Friends Reunited - TRIP REPORT!! - COMPLETE

Discussion in 'UK Trip Reports Board' started by BethEJo, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. BethEJo

    BethEJo <font color=blue>I left the house at 5.45am - that

    May 27, 2008
    PTR - see below :)
    26-27/04/2013: The adventure begins #1 (post 60)
    26-27/04/2013: The adventure begins #2 (post 61)
    28/04/2013: The first day is always Magic Kingdom #1 (post 73)
    28/04/2013: The first day is always Magic Kingdom #2 (post 74)
    28/04/2013: The first day is always Magic Kingdom #3 (post 75)
    29/04/2013: Everything Epcot #1 (post 87)
    29/04/2013: Everything Epcot #2 (post 88)
    29/04/2013: Everything Epcot #3 (post 89)
    30/04/2013: We're off to Hollywood #1 (post 102)
    30/04/2013: We're off to Hollywood #2 (post 104)
    30/04/2013: We're off to Hollywood #3 (post 105)
    01/05/2013: Going wild at Animal Kingdom! #1 (post 113)
    01/05/2013: Going wild at Animal Kingdom #2 (post 114)
    02/05/2013: How much for this dolphin? #1 (post 118)
    02/05/2013: How much for this dolphin? #2 (post 119)
    03/05/2013: Shop til' we drop! (post 135)
    04/05/2013: Ah wimba wey, ah wimba wey... #1 (post 139)
    04/05/2013: Ah wimba wey, ah wimba wey... #2 (post 140)
    05/05/2013: Ohana means family #1 (post 155)
    05/05/2013: Ohana means family #2 (post 156)
    06/05/2013: That's some imagination, huh? #1 (post 165)
    06/05/2013: That's some imagination, huh? #2 (post 166)
    06/05/2013: That's some imagination, huh? #3 (post 167)
    07/05/2013: Splishy splashy! #1 (post 183)
    07/05/2013: Splishy splashy! #2 (post 184)
    08/05/2013: Shamuuuuuuuuuu! #1 (post 193)
    08/05/2013: Shamuuuuuuuuuu! #2 (post 194)
    08/05/2013: Shamuuuuuuuuuu! #3 (post 195)
    08/05/2013: Shamuuuuuuuuuu! #4 (post 196)
    09/05/2013: We have the keys to the kingdom! #1 TOUR SPOILER (post 207)
    09/05/2013: We have the keys to the kingdom! #2 (post 208)
    10/05/2013: Until we meet again Magic Kingdom! #1 (post 220)
    10/05/2013: Until we meet again Magic Kingdom! #2 (post 221)
    10/05/2013: Until we meet again Magic Kingdom! #3 (post 222)
    10/05/2013: Until we meet again Magic Kingdom! #4 (post 223)
    11/05/2013: Don't make me go home (post 235)


    Seeing as its just over a month (33 days in fact :scared1::scared1: ) until we head back to WDW, and also seeing as how Ive just finished my medical school finals and am currently on a weeks break before being shipped off for my last ever placement, I thought this would be the perfect time to start a bit of a PTR!!

    Ive been reading through the TR board recently, and have gotten all inspired to do my own! :goodvibes I of course fully intend to do a full TR on arriving back to the UK, but might manage a few live updates whilst there too!

    So...are you sitting comfortably?​

    First, introductions. Im Bethan: a Disney mad (actually, just generally mad&) medical student from Wales. Although not for much longer; as mentioned, Ive just completed my finals if everythings gone OK and no resits are required, then I have been offered my first junior doctor job in Liverpool! Im terrified beyond belief, but its something I enjoy doing, and so I suppose I'm a teeny bit excited too! And the prospect of finally earning a proper wage... six years in university is a loooooonng time! On the whole, Finals went... OK; they seriously could have been a lot worse! No major disasters apart from managing to give myself a needle stick injury with a suturing needle during my last exam though!!! Im putting it down to nerves, but it was highly embarrassing... and painful lol! Although, I shouldnt complain, a colleague of mine actually got peed on by one of her patients during her exam!

    Anyways, enough of the gory stories! Although theres plenty more where they came from...

    (By the by, I would just like to apologise for something here - you can see already, that I often like to go off on a bit of a tangent. Yeahhh... I'm guessing that might happen a lot throughout all of this. Sorry! :goodvibes)

    My fellow travelling companions and fellow Disney-ites consist of Emma my best friend and ex-Disney College Program roommate (more about that in a moment) who currently works in production design in TV, and whos from Lichfield; Jo a great lass from Wigan whos currently working in recruitment and who Im looking forward to spending a lot more time with when I move to Liverpool; and Tanya our American friend from Wisconsin whom we all met on the Disney CP, and now, honorary Brit (as per her request)!

