View Full Version : Springtime for Danny: A WDW Trip Report
04-29-2011, 05:31 AM
Good morning, all. So I just re-read the entire thread from my last trip report a few months ago. And it seemed to generate such fun comments from all of you that I thought I'd give it another try. In the past I've taken great notes with the idea of writing a report once I get back home. But this plan has never worked at all, as I get home and get busy and just sorta don't care about writing any more. Last trip's report, done daily DURING the vacation, was a lot of fun, so that's what I'll be doing again.
It's still 2 days before I leave on Sunday, but since I have a lot of time today I thought I'd go ahead and get started by posting my plans for the week. We'll see how close I come to keeping this plan. One of the joys of travelling alone is the ability to shift gears at any time depending on how I feel. For once I have no real physical problems going in - no cold, no bad toe, shoes are fitting nicely, and I've been getting some good exercise over the past 6 weeks. So, here's the grand plan -
Early flight Sunday. Way too early for me (6:45am from Dallas!), but it was the only non-stop I could get on that day. I'll hit Orlando just after 10am, pick up my rental car (really cheap this time - $145 for 6 days!), and head to the Pop. Hopefully they'll have my room ready that early. After checkin and a quick change to park storming clothes it'll be off to the MK. I usually start in Epcot, but since the Liberty Belle is going down on Monday for a refurb I thought I'd catch a ride, then see the new Haunted Mansion. Lunch at the Plaza (first time there), and then over to Epcot for the rest of the day. Dinner at Coral Reef, drinks at the Rose & Crown, IllumiNations, and back to hotel.
Day 2 starts out with breakfast at the Crystal Palace in the MK BEFORE the park even opens, which should be pretty cool. Lunch at Cosmic Ray's, then I'll rent a Sea Raycer from the Contemporary Marina, and back to my room for the obligatory nap (a pattern I hope to repeat daily). I'm doing something new this time. I usually hit that wall of exhaustion on around day 4, and end up dropping some planned event or dinner because I'm just too tired. This time I have a break built in early. Dinner tonight is at Raglan Road, and then back to bed early. We'll see if this pays off later in the week.
Day 3 I plan to eat breakfast at the Pop's food court and then head into Epcot. Lunch at the Rose & Crown out on the patio, then back to room. Dinner is at the San Angel Inn (I know, shaky reputation, but I still try it every couple of years or so - I really love the atmosphere!), Rose & Crown martinis, and I'm going to try to see IllumiNations from the location near the Futureworld bridge, a place I've never been during the show before.
Day 4 has another breakfast at the hotel unless something better comes along, and then into DAK for the morning. Lunch will be at the Flame Tree (love them ribs!), then hotel. Dinner is at Narcoosee's in the GF for the first time ever, then drinks at Mizner's in the GF, and then into the MK for MSEP and Wishes.
Day 5 I'm going to drive over to the Pepper Market in the Coronado Springs Hotel for breakfast, and then into the Studios. A light lunch of a turkey leg from Toluca Leg Turkey Co., then back to the hotel (love them naps!). Evening will be my last trip back to Epcot. Dinner at the Bistro de Paris (one of my favorite places to dine), the ever popular Rose & Crown for one more round of drinks (I really don't drink that much back in Dallas, but it just seems to really work at the World), and one more showing of IllumiNations (never seems to get old!).
Friday I don't fly out till 5:30pm, so I have most of the day to play. Breakfast will be Tonga Toast at Kona (yum!), then into the MK. Lunch at Columbia Harbour House, and then maybe some park hopping for the afternoon before heading back to the airport.
I'll be hitting a lot of favorites for dining, and also visiting a couple of new places. I'm not trying to do Fantasmic!, as this show is far better in DL and I'll be there at the end of June.
So, that's the plan. I'll try to keep up on the details as things unfold starting this Sunday. YIPPEEEEE - I'M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!!!!
04-29-2011, 03:18 PM
Have fun Dan!
Live it up for us solo travelers :)
I will be staying at POP for the first time in October and can't wait to hear all about it.
I like your itinerary including times for adult beverage ;) this is key...and the naps!
