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Old 04-22-2012, 02:38 AM   #1
theunrealcity
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"There's a great big beautiful tomorrow!" March 2012 Trip Report

Hi everyone,

My name is Liz. I am pretty new to the disboards but I am a Disney veteran! I grew up in Florida and have been going to Disney since 1988!

This time around, though, it was different. I brought along my boyfriend Adam. It was his first time meeting my family and his first time officially in America!

I've started and finished this trip report today!! Hope you'll come along for the ride.

Table of Contents

Introductions

Day 1:
Magic Kingdom, part 1- Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, beginnings of Adventureland
Magic Kingdom, part 2 - Adventureland, Main Street USA, Seven Seas Lagoon boat trip
Magic Kingdom, part 3 - Fireworks

Day 2: Disney's Hollywood Studios
Day 3: Epcot
Day 4: The Boardwalk Inn and Downtown Disney

Thanks for reading! XD
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:51 AM   #2
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:13 AM   #3
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Thank you!! XD

I am writing my TR right now but as I'm a noob I can't post pics yet. Off to get more involved!!
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:32 AM   #4
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Introductions

In total, Adam and I spent 13 full days in Florida visiting my family, and 4 days in Orlando. I had been job hunting for three months prior to this trip after leaving my job at the end of 2011. The day before we went to Disney, I got a job offer. This drastically changed this portion of our vacation, as I felt free to spend!, spend!, spend! without guilt.

This was a family affair, in staggering amounts! The first day consisted of me, my boyfriend Adam, and my parents.

Me (Liz!)
me and Adam

I'm a 26 year old Floridian currently living in London. I moved to the UK in 2009 to complete a master's degree at the University of Glasgow and following that moved to London in 2010, where I found gainful employment. That's where I met Adam (on my birthday/2nd day on the job). We became a couple in February 2011 and moved in together in July 2011 (I know, I know). After a year of being together (and me being homesick) it was time for Adam to come to Florida and meet my family. I took a trip home in May 2011 and had such a great time at Disney on that vacation, I couldn't wait to bring Adam too. I've been going to Disney since Spring Break 1988 (when I was 2!!) and have made countless happy memories at the parks.

Adam
My boyfriend Adam is 33 and originally from Edinburgh, Scotland. He's been to Disneyland Paris once, in 2008, and I think he enjoyed it. He's never properly been to America and had never been to Florida. He loooooves video games, cool music, good films, and he has an awesome beard. XD He's not as head over heels about Disney as me but he enjoyed this trip a lot and is on board for another one next year! He really enjoyed the Carousel of Progress and continued singing 'There's a great big beautiful tomorrow...' ALL trip so I had to name this TR after that!

My parents: Catherine and Michael

me and Pops
my "wee totey Mummy" (tiny Mom!)

My parents are also from Scotland (in fact, in my family only my brother and I were born in the US). My mom loves planning trips and is the QUEEN of organization (I get this from her). She loves looking forward to trips and I think she also really loves Disney! Her favorite ride is Big Thunder Mountain (though she doesn't like 'scary' rides)!

My dad (or "Pops" as we call him) has a good time at Disney too and since my nephew came along 6 years ago, he's probably seen more Disney movies than all of us combined! He loves Scottish football, is really funny, and still has a Scottish accent despite living in America for 30 years!

Christopher, Shannon, and AJ
you'll see the most of AJ:

My brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. They only joined us on this trip for about a day and a half due to my brother's work schedule and AJ's boredom in World Showcase (I'll change this as he gets older!). AJ (Alexander John) is 6 and in kindergarten. Shannon is a SAHM and my brother manages a clothing store. Like Adam, he looooves video games.

Mamie

my dad, my mom, and Mamie (all looking surprisingly happy considering this was taken at the airport right before we went back to the UK!)

My aunt Mary, who's never been called Aunt Mary, always Mamie! She had knee surgery a couple years ago but doesn't let it stop her from enjoying the parks. She whizzes ahead of all of us in her SupaScoota. She joined us for two days on this trip. I'm not sure who her favorite character or movie is though! I think she has fun at the parks but isn't a Disney nerd like some of us!


Onward to Day 1, The Magic Kingdom!!
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:33 AM   #5
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Magic Kingdom, part 1- Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, beginnings of Adventureland

Day 1: The Magic Kingdom, part 1

We all got up early(ish) and drove from the Tampa area straight to Magic Kingdom. Some people were sleepy before we even got there:



He woke up in enough time to see this:



and then!!



As we approached the gate I joked that the CM would wish us a magical day. THEN HE DID. I didn't know they *really* did that but I had a total moment afterwards, I threw my hands in the air in excitement!! What a way to kick off a trip to Disney!!

