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Old 11-19-2013, 01:31 PM   #1
kayemgi
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Here we gooooo! A November 2013 TR {Update 4/23: The Last Installment}

Chapters:

1. Intro
Updated November 19, 2013

2. Day 1 Part 1: Arrival
Updated November 20, 2013

3. Day 1 Part 2: Check-in and Downtown Disney
Updated November 21, 2013

4. Day 1 Part 3: Disney Quest
Updated November 26, 2013

5. Day 1 Part 4: Shopping & Hidden Mickeys Galore!
Updated December 6, 2013

6. Day 2 Part 1: Animal Kingdom Safari
Updated December 11, 2013

7. Day 2 Part 2: Rain Rain and More Rain
Updated December 23, 2013

8. Day 2 Part 3: Birds, Bats and Yetis!
Updated January 6, 2014

9. Day 2 Part 4: Saying goodbye to AK & Dinner at Sanaa
Updated January 13, 2014

10. Day 3 Part 1: Hollywood Studios Morning
Updated January 15, 2014

11. Day 3 Part 3: Lunch at Sci Fi
Updated January 23, 2014

12. Day 3 Part 4: Some FP+ Confusion
Updated January 27, 2014

13. Day 3 Part 5: Fantasmic! with FP+
Updated January 29, 2014

14. Day 4 Part 1: Magic Kingdom Morning
Updated February 6, 2014

15. Day 4 Part 2: Be Our Guest, ETWB & Talking Mickey!
Updated February 17, 2014

16. Day 4 Part 3: End of MK Day, Wishes Dessert Party & MSEP
Updated February 20, 2014

17. Day 5 Part 1: Future World Morning
Updated February 28, 2014

18. Day 5 Part 2: Food & Wine Eats
Updated March 4, 2014

19. Day 5 Part 3: More Food & Wine
Updated March 11, 2014

20. Day 5 Part 4: Shopping our way out of Epcot
Updated March 26, 2014

21. Day 6 Part 1: A Second MK Day!
Updated April 9, 2014

22. Day 6 Part 2: Meeting Some Princesses
Updated April 11, 2014

23. Day 6 Part 3: The Last {So Sad} Installment
Updated April 23, 2014

Last edited by kayemgi; 04-23-2014 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:32 PM   #2
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Intro

Why hello there! This is my first Trip Report for the DIS (uh, actually for anywhere!) and I'm excited to tell you all about our wonderful trip!

If you didn't read along with my PTR, and you're interested, you can find it here. I did quite a few DIY crafts for this trip, and you'll find them all in that PTR.

Who: Me and my DH
What: A long-awaited more than 2 days Disney vacation
Where: 5 nights at All-Star Music
When: November 1-6
Why: We did a very lazy, literally just read on the beach and drink by the pool Jamaican honeymoon in 2012, and we were ready for a go-get-em, fun-filled Disney vacation this year!
How: Flying for the first time in a looong time via Southwest/Air Tran

I've saved the first post for chapter links, because in reading other TRs here, I kind of hate scrolling through this intro every time I want to read a new update! So I hope that's cool with you, readers. I'm working on my first update right now, and hope to have it posted soon!

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Old 11-19-2013, 01:37 PM   #3
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Joining in.
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:55 PM   #4
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I'm in! Can't wait to hear all about it!
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:19 PM   #5
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Join in! I keep looking for this tr!
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Old 11-19-2013, 03:18 PM   #6
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Old 11-19-2013, 03:26 PM   #7
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Onboard!

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My in Progress Trip Report for my Oct 2013 Food & Fest (and more) Trip

Oct 2013 - 5 days (offsite hotel)
Feb 2009 -3 days (offsite hotel)
Oct 2004 - Week (Caribbean Beach Resort)
Feb 1998 - Week (offsite hotel)
Fall 1993 - Week (offsite hotel)
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:32 PM   #8
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Following along!!! Sounds like fun!
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Next Disney Vacation in the works!


Current PTR: We must return to the magic!
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Old 11-20-2013, 01:09 PM   #9
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I'm here! So excited you've started and can't wait to read!!
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A trip of firsts- starting with my first PTR for October 2013!
Did Someone Say Adventure?! An Oct '13 TR!
I Think We Should Go Again! A Nov '14 PTR
"Smile like you're massaging my feet!" A Nov '14 TR!

