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Old 06-10-2012, 04:00 PM   #1
crzy4mk
"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things... and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."-Walt Disney
 
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No, we're not Ducks....but we still had fun! Trip Report 6/3-6/9, 2012

Trip Report June 3rd-9th, 2012

This was a very special trip for us. My oldest DD just graduated high school a couple of weeks ago and this trip was what she wanted for her Senior Trip. So 3 of our crew loaded up and made the trip down: myself (Disney Dad), the recent grad (17) and her oldest sister (15). Here’s the highlights day by day:

DAY ONE Sunday, June 3rd
Travel day. We left Georgia around 1:00 p.m. and made the trip down in record time (just over 6 hours). Other trips have been when these 2 and their younger sisters were much younger so I could tell from the uneventful ride down that this was going to be a really different trip in regards to how long things took and how much drama was involved! A couple of quick stops for gas and potty and we ended up at Perkins Restaurant on 192 for dinner. Not a great meal by any stretch but pretty decent. Only reason we went there is because it became a family tradition a few trips back. Anyway, after dinner we headed a few miles east on 192 and checked into our hotel for the week. We booked the Red Roof Inn-Kissimmee through Expedia several months back and got an unbelievable deal of $202 for 6 nights. We have done condos, stayed onsite and stayed in off-site hotels so we knew what to expect. Nothing fancy by any means but our room was recently remodeled and the hotel was very clean. Had issues with the hot tub not working and the complimentary continental breakfast was somewhat lacking for the week, but all in all a great deal for $200. Our room was serviced every morning and I was very pleased with our choice of hotel. If I was going down again and looking for a really inexpensive place to stay I would absolutely go again. And the drive to the parks was less than 10 minutes.

So that’s day one. Boring stuff but lots of magic to come…..
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Old 06-10-2012, 05:00 PM   #2
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"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things... and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."-Walt Disney
 
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DAY TWO Monday, June 4th
Up and at ‘em bright and early! Pulled out of the hotel parking lot at 7:30 and headed for the TTC. This was the first of 2 MK days for us as we didn’t do park hoppers on this trip. Caught the monorail and ended up at the gate waiting to go in at 8:15. After the rope drop we started working our plan/schedule for the day. And with that statement, let me take a time out…..

TWO VERY IMPORTANT THINGS IN THAT PREVIOUS SENTENCE: “rope drop” and “plan/schedule”

Not everyone likes to see WDW this way but for us this is the only way. We typically visit off season so I knew going during this time of year would make it vitally important for us to use this type of plan if we wanted to get everything done. So, no preaching here….tour how you want. But if you want to get a lot done, be there for rope drop and have a plan!

And now back to your regularly scheduled trip report:

I won’t bore you with every detail of our day and every ride/attraction we enjoyed but I will tell you that during a very busy time of year we did Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan, Small World, Space Mountain (FP), Buzz, Carousel of Progress, Peoplemover, and Philharmagic in our first 2 hours. Grabbed the train to Frontierland and did Splash and BTMRR using FP’s. In between had BBQ sandwiches at Pecos Bill’s. Decent for counter service...nothing great but not vile, inedible swill as so many have been reporting lately. My girls even commented on how much the enjoyed the buns!

After lunch we headed back through Adventureland and hit our highlights: Jungle Cruise, Pirates & Tiki Room. I also enjoyed a Pina Colada slush from the Sunshine Tree Terrace...wow! Really tasty! Slid through the breezeway over to Frontierland/Liberty Square. Did a little pin trading and hit the Hall of Presidents and Haunted Mansion. The girls headed back to Tomorrowland to standby on Space Mountain while I headed back down Main Street to pop into Guest Services and bridge my ticket to an Annual Pass.

Had big problems there (don't worry...got them resolved later) in dealing with a CM and 2 managers who did not know how to do this properly with all the recent changes and charged me about $90 too much for the transaction. I knew they were wrong but I had to go ahead and get it done so I could get my parking reimbursed and buy my Tables in Wonderland card to use at dinner that night. So I paid the extra, kept all my paperwork and met up with the girls further down Main Street and did a little shopping before heading out WAY early for our favorite restaurant….Ohana!

