A Disney Dream Come True - Nov/Dec TR ~ Oct10 Another TR :)

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Mickey_Mom, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. Mickey_Mom

    Mickey_Mom DIS Veteran

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    :welcome:

    Hello and welcome to my family’s November/December trip report. If you’d like to read the planning that went into this trip, check out my PTR, complete with Handy Manny chapter links --> HERE – Disney Dreaming! :santa:


    To summarize the details, we stayed at the Pop Century Resort from November 27th to December 7th. This was our fifth trip to the Happiest Place on Earth but it was our first time going at Christmas and the first time ever for my oldest son’s girlfriend who joined us.


    Our August trip last year was all about slowing down the pace and not trying to do everything. An easier philosophy on your fourth trip at the same time of the year….. but this trip was about trying to accomplish as much of a Disney Christmas as possible, because I didn’t know if we could ever do it again. Did we find the balance? I hope you keep reading to find out, I’d love to have you follow along! My family chided me the entire trip about how many photos and video I took :rolleyes: so there’ll be lots to see if you do…..


    Yay you’re still reading! Ok, so without further ado, here are my Cast of Characters.


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    Me – Tracy

    I’m the emotional one in the family, always striving to find family time. I’m the glass half full person always looking for the fun in things and the planner extraordinaire of this vacation. I put a lot of heart and soul into this trip and had to learn to not take things personally if someone wasn’t enjoying themselves as much as I was.



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    DH – George

    George is also a glass half full kinda guy and he’s brutally honest about everything. His tell it like it is manner can be taken in different ways depending on what you want to hear and how well you know him. He was reluctant to let go of the slower pace for this vacation and it took him a few days in to relax and start enjoying himself.



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    DS15 – Alex

    Alex gets his goofiness from his Mom and his height from his Dad, or Pops as he calls him. He’s a bright, caring young man who also looks for the fun in things. He’s a budding director hoping to pursue a career in the film industry and this past summer we split the cost with him of a good hard drive video camera that he brought with him. He was very happy we extended the invitation to his girlfriend to join us…..



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    DS15GF14 (boy that looks weird eh?) – Kathryn

    Kathryn’s personality is strikingly similar to George – very sarcastic and tell it like it is. So of course, they clash :rolleyes: - but George eventually found the best way to deal with it. She’d never been to Disney before and was very excited about coming with us. There was drama in the days leading up to this trip and a question if she could even go, but in the end all the pieces fell into place.



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    DD14 – Ariana

    Ariana is the inspiration for our Disney trips. She absolutely adores anything and everything to do with Disney, with a particular fondness for Princesses. Her days are spent quoting favorite scenes from Disney movies and her free time consists of surfing the net and watching youtube videos of anything remotely connected to Disney. Her favorite holiday of the year is Christmas – the trees, the presents, the Christmas carols, snow angels, lights and decorations……. so going to Disney at Christmas was The Dream. Ariana was diagnosed with autism at the age of three and struggles with communication, attentiveness and sitting still. She tends to wander as she has little sense of danger and if she sees something she wants, she goes for it. That came into play a LOT this trip.



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    DS5 – Demetri

    Demetri loves our Disney vacations almost as much as Ariana does. He’s always asking how soon until our next trip and he was really excited about all the new rides this year he was tall enough to try. He’s freakishly cute and energetic and wants to do everything. This was also the first trip in which he deemed himself too old for naps……


    So there you have it. Our party of six. Welcome aboard and I hope you enjoy reading along as I share our trip with you!


    Chapter Links:

    Welcome and Cast of Characters – you’re here!

    Day 1 - Arrival Day and Checking in!
    HERE

    Day 2 - Magic Kingdom and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
    PART ONE
    PART TWO
    PART THREE
    PART FOUR

    PHOTOPASS PICS NOW HERE! Click here to catch up on Day 2 and HERE TOO

    Day 3 - Hollywood Studios
    PART ONE
    PART TWO
    PART THREE
    PART FOUR
    PART FIVE

    Day 4 - Hollywood Studios
    PART ONE
    PART TWO
    PART THREE
    PART FOUR
    PART FIVE
    PART SIX
    PART SEVEN

    Catch up on Photopass Pics for DHS days - click here!

