Touring the Tower of Terror and other Ghoulish Delights! Sept 13 TR | FINALx2 4/17!!!

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by danimaroo, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. danimaroo

    danimaroo DIS Veteran

    Sep 21, 2011

    I listened to Mini Leota, because I did indeed hurry back (wokka wokka, I'm here all day) to the DISboards... and I'm here with another long-winded and super fun Trip Report!

    I have to say, it feels kind of weird to be writing another Trip Report (number 4 here on the DISboards to be exact!) so quickly, considering the last one just ended only a few weeks ago! But I am very happy to be here again, writing about what I would say is BY FAR our most adventurous and different trip to Disney World that we have ever embarked on.

    If you're new to my TRs and want to get to know me better before reading this beast of a Trip Report, please feel free to check out my previous ones!

    "I'M JUST SHOWBOATIN' AROUND THE WORLD! & getting pooped on. Jan 13 TR!" - My last TR, January 2013
    The Wettest, Merriest, and Happiest Birthday/First Visit Nov/Dec. 2012 TR! - TR for my first trip to Disneyland ever, November 2012
    "Norway? More like No Way!" Seattle Goobers' Jan 2012 TR! - My first DISboards TR, January 2012

    Oh, and I've also started getting into making trip videos, as well! If you haven't seen our January 2013 video, you can watch it here:

    "Adults are only kids grown up, anyway." Our January 2013 Disney World Trip Video!

    And yes, there will be another Trip Video to accompany this lovely Trip Report, so stay tuned on that front.

    Now that we've got all that out of the way...

    Assuming you have no idea who I am/you're brand spankin' new to my TR, my name is Danielle, but most people around here call me Dani. I'd also like to say that I'm happy to have you here! I really hope you enjoy reading about our adventures, and please, don't hesitate to leave a comment and let me know that you are here. Lurkers are cool with me, too, so no worries if commenting isn't really your thing, either.

    And for those of you who know me and enjoyed my previous TRs enough to join in again, well HELLOOOOOOO (said in a Seinfeld voice). I'm genuinely excited to have you back in action, reading and commenting as I re-tell the events of our ridiculously fabulous vacation. You guys have made writing TRs so much fun, so thank you so much for joining in again.

    In case you have no idea who I am, forgot who I am, or just feel like reading some silly fun facts about me, here is a quick little rundown about me (with a photo of me and my best friend, School Bread, to boot).


    Fun facts about me, Dani:

    1. Up until this trip, I had never seen the opening show at Magic Kingdom, ever.

    2. I get a kick out of making absurd faces on attractions. Making random families' ride photos even better, one ridiculous face at a time.

    3. I now have around 388 Vinylmation figures in my collection... You will get to hear all about the big trading event I went to during this trip.

    4. I love to laugh and joke around (total shocker, right?). In high school, I was voted as Class Clown and Most School Spirit, so more often than not, you'll find me acting like a dork, and I am totally okay with that.

    5. One of our dogs, Milo, looks like a little bean. Jelly bean, kidney bean, black bean, whatever bean you want to choose, he is a little bean. Here is proof that he is a bean (a chubby bean, but that's okay):


    He can sometimes even be a happy Disney bean:


    Our big dog, Anya, is essentially Chewbacca, and enjoys telling us all about her day when we get home from work. It usually consists of nap time, sometimes trying to eat Vinylmation, and licking the couch (because that makes total sense). This is her with some super cool Fantasia sunglasses we made her wear (does that make us terrible puppy parents? maybe.):


    My partner in fun, husband, best friend, cool dude, and biggest Haunted Mansion fan I know, Matt, was obviously with me for this trip! I can't imagine doing Disney World without him by my side. We are two huge goobers, big Disney fans, and just love laughing and living life together. We celebrated being together for 10 years this past June, and celebrated our third wedding anniversary during this trip, on September 17th!

    Some fun facts about Matt (with an adorable photo, too!):


    1. Matt is a huge Disney Parks history buff. He's my go-to when I'm curious about older attractions or historical fun facts about Disney World.

    2. Matt has been told he looks like Seth Rogen no less than 30 times. It's happened here on the DIS, on twitter, in elevators at work, and even at Petco.

