Trip Reports & Member Reviews Discuss Trip Review in the Vacation Planning forums; Hi, everyone! I was just in WDW from 8/16-8/26 and I wanted to share some of my experiences. I'll start with a little bit of my background first since I ...
Hi, everyone! I was just in WDW from 8/16-8/26 and I wanted to share some of my experiences. I'll start with a little bit of my background first since I don't post that often. (Hopefully, that will be changing.)
My name is Kim and I live in northern NJ. For as long as I can remember, I have loved Disney. When I was about a year old my parents took me to WDW and stayed at the Polynesian. Awesome, I know. If only I could remember... A few years after that, my parents divorced and there wasn't much money for big vacations. Finally, when I was 15 and part of my high school marching band, I had the opportunity to visit WDW again. (Which I consider my first official trip.) We stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort and visited all three theme parks that were there at the time. It was a dream come true for me with the highlight being marching through the Magic Kingdom prior to the SpectroMagic parade.
That was over twelve years ago and I've been trying to get back ever since. I know that may seem crazy to most Disney fans and I completely understand. Unfortunately, other things in life were made a bigger priority than getting back to Disney. First I had to graduate high school, then I was a poor college student, then I had to use my vacation time and money to visit relatives and attend weddings. You know how it is. In any case, over the years I have always continued to research WDW and fantasize about going back as soon as I could.
I did make it to Disneyland in 2006 during The Happiest Celebration on Earth, which I thought was cool since it was Disneyland's 50th anniversary. I should mention that a lot of my fascination with Disney parks is how they are developed and continue to operate everyday. My trip to Disneyland was like a fun lesson in the history of theme parks, but it made me want to go the Florida more than ever to experience (as an adult, on my own terms) what developed out of the original concept.
In the next few years following that trip, life went on again and things came up. Towards the end of 2008, I knew that 2009 had to be the year I made it back to WDW. There was just one problem. I was/still am unemployed (long story short, I went back to school to become a teacher and vastly underestimated how hard it would be to find a position in my area) and my husband doesn't quite buy into the *magic* of Walt Disney World. Fortunately, I found a short-term position last spring and was able to convince (it really was like pulling teeth) my hubby to agree to an August vacation to WDW!
I will continue with my trip review in the following post.
Trip Review Continued
So, my husband and I visited WDW from 8/16-8/26. (I knew when I finally made it back to WDW, I wanted to really immerse myself in the experience and be able to do as much as possible.) We stayed at the Pop Century resort and took advantage of the Free Dining promotion.
Before I continue with my review, I would like to say that the best advice I can give someone who is going to WDW and is not that familiar with it, is to research as much as you can. I read a lot of books, watched tv shows about WDW, and used the internet to research and it really made a difference. Although, this was my first trip in over twelve years, I feel that I am very knowledgeable about WDW. If you have any questions or would like my opinion about anything, I would be happy to help.
We got to Pop Century via Disney's Magical Express at about 10pm on Sunday, 8/16. All went smoothly and check-in was a breeze since I had done online check-in about a week before. The only complaint I have is that none of my requests were met (i.e. King Room in the 80's building). I know they are not guaranteed, but I was hoping. They actually said we could check back the next day to see if a King Room had opened up, but we never ended up doing this. Our location in the 90's building, facing the 80' buildings and computer pool, was actually pretty cool, so it worked out well.
We did have an issue with our TV for the first few nights we were there. The picture would go out and then an error message would come on the screen. The first night they tried changing a wire, the second night they tried tightening something in the wall, and finally after a few nights, they replaced our TV which seemed to do the trick. Not earth-shattering, but a little annoying.
We had dinner at the Everything Pop! Food Court the first night and I was quite disappointed with the Lo Mein, which I read (in several places) was excellent. Later in the trip I tried the pizza, which I liked. But, nothing at Everything Pop! was really that spectacular, which I pretty much expected. We did get our refillable mugs the first night, which I highly recommend.
To be continued...
Re: Trip Review
Monday 8/17 - Our First Full Day in WDW
The day actually started out quite stressful. We were going on the Keys to the Kingdom tour at MK at 8:30am. We got to the bus stand later than I had planned and then it seemed that two or three of every other bus came except for MK. We finally got to MK and hurriedly made it from the bus, through the crowds (the park technically wasn't open yet) and then through the turnstiles and to City Hall just in time to check in for our tour. I was relieved to have made it, however all of the rushing did take some of the magic out of my first time to the Magic Kingdom in 12 years. When you read that you should leave about an hour and a half to get to where you need to be when using Disney Transportation, take that advice seriously.
