Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Trip Planning Forums > Disney Trip Reports > Completed Trip Reports
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 10-24-2012, 02:50 PM   #1
holleypie's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 359

A Food and Whine Festival Weekend (Our First Mini-Trip as Parents) FINAL UPDATE 11/23

Welcome to my first* trip report! We stayed at Saratoga Springs Resort from October 19-22. During our two full days and two half-days, we planned to visit all four parks, shop at Downtown Disney, attend Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, sample some dishes at the Food and Wine Festival, see the Gin Blossoms perform, dine at Le Cellier, and do a little pin trading. Does that sound a bit too ambitious? Did I mention we have a ten-month-old?

I have a pre-trip report for this weekend getaway AND our upcoming twelve-day vacation going on HERE at the PTR board where you can find a full introduction. But if you want to just jump right in, that's fine too.

Here's the cast of characters:

I'm Holly. I'm a stay-at-home mom and writer. I like reading, running, and eating.

This is my husband Brian (aka reddog1134). He's a customer service representative. He likes movies, TV, games, and a bunch of nerdy stuff.

This is Luke, our perfect and adorable son. This was his first trip anywhere, ever.

And finally we have Tom, our good friend and frequent traveling companion. He's a talented artist and accomplished Pokemon master.

We took this trip basically because I wanted to see the Gin Blossoms and try the food at the new Terra booth. We own DVC, we were getting annual passes this year anyway, and I had a few hundred dollars in credit card rewards saved up, so it was a very inexpensive little trip.

Well, I only have 37 days until we leave for Disney again, so let's get this started!

*Sort of. We started a trip report for our 2010 vacation but then slowly abandoned it.

Last edited by holleypie; 11-23-2012 at 03:48 PM.
holleypie is online now  
Old 10-24-2012, 02:54 PM   #2
holleypie's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 359


Last edited by holleypie; 11-23-2012 at 04:16 PM.
holleypie is online now  
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 10-24-2012, 03:07 PM   #3
holleypie's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 359

The Final Countdown

The night before a trip is traditionally full of last-minute preparations and limited sleep. This time, I got off work around noon on Thursday, and then my mom kept Luke for me while I cleaned and packed. Yet the night was still full of last-minute preparations and limited sleep. I spent way too much time trying to coordinate my and Luke's outfits so that we would match either each other, or the park we were going to that day, or preferably both. But I couldn't find all of my shirts, so in the end I gave up and just threw a bunch of Luke's clothes in the suitcase and figured I'd sort it out when we got there.

Also...we had to clear out the DVR. Very important.

Tom's day had tried his patience a little, so that afternoon I sent him this youtube clip from New Girl because it makes me laugh so hard, and I hoped it would put him in a better mood. I'm mentioning it here because it will be referenced later. (Warning: The last ten seconds are funny but highly inappropriate, and also irrelevant to this discussion, so you can skip them.)

It's best to watch it because their facial expressions are priceless, but here's a transcript for you people like me who won't click on the video. In this scene, Schmidt is on a date with a Russian girl.

Schmidt: So...how do you like America?

Nadia: I like salad bar. I like Despicable Me. Tosh 2.0. I like Connect Four, freedom of speech. David Fincher. Uhh, sidewalk. I like 1-800-SLIM, ‘yo momma’ jokes, strawberry, Wilmer Valderrama, Leon J. Panetta, ice skating for fun, not to save life.

(Schmidt eats a bite of cheese.)

(Nadia laughs)

Schmidt: What are you laughing at?

Nadia: Cheese is for mouse. Are you McMouse? Why don’t you get in your spaceship like McMouse?

Schmidt: What are you talking about? What is a McMouse?

Nadia: McMouse.

Schmidt: I don't understand what McMouse is.


Schmidt: I don't...What does what mean? What is a McMouse?


Schmidt: Are you saying Mickey Mouse?

Nadia: Yes.

Schmidt: In America, honey, Mickey Mouse is earthbound.

I just think it's so funny. When Tom told me he was having an annoying day my first reaction was, "Cheer up! We're going to see McMouse. MCMOUSE."

holleypie is online now  
Old 10-24-2012, 03:32 PM   #4
holleypie's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 359

And we're off.

