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Old 06-23-2013, 02:31 PM   #1
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WHAAAT? SUNSHINE ISN'T WET! A June 2013 Trip Report!

Hi everyone! And welcome to my first trip report (but not my first trip!) We were there June 14-22, and there was some rain, some pain, some tours, and a good time was had by all! But first, a little background...

When I graduated from high school, my dad told me I could pick anywhere in the world to go to celebrate. I chose London and saw a bunch of places where the Harry Potter movies were filmed and got some culture and all that jazz. Fast forward three years, and now it's my sister's turn to graduate. So my dad gives her the same offer. He was practically begging her to pick Italy, but she didn't. Instead, she chose.....






As I said, this was faaaaar from our first trip. We've been going since before I could walk, and I was a CP back in 2011 so they came to visit me three or four times during those seven months. So we were prepared for the June heat, crowds, rain, lines, the whole shebang. But you'd think I'd be prepared for those goshdarn trolley tracks! I'm getting ahead of myself, though. How about some introductions?

First, there's me, Cali! I'm 21 years old, a theatre major at UNC-Wilmington, a College Program alumni, and a Disney fanatic. Half my wardrobe consists of Disney shirts, I've spent more money than I really care to think about on my pin collection, I'm pretty much always listening to Disney music, my backgrounds on my phone and laptop are Cinderella Castle... basically, I'm a Diser!
Favorite characters: Rapunzel, Tiana, Merida, the Cheshire Cat, Stitch, Crush, and especially ALL THE VILLAINS!
Favorite attraction: Splash Mountain
Favorite restaurant: The Liberty Tree Tavern
Favorite Disney movies: The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tangled, and the Princess and the Frog

Now we have my DSis, Danielle. She's 17 years old, and this trip was to celebrate her high school graduation. In real life she tries to pretend she's too cool for Disney, but if I happen to be listening to Disney music or watching a Disney movie, she'll sit right down and know all the words, and she LOVES the parks and the princesses. She's planning on going to NC State and majoring in animal sciences, so the Backstage Safari tour was a MUST.
Favorite characters: Cinderella, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Mickey Mouse, Belle, Rapunzel
Favorite attraction: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Favorite restaurant: Cinderella's Royal Table and 50's Prime Time Cafe
Favorite Disney movies: Cinderella, Tangled, and the Pirates of the Caribbean

Finally, the parental units! My dad is... not into Disney. At all. He does enjoy some of the attractions, like the Laugh Floor, Rock N' Roller Coaster, and Splash Mountain, and he likes Eeyore, but for the most part, he's just along for the ride. He does pay for us to take all these magical trips though, so we've got to appreciate Mr. Grumpy Gills over here! My mom gets it, though. She LOVES being in Disney, and cried as much as I did when we had to leave! She's even considering naming our next dog Walt.
My mom's favorites:
Favorite characters: Mickey, Stitch, Ariel, Belle, Piglet
Favorite attraction: Rock N' Roller Coaster
Favorite restaurant: Liberty Tree Tavern or Cinderella's Royal Table
Favorite Disney movies: Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Toy Story

SO now that all the housekeeping is out of the way, keep your hands, arms, feet, and legs inside the trip report, please watch your children, and enjoy my trip report!

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Old 06-23-2013, 02:37 PM   #2
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:38 PM   #3
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Wonderful start! I look forward to reading more about your trip, and I hope you had a terrific time!
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:47 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jenniferreich View Post
Wonderful start! I look forward to reading more about your trip, and I hope you had a terrific time!
Thank you! It was AWESOME!

Imgur was being stupid and not uploading half my pictures, but I got it working so let's do this thing! Also, I want to apologize for not doing a PTR. Danielle did most of the planning because it was her celebration trip and I just kinda went along for the ride.

Chapter 1: Danielle, You Just Graduated High School- What Are You Going To Do Next?

I tried to go to bed early the night before because we had a really early (8 AM) flight, but I ended up not sleeping at all. Too excited, I guess, and who can blame me? WE'RE GOING TO DISNEY! At 6 AM, I woke everybody else in the house up by blasting the Magic Kingdom Welcome Medley as loud as my phone could go, because it was time to get moving!

