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Old 12-06-2010, 02:19 PM   #1
dawnmichele
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Post "I'll trip a baby..." Nov/Dec '10 Trip Report

Part 1 - Are We There Yet?

In a way, this trip started in 2002 when my brother first asked me to go to Disney World with him. I had been twice in 1996 and 1997 with my young daughter and her dad. He had been several times and had already started talking to people about joining the Disney Vacation Club. We figured it would be a blast to go together. Years passed, other trips came and went, and finally in 2009 we started thinking an after Thanksgiving trip in 2010 might be just the time for us.

And it was! We just got back from a 6 day, 7 night trip to Disney World. We stayed in a one bedroom villa at the Bay Lake Tower. And by we I mean: Me, Shelly. 44, stay at home mom to Hannah, 17. With first trip at 3 and this trip at almost 18, this trip made bookends on the DD’s childhood. It was also our Christmas present to ourselves.

Hosting the trip was my baby brother Brian, 33, Disney Vacation Club member and general Disney super fan. He brought along his woman Karen, professional photographer and all round fun gal. You can check out our pre-trip report here.

We were meant to wake up at 4am on Sunday, but I woke up at 3 so excited I couldn’t sleep. I took my time with the last minute packing and chores and just let myself enjoy the excitement. DD woke up, did her last minutes and we all had breakfast before it was time for her dad to drive us to the airport, an hour’s ride away. It was the Sunday after Thanksgiving and I thought the airport might be crazy, so we got there plenty early. Turns out it wasn’t bad at all, and for all I’d worried about heightened security it turned out to be a breeze. We waited in the terminal and watched the sun rise. Time passed quickly and before we knew it we were on a plane to Chicago. A couple hours later we were finally headed in the right direction - south to Orlando! (And somehow on our second flight we were upgraded to United Elite with lots of extra seat and leg room. Nice bonus.)

My brother and Karen got to the Orlando airport about an hour before we did and were there to meet us. We made our way to the Disney Magical Express area where there was no line and a bus waiting.



We climbed aboard, but had to sit separate since the bus was full. DD and I were at the back of the bus with some kids who were even more tried of traveling than we were, so we didn’t hear much of the movie. It was bumpy and jerky and I was starting to feel bus sick so I was beyond excited and relieved when we reached the Contemporary.

The computers were down when we got there, so Brian waited to check in while Karen, Hannah and I went up to the main level at the Contemporary. Hannah and I were beyond ready for some lunch so we bought some food out of pocket at the Contempo Cafe. H had the burger and a Monster and I had a salad.

My brother showed up after a bit with a bunch of papers and room keys, but our room wasn’t ready yet. They said they’d text him when the room was ready. After we ate we decided just to walk over to Bay Lake while we waited. The text came and we headed straight to our room on the 3rd floor.



Our room was fantastic. Floor to ceiling windows with views of the Magic Kingdom (Space Mountain and the Castle) and Bay Lake. A sleeper couch for me and chair for Hannah to sleep on, a dining room table and a very nice, well equiped kitchen for eating in the room.





We unpacked our stuff and were ready to head to the park! Brian and Karen weren’t quite ready so they told us to go on ahead and they’d meet us for dinner. We took the walkway to the Magic Kingdom, had our bag checked, learned the routine of insert card, place finger, green light, through the turn style. We headed to Main Street.

Part 2 coming right up!
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:30 PM   #2
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Wow, I'm the first person to reply.

Looks like you guys got off to a great start! Bay Lake Towers look sooo nice. I would love to stay there one day. Looking forward to hearing more.
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:30 PM   #3
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This sounds awesome! I can't wait to read more! Did you find the 5 legged goat in the mural at the contemporary?
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:33 PM   #4
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This sounds awesome! I can't wait to read more! Did you find the 5 legged goat in the mural at the contemporary?
No I did not! I didn't even know to look for it.
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:45 PM   #5
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No I did not! I didn't even know to look for it.
I should have told you!!!!
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Old 12-06-2010, 04:49 PM   #6
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Post Part 2 - A Royal Evening

Main Street was full of a parade, something about pumping up a party now I think. We made our way along the left side past the parade and into Adventure Land. We only had enough time for one ride and Hannah had chosen The Pirates of the Caribbean. There was barely a line, maybe a 10 minute wait. It was somehow much better than I remember it, perhaps because of the renovation. We both enjoyed it; Hannah especially liked the little drop in the dark and the spooky bits just after the Davey Jones curtain of mist.

