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Old 12-29-2008, 08:55 AM   #76
blessedby3
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Originally Posted by kkayluvsdis View Post
Sarah just left today to drive back to VA-she was visiting us for the holidays. Hopefully we'll get back into our posting routine ASAP!



Wonderful! I'm so excited that people are reading my report!

Where does you sis live in VA? Im in VA too-Roanoke.
Anyway, Im looking forward to your next installment-does that say something about how boring my life is??
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:25 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by blessedby3 View Post
Where does you sis live in VA? Im in VA too-Roanoke.
Anyway, Im looking forward to your next installment-does that say something about how boring my life is??
Sar lives in Alexandria. Oh my gosh, I just noticed your ticker--First time at the POLY is getting close!! You must be so excited!!
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2008:SSR 2008: POLY check out my first TR! http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2028633[/COLOR]
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:18 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by kkayluvsdis View Post
Sar lives in Alexandria. Oh my gosh, I just noticed your ticker--First time at the POLY is getting close!! You must be so excited!!
Yep, we are very excited and anxious to get there. It cant come soon enough, but will be over before we know it!
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:24 PM   #79
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Missing The Mouse
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:57 PM   #80
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Ready for another post sister!
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:35 PM   #81
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Day Five!!!!!

Hi All! Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. I hope you're still with me! Hopefully you all had a wonderful holiday season. We certainly had a busy one, but fun of course! I'm definitely bummed that I don't have a Disney vacation to look forward to or plan, but I'm going to have to live vicariously through my trip report! So, here we go...

DAY FIVE! Wow, the time went fast on this vacation! It always seems to on any good Disney vacation. Must be because we always fit so much into each day-no downtime. Anyway, here was our plan for day five:

Sunday, November 23rd:

*K&S small snack in room before we leave

7:30AM: Kelly and Sarah leave Poly for MK

8:30AM: Kelly and Sarah "Keys to the Kingdom" tour

9:00AM: Mammie and Nora Sleep-in? Hang out at resort, poolside

*Mammie and Nora - CS bfast to share or bfast in the room

3:00PM: Lunch at Coral Reef Restaurant at EPCOT (1 TS credit/person)
-CM noted request for near tank in ressie. Request at podium checking in as well.

VISA photo pass (1:30-4:30)

4:00PM: Tour the World Showcase (snacks for dinner!)

(3 TS, 2 CS, 3 S)

(MK extra magic hours PM)
-------------------------------
So, I was just thinking that I don't think I'm going to have many pictures to post for this day. Maybe this is a relief to some of you! Hehe. We weren't allowed to take photos on a lot of the Keys to the Kingdom Tour and Mom definitely didn't take any of her morning alone with Nora, but anyway, on we go!

As planned, Sarah and I got up early and were raring to go for our tour! Let me give you a bit of background about this. The last time we were all together prior to this trip was in September. We were all home at Mom's house in Maine for the weekend. Sarah had told me that she had an early birthday present for me and I had been bugging her about it for weeks-asking her to give me hints and whatnot. So, one morning when it was just Sarah and I in the house she got up early (!!!) I know, huge shocker . I was curious as to what she was doing. Well, she had sent up a treasure hunt for me with clues to find my prize (birthday gift). It was really cool and fun. Once at the final clue I found an elaborately made card with a beautiful cutout (scrapbooky <-- I think I just made up a word) of Cinderella's Castle that said "Unlock the Magic" on the outside, then on the inside was the date and time of our tour. She also got me the Disney trivia book that I had mentioned earlier-the one that I got all the daily trivia questions from. So, anyway, the Keys to the Kingdom tour was something we had both been looking forward to for months, although as it got closer I got a little nervous about it possibly ruining some of the magic! I knew we'd be going in the utilidor and behind the scenes and I wasn't sure I was prepared for that! Was I?!

Okay. Sarah and I were up early and out of 3937 Tokelau by 7:30AM. We wanted to get to MK with plenty of time before the tour, because we knew it would be almost empty on Main Street and we could take some pics and do some hunting for hidden mickeys. When we arrived at the gate we weren't sure where to go so we asked a friendly group of CMs. They directed us towards the "breakfast" entrance. This is for guests with breakfast reservations within the MK. We just had to tell them we were there for KTTK and we were let right through. Unfortunately, there was a family there who had forgotten their park passes (yikes) and the mother was frantically searching through all the bags to try to find them--opps. She was really upset because she was going to have to go back to their resort to get them! Oh no! And miss their breakfast reservation I felt really bad for her, because there were like 6 other family members and they were all looking at her, like "mom, what'd you do?!" Why is it always the Mom's fault when something goes wrong?! grr....anyway....We went right over to City Hall to check in for the tour.

