*** OFFICIAL January 2013 Thread ***

Discussion in 'Doing the Happy Dance!' started by Marshay, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. MomTo3PrincessesInNJ

    MomTo3PrincessesInNJ Mouseketeer

    Jun 15, 2012
    I finally have a few minutes to write a recap of our January trip!

    H & I arrived at Pop around 7:00p on Thursday 1/24. Our flight from Newark was delayed 3 hours -- boo! I'm SO happy we decided not to purchase 3 day tickets as it would have been a waste due to our arrival time.

    We checked in and went straight to our room. To be honest, Pop just didn't do it for me. The resort is HUGE. We were in the 90's section in building 9 (the Rubix Cube). We weren't too far from the busses, but we were quite far from the food court, main pool & bar. We requested a King room and got 2 doubles or fulls -- not sure of the size, but they were small. The room reminded us of a motel at the Jersey Shore. I wasn't feeling the Disney magic. The only other resort we stayed at was AoA and it really blew Pop out of the water -- as it should for almost 3 x's the price. H and I will probably stick to Mods from now on when we travel alone and AoA when we have the kids with us. The room was clean though, and worked for our short 3 night stay.

    Our first night we headed to DTD for dinner. We used the DDP for Wolfgang Puck Express. I had the bacon meatloaf and H had a pizza. We both LOVED our meals, and it was a bargain for a TS credit.

    After dinner we used our vouchers to go to Disney Quest. H has been looking forward to CyberSpace Mountain. We got there an hour before close and it was pretty empty, but it was so hot and smelly inside. The CyberSpace que smelled like a locker room. We "rode" our coaster and left. We were really glad we didn't pay to go in there. We did some shopping for the girls and went back to our room around 11p.

    Friday 1/25 we had a 7:10a :-)scared:) breakfast ressie at Chef Mickey. We had 3 parks to hit that day and needed to be at AK for rope drop, so an early, filling breakfast was a must! We really enjoyed CM in November and again found it to be a good breakfast buffet. We got to AK for rope drop and headed to Expedition Everest. We rode it once, grabbed a fast pass, did some stuff in Dinoland then rode EE again before heading over to the MK.

    Once in the MK we got in line for Be Our Guest. While it was open in November for previews, we already had our ADRs booked solid and couldn't squeeze it in, so I wasn't going to miss it this time! I had the turkey sandwich with strawberry cupcake and H had the steak sandwich with chocolate puff. The food was worth the wait (about 40 mins in line before we ordered). The only complaint I have it that there is nowhere on the screen to customize the sandwich and the menu doesn't tell you that the steak sandwich comes with a salad on top of it, so my H had to scrape it off. It wasn't a hug deal, but I wish they had a "plain" button.

    We made sure we got to all of our favorite rides and tried a few new things like Haunted Mansion and the People Mover. We had a 5:30 dinner ressie at Cape May Cafe, which was awesome as usual (I think H ate 4 plates of crab legs and clams!).

    After dinner we went into Epcot for Magic Hours. We did some drinking around the world, watched Illuminations and then went to Test Track. We missed it in November and H was determined to do it this time. We waited in line for an hour. It was really the only time we waited in a line the whole trip, so I can't complain too much. We left after TT.

    Saturday 1/26 was my birthday :cool1: We had a quick breakfast at Pop (paid OOP) and went to Hollywood Studios for morning Magic Hours. We were 2nd in line and ran straight to RnR, then hit ToT, then RnR again and for a FP for ToT. We did some new stuff (Backlot Tour, Indy Stunt Show) had some snacks and then eventually got lunch at ABCommisary. We went back to the hotel for a quick swim & nap before our 7:50 dinner ressie at Ohana. We got to the Poly early, had a few drinks and walked around the resort. We were seated right on time and got to see the MK fireworks from the window :)

    The dinner at Ohana was great! It was our first time and probably our last for awhile, simply because our girls wouldn't enjoy the food and the kids price is a little steep for chicken nuggets. But as a meal for the 2 of us, it was great!

    After dinner we took the monorail to the MK but decided not to go in. We were exhausted and had to be up at 4:30a for our flight home.

