The absolute worst day of the trip had arrived. We had to leave Walt Disney World on this day. I had an earlier flight back to college than the rest of my family had going home so I had to check my luggage earlier at the resort. I also had to take the Magical Express back to the airport while the rest of my family went to the Grand Floridian for lunch. After a tearful goodbye to my family, I got on my Magical Express bus and headed to the airport. I can easily find my way around Orlando International Airport by now so it was no problem getting upstairs. I was able to meet up with one of my friends from high school and her mom who had been one of my teachers. They are Disney Vacation Club Members too but were just starting their vacation. After a quick conversation, I headed through security. I picked up some chicken fingers at Wendy’s and waited for the plane to arrive. My plane ended up being a bit delayed, which resulted in me being a little late for the shuttle but it all worked out. I got back to my dorm room and fell asleep, not looking forward to completing the mountain of homework and classes the next day.
Category Archives: March 2015 Trip Report
Above is the only selfie of all of the women on the trip. My sister is hiding behind my huge head. I think we should make it a new tradition to take a group selfie on each trip. Anyways, after dinner at the California Grill, we returned back to Old Key West to meet up with my cousin’s boyfriend again. He had returned from getting the ring set and had ate dinner at Olivia’s while we were on our way back. He showed us the beautiful ring and we all talked for a little before he had to head back so that my cousin would not be too suspicious about where he was all day. Before he left though he took my dad aside to talk to him. I had no idea what they were discussing but we returned to the room to find this amazing fruit Mickey arrangement in the fridge! The fruit was delicious and of course the pineapple tasted even better because it was Mickey shaped. It was so nice of my cousin’s boyfriend to give us this lovely fruit arrangement.
After having a fruit snack and bringing some fruit over to my grandma and aunt’s room, my dad, sister, and I got ready to head to Magic Kingdom. My sister’s birthday was the following day and with Extra Magic Late Hours at Magic Kingdom, she wanted to stay until she turned 17 in the parks. We changed out of our Dapper Day clothes and into more comfortable wear and got on a bus to Magic Kingdom. I have to admit I do not remember every ride we rode this night, but below are the ones I can remember!
We made it into Magic Kingdom just in time to watch Wishes. My sister loves watching the fireworks in Magic Kingdom. I enjoy watching them while riding Splash Mountain, but sadly it was not operating that night which was very disappointing. This was probably the first trip in many where I was not able to go on Splash Mountain. One interesting thing I noticed for the second time in the last few years was how the gates near Tomorrowland were used to help funnel out the crowds leaving the park right after Wishes. It still was a madhouse but thankfully we were going towards Tomorrowland and not towards the park exit which made it easier to move.
We went on the Tomorrowland Speedway where I completely failed at driving. It is definitely harder to drive those cars compared to a real car, but there was a much shorter wait than there had been earlier in the day. My sister and my dad went on Dumbo while I waited with the Starbucks drink-Thank you to the Cast Member who let us quickly buy a few things before she closed the stand for the night! While they rode Dumbo, I watched two parents go on Dumbo with their four young kids…at 11pm! I am always surprised how late some kids are out in the parks. I was completely exhausted and they were years younger than me! My dad and sister went on Astro Orbiter and Space Mountain while I rode the WEDway People Mover. I like roller coasters but I don’t stay up past 10:30 usually so I knew I wouldn’t feel well if I went on all the big rides. We all rode Peter Pan. I really enjoyed seeing the new interactive line for the ride although some spaces were a bit cramped. And you cannot tell how long the line really is whereas before it was easy to tell by how long the line outside was. In the photo on the left, Peter Pan is spelled out in blocks on the bed. You walk through the Darlings’ home and see each of the children’s rooms on the way to the ride. My sister turned 17 as we were in line for Peter Pan.
To finish the night, we stopped at the Main Street Bakery and I got a warm chocolate chip cookie, which was very good although it took a long time and a few misunderstandings to get it. I completed my Magic Kingdom tradition where I look back at the park one last time while walking through the tunnels under the train station and then never look back. Thankfully I will be able to return in the future so it is just a goodbye for now. I fell asleep on the bus ride back to Old Key West and was dreading the next day when I would have to leave Walt Disney World and fly back to college.
