Harveyt0206's TR - 09/25/09 thru 09/30/09

Well, I have been back for over 10 days now and am just finally sitting down to write my trip report.

First of all, the players:

Myself - Tracy. I have been going to Disney since I was 3 years old and have had 12 trips to the World to date.

My Better Half (MBH from here on out) - his name is also Tracy. He was not as in love with Disney as I was until his first trip with me in 2003. Now, he LOVES it as much as I do.

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We left Columbus, Ohio on Friday morning, 09/25/09. Our flight left at 6:00am, which meant a 2:30 am wake-up call in order to arrive at the airport on time. Ouch!! But, it didn't take long for the Disney hysteria to set in with me.

Our flight left on time and we arrived to MCO earlier than our scheduled time. Sweet.

MBH decided several weeks before we left that he wanted to do something special since this was an anniversary trip. So, he ordered a town car to pick us up and take us to the Contemporary. We have never done this before, so I was extremely excited about it. There is something to be said for stepping off your flight and arriving at baggage claim to see this:



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Plus, it really cut down on our transportation time. We arrived at the Contemporary and while MBH unloaded our bags and took care of paying for the town car I went inside to the on-line check in counter. No one was in line so I was immediately greeted by a CM. It only took about 10 minutes to finalize all of our paperwork and get our welcome packet. We were informed that our room wasn't quite ready but that we would receive a text as soon as it was. No problem, we hadn't really had anything to eat that morning so we ran up to the Contempo Cafe to grab some lunch.

We had just sat down to start eating when I got the magical text that our room was ready. Well, that was quick. Disney magic.

We had a room in the Garden wing. I was somewhat apprehensive about this since I have read so many complaints about the walk from the Garden wing to the main building, but I have to say that it really did not bother us at all.

Our room was really nice. It was clean and I loved the beds here. Very comfortable. Plus, we could lay in bed and look out our window and see the monorail zooming by. That was great.

The plan was to rest for awhile once we checked in because we had tickets that night for the Halloween party. Well, that plan went right out the window as soon as I got into the room. I ran around like a banshee for about 20 minutes unpacking everything then looked at MBH and said "I can't sit in this room when the Magic Kingdom is a 5 minute walk away. Let's go".

Now, I live in Ohio and we have had a VERY mild summer this year. I think we only reached 90 degrees about 5 times all summer long so I was seriously under prepared for the extreme heat and humidity. It was between 90 and 94 degrees everyday, which would have been bad enough on it's own but we also had over 90% humidity most every day. That is what eventually got to me in the long run - the humidity. Ughhh!!

Anywho, back to the good stuff. We arrived at the MK at approximately 2:30 in the afternoon. I was so excited to go this time of the year so that I could experience the Halloween decorations. They did not disappoint. Disney really does know how to do total immersion type of experience.

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Now, I have a steadfast rule when it comes to my Disney trips: Haunted Mansion HAS to be the very first thing that I ride and the very last thing that I ride every trip. This time was no different.

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I honestly can't explain how happy this ride makes me. It is quintessential Disney in my book. We only had a 5 minute wait, which was awesome. And let me also say this, if the weather is screaming hot outside, this is the perfect ride to cool down on since they purposely keep it cool in order to add to that creepy effect.

Next up, Pirates (amazing) and then Jungle Cruise (love it!). Since we were over in Adventureland I decided to try a Dole Whip. I was a Dole Whip virgin so I really wasn't sure what it was. In the end, I did not get a Dole Whip that first time but rather a Pineapple float, which is simply vanilla soft serve with pineapple juice. Now, maybe it was because I was overheated and just happy to have something nice and cold, or perhaps it was the overwhelming thrill of being at MK but that simple little pineapple float was the greatest thing EVER. Seriously, I loved it and highly recommend it.
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Since we were attending the Halloween party that night we ran over to the hub to get our wrist bands. I swear we were like 6 year olds. Jumping up and down and acting like we had just won the lottery after the CM placed our bands on us.

