Trip Report *COMPLETED* No Ring (delayed), No Rivers Light, & Donald Duck’s the President


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As I stir my pasta noodles for dinner, a single tear slides down my cheek. DEPRESSION. It’s cold, it’s dark, and I am home…this unfamiliar place that is not my Disney World hotel room. (PLUS WHY AM I COOKING?!) This cold Philadelphia air chills me to the core, and when I woke up this morning I contemplated chucking my cell phone out the window. I knew my alarm was waking me up for work, not to catch a Disney bus. What is this life?! WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY does it have to end?! The hardest part of planning, and changing your plans, and obsessing over your plans, and then finally living out your plans is the part at the end. The part where it’s all over, it’s all done, and going on a Disney website, or checking a restaurant menu is like pouring salt on an open wound.

As you can tell from my title, no I didn’t get my Disney World proposal and no I didn’t get to see Rivers of Light. Thought I would throw all the heartbreak right at you from the get go, so we can move on to happier memories. (This just means my boyfriend owes me a BIGGER diamond, and a trip back! Maybe when ROL opens?!)

I have just returned from the most fabulous trip to Disney, and I am already itching to go back. I am trying to convince someone, anyone (hello out there!) to book a weekend getaway… That’s the thing with Disney, they always leave you wanting more! Unless it’s it just something us Disney addicts feel, we are always eager for our next fix!

For those who don’t know me, I’m Nicole, and I love Disney World. I have loved Disney World for 11 years now. (This is how they start these meetings right?!)

I was in the Disney bubble from November 4th to November 13th and it was not enough time. NOT ENOUGH TIME I TELL YOU!!! I stayed at Port Orleans Riverside and fell truly, madly, and deeply in love with this BEAUTIFUL riverside resort. My last two trips have been in July and August, and I think those trips (in the summer nonetheless) were MUCH less crowded. SO MANY PEOPLE! It was the end of a race weekend, the last week of food and wine, NJ teacher convention week, and election week. One word of advice, DO NOT EVER GO AT THIS TIME! (keep rereading the go at as goat LOL)

Let’s begin!

November 4th-

Our flight was not until 5:50 PM Friday night. I originally was planning to work in the morning, but it turned out I was able to take the whole day off. Of course I woke up super early with excitement, did all my last minute packing, and then stared at the clock for hours on end. Go figure!

This text arrived and my anxiety immediately started kicking in. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN! Will we not have room? Will they downgrade us to a tent along the riverbank? Will I have to fight off alligators and zika mosquitoes while sleeping outside? My boyfriend tried to calm my fears, and decided we should get a move on it. Airport here we come!

SEPTA was on strike (public transportation buses, etc) so of course traffic was nightmare! I tried my hardest not to freak out and bite off all my nails before even reaching Orlando.

After what seemed like forever, we made it! Hustled through security and straight for the bar!

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3—oops?

And our first food picture of the trip! Chicken tenders! My anxiety was so high all day that I forgot to eat, and I was feeling pretty tipsy. Food is always a good idea!

We paid our tab, and decided to wait by the gate for our magical plane to Orlando! TAKE ME HOME BABY!!!

Ummm.. where is our plane?

Come to find out our flight is delayed until 7 PM… I was too hyper and couldn’t sit still so off we went to check out the airport shops and burn off some energy.

We stumbled upon this wonderful sight, and couldn’t resist.

So much for trying to stay hungry to use up those quick service meals tonight!

The time ticked by soooooooooooo slowly. We watched a woman scream at the American Airlines attendant because he was making her check her bag… SCREAM. She kept threatening him, saying she was going to call Disney and tell them he ruined her trip. There was a family standing beside us, and they told the father he had to go on a later flight because they oversold the plane, and even he didn’t go as ballistic as this woman. Getting to Disney is stressful people!

Soon I was admiring this stunning view. HAPPY PLACE HERE I COME!

And we’re off!

Our flight was quick and painless, and soon the announcement came on that we arrived in Orlando!! A little boy a few rows behind us screamed out “NOOOOOOOO, we went to the wrong place! We are supposed to be in Disney World!”

I showed my boyfriend what I pro I was at maneuvering through the Orlando airport, B side, you can’t hide from me! My Mickey turned green and all my anxiety from earlier in the day melted away. The familiar aroma of the Orlando airport, the big Mickey hands waving you home, the smiling cast member’s faces, it didn’t matter if I’d be sleeping in a river, I was here!

Our magical express filled up quickly, and I didn’t even mind that we were one of the last stops. I soaked up that arrival feeling, the feeling that a full trip is ahead of you, that this really is the ultimate moment of beginning, that the possibilities are truly endless. Plus, it gave me more time to answer trivia questions! I think everyone on the bus thought I was psycho with the amount I got right!