    Overall the trip was GREAT! We had so much fun riding rides and moving at our own pace. We were surprised at the crowd sizes. I thought that going after the Marathon and MLK holiday we would have low crowds, but there were Brazilian Tour Groups EVERYWHERE! We actually made a game of trying to beat them into a Fast Pass lane! Although the parks were crowded, we were able to do everything we wanted (EXCEPT Test Track!) with little to no wait, especially when getting to rope drop and using our fastpasses.

    We are probably going to skip going next January and just wait until November 2014 for our big family trip. Our original thought was that it would be fun to take the girls when attendence was low, but it seems like January isn't as slow as it used to be.

    As much as we LOVE Disney, we're taking the girls to Jamaica in November and I'm looking forward to a relaxing beach vacation.

    I don't think we'll do an adult only Disney trip again either, at least not for a while, but we had a great time while we were there!

    I hope the rest of the January travelers had a great time, too!
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  3. Marshay

    Marshay I'm Goofy for Mickey. Don't worry if you get a bi

    Jan 28, 2007
    Thanks for your report! I'd love to do an adult only trip sometime.

    Glad you all had fun!
  4. dalgal101

    dalgal101 Mouseketeer

    Jul 21, 2010
    About to head back to the hotel from DTD to hope on the Magical Express. Had an amazing trip, seven park day and a day of DTD with miniature golf. We thought crowds were very manageable and only experiences one chanting tour group leaving the park last night. All star sports was taken over by dance groups last night but took it all in stride. Due to recent ankle surgery (1 month ago) I had to use a scooter and it wasn't as bad as I expected. I have chronic feet problems (tarsal tunnel) and lengthy standing is terrible so I was covered for both. Sorry to all those thinking I was a crazy 38 yr old with a scooter. I did 2 hrs at DRD w/o it today and there is NO way I could have made it w/o it. Amazing trip!!!
  5. JustMeFran

    JustMeFran Mouseketeer

    Sep 10, 2012
    (this can also be seen with pictures at http://mydisneydreaming.blogspot.com/)

    Me, DH (John/Dada) and DD5 (Rebekah/Bek)

    All Star Movies

    2-10 January 2013

    Many different celebrations! Mainly to celebrate Bek's successful open heart surgery in Aug 2012. Second main reason, to celebrate Bek's 6th birthday! And lastly an early birthday celebration for be and a late celebration for John getting his PhD!

    Day 1 - 2 January 2013
    Well, the alarm was set for 2:45AM, but I was so unable to sleep so I was up at 2:30AM, Bek was very easy to wake (a bit excited!) and Dada was quick to follow! An awesome family friend picked us up at 3:15AM (saving us $80+ in airport parking!!).

    We were the first to check in and first through security. We decided to only do carry-ons, we each had 1 carry-on suitcase and a backpack. We also mailed a box down to the resort with snacks and liquids, so no bad stuff in the carry-ons! The only issue we had at security was rolls of coins for laundry and pressed pennies kind of could not be seen through, so they had to unpack that suitcase. OOPS!

    Our flight left Rochester at 5:31 and went to Washington DC (Regan National). I loved flying into there! I love Washington DC and you could see everything flying in and out of there! Easy breezy then we were off to MCO and we landed in Orlando at 11:00 (a bit early), Bek slept on the flight from DC-MCO. The lines for Magic Express were CRAZY and I thought we would bee waiting forever, but we only ended up waited about 30 min. We were the first family to load on our bus so I got the FRONT seat so we could get a great view coming to the World! Bek really enjoyed seeing all the new plants and trees on the drive in. =)

    Finally, at All Star Movies! I did online check-in so it was quick and easy. We got a Birthday button and a 1st visit button (both for Bek!). Got our keys and booklets and fun stuff AND our room was ready (about 12:00noon)!! Toy Story, Buzz side, RIGHT across from the buses, so we never have to go through cinema hall we just walk out our door, down the bucket of soldiers stairs and like 50 yards to the bus!

    We dropped our stuff off in the room and went back to eat in the food court. That is where I fell in love with the Turkey Munster sandwich, I think I had it 5 times during our trip!

