Is this Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain?!?! Dec 10 - 15, 2012 (COMPLETE)

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by geckodani, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. geckodani

    geckodani DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Messages:
    771

    Hello, and welcome to my first trip report. Our trip took place on December 10 15, 2012. I didn't take notes, so I don't have every single move we made committed to memory, but it was a fantastically fun trip, and I'll share what I can!

    The cast of characters includes me (30) and my adorable Mom (older than 30).

    [​IMG]

    This trip was massively nostalgic for both of us, as I grew up in Anaheim, CA and spent much of my childhood at Disneyland. It almost got cancelled a handful of times, so it didn't really feel real until we were THERE! So, without further ado, I present, Is this Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain?!?!

    Day One: Arrival

    On December 10 we kissed our husbands good bye (after making sure we filled their food dishes and stocked the beer ;)) and headed off for a 12:00 flight to Orlando! The weather forecast looked positively dismal, but we decided to just go with the flow and have a blast.

    Our flight was uneventful, and we both lucked out with empty seats next to us (we were both on the aisles) and before we knew it we had arrived at MCO (landed around 2:45)! We walked down to the DME only to have just barely missed the last bus heading to POFQ ...

    But wait! A little pixie dust was heading our way as a cast member came over and told us, "Don't get too comfortable they have room on the bus for you!" So after only about 30 seconds in the queue we were on the bus and on our way!

    We then proceeded to attempt several self-portraits, most of which ended up with our heads cut off. This one turned out the best:

    [​IMG]

    It's funny, I had never really realized that I have my Mom's eyes until looking at this picture!

    We got to POFQ after a few stops at other resorts, and were quickly through the online check in line and settled into room 1142! My only request had been to be on the ground floor, and we were very happy with our room. Even though it was technically in one of the farther buildings, POFQ is so compact that it wasn't a bad walk at all.

    After a quick cheese steak sandwich at the food court (yum) we headed off to the Magic Kingdom! The plan for the night was to see the Main Street Electrical Parade, Celebrate the Magic, watch Wishes and ride the Haunted Mansion at least once.

    A MK bus pulled up almost immediately (we had incredible luck with the buses on this trip) and we were off! But wait - were those storm clouds in the distance?


    Day One: Arrival (see above)
    Day One: Is this Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain?!?
    Day Two: Does Goofy Like French Toast?
    Day Two: Stay Away Clouds!
    Day Three: Where the heck is Bus Stop 32?!?!
    Day Four: Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming.
    Day Four: Pillowworks!
    Day Five: Look Out It's Pooh Bear!
    Day Five and Departure: Feliz Navidad!
    A Few Final Thoughts
    A Review of Fast Pass+

     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. SAT887

    SAT887 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Messages:
    2,572
    Joining in!!
     
  4. geckodani

    geckodani DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Messages:
    771
    Day One: Is this Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain?!?

    After arriving at the MK, attempting not to cry at the very sight of it, and getting through bag check, we were headed down Main Street! Now, it was about 80 degrees, and the air was so thick you could chew it. This was really our only chance to see MSEP and Wishes, and I was eyeing those dark clouds with something akin to despair. MK was PACKED, so after browsing the Emporium for a few minutes we staked out a spot on Main Street to wait for the parade.

    Normally I'd have parked it in Frontier Land, but since we also wanted to watch the Celebrate the Magic and Wishes, we wanted to be on Main Street. We didn't manage a curb side seat, but we were only behind one family so it wasn't too bad. We waited for about an hour, playing the keep people from slowly moving in on our spot game, all the while those clouds were moving closer and closer!

    [​IMG]

    I had a pack of 15 glow bracelets with me, and had some fun handing them out to kids of all ages, including the elderly couple sitting next to us. They may have been the most surprised glow bracelet recipients of the entire trip!

    A raindrop fell, and then another, but it wasn't enough to keep MSEP from running!

    [​IMG]

    As the parade wore on the rain picked up a bit, so we dodged to some limited shelter under the information awning while we waited anxiously for Celebrate the Magic and to see if Wishes would run. And it did! By this time it was raining in earnest, and we were hiding under a vinyl table cloth I'd brought to sit on if needed.