I started my summer job this week working at a travel agency in my town. I love planning clients’ vacations, especially when they are Disney vacations! But back to the extended trip report from March…
So to recap the afternoon of Day 8, I will need to give you a little background. My cousin’s boyfriend had texted my dad earlier in the week after we had hung out with him and my cousin at Epcot. He had told my dad how he was planning on proposing to my cousin in a few weeks and wanted to tell my grandma and show her the ring. My mom, dad, sister, and I were all very excited. We had to keep it a secret for a few days though until my cousin’s boyfriend was able to meet us in the park. We had a few close calls where the secret almost came out to my grandma and aunt. My dad’s cell phone rang while we were in the car and while we were at dinner but we were able to say it was my dad’s work friend (who was supposed to spend a day with us in Disney but was not able to make it in the end).
So Saturday FINALLY arrived and the plan was for my cousin’s boyfriend to meet us in the Magic Kingdom around lunch. He was talking to my grandma as we all got off of the WEDway People Mover (where I last left the trip report) and filling her in. Then he told my aunt what was going on and proceeded to spend the rest of the day at Magic Kingdom with us! He did not have the ring because he was getting it set so he was going to leave us in the afternoon to go pick it up and then meet us back at Old Key West. He had told my cousin that he was at SeaWorld with his nephews so she had no idea that he was spending all day with us at Disney. So after quickly catching up we went on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. My mom does not ride Buzz Lightyear because of the spinning so my cousin’s boyfriend used her Fastpass. I got a terrible score on Buzz and I think something must have been wrong with my machine or strategy. The picture on the right is a little blurry but my aunt and grandma are in the front row and my cousin’s boyfriend and my sister are in the second row. After my failure of a score, we headed to grab lunch. We had lunch at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland and it was PACKED! I now know why we try to make advanced dining reservations for most meals or try to eat really early. Finding a table was challenging. I found a table and texted everyone but they were carrying food and could not look at their phones so it was a bit confusing but eventually we were able to eat. I really enjoyed my chicken and fries too.
After lunch we walked over to the Winnie the Pooh ride with our next set of Fastpasses. The Winnie the Pooh ride is always fun. We had also made Fastpass reservations for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and started to walk over there but quickly noticed that Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was down which was very disappointing. We wanted to go to the Country Bear Jamboree but got stuck in the 3pm parade madness. It was our second time watching the Festival of Fantasy parade and we had a good spot on the bridge between Country Bear Jamboree and Splash Mountain to watch the floats. We also ate Mickey Premium Ice Cream Pops. They are my grandma’s favorite WDW dessert and are much better to eat in March compared to August because they don’t melt as quickly. As we watched the parade, we also watched fellow Dapper Day participants get off of the Ferryboat. It was fun to see more fancy outfits of the day. After the parade ended we got to watch the Country Bear Jamboree and my cousin’s boyfriend was able to watch it for the first time! I had fallen asleep during the Jamboree last trip so I made sure to stay awake this time. The cast member had some funny jokes before the show began and I was able to make a crushed penny to add to my collection.
After seeing the country bears sing their hearts out, my cousin’s boyfriend left to pick up the ring and we headed towards the front of the park since we had a dinner reservation at the California Grill. I knew I would be back later that night for Extra Magic Hours so I did not have to say goodbye to Magic Kingdom just yet. We took the monorail over to the Contemporary and checked in for dinner. Last March, California Grill had been our first advanced dining reservation of the trip so having the dinner as the last meal this trip was so sad. We had a great meal here and continued our last meal trip tradition. At the end of the trip, at the last meal all together, we go around the table and say our favorite ride and meal of the trip. Sometimes we add in our favorite moments as well. A few trips ago we had a series of events (a flying ped, walking into the wrong bathroom, falling in a ditch, etc. which all deserve another post) and so we said our favorite laughable moment. I really enjoy this tradition because it highlights the best parts of the trip.
I love walking out on the balcony at California Grill. I took the main photo for the blog heading here and decided to take a selfie this trip. If you eat at the California Grill, you can return later in the night to watch Wishes from this balcony. I have never done it because I prefer watching Wishes in Magic Kingdom from Splash Mountain but I am sure it is a great experience. Part 3 of the trip report for this day will include Mickey shaped pineapple, late hours in the Magic Kingdom, and a very exhausted Mary Cate on the bus ride back to Old Key West.
