Flying 2 days for 3 days at WDW is a SNAP! Final Thoughts 01/02

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by PrincessInOz, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Quick Links


    Introduction – Lucky Number 5
    A TR Preamble; in keeping with being Aussie
    Flying United or United - Getting from MLB to MCO
    Coronado Springs Resort

    Day 1 - Part 1: Mickey Cheating with Harry
    Update 1 – The Plan and the Reality
    Update 2 – A Beeline for HogWorld
    Update 3 – Ollivanders
    Update 4 – Hogsmeade
    Update 5 – The Three Broomsticks
    Update 6 – Running through IoA
    Update 7 – Day 1, Part 1 Conclusion


    Day 1 - Part 2: MK, DisMeet and MNSSHP
    Update 1 – MK and DisMeet: The Plan and the Reality
    Update 2 – Dinner with Pooh and the never ending Lemonade
    Update 3 – Prime pictures around MK
    Update 4 – HalloWishes fireworks #1 and Villains
    Update 5 – My first MNSSHP Parade
    Update 6 – Trick or Treat late at night
    Update 7 – Day 1, Part 2 Conclusion


    Day 2 - Part 3: The Other Special Event at the World, Epcot F&W
    Update 1 – The Plan and the start of Reality
    Update 2 – Arranging to continue a new DisFriendship
    Update 3 – The Mistake of NOT buying at WDW
    Update 4 – Blissful Bites at Epcot
    Update 5 – My Favourite Country and Snacking at Epcot
    Update 6 – Touring the rest of the World
    Update 7 – A clear NEW snacking favourite in Germany!
    Update 8 – Late afternoon in Future World
    Update 9 – Epcot at Night
    Update 10 – More Prime Night Shots
    Update 11 – The Conclusion


    Day 3 - Part 4: Disney Hollowood Studios
    Update 1 – The Plan and the start of Reality
    Update 2 – TSM Morning
    Update 3 – The Backlot Tour
    Update 4 – How the heck do we eat this snack?
    Update 5 – MORE Food at SciFi Diner!
    Update 6 – Ticking some items off my 'NOT' list
    Update 7 – A Mermaid and back to pack
    Update 8 – Day 3, Part 4 Conclusion


    Day 3 - Part 5: Magic Kingdom Again
    Update 1 – The Plan and the Reality
    Update 2 – Yo Ho Ho Prime Time…A Pirate’s Shot for Me
    Update 3 – Liberty Tree Tavern
    Update 4 – This is NOT Animal Kingdom
    Update 5 – Once is NOT enough
    Update 6 – Once is DEFINITELY enough
    Update 7 – HalloWishes second time round
    Update 8 – Boo To You Parade second time round - #1, #2
    Update 9 – Day 3, Part 5 Conclusions


    Day 4: Heading for San Francisco


    Day 5: Around Silicon Valley
    Update 1 – Stanford and Rodin
    Update 2 – Silicon Valley Food


    Day 6: Around Silicon Valley
    Update 1 – Half Moon Bay
    Update 2 – Last afternoon shopping
    Update 3 – Homeward Bound



    Final Thoughts



    princess::upsidedow
     
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  3. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Welcome to my second TR this year and my third visit to the World. This visit is one where I found a lot of lucky number 5's and almost included the number 5 in the TR ...

    I first visited WDW in 2005 and had an absolute ball. I was a seasoned LAND traveller; but thought it was well past time for me to experience Disney on a larger scale and the World did not disappoint.

    It took me 5 years to make a return journey and I timed this second trip with the Flower and Garden Festival.

    This is me...and I was celebrating my *ahem* birthday in May.

    [​IMG]

    We had just returned home from that trip and within 5 hours of our return, DH was advised by his work that they would like to send him to attend a 3 day conference at Coronado Springs Resort in late October 2010. After mulling it over for about 5 days, he decided that it will be worth his while to attend.

    I live in Melbourne Australia and it takes me about 24 hours of flying to get to Orlando. So, a trek out to WDW is something that takes a bit of planning before we can put it into action.

    I must admit that the thought of all that flying for 3 days is something that I was not keen on doing. Afterall, the equation was 2 days flying for 3 days at WDW; which is where the first part of the title for my TR has come from. As it turns out, we managed to add an additional couple of days to the trip as DH stopped off to visit head office in Silicon Valley on the way home.

