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BELLE & THE 3 BEASTS-June 9-17,2012-**UPDATED 11/27** THE END

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by POLY1985, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. POLY1985

    POLY1985 DIS Veteran

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    Hi everyone and welcome to my first trip report. I’ve been a member of the boards since 2003 and pop on and off periodically when I’m pre and post trips. I kind of stay off the boards when there are no trips in the works because I get too depressed.  Our last visit was 2007 when we celebrated my oldest son’s 17th birthday. This trip took place June 9-17, 2012 and was a celebration of my youngest son’s 17th birthday. I’m sure you are sensing a pattern here.
    And now I will introduce you to the cast of characters:
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    Jesse/Linda/Doug/Zach
    Belle (me) aka Linda, 49 – 9TH TRIP
    Grew up watching The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights. First trip was with my parents, grandmother and cousin during the Bicentennial when I was 13. We camped at Ft. Wilderness (only Poly and Contemporary were there – MK was the only park). I fell instantly in love with Disney. The fireworks over the castle on July 4, 1976 were the most wonderful ones I have ever seen. I could not have had a better Bicentennial experience. I returned to the world in 1979 at age 16 with my parents and again stayed at Ft. Wilderness. Spent a lot of time over at Poly in their pool (you could pool hop back then).
    FAV PARK: Magic Kingdom for nostalgia, Epcot for World Showcase
    FAV RIDES: Tower of Terror, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion and most recently Star Tours
    FAV MOVIES: Beauty and the Beast, Lady and the Tramp, The Aristocats
    FAV CHARACTERS: Belle, Tigger, Marie, Toy Story Aliens

    Beast #1 (DH) aka Doug, 52 – 7TH TRIP
    Had never been to Disney before he met me. Convinced him it was the place to go for our honeymoon. We married in October of 1985 and honeymooned at the Polynesian which I had fallen in love with on my previous trips. Epcot had just opened a few years earlier so it was my first time seeing it too. We had such fun exploring the new park together and touring the countries and tasting all the different food.
    FAV PARK: Epcot
    FAV RIDES: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

    Beast #2 (DS) aka Jesse, 21 – 6TH TRIP
    First visit was 1993 when he was not quite 3. We stayed at Caribbean Beach since it was pirate themed (waaaay before the PoC movies). Other trips were 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2007.
    FAV PARK: Hollywood Studios
    FAV RIDES: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Expedition Everest, Space Mountain, Star Tours

    Beast #2 (DS) aka Zach, turning 17 at Disney – 5TH TRIP
    First visit was 1998 when he was not quite 3. (do you sense a theme there – before 3, they’re free!!!!!) We went with my parents and stayed at the Ft. Wilderness cabins. Animal Kingdom opened while we were there and we got to go to a soft opening for resort guests before the grand opening. Other trips for Zach were 2000, 2003 and 2007. This trip we will celebrate his 17th birthday.
    FAV PARK: Hollywood Studios
    FAV RIDES: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Expedition Everest, Space Mountain, Star Tours

    Before the trip I had a few goals that I wanted to do. Since I did not do an official pre trip report, I am going to post them here. Let’s see how many were accomplished.

    Keys to the Kingdom tour
    Go to POFQ and take boat to DTD
    Get a Photopass
    Try Dole Whip
    Try School Bread
    Try Grey Goose Slushie
    Ride Jungle Cruise at night
    Go to La Cava
    Go to Fantasmic
    Find our brick*** and take a pic

    ***And what is this? The Walk Around the World Brick. These are the bricks you see as you exit the monorail and head to the MK. There are some heading out the pathway toward the GF, some heading toward the CT and I believe some at POLY. They started offering them for sale around 1994. At that time, we were planning another child so I wanted to wait until said child was born before purchasing a brick. Zach was born in 1995 and I ordered our brick a while later. Our brick has the year 96 on it. It also has the town we lived in at the time and moved from in 97 (sigh). I wish I would have just put Pennsylvania. So we try to get a picture each year. So far we only missed getting the pic in 2003 – don’t know why.
     
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  3. POLY1985

    POLY1985 DIS Veteran

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  4. vassar36

    vassar36 Mouseketeer

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    can't wait to read your TR :goodvibes
     
  5. POLY1985

    POLY1985 DIS Veteran

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    Welcome to the TR!
     
  6. solana131

    solana131 DIS Veteran

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    I'm in :thumbsup2 I am going for the first summer trip in less than a month, so I will be interested in how the heat and crowds are for you! Have fun!
     
  7. ChattaAlley

    ChattaAlley DIS Veteran

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    If you are 49 then I am not ageing well at all. You look to be in your 30's .... no lie. Anyway. Great start to your TR.
     
