The MAGIC, the MEMORIES, the storms, and HEY! Where's Perry? Aug 2011 TR (upd: Oct21)

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by beebeeryan, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. beebeeryan

    beebeeryan DIS Veteran

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    We're BACK. :sad1: The long awaited and planned trip is all over. But now I get to relive it by writing my first Trip Report! With loads of pictures!!! It's all I've got now, since another trip won't be planned till at least 2013.

    We raced Irene to get out, changed tickets, went a day early, battled rain and thunderstorms, lightening, leaking bathrooms, closing pool, ride malfunctions, a trip to Lost & Found...but we found Perry, so it's all okay. :)

    So here we go...

    The PTR has more info, but here's a recap.

    WHEN and WHERE

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    August 25 (26 was original departure date) - September 1, 2011
    Disney's Contemporary Resort

    WHO:

    A Photopass photo from last year, since I haven't ordered this year's CD yet.
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    Me: Barbara The Disney addicted Mom. I’m 38 and a stay-at-home-mom at the moment, but worked in the travel industry for a tour operator for many years. Now I have a small home business doing digital design, like photo collages and designing digital scrapbooking products. I :love: Disney!

    DH: Mike is 40, like WDW!!! DH is a CPA. He loves Disney too, not as much as I do, but he enjoys it. Just isn't thrilled with the cost of it of course. The pictures from last year prompted him to lose 40lbs over the winter!!!:banana:

    DS 8: Matthew My big guy. He's 8 and starting 3rd grade in a few days. He loves the 3 Magic Mountains, and RnR. He went on Mission Space the bad side with Daddy and loved it! He’s kinda shy, but starting to come out of his shell a little lately and a wonderful artist. He wants to be an Imagineer when he grows up and design rides at Disney.

    DS 5: Eric My Little Guy, very shy but very funny once you get to know him. A video of him from last summer's trip is in the Memories show on the castle every night and he thought it was pretty cool getting to see himself up there.

    Coming up...
    Racing out to beat Irene...and why is the earth shaking???

     
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  3. beebeeryan

    beebeeryan DIS Veteran

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  4. DisMomAmy

    DisMomAmy DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! :wave:

    Can't wait to hear more!!
     
  5. BerrysGirl

    BerrysGirl Waiting for the Lights

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    I'm here too! So glad you had a great trip and I CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR ABOUT PERRY!!! :)
     
  6. MiaBella05

    MiaBella05 DIS Veteran

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    popcorn:: joining in popcorn::
     
  7. beebeeryan

    beebeeryan DIS Veteran

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    So the TR really starts a few days before the trip. By the Sunday before the trip, Hurricane Irene was well formed and churning along heading straight for Florida. We were glued to the Weather Channel and various online sites trying to determine if we needed to change our plans. With the flight situation over the weekend, we worried that if we couldn't fly Friday morning as planned, we would probably not get out till Sunday or Monday. Irene was scheduled to, according to certain forecast tracks to be arriving into Orlando Friday early am, right when we were flying in. Monday night we finally made the decision to spend the money and change the flights to Thursday morning, making sure we'd get there and not be flying into or through or even around a Hurricane.

    Tuesday afternoon, as I was sitting on the couch working on itineraries and such, I felt a strange sensation and wondered why I felt so dizzy. I wasn't dizzy, I realized when I heard and saw a picture hanging on the wall shaking. We were having an earthquake. Well, the earthquake was in Virginia and we're in Upstate NY, but we felt it pretty good. The house shook for 30 seconds or so. Earthquakes are not common up here and it was stronger than any tiny ones we have felt once or twice in the past. Very strange feeling.

    So, now it's a race to pack since I've got a day less to get ready all of a sudden. We're leaving on the 7:30am flight Thursday morning. Re-did my online check-in, printed my boarding passes Wednesday morning and got B boarding on Southwest. DH had to scramble to get some work done with a day less to do it. But finally, after counting down from 181 days...the day has arrived! By Wednesday night it looked like Irene was going to stay mostly offshore so Orlando probably wouldn't be impacted very much, but we were just happy to not be worrying about it anymore and still getting there before things got dicey.

    We're at the airport by 5:30am. Got the kids up at 4:45 and dressed, quick breakfast and out the door. The airport is only a 10 minute drive. Got a good spot in the closest long term lot. Checked in and there was no line at security which was strange, there are a lot of early am flights and it's usually the busiest time at the airport. Turns out we could have slept in a little longer. We were through security and at the gate by 6am and our flight was at 7:30. Blah.

