Monday, May 31, 2010

WDW 2010 Trip Day 3

Wednesday, May 26:

EPCOT!!!! Had our lovely breakfast and took the two monorails to the park. Oh, that was the day we were able to ride a Tronorail! I was ecstatic. It was the blue one, which was absolutely awesome and I was so stoked to be riding it.

When we entered the park, Dad and I rode Spaceship Earth first. That’s a great ride but we were disappointed that the picture thing wasn’t working properly. Our faces didn’t show up on the screens, so that was a bummer.

Next, Dad and I rode Test Track. This was my first time EVER on it!! The line seemed to take forever (a 40 minute wait, I believe), but we finally landed in the briefing room. When we got on the ride, I buckled my seatbelt and knew I was in for it. When it went up that huge hill, I thought, ‘Oh no, please no….’ not sure what was coming. The brake tests came next. I braced myself for those and they were wilder than I thought they would be, but so much fun. We went through hot and cold too. Before I knew it, there was a truck coming at us as we swerved. I kept asking, ‘Is this it? Is this the end?’ Mind you, there was a high schooler in front of us who had been on the ride before and loved every minute of the terror I was experiencing. Soon after, we shot out and I’m thinking, ‘Oh this is a piece of cake’, as I happily put my arms in the air. THEN we go up to 65 mph and the next thing I know, I’m hanging on for dear life screaming, ‘Holy mother of God!!’ as the high schooler laughs hysterically at me. I loved it so much. Definitely and officially my favorite ride at EPCOT.

We then met my mom in Mouse Gear, and shopped around a little. I bought another one of those earthy necklaces, as well as a Test Track Mickey head antennae topper (I collect those). We grabbed Fastpasses for Soarin’, then rode the boat in The Land. I think we went on Universe of Energy next – that’s a nice, relaxing journey. Except for when the dinosaur got closer to me than I was comfortable with, and unexpectedly made this noise, to which I jumped and grabbed my mom’s arm. I can be such a weenie! I used poor Mom so many times to hold onto during my fright and terror. Afterwards, we headed back to The Land to eat at Sunshine Seasons. I have to say, I was not impressed with their food this year. Usually, I’m quite satisfied with their selections but their focaccia bread was terrible and their lettuce was awful. Plus, the chef’s attitude was less than desirable. But I digress!

After lunch, we rode The Seas with Nemo and Friends. That’s always cute – Mom closes her eyes during the part with Crush & Squirt in the current, and tells me to let her know when it’s over because she gets dizzy. I must admit, they have this amazing technique of making you feel like you’re riding upside-down. Don’t know how they do it – the Disney magic, I suppose.

We went to Canada to see Off-Kilter. They are awesome and so much fun to watch! They seem like really nice guys too.

Our Fastpasses for Soarin’ were due, so we returned to The Land (for the third time LOL) and rode it. So much fun!! The crowds weren’t as alive as I was hoping – there’s usually a bunch of people applauding and hollering when the trams first go up. I was the only one this year. Tough crowd. We then traveled to Norway to ride Maelstrom, then to China for some shopping. I bought pretty pink rose cut-out earrings.

We had dinner at San Angel Inn in Mexico (again, not impressed this year) and at one of the stores, I bought an adorable pair of silver butterfly earrings (appropriate, yes?!). We went back to the resort afterwards to watch Wishes from the balcony & see Lee DeWyze win “American Idol!” A good night!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

WDW 2010 Trip Day 2

Tuesday, May 25:

We awoke at 8A by an adorable wake-up call delivered by Mickey and Stitch. Stitch starts screaming and Mickey apologizes, but my favorite part is when Stitch decides to randomly yell, ‘GET MOVING!!’ I laughed each morning at that.

Oh, we received a message the previous night about a gift that we had waiting for us. We went to the desk to receive it and excitedly brought it back to the room – because of my celebrations, they gave us a beautiful cherry-wood box with a sketching of the Contemporary on the lid. It’s gorgeous and now sits on a table in our front living room.

