Llama and Sarah's Impulsive Trip to WDW


#1

First of all - I have pictures - and I’ll post them as soon as I get the camera back from dd on the weekend. I accidently packed it in her suitcase.

Well, let’s see…

Cast of Characters (a very short list)
llama
dd No. 1 Sarah

So - it all started as a joke. My dd is waiting to start a new job, so she’s been hanging around my house a lot, waiting for me to entertain her. So she said, “Mom - let’s go to WDW”. It was ridiculous. I had just got back on December 1. We started reminiscing about our favourite place in the World - then I said, we’ll it wouldn’t hurt to call DVC…and they just happened to have a studio suite for a week and our points were just renewed, and then we really thought we should get somemore use out of our AP’s… and could we help it if we had airline points just begging to be used - why, it would be downright uneconomical if we DIDN’T go. That was Wednesday afternoon - by Thursday morning all plans were in place - and I was in shock! How could I go to WDW on a week’s notice??? What would Dana say??? A week??? To pack properly??? (what if I forgot the hair volumnizer?, 3 weather-appropriate outfits for each day?) To make plans and ADR’s??? Well - I just decided to throw caution to the wind. I didn’t make any plans! :eek: I packed in an hour, grabbed my AP and passport, a good book for the plane and I was done.

OK - nothing can go that smoothly - and it didn’t, starting with our flight. :angry: We were to leave at 6 a.m. from Winnipeg, fly to Toronto, catch an Orlando flight there and be in Florida by 1:30 p.m. Waking up at 4 a.m. I logged on to our flight’s schedule only to find that it had been delayed by THREE HOURS! Which meant we would miss our connecting flight in Toronto. After some discussion, my dh thought we should go down to the airport and see what was going on. (Have you ever tried to phone an airline - I’m convinced that all airlines must be Amish - they don’t have phones!) So - at 5 am we headed for the airport. We get to the ticket counter - ask why the delay, told that because the plane was late getting into Winnipeg, the flight crew did not have the regulation amount of rest, and are told that we have been re-routed through Calgary - a flight leaving at 7 a.m. - if we hadn’t gone to the airport, we wouldn’t have even known that - I was not impressed. I was also not impressed about flying 2 hours west, only to get on another plane and fly back exactly where we came from and then on to Florida - but what are you gonna do?? We didn’t have a choice. We were told we’d be in Orlando at 6 p.m. - we finally got there at 8:30 p.m. BUT - we were there! Yay! Our driver from Tiffany Towncars was waiting (just a note - we have used Tiffany in the past and have been so pleased with them, and this time was no exception. Even though our arrival time changed three times, our driver was right there. Took care of our luggage, made a grocery stop at Publix and delivered us to Saratoga Springs by 9:30.) We observed the Magical Express while we were walking out - but after the long day we had, we were so grateful that we wouldn’t have to make multiple stops. We collapsed in the backseat of our Towncar and let Raj do the driving. We were “Welcomed Home” by “Addy” at the SSR check-in, and soon we were in our studio suite. The studios at SSR are very pleasant - very comfortable for two people. The little kitchen has a microwave, toaster, fridge coffee maker, and bar sink. The bedroom has a queen size bed and queen size pull-out couch.

Even though we were exhausted by this time (we’d been through 3 time zones in the course of a day), we were even more hungry. We decided to walk down to the Marketplace and get something to eat. We headed for one of my favourite spots - the Earl of Sandwich - which was just as delicious - and reasonably-priced - as I remember. I had the Original - roast beef, cheddar and horseradish sauce on that delicious toasted bread. I loved every bite and washed it down with an Earl Grey Lemonade. Sarah had tomato soup and a tossed salad with raspberry dressing. It was very tasty. Once we were finished, we took the boat back to our suite. The weather was gorgeous, warm and still. I would have loved to have spent some time shopping, but we were so tired. I did manage to unpack before falling into bed. We asked for a wake-up call for 7 a.m. and fell fast asleep.

At 7 a.m. we were awakened by Mickey! and Stitch! Sarah’s a huge Stitch fan - so that was a perfect start to her day. We had decided to head to MGM first. MGM was hosting the ESPN Weekend that week, and we wanted to avoid it on the weekend. It was a good choice!