    The SNAP bit? Well, it turns out that I took over 1500 photographs in the 3 days I was in Orlando; and an additional 300 photos in the Bay area.

    So, I hope you'll stick around to share my memories of this trip.

    princess::upsidedow
     
  4. marvel

    marvel DIS Veteran

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    hey princessinoz, as a fellow melbournian i will hopefully stick around, we tentatively have plans for next sept and went in 2007 so love to hear your trip details. I saw hopefully as I haven't too much spare time for the boards these days. but I would like a job where your husband works !! :thumbsup2
     
  5. ehsmum

    ehsmum Mouseketeer

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    Marking my spot! Can't wait to hear all the details :).
     
  6. Jade+3

    Jade+3 DIS Veteran

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    Yay - another TR!

    Love that photo count. I took 5000 in a month and thought that was bad.
     
  7. DisneyFirefly

    DisneyFirefly DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! :teeth:
     
  8. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Thanks for subbing in!

    YAY for Spot marked! Sadly, I can wait to write the details....and load the photos :rolleyes:

    Yes.....photo. count. just. great. :headache:

    :hug:
     
  9. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    For this TR, where possible I’d like to use an idea from Shush’s TR where she linked the reality of the TR back to the plans (or in my case the NOT plans) of the PTR. Thanks Shush.

    I love food; so food porn will be a feature of this TR. Anyone who finds this to be problematic because of dietary requirements should stop reading now.

    My camera equipment? I am shooting with a Canon T2i (or 550D depending on which continent you’re in). My lenses on this trip included the Canon 18 – 55mm f/3.5 – 5.6 IS, 55 – 250mm f/4.0 – 5.6 IS kit lenses and 50 mm f/1.8.

    And for those of you that do not know me, I’d also like to acknowledge the existence of one DS10, who may figure in the TR. We decided to leave DS at home with the grandparents because he had school commitments and because it was a lot of flying time involved compared to actual park time for this trip. Needless to say, DS was not happy.

    princess::upsidedow
     
  10. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    The plan:
    Well...it has NOT come down to the wire; as we still have 45 days left to go. DH had booked his flights! And it is:
    · United all the way from Melbourne to Orlando, via Sydney;
    · American Airlines back to San Francisco; and then
    · United from San Francisco back to Melbourne, via Sydney.
    I've also booked my flight today, same flights as DH; even if United is NOT my airline of choice.

    Sat 23rd: Groundhog day

    Depart MEL for MCO via SFO and I don't even want to know where else. It will be a surprise...NOT!
    We will arrive in MCO on the same day that we depart Melbourne because we cross the international date line and go back in time.
    Flying time will be something along the lines of 26 hours; and this is the leg of the trip that I am NOT looking forward to.

    (It always amuses me that there is incontrovertible global proof that Australia is AHEAD of the rest of the world....at least timewise).

    DH still has to confirm accommodation but at this stage I am assuming that we will be checking into Coronado Springs Resort before crashing!



    The reality:
    We left home at 8.30 am Melbourne time on the 23rd October and dropped DS off at the Grands. It was sad to say goodbye for the week but we knew we had made the right decision to leave him behind.

    We made good time to the airport. United is not my airline of choice but it was the airline that DH was traveling on for work purposes and whilst I did hold a serious internal debate with myself, I figured that it was probably marriage suicide if I chose any other carrier but United.

    Check-in was relatively painless. I probably brought more clothes on this trip than any other I’ve ever undertaken and my bag clocked 12 kgs (about 30 lbs) at weigh-in. I’d decided to overpack for this trip, as I did not want to spend any vacation time doing laundry.

    With time to kill, we did what any self-confessed foodie would do…we stopped off for a coffee break.

    [​IMG]

    Our poor carry-on bag just sat around waiting...

    [​IMG]

    It was a dark and stormy day….but at least our United plane WAS in the building! And much to my amazement, it actually left Melbourne on time at around noon for Orlando via Sydney and San Francisco.

    [​IMG]

    We had about 2 hours for the poor carry-on bag to sit around waiting in Sydney airport. This stretched out to 2.5 hours as that storm threatened to shutdown Sydney airport. Thankfully, the half hour delay was all that it ended up being as we had a tight connection at SFO for Orlando.

