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Old 10-09-2013, 01:07 PM   #106
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Chapter 4: Splash Mountain is officially back... and it's BEAUTIFUL.
Day One: September 11th 2013

As we left off, we were heading to Adventureland for our first ride of the trip...

If you guessed Pirates, you're good, because that's exactly where we were headed (though historically, this tends to be an attraction we head to first when in Magic Kingdom, haha).

The park was beyond quiet, and we were both happy as we walked up to the queue and saw a 5 minute wait posted.

Well, the 5 minutes was really just the time it took to walk to our boat. In fact, we nearly had the boat to ourselves, until another family snuck on with us.

I decided to forgo video on this ride and try to get a few photos, as seen above... I even got a few decent ones at the end, too.

There was a back up near Jack, but I can never get a really solid photo of him. I'm sure if I had a better camera and lens, that'd help, but I'm not ready to drop that much money on a lens at the moment. Alas, I have to settle for this.

After exiting Pirates, we headed towards Splash Mountain. We noticed the BTMRR was around a 20 minute wait (which really isn't even that bad), but we decide to just get FPs for it anyway. We then headed back to Splash, because it was my number one must-do for this night!

This was HUGE deal to me because I hadn't been on Splash Mountain since January 2012! It was closed last January for the usual refurb, and I'd heard from so many people about how much nicer it looked now.

Lucky for us, the park was seriously empty, so we walked right on up to our log.

Oh my GOSH Splash Mountain was so beautiful! It was so nice to see everything working, everything looking fresh and new, and the Laughing Place?! I mean, last time I'd seen it, none of the water effects were working. This time it was like going on a new ride! And Matt even had a good time because we were seated in the very back of the log, his favorite place to be so he can avoid getting soaked.

I was just so happy to be back and know that I could go on Splash Mountain whenever I wanted to this trip. That is a definitely plus for going in September, I'll tell you that much!

We didn't have our PhotoPass+ card yet, so no ride photos... yet!

We left Splash and still had time left for our Big Thunder FPs to be up, so we of course made our way over towards the Haunted Mansion! As we walked through Frontierland, I had to stop and take a quick (albeit crappy-quality phone) photo of how not busy it was! You seriously would have thought that the park had closed at 8pm, even though it was open until 10 that night.

The scent of delicious Churros lured Matt into getting a tasty Churro, his favorite Disney snack.

Matt enjoyed his Churro as we walked over to the Haunted Mansion, and we both kept commenting on how amazing it was that we were finally here, AND how amazing it was that the park was so quiet. It just seemed like things were totally lining up for us that night.

Prior to this trip, we both kept joking about how we were going to melt because of the heat and humidity. And don't get me wrong, it was definitely warm and humid, but it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be, which was nice! It helped that it was night time and the sun wasn't out, but it was a good way to ease ourselves into the Florida heat.

When we got to the Haunted Mansion, it had a 10 minute wait posted...

But it wasn't anything like a 10 minute wait, as there was nobody around.

It was kind of creepy, actually... but in a great way.

I have to say, though, I really don't like how the new FastPass+ line goes through the old non-cemetery path, and non-FP+ is now forced to go through the cemetery. This night it didn't really bother me much, but I did find it slightly annoying because the cemetery really slows things down with people stopping, and you don't want to be seen as a jerk for going around them. Nothing terrible since the cemetery is always fun to walk through, but sometimes you just want to go right to the door, and not having that option anymore is kind of a bummer.

We got inside very quickly, and I could see the happiness on Matt's face of being back there. Seeing Cinderella Castle is home for me, but for Matt, it's the Haunted Mansion.

After a lovely ride on Matt's favorite, we stepped outside and Wishes was happening! We thought it'd be a good time to go and visit the Tangled area, which I hadn't seen yet.

Seeing the Tangled area while Wishes was happening for the first time was absolutely amazing, and I won't forget that. It was so perfect! I really couldn't believe how awesome this night was going, as it just seemed like everything kept working out perfectly.

We needed to use our Big Thunder Fast Passes, so we headed back over... where we found a whopping 10 minute wait. We still used them, even though it was totally unnecessary.

