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Old 07-10-2012, 09:35 AM   #1
Earning My Ears
Blissikins's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 55

Smile Dreams Really Do Come True...1st Trip to WDW.

This spring my DH and I took my first trip to WDW (and my first trip to America, actually). I've been desperate to go to WDW for as long as I can remember, and thanks to someone sending a little pixie dust our way, we were able to go this year!

I've written the trip report on my blog, but I will link to new posts here as I make updates.


DH is not the biggest Disney fan, he has already done the parks with his family as a child, so obviously LOTS has changed, but he could have had a day in each park and called it quits. Unfortunately for him he had to go with...

Me! I adore all things Disney. We booked our trip over a year before we went, and I spent that year reading EVERYTHING I could on WDW (I've tried to put any interesting info I could remember into my TR...hopefully you will find it interesting anyway!), online and in books. So DH had pretty much had WDW coming out of his ears before we even set off.

We did *gasp* venture away from Disney for a couple of days, and I will include links to the posts about those days too.

I apologise in advance for my over-use of the words "amazing" and "awesome"! I spent two weeks in a state of complete awe and wonder!

14-04-12 - Florida Here We Come!

15-04-12 - Magic Kingdom!

16-04-12 - Magic Kingdom Day 2

17-04-12 - Universal Studios

17-04-12 (cont) - TNA Impact Taping @ Universal.

18-04-12 - Animal Kingdom

19-04-12 - EPCOT

20-04-12 - Cinderella's Royal Table

21-04-12 - Epcot Take II & Ghiradellicious!

22-04-12 - Disney Hollywood Studios

I hope you enjoy my TR, goes without saying it is VERY pic-heavy!!
1st Visit: Apr. 14-28th 2012
(still unfinished )Trip Report: Dreams Really Do Come True! 1st Trip to WDW.Can't wait until our next trip Oct '15!!

Me: DH:

Last edited by Blissikins; 08-03-2012 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:46 AM   #2
Earning My Ears
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Posts: 55

Here is a quick over-view of what's to come in future updates:

We were out all day every day, usually from 9am or earlier until at least midnight. Our two weeks were spent:

14th: Check-in, Downtown Disney
15th: Magic Kingdom
16th: Magic Kingdom
17th: Universal Studios/TNA taping
18th: Animal Kingdom
19th: Epcot
20th: Premium Outlets, Magic Kingdom, Cinderella's Royal Table
21st: Epcot, Downtown Disney
22nd: Disney Hollywood Studios, Hooters
23rd: Islands of Adventure, TGI Friday's
24th: Kennedy Space Center, Downtown Disney
25th: Downtown Disney, Epcot
26th: Seaworld, Magic Kingdom
27th: Magic Kingdom, Disney Hollywood Studios
28th: Magic Kingdom rope-drop, airport

I took 3288 photographs altogether, not counting official Seaworld ones and Photopass. I also ended up coming home with a new camera as the one I had taken died on the second day. Fortunately we got a good deal and a great new camera!

We had the most amazing time, it was the trip I have always dreamed of taking to Disney. I could easily have just done Disney parks, and as you can see we had no time for the water parks, etc. On Monday night DH reminded me that "Disney is more than the Magic Kingdom, you know...", I'd completely forgotten that there were three more parks.

Personally I'm glad we didn't spend the extra for a Disney Resort hotel, because we were barely in the hotel at all, we didn't even use the pool there, it was literally just somewhere to crash and burn before we set off again! We got 2 weeks at the Doubletree Hilton Seaworld for the price of one week at the cheapest Disney resort. We mainly ate at whatever park we were at. At all of the Disney parks the food was delicious, though it was probably Tuesday before we saw a vegetable, and that was off-property.

We stuck to our budget all the way through, we had allowed $200/day, and for the first week we only spent between $50-100 per day (not counting Camera Day), which included $14/day parking at Disney (the only time we got our act together and took the hotel bus was when we went to Seaworld). The first week's leftover money meant that we could also do Kennedy Space Center and Seaworld on the second week. At Seaworld I also paid an extra $50 for a backstage tour with a dolphin trainer, which was AMAZING.

