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Old 09-19-2007, 01:50 PM   #16
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Hi everyone -

Thanks for the comments and for subscribing. I promise I'll have another bit posted soon - hopefully tonight. There have been a lot of celebratory dinners and get-togethers since we've been home, so I've been a bit short on time, but I'm anxious to continue the story!

More soon!
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Old 09-19-2007, 02:05 PM   #17
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Hi Amy, I can't wait to hear all about your trip. I love reading about Disney engagement stories.

I also can not wait to hear about your cruise. I am going on a Disney cruise next December and I can not read/learn enough about it.
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Old 09-19-2007, 09:23 PM   #18
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Day 1 Continued

Where I left off, we had arrived a bit ahead of schedule at MCO. After telling Bill that yes, we needed to take the “monorail” to the other side of the airport (he thought we could walk), we got to the Magical Express counter in no time. It’s amusing how the counters for the rental cars are all completely empty, and then the ME desk line winds through several switchbacks.

Since just one member of the party needs to wait in the line, Bill went and read Harry Potter (Mr. Potter was pretty much the third person on our vacation) while I waited to check in. The ME check in was quick and painless, as usual, and before we knew it we were in the ME line for Port Orleans Riverside. I believe that the line was shared only with those going to Port Orleans French Quarter, and it wasn’t but a few minutes before we were on the ME bus, on our way to WDW at last!

I giggled, as usual, at the video they play on the ME bus - don’t you love how Chip and Dale pack acorns, or how Donald grumbles about Daisy’s shopping habit? – and after one stop to let people off at Port Orleans French Quarter, we were finally at Port Orleans Riverside!

We hurried off the bus (we hadn’t stored any bags underneath) in order to not have to wait in a long line at check-in. I’d never stayed at PO-R before, and my first impressions were positive - the lobby was open and bright. We waited about ten minutes before being checked-in. The agent was very thorough, even making me explain the Dining Plan to her so that she was certain that I understood it. When she saw that Bill has the Disney Visa, she explained about the photo opportunity for cardholders, and wrote the details down so that we would remember. She sent us on our way armed with a PO-R map and plenty of pamphlets and information.

We had requested (and paid for) a King room, and we were in room 3816, in building 38. Building 38 is in the Alligator Bayou section, and is pretty much the first Alligator Bayou building next to the Mansions. This is an ideal location, as far as we were concerned. We were close to the main pool, the North Depot bus stop, and in my opinion the Alligator Bayou section is more rustic, cozy, and romantic.

We got to our room and were thrilled! The bathroom area is really convenient, with two sinks outside of the actual bathroom, and we had two windows since the room was on a corner.

We took a few minutes to call our parents and Bill’s sister (who had just gotten a new kitten!) to brag that we were in Disney World and put out our first door magnet.

(I had done a lot of reading on the DIS about people decorating their cruise doors with magnets, and let’s just say I got a bit carried away and made some for WDW too. I just couldn’t stop. Sue me.)

Our plan/coming up: Stop at the main building for a late lunch/snack, and then head to MK until our ADR for Cinderella’s Gala Feast at Grand Floridian Café.

Stay tuned, as we really do get engaged. I swear it.
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Old 09-19-2007, 09:38 PM   #19
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Looks like you guys got a great room. I love your door sign.
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Old 09-20-2007, 08:29 PM   #20
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Ohhhh . . . nice king room!

Looking forward to more . . .
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:00 PM   #21
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Day 1 Continued Still

Day 1 continued:

Bill and I decided that since we hadn’t eaten much during our day of travel, that we would get something at the resort to tide us over until our dinner ADR at Grand Floridian Café. We left our room and headed to the main building of PO-R. Once we were in the Riverside Mill food court, Bill’s suspicion that he had been there before was confirmed. Turns out that when his sister danced at Disney World while in high school, her dance group stayed at PO-R and Bill and his mom had visited her there.

Anyway, we grabbed some food – Bill had a double cheeseburger and fries and I had chicken strips and fries. We considered using counter service credits, but decided not to because we weren’t going to eat dessert and figured we’d have better use for the credits later in the week. Bill asked about getting the refillable mugs, but to be honest I’ve never understood them. Who wants to bring them back to the room, and who wants to carry them around all day?

We sat and enjoyed our lunch and then headed to the Magic Kingdom – our first park of the trip!

