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Old 01-11-2014, 03:18 PM   #1
TinksThree
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It's a Marshmallow World...at New Year's!The End! Future trip?? 7.21.14 Update

It's a Marshmallow World...at New Year's!

Welcome one and all to my latest trip report! I feel as though I am on a never ending report writing trip since I have had so many trips over the last few years! But that is a good thing, right!? Who knows when we will return so for now...I will relish in my memories of our New Year's Week trip as I tell our story!!

Introductions!!

Perhaps I should begin by introducing my clan!



This trip included myself, my DH Keith, my DS Chris and DD Madison.

Chris completed Basic Training in the Army and graduated this past Thanksgiving. He is currently in AIT but got two weeks off for Christmas. (More on that later since it plays heavily into the story!)

Madison is a senior in high school and now that her last semester of high school has begun we are knee deep in college decisions and all of the craziness that goes with a graduating senior!



Why on Earth do you choose New Year's Week!?!?!


The road to this trip was bumpy with lots of changes, adjustments, and "will we go" questions along the way! I actually began planning the trip last April. I really wanted to go during Christmas and see the decorations. Normally we go to Gatlinburg for Thanksgiving but we were going over the July 4th holiday so we decided Thanksgiving week would be perfect!

It was going to be only Keith, Madison and myself since we knew Chris would be (likely) busy with the Army. Although I included him in all reservations since we weren't 100% sure! We were booked at Port Orleans Riverside (this is Keith's favorite resort so far!). I had the best ADRs...everything I wanted and exactly when I wanted them!!

Fast forward to July and Chris is sworn into the Army and receives his ship date. We see that Thanksgiving for him is out, so we make a few changes: instead of POR we are now booked at Boardwalk!!! This has just become my dream vacation! I had so many awesome things planned for this 9 day trip!!!

Ah...but some things are still unknown and when Chris shipped off to Basic Training in September we were still not sure until he went through processing: graduation would be the day before Thanksgiving. Well, that pretty much makes this dream vacation a wash out!

I begrudgingly cancelled my wonderful ADRs, said so long to seeing Gary Sinise at Candlelight Processional and sadly let go of my most desired resort!

But we also learned that Chris would have two weeks off at Christmas so the decision was made to go the week after Christmas. Only now I have booked at POR at a higher rate... Now I am going to skip over the many back and forths we went through!

Originally, the plan was to beat WDW December 28 - January 4. Chris had to return to Missouri on January 3 so we were going to fly him from Orlando. But logistics in travel made this a non-option and a round trip ticket was our only choice.

Plus there was the whole cost issue...I am used to going on military discount rates and this time period was blacked out. So again to make a long story short:

Keith did not want to cancel and suggested POP Century and shorter days. Now we had stayed at POP October 2012 and I found it fine but Keith was not thrilled. So needless to say, this decision shocked me!

Now our new plans: December 28 - January 2 at POP Century (And thus began my many,many, many lectures of "It WILL be CROWDED!!!" We went with the mind set we may not do anything but stand in lines...do we?!

(Oh and on a side note about costs, our shorter trip at POP for 4 was close to what I was paying for 3 at Boardwalk the week of Thanksgiving... It's a scam!!! )

This meant letting go of a few ADRs I was looking forward to: Hollywood Brown Derby, Raglan Road, Liberty Tree Tavern and Chefs de France. I still had Be Our Guest though due to my constant haunting of the Reservation website!

Alright enough talk! I want to get to sharing!! I will have many opinions though on several topics! We had Fastpass Plus only, Magic Bands, My Disney Experience app experiences and the new dining cancellations rules during our visit just to mention a few! But we also tried some new restaurants along with some old as well as some new treats! Oh and along the way...well, I didn't get to do a lot that I wanted to do and what about those awful crowds because really...WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND goes the week between Christmas and New Years?! Plus lots of pictures and in some cases the amount of photos may be slightly obnoxious!

Now on with the show!!!



Last edited by TinksThree; 07-21-2014 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 01-11-2014, 03:19 PM   #2
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Chapter Links

It's a Marshmallow World at New Year's.....

It's a Marshmallow World...As we travel along!

It's a Marshmallow World...In the Studios!! Part 1 and Part 2

It's a Marshmallow World...When the Night Lights Up!!! Part 1
and Part 2

It's a Marshmallow World...When the First Day Becomes Night!! Part 1 and Part 2

It's a Marshmallow World...As the Night Draws to an End Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3

It's a Marshmallow World...In Epcot's Future World!!!