    [​IMG]

    My mom had never seen the castle projection show, and she was absolutely WOWed. And then the fireworks started. And so did the happy tears. We were standing there, me behind my mom (she's wee, so I could see over her head) and we were sort of half hugging and laughing. And apparently we were such a pretty picture that the woman behind us came up and gave us both a huge hug and told us that she was touched by how close we seemed, and that she missed her own daughter. It was a rather special moment. :cloud9:

    Wishes was through, we were thoroughly soaked, but rather than be discouraged we decided that a little rain wouldn't kill us (it was warm, so not too bad) and we soldiered on to the Haunted Mansion!!!

    I love this ride. I rode it five times this trip. The first two were on our first night, one right after the other. :woohoo: One unforeseen complication for the trip was the fact that my Mom had foot surgery a few years ago, and her ankle doesn't work quite as it should (they had to rearrange some tendons). So she had a bit of a hard time getting on and off some of the rides. I just made sure that I would be unloaded first, and handed her out of the cars and that worked out just fine. Haunted Mansion was one of the harder ones to disembark though, with the shaking doom buggy and moving walkway, but she was game and we had a great time with the Grim Grinning Ghosts!

    After Haunted Mansion we decided that Thunder Mountain in the rain would be fun. Why not, right?

    ... well, about 5 seconds after the train took off we began to wonder if we were on Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain! Fast moving roller coaster + rain = fast moving rain pelting you in the face! :duck:

    We couldn't see a thing because it was dark, and the rain was needling us in the face, and Mom's glasses aren't equipped with windshield wipers. Every time we'd go over a bump or a turn she would slide into me, we were getting soaked - and I don't think I have ever heard my mother laugh so hard, ever. It was hilarious, and wet, and I'll never forget it.

    So, now thoroughly soaked, and still laughing hysterically, we decided to go ahead and ride Splash Mountain. I mean, we were already soaked, so why not? Well, unbeknownst to us, they don't run Splash during EMH. So we were unable to ride. :(

    Slightly bummed, and very wet, we took a quick ride on POTC, and then decided that we were wet, and tired, and happy, and done for the night. We had purchased ponchos (PSA, ponchos over already wet skin don't really help you much) and slogged our laughing way back to French Quarter!
     
  5. geckodani

    geckodani DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Messages:
    771
    Yay! Welcome to my insanity.
     
  6. 1stvisit0909

    1stvisit0909 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,376
    IM IN! :goodvibes

    Did y'all love POFQ as much as we did? I found it a very peaceful, beautiful resort (still with plenty to do) but a nice respite from the stimulation of the parks. :goodvibes
     
  7. geckodani

    geckodani DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Messages:
    771
    I really did love POFQ. I stayed at CSR last year, and liked POFQ much better. Except for the beds - the CSR beds were more comfy IMO. It's really lovely, and I loved that it was so compact. Food court was great, and we had amazing bus service too!
     
  8. 1stvisit0909

    1stvisit0909 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,376
    I noticed the beds were hard - but not until about day 4. haha

    I thought the bus service was phenomenal, we only shared with POR 3x, mid day our week. 15 mins to the park? fab!
     
  9. geckodani

    geckodani DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Messages:
    771
    Heh, I was the opposite. I noticed on night 1, and by night 4 didn't care!
     
  10. geckodani

    geckodani DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Messages:
    771
    Day Two: Does Goofy Like French Toast?

    One of the things that made this trip extra special was that my friend R, that I've known for what seems like a bajillion years but never met in person was going to be at WDW at the same time we were! We'd made arrangements to meet for breakfast at Chef Mickey's, and I was wicked excited about it.

    For some unfathomable reason Mom and I woke up at like 6:45, and our reservation wasn't until 9:20. So we decided to check out the shops and decorations at the Contemporary resort before our ADR.

    When 900 years old your scarf is, look this good he will not!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After perusing the shops and checking out the gingerbread tree, it was time for our ADR and I finally got to meet and hug this woman!!!