Anyway, on with the photographs! I've tried to group them by park.

Magic Kingdom

Meeting Tigger and Pooh:

I have a morbid fear of people in animal/mascot suits, so the character meet and greets were a HUGE deal, but I didn't want to miss out! DH decided to break me in gently with one of my favourites, he figured "...no-one could be scared of Winnie The Pooh!".

A sneaky peek at the Beast's castle in the new Fantasyland expansion (from Winnie the Pooh ride queue).

Why yes I am 28, and yes that is a light-up Tinkerbell balloon. When we were planning the trip DH would often ask me about the things I'd always wanted to do in Disney World, and one of them was that ever since there was a Disney advert on TV with a little girl running with a big bunch of Mickey balloons, I wanted a bunch of Disney World balloons! The funniest bit was all the kids trailing past pointing "But Mommmm, she's older than me and she's got one..." Sorry mothers, I apologise for giving your kids whining ammo!

I read online that if you ask any of the balloon sellers in any of the parks, they will let you have a photo taken holding their balloons!! I'm disappointed it didn't come out that well, but I have the memory.

Animal Kingdom

AK was the only park that we only visited once. We did the park bits, but we didn't see many of the animals as it was just too hot. That day I ended up with mild sunstroke, so that was our only early night, we were back at the hotel by just after 9pm. I enjoyed it, but not as much as the others.

Universal Studios

The only thing DH specifically said he wanted to do in Florida was get tickets for a TNA Impact Wrestling taping at Universal, so I found the email address and reserved us some free "VIP" passes before we set off. The actual show was pretty cool, but I was a bit disappointed with the whole experience of it, as the passes implied that we would be allowed early entry and we were stood around waiting for nearly two and a half hours! There were employees walking up and down the queue touting $20 wristbands for photographs with two of the female wrestlers (one of whom is also a waitress at Hooters..."where the photos with her are free" as DH pointed out!).


I loved Epcot. After Magic Kingdom that was our favourite park. The first day we went we did World Showcase, and then the other half-days we did we did the different areas around Spaceship Earth, etc. We were there for the Flower and Garden Festival, which had loads of cute Disney topiaries.

They had my favourite show of the holiday: Turtle Talk With Crush. I have no idea how they do it, but it is AMAZING! I loved Soarin' too, though I was less keen on the 80min queue behind a group of students on their senior graduation trip. They weren't annoying on purpose, just in an excited teen way, too loud and boisterous. We really enjoyed the World Showcase, I picked pearl in Japan, and we had amazing cookies from the Werther's shop in Germany. We ate at American Adventure Pavillion (I find it really funny that all the other countries are just "Mexico" or "China", apart from the US which is "American Adventure"), and were in time for the fife and drum corps show in the restuarant. The American Adventure show was very good, even if the history was a little sketchy, I really enjoyed it.

Amazing ceiling in China pavillion.

Picking my pearl in Japan.

Disney Hollywood Studios

We also went to see Beauty and the Beast show (I think it would be better if they had done "Festival of..." like they did with The Lion King, rather than chopping out vast chunks of the story, the show didn't make sense), and of course Fantasmic, which was awesome.

Islands of Adventure

DH decided that our first ride of Islands of Adventure should be Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges. :doh: We got DRENCHED. There aren't many photos of Jurassic Park land, because my lasting memory will be standing in the bathroom trying to dry my knickers! I was not amused. But a new pair of trousers later (jean-shorts and water do not make for a happy day trip!) we were off to Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

WWHP was amazing, everything looks just like it does in the film. All of the shops are window-dressed, even if they are not really open, and a lot of the displays move. Inside the shops are all fitted out too (even if they are just the dummy shops, if you can see through the windows they are fitted out properly inside). The actual shops are WAY too crowded! The queue for Olivander's was over 90mins, so we didn't see the wand selection show. We ate at The Three Broomsticks, and tried the Butterbeer (it's delicious!). The Forbidden Journey ride (inside Hogwarts) is absolutely amazing, a mix of rollercoaster, simulator, and anamatronics, I've never seen anything like it. Even DH loved it and he hates Harry Potter.


