Updated 7/28 - SWGE Preview trip planning! - Coooo-rrect! Mom/Daughter Do WDW—A Feb 2019 TR

Araminta18

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
And So It Begins...
Hi everyone! Welcome to my trip report! I'm so glad you're here! My name is Tiffany, and I have a Disney problem...oh wait, this is the safe space! I'm among friends...phew!


I'm 31, a librarian (though I currently do records management...it pays better and Disney ain't cheap, yo), and I love Disney! Favorite princess is Sleeping Beauty (don't even get me started on how it's the 60th anniversary and the merchandise is severely lacking...*sigh*), but I also love Beauty and the Beast and Mary Poppins. Favorite rides: I could never pick just one, but I love the coasters and the Haunted Mansion. I love Disney for the themeing and the magic—as so many have said, it just makes me happy.

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This is my 4th trip to the World, and my second as an Annual Passholder. My husband and I did a long stay last September and I upgraded to an AP for the discount, but I can't let a perfectly good AP go to waste when there's an Epcot Festival just calling my name, right?

This trip was originally going to be a solo trip for Festival of the Arts to make use of my annual pass. I invited a friend who couldn't make it, and then invited my mom, but they are moving and selling their house and Mom didn't want to plan a trip with all that going on, 'cause she wanted to be available in case the house sold, etc etc. So just me!

I made all my ADRs and fastpasses, focusing on Festival of the Arts, and booked my hotels on Priceline, using their Priceline Express Deals. I lined up a pretty awesome trip, if I do say so myself, with lots of new things as well as old favorites. I was staying one night at Wilderness Lodge, one night at Yacht Club, and then three nights at All Star Music, and had ADRs at Sanaa, Storybook Dining, Yak n Yeti, the Plaza, Skipper Canteen, Be Our Guest, Garden Grill. I also had fastpasses for Flight of Passage, Seven Dwarves, Soarin, Frozen, Everest, Slinky Dog...all my favorites!

Then, the Sunday before I left, I was talking with my dad and long story short, Dad and I worked out some logistical issues and then I called Mom to talk her into it. 5 seconds later, she was in!! I booked her plane tickets (which ended up being the most expensive part: pro tip, don't buy plane tickets 6 days before flying if you can help it), and her Disney tickets, and then got to work adding her to the hotel reservations, dining reservations, and fastpasses.

Adding her to the hotel wasn't a problem, as priceline defaulted to double occupancy anyways (even though I couldn't add her by name to the reservation? there was weird stuff), and I'd booked most of dining reservations for two people anyways. Fastpasses however...different story. But I got lucky--I had to rearrange a couple plans, but I was able to get fastpasses for all the important rides for Mom--Slinky, Seven Dwarves, Flight of Passage...phew! I know I got really really lucky, but it also helped that my husband was able to use my account to look for fastpasses when I was busy, so we were looking pretty constantly. That was a big load off my mind!



With the logistics pretty much all set, the last step was to call Disney and make sure the fact that we'd be celebrating Mom's birthday was plastered all over all our reservations! Mom doesn't like a big fuss on her birthday, but this is one of the big, milestone birthdays, so...



By Friday night I had everything all set and all that was left was to wait for Saturday morning for me to fly out! Little did I know then what was in store for us: weather, pixie dust, yummy food, characters, coasters, flagrant disregard for safety rules, Cindy's carriage, 360 degree fireworks, birthday celebrations... I can't wait to share it all with you!

*******************

Table of Contents ('cause I forgot [again] to reserve a post for ToC)
Arrival Day Pixie Dust! Saturday Feb 9th (part 1)
Club Level Lounge and Storybook Dining at Artist Point! Saturday Feb 9th (part 2)
Disney After Hours: Hollywood Studios - Saturday Feb 9th (part 3)
A Rainy Epcot Morning - Sunday Feb 10th (part 1)
How Many Festival of the Arts Photo Spots Can We Do? Sunday Feb 10th (part 2)

Broadway Concert and the Yacht Club - Sunday Feb 10th (part 3)

All of the Fastpasses! (No, Seriously, Not Even Kidding) - Monday Feb 11th (part 1)
A Beastly Dinner - Monday Feb 11th (part 2)
Animal Kingdom Pixie Dust - Tuesday Feb 12th (part 1)
Disney Springs and Epcot Extra Magic Hours! - Tuesday Feb 12th (part 2)
Cinderella's Carriage! - Wednesday Feb 13th (part 1)
Magic Kingdom Afternoon - Wednesday Feb 13th (part 2)

Extra Magic Hours at the Magic Kingdom! Wednesday Feb 13th (part 3)
The Saddest Valentine's Day Ever: Last Day at Disney! - Thursday Feb 14th
Now it's Time to Say Goodbye... - Final Summary

I'm back! Planning for my Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Preview Trip!
 
