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Old 12-18-2009, 05:13 PM   #1
khertz
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More Fun Than Sitting at Home! Our Dec 2009 TR-UPDATE: 6/11 Final Thoughts & Big News

Welcome to my very first TR! And welcome back if you have followed me over from my PTR (found here)!

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Intro & DAY 0 & DAY 1: Travel Day - below

Friday December 4th
DAY 1: Resort Hopping!
DAY 1: Resort Hopping! Continued... Check-In & DTD

Saturday December 5th
DAY 2: Epcot Rope Drop
DAY 2: Epcot Continued...Tackling Future World!
DAY 2: Epcot Continued...World Showcase
DAY 2: Epcot Continued...Candlelight Processional
DAY 2: Epcot Continued...IllumiNations

Sunday December 6th
DAY 3: Islands of Adventure
DAY 3: Islands of Adventure Continued...
DAY 3: Islands of Adventure Continued...
DAY 3: Universal Studios

Monday December 7th
DAY 4: DHS...Rope Drop & Toy Story Mania mania!
DAY 4: DHS continued...
DAY 4: DHS Continued...
DAY 4: DHS Continued...
DAY 4: DHS Continued...
PhotoPass Pics Are In!
DAY 4: DHS Continued...Finishing @ DHS & Hopping to MK!
DAY 4: MK...Welcome to the Magic Kingdom!
DAY 4: MK Continued...Castle Dream Lights
DAY 4: MK Continued...SpectroMagic
DAY 4: MK Continued...Wishes!

Tuesday December 8th
DAY 5: Late morning @ Animal Kingdom
DAY 5: AK Continued...FOTLK & Camp Minnie-Mickey
DAY 5: AK Continued...Meeting the Characters!
DAY 5: AK Continued...Character Trees & Pangani Forest Exploration Trail
DAY 5: AK Continued...Pangani Forest Exploration Trail
DAY 5: AK Continued...Maharajah Jungle Trek & MORE Characters!
DAY 5: AK Continued...Pooh & Friends! & MVMCP
DAY 5: MK Continued...MVMCP!
DAY 5: MK Continued...It's a Small World After All!
DAY 5: MK Continued...Small World Nightmare! & Holiday Wishes!!
DAY 5: MK Continued...Holiday Wishes!
OT Post!: New Orleans Mardi Gras & Wedding Fun
DAY 5: MK Continued...Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
DAY 5: MK Continued...Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade continued

Wednesday December 9th
DAY 6: Universal Studios
DAY 6: Universal Studios continued...
DAY 6: Islands of Adventure & dinner at The Melting Pot
DAY 6: IllumiNations & Osborne Lights from our room!

Thursday December 10th
DAY 7: Animal Kingdom...Kilimanjaro Safari
DAY 7: Animal Kingdom continued...more Safari & we meet the Yeti
DAY 7: Animal Kingdom continued...
DAY 7: Hollywood Studios afternoon
DAY 7: Hollywood Studios continued...Future Animators? & Osborne Lights!
DAY 7: Hollywood Studios continued...Osborne Lights
Video of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at DHS

Friday December 11th
DAY 8: Breakfast at Chef Mickey's!
DAY 8: Magic Kingdom morning
DAY 8: Magic Kingdom continued...Jungle Cruisin'
DAY 8: Magic Kingdom continued...Stopping to smell the roses
DAY 8: Magic Kingdom continued...
DAY 8: Magic Kingdom continued...Solo?
DAY 8: Magic Kingdom Solo continued...
DAY 8: Epcot

Saturday December 12th
DAY 9: Universal Studios
DAY 9: Universal Studios continued...
DAY 9: Winter Summerland Mini-Golf
DAY 9: Winter Summerland Mini-Golf continued...

Sunday December 13th
DAY 10: Early MK Morning & KTTK Tour
DAY 10: KTTK Tour continued...
DAY 10: MK Afternoon continued...
DAY 10: MK evening & Grand Floridian

Monday December 14th
DAY 11: Last Day! :-( DHS Rope Drop
DAY 11: Last day continued...

Extras
Final Thoughts & Big News!

First a little background...

