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Fairy Tale Engagement and Birthday Celebration!


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Hello everybody! I hope you enjoy my trip report for my 30th Birthday celebration week September 19th – 25th, 2010. It was another successful Walt Disney World vacation filled with magic and a surprise engagement! It was everything I could have ever hoped for and I can’t wait for my Disney Fairy Tale Wedding!!!

Here are some of my previous trip reports:

http://forums.wdwmagic.com/showthread.php?t=419842 – Contemporary, 2009

http://forums.wdwmagic.com/showthread.php?t=602397 – 2010 Pre Trip Report

I used many different iPhone apps on this trip. I will have an analysis at the end but here’s the list:

TripIt (Free)
WDW Maps ($2.99)
WDW Hours (Free)
WDW Waits (Free)
WDW Dining (Free)
What 2 Ride (Free)
WDW Lines (need to be a member at touring plans, app is free)
Undercover Tourist ($3.99)
GateGuru (Free)
iTripBook ($0.99)

I really liked iTripBook. I kept a journal the entire trip and it will make it SO much easier to write my TR. I mean it, I really wrote down every last detail!
Now let’s get started!

Day 1 – September 19th, 2010

I had gone to bed at 6:30PM the night before because we had an early flight. I ended up waking up at 1AM (2 hours early) because I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep! Gotta love “I Love Lucy” reruns in the middle of the night. The car came to pick us up around 5AM and we were at BWI by 5:30AM where we indulged in McDonald’s breakfast:

Then it was off to Orlando!

We arrived in Orlando around 8:50AM and got in line for the Magical Express to Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Can you tell how excited I am?? I was a little bit disappointed (and confused) when we were lead to a Mears shuttle bus instead of a Disney Magical Express bus. The movie also did not have the characters say “Welcome Home” when we drove under the WDW sign. Oh well, nothing ruins my magic. I still got misty when I was finally on Disney soil. We got to Animal Kingdom Lodge promptly. I love how they greet you there. They say “Jambo” and “Welcome Home”. We took some pictures of the lobby and then went to online check in. Our folder was ready but our room was not.

Our first stop is always EPCOT. I know most people go to the Magic Kingdom but we really love EPCOT. Our first stop was at Gateway Gifts so I could get my Happy Birthday button since it was not included in our online check in folder. I never got tired of Cast Members saying Happy Birthday to me! It was truly magical.

After that, we went straight to the Land and had lunch at Sunshine Seasons. I’m not sure if they changed things around but it doesn’t seem like you can select your side dishes anymore at the Grill. I ordered the ½ chicken and Jason ordered the salmon.

Then we got Fast Passes for Soarin’ and rode Living With The Land. We found a Hidden Mickey!



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We rode Mission Space, Spaceship Earth, and Soarin’. On our way to The Seas With Nemo and Friends, we stopped for a blue raspberry slushee. Jason recently quit smoking with the help of an electronic cigarette. He was puffing on it in line and we had a nice conversation with the lady behind us about it. She was also trying to quit and we gave her all of the information. I am really proud of him for quitting. He comes from a family of smokers and that makes it so much harder. It was one more thing we had to celebrate!

*Edit: Jason hates this picture. The top of his head is cut off! I love it but I had to wait in line for nearly 15 minutes just to email it to myself. People kept butting in front of me.

After that we rode the Seas and saw Turtle Talk. I thought it was funny that Crush said his name was Shelley because that’s my name too! I love how it’s a different show every time. By that time it was almost 4 so our room was probably ready (although I never got a call or text).

We got a cute pic with Daisy on our way out:

We had a fantastic room and the view was incredible. I really love Animal Kingdom Lodge. Anyone who loves animals should stay there at least once. This was my second time, I stayed there in 2002 and had the Savannah view both times.



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I got a cute birthday cupcake:

I thought the atmosphere at Chef Mickey’s was awesome, the characters came around at a good pace, but the food was just ok. I’m sure the breakfast is better. I was there during the change where Mickey did not come around to the tables. I did buy the $29.95 photo package. It was about 3 pages with recipes and I got one 8x10 and three 5x7’s. I don’t really think it was worth the money but I’m glad I have it for the memories. The very next day I read that Mickey was back to visiting each table. I could tell that the test was not going well. No one was going over to have their picture taken with Mickey so he started coming around to people in the waiting area.

As if we weren’t tired enough, we decided to go to the Magic Kingdom for extra magic hours after dinner. We only had about an hour and a half so we packed in the Hall of Presidents, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Jungle Cruise, and Peter Pan’s Flight (my favorite ride!). We finally got to bed around 2AM. Needless to say, I did NOT schedule a wake up call for the next morning.

End of Day 1 :)


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Day 2 – September 20th, 2010

We slept in until about 9am and went to The Mara for breakfast. I got the yummy croissant sandwich and Jason got the bounty platter.

After our delicious breakfast we hopped a bus to Animal Kingdom. I made eye contact with an older lady who also had a birthday button on. I mouthed “Happy Birthday” to her and she mouthed “Thank you, you too”. I love meeting nice people when I go to Disney World. It’s not like I can ride a bus in downtown Baltimore and talk to…well…anybody!