I'm so exciiiiited!
By the way, I have this weird little tradition of always wearing my hair in pigtails on the first day in Disney. I don't know why I do it either. But I do.

After double- and triple-checking our luggage, we were out the door and in the car at 6:30. Not too shabby, considering Danielle usually takes foreeeeeever to get out of bed.

During the drive, I got a little tangled up in my trip reporting

We got to Raleigh-Durham International at 7:00 and breezed through security in less than twenty minutes. This is one of the few things I like about living in a state that never has anything going on- the airport is quick and painless! We hung out in the airport lounge for a little bit for a quick bite to eat, and at 7:47, we were on the plane! Not long afterwards, we were airborne, and after countless losses on the iPhone version of Fix-it Felix Jr. (I am terrible at that game but I highly recommend it! It's free!), we disembarked at MCO at 9:16 in the morning! We took the fake monorail out of the gate, got slightly lost, went to the wrong baggage claim, went to the right baggage claim, rented a Chevy Captiva from the Hertz lot, and off we went!

Breakfast of champions.

Not sure if this is Raleigh or Orlando but have a picture of one airport or another


This is kind of a failure of a picture, but right between the Wendy's and the Walgreens is Vista Way, where I lived when I was a CP! I completely missed the actual complex, but I still felt it was necessary to post.


We knew there was no chance of our room being ready this early, so our first stop was Downtown Disney! We had a list of a few things that we wanted to get before we even left- among them an iPhone case, a small pin bag, and our princess crowns. They didn't have any iPhone cases we really loved, they were out of the pin bags, but we did get our crowns! I got Rapunzel, and Danielle got Cinderella. We asked the cashier to take the crowns off the little plastic card, and he bent mine all out of shape. After he did that, he had to go... somewhere to get Danielle's off the card (maybe the wire clipper things weren't working or something???) and took a solid twenty minutes to come back with her crown. It was ridiculous. But we got them! And man, nothing feels better than having people bow and call you "Your Majesty" or "Princess Rapunzel", lol!

How about some merch pics?

If I hadn't had my heart set on a Rapunzel crown, I would have gotten one of these. Villain hats!

Your carriage awaits, Princess Danielle!

Aloha Stitch!

After we finished in WoD, our stomachs were rumbling, but Dad deemed it too early for lunch. So, what to do? Danielle had the idea to go to Wetzel's Pretzels, so we did. While we were eating, we noticed that the volcano that houses Rainforest Cafe was erupting! Has it always done that and I just never noticed? Because it was SO COOL!

Pretty pretty princesses!

The volcano erupting.

I swear I had food pictures of the pretzels, but they're not here. Whoopsie.

Now that we'd shut up that annoying grumbling and made walking around a little more comfortable, the parental units took a bathroom break and Danielle and I danced over to the pin store (I love the Disney music in that area!). I finally found my small pin bag (side note: I have a huge, laptop sized one, but it wouldn't fit in my suitcase, but I wanted something a little more roomy than a lanyard to put all my traders that I bought on Amazon before I left. So I bought the wallet-sized one). I also eyed the CM's lanyards in the store, but I collect villain pins and nobody had any. So we met up with our parents in the Christmas shop. We tried to find a graduation Mickey ornament of some sort, but they didn't have any.

By this point, my dad decided it was an acceptable time for lunch, so we decided to drive over to the Yacht and Beach Club to see if we could get into somewhere me and Danielle have always wanted to try. The wait was 30 minutes, so we took our pager and went to explore the resorts.

NEXT: lunch and some more resort hopping!

ALSO, side note: my brand new camera decided it wasn't going to work for more than 10 minutes at a time even on a full battery and an empty memory card, so almost all the pictures are from my iPhone. Pardon the quality.

