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Old 07-18-2012, 02:57 PM   #1
tayalltheway
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Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May 2012 (Complete)

Hello fellow Disney fans and welcome to my first trip report! I’m so excited to share the awesome trip that my wife and I took May 19-25, 2012. I haven’t decided on a title yet for sure, but here’s the working title:

Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish


All right, so I know that a lot of times when I read TR’s I want to jump right into the action—get me to the first food pictures as quickly as possible—but this report is going to need A LOT of exposition. Bear with me, and I promise the payoff will be worth it.

First off, let me introduce myself.



I’m Taylor and I’ll be your guide through this crazy week. I’ve been a Disney lover all my life. My first trip to Disney World was when I was in the womb, and since then I’ve gone to WDW seven times and Disneyland twice. While I’ve always had an underlying love for the company and the parks, I first became what I would deem as Disney-obsessed after returning from my 2008 trip to the World. I began to wonder what was out there on the internet to feed my desire to learn more about my favorite place on earth. I discovered Lou Mongello’s podcast the WDW Radio Show, and I don’t think it’s exaggerating to say that it changed my life. Suddenly I had a weekly outlet to be able to escape my regular life and feel like I was in Disney for an hour or two at a time. Needless to say, I’ve been a huge fan of this podcast since 2008, and that will play very prominently into this trip. “How?” you ask. Well you’ll just have to wait and see.

So here are my stats:
Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom followed by Animal Kingdom.
Favorite Rides: Soarin’ and Pirates of the Caribbean are my favorites at Disney, but I have to admit Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is the best ride I’ve ever been on.
Favorite Disney Movies: The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 101 Dalmatians, Dumbo
Favorite Disney Resorts: Animal Kingdom Lodge, Port Orleans Riverside
Favorite Restaurants: California Grill, Via Napoli

Anyway, before I get into talking about this trip, I need to introduce you to the other member of our cast.



My wife Tracy has been a fellow Disney fan all of her life. She went to the parks on both coasts as a kid, and in high school got to march in a parade through the Magic Kingdom with her marching band. She first really became Disney-obsessed in September of last year as we planned and then returned from our trip to Disneyland. Since then, she regularly reads the boards, participates in the chats, and listens to the podcasts.

Here are her stats:
Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom followed by a tie between Epcot and Animal Kingdom.
Favorite Rides: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Haunted Mansion
Favorite Disney Movies: Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo, The Little Mermaid
Favorite Disney Resorts: Animal Kingdom Lodge, Port Orleans Riverside, Polynesian
Favorite Restaurants: Via Napoli for food; Crystal Palace for character meal; Casey's Corner, Katsura Grill and Tangierine Cafe for counter service

Now here’s a brief history of us as a couple, with our Disney history intertwined. Tracy and I started dating in our junior year of high school.

Here’s a picture of our first Prom together.



After graduating, I went off to college in NYC while she went to college in our hometown of Boulder, CO. We dated long distance for the entirety of college until Tracy graduated in December 2009 and moved to NY to join me.
In 2008, after our sophomore years of college, we went to Disney World together for the first time.



We had so much fun sharing this wonderful place that had meant so much to both of our childhoods and making new memories there together.

In 2009, we got engaged and started planning our wedding in June 2010



After our wonderful wedding, we went on a wonderful Disneymoon.



In 2011, we mixed things up a little and went on our first trip together to Disneyland!



And that brings us to this year. There’s some more exposition ahead, I warn you, but soon the PTR part of this will be over and I swear we’ll be on our way.


Continued in Next Post
__________________
1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

Last edited by tayalltheway; 02-04-2013 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:03 PM   #2
tayalltheway
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Table of Contents

Prologue
Welcome
We've Never Won Anything
Three Long Months

May 19, 2012
Chapter 1: It Begins
Chapter 2: A Side, Level 1
Chapter 3: Coronation
Chapter 4: The Place Where Dreams Come True
Chapter 5: The Food Overload Begins
Chapter 6: Healthy Dessert?
Chapter 7: From the Mississippi to Agrabah, Then Into Space
Chapter 8: We Heart Drizella
Chapter 9: I Always Cry During Wishes

May 20, 2012
Chapter 10: Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC!
Chapter 11: Bankruptcy
Chapter 12: Good Food, Eh?
Chapter 13: The Future is Now
Chapter 14: Meet the World
Chapter 15: Bratswurth
Chapter 16: Epcot After Dark