    3. While Matt loves nighttime parades/shows, he discovered this trip that he is not a huge fan of afternoon parades (which you will eventually see in our future trip video).

    This trip was different for us for a variety of reasons. It was our:

    +First time doing a split stay since our honeymoon in 2011
    +First time staying some place new since 2011
    +First time going in September/not going in January
    +First time doing Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
    +First time not doing the DIning Plan
    +(My) first time doing an official Disney trading event
    +First time going as Disney Vacation Club members

    ...and some other first-time surprises in there that you'll just have to wait to hear about... which maaaay or may not explain the Trip Report title. ;)

    There were a few reasons we went on this trip.

    1. We thought it'd be fun to celebrate our wedding anniversary in Disney World. Even though in the past we celebrated it later in January during our trips, we wanted to be in Disney World on our actual anniversary this year.
    2. With our Premier Annual Passes still active through November, we thought if there was any year to go to Disney World twice, it was this year!
    3. We recently became DVC members, so we thought this would be a great way to celebrate!
    4. We wanted to try out a different month to visit Disney World, and heard that September had the lowest crowds during the year, so we decided to give it a whirl.

    Our dates for this trip were September 11th - September 22nd.

    We stayed at the Villas at Wilderness Lodge from September 11th - September 15th...


    Then switched over to Beach Club Villas from September 15th - September 22nd.


    We decided to NOT do the Disney Dining Plan on this trip. We wanted more freedom to eat wherever we wanted, whenever we wanted, and not be stuck to a schedule every day. We did still have some ADRs, but we were excited to see if we liked not having the Dining Plan this trip!

    I can't WAIT to tell you guys all about what we did on this trip! So hang on tight, as you're in for the adventure of a lifetime.

    Continued in next post
  2. danimaroo

    danimaroo DIS Veteran

    Sep 21, 2011

    Day One: September 11th, 2013
    Chapter 1: "What time have you been up since?" "...4:15am."
    Chapter 2: Holy crap, we are actually HERE.
    Chapter 3: My first Pumpkin Spice Latte in the Magic Kingdom? Yes please.
    Chapter 4: Splash Mountain is officially back... and it's BEAUTIFUL.
    Chapter 5: Mickey Mouse called and left us a message... No big deal.

    Day Two: September 12th, 2013
    Chapter 6: "We made it in time for the opening show?!"
    Chapter 7: Clearly, everyone is hanging out in Fantasyland... or not.
    Chapter 8: More Haunted Mansion pins?! YES PLEASE!
    Chapter 9: Spoiler alert: The Tiki Room has the best AC.
    Chapter 10: The Curse of the Green Crocs...
    Chapter 11: Maybe the rain isn't THAT bad... and EPCOT TIME!!
    Chapter 13: School bread, beautiful school bread.

    Day Three: September 13th, 2013
    Chapter 14: Look out, Ninja Dani is on the move.
    Chapter 15: "AND YOU!... YOU WERE DANCING IN IT!"
    Chapter 16: We finally meet our favorite Disney family!
    Chapter 17: I had no idea 3 FOOT TALL Vinylmation exist.
    Chapter 18: TRUFFLE SHUFFLE, yo.
    Chapter 19: I hit my wall and enter the GRUMP ZONE... then win a contest?!

    Day Four: September 14th, 2013
    Chapter 20: A morning full of expeditions and safaris...
    Chapter 21: We're goin' a-huntin'... for some Mickey confetti.
    Chapter 22: "...and we heard you SCREEEEAAAAAM."

    Day Five: September 15th, 2013
    Chapter 23: A MEGA AWKWARD start to my Vinylmation Trading Event day..
    Chapter 24: Gio remembers me and Vinylmation trading galore!
    Chapter 25: Cape May... and we're HOME again. <3
    Chapter 26: "EAT IT, EVERYONE!" and this is when I angry cry in front of a stranger, YAY!

    Day Six: September 16th, 2013
    Chapter 27: Praise the Heavens, our MagicBands actually WORK!
    Chapter 28: We finally see One Man's Dream.
    Chapter 29: We visit our NEW home resort, YAY!
    Chapter 30: Raglan Road, I love you so, Raglan Rooooad.
    Chapter 31: The slowest... waiter... ever.
    Chapter 32: "Ummm, where the heck are we?"
    Chapter 33: "I'm sorry, but I just had to say... I LOVE YOUR VIDEO!"

