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Old 09-07-2010, 09:06 PM   #1
Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Southewestern Ontario
Posts: 1,049

A Ring, A Racoon, A Hat and a Brand New Love of Epcot...Feb. 14-21 2009

Hello everyone...I realize this TR is quite late (over a year go now ) but I plan on writing one for our Honeymoon trip next year so I figured I would tell you all the story of how we got there! This TR comes from a journal I kept while on the trip...which is how I can remember what happened over a year ago

Just some quick notes...we did not stay on site nor we're we on the DDP. This was our first big trip together without our families and we were trying to save some $$$...not the best decision in the world, I will be the first to admit that.

SO...let's get on with this report starting with some introductions. I'm Ashley and my DFi is Aaron. We've both been to WDW previously, myself 3 times and Aaron once (back in 1992) here's a picture of us

SO anyway...to begin the actual story. After 3.5 years of dating Aaron and I decided we should go on vacation. Well I immediately voted for Disney. I searched for a cheap hotel onsite, however none were cheap enough for mister cheapskate (I'm settling for a Value resor for our Honeymoon...sheesh). Anyway after searching travel sites I found a decent deal on a hotel offsite, complete with plane, car and tickets. So I settled, I mean I wanted to go didn't I?

I somehow managed to talk mister grumpy into going to WDW...however for the 6 months prior to the trip all I hear is that Disney is for kids, there's no grown-up stuff...and my personal favourite conversation that went like this...

Aaron: "Do we really have to go to EPCOT??? I mean it's even boring to fly over"
Me: "excuse me? You haven't been since '92, you were 7...possibly 8. That's why you think it's boring, cuz as a kid you were bored. We're going"
Aaron "no...well yes...but The Simpson's said it too..."
Me: "you're basing the amount of fun you'll have on a quote from a TV show?"
Aaron: "yup"
Me: *sigh*

Well I entice him with the idea of drinking around the world and he's reluctantly agrees. So we have 7 nights, 8 days and a 5 day hopper pass with the water park and more option. We 're staying at the Days Inn Maingate West and our plane leaves from Detroit at 10am on Valentines day.

Fast forward several months of planning, ADR's and complaining (on grumpy's part) and it's finally Feb. 13 (friday the 13th none the less). After work, school etc. Aaron shows up at my place to pick me up and we make the short jump across the border to Detroit (We're in Windsor, ON). Surprisingly enough we have no problems at the border, and head to the Howard Johnson by the airport to spend the night (after a short trip to the mall I might add). Now whenever we fly, we choose to stay over the night before and take advantage of the park and fly deals, and e shuttled to the airport...which is exactly what we did.

Feb. 14 - after a decent nights sleep, we wake up and prepare to head out for an early breakfast before getting to the airport. The weather before was pretty nice for February, chilly but no snow. So I put on some toe socks and my flip-flops (judge if you must but it's what I do when flying to somewhere warm) and step out the room door. I feel a foot getting wet and for a split second wonder..."what the...?? did it rain?" until I look up and see this wonderful sight...

Now this is actually a wonderful site..I love leaving home and freezing cold snow and landing somewhere warm...then thinking of those poor suckers back home in the cold (well this backfired on me, which I'll get to a bit later). So ...we bundle up and bit more than we had planed and run across the street for a quick breakfast. After breakfast, we park in the park & fly lot and we're shuttled to the airport. We check our bags and head to security, which actually wasn't as bad as I was anticipating. I haven't been on a plane in years so i was a bit concerned, but nothing to worry about.

After getting through security, we grab a snack, some magazines and a book and sit to wait for the flight, which was not delayed as I had thought As we're waiting i checkout my boarding pass (which Aaron had collected for me, and therefore I wasn't paying much attention to) and realize why the tickets were so cheap. Detroit to O'Hare???? Chicago...a connecting flight...bah this is what I get for letting a boy book the plane. Oh well I liked Chicago while I was there, so be it, no changing now.

We have a smooth flight in our little tin can to Chicago and make it JUST in time to catch out plane to Orlando. Finally, we're off to Disney, we should be getting there at...9pm??? What a way to spend Valentine's Day, in airports and on planes, oh well it will all be worth it.

