Is 7 Days Enough to Make a First Timer Fall in Love??--Aug'11 TR-- FINAL UPDATE 8/26

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by heathsf, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. heathsf

    heathsf DIS Veteran

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    Welcome to my trip report! I'm excited to share all the details of our splendiferous trip. I promise there will be LOTS of pictures and plenty of food porn.

    Here's a link to my PTR: How to Make a Disney Skeptic Fall in Love with WDW

    We stayed at Pop Century from August 20 - August 26. I have stayed there for my last 5 trips in a row. We took advantage of the free dining promotion and upgraded to the regular dining plan (as opposed to the quick-service plan which is what you get for staying at a value resort). This meant we had 6 snacks, 6 counter-service, and 6 table-service credits to use throughout our trip.

    We'll start with the less interesting character - me!
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    This was my 9th trip to Disney World and I am just in love with the place! Pretty standard for the DisBoards right? My last trip was in February 2011 (just six months ago!) with my mom. This is the first time I have ever been to Disney World twice in a year. I speculated this might be true but now I have confirmed it: you can never get enough Disney!

    My boyfriend, Bobby, who I will refer to as BF throughout the TR. This was his FIRST TRIP!!!!!
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    I won't say that I forced him to go against his will, but this definitely wasn't a trip that he would have planned for himself. Luckily, he had me to plan it for him! :yay: My selling point for this trip was that I was redeeming Disney Rewards Points and was willing to share the savings with him. Aren't I a sweet girlfriend? :lmao:

    When we first booked the trip in October 2010 he seemed totally uninterested in going. When I tried to talk about anything Disney related I would get an eye roll, a deep sigh, and the response "I just want to be surprised when we get there." Thank goodness I discovered the DisBoards at this point or I really might have gone crazy without an outlet to share my excitement.

    As the trip got closer, BF started to show some interest in the trip and even some enthusiasm! We planned our ADRs together and I somehow got him to watch the Disney Parks Behind the Scenes DVD and the Modern Marvels episode about Disney World. I still received the occasional eye roll however.

    With the trip just a few weeks away, BF finally seemed genuinely excited to go, Hallelujah!! I knew he would love it once we were there...well, I was at least pretty sure...

    AND I WAS RIGHT! He may not have reached the fanatical levels of Disney-Lovin' that I'm at, but we had a great time. The pictures will speak for themselves...he hammed it up for the camera throughout the entire trip! :rotfl2: I think it will make for a fun trip report. So please, join me as I relive our trip!

     
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  3. heathsf

    heathsf DIS Veteran

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    Chapter Links:

    Saturday, August 20

    Part 1 - And we're off...
    Part 2 - Magical Express & Pop Century
    Pop Century Photos
    Part 3 - Arriving at Magic Kingdom and Lunch
    Part 4 - Dinner at The Wave
    Part 5 - More of Magic Kingdom
    Part 6 - Nighttime in Magic Kingdom


    Sunday, August 21
    Part 1 - "Around the World" Segway Tour at Epcot
    Part 2 - The Land and Some Phone Calls
    Part 3 - Lunch at Le Cellier
    Part 4 - Exploring Future World
    Part 5 - A Little More Future World & Some World Showcase
    Part 6 - Dinner at San Angel Inn
    Part 7 - Nighttime at Epcot


    Monday, August 22
    Part 1 - Starting Our Day at AK
    Part 2 - More Morning at AK
    Part 3 - Dragons and Tigers and Bats, Oh My!
    Part 4 - Finishing Up at AK
    Part 5 - A Hippy Dippy Swim
    Part 6 - Making Our Way to Wilderness Lodge
    Part 7 - Dinner at Whispering Canyon Cafe


    Tuesday, August 23
    Part 1 - Toy Story Madness
    Part 2 - Going Behind-the-Scenes of the "Behind The Scenes"
    Part 3 - Stars and Cars
    Part 4 - A Fantasmic End to the Night

    Wednesday, August 24
    Part 1 - Changing Plans
    Part 2 - Winnie the Pooh and The Mad Hatter Too
    Part 3 - Something New and Something Blue
    Part 4 - More Time in Tomorrowland
    Part 5 - A Visit to the Grand Floridian ~ Chapter 1
    Part 6 - A Visit to the Grand Floridian ~ Chapter 2
    Part 7 - Cirque du Soleil: La Nouba
    Part 8 - Sláinte! Dinner at Raglan Road

