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Old 07-14-2011, 12:07 AM   #1
OrcaPotter
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East Meets West: A WDW Resident's First Visit to the Land [COMPLETE!]

Hello!

I have read many a trip report but have never had cause to write one until now. A few days ago I returned from my epic first trip to the Disneyland Resort. For me, it was like visiting Disney Mecca. I grew up at Disney (Disney World); I have lived in Orlando all my life and visit the parks dozens of times, if not more, a year--thanks to various friends and family who work there, have connections, or just catching a rare deal on park hoppers without expiration dates. I've pretty much been a Disney attendee since I've been in the womb!


Three of the four of us who went to DLR. Epcot is locked in a battle with MK as my favorite park.

I had always wanted to visit Disneyland, but the comments were always the same: "Why? You have Disney here."

Ah, but Disneyland is the original, the park Walt built himself. The park steeped in rich American history. And it's just different. I've never felt like a "tourist" in my parks. Rarely has anything been a completely new experience. I've stayed in a few WDW resorts throughout my life, but very rarely. There's no reason to stay unless it's a special occasion when you only live 35 minutes away. The last Disney "vacation" I had was with family back in 2001/2002, when we stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge with my brother's high school band for New Year's. (9/11 had canceled a lot of big trips so my brother, as director, decided his kids would instead have a big Disney "staycation" with the money they raised instead.)

So, the time to finally visit Disneyland came last year, when one of my best friends, who's a cast member at MK, proposed we should make the trip since she could get us in. Her sister works for JetBlue, so we could get discounted airfare. We desperately wanted to go in the fall, to see the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay at the Haunted Mansion, as our best friend is a huge fan. We were all set!

Then I was accepted into a graduate program at the University of Florida for English Education.


Football instead of the Matterhorn?

The only time off in the fall was during homecoming, but it would have only given us maybe 3 full days. It would've been rough coming all the way from the East Coast to then rush through our experience at the parks only to turn around and rush back home. UF is also in Gainesville, which is 2.5 hours north of Orlando & the airport, and I was living just off campus. We made the decision to hold off until the summer if our other plan didn't pan out.

Because we also badly wanted to take a Disney cruise.

I originally joined the DIS because my family was planning another cruise and I desperately wanted it to be on DCL. Back then, I trolled the cruise boards but sadly, we couldn't afford it and ultimately made it on a RCCL western cruise in 2007. After years of hiatus from the DIS, I returned after my friends and I decided we would try for a cast member discount on the new Dream. Ha! No amount of pixie dust was going to get us one of those, clearly, as everyone on the planet booked on DCL regardless of the various organs they were gleefully charging in light of demand. In vain, we hoped for a deal on even an Alaskan cruise, but the "dream" was rapidly fading with skyrocketing fares and non-existent CM discounts. That was, unless of course we wanted to go to the Mediterranean--but the airfare cost more than the cruise!

As the early months of 2011 went by, it was becoming more and more clear that we would not be able to afford a cruise (at least on DCL). So, the focus shifted to making our DLR trip a definite reality. We picked dates that worked for everyone and after hoping for deals to pop on an on-site hotel, again our hopes were dashed and we settled on the Fairfield Inn on Harbor. What would have been a rushed getaway was now a 5 day vacation!

I trolled and learned everything I could from the DIS, making ADRs at the 60 day mark for Goofy's Kitchen and the World of Color premium meal at Ariel's Grotto. This was going to be a very special trip, as I was graduating with my master's (it was a concentrated one-year program) and my CM best friend would be celebrating her birthday the day we arrived. Booking the flight to LAX had to wait until a few days before we left because they were buddy passes. Only downside aside from stand-by was the need to connect in NYC. Then I spent whatever spare time I had between homework assignments making magnets to put on our hotel room door, not only to add more Disney magic to our stay but also because I was disappointed I couldn't make ones for a cruise ship door.

Everything was set ... our adventure was about to begin!

I'll warn you now, my undergraduate degree is in creative writing, so I tend to write with copious detail and at length. I promise my trip report is rife with:

Adventure!
Mishaps!
Suspense!
Surprise!
Hilarity!
Crowds!
Confusion!
Comparisons!
Ducks!
Sun!
Awesomeness!
and more!


