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Old 04-27-2012, 06:38 PM   #1
DisneyLifer87
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A POPtastic Anniversary (with an IOA pitstop) -- September 2011 TR ((COMPLETED))

Hello, hello and welcome to my first ever trip report that I refuse to abandon a second time (since I already did earlier!!) If you came over from my PTR then you know that I actually finished it to the end! What a milestone. As it is, some of you may be new so you have no idea who I am or the details of our trip. You can view all the changes and excitement if you'd like, but let's do a brief summary and cast of characters...
We stayed at Pop Century from September 17th - 24th with park hopper tickets and the free dining plan. We also were eligible for a free photpass book which I ordered on Wednesday, so I will post images once we receive it. Our first for this trip was spending a day at Universal/IOA so I could catch the WWoHP. This was mine and DH's third trip together and a belated Anniversary celebration. The trip prior was our wedding trip (we were married at the Swan and Dolphin in May 2010) and the trip before that was DH's first and was about a year after we got engaged. You could say we truly like to celebrate with Disney But now, for who we are:


Me, better known as Tink or Lifer here on the DIS. I'm a 24 year old sales consultant for Verizon Wireless and I enjoy all things Disney. This trip was yet another that I planned obsessively and was told by my reluctant DH to try and 'take it easy'. Hah, you'll find out soon if that actually happened. Here in this picture you can see my enjoying my favorite Grey Goose slush from France. Boy do I not tire of those!


DH, 23 years old and a 'jack of all trades' at the bowling alley near our apartment. He likes Disney, sure enough... but perhaps not the extreme that I do. The goal this trip was to slow me down,
DH had very little to do with the planning during this trip outside of the food. He does enjoy Disney Dining.

I have been a little slow in this TR and sadly it was once closed. I am reviving it now and holding out till the end!!
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you will stick around. I will be working on transferring days one, two and three over and starting four this evening!


Table of Contents:
Day One, Traveling to the World
Day Two, Trotting Epcot... Again
Day Three, Beating the heat at Animal Kingdom
Day Four, Spooky times at the Magic Kingdom and our first MNSSHP
Day Five, Mischief Managed
Day Six, Hollywood Studios, pt. 1
Day Seven, Hollywood Studios, pt. 2
Day Eight, Leaving Disney

Dining Experiences:
Day One - Via Napoli
Day Two - Coral Reef
Day Three - Nine Dragons
Day Four - Crystal Palace and Liberty Tree Tavern
Day Six - Sci Fi Drive In
Day Seven - 50s Prime Time Cafe
__________________


Jan 2009: Pop Engagement Celebration
May 2010: CBR Wedding Trip
September 2011: A POPtastic Anniversary Pre-Trip Report Trip Report
January 2013: A Winter Getaway PreTrip Report Trip Report
He says no, but I'll find a way to go! ~ A December PTR in the making

Last edited by DisneyLifer87; 09-27-2012 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:41 PM   #2
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Day One - Traveling to the World

Day One: 9/17/11 (Traveling to the World and around it!)

Our day started relatively early on Saturday morning. My sister had arranged to drive us to the airport since she needed to be up with my one month old nephew Joey anyway. I woke around 5:30am to get dressed and finish some last minute packing. Surprisingly, I did sleep a sufficient amount the night before, but I suppose that would be because DH and I were running all over the place on Friday night. DH tried his best to remain asleep, but he relented around 6:15am and rolled out of bed to get ready himself. My sister was at our place right at 6:45am and we were on our way. I of course had to remind DH to snag my sunglasses from my car - I had already made that mistake one trip and it was sure a headache.
We got to the airport around 7:30am for a 9:05am flight. I wasn't too worried as we were already checked in online and baggage was paid for. We dropped our bags and got into the security line where it took 45 min!!! We headed to our gate with a bit of a quick shuffle, but of course DH insisted on breakfast so we made a pit stop at Subway before sitting and waiting to be boarded. I'm amazed at how expense airport food is... a breakfast sub was about $3 over the typical price I'd pay outside of the terminal. As it is, our plane was very booked, but we boarded and were seated by a group of quiet adults. There weren't many pictures from our morning excursion, mostly because we were a little rushed, but also because it was early and I didn't really feel in a picture mood. After a quiet flight of reading/music/movies, we landed in Orlando right on time. Navigating through MCO is a breeze for us now, and soon we were seeing the welcoming hands of DME!! I was a bit taken aback by the line for Pop Century and was hoping it would not be a sign of bad things to come. However, buses arrived quickly and we were soon on our way. I had completed online check in, so that was also a breeze (which included free brownies that a cm was passing out) and by 2:03pm we were in our room to find a king sized bed! We were in the 50's building on the 4th floor. DH and I unpacked our carry-on and changed into shorts before heading out for a bus to Epcot. I, of course, was more in the Disney spirit and took a few pictures of our view from the resort.


