Land and Sea, OCD style!


#1

Our Family 2005 Disney Land and Sea Vacation!

Cast of Characters:

DW – wife – AKA Bec
DD – daughter – AKA Caitlyn
DS – son – AKA Braeden
Me, myself, and I – AKA Bob

Our story begins in Dayton, Ohio. Actually, Xenia, Ohio, home of the 1974 F5 tornado. Our half asleep, yet very excited family, left the house at 7:45 AM and dropped of our dog, Lady, at Aunt Monica’s house. From there we proceeded to Uncle Eric’s church, so that he could drive us to the airport. We left the van with him, so it did not sit in the lot all week. Quick trip to the airport and on we go!

I must first state that I have been very nervous about the Disney Magical Express luggage transfer part of this trip. To think that I would drop my bags off at the airport in Dayton, and somehow, they would magically just show up at our room at the CBR, seemed somehow fraught with the potential for lost luggage. Luckily, while checking in to our Delta flight (which I was happy to see was still on time, given the recent Pilot strike discussions), a very nice woman noticed our Transfer tags on the luggage, and commented about her recent trip to Disney, using the same service. She said it worked great, so I eased up on the OCD.

No problems with security. I have my family pretty well trained, since I travel a lot for business. McDonald’s and CinnaBon for breakfast. Flight left on time and was rather uneventful. Important weather note: It was 40 degrees out when we left Dayton… In Florida, it was 70 when we landed.

For those who have never used Disney’s Magical Express, here’s how it works: We went from the gate to Level 1, Side A, where CM’s directed us to the DME counter. At this point, you need to have your Transfer pass from you vacation booklet. Once scanned, we got in line for the CBR bus. We waited about 15 minutes, then loaded onto the Disney Motor Coach. The ride lasted about 30 minutes. Remember, at this point, you still do NOT have your checked bags. :whistling

Check in went as smooth as silk. Once we had our Keys to the World (KttW?), we proceeded to the Cruise Line check-in desk. For those mixing Land and Sea packages, this is a great time-saver, later on. Our Passports and Birth Certificates were checked, border control docs were turned in, and we were done. Off to the room! Barbados. Building 14. About a 6 minute walk to Old Port Royale, and a 1 minute walk to the bus stop. The room was clean and the weather was beautiful! We changed into Florida weather apparel, conveniently packed in out carry-ons, and walked over to OPR for a late lunch.

The food court there is great, and considering we were going on the cruise in a few days, we did not feel the need to eat fancy at the parks. After wandering the resort for a while, and checking out the pools, we returned to the room. Still no checked bags…. I called the resort operator to find out how long it usually takes for baggage to arrive. FYI, it usually takes 3 hours from arrival at the resort. The CM on the phone checked our room number in the system and said, “It should be arriving just… about… now!” Right on cue, there was a knock on the door, and there were our bags. Priceless moment!


#2

Sounds great so far keep it coming!!


#3

On to the Studios! Like I said, we only had a 1 minute walk to the bus stop. The AK bus left as we were walking up, and the Studios bus pulled in right behind! No wait! (Karma would come back around and kick our behinds for this later…) The first thing we saw when we arrived was the big ol’ Christmas Tree. This started a trend of getting our pictures taken in front of each of the trees at each park. We picked up our maps and show times list and the bad new hit. It was now 5:05 PM, and most of the things we wanted to see or do had ended at 5:00, including the Beauty and the Beast show, the Stunt show, and the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground…. DW and kids were especially bummed. :sad: So, we rode Star Tours. My DS is only 4, and he is a daredevil. Though he looked a little freaked during the ride, he claimed he loved it when it was over. My DD, who is 6, did not handle it as well. “I’m NEVER riding that again!” she said. This would become a common phrase, though she did impress me by trying almost everything.

From there, we headed back to Fantasmic, picking up some Mickey Ice Cream bars on the way. Our seats were center section, center row! Much better than when I had seen the show before. As usual, the show was Fantastic! Once out of the crowd, we headed BACK to the Osborne Lights. On the way, we passed a Disney Vacation Club kiosk, and asked for new information. We had looked into the DVC before, but never joined. 15 minutes later, we had been signed up for a tour of Saratoga Springs on Tuesday morning. The Lights were incredible, and there was snow (actually soap suds) blowing from the roof tops. Top that off with the piped in Christmas music, and everyone was in the spirit!