Here’s a note about the Disney transportation - the buses were great! I don’t know if we timed it right, or if it was just luck - but we never waited more than ten minutes and often had a completely empty bus. The bus transportation has improved vastly over the past year, IMHO.

So - here we were at the rope drop at MGM - with a couple of guys from Michigan who were just as fanatical as we were - then a family from Mississippi joined in - then some ladies from Indiana! We all did the countdown together and made a beeline for ToT. We were the first group on! What a great ride! And then it was over to RnRC for a spin with Aerosmith - by 9:30 we’d done both rides. We headed over to the Great Movie Ride, stopping on the way at our favourite - The Villain’s Shop. I l ove all the bad cats, I have such a soft spot for Lucifer :wub: Then Sarah spotted a t-shirt she had wanted last summer. We couldn’t find it in November - but now it was back. From The Nightmare Before Christmas - with “Jack’s my boyfriend - he’s to die for” written on the front. She had to have it! So that was her first purchase and we had it sent back to the resort - another great Disney perk. And this is where I have to leave you for tonight…

Pictures: 1) Stitch loved Sarah’s antennae! 2) Saratoga Springs is a beautiful resort. 3) Sarah was wondering where all the people were at the MK. 4) Sarah and me with Nemo and Friends.


#2

Wow sounds like a great trip. I wonder if that method of getting a disney trip will work for others.

On the airline note: Thats a two edged swoard there. They proably didn’t know the crew would have to be delayed till later in the night and then they made arangements for you, but if they call you at midnight most people wouldn’t be too happy about that. However having a message on the internet would have been helpful, or perhaps a email to you.

As for the buses give it one more year if you think its good now, it will be better.


#3

How exciting! And spontaneous! I don’t know if I could do it…what am I saying…of course I could do it for WDW!! I think I could pack in an hour if I had to!! Can’t wait to read the rest!!


#4

Welcome back llama! Your TR sounds very promising, I’m looking forward to reading about a good ‘mommy-n-me’ trip :mickey:


#5

Wake up!!! Type more!!! This is so cool that you just decided to pack up and go! And P.S. I love th bad cats too!


#6

Yes, more! :happy:


#7

We need pictures. Sounds great so far.


#8

Excellent so far!! Now you just need to add more (don’t think we’re NOT going to harrass you about this…).

So get going!!! I’m at work and need something to do!!


#9

What is with airline! :glare: I completely understand your pain in that situation.
Anywho…wake up wake up sleepy head we are waiting for more. :tongue:


#10

So, we got dd’s t-shirt and strolled over toward TGMR. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy were all signing autographs at the Big Hat. Sarah - an elderly 22 years old - griped that “in her day” the characters weren’t so available. She had to really HUNT for them. She felt “kids today are too spoiled”. :dry: Another walk-on at TGMR. We are now convinced that they have done away with the Cowboy - we haven’t seen him in years. Other than adding a few different movie clips at the end, the ride was just the same. We always enjoy it. It’s a good time to rest. It’s tradition. After TGMR, we wandered over to the Muppets. The park was really empty. I’m beginning to think that the end of Feb., beginning of March is a pretty good time to go. We watched the Muppets and did Star Tours. Feeling a little “peckish” we stopped in at the Book Stop and got one of our favourite Disney treats - those huge carrot cookies with the cream cheese filling - it was sooooo good. Upon finishing that we headed to The Little Mermaid - again, got right on. And then off to One Man’s Dream. We always like to visit there - it makes me feel like I’m saying thank you to Walt for all the pleasure he’s given us over the years. While we were watching the movie we had to endured this couple in front of us complaining that “this is boring”, “this isn’t a ride”, “let’s get out of here”. I wanted to lean over and tell them “show some respect to Walt”. People like that really tick me off. :angry: Fortunately half way through, they got up and left. So I was able to enjoy the rest. We next went to Millionaire. The first girl to get to the hot seat was a 13 year old - such a TYPICAL 13 year old - who had just pushed random buttons. She obviously DID NOT want to be in the Hot Seat. Her first question was “what do you call a place where they make money”. Other than the correct answer - Mint - she chose a “Sucker” :wacko: I’m not sure if she was just dumb or wanted to leave - fast. The next woman was from the UK and didn’t get much further. Not knowing that “Angel Hair” pasta isn’t “ravioli” in Italian. :pinch: I got into the top ten every time. Why can’t I get picked? I’d be on that cruise in no time. After Millionaire, we were feeling kind of hungry, so we headed to the ABC Commissary for lunch. Sarah really likes the noodle stir-fry there. I like it too and was planning on having it - but as I was walking in someone walked by with fish 'n chips on their tray and it looked so good - so I changed my mind. It was really good - tasted very fresh and not at all greasy. Sarah had the noodles, which were also good. We like the Commissary.

