re going?” Most of the time he doesn’t know what airline we’re flying on, or what resort we’re staying at, or where we have dinner reservations, but that doesn’t bother him. Just prior to this trip he had heard me babbling about such mysterious things as ADRs, Magical Express, EWP, Extra Magic Hour, and Hoop de do Revue, and just laughed at how “into” all this stuff I am. But he has to admit that planning this trip was worth my time and effort because it truly was one of our more enjoyable vacations, despite being so short.

I steered him toward the front car of the airport tram which is wonderfully monorail-like. It always gives me a grin, knowing that when we step inside we are about to be whisked away on the start of a great vacation. And for this whirlwind vacation, I had a lot of Never-Done-Befores planned.







Next episode: Magical Express!

Last edited by Kay7979; 01-12-2007 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 11-23-2006, 10:16 AM   #6
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Enjoying ~ Thanx for sharing.
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Old 11-23-2006, 10:47 AM   #7
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I'm so excited to hear more!

You sound like me, my DH couldn't care less about the details, he's just happy to be there!
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Old 11-24-2006, 07:22 AM   #8
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Nice shots of the little train that runs between the terminals, we consider it our first ride
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Old 11-24-2006, 08:41 AM   #9
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Kay--I love your writing style and I'm looking forward to reading more! Thanks for the pictures of the airport monorail. I got a little thrill just seeing it.
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Old 11-24-2006, 09:34 AM   #10
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PART TWO:

We make our way to the main terminal. As our unofficial tour guide, I have dutifully memorized the Magical Express instruction book. No wandering around aimlessly for us! I know we have been instructed to go to the B side of Level one. The booklet says that if you arrive on the A side, please make your way to the B side BEFORE going down to level one. I have no idea why it matters when you cross over to the B side, and have half a mind to go down to level one FIRST, and THEN cross to the other side, just to see what happens. Maybe we will reach the first floor and find a deep chasm between sides A and B. Fires smoulder far below. Smoke and ash billow up, making it hard to see the narrow rock ledge we must cross single file with our luggage to get to side B. A few pieces of battered and torn luggage hang mournfully from projecting rock ledges, evidence of other travelers who did not successfully reach the other side. The smoke clears for a moment, and on the far side of the chasm, a giant white Mickey hand waves urgently. I hear a familiar high pitched voice call, “No NO! Go BACK! You must first cross to side B, or you will never reach the Magical Express.”

Someone bumps into me from behind and jolts me back to reality. Maybe we should just do as the booklet says and cross to the B side. “Come on, this way,” I tell Lowell, and we follow the overhead signs to safety on the B side, far above the rock bridge and the smoke filled cavern of tattered luggage. With a shiver of relief I descend the escalator to the safety of B side Level 1, where the first of the Magical Express greeters waits, with a very small, easy-to-miss-unless-you-are-looking-for-it, Magical Express placard. I am not used to having bus transportation, or anyone waiting to give us a ride, so this is a pleasant novelty. Usually we rent a car, often at an off-site terminal, which involves a bus ride to a crowded car rental office. There, we find a line about six miles long of tired, anxious vacationers, snaking through a roped-off maze.

We pass two or three other Magical Express greeters who smile and wave us forward to the bus check-in desk. There is a line, but nowhere near the length of the typical car rental line. I am happy and excited because Magical Express is a novelty, and I love novelties, however simple and unexciting they may be. We will get on a bus with a group of other excited, happy vacationers who, like us, are looking forward to a few magical days away from work and responsibilities. Hmmm, I take a furtive look about at my fellow travelers, searching for soot, or burn holes in their clothing or luggage, but I see no one who appears to have braved the rock ledge over the chasm between Sides A and B. Apparently these people have all dutifully followed the Magical Express booklet’s directions. I am somewhat disappointed. I would like to have met people who dared the crossing, with their luggage intact, and lived to tell about it. Sigh.

Lowell and I get into the check-in line and are met by a representative who informs us that only one of us is allowed to be in the check in line. The other must wait in the lobby area. Ah ha! A clever way to make the line appear shorter. A bit of Disney slight-of-hand magic. Of course the rep expects my husband to banish me to the waiting couches and chairs in the cavernous waiting area, while he handles the check-in procedure, but she doesn’t know us very well. “All right,” I tell her and Lowell says, “I’ll wait for you over there,” and points toward the couches. It’s a big area and I hope I can ever find him again: one man amidst a growing group of waiting parents, gleeful running and playing children, and heaps of luggage belonging to people who are not savvy enough to carry a TARDIS suitcase.

