The AutoTrain, Disney World, and MORE report! Picture-heavy. **Final Update 1/5**

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by ddstratton, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. ddstratton

    ddstratton DIS Veteran

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    When we last left off, we had just returned to the resort after spending some time at Downtown Disney. Right around 5:00, we decided to head over to Hollywood Studios. We waited quite a while (probably 20 minutes or more) for a bus at the French Quarter. This was the longest we had had to wait at the resort.
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    By the time we got to Hollywood Studios, it had started to rain. Not pouring, but enough that you knew it was raining. It had been so hot, though, that the rain kind of felt good.

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    Since it was raining, we decided to hit an indoor attraction. All of us went on The Great Movie Ride.

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    When we came out of The Great Movie Ride, the rain had let up. We headed over toward The Muppet Show. We love that show.

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    We hit the Muppet gift shop first. We were actually a little disappointed here. My sister LOVES Kermit. We could not find one T-shirt with Kermit!! In the Muppet gift shop, there was actually very little Muppet merchandise! One little section of the store. The rest was generic Disney stuff.

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    After the gift shop, we stopped for some supper at Pizza Planet. We got two cheese pizza kids meals with applesauce and cookie, and two pepperoni pizza meals. DH and I each got a large Coke, and I bought DD a souvenier plastic cup with root beer. Total cost here was $33.90. No pictures again. I had thought about taking pictures, but we were almost done eating by then. OOPS!!

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    After supper, we watched the Muppet show. We always enjoy that show. After that, we just wandered around the park for a little bit. Toy Story Midway Mania was posting ridiculous wait times, and there weren’t any Fast Passes available. I know it’s a fun attraction, but these wait times for a ride that is over 2 years old are unreal! Over two hours – we skipped it. We loved it on our last trip, but honestly – it wasn’t worth a two hour wait. We just kept wandering around the park, seeing the sights.

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    We headed over toward the Fantasmic entrance. DD REALLY wanted to see this. Boy, is that a long walk! We finally got to the amphitheater and found a place to sit. It was a pretty good spot, actually. We were pretty much in the middle, and only about three rows or so back. Yes, we did get a little moist during the show! I’d say it was a full house.

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    The crowd was having fun while waiting for the show. I lost track of how many times the ‘WAVE’ went through the crowd. We were a little nervous, though. It was spitting a few bits of rain, and were were hoping they wouldn’t cancel the show. In the end, it was only postponed for about fifteen minutes. The wait was worth it. We got there right about 8:00 pm, for the 9:00 pm show – so we didn’t get there 90 minutes to 2 hours before the show, as some tell you that you need to.

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    DD absolutely loved this show. All of us enjoyed it, but she was mesmerized.

    After leaving the amphitheater with the masses, we wandered around the park some more to see what we could see.

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    We ended up coming around to Star Tours. By now, the Extra Magic Hours were in effect, so the park wasn’t overly busy. This was a walk-on. DD and I decided to try it. WE LOVED IT!! We went on twice in a row.

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    After our second ride, Mom decided to join us for a third ride. All three were walk-ons.

    By 11:00 pm, we decided it was time to leave. On the way out, we stopped at Mickeys of Hollywood and bought DD a stuffed Sorcerer Mickey. She was still enchanted with Fantasmic! Total cost here was $14.86. After this, we headed toward the bus stops. Here is where we meet up with more Disney Bus Chaos. It wasn’t closing time. The park “officially” closed an hour or so earlier. Extra Magic hours still had quite a while to go. But there were MOBS of people waiting for a bus! I could not believe where our bus stop line was. We were supposed to be at bus stop 14 (I think – it was the last bus stop, anyway). We were near bus stop 11 – and the line for French Quarter kept going behind us! This was the line behind us.

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    We kept seeing buses come and go for other bus stops. Finally, someone got on the ball. We had THREE buses at our stop at one point – side by side, with one behind, just loading people up. We finally made it back to our resort just before midnight. We got to our room and just hit the beds. We were pooped!
     
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  3. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    I have to say that while I enjoy looking at all of your pictures, the pictures of your mother and daughter in these installments are my favorites. You can tell that they were having the best time together. What memories were made!

    Boy oh boy! The bus stop line was outrageous. Thank goodness they sent in several buses to get all of ya'll back to the resort.
     
  4. PEANUT1

    PEANUT1 You can Fly!

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    great trip report so far!! we are taking the auto train in 16 days!! We are about a 3 hour drive from the station and I can't wait. We got a bedroom for our family of 4.