At this point I’ll say something about our decision to eat only at “counter-service”. It worked out great! WDW really has so many choices now, aside from “burgers and fries”. In fact, the fish 'n chips was the only time that trip that I had fries. We had a great selection of food and always hunted out a neat little place to eat. It was also a great way to budget. And we never felt “rushed” trying to get to a restaurant. We ate where and when we pleased. Now, if this were my first trip, I’d definitely want to try the restaurants - but in our case, we’ve eaten almost everywhere - so we didn’t feel like we were depriving ourselves.

After lunch we did some shopping. I think the stores at MGM have one of the best selections at WDW. By 2 o’clock we decided to take a break and return to the resort. Then we’d head to Epcot for the evening. MGM had been a great morning. We had walked onto everything. We planned another afternoon there to finish up the “shows” part and see Fantasmic. We caught the bus right away - like most buses we caught that week - it was either almost or completely empty. We were back at Saratoga by 2:30. This became our pattern - we’d rest, read, watch a little tv for a couple of hours and then head back out to a park by about 4 p.m.

Saratoga Springs is a very nice resort. I had only stayed one night there, once before, so this time I had the time to look around. It’s best feature is it’s closeness to the Marketplace. A five minute walk. They are still in the process of building five more units, but we weren’t even aware of the construction going on. I was tempted to try the spa treatments, but couldn’t find the time. For DVC members who haven’t tried it - it has the feel of OKW - very relaxing. I’d definitely stay there again. It’s not my favourite DVC property, but still very nice. By the way - Disney is sure pushing DVC - everyday we would see groups of people on tours. On all the Disney buses and vans they have ads saying “Want to know the best-kept Disney secret?” - Sarah wanted to shout - NO! Enough people already know the secret! Don’t tell anyone else". “The parks are getting too crowded, anyway”. Such a generous child. :dry: More later. We have no milk - I have to get to the store…

Pictures: 1) Sarah in Animal Kingdom. 2) sticky bun at Tusker House. 3) new baby elephant at AK


#11

woohoo, glad you had such a great trip. Cannot wait for the next installment. The cat could do with water until you’re done posting here, ya know.
Cats are so spoiled :dry:


#12

Sarah’s my kind of girl. Me, I don’t think they should even advertise Disney for the express purpose of keeping the crowds low for my convenience.

And it’s always nice to meet another Millionaire super-competitor!


#13

Awwwww, you got to see Daisy :wub:


#14

Great TR!! Can’t wait for more and your pics:)


#15

Sweet …can’t wait to see the pics…really I can’t wait:smile:


#16

Calm down, Dopey - I’ll just pour them some Perrier and get started. :wink:

So - at 4 pm, rested and ready, we headed for Epcot. Again, hardly any wait at the bus stop - and I might add that the weather all week was gorgeous - except for the “cold front” on Tuesday - which sent the temperature plummeting to a mere 73 degrees :eek: We always get a good laugh out of stuff like that.