    Thursday, August 25
    Part 1 - An Unexpected Encounter (or Two)
    Part 2 - Eating & Drinking Around the World ~ Chapter 1
    Part 3 - Eating & Drinking Around the World ~ Chapter 2
    Part 4 - Eating & Drinking Around the World ~ Chapter 3
    Part 5 - First Time at The Poly
    Part 6 - Dinner at Ohana

    Friday, August 26
    Part 1 - Starting Our Last Day
    Part 2 - Enjoying Our Last Day
    Part 3 - Last Ride of the Trip
    Part 4 - Saying Goodbye

    Final Notes: TTFN ~ Ta-Ta For Now

     
  4. Terkina

    Terkina DIS Veteran

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    This I HAVE TO follow since I'm going to try and get a friend to fall in love with WDW :)
     
  5. calliecat

    calliecat Earning My Ears

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    I'm following now! I will be taking my BF for the first time too, so I'm definitely interested to hear how your trip went.
     
  6. Leshaface

    Leshaface DIS Veteran

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    Checking in!

    Can't wait to hear ALL about it and see the marvelous pictures that you guys took!

    Hopefully your BF can make an appearance on the boards soon! :goodvibes
     
  7. PixieMama

    PixieMama DIS Veteran

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    Lots of pics and plenty of food porn?! Count me in! :thumbsup2
     
  8. DizFan101

    DizFan101 DIS Veteran

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    I'm on board too. I just love hearing about first timers.
    We'll be going to Disney in November (definitely not first timers) but my cousin might join us and she NEVER been to Disney Holly wood Studios... :scared1:.

    So i'm looking forward to your trip report.
     
  9. StephaniexMarie

    StephaniexMarie Have a zip a dee doo dah day!

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    I'm in! :wave: Love your picture in the kimono. I've always wanted to try one on! :goodvibes
     
  10. FosterA

    FosterA DIS Veteran

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    Yay! So glad you made it back and had a great time. Give us all the deets! Remember, I've got a big job ahead of me trying to make my husband love Disney....well, at least admit to me that he's glad I made him come!
    I need all the advice possible and tell me what BF really was impressed by and what he didn't like etc etc

    Can't wait to see all the photos!
     
  11. Shaniyah

    Shaniyah Mouseketeer

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    I am in! I can't wait to hear about your trip!
     
  12. carri5317

    carri5317 Mouseketeer

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    Hope you weather the storm ok, Can't wait to hear all about your trip. popcorn::
     
  13. ZFamily5

    ZFamily5 DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! :thumbsup2
     
  14. Oliquig

    Oliquig Mouseketeer

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    I can't wait to see all your photos! Glad you had a great time and your BF enjoyed himself.
     
  15. sstewart

    sstewart Earning My Ears

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    I'm so looking forward to reading your TR....I'm going through the same thing with my husband. I am planning the whole trip around him to ensure that he will want to go back!
     
  16. heathsf

    heathsf DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: Thanks for joining in!

    :welcome: I hope you'll find this TR helpful! Is your BF looking forward to the trip?

    Thanks for coming by! I'm so happy you're here. I'm hoping BF will decide to join us too. I don't want to push it because he actually seems somewhat interested but I know if I annoy him too much he'll decide it's not worth dealing with! :rotfl:

    Yay! :yay: Thanks for coming over! And also for following along on Twitter! :thumbsup2

    :welcome: Thanks for joining in! Taking your cousin to HS for the first time will be so much fun. She'll get to experience the crazy rush for Toy Story Mania!

    :welcome: Thanks for joining! That kimono was sooooooo super soft and silky. It felt *amazing* on my skin. I really would have loved to buy it (although I'm not totally sure when I would wear it...Halloween?) but it was $85! They did have cheaper ones for $75 but that still wasn't in my budget. But oh-my-gosh was it comfortable!

    :yay: Yay! You're here! Thanks for coming over! I took lots and lots of notes and have plenty of details and pictures for you. I hope it will be helpful for you! I really truly believe that your family will start showing more excitement as the trip gets closer. Hopefully BF will decide to join in and can share some of his thoughts with you too. :thumbsup2

    :welcome: Thanks for joining in!

    Thanks! Even though it was a historically devastating storm, it actually turned out to not be as bad as they were predicting. We have some large tree branches down near our apartment but we didn't lose power. We were very very lucky because there are hundreds of thousands of people without power in NJ! :scared1: There was also lots of flooding but not in our immediate area. There are people whose basements have completely filled up with water and it's now rising past the first floor. I can't imagine how difficult their cleanup is going to be.

    Yay! :yay: Thanks for coming over!

