"Jungle" All the Way! A Christmas TR (NEW 11/26) Good thing that tree is Swiss!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by magichusky, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. magichusky

    magichusky Mouseketeer

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    Hey guys! Come get your yule on and celebrate the New Year w/ us as we regale you with cool tales from our Christmas adventure in the WORLD!! This was our first excursion to WDW and as Mickey Mouse would say, "Oh boy!". I slept around 3-4 hrs each night and we were hopping, skipping, and power walking commando style the entire time and still didn't see everything! We wound up with 2 Wishes cruises and a sleigh ride, breakfasted in the castle w/ Cinderella and Co., took a super duper extra special tour of the Kennedy Space Center and saw the space shuttle, I had a meltdown in Potter World, enjoyed a Le Cellier CP dinner package w/ Brad Garrett, got stranded on the Tower, braved Splash Mtn at 1:30am (twice, on 2 separate occasions), and who knows what else?? Plus I took 1000+ photos and filmed oodles of wonderful things in HD!

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    Before I go any further and totally lose control (b/c I really have amassed quite an assortment of ridiculous stories), let me do the great honor of introducing ourselves, just in case you missed our lovely PTR (which you probably did), "25 yrs and just a little bit longer!". Here's all of us on our holiday sleigh ride through Fort Wilderness:

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    That's me in the pink (Lauren, in grad school, CAUTION: cranky when hungry), my parents Maureen (3rd grade teacher, CAUTION: merciless power walker) and Joe (retired Marine Corps Colonel, CAUTION: usually grumpy), and my crazy sister Heather (she's a middle school counselor, CAUTION: can be pernicious) who was thankfully hubby-less for this trip (heheh). Note that the only kids in this sleigh are in our hearts which doesn't necessarily mean that this trip was devoid of meltdowns but it definitely means that we partied hard!

    And don't let me forget to introduce our Christmas pooch, Loki, who is less like a pooch and more like a friendly behemoth:

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    As I just mentioned, this was our first adventure in the World! (Well, my parents visited the MK in 1972 but that doesn't really count in the grand scheme of things) I've desperately wanted to go for the whole of my life but since we live about an hour away from DL my parents didn't really see the point (plus they hate flying and Florida is rather far away!). This past June my brother's family moved away to Texas and we were so sad that we immediately made plans to visit them on Christmas. And well, Texas is totally on the way to Florida. So that's how it all started; the monstrosity that is this trip was born on a hot summer afternoon in July. And I turned into a planning monster. Ever met one of those? Queue itinerary:

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    In addition, I made my own park hours grid in order to (hopefully) strategically avoid the imminent holiday crowds:

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    Here's how it's organized: (think of the traffic light analogy)
    bright green = least crowded (best option)
    light green = not too crowded (ok option)
    orange = pretty crowded (2nd to worst option)
    hot pink = most crowded (worst option)
    *gift boxes indicate which parks we'll most likely be visiting that day.

    Before we left, I made these nifty little pocket itineraries and my Mom laminated them at school. One side has our master itinerary and the other has the park hours grid:

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    Even if you're not a planning monster like I am but maybe just a planning creature, I highly recommend pocket itineraries. The park hours grid w/ EMH was also a hit and was way more efficient than digging out the fifty million park brochures you acquire during the week.

    So now that we're finally beyond all those TR formalities like the who and the when and the why (but you know we all love 'em here on the DIS) let's get started!

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    ~TABLE OF CONTENTS~

    Here's what we have so far:

    :santa:DAY 1: Friday | 12/17/2010

    DAY 1.0: Let's get the heck outta here, David Boreanaz!
    DAY 1.1a: Florida for the 1st time! Shades of Green!
    DAY 1.1b: Florida for the 1st time! Shades of Green!
    DAY 1.2a: Falling over a bench. Trapped in Mouse Gear!
    DAY 1.2b: Falling over a bench. Trapped in Mouse Gear!
    DAY 1.3: Dinner at Coral Reef w/ Super-Waiter
    DAY 1.4: Epcot EMH; There be a Maelstrom ahead!