Over a year and a half ago, my DH and I decided to take a vacation to Disney World during the holiday season. Eventually we settled on the dates of December 4th-14th, 2009. Along the road of planning, we decided to make it a family trip and invited our parents to come along. Of course, they were excited to accept! My parents (Paul & Kathy) both love Disney, and have been visiting almost every year for the last 12 years. My in-laws (Kathy & Jamie) hadn't been in almost 17 years, so there was lots of new things to see and do since their last visit. And visiting during the holiday season was a first for all 6 of us!

For seven nights, we stayed in a three bedroom suite at DHs and my timeshare, the Wyndham Bonnet Creek which is pretty much sandwiched onto Disney property, so we didn't feel as though we were truly staying off-site since we were still so close to the action! We had a fireworks view room, which we really enjoyed as well. On the 7th day of our trip, our parents spent the day in the parks with us, then headed home that night while DH and I stayed an additional three nights in a 1 bedroom suite to enjoy some time just the two of us.

Here is a picture of all 6 of us from a few days into the trip:


My parents on the left, in-laws in the middle, and DH & I on the right

DAY 0: Thursday December 3rd
The day before DH & I left for vacation was a hectic one! I had been working like crazy in the days leading up to the trip so I wouldn't have to use as much of my paid time off, and DH was left in charge of doing laundry! Finally on Thursday morning, it was time to start getting our last minute things together and leave the house. The plan for the day was to drive from our house in Lafayette, LA to my in-laws house in McComb, MS to drop our cats off. Then we would be stopping in Tickfaw, LA for dinner at my aunt and uncle's house, and finally getting to my parents house to get to bed to leave for Disney in the morning...Things didn't quite go that way, though!

I forced DH to take a picture of me crossing the LAST day off of our countdown calendar!




No more days left!!






All of the stuff we managed to cram into our little Honda Civic!

We left our house pretty close to the time we had said we'd like to be on the road. We made decent time to my in-laws' house and the cats did fine on the car ride. They were of course a little freaked out when we brought them inside, but they adjusted pretty quickly. DH's grandmother was nice enough to stay at the house with not just our two cats, but also my in-laws' cat and dog. She has kept them plenty of times, so I knew they were in good hands.

I had been in touch with my uncle David all day about going to their house for dinner, so that was our next destination. We got in the car, and I saw I had a message from him on my cell phone asking if we'd like wine or beer with dinner. I called him back to give him an answer, and he said that he was sorry, but it wasn't a good time for us to come over now. I was a little confused and disappointed, especially since I had so been looking forward to seeing my two little cousins Skylar and Sawyer that night. So instead of stopping off, we headed straight to my mom's house for the night, and picked up Burger King on the way.

We made it to my parent's house at a decent time, which actually may have worked out better anyway. We were able to shower, and get everything packed into the van before going to bed. My MIL even gave me one of her Ambien to help me sleep because I knew the excitement of leaving in the morning would keep me up ALL night!! And OMG did it work great!

DAY 1: Friday December 4th
At 5:30 am Friday morning, my MIL dropped DH and myself off at the airport for our 8:00 am flight to Orlando. Then she drove back to my mom's so the four of them could hit the road at a decent time. We tried to convince them to fly with us instead of driving, but they were too chicken! It worked out for us though, because they were able to take our large suitcase so we didn't have any bags to check. We just printed our boarding passes, grabbed some breakfast at Popeye's (YUM!), and headed through security to wait for boarding.

I was too excited to sleep, too excited to read my book...too excited to do pretty much anything but look around and try to guess who else was going to Disney World. While DH read his book and tried to hide from me, I snapped some pictures.


DH doing his best to ignore me.




Me: tired but excited! DH: tired & not that excited (yet!)

We were in the first boarding group, so we got decent seats on the plane. The guy that ended up sitting next to us was from New Orleans, but you'd think he was a tourist looking at him! He was all decked out in Saints clothes, wearing beads around his neck, etc. It was pretty funny. He immediately noticed DH's Saints hat and sat with us! He then proceeded to show us Saints pictures on his phone and sing, "Stand up and get crunk!" at random times. He was heading to Disney to meet up with his wife & kids. This will be important later. HAHA! All I can say is, luckily it was a short flight!

