Two-night quickie trip

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crazycatperson's picture
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Okay, Day 1, Monday, December 7.

I left the house a bit after 10 am, arrived at the airport in Baltimore around noon, and had a good chunk of time to kill waiting for 2:45 takeoff. I flew Southwest, with no assigned seating, and did not pay for early bird check-in ($12.50 each way, so I never get it when I'm flying alone), but I did online check-in right at the 24-hour mark and got B1 boarding position, which is excellent under the circumstances. I got a nice aisle seat not too far back. Weather was nice, plane departed on time for Atlanta, where I changed planes to complete the trip. This was my first time at the Atlanta airport, and it's rather hectic, don't think I would want to change planes there ever again. I had hoped to get a quick snack between flights, but didn't have time if I wanted to board the next flight ASAP. For this leg I had boarding position A31 and got a really nice aisle seat, close to the front of the plane and with an empty seat between me and the other person in my row.

We landed in Orlando on time, right around 7:00 pm, and I quickly grabbed my carry-on and headed out. I stopped at the MCO food court to grab a quick snack (pretzel bites from Auntie Ann's) and nibbled on my way to the Magical Express. Unfortunately I was among the first people on the bus, so had to wait a bit; fortunately, they didn't wait for the bus to fill before departing. Pop was the second stop, after Art of Animation, and since I already knew my room number I just went straight there - I was on the second floor of Building 9, very near the park bus stops and overlooking a nice, quiet courtyard area.

Robyn and I had been texting back and forth planning the evening. They were at Hollywood Studios and left the park around the same time I arrived in my room. I had time to unpack what little I brought and play on my phone a bit, and then Robyn knocked on the door. So great to see her again! Simon was off getting petrol, as Robyn put it (fortunately she and I both understand the other's version of English fairly well), so we stopped by the food court to look into those refillable mugs. This is when I discovered they were now $16.99 regardless of how long you're staying, and I knew I wouldn't get my money's worth in two days, especially since I would be spending very little time at the resort.

Simon returned fairly quickly with their friend Louis, and we made our way to Bay Lake to catch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from Top of the World Lounge. Louis is a Disneyland Paris CM working a year at WDW, but amazingly, I had no idea he was French until he told me. His English is almost perfect, and his accent seemed American to me, although once I learned he was French I realized what I had interpreted as an occasional mispronunciation was actually a French accent. Anyway, he's a lot of fun.

Top of the World was quite crowded by the time we arrived, which was not long before the fireworks would commence, so we stood around inside for a bit and then found a spot outside. I must admit, it felt a bit weird looking into MK and knowing I couldn't go in - I really got used to those annual passes and am looking forward to getting one again next October. Wishes was wonderful, as always. Robyn noticed that some fireworks that are normally white were now green, and we wondered whether the color change was for the holiday season.

The fireworks over, we decided to get some food and discussed where to go. We very nearly went to one of those ubiquitous chain places (TGI Friday's, Applebee's, Ruby Tuesday, I can't even remember which one it was). Unfortunately they were minutes away from closing, so we ended up at Steak and Shake across the road since it's open 24 hours a day. Good choice, though. We don't have them back home, and the food is very good for the price. Robyn got her usual chicken strips, the guys both got burgers, and I got a Chicago-style hot dog (had a burger for lunch or else I probably would've gotten one of those).

It was rather late by the time we finished. Robyn and Simon dropped Louis off at CM housing first and pointed out the party going on at the entrance - the CMs like to have a good time. Then Simon pulled into a business parking lot across the side street to let Louis out - seems the Disney people are very strict about who can and cannot enter the CM housing, so Simon could not pull even a little bit into their driveway. So I can't even tell you what the CM housing looks like because it was too dark and we never got close enough to see anything.

They dropped me off at Pop next, by which time I was quite ready to call it a night. Next up, a little resort hopping, lunch at Olivia's, and MVMCP.

I've already posted all my photos from Monday. Below is a photo of the little courtyard outside my room. Very nice. And even though there were cheerleaders staying in adjacent rooms, I heard almost no noise at all. Also a photo of a heron (or egret) just wandering around near the Pop Century park bus stops.

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crazycatperson's picture
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Day 2, Tuesday, December 8.