    I was looking at your crowd pics from Sat in the MK....seems like most people tend to arrive at the parks mid to late morning...that is why we always do rope drop..also the MK is always so busy on Saturdays..i think it is because of the locals..

    I liked your pic of the treehouse....we actually stayed there for a week in January (we have DVC) and they are absolutely fabulous.
     
  5. mrsksomeday

    mrsksomeday My Prince uses a power wheelchair!

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    So sorry to hear you couldn't find a Kermit tshirt. We have gotten one there before, that is ridiculous! Maybe after the new Muppet Movie comes out they will have more merchandise??

    We love Fantasmic too. I love the pictures with your Mom she is always smiling, you can see she is having a great time.

    That is great that Star Tours was a walk on for you.

    That is awful about the busses, I don't know why they let that happen.

    Can't wait to read more!
     
  6. ddstratton

    ddstratton DIS Veteran

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    They had a blast together! And that bus line was something else...

    Yay!!! You'lll be heading to Disney World soon!! We love the AutoTrain, and the private rooms (roomettes or bedrooms) are great.

    I'm jealous -- I want to stay in one of the treehouses some day...


    It seems like Disney is making a lot of their shops more generic - you find the same stuff in each shop, rather than specific merchandise in certain shops.

    We really loved Fantasmic. Even the almost-teenager was mesmerized. I was afraid she'd think she was "too cool" for it. More is coming up soon!!
     
  7. ddstratton

    ddstratton DIS Veteran

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    Mom was up and around before the rest of us, as usual. She had gone to the food court for some “coffee” around 8:00 am. She took a few shots on her walk.

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    The rest of us were stirring by the time she got back. It was just before 10:00 am when we finally made it out of our room and toward a park. It had been a late night previously, and we slept in a bit.

    DD was not really thrilled to be up and around yet.

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    We headed to Epcot. My memory here is a little fuzzy… I think we hit Soarin’ when we first got there. We got some fast-passes for later, then waited in Stand-by. I think it was just over a half-hour wait. Not too bad,really. We loved it, as ususal.

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    After Soarin, we stopped in at Sunshine Seasons for some sodas. Total cost for three sodas was $7.64. (DH said he didn’t want one, but he ended up sharing mine). Then we headed over and rode Journey Into Imagination with Figment. DH went on this with us.

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    Our fast-passes were coming up for Soarin, so we headed back to the Land. All four of us rode Living With The Land. The wait time here was about 10 minutes. The line looked immensely long – like ridiculously long. But it moved along at a fairly quick pace.

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    We all like this one. It’s a nice change of pace, to just sit and relax a bit. Plus we all find it sort of fascinating.

    We used our Soarin’ fastpasses, with minimal wait. I’m thinking we had to wait about 10 minutes or so…

    After leaving the Land, we were a bit hungry. We made our way over to the Electric Umbrella. It was about 1:40 pm. The place was still pretty darn busy. DH and I got Mom and DD’s orders while they went to find a table. DH and I had the Bacon Double Cheeseburger with fries, DD had the kids meal chicken wrap, and Mom had the kids meal cheeseburger. Total here was $34.02. It was basic burgers, but they hit the spot and were nice and tasty. I didn’t get any food pictures – I was too hot and hungry for that. However, Mom did get a couple of pictures of us while we were there.

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    After lunch, we headed over toward Test Track. The stand-by line was just too long for us, so we headed over to Ellen’s Universe of Energy.

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    We hit it just right, and entered just as they were starting the pre-show. This is a great ride for a hot day. All of us rode, and we enjoyed the show.

    Boy, walking out of the nice air-conditioned show into the heat was a killer! We decided we would head out of the park and back to the resort. We made a pit-stop at Spaceship Earth, though. DD just loves this one! We got DH to ride with us this time.

    He really does not look thrilled to be here, does he?
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    We headed out of the park. Looks like it was just in time, too… That sky was getting a little dark.

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    It had rained at the resort, but had stopped by the time we got back. Mom loved this picture of DD and a squirrel playing hide and seek around the tree.

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    We just vegged in the room for a while. Mom and DD weren’t interested in going anywhere else. They just wanted to enjoy the room. They ate some of our left-overs and other goodies from our food box for supper. DH and I went to Downtown Disney. On our way out, we stopped in the lobby to set up an appt for a Vacation Club tour. There was an offer in our room for a $100 gift card for taking the tour. We got an appt for the next morning. After setting up the appt, we headed down to the boat dock to catch the next ferry to Downtown Disney.

    We weren’t really sure where we wanted to go for supper, and just wandered around Downtown Disney for a bit. The weather kept threatening rain, but it never did.

