Trip Report: Couple's trip 11/26-12/3


#1

Background information: My husband, Robert, and I have been wanting to go back to WDW since we were there last in 2007. Nine LONG years is way too long to be away from the World. He is 32 and I am 28 and we currently do not have children. I have a super principal who approved my missing a week of school to go on this wonderful trip.

Day 1: Flying in, DME and Animal Kingdom

We are from western NC and the closest major airport is an hour and fifteen minutes away in Charlotte, NC. We have flown out of CLT several times and know how to get around pretty well. My mother and sister were our chauffeurs to the airport that morning. Of course, when you tell anyone in my family to be somewhere at 6 am, someone will be late. Today it was DSis's turn to be the tardy one. We left the house around 6:15 and made it to the airport by 7:30 for our flight scheduled to leave at 9:25. They dropped us off, we checked our bag, and went through security in quick fashion. Before we knew it, it was time to board and we made it to MCO in the blink of an eye.

Since it had been 9 years since our last Disney trip, we were unsure of how DME would go but despite the VERY long lines, we made our way to the line for POP! Century rather quickly. We just missed the bus that was already loading by about 15 people but the next bus arrived about 20 minutes later and we were on our way. It felt like the DME ride only took minutes and we were pulling into POP! in record time.

We knew we wanted to get to a park as quickly as possible so we dropped our carry-on bags with bell services. I had not received a room ready text so I stopped by the lobby to talk with guest services. We were met by the nicest man named Felipe who basically allowed us to choose the room we wanted from the available ones on his screen. We submitted a TP room request but it was messed up by the changing of reservation numbers on Disney's end. We ended up in 3459 which was really close to the lobby and on a very quiet floor. It was on the wing of the 50's building I wanted so we jumped at it.

When we were finished with choosing our room, we headed to the buses to catch the next one for AK which was only 4 minutes away. We boarded with a handful of other people and were off. When we arrived at AK, we went through bag check and were both selected for additional screening. We both quickly turned the Mickey's green and were hurriedly walking to Flame Tree BBQ because neither of us had eaten more than a granola bar since we woke up. We ordered two of the fries with pulled pork and cheese and were very satisfied with our choice. We needed something to hold us over until an early dinner at Yak & Yeti.

We had FPP reservations for It's Tough to be a Bug and the Meet & Greet with Mickey and Minnie back to back so we did those first. The M&G is where I turned into a blubbering little kid. I cried harder than I can remember and Minnie just held me and rubbed my back. The pictures are awful because my eyes were red and puffy. I'm sure the family behind us in line was ready for me to take myself outside but it was just so magical. After composing myself, we took the train to Rafiki's Planet Watch to meet Rafiki, Chip and Dale. DH and I had no interest in the petting zoo so we made our way back to Africa for a late afternoon ride on the Safari. We saw many animals including a hippo out of the water.

It was then time for our reservation at Yak & Yeti. We were seated upstairs which was much quieter than below. We liked the theme of the restaurant and the food was good. We used our Landry's card with birthday points and start-up points to get a free meal (we did tip). I'm not sure we would go back but the food was decent. We like the food at a local Asian place better.

After dinner, we took a bus to Disney Springs. I wanted to get more Potato Head parts but I was sorely disappointed in the selection. The only parts we didn't have were Star Wars related and I am not interested in that so we left quickly. Also, the walk to and from the bus stop to the World of Disney and Once Upon a Toy stores was terribly crowded and much longer than I would have imagined. We were back on the bus to POP! after an hour and a half.

To be continued...


#2

#3

Yay! Thank you for writing a report! Nine years - wow! What a great picture! How was Flame Tree?


#4

Flame tree was delicious. We ate there twice: once for snacks and once for lunch.


#5

Day 2: Magic Kingdom by Day

Day two started bright and early with a 9 am rope drop at the Magic Kingdom. DH and I were on the bus stop by 7:45 and caught the first bus that came. When we got to the MK, they were directing all foot traffic to the left side of the entrance and only the left side was doing bag check. We made it through bag check and once again, we were randomly selected to go through security. I stationed DH in a line on the left side and wandered over to the right side to see if they would be letting people in over there. The answer was yes so I quickly corralled DH and we were 4th and 5th in line behind a family of 3. The right side quickly filled up once people realized that they would be let in over there.

