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Old 07-30-2013, 02:55 PM   #1
geckodani
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Shamu & Jousting & Mickey - Oh My! A Jan 2013 TR (Complete10/31)

Hello and welcome to my second trip report! I wasn't planning on doing one for this trip, but we all know how the Disney withdrawal can set in, so to combat it I decided a TR was in order after all!

This TR is a wee bit light on pics (we were too busy having fun!) but hopefully entertaining nonetheless!

Up first, our cast of characters.

This trip included me (Dani) and DH (Adam).



Dani (30):
Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom
Favorite Ride: Haunted Mansion

Adam (32):
Favorite Park: Epcot
Favorite Ride: The Great Movie Ride

I'm the Disney lover in the family, and took DH on his first trip to WDW since he was a kid in December, 2011. We stayed at CSR, and while it was a fun trip, it was also EXHAUSTING. I didn't know when we'd be back (snort, 3 times in 14 months!) and I tried to cram every single moment full. We ended up tired, a wee bit cranky, and determined to do it differently next time.

I had just been to WDW in December of 2012 with my mom (you can check out the TR in my signature if you're interested) and wasn't planning on heading back any time soon.

But it was January, and cold in MI and DH and I wanted to get away and thaw out! Adam had a limited time available to take off from work, and it was less than two weeks away! For a detail oriented planner like me, that's not a lot of time to pick a location I'm not familiar with. I tried to come up with a beachy destination within our budget, but struck out due to the price of flights.

And then... inspiration struck. What if we went to Florida?! Not necessarily Disney (we all know how long that lasted... ), but flights were cheap, Sea World is also in Orlando - and I'm familiar with the area, so why not?! Sure, I was just there, but who is counting?

Well, I quickly realized that I wasn't as familiar as I thought! To minimize the stress and maximize the fun, we decided to stay on site at POFQ, but also go to Sea World, Medieval Times, and spend a healthy dose of time at the pool. Epcot and Magic Kingdom were a must, and maybe we could squeeze in some Hollywood Studios as well.

The plan was:

Day 1: Arrival and DTD.
Day 2: Sea World 7 Ripley's Believe it or Not!
Day 3: Pool and Medieval Times
Day 4: Epcot
Day 5: Magic Kingdom
Day 6: Back Home

Would we stay on target? Would we go to Hollywood Studios? Can you fix a belt with a bottle of rum? Stay tuned to find out!


Last edited by geckodani; 11-12-2013 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:00 PM   #2
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Saving for Links.

Day 1, Part 1: Jacket - UR Doing It Wrong!

Day 1, Part Two: Oh my, we are HIGH in the sky!!!

Day 2, Part 1: Shamu Yucky!

Day 2, Part 2: Why yes, you can fix a belt with a bottle of rum!

Day 3, Part 1: Someone get that mermaid a tuning fork!

Day 3: Part 2: Beverages should always come in glowing containers!

Day 4, Part 1: As big as you like sir, as big as you like!

Day 4, Part 2: Guinness. From the UK. Also Known as HEAVEN!

Day 5 and Departure: How does one get hit in the head with a stroller?!?


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Old 07-31-2013, 10:40 AM   #3
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Day 1, Part 1: Jacket - UR Doing It Wrong!

Ah - the day you leave for Disney. That most magical day of running amok, last minute packing, turning off all the lights and wearing your jacket on your head.



Wait, you don't wear your jacket on your head? That's just Adam? Well, fine then, we'll skip ahead to the good part.

Fast forward past one long drive to the airport, a 1:00 p.m. Delta Flight to Orlando, one fake monorail ride and a loooong DME ride later (we stopped at like five resorts before going to POFQ) and we were finally home!

DME selfie (a bad one, but whatever!)



I'm a bad DISer and didn't take any arrival pics, so allow me to borrow some from http://www.portorleans.org for your viewing pleasure.

Ahhhhhhh. Now that's more like it!





We went to the online check in line, and Adam took great delight in teasing that it was literally 5 times as long as the regular line. After what seemed like ages but was probably more like 5 minutes, we were checked in and headed to our room.

Which was here:



See that red arrow? That was room 7148. Like, literally as far as you could go to the end of POFQ before crossing the bridge to POR Riverside!



We tried to move, but there were no other rooms with king sized beds available, so we stayed. It ended up not being bad at all, especially given the size of POFQ, which is one of the things I love about the place! They did honor or request to be on the first floor, which was more important to me anyway.

We grabbed a quick dinner at the food court, and then decided to head to DTD! We ran back to the room to grab sweatshirts (it was a bit chilly) and then wandered out to the boat dock to grab a ride to DTD!

On the way I smelled a camp fire, and we stumbled upon a cast member roasting marshmallows. This is one of those little things that I just adore about Disney. Where else are you going to wander down a path and find someone roasting marshmallows?!?!

We had our tasty treat, and then took a very lovely ride to Downtown Disney!

