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Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN
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    Default First trip in 17 years

    I'll admit I was a little apprehensive about this trip. We haven't been in so long, so many things have changed, yada, yada, you know the drill. For the past 12 years we have taken friends up on their offer to let us use their condo in Destin for a week at no charge (you can't beat that with a stick) and we have chosen to visit what our country has to offer the rest of the time. But last September, I had a call from Marriott offering a great deal on Sheraton Vistana Villa accommodations for 4 nights (without having to listen to the sales pitch). I took the deal and began the planning. In the meantime, my wife is 10 weeks post knee replacement, so we had a temporary handicap parking placard (which we were happy to have since parking lot trams are not running).

    After visiting the Okefenokee Swamp and Kennedy Space Center on our way to Orlando, arrived at Vistana on Monday, 9/27. Checked in and relaxed at the resort. After supper, drove over to Disney to get the lay of the land.

    Tuesday, we were reserved at Epcot. Arrived at 10:30 to pick up our tickets. Park opened at 11:00. We headed directly to World Showcase and the American Adventure. Caught the Voices of Liberty at American Gardens after the AA show. Proceded to tour through World Showcase until our lunch reservation at Rose and Crown. Had a great meal. Then it was back to Future World as I needed to head back to the car pick up a cane that we meant to bring in with us. Walked onto Spaceship Earth. Headed back to World Showcase this time on the opposite side of the lake. After a full loop, it was nearly 6:00 pm. We decided to revive a tradition from when we were last at Disney and took the grand circle tour of the monorail line - Epcot -> MK Resort Loop -> Epcot. Once back at Epcot, had supper at Sunshine Seasons and then secured our location for the final Epcot Forever fireworks.

    Wednesday, we went to the Magic Kingdom arriving about 11:30. Disappointed that the Railroad was still down with a probable mid-2022 date before re-opening. Made our way to Liberty Square and the Hall of Presidents. I liked this version of the show. Walked on to Pirates and then time for lunch at the Skipper Canteen. Another good lunch (and the jokes primed us for the Jungle Cruise). It felt a little strange having a beer in the Magic Kingdom, but I enjoyed it anyway. Jungle Cruise had a slight wait, with Charlene using a scooter, we picked up a return time and hit the Tiki Room, rode the Jungle Cruise and groaned at the jokes then Big Thunder, Splash Mountain, the Liberty Square Riverboat, Country Bears, and Haunted Mansion. Followed with a quick meal at Columbia Harbor House. By this time we were tuckered out and called it a night, but not before catching the fireworks from the ferry and the TTC dock.

    Thursday was our last park day. Started the morning at Animal Kingdom. Na'vi River Journey was listed as a 45 minute wait, we were only in line about 30 minutes. Then it was time for The Lion King followed by lunch at Harambe Market. Took the train to Rafiki's Planet Watch, then off to a walk on at Everest. We took our time through the park then hopped to the Studios. Started with Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway with about a 25 minute wait. Then a quick order supper followed by a walk on at Tower of Terror, Beauty and the Beast, One Man's Dream, Muppet's in 3-D and some shopping.

    Bottom line, we had a good time, it was just a little too short, but we hit the things that we wanted to do. The "magic" is not gone by a long shot. Enjoyed being able to be spontaneous. As far as I'm concerned, that is how I want to do the parks. Glad we took advantage of the opportunity to take this trip.
    Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or imbeciles who really mean it - Mark Twain

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  4. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Florida
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    40,772
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    What a wonderful trip!! Glad you were able to enjoy it after such a long time away from Disney!!
    Linda aka: Faline
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning,Trip Reports and Disney Camping
    [email protected]

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  6. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
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    Thanks for sharing! It does sound like you had a wonderful trip ... glad you got back to Disney!
    Heather aka ibelieveindisneymagic
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning, Nightlife, Shopping & Waterparks, Collectibles


    Engaged at the castle!
    My Disney Home is POFQ

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  8. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 1997
    Location
    INTERCOT, SC
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    Wow - you did a lot in a few days. Sounds like you did it the right way too - fairly relaxed. Old school. Spontaneous is my favorite way to go as well.

    Glad you made your way back and seemed to enjoy it all!
    John - aka. The Master Control Program
    Owner, Chairman & Chief Imagination Officer - INTERCOT

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  10. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN
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    My first visit to WDW was fall of 1977. Admission was by ticket book ($5 General Admission and a set number of ABCDE tickets). You stood in line and were immersed in the detail found in the queues. At the time, I was on staff at a Nashville theme park called Opryland. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and found that Disney was the only park where I could relax without seeing things that were "wrong" - they wrote the book on how to do what we were doing. Until I married in '89, I visited at least twice a year. My wife wasn't as enamored with Disney as I was, so I adjusted to visit a couple of times with our daughter while she was younger. My best and most numerous visits were pre-FastPass (any version) and we depended upon the WorldKey terminals to make same day EPCOT dinner reservations (unless we were staying onsite, then we could make them the day before). Long range dining reservations were ONLY for Hoop-De-Doo, Luau, or Top Of the World Dinner shows and the lead time was up to 2 years. When EPCOT opened, Park Hopping was included as part of the admission cost.

    A lot has changed over the years, and not necessarily for the better. Vacationing at Disney became more of a chore and spontaneity went out the window. I always liked the idea of waking up on the morning and figuring out that I felt more like heading to EPCOT or the Studios over the Magic Kingdom and knowing that I could still have a good day regardless. I still do. While we had our reservations for the Rose & Crown and the Skipper's Canteen in advance and in accordance with our park reservations, it wasn't too constraining (we also had reservations for the third day at Tiffins in AK, but cancelled that the day before).

    Other than the park reservations requirement in advance, this was a pretty spontaneous visit. I bought the Hopper option and didn't really get my money's worth on it, but I thought that we would probably end up back at Epcot on each day. Turns out that it didn't happen that way, at least not on a 3 day pass.

    I'll have to say that we were a bit disappointed in the Food & Wine Festival. I thought that there would be more opportunities to sample without paying full price for essentially appetizer selections. But, we had a good time anyway. Also, I enjoyed being offsite (our deal was $200 for 4 nites/5 days at Vistana) and negotiating traffic was worth not paying the ridiculous prices for Disney resorts. However, $25 for parking with NO tram service is a rip off - even though our temporary handicap parking placard got us exceptionally good parking at all parks other than the MK.

    I went into this visit thinking that it would be our last. Now, I'm not so sure. I will add that it was a little sobering to realize that this visit was a few days shy of my visit on opening day at EPCOT 39 years ago. Goodness, I'm old.
    (edited to correct a misspelling or two).
    Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or imbeciles who really mean it - Mark Twain

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  12. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    Florida
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    Thanks for the trip down memory lane!!
    Linda aka: Faline
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning,Trip Reports and Disney Camping
    [email protected]

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