Scooter Adventures, Twinsies Reunited, and a Bit of Christmas Cheer! Complete 6/22

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by bellebookworm9, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    Hello everyone! I'm Gretchen. 21 years old, just finished my first semester in my doctorate of audiology program, former WDWCP, and technically still seasonally employed by Disney.
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    I took this trip with my mom, Debbie. And the twinsie mentioned is my BFF PB, who I met on the college program and who still lives in Florida. Mom and I stayed at Wilderness Lodge for the first time, and we had a lot of other firsts too: DDP, MVMCP, and all the Christmas stuff in general. We went at a much slower pace than normal, not a lot of rides, more relaxing. So let's get started!

    December 17th
    -Best Flight Ever!
    -A Room with a View!
    -Twinsies Reunited
    -"Chugga Chugga Chugga!"


    December 18th
    -A Lazy Morning
    -Pre-Party Fun
    -"What would happen if we mixed red dye with my green outfit?"

    December 18th
    -"Just buy a Dooney already!"
    -Hear the Lion Roar!
    -"Where did the camera go?"
    -Let Your Dreams Come True Tonight!
    -"You need to learn how to drive that wheelchair": Parts 1 and 2

    December 20th
    -In Which the Scooter Dies :sad:

     
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  3. jecskc

    jecskc DIS Veteran

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    I'm in !!! I love a good scooter story :rotfl2::rotfl::moped:
     
  4. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    I am in! :)
     
  5. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    Welcome! We have many good scooter stories!
     
  6. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    Our day started around 6am. Grandma came and drove us to the airport around 6:30. Before we left, we took our traditional pictures of the luggage and and me erasing the last Mickey head from our calendar.
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    Of course, on the way to the airport, Grandma took the slow route and managed to hit every single light. :headache: But we made it just after 7. This was the most painless check in ever. We had already checked in online, so all we had to do was print the boarding passes and check the luggage. No wait, and soon we were on our way to security, where there was also no wait, and thankfully, no problems.

    We've never flown JetBlue before. In fact, since we started flying semi-regularly almost 8 years ago, we've only ever flown Southwest. But JetBlue was a bit cheaper this time. Our boarding passes said Gate 7, so I thought this was our plane, but then it was changed to Gate 8.
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    We started boarding around 8:20 and had picked seats 17 E & F ahead of time. Unlike Southwest, there wasn't a huge backlog of people because they started boarding from the back and everyone knew where they were supposed to go! The pilot forewarned us that there might be some turbulence going South, but there was none at all. It was literally the smoothest flight I've ever been on. We enjoyed the snacks (I had the iced animal crackers) and I loved that they gave us the whole soda can! I may have watched the DirecTV for a bit, but I mainly watched the map, listened to my iPhone and played Solitaire.
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    We landed right on time, and the pilot continued his winning streak: we didn't even feel the touchdown and there was no slamming on the brakes. This tree was waiting for us in the airside terminal at MCO.
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    I didn't like the automatic tram on this side at all. It was completely enclosed at the loading station, which was very claustrophobic feeling. But I was shocked when we got to the main terminal, went down to level 1 and the Magical Express area was RIGHT THERE! No loooooonnnnng trek down the whole terminal!

    As usual, there was no queue at ME, and we were immediately directed into Line 4.
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    We waited about two minutes to be loaded onto a bus, but there were only two other people on it, so we did sit for about 10-15 more minutes while a handful of other people were loaded as well. While we were waiting I got a call from Apple Scooter, telling us our scooter hadn't been delivered yet (I had requested it be dropped off at 12), but it should be there soon. (Mom has a host of back problems, including a bulging disc.)
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    I really love the new ME buses, they seem to handle much better than the old ones. Our driver was Benjamin and he was awesome. He chatted with those of us seated up front and shared trivia and information. We were seated in the front row, so I was able to get pretty decent pictures of the arch.
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    And soon enough, we were approaching this new (horrible in my opinion; I always thought the pink and purple was more magical) Magic Kingdom toll plaza.
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    Our first stop was the Poly.
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    Then it was over to the Grand Floridian before finally making our way to Wilderness Lodge.
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    All in all, it took about an hour from the time we first boarded the bus to the time we got off at WL. Megan greeted us at the Port Cochere, and she was exactly the kind of cast member you want to encounter upon arrival: extremely cheerful and welcoming. She led us into the lobby, went and got our check in packet for us (we had done online check in), and explained the contents of the folder before sending us on our way. Mom also went to Bell Services, and found out that the scooter still wasn't there. Before we headed up to the room, I snapped a picture of the gorgeous tree in the lobby.
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  7. MissPrice

    MissPrice Treguna, Makoidees, Trecorum, Sadis Dee!