At the KTTK check-in we were given name tags and then had to chose what we would want for lunch at the Columbia Harbour House. Sarah and I each got different meals, figuring we could share There were bottles of water and coffee for the guests taking the tour too. We were told to meet back at the garden outside Town Hall at 8:25AM. This meant we had quite a bit of time to wander around Main Street. I had brought my Hidden Mickeys book, so we decided to put that to use. The first thing we did was go to the upstairs of the train station and check out the view. It was weird to be in MK with so few people around-I dunno, there was something just not right about it-just didn't seem like MK to me without people filling Main Street!

Sarah and I had both read about Lady and the Tramp's paws in the concrete outside Tony's Town Square Restaurant but had never seen them before, so this was on our list of must sees. Yay! We found them! (as Nor would say)

Of course, while there, we had to say Hi to this guy!

Then we found a lady nice enough to snap our photo. Check out those awesome name tags!

Now it was time for some hidden Mickey hunting. We started down Main Street to begin our search. Let me just say, that eventhough I own the book, I still find it hard to find some of the hidden mickeys. I think I take it to literally and don't use my imagination enough, but whatever. So, the first one we were looking for was in the jewelery store windows. Well, we even used the HINT section and couldn't find the darn thing! Thank goodness there weren't many people around to see the frustration on our faces as we peered in each window! Here is another look at the very quiet Main Street.

So, I'm pretty sure we didn't end up finding ANY hidden mickeys that morning. Such DIS failures I know! There's always the next trip to try for more. At this point it was getting close to time to meet for the start of the tour, so we headed back to the garden outside City Hall.

While waiting, we chatted with a nice CM from guest relations. He was telling us a bit about the KTTK tour and was wondering who our tourguide would be, as the guides are also members of guest relations. Oh, my goodness, I am getting so distracted trying to write up this part of the TR for some reason. But, I just have to share this pic I just came across while looking for KTTK pics...