Good morning blog readers! Day 8 was probably our busiest day of the trip, and also our last day in the parks. I am planning on writing three parts so hopefully I can fit everything in! We were in Magic Kingdom by 10am and then my sister, dad, and I stayed out until 1:30 for Extra Magic Hours in Magic Kingdom. Part 1, today’s post, is going to be focused on Dapper Day and the morning. Part 2 is going to be focused more on lunch and the afternoon, as well as how we secretly spent the day with my soon to be new cousin! And finally Part 3 is going to finish off the day with dinner and the Extra Magic Hours in Magic Kingdom to start off my sister’s birthday.
March 14th was Dapper Day in Magic Kingdom. I had not heard of the Dapper Day events until a few months before our trip when I saw a liked Facebook page from my former Adventures by Disney tour guides. Dapper Day events happen in Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disneyland Paris and are not run by or affiliated with the Disney Company. According to the website, “Dapper Day events celebrate the tradition of stepping out in style.” Park visitors dress up in 50’s and 60’s style clothing or just dress up for the parks that day instead of wearing t-shirts and shorts. Different events happen during the day where you can meet up with other Dapper Day participants around the park and resorts. The Disneyland event appears to be larger than the Walt Disney World one with an Expo the day before where you can buy outfits and accessories but I thought the Walt Disney World event was great! For this Dapper Day, events ranged from a ride on the WEDway People Mover to drinks at the Grand Floridian lounge. If you would like more information on the event, the website is http://dapperday.com.
So, we all decided to dress up for Dapper Day but were not completely sure what to expect. I had looked up as much as I could about the events online ahead of time but did not know what exactly would happen! We parked and took the ferry over to Magic Kingdom. The ferry ship captain cast members announced that we looked Dapper as we boarded the ferry, but we did not see too many other park guests dressed up. We knew it was going to be a hot day because it we were already sweating. As we walked into the park, we started to see A LOT of people dressed up which was a relief. Some people were super creative with their costumes and went all out. We saw one guy with a ship model on his hat as we went through security. It was really fun to see what everyone decided to wear. I could not imagine how the ladies in tights and boots were surviving because it was hot! We took a photo with the Mayor who was great and told us a joke before running into the Dapper Dans. Of course, we had to stop and listen before heading down Main Street. They also made a comment about how the day was focused or based off of themselves. So even though Disney does not run the event, the cast members were very welcoming and always commented on how Dapper we looked, which was great! I felt like we were part of a secret club when some regular dressed park guests looked at the Dapper Day visitors funny.
I have to admit I do not remember the exact order of the rides we went on in the morning but I believe we just went to straight to Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor since we had a bit of time before the WEDway People Mover meet up at noon. But I will get straight to the WEDway People Mover experience. Yes, it was in fact an experience.
For any Walt Disney World regular visitor, they will know that the People Mover rarely has a long line. It is one of the few attractions where you can get off and right back on multiple times without having hours of waiting in a line. Well, starting at 11:45 there was a HUGE line of dressed up park visitors for Dapper Day. The line winded around and around and those who did not know about Dapper Day were very confused. This picture does not do the line justice and I really wish I had a go pro or selfie stick I could have held up high to carry around and video tape the entire line. It went around the stage and was moved a little near Buzz Lightyear as well. All of the costumes were so impressive and well thought out. We saw one woman who was dressed up as Sleeping Beauty and a man dressed up as Prince Phillip who were dancing. We later took a picture with Prince Phillip after riding the WEDway People Mover. If I am in Walt Disney World or even Disneyland during Dapper Day in the future I will have to work on planning my outfit for months and trying to be more creative! If you are ever in a Disney park during a Dapper Day event definitely participate because it is really fun! Part 2 will be up soon (I promise it won’t take a week this time!)
It feels like this trip has been going on forever! But we fit so much into each day that it is hard not to spread the trip report out over a month or two. We last left off riding the Haunted Mansion with Fastpass+reservations. We then continued to the Jungle Cruise, the WEDway People Mover, Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor, and the Carousel of Progress. I love hearing all of the corny jokes on the Jungle Cruise. It would be fun to be a skipper for a day on the Jungle Cruise. The WEDway People Mover is my grandma’s favorite ride and we all enjoy relaxing on it especially after lunch. I have noticed that the Space Mountain part of the ride is darker at night and you really can’t see anything in front of you for a few seconds. Monster’s Inc LaughFloor never gets old and we ended up going to this attraction the following day as well. The jokes are funny and it is comical to see who in the audience they pick on especially for the role of “That Guy.” The Carousel of Progress is called the Carousel of Sleep by my dad but we all managed (with a few pokes) to stay awake the entire time. I love the song in this attraction “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” and I hope they never change this ride, especially since it was at the 1965 World’s Fair. The photo to the left is fairly small because I just wanted to show off one of Disney’s snapchat filters in Tomorrowland.