    Here we are:

    From left to right: me, some awesome little fella' called Pinocchio, Tanya, and Emma...

    ...and here's myself and Jo at our Disney CP 'graduation'. I like to think we graduated with a 'mousetars' or a 'ducktorate' :rotfl:

    Sure, were a group of friends who all seem a bit& spread out! However, we all have one thing in common we all worked for WDW in the Summer of 2011! :cloud9: That is where we all met, and we, along with many others dotted around the UK and the world, have been great mates ever since!! I know Ive mentioned it tonnes, but it really was the best three months of our lives truly unforgettable!! :cloud9: A bunch of us have been itching to get back for a visit ever since, but its finally become feasible for the four of us this year :) Just as a teeny bit of background to our roles at WDW: I worked at the Honey I Shrunk The Kids playground in DHS, Emma and Tanya worked in Merchandise at the Contemporary Resort and Jo was a Fairy Godmother in Training at BBB!
    Were looking forward to revisiting all of our old co-workers and all of our old haunts, as well as shopping until we drop and just generally playing in the parks like the the big ol kids that we are!!!

    Now onto the plans! We booked this back in June last year under the free dining offer. Originally we had booked April 27th May 11th, staying in POFQ with the QSDP. However, over the next month we started compiling a list of things that we really wanted to do, with a lot of them turning out to be TS restaurants. The decision was easy we may as well just upgrade to the standard DDP. However, the difference in cost wasnt really much different to upgrading to staying at OKW with the DDP then free as standard, and so that is what we did! :)

    We had visited the resorts various times during the College Program, but I personally have never stayed onsite before! Previous trips with family have always been offsite, so I am just uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuber excited! :cool1:

    As mentioned, we depart on April 27th;
    - Emma and I will fly direct with BA from LGW;
    - Jo is flying direct with VA from MAN (she was originally on the BA flight from LGW with us, with a connection from MAN to LGW, but there was a hoo-haa and BA have gone and cancelled all those&);
    - Tanya is flying up/down/across (apologies, my US geography is clearly appalling!) from Wisconsin.
    Our flight times are perfectly in sync, as with the added time itll take us to get through immigration and with Tanyas slightly later domestic arrival, we should all be ready to jump on the ME at roughly the same time! Couldnt have timed it any better if wed tried!

    As many mention, the holiday starts the moment you leave the house, and so Emma and I will be heading to Gatwick the night before, with a room and dinner booked at the Travelodge at a great price. Ive also arranged parking for the two weeks I would normally catch the National Express from Cardiff, but as Im finishing my last ever placement that same day, I have no idea what time Id be able to make it to Cardiff for the bus. Im not looking forward to the drive home at the end of the holiday at all, but needs must :) I envisage singing (i.e. screeching) along to various Disney CDs and numerous cups of service station coffee to keep me going!

    So, I guess thats pretty much the background you know who we are, our plans at the airport, where were staying and when were going& all Ive failed to tell you is what I had for breakfast this morning!

    Next, Ill pop up some of our plans and ADRs!

    And in case you were wondering, it was poached egg on toast! :thumbsup2
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  3. disney_princess_85

    disney_princess_85 <font color=blue> Liked the <img src=http://photop

    Jan 11, 2009
    How exciting! Looking forward to hearing more. ::yes::
  4. BethEJo

    BethEJo <font color=blue>I left the house at 5.45am - that

    May 27, 2008
    Like many of us here, I do love to plan. I see myself as a bit of a ‘Monica’, and get a major kick out of planning… and not just for Disney, pretty much just anything where I can create some sort of schedule or itinerary! Therefore, we pretty much had all of our ADR requests sorted 4,000 days out :)

    Now obviously that’s just a teeny bit of an exaggeration, but when our 180 day window came around in October, I was ready and poised on a computer in the medical school library at 12 noon to make those ADRs! Technically, that was not where I should have been at that moment, but this girl has her priorities :rotfl:!! So here’s what we’ve got:

    Apr 28 – Be Our Guest (D)
    We will definitely be in MK for our first day, and this restaurant is an absolute must! :lovestruc the pictures and reviews I’ve seen of it so far! They could literally just be serving ‘grey stuff’ for all I cared – I’m just excited to see the whole Beauty and the Beast theming!

    Apr 29 – 50’s Prime Time Café (L)
    This is a new one for us, and something that we all decided would be fun to try!

