My name is Ryan, I work for David’s Vacation Club Rentals and this is a report of my trip to the Wonderful World of Disney! I traveled from October 27-November 1, 2012.
Thanks for coming along with me on this adventure. Before we start, I just want to mention 2 things:
1) I call this the First Timers trip for me: first time at WDW, first plane ride AND first time on a boat.
2) I will grade each ride I went on with a “(how long prior/after eating)” guide!
Disney Attendees: Me, David, Cathy and Melissa
Day 1: Travel Day!
First time flyers are just the best! I believe we can make the 3hour waiting time to board that much more entertaining.
Melissa and I landed at MCO approximately at 5:00pm and got on Magical Express to head off to Saratoga Springs to meet up with David and Cathy. To myself, I had a lovely Studio at the “Grand Stand” section of the resort that faced the golf course from my balcony. For my first resort, let me tell you that I was pretty overwhelmed with all there was to look at, and that was even at night! Couldn’t wait to see what the daylight brought!
We strolled around the resort a bit to take in the lovely scenery – which also included a trip to the Gift Shop! We were pretty hungry from busing and flying all day, so for dinner that night, we ate at the “Artist’s Pallet” and I had a delicious sandwich with chips (picture below). After that we walked around some more until we went back to our rooms to pass out.
Day 2: Research Day!
I started off that day waking up at 8am to head out to the area of Saratoga Springs that holds the Treehouses.
Before we left, I took a few pictures of the daylight views.
It was a nifty fact that we learnt from David: that the Treehouse villas were built elsewhere and flown in and secured. The only sad thing about the pool by the Treehouses was that there was no slide, I love slides…
After that we drove off to Animal Kingdom Villas at Jambo and Kidani. Starting off at Jambo, right off the bat when you walk into the lobby… BAM, JAMBO! You are hit with such an amazing decorative lobby, filled with so much to look at! My eyes were dancing all over that resort.
We walked over to Kidani and the walk was about 10 minutes, but if this is your first time there and you don’t know the layout, it could be hard to figure out where you were, due to lack of signs. There is also a small shuttle that goes between the 2 resorts if you do not want to walk it.
We proceeded to check out the Beach Club resort and made a stop by “Beaches & Cream” – the burgers were fantastic! There was a new chef that took over and changes were made to the menu, below are pictures of the updated menu.
And you can’t go to “Beaches & Cream” without ordering one of these:
The Kitchen Sink still takes my breath away just trying to talk about it! If you’re ready to gain 5lbs instantly, order one of these – you will NOT be disappointed (the only way you’d be disappointed would be because you couldn’t finish it).
We went to the Boardwalk area via ferry after lunch. It looked very lively at the ESPN restaurant; but I can’t wait to go back during the night and see the festivities! (That will take place next year.)
Old Key West was huge but still felt very cozy. Like you’re going to the cottage and everybody knows one another.
I can’t believe how insanely large the Spaceship Earth dome is!! Being my height, I felt as though I was in “Honey, I shrunk the Kids” on a golf course!
By 7pm, we enjoyed dinner at Rose & Crown. Then we sat back and enjoyed “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth”. It was so beautiful seeing the lights shoot up from the water.
Day 3: Park Day!
Started off the morning with Disney’s Hollywood Studios:
Toy Story-Midway Mania! (0 time limit prior/after eating) I was SO close to being first place! David had a score of 185,000 and I was at 176,000 with Melissa at 160,000 and Cathy bringing up the rear with 140,000. Midway Mania was so utterly fun!! I would ride that 5 times over!
Muppet 3D Vision (0 time limit prior/after eating): I’ve loved the Muppets since I was a youngin’ and this movie was a great way to re-live my childhood. If you love the Muppets – check this out!
Star Tours (15min time limit after eating): If you get easily sick from motion, maybe avoid this – but if you love Star Wars too much, I think Yoda requires you to!
Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (20min time limit prior/after eating): If you’re a first timer *cough-me*, be prepared for a super-fast ride. It’s not a lead up either, as soon as they release those breaks – you’re halfway through the ride.
Tower of Terror (there is NO time limit to prepare you for this): I can’t even go into detail without crying about this ride. If you want to take the stairs for the rest of forever, feel free to “experience” this. *Please note the second next picture*
We headed off to Disney’s Animal Kingdom:
Entering the Park, there is so much to look at, again just like Jambo House – my eyes were all over the place.
We started the park with eating some lunch at Restaurantosaurus.