But, the tour definitely made up for it. Our tour guide was Mark and he was very knowledgeable. We got to hear about the history of the MK, ride the Jungle Cruise and Haunted Mansion, and go behind the scenes and into the Utiladors. This tour was right up my alley! We also had an excellent lunch at Columbia Harbor House in Liberty Square that was included with the tour.
After the tour ended at about 1pm, we went to The Enchanted Tiki Room, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Hall of Presidents. The new version of HoP is excellent! I highly recommend it (and not just for a cool place to take a nap!)
This is when tragedy struck. It was about 2:30pm and we were heading out of the park to meet a family member who lives in FL at AK. My husband and I split up at Town Square so he could smoke (yuck!) and I could get some info at City Hall. As I headed towards City Hall, I noticed that the ropes were up for the afternoon parade. I didn't know the exact time and I thought that we might not me able to meet back up and get out of the park. I quickly turned around to catch back up with my husband and, in my haste, missed the curb onto Main Street. I kept myself from falling, but my left foot/ankle went sideways and I felt a pop. Immediately, excruciating pain shot through my foot, ankle, and calf. I hobbled across Main Street and called to my husband. I couldn't stand, so I sat on the curb in front of the Main Street Confectionery while my husband went for help. Soon, there was a swarm of cast members around me, making sure I was alright and taking an incident report. Then the paramedics came and checked me out. By now the initial pain has worn off, but I couldn't really move my foot. I declined going to the hospital. They wrapped and iced my ankle, gave us a complimentary wheelchair and sent us on our way. I couldn't walk so we were told to go to Guest Relations to find out how we could get over to AK.
At this point, I had a "well, it figures" attitude. I really couldn't believe I had injured myself on our first day of my dream trip to WDW that I had waited for and planned for so many years! While the cast member at Guest Relations (Sue) was figuring out our transportation needs, my husband wheeled me out onto the porch of City Hall, where I got a great view of the Celebrate a Dream Come True which was just starting. That definitely lifted my spirits.
After the parade, Sue from Guest Relations actually escorted us behind the scenes and into an SUV and then drove us to the Animal Kingdom. When we got to AK, another cast member was waiting with a wheelchair. Needless to say, I felt pretty special. And, to top it off, we made it in time to see Mickey's Jammin' Jungle parade! Two Disney parades in a row- wow! Although I was hurting, I don't think I could have picked a better place to get injured. It is definitely true that Disney Customer Service is the best in the business!
We met up with my family member and had something to eat. Then we went on Dinosaur, which was very cool, but a bit rough on my newly injured ankle. We headed back to PC to shower and relax. They were able to give us a resort wheelchair there, but I only needed it for a couple of days.
To be continued...
Re: Trip Review
Sorry this is so long!
My dad and step-mother arrived Mon. evening from Tampa, so the plan was to spend Tuesday at DHS. They drove and we didn't get to DHS until about 10am. We went on the Backlot Tour and then had an 12pm ADR at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre. This place gets an A for atmosphere and food. I had the Cookies & Cream Shake, which was as yummy as I had heard and my husband and I split the Bleu Cheese Steak Salad (?) and Onion Rings. Everything was delicious. (We didn't use the Dining Plan for this since we split food.)
The park was pretty crowded, so it was hard to do much, especially with the wheelchair and the parents. We saw half of the Lights! Motors! Action! show, but it was cut short due to rain. At some point we split up from my parents and did Tower of Terror and Muppet Vision 3D. We also caught the Block Party Bash parade, which I had actually seen at Disney's California Adventure Park in 2006.
In the early evening, we had an ADR at Hollywood & Vine for the Fantasmic! Dinner Package. This buffet was just okay. (I actually wanted to book Mama Melrose's for this, but it was unavailable.) After dinner the weather was looking pretty bad and it was questionable as to whether or not Fantasmic! would go on, but the only thing we could do was wait and see. We headed over to Toy Story Mania to use the Fastpasses we had gotten that morning. This ride was a lot of fun! I highly recommend it, but be prepared to wait.
