A Semi-Solo President's Day Weekend Extravaganza NEW 4/22 Free Upgrade!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by jenbear123, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. jenbear123

    jenbear123 Disney Fanatic

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    Crowds. Rain. Injured, lost children. Resort hopping. Eating Vegan. Semi solo.

    This is just a few things you'll be hearing about on my Semi Solo President's Day Extravaganza TR.

    Hi, I'm Jenbear123.

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    You might remember me from such other TRs as "Don't touch that! I need a picture first" or the unfinished "The Lessor Known Eighth Dwarf, Dumpy, Comes to Disney". I'll be your guide through this most recent journey of mine. I've been to Disney more times than I can count within the last 5 years.

    My sister, who most of you know as Bubba, has been a CM two out of those five years.

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    She's currently working at Le Cellier on the International program. She just passed her test to become a server and is doing great. You just might have her the next time you eat there - and if you do, say hi from her loving sister for me, will you? I spent most of my time with her this trip, except when she had to work. Someone's gotta make a living around here.

    This trip almost didn't happen for me. I work in the travel industry so January-March is considered high season where I am not allowed to book any vacation. My dad, stepmom and stepsister (all of which you will meet later on) had made plans to visit Bubba week of February 19. You will know this as President's Day weekend but for us Canadians (or at least those living in certain provinces) will know it as Family Day weekend (we couldn't have thought of a lamer holiday?) To make a long story short, my work would not allow me to take a full week off so I had to shuffle and shorten my dates, which ended up being February 16-19. Yes, it was much shorter than I anticipated but at least I was going. I would end up being on my own for one day, which is where the semi-solo thing comes in. I would also meet up with the rest of my family on my last day.

    It was a bit last minute when I found out I could go. One month before to be exact. So I hunted down a resort to stay at. Money had been a bit tight lately so I was looking for value. The only thing that came up was ASSp which was probably the lowest on my list but I took what I could get. After a few days, being the avid Disney fiend that I am, I started reading about how busy it was going to be and how there was going to be lots of sport events with big groups of people coming in. All of which were going to be put up at ASSp. This was not looking good. I searched and searched for another resort option until finally something else came up available. So it turned out like this:

    Feb 16-18: ASMo
    Feb 18-19: POR

    ASMo wasn't available for my last night but POR was. I didn't mind switching over so my resort choices were settled. If I had gotten the week off to spend with the rest of my family, I would've gotten to stay at Saratoga Springs. But alas, that was not to be.......

    I hope you'll all settle in, get a nice cup of cocoa, coffee or a beer if that's your thing and follow me along on this, what would soon be known as, a whirlwind of a trip.

    Chapter Links:
    Soggy Start
    I'm not a lush, just a guinea pig
    WS ain't all it's cracked up to be
    Peter Pan Pandemonium
    Solo Lunch at LTT
    Terrified Toddlers
    Night at MK
    Waiting for World Showcase Part 1
    Waiting for World Showcase Part 2
    Free Upgrade! Part One
    Free Upgrade! Part Two


     
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  3. glennbo123

    glennbo123 DIS Veteran

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    Subbing! :cool1:
     
  4. redlight

    redlight DIS Veteran

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    I'm in. That was fast!
     
  5. norybell

    norybell DIS Veteran

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    I'm in!
     
  6. PirateKate

    PirateKate DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! :goodvibes
     
  7. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

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    I'm here and I beat Marv!
     
  8. marvali

    marvali DIS Veteran

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    :woohoo: Page 1!
     
  9. Lifelong_Dreamer

    Lifelong_Dreamer DIS Veteran

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  10. Teresa Pitman

    Teresa Pitman Disney Grandma

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    Can't wait!!

    Teresa
     
  11. JanaJohn

    JanaJohn Mouseketeer

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    I'll stick around and see where you lead us. Based on your previous TR's this one is gonna be GREAT! Plus, I've never made the 1st page before!! :woohoo:
     
  12. dmoore718

    dmoore718 If you think being a firefighter is tough, try bei

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    I'm in!! Looking forward to it!
     
