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Old 01-25-2014, 01:50 PM   #1
librarygeek
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Velkommen! Touring Disney with my Norwegian friend! Dec. 2013 TR update 6/18/14

Welcome to my latest trip report!

The Background

Last summer my friend, who lives in Norway, contacted me. He said that he was going to a conference in Orlando for school, and was thinking about staying a few extra days to visit Disney World - and would I like to join him? Absolutely! We'd been penpals for years and met once in person before. With my AP, it was just the invitation I needed to make another trip to Disney!

Originally it was just going to be me and him, because my husband didn't think he could get the time off from work. However, about two months before we left he was able to rearrange some things and join us!

Table of Contents

Arrival Day
Downtown Disney and Our Pirate Room
Magic Kingdom Morning
Magic Kingdom Afternoon
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Epcot Morning
Drinking around the World, Part 1
Drinking around the World, Part 2
Animal Kingdom morning
Animal Kingdom Afternoon
Hollywood Studios morning
HS Evening, Osborne Lights, and Hollywood Brown Derby

About Us



My name is Becky, I'm 25 years old, and I've been married to Jason for 2 years. I'm a Disney fanatic and even have my own blog called Disney in your Day (www.disneyinyourday.com). I work as a children's librarian and do theater as a hobby - I have a pretty busy life!

My DH is Jason, and he's 24 years old (he's on the right in the picture). He works as software developer and loves everything technology and video game related. He is not as big of a Disney fan as me but it's definitely been rubbing off on him lately! I especally know this because he arranged his vacation time to be able to come on this trip

Finally, my penpal (PP) is Martin, who is 24 years old and lives in Norway (he's on the left in the picture). He is currently in medical school in Poland. He loves to travel - a few weeks after our Disney trip he had a two week trip to Africa! We've been writing and emailing back and forth since I was a senior in high school. This was his very first time in Disney World, though he'd visited Disneyland Paris before.

The Trip

We stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort, in a pirate room. Our trip was from Wednesday December 11th-Monday December 16th (though we were all leaving early Monday morning). That meant we had four full days for touring, so one day for each park! On our arrival day we had dinner at CBR and then went to DTD.

One of the coolest things about this trip was being able to experience it through the eyes of someone who had never been before. We had a ton of fun!

First post will be coming within the next day or two!

Last edited by librarygeek; 06-18-2014 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:04 PM   #2
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Becky!!! Here and reporting for subbing.

So glad hubby was able to join you on this trip but of course a little bummed that it happened at the very end of mine. I'm really interested in seeing how Martin enjoyed his first Disney experience. And of course his impressions of "Norvay".
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:59 PM   #3
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Becky!!! Here and reporting for subbing.

So glad hubby was able to join you on this trip but of course a little bummed that it happened at the very end of mine. I'm really interested in seeing how Martin enjoyed his first Disney experience. And of course his impressions of "Norvay".
Welcome!! If the timing had just been a little closer it would've been awesome to meet you! Who knows, maybe on a future trip

And Martin was dying to check out Norway haha - we even had to make dinner reservations at Akershus!
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Old 01-26-2014, 11:39 AM   #4
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Following along!
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:23 PM   #6
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Arrival Day

Our flight was at around 1:30 from Philadelphia, supposed to get us into Orlando by 4:00. We both decided it was a really nice time for a flight - it was late enough that we didn't have to get up early and the roads were clear of rush hour traffic, but early enough that we still got to enjoy the evening in WDW when we got there! We arrived at the airport around 11, only to find out that our flight was delayed by 40 minutes. That was a bit of a bummer but we just decided to head and get lunch at the airport - and luckily, we were in the terminal that had Earl of Sandwich! The perfect way to start off a trip to Disney



We had more time to kill than we had anticipated, so we just explored the airport for a bit. There was a photo op area that had been set up for Christmas, so of course we decided to get some picture taking done already!