Up next, a shopping mission and a ride way up in the sky! Oh my, we are HIGH in the sky!!!


Last edited by geckodani; 08-01-2013 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 07-31-2013, 05:57 PM   #4
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We love POR and always stay in that building too. I do not know why they charge more for a King bed

I would of done Medieval times and Ripleys on the same day. We have one in WI Dells and we only spend an hour in there. it is so weird.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:38 PM   #5
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We love POR and always stay in that building too. I do not know why they charge more for a King bed

I would of done Medieval times and Ripleys on the same day. We have one in WI Dells and we only spend an hour in there. it is so weird.
I hate that they charge more for a King. Sad that you have to pick between cuddles and saving some cash. Although with the way DH steals the covers, it might not be so bad to have the two queens.

Ripley's... oh just wait. Adam LOVES that place. We spent like 3 hours there... and he could have stayed longer! I find it interesting, but not THAT interesting!
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:23 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by geckodani View Post
I hate that they charge more for a King. Sad that you have to pick between cuddles and saving some cash. Although with the way DH steals the covers, it might not be so bad to have the two queens.

Ripley's... oh just wait. Adam LOVES that place. We spent like 3 hours there... and he could have stayed longer! I find it interesting, but not THAT interesting!
My dh and dd love Ripleys too. My dh found out there was one up in St. Augustine, and he seriously wanted to drive up there. We did have to go up on Easter Sunday for a parade and lucky for me it was closed.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:48 AM   #7
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My dh and dd love Ripleys too. My dh found out there was one up in St. Augustine, and he seriously wanted to drive up there. We did have to go up on Easter Sunday for a parade and lucky for me it was closed.
LOL! I'm sure your DH was disappointed. Maybe Ripley's is more of a guy thing? There's one in Niagra not too far from here. If we ever go to the falls, I know we'll also be going to Ripley's!
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:55 AM   #8
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Day 1, Part Two: Oh my, we are HIGH in the sky!!!

So, after a brief marshmallow interlude, we walked to the boat dock and caught a boat to DTD. This is now my favorite way to travel around Disney property. The ride was relaxing, and since it was dark we had some fun views of the tree houses etc. along the way.

Once we landed at DTD, we decided to wander a bit and do some shopping. When we hit World of Disney we went on in, I had a mission to complete!

My 4 year old nephew is obsessed with Jake and the Neverland Pirates. My sister hadn't been able to locate a stuffed Scully the parrot for him, so I was on a mission to find one!

Okay, that store - HUGE. I got so lost, and had no idea what this parrot even looked like. Luckily, a nearby cast member did.

Ta-dah!



I also picked up one of these car decals:

Unfortunately I didn't manage to apply it well, so I'll just have to get another one next trip and try again!

After we escaped from the oh so crowded store we took a little time to explore more of DTD. We got lots of comments on our jaunty bead necklaces provided by POFQ.





Adam got stopped by a cast member that saw his shirt and had a son that had also gone to Cooley Law. After chatting with him for a bit, we wandered on until we stumbled upon something I'd been wanting to try. Characters in Flight! My own pic didn't turn out well, so here's a random one from the internet:





Now, I should tell you that while I'm not necessarily afraid of heights, they are not exactly my favorite either. But I'm all for new experiences, so we decided to take a ride!

It was absolutely GORGEOUS at night! All the lights from the area were just amazing to see!









We were, however, VERY high. Thus the wide eyed expression I was sporting:



Yes, I am aware I look deranged. We were in a balloon. Really high in the air. At night. Did I mention the wind?

After that ride I needed some ice cream, STAT! So we went to Ghirardelli and shared a sundae the size of my head. I was starting to crash, so we went down to the dock and enjoyed another boat ride back to POFQ to get ready for the next day!

Up next: Shamu Yucky!


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Old 08-01-2013, 09:38 AM   #9
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Following along.
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For the love of Disney...
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:41 AM   #10
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Following along.
Welcome! Thanks for stopping by and saying hi! I hope you enjoy the rest of the TR.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:39 AM   #11
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Hi Dani!! I'm in, just spotted your link in your signature and hopped on over!
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:05 PM   #12
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Hi Dani!! I'm in, just spotted your link in your signature and hopped on over!
Yay! So happy to "see" you! I need to catch up on your PTR - we've been busy trying to buy a house so I've been a bit distracted! Hope you enjoy the TR!
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:39 AM   #13
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Day 2, Part 1: Shamu Yucky!

For our first full day in Florida, we were headed to Sea World! We decided to take a cab, since by the time we rented a car and paid for parking... you might as well take a cab.

After a yummy breakfast a Sassalouga Float Works (seriously, creeeeeeepy giant heads floating above you! Allow me to borrow a pic from my last TR to demonstrate:



Totally creepy.

Anyway, back to the cab. After breakfast we asked Bell Services to call us a cab, and we were soon on our way! I believe the cab ride cost about $25, plus tip.

