We really liked the little museum the ride ended in:
Then we caught up with our pal Sully:
Day 4 – September 22th, 2010
The next morning I woke up at 9AM and sat out on the gorgeous balcony. I called the rest of my family to tell them about the engagement and they were so excited! It was a perfect start to the first full day of our engagement! We went over to the Mara again and had the same breakfast…again. I just LOVE their croissant sandwich.
Then we headed straight to Hollywood Studios. On our last trip we did not spend enough time there and I was too scared to ride the Tower of Terror. Then I noticed a picture where everyone was strapped in with a seatbelt. I’m not sure when it changed but what I hated about that ride was the lapbar! I hated how I always came up off the seat and I like it much better now that I feel more secure. We had to stop at the Antiques & Curios shop first though. We love that shop and hope to someday afford something in there! The crowds were so low that day at Hollywood Studios that we walked right on to the Tower of Terror in mid morning. I don’t even think the wait was 10 minutes. I actually wish it were longer so we could have taken pictures of the artifacts in the lobby like the glasses from the famous episode of The Twilight Zone, “Time Enough At Last.” I thoroughly enjoyed all of the changes to the ride and I’m not afraid to ride it anymore!
After that we got some Fast Passes for Rockin’ RollerCoaster and caught a show of Beauty and the Beast. This is a must see for me every single time and I have not missed even one trip. I love it so much! It makes me cry every single time. Rockin’ RollerCoaster was interesting. We were in line for about 15 minutes when the ride broke down and we were ushered out of the building. Apparently there were people on the ride as well and we saw a lot of hurried looking CMs. I seriously hope no one got stuck upside down! They were nice enough to give us super Fast Passes that did not expire until Sept. 30th.
Jason needed a snack **TURKEY LEG WARNING**
Overall we had a pretty relaxing day at Hollywood Studios because the crowds were so low. We did the Great Movie Ride with no wait and we got to sit right up front.
We checked on Toy Story Mania but of course the wait was an hour and the Fast Passes were gone for the day. We decided to go on a mission to get to Hollywood Studios first thing the next morning and get to ride Toy Story Mania! We were not going to miss it again. We didn’t ride it last year because the Fast Passes were always gone by noon.
Ah Star Tours. We missed it so much. We are planning our next trip in May 2011 for Star Wars Weekends & wedding planning so we can see the new version right when it opens. I can’t wait!
I wish the umbrellas weren’t in the way
Some Roger Rabbit love:
I wanted to sing in the rain but I guess this will have to do…
We got right on the Backlot Tour which we both really enjoyed. I can’t remember the last time I rode this.
We really liked the little museum the ride ended in:
Then we caught up with our pal Sully:
I had to stop by the Writers’ Stop to try the infamous Carrot Cake Cookie. It was absolutely everything I had heard and more. The cake was so perfectly moist and delicious and the icing was like heaven!
On our way back to the entrance to ride Rockin’ RollerCoaster 3 CMs at the American Idol Experience saw our Just Engaged buttons and waved us over to tell the story. It was so sweet how excited they all were for us and how genuinely interested they were in our story. It’s the little things like that make your vacation that much more magical!
We made our way to Rockin’ RollerCoaster and rode it without a hitch. I love that ride so much! Our picture was pretty funny because I was trying to keep my eyes open so it looked like they were bugging out of my head! Too bad they cost $20.
We made our way to EPCOT for Illuminations. We like to stand somewhere in Italy. It seems the crowds are lighter and the view is spectacular. We had some time to kill so we did the Grand Fiesta Tour and Maelstrom. Then we stopped in Japan for some Yakitori House:
We waited for Illuminations and chatted up the nice couple next to us who were celebrating their anniversary. We really saw a lot of childless couples of all ages on this trip, not many kids at all (except for the Magic Kingdom of course). There was a private party going on right next to where we were standing and they said they thought those were for Fairytale Weddings and that we should get one. I am certainly going to look into it!
Afterwards we did what we normally do and let the park thin out while we shop. We got to bed pretty early that night so we were up for our quest the next day…Toy Story Mania!
