|07-26-2008, 11:40 AM||#1|
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Feb 2003
January 2008 Trip Report
Kate and Deb’s Disney 2008
Thursday January 3rd,
RHI-MSP-MCO (uneventful and efficient travel day!) The only travel glitch came from the car service driver; he didn’t meet us in the baggage area; he called and had us meet him outside in the pickup lane (kind of a hassle).
We got to the Dolphin about 6:30 p.m. and were settled and unpacked just a little after 7:00.
Our room was on the 6th floor near the West elevators. We had a view of the Tower of Terror and the Swan beach area. Beautiful! Room was nice, but not as many amenities as at the Swan (no shower cap or bathrobe; maids not as generous with the soaps/shampoos/coffee). Only one sink; larger closet though; and lots more dresser space. It seemed roomier than the Swan.
We took a walk down to the ESPN Club and had Macho Nachos for supper. It was a little chilly and windy (40s) so we didn’t go to Epcot.
Friday January 4th
At 7:30 we went to Animal Kingdom for the day. It was a little cool, but long sleeves and long pants were sufficient. We went on Everest and Dinosaur and then had breakfast at the Pizafari. It was reasonably priced and pretty good. Then we went on the Safari. We also walked the Pangani Trail and the Jungle Trek. We browsed a lot of shops and took pictures and were back to the hotel about 1:15.
We rested until 3:00 and then took the boat to Epcot. We got fish and chips (lunch) and I had to go to the cantina for a Margarita! We got back to the hotel about 5:00 and took a short break before we went to MGM to see the Osborne family dancing lights. They were spectacular. We got there just before the first showing started and when they were going we walked the whole street and around the corner and were amazed that we kept finding more. We really liked the fake “snow”, too! After the light show we walked back to the hotel via the Boardwalk and picked up a funnel cake snack. Back to our room about 7:30; all tuckered out!
Saturday January 5th
The temps were warmer today (70s). We had a leisurely breakfast at the Boardwalk bakery and then headed to Epcot at about 9:00. We got on Soarin’ right away and got the front row with a young family that hadn’t been on it before. They loved it as much as we did! Then we watched Honey I Shrunk the Audience (always cute). By then we were hungry so we shared some Electric Umbrella french fries. We also stopped by Club Cool for some soda tasting but I couldn’t talk Katie into drinking “Beverly”. Of course, we were then so close to the World Showcase we had to wander up there and take the Mexico boat trip and get a margarita (only my second). Katie got a frozen mocha even though I think she really wanted a strawberry margarita. We listened and watched the fife and drum guys and then I needed to go back to the cantina for a refill. Katie was hungry again so we went to France where she got a crepe. We walked back to the hotel via the Boardwalk taking a side trip to the pizza window so I could get a nice warm slice of pepperoni pizza. I was walking away from the window with my slice of pizza on the open plate when one of those flying rodents (aka: seagulls) flew over my shoulder and knocked the pizza to the board walk! Within seconds there were about 10 seagulls attacking the slice and each other and they made short work of making it all disappear! The pizza window guy kindly gave me a replacement piece free of charge and Katie kept the birds away while I ate this one. After this traumatic and amusing spectacle we headed back to the room for a break. Katie took a hot bath to relax and then we just went down to the Dolphin Fountain for supper (good food, but pricey). After two full days we spent a quiet evening in reading and watching football.
Sunday January 6th
We had breakfast at Picabo which is conveniently located near the west elevators. They have changed the refillable mugs and they cost $12.95. We chose not to buy them because we really didn’t plan on spending much time in Picabo.
Later we took the boat to MGM for the day. We were late getting there and then got in a line that was having gate trouble. By the time we got in and to Rockin Roller Coaster there was a 45 minute wait and the fast pass was really slow; so we just wandered off to the Great Movie Ride and then to Star Tours.
We were sitting in our Star Tours vehicle when the dream team arrived. They presented all of us with Dream Fast Passes! We were so happy! We took our dream fast passes and went back to Rockin’ Roller Coaster and basically walked right on. That was great! We also took in the Muppet 3-D show before our lunch at Sci-Fi. Katie loved the theming and our waiter was calling her “princess”. I felt like I should get her a little crown to wear. We wanted different entrees so of course Katie couldn’t eat even half of hers! Unfortunately, without Carl to clean up the leftovers, it went to waste! But, all in all it was a good time and the old movie and commercial clips were a riot. After lunch we got into the Lights, Motors, Action stunt show. Loud and flashy, but fun. We browsed a bit and then took the boat back for a 3:30 siesta.
In the evening we headed back to Epcot about 5:00 for supper (Margarita and Chinese food) and then spent hours browsing, Norway boat ride, browsing again and finally the fireworks. We liked how they dim the park lights for the fireworks show and enjoyed the display itself, too. All the times we have been to WDW we haven’t seen the water level show before this. We got back to our room about 9:30 after another very fun-filled day.