Here is the picture that a very nice lady took for us:
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After getting our bands and running around in circles for ten minutes it was time to head over to Tomorrowland and check it out.
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First up Buzz Lightyear. This was my first time on this ride so of course I was talking trash to MBH and telling him how I was going to totally kick his behind. Ummmm.......that didn't happen. I totally sucked. I think I had about 588 points (seriously) while he had around 550,000. Okey dokey....next. We then hit the TTA, one of my favs. While it wasn't as great as usual due to all the construction, it was still a good time.

After that we headed over to Cosmic Ray's for some dinner as we were hot and hungry. Now, I have to explain that I had every intention of taking pictures of all of our meals, but it is amazing how excitement and hunger make you forget that until after the meal is in your belly. So, no pictures of our dinner here. But I will say that we loved this meal. It was one of our favorites from the whole trip. We both had the 1/2 chicken - 1/2 rib dinner with two sides and a drink. Even though we were on the dining plan and the meal was "technically" free, I would totally pay for this meal out of pocket. Good stuff there.

We saw so many great costumes at the party. I have no clue who these folks are but we loved their costumes and they must of been so hot:

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After dinner we hit Speedway. I am not a fan of this ride but MBH likes it so I really don't mind doing it.

Next up, Pan. Wait - 30 minutes. Probably one of our longest waits all week long.

After this it was close to 7:30 pm so we decided to stake out a spot for the 8:15 Boo To You Parade.
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This parade, and the party in general, was amazing. Spectromagic has always been my favorite parade but I have to say, I really think that Boo To You is now my fav.

As soon as the parade finished we ran back over to HM to ride again. By the time we got off it was almost time for 9:30 Hallowishes so we started making our way towards Main Street. The crowd on Friday night was pretty heavy so it took us awhile. We found a spot and watched Hallowishes. WOW. That's it - simply wow. Loved it.

By the time Hallowishes was over it was after 10:00 and I was starting to wind down. I really wanted to hang around for the second parade but after being awake since 2:30 am I was really tired and I knew that we had a busy day ahead of us on Saturday so we decided to head back to the Contemporary for some sleep. Tomorrow - Epcot.
 

harveyt0206

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 2 - 09/26/09

We woke up around 7:30 am and headed down to the Contempo Cafe for some breakfast. Simple stuff - eggs, potatoes, bacon. Not bad but nothing to write home about. After breakfast we hopped on the monorail and headed to Epcot.

Once again, the weather was hot and humid. We rolled into Epcot around 9:30 and immediately hit Spaceship Earth. It has to be my first ride at Epcot. 20 minute wait, which was fine.

We then went over to Test Track for Fastpasses. We only had an hour wait for our Fastpass so we headed over to Mousegear for some shopping. MouseGear is one of my favorite stores in all of the World.

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After browsing for awhile we then headed over to Nemo then back to Test Track to use our FP.

Test Track broke down twice while we were waiting in line. It was approximately a 15 minute delay each time. Not sure what the problem was but once we finally got on we had a blast as usual.

After this we decided to head back to World Showcase because we had 2:30 reservations for Chef's De France.

This was my first experience with the Food and Wine festival and while I really enjoyed the Festival itself, the crowds on Saturday were overwhelming, especially with the heat.

We arrived for our reservation about 15 minutes early and were seated immediately. This is one of those restaurants that we always make a point of visiting during our trips to the World. We both enjoy it so much. I don't know if this is the case or not, but it seemed like they had added an extra row of tables in the atrium room. We seemed a lot more cramped this time than on other visits. Maybe they had to do it to accommodate everyone on the dining plan. I really didn't mind because I was just happy to be sitting down in a nice air conditioned restaurant.

Our waiter was wonderful. He was sometimes hard to understand due to his accent but he was very attentive and paced the meal perfectly for us. I was very pleased considering the restaurant was packed and every table in his station was full.