We landed a little earlier than expected, around 10:20, and headed right over to where our Mears shuttle would be picking us up. It was POURING rain! Not a good start!! However, what was nice was not having to even go to baggage claim, and only waiting about 10 minutes for our shuttle. There were a couple stops before us, but soon we were at the Wyndham Bonnet Creek! They had 3 bedroom units available immediately, but if we still wanted our fireworks view, we'd have to wait. We decided to wait, and just did pre-check in. They said they would call us when our unit was ready. We picked up some shuttle information, and headed outside to find a shuttle to MK and Epcot had just pulled up...perfect timing!

UP NEXT: Exploring the resorts in the rain, and unexpected obstacles
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JULY 1994 // Offsite & Universal Studios & Busch Gardens | APRIL 1998 // All Star Music & Universal Studios |FEBRUARY 2001 // All Star Music & Universal | MARCH 2003 // All Star Music & Universal // Hard Rock Hotel | FEBRUARY 2004 // All Star Music & Universal // Royal Pacific & Sea World | OCTOBER 2007 (Disneymoon!) // Port Orleans French Quarter & Universal Studios // Royal Pacific | DECEMBER 2009 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/ TR | JULY/AUGUST 2010 // Wyndham Cypress Palms TR | NOVEMBER 2011 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/TR | MAY 2012 // Disneyland // Wyndham Dolphin's Cove TR | AUGUST 2012 // Disneyland 5 Year Anniversary Trip // Peacock Suites TR | OCTOBER 2012 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/TR | OCTOBER 2013 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek & Universal // Royal Pacific PTR/TR | MAY 2014 // Wilderness Lodge TR | SEPTEMBER 2014 // ABD DIS Exclusive Viva Italia & Disneyland Paris Show No Fear! DIS Exclusive Viva Italia + DLP Sept 2014 | MARCH 2015 // Disneyland // Wyndham Dolphin's Cove | OCTOBER 2015 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek & Universal | FEBRUARY 2016 // ??

Last edited by khertz; 01-17-2012 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 12-19-2009, 11:57 AM   #2
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DAY 1: Resort Hopping!

DAY 1 Continued: Friday December 4th

We hopped on the shuttle, which dropped us off at the Transportation and Ticket Center. Now, it was sprinkling, but for some reason, we had decided to leave all of our bags except the camera bag with bell services at the resort, including the bag with our ponchos in it?? Stupid decision! But we were so excited to finally be in Disney that I guess we didn't care, even though both us hate being wet! Oh well.

We promptly hopped on the Resort Monorail, our destination in mind the Grand Floridian! This was the resort I was most excited to see dressed up for Christmas, so needless to say, I was very excited!

When we arrived, we immediately noticed a choir inside near the monorail station, which got me even more excited, to be serenaded with Christmas carols while exploring the GF! Then we got more inside and noticed a lot of camera equipment and people standing around the balcony...then we heard an announcer and a sudden rush of noise. We were able to sneak a peak over the balcony to see a GIGANTIC sea of people packed into the lobby!! Not good. Apparently because of the weather, they had decided to move the castle shows for the Christmas Day parade to the GF. Really not good. All we were able to do was make our way in a circle around the balcony in the walkway made by the people on either side, glance around the giftshop, and get right back on the monorail. While inside, the resort called to say our room was ready, which was a relief. It meant when we got tired of traveling around, we wouldn't have to still be waiting on our room!

I hadn't really planned on stopping at the Polynesian or Contemporary, but with my plans foiled and our bellies starting to rumble, we stopped at the next monorail stop, the Contemporary. The first thing we came across was the gingerbread tree! Not as great as the gingerbread house at the GF, but it'll do...







We decided to grab some burgers at Contempo Cafe, and really liked using the ordering kiosks! Very cool. The food really hit the spot, that's for sure. So with full bellies, we continued exploring the lobby and the gift shop, Fantasia.




A cool Monorail tree display!


Window display.



The giant Mickey wreath you see when you enter on the monorail. I was very excited to see this because I had seen it on the Disney Holiday special on HGTV and couldn't wait to see it! I tried to get a picture of it from the monorail later in the trip when it was all lit up, but that was pretty impossible. Still, crazy big!!

