Saturday, March 31, 2012

Feb 2011: 100 Things to do with 100 Hours in Disney- Part 3

Note: I used a multiple upload featuring for all the parts of this trip report so my apologies for the low-res quality of some of these pictures! I have used a bunch of them already in previous posts on the site and on Facebook so I hope you don't mind! The April 2011 Trip Report will be back to the old upload quality again!!

The next morning we were well rested when Mickey and Stitch rang our phone for our wake up call! While hubby was in the shower I noticed my first hidden mickey of the trip... in a huge painting hanging by the beds in our room there was a girl drawing mickey in the sand! I was really into the whole theming of the Polynesian, especially the turtles everywhere! I just heart turtles!

We headed out for breakfast at Captain Cook's and got to have a nice interaction with some of my favorite creatures on Disney property: Disney Ducks! We also got to see a great view of Cinderella's Castle we hadn't noticed from the Poly the day before!

After breakfast, we headed off to Epcot.  We had a tour scheduled this morning and got to enter the park before it opened! Very cool! Great picture ops AND I love that guests with early breakfasts can do this too!

We headed to guest relations (we were the first couple from our tour to arrive and after checking in made friends with the castmembers here! The CM from Germany told us all about the Duffy the Disney bear hype (and I realized I have a Duffy from the World of Disney store that used to be in NYC) and one from the states got us all checked in.  We got to meet one of our guides and when I literally tried to sweet talk him into letting Rob go run and FP Soarin' for us we got a little Disney magic! A No Strings Attached Fast Pass!!!!

We headed out on our Segway Tour of World Showcase! It was an AMAZING experience!! If you are at all interested- DO IT!!!! Here's alink to my Chip and Company review of it with some extra pictures from the ones below and you can find some pics on the Picturing Disney Facebook.

After we retired our Segways, we headed into The Land for our first ride of the day on Soarin'! We were smart about it... before we road we fast passed it for later! ;)  Once we had returned from our gliding adventure we headed over to Spaceship Earth.  I am not sure why some people skip this! Its amazing! I adore it! Literally, I want to bring every one of my students to Epcot when we go on it... it LITERALLY would help them review for their Global Studies final!!! Maybe someday!

After our ride into our future we decided to head back into World Showcase and stop and see the Flower and Garden Festivaltopiaries that had already been put up! Just to give you an idea on this map... 2, 8, 12, 15, 16, 22, 26, 27 were all up and complete and we could see Bambi and part of Toy Story under tents.  So we really got to enjoy about half of the topiaries and it was a couple weeks early!


We headed into the Germany pavilion for some Brauts and Beerfor lunch.  I love this pavilion.  I shared with my husband the story behind the fountain center here and now I will share it with you.  Medieval lore often used Dragons to represent the devil, and with such a huge emphasis on Catholic faith you could imagine the reverence St. George would receive for this doozy... Long story short: supposedly a dragon was destroying a bavarian village and a beautiful princess was offered to the dragon in return for him leaving the village alone.  When King George heard of this he headed straight for the dragon and fought it to its death, both saving the village and the princess.

We ordered our meal at Sommerfest, shared a table with a lovely couple from Las Vegas, and then headed into the shops here to find a couple gifts.

We then made our way into the China Pavilion! We walked through the video area and saw the replicas of the Terra Cotta Army that can be found here! Seriously, just another reason why I feel my students need to take a field trip down to Disney!


Next we made our way over to Norway for our first ride on Maelstrom! Very cool! And being that my husband is part English and I am part Irish, we more than likely have some Viking in our past so this is a nice look at really the heritage of most any people of European descent.

Moving right along, we stopped in Mexico for a little bit of time next... some shopping in the Marketplace and then a ride on my FAVORITEGran Fiesta Tour with the Three Cabelleros!!! And we were lucky enough to meet Donald in his Mexico garb on the way out!! Woot woot!

Being that we had fast passes in our hand that we couldn't use until after dinner and we had seen most of the park, we decided to head back to the resort and soak up some sun by the Polynesian's pool before we needed to freshen up for dinner at the California Grill! On our way out we grabbed some more photopass pics with my favorite golfballl! ;)


Friday, March 30, 2012


I love Walt's ideas about Tomorrowland and Future World and everything retro brought back again looking into the future.  Can we live up to the hopes of people from the past?

Feb 2011: 100 Things to do with 100 Hours in Disney- Part 2

And moving right along, we left off realizing that Disney Hollywood Studios has slowly turned from an old hollywood feel for us into something more in competition with Universal.  I am sure on paper and as far as making money goes this was a wise move, but I must say bit by bit my favorite things are leaving this park and I can't help but think it started years before my first trip to WDW when Mickey's Sorcerer hat was first erected blocking the Chinese Theater that was once a centerpiece for the park.
My husband and I got into the park so early our first day that by lunchtime (around 12:45) we were done with our first park and ready to revisit our resort.  Back at the Polynesian, we freshened up a bit, enjoyed our meal, refilled our mugs and were off to the Magic Kingdom.
And we were home. :)


We took a few castle pictures and decided to fastpass Splash Mountain then headed into Tomorrowland.  We did lots of people watching as we made our we through the hub and over to Tomorrowland from Frontierland.  The TTA, or now back to being called the People Mover is one of my favorites and I have a hard time entering MK without riding it so it was a great first choice. Next, we headed over to the Carousel of Progress and enjoyed a journey through time.  We missed hitting this one our last trip for some reason which made it very easy to love even more this go round.