Links to each part of my report are now listed below to ease your reading access!

Last edited by OrcaPotter; 08-27-2011 at 11:51 AM. Reason: Add links to report parts
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:31 AM   #2
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Subscribed! I'm hunkering!

I, too, tend to write my trip reports (or letters, or e-mails, or posts in a thread, or anything that can possibly be composed!) in copious detail and at length, so I appreciate it when I find a kindred spirit in the TR section of the DLR forum!

I'm looking forward to your rundown of the:

Adventure!
Mishaps!
Suspense!
Surprise!
Hilarity!
Crowds!
Confusion!
Comparisons!
Ducks!
Sun!
Awesomeness!
and more!


(And I do hope that Goofy's Kitchen was at least semi-satisfactory for you, as I was one of the main ones who was talking it up when you were debating on which character meal to do. I'd hate to have to run for cover and hide under some furniture in case you start throwing things at me!)
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And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:30 AM   #3
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I'm here! Can't wait to hear more.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:20 AM   #4
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Love to hear your thoughts, on our park!
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:23 AM   #5
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This seems like it's gonna be a great TR. Can't wait!
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:01 AM   #6
Sherry E
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I forgot to mention in my post last night that 'Winter Springs' has got to be one of my favorite names for a city! It's one of the best I've heard. It's one of those city names that just makes me smile and gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling for some reason, as though I expect it to be a welcoming, happy, enchanting place full of wonderful, quirky people. The actual city itself may or may not be like what I envision at all - but I love the name.

The irony, of course, is that given all the humidity and heat you all experience in Florida, Winter Springs probably feels anything but wintry most of the time!
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Pumpkins, Peppermint, Pastels and...Club 33!!! - (A new chapter begins... Many photos and wacky tales, coming soon to a Trip Report thread near you!)
And for some non-holiday seaside fun in the sun ~~ 2012 Catalina Island/Avalon Trip Report - My Solo Day Trip, in Photos (LOTS of Photos!)- 7/21/12 & Highlights from 2013 & 2014
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:42 PM   #7
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I look forward to reading more!!!!
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
Subscribed! I'm hunkering!

I, too, tend to write my trip reports (or letters, or e-mails, or posts in a thread, or anything that can possibly be composed!) in copious detail and at length, so I appreciate it when I find a kindred spirit in the TR section of the DLR forum! [...] (And I do hope that Goofy's Kitchen was at least semi-satisfactory for you, as I was one of the main ones who was talking it up when you were debating on which character meal to do. I'd hate to have to run for cover and hide under some furniture in case you start throwing things at me!)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
I forgot to mention in my post last night that 'Winter Springs' has got to be one of my favorite names for a city! It's one of the best I've heard. It's one of those city names that just makes me smile and gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling for some reason, as though I expect it to be a welcoming, happy, enchanting place full of wonderful, quirky people. The actual city itself may or may not be like what I envision at all - but I love the name.

The irony, of course, is that given all the humidity and heat you all experience in Florida, Winter Springs probably feels anything but wintry most of the time!
LOL, I'm glad folks are excited to read it all! Huzzah for us long-winded, detailed writers

And yes, there are a lot of ironic cities in Florida that completely contradict our weather. Next door to Winter Springs is also Winter Park. We also have Winter Haven and Winter Garden. I'm sure there is an explanation behind using "winter" for Florida cities other than perhaps just wishful thinking! But yes, my city in particular is known for being extremely safe, laid back, and pretty. I'm sure I fill the "quirky" quotient for the area, too!
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:47 PM   #9
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Day 1, Part 1: The Tale of Stand-By Flying

As I begin my report, let me introduce you to the cast of characters:


From left to right: Myna (my "sister"), Kris (close friend), myself, and Dixie (CM best friend)

Brief background: I've known Myna since high school and we've been best friends since undergrad. Kris and Dixie I met at the first-ever Harry Potter symposium in Orlando back in 2003. Kris is the eldest of our group, while the rest of us are in our late 20's. We share countless geeky interests and hobbies, including Harry Potter, Japanese anime, video games, sci-fi, fantasy, and more. We make costumes and dress up (cosplay) at different conventions throughout the southeast ... most notably, Dragon*con in Atlanta, GA over Labor Day weekend. Of the four of us, Dixie and I are the biggest Disney fans, but we all love the Mouse dearly. Dixie works in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom; you can find her at Snow White, Dumbo, and also Pooh and the Teacups. Much to our dismay, she's moving, though she plans to stay on as seasonal so she can pick up shifts when she visits.