    Us? Well, there was no point stressing over something we could not change. Anyway, it was just about lunchtime and we decided that light and healthy options were the way to go.
    We split this focaccia and salad.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then it was time to re-board the flight and head towards SFO. Leg space is still at a premium in cattle class and whilst I have not flown on every airline in the world, I did feel that United seem to offer less legroom than other airlines. And the lack of in-seat entertainment reinforced our decision to leave DS behind. Afterall, it was bad enough for DH with ME asking “Are we there yet?” every 5 minutes – and that was even before we had left the Melbourne terminal! It would have been an interminable flight for DH with both of us asking in concert.

    Our flight from SYD to SFO was the bumpiest flight I have ever been on across the Pacific pond. And that’s saying something as I have actually made the crossing in a plane that was hit by lightning about 3 hours in. The pilot’s right hand really got a work out on the flight as I figure he must have raised it to turn on/off that Fasten Seatbelt sign at least 500 times during the flight.

    To cap my flight pleasure off, the movies being shown included Toy Story 3. I have not yet seen this movie; so when I saw this on the play list, I looked forward to spending some time in the squeezy seat to watch this. As luck would have it, just when the movie started and the Pixar lamp was starting to jump across the screen, there was a problem in the cockpit resulting in the pilot having to recalibrate something in the cockpit resulting in the movie system crashing. At least it wasn’t the other way round! But, when the movie system rebooted up, the system moved the program along to the next movie and TS3 never played.

    My only consolation on the 14-hour flight was that there was a group of about 6 friends traveling on the same plane. They were off to Pebble Beach, Vegas/Grand Canyon, Pheonix and LA on a 5 star golfing holiday. A couple of the lads hung out with me at the rear of the plane and we had a little competition for the best one-liners and bad puns that we could come up with. I like to think that I won with this:
    When I found out that they were heading to Vegas, I suggested that they might like to go to Fremont Street for the music/sound and laser show. One of them did not hear me correctly and asked if I said Fremon-tee Street; to which I replied “Not Fremon-tee Street. It’s just Fremont Street and you do NOT need to do the Full Monty there”.


    After 14 hours, we arrived safely at SFO at 10.30 am on the 23rd October, on the same day as we left Melbourne and earlier than we had boarded our flight from Melbourne. One of the quirks of crossing the International Dateline!

    We cleared customs and just made it to our connecting flight with minutes to spare. To my surprise, there was more legroom for this internal flight than on the international flight. Still no in-seat entertainment system.


    Ah well, at least we got a good New Moon rising view.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    We finally landed at MCO at around 9 pm and collected our luggage. As International Travelers and one’s that booked through the Disney website direct, we did not receive our bag tags and so needed to collect our luggage and take it to the bus. Most of the DisAussies do use an American TA and their TA will send the bag tags on to their home or to a hotel.

    We then headed here and checked ourselves in with Magical Express.

    [​IMG]

    Our destination and Disney home? Coronado Springs Resort.

    [​IMG]


    And we got in the queue.

    [​IMG]


    At this time of night, we got to go on the Cruise Line bus; rather than a bus with the Magical Express livery signs.

    [​IMG]


    My only bout of travel queasiness for this entire trip was when I saw these waves!

    [​IMG]

    Did you know that I could travel on just about any form of transport without getting sick except for sea-faring boats? Well, you do now!

    I took my seat as quickly and wondered how long more it would be before we saw a ceiling. Thankfully, CSR was the first port of call, which was great. I had gone without sleep for the entire trip so far and needed to put my head down.

    We checked in and got allocated a room on the third floor in Ranchos section 7A. For those of you that know CSR, this is about as far away from the main section and dining facilities as you can possibly get. I did ask if there was a closer room; but unfortunately the resort was pretty full up because of the conference. We got offered a lift out to the section on the golf buggy instead. By this stage, we had hit the 24-hour mark from when we flew out of Melbourne and the prospect of spending another 30 minutes trying to get a different room just seemed not worth it to me.

    It was after 12.30 am when we got to the room and crashed.


    The conclusion:

    My preference for not flying United internationally had not changed during this experience. I am still wondering if I made the right choice between United and marriage suicide :rolleyes:.

    However, flying United domestically is just fine and I would repeat this experience.

    I am glad that we did not subject DS10 to this experience.

    When you’re tired, never argue with anyone!

    princess::upsidedow
     
  11. kyl

    kyl DIS Veteran

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    Loving your TR. We were down the back in the Ranchos section as well. I so know how you felt, in the end I thought the same just get me a bed! It wasn't until about two days into our trip I thought to myself I really should of stood my ground and got a closer room. Hope you liked the resort though, we found it had all we needed.
     