Dinosaur ride (15min time limit after eating): This ride was a lot of fun! I love dinosaurs and it was really cool. I kept saying to Melissa, “Oh my god, this is like Jurassic Park” (love that movie).
The Dino-Rama area has a bunch of cool things to do – it’s like you’re at a fair/midway.
Expedition Everest (20min time limit after eating): This ride, afterwards, was awesome! During it though was a different story for a first timer. I hate going backwards on rides… and in the midst of all the screams you can faintly hear “Ohhhh, I wanna dance with somebody – I wanna feel the heat with somebody”. Melissa looks around and discovers that the singer was none other than I, and proceeded to laugh incredibly loud at me.
Kilimanjaro Safari attraction (0 time limit prior/after eating): I love animals.
For dinner we went back to EPCOT to the Biergarten. If you want some amazing German buffet, this restaurant is fantastic! I cleaned off 2 full plates and 1 dessert plate. There was a very fun German band performing (I believe they perform every couple of hours).
After the feast, we met up with some friends of David and Cathy’s. They were staying at the camping grounds at Fort Wilderness – I didn’t even know Disney had a camping ground until this trip! If I ever have an RV in the future, I’d definitely try it out! They took us around the RV sites to look at all of the Halloween decorations. I’ve posted a few photos of them:
Day 4: Halloween Day!
Day 4 started off with Bay Lake Tower and Wilderness Lodge. These resorts are in such a prime location, but I think Wilderness Lodge won me over with its theme.
After some delicious lunch at Wilderness Lodge (pictures below), it was off to… (after picture)
THE MAGIC KINGDOM!
Walking down Main Street USA and seeing Cinderella Castle getting closer and closer was a site to see. It’s hard to describe the feeling, but I bet everyone knows what I’m talking about.
Throughout the afternoon there, we experienced:
“Space Mountain” (10 time limit prior/after eating)
“Peter Pan’s Flight” (0 time limit prior/after eating)
“it’s a small world” (0 time limit prior/after eating)
and “Philharmagic” (0 time limit prior/after eating)
David and Cathy had plans, so we split up. Melissa and I went on a few more rides, and then it was time to grab some quick dinner and get a seat for the “Boo to You” Parade! For dinner that night, we had the Pogo-bites and they we SO DELICIOUS!! If I was a Florida resident, I’d be there 3 times a week for Pogo-bites!
Here are some photos from the Parade:
We sat near the area where the Parade started, so as soon as it was over – CANDY TIME! We went from 8pm until 11:30 running around, Trick or Treating! It was such a score! During the running around we went on the “Pirates of the Caribbean” (0 time limit prior/after eating) and “Aladdin’s Magic Carpet” (0 time limit prior/after eating).
Of course between the candy stops, we made time to see the “HalloWishes”. What an amazing show! I’m glad I was able to hear Oogie Boogie! He’s my favourite! Pretty much, that entire night consisted of laughing and getting hyper off of candy. I haven’t felt like a kid in SUCH a long time and just getting to experience that again – it’s priceless.
By the end of the night, I had 3 blisters on the same foot and the two of us could not walk ANYmore. We got on the bus to Saratoga Springs and struggled/crawled to our rooms.
Day 5: Downtown Disney!
In the morning it was difficult to walk around with those blisters, but I toughed through it… many tears later. When I was getting ready for the day and noticed while brushing my teeth: A hidden Mickey!
I took the ferry over to Downtown Disney and walked around for about 3 hours…
And got obsessed with a new hobby…
Grabbed some lunch at the Earl!
Got back to my room to prepare (30min power nap) for the rest of the day.
The 4 of us went to 1900 Park Fare for dinner reservations and the food was great! I can’t get over how fantastic the food was! Being back at home, the food doesn’t taste the same (I guess it’s because of the 130% less sodium added) – I’m almost counting down the days until my next visit because of the food (don’t tell my girlfriend that-shhhh)!
The Characters made such an impact on my memory and experience! They were exactly as we’ve seen them from their movies! The Here are some pictures from the last night with the Character Dining:
Day 6: Leaving Day
Woke up and got out to Magical Express by 8:30am and on my way to MCO. It was a long day of travels but by 9pm I was finally home and telling all of these stories to my lady.
One thing I tell everybody that asks me how my trip was is to be prepared to be a kid again. This is the one place you get to re-live the experience and you have endless smiles on your face the entire time you are there.
Well I hope you’ve all enjoy the trip and pictures! Thanks for coming along!
~ Ryan Consoli, Team Member