A birthday and Christmas all wrapped into one!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by ToddB, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. ToddB

    ToddB Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    73
    OK, this is my first trip report ever and I have no idea how to write one so I am just gonna do it. This is my second trip with just my sister and I going, but it was our sixth trip total. Let me introduce us, there is my sister, Amanda – 27, and myself, Todd – 23. I am definitely the Disney know it all in the family and the go to guy for all things Disney. My sister likes Disney too, her main focus is Mickey Mouse (she’s sort of obsessed). Anyway here is my report and I hope you enjoy it. Here is a picture of us from last year:
    [​IMG][/url] Disney 2010 192 by ToddB1988, on Flickr[/IMG]
     
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  3. ToddB

    ToddB Earning My Ears

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    Day 1 - 11-24-11 Traveling Day/Thanksgiving Day

    Our first day began at around 1:50 a.m. I woke up, got ready, and finished packing the car. We both did the frantic run around the house wondering if we grabbed everything we needed. Me and my paranoia constantly checking to see if I had my wallet and camera supplies. But we were in the car, with the heat turned up because it was a chilly Pennsylvania morning, and at 2:45 a.m. we hit the road. There really wasn’t much to this day just us driving along a ton of boring roads. Anyway, there were a ton of deer this year on the drive down, those things were everywhere. Besides that we had a ton of Christmas CD’s to get us in the holiday spirit for when we arrived. So as the day went we were getting a bit more hyper since Disney was getting closer. Originally we had plans to drive into Jacksonville, FL and stay at a hotel overnight just so we would be fresh in the morning and get a good night of sleep. But, like last year we made good time and it was early still, so we cancelled our overnight hotel and booked a one night at Pop Century. We were driving straight through. One of our original plans we kept and that was to have Thanksgiving dinner at Cracker Barrel. I would have pics of the food there, but after driving all day I was just tired and hungry, plus I just plain out forgot to take them. The food there was extremely delicious though. A platter with stuffing, turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, cranberry relish, green beans, rolls and pumpkin pie; now that was a filling meal. After we left there we were back on I-95 close to I-4 when we hit an accident. It was starting to frustrate me giving into my road rage side. And let me tell you, when a red headed, German blooded Taurus gets road rage on I-95 it is not pretty, just sayin’. Ok, half and hour later we were moving again. Finally I was seeing signs and we were there, back at Pop Century arriving around 7:30p.m. I think we made pretty good time. The rest of the night we just relaxed in the room and went to bed early, even though we were still wide awake because – We are at Disney World!
     
  4. ToddB

    ToddB Earning My Ears

    Joined:
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    Day 2 - Part 1 – 11-25-11 Resort Hopping Day

    Today was our first full day at Disney. We got up early enough so we could check out of Pop and check into Port Orleans French Quarter. Stopped at the Hess station to fill up on gas and clean the windshield, major bug guts from the drive down. We got to the hotel but I was majorly confused by some of the signs and was driving in every direction other than the right one before we finally parked. I am an easily confused person, it really doesn’t take much. Anyway, first impressions were great here; we both loved it, a nice and small resort without too much walking and a door man. He was probably tired of us by the end of our trip. Our room wasn’t ready so we grabbed our keys and my camera and began our resort hopping day. We took the bus to Magic Kingdom then the boat to the Wilderness Lodge. This resort I think is one of my favorite deluxe resorts that I would eventually like to stay at. Loved the decorations here; it felt like being at home since it is the style my mother has our home decorated. I was amazed by the tree and lobby area, and if you know me you would know that I am addicted to Christmas trees. So we snapped some pictures then grabbed the boat to the Contemporary.

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    At the Contemporary we had seen the Gingerbread Tree and did a little shopping. I also somehow managed to grab a picture of the monorail at the last second.

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    So we took the monorail to the Polynesian. I like the atmosphere at this hotel, but it wasn’t as nice as I thought it would be; I really liked the trees though.

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    So we were outside and decided to take the boat to the Grand Floridian. Now this is a resort that I love. Although, I think it is way too fancy for me. I like the feel of it, not sure why. As soon as we walked in the door we could smell the gingerbread. That house is amazing; the chimney even smokes. When I was taking the one photo I didn’t even notice the cast member posing for me. Loved the tree here too.

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    So we took the monorail back to the Magic Kingdom to catch the bus back to our resort since our room was ready. So here is our room complete with a Mickey shaped towel.
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  5. ToddB

    ToddB Earning My Ears

    Joined:
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    Day 1 - Continued...

