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Trip Reports & Member Reviews Discuss Mike's solo December trip report in the Vacation Planning forums; Since I realize I’m a month and a half late on my Disneyland Paris trip report, I figured I’d try to get this month’s WDW report done before December is ...
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    Mike's solo December trip report... with (a few) pictures

    Since I realize I’m a month and a half late on my Disneyland Paris trip report, I figured I’d try to get this month’s WDW report done before December is over. What I realized on this trip is that I’m absolutely out of things to take pictures of at WDW. No décor, no characters… there's nothing left.

    DAY 1 - Sunday Dec. 5
    The adventure began with my flight. Surrounded by tons of junior cheerleaders heading down to some competition. I usually try to get the first flight out so that I can have a full day to get my rental car, have lunch, shop, and eventually check into my resort at 4pm. We boarded our 7am plane, taxied out to the runway, and suddenly heard a big pop. The pilot came on to say that the backup breaks failed and that we would need to return to the gate. We left the plane but they asked us to stay nearby. The 9:10 plane left us behind and we still sat there. By 10:00, we were back on our plane and headed for Florida. Three hours out of a five day trip is no big deal, and I’m glad the pilot decided not to ignore the noise and risk the flight.

    I was one of the first people to the car reservation counter so it was very quick. By the time I went upstairs to get my bag and walked back downstairs, the line was crazy. Crowd avoided. On the way to Walmart and the outlets, we made our usual stop at Bahama Breeze (Inever know when I’d be back down in Cherry Hill, NJ, so we always eat there after we land). The weather was gorgeous so we dined out on their patio.




    From there, we went to the outlets, which were crazy, then headed to Walmart to pick up groceries for the few days I would be at the park. By then, it was time to check in. We made it to the room, hung up my work clothes, and headed for my solo trip to the Sunday night Christmas Party.

    I drove from Wilderness Lodge to the Contemporary and told the guard that I was tired of eating at Wilderness and wanted to see what food options were available here. He let me in, I snuck around to the outer parking lot, left the car and walked to the Magic Kingdom. After a long line to get my tickets and get my wrist band, I fought my way up Main Street, staying to the right as everyone else was getting kicked out to the left.

    I took the left walk way around the castle and came out by the fountain of Cinderella. First stop, Peter Pan’s flight. The fast pass machines were turned off across the park for the night, so rides were every-man-for-himself. The line was, as usual, deceivingly short, so I figured I’d ride it. Coming off the great version in Disneyland Paris, I wanted to remind myself how this one stacked up. It was pretty close, except for the rocking boats in Paris, which give a better illusion of flight. I was probably on the line for 20 minutes or so, but at least I got it out of the way. While I was standing there, I noticed that the Seven Dwarves were posing for pictures in the area where the Skyway used to be. I spent an hour on the line, only to be the next person up when their handler said the dwarves had to go back for milk and cookies, but would be back in five minutes. Translation: union labor laws required a changing of the guard, and seven new people in costumes shuffled out to greet the fans.



    From there, I made my way back to the Haunted Mansion, only to hear the door slam right before I made my way around the corner. So, I waited there with seven other people behind me for the next ride. This was the first time I saw the construction walls up blocking the graveyard. Still, no line made for a great walk-on/get-out attraction.

    I next stopped at the Harbor House for cookies and apple juice. By now, people were lining up for the parade, so I fought past them as I hoped to get to Pirates of the Caribbean. Unfortunately, as I got to Splash Mountain, the parade was coming in from that route, so we all go stuck having to watch the parade. By now it was chilly, so not many people were riding Splash Mountain. Many logs came down the hill empty, but every now and again a few brave souls were on board.

    The parade was the same exact one they’ve been doing for a while but it sounds as if they changed the music, so that made it a bit more bearable. Still, the minute Santa passed us (wow, these parades was WAY too long), we all got out of there as quickly as we could. I walked over to PoTC, took the left path, and walked right onto an empty boat. By now it was a quarter to 9 and I was done with whatever I cared to see. On my walk through Adventureland, I passed two of the Country Bears, just walking around with their handlers, so I took two pictures with them.



    I walked down Main Street and got out of the park as people were staking out their spots for Wishes. So, in less than 2 ½ hours, I was done with the Party (they handed out their 25 Days of Christmas programming guide, which included a nice car air freshener), walking back to my car so I could pack for the next morning. I had to get up at 4am (for the second day in a row) to drive to the airport for a flight to Miami at 7am.

