Backpacking Across The World: A Jan '13 Solo PTR

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by DreamEagle, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. DreamEagle

    DreamEagle Earning My Ears

    May 9, 2012
    As my buddy Russell would say: "Adventure is out there!"

    Hello, and welcome to the DreamEagle Pre-Trip Report, presented by Honda.
    Well, not really. But like most things in Walt Disney World or Disneyland, they're sponsored and because of it, that much more spectacular! :thumbsup2

    Let's get to this dance party ah-dancin'!

    First up, please welcome your humble host, Me!

    I'm a mid-20's (not the era, but the age) newspaper columnist with a Disney Park addiction. But hey, with all of the negativity of the news and opinion world, who wouldn't try to find the positive in life? Disney Parks do that for me just fine.

    Trip Duration:
    Jan 22-28.
    Resort:Pop Century
    Flying: Delta Airlines

    A little background:

    I've been to the Disneyland Resort more times than I can count. I love Walt's original Magic Kingdom and all of the glory that is that intimate resort, full of fun and magic. It is my second home. I'm there all the time :hyper:

    And while I love me some Disneyland for its charm and character, there really is nothing as grand and overwhelming as Walt Disney World. Plus, Walt Disney World was the focus of all of my favorite TV shows as a kid. From Walt Disney World Inside Out on Disney Channel with JD Roth and George Foreman to Full House when Michelle was a total brat towards Steff, to Family Matters when Steve became Stefan and Stefan became Steve and Carl wanted to move the entire family to Orlando. To Roseanne and family trying to find happiness on a vacation special I'd never forget to the Lambert's and Foster's all converging on Disney's Beach Club resort for adventures at Pleasure Island (RIP), JT & Rich acting as though they were a part of the Disney family to score chicks (oh yeah!) and Frank's oddball employee Flash (who was there for some reason) who ended up winning back the title of all attractions, shows and experiences done in record time to America.

    Ah yes, the nostalgia. :happytv:
    Of course, Disney World was the focus of most of my childhood. This magical place that was bigger than Manhattan, where all of my friends were going and screaming about how great its majesty was when they returned. See, I never did get a chance to visit as a kid.

    Nope, we always went to Disneyland. Which was fantastic. But the spectacle that was built up in my mind of the vacation kingdom of the world was something that never left my fantasies. It wasn't until I was 20 that I got to go to WDW, and it was even better than I had imagined it.

    Even the transportation was amazing! Yep, that's me (front left) with a bus full of my friends and the coolest Disney Transport driver, Fritz.

    That was cool. But then I was blown away (literally) by the magic of Hollywood Studios, too.


    Fast forward six years and here we are, 3 trips to WDW later. Some of my best memories with friends were made at WDW. Some of my greatest memories with my Aunt were just made at WDW (her first time, compliments of me) on a dream vacation trip in Sept 2012.

    So, as I'm sure you all know, the easiest way to drug yourself off of a post-Disney depression is to PLAN ANOTHER TRIP! :cool1:

    And I did just that. As soon as I got back I planned another trip. This time I would be going with two wonderful friends. Unfortunately, one friend moved away in that four month window between last trip and this trip and the other friend backed out two weeks ago due to financial concerns within his family.

    That's unfortunate. And I respect that.
    So at that point, there was only one thing I could do...

    Scream: "I'M GOING SOLO TO DISNEY WORLD!!!" :woohoo:

    I'm not insensitive to my friends, I've already reached out to both of them. But I planned, paid-for and was taking time off for a vacation. And a vacation was what I was going to take!

    And the thought of Disney World on my own got me so darned excited. Over the last 3 trips, there was so much I wanted to do, see and experience but was unable to because everyone else had something else they wanted to do.

    BAH! to them I say. The news of my friends being unable to go (while sad for them) was like a one way ticket for that kid within that always wanted to go and experience everything at his own pace, but never got too!

    I've been liberated! :dancer:

    And now I can explore Disney World as I've wanted to see it. No one to tell me they want to go on something when I don't, no one to disagree with me on which restaurant we should eat at, no one to force me into waking up early or pushing me out of the park when I wanted to wait and see Wishes.

    Nope, from now on this guy is going to be backpacking across the world his way.

