2700 miles later...Disney cheered me up! A bittersweet trip report. Complete 11/29

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by VegasVick, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. VegasVick

    VegasVick When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.

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    Hello everyone! Thought I'd get started on my trip report :goodvibes

    The cast of characters:

    Vicky (that's me): I am the Disney fanatic of the family. Celebrated my upcoming 50th birthday during our visit to WDW.
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    Joe (husband of 23 years): Not a big Disney fan...but knew I needed this vacation.
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    Elizabeth (our daughter): The reason for the trip to Florida...she's starting her freshman year at Florida Southern...go Mocs!
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    You can click here if you want to read my pre-trip...

    I am simultaneously working on a separate dining review, so I'll link to each restaurant's review from within the trip report's text. If you want to just read the dining review, click here.

    There aren't alot of pictures for the first few days, but once we hit the world, I took over 200! That's alot for me anyway...so if you like photos, once we get to the end of Sunday, my posts will have plenty of pictures.

    The Trip:

    Thursday, August 19th: Get up EARLY and drive and drive and drive...

    Friday, August 20th: Two double beds in a small little room...not great.

    Saturday, August 21st: I wore the wrong shoes for move-in day...

    Sunday, August 22: And then they told us to leave...

    Monday, August 23rd: EPCOT in the morning...eventually...
    Monday evening: Joe and Vick eat and drink around World Showcase.

    Tuesday, August 24th: Birthday breakfast, water park fun & a dinner of memories!

    Wednesday, August 25th: Mr. and Mrs. Grumpy go to DHS.

    Thursday, August 26th: Happy days are here again!
    Thursday evening: Irish eyes are smiling...

    Friday, August 27th-Sunday, August 29th: Driving, the Smoky Mountains, and more driving.

    :surfweb: Sit back and enjoy.
     
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  3. VegasVick

    VegasVick When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.

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    And that's exactly what we did.

    A little background...on Wednesday, we packed the car -- and I mean PACKED! I was afraid we'd have to start tying things to the roof, but my brilliant hubby just kept reorganizing. Now mind you, we were moving a 17-year-old girl to college, so there was a lot to fit into my little Hyundai Santa Fe!

    Anyway, we rolled out of bed and were actually on the road on schedule...6 a.m. and heading southeast. Around 8 a.m. we stopped at a Cracker Barrell along the I-24 (no review...it was just a Cracker Barrell). Then, we drove some more. We weren't hungry at lunchtime, so we just kept going...our goal was to make it through Atlanta and then stop for dinner; we stopped at an Olive Garden along the I-75 (no review...it was just an Olive Garden). Then, we drove some more. Made it to Tifton, Georgia (which was our goal) at a reasonable hour...fell into bed and called it a day. Since we were in the car all day, no pictures...

    I'm getting too old for that kind of traveling!
     
  4. VegasVick

    VegasVick When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.

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    We slept in a little bit this morning, since we knew we only had about 5 hours of driving. The Fairfield Inn had a nice continental breakfast, so we filled up on that. Then it was back to the car, and back on the road to...you guessed it...drive some more.

    We stopped along the way for lunch, but for the life of me I can't remember what we ate...obviously, it wasn't too memorable.

    :banana: Finally arrived in Lakeland...
    I had decided to stay at the Jameson Inn where Elizabeth and I had stayed in February. At that time, we had a really nice room...I didn't know that we had been upgraded to a suite...so this time...two double beds in a small little room...not great. It was pretty inexpensive though, so we suffered through for two nights. Never again. I was underwhelmed, so no pictures.

    The weekend was really all about Elizabeth. Ask a 17 year old what she'd like to do...go to the mall of course...so we did. I bought her a couple of things, and some clearance stuff for myself. Then, to celebrate her birthday, which we'll miss, we let her choose dinner. We had a nice dinner at the Outback (no review...it was just an Outback). Tomorrow is move-in day, so early to bed.
     
  5. anijac1412

    anijac1412 Mouseketeer

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    Looking forward to reading more! :) You were at Disney around the same time I was!
     
  6. Purpleblanket

    Purpleblanket Mouseketeer

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    I can't wait for the review!!!

    Debbie:goodvibes
     
  7. VegasVick

    VegasVick When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.

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    Thanks to you both! I hope to write more over the weekend.
     
  8. VegasVick

    VegasVick When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.

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    We were up early on Saturday because check-in was at 8:30 a.m.

    Checking in...
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    In line for ID...
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    Settling in...
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    The biggest problem was that her room was on the second floor and no elevator. I wore comfortable sandals, but should have worn tennis shoes...I pulled something in my right foot which would affect my touring at WDW...who knew!? :confused3

    So after move-in, we made a final WalMart run (along with everybody else...) and had a nice lunch at a little Chinese place we found along the way.

    Our college student...
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    For dinner, families were invited to share a meal at the main dining hall...it was okay. We said our goodnights and headed back to the awful hotel.

    It had been a very long day, so we opened a bottle of Chardonnay, poured it into plastic cups, and caught up on email...

