Something Borrowed, Blue, COLD & New - A Disney Wedding Extravaganza! Update: 08/12

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by fallonkendra, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. fallonkendra

    fallonkendra DIS Veteran

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    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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  2. fallonkendra

    fallonkendra DIS Veteran

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    Every good story has to start somewhere, this one is no different.

    This is the story of how I died. No, wait, that’s the beginning of Tangled. In the beginning, there was only ocean. Hmm, nope. That’s Moana. Wait, I think I got it!

    Once upon a time, a couple of Canadian hockey fans named Fallon and Luke decided to be spontaneous and book a last minute trip to see the Winnipeg Jets battle the Anaheim Ducks during the first round of the 2015 NHL playoffs (April 2015). They decided to check out Disneyland; “might as well since we’re already here”; and a love was born. Within a few weeks of being back in Canada, a trip was booked to visit Walt Disney World for the first time, and a great 7 night trip occurred in January 2016. While on that trip that was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime thing, they decided they would return to Orlando in January 2018, and go on a shorter/cheaper trip to Disneyland in 2017 to give them their Disney fix… Fast forward a month, to February 2016, and Luke wins a contest, sending them back to SoCal and allowing them to spend a day at Disneyland. Many discussions followed that trip before it was decided- they would be returning to Orlando in January 2017 for 9 nights, with the plan still in place for January 2018 as well. In the fall of 2016, a deposit was placed on a Disney Cruise for the 2018 trip, boarding the day after the full marathon.

    Flash forward to the January 2017 trip, and this happens:

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    (You can actually read all about it in my trip report, clicking on this will take you right to the proposal :love:)

    It didn’t take long to decide that a Disney Fairytale Wedding would be perfect- no matter what they decided for a wedding venue, most of their families would be required to travel. With that decision, the Disney Cruise was canceled, the 2018 trip extended and family and friends were invited along. What a trip this would be!

    So now that you have the backstory, I’m sure you want to know a bit more. Here are the answers to the five W’s:

    Who: I’m Fallon, I’ll be the main trip writer for this. I was 29 years old on this trip, and turned 30 on the day we flew home. This was my third trip to Walt Disney World, and 7th Disney trip overall (in addition to the trips mentioned above, we also went to Disneyland in January and November 2017 – where we did an engagement photo shoot as seen below). ​

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    My favourites:​

    • Park: Animal Kingdom
    • Overall Ride: Expedition Everest (although my #1 Disney ride goes to Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout in California)
    • MK Ride: Big Thunder Mountain (although California’s is better….)
    • HS Ride: Toy Story Midway Mania (and my undefeated streak!)
    • Epcot Ride: Soarin’
    • AK Ride: Expedition Everest (Flight of Passage is incredible, but Everest still wins for me)
    • WDW Show: Happily Ever After (MK)
    • Table Service Restaurant: Homecomin’ Kitchen (DS)
    • Character Meal: 1900 Park Fare (GF)
    • Quick Service Restaurant: Crew’s Cup Lounge (Yacht Club)
    • Disney Snack: Werther’s Caramel Popcorn from Karamel Kuche
    • Disney Drink: Jenn’s Tattoo (Nomad Lounge – AK)
    • Hidden Gem: Olivia’s (OKW)
    Luke, my (now) husband, and partner since May 2013. He loves Disney just as much as I do, although he sometimes tries to deny that fact (I’d like to point out that I told him I didn’t care what he wore for these engagement photos, and he went out and bought himself the Jack Skellington sweater you see below…but nope, he doesn’t love Disney as much as I do….).​

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    His favourites:​

    • Park: Animal Kingdom
    • Overall Ride: Expedition Everest (but his #1 Disney Ride is Radiator Springs or the Hyperspace Mountain overlay – both in California)
    • MK Ride: Haunted Mansion
    • HS Ride: Star Tours
    • Epcot Ride: Soarin’
    • AK Ride: Expedition Everest
    • WDW Show: Star Wars Galactic Spectacular (HS)
    • Table Service Restaurant: Homecomin’ Kitchen (DS)
    • Character Meal: Tusker House (AK)
    • Quick Service Restaurant: Earl of Sandwich (DS)
    • Disney Snack: Dole Whip or Carrot Cake Cookie
    • Disney Drink: Tipsy Ducks in Love (China Pavilion – Epcot)
    • Hidden Gem: Crew’s Cup Lounge (Yacht Club)
    Together, we live in Alberta, Canada (although neither of us are from this province originally). We purchased a house together back in 2015, and adopted two dogs the same year.​

