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Trip Reports & Member Reviews Discuss Amanda's Trip Report Jan 3-10, 2012 in the Vacation Planning forums; Hi all! I returned from WDW two weeks ago today and am finally getting around to posting my TR. It was a really great trip, we took things slower than ...
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    Amanda's Trip Report Jan 3-10, 2012

    Hi all! I returned from WDW two weeks ago today and am finally getting around to posting my TR. It was a really great trip, we took things slower than we normally do and ended up really enjoying it.

    Jan 3rd

    Nate and I were up at about six. Got ready quickly and were out of the house by 6:30am. Mom and sister dropped us off at the airport by about quarter to 8. This was Nate’s first time flying, so everything was new to him, and he really enjoyed the whole experience. Checked our bags, went through security, grabbed a quick breakfast, then spent about 20 minutes hanging out at our terminal before it was time to board. Flight was on time and quick. I’m a nervous flyer, but everything went very smoothly. We had a layover in Raleigh where we were stopped for about 45 minutes then back in the air. Landed at MCO just over an hour later. We landed about 30 minutes before we were scheduled to, so that was great. We headed over to DME where a bus was waiting for us and we were on the road to WDW 15 minutes after we had landed! Trip was off to a great start. We had an awesome DME driver, Luis, who kept excitedly yelling “WE’RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!” He was cracking everyone up and giving tips to first-timers. We made a quick stop at Coronado and then stopped at our resort, All-Star Sports. Bus ride was just under 45 minutes. Quickly did the online check-in at the resort, and were off to room 6121 which just so happened to be a preferred room in the surfing section. Room was off to the side of the building which was nice because it gave us a great location to pool, food court, buses, etc. , but it was not loud like I would expect some of the rooms on the front side of the building to be. Room was nice and clean with a few towel animals waiting for us and looked like it had been recently refurbed, which was nice because I have heard that some of the All-Star rooms are getting a bit shabby. We spent about 20 minutes in the room and off we went.

    First we took a cab to Disney University to take care of a few things. Cab fare from AS Sports to DU was $20! Luckily we didn’t have to use one again on the trip. After DU we headed for the front of MK where we boarded the resort monorail because I was hoping to be able to show Nate the resort Christmas decorations. Unfortunately most of them were gone (parks still had their décor up for the entire duration of the trip). I was bummed because I really wanted him to see the gingerbread house at the GF, but it was gone. The entire lobby did still smell of gingerbread though. We grabbed dinner at the QS at the Grand, which was tasty. He had a shrimp stir-fry, I had a bbq chicken flatbread. Each grabbed a giant cupcake (his German chocolate, mine smores) for our desserts since we were on the dining plan, which we packed up because we were too full to eat them. Jumped back on the monorail and headed to MK. We were both so excited to be back. Grabbed FPs for Space Mountain once we were in. The park seemed to still be pretty crowded from New Years, but crowds died down significantly after that first day. Next we did Pirates, Big Thunder, Haunted Mansion, Philharmagic, Snow White, and then used our FPs for Space Mountain (Nate’s favorite). It was close to 11 pm so we decided to call it a night and headed back to the resort.
    -Amanda


    When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.
    -Walt Disney

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    Re: Amanda's Trip Report Jan 3-10, 2012

    Ducks swimmin' in the Poly pool








    -Amanda


    When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.
    -Walt Disney

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    Re: Amanda's Trip Report Jan 3-10, 2012

    -Amanda


    When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.
    -Walt Disney

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    Re: Amanda's Trip Report Jan 3-10, 2012