As an aside, I’ve been working on a cross-stitch of Cinderella Castle for a couple of years and before our trip I joked to Bill that it was a good thing he had seen the cross-stitch, so that he would recognize the castle when he saw it in person. (I’m a dork, what can I say?) Well, we get a bit down Main Street when Bill stops us and pulls out his phone. He looks at it, looks up at the castle, and says, “yeah, that’s it!”. He had taken a picture of my cross-stitch before leaving home just to be able to do that.

We had decided to get as many Photopass pictures as possible, as our plan is to buy the CD and we wanted to get as many pictures as possible for the price. So we stopped and got our first Photopass shots of the trip. I don’t have them yet but I’ll add them into the trip report once I get them.

We headed straight for Pirates of the Caribbean, since I knew Bill was excited to see it, and we had probably about a 15 minute wait. We definitely noticed that the wait times and crowds were worse over Labor Day weekend, but they drop off significantly later in the trip. Pirates was fantastic as usual; Bill really enjoyed the enhancements from the movies.

After Pirates, we didn’t have too much time before our dinner ADR, so we headed over to the Grand Floridian by monorail – I figured we could spend some time looking through the shops there before dinner.

The Grand Floridian was beautiful as usual – I think Bill was impressed. We stopped in Basin, as I ALWAYS stock up on the loofah-filled soaps while I’m there, but they didn’t have any! (Not to worry, I found some at the Downtown Disney Basin later in the week!) We browsed through some of the other shops, and I showed Bill the Victoria & Albert’s menu. (V&A is awesome. I’ve been several times with my parents, and my mom really wanted us to go there on this trip, but we just had so much else going on, not to mention other expenses.)

Finally we headed over to the Grand Floridian Café and checked in for our dinner ADR. This was during the rehab of 1900 Park Faire, so the character dinner was being held in the Café. This was the one ADR Bill insisted on coordinating through our travel agent – he wanted to plan our first night. (You see where this is going, don’t you?) After planning this one evening, he handed the planning reins back over to me, admitting that planning a WDW trip was harder than he thought.

While we waited to be seated, we went outside and took some self-portraits.

It wasn’t long before we were seated and being visited by Suzy, Perla, and the Fairy Godmother. A woman sitting nearby kindly took our picture together with the Fairy Godmother, but… maybe she was drinking the Year of a Million Dreams Glowtini that Bill had, because I’ve never seen a shakier picture. But it was nice of her nonetheless. During the meal, we were visited by Cinderella and Prince Charming. The cutest part of the whole experience was how obviously in love with them both the little girl at the table next to us was. Her brother, not so much.

We used one table service credit each for this meal. Bill had his Glowtini (a choice that would be repeated by each of us throughout the week, I really think we were just trying to get a collection of the glowing cubes)

and I had Pinot Grigio. For appetizers, Bill had a salad and I had the spicy shrimp over a grit cake – and they were absolutely not kidding about the spicy part. The appetizers were okay, nothing spectacular. For dinner, I had the shrimp penne pasta, which again was okay – not bad but not the best pasta dish I’ve ever had, either. Bill had prime rib, which he liked – he ate pretty much the whole thing. The dessert was the best part, in my opinion. They served it family style – there was a bread pudding (which I normally don’t care for but this was quite good) and a selection of other pastries. Bill let me have the whole chocolate mousse all to myself.

The service was good; the only hiccup was that our server forgot (twice, oops) about bringing my second glass of wine, but it turned out okay as I just enjoyed it with dessert. The total that was covered by the dining plan was $72.19; we paid a $28.96 bill for Bill’s Glowtini and my two glasses of wine.

Coming up: What do we do after dinner? Get engaged, perhaps?? (Jeez, how am I going to get people to keep reading after the engagement part is over?)

Last edited by Amy7979; 09-21-2007 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:36 PM   #22
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I haven’t yet mentioned my cousin Tom and his wife Jen. They were actually in Disney World already, having arrived the day before we did. They are Disney fanatics, and I had actually taken a WDW trip with them in December.

As an aside, Tom and Jen were staying at the Poly (man, I love the Poly) and found out when they checked in that because they were celebrating their five year wedding anniversary, they had been upgraded to concierge level!

Anyway, I knew that Tom and Jen were at the Magic Kingdom, and my thought was that we could join them after dinner to watch Spectromagic and Wishes. When I mentioned this possibility to Bill after dinner, though, he was reluctant and said that he wanted to just walk around the Grand Floridian instead. I thought this was a little strange, but agreed, since I HAD told him he could plan our activities for the first night. There would be plenty of nights to follow during which my commando WDW style could kick in.

