Two Weekends of Disney in a Row!


#1

My best friend/co-worker is the senior class sponsor at the high school I work at. We typically choose to attend Grad Nite, but our silly students chose Grad Bash at that other Orlando park this year. I guess it was an attempt to lure us back, but Disney offered us a free preview on the 27th. They gave us park hoppers and free parking at the Magic Kingdom. He couldn’t attend and didn’t feel appropriate with 3 girls as the senior class officers. I only had a week’s notice, but there was no way I could turn this down!

The three class officers met at 6 a.m. at my house on a Saturday. Seriously! After a quick stop for gas, money, and my morning coffee we were on our way. Fortunately, we just missed a few accidents on I-75 that could have slowed us down. Driving straight through, we made it to the parking lot at about 9 a.m. The weather was overcast and there was an ocassional sprinkle, but we were happy because we were at WDW!

Valerie is from Ecuador and vaguely remembered going to WDW when she was young. Kim had went to the world a few times, but she hadn’t really explored it. Laura had attended 3 of the 4 parks (not Epcot), but she didn’t remember a lot about the MK. They had no idea what they were in for! About 30 minutes before we reached WDW, I was already sprouting off all of the various tidbits I knew and why I loved Disney so much.

Kim and Laura both said that they had always taken the ferry over. I gasped with disbelief and we were off to monorail :slight_smile: I did my butchered Spanish imitation of “Please stand clear of the doors…” and Valerie was gracious enough to say that it sounded close.

We made it the MK and picked up our park hopper tickets at a special table just past the left entrance to the park. We had one requirement for this trip…to attend a preview presentation. For a free trip, we didn’t mind. We made our way to the Diamond Horseshoe.

Our presentation was made by both the head of the Grad Nite division and the head of Disney’s Youth Groups division. They asked a question about which Disney movie featured songs by Elvis Presley…easy! My hand had to be the first one up. I answered correctly (of course) and got to choose between Herbie the Love Bug (the Lindsay Lohan version) and Remember the Titans. Not being a Lindsay fan and knowing my DH, I chose Remember the Titans.

We were expecting one of the Grad Nite perfomers “The Last Goodnight” to be there. I had never heard of them and didn’t expect them to be great. I was SO impressed. The lead singer, keyboardist, and guitarist were the only ones performing and the lead singer’s voice was fantastic. I was thinking about buying the CD. At the end of the show, one of the two Disney executives said that this was the year of a million dreams…so they were going to give us the CD. But that was not all, they were going to give us a poster signed by the band. Yet another surprise, each school was going to get their picture taken with the band and have it mailed back to our school. Finally, we all received one fast pass good throughout the Magic Kingdom. We walked out floating on cloud 9! :wub:

To Be Continued


#2

We left the Diamond Horseshoe starving. It was around 11 a.m. now and we had all ate breakfast before 6 a.m. The only place I could think of with a decent selection, low prices, and more than just burgers and fries was Cosmic Rays so we made our way across the park. Laura and I both ordered the BBQ pork sandwich which we felt had too much sauce. Valerie loved her veggie wrap and Kim enjoyed her turkey wrap. We had waited too long to eat, so Laura’s tummy bothered her. We decided to take things slow with a quick stop at Mickey’s Star Traders. Her stomach was still bothering her so we took a ride on the TTA and then a spin on Buzz Lightyear’s. I was sad that my laser was dim so it was very hard to aim :frowning: Oh well, I would hate to shame the young-un’s with my typical 999,999!

Laura was feeling better so we headed for Space Mountain. We debated whether to use our fast passes, but felt the line would probably go quickly. It did and we went on the left track (track B?) I think Valerie was in front, Kim was in 2nd, Laura was 3rd, and I was 4th (my fave). We screamed a little and the lights bothered Kim a little, but overall we had fun.

Our last stop in Tomorrowland was the Carousel of Progress. Our course, I immediately started singing the song. I had explained about the World’s Fair before the show even started (if you don’t remember, they start the show talking about the World’s Fair). By the end of the show, the three girls were laughing at me for singing. I can’t help it! It’s one of my favorite theme park songs!