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    We watched the sun come up and planes taking off till it was time to board.

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    Our bags heading to the plane!

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    Our flight actually got out a few minutes early as thunderstorms were expected and we landed a little early in Orlando too. We headed to Baggage Claim and discovered our Happy Limo driver was not waiting at the bottom of the escalator like last year. I called them, they said the driver was changed last minute and that the driver had just called them asking for our cell # and he was at the airport. Turns out he was waiting somewhere else for whatever reason and hadn't made his sign yet. Took about 10 minutes, but we finally found each other. Nice guy, his name was Wally and he gave the kids Walle Jibbitz for their crocs. First pixie dusting of the trip. We learned a lot about the history of the MCO airport from him too. And now I know why the initials are MCO instead of ORL which never made sense to me.

    Next up...
    Arriving at the Contemporary!!!
     
  8. DisMomAmy

    DisMomAmy DIS Veteran

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    I'm glad you made it safe & sound! I worked for a shipping company briefly after college & got quite an education in airport codes! It's like learning a foreign language - luckily I had a cheat sheet!
     
  9. Tiggeye

    Tiggeye Been there, done that, going back

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    Waiting to hear more. Your kids look so excited waiting at the airport.
     
  10. carlandellie

    carlandellie DIS Veteran

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  11. reelmom

    reelmom DIS Veteran

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    Subbing. I live in Georgia. I didn't feel the earthquake at my house but people did about 40 miles away from us. It was so crazy to hear about. I can't wait to read about your trip.
     
  12. RyansMommy1

    RyansMommy1 Mouseketeer

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    I have been searching for a trip report with a DS5!!!!! soo excited I found yours!! :cool1: :cool1: The reason being...my son will be five on his first trip in october 2012. I haven't been to WDW since I was 8...so I'm trying to find advice and good places for kids meals and such.

    I am extremely excited and will be anxiously awaiting each new post. popcorn::
     
  13. justakrazymom

    justakrazymom DIS Veteran

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    I'm in.. our trips overlapped a little.. can't wait to read more!
     
  14. Jazzabelle508

    Jazzabelle508 Live, Laugh, Love and Disney

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    I'm in :) How cool that your youngest son's in the show up on the castle!!!! I would have been super excited about that even now! I'm also glad that you guys managed to avoid Irene, 2 bad you didn't manage to avoid the earthquake. That was one big earthquake (well, big for around here). I live in chicago and a lot of people felt it, I actually think i may have felt it a little bit. It wasn't super noticable here though. In fact, nothing was really shaken up.
     
  15. Disney9.9.10

    Disney9.9.10 DIS Veteran

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    Joining in! I missed the end of your PTR and trip updates, as I was in WDW myself and then had to come home and get back to real life before I had time for the DIS lol But good start to your report! That is crazy how far that earthquake went! We had Tornado warnings in my home area then, which is extremely rare - the weather was all messed up all over the place! I can't wait to read about the rest of your trip!
     
  16. beebeeryan

    beebeeryan DIS Veteran

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    Working in travel I knew most airport codes, I just never understood MCO and never bothered to look it up. It's kinda nice to know now.

    :welcome:
    They were excited, even at 5am!

    :welcome:

    :welcome:

    :welcome:
    Hopefully I can be of some help. Pretty much any restaurant or quick service place at Disney is kid friendly. You can always find either chicken nuggets or pizza.

    :welcome:

    :welcome:
    It's very strange for the Northeast to get an earthquake and/or hurricane, but both in the same week is just crazy!
     
  17. BerrysGirl

    BerrysGirl Waiting for the Lights

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    Inquiring minds want to know... why is it called MCO?!?
     
  18. beebeeryan

    beebeeryan DIS Veteran

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    The airport was an air force base back in the day and named after a General or something...McCoy. That's where it got the MCO. It's also the biggest airport, size wise, not traffic wise in the country for security. By the time anyone could get to the runways to do anything, they'd have been spotted and stopped it would have taken so long. Strategic Military planning at it's best, was used to design the original airport. The runways were built for fighter planes to take off on so are way longer than necessary for commercials planes and there are 4 of them all parallel to each other so the jets could all take off at the same time going the same way. They were long so they could scramble and take off even from halfway down the runway if necessary.

