Flowers, VIP Lounges, and John Gidding: Oh my! March 2012 Trip Report!!!!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by StephaniexMarie, May 12, 2012.

  1. StephaniexMarie

    StephaniexMarie Have a zip a dee doo dah day!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    640
    Hello all! My name is Stephanie and some of you may already know me from my first (and incomplete...:rolleyes1) trip report I started last summer. I have been in love with WDW ever since my first visit when I was 9. I want to keep this trip report short and sweet, because that's exactly what this trip was! But before we get into all of that, I'd like to introduce myself a little more. :)

    • I live in New York City.
    • I'm a sophomore and I'm in a Law program in my school. I love every aspect of it.
    • My friends and family are my life :)
    • I'm 15 years old, turning 16 on October 5th.
    • I love the show Glee!
    • I love talking to people and making new friends.
    • I'm getting my first summer job this year at my local day camp.

    Now that you have a few basics about me, let me tell you about my Disney favorites!​


    • My favorite hotel is the Polynesian <3
    • My favorite fireworks show is Holiday Wishes.
    • My favorite parade is Spectromagic.
    • My favorite restaurant is Ohana'.
    • My favorite food in the MK is either the ooey gooey toffey cake from Liberty Tree Tavern or the nutella waffle from Sleepy Hollow Refreshments.
    • My favorite attraction in the Magic Kingdom would be, hands down, Philharmagic.
    • My favorite food in Epcot is the mushroom risotto steak from Le Cellier.
    • My favorite attraction at Epcot is Soarin'.
    • My favorite food at DHS is the chicken ceasar sandwhich from the Dockside Diner.
    • My favorite attraction at DHS is the Great Movie Ride.
    • My favorite food at Animal Kingdom is the honey chicken from Yak and Yeti.
    • My favorite attraction at Animal Kingdom is Killamanjaro Safaris.

    Now let me introduce you to the wonderful person who makes everything possible: My mom! Her name is Sandra and she is my partner in crime. ;) She loves WDW almost as much as I do, but constantly makes fun of my obsession. I can't say I blame her though, because it must be a handful to visit WDW with a girl who walks around the parks boasting, "I have this music on my iPod," But what can I say, Walt Disney World is my favorite thing. :) In all honesty, my mom is incredible and I don't know where I'd even be today without her!​


    Now seems like a good time to give you a little background on the trip. Basically, my mom works in advertising and this trip was offered to her through work. It was sponsored by HGTV, hence why it occurred during the HGTV Flower and Garden Festival. ;)

    This trip was kept a surprise to me until two months prior, which was MARVELOUS because usually I'm the one that plans every little detail of our Disney trips. HGTV certainly treated us well by giving us everything for free (flights, hotel accommodations, and tickets (even tho we're annual pass holders), including $850 in spending money and a special breakfast in The Living Sea's VIP Lounge with John Gidding from HGTV's Curb Appeal.

    Like I said before, this was a short weekend trip that started on Thursday March 8th and ended Sunday March 11th, so this TR will be as short, sweet, and to the point as I can make it. I'm determined to finish this one. :-)






    Here's me with one of my favorite topiares at Epcot:

    [​IMG]


    And here's me and my mom in front of Epcot!



    [​IMG]


    That's all for my introduction! Tales about travel day are coming up next :)

     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. StephaniexMarie

    StephaniexMarie Have a zip a dee doo dah day!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    640
  4. IheartDDuck

    IheartDDuck DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Messages:
    6,293
    I'm joining! My mom tends to be my partner in crime, so I love hearing about other mother / daughter duos. :goodvibes
     
  5. StephaniexMarie

    StephaniexMarie Have a zip a dee doo dah day!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    640
    Our journey begins on an early, dark Thursday morning in New York. I went to bed at 9pm the previous night, knowing that I'd have to be up in the wee hours of the morning to get prepared for our flight at JFK. We had packed a bit more lightly than we were used to, filling up one big suitcase instead of two, in addition to our carry-ons.