Hogsmead. The snow looked so strange in the blazing sun!

The Frog Choir. We saw this and the Tri-Wizard Spirit Rally, both were really good.

Inside the Owl Post. There is a woman outside with a mail-franking stamp, she said she once had a couple take their wedding invitations for postmarks, and she had to stamp 197 pieces of mail for them!!


My Dad was the one who encouraged us to go to the Kennedy Space Center, as he would love to go himself. If you go, book tickets online, and pay the extra $5 for the better tickets. Normal admission is $45. We paid $50 and for the extra $5/ticket we got a $10 meal voucher (when we added drinks we just had to pay an additional 89c for a main course and large drink), and a commemorative coin made from metal that had been taken into space worth $7 each. I wish we'd have gone on the first Tuesday, as that was when the Discovery set off to Washington on the back of a modified 747, and I would have loved to have seen that! But with us never been in we didn't see the news, and we missed any announcements about it (though apparently Mum and Dad watched it on TV! :lol: ).

The Vehicle Assembly Building. The American flag on the side is 20 storeys high, and each of the stars is 6ft tip to tip. The VAB has a special air-con system, because if it didn't clouds would form and it would rain indoors! The size of everything was just overwhelming.

The Rocket Garden. Apparently they all have to be securely bolted down because they are still counted as weapons of war.

Inside the Gemini escape pod. I'm only 5'2" and I felt squashed in, they said the average astronaut was 5'10", so it must be very uncomfortable when they have space suits on and are cramped up like that.

We also did the Shuttle Launch Experience which was fascinating. The sign outside the door reads "If you are carrying anything which would hit the floor if you were turned upside down and shaken, please put it in a secure place." :lol:


We had actually changed our minds about going to Seaworld, right up until the morning that we booked (we even set off in the car to go to Disney, and then changed our minds and went back to book tickets!). We saved $10 by booking online, but it was still $71 each. On top of that we paid an extra $50 and I did the Backstage Dolphin Tour, which involved feeding the baby dolphins with the trainers at the Nursery Pool, and then going with trainers to Dolphin Cove where we each got our own dolphin and were shown the hand signals for their tricks. It was an awesome experience and well worth the $50 even though it was only an hour. We got to pet and feed the older dolphins and that was just amazing.

Downtown Disney
We spent a lot of evenings at Downtown Disney, even if we just went to Ghiradelli's for ice creams (which were both huge and delicious!). I loved the giant Disney Store there. If you get counter service meals at any restaurants in the parks, the bottom half of your receipt is a 20% off voucher to use on merchandise in one shop in each park, and World of Disney at DTD. We saved loads on gifts and souvenirs this way! I also managed to get a trip on Characters In Flight balloon (apparently it is a bit unreliable, getting stopped for weather, etc), which I was really excited about as I've never been on a balloon before.

Giant waffle cones!

View from Characters in Flight.

Fulton's Crab House. I loved the look of FCH, though we didn't eat there.

I am currently working on my 20-04-12 update, which will hopefully be finished this week.
1st Visit: Apr. 14-28th 2012
(still unfinished )Trip Report: Dreams Really Do Come True! 1st Trip to WDW.Can't wait until our next trip Oct '15!!

Me: DH:
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:42 PM   #3
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Looks like you had a great first trip. I enjoyed reading.

My first trip report. In progress!
Let's Start with Art!! A November 2013 Trip Report
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:04 PM   #4
Earning My Ears
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Great post. Thanks for posting! Glad you had a lovely time.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:02 PM   #5
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Thank you so much for your comments!

Latest Update: 20-04-12 - Cinderella's Royal Table!

Here are a sample of the pics:

*squee* !! Cinderella's Royal Table!!

All the pixie dust in the world wasn't going to fix that sky!

There really is no light or weather that makes the castle look anything less than spectactular!

The lonely swing in IASW. My husband insists that there used to be a doll on it, but they couldn't stand to sing the song any more, and hurled themselves in front of a passing boat!

