Fifth Anniversary/1st WDW Trip - December 16-23, 2007 - Boardwalk Villas
Keri & Josh Murcray ~ December 16 23 2007 ~ Boardwalk Villas Resort
Travel dates: Sunday, December 16 thru Sunday, December 23
Travel method: flying, town car service
Resort: Boardwalk Villas Resort (timeshare through Interval)
Ages Represented in Group: adults
Disney Resort Experience Represented in Group: 1st trip to WDW, numerous trips to Disneyland
Comments: Celebrating our 5 year anniversary
Cast of characters: Keri trip report writer and Josh my hubby
We love all things Disney and have been avid Disneyland fans for years. My hubby Josh used to work for Disneyland in Security, we celebrated our honeymoon at Disneyland including spending one night in the honeymoon suite at the Disneyland Hotel, and weve had annual passes every year weve been married. For our wedding, our gifts to each other were Premium annual passes and we made quite good use of them. But neither of us had ever been to Walt Disney World and desperately wanted to go someday. As we approached our five year wedding anniversary, we tossed around many different ideas to celebrate. Perhaps a cruise, or a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi, but when we looked into the prices we discovered that we could spend a similar amount of money and go to WDW so we decided it would be a perfect way to celebrate. In fact, our hope is that we can celebrate every milestone anniversary with a trip to a new-to-us Disney resort Disney Paris for our 10th anniversary and Tokyo Disney for our 20th or 25th anniversary.
I have been a huge fan of Mouseplanet for many years and love to read trip reports especially by certain reporters Heidi Commerford, Sheri Niklewski, Steve Russo, Larry from Scotland, Sue Holland, etc. I spent a lot of time researching resorts, parks, tickets, restaurants, etc and had many preferences. But our first priority was where to stay. My sister and her husband have a Lawrence Welk timeshare and through that they can use other timeshare properties through Interval including WDW DVC resorts. They offered use of one of their weeks as an anniversary/Christmas present. As a Christmas gift to ourselves, we purchased a Canon PowerShot Pro Series S3 IS 6MP with 12x Image Stabilized Zoom camera which my uncle had recommended. This trip would be our first major opportunity to use it and Josh enjoyed playing around with it to see what it could do.
We had decided that EPCOT sounded like our most appealing park and wanted to be as close as possible, so when my sister made the reservations we gave our top three choices Boardwalk, Beach Club and Old Key West. She was able to book a Boardwalk Villas studio for the week we wanted to go a room that would have cost us over $2500 ended up costing just the $95 timeshare fee. What a blessing!!! We didnt want to rent a car, so we found Quiksilver Tours & Transportation through Mouseplanet and were able to get our reservation set up to pick us up, have a grocery stop on the way and be taken back to the airport at the end of the week for $105. We wanted to save some money by having breakfast items, snacks and drinks in our room since wed have a mini-kitchen and could avoid eating out for breakfasts every day.
Since my favorite aunt works for United and lives in Denver, we chose to fly United to Florida with a 3 hour layover in Denver. Since she works there, she was able to meet us at our gate and have lunch and give hugs and love. Though it made the trip a little longer, it was worth it to see her. Additionally the prices were similar no matter what, so it made sense financially as well. We departed on Dec. 16 at 6am and arrived in Florida at 3:45pm.
Knowing that we would need to make reservations for certain restaurants, I went online and printed out the menus for every restaurant that sounded appealing from allears.net and Josh and I read through them and made out top choices for meals. When the reservation window opened up, we made ADRs for Cape May Caf (7:30pm 12/16), Ohana (4:45pm 12/18), Le Cellier (1:30pm 12/19), and Raglan Road (6:30pm 12/21). Additionally we made a reservation for a carriage ride at Port Orleans Riverside for the night of our anniversary (9pm 12/21).
Based on advice and information gleaned from my reading of MANY trip reports, pouring over Mouseplanet and Allears articles, and many chats with my hubby we planned out a basic plan of which parks to visit each day. Much of this was based on our dining plans and our interests. We wanted to do one day in each park, with two days spent at Epcot. We wanted some time at Downtown Disney as well. I made lists of all our reservations including ADR and laminated them. I made a grocery list, present/souvenir list, and daily backpack checklist and laminated these as well. We purchased a 2007 WDW PassPorter and read through it. I am not really a huge planner, but I felt it was important to be as prepared as possible in advance and then relax about it once there and let things happen within our basic plan.
We are definitely not park commandos and our goal was not to see and do everything. We both love to relax and actually rest on our vacations and this trip would be no exception. We did not get up early in general and we spent a lot of time in our room relaxing on the balcony. We love to shop, eat, and spend time together, especially in the happy Disney environment.
Day 0 Saturday, December 15, 2007
We spent the day before our trip doing the usual before-trip preparations which also included visiting my sister and her family as she had just had a baby boy the week before. Jonathan had been born on December 7 and we were all enthralled with him and his cuteness! We were sad to be away from all of them, but promised to bring presents for him, his older sister Katelyn (2 ) and the rest of our family. Though we had intended to go to bed early since we needed to leave at 3:30am, we ended up staying up all night. We packed our suitcases, cleaned the apartment so it would be clean when we got home, made plans for our cat to be checked on by the neighbors, took showers and watched some recorded TV. We had recorded a WDW special about the Christmas decorations including the construction of the chocolate sculptures at Beach Club & Boardwalk and the gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian and watched that as we waited for my parents to arrive to drive us to the airport.
Day 1 Sunday, December 16, 2007
My parents arrived at our apartment at 3:30am and helped load our bags in the car and we arrived at the airport just after 4am. We thanked them for driving us and went inside to check-in. Unfortunately, the check-in counter doesnt open until 4:30am, so we had time to sit and wait. It wasnt very busy so once the counter opened we checked our bags and headed to security and then got some breakfast muffins and fruit to eat while we waited for our 6am flight. We were seats 21C and 22C picked for our anniversary (12/21/02) and the fact that they were on the aisle where I prefer to sit. My hubby wasnt thrilled to sit in the center seat, but he loves me.
The two hour flight to Denver went fairly well, but we had some major turbulence especially at the landing which made me feel even more nauseous than flying always does anyways. The snack of ginger cookies and ginger ale was helpful, but I was thankful to get off the plane in Denver for our layover, especially since my Aunty Diana was there with a big smile and warm hugs waiting for us. She works for United so was able to meet us there for lunch which she insisted was her treat. We went to Quiznos as it was close to our departure gate. We picked our sandwiches, chips and drinks and enjoyed lunch. I was still feeling nauseous so just picked at my food and focused on pickles which I LOVE at Quiznos and my soda. We were able to sit and chat for over an hour and get a few pictures and lots more hugs before we had to say goodbye.