After going on a bunch of rides post-lunch, my dad decided to head back to pick my mom up for dinner so that we would have the car at the Contemporary to drive home. So my grandma, aunt, sister, and I went to ride the monorail over to the Contemporary for dinner at the Wave. We had extra time so we rode the monorail around a full time before getting off. We also helped a few people with directions since they did not know that they needed to get off at the TTC to transfer to Epcot or that the monorail did not go to Animal Kingdom. Other than that, it was a relaxing ride to the Contemporary and we quickly met up with my mom and dad who had just checked into the Wave. The waiting rooms at the Wave are really neat with different lighting but I could have fallen asleep on the couch I was so exhausted. We had a great dinner here. I had the soup special plus a salad. The soup was chicken and rice and delicious. I made a point to tell the cast member who was our server that I loved the soup even though I am a picky eater! After dinner we shopped around a bit before my parents, aunt, and grandma decided to head back to Old Key West. My sister was itching to stay out late and so after some strong convincing, we got on the monorail and headed to Epcot.
Upon arriving at Epcot, we were unsure what we wanted to do. We thought about seeing characters but did not get there until around 8pm and all of the characters were done for the night. So we quickly walked around the World Showcase after stopping for Photopass pictures in front of Spaceship Earth and the Anna and Elsa topiary to get to Morocco. My sister always gets henna at Morocco each trip and thankfully the place was still open when we arrived. We then walked over to the American Adventure to watch The American Adventure. We noticed something odd. Instead of entering the rotunda, they had us waiting in the exit. Since I had never seen the American Adventure at night, I wondered if it was just due to smaller crowds. After watching the amazing show…honestly one of my favorite attractions at Walt Disney World, we walked outside. Then we saw a crowd of people dressed up. There was a wedding going on in the rotunda of the American Adventure!! My sister and I stayed outside by the fountain watching the door getting opened for guests who came out to use the restrooms and head back in. We were able to peek in at the wedding and see a little of the set up. It looked amazing and I would love to attend a wedding there! One day my sister and I hope to have a double wedding in Walt Disney World with the ceremony and photos at the Grand Floridian and then the reception somewhere else on property. Well the American Adventure has now become a possible reception place due to our run in. I had also scheduled a Fun Fact Friday post for the blog this day that talked about how it is possible to have a wedding in the American Adventure. What a coincidence! The wedding spying was definitely the highlight of the night.
After that, we realized nothing could top the wedding, so we walked around the World Showcase to ride Spaceship Earth one last time. The first time we had rode it this trip, our faces had not saved but this time they did. I also started to realize how bright the flash is and how distinct the burning smell is in Spaceship Earth. After this ride, I was exhausted. We got on the bus back to Old Key West only to hear beeps going off on the bus halfway home. The bus driver announced “If you’re thinking all those flashing lights and beeps aren’t good, you are correct. I will try to get us into Old Key West so that I can let you off otherwise we will have to wait for another bus.” The beeping stopped but then continued and with more flashing lights. It was late at night probably 11pm and I did not want to have to wait to transfer to another bus, but it was looking like that would be the case. So, we decided to take a snapchat. Thankfully, we made it to the first bus stop in Old Key West and got off. Thank you Disney bus driver! We were able to quickly get on another bus to get the rest of the way around the resort to our stop. A very tiring day, but the next day would be even more tiring and even more exciting. Stay tuned to hear about how Dapper Day, a ring, and Mickey shaped pineapple are all related!
Our first full day in Magic Kingdom was Day 7 of the trip. This is really hard to believe since usually we try to make it to Magic Kingdom within the first few days, but the schedule just did not work out this trip. We got up fairly early ready to go see the most Magical park. My dad dropped my aunt, grandma, sister, and I off to catch the ferry and he hopped on the next one. A HUGE group of high school students was there on a trip so after we saw that they decided to take the monorail, we opted for the ferry. The ferry was nice and uneventful.