    :santa:DAY 2: Saturday | 12/18/2010

    DAY 2.1: Singin' in the Rain in the Downtown Disney
    DAY 2.2: The AK Lodge at Christmas: "Welcome home" / Destination: AK
    DAY 2.3: Festival of the Lion King!
    DAY 2.4: Camp Minnie Mickey
    DAY 2.5a: Jingle Jungle Parade Part I
    DAY 2.5b: Jingle Jungle Parade Part II
    DAY 2.6: Expedition "What in the Disney World???"
    DAY 2.7: WDW Meltdown #1- The Dinner that Wouldn't
    DAY 2.8: A Wishes Cruise: "I wish, I wish I could see something!"


    :santa:DAY 3: Sunday | 12/19/2010

    DAY 3.1: The MK is OK
    DAY 3.2: A Belle smackdown at CRT!
    DAY 3.3: Welcum to Florida! Love, Tom & Huck
    DAY 3.4: I insist! WDW vs. DL: TKO!
    DAY 3.5: With liberty and shivering for all!
    DAY 3.6: It's a good thing that tree is Swiss!


    And here's what's coming right up:

    DAY 3.7: Dreaming along w/ a jerk.
    DAY 3.8: Beaches 'n' Cream 'n' 28 degree weather
    DAY 3.9: Disney's Antarctic Studios
    DAY 3.10: The Osborne Family Spectacle of Freezing Lights


    :santa:DAY 4: Monday | 12/20/2010

    :santa:DAY 5: Tuesday | 12/21/2010

    :santa:DAY 6: Wednesday | 12/22/2010

    :santa:DAY 7: Thursday | 12/23/2010

    :figment: Don't forget to read my random tangents, hosted by Figment

    TANGENT 1: "Swing Kids" | Disneyland | Saturday 1/22/2011

    TANGENT 2: "Casey Jr and I" | Disneyland | Monday 5/9/2011
    PART A: Wedding Bells with the Stars
    PART B: Happy Mother's Day!
    PART C I: Casey Jr. and I
    PART C II: Casey Jr. and I


    TANGENT 3: "Ariel's Revenge" | Disneyland | Thursday 5/26/2011
    TANGENT 4: Party Like It's 1996! | Wednesday 8/24/2011
    TANGENT 5: Back from my Labor Day trip! | WDW | 9/17/2011
    TANGENT 6: Loki's religious experience and a new baby! | 10/20/2011


    CONTINUED IN NEXT POST...
     
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  3. magichusky

    magichusky Mouseketeer

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    DAY 1.0: Let's get the heck outta here, David Boreanaz!

    So back to the night of Dec 16th. For some reason my to-do list was absolutely exploding that day- I had to clean my apartment (it was of course already clean but I hate leaving even the tiniest mess in my habitat before going away), do laundry, get last minute emergency travel snacks at the grocery store, finish my WDW arts and crafts, put finishing touches on our vacation binder, try and do some last minute school stuff before 2 weeks of well, not doing any school stuff (mwa-haha!), and pack. I accomplished everything except the last minute school stuff. Haha.

    After dinner it was time for a crafting blow-out:

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    During the blow-out I made sure to blast the extra special Full House 2 parter, "The House Meets the Mouse," in the background. I adored that Danny Tanner also approved of detailed itineraries:

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    I actually had to finish up the header on my WDW countdown. Love that I did that the night before departure:

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    Next I made some festive magnets so we could decorate our door at Shades of Green (SoG):

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    Now that that was out of the way, I decided to start packing at 11pm (haha, whoops).

    Plane games:

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    Laura's "special" homemade Epcot map... where the hotties are! Let's go!

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    My holiday movie collection and my new Mickey Mouse DVD case. I almost lost this thing in Texas! My fav out of all of these? By far, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

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    Somehow packing wound up taking forever and I decided to stroll into bed around 2am, which was very stupid since our flight left at 8:40am that morning. The alarm went off at 5am and I arose feeling not refreshed as that would have been ideal, but rather delirious (I think I wound up getting barely 2 hrs of sleep). While jamming oatmeal in my face and catapulting my toothbrush and various last minute odds and ends into my suitcase, I decided that that was the perfect time to pay my bills???