Our flight to Orlando took about 3 hours and it went fairly well but also had quite a lot of turbulence. I had some ginger ale with the pretzel snack and napped a bit but was still feeling bad. We arrived around 3:45pm at our gate which was a bit creepy looking due to being under construction so walls were open and pipes and other ceiling stuff was exposed. We grabbed our bags from baggage claim and saw our driver waiting for us with a sign with our last name which Josh thought was really cool. Our Quiksilver driver was Marcello, he was from Brazil and was very friendly and helpful. We rode in a black luxury SUV with lovely leather seats and plenty of room for our three bags and us. We had requested a grocery stop, so he took us to Publix where we had a hour to shop. We bought a 12pack of Coke, bottled water, bagels, cream cheese, butter, 2 kinds of cookies (Vienna Fingers for me a vacation only snack that I love!), mini cereal boxes, orange juice, milk, capri suns, Cheez-its, sparkling cider, a few postcards and some Dramamine.
On our drive to the resort we noticed some differences in Florida not as many fences, lots of green, lots of water, and lots of pools in backyards. We arrived on Disney property and got excited as we saw the purple signs. Our driver Marcello slowed down a few times so we could take some pictures. We soon arrived at the Boardwalk Villas resort and were so excited as it was gorgeous! Marcello dropped us off and said hed be back in a week to pick us up. Bell services took our bags and we went inside the lobby to check-in. We loved the beautiful carousel horse chandelier and chocolate carousel that we passed as we walked in. Marco from Italy helped us and our room (3061) was ready to go. We told him we were celebrating our anniversary that week and he gave us Happy Anniversary buttons. After checking in, we went to the Concierge desk to purchase 6-day park hoppers and also received 1st Visit buttons.
We took the elevator to our room and were excited to see our room was close to the lobby and the elevator and had a beautiful mostly unobstructed view of the back porch and courtyard, Crescent Lake, the Boardwalk and the Beach Club resort across the lake. We had a good-sized entryway, kitchenette, roomy bathroom and comfy bed, couch, daybed, armoire, table and chairs and a quite large balcony due to being in a corner of the building. We had no neighbors to our right and it was a dedicated studio, so no connecting door to another villa.
Our luggage arrived quickly and we unpacked and settled into our room. I was feeling even worse at this point as I had a really bad headache in addition to the nausea and my knees and ankles were feeling achy for some reason. Ive sprained both ankles several times each in the past and often they will start to ache due to weather, pressure changes, extended walking, etc. I took some medicine and lay down on the bed with a makeshift icepack on my head for about 45 minutes while Josh called his parents and mine to let them know we had arrived. Although I still felt bad, we had reservations at Cape May Caf that Josh was especially looking forward to, so we took the boat across Crescent Lake to the Beach Club. It was a pleasant night with a slight breeze. We checked in and waited about 15 minutes for our table to be ready.
Amine was our server and he was very kind and attentive and very concerned that I was not feeling well. He told us about the buffet and was always quick to bring refills of our Coke and water. I have to say that Coca Cola at any Disney park is always the best specifically fountain Coke it is always bubbly and delicious! I had some delicious salmon, boiled red potatoes, AMAZING macaroni and cheese, yummy sliced sirloin, a roll, cantaloupe and some salad. Josh loves a good buffet and he enjoyed everything I had tried, 2 helpings of clams and mussels, some not great shrimp, un-tender corn on the cob, yummy mashed potatoes, delicious shrimp Alfredo and good ribs and chicken. We both had mini key lime tarts, absolutely delicious Oreo bonbons, some cheesecake and another cookie bar like dessert that Josh really liked. Though I tried a little on many things, due to still not feeling well I didnt enjoy it as much as I had hoped, but Josh loved it and more than made up for the little I ate. We had mentioned we were celebrating our anniversary and this was the first night of our week long trip and Amine brought us a special anniversary dessert which was very nice and we got it to go as I just wanted to go back to the room.
We took the boat back, but really should have just walked as it took forever to get back since the Boardwalk is the last of 5 stops and the rocking of the boat did little to help my nausea. Once back in the room, I took a bath to soothe my sore ankles and knees while Josh uploaded the pictures from today to our laptop. Before bed, I called my sister to see how she was feeling and how baby Jonathan was doing. Unfortunately, she and her husband were sick with some kind of awful stomach virus. So her best friend took baby Jonathan for two days so they wouldnt get him sick and so they could get better without also needing to take care of an infant. I felt bad that we werent there to help, but she assured me they would be fine and wanted us to enjoy our trip. Went to bed at 11pm and slept pretty well.
Day 2 Monday, December 17, 2007
We slept in to make up for being awake 42 hours for Josh and 37 hours for me and got up around 11:30am. The bed was quite comfortable and we had no noise from any rooms or hallways. While Josh looked through the Magic Kingdom map and marked rides we specifically wanted to see, I made breakfast. We split a bagel and had some vitamin water and Capri sun to drink. We packed our backpack with a list of items I had made from reading various trip reports and reading articles on Mouseplanet. It included our camera, batteries, ponchos, and a plastic bag to place wet ponchos, a small umbrella, lip gloss, tissues, a small first aid kit, Tylenol, Ziplocs, Passporter, notepad and pen to take notes, sunglasses, water bottles, Capri-suns, and snacks. Josh would carry this each day and while most items proved to be useful, there were some we never even used but we like to be prepared.
After getting dressed and Josh pinning his Anniversary and 1st Visit pins to his shirt we headed out the door at 12:15 and walked down to the bus stop. A bus arrived fairly soon and after stops at the Swan and Dolphin hotels we were at the Magic Kingdom. Josh took some pictures of the Grand Floridian and the Magic Kingdom entrance and then noticed that a young man in a motorized wheelchair had fallen over. He quickly ran over to assist him back into his chair and was thanked by the family with the young man.
We entered the park as the Family Fun Day parade was going down Main Street and we took some pictures and wandered through some of the shops. We took a few photos with silly hats Josh looked best in the Jack Sparrow pirate hat and he thought I looked good modeling his baseball cap. We also purchased pins of each WDW Park, the Boardwalk hotel and Jessica Rabbit. We like to collect anything we can find of her since she is a favorite character of ours and is more difficult to find which makes it more interesting to collect.
We decided to share lunch at Cosmic Rays Starlight Caf before heading onto any rides. We shared the double bacon cheeseburger and chili fries with 2 large Cokes. We really enjoyed adding sauted mushrooms, caramelized onions, lettuce and pickles from the toppings bar and ate our food outside while I updated my trip notes. We like to relax on our vacation and really take time to notice and enjoy our surroundings. So though I know many might wonder how we could waste time sleeping in and shopping and eating on our first visit, to us this was our perfect introduction just taking our time, seeing all the differences from our beloved Disneyland, taking photos, and relaxing on vacation together.
Our plan for the Magic Kingdom was to see things that we dont have at Disneyland and to try some favorites to see how they compare. After lunch we headed to Tomorrowland and our first experience was Stitchs Great Escape. We decided it definitely wasnt scary; it was stinky at times, literally; and while Josh thought it was a lot of fun, I thought it was just okay. Next we headed over for a ride on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority aka TTA aka People Mover. This was something I was really looking forward to since it was always a very favorite of mine and we no longer have it at Disneyland. I was impressed by the working moving sidewalks leading to the ride and was thrilled to ride it again after so long!!! It made me so happy, but Josh just liked the opportunity to take photos of Tomorrowland and make out. After our happy ride on the TTA, we went to another old favorite not at Disneyland anymore Carousel of Progress. We were glad to see it was open and though there werent a lot of people in there with us it was fun to see again. Josh found the song annoying, but I really enjoyed it.