    We had lunch at the food court, but I forgot to take pics of it. After relaxing for a bit we bused over to Hollywood Studios to continue resort hopping. We got there and the line for the boat was like a mile long, so we used the walkway to the Swan and Dolphin; we even beat the boat there. I really liked these two resorts, but they do sort of lack the Disney feel, to me anyway.
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    Next on our list was the Yacht Club. Once again I really felt out of place here, but, oh well. The train village here was nice, my sister wanted to steel the Mickey town on it but I wouldn’t let her.

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    Beach Club was next. We sort of got lost here at first and made our way into a dead end. But got out of it and found where we would be eating Sunday night at Cape May Café. Luckily the lobby was right next to it. I really wanted to steal one of those carousel horses; I am a chocoholic, lol. Definitely one of my more favorite displays.

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    Took the boat to the Boardwalk and explored some of the shops before finding the lobby. I liked the gingerbread Stitch here but not as much as at the other resorts. I liked the fireplace the most I think.
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    That was it for resort hopping day. Since we weren’t doing anything we took the boat to Downtown Disney. That was a bad idea. It was elbow to elbow people probably because it was Black Friday so who knows. Then back to the room for some rest since our other package starts the next day.
     
  6. NurseAllen

    NurseAllen Mouseketeer

    Joined:
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    Keep it coming! Looks like you had fun!
     
  7. curemyreed

    curemyreed DIS Veteran

    Joined:
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    Your photos are just lovely! I so appreciate the opportunity to see all the Christmas decorations that are unique to each resort. My kids are young and would not like to do this kind of sight-seeing, so I sure am grateful to "tag along" with you and your sister to the resorts!

    Did you meet Woody & Jessie by Splash Mountain? My daughter has recently fallen in love with the Toy Story trilogy and would be in heaven if she could meet them on our vacation next month.
     
  8. Captain Hookup

    Captain Hookup Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Messages:
    60
    Love these pictures, Todd, What kind of camera do you use?
    You certainly frame the pictures perfectly.. such great shots!

    You made great time.. my best time from ny was 16.5 hours worst was 18.





    :laughing::laughing::laughing:

    I hate traffic!!! accidents are bad when you are on those highways with only 2 lanes! I think the last time i drove the road was being widened in GA

    I also dont get the chance to resort hop that much so im happy to see those pics.
    And the only time i take that boat by DS is when im overruled. I enjoy the walk.
    More pics and words please! :)
     
  9. ToddB

    ToddB Earning My Ears

    Joined:
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    Day 3: Part 1 – 11-26-11 - Boma – Sea World – Epcot – Magic Kingdom

    So our third day starts our full package with dining and park tickets. After checking out and back in we made our way to Animal Kingdom Lodge for breakfast at Boma at 7:30. I loved this resort; my only problem with it is it seems too far away from anything else. Decorations were just as fantastic as anywhere else.
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    We checked in and had to wait until 7:30 until they opened; we were the first ones there. Frunch is really good; I had a few glasses of it. Everything here was great, I especially liked the sticky rolls, and the scrambled eggs with goat cheese were good too.
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    Off to Sea World. Somehow we made it there right after park opening. Yes, I know it is not Disney but we wanted to go. I would have rather gone to the Wizarding World but it wouldn’t pay for my sister to go since she isn't a thrill ride junkie like me.

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    The day seemed to go slow and it didn’t help that I had a headache and was hot. Anyway, we worked our way around to some of the exhibits and I got to do the Manta coaster which was great, but short. Blue Horizons was our first show. This was probably my favorite show.
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  10. ToddB

    ToddB Earning My Ears

    Joined:
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    Day 3: Part 2 Continued...

    We bypassed Atlantis because we really didn’t feel like getting wet and I headed straight to the Kraken. Great coaster, just made my head hurt more though. A walk through the penguins and sea lion exhibits was next.
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    After that we had lunch at the pizza and pasta buffet. Don’t have pics of it since it wasn’t great. I felt like I was eating freezer food.
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    Next was One Ocean with Shamu. Definitely a good show here. It is also nice to see how people don’t listen which made my day. They say you ‘will’ get wet if you sit in the first 15 rows. Well it was fun to see at least half of them running for cover.