    After we ate we went back to the room and unpacked and decorated our window!

    3:00ish we headed to Epcot. Rode Spaceship Earth (LOVE!), Rode Land (great!), Rode Imagination (ok, the first one was much better!) Walked around World showcase, watched O Canada, very good.

    Then we made way to Norway for supper with princesses at 6:55. Supper was wonderful! I got the meatballs (very YUM) John got the pork (he enjoyed) and Bek also got the meatballs (potatoes were the hit for her...) Snow White SO adorable!! Ariel was lack luster.

    So tired after our crazy long day (and we were planning on early EMHs at MK the next AM)

    Day 2 - 3 January 2013
    First full day! SO excited!
    Morning EMHs at MK today and we are up at 5:30am to catch the bus and be there early for the opening show! It was very foggy and misty! Made our way in the fog to the front for a great view of the opening show! I tried my best not to cry since we were surrounded by a TON of people! =) I found if I looked at Bek during the show I would tear up, so I just could not look at her during it! =) .

    And we were in! The first view of the castle was very dark and foggy, very unusual and great!

    Bek wanted to go on the carousel first...so we did! Then Peter Pan (5 min wait when got on, 30 min wait by the time we got off!) and then Its a Small World.

    I really wanted to get an earlier BBB appointment (we had one set for 1pm), so I figured we would head over there at 7:45 to try to get a walk-in, and we did! We had a WONDERFUL Fairy Godmother in Training!! The whole beauty treatment is not really Beks thing, but she loved it! The posing as a princess for the after pictures was funny, SO not her! I love her!

    We had a little bit of time before Chef Mickey breakfast so I *HAD* to ride Haunted Mansion so we headed that way via a Photopass Photographer (or 2!).

    After HM it was time to get on the monorail and head to Chef Mickey, but we were running a bit early we did a ride around the resorts on the Monorail (and Bek fell asleep). Mickey's was GREAT! Wonderful food, great character interaction! Goofy was the best, he tried to steal Bek =) She thought it was great!

    We thought then we would head back to the resort to chill for a bit since we wanted to watch the Electrical Parade tonight (it was not planned to show again while we were visiting). Back to MK lines were crazy long (which we expected...)! We did Tea Cups, Carousel of Progress (LOVE this attraction!!), Bear Jamboree (Bek thought it was funny), Pirates of the Caribbean, fast pass for Dumbo. Supper at Cosmic Rays (great food and a great view of castle).

    Then we rode the People Mover then found spot for Electrical parade then left before fireworks. Was raining/misting for the parade so it was kinda yucky and cold, but the parade was beautiful!

    The park was very crowded, but being that it was right after New Years and schools were still out we expected it to be very crowded and just planned our first day at MK to just be one of just taking in the Magic! And we sure did!

    And the end of day 2!

    Day 3 - 4 January 2013
    Our morning to sleep in a bit! Plans are to see the Osborn Lights tonight and I know we cannot spend a whole day at HS. We had 10:15 reservations at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian. So we took the bus to MK and hopped on the monorail and headed off to breakfast! This breakfast experience was lack luster, the food was OK, atmosphere was trying too hard to be posh and fancy, but it was just crowded and very loud. Saw Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland and Mad Hatter (he was very good, loved meeting him).

    Headed back to room to change bags and drop off picture and place mat (bday gift they gave Bek). Off to HS. We got there about noon, so first thing was to go grab a Fastpass for ToT. I was terrified to ride it! But it was the one thing Bek kept talking about that she wanted ride it. The park was pretty crowded, and aside from seeing the Osborn Lights and riding Great Movie Ride, Star Wars, Back Lot Tour and of course ToT we did not have any plan. So we wandered in and out of stores and just around the park. Then we finally wandered towards the Great Movie Ride. I enjoy this ride, but parts of it are starting to look old. Then we headed over and did Star Tours. I was concerned about it being a 3D motion simulator and how I would handle it, but it was great! I would of loved to do it again, but we we already has Fastpasses for ToT and we just waited in StandBy for 30 min, so not this time!

