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A Split Stay POP and AKL Solo Trip Report (10/21-10/31) w/ lots of PICS! ***New 3/13

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Quacktatty, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. Quacktatty

    Quacktatty Well-Known Member

    Welcome to my trip report!

    Who: Just me! I'll give you a little bit more about me I guess! I am 28 years old and love traveling solo. I like to have total control over a trip and being solo allows me to do that.

    You can read more about me on my past trip reports:
    January 2007 Trip Report
    September 2008 Trip Report

    What: My 3rd Solo trip to Disney World and my longest trip ever

    Where: Pop Century and Animal Kingdom Lodge

    When: October 21st, 2009 through October 31st, 2009

    Why: Why not? But really, I have been planning this trip in my mind for over a year now. I went to WDW for Food and Wine once back in 2003, but I actually had NO idea that Food and Wine was going on! I did get to see Pat and Betty, the Reynolds Wrap Ladies though! I've also been wanting to do Universal Studios and during the Super Bowl I won free tickets so I couldn't pass it up.

    Table of Contents:
    Day 0: Coincidence? - Page 1
    Day 1, Part 1 - Four for Four - Page 1
    Day 1, Part 2 - Page 1
    Day 1, Part 3 - A Physics Lesson - Page 1
    Day 1, Part 4 - The Quacktatty - Page 2

    Day 2, Part 1 - Backstage Magic - Page 2
    Day 2, Part 2 - Backstage Magic, Cont. - Page 2
    Day 2, Part 3 - A little bit of Epcot - Page 3

    Day 3, Part 1 - Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater? - Page 3
    Day 3, Part 2 - More DHS - Page 3
    Day 3, Part 3 - Vodka and a DIS meet - Page 4

    Day 4, Part 1 - Some Animal Kingdom - Page 4
    Day 4, Part 2 - Animals? At Animal Kingdom? - Page 4
    Day 4, Part 3 - Stinky Kail - Page 5
    Day 4, Part 4 - An Accidental Road Trip - Page 5

    Day 5, Part 1 - My Morning with Awesome Dad - Page 5
    Day 5, Part 2 - Best Day Ever - Page 6
    Day 5, Part 3 - Aminals! - Page 6

    Day 6, Part 1 - Islands of No One - Page 6
    Day 6, Part 2 - IOA Continued - Page 7
    Day 6, Part 3 - A Balcony Break - Page 7
    Day 6, Part 4 - Epcot is a Warp Zone - Page 7

    Day 7, Part 1 - Universal Studios - Page 8
    Day 7, Part 2 - Universal Studios, cont. - Page 8
    Day 7, Part 3 - A Quiet End to the Day - Page 8

    Day 8, Part 1 - A Quick Trip to Hollywood - Page 8
    Day 8, Part 2 - An AK Afternoon - Page 9
    Day 8, Part 3 - My 2nd Parade - Page 9

    Day 9, Part 1 - Horticulture with Crazy Hands - Page 9
    Day 9, Part 2 - Sleepy afternoon at Epcot - Page 10
    Day 9, Part 3 - Halloween at the Lodge - Page 10

    Day 10, Part 1 - Stuck in the Middle - Page 10
    Day 10, Part 2 - A "Bizarre" Afternoon - Page 11
    Day 10, Part 3 - Wandering World Showcase - Page 11

    Day 11, Part 1 - My (nearly) Private Adventure - Page 11
    Day 11, Part 2 - A Bizarre Repeat - Page 11
    Day 11, Part 3 - The Final Hours - Page 11

    Stuff I Bought - Page 11 and 12
     
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  3. Quacktatty

    Quacktatty Well-Known Member

    Since the events of this trip report really started the day before I left, I'll start there.

    I was planning to take a half day from work thanks to some comp time I had saved up so my morning was to be spent tying off loose ends. Of course, what ended up happening was that my boss wanted to talk Disney. She's a fanatic too and had just returned from a trip 3 weeks earlier. She had a list of things that she wanted me to get for her and her kids. Luckily, I had done a good job of getting everything done the day before, so it was a nice distraction.

    I left around 12:30 and got home and did what everyone does before they leave for a trip - book another one :rotfl:

    See, I had an annual pass voucher that I would be exchanging upon my arrival and it was already burning a hole in my pocket. As a new home owner and a newbie to gardening, I wanted to experience the Flower and Garden festival in May. I booked 7 nights at All Star Movies for the first week of May. In reality, I probably won't end up staying there, or staying for 7 nights. I just wanted to get it booked so that I had something in reserve until AP rates came out for May and so I could do my ADRs and take advantage of the 180+10. My 180 days would be November 2nd, just one day after I got home so I needed to be ready.