    Day Seven: September 17th, 2013
    Chapter 34: Happy Anniversary, for real!
    Chapter 35: A Genie, a Crab, and a Candlestick walk into a bar...
    Chapter 36: "Did she just say 'all the guys that turn me on..."?!"
    Chapter 37: I finally reveal my MNSSHP costume!
    Chapter 38: Did I just get Twitter props and featured on a blog? YEP.
    Chapter 39: Storybook Treats IS A LIE... I just want my ice cream.
    Chapter 41: Time for some last-minute trick or treating!

    Day Eight: September 18th, 2013
    Chapter 42: We've adopted a new nugget... SIMBA!
    Chapter 43: Bugs and Dinosaur... how did I agree to this again?
    Chapter 44: Okay, Lance Armstrong's gotta go.
    Chapter 45: Eating School Bread in bed, is there anything better?

    Day Nine: September 19th, 2013
    Chapter 46: Limited Time Magic Tower of Terror Tour: Part 1
    Chapter 47: Limited Time Magic Tower of Terror Tour: Part 2
    Chapter 48: Fact: Kakigori will save you from the heat
    Chapter 49: Ellen's Energy Adventure is underrated.
    Chapter 50: Nutella Waffles aaaand a lame-o CM?
    Chapter 51: "WHEEEEEEEEE!"

    Day Ten: September 20th, 2013
    Chapter 52: Farewell, Animal Kingdom, until we meet again.
    Chapter 53: Why won't these people stop making out? Please make it stop.
    Chapter 54: Matt doesn't like daytime parades
    Chapter 55: Sulley! *insert Matt's face on the big screen*

    Day Eleven: September 20th, 2013
    Chapter 56: I'm temporarily blinded... HEY FREE CAKE POPS!
    Chapter 57: Pool time, waffle time, MK time. Nothing better.
    Chapter 58: Root Beer Floats are worth getting sidetracked for.
    Chapter 59: "EAT IT, EVERYONE!" Part Deux.. and my worst nightmare ever.
    Chapter 60: See Ya Real Soon!

    Final Thoughts

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  4. danimaroo

    danimaroo DIS Veteran

    Sep 21, 2011
    Chapter 1: "What time have you been up since?" "...4:15am."
    Day One: September 11th, 2013

    I woke up this morning at around 6am to my alarm going off. I was definitely in the middle of a dream of some sort, so I was slightly out of it, until I noticed the bathroom light on. Matt was already awake, and he suddenly poked his head out from behind our curtain that separates the master bath from our bedroom. He let out a quiet but very excited "Daaaaaaniiiiii!" with a huge smile on his face. That's when I knew... IT WAS TIME FOR DISNEY WORLD!!

    I asked him what time he'd been up since, as our alarms were both set for around 6am. Matt told me sheepishly that he'd been up since 4:15AM!!! Hahaha, I could not believe he'd been up that long! He said he'd woken up randomly at that time and when he realized it was Disney day, he couldn't fall back asleep. What a goob... but I also can't blame him!

    I got out of bed pretty quickly at that point and brushed my teeth/got ready, then started packing the last-minute stuff. We made our bed, but our dog Milo was NOT having any of it. He kept throwing his little body all over, because he totally knew we were leaving them. Any time our suitcases are out, he knows we are leaving, and they're not coming along (with a few exceptions)... So instead, he just threw his little bean of a body all over the bed. Eventually we were able to get the bed made, and I was able to take the final Mickey head off of our countdown!!


    Matt headed downstairs to get the dogs outside while I finished getting ready. I was rockin' my Donald headband and Donald earrings!


    Our driver ended up showing up 15 minutes early at 6:30am, so we hurried around the house to get the bags out the door and say goodbye to our little pup nuggets. It's always sad saying goodbye to them, but we knew they were in good hands, as Bruce and Amy, who you'll hopefully remember from my last TR, were going to watch them for us.

    We got out the door and into the car, and made it to the airport in about 20 minutes. Traffic wasn't too awful, so we ended up getting to the Alaska Airlines kiosk at around 7am.