Myna and I both hold Bachelor's of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. Dixie has her Bachelor's of Arts in English Education from UCF as well and her Master's in Children's Literature. I finished my graduate program last month and will be graduating this August with my Master's of Education in Secondary English Education from the University of Florida. Kris, I believe, has a PhD in tax law (or an MBA, I can't remember )

Kris lives in Philadelphia while the rest of us live in Central Florida. She had a direct flight from Philly to LAX and arrived around 10 AM PST. The plan was she would wait for us all to arrive and then we'd ride in the same shuttle to the hotel together.

For the rest of us, our trip began ridiculously early at 3 AM on Tuesday, July 5th. Somehow, despite the fireworks outside, I managed to fall asleep by 10:30 on the 4th. Excitement beyond words is what woke us up at 3, and we put the last of our things together. Because we were flying stand-by with buddy passes--and needing to connect through NYC--we managed to limit our luggage to carry-ons only. This was a unique challenge for me, as I'm like my mother in my need to pack everything "in case of emergency." Not only was I successful, but I also had plenty of room for souvenirs. The only concern I had was for a medication I was prescribed that requires refrigeration: I wasn't sure how TSA would react to the cream and the artificial ice I was using to keep it cool during the day-long trip. But, there was no time to worry, because it was time to get to the airport for our 6 AM (hopeful) flight!

I was pretty much like this in the car:


Myna and I met Dixie at the airport, and this is when the first mishap occurred.

Dixie's sister is who made our reservations, as she was the only one who could do it to get us the buddy passes. I had given my full name to Dixie to give to her, however, when my name popped on the registration, my middle name was completely wrong! Panicked, we went to the full-service counter to ask about what I needed to do. The woman couldn't have been less concerned: "All TSA wants to see is your first and last name." Dubious and cautious, we thanked her and made our way immediately to security. My parents had come along to see us off, and I'm sure my mother would have wanted us to hang for something to eat with them, but we were anxious to get security behind us and ensure our spot on the stand-by list.

Now, it's nearly 5 AM. There's hardly anyone (surprisingly) in the airport. We're (momentarily) the only ones set to go through security. Dixie gets through fine. Then it's my turn. Mr. TSA studies my ID and my boarding pass, then slowly looks up at me:

I explained the name situation. His expression didn't change. He wrote some sort of code on my boarding pass, and I had a moment of worry that I was going to be violated in some shape or form within the next ten minutes. But then he shrugged, waved me past, and then I had to deal with informing the next Mr. TSA about my medicine. Again, not only did they not care, but they had a 5 minute conversation about the many names of "artificial ice" and the number of eye glasses the one Mr. TSA possessed. o_O But not only was I not subjected to a physical, security was a breeze! After waving goodbye to my parents (and making them promise to call me when they got home because the early AM driving was not very compatible with them), we found our gate, made breakfast of Starbucks, and began the anxious wait to see who we would have to sumo-wrestle for stand-by seats.
Well, who would have guessed that a 6 AM flight to NYC would be nearly booked? We were on pins and needles, as they kept allowing stragglers to rush in until 2 minutes before the gate needed to close. Then suddenly, there were 14 of us on stand-by and only 6 seats open. Dixie and I managed to make the list, while poor Myna was due to be left behind. I didn't like to be separated, but there was no guarantee there'd be 3 open seats on the next flight. After managing to find a place for my luggage, I sat down, only to be called by a stewardess a moment after.