At about 7:45pm we were seated for the 9pm show of Fantasmic! By now the weather was looking a lot better. And, as it turns out, the wheelchair got us into the same section as the seating for the dinner package did. Go figure! I had seen Disneyland's version of Fantasmic! and it was one of my favorite things at DL, so I was very excited for the WDW version. It's too bad you have to wait so long in the arena, but it's totally worth it. Fantasmic! is the most magical, amazing show. I think it's my favorite in all of WDW!
After the show, we went on The Great Movie Ride before heading out. It was a long, tiring day, even for me being pushed around in a wheelchair.
By the way, my foot had swelled up quite nicely by this point in the trip. We were wrapping it in an ACE bandage and icing and elevating it back at the hotel. It stayed like this, plus began bruising, in the days that followed. But, more on that later.
There is a lot more to go. Thank you to those of you that are actually interested in my story. I'm going to take a break for now. Look for more later or tomorrow.
Re: Trip Review
Thanks for sharing and hope the ankle is feeling better.
Re: Trip Review
Thanks! My ankle is feeling much better.
We started the day off with breakfast at Chef Mickey's. My dad and step-mother were still with us, so they drove us over to the Contemporary. We had a lot of fun meeting Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald, and Goofy and taking pictures with them. The buffet was good, too. I'm particularly keen on the Mickey waffles - actually, anything shaped like Mickey, including the sprinkles on the brownies.
After breakfast, we did some shopping and checked out the arcade at the Contemporary before my dad and step-mother headed home. My husband and I took the monorail to Epcot. By this time I was able to walk (really, hobble) around somewhat, but since there is so much walking at the parks, we continued to rent a wheelchair to get around. At Epcot we went on Mission:SPACE, The Seas, Spaceship Earth, and Imagination!. We also had a light lunch at Sunshine Seasons in the Land Pavilion. We got a sandwich from the sandwich counter and it was very good.
At 8:30 we had an ADR at the San Angel Inn in Mexico. I had heard mixed reviews about this restaurant, but I thought it was very good. First of all, the ambiance is awesome and we were seated right next to the boat ride. My husband and I split Chicken Mole, Fried Plantains (yum!), and guacamole. Of course, the meal wouldn't be complete without Margaritas.
This was supposed to be the day for Blizzard Beach, but because of my ankle, we didn't get over to the water parks. We were quite tired from the previous days, so we got a later start. When we did get going (probably around 11am), we headed to Downtown Disney. It was lunchtime, so we got sandwiches at Earl of Sandwich in the Marketplace. This was one of the best quick-service meals I ate the whole trip. I highly recommend it! The sandwiches are thick, hot, and delicious. I had roast beef and my husband had turkey and both were outrageous.
We went over to the West Side to check out DisneyQuest. I was kind of disappointed with this place. We probably had the most fun on the Pirates of the Caribbean virtual attraction and the the Virtual Space Mountain attraction. Other than that, the best time we had at DQ was actually playing air hockey against each other! I'm glad I got to experience it, but I probably wouldn't go back.
So we had to return the wheelchair we had rented at DD and it was quite a hike to the bus stops. As I was hobbling my way along, a man who was driving some sort of oversized golf cart (maybe a tram? not sure) offered us a ride. Again, with the awesome customer service! From there, we were headed to Epcot, so we took a bus to the Boardwalk Resort. We were only there long enough to share some ice cream, but the Boardwalk is a great, relaxing place. Definitely check this resort out if there is time. From the BW, we took a Friendship Boat to Epcot. After getting a wheelchair, we had some time to kill before our 8pm ADR at Le Cellier in Canada. We ended up taking in the sights in the UK pavilion and stopped to watch the band, Off Kilter in Canada. They were very entertaining, but also very loud.
We checked in for our ADR at Le Cellier. This was probably my most anticipated restaurant and I was very excited. They were running behind, so they told us it would be about a 15 min wait. The waiting room was full, but they said we could wait in the general vicinity outside the restaurant. We waited directly outside the restaurant next to the menu they had posted outside. Well, after about 20-25 we still weren't called, so my husband asked them about it and we were told that we had already been called. We were both very hungry and this was very annoying because we were waiting in the correct place. We ended up being seating another 10-15 min. after that. Once we were seated the service was excellent (Mo was our waiter). Unfortunately, I think the service was better than the food.