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    Joining In :goodvibes Great start. -Amanda
     
  8. MissPrice

    MissPrice Treguna, Makoidees, Trecorum, Sadis Dee!

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    HAHAHA we know you do!!
     
  9. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    Megan had told us we would be in room 4151. We had booked a courtyard view (60% off with my CM discount!), and I had specifically requested third or fourth floor, center courtyard view. Our room was about halfway down the second extending wing on the south side of the lodge. I did like the new RFID locks because I didn't have to take my card out of my lanyard to open the door.

    Looking into the room:
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    Storage and fridge to the left:
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    Closet to the left:
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    Vanity to the right:
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    Tub to the right of the vanity:
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    The rest of the room:
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    Coathooks near the connecting door (I would totally buy this for my house):
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    Painting next to the bed:
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    And then...the view:
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    OH MY GOD! It was like they took the image of what I wanted our view to be right out of my head and matched it exactly! Heavenly. I've never had the urge to actually just sit on the balcony before, and we never did get around to it, but I did spend a lot of time just looking out the doors.

    We were quite hungry by that time, so we headed down to Roaring Fork to get some lunch. It was our first time using the dining plan, but we didn't find it hard to figure out. Our entree was the Pork & Slaw Sandwich with a side of house made chips, and for dessert we chose the Magic Cookie Bar. Our mugs were also "purchased" at this time, and we never really got good use out of them on this trip-I think we only filled them up two or three times.
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    All the food was very yummy. After lunch, we headed back up to the room to take a nap...and found that the pool party that happens every afternoon was blaring up to our room as well. I didn't have my earplugs yet because they were in the checked luggage, so I didn't end up napping. We could also hear the boat horns and the geyser erupting. I played on the internet for a bit, but the Wi-Fi was pretty bad. The "In Room" network would make me disconnect and reconnect literally every other page. The "Public Areas" network was a little weaker signal and therefore a bit slower connection, but it didn't kick me off nearly as much.

    Around 3pm there was a knock on our door: Bell Services with our luggage from Magical Express! We had only checked into the hotel two hours prior, so that was definitely the best experience we've had (and much better than my last experience, where I didn't get my luggage for something like six and a half hours after I had checked in!). I also went down to the Bell Services desk in the lobby around 3:45 or so and was pleased to find out that the scooter had finally showed up! I got the key and drove it back up to the room. Found out the hard way that as soon as you let go of the drive handle, it stops. Immediately. Mom got up around 4 and we got ready to head over to the Studios to meet PB and have some fun!
     
  10. archdandy

    archdandy DIS Veteran

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    Joining in! Wow, that view is amazing :eek: I really want to stay at Wilderness Lodge one day because its just beautiful. I can't wait to hear about your trip!
     
  11. librarygeek

    librarygeek DIS Veteran

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    Wow, Wilderness Lodge looks stunning! I've never been there before, but I'd love to stay there sometime. It looks like the Christmas decorations there are perfect :)
     
  12. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    It was absolutely beautiful. The one major issue we had was how hard the beds were-enough that it prevented us from getting a good night's sleep, and so we probably wouldn't stay there again. But the decorations were awesome-I have tons of pics of them coming up!
     
  13. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    After Mom woke up from her nap we ventured out to the bus stop. Our destination? Hollywood Studios! The bus came within about two minutes. Mom almost ran over the bus driver loading her scooter on, and that was when we learned that it always has to be in turtle mode when going on and off the bus!

