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Old 02-20-2013, 12:31 PM   #1
PE_TCR
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Planes-Trains-Automobiles-Boats-Monorails........

Let me start out by telling you about my wife and I. This is our latest of many trips to Disney. Our first trip together was the trip I proposed to her at dinner while we were eating at Cinderella's Royal Table. We also went on our honeymoon and several cruises (with trips to the world added) after that. While on these trips we finally decided we codul save money and upgrade our experiences by joining DVC. So this was our first DVC Disney trip. Our anniversary is Feb 14 and my school had off Fri. Feb 15 (I ama teacher). I took my 2 personal days and made a long weekend out of it. I am the planner and had this trip all set and ready to go -
Until we left-

We live in Milwaukee but chose to fly out of Midway (Chicago) since it saved us about $225 a ticket. Looking back that may have been a price worth paying.

It usually takes about 2 hours to drive to Midway and my parents offered to take us and pick us up so we wouldn't have to leave our car down there. We had a flight scheduled for 4:40 so I asked my dad to pick us up about 1:00 to give us some extra time to get there in case of traffic. My dad showed up at 12:15! He said they had some things to do so they would just pick us up early. I just figured we woudl now just have time to go get somethign to eat and hang out at the airport for a few hours before our flight left.

Thank God he picked us up that early!!!

After TERRIBLE traffice and an almost 4 hour drive to the airport we pulled up to the departures area at 4:10. I am never late and get stressed about running late so I was a mess. We ran from the car to the curbside check-in. As we got to the desk we told the skycap we were running a bit late. She said, "Do you want the good news or the bad news?"
We said, "Both but we have to get to our gate fast."
He said, "The good news is you will make your flight. The bad news is your flight is delayed."
We replied, "Those booth sound good to us. But will we make our connection in New Orleans?"
"Not a problem." he replied.

We got to our gate about 4:25 and just hung out for about an hour and they started boarding at 5:15. Debbie, my wife, and I had low boarding numbers so we got pretty good seats and were already reading our books while they announced this was a full flight and they were about to close the door. Then we heard, "Is there a Marx party of 2 onboard? Please signal the attendant"
So we raised our hands and the flight attendant came to us and said, "You aren't goign to make your connecting flight in New Orleans. We can fly you out to Orlando on a direct flight or put you up for the night."
We said "Let's get to Orlando" and followed her off the plane.

We got to the desk and were told to go 3 gates down and our flight was boarding but we should make it.

We ran to the gate and when we got there we told the desk who we were and her reply was, "Where have you been? We knew at 3:00 that you were not going to make your flight and had you booked on this one. However, we just 10 minute ruled you and gave your seats away."
I replied, "Is there any way we can get on the flight at all?"
She replied, "No. The flight is full. We can put you up in a hotel and get you on the first flight in the morning or we can fly you to Tampa.
Debbie and I talked for a few seconds and basically said, "Just get us to Florida." I then asked, "Can you at least get us a rental car to get us to Orlando.
She replied, "We can't do anythign from here. Call customer services and they will work something out for you." She then printed out 2 $100 vouchers and told us what gate we were leaving from. Our new flight to Tampa was leaving at 8:30.

We got a bite to eat and went to our new gate. When we got there we just relaxed some and started calling family and friends telling them what happened just to vent a little. Once we boarded we realized we had the last 2 seats on the plane. So on our trip for our anniversary Debbie had a seat at the window in the last row and I had a seat in the same row but at the other window. A family of 4 sat between us and didn't want to move at all.

While I was waiting for our flight to Tampa I got onto Orbitz and reserved a rental car for our trip from Tampa so that was ready. We landed in Tampa about 11:45and went to the car rental desk to get our car for our trip to Orlando. We got to the desk and the worke said they were out of the compact cars I had reserved so would it be ok if we were given a Grand Marquis. I didn;t care I just wanted to get to Orlando. As soon as we left the airport the Oil change and trunk open lights came on but it was too late to turn around and get a new can so we kept going. I had to find a place to get soem contact solution since the liquids were in my checked luggage and a friend of mine mentions that if we coudln't make the connection out bags probably wouldn't either. We finally arrived in Orlando at about 1:30 am. of course the airline desk was closed so we couldn't get any answers. We called for the Embassy Suites shuttle to come pick us up and they were there quickly. We checked into the Embassy Suites and finally got to sleep about 2 am.
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1996 All-Star Sports, 1997 All-Star Sports, 2000 Shades of Green, 2002 All-Star Sports, 2004 off site, 2008 All-Star Movies, 2009 Caribbean Beach and Wonder, 2009-10 All-Star Music,(Christmas-New Year Cruise) Magic and All-Star Movies, Alaska Cruise (Wonder) 2011, All-Star Movies 2012, Podcast Cruise 3.0 2012 Dream, 2013 Animal Kingdom Lodge (Jambo House) DVC, Tower od Terror 10 Miler (All Star Sports), 2014 Marathon Weekend (Animal Kingdom Lodge - Kidani Village), Animal Kingimdom (Jambo House) - Magic - Art of Anamation
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:16 PM   #2
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So glad you made it safely to Orlando but you sure did have to go through a lot to get there. I hope the next day turned out better for you and your wife.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:09 PM   #3
PE_TCR
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We sleep in a little later than we intended the next morning. Our anniversary! After breakfast at Embassy Suites (the main reason we stay there when we travel) we catch the shuttle to the airport to check on our bags and catch the Magical Express.