We started with the Cheddar Bacon Soup, which I heard was excellent. It was good, but not as good as I had expected. I did like the bread/pretzels they give you. That was fun. I got the filet mignon and the meat itself was excellent, but I thought the creamy mushroom sauce on top was a bit too much. It was a good sauce, but I felt it took away from the meat itself. My husband had bigger issues. I forget which cut he got (maybe the NY strip?), but it was way over salted. To the point where he couldn't eat it and had to send it back. They were very accommodating and brought him a new, less salty steak right away. We were using the dining plan for this meal, so we each got a dessert: the Chocolate "Moose" and the maple creme brulee. The moose was cute, but just okay taste-wise. I liked the maple creme brulee. I also ordered a glass of the Canadian ice wine. It was expensive, but delicious. Bottom line, Le Cellier did not meet my expectations.
Re: Trip Review
Sounds like quite the trip so far!
Re: Trip Review
We got to Epcot early and checked in for the UnDISCOVERed Future World tour at 9am. Our tour guide was Raymond. He was very laid back and we got to see a lot of the Behind the Scenes stuff, such as the lounge in the The Seas, the cast member areas, and the HP Corporate Lounge in Mission: SPACE. It was really cool and interesting. We were also invited to watch IllumiNations that night from the special roped off area in the Italy pavilion.
After the tour we had a quick-service lunch in China. It was just okay. By that afternoon, the weather got pretty bad, but we did manage to go on Soarin' (probably my favorite ride in all of WDW - I first experienced it in Disneyland), Test Track, and Ellen's Energy Adventure. We also went to first aid to get some ice for my foot, which was still swollen and bruised.
Just an aside: By the end of the trip we did manage to visit the first aid stations in every park except DHS. The RNs were all very helpful and nice, but what was interesting is that they rotate among the four parks. So, one nurse would help us at one park and then a few days later we'd see the same nurse at another park. And, even though we didn't actually go to to the first aid station in DHS, we did see one of the nurses who we had seen at AK and MK previously near the wheelchair rental there. We thought this was kind of funny, so I thought I'd share.
Anyway, Ellen's Energy Adventure broke down near the end, but we were running late for our 7pm ADR at Garden Grill at The Land pavilion anyway. Dinner at Garden Grill features Chip 'n Dale's Harvest Feast, which is a family-style meal with Chip, Dale, Farmer Mickey, and Pluto. The restaurant also rotates slowly and you can see scenes from the Living with the Land boat ride below. I thought it was very cool. The food was good, too. I don't really eat fish, but the mahi mahi was probably my favorite thing at this meal. I should also mention that Chip 'n Dale are probably my fave characters, too - chipmunks are so cute! Actually, the one and only character line I waited in was a day or two before at Epcot because Chip 'n Dale were together. Needless to say I was the only one over the age of about 8 in that line.
By the time we finished dinner, we realized that it was too late to catch IllumiNations from the special viewing area in Italy, so we took the opportunity to use some Fastpasses for Soarin' that a nice couple had given us earlier in the day. This was our second time on Soarin' for the day and we were seated in a much better place this time. It was a great way to end the day!
By the time we got back to the hotel, I was tired and frustrated about my foot. We decided we would go Sat. afternoon (after our breakfast reservation at AK) to have it checked out. (On Monday, one of the nurses at AK had given us info for Centra Care Urgent Care Centers, which provide free transportation and take most insurance plans.)
To be continued...
Re: Trip Review
Made it to AK by 8:15am. There were Extra Magic Hours that morning and we had some time to kill before our ADR at Tusker House, so we were able to do Expedition Everest and Kilimanjaro Safaris before breakfast. We also got Fastpasses for both rides so we could do them again later. I have to say that I had very high expectations for Expedition Everest and it lived up to all of them. Awesome ride! Safaris is very cool, too, especially since I'm an animal lover as well as a Disney lover.
We went to Donald's Safari Breakfast at Tusker House. I thought the buffet was very good and it was a fun meal overall. My one complaint is the photo packages they try to sell you for $30! I prepaid for the PhotoPass CD, so it would be great if you could just get those photos onto your PhotoPass card even for a nominal fee. $30 is outrageous! To top it off at Chef Mickey's we took three sets of photos, one with me, my husband, dad, and step-mother together and the other two with each of the couples separately. Needless to say they were selling each set of photos separately for $30 per package. My step-mother actually bought the set with the four of us and when I uploaded the code to my PhotoPass account, it turned out that all three sets of photos were there!