May 21, 2012
Chapter 17: It's Called ANIMAL Kingdom For a Reason
Chapter 18: Reaching the Summit
Chapter 19: The Neverending Safari
Chapter 20: Birds, Birds, Birds!
Chapter 21: We're on a Boat
Chapter 22: A Hair-Raising Tale
Chapter 23: 'Ohana Means Family
Chapter 24: At the End of the Day

May 22, 2012
Chapter 25: The World of Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Fantasy
Chapter 26: What Time is the 3 O'clock Parade?
Chapter 27: Our New Orange Friend
Chapter 28: Thanks for Lunch, Stitch
Chapter 29: Don't Rain on My Parade
Chapter 30: Before the Parade Passes By
Chapter 31: Pink Elephants on Parade
Chapter 32: When I Was Eight
Chapter 33: Classic Attractions Rock
Chapter 34: Sunsets Are Prettiest in Disney World
Chapter 35: More Ketchup, Please

May 23, 2012
Chapter 36: The Hollywood That Never Was, and Always Will Be
Chapter 37: A Galaxy Far, Far Away
Chapter 38: Toy Story-Induced Carpal Tunnel
Chapter 39: I Want Julie Andrews to Narrate My Life
Chapter 40: Spy Games
Chapter 41: Elbows Off the Table, Mabel
Chapter 42: Disney Meets Bob Ross
Chapter 43: Escaping The Box
Chapter 44: Thank God She Was Jewish
Chapter 45: The Royal Portraits

May 24, 2012
Chapter 46: A Very Potter History
Chapter 47: Walk, Don't Run
Chapter 48: We Basically Paid a Hundred Bucks Each for This Ride
Chapter 49: Do the Hippogriff
Chapter 50: Shop Like a Wizard
Chapter 51: Hogsmeade Temptations
Chapter 52: Where's the Foam?
Chapter 53: Engorgio Turkey Leg!
Chapter 54: The Butterbeer Scandal
Chapter 55: Back at Port
Chapter 56: Breezing Through the Kingdom
Chapter 57: An Evening Filled with Character
Chapter 58: Pizza Party
Chapter 59: One More Sleep

May 25, 2012
Chapter 60: The Last Morning
Chapter 61: Our Own Personal Kingdom
Chapter 62: Photo Pass Overload
Chapter 63: A Small Smackerel
Chapter 64: A Horse of a Different Color
Chapter 65: Always More to Do
Chapter 66: Last Rides and Waffles
Chapter 67: Saying Goodbye
Chapter 68: M-I-C-See Ya Real Soon…

Epilogue
Closing Thoughts
__________________
1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

Last edited by tayalltheway; 01-20-2013 at 02:24 AM.
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:44 PM   #3
tayalltheway
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We’ve Never Won Anything

Now it’s time for a few more pieces of backstory. Tracy and I have been living in NYC together since the beginning of 2010. I went to school for Musical Theatre with the goal being to become an actor. After graduating, I auditioned full time for about a year without much success. My only promising callback out of all those auditions was actually for the Voices of Liberty, though I didn’t make it past the first round of callbacks.

Last fall I started having several health issues mysteriously, which is also important to know because of how it affected our trip. I have been diagnosed with vasovagal syncope, which basically means that I might pass out at any time depending on a series of factors. I haven’t ever actually passed out, but I am dizzy A LOT of the time and have heat and cold intolerance as well as problems with prolonged standing, so my life has changed a lot.

Getting sick happened to coincide with our trip to Disneyland last September. I already hadn’t been feeling well for about a month and was starting to reconsider the path I had wanted to take in NYC. Between being dizzy all the time and having problems with cold in the winter and heat in the summer, Tracy and I realized that our plans had to change. Basically we decided to move, but we were locked into a lease until the end of August 2012, had almost no money saved up, and had no idea where we wanted to go.

Cue our trip to California. Tracy’s brother lives in LA, so we got to spend a day with him touring various parts of the city before spending a week at Disneyland. We fell in love with the whole Disneyland resort as well as the climate, pace and everything that we found in California. We decided that was where we were going to move. Alas, we still had almost a year left here and a cross-country move is very pricey.

We buckled down at our “day jobs” knowing that the more money we could save, the better off we would be for our move. Unfortunately, one consequence of this was that another Disney trip—specifically the return trip to Disney World that we dreamed about—was basically out of the budget, and hence out of the question.

But just because we didn’t think we would be able to go to Disney World didn’t mean we couldn’t dream about it. Part of our dreaming included extra reading of the boards, reading of Disney books, and listening to the aforementioned WDW Radio Show podcast.