    We ended up at Cookes of Dublin. It was just before 6:00 pm, and the place was not too busy at all. DH had the One and One – fish and chips. I had Chicken & chips, and we each had a Coke. Total cost here was $25.99. It did get a little busier while we were there.

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    After supper, we meandered back to the boat dock. We really did enjoy the ferry between Downtown Disney and the French Quarter. It’s a nice, relaxing ride.

    Our room was on the second floor, just a couple doors down from the corner here.
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    continued in next post -- too many pictures...
     
  8. ddstratton

    ddstratton DIS Veteran

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    We got back to the room to find Mom and DD lounging around, just enjoying some down time. By now it was right around 7:00 pm or so. We were trying to decide what to do. Magic Kingdom had Extra Magic Hours until 1:00 am tonight. Should we go?? After some discussion, we decided that the pool sounded a lot better! So off to the pool again.

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    DD and I took a walk to the pool bar – Mardi Grogs. I bought each of us a non-alcoholic Lava Smoothie. Total cost was $9.99. They were really very tasty. The raspberry puree had a very strong flavor.

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    Mom and I were ready to go back to the room before DD and DH. They stayed and we headed back. On the way back, look at the little friend we saw.

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    Cute little thing, wasn’t he?

    For the rest of the night, we just vegged. Not an early day tomorrow, so we watched TV and such. I played around on the laptop with my pictures and stuff and just enjoyed the evening doing NOTHING.

    Up next – our last Disney day.
     
  9. onelilspark

    onelilspark DIS Veteran

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    Isn't it wonderful just to do nothing on vacation??
     
  10. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    What a great installment! You were able to do things in the park and spend time at both Downtown Disney and the pool. Ummmm.....you really don't expect me to agree that the snake was a cute little thing do you? I am terrified of snakes!
     
  11. mermaid764

    mermaid764 DIS Veteran

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    Awesome update!

    It sounds like a great evening by the pool and your dinner at Dublins looks really good.

    Yikes about the snake...I think I would have freaked it I had seen that lol

    Looking foward to hearing about how your last day went:goodvibes
     
  12. eeyoresnr

    eeyoresnr DIS Veteran

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    there is nothing cute about that or any snake:scared1:
     
  13. debf

    debf Mouseketeer

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    Great update. I hate snakes.:scared1: I would've scremed like a baby.
     
  14. ddstratton

    ddstratton DIS Veteran

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    Love days like this!!

    We had a great day, without feeling rushed to go here or be there.

    He was just an itty bitty little thing. OK, he was a little on the long side, but he wasn't very big around at all. Maybe as big as my pinkie finger. His head was really little - about the size of a pencil eraser or such.


    We had a great evening, and dinner was fun.

    I think the snake was more freaked than we were. We took a couple of pictures, and I'm afraid the poor thing may have been blinded by our camera flash momentarily.


    I'm just glad he wasn't of a larger variety...

    I'm thinking that if the snake could have screamed, it would have!! :rotfl2: We were just a wee bit bigger than it was.

    Another updated should be coming soon!
     
  15. ddstratton

    ddstratton DIS Veteran

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    Our 19th Wedding Anniversary. This day marks the time that I have now been married to DH for half my life. I was married at 19, and it’s been 19 years now. Yeah, I think I’ll keep him.

    Mom was up before the rest of us, as usual. She went to get some coffee and took some pictures along the way.

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    We had some snacks for breakfast, then got packed up for the day and went down to the lobby area. We were going to be getting in a pretty red van to check out the Disney Vacation Club!! There was a brochure in the lobby, offering a $100 Visa gift card for doing the Vacation Club tour.

    Our van was waiting when we got down to the front of the resort. For some reason, I didn’t take any pictures during this tour!! I have no idea why not. We went to Saratoga Springs for our tour. We had a nice guide. The tour was nice, and he gave a lot of very good information. We saw models for the Contemporary Bay Lake Towers and Animal Kingdom Lodge. I fell in love with the Animal Kingdom model!!! The Bay Lake Towers model was nice, but I just loved the AK one. The master bathroom (I think that’s in the one-bedroom suite portion) was simlpy amazing. I want to live there. If there is ever a time that I can afford this, we’ll be buying in. But right now – definitely not in the financial cards. Our guide didn’t do TOO hard a sell. We did have to say no a couple of times, though. I didn’t want to say no, but had to. When we were done, he gave us our gift cards and showed us to the ice cream parlor. We had a little ice cream, then they gave us a ride to our park of the day – Animal Kingdom.