We had a blast on Big Thunder! It's absolutely the best at night, and I just couldn't get over how we were walking onto rides!

After Big Thunder, we decided to make our way over to Tomorrowland to go on Buzz Lightyear!

Continued in next post
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:08 PM   #107
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Chapter 5: Mickey Mouse called and left us a message... No big deal.
Day One: September 11th, 2013

We walked through the hub and the castle was looking absolutely stunning.

As we walked past, we heard a group chanting. We immediately panicked thinking the Tour Groups were back, but they weren't your typical tour group, thankfully. I still don't understand why the groups insist on chanting/singing though.

Anyway, we finally made it to Tomorrowland!

Buzz was a complete walk-on, which was delightful. I'd studied up on high-scoring targets, as I was DETERMINED to get the max score on this trip.

I tried my best, and ended up getting my highest score to date:

Matt did pretty well, too!

We left Buzz and headed back towards the hub, where I got totally sucked into Celebrate the Magic, even though we were trying to get out of the park before it closed, hahaha. I couldn't help it!

Matt finally dragged me away and down Main Street so we could head out of the park!

We stopped by the Emporium really quickly but didn't find anything we wanted to buy quite yet, then headed out!

I stopped to take a photo of this wonderful sign, which I just thought was too adorable.

We walked over to the boat area, and we lucked out that a boat was waiting right there! We had to sit separated from each other, but we were just happy that we had such good luck.

As soon as we got back, we went to Roaring Fork because we both needed something to eat that was more substantial than just a churro. Unfortunately, they weren't making sandwiches anymore, so we both decided to get burgers and french fries.

We also picked up our Rapid Refillable mugs, but I noticed that the machines that were supposed to scan your mug didn't seem to be up and running for them... As long as I was able to get something to drink, I was happy.

We also both got desserts, Matt going with the S'more cupcake, while I went with the Magic Cookie Bar.

I unfortunately didn't get photos of our burgers, but they were just your typical Disney burgers (tasty since there is a toppings bar in the dining area!)..

But I DID get photos of our desserts!

Matt's cupcake:

He said it was good, but it was definitely a bit dry. I think if he'd eaten it earlier in the day, it would have been ten times better, but since it was late, I'm sure it was a bit drier than normal.

My Magic Cookie Bar, on the other hand...

This was delicious! Extremely rich though, and since I was so full from dinner, I was only able to take three bites before I wrapped it up and decided to save it for later. But trust me, this thing was GOOD. Matt liked it but thought it was too sweet for him.

We finished up and headed back to our room, but decided to stop along the way to take a few photos and explore the Villas area!

We walked around a bit and found this cozy area with chairs and tables and checkerboards, rocking chairs in front of a fire... It was so quiet but so nice! I can totally understand why people would love to stay here around Christmas time... Matt really loved the chairs, too.

This next photo reminded me of the Paradise Inn up on Mount Rainier.

They have photos just like this up there, showing the history of the lodge. And funny story about that...

We were up at the Paradise Inn in August for a weekend away, and were sitting by the fire in the main lodge area. A man and his son walked in, and the man exclaimed "WOW! This really is JUST like the Wilderness Lodge in Disney World!" Matt and I gave each other a knowing look, because someone else noticed it, too!

Anyway, I LOVED the design of the elevators. I know that sounds silly, but I love the little details, and these doors were so neat!

We finally went back up to our room, and I took some time out to really look at everything and get more photos of the room.

I loved this little guy sitting on our kitchenette!

Loved the framing around this mirror:

Matt hanging out on the couch, talking to Bruce I think (he wanted to check in and make sure everything was okay at home).

Our lovely bathroom...

After I took photos, Matt was on the phone with Bruce when I noticed the message button blinking on our room phone. I thought this was odd, but decided to check it, in case something was wrong.

Instead, I was delightfully surprised when I heard Mickey and Minnie Mouse wishing us a Happy Anniversary!! It was seriously the cutest thing EVER. We'd never had that happen during a Disney trip before, so this just made me so happy!