  13. jedijill

    jedijill <font color=red>Chiefs fan living in Bronco countr

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    I'm in!

    Jill in CO
     
  14. teekathepony

    teekathepony DIS Veteran

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    Yayyyy I'm here!!
     
  15. 3prettyprincesses

    3prettyprincesses "These pretzels are making me thirsty!"

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    :woohoo: I'm in Jen! Love the intro too. Great pics of both you and Bubba though I'm a bit concerned that she wasn't giving the official Canadian thumbs up! She is still Canadian, right? Eh?

    Can't wait to follow along. I hope the crowds weren't unbearable for you.:goodvibes How to fun to be meeting up with family too!
     
  16. FauntleroyFAN07

    FauntleroyFAN07 Commander of Donalds Crew Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy

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    did i make the first page.:cool1:
     
  17. jenbear123

    jenbear123 Disney Fanatic

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    :welcome: Glenn! Nice to have you here again

    That's what she said :rotfl2: Sorry couldn't resist

    :welcome: to the both of ya!

    :thumbsup2 Good job! He was right behind ya

    You made it!

    Yay!

    Woohoo! You found it :goodvibes

    I'm glad you'll be sticking around. The more the merrier!

    :welcome:

    :woohoo:

    YAY!!! Glad you came over

    Well... I did have a thumbs up pic of Bubba but I thought that one was good for the opener. Don't worry. There will be plenty of :thumbsup2

    You sure did!


    Boy, I've got a lot of readers.... better get my first instalment up!
     
  18. jenbear123

    jenbear123 Disney Fanatic

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    Do you ever get that feeling when you wake up the morning of your trip? You know, the fact that your whole trip lies ahead of you? All the planning, all the reservations, all the organizing and now FINALLY it is HERE?!!? Yup, I had that feeling. At 3am.

    I rolled out of bed and finished packing the last minute things. Toothbrush. Hair brush. You get the jist. Had a light breakfast of strawberries because, well, it's 3am. I was no where near hungry enough for a full breakfast. These are the details that matter people. Stick with me here.

    I made one last check of my iPad to make sure I had all the Disney movies I wanted to watch on the plane. I need a good selection for my 2 hour flight :roll eyes: And then, IT happened. That terrible IT. I could strangle IT. Let me give you some back story. A couple nights before the trip, my hard drive stopped showing up on my computer. It was plugged in, turned on (I made sure to cover the basics) but still it would not let me access it. All my music, movies, and pictures were on this thing. So of course, I start to panic and ask - no wait - demand my DBF to fix it. Heaven bless him, he ends up finding this recovery program to get all the stuff off my hard drive. So all I had to do was go buy a new hard drive. More money I didn't want to spend :headache: Although it was DBF's money, I still felt bad we had to spend it.

    The night before I'm due to leave, I copied everything over to the new hard drive but hadn't transferred anything over to my computer. That night, my iPad decided to sync over wi-fi (am I getting too technical?) but there wasn't anything in my iTunes since it was all on the old hard drive. So all my movies were gone :scared1: I was about ready to walk out the door but instead had to sit at my computer for another 15 minutes while I manually added all the movies again from the new hard drive :faint: Not the way I wanted to start my trip!!!

    I said goodbye to my puppy and my other puppy (DBF) and was on my way.

    It was a wet and rainy morning. The weather called for freezing rain switching over to drizzle. I hoped to get ahead of most of it but instead ended up in the middle of it. There was no traffic whatsoever, which was a bonus. At the border I had a lovely conversation with the guard about the Disney International Program and what my sister does there. I found out his daughter works there right now too under the College Program. He hardly looked at my passport and sent me through. See, all you need to do is mention you're going to Disney and you'll get a smile from those guys at the border. They aren't so tough ;)

    I arrived at the airport by 6:30am. I traded my winter coat for my spring jacket that I was bringing with me. It was a bit chilly waiting for the shuttle to come. I had already checked in online and printed my boarding pass so I went straight through security. There was already a hefty line-up. Was this to prepare me for what was to come?