    Check-in and security were pretty amazing because we had scored a First Class upgrade the day before. When I went to check us in at the 24 hour mark, there were 2 First Class seats available and we decided to jump on the opportunity! I mean, it's not often that you get to fly to Disney World on a 5 hour flight in that much fancy comfort, right? We were both pretty stoked about it.

    After getting through security (my roller bag was pulled aside/searched, I'm thinking because I had a ton of Vinylmation with me), we were on our way to get some breakfast at Starbucks by 7:25. But theeeen Matt decided he really wanted something more than just a bagel so he went off to Wendy's for a breakfast sandwich while I got us coffee and myself some breakfast. Only I forgot to order myself a coffee, haha, but I didn't feel like getting back in line to wait.


    I decided to get a banana and a yogurt parfait for myself, as I really didn't want to upset my stomach while on the flight and I knew we'd be eating something during the flight, as well.


    Matt came back and was elated to have his Starbucks waiting for him. As you will see throughout this Trip Report, that man MUST have his coffee. He is addicted, so let's just thank little baby Jesus right now that Disney finally brought some decent coffee into the parks.


    Meanwhile, I was just giving thumbs up because I was SO excited we were going back to our favorite place in the whole world!


    After we finished eating our breakfast, we headed over to our terminal, which required taking a little tram over. Not nearly on the same level of the Monorail, or even really the Fake-o-rail in MCO, but it was pretty quick and we were hanging out waiting for our flight in no time.


    We boarded early, and I was seated in 3F, while Matt was right behind me in 4F. We didn't really mind being separated since he was right behind me, plus we don't really talk a TON on flights usually. The views were beautiful though!



    I had bought the in-flight wifi, which costs $14, but is worth every single penny on a long-haul flight like that. It makes the time go by so much faster! I spent a little time catching up on a few TRs while we made our way to Orlando, which was nice.


    I tried to take a photo of Matt behind me, but instead, I got the face of some man sleeping in coach, hahaha. This photo made me laugh because I totally didn't notice until way later.


    Now, I'm not a fancy lady, so sitting in First Class was a pretty awesome treat. I'd sat up there before, but it's not a very frequent thing at all for me. I thought it was pretty delightful that we were given a real glass for our water, haha.


    As I mentioned before, during the really long flights, they provide meal service for everyone in First Class. I was actually happy about this since we otherwise would have shown up in Orlando pretty hungry.

    Soon enough, our first course was brought to us, which was a Watermelon Salad. It was kind of weird because it was still super early, and the flight attendant even joked that we were being given dinner for breakfast, but I didn't really care. Free food is free food... and I took photos of everything!


    We were also given a choice of either an Alaskan Salmon dish or Cheese Ravioli in a tomato cream sauce. I opted for the Cheese Ravioli, and it was actually really good.


    They then ended our meal service with a peach parfait pie type of dessert. I'm not a huge peach fan, but this wasn't too bad! I like the whipped cream and crunchy topping.


    They even gave us some warm mixed nuts later on, too. Haha it was a weird experience, because I felt both so out of place but spoiled sitting up front.


    Before I knew it, we had landed in Orlando at around 5:45pm, and were one step closer to being home again.



    As we walked through the airport, I told Matt I REALLY had to go to the bathroom. He sighed, because he is the KING of wanting to get to the Magical Express, and while I can't blame him, I also didn't feel like peeing my pants, so bathroom it was. But I did run!

    After the quickest bathroom run of my life (and yes, I still washed my hands in record time), we found ourselves on the Fake-o-rail, which was VERY exciting! This always means PHOTOS!




    We nearly ran down the escalator... or well, we would have if we didn't have roller bags. AND I SAW THIS.


    And at this point, we were booking it, and that's why you get a blurry as all get out photo from me.


    The Magical Express area was looking all spiffed up, with the new Magic Band check-in deal.


    We couldn't use ours yet since they wouldn't be active for a few days, so we gave them our little booklet and were told to go to aisle 2, where there was no one else standing around.


    Luck was about to be on our side, as we were already ahead of schedule and things were looking to continue that way!