    We stopped at Ft. Wilderness (all the buses to theme parks share with the Fort) and soon we were on our way. Here's the DHS tree:
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    The new RFID turnstiles were operating but we couldn't use them because our tickets weren't on our room keys. (Side note, but I don't understand these new turnstiles. How do they actually keep people out? When the guests get frustrated with the finger scan, as they often do, what's to stop them from just pushing past the CM and running into the park?)

    Heading up Hollywood Boulevard, I saw a balloon vendor. I've been wanting this balloon for literally almost three years now, and we could finally get one for a reason other than total frivolity: to help find the scooter in crowds!
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    Mom was hungry so we used my free popcorn and soft drink coupons to get a snack. I was also texting my twinsie, PB, about where he was. He had told me he was on the Great Movie Ride, so we were heading towards the Hat, but as it turned out he had gone out to the buses to meet us! So he came back and it was like I'd never left. Unfortunately, there are literally no pictures of us together from this trip.

    On Sunset Blvd, I told Mom she could go join the Fantasmic crowd area while PB and I went on Tower and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. Tower had a pretty short wait, maybe 20 minutes. People must really hate being in attractions with us, because we can quote almost everything and we do. And we're real kill joys on thrill rides in particular, just saying stupid stuff really loudly like, "There's an eyeball looking at us!" and "Oh, I think we're going to fall now..."

    After we'd returned from the Twilight Zone we headed over to the coaster, but the single rider line was closed and the stand by was 40 minutes. Not happening. I had left my phone with Mom and she texted PB that she was in row H of the ampitheater, dead center in the Mickey section. This is news folks: 1)She figured out how to work my iPhone all by herself! 2) She actually followed directions! (She has herself admitted that her brain disappears on vacation and relies on me to be the thinker.) So we went to join her. Mom liked the new pre-show, but PB and I find it a little boring-in fact, we could probably host the darn thing, we've seen it so many times. The theater filled up a lot slower than I expected-I don't think the Beast section completely filled up until about 10 minutes before showtime. And then the show started! The twinsies love Fantasmic, but Mom hadn't seen it in almost six years-I'm glad to report she liked it much more this time than she did in the past! I didn't take any pictures this time because I took a bazillion pictures during January-August, which will be posted in my other trip report.

    Then it was time for something completely new: The Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Absolutely amazing, and we stayed back there for about 45 minutes.
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    Look at the flurries of snow!

    And I also took some short videos.
    Here Comes Santa Claus
    Parade of the Wooden Soldiers
    Feliz Navidad
    Christmas Eve Sarajevo
    Christmas Eve Sarajevo Finale

    When we'd had our fill of the lights, we headed back up to Echo Lake, as it was almost time for our ADR at one of our favorite restaurants: 50s Prime Time Cafe!
     
  14. jecskc

    jecskc DIS Veteran

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    :rotfl::lmao::rotfl2:
     
  15. jecskc

    jecskc DIS Veteran

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    Loving your TR so far !! Looking forward to reading more !! Wonderful photos !!
     
  16. librarygeek

    librarygeek DIS Veteran

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    * I'm with you, I don't really completely understand how the new turnstiles are supposed to work. I'm very curious to see how they work out the issues with that.
    * Love the Mickey balloons! I've always wanted one but have never actually bought one either. Well, we are doing an anniversary photoshoot at one of the resorts for our August trip and I think we may buy a Mickey balloon to have in some of our photos, I thought that would be fun. So I'm excited about finally getting one too lol!
    * Interesting that your mom enjoyed Fantasmic more this time around than a few years ago. The last time my husband saw it he didn't really enjoy it that much, but I'm hoping to change his mind someday!
    * Love your Osborne lights pics. They seem stunning.
     
  17. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    Thank you!

    I should probably ask one of my friends that have been trained on the turnstiles how they work, since I won't be able to go back and work on them before my six month grace period ends.

    The Mickey balloons are very fun. Just a tip, you cannot have them at Animal Kingdom park or AKL.

    I think my mom liked Fantasmic more this time partly due to the circumstances. The last time she saw it, it was the last night of my high school band trip. She was a chaperone and the whole trip was just a bad experience for her. This time we were also in the 8th row, and last time we were up at the very top in wheelchair section, so she may have liked it better now since she could actually see what was happening!
     