WDW Visits: 1993, 1997
Disneyland/California Adventure Visit: 6/26/12
Pop Century with DBF: 1/4/13-1/12/13 - MNSSHP/F&W trip with Mom & Dad: 10/5/13-10/12/13 - An Early Christmas with Mom & Dad: 11/8/14-11/15/14
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Old 11-20-2013, 03:02 PM   #10
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Day 1 Part 1: Arrival

I always think this is the most boring part of any TR, but for historical accuracy, I feel I must include it! I've already written Part 2, so I'll update soon with more interesting Disney-related stuff!!

We started our day by waking up to alarms at 5:40 am — earlier than I even get up for work — we had an 8:30 am flight to catch! We got up, got dressed, packed those last few items, and petted the kitties one last time before my father-in-law came to bring us to the airport. We are so lucky that A. my in-laws live so close and are willing to pet sit and drop us off and pick us up from the airport when we go on vacations, and B. that we live less than 10 minutes from both them and a major international airport, so it's not a big deal for them to do so.


It's so hard to leave them!

We got super lucky and were randomly chosen to go in some special security line. We got to a certain point towards the beginning of the line and they have a little computer there that tells you to go left or right. We got to go right, to the special line. The regular line was soooo long. My DH had to have his hands swabbed (also randomly chosen), and we also didn't have to take our shoes off for some reason. It was not explained to us. I thought it was going to be the new body scans, but it wasn't. We went through the same metal detector (or at least it looked the same) as everyone on the other side. But it cut our wait down by a lot, so we weren't complaining! My DH said having his hands swabbed was a little nerve-wracking. He said he was trying to think of everything he had touched in the past 24 hours when it finally came up that he was good to go!

Post-security we did our usual pre-vacation airport stuff — we got breakfast (McDonald's in our terminal, yay!), and I got a magazine (People's special edition Hunger Games Catching Fire behind the scenes, double yay!). While we were sitting at the gate I remembered the story of a friend who had had trouble with his credit cards while traveling, and so we both called our credit card companies to alert them of our travel plans. We may not have had any issues, but I didn't want to risk having to deal with it during precious park time!

Finally it was time to board, and this is where I start to get extremely nervous. I never thought of myself of having a fear of flying, but over the years I think I have developed one. Just during take off and landing really, I feel like if something terrible is going to happen, those are the times it is most likely. I feel really tense and nervous until we get to a cruising altitude. It did not help that heavy thunderstorms were forecast for our area and it was looking pretty ominous outside right as we boarded. But in the end, our flight was uneventful, and surprisingly not full! We had an empty seat in our row and we were grateful for it. I don't think I've been on a not-full flight since 2001. We landed safely and I was finally able to relax and start to get excited!

Next up: Do we find the Magical Express? Do our Magic Bands work?
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:15 AM   #11
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Day 1 Part 2: Check-in and Downtown Disney

Thanks to reading the DIS we made it through the Orlando airport and to Magical Express with minimal confusion. I was kind of expecting there to be "Magical Express, this way!" signs everywhere, but that was not the case. We did get a little confused about where to go a couple of times, but we figured it out and didn't get lost.

We made it over to the ME line, and scanned our Magic Bands to get on board. They both worked! We probably waited about 5-10 minutes to get on board a bus and we were quickly on our way. I had my vacation countdown clock set to go to zero at 12 noon and I was pleased that we were on the bus when it did!


Vacation has begun!


We're here!



We arrived at All-Star Music at about 12:30 I think, after stopping at Coronado Springs Resort and All-Star Sports first. We had a little kerfluffle at check-in — we waited in the regular line because we didn't realize there was an online check-in line, and when we got to the front of the line, a person with an iPad directed us to the online check-in line. But we had to get at the back! There was only one person in front of us, but still. We were next in the regular line, and I felt like they should have just let us go to the next available desk person, especially since it didn't seem like there were any dedicated people for online check-in. But it was still early and nothing was going to get me upset at Disney so soon!


Photo not taken at check-in; it was much more crowded then!

We made it to the desk and it took about 10 mostly silent minutes to get us checked in. I have no idea what she was doing. But we got our little packet and we were easily able to change the linked credit card and our room was ready so I was happy! I had requested "close to transportation" during online check-in, and when I was having problems with online check-in at one point I also added "second floor" just to see if anything was going through. Apparently not, I guess! We ended up in the Broadway section, in the last building and around the back, on the ground floor. There was one building farther away from the buses than us. I didn't think I would like being on the ground level, but it was actually really nice to not have to climb stairs or wait for an elevator after our long park days.