We headed back to the Castle just in time to catch the show before they lit it up. Fantastically beautiful,



but the crowds made it nearly impossible to make it to the entrance for our dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table. We made it though, and soon Brian and Karen were there as well.





We checked in a little early, waited just few minutes to be called for our picture with Cinderella,





and just a little after that we were called up to the dining room.





Dinner was very good, and meeting the Princesses was way more fun than it should be!









By the time we were done eating and meeting princesses , the Magic Kingdom was closed to the public and in the middle of their Christmas party. We were escorted out by a friendly cast member, and hoped on a monorail headed for Epcot (well, to the TTC for a switch to the monorail to Epcot).

We rode Spaceship Earth, which I love and Hannah liked. Next we headed for Mission Space. Hannah was excited to try it. I read all the warnings and thought I’d be fine but ended up feeling super vomitous for about an hour afterwards. Silly me. They were closing up by the time we finished that ride so we went back to our room and crashed out.

Coming up, Animal Kingdom and Epcot's World Showcase.

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Old 12-06-2010, 04:51 PM   #7
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Talking

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I should have told you!!!!
Yes you should have . But it's ok, now I have another reason to need to go back!
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:17 PM   #8
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Post Part 3 - Simba and Shere Khan and Baloo

Before I fell asleep on Sunday night, I requested a wake up call from Mickey and Stitch at 7am. Since we’d never visited the Animal Kingdom, and since they were having the extra early hour on Monday, we had decided we wanted to start there. We ate bagels and cereal in the room for breakfast and headed out to the bus station to catch our ride.







It was pretty empty which I appreciated. After being reminded by Mickey, Minnie and Pluto of what we needed for our day (sunscreen, a map and a camera), they instructed us to Let the Adventure Begin and opened the park. H and I headed straight for the Kilimanjaro Safari. I was amazed at how the whole place looked. The theming was fantastic. The Safari was having technical difficulties, they were suggesting we get fast passes and come back.

Since the Pangani Forest Trail is just next door, we decided to wander through it. We saw meercats, vultures, and majestic amazing gorillas (one about 9 months old).







When we were done, Hannah was feeling low (she has Type 1 diabetes and epilepsy, which figure into the trip later) so we looked around for a snack. She had an apple which tuned out to be a poor choice since the sugar in fruit doesn’t last too long, but she ate it and it was just about time to use our fast passes for the Safari.

The line was so short we really didn’t need to use the passes but we did. I was super excited and hoped we’d see some elephants. I’ve read many times that early in the morning is a great time to see the animals and I was hoping. We did see quite a few: rhinos, giraffes (one a baby), wildabeasts, hippos, one elephant, a sleeping lion and sleeping giraffes.











When we got off the ride I got a call from my brother. He and Karen were at the Maharaja Jungle Trek so we headed that way. We ran in to Baloo and King Louie who I love on the bridge between Africa and Asia. I had to get my picture taken with them.





As we headed into Asia I was even more amazed and in love with the way things looked. Brian and Karen met us by the entrance to the Jungle Trek. The broken down palace and theming throughout the trek was truly wonderful. We saw big bats.



We saw one sleeping tiger, but another was up and half heartedly stalking a big vulture.





I seriously dug the bird area. It was super noisy in there and at first we thought it was noisy birds, but soon realized it was the monkeys just outside making quite the wild ruckus. I don’t know what was up, but something was and it was loud.





We headed towards Everest. Hannah couldn’t wait to ride it.







I would have ridden Expedition Everest, but I saw this sign and figured I shouldn’t. We let Karen and Hannah ride the coaster while Brian and I went to get Fast Passes for Dinosaur. We went back to pick up the Princesses who both thoroughly enjoyed the ride.