    Apr 30 – Rose & Crown (D)
    Another new one for us, and it became a ‘definite’ for two reasons; firstly, we’re hoping to tie it in with being able to see Illuminations from the restaurant, and secondly, a few of our friends from the UK who we met on the College Program, have now gone on to work in Epcot for a whole year at the UK pavillion as part of the Cultural Representative Program! It will be great to see them. :goodvibes

    May 1 – Chef Mickey’s (D)
    We love character meals, and this is a great opportunity to visit the Contemporary for Emma and Tanya!

    May 3 – Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show
    We decided on doing one dinner show this trip – we did Hoop Dee Doo back in 2011, and personally, I would have more than happily revisited! However, we decided that it would be nice to do something new and therefore opted for this. We hope to shop, shop, AND shop this day, before heading to the Poly to enjoy this in the evening!

    May 4 – Tusker House character breakfast
    Again, another compulsory character meal, and again we have chosen something new :) A good base for starting the morning at AK!

    May 5 – Ohana (D)
    We had trouble getting reservations for Ohana during our summer on the College Program and so have been dying to head there ever since! It was a tough toss up between breakfast (well, only for me really as I have a bit of an obsession with Lilo and Stitch…) and dinner!

    May 6 – Biergarten (L)
    We had a group reservation for this at the end of our summer in 2011, but ended up cancelling to watch Illuminations together one last time *sniff*! It looks fun, and it just made sense to try and return this year!

    May 7 – Raglan Road (D)
    We always loved a night out at Raglan Road – many great memories were made there! I’m looking forward to this one!

    May 9 – Jiko (D)
    We decided that we must also include a ‘Signature’ during our trip – any excuse to dress up! We dined at California Grill when at WDW in 2011, and were disappointed to find out that it would be closed during our trip this year! I will never forget watching Wishes from the balcony, and we had a fantastic meal! However, that was just another push for us to choose something new again, and after much deliberation we opted for Jiko. No idea why! This will be an early dinner at 17:30, as we then have the preferred viewing booked for Illuminations later that night.

    May 10 – Cinderella’s Royal Table (B) + afternoon tea booked at the Grand Floridian booked for late afternoon
    We wanted to do something memorable for departure day! I’m pretty sure we’ll be spending open to close at MK on our last day, and so CRT was the natural option. That and the fact that Emma had to get a princess-based activity in! princess: The tea at the GF in the late afternoon will be a nice break, and will be where we commemorate Tanya’s role as an honorary Brit! She’s actually been practicing her English accent – it’s far better than mine!!!!

    The super eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that there are two days where we have no ADRs booked:

    May 2 – we have tickets for Discovery Cove (waaaaahhhh!! Breathe Bethan, breathe!!). That night, we then plan on going to Ale House at the Crossroads where we will be indulging in Mountain Melts for old time’s sake! This is where the Contemporary Resort Merchandise CM’s often hang out after their shifts, and so we will be joined by some of Tanya and Emma’s old co-workers. It should be a fun night!

    May 8 – our allocated Seaworld day at the moment! Although I love SW sooooo much that I may have to sneak in another little short visit there! We have gone ahead and booked the Dine with Shamu thingy-ma-jig for dinner.

    There are also many other things that we have pencilled in, including: drinks at T-Rex, Margaritas in Mexico, ice cream at Beaches & Cream (but NEVER the Kitchen Sink again :crazy2: ), the Disney Jr Dance Party (yes, we love that!) etc, etc… and we also have the Keys to the Kingdom tour booked for May 9th :hyper: :hyper: :hyper: You get a quick backstage introduction to MK during your Disney CM training (again, another unforgettable experience pixiedust: ) – we just wanted to experience a little bit of that again, plus the tour is much longer – winner!

    I should also mention that Tanya and Emma have signed up to do the Expedition Everest Challenge at AK on May 4th. Now as fun as it sounds, the prospect of doing 5K brought me out in a sweat! I felt sick when asked about it lol! Sure, it looks amazing, and seems to be more of a scavenger hunt, but I just didn’t want to let anyone down by possibly not being able to keep up the pace! Therefore, Jo and I have decided to head to Applebee’s that night! Jo and I used to visit Applebee’s regularly during the College Program as it was conveniently located across the road from one of the Disney CM appartment complexes. We’d indulge in a few (ahem, many) beers and some appetizers, which ALWAYS included our favouritestestest spinach and artichoke dip! We’d then have to plot how we’d get back in to the aforementioned CM appartment complex (which wasn’t our ‘home’ complex by the way, and therefore were technically not allowed in after 9pm :worried: ) to be able to catch one of the cast buses back to our own complex. It would be a crime not to revisit, and this time, we’ll just opt for a cab home! I’m anticipating a teeny tiny hangover the next morning! :hyper:

    So that’s a brief (or not so) run down of our plans thus far – of course, anything could still change. I still have some of the less fun stuff to organise i.e. insurance, money, trying to find holiday clothes etc etc. but won’t bore you with the details of that just yet!