So we went down the hall, got our yummy breakfast, and went onto the balcony so we could gaze at the castle while eating. Let me tell you, breakfasts on the balcony were not relaxing. We would be stared at and almost attacked by birds. Crows would land on the railing and stare at us. The only thing that worked was either hissing at them or shaking something at them. We also had ginormous hawks coming toward us. That was the most frightening part of our vacation. I can’t tell you how many times I jumped at the sight of one.

Anyway, after breakfast that day, my parents headed off to the Magic Kingdom, while I went down to the lobby. I was meeting a CM who I have been talking to for a couple years now, about a future career with Disney. I wasn’t sure whether it would turn out to be a formal meeting or a social visit, but much to my relief, it was the latter. She was a lovely person and we talked for about 45 minutes or so; she then had her own meeting to attend to. I ran back to our room to change (since I was SO not going to WDW with a skirt and fancy blouse on, thank you very much) and call my mom on her cell to let her know I was on my way. I took the monorail all by myself (I’m a big girl now) and was planning on meeting them in front of the Uncle Walt & Mickey statue. But before I could do this, I spotted my dad toodling around in my mom’s ECV. I laughed and caught up with him – we then met mom and off we went.

My favorite ride came next, Splash Mountain. My mom passed on this one, so my dad and I got in line. I requested a front-row seat (why, oh why, did I do that?). We got in and things were going great, until we got to a certain turn in the ride. You know when you pass the big drop and it’s on your right, and your boat heads under a tunnel sloooooowly? Yup. That’s when it hit us. A couple of us in the boat were screaming, ‘GO GO!!’ trying to convince ourselves that by pushing our bodies forward, we could make the boat plunge ahead before being hit by the big fall. Did that work? A big, giant NO. SPLAAAAAAAASH went a boat down the cliff…and we were drenched. Head to toe, my friends. Then what happens? It starts raining. REALLY?! Everyone on our boat is now doubly soaked. When we went down the big drop, we didn’t even get wet from THAT! Before I forget, I must add that I partially lost my voice during the trip. I prayed to God over and over that he would keep us healthy and thankfully, He did…at least it was only the voice thing. Anyhoo, I was drenched from my outer clothing to my…ahem..under-things. Thankfully, the sun came out shortly after and we dried in no time.

We then headed to Pirates, which was awesome as always. I asked the pirate if we could sit in the front row and he said, ‘It will cost ya!’ I said, ‘2 shillings?’ He considered this and answered, ‘Get in number 1!’ so we were in the front row LOL! I guess he liked my offer LOL! Afterwards, we had a bite to eat at Casey’s Corner, where we ate outside. We could hear/kinda see the show in front of the castle. I think the sound of the fireworks at the end scared us a bit, but we enjoyed seeing them. Oh and my dad almost got bit by a duck. There was clearly a sign that said ‘Don’t Feed the Ducks.’ Sigh. (Okay okay, I didn’t necessarily pay full attention to the sign either, but still…I didn’t HAND-FEED them!!)

After lunch, it was time to meet some Disney friends for the parade! On a street at Liberty Square, I spotted John (Disneyworlds). We hung out and waited for the rest of the crew – I believe Maria (heavensent30) came next with Dylan (TeamSkellington), Princess Peanut, and a couple of Peanut’s friends. Aurora (RoraBorieAlice) and James (JamesMooreII) came soon after with Chris (Chris_Toffer), later followed by Alex (al3xg) and his friend. We all watched the parade together and had a great time. Stitch came over and put a boogie on Chris, much to Rora’s chagrin. The look of fright on her face was hysterical when she slithered away from Stitch’s view LOL!! Also, John blew a kiss at the Fairy Godmother and received one right back. What made my day was when Snow White’s prince spotted my tiara, looked straight into my eyes and mouthed the words, ‘Hello Princess!’ I smacked John on the arm and excitedly told him. LOL I’m such a dork. And Tweedledee came over at one point, opened the top of Peanut’s friend’s stroller to look at him, and rubbed his hands together lol.