    Day 5 - Animal Kingdom
    PART ONE
    PART TWO
    PART THREE
    PART FOUR
    PART FIVE
    PART SIX
    PART SEVEN
    PART EIGHT
    PART NINE

    Day 6 - RESORT and DOWNTOWN DISNEY
    PART ONE
    PART TWO
    PART THREE
    PART FOUR
    PART FIVE
    PART SIX
    PART SEVEN

    Day 7 - Epcot
    PART ONE
    PART TWO
    PART THREE
    PART FOUR
    PART FIVE
    PART SIX

    Day 8 - Magic Kingdom / Boardwalk
    PART ONE
    PART TWO
    PART THREE
    PART FOUR
    PART FIVE
    PART SIX
    PART SEVEN
    PART EIGHT


    NON-TR STUFF...
    Our Lion King the Musical Day
     
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  3. IheartDDuck

    IheartDDuck DIS Veteran

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    I'm here!
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  4. Mickey_Mom

    Mickey_Mom DIS Veteran

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    Saturday, November 27th
    Day 1 – Arrival Day
    Weather: high of 70 degrees, low of 58 degrees
    What we wore: pants and t-shirts



    The morning we left for the airport, I wasn’t sure what to expect. We’d heard the night before of a snow storm in Buffalo :scared: so we knew to factor that into our travel time to get there, plus we were anticipating the worst crossing the border from Canada to the US because Kathryn was with us. Kathryn’s parents are divorced so it’d been recommended to us that we have an abundance of documentation proving that she had permission to travel with us and leave the country. Her Canadian passport had not arrived until the last moment – the aforementioned drama - but we had it with days to spare and we were also armed with her birth certificate, proof of her Mom’s custody, a letter from her saying we had permission for her to accompany us and a letter from her Father acknowledging permission too. We’d called ahead to Southwest and confirmed they didn’t need anything over and above her passport to travel with us, but just in case, we wanted to make sure we gave ourselves plenty of time. So having finished the majority of the packing the night before, we all got up at the obscene hour of 5:30am to ensure we were pulling out of the driveway at 6:00am. Yuck!


    First stop – Tim Hortons! :hyper: Fellow Canadians know of this vital first step for the best cup of coffee to ensure your day starts in the best possible way. Next, on to the US / Canadian border to hopefully choose the line that had the nice border guard. We were confident we had all we needed, but you never know. When it’s our turn, we roll up and open the sliding door of the van so all occupants can be seen and we dutifully hand over all of our passports to the very solemn looking guard. Being the comedic bunch that we are, we crack a joke to make the guy smile, but no such luck and he just wants to know where we’re going. George pipes up, “Disneyland” and I clamp my lips shut. :sad2: After what seemed like an inordinate amount of time inspecting our passports but not asking for anymore documentation then that – he finally waves us through. A quick Facebook post to announce our victory and we’re off! We made it!


    This time there’d been a bit of a wait in the line up to cross the border, but we were still ahead of schedule. The weather in Buffalo ended up not being a factor at all and though you could tell it had snowed, there was nothing left to indicate it’d been anything substantial and would delay our flight. Heading straight to the airport - like our August trip, we once again stopped first at the Denny’s to have breakfast. George and I talked about what might happen should Ariana have to go through those new body scanners at the airport. I’d watched a video from the Southwest website before leaving to know what to expect and wondered what might happen if Ariana was in a ‘mood’ and refused to do it. We’d have to wait and see. :worried:


    After breakfast, we had no problems parking and shuttling into the terminal and the body scanners ended up being a non issue. For whatever reason they weren’t having anyone go through them at all. Woohoo! :thumbsup2 Passing through security and down to our gate, we settled in for a short wait for our plane to arrive.


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    They made an announcement that our plane was being deiced….


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    …. and we had just enough time to skip over to the airport gift shop for a quick look around.


