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Our Trip Of A Million Dreams And Then Some

#1 User is offline   Howie 

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 01:55 PM

Our Trip Of A Million Dreams And Then Some

Howie - 55 year old lover of all things Disney
Susan - 52 year old finally totally out of the closet disney lover
Sarah - 15 year old captain jack sparrow groupie
Disney's Wilderness Lodge - Room 5147 - Courtyard View

Day 1 - August 15, 2007 - Heading South to the Autotrain

So who thinks they actually need an alarm clock to wake up for their start of their Disney vacation? Certainly not me and mine! Usually I like to leave at 6 AM but my princesses asked for a bit of a reprieve, so I told them 6:30 AM would be fine by me ;-) lol. We all get up at 4:30 AM and of course all is packed except for the cosmetics, etc as usual. I top that off and begin to load my Jeep. Nobody is under pressure(from me) and all is smooth. Okay, we leave at 6:40 AM for the 270 mile drive to Lorton, Virginia and the Amtrak Autotrain. The train departs at 4 PM but they want oversized vehicles to load at 2 PM the latest. So what else is new? My plan is to get their early, have lunch at out usual spot and then load the Jeep. What a fantastic drive down - 2 hours to the tip of New Jersey, then 1 more hour to Baltimore and finally only 1 more hour around DC to Lorton. A perfect trip with no traffic averaging 67.5 MPH for the entire trip. Only one pitstop which is a great sign that my prostate surgery went well a couple of years ago lol.

We arrive at Lorton at 10:40 AM and head to the Polo Grill as always in the Gunston Plaza just a few minutes up the road from the station. They open at 11 AM but see us outside and open a few minutes earlier. I have my usual, calamari with two sauces and then crab cakes, Susan and Sarah have their usuals, the traditional club sandwiches and Sarah shares my calamari. Then back to the station to check in. We had already called this time at 8 AM once they opened to secure the early dinner seating time. We usually wait until we checkin but we had heard they are booking up quickly from people calling ahead so we thought we would do the same. And you all know I have no problems calling anywhere to book meals ;-) lol. Checkin went smoothly and we rented 2 digiplayers and sat and began to watch movies. They began boarding around 3 PM and we went aboard and headed right for the lounge car and the snacks. The train left on time at 4 PM and we settled in for the night. Dinner was at 5:30 PM so we hung out until the first call. The attendant came around and asked what time we wanted the beds prepared and we told her 6 PM so that while we were at dinner so that when we return we can get ourselves cozy and watch the movies in bed. All was going great, we enjoyed dinner as always especially the dessert, their rockslide brownie, and then headed back to our sleeper.

Some of you might know that their are areas without any cell phone service so we shut our phones off for a spell. Unfortunately around 8 PM when I turned mine on there was a voicemail from my sister with some bad news. I called her immediately and luckily we had service. It seemed that my father had another stroke that afternoon and he was rushed to the emergency room. He had lost the use of his right neck, so his head hung to the side, he lost use of his right arm and right leg. This was very frustrating that I was in the middle of nowhere and locked onboard a train and couldn't do a thing to help. The doctors had already ran some tests and a CT scan and there was no evident damage so they called it a TIA. That was good news because that meant he should get most of his functions back. When we next spoke in the early AM he had already started to improve and his head was straight up and his hand was getting stronger but his leg was still weak. After a few days in the hospital he was transferred to a rehab center and should only be there about 10 more days. Now my mother - she had some issues before my nephew's wedding in the Dominican Republic that we all went to in July. But the doctor told her to go to her grandson's wedding and they would talk when she returned. On our return she found out she had uterine cancer and needed a total hysterectomy which was scheduled for Aug 23 while we were to be away. That went well and she is now at my sister's after being discharged yesterday(too soon) from the hospital. We are awaiting the full histopathology but all looked contained according to the surgeon so hopefully no radiation needed. Okay, back to Disney and I'll deal with the family stuff myself.

Day 2 - August 16, 2007 - WDW arrival, Guess Who Joins Capt Jacks Tutorial, and a Magical DinnerMeet With A Truly Magical Young Man

The attendant asked if we wanted a wake-up call for the next morning and we just said no thanks, we will be up before dawn. So we get up and as always Susan and Sarah refuse to use the shower in the car's private bathroom but I again go for it. I have to wait until they finish everything and I go last and presto, we are all ready and go to breakfast. I adorn myself in my bright orange shorts and polo ready for the Florida sun and my haircut on Main Street. We go to breakfast and are joined by a nice guy named Ray. He is accompanying his daughter, who is still sleeping, to college in Florida and will be flying home after leaving her with the car. We have some great conversations and then head back to our made-up compartments. The train arrives on time around 9:30 AM and now we wonder how fast until we get out Jeep off and head toward the magic. It nevers matters how they load the cars on the train, who is first or last, because they shift the carriers around and it could be a 10 minute or hour and a half wait. But as you guessed, I figured out their system and stand by the car number caller to see her lists and where my car actually is. Her name is Andrea and she sees us with our lanyards on already covered with pins and she says that the mouse has no pull with them. I smile to her and tell her that we will see. So they start calling car numbers and I see they are calling from the exact carrier that my Jeep is in. I watch as she calls each one and then checks it off and we are approaching mine. Ours came off sixteenth with 15 minutes so before taking possession I tell Andrea that the magic of the mouse was actually there today and she smiles. So we pack our overnight stuff and head west to the magic.

I never understand why there is so much complaining online about I4. This was another smooth trip for us with no traffic and only slowing around Orlando proper when the limit went down to 50. There was one serious accident but there was not any rubbernecking. The trip to the gates of WDW only took 45 minutes and we pulled up to the Wilderness Lodge around 11 AM. I valet the car for the entire trip and head inside. Again, I have read so many complaints about the new valet system since they outsourced it. Okay, no more color of the day tags each morning to show you are already valeted at a resort. But the system worked great, the valets were friendly and competent and no issues by me - why do people complain so much about everything??????? This meant we would make our traditional first day lunch at Crystal Palace and I might even get my haircut before lunch but definitely after. Checkin is smooth and I ask if we got the room I requested in the Bear's Face. The CM said no but then went and checked on those rooms for us. She came back and said that they wouldn't be available to check into until much later so if I wanted to wait, or I could take 5147 which was all ready. She started to show me a map of the hotel and where the room was but I told her I didn't need it and told her exactly where it was. So I looked at Susan and Sarah and they decided that even though prechecking in and leaving the luggage was not a problem at Disney, it would be nice to get into a room right now. So I obbliged everyone and took that room and we went up and they brought our luggage up and we settled in. I knew the view and that we would still see Firerock geyser and the Electrical Water Pagent just fine so all was well. I decided that our room was in the bears whisker as opposed to the bears face and all was good lol.

