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Old 02-22-2012, 01:43 PM   #16
PhoenixStrength
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Hello all! I am going to post the first update very shortly, but first I wanted to let you all know a couple of things.

1. I took about 3000 pictures during this trip. While not all of them will make it in the TR, most of them probably will. So, this will be long with many updates since I can only have 25 images per update!

2. I slept HORRIBLY the week before I left. In fact, I only got about 6 hours sleep TOTAL during the 6 nights before I left. I don't know why, but I was exhausted the first part of the trip and didn't get as much done as I would have liked, but there is always next trip! I did sleep very well at WDW, so my energy went up during the trip, but the beginning I was dragging some.

Anyway, as long as Photobucket and my computer here at work co-operate I will have the first update up very shortly!


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Heat, humidity and a great Mother/Daughter trip! A May TR
Alien Encounter gave me PTSD!! A Dec '14 PTR

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Old 02-22-2012, 02:29 PM   #17
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DAY 1, SATURDAY FEBRUARY 11TH, PART 1

The Joy of Flying


I woke up around 7am that morning, which would be the theme for the next week+ for most mornings. After feeding the animals breakfast (my parents were caring for them while I was away) I took a quick shower and ate some breakfast. Then I packed the last few things that I had needed that morning (I had packed everything else the night before) and it was close to time to leave. My flight was scheduled to leave at 12:35pm, so I wanted to be at the airport around 10:30ish to make sure I had time to do everything I needed and eat something there before my flight.

My Dad picked me up around 10am to take me to the airport so I wouldn't have to leave my car or pay for a taxi. We got there around 10:20am and he dropped me off at the Southwest entrance at BWI. I haven't flown a ton, but of the 6 airports I have been in, BWI is my favorite. They have a TON of food and shopping there and it just has a great set-up, but more on that later. I did the curbside check-in for my 2 checked bags (three cheers for bags fly free with SW!) and since I had already done online check-in the day before and printed my boarding pass, I went right to security. The line there wasn't too bad, and I was done and at my gate by 10:40am! I hadn't expected everything to go that fast, but I wasn't complaining either. I wasn't hungry yet, so I took some pictures while waiting.
















BWI has these counters with stools to sit at as one seating option while using your laptop/tablet.




But I chose to relax in these, the leather plush chairs they have! You can't see it in this picture, but they also have an outlet next to each seat so you can plug in there too.




When I first got to my gate there were only a handful of other people already there. Around 11:15ish I decided to get something to eat so my stomach could settle before my flight. I have never gotten air-sick before, but didn't want to tempt fate either. I ate at the Arby's by my gate, but didn't take any pictures. After I ate I went in one of the stores by there and looked around, but didn't buy anything except a bottle of water to take on the plane with me. By that time the seating around the gate was almost full! There were lots of families with kids that were all also going to Disney. Many had on Disney shirts and/or kids with Disney toys.

While waiting for my flight, which I kept checking and the status was "On Time", the flight at the next gate over took off and I got some pics of that too.










My plane was coming from New York and thankfully landed around 12:10pm. I got pics as it pulled into the gate.










Lots of people got off the plane and they told us it would be a few minutes before we could board as they needed to clean up a mess. I was in the first boarding group (no assigned seating for SW, just groups A, B and C and a number, which you line up by) and got lined up in my spot via the pillars.




I got a window seat (Yay!) in row 12, on the left side of the plane. I was one row behind the emergency row. I managed to get one picture of my view, which included the wing, before everyone finished boarding and I had to shut my camera off for a bit.




As you can see, it was rather foggy that day, but nothing that caused any problems. We left right on time and were told we would probably land earlier than our scheduled 2:55pm arrival time. I was not happy about the other 2 people in my row. It was a very large couple on their way to their honeymoon. I'm not insulting large people at all, but they were both plain rude, though she was worse since she was next to me. She put the arm rest up between our seats and was taking up several inches of my seat, and would not move. Then they spent the entire flight either making out or complaining about everything and anything.

On a brighter note, the 3 flight attendants were all great. I can only remember the name of the guy who was doing the announcements, Jerome, and he was very funny. The 2 women who did the food and drinks were both very friendly and were talking to everyone the whole flight. Despite the large number of kids, there was no crying or whining that I heard. I spent the flight taking pictures and looking thru the Skymall magazine.














After about 30 minutes we got some snacks, pretzels and Nabisco 100 calorie pack Sweet and Salty mix. They were both yummy.










About an hour into the flight we passed several other planes that were flying semi-close to us. It was still quite foggy so this is the best pic I could get




UP NEXT: Landing, and waiting for DME!