Our building from the elevator overlooking the bowling pin pool and Tramp


Two doors down from our room overlooking the pool. DH insisted I get a picture by Tramp since I thought he was pretty sweet.

We swung into the food court and bought our refillable mugs. Then, we hopped in line for the bus and one was there within minutes! It was pretty exciting and we hoped the luck would continue. By 2:45pm we were walking to the gates of Epcot and very soon....

We saw this lovely sight. I knew we were home!

The goal for today was to simply wander the World Showcase and try not to over exert ourselves from such an early morning. DH and I were both pretty hungry and without an ADR until 7pm, we figured we'd get some lunch. I had planned to have lunch at Pop, but we were too excited for DH's favorite QS meal in all of Epcot:


Some tasty fish and chips from the UK. We figured we'd split this one and only used one QS meal. Then we began to walk the showcase into France. I checked my times guide to see that our favorite show was soon to be on, so we grabbed some drinks (see our intro pics) and sat back to await Servuer Amuesant.


This show always amazes me. I'm afraid of heights and have terrible balance, so you can see why I would NEVER attempt this. After the show we continued on into Japan and stopped inside the shop (it's always so interesting)! From here we wandered to Germany and stopped into Karamel Kuche. I didn't really see the fuss about it, and we didn't get anything this time around.. but we vowed to return later in the trip. In Germany DH was complaining he was hungry again. It was 4:30 and I really didn't want him to spoil dinner, but we got a brat and pretzal combo using another QS credit. He ate the brat, I had the pretzal and we felt full enough to move on. We did ride Maelstrom with only a 10 min wait followed by the Gran Fiesta Tour which was a walk on. Neither of us had been on these and, honestly, we probably won't again. They were passive, but really just a nice escape from the heat. From Mexico we wandered back to Italy and ate at our first reservation at Via Napoli.

I regret to inform you that I have no food porn. However, we ordered the pepperoni pizza and gelato for dessert. DH was in love (he adores pizza, though) and admittedly I was impressed. The only draw back is that the pizza was a bit cold due to the busy restaurant, I assume. We would give it 4/5 stars and would most likely return.

After this we leisurely strolled to the UK and scouted out a spot for Illuminations. Instead of pictures, I figure I will share with you a short video I took of it: (Sorry it is not the right way!)
View Here

After Illuminations we headed back on the bus with only a minor crowd. We pit stopped in the food court to refill our mugs and purchase 2 salads with our snack credits (good way to keep cool and rehydrate) and sat back to watch some tv. By 11:30pm we were both out and asleep to await day two.
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Jan 2009: Pop Engagement Celebration
May 2010: CBR Wedding Trip
September 2011: A POPtastic Anniversary Pre-Trip Report Trip Report
January 2013: A Winter Getaway PreTrip Report Trip Report
He says no, but I'll find a way to go! ~ A December PTR in the making
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:44 PM   #3
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Day Two - Trotting Epcot

Day Two - Trotting Epcot again

For our first Disney day we woke up super early and headed to Epcot for rope drop. I believe I set the alarm for 7am but didn't roll out of bed until 7:30am . DH didn't want any breakfast because he wasn't really feeling it, so we refilled our mugs and waited for a bus. We got to Epcot right around 8:45am and watched the little mini opening ceremony (which was cute).


Love this!

We made our way to Soarin' and rode through. I love this ride and DH loves the preshow because of the actor who narrates it.


After riding Soarin' we headed across the park to test track which was a walk on! this trip was looking better and better. DH was starting to get pretty hungry by this point so we wandered into the World Showcase. Timewise it was 10:30 so we figured we could simply relax for a bit outside of, where you ask?


With lunch at:


Well, at least for DH. I wanted to wait and have something different. So after DH finished his meal, we walked to Mexico and I stopped by to get some of the best tacos I had ever tasted!! DH actually got wide eyed when he saw that the beef was more like a shredded beef and he slowly regretted his decision to have fish and chips again. It was about 12:30 at this time and the sun was sure starting to feel warm. We grabbed a bottle of water and hopped on the boat to cross over the world showcase where we made way to Japan. DH had his eye on a popular cookie called Koala Yummies (or, well, that's what they were in America when we were both tots). They sell them here which is fabulous, so we grabbed a massive family pack!


