Saturday, January 21, 2012

Now It’s Time to Say Goodbye…

The last day of every Disney vacation is always the hardest. You don’t want to leave, but you are dead tired and are ready for your own bed at home.

We really only had one thing planned for our last day, and that was eating breakfast at the Kona Café. So, we woke up, slowly, and started to get ready while also getting packed up. Upon opening the curtains we noticed it was pouring rain outside. It was as if WDW was sad we were about to leave, and wanted us to stay.

Here is a video of the view from our room and the back side of BLT.

By the time we were dressed and packed up, the rain had cleared.

We walked over to the Contemporary and took the Monorail to the Poly.

Breakfast at Kona Café is something both of us have been wanting to do, so we’re glad we were able to on this vacation.

Abbie had a craving for a Bloody Mary (Roll Tide to that!) and I had to have the house coffee, which is of course Kona Coffee.

The strawberry compote was for breakfast…not the coffee. Winking smile

You can’t eat breakfast at Kona Café without getting the Tonga Toast. Thank goodness I’m not diabetic either. If you are going to order Tonga Toast, make sure you are starving, because it is gigantic.

Here is what it looks like on the inside.

Abbie was craving pancakes, so she got a giant plate of them, complete with pineapples because we’re at a Hawaiian themed resort.

After cleaning our plates, we went back to our room to check out.

One of my favorite things about the WDW Monorail is the “Please stand clear of the doors.” audio. I even have a shirt that has the Spanish on it.

Reality kicks in when you see the Magical Express bus pull up.

Everyone knows this feeling.

This was an amazing Disney vacation, the best either of us have ever had. Being there for 9 days was great and we’re so glad we were able to do that long of a trip. We knew this would most likely be our last WDW trip prior to having kids, so we really wanted to take advantage of that. We were able to see every Disney resort except for the Caribbean Beach Resort and got a chance to visit each park at least twice. Renting DVC points from a DVC owner allowed us to stay in nicer places without paying the higher prices.

Our dining experiences were all fantastic and it’s a big reason we are hoping to get back down to WDW in the next few years. Maybe next time we can stay closer to Epcot to take advantage of the great dining in WS. Our WDW withdrawals have not gone away, but listening to WDW audio on D-Cot and Subsonic Radio, and watching “Must Do Disney” every now and then helps. In fact, if you are having some withdrawals, just watch this:

Our friends, Jeremy and Jennifer Behling, had their first little boy Jackson this past December. That gives us a good excuse to get down to WDW sooner rather than later to see them and meet Jackson. Maybe we can get down there once our little boy is born and old enough for a long car ride.

People are always asking me for tips and suggestions on their next WDW trip, so here are a few sites I go to for my information.


Hope everyone has enjoyed reading about our last trip. As of right now, we are just past 27 weeks pregnant with our first child. So, we’ll use this to blog about that whole experience and how we are getting ready for him to come into the world. We’ll try to throw some WDW stuff in there every now and then though. God bless!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Good Morning, Good Morning, Rainbows Are Shining Through!

I’ve always heard how great the opening show is for rope drop at the Magic Kingdom, but never seen it in person.  Our friends, Nathanael and Maggie Noon took my advice around a year ago and went to rope drop at MK one day during their trip and they loved it.  So, Abbie and I thought we would give it a try since we were staying at Bay Lake Tower and were just a short 10 minute walk from MK. 

It was a little crowded, but not too bad.  The little show was so much fun and being some of the first people into MK was really cool.  This rope drop was a million times better than the one at Hollywood Studios.

We were on a mission…to ride as much as we could in Fantasyland before the crowds got heavy.

A shot of the New Fantasyland under construction.  You can see Beast’s Castle in the background.

FYI…you definitely need to get to MK at rope drop at least once per trip so you can ride all of the Fantasyland attractions with little to no wait at all.  Notice in all of these pictures how short the lines are. 


Looking behind us in the Dumbo line after waiting for 5 minutes…

On Dumbo!

You could see over the walls to check out the construction progress for the new Fantasyland.  This is the Beauty and the Beast area.

Here is some video I shot while on Dumbo.

Next we walked over to Snow White’s Scary Adventure.  We pretty much didn’t wait in line at all for this one.