After leaving the Contemporary, the only resort left on my must-visit list was the Wilderness Lodge. We used an app on Dustin's iPhone that was supposed to tell you the best way to get from place to place around Disney, and it said we could catch a bus from the TTC, so we got back on the monorail and got off at the TTC stop. Mistake! By now the rain was coming down harder and we were running around looking for resort busses that didn't exist!

Eventually, we stopped at the bus information desk to ask what our best option was for getting to WL, and he suggested taking the express monorail or the ferry to MK and getting a bus from there. We decided to take the ferry since we had already been around on the monorail more than any of our other trips combined and it had only been a few hours!

We only had to wait a few minutes for the ferry, but it was a very cold wait as the wind started picking up. What miserable weather for our first day in Disney! But our spirits were still up, because in the distance we could see...




THE CASTLE!!


Still smiling!


The Grand Floridian from the ferry


Cinderella Castle and Space Mountain

We ran through the rain to the bus stops, which was a bummer that we didn't even have a chance to stand there and check out the train station and take in that we were in front of the Magic Kingdom! We didn't wait too long for a bus, and it was so nice to sit on a warm bus out of the cold & wet.

We got on the bus around 2:30 pm, and arrived just a few minutes later.


Christmas tree!




The balconies decorated with pretty garlands




I love the theming of this resort! These lights showed up in a lot of the pictures we took because they were so pretty. I'm not much of an outdoorsy wilderness girl, but I love the look of it, so this resort is perfect for me! I don't have to be out in the wilderness, I can just pretend I am.

We took time to relax in the lobby amidst taking pictures. It was so relaxing in there, and there were plenty of people in rocking chairs in front of the fire. I almost didn't want to leave to go back out in the nasty weather!









Continued in next post...
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JULY 1994 // Offsite & Universal Studios & Busch Gardens | APRIL 1998 // All Star Music & Universal Studios |FEBRUARY 2001 // All Star Music & Universal | MARCH 2003 // All Star Music & Universal // Hard Rock Hotel | FEBRUARY 2004 // All Star Music & Universal // Royal Pacific & Sea World | OCTOBER 2007 (Disneymoon!) // Port Orleans French Quarter & Universal Studios // Royal Pacific | DECEMBER 2009 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/ TR | JULY/AUGUST 2010 // Wyndham Cypress Palms TR | NOVEMBER 2011 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/TR | MAY 2012 // Disneyland // Wyndham Dolphin's Cove TR | AUGUST 2012 // Disneyland 5 Year Anniversary Trip // Peacock Suites TR | OCTOBER 2012 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/TR | OCTOBER 2013 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek & Universal // Royal Pacific PTR/TR | MAY 2014 // Wilderness Lodge TR | SEPTEMBER 2014 // ABD DIS Exclusive Viva Italia & Disneyland Paris Show No Fear! DIS Exclusive Viva Italia + DLP Sept 2014 | MARCH 2015 // Disneyland // Wyndham Dolphin's Cove | OCTOBER 2015 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek & Universal | FEBRUARY 2016 // ??
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Old 12-19-2009, 12:25 PM   #3
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DAY 1: Resort Hopping! Continued... Check-In & DTD















After finishing up at the Wilderness Lodge, we made our way back to the TTC to catch a shuttle back to Bonnet Creek. We had to wait a little bit for one because of their schedule, and there was a lot of other people waiting, so we were worried about not getting a spot. Well, I was worried, DH probably wasn't! We realized we hadn't even really paid attention to what the bus looked like, so that was a little nervewracking for me that we didn't even know what we were looking for! But eventually the bus came, and everyone that was waiting was able to get on.

We stopped at Epcot on the way and crammed some more people onto the bus, which made for a pretty hot and unpleasant ride with everyone standing and so many wet ponchos inside the bus. But the people we were sitting next to were really nice, and I felt bad for them. They had saved MK for their last day of vacation, which was that day, and it was all cold and rainy all day! It was kind of cute though because their little girl fell asleep standing up with her head in her mom's lap. Too funny!

It was about 5:30 when we got to the resort to check in, pick up our bags and get a parking pass for my parents rental van for when they arrived. The rain had let up a bit and we were in the next building over, so we decided to walk over instead of waiting for a little golf cart thing to bring us over.