I wanted to leave the house at 5:45 on Friday, so I set my alarm for 4:45 because I still had a few things I wanted to take care of in the morning. Like scooping the litter box. And washing the rest of the dishes. And folding a hamper full of laundry. And giving the baby a bath. You know, just a few little things.

I woke up at 5:20 to Brian saying, "Are you getting up? I thought you set your alarm for 5:15?"

Well, we were off to a splendid start. I got dressed, then Brian bathed the baby while I did the best I could with the chores. After we were all clothed and ready to go, we bid the cats adieu, loaded our bags into the trunk, and then we were off! We got on the highway and a few short minutes later we arrived at our destination...

...Brian's dad's house. He was driving us to the airport.

We were seriously behind schedule at this point, but our flight wasn't until 8am so we still had plenty of time to get there. I texted Tom and asked where he was and he said he hadn't left yet. He lives a lot closer to the airport though and I figured he would still beat us there. And he did. When we arrived he was waiting for us near the AirTran check in counter.

We'd already checked in online and gotten our seat assignments, but we had to check one of our suitcases. While we were at the counter, a girl ran up and said, "I need to get checked in really quickly because I'm flying standby."

The guy behind the counter looked at her documents and said, "Then you better go get in the Southwest line."


After ditching my suitcase, we got in the ridiculously long security line.

When it was my turn, the security guard studied my ticket, and then called Brian over and asked to see his.

OH NO. What could possibly be wrong?

Apparently neither of us had Luke noted on our ticket, so he sent me back to the AirTran counter to get mine fixed. Argh.

Lesson #1 For Next Time: Make sure the baby is accounted for!

When we got to the gate, Tom went off in search of a McDonald's but didn't find one, and Brian got some Dunkin Donuts. I showed Luke the planes but he wasn't too interested.

So I let him crawl around on the dirty airport carpet for awhile, in the hope that he would tire himself out and sleep on the plane, because I'm a great mom.

After awhile I checked the time because it seemed like we'd been waiting forever and I knew we hadn't gotten there THAT early. It was about 7:50. And they hadn't started boarding for our 8am flight. This wasn't good. A few minutes later I overheard an employee tell someone, "The plane just arrived."

A few minutes after that, they made an announcement that...a seat was broken? And it had to be fixed? Okaaaay. Finally, they started boarding. We all were in different sections--me and Luke in 3, Brian in 7, and Tom in 8. We waited and boarded with Tom because I have no desire to sit on an airplane longer than necessary. We were in the second row after first class, me in the window seat, Brian in the middle, and Tom on the aisle.

Lesson #2 for Next Time: Ditch the freaking pacifier. It kept him content most of the time, but I'm so annoyed that he has that stupid thing in his mouth for the majority of our pictures.

After we boarded there was another delay because apparently an older woman had gotten sick a few rows behind us. She needed to be taken off in a wheelchair and then the seat needed to be cleaned.

Finally, we began to move, an entire hour after we should have left. I started to feed Luke because I thought the sucking would be good for his ears, but my timing was off and he finished eating before we'd even gotten in the air. Oops. He did okay, though. There was a baby across the aisle in the next row back who cried intermittently, so I didn't feel too conspicuous when Luke fussed. At one point I heard someone behind us say, "I am surrounded by babies. I have the worst luck." I was offended until I caught a glimpse of him and realized it was a ten year old boy. Then he had my sympathy. Sorry, kid.

Luke was squirmy, but basically good. He had little interest in the toys I brought so I let him tear up a magazine, and he wiggled between Brian and me before finally falling asleep for the last thirty or so minutes of the flight. I laid my head back and drifted off a little, too.

Before long we'd landed in Orlando!

Can you see the time on that clock? We were 90 minutes late. Sigh.

We took the airport monotrail tram thingy and then followed the Mickey heads to the Magical Express area.

I was antsy to get to the resort so the wait seemed to take forever, but it probably wasn't more than 15 minutes.

Luke didn't seem to mind.

We got all our stuff loaded on and found some seats.

My stomach growled. I hadn't eaten breakfast that morning, or dinner the night before. I conferred with Tom and Brian and we decided we would get lunch at the resort instead of waiting until we got to Magic Kingdom.

