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The strolling, sipping, snacking and snapping somewhat solo trip report!

Disney_Belle

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hey all! I returned this past Monday from my solo visit to the World. My DH was a peach and didn't mind me leaving him behind with the dogs and the freezing temperatures. He happened to have last week off, so I'm sure his time was spent wisely doing his manly man things, whatever they may be.

The basics of the trip:
When: January 24 - 28, 2013
Where: Pop Century
Who: Mostly just me, Jessica, with some appearances from my dear friend Shalon (wvugeograd) who lives local to WDW. She was a former client of mine before relocating to Florida and we have become such great friends.
Why: Not that there really needs to be a reason to visit WDW, but I was there mainly to increase my picture library. Not that I don't have a lot of pictures, but I needed more. Between the Kingdom Konsultant Blog and our Facebook page, we use a lot of pictures, and sometimes I can never find what I'm looking for. So perfect excuse to visit WDW, right? I thought so!

This trip report will be more photos than words because frankly, I did more snapping than anything. I really only did a few attractions at each park, but it was still a wonderful visit with perfect weather. I couldn't have been happier with the weather. Seriously - mid 70's and sunny every day, and not a drop of rain, how do you beat that?!

I'll really start off the trip report when I get home this evening, but I figured I'd get a head start. Stay tuned...
 

jenluvswdw

Well-Known Member
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YAY!! Can't wait for the photos. You are my idol. It is one of my goals to go solo. But right now my kids are still small so guilt would set in.
 

Disney_Belle

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
YAY!! Can't wait for the photos. You are my idol. It is one of my goals to go solo. But right now my kids are still small so guilt would set in.

I've been three times solo. While I love enjoying my favorite place with my husband, family and friends, going solo is wonderful. Do what you what, when you want and how you want!
 

Disney_Belle

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Thursday, January 24

I woke up earlier than my alarm which was set for 3:00 am :confused: I woke up at exactly 2:37 in the morning. I decided to be nice and shut off all of the alarm clocks, phone clocks, wake up calls and whatever else I had set to make sure I didn't miss my flight. DH and both dogs slept soundly as I scurried around trying not to make any noise. After a shower, changing, doing my hair and makeup and gathering the last few items for my carry on bag, I was off. When I started up the car it was a warm 4 degrees outside, with the windchill it was -4. I left the house around 4:15, stopped at the bank ATM to get out some "just in case" dollars, and was on my way. I arrived at TF Green Airport in Providence at around 5:00. I parked in the garage closest to the terminal. It was more than I wanted to spend, but I was already thinking of when I would return. I had a night flight home, and I could only imagine how cold it would be at 10:30 at night and the last thing I was going to want to do is walk a mile to my car and then have to shovel it off from the snowstorm we were getting on Friday. So covered and semi-warm parking it was!

Checking the luggage and getting through security took all of 15 minutes total. I headed to my gate and waited. I was at my gate by 5:15 and my flight didn't leave until 7:00. Angry Birds and Peggle on the iPad would have to keep me busy, and they did.

My flight took off from Providence at 7:00 am on the dot. The flight was uneventful, aside from a few bumps when we passed over a winter weather system in Virginia. I was on a wifi enabled flight, so I used the time to answer emails, update my Facebook with horrible iPad pictures of the sky and enjoy the flight tracker. I have way too much fun with that! We were set to land at 10:20 am in Orlando, but in true Southwest fashion, we arrived early at 9:45 am. We had to sit on the taxiway for a bit. Because we were early our gate still had a plane parked there.

Waiting to pull up to the gate (phone picture):




Here's a shot from the air! Every picture I take out my windows on my flights look the same. I always sit in row 5 on the right hand side of the plane. I don't know why, I just do.