I had made 8:40 reservations 6 months ago based on the 9:00 closing of the park. Once they updated the hours and MK was staying open until 12:00 I wished we had made an earlier ressie so we could eat and get back to the park before Wishes got out. So we rolled the dice and grabbed the monorail and ended up at the podium at about 6:30. Met 2 wonderful CM’s who informed us it would be best to wait at least a little while to check in so we wouldn’t be trapped on the 2nd floor with our buzzer. So we walked around and shopped, strolled out to the pool area, enjoyed the art gallery that we’ve never visited and decided to head back up at 7:15. We went ahead and checked in even though the place was packed (as it always is). Settled in for our long wait and the buzzer went off in about 5 minutes! The CM’s were all grins when we went back to the podium and told us they found a place to squeeze us in and to enjoy our meal….our first bit of Disney Magic for the week!

Dinner at Ohana was…..WONDERFUL! Like I said, this is our favorite place to eat in all of WDW. I must admit that I have been getting a little concerned based on all the negative reviews I have been reading lately but I was so pleasantly surprised to find the Ohana that I have always known and loved. Our servers were wonderful and personable and the food was amazing! The pork was a little dry but other than that everything was outstanding. Two thumbs WAY UP!!!!!

So with our bellies full of wings, noodles, steak, and bread pudding we made it back to MK and were able to maneuver through the shops and into Adventureland just as the evening parade was going through. We didn’t stop to watch because we’re not parade people and we knew we were coming back later in the week to catch Wishes, so we got our ride on while all that was happening. Before the park closed we were able to redo our highlights: Jungle Cruise, Pirates, BTMRR, Buzz, Space Mountain, & TTA plus a little more shopping and pin trading. Left around 11:30, got to the hotel a little after midnight and collapsed! Wonderful first day (except for my sore legs and blisters on my feet!)….
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:53 PM   #3
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Followed your link here & so glad I did. Can't wait to read more of your report.
Thanks!
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:40 PM   #4
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It is such a joy to read your trip report! Your good attitude regarding the AP issue is so refreshing! Thank you
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:32 PM   #5
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can't wait to read more!
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:34 AM   #6
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Thank you for the positive reporting!
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:37 PM   #7
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"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things... and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."-Walt Disney
 
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DAY THREE-Tuesday, June 5th

After pouring ourselves in bed after midnight on Monday, we slept just a little bit late on Tuesday morning and didn’t actually make it through the gates at Disney Hollywood Studios until about 9:30. Knowing how quickly Toy Story Fastpasses disappear we headed straight there to grab some up for later in the day. Were greeted at the machine by a CM who asked how many we needed and I jokingly said, “As many as you want to give us!”, then handed him our tickets and told him “3”. While my daughters checked out his pin collection he reached behind the machine after our fastpasses spit out and hit the “Magic CM” button and gave us 3 additional fastpasses! Disney Magic for the 2nd day in a row! Really got our day off on the right foot!

We got in a couple of rides on Rock n Roller Coaster and even got my oldest on Tower of Terror (which she has always been terrified to ride). Says she can mark that one off her bucket list and swears to never set foot on it again! As we always do at DHS we did a lot of criss-crossing the park just because of the way it’s set up. Got in all of our favorites multiple times: Toy Story (thanks to the CM fastpass fairy!), Star Tours, Great Movie Ride, & Animation Class. Also did Muppetvision 3D, One Man’s Dream, & Voyage of the Little Mermaid. Were all psyched to see Fantasmic for the first time ever but it got cancelled due to weather (recurring theme the rest of the week).

Meals: another tradition for us is 50s Prime Time Café. Had lunch here and split 2 entrees, the sampler plate and a meatloaf plate, and the onion ring appetizer. Food was wonderful as always, especially the meatloaf and the pot roast. One DD had a vanilla milkshake as well which was very good too.

Dinner was quick service...turkey legs, hot dogs, mac & cheese. DHS has always been my least favorite park for counter service but this meal was actually pretty tasty. Once again our 2 meals on this day refuted the negative reviews we’ve seen recently about WDW food….very happy about that!

Grabbed some sweets on the way out of the park, did some last minute pin trading and headed back to the hotel to rest up for Animal Kingdom on Wednesday!
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:57 PM   #8
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"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things... and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."-Walt Disney
 
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DAY FOUR-Wednesday, June 6th
Wednesday was Animal Kingdom day. My 15 year old DD loves animals so this is one of her favorites, but even with that it's not really a full day park for us. Don't get me wrong...there's plenty for us to do there. There are just certain things we're not really into (most of the Dinoland stuff, Flights of Wonder) so we hit our highlights and are usually done by mid-afternoon.

