Diana and Peter's 34th Anniversary Trip

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finngirl's picture
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Diana and Peter's 34th Anniversary Trip

Well, I just printed off our boarding passes for tomorrow. yay Our flight to Toronto leaves around noon, and then we have to wait around for our flight to Orlando. We won't be getting in there until almost 8 pm, so won't make it to any parks tomorrow. That's OK - I got a fabulous seat sale, so we are actually going down a day earlier than we normally would. And this means we don't have to get up at "stupid o'clock" for a change. (thanks Kristen - I use your kids phrase all the time now).

We are lucky to be able to go at all. DH has been trying to gracefully slide into retirement - slowly cutting his hours, etc. He had 3 years to go, but suddenly got slammed into unemployment this January. We didn't panic - we have always been frugal, always had money tucked away, both accessible and retirement funds, etc. So we ran the numbers, and said h*** yes, we're going anyway! We do have our priorities straight! laugh The only thing we did was cut out the Disneyland portion of our California trip in September, and boy, I pouted about that for a bit. Although I am wheelchair , I am perfectly capable of acting like a 10 year old sometimes. But right now, I get to go to WDW, so life is good.

Because we are doing another trip this fall, our anniversary trip was planned to be a budget one anyway. We are trying POP for the first time - I think we will like it fine. I love POR, but we don't spend all that much time at the resort anyway. We stayed at ASMu for 2 of our trips back in the 90's, and always had fun there. We have lunch ADR's at Sci-Fi this time, and I can't wait. It might seem silly to be excited about that, but in all our trips, we never got to try it. Peter never wanted to have reservations, since it would "cramp" our touring maybe. Whenever we tried walk-ups, the wait time was always too long. If anyone remembers our trip last fall, I surprised DH with 2 ADR's, and waited to see what he said. Turns out, he loved it, and is totally onboard with having a few this time. So we will also be going back to Yak and Yeti, and LTT. Yum! I am determined to try the sticky toffee cake at LTT, even if it means they have to roll me out of there. I made sure we are at Yak and Yeti for our anniversary, just so we can have the wontons. Double yum!

Anyway, we hope to have some firsts, do favourite things, and just generally kick back and relax. I am not technologically talented enough to post from the parks, especially from my phone, so I will talk to you all when we get back. I will have so much to catch up on!

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Yay, so glad you were still able to make your trip happen, Diana! Have a safe flight and a fabulous time! clapping

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Have a wonderful, magical time! biggrin

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Enjoy the magic! We'll be living vicariously through you! Can't wait to hear all about it when you get back!

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yay You're leaving in 1 day! Have a safe journey to WDW and a wonderful anniversary. Can't wait to hear all about it upon your return!

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Have a great time!

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Have fun and enjoy! yay clapping

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Have a great time! The toffee cake at LTT is fantastic!! muchlove

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Have fun! You'll like POP, it's my favorite value for sure...that dedicated bus line is awesome! I really liked the 90s buildings since it was close enough to the bus stop and had its own pool.

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Well, we're back! Go away for a week, and I have SIX pages of new posts to read! laugh We had a great time, and ate so much I think this should be titled the "Tour of Gluttony".

First up, how did we like Pop? We loved it! I was so afraid we would be disappointed after staying at POR the last few trips, but you were all right - I shouldn't have worried at all. I had requested any room facing the lake, 4th floor. We got room 3433, building 3 (Tramp's building), and yes, facing the lake. It was a fabulous location - short walk to the buses and food court, close to the bowling pin pool but not facing it, etc. This became even more important when we discovered the dreaded cheerleading squads were there. Luckily they were in other buildings, and practiced their cheers a long way away from our room. We heard some complaints from other guests, but other than swarming the pool every evening it wasn't raining, we rarely saw them.

When we arrived, our first towel creature was waiting for us. It was nice to get something different than the usual "Mickey" one on the bed. Mousekeeping was great - the room was always spotless, extra towels were left without even having to ask, and we got the most towel creations we have ever had. I had heard complaints about the beds being really firm, but we didn't have a problem with that. We even had pillows that were "squishable" in addition to the usual super fluffy things that you slide right off of. Mousekeeping noticed right away that we folded the comforters to the foot of the bed (icky things), so after the first day, she always made the bed that way. Thumbs up Maggie! awesome

We also liked the food court better than POR. One of the first things we tried was the Tie Dye cheescake. That stuff is positively addictive! Peter liked one of the noodle/shrimp concoctions, but didn't like the dressing/oil they put on it. When he mentioned that to the CM, they brought out the chef, and he prepared the same dish without the dressing for him. They did that twice, with a smile each time. Plus he got twice as many shrimp as he was supposed to - he was one happy camper. We didn't eat all that often at the resort, but when we did, there were always tasty options that were well prepared. I loved the honey chicken nuggets with rice and broccoli - the portion is huge, so we ended up sharing that one.