04-29-2011, 06:13 PM
"back to my room for the obligatory nap (a pattern I hope to repeat daily). I'm doing something new this time. I usually hit that wall of exhaustion on around day 4, and end up dropping some planned event or dinner because I'm just too tired. This time I have a break built in early"-dan
Dan, that's my plan also. My mom and Myself did this a few years ago, and it was just perfect! It gave us the beauty of enjoying the nights, not collapsing from exhaustion!
and i LOVE the Rose and Crown for drinks too!! Did you ever try the Mexican tequila bar? If not, add that to your list :)
04-30-2011, 04:44 AM
I will be staying at POP for the first time in October and can't wait to hear all about it.
I've stayed at the Pop multiple times, when budget doesn't let me splurge for a moderate. Pretty decent, OK food court, comfy room. I've never had a problem with noise. It's a value, of course, but I think it's landscaped nicer than the other values.
04-30-2011, 04:45 AM
Did you ever try the Mexican tequila bar? If not, add that to your list :)
I'm not a tequila drinker at all, but I found out a couple weeks ago that they have wine there too, so I may just have to hit it!
04-30-2011, 04:57 AM
Sounds like an excellent plan! I've gone to Narcoossee's using the dining plan and had a great dinner (surf and turf). Really liked watching the fireworks. We had a great table at the window so the view was outstanding! Have fun!
04-30-2011, 06:41 AM
I do want to get a seat by the windows, but I plan on heading into the MK and seeing the fireworks and MSEP up close. I've always heard great things about Narcoosee's, but this'll be a first time, and I'm really looking forward to it!
04-30-2011, 08:39 AM
Have a wonderful time. Looking forward to the day by day report
04-30-2011, 04:46 PM
Well, it's finally here. After months of planning and weeks of counting down, I've just got one more sleep and then I hit the road! Alarm is set for 4:30am, everything's packed but morning toiletries and this computer (and the computer goes in the bag right after this message). I know I said it before, but I just wanna shout it again -
I'M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!!!!
Talk at you from my hotel.
05-01-2011, 03:49 AM
Have a great trip! I love your day by day trip reports, so excited something to look forward to all week, this week!
05-01-2011, 07:06 AM
Have an awesomee trip dan! Can't waitt to hear all about it ******* :)
05-01-2011, 08:18 AM
Sunday, 12:15pm. I just checked in at the Pop. Decent room, GREAT location! I'm having a bad case of the stupids today, which almost cost me bigtime TWICE. I'll tell you all about it, but right now I'm just too danged excited - I'm headed for the Magic Kingdom!!!
05-01-2011, 02:41 PM
Hope you're having a great time Dan. I look forward to reading your updates.
05-02-2011, 03:45 AM
Monday morning -
So things started out very nicely yesterday. I got a great parking spot at the airport, and the bus to my terminal was right there waiting on me. Or so I thought. Turned out that I misread the information monitor, and I wound up at the wrong terminal. After about 10 minutes of wandering around looking for Airtran I realized my error and hopped a terminal link bus to the right terminal. After ticketing and security (I went through the new naked scanner for the first time!) I made it to my gate in time to just get on the plane - no breakfast at all (bummer!). But a decent flight brought me into Orlando, where I made my 2nd error of the day. I left the plane with my book and my headphones, and then stopped in the terminal to put them in my bag...my computer bag.....my computer bag that I had just LEFT ON THE FRIGGIN' PLANE!! I've flown with that bag scores of times and I've NEVER left it behind. A nice gate agent retrieved it for me, but still, brain just ain't working right!!! And then I got to the Pop, got to my room, opened my suitcase, and found a large bottle of lotion (yeah, I have dry skin and use lotion - sue me!) had exploded over everything, including my one pair of cargo shorts that I planned to live in the entire week (sigh . . .). It actually cleaned up pretty well, but for the week I'll have the softest front right pocket ever!
Now, after all of that, I thought as I headed out to the parks that this better be an amazing night.