And off we drove into the night. Even though the sign wasn’t lit up due to construction, I still felt it. The transition to being “on property”. That butterflies fluttering in your stomach feeling, when you know you’ve truly been welcomed home.


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Original Poster
Nov 4th

We bid farewell to the magical express, and stepped into our home for the next 10 days. Thankfully, due to most guests using online check-in, there was no line when we went to the front desk. Also thankfully, we had a room! We were in the Acadian House, in the mansions! I had left it up to the Disney Gods in the battle of Alligator Bayou versus Magnolia Bend and they delivered! (They are both themed to perfection so I just couldn’t pick!)

A nice crooked photo while waiting at the desk…

It turned out I received that text message because everything kept linking back to my pink magic band from a previous trip. They simply had to reset everything to my new purple band. It took just a quick few minutes for everything to be fixed! It was closing in on 11 PM, and we both were feeling hungry, so off we went to use our first quick service of the trip! AHHHHHHHH!!

I must apologize that I lack photography skills, but I tried! LOL

We each got a pizza, me a plain and Joe had the meatlovers. I got a red mug with a handle, and Joe a blue. They had both handles and handle-less so I am not sure what exactly will continue!

We both thought the pizza was super yummy. A great first Disney meal! It was on a flatbread but still was really filling! We each ate all but two pieces and decided to bring them back to our room. I couldn’t wait to see it!

I felt in awe of everything, and I don’t know why I didn’t snap more photos, but trust me when I say this resort is gorgeous. You are instantly transported to “The South.” And I know, I know, Florida is the south Nicole… but I am talking about that old fashioned genteel feel of the south. I could picture myself as a Southern Belle, with a hoop skirt and Mason jar filled with homemade lemonade, strolling along the riverside.

I am in my twenties, but when I think back to the “good old days” of my childhood, it is reminiscent with the vibe of Riverside. With the “Tom Sawyer” back-story, it makes you yearn for days without cell phones, or the internet, when you would jump in an ole swimming hole or search for a buried treasure with the neighborhood kids. When parents didn’t worry about you being out and about with no way to get in touch with you, as long as you made it home for supper. When you used your imagination, and played outside, and okay I am getting carried away now… LOL

It was weird to walk into my resort room for the first time at night! I actually liked coming in at night, we weren’t in any rush to get to a park, so we leisurely strolled to the Acadian House.

A MICKEY IS ON THE BED! “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” Towel Mickey heads bring tears to my eyes!

Isn’t it beautiful! We had two beds, which my boyfriend later joked we would need since we were eating too much to fit in one together! We were on the second floor and our view looked out to a dazzling fountain.

I am so happy LOL

I could not get over the fact that I was here! Thank goodness I was so full of energy because it was now time to wait for our luggage! What to do, what to do?

Take selfies in the mirror,

Snap a photo of our mugs with HANDLES,

And document our exact room number (oh I love thee!)

I kept opening the door to see if we could see any carts driving luggage around. No such luck. I didn’t want to call; I kept saying I’ll give them another 10 minutes. Joe and I both really wanted to shower, after a day of travel and coming into humid Orlando, we both did not smell too hot. I was not smart, and did not pack any clothes in my carry-on; it was simply filed with shoes and Mickey ears.

I contemplated showering and lying in the bed naked, but I thought that would be super awkward when the luggage finally did arrive. I could see it now, “Oh hey, nothing’s weird here, just leave it by the door, close your eyes and back away.” LOL

Joe was smart and had a pair of shorts in his carry-on, so I urged him to shower with the Mickey products (I would allow it this once). I thought it would be less awkward for the luggage person to walk in on a man with no shirt on than a naked woman in bed. PEOPLE PUT A CHANGE OF CLOTHES IN YOUR LUGGAGE! LOL

It was after 12 so it was officially my birthday, so I ate this cookie to celebrate.

Joe sang to me, I talked to a couple of my friends back home, watched some Stacy, and then I finally gave in and called for the luggage. They told me it was on the way, but if I didn’t want it delivered so late that I could pick it up in the morning. UM NO!!!!!!!!!! “All I have is shoes!” I told the woman on the other end. HOW COULD I GO TO MAGIC KINGDOM IN THIS SAME OUTFIT?! THEY WON’T LET ME IN JUST WEARING SHOES! WHAT AM I TO DO?!

Joe told me to just go shower and to stop freaking out, I could pretend to be sleeping when they finally came. Lucky for me, as soon as I turned on the water, there was a knock on our door. OUR LUGGAGE ARRIVED. I did my happy dance, washed my smelly body, and hopped into my heaven of a bed. Visions of Magic Kingdom played out in my head, and I was soon fast asleep.



