Disney EchoEar Regular
Joined: Sep. 2003
||Posted: Oct. 19, 2003 9:02 am/pm
Trip Report Oct 8 to 14 2003
First off, traveling there.
We took Southwest and had booked the entire trip online. Very easy.
Ticketless travel is the way to go. I just had to slide my credit card through the slot at the kiosk at the airport and I had my boarding passes. Couldn’t be easier. Going through security is a breeze if you are mindful to dress with little or no metal on your clothes.
We had a hectic first day, what with meeting up with daughter Jenny’s boyfriend in the Orlando airport, and finding our way around. Okay, it was easy. That airport is a dream. And we found our Tiffany driver easily, too. Taking the town car is so pleasant I don’t ever want to go back to the Mears’ Cattle bus again even if it is slightly more. It is worth it!
Check in was fine and dandy. We had a very nice CM, and we got our forth choice of buildings at the Caribbean Beach Resort, Trinidad North building 32.
The resort seemed moderately crowded the day we arrive, the Wednesday before Columbus Day. (Note to self…avoid school holidays, even the minor ones! ) I got my tickets for the Wayne Brady show taping at Epcot from a very kind DIS reader who left them at the desk for me. Only two tickets so I went alone rather than break up the couple.
We grabbed a snack and I headed straight for Epcot because the tickets said I had to be there an hour and a half before the show at 3pm and, gasp, it was about 1:15 when we got all checked in. (Only one room was ready so we stowed out gear in there and left.) What a long walk from outside the ticket booth straight back to American Pavilion! I didn’t need my park ticket.
The show was fun and they gave us Pal Mickey’s for braving the incredible heat and humidity, It was HOT. And I had a lot of standing out in the sun. Instant sunburn. Of course the people nearest me on line were from New York. We NYers are everywhere!
So I saw some celebs and enjoyed the show but never got any airtime. I got to watch the show on Friday. It was a much better view than I had from my seat.
When that was over I met up with Jenny and Dave by the fountain that does the music and light show at selected times.
We went to The Imagination Pavilion first. We did Honey I Shrunk the Audience and Journey Into Imagination with Figment. It was good to see the little guy back where he belongs. Next we did Spaceship Earth.
It was day one, and we couldn’t hold out for the Illuminations fireworks so we went back to crash into bed. I think we earned out rest after getting up at 4:30 am and running around until 8:30 pm.
Back to Epcot in the morning. We first got onto Test Track after getting a FastPass. We did it again shortly after. We enjoyed the after-ride attraction that I can’t remember the name of. There’s a room full of alien looking seats that revolve to a virtual reality film in headsets. The seats vibrate too. That was er…pleasant.
We went to Universe of Energy and Body Tours at Wonders of Life Pavilion.
Then on to The Mexico Pavilion for some food and a nice restful ride on El Rio del Tiempo. And finally the Maelstrom at Norway. We had planned to go to MGM/Disney Studios in the afternoon, but fatigue got to us and we went back to the resort around 3 or 4 pm.
The Halloween party was that night so we decided to try Animal Kingdom in the morning and take a little rest in the middle of the day. We saw It’s Tough to Be Bug and the Awesome Tree of Life first. Next Kali River Rapids and Dinosaur. We had a fast pass for Dinosaur, but didn’t really need one for Kali. The crowds hadn’t yet arrived. We caught the end of the Jammin’ Jungle Parade (again, just the end! ) and I enjoyed the music and all. We stayed till about 4pm and then went back to CBR to get ready for the Halloween Party. I wore my orange tee shirt with “This is My Costume!” printed on it, and got lots of compliments on it. . PhilHarmagic was closed for some reason that night. I was disappointed. And the line for Splash mountain was too long for us to wait around. So we took in the incredible spooky sights of MK haunted. The Parade was great. Watch out for your head when it starts! That’s all I’ll say. Don’t want to spoil the surprise in case you want to try it next year. Main Street has spooky lighting effects and Haunted Mansion music playing and fog! Very cool.
