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Trip Reports & Member Reviews Discuss World Travels: A Sept. 2008 WDW Trip Report [Will update with new post everyday!] in the Vacation Planning forums; Hey everybody! As you can imagine, I will be talking about my amazing trip to Walt Disney World I had back on September 18-26, 2008. It was just so much ...
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    World Travels: A Sept. 2008 WDW Trip Report [Complete!]

    Hey everybody! As you can imagine, I will be talking about my amazing trip to Walt Disney World I had back on September 18-26, 2008. It was just so much of a fun time that I enjoyed every single second of it. It was also a big deal that it was my first trip in quite a while (Nov. 2000 was the previous trip), so I definitely had a lot to catch up as many things were new to me. Now I know it's pretty much a year since this trip actually happened, and I do apologize for the delay in bringing this out. Once I had returned, school just hit me head on and it didn't stop right until I graduated in May 2009. So because it had been so long, I thought I'd coincide it with my next trip coming up just to get me even more excited.

    For the next nine days (starting today), I will be posting a new entry giving you a detailed summary of what we did for day and where our travels in WDW took us. I will also give links to the many photos I've taken, and also to the video I took on the trip presented on YouTube. Just a word of note to anyone reading, remember this was back in Sept. 2008, so if anything seems out of date, it was the case for this time period. Also, keep in mind I hadn't been to WDW in a long time, so somewhat "older" attractions I was experiencing for the first time. With that said, let's begin with the very first day, 9.18.08. Links to photos and videos will be at the end of each summary.

    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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    Last edited by Spyne; 09-28-2009 at 02:28 PM.
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    Trips to Walt Disney World


    1995: Port Orleans French Quarter - 2000: All-Star Music
    2008: Caribbean Beach - 2009: Pop Century
    NEXT TRIP: Sep/Oct 2011 - WDW's 40th Anniversary!

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    Re: World Travels: A Sept. 2008 WDW Trip Report [Will update with new post everyday!]

    Looking forward the the rest.
    When you wish upon a star.....
    LAUGHTER IS TIMELESS, IMAGINATION HAS NO AGE AND DREAMS ARE FOREVER.
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    ...That's the real trouble with the world. Too many people grow up. WD
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    Re: World Travels: A Sept. 2008 WDW Trip Report [Will update with new post everyday!]

    Day 2 - Epcot - 9.19.08

    After having some breakfast at Old Port Royale, we hopped on the bus bound for Epcot. We had a bus driver that actually spoke to us and joked around, which turned out to be the only bus driver to do that on our whole trip. He asked if anybody knew what Epcot stands for, (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) and I piped up saying it, even though it probably was just common knowledge. I was still proud to be the one to say it though! We arrived at Epcot and entered the turnstyles to begin our day. It was great once again seeing Spaceship Earth shining in the Florida sun, and our first destination is Test Track. It was just as awesome as I remember it from last time; it may of been just me, but it did seem a LOT faster than the last time I rode it (2000). The outdoor "speed test" is still my favorite part. We then walked back towards the Fountain of Nations because my sister wanted to buy a pin lanyard (I wore mine to all the parks). From there; I wanted to find the 25th Anniversary Gallery hidden somewhere in Innoventions West, so after a little bit of searching, we found it!

    I'm so happy we were able to see this for many reasons. First; me being a huge Epcot fan, second, because I wasn't able to be here for the actual 25th Anniversary. Even after seeing so many pictures and videos people have put up here online, it was really something to finally see it with my own eyes and actually stand inside it in person. Just seeing 25 years of history contained in one place...it's too amazing for words. You'll see a few photos I took, but the video I took explores it even more. I guess now with the gallery looking to be closed for good, I'm very fortunate to have seen it now. It would of been a downer if it closed before I got to see it. But in any case, it was so happy yet satisfying to see it for myself! We then decided to hop onto Mission: SPACE. This was my first time riding it and we did the more intense orange version. I was slightly nervous just because it's so intense. I turned out to be the "commander", and it was really awesome, the g-force almost felt so authentic. I know some people come off sick or feeling weird, but surprisingly I was just fine. I really had a great time on it!

    We were getting hungry at this point, so we decided to go to Sunshine Seasons inside The Land. I was really surprised at how huge it is, and the food wasn't that bad either. I liked it! We then noticed the wait time for Soarin' was pretty long all ready; we knew we were going to be back tonight during EMH, so we decided to hold off on Soarin' until tonight. We then walked past the Imagination! pavillion (we would do it later) heading over to The Seas with Nemo & Friends. Now this was my first time visiting it since the Finding Nemo re-branding, so I was going in with an open mind. My sister and I especially are fans of Finding Nemo, so we were sort of excited for it as well. We then hopped onto the ride, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, and it wasn't that bad. I do like how it was the real aquatic life with the characters from the film projected onto it. It was definitely an interesting dark ride. What was also really cool was we saw a lot of the aquatic life in the demonstrations, we even saw some divers in the tank! No, we didn't see Mickey, but that would of been awesome if we did. We then wrapped it up by viewing Turtle Talk with Crush. It was actually much more interactive than I thought it would be, Crush even reacted to a young child who was crying loudly. I laughed at some points by his remarks as well!