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Aug 97 Off Site Aug 01 Off Site Sept 08 POP Nov 10 Off Site Feb 12 POP Dec 12 POP Sept 13 CBR May 14 CBR Dec 14 CBR

Heat, humidity and a great Mother/Daughter trip! A May TR
Alien Encounter gave me PTSD!! A Dec '14 PTR

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Old 02-22-2012, 03:46 PM   #18
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Day 1, Saturday February 11th, Part 2
Landing, and Waiting for DME!


The clouds started to disappear as we flew over Florida, and you could start to see the ocean, then land!
















As we started flying over Florida the pilot stated we were about 20 minutes from landing and Jerome asked us to turn off "anything with an on/off button", so away the camera went. The landing went very smoothly, and we were over 20 minutes early! I had decided to get my own bags, as I wanted to unpack right away rather than wait for hours for the bags to arrive. After I got my bags, which didn't take long, I made my way to the DME counters. This was my first time using DME, but the process was easy and I was second in line for the POP/CBR bus. I took some pictures while waiting (and waiting, and waiting....).







After about 45 minutes, and the line becoming quite long behind me, we were ushered onto a bus, though not an actual DME bus, but a Cruise Line bus Here's is the fabric on the seats on that bus.




There was a real DME bus next to me though.




I got a picture of the tower as we pulled out of MCO, and then settled in to watch the beginning of Toy Story 3.




In 20 minutes we were at POP Century. I got my bags and went in to check-in. As you can see, it was not busy yet.




I only got one picture of the lobby in before I was being ushered up to the Online Check-in desk.




I was quickly checked in and found that I loved my room location. I had originally asked for 60s, but got 50s building 3 and wound up liking that better anyway. I also got my two other requests, which were 4th floor (no noise above me!) and lake view. Lastly, I got a request I hadn't even made, which was an end room.

Being the good Diser I am, I took pictures of my room for y'all!




























Oh, here is what my room number was.




And a pic of the Towel animal that was in my window when I checked in.



NEXT TIME: Exploring the resort, and Downtown Disney





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Aug 97 Off Site Aug 01 Off Site Sept 08 POP Nov 10 Off Site Feb 12 POP Dec 12 POP Sept 13 CBR May 14 CBR Dec 14 CBR

Heat, humidity and a great Mother/Daughter trip! A May TR
Alien Encounter gave me PTSD!! A Dec '14 PTR

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Old 02-22-2012, 07:37 PM   #19
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For some reason it never occurred to me that when they say to turn off all electronics during take off/landing it means cameras too. Whoops! I always thought it was just things such as cells, smart phones, laptop, etc. Oh well, I got many nice pictures and videos last time. I wonder why we have to turn the cameras off???

I'm so happy you got to Orlando early and that you got a fabulous room location at POP.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnmel View Post
For some reason it never occurred to me that when they say to turn off all electronics during take off/landing it means cameras too. Whoops! I always thought it was just things such as cells, smart phones, laptop, etc. Oh well, I got many nice pictures and videos last time. I wonder why we have to turn the cameras off???

I'm so happy you got to Orlando early and that you got a fabulous room location at POP.
I never used to either, but they were very specific and said anything with an on/off switch. One guy asked if that included cameras and they said for personal safety yes, since they didn't want anyone distracted for the take-off and landing. So, I turned it off. Not an airplane safety issue at all.

Thanks! I loved my room location as the Illuminations fireworks were right there (pictures coming later in the TR) and it was usually quiet. Some noise in the morning from the staircase next to my room, but it was usually after I was awake already anyway.
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Aug 97 Off Site Aug 01 Off Site Sept 08 POP Nov 10 Off Site Feb 12 POP Dec 12 POP Sept 13 CBR May 14 CBR Dec 14 CBR

Heat, humidity and a great Mother/Daughter trip! A May TR
Alien Encounter gave me PTSD!! A Dec '14 PTR

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Old 02-22-2012, 09:43 PM   #21
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Such a tidy room with all your stuff laid out. Guess that's one advantage when you travel solo. And look, you have TWO beds all to yourself Loved your in air photos from the plane. Very pretty sky. I'm usually too busy sleeping or clenching the arm rests, trying to take deep breaths to notice
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:05 AM   #22
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Wow, I'm ashamed that I'm so late to your TR! I'm loving all of your photos. Pop looks like a nice resort!
Sorry for everything you are going through. Keep us posted on how Cathy, Miles & Jynx are doing.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:09 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenbear123 View Post
Such a tidy room with all your stuff laid out. Guess that's one advantage when you travel solo. And look, you have TWO beds all to yourself Loved your in air photos from the plane. Very pretty sky. I'm usually too busy sleeping or clenching the arm rests, trying to take deep breaths to notice
Yeah, coming solo does mean you have more room to put all of your things, without someone else's stuff being in the way!