So now it was time to head over to the gates of the Happiest Place on Earth. We took the boat from the back of the WL over to the MK. Then to the guest services side to exchange our AP vouchers for the real things. Now we enter the park and just smile. I began whistling zippity do dah for days before the trip so much that it annoyed both Susan and Sarah but now they got into it with me and we all whistled together. I had about 40 minutes until our lunch ressie at CP so we passed by the Harmony to see if there was a wait. There were two people ahead of me so I told them that I would be back after lunch. Now over to CP and we made it with time to spare. They seated us almost immediately and we enjoyed our traditional first lunch once again at WDW. Our CM/waiter was from Brooklyn so we had lots to chat about. Then after we were finished we headed back to the Harmony and there was only one person in each chair and I was next. Michal was off that day and I got one of the ladies. She asked me what colors I wanted and I told her it was obvious from my ouitfit I had to have an orange and green gel and an orange hidden Mickey on the back of my head. She gleefully applied all the gel and then dusted me quite heavily with the pixie dust. I'll post the pics separately later on. Next stop, Sarah wanted POTC so we headed over and I asked what time the next pirate tutorial would begin. It was only ten minutes from now so we went over to that side an waited. I knew from previous trips just where to stand. The young couple next to me was lost in it all so I showed them where Mac and Jack come from and where to stand to be toward the front. Mac comes out and does his usual chasing people away so he can turn and position the cart. Then he scouts the crowd one by one and when he sees me all aglow with gel and pixie dust looking like a huge Florida orange he approaches me and asks what is on my head and if it is harmful to him or Captain Jack. I tell him no and he proceeds to lick the dust lol. Soon the captain himself approaches and starts his rounds and also stops by me and acts real afraid as if I was his nemesis and asks Mac if I am harmless or not. Soon it is time to chose his crew and he picks four kids for the training. Then he chooses the rest and I tell the girl next to me to hoot and holler and she might get picked and I show her how. So guess who gets picked to stand along side the kids and pledge allegiance to the pirate life - yes little old orange me. There I am in the middle with all the kids shouting away to Jack Sparrow's commands and then getting one of the certificates. Sarah took pics and even videoed the entire thing. Afterwards Mac took some pics with me. Now that is Disney magic, making everyone of any age feel like a kid. It is great how the CMs carry on. Now it was time to head back to watch the parade and then back to the WL to totally unpack all of our stuff so we can drive over to the GF and have our other first day tradition of dinner at 1900 Park Fare which was moved to the GF Cafe for the time being and have a dinner meet with one of the most magical people I have ever met.

We head over to the GF and valet the car around 6 PM. Again the valets were great. Our ressie for dinner was for 6:45 but I wanted to arrive early and look around the shops. Our ressie was for 3 but since they always give you a table for 4 anyway, there shouldn't be a problem adding one more person which often happens. Normally, we don't meet up with many people at WDW since I want pure family time and a break from the real world and the virtual world, but this time, I just had to meet Tim. There was one other person who I recognized later in the trip but who I wasn't interested in saying hello to and I'll discuss that later on during that day's report ;-) lol. The shops in the GF are always a great place to look around and we also stopped by the photopass kiosk and learned something new. They had just instituted a new thing for photopass and for the same price as the CD. You can have a twenty minute professional photo shoot around the grounds of the GF and they add that to your photopass CD. Now it was time to go over to the restaurant. I knew what Tim looked like from all of his magnificient pictures on the internet so I was on the lookout for him. Then around 6:35 I see him approaching from the lobby carrying his little Cinderelly doll with him. I go over and introduce myself and we hit it off right away. We checkin at the podium and I tell them we are a party of 4 now and the CM looks up and recognizes Tim. They escort us in and give us the best table in the place, right in the center of the room. As we sat down I could see the excitement building on Tim's face knowing his favorite characters, Suzy and Perla would soon be around him. And this was the third or fourth time he had dined here on this trip but he still had that Disney magic all over him. He also brought roses to give out to the characters. Even though the meal was shifted to the Cafe the characters were the same so they included Cindy, Prince Charming, Suzy, Perla and the Fairy G-dmother. Next the waiter comes over and he recognizes Tim and says hi. It was amzing to see how animated the mice were around Tim. I have seen them at meals many times over the years but they seemed to come to life around Tim and Tim acted just the same around them. When he gave them the roses it was incredible. They even came out together later on and posed for a double shot with him and the roses. Even Cindy and her Prince recognized Tim and called him by name. This guy is so full of Disney magic it is a pleasure to watch. I know many on the internet have given him a hard time about his trips and pictures but they are what they are and he is magical so I'll leave it at that. We spent about two and a half hours at dinner and then left after some more picture taking and Cindy taking pics with Cinderelly. Tim is one of the most genuine, sweet, sincere, friendly and magical people I have ever met. He was going over to Epcot and we were going back to the WL because in the morning we had the earliest ressie for breakfast at the castle. So we got our car back from the valet and drove back home and went up for the night. Of course I made a 5:30 AM Mickey wakeup call for the next day.

Day 3 - August 17, 2007 - Breakfast At Cindys, Winning A Dream, Downtown Disney and Back To The MK

Today was my brekkie that I always have the first full day of our trip. Stitch and Mickey called us at 5:30 AM to get ready for our day. We left the room at 6:20 to take the first boat of the day to the MK because as always, I wanted to be first at the turnstiles to get up Main Street all alone, or just behind Sarah who now does the Cindys walk for me lol. As we approached the WL boat dock, we noticed quite a number of low flying things and guess what they turned out to be? Yes, the boat dock turned into the bat cave so Susan and Sarah decided to set the new land speed record and get to the front of the resort and take the bus. The bus was a bit late but we still arrived at the MK around 7 AM and there was only 1 family of 4 at the brekkie turnstiles and since the brekkie was at 8:05 we weren't concerned. Knowing that they open 3 or 4 turnstiles for brekkie I moved right to the next one. We had some nice conversations with the family which was made up of 2 parents and a little princess and prince. Soon the line grew behind us and Sarah was ready for her adventure. They changed the opening a bit and instead of letting you in exactly at 8 AM, they let us in up to the train overpass at 7:45 and we waited there until 7:55 and then they dropped the rope. Sarah was walking fast ahead of everyone and the little princess began to run. She started heading the wrong way so Saarh told her to come with her. I told her parents not to worry and my daughter would look out for her. I knew Sarah would do the right thing and she did. She kept the kid with her, showing here the way and let her go first to be the first family of the day and to open up Cindys for everyone. Sarah has done it so many times I knew she would do the magical thing and she did just that - she learned well :-). Breakfast was the usual and all the princesses came around to us. We brought home the entrance picture with all of us in it with Cindy as always. I'll have to check my photopass album and see if it is included which it sometimes is. We finished our magical princess breakfast and then headed over to the Adventureland ropes and there were only a few people there yet since it was still before 9 AM opening of the park. When the ropes dropped almost everyone went to Splash so we were the first to ride POTC on a boat all to ourselves. Then we went to Splash and the crowds were gone and we walked right on. Sarah went alone and Susan and I went across to the other side. Next we went over to see the HM rehab and on the way I noticed that the Liberty Belle was just docking so I suggested we do that since it has been a while and I asked Sarah to see if she could get up to the wheelhouse and steer like she did when she was young. She felt uncomfortable at 15 so guess who asked? lol There were only half a dozen families on board and I stayed near the wheelhouse. So when the captain approached I asked her if she was the captian and if we could take the wheelhouse tour. She said of course and we three went up with her. Then she just said to Sarah to do what she came for and Sarah grabbed the wheel and 'steered' the boat on the ride. The CM's name was Laura and she was from York, PA. She was actually a diehard HM CM but moved here during the rehab and couldn't wait for HM to reopen. We shared stories of everything from the engagement ring to what might be coming into the HM. Then Sarah docked the ship and we said goodbye and went over to Fantasyland.