We wanted to make the most of our time because Laura really wanted to go to MGM, so we headed across the park to Big Thunder Mountain via train. It started to sprinkle just as we made it under the cover of the Toontown station and got a little heavier as disembarqed in Frontierland. We quickly decided to use our fast passes here and we were so glad! I think the sign said 30 minutes, but I bet it was more like 45. Kim was a little nervous about stretching her arms up because she’s a dancer (i.e. tall), but I explained how they test the rides with dummies and we got to see pictures of it while they were making Expedition Everest, so she relaxed. We were a little too close to the front to really enjoy the benefit of gravity and the clouds had prevented the sun from really heating up the grease on the tracks, but it was still fun :slight_smile: I forgot to mention that I had previously explained to the girls the idea of a hidden Mickey. Laura was obsessed and looking for them everywhere! She was said that she usually didn’t seem them until I really pointed them out.

We were craving a little sugar and had smelled the funnel cakes earlier in the day, so we decided to take a little break. Valerie had never had a funnel cake before and her petite little self (she’s under 5’) thought she could eat one all by herself. Ha! Laura and I also had funnel cakes, but Kim had a coke float. She pouted a little when she realized that her ice cream was hollow! Lol, that’s right…tall ice cream, but no middle. She couldn’t finish it anyway (remember…skinny dancer) so it didn’t really matter in the end.

I couldn’t leave without seeing the newly refurbished Haunted Mansion. I am so glad I did! I am usually very critical of Disney, but this was the best refurbishment I have ever seen. I was even scared in a few parts! I was a little hesitant because I had heard the storyline varied from what it was originally supposed to be, but now I am a hardcore HM lover!

We picked a bad time to leave, right during the parade, but we managed it by making our way around the castle (rather than try to cross a street) and through a nice path at the back of the crowd. We detoured for a moment at the Uptown Jewelers when I saw the new Precious Moments figurines, but I was quickly distracted by the new Thomas Kinkade picture, “A Day at Cinderella’s Castle.” A New Day at the Cinderella Castle - Thomas Kinkade Shop Online For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Kinkade’s work, he paints a small number with his signature. That number is represents the number of times the letter N appears in the work. The N stands for his wife’;s name, Nanette. We managed to find 5 of the 7, but our eyes were strained and we continued on our way. Next stop…MGM…well, sort of.


#3

We took the monorail around to the TTC. We were hoping to ride pilot, but we were short on time and there were two families ahead of us (sigh). We made it to the TTC and had a long wait for a bus. Everytime we thought our bus was there, it would flash a sign that said Training. When a bus finally did arrive, it filled up quickly and we had to wait for the next one. Fortunately, this one came much quicker than the first. It just reinforced why I have always relied on my car instead of Disney transportation.

Our bus driver was very nice. He was from Boston so we talked about the Red Sox (game 3 on the World Series was on tonight) and how they have Spring Training in Fort Myers where we were from. We talked about wildlife and how he had a seen turkeys and deer that day with the cold wet weather and how I had seen hogs before. He also told me that Disney “paints” the ground where people run off of the road so you can’t see it (don’t know if I believe this) and that they put rocks where people frequently pull off the road to prevent them from doing this.

By the time we made it to MGM, it was really raining. We decided to hang out on the bus a little longer and took a trip around Old Key West before making it back to MGM. Now it was just a slight drizzle. We did some shopping on Hollywood Blvd. The girls wanted to buy matching shirts to show their peers what they missed by picking Grad Bash over Grad Nite. They couldn’t quite decide and Laura was dying to get on ToT. Valerie had never been on it and wanted to go. Kim hates heights and I hadn’t had the best reaction the last time I went on. We were going to try to fast pass RnRC, but the fast passes were out for the day and the line was 60 minutes long. None of us were dying to ride it that much, so we walked Laura and Valerie to ToT. Kim and I shopped while they rode. When we met back up, they were excited from the rush of the ride, but we were all tired from our long day and I still had drive us home.