    Jan 4

    We got up and had breakfast in the food court. We both had a bacon, egg, and cheese croissant. Mine was good, but Nate’s eggs were watery which grossed us both out. We headed over to AK and were in the park sometime around 10:30. Headed over to Everest but it was down and FPs were already for about 3:30 in the afternoon which conflicted with our ADRs so we didn’t grab them. Headed over to Kilimanjaro instead. Short wait over there and we had a really great safari with lots of animals active. Did the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail next because I wanted to see how the baby gorilla had grown. We didn’t see her in the first gorilla exhibit where you look through the big window, but we did find her on the back side of the trail where we saw her out playing and pulling weeds. Cute and fun to watch so we stayed there for a bit. It was the first time we had seen her away from her mother, but as we were leaving she ran back to mom and grabbed on to her legs. Next we walked over to do Dinosaur, a favorite for both of us. Had a fun and wild ride. Next we headed over to FotLK, my very favorite thing at AK and one of my favorite things in all of WDW. We had a bit of time to kill before the show, so we spent some time checking out all of the Christmas trees that decorated Camp Minnie Mickey. I remembered from my Christmas time ’07 trip that I had seen a couple of character-specific trees in that area that I had enjoyed. This trip we took our time to really explore all the trees and found trees that belonged to Ringo, Pocahontas, Nemo, Mickey, Pluto, Chip n Dale, Stitch, Lilo, Goofy, Donald, Minnie, the Country Bears (we were excited to find that), the Lion King, and a few more. Saw that Thumper rabbit and his girlfriend Miss Bunny were out doing a meet and greet, so I made Nate hop in line with me ‘cause I had never seen him out before and the line was short. Here we encountered the grouchiest CM of the trip. She kept rudely yelling at the guests to move the line over and was watching a few families cut to the front without saying anything. When it was our turn, I asked if she would mind taking a picture with my camera where she snatched it out of my hand, snapped, then held it out for me to get it all in about 15 seconds. I thanked her, but she didn’t speak a word to me in that whole encounter! It was time for the show after that so we went into the theater. Great show as always, and Nate enjoyed it as much as I did. We decided to see Flights of Wonder after that, and Nate grabbed a bite to eat along the way. Don’t remember what he had but it was something I wasn’t brave enough to try. Watched Flights of Wonder, we both really enjoy that show as well. Some of the birds are really funny, but the tour guide act does get a bit old when you’ve seen it so many times. Next was It’s Tough to be a Bug and then we headed out of the park for our 4:40 ADR at Boma. We don’t usually spend that much time AK, but we took our time and really enjoyed it there.

    Hopped a bus to AKL and purposely got there a bit early because it is a resort that we both really enjoy walking around. The Christmas tree in the lobby was gorgeous, then we walked around to rediscover a few of our favorite hidden Mickeys. We walked outside quickly, but didn’t stay long because it was super chilly. Rested on one of the big comfy couches in the lobby until it was time for our ADR check-in. Headed over to Boma about 10 minutes early and were seated right away. We were both so excited to see that our server was Maureen, the same server we had when we first tried Boma the previous April. She is AWESOME! Best server I’ve ever had at any restaurant, in or outside of WDW. She is also so sincere and gave us very nice thank-you cards on our trips there, which I’ve saved. I don’t think we would thoroughly enjoy Boma without her from now on. Dinner was delish, we both love that place. I’m a super picky eater so I was a bit unsure of eating there the first time we went, but now it is a must do. The ribs and peanut butter rice are great. There is such a big selection of food and a nice American section if you really don’t like the other choices they have. And of course the dessert bar is fantastic, best desserts in WDW in my opinion. We were sorry to leave, but we were both so full we were about to bust so we headed out to the lobby and sat for a bit again (we were both pretty sleepy), but decided we would head over to MK for a bit before we called it a night.

    Got to MK and headed to the People Mover. We were both frozen after that (the first two days there it was super cold, but warmed up nicely after that) so we explored the shops on Main Street until parade time. Watched MSEP (fun, but I sure miss Spectro) and called it a night since we were both scheduled to work the following day.
    -Amanda


    When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.
    -Walt Disney

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    Re: Amanda's Trip Report Jan 3-10, 2012





    Can you find DeVine?




    -Amanda


    When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.
    -Walt Disney

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    Re: Amanda's Trip Report Jan 3-10, 2012



    Chip n Dale's tree


    Stitch's tree




    Lion King tree
    -Amanda


    When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.
    -Walt Disney

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    Re: Amanda's Trip Report Jan 3-10, 2012







    Can you find the hidden Mickey?




    The windows of the Emporium told the story of Mickey's Christmas Carol.
    -Amanda


    When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.
    -Walt Disney

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    Re: Amanda's Trip Report Jan 3-10, 2012

    Dec 5th

    We were up early this day to get ready for work. Nate left the room at about 7:30 to catch a bus to Epcot and then catch a bus to Riverside from there for his bell services shift. I hung out in the room for about an hour and half by myself until it was time for my shift. What a weird feeling being in the room alone for that long—I have always been on the go with my family for all of my Disney trips. I enjoyed the quiet time though. Watch a show about Adventures by Disney and crocheted. Headed over to Epcot when the time came. It was strange and excited to head backstage to base and get ready for work. Totally enjoyed seeing everyone and ended up have a nice, although long day at work. I worked a cart in FW West, right under the monorail line and across from the Imagination Pavilion. I like that cart because of the great atmosphere and views it provides. We stayed pretty busy the entire day. The person who worked with me got off an hour before I did, so I was hoping that I could remember all of the cart closing procedures. Luckily I did, and even did it timely which was a surprise to myself after being gone so long. Cleaning out the popcorn machine is the most tedious part, but it passed the coordinator’s inspection, so we were both pleased that I didn’t have to keep either of us over. Nate was in the park waiting for me at that point. He headed into Club Cool while I headed backstage again. I caught up with one of my managers and a few others that I had missed. Nate and I met back up and then caught a bus to Saratoga where we then headed for Downtown Disney.