Most of the people walking by us were business looking people that looked at us a little funny, but hey, it was there - and we were ready to be tourists! Why pass up a good photo op when you find one?

Finally our plane took off, and we had no problems on the flight there, arriving in Orlando around 5pm. We had a dinner scheduled at Shutters at Caribbean Beach for 6:30, so I thought it might be close but it still seemed like we would be okay. We had done magical express for our luggage so we didn't have to pick that up, we could head straight for the buses!

I kind of have a love/hate relationship with magical express. I love the fact that it's free and will get me where I need to go, and I don't have to worry about renting a car or driving (I really do not enjoy driving). However, it feels like for me it always takes foreverrrrr to get going, and at that point I just desperately want to be at Disney as soon as possible! I get really anxious about stuff like that, so I'm just worrying the whole time that we'll miss our reservation. Last time we were delayed and we did end up missing our dinner reservation, and it was frustrating. I think I remember hearing now that they are going to do a credit card reservation for all table service restaurants, so I guess we won't be scheduling any more table service meals for arrival day. Too stressful that way.

This time unfortunately was no different. We waited about 20 minutes to get on a bus, but then waited probably over half an hour for the bus to actually leave. I understand they want to wait to get as many people on as possible, but it just feels like torture sitting there and not going to Disney World! by the time we left it was already 6, so it was going to be really close to our reservation.


We arrived at CBR right around 6:30. I didn't realize at first that the resort was so big - I mean, I'd heard that it was large but I guess I didn't comprehend it. We've stayed at POR but we don't mind walking and never had a problem walking where we needed to go. At CBR that was impossible. I had planned to do dinner first and then check in, but when I realized the check-in building was different than the main building with the restaurants/shops, I thought we might as well check in while we were there. So I go to do that only to find out that Martin had already checked in so we were good! Oh well. We then hopped on the internal resort shuttle to go to Shutters, arriving around 7pm.



I wasn't too worried because I didn't think Shutters was terribly popular, and I was right. The place was almost empty and they had no problem seating us immediately. Martin was originally going to join us for dinner but he had emailed me (we didn't have phones that could communicate because he was international) and said he had decided to eat something earlier because he had gotten hungry. He was with another friend from Norway who was at the medical convention with him, and his friend was leaving the next day but didn't have a place to stay - so was it all right if he stayed the night with us? I said sure, but they'd have to be willing to share a bed!

Jason and I sat down for dinner, and both of us started off with a tropical drink! It had snowed before we left and it felt nice to be somewhere warm. I definitely enjoyed this:



The food at Shutters was pretty good, but nothing to write home about. I'll be doing a detailed look in my dining review. As we were eating Martin actually walked through the hallway (we were right on the edge of the restaurant and could see into the main area of the building) so he came in and sat down to chat with us for awhile and say hello! The waitress didn't bat an eye at another person at our table (we were at a four seater) and offered to get him a drink if he wanted. Then about 15 minutes later Martin's friend came and found us and sat down too! We had to laugh about how we kept multiplying, but luckily the waitress was totally cool with it.

After eating we all decided to head to Downtown Disney for the evening before retiring for the night!
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:31 AM   #7
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You do not pass by a photo op. Ever. So, good on you for taking advantage of the Christmas backdrop.

As someone who has never done Magical Express, I think you explained my reason why. When I arrive in MCO, I just want to get going. I'm sure sometimes it works out well, but the not knowing would drive me crazy. I do like the "no worries" part in that you know you're going to get where you're going (no getting lost), but the waiting around would drive me buggy.

I do need to check out CBR, it looks so cool.
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:53 AM   #8
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Hi,
Joining in. Great start.
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by DisneyKid4Life View Post
You do not pass by a photo op. Ever. So, good on you for taking advantage of the Christmas backdrop.

As someone who has never done Magical Express, I think you explained my reason why. When I arrive in MCO, I just want to get going. I'm sure sometimes it works out well, but the not knowing would drive me crazy. I do like the "no worries" part in that you know you're going to get where you're going (no getting lost), but the waiting around would drive me buggy.