The check-in procedure is short and painless. My voucher booklet is returned to me and I am waved “that way.” Of course, going “that way,” would mean leaving behind my husband who is now somewhere behind me in the opposite direction of “that way,” waiting in a chair somewhere. I live dangerously, defy instructions, and go back in search of him. I find him with less difficulty than I had imagined. We see the waiting busses through the glass doors ahead, and since the busses are in the general direction described by the attendant as “that way,” we head outside to get on the bus. Only there is no bus going where we need to go, which is to the All Stars Music resort.

A woman who is helping load the waiting busses looks at my voucher booklet and says, “There is no bus here yet for the All Stars. Did someone send you out here?”

“Well not exactly,” I say a bit sheepishly. I’ve been here ten minutes and already I am blowing my tour guide role. I guess I didn’t do enough reading on the DIS transportation board. “They just told me to go “that way,” and we saw the busses and came out here.

“Go back through the glass doors over there, and there will be a line for your resort. We’ll call you when your bus arrives. “

A line. Of course. This is Disney. I should have known that getting straight onto a bus was too simple, and had not involved the requisite amount of line-waiting. “Okay, thanks.” We find the correct set of glass doors and even the correct line, line 1, for the All Stars. There are not as many families with children as I expected. Not that I feel so very odd at coming as an adult couple, but one does get the feeling at times that you need to have children present to justify your own love of Disney. There are many people in line as old, or older, than we are, and I like knowing that if we are a bit freakish, we have plenty of company. I wonder what it would be like if people, like houses, were noted with a calculation of both their actual ages and their “effective ages.” The appraiser portion of me tends to make house related analogies at odd times, but I have learned to accept this as an occupational hazard. I glance at the first man in line and imagine I see on his forehead 62/12, actual age 62, effective age 12. I smile at the image.
While I am amusing myself with this exercise at other people’s expense, (lady with the curly bleached blonde hair and too much make-up, 52/8; skinny guy who looks sort of like Barney Fife, 65/16, the guy over there giving his wife and kids a hard time about something that is surely not worth arguing about, 38/4), they call our line out to get onto the bus.



Of course because I am an avid Dis board reader, I know that there will be a video, and that we must select optimal seats to enjoy the small overhead TV screens. We select seats and think how lucky we are that the wait was short. Everyone waiting in line gets on and arranges themselves in the remaining seats, with plenty of room to spare. And we wait. And wait. And then we wait some more. A few more people straggle onboard. We wait a while longer. Enough already! This is a whirlwind trip, and if you don’t mind, we would like to start whirling now.

Finally the driver seats himself, and we are off!




I settle myself comfortably, looking forward to the video, because the bus ride and the video are a novelty, and I love novelties, however simple and unexciting they may be. The expectation of arriving at our resort, which is one we have never seen before, and the promise of fun and new experiences puts me in a cheerful mood, and I would probably watch antacid commercials the whole way and feel entertained. But knowing Disney, the video will be fun, and whet our anticipation of a great time ahead.

Next Episode: We arrive at All Star Music

Last edited by Kay7979; 12-16-2006 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 11-24-2006, 12:50 PM   #11
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I love those pictures. When you step onto that train you start to feel the excitement going through your body as you realize that you are finally there.
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Old 11-25-2006, 10:01 AM   #12
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PART THREE:

It was nice taking the bus and not dealing with traffic and toll booths, and the Magical Express video was a lot of fun, featuring Mickey and Minnie, Donald and Daisy and most of the famous and even infamous characters (think Hook and Smee) embarking on Disney vacations. I particularly liked the part with Chip and Dale as bell hops delivering luggage, and checking out the contents of the traveler’s suitcases. No doubt my furry friends would enjoy examining our suitcase full of Disney-apparel-on-the-cheap. I learned a while back that, believe it or not, people buy $20-30 T-shirts and sweatshirts for themselves, their family, and friends, which are immediately relegated to the darkest recesses of closets and drawers once the excitement of the trip is over. Eventually, someone discovers them again and takes them to the Salvation Army or whatever thrift store is close at hand, where they are priced at $3 - $4. The happy result is that I have a suitcase full of like-new Disney wear for about $30.00. Now that’s what I call Disney Magic!

The driver announced that we were about to enter Disney World property, and by the time the video finished we were nearly at the All Stars. As we would only be at ASMu one night, afterward transferring to the Wilderness Lodge, my agenda was to explore the resort and take some pictures of the buildings and icons to share on the DIS boards, then take a bus to Downtown Disney for dinner.