    Thanks! We had a great time. I'm glad you came over for the TR.

    :welcome: and thanks for joining! I had fun trying to plan a trip that BF would enjoy. I hope that your husband has an amazing time and will be super excited to go back!
     
  17. heathsf

    heathsf DIS Veteran

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    Saturday, August 20 - Part 1

    My alarm was set for 3:30 am. Almost everything was packed and I wanted to take a really quick shower before we drove to the airport. Actually, we weren't really driving to the airport, but to an off-site lot just a few miles away. But anyway, I ended up not needing the alarm clock because I was awake at 3:10 and figured I might as well just get up. Oh, did I mention that I hardly slept because I was too excited? BF didn't sleep much either...but that's just because he found it impossible to force himself to go to sleep earlier than 11:30 pm. Or maaaaaaybeeee he was just a teeny bit excited himself, although he never admitted that. I woke him up at 3:40 and he certainly didn't look excited at that point. :confused3

    Our flight was leaving Newark Airport at 6:30 am. The plan was to be in the car by 4 am. We were actually in the car at 4:10. Not too bad. But we also decided at the very last minute to stop at the 24-hour Shop Rite and grab a box of cereal to put into little sandwich bags and eat as breakfast/an early morning snack while we're waiting at the rope drops :goodvibes This detour ended up taking a few more minutes than I thought it would and we weren't actually on our way to Newark until 4:30 am, the time I had expected we would be parking and taking the shuttle to the airport. I had left plenty of cushion room in our original plans so I wasn't too worried yet.

    As expected, there wasn't any traffic but once we got onto the turnpike, my gas light came on. I don't know how I didn't notice the day before that I had no gas in my tank! And now that we were on the turnpike, we wouldn't be passing any gas stations. I knew somewhere in my mind that we had more than enough gas to make it there...but somewhere else in my mind I started imagining my car sputtering and dying in the middle of the road, and being stuck there until after our flight would be leaving for Florida without us! Of course, that didn't happen. But I did manage to get lost on the way to the parking lot. This was another 10 minute detour as I couldn't figure out how to safely U-turn on whatever highway I had ended up on. We got there eventually and it only took a minute to drop off the car key and hop into the shuttle. We were at the airport only 5 minutes later at 5:10 am.

    Next obstacle: checking baggage. There were crazy long lines both inside at the Continental desks and outside at curbside check-in. We opted for curbside and stood on line for 20 long minutes while I obsessively counted the people in front of us, counted the number of attendants checking bags, and counted the minutes ticking by on my watch. I was seriously worrying that we wouldn't be permitted to check our bags if we were within an hour of the flight. BF, however, was totally cool and relaxed. Or just too tired to even notice what was going on around him.

    Once we finally checked our bags I rushed into the airport to security (it was good practice for getting fastpasses for Toy Story Mania later in the week) but thankfully the line for security was fairly short and moving quickly. We arrived at our gate just 10 minutes before boarding was supposed to start. I was so relieved we weren't late that it took me a moment to comprehend what was displayed on the sign at the gate.

    "Flight CO 1647
    Departing at: 6:30 am
    Now at: 8:20 am"

    Whaaaaatttt!!??!!?? My first thought was, "Okay, this must mean that we're going to land earlier than expected. We'll be in Orlando at 8:20 instead of 8:58." But then I remembered that airlines would never post anything like that and it must mean we were delayed. I asked the woman standing next to me and she confirmed it. All that rushing and stressing and we would now have to wait at the gate for 2 hours! :headache: Apparently lots of flights had been cancelled the night before due to strong thunderstorms and this was pushing back flights today.

    I checked the flight status on my phone because I knew they sometimes posted the reason for the delay on there. How did I know this? Because my flight to Disney World in January was delayed 3 times before it was ultimately cancelled because the flight had no crew. It had been the day after a huge snow storm and even though the weather was fine that day, things were just too backed up from the previous day's cancellations.

    So I checked my phone and found that the reason for the delay was "awaiting arrival of crew." Uh-oh. This made me veerryyyyy nervous. Could this really happen to me twice in a year? I happened to glance over at the empty gate next to us and saw that that flight, which had been scheduled to leave around the same time as us, had been cancelled. At this point I was convinced that we wouldn't be making it to Disney World that day. I was expecting the flight to be pushed back again, and again, and eventually be cancelled. I was devastated. BF thought I was being way too pessimistic but I just couldn't shake the feeling that things were not going to end well. Every time an announcement was made at the gate I thought for sure they were about to tell us the flight was cancelled. Most of the time they were just asking for a specific customer to come to the desk. After 40 agonizing minutes of waiting, they did eventually make an announcement about our flight. They apologized for the delay and announced that the crew had arrived and we would not be as delayed as they originally thought. They asked us not to leave the gate because we would start boarding in just 20 minutes at 6:50 am. :woohoo: Woohoo!!! I was *SO* happy to be wrong! Most people started clapping and cheering at this point and I was one of them. BF was still half asleep.

