Hi, all! I love the Dis community, its such a great place to share our passion (obsession?) for Disney and what it means to our families! Heres a report on our trip in early December. The trip was too short but a lot of fun! Cast: Me , DH, and DD18. Our 27th anniversary was a couple weeks before the trip, and DD turned 18 a week and a half before, so we did have something to celebrate, but we made the trip mostly to take advantage of the military salute discount. DH is retired AF, so he received a free 5-day hopper for him, plus 5-day passes for DD & me for $99, plus $25 each to add park hopping. They also offered great room-only discounts, so we decided to splurge and stay at the Beach Club. We have always wanted to stay at an Epcot resort, so it was a great opportunity. A great roundtrip flight on AirTran, and we were all set! Previous visits: Ft. Wilderness Campground with my family in 1977, a couple offsite trips in the early 80s, then with our kids (DD has two older brothers, now 23 & 21) Dixie Landings 1997, Shades of Green 2000, Contemporary (thanks to SoG construction) 2003, SoG 2006. One quick trip with my mother and one son to AKL in 2002, I think, and a couple trips over the years escorting marching bands. Those are still fun, but with no flexibility to do things the right way! I made just a couple ADRs (we were not doing the Dining Plan, which is not a good deal for us the way we dine), one for the CP package on arrival day, and the other at CP for our MK day. I checked in online at the 10 day mark, with no problems. On to the trip! Thursday, December 3 8 am flight from Dayton (nonstop the main reason we love AirTran to Orlando!). No problems with the flight. We were taking DME for the first time, and it worked out great. We landed at 10:15, were aboard a bus by 10:40, and departed MCO at 10:50. The bus stopped at POR first, then BW, then YC, so we did not pull in to BC until 11:50, but it was still easy, comfortable, and convenient, so we were not complaining! We stepped off the bus ready to head to the online checkin desk, and we were intercepted by Scott, one of the BC greeters, before we entered the building. He asked our last name, then said You did online checkin, right? I just figured this was typical of deluxe resort treatment, so I had no suspicions about what was about to happen. Well, when we got to the desk, the woman started to pull up our packet, and from the office door beside us out popped three or four cheering workers holding a balloon bouquet and a certificate proclaiming we were the Family of the Day! Heres a pic we were sent after returning home: Incredible! After we got our packet, Scott let us know that we were being updgraded to concierge level! Since we had just reserved a standard room, we were floored. Scott escorted us through the lobby and up to the concierge level, showing us how we would have to use our room key in the elevator to access the floor. Our room was not yet ready, so we had checked our carryon bags with bell services and planned to head to Epcot for the afternoon. Our lunch ADR for Biergarten was not until 1:50, so we stopped in the concierge lounge for a snack to tide us over. Wow, what a treat! The afternoon snacks include things like pretzels, goldfish, Swedish fish, cookies, sodas, juices, and terrific homemade potato chips with a great southwestern-style dip. Heres a pic: We were still in shock, but after a quick snack for fortification, we were ready to head to Epcot. WALKING! Yes, one of the best features of BC, for us! We had obtained the military salute park tickets at our local base ticket office before arrival, but we still had to activate them at the ticket office at the IG. That did not take too long, and soon we were strolling through the UK toward Future World. Here are our first pics in the parks: Bless my DH, he lets me do the planning, but he has definitely absorbed much of the info, so the first thing he wanted to do was get a FP! He became quite the FP tactician this trip, in fact. So we walked to Soarin and grabbed a FP for later and then rode the Land, which was a walk-on. After a stop for refreshment at Club Cool (again, DHs suggestion yay!), we decided to head to WS to catch our favorite live performers, Off Kilter. A couple pics and a link to a short video clip: Off Kilter video After that we strolled toward Germany for our lunch ADR. It was a gorgeous afternoon, warm and sunny, so we loved just soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying the warmth. Heres a pic as we walked: I had wanted to possibly try the Kim Possible missions this trip, but we never really had a good opportunity, although we saw a LOT of families doing them. Maybe next time for us! We checked in for our ADR 10 minutes early and waited about 20 minutes or so to be called. We just explored the Germany pavilion. I love the WS pavilions, there is so much detail in the architecture. A couple photos: We were seated with two other couples and had a nice chat while we ate. I loved the food, especially the desserts. The cheesecake is so light, and the strudel was terrific. We also enjoyed the show: Biergarten Show video 1 Biergarten Show video 2 After lunch we decided to catch the acrobats at China and made DD endure the movie. (She does not like those, gets very bored). These kids are so talented! Chinese Acrobats video 1 Chinese Acrobats video 2 More great architectural details: Oh, by the way, while we were waiting for the acrobats, DH turned into the FP runner once again and offered to go fetch some TT FPs. Love that guy! Maelstrom was a 30 minute wait, so we just wandered through the store and DD got to visit with her favorite troll: Here she is when she was 11, which demonstrates that trolls age well! We also stopped to listen to the hilarious Sigrid at Norway as part of the Christmas around the world: We then rode the boat in Mexico and caught the end of the Three Wise Mens performance in front of the pavilion: It was 4:20 or so by this time, so we had to think about getting to our 5:00 CP show. There was a Friendship boat almost to the dock near Mexico, so we hopped on that to ride to Germany. Normally these boats are not the most efficient way to go, but theyre always a nice relaxing break, and this time it did save us some time compared to walking. The line for standby for the CP was pretty long, but we walked right in the CP package line. The person at the entrance said we needed to put the stickers we had been given at dinner on, so we did that and found some good seats. Here is a pic of DH & DD waiting for the show. It also shows the sticker on DHs shirt: We LOVED the CP. Steven Curtis Chapman was the narrator, and he did a wonderful job. We were very impressed how they blend the talents the Voices of Liberty anchor the vocals, backed up by the CM choir, and supplemented by the high school choirs. And the orchestra was terrific as well loved the herald trumpeters! Some pics and a short clip from the Hallelujah Chorus: Candlelight Processional video After CP, we decided to head to the BC to see our room, do a little unpacking, and grab some snacks. ON our way we stopped to listen to Mo Rockin: We LOVED the easy walk from the IG! When we got to the BC we used our magic gold KTTW in the elevator to head up to the fifth floor, where the lovely ladies at the Concierge desk gave us our room number. It was a little hike down the hall, but a great room. Heres a pic of the balloon bouquet we had received on arrival: And the view of the front of the resort from our balcony: After unpacking a bit (our luggage was in our room, as expected), we headed to the lounge and enjoyed a couple beers (really enjoyed the Yuengling), as well as some great hot appetizers and other snacks. With a large late lunch this day, it served as our dinner quite well! We headed back to Epcot around 7 and used our FPs for Soarin, then Test Track. We even had time for MS, which was a walkon. Then we grabbed a snack and went to the CP viewing area for Illuminations. We arrived at Showcase Plaza around 9:10 for the 9:30 show, and found a spot in the middle of the crowd. We talked to the CM who was checking tickets at the entrance, and he said that all CP package holders could use this area, and that could be as many as 3000 people! But he said the most they had had so far was about 750. We enjoyed the view from here. Yes, everyone stood up, but in the middle of the pack we still had a great view, especially since they did not let anyone up right by the fence. That really helped, since that area slopes slightly upward. We also really enjoyed the holiday tag on the end of the usual show, with Let There Be Peace on Earth. A quick video from the show: Illuminations video We strolled back to the BC after the show and were sound asleep shortly thereafter. A great first day! More to come...rain, fun, a mini-TGM meet, MVMCP, the JoBros, and more!