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Old 01-08-2013, 08:27 AM   #1
geckodani
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Smile Is this Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain?!?! Dec 10 - 15, 2012 (COMPLETE)


Hello, and welcome to my first trip report. Our trip took place on December 10 15, 2012. I didn't take notes, so I don't have every single move we made committed to memory, but it was a fantastically fun trip, and I'll share what I can!

The cast of characters includes me (30) and my adorable Mom (older than 30).



This trip was massively nostalgic for both of us, as I grew up in Anaheim, CA and spent much of my childhood at Disneyland. It almost got cancelled a handful of times, so it didn't really feel real until we were THERE! So, without further ado, I present, Is this Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain?!?!

Day One: Arrival

On December 10 we kissed our husbands good bye (after making sure we filled their food dishes and stocked the beer ) and headed off for a 12:00 flight to Orlando! The weather forecast looked positively dismal, but we decided to just go with the flow and have a blast.

Our flight was uneventful, and we both lucked out with empty seats next to us (we were both on the aisles) and before we knew it we had arrived at MCO (landed around 2:45)! We walked down to the DME only to have just barely missed the last bus heading to POFQ ...

But wait! A little pixie dust was heading our way as a cast member came over and told us, "Don't get too comfortable they have room on the bus for you!" So after only about 30 seconds in the queue we were on the bus and on our way!

We then proceeded to attempt several self-portraits, most of which ended up with our heads cut off. This one turned out the best:



It's funny, I had never really realized that I have my Mom's eyes until looking at this picture!

We got to POFQ after a few stops at other resorts, and were quickly through the online check in line and settled into room 1142! My only request had been to be on the ground floor, and we were very happy with our room. Even though it was technically in one of the farther buildings, POFQ is so compact that it wasn't a bad walk at all.

After a quick cheese steak sandwich at the food court (yum) we headed off to the Magic Kingdom! The plan for the night was to see the Main Street Electrical Parade, Celebrate the Magic, watch Wishes and ride the Haunted Mansion at least once.

A MK bus pulled up almost immediately (we had incredible luck with the buses on this trip) and we were off! But wait - were those storm clouds in the distance?


Day One: Arrival (see above)
Day One: Is this Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain?!?
Day Two: Does Goofy Like French Toast?
Day Two: Stay Away Clouds!
Day Three: Where the heck is Bus Stop 32?!?!
Day Four: Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming.
Day Four: Pillowworks!
Day Five: Look Out It's Pooh Bear!
Day Five and Departure: Feliz Navidad!
A Few Final Thoughts
A Review of Fast Pass+


Last edited by geckodani; 05-03-2013 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:32 AM   #2
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:57 AM   #3
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Day One: Is this Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain?!?

After arriving at the MK, attempting not to cry at the very sight of it, and getting through bag check, we were headed down Main Street! Now, it was about 80 degrees, and the air was so thick you could chew it. This was really our only chance to see MSEP and Wishes, and I was eyeing those dark clouds with something akin to despair. MK was PACKED, so after browsing the Emporium for a few minutes we staked out a spot on Main Street to wait for the parade.

Normally I'd have parked it in Frontier Land, but since we also wanted to watch the Celebrate the Magic and Wishes, we wanted to be on Main Street. We didn't manage a curb side seat, but we were only behind one family so it wasn't too bad. We waited for about an hour, playing the keep people from slowly moving in on our spot game, all the while those clouds were moving closer and closer!



I had a pack of 15 glow bracelets with me, and had some fun handing them out to kids of all ages, including the elderly couple sitting next to us. They may have been the most surprised glow bracelet recipients of the entire trip!

A raindrop fell, and then another, but it wasn't enough to keep MSEP from running!



As the parade wore on the rain picked up a bit, so we dodged to some limited shelter under the information awning while we waited anxiously for Celebrate the Magic and to see if Wishes would run. And it did! By this time it was raining in earnest, and we were hiding under a vinyl table cloth I'd brought to sit on if needed.