After breakfast, we used our Fastpass to go on Safaris again and then we headed over to Everest to use our Fastpass to ride that again. Well, we were seated in the train, ready to go, when they closed the ride for technical difficulties. Luckily, they gave everyone who was already on the platform a Fastpass good for any time in the next week. It was about 1pm and we called Centra Care for a pickup to go have my foot checked out.
They picked us up directly from First Aid in AK. I had to wait a while once there, but nothing terrible. The doctor checked my foot out and had it x-rayed. Nothing was broken. He prescribed an air split and some pain medication and said to have it checked out by a podiatrist once I got home. They dropped us off back at PC and we were able to call Turner Drugs, which is a pharmacy that delivers directly to the front desk of the hotel, to have the prescriptions delivered. It worked out really well since we didn't have a car and we had to get over to Animal Kingdom Lodge for our 5pm ADR at Jiko. Plus, they charge the pharmacy charges directly to the room. The only downside is that Turner does not accept insurance plans, so I had to submit a claim after I got home.
Anyway, we got freshened up and took a cab from PC to AKL. AKL is beautiful! Definitely my favorite resort. And, believe it or not, I think this night was the most stand out night of the trip even thought we weren't in a park. First, we had a delicious meal at Jiko. Our server was Janet and she was very accommodating. We started with the Kalamata Olive Flatbread, which was great. I had the Filet Mignon with Macaroni & Cheese. It was delicious! Our plan after dinner was to go to MK to see the SpectroMagic parade. Sunday night was the last night we'd be able to see it and I was afraid that something would happen and we'd miss it. However, we still had half a bottle of wine after dinner and we were really enjoying the ambiance of AKL. So, they gave us glasses and we sat on one of the round porches with the the rockers overlooking the savanna. It was right around dusk and it was really awesome. Later, we went down to the "lookout" behind the hotel and got a more up close look at the animals.
As we were leaving, we got our picture taken by the PhotoPass photographer in the hotel lobby. He was very nice and we were chatting with him for a while. We joked that the pictures look like engagement photos. It was a really great night except for the fact that we had to take a bus to Downtown Disney (which drove right past our resort) and then wait in a long line to transfer to a bus going to PC. The pharmacy delivery was waiting at the front desk when we got back.
More to come...
Re: Trip Review
This was supposed to be the day for Typhoon Lagoon, so instead we slept in and I got some laundry done. Believe it or not, doing laundry at Disney is actually quite pleasant. See, Disney even makes doing chores magical.
After I was finished with the laundry, we headed over to MK, stopping for a quick bite to eat at the hotel food court first. At this point, I was walking around the resorts and to and from the bus stops at the parks, but we still felt it was a good idea to not stress my ankle too much by doing all of the walking necessary within the parks. This was also the first day I was wearing the air splint that the doctor prescribed me. I actually found it quite uncomfortable and we stopped in at first aid at MK to have it adjusted which made it much better.
We ended up getting to MK probably around 2 or 3pm. We went on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Swiss Family Treehouse, and caught the Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party. I know I'm in the minority here, but I actually didn't like Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. Thunder Mountain was great, as usual, and Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! was a lot of fun.
We headed over to Cinderella Castle for our 6:20 ADR at Cinderella's Royal Table. I really enjoyed being in the castle and seeing the Fairy Godmother show. The food was much better than I expected, too. I had the Rosemary Lavender Chicken, which was delicious. We were also seated right by a window overlooking Fantasyland, so that was great, as well.
After dinner, we went directly to find seating for SpectroMagic. Because we still had the wheelchair, we were able to take advantage of the wheelchair area next to Partners, across from the entrance to Tomorrowland. Needless to say this was a pretty great viewing area, but there was still a long wait until the parade began. As time passed, this area got very crowded and another guest began arguing with a cast member right in front of me. Also, there were so many wheelchairs and kids that my husband ended up having to hang back behind the crowd, which didn't really bother him. So, the parade went by and it was awesome! Very magical.
After the parade, we just turned around to face the castle and waited for Wishes Fireworks to start. As we waited, we chatted with a lovely British family. Wishes was very magical, as well. It had been a really great night so far, but there was still EMH until 1am that night!
