WDW has a new fan...This is his trip report (Completed!! 2013-05-20)

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by the_green_machine, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. the_green_machine

    the_green_machine Mouseketeer

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    Right now I'm sitting in my living room in rural Manitoba, Canada, 5 days removed from our first trip to Walt Disney World. When I left Winnipeg, Manitoba on January 20th 2012 it was -40 degrees (Celsius or Fahrenheit...take you pick) and landing in Orlando it was a comfortable 25.

    How do I hold on to the little bits of Disney that seem to slip away everyday since I left????

    Write a Trip Report...thats how!!!!!

    Day 1

    I began this journey almost a year ago to the day that we arrived in WDW on Friday January 20th 2012. My wife, Nicole, is the biggest Disney fan that I have ever met.

    Almost every sunday since she was 5 years old she sits down and gets her Disney "fix". In the beginning it was "The wonderful World of Disney" that used to broadcast on CBC in Newfoundland where we are from (the one channel we used to get with any level of clarity). As she got older it was her extensive collection of VHS Disney titles (that she still adds to to this day). Now-a-days its her new Disney/Pixar blu-rays and what ever comes out of the Disney Vault in a given year.

    If Nicole has had 1 dream in her 37 years it was to go to Walt Disney World....period. That said it was also a dream that she never thought would be realized. Well in January 2011 I set out to give her the one thing she never thought she would have.

    Over the next 11 months, I would pull off (to this point at least) the biggest surprise my wife never saw coming. On Christmas day Nicole opened a small box containing a personalized pair of Mickey ears and a t-shirt saying "I am going to the Walt Disney World Resort!". If you would like to see her reaction and her first time laying eyes on Cinderella Castle follow this link....

    http://youtu.be/dGPryDP2URg

    The evening of January 19th Nicole and I drove to Winnipeg and spent the night at the Greenwood motel. One could say we were a little excited.
    [​IMG]

    We turned in early for our 3 am wake up call and arrived at the Winnipeg Airport terminal bright and early for our 7:30 am flight. $75.00 later ....oh, thats right I forgot to mention, our luggage was 5 kg's over (AWESOME!!!!) we set out to wait for our flight to sunny Orlando.

    4 hours and 65 degrees later (it was -40 in Winnipeg when we left, which, by the way, made my wardrobe selection, shorts, hilarious to Nicole) we arrived in Orlando and the swaying palm trees outside of our airplane window made us both smile from ear to ear as we both knew we were about to experience magic.

    [​IMG]

    Before we knew it we were registering at the "Magical express" desk and a little while later Nicole started to realize that the oldest dream that she had been holding onto since she was a child was about to become a reality.
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    As we loaded onto the bus Nicole could hardly contain herself. For the majority of the drive, roads looked like roads and trees looked like trees but then the "Welcome to the Walt Disney World Resort" sign stretched across an unknown highway and she couldn't hold it in any longer....
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    We arrived at Pop Century, slid the key into room 9324 in the 80's section and after we had freshened up we headed down to Everything Pop for a quick bite to eat before the trial by fire that is catching a bus to the Magic Kingdom and figuring how to get into the park (its actually not that bad).

    The menu on that day contained chili cheese fries and chicken nuggets....nothing that will ever end up on "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" but let me tell you it was a little bit of alright.
    [​IMG]

    A half an hour later we were on the bus to "The Magic Kingdom". A year ago when this idea was hatched there were moments when it seemed it would never get here, or at the very least something would de-rail it, but here we were, living the dream.