Anyway, we walked around the grounds of the Grand Floridian – it was a beautiful night and the resort looked gorgeous, as usual. Bill kept checking the resort maps, and I didn’t think too much of it, but as we turned down the path towards the Marina, it became clear why he was checking the maps – he was trying to figure out where the Marina was! He told me that he had planned a surprise (with our travel agent’s help) and that he had booked a Wishes cruise for that night! I’ve done the Wishes cruise once before, with my parents, and remember telling him once how amazing it is to be in the middle of WDW and be relatively alone, with just your party and the boat driver (skipper?).

We waited for a bit for our driver to show up. Turns out they pre-assign drivers to guests, which is a good thing, because while our driver was really cool, there was this other driver who was very, very strange. In retrospect she is certainly not the person I would have wanted to share the events of the following hour with.

We boarded the boat at about nine o’clock, and there were snacks aboard if we wanted them (which we didn’t, since we were still stuffed from dinner). Our driver took us on a little tour of Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake, sharing trivia and her own personal experiences as a Recreation CM. She got us a front-row view for the water parade, which is a cute little extra. I’m glad they still run it even though it’s clearly outdated. At ten o’clock, she “parked” our boat in front of the Magic Kingdom and we had a perfect view of Wishes. The music isn’t yet piped into the smaller boats, but it is for the larger ones, so she tried to keep us pretty close to one of those so that we could hear it.

Bill kept wondering aloud when the fireworks finale was; I kept wondering silently why he was so concerned about it and didn’t just enjoy the show. During what he thought was he finale, he turned around and started saying really sweet things, and before I knew what was happening, he was on one knee (not an easy feat on a boat, I would think), reaching into his pocket, and giving me the most gorgeous diamond ring I’ve ever seen. Well, okay, that sounds nice, but to be honest it was dark so I couldn’t exactly SEE the ring yet, but you know what I mean. I remember telling him that of course I would marry him, and taking the ring and putting it on my finger before he jumped up and went over to where the driver was. He came back with a pillow made of flowers, and on the pillow was a glass slipper and a tiara – so perfect and beautiful (and heavy, he had to carry it back to PO-R, haha).

The driver popped open a bottle of champagne, and although the fireworks were over and so technically we were supposed to return to the Marina, she took us on another long lap around the lagoon so that we could have a toast and celebrate the moment. She offered to take our picture, which I’m really grateful for now.

Eventually, Bill told the driver that he was sure that I had some phone calls to make and that we should probably head back…

Up next: We float back to PO-R somehow, I actually SEE my new ring, and did our luggage make it from Magical Express? Do we even care?
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:52 PM   #23
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That is the ideal engagement.... I am loving your trip report and I am going to stick around for the ride. I just ordered the same polo as you...well except it has my name on it. Congratulations.

Danielle Allie Jackson If We Can Dream It We Can Do It
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To receive you must first believeAlways remember...thoughts become things
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:58 PM   #24
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My wife and I honeymooned at Disney World in 1998, right as Animal Kingdom was opening. It was the finishing touches for a wonderful start to our lives together. Both of you are very lucky to have been engaged at such a wonderful place, as you can always go back and say, "That's where he asked me", or "That's where she said yes!"

Oh, and Disney World can be a great place to celebrate your wedding anniversery. My wife and I will be spending two weeks there next year to celebrate 10 fantastic years together. It never gets old, even if we do.
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:35 PM   #25
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Ok, I had to read it after I realized that it was your door magnet I saw on board! I'm in!!

BTW, you're a great writer!
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:42 PM   #26
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Do we get to see a picture of the ring??

Can't wait to read more
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Old 09-21-2007, 11:20 PM   #27
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How romantic! It must have been beautiful with the castle as your back drop. Congrats to both of you!
Tammy (me) , DH & Veda

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Old 09-21-2007, 11:39 PM   #28
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How sweet and romantic! That tiara is beautiful. I hope you post a picture of your ring!
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Old 09-21-2007, 11:45 PM   #29
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What a wonderful story! Congratulations!
March 2000 - first trip ever to WDW! Went for the day came home with season passes!!!!

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Old 09-22-2007, 02:27 PM   #30
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what a great story!!!! What a way to start your trip!
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