Day 5 – September 23rd, 2010
Today is the day. Toy Story Mania or bust! We got up at 7AM and got out the door. Our bus was PACKED! We got there just after the opening show. We could not catch a break on this trip! We really wanted to see the rope drop at every park and we didn’t even end up seeing one. We of course made a beeline for Toy Story Mania just like everyone else. The wait for the ride was only 30 minutes so I got in that line while Jason went and got us Fast Passes. I ended up chatting up the really nice couple in front of me from Louisiana. They were also just engaged and staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
We really enjoyed the queue (and seeing it from both sides later on!):
Heh…”They make it so you have to buy the guide! It’s extortion!” – Rex
We commented on how the cells in the viewmaster cards were perfect down to the last detail:
My score was 128,000 and Jason got 179,000. Not too bad for our first try I guess. Our Fast Passes were for 12:40 and by the time we got out of the ride they were already up to 7PM! That ride is crazy popular.
We were pretty hungry by then and I wanted to try the famous Butterfinger Cupcake so we went over to Starring Roles Café. They were out of the cupcake so the lady went in the back to get it. I don’t think this was the Butterfinger Cupcake but it was so crowded in there that I didn’t want to ask. Whatever it was, it was delicious!
Jason got the cinnamon bun:
Then we met up with our pal Lotso!
And we caught a show of The Jedi Training Academy. It was hilarious!
There was a little squirrel who was almost as entertaining as the show. At one point he touched our backpack!
Then it was time to ride Toy Story Mania again! The CM at the Fast Pass door really liked Jason’s shirt (World of Warcraft fan) so he gave him a special card that apparently helps them determine wait times. It made Jason feel super important!
We got the same basic scores as before, it was pretty funny. Jason got the high score in our car for the day!
We decided to leave Hollywood Studios and go back to Animal Kingdom until our ADR at the Hollywood Brown Derby later that evening.
We had a delicious lunch at the Flame Tree Barbeque (which unfortunately did not agree with me):
Then we had a nice serene walk in the Tree of Life Gardens and got some good shots:
Then we rode the safari again with no wait and our car was pretty empty. The driver was not as funny this time but the animals were out en force!
Then we went back to the room to shower and change for our ADR at The Hollywood Brown Derby. I’ve always wanted to eat here and I have never had the opportunity. I didn’t want to blind everyone with the flash so some of our pictures are pretty blurry.
We started with an appetizer of the Blue Crab Cake. We are from Baltimore so we know crabs. This was the only picture I was able to get and that should tell you all you need to know about this dish!
I had a yummy non-alcoholic beverage with a glow cube:
Jason had his usual beer:
Jason ordered the salmon:
I had the filet:
Everything was excellent and we nearly licked our plates! We never eat out at fancy restaurants at home and it’s just so nice to be able to treat ourselves for once. We had to stuff in dessert which ended up making me sick but oh well it was totally worth it!
They brought me a birthday chocolate mousse:
Jason had the cheesecake:
I had the grapefruit cake:
I guess I didn’t really realize that I don’t like grapefruit. If I did, I’m sure I would have loved this cake. Oh well everything else was absolutely fantastic. Unfortunately, I had been on a strict diet and lost 40 lbs and all the fat and grease I had eaten over the past few days finally caught up to me. Luckily, I came prepared with what I called “The Box” which was a plastic cosmetic type box full of meds. Oh wait, we had left it in the room so we could look dressy for our dinner! I was feeling pretty sick and Fantasmic had just let out so the lines for all of the busses were outrageous. Jason ended up finding us a cab instead. Best $20 we spent! I immediately felt better with the AC in my face. I took some meds and got a good night’s sleep.
Day 6 – September 24th, 2010
I think the worst day of a Disney trip is the day you get your Magical Express tags for the trip home. This was our last full day and we were starting to get sad about leaving but we’re so excited to plan a Fairytale Wedding!
We went over to EPCOT and got Fast Passes for Soarin’. Then we went to see Captain EO and who should sit right next to us but the couple we made friends with the previous day in line for Toy Story Mania! Talk about bizarre!
I really enjoyed this show. I was incredibly surprised at what an immersive experience it was. The entire theater moves and shakes almost like a simulator ride! And we got a kick out of seeing young George Lucas in the preshow.
It started raining pretty hard after that so we hopped over to Journey Into Imagination:
I took this picture because I thought it was interesting that Kodak was still on the logo. It was sad to see the shop at the end of the ride. That place used to be so cool and now it’s all boarded up.
