Adventure is out there....and so are MagicBands!! A Sept 2013 TR - **Updated 09/01**

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by TinkerBelle_325, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. TinkerBelle_325

    TinkerBelle_325 Magical Musing Meg

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    INTRODUCTION

    Hi! Welcome to my September Trip Report: "Adventure is out there....and so are MagicBands!"

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    As you can tell, I love the movie UP and felt that the title was only fitting considering that my family is testing MagicBands this trip!

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    Our original plans had us staying for 9 nights at Coronado Springs from Sept 3rd - 12th, but we had the opportunity to fly out the night of Sept 2nd and arrive late at night in Orlando. So, we booked 1 night at Pop Century and as a result we were included in the September MagicBand testing!

    Because our annual passes are linked to My Disney Experience, I was able to select FastPass+ reservations. We were also able to customize our MagicBands.

    Now seems like the right time to introduce my family!


    Myself :tink:

    I'm Megan and I am 28 years old. For the past 16 months I have been taking my MBA and I just successfully defended my thesis last week! As a result of all these months of hard work, I need a break! I have been to WDW more times than I can count. Actually, that's a lie...this will be trip number 46 for me!

    I am a foodie at heart and have been taking pictures of food for years (before instagram made it cool :rolleyes: ). I will admit that I am a Disney Commando at heart, but I have started to appreciate the more laid back aspects of a vacation. For example: I love trashy magazines (Us Weekly, People, Star etc.), reading my Nook by the pool, afternoon naps (which are so much better at Disney for some reason), and simply taking pictures and enjoying the background music at the parks.

    My favorite parks are the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. It is very hard for me to name "a" favorite ride because I love so many! My top 10 are Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, Under the Sea, TTA, Spaceship Earth, Soarin, Tower of Terror, Star Tours and Kilimanjaro Safaris.



    DMom ::MinnieMo


    DMom works for her father's family business. She also works with my DDad. So basically she is one of the busiest and most efficient people I know. She could organize any room, any time. She loves WDW because it is the place where most of our best family memories have been made. And she desperately needs this break. Her only criteria? Stay at Coronado Springs and give her lots of down time by the pool. Done :thumbsup2

    DDad ::MickeyMo

    DDad works in financial services. He loves WDW just as much as me but he hides it better. He also loves challenging me with obtaining impossible dining reservations. In fact....in my dining review I wrote this: "NOTE TO DAD: California Grill is CLOSED. So there really is no way I can get us that reservation this time." And guess what.....NOW THE CALIFORNIA GRILL WILL BE OPEN SEPT 9TH....ugh :sad2: I am *never* going to hear the end of it. I swear he has some psychic dining reservation power :scratchin He would be content to only visit MK once and spend some evenings at Epcot, but he visits the parks a bit more often than that for me :thumbsup2

     
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  3. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

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    Following! Best of luck with the Magic Band testing

    And as someone who has been eagerly awaiting the re-opening of GC - a big "thank you" to your father's special powers to get it re-open ;)
     
  4. TinkerBelle_325

    TinkerBelle_325 Magical Musing Meg

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    Thanks for reading! I am looking forward to MagicBand testing. I am really curious to see how it works with a split stay. I've heard some people have full functionality (the MBs work as room keys, charge cards, park admission and FP+) while other reports of just park admission and FP+ working during a split stay.

    LOL we have been eagerly awaiting the reopening too! Our last meal at CG was in December and it is one of our favorites on WDW property. I love the sushi and hope that the exceptionally high quality remains even though Yoshie has left :sad:
     
  5. TinkerBelle_325

    TinkerBelle_325 Magical Musing Meg

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    MAGICBANDS, FASTPASS+ & ITINERARY

    It has been a very busy year for my family! We all need a break and Disney is our favorite place to relax. As I mentioned in the introduction, I am a Disney Commando at heart...I love rope drop and rides and time in the park...but DMom & DDad like to take Disney vacations at a slower pace. As a result I am learning to adapt our plans to suit everyone :goodvibes

    I appreciate time by the pool, reading my Nook, afternoon naps and fine dining just as much as getting up early and hitting the parks when they are semi-private at rope drop. We had every intention of this being a super low key vacation. Until....we decided to go down to Florida a day early and booked 1 night at Pop Century.

    Now, my family is not a fan of value resorts. We understand that they have a huge fan following and are great for some, but generally they just don't suit our vacationing style. However, we switched our flight to late the night of Sept 2nd and figured instead of staying out by the airport we might as well go straight to WDW. We didn't feel like checking into CSR that late, so we decided on Pop Century.