    Continued in next post
  5. katt789

    katt789 DIS Veteran

    Mar 14, 2010

    Seriously, you write amazing reports, and I'm so pumped to be here lol. I know it's gonna be an AWESOME one!! So many exciting things that happened this time around, I'm so ready!!
  6. arbolita

    arbolita DIS Veteran

    Sep 17, 2008
    I am so excited for this!!!
  7. katt789

    katt789 DIS Veteran

    Mar 14, 2010

    We were somehow posting at the same time. I missed the update lol. GREAT UPDATE! Yay first class, yay for free food, weird that it was watermelon salad at that time, but hey, it's free!

    Ah! Disney! Arriving is the most exciting part!!
  8. gracer9977

    gracer9977 Happiness is Disney

    May 2, 2006
    So excited to have you back!!!:cool1:

    Can't wait to jump aboard another of your fabulous TR's!!:yay:
  9. keys1388

    keys1388 Earning My Ears

    Mar 12, 2010
    Yay! Subbing!!
  10. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

    Oct 29, 2012
    Following along! :)
  11. blklotus

    blklotus Why is a raven like a writing desk?

    Jul 11, 2012
    Ahhhhhhhhh! I've so been looking forward to this! When I saw it I actually broke out this move: :dancer: Awwwwwww yeahhhhhh. :thumbsup2
  12. MaelstromFan

    MaelstromFan Earning My Ears

    Sep 24, 2013
    Yay! I've been looking forward to this! I was at Disney the week before you got there - I think we overlapped a couple of days. It was an awesome time to visit! Can't wait to read the report!:woohoo:
  13. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

    Apr 27, 2012
    Joining in! Can't wait to hear all about your trip, it's off to a great start so far!! :woohoo:
  14. lvcourtneyy

    lvcourtneyy DIS Veteran

    Nov 24, 2012
    I just posted our travel day updates too! :rotfl2: Seriously, I think arriving at MCO and getting to the ME counter is one of the best parts of a trip because you're just full of excitement about the trip ahead of you that you just don't care about anything except being completely excited!
  15. __disneygirl

    __disneygirl well, all that's left now is the happy ending.

    Aug 4, 2005
    Hey Dani! YAYYYY I'm so happy you started this. Your TRs are so great! I have been excited to read all about your adventures for awhile now. It sounds like this trip was one of your best ever!
  16. DisneyKid4Life

    DisneyKid4Life DIS Veteran

    Mar 3, 2013
    YAY DANI!!! So happy you've started and so happy to have another brilliant report with my fav Disney couple. This will undoubtedly be my favourite of your reports because I'm getting in right at the start!!!

    I know little bits and pieces (like the TR title), but I can't wait to see it all come together. And all the DISmeets and all the other amazing stuff. Oh and of course I can't wait for more ride photos!!!!!

    AHHHHH, I can see my TR on your screen!!! That is just the coolest thing EVER!!!! :cool2: :dance3:

    Bahaha, and the hilarious photos begin. That sleeping guy photo is AWESOME! :rotfl2:

    Not to mention the random Matt and Dani pictures you know I love. :thumbsup2
  17. lovegrumpy

    lovegrumpy DIS Veteran

    Mar 6, 2007
    Hopping on over to hear how this trip went.
  18. kimbo0569

    kimbo0569 DIS Veteran

    Feb 16, 2007
    I'm in! :cool1:
  19. gracer9977

    gracer9977 Happiness is Disney

    May 2, 2006
    And I noticed that my comment is on your TR that is on Dani's screen. :cool1:
  20. stimmons

    stimmons Mouseketeer

    Apr 28, 2010
    I'm HEEEERRREE! I'm here, I'm here, I'm here! :bitelip: I cannot wait to read about your trip. Especially about the MagicBand experience. I'm so nervous about trying this out in November.

    Also, I'm intrigued by the no Dining Plan approach. :scared:

    Let's get this show on the road! :goodvibes
  21. Rosiekins

    Rosiekins Is going to Disney World!!

    Jun 25, 2009
    Jumping in! I have read all your reports so I am super excited for another one! And this one looks like it is off to an Awesome Possum start!! I find it amusing that you moved from MA to WA because I moved from WA to MA. I lived up in Ferndale (outside Bellingham) until I moved to Wayland MA when I was 19 to be a Nanny. I still live in MA though I must admit I still miss home.

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