February 11th, 2012 was Lou’s fifth anniversary of the podcast, and as part of the show, he hosted a trivia contest with his partner Beci Mankhen from Mouse Fan Travel. For the contest, there were 45 questions about Disney World trivia and the history of the podcast. Tracy and I worked together to figure out the answers, and we both submitted our entries for the grand prize—a six-night trip to Walt Disney World in a moderate resort with the dining plan included.

Going into the live fifth anniversary show, we were excited but not too hopeful. After all, we’d never won anything before. We had a busy schedule that day, and were out and about the city for the bulk of the show, but we constantly tuned into the live stream on my phone both to enjoy the hijinks of Lou and the gang as well as to listen for the big reveal of the contest winners—just in cases.

Lou put it off until the very end of the live show to draw the winner of the contest. By that time we were back home watching the show and getting ready to make dinner. A few minutes before the actual drawing, one of the WDW Radio team members read the names of the 17 people who had all gotten 100% of the answers to the trivia questions correct. Both Tracy and I were among the finalists and we finally allowed ourselves to start getting really excited. Between the two of us, here we were with better than a 1 in 9 chance of winning a trip to Disney!

The minutes ticked on and finally Lou drew a winning name, but rather than reading it on the air, he called the person so as to be able to tell them directly that they had won. As we reached the height of our anticipation, we realized than neither of our phones were ringing. The person who did win didn’t answer the phone, but Lou left a message letting them know that they had won the trip, and they were going to Disney World.

We were bummed. Not exactly surprised, but bummed. For some reason, I had really had a feeling that we were going to win. Tracy and I congratulated ourselves for making it that far and started making dinner.

Then from the kitchen, I heard Beci on the stream saying just how impressed she was that 17 people had gotten all the questions correct. So impressed, in fact, that she was going to give away another trip.

We put our cooking on hold and resumed our place on the couch as once again a name was drawn and Lou dialed the phone number of the prize winner. Again, our phones stayed silent, and once again Lou got the voicemail of the person he was calling.

As he prepared to leave another message and we prepared to go on with our lives, Lou said, “well this is pretty anticlimactic. Should I just hang up and keep calling until someone answers?” Someone agreed with him, so he ended the call just in time.

So the process started for a third time. Scott Otis, another member of the team, drew another name and Lou called. This time, as my heart was basically pounding out of my chest, my phone started ringing. I answered immediately and he told me I had won. I don’t really remember much of the conversation—I just know that Tracy and I got pretty hysterical and jumped around a lot. We thanked Lou and hung up the phone.

In an instant, everything had changed. We were going to Disney World. In a year when things had pretty constantly kept going wrong, something went right. We had won something.


Continued in Next Post
__________________
1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

Last edited by tayalltheway; 07-18-2012 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:52 PM   #4
tayalltheway
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Three Long Months

After winning the trip, the planning began. We got to choose any time during value or regular seasons to have our 6 night vacation, and we had to submit our top three choices of moderate resorts to Beci. We knew that we wanted to go during as slow of a season as possible, but Tracy’s company has a policy in which you’re not supposed to be able to take vacation during your first six months of employment. She was hired at the beginning of December, which meant our first possible option should have been the beginning of June—when the summer season has already started.

Tracy talked to her boss about taking her week of vacation just a hair early and was approved, so we were able to set our dates: May 19th-25th. This would also be a fun time to go because our wedding anniversary is June 19th, so we decided this could be an anniversary trip for us, knowing that the Disney calendar allows for some wiggle room when celebrating.

Our next big decision was which resort we wanted to stay at. We’d never stayed in a moderate before; on our first trip together, we stayed at Pop Century. On our honeymoon, we could only afford to go to Disney if we stayed at one of the Downtown Disney resorts, so that time we tried out the Best Western Lake Buena Vista.

After much deliberation about what we wanted from our resort on this trip, we gave these as our top choices for resorts:
1. Port Orleans Riverside
2. Port Orleans French Quarter
3. Coronado Springs

Beci submitted our choices of days and resorts to Disney and told us we probably wouldn’t hear back for a week or so. Lo and behold, however, the next day she told us we’d gotten our top choice—Port Orleans Riverside. We asked about whether she thought there was any chance of getting a Royal Room. She told us that because it was a free trip, it was very unlikely for Disney to give us an upgrade, but that there was no harm in asking just in case, so she put in that request with our package.

Only about a week after winning the trip, we were all booked. We were able to use miles to pay for one of our round trip plane tickets and found cheap flights for the other one, so we had as close to a free trip as we could have ever expected.

