Still the One...27th Anniversary trip

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Pjimmeyer, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. Pjimmeyer

    Pjimmeyer 1000th Happy Haunt

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    Just back from a fantastic anniversary trip! Boy howdy the magic still lives and Disney is "Still the One" for us. The parks were great...the CMs were fantastic and the other guests were fun. A few of the nights and early mornings I thought we were going to freeze solid though. I have had a hard time getting the trip report started because the post Disney blues are hitting particularly hard this time. :sad2:

    The kids are grown so last year we started making some of our Disney trips just the two of us. This year we celebrated our 27th anniversary from 12/7 - 12/17 by trying club level at the Contemporary. We used photopass again this time...here is one of my wife Sara :love: and me (Jim).

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  3. Pjimmeyer

    Pjimmeyer 1000th Happy Haunt

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    We have stayed at the Contemporary many times, but this was our first time staying club level. We were on the 12th floor on the Bay Lake side...riiiiiight over Chef Mickeys. Yes...we did hear them in the mornings but it didn't matter most mornings since we were usually early to the parks. On our later sleeping mornings I kept the fan running on the thermostat which covered it pretty well. We usually stay at the CR when we visit. Most of the time its a MK view but sometimes on the longer trips we will pick Bay Lake view just to be able to get away from the hustle and bustle of the parks.

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    A view of the CR from the monorail station at the MK. One of the great things about the CR is how CLOSE it is to the MK.

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    View from our balcony.

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    From our room looking down on the 4th floor concourse. You can see the monorail tracks and the beautiful mural by Mary Blair.

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    View of the MK from the 12th floor CL lounge. Perfect seats outside on the corners of the balcony for two or you can watch from inside at the lounge tables...couches etc. Nice snacks and food.

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    A view from the other side of the 12th floor. You can see a monorail passing through on the MK to TTTC express rail. Just on the other side of that is the monorail station for the CR. Stores below and the giant Mickey wreath they have started putting up on the outside of the concourse.
     
  4. Pjimmeyer

    Pjimmeyer 1000th Happy Haunt

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    One more shot from the 12th floor lounge...this time a day shot of the MK complete with construction crane in Fantasy Land. :rotfl:

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  5. Pjimmeyer

    Pjimmeyer 1000th Happy Haunt

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    After arriving later on the 7th from Tucson, we just settled in to the room and puttered around. Our first full day the 8th was a Wednesday. Normally we start each trip with the MK but Lines had it as a busy day there...so we went to DHS to start things off with a couple of TSM runs around rope-drop. Crowds were great at DHS all through when we headed back to the Contemporary in the early afternoon.

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    We don't like to get involved in the insanity of a rope-drop rush to TSM...so we try to arrive 5 minutes after or so. The wait for a fastpass was only a minute or so and then on for about a 20 minute wait in the queue. Just right to enjoy the themeing and such. Not that it matters...but I beat her BOTH times this day. A first. And yeah...it DOES matter. :rotfl:

    We strolled back to the hat area to grab a couple of character poses and try our first time ever on the great movie ride. I know...I know...we have been to DHS maybe 12 or 15 times. Never tried it. It was a fun ride and I promise we won't miss it again.
    :goodvibes

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    Then over to sunset blvd for the ToT and RRC etc. We ended up leaving the park a little early that day because we had a 5:45 dinner reservation at California Grill. So after a nap up to a really nice dinner on the 15th floor. We ended up just watching the fireworks from the lounge on the 12th floor because we had scoped out a much cozier arrangement on one of the balconies there plus they put out a nice spread of little desserts around 8-10 pm.

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    In the interests of full disclosure...those fireworks pictures were actually taken LAST December from our 11th floor room balcony. I didn't take any fireworks pictures this year. I find that I concentrate more on taking the pictures and end up not enjoying the show as much as I would otherwise. They had the same show as last year though and the viewing position was virtually identical.
     
  6. Pjimmeyer

    Pjimmeyer 1000th Happy Haunt

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    The second full day (Thursday 12/9) we split between MK and Epcot. It was originally going to be a full day at Epcot because we had CP dinner package reservations but we had not even stepped foot in the MK yet and it was driving me bonkers. So an early morning to MK with a swing through Tomorrowland...Fantasyland and end up at the mandatory Haunted Mansion. We wanted to practice our Buzz Lightyear skills and were very interested in seeing the changes to the Pooh ride and if we could see much over the fence in the phase 1 construction.