    Just after I booked the Pop Century reservation I went to check My Disney Experience and discovered....


    WE HAVE BEEN CHOSEN!!!
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    :cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2: pixiedust: pixiedust: pixiedust: :worship: :worship: :worship:
    WE GET TO TEST MagicBands!!!

    I literally felt like the little green aliens from Toy Story. I knew that testing was going on at select resorts and I knew that Pop had tested in August. I was *hopeful* that they would test in September and thrilled when the MagicBand and FastPass+ features opened up in MDE!

    We were able to customize our MagicBands....


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    And now they have been activated, show as "ours" in MDE and are waiting for us at Pop Century!

    I have had a lot of fun selecting FastPass+ experiences. I have received a "bonus FastPass+" every time I select the Magic Kingdom. This means we have 4 FP+ at MK, but 3 FP+ at any other park selected. I have scheduled a combination of morning and evening FP+ experiences. I want to see what it is like to use them just after rope drop and what it is like to use them in the evening when the parks are busier.

    I won't be posting the details of FP+ experiences that I have booked or an in depth itinerary until after we return, but here is an overview


    Monday, September 2nd
    Late Night Flight
    Arrival at Pop


    Tuesday, September 3rd
    Check-out Pop
    Check-in CSR
    Downtown Disney
    LUNCH: Wolfgang Puck Express
    Epcot in the evening
    DINNER: Chefs de France


    Wednesday, September 4th
    Magic Kingdom in the morning
    LUNCH: Be Our Guest
    Afternoon at CSR
    Epcot in the evening
    DINNER: Tutto Gusto/Via Napoli


    Thursday, September 5th
    Epcot in the late morning
    LUNCH: Les Halles
    Afternoon at CSR
    Animal Kingdom Lodge in the evening
    DINNER: Jiko


    Friday, September 6th
    Epcot in the morning
    LUNCH: Le Cellier
    Afternoon at CSR
    Epcot in the evening
    DINNER: Teppan Edo


    Saturday, September 7th
    Orlando Shopping in the morning
    BREAKFAST: Cracker Barrel
    Grand Floridian in the afternoon
    LUNCH: Garden View Tea
    Epcot in the evening
    DINNER: La Hacienda de San Angel


    Sunday, September 8th
    Magic Kingdom in the morning? Fort Wilderness?
    LUNCH: Kona Cafe
    Afternoon at CSR
    Animal Kingdom Lodge in the evening
    DINNER: Jiko


    Monday, September 9th
    CSR and Animal Kingdom Lodge in the morning
    BRUNCH: Boma
    Afternoon at CSR
    Contemporary in the evening
    DINNER: California Grill (*hopefully*)


    Tuesday, September 10th
    Hollywood Studios in the morning
    LUNCH: 50's Primetime Cafe
    Afternoon at CSR
    Magic Kingdom in the late afternoon/early evening
    DINNER: Liberty Tree Tavern


    Wednesday, September 11th
    Magic Kingdom in the morning
    LUNCH: Columbia Harbour House
    Afternoon at CSR
    Epcot in the evening
    DINNER: Chefs de France


    Thursday, September 12th
    Morning at CSR
    BREAKFAST: Pepper Market
    Afternoon Flight


    Can't believe we leave in 11 days! And I haven't even started packing yet LOL! Stay tuned because I will update at least once or twice before we leave!

     
  6. TinkerBelle_325

    TinkerBelle_325 Magical Musing Meg

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    COUNTDOWN TO WDW: 10 DAYS TO GO!

    :hyper::bitelip::goodvibes

    I am so excited that we have just 10 days to go! I am one of those strange people that actually enjoys organizing, packing and travel days! I am finishing up some work on my MBA internship this coming week in addition to preparing for vacation, so the time will definitely fly!

    My pre-vacation ritual involves listening to live365 (usually Sorcerer Radio and MouseWorld Radio), watching Youtube videos of WDW and reading trip reports to get myself excited. I am also ashamed to say that I have never even come close to finishing a TR :eek: I know! Please don't worry! I promise I am going to finish this one (I have a much better track record with dining reviews :lmao: ). I am so excited to pass on information about the MagicBands to all of you.

    So I thought I would do a WDW Countdown both here and on my Dining Review. For the purposes of the TR it will be the a countdown of all the park and resort related things I am most excited about!