     
  9. lynn71092

    lynn71092 DIS Veteran

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    Subscribing:cool1:
     
  10. VegasVick

    VegasVick When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.

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    Joe and I slept in a little bit because we weren't meeting DD until lunchtime. Again, families were invited to have a "BBQ" at the dining hall...we ate with DD's roommate and her parents, which was really nice.

    The central fountain on campus...
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    A quick trip to the bookstore for souvenirs, logo clothes, and a $227 chemistry book...one final meeting and then they told us to say good-bye and go away. So we did...

    I was sad, but didn't cry...I didn't want her to feel bad. Plus, leaving meant I was headed to my second favorite place...WDW :yay: (Disneyland will always be #1.)

    We hopped on the I-4 and arrived at Port Orleans French Quarter (POFQ) around 3'ish.

    The fountain in the lobby...
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    Registration...
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    I had checked us in online about a week before the trip, so check-in was a breeze...took all of 5 minutes. Our packet was ready; all she had to do was write my name on my birthday button.

    We had a first floor, corner room in building 5...across from the hot tub and diagonal to the main building...I couldn't have asked for a better location (especially since my foot really hurt).

    A not-so-hidden Mickey...
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    King-sized bed (what an improvement over the last two days)!
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    Dual sinks (I don't even have that at home)!
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    Once we got everything from the car, we headed out to Oviedo...about 45 minutes north (home of the University of Central Florida)...to visit my 87 year old mother.

    I hope I look that good when I'm in my eighties...
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    We took her out for an early dinner at the local Red Lobster (no review...it was just a Red Lobster). It was a really good visit, and we decided that we'd see her again later in the week.

    On the drive back, we talked about our options. In my original itinerary, I had planned to hit Magic Kingdom for Extra Magic Hours, fireworks, etc. But, we were both pretty drained from the weekend and my darned foot was killing me, so we opted for an alternative...hot tub! Aaaah...it was the perfect decision :thumbsup2

    Tomorrow: EPCOT
     
  11. VegasVick

    VegasVick When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.

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    Welcome!
     
  12. Purpleblanket

    Purpleblanket Mouseketeer

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    oh, this brings back memories of settling our daughter into her res 5 years ago. And of course you have to do the walmart run for all those extra things they need in their room!! Does she have the room to herself or is she sharing?
    Our daughter shared the first year, then had a single the 2nd year and then for yrs 3-5 she rented a house with 3 others right by the University.
    Today she started her first day as a gr 7 - 12 band teacher and was so nervous!! Man... time flys...
    Looking forward to reading about Disney though!!

    Debbie :flower3:
     
  13. VegasVick

    VegasVick When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.

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    Hi Debbie! How are your Disney trip plans going? DD is actually in a triple, but one of the girls is moving out and she doesn't know if they'll put someone back in or not. It's designed for the triple and a double to share one bathroom...5 girls sharing one bathroom...she says it's not too bad though. Her plan is to join a sorority and live in the house eventually.

    I will try and start my actual Disney trip later today :)
     
  14. GaRain

    GaRain DIS Veteran

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    Glad you made it through Atlanta ok. Its amazing how often my town gets mentioned in trip reports! :lmao:

    Glad your daughter got settled in ok - hope the foot doesn't keep you from enjoying Disney!

    Now I am in for the rest of the report....:3dglasses
     
  15. VegasVick

    VegasVick When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.

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    Sorry Lara, but everyone knows Atlanta has some of the WORST traffic...

    My foot is better now, but I limped around the theme parks all week!

    More report to come soon!
     
  16. VegasVick

    VegasVick When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.

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    Well, we didn't make rope drop...

    Monday was a beautiful day...in fact, the weather while we were at Disney was great :thumbsup2 I was expecting hot and humid, but it wasn't...as you know, this makes attacking a theme park much more enjoyable. Anyway...Joe is training for another marathon, so he really wanted to get a run in. We got up around 7 a.m. and he headed out. I saw this as my opportunity for my first cup of java and a wander around the resort.

    Heading towards the pool (where I never actually went)...
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    The outside entrance to Sassagoula Floatworks...
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    And the inside entrance...
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    I forgot to mention that before we went in the hot tub on Sunday night, we stopped at Scat Cat's Lounge for a drink. We watched a little pre-season football too. I had an excellent sour apple martini and Joe went with a Sam Adams draft. Here's a picture of Scat Cat's...
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    The bus stop...
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    After Joe returned and showered, we headed over to Sassagoula Floatworks for breakfast. It was so nice that we grabbed a table outside to eat our breakfast. Click here to read my review of this counter service restaurant.

    Now personally, we like having a car because it's alot faster to get around and really gives you greater flexibility. So after breakfast, we hopped in the car and headed to EPCOT. I was concerned about the crowds because it was the second week of free dining and we were getting there pretty late in the morning. Plus, we hadn't activated our tickets yet. Our tickets were 4-day military tickets with just the Water Parks & more option but no park hopping. They have to be activated at a ticket window or guest services desk the first time you use them.

    So, we finally made it into EPCOT...
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    And there were no crowds...at least not what I think of when I hear the word. We started by getting fast passes for Soarin', then walked onto the Living with the Land boat ride.

