I Went Running and Racing...and Boozing and Freezing!

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by missjackiemcg, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

    Sep 2, 2013
    Welcome to my very long overdue 2nd trip report, following our kid-free adventure, including New Year’s Eve and the start of Marathon Weekend! It was very cold, (and that’s coming from people who live in Chicago and are used to Midwest Winters)!! It was also incredibly magical and filled with lots of firsts for us.

    If you’d like to read about how this trip came to be, you can check out my PTR in my signature. If you’ve been waiting and wondering for the last 3 months if I would EVER get this thing started, your wish has finally come true! Here we go…

    The who?

    Just us, Rob and Jackie. It was very weird to plan a trip without our son, Jimmy! It’s been 9 years since we have ventured off to the magic without him, so we certainly missed him. We kept telling him we would be riding rollercoasters and running races all week…so he wouldn’t feel like we were having fun without him. There were some things we just could NOT do without him—two of the main parts of our deal were absolutely no train rides and no Tomorrowland Speedway for either of us! He even made us shake his hands to seal the deal LOL

    And seriously....how could I say no to this little face!?
    [​IMG]FB_IMG_1489147134415 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr

    So, when I’d originally decided to make the trip to WDW to run my very first runDisney races, I also tried to work in a quickie cruise in the days leading up to the trip. One of my good friends squashed that plan when she booked her wedding for December 29th….so, instead we planned to be in town for her wedding and leave early the next morning for Florida!

    Saturday, December 30th
    [​IMG]20171230_080353 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr
    At 8:03 a.m. we were out the door on our way to my parents’ house in flip flops despite the snow—we were SO excited to head to the warmth of Florida….ha! More on that later.

    We were able to get an awesome deal on flights using Southwest (our first SW flights ever!!) but flying out of the airport further from our house. Thankfully my Dad didn’t mind taking the drive to drop us off, and honestly it was about a 30 minute drive, so not too terrible in any case. This was a great decision for us because I priced out similar departure times for flights leaving closer to home via United…we saved over $1,000 by flying Southwest. #sold

    By 9:35 a.m. we were already through security, sitting at Reilly’s Daughter having a grilled cheese, burger, chips and aluminum pints for breakfast. #vacationmode

    Our flight took off at 11:35 a.m. for an exactly 2 hour flight to Orlando MCO! Our flight arrived 30 minutes ahead of schedule—amazing! We were riding the Fake-o-rail at 3:07 Florida time, and passing through the gates of Walt Disney World by 3:55 p.m. Ten minutes later we were walking through the lobby of Pop Century—mmm, the citrusy goodness of that lobby!!

    We had done online check in and received our text when we got off the plane that our room was ready. I had requested the highest floor in the 60’s building and that’s just what we got, so we were very happy in #4422, climbing through the green yoyo multiple times a day!

    Next up: Magic Kingdom is open til 3 am?! What are we waiting for!?
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  2. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

    Sep 2, 2013
    We decided to have a bite to eat at the hotel before heading out to Magic Kingdom where we had a late dinner reservation in the castle with some of Jimmy’s favorite girls…we made sure to bring his autograph book, so they could sign for him.

    I wasn't a fan of the new route that took us around a bypass instead of under the Magic Kingdom sign :( But I was still SO excited to be there, so that didn't bother me too much!

    [​IMG]20171230_165033 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr
    Since we had some time before our dinner, we thought we’d try to pop in at Trader Sam’s. We hopped the monorail and headed to the Polynesian (also our first time seeing this resort!) It was gorgeous! We wandered the hallways, following the signs and almost walked right past it! When we walked in there were open seats everywhere, which was surprising! However, when we spoke with the hostess she said they had just paged 25 people, so the seats wouldn’t be empty for long. Sigh. There was about a 45 minute wait, but this was our first night and I didn’t want to wait around. Take me to the castle already!! :) We figured we’d just come back and try again during the week—I should really know better than that by now. We never made our way back. (See, @StarWarsMomofGirls! What did I tell ya?!)

    About this time, as we waited for the monorail back to MK, I got a text from my Mom with a picture of Jimmy and my Dad. They were headed to the Chicago Wolves game against the Rockford Icehogs (the Chicago Blackhawks AHL affiliate). Jimmy told my Dad he could wear his ‘hawks jersey, but was NOT allowed to cheer for the Icehogs. They had a great time together, and it made me feel a tiny bit less guilty for having fun without him!