I'd purchased our tickets through AAA, and they came with a free meal voucher. I had the printouts of the tickets with me, so we scanned them at the kiosk, got our actual park tickets and meal vouchers, and were on our way to see Shamu!

Once inside the gates, we needed to find a locker to stash our Disney Mugs in. I was prepared to pay for a full day locker, but one of the Sea World employees (team member? Shamu buddy? What the heck to you call these guys? My easy CM abbreviation does not apply here!) tipped us off that the ride lockers were significantly cheaper. So we wandered over to Manta (totally awesome coaster; I'll get to that later) deposited our mugs, and then started trying to find our way to One Ocean (the Shamu show).

It was at this point that we got hopelessly lost. Sea World isn't that hard to figure out, but we'd never been there before, and had no clue how to get to the stadium.



And then we noticed large groups of kids in bright colored shirts. All following a brightly colored flag that seemed to be heading in the right direction... So we followed the flag and found our way!

Before I continue, I'd like to apologize for not having very many pics of Sea World. I didn't know I'd be doing a TR, and didn't take that many. That said, if you want a great review of Sea World, the shows and the coasters, check out Rob's (DisneyKid4Life) TR A Salute to All Orlando Area Theme Parks... But Mostly Walt Disney World (Thanks for letting me link Rob!) Specifically his posts regarding "His Mistress" will take you to some amazing photos and descriptions of the shows, rides etc. The rest of the TR is awesome as well!




One Ocean was great, and we really enjoyed it! They had a really cute game going at the beginning where you picked your favorite sea critter and sent a text message with your name in to vote for them. They'd then flash the critter and your name up on the screen. It was a fun way to pass the time.



To explain the title of this chapter, let me take you back to an infamous family vacation from my youth. I was 2 years old, and desperately wanted to sit in the front row to see Shamu. I did so, and was completely drenched in sticky salt water. Which prompted my 2 year old self to declare that, "Shamu Yucky!!!"

This is also the trip of "Dani no like it!" Apparently I did not like the RV, I did not like the top bunk, I did not like "Shamu Yucky!" I did desperately want to ride an elephant at the San Diego Zoo. Another refrain from this trip was, "Dani ride Dumbo, Dani ride Dumbo." Until I was confronted with a several ton animal. Apparently I gazed at the elephant with wide eyes, pointed to my sister (Deb) and announced that, "Debbie ride Dumbo, Dani tooooo ittle."

I'll stick to Dumbo at Disney.

But back to Sea World!

After One Ocean, we wandered around, and in no particular order I know we saw Blue Horizons (the acrobatic Dolphin Show), which was also fantastic! We visited the Wild Arctic (don't take the simulator ride in, it's kind of terrible) and were amazed by the size of the Walrus! He is HUGE!

Despite the fact that we had just left the icy North, Adam decided to play in the glacier:





Silly man, we are here for the sun!

Ah, much better.



We also rode Manta, which is insane and you feel like you are flying, or possibly dying, I'm not sure which (again, check out Rob's TR for an awesome run down on all of this stuff that I am barely touching on! A Salute to All Orlando Area Theme Parks... But Mostly Walt Disney World, fed some sting rays, had some lunch...

Ah yes, lunch. So, remember my nifty free meal voucher I got with my AAA tickets? Well, I lost it before lunch. Luckily for me, an awesome employee (again, Shamu Buddy? What do we call them?) took pity on me and re-issued it when I showed her my receipt (YAY!!!). If I remember correctly, we ate at the Seafire Inn. They had a lot of options; sandwiches, pastas, salads etc. and Adam and I both enjoyed our meal.

Random Sea World pic that didn't seem to fit anywhere:



I also picked a pearl, just for fun, and we rode Manta one more time before leaving Sea World to head off to our next adventure!

Up Next: Why yes, you can fix a belt with a bottle of rum!

Last edited by geckodani; 08-16-2013 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:22 AM   #14
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Creepy floating heads =not cool! Especially because they're so clownish!
We found ourselves getting turned around in Seaworld a bit too. Funny that you got to follow the flag in!
I didn't ride too many of the rides there, preferring the shows. I need to see One Ocean, last show I saw was the watered down Believe.
Shamu yucky, too funny!

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Old 08-16-2013, 01:48 PM   #15
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Creepy floating heads =not cool! Especially because they're so clownish!
We found ourselves getting turned around in Seaworld a bit too. Funny that you got to follow the flag in!
I didn't ride too many of the rides there, preferring the shows. I need to see One Ocean, last show I saw was the watered down Believe.
Shamu yucky, too funny!

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We actually followed them all over the park! It was hilarious! "Follow the flag!" became a bit of a running joke this trip! Sea World really isn't laid out in a logical manner, IMO.

Once Ocean was a lot of fun; especially when you avoid the splash zone!
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