We were cravings something a little warmer than theme park food so we found a Pizza Hut on 192. Our waitress was “in the weeds” so dinner took even longer than expected. By the time were on the road, it was 9 p.m. and about a 3 hour drive. Kim and Laura fell asleep in the back seat and Valerie was gracious enough to talk to me during the drive. All the girls were finally home by 12:30 a.m. What a long day!

Part 4 coming up


#4

Remember I said that I was going to Disney TWO weekends in a row? I had already planned to go up for the first weekend in November. It was a tradition with my husband to celebrate our first date and the first time my husband told me he loved me (a year apart…not the same day!). We had reservations for Pop Century with plans to go to Epcot and Disney Quest with a dinner reservation at Boma. I usually try to fit in 3 or 4 parks in one weekend, but we were trying really hard to not need a vacation from our weekend vacation!

We got a late start for the drive and we had to make a stop at my brother-in-law’s house. By the time we were really on the road, it was 6 p.m. We were hungry, but husband was craving Sonny’s BBQ. We didn’t find one until Sun City (we missed the one in Bradenton) and the food wasn’t even that great. We didn’t care. We were getting a weekend away after some very stressful times.

We finally made it to Pop Century. We were both so tired that I had to convince my husband to slow down and pay attention to the signs :slight_smile: We walked into the lobby and were disappointed about the lack of magic the cast member was feeling. I was excited though because I had forgotten we were getting a free $20 dining card from an online promotion. I had requested a king size bed with bath (rare, I know), but we didn’t get it :frowning: I was only slightly disappointed because the most important part was that I was at Disney! We lugged all of baggage to the room and settled in for a slightly cooler than anticipated night.


#5

Day 2, we woke up earlier than the alarm, both excited for our day. We had some minor excitement in the room. The power of toilet flush was similar to those on cruise ships…like a jet plane. Two of the five bulbs in the vanity area were flashing, kind of like a strobe light. Finally, the bathroom fan did this loud banging as were about to walk out of the door despite having never been turned on. Leave it to Disney to know the perfect touches to make you feel like home right? Haha

We dined in the food court and made our way to Epcot. The morning procedure was different compared to the last time I was there early. Instead of holding us in front of Spaceship Earth, we were held in front of the Innoventions Fountain. The big 5 along with Chip and Dale entertained the crowd. The ropes dropped and we were on our way!

We agreed to do Test Track first and fast pass Soarin’ later. The wait was minimal and I was able to find a hidden Mickey in the queue and another on the ride. We decided to try the new lighter version of Mission Space. I think I was afraid it would be too tame and DH was afraid it would still be too intense. We were both pleasantly surprised. Be cautioned though…while it does not spin, it is still a simulator and that bothers a lot of people with motion sickness more than other types of rides.

I needed a little snack and we made our way over to the Fountain View only to be disappointed that they now serve ice cream. I used to look forward to this little retreat in the midst of Epcot, but…alas…no more :frowning: We decided to try the Land and I was surprised that part of the bakery was self-serve like at my grocery store. I had a yummy blueberry muffin with hot chocolate and DH had a bacon egg croissant. Overpriced, but they hit the spot. We had grabbed fast passes for Soarin’ and still had an hour so we detoured to the Living Seas.

I hadn’t been very impressed with the new Nemo ride, but I was much more impressed once I realized that they were projecting onto the actual aquarium. I also convinced my husband to try Turtle Talk with Crush. I was so impressed and can’t wait to try the Laugh Floor at MK! We explored the aquarium, but we are always saddened by the condition of the fish.

By now, it was time for our fast pass so we headed back for the Land. We were held up by a disagreement between a parent and a castmember regarding whether a child was tall enough for the ride. The castmembers felt she was too short, DH actually sided with the parent. We didn’t stick around to see the result. We were ready to fly!

