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Old 12-23-2014, 05:34 PM   #1
xjay
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Smile There's A First Time For EVERYTHING! *A December '14 TR*

Hi All!


So I don't really post much on the dis but I just had to share the most amazing trip I had 2 weeks ago. I'm not sure if this is going to help with the post-disney depression or if it's going to make me miss our trip even more. Either way, I hope you enjoy my trip report!


A little bit about us!:
This was our 2nd trip to Disney World, but it was more like a redo of our 1st trip last year. That was because our trip last year was only 2 days at Disney on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with no prior planning whatsoever. You can imagine how big of a disaster that trip was . So of course we had to go back again and do it right this time!

Me!:


My name is Jackie. I was born and raised in California. I have tons of family who live in SoCal so when I was younger, I went to Disneyland ALL THE TIME. I've loved all things Disney ever since I was young and I'm probably the biggest Disney lover in my family. I love princesses and fairytales the most .
Favorite Disney Movie: The Little Mermaid, Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, Up, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and many more
Favorite Disney Character: Ariel and Rapunzel
Favorite Ride: Space Mountain in Disneyland

BF!:


Bf and I met in high school but didn't start dating until I started college. We've been together for the past 4 years. He was also born and raised in California but never went to Disneyland until I took him on his first trip in October 2012 . I know! Shocking huh? Anyways, he isn't a big Disney lover like I am. He's okay with it, but doesn't want to have anything to do with it. So one objective of this trip was to try to get him to open up to liking Disney as much as I do.


So let's get on with it!
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Disneyland - Countless Times as a Kid
December 2013 - Off-Site *** December 2014 - AKL CL/Contemporary BLV/POR RR ***
May 2015- CR CL *** May 2015- Disneyland PPH CL


Our Little Family :
Me(22) DBF(23) DDog(Kapu) DDog(Keanu)

Last edited by xjay; 12-23-2014 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 12-23-2014, 05:35 PM   #2
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Tbc

The Planning Process:

Originally, we were planning on going in August for a couple of days before the Fall Semester started and to go for the Villains Unleashed Party and stay at POR. But unfortunately, bf was unable to get the days in August off so we decided to change our dates to December for my birthday (Dec 11!). I guess it's a good thing we did too because from everyone's reports on here, the Villains Unleashed party seemed crazy crowded and a waste of money. So since we changed our dates, I wanted to do a longer trip from Dec 11-Dec 22, but bf wasn't having it. He DID NOT want to stay at Disney for that long. So we compromised and changed our dates to Dec 11-Dec 16. We decided on staying at the CR since after going through the CR via monorail on our first trip, BF was very impressed and we both said that the next time we go to Disney World, we're staying at the CR. So we booked CR CL with TPV.

But then I heard about the Sunrise Safari that they have for CL guests at AKL and how they only do it on Thursdays and Sundays. And since my birthday was on a Thursday this year, what better way to spend it than do the Sunrise Safari? So we booked an extra night for 12/10-12/11 for AKL CL. Then I wanted to add a night at the end of our stay so that we could do a day at Universal since I love Harry Potter as well. But alas, CL wasn't available for that extra night so we had to downgrade to a standard BLV room. I was scared I was going to be disappointed since I wouldn't be able to see the fireworks outside our room every night. But since it was cheaper and let us stay and extra day, I convinced myself that it was worth it.

By the beginning of October, we still didn't buy our airline tickets home yet. As I was checking Southwest's prices, I saw that leaving on the 18th was cheaper than leaving on the 17th. So of course I convinced bf for us to add an extra night at the end of our stay. But again, there was no more room for that extra night. So I thought "Hey! Why don't we just stay at POR since we were planning on staying there in the first place." And I added an extra night at POR for a Royal Room.

Throughout this whole planning process, I was constantly changing my mind, adding more things, and taking some things out. I drove my BF crazy with all of the Disney talk that he banned me from making anymore changes about 2 months out from our trip! Let's just see how the rest of this trip goes.
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Disneyland - Countless Times as a Kid
December 2013 - Off-Site *** December 2014 - AKL CL/Contemporary BLV/POR RR ***
May 2015- CR CL *** May 2015- Disneyland PPH CL


Our Little Family :
Me(22) DBF(23) DDog(Kapu) DDog(Keanu)

Last edited by xjay; 12-23-2014 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 12-23-2014, 05:39 PM   #3
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Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
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Disneyland - Countless Times as a Kid
December 2013 - Off-Site *** December 2014 - AKL CL/Contemporary BLV/POR RR ***
May 2015- CR CL *** May 2015- Disneyland PPH CL


Our Little Family :
Me(22) DBF(23) DDog(Kapu) DDog(Keanu)
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Old 12-23-2014, 06:54 PM   #4
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Our First Flight to Orlando!:

December 10 was our planned arrival day via Southwest Airlines from Houston to Orlando (We currently live in Texas). Our flight wasn't until 3:50pm since bf still had finals to do that day. So while he was at school, I was running around town finishing up last minute errands. I was so behind that I forgot my Mickey beanie, hair brush, and trading pins at home! I did buy an extra beanie but it was for bf to use, but he let me use it anyways.

