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Old 02-13-2009, 04:32 PM   #1
lurkyloo
The Attic was just perfect
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Return to the Scene of the Crime: The Lurkyloos’ First Anniversary at WDW! New VIDEO!

This is the story of our return to Walt Disney World to celebrate the anniversary of our marriage in the Morocco Pavilion at Epcot, and how you really can go home again, if by “go home again” you mean “wring nearly as many free desserts outta Disney as you did on your honeymoon”...

It also turned out to be the story of how we’ve gained a whole new family of like-minded Disney fans through the friendships made on this and other mouse-related message boards. In fact, this trip report will have a star-studded roster of cameos by numerous members of the online Disney fan community: Watch for ’em!

To bring you up to speed....

Who We Are

Lurkyloo and Mr. Lurkyloo, longtime Disneyland annual passholders who, in an attempt to squeeze every last drop out of the “free” WDW annual passes from their Disney’s Fairy Tale Wedding (tm), visited WDW three times in 12 months.




Our Trips

How to Get Married In Epcot... and Survive a 12-Day Honeymoon @ WDW!

You Just Got Married at WDW - What're You Gonna Do Next?: A pre-trip report for the 2 Haunted Mansions, 1 Day trip and for this anniversary trip

2 Haunted Mansions, 1 Day (plus free dining!)

Lurkyloo Does WDW: A live blog from (and sneak peek of) this trip and 2 Haunted Mansions, 1 Day.

Wedding Crasher: Lurkyloo's 4 Parties in 3 Nights with 2 Cameras and 1 Fabulous Hat: I took this trip 3 months after our anniversary (I posted this from the future!!!)

Last edited by lurkyloo; 05-27-2009 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 02-13-2009, 05:29 PM   #2
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Sweeeet. I'm in (again).
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Dreaming of more Disney adventures...
Mom, My Hand's Smell--A First Timer's Trip Report--Now Complete
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Old 02-13-2009, 06:13 PM   #3
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WoooHooo...Another Lurkyloo Trippie
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Last Trip: September 2013 Next Trips: August 2014, November 2014 and January 2015
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Old 02-13-2009, 06:27 PM   #5
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Woo hoo!!!

I love that I know a famous author now!!
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:14 PM   #6
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I don't ever read the wedding threads but happened to stumble onto a non-wedding thread where you had posted and your signature pics were so fantastic, I just had to see more. Your wedding was simply stunning!!!! Loved every minute of your trip report. So much so that it has made me consider a Disney vow renewal. So here I am, excited to hear about your first anniversary trip.
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:34 PM   #7
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Yeah - you're back. I just jump in here and follow you guys.

Linda
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:55 PM   #8
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I lurked on your other TR so I figured I would subscribe will I wait for the DFTW passporter ebook page thingy to load.....

I can't wait for all the details of your latest trip...
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:18 PM   #9
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I am ready for your trip report
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:40 PM   #10
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Hey Carrie & Patrick!!!! So ready for this report!!
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:51 PM   #11
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Yeah a new Lurkeyloo report!
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Old 02-14-2009, 01:18 AM   #12
lurkyloo
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OK, apparently I've been living under a rock
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotSoEvilStepmother View Post
Sweeeet. I'm in (again).
Quote:
Originally Posted by katydidbug1 View Post
WoooHooo...Another Lurkyloo Trippie
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkedupmomma View Post
subscribed my love!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lpizzuro123 View Post
Yeah - you're back. I just jump in here and follow you guys.

Linda
Quote:
Originally Posted by adisneygal View Post
I lurked on your other TR so I figured I would subscribe will I wait for the DFTW passporter ebook page thingy to load.....

I can't wait for all the details of your latest trip...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneygrl36 View Post
Hey Carrie & Patrick!!!! So ready for this report!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by cathy0124 View Post
Yeah a new Lurkeyloo report!
YAY! You're all here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 29apr00 View Post
Woo hoo!!!

I love that I know a famous author now!!
Watch out - you'll give me an even, uh, sweller head!


Quote:
Originally Posted by tinkertastic View Post

I don't ever read the wedding threads but happened to stumble onto a non-wedding thread where you had posted and your signature pics were so fantastic, I just had to see more. Your wedding was simply stunning!!!! Loved every minute of your trip report. So much so that it has made me consider a Disney vow renewal. So here I am, excited to hear about your first anniversary trip.
Thank you so much for the kind words! If you have any questions about the vow renewal, let me sell you on it-- er, uh, answer them. And the weddings board has lots of info too. I think you'd have a blast doing one!
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Old 02-14-2009, 01:26 AM   #13
lurkyloo
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Day 1!