    After a bump in the road at the ticket gates (the resort forgot to put our park tickets on our account), we had our first Photopass picture taken and walked though the tunnel on the left of the WDW railroad terminal (not sure what is actually called....sorry) and there we were.....finally.
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    First stop Town Square Theatre and a date with Mickey and Minnie....another dream come true for Nicole.
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    Next was a whirlwind walk down Main St. inching closer and closer to Cinderella Castle until we heard music, cheers and clapping coming from somewhere. Before we knew it we were in the middle of the "Move it, Shake it, Celebrate it parade"....suffice it to say if Nicole had any more fun that day we ran a significant risk of her brain blowing out the side of her head

    Her expression says it all....
    [​IMG]

    As the sun started to set we made our way to our dinner reservation at the "Liberty Tree Tavern" where we had one of the best meals of our entire vacation. Family style and delicious, roasted meats, vegetables, macaroni and cheese and gravy finished off with a pumpkin spice cake with vanilla bean ice cream was a belt loosening welcome to the happiest place on earth.
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    After some shopping, we took our chances with "The Haunted Mansion"....awesome time, great attraction thats called a classic for a reason. Here's a shot of Nicole in the queue....
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    next up we took our chances with "Splash Mountain", no luck as it was down due to technical difficulties...Hey, no prob we'll try it again in a few days...I mean how hard can it be to ride "Splash Mountain", right? (a friend of mine who teaches high school english would call that foreshadowing.....).

    We headed back to Pop as MK closed at 8 and had a characterture done in the lobby just outside of "Everything Pop"....I've always wanted one done and I think he knocked it out of the park.....what do you think?

    [​IMG]

    After we paid the artist and headed back to our room we planned out the next day (Hollywood studios) and said good night to a 22 hour day...

    Up next day 2........Thanks for reading.
     
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  3. aadaneboy

    aadaneboy Earning My Ears

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    sounds like a great start to your first WDW trip! can't wait to read more....we (my wife and 2 kids) are off to WDW in 36 days!!!
     
  4. HeatherLassell

    HeatherLassell Queen of the PTR

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    Hey thanks for sharing the link to your Trip Report!

    I think you're doing a great job.

    Oh and the train station is called "Main Street Station". :goodvibes

    Your wife looks SOOOOO happy in all the pics! What a great husband you are for making this dream come true!

    Got any cute brothers that are as sweet as you? ;)
     
  5. Crazy Mother of Two

    Crazy Mother of Two Clever yet underrated

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    Great beginning! Can't wait to read more!
     
  6. Mrs. Sojourner

    Mrs. Sojourner Mouseketeer

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    If this doesn't win you the "Husband of the Year" award; I don't know what could! Amazing! I love how you revealed the surprise trip...perfect!

    You're doing a wonderful job and I can't wait to hear more about your trip. Thanks for sharing!

    P.S. I will eventually download the video of her reaction to arriving...it make take 6,000 years with our internet here, but I have to see it. :)
     
  7. jc040404

    jc040404 DIS Veteran

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    Exactly what I thought! How did you ever keep something so big a secret from her? Amazing! I'm so loving your story, remembering how it felt that first time after thinking WDW was something I'd never see. I even teared up a bit at that video. :thumbsup2 Her face really says it all. I'll definitely be following along! :)
     
  8. AR81

    AR81 DIS Veteran

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    So how did you like POP? That is where we are probably going in June. We are still debating on a rental car or not. What did you think of the transportation? I am really enjoying your trip report. Great Start!
     
  9. Soarin4Disney

    Soarin4Disney Earning My Ears

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    I'm in!!!! I love reading about a first-timer's visit to Disney. That is what makes a Disney vacation even more special. Thanks for sharing the memories with us. I'm looking forward to reading more. :woohoo:
     
  10. dara00

    dara00 DIS Veteran

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    that is awesome that you surprised her with the trip!
     
  11. Grumpy's Wife

    Grumpy's Wife Dollar Tree gal here

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    Okay you got me. I teared up when your wife found out she was going to Disney World and her seeing the castle for the first time is priceless. She's one lucky girl! I hope y'all had a great time and will come back again someday.

    I can't wait to read more. Great start!
     
  12. cocofifi

    cocofifi Mouseketeer

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    The video is priceless! Great trip report so far.
     
