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The Magic and the Misery ~ Updated 6/13: June Trip Report Started!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Dugette, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. Dugette

    Dugette DIS Veteran

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    We left off with our arrival back at POR. We headed to our room and turned on the Vikings vs. Saints NFC Championship Game. If the Vikings won this, they would go to the Superbowl! :cheer2: I am not a big football fan, but I will usually jump on the Vikings bandwagon if things are going decently. So, we wanted to watch.

    While the game was on, we multi-tasked. Dug worked on the not-so-easy chore of getting us checked in for our return flight online (via an iPhone). :headache: I crunched budget numbers to figure the extent of “Disney funds” we still had available. :teacher:

    When we were staying at the Poly, we had gotten a bounceback offer:

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    We did not act on it, though, as we knew we’d probably get more in our other two resorts. Plus, we were hoping for moderate or value options (this just had deluxe). We did not receive anything at WL. However, POR had just the offer we were looking for:

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    Now we had some planning to do. We had upgraded to Annual Passes so that we could spend long weekends at some of the special events at WDW throughout the year.

    First up: Star Wars Weekends. :darth::yoda: Dug is a big Star Wars fan. I tolerate it. It’s not really my thing, but hey—it’s in Disney World! We decided that the first weekend in June (week 3 of SWW) would work best in our schedules. We had enjoyed POR, but (you may remember from our PTR) we had originally wanted to try POFQ. Lack of availability kept us from staying there this trip. However, it was available for our June trip. At 35% off. Resort #1 selected:

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    Next event: Food & Wine Festival. We both agree that this sounds like fun! Can’t wait to try all the different foods! And it will be nice to spend more time in World Showcase. We picked Veteran’s Day weekend, as Dug has a day off work for the holiday. During our resort explorations on this trip, we’d decided on our favorite Epcot resort:

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    We really liked Beach Club in general, StormAlong Bay in particular, and the location is great for walking over to Food & Wine. Better still, deluxes were 40% off, but deluxe villas were 45% off. Simple math :teacher: showed us that a Studio at BCV was actually cheaper than a regular room at BC, due to the increased discount. Plus, we’d have a kitchenette! Awesome! :cool1:

    Although we know that some holiday decorations will be up by the November trip, we both have been enchanted by all the pictures and video of WDW during the holidays. So, we really want to make sure to catch everything. Guess a December trip is in order! We decided on on the second weekend in December, as rates are low, crowds are low, and decorations are up! We’re going back to a resort we fell in love with during our one night:

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    The Poly! :cloud9: Thanks to low season rates and 40% off, a long weekend splurge was do-able. It seems crazy, as we are value resort people at heart (we just stayed at a Super 8 when we went out of town this weekend), but you gotta take advantage of the deals while they’re out there!

    So, Dug called up the bounceback number and made our reservations. June 3-6, November 11-14, and December 10-13. The second two weekends we may not stay the whole time, but the reservationist suggested that we book an extra day, as we can always cancel bounceback days, but not add days at that rate. And we won’t know exactly which days we’ll want until we find some decent airfare.

    I can’t remember if we also booked this the same night or if we already had, but we called and booked Le Cellier for dinner on June 6th. Had to make up for my illness.

    Three more Disney trips! Getting our money’s worth out of the APs! Less than a month until the next one! Can’t wait! :yay:

    So, anyway, the football game was still going on. It was a pretty good game, very close. So close, in fact, that it went into overtime. It was getting late and we still had to go to Downtown Disney! But we wanted to find out who won! Well, we should have left, as the Vikings blew it. :sad2:

    Now, with very little time, we had to get to Downtown Disney, get souvenirs, get candy from Goofy’s Candy Co., and maybe get some dinner. We sped (by foot) down to the bus stop. A Downtown Disney bus came. The driver wasn’t sure that we’d make it there before things closed, but he got us there as quickly as he could. We arrived with 10 minutes until the stores closed!

    Dug and I had made a plan of attack while on the bus. We’d split up. He’d get the souvenirs (we’d already browsed enough that we knew what we wanted, mostly) and I’d get the GCC treats.

    He took off to WOD and I happily arrived at GCC. :cloud9: I had never been in here before. It would have been fun to look around more, if I’d had more time. But I had a mission to use snack credits on create-your-own candy! Luckily, it was empty, so I was helped right away. An older gentleman was working the candy counter. I asked what a snack credit would get me. He said either the marshmallows-create-your-own or one of the premade candies on a stick (I think he hoped I’d go for that…less work right before close). Of course, I had to create ours! I filled out the paperwork for our candies. For mine, I had marshmallows, covered in dark chocolate, rolled in Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and drizzled in dark chocolate. For Dug, I guessed what he would like and got him marshmallows, covered in white chocolate, rolled in Butterfinger, and drizzled with dark chocolate. It was fun to watch him make the candy. He wrapped them up, I paid with two snack credits, and headed out. We didn’t actually look at them until the next morning, but here’s a sneak preview:

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    Called Dug and he was just heading out of World of Disney. He got: Lady & the Tramp salt/pepper shakers for his boss, a purple Mickey tie for his dad, Disney pizza plates for his sister and BIL, a Goofy-Chewbacca figurine for his best friend (who was looking in on our cat while we were gone), and a frame that I wanted for us:

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    We still don't have a picture in the frame...thanks, impetigo! We'll have to get a good one next trip. My family has never been big on souvenirs, so that was all we needed. (We’d already gotten his mom that glass at the beginning of our trip, if you recall).