Anyone who has been to WDW before knows that the line for Peter Pan is one of the worst…ever.  It always wraps around corners and is one of the worst to wait in.  Here is how long the line was for us…maybe a 3-5 minute wait.

Our flying ship!

Next was Winnie the Pooh.  This was probably our longest line at about 7-8 minutes.

The new interactive honey wall.  Yes, I used hand sanitizer after touching it.

Now over to Mickey’s Philharmagic.  It’s one of my favorite things at WDW and probably the best use of 3D I have seen yet.  Best part is when Ariel reaches out to the crowd. 

After that we walked over to “it’s a small world” and rode that one.  Of course I thought about Joe Byrd, thanks to JP Troha again.

After that we made our way to Big Thunder Mountain to get some FPs.  Got a nice shot of Splash Mountain on the way there.

Since we had a little while before we could use our FPs, we walked across the park and over to Tomorrowland.  Once there, we decided to ride the Astro Orbiter.  Neither one of us had ever ridden it before, probably because of the long lines and slow load times.  Even though the lines were short, the load times were soooooo slow. 

The view at the top was great!

It was a tight squeeze getting both of us in there with my backpack.  I’m guessing these were made for kids or a parent with a kid and not two adults.

I tried taking pictures and shooting video while on the ride, but it didn’t go well.  The main reason is because the rocket we were in had us tilted almost sideways, so it was extremely difficult to hold onto the camera.  I did NOT enjoy this ride at all and will be fine if I never ride it again.

Since we were right there at Rocket Tower Plaza, we decided to ride on the TTA Peoplemover.  This is one of our favorite things to do in WDW because it’s so relaxing and it gets you out of the heat.  Plus you get to go inside of Space Mountain!  And it’s easy to get some great pictures.

We started getting hungry, so we headed over to Tortuga Tavern in Adventureland.  We split a very good chicken burrito and a Sprite. 

After lunch we were feeling a little pirate-y so we decided to hop on POTC.  Park crowds were getting heavier, and we ended up behind a large group of annoying Brazilians.  If you have ever been to WDW while the BTG’s are there, you know what I am talking about.

Next, time to use our FPs for BTM!

Then back over to Liberty Square to ride HM again.

For some reason we did not see Hall of Presidents on this trip.  We didn’t see it on the last trip either.  To be honest, I cannot remember the last time I saw it.  I will make it a point to see the next time we are down there.

After riding the TTA earlier, we got FPs for Space Mountain, so we decided to go ahead and use those.  So nice bypassing the long standby lines!

Before leaving the park, we decided to stop and get some ice cream at the Main Street Ice Cream Parlor!

We got Abbie a chocolate and sprinkle covered marshmallow treat!

Next we hopped on the Monorail to the TTC.  From there we took the Monorail to Epcot.  We wanted to hit a ride or two here at Epcot.  We started with Spaceship Earth.

Next we went over to Soarin’ and waited in line for a little while.  As we got closer, a CM asked if there were any parties of 2 and grabbed us to send to the front.  When we got up there, I asked if we could wait until the next round so we wouldn’t have to sit on the back row in the corner.  We were told that because we were pulled out of line that we could not wait for the next ride.  Neither of us were happy at all and it almost ruined our last ride on Soarin’. 

After that we walked back outside and it looked like a monster storm was about to hit.  The wind was blowing so hard you could barely walk straight.  We made our way to the front of the park without getting too wet, thanks to overhangs and the entrance being covered. 

We boarded the Monorail back to the TTC and along the way got to see a fantastic rainbow!  It was even a Double Rainbow!  What does it mean!?!?!?

Once back at the TTC, we got on the Resort Monorail to the Poly.  We were hungry, but not starving, so we got sushi at the sushi bar right outside of Kona Café.  We also got some of those pineapple drinks!

Love the lobby at the Poly!

We were worn out from getting up early for rope drop, so we headed to bed shortly after the sunset.  This was going to be our last night at WDW, so we were a little sad.  Oh yeah, it was right about now that I got an email from work saying they wanted me to go to Austin, TX once I got home.  So, we were not really looking forward to getting home only to turn right back around to go to Texas. 

Oh well, only one more day left.