    After that I shut up the house and packed my cats up to head to my mom's. My mom lives close to the Providence Airport which is where I'd be flying out of. She graciously agreed to cat sit for me for the whole time I was gone for these guys:

    [​IMG]

    We were about 15 minutes into the car ride, when Ernie, the cat on the right, got car sick. Now, if you read my trip report from last year, you'll notice that the vomit fairy blessed me three times on the first day of the trip. I hadn't even left the state and she was already coming to see me again! pixiedust:

    I decided not to pull over and clean up the cat puke and instead just keep driving - it wouldn't be too long until we got to my mom's anyway. The rest of the ride was thankfully uneventful. Upon arrival I freed the cats from their crates and they made themselves at home immediately. Shortly after my mom and I did what we do best, hit the casino!

    We only planned to be there for a few hours but somehow a few hours turned into 5 1/2. Not the smartest thing to spend 5 1/2 hours at a casino the night before you leave for WDW, especially when your flight is at 5:50am, but it was fun anyway! I didn't lose all my money either, which is even better. We got back and I went to sleep and woke up at 3:30 the next morning to officially start my trip.

    Up Next - Day 1, Part 1
     
  4. Quacktatty

    Quacktatty Well-Known Member

    My day started bright and early...actually, it wasn't bright out yet. I woke up at 3:30, said goodbye to the cats and hopped in the car for the short ride to the airport. My mom dropped me off and I went in to check my bags. I had checked in online and all I had to do was go to the kiosk to give them my one checked bag and I could be on my way. It was a quick process and before long I was at my gate, or what I thought what my gate.

    Turns out I was waiting at the wrong gate! They must have changed it from when I checked on the monitors and I didn't hear the announcement. I heard them call for final boarding and I booked it to my REAL gate - close call, but I made it. The first flight was a very quick 45 minutes from Providence to Philadelphia. I don't remember much of it actually.

    After getting off in Philadelphia I had a few minutes to kill before boarding again so I got myself a blueberry muffin. It was incredibly dry and I ended up getting half of it all over myself.

    Once I got in the plane I found a lady in my seat. When I mentioned this, she asked if I'd mind switching so she could sit with her kids. I begrudgingly agreed, she had a middle seat and I had a window. In hindsight I should have said no. She was really snotty, but I guess I was already in a Disney mood.

    Once in Orlando things went very smoothly. The fake monorail came quickly, my luggage came quickly and picking up the rental car went quickly. The lady helping me with my rental was very nice. We talked about the parks and she was telling me about some of the F&W stuff. She got me all straightened away and I went across the street to the garage to get my car. It was a Black Ford Fusion - cute little car. I walked around the car to make sure everything looked as it should first and it was in good condition. Now all I had to do was get in and drive to WDW!

    I followed the airports directions from their website and took 528 to I-4 and then used exit 67 (I think) for Downtown Disney. I don't remember what the tolls were - maybe $1.25 each - but I had brought quarters so that was no big deal.

    I got my first ever good picture of the sign and I was very happy to see it!

    [​IMG]

    My first stop upon arrival was Guest Relations. I had to exchange my Annual Pass voucher and get a Tables in Wonderland card. I had the least friendly and slowest CM on duty that day so it took a while, but finally I was an official Annual Passholder!!

    [​IMG]

    I can't tell you how glad I was to get a Donald ticket. Orange is my favorite color (or at least the favorite of the colors they have available) and I like Donald best of the Fab 5.

    Now that I was officially official I decided that lunch was in order. I went to Earl of Sandwich - it was a great meal which you can read about in my Dining Review (shameless plug :)) http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2307389

    I didn't want to do any shopping this early in the trip so I got back in the car and drove to Pop Century. Although I did stop long enough to get a picture.

    [​IMG]

    I had already done the online check-in so it was a very easy process once I got to the front desk. The girl checking me in was so so, but she didn't really have much to screw up so it worked out. I was surprised to find that my room was ready! I was now four for four on having my room ready at check-in. Since my first "grown-up" trip in 2003, my room has been ready when I checked in which is always before 3:00.

    I had been given a ground floor room in the 70's building 6. It was a GREAT location. If you are familiar with Pop, my room was just on the outside edge of the Foosball guys. I used the 90's parking lot as that was the closest one to my room.