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    Luke already had two cats when we met, and in the summer of 2017 we added two more cats to our family after rescuing a mother cat and 3 of her kittens (our neighbours adopted the Momma, another neighbour gave a kitten to a friend and we kept the two grey female kittens).

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    *No, the slow cooker is not plugged in – he’s just a goof and tried to prove if he fits, he sits*

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    We also own degus, a type of rodent related to guinea pigs (but smaller). For years, we had seven of them, but five of them have passed away between March 2017 and April 2018, leaving us with only two. It still makes for a full house!

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    *There's typically soft, fluffy rodent bedding underneath him, but I was in the process of cleaning the cage when I took this picture*

    There were quite a few others involved in the trip as well: my dad (Perry), my mom (Faith), Luke’s mom (Laura), both of Luke’s sisters (Jill and Callie), his 5.5 month old niece (Isabella), Luke’s aunt (Cathy), my cousin (Mandy), her boyfriend (Jeff – who was upgraded to husband status recently) and her son (Seb) and a group of our closest friends (Ashley, Mike, Steph, Ryan, Lauren, Lisa, Trevor, Larissa and Devin). You’ll hear more about them as the trip progresses. I should add – I made all the fastpasses and all the dining reservations for the entire group (and not all the same either, fastpasses were customized based on what each person liked – I enjoy planning!). This trip involved a lot of spreadsheets – I had a Fastpass spreadsheet for the entire group that I saved as a Google document and sent out a link to everyone.​

    What: a trip to Walt Disney World! Luke would be attempting his first full marathon, we would be running the 5k together, I would turn 30 and we would be celebrating our love by getting married!

    When: December 30, 2017 – January 13, 2018, a full two weeks! The first week would be just Luke and I, everyone else would start trickling in on January 5th. This also explains the "Cold" part of my title - it was freezing the first week we were there!​

    Where: 2 nights at Pop Century, 1 night at the Grand Floridian and 11 nights at Old Key West​

    Why: to get married in our favourite place with our favourite people!

    Here are a few of the things we did during the two weeks, all of which I’ll go in depth on (besides getting married of course!):​

    • Private Epcot dessert party on our wedding day
    • Highway in the Sky
    • Happily Ever After dessert party
    • Volunteering at Give Kids the World
    • Star Wars Galactic Spectacular dessert party
    • Marathon weekend – 5k and full
    • Dismeets
    • Staying at 3 different hotels
    • Eating meals at a total of 10 different Disney hotels (and inside every park of course)
    • Introducing WDW to friends and family, most of whom were first timers
    • 11 Park days!
    • An NBA game
    Warning: I’m sometimes slow at writing updates. I will finish this, it just might take some time…the wedding day was also near the end of the trip, so it might be awhile until I get to that part of the trip report. Here’s a few wedding pictures to hold you over until then

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    Also – this entire report won’t be a happy one. There was a death in my immediate family while we were in Florida, so it did affect a few of our days while I dealt with my grief. I’ll try to be as real as possible as I write about this trip. This is part of the reason it's taken me so long to even get this trip report started.​

    Worth noting: I had every single person linked up to me as Friends and Family through the Disney website, and I’m the one with Photopass so I have everyone’s pictures- there were over 600 pictures before I even started adding frames, stickers, etc, plus I took close to a thousand pictures on my phone during the two weeks. Our wedding photographer gave us almost a thousand pictures from our wedding day as well – so I easily have over 2000 pictures to sort through for this trip report. Hope everyone enjoys lots of pictures!! I also have a tendency to be a bit wordy (just look at the length of this introduction post :rotfl: – so this could get long – this is your warning!​
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
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  4. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

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    I'm here!! I'm so looking forward to reading about this trip, and it's incredible highs (and also lows.)