    [​IMG]

    Now R was traveling with her family, including her 2 year old W. Her two older children are adorable and full of energy, but W treated me to one of the funniest, and most classic moments of all time when Goofy came around.

    Goofy came up behind W, and this happened:

    [​IMG]

    If you can't see clearly, that's W feeding Goofy a piece of french toast. As in, placing it directly into his mouth. I about DIED laughing, and it still makes me smile. Goofy came back over on his way out, and W tried it again. He also tried to feed Pluto, which was equally entertaining. I think he found the key to Goofy's heart, as he was the recipient of numerous visits and multiple hugs as a result!

    Breakfast was great. The buffet was awesome, and we had a blast visiting with R and her family!

    [​IMG]

    Before we knew it, breakfast was over and it was time to hop on the monorail and back over to the Magic Kingdom!


     
  11. geckodani

    geckodani DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Messages:
    771
    Day Two: Stay Away Clouds!

    I'm not sure anyone's reading, but just for the sake of posterity I will continue on! ::yes::

    After hugging R and her family Mom and I hopped on the monorail and rode the loop around to the Magic Kingdom!!!

    [​IMG]

    Look at those dark clouds looming... I kept giving them the stink eye and luckily they stayed away from us! It was hot, and humid, and we loved it. After dropping my mom's meds off at First Aid (she's diabetic and takes meds that have to be refrigerated) we headed down Main Street USA!

    I can't remember the exact order we did things in this day, but I know we went first to New Fantasyland and rode the new Little Mermaid Ride (super cute!), spent some time with Pooh bear on his ride, and rode It's A Small World. I have a love/creeped out relationship with IASW. The dolls are.... creepy.

    Now, we were determined to get a picture in front of, if not on the Carousel, since one of my favorite pics from my childhood is of me and my mother on the Carousel at Disneyland:

    [​IMG]

    We asked a gentleman nearby to take our pic, and this is what we got:

    [​IMG]

    Not too shabby, eh? I love that we are both laughing. :goodvibes

    After snagging our Carousel pic, we decided to go make ourselves sick on the Tea Cups. :tilt: No, really, we did make ourselves sick. We both gave it all we had, got that cup spinning at a ridiculous rate, and while we were laughing, we got off so dizzy that it was time to take a break!

    We headed over to Columbia Harbor House for some lunch (Lobster Roll, Mmmmm) and a break from the heat before heading back to my favorite, Haunted Mansion.

    After a spin with the grim grinning ghosts, we tried to ride Thunder Mountain but it was closed. :worried: We decided against Splash Mountain as we'd had enough of being wet the night before. :rotfl: Oh well, nothing could keep us down! A spin on POTC and the Jungle Cruise cheered us right up!

    [​IMG]

    After Jungle Cruise we sang with the birds at the Enchanted Tiki Room. There was a little girl sitting next to us that attached herself to me during the show (so cute :goodvibes) when the tiki statues started their spiel. She was worried that a "bad guy" was coming and I had to reassure her that it was all okay. So sweet.

    After looking longingly at the Dole Whips (stupid adult onset pineapple allergy!) we strolled over to Tomorrowland to ride Buzz, Space Mountain and check out the Laugh Floor! Space Mountain was a LOT rougher than I remember, but Mom adored the Laugh Floor and kept trying to figure out how they made the magic happen.

    The park was closing early for MVMCP, and we had a 7:00 Kona ADR, so we strolled back to first aid, got my mom's meds and headed over to Kona for a DELICIOUS meal.

    After stuffing our faces at Kona (no pineapple bread for me, le sigh) we took the monorail over to the TTC to watch Holiday Wishes. The view from the dock was decent, although I wish the lights weren't so bright. Having the music piped in was lovely though. We caught the tail end of the Electric Water Pageant as well, and then caught a taxi back to POFQ.

    When we got back to our room we were greeted by a few new faces.

    [​IMG]

    After bidding them good night, we headed off to dream land!


     
  12. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Messages:
    15,980
    I am in....great TR! :)
     
  13. geckodani

    geckodani DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Messages:
    771
    Yay! Welcome to my insanity! :lmao:
     
  14. rdkeim

    rdkeim Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    102
    Enjoying following along with your trip! Your Mom sounds awesome - such a sport!
     