I do need to check out CBR, it looks so cool.
Right?? I mean, the spot was just begging us to take photos! (I mean, it literally was. There was even a sign telling us to upload them to instagram with a hashtag. I didn't do that though - partly because I almost never use instagram, and partly because I use my camera and not my phone to take pics because it's better quality).

CBR was cool, but I think we would've enjoyed it more if it was warm enough to use the pool - that looked really neat! Overall I'd say that the resort was just too big for me. I hated having to wait to get a bus to get anywhere around the resort.

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Hi,
Joining in. Great start.
Thanks for joining in! Happy to have you along!
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:40 AM   #10
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Most of the people walking by us were business looking people that looked at us a little funny, but hey, it was there - and we were ready to be tourists! Why pass up a good photo op when you find one?
Seriously. But maybe they were looking at those weird swirly things on the arms of the chair. That chair is whack!

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We waited about 20 minutes to get on a bus, but then waited probably over half an hour for the bus to actually leave. I understand they want to wait to get as many people on as possible, but it just feels like torture sitting there and not going to Disney World!
Hubby and I talk sometimes about going to WDW as a couple, but this sort of thing would have me acting like an impatient 2 yo, while hubby wouldn't care and doesn't want to rent a car for just the two of us, so we always end up talking ourselves out of it.

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We've stayed at POR but we don't mind walking and never had a problem walking where we needed to go.
I have also about talked myself out of doing DVC next time (if I could be dead sure someone wasn't going I'd be more tempted, but as it is I think we'd be cramped), however I am seriously considering doing one night at POR in a Royal Room with just the girls and abandoning the guys at the condo. Not sure why, since I have never been a fan of the Old South, or of the South really at all, but POR has always been my second choice for onsite, and by a fair margin.

The Contemporary is my first choice, and I don't like modernist themes much either, but I love the Contemporary because when they were first building WDW the whole "monorail through the building" thing just seemed the Coolest Thing Ever, and I've never quite moved on. Although at this point I'd rather stay at the BLT than the Contemporary proper. But why POR so grabs me I've never quite figured out.


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We had to laugh about how we kept multiplying, but luckily the waitress was totally cool with it.
I hadn't heard the "miss your ADR anywhere and get financially penalized" thing, but it sounds like the way around that is to plan your first meal at a Moderate resort TS -- sounds like Shutters is cool with walk-ups and Boatwrights is supposed to be pretty good with those as well. Or one of the "secondary" restaurants at the Deluxe resorts -- The Wave is supposed to be pretty easy to get into, although that may be changing as word gets out.

Your reviews are about the only ones I follow there, so please remember to link to your restaurant review once you start it, 'kay?
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:02 PM   #11
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Hi Becky! I'm so excited that you started another TR!

Looks like a great arrival day! I can't wait to read more about the food on another DR.

Looking forward to seeing more pics and hearing more about CBR. I don't know much about that resort.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:16 PM   #12
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Seriously. But maybe they were looking at those weird swirly things on the arms of the chair. That chair is whack!



Hubby and I talk sometimes about going to WDW as a couple, but this sort of thing would have me acting like an impatient 2 yo, while hubby wouldn't care and doesn't want to rent a car for just the two of us, so we always end up talking ourselves out of it.



I have also about talked myself out of doing DVC next time (if I could be dead sure someone wasn't going I'd be more tempted, but as it is I think we'd be cramped), however I am seriously considering doing one night at POR in a Royal Room with just the girls and abandoning the guys at the condo. Not sure why, since I have never been a fan of the Old South, or of the South really at all, but POR has always been my second choice for onsite, and by a fair margin.

The Contemporary is my first choice, and I don't like modernist themes much either, but I love the Contemporary because when they were first building WDW the whole "monorail through the building" thing just seemed the Coolest Thing Ever, and I've never quite moved on. Although at this point I'd rather stay at the BLT than the Contemporary proper. But why POR so grabs me I've never quite figured out.