    The room was small but clean and that's really all that matters, right?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Since I wanted to get to the park ASAP I dumped my stuff on the table and on the beds and walked over to the bus stops. I was going to the Magic Kingdom and decided that I'd rather not have to deal with going through the TTC so the bus won out over the car on this day.
     
  5. mothermouse

    mothermouse Well-Known Member

    hi, your tr sounds like fun, i'm subbing :banana:
     
  6. Rozz

    Rozz Well-Known Member

    Let the fun begin!:banana:
     
  7. Quacktatty

    Quacktatty Well-Known Member

    :welcome: Thanks for reading!
     
  8. Quacktatty

    Quacktatty Well-Known Member

    I waited almost no time for a bus to arrive. There were only 4 other people on the bus as we headed to the Magic Kingdom. And it was only 1:00 which was about an hour ahead of when I thought I'd be starting to the park so all was right with the world.

    The bus ride was short and pleasant and I was excited to use my AP for the first time. It was unusual for me to be going to MK first. I usually make Animal Kingdom my first park, but since I had so many days and arrived so early I thought I'd get some MK in!

    [​IMG]

    I was disappointed that they didn't have the Mickey Head made of pumpkins this year

    [​IMG]

    Buzz Lightyear is probably my favorite ride at MK so it was my first stop. The wait time said 5 minutes (I LOVE October!) but it was pretty much a walk-on. That's what I like about Buzz, even if the line is 15 minutes or more, you almost never stop moving in line.

    My score - not the best of the trip, but better than what I usually do on the first run

    [​IMG]

    The first of many redneck ride photos.

    [​IMG]

    The TTA was next on my non-existent touring plan. I had two primary missions for this first ride - #1 was to experience the new spiel and #2 was to get a glimpse of Space Mountain.

    I know a lot of people don't like the new TTA spiel, but I really wasn't bothered by it. In fact, I rather like that it's quiet in some places. For me, the TTA is all about taking it in and relaxing, so quiet is appreciated.

    The obligatory feet picture

    [​IMG]

    Stitch's Not So Super Sonic Celebration

    [​IMG]

    Here it comes, what I have been waiting for

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The inside looked much better than the outside, that's for sure.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It looked like they were doing most of the work on the bathrooms. It's a good thing 'cause I really like those bathrooms.

    [​IMG]

    After TTA I got myself a Buzz Fastpass since the return time was only about a half an hour away. I got right back on the TTA and then I killed some more time waiting for the FP to mature in COP. I can't help but sing along.

    [​IMG]

    The people next to me on the other hand looked as if someone had tricked them into entering the theater. There was more eye rolling coming from these 3 people than a room full of 13 year old girls could produce.

    By the time I got out of the theater I was ready to use my Buzz FP. My score was pathetic...horribly pathetic. So pathetic that I didn't write it down or take a picture. I blame it on the fact that my car had a mind of it's own and it overspun.

    Feeling dejected I briefly considered riding the TTA again but turned that down in favor of a Cream Cheese Pretzel from The Lunching Pad and took a walk on the "secret" path to Toontown. Turns out I was smart not to get back on the TTA because as I walked towards the path I saw bunches of people coming towards me. I was appalled that people knew about MY path, but it turns out they were being evacuated from the TTA! That probably would have been cool to experience, but as it turns out I got my own evacuation experience later in the trip on a different ride.

    Up Next, I finally leave Tomorrowland...
     
  9. norybell

    norybell Well-Known Member

    I'm in! I just discovered the joys of solo WDW-ing, myself...turns out our trips overlapped by a few days (I was there the 19th-23rd)! And I, too, am already planning another trip for F&G! And I'm seriously debating an AP...I almost got one this trip, but then I chickened out, a decision I already regret.:sad2:

    Anyway, love your pictures, can't wait to read more!
     
  10. kindra657

    kindra657 Dedicated to a Mouse

    can't wait to read more!!! you have lived my dream!! a wdw trip ALONE!!!!!!!!! :goodvibes
     
  11. Kathy Jetson

    Kathy Jetson Well-Known Member

    Wow! A trip to Disney all for yourself:cloud9:
     
  12. MEK

    MEK Well-Known Member

    Subbing! popcorn::

    Great start to your TR. Your kitties are so cute! I hope they didn't miss you too much.

    How great to have a 10 day vacation in the world. Sweet!