The driver announced that Saratoga Springs was the second stop. In 35-40 short minutes we would finally arrive!

I got comfy and relaxed.

The bus began to pull out of the parking lot.

Then a woman behind us screamed, "STOP THE BUS!"
holleypie is online now  
Old 10-24-2012, 05:13 PM   #5
DIS Veteran
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: MA
Posts: 1,505

I'm here!! Great start! Your day was very similar to mine - cleaning out dvr! Hehe. Glad the flight went well but I hate late flights ughhhh so sorry!!
Imagineer5 is offline  
Old 10-24-2012, 05:52 PM   #6
Been there, done that, going back
Tiggeye's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 116

I'm in. Love short weekend getaways to Disney. We did one in September, so my daughter could get a Mickey Bar!
DVC since 1992

Tiggeye is offline  
Old 10-24-2012, 06:15 PM   #7
<3er of all things Disney!
brandihead2012's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Kalamazoo
Posts: 143

On board, great tr so far!
Brandi Head

Sparking up the Romance at WDW...March 2013 Trip Report for Lovers

He finally said YES to Disney, a ptr for March 2013

998 picture, 10 pairs of Shoes 2 Girls.. completed TR
brandihead2012 is offline  
Old 10-24-2012, 08:02 PM   #8
DIS Veteran
amandaw's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: South Louisiana
Posts: 4,134

I simply must join in for this TR!

First you reeled me in with the pictures of your adorable little Luke! Then you referenced one of my favorite shows - New Girl! And you sealed the deal with talk of clearing out your DVR. My DH makes fun of how neurotic I get about how much available space we have on our DVR.

Sorry about the delayed flight - that is so frustrating! Especially when you're trying to get to Disney! But glad to hear y'all made it safely & I can't wait to hear more!
amandaw is offline  
Old 10-25-2012, 06:03 PM   #9
holleypie's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 359

I'm here!! Great start! Your day was very similar to mine - cleaning out dvr! Hehe. Glad the flight went well but I hate late flights ughhhh so sorry!!
I think it's only the second time we've ever had a flight delay, and of course it's when we already had a tight schedule. The other time, we were flying to the west coast and needed to make a connecting flight. It was so close they called off our names and let us exit the plane first, then we just walked across the runway to the new plane.

I'm in. Love short weekend getaways to Disney. We did one in September, so my daughter could get a Mickey Bar!
Haha, awesome. That was one of my mom's first questions--"Did you get him a Mickey Bar???" (Spoiler Alert: We didn't)

On board, great tr so far!
Welcome, and thank you!

First you reeled me in with the pictures of your adorable little Luke! Then you referenced one of my favorite shows - New Girl! And you sealed the deal with talk of clearing out your DVR. My DH makes fun of how neurotic I get about how much available space we have on our DVR.
I intentionally threw in as many pictures of Luke as possible.

I actually missed the first few episodes of New Girl because I was sick of Zooey Deschanel always playing the same quirky character, but Brian watched it and eventually I realized how funny it is. I still laugh whenever anyone says "chutney."
holleypie is online now  
Old 10-29-2012, 07:30 AM   #10
holleypie's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 359

Check in, lunch, and our room

After the woman's frantic shouting, I wondered what tragedy had now occurred. Is someone hurt? Did she just realize she left one of her kids at home like Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone?

The bus driver slammed on the brakes. The woman ambled to the front of the bus.

"I forgot my purse," she announced. "We have to go back." I don't know if someone nearby started complaining or what but she continued, "What am I supposed to do? WE HAVE TO GO BACK."

I don't know. I probably would have cried until we got to the resort, then made some phone calls and figured out how to retrieve my purse without delaying the busload of people waiting to start their vacation.

The bus driver was a much kinder person than I am, and he turned around. This probably only added about 15 minutes total to our trip, but I was so hungry and we'd already been delayed so much already, I had no sympathy at all for this woman. When we stopped so she could get off, a little girl behind me excitedly asked, "Are we at Disney World?"

The woman came back with her purse and the entire bus cheered.