During EMH we went on Thunder Mountain again (awesome at night!), Mickey's PhilharMagic (loved it!), It's a Small World, Haunted Mansion (for the second time during this trip), and Mad Tea Party (my husband spun our cup so fast, I was completely glued against my seat!). We also got lots of pictures in front of the castle on our PhotoPass card. So, now it was about midnight and we had a tour at AK at 8:30 the next morning. We headed out, but it was about 1:30am by the time we got back to our room. We were in for a long day tomorrow...
Re: Trip Review
It was rough with the lack of sleep, but we got to AK with plenty of time before our 8:30 Backstage Safari tour. The tour lasted about three hours and it was very interesting and informative. I can't remember our tour guide's name, but she was a former biology teacher and she grew up in Guam until she was about 15 because her father was in the military. Anyway, we got to go behind the scenes and see how they bathe the elephants, get up close with some rhinoceroses, and see how they prepare the food for all of the animals throughout WDW, among other things. We also got a private ride on Kilimanjaro Safaris (yes, this was our third time this trip.)
We then grabbed lunch at Flame Tree Barbecue, which was very good. After lunch we caught The Festival of the Lion King, which is as great as I had heard. Then we used our special Fastpass ticket from when the ride broke down the previous Sat. to ride Everest again. I was interested in seeing more of the animals, so I checked out the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail and the Maharajah Jungle Trek while my husband rested. (He was really feeling the effects of too little sleep.) This was our last day at AK and there was still a lot we didn't get to do, but it would have to wait until next time.
At about 4pm we headed over to DHS for our final visit to that park. We grabbed a bite to eat and then waited on line for Rockin' Rollercoaster. This was a priority attraction for us, so we had no choice but to wait in line since Fastpasses were gone. The line wasn't too bad, maybe 40 min. I loved this coaster. It was very cool going that fast and having awesome Aerosmith music blasting in my ears. However, my husband didn't have a great experience. He got thrown around a lot, which combined with the exhaustion, didn't put him in a very good mood. We headed over to 50's PrimeTime Cafe for our 8pm dinner ADR. We split the meatloaf and onion rings. It really wasn't all that great. Even the atmosphere/premise of the place wasn't as over the top as I thought it would be.
The park was still open when we got out of dinner because EMH were going on from 7-10 that night. We were both exhausted, so we decided to do Star Tours and then head out. There was no wait and we were heading to the buses in no time. Again, there was still a lot I wanted to see and do at this park, but it would have to wait until next time.
We slept in since we were so exhausted from lack of sleep on Sun. night and the ambitious day we had on Mon. We ended up getting to MK around noon. Splash Mountain was our main priority for our last day in MK. I had decided to try and walk that day, so to minimize the distance, we took the train from Main Street to Frontierland. We got Fastpasses for Splash Mountain and then had lunch at Pecos Bill Cafe. This is a great quick-serve burger place with a pretty extensive Fixins' Bar. After lunch we still had time to kill before our Fastpass was up, so we played around at the Frontierland Shootin' Gallery. Then it was on to Splash Mountain. I love that ride!
From Frontierland we took the train to Mickey's Toontown Fair. We walked through Mickey's and Minnie's houses and then headed to Tomorrowland to check out Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. I really liked this attraction. I thought it was fun and they told the joke that I texted in while in the queue! We headed over to Main Street where I bought my personalized Mickey Ears and then we watched Dream-Along with Mickey in front of the castle. Unfortunately, it was now time to say goodbye to MK. We had a 5pm reservation at 'Ohana, so we took the boat launch from MK to the Polynesian.
Dinner at 'Ohana was fabulous, both the food and the atmosphere. I was disappointed with the turkey which I had heard was the best dish there - I found it to be kind of dry. Probably the best thing I ate this whole trip was the Bread Pudding dessert at 'Ohana. It was amazing! We also had a great view overlooking the Seven Seas Lagoon with Cinderella Castle in the background, but as we were eating, a big storm rolled in. Because of the Tiki theme, we joked that we had upset the gods.