    Also, I didn't realize that you planned FPs and whatnot for everybody in your party, and not even for all the same things! That's wild! You're a Disney rockstar!

    Holy pictures, Batman!! As someone who did the Disney wedding thing around the same time that you did, I completely understand what sorting through so many photos is like. Good luck, and may the force be with you. :yoda:
     
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  5. pkondz

    pkondz . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky

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    No time to read right now, but marking my spot! :)
     
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  6. Curtis Foley

    Curtis Foley Earning My Ears

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    Great read you have shared.
     
  7. Happiest.Haunt_999

    Happiest.Haunt_999 An aura of foreboding...

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    Following along! :)
     
  8. pkondz

    pkondz . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky

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    So you're saying it's gonna be good...






    and I'm sure it will be. :)

    Geez! Don't scare me like that!

    So that's how it happened! :)

    He hurt his knee and you helped him up?

    :wave:

    Nice dress. :)

    :laughing:

    At least one of you knows what's what.

    Cute puppers.

    ...uh......

    .... holy menagerie, batman!

    :faint:

    I bet!

    Wow.

    Just.... Wow.

    I'm sorry for your loss, Fallon. :hug:

    Heh. I do that in about 3-4 days. Sometimes less.

    :laughing:
    Okay, I consider myself warned.

    Where abouts in Alberta are you?
     
  9. bluejasmine

    bluejasmine DIS Veteran

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  10. Lifelong_Dreamer

    Lifelong_Dreamer DIS Veteran

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    Fellow Canadian joining! Sounds like one heck of a trip! I look forward to reading all about it!

    Wow, can't believe you managed the fastpasses for such a big group!

    So sorry about your loss.
     
  11. amalone1013

    amalone1013 DIS Veteran

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    I'm here and can't wait! I'm sorry about the hard times you've been going through :hug:
     
  12. dianachaney77

    dianachaney77 Mouseketeer

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    Following along! :)

    I am sorry for your loss.
     
  13. SarahDisney

    SarahDisney So ... Yeah

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    Yay! I'm excited to read all about the big trip, the wedding, and how you managed so many people!
     
  14. Belle stitch

    Belle stitch Earning My Ears

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    Congratulations on your wedding.

    So sorry for your loss.
     
  15. fallonkendra

    fallonkendra DIS Veteran

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    Yay! You're here! And you're first :)

    I've actually been reading your wedding trip report, but it's been on my phone while I work nightshift, so I haven't had a chance to quote/comment on anything - but I am still reading!

    It was actually fun! There was so little to plan for the wedding itself - you know how easy an Escape Wedding is with their checkboxes in that pdf they send you - so planning everyone's fastpasses gave me something to focus on!

    Haha, thanks! I'm so far behind on downloading my Photopass pictures, thankfully I had an Annual Pass on that trip and have a year to finish editing/downloading all of them!

    Thanks for joining in!

    Thank you, and welcome!

    :welcome:
     
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  16. fallonkendra

    fallonkendra DIS Veteran

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    Hopefully I can keep you entertained!

    :rotfl:

    Yep, my Disney addiction is 100% to blame on the Jets haha

    I actually pushed him and he fell.

    Thanks!

    You can't really tell, but Luke's tshirt he was wearing in our engagement photos says "999" on it, and has the hitch-hiking ghosts in the 9's - here's a better picture of it :)

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    Thanks! We love our boys :dog:

    :cat::cat::cat::cat: Four cats is a lot of cats.

    Photography was important to me, so we flew our photographer in to Orlando from Alberta. This is one of my favourites, I'll probably have it printed onto a canvas at some point. Old Key West makes a beautiful backdrop for wedding photos!

    Thank you.

    Impressive!

    Edmonton! I think I might have mentioned this before, but I'll be heading to your part of the country in October! Luke is originally from the same city as you (hence the love for the Jets)
     
  17. fallonkendra

    fallonkendra DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: Thanks for reading!

    Thanks for joining in!

    I actually enjoyed it haha!

    Thank you.

    Thank you! And thank you for joining in!