    I spent the remaining time before my plane was ready to board reading the Steve Jobs book. He's a very interesting character. You should all read it. If you're interested in Apple and the empire Jobs built, that is.

    The plane left on time and I had landed in Orlando early at 11:30am :woohoo:

    People took F-O-R-E-V-E-R to get off the plane. I literally stood there for 10 minutes. Okay, more like 5 minutes but everything feels so much longer when you have to wait and you know you're going to DISNEY WORLD!

    Melt down averted, I deplaned and rushed over to the fake monorail.

    I know this post is completely lacking in pictures at the moment but they're coming. Trust me.

    By this point, Bubba had started texting me. As soon as the tires had hit the tarmac I had told her I'd landed. She wasn't there yet since I had landed early. So I waited just outside baggage claim side A. I had never had anyone come pick me up before so I was a little apprehensive as to where I was supposed to stand. But I was in the right spot because no sooner did Bubba arrive!

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    Our destination was All Star Movies. Bubba wanted to try this different way of getting there, which she thought was a shortcut. Well it ended up getting us turned around and going the long way anyway. D'oh! Sooner or later, I started seeing these sights

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    And this....

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    AND THIS!!!

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    I love how they have to put up the "No Stopping" signs. Can't imagine what's happened before to make them do that.

    By 12:30, we had found it!

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    DME must have just come and gone because the line was LONG

    [​IMG]

    This may have been the first time I have waited. Ever. When I've checked in. Okay, maybe I've waited max 5 minutes but this was kind of ridiculous. It took us half an hour to get through that line. HALF AN HOUR!!! That's half an hour of precious Disney time I will never get back. They only had three people working the check-in. Did they realize they were at All Star where there's always tons and tons of people? Despite the line, Bubba and I chatted away about wedding plans :bride: and other such life cycle stuff. Until finally we got checked in. The CM who checked us in was less than magical. More like miss prickle pants. She must have been having a bad day or someone gave her sour milk because I did not see her crack one smile. None of my requests were honoured. I had asked for a room in the Love Bug section, quiet room, top floor. Instead, we got the Mighty Ducks section, ground floor, facing the parking lot. Granted, it was quiet so I guess that's one thing they gave us. In normal circumstances I would have put up a fuss and pulled the travel agent card but I was in a hurry and couldn't be bothered. Plus, this was the beginning of President's Day weekend - they were probably at capacity.

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    I was picture happy as usual

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    I believe these were recently refurbed? It looked nicer than the rooms I remembered when I stayed at Music. Those were kind of scraggly lookin'. There was also no privacy curtain between the sink and the beds, which I found odd. The track was still there so they could've easily put up a curtain :confused3 Guess they spent too much on the new bedspreads.

    We wasted no time and set out for our first park of the trip.

    [​IMG]


    Any guesses where we were headed?

     
  19. glennbo123

    glennbo123 DIS Veteran

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    I haven't seen where anybody's mentioned that before -- isn't that funny!

    If only Bambi would put up a couple of thumbs, you'd look like twins.

    Probably to DHS to put up some more crazy numbers on TSM. [​IMG]
     
  20. redlight

    redlight DIS Veteran

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    It looks like WDW was sunny, despite your soggy start. I want to read the Jobs biography, but I have too many things I need to read right now. The IT hassle seems like a real pain in the you know what.

    Cool thumbs up picture! Your hair grows fast. It looks great like that.
     
  21. jenbear123

    jenbear123 Disney Fanatic

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    :laughing: I love that smiley at the end. You're right about Bambi! Didn't notice that until now. But seriously, what's with the signs? I still see people stopping :confused3
     

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