Monday, September 29, 2008

Disney World Update

Hello blog land!

I promised princess Di a vacation blog and have not delivered. My free internet is up in a few hours as we transfer from the Disney Beach Club Villas to the Disney Magic so I thought I’d try to get something out now while I had more time!

Friday (Sept 19) I ended up taking the day off work because of the flooding which had closed my parking lot. There was another lot WAY across town (and the river) I COULD have taken…but I’d done that Thursday and decided since I was planning a half day anyway that Friday I’d just take the whole day. Elphaba and I cuddled, I ran some errands, and then by 1pm we were off to Naperville. We spend some time with mom and then I had to take her to the PetsHotel at Petsmart. None of the toys I brought for her were allowable (no internal squeakers allowed, which no one had TOLD me ahead of time), so mom and I did some looking around and picked up a few goodies and said our goodbyes. Miss E was signed up to be in doggie day camp every day from 9am-5pm, and everyone seemed to adore her (of course) and said she’d get lots of cuddle time.

Saturday we were up early as the limo was coming at 7am. We had an uneventful flight down and were at the Beach Club Villas by 3pm. Magical Express was a little slower with our luggage unfortunately. We wandered around the Yacht and Beach Clubs for a while, and then finally we gave up and I wore a dress of mom’s (who packs like a full week of clothes in her carry on) and off to dinner we went. For dinner we ate at Citricos, at the Grand Floridian. I was skeptical, but it was SOOOOOOOOOOOO good! I had, seriously, the best ribeye steak I’ve ever had in my life!

Sunday was our first day in the parks, and we selected Magic Kingdom. We didn’t have our timing worked out too well yet and were there WAY early…so we hopped on the monorial and headed to the Contemporary to shop and eat. I also found an Arial Jibbitz to replace the one that went missing out of my cotton candy colored crocs. Oh..did I mention those? The weekend before we left for vacation it was pouring rain and I threw on mom’s size 8 crocs which were WAY more comfy than my size 9 crocs. So I decided if I was bringing crocs to WDW to have water proof socks for all the rain we were supposed to get, they should be size 8s. But my store had NO size 8s in Disney themes. Or really, any size 8s in any good colors in the style I normally wear – the mary janes. So out of desperation I tried on the Cayman style (so ugly) in size 8 and they are SOOOO comfy! So I just bit the bullet and bought them…but prettied them up with some Disney jibbitz. Anyway..back to MK day….we headed to the park and it was EMPTY..seriously…we didn’t wait for anything until late in the day when we waited 25 minutes for Astro Orbiter. We had a reservation back at the Grand Floridian Garden View Lounge, for afternoon tea. Oh my goodness was that fabulous! We both got the “grand tea” and it was so relaxing and decadent feeling…but not OVERLY expensive..I think it ended up being like $60 total. After that we headed to Downtown Disney to shop a little..and walk around. I got the CUTIEST little short sleeve hoodie – covered with “cuties” which are this variation of the Disney characters that I’ve completely fallen in love with. Also – these little stuffed cutties of Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto. Then back to the hotel for an early night.

Monday we headed to Animal Kingdom. Again we were there way early, and again the park was empty. We did the Safarii, on the 3rd car so no wait! Then we headed to Expedition Everest, mom’s favorite ride. Between the empty line and the single rider line, we rode like 5 times before 9:15am that morning. At that point my head was feeling a little scrambled. Then we hit the Finding Nemo show, and Dinasaur, and decided we were done by about 11:30. We headed to lunch at Kona CafĂ© at the Polynesian. Mom was bummed because they took her favorite thing of the menu. I wasn’t overly impressed but it was okay. Then we decided to head over to Epcot early since we had a dinner reservation there that night. Like the other parks, Epcot was also empty. Though Monday the rain finally started. Not horrible, but not fun. Again – we did like everything with no wait. Then we had dinner at Teppen Edo which has been completely redone (and renamed) since my last trip to WDW. It was fabulous, and our chef was the best I’ve had at a place like that. He not only did lots of tricks but he was funny too. After dinner we wandered the World Showcase a bit more and then finally walked back to our hotel (which is just outside the International Gateway at Epcot).