Afterwards we headed to The Seas with Nemo and Friends which was, again, a walk on. And afterwards we decided to wait 15 minutes for the next Turtle Talk with Crush show. As we were waiting, I was followed by my new friend:

I called him Petey... Petey the Puff Fish.

Now, as Minnesota Viking football fans (at the time... debating that one now...) we saw it was just past 1pm which meant the game was on. I was a little bit tired still, being unused to the Disney lifestyle and also the heat of the day. So I agreed that DH and I could head back to the room for a few hours of rest. We hopped on the bus and made it back to our hotel by 1:30pm. We refilled our mugs and headed to the room. It had started to get a little cloudy, but I didn't think much of it. I scrolled through the tv and found the game - they were playing Tampa Bay so we lucked out! I was about the sit on the bed when I heard an unusual sound from outside. I opened the door to...

Pouring rain!! Guess the nap idea wasn't so bad after all! I set the alarm for 5:00pm so we could head back for dinner and a few more rides. We watched the game for awhile which they steadily loss and I fell asleep for a good hour, as did DH. We woke up to watch the game end miserably, but to see that it was no longer raining and the sun had returned. We dressed and headed on the bus back to Epcot. Once in the park we made for Spaceship Earth and waited roughly 5 minutes. Following this it was still a bit too early for dinner, so we headed over to Ellen's Energy Adventure and got right in. I really didn't know what to think of this and it was a small bit dumb, but entertaining and a nice relax. Once out we saw it was almost 6pm so we headed to dinner a little early.


Coral Reef: This place was crazy busy! We had to wait 30 min for a table, but we figured it would be worthwhile. DH had the seasonal catch which was a bass (I think?) with mushroom and scallop risotto. He absolutely loved it and I was wondering if he would lick the plate. I had the NY strip with horseradish mashed potatoes. The steak was cooked perfectly and had a red wine reduction sauce that was to die for. DH stole a few bites and agreed it was phenomenal. For desert we both elected for the chocolate wave. This was very good and DH again considered licking his plate. I have to say, I'm not too big on chocolate so it was a touch too rich for me, but I finished it anyway! 5/5 stars. We have been here before and will keep on going!

After dinner I had asked DH if he would not mind heading to Magic Kingdom for EMH. He was all for it (after all, it was only 7:30pm). We took the monorail and entered the park right as the MSEP was starting. So, why not? We decided to stop and watch.



Afterwards we migrated with the rest up to street to grab a spot for Wishes. DH left me to buy some popcorn (like we usually do) and we watched both the show before Wishes and the fireworks themselves. Enjoy a video once more:
Link here

After the fireworks we wandered into Tomorrowland and and rode the People Mover because, well, it was the only thing without a line! As we traveled we passed through a broken down Space Mountain and I got to see the lighted inside view! I wish I had my camera at the ready... DH asked if I wanted to ride again but I figured it wasn't too big of a deal. After the people mover we debated heading to the Jungle Cruise, but the park was just so packed and we were tired that we just decided to head out. We ducked into the Bakery to pick up a sandwich, chips, and a chocolate croissant using snack credits (aside from the sandwich). We finished the chips waiting for the bus and then the sandwich back in the room. I showered and DH showered after only to find me fast asleep. So ended our first full Disney day.

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Jan 2009: Pop Engagement Celebration
May 2010: CBR Wedding Trip
September 2011: A POPtastic Anniversary Pre-Trip Report Trip Report
January 2013: A Winter Getaway PreTrip Report Trip Report
He says no, but I'll find a way to go! ~ A December PTR in the making
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:49 PM   #4
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Day Three - Beating the heat at AK

Day Three - Beating the heat at Animal Kingdom (we hoped)

The parks had been good to us crowed wise, so DH requested that we "sleep in" this day. I did not agree, but it was better to go with it than suffer a cranky DH all day. By 7:45am I was wide awake, however DH was not. Antsy as I was because Animal Kingdom was our planned park (and it opened at 8am for EMH!).. I let him sleep. Around 8:30am as I was quietly reading, he rolled over and I may or may not have cleared my throat with an impatient emphasis. Fortunately, he woke up and felt refreshed enough to climb out of bed. Since I was already ready, we were out the door by 9am and after filling our mugs, we were on our way. Animal Kingdom is one of the closest parks to Pop, so we were there in no time. Outside of the park we saw a cool dedication to the Lion King 3D