My mom had never seen the castle projection show, and she was absolutely WOWed. And then the fireworks started. And so did the happy tears. We were standing there, me behind my mom (she's wee, so I could see over her head) and we were sort of half hugging and laughing. And apparently we were such a pretty picture that the woman behind us came up and gave us both a huge hug and told us that she was touched by how close we seemed, and that she missed her own daughter. It was a rather special moment.

Wishes was through, we were thoroughly soaked, but rather than be discouraged we decided that a little rain wouldn't kill us (it was warm, so not too bad) and we soldiered on to the Haunted Mansion!!!

I love this ride. I rode it five times this trip. The first two were on our first night, one right after the other. One unforeseen complication for the trip was the fact that my Mom had foot surgery a few years ago, and her ankle doesn't work quite as it should (they had to rearrange some tendons). So she had a bit of a hard time getting on and off some of the rides. I just made sure that I would be unloaded first, and handed her out of the cars and that worked out just fine. Haunted Mansion was one of the harder ones to disembark though, with the shaking doom buggy and moving walkway, but she was game and we had a great time with the Grim Grinning Ghosts!

After Haunted Mansion we decided that Thunder Mountain in the rain would be fun. Why not, right?

... well, about 5 seconds after the train took off we began to wonder if we were on Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain! Fast moving roller coaster + rain = fast moving rain pelting you in the face!

We couldn't see a thing because it was dark, and the rain was needling us in the face, and Mom's glasses aren't equipped with windshield wipers. Every time we'd go over a bump or a turn she would slide into me, we were getting soaked - and I don't think I have ever heard my mother laugh so hard, ever. It was hilarious, and wet, and I'll never forget it.

So, now thoroughly soaked, and still laughing hysterically, we decided to go ahead and ride Splash Mountain. I mean, we were already soaked, so why not? Well, unbeknownst to us, they don't run Splash during EMH. So we were unable to ride.

Slightly bummed, and very wet, we took a quick ride on POTC, and then decided that we were wet, and tired, and happy, and done for the night. We had purchased ponchos (PSA, ponchos over already wet skin don't really help you much) and slogged our laughing way back to French Quarter!

Last edited by geckodani; 04-04-2013 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:59 AM   #4
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:23 AM   #5
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Did y'all love POFQ as much as we did? I found it a very peaceful, beautiful resort (still with plenty to do) but a nice respite from the stimulation of the parks.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:40 AM   #6
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IM IN!

Did y'all love POFQ as much as we did? I found it a very peaceful, beautiful resort (still with plenty to do) but a nice respite from the stimulation of the parks.
I really did love POFQ. I stayed at CSR last year, and liked POFQ much better. Except for the beds - the CSR beds were more comfy IMO. It's really lovely, and I loved that it was so compact. Food court was great, and we had amazing bus service too!
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:26 AM   #7
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I really did love POFQ. I stayed at CSR last year, and liked POFQ much better. Except for the beds - the CSR beds were more comfy IMO. It's really lovely, and I loved that it was so compact. Food court was great, and we had amazing bus service too!
I noticed the beds were hard - but not until about day 4. haha

I thought the bus service was phenomenal, we only shared with POR 3x, mid day our week. 15 mins to the park? fab!
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:23 PM   #8
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I noticed the beds were hard - but not until about day 4. haha

I thought the bus service was phenomenal, we only shared with POR 3x, mid day our week. 15 mins to the park? fab!
Heh, I was the opposite. I noticed on night 1, and by night 4 didn't care!
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:00 PM   #9
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Day Two: Does Goofy Like French Toast?

One of the things that made this trip extra special was that my friend R, that I've known for what seems like a bajillion years but never met in person was going to be at WDW at the same time we were! We'd made arrangements to meet for breakfast at Chef Mickey's, and I was wicked excited about it.

For some unfathomable reason Mom and I woke up at like 6:45, and our reservation wasn't until 9:20. So we decided to check out the shops and decorations at the Contemporary resort before our ADR.

When 900 years old your scarf is, look this good he will not!





After perusing the shops and checking out the gingerbread tree, it was time for our ADR and I finally got to meet and hug this woman!!!



Now R was traveling with her family, including her 2 year old W. Her two older children are adorable and full of energy, but W treated me to one of the funniest, and most classic moments of all time when Goofy came around.

