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Fleeing Wedding Showers for Epcot Flowers: My Final Morning, Finally! NEW 4/12

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by norybell, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. norybell

    norybell DIS Veteran

    Joined:
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    Sung to the tune of “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” from Mary Poppins:

    My wedding’s just three months away
    The stress it gets worse every day
    Then it’s time to call Mom and she says to me:
    Maybe it’s time to flee
    On a trip to Disney

    Let’s fly to Disney
    Oh, what a pair we’ll be
    Let’s fly to Disney
    Escape from planning
    Mom and me we can unwind
    My fiancé swears he won’t mind
    Oh, let’s fly to Disney

    Let’s fly to Disney
    Oh, what a pair we’ll be
    Let’s fly to Disney
    Escape from planning
    We’ll see the flowers at Epcot
    It’s always been our favorite spot
    Oh, let’s fly to Disney

    I was thrilled to walk down the aisle
    But planning a wedding’s a trial
    After days in Florida with no one but my ma
    I’ll calm down in my head
    And be ready to wed


    ***

    I solemnly swear to update this trip report with regularity (hopefully), wit (maybe), and lots of photos (definitely).


    ***​

    Hello, TR readers of the past, present, and future! :goodvibes Welcome to my second trip report; I’m so happy you’re here!

    In case you read my last TR, I don’t want to bore you with too many repetitive details about who I am, why I love Disney, etc. etc. etc. If you’re interested in the background, this post from my last trip should answer all your questions (and then some): A Little History.

    Not much has changed about me in the interim. Except then I was 33 and unmarried, and now I am 34 and married. Time does march on, doesn’t it? :rotfl:

    I guess there has been one other, major change: I’m now the proud holder of an AP! Or a voucher for an AP, anyway. Which means you can expect many more TRs from me in the future (whether you like it or not!). So far I have my next trip—another solo one—planned for next month. I can’t wait! I have an extremely inactive PTR going on about that, if you feel like stopping by: It’s a SO-LO PTR (Nory makes it a tradition!).

    Anyway. On to the reasons for this trip. My DH and I got engaged on New Year’s Eve, and set the date for early August. Unsurprisingly, as my birthday approached in March, I was drowning in wedding-planning stress. Most of this was my own fault. Would my guests really have noticed if each person at a table didn’t have a different hand-bound short story at their place setting? Or if their bookplate escort cards had square corners instead of rounded ones? Probably not. But hey, that’s just the way I roll. (And it was all 100% worth it, in the end.)

    So when my mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I could think of only one thing: to get away. To have a few days where I wasn’t obsessing over all these silly details. But I knew a few days lying on a beach wouldn’t cut it. I needed to be somewhere with distractions, somewhere that could be both action-packed and relaxing.

    And I think you’ll all agree that only one place fits the bill.

    I knew that my soon-to-be DH wouldn’t be interested. He’s never been to WDW, professes no interest, and was saving his days off for our wedding. Someday, I will manage to drag him there, and I promise you a truly exciting TR about his first trip when that finally happens. But not yet. Luckily, even though he thinks my Disney-obsession is bizarre, he’s also very accepting of it (I think, deep down, he finds it kind of adorable), and he didn’t mind at all that I wanted to sneak off on my own for a few days.

    My mom, on the other hand, loves WDW almost as much as I do. Clearly, a mother-daughter trip was in order! We chose a week in May, so we could catch the tail end of the Flower & Garden Festival. And since the trip was ostensibly to celebrate my upcoming nuptials, my mom agreed to try a split stay and let me be in charge of all the resort decisions (it helped that I had a lovely 40% off pin code burning a hole in my inbox). When it’s up to her, she always stays at the Yacht Club. But since it was up to me this time, I reserved our first two nights someplace I’d wanted to stay for decades: The Grand Floridian. I figured, hey, I’m getting married, now’s the time to splurge! I tried getting the YC for our last two nights, but they didn’t have a room available with the pin code discount. So I ended up booking us a deluxe concierge room at the Boardwalk Inn. I was actually nervous about this: I’d never stayed there before, but my mom had years ago, and she thought it was too noisy. I was so worried my mom would end up unhappy with my resort choices…you’ll have to stay tuned to see how they turned out (I know, the suspense is killing you!).