Since my day was going to end at Epcot, I drove there and got a great parking spot (mnemonic - row 33, Tony Dorsett, famous Dallas running back, number 33). I then took monorails over to the MK, where I arrived at around 1pm, time for my lunch at the Plaza. I have to be honest - as many times as I've been to the World, I never knew this place even existed. Pretty good rueben sandwich with homemade potato chips and great service in a nice little room (maybe 20 tables in the main room - small!). Then I was off for my one and only ride on the Liberty Belle, as it was going down on Monday for refurb. I wanted to also take in the Haunted Mansion and the new stuff there, but the line was really long and I ran out of time. So back to the exits and the monorails to Epcot. I had time for the traditional first ride on Spaceship Earth, and then a long HOT walk up to the American pavilion for the 4:15 Voices of Liberty show. Nice surprise here - not only did the group feature my favorite large blonde soprano, but the original leader, the guy who most of the time now is a Dapper Dan, was back! Incredible sounding group, and the crowd just went crazy at the end as they sang America. Really, standing ovation that went on and one - very gratifying that people can still respond to great music like that! A showing of the American Adventure (yeah, I napped a tiny bit!), and then time for Paul Revere & the Raiders at the American Gardens Theater. There was a space to sit, but it was totally in the hot sun and just way too hot for me. Standing in the back of the theater in the shade was much better. Paul has a fairly new lead singer, and the group has never sounded better. Very fun show, and terrific harmonies on those old classic hits.
Now it was time to walk back to the north end and dinner at the Coral Reef. I stopped off at the Rose and Crown Pub just to see what was up. Pam Brody was playing, but she stopped cold when she saw me and said "OH - where have you been? Are you going to sing? Everybody, this guy is a really great singer!" And now everyone in the pub is looking at me as if I'm a celeb or something, which is actually kinda cool even if it isn't true. I told her I'd be back later, and headed on up to the CR. A great table by the glass, nice dinner (although this menu is still too simple!) of crab cake appetizer and grilled mahi mahi and a glass or 3 of a tasty gerwurstraminer, and a fun lady server.
Time to head for the pub to finish what the wine started! Always a fun time (and yes, I did get up and do my traditional Danny Boy to a rousing response from the crowd!), and out to watch IllumiNations. There was a rumor online that the fire barge was going down in the near future, but it was working nicely last night. Cigar time and a walk around the World Showcase, and back to my room for a very good night's sleep (by bye, Osama!!!).
I'm off to the MK for breakfast at the Crystal Palace BEFORE the park opens, which I've never done before - should be cool! More later.
05-02-2011, 04:53 AM
Oh, good gravy! What a start to your vacation. But it sounds like it has gotten a lot better. I definitely have to try the Plaza, we have never eaten there in all our trips either.
Have fun at the CP, I love walking down Main Street in the early morning with no one there.
05-02-2011, 11:34 AM
omg danny we must have just missed each other at least once or twice . pam was in rare form sun nite . i must have been at the paul revere show when you had your big show biz break . we finished up our evening with dinner @ canada & then the great news @ 2300hrs about OBL . we also had lunch @ the PLAZA IN W.K. . GOD BLESS OUR MEN & WOMEN IN UNIFORM & MAY HE CONTINUE TO BLESS THE UNITIED STATES OF AMERICA.WE DID NOT TIRE, WE DID NOT FALTER , & WE DID NOT FAIL.
05-02-2011, 12:29 PM
Are you going to be here all week? I'll be back at the R&C Thursday night, and I'm sure I'll allow myself to be coaxed into singing!
05-02-2011, 12:53 PM
Monday afternoon -
I've been enjoying just kicking back in the hotel room for most of the afternoon. BTW, Disney has the absolute WORST cable TV system in the country! But I've been mostly watching CNN and Osama news while dozing, and it's been very pleasant.
I forgot to mention an odd incident that happened yesterday. On my Spaceship Earth ride, the family in line right in front of me included a 4 year old boy who started freaking out the closer he got. His idiot parents didn't even try to chill him out or give him the option to back out - they just picked him up and plopped him into the vehicle. So of course now he's screaming his head off! A CM, thinking she was helping, gave him a flashlight to ease the fears of the dark. Well, this might have helped him, but it totally ruined the ride for everyone in front and in back of him, as he proceeded to spotlight everything, swinging the light wildly from side to side, while still whimpering and occasionally crying out loud! Sorry for the little dude, but for me it was a very unpleasant ride (stupid parents!).