    After we were finished with The Seas with Nemo & Friends, we decided to head back to CBR so we wouldn't wear ourselves thin. We cooled off at the pool for a little bit, then later on we went back to Epcot to meet our dinner reservation at Tutto Italia Ristorante. We walked over to World Showcase and began on the Canada side on our way to Italy. I really like the look of World Showcase at night, with the torches lit and the feeling like it's a street festival. We didn't spend a lot of time looking around because we knew we would come back to explore World Showcase more in-depth. We arrived at Italy and Tutto Italia Ristorante, and we highly enjoyed ourselves. The restaurant was packed and extremely busy, but the CM's still managed to provide us excellent service and just as excellent food as well. Everything I had was just extremely good, and we really enjoyed our experience there. To cap off the night and to take advantage of EMH, we hopped onto Soarin' after a little bit of a wait. This was my first time riding it, and I found it so much fun! I have a fear of heights, but surprisingly I was just fine. All the wait time for this is definitely worth it, Soarin' is definitely a ride that shouldn't be missed by anybody!

    Well, that concludes day two at Epcot! Stay tuned for day three, this time at Disney's Animal Kingdom & returning to Downtown Disney! Thanks for reading, see you next entry!

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    VIDEO: YouTube - Walt Disney World '08 [Part 1 of 6] - Days 1 & 2
    Last edited by Spyne; 09-22-2009 at 11:42 AM.
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    Trips to Walt Disney World


    1995: Port Orleans French Quarter - 2000: All-Star Music
    2008: Caribbean Beach - 2009: Pop Century
    NEXT TRIP: Sep/Oct 2011 - WDW's 40th Anniversary!

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    Re: World Travels: A Sept. 2008 WDW Trip Report [Will update with new post everyday!]

    Day 3 - Disney's Animal Kingdom | Downtown Disney - 9.20.08

    After some breakfast in Old Port Royale, off we went to Disney's Animal Kingdom. I was excited to come back to DAK again, especially since it recently celebrated its 10th Anniversary. Coming into the main entrance and into this separate "world" really makes you feel like you've stepped into another world. It was also amazing to see the Tree of Life again, such a wonderous icon as it always has been. Also another reason I was most excited was to first experience Expedition Everest. We actually went over there first thing to get a FastPass for it expecting some long waits. It actually wasn't that bad, so we decided to hop on right there! This was my first time riding it, and it was absolutely awesome! It did take me by surprise how fast and how high it really goes. But this now truly one of the best rides in all of Walt Disney World. This definitely shouldn't be missed by anyone! You will not be disappointed. Then we made our way over to Africa for the Kilimanjaro Safaris, where we met up some some old friends, Baloo & Louie! It was funny to see them again. We then went onto Kilimanjaro Safaris and it still was as great as it's always been. Some animals were very close to the vehicle too! We also saw a few sightings of ostrich eggs as well. So then we decided to head over to Dinoland, USA and took a spin on DINOSAUR. Just as exciting as I remember it! I loved it. Then after stopping for lunch at Restaurantosaurus (where we got the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund buttons for donating which I'm very happy we did), I convinced my family that we should see Finding Nemo: The Musical as I heard nothing but good things about it. We saw it, and what do you know, they loved it!

    This was my first time seeing it as well, and it was really an amazing show. I really thought it could hold its own if it was on Broadway! So definitely see it if you haven't all ready! From there, we decided to hop onto the Wildlife Express Train up to Rafiki's Planet Watch. The train ride was a lot of fun, and it was cool to see some parts of the backstage areas as well! Once arriving up at Rafiki's Planet Watch; we walked the entire path seeing Habitat Habit!, Conservation Station, and Affection Section. It was great to see what goes on behind the scenes, and it's also great to see how important Disney is for the well-being of all the animals. Before we left; my sister also spent some time with Pocahontas, Rafiki, and Jiminy Cricket. Rafiki was very funny, as he pulled her around the tree he was standing by. Looks like he wanted to keep her! It was so funny. We then took the train back to the main park, and both my dad and sister were pretty tired. They decided to head back to CBR to cool off, but Mom and I stayed for Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade because I wanted to see it. It was my first time seeing it in person, and it was great! I loved the really high energy feel it has. I'm happy I saw it! After the parade, my mom and I followed suit and went back to CBR to cool off at the pool. This actually turned out to be the only time we would visit DAK on our trip, don't know why, it just turned out that way. I wish I could of seen Festival of the Lion King again and would of rode Kali River Rapids again, but we just ran out of time. Oh well, we had an awesome time though. Thanks for the fun Disney's Animal Kingdom! See you on the next trip!

