Having a "Me Party" - a Disney trip by myself! June 2013 update 9/9

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by librarygeek, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. librarygeek

    librarygeek DIS Veteran

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    Checking In and the Fantasmic Dessert Party

    So I left Atlantic Dance Hall and waited for a boat to Hollywood Studios. I guess my timing was off, since I think one had just left I ended up waiting about 20 minutes. I got on, got to HS, and went to the bus stop. Luckily I didn't wait too long for an AKL bus, so I hopped on that and before I knew it we were pulling into Kidani Village!

    I was so excited about this, since I'd never been to AKL and I'd been dying to stay here. The safari at Animal Kingdom very well might be my favorite thing in all of Disney World, so a resort with the animals around sounded perfect.

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    I made my way to check in and the process was very easy. I didn't have to wait at all. I mentioned that I had dropped my luggage off at the Grand this morning and he said they would get it and someone would send it up to me shortly. So I made my way to my room.

    Unfortunately, the way that Kidani is set up you basically have the lobby, and then two long stretches of hallway in either direction. It's kind of like a very large V shape. Well, my room was basically at the very tip of one of the ends, so I had to walk forever to get to it. Later in the trip I wore my pedometer and it told me it took .37 miles to get from my room to the bus stop. It wasn't too bad for me, but I could only imagine if I had my parents with me or someone who isn't as good walking a ton. Especially getting back from a long day at the parks it was kind of a bummer.

    But the room made everything worth it! I had a studio, which felt huge for just me. There was a queen bed and a couch. But of course the greatest part was my balcony with a savanna view!

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    I immediately rushed out to see if I could spot any animals, and I saw these guys right below me:

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    Grabbing my camera, I sat outside to take pictures and watch for other animals. I literally had almost nothing on me, since everything was in my suitcase. I checked in around 4:30 and was planning to leave around 6:30 to be at the Fantasmic dessert party. I waited for my luggage, and found some more animals to take pictures of as the time passed:

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    And I was still waiting for my luggage. I decided if an hour passed I would call down, but shortly before then around 5:20 I got a call from bell services saying they couldn't find it. I tried not to panic because I knew it had to be around somewhere. They said they would call the Grand and see what was going on. Finally about 15 minutes later they called and said the Grand had sent my luggage to Jambo house instead of Kidani, but they were getting it and would bring it soon! I was just relieved to hear it was okay! They didn't show up until around 6, and I unpacked a couple of things and then headed for a bus for Hollywood Studios.

    Not before getting a picture of this guy outside of the lobby, though:

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    So I arrived at HS shortly before 7, and many of the other wedding guests were gathering. A few hours earlier they had made the call to move the dessert portion inside (though we would still be led to view Fantasmic from the special seating). I didn't know where the inside location would be. The guides seemed a little disorganized, as it took quite a long time to get everyone into the park and on their way. And we started walking out in the opposite direction of Fantasmic. And kept walking. And kept walking. Finally we were led to a room off the side of the American Idol building, down past Indiana Jones and near Star Tours.

    The room was kind of small for the group. It really didn't hold 60 people, and a lot of people ended up sitting outside at the slightly damp picnic tables. The desserts looked good, though:

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    Until someone noticed that the fruit platter had moldy fruit. That's just unacceptable of Disney to put out something like that. They quickly replaced it, but it still should not have been there. My poor friend - there was a lot going wrong with this dessert party and I know she was getting a little upset by it. On top of the room being too small for everyone, it was also only accessible by stairs, so her 3 guests in wheelchairs couldn't come down to the main level.

    Aside from all of that, though, the desserts were delicious. I was counting this as my dinner, since I hadn't had anything else. I was very pleased to see Mickey pretzels, since those were a little more filling for "dinner." There were also ice creams, the fruit, and cake pops. The cake pops were adorable!

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    Around 8:30 they started leading us to Fantasmic. It needed to be then because it literally took us almost a half an hour to get to the viewing location. Once we were there everything was really nice, though. The private viewing area is in the back, so while you may not have the best view in the world you do have the fun of having your own private location. It was great to see it from this perspective.

    Then we had to wait a million years for the guides to lead us back out of the parks. They insisted it would be faster than trying to get through the Fantasmic crowds, but I'm pretty sure that was not the case. At the nearest opportunity I slipped away from the guides and made my way into the crowds and moved much more quickly! ;)

    I got back to my room at AKL around 11, called my husband briefly, and then headed right to bed - I had a lot planned for the next day!
     
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  3. DisneyKid4Life

    DisneyKid4Life DIS Veteran

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    Wow, what a lovely room. Even if I never do stay at AKL, visiting it will be a priority next trip.

    Thank goodness your luggage was found. Good on you for not panicking. I lost my wallet this past April in Disney (it thankfully was found), so I know what that can feel like.

    So strange for Disney to have a set up like that and, GAWD, moldy fruit. That's just so un-Disney.

    Those cake pops are cute though.
     
  4. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    Great pics! :goodvibes
     
  5. beachta1

    beachta1 Mouseketeer

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    Just joining in!

