View Full Version : turkeymama - My first trip without kids - March 13 - 16, 2008 - WDW Swan

04-06-2008, 09:58 AM
Travel dates: March 13 - March 16, 2008
Travel method: Southwest Air
Resort: The Swan Hotel
Accommodations: Standard Room/Hollywood Studios view
Ages Represented in Group: 2 Adults
Disney Resort Experience Represented in Group: 4th visit for both
Comments: Company trip/ free time was limited
Cast of characters: Husband and myself (first time with no kids)

My husband actually won this trip with his company for high performance in 2007, so all expenses were paid. :cool:

Day 1
We arrived shortly after noon on Thursday, grabbed luggage, and was quickly transported by shuttle to the hotel. We checked into the hotel. I politely asked the lady if there happened to be any rooms with park views available, not expecting to have the request granted since we were traveling with a large business group. To my surprise we were given a choice of Epcot or the Studios. What a nice surprise! We ended up on the eleventh floor, which made me rethink my request since I hate elevators. They were quick though. The view was awesome. I had a great view of ToT. Bell services took our bags and we were off to lunch at the hotel. Not sure which restaurant provided food, but I was so sedated from the flight I couldn't tell you how the food was anyway.

After lunch, we took a quick nap and got changed for our first group event. Supper was catered and we ate on the beach at the Swan/Dolphin. It was absolutely lovely. The grounds at the Swan and Dolphin are gorgeous. I would love to stay there again someday with the kids. Following the meal, we walked over to Epcot (as a very large group) for a VIP viewing of Illuminations. Our spot was in France overlooking the water. Dessert was brought in from the French restaurant, although I never spotted any chocolate mousse. Brian (DH) was kind enough to sprint over to the pastry shop to retrieve the aforementioned mousse and returned in plenty of time for us to enjoy it before the lights went down. As usual, Illuminations was great. We were able to enjoy the reactions from several people in our group who had never seen the show. It is always nice to watch first timers.

We decided to check out some night-life before heading back to the room. We wanted to take advantage of the adults-only trip. Rather than venture all the way to PI, we wandered into Atlantic Dance Hall. I was pleasantly surprised. Brian and I, and a few others from his company, decided to stay. The DJ played a good bit of 80's and 90's music, sprinkled with a tiny bit of late 70's. And what dance hall is complete without the occasional Blondie tune?

Day 2/Part 1
Friday was our only full free day (meaning we didn’t have to participate in convention activities) and the company provided us with a 1 day/1 park ticket, which we upgraded to a hopper. We spent the entire morning at Magic Kingdom and, since we were without the children, we headed to Adventure Land first. We rode PoTC and Jungle Cruise with no wait. Next we headed over to Frontier Land, but I chickened out and wouldn't ride either of the Mountains. We headed over to Tom Sawyer Island for a quick tour. We rounded out the morning with Haunted Mansion and Liberty Square Riverboat.

We took a break for lunch and sat down at Columbia Harbour House. I must say I was a little disappointed. The food quality seems to have gone down since our last visit, which was just in December. The chicken tenders were smaller, and the fish wasn't crisp at all. In fact, it almost tasted like it needed to be cooked a little longer. The tea was good and since I am true southern gal', sweet tea is important.

We headed over to Fantasy Land for an obligatory ride on IaSW. As usual the line for Peter Pan seemed to stretch on forever. We decided we didn't have the stomach for Mad Tea Party after our late night at the Dance Hall. Maybe it was the fish from lunch. Now that we thought about it, our heads didn't feel so great either. Off to the first aid station for us.

We took our ibuprofen that the nice lady in first aid gave us and took a nice ride on the TTA, followed by Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. We picked up a few souvenirs for the kids. I worked up enough nerve to try Goofy's Barnstormer, but that was about it.

We circled back around to Adventureland so I could ride Pirates one more time, and I wanted to get some pics of the all the scences while I waited in line.

We caught a little of the infamous 3:00 parade, perused a few stores on Main Street, spotted Marie Osmond, and decided to call it day. It had started raining.