    So after hanging out by the pool at CBR, we then returned to Downtown Disney to meet our dinner reservation at Wolfgang Puck Cafe. After realizing that Wolfgang Puck Cafe is in West Side and we got dropped off by the bus on Marketplace, we began our mad dash across to make it on time! It was kind of funny running across the entire length of the area, but it didn't bother me. We arrived at Wolfgang Puck Cafe right on time, and the atmosphere of it really stood out. It had that very modern look to it, but a somewhat retro one to it as well. I thought the view we had at our table was great, it was right on the waterfront. We had a really tasty dinner and dessert, I was happy with the meal quite a lot. After dinner, we decided to meander the shops in West Side, these shops really do deserve more attention as they have great theming. We then walked through Pleasure Island, and the area was definitely hopping with a lot of people. It was also a little symbolic in a way, because I knew all of the PI clubs were closing soon. So in that regard, I was happy to be able to see PI in that current state before the area would change to a different environment. We then walked once again through Marketplace, and I do think that's my favorite part of DTD. The shops there all have great theming, and being by the water is just a very peaceful feeling. So at this point, we decided to head back to CBR for the night. Well, that concludes day three at Disney's Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney! Stay tuned for day four at Disney's Hollywood Studios and a brief return to Epcot! Thanks for reading, see you next entry!

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    VIDEO: YouTube - Walt Disney World '08 [Part 2 of 6] - Day 3
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    Trips to Walt Disney World


    1995: Port Orleans French Quarter - 2000: All-Star Music
    2008: Caribbean Beach - 2009: Pop Century
    NEXT TRIP: Sep/Oct 2011 - WDW's 40th Anniversary!

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    Re: World Travels: A Sept. 2008 WDW Trip Report [Will update with new post everyday!]

    Day 4 – Disney’s Hollywood Studios | Epcot – 9.21.08

    After having some breakfast at Old Port Royale, we were soon on our way to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Now my trip to the ‘Studios was big for a few reasons. First off, this was my first time seeing the park’s controversial icon, the Sorcerer’s Hat in person. Now I know many people prefer the look of having the Chinese Theatre at the end of Hollywood Boulevard, but I personally don’t have a problem with the hat. I think it’s a very pleasing looking structure, and at least it doesn’t have that “cardboard over metal structure” temporary look the former wand over Spaceship Earth had before. But not to stray too far off, I did like the hat quite a lot. Then it was obviously the first time going to park with the new name of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I’m very happy with the name change, and I think it reflects the current vision for the park nicely. Now enough with my own opinions, let’s get to the meat and potatoes of what we did.

    With my advice taken, we immediately went over to Pixar Studios (which looks awesome by the way), and got a FastPass for Toy Story Midway Mania. I knew there would still be crowds flocking towards there, and that the FastPasses were going extremely fast. Keep in mind we arrived in the morning, and the FastPass we got was for 4 something in the afternoon. So yeah, it’s very good they took my advice to go straight there. We then backtracked to Sunset Boulevard to hit both Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. Believe it or not, this was my first time riding RNRC (I was 12 last trip, so I wasn’t ready then), and it actually was quite a lot of fun. It was pretty extreme in terms of speed that sort of took me off guard. It was a fun attraction, for sure, but I’m not sure if I would ride it multiple times in one period. Tower of Terror was definitely much more intense than last time I rode it, especially since the random drop profiles were added since my last trip. So yeah, it was still an awesome time though. The random drops make it much more exciting! Now heading back down towards the hat, we decided to hit The Great Movie Ride. My personal favorite attraction at DHS, it’s still just as great as ever. But an update would definitely not hurt it either.

    We then made our way through the Echo Lake, Commissary Lane and backlot areas and made it to the Streets of America. We decided to stop for lunch at Toy Story Pizza Planet, and I do think the pizza is very tasty. There’s just something about it, probably because it’s all within WDW. C’mon food lovers (ahem, Lou Mongello), back me up here. After that, we still had time before the Block Party Bash parade was starting, so we decided to hit Star Tours. With me being a big Star Wars fan, Star Tours is just always a must-do every time I’m at DHS. It’s still a fun attraction, but Star Tours II will definitely be very welcome for sure. Heading back towards Hollywood Boulevard, we saw Block Party Bash. It’s definitely very high energy, and it does seem to really “explode” in celebration on the streets of DHS. But in all honesty, it’s probably not one of my favorite parades on property. So I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to see this again. Now it was finally our FastPass time to ride TSMM, and I absolutely had a blast! It’s no wonder the wait time is so long, this is just absolute, pure fun. I didn’t want it to end, and many times I kept forgetting we had 3D glasses on. It’s just a purely exhilarating attraction I will do many more times.