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  • suse66

    Mickey Bars should be a daily food group!
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2008
    Sounds amazing!! Well done on the Priceline Express deals for your hotels! I am just learning how to utilize the express deals and am curious to know how you managed to snag onsite hotels. I am sure you too had many amazing adventures and I am looking forward to reading all about it!
     

    Araminta18

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 11, 2016
    Please tell me, did they honor the Annual Passholder discount at Storybook? TIA
    They did! 10% :)

    Sounds amazing!! Well done on the Priceline Express deals for your hotels! I am just learning how to utilize the express deals and am curious to know how you managed to snag onsite hotels. I am sure you too had many amazing adventures and I am looking forward to reading all about it!
    Thanks! It was really exciting :). Have you been lurking on the Priceline Express Deals thread? That and Hotel Canary is where I got all my info. There’s definitely an element of luck too, as Disney dumped a bunch of hotels on there a few months ago but recently I think it’s beeb pretty sparse. But worth the hassle of paying attention—I got the two nights at deluxes and three nights at a value for $10 cheaper than two nights at a moderate and three nights at a value with the AP discount through Disney. :)
     
  • Araminta18

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 11, 2016
    Ready, friend!
    Yay! :welcome:

    How wonderful that your mother got to go with you. Can't wait to hear about it all.
    :welcome:

    I am here! Can't wait to hear all about the trip!
    :welcome:

    Yay! I actually just logged in two days ago to see if you'd had your trip yet. Can't wait to read all about it!
    :welcome: Aw, I can't wait to share it!

    Joining in. Can't wait to hear more!
    :welcome:

    I'm here too and looking forward to hearing all about your new adventures!
    :welcome:

    I'm hoping to have the next post up tomorrow...work has been nuts or it would have been up today...oh real life, why must you interfere with my Disney love?
     

    Araminta18

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 11, 2016
    Arrival Day Pixie Dust!
    Saturday Feb 9th (part 1)

    Before I knew it, it was Friday night and I was done with work! Normally, the night before a trip I'd head home and finish last-minute packing and make sure everything was set. Tonight was a little bit different...I was heading to the Kennedy Center for their concert version of "The Music Man"! Great show, fantastic cast, super glad I went...only problem was I didn't get home until late, like 11:30 pm late. Which is usually not too horrible, except when you have an early flight out the next morning! Oh well. #worthit (I am a *huge* fan of "The Music Man")



    I don't think I ended up going to bed until about 1? and then.......the Disney curse struck. I had to be up at 6:30 to be ready and at the airport by 7:15/7:30. What time did I wake up? 4:30. BLECH.



    I guess I was just that excited about Disney, 'cause I wasn't anxious or nervous or anything. Oh well. Made it so I was *fully* awake and ready to go on time. A+ to me.

    My saint of a husband drove me to the airport and dropped me off. Security was a bit of a wait, but not too bad, and by 7:40, I was at my gate. I stopped and got a bagel at the Dunkin Donuts there for breakfast (no picture 'cause it honestly never occurred to me--such a bad trip reporter!). That line at Dunkin Donuts was about 15/20 minutes--honestly one of the longest lines all trip! I don't understand why it was so slow, the gate wasn't all that busy.


    We boarded right as I finished my bagel; I was in my seat and ready to go by 8:30.


    The flight took off on time (8:45), and everyone was super laid back. The pilot came on the intercom and made a fun announcement about how he was from central Florida and appreciated everyone leaving their tourist dollars there. Between that and the in-flight snack of stroopwafels (thanks United!), my morning was off to a great start!


    I watched several episodes of the Netflix show "One Day at a Time" on the plane (they just released a new season--go check it out!), and before I knew it we were landing in Orlando. We even landed a few minutes early! I put on my magic band (with my shiny new Annual Passholder slider) and stood up to get off the plane.


    This is my "please, we've landed, let me off the plane so I can go to Disney!" face. :)


    I think I was just overanxious, it really didn't take long to get off the plane. I caught the green faux-norail (?) and did the obligatory selfie.


    I suppose I should give a quick disclaimer: this TR will be full of selfies. I got a brand new iPhone XS the Tuesday before the trip (partially so I'd have a good reliable phone with a good reliable battery at Disney) and I was enamored with the camera and the portrait mode. They aren't very good selfies, but I had lots of fun taking them, so I'm sharing them. :D

    I made it to the Magical Express in short order (about 11:15) and got in the long line for Wilderness Lodge.