Once the trip was booked, we started making our ADRs, and came up with a list we were very excited about. We hadn’t been on the dining plan since our trip in 2008 and were psyched to try out several new delicious table service options.

Now it was time to wait. The months passed slowly, but we tried to keep ourselves occupied in the Disney mindset as often as possible, whether by reading trip reports, listening to podcasts, playing Disney music, or dressing up Duffy in new outfits.







We also learned how to draw Mickey and worked on honing our skills.





Eventually, time marched on and—in many ways before we knew it—the trip was upon us!!


Continued in Next Post
__________________
1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

Last edited by tayalltheway; 07-25-2012 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:03 PM   #5
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awesome trip report so far. congrats on winning. u look like a young jason segal in your prom picture! (which is a good thing. )
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:34 PM   #6
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Congrats on winning!!!!!! I'll be here for the rest of your TR.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:47 PM   #7
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so cool that you won a trip! Can't wait to read more!
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:28 PM   #8
tayalltheway
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luv0fDisney View Post
awesome trip report so far. congrats on winning. u look like a young jason segal in your prom picture! (which is a good thing. )
Thanks for reading! I'm a big Jason Segal fan so I appreciate the compliment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmandan View Post
Congrats on winning!!!!!! I'll be here for the rest of your TR.
Glad you're on board! I've got a lot of fun stuff to recap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melmar136 View Post
so cool that you won a trip! Can't wait to read more!
It's so cool to have readers. Having never done a TR before, I was pretty sure I'd be sending all this out into the ether and no one would ever read it. Hope you enjoy the rest of it!
__________________
1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:47 AM   #9
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So on board! Congratulations on winning the trip!
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Sparking up the Romance at WDW...March 2013 Trip Report for Lovers
http://www.disboards.com/showthread....3009981&page=8

He finally said YES to Disney, a ptr for March 2013
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3009981

998 picture, 10 pairs of Shoes 2 Girls.. completed TR
http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post25194679
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:19 AM   #10
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I'm in! Can't wait for more!
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2011 TR:
12 Days of Disney = 1 Happy Family!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2750029

2013 Disneyland Paris PTR:
Pixie Dust in Paris!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2#post47067772

2013 Disneyland Paris TR:
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:19 AM   #11
tayalltheway
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May 19, 2012

Chapter 1
It Begins


Our alarm was set for 4:00am on the first morning of our trip. Even though we made ourselves go to bed at 10:00pm and should have been able to get a decent amount of sleep, I was basically up all night tossing and turning. At around 3:00, I think I finally drifted off, but was woken up by the alarm what felt like moments later.

Despite feeling pretty exhausted, we both jumped out of bed and quickly got ready to head out. We threw all our last minute packing items into the suitcase, ate a small breakfast, and got out the door at 5:00 on the dot, right on schedule.





We went out to the street and hailed a taxi to take us to La Guardia. The quality of taxi drivers in NYC is always totally luck of the draw, but luck continued to be on our side as this trip began. We got one of the least crazy drivers I’ve ever had, and he got us to the airport smoothly and safely in only about fifteen minutes—a feat only possible to be accomplished on a Saturday morning before sunrise.



After arriving at the airport, we went in and got right in line for security. They must open security at LGA right at 5:30 because there was actually a really long line. There were a seemingly endless number of people complaining that their flights were at 6:00 and they would never make it on time. I’ve never understood how people can cut it that close with flights. We always get to the airport really early because enough things can go wrong travelling without having to worry about missing our flight due to bad planning.

After making it through, we went to Dunkin’ Donuts before settling into some seats at our gate, B5.





Here’s the first meal of the trip, and even though it wasn’t Disney food, it was still delicious. In the months of February and May, Dunkin’ Donuts has these special cream filled donuts with strawberry icing. In February, they’re called Cupid’s Choice for Valentine’s Day, and in May they’re Mom’s Choice for Mother’s Day. I think I may have seen them labeled Dad’s Choice in June once for Father’s Day as well. Way to go, creative marketing people at Dunkin’. Anyway, we’re not usually big donut people, but during those months we go a lot more often. Here’s Tracy flashing a pretty smile while she enjoys her Mom’s Choice.





We looked out the window and saw the Frontier planes at the gates next to us were sporting Lobo the wolf and Sally the mustang. Alas, we were flying JetBlue, so we didn’t get any fun animals on our tail.



We waited for a really long time to board. Duffy peeked out because he was bored.