By now, we were pretty wiped out… That is, until we found a DJ playing dance tunes right in front of Mickey’s Sorcerer Hat. Kids and parents were dancin’ up a storm. So my DW and DD joined in the fun. Got lots of it on tape for future hilarity. After that, I had to carry our DS out. We only waited 3 minutes for the bus to CBR. (Just wait for Karma to catch up tomorrow night…) Before bed we grabbed some snacks from OPR, and topped off the night by watching the EPCOT fireworks from the deck outside of our room. Incredible! See everyone in the morning!


#4

Yeah a new report. Yours is off to a great start…I don’t like the sound of the bad karma part, but I hope it wasn’t to bad. Can’t wait to read on.


#5

Fun report! I completely identify with the bus karma… for me, too, things started out GREAT and then, well… yeah.


#6

Oh great another wonderful trip report. Thanks, I am hoping that you are writing more?–Now?!


#7

All in due time! Tonight, I am preparing for a big snow storm that is supposed to hit tomorrow night. Weather men are calling for 3 - 6 inches. Of course, they said the same thing this time last year and we got a foot and a half… I just keep reminding myself that it was sunny and 78 when I left Orlando… You’ll understand what I am preparing here, tomorrow after I post day 2. That’s when Karma strikes… :tongue:


#8

Yes well, I know exactly what you mean. We have been promised a huge snow storm and had all sorts of warnings creeping along the tv screen for days and then suddenly – poof-- and there was no snow anywhere. My boys have been waiting for a snowday, I don’t think that they will be disappointed in the moring. It has been snowing all day. Yipppppeeeeee
So, snow means nothing to do which means writing trip reports is all you can do:biggrin:


#9

Your report is great, now where is the rest? Was it some excuse about snow? Snow is soft white fluffy stuff it don’t stop trip reports! :biggrin: only kidding but we do need more!


#10

OK…. Here’s some more! Day 2 was Magic Kingdom, Commando Style (don’t take that the wrong way!) I had promised my DW, whose preferred vacation is sitting at the beach, that we would only have one of these days on this trip, so we needed to make the most of it. And this is the park the kids had been waiting for. We were up at 7:00, and out the door quickly. Just as we walked over to the bus stop, we saw the MK bus pull away… (karma…) However, the EPCOT bus pulled up next, and I thought “ Braeden wants to ride the Monorail, so why not hop on this bus, and make our way to the MK from there.” I am one of those “forward progress” types, and I do not like sitting and waiting when other options present themselves. Plus, you never really know how long it will take for another bus… So, on we hopped to EPCOT. After hitting all of the other CBR stops, and the longer than usual trek to EPCOT, I started to wonder if we made a bad decision. (Karma…) At EPCOT, we hopped the Monorail to the TTC. (Who designed the TTC?! To get from one monorail to the other, we had to run ALL the way down the ramps and ALL the way back up!) Monorail to MK and we still made it there about 10 minutes after the park opened!

As we entered, we saw several character opps. However, our kids stated that if they had seen them last time, and already had their autographs, they did not need to see them again! Fine by me; more time to ride! We did however stop to see Wendy. We thought we would try something new this year for the kids, so we bought them Pin Trading lanyards on Main Street. On the way to the castle, we stopped to watch part of a street show by the Main Street Players. Right as we reached the castle court, the Cinderellabration show started, and since it was not crowded, the kids were able to see everything! (Good karma!) The show was very cute, and my DD especially liked seeing all of the Princesses together. From there, we moved on the Fantasyland.

First stop, the tea cups. No wait! Next, grabbed a fast pass for Pooh. While waiting, we rode Dumbo. This was the first time I had ridden Dumbo in at least 15 years! It was probably the longest wait for any ride during the whole trip, but it was only about 15 minutes. Next, our first time in Mickey’s Philharmagic. LOVED it! My DS thought it was a little loud though. We then ran over to use our Fast Passes on the Pooh ride, followed by a counter lunch at Pinnochio’s, with one of those tables that looks down on IASW… Well, after watching people go on, of course we had to ride it next! After that, we headed to Frontierland and saw the Country Bear Christmas Show. They really need to work on the speakers in there. They seem to have grown more gravelly over the years, and a lot of the music was hard to understand.