  13. Windsor Princesses

    Windsor Princesses Mouseketeer

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    Love your TR so far! I can't wait to read the rest of it, theres nothing like your first trip to Disney
     
  14. the_green_machine

    the_green_machine Mouseketeer

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    Enjoy it...The time goes so fast.

    Well if the queen of the PTR thinks its good then I must be doing something right! Thanks for reading. :)

    I'll have day 2 up tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

    No need for an award...she more than deserved it. Hope you like the video once your able to watch it.

    Keeping this a secret was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I was talking to Nicole (my wife) today about how since we returned from DW I've almost felt a bit down....I think it's because for the last year this has been a HUGE part of my life and now its all over. So now we're planning a 2013 trip back to DW so I'm starting to cheer up :rotfl:

    Loved Pop, for the limited time we spent there it was a great choice. "Everything Pop" was great and the food court, although complete madness once the parks closed, had anything and everything we needed. Personally I wouldn't bother with a rental, as the buses were so convenient and quick that it was one less thing you had to worry about of budget for.

    Thank you to everyone for comin' along for the ride, stick around till you see the picture taken of me and Nic on Expedition Everest (day 6).....It'll be worth it!
     
  15. connie1042

    connie1042 DIS Veteran

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    I'm in. I love reading about peoples first trips. What a gift! Can't wait to hear more.
     
  16. twob4him

    twob4him DIS Veteran

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    Hi! Great trip report!!! I am bawling my eyes out trying to read through the tears (of happiness):cloud9::cloud9:
     
  17. Epic Epcot

    Epic Epcot "Can't Run From Trouble, There Ain't No Place That

    Joined:
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    Great Trip Report so far. I watched your video on YouTube. Awesome surprise... her reaction was absolutely priceless. Looking forward to the rest of the trip report
     
  18. disneygeeks

    disneygeeks Mouseketeer

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    just started reading your TR and it is fantastic and love the surprise video xmas morning. I remember the first time we went and that was the first thing my DW wanted to see as well and that is always the first park we go to on every trip so far. Good for you to keep it a secret for so long...don't know if I could do that
     
  19. HeatherLassell

    HeatherLassell Queen of the PTR

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    Heehee I like that! <----check out my custom title under my username! :rotfl2:
     
  20. Stan Solo

    Stan Solo I don't know what to put here. Tag fairies can you

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    Hey Green machine count me in for your TR! I was raised in LDB so it's cool to see someone that lives in my ol stomping grounds that enjoys Disney as much as me.
     
  21. the_green_machine

    the_green_machine Mouseketeer

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    We woke up at about 8:30 am this morning. Now tip #1 I would give to anyone going to WDW for the first time (and the number 1 thing I wish I had been told) is "you will feel like you were hit by a truck every morning". Now, in regular situations this would be an issue but, your in Walt Disney World so....things could be worse! Just to clear that up a little....yes, it is one of the greatest places on earth...granted but, MAN is it big. Me and Nicole tried to get as much out of WDW as we could each day...so sore feet and blisters aside we accomplished that so it was 100% worth it.

    We were lucky enough to be on the dining plan for the last 5 days of our trip. What we would do is have breakfast in our room every morning (by way of bringing a box of Honey Nut Cheerios, 2 collapsable bowls and spoons with us couple that with a carton of milk from the food court every morning and you've got WDW express breakfast) and plan to be on the bus by 10. Hollywood Studios here we come.....
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    After the crowds we experienced at the Magic Kingdom on our first day we were a little nervous about the crowds today as HWS is a much smaller park.
    We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived as there was plenty of room to move.

    [​IMG]
    HWS is such a "classy" looking park. Everywhere you look it's like you are in a classic Hollywood movie. The size of HWS is like a breath of fresh air after the size and congestion of MK the day before. It is also SO easy to find your way around in.

    Our first stop was the animation academy where we sat in on a presentation about the different stages a character goes through from idea to finished product. Great attraction if you have an interest in that type of thing (which Nic and I do).