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    I’d forgotten until pretty late the night before to do the online check-in with Southwest for our flight, so we were among the last to board. The ‘families with strollers rule’ changed this time and only families with children four and under were allowed to board first. By the time we got on the plane, no two seats were left together and we each sat in six different seats. I should have piped up and requested earlier that we get at least two seats together so Ariana wouldn’t be on her own, but the best they could do in the end was find two that were in front of one another and across the aisle so George could keep her in his site. She did well for the two and a half hour flight and most of the rest of us napped.


    Landing at MCO was a huge thrill and I loved the huge tree they had up.


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    On the Minnie monorail it felt nice not having the air conditioning blowing on us full steam to combat the August humidity. We walked straight through the Magical Express lines to an awaiting bus – our first time on a Cruise line bus.


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    Demetri loved looking out the porthole windows…


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    …. and very quickly, one of my very favorite videos started up.


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    The bus driver announced we were approaching the welcome arch but because we’d been the last family to get on board (again!) we were literally in the last seats available and I had no chance at getting a picture. :headache:


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    Seemed our usual good luck at timing was ‘off’ so far on this trip. Well, it was early…. can we really expect pixiedust all the time?


    Arriving at Pop Century, we hurried in to see where we’d end up. I’d requested an upper level in a refurbed room in the 50’s building. We’d had Building 1 for our August trip and it was the perfect spot, steps away from the main building and really convenient. Not that there were any ‘bad’ rooms at the Pop, but we were hoping to get that again. There was no one in the on-line check in area so we didn’t even pause for decorations, we just headed straight in. We’d been set up with two co-joining rooms in the 90’s section on the third floor almost exactly where we’d been on our first trip in 2006. Not the 50’s building, but it too was really convenient to just cut across the parking lot to the main building.


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    CONTINUED IN NEXT POST.....
     
  5. Mickey_Mom

    Mickey_Mom DIS Veteran

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    The Pop rooms are small but with three of us in each room and the door between always open, it wasn’t too bad at all. I’m sure I’ll be spoiled with the extra space we’ll have on the Spectrum Mom’s trip, but then again – there will be seven of us! :laughing:


    The plan for arrival day had always been to grab a rental car from the airport which George would drive in while the rest of us were on the ME, get to the Pop and unpack and decide from there what order we would go in to accomplish swimming if it was warm enough, eating counter service dinner and shopping at Walmart for room snackies and souveniers. George decided instead to come in on the ME too and get a rental when we reached the resort.


    Don’t do this. :sad2:


    We ended up paying twice the amount and he wasted a lot of time being picked up and he got lost coming back. He also ended up seeing a discount store on the way back to the resort and decided he wanted to go there before Walmart for souveniers.


    Don’t do this. :sad2:


    We ended up paying too much for the exact same merchandise and wasted a lot of time because we got lost trying to find the darn store.


    We’d completely settled in and decorated the room windows while George was getting the rental car and then we headed to the main building through the gift shop for dinner and entertainment.


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    Finally got to try the tie dye cheesecake and LOVED it. Soooo good! :thumbsup2


    While everyone was finishing up dinner, I wandered and finally started to look at all the Christmas decorations throughout the lobby area and gift shop.


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    CONTINUED IN NEXT POST......
     
  6. Mickey_Mom

    Mickey_Mom DIS Veteran

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    My family joined me and we headed out the front to our rental and to embark on our far-too-long shopping excursion to the discount store and Walmart.


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    As we were heading back to the resort, I was excited to approach the Welcome arch again – I can get a great picture after all! :hyper:


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    Oh well. :headache:


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    Settling back into the rooms, Alex had just hopped into the shower when we heard fireworks going on outside. We stepped out of our room to see….


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    What a treat for our first night! After a few pictures I switched to video – enjoy!


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    And so wraps up our first day. :goodvibes Hope you continue along on my TR…. for now, here’s a sneak peak at my next update. Where do you think we were? See you then!



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  7. Mickey_Mom

    Mickey_Mom DIS Veteran

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    Hey! :welcome: You're fast, I haven't even sent the link out yet! :laughing:
     
  8. jenjolt

    jenjolt Loves All Things Disney!