After we finally pulled up to the gate, I made my "I landed safely" calls and hopped the tram to the main terminal. I headed to DME, waited a few minutes before being escorted to my bus and within 20 minutes I was on my way to Pop Century! It was freezing on the bus. The a/c was blasting and I was cold. Thankfully we were the second stop and our bus was quick at unloading and I was able to get back into the warmth soon enough. I had done online check-in, so my packet was ready when I got there. When I did my online check-in I had requested a room in the 60's on the ground level, but also checked off that having my room ready was more of a priority. I was happy to find out I was in building 4 (60's), ground level and my room was ready. Score! Normally requesting a room close to the front isn't something I do, but being a solo traveler I felt better being in a busier area. My room was #4161, the last room of building 4, facing inward. I was located right near the Generation Gap Bridge which was great because I planned on heading to AoA one night. After check in I went to my room and dropped my stuff off and headed to the food court for some lunch. I got chicken nuggets and fries. Nothing fancy. I went to the front desk to see if they could call Alamo for me to call the shuttle. My phone wasn't on its best behavior and the service was spotty. It was about 12:30 now and the earliest Alamo could come would be 2:20. I was a bit eager to get in the parks so I was anxious to get the car, but I sat outside and soaked up some sunshine for a bit. I looked at my phone and saw it was only 1:15 and I still had over an hour to wait. I figured I could go back to the room and see if my luggage had made it yet and I would change and freshen up for the remainder of the day. I was so happy to see my bag back in my room. I changed, straightened my hair, freshened up the makeup and headed back to Classic Hall to wait for my shuttle. At 2:20 on the dot it was there. I checked in at Alamo and quickly had my keys to this adorable 2013 Volkswagen Golf. Loved, loved, loved this car! (Another phone picture)





Normally when we go to WDW DH does all the driving, or we use the bus system. I was going to be doing a lot of jumping around with just a few short days, so I opted for the car (and got a great deal, too). And I am proud to say not once did I get lost or need to use navigation on my phone. Though it's not saying much, it's nearly impossible to get lost in WDW. So many signs.

I headed straight from the Car Care Center to MK. I had been waiting for what seemed like forever to see New Fantasyland. And the best part was, I had a Be Our Guest reservation for 6:00 pm! I made the ADR before I even booked the trip (which I would have cancelled had this trip not happened). But I knew it was happening :) Tammy (@DisneyFalcon) was possibly going to join me on this trip, so I had booked the ADR for two people. Sadly Tammy couldn't join me, so Shalon agreed to join me for dinner! I arrived at MK at about 3:00, so I had some time to kill. Celebrate a Dream Come True was just making it's way down Main Street and I saw Mickey only had a 5 minute wait time, so I went for it. One of my fellow Konsultants and friend, Heather, celebrated her birthday the day before, so I had a little surprise for her. Mickey helped send out some birthday wishes! (Phone picture)





I figured I'd head straight to Adventureland and grab that Dole Whip I had been so badly craving. Well, I turned left after the bridge by the Crystal Palace and there was someone losing their lunch all over the place. Yep, talk about an appetite killer. So I decided to just walk as far away as possible and told myself that a ride through the Haunted Mansion would be a better idea. Until I saw there was a 40 minute wait. MK was quite busy that day. There were many, many, many tour groups. Everywhere. But I am happy to say they were all well behaved and while I encountered many of them on this trip, not once did I hear chanting or see any bad behavior. Had they not been wearing matching shirts and following a leader with a flag, I wouldn't have known they were in groups! I decided to make my way up to New Fantasyland (without walking into Be Our Guest, Shalon made me promise I wouldn't go inside until she got there, she wanted a genuine reaction I suppose). I had no plans to ride anything. Frankly, I was exhausted from being up since 2:30 and working on 2 hours of sleep. It was a busy day at MK, so I decided to walk and snap, walk and snap. I grabbed a frozen raspberry lemonade and made my way through Tomorrowland. Another guest (he was probably about 16 or 17) came over and sat by me and asked me about my camera, my lenses, what I thought of them. He was interested in getting a DSLR, so we chatted for a bit. I'm by no means a pro, but hopefully I gave him some good advice. Shalon texted me and said she was making her way through the gates, so I said goodbye to my new camera friend and met Shalon near Uptown Jewelers. We did some browsing and realized it was 5:30 so we headed to BoG to check in. And really, what did I do for 2 hours besides walk around and drink my drink? Nothing. Absolutely nothing apparently.

















 

Disney_Belle

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We checked in for our Be Our Guest ADR. While we waited on the bridge, I took some pictures.

Here is one of Shalon (left) and myself (right) from my Instagram:









We were called in for our reservation about 10 minutes later. Beauty & the Beast has been my favorite movie since it came out. To say I was completely thrilled and excited walking into Be Our Guest would be an understatement. I had a big, stupid smile and a hint of a tear in my eye, and for once, I was speechless. And those who know me, know that it takes a lot for me to stop talking haha! I was in complete awe, the entire meal. We were seated in the ballroom, which I was hoping for. I also visited the West Wing and took some pictures. I ordered the steak, which was delicous, as was the grey stuff! Shalon and I split a chocolate creme puff for dessert. After dinner we visited the Master himself in his parlor. All I have is this bad quality Instagram picture, though I think I'll be ordering the PhotoPass picture Shalon and I got with him.