After we were on our way (again), we watched the Magical Express video with all the characters, and I thought it was absolutely adorable. After that initial delay, I was surprised at how quickly the ride seemed to go by. We stopped at Old Key West first, and then Saratoga Springs. The purse woman got off here too and I immediately had this image of her popping up repeatedly during our vacation to cause further chaos and delays. But, spoiler alert, we never saw her again.

We headed straight to the Carriage House to check in.

Brian and I agree that we never paid attention to lobbies until we got on the disboards and started reading other people's reports. The lobby at SSR was small but beautiful.

The guy in the top hat was directing guests, handing out stickers like there was no tomorrow, and I think he had a remote control that operated the door but that could have been my imagination.

Brian got us all checked in. I think we'd requested Grandstand section, and that's what we got.

So did we rush straight to the room to check it out? Um, no. We were starving. We decided to look around for Artist's Palette, which was just down the hall from the lobby.

I got the caprese flatbread. Pizza is my favorite food but Disney pizza is the worst, so I was pretty excited to try the flatbreads. I really enjoyed it.

Brian had a roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes, which I think was the special of the day or something.

Tom had a box of fried things. I think these are the chicken breast nuggets with Saratoga Springs chips. If I recall correctly, he enjoyed the chicken but NOT the chips.

Now that we were fed it was time to check out the room. I'm not good with directions, but I'm really not a total moron. The last time I was at SSR, for my massage in 2011, I wanted to walk to Downtown Disney afterwards to meet Brian and Tom. I just could not. I had no idea which way to walk. Eventually I gave up and called them to come get me. We had a similar experience trying to find our room. I decided we should just ask someone. And I decided we should ask the people near the club cars, in the hope that they would just offer to drive us there.

It worked!

(I have a lovely picture of Tom and our driver, but for some reason it just won't post. Instead, you will have to settle for us.)

Our room wasn't far away at all, but it was nice to ride there instead of hauling the baby and all our bags. Since we'd only checked my suitcase, Brian and Tom both had all their luggage.

There were people painting the exterior off and on throughout our stay.

We were in a studio but it was a pretty good size. The last room we all stayed in together (minus Luke) was a studio at Bay Lake Tower which was TERRIBLY small.

I don't know why, but all of my room pictures came out blurry.

Disney beds are so much more comfortable than our bed at home, and I would have loved to lie down and take a nap. But we had things to do, and we were already soooooo far behind schedule. I think I'd predicted that we'd be in the Magic Kingdom by 1 pm and it was already almost 3. We had to take Luke on his first ride and then make it to Epcot before the Gin Blossoms' last show started at 8pm.

Last edited by holleypie; 11-09-2012 at 12:53 PM.
holleypie is online now  
Old 11-01-2012, 10:35 AM   #11
DIS Veteran
amandaw's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: South Louisiana
Posts: 4,134

UGH! I would have been so frustrated with the lost purse woman, too! Glad she found it though & y'all were able to get to the resort.

And how nice that y'all got to ride to the room! Y'all had a nice view from the room. Can't wait to hear more!
amandaw is offline  
Old 11-03-2012, 12:24 PM   #12
holleypie's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 359

Originally Posted by amandaw View Post
Y'all had a nice view from the room.
Wasn't it gorgeous? I wish I'd actually had a chance to sit out there and enjoy it!
holleypie is online now  
Old 11-03-2012, 12:57 PM   #13
DIS Veteran
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,096

Joining in!

I'll be interested to hear your pick for Luke's first ride!

How long is the walk from SSR to DTD?
kate_wdw is offline  
Old 11-03-2012, 01:49 PM   #14
holleypie's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 359

Storybook Circus and New Fantasyland

While we were taking a minute to relax...

my suitcase arrived! So Luke and I both changed into shorts and got sunscreened. And did our hair, of course.

Then we strapped Luke into his stroller and headed for the bus stop. Oh, that's one thing I forgot to mention earlier. I LOVED the fact that Saratoga Springs had elevators. We've stayed at Old Key West the last two years where there are no elevators, and it would have been so annoying to lug Luke and the stroller and my huge tote bag up and down the stairs.

We still didn't exactly have our bearings so I asked Brian (in my patient wifely sort of way) "Do you know where we're going?"

And he said, "I'm just WALKING. We're on VACATION."