We walked through and stopped to get our photopass photo taken with the tree of life. ((This reminds me on a side note that I did get my book in the mail and should post pics of it soon)). Anyway, we walked to Expedition Everest and found the posted wait time of 5 min! I handed DH the park bag and let him wander around while I hopped in line. Needless to say, the 5 min was WAY off..... it was a walk on I love this ride, but I do hate that the Yeti has a fan and strobe light effect. Most times I barely notice him at the end of the ride. fail.
After my encounter of the disco era kind, I regrouped with DH and we made our way to the Kilimanjaro Safaris. I know this is corny what with the "poachers" and such, but I still enjoy seeing the animals. The wait time here was 20 min with fastpass returns for 40 minutes from our current time. DH was a little hungry, so we took the fastpasses and wandered to a nearby quick service spot that had flatbread breakfast sandwiches for sale. I forget the name of the place, but the flatbread had egg, ham, and cheese in it. It was really good, actually, and a nice light breakfast at 10:30am. As we were eating, DH noticed a large group of people standing around the corner. We figured, hey, may as well see what they're up to. And wouldn't you know it.. one of my Animal Kingdom dreams came true:



We found DiVine! and by a total bit of luck for opting into breakfast prior to the safari. Both DH and I were thrilled. After watching her for a little while, we headed back to the Safari and rode using our fastpass. We only waited about 5 min. Sadly we missed the lions, but we did get a few good shots of other African wildlife:




It was about 11:15am at this point and the heat of the day was starting to pick up. The bad thing about Animal Kingdom is that it traps heat and humidity! We decided to get off our feet for a bit and catch the 11:30am show of Flights of Wonder. Unfortunately, the birds were moving a bit too quickly for us to get good photos of this show, but it was fun and entertaining. The birds are exotic and colorful.. I highly recommend the shaded enjoyment. Shortly before noon we left for the Maharajah Jungle Trek because I was determined to see the tigers. They did not disappoint:


So pretty . I asked DH after if he wanted to grab some lunch, but he was more into doing whatever it took to get us out of the park. I admit, it was starting to get awfully warm. We headed to Dinosaur and walked right on to ride that quick. DH was feeling a little better from the nice cool ac. From here we walked to Camp Minnie Mickey to catch the 1:30pm showin of Festival of the Lion King. Feel free to catch a clip of my favorite aspect of this show.

Click here

We bid farewell to the Animal Kingdom and headed back to the room. We pit stopped in the food court for lunch, which was philly cheese burritos. They were pretty good, actually. Being that it was bright and sunny, we decided to change into our suits and take advantage of a quiet Bowling Pin pool. This lasted all of about 30 min until they hustled us out due to an incoming storm. We headed back to the room and showered, changed, relaxed while the rain... never came? Not sure what happened here, but that's Florida weather for you!
Around 6:00pm we left for our dining reservation at the Nine Dragons in Epcot. We have been here before and loved it. I'm happy to say this time was no different! Both DH and I got the Canton Pepper Beef and ate as much as we could (sadly we could not finish). We did then enjoy ice cream afterwards. Nine Dragons gets a 4/5 once more... mostly because it is good, but a bit spendy for food I could order here in Minnesota. After dinner it was about 7:15pm. DH was tired as was I, so we decided to simply call it an early evening. We had a breakfast reservation early the next morning, so it wasn't a total loss. We headed back to the room and watched some tv, I read, and we were in bed by 11:30pm.
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Jan 2009: Pop Engagement Celebration
May 2010: CBR Wedding Trip
September 2011: A POPtastic Anniversary Pre-Trip Report Trip Report
January 2013: A Winter Getaway PreTrip Report Trip Report
He says no, but I'll find a way to go! ~ A December PTR in the making
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:46 PM   #5
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Minor update

Things have been a little crazy but I will be posting an update today!! No readers yet, but perhaps some lurkers? Let yourself be known!!
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Jan 2009: Pop Engagement Celebration
May 2010: CBR Wedding Trip
September 2011: A POPtastic Anniversary Pre-Trip Report Trip Report
January 2013: A Winter Getaway PreTrip Report Trip Report
He says no, but I'll find a way to go! ~ A December PTR in the making
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:12 PM   #6
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I'm horrible at completing things!

It's August but I'm back and totally back in action. I know our trip was almost a year ago now, but I'm still going to finish this and roll right into a new Pretrip!!!!

