Sunday, May 27, 2012

WDW Trip Report Part 1 - Arrival and First 1/2 of Day 1

FINALLY!!  You guys seriously have NO IDEA how long it took me (well pretty much 8 months actually) to finish getting this trip report written up!!  Gah!  So much to remember.  But I did it.  It is ALL written and ready to go.  I will be posting this in installments since I will be adding in pictures and the posts are gonna get pretty long.  BUT, I am sooo excited to share my first WDW experience with you guys!  It is pretty detailed and very "I am new to WDW" so all you WDW pros bear with me =)  Here we go!

Sept 22, 2011 - Arrival

My flight from LAX left at about 10am.  It was a mess, which in turn made me a mess.  They are doing so much construction at the airport right now that it was such a headache to check my bag, go through security, take a normally not necessary shuttle to my gate, lug my super heavy carry-on bag, grab some breakfast and get on the plane.  By the time I sat in my seat I was already exhausted.  The flight was full, but over all it was fine.  Except the part where i accidentally drenched the lady next to me with orange juice when i accidentally flicked my straw and then when i accidentally dropped the bag of peanuts the flight attendant was handing me in said ladies lap.  I am pretty sure she hated me by the end of the flight. 

I landed in Orlando at approximately 6pm. The flight was about 5.5 hours and I was ITCHING to get off the darn plane.  The walk to the Magical Express at the complete other end of airport took forever!  There was no line at all for the bus, so I was able to walk right on and pick a seat. It was raining and still very humid even though it was almost dark out already. The bus took forever to finally leave the airport.  After I got on, it was about another 30 minutes until we finally left.  The bus was super comfy!  If it wasn't for the video that they play, I totally would have fallen asleep. 

Luckily my hotel (Pop Century) was the first stop, so I got off the bus and headed into the lobby of the hotel to wait for Heather to come get me.  

 It is so weird meeting someone face to face for the first time.  Especially when you have talked to this same person everyday for 2 years!  Luckily we hit it off right away!  Once we finished with our hello, I seriously needed to eat.  Being stuck on a plane all day really makes you hungry.  We headed to the food court at our hotel and I was able to wolf down a meatball sandwich.  I also picked up one of refillable resort mugs.  I LOVED that they had White Peach Tea everywhere!  We don't have that at Disneyland so it was definitely a treat!  After I finished eating, we headed back to the room.  Walking from the food court to the room is quite a jaunt, but the hotel is so fun and themed that the walk is entertaining.  We were in the 50's section and it was just adorable!  I loved the giant Lady and the Tramp statues overlooking the bowling pin shaped pool!  Oh and the bowling pin shaped stair cases!  So fun!

All of the sections have there own themes.  So adorable.  When we finally made it to the room I unpacked all my electronics from my carry on and just started to relax a little.  I couldn't fully relax until I had my luggage in the room, but I tried to stay calm and trust that nothing bad happened to it.  Luckily it did show up, right on time.  Heather had already picked up my birthday pin for me and there was a birthday message from Mickey & Friends waiting for me on the answering machine!  

It was super cute!  Heather and I chatted a bit, got settled in and got ready for bed.  Kendall was coming to join us early in the morning so we needed our beauty sleep.  Little did I know that this night would be the only decent amount of sleep I would get on this whole trip

Sept 23, 2011 - Part 1

Woke up this morning at about 9:30 to see that Kendall hadn't texted me yet.  So I texted her to find out if she had landed.  She let me know that she was in line for the magical express.  I told her to text me when she got closer so I got out of bed to start getting moderately presentable.  Heather had actually managed to fall asleep so I made sure to be quiet so she could sleep.  When Kendall let me know she was close I put on some shoes and walked down to the lobby, still in my pajamas of course! I was so excited for Kendall to get there, it was like Christmas!  I had just made it to the front of the hotel when her bus pulled up.  I really wish I had remembered to take photos of her getting of the bus.  =(  I collected Kendall and we headed back to the room.  Once we got to the room, Heather was now awake so we all got comfortable on the beds and chit chatted for a couple hours while Heather and I got ready to head over to tea at the Grand Floridian.  Heather and I left Kendall at about noon, she was gonna nap and wait for her luggage, and we headed over to the Magic Kingdom.  Took some photos of the hotel along the way and then we hopped on a bus to Magic Kingdom. 

 This was my first glimpse of any of the parks.  I thought for sure I would be able to see the other parks while we were driving to Magic Kingdom, but they do a really good job of hiding them from the roads.  

 The first amazing thing I was able to see was the Contemporary Resort.  I have seen photos and video so many times of all these iconic buildings that it was like seeing a movie star!  Heather had to make a quick run into the Magic Kingdom to pick up her tables in wonderland card so I waited out front.  I was in serious awe.  I could see the Contemporary resort, the Polynesian resort and the Grand Floridian all across a gorgeous shimmering lake. 