    We were both starved so first thing we did was eat. We tried the Wolfgang Puck QS option, which ended up being super yummy and a great choice because it is a great deal if you are on the dining plan. Our meal came to like $46 for the two of us! It was more than enough food for two people though. We ordered pizza, which were individual, generously sized pizzas. Crème brulee for dessert, first time eating it for both of us, and we were both fans (although I think I enjoyed it a bit more than he did). Overall a great meal that I would recommend if you are on the dining plan. We just shopped around in the Marketplace after that and hit most of the stores. I got my mom a Victorian style Mickey and Minnie ornament from the Christmas store to match a few other decorations she already has. We were both worn out from working, so we decided to head back to our resort around 10.
    -Amanda


    When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.
    -Walt Disney

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    Re: Amanda's Trip Report Jan 3-10, 2012

    Dec 6th

    We decided to start out our day at Epcot. I was anxious to get back there after being there the previous day but not getting to do any attractions. We walked over to the Land first and checked the wait time for Soarin’ , which we decided was too long. Once again, FP time coincided with our ADR at the Studios so we decided to skip it and try again another day. We did living with the land instead, which we love. It is a favorite for both of us at Epcot. We noticed a decent amount of new things growing in there since we were there last spring, so that was nice. Next we walked over to Test Track and got FPs then did Mission Space (orange). Nate loves this ride, I think it’s okay…it often gives me a headache while I’m in there. We walked all the way back over to FW West after that and checked out the Seas. First we did the Nemo ride (the EAC part is so cute), then we took our time exploring the aquarium. Nice and relaxing. We watched the dolphins for quite a while since they are my favorite and I think Nate was as mesmerized by them as I was. We checked out some of the smaller exhibits after that, where we saw some pretty unique fish. After that we used our Test Track FPs. We had a 4 pm ADR for Hollywood and Vine so we decided it was time to head out of the park. On our way out of the park via the International Gateway, we saw Ariel standing all by herself with no one in sight. It was really strange. Nate knows she’s my favorite princess, so he told me to stop and get a picture with her. After that we took a boat over to the Studios.

    It was time to eat once we got there so we headed for Hollywood and Vine. We both agreed it was our least favorite meal of the trip. Food was mediocre at best. We could’ve gotten the exact same meal from a regular buffet of American cuisine here. We had issues with a few things—the beef from the carving station was much too rare for either of our liking and was very cold. Gross. The strawberry shortcake for dessert was literally frozen—the strawberries were frozen with ice and even the cake part was filled with ice shavings. Not my idea of good strawberry shortcake. There were a few good items. We both liked the mac n cheese, I liked the cornbread casserole, and Nate thought the pork loin was good (and he is not normally one to like pork). Everything else was either just okay or we didn’t care for it. We were not a fan of our server either. We each went without a drink for at least 10-15 minutes at separate times. Once he brought us the bill, I was going over it to see how much of a tip to leave and he stood right next to me and stared at it the whole time while I figured out what to give him. It was very awkward. I was expecting him to walk away and come back for it in minute, but he did not. I felt rushed and ended up scribbling down the amount for 20% gratuity since he was staring at it, but he really didn’t deserve it. We left and had a little bit of time to kill before Fantasmic (we did the Fantasmic dinner package) but not enough to ride anything, so we just took our time looking through the shops. We headed for the show about 30 minutes prior to show time and entered the theater via a path behind ToT. We were seated in the very center of the theater in the first few rows. I was surprised that we both thought this seating really added to the show (since every seat seems to provide a nice view). It was exciting when the boats went by on the water right in front of us, especially at the very end. We both love Fantasmic and had a great time. Would definitely do the dinner package again, but choose a different restaurant to eat at.