We get to the airport (knowing the first flight arrives from New Orleans at 12:45) to check and see if maybe our bags made it last night. We go to customer service and tell them our story. They said they can't find where our bags are located but that might be because they are on the plane already. They told us to file our bags with ME and they will take care of it when they arrive.

We go to ME and tell them our story and they tell us not to worry and direct us to the bus to AKV. We are on ME and things feel right again. When we arrive at AKL Jambo house it is amazing! We had never been there and are met right off the bus by a cast member asking if we were the Marx's and "Welcome Home!" We go check in and they tell us housekeeping is working on our room (10:30 am) and it should be ready soon. They will text us with our room number. We were then given "Happy Anniversary!" buttons and told to enjoy the parks. We drop off our carry-on bags at bell services and head to the DVC desk. Since this was our first DVC visit after becoming members on the last cruise we were on we had 18 immediate Fast Passes comming our way. We were told to go to the desk at Kidhani and pick them up. They were there waiting for us and we went right to the MK.

It was a little rainy but we were at MK!

We went right to Fantasyland and used our first fastpass on Little Mermaid. We went around the park a bit and at about 2:00 I called the baggage dept and Southwest. I asked if there was any news on our bags. The agent said "I think I saw them earlier but I don't see them any more. Please hold." After 4 minutes on hold she came back and said, "Magical Express is here right now taking your bags."

Feeling better we went back to touring the MK and felt a bit better. We went back to Jambo House at about 4 to change for our anniversary dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table at 6:40. I proposed there and we had dinner there on our honeymoon so I thought why not on our anniversary as well. I had not gotten a text yet so we went to the desk and we were told our roon was not ready yet. The cast member told us that was not right that it is taking that long so she changed our room and gve us a room with an even better savanah view. She said this one would have more giraffes. We went to our room and less than 5 minutes later our bags were delivered. We changed and went on the balcony to watch the wildlife a little then headed back to MK.

Dinner at CRT was great! We got some great pictures with the princesses and had soem great interactions. I will post pictures tomorrow. As we were eating desert the fireworks started. It was a view of the fireworks I had never had. Right under them. We aited until they were over and walked out and everyting was roped off around the castle. We were the only ones in the park allowed close to the castle and got some great pictures.

After riding a few more rides we headed back to Jambo House and fell right asleep after a crazy start to our trip.
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1996 All-Star Sports, 1997 All-Star Sports, 2000 Shades of Green, 2002 All-Star Sports, 2004 off site, 2008 All-Star Movies, 2009 Caribbean Beach and Wonder, 2009-10 All-Star Music,(Christmas-New Year Cruise) Magic and All-Star Movies, Alaska Cruise (Wonder) 2011, All-Star Movies 2012, Podcast Cruise 3.0 2012 Dream, 2013 Animal Kingdom Lodge (Jambo House) DVC, Tower od Terror 10 Miler (All Star Sports), 2014 Marathon Weekend (Animal Kingdom Lodge - Kidani Village), Animal Kingimdom (Jambo House) - Magic - Art of Anamation
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:23 AM   #4
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Waiting to hear more! Animal Kingdom is a great resort, we love going to Sannaa's for lunch and watching the animals.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:57 AM   #5
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Friday morning we woke up and had decided to go to Hollywood Studios to hit a few of our favorite rides. We went down to breakfast at the quick service at Jambo house and got the basics. I got Mickey a waffle and Debbie got a variety of different things. We got into the shortest line and stood there while all of the other lines kept moving, and moving, and moving. The guy 2 people ahead of us had no idea how to work the dining plan. Finally, he said what do I need to get to get all of this? The cast member said "8 more drinks". Well he went and got 8 kids drinks and had to go back to exchange them for adult drinks. Finally after a good 5 minutes he was checked out. The next guy had THE SAME PROBLEM!! We didn't want to change lines because we knew as soon as we did he would be done and we would be behind another "situation". Se we waited and waited. The cast member kept looking at us with that "I'm sorry" look. We finally got to the register and she kept apologizing. We said, "Don't worry about it. This is the least of our problems on this trip." We gave her the short story as we were checking out and I said, "Thanks, I hope your day gets better." As I said that I looked down at my receipt and it didn't look right. It was about half of what I should have paid. I was about to say something and the cast member said, "Mickey paid for one of the meals." She smiled and we said, Thank you."