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I'm sad that you didn't get a ring, but I trust that the proposal will be magnificent when it does happen. Ya know, to make up for NOT making your dreams come true this trip. ;)

I'm cracking up at your luggage dilemma. We had the same problem with it taking forever to arrive this trip, however we did have clothes in our carry ons. :rolleyes:

Please don't make me wait to read more!!!!


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Original Poster
Nov 5th

Who needs sleep in Disney? After a quick 4 hour snooze, it was time to get up for THE MOST MAGICAL PLACE ON THE PLANET.

Check out my DINGLEHOPPER SHIRT!!!!!!!

Of course, it wasn’t complete without ears!

I was so excited for my PURPLE magicband. Before Pandora sold legitimate Disney charms, I made my own mermaid/Disney style bracelet. There’s a world charm, a mermaid charm, and of course, the colors of Ariel.

We were up and out the door by 8 AM, I mustn’t miss the welcome show! Would the buses cooperate?!

A bus came soon, but since there are multiple depots at PORS, we had a few more stops before we were officially on our way. I anxiously was checking the clock, I cannot miss it! I cannot miss it! I swear that bus banner that flashes the date and time really messes with peoples nerves! SOMETIMES I DON’T WANNA KNOW WHAT DAY IT IS DISNEY! THE FIRST DAY, OKAY FINE, BUT DON’T MAKE THOSE DATES CHANGE! It was nearing 8:30, so I booked it off that bus. Joe was hopefully right behind me, but I jumped into the shortest bag check line right as the music filled the entrance.

Talk about perfect timing! I apologize again for the photo quality, but I made it! I was shaking and crying, and this was the best I could do!!!

I see Mickey! LOOK GUYS, THAT’S HIM, THAT’S THE BIG CHEESE!!!!!!! The 88 year old mouse!

I had a fastpass for Space Mountain so I figured we would stroll down main street and then head over to Tomorrowland.



I swear I could never get sick of staring at it. Joe said people looked like straight up zombies, staring and drooling and always trying to move closer to it. I am one of those zombies. :)

Off we trekked towards Tomorrowland. In 2011, our first ride was Space Mountain, so I wanted to try to make it a tradition.

Unfortunately, some traditions are meant to be broken because we were greeted by this nice young man holding up a sign. SPACE MOUNTAIN IS DOWN FOR TECHINAL DIFFICULTIES.


This threw a wrench in my perfectly planned out day. What to do what to do? We decided to head over to New Fantasyland. Joe has not yet seen it, and I wanted to show him my castle.

Under the sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid was also down. WHAT IS THIS LIFE?! DON’T THEY KNOW PRINCESS NICOLE IS HERE!?

We kept on walking, soaking in all the surroundings, and finally ended up at…

Yep, you guessed it. PETER PAN. Let’s ride a true classic as our first attraction! Let’s start a new tradition where we fly over London first thing in the AM. And since it was first thing, the wait was only 20 minutes, that’s unheard of!

Joe even got a red card! I miss you so much, See Ya Reel Soon!

Joe wanted me to capture a photo of Hook for his little cousin, and this was what I came up with..


PETER CAN I JOIN YOU! I never wanna grow up, off to Neverland!

After our nostalgic ride through childhood, it was a quick hop and a skip over to It’s a Small World!

It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears. It’s a world of hopes a world of fear. There’s so much that we share, and it’s time we’re aware, IT’S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL.

My heart is melting.

I simply had to capture the Native American on the ride. I have been obsessed with all things American Indian for quite some time now. From learning about their culture and way of life, to following the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, I am constantly amazed with their relationship with mother earth, and their way of living. I tell my parents all the time there must be some Native American in my blood, or else I was adopted. I am always tempted to send my blood away to find out where I came from… I even put I was a Native American on my PA voter registration and they passed me through… My gosh I ramble on and on.. Okay here’s the picture.

After riding It’s a Small World, I started feeling that ooey-gooey, I’m in Disney World feeling. It was hitting me. I was here! I pulled up my app, saw Space Mountain was now open, and told Joe it was time to head back for our trip to the stars. There’s a great big beautiful TOMORROWLAND, shining at the end, oh wait that’s not how it goes. :p
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Yay!!! So happy you started your report. I have been anxiously awaiting it's appearance on the forums. Sad you didn't get your Disney proposal, but I am sure it will be spectacular when it happens. Glad you liked Riverside and that you made it to the Opening Show on your birthday. I am sooo homesick for Disney right now!


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This has started off to be a fun TR, despite the fact that you didn't receive the proposal you had wished for. There's nothing like good times at WDW to get your mind off other things, though, and I can't wait to read more of your TR.

P.S.: The handles on the mugs were a very good sign!! Merchandising is finally listening to the guests' preferences!!
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