    Sounds like you got a lot accomplished on your first day at WDW. Wedding looks beautiful. Did they serve breakfast at the Dance Hall? And where is this special seating at F? I've read a lot of trip reports but it always seems couples go to Epcot for their dessert party. Having it at HS is cool and different.
     
  6. librarygeek

    librarygeek DIS Veteran

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    Yes, you should definitely visit AKL! Try to get a food reservation there - I ate at Boma and it was fantastic. I've heard Jiko and Sanaa are also great and I'll be trying them next time I'm there! AKL also has lots to do. During the day they have talks about the animals or cultural information, and at night there are night vision goggles so you can view the animals at night.

    Thanks! :)

    The food was really lunch food at Atlantic Dance Hall. The wedding started at 10am but by the time we got around to the reception and eating it was almost 1, so it made sense for it to be lunch. The pre-reception did have some pastries and muffins though.

    I agree that the Fantasmic dessert party was unique! The special seating is way in the back, behind everything else. It's pretty much dead center but behind the walkway that is behind the last row of normal seats. It's really just a big slab of concrete behind some railings, but they set up chairs for us there.
     
  7. librarygeek

    librarygeek DIS Veteran

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    My Thoughts on Traveling to Disney Solo

    In case anyone is interested, I wrote a post for my blog about traveling to Disney solo. It's basically all the advantages (as well as a brief mention of some of the negatives!) that I experienced while doing Disney alone!

    http://disneyinyourday.com/2013/07/12/traveling-to-disney-solo/
     
  8. ThePin Princess

    ThePin Princess disney princess

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    Just joining now! That wedding looked amazing!
     
  9. nutz2notz

    nutz2notz Mouseketeer

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    Looks like you had a great start to your solo trip. Looking forward to reading more. :thumbsup2
     
  10. heaven2dc

    heaven2dc DIS Veteran

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    Joining in! Loved the wedding photos - we were married on June 27th and our colors were the same! (that was a billion years ago tho but wish we had done a Disney wedding or at least Disney themed - loved the colors and the cake was so beautiful!).

    Your room has a fantastic view and so pretty! Can't wait to read more of your solo trip :)
     
  11. DisneyKid4Life

    DisneyKid4Life DIS Veteran

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    Becky, I read your blog post on Disney solo and I just have to tell you that you absolutely nailed it!
    Honestly I could not have laid it out any better, both the positives and they negatives.

    Everything you mentioned is exactly right from being able to do what you want when you want without the worry that your affecting anyone else. That's the biggest plus of all.

    And yup, the biggest negative (for me anyway) was whenever you had to wait in a line because, you're right, there's not a lot to do. Sometimes that can be overcome if you are able to strike up a conversation with someone else in the line (which I did on occasion), but that's not always doable.

    Nonetheless, I agree that the pros far out way the cons. Well done!!
     
  12. klacey1

    klacey1 DIS Veteran

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    I'm in! Aww, that poor bride. With that many issues, I would have been upset about the dessert party, too!
     
  13. librarygeek

    librarygeek DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! Welcome along!

    It was definitely a great way to start off the trip!

    Oh wow, congrats on your recent wedding anniversary then!

    Thanks so much!! I did enjoy being solo even more than I thought I would! ;)

    Yeah... luckily by the time we got to the showing of Fantasmic she was in a much better mood, but it would definitely be hard to deal with something like that on your wedding day!
     
  14. librarygeek

    librarygeek DIS Veteran

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    Magic Kingdom Morning and Cape May Cafe

    Well, I woke up bright and early to head off to that magical land called the Magic Kingdom! I was planning to go to breakfast at Cape May with the bride and groom and other wedding guests - they had a "farewell breakfast" planned that was pay your own way. The reservation was at 11. Since I was relying on Disney transport I would have to take a bus to a park anyway to get another to Beach Club, so I figured it made sense to arrive at MK at opening and maybe get a few rides in!

    I arrived just in time for the opening show. I have to admit that this was another point where the advantage of being by myself came in. That crowd outside before they let you into MK can get pretty tight. But with just myself I was able to manuever into a decent position for the opening show, and then get into the park (and around all of those strollers!) without it slowing me down too much.

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    Helloooo, castle!

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    I was a little bit torn about which way I wanted to head. Did I go right, to Space Mountain, or left to Splash? I had been talking about this conundrum with my husband the night before. After talking it out I decided tomorrowland made more sense, since I could probably do Space, Buzz, and Monsters Inc. in the time I had that morning. Plus early in the morning when it's not super hot and you have to be at breakfast in 2 hours is probably not the best time to get all wet.

    But then I was there, by myself in Disney World, and I knew I had to go on my favorite ride first thing - so Splash Mountain it was! I headed toward Frontierland.

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    Before I reached Splash I noticed Chip and Dale out for photos in their cowboy outfits. There was literally one person in line, as everyone else was heading towards Splash and Big Thunder. I figured, why not? and hopped on the line to meet them. I didn't think it would slow me down too badly, and even if I only got to ride Splash that morning that was fine with me, as I'd be back in MK later in the trip!