We headed out of Tomorrowland and decided to grab a pre-dinner snack of Mickey Ice Cream bars on the street here.

We had an early dinner reservation at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian and decided that after a couple hours here and still over an hour to go on our Fast Passes, we might as well head off and explore the Grand Floridian a bit before our character dinner.


1900 Park Fare was a great choice for a first night dinner! The character interaction was some of the best we have had yet and the food was great too! Anastasia and Drisella did a number laughing and flirting with my husband, and I got my first pic with Prince Charming (well, Cinderella's Prince Charming obvi since I have 1000s of pics with my Prince Charming ;).


The food here is excellent for a buffet and cute enough I accidentally took kids plates when we first went up but I like the Mickey ones nonetheless! We also took a huge plates of dessert and then as part of our meal our waitress came out with a gigantic sundae for us to share! lol!

After our meal we hopped the monorail back to Magic Kingdom and took our ride on Splash Mountain.  This is another favorite of ours! We were then able to walk right into Pirates of the Caribbean with no wait, followed by Mickey's Philharmagic. As we made our way through the different lands of Magic Kingdom we were able to take our time, knowing we had more time set aside for the park. It was really nice to just walk around at our leisure and spend a night riding all our favorites first.  We also got more photopass pics include a Character Photopass picture with Tinkerbell!

As the sun was setting I got a really great pic of the castle at an angle I had never gotten a picture before.

We made our way over to the Main Street Train Station to watch the sun set and the lights flicker on over Magic Kingdom.  While this is not the perfect view of Wishes, I think it is one that everyone should try and see at least once! The parades look amazing from the seats right up to the railing and the range you get to see during Wishes is amazing too! It was a perfect end to our first day in Disney World! I had been so worried we'd be too tired or run late but we got a very full day in- and to think we had woken up in New York that morning!


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Are You a Disney Geek?

The first time I saw this line was at D-Street in Downtown Disney and I just love em!

Feb 2011: 100 Things to do with 100 Hours in Disney World- Part 1

I had the fabulous opportunity to go to Disney World 3 times last year (and Disneyland once).  Four Disney trips in one year seems so extreme but each one was so very different I want to come up with a theme for each one!

100 Things to Do With 100 Hours in Disney World

My first trip was February for Presidents Day break which was just four days at the school district I teach in last year so I thought in spirit of our timeframe and how much we got done on a leisurely schedule it would be fun to do a play on the time. Without any further adieu, here it goes…

We woke up as early as we have ever gotten up for a Disney World trip.  Here is a picture of me when I woke up (at 3:17am):

We grabbed our bags, and our pup and met my parents over at their house.  We said goodbye to our puppy boy and headed out (my Dad drove us to the airport).  We were on the first flight of the day.  This was pretty cool.  Everything was on time and easy breezy we even left a few minutes early! Off we went!

When we arrived, as per usual, I almost went the wrong way to get to the Disney’s Magical Express pick up.  I was very excitable at this moment and must be honest and say that I might have been a little impatient.  The five minutes we waited felt like five hours but soon the Magic Kingdom resort area bus had pulled up.  For my first time ever we sat in the front of the DME bus and I got some really cool pics through the front windows…
The bus pulled up to the Polynesian, our new favorite, and we were greated with an Aloha and a lei! This was the first time we had booked our own trip and we used online check-in for the first time.  This was fabulous! Our room folder was all set up and waiting for us upon arrival! One step closer to a Disney park! Even though it was barely 10am our room was READY! Which amazed me- and off we went to check it out!

We dropped off our bags, took some pics and were off to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Since this was our first time getting theDisney’s Photopass CD we started our time here with a few shots by Sorcerer Mickey’s hat.  :)

We couldn’t decide exactly where to start, hubby wanted to Fast Pass Rockin Rollercoaster but all I wanted to do was hit The Magic of Disney Animation.  We made our way up to grab the Fast Passes and snapped some pics on the way (I got a bunch of pics of the restaurants here for my Chip & Company Guide to Walt Disney World).  Then we headed over for our first time at the Animation Academy!

We had seen the video with Mushu before but never got to try our hand at our own Disney drawings so we headed through and waiting in the character area between.  Lucky us- Sorcerer Mickey was there for a meet and greet.  This was our first time meeting Mickey in his Fantasia garb and I was very excited.  The Photopass guys were totally flirting with me and Mickey was def girl but I don’t care, I love these pics!

We were done with our pics in time to walk into the next session of the Animation Academy and we learned to draw Grumpy! Loooooved this and will def do it again sometime! It’s my new favorite attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! The three elements of The Magic of Disney Animation were all fun attractions from the show to the meet and greet to the drawing!

Next we headed out to use our Fast Passes but then started to go back and forth on it.  On the menu instead- LUNCH! I convinced Rob to ride The Great Movie Ride and then we would pick someplace for lunch.  And we got the Cowboy version of it!We allllways get the mobsters! Woot woot!

We decided that we were far too in love with the Polynesian so instead of eating at MGM (which is like my 4th favorite park.. lol) we would head back.  But first we found a couple who looked around our age and paid forward a good deed that has been done to us: passing on our fast passes! This worked out great, especially after our bus was pulling up when we walked outside. We still needed to purchase our refill mugs and so we decided to have a quick lunch at Captain’ Cooks!

This was a fantabulous idea! The food here is great and its WDW’s only 24 hour food court! This was our very first time paying out of pocket for food so we tucked away the receipt and then snapped a few more resort pictures before heading into Magic Kingdom via the resort monorail at the Poly!