Our flight was a quick 2 hours and we even landed 10 minutes before our scheduled arrival time! It was our first time flying to Orlando since last year we drove 15 hours nonstop to get to our offsite hotel. Before we knew it, we were ready to board the Magical Express for the first time to Animal Kingdom Lodge!

All Aboard the Magical Express!



Here's us waiting inside the Magical Express. I have the Mickey beanie on that I was talking about lol.



It took about 40 minutes for us to get to AKL from MCO since it was the 2nd stop after AOA. After stepping out of the ME bus, we walked towards the lobby.



And into this....
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Disneyland - Countless Times as a Kid
December 2013 - Off-Site *** December 2014 - AKL CL/Contemporary BLV/POR RR ***
May 2015- CR CL *** May 2015- Disneyland PPH CL


Our Little Family :
Me(22) DBF(23) DDog(Kapu) DDog(Keanu)

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Old 12-30-2014, 09:50 PM   #5
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Our First Time Staying CL and Our First Signature Restaurant

Our First Time Staying CL and Our First Signature Restaurant


After staring in awe of the beautiful lobby, we went to the Online Check In side of the front desk. Since we were checking in so late, there wasn't a lot of people around, but there was another family in front of us. We waited about 5 minutes before we were seen by a CM. She took us upstairs to the 6th floor where we saw that same family in front of us earlier, also checking into club level. A Club Level CM came over to us and helped checked us in.

Since we were only staying there for one night, we had our tickets linked to our CR reservation. We weren't going to check into the CR until the afternoon the next day, but we needed our tickets activated before then since we had the Sunrise Safari the next morning. Luckily, the CM that was helping us knew what to do . He told us to just check in with him the next morning before we went to check in for the Sunrise Safari. He said that what he would do was "check us out" of AKL and "check us in" to the CR using their reservation system. Of course I was scared it was going to mess up our FPs, but he assured me that it wouldn't .

Finally, he gave us our room number and we got a couple of drinks to take back to the room before getting ready for our dinner ADR at Jiko. Once we got to the room, I was greeted by a cute little surprise by the CL staff.



They left me a gift for me for my birthday the next day. We got our first little touch of pixie dust . It was a great way to start our arrival day .

Then we started getting ready for our dinner ADR at Jiko. We were running a little late because it took awhile for them to check us in, but the CM checking us in told us that they would call the restaurant for us. Once we got to Jiko, we waited about 5 minutes before we were seated. We were seated at a table by the window. Our server was awesome. He explained in detail for us the menu and even gave us some helpful suggestions on what to order. We started with the Taste of Africa appetizer. BF loves spicy foods so he pretty much only dipped the bread with the red dip.

For our entree, I had the Filet Minon with Mac and Cheese


While BF had the Beef Short Ribs


The mac and cheese was really good and BF loved how tender the short ribs were . We were so full by the time we were done eating, but I still had a surprise at the end of dinner for BF. His birthday is in October, and this year, we didn't really do anything special for his birthday. He didn't even get a cake. So I thought I would surprise him with one on our Disney Vacation . I ordered the cake a couple of days before our arrival with Private Dining. I wanted a cake that included his favorite basketball team's logo, the Sacramento Kings, but they couldn't do anything with that since they don't own the rights to the logo. So I asked them to do a basketball themed marble cake that had his team's colors. It turned out pretty nice.



After dinner, I had to go buy a hairbrush since I forgot mine at home. So we went to the gift shop in the lobby to buy one before ending the night early. We have a early morning the next day. Next up, the Sunrise Safari!
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Disneyland - Countless Times as a Kid
December 2013 - Off-Site *** December 2014 - AKL CL/Contemporary BLV/POR RR ***
May 2015- CR CL *** May 2015- Disneyland PPH CL


Our Little Family :
Me(22) DBF(23) DDog(Kapu) DDog(Keanu)
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:01 AM   #6
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Joining in! That food at Jiko looks great. I'm going there for my trip and I'm nervous because it's way out of my comfort zone.
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:05 AM   #7
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Joining in too. Ya'll are a cute couple! AK is so beautiful and looks like you guys enjoyed your first meal of the trip!
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No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep believing.. The dreams that you dream... Really do come true....