When we got back to Dinosaur, they were having technical difficulties. We headed off to see if the Flametree BBQ was open yet, and stopped on the way to see Pooh, Eeyore and Tigger. About this point, Hannah started thinking her blood sugar was low and we realized none of us had any sugar on us. We finished up with the photos and checked in with the Flametree. They didn’t open till 11, so I sat H on a bench and went to a nearby stand to get her a Sprite. She looked better almost instantly and it was just a little wait till the restaurant opened. We all felt better after some food.

After lunch we headed back to Dinosaur again, and this time it was working. We loved this ride. I enjoyed the bumpy twisty ride. I was afraid of the scary dinosaurs, and Hannah was scared by all the meteors crashing by.



We spent some time wandering around the Tree of Life.



We went to Camp Minnie Mickey to see the Festival of the Lion King. I expected the stage to be much bigger but very much enjoyed the intimate in the round experience. Loved the acrobats and dancers, I think my favorite was the woman on the long rope. I also had fun watching Simba and his reaction to the show. We sat in the lion section.

Afterwards we checked on which characters were hanging out and I was thrilled to find Thumper! We listened to Singing Dan sing funny song about the kids standing around while we waited in line. I know it’s silly but I was thrilled to meet Thumper - one of my trip hilights!





After that, we headed out of the Animal Kingdom and headed for Epcot.
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:58 PM   #9
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Wow you got some great pictures!!!
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:29 PM   #10
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Wow you got some great pictures!!!
Thank you! If you'd like to see even more, I've posted them in a set on my Flickr account.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:14 PM   #11
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The trip report is pretty good so far! The only thing missing is more talk about how awesome I am!
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:43 AM   #12
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The trip report is pretty good so far! The only thing missing is more talk about how awesome I am!
OMG! How could I have forgotten to post more about how awesome you are! I will be sure to mention it much more in the future. You are way awesome to put this awesome trip together. So Much Fun!
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:00 PM   #13
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Post Part 5 - The Magic

On day two we weren’t so worried about getting there for rope drop, so after the wake up call from Mickey and Stitch, we took our time getting ready and having breakfast in the room before heading down the walkway to the Magic Kingdom. When we made it to the end of Main Street we sat down at a table and took a look at the map on my iPhone. I downloaded WDW Maps several weeks before we left. It’s a free download that has maps of all the parks, descriptions of all the restaurants and attractions, and wait times! In the reviews at the app store some people say the wait times are off, but they were spot on for us the whole time we were there. I highly recommend that app.

Hannah chose Adventure Land and we were off.


Hannah at Adventure Land, age 4.


In the same spot at 17 (what happened to the sign?)

First up, the Jungle Cruise. I love it but I thought Hannah might not like how cheezy it is. Turns out that was our favorite part. She loved our guide. He was pretty funny. I’d tell you our favorite joke he told, but I wouldn’t want to spoil it if you end up on his cruise.

When we got off it was just about time for the next show at the Tiki Room. We decided to see it. I’d say it was a big mistake but thankfully it was so short it was just a few minute mistake. I bet it was better before it came under “new management”. We were dissapointed we didn’t get to hear the Tiki Room song we had loved from an old cd and didn’t really enjoy it at all. Oh well.

So we were off for another ride with the pirates. The second time was just as fun as the first. We headed for Big Thunder Rail Road next. It, like all the rides before it, had practically no line. All day we encountered rides with ten minute wait times, or more often the wait time was just the time it took to walk through the empty waiting area. It seriously rocked. I can’t imagine being there when all that space was filled with bored, waiting guests. Anyway, we rode BTRR and I Loved it. It was my favorite kind of roller coaster, with lots of fast twists and turns and no big drops. Sadly it was the only time we rode it. Another reason to need to go back.

We were anxious to get to Fantasy Land so we kind of breezed through Liberty Square, which is how we managed to not visit the Haunted Mansion and not even realize it till later. We jumped aboard the Snow White ride before picking up Fast Passes to Peter Pan, because even on a low wait time day like that one, the wait for Peter Pan was crazy. We stood outsdie the doors to Mickey’s Philharmagic for what seemed like forever but might have been 5 or 10 minutes. We both enjoyed that 3d movie a lot, it had a lot of our favorite songs. After that we walked right on to It’s a Small World which sparked some memories in Hannah. It’s kind of long, but iresistably likable.