    Thanks Wally! :lmao:
     
  19. beebeeryan

    beebeeryan DIS Veteran

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    We arrived at the Contemporary at about 11:30 dropped our bags with Bell Services and were led inside by a cute CM. Can't remember his name, but he was cute. We didn't have to wait at all, there was nobody at online check-in so we picked up our packet and away we went to our room. We did get our request of Ground Floor in the Garden Wing. We arrived at our room and were happy with the location and the view. We had a corner room (5116) right next to a door and pathway to the pool. Perfect. The patio is a little small, but really the kids were the only ones that ended up using it turns out. The room was about halfway up the stem of the t shape of the resort.

    The room from the pathway to the pool.
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    I called for the bags and they came right away. We did a quick semi-unpack, get settled, but didn't take long because we were famished. Kids decided we should head straight to MK to eat instead of eating at the hotel. So we headed to the lobby and I stopped at the concierge desk to have our UT tickets put on our KTTW cards. Then we headed to...

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    And found ourselves...well the boys anyways...in Salamander heaven. It became the focus of every walk outside. Finding salamanders. We walked into MK for the first time and headed straight for lunch near the first ride we'd be doing, which was decided upon 3 months ago.

    At 12:30 we were ordering lunch at Columbia Harbour House. Kids had nuggets, I had the Lobster Roll which was quite good and DH had the Shrimp Platter. We sat upstairs in a quiet corner, although not as quiet as last year, and ate.

    Time for the first ride of the trip!!!

    So off we went into the new queue to check it out...
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    Then went straight in, no wait to the stretching room and then Doom Buggy. Good times. We made it out minus our own heads, but alive. The new ending was a hit with all of us. It's good.

    Next it was Splash and Big Thunder. We grabbed FP for Splash since there was a 20 minute wait and headed to Big Thunder and waited 10 minutes for it.

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    We spent a few minutes in the store by Splash, waiting for our FP time then headed into the Briar Patch! We noticed Phineus and Ferb merchandise onsale which was cool! We also saw lots of people wearing Perry shirts. I had to take this next photo at this point to remember the insane amounts of comments starting in the morning at the airport to every ride queue and store we stood in about how this could possibly have happened in the same family. DH's father was a Red Sox fan all his life for whatever bizarre reason (born and bred in NY State) and somehow Matthew, who was just a baby when he died, managed to get that gene. Grandma keeps the rivalry going. He likes to oppose us at every turn so this is just another way for him to be different. :lmao: The attire was not planned, they all just happened to put on those shirts in the morning and we didn't even notice it till the TSA agent at the airport made the first comment.

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    Just a picture of the picture of this first ride, we went on it many more and bought the best picture we got. We'll see that later. We were in the last 2 rows and you can't really see me and Eric well because DH and Matthew put their arms up.

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    and a little video of the drop!
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    After that, we headed towards Pirates and the Jungle Cruise where yet another CM commented on the family sports rivalry and asked Matthew if he was sure this guy was his father. :rotfl: On Pirates the little boy behind us in line was worried about the ride and it being so dark. His mom was trying to reassure him it wasn't like the Splash drop, but he was afraid. She was pointing out Eric and how he was younger and not afraid. I turned and told him it was nothing like Splash and there was just one small drop in the dark and that was it. After the ride we saw them in the store and the kid was fine. :) Between these rides we had our first thunderstorm/downpour, but it only lasted about 10 minutes. Then we headed out of the park for a break.

    Up next...
    First Dip in the Pool!

     
  20. justakrazymom

    justakrazymom DIS Veteran

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    Love the red sox/yankee thing.. my 9 year old isn't a huge baseball fan but his best friends are.. one is a Yankee and one a red sox fan ( the 3 of them are best buds)..so whenever all 3 are together the each try and get Declan to like their team..lol
     
  21. DisMomAmy

    DisMomAmy DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a great start! Room was ready & you got the location you requested. :thumbsup2

    I can't wait to check out the new queue & ending at Haunted Mansion!

    We have a mixed Red Sox/Yankees home... DH is from southern CT so he's a Yankees fan. But his brother is a Red Sox fan?? :confused3 Well our kids have taken after them. Alex (10) is a Yankees fan like dad, Zach (7) is a Red Sox Fan like me (not that I'm a huge Red Sox fan but living in NH all my life it's sort of a given). They get comments all the time out in public!
     

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