We went over to the World Showcase and I caught up with my pal Belle:
She was really cute. She congratulated us on our engagement and asked Jason to tell the Beast where he got the ring because she didn’t have one yet!
Then it was time for our lunch ADR at Les Chefs De France. I was a bit disappointed here because the server was obviously new and seemed a bit nervous. Remy did not come out while we were there even though I checked the schedule beforehand and scheduled our ADR accordingly. My stomach had also been giving me problems so I wasn’t that hungry and ended up wasting most of my delicious food. It was heartbreaking.
Jason had a Kronenbourg:
And the lobster bisque:
I had the French onion soup:
We had to wait an exceptionally long time for our entrees. At least we got an interesting perspective on the show outside:
Finally our food arrived. I had the ribs:
Jason had the Mahi Mahi sandwich:
Everything was incredible and I wish I had felt better so I could have enjoyed it more. We ended up skipping dessert but they brought me some French Vanilla ice cream and sang Happy Birthday to me in French. It was very magical! Afterwards we rode Soarin’ again and then went back to the hotel for naptime.
We got to the Magic Kingdom in time to see the Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes. We got pretty good seats on the benches near the Crystal Palace. It was a good view of the parade going into Liberty Square which is not a perspective that I usually see. I usually sit at the car barn but it was so darned crowded even 1 hour before the parade. It was good but I really prefer Spectromagic. I think the music is better and there is more character interaction. After that we used my trick of avoiding crowds by walking up Main Street in the shops. I came up with that one after all the shops got connected together and it’s SO much faster than moving with the herd up Main Street. We stood at the Railroad Station to watch Wishes and make a quick escape to the Resort Monorail so we could go to EPCOT for evening Extra Magic Hours. Unfortunately the Monorail to EPCOT broke down so we ended up taking a bus. When we got to EPCOT we saw the broken down Monorail and it still had people in it:
We mainly did shopping that night for souvenirs and I found a line of “I Love Nerds” gear that I had to get. I ended up getting a TShirt, Nightie, and Tote Bag. I love walking around EPCOT at night when the crowds are down. I got my Kringla Sweet Pretzel which I never got to take a picture of because it’s too delicious and Jason got a beer in Germany. I guess we were too sad to take pictures that night!
Day 7 - September 25th, 2010 Our Last Day
We got up early, showered, and packed. We ended up having to send some boxes home because we couldn’t fit all of our souvenirs into one bag. This ended up costing us about $50. If we had just brought one more suitcase it would have been $15 baggage check fee on AirTran. Lesson Learned. Jason called for a Bellhop and then went to wait in line at the concierge to send our packages while I waited in line for the Magical Express Baggage Check. The line was outrageous. Next time I will definitely wake up earlier on the last day. This ended up taking us an hour. The poor family in front of us ended up having to check their bags at the airport because they were in line too long and it was time for them to get on their bus. They were pretty upset. We got everything done, checked out and made our way to EPCOT.
We started out with some Fast Passes for Mission: Space. Then we did The Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure. I really love this attraction. Last year we did Germany and Norway. This year we got to do the UK and France. Hopefully we’ll finish it up on our next trip!
We stopped at the Patisserie in France and I got the best croissant I’ve ever had:
We made our way to our last ride, Ellen’s Energy Adventure. I love this ride but I was so tired that I nearly fell asleep. It’s so nice and cold and dark in there! We got on the bus back to Animal Kingdom Lodge for the last time. We ended up meeting a really nice family with 2 little boys who were playing with Jason. Their father told them what it meant to be engaged and he told the little boy to congratulate us. It was so sweet! It was the perfect end to the perfect trip.
Wrap up and final thoughts
I was a bit disheartened that only 2 CMs told me to “Have a Magical Day” the entire trip. Overall the attitude of the CMs was good but I missed hearing that.
The Basic Dining Plan – If I had to pay for it, I would not opt in. We just don’t eat enough of the food and we almost always waste our desserts. I also don’t like that appetizers are not allowed to be substituted for dessert. I didn’t feel like we needed to have a sit down meal every single day although it is nice. I felt like even though we had the Basic Dining Plan, we still ended up spending a lot on food because of appetizers, alcohol, and tips. I think that for us we would save more money being DVC/AP + TiW members. That’s my plan for our next trip in May which will hopefully be Star Wars Weekends/wedding planning.