Anyway - I love Epcot - it’s my favourite park. Again - sparse crowds. We headed to Soarin’ to get a fastpass and it had a return of barely an hour later. Then we headed over to Mission: Space. Personally, I love M:S and dd adores it - but I only do it once a trip - I don’t believe in pushing fate. We got right on again and headed for Mars. I didn’t feel any reaction when I got off - yet. We headed over to the Cool Station to try out some coke beverages. I was so thirsty that I gulped down Israel, Japan, Germany and China pretty quickly. Sarah wouldn’t try Beverly. But I did, just for fun. We still had a few minutes before Soarin’ so we decided to ride Space Earth. SE is one of my favourite attractions. I never get tired of it - I really don’t feel like I’m at WDW until I’ve done it. We settled in for our trip through time, and by the time we got to the Roman Gladiator, I was starting to feel really, really sick - nauseous sick. I just closed my eyes and tried to take deep breaths, and just prayed for it to be over fast. By the time we got off, my head was spinning, I was sweating - I just felt horrible. I went into the washroom and just sat for a few minutes with my head down, and tried some cool water on my face. Slowly, I began to feel better. I don’t know if it was M:S or the Beverly et al or a combination of all of them, but I really felt dreadful for a while. After a few minutes I began to feel better and we headed over to Soarin’. I was so excited to do it again and we asked for the front row and were put on right away. I sat down, and this man sat next to me. I was glad I was starting to feel better, then something hit my nose. There is no delicate way to say this. The man beside me absolutely REEKED. Of stale sweat, dirty underwear, just unbearably horrible. I had to keep my face averted and my nose in Sarah’s shoulder the whole time. Every time the “pine” or “orange grove” smells came along, I’d try to breath them in and hold my breath. Sarah, two seats away, was smelling him too. It was so awful! and my Soarin’ was ruined, because I couldn’t even look ahead. Well, we chalked it up to bad luck - on second thought we should have spoken to a CM and “delicately” explained what happened. We probably would have gotten a fp back on immediately. But we didn’t think of it then and all I wanted was some fresh air.

After a quick ride on Imagination (talk about ruining a ride - they should have left the original) and sending a picture and e-mail to dh, we started our World Showcase in Canada. We got a good laugh out of a fridge magnet there and I thought of DisneyHog and friends. It said “things I didn’t see on my trip to Canada” and there was a moose, a beaver, a polar bear, a dogsled. The line up at LeCellier was unreal. So I guess they’re still packing them in. If you want to try it, I would call asap. We wandered through the UK - now I was regretting having the fish and chips at the Commissary, because they sure smelled good at the fish and chip stand. Sarah bought a “Flake” bar in one of the shops and moved on to France. I thought about getting a glass of wine to sustain and fortify me through the rest of my journey, but M:S, Beverly and el-stinko, kind of turned me off food and drink for awhile. Sarah was getting hungry, so we started to decide to look for some food. Sorry, Bella, she chose “Yuk-atori House”. I still didn’t feel like eating, so she had the child’s plate of Teriaki Chicken, Rice and Veggies. I tasted it. It was pretty good, and we took it out to the beautiful gardens at Japan to eat. We passed by the funnel cakes - wanted one, but didn’t want to chance it and promised ourselves that we’d come back to do the American Adventure, which we hadn’t done in years. We browsed through the shops of Italy and Germany. I always want to take so many Christmas ornaments home here! and by the time we got to China, I was hungry. I had the Orange Chicken and Rice and it was delicious. The portion was way to big for me, so Sarah tried some too, and thought it was wonderful. If you want to try something good in China - try it. Sarah also got some ginger-carmel ice cream and I loved it. The ginger really seemed to sooth my stomach. We decided to call it a night after that. I still wasn’t 100% and I didn’t want to face Illuminations crowds, so we left the park at about 8:30 and we’re back home within 20 minutes. It had been a great day - so after asking Stitch to wake us up at 7 a.m. - we watched some tv (ok - I actually like Stacy - I think she’s cute), we called it a day. I think we were asleep by 10:30.


#17

Oh welcome back llama! I was actually hoping to find your trip report today! What a lovely surprise. Soo very sorry to hear about the smelly individual on Soarin’, that is a shame. Your vivid description gave me the sensation of being there with you. YUCK! Can’t wait to read more. :c)


#18

Come back…I am going thru major Disney withdrawal…I need someone elses adventure to make it thru another day at work :angry: …come back…


#19

Up at 7 am - this was our Magic Kingdom day!