    More to come soon…
    Last edited by supernova; 12-22-2010 at 12:32 PM.
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    Re: Mike's solo December trip report

    Quote Originally Posted by supernova
    Unfortunately, as I got to Splash Mountain, the parade was coming in from that route, so we all go stuck having to watch the parade.
    Don't even get me started on that...


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    Re: Mike's solo December trip report

    Amen! Thought I was the only one that hated being trapped on the wrong side of a parade.

    Nice TR so far. And yes, I've been at WDW with both the Cheer's and Pop Warner Dudes, on the same trip. Not fun, not fun at all.
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    Re: Mike's solo December trip report

    DAYS 2 & 3 - Monday, Tuesday
    I woke up at 4am to finish packing my bag, and we drove to the airport. She boarded a plane to visit her family in Jamaica and I flew on business to Miami. I wasn’t planning on this trip, but the owner asked me to join him last minute. That meant I had to give up two days at WDW, including a character breakfast and EMH at Epcot.

    Still, the meeting was held at the Ritz-Carlton in Key Biscayne, so it wasn’t all bad. I'll GLADLY give up two days in the Wilderness Lodge villas for two days at the Ritz-Carlton ANY day.



    Here’s the view from the balcony of my room.


    I left the hotel with my boss and his wife on Tuesday evening, and they took me to the Admiral's Club at Terminal D in the Miami Airport. After an excellent meal, they boarded their flight back to JFK at 9pm and I waited for my flight at 10:30. Which was delayed. By an hour, for a flight that is only 37 minutes. And the flight was full, which I thought was unusual for that time of night. Got back to MCO after midnight, back to the hotel at about a quarter to 1, showered and went to bed so that I could get up early the next day to hit the parks.

    To be continued...
    Last edited by supernova; 12-22-2010 at 12:33 PM.
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    Re: Mike's solo December trip report

    Quote Originally Posted by 20K View Post
    Don't even get me started on that...
    Quote Originally Posted by HauntedGabe View Post
    Amen! Thought I was the only one that hated being trapped on the wrong side of a parade.
    Don't force me to watch your stupid parade. It's an excellent opportunity to get on other rides while the general masses, who seem to like bright shiney things all lit up at night, are mindless drawn to stand around for the 20+ minute parade, plus whatever other time they foolishly was sitting/standing curbside. I'm sorry, but an hour or more just to get ready to watch a parade is plain silly.

    As for getting caught mid-parade, the rope handlers see everyone getting antsy at watching for a break in the parade, so why not just let the rope back and allow people to cross during breaks in the floats?
    Please visit my new DISNEY AUTOGRAPH website to check out my autograph collection!
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    Re: Mike's solo December trip report

    I hate having to make the call on what side of the route to stay on, weighing up the rides against each other. And nothing brings out the stupidity in people than a Magic Kingdom parade.

    I swear... if Florida didn't have the death penalty...

    Quote Originally Posted by supernova View Post
    ...so why not just let the rope back and allow people to cross during breaks in the floats?
    Because we all know it would only be a couple of parades until someone gets crushed. We've all seen someone try to cross in front of a TTC tram...
    Last edited by 20K; 12-22-2010 at 12:33 PM.


    "I really hope that people won't cherry-pick my quotes in the future
    and use them out of context to justify things that I would never sign-off on."

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    Re: Mike's solo December trip report

    Quote Originally Posted by 20K View Post
    I hate having to make the call on what side of the route to stay on, weighing up the rides against each other. And nothing brings out the stupidity in people than a Magic Kingdom parade.

    I swear... if Florida didn't have the death penalty...

    Because we all know it would only be a couple of parades until someone gets crushed. We've all seen someone try to cross in front of a TTC tram...
    Shhh... not so loud. They're liable to replace the parade ropes with saftey doors operated by annoying handles.
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    Re: Mike's solo December trip report

    DAY 4 – Wednesday – Four Parks/One Day

    After a late-night flight and going to bed pretty late, I got up at 7:00, made myself a nice breakfast, and decided to drive over to Epcot, which I don’t usually do. Since the trip is so short, I got there earlier than I’m used to, so I had to stand in line at the turnstiles until they pulled back the gate. Then they had everyone make their way up to the rope at the entrance to Future World. I had never been to a Rope Drop (I’m not that neurotic) so this was all new to me. It was pretty cold that morning, so we were standing there collectively shivering while we waited until 9:00.