So we leave a blizzard behind in Chicago, with a pretty rough take off I might add, and fy smoothly to Atlanta. Don't worry it's not another lay-over, but it is the worst storm in the history of storms...or at least that's what it felt like up there So Aaron is sleeping though it all and I'm freaking out...but we land safely in Orlando and head out to meet our Hertz driver who will take us to the car...
Myself DH

1991 (offsite), 2000 (offsite), 2004 (offsite), 2009 (offsite - engagement trip!!), 2012 (POP), 2013 (POP), 2014 (AKL)

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Old 09-07-2010, 09:20 PM   #2
Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Southewestern Ontario
Posts: 1,049

Chapter 1...finally in Orlando

So..we've just landed and are on the way to our car. It's pretty chilly, about 68 degrees, but whatever it's better than what we left right. We think nothing of it and are just happy to be there. Well we board our bus to the Hertz rental place and we get there with out any general problems (except Aaron freaking out because his bag was one of the last off the plane...but I'll get to that story later). We get to the Hertz rental place and the guy behind the counter is quite friendly, not very knowledgeable though. First he can't find our reservation, and Aaron has to show him, then he has us wait a bit until everyone else there is done because he still can't seem to find the reservation . Finally he calls us back over and says he found it but he has no more economy cars left for us. Aaron asks what he'll do about it, and the guy tells us there isn't much he can do, we'll have to change our reservation and pay for an upgrade. Well Aaron is having none of that so he starts complaining...I leave and wait outside A few minutes later Aaron comes out with keys to a brand new 2009 Mazda 3. No idea how he did it, but I usually don't ask question, I just go with it.

So we leave in our sweet new car and head toward the hotel. This is where I should stop and tell you that no matter where we're going or what time we leave, Aaron and I always manage to arrive at our vacation destination after dark. And with Aaron being the man he is, he rarely has an adequate map to get us where we need to go. So after driving round for what seems like forever (really it was about 1.5 hours), we FINALLY get to our hotel.

It's about 11pm now, and Aaron goes to check in. about 20 minutes later he comes back and I ask what took so long. He says because we were so late getting there they gave our room away and they wouldn't have another one ready until the next day . Now it' my turn to be angry, I had called multiple times to make sure we could check in that late because I had a feeling this would happen. SO this time I go in and I'm less than kind to the lady behind the desk (who in my defense was less than kind to me). she looked up the ressie and tells us "yes it's here that you'll be late, but it was only a request...doesn't mean it has to be honored." I ask "So are we supposed to sleep in the car tonight or what?" I'm told they can get us a room at the hotel across the street but we'll have to pay the difference. This absolutely does not go over well...and to make a long story shot after many nasty words, some empty threats and probably more than an appropriate amount of swears we get a room at the hotel across the street free of charge for the night.

Well Aaron and I go over to check in at the other hotel and we're told that what we were told at the other hotel isn't possible and they can't accommodate us for free. So after more yelling, calling back and forth etc we get our room (for free) and settle in for the night..a very angry night mind you. But tomorrow we were headed to DHS so I guess that had to count for something...

After our experience the night before we were not looking forward to going back to the Days Inn the next day, but at 7am we were up and repacked to check into our original hotel. We get back over there and are told they would love to accommodate us but the room isn't ready (I was told the night before to come back no later than 7am and we'd have a room ready for us). Well more yelling and the manager goes and personally cleans a bottom floor room for us. We drop our bags off, stop at McDonald's for breakfast and head out to DHS..

Our adventure will continue (Tomorrow I hope) with an update on our day at DHS...I promise after this terrible start to our trip, it does get better
Myself DH

1991 (offsite), 2000 (offsite), 2004 (offsite), 2009 (offsite - engagement trip!!), 2012 (POP), 2013 (POP), 2014 (AKL)

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Old 09-07-2010, 10:05 PM   #3
Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Southewestern Ontario
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A Day at DHS...

Well I was going to leave off for tonight with my into and travelling day, but then thought they may be a bit upsetting...I know they were to us so I figured I would add in at least part of our DHS day also.