Allow me to take it away with a new post....
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Jan 2009: Pop Engagement Celebration
May 2010: CBR Wedding Trip
September 2011: A POPtastic Anniversary Pre-Trip Report Trip Report
January 2013: A Winter Getaway PreTrip Report Trip Report
He says no, but I'll find a way to go! ~ A December PTR in the making
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:40 AM   #7
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Day Four - Spooky times in the Kingdom

Day Four - Magic Kingdom

We had big plans for today. Unfortunately we gave up on a lot of them due to the excessive heat that we encountered. Apparently our Minnesotan blood just can't take the Florida humidity.... or... at least my hair can't.

Today we woke up at 7 and got ready. We were on a very empty bus to the Magic Kingdom by 7:50am which brought us to the gates around 8:15am. Lucky for us because we had ADRs at Crystal Palace for 8:25am. We entered the Magic Kingdom which was fun to see it so 'empty'.

As you can see, there was actually a good amount of breakfast goers today! We ended up waiting 20 minutes for our table But, once seated it was so very crowded we found it hard to really enjoy our food. DH and I elected to eat quickly and only visited with Eeyore before we were ready to go. The food was pretty standard, but we were very tightly packed in and I would much rather have gone to Chef Mickey's for a character experience.

Moving from breakfast it was about 9:30am so the crowds were slowly trickling in. Truthfully it was still fairly quiet. Now originally we had planned to go see Flynn and Rapunzel, but shortly before our trip they removed Flynn so sadly, we opted out of this and simply proceeded to Fantasyland. Of course, being the morning, this place was pretty busy so we snagged fastpasses for Peter Pan and then walked right on to it's a small world.

This ride still gives me a headache, but traditionally DH says we need to ride it. From here we elected to go to Mickey's Philharmagic because it was still pretty busy in Fantasyland and we had 30 minutes to our Peter Pan time. This is DH's favorite show in WDW so he enjoyed it and I enjoyed the ac. Not to say I didn't like the show - I do - but it gets slightly old after awhile.
Keeping with the no picture morning, we went on Peter Pan's Flight before exiting Fantasyland amid a few meltdown children around 10:45am. We wandered into Frontierland and walked onto Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, shockingly. It was fun as always and marks the only roller coaster DH will do! I tried to convince him to ride Splash Mountain but he wouldn't have it, so we opted out of this experience. We backtracked a bit to the Haunted Mansion and walked right on, which actually was a bit disappointing because I wanted to explore the new queue area. Who knew you could want to wait?
After we saw some grim grinning ghosts, DH was getting hungry. I couldn't argue... it was noon after all! We headed to Cosmic Rays which was a nightmare for the time, but still only a 45-minute excursion from start to finish. DH and I love Cosmic Rays for the condiment selection - cheese fries anyone?!
From lunch DH and I made our way into Tomorrowland so I could ride Space Mountain solo. Being a single rider made this wait nonexistent which was fantastic! We then turned our focus to the Monster's Inc. laugh floor but weren't as amused this time around. I guess the jokes just didn't pan out? It was around 1:30pm by this time and DH was ready for an afternoon break. We moved back to the hub for a quick castle shot and view down mainstreet then headed out.



We headed back to the hotel room to nap and prepare for our first MNSSHP which I'll post up next
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Jan 2009: Pop Engagement Celebration
May 2010: CBR Wedding Trip
September 2011: A POPtastic Anniversary Pre-Trip Report Trip Report
January 2013: A Winter Getaway PreTrip Report Trip Report
He says no, but I'll find a way to go! ~ A December PTR in the making
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:57 AM   #8
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Just came across your trip report. Jumping in. I was at Pop Century around the same time as you. I was there September 21-25. Good times!
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:27 PM   #9
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Mnsshp

Day Four, continued into Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

DH and I have never been September Disney goers, so we have never had the enjoyment of a MNSSHP. I was very excited for our first adventure and had high hopes! Did it disappoint? ...... let's read on....

We returned back to the Magic Kingdom after resting and changing into costume. I'll add here that only I was in the costume mood, so I went as a rendition of the lady mouse herself

Alright, so I didn't go over the top. But you can see I'm rocking a sunburn about as red as my bow, so the straps alone were frightening to wear all evening.