    Since we were flying out of LAX (flights to Orlando out of San Diego were the smelliest things ever and the only direct flight to Orlando that week was out of LAX) my parents and Heather were being picked up from their respective houses in San Diego and shuttled to LAX. Meanwhile I would depart from my apartment in LA and walk to the nearby FlyAway shuttle stop and meet them at the airport.

    My goal was the 6:30am shuttle and I made it by the skin of my teeth!! I was power walking so ridiculously that my right heel kept kicking my poor suitcase plus I was carrying my crown in my other hand b/c I couldn't get it to safely fit into my suitcase or backpack. Must...get...to...WDW!!!! I probably looked completely mad stalking up the street and brandishing my crown in the early morning darkness. The people on the shuttle were definitely taking a good long look.

    Well, we all eventually wound up at the airport! I was speechless when the grump of all grumps, my sister, stole my crown! That Disney magic is a most powerful thing:

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    Our chariot awaits:

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    As we were lining up to board, a man w/ his 2 small children, apparently just returned from a pit stop of some sort, walked up to meet his wife who was standing right next to us. Then they proceeded to the first class line. Suddenly my Mom whipped around: "Was that just David Boreanaz???"

    "No way!" I scoffed and was highly amused at the utter randomness of my Mom's claim. But when we saw them board first class we were intrigued. As we prepared to board the plane I saw the man's 7-8 yr old son through the window and he was seriously a miniature, blonde David Boreanaz. Then we of course all secretly stole our respective glances as we walked past and OMG it was David Boreanaz! Crazily enough I was a HUGE Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan back when I was 13 and was absolutely THRILLED to be flying to WDW w/ my childhood obsession. Hahaha I LOVE flying out of LAX! Let's get the heck outta here, DB!

    Next time: we arrive in Florida and check into Shades of Green!!!
     
  4. misstheworld

    misstheworld My Prince Charming is mecarroll

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    Loving it so far!! Can't wait to read more!
     
  5. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

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    Following from your PTR! Sounds like you had a lot of fun, can't wait to read the rest!
    And National Lampoon is a family tradition in my house; we watch it every Christmas Eve because it's just so funny.
     
  6. laur roo

    laur roo Mouseketeer

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    Okay, so I clicked because I saw DB in the title, but I'm glad I did. I was there with my best friend almost exactly the same dates, so I'm excited to read about what you guys did, especially with your super planning skills!
     
  7. stich626

    stich626 Mouseketeer

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    I too saw David in the title and had to check it out.
     
  8. VBsHustla

    VBsHustla DIS Veteran

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    Great start! :thumbsup2 I love a good celeb sighting that doesn't involve exerting our serious stalking skills :rotfl: (I prefer to reserve those for Helen.) Also love that such a beautiful photograph of Danny Tanner graces the first page of this TR! Looking forward to more, the summary of events sounds magnificent! :wizard:
     
  9. UncleOrville

    UncleOrville Mouseketeer

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    I'm loving it too! :thumbsup2 Your summary of highlights is too good to pass up, as is that beautiful shot of Danny Tanner, as Laura noted.
     
  10. magichusky

    magichusky Mouseketeer

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    :thanks: Thanks so much for coming!!!!


    :wave: OMG thanks for coming on over! I hope you guys had a blast at Shades- I really adored that place and need to return immediately. And that's hilarious that Chevy is also one of your Christmas traditions- people think I'm the kookiest for being obsessed w/ that film!

    :welcome: How exciting! I hope you had a fabulous time!! Haha- our crazy David B encounter was such a fitting way to kick off our crazy trip!

    Hahaha too bad I didn't get a chance to play paparazzi! I totally would've harassed him but he was obviously off to WDW w/ his wife and 2 kids, so absolutely no one that I saw bothered him in the least bit. We were all quite proud of ourselves.
     
  11. magichusky

    magichusky Mouseketeer

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    Hahaha I know! David just fell into my hands. I really loved it SO much. Dude, Helen has escaped the wrath of L&L Investigations for far too long. She's on borrowed time now. :rotfl2: And seriously, I was literally cramming pizza into my face and drinking gallons of water while flipping out over Full House that night- it was ridiculous. I was like stupid excited!

