CA's December 2013 WDW Trip Report
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    CA's December 2013 WDW Trip Report

    SATURDAY

    Parks visited: Epcot
    Resorts visited: Yacht Club
    Firsts: Magic Bands, L’Artisan des Glaces


    Zero days left till WDW!

    While DH was packing the car, I took the dog to the luxury pet resort. A few tears later, we were on the road to Orlando.

    Three and a half hours later, at 4pm, we arrived at the Pop Century to find an almost full parking lot. Bad omen? Check-in didn’t take long, though, and our blue and green Magic Bands were waiting for us there. (Does anyone know if I can get a new band in a different color for our next trip? Not loving the blue.)

    Our room was in the 70s area in the building with the giant Mickey phone, and facing the back of the resort. The only downside was it was pretty far from the parking lot. The Magic Bands opened the door to the room with no problem. It was kind of cool, actually. (Magic Band success #1)

    They replaced the old colorful bedspreads with a thin white cover with textured polka dots that is probably much easier to wash (or at least I hope so). They took the old bedspreads and turned them into wide strips that were laid across the foot of the bed. I think it looked a lot nicer.

    After getting things settled in the room and decorating our window for Christmas (yes, I am one of THOSE people!), we headed off to the Yacht Club. DH found out that we can get free valet parking (normally costs $15) if we use Tables in Wonderland in many of the resort restaurants and bars, so we decided to valet park as much as possible on this trip.

    By now, the sun was setting. I have sciatic nerve issues that can get pretty painful, but I wasn’t feeling bad at this point. We walked to the International Gateway at Epcot to get our seasonal passes. It took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to get them because the CM seemed very confused about how to handle renewal tickets from AAA. After about 20 minutes, we finally had our tickets (plastic cards instead of paper) and the CM told us to take them to Guest Services to link them to our Magic Bands. Of course, this meant we had to walk really, really far...not a good idea for me. I had a collapsible cane with me, so that came in handy. It was the first time I’ve ever used one and it made me feel old.

    Guest Services was crowded and it took about 20 minutes to get to a window. I found a seat on a long bench against the wall while DH stood in line, but it wasn't very relaxing because there was a Tasmanian devil boy jumping on the bench, running, yelling, banging on things, pulling leaves off a potted plant…and his inconsiderate father thought it was funny. When the 6- or 7-year-old boy kicked his dad's shin pretty hard, dad actually kicked the kid back! I really don't get people like that.

    When it was finally our turn, the CM linked the bands and we bought a Tables in Wonderland card. We asked about getting a DAS card for me. Although walking can hurt, the most painful thing for me is standing for more than a few minutes, so I really like the idea of getting a return time for attractions (I don't care about getting to the front of lines). But the CM said they only give the new cards to people with cognitive disabilities. However, he said if I were to tell him I have something like claustrophobia (nudge, nudge, wink, wink), then he could give me one. But I wasn’t comfortable with lying about it. He said that every attraction has a CM at the entrance who could provide a wheelchair to use for the queue. Okay, whatever.

    All of this had taken so long, it was getting close to our 7:25pm Soarin’ FP+, but we still had enough time left for dinner at Sunshine Seasons (which was pretty good). At Soarin', we asked about getting a wheelchair for the queue because I know there’s always a long wait in that last hallway, even with a FP. A CM brought one to me in less than a minute. I’ve only been in a wheelchair once in my life (when I was being discharged from a hospital) and I felt bad that my DH had to push me up the Soarin' ramps. I'm not heavy and my husband is strong, but I can’t imagine how it would be for a small person who has to push a large person through that queue. Our Magic Bands did not work for the FPs, so DH had to pull up the app on his iPhone to show our reservations to the CM, who immediately let us through. (Magic Band fail #1)

    By the way, we barely noticed any glitches in the Soarin' film. Last time we were at WDW, they were everywhere. On the other hand, the "pre-flight" video was very glitchy. A fair trade, I guess!

    After Soarin’, we went to France to try L’Artisan des Glaces. I had a scoop of pistachio ice cream and DH had the Ice Cream Martini: two scoops of ice cream with a shot of rum, vodka, or Grand Marnier. He chose Coco-White Chocolate ice cream and pineapple sorbet with rum. We both liked what we got, but I wished my ice cream had pieces of pistachio nuts in it. It was a bit plain.

    We walked through several countries in the World Showcase, including Morocco, where I bought a ring, then watched IllumiNations from the Canada steps. A second or two after the regular finale, Walter Cronkite came on with his special message about peace and the holiday season, then "Let There Be Peace on Earth" gently started playing. A lot of people left at this point, not knowing that the sky was going to explode like crazy a few minutes later. I know I always mention the amazing, awesome, mind-blowing Christmas tag at the end of IllumiNations all the time, but it really is amazing, awesome, and mind-blowing!