TripIt (Free) – This is a must have for all vacations, Disney or not. I kept copies of all of our hotel, transportation, and restaurant reservations and itineraries. I can’t even believe this is a free service. It even shares information on Facebook if you opt in.
WDW Maps ($2.99) – I have mixed feelings about this one. It was incredibly awesome until it crashed on day 4 and was down for about 2 days. It did come back on its own but that was pretty inconvenient. Other than that, the map was very accurate and you can walk around and your marker moves with you on the map. Needless to say we never picked up a park map while we were there.
WDW Hours (Free) – An absolute must have for quick info on what’s going on in the parks on a daily basis. And it’s free to boot!
WDW Waits (Free) – I did not end up using this one because WDW Lines and Undercover Tourist have the same information and I paid for them
WDW Dining (Free) – I used this one occasionally and I really like that it has full menus and prices. However, Undercover Tourist has something similar and the interface is better.
What 2 Ride (Free) – This is cute but I never really ended up using it.
WDW Lines (need to be a member at touring plans, app is free) – Incredibly accurate wait times and also has some show information. I felt that this app had more accurate wait times than the actual times posted at the rides.
Undercover Tourist ($3.99) – I think this is a must have even if you have WDW Lines. I really like the interface and it also includes dining information and the ability to save an itinerary. This was the app that I used the most throughout the trip. It’s basically an all-in-one. It even has GPS enabled maps so I used this as a backup with WDW Maps crashed.
GateGuru (Free) – This is a neat app that lists what is nearby at any airport in the US. Using this app, we were able to find a Burger King to chow down at Orlando International.
iTripBook ($0.99) – I am so glad that I got this app and kept a journal the entire time. Not only did it make it easier to write my TR but now I have a journal full of memories of my vacation! I am the kind of person that if I don’t write it down, I won’t remember! I used my bus riding time to keep an up to date account of every event on our vacation.
I hope you have enjoyed my September 2010 Trip Report! We are planning our Disney Fairytale Wedding and Honeymoon (aka Disneymoon) for September 2011. We’re waiting until September for our wedding for the weather and value season. We’re going to do an Escape wedding with 18 guests at The Wedding Pavilion. I also want to have Mickey & Minnie at the cake cutting reception, an Illuminations Dinner and/or Dessert Party, and a portrait session at the Magic Kingdom. We've been in contact with a sales rep but for an Escape wedding you cannot do the contract until 8 months out so we're waiting until January 25th to begin the process. For now, we're in the lottery for a few dates and times the last week in September. I really want to be on our honeymoon on 10.1.2011 for WDW's 40th Anniversary!
I seriously cannot believe this is all happening. When I think about all that we’ve been through over the past few years, I am so proud of us that we dug out of the financial and emotional hole we were in. I have been dreaming of a Disney Fairytale Wedding since I was a little girl and I had seriously thought it was too expensive. I am pleasantly surprised that they have added affordable packages so you don’t have to spend $10k. We will only be surrounded by immediate family and that is fine with me. I’m not the type of person to have a big wedding anyway. I can’t wait to book everything and start my countdown!
Have a magical day!
First: to the WDWRadio site and forums!!!
Hope you enjoy it here as much as we do!
Second: Thank you so very much for sharing your wonderful trip report about your fabulous engagement vacation! Good luck with the dream wedding planning...I'm sure it will be even more fabulous! Looking forward to hearing all about your plans along the way, if you want to share, as DW and myself are in the process of begining to plan our 25th wedding anniversary vow renewal ceremony at WDW for December of 2013!
Again, welcome and hope you join us here often!
Question: How many Imagineers does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: Does it have to be a light bulb?
Congratulations on your vow renewal! Where do you think you'll have it?
Great report and photos, congratulations on your engagement!
So much fun to read! Congratulations on your engagement... I'm with Belle -- can your fiancee give my bf a call?
Is there a place on this forum for wedding planning reports? I have a few on other sites but they have separate forums for wedding stuff. The plans are coming along and I can't wait to see our families for Christmas. I'm sure we will be talking about the wedding
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