    Success! :cool1: We’d done all our Downtown Disney shopping in under 10 minutes! Obviously, it was too late to get dinner there, so we headed back to POR to eat at Riverside Mill.

    We had meal credits to use up, so we each got our own meal. Dug did the create-your-own pasta again. He got a warm apple pie for dessert. And a Sprite to drink. I got the baked ziti, water to drink, and ice cream for dessert. I asked if two scoops (rather than just one) worked for a dessert credit and they said that was fine. So, I got one mint chocolate chip scoop for myself and one vanilla scoop that I gave to Dug to top his apple pie with:

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    After we ate, we went back to the room. I think we might have packed up a little. Only one partial day left! :sad1:

    We walked 18,679 steps this day. Time to sleep!

    Up next: How much can I remember about our last day, since we have no notes on it? I, for one, can’t wait to find out!
     
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  3. praisehisname

    praisehisname DIS Veteran

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    Your bounceback plans are so exciting! :cool1: Plus you were able to score a ressie for LeCellier. Can't wait to hear about the trips!

    I can't believe you guys were able to accomplish so much at DD in 10 minutes! :laughing: I'm impressed!
     
  4. LuvEeyore

    LuvEeyore DIS Veteran

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    This trip report has been so much fun. I am looking forwardward to the last days report and to the June report. We are going July 15-18.popcorn::popcorn::
     
  5. Dugette

    Dugette DIS Veteran

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    3 weeks and 1 day until we're off to Disney again! :cool1: Can't wait to try Le Cellier! And, yes, I still can't believe we got all that done at Downtown Disney when the bus driver seemed to think we were crazy to go there at that time!

    Thank you! Your trip's coming up soon too! :goodvibes


    Although it's borderline crazy, I'm considering writing up a belated TR for our September 2009 trip (before we leave for our next trip). I recently discovered we have better notes than I thought (considering we didn't make any until after the trip). Not to mention over 800 pictures. Gotta finish this TR first, though! :)
     
  6. gellybean

    gellybean DIS Veteran

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    Holy Bounceback Booking Batman!

    That's awesomeness in a nutshell, Dugette!

    I'm so jealous. And kicking myself. I so should have booked bounceback. Next year I'm booking it just to have on a what if.

    As it is, we're stuck with general discount and AP discount through my mom. Well twist my arm why doncha? :lmao:

    We may or may not have just added a quick trip in August. What was in the Disney drinking/swimming/batheing water the week we were there that has made us such addicts?!!! :rolleyes1

    :rotfl:

    So sorry your trip is coming to a close (all over again via a TR) but glad you guys have 3 trips to look forward to!!
     
  7. Dugette

    Dugette DIS Veteran

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    I just perused your PTR. Looks like you got some equally good deals anyway, between the PIN code and your mom's AP. Awesome!

    We figured booking bounceback room-only couldn't hurt, as we can cancel anytime up to 5 days before with no penalty.

    Yes, Disney must put magical pixie dust pixiedust: in the water that tells us to come back soon! And often! :laughing: I'm so glad you get to go back a couple more times this year! :goodvibes
     
  8. Dugette

    Dugette DIS Veteran

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    So sad waking up your last day at Disney, knowing that you have to go home that day. :sad1:

    Luckily, we had plenty of chocolate-covered leftovers in the fridge for breakfast:

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    We ate what we could but, sadly, we ended up throwing quite a bit away. We needed to have POR hold our luggage all day and were not sure that the food would stay cool enough.

    We packed up and headed out of our room. Goodbye POR! :wave2: We brought our luggage down to the airline check-in area to store for the day. We attempted to correct our seating assignments for the flight (as we got separated during the online check-in). Their system wasn’t working, so they told us to try later, when we came back.

    In our PTR, we mused about spending the last day in either AK or DHS. But, with me having been sick and missing some park time, I wanted to go to MK and Epcot. However, we had to drop Epcot off of the plans, due to an ADR change we made the night before.

    I forgot to mention, the previous night, we had an ADR for dinner at Raglan Road. When we decided to watch the Vikings game, we considered cancelling it. Then we found out that there is NO entertainment there on Sunday nights! So, that sealed the deal and we did cancel our ADR. Which left us with two table service credits to use our last day. Hmmmmm, where can we go that’s yummy and can get us in last minute? :idea:

    Kona! Yes, we’d already had breakfast and dinner there, so why not complete the circuit and have lunch too? So, we made an ADR for a late lunch at Kona. Our flight wasn’t until 6:10pm, so we didn’t have to catch the Magical Express until 3pm.

    So, this morning we were catching a bus to the Magic Kingdom. Once we arrived, we split up. I power-walked over to Space Mountain for Fast Passes. Dug took the train over to Frontierland so we could meet at Thunder Mountain. He got some photos of the train ride:

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    We met up and got in line for Big Thunder:

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    Got right on. Love that ride! In fact, so much so that I insisted we go again. Line was still short, so we went on a second time.

    Now, it was time to take the boat over to Tom Sawyer Island:

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    We’d heard that the cast members hide paintbrushes on the island each morning and that if you find one, you get special Fast Passes. Our mission was to find a paintbrush!

    On the raft ride over, the CM also made an announcement about the paintbrushes. So, everyone would be looking now.