Tuesday was Hollywood Studios day. Again, park was pretty empty. Mom insisted we go to Rockin Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror first, even though I’d heard you MUST got to Toy Story Mania first if you have any plans to ride it that day. Anyway, rode the roller coaster and tower of terror numerous times each and finally started heading towards Toy Story Midway Mania at 11:30. At that point, the line was 80 minutes in standby and fast passes were for 4:50pm. By noon it was OUT of fast passes for the day. We did decide to wait ONCE in standby to see the full queue theme, which was ADORABLE. But the line was SOOO slow in standby. But…Toy Story Mania is AWESOME! After that we wandered the park a bit more, and then we had 4:30 dinner reservations at Mama Melroses. I didn’t really remember, but I’d been there once before – mom never had. Food and service was fantastic. After dinner we got to use our Toy Story fast passes and ride that again, Yay! Then we headed back to the hotel to get ready for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom. Now….MK was beautiful with the Halloween decorations, and it was kind of cool to see what they did for the party. But as empty as the parks were this week, I don’t think it was worth the price of admission to get in – we’d pretty much done everything we wanted at the MK already and just rode some stuff a few extra times. It was fun to see all the kids (and parents) in costumes, but the trick or treating wasn’t great because all the candy was seriously melted an sticky.

Wednesday we decided to take a pool day in the morning and then headed to Epcot again in the afternoon. Rode the good stuff in Future World again, then wandered the world showcase some more before dinner at Chefs de France. Food was okay, service ther was AWFUL. Seriously bad. We stayed to watch Illuninations “Reflections” which is pretty lame, and then headed back to the hotel.

Thursday we decided to do Hollywood Studios again, in the hopes of doing Toy Story again. We were there nice and early, but seriously the ENTIRE park makes a beeline for Toy Story after the gates open. In fact, the cast members direct traffic so there’s only ONE path back there. Mom got in the standby line while I got in the fast pass line. She actually got up to the building before I got up to the fast passes and had to start over. I snagged fast passes for 10:10 and got in line. That time, the queue moved quickly, probably because people didn’t have fast passes yet so everyone had to go through the regular queue. We rode the ride, went on the Back Lot tour (which is SERIOUSLY shortened from what it once was) and then went back on Toy Story. Then we hit Tower of Terror and Rockin Roller Coaster a few more times and headed back for an afternoon at the pool before dinner at the new restaurant at the Contemproary – The Wave. Wave was okay, I had the BEST citrius and avocado salad. Service was not good. We then took a bus to downtown Disney for final shopping. I picked up some decorations for the basement which I’m planning on doing a Disney theme, and a Snow White costume for Miss E (we’ll match since I have one!) and then back to the hotel.

Friday was the day we were probably anticipating most – our Around the World tour at Epcot on Segways. Ever since we did the Segway tour in Chicago in July, mom and I have both been anxious to get back on another Segway. Though the Segways were fun as we remembered, and it was cool to get into the World Showcase while it was still closed, and cool to see the last minute prep for the Food and Wine festival which started that day, overall we had much more fun in Chicago. Disney has the Segways there governed at 6 mph…substantially less than the 10-11 we got to do in Chicago. And we weren’t really allowed to zip around much. Plus, the tour itself was only like an hour – the first hour was training. We decided Disney needs to have a certification class for Segways for guests (they do certified cast members who zip all over on them) and then set up some more advanced tours. After the tour, we walked around the world to check out the Food and Wine offerings. Originally, we didn’t schedule dinner anywhere for that day and planned to eat around the world for dinner. But a quick glance at the offerings and we both knew I would not be eating. So we scrambled and picked up a dinner reservation at the Yachtsmen Steakhouse, and old favorite of mine. We headed back to the hotel to do laundry in prep of week 2. Spent the afternoon doing that and laying at the pool. Then off to dinner, which was not nearly as good as our Saturday night dinner at Citricos. After dinner we walked the loop around the Epcot resorts visiting Swan, Dolphin, and Boardwalk. We picked up cupcakes at the Boardwalk to bring back with us, and checked out the premier of Grey’s Anatomy thanks to free internet for Disney Vacation Club guests, and my Macbook.

Saturday was lazy since we had to get the bus to port at 11:30am .We had brunch and laid around the room reading and watching part two of the Grey’s premier. Then off to port we went!

I’m on board now, and internet is expensive – I have to strategically plan to buy a package giving me JUST enough minutes for what I’ll need for class which starts up again Wednesday. But more to come on our week on the Magic!

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