  18. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    When we finished up with the Lights, we walked back up towards the front. Our ADR at 50s was at 8:20 and we checked in a little early. It was a great experience, as usual. Mom ordered the Blue Crab Salad, Meatloaf, and S'mores.
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    I chose the Fried Herb and Garlic Cheese, the Pot Roast, and a PB&J shake.
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    And PB ordered the Onion Rings and Meatloaf.

    Carole was our waitress, and she was very fun. She made a mom at another table eat her last bite of dinner airplane style, and fed the Guest Relations tour guide with that family finish his vegetables while we all banged on our tables and yelled "Chugga Chugga Chugga!" When we were done with dinner, we slowly made our way out of the park, taking more pictures along the way.
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    We said goodbye to PB for the time being, and he boarded the tram back to his car. Mom and I walked to our bus stop, and there was only one other family waiting there (this was around 9:20pm, so an hour and twenty minutes after official park closing). A bus pulled up in about five minutes, we got Mom loaded on and soon we were on our way back to the lodge. Back in our room, Mom took another picture of the view.
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    And right at 10pm, much to my surprise and delight, we were able to see the higher Wishes fireworks over the north wing! I was almost crying because I was so happy. The first day was amazing, and we had a pretty relaxing second day planned. I went to bed, fell asleep almost instantly, and, per my usual first night at Disney, didn't move at all.
     
  19. bellebookworm9

    bellebookworm9 Future Au.D.

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    Tuesday morning we slept in a bit, until about 9:30. I went down to Roaring Fork to get us some breakfast to bring back to the room. We were originally going to order room service, but the current menu is different from any of the ones online, and none of the selections sounded all that great. So we checked the allears menu for Roaring Fork (also out of date) and Mom told me to get her pancakes and bacon. When I got down there, I was very happy to see they do have Mickey waffles, in three kinds: Strawberries & Cream, Chocolate Lover's, and Banana's Foster.

    There was virtually no line at either station, and they even gave me fresh pancakes, even though there were still a few sitting in the serving dish.
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    I paid for this meal out of pocket, but I did get a 20% cast member discount. The food was absolutely delicious. Mom adored the pancakes and fruit, and my waffles were out of this world. A perfect start to the day!

    After that, we were still pretty tired (the beds were super hard and we both had a hard time sleeping on them) so we went back to bed for a few more hours. When I woke up again I went down to the Mercantile to buy the Minnie Santa ears to wear to the Christmas Party that night, and I also picked up a purple Tinker Bell magnet for my car. Back at the room, I convinced Mom to get up, and we took our leftovers from 50s down to Roaring Fork to heat up for lunch. We also got a carrot Cupcake to share.
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    This cupcake was massive! Very moist and the frosting was amazingly creamy-I think it may have topped the Carrot Cake Cookie from Writer's Stop at DHS! All of the cupcakes in the case looked good, and I wouldn't have minded trying the Smores one, but alas, we never got around to it.

    During lunch I realized that I had left the memory card for the camera in my computer so I ran back up to the room to get that. I had been texting PB about meeting up the next day, and Mom went to call Grandma in the meantime, using my phone-only to find that in between texts, AT&T turned off my service due to a bill snafu. :headache:

    Putting that off for the moment, we decided to go explore the decorations around the resort.
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    Some close-ups of the decorations on the tree (they were HUGE, probably as big as my head!):
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    We wandered over to the Villas as well, to check out their decorations.
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    Heading back towards the Lodge, we decided to walk towards the dock to see if the boat was taking ECVs, but no captains were there for us to ask. It was almost 3pm, and Fire Rock Geyser was set to erupt, so we joined the small crowd to watch it.
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    Baby ducklings!
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    And looking back at the lodge, you can see the "Bear Face".
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    We headed back up to the room to get ready for MVMCP and I also took care of my phone bill. :mad: Then it was out to bus, which came almost instantly! :cool1:
     
  20. librarygeek

    librarygeek DIS Veteran

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    Food at the 50's Prime Time looks really tasty! I like the looks of that crab salad! I like that you took the day slowly and spent some time to check out all of the decorations. Very pretty!
     
  21. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    I'm in again! Love trips with you and your mom!

    Dee
     

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