I know now, in retrospect, how fortunate we were in avoiding huge crowds and lines, as I think our dates of November 10 – 13 coincided with some part of Jersey week, the Super Soap weekend, (which I had never heard of,) Veteran’s Day, and the closing week of the Food and Wine Festive at Epcot. We arrived for check-in around 4:00 to 4:15, and found two or three families ahead of us, which were immediately helped by available CMs.

I had decided against making room requests, and decided to leave the matter to fate. We were here for only one night, so even if they put us in the farthest building, I didn’t care. In fact, being in the farthest building might be a blessing. All the more steps on my pedometer. The barnacle-like object had been fused to my hip for weeks, since my company started some lame-brained fitness contest that involved recording our steps for eight weeks. It isn’t easy wracking up steps while sitting behind a computer screen most of the day. The team I was on had no aspirations, aside from not being a total embarrassment to ourselves. We had a horror of being plastered across the cover of our company newsletter, as pathetic, out-of-shape losers. The contest had made me aware of the need to maximize my limited opportunities to accumulate steps. I developed a new way of walking. It was a cross between tap dancing and jogging, a lot of furious motion with little forward progress, but it wracked up a LOT of steps. And looked pretty silly. Who knew there were 75 steps in the three feet between the microwave and refrigerator? Another 200 steps to the kitchen table? Imagine how many steps there might be between the food court and our room?

I pretty much got my wish. The CM did the “you are here” circle on one end of the resort map and the “and here’s your room” circle at the other end, handed us a compass, some provisions, and a bottle of water for our journey, and waved the next family forward.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times, I don’t exaggerate.

I hadn’t been too sure about staying at a value resort, as I am not too keen on the splashy bright colors and larger than life icons. I planned to keep an open mind and give it a try. Viewing pictures beforehand, the Broadway section had looked somewhat more subdued, and the color scheme on the Country Fair section was tasteful. But alas, we turned toward our buildings and were met with a riot of color. We were in the Rock Inn Section.




Our room was 3141 on the second floor in one of the buildings. We pretty much needed a compass to find the room. It was on the back side, overlooking an area with shrubs and trees and we could see the giant Coke glasses at All Star Sports through the trees. It least it was quiet here. Fortunately the interior of the room was somewhat less colorful than the outside.




The rooms have been called small, and they are, but not disturbingly small. We decided to use the bed nearest the door. The second bed was so close to the wall that whoever slept on the side facing the bathroom wall would have to flatten themselves against the wall and inch their way out to the end of the bed to get to the bathroom. No problem for children or Spiderman, but we’d opt for the bed with more room on either side.




Of course our viewpoint on room size it somewhat colored by the fact that we own timeshares and usually stay in condos. Our previous two weeks of vacation in October had found us in two bedroom condos with a fireplace in the living room, full kitchen, a whirlpool bath for two off our master bedroom, and a large deck or patio. We were satisfied that room 3141 was reasonably nice as this was, after all, a Value Resort, but it is not the sort of room that beckons you to kick back and relax and spend much time there, if you know what I mean. As photo opportunities and dinner called, we had a good excuse to leave while awaiting the arrival of Chip and Dale, who no doubt would find pulling our one small tweed bag on wheels an easy task.

Lowell patiently tagged along as I looked for good shots of a few of the buildings, the small courtyard and fountain, and the pools. For some reason the main pool, which is the guitar-shaped pool was pretty much abandoned, while the quiet pool, the piano pool, was more lively.






Next Episode: We wait to catch the bus to Downtown Disney. And for the second time I find myself saying, “This is a whirlwind trip, and if you don’t mind, we would like to start whirling now!”

Last edited by Kay7979; 12-16-2006 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 11-25-2006, 11:53 AM   #13
tinawv
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Love the pictures. Looking forward to your next post.
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Old 11-25-2006, 07:00 PM   #14
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The trip report is up, parts 1-5 with photos, so far.

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1283563

Last edited by Kay7979; 11-27-2006 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 11-26-2006, 11:30 AM   #15
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Thanks, all, for reading. I hope you are enjoying the report. While I can't boast a string of TRGs (Trip Report Groupies) I am glad that I can add a few moments of pleasure to someone's day with my photos and miscellaneous ramblings.

Minniespal- thanks for stopping by and reading.

bekkiz- I hope you will continue to enjoy upcoming segments and photos.

tinawv- thanks for reading; passed through your beautiful state in October while the leaving were turning and it was great.

Cass, NMAmy, and Maine-iac - I'm glad to hear someone other than me gets a kick out of the airport tram/train. Lately we make a point to get into the first car so we can have an unobstructed view as we speed toward the main terminal. I guess to most people it's just a way of getting to their luggage and ground transportation, but to me it's part of the trip that I really enjoy.
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