    After all this was settled, I decided to add another night on to the beginning of the trip, so I’d have one solo night before my mom arrived (turns out, for me at least, solo time at WDW is highly addictive). I booked a room at POR, since I had fallen in love with the grounds there when I visited last time.

    Knowing that this trip, compared to my solo one last October, would be a lot less about long days of park touring, and a lot more about eating, drinking, and relaxing, I immediately tackled our ADRs. How does this look for a list of decadence?: Boatwrights, the Plaza, Citrico’s, Yak ‘n’ Yeti, Jiko, Il Mulino, the Brown Derby, and Bluezoo.

    I’m drooling just thinking about it.

    Needless to say, as soon as I made these plans, I immediately felt better about all my wedding-related stress. To be honest, I booked the ADRs, then completely forgot about the trip for another month! Which made it feel like a wonderful surprise when it happened.

    This will probably be a shorter TR than my last one…since I wasn’t traveling alone, I didn’t notice quite so many of the teeny tiny details, and there was less time to set up photos (though I still took around 300, so don’t worry about that!). But hopefully you’ll still enjoy the trip—I know I did!

    [​IMG]

    Thus endeth the mandatory information-laden first post.

    Coming Soon: A Deluxe Snob Checks into a Mod…and Survives!


    TABLE OF CONTENTS (for your reading ease and pleasure)
    ***

    Sunday, May 2
    A Deluxe Snob Checks into a Mod...and Survives!
    Nory Discovers a Magical New Ride
    Downtown Disney for the Non-Disney Shopper
    A Mod-Virgin Tells All (The Room! The Pool! The Food!)
    I Have No Willpower. But Who Can Say No to Flowers?

    Monday, May 3
    Movin' On Up (to the Grand Floridian)
    Movin' On Up (to the Grand Floridian) - Part II
    Tale of a Peaceful Trip
    Tale of a Peaceful Resort
    Tale of a Peaceful Room

    Tuesday, May 4
    Animals, Animals, and More Animals. Then Fireworks. PART I
    Animals, Animals, and More Animals. Then Fireworks. PART II

    Wednesday, May 5
    GF vs. BWI fight! PART I
    GF vs. BWI fight! PART II
    GF vs. BWI fight! PART III

    Thursday, May 6
    How many people can YOU run over in the race to TSM?
    Attack of the Disney Plant-Creatures!

    An Interruption -- January 2011
    A Mini-TR Cleverly Hidden Right in the Middle of This One!

    Back to Thursday, May 6
    The Final Evening (a.k.a., Alcohol to the Rescue!)

    Yet Another Interruption -- March 2011
    A Trip to Times Square

    Friday, May 7
    My Last Disney Morning (last year, that is)

     
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  3. glennbo123

    glennbo123 DIS Veteran

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    Signing on Nory! Woo hoo! :cool1:

    Great picture!
     
  4. onelilspark

    onelilspark DIS Veteran

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    I'm here :wave:

    I really want to stay at the Boardwalk, preferably Club Level, so I hope you took lots of pictures! :banana:
     
  5. nodnol

    nodnol DIS Veteran

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    Hello norybell, I followed you from your "old" tTR - I like your writing and pictures!
     
  6. norybell

    norybell DIS Veteran

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    Hi glennbo, onelilspark, & nodnol! :welcome:

    I hope to post my first real segment sometime today...
     
  7. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

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    Looks like I'm getting in on this one right at the beginning:cool1: Can't wait to hear all about it (plus you can throw in some wedding details too if you want.):goodvibes
     
  8. Tribilín

    Tribilín Mouseketeer

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    I'm in! I'm in! :woohoo:

    OMG! Beautiful picture! You both look gorgeous!
     
  9. norybell

    norybell DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: And don't tempt me about the wedding stuff -- I'm trying to quit cold turkey! :rotfl:

    Thanks, Tribilin! I knew it wouldn't take you too long to get over here.

    And what can I say, my mom's a hottie. I've always thought so, anyway.
     
  10. norybell

    norybell DIS Veteran

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    The alarm went off bright and early on my departure morning. Well, early, anyway. Not so much bright, considering it was 5:00 AM and the sun wasn’t up yet.

    The alarm went off dark and early on my departure morning.