Finally, we were called for boarding and got to our seats.



We pushed back and took off only a little later than scheduled, and we were on our way! The flight lasted for just over two hours, and we honestly just spent most of that time sleeping. And eating lots of free JetBlue snacks.



Before too long, we were told to put our seatbacks up and lock our tray tables for our landing in Orlando! We deplaned as quickly as possible, feeling the rush of heat and humidity as we walked up the jet way. Then we boarded everyone’s favorite mini-monorail and made our way to the main terminal.







First palm tree sightings of the trip!



Next on the docket—finding the Magical Express.

Continued in Next Post

__________________
1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

Last edited by tayalltheway; 01-21-2013 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 07-19-2012, 01:46 PM   #12
tayalltheway
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Chapter 2
A Side, Level 1


We made our way through MCO toward ground transportation.



Our first Disney sighting of the trip came as we passed the Earport.



Now we were determined to find the Magical Express counter without getting lost in MCO—a feat we had never once accomplished successfully. All the hidden escalators and lack of signage makes this a very confusing airport, but luckily we had just looked at the map in our Magical Express booklet and were fairly confident we knew where we were going.

“Where is it again?” I asked Tracy.

“A Side, Level 1, I think,” she replied.

So we started walking, found the A side of the airport, took the escalator down and walked in the direction I thought was right. We saw some Magical Express and Disney Cruise Line buses out the window, but not one sign indicating where to go. After we reached one end of the airport to no avail, I asked someone at the Hertz counter where the DME was.

“Oh, that’s on the B side. Go up the escalators, across the airport, back down the escalators and follow the signs.”

Oops. B side it is I guess. Maybe NEXT time we’ll successfully find the DME without getting lost. We followed our instructions and finally saw this sign like a beacon beckoning us.



Once we knew where we were going, we found it was pretty simple finding the throngs of people constantly gathering to board the Magical Express. We had no reason to go to the actual counter, so we found the line for our Riverside and queued up behind all the other people going to Yacht Club, Beach Club and Boardwalk. We wondered why there is a different bus for French Quarter than Riverside—they are right next to each other after all—but never got an answer.



There were probably two full bus loads ahead of us in our line, but luckily it was a pretty busy time of day so they had the line moving pretty fast. Within about ten minutes our bus pulled up.



We were pretty excited to have an actual DME bus because there were lots of yellow Mears buses in the area as well, and we wanted the full experience, welcome movie included! We boarded the bus, hoping for the front seats so we could have the best unobstructed view of the signage as we approached Disney, but the woman who got on right before us swiped them. Blast! Oh well. We found a seat with a decent view of the TV.





We took Duffy out and put his mouse ears on.



Now I’ve always heard horror stories about it taking forever for the DME to start moving even after boarding, but we must have lucked out, because we were on our way within moments. The video started up.



My favorite part of this movie is how prominently Scrooge McDuck is featured among other obscure characters. Between the movie and the scenery out the window, the ride went really quickly. Before we knew it, we were passing under the gates.



Seeing that arch is always one of the most “we’re here!” moments for me. It was at that point that it really started to sink in. We assumed that since we were the only moderate resort on the bus, we’d probably have to wait until they dropped off at all of the deluxes first, but then we saw this sign.



Not only were we first; we were here!!



We got off the bus and went into the lobby. I was blown away right off the bat with all the awesome details of this resort. I was loving it already.











We had done online check-in, so we avoided the line in here, even though that part of the lobby is really cool.



We walked up to the online check-in desk, and the cast member greeted us. It was time to press our luck once again. Would we be able to score an upgrade on top of our free trip?

Continued in Next Post
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1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

Last edited by tayalltheway; 01-21-2013 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:07 PM   #13
mtfarlin
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Thanks for the great report so far!!! Keep it up!! Makes for fine reading while haveing a slow day at work!! Makes me wish I was at WDW right now
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:35 PM   #14
tayalltheway
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandihead2012 View Post
So on board! Congratulations on winning the trip!
Thanks and welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZFamily5 View Post
I'm in! Can't wait for more!
Hooray!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtfarlin View Post
Thanks for the great report so far!!! Keep it up!! Makes for fine reading while haveing a slow day at work!! Makes me wish I was at WDW right now
Glad you're enjoying it during a slow work day, as I'm also writing it during a slow work day! Oops?
__________________
1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:31 PM   #15
Epaima
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It seems like you guys are having a really great trip so far! I love hearing about people who have won trips; they are always so magical! Hoping the magic continues and am looking forward to more
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