After a bathroom break and some window shopping, we headed to Fantasyland where we took some pictures, got a Fast Pass for Winnie the Pooh and did some more window shopping. Then we went to see Mickeys PhilharMagic. We enjoyed the line and took some pictures inside of the French horns with Mickey heads since my Dad plays French horn. We both LOVED the show. Josh though it was the best 3D attraction and we both loved the music and animation.
Next we walked over to Liberty Square which we found really interesting since it doesnt exist in Disneyland. We did some shopping at Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe and bought the WDW Storybook ornament collection, a Victorian Donald & Daisy ornament for some friends who love Donald, a flat Mickey head with photo of the castle and Tinkerbell for my Aunty Diana, and a Disney holiday scrapbook. We like to collect Disney ornaments and add one each year so this years would come from WDW. We had it sent to our hotel through package delivery which was nice since we didnt need to worry about the ornaments breaking or getting lost accidentally.
We headed over to the Hall of Presidents and took our time looking inside before seeing the show. Josh really enjoyed the time with the presidents speaking and did not enjoy the film as much. I thought it was very interesting and educational and was glad we took the time to see it. At this point it was dinner time, so we decided to try Columbia Harbor House since Id read many good things about it. We shared a Fish basket with fries and coleslaw, Josh got a bowl of clam chowder and we each got a Coke. We LOVED our meal the fish was excellent, Josh loved the chowder, the Coke was Disney perfect and the coleslaw was tasty though I thought that the pieces of cabbage were too large. We enjoyed talking to a nearby family who were from Lithuania which is where my Aunt Rasa and cousin Diana are from.
After dinner, we headed back to Fantasyland to ride Winnie the Pooh. We thought it was a cute ride and much better than the version at Disneyland, and we especially liked the honey pot vehicles and the bouncing with Tigger motion. We then went to Adventureland and tried the Tiki Room. We are both huge fans of the original at Disneyland and really disliked this version immensely. We felt it ended very abruptly and found Iago to be superbly annoying; however we did like the additional Tiki stuff. We took a quick bathroom break and then took a ride on the Jungle Cruise. This is also a favorite, and we really enjoyed the WDW version though we would have liked to have seen it in daylight. Our guide was very funny, and we liked the additions and the fact that it was a longer ride.
We were excited to head over to Frontierland next since we were eagerly anticipating the Country Bear Jamboree. This was a family favorite and we were sad to see it go at Disneyland when the Pooh ride took its place. My dad is a HUGE fan of Big Al and we made sure to record his classic Blood on the Saddle as well as purchasing a pressed penny and stuffed version of Big Al for a gift for my dad. It was great to see an old favorite and it was exactly as I remembered it. When we came out of the show, the Spectromagic parade was passing by and we had a perfect view from the porch. We visited the candy shop to buy some snacks for later a Coconut Haystack, PB Heaven, PB and chocolate fudge, and a snowman shaped Rice Krispy treat. While there we also received a magical moments certificate from the cast member in the store.
We walked back to Adventureland and had a short wait for Pirates. We really enjoyed the entrance which is quite different from the Disneyland version. We enjoyed the ride which was similar though shorter and in a different order with less fire scenes and no waterfalls, but I enjoyed seeing the women holding pitchforks, rolling pins and brooms while chasing the men instead of the PC version at Disneyland with the men chasing the women holding food. While walking back to Frontierland, we saw part of Wishes fireworks and commented on how much larger and darker it is as compared to Disneyland. It was quite nice and actually very quiet in the area we were in.
Our final ride for the night was Big Thunder Mountain which had a 20 minute wait. We both enjoyed the ride and thought it seemed slightly longer than but not as fast as the Disneyland version. We took pictures of Main Street and the castle as we walked out and did some more shopping as well. We got some Jessica Rabbit Hawaiian boxer shorts, a pictorial WDW book and a few Christmas presents. Since we took this trip to celebrate our anniversary, we decided to buy rings to celebrate 5 years and tonight I found the ring I wanted. It was sterling silver with two Mickey heads and 5 diamonds (probably fake, or at least tiny chips) on each side it was about $75 and seemed the perfect choice. I wear it on the ring finger of my right hand and often get compliments on it.
We waited about 20 minutes for the bus which was very full, but we were able to get on and were thankful to be the first stop. We headed up to our room to sort through our purchases, keep track of our spending, and change into comfy clothes. While we had a snack of some of the candy purchased earlier, I called my sister to check on her. They were watching Ratatouille and starting to feel better. Josh had some trouble uploading the pictures to our old laptop which was frustrating. Additionally, as I was taking off my glasses before bed the screw popped out of the right arm of my glasses and fell on the bed. We spent a half hour trying to put the screw back in, almost lost it on the floor and eventually decided to place all the parts in a Ziploc bag until morning when we could hopefully find an eyeglass repair kit in the gift shop. Due to frustration, tears, worry and being cold I ended up not sleeping very well.
Day 3 Tuesday, December 18, 2007
We woke up at 8:30am and Josh called the front desk to see if they sold eyeglass repair kits in the gift shop. Thankfully they did, so he went downstairs to purchase one and then we spent an hour trying to use the old screw but due to being old and stripped it wouldnt stay put. So we finally ended up using one of the replacement screws which worked, but was a bit longer and thus somewhat noticeable, but secure so I was happy and thankful.
After our struggles with my glasses, and discovering that our rechargeable batteries would not recharge, we got dressed and had some breakfast we split a bagel and had some juice and milk. On our way out, we went down to the gift shop to buy more batteries, a pressed penny book and to exchange all our cash and Disney dollars for one Disney gift card which could be used anywhere on property. This was much more convenient and a good choice.
The weather was breezy and cloudy and felt colder than yesterday but it was perfect weather for our taste. We took the bus to the Animal Kingdom and had a quick freak-out while at the Dolphin when the bus driver told us we were headed to MGM. Thankfully he was wrong and we all settled down and made our way to Animal Kingdom. We arrived at about 11am and took lots of photos of the entry which included a beautiful Christmas tree with animal ornaments. Once in the park, we shopped through Discovery Island and took more photos before heading to Africa.
Our first priority was getting a Fast Pass for the Safari and then we took the Wildlife Express Train to Rafikis Planet Watch. While there we looked at all the exhibits, visited Habitat Habit! and Conservation Station. We took a lot of photos, including a picture with Rafiki and Pinocchio. We listened to the Rainforest experience which was neat and then did some shopping. I found this cute kids book where you can insert your face for animal faces wanted to buy it but unfortunately decided not to. It was almost time for our Safari Fast Pass so we took the train back to Africa.