We all slept in a bit Tuesday morning after our late night Monday. For breakfast I ate leftover pretzel bites, then met Robyn and Simon outside my building. First stop was the Boardwalk, which was cool to see since it's now our DVC home resort. In addition to the holiday decorations, we also checked out a two-bedroom model villa right off the boardwalk. We toured the whole thing, but I only took photos of the studio section since that's where we'll be staying in October.

Below, another photo of the Boardwalk holiday decorations and a couple more of the model studio.

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From the Boardwalk, we walked around to the Yacht Club, which took us past Jellyroll's and the dance club. I'd never been down that end of the Boardwalk before, or to the Yacht Club, for that matter. Below, a photo of the Yacht Club's Christmas tree.

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And then the Beach Club. I've already posted a photo of the Beach Club's gingerbread carousel (and also the Yacht Club's model train), but here are a few other photos. I really like the Beach Club's color scheme - teal is my favorite color.

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I picked up a little something for hubby at the Beach Club. He loves Sven.

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1. beautiful new kitties!!

2. They let you in at Top of the World even though you weren't personally staying on points? I'm intrigued. I've got a reservation at All Star Sports in February for "work" and I was seriously bumming because I didn't think that I could go to Top of the World.

3. I love the train layout at Yacht Club!! I didn't know that they did that!!

4. Aren't short trips great? It doesn't take as much preparation to go away and you get a little nugget of Disney magic.

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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alicemouse wrote:
1. beautiful new kitties!!

2. They let you in at Top of the World even though you weren't personally staying on points? I'm intrigued. I've got a reservation at All Star Sports in February for "work" and I was seriously bumming because I didn't think that I could go to Top of the World.

3. I love the train layout at Yacht Club!! I didn't know that they did that!!

4. Aren't short trips great? It doesn't take as much preparation to go away and you get a little nugget of Disney magic.

We got into Top of the World on Robyn's DVC card. However, when she and I were there last winter and staying at an All-Star, we also got in.

We loved the train! As for short trips, they are cool, but would be even better if I could do one, say, every month.

The kittens are awesome! Still in isolation due to ear mites (a few lingered even after the SPCA treated them), but they'll be loose Thursday. Minx will no doubt own the house immediately. Ruairi will need a bit of time to acclimate since he's blind. We love them both so much.

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Hey, folks, the trip report is temporarily on hold. Appears I have reached the limit of photos I can post directly to this forum. I just got Photobucket, so can anyone tell me how to get Photobucket photos to show up in my posts? Both from my iPhone and from my PC, please and thanks in advance. If there's a thread or sticky that already deals with this issue, kindly just point me in the right direction.

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Wow those Christmas trees are beautiful! Lovely pictures and thanks for sharing Smile

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crazycatperson wrote:
Hey, folks, the trip report is temporarily on hold. Appears I have reached the limit of photos I can post directly to this forum. I just got Photobucket, so can anyone tell me how to get Photobucket photos to show up in my posts? Both from my iPhone and from my PC, please and thanks in advance. If there's a thread or sticky that already deals with this issue, kindly just point me in the right direction.

CC, just copy the img link from your picture in Photobucket and post in your TR where you want it. Also check out this link http://www.wdwforgrownups.com/forum/adding-pictures-posts-facebook

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I would have loved to take a short trip this month to see the Osborne Lights one last time. I just couldn't make it work.

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wow what a great short trip you had!!! looks like you had a great time!!!

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Once we'd finished up at the Beach Club, we walked back to the Boardwalk. Robyn and Simon dropped me off at Pop Century and headed back to AKL to do some laundry and packing in anticipation of the next day's move to the Grand Floridian. Meanwhile, I lounged at Pop for a bit and then bussed over to MK for the Christmas party.

I'd requested a room near the park bus stops, but only had to use a bus this one time thanks to Robyn and Simon. And very glad of it; the bus was standing room only and the kid standing in front of me (maybe 12-14 years old but taller than I am) had his elbow in my face most of the trip. Fortunately we arrived at MK without my glasses or nose broken.

We three had coordinated FPs, and our first was to meet Mickey, so I went ahead and met him alone.

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My next FastPass was for Peter Pan's Flight (Robyn and Simon had Meet Anna and Elsa at the same time, but they were still off laundrying and packing). After that, since I was in the vicinity, I hit Small World, Haunted Mansion, and Under the Sea before meeting Robyn and Simon for the last FP, Meet Cinderella and Rapunzel. I've already posted photos from the rides and have none from meeting the princesses, so I'll have to rely on Robyn to post them to her trip report.