It seems like Day 1 is always the most boring day of the trip, at least in my trip reports. How about a little backstory to pad it out?

Originally we’d planned to spend a week at Walt Disney World to celebrate our anniversary. On our honeymoon we stayed in four places – Beach Club Villas, the Contemporary, Animal Kingdom Villas, and the Grand Floridian – which was really fun cuz I love trying new hotels. But the Beach Club was definitely our favorite, so this time we planned to stay there the whole time. We were able to rent points BCV again from the same DISer and were all set.

Then, in September, we went on our week-long trip to experience the Disney Dining Plan for free and ride Haunted Mansion at Disney World and Disneyland on the same day. (Did we succeed? Click here to find out!) On that trip, I found that it took at least two days for me to unwind and begin to enjoy the vacation. The thought of wasting a quarter of our anniversary trip doing this scared me, so we decided to add three days. And because our free Annual Passes expired the day after our anniversary, the extra days had to be at the beginning of the trip.

It was too late to get into any of the DVC resorts besides Saratoga Springs (zzzzzzzzzzzzzz!) so we weren’t able to rent points. I wanted to stay someplace we hadn’t been before and thought it would be fun to try out BoardWalk Inn. But prices just weren’t coming down, so we booked Wilderness Lodge. I love the public spaces there, and the boat to the Magic Kingdom, but I wasn’t crazy about what I’d seen of the room décor. Then Disney released a screaming AP rate for WL and, well, who cares about room décor anyway?

Maybe because there were only four months between our September and January trips, or maybe because of the excitement of the holidays, or maybe because I was spending every spare moment working on my Disney weddings book, but for some reason, I kinda forgot about our trip until, like, 2 weeks before we left. I feel cheated out of all that fun anticipation!

Fortunately I’d been able to make ADRs during that weird period where the window “temporarily” shrank to 90 days, and because the booking windows were so screwed up and nobody knew when they could start calling, I got prime dining reservations I’d never been able to get before, like 7:30pm at Le Cellier. (I was so excited, I made three!)

OK, are you still with me? Don’t worry – there will be pictures soon!

We left on a Wednesday. Everything went really smoothly, which is great when you’re traveling but heck-of boring to read about. Our downstairs neighbor graciously got up early to drive us to the airport, one hand on the wheel and one wrapped around a mug of tea, laughing at all our dumb jokes. When we got to the gate we did our usual routine of buying food for the flight at the closest cafe. Except as we were in line to board, the couple behind us spotted our take-out bag and said, “We ate there last time we flew out of this terminal and had to go to the hospital with food poisoning!” Aiyeeeee! So long, lunch!

The flight from LAX to MCO was four and-a-half or five hours but felt short for some reason. We think it’s cuz they didn’t show a movie, so you didn’t have anything to mark time by.

Looky! Ice on the window!




Oooh! Random lakes!




By the time we’d each finished an entire magazine, we were there!

First (Orlando) Ride of the Trip




However, our experience on the other end made up for the quick-feeling flight – we waited an HOUR for luggage to show up at the carousel. While we waited, I picked up my phone messages and discovered something really weird. You may recall that on the last day of our last Walt Disney World trip, we had a horrible experience with the L.A. shuttle company that was supposed to pick us up. Well here it was the first day of our next Walt Disney World trip and, out of the blue, the owner called to apologize! Very spooky….

Anyway to keep me from imploding with impatience, DH handled the bag pickup while I went to get our Alamo rental car. I thought I’d outsmarted the stooped check-in kiosk (which always seems to need some documentation belonging to DH when he isn’t with me) by putting both our names on the reservation. Nope! It still wanted his license, probably just to spite me.

That accomplished, I booked it out to the free-for-all garage to see what was left in the way of El Cheapo cars at 5:30pm on a Saturday. And what was left was the Festival of Kia Rios! There was one non-Kia there, but when I got in it, it smelled like sweaty men, so I resigned myself to a Kia – at least I found a Rio in one of our wedding colors!



But it wasn’t until we started to drive away that we realized [Ghost Host Voice] this Kia had NO (power) WINDOWS AND NO (power) DOOR LOCKS!!! That’s right, there we were in Florida, Land of a Thousand Toll Booths, with hand-crank windows. Some of you probably don't even remember the days of roll-down car windows….