    In a determined effort to beat my darling sweatheart into dust on Buzz I had been researching online hints. Unfortunately I have a big mouth and ended up spilling the beans. She was just as prepared as I was. While I ended up maxing out the ride score first (it took some practice...so later in the trip)...she ended up...once again...consistently faster at doing it than I was before all was said and done. Sigh.
    :hug:

    We really enjoyed the changes they made to the pooh ride and queue enhancements.


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    We have been hearing all the rumors about the Snow White dark ride's potential demise next year, so we wanted to make sure we hit it a few times. It was still early so everything had short lines and this was a walk on as usual.

    After a late morning to early afternoon break back at the Contemporary we headed to our late lunch CP package at Le Celliers. This is always hands-down our favorite meal on each trip and we always order the same thing. Cheese soup...filet...creme brulee. Perfect food and service. We snagged a Soarin fastpass on the way to Le Celliers to ride after the processional.

    Jodi Benson...ARIEL narrated our Christmas story. She was fantastic and I had a big grin on my face the whole time as I heard the Little Mermaid give us a beautiful rendition of what Christmas is really about. We also met some great folks from the midwest standing in line and sitting before the show started. It was pretty cold even with the first showing of the day...I know they have small portable heaters up there but Jodi HAD to be cold in that dress.


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  7. Pjimmeyer

    Pjimmeyer 1000th Happy Haunt

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  8. Pjimmeyer

    Pjimmeyer 1000th Happy Haunt

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    Our first MVMCP night came on Friday the 10th. We spent a few hours puttering around the park in the morning before we hit the Liberty Tavern for the best pot roast on the planet. :goodvibes

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    Our favorite pattern is to go early and leave around mid day for a break. Then come back for the late afternoon and evening with a fist full of fastpasses. So after a break it was back for the first Christmas Party of our trip. We really loved them last year and especially like to combine them with the Dessert Parties since its just the two of us.

    After getting our party bands at the front of the park (once 7pm rolled around they were really checking closely) we puttered through adventureland and frontierland. We wanted to make sure we got a picture with the 7 dwarves so we got in the still short line about 6:20pm or so. It got pretty long by the time the dwarves showed up at 7pm. It was kind of amusing how they arrived like rock starts through the archway with pictures flashing and applause. :lmao: But don't worry...I get it. :thumbsup2


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    After making sure we were able to nab the party gear and pins we wanted we headed over to practice at Buzz Lightyear again (by way of the HM and IASW of course). Haunted Mansion is my favorite ride of all time and IASW was always one of my wife's favorites. It has become one of my top favorites too in spite of the reputation it has. I could listen to that song all day long with a smile on my face. :goodvibes

    We really enjoy the dessert parties and have always had good luck with front row tables.


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  9. BettyBeBop

    BettyBeBop Mouseketeer

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    So enjoying your report!! I love that you and your wife are enjoying time there alone now that your kids are grown! I am taking my hubby back to WDW this March, just the two of us, a couple of weeks after our 29th anniversary. Athough I go quite often, it will be his first trip back since 1996! Hoping to plant the Disney bug in him as our kids are grown and it's time for us to start enjoying "us" again!! And I nabbed us a stay at Bay Lake Towers to impress him!!

    Great Pictures!! Can't wait for more!
     
  10. CR Resort Fan 4 Life

    CR Resort Fan 4 Life DIS Veteran

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    Subscribing to your thread.
     
  11. Pjimmeyer

    Pjimmeyer 1000th Happy Haunt

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    Thanks and welcome! We originally met in central Florida as teenagers and while we were courting were able to make a couple of day trips up to the MK. We honeymooned at WDW but were not able to afford to stay onsite yet. Lots of stays since then between DLR and WDW with the kiddos. Even without them though there is still no place we would rather spend a vacation.

    I'm sure your hubby will be very happy with Bay Lake Towers! Disney is perfect for anniversary trips. Make sure you note on your dining reservations that you are celebrating your anniversary...some places will add a little extra magic. :goodvibes


    Howdy CR Resort Fan! Thanks. :)
     
  12. CR Resort Fan 4 Life

    CR Resort Fan 4 Life DIS Veteran

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    What did you think of the lounge on the 12th floor and the Cast Members who worked up there?
     
  13. Pjimmeyer

    Pjimmeyer 1000th Happy Haunt

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    They were very good. Nothing really super incredible...but very good. Attentive and helpful and never failed to greet us warmly. There was a little bit of a hiccup when we arrived. There was nobody on the first floor to greet us and we seemed to catch the 12th floor staff a little short handed. There was only one person that seemed to be working when bell services brought us to the 12th floor and she was busy setting out the food in the lounge. We still got checked in quickly...just something you notice.