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    Next was the Polar Express attraction. A simulator ride which was pretty great, certainly a highlight of the day. But that was it for us. I had plans to stick around until closing but I was disgusted with a few things and I guess I am just spoiled by Disney. So we went back to the room and put up our Christmas tree. My sister wanted to and since it was her birthday trip I let her.
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    We added another day to our tickets and headed to Epcot. We rode Spaceship Earth and Universe of Energy. First time on that one, but I agree when others say it needs a facelift. We had dinner at Sunshine Seasons. I had the Mongolian beef and tiramisu and my sister had Cashew chicken with chocolate cake.
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    Then took the monorail to the Magic Kingdom and grabbed the ferry boat. It was great to get to see the castle all lit up for the first time. After we did a few rides and walked around for a bit we called it a night and went back to get some sleep.
     
  11. ToddB

    ToddB Earning My Ears

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    I'm trying, lol, but these pictures are taking me forever to edit. And believe me we did have fun, the best parts haven't even happened yet.
     
  12. ToddB

    ToddB Earning My Ears

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    Thank you very much! That is the main reason we took this trip was to see all things Christmas at Disney even the resorts. That picture of us with Woody and Jessie was taken September 2010 by Splash Mountain. I don't know if they are still in that same spot or not though. But we had seen them and since I grew up with the first Toy Story we had to jump in the line, plus we love the characters.
     
  13. ToddB

    ToddB Earning My Ears

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    I use a Sony DSLR, but I had to edit all of the photos first before posting, I'm still getting used to using my camera even though I've had it for two years, lol. Our best time was last year, we did it at around 15 hours, did I mention I have a lead foot? :laughing: Our worst was the first year we went, it took us over 20 hours because my mom read the directions wrong and we went at least 30 miles out of the way. Traffic does suck, I really hate to drive on roads like that, but I do take joy rides here at home in secluded areas, lol. Glad you like my pictures and I will keep them coming:)
     
  14. Captain Hookup

    Captain Hookup Earning My Ears

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    A headache on vacation stinks! and i would have done the same as you....go on the coaster and risk more of a headache...but i wouldnt want to pass up the ride.

    I love the sea lion show... he looks pretty comfy on that rock! :confused3 :laughing:

    Disgusted? thats it? cmon, spill!

    More great clear framed pics! im enjoying this a lot.

    joy rides? secluded? I envy living in a secluded place!

    Glad to hear a lot more fun is coming up
     
  15. NurseAllen

    NurseAllen Mouseketeer

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    My favorite tree is the white Christmas tree made of white poinsettias. LOVE IT! Also, I'm glad that you two are speed demons. I do the posted speed limit, thank you very much! I think it may be due to the fact that I never had anyone teach me how to drive, I pretty much had to teach myself,...and my car is ''too much'' car for me, and I openly admit it. My GMC Denali has a V8 and no one except me will drive it. My mom REFUSES to. I just barely tap the gas and I'm already at 55 >.>
    Also, I LOVE tiramisu! I absolutely LOVE the stuff! Todd, how was that tiramisu? It doesn't look authentic enough! It looks too chocolatey and not enough coffee-y! I can't wait to see more, goodnight!
     
  16. Captain Hookup

    Captain Hookup Earning My Ears

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    Haha speed demon? Never been called that
    They usually make fun of me for only going 5 miles over posted limit.
    I think Disney is 1100 miles so 17 hours would be about 65 mph
    And with some of those states at 70 it makes up for new york's crappy 50 and 55
     
  17. NurseAllen

    NurseAllen Mouseketeer

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    Where's the rest of the picturessssssssssssssssss?!
     
  18. MAF

    MAF DIS Veteran

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    Oh wow that Mickey tee you are wearing is amazing, where did you get it? I have an obsession for Mickey! :laughing: Oh and you should post more pics or yourself TBH. :rolleyes1
     
  19. Captain Hookup

    Captain Hookup Earning My Ears

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    Patiently and hopefully waiting......;)
     
  20. ToddB

    ToddB Earning My Ears

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    Hey guys, sorry I haven't posted anything else yet, I've been working on my final projects and stuff for school which are due by the end of tonight so hopefully by the end of the weekend I can have some more pictures posted. I still have to edit a bunch of them.:eek:

    And that Mickey tee that I am wearing I got at JCPenney's last year. Our local JCP still has them though, and it was only $10 when I got it.
     
  21. Captain Hookup

    Captain Hookup Earning My Ears

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    Yeah, well i guess school projects should take priority....


    i guess....


    i mean sort of....


    :rolleyes1


    You could give us a preview......:rotfl:
     

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