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Trip Reports & Member Reviews Discuss Cyopick New Year's Trip: Dec 31 - Jan 11th in the Vacation Planning forums; Day 1 - Arrival After a night full of lots of Disney anticipation and very little sleep, off went to the airport, leaving the ice and snow of Toronto for ...
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    Cyopick New Year's Trip: Dec 31 - Jan 11th

    Day 1 - Arrival

    After a night full of lots of Disney anticipation and very little sleep, off went to the airport, leaving the ice and snow of Toronto for the warmth of Orlando.

    Arriving at the Contemporary at around 3pm, we heard the best sounds in the world, "Welcome Home" from our online check in hostess. After a brief stop at Bell Services to get our Owner's Locker and Garden grocer's deliveries sent to our room, off we went to room 8106, 11th floor.

    Not sure why people are complaining about the size of Bay Lake Tower's studios. Sure it's not the SSR treehouse we stayed in last trip with my parents, but there's more than ample room for myself and three kids.

    But it's the view that sets this hotel apart. One look off the balcony and I'm in love. We booked lake view, but being in a corner room, we can see both the lake AND Magic Kingdom. I soon realize we were upgraded from Lake View to Magic Kingdom view for all 11 nights.

    After settling in, it's off to Wilderness lodge for dinner at Whispering Canyon. We went there on the suggestion of my boss, so we knew NOT to order ketchup. The atmosphere was lively, but not as much fun as I had heard. Maybe the tiredness of the day had gotten into all of us.

    The food was somewhat unique. My daughters ordered the grilled chicken from the kids menu. Brendan ordered the Western Chicken Pasta, and I ordered the Grilled Rib Eye Steak.

    The girls chicken was dry, but we did NOT opt to ask for ketchup. My steak was done to perfection, and Brendan loved the pasta. I soon realized, however, that my girls have outgrown kids meals, meaning that it's probably our last trip doing the dining plan. Tables in Wonderland may be a better option.

    Desserts were ice cream and brownies for the girls. I had mango pie and Brendan had Smores. All were very good (pictures to follow). We liked the atmosphere of the Lodge, but won't be returning to Whispering Canyon.

    After a dip in the pool, it was time to watch Wishes from our balcony. Simply amazing. A friend of mine who loved Animal Kingdom Lodge says that he would never stay at Bay Lake Tower because it's "just a hotel". After staying at both, and as lovely as AKL is, even with Savannah view, NOTHING beats seeing WISHES from your room.

    We next went up to the Top of the World lounge around 10pm. The atmosphere was electric, and the fireworks did not disappoint. Ringing in the new years from the most amazing hotel in the world is absolutely amazing.

    Top of the World Lounge New Years 2012 Fireworks - YouTube
    Last edited by DVCDad; 01-02-2012 at 08:32 AM.

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    Re: Cyopick New Year's Trip: Dec 31 - Jan 11th

    Nice start to TR. It would be nice if the DDP offered the same entrees only in a child's portion.

    Hope you are surviving the frigid FL temps.
    Some people are like Slinkies.

    They aren't really good for anything,
    but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.

    Friends are Gods way of apologizing to us for our families.

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    Re: Cyopick New Year's Trip: Dec 31 - Jan 11th

    Day 2 - Animal Kingdom

    We usually do Magic Kingdom the first and last day of our trip, but with the day being January 1st, I decided to forgo with tradition and listen to touringplans.com. We first hit Kilimanjaro's safari, which was great for the girls and their Christmas cameras. Next off to Dino land, for Dinosaur and Primeval Whirl (except for me, I can't spin).

    Being lunch time, we stopped at Restaurantosaurus for the first time. Ciara had a hot dog and fries, Jessica a hamburger and fries, served up in a beach pail. Brendan chose the 1/3 pound burger, while i went with the taco salad. All fairly standard fare, nothing too exciting or disappointing.

    The crowds were getting big, so the kids all decided to go back to BLT and the pool. Fine by me, as the pool bar had NFL games on.

    Headed back to Animal Kingdom for dinner at Yak and Yeti. Ordered the dim sum appetizers, which were minuscule by my dim sum standards at least, but pretty tasty. Ciara chose the mini burgers, while jessica had the egg roll. Both were thoroughly enjoyed. Brendan had the Duck with Anandapur Glaze, which was a lot of food, but slightly overcooked. I had the Shaoxing Steak and Shrimp. The steak was nicely done and flavourful, but the shrimp had no taste whatsoever. It was like you were eating fried bread on a stick. Dessert was uneventful. We won't go back.

    Another spin at Primeval Whirl, then back to the hotel for some more swimming and Wishes from our balcony. A nice first full day.

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    Re: Cyopick New Year's Trip: Dec 31 - Jan 11th

    Day 3 - Hollywood Studios

    Everyone was looking forward to our first day at Hollywood Studios, as we have not been to the new Star Tours yet. After arriving, we went straight to the large AtAT and off we went. Three times in a row with no line whatsoever, and it didn't disappoint. The variety really adds to the re-ridability, plus Brendan was the rebel spy on our first ride.

    Next was Jedi academy for the kids. they all had a blast. I was amazed just how hard Jessica swung her light saber. I'm proud to have three padawans in the family.

    Next we went to our lunch reservations at Mamma Melrose. WE had the Fantasmic package, which gave us an appetizer as well as the normal main course and dessert.

    We started with calamari for two (or in our case shared with four). The girls had cheese pizzas, and Brendan and I had chicken parmigiana. For dessert the waiter brought out a platter with various cakes. Our best meal by far yet. Usual light eater Jessica had her pizza and half of my spaghetti.