    :welcome: Thanks for following along! And thank you for the condolences <3

    Hurray, so glad you're here!

    Thank you for reading, and thank you for the condolences.
     
  18. fallonkendra

    fallonkendra DIS Veteran

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    December 30, 2017 - Part One

    Every great trip report starts in the days leading up to actually going on a trip! Feel free to skip to the next post, we don’t get to Disney until then… I knew that the week leading up to this trip would be really busy, so we had decided to skip Christmas this year – which broke my heart a little bit since I love decorating so much (I’m typically that person who has multiple trees…). We spent Christmas Day at my mom’s house (where she once again spoiled us by buying us a red KitchenAid stand mixer – something I’ve been eyeing up for years despite the fact I don’t cook), and had a wonderful turkey dinner. On Boxing Day, we did a bit of shopping, although it was mainly last minute things we needed for the trip or pet supplies to last while we were away. We then went to the Olive Garden for unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks haha. December 27th, we both had to work. Since we had been trying to eat through the food in our fridge, and hadn’t bought any new groceries we again went out to eat that night – this time at Famoso. It’s a fantastic Neapolitan style pizza place and on Wednesday nights their prosciutto-wrapped mozza balls are on special – so delicious. We also had a coupon that expired December 31st, so we basically had to go eat there that day haha.​

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    December 28th, we both worked again all day. We had started setting what we needed to take in our spare bedroom a few weeks earlier, but I started seriously packing on this day. December 29th, I was up early to check us into our flight. I was hoping to score an upgrade to first class for a small fee, but no such luck. Luke had to work again that day, but only a half day. It was my scheduled day off, so I took advantage of that and packed like a crazy person! We had so much stuff to take due to this being a two week long trip and lugging all our wedding stuff, so I had to be very creative in how I packed to make sure nothing would get broken and our suitcases stayed underweight. The pets were all really helpful while I packed…​

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    Eventually, I was satisfied that everything was packed and I wasn’t forgetting anything, so we drove our dogs out to my best friend’s house. She was going to be watching them for the first few days (and my mom would be checking in on our cats and degus) before my co-worker Scott moved into our house on January 2nd to act as our pet/house sitter. The worst part of any trip for me is saying goodbye to my puppies :(

    Luke went to sleep at a decent time, while I stayed awake because I decided I needed to clean our house. I think I was just excited/nervous for the next two weeks haha. It was pretty late by the time I finally went to bed. My mom was going to drive us to the airport the next morning, so we had told her our plan of leaving our house at 5:45am. At 5:52am, she called my phone and woke us up – Luke’s alarm didn’t go off. So, it was a pretty frantic few minutes of pulling on clothes, grabbing our last minute items to be packed (cell phone chargers, etc), and then trying to load all our luggage into my SUV as quickly as possible. To make everything even better, this was the weather…​

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    yep, it felt like -47oC with the windchill – which meant we couldn’t load up my Rav4 the night before because we had things which could freeze.​

    Luckily, we had built in a bit of a buffer so we knew we would be fine, but Luke and I like to be at the airport very early for any flight – it’s the one thing in my life I’m always early for haha. About halfway to the airport Luke realized he had forgot his Brita water bottle in the garage, he had set it down to lift a suitcase into the SUV, and he was pretty sad about it. Florida water tastes disgusting, but those Brita bottles really work well to mask the taste! It was too late to turn around, but luckily we had actually bought a bunch of those bottles to put into our welcome bags for our wedding guests, so I told him he could steal one from there so he wouldn’t be without on this trip.

    We arrived at the airport, hugged my mom goodbye and headed inside. Typically when we fly, we book the cheapest flight, but for this trip we decided to spend the extra money and fly direct. There’s actually only one flight per week that goes from Edmonton to Orlando direct, and it’s only on Saturdays. Initially, our trip was going to be from January 2nd – 13th, but once we decided we wanted the direct flight, we extended our trip backwards to December 30th.​

    We checked in and dropped off our four giant suitcases. I was a little nervous watching them disappear on the conveyor belt as my wedding dress and Luke’s suit were inside one… We were going to take our wedding day outfits as carry-on, but we already had so much to carry, and we decided to take the chance that it would all work out – after all, we were flying direct and our wedding wasn’t until the end of our vacation.