    By about 6 in the morning, we were on our way to the airport. Living in Brooklyn, the ride to the airport located in Queens only took us about 20 minutes.

    Going through scanning was somewhat easy, and we continued our airport tradition by grabbing Dunkin Doughnuts for breakfast at around 7:15. Our flight was at 8:10, so we had about 30 minutes till we were to board. We waited for everyone else to board ( we were the last group to go, which IMO makes no sense because the people who sit in the very back should be seated first so they don't bump into everyone else on the way there :headache: ) and then made our way to our seats.

    There was a little cheerleader, about 8 years old, sitting in the row with us. Her mom was in the row across in the isle seat, so they were able to stay together. The girl was rather talkative, and was very excited to show me all of her different apps she had on her iPad and she asked me if I had all the apps on my phone. Being a cheerleader, she had her own stack of cheer magazines with her and she had a fun time pointing out positions to my mom and saying, "I can do that." She was adorable, and had a huge purple bow in her hair.

    We chatted a bit during the flight, but didn't really talk much until we landed. The couple in front of us made a reference to something in Brooklyn, so I commented on it. This got the attention of the little girls' mom! They lived in Brooklyn too! 5 blocks away from us, actually. The young girl is a student at my old K-8 school and her mom lives on the same block as my assistant principal, and the mom herself used to go to my high school and was in the Law program!! :cool1:

    It's a small world after all. ;)

    We ended up walking off the plane, thru MCO, and to the Magical Express lines with the girl and her mom. The girl and I chatted about our ages, teachers at my old school, Disney World, and her upcoming cheer competitions that were to take place that weekend. She was great! Being an only child, I loved having company for at least part of our vacation. :cloud9:

    Sadly, we were separated once we reached the Magical Express lines. My mom & I were going to Port Orleans Riverside, while the girl and her mom were going to All Star Sports. We parted ways, but not for long. Once we both reached the front of our lines, I heard somebody screaming, "STEPHANIE! STEPHANIE! STEPHANIE! :wave: " I was pretty sure the girl and her mom were the only ones in the area that knew my name, so I looked over and long behold, she was waving right at me. They boarded their bus shortly after and that was the last time we were to see them. They were so much fun to sit with on the plane and chat with in the airport. :)

    Not to long after their bus was on its' way to WDW, our bus was ready! I was ecstatic, especially because we were first in line. This meant I had dibs on the front seats on the right hand side of the bus ( the best seats. ;) )

    After a normal ride on the Magical Express, we arrived at PORT ORLEANS RIVERSIDE! :yay::yay::yay::yay::yay: It was HOT. I, along with others on the bus, couldn't wait to switch to shorts. The nice bus driver got our luggage for us after we waited for everyone else's to get off (being the first ones on means that your bags are pushed to the back,) and we made our way inside the lobby. The wait wasn't too bad, considering we were the last family after waiting for our luggage. We were in the Magnolia Terrace in the mansions section of the resort! :) I was happy, because I always wanted to stay in one of the mansions.​


    Our trek to the room wasn't too bad, but to get to the mansions you have to walk around the entire pool, which was kind of annoying with suitcases! We ended up getting lost around our building looking for the elevator which was kinda funny. After walking around the building a few minutes, we finally found the elevators and made our way up to our room.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I was eager to ear and get to the parks, so we quickly got refreshed from our flight, got organized and packed our park bags, and headed to Riverside Mill. I had been wanting to try their Create Your Own Pasta since I heard about it. My mom and I both got Penne Alfredo with Chicken. For dessert, I got a sugar cookie and my mom got red velvet cake (which I picked at and let me tell you - it was delish!)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    We were filled and ready to hit the parks!!


    [​IMG]

    I wonder what bus we were to get on...... ;) Stay tuned!