Apparently, there was only one seat left. At the last minute, 2 unaccompanied minors showed up, and they couldn't travel separately. The stewardess gave me the choice of whether I stay on the flight, or my friend. I thought she was referring to Myna, so I volunteered to stay behind because I didn't like her being alone. But it turned out she was referring to Dixie. Um, why are you giving me that choice? Shouldn't Dixie also have a say? I'm not going to go up to her and say, dude, I want this flight and you have to get off!

So, Dixie was on her way to NYC, and Myna and I were left to wait for the next flight at 7 AM. Ironically, there were a dozen seats open on this one, so Myna and I got on without issue. With luck, we would catch up with Dixie in New York and hopefully make the first connecting flight!

You know you're in New York when you're not even off your plane and you're already walking into a fight. God bless that New York Minute (though my parents are from NYC and so chastise me for "making fun" of my heritage). We run to the connecting gate and meet Dixie just as they're preparing to call stand-by. Well, no such luck again! Dixie manages to grab the only stand-by seat on the flight to LAX!

We made the best of it; we got NY pizza and relaxed a bit (after hearing a NY resident break up with someone loudly on a public phone), then managed to get the next flight to LAX. Cue longest plane rider ever in my life. Thank God for JetBlue's in-flight entertainment system, my PSP, my iPod, and good old fashioned books! I had a window seat that, while bad for getting up for stretching, was good for seeing some serious mountains! Florida is pretty much flat as a board (though we have some small rolling hills in places) so I was thrilled so see some crazy mountains from the plane!
The flight was due to take nearly 6 hours, but thanks to a strong tailwind, we arrived in only 4.5 hours and ironically got to the gate at the time the previous flight was due to get us in (2:30 PM PST)! I was now the furthest west I had ever been in my life! You could say I saw each of America's oceans in one day, LOL.

Now, my first impression of LAX was utter disappointment. After seeing it in movies and on TV so many times, I was expecting something a lot more impressive than the dingy, discombobulated mess we arrived in. I had to venture what felt like a mile to baggage claim to find a restroom, and then my first ... colorful experience with California began.

The restroom by baggage claim only had 3 stalls, and one was out of order. The two were occupied, so I impatiently waited with a line behind me. Meanwhile, one woman is humming at the top of her lungs, having a grand 'ol time in her stall. In fact, she was having such a good time that she was still going strong long after I managed to get my turn and finish. Then, as I fought my way to the sink area, I ran into an airport employee who was ... umm ... washing her pits. O_o

Needless to say, I knew I was in a different world

We met Kris and Dixie by baggage claim, and quickly made our way to the Super Shuttle area. Now, thanks to the DIS, I had done a lot of homework on the transportation options. While I have never had to use the service, I was shocked that DLR has nothing like the Magical Express. Not only that, but none of the DLR area hotels had airport shuttles! In Orlando, a great majority of hotels have complimentary airport service--or at least one for a small fee. I've read many explanations as to why such services do not exist at DLR, but it was still frustrating. So, our options came down to either the DL Express bus or Super Shuttle. If we had managed to snag a room on-site, the DLE would've been fine. However, we figured SS would get us to our hotel faster, despite reports of the unreliability of speed.

When our van arrived, we piled in in various spots as there were already two couples inside. After picking up one more guy, we were on our way and our first dose of LA traffic was experienced. Our driver drove like he was from Jamaica (as in, hold on for dear life!) It felt like we were getting a grand tour of LA, as we went in various directions, during which I was impressed that LA was like a massive Miami with similar architecture and ambiance. After what felt like 45 minutes, we finally arrived in this suburban neighborhood to drop off one of the couples. Sheesh! After traveling ALL day (at this point, at least 9 hours since 3 AM EST), I was very ready to get to the hotel. Fortunately, our next stop was Disneyland, and after some excited pointing of HOLY COW IT'S LIKE RIGHT THERE, we were finally at our hotel: the Fairfield Inn Marriot.

TBC in Part 2!