We made it through the tapstiles around 8:20 and briskly walked to the second holding area just outside the tunnels. A VERY enthusiastic lady was keeping the crowds at bay that day. She was talking to anything that would stand still long enough. I liked her but DH declared it too early for that type of excitement. HELLO??? Why are we here if not to be excited about getting out of bed before 6 am on vacation to try to beat other people to our ride of choice?

Mickey did his lovely countdown and we were off; quickly stopped by the rope being held across. We made our way down Mainstreet USA and made the turn for Tomorrowland. We rode Space 2 times before heading to other lands. We rode the teacups and Dumbo and set off towards Gaston's Tavern for his first set of the day. After meeting Gaston, we had our first FPP of the day at 7DMT and then as we were making our way to BOG for and early lunch, we met with the stepsisters because they had a fairly short line.

Lunch at BOG was everything I had ever hoped it would be. We were some of the first people in with a lunch reservation so we quickly made our way to the West Wing and found a table. After a few pictures of the rose and getting our drinks, our food was on our table. We both ordered the braised pork, DH had the raspberry sorbet (low sugar diet) and I had the strawberry cupcake. The pork melted in our mouths and very little conversation was made until our dishes were clean. We lingered over lunch for a few minutes until table vultures started lurking in the doorway. We toured the other rooms and took pictures and made our way towards the exit.

After lunch, we met with Peter Pan and then had a FPP for Haunted Mansion since it was the last day it would be available during our trip. We then went to Adventureland and rode the flying carpets, met with Aladdin and Jasmine, listened to birds in the Tiki Room, heard some bad jokes on the Jingle Cruise and rode Pirates all before the 3 o'clock parade. We saw the parade from Frontierland and walked with purpose towards Big Thunder. We wanted to ride Splash also but by the time we were finished with BTMRR, the line was up to 45 minutes and we knew we could hit it later with a shorter line.

DH was in the mood for a snack by this point and we sauntered to the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor for some of the NSA chocolate and vanilla ice cream for him. I had a chocolate and strawberry sundae in a waffle bowl and couldn't finish it. We wandered the Emporium and other shops on Main Street until we decided to start making our way to EPCOT.

To be continued...


#6

Thanks for doing a report! Cute picture!


#7

#8

I love this picture!


#9

Yay for great principals!! So glad you got to take this trip! Thank you for sharing!!


#10

Great report so far and cute pics! Love Chip and Dale


#11

Day 2: EPCOT by night

After leaving Magic Kingdom in the afternoon, we hopped on the resort monorail to give DH a chance for a short nap. We rode all the way around once and then back to the TTC where we transferred to the EPCOT line to go to our dinner at Chefs de France. Earlier that day I had been able to get an extra FPP for Soarin'. We knew to ask for B1 and we were not disappointed. DH has declared it his favorite ride of the whole trip and I loved it as well.

After Soarin' we hastily made our way to Chefs de France in the France Pavilion. We checked in about 10 minutes early for our 7:40 pm reservation and were seated within 5 minutes. We were greeted by Geraldine who was a superb waitress. She explained the menu carefully and gave us plenty of time to make our decision. We both ordered the duck dish with mashed potatoes and zucchini. Neither of us are a huge fan of sweet potato puree and were able to make the change with no problems. Our bread and beverages came quickly with our entrees right behind them. I have eaten in the real France before and our meal here rivaled anything I ate while there. The duck was very tender, the potatoes were well seasoned and the zucchini was cooked perfectly. We both cleaned our plates and were satisfied. For dessert, DH ordered the chocolate swan and I ordered an apple tart. I have to say that his dessert was better but mine was a close second.

One of our big plans for EPCOT was to have two large, plastic Christmas ornaments signed by the workers of the KIDCOT stations with a holiday greeting in their language and a small picture that represented their country. This night on our way back towards Future World, we stopped at the stations in France, the UK and Canada. The lady from Canada was French Canadian from Quebec and she wrote the funniest phrase: "Bonne anne, gran nez" which translated to Happy New Year, big nose. She wasn't sure of the origins but assured us that it was used widely where she was from.

We came out of the Canada Pavilion just in time to get a decent spot for Illuminations. That show was absolutely breathtaking. DH and I were both in awe of the pyrotechnics and the story of the production.

Afterwards, we made our way to the bus stop where we were surrounded by a school choir who was singing Christmas carols and popular songs while we waited. DH was not a fan of this but I enjoyed it. We went to bed to get ready to go back to EPCOT the next day for more adventures in Future World.