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    I'm here I'm here!!!

    I just love DIsney at Christmas time!!!!


    Can't wait for more!
     
  9. wdwgirl03

    wdwgirl03 <font color=red>I'm just a big Disney Freak! :-)<b

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    I'm here to get my Disney holiday fix! Great start...you sure do have a lot of pictures. haha

    Looking forward to more...
     
  10. eecteacher82

    eecteacher82 DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! What a great start!!!! Would you believe that I didn't end up taking a single picture of the decorations at POP?! Well, actually I did, I took a picture of our window all decorated! Can't wait to read more!
     
  11. brookelizabeth

    brookelizabeth <font color=red>Jambo Wildbunch Gang<br><font colo

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    I'm joining in! I can't read it all right now, DH is itchin' to use the computer, but I WILL be back! :goodvibes
     
  12. Mickey_Mom

    Mickey_Mom DIS Veteran

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    Hey Jen! :welcome:

    Hi Sarah! :welcome: Oh I took a TON of pictures!

    Hey Erin! :welcome: It was so nice to just relax and watch the fireworks right outside our door. Can't wait to get started on your TR too! :thumbsup2

    Hi there! :welcome: Glad you've joined in!
     
  13. Angies1274

    Angies1274 DIS Veteran

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    I'm here!:goodvibes So happy you started!!:yay:

    I'm loving all your pictures at Pop!! Ahh...it brings back such great memories!:cloud9: The Christmas decoration look amazing!!!:thumbsup2

    So glad you liked the tie dye cheesecake! Yum! It's a must have for me!;)

    Sorry you didn't get the 50's section....but I agree that the 90's is great too!! Especially with that view!! Wow! What a great way to end the night!:goodvibes (loved the video too....so cute!)
     
  14. EastYorkDisneyFan

    EastYorkDisneyFan DIS Veteran

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    Just a fellow Canuck coming bye to subscribe and say Hi! Also the term you were looking for for your room type is Connecting not Co-joining
     
  15. Mickey_Mom

    Mickey_Mom DIS Veteran

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    Hi Angie!! Too funny about the cheesecake, just as I warned Kathryn (she loved it too) that her lips would turn green, she laughed and they were :teeth:

    Our rooms were in a great spot, very little outside noise and no plumbing noises either. The kids played a game every day spotting the different license plates through the parking lot and though we didn't catch the fireworks again for the rest of the trip, it was the perfect way to end our first night. :goodvibes

    Not sure if you caught Demetri in the video close to the start, but he'd turned to Kathryn and said, "Holy macaroni! This is your best day of your life - it has to!" :rotfl:

    Oh ha! :laughing: guess I made up that word. Hello fellow Canuck and :welcome:
     
  16. taymacsmom

    taymacsmom DIS Veteran

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    I am here and loving all the pictures.:thumbsup2 Looking forward to hearing all about it!popcorn::

    Kelly
     
  17. Mickey_Mom

    Mickey_Mom DIS Veteran

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    Hey Kelly! :welcome: Lots more pictures to come :)
     
  18. DisMomAmy

    DisMomAmy DIS Veteran

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    Great Start!!! I'm not too late... :rolleyes1

    I can't believe how many factors could have come into play to delay you on your way to Orlando! I'm so glad you were able to cross the border easily & didn't encounter any snow. I hate when I hear about deicing a plane... makes me nervous that they might forget a spot. :headache:

    Can't wait to hear about Day 2!! :banana:
     
  19. jenseib

    jenseib Mommy to Claire

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    signing on! :thumbsup2
     
  20. ZeroToHero

    ZeroToHero DIS Veteran

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    I am here! Haha.
     
  21. Mickey_Mom

    Mickey_Mom DIS Veteran

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    Hi Amy! :welcome: Oh I know, I'd almost rather not know they're deicing the plane. It wasn't even causing a delay, they just announced it :scared:

    Helloooo and :welcome: ! I'm glad you're following along!

    Hey Danica!! :welcome: You're making a guest appearance here soon ;)
     

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