After parking and getting my Wild for 3 pass (my parents have APs and they'd picked up Adam's ticket for him) it was lunchtime so off we went to one of my fave places, Tomorrowland Terrace (though I'm starting to wonder if this is what it's actually called??). Adam had his first Disney meal and I stuffed myself (despite not being very hungry) on a kid's meal with yogurt and applesauce sides! I think that'll be my new first-meal option cause it's not so heavy as fries.

We then spent a long time in Tomorrowland, starting off with one of my all time favorites, the People Mover.


His first WDW ride!

Then we went into the now-infamous Carousel of Progress. I really like this now, that I'm older and able to appreciate the set designs (with a history/American Studies degree under my belt!). I also really like the song, the message, and the general happy feeling you get once you've seen it. Adam didn't make a fuss or starting singing right away, but that night back at the villa he couldn't stop! It was adorable.

We then saw a very funny rendition of Monsters Inc Laugh Floor, I then beat Adam at Buzz Lightyear, got one of these:


Then we headed to the happiest cruise that ever sailed!




where we admired Scotland's cliched image (eh, they're not far off, there are a lot of sheep in Scotland)


A man! Smiling! on it's a small world! Miraculous!


The lines for other rides were too long so we moved on to Adventureland. We stopped in the Kitchen Shop and I could have bought *everything*!!! On my trip last year I went to town on kitchen-related items and this trip was no different, I'm afraid. In this shop, I bought a Mickey cookie cutter/egg fryer thingy and white glove oven mitt. Adam bought a big plastic glass with colorful Mickey heads around it for when he has soda and beer!! (that's my man!) It was my favorite shop for sure and it was interesting personally, cause I never would have cared about going into a shop like that when I was a teen or even a couple years ago! Interesting how your tastes change...

Adam spotted a Kodak Moment. He jokes about the phrase 'it's good to have land' which is a Family Guy quote, and he saw this spot and had to get a quintessentially American picture!


Part 2 on its way!
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:50 AM   #6
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Magic Kingdom, part 2 - Adventureland, Main Street USA, Seven Seas Lagoon boat trip

After Adam's Kodak Moment, we decided to take the River Cruise. I haven't done this in a long time but it was nice, lazy way to pass the time and see some sights.


parentals and boyfriend


the work being done on BTM!!

I like this picture cause you can see the Castle XD


Then, because of lurkyloo's blog TRs, I thought we had to see Country Bear Jamboree. I'd not seen it since I was a kid (when it was actually a favorite of mine). It was also getting really hot out and we were all wilting at this point (about 6 o'clock, 6:30, possibly even 7?)


so weird as an adult

Back down Main Street USA for more shopping. I can't pass up stationery!!


He doesn't look very happy but he was smiling off camera (Minnie is now a Bull! USF Bull that is)



We never really come up here at the train station so again it was cool to do something different.



Fireworks!


Happy nerds!


Pops never seems to know when a camera is actually taking a picture.

We took the boat back to the parking lot and it might have been on this that I hatched the plan to return next year for an anniversary trip for me and Adam.


GF




sleepy dude


Monorail, train station, Castle. Can't beat it


Next year???

Part THREE is upcoming!
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:16 AM   #7
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As we were all knackered after our MK day we decided to go check into our hotel before coming back for POTC and fireworks. As this was happening I was getting anxious that we'd run out of time, and if MK hadn't been open til 11 pm, we probably would have.

We stayed at a place we've stayed many times before, Caribe Cove (off 192). It's an excellent place for a bunch of people (there was 8 of us when we were all there). The bedrooms, bathrooms, everything is huge. But we should have planned it better so as to not rush to the hotel, wash our face and rush back. Anyway, we did it.

Back for round two: When did the trams get doors?



The happiest dude in the World!


Soon, my pretty!


We rushed over to POTC through lottttsss of crowds. It's still one of my faves even with the addition of Captain Jack. Don't really care or see the point of Johnny Depp popping up a few times. It cheapened the ride IMHO. It was Adam's first time on it though so sadly he won't know the difference!

After POTC I got my very first Dole Whip and we found a spot near the side entrance of Crystal Palace to watch the fireworks. The Dole Whip was nice but I think I'll try a different flavor combination next time (bit too much pineapple though I love pineapple juice).









Goodbye, Magic Kingdom!


Hello, King Sized Bed!
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:15 AM   #8
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Day 2: DHS



We spent our second day in DHS, just the 4 of us again. Adam has been to Walt Disney Studios in Paris so it was interesting to hear about the similarities and differences.