There was a 20 minute wait for Peter so we grabbed a fastpass and went across and walked on to Small World. Then we walked into Philharmagic and when that was over we went right back to Peter and used our fastpass and got right on. Next over to Tomorrowland and grabbed a fastpass for Buzz and walked into the Laugh Floor. This was the first time we had seen this and I thought it was cute and fun. In fact, guess who they focused their cameras on for the first shot? Yes, me again :-). After the Laugh Floor we rode the TTA around and then we used our fastpass for Buzz and got right on and then we went over and saw Carousel of Progress which is always a thrill for us and we sing along as each scene changes. Now it was time to go back to the room and get the car and go to Downtown Disney for some goodies. Susan had seen this great Grumpy teeshirt and I told her we get the AP 10% at DD so we should go and get it for her now. As we were heading out down Main Street, as Sarah was pin trading away and we were also photopassing away, we were all singing and smiling which is all we ever do at WDW. A CM standing on the side comes over to us and says that we were the happiest family she had seen today and she gave us free fastpasses for any one attraction in the MK good until August 31. So we won a dream on our first full day there. We were so excited and happy. Then we took the boat back to the WL put some stuff in the room and went down to the pool for a couple of hours. We had a 6 PM back at Crystal Palace for dinner so we had enough time to go to DD and return. Next I got the car and we headed to DD.

At DD we spent most of our time in the World of Disney store and bought loads of gifts and stuff for ourselves too. I used up all my Disney Dream Rewards dollars and a bunch of my own lol. Sarah bought stuff for her friends and I bought gifts for my staff and we all bought stuff for ourselves. Then over to the Pin Trading Station to get the new AP pin, number 3 of 4 that was released August 15. Now I will get the last one in December in NY at the WOD store on Fifth Avenue. Unfortunately, they didn't have the Grumpy shirt that Susan saw by Snow White so I told her we would get it after dinner. Then I saw some nice new dress shirts with the Mickey emblem but they didn't have my size. And here is a tip for you all. We have done this before and always find what we want. If you go over to the help desk and speak with the CM Alan who has been there for years, he will search every store on property for you and find the item you want in your size even at the Swan and Dolphin stores. Once again he came through and found my size at Daisy's Garden in the Dolphin so they put them on hold and I drove there and let Susan and Sarah run in and get me the shirts. Now back to the WL, relax and take the boat from the now empty bat cave over to the MK for dinner at CP and to get Susan the shirt.

Dinner was great and believe it or not, in all times at WDW we never had dinner at CP. We had a great time and then did some attractions with no lines and finally got Susan the shirt she wanted with Grumpy. Then it was time to head back to the WL and prepare Mickey to call us again at 5:30 AM to have breakfast at Boma at 7:30 AM and hit the AK after that.

Day 4 - August 18, 2007 - Boma, The AK, Some Monorail Shopping and A New Star Restaurant For Dinner

Yes, once again the boys called us at 5:30 AM, both Stitch and Mickey. So it was up and at 'em for the Ditcheks to begin another magical day at WDW. It was EMH at the AK today so I had booked Boma for the earliest breakfast time, 7:30 AM. And you guessed it, we arrived at about 7:10 AM and were first to check in at the podium after valeting the car. They sat us as soon as they opened and it was up to the buffet right away. We all love the food here both at breakfast and dinner and make sure to eat here each trip. Now it was on to the AK itself, but, should I leave the car and take the short bus ride or should I drive over? Since it was still early, I decided to drive over knowing that we would still be real close to the front gates. The valet brought me my car and over we went for the few minute ride. We did get right up front and there was no wait at the turnstiles. First off, over the Expedition Everest and it was only a ten minute wait and Sarah rode alone while Susan and I after walking the queue with her stepped off to the side. Then back to Dinosaur which even Susan rode again this time with us and there was no wait there at all. Then we crisscrossed over to the Safari and had another really short wait there. Then after the ride we headed back to Its Tough To Be A Bug and walked right around and got into the show that was just beginning so it was actually no wait there either. Now I wanted to see the new Finding Nemo show but it was still early and not near the first show time so we just rambled along checking out all the stores. About a half hour before show time we headed over and were among the first 10 guests or so on line. This was the first time we saw this show since we haven't been back to WDW since they closed Tarzan and created this one. We really liked this one even though I had some concerns about the CMs not being all blacked out like the Little Mermaid. But in the end it came off really well done and we were very pleasantly surprised. Then it started to get real hot in the AK which it is well known fo,r and since we had a 1 PM ressie at the WCC back at our hotel we headed slowly out of the park against the crowds coming in.

Lunch at the Whispering Canyon Cafe is always fun as is any meal there. The food is good and the 'entertainment' can be wild if you want it to be. We always choose the wild version so we 'fall' for all the gags like asking for ketchup and such things. To us, there is no such thing as embarassment at WDW, just fun and more fun. After lunch we took our time to digest and then went down to the pool for about an hour or so. Sarah had to read her summer assignment for school, Jane Eyre, so she spent an hour catching up on that on a lounge chair. She was pretty much through it already having completed her other book, The Old Man and The Sea before we left, so now just a few more chapters of Jane Eyre and she was free lol. Tonight was our first time dining at Il Mulino and I made the ressie for 7 PM so we still had plenty of time to hang out.

After the pool we showered up and took the launch over to the Contemporary and figured we would do the monorail shopping tours. So first to the fourth floor concourse of the Contemporary. Then over to the Polynesian to shop and pin trade some more, and finally over to the GF once again. Then back to the Contemporary from the GF in the front of the monorail and then the launch back to the WL to get the car and head over to the Swan for dinner.