We made our way to Expedition Everest to grab a FastPass. We didn’t really need one, the wait time was only 25 minutes. But we were determined not to wait in line on this trip!

Then we rode Kali River Rapids and I got soaked! After that we went to ride Expedition Everest but I lost my FastPass. Jason explained what happened to the Cast Member at the FastPass distribution area and he gave us a rider swap ticket and wished me a Happy Birthday! It was truly magical. Expedition Everest is one of my favorite rides (even though the Yeti is broken!). We noticed a bird during the broken track sequence that we had not seen before.
After our encounter with the Yeti, we decided to take a break at the nearby DrinkWalla.

We took a stroll through the Maharajah Jungle Trek. I really love this. I could watch tigers all day long. Take a gander at this one licking his chops at us!

Then we caught Flights of Wonder. I love this show!

We had to go ride Dinosaur, another one of our favorite rides:



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Then we got to see Festival of the Lion King for the first time! I cannot believe I have gone this long without seeing that show. It was absolutely incredible. I love how certain messages hit me like a ton of bricks during different periods of my life. Last year during my unemployment I was all about Dory’s motto “Just keep swimming.” This time I was really hit with the line “Till we find our place on the path unwinding.” Isn’t that just how life is?

Poor Jason. I made him stand in so many lines for characters :)

Hidden Mickey!

I was really bummed Chip & Dale weren’t in their Rescue Rangers getup. Sigh. I miss my Disney Afternoon characters.

Another Hidden Mickey!



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We decided to ride the Kilimanjaro Safari while the afternoon parade was going on. It was awesome. Our car was half full (not half empty hehe) and our driver was really funny.

After that we took a stroll through the Pangini Forest Trail. Look how empty it was!

The park was about to close and according to my Undercover Tourist app the wait time for Expedition Everest was 5 minutes. We decided to check it out!

We walked right on, the wait wasn’t even 5 minutes. I found that the Undercover Tourist app generally overestimated the wait times while the Lines app was more accurate. I felt that the Lines app was actually more accurate than the posted wait time at the actual attractions.


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We hopped a bus to Hollywood Studios. We ended up cancelling our reservation at Sanaa to see if we could get into the 50’s Prime Time Café. We did not get in there but we got right in to the Sci Fi Dine in Theater! It was the first time there for both of us.

I really loved everything about this place. The waiter was hilarious and the atmosphere was so from any place we’ve ever been to. I had the ribs:

Jason had the steak:

I had the peanut butter chocolate cake:

Needless to say, the food was awesome. We will definitely go there again. They said that they can almost always accept a walk in for 2 and I can see why. The way the cars are designed a party of 2 is just perfect.

We took a leisurely stroll around Hollywood after that and decided to see Muppet Vision 3D. I think it’s been at least 10 years since I’ve seen this, it was hilarious!

We saw the beginning of construction for the Christmas lights:



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The Art of Disney Animation was all about the new movie Tangled. I am SO excited for this movie. I have been waiting for years for them to do Rapunzel. And it’s starring Mandy Moore! I have always loved her and how classy she is. She hasn’t ever been involved in a scandal and I think she will make the perfect Disney princess.

We also caught a glimpse of the next Pixar movie, Brave. I think this looks interesting and I can’t wait!

Too bad it was too late to see Lotso. We had to come back another day.

When we got back to our room, a birthday surprise was waiting for me! A birthday card from Mickey and towels done up in the shape of birthday cakes. How cute!!

That wraps up Day 2! Up next – Day 3, my birthday and engagement!


Well-Known Member
The anticipation is killing me! Get engaged already! Bling bling.

You guys are cute.. love Jason's "I'd hit that" shirt.. so inappropriate, but I have so much love for old school Mario.


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Original Poster
The anticipation is killing me! Get engaged already! Bling bling.

You guys are cute.. love Jason's "I'd hit that" shirt.. so inappropriate, but I have so much love for old school Mario.
LOL we actually saw someone else wearing the exact same shirt a few days later. Old school Mario rocks :)


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Day 3 – September 21, 2010 – my 30th Birthday!

We made it to EPCOT for extra magic hours but not the rope drop. I still have yet to see a park opening show or rope drop! We had a reservation at the Cape May Café at the Yacht and Beach Club at 10:10AM so we decided to walk around the World Showcase for a bit before it was open. Poor Jason was trying to set up a shot of the Tronorail and just as he put the camera away…

We took some pictures and I really thought he was going to propose here. That’s for later in the evening!

We made our way to the Yacht & Beach Club. We are SO staying there next time. The private entrance to EPCOT is awesome and the walk is beautiful! It is very serene and romantic…

I was really impressed with the food at the Cape May Café character breakfast!

Biscuits and sausage gravy, yum! Our waitress brought me a birthday cupcake and sang Happy Birthday to me!