  8. POLY1985

    POLY1985 DIS Veteran

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    CHAPTER 2 – WHERE ARE WE GOING? PLUS PRE-TRIP​
    As I read what I wrote in Chapter 1, I realized I forgot the most crucial piece of information – where the heck were we staying?
    When I started planning this trip last year, I wanted to try something different. Out of all the resorts that I hadn’t tried, the two I was most interested in were POFQ and the Beach Club. A friend of mine is a Disney Travel consultant and he had a good deal on a DVC Studio at the Beach Club. I was so excited. Then I looked at the sleeping arrangements in the Studio. One Queen bed – okay, so far, so good. One Double pull out couch – uhhh, not so good. Not with two grown sons who don’t want to sleep together as it is. I could not imagine them bunking on a double for eight nights. Now I had to look for another option.
    I was trying to keep the price down so eight nights at the Beach Club (plus $25/per night extra for my 21 year old son) was a bit pricy. I decided to try a split stay – four nights Beach Club/four nights POFQ or 5 and 3. I was really excited about this idea. Then I started talking about it with the rest of the guys and they said “you mean, we’re not going to Wilderness Lodge?” Right after that we got the 30% off a room only discount so I decided to just go back to WL and make everyone happy.
    I really do love the lodge. There is nothing like walking through that door and into the lobby – it is breathtaking!
    [​IMG]

    Thursday, June 7
    My Dad was operated on the day before so I wanted to see him before we left. After work, I picked up the boys and we headed to the hospital to visit. He was alert but in a lot of pain so we did not stay too long. We headed home to finish up the packing. One thing I love about Disney trips, especially summer ones, is the ease of packing. Basically shorts and tees for all with some sun dresses for me. I only have two large suitcases to pack for the 4 of us. I will have two carry-ons, one for shoes and one for all our electronics. I tend to be a pretty efficient packer.
    After dinner, Zach and I watched Cars 2. We had not seen it before. It was pretty cute!

    Friday, June 8, 2012
    Doug had to work all day today but I took a half day. I need to go get a mani/pedi. I got to work and had an email from Jet Blue so I printed out my boarding passes. After I left work, I went to my usual nail salon. Apparently I was not the only one with the day off. It was packed. Not having a lot of time to wait, I went to another salon. The girl was extremely slow and only did an okay job.

    When I was done with the nails I went home and packed the non-clothing items since all the clothes were done the night before. The boys took our dog over to my Mom and Dad’s and I cleaned up the kitchen. Everyone was ready by the time Doug got home so all we had to do was wait for him to shower, load up the car and we were off for Newark, New Jersey.

    We could fly out of our local airport which is a 15 minute drive but they use Allegiant which flies into Sanford. I didn’t want the added expense of a rental car and I wanted really wanted to try the Magical Express. Newark has Jet Blue which flies direct to Orlando.

    We drove the 50 minute drive to Newark where we would spend the night. Since our flight was Saturday morning at 6:10AM and no one really wanted to get up at 2:00AM to drive there, we used a stay and park hotel near the airport. Your room, airport shuttle and parking for the week are one price around $120. Not a bad deal. The hotel was actually very nice.
    It was around 6:00PM by the time we got checked in so we decided to eat early so we could go back to the room and relax. The hotel told us the airport shuttle would pick us up at 4:00AM so we wanted to get to bed early. We walked over to a Ruby Tuesday’s which was next store. I had a Cajun fish, Doug got ribs and the boys each got a different type of burger. We headed back to the hotel but Zach and I were too excited to relax. Doug told us there was a gym downstairs so we went down to burn off some energy. We used the elliptical, bike and treadmill and then went back to the room.
     
  9. POLY1985

    POLY1985 DIS Veteran

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    Hi and welcome! It was pretty hot but I thought it was manageable but then I don't mind the heat as much as my husband and sons. I thought it was a lot worse when we were there in August in '07.
    As for the crowds, I actually expected it to be worse. We try to get to the parks by rope drop and you really can get a lot done in the first two hours. We do the afternoon pool break and then go back in the evenings.
     
  10. solana131

    solana131 DIS Veteran

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    Well this sounds encouraging :) That's my plan, to fully utilize EMHs both morning and evening with breaks during the mid-day heat. Good to know if we make rope drop we can still get things done. I checked the crowd calendar at UCT and you had 7s and 8s. We will have one 10, two 9s, two 7s and an 8. I think we'll be fine :scared:

    Yay for Wilderness Lodge! That's where we are staying in Dec '13 (hubby's request). We had dinner at WCC during our last stay and he said "Ok, if I am forced to come back here, we are staying at this place". :lmao:
     
  11. POLY1985

    POLY1985 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you.:blush:
     
  12. POLY1985

    POLY1985 DIS Veteran

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    We had two unplanned meals at WCC which I'll tell about in later chapters.
     
  13. LifeIsDis

    LifeIsDis "It's kind of fun to do the impossible."

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    You have another perosn joining in here! :goodvibes
    I am so excited to read about your trip and what you thought of the Wilderness Lodge. My favorite resort is the WL and I'm staying there in August. So excited!
     
  14. POLY1985

    POLY1985 DIS Veteran

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    Welcome! I know you'll enjoy your stay. Hope you get one of the refurbished rooms. I should have another update on Wednesday.
     
