Group: Disney EchoEar Grand Mouseter/AdministratEAR
Joined: Aug. 2001
||Posted: May 04, 2003 9:21 am/pm
Thurs. 4/17/03: Part One
Our Journey Begins - WDW at Easter
Koster trip report: WDW 4/18/-4/22/03
Our family had a great time on our Easter WDW trip:
Travelling: Our Journey began 4/17/03, driving from home in our Minnie-Van, and we arrived home 4/23/03.
- Rich (me), 49 turning 50, 20+ trips to WDW (2nd time at Polynesian Resort this trip), 2 trips to Disneyland
- Carol (wife), 49, 20+ trips to WDW (2nd time at Polynesian Resort this trip), 3 trips to Disneyland
- Michael (son), 7, 5 times at WDW, first time at Polynesian
Lodging: We stayed at the Marianna, FL Hampton Inn on the way, 2 nights at Disney's Polynesian Resort, 2 nights at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort, and the Ocala, FL La Quinta Inn on the way back. Special requests: Due to allergies we require no feather pillows, for the Polynesian Resort we also noted that we'd be celebrating my upcoming 50th birthday during our vacation, and requested the marina side of Fiji on the third floor. We got what we requested: Fiji room 3313.
Highlights of our trip: I-10 being shut down due to an accident and our detour along the MS gulf coast; Annual Pass activation at the Disney Information Center in Ocala, FL; the great view in our room and the birthday surprise at the Polynesian; our first time at the great volcano pool; getting a special preview of Pal Mickey before he was officially available and enjoying him in the Magic Kingdom; Kona Café with Marta & Bruce Metcalf for breakfast; Michael's first ride on Star Tours; meeting Lilo & Stitch at D-MGM as well as a surprise visit from then at the Polynesian's Easter Egg Hunt; birthday meals at 50's Prime-Time & Sci-Fi Dine In; Rich's first ride on RnRC and "4" version of ToT; our first visit to One Man's Dream; dinner at Boma; Ghosts of the Abyss in 3D at Downtown Disney; Kennedy Space Center; POFQ serpent slide pool & hot tub; hopping to 3 parks in one day on our last day!; Disney's Animal Kingdom on its anniversary (Earth Day) with a media event going on there; our first time at ITTBAB; walking through DAK's backstage; trying the Beverly drink at Epcot; American Vybe giving us a big helping of Disney Magic at the American Adventure; and staying WAY too late at the Magic Kingdom before starting our drive home.
Whew! It was crowded at Walt Disney World for Easter week. As my wife says, no one's afraid of any terrorism behind the berm! It was the first time we had ever gone to WDW during Easter after having seen so many telecasts from there on Easter Sunday mornings in years past. We had a lot of fun, but oh, our sore feet. This was the first trip for us in which it was crowded enough to need to use FastPass a lot and we found you can be doing a lot of extra walking to get your FastPass, then walking somewhere else to ride or shop, then walking back to use the FastPass. But it really helped out with handling the long lines at this high-attendance season, though.
Thursday, 4/17/03: Our Journey Begins
o/~ "I'm going to Disney World" o/~
We picked up our 7-year-old son Michael right after school in our pre-packed Honda Odyssey Minnie-van.
We played the cassette we taped years ago when Disney ran an AM radio station that we'd listen to while driving to WDW along I-75 south towards Ocala, Florida. I had the tape cued to the start of the "I'm going to Disney World!" song, and we sang along and then heard all about the exciting things WDW had in store for us, including Epcot '94. Hey, I said it was an old tape! Once we got on the interstate we tuned in Radio Disney (not to be confused with "Disney Radio" which is what that late, lamented but defunct radio station on our cassette was called) on AM 1450 from New Orleans and headed down the highway. After leaving Louisiana our plans changed because of a detour on I-10 just east of the Gulfport outlet mall. A traffic fatality shut down all of I-10 to eastbound traffic. It meant a 2 1/2 hour stop-and-go detour to us on Highway 90 along the Mississippi gulf coast, but we were thankful we weren't involved in the accident and took the opportunity to enjoy the view of the water while stopping for burgers at Wendy's. Luckily our Hampton Inn reservations in Marianna, FL held a room for us even though we arrived much later than expected (around 10-10:30 pm) due to the delay from the accident. We all drifted off to sleep after watching Dave Letterman's Top Ten List.
On to Part Two!
RichKoster, Disney Echo modEARator