    Shortly after we got to the island, some older (college-age?) guys each had found a brush. Not sure if they made one give a brush back, as there is supposed to be a max of one per party. We explored the island, splitting up and meeting back up occasionally. I saw a little boy with a paintbrush.

    We explored the fort. Last trip, the fort was closed, so it was nice to see it. But we weren’t finding any paintbrushes!

    After we’d covered the island pretty thoroughly, we decided we were out of luck. We wandered dejectedly back toward the boat dock. And out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something sticking out between some crates. Pulled on it. Sure enough, it was a paintbrush!

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    When the boat got back to the mainland, the CM gave out the Fast Passes. Guess what they were for? And guess how many he gave us?

    Yes, two sets of Big Thunder Fast Passes. When we had just ridden it twice with no line. Ha! We tucked away the 4 FP and figured we’d keep an eye out for some fellow MN Vikings fans to give them to, since they’d surely need cheering up after the game the previous night.

    After all this island exploration, we needed some refreshments. And we had snack credits to burn. On our way to the refreshments, I noticed how this bird looked like it almost belonged on that sign:

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    I almost expected it to be audio-animatronic. But it was real.

    Snack time:

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    I believe that Dug got the Orange/Vanilla Float. I got the Pineapple Dole Whip. I like the floats, but it seemed like that would be too syrupy-sweet for me at that point. It’s funny, because even though I was “better” by then, I didn’t feel like I had my normal appetite back until a couple days after getting back home.

    We found some seating near Aloha Isle and had the whole area to ourselves. Sat and enjoyed our Dole Whips. :cloud9:

    Next, we had to squeeze in another ride on Pirates. We ended up getting our very own boat!

    After that, we made the stroll over to Tomorrowland. Obligatory picture along the way:

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    Here’s a picture of the rose garden area that we watched Wishes from a few nights ago. There was a bench behind the bushes, right outside the covered area, that we had sat on:

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    Once we arrived in Tomorrowland, we got Fast Passes for Buzz Lightyear.

    Dug had been wanting to ride Astro Orbiter, so we headed over there. We had magical memories of riding this at Disneyland several years ago at night during the fireworks show. That was cool.

    There was a little bit of a line for this one. And it was slow-moving. So, when they asked for a party of two, I jumped at the chance. It brought us straight up to here:

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    However, at this point, we also remembered that we probably would not be a party of two, but two parties of one. Because these ride vehicles do not fit two adults comfortably. I remember this at Disneyland…we were squished and could hardly get back out. Uh, oh. :crowded:

    Once we got up to the loading platform, a guy in our elevator who was holding a little baby said, “Oh, I didn’t think it was going to be like this” and bailed. We immediately asked the attendant for his spot. Luckily, she agreed and we each were able to get our own rocket. Whew!

    Dug took some photos of the views from the ride:

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    Neither of us really liked the ride. I think maybe it’s only magical when there are fireworks going on. I didn’t like how fast it spun. Dug didn’t like that it was so cramped. Oh, well. On to Space Mountain!

    We rode with our Fast Passes. Loved it, as usual!

    On the way out of the ride, we discussed our extra Big Thunder Fast Passes. We had not spotted any purple-clad Vikings fans. Minnesotans are not as easy to identify the day after a loss. So, we figured we should give them to someone getting off Space Mountain, as they would probably like coasters. In the gift shop outside of Space, Dug asked a family near us if they wanted them. They said sure. Done.

    We had just enough time to take a quick spin on Buzz with our FP. Still bad at it, as usual.

    Continued in next post…
     
  9. Dugette

    Dugette DIS Veteran

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    After Buzz, we made our way over to Main Street. We had 3 more snack credits to use up on things we could take home with us. Headed to this place:

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    I wanted to find something that I could bring back for my co-workers. Hard to find something that travels well, is uniquely Disney, feeds 12 people or so, and you can get for a snack credit. I was looking for awhile.

    While I was in there, Dug took some pictures of the parade that was going by:

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    I finally decided on a family-sized package of Disney character cookies. Nothing fancy, but it was the best option I could find. We paid out of pocket, as it was too much for a snack credit. However, I did remember hearing that the fudge here is a good use of a snack credit, because you can bring it home. Okay, then. We tried some fudge samples. We got three pieces: Tiramisu (the one we sampled), Peanut Butter Fudge, and S’mores Fudge:

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    Would you believe I just took that picture a couple days ago?! Oops, guess we only sampled the fudge. It’s still in our fridge. I’m sure it would have been good, but I’m scared of it now that it’s 4 months old! :scared1:

    On our way out, we spotted the Lady and the Tramp heart near Tony’s:

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    Dug took some nice pictures on our way to the monorail:

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    We headed back to the Poly to have lunch at Kona. We were cutting it a little close on time.

    We ordered quickly. Just took the waitress’s recommendations on some of her favorites. Seemed like it took forever to get our food, since we were in somewhat of a hurry, but it finally came. We dug in too fast to take pictures. Looking at AllEars.net, I think we shared these two dishes:

    Island Chicken Sandwich - grilled chicken breast with bacon, Swiss cheese, curry mango mayonnaise, fried onions on a Kaiser served with Asian Vegetable Slaw or Sweet Potato Chips

    Beef Teriyaki Salad - mixed greens, carrots, tomatoes, chives and cheddar, tossed with grilled beef strips in a crispy wonton bowl


    We wolfed them down so quickly that I couldn’t really tell you much about them. I guess they were at least reasonably good.