    Then we went to Muppet 3D (cute, good place for a rest), and then Back lot tour (Good ride for once every 5-10 years). Finally it was time to head over to ToT ...thought I was going to die. I don't remember much of the queue, or much of the ride. I do remember being freaked but thinking that no one has ever died on this ride and Bek really wants to do it...so on I went!

    I LOVED it, wanted to do it again, but wait was 70 min. Once I was falling and rising I really did not feel the stomach dropping sensation I expected. I just felt motion. The anticipation was the scarey part!
    Then it was time to head over to Osborn lights. They were BEAUTIFUL!

    Finally back to resort for supper and relaxing!

    Day 4 - 5 January 2013
    Today we are up early for Epcot rope drop. We had a bagel in our room (shipping bagels and snacks ahead worked wonderfully!). We chatted with a mother and son at rope drop, they were from Ohio and have been to Epcot a lot! We went in and went to Soarin' first, grabbed fast passes for it for later then rode it. It was a great ride, the music was wonderful and the scents pumped in was great. I can see it getting old quickly, and I hope they change the movie a bit every few years. After that we went over to Test Track, standby line was 45 min already, so we hung out for a bit until time can we could grab passes... return time was 2pm (it was not even 10am)! Wandered around a bit and then went back to Soarin' to ride time 2 with the Fastpasses. Then we headed over and rode Nemo (seats not really big enough for 2 Pooh size plus 5 year old). Snack time...Got Mickey ears ice cream! Rode Spaceship Earth (LOVE it still!) and by this time Bek REALLY needed a break so we went back to the Resort for lunch and a small break.

    So then we headed back and rode Test Track. It was awesome!! We went 64.8 mph on the fast part. The build a car things was not worth the wait, though...and I was looking forward to the Hot and Cold tests but they took them out of the new build! We finally then headed over to World Showcase. Mexico was good, waited 45 min for Maelstrom (totally not worth the wait!), watched Reflections of China (WANT to go now!!), by this time it was close to supper ADRs. Quickly we went into Japan to find the pearl place and then over to Morocco for supper at Marrakesh. Its setting is very nice, if it was not at Disney it would be too fancy for kids, but we felt comfortable. The food was plentiful and tasty! I got the Chicken Couscous, John got the Chicken Kebabs and Bek got the Moroccan Style Pasta (basically spaghetti and red sauce...she had some of my couscous and chicken, though). For desert we I had the Moroccan Symphony (different Baklavas), John had the Bastilla (Crispy leaves of pastry topped with vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with toasted almonds) and Bek had mint ice cream.

    After supper we wandered in Morocco for a bit then over to Japan. We stopped in and got our pearls (mine 6 ¾ pinkish, Beks 7 and white) and the experience/show they did was wonderful! We could of dropped a TON of money in Japan, LOVED all the Studio Ghibli merchandise! Then we wandered for a bit more and then found our place in Italy on the water to watch Illuminations. That was wonderful (I remember more fireworks last time, though...). Then we prepared to be mushed and herded and have a downright bad experience leaving the park, but it was really good! Not crowded, nice and slow and when we got to our bus, we waited maybe 5 min and a Disney Cruise Line charter came and took us home!

    Day 5 – 6 January 2013
    Magic Kingdom day again! We were planning a not long day at the park so later in the evening we could do laundry and swim. So the plan was get there earlyish, lunch there, supper there and then back tot eh resort earlyish. We started off with breakfast in the food court and got to MK a bit after opening. I, of course, don't have extensive notes for what we did this day...so this is all from memory (2 weeks later!).

    We were able to make use of Fastpasses today and patience. We rode Tea Cups, Carousel and then headed over to get FPs for Space Mountain. Then we headed over to Ariels Under Sea Adventure. There was no line there, we pretty much walked right on. It was nice, but in parts it seems like it was missing something...a bit bare in areas.

    Then Bek and I did the Speedway. Have any cars ever jumped the track? The way Bek was steering I was a bit worried in spots! It was very hot and sunny, 82 degrees and full sun...for this northern family that is too hot! Then it was Fastpass time for Space Mountain. Bek was a bit worried but still wanted to go! She had a blast (we do it 2 more time on this trip!).