    We didn't actually board until 7:15 but I was just so happy to be going! We took off at 8 o'clock on the dot. It was a very short, very smooth flight. I only slept for about 20 minutes but BF slept through most of the flight. At 10 am, we had arrived in Orlando!

    Up Next: An update with PICTURES! I *promise*!

     
  18. IheartDDuck

    IheartDDuck DIS Veteran

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    I'm joining. I'm excited to hear how the first timer liked it. I'm taking a first timer myself in October.

    I'm glad your flight wasn't delayed the way they thought it was going to be. That would have stunk. I'm like you. Whenever a flight gets delayed even a little, I have visions of cancellations.
     
  19. heathsf

    heathsf DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: Thanks for joining! If I had to wait two hours at that gate I would have gone crazy expecting the worst! It makes me feel a little better knowing that I'm not the only one! :lmao:
     
  20. PixieMama

    PixieMama DIS Veteran

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    Whew! That was some start to your trip... but glad it all worked out in the end! :goodvibes

    LOL, I would've been stressing, too... and my DH would've been the same as your BF, trying to get me to chill out! They just don't know how stressful it is when plans go awry!
     
  21. heathsf

    heathsf DIS Veteran

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    Saturday, August 20 - Part 2

    We were sitting near the back of the plane so we were one of the last people to get off. I figured many (if not most) of the people on our flight would be heading to the Magical Express and they would be getting on line ahead of us. I accepted this and figured there was no reason to be rushing through the airport to get there. We skipped baggage claim and I told BF to go ahead and get on line while I went to the bathroom. I figured he wouldn't even be at the desk before I got back.

    Well, no one had to stop at the desk to check-in before getting on line for the bus. This was different than every other time I had used ME. When I got out of the bathroom, he was just being directed to the Pop Century line. There were two CMs checking vouchers and showing people were to go.
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    And I was right about all the people who would be ahead of us.
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    Except they weren't just from our flight. This was by far the most crowded I had ever seen this waiting area. In February, during President's Week, there were ZERO lines here to wait to board the bus. We even had to wait on the bus for about 15 minutes for it to fill up. I was pretty surprised to see lines this long.
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    Our line twisted around a few times before actually leading out the door to the bus. They had some TVs around to keep us entertained.
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    After standing in one place for a while, the line finally started moving quickly. We boarded the bus at 10:45. I was very happy to be on an official Magical Express bus and not a plain yellow Mears bus.
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    Soon we were on our way and the Welcome video began playing. BF was totally into it. I was so excited at this point I could hardly contain myself. I took a covert picture of BF watching the video. See how focused he is? :rotfl2:
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    Some sequential photos of us approaching "the sign":
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    I just couldn't believe we were actually in Disney World! I had been waiting for this moment for almost an entire year and it had finally arrived! Even BF seemed excited at this point! :woohoo:

    Not long after that we were arriving at Pop Century.
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    Good thing we did online check-in. There was no one on line ahead of us, yet the line for the regular check-in was quite long.
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    At first, the CM checking us in told us that our room wasn't ready. :sad1: Then she disappeared for a few minutes and came back to tell us that it was! :banana: I'm not sure what changed while she was gone but I didn't care! It wouldn't have been a big deal if the room wasn't ready, but it was very convenient that it was! Now we could change our clothes and put on sunscreen in our own bathroom instead of the main building's bathroom. We also didn't have to worry about leaving our carry-ons at luggage assistance.

    We were in the 50's section, building 3, first floor. I'd always been on upper levels in the past so this was a nice change. We had no view whatsoever (except for a few bushes) but that was okay with me! Our room was right behind Tramp, very close to the bowling pin pool. I was very happy with it. We didn't get a King bed but that's okay. This picture is misleading, there are actually two full beds in the room but since we had already dumped all our stuff on the other bed, I strategically left it out of the picture :goodvibes
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    I'm going to pause now to post some Pop Century pictures that I took over the course of the week. Then I'll continue where we left off...

    Up Next: A quick look at Pop Century

     

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