By this time the party was about to start. Robyn's number 1 must-do character meet was Scrooge McDuck, which was supposed to be in Storybook Circus. We happened by Sandy Claws on our way (photo previously posted) and also picked up some hot chocolate and cookies (the cookies are not all that great, the cocoa is not bad). The meet and greet line was already HUGE, so we found the end and took a spot, knowing there would be a wait since the characters hadn't even arrived yet. Around the time they did arrive, CMs had the line bend back on itself so as not to obstruct traffic, and they were telling the folks just arriving that they would have an HOUR AND A HALF WAIT. So we figured our wait would be about half that. The line still hadn't started moving. Robyn and Simon heard an accent that sounded not American and discovered an Australian CM nearby directing traffic, so as fellow British Commonwealth people they started up a conversation in which we discussed the fact that to Americans, Australians sound a lot like British, but not to British. (Kind of like Canadians and Americans sound the same to Brits and Aussies.) I don't recall the woman's name (perhaps Robyn does), but she was very nice and friendly and we had a lovely conversation up until the line finally started to move.

A good while after that we finally reached the front of the line! Only to learn that the ducks and Minnie needed to check on cookies they were baking! But would be right back. So a bit more wait, and then they returned. Daisy had a few choice words for Donald before the photo shoots recommenced.

Just before it was our turn, Robyn and Simon's friend Lorraine (Robyn, I suck at remembering names, is this right?), whom they met at the dapper day earlier this trip, turned up and joined us. (See photos on previous page.) We met the characters, lovely as always, and then went in search of some party-specific entertainment and maybe more hot chocolate. We took the back way behind Tomorrowland Speedway over to Tomorrowland and caught the end of a musical performance by an a capella group whose name I forget, but BarbaraB thinks it's Voice Play and I will trust her judgment. (Photo previously posted.) Next we hit Cosmic Ray's for more entertainment, this time a DJ and dance party featuring Phineas and Ferb. We had a good bit of fun here!

I think finding a spot for fireworks came next. Simon and I indulged in some corn dog nuggets from Casey's while we waited. I have no photos, so visit Robyn's trip report to see the fireworks. After that we made our way to Frontierland to find a spot for the parade. This is an awesome parade, so I'll just post a bunch of photos in my next post and let you see for yourself.

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crazycatperson wrote:
I had such an awesome awesome trip I have a hard time believing it was just 62 hours from leaving the house to returning home.

I LOVE knowing that you did this! I was thinking that I might be mad considering doing a super-fast trip to collect new pictures & try new things, but it sounds like you had a really great time.

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Ahhh I've only just come to read this! We had SO much fun hanging out with you, you need to hurry up and plan a trip to England muchlove

Party was definitely made better by sharing it with you muchlove

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Our Very Merry 24 nighter Nov/Dec 15
Watson's go West May 15
The one with all the birthdays Oct 14 4 Big Birthdays and a Vow Renewal thrown in
The OMG trip June 14 30th Birthday present from the hubs
Girly trip March 14 A last min cheapy week
September 13 our first all DVC stay
TR May 2013 the last min bargain trip offsite
Oct 2012 TR with a cruise!big family trip featuring the beach club, AKL, the dream and a villa offsite
TR on a budget May - June 2011offsite condo
TR Sept - Oct 2010 big family trip in an offsite villa

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Oh and you gotta tell me when you're taking pics of me! Give me chance to at least suck it in laugh laugh

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Our Very Merry 24 nighter Nov/Dec 15
Watson's go West May 15
The one with all the birthdays Oct 14 4 Big Birthdays and a Vow Renewal thrown in
The OMG trip June 14 30th Birthday present from the hubs
Girly trip March 14 A last min cheapy week
September 13 our first all DVC stay
TR May 2013 the last min bargain trip offsite
Oct 2012 TR with a cruise!big family trip featuring the beach club, AKL, the dream and a villa offsite
TR on a budget May - June 2011offsite condo
TR Sept - Oct 2010 big family trip in an offsite villa

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Nothing new here (yet), but now that I've freed space for photos by resizing pics that were uploaded full size I will attempt to finish this once I'm done with the Big Meet-up, although at this late date I think it will be more photos than text.

Sorry about snapping candids, Robyn, hope I haven't done it again more recently. How about 2018 for England?