After a 10 minute wait (much faster than the standby line at this point), we got into our vehicle with good seats in the first row behind the driver. Josh took TONS of photos and using the sport mode on the camera they all turned out fantastic!!! We saw lots of animals ostrich, ankole cattle, a sleeping cheetah, elephants, hippos out of the water sunning themselves, crocodiles, rhinos, giraffes, we could barely make out the mane of the sleeping lion and many more animals. We both thoroughly enjoyed this ride and we were amazed at how close we often were to the animals which was quite exciting.
We stopped for a bathroom break where Josh decided he needed to start taking pictures of random things in the bathroom the automatic flush panel, pretty tiles, etc. This tradition continues throughout the trip. We did a bit more shopping and then decided to eat lunch. I had heard many great things about the Flame Tree BBQ so we headed there. We decided to share the rack of St. Louis ribs with baked beans and corn muffin and a fruit plate which included watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, honeydew, orange and HUGE grapes which were about as long as the tines on our fork we took a picture to prove it. The ribs were quite tasty with a good BBQ sauce, the beans were okay and most of the fruit was ripe and delicious. We were surprised to note that there are no lids for the cups and paper straws due to conservation and not allowing litter to be a concern to the health of the animals.
We sat down by the water looking towards Expedition Everest and it was quite lovely and peaceful. While we ate we were able to see a boat with Jungle Mickey, Minnie, Goofy & Pluto which was fun. Additionally I was surprised/freaked out when a bird suddenly appeared right next to my foot as I was reaching down to adjust my shoe! We had intended to ride Expedition Everest; however this was sadly the day that a man had a heart attack while riding and so the ride was shut down for the remainder of the day. We never did get a chance to come back later to ride.
We headed to Asia next and did more shopping before walking the Maharajah Jungle Trek where we saw a komodo dragon, bats and tigers. I did not go into the bat enclosure as they freak me out, but Josh walked through and took a few photos. The tigers were our main interest and we were thrilled to see them. We got some amazing photos that made it seem as if we were right next to the gorgeous tigers. One was sleeping on the rock wall and the other was prowling around on the grass. As we continued to walk through, we got to see another tiger right on the other side of the glass window we were looking through so cool to be inches from a tiger!!!
We didnt get to see everything at Animal Kingdom, but other than Expedition Everest we were able to see everything we most wanted to see. Tonight we had an ADR for Ohana at 4:45pm, so after heading out of the park we took a bus to the Polynesian resort. This was a gorgeous property and we wished that we could stay there someday. The lobby was lovely and we took plenty of photos as we walked around and looked through all the shops. We checked in at Ohana and were quickly seated at a nice table near the grill.
We had three servers Teri, Angel (who was in training) and Leo and they were all quite nice. I ordered a Lapu Lapu (fruit juices and 2 kinds of rum served in a pineapple) which was delicious but ultimately too much for me to drink, and Josh ordered a virgin Pia coloda which was also tasty. First, we were served the salad with lime ginger dressing and fried wonton wrappers with three dipping sauces (a spicy red one, chimichurri, and a peanut one which was delicious). I LOVED the salad and ended up having three servings! Next they brought honey coriander wings, seasoned shrimp in the shell, grilled vegetables and scalloped potatoes. We both really like the wings, Josh loved the shrimp as well as the scalloped potatoes. We thought it was way too much food for the just the two of us though and kept wishing that family could be there to enjoy with us. Next came all the meat skewers turkey, pork, steak and sausage. We enjoyed trying all of them and found that Josh particularly loved the steak, especially dipped in the peanut sauce and surprisingly I liked the pork best due to its tasty marinade and usually pork is not something I enjoy at all. For dessert, they brought our banana (and coconut?) bread pudding with vanilla bean ice cream and simply delicious caramel sauce! It was a very very very good dessert that we both loved. Because our ADR noted our anniversary and they noticed Joshs anniversary button, they also brought us a vanilla cupcake with candles and it was quite tasty with the caramel sauce as well.
After our very filling dinner and a stop at the bathroom (photo of tile floor) we took the monorail over to the Grand Floridian. We loved the beautiful hotel and the very pretty Christmas decorations in the grand lobby. We did some shopping, took lots of photos including outside where we saw the carriage and fancy car used for weddings, and then visited the gingerbread house which we had seen made on the Disney special the night before we left home. It was so neat to see it for real and we bought several gingerbread shingles to bring home to share with family. We were getting tired at this point, so we decided to head back to our resort.
We took the monorail to the Magic Kingdom where the Very Merry Christmas Party was happening that night. Then we took a bus to the Boardwalk and it was stuffed full so we had to stand the whole time. I lost one of my earrings on the bus and never did find it sadly. Once back in our room we relaxed and I called my sister Kelly who was slowly getting better and Josh talked to Kellys husband David about some problems he was having uploading the pictures from today onto the laptop. Ultimately we never were able to upload any more photos and had to buy an additional memory card to make sure our pictures were safe. My feet had really been hurting and my ankles were sore (have previously sprained both ankles numerous times and they tend to ache when walking a lot) so I took a bath which helped and read a book. We had some snacks and worked on trip notes and our budget before heading to bed around 10 or 11pm.
Day 4 Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Josh woke up around 9:30 and let me sleep in while he took a shower. Once we were both awake, we shared a bagel and had some cereal for breakfast. Today we are headed to EPCOT the park were both most looking forward to and where we have lunch reservations at Le Cellier to celebrate our anniversary.
We left our room around 11am and went to the gift shop to purchase a new memory card for our camera. This was a major bummer since the only cards they had were as small as what we had brought, but were twice the price of home. But we needed more space since the laptop wasnt allowing us to upload pictures anymore. After our expensive shopping, we decided to take the boat to EPCOT. The weather was sunny with some clouds and not hot, but not cold a really nice day. We had three major goals today visit each country, get our EPCOT Passport stamped in each country and buy some kind of candy or sweet from each country to bring home to share with our families at Christmas. Once inside, we quickly headed through the United Kingdom to Canada because I thought our reservation for lunch was at 12:30, but it turns out it isnt until 1:30.
We took some time to browse through the shops in Canada where we bought some hockey souvenirs for my brother-in-law David who is a huge fan, some Canadian chocolate to share with family at home and a Passport. We got it stamped at the Kidcot station in Canada and then headed back to the United Kingdom to browse the shops there. We bought some English biscuits (cookies) and I smelled the David and Victoria Beckham colognes. The female one smelled really yummy, but all three male scents were not something I enjoyed. On our way back to Canada we stopped to listen to Off Kilter perform and they were great! We really loved the Celtic rock music and bought one of their CDs.
At 1:30, we checked in at Le Cellier and were seated within 5 minutes in Manitoba. Our server was Brendan and he was very friendly and prompt throughout our meal. He quickly brought out our drinks orders iced tea for Josh and Coke for me (love it!), along with the breadsticks (multigrain, sourdough and pretzel) and lots of butter. We both really liked the pretzel breadstick, but the multigrain was my favorite and Josh preferred the sourdough. Josh decided to try something new and ordered the duck confit appetizer. It was very greasy and gamey tasting (like very strong dark turkey meat) and I didnt care for it, but Josh thought it was alright and particularly enjoyed the berry-like sauce it was served with and was glad he tried it.