I'm not bothered by flying at all, so I enjoy looking out. But I can certainly understand that if you aren't comfortable with it that you wouldn't want to get pictures.


Quote:
Originally Posted by aprilisis View Post
Wow, I'm ashamed that I'm so late to your TR! I'm loving all of your photos. Pop looks like a nice resort!
Sorry for everything you are going through. Keep us posted on how Cathy, Miles & Jynx are doing.
Hi April! You are not that late, I just did the first updates yesterday POP is a nice resort. I was worried a bit since I hadn't stayed there since 2008, but I really loved it.

Thanks! So far everyone is doing better. Cathy was feeling much better as of last night, Miles has his last surgery today and should move to rehab starting Monday and Jynx is doing very well with everything except taking her meds! I hope Isis is feeling better.
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Aug 97 Off Site Aug 01 Off Site Sept 08 POP Nov 10 Off Site Feb 12 POP Dec 12 POP Sept 13 CBR May 14 CBR Dec 14 CBR

Heat, humidity and a great Mother/Daughter trip! A May TR
Alien Encounter gave me PTSD!! A Dec '14 PTR


Last edited by PhoenixStrength; 02-23-2012 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:39 AM   #24
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Glad that the flight was somewhat uneventful (sans the griping and making out couple next to you) and that you made it to Orlando ahead of schedule. From the looks of your picture, you beat the rest of the Magical Expresss folks to the check in desk.

Don't cha just love it when you get a room that's in the perfect location? It starts your vacation off with a bang (yes, I am referencing the fireworks pictures that you said were coming later ). If you could see the fireworks, then you may have also been able to get a glimpse of the CBR. I know you can see the top of some of the POP buildings from the CBR grounds.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:17 PM   #25
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I'm considering a solo trip next year. I'm looking forward to reading about your adventures and getting some inspiration for my own!
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:42 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeystoontown View Post
Glad that the flight was somewhat uneventful (sans the griping and making out couple next to you) and that you made it to Orlando ahead of schedule. From the looks of your picture, you beat the rest of the Magical Expresss folks to the check in desk.

Don't cha just love it when you get a room that's in the perfect location? It starts your vacation off with a bang (yes, I am referencing the fireworks pictures that you said were coming later ). If you could see the fireworks, then you may have also been able to get a glimpse of the CBR. I know you can see the top of some of the POP buildings from the CBR grounds.
There was only a family of 3 in front of me in the DME line, but probably because I just missed a bus.

I did LOVE my room location! I could kinda see what I thought was CBR, but I wasn't sure at first. But I had forgotten that they were right next to each other, until I got back there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissManda View Post
I'm considering a solo trip next year. I'm looking forward to reading about your adventures and getting some inspiration for my own!
I'm glad you found me. Solo trips are a lot of fun in different ways than trips with others are. If you have any questions about solo trips to WDW please ask! This was my second solo trip in a year and a half there.
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Aug 97 Off Site Aug 01 Off Site Sept 08 POP Nov 10 Off Site Feb 12 POP Dec 12 POP Sept 13 CBR May 14 CBR Dec 14 CBR

Heat, humidity and a great Mother/Daughter trip! A May TR
Alien Encounter gave me PTSD!! A Dec '14 PTR

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Old 02-25-2012, 09:04 PM   #27
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DAY 1, SATURDAY FEBRUARY 11TH, PART 3
EXPLORING THE RESORT, AND DOWNTOWN DISNEY


I forgot to mention in the last update that I checked in and got to my room around 4:35pm. I spent about 45 minutes unpacking and organizing everything, all while watching "Must Dos". While the show is entertaining the first time or two, the fact that it replays continuously every 8 minutes makes it get old fast!

I decided to head out to Downtown Disney for the evening for dinner, shopping and to hopefully do Characters in Flight. But first, a couple pictures of Art of Animation across the lake.







And some of POP Century as I walked back to Classic Hall to cut thru to the Bus Stop.



















I got to the bus stop for DTD and the bus came within a couple minutes. For those that want to know, the bus left at 5:28pm and we arrived at the Marketplace stop at 5:41pm, so 13 minutes traveling. I took a couple of pictures along the way.










Rainforest Cafe is undergoing renovations while they add a "Lava Lounge", so it is blocked off all around except the entrance, since they are still open during the construction.