    I’ll leave it there for now I think – I hope to see some of you come along for the ride! :moped:
  5. MrsTigger

    MrsTigger <font color=green>DLRP board....guaranteed to make

    Sep 7, 2008
    Well done on your completing your finals! Wow three months in Wdw I bet that was amazing with lots of great memories!
    Looking forward to hearing more, we arrive the day you leave!
  6. Tinkerbell1989

    Tinkerbell1989 DIS Veteran

    May 17, 2010
    Definately looking forward to hear more! And you'll be there over my birthday (in fact, youre doing the tour on my birthday, which was my birthday present last year for our october trip!), so im interested about the weather and crowds because im determined to go for my birthday one year! Xx
  7. Wills Mom

    Wills Mom DIS Veteran

    Jul 22, 2012
    Yay! Delighted you're doing a PTR :goodvibes Can't wait to read more, the plans sound brilliant so far. Love the idea of afternoon tea at GF for Tanya!
  8. burly

    burly DIS Veteran

    May 6, 2004
    I'm in! :surfweb:

  9. pascalstongue

    pascalstongue DIS Veteran

    Jul 23, 2012
    I'm joining in too. All your plans sound great.
  10. Tammy Stringer

    Tammy Stringer <font color=red>I love babies - all milky and baby

    May 5, 2002
    Hi Beth firstly congratulations on finishing your finals - hope everything goes to plan and you will enjoy your first proper job in Liverpool - how exciting.

    Love your planned trip - meeting up with your old friends and re-visiting old stomping grounds.

    Hope you have an amazing time.

    By the way India talked an old Uni friend into applying for the Disney Cultural Representative programme and she was successful and is flying out in April to work at the Rose and Crown - so if you see an Anna from Gloucestershire be sure to say hello to her. She has never been to WDW before only DLP so she is in for an amazing time.

    Can't wait to read more when you get back

  11. Laurafoster

    Laurafoster DIS Veteran

    Aug 7, 2005
    Glad you started a PTR. Congratulations on your finals too :)

    Plans sound amazing so far. We loved the Keys to the Kingdom tour, we have done it twice and really enjoyed it.
  12. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

    Oct 29, 2012
    I'm in! :thumbsup2
  13. Chilly

    Chilly RIP Tag Fairy

    Apr 25, 2006
    Good luck with the job in Liverpool.

    I bet you'll have the best time on holiday.
  14. irenep

    irenep DIS Veteran

    Aug 21, 2007
    Your trip sounds like great fun and I am sure it will be amazing.

    Well done getting through medical school - sounds like your finals have gone well. My eldest DS has just finished (and passed) his too- phew! Good luck in Liverpool too!

    Looking forward to hearing all about your trip:thumbsup2
  15. BethEJo

    BethEJo <font color=blue>I left the house at 5.45am - that

    May 27, 2008
    Yay :cool1: Thank you!

    Thank you! Yes, the memories are priceless :goodvibes Not long to go for you now either; where are you staying?

    Have heard mixed things re: the weather... as long as it's warmer and even just a tiny bit drier than Wales then I'm happy! I've only ever been at the height of summer before so am used to it being hot, hot, hot!! And that's just the way I like it :) Have heard that crowds at the end of Apr/beginning of May are not too bad!
    What are your thoughts on the tour?

    You persuaded me :) Am sooooo looking forward to afternoon tea!

    Hey :wave2:

    Thank you :)

    Hi Tam, thank you! I will definitely look out for Anna! The UK lot look really close out there on the CRP - have been following some of them on Facebook. They always look like they're having a great time!!

    Thanks Laura :) Glad to hear that you enjoyed the tour!!

    Hiiiii :wave2:

    Thanks Claire; as time goes by it's all getting a lot more 'real' :worried: Found out yesterday that I'll be spending four months in my first year working in A&E - I certainly was not expecting that; thought I'd have nice quiet rotations to start off to ease me in lol!

    Hope you're well :goodvibes

    Congratulations to your DS! Hope he's enjoying his time until graduation :)

    Thanks for all the lovely comments :) I can't believe we're actually less than a month away now!!!? Two more days, and I can actually say "THIS MONTH" :cool1:

    Still have much of the boring stuff to sort out, but have finally made some progress with holiday shopping! Most of the clothes are sorted now - no idea why I was stressing about it! Had images that I wouldn't find any suitable shorts and dresses (I hate getting my legs out lol :rotfl:) and was worried I would have to spend the whole two weeks in jeans!