For our entrees, Josh ordered the shaved Prime Rib sandwich with fries and he loved it. I ordered the open-faced steak sandwich with blue cheese, tomato and onion gratin with fries. It was really delicious and the flavors went so nicely together. We each decided to try something for dessert Josh ordered the Chocolate Whiskey Cake and I ordered the Vanilla Bean Crme Brulee. Joshs dessert was very moist and delicious, but my dessert was outstanding the very best crme brulee I have ever eaten, before or since (2011 note the crme brulee at Bella Trattoria in the Mission Inn in Riverside, CA is almost as good). It was so delicious that I wanted to lick the bowl it came it but I was able to restrain myself and just scraped it really well with my spoon!
Since our reservation noted that we were celebrating our anniversary, they also brought us a chocolate mousse in a chocolate cup on a plate that had Happy Anniversary written beautifully in chocolate. It was lovely and very tasty though we were too full to eat most of it. All in all this was a fantastic meal with really great service. We asked Brendan to take photo with us and thanked him for the beautiful anniversary dessert and wonderful service.
After lunch we headed over to Mexico and before going inside, I called my brother-in-law David (a crme brulee fan like me) to tell him about our meal and the amazing dessert. We took a quick bathroom break and then headed inside. It was nice and cool and dark inside and we enjoyed taking silly pictures with the huge sombreros. We found some goat milk caramel candy to bring home and a neat-looking Spanish learning game for Joshs brothers family. After our shopping and getting our passport stamped, we got in line to ride Gran Fiesta with the Three Caballeros which was a cute ride that reminded us a lot of a combination on Small World and the Blue Bayou restaurant.
Next we walked through Norway where we saw some Vikings, the Stave Church, trolls and shopped for Troika candy bars and Swedish cookies. We took more silly pictures with Viking hats and a giant troll before getting in a semi-long line for Maelstrom. It was kind of stuffy in line, but we made it through. The ride was interesting and we did stay to watch the Norway film. We also stopped at the Kidcot station to get our passport stamped and get a pressed penny for my collection.
We really enjoyed the architecture in China and got a gorgeous shot of the main circular building and its reflection in the pond. We took silly photos with hats and puppets, and also got to take a picture of Mushu as he walked past us. We stopped at the Kidcot station and then bought some peanut candy for our collection. We took another bathroom break here and then headed to Germany.
We loved the beautiful gingerbread-like building of Germany and lots of neat shops. I was able to find a lovely yellow & white embroidered doily for a gift for my mom (whose family is from Germany and she loves yellow) and it was even on sale. We stopped at the Kidcot station and also got a pressed penny. We also spent quite a few minutes enjoying the huge miniature railroad village and all the details and neat things there.
Italy was next and it was lovely the sun was starting to set and the gondolas looked gorgeous on the pink-hued water. We did more shopping finding a lovely murano glass heart-shaped box for my sister who would love to visit Italy one day, a pressed penny by the Kidcot station and some Amaretti cookies.
America was next and it was very crowded due to the Candlelight Processional which was in progress. Kirk Cameron was the narrator that night and we got some nice photos of him and the choir. We listened to a song or two and it was just beautiful. Next we headed into American Adventure which we thought was an interesting use of animatronics.
We were hungry for dinner at this point, so we decided to eat at the Liberty Inn. Josh had a hot dog and fries and I had a cheeseburger and fries and we both had Coke. The CM who rang up our order noticed Joshs Happy Anniversary button and gave us a free apple pie dessert which was really nice of her. We enjoyed the condiment bar especially the pickles which I had two big helping of. We talked to the people sitting near us about Disneyland, CA Adventure and WDW for awhile and after eating did some shopping. We bought some salt water taffy, did the Kidcot station and took photos of Santa and Mrs. Claus.
By this point, it was already dark so we werent able to take good photos of the buildings in Japan, but we plan to come back tomorrow and go the opposite way around World Showcase so we can make sure to have good photos of each country. We hurried to the Kidcot station where they were apparently bored and so happy to see us that they didnt want us to leave. But we left to do some shopping in the huge store and found some Japanese candy along with some Coffee Beat candy for my brother-in-law David.
Morocco was next and in the dark we found it very confusing with the maze of little streets and alleys. They had no candy or sweets available at all, and we even asked to be sure. I took a fun picture of Josh with a hat next to a camel and after getting our passport stamped we headed to our final country of the day France.
France was beautiful, even in the dark. We did some shopping got some Ratatouille stuff for my godson Matthew, some cookies to share with our family and stopped at the Kidcot station. We had to get pastries, so we got in a long line at the Patisserie and got some snacks a lemon tart, crme brulee, and a chocolate clair along with some water, milk, hot cocoa and a caf au lait. We found a good spot near the water on the little island between France and U.K. and enjoyed our dessert. The crme brulee was disappointing after the amazing one at Le Cellier, but the lemon tart and chocolate clair were both yummy. We had an hour wait until Illuminations and slowly enjoyed our snacks and drinks while talking over our day. I also called my sister to see how she was feeling and though she & David were on the mend, now my niece Katelyn was sick with the same stomach flu. Josh chatted with a man sitting near us about WDW while I also took time to call my Mom to check in with them.
Illuminations was a great show with lots of amazing fireworks. However, we had unknowingly chosen to sit downwind of the fireworks and got all of the smoke and rain of ash throughout the show. It was a very odd sensation as it would sound like it was raining, but was ash and sometimes decent sized chunks of cardboard from the fireworks. We saved one piece and then headed toward the exit. We did some more shopping at the gift shop there including a set of coins from around the world, postcards, an anniversary ring for Josh that was silver with a black enamel Mickey head, and another Passport as a gift for his mom. We wished we had bought it at the beginning of the day, but decided to come back tomorrow for a quick whirl around again since it will make a great souvenir for her.
We took the boat back to the Boardwalk and got some postcards at the Screen Door gift shop before heading back up to our room. We sorted through our purchases, worked on trip report notes and our budget, had a snack of some yummy cherries and talked before heading to bed around 12:30am or so.
Summary of candies from around the world:
Mexico goat milk caramel candy
Norway Troika candy bars and Swedish cookies
China peanut candy
Germany candy? cookies? ?
Italy Amaretti cookies
America salt water taffy
Morocco none exists!
Day 5 Thursday, December 20, 2007
We slept in this morning until about 10:30am and split a bagel for breakfast. While I got ready for the day, Josh headed down to the gift shop to pick up our packages which had been delivered there from our shopping on Monday and Tuesday. Today we were headed back to EPCOT for a quick whirl around the World Showcase to get another Passport stamped for Joshs mom and to take photos of the countries we saw in the dark last night.
It was a nice day and not as warm as yesterday and we walked over to the International Gateway and started in France today. We decided to also collect the country symbols that hang from a mask along with getting the Passport stamped since we thought it would be a cool thing for her to share with her class (shes a 2nd grade teacher). We quickly worked our way through France, Morocco, Japan and USA though we did make sure to take photos of each of those countries on our way. France was just as beautiful in the daylight and Morocco was quite lovely as well.