Day 2/Part 2
We headed back to the room to freshen up and then head back out to Epcot this time. We decided to walk from the resort because the line for the Friendship launch was a little long. Sunshine Seasons is a favorite for us, so we headed over for a bite to eat. The rotisserie chicken is yummy, but they give you entirely too much. We really could have shared it. The land pavilion was getting extremely crowded due to the weather, but we figured it wouldn't last long since it was getting late. We did Living with the Land and then headed over to Soarin'. I absolutely love the end to Soarin'. We spent some time in MouseGears doing a little shopping. We didn't realize the margarita stand in Mexico closed during regular park hours on EMH nights so Brian was upset he couldn't get his drink. We browsed around WS at a very leisurely pace. We discovered that Morocco has their own mixed drink stand and they are quite yummy, FYI. By this point, it was well after 11:00 p.m. While I love Epcot, I feel like we didn't get our money's worth since we didn't do as much as I wanted. It is nice to be able to stroll around WS though. Usually we are going at break-neck speeds with the kids, so we don't have time to enjoy the architecture of the buildings. Since the weather was still spotty, we took the boat back to the hotel as opposed to walking this time.

After a long day, the Heavenly Bed at the Swan was wonderful to fall in to. I do believe the feather pillows irritated my eyes though.

Day 3
Brian slept in on Saturday while I headed down for breakfast (provided by the company, hooray). I wandered over to the Board Walk to snap some pictures since I had never been there before. For those of you who have skipped the BW, make a trip over there. It is absolutely wonderful. It was so peaceful. I was able to get some great shots since it was so quiet.

We had a late ADR for Whispering Canyon Cafe, but we wanted to allow plenty of time for travel since we were dependent on Disney transportation. We hopped on a bus to MK from the Swan. The bus wasn't very crowded, but when we arrived at MK we were utterly shocked. The day before was moderately crowded, but Saturday was extremely crowded. I have never seen so many buses at MK except at closing. The boats were packed as well. We finally decided the crowds were due to early spring break people. Thankfully, all the people were coming to MK and not leaving. We actually arrived early for our reservation, so we spent some time wandering around WL. The hotel is beautiful. I love the totem poles in the lobby.

We were seated semi-promptly and our server quickly threw a hand-full of straws at us. Oh the joys of dining at Whispering Canyon! This is actually one of our favorite places to dine. Brian had the Canyon Skillet and I had the chicken (again). The food was good, but our server seemed to neglect us a little during this visit. Maybe he felt we wouldn't appreciate the usual antics since we didn't have children with us. He did give me a coloring sheet to work on, though.

We hopped on a bus to Downtown Disney for some souvenir shopping. As usual, we knew we couldn't fit half of what we bought into our suitcases. I am now the proud owner of a Walt Disney World suitcase, which I am calling my souvenir suitcase from now on. This is the first time we have ever tried the Ghirardelli Ice Cream. Wow! We normally avoid all ice cream shops since my daughter is deathly allergic to all things dairy. The hot fudge sundae is not to be missed.

I'm not sure how we fit all our purchases along with the suitcase on the bus back to the hotel, but we did. We watched TV. in the room for awhile and changed clothes for our final evening.

We weren't sure where we were headed for our final night, but we knew the entire company was going together. They had kept the plans a secret until we arrived. We were hoping to go to Cirque Du Soleil, but the company had other plans. They actually loaded us onto buses and took us to Universal's City Walk for the Mardi Gras Party. They closed down part of City Walk for the company so we had room to roam. We spent most of our time at Pat O’Brien’s. We are from Louisiana so we enjoyed the music and atmosphere. The Mardi Gras decorations were lacking, but they tried. I'm not a big Universal person, so I am a little biased against them. The food was catered in from several different restaurants on site. There was some shrimp, but no crawfish unless they slipped some into the Jambalaya.

Day 4
Both of us slept in on Sunday. I am an early riser, so for me this means sleeping until 7:00 instead of 6:00. We weren't in any hurry, so we took our time getting dressed and packed. Neither of us wanted the breakfast at the hotel, so we walked over to the Boardwalk for a snack. We took some pictures and browsed the shops before heading back to catch our shuttle to MCO.

I will definitely take the time to visit the Boardwalk with my kids when we go back in October. That was something I never would have spent time doing if we had not been staying so close to it, but I'm glad we did. Our experience was quite different without our children. This visit convinced us that we can be lifetime Disney-addicts, even when our children are grown and have moved out of the house. (We suspected we could be, this trip just confirmed it.)

04-06-2008, 02:17 PM
We were there the 16th at Epcot with the rain. Was our first time ever it had rained while on a WDW trip. :) Sounds like you had a nice time. All expenses paid sounds nice too. :)

Big V
04-07-2008, 07:57 AM
Great report! Thanks for writing it. :cool:

04-07-2008, 08:16 AM
I loved your report!!
My husband and I are going in May alone. Our "baby" graduates from High School on the 18th and we are leaving on the 26th. First trip as empty nesters and all alone. We told ourselves we would do this for years. I just can't believe it is already time. LOL