Our suite was on the 11th floor and all the way at the end of the hall, which was nice. Of course, I had to snap a few pictures before we moved all our junk in and got the place wrecked! When you first walk in, there was a little hallway with a doorway to the left leading to the two extra bedrooms, the washer and dryer, and second bathroom.


Second bedroom where DH's parents stayed


Third bedroom my parents slept in


Second bathroom.

When you kept walking straight, you would end up in the living room with the dining table to the far left, and the kitchen in the middle with the door to the master bedroom next to the kitchen and the balcony straight ahead.


Dining table and kitchen


Kitchen and breakfast bar


The door to the master bedroom is on the far left, then the balcony and the living room


Looking out to the living room from the master bedroom


Master bedroom





Around 5:45 our parents arrived and we had to haul all of our luggage and boxes of snacks and drinks up to the room. Everyone unpacked, then we met in the living room to decide what to do that night. The plan had been Downtown Disney for Characters in Flight and shopping, then mini golf at Winter Summerland. Characters in Flight and mini golf were definitely out because of the weather. I was pretty cold and tired so I could have just stayed in and got to bed early for rope drop in the morning, but the majority wanted DTD, so we got in the van and made our way there.

Everyone was hungry by that point, so we made our first stop Earl of Sandwich for dinner. DH and I both got meatball sandwiches, and I remember my MIL getting the caribbean chicken one or something like that, but I don't remember what everyone else got. But we all thoroughly enjoyed our sandwiches.


My first and last food picture! I had trouble remembering, but really, we ate a lot of burgers, chicken and pizza, nothing to take pictures of daily!

After the food, we went to Once Upon a Toy. I got 2 potato head boxes and stuffed them with accessories for the kids at the hospital where I work! I had been helping our child life specialist clean her toys for the activity room one morning earlier in the week, and her Mr. Potato Head made me think of the boxes you can stuff at DTD. So she said if I got some, to keep the receipt and the hospital would pay me back. I was able to get at least one of everything, if not more! The kids already love it!

Then we went to the Christmas store, where nothing jumped out at me and DH, but my MIL bought some ornaments for her tree, and my mom got a couple of things my aunt had asked us to get for her. Then we wandered through World of Disney and Art of Disney, but didn't spend any money.

We got back to the room just before 9 pm. Around 9:30, we found out why waiting for the fireworks view room had been well worth the wait! It was hard to see a lot of the buildings in the dark, but we could easily see Spaceship Earth to our right and the hat from Hollywood Studios and the Tower of Terror to our left. We could see the Osborne lights as soon as they went on, and at 9:30...ILLUMINATIONS AND HOLIDAY WISHES SIMULTANEOUSLY!!!

It was SO incredible! I was in my Mickey Mouse pj's with a cup of hot chocolate, sitting on the balcony in Disney World, and watching two fireworks displays at the same time. Definitely made the cold & rainy day well worth it!! In the dark, we couldn't even tell that MK was further to the right and behind Epcot, so the Holiday Wishes were a surprise. But Illuminations was so close that the sound was crazy loud. It sounded like thunder right on top of us! What an amazing way to end the night before crawling into bed!

UP NEXT: My very first rope drop at Epcot!
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JULY 1994 // Offsite & Universal Studios & Busch Gardens | APRIL 1998 // All Star Music & Universal Studios |FEBRUARY 2001 // All Star Music & Universal | MARCH 2003 // All Star Music & Universal // Hard Rock Hotel | FEBRUARY 2004 // All Star Music & Universal // Royal Pacific & Sea World | OCTOBER 2007 (Disneymoon!) // Port Orleans French Quarter & Universal Studios // Royal Pacific | DECEMBER 2009 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/ TR | JULY/AUGUST 2010 // Wyndham Cypress Palms TR | NOVEMBER 2011 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/TR | MAY 2012 // Disneyland // Wyndham Dolphin's Cove TR | AUGUST 2012 // Disneyland 5 Year Anniversary Trip // Peacock Suites TR | OCTOBER 2012 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/TR | OCTOBER 2013 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek & Universal // Royal Pacific PTR/TR | MAY 2014 // Wilderness Lodge TR | SEPTEMBER 2014 // ABD DIS Exclusive Viva Italia & Disneyland Paris Show No Fear! DIS Exclusive Viva Italia + DLP Sept 2014 | MARCH 2015 // Disneyland // Wyndham Dolphin's Cove | OCTOBER 2015 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek & Universal | FEBRUARY 2016 // ??

Last edited by khertz; 12-19-2009 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:35 PM   #4
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Wow, it's sad to look back at the beginning and realize that's all over with. It's nice to see our first and last slow day of the trip, even if you posted those bad pictures of me at the airport.
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Old 12-19-2009, 11:56 PM   #5
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Wow, it's sad to look back at the beginning and realize that's all over with. It's nice to see our first and last slow day of the trip, even if you posted those bad pictures of me at the airport.
I know what you mean!! Going in, it seemed like it would last forever, but now it seems like it was over way too quickly.

And I love those pictures of you at the airport! Classic you until we get to our destination.
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JULY 1994 // Offsite & Universal Studios & Busch Gardens | APRIL 1998 // All Star Music & Universal Studios |FEBRUARY 2001 // All Star Music & Universal | MARCH 2003 // All Star Music & Universal // Hard Rock Hotel | FEBRUARY 2004 // All Star Music & Universal // Royal Pacific & Sea World | OCTOBER 2007 (Disneymoon!) // Port Orleans French Quarter & Universal Studios // Royal Pacific | DECEMBER 2009 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/ TR | JULY/AUGUST 2010 // Wyndham Cypress Palms TR | NOVEMBER 2011 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/TR | MAY 2012 // Disneyland // Wyndham Dolphin's Cove TR | AUGUST 2012 // Disneyland 5 Year Anniversary Trip // Peacock Suites TR | OCTOBER 2012 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/TR | OCTOBER 2013 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek & Universal // Royal Pacific PTR/TR | MAY 2014 // Wilderness Lodge TR | SEPTEMBER 2014 // ABD DIS Exclusive Viva Italia & Disneyland Paris Show No Fear! DIS Exclusive Viva Italia + DLP Sept 2014 | MARCH 2015 // Disneyland // Wyndham Dolphin's Cove | OCTOBER 2015 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek & Universal | FEBRUARY 2016 // ??
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:12 AM   #6
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Loving your report so far!
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07/87 DLR***05/98 All-Star Music***01/04 Polynesian/4-night Wonder***02/05 7-night Magic Eastern***
09/07 Beach Club***10/08 7-night Magic Special Western (double-dipping at Castaway Cay!!!)
***12/09 Pop Century***08/13 7 night Fantasy Western

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Old 12-20-2009, 10:23 AM   #7
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Loving your report so far!
Thank you! I'm glad someone besides me and DH are reading it!!
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JULY 1994 // Offsite & Universal Studios & Busch Gardens | APRIL 1998 // All Star Music & Universal Studios |FEBRUARY 2001 // All Star Music & Universal | MARCH 2003 // All Star Music & Universal // Hard Rock Hotel | FEBRUARY 2004 // All Star Music & Universal // Royal Pacific & Sea World | OCTOBER 2007 (Disneymoon!) // Port Orleans French Quarter & Universal Studios // Royal Pacific | DECEMBER 2009 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/ TR | JULY/AUGUST 2010 // Wyndham Cypress Palms TR | NOVEMBER 2011 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/TR | MAY 2012 // Disneyland // Wyndham Dolphin's Cove TR | AUGUST 2012 // Disneyland 5 Year Anniversary Trip // Peacock Suites TR | OCTOBER 2012 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/TR | OCTOBER 2013 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek & Universal // Royal Pacific PTR/TR | MAY 2014 // Wilderness Lodge TR | SEPTEMBER 2014 // ABD DIS Exclusive Viva Italia & Disneyland Paris Show No Fear! DIS Exclusive Viva Italia + DLP Sept 2014 | MARCH 2015 // Disneyland // Wyndham Dolphin's Cove | OCTOBER 2015 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek & Universal | FEBRUARY 2016 // ??
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:46 AM   #8
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I'm reading. Jealous that you got to go during the holiday season. I think I have finally convinced the family to go in 2010.
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:06 AM   #9
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I'm reading. Jealous that you got to go during the holiday season. I think I have finally convinced the family to go in 2010.
Thanks for commenting! This was our first experience going during the holidays, and we all really enjoyed every minute of it! I hope you are able to go this year, it's a really magical experience.
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JULY 1994 // Offsite & Universal Studios & Busch Gardens | APRIL 1998 // All Star Music & Universal Studios |FEBRUARY 2001 // All Star Music & Universal | MARCH 2003 // All Star Music & Universal // Hard Rock Hotel | FEBRUARY 2004 // All Star Music & Universal // Royal Pacific & Sea World | OCTOBER 2007 (Disneymoon!) // Port Orleans French Quarter & Universal Studios // Royal Pacific | DECEMBER 2009 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/ TR | JULY/AUGUST 2010 // Wyndham Cypress Palms TR | NOVEMBER 2011 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/TR | MAY 2012 // Disneyland // Wyndham Dolphin's Cove TR | AUGUST 2012 // Disneyland 5 Year Anniversary Trip // Peacock Suites TR | OCTOBER 2012 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/TR | OCTOBER 2013 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek & Universal // Royal Pacific PTR/TR | MAY 2014 // Wilderness Lodge TR | SEPTEMBER 2014 // ABD DIS Exclusive Viva Italia & Disneyland Paris Show No Fear! DIS Exclusive Viva Italia + DLP Sept 2014 | MARCH 2015 // Disneyland // Wyndham Dolphin's Cove | OCTOBER 2015 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek & Universal | FEBRUARY 2016 // ??
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:39 AM   #10
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Wow the room you stayed in looked so awesome! It almost makes me want to stay offsite!
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:36 PM   #11
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Wow the room you stayed in looked so awesome! It almost makes me want to stay offsite!
I was nervous to stay offsite, but it was actually great. The resort is within 10 minutes drive of each park so getting around wasn't a problem at all with our rental van. It was nice not having to wait on bus transportation. I missed having the access to EMH, but honestly, we went from morning to night every day, I doubt we could have handled extra hours on top of that! I would do it again in a heartbeat. It worked out even better than I could have hoped!
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:52 PM   #12
skier_pete
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Wow! What a great looking room/suite...it almost would tempt me to stay off site! (Almost!) I would definitely do that if we had a multi-room group. But I so love being able to use Disney transport.

We checked out Comtemp and WL as well. I just loved that "Monorail" Tree in the gift shop. We were very tempted to buy a monorail to go around our christmas tree, but didn't.

Looking forward to the rest of your TR....mine will be started in the next few days!

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Old 12-21-2009, 11:21 PM   #13
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Hey! I just noticed the link in your signature so I had to come over and take a look. Love the pictures of WL lobby. We never actually made it over there, so it was nice to see the decorations here in your TR. Your resort looks awesome (even if it IS off property, haha).
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:06 AM   #14
khertz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_pete View Post
Wow! What a great looking room/suite...it almost would tempt me to stay off site! (Almost!) I would definitely do that if we had a multi-room group. But I so love being able to use Disney transport.

We checked out Comtemp and WL as well. I just loved that "Monorail" Tree in the gift shop. We were very tempted to buy a monorail to go around our christmas tree, but didn't.

Looking forward to the rest of your TR....mine will be started in the next few days!

SkierPete
To be honest, I thought I would miss using Disney transport so much, but I actually found I'd rather do without it!! Of course with adults, walking back to the car isn't as big of a deal as when you have little ones, so that is still something to think about. But I liked being able to get up and get moving in the morning and not have to worry about waiting for the next bus to show. Same as at night. But of course, if you don't want to drive around Disney, staying onsite is the way to go. The shuttles from Bonnet Creek were decent and bigger than I expected, but if you couldn't fit on the bus because there were too many people, you had to wait until the next scheduled bus which could be up to two hours later. Didn't like that idea!!

I'm looking forward to your TR as well!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlohaPolynesian View Post
Hey! I just noticed the link in your signature so I had to come over and take a look. Love the pictures of WL lobby. We never actually made it over there, so it was nice to see the decorations here in your TR. Your resort looks awesome (even if it IS off property, haha).
Welcome!

Hahaha The only reason we decided to stay offsite was because it was FREE! But it actually worked out really well for us.

The WL and the GF were the two resorts on my must-see list, and I wasn't at all disappointed! The WL was actually a really great lobby to just sit and relax in. Glad you enjoyed the pics! I just wish they hadn't come out so dark. I promise, not all of our pictures came out that dark!
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:08 PM   #15
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DAY 2: Epcot Rope Drop

DAY 2: Saturday December 5th

The next morning, we were all up bright and early for our first park day!! While we were getting ready, my dad set up the tripod on the balcony to get some pictures of our amazing view in the daytime, where we could really pick out more details.


The view all the way to the right of one of the Epcot resorts (Beach/Yacht Club maybe?) and Spaceship Earth.


Spaceship Earth to the right and the Land building to the left


World Showcase buildings


The Swan & Dolphin


Hollywood Studios! Tower of Terror, the top of the Sorcerer Hat, and the Mickey water tower


Zoomed in on Tower of Terror where you can see the top of Expedition Everest


Zoomed in on the Hat & Water Tower, with the top of the Great Movie Ride

And a couple more of the Bonnet Creek Resort...


The pool that we never visited


The main building

It was already drizzling and a little cool, but not too bad. We piled into the van and arrived at Epcot for around 8:30. It was our first experience with the AAA Diamond Parking, and it was great! Just a short walk and we were at the turnstiles waiting to be let into Epcot!







I love the Christmas topiaries!! It was the first Christmasy thing we came across, and I immediately knew that it was going to be a great trip!!

The turnstiles finally opened and we rushed in. Stitch and Daisy Duck were out, so we hopped in line to meet Stitch, who I just


DH had left the camera on a timer, so this picture came out terrible but oh well. lol


My mom was the only other person who wanted a pic with Stitch.

We decided to skip Daisy because she had formed a bit of a line, and we were ready to get to our first ride! However, we didn't realize that just getting through the turnstiles didn't mean it was time to ride, and that there was still a Rope Drop ceremony to be done! I got a little impatient waiting there because I couldn't see anything anyway, and I was just so antsy to get my butt in a seat on a ride. My dad distracted me by taking some pictures of everyone.




Kathy & Jamie


Mom & Dad


All of the people waiting for Rope Drop!

Finally, the characters started coming out for the Rope Drop ceremony! I still couldn't see anything, and could only hear some music. And DH couldn't tell me what was going on because he was too busy trying to get crazy paparazzi-through-the-bushes pictures of Donald like this one:



Little did we know, we'd be seeing a LOT more of Donald over the coming days! But finally, the rope drop and we started moving in a huge herd over to the Land for our first ride of the day...





A TON of people went straight for FastPasses, but we figured if we decided we wanted to ride again, we could grab some on the way out. So we headed straight into line. We had about a 15 minute or so wait, which was great considering the volume of people we had just been following!

I enjoy this ride, but I'm not a diehard over it like some people. Our parents agreed, so we decided we didn't need FPs for it. Besides, Epcot has SO much more to do, and we weren't sure if we'd be able to make it back to Epcot that week. Next stop was Mission:SPACE with a 5 minute wait! On our way over there, we grabbed some FPs for Test Track for later, then hopped in line. My parents opted for Team Green, which DH's parents were considering, but we convinced them to go for Team Orange!



Kathy grabbed barf bags for her and James, but I kept telling her it really wouldn't be that bad if they just listened to the instructions and faced forward with her head back. As worried as she was, they both really liked it, and no one needed to use the barf bag! Gary Sinise guided us safely to Mars, and we were able to continue on our day to Epcot unharmed.

Despite being on two different spacecrafts, we all made it back to Earth about the same time, so we met up outside to decide what to do next. My mom really wanted to do Ellen's Energy Adventure, but I was wary to do it so early in the morning because it's such a long attraction, and there were other things I felt like we could be doing before it got too crowded. But she really REALLY wanted to ride, so the four parents decided to go learn about energy with Ellen, and DH and I had about 45 minutes before we were going to call each other to meet somewhere.

Hmmm...what to do?

Continued in next post...
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