WDW Trip - Nov 6-14 POFQ (Part 1)
OK, I've split this into two posts as one long post was too big to be accepted!
Here you can read day's 1-5 of our tip, followed by a post with day's 6-9 if you're still interested! Pictures will be coming soon!
Walt Disney World Trip - November 6-14, 2004
Day 1 - November 6 - Arrival
OK, a bit about our planning. My wife Lori and I decided kind of spontaneously to take a trip to WDW based on the winter price deal on resort rooms. We initially booked for September 4-12, but Hurricane Frances made us change our plans! Luckily we were able to cancel all arrangements, including flights, without penalty. So, that was our first disappointment. We decided to re-book for November. I arranged our rooms through wdwvacations.com.
Now, for the room deal, only a king room was left at Port Orleans. Well, though it was more than we wanted to pay, we snapped it up. Nothing else was left at the moderate resorts at the deal price. Now the good part! A while later, Nikki at WDW Vacations informed us she had got us a standard room at the deal price! Nice to know she was looking out for us even after our initial reservations were made. (Thanks Nikki!!) Flight arrangements were made through expedia.ca. No problems with them once again. We fly out of Buffalo rather than Toronto because it's so much cheaper!
OK, on with the trip. This trip is just me and my wife, Lori. First time we've been to WDW just the two of us! My ninth trip, her sixth. Our last trip was November 2003 at Port Orleans - Riverside with my parents. We flew out of Bufflalo. 6:45am flight! Very early, but nice to arrive early as well. Picked up by Mears shuttle. Saw a
bunch of smaller vans and was hopefull, but we got the bus! Pretty crowded. Luckily though, POFQ was the first stop! :) Room was ready upon arrival. 5307. Third floor overlooking the pool area. Well, between the pool and hot tub area. Very convenient to the pool, food court area, and bus stop. Spent some time getting settled. Then we went down to get a bite to eat and get our refillable mugs. Then had a quick swim. Water was pretty chilly for me though!
After a bit or a rest we headed for Downtown Disney. Spent a few hours wandering the shops in the Marketplace. Just browsing for now! Then we headed into Pleasure Island. Hit the Adventurers Club. Saw a show in the Mask Room, and then one of the main shows in the Library. Interacted a bit with one of the characters while we
waited. The Adventurers Club is really the only part of Pleasure Island to interest me. We're not club type people anymore! Maybe we're just getting older!! Anyways, after the show we headed home. Took a short walk around the resort before Lori fell and hurt her elbow! Tripped while watching the horse and carriage go by. She was ok, so it was pretty funny! Headed off to bed. It had been a long day!
Day 2 - November 7 - Typhoon Lagoon
Nice weather to wake up to! Not super hot, but very comfortable. Headed off to Typhoon Lagoon. Had a fun day there. Spent a bit of time in the wave pool, and hit all the raft rides. Missed the body slides this time. Just a very relaxing day! Fun time in the lazy river! I think Lori got hit by all the cold water waterfalls, jets and
sprays. Very funny! Had a trukey leg for lunch. As good as always! Left around 5pm, just as the park was getting ready to close.
On to the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue for dinner! Took a bus to the Magic Kingdom to take the water launch to Fort Wilderness. Always neat to go over the water bridge and see the traffic going unfer you. Got to Fort Wilderness in prenty of time. Walked around the shop and then sat in the rocking chairs out front of Crockett's Tavern while we waited. We'd never been to the Revue before but had heard great things! Had the 9:30pm seating so it seemed pretty late for us, but it was still surprisingly crowded. Some tables on the balcony were filled, but not all. We were almost center stage and one row back. Couldn't get much better. Salad was waiting on the table and it was excellent! Maybe we were just hungry. Meal was all you could eat fried chicken, ribs, beans, and corn, with strawberry shortcake for dessert. All was very good. The show was very entertaining and interactive.
I think I actually enjoyed it more than the Luau at the Polynesian. We even got involved in one of the songs about where the guests were from. Headed back to the resort and bed. Magic Kingdom tomorrow!
Day 3 - November 8 - Magic Kingdom
Woke up and went down to get coffee and beignets. We could make coffee in the room, but I prefer the walk in the morning to get it from the food court. Then it's off to the Magic Kingdom! Bus seemed busy and the park was very busy! Walked down Main Street and veered right towards Liberty Square. Hit the Haunted Mansion first. Thought the Grim Grinning Ghosts music seemed muted somehow, but it was a good way to start! Then, back into Frontierland. Big Thunder Mountain followed by Splash mountain before heading off to Tom Sawyers Island.
Wandered there a bit, fed the birds and headed back. Just in time to walk into Country Bear Jamboree! Missed this last trip, so it was good to see again. Shopped back towards Liberty Square and arrived just in time to jump on the Liberty Belle for a relaxing journey around Tom Sawyers Island.