It's a Marshmallow World...In the Fast Lane and Under the Sea!!! Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3

It's A Marshmallow World...As We Go Our Separate Ways Part 1 and Part 2

It's a Marshmallow World...As the Choir Sings!! Part 1 and Part 2

It's a Marshamallow World...And We Can Do Anything We Want!! Part 1 and Part 2

It's A Marshmallow World...When We Do What The Boys Won't!! Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4

It's A Marshmallow World...Even When Things Don't Work Out Part 1 and Part 2

It's A Marshmallow World...With Plans Becoming a Fantasy Part 1 and Part 2

It's A Marshmallow World...When Going and Stopping and Going Again!! Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4

It's A Marshmallow World...And They're Playing MY Song!!! Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4

It's a Marshmallow World...And A Magical Evening Begins!! Part 1 and Part 2

It's a Marshmallow World...with Food and Merriment!! Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3

It's a Marshmallow World...And NEW YEARS EVE!!! Part 1 and Part 2

It's a Marshmallow World...in the Studios on New Years Eve!! Part 1 and Part 2

It's a Marshmallow World...on New Year's Eve in Epcot with Illuminations!! Part 1 and Part 2

It's a Marshmallow World...and I Can't Move!!! Part 1 and Part 2

It's a Marshmallow World...and it's finally 2014 (at Animal Kingdom)!!! Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3

It's a Marshmallow World...in Epcot and Time for Lunch at Via Napoli!! Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3

It's a Marshmallow World...Beach Club and Hollywood Studios! Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3

It's a Marshmallow World...As The Final Night Rolls Along Part 1 and Part 2

It's a Marshmallow World...as the Road Leads Home! Part 1 and Part 2

Last edited by TinksThree; 07-16-2014 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 01-11-2014, 05:15 PM   #3
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I'm here and ready to read about all of your New Year's adventures! The intro pictures are great and, can I just say, Chris looks so nice in his uniform. I know that you are really proud of him.
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2014 trip report: Disney dangled the visual weinee and Mickeystoontown gobbled it up! Our two week adventure!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post51642226


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Old 01-11-2014, 06:24 PM   #4
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HERE! I have to admit to being extremely curious about a New Year's trip. We did it once when I was a kid on New Year's Eve. They had 70 thousand party hats to give away... and ran out.
More to the point, I'm curious how Keith handled it.
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Old 01-11-2014, 06:39 PM   #5
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Looking forward to reading more about your trip during the notorious week after Christmas.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:34 AM   #6
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I'm here!!
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:18 PM   #7
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Following along!
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeystoontown View Post
I'm here and ready to read about all of your New Year's adventures! The intro pictures are great and, can I just say, Chris looks so nice in his uniform. I know that you are really proud of him.
Hooray...you were first!! Chris looks so grown up in his uniform! And when I look at pictures from the March trip...it floors me how mature he has gotten! We are super proud of him!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyKid4Life View Post
HERE! I have to admit to being extremely curious about a New Year's trip. We did it once when I was a kid on New Year's Eve. They had 70 thousand party hats to give away... and ran out.
More to the point, I'm curious how Keith handled it.
And you were a close second!! (Like it was a race!! ) Seriously...glad to have you along!!! Well...without giving too much away...you should try it but be prepared! Ahhh...Keith...well, I'll save that for a little later!

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Originally Posted by tinawv View Post
Looking forward to reading more about your trip during the notorious week after Christmas.
Welcome!! The stories I'd heard had me so nervous!! I would like to say more...but I can't! (not now anyhow!)

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Originally Posted by LutheranChick82 View Post
I'm here!!
Welcome!! Happy you are coming along!!


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Following along!
Welcome!! So glad you're here!!
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:50 PM   #9
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It's a Marshmallow World...As we travel along!

"A Marshmallow World"


First I want to explain about the title...there really isn't any particular time in our trip (although it is heard in the parks!) that pinpoints this as the "Ah-Ha!" moment. I just really like the song which I heard just two years ago. I really like the Dean Martin/Frank Sinatra version but then I am a sucker for the "old stuff"! And then...I went to the MVMCP in December 2012 and right in the middle of the parade...there plays "A Marshmallow World"!

This song just makes me smile and I found myself singing all week (even now!)so I thought that's my title! Not too earth shattering but that's the tale!