    I do remember dessert. I got the Banana-Chocolate Crème Brulee. I’d had this during our dinner at Kona the first night, but I had been so full I couldn’t really enjoy it. Well, this time I couldn’t really enjoy it because I had to wolf it down so fast. Oh, well. Dug got some sort of lava cake. I don’t see it on AllEars’ menu, but I know because we have pictures of before and after the chocolate eruption:

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    After scarfing down our lunch at Kona, we headed out the door and caught the monorail back to the Magic Kingdom. And, as always when in a hurry, the monorail had a few-minute break down. We were stopped way up high with a great view, though:

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    Got to MK and sprinted to the bus for POR. We were fortunate to arrive with a couple minutes to spare. Tried to change our seat assignments for the flight again, but were told that they can’t actually do that from the resort. Guess we’ll have to do it at the airport.

    ME pulled up and we hopped on. Goodbye Disney! :wave:

    At the airport, we were able to change our seating assignments so that we would be together. I think we ate something, but neither of us can remember. I know that we were sitting at a table and discussing Dug’s face at one point. It wasn’t doing well at all. The impetigo wasn’t getting better; it may have been getting worse. So, he called and made a doctor’s appointment for the next day. If you don’t want to be grossed out by a close-up of impetigo, I suggest you skip the next picture. If you are daring and have a strong stomach, you can click the link and see what it was looking like at the airport:

    http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad227/yearofdisney2010/Day 10/39yuck.jpg

    Our flight home must have been uneventful. Neither of us remembers anything about it. Speaking of not remembering, this day has all been from our memories, as we have no notes. So, we may have omitted things or even imagined things, who knows? But, it’s the best we can do at this point.

    When we arrived back in MN, we called Dug’s sister from the airport. She had been sick and had laryngitis. But, she and her husband still came and picked us up.

    In the car, we recounted our favorite Disney memories (the 2am night being at the top of our list). They appreciated hearing about it, as they love Disneyland (they lived in L.A. for several years).

    Funny to be riding in a car with a person recovering from a virus (me), a person with a highly contagious infection (Dug), and a person with laryngitis. Poor BIL, being the only healthy one!

    They took us back to their place so that we could pick up Dug’s car. We gave them their souvenir pizza plates. Then, we got in the car and headed straight to Dug’s parents’ house to pick up our dog Bailey. I think they were happy to get her off of their hands. She’s a generally good dog, but she enjoys being an alarm clock sometimes. And not at the good times. :headache: Bailey was happy to see us. :dog2: We gave Dug’s parents their souvenir glass and tie. Then, headed home.

    Back to real life. :( Well, at least we did get to sleep in our own comfy bed again! (although the ones at Disney were good)

    The happy ending is that Dug went to his doctor’s appointment the next day, got an oral medication, and was pretty much healed up a few days later.

    I know most people do little summaries of the highlights and stuff at the end of their TRs. I’m not going to do that. For one, because it’s not over: we have at least 3 more Disney trips this year! Three weeks from today, our bellies will be full of ‘Ohana food and we’ll be at MK until 2am. Also, I am planning to attempt the impossible and write up a TR from our September 2009 trip. Let’s see, I wrote about this 10 day trip in 4 months, so a 5 day trip should only take…:teacher: 3 weeks?!? Sure, why not, I already told some of the stories. I think I’ll just tack it onto here as “The Prequel.” I hope to get it started tomorrow! Also, Dug claims he’s going to start a PTR for our June trip this weekend. If that happens, I’ll let you know.

    So, stay tuned and thanks for re-living this trip with us! :thanks:

    Up next: We travel back in time 4 months!
     
  10. burly

    burly DIS Veteran

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    thanks so much and keep us posted on the past and pre trips!:bored:
     
  11. gellybean

    gellybean DIS Veteran

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    I guess this means I really have to finish my TR now too eh?

    :confused3

    I really enjoyed reading about a different perspective for the same time we were there!! Glad Dug's lips cleared up soon after getting the medicine! Coming back home from Disney is so hard. The only thing I've found to make it better is to plan another trip!! :woohoo:

    Can't wait to read the PTR! HINT HINT DUG! :lmao:
     
  12. LuvEeyore

    LuvEeyore DIS Veteran

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    Loved the trip report and hope to see more.
     
  13. disneydreamingdebby

    disneydreamingdebby DVC Member

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    Enjoyed your report! Thanks for the viewing location for Wishes (rose garden). Three more trips - you are certainly lucky!
     
  14. Dugette

    Dugette DIS Veteran

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    You're welcome. Thanks for reading! I just wrote up the first day (travel day) of our September trip, so I'll be posting that soon!

    Ha ha! Dug needs that hint. :rolleyes1 He did just book a whole bunch of ADRs for our November trip, though. :yay:

    I've enjoyed your TR too. Good thing you have some other trips to plan too, since you're getting close to the end.

    Thank you, I really appreciate that! It's always nice to know that someone besides me is enjoying this! :thumbsup2 More to come shortly...

    You're welcome, I think you had asked about the rose garden before, so I made sure to post that pic. We are lucky! They're short trips, but we can't wait!
     