    The line started moving almost immediately! I couldn't believe my luck, and indeed I shouldn't have. They cut the line off right before that lady in yellow, so I missed the bus by 2 people. Oh well! The next bus was about 15 minutes later--we boarded at 11:33.


    (Isn't this one of the best sights? The Magical Express waiting to take you to DisneyWorld?)

    For those who are interested, we left at 11:47 (so about 15 minutes after boarding) and the bus went to Wilderness Lodge, the Contemporary, Bay Lake Tower, and the Polynesian. Wilderness Lodge was first. The bus was about three-quarters full? I sat right behind the seats reserved for those with disabilities or needing assistance in the front row, hoping for a good view of the WDW sign, but a family either missed or deliberately ignored the "reserved" signs and plopped down right in the front row and promptly pulled out iPads for the three kids and turned the volume up full blast. Blech.


    Oh well. I concentrated on the ME video--it's another favorite. I'm really here! We got a fun glimpse of the back of Star Wars land as we passed by Hollywood Studios. And soon enough, I was passing under this beauty.



    And then, just a few more minutes and I was passing under this gorgeous arch for the first time!


    Turns out I was the only one on the bus going to Wilderness Lodge! I arrived at 12:20. It was my first time visiting (much less staying at) Wilderness Lodge...look at this beauty!


    I'm in love!

    One of the nice things about being the only one on the bus getting off at Wilderness Lodge was that I didn't have to wait to talk to someone at the front desk. Because we were doing several split-stays, I wanted to make sure that Mom was added to each reservation (for magic band charging, etc etc). Terri at the desk was super helpful! It took about 20 minutes to add Mom to all three reservations (apparently Priceline just shows an unnamed second adult, and so Terri switched it to Mom), and then I asked about my room, as the text from online check-in hadn't arrived. Terri said that the room I'd gotten when I booked through Priceline was a Courtyard view with bunk-beds, so only one queen bed. I asked nicely if there were any rooms with 2 queens available, and Terri said they were full up, but she would let the room assigners know and see if there was anything they could do for me. I left the desk with no room assignment, but still a very good impression of the Lodge from Terri (and yes, I tweeted a #castcompliment for her for all the time she took with me!)

    Anyways, all the logistics squared away, I headed out to the boat dock to catch a boat to the Magic Kingdom! Almost immediately a boat pulled up: the "Calm Seas". Captain Bobby was hilarious--very "in character" as a pirate captain. The 10 of us on the boat were in stitches.


    I didn't get to hear his whole spiel though, because a few minutes after I got on the boat, I got a call from a WDW number....hmm, I wonder who that could be! Disney doesn't usually call me. When I picked up, it was Terri from the front desk! She was calling to let me know that not only was she able to find me a room with 2 queen beds, but that she was upgrading me to Club Level! What?!



    She was so nice about it, talking about how she wanted Mom and I to have a great room for her birthday and for Mom's first time at WDW (we'd talked a bit during the 20 minutes she was helping me at the desk...). I couldn't believe it! Such a lovely upgrade--my first time staying Club level. Yay!!! The only downside was that our plans wouldn't let us really take advantage of the lounge, but no worries, I'd figure it out.

    So yea, I was a bit distracted the rest of the boat ride to the Magic Kingdom. I couldn't believe the pixie dust! But soon enough the boat arrived at the Magic Kingdom and I was enthralled by a slightly different type of pixie dust.


    I arrived at 1:10ish. I had a Peter Pan fastpass from 1 to 2pm, but I had things to do first! I stopped at the Firehouse to get a pack of Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom cards, and then of course the obligatory castle photo.


    That didn't take very long--I was tapping into Peter Pan at 1:22. I really had fun with my new phone on this ride. I don't usually take ride photos 'cause my old phone camera wasn't great, but this one...wow. Peter Pan looked better through the camera than in reality! All the colors popped and glowed.



    One of the things I love most about Disney is the theming and the music as I wander through the parks. And as I got off Peter Pan I noticed this adorable little door up a staircase next to Pinocchio Village Haus I'd never seen before. Little details like this--there's always something new to notice.