In Japan we had to stop and get a Kaki Gori since I LOVE shaved ice. I got a strawberry and tangerine one and it was delicious. As we passed through Germany, Josh wanted to try their pretzel but neither of us ended up liking it very much. In Mexico we decided to share something for lunch at the Cantina de San Angel. We shared the combo plate which included a beef burrito, chicken taco and a quesadilla along with beans, salsa and guacamole and a large Coke. The food was really delicious. We quickly finished the rest of the countries and stopped for a bathroom break in the U.K. before heading over into Future World.
Our first ride in Future World was Journey into Imagination with Figment which we both agreed was pretty cheesy and more suited to children. Next we headed to Living with the Land. We both found in very informational, but not boring. Josh wished that he could take a backstage tour and learn more. I really liked the greenhouse part the best. We had a snack at the Sunshine Seasons Food Fair key lime pie, carrot cake, grapes and milk. The pie was tart, but very light, Josh really liked the carrot cake especially since it had a lot of cream cheese frosting and the grapes were firm but not very flavorful.
Next we headed over to the Seas with Nemo & Friends which we both thought was cute, though Josh found the technology used to be very interesting. We looked at a few aquariums and did some shopping here as well. We got a cute Nemo shirt for my Dad and a stuffed turtle for our new nephew Jonathan. Next we walked through Innoventions West and looked for Club Cool the Coke store. We enjoyed tasting different sodas from around the world and both agreed that Beverly is very bitter and tasted a lot like medicine. We both like the ginger ale a lot along with the soda from Mexico which tasted like apple and other fruit. I really liked the Israel soda and Josh liked the Japan soda. We both thought that the watermelon-flavored soda from China was ok, but not great.
We were excited to see that they were doing a soft opening for Spaceship Earth which had recently been renovated and was not supposed to be open yet. We both thought it was interesting and Josh liked the interactive part at the end a lot. I thought it was really neat to finally ride something that I had read so often about and seen pictures of so many times. We did a quick walk through Innoventions East and took a bathroom break as well.
We wanted to ride Test Track next and decided to do the single rider line since the standby line was over 70 minutes long. We had a quick 5-10 minute wait and then ended up in the same car, but in different rows. Josh thought it was jarring at first, but LOVED it. I thought it was really interesting to see the test stuff and was amazed by how fast 64 mph can seem. Josh got a Fast Pass for Mission Space (I decided I wasnt going to try it) and we headed over to Universe of Energy.
Its surprising how fast this 45 minute ride seems to go it definitely doesnt seem as long as it is. We both really like the beginning with Ellen DeGeneres and were able to get a spot to sit along the wall during that point. The ride wasnt full by any means, but there was still a nice group. We both were fascinated by the ride vehicles and mostly enjoyed the show. Ellen was our favorite part as was the Jeopardy stuff. We noticed that the dinosaurs are the same as the ones in the Grand Canyon diorama scenes in Disneyland on the railroad route.
While Josh headed off to ride Mission Space, I found a place to sit and called my mom. While he was glad he rode the ride, he said it was a tight space, a little nauseating and not something he wanted to repeat. But he felt it was realistic and a good ride. We walked back to the International Gateway to take a bathroom break and leave EPCOT to head back to our resort.
We werent sure what to have for dinner so we checked out the menu at ESPN Zone, but they didnt have the burger Josh loves on their menu. We looked in the Boardwalk Bakery which had no line, but nothing sounded appetizing. Finally we decided to get pizza from the Spoodles window a slice of cheese pizza and a slice of pepperoni pizza. We also got a pretzel with extra salt and cheese for Josh and a funnel cake with chocolate syrup for me and headed back to our room for our junk food dinner. After dinner, Josh went down to pick up our packages from our shopping on Wednesday and I worked on trip report notes and our budget. Josh was able to upload todays photos onto the laptop which was exciting. We stayed up until around 11pm and then went to bed. We slept poorly tonight since it felt too hot in our room and we both tossed and turned a lot.
Day 6 Friday, December 21, 2007
Today is our 5 year anniversary! Five years ago today we got married at the beautiful Edwards Mansion in Redlands, CA and spent our honeymoon at Disneyland, including a night in the Honeymoon Suite at the Disneyland Hotel. I cant believe its been five years already! And I still cant believe that we are in Florida at Walt Disney World!
We were really tired this morning and did not want to get up so we slept in until around 10am this morning since we had no plans to visit any parks today. We had some financial difficulties this morning that involved trying to access our bank account online, but the internet connection wasnt working. So we called and got some help over the phone, but it still wouldnt work. I called my sister and had her log in to our bank account on her computer and found that we were very low on funds. My very generous brother-in-law and sister then told me that they had transferred some money into our account as a gift to help the rest of our trip go smoothly. I cried and thanked them both profusely what a blessing! We both took showers and relaxed in the room until a cast member arrived to work on our internet. He was able to fix it and left soon with our thanks. We ate some snacks in our room and I played on the computer while Josh read out on the balcony.
Around 2pm, we headed out to take the bus to Downtown Disney. It was a beautiful day blue skies, a little cool and a slight breeze. We did some shopping at the Wonderful World of Memories for some scrapbooking stuff, browsed through Mickeys Pantry and Once Upon a Toy and then headed to Ghirardellis. I had two scoops of chocolate ice cream with dark chocolate fudge, whipped cream and a cherry. It was soooooooo good! I LOVED the dark chocolate fudge especially, but sadly dripped some on my shirt. Josh had a scoop each of butter pecan and Kona coffee ice cream with hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry. He loved his as well.
Next we spent quite a lot of time in the World of Disney which was HUGE! We got lost a few times and wandered all around multiple times. We got some birthday gifts for our niece and nephew as well as some other souvenirs for our family and us. After a bathroom break, we shopped and browsed more in Disneys Pin Traders, Pooh Corner (where we also took a few cute pictures with the giant stuffed Pooh and Tigger) and Mickeys Mart. We enjoyed walking around and looking at the sculptures outside the LEGO store and wished we had been able to make time to eat at Fultons Crab House.
We had dinner reservations for Raglan Road, so we headed over to Pleasure Island and did some shopping in their gift shop while we waited. We bought a Raglan Road shot glass to remember our visit and then checked in a bit early. They were able to seat us right away at a nice table in the center of the restaurant. We loved the look of the restaurant and Josh took some photos.
Our server was Phillip and he was very nice and quite talkative. We both ordered Coke to drink and decided to share the Drunken Chicken appetizer. It was three whiskey-glazed chicken kabobs on a bed of lime-dressed romaine lettuce with a yummy mayo-based dipping sauce. It was a delicious appetizer and we both loved it especially taking a bite with all three elements at once.
For dinner, Josh ordered the Its Not Bleedin Chowder and I ordered the Serious Sirloin Steak. Joshs chowder was a bowl of shrimp, mussels, scallops and fish in a cream and white wine sauce. He absolutely LOVED it and thought it was the best non-chowder hed ever had. My steak was whiskey-glazed on a bed of mashed potatoes with crispy thin onion rings and drizzled with basil oil. The steak was extremely tender was delicious with the onion rings in each bite. The potatoes were pretty plain, so I only ate a little of those and concentrated on finishing my delicious 10 oz. steak.