Palio's at the Swan was one of our favorite restaurants at WDW and we were sorry to see it close down. I didn't know much about Il Mulino except that they have one in NYC but I have never eaten there. So we valeted the car at the Swan, and remember, some of the SwanDolphin restaurants validate the valet ticket and Il Mulino is one of them. I know that they say diners should wear business casual but this is still WDW so I wore nice shorts and a polo and had no issues getting in. And most people were dressed the same. I ordered the calamari appetizer, the spaghetti alla carbonara and the the veal parmigiano and then the tiramisu for dessert. First I have to say, that was way too much food even for me lol. The food is absolutely delicious, prepared perfectly and the portions are tremendous. This has become, after only one meal, one of our all time favorite places to eat in WDW. It is not inexpensive but it is definitely worth every penny. Susan and Sarah also ate well and enjoyed everything. Susan had the Pappardelle and Sarah had the Tortellini and the each shared each others pastas. I highly recommend this place and I will even eat at their location in NYC when I have the opportunity. It is tops. The staff there is superb as well. Our CM had just moved over from Emeril's at City Walk where she was for 5 years and was very happy to be here as well. I left there as happily full as I have ever left any restaurant ever lol.

Now it was time to head back to the room so I retrieved the car from the valet and headed back for the 8 minute drive from the Epcot Resorts area to the WL. Tomorrow was a 7 AM at Chef Mickeys and then Epcot and a retry of Cape may Cafe for dinner so we needed one of those 'rare' very early wakeup calls once more ;-) lol.

Day 5 - August 19, 2007 - Chef Mickey's, Epcot, Exploring The Boardwalk Concierge and Retrying Cape May Cafe

Another early start with Mickey and Stitch waking us, or again, some of us, at 5 AM for our 7 AM Chef Mickeys brekkie. I always reserve the 7 AM on Epcots early opening day knowing that we can eat breakfast and still get to Epcot by their early opening time more or less. So, knowing that Batman is probably patrolling the boat docks at this early hour, I take the car for the short drive over to the Contemporary. We valet and get upstairs by around 6:35 AM and of course nobody is online yet at Chef Mickey's. The crowds usually start coming by to line up around 5 to 7. So we are first and get seated first as well. The good part here is that it is too early for the picture people to be set up so we bypass them easily and sit right down. Breakfast is great as always and we are the first to dig into all the delicious platters on the buffet. We do not wait for all the characters to come around.. After brekkie we head over to the monorail for the one stop to the TTC and then switch to the Epcot line. There are hardly any people waiting so I ask about riding up front and no problem. So we ride to Epcot in the front of the monorail arriving at the turnstiles around 5 to 8. There really arent too many people in front of us so we get into the park as soon as they open and head over to Soarin'. It is pretty much a walkon and Sarah and I go on while Susan walks through and waits for us. It is so refreshing to do this attraction first thing in the morning, it really opens your eyes for the day with all the sights, sounds, and smells. Next we zigzag back across to Mission Space and again no wait at all. Here, Sarah goes alone and Susan and I wait in the post ride area after walking through. Sarah loves this ride and can never get enough of the spinning lol. Test Track is next, and again, no wait more than just walking through the lines. Sarah and I go together and then we spend somne time in the after show looking at the new cars. We zigzag back across to ride Living With The Land since we haven't been on since they removed the live CM and put in the automated spiel. I love the ride, but I must say I enjoyed the live CM more. Of course Spaceship Earth is under rehab so we can't get in but we do visit the post area. Then on to Figment and another no waiter, what a benefit of getting to the parks early, I can't emphasize going as early as possible when you can, especially if you hate lines like I do lol. We skip HISTA and head over to Mouse Gears stopping by Club Cool to have a beverly first. I also inquire about the Disney Visa private character meet and greet and find out it isnt open until early afternoon like I remembered. So we shop a bit in Mouse Gears, pick up some stuff and then pass by the Pin Trading Station to see what is new.

What perfect timing, it is now time to head over to World Showcase and no crowds either. We start with Mexico and ride the new Gran Fiesta Tour. We always loved El Rio Del Tiempo and I have to say, the new version is just as good and does bring a little fun into the ride. As you know, Sarah has been in the official Birnbaum For Kids By Kids guide for the last 6 or 7 years reviewing El Rio and she even agrees that the new ride is more kid-oriented and loved it as well. I haven't picked up the new 2008 guides yet so I don't know if she is still in it but I will soon find out. Then some browsing in the shops of Mexico and then over to Norway. Maelstrom was another no wait and Sarah asked for the front so we waited for one ship to fill and got on the next. We skipped the film and went through the stores a bit. Now over to China which was extra special this trip for Sarah. This summer she took a course at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and met a girl from Hong Kong who was over for the course as well. So Sarah took some extra special shots and emailed them from her phone to her friend. She even bought a necklace with her name in Chinese. We watched the film and then browsed the rest of the shops. Now over to Germany and the shops and then of course Italy and more shopping. Then, knowing we had so much time left on this trip, we took the Friendship boat back across and headed to the monorail. Back to the Contemporary for the car and then over to the WL so Sarah could study a bit, have some time in the pool, and then get ready for dinner at Cape May Cafe.

We valeted quite a bit early for our ressie at the Beach Club and Susan wanted to check out the BW Concierge in case we wanted to stay there next trip for a change of venue. We walked around the lake and entered the BW. I went over to the lobby concierge and asked them if we could see a Concierge room or Suite and they graciously obbliged. We saw a deluxe concierge room and spent time in the lounge. The room and view were very nice but we don't think we would stay there. It will be either the GF Concierge again or the WL Concierge/Deluxe room next trip. Then we took the boat back across the lake and made it in time for dinner, in fact we were about the third family in line. We haven't eaten at Cape May for dinner in years because after a couple of times I felt the seafood was not up to par. But this time, taking our time, I really enjoyed the variety and felt they improved the quality greatly. After dinner we strolled around the resort a bit and then headed over to the back of Epcot. We spent some time in Canada, UK and France and waited for Illuminations. We took our favorite spot (besides on a boat ;-) ) on the bridge by the International Showcase and watched the show. Then back through the Gateway to our car at the Beach Club and then back to the WL for the night. Tomorrow is early brekkie at Hollywood and Vine and EMH at MGM and our turn at the Pirate and Princess Party so it is time for nite nite but not before arranging with Mickey for our wakeup call.