    I keep telling myself that someday I will fly out at a somewhat reasonable hour. A time that allows me to sleep for more than three hours the night before. But I can never bring myself to do it. I can never say no to those extra hours at WDW, even if I’m too sleep deprived to properly experience them.

    Since you can’t call taxis in Manhattan, I had done what I always do, and reserved myself a towncar to take me to the airport. So you can imagine how pleased I was when my phone rang at 5:30, and the car company informed me my driver had been in an accident, and they wouldn’t be able to send me a car. I am going to admit the truth to you: in that moment, I was far more concerned with whether or not I would be able to get to the airport on time than with the poor driver who had (maybe) just been in an accident. Does that make me a terrible person?

    Luckily, my competition for cabs was scarce at 6:00 AM, and I found one right away, no problem. The trip to the airport was incident-free, and my flight took off on time. I managed to doze a little, but a girl on my flight screamed the entire trip, making any real sleep impossible. Now, I get it that little kids have breakdowns. But this girl looked to be around four, which seemed a bit old to be screaming constantly for two whole hours! She was traveling with an older woman (maybe her grandma?), who kept yelling at her and I think even smacked her a few times. Which, unsurprisingly, didn’t help with the screaming.

    Of course, by the time we were deboarding and she was still screaming, I was almost ready to smack her myself. And I’m usually a very nonviolent person.

    Wow, between that and the car driver, I’m not making a very good impression here, am I? I swear I’m not an evil person, really I’m not! :rotfl:

    Remembering my embarrassment when I arrived at MCO for my last trip and ended up on the opposite side from Magical Express, I repeated a mantra to myself for the entire mini-monorail ride: “Side B Side B Side B Side B Side B Side B”.

    Yet somehow, I still ended up on Side A. Again.

    [​IMG]
    If this happens to me again next time, I truly don’t deserve my AP!

    After the humiliating walk back up from Side A, across the concourse, and down on Side B, I luckily had to wait only a few minutes before boarding my ME bus. I felt strangely awake despite my lack of sleep, and I spent most of the trip chatting with Peggy, another solo traveler sitting next to me. I knew right away that she was going to be a fellow Disney-nut, because she was wearing Mickey earrings. (I was wearing Tinkerbell socks, myself, but she probably couldn’t see them.) Peggy was great. She’s a DVC owner, and goes to WDW two or three times a year. Talking to Peggy totally got my Disney spirit up. And it stayed up when I realized that POR was the first stop!

    [​IMG]
    Nothing says “down south” like harps and chandeliers, right? Especially when they’re at a 45-degree angle!

    [​IMG]
    I spent a good five minutes standing there, trying to get an interesting picture of this ceiling, and failing. I did get lots of funny looks, though.

    So there I was, in the lobby of POR, about to check in to my first Disney moderate resort ever! What an auspicious occasion! I’d checked in online, and I can’t say the process was really any different than it is at the deluxes. Perhaps the queue area for the check-in desk was a little more utilitarian. But I didn’t mind.

    I was hoping, of course, that my room would be ready—I got spoiled on my last trip, when my rooms were ready when I checked in at both the CR and the YC. But no such luck this time. The CM happily offered to find me another room, but after she looked at my requests (Alligator Bayou, top floor, quiet, NOT a parking lot view), she suggested I wait for my room, which would be in Building 27. Even though I’d spent hours exhaustively looking over the entire, massive POR thread on the resorts board, I couldn’t for the life of me remember which buildings were supposedly the best. Building 27 looked like it was in a good location to me, so I said I’d be happy to wait.

    [​IMG]

    I changed into shorts in the lobby bathroom, and this was the first big difference I noticed from a deluxe: the lobby bathroom was a lot smaller! It made it a little harder to change, but it was no big deal. Then I dropped off my bags with Bell Services, and strolled back through the lobby to the marina.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    In case you were confused about where I was.

    [​IMG]
    In case you were still confused about where I was.

    I had a shocking plan for the day. Actually, wait, before I tell you, I want to make sure you’re sitting down. And that you have the smelling salts handy.

    Are you ready?

    My plan for the day was: Don’t go to a park.

    Are you OK? Have you picked your jaw up off the floor? I know, I know, it was a pretty earth-shattering concept for me, too. I had never before done such a crazy thing. But I’d been so worn out with the wedding planning, I’d spent so much time in the parks in October, and I loved the POR grounds so much, I thought it would be nice to have a park-free Disney day for a change.