Now, on to the big rides for the kids. This was a big moment for a 4 and a 6 year old. We started with Splash Mountain. They loved it! The big hill was a little hare-raising :wink: , but they agreed they would do it again if we had the time. The parade was going to start soon, so we grabbed a Fast Pass for Big Thunder, and found spots to watch the giant snow globes. It rained a little during the parade, but it was definitely not a wash out. We pulled out our 2 ponchos, and let the kids hide under them with us, while the parade finished. (They were clear ponchos, so they could still see the show!) After the parade, we ran to Big Thunder, and again the kids loved it! We then hopped the train to Toontown, visited Mic’s house, the Toon Park, and Minnie’s house. The Christmas decorations were very fun, especially the jumbo Christmas lights lining the edges of the roof. The Barnstormer was next, and it was met with a resounding “That’s IT?!” from the kids. They have definitely graduated to the big leagues!

We ran back to Tomorrowland and grabbed a Fast Pass for Buzz. We next found the AAA lounge, picked up our Diamond Club Cards, grabbed a free beverage, and rested our feet for a few minutes. It had rained a little again, but it was done by the time we went back out into the park. Next we rode the Indy Speedway, which was a big hit with our DS, as he is a huge NASCAR fan. Back to Buzz, and my DW and DS killed my DD and myself in points. Dinner was at Cosmic Ray’s where they really do have a wide selection of counter service food, and the entertainment of Sonny Eclipse! Everyone was wearing down at this point, but we still wanted to see the Spectro parade and my DW wanted to ride HM, since she had missed it on all of our previous trips. Soooooo…… We ran back to Frontierland.

The kids and I found a place along the parade route, right next to the Stocks, and across the street from the Liberty Bell. DW went on HM. While we waited for both the parade and DW, it began to lightning in the distance. (uh oh, here comes Karma…) But the thunder was very delayed. We continued to wait… More lightning… Not as much of a delay for the thunder… DW showed up. No wait at the HM. We put our ponchos on, as it had begun to rain. Not too bad. But it got heavier. Wait, look… Here comes the parade! Many other guests around me started asking how long the parade would continue, considering the CM’s are dressed in lights and wiring, while the rain kept getting heavier… Then, the monsoon hit. Many, though not all, guests decided to head for the hills. We asked the kids if they wanted to stay or go. They chose “GO!” So we ran for it! As the parade was still going, we could not head back toward the castle; we had to go around through Fantasyland. So, there we went, each of us adults with a separate child beneath our ponchos, moving at child speed through the downpour. At one point, I put the poncho on my DS, and put him on my shoulders, so we could move faster, though I got thoroughly drenched! Of course, when we got to the Tomorrowland side of the castle court, we got stuck as the crowd was blocked by the end of the parade… We saw the first 4 floats, and the last 4. Then, the mass of guests ALL ran down Main Street in the rain. It was mass pandemonium! As we finally made it through the exit, Karma smacked us again. :crying:

I looked for Resort bus signs, but saw none. I was directed by another guest to get on the Monorail to go to the TTC to find the resort buses. So there we went, along with most of the park guests. We packed into the Monorail like sardines, all soaked through, and sweating from running! Nasty. Of course, we all poured out at the TTC. However, there are no RESORT buses at the TTC. I was informed by a helpful Cast Member that the resort buses were back at the MK… Doh! Not going back there! So we waited for a bus headed to the Studios, which is the closest park to CBR. Once we got to the Studios, we had to wait 20 minutes for a bus to CBR. By then, the rain had pretty much ended. By the time we returned to the CBR, we were exhausted. I walked down to OPR to pick up some snacks, and again watched the EPCOT fireworks from our room. At this point, before going to bed, we checked our messages at home… (More Karma…) Turns out, back in Xenia, we had 50 MPH winds, and our neighbors had left a message that a whole mess of our roof shingles had blown off, along with our front screen door! Luckily, I have great neighbors. They checked for leaks… NONE. And they rigged the door so it would not flap in the breeze. These problems are what I was working on last night as we prepare for the big snow storm!

Now, don’t be too alarmed, because as it turned out, the house is fine (need the entire roof re-shingled, but that’s what insurance is for), and that night was the ONLY night that we had bus and rain problems. In hindsight, we had a great day and saw just about everything we wanted in the MK. Tomorrow, a more relaxing day. A DVC tour, shopping at DTD, and a short stint at EPCOT.


#11

Very good report so far,but where’s the rest???


#12

Loving this report. GLad that you have such a positive attitude about the little bumps in the road. I can’t wait to hear the rest of this.


#13

I’m holding out for your Sea portion of the report! Come back soon!