    [​IMG]20171230_174613 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr
    As we walked into Magic Kingdom, I noticed a PP in a new spot, near Harmony Barber Shop facing the Christmas tree. Of course I made Rob head in her direction immediately! I was hoping for an exciting new magic shot or something…the pictures turned out cute, but that was about it.
    We walked over to Tomorrowland to start off our night with a ride on Rob’s favorite, The Carousel of Progress. I sent my Mom a picture, so she’d know where we were. This ride has become one of our family’s favorites and a must do on every trip (multiple times usually!) On the Marceline to Magic Kingdom tour my Mom and I went on in 2016, our guide talked about how Carousel of Progress is truly special because it is the only attraction in all of Walt Disney World that Walt personally touched. He stood on that very stage. I always liked watching the video outside the attraction when you’re waiting to go in, but I hadn’t ever thought about it that way until our tour guide pointed it out. #allthefeels
    The park was open til 3 a.m.! We had FPs planned for Dumbo, Big Thunder Mountain and 7 Dwarfs Mine Train, but the rest of our night was going to be on the fly. We ended up riding Dumbo and then meeting Goofini and Donaldo before heading over to Cinderella’s Royal Table for dinner.
    [​IMG]wdw2017365901627528_407594278410 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr [​IMG]wdw2017365901630168_407594212154 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr
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  4. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

    Mar 16, 2017
    Following along!

    I love how your son made you promise no Tomorrowland Speedway!
  5. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

    Sep 2, 2013
    I’ve always wanted to eat dinner there, but couldn’t find anything on the menu that would make it worthwhile for us to bring Jimmy, so we have only done breakfast in the past. We had an 8:40 reservation, but ended up not getting seated until 9:02 p.m. We did a lot of waiting outside the castle and again inside the lobby (mostly because we got there early and they wouldn’t let us check in until 8:40 on the dot). I was really happy with where they seated us, on the upper level of tables, but at the railing and closest to the windows.
    [​IMG]20171230_190540 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr [​IMG]20171230_190557 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr [​IMG]20171230_192323 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr [​IMG]20171230_194259 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr (For You, @Lesley Wake !)
    Our server, Jay, was an incredibly gracious host. He welcomed us warmly, gifted us with sword and wand (I was secretly over the moon excited about this!! I wasn’t sure we’d actually get them since Jimmy wasn’t with us…..Jimmy has successfully broken every sword he and Rob have ever gotten from eating at CRT. He duels pretty rough! LOL So we were in need of a replacement!) And luckiest of all, my very first Wishing Star! On past trips, even though we’ve all gotten the wand and sword, Jimmy was the only one to get a star for the wishing ceremony. EEP. The 6 year old child I really am on the inside was leaping with delight!
    [​IMG]20171230_200230 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr [​IMG]20171230_200927 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr

    All four Princesses made their way to our table very quickly after making their grand entrances—we were the third or fourth table for them to see.
    [​IMG]20171230_201430 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr [​IMG]20171230_201826 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr [​IMG]20171230_202121 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr

    Most of them were quick to sign Jimmy’s book, Princess-pose for a pic and swiftly off to the next table, but then there was Snow White! (Side story: Snow White is not my favorite Princess; however, I have always told Rob he looks like Dopey when he shaves his head in the summer. My first year at my “new” teaching placement—where I have now been for 11 years—I bought a Snow White costume for Halloween….then proceeded to wear it for the next 10 years!! So, she has somehow evolved into a pretty meaningful princess to me. Our cake topper for our wedding is Snow White kissing Dopey on the head, for crying out loud!!!) Now, there’s no way Snow White would have known any of this, so that makes what happened even more magical.

    We stood up to take a picture and she says to me, “Now close your eyes!! Make a wish!!” Then, when I opened my eyes, she took my hand and twirled me around. In the moment I was a little confused and tiny bit embarrassed because everyone was looking at me twirling around, but I mean, c’mon, if Snow White tells you to twirl, then you twirl!
    [​IMG]20171230_202642 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr [​IMG]20171230_202653 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr

    She said, “There. Don’t you feel like a princess? Every girl should remember what it feels like to be a little princess again, don’t you think?” She gave me a big hug and I felt like I could burst into tears there in the castle, twirling and feeling like a little girl again if just for a moment.
    [​IMG]20171230_202713 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr

    Our dinner arrived promptly after Snow White made her way to visit the next princess and her family. I ordered the steak and shrimp. Rob ordered some pork thing I can’t recall…as you can see, folks, this will not be a dining report, though I sometimes did remember to actually take pictures of the food!
    [​IMG]20171230_203007 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr [​IMG]20171230_203012 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr

    Everything tasted amazing! Then, we faced the most difficult decision, which was trying to pick a dessert. I really wanted the raspberry sorbet, but Rob was torn between the Countdown to Midnight and the cheesecake (fancy name that I can’t remember either….why didn’t I write this TR two months ago!?) So, Jay comes to take our order and we tell him our dilemma. He says he will decide for us and be right back. Imagine our surprise when he came back with all three desserts even though we were only entitled to one each. #pixiedust I don’t really do cake, but I found that the sorbet and cheesecake paired AMAZINGLY!!
    [​IMG]20171230_205105 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr
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  6. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

    Oct 16, 2015
    Second one here!!! Woo hoo!!!! Can't wait to hear all about the trip! I have to convince Andy to do a non-child trip at some point...

    I love the rollercoasters were ok to ride... My girls would probably say the same about the Tomorrowland Speedway...

    You were def ready for weather warmer than it was when you were there!

    I love that you are wearing your ears on the plane!

    It really is easy to miss! I was surprised by how incognito it was!

    Bummer. I can totally see how it would have been hard to wait the 45 minutes when you had just gotten there. But I think we both need to make a packed next time, we just do it!!!!

    That is crazy that it was open so late. But I guess that shows you how busy that time of year was!

    Can't wait to hear more!
  7. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

    Sep 2, 2013
    After dinner, we waddled out of the castle into Fantasyland and decided to drop by It’s a Small World. We were chatting about Jimmy and how he would probably be mad if he knew we rode without him! We were put in line for the front row (another of Jimmy’s requests if he would’ve been with us!) and we both laughed right out loud when we saw our boat was #18! At school, Jimmy and his classmates have a number order, and he is #18, so it just felt like karma that we were JUST talking about him and now we were riding in “his” boat!
    [​IMG]20171230_212035 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr

    Last year when we were here, the video boards at the end of the ride had disappeared and been replaced with the old wooden painted signs. We were excited to see the video boards back up, and I may have squealed a little when I saw our names on the sign. Too much squealing=blurry picture. #smh
    [​IMG]20171230_212536 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr [​IMG]20171230_213047 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr [​IMG]20171230_213137 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr

    On our way past the most beautiful bathrooms in all the land, I forced Rob into line for another MUST DO PP pic—Rapunzel’s lantern. Now, I had visions of this amazing picture we would take that I would print out in black and white and frame to hang in my house. Not so much. Apparently the “cheese” factor was too much for my husband to smile and gaze like a normal person, and besides that, the angle gives us both 3 chins. So, for your enjoyment, I present, the least romantic lantern pictures you will ever see.
    [​IMG]wdw2017365901754590_408425361208 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr [​IMG]wdw2017365901754593_407599360520 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr

    Walking through New Fantasyland we came upon Cinderella’s Coach, so I’m sure you know by now that I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to take our pictures in front of it!! Though, I did push Rob out of the first one!! MY castle, MY coach, MY HAPPY PLACE! :)
    [​IMG]wdw2017365901757403_407599483092 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr [​IMG]wdw2017365901757412_407599483096 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr

    As we walked away from the coach, the Fantasy in the Sky fireworks show as about to begin. There were giant balloon-signs (why did I not take a picture?) that said this was a good area for Fireworks viewing, so we made sure we stood on the right side of the very secure, heavily guarded tape barrier to watch. We weren’t worried about seeing it from Main Street because we had literally stood there and watched the show one year to the day ago on December 30, 2016!
    [​IMG]20171230_225301 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr

    As the show ended, we already had planned to head toward the 7DMT to use our FP, so while everyone was collecting their children, strollers, bubble wands, etc. and deciding where to head next, we were already heading down the path away from the crowd.
    [​IMG]wdw2017365901765868_8151999691 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr

    We took a spin on the teacups before heading to Tomorrowland for a spin with everyone’s favorite Space Ranger. Shh, don’t tell Jimmy!
    [​IMG]20171230_231135 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr [​IMG]wdw2017365901777702_8152014670 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr
    And this little gem in my MDE--LOL
    [​IMG]wdw2017365901776108_8152013033 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr

    No evening (or day trip, in fact!) in Tomorrowland is complete without a trip on the People Mover or an obligatory shoe picture, so…
    [​IMG]20171230_234034 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr [​IMG]20171230_235209 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr

    We strolled the long way through the park just soaking in the magic of my most favorite place on our first night with the whole week ahead of us. We decided to try Big Thunder Mountain in the dark, a first for us both! We LOVED it!! We went on it during the day later in the trip and decided it is absolutely superior at night.
    [​IMG]20171231_003802 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr

    It was now 1:45 a.m. and our adrenaline was winding down. As we walked past Pirates of the Caribbean, we thought let’s end the night with this one! I took my favorite picture in the queue of Rob with the giant rum barrel, “Why is the rum always gone? This guy.”
    [​IMG]20171231_004314 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr

    Now, I explained to him where the picture is taken on the ride…and yet, here is the picture we ended up with: 3 people on their phones, half the boat looking the wrong way, Rob shocked by something in the distance….and me…with my pirate scowl and finger hook LOL
    [​IMG]wdw2017365901793356_8152031897 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr
    Also, made sure to get a picture of the red-head scene before it is ruined by chickens!! Though, I did read a transcript of the new dialogue and it sounds heavily filled with talk of rum, so that softens the blow…a little….maybe….but probably not. We wants the redhead!
    [​IMG]20171231_005320 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr
    It had gotten pretty chilly by now (a sign of what’s to come!) so I had added another layer by the time we took our last PP shots for the night and headed out of MK toward the bus stop at 2:22 a.m.
    [​IMG]20171231_010437 by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr
    It was a successful first night in the parks! We had already done so many of our favorite things. I always love going to sleep the first night in Disney, dreaming about all of the magical things we will do as the whole trip is ahead of us.
    [​IMG]20171231_010206-EFFECTS by Jackie Lagoni, on Flickr
    Up next: Another Disney NYE!
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  8. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

    Sep 2, 2013
    Hi, Lesley!! :) Oh, yes, his absolute favorite!! He is begging to go back to WDW...I am DYING keeping the secret that he will be in Orlando this summer. He won't, however, be at Disney World, we are surprising him with Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!!!!!

    Yay!!!! :) Welcome! Sorry it took SOOOO long!

    FOR SURE!!! We have been at WDW in December three or four other times, so I felt prepared. I was not.

    ALWAYS! :) Even when it embarrasses my family! LOL

    It's a deal!
    StarWarsMomofGirls! likes this.
  9. chunkymonkey

    chunkymonkey DIS Veteran

    May 27, 2009
    I've made it to the first page!!
    Aww your first day looks soooo magical! I love it!!
    I really like your husband's t-shirt too, it's so funny!

    That's really sweet how at dinner you got the princess treatment. Sometimes that's all you really need
    Your pictures are so cute! I love the 2nd lantern picture! I think it's great and no double/triple chins in sight! I need to work on that, LOL.
  10. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

    Mar 16, 2017
  11. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

    Oct 16, 2015
    I find this super annoying! This happened to us at Tusker House. I don't get it.


    Just a perfect thing for her to do for you. I swear sometimes they are just so good at reading the table as they walk up to meet with you.

    Awsome! I love when they do those little things! It really doesn't cost much for them to do and really, CRT is not cheap!

    Ah yes, the girls have "magic numbers" at school. Very important!

    Blurry pictures = fun

    I feel like we would take terrible photos at this, as well. Posing is not our family's talent.

    This one is nice!

    OMG!!! W:rotfl2:hat the....


    Why would you go on the ride if you are just going to look at your phone?

    How busy was is at that time of night?

    Great photo!!!! That one is print and frame worthy!

    Well, embarrassing them is just icing on the cake, right?

    Sounds like you will be there before me again. Jealous that you are headed back this summer! Jimmy will be so excitied!
  12. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

    Mar 16, 2017
    Ok, I started quoting bits and pieces for a multi-quote reply, but then I realized I was copying almost the entire thing! It sounds like you had an awesome first day! With Snow White and the 3 desserts and Pirate picture and small world boat coincidence, and just everything! Love it!
  13. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

    Sep 2, 2013
    Yaay!! Welcome :) Sorry I was SO behind! Glad you stuck around!