Day 6 - August 20, 2007 - MGM, H&V, Sci-Fi, Pool Time, Study Time and Steak Time

Today was my choice for breakfast. We had never done the new Hollywood & Vine with the Einsteins and JoJo's crew and I wanted to experience it. I really didn't even know who they were since they post dated Sarah's childhood but it is Disney and I had to have it lol. Of course, I was made fun of by my wife and daughter who said that I was way too old for those characters. But I still planned it and booked it 180 + 10 out at 7 AM and today was the day. And we always did like the food at H&V on their buffets. So Mickey and Stitch do their thing in the morning and we drive over and park right up front, like the first car in the lot besides the CMs' cars. Right up to the vacant turnstiles we go. Even though it was an EMH day and the entire park opened at 8 AM and we had an 8:05 ressie, we still beat everyone to the turnstiles - did you think anything different? It didn't get all that crowded after a while either that morning. So a little before 8 they let us all in but the park people have to stop at the ropes and we get to turn the corner to the restaurant. We were the first to check in and we had to wait a bit and we were told we could walk only as far as this bench and that because the park was still closed. A senior CM walked by and saw us taking pics and she asked if we wanted her to take one of all of us and she did. Then they called us in to H&V and we were greeted by the entire staff and given a magical moments certificate as family of the day at H&V. We were seated on the right side so we had Leo and June first, see I know their names :-P . Breakfast went qucikly and we didn't wait for JoJo and Goliath to switch sides although we did get to have fun with everyone during the singing part between each side. The breakfast is a fun one and recommended for all little ones who watch these guys on TV.

Next stop, Rock n' Roller Coaster for a fast pass since it was a 20 minute wait already. Then right over to Tower of Terror which was a walk on. Then we hurried over to the Great Movie Ride for another walk on and we asked for the A show, the gansgters this time, so we waited for the second car group. Then back to Rn'R and right in with the fast passes. After the coaster and some photopass pics we were right on time for the Beauty and the Beast show and got seats about 8 rows back on the aisle just as it began. Now it was time for Sarah's choice of the new High School Musical Show. I promised her she would get right up front but this was such a new show I didn't have any clue how to plan it. That is until I realized how they did it ;-). Apparently, the CMs stand on opposite sides and hold long ropes sort of like they have at Capt Jacks tutorial. So I did my calculations and went over to the Brown Derby side and stood right at the end of the CMs arm who held the rope at that side, all within the legal parameters of WDW lol. Then when the CM from the opposite side and this one started moving toward the center to make a border, we followed and wound up front and center where the two CMs met, just as I promised my little princess(Tip Tip Tip for you all). It was very hot and the CMs did a great job. It was a very nice show and Sarah loved it, although she wouldn't go out into the group when the CMs called all the kids in the middle, she was a bit older. But she still loved the show. Next we shopped a bit and finally entered the Writer's Stop next to the Sci Fi where we had lunch ressies. There was nobody on the cushioned chairs so we sat down and Susan bought us all water bottles from the CM since it was so hot that day. Now, if you remember, I mentioned about someone I saw who I didn't say hello to and this was the place. As we were relaxing in the comfy chairs, in walks this family and I immediately recognize the father. He happens to be the webmaster of another Disney site, but he and I do not see eye to eye on many things. The main thing I object to is how one should not profit from their members on any unofficial Disney site which I learned long ago from Rita Aero. But it appears that this guy doesn't follow that rule nor does he follow his own rules about censorship. In fact, neither he nor his family were even sporting any of the merchandise that they sell to others on his site except for his teeshirt with this microscopic icon he created. So who buys the stuff if he doesn't support it. Okay, you all know me and you know I will not be behind in a word so I'll tell you his name....................Tag........... well you can figure the rest out, and I don't care for him so I didn't say hello. He can get his needed hellos at Mousefest lol. OK back to the magic, but I just had to tell it.

After a few minutes we went to check in at SciFi for lunch. We waited only about 5 more minutes and were seated. Lunch was great there and the film clips always bring back memories from my horror movie watching childhood. I had the usual, the ribs, milkshake and dessert, the hot fudge sundae, yummy. After lunch we decided to head back to the WL so Sarah can read more of her summer assigment of Jane Eyre and The Old Man and the Sea and then have some pool time before dinner at Shulas and a quick trip to see Fantasmic. We headed out and got the car and went back to the WL. Sarah had time to read before she was ready for the pool. Then after the pool we changed and got ready for Shulas.

We took the car again to the Dolphin and valeted since I knew they also validated the ticket after dinner and it was free. This time I didn't eat the entire 48 oz steak since we already had breakfast and lunch but we split the steak so I did have most. The usual sides and dessert and then we left the hotel and took the ship over to MGM to catch Fantasmic. We got to Fantasmic about a half hour before show time and could have gotten seats way up front on the stage right side but I didn't feel like walking that much especially after it was over, so we took seats in the center in the back which worked out fine. We never saw it from a far point and it wasn't bad at all. As Disney CMs always say, there aren't any bad seats anywhere lol. After the show we took an easy stroll out of the park and took the ship back to ther Dolphin, got the car and headed 'home' to the WL to valet for the night. Tomorrow was going to be another long day with our last meal ever at Alfredo's and our chance at meeting Captain Jack Sparrow at the Pirate and Princess Party. So I set it up with Mickey once again for an early call to make it to the GF in time for their Supercalifragilistic brekkie.

Day 7 - August 21, 2007 - Supercali Brekkie, Return to Epcot, Fond Restaurant Farewell and Pirates & Princesses at Night

Just another usual late morning at WDW for us, Mickey calls at 5:30 AM to start our day. First stop today is the valet for our car to drive over to the GF for an 8 AM breakfast with Mary Poppins, Alice, and The Mad Hatter who is always a trip. Too bad they do not offer this at 7:30 AM any more like they used to in the old days, it helped get an even earlier start to the day lol. We valet at the GF and head inside over to the GF Cafe passing the closed doors to Park Fare. It was only about 7:20 so I stood at the podium and Susan and Sarah roamed the lobby a bit. More and more families strarted arriving around 7:45 and they opened precisely at 8 AM and led the once again first family of the day to their table. Our waitress was Marlene who had been an icon at Park Fare for 20 years. She really loved Park Fare and couldn't wait for the rehab to be over to get back to her 'home'. She told us about the character changes, that there wouldn't be any more mice there once it reopened but there would be the wicked stepmother and her daughters. I told her that I knew of someone who would be very disappointed and I mentioned Tims name and she knew him immediately. She asked if we knew him personally or just online and I told her that we had eaten just the other night right here with him for dinner. She also knew him well and said that we should say hi to him for her. Breakfast was great, no buffet, but Marlene kept bringing anything we wanted in excess. We palyed with Alice, the Mad Hatter and alot with Mary since one of Sarah's closest friends loves everything about her. He is actually in theater himself and Mary wrote something special to him. Then we left and decided to head over to Epcot from the GF. So after 2 monorails we arrived and since it wasnt't an EMH morning we were right on time more or less for the opening. First stop today would be Finding Nemo since we hadn't seen it yet. It was a walk on and we went right into the shells. The ride is very cool and we all liked the special effects. Then over to Soarin' which of course did have a wait so we grabbed a fast pass and went next door to the Land and walked on Living With The Land again. Then we went into see the Circle Of Life show and this time not from the front row but the back and it is just as dynamic from back there. Now we went over to Figments place again because I wanted to have a meet and greet with him. We went up around the back to his little house and waited. Nobody was there and people kept coming and going. I asked a few CMs when he would be coming out and they kept saying soon. So we waited while others behind us gave up. So after 25 minutes or so, the little door opens and it is Figment and we have all the time alone with him that we want for pictures. I'll post those separately later on. Then we headed back down the hill toward Mouse Gears once again stopping by Club Cool as well again while we waited for our Soarin' fast pass time which was approaching. Now over to Soarin' and we had about a 5 minute wait to board from the FP line. On the way to Soarin' we had the good luck to see the Muppet Mobile Lab. I knew it would be passing through Epcot while we were there but this surpised me and we watched it for a bit and got squitred too lol. Then we killed some time in Innoventions and headed back to the monorail to the GF to get the car and go back to the WL for some more pool and study time. Susan and Sarah grabbed some snacks from Roarin' Forks and we went upstairs.