Okay now for my comments on these wonderful people. Let me do this in the order of which I met them – ahem ahem. John is an incredibly nice guy. You don’t meet genuinely sweet people every day and he is totally one of them. He is such an easy-going, laid-back dude and fun to talk to. Maria is absolutely gorgeous and her quips are hysterical – especially when she talks about Peanut’s OCD. (Since Peanut does not yet have her own Twitter account, I will insert here that she is precious and I thank her for involving me in her branch-collecting expedition.) Dylan is too cute for words; such a gentleman and fun to be around. I didn’t get to talk to him much, unfortunately, but such a nice dude. Rora! That girl is CRAZY! I love her to death. She is wonderfully insane, loud, and hysterical. As for James, I didn’t really get to talk to him much. He was super shy, but definitely seemed like a nice guy. Hopefully I will get to know him better as time goes on. Chris is about the shyest guy on the planet. He’s super sweet and super cute, but didn’t talk much. I’m not THAT unapproachable, am I?! ;) And last but certainly not least is Alex. He is another genuinely sweet person, so easy to talk to, and absolutely adorable. All in all, I had a wonderful time with these people and can’t wait to do WDW again so we can hopefully spend more time together. Oh and my parents adored everyone as well. They were happy to meet each and every one of you fine people.

We split ways then, and my parents and I traveled to the Haunted Mansion. I went in a doom buggy with my mom and she dared me to let out a blood-curdling scream. So I did, right in front of the opening coffin. I must have jinxed myself, because the buggies stopped twice. It was once in the psychic ball room, then once in the cemetery. The cemetery one scared the hell out of me; we were right in front of a grave that one of those monsters pops out behind (I HATE those). Once we started moving again (I had my face covered), it jumped out to give me one last, good scare, and I jumped. However, I do love the hitchhiking ghosts and the ghosts that appear in your buggy. They are way cool.

Afterwards was the Hall of Presidents. Amazing how much it has changed since they added Obama. It was fun to cheer or boo at certain presidents – I led a boofest for Bush LOL. We then had a delicious dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern. Our lovely waitress, Sandi, came out with a huge platter of beef, chicken, and turkey, with side dishes of mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, and macaroni & cheese. I went at the turkey & potatoes like nobody’s business. It was amazing and filling. Then they brought out a chocolate cupcake w/ multicolored Mickey head sprinkles and sang to me. I also went at the cupcake like nobody’s business LOL. We went back to Pirates and Dad & I went on this time; the CM gave us one of those cards that lets you sit in the front row. Amazing luck! When exiting the ride, once inside the store, Dad and I had a swordfight. He won, dang it.

My parents and I then rode the Jungle Cruise. Our skipper, Brian, was hysterical! We watched the Tiki Birds show, went to Snow White, then the Wedway. FYI, you will never, ever hear me refer to it as the TTA…you are allowed to smack me if I do. At the Wedway, my heart broke to not hear the words, ‘Paging Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow.’ Yeah okay, so it’s cheesy, but it was still awesome. We ended the glorious day with a viewing of Wishes. Unbelievably, I didn’t actually cry but I definitely became quite misty-eyed. After the fireworks, we shopped around a bit. A CM saw my tiara and called me ‘Your majesty.’ That was awesome. As for purchases, I bought an adorable Chip & Dale figurine to add to my figurine collection, a Captain Hook/Tinkerbell charm (‘cause seriously, how often do you see Captain Hook on a souvenir?), a Mulan/Mushu charm, and an earthy wood necklace. Another fantasmic day!!

WDW 2010 trip: Day 1

Monday, May 24:

Needless to say, there wasn’t much sleep occurring in my household the night before. However, my parents and I got out of our beds with bright smiles. We put the finishing touches on our packing and left the house at 5:30A. We arrived at Stewart Airport in Newburgh, NY at 6:30A. We went to the small eatery and had a light breakfast. Not knowing the exact size of required toiletries, our items went over the ounce limit. Thanks to my awesome mom who packed an extra bag for our purchases, we shoved all the items we thought security might have a problem with into a bag, and checked it in. Huzzah!