Next up, The Mad Tea Party Tea Cups! Hannah wanted to spin really fast, so the spin control was her job and mine was to work the camera.





We were both thinking about lunch then, so we consulted our phone map again and decided on Cosmic Ray’s. H ordered from Bay 1 and I ordered from Bay 3. Hannah chose a table down front, by the alien guy doing a show. As H was getting condiments I got a call from my totally awesome brother Brian asking where we were. He and Karen must have been close because they asked where we were sitting and in a few minutes they were there with us.

I don’t remember why, but we decided to go our separate ways after lunch. H and I headed for Tomorrow Land. We stood in a very short line for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. It took Hannah a minute to figure out what she was aiming for, so I kind of smoked her. My score was 97,900. She doesn’t want me to tell her score.



As we were coming off that ride, we ran into (the awesome) Brian and Karen coming off Space Mountain. Brian asked us to come see the Carousel of Progress, but we were too anxious about getting onto Space Mountain. In retrospect I wish we had gone with him, Space Mountain would have still been there. We went our separate ways again.

Space Mountain was just as good as I remembered. Maybe better. Something about the darkness surrounding you and the openness of the car make it seem so thrilling! Loved it.



On our way back to use our FPs for Peter Pan, we ran into (the awesome) Brian and Karen again, having their photo taken with Pooh and Tigger.



I stopped to try to pull the sword out of the stone, because I would very much like to be the rightwise born King of all England. I got it to budge just the tiniest bit, but apparently I am not the chosen one.



Even with the FP, there was a bit of a wait for PP. The ride was fun and Hannah totally remembered it from her preschool years so it was definitely worth it. Next we walked over to the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and found out the machines for FPs were over by the Philharmagic. We were even further surprised to receive surprise bonus FPs for the Philharmagic.!

Hannah wanted to ride the carousel and since there was a zero wait time we walked right on, and climbed on two horses right next to each other.





We checked out the murals on the walls blocking off the Fantasy Land construction. We can’t wait to see the Ariel attraction.



At this point some caffeine was sounding like a great idea. We got a soda from a cart and sat outside of Cosmic Ray’s scheming up what to do next. We realized it was time to go use our FPs for Pooh. We both liked it a lot and when we got off a man with a computer tablet asked us if we’d answer some questions about the ride. We gave it high marks, especially for the nostalgia factor. I loved the pages from the books on the walls around and it was great to remember all the stories we had both heard over and over in our childhood.

Back in Tomorrow Land, I rode the People Mover (much more lame than when it was the Tomorrow Land Transportation) while Hannah rode the Astro Orbiter. After we met back up we waited to be let in to the Monster’s Inc Laughing Floor. The show was kind of funny, but the part we’ll always remember was when the camera flashed on a lady in the audience, and she flipped the bird to the whole crowd! At Disney World! Needless to say they took the camera off her rather quickly. H and I were both surprised she didn’t get kicked out. Crazy.

After that we found ourselves back around to Main Street and decided to hop on over to the Hollywood Studios. We ran into a parade again on the way out and stopped to watch.







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Old 12-08-2010, 12:04 PM   #14
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Gorgeous picture of the castle.

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Awww what a sweet baby. I love Gorillas.

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Cute picture. Glad to hear Hannah was ok and her blood sugar didn't get down too low. Coming from a family of Diabetics I know what a pain it can be.

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When we got back to Dinosaur, they were having technical difficulties.
You guys seemed to be having bad ride mojo. First the Safari, then dinosaur. Animal Kingdom must have been having an off day.


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We spent some time wandering around the Tree of Life.

Great shot of the detail in the Tree.

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Yea for meeting Thumper, here's one of my favorites too. I don't think I've never met him! Also Love the Tiara. Too Cute.

Great TR so far Dawn.
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:01 PM   #15
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This was a GREAT trip - you are doing an awesome job with the report!
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