We had an ADR at Liberty Tree Tavern for 5:45pm so we walked over to that. They were starting to slowly flush the day crowd out for the evening as we walked over, but the roped areas were still pretty slim. LTT was packed for dinner, but our wait was only 15-20 minutes. DH and I have not been to this restaurant since 2009 and it was subpar at that time, but we decided to give it another try. I must happily report that the food was delicious and we enjoyed all of it. Except for my personal distaste for anything apple flavored. But, it was a Halloween party so who needs dessert anyway!?
That being sad, I pulled out our oh-so-snazzy Lion King 3D advertising trick-or-treat bags and we exited the restaurant ready for some fun. DH was not in the spirit of trick-or-treating initially, but by the end of the night he realized all of the adults were in on the game and promptly assisted.

We really didn't ride anything in the park, but simply wandered around collecting candy and looking at the decorations. I do remember we went on Pirates of the Caribbean right after dinner, then began circling around until the parade began. DH was fascinated with the Haunted Mansion and attempted a few shots while we waited for the parade to reach our spot:

Sadly the lightning was too awful on his camera phone to capture the magic without some blurred effects. He's still angry I would not allow him the digital camera... but I was ready for the parade. So without further ado, let us see those shots:





I really enjoyed this parade. The music stuck with me all night, but not in a small world sense. DH thought the graveyard shovel dance (that's my formal name for it) was great, but sadly they weren't as active in our section of the parade. From here we moved on to more trick or treating, wrapping to Tomorrowland for a little dance party. No, we did not partake, but DH thought it was so cool you could dance with the characters. He said if he was a kid, he'd be so into that. ...... I'm a little happy I didn't tell him I wanted to BEFORE he said that....
We had made the loop and had our bags pretty stuffed with candy. It was 11pm and as we entered the hub, the fireworks were about to begin. We had snagged a video of wishes earlier in the week, so DH and I elected to enjoy these fireworks sans camera. I regret that a bit now, but I think we needed it. We left immediately following the fireworks because DH was dragging and we had an early start tomorrow. I took a few last minute park shots:


And we were off to the buses. The wait was pretty lengthy, but I do remember wiping the makeup off of my face and falling into bed around 12:30. No tv tonight.

Up next we leave Disney and visit a little magical realm of Harry Potter! My wizarding dreams finally come true!!
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Jan 2009: Pop Engagement Celebration
May 2010: CBR Wedding Trip
September 2011: A POPtastic Anniversary Pre-Trip Report Trip Report
January 2013: A Winter Getaway PreTrip Report Trip Report
He says no, but I'll find a way to go! ~ A December PTR in the making
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:30 AM   #10
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Well it's been quite sometime since my last post. DH and I have been pretty crazy. I do promise to get a post or two out this morning before work though! Stick with me - we are halfway there!
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Jan 2009: Pop Engagement Celebration
May 2010: CBR Wedding Trip
September 2011: A POPtastic Anniversary Pre-Trip Report Trip Report
January 2013: A Winter Getaway PreTrip Report Trip Report
He says no, but I'll find a way to go! ~ A December PTR in the making
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:26 AM   #11
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Day Five - Mischief Managed

Day Five - IOA and US

The day I had been hoping for (beyond my excitement for Disney) had finally come! DH had agreed to jam two parks into one day so I could see the Magical World of Harry Potter. I woke up at 6am over the moon and ready for an exciting day. I got in the shower and then woke DH around 6:30 so we could go get some breakfast in the food court.

** I will take a second to comment on some service here...I had scheduled Mears transportation for this leg of our journey. It was $12/person round trip and we were to catch a bus at a prearranged time that morning, then call 2-3 hours prior to wanting to leave for a bus to take us back. Sounds simple enough. And...... it actually was. DH and I had friendly drivers both directions (the morning one being unexpected as you will very soon learn) and the experience was a very easy one. I'd recommend this to anyone not willing to shell out for a rental.

Moving on, DH and I were in the food court enjoying some beverages and early morning snacks. I stuffed the refill mugs in our park bag for the day and we headed out to the Magical Express bus bay where we found 2 other families waiting around aimlessly like us Our bus was set to pick us up at 7:30am, but by 7:45am we realized as did the other family, that this might not be happening. A Mears shuttle van driver approached us and asked if we were waiting for the IOA/US bus. We all said yes and after a few radio calls, he decided to just take us in his van because his pick up from POP wasn't until 9am anyway. He was early and just enjoying some coffee. This man saved the day. We all piled in and he took us directly to the City Walk entrance. He also explained to us the rules for pickup and where to meet. That driver made some good tips off of us POP Century crew.
The time was about 8:30am and DH and I wandered through CityWalk to the main gate of IOA. We had to sit around for 15 minutes till the park opened, so we discussed the game plan for the two parks and got ready for a rush to WWoHP. The gates opened... we were in... and we were off.