    I will also be going In May (but only for 5 days- May 2 - 7th). All my ADR's are made!

    I love how much you've already accomplished on your fast afternoon. Congrats on the AP and DDE! Do I see DVC in your future, too!

    Looking forward to reading more!
     
  13. praisehisname

    praisehisname Well-Known Member

    Uh oh... Coming along for your report!
     
  14. Quacktatty

    Quacktatty Well-Known Member

    I love the freedom of an AP. It's dangerous though, it's burning a hole in my pocket and I can't wait to use it again!

    It's an experience I would recommend to everyone!

    :thumbsup2

    The cats are spoiled, I'm not sure they even knew I was gone :rotfl:
    I probably won't be getting DVC anytime soon...it's a little more than my budget can handle at this point!

    :welcome:
     
  15. Quacktatty

    Quacktatty Well-Known Member

    As I arrived in Toontown there was a train waiting for me. I had to run a little bit, but I caught it! Now that I think about it I'm not sure why I didn't just walk to the Main Street station and get the train from there instead of walking to Toontown only to basically retrace my steps back into Tomorrowland, but oh well!

    There was a short stop at the Main Street Station to unload and load passengers. I snapped a photo of one of the pumpkins above City Hall. Not a bad shot considering I was ON the train!

    [​IMG]

    I got off the train in Frontierland and checked the wait time for Splash Mountain. It was not too bad, but I decided to get a FP instead of getting in the standby line. I then made my way to Adventureland to get my Pirates on! :banana:

    It seems that almost everyone goes left when they get to the queue split. I learned this a few trips ago and now make it a point to always go right. My trick didn't fail me this time and I literally didn't stop walking until I got on the boat. I was hoping for a boat to myself, but I ended up with 4 other people, not bad I guess.

    I managed to actually get a few half way decent photos. My no-flash photography skills seem to be improving!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In the Pirates dump shop I found two CMs sitting completely still on one of the displays. A brave little boy started to approach them (it was obvious they were real) and even though the boy had to know what was coming, it was hilarious to see how scared he got when the CM jumped up and screamed. The Pirates League was sitting empty every time I went by it on this trip so those guys must need to find a way to fill their downtime!

    The Jungle Cruise was calling my name and there was only a 10 minute wait. It was probably less than that, but I didn't mind as I got a few pictures of the queue which I don't think I have had the chance to do before.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I got stuck in one of the middle seats so I didn't even bother trying to take photos while I was on the ride. Our skipper was okay but didn't really make a big impact on me. The funniest part of the whole experience was actually after I got off the boat. A woman who had just gotten off the boat behind me said to her traveling companion, "Wow, she [the skipper] was really funny! She had so many great one liners!" :rotfl: I love noobs who are experiencing these things for the first time.

    Since I was in Adventureland I took a mandatory Dole Whip Float break and I once again proved that it takes the same amount of time to consume a Dole Whip Float as it does to walk through Swiss Family Treehouse.

    My Splash FP had now matured and so I hopped in the FP line. It was a pretty quick walk to loading where I was in a boat with two very large, very loud ladies and a family with a mother and her two small kids. The two ladies each took their own row, the mom and kids were in the 3rd row and I was in the back. The lady in the second row was horribly loud and obnoxious. She kept turning around to talk to us the whole time and wanted everybody to put their hands up for each drop. She claimed that Splash was her favorite ride yet she was preparing for the big drop well before it was time.

    I'm sure everyone is familiar with the outside portion of the ride where you get the back splash from the other logs coming down the big drop? And you go past Brer Rabbit's cave or den or whatever you want to call it. Well, someone had decided to give Brer Rabbit a present on this day. To put it as nicely as I can it was a bright blue...um...female pleasure device. I couldn't believe it. I found it hilarious that someone would think ahead to bring that with them to the park!

    Anyway, we finally got to the big drop and I thought to myself, what are the odds that I am going to get completely soaked on this drop? It's safe to say that I wasn't the best physics student so I was relatively clueless. I figured that the front of the boat outweighed the back of the boat so it would go down and go down fast. I was pleasantly surprised when those of us in the back didn't get wet at all! The front two ladies got pretty wet though. So note to self, always sit in back!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. praisehisname

    praisehisname Well-Known Member

    I wonder what the CMs were thinking when that person went through bag check at the gate? :rolleyes1 :rotfl2:
     
  17. jenbear123

    jenbear123 Disney Fanatic

    Great so far! I'm in :thumbsup2 Looking forward to your coverage on AKL as I'll be staying there in just over a week!
     