    DAY 10: Seeing "The Sign"

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    This is such a simple thing to be excited about and I must have dozens of pictures of it by now...but there is just *something* about it. I know the drive from Orlando International to WDW like the back of my hand. It is actually an enjoyable drive most of the time because it builds anticipation! What is the first Disney Billboard that you will see? Are there new ones? Do you secretly compare them to the Universal Billboards like me? :rolleyes1

    I always sit up front with my dad and I always have my camera poised. He always tries his best to get me a clear shot with no other cars in the way. I think we all feel a sense of both comfort and excitement as we pass under those gates.

    We live in Canada and going to cottages in the summer is hugely popular. I frequently get asked why we bother to return to the same vacation destination year after year. When asked this question I liken it to the cottage experience. Cottage goers attend the EXACT same place, often multiple weekends each and every summer. Sure, I go to WDW at least 2 times a year, but I stay at different resorts, eat at different restaurants, experience different attractions. But the general appeal is the same....a cottage feels comfortable, familiar and relaxing to them....and that is how WDW feels to us.

    So I can't wait to pass through those gates and into the most magical place on earth in just 10 short days!
     
  7. PrincessCasey27

    PrincessCasey27 Earning My Ears

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    Hello there!:wave2:

    I'm so in for this report! I've been so curious about the magic bands and everything that comes with it! I especially cant wait for food pictures and reviews!
     
  8. xxpeachykeenxx

    xxpeachykeenxx Earning My Ears

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    Joining in!
    We will be arriving on the 5th and staying thru the 14th! we're at Pop an testing out the Magicbands too! I've started my own TR as well we will have to see if it gets finished :rotfl:
     
  9. TinkerBelle_325

    TinkerBelle_325 Magical Musing Meg

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    Thanks for reading! I am really curious about the MagicBands too! Can't wait to test them :) Most of the food pictures will be in my Dining Review (link in my signature).

    Very cool! I will check out your TR too. Would love to see different experiences with the MagicBands.
     
  10. Nicole786

    Nicole786 DIS Veteran

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    We'll be there the same time you are! I got picked for MagicBands also, i'm so excited to test them out!! We'll be at the BC the 5th-9th! We leave this friday for the trip and I can't wait!!
     
  11. TinkerBelle_325

    TinkerBelle_325 Magical Musing Meg

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    COUNTDOWN TO WDW: 9 DAYS TO GO!

    :hyper::bitelip::goodvibes

    Woohoo! Single digit dance :cheer2::yay::dance3:

    I've started setting aside clothes, making my packing lists, and all the organizational things one does when the single digits hit! I've also started checking the weather. Does anyone else feel like Accuweather ALWAYS has "Rain" predicted for anything further out than a week? :rotfl: It's ok, I prefer my forecast anyways!

    Highs between 88 and 90. Lows around 74. Overall mainly sunny with chances of scattered afternoon showers. Chance of rain 10-40%.

    Continuing the countdown to WDW...


    Day 9: Returning to Coronado Springs​


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    Coronado Springs is our family's favorite resort. In fact, we have stayed there 16 times since it opened in 1997. We love the relaxed atomsphere, the beautiful landscaping, the incredible pool, I could go on and on!

    We have gone through phases in terms of location preference. For a long time we loved the Casitas - the fountains, the courtyards and the proximity to El Centro. However, we disliked the distance from the Dig Site.

    Currently our favorite location is Cabanas 9A. It is a short walk to El Centro and to the Dig Site. The parking is close. The quiet pool is right there as is the laundry room. And generally we have found it is a calm location.


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    Fountain in El Centro

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    Beautiful Detailed Ceiling

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    Registration

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    Spacious Lobby with Spectacular Ceiling (and Hidden Mickey!)

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    Panchito's and Walkway to Cafe Rix and the Pepper Market

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    Cabana 9B from the El Centro Bridge

    I especially love the decor of the rooms now. The teal, cream and dark wood is so inviting!

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    Not to mention the Siesta Pool Bar has THE BEST margaritas in the world (shh...I even like them better than La Cava :rolleyes1).

    Stay tuned for Day 8's Countdown!
     
  12. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    Following along! :goodvibes
     
  13. TinkerBelle_325

    TinkerBelle_325 Magical Musing Meg

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    Thanks for reading! Update coming up :thumbsup2
     
  14. TinkerBelle_325

    TinkerBelle_325 Magical Musing Meg

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    COUNTDOWN TO WDW: 7 DAYS TO GO!

    :hyper::bitelip::goodvibes

    Hi All! Sorry that I missed Day 8 on the countdown :sad2: but I'm here to offer up Day 7 :thumbsup2

    Day 7: The Fall Decorations


    Fall is my favorite time of the year. The crisp cool air, cozy sweaters, hot tea, spiced cider, everything pumpkin spice, changing leaves....ahhh :worship: Even the sunlight is different....it is more golden and glowing than it is in the summer.