I just wanted to add here that I did call Erin when I got to WDW. But her answering machine was SO MEAN! It wouldn’t take my call, it said, “go away - we don’t know you AND you sound lke a liberal”. I also tried her cell and left a message. Now I see how sick poor little Caisley was, so of course, Erin had her hands full. It would have been great to meet you Erin - maybe next time.

We had some breakfast in the room and headed for the bus. This was the only bus that was crowded all week. We got there for Opening. I just stood and looked at the Castle for a long time. I wanted to savour Main Street. We stopped to have our picture taken by one of the WDW photographers. Let me say here - “Photopass” is one of the best ideas Disney has ever had. We used the card everywhere and had tons of pics taken by the Disney photographers.

We headed off toward Adventureland. I looked all over for Gingita - but couldn’t spot her. We did the Jungle Cruise while we were in Adventureland. There was absolutely no one there - we thought it was closed. But it wasn’t and we were one of the first boats out that day. Our guide was a middle-aged woman - and, being a middle-aged woman, I feel I have the right to say this - middle-aged women shouldn’t be guides on the Jungle Cruise. Those cornball jokes just sound lame coming out of the mouth of a middle-aged woman. Only young guys should be tour guides. YIKES! listen to me - but it’s true. I kept wishing we were able to find Ginger and get to ride with her friend on Jungle Cruise. It wasn’t too much fun with the lady - she tried - but - just not funny. PotC is closed - but I’m willing to sacrifice riding it this time, for the opportunity to see Capt. Jack Sparrow when it opens again. The shop at POTC has great Capt. Jack t-shirts. I was tempted - but Sarah said No - mothers shouldn’t have Jack Sparrow on their chests. On to Frontierland and Splash Mountain. I got soaked! But it was a warm day and the whole Briar Patch gang was in good form. It was so great to be on Splash again. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah! I thought of you Donut! Big Thunder dried me off somewhat and we headed to the Haunted Mansion - where once again some parents were trying to convince their terrified 4 year old that he was going to LOVE IT! Why do parents do this? We soldiered on to Fantasy Land - FL should be about 10 times bigger than the rest of WDW put together. Despite the crowds we got right on IASW and those evil dolls were just as evil as ever. We grabbed a fastpass for Peter Pan and caught the next showing of Mickey’s Philharmonic. This is such a great addition to FL. All those wonderful songs! We headed into Tomorrowland - just grateful to be out of FL. It was SO crowded. Space Mountain was having difficulties, so we enjoyed our old favourite Carousel of Progress and a spin on the People Mover, before heading back to use our fp for Peter Pan. My favourite! To me Peter Pan symbolizes everything Fantasy Land should be. I love it! By this time it was lunch and my new favourite Columbia Harbour House was right there, so we enjoyed our lunch very much. I had the tuna salad sandwich I’d been dreaming about since November and Sarah had her hummus and broccoli slaw sandwich with a bowl of vegetarian chili. Sarah had been fighting a bad head cold over the last few days and at this particular time, the cold was winning. While sitting a lunch she just looked awful - pale and tired, with a bad cough. When I suggested we go back to the resort and rest, she agreed immediately. So we did that. Sarah fell right to sleep and slept about two hours. I wandered over to the gift shop at the “Carriage House” - the main lobby of SSR. And took a little walk around the resort. By the time I got back, Sarah was awake and feeling a bit better - but we decided not to go back to a park that day. We walked over to the Marketplace and ate a Wolfgang Puck Express. It was a gorgeous night - Floridians might take their weather for granted - we don’t. So we ate our dinner - chicken and garlic mashed potatoes for me and mac and cheese for Sarah, outside on the patio. We found some great hoodie bargains at Rainforest Cafe - they always have good sales. Spent a good deal of time at the Disney store then walked back to the resort. Not the most exciting day - but it was nice and relaxing.


#20

I feel EXACTLY the same way! Ooooh, the feminists are coming after us.

And as for the 4 year old & Haunted Mansion: Geez. Those parents could have both ridden, switching off, in the time the spent trying to push a poor scared kid.