#12

#13

#14

She asks as if she doesn't know LOL


#15

Thanks for the report, love the pictures too :grinning:
So sweet Minnie comforting you, I loved this bit! How we quickly go back to being a kid again at Disney......that's why we love it :heart_eyes:
Look forward to the rest....


#16

Day 3: EPCOT full day

After a good night's rest, we arrived the next morning for rope drop at EPCOT. We were in the crowd that was headed straight to Test Track for our first ride of the day. We quickly designed our car and were on our way to the ride portion. After the ride, DH and I spent a short time looking at the cars on display and at the various activities in the exit area. We were going to do Mission Space afterwards but it was down so I was able to quickly modify our Soarin' FPP to an earlier time. We went to the Land pavilion and rode Living with the Land as a time filler before our time slot for Soarin'. We rode Soarin' in section B1 again and got the same rush of emotions as the night before.

It was still too early to eat our lunch so we went to the Finding Nemo area. We did the Seas ride and Turtle Talk. We had to wait for two shows to finish before going in but I am so glad we waited. I don't understand the technology behind it but Crush was cracking jokes left and right and the way he interacted with the children was nothing short of magical. DH and I had no interest in looking at the tanks so we headed for our lunch at Sunshine Seasons.

I love the flow and choices at Sunshine Seasons. I had the pork dish with a seasonal cupcake and DH had the salmon dish with the NSA brownie. We both enjoyed our food and would go back. I would prefer that this location would allow at least a one time refill on beverages but that will probably not happen.

After lunch, we did Spaceship Earth which we had not experienced on our previous trip. I finally understood the jokes about thanking the Phoenicians and the smell of Rome burning.

We then headed out for World Showcase to meet some characters, explore the countries and get more greetings on our ornaments. Our first stop was Mexico where we met Donald Duck in his sombrero, we rode the Gran Fiesta Tour, had our ornament signed, and saw a few minutes of the Mariachi dancers on our way to Norway.

We were going to be doing all the Frozen stuff later in the week so we had our ornament signed and quickly bypassed the chaos to get to China. We saw the movie which made DH nauseous. He decided it was time for a snack and wanted to walk all the way back to Mexico for a taco so we went. We bought a taco and an enchilada from the stand and ate them on a bench near the baby center. The taco stand didn't have water available but they gave us cups of ice and told us about the free filtered water in the baby center.

We were soon on our way back to China to meet with Mulan. Here is where I turned into "feisty, I will have my way or else" mode. We lined up for the 3:50 meet & greet at about 3:30. We were probably the 10th family in line. Mulan did not come out until AFTER 4 pm and was taking lots of time with the first few families. The character wrangler then announced to the group just before DH and I were to go up, that Mulan would no longer be signing autographs and so that everyone in line could get to meet her, she would only be taking pictures. This made me VERY upset. Here I have lined up twenty minutes early to secure a good spot in line and these people who came in after the set began would be causing me to not get my autograph. HRUMPH. I expressed my displeasure to the wrangler and he said there was nothing he could do. FANTASTIC. I kept my autograph book open though, just in case, which was a good thing. Mulan, being the rebel she is, saw that the man had walked away to talk with someone at the end of the line and said "He doesn't have to know everything" and signed our book quickly and posed for a picture. I was elated! She is one of my favorite characters and going home without her autograph would have been devastating.

We exited the temple in time to catch the middle of the acrobat performance. The skaters were our favorite part. It was roughly 4:30 at this point and I knew we had to go start lining up to have any hope to make it into the Candlelight Processional with NPH. Alas, we didn't make it into the first show but we were told with some certainty that we would be able to get into the second showing. I would up preferring the second showing because it was still daylight during the first one.

After waiting in line for what felt like forever, we were lead to our seats in the theater behind one of those annoying skinny trees. Great. Luckily, once they had let in enough of the dining package people, they lifted the ropes and said we could move up if we wanted. We only moved up by two rows but that cured our pesky skinny tree problem. IMHO, they should remove them and put in more seating. Those spindly little trees are just nuisances.

After the show was over, we sprinted to check in for our reservation at Teppan Edo. They gave us a pager and we walked around the GIANT store before dinner. We were seated with a group of 7 others and settled in for our dinner and a show. The chef did not disappoint and neither did the food. The portions were good and the food was excellent. DH once again declared this his favorite meal (a continuing trend).

We sauntered back to the bus stop, stopping to have our pictures taken at some of the Photopass photographer places set up by the topiaries and by Spaceship Earth. We hopped on a bus (with no choir this time) and went back and crashed for the night.