    And while I know that most WDW fans adore the Christmas decorations at the MK (and they are beautiful!), my favorite seasonal decorations are those up in the fall! There is something about the blue sky, the antique colours of Main Street and the warm oranges and yellows of the decorations!

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    The Sleepy Hollow Fall Display

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    Pumpkins in Liberty Square

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    Doesn't this just scream "Fall?" :cloud9:

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    Beautiful Arrangement on Lamp Post in Liberty Square

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    Jack-o-Lantern Mickey on Main Street

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    Garlands and Swags on The Emporium

    In fact, my love of the MK fall decorations inspired me to make this cake a few years ago:

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    I know that I will get to see my beloved fall decorations at least once as the first MNSSHP is on Sept 10th and we will be at the MK the morning of the 11th, but I am very hopeful that I will see them on our first MK day Sept 4th.

    Stay tuned for Day 6!
     
  15. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

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    wow, that cake looks awesome! Great job :thumbsup2

    love the fall decorations at WDW - especially MK
     
  16. TinkerBelle_325

    TinkerBelle_325 Magical Musing Meg

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    Thank you! I am really hoping the decorations will be up by the time I get there :goodvibes
     
  17. TinkerBelle_325

    TinkerBelle_325 Magical Musing Meg

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    COUNTDOWN TO WDW: 6 DAYS TO GO!

    :hyper::bitelip::goodvibes

    Woohoo! Only 6 days to go :goodvibes I am so excited! Today I actually started packing. Stopped by Walmart and Costco to get some last minute items. Tomorrow up come the suitcases! But on to the countdown...

    Day 6: Magic Kingdom Mornings


    As I have mentioned, I love traditions! One of ours is that the morning of our first "full" day we always go to the Magic Kingdom. This post was inspired by a thread on the Theme Park Boards that discussed MK Traditions.

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    Here are some of our traditions:
    - We always ride the monorail to the MK
    - We watch the Magic Kingdom Welcome Show
    - And I always cry during the Welcome Show
    - I always take a picture of the Castle (and cry when I see the castle)
    - We tour MK left to right
    - We always ride Splash Mountain first
    - We never leave MK without riding Pirates and Haunted Mansion
    - We always have lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern
    - Mom always gets Popcorn
    - I always get cotton candy
    - Dad hasn't found an "every time" snack yet though Chocolate Covered Pineapple may have a shot ;)

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    Hello, Beautiful! :cloud9:

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    Looking Back at Main Street

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    Under the Sea

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    Enchanted Tales with Belle

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    Be Our Guest

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    Gaston's Tavern

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    Gaston's Fountain

    I absolutely love New Fantasyland - the level of detail blows my mind and I feel like I could just wander and take it all in for hours!
     
  18. Jerzetta

    Jerzetta Mouseketeer

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    Excited for you. We are 35 days out and I can't stand the wait. Already have stuff being gathered up waiting for the arrival of the suitcases. Look forward to following your trip.
     
  19. TinkerBelle_325

    TinkerBelle_325 Magical Musing Meg

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    Thanks for reading! My room is currently a clothes explosion LOL but it will all be organized soon!
     
  20. TinkerBelle_325

    TinkerBelle_325 Magical Musing Meg

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    COUNTDOWN TO WDW: 5 DAYS TO GO!

    :hyper::bitelip::goodvibes

    Well my room looks like an explosion of clothes :rotfl: must mean I am packing! I am always guilty of packing WAY too much so this year I am trying to make a conscious effort to ask "will I *really* wear this?" before I drop it into the packing pile. Whether that will work is another story :rolleyes2

    Day 5: Epcot

    Today's countdown installment is about my favorite park....Epcot :goodvibes

    While the MK holds a special place in my heart, the majority of my childhood WDW memories are from Epcot. I remember meeting Mickey (in some kind of space suit) in the path from what is now Innoventions (then Communicore) towards what is now Mission: Space (then Horizons). I vividly remember Horizons and miss it so much, especially the amazing smell of oranges. My love of history stemmed from riding Spaceship Earth. My love of food came from dining at World Showcase. In fact, my very first food memory is fettuccine alfredo at Alfredo's in Italy. I was 5 years old.

    Even now, my two favorite background loops to listen to are International Gateway and Innoventions Plaza. :lovestruc


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    I can't wait to return to Epcot. It is always our first and last park, as well as the park that we spend the most time in!
     
  21. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    Awesome pics! :)
     

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