  15. Dugette

    Dugette DIS Veteran

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    I went to Disney World twice as a kid. Both times, my dad had conferences in the area and brought my brother and I along. The first trip was when I was 7, I think, and I don’t really remember anything. Although I think I’ve seen a few character greeting pictures from it. Second trip, I was 13 and I remember quite a bit, mostly because we kept a journal of it (link is in my signature, next to the 1990 trip). Both times, we stayed offsite. Animal Kingdom didn’t exist yet and MGM Studios had just opened on the 1990 trip (and didn’t have a lot of rides yet).

    When I was 16, I got to spend one day in Disneyland. I was on a trip to the L.A. area with my dad and step-mom and we took one day to enjoy DL. Rode some rides, met some characters. I don’t remember a lot of details, but I think we all had fun.

    Sometime in my early-mid twenties (I think, I don’t really remember when this was :confused:; I made up the 2002 date in my signature), I was in the Orlando area for a work conference of my own. A few other people I worked with wanted to go to Orlando a couple days early so that we could hit some parks. Of course I was up for that! :woohoo: We spent one day at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. I remember being really impressed with all the roller coasters at that park. We spent the other day at MGM Studios. It was the first time I’d ridden the big thrill rides there and it was a lot of fun. I remember that on Tower of Terror, one of the people I was with had something light in their hand (a Kleenex or something maybe) and we were getting a kick out of watching it hover during the drops. And, since I’ve always enjoyed Aerosmith :rockband: , the RnRC was a blast too. I also remember going over to Epcot and finding a spot along the lagoon to watch Illuminations. It was impressive. I don’t remember much more about that visit.

    So, I was on a good once-a-decade WDW streak, I guess. No wonder we started playing with the WDW website in 2009…

    Dug had never been to Disney World. He had, however, been to Disneyland. When he was about 7-8 years old, his parents had a conference that they'd be busy with for a couple days, so his uncle took him out to southern California to surprise his grandparents, who had a motorhome out there. And they went to Disneyland. He remembers riding Pirates pirate:, he thinks he did the mountains, he got Goofy ears :goofy:, and he ended the day by falling asleep in a Godfather’s pizzeria.

    We also went to Disneyland together (for a day) in 2006. We were out in L.A., visiting Dug’s sister and her husband (before they moved back to MN). We all went to Disneyland together. It was a very commando-style trip and I think we pretty much covered the park. It was a great (although, chilly) day. Here we are at DL:

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    So, this 2009 WDW trip came about rather quickly. Sometime in July, I’m not sure why, we started pricing out WDW trips. Maybe I just knew that I was due for my once-a-decade trip. And it had been awhile since we'd had a real vacation. The free dining promotion was going on and really appealed to us. We also were impressed that we could stay on property at a value resort for a low price (I’m thinking it was about $80/night) and get free airport transportation. (As a side note, we were originally going to book All-Star Movies, but while on the phone making the reservation we found out that it wasn't available and they suggested Pop Century--which we ended up being very happy with!)

    To make a long story short, we ended up booking the trip to WDW instead of flying me to Texas to hang out with Dug during his conference in Galveston. It was going to cost a decent amount to rent a car and fly me out to Galveston to join him, so why not spend time together somewhere more fun before his conference? :idea: (not that there’s anything wrong with Galveston) Dug was able to use his frequent flier miles to get flights from MN to Orlando to TX and back to MN. All free. I was able to get a fairly cheap ticket round-trip MSP to MCO. All included (airfare, hotel, transportation, food, wine, misc.), we only paid about $1500 total for this trip. We are bargain shoppers. I think we ate about $400+ of free food too.

    I should also point out that, although I knew that I loved Disney World, Dug was not entirely sure yet. He had liked Disneyland, but he loves to travel to new places. This trip won him over, clearly. :cool1: So, let’s get rolling!

    Okay, so here we are in May 2010. Are you ready? Get in your teleportation device… :teleport:

    You have arrived in September 2009! Specifically, Wednesday, September 9th. Otherwise known as 9/9/09.

    This day may sound pretty similar to the beginning of our January 2010 trip in many ways.

    The morning started off with Dug dropping me off at the park & ride so that I could catch the bus to work. We brought Bailey, our dog, with us. Dug passed by his sister’s house on his way to work and dropped Bailey off there. She was going to spend a few days with her “cousin” dogs, two Yorkies that she loves. Very nice of Dug’s sister and BIL to watch her for us. :goodvibes

    We both worked all day. :surfweb:

    After work, Dug drove back to his sister’s house. :car: He and the luggage loaded up in her car and she took him to the airport.

    I took the train from downtown Minneapolis to the airport after work.

    We met up outside the ticketing area. Had to re-arrange luggage a bit to integrate the things I’d had at work with me.

    Checked our large bags and brought our small bags through security. Where I got in trouble. Oops. :scared: I forgot that there were a couple of things that I’d packed early and put in my small bag temporarily and was going to move to one of the big checked bags once we packed them. Forgot to go back and move them. One was a few small things, like shampoo and stuff. All small enough to meet the carry-on size. I just had to cram them into my quart-size plastic bag with the other stuff that was already in there. The bigger problem was that I’d packed a nice, big bottle of spray-on aloe that we’d bought for some crazy high price on our cruise the previous year. And it was too late to move it to a checked bag. I hated having to throw out something we’d overpaid for in the first place. At least the TSA person was understanding, I guess.