     
  6. StephaniexMarie

    StephaniexMarie Have a zip a dee doo dah day!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    640
    Aw, thank you so much for joining! Glad to have you along. princess: :flower3:
     
  7. IheartDDuck

    IheartDDuck DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Messages:
    6,293
    It's always so nice when you meet people on the plane and have a nice conversation. On my trip down in November, I sat next to a really nice woman and we had so much in common that it made the whole trip go by so much faster.

    I love POR, it's such a beautiful resort. The mansion section is definitely the best.
     
  8. StephaniexMarie

    StephaniexMarie Have a zip a dee doo dah day!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    640
    This was the first time an occurrence like that happened to me! It was great. In my school there are two girls who are best friends and they met on a flight back to NY from Europe. :goodvibes It really is a small world.

    POR is great. I wish we were there for more than a weekend. We were planning on returning for a week in July before our week at the Poly, but I managed to talk my mom into going deluxe so we'll be at the Wilderness Lodge. :thumbsup2
     
  9. StephaniexMarie

    StephaniexMarie Have a zip a dee doo dah day!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    640
    Soon enough, the right bus came and we found ourselves here....

    [​IMG]

    Hooray for Hollywood :cool1:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I had been DYING to go on the Great Movie Ride ever since our Thanksgiving trip, so you can bet where our first stop was!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    To make things even better, we were in the second row, right in front of our guide!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This desolate bank is about to be in need of the :firefight :firefight :firefight

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Told you so. ;)










    Alien....ooooooh! This part always used to freak me out when I was little, but now I love it! Especially the mist that comes out of the ceiling.

    [​IMG]

    Mummy time.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That's a wrap! Don't ask why, but I absolutely LOVE the ride vehicles for this ride. :cloud9:

    [​IMG]

    We stepped outside the show building and I heard the familiar music of the Countdown to Fun parade. We were just in time to see the last couple of floats pass by!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


     
  10. IheartDDuck

    IheartDDuck DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Messages:
    6,293
    Did you get the Cowboy scene or the Gangster scene? I always get the Gangster scene. I think that I have only gotten the Cowboy scene once.
     
  11. StephaniexMarie

    StephaniexMarie Have a zip a dee doo dah day!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    640
    We got the cowboy scene. :thumbsup2 We normally get the gangster scene, too. This was only the second time we got the cowboy scene, and the first time was because we asked a CM first!
     
  12. StephaniexMarie

    StephaniexMarie Have a zip a dee doo dah day!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    640
    After we caught the tail end of the Countdown to Fun parade, we went over to Star Tours and went on once. After that, we walked by the Streets of America to reminisce how it looked months before....

    [​IMG]
    (Streets of America, circa November 2011)


    Yeah, it definitely did not look that beautiful in the middle of the afternoon in March!


    We figured there was not much more to do there, so we might as well humor ourselves and swing by Toy Story Mania to see if the wait wasn't too bad.
















    It was. :scared1:


    I don't remember the exact number, but it was way longer than either of us wanted to spend our time waiting in line for. So we decided to stop and get two Wheezy Breezy Freezies from the snack cart (aka, a slushie :thumbsup2) and make our way over to Beauty and the Beast - my mom's favorite! I had turned my back to order, but I was forced to turn back around when I heard my mom calling my name and laughing.


    She had found a new friend. :rotfl2:


    [​IMG]


    She LOVES the Green Army Men! And she even was saying how she wanted to get a picture with one of them just a few minutes prior. Her wish came true. :wizard:


    As we exited Pixar Place with our Wheezy Breezy Freezies in hand, we strolled towards Beauty and the Beast for the 4:00 show. We arrived about 15 minutes prior, and it was PACKED! We sat in the bleachers for the first time, which actually wasn't that bad. I liked sitting up high without being stuffed between people.


    As soon as the show was over, I believe I went on Rock 'n' Roller Coast. I must have not been in a picture taking mood at this point because I can't seem to find any evidence of this.