Our flight was at 8:40A and thank God, we had a safe flight. We arrived at the Orlando International Airport in the Sunshine State of Florida around 11A. I saw a palm tree and displayed one of my best grins. We collected our toiletry bag (LOL) and got lost searching for the Magical Express vestibule. We were up and down the floors, searching, and not receiving correct answers on where it was. Now mind you, my mom needs a wheelchair so doing this was not easy. Especially since she didn’t yet have her ECV, so my dad had to push her. Not fun. Anyway, we finally got the right answer and made our way over. We waited for twenty minutes or so in line, then got on the bus. We were staying at the Contemporary Resort, and of course, ours was the last stop on the list. The bus first had to drop off guests at the Wilderness Lodge, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian. This wasn’t a problem with me, but our driver was LOUD and irritating. My poor mother and I were actually covering our ears. It took three hours to get to our resort, which was ridiculous, but I try not to dwell on that. Anyhoo, we were very happy to get off the bus.

Now came the exciting part: my mom pulled a few strings and told them about my celebrations/accomplishments… this vacation being a mix of my 21st birthday gift and college graduation. So my mom got her ECV upon entering the resort, and we were met by a lovely lady who said to follow her. She took us to the 12th floor, to the end of the hallway, and said, ‘Here we are.’ I must admit that I knew we were staying on that floor, but my dad didn’t. He was a bit in shock. THEN, I ran to the balcony to look out the window…and there was Cinderella’s Castle!!!! I started screaming. You see, my mom thought we had a Bay Lake view only. This view was quite a surprise to us all. The CM had a HUGE smile on her face, loving every minute of our excitement. My friends, I kid you not, we could see all three mountains (as in Splash, Thunder, Space) from our room – we could actually make out the boats coming down the Splash drop. This was all the right-side scenery; on the left was the beautiful Bay Lake. The CM left us then to enjoy our room. We were like kids in a candy store, gazing at everything, wanting to know how each item operated and existed.

Also on our floor was a lovely sitting room with couches & chairs, books, and two televisions, as well as a table with various food choices throughout the day. Each morning, they offered bagels, croissants, pastries, muffins, and fruits. By the time we arrived back at the resort each night, they offered a variety of desserts to choose from. It was amazing. But as always, I’m getting off-track here.

At approximately 3P with the tiara on my head, we left for the World Showcase. We pretty much browsed most of the countries for a while. We went to America and watched/listened to the Voices of Liberty from the second floor of the pavilion. Their voices are beautiful and I got a bit emotional at that. Then was the American Adventure show, which I also became misty-eyed at watching. The collage of historical moments at the end especially gets to me – and the music! Music touches me in a way I can’t explain anyway, but this particular song really grabs at my heartstrings. We worked our way through a light rain (which was actually quite lovely) to Italy for what was a wonderful dinner at Tutto Italia. They came out with this medley of olives and cheese, and don’t get me started on the bread and olive oil. Yum. Everything from their penne pasta to the vanilla gelato I ordered was scrumptious. Two thumbs-up for me. After dinner, we walked over to Norway to ride Maelstrom. The people in front us thought we were going backwards down that huge waterfall and I said, ‘Don’t worry. We’re not. We’re going THAT way”, and I pointed to the front. They held on for dear life (not knowing the size of the drop, of course) as we went down. It’s such a fun ride but they seriously need to make it longer. After the ride, we got great seats for Illuminations. While waiting for it, I snapped pictures of the landscape (which I will be posting in the near future) and I watched the adorable ducks grazing by the lake. The fireworks, needless to say, were brilliant. Emotions struck me, of course, thanks in large part to the music.

Post-fireworks, we browsed a store and I bought this precious pair of pink/white polka dot Mickey head earrings for only $5. We then headed back to the Contemporary. My dad went to the room, while my my mom and I were searching for a soda machine. All we could find was candy/snack machines. So we’re traveling the floors, then we go to the 1st floor, where a CM tells us that the beverage machines are on the odd-numbered floors. Hmmm. Ok then. Now mind you, my mom is in this ECV and we had to take so many elevator trips that by the time we accomplished our mission, the two of us were snorting & crying with laughter.

We were hysterical all night. Even returning from EPCOT on the monorail…she turned to go to the elevator, and she drove her ECV against the metal gate on the side as it made a loud clanging noise. A bunch of people stared as we giggled. Then on those elevators, she would pull in too fast and crash against the back of the elevator. Repeatedly. We were so exhausted and giddy that we would burst out laughing. That was an awesome first day!!