After seeing the Boardwalk Concierge the other day we thought we might as well look at the Concierge here since in all our stays at the WL we never did the Concierge here. We have done it at the Poly, AKL and GF a number of times but never at the WL.. So we go downstairs and ask if we can see one of the deluxe rooms for next trip which also has Concierge benes. The CM was lovely and we spent a good half hour with her exchanging Disney stories. The deluxe rooms are really nice and are more upscale and larger then the regular Concierge rooms. They give you the benefit of a nice sitting area away from the bedroom which is a great plus and Susan really liked that. So next trip it will be here or the GF Concierge again. Done deal!! Then back upstairs for some Jane Eyre and then some pooling around. Then preparing for our farewell dinner at our favorite Epcot restaurant, Alfredo's.

Originally, I had made a 6 PM to eat but once they released the Pirate and Princess dates I changed to a 5 PM(no problem for me ;-) ) so that we could get back to the MK for the start of the party and get in line early to meet the Captain which is all Sarah wanted to do lol. So we drive to the Beach Club and valet the car, enter through the International Gateway and make our way across the continents to Italy. My favorite maitre d' wasnt there, Laurent, who had told me he was going back to Italy for good on our last trip, but the American manager was there. We were seated almost immediately and I just had to order a double full plate of Fettucine Alfredo this last time, after some antipasti and before dessert of course. We spoke for a while with the American manager and told him how unhappy we were that they were leaving. He actually works for the Alfredo's group and he told us they were going to open an Alfredo's in Orlando proper soon so that means we will probably go off site one night if they do. And of course they have one right here in NYC so between Il Mulino and Alfredo's I'll have things to visit in NY to remind me of WDW lol. After dinner we headed back out the park to the BC to get the car so we could get back to the WL and head over to the MK early to get online for Jack. My part went smoothly but when we went to the dock the boats kept coming full from Fort Wilderness and couldn't take anyone else onboard. So finally they released more boats and one came directly to the WL and then right to the MK. We hurried through the hub and got to Adventureland about 6:55 which was much later then I wanted to be. Okay, we waited and it took about 40 Minutes to get into Captian Jack BUT it was well worth it of course. Next it was on to the Booty stops and a walkon at POTC. We had a great time searching out all the booty and riding the rides with practically no waits at all. Now the parade time was approaching and I wanted to get great seats for this. We walked along the route heading to the checker tables looking for a nice seat. And the magic was there because nobody was sitting on the stools and I moved 3 right to the empty front row and we sat comfortably as the paarde passed us by. It was a great parade and I am happy we got to see this one. Then we did more booty and rides and waited for the special fireworks presentation. These were also fantastic and we watched from the hub at Main Street to get a full view along with many CMs who stood in awe of this special presentation since it isn't alway shown and many have never seen it. We left soon after the show and headed back to the boat dock to the WL after another long and magical day at the happiest place on Earth!

Tomorrow was an EMH at the AK and we had the first ressie at Donald's, another farewell to a great restaurant experience we have been enjoying for years. So I heard the usual groans from Susan and Sarah as I picked up the phone to call Mickey to wake us up before dawn and we retired for the night lol.

Day 8 - August 22, 2007 - Donald's Breakfast, AK, Cobb Salad, Movie Time and Chef Mickey's

Once again I grab the phone as soon as it rings since I am up and watching the clock to get it at 1 ring. Mickey is his usual charming self in the mornings and Stitch is, well, Stitch lol. We get things together and get the car from the valet and head over to the AK for our last time at Donald's. When they first opened this place up we really loved it. We had been chosen first family of the day more than once, and the benefits of getting in before everyone and having pics alone with all the characters and then getting that signed Magical Moments certificate from them all was truly magical. But in these latter years they changed the way they do things there. Seating has changed, no more first family of the day, rushing you through was still a fun experience and the place to eat for breakfast if you could get in and if you were spending that day in the AK. However, after the last 3 visits or so we won't miss it like we missed 1900 Park Fare this trip or how we will miss Alfredo's.

We get to the AK and there is a huge line of cars ahead of you know I just told a fib lol, we were the first ones to pull in and we parked right up front. Then we walked over to the right and waited at the turnstiles for them to open for us. It was another EMH morning here so everyone was going to get in at once but we knew we would get to Donald's numero uno. The opening ceremony took place and they let us in and Sarah did her speed walk around the outside right and got to Donald's way ahead of everyone else and checked in. And here too it was too early for the pics :-). They seated us first and we had the usual Donald's fare, visited with the characters and then left and headed to Expedition Everest. Apparently, teenager physiology isn't interested in waiting for the digestive processes to take place before they spin themselves silly so.........................we get online and only have a 15 minute wait. Sarah goes alone and Susan and I wait in the shop. She comes off with a huge smile and apparently no problems with her tummy lol. Next we decide to do some shopping in the AK and we pick up some stuff that Susan and Sarah find interesting but nothing for me. I'll get what I want on Ebay ;-). Then Sarah wants to ride the rapids so we head back and she and I ride this one. We knew from the last time that we didn't want to face backwards down that first run and get soaked so we kept spinning as best we could and luckily, not due to what we did, we were at about 2 o'clock so we didn't get soaked but the 2 people in the seats at 6 o'clock got drenched. I had some discount coupons for the Rainforest so we went there and Sarah got some stuff, we didn't eat there, like a big safari pocketbook and a shirt, and then we went over to Camp Minnie-Mickey for a bit. We got into the second show of The Lion King and had great seats. Then we decided to head out since we had a lunch ressie at Brown Derby because Susan was missing their Cobb Salad. So back to the car and over to the Studios. Upon entering the lot, since it was later and the spots were filling up, I asked if I could pull up front to guest drop off for Susan and Sarah so they didn't have to walk and then I would head back to park. The CM said no problem and to look if anyone already left and I could take their spot. And guess what, after dropping them up front I found a nice spot not far from the entrance :-) . We had plenty of time until lunch so we did a bunch of photopass pics again and then went into the Celebrity 5 & 10. Susan is still interested in getting more towels from them but she was told that they still aren't going to carry them anymore. However, she was told that they are going to reopen a nice Disney at Home store again at Downtown Disney and they should begin carrying all the old goodies. We did some more shopping on both sides of the street and then we headed over to the BD for our ressie. Susan was very happy to indulge in the Cobb Salad once again and since we had a nice brekkie at Donald's and were having dinner at Chef Mickey's, I decided to just have an appy and a pasta dish with just a little creme brulee for dessert lol.