Plus the first verse just sounds all happy and fun to me...just like Disney!!:

It's a marshmallow world in the winter,
When the snow comes to cover the ground,
It's the time for play, it's a whipped cream day,
I wait for it all year round.


A Few "Oh Yeahs!!"


And to begin this tale...

1) There were definitely some ups and downs to this trip!!

2) My next trip MUST be longer than 4-5 days! Short trips are fine but I really miss the trips where we can schedule breaks and off days. We just feel ragged after a short trip...and the last three have been!

3) There really isn't anything quiet as magical as Disney all decked out in Christmas finery and the festivities leading up to New Years!

4) And there isn't anything not so magical as crowds...but will it or will it not be part of our ups and downs!?!?!

Well...let's get this show on the road and see how it all pans out!!!


The Open Road Beckons!!!


We began our journey on Friday, December 27 around 5 pm. We weren't sure what time Keith would get off work so our departure time had been up in the air. We hit the open road and made great time! A quick stop at a Dairy Queen outside of Mobile for supper and soon we were see the bright lights of Mobile which were still decked out for Christmas:



(You will be able to tell any pictures taken with my iPhone since it takes not too great pics!! )

We drove along and had thought about driving straight through. But that would put us in Orlando around 5 am and we decided we would rather be rested than exhausted so we stopped in Crestview around 10 pm.

I looked at Trip Advisor and found a Super 8 that had pretty decent reviews so we tried there first. I sent Keith in to negotiate since he is much better at that than me and came out with a rate of $60...not too bad since we planned on being there for only 6 hours or so! The Super 8 wasn't much on the outside but it felt very safe and the people working there were friendly. The rooms had recently been remodeled:



The rooms were clean and the only annoyance was the fridge humming all night! It wasn't a 5 star hotel but it most definitely served our needs for some restful sleep!

We were up and on the road by 6:30 am...a little later than planned but oh well, no big deal. That was until we hit I-75 south and traffic slowed us considerably!!


We Arrive!!!!!


After some minor traffic issues at the Turnpike exit and toll booth, we were seeing this glorious sight!!!



Seriously...this NEVER gets old!!!

And then only minutes later...





We were home!!! Well, our home for the next few days. POP really doesn't feel like home like POR does! But I will go ahead and say for this trip, POP proved better for Keith!! He joked on the way down that I had booked us at "that dump" again but when we left he commented it wasn't so bad this trip! The biggest negatives we found this trip were the double beds, the bathroom area is tiny for four adult sized people (although we have a system that makes this work!), and the food court left lots to be desired!!

We park and make our way into the lobby...





And check-in was a walk directly up and here's your stuff deal! Easy-peasy!! We get our room in the sixties section, ground floor which I had requested!

We park, unload, locate our room and prepare to begin the vacation...for real!!

I didn't take a lot of room pictures but the few I did will be interspersed since I am posting in the order I took them!





When we entered the room, my Magic Band didn't work so I made my way back to the front desk and found an extremely helpful CM. She also noted Madison's appeared to have issues also, so I called her to join me. Within 10 minutes we were good to go!!(And that includes our walking time!).

More random pictures of the resort as I walked to the front and also as I waited on Maddie:









Once Madison and I were done, we made our way to the gift shop and waited on Keith and Chris. We were starving by this time! So we decided the food court was sufficient! We all got the create your own tacos which were pretty yummy although the ordering process was pretty painful! It took forever and a day! Literally 20 minutes! While waiting in line I took a few pictures of the food court area:







This was my tacos:



They were ginormous!! I had them stuffed pretty good. You could choose three or four...I went with three. I had beef, pork and chicken. The pork was my favorite! The chicken was okay. Andthe beef fell in the middle. We also all got the cheesecake. I got the plain and the kids got the tie-dyed after I told them the urban legend...I unfortunately was told that the legend wasn't true....

I would like to say that I loved the Magic Bands! I got so used to them I would panic that i had lost mine or forgot it since it was so unnoticeable! I loved the convenience and aside from our issues at the very beginning that were quickly remedied we had zero problems!! The FastPass Plus...well that is a love/hate relationship that we will discuss later!!

Initially we were to arrive earlier and do Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and dash off to Epcot for supper. Since we were 2 hours behind, we skipped Animal Kingdom and head directly to Hollywood Studios...so I shall leave this part of the story at the bus stop!!

Last edited by TinksThree; 01-15-2014 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:16 PM   #10
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It's neat to see Mobile lit up in the Christmas colors. Usually, we just see the buildings lit up in the clear color (and, isn't there a purple one too?).