All-Star Music pool


Broadway building



On the way to our room we decided to stop in the food court quickly and collect our refillable mugs. We did not use them for the entire trip. Not even once! We spent all day every day in the parks, and we were not walking back to our room to get the mugs and then back to the food court for some free soda at night! And I didn't want to carry them with us in the parks in the morning when we weren't supposed to even use them there. But we have used them at home and I quite like them! So I'm glad we took the time to pick them up, especially since for us they were free (on the Free Dining promo).

Off we went to our room to drop off our carry on luggage and so I could change into shorts. Magic Bands worked again with no problem. Our week was forecast as low 80s temperatures, but on our arrival day the forecast was for 90 degrees and it was accurate! I was glad I remembered to carry on shorts. My DH did as well but opted not to change — he regretted it later! I'm a bad DISer and didn't take even one picture of our room, mostly because it was dark and small and not really anything special. If we were people who liked to spend any time at the resort at all, I would have been disappointed. But we are crash-into-bed-and-pass-out-at-the-end-of-the-day-wake-up-very-early-the-next-day-to-do-it-again people. So no biggie.

Then we turned right back around to get on a bus for Downtown Disney. It seemed like the bus came pretty quickly, but there were a bunch of people in line already and some of them seemed pretty annoyed about how long they had been waiting already. I guess we had good timing!

Our first stop was Wolfgang Puck Express. By this time we were both starving and ready for a delicious lunch! I ordered the bacon-wrapped meatloaf and DH ordered the Chicken Aioli Sandwich. We were using dining credits so we both got fruit as our dessert. We were trying to keep it healthy in anticipation of mucho bad eating the rest of the week! My meal was pretty good but so so heavy. I couldn't even finish it and it didn't look like that much food on the plate. Plus, as is the case with most "bacon-wrapped" things, the bacon was fatty and barely cooked. Blech. But the meatloaf and the onion strings and the mashed potatoes were all delicious. Just make sure if you want to order this you are super hungry! DH said his sandwich was "ok" but it looked delicious to me.



After lunch we decided to head right over to Disney Quest to use our free vouchers!

Up Next: Disney Quest and the Shopping at Downtown Disney
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:30 AM   #12
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Yea for finding ME! I always swear we're going the right way in that airport and always get us turned around. Bless my DHs heart for not rubbing it in too much every time I have to admit I'm wrong!

How did you get that AWESOME countdown on your phone?!? And how cool that it went to zero in the bus!

ASMu looks cute. We did ASMo last time. We hardly spent any time at the resort either and forgot to get pictures with all the cool stuff around. You did a better job than we did already!
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STLMickeyMom View Post
Yea for finding ME! I always swear we're going the right way in that airport and always get us turned around. Bless my DHs heart for not rubbing it in too much every time I have to admit I'm wrong!

How did you get that AWESOME countdown on your phone?!? And how cool that it went to zero in the bus!

ASMu looks cute. We did ASMo last time. We hardly spent any time at the resort either and forgot to get pictures with all the cool stuff around. You did a better job than we did already!
Thanks! I'm slightly ashamed to admit that I found that beautiful picture somewhere online very early in our planning process, and snapped a photo of it with my phone so I could use it as my countdown background. I unfortunately did not take note of where I found the photo or who it belongs to, and I've since been unable to find it again. It is beautiful though, isn't it? I wish I were a better photographer! The app I used for the countdown is called simply Countdown+ and I used the free version. I just cropped out the ads for this post.
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:24 AM   #14
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Hooray for arriving! I'm sorry you didn't get your room requests. The resort looks cute though, I like the themeing!
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A trip of firsts- starting with my first PTR for October 2013!
Did Someone Say Adventure?! An Oct '13 TR!
I Think We Should Go Again! A Nov '14 PTR
"Smile like you're massaging my feet!" A Nov '14 TR!

WDW Visits: 1993, 1997
Disneyland/California Adventure Visit: 6/26/12
Pop Century with DBF: 1/4/13-1/12/13 - MNSSHP/F&W trip with Mom & Dad: 10/5/13-10/12/13 - An Early Christmas with Mom & Dad: 11/8/14-11/15/14
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Old 11-25-2013, 10:17 AM   #15
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Following along!
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