We headed straight for the Great Movie Ride. You know how you line up in the 'movie theatre' and watch the big screen? Well, Adam thought this was the actual ride. Aww, bless. On today's ride, the bad guy was the cowboy.



Although the theme of our trip was starting to feel like Classic Disney (doing old rides we'd not done in years) we tried something for the first time! After (again) reading lurkyloo's blog, I knew we had to try the Animation Class. My dad is pretty much an artist and I thought it'd be fun for the whole family, and it was!! We drew Pluto and I was totally into it. Everyone says mine turned out the best and it kind of did LOL. But everyone's was good and you knew at a glance who we drew! Adam really enjoyed it and continues to draw Pluto even now! He was in a management training course recently and after telling people about this animation class, he went up to the white board and drew Pluto!! I could not be happier!!

After that super fun time, it was about lunchtime (we are not rope drop people btw, we are cruise-in-about-10 people, even if it makes me twitch a little!). I really wanted to do table service as it's something we never ever do. There's always kids involved in our trips, either with my nephew or when me and my brother were kids, so I seized the opportunity to have a sit down meal. We walked into the Sci Fi Dine In Theatre about 12:45 and were seated in minutes!! With no reservation! I was sure we were going to be turned away but I was so pleased when they said 10-15 minutes! We had a regular table, not a booth, which I think I prefer after reading about booth experiences. Adam and my dad were entranced by the giant screen, my mom loved the cherry coke, and I had a milkshake!! There was more food than I knew what to do with and it was all really good! I know people review that place and poo-poo it but the food was tasty and everybody enjoyed themselves. I absolutely loved the Hollywood Hills atmosphere around the edges. Soo beautiful.

This is oddly the only picture I have from the restaurant


We waddled out of lunch and went straight to another one of my faves, Muppet Vision 3D. Then on to the Studio Backlot Tour. I was seated on the end on the Catastrophe Canyon side (For the first time!!) which was good for picture taking but bad for staying dry.


Awaiting my impending doom...


...but not without a shot of the Flight of the Navigator ship!


The watertower that they don't shut up about.


Didn't try to take this but it turned out perfectly...


...unlike this one


Uh-oh...


AHHHHH

After drying off, we left my dad with a cup of tea and Adam, my mom, and I foolishly went to Star Tours. I have no idea why I went on this other than to be a good sport. I never liked it and this version we had was so bumpy and awful and made me nauseas. I was kinda shaking when we left. :/ I kept waiting for a big drop (which I HATE) and that feeling combined with the actual (awful) sensations I was feeling was just...ugghhhh. Right before it started I wondered aloud 'Why don't my feet touch the floor?' Then I knew - sheer cruelty.

Jittering back to Pops, we headed for the LMA show. I saw this for the first time last year and was in AWE. This time around was great too but knowing the tricks they used kind of ruined it and worrying about little Adam being scared of loud pops had me acting motherly towards him.


BUT the addition of Lightning McQueen was new and exciting XD

We finished off our attractions by seeing Indiana Jones, another one I hadn't seen in years. It was really exciting and really good to have a seat in the shade!

We headed back out and did a bit of shopping on Sunset Boulevard (more kitchen stuff for me!!). We left the park and met up with my sister in law, nephew, and aunt back at Caribe Cove.

Next up, my favorite park EVER: EPCOT!
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:26 AM   #9
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Epcot

Epcot has easily always been my favorite park. Figment was my favorite character as a kid, and even on my trip last year I got a Figment mug and plushie!! (eep!)

Today included my sister in law, nephew, and aunt in addition to my parents and Adam. My aunt has disabled parking, so as they all parked the car Adam and I raced in (sans bag, avoiding the ridiculously long bag check line) and powerwalked ourselves right onto Spaceship Earth. (I'd like to note that here, Adam was once again complimented on his Boston Red Sox hat. It was probably the 3rd or 4th time it'd happened. He's never been to Boston and doesn't know anything about baseball, he just needed a hat and we had a spare. It was nice for him to get some attention though!!)

We really enjoyed SE and by the time we were done, my family was in the park and waiting on us. I went into Guest Services and got Adam a surprise 'First Visit' pin. I was excited that ALL of this park was new to him, and nothing was similar or identical to what he'd seen in Paris. I think we managed to squeeze one picture out of the moment before the pin went on the communal backpack. (it now sits in our kitchen!)

Anyway, my nephew AJ likes Future World so we bummed around there awhile. I took Adam to Club Cool and tried to trick him with the Beverly soda. He didn't like it but he didn't have a huge EWW OMG reaction like I was hoping. We both really liked the Israeli Ginger Ale soda though.