    I always used to tell him when we were dating and he wouldn't do things I wanted--"Well you're not being very magical!" So, my brother had that shirt made for him LOL

    It's just too much cheese for me!! I wanted romance...but honestly that isn't us, so I guess that was as good as it's gonna get! :)

    All Rob's idea!!! He's like, "Hey, I'll sit over here. You take a picture!"

    #MagicalMoment!!! :)

    Around the hub and Main Street wasn't very busy but there were still a ton of people as we walked through the lands!! It always amazes me how many kids are still going, too!

    I made it black and white because it looked a little fuzzy in color. I couldn't believe I took it!! :)

    It was an incredible first day!!!
    StarWarsMomofGirls! likes this.
  14. disneyshakeygirl

    disneyshakeygirl DIS Veteran

    Oct 15, 2009
  15. DLo

    DLo DIS Veteran

    Aug 14, 2006
    Following along. Enjoyed your last report. My younger DS favorite thing is evening EMH at MK. We have to take a picture at the hub as close to park close as possible. My last two trips have been shorter park hours - 11 pm just isn’t quite the same as 2 am park closing
  16. Woth2982

    Woth2982 DIS Veteran

    Oct 11, 2008
    Im here! Following along! So far loving the trip report! South West has some great deals! I am trying to get DF to sign up for the SW credit card (I already have one), so we can get more points! I love how Jimmy made you promise not to do certain rides, sounds like something I would have done. My mom lied to us as a kid and said she and her friend were going to EPCOT. I knew what EPCOT was, but had not been there, and didn't realize it was on Disney property! I was so upset when I saw she road Splash Mountain lol. She did bring home lots of presents, but I will never forget she road Splash Mountain before I did lol. Your trip does make me want to go for New Years despite the crowds. Maybe someday. Our jobs make it hard (his more than mine).
  17. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

    Sep 2, 2013
    Hi!! :)

    Thanks so much! Glad you're here :) Jimmy hasn't ever stayed out as late as we have, but with him getting older, I'm sure it's in the near future!! I'd love to fully make it to 3 a.m. one of these times. This was the closest we've come!

    Hi!! :) Thanks for reading along! The first time we went for NYE, I thought it would be my last. But, it turns out there just is NO better place to spend it!! If you know what you're doing and have a plan, New Year's Eve can be a simply amazing day! This year, you will find that we ended up not spending much NYE time in the parks, but on two other trips we had an amazing 12-14 hour day at MK LOL
  18. CaseFace5

    CaseFace5 DIS Veteran

    Mar 16, 2011
    I'm here!! What a great start! I LOLed at your flip flops in the snow! I have a feeling I know how the weather went for you since I was there a little bit after you!

    So cute that you promised Jimmy not to ride certain rides! I hope he wasn't too upset with you when you all got home.

    The dinner at CRT looks so good! I can see why you'd have a hard time picking which meal is your favorite! I got a wishing star this time too and I have it on my bureau at home and smile at it every morning!

    Can't wait to keep following along! What a great first night!!
  19. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

    Apr 21, 2016
    Yay! So excited to hear about your trip!

    Oh, I feel you there. We went into the trip with similar sentiments... *brrrr*

    This came out so nice!!

    Oh my goodness! How sweet!


    Wow! What a wonderful little sprinkling of pixie dust on your first dinner!

    I think you're too hard on yourselves—this is nice!! We're our own worst critics.

    Totally agree!!

    I still love this picture!! Poor Rob - he almost figured it out. I like your pirate hook finger. Very classy.
  20. Stasieki

    Stasieki DIS Veteran

    Aug 13, 2007
    Here for another adventure. I still think about your phone on the tracks at Rockin Rollercoaster. When I was there in Feb, I made sure my phone was tucked in my bag!
  21. Tracy161

    Tracy161 DIS Veteran

    Apr 4, 2006
    Yay, you've started!!! I'm here!

    Yeah... I hear that :sad2:

    Love this :cutie:

    I love this attraction so much, mostly for the reason you mentioned about Walt :goodvibes


    I couldn't agree more! :thumbsup2

    Right?! I absolutely love it at night! Especially since that's where I serendipitously met @chunkymonkey for the first time a fews ago :goodvibes

    The camera is at such an awkward spot - I'm always staring off into space and the whole boat is clueless. :laughing:

    Can't wait for more! So happy you got started :thumbsup2

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