That is Nora on her first Disney trip! Waa! I can't believe how little she was. Okay, sorry, I am really going to focus now-I promise! Where were we? Oh, yes, in the garden waiting for the start of the tour. So, a little group had formed-I think there were 10 of us altogether. Soon, a female CM dressed in a plaid skirt, a vest and a jockey cap joined us (she explained to us later that this whole "jockey" motif was considered very high class, back in the days when the tours began and that one of the Disney women-I can't remember who, I particular-came up with the idea for the uniform). She introduced herself as Jackie and that she would be our guide and that her tours usually run for almost 5 hours (!!!) Wow, we were going to be busy! We were each given headsets to wear, and as Jackie had a microphone attached to her lapel, we were able to listen to her talk as we walked through the park. We started our way down Main Street at 8:30AM sharp. She began by telling us about the significance of the names in the shop windows along Main Street and all about the reasons why MK was designed the way it is and the tricks that are used to make things seem the way the Imagineers intended them to be seen. Believe me, there was a LOT of thought that went into the layout of the Magic Kingdom! I don't want to give anything away, so I'm going to try to continue to be pretty vague about what Jackie said and what we saw. We made our first stop while we were still on Main Street. Jackie took us down one of the little "alley ways" along the right hand side (as you're heading towards the castle) of Main street. We we care all given the chance to sit down as Jackie told us the 4 Keys to the Kingdom. She asked us to try to site examples of each, and explained how the "keys" are taken very seriously by everyone at Disney and that they are something that the CMs are conscious of everyday. Also, while sitting in this quiet little spot, she pointed out one of the windows on the second floor-it said Voice&Piano lessons-she told us to listen--and guess what, we could hear a piano lesson going on! I never knew this or had discovered it in the numerous times we'd been to MK! She said that everyday during park hours you can hear various "students" having either a voice or a piano lesson. How cool, don't you think?! By the time Jackie starting leading us back to Main Street the gates of the MK had officially opened and the "running of the bulls" as Jackie called it, had started. I never realized what a mad dash people make down Main Street! People were seriously sprinting, I guess wanting to be the first ones on certain rides? I dunno, but it was quite comical to watch. Hehe. We tried to stay out of the way, as to not get trampled over, and continued down Main Street. When we got to the corner Jackie showed us Walt's name and explained why it was there. Do any of you know where it is? Off topic, my daughter is laying in bed (supposed to be sleeping ) and singing "Where is Thumbkin"--haha.......After a brief discussion about how and why the land was purchased in Orlando for Disney World we were off to Adventureland. Jackie talked a lot about how important it was to Walt that when guests were in each separate land they really felt that they were in the jungle, or the frontier, etc. She explained that a CM from Fantasyland would never be in Frontierland, because that would look very out of place. One of the coolest examples of this was the Crystal Palace. She had us stop and look at it before we went over the bridge to Adventureland. I had never noticed before, but the left hand side (or Main street) half of the building is very bright and victorian looking, while the side on Adventureland has a lot of vegetation and bright green awnings on the windows. When pointed out, it was such a striking difference, but it was another thing that we had never noticed before! While in Adventureland we got to ride the Jungle Cruise, but instead of the usually boatguide, Jackie told us all about the background and secrets of the ride. The water, for example is actually dyed and the boats are powered by natural gas. Later in the tour, when we were "back stage" we got to see where the boats are stored and loaded. Although we didn't ride Pirates of the Caribbean on the KTTK tour Jackie did give us some info on that famous ride as well. Supposedly, POTC was never going to be a part of Disney World, but people who had visited Disneyland kept asking where the ride was, so it was later decided to build one in MK. From Adventureland we continued on to Frontierland where it was time (!!!!) to go back stage! Oh, so I think I forgot to mention that the CM refer to MK like a play or production. So when one is working and in "costume" she is on stage and when behind the scenes she is back stage. Get it? Okay, good! So, right next to Splash Mountain is where we went back stage. I was definitely nervous about this part, but excited as well. There was a line painted on the ground which Jackie informed us was the point at which guests could see you so you had to act as though you were on stage. Also, as we were back stage the train passed by. We all waved and put on our "stage" faces Wow, was it crazy to be back stage! Totally unbelievable! Again, I don't want to give anything away, but it is just crazy, as you may imagine! We got to see where the parade floats are stored and Jackie explained the process involved in operating and maintaining the floats. She told us all about the trash collection system throughout the MK and that there are no recycling containers because there are CMs who actually sort through all the garbage by hand! One of the craziest things, I thought, was seeing the backside of Splash Mt and the holding tank for the water. Also, it was so weird to see people working back stage, just going about their daily tasks thinking nothing of us being there. Hehe. By the time we were back on stage it was almost lunch time. We walked over to Liberty Square, our heads being filled with Disney knowledge the entire time! Before lunch at the Columbia Harbour House Jackie was going to take us on The Haunted Mansion, but it was again experiencing "Spiritual Difficulties"- Bummer. I had really wanted to ride HM and find out all the fun facts. She filled us in quite a bit at lunchtime, though. There was an area upstairs at the CHH that was reserved for our tour. When we got there our lunches were all set out with our names and a special gift-a Key to the Kingdom pin. Yay! Lunch was yummy and it was nice to have a little break. Jackie actually was seated with Sarah and I so we got to pick her brain a little more about her job and how she got involved with guest relations and what not. It was very interesting and I think Sarah and I both left there wanting her job!! Hmm..I'm trying to remember what we did after lunch. I think we basically made our way back towards Main Street, stopping a few times along the way for tidbits of info, or for Jackie to point out something interesting to us. Oh, she did show us that the CHH building followed the same idea as the Crystal Palace. Next time you're there, check out the difference between the Liberty Square side of the CHH versus the Fantasyland side. Very different! Oh, this was cool--no bathrooms in Liberty Square--because in that time period, there were no bathrooms. Okay, so it was finally time--we were going to go down to the Utilidor! The underground of the MK! First, we had to get back stage. We got there through one of the shops on Main Street--right next to Casey's. Holy Cow--being back stage behind Main Street was even more crazy than by Splash Mt! You guys need to see it! Just unbelievable! We went down to the utilidor and to me it felt like being in the basement of a hospital-long hallways, no windows. There were CMs bustling around everywhere-to them it's just another day at work--what a weird thing, right?! For us it's another amazing day on vacation and to them it's just work! I think the utilidor was color-coded and there was signage everywhere stating what entrance to use to get to each land. Remember, no Liberty Square CMs could be in Tomorrowland! While in the utilidor we were shown a video about the Laundry service and uniform center and about the Central controls. The laundry video was craaaazy! Sarah and I both agreed that working at the laundry facility would NOT be fun! We came up from the utilidor on the other side of Main Street. Jackie showed us where and how TinkerBell makes her flight during "Wishes" Wow, another job I would NOT be interested in! When we re-entered Main Street, on stage, we definitely looked at it in a different light. It is still so amazing to me the immense thought and planning that went in to designing the MK and what takes place every single day to make the MK operational and MAGICAL! Back at the garden outside City hall we ended our tour and said our goodbyes and thank yous to Jackie. What a busy day it had been. We could hardly wait to get back to the Poly and share our new found knowledge with Grammie and Nora!