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    DD loves the artwork on the back of these benches.
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    Checking out the schedule for the day.
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    Animal Kingdom was fairly busy today. And HOT. This trip was just HOT overall. Too hot for my comfort. I liked the weather from our October 2008 trip much better.

    We headed over to Dinoland.
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    We were heading for Dinosaur. Just a little busy.
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    We had about a half-hour wait on Dinosaur.
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    DH had found a shady spot to wait, as he didn’t go on this one with us.
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    After Dinosaur, we decided to try Primeval Whirl!
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    We had a little bit of a wait, but the ride was fun!
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    We headed out of Dinoland, and stopped at a vendor cart. We used part of our Vacation Club gift card and bought a hat with pins on it for DD. Total cost $26.58. We stopped at the next cart and got some drinks. No idea what the cost was!! I think the drinks were $2.00 each??

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    Continued in next post (too many pictures)


     
  16. ddstratton

    ddstratton DIS Veteran

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    It was really hot (as I might have mentioned before…), so we decided to see It’s Tough To Be A Bug.

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    We enjoyed this show quite a bit. Nice and cool theater. Great 3-D effects. And other effects, too.

    After the show, we wandered around a bit.
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    It was getting purty hot, so we decided to head out and get back to the resort. We needed to get packed up, too. We would be leaving in the morning, and had plans for tonight.

    On the way out, we stopped at a cart and got some pretzels.
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    Total cost for three pretzels - $12.11.

    We stopped at what looked like an empty exhibit on the way out. We waited a couple of minutes and spotted this guy.
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    Then we spotted this dude watching us.
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    DD, showing off her new pin hat.
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    We also stopped at a pin store, and bought DD a skateboard pin. I seem to have lost the receipt for that one… I think it was about $6.00 or so for the pin.

    We headed to the bus stop at about 2:45 pm, and were back in our room at 3:15. Obviously, we didn’t have to wait too long for a bus.

    We'll leave off here for today. Coming up next -- T-Rex for supper!
     
  17. merrymouse1

    merrymouse1 Mouseketeer

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    All caught up! Loved your report and looking forward to hearing about T-Rex because we are eating there on our first night at Disney in about 72 hours!
     
  18. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    I have never done one of the DVC tours because I was afraid the salesperson would be too pushy. But, it sounds like your salesguy wasn't too bad.

    It looks like ya'll had a good time at Animal Kingdom even though it was so hot that day.

    I hate that it's already close to the end of your vacation.
     
  19. ddstratton

    ddstratton DIS Veteran

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    Ohh --- I'm jealous!! I wanna be back there. Here's a spoiler -- we LOVED it!

    The salesman did his job -- he tried to sell us on the DVC. We did have to say no a couple of times, but he was really very pleasant about it. The first time we said no, he offered a different payment plan, I believe. We didn't feel overly pressured or anything. And the tour was fun, and quite informative if you are seriously considering buying into DVC.

    We did have a good time at AK, despite the heat. We just weren't expecting it to be quite as hot as it was. :confused3

    Yup, we're coming to the end of this trip. But -- shhh!!! -- we might just have another trip in the works... I do have a 40th birthday coming up next year.....
     
  20. ddstratton

    ddstratton DIS Veteran

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    When we last left off, we had just left Animal Kingdom and were heading back to our resort.

    DD had left a note for the Mousekeeper, asking for some extra soap. This is what she found when we got back.

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    We started packing up, took some stuff to the truck and just vegged for a little while. Right around 5:00 pm, we headed down to the boat dock to catch a ferry to Downtown Disney. We had 8:00 pm reservations at T-Rex! DD has looked forward to this meal for AGES.

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    This is one thing I had wanted to do that we never got around to.
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    We wandered around Downtown Disney a little bit.
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    Cinderella obviously isn’t DD’s favorite character. I think she’s still mad at Cindy for having her picture taken with her Dad on our last trip.
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    It was still fairly early – not quite 6:00 pm. We went over to T-Rex and went inside to let DD do the Build-A-Dino. We were going to let her do 2 – one from us and one from Grandma. However, she only wanted to do one. So she built one and got extra clothes to go with it. Smart kid.

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    She ended up with the Build A Dino, Flip Flops, a T-shirt & pants, and a sweatshirt. Total cost was $43.67.

    I'm gonna cut off here, as there are so many pictures. I'll have another update very shortly.
     
  21. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    What a nice way for the mousekeeper to leave the soaps. I am always amazed at the magical Disney touches to something so simple.

    That is one smart kid you've got there. I love the outfits that she chose for her dino. The flip flops are adorable.
     

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