I love this little guy!

1st Visit: Apr. 14-28th 2012
(still unfinished )Trip Report: Dreams Really Do Come True! 1st Trip to WDW.Can't wait until our next trip Oct '15!!

Me: DH:
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:29 PM   #6
Earning My Ears
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Posts: 56

great pics!!!! glad you had a great time...love reading all about it
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Old 07-15-2012, 03:36 PM   #7
Earning My Ears
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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Posts: 55

On the Saturday we did some shopping at DTD (how awesome are the 20% off vouchers on the bottom of the restaurant receipts?!), before heading to Epcot to try and cover what we missed the first time around.

The night before we were celebrating our anniversary behind those lit-up windows!

Life-size Legos!

Finally! It's Porkasaurus time! I really wanted to do T-Rex for our first dinner in Disney, but it was so crowded (and we were so jet-lagged!) that we didn't bother. It was a week later before we finally managed to get in!

I loooooooove that fish tank! Next time we know that there is no point joining the queue for a "proper" table, sitting at the bar is wayyyyy better!

One of my favourite Fantasia characters.

My spirit animal! The ballerina hippos!

I actually remembered to take a food photograph! Snaps for me!!

# Monoraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaailll!!#

Hidden Mickey!

1st Visit: Apr. 14-28th 2012
(still unfinished )Trip Report: Dreams Really Do Come True! 1st Trip to WDW.Can't wait until our next trip Oct '15!!

Me: DH:
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:37 AM   #8
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22-04-12 - dhs!

I hadn't really done much research on DHS before we set off, so I was really excited to see what it was like! It had what turned out to be a couple of our very favourite attractions (Star Tours, Muppetvision 3D) though!

I LOVE the architecture! So wonderful.

We hit up The Great Movie Ride first. I was so glad they had The Wizard Of Oz in there! That is one of my all-time favourite films!

It's really Munchkinland!!!

One thing DH remembered from visiting as a child was the stunt show. We loved it and it was every bit as good as he remembered!

These guys were amazing!

Loving the sunshine! I never expected the sorcerer's hat to be that big! I did a little pin trading in there, I traded with a cast member for an awesome Fantasia mushroom pin! :D

We <3 The Muppets!! I didn't see that cloud at the time, I only noticed when I uploaded the photographs at home. It's one of my favourite photographs from the trip.

We decided to eat lunch at Pizza Planet. O...M...G...I read all the rave reviews on here about Disney pizza and I'll admit, I thought "yeah, but they rave about everything Disney...how good can pizza really be?" Well, I take it back. The pizza is a-freakin'-mazing. We each had the cheese and tomato pizza and Ceasar salad meal, and it was all delicious. The salad was crisp and fresh and the dressing was delicious. To continue the failure of the trip report, I have no food photographs. Yup, I was rubbish at taking foodie snaps. I blame the famishment of spending all the days walking!

After lunch we headed to Star Tours. DH is the biggest Star Wars nerd I know, and he was really looking forward to this ride! By the time we got there we saw a massive crowd outside. Turns out the Pixar Pals parade was just coming to an end. We were stood at the entrance to Star Tours, figuring out what was going on when the CM in charge of the line re-opened the entrance (Do they normally close it at parade time? It was an exceptionally busy day that day, the crowds for the parade were kind of blocking the entrance to ST). They asked if we were waiting to ride, and shooed us through first! We did join the back of the queue that was already inside, but that was past C3PO, right through the "scanner" arch at the top of the ramp! The quoted wait time was well over an hour, so I was really happy that we got on so quickly! When we left the queues were out of the door again.

We had two different kinds of 3D flight goggles for Star Tours. This first trip we had the old-fashioned two-colour ones (helpfully modelled by DH):

The second time we rode later in the trip, the lenses were silver. I don't know if we were there on a change-over or something, but I thought it was odd! I absolutely LOVED ST!! I wasn’t sure what to expect, I’m not the biggest Star Wars fan, but on this trip I really discovered a love for simulator rides, and ST was definitely my favourite Disney simulator (I think the HP and Simpsons ones at Universal were my all-time favourites).