April 2005- Offsite.. My now DH's first time
December 2005- Offsite ( ENGAGED at MK)
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:40 AM   #8
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I hope this trip totally exceeded your expectations in comparison to the last trip! Isn't it so fun experiencing Magical Express for the first time? It was thrilling when my husband and I flew in for our Disneymoon, but the excitement is still there each time we go.

Ooo, Club Level! That's something that I'd love to do but wouldn't be able to afford right now. We stay at Pop when we go, but I still love reading about the CL experiences everyone else has!
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Old 01-02-2015, 05:24 PM   #9
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Following!
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Old 01-02-2015, 06:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdwcarla View Post
Joining in! That food at Jiko looks great. I'm going there for my trip and I'm nervous because it's way out of my comfort zone.
The food at Jiko was good. I'm sure you'll enjoy it! Bf and I are not adventurous eaters so I was nervous about eating here at first, but I'm glad we chose that as our first meal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsheliz View Post
Joining in too. Ya'll are a cute couple! AK is so beautiful and looks like you guys enjoyed your first meal of the trip!
Thanks! We try to be lol. AKL is very beautiful, especially during Christmas, but I don't see us staying there again in the future. You'll find out why

Quote:
Originally Posted by RachelNinja View Post
I hope this trip totally exceeded your expectations in comparison to the last trip! Isn't it so fun experiencing Magical Express for the first time? It was thrilling when my husband and I flew in for our Disneymoon, but the excitement is still there each time we go.

Ooo, Club Level! That's something that I'd love to do but wouldn't be able to afford right now. We stay at Pop when we go, but I still love reading about the CL experiences everyone else has!
This trip was just amazing. WAY better than our first trip. So our redo trip was fantastic! Walking towards the ME bus was so exciting! I was skipping with joy and excitement. I did enjoy Club Level. We only stayed at CL at AKL so that we could do the Sunrise Safari before they discontinued it. But I'm glad that we were able to experience Club Level as our first onsite stay. The CL staff at AKL were great in making us feel welcomed and special

Quote:
Originally Posted by MagentaMulan View Post
Following!
Thanks for joining in
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Disneyland - Countless Times as a Kid
December 2013 - Off-Site *** December 2014 - AKL CL/Contemporary BLV/POR RR ***
May 2015- CR CL *** May 2015- Disneyland PPH CL


Our Little Family :
Me(22) DBF(23) DDog(Kapu) DDog(Keanu)
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:07 PM   #11
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Our First Time doing the Sunrise Safari

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


First, I hope you guys had a very Happy New Year Celebration. I just got back from spending New Years in Louisiana with my bf, but let's get on with the trip report!



I woke up at 5am due to excitement of being at Disney and the fact that it was my birthday. We both got ready and packed up our bags to have Bell Services move them to the CR for us. Before we left the room, I just had to admire the Savannah View that we had.


The view was absolutely breathtaking.

We brought our bags down to the lobby to Bell Services, which was quick and easy. We had to go back up to the Club Level floor so that the CM we met the other day could activate our tickets for us. Then, we went to check in for our Sunrise Safari. I was surprised by the amount of people who signed up for it as well. We were very lucky enough that they were able to add us on since we were told that they were all booked when we first tried calling to book it a couple months ago.

We were very excited to go on the Safari



Everyone was loaded onto the bus and we were taken through the backstage area of Animal Kingdom. We were able to see some of the construction of Avatarland, which was pretty cool .

The Sunrise Safari was pretty much a longer version of the Kilimanjaro Safari with a breakfast buffet at the end. We did enjoy ourselves but did not think it was worth the $72/adult.

Although, where else can you see a white rhino eating this close to you?


The breakfast buffet was at Pizzafari. There were a lot of unique offerings that I wasn't used to eating, so I didn't eat much. But put a buffet in front of BF and he will try EVERYTHING.

Here are a couple of more pictures I took during our Safari Adventure







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Disneyland - Countless Times as a Kid
December 2013 - Off-Site *** December 2014 - AKL CL/Contemporary BLV/POR RR ***
May 2015- CR CL *** May 2015- Disneyland PPH CL


Our Little Family :
Me(22) DBF(23) DDog(Kapu) DDog(Keanu)
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