He's just awesome. And speaking of awesome, our server Buffy was great! In all of my happiness and glory, I forgot to take pictures of the food. Oops!

Some pictures from my visit to Be Our Guest (and there will be more later, from my lunch experience!)













After touring Be Our Guest, Shalon and I headed outside. Wishes! would be starting shortly, and we noticed Enchanted Tales with Belle only had a 20 minute wait, so that was the next stop. I didn't take many pictures, I really wanted to enjoy the show - which I did! It was adorable, and I think the perfect addition to New Fantasyland. I was so happy with it. We decided to head toward the monorail so we could beat the evening rush. We made it over to T&TC and called it a night. I was so ready for bed. I got back to Pop, parked my car, stopped in Everything Pop to fill the mug and grab a Mickey Bar for then and a fruit cup for the following morning and called it a night.

Here's a few more pictures from the remainder of our time at MK:







That's all for now, more tomorrow!
 

Disney_Belle

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Friday, January 25

I was up and out early and heading to Animal Kingdom. The last trip we had I was so excited to get some pictures on safari. Much to my disappointment we were clobbered with quite a rain storm, which resulted in me putting my camera away and into safety. I didn't want to risk it getting ruined. So, no good pictures that trip. Luckily this day there wasn't a rain cloud in sight. I headed straight for Kilimanjaro and had a short wait time of about 10 minutes. The animals were active. We had to stop traffic for a rebel giraffe who refused to move. Here are a few pictures from our adventure:





Haven't they heard?! Never smile at a crocodile!











After our two week safari, I wanted to head over to Festival of the Lion King. I stopped and took a few pictures on the way there.








I missed this show on our last trip, and it's my favorite show on property. I wasn't heading to Asia or Dinoland as I had plenty of pictures from both of them (and this was a trip to get needed pictures). I had good timing, the show was starting in just a bit and the doors opened about 5 minutes after I lined up.





 

Disney_Belle

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Who doesn't love the Tumble Monkeys?!



I noticed Timon doing a little jig, only to realize he was in a full out performance of Gangnam Style.



Be prepared...


 

Disney_Belle

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
LOVE the pictures!!! I've been thinking about doing a solo trip for quite some time, thinking next year I might take the plunge and do a long weekend.
Do it! It's so awesome! I did a 7 night solo trip when I was 21, that was perfect. But now that I am married, 4 nights is just about right. I have plenty of time to do what I want, but at the same time, it's not too long where I'm going crazy missing my husband :) If you have the opportunity, go for it. It's a completely different experience.

Can't wait for more!! What lenses do you generally take?
I've only had my DSLR since the end of June, so I don't have any spectacular lenses, but what I did use was the Canon 18 - 55mm, and the 55 - 250mm. I have another lens (50mm f/1.4) but I didn't use that as much as I anticipated using it. Hopefully there will be a new lens added in the (very) near future :)
 

Disney_Belle

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
After Festival of the Lion King I wanted to get some pictures of and around the Tree of Life. I don't have many. How that happened, I'm not quite sure. We'll blame it on the rain from the previous trip.

Heading out of Camp Minnie Mickey I noticed that Daisy had a new addition:



I love watching the kangaroos, though he didn't seem to like the idea.



While I was kangaroo watching, this huge spider was Jessica watching while hanging right over my head...



Tree of Life!



 

Disney_Belle

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I decided it was time to head out for the day. I'd gotten the pictures I wanted to (I really came home with thousands of pictures, though it may not seem so!)

A few pictures from the way out:










 

WishIWasAtWDW

Well-Known Member
Loving the trip report Jess! I saw your pictures on Facebook yesterday and had to restrain myself from clicking like on every single one. :D Sorry for all the notifications! Your pictures are gorgeous! I did my first solo trip last July and it was way more fun than I thought it would be. I was so worried that I would be lonely but being in WDW and having a camera kept me pretty busy. I can't wait to read more!
 
Do it! It's so awesome! I did a 7 night solo trip when I was 21, that was perfect. But now that I am married, 4 nights is just about right. I have plenty of time to do what I want, but at the same time, it's not too long where I'm going crazy missing my husband :) If you have the opportunity, go for it. It's a completely different experience.



I've only had my DSLR since the end of June, so I don't have any spectacular lenses, but what I did use was the Canon 18 - 55mm, and the 55 - 250mm. I have another lens (50mm f/1.4) but I didn't use that as much as I anticipated using it. Hopefully there will be a new lens added in the (very) near future :)
Those are the ones I have. But nikon. You got really good pictures with them!!
 
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