Last edited by OrcaPotter; 07-26-2011 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:35 PM   #10
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I am really enjoying your TR! Ready for Part 2...
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:03 PM   #11
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Waiting for standby is HORRIBLE! I used to work for the airlines, so I flew standby frequently. Always felt sick to my stomach waiting for my name to be called. My first experience flying standby was the worst! Maybe I'll share the embarassing experience with ya'll someday. Until then I look forward to reading more of your TR! Love it thus far!
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:30 PM   #12
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Day 1, Part 2: Jetlagging

Hotels were another thing I researched endlessly on the DIS. We had also seriously considered the Carousel Inn, in addition to primarily the Paradise Pier. However, one of our group could not afford PP, and Kris gets points for staying at Marriot hotels, so she went ahead and booked us a room at the Fairfield.

To me, unless it's a Motel 6 or Bate's Motel, they're all "hotels" to me. It amused me to see people stressing over motel vs. hotel. I've never had issue with hotels that "open to the outside." I've stayed at expensive resorts with the same set up. Sure, nearly all the accommodations surrounding DLR are older from an era before Disney thought to invest in their own properties, so that, too, was a culture shock from the domination of up-scale hotels that feed off the scraps of the WDW-owned resorts back home. From the outside, the Fairfield looked very respectable, especially compared to the other properties--though I was pleased that pretty much all of them looked clean and inviting regardless.


The lobby was very nice and had clearly been updated recently. Photographs of DL under construction were tastefully decorating the walls.

For those interested, here is the link to a more detailed review of the Fairfield, however, of note was the nice children's corner and the small but well-stocked gift shop that also sold sundries.

We arrived at check-in time, so there was quite a crowd rushing to get their rooms. Kris, however, as a rewards member, got to skip it all and we got our room quickly: third floor facing DL! The little food court that shared our floor looked nice and it looked busy; we never took advantage of it, however.


Please forgive the darkness of the photos. It seems most hotel rooms like to have the least amount of available light possible.


What's this? Why, it's Cinderella Castle at WDW. A for Effort, though?




We felt this was appropriate for our room!


In the above photo, I had surprised everyone with covering the door with 4 sets of about a dozen custom-made magnets I had made commemorating our trip! I asked them all to wait outside while I set them up, and I was thrilled when they reacted just as I expected. I had reacquired a copy of Photoshop thanks to a student discount during school, and so between homework assignments, I decompressed by making graphics to turn into magnets. I had hoped to do this for our cruise but figured why let that stop me? It added just that much more pixie dust to our room and our trip, and everybody stared at our door whenever we were in the room.

(If anyone's interested, I do plan to post some of the designs for folks to use on the DISign boards.)

After we settle in, we're starving. It's about 5:00 PM PST (8 PM EST) and despite our exhaustion, we're eager to explore and eat something! Dixie's birthday, I forget to previously mention, was that day--so we were having her birthday dinner at Tortilla Jo's. Only, our reservation was at 6:30-7:00. We thought to get a snack, so it was off to Downtown Disney!


View from our room


My initial reaction was this: Wow, everything really is so close together! It took us about 7 minutes or so, not including waiting to cross Harbor, to get to the plaza between DL and CA. I wish Universal Orlando's parks were as close as these were! We did some initial ooo'ing and ahhh'ing, meanwhile snapping photos like never before.

DL vs. WDW Observation: Security at DL is a lot different than at WDW. The security structures appeared to be only semi-permanent and cast members are in charge versus security guards. These cast members were really the only non-chipper folks I encountered on the trip, with the exception of one later on. The security guards at WDW are more thorough and tend to chat you up more, whereas DL barely glances in your pockets and waves you onward. Huh.

It was a bit busy in Downtown Disney, and we marveled at the differences while experiencing the first of many instances of what I called the "dream state"--where everything is the same and yet different at the same time. The set up of DLR is much the same as Universal Orlando, but we were unprepared for just how long the DTD strip was. When we reached Tortilla Jo's, we figured we could ask if we could get our table early, as at that point, my stomach was cramping with the need for food IMMEDIATELY. We walked in, noted how empty the place was, and asked. The waitress tells us, dead pan, "Oh no, you have to wait until your reservation." Well, perhaps it was the jetlag, but we immediately were like, "Oh ok, no problem" and turned to leave. Shocked, she laughed and waved us back shouting, "I was just kidding! Of course we can seat you now!"