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    Then I continued to my favorite (at least one of my two favorites!) ride!

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    The good news is, I didn't have to wait at all! I walked right on easily, so I was very glad I'd stopped for a Chip and Dale picture when it wasn't crowded. Another advantage of the lack of crowds and being by myself so that I got my own row on Splash Mountain. It was kinda neat to get to experience the ride by sitting in the middle instead of off to one side! Plus, I didn't get too wet since I wasn't right up against a side where water would slosh in on you ;) After Splash I checked the wait for Big Thunder and it was only 5 minutes so off I went to that one! Another one where I got the seat to myself!

    It was only about 9:40 now, and I was planning to leave the park around 10:20 so I had enough time to try something else. I wasn't sure where to go, but I made my way toward the hub with thoughts of maybe trying to jump on Space Mountain if the wait wasn't too bad, or just take pictures around New Fantasyland. I checked my times guide and realized that Tiana was out doing meet and greets starting at 9:30 - I was right nearby and decided to go find her!

    I was successful, and only had a few groups in front of me so not much of a wait. Tiana is one of my two favorite princesses but I'd never had the chance to meet her before, so I was excited! Plus, one of the items on my Disney Bucket List is to get a picture with every princess. Tiana was one of the ones that I was missing. She was super sweet. She told me I had a great smile, and I told her I'd been trying to meet her for ages! She was just never around in the area when I was there before.

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    Since I was nearby I decided to go see Merida as well - she was another Princess I hadn't done. The wait here was definitely longer (I probably waited about 25 minutes), but once you got into the meet and greet area I was impressed by how much they had going on especially for the kids. The decor is really cool, and there's a coloring station and a practice bow and arrow shooting with a CM. The kids can go play while mom and dad wait in line!

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    Merida was sweet, very talkative haha. She also suggested a fun pose for our picture:

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    By then it was 10:15, so I made my way out of the park. I stopped for some photopass pictures and got a TinkerBell magic shot, and then picked up some Sorcerer's of the Magic Kingdom cards.

    The wait at the Beach Club bus stop was long. I probably waited about 25 minutes before I got on that bus. I knew it might be a long wait, since there are few people going back to the resorts at 10:30 in the morning. But the thing that really got me was that the bus was sitting there the whole time I was waiting, it just hadn't been given the orders to be able to go so it had to wait. It was annoying, and I know the bus driver felt bad, but I guess there was nothing to be done. Nevertheless, I made it to Beach Club right around 11.

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    We were a group of about 8 and seated right away. We grabbed some food from the buffet - it was a nice variety, and a pretty good breakfast buffet! We also got to meet Minnie, Goofy, and Donald in their beach wear.

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    I'm not 100% sure what that pose with Donald is really supposed to be? But he wanted me to do it!

    As a special surprise the parents of the groom offered to help pay for everyone, so I didn't even have to pay for this meal - even though I tried! The bride and groom were off to their resort for a bit but offered to drop me off at Animal Kingdom, which was my next destination for the afternoon. It was very kind of them, and I ended up at Animal Kingdom by 12:30!
     
  15. ThePin Princess

    ThePin Princess disney princess

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    Great update! I loved that picture of the castle! I haven't met Merida or Tiana either and I've wanted to for a while.
     
  16. lovelygirl1975

    lovelygirl1975 Mouseketeer

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    Subbing! :) Great pictures and the wedding looked beautiful. I was so concerned for luggage. Thank goodness that was worked put in a couple of sentences. :)
     
  17. librarygeek

    librarygeek DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! I was lucky to meet both of them!

    Welcome! Yes, even though the description was only a couple of sentences, and it was really only an hour and half that my luggage was missing, it did feel like forever! I was on the phone with my husband for a potion of it and he was keeping me calm, but then my phone battery was dying and with the charger in my luggage, well... but all's well that ends well!
     
  18. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    Love you pics! :)
     
  19. DisneyKid4Life

    DisneyKid4Life DIS Veteran

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    Hahaha, too funny that after all that you still went to Splash. Which is what I totally would have done as well. :thumbsup2

    Wait, did you copy my Bucket List? I had the same goal of a photo with every Princess, and Tiana was the last on the list. Of course then Disney went and coronated Merida, so now I'm back to missing one. I think I'll wait until she's in a Fastpass location though, hehe.
     
  20. klacey1

    klacey1 DIS Veteran

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    What a fun morning! You got some great character shots-- I love the ones with Chip & Dale and Tiana!
     
  21. librarygeek

    librarygeek DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! :goodvibes

    I know, Merida's line is usually crazy! I think if you can get there first thing it's a little better though. So funny about the bucket list - I just posted my whole Disney bucket list on my blog (http://disneyinyourday.com/2013/07/15/my-disney-bucket-list/)... so far I have 42 items on it but I'm always looking to add more! ;)

    Thanks! The characters are so fun!
     

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