    Next we walked into a character greeting in the same building. Now before going any further, next to Mickey if there was one character my wife would love to meet she wouldn't have to think about it very long......
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    If there was one thing that I had heard about during my research into this trip it was the animation lesson at the animation academy...After Nicole's meet and greet with Pooh we made a bee line for it.

    I would highly recommend this to anyone who has even a little interest in drawing to sit in on this class. It was awesome, there was probably 30 or so of us in the room with a Disney animator and through a series of circles and lines before we knew it we were staring at this guy right here....
    [​IMG]


    What made it even more awesome was my inability to follow clear instruction. After the class had ended and everyone was given exit instructions I struck up a conversation with the animator...after a little chit chat she asked me and Nicole if we wanted her drawing that she had been working on...Ahhhhh YEAH! so suffice it to say that is going to be framed in my home in the very near future.

    The hunger pains were starting to get the best of us so we headed over to "Starring Rolls Cafe" for lunch. I had not heard much in the way of good reviews about the counter service options at HWS but let me tell you one thing, this is a good spot to eat. The portions were huge and there was a lot of outdoor seating with plenty of shade....how big were the portions you ask? Well this should answer any questions you may have....
    [​IMG]

    ...She'll probably kill me for posting this...LOL

    While Nicole finished her mountain of a black forest ham sandwich I ran over to the "Tower of Terror" to grab fastpasses for later that evening. With those in hand I headed back to get her and we headed to "One Man's Dream". This was something Nicole had been interested in as soon as she found out we were going. This was a type of museum/15 minute film showcasing Walt's life and a bunch of very interesting pieces of Disney History. I could go on and on about this for a few paragraphs but for those of you who haven't been to WDW this is something worth discovering on your own.
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    We took a walk across to the other part of the park next, over to the area that contains Indiana Jones, Star Tours and a bunch of other cool stuff. I convinced Nicole to try out "Star Tours" with me stating "You'll really like it...it'll be great"....well about 2 seconds after we blasted off into hyper space I knew I would be paying for this one later LOL. Great ride but this was as close to motion sickness as I would experience over the duration of my trip.
    [​IMG]

    After coming out the other side of an Empire attack relatively unscathed Nicole thought a Mickey ice cream bar was in order...I agreed. MAN I do not know what they put in these things but a more addictive ice cream bar I have yet to taste....excellent!
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    "Beauty and the Beast - The Musical" was up next....hands down Nicole's favorite Disney movie and she could not wait for this one. It was really well done. Even I stayed interested and managed to film it for Nicole to enjoy on one of her "Disney Sundays".

    As the sun seems to set just a little faster in WDW than anywhere else, our dining reservation at "50's Prime Time Cafe" was upon us. What a great restaurant! I think (granted I have very limited experience), as far as theme goes, it would give many Disney restaurants a run for their money. We started our meal with the onion rings (homerun) and I ordered the meatloaf which was a great choice. And as far as Nicole's pot roast....you could say she enjoyed it...
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    As our meal ended the plan was to take our chances with "Tower of Terror" before heading for home....well tip #2 is use your times guide and know when the park closes....for us that would have been about 45 minutes ago, so outta luck as far as "Tower of Terror" this time, It'll be first on the list for 2013 though.... :)
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    As the last few stragglers left the park we stopped to take a few pictures as when the lights come on Hollywood Studios really shines.

    As we waited for our bus back to Pop Nicole took this opportunity to grab a quick puff.....I was quick to remind her that it wasnt a designated smoking section, but as there was no one else in our line or in our general area she didn't figure there'd be too much of a stink made about it....she was right.
    [​IMG]

    Man, what a great park....now that the trip is finally over I can say that it is my favorite without a doubt...but more about that later.

    Epcot for day 3...I have heard that it is huge and with a solid plan in place for tomorrow we hit the sack for a little rest. It seems the Mickey wake up calls come faster each morning.
     

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