We went to HS and went right to TSM. We used our immediate fast pass and got a regular fast pass at the same time to come back later. After the ride we went to RR. This is one of our favorite rides. As always it was great. We even got the first seats. After that, I wanted to ride ToT. Debbie HATES that ride. We decided we would use some more of our immediate fast passes and I would go on ToT and and she would ride RR again. I love ToT and jumped on the very next ride. We met up again and decided to walk around a bit. We rode StarTours and since we had about an hour before we could ride TSM again we decided to do the back lot tour. We figured it might be closed soon so we might as well ride it "one last time". It was the typical ride and when we were done it was time to ride TSM. We took out ride and decided we wanted a quick snack and we were going to go to EPCOT. We went to the Prime Time Cafe to get our favorite snack - The peanut butter and jelly shake and hopped on the boat to EPCOT.

Once we got to EPCOT we went to see what rides had the longest lines. TT was out of fast passes for the day but Soarin was still giving them out. So we used another immediate fast pass on Soarin. It is one of my favorites at EPCOT. I still get chills when the Thunderbirds fly past. ( I am a former Airman) After Soarin' we decided to sign up for the Behind the Seeds tour. They had one going out right away or one in an hour. We were still a little hungry so we tool the later one and went to Journey into Imagination before getting lunch. After the ride we came back to the land and went to the asian station for lunch. It was a great lunch. I had the spicy chicken noodles and Debbie had the beef with noodles. They were both really good and a pretty good value as well.

We then met up for our Tour. As far as tours go, this is one of the best deals at Disney. I believe it is only $15. It was about an hour and 15 minutes. We started out learning about how they control pests and Debbie was given a small container of ladybugs and told to hold onto it until later. We walked around the greenhouses and learned a lot about the different ways they are growing the plants. They Debbie was told to release the lady bugs onto a few of the plants that they wanted to watch for some pests. We went a little further and they had some cucumbers that they had just picked and we were given a sample. We continued to the aquatic farm and we got to feel some of the fish. This was a nice relaxing tour and if you are interested in plants at all I would highly recommend it.

After the tour we walked around to people watch and headed back to out room to get ready for our meat at Monsieur Paul!
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:53 PM   #6
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We went to EPCOT to eat at Monsieur Paul. As we were waiting in line a lady behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said, "I'm sorry but I just spilled red wine on your back."
What was I going to do? I said "No biggie" It's not like I could have done anything any way. We were taken to our table and seated. The bread was good as all bread is in the French restaraunts.

We both ordered the lobster bisque. It was great as always. For dinner Debbie ordered the duck and I ordered the red snapper with mashed potato scales. It was amazing. Debbie said her duck was pretty good. She liked Chefs de France better when we went last year. We both has a glass of wine with dinner and it was really good as well. For desert we split the salted carmel flan and Debbie had a cup of coffee. I'm not a huge flan lover but this was pretty good. The meal was really good but when the bill came to about $250 we both felt the money could have been better spent downstairs at Le Cefs de France.

Debbie really wanted to see the castle show at MK so we headed over there to catch it. It is truely amazing! It was one of the best shows in the park. After that we decided to ride Astro Orbiter since I had not ridden it since I was about 8. We were in line and we saw a family all wearing Wisconsin sweatshirts. I asked if they were from Wisconsin and what part they lived in. I found out they lived in the same city I teach in. THEN I find out the father (who was no riding the ride) was the Athletic Trainer at the high school I used to coach at. I knew him pretty well back in the late 90s. That would have been when these kids were less than 5 and not born yet. After the ride we went to see the dad and it was amazing how you travel 1200 miles and run into someone that lives down the street from your parents.

After that we rode our favorite ride POTC. On the way out the Main Street Electrical Parade was coming through. I was nice just to relax and enjoy. Then the big float with the eagle on it broke down right in front of us. The "soldiers" held a salute for a good 5 minutes straight. Boy were they happy when the parade started moving again. We then decided to call it a night and head back to our room.
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