Our first day was just settling in to the room, since we didn't get in until almost 9 p.m. That meant we could get a good night's sleep, and head out for rope drop tomorrow at MK.

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Great starting report! Can't wait to read more!!!! What an awesome view -

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Welcome back & great start to the report!

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I forgot to mention that I got to watch "Oz" on the plane on the way down. I didn't hate it, but I'm glad we didn't pay to see it at the theatre. It was a fun way to start the holiday though. Last fall I got to watch Brave on the way down - it's as if Air Canada wants to help start the magic early.

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Great report Diana. Sounds like the trip started off terrific. And your pictures are super. Can't wait to read more.

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Can't wait to read more! Welcome back! Are you already planning your next trip?

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Can't wait for the rest of the report, Diana! Great pictures and glad to hear you loved POP!

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Kris1971 wrote:
Can't wait to read more! Welcome back! Are you already planning your next trip?

Oh, I wish! We have a trip to California planned for the fall, so no more WDW for this year. I sort of floated out the idea of going in November next year though, just to experience the Osborne Lights and Christmas decor. Peter didn't say no, so I automatically convert that to a "maybe", and will watch for seat sales for flights and discounts for next fall. If I can present it as a bargain, Peter usually says OK. He started out just indulging me in my love of WDW, but now he admits he loves going too. awesome

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Thanks everyone for reading so far. I am not a great writer, so I apologize in advance for putting some of you to sleep. laugh

Magic Kingdom - First full day.

We are rope drop people, so we were up early and had fruit cups in the room while we got ready. We caught the 8 a.m. bus, and were at the park by 8:15. We really don't mind waiting for opening - we people watch, and enjoy the interaction with the CM's. By 8:45, the opening show started, and by 9, we were already walking through the castle. I made Peter stop and touch the slipper - he had no idea what I was doing, as you can tell from the look on his face. When I explained this was for the forum, he just shook his head and made a comment about my invisible internet friends! Can you tell he doesn't belong to any forums himself? laugh Then it was on immediately to Peter Pan. This is a must do for me, just because it was one of my favourite rides when I was a kid visiting Disneyland. I won't stand in line for it though, so we hustle over there right away, and ride at least once. After that, we did all the most popular rides that get jammed later in the day - Haunted Mansion (twice), Pirates (twice), Jungle Cruise, Buzz Lightyear (twice), etc. I don't do either Mountain or Big Thunder - I'm OK with spinning rides, but up and down make me queasy. I usually just sit on the benches and wait for Peter while he does them, but he decided today to skip them too, since we would be back again later in the trip.

After we were done with the headliners, we were coming up on our reservation time for Liberty Tree Tavern. We tried LTT for the first time last fall, and loved it, so decided to return. We both liked the pot roast, but it's not available at dinner time, so lunch it was. I was determined to also try the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake, even though the pot roast is a huge meal, so we went ahead and ordered one to share. I am so glad we didn't get one each - there's no way I could have finished one on my own. It was as good as everyone says! I'm sorry it is half-eaten in the picture - I don't normally take pictures of my food, and we had attacked it before I remembered. This will be a continuing theme with my food pictures! laugh

When we were ready to leave LTT, it was starting to rain. I talked Peter into seeing the Hall of Presidents - we hadn't done that since our very first trip. Peter really wasn't enthusiastic, but it meant we were out of the rain, so he didn't argue too much. In the end, he admitted he enjoyed it more than he thought he would, so he was glad I pushed for it. We also decided to do the Tiki Room, another thing we hadn't done in years. I thought it was fun, and will add it back to the "not to be missed" list. A couple of rides on the People Mover, one more spin through Buzz, and we decided to call it a day. The rain was not going to let up, and we were tired of the constant putting on and taking off of rain ponchos.