  12. DVCAustralia

    DVCAustralia Mouseketeer

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    United has actually addressed the issue of leg room by having Economy Plus for years, which is six inches of extra legroom in a section just behind Business. For a few hundred dollars you can get an annual membership that allows you and another person travelling with you to get Economy Plus seats with ANY economy ticket on all United flights, both international and domestic, for a year.
     
  13. shushh

    shushh DIS Veteran

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    What a marvellous 1st 24 hours! I don't know how much better Delta will be compared to United. I've heard so many horror stories. Will just hope for the best I think! Or perhaps consider that marriage breakdown...

    CAn't believe I missed being the first person to mark a post here on your TR!
     
  14. manntra

    manntra DIS Veteran

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    Oh I am so tired reading about your day of travel :upsidedow
    I so regret not being able to meet up with you. :hug: I received your message later that day (we spent most of Tuesday at the pool and then DTD) and tried to call you back later in the night but it was not going through :confused: I was having a difficult time keeping 3 other girls together so that proved to be a bit of a challenge for me during the trip :rolleyes:
    I am looking forward to your trip and all of your (always) wonderful pictures :goodvibes

    Tracy
     
  15. ehsmum

    ehsmum Mouseketeer

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    That long haul is so not fun, but what can we do? Glad you made your connection and arrived safely.

    We flew United from LAX to JFK and they were fine internally. I actually found the crew to be the friendliest of all the US flights. I have flown UA to the USA many years ago and don't really remember the details but we are firmly a QF family now.
     
  16. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    I'm here! Yay! :yay:
     
  17. Mum from oz

    Mum from oz DIS Veteran

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    I found it!! Great TR so far, it sucks for us being soooo far from the world! Looking forward to food porn! :yay:
     
  18. DisneyFirefly

    DisneyFirefly DIS Veteran

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    You know, even though it would have been awesome to have a picture of all seven of us in front of the castle, I think you guys really needed to crash that night :lmao: So it's a good thing you forgot about 3am EMH :lmao:
     
  19. Travel Mum

    Travel Mum DIS Veteran

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    I think the cheapest fare we could get to Orlando from N.Z. is on United. We'd have to fly to Sydney and then up to L.A. etc so takes a lot longer than on an Auckland - L.A. direct flight. It doesn't really make sense to go backwards and then forwards if you know what I mean! But, the real kicker is the lack of in-seat entertainment as there is no way I could do without that on long haul flight when travelling with our children!
     
  20. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    By the time I got to the 2 days stage, it was time to pack up and leave :rotfl2:!
    I'm planning to have a whole post dedicated to CSR...took heaps of photos.


    I looked into the annual membership and in the end decided against signing up. I had thought to just pay the extra money at check-in for Economy Plus but in the end it never happened. We normally look for a carrier that has in-seat entertainment simply because it would be too painful to travel with DS without it. :)

    I think that if we do end up travelling in January to California and DH has tickets for United; that DS and I will just travel on Air NZ, VAust or Qantas.

    I also can't believe that you weren't the first person to mark a post on my TR :laughing:.

    Aww. I'm really sorry I missed you too. It would have been nice to have another drink together. I'm keeping an eye on your girls only PTR thread and enviously wondering how I can scheme a trip at the same time! :confused3

    Yes. Definitely happy to fly with them internally again.

    Yay! :yay: indeed!

    Thanks! Glad you found it too.

    If I had remembered it was 3 am EMH, I would have so been there! I knew it was EMH but thought it was a midnight close - for some stupid reason! Maybe I was still working in Melbourne time.

    I do know what you mean. On our return flight, there were a number of Kiwis on board. They flew from LA to Sydney, then Melbourne and then on to Auckland. I will never complain about having to route through Sydney again! (Okay - maybe not this year! No promises for next year :rotfl:)
     
  21. SoonerGirl

    SoonerGirl DIS Veteran

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    Oh my, I'm totally exhausted just reading about your travel day. I think I would have been questioning the wisdom of all that travel for just 3 days in WDW by the time I finally arrived!

    Mom & I were in Ranchos too, 7B I think, I'd have to look back at my pictures to be sure, and yes, it's a really long way from the main building! Thankfully they offered to take you to your room :goodvibes

    Can't wait to see all your pics!
     

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