    Then we were off to find Nemo...
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    We found him. Then, cutting through Innoventions, there's always time for some quick video games...
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    You know what was the best part? Because it was just the two of us, it didn't matter what we rode or how long it took or whether we just skipped something...no park pressure! :woohoo: And that made the day just plain fun...Then we did single rider for Test Track because the standby line was too long...our wait was 5 minutes! After zipping around, we decided to fly to Mars, but the less intense version...which was good because it also only had a 5 minute wait!! Whew! Time to head to Le Cellier for lunch.

    On our way into World Showcase, we notice the dark clouds...
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    We made it to our 12:45 p.m. lunch ADR at Le Cellier just as the heavens opened up! Read my review of lunch here.

    After lunch, we stopped to see Captain EO which we had never seen before. And, won't need to see again. After using our imaginations chasing that foolish Figment, we decided it was time for a break. But first, we had to use our Soarin' fastpasses...it always makes me nostalgic for Disneyland.

    Me...
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    And that was the end of the beginning of our day. We went back to POFQ and had a quick soak in the hot tub...

    EPCOT in the evening will follow...

     
  17. Purpleblanket

    Purpleblanket Mouseketeer

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    My travel agents daughter works as a server at Le Cellier and she was just there visiting her daughter. She said the cheddar soup is to die for!! We have adr's there for New Years Eve for lunch at 1 pm!!
    Can't wait!!

    Debbie :cloud9:
     
  18. VegasVick

    VegasVick When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.

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    We rode the bus from POFQ to EPCOT around 6 p.m. We planned to have a few drinks and wanted to be safe (no driving). They pick up at FQ first, then each of the stops at Riverside. Great for us...we got seats on an empty bus...not great for the last ones on. It was a quick drive to the park.

    Our first stop this evening was Spaceship Earth. At this time of day, there was no line. We emailed ourselves to the kids...
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    Then Joe stopped to play another game. I sat outside and people watched. popcorn:: Sometimes, I just want to smack people when I see how they treat their children...it's supposed to be fun...Okay, I'll get down off my soap box.

    Heading towards World Showcase to start our trek around, Joe couldn't resist texting our DS at the University of Illinois...I thought we said no phones!?
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    I'm sorry, but my DH is such a goof!
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    I really appreciate that the Photopass photographers will take the same pictures using your own camera. It's nice for getting pictures together...
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    We decided to head clockwise, starting in Mexico. You can read about it in Part 1 and Part 2 of my dining review.

    We strolled...no hurries and no worries. But, we didn't give ourselves enough time, so we'll be back. We found a spot right before you get to Canada and plopped down to eat our fish and watch Illuminations...which never disappoints. It was a beautiful night. We sat quietly and finished our drinks, letting the crowd thin out. My apologies for the champagne-influenced blurry pictures to follow...
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    Not too bad...
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    Canada at night...
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    On our way out of World Showcase...
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    We said goodbye to EPCOT for this trip. And then, we saw the lines for the bus...but wait...one line for Riverside (looooonnnng) and a separate line for French Quarter...which was short!! Woo Hoo! We made it on the next bus and were back at the room around 10:15 p.m. It was a great day.

    Next up: Blizzard Beach
     
  19. wlake

    wlake DIS Veteran

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    French Quarter usually seems to have shorter lines than Riverside, but I always thought that was my bias because we stay at Riverside! :)

    We left the day you arrived, and you lucked out with the weather. There were almost record breaking highs with terrible humidity while we were there!
     
  20. VegasVick

    VegasVick When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.

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    Sorry it has taken me so long to get in another update!

    On Tuesday we had an 8:45 a.m. ADR at the Kona Cafe in the Polynesian. I drove us over, and of course, missed the entrance to the parking lot and had to circle around...this always makes Joe nuts when I do stuff like that. The gate guard just laughed. And, we made our ADR in plenty of time. You can read my review here. It was a nice way to start our day. Joe nabbed us a couple of leis from the Ohana greeter.

    [​IMG]

    After breakfast we headed to Blizzard Beach, our water park of choice. As we parked, it started to rain. There are no pictures because I didn't want to bring my non-waterproof camera into a water park...

    Going on a rainy day worked out great...no crowds! I am not a big water park fan, but Joe loves them. I relaxed in the lazy river and played in the wave pool. Joe joined me for those and rode everything else! We had lunch at Lottawatta Grill (reviewed here) because most of the other food venues were closed. It was a great way to spend the day!

    After the water park, we headed back to POFQ. We spent some time working on assorted business related stuff which we had to do this week. Then, we dressed up for our dinner at the California Grill in the Contemporary. Our ADR was for 7:40 p.m. Read about it here.

    It was another great day! We were on a roll...

    Up next: Disney's Hollywood Studios
     
  21. Purpleblanket

    Purpleblanket Mouseketeer

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    Hi there,
    I can't wait to hear more as my trip is now quickly approaching!

    DS got married on September 25th and now this is the next adventure to look forward to!!

    Debbie
     

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