    Afterward, we travelled back to the backlot to ride the classic DHS Backlot Tour. I always think it’s so interesting to see what they have back there, especially with me being a big fan of films anyway. The Earful Tower with the new DHS logo looks great, too! This is another attraction that I will never get tired of doing, either. Finally, again due to my advice, we went to see Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream. This was something I definitely wanted to do, and I’m so glad we did. I have just a huge admiration for Walt, and this is purely his legacy. The entire exhibit and film really gets to the core of why I’m such a fan of Disney to begin with, this is an exhibit/film every fan should see at least once. At this point, we headed back to CBR for some R&R before going to our dinner reservation at Epcot’s Le Chefs de France. This was very special because it was my parents’ 29th wedding anniversary, and it really was a special dinner. The food was great, too! After dinner, we pretty much went back to CBR for the night. So it was a fun and packed day at the ‘Studios which I liked quite a lot. Well, that concludes day four at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot! Stay tuned for day five at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and the Magic Kingdom! Thanks for reading, see you next entry!

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    VIDEO: YouTube - Walt Disney World '08 [Part 3 of 6] - Day 4
    Keep it cool, and keep moving forward!

    Trips to Walt Disney World


    1995: Port Orleans French Quarter - 2000: All-Star Music
    2008: Caribbean Beach - 2009: Pop Century
    NEXT TRIP: Sep/Oct 2011 - WDW's 40th Anniversary!

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    Re: World Travels: A Sept. 2008 WDW Trip Report [Will update with new post everyday!]

    Day 5 - Disney's Contemporary Resort | Magic Kingdom - 9.22.08

    Well, for this day, we decided to change it up a bit! Instead of what we usually do, we had a breakfast reservation at the best character breakfast on property, Chef Mickey's in Disney's Contemporary Resort! Once we took the monorail from MK to the Contemporary, we hardly had to wait at all before we were seated. Soon enough, we dug in to the delicious food there. I of course had to have the old standby of small Mickey waffles, I never get tired of them! We were able to meet all of the Fab Five, who definitely run a good restaurant that's always hopping. All in all, it was an excellent breakfast experience, and everyone should definitely try it at least once. We were now ready to venture into the greatness that is the Magic Kingdom. Walking up to the entrance turnstiles and seeing the WDW Railroad train station, I was immediately becoming engulfed into all the magic that happens here every day.

    Once going through the tunnel and setting foot on Main Street, USA; it's just such a wonderful experience. If nothing else does it for you in the World, this will definitely give you that Disney magic and reminds us why we all love WDW so much. The favorite part for both my mother and I is taking that turn onto the "main" part of Main Street and seeing Cinderella Castle at the end, that to me defines everything Walt Disney World means to me, and I was very excited to venture into the many lands of this amazing park. Starting clockwise from the hub, we arrived in Adventureland. We rode/saw several attractions here; including The Magic Carpets of Aladdin (first time riding it, though nothing different from Dumbo really), The Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management (still prefer the original like many of us), and the always classic Pirates of the Caribbean. That's always one of my favorites! I was also able to see a little bit of the now extinct Woody's Cowboy Camp; and my sister got to see her favorite princess, Jasmine. Now venturing into Frontierland (technically starting with Cowboy Camp), we immediately hit Splash Mountain, and this was actually my first time riding it. (I know, but I wasn't too brave when I was younger!) We did hit a bit of a roadblock though when the ride stopped just at the bottom of the incline to the famous five-story jump.

    My mom and sister were freaking out, but I was actually fine as I saw the attraction with the lights on. Us Disney enthusiasts always seem to enjoy the behind the scenes look anyway! After a bit of waiting, we finally got going and down into the brier patch we went! It was definitely fun and I would do it again. With our now complimentary FastPasses we got from the Splash Mountain setback, we hit Big Thunder Mountain Railroad which was just as fun as it always is! Now arriving in Liberty Square, we immediately hit The Haunted Mansion, which I was excited about as I would now see the results of the attraction's 2007 refurb. It looked just fantastic, the effects and look were all done perfectly. WDI did an amazing job, excellent refurb! At this point; my dad and sister decided to head back to CBR as they were getting pretty tired, but my mom and I stayed behind for the Disney Dreams Come True Parade. It was definitely a wonderful parade, even if it's considered standard fare by many. It also looked like we squeaked it out just in time as rain was quickly approaching and soon turned to a downpour. Mom and I headed back to CBR to meet with the others, and we took the time to have a quick bite. Later on, we donned our ponchos and headed back to MK for an evening of continued fun, now going into Fantasyland! We actually rode many attractions; including It's a Small World, Cinderella's Golden Carrousel, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and finally the Mad Tea Party. Mad Tea Party was hilarious, as my sister just made us spin faster and faster. That was just pure fun!