For dessert Josh ordered the Bread and Butter Pudding which came with two sauces crme anglaise and butterscotch. To eat it, our waiter suggested creating a hole in the pudding and filling it with the sauces. Josh did so and it was AMAZING!!! Definitely the best bread pudding ever and both sauces were good but the butterscotch one was divine! Josh really liked it a lot, but wasnt able to finish it all. I ordered the Baileys Crme Brulee Tart which was tasty, but more like a cheesecake than a traditional crme brulee so I was a bit disappointed. It still tasted good, but the burnt sugar to custard ration was not enough for my taste. All in all, this was a wonderful meal and we really loved Raglan Road. We really wish we could eat there again.
After dinner we took a water taxi to Port Orleans French Quarter which is where we thought we needed to be for our carriage ride. We walked around and loved the look of the resort it was very quaint, quiet and cute. We decided wed like to stay there sometime if we ever get a chance. However, this wasnt where we needed to be, so we took another water taxi further up (down?) the river to Port Orleans Riverside where we did need to be. We had some time before our 9pm reservation, so we took a bathroom break and looked around the lobby and gift shop of the resort. We bought a Port Orleans glass and frame magnet here to remember our trip and carriage ride. We also loved the look here and wished we could stay here another time as well.
We checked in a little bit early for our reservation and since the party before us never showed up our driver said he would take us early. We asked our driver Christian to take two photos of us while in the carriage and they came out so cute one of us looking out the back window of the carriage and other one of us kissing. Our carriage was pulled by a beautiful black horse named Ike. We snuggled under the provided blanket and really enjoyed our 25 minute ride around both Port Orleans resorts. It was so quiet and romantic next to the water with the low lighting and the clip clop of Ikes hooves on the path. It was a little funny when he had to stop for a prolonged potty break, but we laughed and it didnt ruin the experience.
When we got back we thanked Christian and Ike for the lovely ride and then sat on the porch for awhile and called a friend back home. We got some pressed pennies before heading back to catch a water taxi back to Downtown Disney. We ended up being the only ones on the boat and enjoyed the quiet 15 minute ride together looking at the pretty lights on the water. It was pretty cold on the water though and we wished we had brought jackets, but we just snuggled and that helped. We caught the bus at Downtown Disney back to our resort and had fun laughing and talking about our wonderful day during the 20 minute ride.
Back in our room, we changed into pajamas and I discovered big blisters on the back of each of my heels which really hurt. I called my sister and ended up talking to my brother-in-law for awhile since Kelly had an awful headache, but due to nursing my new nephew she cant take any medicine so she was trying to sleep it off. My niece Katelyn was still sick, but thankfully isnt throwing up any more and is sleeping better now. I worked on our finances, wrote up more trip report notes and then we got ready for bed and fell asleep about 12:30am.
Day 7 Saturday, December 22, 2007
We woke up at 10am and quickly got dressed and out the door to head to MGM Studios. It was very overcast and cool with a light breeze today so we took jackets. We took the boat since my feet were already hurting due to the huge blisters on the heels of both feet. Since we hadnt eaten breakfast we decided to have lunch and picked Catalina Eddys. Josh had the hot Italian deli sandwich with chips and I had the cheese pizza and we shared a large Coke. The pizza was terrible cold, doughy crust and no flavor, so Josh shared his sandwich and chips with me.
For our first ride we headed over to the Rock n Roller Coaster and intended to do the single rider line so it would be faster since the line was really long. But when we stopped to ask about it, the cast member saw our anniversary button on Joshs shirt and gave us free Fast Passes for right now instead. We thanked him and got in line. While in line, Josh claimed that the cast member near the loading area was flirting with me, but if he was I was oblivious. I hadnt told Josh anything about the ride, so he had no idea there were loops he thought it would be more like Space Mountain inside. We both thought the ride was awesome and Josh was super surprised at the almost immediate loop right at the start of the ride and we both wished we could have ridden again. We did purchase our ride photo to remember how much we liked the ride.
Then we got fast passes for Tower of Terror and headed over to take photos of the big Sorcerers Apprentice hat and to ride the Great Movie Ride. We liked the memorabilia throughout the line, especially the carousel horse from Mary Poppins. Josh thought the ride was a bit cheesy and would have been better without the narrator. I thought the bank robber part was cheesy and kind of annoying. We both liked the ride though especially the famous movie scenes with animatronics and the movie clips at the end.
Next we decided to see Voyage of the Little Mermaid. We agreed that it was a very brief adaptation of the movie and a bit cheesy. Josh thought it was definitely meant more for kids, but he would not want to see it again. We stopped to share a Mickey premium ice cream bar and it was delicious. After our snack, we headed back to Tower of Terror to use our fast passes. Josh doesnt like this ride, but he walked through the line with me and then chose not to ride. I loved it and liked the slight differences from the CA version specifically the 5th dimension room. My ride had lots of short drops which I like, but not enough long ones for my taste. It was a fun ride, but I think the CA version looks creepier on the outside.
We took a bathroom break and then headed to Sounds Dangerous starring Drew Carey. We liked the fun TV trivia on the TVs while in line, though it was a bit outdated at times. The show was really interesting and we both thought it was fun and different, but we didnt like getting squirted. As we came outside, the Hollywood Holly-Day Parade was going past and so we stopped to watch. Josh was able to zoom in and get some great photos that seemed like we were standing right along the street.
We took a walk down the Streets of America and had to stop and buy something at the Youse Guys Moychindice shop because we loved the name! We bought some cotton candy and got in line for the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show. We ate our candy during the 20 minute wait and then headed into the stadium which was much larger than I had imagined. I always hate the steep climb up the stairs at any venue like that it was pretty packed with people but we got decent seats. We both enjoyed the show and were surprised how long the show was but we thought it was very interesting and cool. Josh got some great photos and we both agreed it would be fun to see again.
Since we were already in the area, we decided to wait for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights even though it wouldnt begin for an hour. My feet were really hurting from the blisters and we were both hungry since our lunch had been so disappointing. We got a hot pretzel with cheese and 2 Cokes and found a spot to sit on the curb at the end of the Streets of America with a great view down the street. We both called our parents to chat for a bit and then just enjoyed sitting and chatting about our week.
Finally it was time for the lights to come on and it was just beautiful when they did. The song playing was Carol of the Bells (one of my all-time favorites) and the lights were gorgeous! We took some good photos and then slowly walked back up the street. We saw a grandpa dancing with his infant granddaughter to the music and it was so sweet reminded us of my Dad and our niece Katelyn. We took a bathroom break and took a few more MGM photos before joining the long line for the boat. We were able to get on the first boat that arrived and even got seats.