  18. Quacktatty

    Quacktatty Well-Known Member

    I can't imagine it's the worst thing they have ever seen!

    AKL is the best resort, you will love it!
     
  19. Quacktatty

    Quacktatty Well-Known Member

    I made my way over to Haunted Mansion next. There was virtually no line and I walked right into a stretching room. I stood right by the door and another girl came and stood next to me. We both stood facing the door while the rest of the stretching room watched the pictures. She looked at me and said, "I'm guessing you've been here before" :rotfl2: We were out the door so fast that there were easily 10 cars between our two and the rest of the people in the stretching room.

    While in Liberty Square I saw the then closed Riverboat. They were getting ready for Tiana's show to open.

    [​IMG]

    Since I was in Liberty Square I thought I'd check out Hall of Presidents. This would be my first time seeing it since the changes and I was interested to see how the Obama AA looked. I walked in just as the show was set to begin and grabbed a seat towards the back (for a quick escape!) I liked the opening movie and I like seeing all the presidents. Lincoln was pretty cool. Obama looked nothing like the real Obama. Kind of disappointing. In fact, none of the recent presidents look much like themselves. It's surprising that they couldn't get them right especially since the Jack Sparrow AA in Pirates looks exactly like Johnny Depp. I tried to get some pictures, but it's hard since you have to use super duper zoom and no flash.

    [​IMG]

    On the way back to Frontierland I stopped to listen to these guys

    [​IMG]

    They seemed like a new group to me, still finding their feet. The tuba player kept them together, without him who knows what they would have done!

    Big Thunder Mountain was next on my imaginary list of things to do. I had gotten a Fastpass before riding Splash Mountain and it was ready by the time I got off. For some reason every trip I ride Big Thunder and forget how rough it is. It's fun, but not a favorite anymore.

    I left the park after that and took the boat to the Poly. The boat was pretty darn full and I almost had to wait for the next one, but I spoke up and said, "I'm just one!" and the captain let me on.

    We stopped at the Grand Floridian first where the captain missed the dock 3 times!! He kept trying to throw his rope around the anchor thing and it was just not happening. Eventually he got it after a boat full of people laughed at him. He did a much better job when we got to the Poly getting it right on the first try.

    I was at the Poly to have dinner at Captain Cook's. It's a place I've been meaning to try for a few trips now so I figured that this day was as good of a day as any. While I was there it started pouring rain. It rained all while I ate and then eventually stopped when I was getting ready to leave. I noticed that it was pretty chilly and was beginning to regret not bringing jeans or a sweatshirt with me on the trip. That night ended up being the last time I would feel even remotely cold!

    After eating I took the monorail back to MK and then a nearly empty bus back to Pop.

    Since I had to pass through Classic Hall to get back to my room anyway, I stopped to purchase my refillable mug and also got a drink. I had a big surprise waiting for me back in the room. I had been named Housekeeping Family of the Day!

    I got turn down service on both beds with chocolates, a certificate and a magnet frame. It was pretty cool...I've never had anything like that happen before!

    I laughed because the certificate said only my last name instead of "The Smith Family" or whatever they would normally put. On one side of my family I'm the only one with my last name so when everyone else signs emails or letter, "The Smiths", "The Roberts" or whatever, I sign my emails, "The Quacktatty" and that's just what the certificate said!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The middle of this pops out to reveal a magnet frame

    [​IMG]

    The valuable lesson that I learned from being selected family of the day was that if you check-in and immediately trash your room, you will be rewarded with chocolates and gifts!

    It had been a long day and I was ready for bed. The next day I had the Backstage Magic tour and I was really looking forward to it!
     
  20. jenbear123

    jenbear123 Disney Fanatic

    Wow I didn't even know Pop Century did that! At least, I never got chosen when I stayed there last year. Guess we weren't messy enough :laughing: Congrats on being chosen!

    Can't wait to hear about the Backstage Magic tour!!!

    Questions for you: I'm going to be exchanging my Annual Pass voucher and buying a TIW card upon my arrival in a couple of weeks. Do you need to show I.D.? Did the whole process take very long? I'll be doing the whole transaction at Guest Services in Epcot. Hope to get Pluto for my AP :goodvibes

    Love your kitties by the way.
     
  21. yourMaire83

    yourMaire83 SPA MARIE

    :laughing::rotfl:
    :rotfl2:
     

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