    Now as it was getting pretty late and we were pretty hungry again, we took in a late dinner at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland. As always, they have great food there, it's always tasty. All of us also get a huge kick out of Sonny Eclipse and his Space Angels. As cheesy as his jokes and songs are, we still find them funny in that silly way. I think we'll be seeing Mr. Eclipse once again! After this, we were actually pretty tired so we decided to head back to CBR for the night. It was such a fun day though at the MK, it was just like pure fun with some old friends! Well, that concludes day five at Disney's Contemporary Resort and the Magic Kingdom! Stay tuned for day six at Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios! Thanks for reading, see you next entry!

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    Keep it cool, and keep moving forward!

    Trips to Walt Disney World


    1995: Port Orleans French Quarter - 2000: All-Star Music
    2008: Caribbean Beach - 2009: Pop Century
    NEXT TRIP: Sep/Oct 2011 - WDW's 40th Anniversary!

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    Re: World Travels: A Sept. 2008 WDW Trip Report [Will update with new post everyday!]

    Day 6 - Epcot | Disney's Hollywood Studios - 9.23.08

    After a quick breakfast at Old Port Royale, off we went back to Epcot for a few reasons. First, we still had to check out a few more attractions in Future World, then to begin our world tour of World Showcase. Arriving in Future World, we attempted to go on Ellen's Energy Adventure but we were evacuated during the pre-show film. Weird, didn't even make it to the actual ride! So that was a bit of a bust. We decided to head over to Imagination to see Journey into Imagination with Figment. This was I believe my first time seeing the current state of JII, and it was at least entertaining for some audiences. Personally, I'm with the masses of hoping to see a return of the original JII with the Dreamfinder & Figment together again. But at least I still sort of paid tribute to the purple dragon of imagination! So now we decided to begin our tour of World Showcase, beginning in Mexico going clockwise from there. Mexico has a great indoor pavilion, and the atmosphere inside is just very calming. This was also my first time riding the Gran Fiesta Tour starring The Three Caballeros, I really enjoyed it as The Three Caballeros I thought was a real enjoyable film. It was very nice, indeed! While in Mexico, we also grabbed a quick bite at La Cantina de San Angel. I have one thing to say, the Conga fruit drink is awesome! Moving on to Norway, this was actually my first time riding Maelstrom and I had a blast with it too! The film at the end is also very interesting, and gives you more intrigue into the history of the Norwegian Vikings. The pavilion is also wonderfully themed to resemble a small village.

    Now going into China, I have to say this is one of the most impressive pavilions from an architecture standpoint. It's so peaceful and truly breathtaking to wander inside and outside of this area, and really makes you appreciate the history and heritage of this country so much more. The Reflections of China film also stil holds up as being equally impressive. China was probably one where I truly enjoyed staying there as long as we were able to. While both my parents decided to rest with a drink (or two) in Germany, I helped my sister track down a couple more princesses for her to have her picture with. Afterward, we did get to enjoy Germany a little bit. I really like Germany too, as it really gives the impression of really stepping into that country. Makes you feel like you're not in Florida anymore! At this point, we decided to pick up World Showcase again the next day. Now we were quickly travelling our way over to Disney's Hollywood Studios to catch the last showing of Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage as we all really wanted to see it. It's still just a perfect show in every way, and as I looked over, it really became emotional for the others. Don't get me wrong, it's emotional for me too, but it's just such a powerful story. Seeing someone like my father cry at this, it's purely the magic that only Disney can create. Right there I knew that Disney spans across all ages and all generations, it's purely timeless. As the rest of my party decided to go on Rock 'N' Roller Coaster again, I decided to wander around the park a little on my own. This was my moment to have my Disney geekiness take over, strolling down both Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood Boulevard was just very enjoyable. It's the simple things like this at WDW that I love the most. It was also a great time to slow down and enjoy those smaller details (thanks much for the advice, Lou Mongello!).

    Once my party was off RNRC, we then walked over to our dinner reservation at 50's Prime Time Cafe. This restaurant is absolutely hilarious, it's so funny for the server CM's to act completely in character. The woman we had definitely loved her role, and it was funny to see her pick on my dad for not eating his green beans! We had a wonderful experience, and the service as always was top notch. Our server CM I think really enjoyed our company that she even gave us a hug as we left. Another reason right there is why I respect the CM's so much and all the hard work they do every single day to make your trip magical. As we slowly walked down Hollywood Boulevard ready to head back for the night, I really enjoyed the look of DHS at night as I don't see it that often on my trips. The park is such a different feel at night, it's so enjoyable to just take your time and observe everything you can. So at this point, we decided to head back to CBR for the night. It was a very enjoyable and relaxing day, it's great taking the time to go at your own pace. Well, that concludes day six at Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios! Stay tuned for day seven at Epcot, the Magic Kingdom, and Disney's Polynesian Resort! Thanks for reading, see you next entry!