 I was in heaven.  I wanted to go inside soo bad because I was so anxious to see the castle but I knew I would have to wait otherwise Heather would never be able to drag me out.  White I was waiting for Heather a man came up to me and asked me if my hair was real?!  LOL!!  Who does that?!  It was pretty funny =)  When Heather came out we took some photos in front of the Halloween decorations and  then we headed to the monorail.  

The Grand Floridian is the last stop so we got to go through the Contemporary resort.  We also had a stop at the Polynesian Resort so we got off here so I could take a look around.  This is one of the hotels I remember from when I was little.  It is gorgeous.  I just love anything that feels like Hawaii. 

 We browsed around and took some photos and hit up the gift shop.  I was really excited to head out to the pool to take photos but of course right then it started to POUR outside, so we didn't get to see the pool.  We headed back to the monorail and headed to the Grand Floridian.

The Grand Floridian is gorgeous, but totally not my style.  Way way too fancy for me. 

We spent some time taking photos of everything.  They have these gorgeous mosaics on the floor of Disney characters that are super pretty. 

We made our way to the tea room and waited for our table.  More super cute mosaics here too!

Tea was so much fun!  Our table was perfect and we had a gorgeous view. 

We both ordered the "Buckingham Palace" option with the Princess Breakfast Tea blend. We were each brought our own tea press and o.m.g, it was the most delicious tea ever!  I drank my whole container!  The food started with 4 little tea sandwiches. Cucumber, egg salad, shrimp salad and a glazed pear sandwich that was really good!  I loved all the sandwiches.  

After that we were brought a freshly baked scone with Devonshire cream and preserves.  There was also a little strawberry tart on the plate as well.  Actually, my strawberry tart ended up rolling across the floor of the room when I mysteriously (still not sure how I did it) dropped it.  I should really not be allowed in fancy places.  

To back up that statement, not only did I sent my tart flying across the room, but I forgot to mention that I accidentally punched a hole in the wall next to me with my camera.  Oh yeah, I was off to a EXCELLENT start.  Anyway, back to the food!  That scone with the cream was one of the best things I had the entire trip, it was soo good!  After we wolfed those down, we were each given a seriously HEAPING bowl of strawberries and cream.  Yummy!  

Everything we had during this tea was soo good.  I really loved it all.  

 After tea we headed back up to the monorail to head back to the Magic Kingdom for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.  Not without stopping in the gift shop first of course.  Look at this awesome view from the gift shop!  I wish they all looked like that.

 Kendall was gonna meet us at the gate.  By the time we made it to Magic Kingdom, the on/off rain and dark clouds looming made it unbearably humid.  You hear stories of the humidity in Orlando, but you never really know until you experience it yourself.  It is awful.  I was determined to wear my hair down at least one day for photos so I had done my hair super cute today.  The rain and humidity just wreaked havoc on it and it was a flat mess within one hour of the party. Lol.

Stay tuned for Day 1 - Part 2!  Here is a little sneak peek!  =)

For those of you that followed my countdown as I was getting ready for this vacation (just click the WDW Vacation Countdown label over on the right side if you didn't see it the first time around)  I am gonna be crossing things off my list so we can see how many of them we were actually able to do!!

1 - Finally Being Able To Scrap A Album
3 - Wearing My Custom Bow Minnie Ears
4 - Tea At The Grand Floridian
5 - Tower Of Terror
6 - Photopass Photos
7 - France
8 - Figment Merchandise
9 - Illuminations
10 - Rock N Roller-coaster
11 - The Tree Of Life
12 - Phineas & Ferb
13 - Vinylmation Trading
14 - Test Track
15 - Magical Express
16 - Yak & Yeti
17 - Tomorrowland Transit Authority
18 - Extra Magic Hours
19 - Boma
20 - Splash Mountain & Space Mountain
21 - The Big Hat
22 - Finding Nemo The Musical
23 - Kilimanjaro Safari
24 - World Showcase
25 - Sci-Fi Dine-In
26 - Country Bear Jamboree
27 - The Hotels
28 - Pressed Pennies
29 - Spaceship Earth
30 - Earl Of Sandwich
31 - 1st Visit & Happy Birthday Pin's
32 - Haunted Mansion
33 - Dole Whip
34 - Animation Academy
35 - Seeing Heather in action on Toy Story Mania
36 - Meeting Lots Of Characters
37 - Expedition Everest
38 - Meeting Heather & Kendall
39 - First Vacation On My Own
40 - Walking Down Main Street
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