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Old 06-24-2013, 04:34 PM   #5
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Chapter 2: Mexican Magic

Our buzzer went off about 25 minutes later, and we headed back to one of my dream restaurants in Disney:

It was so cute inside! Much smaller than I was imagining, but adorable, just like a 50's soda shop in the movies! Our waiter was a sweet older woman named Maria from Chihuahua, Mexico. She was very funny, friendly, and attentive, and she got a real kick out of our princess crowns! When Danielle asked for some ranch for her French fries, the words were hardly out of her mouth when Maria brought a little basket of salad dressings (including ranch) out of nowhere. Danielle said something along the lines of, "That was quick!" and Maria replied with a wink, "Mexican magic, princess!" It was such a fun moment, and a nice little touch of pixie dust to start off our trip!

And now for my favorite part of any trip report, FOOD PORN!

My burger- very tender and flavorful, and not very greasy, which is good because my stomach's a bit sensitive to grease. The fries were also very, very tasty! It was absolutely necessary to do that with my ketchup. Absolutely necessary.

Danielle's hot dog. She said it was delicious but I'm not sure how one differentiates between hot dogs. Unless they're from Casey's.

My mom's grilled cheese and tomato bisque. She liked one but not the other and I'm blanking on which was which. I'm pretty sure it was the sandwich she liked but not the soup.

My dad got the turkey club, but he sees food as fuel and doesn't really comment unless it's reeeeeeally good or reeeeeally bad so... there you go. Not sure what that is on the side. Watermelon, maybe?

My mom tried to talk us out of getting ice cream, but that's what B&C is famous for- that's their whole thing! So we all shared a Milky Way sundae. I forgot to take a picture of it because this family does [i]not[i] mess around with dessert! It was gone in like thirty seconds, and it was DELICIOUS! I hear a lot of talk about the No Way Jose and the kitchen sink (which, by the way, the table next to us ordered and omg) but not nearly enough about the Milky Way.

We were a bit messy. Oops.

After saying our thank yous and goodbyes to Maria, we headed out the door. At this point, we decided to see if our room at POP was ready, so we drove over there. Danielle and Dad sat down out of the way while Mom checked in, and I walked around the lobby area taking pictures.


Let's try that again.

This one was a total fluke. I thought for sure it was going to come out blurry or I was going to cut off the 90s because the car was still moving, but it came out much better than I'd even aimed for!

Mom checking in.

We'd requested either the 60's or 70's because they were close to the main building and the pool, and we ended up in the 70's!

We spent a few hours settling in after that. Danielle did some summer homework, my dad napped, my mom played Candy Crush, and I hung out on Tumblr on my laptop. Finally, I got my mom and sister to get up so we could continue our resort hopping at AoA! It was still under construction during my CP so I was really excited to see it!

NEXT: A lot of pictures of Danielle and I goofing around at AoA

Last edited by wicked.witch.of.wdw; 06-24-2013 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:52 PM   #6
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Joining in. Congratulations on the graduation trip for your sister. We were just there in Disney the week before you. It was so hot but fun none the less. I hope you had a great vacation and I look forward to hearing all about it.

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Old 06-25-2013, 08:28 AM   #7
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For the love of Disney...
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Grumpy's Wife View Post
Joining in. Congratulations on the graduation trip for your sister. We were just there in Disney the week before you. It was so hot but fun none the less. I hope you had a great vacation and I look forward to hearing all about it.
It was BOILING! But heat and rain in Disney is better than a sunny, cool day anywhere else! Danielle says thank you!

Originally Posted by wiigirl View Post
Joining in!

Chapter 3: A Couple of Real Characters

I managed to get my mom and sister up and moving, but my dad didn't want to wake up just yet, so we left him to nap and headed across the Generation Gap bridge to check out Art of Animation.

One side of the bridge

The other side of the bridge

First up, The Little Mermaid section!

Hello childhood hero! (my current favorite princesses weren't around when I was little)


Why, Eric? Run away with you? This is all so... so sudden!


I'm not entirely sure why I'm hugging the dinglehopper either. But I am.

Next was the Lion King.


Coolest playground ever. BE PREPAAAAARED. What you don't see in this picture is Danielle running around the bones like a child.