    I hope you all have a lovely Easter! I'm just about to head to Tenby in West Wales with a couple of my old Disney ICPers- it will good to see them, and I'm sure we'll have a great weekend in the caravan!

    Take care :)
  16. MrsTigger

    MrsTigger <font color=green>DLRP board....guaranteed to make

    Sep 7, 2008
    I know I can't wait!!!!! soon I can say I'm going to wdw next month. We're staying at CSR, it looks like a nice resort so hopefully we'll like it. Our last trip we stayed at Akl and loved it there.
    Have fun in Tenby, we had a few days in that around that area last year, it's lovely along the coast.
  17. Linda67

    Linda67 Has a Masters in Margaritas

    Aug 18, 2009
    Count me in for this one, it sounds like a really fun trip and a great way to reward yourself for all that hard work and study :thumbsup2
  18. Tinkerbell1989

    Tinkerbell1989 DIS Veteran

    May 17, 2010
    The tour was AMAZING! We thought we knew a lot about Disney, but we learnt so much! And it was so cool to go backstage and see how it all works behind the scenes! I guess if you have worked there and seen the Utilidors, you might not be quite so overwhelmed as we were, but it was definately worth it! I woukd love to do it again to be honest!

  19. Laurafoster

    Laurafoster DIS Veteran

    Aug 7, 2005
    I agree we loved it which was why we did it a second time. Second time was essentially the same tour but a different guide who told us completely different facts and stories so it was def worth it!

    I love seeing behind the scenes stuff. We were lucky enough to have a bridal photoshoot at MK one morning before the park opened (5am) and saw some great stuff then too :)
  20. DISWolves

    DISWolves Dreams really can come true !!!!

    May 26, 2007
    I like the look of your itinery :goodvibes
    Will you be taking any video clips as I reckon you will have some fun at 50's Prime Time.
    Looking forward to the rest of the report :thumbsup2
    Good Luck !!! with the exam results and a very worthy career.
  21. BethEJo

    BethEJo <font color=blue>I left the house at 5.45am - that

    May 27, 2008
    Yes, agreed - CSR does look lovely! Would love to hear your thoughts when you get back!
    We had a great time in Tenby - lots of fresh, sea air, we were out for the count in the nights! Have been to Tenby and the West Wales coast area multiple times a year for as long as I can remember. It's just a two hour drive from my home, and is gorgeous :goodvibes Glad you also liked it!

    Hey :)

    It's almost two years since I was wandering around the Utilidors lost as anything on my very last night of the college program - I'm worried I'll get all emotional when I see them again pahaha :rotfl: I'm so glad you guys loved it; it just makes me more excited! Have been reading a few reviews and haven't seen many bad words said against it at all!

    I'm also itching to do the Future World tour thingy in Epcot, but think I might be alone for that one! I'm not going to book that one in advance though - will leave it until I'm there, and if it's meant to be, then it's meant to be :)

    Your bridal shoot in MK sounds great Laura! What kind of stuff did you see? :goodvibes

    One of my friends was considering buying a video camera in time for Florida, as they are also heading to Bali in September and wanted it for then too. If that doesn't happen though then hopefully we'll be able to capture some with our phones/ordinary cameras! There were so many moments that I wish I had captured on video during the college program, as sometimes, a photo doesn't do a great memory justice! Hopefully we'll rectify that this trip though - I will be much more conscious about videoing things during the trip now that you've mentioned it :goodvibes

    And thanks for the good luck wishes! Results are released in just a week and a half; my stomach flips faster the closer we get to that date!

    Not much to update on re: the trip! Except that we're just over three weeks away now and there is still so much to do!! Not that I'm complaining that the trip is so close now :cool1:

    I had a little panic during these past few days. I always knew that I would be on my last ever placement right before heading to FL - however, what I didn't anticipate was being sent to the other end of Wales for it, a whole 5 hours from home, more or less! I'm supposed to be heading to Gatwick on the last day of this hospital placement - this now potentially meant a five hour journey from North Wales to South Wales (back home), followed by a four hour journey to Gatwick! And then I suddenly realised - WHEN AM I GOING TO PACK?! :rotfl:

    So, as you do in these kind of situations, I had a little panic before I started thinking rationally :lmao: Hopefully, I'll be able to hand in all my paperwork on the very last Thursday of placement, meaning that I can escape Thursday evening. This will then give me Friday morning to pack and get ready - nothing like last minute is there?! Hopefully it will work out. And if it doesn't... then I'm still going to do that anyway!! :rotfl:

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