I recorded a bit of it on my phone and posted it on instagram, if you want to see what it sounded like: http://instagram.com/p/eJQOKrn8gY/

I unpacked a bit more, though we didn't fully unpack since we were going to move resorts in a few days. I have to admit, I didn't really like this part of doing a split stay. Not unpacking my bags entirely was making me feel a little unsettled in the room, but I unpacked what I thought I'd need for 4 nights. I took a shower, which was glorious after a long day of traveling and then hanging out in the parks, then Matt did, as well.

Of course, we couldn't go to bed without watching a little bit of Stacey! We fell asleep at around midnight, both beyond happy to be back home.

Tomorrow is a day full of firsts, and going back to one of our other favorite parks...

Continued in next post

Last edited by danimaroo; 10-14-2013 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:09 PM   #108
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Subbing. I always enjoy reading your trip reports. We've been to WDW twice in the fall and love, love, love the decorations. I followed you along on instagram. Looking forward to the full trip report.

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Old 10-09-2013, 01:19 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by Fantasylannd Dad View Post
I will hanging on your every word, I have been very excited for this trip report. I enjoyed your last one especially the pictures. Your skills must have grown even more because the ones on here have been just perfect. I love the dusky saturation and the excitement that shows through
Oh yay! So excited that you're on the DISboards now, Brandon! Thanks so much, that is a huge compliment coming from you, since I basically just stare at your beautiful photos in all of Jenn's updates, haha. Glad you're here.

Originally Posted by stacy~** View Post
I haven't actually started reading...yet! But wanted to get it on my subscribed list.
Well don't worry, I haven't gotten too far yet anyway!! Plus, when you finally can read, you'll have plenty of reading material, haha.

Originally Posted by Nermel9 View Post
I just said this on Twitter, but your pictures are SO AMAZING!!! I need to buy whatever camera you use and then teach myself how to take pictures with it, because I can't deal with the amateur-ness of my pictures with my little point and shoot!

Anyway, isn't the Wilderness Lodge the best? Seriously, there is just something about that place that screams home to me. If I could stay there, AKL and the Beach Club on every trip, I'd be the happiest person alive! The room in the villa is really cute!

Yay MK!!! Wow, that sunset...I miss Disney sunsets!

Again, I love all of your pictures, between the lights on Main Street and the sunset, it looks like everything is glowing, it's perfect! I honestly do not know if I've ever been in MK at that time of day before...

*snippin' my photo to save space, haha*

Can I just tell you how obsessed with this picture I am??? I'm seriously thinking of making it the background on my computer, and I haven't changed the background in like, 2 years because I have the most perfect picture of the castle on there and I can't bring myself to change it...but this picture might do it!

Ahh, Starbucks in MK! Probably going to be my first stop whenever I get there again too...I love it!
Daw thank you so much!! I use a Nikon D5100, but honestly, you could get away with a D3100 and be happy with that, too. That one is a pretty good intro camera. Or a D3200! I'm still learning how to use mine, but I figure practice is what will make photos get better!

I really was loving Wilderness Lodge so far, granted, we hadn't done a whole lot there yet, but it is such a lovely resort. I was a big fan of our room at the Villas!

Disney sunsets are the best. It's like they make them extra magical on purpose so you miss them even more, ugh.

That time period in MK is seriously my favorite. It's just such a different light that is cast down Main Street/the castle, I love it.

And thank you!! I was loving taking photos of the balloons! If you really do decide you want a higher res version of that photo, let me know and I'll send you the bigger file so it displays better on your comptuer, haha.. but thank you so much, that's a huge compliment!

That Starbucks was seriously one of our favorite things... and the fact that the Epcot one had just opened was even better.
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:20 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by WDW2012 View Post
Subbing. I always enjoy reading your trip reports. We've been to WDW twice in the fall and love, love, love the decorations. I followed you along on instagram. Looking forward to the full trip report.
Awesome, happy to have you here!! WDW in the fall was shaping up to be amazing. I hope you enjoy my TR, thanks again for joining!!
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:38 PM   #111
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Stop with these pictures!! You are seriously killing me with the gorgeousness!! I ADORE the picture of the lanterns and fireworks by rapunzels tower and must have stared at the tomorrow land sign for at least 5 minutes. I love the parks at night, all lit up....it's only the best thing ever!