DH at this point was new to IOA and was looking around as we hustled to WWoHP - much to my annoyance when he slowed down. But we eventually made it to this lovely sight:

We didn't stay long after that picture to enjoy much as I had only one thing on my mind - Hogwarts! We passed quickly through the village and I assured my DH I would stop and smell the roses once we got the Forbidden Journey out of the way. We headed down the path and I had to stop for one last shot:


DH decided spur of the moment that he could handle the ride and into the queue we went. This may be the only time that I say I'm sad there was zero wait for this ride! We did stop to look at some of the elements of the castle but mostly we breezed through. Sadly I did not get to keep my camera for pictures, but I have the memories. The ride itself was unlike any I've experienced and DH and I both loved it. Afterwards, the wait was up to 20 minutes and I was ready to explore. We vowed to go back and ride it later in the day, but you will come to find that we never accomplished this. We stopped to grab some butterbeer (non frozen) and ended up getting 3 more glasses by end of our IOA journey. It was really that good. Now I'll leave you with some more WWoHP images.



Up next... we venture out into the rest of IOA then try to fit in the Studios as well.
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Jan 2009: Pop Engagement Celebration
May 2010: CBR Wedding Trip
September 2011: A POPtastic Anniversary Pre-Trip Report Trip Report
January 2013: A Winter Getaway PreTrip Report Trip Report
He says no, but I'll find a way to go! ~ A December PTR in the making
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:10 AM   #12
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Day Five - Cont.

Day Five - IOA and US continued

DH and I left WWoHP around 10:15am to wander the rest of the parks. We stopped by the Sinbad ride so I could have my picture taken with the mystical fountain. Sadly he was not talking today.



We moved back through into the Marvel area where I rode The Hulk on my own. It was a walk-on for single rider, and even if DH wouldn't have been so chicken, I think we wouldn't have waited very long. From here we both moved on to the Spiderman ride which was fantastic as always. DH loved it and wanted to ride twice, but as with Harry Potter we said we would and never did

From here we passed straight on through to Jurassic Park. It was 10:45am and DH was getting a bit hungry, however most lunch places were yet to open. I convinced DH to ride the water ride here with me. I told him we wouldn't get that wet. We got placed right in the front row and were soaked. Luckily it was sunny and not humid, so we dried quickly and somehow kept our feet dry. He still hasn't forgiven me for this a year later....



We stopped in the Jurassic Park center for lunch. This place looks like it came right out of the movie and I just love that. We then moved back into WWoHP around noon and it was a 30 min wait for Forbidden Journey. DH and I grabbed butterbeer one last time and left IOA for Universal.

Now at this point I must apologize, for I seem to have no pictures. Truthfully, we didn't do much in US. I took DH on the Men in Black ride which we both enjoyed, but waited 30 min to ride. The crowds had certainly picked up and we're talking Brazil tour groups. I called Mears around 1pm and they said we could take a 3:30pm pick up. DH and I were hot and tired, so we caught the horror make up show, wandered around a bit, then ultimately left the parks. I don't feel like we missed out on much because US had closed Jaws; The Mummy was broken down; and we were too early for Despicable Me. But, we intended to focus on WWoHP and though we left a bit earlier than anticipated, we still both enjoyed the day. That evening we napped then went to dinner at the food court and had some fun in the pool. It was a very relaxed evening, which due to the hectic crowds at US we were ready to cool down and be alone.

Up next, Day six and also one of two at Hollywood Studios.

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Jan 2009: Pop Engagement Celebration
May 2010: CBR Wedding Trip
September 2011: A POPtastic Anniversary Pre-Trip Report Trip Report
January 2013: A Winter Getaway PreTrip Report Trip Report
He says no, but I'll find a way to go! ~ A December PTR in the making
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:10 PM   #13
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Day Six - Hollywood Studios

Day Six - Hollywood Studios pt. 1

DH and I decided to wake up fairly early today, but not enough to make EMH. Nearing the end of the trip, we tend to lose steam. However, we made it to the park by 9:30am and walked to TSM for our fastpasses. I had an idea for what to do today, but it was looking like rain, so we decided to just go with the flow. Our first stop was the Indiana Jones show simply because DH loves it and we didn't catch it last trip.