    Where: Disney's POP Century Resort
    So FYI, I've only ever stayed at Deluxe resorts. Usually because I get such great deals on them when I travel. From Old Key West (bigger than my apartment) to Polynesian (Magically Upgraded from a Mod) to Wilderness Lodge (gift to my Aunt and because the Winslow's stayed there.)

    And we did have plans to stay at the Beach Club this time, only after everyone pulled out I thought, wait a sec, why am I paying this much for a Deluxe when I could get a Value for dirt cheap? It's just me! And since this trip is up to me, I decided it would be so!

    Pop Century it is. I've heard great things and am looking forward to a "Value-d" experience.

    Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I won't be solo the entire time. No, in fact, I had already made plans to meet up with two other friends who live and work in Florida for some meals and a day or two of playing. So I'll be solo most of the time.

    But I can't wait to be there. Only a few days away!


    Tue 1/22:

    - 6:45am Flight from John Wayne Airport (Orange County, CA) to Atlanta. 1 hour layover and then hello Orlando International at 4:25pm.

    - DME to Pop Century by 5:15pm.

    - ADR Dinner for Garden Grill at EPCOT with friend Amy meeting me (7:15pm)

    Wed 1/23:

    - Bus to MK for Welcome Show

    - Play

    - Lunch ADR at Plaza Restaurant (12:25pm)

    - Bus back to POP for nap or pool time

    - Bus back to MK (4:30pm) to play

    - Monorail to Grand Floridian for dinner ADR 1900 Park Fare (7:05pm) Friend Amy Meeting Me

    - Back to MK or monorail to EPCOT to head out to JellyRolls on the Boardwalk.


    - Bus to DHS for Rope Drop & Fun

    - Lunch ADR Sci-Fi Dine-in (1:55pm)

    - Bus back to Pop for some nappage

    - Bus to EPCOT at 5pm

    - Dinner ADR Biergarten | Germany (6:40pm)

    - Bus back to DHS or DTD for nighttime fun


    - Bus to DAK for rope drop and fun. Meeting friend Eric to spend the day!

    - Bus back to POP for napperoo/swim time (3:00pm)

    - Bus to DTD (6pm)

    - Bus to Polynesian for dinner ADR Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show w/ Eric and Amy! (8pm)


    - Sleep in

    - Late morning Bus to DHS or EPCOT

    - Bus to AKL for dinner ADR Boma (4:55pm)

    - Catch a movie or show in DTD or go exploring


    - Bus to MK for Welcome Show, play!

    - Bus to POP or resort for lunch and relaxation (1:30pm)

    - Bus back to MK for night fun & EMH (6pm)

    1/28: Departure Day

    - May squeeze in a character breakfast

    - Bus to EPCOT or DAK for AM-EMH

    - Bus back to POP at noon to catch DME to MCO for 4pm flight.

    So there it is. Kept purposely open so that I can come and go as I please. Looking forward to the fun and documenting every bit of it.

    Any suggestions? Please, feel free to let me know.

    I can't wait! :banana:
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  3. DreamEagle

    DreamEagle Earning My Ears

    May 9, 2012
    Oh, and because of the wealth of knowledge from all of your trip reports, I have tried things like School Bread, Red Velvet Cheesecake cupcakes and Smores cupcakes.

    This trip I plan on grabbing the chocolate peanut butter cup cupcake, too. Anything else food-wise I should hunt down and try?

    Can't wait! 5 DAYS!! :yay:
  4. DreamEagle

    DreamEagle Earning My Ears

    May 9, 2012
    I'm now just 3 DAYS AWAY!

    There is nothing like the anticipation and arrival at the vacation kingdom of the world.

    When you land at MCO or get to the resort, do you have a tradition or a moment that lets you know you've arrived? I love to first get the humidity blast as soon as the sliding DME doors open to the outside Florida world. It's always THEE moment I realize "I'M HERE!" And then, of course, going under the arch and squealing a little bit, too.
  5. happybelle

    happybelle DIS Veteran

    Dec 27, 2012
    Have a wonderful time.
  6. DreamEagle

    DreamEagle Earning My Ears

    May 9, 2012
    Thanks! I am SO looking forward to exploring and finding adventure :hyper:

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