I took some pictures as I walked past the Lego store, since some of the creations had changed since my trip in 2010.



















For dinner I stopped at Pollo Campero/Fresh-A-Peel. Earl of Sandwich and Wolfgang Puck Express were both packed, so I ended up there.





I got the Fried Chicken with Campero Rice and Caramel Flan. It was all just okay. The spices on the chicken were a little off, but not bad. The rice tasted re-heated, the tortillas were rubbery and the flan was just okay. Overall I was not impressed.










UP NEXT: CAN I FLY?


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Aug 97 Off Site Aug 01 Off Site Sept 08 POP Nov 10 Off Site Feb 12 POP Dec 12 POP Sept 13 CBR May 14 CBR Dec 14 CBR

Heat, humidity and a great Mother/Daughter trip! A May TR
Alien Encounter gave me PTSD!! A Dec '14 PTR


Last edited by PhoenixStrength; 02-25-2012 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:24 PM   #28
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DAY 1, SATURDAY FEBRUARY 11TH, PART 4
CAN I FLY?


Once I was done eating I headed over to the WestSide to Characters in Flight, to see if they were running. It was pretty windy so I had my doubts, which were confirmed by this sign:




I took a picture of the grounded balloon and then kept going thru WestSide to the shops.




I remember walking into D23, Pop Gallery and I know at least one other store, but I didn't buy anything. I started heading back toward the Marketplace and the bus stop, taking pictures along the way.






















They were doing some work on one of the entrances to World of Disney, but the rest were all open. I didn't go in that night, though I would later in the trip.










I took some pictures of the deals that had going on that week.







And then headed to the bus stop.







I don't remember the exact time I left, but I know it was right around 8pm. How do I know that? Because all 3 times I went to DTD I left around then and it was always shift change. We went to the Pleasure Island stop and changed drivers. This was the fastest night for the change-over, though the driver did go past the stop at first and the new driver had to chase us down a few stops to get us. While waiting for the drivers to switch I took a couple of pics.







A few minutes after the switch-off happened we were pulling back into POP Century.




I took a few pictures of the resort all lit up on the way to my room, as well as one of AoA across the lake. Disney could probably save some money if they didn't leave the lights all on over there every night!













Shortly after getting back to my room I decided I wanted a snack, since I only ate one bite of the flan during dinner. I headed to Everything POP and got an Oreo cupcake, which has adorable Oreo Mickey Ears.




NEXT TIME: THE MONORAIL AND FERRY AREN'T WORKING?!


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Aug 97 Off Site Aug 01 Off Site Sept 08 POP Nov 10 Off Site Feb 12 POP Dec 12 POP Sept 13 CBR May 14 CBR Dec 14 CBR

Heat, humidity and a great Mother/Daughter trip! A May TR
Alien Encounter gave me PTSD!! A Dec '14 PTR

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Old 02-25-2012, 10:24 PM   #29
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Sorry you didn't have a great meal. I've heard so many good reviews of Pollo Campero, too bad your experience wasn't as great.

When I was in Disney I didn't like the offers with purchase they had, but I would LOVE to have that Castle throw.

I hope you got a chance to try Characters in Flight later that week. It's something I would like to try, but Ron is afraid of heights (in some circumstances, he has no problems on roller coasters or TOT), so I'd have to do it alone.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:38 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by ronnmel View Post
Sorry you didn't have a great meal. I've heard so many good reviews of Pollo Campero, too bad your experience wasn't as great.

When I was in Disney I didn't like the offers with purchase they had, but I would LOVE to have that Castle throw.

I hope you got a chance to try Characters in Flight later that week. It's something I would like to try, but Ron is afraid of heights (in some circumstances, he has no problems on roller coasters or TOT), so I'd have to do it alone.
The chicken was cooked well, and tasted good, the seasoning was just not what I am used to I think. The rice wasn't good though.

I wish I had gotten the throw, but I don't think I spent enough to get it at any one place.

I won't say yet if I did get to do CiF this trip, but I did do it during my last trip in 2010 during the day. I will say that if Ron if afraid of heights he probably wouldn't enjoy it at all. You go up 400 feet and move around so it would be really scary for him. I have no fear of heights and it's a little scary for me when it's going up. Once you are stopped all the way up I'm fine though, mostly.
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Aug 97 Off Site Aug 01 Off Site Sept 08 POP Nov 10 Off Site Feb 12 POP Dec 12 POP Sept 13 CBR May 14 CBR Dec 14 CBR

Heat, humidity and a great Mother/Daughter trip! A May TR
Alien Encounter gave me PTSD!! A Dec '14 PTR

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