Goofy came up behind W, and this happened:



If you can't see clearly, that's W feeding Goofy a piece of french toast. As in, placing it directly into his mouth. I about DIED laughing, and it still makes me smile. Goofy came back over on his way out, and W tried it again. He also tried to feed Pluto, which was equally entertaining. I think he found the key to Goofy's heart, as he was the recipient of numerous visits and multiple hugs as a result!

Breakfast was great. The buffet was awesome, and we had a blast visiting with R and her family!



Before we knew it, breakfast was over and it was time to hop on the monorail and back over to the Magic Kingdom!



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Old 01-16-2013, 09:36 AM   #10
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Day Two: Stay Away Clouds!

I'm not sure anyone's reading, but just for the sake of posterity I will continue on!

After hugging R and her family Mom and I hopped on the monorail and rode the loop around to the Magic Kingdom!!!



Look at those dark clouds looming... I kept giving them the stink eye and luckily they stayed away from us! It was hot, and humid, and we loved it. After dropping my mom's meds off at First Aid (she's diabetic and takes meds that have to be refrigerated) we headed down Main Street USA!

I can't remember the exact order we did things in this day, but I know we went first to New Fantasyland and rode the new Little Mermaid Ride (super cute!), spent some time with Pooh bear on his ride, and rode It's A Small World. I have a love/creeped out relationship with IASW. The dolls are.... creepy.

Now, we were determined to get a picture in front of, if not on the Carousel, since one of my favorite pics from my childhood is of me and my mother on the Carousel at Disneyland:



We asked a gentleman nearby to take our pic, and this is what we got:



Not too shabby, eh? I love that we are both laughing.

After snagging our Carousel pic, we decided to go make ourselves sick on the Tea Cups. No, really, we did make ourselves sick. We both gave it all we had, got that cup spinning at a ridiculous rate, and while we were laughing, we got off so dizzy that it was time to take a break!

We headed over to Columbia Harbor House for some lunch (Lobster Roll, Mmmmm) and a break from the heat before heading back to my favorite, Haunted Mansion.

After a spin with the grim grinning ghosts, we tried to ride Thunder Mountain but it was closed. We decided against Splash Mountain as we'd had enough of being wet the night before. Oh well, nothing could keep us down! A spin on POTC and the Jungle Cruise cheered us right up!



After Jungle Cruise we sang with the birds at the Enchanted Tiki Room. There was a little girl sitting next to us that attached herself to me during the show (so cute ) when the tiki statues started their spiel. She was worried that a "bad guy" was coming and I had to reassure her that it was all okay. So sweet.

After looking longingly at the Dole Whips (stupid adult onset pineapple allergy!) we strolled over to Tomorrowland to ride Buzz, Space Mountain and check out the Laugh Floor! Space Mountain was a LOT rougher than I remember, but Mom adored the Laugh Floor and kept trying to figure out how they made the magic happen.

The park was closing early for MVMCP, and we had a 7:00 Kona ADR, so we strolled back to first aid, got my mom's meds and headed over to Kona for a DELICIOUS meal.

After stuffing our faces at Kona (no pineapple bread for me, le sigh) we took the monorail over to the TTC to watch Holiday Wishes. The view from the dock was decent, although I wish the lights weren't so bright. Having the music piped in was lovely though. We caught the tail end of the Electric Water Pageant as well, and then caught a taxi back to POFQ.

When we got back to our room we were greeted by a few new faces.



After bidding them good night, we headed off to dream land!



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Old 01-16-2013, 09:56 AM   #11
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I am in....great TR!
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:29 AM   #12
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Yay! Welcome to my insanity!
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:02 AM   #13
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Enjoying following along with your trip! Your Mom sounds awesome - such a sport!
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:05 PM   #14
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Enjoying following along with your trip! Your Mom sounds awesome - such a sport!
She is a FANTASTIC sport. She's my favorite traveling companion, LOL! We don't get on each other's nerves and just have a blast. Even in the rain. Thanks for following along!
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:51 PM   #15
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Joining in! Great report so far. POFQ is a beautiful resort, I just got back from a trip at Riverside, but we stayed at POFQ last year.
Can't wait for more updates!!
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