Spyne's WDW Trip Report! - 9.18.08-9.26.08
I've been meaning to sit down and do this earlier, but ever since I've been back I've been very swamped with work. Seriously; between school, job, and personal business. But, I'm eager to finally talk about my amazing trip!
A couple notes before I begin though. I'll mention it later, but I obviously took a lot of photos and videos on this trip. Photos I'm beginning to upload beginning now, videos will come at a later time. Also because this is my first trip in a long time, quite a lot of attractions and such are new to me this time around. So please keep that in mind. With all the chit chat out of the way, let's begin.
Day 1 - Arrival | Downtown Disney | Epcot - 9.18.08
Our journey began here at home waking up around 3-3:30am. Sure enough after getting ready and completing any left-over things to do before we left, off we went to the airport around 4-4:30am. On the car ride there and arriving at the airport, it was still hard to fathom I was actually returning to WDW after so long (almost 8 years, last trip was November 2000). It really sunk in when we boarded the plane and then taking off just after 7:00am. Then was when my excitement grew higher and higher. Having my camera and camcorder in tow, I was ready to capture the magic as it happens on this trip. We arrived at Orlando International Airport around 10 something in the morning, don't remember too well. With us having Disney's Magical Express and the first time using it, it couldn't have worked better. It was just such a relief not to deal with the baggage claim and lug everything around. We checked in to the Disney's Magical Express counter then lined up for our bus bound for Caribbean Beach. It wasn't even five minutes and we all ready boarded our bus and soon enough got going. Also as luck would have it, CBR was the first resort we were stopping at!
We arrived at CBR's Custom House and checked in. But of course with it being way too early to actually enter our room, we took the internal bus over to Old Port Royale to begin exploring. With this being our first time staying at CBR and knowing it's the largest resort on property, I knew we'd do a lot of walking. But heck, the high energy didn't deter me at all from it. We had some lunch at the Old Port Royale food court, and afterwards I walked over to the gift shop and purchased two pins. One being the WDW 2008 logo, the other being an Epcot 25th Anniversary pin, being the huge Epcot nut I am. We then walked around Old Port Royale outside a little more, and we decided to check out the pool and cool off. Obviously with the pool refurb ending the week before we arrived, the pool looked just awesome. I also had a fun time going down a couple of the slides! We hung out at the pool until around 2:30pm, where my dad went to see if the room was ready yet at Jamaica. Sure enough it was, and there were our bags waiting for us. Thanks DME! Our room had a nice cozy feel to it, and I was happy just to be back in WDW again.
After hanging out in the room for a while, we then decided to head out to our first destination. That first destination being Downtown Disney, as we had a dinner reservation at Cap'n Jack's Restaurant. Arriving at Downtown Disney - Marketplace, we sent straight to Cap'n Jack's to make our reservation time and we didn't have to wait too long. Overall, I really enjoyed everything about the place. It had great atmosphere, really good food, and some of the most friendly CM's you can meet. (Also while we're on food, we got the free Dining Plan for this trip, which turned out to just work perfectly.) So after that, we explored the Downtown Disney - Marketplace some more including the World of Disney store before heading over to Epcot. It was great seeing (at least some of) DTD again, and I remembered what great energy it really is. I would soon be able to explore the rest of Marketplace, then Pleasure Island and West Side later on in this trip.
As I stated all ready, we then headed over to Epcot to see a viewing of my favorite nighttime extravaganza on property, IllumiNations. Seeing my favorite park again, especially at night, and even more because of the recent 25th Anniversary...I was speechless. It was just that feeling of "I'm home." I especially felt speechless as I rounded the corner and saw Spaceship Earth. I still get goosebumps even today thinking about that first glimpse. We entered the park, and sure enough we saw that Spaceship Earth had virtually no wait time. We had time before IllumiNations started, so we decided to hop on. Obviously this is my first time seeing the attraction since the Siemens sponsorship and refurb, so I was eager to see it with my own eyes; also because I avoided spoilers online. My honest opinion? I thought it was really great, all the set pieces and scenes of the ascent are just fantastic looking. Siemens did a great, great job with this. I like it a lot!
I also may be in a minority here, but I thought the descent and touch screen features were well done for what they are. Sure, it may not be what it was before; but I think it's still entertaining enough. The Project Tomorrow post-show is definitely much more robust than it was before. I liked all the innovative features and really the futuristic feel. Overall; I think Siemens did a great, if not decent job with this refurb. The descent has that "something missing", but it's still accepting enough. We then made our way walking to World Showcase to get our spot for IllumiNations, and it was just so heartwarming to be in the center of Future World again with the Fountain of Nations. It was such feelings of nostalgia and also rememberance of the videos I saw of the 25th Anniversary rededication ceremony. Even though I wasn't there that day, I got that feeling like I was. It's just too amazing to describe really. Going into World Showcase and getting our spot (I believe near Mexico), again I got that heartwarming feeling. As always, IllumiNations was just as fantastic as I remember it and still holds as my favorite fireworks show on property. It's also the music that gets me, so powerful and gripping.
Obviously afterwards, we were pretty wiped from all the travel and went back to CBR for the night. It was a great way and a memorable way to begin what would be our amazing trip. Obviously as you can hopefully tell, this was almost an emotional experience for me to really be physically in Epcot again. But it wouldn't be the last time I experience it this time! Coming up next is day two, where it's our first "official" park day, beginning with Epcot! Thanks for reading, see you next entry!
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