Our trip was started by gorging on chips and salsa (oh so tasty) and various forms of mojitos!


By now, my stomach feels like it had been filled up with a tank of gas and if I could have, I would have stuck a pin in my side to release it all. Later on, we figured it was the combination of being pressurized on the plane and immobile for 5 hours ... in addition to the whacked eating schedule my body was being subjected to. I thought eating would help, and I ordered a unique quesedilla that ultimately proved too rich and different for my stomach to handle. I barely finished half of it.

But mind over matter!

I was at Disneyland, dangit, and by george I was going to have fun and NO amount of physical limitations would hold me back!

A cool feature at Tortilla Jo's was the sweet young guy who went around doing balloon animals for tips. He came to our table and charmed us with his genuine sweet and charismatic personality. Dixie requested a birthday crown and when he was finished, he asked if we wanted anything else done. When he mentioned Pluto, my ultimate Disney favorite, I pretty much demanded he prove his awesomeness by procuring the infamous yellow hound. Meanwhile, we chatted about life in college, life in California, the differences already seen from Florida, and so on. I enjoyed talking with him just as much as the incredible Pluto he produced! Needless to say, we tipped him lavishly


The birthday girl!


Pluto!

The restaurant also gave Dixie a giant scoop of ice cream to share for her birthday, so that acted as her cake. I ate a bit and prayed walking would eventually make me feel better. We decided to venture over to the Disneyland Hotel to scope out where Goofy's Kitchen was, as our reservation was at 7 AM the next morning.




After some more oo's and ahh's, we found Goofy's Kitchen and then wandered a bit in the gift shop. At this point, I'm starting to really feel ill. I'll spare details on this topic, but I could no longer hold out. We headed back to the hotel, meanwhile I'm degrading fast By the time we got to the bus area to the Toy Story lot, I had to pull over for imminent doom. However, I quickly discovered that being crouched on the ground made me feel a lot better. Once I was able, managing to keep myself together, we hobbled back to our room, where I immediately took a shower. Sitting down, mind you, but a shower nonetheless.

To my great relief, that shower was the surprising cure. I felt like a million bucks after that, and at 9:30 PM we couldn't hold out any longer. We hit our pillows and passed out.

Next up, Day 2! Goofy's Kitchen and first Disneyland day!

Last edited by OrcaPotter; 07-19-2011 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:59 AM   #13
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Excellent installments of the TR!

Comments (in no particular order):

Having a stomach ache or some other kind of digestive issue anywhere on or near Disney property, especially at the beginning of a trip, is the worst. In the heat of the moment it seems like it will never go away and the trip will be ruined. It's amazing that something as simple as a shower was what healed you!

I don't know if this is a good or bad time to mention it but a few folks have reported getting sick from food poisoning at Tortilla Jo's in the past. Even though that's not what happened to you, I guess the tummy issues could have been even worse, if that's possible.

I have a whole fear of heights thing going on, so that picture taken from the plane made me nervous! Yes, just looking at a simple photo taken from that vantage point is enough to give me that jittery feeling! I could not bring myself to sit next to a window, let alone actually look out at the landscape below!

You are not kidding about the lighting in hotel rooms! I was commenting on this very thing in regards to the Paradise Pier Hotel not too long ago. While the natural light during the daytime is fine - it's quite bright and cheery, as a rule - after dark, when it's time to turn on the assorted light fixtures in the room, it is so dim. It's almost like mood lighting, it's so dim. I was going nuts trying to figure out if my eyesight was failing even more rapidly than I thought, or if, perhaps, the lightbulbs were breathing their last collective breath. I'm so glad (I guess??) to read that other hotels have this same lighting issue as well, and that other people notice that the lighting is bad!

How funny to find a picture of Cinderella's Castle! Not that it's unwelcome or unsightly - in fact, it's quite lovely. It's just out of place. I wonder if the people in charge of decorating the rooms at the Fairfield just figured, "Eh...no one will notice." Little do they know there are many detail-oriented Disney fans who will most definitely notice such things!