So here we are...Day 2...hotel is sorted out, tickets in hand, parked in Film lot and passed though the gate. Now it must be known that DHS is DFi's favourite park as this picture clearly states...

So we enter the park and head straight to ToT. DFi had never ridden so I figured this was a good start...but first a stop at TSM for fast pases, which were still available surprisingly . So we get our passes and head to the 20 min line for ToT...did I mention that for going President's Day weekend it wasn't busy in the least??? So we ride and DFi is completely impressed, so much so he wants to ride again, so we grab so fastpasses and head over to RnR...also a first for DFi...also loved by DFi.

After RnR we decide to walk around a bit, so we head back toward the Hat where we see a photopass photographer. I drag Aaron over insisting we get our money's worth of pictures...

Next we head over to the Animation Studios as I heard Bolt and Rhino would be there. And what luck...we found Mickey, Rhino, Bolt, the Incredibles and Frozone!!! Time to put our photo pass money to good use

Now we still have some time before our fastpass so we head over to see Buzz and Woody before we ride. The line was fairly short and apparently meeting these two brought our the kind in Aaron...he was so excited

Clearly I was pretty excited too lol...we say bye to Buzz and Woody and head over to TSM (one of several rides we will have on it this week). It has become DFi's favourite ride ever...anywhere. The video game nerd loved it...who knew?

After a very successful ride #1 on TSM we headed over to the Backlot CS restaurant for lunch. The whole time listening to Aaron complain that the Backlot Tour and the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground was closed...I'll admit I was pretty sad about the Backlot tour, not so much the playground though...

OK that's it for tonight, gotta work early in the morning and I need sleep lol. If anyone is actually reading this I'll continue with DHS Day 1 pt. 2 tomorrow evening!
Myself DH

1991 (offsite), 2000 (offsite), 2004 (offsite), 2009 (offsite - engagement trip!!), 2012 (POP), 2013 (POP), 2014 (AKL)

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Old 09-07-2010, 10:36 PM   #4
I think my biggest pet peeve is when a weird toe pops out the side
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 2,044

I'm enjoying reading your TR--a belated congrats to you and your DF. I started an engagement TR as well tonight--love is in the air!
Me: (29) DH: (31) DD (1) Minnie and Eve the Frenchtons:

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Old 09-08-2010, 08:31 PM   #5
Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Southewestern Ontario
Posts: 1,049

DHS Day 1...part 2

So I'll continue with my TR even though not many people seem that interested oh well

so where did I leave off...ahh yes our excellent ride on TSM. So we leave TSM and decide we need some fastpasses for ToT. Well we get there and end up getting some of the last ones we're due back around 8:00 that night, so we decide to hit up Lights Motors Action! only the place is PACKED...I guess we found where all the people went too lol. Aaron is a bit disappointed, but his disappointment wavers as we walk and he sees Star Tours. Now he's not very excited about the ride, he remembers it from back in '92 when they were there and figures it will be the same (which it is), however he is pretty excited by the theming of the ride...

...as you can see he's my star wars nerd .

After some more pictures around the Star Tours we headed over to Muppets 3D...as you can tell we weren't really doing the park in any specific order. I knew what attractions I wanted to do so we did them probably not the best idea but oh well .

Anyway, so we waited for Muppets 3D pretty uneventfully, there was some pushing and cranky people in the "holding area" before we ent in...and several people who definitely did not move to the ends of the rows. The woman a head of us and who I'm assuming was her husband, refused to move all the way down and refused to even get up so the rest of us could move past, just plopped themselves down and that was that. No problem, we walk past, while "accidentally" bumping her knees and stepping on his food ever so slightly. She looked at us with a "who do you think you are" look and said really loudly "WOW an excuse me would have been nice!" to which the woman behind Aaron and I (who was also trying to get through with her family) replied "so would moving all the way to the end like you were asked several times" A bunch of people snickered at that but the lady just got all huffy and muttered something about paying so much they can sit wherever they want .