At the time this struck me as hilarious. Those sentences sounded so incongruous together. Like, "Of course I love alligators. I had waffles for breakfast." Totally ridiculous. Now I realize he was just trying to say, "Chill out. We'll find the bus stop."

And we did!

I think we took the long roundabout way that first time, but it still wasn't a very long walk.

After waiting a few minutes, a Magic Kingdom bus arrived and after a very uneventful ride, we arrived at the MAGIC KINGDOM.

This was the first time we'd stepped foot in a Disney park in over a year. This was Luke's first trip. What exciting attraction did we race to first?

The bathroom. Yeah. Luke needed to be changed, so while I was busy doing that, Brian and Tom took advantage of the situation and popped into the fire house to get some of those Sorcerors of the Magic Kingdom cards.

I waited outside, therefore I have absolutely nothing to say about this. Maybe Brian will stop by and share his thoughts.

After the cards were collected, it was FINALLY time to race to Luke's first ride. Right?

Eh. Not yet. Brian wanted to go to Guest Relations and upgrade our tickets to premium annual passes.

It looks like they're arguing, but they're not. This girl knew what was up. Brian had come armed with a print-out of Cheshire Figment's price bridging explanation in case the CM gave him a hard time, but she told him exactly the correct amount and we upgraded our passes.

THEN we were finally on our way to Luke's first ride!

We headed down Main Street. Here's a classic vacation picture: Brian's back as he walks fifteen feet ahead of the group.

We headed to Storybook Circus and I yelled at Brian to take some pictures because I was busy pushing the stroller. I think that was the most annoying part of the trip (besides me). I wanted to take a lot of pictures because we had Luke with us...but I didn't get to take a lot of pictures because we had Luke with us.

I decided before the trip that Luke's first ride should be Dumbo. I'm not sure why, because I've probably only been on it twice in my life and it's not one of my favorites. Also, we watched Dumbo before our trip and it absolutely traumatized me. That movie is brutal. I have no idea why it is a children's movie. I cried pretty much the entire time. But I guess Dumbo just felt both iconic AND new, so it seemed like a perfect choice.

Of course, two minutes after we got in line, Luke fell asleep.

The new play area was pretty cute, but since our child was asleep we just sat on a bench and waited for our buzzer to go off.

I can't remember how long we waited, but it was a good long wait. Luke woke up just before it was our turn to ride.

Uncle Tom graciously sat this one out so he could act as our paparazzo.

Tom had told me to make sure we got the Dumbo with the yellow hat because that's "real" Dumbo. After I looked at the pictures I realized the one I picked wasn't the yellow hat Dumbo at all. Oops.

Luke was thoroughly unimpressed.

I was itching to get on one of the "big" rides I'd had to skip during our last trip, but New Fantasyland was open and it was right there, so we decided to check it out next.

The new Little Mermaid ride had a fifty minute wait. Um, no thank you. We'd heard that it would be open for the Halloween party, so we decided to try our luck then.

Instead, we spotted this guy:

We didn't feel like waiting in line to meet him, but we WERE interested in having a refreshing beverage, so we popped into Gaston's Tavern to try the new LeFou's Brew.

LeFou's Brew is described as "frozen apple juice with a hint of toasted marshmallow, then topped with all-natural passion fruit-mango foam." It was pretty delicious. The more I drank, the more it just tasted like frozen apple juice, but that's okay. Brian decided to get the souvenir mug but was kind of disappointed that it just had a Gaston sticker on it instead of something more intricate. We later read on the internet it's because they're selling the exact same mug at different locations in Magic Kingdom with different stickers attached. Lame, Disney. Lame.

I'd wanted to leave Magic Kingdom by 5pm so we would have plenty of time to get to Epcot and check out some of the Food and Wine booths before the Gin Blossoms show. By now it was nearly 6pm, so after one ride and one refreshing beverage, we had to go catch the monorail.
holleypie is online now  
Old 11-03-2012, 03:32 PM   #15
Mother of an eight-year-old dinosaur expert. :)
jane2073's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 440

Great trip roport so far!
I love NewGirl! Hands down one of the funniest shows on tv!!

And I love your Doctor Pooh shirt! Cute!
jane2073 is offline  

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:43 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

You Rated this Thread: