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  1. #1

    Wink My High School Graduation Trip!

    Well, here we go again! Our last trip was August 2011, and we were in Disneyland in December, but we booked our flight and room at Port Orleans French Quarter two nights ago!

    June 17, 2012 - June 25, 2012

    Cast: Mom and I are heading down June 17, 2012 (about a week after my graduation) and we'll meet up with my grandparents the next day. My aunt, uncle, and cousins will be at WDW around the same time, but I'm not sure we'll spend much time in the parks with them. I guess we'll see in a couple months!

    Method: Our flight is from Raleigh to Orlando, around 2pm on Sunday June 17. We arrive in Orlando a little after 3pm. We're taking Magical Express from MCO to POFQ. We've only done Magical Express once, years ago, and it wasn't a great experience, due to the size of the group and the late hour that we arrived in Florida. Hopefully this time will be better!

    Accommodations: We're staying from June 17 to June 25 in Port Orleans French Quarter. I love this resort! It's probably my favorite moderate. When we stayed here last summer, it was one of the most magical experiences of all our Disney trips. We met amazing cast members, got several free birthday treats, were honored to receive a ton of Mardi Gras beads from the sweetest cast member I've ever met, and enjoyed the pool and the grounds. I especially love the boat from POFQ to Downtown Disney!

    Other: This will double as my birthday trip (I turn 18 in August) I think we'll only get park tickets for 5 or 6 days (the verdict is still out - if you have any suggestion, please post!), and spend the remaining 2/3 doing the Boardwalk, Downtown Disney, and enjoying our resort. We also love to go over to the Magic Kingdom resorts and walk around the shops and restaurants there (they serve the soft-serve pineapple ice cream from Aloha Isle in the Polynesian food court

    So far we haven't really done a ton of planning. Mom and I do most of the official planning for our Disney trips, and Grandma and Grandpa just kind of come along and enjoy the ride. They come to WDW about twice a month for day trips, so they don't necessarily feel like they need to "run the show" and do all their favorites when they're here with us. My grandmother is so sweet. I know she always avoids going back to WDW when we leave for a month or two because it makes her sad to go without us.

    The meals Mom and I have pretty much decided we want to make reservations for are Liberty Tree Tavern for lunch (I've never eaten here, but the rest of my party has and enjoyed it a good deal), Les Chefs de France for a late lunch/early dinner (although I'm not sure which meals this restaurant is a character meal and which it isn't - need to check AllEars), Hollywood Brown Derby for lunch (my favorite!), and possibly the Garden Grove Cafe at the Swan resort for lunch one of the days when we'll be out of the parks. As for counter-service, we have our favorites and we rarely deviate (even though variety IS the spice of life). We almost always do Columbia Harbour House and sit at the same table above Fantasyland/Liberty Square, Pecos Bills, the Sunshine Seasons at the Land, Kringla Bakeri in Norway, Backlot Express at DHS, and Flame Tree BBQ at Animal Kingdom. You never know though, we could still decide to be adventurous! There are always tons of other snacks scattered in, these are just the staples. And, of course, beignets at the POFQ food court. These should be sold some other places throughout Disney! My favorite thing to eat!!!

    Anyway, I'll post soon on which days we plan to do which parks, etc based on Extra Magic Hours. Please feel free to let me know if you have other dining suggestions/comments! Also, if you have ideas for things we could do on our days outside of the parks (though I know there's TONS to do around the resort!), please leave a comment! I love to get ideas from the MousePlanet family!

    Have a magical day!

    67 days until we're THERE! and I'll be done with high school!!!!!

    Emma

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  3. #2

    have a magical journey ! t-3 working days & counting till paul revere & the raiders , pam brody , citricos , & my buddy bob jackson . which btw you should try & catch his show


  4. #3

    Congratulations on your graduation! Have a great trip, looking forward to your report. If you can squeeze it in you should try the Prime Time 50's Cafe (DHS), the food is good and the atmosphere is a hoot. T-Rex (DD) also has good food although it is reeeeaally loud in there. We also enjoyed Yak & Yeti (AK) the two times we've eaten there. So many fun places to explore!

    TulaBelle
    Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.

  5. #4

    Thanks for the advice! We've eaten at 50's Prime Time before, and loved it! Probably won't be able to squeeze it in this trip, because we're all trying to really branch out from the meals we eat every time. I've never done T-Rex though, nor Yak & Yeti! If anyone sees this after I post, let me know what you thought, and what the atmosphere is like! I'm getting SO excited! Thanks for your congratulations also! And, relaxedwheniamthere, I am SO jealous! Enjoy your trip! Hope to read your report when you return!!!

    Emma

  6. #5
    Registered User Bkwrm3's Avatar
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    We had a great lunch at Yak & Yeti back in 2009 and I would second TulaBelle's advice on this one. Have a great time and congrats on your upcoming high school graduation, Emma!
    Sharon


  7. #6
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    Almost there!!! I'm hoping to give my son, Mitch, the same gift next year this time. Fingers crossed the job comes through so I can make good on the "plan." Can't wait to hear all about your big adventures!

    Working hard for that next WDW trip!

  8. #7

    Hello everyone! We just returned from Orlando about an hour ago and are now back in North Carolina. I have a LOT of Disney to post about - most notably the effects on our trip of the storm, Debbie. I'll go ahead and say that the storm did not rain on our Disney parade, but I am so, so sorry for people whose entire trips were ruined by the weather! I'll have the report up ASAP - plan to start working on it tonight Hope everyone in the MousePlanet family is doing well!

    Emma

  9. #8

    can't wait to hear all about your trip...


  10. #9

    Day 1—Sunday, June 17, 2012

    I woke up around 9 or 9:30 (of course I can’t remember now—go figure). My mom and stepdad were already up, getting showered and dressed. My stepdad likes Disney, but isn’t crazy about it the way Mom and I are, and he opted out of this trip due to its long length. We got some lunch early. The night before we left, one of our travel channels on cable had been showing hour-long specials about Walt Disney World, which of course seemed like a good omen to Mom and I, so we watched all four of them. I had packed before that night, but Mom, it turned out, had not. So she started packing around 11:45 a.m. on Sunday morning, when we had all previously agreed to depart our home for the airport around noon….That was a great plan!

    Somehow we managed to make it to the airport before 1 p.m. and made it through security and to our gate without issue, with time to spare before our 2 p.m. take-off from Raleigh to Orlando. Our flight was uneventful. Mom slept while I read on my Kindle, and we arrived at MCO around 3:30 p.m. From the Southwest gate, we had to take the airport monorail over the main terminal, where Disney’s Magical Express is located. This was fun—first ride of the trip!!

    Our only previous experience on Magical Express was not great, but that was seven or eight years ago now. Usually we drive down or are met by my grandparents at the airport. Some other relatives of theirs were staying in their Daytona Beach-area home until early Monday morning (when their relatives and they both headed for WDW). So, just this once, Mom and I were on our own on the first day of our trip. As soon as we got to the Magical Express check-in, they ushered us both through the lane that included drop-off at Port Orleans French Quarter, and just as we got to the end of the line, the bus pulled up and everyone got on! Once we were boarded, the bus sat for about ten or so minutes before we were on our way to the resorts (ours was the third stop, I believe). I really enjoyed the video they showed on board the bus to get everyone excited about their Disney trip!

    Once we arrived at French Quarter, we checked in without issue and started making our way toward Building 6. Our room was on the third floor and faced the river. We had a really good view…when you could see it through all the rain :P Just kidding—the rainy part of the trip hadn’t yet begun, and our check-in day was absolutely beautiful.

    Along the walk to our building, we heard loud music coming from a courtyard area and went over to see what was going on. Two Cast Members had an area set up for decorating Mardi Gras masks with glitter and stickers, and no one else was making them, so we decided to do it since we were both just so excited to be there and ready to start experiencing the magic. I love that about POFQ—the second you enter the resort, it’s like a huge party; for us it even started before the first time we set foot in our room!

    After we’d finished our masks (which were fun but turned out to look pretty silly!) we made our way to our room, which was beautiful and already had a towel-animal of some sort in it. We put on fresh clothes and quickly made our way down to the bus stop around 5:30 p.m.

    On board the Magic Kingdom bus, Mom and I both noticed our grumbling stomachs (we hadn’t eaten anything since around 11 a.m.) and decided we’d head for Pecos Bills when we got there (of course enjoying the scenery along the way)! We split a burger and fries and got a drink for $12—very good for a Disney meal for two! Neither of us eats a whole lot at each meal, we usually snack throughout the day while we’re at Disney, so splitting turns out to be just right for us.

    After our meal, we went next door to the Prairie Outpost & Supply store where we stocked up on a massive amount of jelly beans…I don’t even want to say how much they cost, but I will say that we still have the majority of the bag full here at home! We snacked on them all week! Once our sweet tooth was cured, we headed for Pirates of the Caribbean.

    I was shocked that there were literally no lines on a Sunday night with evening Extra Magic Hours. But we got really lucky on this trip! Pirates was a walk-on. Then we did Haunted Mansion, skipping the longer interactive queue for a later ride, since everyone seemed to be hopping onto that side and no one was on the regular entry side. Again, we walked right on.

    From Liberty Square we walked into Fantasyland, my favorite  We rode it’s a small world before realizing we were both getting snacky again, so we headed back for our first-night tradition, Dole Whips in Adventureland. Boy, were they good!! The guy gave us such a plentiful amount of ice cream that I could hardly finish my cup! Yum!

    We did some browsing on Main Street to kill time before the parade, but didn’t buy anything. Eventually we scoped out a place to watch the Main Street Electrical Parade in the circle just inside the park entrance where the flagpole is. Mom got us some popcorn, a good treat after our Dole Whips…in retrospect, how did we manage to eat so much? I guess all that walking around builds up an appetite! We had a great view, and a lot of the characters in the parade saw my graduation Mickey ears and pin (they only do the pins for graduation at Disneyland—TONS of people asked where I’d gotten it and the ears. Disney only produces the grad ears in May, and doesn’t make many of them, so I was lucky my grandmother found some and surprised me with them. Note to all: if you want grad ears for your kids someday, start looking early!). Cinderella’s Prince and Anastasia (one of the stepsisters) had a cute routine where he would hold the pillow that had the glass slipper on it, and she would jam her foot on the table toward him, trying to shove it into the slipper.

    After the parade had fully passed, it was nearly time for the 9:45 p.m. showing of The Magic, the Memories, and You, so we got further down Main Street and found a good spot for viewing it and Wishes. I LOVE what they’ve done to make the summer show unique, adding Ariel and Lion King to the show, along with making the castle look like a huge and elaborate sandcastle. If you have a chance to go down and see it, you definitely should! It’s great!

    Wishes was excellent as always. Tonight turned out to be the only night that we got to see Tinkerbell in it. Both other times we caught it (actually it may have been three other times…) it was too rainy and stormy for her to make her flight.

    As the mobs of people made their way to the exits, Mom and I went toward Tomorrowland and decided to ride Peoplemover, one of my very favorite rides. It was a great way to start our time in Tomorrowland, getting to people-watch and go through some of the bigger rides while on board a relaxing one.

    From here we dipped over to Fantasyland and rode the Mad Tea Party with no wait. Mom just loooooved spinning it as fast as we could  Just joking—both of us were laughing and laughing as we spun it faster. Then we rode the carousel simply because no one else was. I love listening to the carousel music and looking at the castle! During the daytime, you get a pretty good view of Beast’s Castle and the big circus tents from the carousel. Somewhere in the course of the evening (probably earlier in the night than this—it was still light out) we checked out the new Dumbo and Casey Jr. Splash n Soak Station—it is adorable! The Fantasyland train station looks great too, and the bathrooms feel so fresh and new! I’m so excited to see the final product. Through the course of our trip, they switched out the Magic Kingdom park maps, changing the cover photo from Dumbo to Big Thunder Mtn. Railroad and also changing the new Casey Jr. area from “Coming Soon” to “New!”

    After the carousel, we looked in the Castle Couture store (where they have Aurora’s dress and the three fairies change its color from pink to blue and back). One section of the store I’d never seen before is where little girls have their photos taken after they’ve been princess-ed up in the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. In this little side room (toward the left side of the shop) they have Cinderella’s pink dress (the one that her stepsisters destroy) set up to look as though its being made by the dressmaker there. It’s very cute! In here we got two princess piggy banks, Ariel for me, and Cinderella for my roommate at college next year. Mom and I both thought it would be a good and cute way to save up money, and my roommate and I both love Disney and the princesses!

    Next we rode Splash Mountain without waiting, and were offered seats in the front row (we waited for the next log and sat behind some other people—it was just too late at night to get super-soaked!) As always, we had a great time. One thing I did notice was that the room where the water usually jumps in front of you never seemed to have the “jumping water” any time that we were riding. Anyone know if this is gone for good?

    Next we rode Big Thunder, with a short ten or fifteen minute wait. I definitely thought it seemed a little more thrilling in the dark, late at night! But tons of fun! The water at the top of the big hill was turned off, so we didn’t get wet, either! Another random question—do they no longer make the boulders on the one hill look as if they are going to fall on you? That always freaked me out, but I remember noticing last year that they weren’t doing it, and still weren’t this year, either. Thanks!

    Lastly, we did Space Mountain, which had a slightly longer wait. We had a lot of fun!!! This was a great way to wake us up just in time to head back to the hotel. The park was open until 2 a.m. that night, but we decided we’d had a long enough day by around midnight, what with our flight and all, so we took the bus back to Port Orleans.

    Without my grandparents there in the room with us, Mom and I both realized we felt it was a little too empty, so we turned on the “Must Do” show with Stacey and put the TV on a very low volume, just to have something in the background to help lull us to sleep.

    Overall, a great day!!

    Emma

  11. #10

    Day 2—Monday, June 18, 2012

    My grandparents had told us they expected to leave their home at the beach around 8:30 a.m. Since their home is roughly an hour and a half from WDW, we got up at 8:30, figuring that gave us both time to shower and get dressed and ready. Wrong. I took a quick shower and pulled myself together within about twenty minutes, but Mom was in the shower at 9:15 when my grandmother called and said they were in the POFQ parking lot. Uh-oh! Of course I felt bad asking them if they could go to the food court or something just for a few minutes, unless they didn’t mind just hanging out in here until she was done, but I didn’t want her to get out of the shower and freak out. So as soon as she got out, she threw on clothes and they came up to our room (luckily they only waited about five minutes).

    Now all the big magic started. My mom started making “wish bottles” for us last year, which are small glass bottles filled with tiny confetti in star or heart shapes that can be put into your hand and then blown while you make a wish. Kind of like pixie dust, but we call ours wishes. Mom gave us all (except grandpa) wishes and then we headed down to the POFQ food court, once they’d settled into our room a little and brought their suitcases up from the car.

    We had beignets and omelets for breakfast, which was delicious! I LOVE the beignets at POFQ. If you’ve never stayed there, you ought to go over just to try the pastry. Then we took a bus to MK. Even with “sleeping in” we got there pretty early and got started.

    First we rode Jungle Cruise, which was really fun. We sat in the back, which makes it a little harder to get everything. Sometimes the skipper says something funny, but you can’t see what they’re pointing to until after they’ve already started their commentary on something else. Still, it isn’t as if we don’t know all these jokes by heart by now

    We rode Pirates again, just because it’s our traditional beginning-of-the-trip ride, I guess because it’s just our favorite ride in Adventureland, which is usually the first land we go to on our first day. When getting in line for it, one of the pirate Cast Members said “See ya later, Redhead,” to me, which made us all laugh (remember that—it comes into another story later) because of the “we wants the redhead” scene. In Frontierland we did the Country Bear Jamboree, one of my granddad’s favorites. I like it too! We were trying to meet up with my aunt, uncle and cousins (who had been staying with my grandparents at their house the night before). While waiting for them to return a call so that we would know where to meet them, we rode the Liberty Square Riverboat, which is always a nice way to get off your feet and enjoy the scenery. I like the unique views it offers of Frontierland and Liberty Square, and some of the Audio-Animatronics you see along the way.

    Then we met up with our family at Pirates (making it the third time we’d ridden in twelve hours!). After seeing the cousins and everyone, we all got into line. Once we were right up to the boats, a voice came up behind me and said “I knew you’d be back, redhead!” It was the same pirate again! I don’t know how he recognized me from behind, but it had us laughing all day!

    After that, we separated from them and the four of us headed to our lunch reservations at Liberty Tree Tavern. It was the first time I’d ever eaten there, and I really enjoyed it! Mom and I split the turkey dinner meal, which was a lot of food—turkey slices, mashed potatoes, and some vegetables if I recall correctly. Towards the end of our meal we also got coffee and a yummy dessert.

    We noticed a lot of lining up outside when we got out and realized it was nearly time for the 3 p.m. parade. We decided to join the masses and watch it, too! And what fun we had! We were those obnoxious people screaming and waving at every character that went by, and of course they were waving back and telling me congratulations and pointing to my hat. It was tons of fun!

    We used Peter Pan Fastpasses we’d gotten earlier in the day. I love Peter Pan, but boy does it stack up a long line during the day! After riding, we took the bus back to the hotel for a swim in the pool, which was most refreshing. The pool was actually pretty chilly when you first got in, and then cold again to get out of! But looking back, I’m so glad we went to the pool while the weather was sunny, because during the latter part of the week, I doubt they were even letting people swim.

    Eventually, after cleaning up, we made our way out to Hollywood Studios because they had the Magic Hours tonight. We rode Tower of Terror first, which was great! We had planned to do Rock n’ Roller Coaster at the same time, but were just too hungry to wait for dinner by that point. So we decided to head for Backlot Express, a tucked-away restaurant that isn’t usually crowded. Only, despite the relatively early hour, it was closed for the night at 8 p.m…. Along with the other counter-service restaurants that we encountered as we wandered, looking for food. I love you Disney, but if you’re going to keep a park open until 1 a.m., you have to keep some restaurants open after 8:30 for people to eat! I guess only one or two restaurants remain open semi-late.

    Luckily we found Toy Story Pizza Planet in the last ten or so minutes before they shut at 8:30. We’d never eaten here before and I loved it! We ate outside because the arcade was just too noisy and chaotic for my grandparents. I enjoyed watching people go by. This restaurant is tucked back near MuppetVision, which is an area of the park that we rarely spend much time in, so it was really fun to peek into shops we’d never really spent much time in before. Mom and I split a meatball sub and the side (Caesar salad), one of the best Disney meals I’ve had in a long time. Yum!

    We rode Toy Story Mania (a family of four was going back to their hotel and gave us their fastpasses so they wouldn’t be wasted—what luck!) We had already gotten FPs for RnRC for later, since we assumed the Toy Story Mania FPs would be distributed by the time we got there. Had so much fun, and for the first time ever I got the high score in the vehicle!!

    We had planned to ride Great Movie Ride, but after waiting in a non-moving line for ten or fifteen minutes straight, a Cast Member said something about the ride experiencing technical difficulties. Since it was a HUGE line even from where we already were, we bailed out.

    My grandparents headed back to the hotel for the night, so Mom and I were on our own from there. We got in line for Star Tours and got on fairly quickly. I really like the new 3D version a lot! Last time I was the rebel spy, which was kind of cool but also a little embarrassing! This time it was a really little girl—very cute!

    As we ambled over towards Voyage of the Little Mermaid, we looked in shops. For some reason, Little Mermaid was not running continuous shows, but instead would have the next show in forty-five minutes or an hour or something, so we decided either we’d catch it then or just do it another time. We heard really loud OneDirection music from a building on our right and had to go check out what was going on. It was the Playhouse Disney “club” with a DJ and Minnie Mouse and Goofy. Very fun to peek in, but I felt just a little too old to be in there!

    Then we headed back to Rock n’ Roller Coaster, which was really fun of course! We rode in the very back car, and I’m not really sure if I imagined it was a more thrilling ride, but it felt so to me! After browsing the gift shop, we rode Tower of Terror again because the line was short and it’s just a little extra creepy at night.

    Seeing that Great Movie Ride still had a really long line and perhaps was still having issues, we made our way through the shops on Sunset Blvd. and headed back to the bus to POFQ. Then bed!

    Emma

  12. #11

    Day 3—Tuesday, June 19, 2012

    Mom and I got up around 7:15 and got showered/dressed/ready. Then we all headed down to the food court and got omelets (mom and I split one of the ham & cheese ones—delicious). Then we took the bus to Animal Kingdom. As usual, we picked a hot and very sunny, crowded day for this park…although it was a blessing in disguise, because we later found out that AK has pretty much nothing to offer in the rain (we only went to AK the one time during our trip because another family told us all they could ride was Dinosaur in the pouring rain).

    Once there, we got FPs for Everest and rode the safari immediately. We saw a lot of animals because we were pretty much there at the opening! Two lions, a few cheetahs, tons of giraffes very near the safari vehicle, and a couple elephants, among many others. This is one of my favorite rides, no question.

    After that, we did the Maharajah Jungle Trek to see the tigers up close. They were pretty lazy because of the sunshine and heat, but still looked cute and cozy. There were (I think) four of them visible that day.

    Then off to Everest, which was so fun! Except we stopped about three-quarters of the way up the big hill for no apparent reason…kind of freaked us out since we were randomly suspended there for a few seconds, but then everything went on as usual, except no Yeti at the end, which has been discussed to death on the forums, but doesn’t really bother me. If people are still lining up for it, Disney can fix the animatronic at its leisure. It’s a great ride with it, and it’s still a great ride with the one figure missing, in my opinion.

    Then we did Dinosaur…our first unpleasant experience with people who didn’t speak English. There were two people in front of us, then me and my mom, then about six behind us, who were all part of the same group. Since they didn’t all stick together in one group, this arrangement of Mom and I being “sandwiched” in the middle of this tour group didn’t catch our notice until the two people in front of us started babbling and motioning for the six to get up there with them. If it had been our own party, we would have let the two people go, and then gotten the group together directly behind them, but it wasn’t too big a deal. The Disney CM said “Who in this group is the leader? Who speaks English?” to which nobody replied. Then she put them in one side of the queue, and said “If you’re not in this group, go ahead and get in the left-side line.” So Mom and I probably got on the ride before the six people who were behind us in line anyway. Glad to see Disney still trying to referee as best they can, when they are able.

    After riding we ate lunch at Restaurantosaurus. Even though it’s a counter-service restaurant, a few of the women who were cleaning tables in the room we ate in brought came over specifically to our table to congratulate me on graduating. Everywhere I went people were asking where I’d gotten my graduation mouse ears, to which I had to continually tell them where, but apologetically add that they’d been purchased a couple months ago and wasn’t sure they were still for sale. My ears had my name embroidered or I might have just given them away or sold them at the end of the trip. But now they’re a lifetime souvenir.

    Then we took the bus back to POFQ. I guess we could have done the Lion King and Nemo shows at AK, but it was just scorching and getting very crowded, and we were ready for our swimming time. I’m SO glad we used the pool when we did, due to the rain that came later.

    I hadn’t showered that morning, so I took a shower when we got back to the room from the pool. Don’t know how Epcot was the last park we visited—it’s possibly my favorite. I guess that’s just the way Magic Hours fell together, since Epcot had theirs until midnight that night. We saw Stitch as soon as we walked in the front main gates, with no line or crowd around him, so I got my photo taken giving him a hug. He then leaned toward my face (I thought I was getting a kiss on the cheek) and gave a huge “SLURP!” I laughed and laughed—he is a great character, even if his MK ride isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

    Immediately we got on Spaceship Earth. We are all of course entitled to our own opinions here, and Mom and I just preferred the days of enjoying the ride and not doing the computer touch-screen stuff on this ride. I also miss the old narration, even though I really do like Judi Dench. Guess that nostalgia takes root in us early! Still, this time we made our selections on the touch screen. Then we enjoyed the ride. I searched for Hidden Mickeys, as usual!

    After that, we went to Club Cool, where I cooled off with a free Krest ginger ale from Mozambique. Yum. Then we rode Living with the Land. Soarin’ only had a 50 minute wait! We enjoy the Land, even though it’s not as popular as its new neighbor. I like seeing the plants and thinking about the other places you find those fruits & veggies in Epcot.

    We went ahead and did Soarin’ since the wait time was the lowest we figured it would be for a while—40 minutes. We actually didn’t even wait that long. But we did have more fun adventures with rude people. A kid literally slammed my mom against the wall and blew past her through the line, pretending to be meeting his family. Then his father came behind him, saying “Excuse, excuse, I need find me child.” Then, once he reunited with the boy far in front of us, they stayed there. We actually saw this tactic used several times during our trip as a line-cutting strategy, and it especially upset us that the people generally spoke perfectly fine English until someone said something about their cutting. Then suddenly they couldn’t. I believe in people of ALL cultures and languages coming to share their love of Disney, and God knows I want to visit countries where I don’t know the local language. If I went to Disneyland Paris, though, I would behave politely and would not cut the French people in line. That’s rude.

    Anyway, Soarin’ was wonderful and we sat near the middle in the front! Then we got dinner at Sunshine Seasons, where Mom and I each got kids’ meals of macaroni & cheese, and I picked up a coloring page and crayons just for fun! We like eating light here, and then enjoying snacks and desserts in World Showcase later on!

    We rode Figment and got the entire string of five cars to just the four of us, which made me sad. I hope they don’t shut this ride down due to lack of popularity. It’s been around for a long time, and I would definitely miss the purple dragon if they got rid of him. I’m sure Figment would still get references through Epcot, but it wouldn’t be the same without him really there, swimming in his upside-down bathtub!

    One thing I noticed especially in Epcot and MK: there were cute little bunny rabbits everywhere! I’m used to seeing the ducks everywhere, but on this trip ducks and bunnies were in every patch of grass through both of those parks. Very cute! I’m sure they get fed well, too!

    We walked to Mexico and enjoyed browsing through the jewelry in the shops. Then we rode the Three Caballeros, which is always fun. I adore the fiber-optic fireworks they use in the very last room. Wish I could have those in my home someday!

    Then we got Kringla (a sweet soft pretzel) in Norway as a snack, before riding Maelstrom. After we got off the ride, I mooned over Laila, the perfume sold only in Norway at Epcot or at Nordstrom (couldn’t take Laila back on the plane due to airline regulations, so may need to make a stop at Nordstrom soon). It has a very fresh scent, and I just love it and want it so much!!

    Then we shopped in China. I think this is one of the most affordable stores in all of WDW. I got a gorgeous bracelet from in here with all pink stones. It looks very expensive, but cost only $25. Then we looked through the stores in Germany, especially enjoying the Steiff section. And, of course, our good friend, Duffy!

    They had the Sounds Like Summer concerts going on, with a Billy Joel tribute band, so my grandparents sat down for that while mom and I looked through the shops in Italy. Then we went to watch the concert, too.

    When it ended, we made our way to France for more desserts. There was a really long line in the Boulangerie Patisserie, but we waited anyway. Mom and I split one savory and one sweet thing, but now I can’t remember exactly what we got! While we sat in the little French alleyway, we were able to watch some of IllumiNations, which we enjoyed. Then my grandparents headed back to the hotel.

    Mom and I looked through the different countries’ shops. I like the France and UK shops, but didn’t buy anything. We rode Mission: Space on the green team because I’m a wimp and refuse to try orange due to my motion sickness tendency. There were only two other people in the room where you stand in line on the circles. Extremely empty.

    We walked around more, enjoying the sidewalks that have fiber-optics. I also want these outside of my house someday! Ahh, I wish!

    We rode Spaceship Earth once more, this time deciding to make funny faces for the cameras and also to not press anything on the screen when it asked for answers. I think we had more fun laughing about our “very attractive” photos and the answers it chose because we didn’t make any selections! It was an adventure…or something!

    Then we took the bus back to the hotel, tired and ready for our day of Downtown Disney tomorrow.

    Emma

  13. #12

    Day 4—Wednesday, June 19, 2012

    Today we “slept in” until around 8:15 before heading down to the food court in our sweatpants and comfy clothes for breakfast. I can’t remember what we ate that morning! Anyway, then we got ready back in the room and eventually took the boat from the hotel over to Downtown Disney. It was a nice day, but overcast, and we brought our rain jackets with us.

    We shopped in the World of Disney store for quite a while, and I picked out souvenirs for various friends and relatives, along with a few souvenirs for us! Such a huge, somewhat overwhelming, but very fun store!

    We had lunch at Wolfgang Puck Express, a great, empty spot to go to if you don’t want a sit-down meal at Downtown Disney. I love it here! Mom and I split spaghetti and meatballs, which was a good size for splitting.

    We did a lot of shopping and browsing, but I didn’t write down everything we did. I remember going through the Lego store (because it started raining and we wanted to be inside). The rain stopped and we made our way over to Pleasure Island and West Side, looking through pretty much every store we passed. I enjoyed the shopping a lot! But even the non-Disney-owned stores had expensive merchandise. I did get a pretty ring and a necklace with Ariel on it that was in the crystal store. Eventually my grandparents took the bus back to the hotel because my granddad was tired and sick of the on-and-off showers.

    Mom and I kept browsing. I remember we looked at the store called Basin (they also have a smaller one in the Grand Floridian) with a lot of high-end soaps and things, it’s a really fun place for a girl to look around and sample some of the hand creams and stuff.

    Eventually we (stupidly) took the boat back to POFQ. Everyone got really wet when it started raining because the water would come in the sides and splash up. I felt especially bad for the people in the back of the boat who got wetter than anyone else.

    When we got off the boat, we went to the main building to get out of the rain. Here we browsed the gift shop, and found post cards. I sent one to my half-brother, who hasn’t been to WDW yet, but wanted a post card, and we also sent one to my stepdad. We also got a pin for my grandma with Tinker Bell on it.

    When we got back to the room we were cold from getting wet, so mom and I put on our swimsuits to go to the hot tub. This turned out to be an excellent idea, one that many other people had, too!

    It was very hot in the hot tub, and the cold rain felt really good and refreshing on your face and as soon as you got out! Definitely a good thing to do if it’s too cold or rainy to enjoy the pool on your next trip!

    I showered in the room and we all got cleaned up before me, my mom, and my grandma headed down to the bus stop to catch a bus to MK (we wanted to enjoy the MK-area resorts, not enter the park). We took the monorail from MK to the Grand Floridian. I forgot to mention that both President Obama and Mitt Romney were both speaking at the Contemporary during different days on our visit, at a Latino conference. As far as we could tell, things were going on business as usual, which was good. Another time, my grandma said they shut the entire Magic Kingdom to uninvited guests when a president was visiting the park, which would be a big disappointment to a family who had waited and saved for their trip!

    At the Grand Floridian we got dinner in their food court. It would have been great if we could have sat outside, but the weather prevented it, and the arcade scene inside was a little uninviting for such a great hotel. Still, it was a decent meal and we made our way back to the lobby quickly. We browsed through every store and really enjoyed ourselves. After finishing all the shopping, we sat in the lobby and watched kids run around and chase each other, dance along to the pianist and, later, the live band, and just enjoyed people-watching. It’s a magical lobby

    Then we took the monorail over to the Contemporary, browsed its shops, found the hotel to be much more cramped and crowded at the moment than GF had been, and went to the main lobby for coffee before taking the monorail over to the Polynesian. Poly is where the real magic of the night happened.

    Upon entering, we walked around for a few minutes, looked through a couple shops, then headed downstairs to the main lobby. As we ambled around, looking at stores and stuff, I happened to look over at a group of people huddled around a laptop. On the laptop I saw a logo I recognized immediately, the WDW Radio Show logo and, behind it, Lou Mongello! He’s a real celebrity in our household—we listen to the WDW Radio Podcast regularly when we’re at home, missing our Disney World! Not sure if many (or any) of you listen to the show, but it was a really special thing for us. He was extremely friendly and nice, and it was such an awesome thing, getting the chance to meet someone you really enjoy listening to!

    Then we looked through the Wyland Gallery store and talked to a very nice Cast Member who had started out his luau career in Hawai’i at the same convention center my mom had visited while on vacation there. He gave us leis for the three of us, and offered us each one for “our husband.” I had to tell him I was a little young to have a husband at the moment, which was funny for all of us.

    We took the monorail back to MK, then took a boat to Wilderness Lodge. Believe or not, I had never seen it with my own eyes before. I really liked it, but my grandmother thinks it’s too close to “roughing it.” She basically put it on the same level of rustic as camping . . . Perhaps someday we will have the chance to stay here, but no time soon! I especially liked the huge fireplace. It was still a rainy night, so it was nice to cozy up next to it. It was getting late, though, so we quickly headed back for the boat.

    Just as we headed up the boat dock, the Electrical Water Pageant started going by, which we really love!! It’s one of my favorite “secret” things to do at Disney World. When we caught the boat back to MK, we actually ran alongside the show for a little while, which was very cool!

    Then we took the bus back to the hotel and quickly found our way into our warm, dry beds!

    Last edited by iheartwdw; 06-28-2012 at 05:56 PM. Reason: spelling
    Emma

  14. #13

    Day 5—Thursday, June 20, 2012

    We got up around 7:45 and went straight down to breakfast in our comfiest clothes again (very attractive for all the young men in the food court, I’m sure). When we came back to our room, we noticed a horrible smell in our room that none of us had noticed upon waking. I hate to get into detail, but it was the most distinct, dead-animal smell. As quickly as we could, we all got dressed and ready, then called down to the front desk right before leaving the room to go to the parks for the day. When we returned later, Disney had left nothing behind with any information on what they’d found, but the room smelled fresh and the smell never returned on our trip. Maybe it was something from a neighboring room, but I’m just grateful they found whatever they found and got rid of the smell.

    We took the bus to Hollywood Studios. Because we’d missed it last time, we went straight to the Great Movie Ride, this time getting right on without waiting. We got the gangster scene (luckily—it was a very hot day, and the fire from the cowboy scene would have pushed many of us over the edge I think)! I had a great time looking for some Hidden Mickeys I’d never known about before in here.

    Next we did Voyage of the Little Mermaid. We got kind of wet, sitting near the edge of the theater, but it wasn’t bad. I enjoyed the show a lot! Then we went inside the Animation Building right next door to Ariel’s, because we really enjoy doing the drawing class there. It’s kind of like a “free” souvenir in our minds—the drawing you create!

    We drew Mickey Mouse after taking a vote between him, Donald Duck, and Stitch. My Mickey didn’t turn out great, but he’s not too bad, either! It was time for another go on Rock n’ Roller Coaster for Mom and I, but the weather was looking iffy, so my grandparents opted to wait by the Brown Derby, since we had a lunch reservation there.

    We met them as soon as our ride was over (seated near the back again!). When we got off the ride, it was pouring . . . still, we were happy and excited about lunch, which was absolutely phenomenal. We split a Cobb salad and then a berry cobbler for dessert, which was excellent! You should definitely try the Cobb salad, it’s delicious!!

    Grandparents decided they needed a break, but Mom and I wanted to go back to Magic Kingdom. We walked over from DHS to the Boardwalk, figuring we’d take the monorail from Epcot to MK. It stopped raining by now, and we had a good time walking, except that the Boardwalk had soaked up the rain and made it fifteen degrees hotter than the parks! As quickly as we could, we made our way to the International Gateway and into Epcot. We stopped into a couple of stores on our way, and also got free sample drinks in Club Cool, but we didn’t stop to ride anything before heading, via monorail, to MK. Waiting for that monorail at Epcot took FOREVER. I’m used to waiting a long time for the buses, but getting on monorails really quickly. That didn’t happen this time! I don’t know if something went wrong, but we waited more than half an hour for the monorail that time.

    When we got to MK, we went to City Hall to ask about the College Program (I wasn’t sure if they’d have any literature or anything on it). They didn’t, but we did happen to get a young guy Cast Member who had started out in the College Program, then came to work full-time at Disney. Another young lady came over, also a full-time, non-student employee who had started out in the college program. Both were extremely enthusiastic about it, and gave great advice about getting in. I can’t wait to start applying next year!

    We went and saw the Tiki Room, since it no longer includes Iago and Zazu. I don’t miss the new management guys (sorry!). I like the original version of this classic show! Afterwards, we rode Splash Mountain, which turned out to be a mistake.

    The ride went along as usual for me until we finished the big drop. There were many splashes as usual, but I was not expecting one of them to be bird droppings on my arm, shirt, and the log. Yuck!!!! When we got off the ride, the regular Cast Member pointed us toward his manager, who very kindly wrote me a gift card of some sort for $25 for a new shirt. That was really what made it all okay. Otherwise I would have flipped out and started crying for sure. My mom called my grandparents who were now back at MK to meet up with us. They were furious about the incident, because it’s happened to my grandfather twice before, but I was just embarrassed and grossed out. I picked out a new shirt that was $24.95. When they told my mom the total was $1.60 or something for the tax, my grandfather freaked out and said we shouldn’t have to pay anything since the item was under $25 before tax and it was Disney’s “responsibility” to make it right anyway. I just wanted to pay the dollar and get on my way to a clean shirt, but a manager was called over who cleared it up and gave us the shirt (finally). I also went to first aid and got sterile wipes, since bird stuff can have bad germs in it. Feeling much better, we headed out for the rest of our day. On the plus side, I got a free shirt from Disney! My mom of course, has a new slogan for a t-shirt (“A bird *@#$ on me at Disney World and all I got was this t-shirt”).

    We watched the “Dream Along with Mickey” show on the castle stage, which was fun. Just at the end when the fireworks and streamers go off, confetti shot over my head and surprised me. I thought Disney had added confetti machines or something, but it was just my mom making magic!

    We checked out the beautiful rose garden near Tomorrowland, off the Hub. Then the Move It, Shake It, Celebrate it Parade came down Main Street, and we stopped for a few minutes. Woody from Toy Story motioned to my “Just Graduated” pin and tipped his hat to me! And eventually it turned into a street party, and we danced a little bit with Donald Duck before heading over to Tomorrowland, where we got drinks from a kiosk before getting on the Peoplemover again. I believe it started raining again, and Buzz Lightyear didn’t have a line so we rode it! Mom beat me big time! It was really fun; we made silly faces for the camera.

    Then we did Carousel of Progress, which is great! I just wish they’d take the line about “we’ve got a whole new century waiting for us out there” out, because it dates the attraction more than anything else! Especially a show that’s all about progress! For dinner, we ate at Columbia Harbour House. We always sit at the same tables on the second floor overlooking Fantasyland (in the bridge that separates Liberty Square and Fantasyland). For some reason, there were curtains up in the windows. When we pulled them back to see what Disney was hiding, we discovered that you could see a little bit of the construction (hardly more than you can already see from just being in Fantasyland. That was irritating, because it’s my favorite view, but we found a table that looked out at Haunted Mansion where I could people-watch! We rode Haunted Mansion again because it was right there and wouldn’t jolt our full tummies around after our dinner!

    Then we did PhilharMagic, which is a great favorite of mine, especially when I have my raincoat. I always hate getting wet on the 3D movies, to me it kind of feels like being sneezed on We headed to the Main Street Bakery next, where I got a muffin. But it was time for the electrical parade, so we took our pastries outside to watch the parade go by while we enjoyed our treats.

    My grandparents left, and then Mom and I got on Space Mountain using FPs from earlier in the day. Here we had a very unpleasant situation with more people from out of the country. After showing our FPs and going inside, a girl runs up behind me, smashes my body into the wall, and runs down the star tunnel. Frustrated but not all-out angry, I say “Excuse me, there’s a line here!” after her, not bothering to make any attempt to stop her, knowing she probably doesn’t know what I’m saying anyway. What got my mom was that another girl, following the first, tried to do the exact same thing. Mom is a kind, sweet lady, so you know that when she intervenes, it’s got to be something pretty bad. She told the girl there was a line, and that she wasn’t going to just cut us. The girl knocked us both aside and took off after her friend (they were all wearing matching t-shirts, and the two girls were part of a very large Hispanic group getting on the ride).

    I understand wanting to stay together in your group, but since the group was much larger than just one or two ride vehicles, there was no way they were all going to stay totally together anyway, so the shoving and bruising of others was really uncalled for. I had about had my fill of people acting that way on this trip, and it happened other times throughout, too. Sorry to vent, and I’m positive that American, English-speaking people do rude things at Disney World too.

    Anyway, we caught Wishes and then rode Winnie the Pooh, which was excellent. I bought a stuffed Eeyore when we got off (to take to college with me). He’s a real cutie! Then we watched Magic, Memories, & You from a cool angle (right under the castle, from one of the two walkways on either side). Then we took the bus back to the hotel and hit the sack.

    P.S. Please don’t misconstrue my venting and think I’m super-negative or that we had a bad trip! I think we had just had our fill of line-cutting and random people shoving us for the day. Sorry to sound angry!

    Emma

  15. #14
    Registered User lllmtz's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
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    Martinez, CA

    I am enjoying your trip report very much, Emma! So sorry to hear about those horrible people. I actually gasped when I read about the girl smashing you into a wall. Sounds like you weren't about to let it ruin your trip though!

    Leslie

  16. #15

    Thanks Leslie! I'm enjoying re-living it through the report! I'll post more soon, but for now I've got the (horribly out of order, sorry!) pictures up on flickr from our trip. If you'd rather read the whole report before seeing pictures of things I haven't written on yet, feel free to hold off until later. Sorry for the quality--every photo on there was taken on the iPhone because we forgot our regular digital camera! NOTE: Only halfway through page 6 of my Flickr photostream is pics from this trip, after that are photos from our trip to the Rose Bowl at New Year's and previous Disney trips (really old ones). Sorry for the inconvenience--I didn't realize the pics would upload backwards from the order in which they were taken!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/29371099@N06/

    Emma

  17. #16

    Day 6—Friday, June 22, 2012

    Today we woke up early, at 7 a.m. Mom and I were determined to see the MK opening, which is one of our favorite things to do while we’re there! We got ready as quickly as we could (i.e. not very quickly), and headed for the bus stop. We got to MK in plenty of time to scope out a good watching place. At bag check going in, we saw my aunt, uncle, and cousins. My grandparents stayed behind for a little more sleep. It was great to see them again—this was their last Disney day, and we still had the weekend. It was a beautiful morning, but we now knew that a Tropical Storm was on its way, which made us bring our rain jackets and ponchos…except that day…I left my raincoat in the room…oops!

    The opening show was great! I love watching the characters ride in on the train! As soon as the park opened Mom and I made our way toward the New Fantasyland for Dumbo and the Barnstormer, since they gather long lines later in the day. I love that the Dumbo queue is now in a circus tent (and air-conditioned!) and also looks as though they are planning further things to make it interactive in the future! Awesome! Had a really good look from up high in our Dumbo of the construction going on, too.

    Got right on Barnstormer, which was fun after not riding in years!! It’s a very short ride, but I can remember it being a favorite when I was a little younger. Then we saw Alice in Wonderland and the White Rabbit in front of the Mad Tea Party with hardly a line to meet them. When I got up to see Alice, she was soooooo friendly and even said “I remember seeing you when we pulled in on the train this morning!” That was one of the most fun “character meetings” of my life! In our pictures, all three of us (me, Alice, and the rabbit) are laughing and having a full conversation.

    We met my grandparents at the front of the park and got breakfast at the bakery. They have a really good ham, egg, and cheese croissant at breakfast. It was delicious, my only mistake was eating a whole croissant by myself, and then not being hungry later when we went to Les Chefs de France for lunch!

    Anyway, then we rode the train for a full-circle tour around MK, which is always fun! We decided to make our way over to Epcot so that we’d be on time for our France reservations at 2 p.m. Once we got there, though, we had plenty of time for fun before lunch. We rode the Seas with Nemo and Friends, which was so cute! Once we got off the actual ride, I so enjoyed perusing the various tanks, especially the manatees (looking at them from underwater). They are such gentle animals, and seem truly happy at Epcot. It breaks my heart every time they talk about how many are endangered in the Florida waters. I also really enjoyed looking at the dolphins doing tricks, even though we were watching from below the water’s surface. I wonder if there was some sort of show, or if the trainers just know it’s entertaining for guests to watch?

    But one of the cutest things I saw the whole week happened in those aquariums. There was this big tank full of clownfish, and two or three very little boys (maybe a year or two old) were huddled around the tank, looking in and, in the softest, sweetest voices saying “that’s Nemo!” It made my day!

    Mom convinced us all to see Captain EO, which was . . . interesting! I didn’t really like how the effects included something that whipped across the backs of your calves, but other than that it was kitschy and fun! Hopefully someday they’ll bring back other attractions we think are extinct!

    Next we headed over to France, where we still had a little time before our reservation. I had my photo taken with Sleeping Beauty and with Marie from the Aristocats! We also saw the Impressions de France movie, which is one of my favorite films at Disney. The music is so beautiful, and the movie itself, though a little dated, has aged well for the most part.

    Now it was time for our yummy and fun lunch at Les Chefs de France. Mom and I split the three-course meal, as did my grandparents, and then added an extra soup to the meal. I got the French onion soup, which was great! The hilarious Maitre’d brought Remy from Ratatouille around to greet us. I think it kind of freaked my grandmother out, who couldn’t quite remind herself that the rat was fake. We couldn’t figure out if Remy is animatronic, or a puppet! Anyone know?

    After lunch it was raining, just absolutely pouring. We somehow made our way to Morocco, where we stayed in shops for a little way, before finding our way into some museum-exhibit like room that we’d never stumbled upon before. It was a pretty decent distraction, but we’d soon read everything about traditional Moroccan adornments that were on display, and decided we should make a run over to the next country (Japan for new entertainment). In Japan we shopped some more, which was fun, but none of us picked anything out for purchase. I did start decorating the “Duffy on a stick” as Mom calls him (the newest Kidcot Fun Stop thing). The Japanese girl who was running the Kidcot station was so nice! She saw my “Just Graduated” pin and got into a long conversation about how she wished Disney World had them and told me she got goosebumps just seeing it! I colored Duffy with a cap & gown, before the rain slightly let up and we decided to go toward America.

    We watched the Voices of Liberty, which were absolutely incredible. It renewed the spirit I had lost the day before to see a diverse group of people singing along to patriotic songs in there. Then we went into the American Adventure, which is another thing I so enjoy! Every time I see it, it really inspires me to want to learn more details of American history, and then by the time I get home it’s not on my mind anymore until the next visit there! Oops

    Afterwards, the rain was down to a drizzle. Still, it was clear that Debbie was a Downer on the parks from here on in. We had NO idea that we’d get a tropical storm while we were at Disney when we were leaving home! I felt so bad for the people whose entire trips were rainy. While the latter portion of our trip was pretty yucky, the first few days were gorgeous and sunny.

    We took the Friendship Boats over to Mexico before walking to the exit of the park and taking the bus back to French Quarter. We hung out in our room for a few hours, I think I actually took a nap for a little while, as did Mom, while my granddad read and my grandmother watched I Love Lucy on the TV. It never stopped raining that whole day, and not just drizzling, but really pouring.

    After our nap, Mom and I decided we’d go back to MK, even though my grandparents decided to stay back and enjoy the performer by the lobby and dinner in the food court. When the bus to MK came, many people got off, and Mom and I ended up being the only two people that were taken to the park. That boded well for a crowd-free night, but it also meant the weather was pretty bad.

    We were lucky enough to only wait about 15 or 20 minutes for pictures with Aurora, Cinderella, and Belle in the Exposition Hall (where you can also see Mickey). My mom got her picture taken with Cinderella on her graduation trip from high school, so it was a big deal for us that I get my photo with her too. Other than eating in the castle, this was the only way to guarantee we’d see Cindy. It was fun! Aurora was very nice, saying that “the three fairies granted you the gift of beauty!”

    The little girl (maybe age 3?) in line in front of us sort of freaked Belle out, I think. She kept lifting the bottom of Belle’s skirt and looking for something, almost as if she wanted to see up her skirt. Mom and I exchanged looks of confusion. Finally the little girl said “I want to see your shoes!” And Belle was able to show her what her shoes looked like!

    Cinderella was extremely sweet, and when she saw the costume jewelry rings I had put on for Disney World, she took my hands and said “My, those are beautiful, just don’t let my stepsisters see them, dear, they’ll try to take them!” The second we got out of the photo room, the Electrical Parade went by; just passing us was the Cinderella float. Boy, that would freak out some kid, seeing Cinderella inside and then coming out a door and seeing her again!

    We were hungry for dinner even though it was after 9 p.m. now, so we went to Cosmic Ray’s and split a burger. We laughed about an overstimulated little girl who got mad at her family and went to sit at an empty table nearby. Is Cosmic Ray’s now a restaurant where Cast Members clean up after you? We noticed a lot of people had just left their trash on the table, and yet there were still trash cans around the dining room, which we thought meant you should take your own trash. I guess one person leaves their trash on the table and others follow the example? Just curious as to whether the “norm” at Cosmic Ray’s has changed? Thanks!

    Next we saw the Laugh Floor Comedy Club show. When you first walk into the theater, they are putting photos on the screen and giving them captions. They put mom and I up there with the caption “Thinks everyone is staring at her.” It was funny, but embarrassing too! The preteens next to us during the show got sooo irritated every time they would pick someone out of the audience because it wasn’t them who got picked.

    We rode the Jungle Cruise and got the most fun, enthusiastic skipper ever! She actually had some new jokes, which is kind of rare for this attraction (of course, now I can only come up with the old ones!). It was a little spookier in the Indian cave at night!

    We did Pirates, and got our own private boat. Very fun! As our last thing we did Haunted Mansion, perusing the new graveyard queue at our leisure. Eventually we made our way back to Port Orleans and slept well after a long day.

    Emma

  18. #17

    Day 7—Saturday, June 23, 2012

    Today we just couldn’t get ourselves out of bed early. Mom and I slept until 9:30 a.m. and took a nice leisurely time getting showered and ready. I was the only one who hadn’t picked out a pastry earlier and saved it for breakfast, so while they finished getting ready I went down to the food court for a muffin. Eventually they came down to the food court and met me before we headed out to the bus station.

    We took a bus to Epcot today. Originally we had planned for today to be another “out-of-parks” day to explore more resorts and swim in the pool, but with the weather being so spotty, we decided we’d better enjoy any time we could, while we could, in case it got worse (lucky thing we did. The day we had planned to be our other park day was Monday, June 25, which turned out to be the worst day of the tropical storm, so bad that Disney shut all four parks early).

    We went to Universe of Energy first when we got to Epcot, something we haven’t done in ages. I really enjoyed it! It was entertaining and educational, which is something so magical about Epcot! I think Ellen and Bill Nye are both fun hosts, and the ride has some pretty impressive dinosaur animatronics, too!

    Next we all rode Soarin’ with FPs, and for the first time ever rode on the theater on the right-hand side. For some reason every other time we use FastPasses we get seated in the same theater. It was fun to mix it up a little! This is one of my favorite soundtracks to listen to when we’re at home and I’m missing Disney. If only Disney could send home the pine and orange scents as a souvenir, too!

    We ate at the Sunshine Seasons food court again, this time Mom and I split a Reuben, as did my grandparents. It was a good sandwich, definitely large enough for splitting. Then we saw the Circle of Life movie, which is something I’ve only done a few times. The only thing I don’t like about Circle of Life is the turnaround at the end. The whole movie talks about how humans don’t conserve and recycle enough, and the danger our planet is in, and then at the end it picks up and makes it seem like everything is suddenly on the right track and that we’re doing fine. Obviously conservation and recycling are still major issues that haven’t been totally fixed. But I guess Disney wouldn’t want to end on a bad note Still, I love Simba and the other Lion King characters!

    We walked around World Showcase a little more leisurely this time, and took in the O Canada movie. I like the new film (although my memory of the original is foggy) but don’t particularly care for the updated song. I liked the duet version, even though I’m sure not everyone did!

    We took the monorail to the TTC, then to MK. Once inside, we got desserts in the bakery (I think I actually got a popcorn from a vendor). Mom and I came up with the wild idea to try to get a reservation for that night at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, simply because we’ve never been and Italian food sounded good for a late dinner. My grandparents seemed fine with the idea, but ended up heading back to the hotel before any of us ate dinner. The man at the door of Tony’s told us there wouldn’t be any open spots tonight, but that we could always come in when we wanted to eat and see if they could seat us. Still, we went inside and asked the front desk about reservations, where the very friendly lady found a reservation for 4 that night at 7:50. Just goes to show you, even when someone tells you something can’t be done, you should still ask at Disney! Looking back, the guy opening the door probably has no idea when they have open reservations anyway. With our reservation for 4 people, we headed back out, and rode Space Mountain, which had a short line, probably because it finally wasn’t raining much today, and people wanted to enjoy the outdoor rides!

    We also got right on Winnie the Pooh. Peter Pan had a longer wait, but we didn’t wait very long before getting on. Then came Small World . . . a delightful experience.

    I don’t know how to handle the delicate subject of body odor and deodorant use here. All I will say is, a family in front of us had a young man in their party who took many photos during the ride, lifting his arms to take pictures. There are many many things that I believe should be left up for the individual to decide and have freedom about. But smelling bad is seriously offensive to other people. You have to wear deodorant in Florida in June. Case closed. Again, sorry if that came off harshly. Obviously, not directed towards fellow MousePlanet folks!!!!

    My grandparents headed back to the hotel then, even though we had really hoped they’d join us for dinner at Tony’s. They’re great to have along on trips, but as they age, it makes us sad how tired they get from the long park days. I wish I could go back to the days when they would come on the roller coasters with us instead of waiting at the exits, and stayed with us until closing. Still, Mom and I have a great time bonding together, but we always miss them when they’re not in the park with us!

    We rode Big Thunder in daylight while we had the chance (it sometimes closed during the storm, so I’m glad we rode when we had the chance, even though we waited in line).

    We went over to Tom Sawyer Island next, which was a real disappointment this trip. Almost everything was blocked by the walls with the Walt Disney quotes on them, I guess being renovated. I could be mistaken, but it seemed like everything except the two caves and the windmill were closed, short of a couple small bridges. We got incredibly lost in one of the caves! To the point where, despite the rule about it being one-way, we finally had to turn around and go back the way we came in. Another guy had been going the other way when we were coming in, and we hadn’t been able to figure out what he was doing, going the wrong way. Now I know! Perhaps Disney could add a little extra light in there, or some other clue in the dark. Earlier in the trip we had gone up in the Swiss Family Treehouse after dark and literally saw countless cockroaches, which was, trust me, a horrifying, nightmarish experience for me. A kid below us said “they’re everywhere!” And of course we didn’t notice them until we were at the very top, where going forward or going back would be the same long distance back to cockroach-free zones. So that cave was pretty much freaking me out, because my shoes were sandals and I just don’t care for bugs or tight dark spaces with no apparent exit :P

    When we got out, we went back to Frontierland and headed towards Main Street. We shopped in the Confectionary, and I got a pack of real Rice Krispie Treats (made from the cereal in the store, not the prepackaged kind that aren’t as gooey and delicious). But we saved them for later in the trip, and made our way to Tony’s for dinner.

    We updated the lady about the number of people in our party for dinner (only two now) and they gave us a buzzer and told us to sit down. The second we made our way over to two empty seats and seated ourselves, the buzzer started going off and we were escorted right away to our table, in the back corner near some paintings and the kitchen door. It was a nice, tucked-away place to eat! I would love to sit out front on the porch sometime too!

    We split the lasagna, which came out before our bread even made its way out to our table, somehow! Even splitting, I couldn’t finish my lasagna, but it was absolutely delicious. I would love to eat here again if we get the chance. I really loved the Lady and the Tramp fountain in the middle of the dining room! We split a chocolate gelato for dessert, which was yummy!!!!

    After dinner, we decided to give the new Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game a try. Unfortunately, we didn’t get far. We did the first couple of windows and then just couldn’t get into it and started focusing on rides and stuff again. We found our way in Adventureland, browsing through the Agrabah Bazaar, when a young cast member approached us. Somehow, we got into a conversation about the college program. He was there on the program from Canada, and loved it, and had some really great experiences to share. It got me even more excited (and also nervous about getting in)!

    We did the Magic Carpets, not managing to escape the spitting camel the first rotation around. Then we took our carpet all the way to the highest flying level and enjoyed a beautiful view, noting that you could see both Frontierland “mountains” from there. Disney World is a beautiful place at night. The park was only open until 10 that night, which seemed weird for Saturday, since people from the area who work full-time probably have to come on weekends.

    We rode Pirates before catching the Electrical Parade at the end of its route in Frontierland. When Pete was taking Elliot backstage at the end, he was saying “Elliot, why are you taking us into all these trees? What’s back here?!” It was pretty cute! We saw the Magic, Memories, and You show projected on the castle again (still blows my mind how the projection works on that), and Wishes. No Tinker Bell tonight. I guess they were worried about rain or wind, even though it wasn’t raining, nor windy. Just the possibility was enough, I guess! Still, I didn’t notice when she usually would have flown out, so Disney does a good job of covering that up on nights when she can’t fly.

    We did some shopping on Main Street, but the park was officially closed, so we took the bus back to POFQ for bed.

    P.S. Sorry for getting some of the dates wrong on previous posts--I messed up and can't edit posts other than the most recently added on. My apologies for that confusion!

    Emma

  19. #18

    Day 8—Sunday, June 24, 2012

    Last park day, which made me sad. Today was when the rain really got intense. When we got up, it was grey and dark outside. Still, we got up at 7 a.m. and made our way to MK to see the opening ceremony one last time. This turned out to be a mistake, but it’s too late to change now. Mom and I stood on a bench and sang along to the songs Disney plays by the entrance, because if we didn’t sing along and act cheerful, I think the weather would’ve put us in sad moods, along with it being our final day. The train didn’t pull into the station like normal, and only a couple of characters came out at all to open the park. It was a letdown! One very weird thing was seeing the Main Street lights on when we entered the park at 9 a.m. Never seen them on so early before!

    My grandparents were already hating the rain, but we made our way to Adventureland and had a meet & greet (under cover) with Aladdin and Jasmine, which was fun! Of course, it was kind of a pain because before you could get a photo with a character, you had to remove any ponchos or rain gear, and it took everyone a few minutes to prepare.

    Then we did another meet & greet with Peter Pan, who was very friendly, and finally, the best moment of the trip and possibly of my life: meeting Ariel and Eric!!! They were both so very very nice and funny and personable! When we talked about graduating and I mentioned the college program they said “Oh you have to do it! You’re so beautiful you have to come!” which made my life. I had put a flower in my hair similar to the one Ariel was wearing, and she had Eric “rate” it. He gave it a 10 out of 10!

    Then we rode Pirates, simply to get out of the heavy rain. We also ducked into Hall of Presidents to gain an extended dry period. This I enjoyed more than I had remembered. By this point Mom and I had decided we would try to do every attraction in Magic Kingdom. We did everything except Astro Orbiter and the Tomorrowland Speedway, due to the weather. Still, we figure it’s pretty close!!

    We did Haunted Mansion again before taking the bus back to the hotel. We just needed some “dry time.” My cheap poncho had ripped up the side making it miserable at keeping me dry. When we got back to POFQ we bought two Disney ponchos, at $8.50 apiece. And nearly everyone that day and for days afterwards, I’m sure, was sporting a Disney poncho. I can’t imagine what they made on those ponchos from this one small tropical storm!

    We had lunch in the food court. Mom and I split a meatball sub, I think. It was nice to be dry, but we were all a little heartbroken that we were here in what we were calling a hurricane. At Disney, somehow, you lose track of the world news and immerse yourself in the world where there isn’t anything bad happening in the news. And, because of the storm, we had to turn on the news channels in our room to get weather updates, which was no fun! We wanted to watch the Must-Dos! But the weather was getting worse and worse, raining harder and tornados were starting to pop up through central Florida. I took a quick nap, and so did Mom, before changing into new clothes and going back to MK in new ponchos. My grandparents stayed behind for now at the hotel.

    We walked through the Main Street stores because they were under cover! It was amazing how slippery the floors got – we saw more than a few people slide a few inches across the floor in the emporium. And also caught sight of a large cockroach in there later that night. It was obvious that Disney was trying their best to make the storm as unobtrusive as possible in people’s vacations, but there it was. We got our final Dole Whips and enjoyed them in a little alcove. I heard people behind us talking about “putting it in rice,” which I assume meant someone’s phone was damaged or ruined do the wet weather. What a bummer, to have your phone break at Disney World.

    We saw the Tiki Room again, and I am again really glad it’s been restored to its former glory! We shopped in Frontierland shops and eventually made our way to Fantasyland, where we rode the Carousel twice. We shopped in Castle Couture again, where Cast Members were putting fairy dust in hair. Of course I let them! The Cast Member waved a wand over your head (the glitter shook out of the wand) and said “all you need is faith, trust, and a little bit of pixie dust!” It was so fun! My grandparents met us then, deciding they didn’t want to spend the last night of vacation in the hotel room, even if they did have to spend it in the rain here. They didn’t stay long, but it was nice.

    We went to dinner at Pinocchio’s Village Haus, and sat at a table overlooking it’s a small world, which was fun, since so many people would wave up at us. I enjoyed our seat a lot!

    Then we rode it’s a small world before my grandparents headed back to the hotel. Mom and I took in PhilharMagic one more time. My shoes were absolutely drenched through. There were inches-deep puddles everywhere. We later learned Orlando got nearly a FOOT of rain just in that one day. I can’t describe to you the sheets of rain coming down across the park, the wide open spaces, empty of guests, so unusual for Disney in summertime. It was absolutely surreal to me.

    We went to Tomorrowland and looked through the stores there just to have something to do. We did Stitch with the vain hope that we’d still end up doing every attraction in Magic Kingdom. Only something went wrong while we were outside the doors and caused the wait to extend longer and longer. Just when we were ready to get out of line, the doors opened and we went in. Then, when the show was over (and what a wonderful show it is…) the first set of exit doors spit us all out into a room with a bunch of closed doors. We eventually just started opening the doors and eventually found one that took us back into Tomorrowland. I think Disney was having technical issues in Stitch, but everyone had just had enough, and were in bad moods from the rain. We heard countless arguments in families. Our own gloominess about the weather was magnified by the fact that we had to leave Disney the next day!

    We did Peoplemover and got very wet, and also did Carousel of Progress again. Then we went to the bakery for coffee and a brownie to split. This was where my night just fell apart I think. After leaving the bakery the rain had (somehow) picked up. We watched the Magic, Memories, & You, and Wishes, but I was in tears, upset by all the rain and the wet and the end of our trip. It was pretty much, all around, just not fun. We had hit our end. We went toward Adventureland, figuring we’d find something to do. Some random teenager approached me and asked for directions, which I would have given just fine, only my mom came over and insisted we personally escort the kid back to Main Street (where he needed directions to). By the time we got him there and told him to just go through the stores till he got to the end of the street, we didn’t even have the energy to go back into the corners of the park. I couldn’t handle any more rain. We did a little more shopping and got a few last-minute souvenirs before making our way through the stores to the end of the street, too. Disney made an announcement that the Electrical Parade was canceled.

    But we couldn’t leave. We got a call from my grandmother saying there was a tornado warning (or perhaps just a watch—but now I can’t remember!) and my mom and I both agreed getting on a bus would probably be more dangerous than staying here. So we went up to the second floor of the train station and sat in the chairs there, watching an empty park empty itself further, and saw massive winds sweep the rain through in giant sheets. After the warning had expired and we had cried over the end of our trip, we went back to the hotel and went to bed, knowing the morning would be sad.

    Day 9—Monday, June 25, 2012

    Barely anything to say about today. We ate our final beignets for breakfast before packing up and going back to my grandparents’ house in the rain. We had planned to spend time at the Boardwalk today, but it was another day of absolutely pouring rain. When we got back to their house, we found out Disney ended up closing all the parks early that Monday. Eventually, at their house, the weather cleared and Florida saw sunshine again. Overall, it was a great trip, and we may never again see it in tropical storm weather, which was quite the experience, if not a little too wet for my preference. Hope you enjoyed—I love reading the reports on here, and thank you so much for taking the time to read mine. Have a Magical Day!

    Emma

  20. #19

    yea it is definately hard finding grad mouse ears, the whole time i walked around the park people asked where i got mine....nut i went in April 2012 for my Senior Class Trip... YOur trip is very enjoyable DSCN2771.jpg


  21. #20

    Thanks for taking the time to write a very enjoyable trip report. I'm glad you were able to have fun in spite of the torrential downpours, even if it did make for a not so magical end to your trip.


  22. #21

    Thanks for posting your trip report, Emma! I really enjoyed reading it. You are absolutely adorable, and you write very well. I'm glad you had a nice trip. I was there with my son in May and my husband didn't come with us, because he is also not as much of a fan as we are. I loved having a special trip with just my son, and I'm sure your mom felt the same way. We are from Seattle, and we were happy every time it rained (although we didn't have as much as you did). For me, the rain was a relief from the heat. I wish you all the luck in the world in getting into the college program. Thanks again for a grea trip report.
    - Betsy


  23. #22

    Hi Emma. Thanks for a great trip report and congratulations on completing High School. Your mum must be so very proud to have such a lovely, beautiful daughter who clearly loves her so much. I hope my 10 year old daughter will write about our relationship so touchingly one day. I'm sorry about the storm. We have also been at WDW during a tropical storm and from memory I think we had 5 full days of solid sheet rain. I know it doesn't matter how hard you try, it just gets you down in the end. On a final note. Don't worry about not upsetting the French in line at Disney Land Paris if you ever visit. Queuing is not the greatest skill of the French. They are much better at designing clothes


  24. #23
    Registered User Silvercat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydooby View Post
    On a final note. Don't worry about not upsetting the French in line at Disney Land Paris if you ever visit. Queuing is not the greatest skill of the French. They are much better at designing clothes

    Excellent and very diplomatic comment there buddy!

    Emma - great trip report, interesting and fun to read! Sorry about the soggy end to your trip though, what a shame that the weather can have such an effect on vacation time.

    Congrats on completing High School, and good luck with the grad programme at Disney World - hope you make it!
    Silvercat


  25. #24

    Wonderful trip report Emma! I love the way you write and it was fun to read. So sorry about the horrid weather and horrid guests but thank goodness we tend to forget the bad things that happen and focus on the wonderfulness that is Disney! As I read your report I remembered a not so Disney moment from my last trip (only two months ago). Which just goes to show that the good moments always outweigh the bad! My not so good moment involved the bus trip to MK on my last day. A small child (under 1 year) who was sitting on the bus behind me threw up on me!!!! I had a feeling something bad was going to happen so I moved up a bit. Luckily just my back was hit and not my hair! The parents were so upset...what could I say, it was an accident. When I got off the bus another mom cleaned me up with baby wipes! I did have to wash my shirt in the restroom however! I forgot that story!

    So anyway, Emma, great report. I loved the photos with the princesses and other characters. You and your family had a great time! I have traveled with my daughter to WDW many times since her college graduation trip and I will tell you that those have been some of the best times of my life! I will always treasure the mother/daughter times and I'm so happy you share special time with your mom too.

    Good luck with the Disney College Program. Let us know if you get in!

    [
    Followed by Mother/Daughter trip: POP Century - May 13-18

  26. #25

    Emma, Your trip report was wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

    Congratulations on your HS graduation. And in the future - the world is yours.

    Ellen


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