    The security line for the US departures was the longest we’ve ever seen it. We had our boarding passes scanned, and then everyone was being directed to the left to join the snaking line. However, I was randomly selected, and asked to step to the right. Luke was told to stay with me, since we were travelling together. I had to place my carry-on suitcase on top of a table, and a security lady opened it up and looked inside. I had nothing to hide, so these additional screenings never bother me. Once she was finished, she told us to follow her and she escorted us to the front of the line. We easily saved 20-30 minutes in line just by being randomly selected! Go us!The rest of security and customs was a breeze, “Where are you going?” Walt Disney World. “What is the purpose of your trip?” To get married!"

    After getting through customs, we decided to go to our old faithful in the US terminal of the Edmonton airport, and hit up Quiznos. First food report fail of the trip – I didn’t take any pictures (don’t worry, overall I was really good about remembering). I had a turkey, ranch and Swiss on rosemary Parmesan bread, and I have no idea what Luke ate. It was probably on whole wheat bread though. For the remainder of this trip report, all dining reviews will be in my dining report, which can be found here: Che Fartsmith's is the (Starts with a B) Trash! No, BEST! :) I took some time to run over to the convenience store in the terminal and stocked up on snacks for the plane – ketchup chips for dayzz! Seriously though, USA – you are missing out by not selling ketchup chips – I’m fairly certain my body composition is ~40% ketchup chips due to how often I eat them…

    We headed over to our gate as it approached boarding time, only to hear an announcement that our flight would be delayed due to one flight attendant not being there. Remember how cold I mentioned it was that morning? Apparently her car wouldn’t start, so she was going to catch a taxi to the airport. Ok, fine. My car is brand new and we own a garage, and it wasn’t happy about starting that day, so it’s something out of that flight attendants hands. Another half an hour goes by when we hear another announcement that for whatever reason, that flight attendant is now not going to make it, but a different flight attendant has stepped up and volunteered to be on our flight to help out. The only problem – he’s currently in the air and won’t land at the Edmonton airport for another 35 minutes. Luke and I were now patting ourselves on the backs for spending the extra money to fly direct – if this had happened any other time we’ve flown to Orlando we would have missed our connection.

    Since we still had a bit of a wait, Luke went to get us a Starbucks – Very Berry Hibiscus refresher for me and a normal coffee for him. Sorry no pictures, but I’m sure everyone can picture a Starbucks cup haha. While we were waiting, we started chatting with a very friendly couple sitting beside us. They had been to Disney many times, but were very interested in hearing about our upcoming wedding and Marathon Weekend – they didn’t even realize runDisney was something that existed.

    Eventually, our final flight attendant arrived and received a round of applause. Boarding began shortly afterwards. We were in row 12, an emergency exit row so we were able to be among the first group to board the plane, which was nice since we had so many things and it allowed us time to get situated for a long flight.

     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  19. fallonkendra

    fallonkendra DIS Veteran

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    December 30, 2017 - Part Two

    Shortly after takeoff, the flight attendants came around with the food. I had pre-ordered our food, you can read the review on my dining report. Our flight was ~5 hours, we passed the time by playing games on our phones, and watching Frozen through the WestJet app. Finally, we started making our descent into Orlando. Since we had been delayed leaving by about 90 minutes, we were much later than anticipated arriving at MCO, but it still wasn’t even 5pm. We got off the plane, stopped for a bathroom break and then hopped on the fake-o-rail! Am I the only one who considers this to be the first ride of the trip?​

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    I stopped to snap some pictures of the signs in the airport for the Magical Express – none of our friends and family arriving the next week had been to WDW before (those who had been had never stayed on site), before we arrived to check in for our bus ride. They always ask to scan magicbands, but since Disney only mails out Magicbands within the US, I just hand over the letter we receive from DME and it’s never been an issue.