You two had an awesome first night out! The park looked so empty and how great was hopping right on things? That's a fabulous night!
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:26 PM   #112
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Wilderness Lodge is jut so beautiful. I never had a desire to stay there because I wasn't sure I would like the "rustic" nature, but after stepping inside, and your pictures, it's gorgeous! Totally worth a visit.

How fabulous was it walking onto all those rides! That Wednesday morning, we had knocked out all of fantasyland (old and new) before noon! I love the low crowds of September!

Mmm, I'm ready to drive over to WL right now to get the magic cookie bar or the s'more cupcake... Or both!

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Old 10-09-2013, 06:30 PM   #113
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CALLED IT! Although I do have a teensy tiny advantage, haha.

OH MY GOSH I FORGOT YOU HAD YET TO SEE POST-REFURB SPLASH! I'm so excited! Didn't it look so amazing? I was excited to see it looking so fresh and clean!

Okay, so those two attractions and now Matt is getting a churro? Yep, y'all are in your happy place. Hope HM and Wishes are coming up because that would be an amazing night.
I swear I typed that before scrolling down past the churro pics!

Tomorrowland at night, EEEEEE! That's a pretty bangin' score on Buzz too!

Leaving so soon??

Okay I don't like coconut, but that looks pretty darn tasty! We make them at work sometimes, but the sprinkles and pixie dust make that one look way better!

I am once again loving these VWL pics! I love the little lobby/foyer there.

Can't wait to read more!
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:23 PM   #114
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Mmmm S'more cupcake!
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:10 PM   #115
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SO BEAUTIFUL!!! Night time...just perfect.

Yeah, I'm not big on the split stays anymore. I mean, I am glad I've done them and tried out more resorts, and I definitely couldn't afford some of the nicer places for longer than a few days...but I was glad to only have one night in a different place this trip. I didn't realize how much I'd missed the ease of that.

I'm really enjoying reading about this time before we arrived especially, because I think with all the throwing my back out/how the heck am I gonna get things packed/can I see a doctor drama right before our trip, I totally had no idea what you were up to. Or if I did know, it just didn't sink in.

I'm so glad that you loved the September crowds and that the heat wasn't too much for you. Otherwise, I might have felt a little guilty!

And Brandon is right, your pictures are just PERFECT. I feel like I'm there, and that makes me a very happy girl.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:29 PM   #116
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September crowds are awesome! You & Matt got so much done with no waits!

Congrats on getting your highest score on Buzz! I never do all that great on those rides no matter what I do.

Love all of your WL pictures. That resort is gorgeous!

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Old 10-09-2013, 11:42 PM   #117
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I love the black and white photos of Pirates!

CHURROS. They are my everything.

I think I'm going to try and see Wishes from the Tangled area this summer if I can...it just looks fantastic!

Those are some GORGEOUS elevators! The Disney difference!

Also, I have Matt's "It's kind of fun to do the impossible" shirt and it's the comfiest shirt I own
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:45 AM   #118
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There is almost nothing better than an empty MK, is there?

I can't wait to ride the refurbished Splash. It feels like it's been so long...my last 4 trips I was either pregnant or carrying a baby, so I haven't been on it in forever! And the few times before that, the Laughing Place water was definitely out...it will be so nice to see it again eventually!

Sounds like you guys really had an absolutely perfect first night.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:32 AM   #119
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Yay! So happy to see your new trip review.
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:02 PM   #120
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Dont have a lot of time before work, but enough!

Great updates!! Glad you got on so many rides and got to warm up to the heat! Yay HM! Of course it's home to him!!!

Yay tangled area! I need to get better pictures at night, I really want to watch wishes from over there!

Amazing pcitures of everything as per usual!

Love the resort! Yay!

I love that they do those calls now, Mom and Anne got a birthday one and I was super excited, I thought it was because I'd arranged the disney florist thing for them, but it was actually just a general thing which is awesome!

In Progress Trip Reports
May 2014 (24 hr day)//Villains Unleashed!

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