I think the only negative we had this day was observing some spectacularly bad parenting. Heaven knows I wasn't perfect either - just ask my son! - but jeepers, people, why must you make your kids cry? We had one dad walking parallel to us from Haunted Mansion all the way to Pirates, and he spent the entire time haranguing his son about his "selfishness". The poor kid was about 6, and had been a little frightened at HM. His dad went on and on about how this little guy was ruining their vacation, was never going to get anything again, was going to get pulled out of all his sports to "teach him a lesson", etc. etc. etc. I just wanted to smack him, and Peter had to tell me to keep on walking! Later, as we were near Big Thunder, again there was an entire family (grandparents were the worst!) yelling at a poor boy who didn't want to go on the ride because he gets motion sickness. He was maybe 8, and so embarrassed that people could see him crying over how they were going at him. You could hear them way before you could see them! The Dad finally stayed behind with him, but you could tell this boy was going to pay for it all day. It was so nice when we finally saw some families that actually seemed to be having a good time!

We had planned on staying for the fireworks, but were still a little tired from our travelling day yesterday. This evening is when we got a great surprise about our room - we could see the higher fireworks from Illuminations and the Magic Kingdom from our window. We didn't even have to step outside if we didn't want to. Peter loves fireworks, and I think this just made our stay at POP so much more fun. Plus, we got another towel creature from Mousekeeping. Even with the rain, we felt it was a successful and fun day.

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I am just loving your report! Bring on the next day!!! My husband, Bill had the exact same reaction to "touching the slipper"!!! I'm grateful we didn't witness the horrid parents - but what I was amazed at was the all the parents not paying any attention to their kids while their faces were buried in their Iphones!

Can't wait to read more, you're a great trip writer! awesome

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Oh poor Peter! LOL, such a good sport though! I can't wait to hear more. mickey

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Great report Diana. Bad parenting abounds everywhere but to tell your son that his is selfish because he can't do a ride is the height of boorish behavior. I firmly believe that there are some people who should never ever be allowed to procreate.

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PirateGirl wrote:
Great report Diana. Bad parenting abounds everywhere but to tell your son that his is selfish because he can't do a ride is the height of boorish behavior. I firmly believe that there are some people who should never ever be allowed to procreate.

Amen! I just wanted to grab both boys and tell them to come with us for the day - we would have fun!

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Hi Diana, I am really enjoying your trip report. I like your writing style, I feel like I am experiencing your trip with you. I laughed out loud at your "invisible Internet friends" comment. Sounds just like something my husband would say! laugh

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Thanks everyone for your kind words. I don't measure up to Buffalo Bill or Robyn, but I'm trying not to bore you to death.

Day 2 - Epcot.

One of the reasons we were excited about this trip was the expectation of good weather. Our winter this year was nasty, and we haven't really had a spring either. When it wasn't snowing, it was raining, right up until the day we left. We had 25 days of precipitation this April, and were craving some sunshine. Well, for the first few days, we thought we were still at home! yuck When we turned in last night, it was raining. When we got up, it was raining. And not just misty, sprinkly rain. We are talking about haul out the boats rain! yuck We put the ponchos back on, and caught an early bus to Epcot. Luckily, we were at the front of the line, and sheltered by the overhang. We still got a bit wet, but were out of the worst of it. I should have taken a photo of the people behind us - it was a sorry pack of drowned rats. The forecast was for rain all day, but we were hoping it would clear, or at least break for a bit. And just as they opened the turnstiles, it changed from a downpour to just light rain. Maybe we would get lucky?

Peter's favourite ride in Epcot is Soarin, so we did the march to the Land with everyone else, and managed to do standby with no wait at all. When we came off, the posted wait time was still only 15 minutes, so we went right back on again. One of my "must do's" this time was Test Track. In all our trips, we have never ridden it. It has either been closed for refurbishment or repairs, or down for some reason, and I was determined to finally get to try it. We were concerned about the rain and the track, but when we got close, we could hear the cars running. Hooray! The line was moving really quickly, and in a few minutes, we had done our design process, and were just coming out of that room. And then we stopped. Cue the announcements about delays, unexpected technical difficulties, etc. This went on for 20 minutes, all the while we were crammed shoulder to shoulder with our new best friends. My claustrophobia finally got the better of me, and we slipped out the exit door at the top of the ramp, and got a fastpass for later. The rain had stopped, so we went on and rode Mission to Mars, Nemo, and Figment. Then it was round 2 for Test Track.