This picture is a spectacular failure and one of the highlights of the day Our mom was laughing really hard while trying to get Mufasa and us in the picture while we did... um... this. "IT'S THE CIRRRRCLE OF LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFE- ohcrapdanielleyou'reheavyeeeeurrrrghouchnoEEEEK!"

I'm not entirely sure what Danielle's doing but I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that she was scared of Rafiki when she was little. And he hit me in the head with his staff :C

MOVING SWIFTLY ON... Finding Nemo!

Gimme some fin... DUUUUUUDE! Sidenote: Crush is my favorite and I love him <3

Pretty sure I'm talking or laughing here. But Squirt is Danielle's favorite.

I found Nemo! ... and Marlin!

All that silliness had worked up a sweat and a heckuva thirst, so we headed into the lobby area to check it out, soak up some AC, and get a few bottles of water. While we were in there, Danielle got a phone call from the movie theatre where she works. While we were waiting for her to finish up, I took some pictures.

It didn't turn out well because, again, I was working with my iPhone camera because my brand new point and shoot was refusing to work (I'd turn it on, and not ten minutes later it would tell me Battery Exhausted. I'd plug it into my computer to charge, and it would tell me I still had 85% battery left). But this cell was signed by Jodi Benson, who you may know is the voice of Ariel!

Anyway, Danielle got done with her phone call, and came back to us in tears. Uh-oh. Turns out, she'd been scheduled to work that day, and had only requested off the 15-22! She was told she'd probably be fired for the no-call no-show (even though you're not actually allowed to call in sick at her work? Idk, her work has gotten insanely strict over the past two years considering it's mostly staffed by high school students). But not to worry! She dropped by to talk to her boss the night we came back- she wasn't fired!

Continued in next post.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:17 PM   #9
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Chapter 4: The Amazing Color-Changing Tables

Mom and I managed to console Danielle, and we sat down to get hydrated in Landscape of Flavors. I only got one picture for some reason and it came out blurry. But here you go.

We went back out into the inferno to finish off with the last section of the resort- Cars! Neither of us is a huge fan of this movie, but we had fun nonetheless. The theming is fantastic!


As I said, I don't like this movie, but Mater's pretty great!

It took us a ridiculously long time to find Lightning. I know Danielle's trying to look like a pin-up girl and... I have no idea what I'm doing, lol.

We headed back to Pop to get my dad before our ADR at Bongo's, and took some pictures on the way back to the room.

I absolutely love this movie <3

As I said, we were in the 70's. Clearly we got a bit lost.

So, we drove back to DTD's Westside and checked in. We were told it would be a five minute wait, but unlike the last time we went to Bongo's and had to wait for two hours, it actually was five minutes!

I think I accidentally deleted my video of it, but the tables in Bongo's CHANGE COLOR! The green mosaic under this napkin is lit up from underneath, and it turns from green to blue to red. It was AWESOME. Or maybe I'm just easily amused.

Anyway, onto the food!

I got the Milanese chicken breast, which tastes a lot like chicken parmesan only the sauce is more salsa-like and it's served with rice instead of pasta, and I think it's a different kind of cheese. I've had it all three times I've been there and it's my FAVORITE. I especially love the fried sweet plantains. YUM.

Danielle got bruschetta that was supposed to come with steak, but she doesn't like red meat (not a vegetarian, not allergic, just doesn't like it) so she substituted chicken. She had some trouble getting it into her mouth, but she said it was good.

Both parents got the shredded chicken breast and I didn't hear a review. Betty, our server, said it was one of Bongo's specialties and I didn't hear any complaints so I assume it was good! AND LOOK THE TABLE'S RED NOW.

Our parents also shared some kind of enormous pineapple martini that my mom liked but my dad found too sweet. Notice half the salt is missing. My dad was licking it off for... some reason.

We were all stuffed, which was disappointing because I really wanted to have dessert at Ghihardelli, but oh well. We drove out of the Disney bubble to Gooding's to pick up some supplies we forgot (toothbrushes, razors, and the like).


Then it was off to the monorail resorts for some more resort hopping! First off, the Poly.

This is really blurry but I loved this display, it's adorable.