  15. mirage0306

    mirage0306 DIS Veteran

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    Hi--joining in! Were there around the same time (5th-16th). I LOVE the Wilderness Lodge--we stayed there last year and it was breathtaking!!
     
  16. gogo

    gogo DIS Veteran

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    Hi, glad I found your report. My son is 17 so it will be fun to read along. When he was younger my husband went on a few trips with us but since my son was in 6th grade he and I have gone every January. It sort has become a tradition. Our touring has changed as he has gotten older. He spends a lot of time at the hotel pool and gym but I really enjoy spending the time we do spend together.

    Looking forward to reading more...
     
  17. POLY1985

    POLY1985 DIS Veteran

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    CHAPTER 3 – DAY ONE – ARRIVAL
    A ROOM WITH A VIEW!
    Saturday, June 9
    My iPhone went off at 3:15AM and I got up to take a shower. We were in the lobby by 3:50 waiting for the shuttle. Got to the airport, checked in and went to our gate. None of the food or coffee shops open until 5:00 and I was dying for coffee.
    Flight took off on time and we arrived in Orlando at 8:20AM.
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    [​IMG]
    We got right on Magical Express. It was very nice and everything went very smoothly. We arrived at the Wilderness Lodge and we checked in around 9:30. They had a room ready for us. I had booked a Standard room and we ended up being upgraded to Woods View room 5016.
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    This is our 3rd stay at WL and I have been upgraded all three times, the first two times to Courtyard view.
    We walked into the room and this was my view.
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    I was jumping up and down like a child. I could not believe I was looking at the CASTLE!!!!! We also had a view of the pond below which was so relaxing to sit by with my morning coffee.
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    Our room was a newly refurbished room. We had new carpet in the hallway and new bedding.
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    Another thing I love about WL is that you get to shower with Meeko, Bambi and Chip & Dale every day.
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    After we finished checking out our room, we were all starving so we went down to Roaring Forks for breakfast. We would unpack later.
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    [​IMG]
    I had the child’s breakfast. I just had to have Mickey waffles!!!!
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    After we ate, we took the bus to the Magic Kingdom to “Let the Memories Begin!”
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    [​IMG]
    We are rope drop people so we’re not used to getting to the parks this late. On our last trip in 2007, the Haunted Mansion was being refurbished so we all wanted to see it first. We hurried there right away and…it was down! Sigh! So we went around the corner to:
    [​IMG]
    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad!!!It had a 30 min wait but we didn’t care – we were ready to ride. After that we rode the Walt Disney World Railroad around the entire park. We headed back over to Haunted Mansion and it was open!!! Only a 15 min wait.
    [​IMG]
    We walked over to Pirates which had a posted 15 min wait. It was more like 5 minutes. Near Pirates we saw:
    [​IMG]
    I thought it was a pretty good likeness. We went to Jungle Cruise next which had a 30 min wait.
    [​IMG]
    Doug was really tired by this time so he went back to WL. The boys & I decided to stay because Zach really wanted to go on Space Mountain. It had a standby time of 70 minutes but he was still determined. Since it’s an air-conditioned wait and it would be our last ride of the day, we decided to stay. It was worth the wait.
    [​IMG]
    We got back on boat to WL.
    [​IMG]
    Doug had texted me that he was at Trout Pass (the pool bar) so I headed there. The boys headed back to the room and saw an armadillo on the way. For weeks prior to the trip I kept insisting that this would be the year I would finally see an armadillo. I have only seen pictures of them. I have never even seen one in a zoo. They came running back over to Trout Pass to tell me that they saw one and rubbed it in. I consoled myself with this little beauty - Banana Cabana.
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    We hung around the Lodge for the rest of the afternoon and then headed to the dock to catch the boat to Ft. Wilderness for our dinner at Trail’s end.
    On the boat dock at the Wilderness Lodge:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Trail’s End is an all you can eat barbeque. It has peel and eat shrimp, beef brisket, ribs and the same fried chicken as the Hoop Dee Doo Revue. They serve their drinks in mason jars. I had the unsweetened ice tea and it was very good. This place is a favorite of the guys. After dinner we went back and called it an early night because we planned on rope drop for the Studios in the morning for the last day of Star Wars Weekends.
    Good night Castle!
    [​IMG]
     
  18. vassar36

    vassar36 Mouseketeer

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    great arrival day
     
  19. POLY1985

    POLY1985 DIS Veteran

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    Awe! Would have loved talking to another DISer. Too bad we didn't know!
     
  20. POLY1985

    POLY1985 DIS Veteran

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    Welcome! Yes, it's amazing how our touring style has changed over the years. DS17 enjoyed the game room and also met some kids in the lobby and ended up hanging with them a few evenings. Of course, he definitely made sure he got all his favorite rides in - 12 times on RnRC!
     
  21. POLY1985

    POLY1985 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! It really was special!
     

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