Anyway, I woke up sorta early this morning and headed into the MK for my early breakfast at the Crystal Palace. It was no great shakes, just standard breakfast buffet fare, but it was not bad at all, and the characters were fun. They kept harping on the fact that I was alone, to which I always replied with a smiling "party of one!" I finished up right at 9am, and headed to Fantasyland for my traditional storming of the dark rides. Rode Pan, Snow and Pooh all in about 1/2 an hour. I really like the new queue for Pooh! Not that there's much of anything for me to do, but still it was done very nicely, and kids were having a blast! I enjoyed a ride on Buzz (low score for me - around 200,000 - lousy!) and Stitch (fairly lame as always, but I sat down in the front row, which was different), and then over to the Haunted Mansion. As I passed the Hall of Presidents a show was just starting, so I detoured into there on my way to the HM (see, nice being a single stormer - you can change up at a moment's notice!). I saw the Liberty Belle running, which kinda ticked me off (I'd made a special trip in to ride yesterday, as it was supposed to be down all week). The CM there said that it now won't be going down till Wednesday, and it's more for construction out in the loading dock area. Ah well. I really enjoyed my first time through the new HM queue. There's been some chatter online that this new queue is poorly done and doesn't work with the HM theme, and I completely disagree with this. People were enjoying the stuff, touching everything and just taking their time through the queue. And that new ending with the hitchhiking ghosts - WOW!!! I was sitting in the middle of my doom buggy, and the ghost first sat right on top of me, then was smart enough to know that I was alone, so he just slid over to the left before taking my head off of my shoulders and blowing up my head like a balloon. Just incredibly cool, and I can't wait to try it again!!!
Lunchtime at Cosmic Ray's. I wasn't hungry enough for my usual cheesesteak sandwich, so I just went with a burger. I'm sure this burger was very tasty when it came off of the grill, but that was at least 30 to 60 minutes or more from the time it was served to me (probably microwaved to make it hot). But after adding in the fresh mushrooms and onions it was fairly tasty. I so enjoy my time with Sonny Eclipse (the biggest little star in the galaxy!). One of these days they need to put out a CD of the show. The park was pretty crowded, the day was pretty hot, and I was pretty pooped, so it was back to my room for a nice rest.
I have an easy night tonight, which is great cuz I think I'm still recovering from yesterday. I go to Downtown Disney for a first time dinner at Raglan Road, followed by a little time wandering around the night spots and then back to the hotel for an early night. Thanks for all of your responses - this has become a totally fun part of my vacation!
05-02-2011, 01:06 PM
Were also going in October, have a great time..
05-02-2011, 01:07 PM
Your making me jealous Dan, Glad your having fun. Great report so far...Any pics?
05-02-2011, 01:45 PM
Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to reading about your day tommorrow!
05-02-2011, 02:14 PM
GOD BLESS OUR MEN & WOMEN IN UNIFORM & MAY HE CONTINUE TO BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.WE DID NOT TIRE, WE DID NOT FALTER , & WE DID NOT FAIL.
Dan- just curious- were people extra patriotic today? I know here in Boston, people were wearing Patriotic stuff- did you see any of that?
I just love your reports- they keep me goinggg for the rest of the week- til it's my turn :)
05-02-2011, 05:12 PM
Dan- just curious- were people extra patriotic today?
Well, people on vacation at WDW tend to unplug from everything, so I'm not entirely sure that a lot of people knew about it.
05-02-2011, 07:10 PM
Did the live in a bubble today?? lol jk
05-03-2011, 03:18 AM
Tuesday morning -
Last night was a planned easy night, and it couldn't have been a smarter decision. I was really wiped out by the park storming and the HEAT, even more so than usual. I think I just might be getting old! Or it could be that I'm sadly heavier than I've been in the past, and the ol' bod just isn't used to schlepping these 282 pounds around. But for whatever reason I was toast yesterday, and really looking forward to just going to Downtown Disney. I got there with a little time to kill before dinner, so I wandered around, did a tour of the World of Disney store (man, I could spend some bucks in there!), and ended up sitting by the water with a pina colada from a little margarita kiosk. Dinner at Raglan Road was pretty fine, with a crab spring roll appetizer and a 10 ounce whiskey soaked sirloin steak on a bed of mashed potatos and an onion ring on top. Great food, a fine server, and a nice seat looking right at the stage as an Irish duo played a spirited set, featuring a lovely Irish dancer on one tune. I finished stuffed, and again was so happy that I just had to go back to my room for an early night.
A quick complaint about the TV in my room. They've put in a smallish wide screen, which is nice. Unfortunately this thing is programmed to display everything in wide screen 16x9 format. Most of the stations they have on their cable system don't play 16x9 programming, so everything is very stretched out too wide. You can reset this with the buttons on the side of the screen, but when you turn it off it defaults back to the 16x9 setting. Very irritating - they need to come on in to the 2000's and program these screens right!
I'm off to Epcot for the day - more this afternoon.