    We were directed into our row, and almost immediately shown to our bus. It was already about half full, so we weren’t able to get seats in the front to try for a picture of the Walt Disney World sign. Oh well. We didn’t have to sit on the bus for long before pulling away from the airport – our vacation was truly starting! The welcome video on the bus had been updated from the year before, it now included Pandora so that was nice to see!

    About 25 minutes later, we arrived at Pop Century. I know for sure we were sharing a Magical Express bus with Art of Animation, and possibly another resort, but we were the first stop so I’m not 100% sure. We gathered up our carry-on items, and headed inside to check in. Americans who receive their Magicbands ahead of time can opt in to a text message telling them their room number which allows them to bypass the main lobby, but as Canadians we can’t do this. No big deal, we only waited a few minutes before being called up. I had requested a room in the 80’s or 90’s section since I knew those were the newly renovated rooms, and our request was granted, we were in the 90’s building on the 4th floor. The walk from the main building was not bad at all, and we walked right past the bus stops for all of Pop Century.

    We got to our room, dropped our stuff and quickly got ready to leave again. Within 20 minutes, we were out the door again and walking back to the bus stops. We only had to wait a few minutes before a bus pulled up to take us to our first park of the trip – Magic Kingdom! It was pushing 6pm by this point, but the park had extra magic hours until 3am. We knew we’d never make it that late after traveling all day, but our aim was to see the midnight fireworks.​

    Once we reached Magic Kingdom, we had to stop at guest services. Luke had purchased his 10 day park hopper tickets with the Canadian discount, so he had to show his Passport to prove he was Canadian in order to activate them. I had purchased a Premier Passport the previous year (the annual pass which allows you access to both WDW and Disneyland – we had been to Disneyland twice in 2017, and when we did the math we knew I would save money by buying it once we factored in park tickets for the three trips, plus Photopass/Memory Maker plus AP discounts). Since we were already in line at guest services, I took the opportunity to purchase a Tables in Wonderland card. I actually tracked our savings with this card so you can see if it’s worth it, just check my dining reports to see the math!

    We finally entered our first park of the trip! We didn’t have much time to soak in the atmosphere though, we had to hurry if we wanted to make it to our first Fastpass, we were already closing in on the end of our window. We walked down Main Street, pausing to take in the beauty that is Cinderella’s Castle at Christmas before entering Adventureland. As we were speed walking along, I stopped. I looked over my shoulder at a man we had just walked past, then looked at Luke and said ‘I think I know him! I’m pretty sure it’s someone from the Disboards who writes trip reports that I follow!’ I had never had never met anyone in person from the Disney websites I follow, so I shyly turned around and asked ‘are you Adam?’ It was @adamreisinger , I told him who I was (I had commented on his planning report, so he knew who I was too). We chatted for a few minutes, but we had to get going in order to make our first fastpass, so we said goodbye. I totally didn’t think to get a picture with him to prove the Dismeet had happened!

    Luke and I made it to Splash Mountain and scanned our Magicbands. The Mickey on the scanner turned green, we had made it in time! We knew the ride was going to be closed for a lengthy refurbishment starting in the second week of our vacation, so it was important to us to get on it before that. Also, Splash Mountain was our very first ride at Walt Disney World back on our 2016 trip, so it just felt right for it to be the first ride on this trip.​

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    By the time we got off Splash, we were within our next fastpass window so we walked straight over to Big Thunder Mountain.

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    We didn’t ask for it, but we lucked out and were assigned the back row – the best row on BTMR! This trip was off to a great start!

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    After our wildest ride in the wilderness, we had some time to kill before our third fastpass. We walked around, revelling in the fact that after months of insane planning for this trip and wedding, there was nothing left we could do and our vacation had begun! It was a bit surreal, and I was very excited for the next two weeks.

    We made our way over to Fantasyland where I snapped this picture of the back of the castle. So pretty!

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    Our third fastpass was for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. This is such a cute ride, I’d prefer it to be a bit longer but it’s such a smooth roller coaster.

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    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  20. KidaniZen

    KidaniZen 'Asante sana squash banana!'

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    I'm glad to be following along! This looks like so much fun! :)
     
  21. fallonkendra

    fallonkendra DIS Veteran

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    Welcome! Thanks for joining in!
     
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