We made it on the ride, but I was distracted during the first half by the Spanish family in our row. The lady kept exclaiming things like “Que Lindo!” (how beautiful) and my mind kept automatically translating. Just as I would get back into the attraction, I would be pulled back out by her exclamations. Fortunately, I was able to better enjoy the second half.

Exiting the ride, I realized I was getting tired (aka grumpy) so DH and I started to make our way back to the room. He was hungry though, so we tried to find lunch. We first thought about getting pizza at the Hess by the Epcot resorts…they don’t have any. Then, we were going to have pizza delivered to the room. Delivery isn’t available until 4 p.m. DH convinced me to walk with him to the food court where we ordered pizza. We were told it would take 10 to 15 minutes. It took 25!!! I was so annoyed. DH stayed so I could go back to the room and get some sleep. I barely made it back before DH entered. A quick bite and down for nap time. Sadly, mousekeeping hadn’t made it to our room so we were briefly interrupted but they exchanged our towels and gave us more cups.

zzzzz

I didn’t wake up until about 5:15. We planned to go back to Epcot, finish Future World, and eat our way through the Food and Wine festival. Too late for Future World. Also, I was really surprised at just how busy the Food and Wine festival was. We had always attended on the first Saturday of November in the first and it has never been this busy. We passed up trying quite a few food because the line was just too long. The line was so long outside of the patisserie in France too (which I had been looking forward to since the Fountain View was now ice cream). At least I was really surprised by the soup in Oklahoma. It was very warm with corn, croutons, and other verggies. Yum yum! I had hoped for some nuts as we left and they were all out too! All in all, it still wasn’t a bad night because I was at Epcot! :slight_smile:


#6

I had been fighting a sore through all week, but it had been better on Friday before we left. Wouldn’t you know it would kick up on Sunday. We tried to sleep in, but couldn’t with the time change. Went decided to quit fighting it, got ready, and went to breakfast at Golden Corral outside of the DTD. It was still only 9:30 and too early for Disney Quest, so we shopped! I finally bought a ring I had been eyeballing the weekend before and spent enough to get the blanket for $15. woot woot!

We went over to Disney Quest. There was a long line before it even opened which I hadn’t anticipated. However, it went quickly. We easily stayed busy until 4 p.m. and we only left then because we had dinner reservations. I was disappointed by the Jungle Cruise, didn’t get to try PotC, and just generally stuck with the traditional games. I had heard a rumor that it going close at the start of '08 and really hope that it doesn’t!

Popping Sudafed and cough drops, we got ready for our ressies at Boma. DH is a hunter and was really looking forward to seeing AKL. We were early, but they took us right in. Probably because of my cold, I just wasn’t enjoying the food as much as I had in July. After, DH was having stomach problems too. We managed to explore a little, but it was dark and the night goggles weren’t available yet and we were tired, so we went back to our room to watch TV and check e-mail and dream magical dreams of Mickey.

Monday morning I wasn’t feeling well at all. I had a hard time getting motivated with my cold. It didn’t help that express checkout had not given us our printout and DH hates making phone calls like that, but he didn’t have a choice. We found out we still had $220 left in our budget which will go for our next trip! As much as we love Disney, we were both happy to be coming home to our darling cat.


#7

Fun! I love taking first timers to WDW…I know it wasn’t their very first time going, but they barely remembered being there, so that’s a first timer in my opinion. Looking forward to reading more.


#8

Wow, two weekends in a row. How nice that must be. Sorry you didn’t feel well the last two days :sad: but at least you didn’t feel well at Disney :laugh:


#9

Great report. I’m always amazed how people can remember such details.


#10

I forgot to add that Laura told her mom about all of the details I knew. They asked me for all of the websites I go to and books I use. Sounds like I created new Disney fans!!! (evil laugh here)


#11

Wow! Two WDW weekends. Sounds like it was all a lot of fun. Sorry if you felt a little lack of magic, but there seems to have been enough to make up for it. And who knows? Maybe we’ll see your girls here on MB one day.