After lunch we decided to see a movie and take it easy, yeah, I'm getting old lol, and we headed over to DD. But first, on the way out of the Studios, the Streetmosphere characters were carrying on. Good ol' Shelby Mayer, Esq. the movie mogul/studio chief was looking for someone to direct his next film but no takers. So as I stood behind Sarah as he asked one more time who would like to assist him and direct for him, I pointed down to the top of Sarah's head and he picked her ;-) . We spent about 10 minutes with him and he and Sarah were going back and forth. He gave her his card and a $100,000 bill for her salary and then we left. We drove to the AMC theaters and saw Stardust. This was a perfect movie to see while at WDW, it is just pure fantasy and a real feel good film. Robert De Niro was outstanding in his role. After the movie we drove back to the Contemporary and valeted and hung in the shops until dinner time and I did get a couple of formal Mickey shirts for me here. Dinner was the usual fun and frolic and the meal was pile it on especially for dessert lol. We were going to go back to MGM which was the EMH night park but Sarah said she would like to get Jane Eyre finished before the trip is over so we took the car back to the WL and called it a night. Tomorrow was another mixed day with MK and Crystal Palace for brekkie at 8:05AM , since the MK was the EMH park, then a free afternoon until dinner at Chefs d' France. So I arranged everything with Mickey and Stitch for the morning ritual.

Day 9 - August 23, 2007 - Crystal Palace, The Magic Kingdom, Swim Time and Chefs d' France

By now you all know the routine ;-) so we will pick it up at the boat free boat dock this morning. We caught the green flag boat to the MK and took our place in line, well, no line really, just us and a couple of others right behind us, and then next to us. Since this was also an MK EMH morning the crowds started to pick up around 7:45 AM but that didn't phase us. Once they let us in we crossed over to the left and made it to CP right on time. It was a strange feeling for me as we turned the corner by Casey's as I watched the others pass from behind and head to Cindy's for breakfast. We had never done any other early morning breakfast at the MK besides Cindy's so this was a first. I checked in at the podium and that sat us almost immediately. We took our time and waited for all the characters to make their rounds, we were in no rush since we were toward the end of our trip and were a bit exhausted lol. After brekkie we headed to adventureland and rode POTC with no wait since it was past , then we backtracked to Aladdin's carpets and a walkon as well. Then it was time for the Jungle Cruise to open and we got right on that as well. The streets were getting busier now so we headed over to Tomorrowland and grabbed fastpasses for Space Mountain and then over to Carousel of Progress. After CoP we still had time for the fast passes so we headed over to Mickey's Toontown for a bit and browsed the shops. Then back along the 'hidden' path to Space Mountain and we all walked through the FP line and Sarah rode alone. Then it was time to head back to the WL for some studying and pool time which we did.

Tonight was dinner at Epcot so we took the car and valeted again at the Beach Club. They were actually less strict this trip and once they saw my valet ticket from the WL they just waved us through, no questions about why we were there. So to the back door of Epcot and we started at Canada, the new film wasn't open yet so that will be for next time, and worked our way around the WS country by country once more and then circled the lake and headed to the Disney Visa Character meet and greet before France for dinner. There was nobody there and we took a bunch of pics and then later on we picked out a nice 5 by 7 print for free and that one and the rest are on our photopass CD.

At dinner, I had the escargot, the onion soup, and the beef short ribs, i love those, and for dessert, the profiterolles. There is something about French food that leaves such a nice taste behind, those sauces are just amazing. Susan and Sarah had the vegetarian stuff, Susan the Lasagne and Sarah the mac and cheese lol. After dinner we decided skip Illuminations since we had seen it already and we just hung around another hour or so and headed back to the Beach Club for the car. Tomorrow was another early meal, this time at Cape May Cafe with Goofy and gang at 7:30 AM so once again, back to the WL, some time in the shop and at the pin cart and then uppy to the room but not before my call to the crew.

Day 10 - August 24, 2007 - Goofy's Beach Club Brekkie, MGM, Movie Time and Artist's Point

Day 10 of our magical vacation begins as most have begun so far, Mickey calls us to wake us up, Stitch takes over the phone from Mickey, I wake up Susan and Sarah and hear, 'can't we sleep just a little bit longer?' i tell them okay but move around little by little creating enough noise that they get up and get ready for the MAGIC lol. This morning we are eating at Cape May Cafe at 7:30 AM with Goofy and his pals. So we take the car and valet at the Beach Club once more(the CMs inside there all greet us warmly since they have seen us so much and must think we are staying there and since Sarah pin trades with them all as well) and head over to the restaurant which is right off the lobby. Sarah checks us in around 7:05 AM and nobody else is around. So at 7:30 we get seated and begin our brekkie. This is always such an up and perky breakfast in the morning. The food choices are great and the atmosphere is just so upbeat. After breakfast and our visit with the characters we take the boat over to MGM which is the EMH park for this morning. It is still before 8:30 and since the crush went in at 8 AM there is no wait at the turnstiles. We veer left this time and go to Star Tours and there is no wait at all. Then we do the Muppets which is pretty much of a walk on except for seeing the preshow first. We spend some time in the stores near the attractions and then just mosey around heading around back toward animation courtyard. We check out the art store there and then go back past the Brown Derby to the Villains store and the stores along Sunset Blvd. We stop all along the way and do as many photopass pics as we can since we are aware we only have one more full day in WDW after today.

Lunch today is at Mama Melrose's and we get there a bit early and check in. They seat us within five minutes and we look over the menus. Since tonight is Boma for dinner we decide to eat a bit light once again. Of the 10 full days we have in WDW I planned only 5 3 sit down meal days while the other 5 were just brekkie and dinner. Today was a 3 meal day so we didn't eat all that much at lunch. I had the calamari and shared some with Sarah who likes it but not the legs which she still calls Ursula from when she was little lol. Then I had the vegetarian Napoleon thing they make. As for dessert, knowing I was going to have the famous Cobbler at Artist Point later on, I passed at Mama's place ;-) .