We trick or Treated like kids and got some good loot. Real candy and some Haunted Mansion movie sticker…oh, they’re not pushing that toooo much! .
We rode Buzz Lightyear and most of the classics. It was fairly crowded. More so than when we did the Christmas Party in 2000. The fireworks were Fantasy in the sky taken over by some “evil” forces. A witch took Tinkerbell’s place in the flyby.
The food court at Caribbean Beach was kind of crowded that morning. Bad omen there. Oh, I did like the changes to the food court, but I miss my Barbados Breakfast, which they no longer serve. They had something very similar but the serving was so big I couldn’t finish. I hate wasting food, too.
So off to Disney Studios around 11am. I hate late starts but you just can’t predict how other people will be feeling and Jen was having a hard time in the morning. But we did get to play Who Wants To Be A Millionaire after getting a FastPass for it. And we got to see the Haunted Mansion set. Awesome, but way to quick. It’s just the one set…the ballroom staircase set. The fireplace was massive. I wanted to spend more time, but we had to leave. Bummer.
Another frustration was that even though I ran first thing on arrival to get FastPasses for Tower of Terror I could not get them. With only one side running and the crowds that were suddenly everywhere we didn’t get a chance. So we went to line up for Fantasmic.
We were on line about 45 minutes and then waited for about 2 hours in the sun for the show to start. Oh oh, was that a drop of rain? They got as far into the show where Mickey conjures up the water and then the sky opened up and rain poured on us with lightening! We ran out of there, and the show was cancelled shortly after. We got wet, but decided to go to Magic Kingdom to try to catch the fireworks “Wishes” there, and Spectromagic. But they had tried to put on Wishes an hour early and the rain cancelled it. Ugh! But we did get great seats on the porch of Tony’s Restaurant for Spectromagic before leaving. I got to see Mickey’s PhilHarmagic. Great show, but it’s really Donald’s attraction.
A day at Magic Kingdom trying to get on the rides, but by now the crowds were out in force, and it was very hot. But we did get to see “Wishes” A breathtaking fireworks show. I cried like a baby! We also took in the classic Disney Rides, but could not get on Splash mountain. FastPasses were gone even in the morning. Very frustrating. We had great seats in the circle in front of the castle. I wouldn’t spoil it for you by telling you all the special Castle Lighting effects. But it was a goodie. Everyone in the world was in front of us on line to the buses back to the CBR. (No Holidays again…ever! )
Universal/IOA day. We booked Tiffany for the ride and got there before the park opened. Way to go! We headed straight for Spiderman and got an Express pass and rode first, then again, and then after Dave rode Dr. Doom we rode again. We like Spiderman.
Jen rode Jurassic Park River Adventure for the first time. It felt good to be wet. We strolled around the park from there, and rode Cat in the Hat. It’s cute, what can I say. Then we decided we wanted to ride the movies over at The Studio, so we walked over there. We went straight to the Shrek show and got an Express pass and we were lucky because just as we did they announced that all the express passes for the show were gone! Yikes. At this point we decided that it would be very wise to try the Express Pass plus That Universal sells. For $15 for one park or $20 for both parks you can “fastpass” once onto every ride with no waiting. IT WAS WORTH IT!!! Disney NEEDS this system, too. We got to ride all the rides and enjoy ourselves without wasting time. We even had time to shop and eat and not wear ourselves out. It was great. So we went to Shrek last because we had the paper Express pass still. Cute show, but we kind of expected more from the hype. PhilHarmagic was better.
Oh I volunteered for the Earthquake demonstration part. It was fun, and I think we have some photos of that.
Jen’s ankles gave out so we decided to just go to the Customs House of CBR and wait out our ride to the airport. We didn’t have much time to do any park in, anyway. So we started planning our next trip, trying to come up with a nice, cool, crowd-free time when we can get a bargain, and Jen even agreed that maybe we could try one of the value resorts next time so we can stay longer, because 7 days is just not enough.
I haven’t really looked at the photos I took. There may be a few good ones to share.
The only way I can bear to leave WDW is to know I’ll be going back…soon.
So anyone know of any great deals?