    So, after that ordeal, we went to eat before our 6:50pm flight. Just grabbed a quick dinner at Subway. You’ll notice that this TR does not have very many food pictures, as we had no plans to do a TR on it. I wasn’t even a member of the Dis yet! (Of course, I had already lurked a bunch of TRs…:rolleyes1)

    A bit later, we boarded our flight. All went well. We played games on our iPhone and iPod Touch for a lot of the flight. Bowling, Paper Toss, Scramble, etc. Time passed quickly. Before we knew it, we’d arrived in Orlando.

    Went to the luggage carousels and claimed our checked bags. Made our way over to the Magical Express area. No line and were on the bus quickly. We took the front seat, opposite side of the driver. We did have to wait awhile before going anywhere. I listened to a WDW Today podcast about Tipping at Disney while we waited. Mostly because we weren’t sure if we were supposed to tip the ME bus driver (turns out that, yes, they do accept tips).

    We got moving soon and enjoyed the video. As it was after 11pm, it was dark, but we did see this:

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    Pop Century was the first stop!

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    We headed inside to check in (after having done the online check in). We had repeatedly requested a King bed at every possible opportunity leading up to the trip. They gave us a room. I asked and it was NOT a King bed room. :mad: We made our pouty faces and played up that this was our anniversary trip. (It more-or-less was, as our anniversary was a few weeks later). The cast member went in back to discuss this with the person who does the room assignments, as she saw it was noted in our reservation that we wanted a King. About 5 minutes later, she came back with good news. They gave us a King and upgraded us to a preferred room. pixiedust:

    We were in the building right next to the main building, 50’s area, 4th floor, overlooking Lady and the bowling pin pool. Room 1403. It was an accessible room, but had a bathtub. And the bed was comfy!

    We were too tired to look around much and just went right to sleep. :cloud9:

    Up next: Early Magic and commando-touring at the Magic Kingdom!
     
  16. Dugette

    Dugette DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,419
    So, I forgot to mention one detail. This trip, we did not have the level of ailments that we had in January, luckily. However, we did have one. One of my eyes had been bothering me, so I’d gone to the eye doctor a day or two before our trip. Didn’t think it would be too big of a deal. Turns out that I had an infection in BOTH eyes. The bad news: I couldn’t wear contacts and had to give myself eyedrops several times a day for the next week. I told the eye doctor, “But I’m going to Disney World!” He didn’t seem to care. I hate wearing glasses and giving myself eyedrops. This was not cool. I didn’t want to worry about trying to keep from losing my glasses on rides. And I have terrible vision, so I’d lose most of my peripheral vision with glasses. And what would I do for sunglasses? And how obnoxious having to repeatedly put in eyedrops at Disney! Well, I ended up getting a new pair of glasses with prescription sunglass clip-ons made the night before the trip. :cool2: Since my vision is so bad, there are very limited options on such short notice. But, at least it was something. So, you will notice this in the pictures.

    Back to our first full day:

    We were up early, as we wanted to make sure we took advantage of the EMH from 8-9am at the MK. We packed up the backpack for the day and put on our Anniversary buttons. We had packed a bunch of breakfast bars (no fridge at Pop, so not many options), so we had those for breakfast. Time to head out!

    We caught the bus and made it before rope drop. Even though it was early September, the MK was decorated for Halloween:

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    We caught the opening show:

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    Although the travel day was similar, this trip was very different than our semi-relaxed-paced January one. We had 4.5 days to cover all 4 parks thoroughly, as we didn’t know when we’d be back. One, we weren’t sure that Dug would want to go back anytime soon (he doesn’t like to repeat things very often). Two, we didn’t know what the circumstances in our lives would be like in the next year. No clue at that time that we’d be back a few times. So, we had all the Unofficial Guide Touring Plans on hand and were ready to follow them commando-style.

    First on the plan was a visit to Tomorrowland for Buzz Lightyear (Space Mountain was closed down for renovations or else it would have been first). We made our way over to the entrance to Tomorrowland. It was blocked off. Turns out it wasn’t open during EMH. So, we took a cool pic:

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    Then headed to Fantasyland, as that was next on the Touring Plan. Turned out that Fantasyland was not crowded at all. But, we still followed the plan. Winnie the Pooh was first. No wait at all. Halfway through, during the dream sequence, the ride stopped. Lights came up. We had to wait there awhile:

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    Eventually, a CM came around, leading a group of riders out. They let us out and we followed along, snapping some sort-of behind-the-scenes pics on the way:

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    Before we exited, the CM passed out what we referred to as “Super Fast Passes”. These were good for any ride in the MK for our whole trip (only one use, though). Very cool! This will not be the last time this happens to us this trip…:rolleyes1

    Next up was Snow White:

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    Then Peter Pan, one of my all-time favorites. Then, across the street to It’s a Small World:

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    We were literally walking on to everything. Gotta love Early Magic Hours in the MK!

    Next, we made our way over to Liberty Square for the Haunted Mansion:

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    Loved all the new things they added!

    Now the Touring Plan told us to hit the Frontierland Mountains! On the way, we ran into some lonely characters. Although it was not in the Touring Plan, we figured we had a few minutes to spare, since we’d gotten through so many things already and the park still wasn’t even open to the public!