    Hahaha I'm glad you appreciate DT! He was my inspiration. And is that a new ticker I see???? You guys might as well just get APs! Someday when I have a real job I aspire to own the ultimate gold AP: good for both DL and WDW! :lovestruc
     
  12. Eight

    Eight Mouseketeer

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    Yay, you started! I can't wait to hear all about your trip! :goodvibes

    But okay, confession. I had no idea who David Boreanaz was until just now. But now that I know, hey, that's pretty cool! :laughing:
     
  13. magichusky

    magichusky Mouseketeer

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    :goofy: I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!!! Now it's your turn! And haha that's so ridiculous about David Boreanaz- he's not Christian Bale or anything but he's still pretty awesome!
     
  14. magichusky

    magichusky Mouseketeer

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    OMG I HAVE A NEW TICKER!!!!!!! :banana: What in the Disney World is going on here??? I'm gettin' really spoiled!
     
  15. UncleOrville

    UncleOrville Mouseketeer

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    It is a new ticker, but of course only I am going (with my parents - no Laura)! I did have an AP that expired after our September trip, and I'll be getting a new one for this upcoming trip - worth it for the discount on 2 rooms I'll be getting this trip, plus I'm sure I'll be back later this year. ;)

    I'd also love a golden AP, but sadly I don't think I could ever make it to DL often enough to justify it.

    Your new ticker is cut off in your sig! When are you going?! Christmas, I take it, but what dates? :cheer2:
     
  16. magichusky

    magichusky Mouseketeer

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    OMG Laura told me that she refused to go and I think I had an aneurism! I guess I can't relate since I've only been once! When we went on the monorail for the first time and passed the castle on the way to Epcot I was practically flipping out and the other people in our car truly thought we were insane. Couldn't stop staring at that thing! It's a monstrosity compared to Sleeping Beauty castle.

    Oh dear- I just made my sig photos smaller so hopefully you can see it now! We're actually planning on the same exact dates: arriving 12/17 and leaving 12/24. I hope we'll be as lucky crowd wise as we were this year- I was frolicking through an empty MK on multiple nights. I think maybe since it was so cold people just went back to their hotels. I love how when it gets below 60 deg over here I go into shock but I don't seem to mind 28 deg while at WDW. :confused3
     
  17. magichusky

    magichusky Mouseketeer

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    DAY 1.1: Florida for the 1st time! Shades of Green!

    Sorry for the delay- hopefully I still have some readers left! School has once again reared its ugly head and I'm completely despising it. But in other news, to expand on the last post, we're going to WDW AGAIN next year at the same time!!!! Apparently the parents enjoyed it so much that they require a redo. My Dad was discussing how it'll be so much easier "next time" since we'll know where everything is and how to get around and my Mom was chattering about how we have to make new ADRs pronto for Coral Reef and Le Cellier and also wants to reschedule another holiday sleigh ride! So she called SoG the other day and we have our same room booked for next year! She was actually too late to book one of their suites (whaaat in the Disney World! at that ridiculousness) which I was of course crossing my fingers for since who over the age of 10 wants to share a room w/ their parents?? But as I've said many a time, my sleeping arrangements aren't too much of a worry when I get to spend all day and night in the World!!

    So back to Dec 17th. We actually left on time and evacuated crazy Los Angeles which turned out to be rather convenient since we missed the entirety of the biggest rainstorm southern CA has seen in years. Two straight weeks of pouring rain! Completely unacceptable. Plus when we returned to our house, the front yard was riddled w/ huge branches and all of my clocks in my apartment were blinking since the electricity had apparently gone out. Haha. Anyway we were airborne and screaming across the country in no time toward the promise land.

    The flight was actually only 4 hrs! But it seemed longer b/c our seats were truly the tiniest things ever (we flew United). My knees were jammed into the seat in front of me and it was just awful. And of course the only kid making any sort of noise on the entire plane was seated directly behind me, running his mouth and kicking my seat so I couldn't go to sleep.