    My next stop was Memento Mori. There were some Haunted Mansion souvenirs I wanted: the little doom buggy toy that plays snippets from the ride, and the little big of the stretching room portraits that unzips to show the whole portrait. Luckily both were in stock! I don't have my own pictures, so these are from the Disney store online. Super fun, both of them. :)


    I had a 2 pm lunch ADR at the Plaza, so after doing my shopping and sending my purchases to the front of the park, I started heading to the Hub. I figured I'd be a bit early. However, as I was heading that way, who should I see out meeting but Mary Poppins! Now, I'm a huge Mary Poppins fan, though I have met her before. But this time, I had the pictures with me that I was having characters sign! Last time I met Mary I didn't have the pictures with me, so I was very excited to meet her again and this time get her autograph. I only waited about 10 minutes--huzzah!


    Mary loved the picture (it's the sheet music for "When You Wish Upon a Star" with a color picture of the castle in the middle...I'd post a picture but it's upstairs and I'm in the basement and I'm feeling too lazy to go upstairs and take a picture and everything. I'll post one at the end of all my autographs, I promise!). I'm awkward with the characters, but I'm trying to be a bit better, give them something to work with, and I am happy to say that I did get better throughout the trip. Gotta start somewhere, right?

    Since I was done meeting Mary and still had about 10 minutes before my lunch ADR, I popped into the Emporium and bought my first pair of ears ever:


    The Up! ears! They're adorable. They do pinch on my head a bit, but they're so cute...I couldn't resist.

    Once purchased I commenced the long, grueling trek from the Emporium to the Plaza. 30 seconds later I checked in for lunch. :) Unfortunately they were running way behind (despite telling me they weren't); I checked in at 2 on the dot and wasn't seated until 2:20. Oh well, just gave me more time to work up an appetite, right?

    I was seated in the little side room/greenhouse thing, which was really nice. My server seemed a bit distracted but he was very nice and brought my strawberry salad promptly. I don't know what it is about this salad, but I really really like it. The saltiness of the cheese, the sweetness of the strawberries and the vinagrette...yum. It really hit the spot.


    You can tell it was good because I forgot to take a picture before I started eating--just dove right in!

    After lunch, I headed off to my 2:30pm fastpass: Seven Dwarves Mine Train! This was my first indication that perhaps the crowds were a bit larger than expected--the fastpass line was backed up to way outside the cave. The line was a solid 10 minutes, which for fastpass feels a bit long. In comparison though, not long at all! And SDMT is definitely worth 10 minutes.


    After SDMT I tried to catch the end of the parade so I could see Maleficent back in all her splendor and fire, but all I saw were crowds. Oh well! Chasing the crowds a bit ate up enough time that it was time for my 3:30 pm fastpass: Haunted Mansion!

    This fastpass line looked long too, but it was only about a 5 minute wait, and then I was making merry with the happy haunts. I took some photos outside afterwards but I won't inflict them on you. :)

    Mom also texted me as I got off Haunted Mansion: she'd landed and was waiting for the Magical Express. Yay! I'd been low-key anxious all day about her flight, so it was a big relief that all went well. She was flying in from Las Vegas, hence the semi-late arrival.

    I knew I had about 45 minutes or so before Mom arrived at the hotel, so I decided to see if I could catch an additional fastpass for right then for anything good (since I'd used my 3 pre-booked ones already). The pixie dust continued: my eyes about popped out when I saw a fastpass for Seven Dwarves! I grabbed it and hustled on over to Fantasyland.

    Of course the fastpass line was longer this time--15 minutes. And I only just noticed that I didn't get a picture from this ride! Only for the one earlier. Lame. Anyways.

    I got off Seven Dwarves at about 4:15, and Mom had texted me that the Magical Express left at 4:05. It was gonna be close! I hustled to the front of the park (stopping quickly to get my purchases from earlier), and was waiting for a boat at 4:23.


    Will I beat her? Will she beat me? Who will arrive first?! Tune back in next time for the resolution of this incredibly minor cliffhanger!

     

    cheshiregoofy22

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 28, 2015
    Oooooooo I hope you make it before her for the big pixie dust surprise!! So very exciting! Congratulations on the fabulous upgrade! Love your pictures too! :flower:
     

    dizneefan13

    Earning My Fins
    Joined
    Jul 25, 2013
    Loving this so far! Your Disney Happy comes through loud and clear and I love it! Your pictures are wonderful. Yay for the new phone!
     

    PrincessP

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 6, 2008
    So delighted your solo adventure has morphed into a mom-daughter trip and fun birthday celebration for your mom!!

    Woohoo on the club level upgrade. And I can’t wait to hear how you liked WL. We got an upgrade at the Poly one year when our kids were little....we had free dining and the kids weren’t big eaters at that age so we missed some of the food benefit, but it was magical nonetheless. Great way to start the trip!

    Mary Poppins and Two rides on SDMT already! Wow! Pixie dust galore. :tink:
     

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