  15. geckodani

    geckodani DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Messages:
    771
    She is a FANTASTIC sport. She's my favorite traveling companion, LOL! We don't get on each other's nerves and just have a blast. Even in the rain. ;) Thanks for following along!
     
  16. celeste.

    celeste. DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Messages:
    648
    Joining in! Great report so far. POFQ is a beautiful resort, I just got back from a trip at Riverside, but we stayed at POFQ last year.
    Can't wait for more updates!! popcorn::
     
  17. geckodani

    geckodani DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Messages:
    771
    Thanks for joining! I just got my photopass photos, so I'll post more soon!
     
  18. geckodani

    geckodani DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Messages:
    771
    Day Three: Where the heck is Bus Stop 32?!?!

    So. Day three dawned... wet. Very wet. Big threatening clouds and thunderstorms in the forecast wet. :sad2:

    But I had a plan! We were supposed to go to Animal Kingdom in the morning and hit up HS at night. Instead, we were going to start the day at Epcot and dodge from the Land to the Sea etc. during the rain and then head over later to HS to use the oh so amazingly awesome FP+ spots I had for TSMM and ToT!

    So we got up around 8:00, enjoyed breakfast at the food court (anyone else totally creeped out by the floats at Sassalouga Floatworks?)
    ...

    [​IMG]

    ... and then hopped on a bus to Epcot!

    Our driver was HILARIOUS. He had this whole spiel going that lasted right until we got to the gates.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We actually had really good luck dodging the rain this day, with one notable exception...

    We wandered over to the Land Pavilion, got FPs for Soarin, and rode Living With the Land. Waited for a break in the rain and then dodged over to Captain Eo and a little journey with Figment. Fun fact; my mom and I still know EO by heart from when I was a kid in California. :lmao: It rained again while we were playing with our Imaginations. After a quick stop for some candied almonds (LOVE) we went back to the Land to ride my mom's favorite, Soarin!

    I'm sorry to say that the damage visible on the film put a bit of a damper on the ride. :sad1: It's very distracting to see the ripped/dirty film. We still enjoyed it though!

    I'm a little fuzzy on the rest of the day, but I know we waited out some more rain by having lunch at Sunshine Seasons before running over to The Sea to hang with Nemo and the other aquatic critters. Turtle Talk with Crush was amazing.

    Funny moment; as soon as Crush "crashed" into the glass, a little girl sitting up front stood up, screamed No-o-o-o-o-o-!!!! and ran back down the aisle to her folks. Cute and sad at the same time, LOL!

    We tried to ride Test Track but it was down, so we rode Spaceship Earth and then it was time to head to HS! And then... this happened.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Oh well, it was just a little rain. Make that a torrential downpour of rain. We soldiered on to the bus stop. The signs said that the HS bus was at bus stop 32 (might have been 36, I can't remember to be honest). We followed the signs, in the pouring rain of course, and could not find it anywhere. We looked, and looked, and finally a CM pointed us to the MIDDLE OF THE PARKING LOT. :mad: No visible sign except one painted on the ground, and that we couldn't see due to the rain. Le sigh.

    Well, no harm done, off to HS!

    We walked right on over to TSMM (we missed our Star Tours FP+ time, but no biggie) waved our magic FP+ in front of the green Mickey Heads, and then walked right on!

    Mom was more accurate, but I made up for it in sheer volume:

    [​IMG]

    After TSMM we wandered over to Star Tours before going to our 6:00 Sci-Fi Dine in ADR! This was the ONLY thing my mom requested to do while we were here, and it was a lot of fun! I had the shrimp pasta, which unfortunately dribbled butter all over my shirt that I still haven't been able to remove, so there's only one more pic from this night:

    [​IMG]

    After dinner we took a quick walk through the Osbourne Lights (we'd be back later in the week). It was REALLY crowded, so after watching the lights jam to Feliz Navidad we hightailed it over to ToT just in time for an end of the night ride using our FP+!

    We had a brief wait for a bus (we had really good luck with buses this trip!) and then headed back to POFQ for some hot chocolate and bed time!