As you all can probably tell from my synopsis, we really enjoyed the Keys to the Kingdom tour and would highly recommend it. You definitely get a new appreciation for those that made all the magic happen. I hope I didn't go into too much detail. Oh, I also wanted to mention--when Sarah was here celebrating Christmas with us, we happened to catch a show on History channel called "Modern Marvels" and it was about Disney World. I'm not sure if any of you have seen it, but boy, it was like being on KTTK all over again! The showed covered a ton of the material that Jackie talked about and even showed video of in the utilidor. If you get a chance, it's a really good show-and might help you to decide whether KTTK would be good for you! Although, I don't know how many times Sarah and I looked at eachother and were like, "what the heck did we pay for, we could of just watched this show!"

Up Next.......

Who is Babysitting Who?! and Are we Destined Never to eat at the Coral Reef?!
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Previous Disney Trips:
1985, 87, 91: Offsite 1995:POFQ 1999:CBR
2004: Holiday villas 2006:POR 2007:POR
2008:SSR 2008: POLY check out my first TR! http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2028633[/COLOR]
2010: POFQ 2013: POR 2014: POR
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:26 AM   #82
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I think I would love this tour. The reasoning behind the theming is just amazing to me! Thanks for explaining it so well.
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:08 PM   #83
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My DD and I are going on this tour during our March trip!! I am so excited as I have wanted to do it for years, but have never gotten the chance. We have it booked mid week and at the 8:30 tour too!! I am wanting some of those empty park photos also. We got some a few years back when we had a breakfast ressie at the Castle.
So glad to get another "installment" from your vacation! Ill have to hop to your sisters and see if she has posted another dining one!
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:59 PM   #84
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I posted on my dining report and I'm working on another installment - come on over! http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29433679
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2007: POR (Mom, Sis, DN, Me-Girls Only! )
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:50 PM   #85
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Great update! We did the KTTK Tour last January and absolutely loved it. I thought it was such a fantastic experience to be able to see back stage. I think I appreciate on stage even more now. Oh and the picture of your daughter is too cute!!

Now I have to hop over to the dining review!
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:19 AM   #86
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Doing a great job with your trip report. I'm glad you posted a message in your sisters Dining Report, or else I would have missed it. Your little one is so adorable.
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Old 01-04-2009, 01:17 PM   #87
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Ready for another post sister!


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I think I would love this tour. The reasoning behind the theming is just amazing to me! Thanks for explaining it so well.
Yes, it really is amazing! I mean they literally thought of EVERYTHING! If you get a chance to do it-go for it. Thanks for reading!

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My DD and I are going on this tour during our March trip!! I am so excited as I have wanted to do it for years, but have never gotten the chance. We have it booked mid week and at the 8:30 tour too!! I am wanting some of those empty park photos also. We got some a few years back when we had a breakfast ressie at the Castle.
So glad to get another "installment" from your vacation! Ill have to hop to your sisters and see if she has posted another dining one!
Oh, I hope you enjoy as much as we did! I think going for the early tour is good not just to see the empty MK, but when the tour is over you still have a good part of the day to fit in other things. Your trip is just around the corner!

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Originally Posted by AliceInDisboardland! View Post
I posted on my dining report and I'm working on another installment - come on over! http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29433679
Geez, look at you advertising on my thread!

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Great update! We did the KTTK Tour last January and absolutely loved it. I thought it was such a fantastic experience to be able to see back stage. I think I appreciate on stage even more now. Oh and the picture of your daughter is too cute!!

Now I have to hop over to the dining review!
You are definitely right about appreciating on stage more after KTTK. Disney World is just such an incredibly magical place! Oh, and thanks for the compliment of Nora. She is such a good little princess Glad you're enjoying BOTH the trip reports!

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Doing a great job with your trip report. I'm glad you posted a message in your sisters Dining Report, or else I would have missed it. Your little one is so adorable.
Thanks! We think she's a "keeper" So happy that you like my TR or should I say our trip reports. We definitely are having a great time writing them!
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Previous Disney Trips:
1985, 87, 91: Offsite 1995:POFQ 1999:CBR
2004: Holiday villas 2006:POR 2007:POR
2008:SSR 2008: POLY check out my first TR! http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2028633[/COLOR]
2010: POFQ 2013: POR 2014: POR
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:20 PM   #88
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I love your report and I love seeing teh pics of my favourite resort, POLY , I can't wait to go back!
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:17 PM   #89
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Joining you! Thanks!!
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:41 AM   #90
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Loving the trip report! The separate dining report and trip report is so fun to read through ~I love getting two tales of the same trip
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