We got off at the Beach Club since we were headed to dinner at Cape May Caf again. We requested the server wed had on our first night Amine and waited about 10 minutes for a table. He remembered us and was glad to see that I was feeling better. He asked how our vacation had been going and stopped many times throughout our meal to chat which we really enjoyed. Since I was feeling better, I very much enjoyed the buffet this time and tried the sirloin, macaroni & cheese (still delicious!), salmon, ribs, chicken, rolls, Caesar salad, cantaloupe, 2 Oreo bonbons, 2 key lime tarts, chocolate chip cookie, cupcake and 2 Cokes. Josh filled up on 2 bowls of mussels and clams, 2 salmon fillets, 2 ribs, mashed potatoes, broccolini, pasta, Caesar salad, sirloin, chicken leg, 2 Cokes, 2 mini cheesecakes, an Oreo bonbon, German chocolate cookie and a glass of milk. We definitely got our moneys worth from the buffet this visit!
At the end of the meal, Amine brought us both anniversary buttons, and a very rich chocolate dessert along with some salt water taffy. When we asked for the check, he said he had a little surprise for us. He said that he had taken care of our bill for us and we owed nothing!! Wow! What an unexpected surprise and blessing! We thanked him many times and left a generous tip for the thoughtful gift that made our trip that much more special. This was our biggest magical moment of the trip! We also asked him to take a photo with us so we would never forget him and the wonderful service. On our way out, we made sure to tell a manager how much we had enjoyed Amine as our server both nights and how much we liked the food as well.
We headed back over to our resort and stopped to use the lobby restroom. It was funny moment as I kept trying to open the door with the handle and thought maybe you need a key since it wouldnt turn, but it turned out I just had to push the door open embarrassing, but funny too. Since we didnt end up paying for dinner tonight, we decided to do some last minute shopping at the Screen Door. We got a Mickey star tree topper for our Christmas tree and a charm bracelet with 4 charms a castle, Mickey ring, Boardwalk design, and a blue Mickey shaped gem. My mom has a charm bracelet full of charms from various places shes visited over the years, so we thought wed like to start doing the same. We also picked up our last package delivery items and went back to our room.
We sorted through all our purchases to divide out the gifts from the things from us and wrapped them up accordingly. We began the long process of packing everything since we leave tomorrow. I worked on our finances and wrote trip report notes. We had some snacks since we needed to eat up what was left and shared some sparkling grape juice since we had forgotten to have it last night on our anniversary. I took a bath and read a book while Josh watched some TV and then we headed to bed at 12:30am.
Day 8 Sunday, December 23, 2007
Today is our last day were happy to be going home, but sad to be leaving WDW. We woke up at about 9am and Josh took a shower. We ate bagels and cereal for breakfast and got dressed. We finished packing and sorted through the remaining food. We had eaten most of it, but had a ton of water and Capri-Suns left. We called for Bell Services and had them pick up and store our bags until our town car would pick us up today. We left our room for the last time and decided to sit on the porch until time to go.
We both did some reading and relaxing as we snacked on the remaining food. I decided to walk around the resort to take some photos of the bus stop, flowers, the pool, etc. Josh discovered that we could check in for our flight and check our baggage at the resort so he took care of that and now we only had to worry about our carryon bags.
Finally it was time to go and our driver Marcello arrived promptly with another gorgeous SUV. We enjoyed talking with him about our vacation during the trip to the airport. We made good time but discovered on arrival that our flight was delayed an hour. We went through security pretty quickly and found our gate and sat down to wait. About an hour before our flight, we got hungry so I went to find a snack. I ended up getting us a huge slice of pepperoni pizza and a large Dr. Pepper. We shared our snack and it was pretty good. We also had some leftover cookies so we ate those as well and Josh went to buy a bottle of water.
Since our flight was delayed we started worrying about whether or not we would make our connecting flight in Denver. Josh went to talk to the gate agent. She ended up cancelling our current tickets/seat reservations and rebooked us in seats closer to the front of the plane 2D and 2E. Once our flight finally arrived, everyone boarded very quickly and we took off soon after. There were a lot of people worrying about possibly missing connecting flights so all the flight crews had moved quickly. It was mostly uneventful with little turbulence and thankfully the Dramamine helped though I was still a bit nauseous by the end of the flight.
Josh got to talking about Montana (where Josh lived for a few years before we met) with the guy sitting next to him who was from Wyoming, but near the Montana border. We had a snack of pretzels and some Coke and then I tried to take a nap, but didnt sleep well. We arrived in Denver and found out that our connecting flight was also delayed, so all our worry was for nothing. Now well arrive home an hour later, but at least we didnt miss the connection. We called my parents to let them know about the delay since they are picking us up at the airport to take us home.
Josh went to buy us a snack and just made it to Quiznos in time before they closed for the evening. He got a classic Italian sandwich and we shared some BBQ chips and a Dr. Pepper. He had also gotten me two little cups of pickles since he knows I love the ones Quiznos has. While I stayed at our gate to read, Josh took a little walk to find out if the people we had been sitting near on our flight had made their connections and was happy to find out that they had.
Our flight home went well and we arrived safely in California. Our luggage had arrived long before us and was waiting by the baggage claim office. My parents arrived and we quickly loaded everything in the car and headed to Dennys for a late night dinner.
Josh ended up taking almost 1000 photos throughout the week but we narrowed it down to about 300 that we actually printed out and put in photo albums. We enjoyed showing our pictures to family and giving them the gifts we had purchased. Thankfully my sisters family was all well again once we arrived home and we were happy to see our 3-week old nephew and 2 year old niece as well. Both of our families enjoyed tasting the candy from around the world that we had purchased in EPCOT and Joshs mom really liked her Passport and mask and looked forward to sharing it with her class after Christmas break. We had a wonderful vacation at WDW and really hope that we can return someday with our families.
Thanks for reading!
06-17-2011 01:15 PM
Wonderful trip report!! Thank so much for sharing.
AWESOME trip report!!!!! I felt like I was right there with you!!!! Heidi Commerford
So glad you liked it! I'm so glad I finally finished it too!
Originally Posted by FortWilderness IsHome
Nice report. I'm going this year about the same frame, how was the weather for you? My youngest son is wanting to go to blizzard beach while we are here, they keep the pools heated but the air may be cool.
Planning WDW Dec 2014 WDW2008 off-site,WDW2010 Polynesian
WDW Polynesian Dec 15-21 2011
Great Report!! Thanks for taking the time to write it )
Self-proclaimed Diz nut
MousePad Community Leader
The Mickey Mac & Cheese....I know, right? It's the BEST!! Sounds like a magical trip. Would love to see some of the pics! Any you're willing to share or a link to the public ones?
Working hard for that next WDW trip! December 2013
If there is ever a time to go to the "world " it is at xmas time. It is just so pretty
Here's a link to some photos of our trip - there's a lot and they aren't really in order, but it gives some idea of our wonderful vacation!
Self-proclaimed Diz nut
MousePad Community Leader
Awesome pics. We were there during the holidays too. The sky was the most magnificent color of blue, wasn't it? I LOVED the light during this time of year. Makes for the BEST photos. Thanks for sharing!
Working hard for that next WDW trip! December 2013