    Would I be able to overcome a lifetime of WDW habits and stick to my plan?

    Coming Soon: Nory Discovers a Magical New Ride
     
  11. onelilspark

    onelilspark DIS Veteran

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    I get antsy when I'm that close to Disney and don't go to a park.
     
  12. dismagiclover

    dismagiclover Mrs. Darling: Mom to Wendy, John & Michael

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    :yay: You've arrived. I'm excited to hear about your experience at a Moderate. And to see how you spend your non park time.
     
  13. norybell

    norybell DIS Veteran

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    Yeah, I really wasn't sure how long it'd be before the antsy-ness hit me, too. Care to place any bets? :laughing:

    I have the next update all written, just need to upload the photos! Hopefully I'll get it up tomorrow or Monday.
     
  14. DisneyDreamerMN

    DisneyDreamerMN DIS Veteran

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    Great start! I read an article on Yahoo.com about the possibility of airlines having "family sections". At first I thought that wouldn't be a bad idea since DH and I don't have kids yet. Then I mentioned it to one of my friends who has kids and she was offended by the idea. It's an idea anyway.
    I have stayed at POR twice and am staying there again this October.
    If (I hope) we go again next year, I want to stay at a deluxe resort. Looking forward to reading more.
     
  15. norybell

    norybell DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: Ha, if the airlines had family sections, I wonder who they would charge more for it? The families, or the non-families? You know someone would be getting charged!

    POR is really beautiful -- I can see why you keep going back!
     
  16. not_Joanna_eggs

    not_Joanna_eggs DIS Veteran

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    ummmmmmm.... how did I not know you had a TR going? I'm such a bad Diser! But, I'm here now, so you may continue now :rotfl:

    Don't worry, I always make the A mistake. I've got the trek to the correct side down pat now. And I'm for sure not relinquishing my AP :rotfl:

    I'm excited to see your review of POR. Being a deluxe snob myself, I'm curious what you thought - we're considering staying at POR soon....

    And I totally feel you about the park-free Disney. It feels so wrong - but there's so much more to do than the parks.

    Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip!
     
  17. norybell

    norybell DIS Veteran

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    You probably didn't realize because (I've been told) I need to increase my marketing budget! :rotfl: I'm glad you found me!

    I'd really like to think that if I were ever to fly into MCO with more than, like, two hours of sleep under my belt, I'd go straight to the right place, no problem. That's my excuse, anyway!

    Don't worry, I'll share every little teeny tiny thought I had about the place! :laughing:
     
  18. Tribilín

    Tribilín Mouseketeer

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    :rotfl: I'm in the opposite side of the spectrum... I'm very cheap and I always stay at Values and once even *gasp* outside WDW :scared1: LOL!

    But next year I'll take my parents to WDW and I'm convincing myself to try POR thinking they will actually need to go back to the hotel to rest and hopefully it would be a lot more peaceful than the Values.
     
  19. glennbo123

    glennbo123 DIS Veteran

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    Nory, love the title of this chapter!

    Regarding whether it was insensitive of you to not be overly concerned about the town car driver's accident -- when I read that I thought, "Oh no, are you going to miss your flight?" So, I'm right there with ya.

    Yay, you've arrived! Now, where was it you were staying?

    Your room location looks pretty good.
     
  20. NOLAdisneymom

    NOLAdisneymom DIS Veteran

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    To read more! Love your pics. We are thinking about trying POR next year, (we're going to be at CB this year for Thanksgiving), but being from New Orleans, we didn't know if it would suit us, but I am LOVING the way it looks so far! Can't wait for your update! popcorn::
     
  21. norybell

    norybell DIS Veteran

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    I don't want to give away too much yet about my opinions of the Mods vs. Deluxes yet (gotta keep things chronological, right?), but I will say that in certain ways, the Mods are much more relaxing. Because their grounds are so huge, you really feel like you're getting away from everything. I'll be at CSR next month, and I can't wait to compare it with POR!

    Thanks!

    Well, you know, us evil people like to stick together...:rotfl:

    Thanks! And :welcome: I can see how you might want to stay away from POFQ, being from New Orleans. But POR is so beautiful, and a little less New Orleans-specific, so you might really like it!
     

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