So the weather was pretty bad at this point, but we went forward with the plan to go to Epcot since it was our last night and we had yet to see IllumiNations. We took the monorail to Epcot and made our way through the park all the way to the France pavilion (on my bad ankle). The goal was to get the Grey Goose and Grand Marnier Slushies. We got our slushies and began searching for a good place to view IllumiNations. Because of the weather, the park was actually pretty empty and hardly anyone was lined up to watch IllumiNations only 15 min. before the show. We found ourselves in Italy and came upon the special roped off section which is where we were supposed to watch IllumiNations from on Friday. There was nobody there. We started talking to the cast member manning the rope (Josh) and told him what happened and he let us go into the roped off area. He had also let another couple who had just got engaged the day before in. We all chatted before the show started and then a few minutes before, Josh dropped the rope and let other people in since the area was empty.
After the show, Josh escorted the four of us to the front of the park and we got to discuss all things Disney, which was awesome. Josh had actually worked at all 6 Disney parks in the U.S.! It was a great last night.
One thing that I realized I left out, was that we saw the American Adventure show on the previous Friday. I thought this show was great. But, what was really fabulous was the Voices of Liberty group that preformed before the show. I heard they were great, but I really didn't think they'd be my cup of tea. Since I had the wheelchair that day, I got to watch them from the balcony of the lobby. It was a really enjoyable experience.
Stay tuned for the conclusion of my trip.
Re: Trip Review
Wed. 8/26 - Our Final Day
So, on Wed. we got up fairly early because we wanted to try to get some shopping done at Downtown Disney before we left. Unfortunately, this plan didn't work out. We packed up all of our stuff and then called Bell Services to have our luggage picked up. I was told 10 min., so I left my hubby in the room to wait with the luggage, while I headed to the lobby to ship a box of some of our stuff back home and to apply Disney Reward Dollars to our room charges. (FYI We shipped a box of stuff to the hotel and it was waiting when we checked-in and then we shipped a box of stuff back via the front desk. This probably saved us about $20 in extra airline baggage fees, not to mention having to lug the extra weight around.) All of this took some time and when I was done, I saw that my husband had tried to call me several times. It turns out that Bell Services never showed up for our luggage. He decided to just bring it to the lobby himself.
Once we met back up at the lobby, it was probably after 10am. Our Magical Express pickup was at 2pm for our 5:20 flight. There was no way we'd be able to do Downtown Disney again. So, I called to pay the baggage fees and checked our luggage in at Magical Express. Then I did my souvenir shopping at the Everything Pop! store while my husband hung out in the arcade. When I was finished, we had a relaxing lunch in the food court. We still had some time to kill before our pickup, so we both played in the arcade until it was time to go. Magical Express picked us up at 2pm, we got to the airport and headed home. Everything went very smoothly.
This was an awesome trip (even though I was injured)! Although, I love WDW, I was tired and ready to go home by the end of the trip. However, I know I have to go back - and soon! This trip was supposed to get the "Disney Bug" out of my system until I have kids to share it with. However, it served to only spark my interest and love of Disney even more. I can't believe I waited so long to get back to a place I love so much. Considering I'm unemployed and my husband doesn't get my obsession, I'm not really sure how I'm going to get back there as soon I would like. All I know is I have to find a way. I want to do the things I didn't have a chance to do, as well as experience the Disney magic again.
I am going to get more involved on this message board because I really enjoy talking to other people who "get it" when it comes to Disney. I also love sharing my experiences and thoughts about Disney. This trip has really inspired me to follow my dreams. I'm not completely sure yet how to do that, but I'll figure it out. Thanks to all who have read my saga. I look forward to meeting and sharing my love for Disney with all of you other Disney nuts.
Re: Trip Review
Glad you had a great trip...despite the ankle injury.
We also, really enjoy WDW/DLR. We go every other year.
Its the ONLY vacation destination..(other than Vegas) that we never have any issues or complaints.
Sure, we may get abit ill, or as you did, some unlucky minor injuries....
but all in all....a 110% satisfied vacation we get when traveling to WDW..oh, and Vegas too!
You just cant beat the magic!!!!!
Re: Trip Review
Thanks! It's so funny that you mention Vegas. I got married in Vegas! Unlike the stereotypical wedding, it actually was planned and we had 40 guests there. "Elvis" married us at the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel and then we had a "reception" at Le Village Buffet at the Paris. We were there ten days total and saw a bunch of shows and did a lot of sightseeing since we don't really gamble. It was a great time! It's actually the one and only time I've been there. I can't wait to go back.
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