Everything I had read said when you do the fastpass line, you bypass the design room. That was fine with us - doing it once was fun, but we really didn't feel the need to do it again. Well, I guess they've changed things, because instead of going straight through, you are redirected down the stairs, and back into the standby line outside the design room. We weren't thrilled about that, but figured OK, it'll take longer than we thought, but we get to ride it, so it's all good. Wrong! This time we were stalled just as we were to enter the room. Cue the announcements all over again. Since the first time it went down, it stayed down for 45 minutes, we weren't prepared to waste any more time here. It was threatening to rain again at any moment, and we wanted a chance to walk around World Showcase before that happened. This is when things got a little unpleasant. When we asked the CM's where we could exit, they told us we couldn't. Of course there are exit signs all over the place, so when we pointed at a couple of doors, they said it wouldn't be possible, and we would HAVE to stay put. Peter could see I was getting really uncomfortable being crammed in like sardines, and asked again about leaving. Same answer. He then just started walking towards an exit sign, and finally one of the CM's told us he would escort us out. He was kind of nasty about it, and made sure we knew we were a major inconvenience. Once people saw us leaving, a bunch more also asked to leave, so this CM got even crankier. Such a contrast with the CM's at the top of the ramp the first time around - they were great about directing people out. So far Test Track had been a bust, and we said we would forget about trying again today. When we walked by the wait-time boards later, Test Track was still down, and we heard it stayed down all day.

Lesson learned from this - if the standby line for Test Track is inside the building and has a wait time of less than half an hour, don't waste a fastpass on it. The fastpass will only save you about 10 minutes with this scenerio. If the line is outside the building and the wait times are really long, then it would be worth it. The fastest way to ride is the single rider line - I don't think you go through the design process this way.

World Showcase was now open, it still wasn't raining, so we headed over to the Mexico side to sample some of the offerings at the food kiosks and wander around. I was still rattled about Test Track, so I completely forgot to take pictures of some of the things, and the ones I did take, we had already started eating. So they are not great photos - sorry. Anyway, first up was the watermelon salad at the Florida booth. Peter turned his nose up when I said I wanted to try it - he couldn't imagine arugula, watermelon and feta cheese all in one salad. I ordered it anyway, and it was great! After eating half of it, Peter admitted he should have ordered one for himself. laugh No picture of this one though - it disappeared in about 2 minutes flat! Next up was the bread pudding with mushroom ragout, and potato pancake with apple sauce at Germany. I don't like mushrooms, so Peter had the pudding all to himself. It was totally gross looking, but he said it was delicious! The potato pancake was bland, but crispy, and just OK. Next was the honey and almond pancake at Morocco - yummy. We should have ordered two, instead of sharing one - this was one of our favourite things. Then we shared a "frushi" from Japan. Fruit rolled in seaweed (I think) and coconut so it looks like sushi. This was also good, but way overpriced. Unbelievably after all that, Peter was still hungry, so we hopped over to Yorkshire Fish and chips and ate some more.

By now we were pretty stuffed, so we needed to walk all those calories off. First we stopped to watch the movie in France, and then on to the stores in WS. I could spend an hour just in the Japanese store! We finally worked our way back to Norway, where of course we had to stop at the bakery. I finally got to try the schoolbread. Peter thought the berry creampuff looked better, so he ordered that. He was sorry once he tried a bite of the schoolbread! Even sorrier when I refused to share it! biggrin By then it was starting to lightly rain, so we ducked into the Mexican Pavilion and took a ride with Donald and friends. It was raining even harder when we exited, so we trekked over to Spaceship Earth and decided to ride that before we left the park. I love this ride. Just as we were about to have the cars turn backwards for the return, Peter noticed that the dome was leaking water all over the track. We thought "that can't be good", and I guess it wasn't, because the ride stopped when we were only about 10 cars away from the exit. The CM's did everything they could, but weren't able to restart it. We were just happy we weren't stuck at the burning of Rome, or the backward part! They finally called "Todd", who is apparently the repair wizard for Spaceship Earth. It took about 20 minutes before we were moving again, and we all gave Todd a big round of applause. It turned out being stuck was a good thing - while we were inside, the skies opened up again, and it was pouring. Just as we exited, it turned to just a drizzle, and as we made it to the bus stop, our bus was just pulling in. Perfect!

We had plans to hop over to the MK that evening, but we were wet and cold, it was already after 6 p.m., so decided to just call it a day. Seeing the downpour in the morning had us thinking today would be a total washout, but it actually turned out to be a pretty enjoyable day.