    One person we noted on our e-mail to WDW guest communications about our trip was Heidi. She did a great job while we were there and helped us quite a bit. We always make note of the CMs that went above and beyond in the parks...transportation...dining and resort so we can send in our thanks and let their bosses know about what a good job they did.

    Here are some pictures of the club lounge area for those who may be curious:



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    I didn't take a picture of the snacks and drinks area, but you can find examples of those over on the first page of the Contemporary Resort Thread.
     
  14. CR Resort Fan 4 Life

    CR Resort Fan 4 Life DIS Veteran

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    That's great to know and in the past we have sent an e-mail to WDW about Club Level Cast Members who went above and beyond like Heidi did for you, so we know how great they can be.

    During our most recent Contemporary Atrium Club stay in August 2010 we thought Paul was simply amazing and very friendly to talk with.
     
  15. sjs314

    sjs314 "Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and

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    Totally enjoying your TR, fantastic pics, especially of the CL lounge.
     
  16. arcticdisneylovers

    arcticdisneylovers DIS Veteran

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    6 more night till we arrive at CR, so I can't wait hear all about your trip :goodvibes
     
  17. Pjimmeyer

    Pjimmeyer 1000th Happy Haunt

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    Thanks!

    Sounds like a PEFECT time to visit. What a way to start the new year!
     
  18. Pjimmeyer

    Pjimmeyer 1000th Happy Haunt

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    Saturday the 11th was kind of an off day...nothing scheduled or planned...just whatever. We ended up at Downtown Disney and hit the MK late to catch a late Main Street Electrical Parade showing.

    We did have an interesting little encounter on our balcony that day. We were snacking on a couple of cookies from the lounge and I noticed a bird out on our balcony. Sara tossed him a few crumbs. She was in the process of pulling another piece off for him when he decided she wasn't being fast OR generous enough with her sharing...flapped up to the cookie in her hand and WACK. In a flurry of feathers she was mugged. "I saw the whole thing officer." The cookie falls to the patio and she quickly backs inside and shuts the sliding door. A whole bunch of friends showed up to finish off the cookie and wait for more...


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    We love to collect pins so we always hit the main pin store at DTD. They seemed like they didn't have quite as many pins in the store as they have previous visits.

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  19. Pjimmeyer

    Pjimmeyer 1000th Happy Haunt

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    Speaking of pin collecting, I'm definitely more of a collector than a trader. We bring our collections with us and I like to pick out a few nice pins for my lanyard to wear to the parks. Sara wears some pins she doesn't care much about in case somebody wants to trade. I just usually explain I don't trade pins but I got caught this trip. We were in line for a dessert party and chatting with a very nice family from Georgia on their first visit when I notice the little girl eyeing my pins. She asked very nicely to look at them and she really seemed to like the Mickey/Minnie limited edition pin I got from the 2009 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. She offers a trade. Doh! It was like when little Cindy Lou Who asked why the grinch was taking their Christmas tree. I heard myself saying "Of course!" As I was trading the pin to her Sara did explain more about pin trading to make sure they knew that it was voluntary when it came to other guests in case they came across somebody who didn't want to trade. It was worth it to see how excited she got over the pin though. :goodvibes
     
  20. Pjimmeyer

    Pjimmeyer 1000th Happy Haunt

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    That morning we thought we would try The Wave for dinner since it was just downstairs and we had never been there before. The Concierge desk on the 12th floor was able to get us reservations for 7:00 pm. Must have been a lucky break because when we went down for our ADR they were booked and walk-ins were being told it would be 45 minutes to an hour. We both ordered beef dishes and they were very well prepared. The desserts come out in sampler portions so you get variety without getting too full. The service was fantastic. Overall we actually enjoyed it more than California Grill, so if you get a chance try The Wave on the first floor of the CR. :thumbsup2

    We remembered the Main Street Electrical Parade from when we were kids in the 70s, so we were very excited to see it again. We had never gotten around to seeing it at its new home in DCA at the Disneyland Resort. The park was open late so 2 showings that night. When we plan to leave the park right after a normal parade (the non-holiday ones that start at the front of the park) we like to watch from either the Train Station or if that is already full then in front of City Hall.


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  21. BettyBeBop

    BettyBeBop Mouseketeer

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    Okay - I am seeing scenes from "The Birds" with all of those little guys hovering on your balcony! That is too funny! And love the story of the little girl and the pin. Truly the Disney spirit at work there!
     

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