    Most of the country was covered in clouds so I couldn't see anything interesting until...the Gulf!!!

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    OMG I SEE FLORIDA!!!!

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    OMG WE'RE LANDING IN FLORIDA!!!

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    OMG WE'RE IN FLORIDA!!!

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    Haha yeah I was so excited that I forgot about the whole turning off all electronic devices thing and took like 20 photos of us landing. Whoops.

    It took forever for those darn people to disembark the plane and I was disappointed that I wouldn't be able to stalk David Boreanaz. They had prob been whisked away by the ME eons ago! SoG doesn't participate in ME so we had to hire a van. We stopped at the Publix to get a case of water and then we saw...the SIGN!

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    I felt so honored that our hotel was officially within the hot pink and purple confines of the Magic Kingdom:

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    We're here!

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    These pics were actually taken 2 days later on the 19th when it was dreary and overcast. When we pulled up to SoG it was happy and sunny!

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    I found this set-up terribly amusing and exclaimed each and every time I passed it by:

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    Care for a swim?

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    A-tennnnn-HUT!!!!

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    Checking in?

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    Care for a movie?

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    As I walked deeper into the lobby there arose such a clatter so I immediately had to investigate. It was a toy helicopter zooming over a quaint gingerbread village. I found the noisy copter funnily appropriate since this is a military resort:

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    Umm excuse me, I want to build a gingerbread village too!

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    I had requested our room to be lobby-level since I really hate dealing w/ elevators other than the tower, so I was more than pleased when we found ourselves swooshing down the hallway to our room, sans elevator.

    Apparently we'll be seeing you next year, room 281!!

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    CONTINUED IN NEXT POST...
     
  18. magichusky

    magichusky Mouseketeer

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    ...DAY 1.1 CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS POST

    Heather scoping out the place:

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    See this counter? Yeah. 5 min later it was a mountain of colorful toiletries. It snowed. There were avalanches, yetis, and goats.

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    Are you guys ready? 'Cause I am!!!!

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    A table.

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    Our view:

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    This was my corner. I refused to share a bed w/ my crazy sister b/c a few years ago we had to share a bed in another hotel and she randomly rolled over and punched out my pillow in her sleep! And my head was totally using that pillow! I was horrified.

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    My family was being the slowest and I was enraged at such ignorant behavior. Umm excuse me but I need to go to Epcot immediately. My Dad had to go get a beer or something so he would meet us at Coral Reef later for our dinner ADR. Meanwhile, in my haste I shoved the other two on this shuttle:

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    Onward!!!! What would our very first ride at WDW be and how was dinner?? And what's it like to see the castle for the very first time and trip over a bench??

    TO BE CONTINUED...
     
  19. BabyFu18

    BabyFu18 DIS Veteran

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    Great trip report so far, I'm in!

    We've stayed at SOG before and we really enjoy it, hoping to go back this summer. We've never been at Christmas time but, everything looks pretty though.
     
  20. UncleOrville

    UncleOrville Mouseketeer

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    Loving the report! And what a delight that your parents are insisting on going back for another Christmas trip! :santa:

    That SOG room looks really large and nice - I wouldn't mind sharing that room! Of course for my upcoming trip, my dad has decreed that I cannot share a room with him and my mom, so I will be bunking solo. Should be quite the indulgence.

    :rotfl: Hahaha, I can just see it now. And I would have done the same thing.

    Can't wait to find out! :thumbsup2 I kind of hope the first castle sighting and bench tripping are not related, just because it would be awesome to hear in a TR what it's like to trip over an ordinary bench.
     
  21. VBsHustla

    VBsHustla DIS Veteran

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    Great pics of SoG! I'd never really seen it before, but it looks lovely. Your view is so pretty! I also like the waterfalls and their Christmas decor. That room is enormous compared to the Disney rooms! Your small corner looks just beautiful. I, too, have slept on many a couch (and even a bench at the GF haha) to avoid sharing a bed!

    Can't wait to hear of your Epcot adventures! Even if you didn't successfully stalk any Norwegians :laughing:
     

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