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Seeing the fireworks from Pop was a nice surprise when I first saw them from my room a couple of years ago. That berry cream puff does look good.

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Another great report Diana. I have School Bread on my To Do List. I am going to add the berry cream puff. My friend and I can share both.

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Oh I really hope you guys finally did get to ride test track. Guess I'll have to wait and see as your trip report progresses!

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Love your report and the expression on your DH face! I love your food photos being taken after you have started to eat them, it shows an appreciation of the food in front of you and you get a better idea of what it actually looks like! I quite like the idea of being an invisible friend, (although I do want to try to meet some of you lovely lot in October). Thanks for posting I like your friendly warm way of writing looking forward to the next part awesome

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Day 3 - Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom

We were lucky and caught the 8 a.m. bus to HS, so we ended up first in line at one of the RFID stations. We had a great time chatting with a CM while we waited for rope drop. Did everyone else know that if you work for WDW for 10 years, even just part time, you get a life time pass? The CM told us that when her husband retired, they moved down to Orlando, and she decided she wanted to work. She had been working for WDW a few days a week for 8 years, and was determined to work the final 2 so she could get her pass. I could not believe her age - working for WDW must keep you young! She didn't look at day over 50, not in her 70's! She told us she loved working at HS. mickey

Once the gates opened, Peter headed straight for Tower of Terror, and I went over to Toy Story Mania for some fastpasses. I won't do TT - I once got dropped 3 floors in a real elevator, and have no wish to repeat the experience -ever! Peter loves this ride, so I usually tell him to do it as many times as he can until our window for TSM opens up. I get a cup of coffee at the stand at the exit, and sit and people watch and chat with all the other queasy stomached people. Peter got 3 rides on TT this morning, plus he stole some of my coffee too, so he was already having a great morning. biggrin Then it was on to TSM, where as usual, my score stunk. I think I have only ever beaten Peter once, and have never made it past the "rabbit" rating on the scoreboard. We did Star Tours twice, the Great Movie Ride, etc., but didn't bother with Indiana Jones or Beauty and the Beast this time.

We loved Starring Rolls last year, so headed over there again for lunch. We shared a ham sandwich, and tried the Butterfinger cupcake this time. It was good, but I think I prefer the Red Velvet cheesecake one better. After lunch, we sat for a bit and decided that we were done with HS for today - we would be back on Sunday for our lunch reservation at Sci-Fi, so didn't feel the need to stay the entire day. The weather was actually pretty good, even though they had predicted rain again, so we agreed that heading over to Animal Kingdom sounded like a good idea.

First stop at AK is always the safari. It doesn't matter how many times we do it, we see different things, and take a ton of pictures. I was happy this time to actually get a photo of the Cheetahs - every other time they have been way back in the trees, not out in the open. We got off, and went right back on again for a second ride, and then headed over to Everest. Here I do my "bag lady on the bench" routine again, waiting while Peter rides the single rider line at least 2 or 3 times. Then we stopped at It's Tough to be a Bug - the show was just about to start, so we walked right in and found great seats. We both think the show is fun, and I like walking the pathway outside.

One of my wishes this year was to try FlameTree Barbecue, so we decided to have dinner there before heading out. The ribs and chicken combo plate was a perfect share for us - Peter loves ribs, I like chicken, and we just ordered an extra side of fries to share also. It was a LOT of food, but again, I forgot to take photos. After cleaning our plates, we wandered the seating area behind the restaurant. I can't believe we have never gone back there before- it's beautiful! One of the best views of Everest in the park, plus the fountains, etc. We will definitely stop there again. Unfortunately, the predicted rain finally arrived, so out came the ponchos one more time. It was time to head for the bus, and call it a day.

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Love your report and pictures! The expression on Peter's face when touching the slipper is priceless!! Smile

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JMUDukz wrote:
Love your report and pictures! The expression on Peter's face when touching the slipper is priceless!! Smile

I thought his expression was hilarious. I didn't have time to tell him what this was about before I asked him to do it. We were lucky to be ahead of the thundering herd, and I wanted to grab it before we had thousands of people jostling us and getting in the photo. I think he had just asked "What? Why am I doing this?" when I snapped the photo. I think he thought I had lost my mind! laugh

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Diana

Time marches on. Eventually you realize it's doing it across your face.