So, exactly where is Clearview? I'm trying to find a good stopping place on our first drive day. With us leaving on a Friday and John being off on Fridays now, we can make it past Crestview where we usually stay.

It was good to hear that Keith warmed up to staying at Pop. We've walked around the resort and it looks really cute. Oh and I'm with you on the short trips to Disney. They wear you out and you feel like you need more time. But, I'd definitely take a short trip over no trip at all.

It's lunch time and I'm looking at those delicious lookin' tacos and am now craving Taco Bell.
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2014 trip report: Disney dangled the visual weinee and Mickeystoontown gobbled it up! Our two week adventure!
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Old 01-14-2014, 01:14 PM   #11
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Joining in.

Great start. I like POP it has grown on me. POR is my favorite non dvc resort.

Those tacos do look big.

The tye dye cheesecake was good then they made it small. I liked it the other way.
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:15 PM   #12
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You're so right, that sign never gets old, and POP really is home for me. BUT, I would find it difficult with 4 in a room. When it's just me, it's glorious.

Wow, 20 minutes for food? It doesn't even look that busy in your photos. YIKES!
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeystoontown View Post
It's neat to see Mobile lit up in the Christmas colors. Usually, we just see the buildings lit up in the clear color (and, isn't there a purple one too?).

So, exactly where is Clearview? I'm trying to find a good stopping place on our first drive day. With us leaving on a Friday and John being off on Fridays now, we can make it past Crestview where we usually stay.

It was good to hear that Keith warmed up to staying at Pop. We've walked around the resort and it looks really cute. Oh and I'm with you on the short trips to Disney. They wear you out and you feel like you need more time. But, I'd definitely take a short trip over no trip at all.

It's lunch time and I'm looking at those delicious lookin' tacos and am now craving Taco Bell.
Oops! Typo! I think I tried combining Clermont and Crestview! It was Crestview where we stopped. But further down there are other towns with decent hotels and prices. We'd hoped to make it to Tallahassee but we left too late. Marianna is a good option too...and they usually have the cheapest gas! I'll have to go back and edit!!

I was glad Keith warmed up to it also...I think it was due to hanging out there so much.... But I am with you on taking any trip I can get! I am just ready for a nice long one...and that's thanks to reading your TR! Makes me miss that week...that has officially become my favorite time to go!!

So did you get Taco Bell? I will say those tacos were much better than Taco Bell!


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Originally Posted by scottny View Post
Joining in.

Great start. I like POP it has grown on me. POR is my favorite non dvc resort.

Those tacos do look big.

The tye dye cheesecake was good then they made it small. I liked it the other way.
Hey there!! Welcome! So glad you're joining in! We love POR but POP really was nice and better appreciated this trip. We love the proximity to AoA also!

The tacos were huge!! I really didn't eat all of mine but I did eat the stuffing of all three. Aw man! I wish we had tried the cheesecake before! It was fine but I had heard so much about it for so long, it was sort of disappointing...but we still ate it!


Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyKid4Life View Post
You're so right, that sign never gets old, and POP really is home for me. BUT, I would find it difficult with 4 in a room. When it's just me, it's glorious.

Wow, 20 minutes for food? It doesn't even look that busy in your photos. YIKES!
I simply love that sign! It puts a huge 'ol smile on my face every time! Just knowing it is coming makes me smile!

Honestly, we are in the room so little that the size was perfectly fine! I think POP would not be ruled out in the future! And yes 30 minutes with only three people ahead of us...PAINFUL! It took a while to load those tacos I guess!!
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:37 AM   #14
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Crestview is our "normal" stopping point during most of our drives. We have also stayed in Marianna before. I need to go back and look at my notes but I think that we decided that we can make it past Tallahassee but not to Lake City. I don't want to be so tired the next day that we can't get up and going.

No plans to head back in May? You know that you wanna!

No Taco Bell for me yesterday. I went home to make hot roast beef sandwiches and about half way into the dinner, I realized that our oven wasn't warming up. Guess we'll try working on it tonight and see what the problem is. UGH!
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2014 trip report: Disney dangled the visual weinee and Mickeystoontown gobbled it up! Our two week adventure!
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:17 PM   #15
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I'm joining in!!!! Love your TRs!!!!

We've stayed at the Pop before and we really enjoyed it. Its so fun and vibrant, and the kids loved the bowling pin-shaped pool.
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