MBH and I both had the three course meal which included soup, an entree and a dessert.

Here is a pic of my French onion soup, the Quiche with salad and then the creme brulee' for dessert.

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This was my favorite meal of the entire trip. And Remy did come out to visit us while we were dining, which was a nice treat.

After lunch we finished up in the WS then headed back to the hotel to get ready for an evening at the MK.

We hung out in the room for about an or so then arrived at MK at approximately 7:00. MK was packed to the gills and we we walked around for awhile trying to find a place to stand and watch Spectro. Every available space seemed to be filled but we eventually found a place to stand. Spectro was great, as usual, despite the huge crowd.
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As soon as the last float passed by us we felt a few raindrops. We ran over to HM and got right on. By the time we got off of HM it was POURING. Seriously. There was standing water everywhere because it couldn't drain quick enough. We stuck around and watched all the people rushing out of the park. We were soaked to the bone but really didn't care. We had so much fun playing in the rain at Disney.

By the time we left the park at around 10:45 there were lines at every single bus stop, the boat ramp and the monorail. I was never so happy to be within walking distance of our hotel.
 

harveyt0206

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 3 - 09/27/09 - Disney Hollywood Studios during the day and MK in the evening for EMH.

Honestly, this is my least favorite park. MBH feels the same way. There are some things that I really do love here. Muppets being one of them. I always forget how much I love this attraction until I am standing inside the que waiting for the movie. I crack up so much at this show. It's the best of the best.

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My other favorite here: the Beauty and the Beast show. I think this is the best stage show in all of Disney. It always puts a smile on my face.

While waiting for the afternoon parade it started pouring the rain again. It rained for about 1/2 an hour. We were scheduled for a 4:30 reservation and Sci-Fi, but since it was raining we decided to see if there was any way they could get us in early. We walked in and told them we were an hour early for our reservation but could they seat us. We were told it would be no problem and were seated in approximately 15 minutes.

Sci-Fi was exactly as everyone describes it: The atmosphere was wonderful but the food was only so-so.

I had the ribs and MBH had the shrimp pasta. He enjoyed his a lot more than I enjoyed mine. My ribs were extremely tough. But the coleslaw that came with my meal was delicious. ( I know, your thinking "coleslaw? Seriously?" But, yep, it was great)

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Sorry for the bad pictures but as most of you know, the lighting inside Sci-Fi is not so hot.

We then headed back to our hotel to rest a bit before heading over to the MK for EMH.

We arrived at MK at about 8:00. BIG BIG mistake. Wishes was at 8:00 and as soon as the fireworks were over the majority of the crowd was leaving the park. By the time we fought our way to the hub it was total gridlock. Just a sea of bodies and strollers and electric chairs, etc.... I have a bit of claustrophobia so this was not an ideal situation for me. MBH could see the panic setting in as I was trapped by this mass of humanity so he calmly took me by the shoulders and guided me through some how. Once we worked our way through that mess we had a wonderful evening. We rode all our favorites: HM, Pan, Pirates and Jungle Cruise. Tip: Jungle Cruise at night is way better than JC during the day in my opinion. Not to be missed.

Around 9:00 we decided we were hungry since I really didn't eat much of my ribs at Sci-Fi so we decided to hit up Pecos Bills. It was very busy but we didn't have too much trouble ordering our burgers and finding a table. Our burgers were great and I love love loved the topping bar. I would definitely go here again.

We stayed til park closing and had a blast. Walked right on to all the rides except Pan. It was a wonderful evening.

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Day 4 -09/28/09 - Animal Kingdom during the day and Epcot in the evening for EMH.

We had breakfast reservations scheduled for Boma at 8:35. We both really enjoyed this meal. Sorry though, I forgot to take pictures. I would definitely eat breakfast here again.

We arrived at AK and spent some time walking around Discovery Island and taking pictures. Once again, SCREAMING HOT!

We headed back toward Kilimanjaro Safari. The wait was about 30 minutes. Not too bad. Other than the extreme heat, it really was a beautiful day and we saw plenty of animals.