    There was also another reason we wanted to stop for the characters. This day was Dug’s sister’s birthday. :bday: And she loves Disney. So, we thought, wouldn’t it be cool to send her some birthday greetings from her friends at the Magic Kingdom (via Dug’s iPhone). Of course, we didn’t think of this far enough in advance to make a nice sign, but we improvised as best we could:

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    Dug immediately emailed these to his sister, who thought it was pretty cool. We also took some pics with the characters:

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    We headed to Splash Mountain. It was just now getting close to 9am:

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    We went on and did not get very wet.

    Up next was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. One of my all-time favorites. (If you read about my 1990 trip, you may notice that we went on this (and Space Mountain) about a bazillion times during our trip!) There was no line, so we decided to go on again.

    Next on the Touring Plan was Pirates. Loved the ride, of course. Can you believe the next thing on our Touring Plan was lunch? It was definitely not lunchtime yet. We had some time to deviate from the Touring Plan again. We saw something happening outside of Pirates. Stopped to check it out. Turned out the show was starting. We stayed to watch:

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    The Touring Plan told us that after lunch we should go check out Mickey’s Toontown Fair. We weren’t really interested in that, so we skipped past it. Next up, was Jungle Cruise. We strolled over to take a look. The posted wait was only 20 minutes, but we decided to Fast Pass it so that we could get a few other things in, rather than waiting in line. It wasn’t that long until the FP return time would come up.

    It was pretty hot out. This seemed like an opportune time to try a special treat we kept hearing about. Off to Aloha Isle. We saw that a snack credit would get us a Pineapple Dole Whip Float (normally $3.99), so we took advantage (split it). Ahhhhh, refreshing! :cloud9:

    Continued in next post…
     
  17. Dugette

    Dugette DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,419
    After that pleasant break, we decided to explore the Swiss Family Robinson tree house:

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    We had just a bit of time to kill before our Jungle Cruise time. I remembered listening to a podcast that was about “how to kill a few minutes” at WDW. One thing mentioned was the little remote control boats outside of Jungle Cruise. So, we did that:

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    It was a nice diversion. Now, time for our cruise:

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    Our Touring Plan told us that after Jungle Cruise, we should head to the Tiki Room. Off we went:

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    The show was okay. Neither of us was wowed with it. After the show, we noticed that there was no line for Aladdin’s Magic Carpets. This wasn’t even in our Touring Plan at all, but why not? So, we rode and enjoyed:

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    Finally, it was lunchtime, even though we were well into the after-lunch portion of our Touring Plan. We knew exactly where we were going:

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    We used two of our free dining CS credits to share food. We got a bacon double cheeseburger, fries, Sprite, carrot cake, chicken wrap, apple slices, strawberry yogurt, and orange juice. Total OOP would have been $29.44. This was a lot of food! We were just stuffing ourselves trying to eat it all. Good, though. The fixins bar is fun. I was disappointed with the fries though. One of the things I remember from my 1990 trip was waffle fries at Pecos Bill. I must not have seen them before that trip, but I was apparently fascinated and hooked. It’s just regular fries now. They were fine, though. We hung out for a bit at Pecos Bill, just relaxing in the air conditioning.

    After lunch, we decided to spontaneously do another thing that wasn’t on the plan: explore Tom Sawyer Island. We took the raft over:

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    The fort was closed, but there was still plenty to see. The barrel bridge was fun:

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    The views were neat:

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    Continued in next post…
     
  18. Dugette

    Dugette DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,419
    Since we were right there, we decided to jump ahead in the Plan and take a spin on the Liberty Belle riverboat:

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    It was very hot out, but the views were nice:

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    Since it was so hot, we decided to stop by Pinocchio Village Haus for some ice waters. Such yucky tasting Florida water! Oh, well. We also saw these little guys:

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    When we headed out again, we caught a little bit of the afternoon parade:

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    We decided that, since we had some extra time, we would head over to Toontown after all. We had another birthday idea for Dug’s sister in mind. Some pretty pictures from the walk over:

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    Our idea was to have some of the “face characters” wish Dug’s sister a Happy Birthday, via video (and send from the iPhone). The line for the princesses was much shorter than the line for the fairies, so we went with the princesses. Still a long enough wait…maybe 20 minutes or so. When we got there, we explained to each what we were doing. I think they probably thought his sister was about 5, rather than in her 20’s, though! I can’t seem to fix the dimensions on the video in Photobucket, so it’s a bit squished:

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    We also took pictures, since we were there:

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    His sister also enjoyed the Princess birthday greetings.

    Since we were in Toontown, we wandered through Minnie’s house. Fun to play with everything (like the cake baking in the oven and such).

    Since we were clear on the other side of the park from where we wanted to go, we decided to take the train. While we were on the train, Dug realized that the camera battery was getting low and his spare camera battery was not working (it was new and we had not tested it yet). We ended up riding the whole loop on the train, then the extra stretch, so that we could get to Main Street.

    We went to the camera shop and tried to find an extra battery. They did not have anything that would work for our camera. Dug decided to stop taking pictures for awhile to conserve the original battery for later. While we were on Main Street, Dug wanted to look for a Disney snow globe for his sister. She has a large collection of them, so we had to call her husband to try to figure out what she didn’t have yet. We finally found a small Nemo snow globe and had it sent directly to her.

    With the shopping taken care of, it was time to jump back on the Touring Plan. After skipping the ones we’d already done, Country Bear Jamboree was next. It was okay. We were seated pretty far back, so maybe it would have been more interesting a bit closer. Neither of us was thrilled with it, though.