    As soon as I was done on both of those rides, the sunset seemed to be making everything picture perfect. We headed back down Sunset Boulevard to get to the hat and I had a fun time taking pictures in the GMR Courtyard!


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    We still had time to kill before the 6:00 American Idol show, so we decided to walk around Echo Lake and get pictures of the Dockside Diner and Gertie.



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    We even managed to get some photopass done, but unfortunately we forgot to buy the pictures we wanted before our 30 days ran out. I did manage to screencap one beforehand though.


    [​IMG]


    Not the best quality by a long shot, but it's the only picture I have at me at DHS from that day - so I'll take it. :thumbsup2


    We then went to the American Idol experience. It was the 6:00 show and WOWWWWW - was it empty or what?! Maybe it's a slow time of the day because it's the last show before the finale...but there were seriously only about 6 rows in the entire theatre filled up. It's a fun show, nonetheless, and we enjoyed it. :) Singing is one of my hobbies and I've considered auditioning for about two years now. I always chicken out though! Maybe one day....

    By that point, it was time for us to make our way to Fantasmic! before there were no seats available. We made a pit-stop at Sweet Spells for a few snacks, and then continued to make our way down Sunset Boulevard.


    I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Fantasmic! So much! When I'm on my Disney College Program in a few years, I'm going to be sure to see the show as often as I can. I just love everything about it. And the music! I listen to it on my iPod more times than I can even count... :goodvibes

    Here's a video of the finale I took on my iPhone 3GS.

    [​IMG]


    After the show ended, the crowds cleared, and we exited the park, we were not about to get back on the Port Orleans Riverside bus, no sirree! Where would we be heading? Here's a hint: there's a beautiful beach with fantastic views of a certain fireworks show in the Magic Kingdom! You think you got it now? :wizard:


     
  13. IheartDDuck

    IheartDDuck DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Messages:
    6,293
    I know where you were heading. It's a great location. ;)

    I have to admit, Fantasmic! is always the show that I miss. I guess I just don't like contending with the crowds that go, but it is a great show.
     
  14. StephaniexMarie

    StephaniexMarie Have a zip a dee doo dah day!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    640
    It sure is. But plans did not exactly go accordingly at this great location! :scared1:

    The crowds for Fantasmic! are INSANEEEEEEEEE, so my mom and I always end up waiting in the standing area in the back for about 10 mins so it clears out and we can actually walk back out to Sunset Boulevard, not be pushed along.
     
  15. mimiloveswdw

    mimiloveswdw Proud Hufflepuff

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Messages:
    2,210
    STEPHANIE! I was so excited to see your post on the TB and I kept meaning to read everything and post and I'm just getting to it now...SO

    Loving the Riverside pictures! I'd really love to stay there; it looks so so SO pretty! More pictures to come, I hope? :goodvibes

    WOW you guys had an INTENSE first day! More energy than my family and I could muster up haha! But what a magical one. Fantasmic AND Wishes?! Big wow there! Good for you guys.

    Did I see "when I'm in the Disney College Program" in there? Great goal! It won't really fit in to what I'm going to study, but I'm really happy you're seriously considering it!

    Anyway, I'm in for the ride!
     
  16. archdandy

    archdandy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    979
    I'm joining in! It's so awesome that you guys got a free trip! How cool is that? pixiedust: I can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip.
     
  17. StephaniexMarie

    StephaniexMarie Have a zip a dee doo dah day!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    640
    Hey Erin!! I've missed you! :hug:

    Haha we wanted to do as much as possible since it was just a short weekend trip...but just you wait...maybe my plans to watch Wishes didn't go accordingly. :scared1:

    Yes!! I've been looking forward to the DCP for a couple of years now. :cloud9: I'm thinking of majoring in Law but no matter what I major in - I know for sure I'm going to do the DCP. :wizard:

    Thanks so much for joining!!