    Next we headed to the Streets of America for the Osborne Lights…they are so amazing. Spent a lot of time back there just enjoying the atmosphere. Nate was so impressed with the way they danced. It wasn’t crowded at all and was nice to have the snow fall on us without the cold that we are used to! Nate also had a lot of fun searching for all of the hidden Mickey’s within the lights. When we were finally done, we did the Star Tours, GMR, ToT, and RnRC, all of which had short waits. It was late by then so we caught a bus and called it a night.
    -Amanda


    When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.
    -Walt Disney

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    Re: Amanda's Trip Report Jan 3-10, 2012











    Can you tell the park was empty?




    Mural at Hollywood & Vine


    -Amanda


    When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.
    -Walt Disney

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    Re: Amanda's Trip Report Jan 3-10, 2012







    -Amanda


    When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.
    -Walt Disney

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    Re: Amanda's Trip Report Jan 3-10, 2012





    Last edited by Thumper10; 01-25-2012 at 12:26 PM.
    -Amanda


    When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.
    -Walt Disney

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    Re: Amanda's Trip Report Jan 3-10, 2012

    AW!! i so wanna wait and go for november to see the deco for christmas.. but that means i have 10 months til disney.. so sad
    All Star Sports July 2006
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    Chrissy

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    Re: Amanda's Trip Report Jan 3-10, 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy&Tayen View Post
    AW!! i so wanna wait and go for november to see the deco for christmas.. but that means i have 10 months til disney.. so sad
    It's worth the wait. The parks and resorts are beautiful around the holidays and the extra stuff to see & do is great!
    -Amanda


    When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.
    -Walt Disney

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    Re: Amanda's Trip Report Jan 3-10, 2012

    Jan 7th

    This ended up probably being my favorite day of the trip. We woke up a little late then went to the food court. It was about 11 so I got a Mickey waffle for breakfast and Nate had a burger for lunch. We then decided to go back to AK since we had missed Everest on our previous visit. When we got there, it only had about 10 minute wait. Had a fun ride and then did the Maharajah Jungle Trek. I was wanting to do this so I could take a picture of the Komodo dragon. One of my roommates worked the trek during my CP, so she came to love the Komodo, who she named Bradley. I took a picture of Bradley and sent it to her and said the he missed her. She replied to me that I had made her day, so I was happy. We left AK after that since we had covered it all a few days ago.

    I wanted to catch a bus to Pop Century so we could check out the Art of Animation construction. It is coming along quickly and looks like it will be a lot of fun. It was a hot, sunny day out so Nate and I ended up sitting out by Pop’s pool. The CMs were playing short clips of music and guests had answer sheets to fill out what songs they were playing. The first round was just Disney songs, the second round could be anything. Nate and I ended up winning the second round.

    We ended up sitting by the pool for a bit longer and then decided we would go mini golf, since we had free vouchers. We have played both courses at Fantasia Gardens before, so we caught a bus to Blizzard Beach and went to Winter Summerland. There was a very nice CM there who gave us a magical moment by telling us that we could play both courses, even though our vouchers were only supposed to be good for one. We ended up having a lot of fun there. It is a fun place to check out if you’ve never been and there is a lot of attention to detail, some if it very humorous. If we wouldn’t have had the free vouchers, we wouldn’t have gone…it is so expensive! $12 a person…that is $50 for a family of four to mini golf…or almost $100 if you play both courses—crazy. It was a nice break from the parks and provided us a relaxing afternoon though.

    When we were done golfing, we caught a bus to the Poly for our ADR for the Spirit of Aloha. We walked around the resort a bit before it was time to check in—it is our favorite. Dinner was yummy and so was dessert (chocolate mousse shaped like a volcano drizzled in raspberry sauce..mmm). The pineapple coconut bread was also delish, and I don’t even like pineapple. Ribs and baked chicken were great too. Show started off a bit slow, and the storyline is a bit cheesy, but once it gets into the traditional luau part it is great. I had seen it when I was little, so I knew what to expect, but this was Nate’s first time and he loved it. Great way to spend our evening, overall.

    We caught the monorail and headed back to MK after dinner. The park was empty and we had a lot of fun. Did Aladdin’s carpets (there was no line at all), Tiki Room (first time seeing the original…I really liked it! Nate said it was weird and he wasn’t sure what the point was..lol), Jungle Cruise (great skipper who told some new jokes), Pirates, Splash Mountain (my favorite!!), Big Thunder (a favorite for both of us and so fun in the dark), Haunted Mansion, Small World, Space Mountain, and Buzz. We got a lot done in a short amount of time.
    -Amanda


    When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.
    -Walt Disney

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