Got to the park for rope drop, went with the masses to ride Expedition Everest, grabbed a fastpass for a later ride, and made our way to Kilamanjaro Safari. Animals were very active and we saw pretty much all of them...truck got within a couple of feet of a giraffe munching on some leaves. 15 year old was looking forward to a trip back to Rafiki's Planet Watch mainly for the petting area but it was closed Wednesday morning. So we backtracked and rode Kali River Rapids, used our EE fastpasses, then went over to Dinoland for a quick ride on Dinosaur before lunch (also grabbed up some fastpasses for later).

LUNCH: We always eat Flame Tree BBQ. We're barbecue eaters and while it's not Memphis quality it's still very tasty for theme park food. Plus I can use my Tables in Wonderland card there. For the 3 of us we got one kid's hot dog meal, the 1/2 slab rib platter and a fruit platter. Ribs and fruit were very good, slaw was ok, beans were not our favorite.

Headed to Finding Nemo after lunch...LOVE that show! Went and used Dinosaur fastpasses afterward, saw It's Tough to Be a Bug and barely missed the 2:30 show of Festival of the Lion King. So the girls killed time until the 3:30 show by shopping and pin trading while I went up to Guest Services to resolve my AP issue from Monday. Met a wonderful young lady CM who knew exactly what she was doing! I gave her my whole story, provided a copy of my old ticket and my receipt, and within about 15 minutes I walked out with my $90 refunded. Made my day! We met back up and saw FOTLK then left the park a little after 4:00.

(didn't mention this earlier but it rained off and on all day...shoes and socks were very wet by the time we left. But on the bright side, overcast and rainy is not a bad thing at AK. Not a really shaded park so it helps with the heat, and the animals are alot more active.)

Not part of my "Disney" report, but we had a great time Wednesday night going to the Hard Rock Cafe at Universal's City Walk. The girls went last summer on a youth trip and wanted to go back so we did that for dinner. Really cool (but loud) restaurant with some of the best chicken tenders I've ever had. Enjoyed a really nice, big meal with a neat atmosphere and headed back to the hotel to rest up for Epcot!
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:11 PM   #9
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Sounds like you guys had a great time. Can't wait to read more of your report. Thanks!
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:43 PM   #10
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"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things... and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."-Walt Disney
 
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DAY FIVE-Thursday, June 7th

EPCOT DAY! I love Magic Kingdom but I believe Epcot is my favorite park (and it's my 17 year old DD's favorite too so we were both excited). We were up and at 'em and made sure we were in line in plenty of time for the "early" rope drop that happened about 8:50. Once we got inside the girls headed for Mission:Space for a quick ride while I went to Soarin' for fastpasses. We met back at Spaceship Earth, rode together, did Figment and Living with the Land before our Soarin' time came around then got our ride in there. Stopped in at Club Cool (got my 15 year old to try Beverly!), walked around a few shops in Future World then started making our way around World Showcase. Rode the Gran Fiesta in Mexico and Maelstrom in Norway, looked through a few shops on our way to Germany and checked in at the Biergarten for lunch.

LUNCH - Biergarten has always been one of my favorites because I love German food. We really enjoyed our lunch here as always...pork schnitzel with hunter's sauce, meatballs, pretzel bread, spaetzel, roasted potatoes, sausages, sauerkraut, red cabbage, and lots of yummy desserts! Our only disappointment was the soup...they had a cauliflower soup instead of our favorite potato and leek soup. It wasn't bad, just not our favorite. All in all a very good meal!

After lunch we headed back out around the world...and that's when the rain really started to pick up. It had sprinkled on us a bit that morning but the steady rain set in as we toured around to Italy, grabbed some chocolates and headed to the American Adventure. Voices of Liberty were great as always and I LOVE the show....one of my favorite attractions in all of WDW. Ventured back out into the rain and continued on around through some more shops and took in Impressions de France, another favorite. Rain picked up some more while we were in the UK (of course!) so we shopped a while there before heading through Canada and back around to Future World. It was really coming down at this point and we had to duck back into Club Cool again to keep from getting absolutely soaked! There was a brief break in the downpour but it was quite obvious that the rain wasn't going anywhere so we made a run for Spaceship Earth for one more ride, stopped in to grab a retro Epcot t-shirt for me and headed toward the gate. It started pouring again as we approached the tram pick up and the lines were pretty long so we decided to walk to the car since we parked pretty close that morning. By the time we got to the car we looked like we jumped in a pool fully clothed! Laughing hysterically by the time we got in! Kept raining all night so we definitely made the right call to leave early. Grabbed a quick fast food dinner on the way back to the hotel and spent the evening drying out and planning our return on our last day to the Magic Kingdom!
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