    By this time we were hot and tired so we headed and over and got Fastpasses for Big Thunder (Splash was closed this trip) then sat and watched the Country Bears. I got an Ice Coffee float at Sunshine Tree Terrace (yum!!) and then we did the Jungle Cruise. Now it is time for lunch (we are all getting kinda cranky...) so we decided to eat at Pecos Bill's. Time for Big Thunder! It was great! Dada sat this one out so it was just Bek and I. Perfect coaster for little adventurous kids!
    Then we headed to Pirates. Stand By time was 45 min...ugh, but we decided to do it...Bek has a crush on Jack Sparrow, so it would be worth it! It totally was! We got in line and they were in the middle of shuffling the lines so our wait only ended up being a 20 min wait! So about now we needed another break so we hopped on the Train and headed over to Fantasyland and got some cotton candy, a Mickey Pop and then headed back on the train around again. Hall of Presidents, Haunted Mansion ride (we stopped at the knocking doors, this time) then time supper!
    Supper was at Liberty Tree Tavern and it was wonderful! Nice home food for an over eating vacation! Will for sure do again! The we thought we would see what the wait was for the princess Meet and Greet on our way out and it was totally worth it! Bek met her fave, Rapunzel!!

    After supper time to head back to the resort for me to do the ever exciting laundry and for Dada and Bek to go swimming!

    Day 6 – 7 January 2013
    Up early to head to Animal Kingdom for early (8:10am) breakfast reservations at Tusker House. It was too early this far into the trip! So, we got there well before they were letting the breakfast people in. We were let in and found our way back to Tusker House. We were the first ones to get our picture with Donald and the first to be seated! Very nice atmosphere and a very nice breakfast buffet. Their special “Jungle Juice” was very good. It was really too early for me to eat a buffet, unfortunately! I did not each much, but John and Bek did a great job! The characters were great, too.

    After breakfast we headed over to Kilimanjaro Safari. It was great! Still early enough that the animals were nice and active and visible. On to the Pangani Trail then the Jungle Trek. Nice zoo, nothing exciting, really. Kali was closed during this trip, sadly. Bek and I got in stand by line for Everest. It said 20 min, but it ended up being a walk on, so we walked off and then right back on again! Very cool ride, I was not too fond of the backwards fast in the dark part, but it got better with the second ride! Went over and rode Dinosaur, and again it was a walk on so we did it twice in a row! And, I feel I have to add here, I REALLY don't like the carnival atmosphere of Dionland, it REALLY does not fit in with the rest of the well themed areas of Animal Kingdom. Big fat sore thumb.
    SO, before we left John wanted to ride the Safari one more time. Of course it was lunch time and getting hot again and Bek kind of had a little tired/hungry melt down. However, we got on the Safari and she fell right asleep and slept all the way through the ride, through the walk out of the park, through the bus ride to the resort and then woke up when we got to ASMovies.
    Now I know, we missed a lot at Animal Kingdom, but 1- we are not really show watchers and 2- we were pretty worn out this day!
    So we had lunch at the resort and just hung out in the room for awhile. Then it was time to head to Downtown Disney to meet up with my Aunt Sue!! We met outside of Fulton's, wandered around for awhile then went to Earl of Sandwich for supper. YUM! Then, even yummier, we had dessert at Ghirardelli, where we all shared a large Hot Fudge Sundae.
    The back to the resort to hang out and regain some energy!

    Day 7 - 8 January 2013
    Mama and Girlie morning at EPCOT! Dada decided he wanted the morning off to hang at the resort so Bek and I headed to EPCOT for a Girls morning! We had a quick breakfast in the room and off we went! I left it up to Bek what we did, so first we headed to Soarin' and grabbed Fastpasses then over to Test Track. Standby time was listed as 25 min, and we figured that would be not to bad of a wait! Oh boy, were we wrong. I should of gotten the hint when we were in line outside and I did not hear the cars going by often. As soon as we got in the building part of the line they made an announcement that they were having difficulties. I liked the queue...for the first 10 min...then the music started driving us insane! But we powered through it...and *92* min LATER we got in our car. Yea, 92 min. UGH. So by the time we were done there Fastpass time had come so off to Soarin'. We had the perfect seats this time (third times a charm!), middle set, first/top row middle! Was great! Well by now Bek had just about hit her limit but we both wanted to hop on Spaceship Earth before we went back to the resort. We both love this ride!