OK, now we head into the madness of Fantasyland. Couldn't believe how busy it was!! 45 minutes for Peter Pan! Only 15 for Philharmagic, so we did that. Then into Pinocchio's Village Haus for lunch. Gotta love that topping bar!! Found the stairs and headed up to the balcony. Room for 2 outside. Very nice and quiet compared to inside. Plus you have a nice view of Fantasyland while you eat!
After lunch we head back towards Adventureland. First stop, to check out the wait for the Jungle Cruise. Only 15 minutes! We hop into line. What a crappy skipper we had. Very monotone and didn't say much. Long periods of silence. Then, on to the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. I've always liked this one! Wish I could live in the trees! Off to the Tiki Room. Still prefer the old version, but it seemed better this time than in the past. Maybe it's growing on me. Next, Pirates! As good as always. A bit of shopping and we meander through the hub towards Tomorrowland. Visit the Rose Garden along the way. Take a bunch of photos of the castle. Enter
Tomorrowland by the Starlight Cafe. Too bad Sonny Exlipse is still on holidays!
First stop in Tomorrowland, the Indy Speedway. Lori drives. Or she tries to anyways. Much bouncing off the guide rail, but it's fun! Then we wander over to see if Stitch is open. It is! And not too busy either. We go in and get in to the next show. Very much like Alien Encounter. The Stich animatronics are great! Entertaining, but it doesn't blow me away. Kind of a let down? We'll have to wait and see. Off to Space Mountain. Fairly long wait. Just as I go to get Fastpass a woman hands me two that they're not able to use! Thanks whoever you were! And the return time is now. So we luck out and go right in. It's as good as always. Then, on to the Carrousel of Progress, which we love! Hope it retuns quickly after its rehab. Dusk is arriving as we board the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. Another of our favorites!
Off to Main Street. Cool evening so we grab a coffee and hot cocoa and wander towards the train station. We're too late to get railing spots, but we stay up there for Spectromagic. Not a very good view of it! Back up main street to Casey's for a hot dog as we wait for Wishes. We watch from the middle of Main Street near Casey's. Very impressive. I'm surprised how many people stay for half of the show and then leave. Watched a whole bunch of parents racing towards the exits mid show with their kids in tow. All the kids were trying to keep up while walking sideways and looking back towards the fireworks. Is it really that important to leave before the crowds? Crazy. Anyways, after the show we shuffle out with the crowds and head for home!
Day 4 - November 9 - EPCOT
Another first for us. We took the bus to the Magic Kingdom just so that we could take the monorail to EPCOT.
From the Magic Kingdom to the Ticket & Transportation Center we rode in the cab of the monorail! Very fun experience. Then we went on to EPCOT in a regular monorail car. I always love the monorail entrance to EPCOT when you swing around Spaceship Earth and past the Future World attractions.
First stop, the Living Seas. It's still too bad that the Sea Cabs are gone. Anyways, got to see some of the new Nemo overlays. They had two of the areas on the main floor closed for rehab, I'm guessing they're adding more Nemo stuff. Saw some divers for the first time, and also saw a diver using the diving chamber.
Next, on to the Land. Took a bunch of pictures 'cause I love the inside of this attraction and know it'll be much different when they open Soarin'. 25 minute wait for Living With The Land. Always a neat tour.
Journey Into Your Imagination next. We walked on. Very quiet area. As dissappointing as always. Bring back the Dreamfinder! Then, Honey I Shrunk The Audience and some time watching the jumping fountains and the waterfall that flows up. We decide to leave the rest of Future World for another time and head into the World Showcase.
We've always started in Mexico in the past and decide to be different and head to Canada. Let the rain begin! We wander the stores of Canada, but skip the film. Grab some Cheddar Cheese soup. Excellent! As Canadians though, I don't remember this as being a staple food growing up! For some reason Lori has no desire to see the films this time around! Then on to Great Britain. It's fairly quiet outside from the rain, but we have our raingear. We wander the streets and go through the maze. Then into the stores with all the people.
On to France. Grabbed a Crepe au Fromage et Fambon and sat out of the rain for a bit. Then we wandered around the stores, skipped the movie and pushed on to Morocco, one of my favorites! Got some Hummus with Pita as we wandered the shops. Love the architecture. Bought a neat book on Moroccan culinary habits, with recipes and pictures of the pavillion! Found a hidden mickey on the Souk-Al-Magrem Gift of Morocco shop.
Next is Japan, and now it's pouring rain! That's ok though, 'cause you can spend a lot of time wandering around inside Japan. What a great store. Lori loves all the Hello Kitty type stuff. We normally get it for our nieces, but I know she likes it for herself just as much. We wander up to the Yakitori House for a bite to eat. Teryaki
Chicken and the Tokyo Sushi Roll. Very nice. Never eaten there before. Still raining but not as hard when we move on.