    Next was Muppetvision 3D, the Great movie ride, and teh girls decided to try Tower of terror with me. Brendan sat this one out and coloured near Rock-n-roller coaster. They survived the ride, but won't be going back for a while.

    For dinner the girls shared a turkey leg from catalina Eddies, Brendan had another burger and I had an italian deli sandwich. Again, all standard stuff.

    It was freezing at Fantasmic. I bought the girls a blanket and Brendan and I snuggies. We had reserved seats through the dinner package, so no waiting required, and were seated dead center.

    After Fantasmic, we did another Star Tour, then back for WISHES from the balcony.

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    Re: Cyopick New Year's Trip: Dec 31 - Jan 11th

    Great trip report!

    I'm curious about that Famtasmic package though, how long is the wait without it?


    IanVicky


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    Re: Cyopick New Year's Trip: Dec 31 - Jan 11th

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Great trip report!

    I'm curious about that Famtasmic package though, how long is the wait without it?
    I'm not sure about the time itself, but when we left the 6:30pm show, the line for the 8pm show was far down Sunset Boulevard. I overheard some people who were nowhere near the front of the line that they had been waiting for over 2 hours. We didn't wait at all.

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    Re: Cyopick New Year's Trip: Dec 31 - Jan 11th

    Day 4 - Magic Kingdom

    Started the day by heading to Magic Kingdom using the best form of transportation ... our feet! It's amazing being able to walk to our favourite park. It was REALLY COLD!!!

    After going through the turnstiles I went to check for where we are going to meet Lou for our tour on the 10th, and THERE WAS LOU!!

    Next was Town Hall to get photos with Mickey and Minnie. Only a 10 minute wait was cool.

    Off to Fantasyland. First was the teacups (I watched), followed by more characters close by, Alice and the White rabbit. Philharmagic next, followed by getting fast passes for Pooh Bear.

    We had an early lunch at Cosmic rays. The girls had turkey sandwiches, and the guys grilled chicken sandwiches. The new mango gelato was a big hit.

    After lunch was Pooh Bear ride, then Tomorrowland. Fast passes for Buzz Lightyear, then we rode Carousel of Progress. After Buzz, we went to the Laugh Floor, then off to Epcot for dinner.

    Once at Epcot, the girls insisted on Spaceship earth, which was a walk on. We then took the boat over to Morocco and walked to japan. Dropped the girls off at Kidcot for coluring, and Brendan and I looked around Mitsukoshi. Brendan's a huge Pokemon fan, so he got one plush.

    Dinner was at Teppan Edo, and strangely enough, we were sat with another Canadian family who had twins. The chef was really funny, as your paying not only for food, but the presentation. The girls had chicken, Brendan had swordfish, and I had steak and shrimp.

    While the presentation and food were amazing, I felt that compared to the similar style restaurants I've been to at home we got very little food. Your main meat plus a handful of noodles, zucchini and onions. I left hungry, while at home I'm stuffed.

    After dinner we went back to the hotel and got a couple free DVDs for the room. Jessica and I cuddled up on the balcony to watch Wishes.

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    Re: Cyopick New Year's Trip: Dec 31 - Jan 11th

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Great trip report!

    I'm curious about that Famtasmic package though, how long is the wait without it?
    We have done Fantasmic with and without the meal package. It completely depends on the time of the year you visit the park. Is it a busy time or slow time. Is there multiple shows that day? Or is Fantasmic only performing a couple times a week.

    We didn't stand in the 2 hour line during value season, with one show a night and still were able to sit together and have a great view. At Christmas we did the dining package, plus the sit down dining at DHS beats the cruddy counter service at the Studio's.
    Some people are like Slinkies.

    They aren't really good for anything,
    but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.

    Friends are Gods way of apologizing to us for our families.

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    Re: Cyopick New Year's Trip: Dec 31 - Jan 11th

    Day 5 - Welcome Home Wednesdays

    Today was our rest day, so after a sleep in, we took the bus to Hollywood studios, then a boat to the Epcot resort area.

    We arrived just before noon, and since we had never been in that area before, I decided to get off the boat at the Yacht Club and walk around. What a gorgeous area. I can see why people love it.

    WE all got huge sandwiches from the bakery for lunch. the only setback for the day was that a seagull almost hit Brendan, attacking him for his bread. We had to stay clear of the birds for the rest of the day.

    We checked out the hotels, including the huge water slide near cape may restaurant. Not sure which hotel that is part of, but the kids definitely want to stay there in the future.

    The shops were nice, and finally found a long sleeve dress shirt, as I have more than enough short sleeve Disney polo/golf shirts. Jessie got a fantasia costume for her Duffy, and Ciara got a lanyard.

    At around 2pm the doors opened for the Welcome Home Wednesday meeting. We had a fantastic time watching Deevy be the hostess of a Jeopardy style game show. Say what you want about her brash style, but she knows how to play a room.

    I felt a bit silly talking to the man sitting beside me about running. He was telling me that even a "basket case" like me can learn without risk of injury by following his plan. Ended up being Jeff Galloway, Olympic runner.

    After the meeting, we walked over to England in Epcot for some "chips" as a snack and some coloring at the Kidcot coloring spot. I got my picture with Tigger and Pooh while waiting for the kids.

    Dinner was at Kouzzina's. I love cat Cora on tv, and her restaurant didn't disappoint. Brendan had a greek salad to start, and the girls had yummy chicken noodle soup. Brendan's main course was a huge leg of lamb, I had the seafood stew (minus the fennel), Ciara had grilled chicken with pasta, and Jessie Mac and cheese with sweet potato fries. Dessert was the lava cake for Brendan, Baklava for me and the girls had fruit cups. probably the second best meal I had in four years at WDW, next to my birthday meal in Le Cellier.

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