    SO, back to the resort to meet up with Dada and have lunch and a little break! We ate in the food court again, then we hungout in our room for a little bit.

    Back to EPCOT! We headed right over to the World Showcase to wander around the countries we missed before. We found the maze in England and Bek had a ball doing that! We just wandered and took all the details in!

    We had reservations at Biergarten at 5:55, so we headed over there at 5:30. We were seated pretty much right away. Our timing was great, too, because at 5:55 the next performance began! Bek went right over to the dance floor and held hands with a group of other girls and just danced around and around! She had a great time! John and Bek enjoyed the food, I, on the other had did not like ti so much. I expected lots of meats and sausage, and there were for sure! Just the flavors did nothing for me. I think I also was pretty “fooded out” and not feeling 100%. I would not give it bad rating at all, the buffet was large, the atmosphere was great and the service was wonderful.

    More wandering around and then we slowly made our way out and I said a sad last goodbye to EPCOT for this trip.

    We headed back to the resort and had a quick swim (yup, me too!), and then to bed to get ready for our last day!

    Day 8 – 9 January 2013

    Last day. Sad.
    We started with and early breakfast at food court (8am). We decided that we were going to try out Sorcerers of the Magic kingdom card game in the park today. We loved it. We were able to slow down, and it felt like we were able to take in more of the park this way. It was not all about getting on rides! So we wandered around on Main Street doing Sorcerers then headed to Space Mountain. Bek and I rode StandBy with out Dada with a walk on wait, was great!
    One last trip on Carousel of Progress and then we headed over to Buzz, which was another walk on! Time for a little breather so we went on the People Mover. On there we saw Stitch doing a Meet and Greet with no line so when we got off we headed over there. He was awesome! In Bek's autograph book Rapunzel accidentally started signing her name on Stitches spot. We told him that, he was a little confused, but when we looked at the autograph book, he signed “Stitch, NOT Rapunzel!” Nice! Also, the autograph pen had a string on it where we would tie it to the book. Stitch was memorized by it!
    We then headed over to Adventure Land to do more Sorcerers. I grabbed a Dole Float (very good, but not crazy good like all the hype!) on our way to heading back to the resort for lunch in the food court and to start packing.
    Late afternoon we headed back to the park and did some Sorcerers in Frontierland/Liberty Square.
    We were able to hop on Pirates TWO times, back to back with no wait, awesome again!
    Bek and I did Big Thunder Mountain one more time (15 min wait) and then we all did Haunted Mansion one lest time (I rode in a Doom mobile by myself!).
    We then hopped on the train to Fantasyland and got on Dumbo 2 time with no wait. The second time Dada joined us, so I rode by myself and took a few videos!

    Now it was time for our reservations at the Plaza. Underwhelmed. It was a very nice looking place, with a great view of the castle. I expected a better menu. It was like counter service, but at a table service. However, we did get a free Fastpass from our waitress. We had to wait a bit because she was dealing with a non-English speaking table. That was nice! The food was ok, just not fitting to the atmosphere.

    Then we decided to get a great spot for Celebrate the Magic (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZR0PkQZPac not my video) and Wishes. OH MY GOODNESS, Celebrate the Magic was AMAZING! Wishes was alright, but no Tinkerbelle!

    Then sadly we walked out way out of the park for the last time for this trip.

    Day 9 – 10 January 2013

    Time to head home. We got our ME letter the night before, but I did not really like the departure time so we finished packing, headed to the food court for breakfast and then to the ME check in. We did the airport check in and I asked if there was anyway we could leave earlier (on the bus that just got there) and we were told we just needed to ask the driver. Headed over to the driver and he said “Sure can!” and off, sadly, we went.

    I hope we can go back in 2 years, so hopefully January 2015 we shall be in the World again!

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