    PHOTOS: Picasa Web Albums - Jay - Walt Disney W...
    VIDEO: YouTube - Walt Disney World '08 [Part 4 of 6] - Days 5 & 6
    Keep it cool, and keep moving forward!

    Trips to Walt Disney World


    1995: Port Orleans French Quarter - 2000: All-Star Music
    2008: Caribbean Beach - 2009: Pop Century
    NEXT TRIP: Sep/Oct 2011 - WDW's 40th Anniversary!

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    Re: World Travels: A Sept. 2008 WDW Trip Report [Will update with new post everyday!]

    Day 7 - Epcot | Magic Kingdom | Disney's Polynesian Resort - 9.24.08

    After some breakfast at Old Port Royale, we returned to Epcot to continue our tour of World Showcase. But before we got there, my mom and I decided to take another ride on Spaceship Earth, as it is one of my favorites in Epcot after all! Still just as wonderful as ever! Now going back into World Showcase, we picked up our tour beginning at Italy. Italy is such a great area, and I may be a little biased, as I have Italian family heritage. So probably because of that, it's one of my favorite pavilions on the promenade. Then moving on to The American Adventure, we saw the actual show itself. I do agree with many that this is such an emotional show, and it truly does make me proud to be an American. It's a wonderful feeling to see all the accomplishments our country truly has made, and this show exemplifies that perfectly. We then continued to Japan, where the architecture is just a sight to see. It looks like they were plucked straight out of the country! It's also the spot of one of my favorite photo spots, the archway in the lagoon where you have Spaceship Earth in the center. That shot I never get tired of! Arriving next in Morocco, this is also a fantastic pavilion from an artistic point of view. It has all these hidden canals and hidden details, you can literally spend hours in there. I enjoyed every second of it!

    So at this point and after my sister getting her picture with more princesses, we decided to pick up with World Showcase once again the next day, and head over to the Magic Kingdom. After enjoying the sights of Main Street, USA; we stopped for lunch at Columbia Harbour House, delicious as always! Then we were now making our way back into Fantasyland to see a few more things. While my sister waited for Ariel in Ariel's Grotto, my mom and I took in a couple attractions we were interested in. We rode the always classic Peter Pan's Flight, and as always, completely worth the wait. The staying power for this attraction clearly remains strong today. This was also our first time seeing Mickey's PhilharMagic, and this was just a wonderful 3D show. The likability of the story, and the recognizable characters just makes it all the more appealing. The 3D effects are also done in a wonderful way, and this definitely has the repeatability factor for me. I will definitely sit in on this show again very soon! Now we decided to finally get to the western side of the MK, starting with Mickey's Toontown Fair. It's still a charming area, but really there's not much aside from the meet and greets. So we decided to at least ride The Barnstormer, which really is a fun little coaster. I definitely enjoy it quite a lot, still to this day. Now finally arriving in Tomorrowland, we said a quick hello to Sonny Eclipse, then had what is my staple food item of each trip to WDW. You guessed it, the Mickey Premium bar! It's a classic, and seems to taste better when Mickey shaped! We then finally made the rounds in Tomorrowland; riding the Astro Orbiter, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Tomorrowland Transit Authority (what I think is one of my personal all-time favorites), and of course Space Mountain. Let's just say I'm happy Space Mountain is getting a much-needed refurb right now, as it was exceptionally bumpy when we rode it. I'm hoping it gets the good TLC it deserves!

    So now departing the MK, we hopped on the resort loop monorail to Disney's Polynesian Resort for our dinner reservation at Kona Cafe! It was a very tasty meal, and I really enjoyed my steak with the unique taste to it! This is definitely a place to visit at least once when your in the MK resort area, I loved it quite a lot! As my dad and sister decided to head back to CBR, my mom and I took the monorail to Epcot to catch IllumiNations: RoE once again, as it's just such a wonderful show. That show never, ever gets tiring for me. The music and fireworks all just define Disney magic for me. Afterwards, we decided to call it a night and head back to CBR. It was another wonderful day, and we knew tomorrow would be our last full day at the parks. So I was soaking it up as much as I could! Well, that concludes day day seven at Epcot, the Magic Kingdom, and Disney's Polynesian Resort! Stay tuned for day eight at Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and the Magic Kingdom! Thanks for reading, see you next entry!

    PHOTOS: Picasa Web Albums - Jay - Walt Disney W...
    VIDEO: YouTube - Walt Disney World '08 [Part 5 of 6] - Day 7
    Keep it cool, and keep moving forward!

    Trips to Walt Disney World


    1995: Port Orleans French Quarter - 2000: All-Star Music
    2008: Caribbean Beach - 2009: Pop Century
    NEXT TRIP: Sep/Oct 2011 - WDW's 40th Anniversary!