I know there was something else I was going to say - probably in reference to the other 'Winter' cities in Florida that you mentioned - but my tired brain has locked up on me. Until I can remember my thoughts on that, I will say that I can't wait for the Goofy's Kitchen installment coming up! I love Goofy's!
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:40 PM   #14
peloha86
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Hiya!
Subbing!

I like your TR! I enjoy other peoples' perspective on WDW compared to DL. I go to DL every year, and we're going to MK/Epcot, let alone Florida for our first time ever this year. I can't wait, I feel like you going to DL for the first time.

Looking forward to more!
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry E View Post
I don't know if this is a good or bad time to mention it but a few folks have reported getting sick from food poisoning at Tortilla Jo's in the past. Even though that's not what happened to you, I guess the tummy issues could have been even worse, if that's possible.

I have a whole fear of heights thing going on, so that picture taken from the plane made me nervous! Yes, just looking at a simple photo taken from that vantage point is enough to give me that jittery feeling! I could not bring myself to sit next to a window, let alone actually look out at the landscape below!

You are not kidding about the lighting in hotel rooms! I was commenting on this very thing in regards to the Paradise Pier Hotel not too long ago. While the natural light during the daytime is fine - it's quite bright and cheery, as a rule - after dark, when it's time to turn on the assorted light fixtures in the room, it is so dim. It's almost like mood lighting, it's so dim. I was going nuts trying to figure out if my eyesight was failing even more rapidly than I thought, or if, perhaps, the lightbulbs were breathing their last collective breath. I'm so glad (I guess??) to read that other hotels have this same lighting issue as well, and that other people notice that the lighting is bad!

How funny to find a picture of Cinderella's Castle! Not that it's unwelcome or unsightly - in fact, it's quite lovely. It's just out of place. I wonder if the people in charge of decorating the rooms at the Fairfield just figured, "Eh...no one will notice." Little do they know there are many detail-oriented Disney fans who will most definitely notice such things!

I know there was something else I was going to say - probably in reference to the other 'Winter' cities in Florida that you mentioned - but my tired brain has locked up on me. Until I can remember my thoughts on that, I will say that I can't wait for the Goofy's Kitchen installment coming up! I love Goofy's!
Wow, that's the first I've heard about Tortilla Jo's regarding anything like that! I'm glad that food poisoning is not what caused my issue, and Dixie also had a problem the next morning right after finishing at Goofy's, but that was unrelated to the food as well. Had I known ahead of time, though, I probably would've recommended a different place to eat. Everything tasted great and the service was really good, too ... so thank goodness we didn't have that kind of a problem.

And that's not unusual about the heights thing. I've actually grown into a nervous flier, and despite being nervous about being so high up, I'm actually more anxious if I can't see out a window to see what's going on. Flying stand-by, I had no choice as to where my seat was located. Twice I was seated either in the middle or on the aisle, and the person next to the window decided to keep it closed the whole time. With the opposite row doing the same, I felt like I was being hurled through space in a giant metal tube I feel better when my brain is occupied with a book or game or something.

The Fairfield probably wanted a specific picture for the rooms in keeping with their "let's show Disneyland under construction" theme. Only, there were probably no Sleeping Beauty Castle photos like that, so they figured any Disney castle would do. I wonder how many folks notice that!

And as a preview, I loved Goofy's and it was the absolute perfect start to the vacation! Your recommendations were well founded! I'll probably get more of the report written tomorrow night; I have an article I need to finish first for my editor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peloha86 View Post
Hiya!
Subbing!

I like your TR! I enjoy other peoples' perspective on WDW compared to DL. I go to DL every year, and we're going to MK/Epcot, let alone Florida for our first time ever this year. I can't wait, I feel like you going to DL for the first time.

Looking forward to more!
I'm glad you like it so far! WDW is a whole different animal compared to DLR; I can imagine how newbies that are vets of DLR must feel with the immensity of WDW. But you're going to love it! I approached DLR as a different experience, not necessarily a better or worse one. I intend to throw in some less-voiced observations on the differences in my report.
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