I hadn't heard the "miss your ADR anywhere and get financially penalized" thing, but it sounds like the way around that is to plan your first meal at a Moderate resort TS -- sounds like Shutters is cool with walk-ups and Boatwrights is supposed to be pretty good with those as well. Or one of the "secondary" restaurants at the Deluxe resorts -- The Wave is supposed to be pretty easy to get into, although that may be changing as word gets out.

Your reviews are about the only ones I follow there, so please remember to link to your restaurant review once you start it, 'kay?
Haha that chair was pretty crazy! I wonder where the airport found such a thing...

I pretty much do act like an impatient 2 year old, but DH tries to keep me calm! I'm also one of those people that can't stand to be late for anything, so combine that with the fact that it's taking too long to get to Disney World and I am not a happy camper!

POR has a spell on us too, we love it. We will be staying there for a couple of nights when we go down in three weeks - and we'll be in a royal room! I can't wait for that, the pictures look incredible.

Yeah, awhile ago Disney instituted a credit card guarantee for some of the more popular restaurants - character meals and signatures. But then recently they decided to do it for all table service places. Here's an article on it: http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2013/1...-reservations/

But you're right, one of the resort restaurants that isn't as popular is probably a good solution! And one that we'll be looking into

I'll post a link to my dining review momentarily!

Quote:
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Hi Becky! I'm so excited that you started another TR!

Looks like a great arrival day! I can't wait to read more about the food on another DR.

Looking forward to seeing more pics and hearing more about CBR. I don't know much about that resort.
Hey, glad you're following along again! I actually found it difficult to get good pics of CBR! It didn't do much for me, honestly - and the only time we went to the main building was at night, so most of my pictures are dark. I bet it's a lot prettier during the day though!
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Old 02-02-2014, 01:36 PM   #14
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Downtown Disney & Our Pirate Room

So for the evening we decided to check out Downtown Disney. It's always interesting traveling with people you don't normally travel with. DH and I have certain ways we usually do things, but we were open to whatever the others wanted to do this time around. Normally we'd be poking around in the shops, but the Norwegians wanted to drink We met up with two other Norwegians that had been at the conference and were spending the evening in DTD, and off we went.

First up was Splitsville, where they refused to serve us because our friends didn't have their passports. It seems a little crazy to me that international visitors would be expected to bring their passports around with them to DTD. They also told us that was the policy everywhere in DTD. Our friends decided to try another place anyway, so we went to Bongo's - where they served us no problem. So I guess it all depends. I got a rum and coke, and we sat and talked for awhile.

After finishing that they wanted to bar hop, so up next was Raglan Road. DH and I sat with them for a bit but didn't drink anything here. It was already 10:30pm and we were getting up for EMH at MK the next morning, so I wanted to get plenty of rest. We decided to leave at that point and headed back to our room, leaving our Norwegian friends behind. On our way out of DTD though, I had to stop to get some ice cream at Ghiradelli!



Then we made our way to Caribbean Beach to Trinidad South. Keep in mind that DH and I had not even been to the room yet! I still had my backpack of airplane stuff with me, and I wanted to unpack the suitcases that ME should have brought. We walked in and I was very excited to take some pictures of our pirate room!



The bedspread:








The carpet:


And then after the picture taking we saw our luggage wasn't there yet. Our plane had landed at 5pm and they said it shouldn't take more than 3 hours. At this point it was after 11 and I always worry about stupid stuff, but I tried not to panic. I called down and they said the luggage was currently on its way. We got it about 10 minutes later, luckily, and all was well! Unpacked a little, got into pajamas, and went to bed. I think Martin and his friend came back from DTD around 12:30 or 1:00, but I like my sleep! After all, we were doing MK the next day!
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Old 02-02-2014, 02:45 PM   #15
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I am in! I love adults only TRs!
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