     
  19. ksromack

    ksromack DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,646

    We actually slept in for just a bit this same morning.....it seems we had the same park plan for the morning.....and I've heard so many people talking that they didn't get rained on once.....and they were there the same times we were.....I keep wondering, where were these people when we were getting wet? I counted at least 3 different days/times where I had to break out the rain poncho. I suppose this isn't so bad, though! Anyway, getting back to your question....YES! I am totally creeped out by that food court. We stayed at POR and I like that food court much better. We didn't eat there once this trip but walked through it nearly every evening on our way from the south bus stop to our room.

    So I have to wonder if this was the same bus driver we had one evening coming back from one of the parks. He was the usual bus driver from POFQ. He was hilarious! I wish I could remember his name!

    I dragged hubby to EO. I loved it, of course.....remembered it from my younger days too! It was raining as we went in to EO this same day. I wonder if we were in there at the same time? :confused3
     
  20. geckodani

    geckodani DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Messages:
    771
    We may very well have been there at the same time, LOL! Small world indeed. Epcot seems to work out fairly well in the rain.

    And I don't know how on earth people out and about on the 12th didn't get drenched at least once. Doesn't seem possible!

    I LOVE POFQ, but the floats.... so creepy. So very, very creepy. If we get the same awesome bus driver next week I'm getting his name! He was great.
     
  21. geckodani

    geckodani DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Messages:
    771
    Day Four: Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming

    Day Four dawned.... gloomy. This was the first day that we had instant breakfasts in the room instead of a more substantial meal, and that would turn out to be a mistake. :faint:

    We debated our umbrellas, and ended up leaving them in the room (oops). It wasn't supposed to rain, and it never did really pour, but it was sort of misting/spitting on us just enough to get us nice and wet throughout the course of the morning.

    So, we woke up about 8:00, and hopped on a bus to AK! We had Le Cellier reservations for dinner (w00t!) so we'd be spending the morning at AK before heading to Epcot.

    [​IMG]

    I have mixed feelings about AK. I think it's hard to navigate, not laid out well, and the uneven pavement looks really cool, but is hard to walk on for folks with foot issues, which both of us have. :worried: On the other hand, the animals are cool, the shows are terrific, and EE is awesome.

    The very first thing we did was head to EE, grab FPs for later and then walk on through the 5 minute queue! My mom had been talking about this ride all week, so I was excited to take her on it.

    She laughed through the whole thing. I, on the other hand, saw spots during the backward portion and got off feeling extremely ill. :crazy2: I grabbed a Chai Latte at the awesome coffee stand the name of which I can not remember, and then we went in search of some breakfast that would hopefully make me feel better! I ended up with an egg flatbread from somewhere I also can't remember the name of, and after about 30 minutes I started to feel better. FOTL was due to start in about 15 minutes, so we headed on over that way, and gave our FPs to some folks to use on EE, since I wasn't feeling up to another go round!

    [​IMG]

    FOTL was amazing, as always. We did have some issues with seating (my mom is short, LOL!) but it worked out.

    After FOTL we decided to ride Dinosaur before the next Nemo show. Dino was fun as always, and we had the tiniest little boy sitting next to us. I am amazed he passed the height requirement, and he was a bit apprehensive about the whole thing, but came through it okay, albeit with reeeallly wide eyes. :eek:

    After Dino we went to see Nemo. All I can say is WOW. Just, WOW. Neither of us had ever seen it, and we were astounded. I think we both cried a bit too, big mush balls that we are! :goodvibes

    After a wonderful time with Nemo, we debated heading off for more animal adventures, but neither of us were feeling great and it was still misting/spitting/cold/wet.

    So we decided to head back to POFQ, grab some lunch, maybe rest a bit and then head out to Epcot for our Le Cellier reservation!

    Note: Savvy readers may have noticed no mention of a first aid stop off for my mom's meds. We did a trial run with a FRIO pack on our first park day to see how cool it was when we got done with the day, and it was plenty cool so we used it the rest of the trip. It was FANTASTIC, and thank you to everyone on the boards that suggested it!
     

Share This Page