    We skipped some more things that we’d already done on the Touring Plan and went to Hall of Presidents. We enjoyed it. Dug likes historical things.

    Next on the Plan was Mickey’s Philharmagic. This was pretty cool and we both enjoyed it. I think me, especially.

    At this point, our Touring Plan said to eat dinner. We skipped that, as we had a special ADR planned for later in the evening.

    Next up was Monster’s Inc. Dug texted in a joke that got used in the show! It was something to the effect of, “What monster loves to dance to disco music? The Jitterbug!” :rolleyes2 He was going for corny and family-friendly and I guess it worked!

    Next up on the Touring Plan was the “optional” Stitch’s Great Escape. We’d heard the reviews and knew that most people hated this ride. But, we decided we should experience it for ourselves at least once. It was (at best) okay, but we really didn’t like the way it slammed your shoulders down. Ouch!

    Next on the Plan was the TTA. However, it was closed down. So, this seemed like a good time to get in Buzz Lightyear, as we’d had to skip it this morning. Turned out that there was no line, so we went three times in a row. Not that we were any good at it. Just wait until our upcoming June trip, though. I’ve learned some secrets recently! ;)

    Next on the Touring Plan was the Carousel of Progress. “It’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow…” Good way to end our day in the park.

    Our Touring Plans said to watch the parade and the fireworks next. We had decided to skip the parade. We’re not particularly big parade people. And we had other plans to see the fireworks.

    So, we left the MK and got on the monorail, headed to the Contemporary! We went in and found the restrooms. We’d been carrying “business casual” clothes/shoes (and a hairbrush and such) with us the whole day, so that we’d be attire-appropriate for dinner. We had a 9:05pm ADR at the California Grill at the top of the Contemporary Resort. Wishes was scheduled for 10pm. We hoped to get a window seat to watch Wishes.

    We checked in downstairs and went up to the CA Grill. We checked out the outdoor decks first. This did seem like a good place to watch fireworks. And you can get up during your meal to do so, with your table being held for you. But, we didn’t know that we’d be able to stand that long without pain, after our long day.

    We went inside and soon we were called to be seated. They brought us to an interior table, not very near the windows. We made some comments about being disappointed and hoping for a window. Our host didn’t seem to care, but someone that was presumably important happened to walk by at the right time and overhear. He plucked us from our table and asked us to wait a bit more. We did. A few minutes later, we were seated at a perfect window seat!

    We ordered some drinks. Waters and I got a lemonade and Dug got a Sprite-ade. I could not stand the nasty water. I could even taste the sulfur-taste in the lemonade. I needed something to drink. So, we decided to get some wine OOP. The first one we tasted, we did not really like. The server was great and insisted on bringing us another one that we would like better. It was a Montalcino and was delicious. They also brought out some bread.

    I ordered the Oak-Fired Filet with sour cream mashed potatoes and zucchini. Dug got the Scallops with gnocchi and bacon sauce. Mine was pretty good (the filet was on the crispy side, though) and Dug said his meal was amazingly delicious. Oh, but we didn’t get to eat them right away. Just as they brought them out, the fireworks started:

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    After the meal, we ordered some desserts to share. We got the Dark chocolate semi-freddo with hazelnut cookie and the Valrhona chocolate cake with pineapples and caramel ice cream. They brought us out some anniversary goodies: some Mickey confetti, some champagne, and our dessert with special chocolate anniversary things on them:

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    Both desserts were ridiculously delicious! This was a great meal! It also was an expensive meal:

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    Luckily, we were on the free dining plan, so only had to pay for the wine (and tip). Yes, it was 2 TS credits each for this meal, but well worth it. Especially because we had an extra TS meal (2 credits), due to arriving late at night. So, this was an ideal way to use those.

    After dinner, we headed down to the monorail. Had to go back to MK to get a bus back to Pop. On the monorail ride, there was an announcement about technical difficulties and the ride ended up going really slowly while the system was resetting or something. When we got off at the MK, the monorail driver got off for a moment too. We ended up chatting with him and found out that the monorails run on Windows 95 and he had gotten “the blue screen of death”. Not so comforting to know the monorails are running on such old technology. The driver was very friendly, though.

    Back at the MK after park close:

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    We went to the bus area and were told by the attendant to tell a bus to take us to Pop. We did and the bus took us to Pop…by ourselves. Like a giant limo or something. Kinda fun.

    We got back and saw this in the window:

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    So cute! Wonder if they knew we have a dog at home? We were worn out after 23,800 steps for the day and headed straight for bed.

    Up next: Deviating from our commando-touring plans at Epcot. Uh oh!
     
  19. donnajean17

    donnajean17 Dreaming about my next trip....

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Messages:
    569
    Lovin it!
     
  20. LuvEeyore

    LuvEeyore DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,876
    love the Prequel trip report. The October Pictures are wonderful. I've never been when the decorations were up for Halloween. Maybe that should be a next trip??
     
  21. Dugette

    Dugette DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,419
    Thank you!!! :goodvibes

    Thanks! Believe it or not, this was early/mid September, so they put up the Halloween decorations early! I'd definitely recommend that time of year. Yes, you have the decorations, you have Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, but our favorite thing was the lack of crowds (right after Labor Day). :cool1:
     

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