Italy is pretty small and quick for us. In and out of the shops and on to Germany. At the Ocktoberfest stand we grab a goulash with spatzle. Not bad. Love the architecture hear! I'm from Kitchener, Ontario, home of the largest Ocktoberfest celebrations outside of Germany, so this feels like home. Nice shops.
We move on past the African and Australian stuff but are stopped when a drawbridge opens in front of us. Never even knew it was there! We're there for about 5 minutes as we watch the Illuminations barges go by us and head towards their places. We're seeing a lot of new stuff this trip!
On to China, where we wander around the ponds and shops. Skip the movie and move on.
Norway is another one with great architecture. Neat stave church, sod roof, etc... Go on Maelstrom and stay for the movie there. Watched some kids play on the ship.
Mexico is another favorite. I seem to have a lot of favorites! Gotta love it both inside and outside! And the El Rio Del Tiempo ride is one of the greatest! Cheesy and fun, and never a wait!
Dusk is rolling in as we head back to Future World. Test Track is still quite a wait, so it's on to the Universe of Energy with Ellen, the we finally get to Spaceship Earth and walk right on. Great ride! We then find our Leaving A Legacy picture that we got last November. Very neat to see! Back to Test Track and the wait is 20
minutes, but we have time before Illuminations, and get in line. Last time our picture on Test Track was hilarious (well, my wife cracks up every time she remembers my expression) but we didn't buy it. This time it's not nearly as funny.
We head back to find a spot for Illuminations and end up just past China. Not a bad spot. We watch the show and head back to the resort, very tired.
Oh, at some point during the day we had Corned Beef & Cabbage from the Ireland booth and the vegetable curry and rice with a Taj Mahal Lager at the India booth, but I forgot to add those in!
Day 5 - November 10 - Magic Kingdom
Wow, day 5 already! The week is just flying along. Well, another first for us today. We're off to Chef Mickey's for a character breakfast! So, a bus to the Magic Kingdom, followed by a quick walk to the Contemporary. We're quite early, so we have time to wander around. Checked out the lobby, the pool area, and walked out by the Garden wings. I stayed there in 1977 and have seen film of me being "interviewed" by my dad about our day while sitting in the grass near the water. Found a spot that could be similar! Took a bunch of pictures. Off to Chef
Mickey's! We're seated in the raised back section overlooking the water. Very nice. Great buffet! We're visited first by Mickey, then Minnie, Chip, Dale & Pluto. Pictures all around. Goofy is waiting in the lobby area. I get my picture taken and ask Lori if she wants hers. She says no and Goofy looked quite hurt. She gets her picture
taken with Goofy!
So, we monorail over to the Polynesian to wander about. I've stayed there twice when I was much younger (and not paying) and it has to be my favorite resort. I buy a coffee mug and we jump on the boat back to the Magic Kingdom.
Not so rushed today, we can take our time. Doesn't seem as crowded as well. I buy myself some Mickey ears with my name on them, and we board the train for a leisurely trip around WDW. Nice relaxing way to let our breakfast settle! On to Fantasyland, which isn't nearly as crazy today. Snow White's about a 10 minute wait. Love the dark rides! We do Peter Pan and then the Tea Cups. Lori doesn't care to spin too much, but we have a good whirl!
We wander into Tomorrowland and go on Buzz. It's like 26000 to 5000 in my favour, but the picture is a wash so I have no proof! On to the Astro Orbiter followed by the TTA again. Then we head back to Adventureland and the
Jungle Cruise! We get a much better guide this time. Back to Fantasyland we decide to wait for Dumbo. Only 25 minutes. I want to see the 20,000 Leagues work being done. Very sad to see it all disappearing. Over to the Hall of Presidents, and another trip to the Haunted Mansion before we look for a bite to eat. We're hoping for salads tonight. Starlight Cafe has closed their salad/soup line for the night. :( OK, we move on towards main street. Check out the Plaza Pavilion, which is also closed!! I know the park closes a little earlier tonight, but we still have to eat! Settle for a Hot Dog from Casey's and grab some Popcorn right before wishes. No Spectromagic tonight. Enjoy some quiet time down the Main Street side street listening to the music lessons above us.
We take the boat over to the Wilderness Lodge to check it out. Grabbed a bite to eat at the Roaring Fork and relaxed while we waited for the Electrical Water Pageant. I know it had been damaged by the hurricane's, but what a disappointment! Only four floats! Well, one is the long sea serpeant, which technically is like four floats. Lasts less than 5 minutes and we're on our way back to Port Orleans. I hope the Water Pageant comes back to its full glory soon. Long bus ride back tonight.
Stay tuned for Days 6-9 in Part 2