We did The Land and maybe a couple other non-memorable stuff before my SIL and AJ left to go to MK (AJ doesn't like the World Showcase I guess) but we trekked on to my FAVORITE place in the World: The World Showcase.

We've always gone counter clockwise, starting in Mexico. We skipped the ride but got a blurry photo taken of us wearing sombreros. First visit and all that. Had a look around and then swiftly moved on to my favoritest ride (I have a lot of fave stuff don't I?) and country, Norway. I love everything about Norway: the ride, the movie (yeah! I said it!), the gift shop, the perfuuuumeeee. It's all perfect to me. I love Scandinavia and visited the actual country of Norway in 2010 where I visited a Viking church. Side by side comparison:



Cool huh??

I showed Adam where we'd be backing up on the boat ride (with a boat there) but when we were on it and were backing up he had a look of panic on his face. It was kind of sweet LOL. I am in love with the theming when you get off the boat and go into the theatre. It's so perfect and peaceful and accurate and what I always dreamt Scandinavia would look like (and it did). The movie wasn't running today and I actual went "Aaohhhhggghhh" making small children wonder what was going on. I was so bummed. I love that movie.

After the ride we ate lunch in Norway for the first time in a billion years. I had the Norwegian Club and a School Bread (and a box of milk lol I'm 26). It was all so delicious and I was in Norway and my family and Adam were there and I was just in heaven!!

My aunt and dad went ahead while we were ordering the food and found us a great table!


Such a gorgeous room!!


After a photo op we staggered on.


Through China




and on to Germany where Pops sat on a bench


Here I paid a lot of money for a milk chocolate salted caramel and made myself sick on how GOOD it was. I wasn't expecting much after the reviews I read but I LOVED it. I absolutely love salted caramel and made my family try it (everyone went from Eww to Oooh - I converted them!). I was disappointed by the lack of salt until at the end I realized the salt was all over the bottom of the paper cup. I'll remember this for next time. The salt itself was delicious though. It's good to note that Adam was in line in front of me and they somehow gave him my caramel and I waited and got another one (without knowing he had mine). After paying I realized what had happened and went right back to return the extra piece back (I wouldn't kept it but it was like $4 and too much candy). After a slightly terrible explanation on my part, the German boys took the piece back no problem and refunded me. Thanks Disney!!

The Flower and Garden Festival was happening so we kept seeing awesome topiaries around!





We carried on to another fave of mine, The American Adventure. We were there in time to watch Voices of Liberty which was beautiful! We watched the film and I teared up/sobbed as it's so over the top and so emotional and soo patriotic! Leave America for a few years and come back and watch that and you'll practically stand and salute it. Amazing!!

Woody and Buzz were waiting for us outside

I'd like to say that upon our return to London, Adam and I watched ALL 3 Toy Story movies in quick succession. He loved them but found TS3 to be depressing (who didn't though). Watching all three so fast was definitely his idea and he was sooo excited to watch them. As time goes on I think he is becoming a proper Disney nerd!!

Tomater and Lightning McQueen were outside Japan


Adam and I went into the Japan shop to browse and possibly find a mate for our rice bowl and spoon (which we use for teabags - sorry Japan!!) from my last trip but no dice.

As our travels continued, I took the free samples being handed out of those squeezy packs of applesauce. If they have them next time you go, take them!! They are delish and work well to cool you down as they are squeezy so you feel like it's a drink. Loved them!

The whole fam carried on to France where, on a whim, we decided to watch the film (again - something we haven't done in [as we say in the UK] donkeys years!) It was beautiful and peaceful. We usually bypass France but this time spent a little time and it was soo beautiful! The courtyard is just gorgeous isn't it? I wish we had more pictures Again, you couldn't keep me away from L’esprit de Provence and I spent a small fortune on herbs de Provence and an amazing but VERY strongly honey scented soap. Who cares!! I'm on vacation!!
Note: that soap is now home and wrapped in 5 Ziplock bags but you canstill smell it. Eeessh!

Earlier in the morning my mom had gotten a bunch of Fast Passes for Soarin so she, Adam, and I raced back and got there with 1 MINUTE to spare (dunno how strict they were being with using them after the hour at this point in time). We were in the front row which seems pretty coveted around these parts. I...don't know if I enjoyed it. Adam loved it, my mom loved it, I kept feeling like I was gonna fall. I love California but I dunno, I didn't love the ride. I'd like to try it again, knowing what I'm in for next time.