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    Re: World Travels: A Sept. 2008 WDW Trip Report [Will update with new post everyday!]

    Day 8 - Epcot | Disney's Hollywood Studios | Magic Kingdom - 9.25.08

    Well, this was now our last full day we could spend at the parks before we go home, and it was very much bittersweet in many ways. But because it was the perfect opportunity, we took some time to wander a little more slowly through CBR on our way to Old Port Royale for breakfast. I know I haven't mentioned CBR a whole lot, but I want to state that it's a wonderful resort. The setting, layout, and theming are all done extremely well. Some may complain there's too much walking, but frankly I don't mind it at all. My thinking is that it allows you to look at those smaller details with a more keen eye, and not always rush all the time. CBR is a great resort, and you should give it a try at least once. After breakfast, off we went for our final time of this trip to Epcot so we could finish off World Showcase. We picked up in France, where it's again just a perfectly themed pavilion. This is an example of why I like World Showcase, these pavilions just give off a very inviting feel, and I relate it most to being like a street party. We also saw the Impressions de France film, and it's still a great piece of film. The beautiful orchestral soundtrack just makes it all the more powerful. Now arriving in the United Kingdom, it's great because this one especially has an open feel. It's definitely one of the pavilions that has the most land devoted to it, and for good reasons. All of it is wonderfully detailed, and the time should be taken to see it all.

    We then arrived at our final country of World Showcase, Canada. Canada has some really great theming to it, and I was very much bummed out we weren't able to make it into Le Cellier for this trip. I'm really tempted to try their steak as I've heard nothing but good things. But what I really like about Canada is the back area where there's a calm waterfall showing the majestic rockwork. Sitting back there just feels so peaceful. We then of course saw the O Canada! film, which was my first time seeing the updated version with Martin Short hosting it. It's very much an enjoyable film, and the update from the previous film was much needed. They certainly did a great job with it! So now we had one last stop to make in Epcot, and that was our lunch reservation at Coral Reef Restaurant (The Seas with Nemo and Friends). The atmosphere and seeing the marine life through the windows was certainly breathtaking. But in all honesty, I couldn't say much of the same about the food. The food was actually average at best, and the portions were not very big. I don't know, the food just didn't grab me like the other places did. But like I said, the look of the restaurant is very good. So now was our time to say farewell to Epcot, and for me it was emotional. It's without a doubt my favorite of the four parks, and I knew I would be back very soon. While the rest of my party decided to head back to CBR, I decided to head on my own to Disney's Hollywood Studios to cover a couple more things I wanted to see.

    Arriving at DHS; I immediately proceeded to the Streets of America as the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show was supposed to be finished with its recent refurb. But instead was a CM telling us that it's been pushed back a few more days. That was a bummer, as I have not seen the show for myself yet. So I guess it'll have to wait until the next trip, but I will be seeing it soon! So just so this trip to DHS wasn't for nothing, I did decide to go into The Magic of Disney Animation as I'm also a big fan of the works from Walt Disney Animation Studios/Pixar Animation Studios. I got to see the concept drawings and models for Bolt (which turned out to be a wonderful film), and it's just so interesting to look around in there. Sure, it may not be the in-depth tour it once was, but there's still plenty of entertainment value to be found here. So now was the time for me to say farewell to DHS for the final time this trip, and the memories made here will remain bright in my memories. I decided to catch up with my party back at CBR where we lounged by the pool for a while, before heading to the Magic Kingdom to give a "grand finale" to our trip. So later on we arrived at the MK, and stopped for a quick dinner one more time with Sonny Eclipse at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe. Afterwards, we lined up around the hub (perfectly standing in front of Lou Mongello's favorite popcorn cart!) for SpectroMagic. It's still just as much of a wonderful parade as it always is, and the music actually is also a very emotional moment for me. I loved every single second of it. From there we still placed camp in the same spot, now preparing for Wishes.

    This was my first time seeing Wishes in person, and seeing it in person is a totally different experience. Everything about this show embodies what WDW is all about, the music and pyrotechnics are done perfectly. My mom at the end was crying because it was so emotional, and let's say I definitely teared up towards the end as well. There couldn't have been a better fit for this to be our sort of "grand finale" to what has been an amazing trip. Now came probably one of the most emotional moments, saying goodbye to the MK for the final time this trip. That too has made me realize right there, what Walt Disney World means to me. These exact moments that are so rich and powerful, that you truly do believe that dreams come alive in this magical place. So off we went back to CBR for the night, as we knew tomorrow morning would be our departure. Well, that concludes day eight at Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and the Magic Kingdom! Stay tuned for day nine (the final part), which is the departure and arriving back home. Thanks for reading, see you next entry!

    PHOTOS: Picasa Web Albums - Jay - Walt Disney W...
    VIDEO: YouTube - Walt Disney World '08 [Part 6 of 6] - Days 8 & 9
    Keep it cool, and keep moving forward!