Monday January 7th
Today we went to Magic Kingdom. We were there early enough to get to the major rides before the crowds. We walked on to Big Thunder Mountain two times, but Splash Mountain was closed (bummer; we were ready to get wet). We also walked on to Pirates, Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain. Very little waits at all! We had breakfast at the Lunching Pad (cream cheese filled pretzels and a banana; these pretzels are really good!) We then took the leisurely Transit Authority tram; very relaxing. On a whim we went over to Peter Pan’s Flight; the listed wait time was way off and this line really tried my patience. I think we had gotten spoiled by all the good luck we had prior to this. But after the ride Katie helped me mellow out and we had a chicken and fish strip lunch at the Columbia Harbor House. We did some more shop browsing and then took in the Tiki room show (cornball, but cute), and to close out our day took the train around the park. By 3:00 we were back to our room for a break. Later we headed over to Epcot to browse and eat and drink. Of course, I slipped a Margarita into the evening, too. We had the ham and cheese croissants from France bakery for supper (good, but would be better if warmed).
Tuesday January 8th
Animal Kingdom – we had the intention of getting on the Kali River Rapids right away, but it wasn’t open so we did a walk on at Everest. We also saw It’s Tough to Be a Bug and had some breakfast at a little stand near Kali while waiting for the ride to open. When we got on Kali we did wear our ponchos and still got wet. We had a raft to ourselves and when we came around again they just let us stay on and go again! This ride is a blast, but you really do get wet! It was an absolutely beautiful day and we dried out within an hour or so.
After some browsing we took the bus to Epcot and managed to get on Test Track (about 30 minute wait here, but we thought it was worth it). We went to Mexico for Nachos for lunch and followed it up with a Morrocan baklava for dessert. Very good stuff! There may have been a Margarita in there, too! We walked back via the Boardwalk and did some shopping and had a stop at the sweet shop, too. We had our afternoon siesta about 2:45 and didn’t head out again until 5:00. We had supper at Morocco having the chicken and lamb combo platter. Different; good, but too much food and we wasted a lot. Some of the items on the platter were unknown to us and maybe would need a more adventuresome palette to enjoy them. While dining we were able to watch the belly dancer and listen to Mo Rockin. After supper we just enjoyed the World Showcase; we saw the China acrobats (they are absolutely astounding) and had the fried ice cream at America (funnel cake stand); it is really refreshing and rich! On the way out we stopped by to watch Off Kilter. Those men in skirts are entertaining.
Wednesday January 9th (last full day)
I let Katie sleep late so we didn’t head out until about 9:30 for breakfast on the boardwalk. Then we walked to Epcot and caught the refurbished Spaceship Earth. It retained some features of the “old” ride, but the new themed scenes from man’s history are pretty cool. We enjoyed this soft opening and the grand opening is scheduled for February. We also took in Test Track (fast passed this one) and did the green house boat ride thing at the Land. We had an eclectic lunch of fries and egg rolls and spent a lot of time browsing the stores of China. Some really beautiful stuff! About 3:00 we headed back to our room and by 4:00 Katie made her first trip to the pool. It was shaded by then so a bit cool and the hot tub came in handy! Very quiet and relaxing. As a close to our final full day, supper consisted of three rich desserts from the bakery (the cheese cake brownie was a winner). Of course, we couldn’t eat all of this sugar and ended up tossing food again. We decided we need to learn to be less wasteful. We spent the rest of the evening packing for the trip home and just reading and watching TV.
Thursday January 10th (travel day)
I was really keyed up and couldn’t let Katie sleep past 7:00. So, I was pesty and woke her up for breakfast down at Picabo. We finished packing and then waited around the room until we checked out about 10:00. Our driver arrived about 10:30 and we commenced the long day home.
The Orlando airport security check went better than I expected. It only took about 30 minutes to get through it and we didn’t have any trouble finding our gate. The layover in Minneapolis was rather long and I had an upset stomach so we didn’t really get supper (just some fruit and tea). Of course, now that we were in our Alltel calling plan zone, we started calling people and Katie and Tom talked and text back and forth a lot. Katie also had other text messages to return…We were stuck on the tarmac for 40 minutes before we could leave for Rhinelander with a short stopover in Eau Claire. At the Eau Claire stop they realized they hadn’t loaded the gate checked luggage onto the plane; including the crew’s luggage! So we were delayed a bit more while they made a few calls; but we got to Rhinelander by about 9:25; not too late! Carl greeted us; our luggage arrived and then we took a side trip to McDonalds for a greasy cheeseburger and then home. Good to be home!
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