I'm trying to be Stitch or something. I'm a dork okay

And now I'm going to eat your soul. Really, though, I don't know why I look so scary here.

Then we took the monorail over to the GF to look around and shop. We skipped the Contemporary because we'd stayed there at the end of my CP and... frankly, we weren't impressed. It wasn't terrible, it just wasn't awesome, you know?

Did I mention that I adore the show Once Upon a Time? And one only has to mention chipped cups to me before I start crying over Rumpel and Belle? ... yeah. This had to happen.

We went back to the Poly around 9 and settled in on the beach with some drinks and snacks to watch Wishes from the beach! It was amazing It would have been better if they piped in the music onto the beach, but you could kind of hear parts of it from the MK and it was enough for me to follow along (not that I know the whole show by heart or anything....). No pictures because none of them were really turning out, unfortunately.

After the fireworks, though, my dad somehow managed to put Disneyland into his GPS. As in, California. We were outside WDW by the time we figured it out, and drove around in circles for quite a while before finally making it back to Pop. Then we got lost again, walked around the resort for a while, finally got back to our room, and crashed at 11:30. The next day, we got to go to our first park and our first tour!

Moral of the story, kids: my family needs to work on our sense of direction.
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:50 PM   #10
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Joined in reading your trip report.
Loving it so far, Danielle looks she loved every minute of it.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:38 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by worldofcolour View Post
Joined in reading your trip report.
Loving it so far, Danielle looks she loved every minute of it.
She had a blast- we all did! ^_^

Sorry for not updating in a few days- there's two reasons for it. One, Danielle got sick towards the end of our trip and I caught it when we came back. Just a cold, but still, I've been pretty wiped out. The second reason's name is Luna!

She's a 3-month-old rescued hound/pointer mix. Technically, she's my mom's dog to keep her company while Danielle and I are away at college and my dad's on business trips, but I've been helping take care of her. Also, you can't see it in the pictures, but she has one brown eye and one blue eye, which freaks my dad out, but the rest of us think it's awesome!

Anyway, I should be able to write up an update later tonight! See you then!
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:13 PM   #12
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I have a niece who is a rising Junior at UNC-W, she is a nursing major. We were also at WDW the week you were! Loving your trip report so far, your pictures are great! So glad to hear someone else say CR is no big deal. Did not love that resort. Looking forward to more!!
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mickeyfan333 View Post
I have a niece who is a rising Junior at UNC-W, she is a nursing major. We were also at WDW the week you were! Loving your trip report so far, your pictures are great! So glad to hear someone else say CR is no big deal. Did not love that resort. Looking forward to more!!
Oh, really? That's so cool, both about your niece and your vacation. I wish I'd had known, I would have said hi Thanks for the compliment about my pictures, I was really bummed out about my brand new camera not working- glad to see my iPhone's picking up the slack! There wasn't anything particularly bad about the Contemporary, but the only thing we felt was really worth it being a Deluxe resort was the ease of transportation to the MK (we only had one park day during that stay).

Okay so I lied about having an update two nights ago. I lied a lot. Buuut I've managed to get my mom to watch her own puppy so here's an update!

Chapter 5: So New! So Exciting!

We were up bright and early at 6:30 to head to our first park of the trip- Magic Kingdom, of course! Only way to start for us It was also the first of three tours: Keys to the Kingdom!

You can't see mine at all, but we made a few T-shirts for the trip! They're all Mickey heads- Danielle's is based off of Cinderella, mine is Rapunzel, and our mom's is the Evil Queen (she chose it I swear). I found a Mickey head template on Google and colored them in with the details on MS Paint.

ANYWAY. We hopped on the monorail at 7:19, and got a car all to ourselves. I proceeded to recite the entire spiel because I'm cool like that, and we got there more than an hour early for... some reason.

Look at those skies

We checked in and got our complimentary waters, nametags, and hearing devices. While we waited for the tour to begin, Mom picked up some Minnie's Bake Shop sesame sticks and animal crackers from the Newsstand and we had them for breakfast. I wandered around Town Square for a little bit, taking an obscene amount of pictures that I won't spam this update with because of the image limit, and I ran into this fine gentleman!