We were going to meet my dad near the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train since that was the first Fastpass for the day. The ride had opened for previews a month or two after we had left last March so we were excited to try out the new ride. We all enjoyed the new roller coaster, but definitely would not have liked waiting in a long line for such a short ride. The Mine Train might be have the length of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. I would highly recommend a Fastpass+ reservation for this ride since we did not have to wait more than 7 minutes. The scenes were all done great and it was really cool to see New Fantasyland from a different perspective. They do take your photo on this ride and later link them to your online account and Photopass. Somehow they must use the Magic Band technology to do this but I am not sure how. I hope we end up purchasing one of the pictures where I look absolutely terrified even though I had no reason to be. And beware of wearing Mickey ears on this ride. I believe I looked terrified in the photo because I could feel my ears moving on my head. They did stay on though so it is doable!
After the Mine Train, we had time before our Pirates of the Caribbean Fastpass+ Reservations so we headed to It’s a Small World ride. The wait for this ride was probably around 15 minutes. Even though the boats run back to back, it takes time for unloading and reloading. I did not notice anything especially interesting on this time riding the ride, but we did get to see the clock perform its hourly ceremony because it became 10am. I had seen that happen once before at midnight actually but it was neat to see again.
After It’s a Small World, it was nearing the time for our Pirates Fastpasses so we headed over to Adventureland. Pirates of the Caribbean has definitely moved up on my list of attractions in rides in the past few years as well. I used to be scared riding this ride (probably because it was dark and there are the cannon shots of water in the one pirate ship scene) but now really enjoy it. The music is great and even the line is nice before boarding the boats. I really don’t remember the pre-Captain Jack Sparrow version but I think it is great he is in the ride a few times. In general, the surrounding area of the ride is also fantastic because there is a huge gift shop that you enter into with lots of different clothing items and fake swords to buy, as well as bathrooms nearby. A few dining options are also close such as Tortuga Tavern. Needless to say, you could stay in this area all day if you wanted.
After we rode Pirates, it was time to check in for our reservation at Liberty Tree Tavern. This restaurant is located in Liberty Square, and everything is colonial themed. I had booked the earliest reservation of 11:30 which was good because I was hungry! Liberty Tree Tavern is my grandma’s all time favorite restaurant in Walt Disney World so we always eat here for a meal. We each have our favorites at the restaurant. My grandma usually gets the Pilgrim’s Feast and my sister always gets the Colony Salad. I alternate between the amazing Colony Salad and the Freedom Pasta depending on if I am in the mood for salad or not. For dessert, my grandma and aunt had the fruit crisp and my dad and I split Martha Washington’s Chocolate Cake. This picture is making me so hungry. I would recommend this decadent chocolate cake to any chocolate lover. The chocolate icing is especially delicious. But, it is a large slice, so you might want to split it with someone unless you really need an energy boost from walking around Magic Kingdom all day.
After lunch we headed to ride the Haunted Mansion, another favorite of mine. Can you tell who booked the Fastpass+ Reservations? Haha. No Peter Pan Fastpasses! We boarded our doom buggies fairly quickly, but the standby line was very long. This ride seems to be the most crowded mid day because everyone finishes rides in Fantasyland and then continues around the park in that direction. Stay tuned for dinner at the Wave and a late night with my sister at Epcot.
On Day 6, we awoke very early. The sun had not risen yet so I felt really tired but knew I would sleep in the car on the way to tour the college. This is a short post since I am not going to go into details on the college tour we took or our day there. All in all, it was a great day though and my sister is probably going to apply to the college. On the way back to Orlando, we saw a Krispy Kreme and we of course had to stop. We do not have Krispy Kreme near where I live so buying a dozen was an absolute necessity. Here is my smiling sister with 11 donuts (since my dad had ate one). The donuts proved to be my breakfast for the next few days. We also stopped to get lunch at an Applebee’s, where the waiter was awesome. He was friendly and made me a palm tree water with lemons and limes after we told him we were visiting Florida to get away from the cold weather which was really cool. Here is a picture if you would like to replicate it at home. We got to pass under the Walt Disney World welcome sign, which is always a nice sight so I tried to get a picture as the sun was setting but it did not turn out great. Day 7 we are back in Walt Disney World and head to Magic Kingdom! Then I have one more day to discuss-Dapper Day/meeting up with my cousin’s fiancé day…more to come soon!