Here is a random shot of the Savannah:

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After that, we headed up to It's Tough To Be a Bug, my favorite attraction at AK. It always bothers me though that so many kids get scared during this attraction. I can certainly see why they get scared as the show is a bit intense. I really feel bad for them.



After that, Expedition Everest. I guess this is where I will come clean and admit that....welllll.....ummmmm.....I'm not such a big fan of roller coasters. I love Space Mountain but that is about it. But since I have never rode EE I thought " I really have to do this". So I did. And I will never ever do it again. :lol: I am sure all you thrill seekers out there are laughing your behinds off at me right now because most people don't find this ride all that scary. But it was too much for me. The backwards, round and round in the dark bit threw me over the edge. I kept screaming "make it stop, make it stop", while MBH laughed. Oh well. I survived.

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We had dinner at Yak and Yet at 4:45. I don't know if I had been out in the heat for too long or what, but it was FREEZING inside Yak and Yeti. I actually had to run out and buy a long sleeve shirt. (Disney says "cha-ching".)

I had the Lo Mein and MBH had the Salmon. This meal was pretty good. I had the pineapple won-tons for dessert and as so many others have mentioned before, they were phenomenal. Here are some pics:

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We had EMH at Epcot until Midnight. We left AK around 5:30 and got to Epcot at 8:00, immediately rode SSE and then headed back to WS for Illuminations. Packed and hot. Once Illuminations was over the park cleared out and it was a wonderful evening. We spent the majority of our evening back in WS. The temperature finally started to drop and we actually got a few breezes. Nice.

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I love Epcot at night. I really wish they had hours like MK so that more time could be spent here during the evening. When they close at 9:00 they leave out so many good evening hours. I was also hoping that the Food booths would stay open during EMH, but unfortunately they didn't.
 

harveyt0206

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Tuesday 09/29/09 - our last full day (boo hoo)

We started our day at Kona Cafe. MBH ordered the infamous Tonga Toast and he L-O-V-E-D it. It was a bit too sweet for my tastes but I can certainly understand why so many folks love it. I settled on the Blueberry pancakes, which were quite yummy. And of course we had to have the French Press coffee.

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We headed back over to Epcot for the final time. I wanted to hit the Art of Disney. I could spend a gazillion dollars in this store. But, since I don't have a gazillion dollars, I settled on some nice prints of the HM, Wishes and Illuminations. I was lucky because the artist was in the store that day and he signed all three of my prints. That was an extra nice treat. After shopping and riding SSE one final time (insert tear sliding down face here) we went back to the room to get ready for our final night at MK and our second Halloween Party.

Once again, what a blast. Tonight's party wasn't near as crowded as the one we attended on Friday. We had ample room to walk around and did not have to camp out for long before the parades. We caught both parades as well as Hallowishes. Rode all the usual suspects and I had an actual Dole Whip. Didn't enjoy it as much as I did the pineapple float but still a tasty little treat.

Here is a pic of a group of people dressed as characters from the HM. By far the best costumes we saw all night. You can't see all of the details in this pic but these people really put a lot of time and effort into this. And the great thing was that they stood around in Liberty Square forever taking pictures with guests. I really think that their costumes were so great that some people mistakenly thought they were actual cast members.

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And we kept running into this family of 101 Dalmations, which I thought was hysterical fun. They all seemed to be having such a great time so I had to take a picture of them:
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Of course, I ended my night by riding the HM on final time. At this point I was already starting to fall into a serious funk because I was not ready for this trip to end. We started back out towards Main Street. I took my final look around and tried not to cry.

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We flew home the next day, 09/30/09 at 1:00 pm.
 

harveyt0206

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Just a few final thoughts:

Overall, this was an amazing trip for just me and MBH. Other than the heat and humidity, I really have no complaints at all.