Once the show finished it was almost 11am so we made our way to pizza planet and got into a very extensive line. It took us over an hour to eat our pizza and salad (more so to actually get it). But afterwards we walked right into a showing of the Muppet Vision 3D which was nice and cool. Walking out we went to ride through our TSM fastpasses.
After TSM where DH beat me once again, we walked over to find a spot for the parade, but saw an unpleasant sight:


Tutt, tutt. We decided to call it an afternoon and headed back to the hotel for a nap. It poured for over an hour this day, but we weren't too concerned.

We returned back to DHS around 5:00pm and headed right to our ADR at the Sci Fi Drive in. This was a new restaurant for us and we were pretty impressed, but not enough to want to go again. We both had burgers and DH had a milkshake which he said was amazing. The burgers were pretty plain. We were satisfied though, and that's what matters.

We left the restaurant around 6:30pm and headed over to TSM. The line said 25 min so we decided to jump in. The wait time was pretty accurate and afterwards it was about 7:10pm so we headed right to the line for Fantasmic! which looked like it would be a packed show. It did not disappoint aside from the fact that it started misting and we got a little cold and wet. Afterwards we were pretty miserable, so we just went back to the hotel for some dry clothes and tv before falling asleep.

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Jan 2009: Pop Engagement Celebration
May 2010: CBR Wedding Trip
September 2011: A POPtastic Anniversary Pre-Trip Report Trip Report
January 2013: A Winter Getaway PreTrip Report Trip Report
He says no, but I'll find a way to go! ~ A December PTR in the making
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:46 PM   #14
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Day Seven - Hollywood Studios pt. 2

Day Seven - Hollywood Studios, pt. 2

Our last full Disney day! We woke up around 8am and packed up a bit of the room, sadly. Around 9am we headed down to the food court and grabbed some breakfast to go. Hopping a bus to DHS we arrived in the park around 10:15am where we immediately went to TSM for our fastpasses. Getting some for the early afternoon, we headed to the 11am showing of Beauty and the Beast, however I saw a popcorn tub that seriously needed to be mine. So, I of course bought it.



With my snack in hand we grabbed a seat and prepared for my favorite show at DHS. We had pretty good seats for once and it actually was nice to be sheltered since it started raining shortly after we sat down.




After the show we headed back to pizza planet for yet another fantastic lunch. Then it was time for some star tours! What a great revamp of the ride. We got the little planet with the Ewoks for our star tour. It was entertaining and DH loved it. Afterwards we headed over to the lights, motors, action stunt show. DH loves this, but personally I'm a little bored of it so I'm glad it's rumored to be removed. You may notice here that we didn't take many pictures, but that would be because this day was full of off and on raining .

After the stunt show we jumped onto TSM where DH beat me once more! It was about 2pm so we headed out for a quick nap. We returned at 5:00pm for our 50's Prime Time ADR. This place was phenomenal! DH and I both got the pot roast and we cleaned our plates! We intend on going back very soon and DH hopes to try the chicken.

Afterwards we had no plans, so we decided to monorail on over to Epcot for some last minute shopping. DH picked up more of his Koala Yummies cookies in Japan. We spent 2 hours poking around Epcot World Showcase, and using up the rest of our snack credits. I did pick up a caramel treat from Karamel Kuuche, but I couldn't finish it - way too rich!! We did watch Illuminations one more time before heading back to finish packing and head to bed. It was a bittersweet ending and I don't think either of us wanted to go home
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Jan 2009: Pop Engagement Celebration
May 2010: CBR Wedding Trip
September 2011: A POPtastic Anniversary Pre-Trip Report Trip Report
January 2013: A Winter Getaway PreTrip Report Trip Report
He says no, but I'll find a way to go! ~ A December PTR in the making
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:50 PM   #15
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Day Eight - Leaving Disney

Day Eight - Leaving Disney

We woke up and finished packing. DME picked us up at 9:15am and we were at the airport by 10am. We checked in for our flight and stopped at Burger King for breakfast, though I admittedly did not want that... but the line was short. We ate, gathered some magazines from the newstand, then sat at our terminal. Unfortunately the flight was delayed by an hour, so I did get a lot of reading done. We took off around 1:20pm and got home around 3:15pm. We gathered our luggage and headed on home ready to plan another trip.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks to everyone who joined on in for this trip report. It was a bit of a tough start but we made it! Please join me on my PreTrip report for our upcoming January 2013 trip!!! Farewell for now!
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Jan 2009: Pop Engagement Celebration
May 2010: CBR Wedding Trip
September 2011: A POPtastic Anniversary Pre-Trip Report Trip Report
January 2013: A Winter Getaway PreTrip Report Trip Report
He says no, but I'll find a way to go! ~ A December PTR in the making
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