It was getting far too hot to be wandering around outside, so we headed for a cool sit down in the Muppet Theatre! I honestly don’t know how people find time to go back to their hotels and chill by the pool, I really don’t, but I can see why they do, especially towards the end of our stay when it was hitting the 90s!

Once again (I’m really sorry, this genuinely was the theme of the trip!) we just walked straight in as the doors opened with no queue, so I didn’t really have time to get many shots in the awesome queuing area. When we went back for our second visit later in the trip we had a few minutes’ wait so I got some snaps then.

We both LOVED MuppetVision 3D! Bean Bunny is one of my very favourite Muppets ever, so it was awesome to see him “in the fluff”! I was a little disappointed that there were no Bean Bunny souvenirs though. I can understand that they were all about the Muppet Movie, but really, he’s the star of the show and you can’t manage even a pin badge?! *sigh*

One thing everyone told us to look for was the Singin’ In The Rain umbrella. We found it!

The best bit of the whole umbrella escapade was the Hispanic family waiting to use the umbrella after us. Whilst I tried to hold the pose (DH is THE slowest photographer ever), I slowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwly swung backwards around the pole. They were so bemused by the crazy English girl, they couldn't stop laughing!! Fortunately, neither could I!

I really wanted to do the backlot tour, so we headed there next.

Herbie! One of my favourite films to watch with my Dad as a child, I can’t believe we got to see him!

I still can’t believe I didn’t get a drop on me! DH got wet though. Serves him right though, he remembered what was coming and didn’t tell me!

We loved all of the shows at Disney. I think Festival of the Lion King was my favourite, but I really enjoyed Beauty and the Beast too. I kind of wish they’d done it like FOTLK, instead of cutting out massive chunks of the story, but I still really loved it!

One of my favourite costumes of the whole two weeks. I want to wear it!

Is the hectic performance schedule wearing Mrs Potts out? What’s with the wrinkles?!


I *think* we skipped The Little Mermaid this time, and did it on the second trip. It was getting really busy by this time and queues were starting to build.

I did seem to spend a lot of time taking photos of rides that we didn’t actually ride! :S The one flaw with our queue-dodging was that we did end up missing quite a lot of rides (the mountains, ToT, RnRc, etc). I’m not really big on upside-down rides, so there is less and less that I want to ride at theme parks, I guess rides really aren’t my priority (tbh I’m happy on the teacups! I’m such a child!).

By now we’d reached the tired/hungry/crabby part of the day (it hit us every day for between 5-30mins, but could usually be pacified with sugar), so we decided to head for Fantasmic! and get some good seats.

Fantasmic! will always be remembered as The Place I Discovered Caramel Corn. OMG. Amazing. Never had popcorn like it, it was delicious! We sat and chilled with our snacks and tried to avoid the warm-up act. I’m sorry, but I found those two guys SO annoying! I’m not a big audience participator anyway, and someone trying to force me to make noise for the sake of it is just going to make me clam up! I’m not a grump, but they just really irritated me and DH!

Here they come!

We decided to eat off-property that night, and being complete hockey nuts we headed for Hooters!

The funniest/most uncomfortable thing at Hooters was the table full of guys sat behind us. They were majorly hitting on their (and our) waitress, telling her all about how they worked at Disney World, they got all these freebies, the cast shop, blah blah blah. You could tell she'd heard it a million times before! They were asking her all these questions, to "win" fastpasses for Splash Mountain (where one of them supposedly worked). In the end they tipped her in fastpasses for Splash Mountain. She was complaining to us that now she has to spend her own money to get to use her tip! She didn't pass them on though...haha! We left her an extra big tip because from what we heard she was having a hard shift.

Next Up: Islands of Adventure!
1st Visit: Apr. 14-28th 2012
(still unfinished )Trip Report: Dreams Really Do Come True! 1st Trip to WDW.Can't wait until our next trip Oct '15!!

Me: DH:

Last edited by Blissikins; 08-04-2012 at 08:44 AM.
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