    Thanks so much for joining!! :) It was so cool getting the trip for free - and while it wasn't our first free trip - it was the first free trip where we got to visit a VIP Lounge and have breakfast there. Definitely a memorable experience!! :cloud9:
     
  18. StephaniexMarie

    StephaniexMarie Have a zip a dee doo dah day!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    640
    This is the tale of the time I almost lost my reputation as a Disney expert. :scared1: Let me explain...


    Flashback to JFK airport, Thursday, March 8th. I was beyond estatic about the fact that I'd be in the middle of Walt Disney World in just a couple more hours. As my mom and I were going through airport security, a fantastic idea popped into my head. We could visit the Polynesian tonight and watch wishes from the beach while eating some Dole Whip! :cloud9: Sounds like a magical first night, right?


    As soon as the Fantasmic! crowds emptied out and we exited the amphitheater, we headed straight towards the Contemporary/Polynesian/Grand Floridian bus.


    Fast forward a little bit of time, and we arrive at the Polynesian! I was immediately flooded with all of the good memories our Thanksgiving trip held.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    We checked out Boutiki and then made our way to Capt. Cooks to get two dole whips and one coffee for my mom. Everything seemed to be going good.


    We made our way past the pool and onto the beach. There was a movie being shown, I believe it was The Lion King 1 1/2. People were in front of that screen and nowhere else on the beach. We secured a great bench to sit on. It was 9:45. I made a comment, saying, "Wow, I guess people don't want to watch Wishes tonight. :laughing:"


    15 minutes pass.















    No fireworks.


    :scared1:

    So, I got out my phone and checked my Park Hours app. It turns out......the fireworks for that night....were at 8.


    Whoops... :rolleyes1


    My mom and I had a good laugh on the beach, then packed up and started to head to the monorail. :rotfl:


    I snagged a few pictures before we left though. Here's our fantastic fireworks viewing location, with our bench to the right. ;)


    [​IMG]


    You can see the crane that was in Fantasyland from here.


    [​IMG]


    The Hawaii longhouse


    [​IMG]


    Contemporary from a distance


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    We hopped on the monorail (which I loveeeeee :cloud9: ) and walked past the Magic Kingdom entrance straight to the POR bus stop. The park was open until 11 that night, and I was SOOO tempted to head inside and just enjoy the atmosphere for 45 minutes, but we were both way too tired. So we went back to the hotel to rest up for a fun-filled day at Epcot!!!
     
  19. IheartDDuck

    IheartDDuck DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Messages:
    6,293
    I've had moments like that before, so your reputation as a Disney expert is definitely not lost. :lmao: Listen, at least you got fill your own Dole Whips out of the deal. Not a complete bust.
     
  20. StephaniexMarie

    StephaniexMarie Have a zip a dee doo dah day!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    640
    Ahaha good to know! ::yes:: Disney food, especially Dole Whips, makes everything better. :thumbsup2
     
  21. StephaniexMarie

    StephaniexMarie Have a zip a dee doo dah day!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    640
    On this beautiful morning, we had a mission. A mission to see as much of the Flower and Garden festival as possible! :wizard: But before that, we had a different mission. A mission to get breakfast! :banana:

    We made our way out of our room at about 10 in the morning and walked to the food court.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I decided to get the create your own yogurt parfait with strawberries, raspberries, granola, and obviously yogurt. ;) My mom got the Bounty platter without meat. I got a side of potatoes and a biscuit along with my yogurt.

    [​IMG]

    Mmmmmm! I love Disney breakfasts. :cloud9:

    We hopped on the Epcot bus shortly after, and soon enough we arrived here!

    [​IMG]

    I just loved the entrance topiary. I couldn't get enough of it!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This picture right here used to be my desktop background for a while

    [​IMG]

    In between all those pictures of the topiares themselves, my mom and I managed to get a PP photographer to take our picture. :goodvibes

    [​IMG]

    (Sorry for the not-so-great quality, but photobucket completely ruins the quality of my pictures!)

    I have a lot of English homework to finish up, so I'll continue this tomorrow. :)
     

Share This Page