The Mayor of Main Street had found us in the Main Street Bakery during one of my family's visits during my college program, and we thought that was the coolest thing! Unfortunately, we didn't get any photos of it then, so we rectified it this time around! We also talked to one of the women taking surveys about our trip for a while about how we moved from PA to NC and she moved from Wisconsin to Florida, and the tradeoff between the cold and the heat.

Finally, Chris from Chicago came out and gathered the tour group and it was on with the show. There were no photos allowed (actually, Chris forgot to mention that and I tried to take pictures of the Main Street buildings while we walked and got in trouble. Oops. I knew there was no photography backstage, but I didn't realize it was the same during the onstage portion. ).


Without giving too much away, Keys to the Kingdom was REALLY interesting! Even though I was a CP, I only knew a little bit of what he told us (probably because I worked at Epcot and not the MK). We learned a whole lot of trivia about the parks and the company, rode Jungle Cruise with commentary by the tour guide instead of the skipper and Haunted Mansion. He showed us some of backstage areas including the Utilidors and the place where the parade floats are kept (incidentally, it just hit me that our group may have been some of the last to see the floats for Spectro ).

The tour covered lunch at CHH, and uncovered one of my family's favorite secrets- the second floor. I wasn't sure if I could take pictures during the break so I didn't, but if anyone cares, Danielle and I both got chicken nuggets, Mom got the garden chicken salad, and Dad got the Anchors Aweigh. At the very end of the tour, we gathered under the Train Station to say our goodbyes, and Chris told us this really sad but heartwarming story about how his mother had listened to the Wishes soundtrack throughout her cancer treatment, and the first thing she did after she was declared cancer-free was come to WDW and see it in person. I'm a terrible storyteller, but... we were all crying. Definitely worth the money, take the tour

We were also given exclusive pins that I forgot to photograph. I also can't find mine at the moment so here's a picture from Google:

After the tour, we found a Hidden Mickey! Only in Disney would they plan the shape and position of a STREET LAMP for the shape of the shadow they'd cast, amirite?

That discovery made, we decided it was high time to start our discovery of New Fantasyland! We walked through the BatB section (we'd be back... TERRIBLY EXECUTED FORESHADOWING)

(Still bummed out we didn't really go in here. I wanted to try LeFou's brew so badly!)

And then it was time for the first ride of the trip, our first ride ever on Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid!

I didn't take any pictures because I wanted to sit back and enjoy the ride, but I LOVED IT! It was a much better interpretation of one of my favorite movies than VotLM- Danielle and I were singing along the whole time. My favorite part was Ursula (have I mentioned I love villains? 'Cause I love villains)- that animatronic and the effects in her crystal ball were incredible!

Our next stop was Storybrooke Circus. We didn't spend a lot of time here because I was the only one with any interest in Dumbo and my dad is vehemently against character M&Gs or shopping as anything other than a way to escape rain However, Danielle was absolutely devastated when she heard they were taking away Toontown because the Barnstormer is one of her all-time favorite rides anywhere. She was so excited when she heard they were just retheming it and it was back in business. When we saw it was a 15-minute wait, we couldn't just walk past it! Again, I was too busy enjoying the ride to actually take pictures (not to mention that the ride itself's not that photogenic), but here's one from the queue.

We were getting a bit tired at this point, so we decided to save the rest- and by the rest, I mean the meat of the BatB stuff and the TAAAAAAANGLED BAAAAATHROOOOOOMS (yes that was necessary) for a little bit later. We took the train back to the front and were back at POP for our afternoon break at 3:30. While my parents and sister were sleeping and I was uploading my pictures to my computer to get them off my phone, those nasty grey skies opened up and the rain rain rain came down down down! But was that entirely a bad thing....?

Stay tuned!

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Old 07-01-2013, 04:50 PM   #14
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I am in!! Great start!!

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Old 09-01-2013, 10:17 PM   #15
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: PA
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Really enjoying your report!!!
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