As usual, our experiences with the Cast Members were wonderful. I time and time again am amazed at how they maintain a smile when there is so much chaos swirling about. So once again, my mouse ears are off to every single CM who helped make our trip so magical.

MBH loved the dining plan and I really enjoyed the convenience of having everything taken care of before we even got there. I do agree that the quality of food did not seem to be up to Disney's typical level. Maybe I simply read too many opinions on this before I left and it influenced me.

We loved the location of the Contemporary. It was worth every penny.

For me, the Disney magic is alive and well. I don't know when our next trip will be but I already can't wait. Here are a few additional pictures to finish up my report.

Thanks so much for reading and here's hoping all your days are filled with pixie dust. Cheers!!!

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smk

Well-Known Member
Sounds like you had a wonderful time! I get weepy when I leave too, especially when I don't have a return visit already planned. Sometimes I trick myself into thinking I do, just so I won't be sad, it hardly ever works.
 

sweetpee_1993

Well-Known Member
Oh wow! I loved your TR! How cool that both your names are Tracy. My other half is a Tracey, too, only slightly different. It's a good name to have. :D Isn't the Contemporary wonderful? We've stayed there twice and loooove it. I never thought the walk to the Garden Wing was all that far but we weren't walking out there when we were dead tired either. The walk *is* longer if you're carrying heavy laundry sacks, tho. I imagine the rooms out there are really peaceful. I love how comfy the Contempo beds are. The only way ours could've been better is if we had a king size bed. :snore:

Glad y'all had such a nice time for your anniversary trip. How many years did you celebrate? Did y'all get the anniversary buttons? The old man & I did a no-kids trip for our 15th and it was heavenly. I'd love to do it again. I hate that you had all that heat but so is the nature of things in Central Florida, huh?

Oh! And even tho I love thrill rides I totally don't think you're a wuss for not liking EE. That ride is pretty intense especially the part where you were screamin' for it to stop. Poor thing. It's cool that you at least gave it a try and were willing to see what all the hullabaloo is about first hand. Kudos to you for that! :sohappy:

Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!!! :wave:
 

harveyt0206

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Sounds like you had a wonderful time! I get weepy when I leave too, especially when I don't have a return visit already planned. Sometimes I trick myself into thinking I do, just so I won't be sad, it hardly ever works.

I like that trick!! I will start that now: "I have another trip coming up, I have another trip coming up....." Maybe I can really convince myself. lol.
 

harveyt0206

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Oh wow! I loved your TR! How cool that both your names are Tracy. My other half is a Tracey, too, only slightly different. It's a good name to have. :D Isn't the Contemporary wonderful? We've stayed there twice and loooove it. I never thought the walk to the Garden Wing was all that far but we weren't walking out there when we were dead tired either. The walk *is* longer if you're carrying heavy laundry sacks, tho. I imagine the rooms out there are really peaceful. I love how comfy the Contempo beds are. The only way ours could've been better is if we had a king size bed. :snore:

Glad y'all had such a nice time for your anniversary trip. How many years did you celebrate? Did y'all get the anniversary buttons? The old man & I did a no-kids trip for our 15th and it was heavenly. I'd love to do it again. I hate that you had all that heat but so is the nature of things in Central Florida, huh?

Oh! And even tho I love thrill rides I totally don't think you're a wuss for not liking EE. That ride is pretty intense especially the part where you were screamin' for it to stop. Poor thing. It's cool that you at least gave it a try and were willing to see what all the hullabaloo is about first hand. Kudos to you for that! :sohappy:

Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!!! :wave:

Thanks Sweetpee, I really appreciate it. We celebrated 5 years. 15 total together though. We did not get the buttons because we decided that we really just wanted to be low key about it. Maybe that was a mistake though.

We too wanted a king size bed but unfortunately with Free Dining they were pretty full and said that they didn't have anything available. But we still loved the room.

And you are so right about the Florida weather. It is one of the small things we Disney lovers have to endure when there and if that is my only problem then life is pretty darn good. :)
 

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