    They did their little countdown thingie and made the crowd walk behind cast members, who led pretty much the entire crowd toward the Land. I ran over to get a fast pass and then made my way to the ride. I was with the first group of riders so there was no wait, other than watching the pre-show while they prepared the ride inside. From Soarin’, I decided not to use my fast pass and walked over to Test Track.

    On my way over, I peeked inside the Character Spot to see how bad the line was. Maybe a dozen families, but lots of little kids + autograph books = no way I’m standing in line for this. Took a right and headed to ride Test Track. I walked through the single rider’s line, skipped the pre-show and was put onto a car right away. Since there was zero wait, I decided to ride again. This time, my car kept saying “Left… left… left… left” all the way through the ride. I didn’t mind the distraction, but I was just hoping that it wasn’t some warning that the car was malfunctioning. Taking a sharp pitched turn at 60mph in a car whose left tire is loose isn’t a great idea. When the car got back into the unload area, the cast member heard the noise and asked if we’d like to ride again. She had us unload and take a staircase over the ride to the other side. Here, a nervous cast member asked me how I got there and what I was doing. They put us all back on the ride again without a wait, and after three times I was done with that ride.

    I was going to skip Mission Space, but I figured I’d give it a shot. Again, absolutely no wait. After riding it, I took the sharp right path to see if I could get a glimpse inside Wonders of Life. No good. I walked along the path right past Universe of Energy (no way I was wasting time there), stopped off in Innoventions East and West to see what was new, though I didn't try anything out at that time. I'm also using my Disney Chase card for the first time on a trip so I wanted to find out what the photo opportunity was. The person who usually runs the area told me to come back between 1:30 and 4:30, when they would be holding a private meet-n-greet with Mickey Mouse. Or not. More on that later.

    Leaving Innoventions, I stopped off in the Art of Disney store, and passed a crazy long line of dopey people at Spaceship Earth. When will people learn? They see a giant shiny ball and immediately flock to it. Don't just ride the first ride you see. Come back in the evening and you can walk on… every time.

    Out of Epcot and back to my car before 10:30. Not bad. Total pictures? Just one. And only because I had never seen the Rope Drop ceremony. Next stop? Hollywood Studios…
    Last edited by supernova; 12-22-2010 at 05:05 PM.
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    Re: Mike's solo December trip report

    I'm loving this report. This guy's a classic. Can't wait for the next installment!

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    Re: Mike's solo December trip report

    x 2


    "I really hope that people won't cherry-pick my quotes in the future
    and use them out of context to justify things that I would never sign-off on."

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    Re: Mike's solo December trip report

    Quote Originally Posted by supernova View Post
    Don't force me to watch your stupid parade. It's an excellent opportunity to get on other rides while the general masses, who seem to like bright shiney things all lit up at night, are mindless drawn to stand around for the 20+ minute parade, plus whatever other time they foolishly was sitting/standing curbside. I'm sorry, but an hour or more just to get ready to watch a parade is plain silly.

    As for getting caught mid-parade, the rope handlers see everyone getting antsy at watching for a break in the parade, so why not just let the rope back and allow people to cross during breaks in the floats?
    thats what im always thinking... just let me pass through while there is a break... never such luck before though either...
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    Re: Mike's solo December trip report

    Quote Originally Posted by Flotsam&Jetsam View Post
    I'm loving this report. This guy's a classic. Can't wait for the next installment!
    hey mike never sits back and tells you the that everything is rosy and wonderful... he tells the truth even if it is a Disney mistake... that how its gotta be though...
    "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them"
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    Re: Mike's solo December trip report

    That's refreshing, actually. Too many people on this site seem to have drank the KoolAid and feel that Disney can do no wrong. They forget that Disney cuts corners just like everyone else. Bring on the rest of the report!

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    Re: Mike's solo December trip report

    Quote Originally Posted by Flotsam&Jetsam View Post
    That's refreshing, actually. Too many people on this site seem to have drank the KoolAid and feel that Disney can do no wrong. They forget that Disney cuts corners just like everyone else. Bring on the rest of the report!
    absolutely... everyone feels the "pixie dust" and doesnt see when there is a mistake made or trouble brewing in the resort...
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    Re: Mike's solo December trip report

    Thank you, gents. Just doing my part to keep it all in perspective.
    Last edited by supernova; 12-30-2010 at 10:16 AM.
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