Aside from the annoying lady, Muppets was alright, pretty cheesy but entertaining none the less. After our encounter with the Muppets (and subsequently the pie that scared Aaron, he decided we should see the Indiana Jones stunt show. Now I really had no intention of doing this, but what was I to do? Say no? Of course not...well the show didn't start for
another 20 minutes or so so we looked around a couple of the shops near by. Well Aaron insisted he needed a hat...the most ridiculous hat ever *sigh*. Well this time I put my foot down...absolutely no Indiana Jones hat, they were way to expensive. The he gave my the sad puppy dog look and I told him to wait, we'd be back at some point during the week and if they were still there then I guess I had no choice, besides they were letting people into the show now, there wasn't time to argue. So we headed back to the theater and settled in to watch the show (which Aaron loved by the way). Aaron was so into it that he completely forgot about about the hat (until a few days later that is).

By this time it was almost dinner and with a Fantasmic! show that night the park was filling up pretty quick, so we have our dinner (back at the Backlot CS restaurant) and still have some time to kill before our fastpasses and Fantasmic! by now it's only about 6:30 so we head for the Great Movie Ride. Well the line was short so we waited. We got on and we don't even get through the first room when we stop and sit there about 5 minutes. The lights come up and we are ll escorted off the ride . No idea why, but we were a little upset. So we hang around outside, just taking in the sights. About an hour later after a short walk around the area Aaron taps my shoulder and tells me they might be letting people back on the ride, well they are going into the building so I figured why not go see? Well sure wnough whatever the problem was had been taken care of, so we get in the extremely short line and only have to wait for 2 or 3 cars before it's our turn.

We head though the ride and just as I'm mentioning to Aaron how creepy the munchkins are from the Wizard of Oz, we stop again, and the lights come up. We sit there for what seemed like forever (with those darn munchkins singing the entire time) and assume we'll have to get off again. Not this time, the lights go back down they apologize for the inconvenience and we continue on our way. Never had that happen on a ride before .

We finish the ride (which we both enjoyed) and run...and I do mean RUN...to ToT to use our fastpasses before Fantasmic!. We make it just in time for 8pm and we jump ahead of the now ridiculously long line. Again we have a blast and we're off in no time. while leaving Aaron spots a guy selling Turkey legs and stops to get one. Now I have never this guy to be full...ever in his life. But he couldn't even finish this giant Turkey leg (which he ate while waiting in line for Fantasmic!). I was truly shocked that Disney managed to fill up the bottomless pit .

Soon they are letting us into Fantasmic! we get some great seats right near the middle and this HUGE guy sits in front of us. Now usually this would bug me a little, but there was plenty of room, so we moved to the end of our row (still not to bad seats) right behind a mom and her kids. Well this mom was not a very pleasant person let me tell you. The youngest kid was terrified. He kept crying and asking to go home, he didn't want to stay and he was scared. Well the mom was having none of it telling him his brother and sister want to see it so he has no choice...poor kid . Well the show starts and about 5 minutes in the kid was screaming so loudly the mom had no choice but to leave. After that the show was quite enjoyable (definitely a must do for our next trip) as was the insanely expensive cotton candy.

After the show we managed to get out without much trouble, only one minor meltdown from myself...

I should stop and mention that I get quite claustrophobic, even when outdoors, if I'm surrounded by people, this usually ends in a type of anxiety attack that leaves me shaking, crying and unable to do much of anything...

...anyway with some help from Aaron we manage to get out of the crowd, I catch my breath and we head off to the trams to get to the car. I remind Aaron we're in the "film lot" to which he tells me no we not and proceeds to pull me off the tram 3 lots over . well we finally fins the car and it's almost 11pm. I had originally suggested we head to Downtown Disney that night, but that was clearly a no go now. I was still recovering from my anxiety attack, and Aaron was pretty cranky (a. because I was right b. because he was tired and c. he doesn't quite understand that my anxiety attacks are completely out of my control so he gets upset sometimes when I can't calm down immediately) so we make our way back to the hotel for a good night's sleep.

Coming up next...a cockroach, more McDonald's breakfast, the Magic Kingdom and a ring...
Myself DH

1991 (offsite), 2000 (offsite), 2004 (offsite), 2009 (offsite - engagement trip!!), 2012 (POP), 2013 (POP), 2014 (AKL)

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