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The only weird thing was that we had to wait a really long time for any characters to come around to our table. We had finished eating and just sort of sat there waiting and then they all came up within about 10 minutes. The pacing was really off but we got some cute pictures regardless!

We had to almost roll ourselves back to EPCOT because we were so full! We stopped to take some more pictures, the weather was beautiful!

Jason finally got his shot of the Tronorail. We never got to ride on it but we got to see it enough to get us totally excited for the movie! I’m a big computer nerd :)

We had gotten FastPasses for Test Track earlier and now it was time to ride. Unfortunately, our car broke down twice and it wasn’t much fun. I should have gotten a copy of our picture. The car was moving so slowly when the picture was taken, we all looked really bored. It was pretty funny actually.

Then we began our Happy Birthday alcohol tour around the World Showcase. We began in France with our favorite Grey Goose Lemon Slush:



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I stopped to get a picture with Princess Aurora:

Then it was over to Japan for a Kirin beer:

We caught the drum show while we were there:

Then we saw the Fife and Drums in the American Adventure:

After that we stumbled upon a very underused bathroom in the old Odyssey building. If you are walking towards the World Showcase, it is the first bathroom around the corner. It’s not marked very well so most people go to the second bathroom a bit further down. We overheard some new Cast Member training going on. We ended up using that bathroom quite a few times on our trip and it was almost always completely empty.

It was just about 3PM so it was time to go see our favorite show – The British Invasion. Unfortunately, this was the only time we got to see them. We are determined to see each of their shows at least once. While we were waiting, I called into the WDW Radio Show and left a voicemail. Listen for me in the upcoming podcast, I’m “Shelley from Maryland”.

We got a cute pic with Mary Poppins:

We were a bit hungry so we had a bite to eat at Yakitori House:

Yum! I love Japanese food. I am actually ¼ Japanese. My Mother is ½ Japanese, ½ Caucasian and my Father is Caucasian. I spend a lot of time at the Japan pavilion!

After that, we decided to head back to the hotel to rest up for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party that night. Little did I know that Jason secretly needed to get back to the hotel so he could get the ring!

We rode the Friendship back to Future World. The captain, Richard was messing with me because I had written it was my 30th Birthday on my button. He told the entire ship to repeat after him. He said “Oh no.” [Passengers repeat] “Shelley’s turning 30” [Passengers Repeat]. Then the entire ship sang Happy Birthday to me! It was incredibly magical and it totally made my day. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face!


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We went back to the room, showered and changed and then went to the Magic Kingdom. We got there around 6:30 so the party hadn’t started yet. We decided to ride the PeopleMover. I really liked the changes to this ride. I did not like the loud voice “now approaching Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress…” I much prefer “Paging Mr. Morrow…Mr. Tom Morrow…”

We went to the Carousel of Progress but it was closed for the party! LAME! I had never ridden the Astro Orbiter so we did that instead. Mistake! I thought I was going to vomit. Who are those cars made for? 2 adults cannot fit in one car. Never again.

We were pretty hungry so we got a burger at Cosmic Rays:

After that we rode Aladdin’s Magic Carpets, Pirates, the teacups, and Winnie The Pooh. Then we went to Toontown and got our picture with Halloween Mickey & Minnie:

I liked Mickey’s Halloween Décor:

Some awesome water pavement drawings:

We caught the second Boo To You parade:

Then we saw the Villians Mix & Mingle and I got the only picture that I came for…Dr. Facilier!



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It was getting pretty close to midnight and Jason asked me if I wanted to ride Peter Pan’s Flight again. It’s my favorite ride and he knows how much I love it. There’s just something so magical and unexpected about it. Luckily there was no line so we walked right on. Just as we were flying over London, he told me that he wanted to give me my Birthday present before midnight. He told me how much he loves me and asked me to marry him! Of course I said yes! We pretty much missed the rest of the ride after that ;) It was absolutely the most perfect proposal I could have ever hoped for. He is so sweet and I am so lucky! After the ride, I asked a Cast Member to take our picture and I told her that he had just asked me to marry him! She was so thrilled for us but the lighting was not:

Oh well no worries. We hightailed it to a PhotoPass Photographer and got some professional shots. I’ll post the rest once I get my PhotoCD:

And here’s the ring! (Taken the next morning on our balcony at Animal Kingdom Lodge)

We sat at the yellow and white tables just off Main Street and called and texted our parents. My Dad was so excited that he woke up my Mom! It was after midnight by that point. I’m glad she didn’t have to work the next day. Then we went back to the hotel and I got our Just Engaged buttons from the front desk. The Cast Member congratulated us. It was the perfect end to the perfect day!

Does anyone need a tissue? I do!!!

That’s all for tonight. I’ll post more tomorrow. Unfortunately I came home with a sinus infection and I need to get some sleep!


Well-Known Member
Wooohoooo... LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your engagement story! I'm a huge fan of solitaire's and your ring is just gorgeous. I'm also having a DFTW... have you and Jason settled on a date or location yet?

And color me jealous that you got to meet Dr. Facilier!
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