    Trips to Walt Disney World


    1995: Port Orleans French Quarter - 2000: All-Star Music
    2008: Caribbean Beach - 2009: Pop Century
    NEXT TRIP: Sep/Oct 2011 - WDW's 40th Anniversary!

  10. #10
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    Re: World Travels: A Sept. 2008 WDW Trip Report [Will update with new post everyday!]

    What did you get at the Coral Reef that you didn't enjoy?

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    Re: World Travels: A Sept. 2008 WDW Trip Report [Will update with new post everyday!]

    Quote Originally Posted by wdwtristan View Post
    What did you get at the Coral Reef that you didn't enjoy?
    The barbecued salmon sandwich. Now don't get me wrong, I love salmon, I guess I just didn't enjoy it in the form of a sandwich, that's all. I wasn't the only one who didn't enjoy it though, the rest of my party thought their food was average (don't remember what they had, though).
    Keep it cool, and keep moving forward!

    Trips to Walt Disney World


    1995: Port Orleans French Quarter - 2000: All-Star Music
    2008: Caribbean Beach - 2009: Pop Century
    NEXT TRIP: Sep/Oct 2011 - WDW's 40th Anniversary!

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    Re: World Travels: A Sept. 2008 WDW Trip Report [Will update with new post everyday!]

    Day 9 - Departure - 9.26.08

    Well everyone, we have reached the conclusion to what was an absolutely amazing trip. But the final part of this trip report here will also be the most depressing, and what many of us can relate to whenever we visit WDW. It's the time to say goodbye and return back to reality. Our flight was leaving very early in the morning, which we later regretted that decision, we very well could of squeezed something else in that day if we had a later flight. But we woke up bright and early and had everything packed and ready to go. Also because CBR's internal bus service wasn't running yet, a CM came in a van to pick us up and bring us to the Custom House to check out. When he arrived; we gathered all our luggage, and said goodbye to our room. During this entire time, I was very quiet, because I knew the end of the trip was here. Once we were walking to the van and then riding to the Custom House, I was filling up with tears. Luckily I didn't outright cry in the van, but I felt like I was very close to doing that. We checked out at the Custom House and then boarded our Disney's Magical Express bus heading to Orlando International Airport. Once we were on the DME bus and soon officially left WDW property, right here was where I couldn't hold it anymore. I outright cried, not being loud about it, but definitely outright crying.

    But it turns out I wasn't the only one, I saw both my parents welling up a little as well. If this wasn't evidence enough, it shows how much Walt Disney World means to me from an emotional standpoint. But I knew I would return very soon. We arrived at the airport, and basically had time to kill before the flight. Once we actually went to go through the security gates to the flight gates, right there was the Disney's EarPort store. I thought for one last hurrah, I walked in there for a brief period. It was probably that one last bit of magic to help me with the trip home. Farewell, Walt Disney World...but I'll be back extremely soon. After all the gate business and the actual flight, we were back home in Connecticut. What a depressing site, especially since it was raining at the time. We drove home with mixed emotions; of sadness, happiness, and excitement for the memorable and wonderful time we truly had. Arriving back home, it's a weird feeling and just quiet. But we all ready were looking through everything we brought home, and it actually helped me keep my head up. At the end of the day, we decided to do something distinctly Disney. We ordered some pizza, and sat down to watch Toy Story.

    Well, that concludes my September 2008 trip report, World Travels. As if this entire report wasn't evidence enough, you could tell that I have such a special place in my heart for Walt Disney World, like so many of us do here. It's shown how wonderful the place really is, and it's the place to feel just innocent again. I just wish I could of won something from the Year of a Million Dreams! But my adventures to Walt Disney World are only just beginning, as they will continue for the rest of my life. In fact, I'm actually timing the end of this report by beginning another chapter of my travels to WDW. This Thursday (10/1/09), my mother and I are returning to Walt Disney World for a week's time. I'm absolutely excited for it, and we're completely in the spirit of the "What will you celebrate?" campaign. We're celebrating my graduation from college back in May, and this trip is for that! So now, another adventure to the World is just on the horizon! "There's a great big beautiful tomorrow...just a dream away!" Thank you so much for reading, it was wonderful to share these memories again. I guess I will end this the same way that some others would end it...MAIN STREET AWAITS! FOR CELEBRATIONS ABOUND!

    -Keep it cool, and keep moving forward!-

    -Jay "Spyne" Hart

    PHOTOS: Picasa Web Albums - Jay - Walt Disney W...
    Keep it cool, and keep moving forward!

    Trips to Walt Disney World


    1995: Port Orleans French Quarter - 2000: All-Star Music
    2008: Caribbean Beach - 2009: Pop Century
    NEXT TRIP: Sep/Oct 2011 - WDW's 40th Anniversary!

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