After lunch it was another very hot day so we decided to cool off and went to Downtown Disney and to the AMC 24 plex once more and saw The Bourne Ultimatum. It was very good but very loud. It is non-stop action but so loud but it was quite cool inside and the seats are really comfy. After the film we shopped a bit in Planet Hollywood and the West Side and then back to the WL. Dinner was at Artist Point so we just hung around the resort until dinner time which at bthis point wasnt too far off. Dinner was great there. The atmosphere is perfect and we got a window view which made it even more magical. After dinner we just went back to the room since Sarah felt she could finish Jane Eyre that night and then that assignment would be done as she promised - and that is exactly what she did lol. Tomorrow would be our last full day at WDW and we were going to start it early lol with a 7 AM at Chef Mickey's so, where's that telephone?

Day 11 - August 25, 2007 - Chef Mickey's, Riding The Rail, Pin Trading Finale, Boma

Boy, Mickey sure works long hours, doesn't he! There he was at 5:15 AM calling us once again. No need to wake me up, I am already 'kind of' patiently waitng for the others to get up when the phone rings. Mickey and Stitch do their thing and we prepare for our last full day in the magic. We get ourselves together and I call down to have the car waiting for us. Too early again for the boats, not that they wouldn't be running to the Contemporary from the back of the WL, but I know a couple of princesses who just hate flying bats so..................out the front door and my Jeep is waiting. Again I will say how wonderful all the valets were on this trip at all the resorts and we parked at just about every resort that had valets even at the SwanDolphin. Lesson for all, not that I need it, is to pay no attention to whiners on the internet - if you believe in the magic, the magic will be there for you! So we pull up to the Contemporary and valet there and head right up for Chef Mickeys. No need to tell you who was first in line again now is there? We get seated right at 7 AM bypassing the nowhere to be seen photographers once again. We had a long lingering brekkie here because it would be the last one for a while and I wanted to make sure I saw all the characters which we did. Then we left the resort and took the monorail all around Seven Seas Lagoon stopping at the resorts and pin-trading and shopping. I really enjoy the art gallery in the Polynesian although we have never bought any of their collection. Sarah was able to catch many of ther CMs early on so they had new full lanyards with good choices of pins as opposed to later in the day when they are all traded out and just have the cheapo pins on their lanyards from well-informed guests like Sarah lol.

After the Poly, over to the GF for our last look this trip. I peeked into Park Fare but not much was happening. I can't wait for our next trip to dine there again now that they reopened. With the new characters there it will almost like the Villains Dinner they used to have which was a blast. We shopped and traded and went to Gasparilla for some fun. Then on to the MK just to Photopass and pin trade. Sarah did great there too and we stayed for about an hour in the park, not going on any attractions, just savoring our last day there, taking deep breaths to retain some magic down deep inside of us for our trip home. Then back to the Contemporary to get the car and a short drive back to the WL. It was time to pack up most of our stuff and get some time in the pool which we did. We had some snacks in Roaring Forks and then just took it easy on the balcony.

Dinner was at Boma and I was eagerly awaiting some Zebra Domes :-). We had a 6 PM ressie and drove over and arrived in plenty of time. It wasn't busy and we got seated within 5 minutes and up we went for their delicious buffet. I stayed mostly on the right end side where the meat is and Susan and Sarah had mostly the lighter fare. And then came dessert! I filled my plate with Zebra Domes and sat back down and took my time enjoying each bite. After dinner we spent some time in the shop and bought some unique items to the AK and Sarah traded a bit more. Then back to the WL for the night since tomorrow was departure day :-( . There was no need to call Mickey to wake us up since we were in no rush in the morning. So we took it easy around the resort and discussed when we would be returning to the magic. Then to sleep, one last night in the WL.

Day 12 - August 26, 2007 - Downtown Disney Breakfast, Shopping and Then on to the Autotrain

We took our time in the morning and checked out around 10 AM. We headed over to Downtown Disney and had breakfast at Pucks Express. Susan went into the home store there and bought me some Disney dessert plates. We pin traded a bit, I bought some pins at the pin trading station that I liked and then we headed over to Sanford to get on board the auto train. We arrived pretty early and we were told that the arriving train that morning would be very late. In fact, it should have been there already, usually arriving at 9 AM ish these days. Whatever the problem was, the train didn't arrive until close to noon which backed everyone up. One of the agents said that there was some kind of black out which caused problems up and down the eastern seaboard and all the computers were down and Amtrak couldn't figure anything out. So we waited and I got 2 Digiplayers again so we watched some movies. Finally they let us board around 2 PM after cleaning the train and restocking, and we got on. Believe it or not we still left pretty much on time, like 4:30 PM. We grabbed the snacks from the lounge car, grabbed some extra water bottles from the sleeper car area and then settled in to the car. We chose the early dinner seating again and told the steward to have the bed made by 6 PM. Dinner was the same as going down and was good. Then back to the sleeper and into our PJs and more movie time. Then we all fell asleep after midnight and anticipated the drive abck home from Virginia.

Day 13 - August 27, 2007 - Lorton Virginia, then Home Sweet Home and Mail Call

We arrived only about a half hour late instead

#2 User is offline   Howie 

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 01:56 PM

The conductor tried and succeeded in making up some of the late time. We had breakfast about 7:30 AM on board and then went back to the made up room. Oh yeah, I challenged the cramped shower once again and survived so I was feeling great. We pulled in to Lorton around 9:30 AM and as luck would have it, my car was about the twentieth one off. Since I filled it with gas just before boarding in Sanford, we took right off and made great time getting home. Even Staten Island was too bad and we made it in about four and a half hours and made it to the post office before they closed. I picked up all the held mail, there were some nice Disney goodies from Ebay, and we went home to unpack. Susan made about 8 loads of wash, I sorted through all the snail and email, and Sarah checked her online stuff. For me, I took off the next day from work, Tuesday, which gave me an extended vacation even more.


Well, what are you expecting from me, negativity? In retrospect, this again was a magical and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious vacation at Walt Disney World. All of you reading this who love the magic like we do know exactly what I am talking about. Everything was perfect and no complaints at all, not even about not being selected to sleep where I belong - the Castle. One good thing about taking 3 months to finish this last part of my report is that we have just booked next summer's trip and have only more magic to look forward to. So sorry for the delay but now everything is back to normal.

#3 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 06:13 PM

Thanks for taking the time to write your report Howie :lol: I'll have to sit down and read through this at work when I need the Disney fix :D

#4 User is offline   Blixzit 

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Posted 19 November 2007 - 02:04 PM

You could write a trip journal! :mrgreen:

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