We had left my dad and my aunt in the UK pavilion and found them in the pub when we got back. We regrouped and got a table in the Lochside patio. Adam and my dad got fish and chips (MAN that batter is good...I might've stolen some from Adam). My mom was feeling a little bit queasy at this point but everyone urged us to continue on seeing stuff and they would hold the table. We set off towards Future World in search of Captain EO and Figment but it was just after 7pm - curses!!! So back to Spaceship Earth where we again guffawed with laughter at ourselves on the screen:




PARTY



Adam got to do his favorite thing:




We went into a couple shops after this but didn't really get anything. Time had got away from us and we needed to get back to the UK pavilion for the fireworkssssss. En route we stopped for a snack and I said what the hey and got the souvenir bucket of popcorn. It was like 2 dollars difference (and we've already used it at home - when watching Toy Story!!). Adam got a Coke Float (his new favorite American thing) and I asked for a root beer float. They had just run out of vanilla ice cream in the middle of making mine so they asked if I was ok with another flavor, so I totally got a vanilla and chocolate ice cream root beer float!!! Living the dream.

My mom was feeling a little better at this point but they hadn't moved from the table which was actually great cause we had a prime spot for the fireworks.

me, Mamie, and my mega awesome dual-flavor root beer float and souvenir popcorn bucket! It was World Showcase themed!! Could not be more perfect.



This is where this evening's photos end. After the fireworks, we went back to Caribe Cove and all conked out.



Adam's and my matching shirts watching the fireworks bid the Disney parks goodbye for this trip!!

Next up, the Boardwalk Inn and Downtown Disney!
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:56 AM   #10
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The Boardwalk Inn and Downtown Disney

On our last day in Orlando, I wanted to chill out and see some non-park excitement. My brother had arrived the previous evening so we'd have a full day with the WHOLE family!

Adam and I started our day really early with a dip in the pretty chilly hotel pool, the incredible warm bubbly hot tub, and then the sauna (cause I'd developed a cold and was trying to rid myself of it, unfortunately the steam room was out of order.

After shivering our way back to the condo, we made our way (the WHOLE family) to Boardwalk Inn. Before we went to Florida Adam said he wanted to see something really Americana, and as I was thinking about the Disney part of our trip, I knew the Boardwalk would be perfect. I also hadn't been in many years. Well I could pretty much LIVE at this resort.




Soaking up the Americana

We all took a boat ride around, just for the fun of it. Friendship 4 was our vessel:



Aj admired the water from the dock


Love this picture, Pops and Mamie look so happy!





omgomgomg


AJ makes the funniest faces


Had the front of the boat to ourselves!


I am suitable shadowed on the Boardwalk


ugh shut up, why are you so perfect

I tried organizing a viewing of a BWI room and the girl at the desk was extremely friendly and helpful but family communication broke down and instead of meeting in the lobby like we said we would, half the group went out to the cars and half went to the lobby. Grrr! We waited a bit but it was taking too long so we went outside to wait to be picked up by whoever! We sat there for ages but I liked watching the CMs/greeters outside the front doors of the BWI greeting customers by name and checking people in on the go. Really cool. I still really want to stay there!!

We all met up again at Downtown Disney and decided on House of Blues for lunch. Chef Aaron Sanchez designed the menu and I geeked out cause I love Chopped on the Food Network and he is/was a judge on that! I split the classic cornbread with the fam (delish) then got steak tacos (a starter) as my entree. Holy moly they were excellent!! I want them now!! Lots of the fam got burgers and had varying flavored ketchups/sauces and most of them asked for plain sauce (wussies!!) I tried the flavored sauces and omg they were soo good.


me and AJ on the boat ride to the Marketplace


Adamski looks so cool


Doesn't look like it's going anywhere!

We went on yet another boat ride after lunch, over to the Marketplace. This was prime souvenir time. I had seen a 2012 Christmas ornament at the parks but never got it, so Adam and I went to the Christmas shop and picked up a beautiful, classy, non-2012 ornament. Here's my problem with them: they look cheap, they aren't cheap. My aunt offered to pay for our ornament as a gift to us but I didn't want to squander $12-15 on a cheap platic baubel with a sticker slapped on and visible globs of glue holding the Mickey ears on. No thanks.

Where do 6 year olds learn this stuff? LOL




One reason I wanted to go to the Marketplace was to pick up the Lego figure of Nessie! AJ has one in his room and once I saw it, I knew I had to have it, too. 5 bucks for a unique souvenir! Yes please!! She now sits on the bookcase in our living room and I get a little smile every time I see it.

Ghiradelli was the other reason for the Marketplace trip in my eyes. There was an incredible vanilla milkshake with my name on it. Gorgeousss. Adam got another root beer float!! So pleased he was loving the American way of life.

We had finally done everything we came to do! We took the boat back to HOB and bid our farewells to WDW!

'Til next year!
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