And don’t get me started on what a drag it was to have to flip the locks by hand (and circle the car locking them all again when we parked) or to use the ignition key every time we needed to get in the trunk. Honestly, I’ll bet we wasted at LEAST half an hour of our lives doing all those things…. And that’s a half an hour we could have been wasting in Ellen’s Universe of Energy!

Other than that, Clementine, as we half-heartedly called her, was OK. She handled like a golf cart and looked like there should be a huge wind-up key sticking out of the back, but at least we didn’t have to ride Disney buses!

As we whizzed down I-4 toward Mecca, the clouds parted and a heavenly light illuminated our path…




Obligatory Gate Shot




Home for the next three days!






I got a little grumpy when we checked in cuz our King bed request didn’t come through (apparently they only have, like, three or something.) However, they did honor our request for a high-floor North Wing room facing the Magic Kingdom! I think it’s sort of the “secret porthole stateroom” of Wilderness Lodge.

You can (kinda) see the castle…

It’s there – honest!




…But you can also see the service entrance and the Dumpsters!

Classy.






We called about switching rooms but were told the only availability “in your category” was over the bus pickup area. In other words, “No free anniversary room upgrade for YOU!”

Oh well! Here’s what we got:












This rack is the simplest thing but made a pretty big difference in keeping our room tidy – I don’t know why they don’t have these in all the resorts!



Cool headboard!






When we checked in, they had our box of bottled water from CostCo and the box of stuff we’d shipped to ourselves (we didn’t do this soon enough and ended up spending nearly $35 to FedEx ourselves about $11 worth of cereal and Tupperware – d’oh!).

Once we got it all in the room, we freshened up, put on our new Anniversary pins and went down to Artist Point for dinner.


View of the lobby from the 6th floor




This pic is kinda dark, but I loved the detail on the railing in the elevator




We had a wonderful experience at Artist Point. When they saw on our ADR that we were celebrating our anniversary, they treated us like royalty. Everyone kept wishing us a happy anniversary, the manager came by our table, and they gave us personalized menus without us even asking ahead of time!

A-ha! They appear to be in on my nefarious plot to make DH change his last name to mine!




We started by splitting the Smoky Portobello Soup with Roasted Shiitakes and Chive Oil….




… followed by the Braised Buffalo Short Rib with parsnip potato grain, caramelized leeks, and red wine jus, which was sooooo flavorful and practically melted in our mouths.



Topped off by…. our first free anniversary dessert!!! Artist Point Cobbler: Seasonal berries and housemade black raspberry ice cream




Being an anti-fruititarian, I had to go by Roaring Fork later and get my own dessert, a kind of Magic Bar (a.k.a. Hello Dolly, a.k.a. Seven-layer Bar).



We also poked around in the gift shop a bit before we went back to our room. It was a really nice evening just getting to be together. In the weeks leading up to the trip we’d been working long hours at our jobs and hardly seemed to see each other. This was our first chance in a long time to spend time together, and even DH mentioned how nice it was. And then he gave me a red envelope labeled “Note #1” that had a retro-looking romance coupon in it entitling me to some “TLC”… I wondered if there were more such coupons to come…

Last edited by lurkyloo; 01-23-2011 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 02-14-2009, 02:11 AM   #14
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At last! Oh happy day! Oh happy day! Thank you for starting you TR! I am jubilant and read every word very quickly! Post more soon! (man, I am demanding!).

Oh, and thanks for making me ravenous! I just finished the dinner dishes and gave myself a cookie (I made some for Valentine's day)...and now I'm hungry all over again!!
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Old 02-14-2009, 02:37 AM   #15
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I really enjoyed reading the last trip report, so I'm in on this one. It's interesting to hear that LAX to MCO only takes 5 hours, since Seattle to Orlando seems to take forever going through Dallas or Chicago (usually 4 1/2 hours to Chicago/Dallas, and another 2 1/2 to Orlando from there. There's a couple of nonstops from Seattle to Orlando (which apparently take about 5 1/2 hours) but they're a lot more expensive than the 1-stop flights. As nice as WDW is, it's just a long way to go from here, and between long flights (mostly on MD-80s too) and layovers, it just seems to take forever to get there, especially when Disneyland is a couple of hours away by air from here.
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