    We needed to use our Tables in Wonderland card to get the free valet parking (we tipped, of course!), so we went to Crew’s Cup Lounge in the Yacht Club for cocktails and food. I had a crab cake and a Habañero Lime Margarita, which were both good, while DH had truffle french fries and a drink called Smoked Turkey (bourbon, grenadine, lemonade, hickory smoke), neither of which I would touch with a 10-foot pole! We also split an order of onion rings that were nothing special. I like this bar, but I'm a little put off by the football on TV and the big window that overlooks raw meat hanging on hooks that is used for the Yachtsman Steakhouse.

    Afterwards, we stopped to look at the miniature train set the Yacht Club puts up in their lobby every year during the holidays. The train circles a massive miniature village that references Disney shops, restaurants, movies, etc. By now, we were exhausted and my back was hurting, so we called it a night and went back to our room.

    Stay tuned for the next day.
    TALK DISNEY MODERATOR

    DL: At least 5 times in '80s
    WDW: '72, '77, '88, May '03, May '04, Nov '04, Jan '05, Feb '05, Dec '05, Jan '06, May '06, Oct '06, Nov '07, Nov '08, Feb '09, Oct 09, Dec '09, Mar '10, Apr 10, Dec '10, Mar '11, May '11, Oct '11, Dec '11, Jan '12, Oct '12, Dec '12, Feb '13, Dec '13, Nov '14, Dec '14, Feb '15, Mar '15, Apr '15, May '15, Aug '15, Oct '15, Dec '15


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Near Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK
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    Great start to your report CA. I'm addicted already!

    I don't remember sports on tv at the Crews Cup when we were there. Maybe we caught a quiet night.

    It's odd that they only give the DAS card for cognitive disorders. If they're only giving out return times rather than a line-jump (and especially as you can't prove cognitive disorders), where's the harm?

    Can't wait to read more though!
    There's a great big beautiful tomorrow
    Just a dream away!

    TALK DISNEY ADMINISTRATOR


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Re: CA's December 2013 WDW Trip Report

    I just couldn't bring myself to fake a disorder to get the DAS card. Anyway, I rented an ECV the next day (as you'll see in the next installment).

    Re: Crew's Cup, you're lucky. There were occasional outbursts whenever something big happened in the game on TV. Most annoying.
    TALK DISNEY MODERATOR

    DL: At least 5 times in '80s
    WDW: '72, '77, '88, May '03, May '04, Nov '04, Jan '05, Feb '05, Dec '05, Jan '06, May '06, Oct '06, Nov '07, Nov '08, Feb '09, Oct 09, Dec '09, Mar '10, Apr 10, Dec '10, Mar '11, May '11, Oct '11, Dec '11, Jan '12, Oct '12, Dec '12, Feb '13, Dec '13, Nov '14, Dec '14, Feb '15, Mar '15, Apr '15, May '15, Aug '15, Oct '15, Dec '15


  4. #4

    Re: CA's December 2013 WDW Trip Report

    Love it so far!!! As far as magic bands, I had a green one in October but they are sending me a new one for our trip in april so I decided to get pink this time! Also, we had the same issue at soarin with fast pass+. That was our ony magic and issue the entire trip....something about soarin???

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, can't wait to read about how you made out with the evc. We rented a wheelchair for my 80 year old grandmother in October and while I didn't mind pushing her around for the 4 days, she felt guilty and wanted to know about renting an evc for the April trip (since it's a full week).
    SEPT'89 Contemporary, MAR'01 A.S. Sports, AUG'07 A.S. Sports, OCT'08 A.S. Sports, SEPT'09 POP Century,
    NOV'10 P O Riverside, JAN'12 POP Century,
    JAN'13 P O French Quarter, OCT'13 Art of Animation
    APR'14 Caribbean Beach, SEPT'14 Coronado Springs
    DEC'14 FW Cabins, OCT'15 Caribbean Beach

  5. #5
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    Re: CA's December 2013 WDW Trip Report

    Quote Originally Posted by stinkerbellsmom View Post
    We rented a wheelchair for my 80 year old grandmother in October and while I didn't mind pushing her around for the 4 days, she felt guilty and wanted to know about renting an evc for the April trip (since it's a full week).
    Before I even continue with my report...YES! Rent an ECV. It will give her a feeling of independence and will save her the guilt and you the energy.
    TALK DISNEY MODERATOR

    DL: At least 5 times in '80s
    WDW: '72, '77, '88, May '03, May '04, Nov '04, Jan '05, Feb '05, Dec '05, Jan '06, May '06, Oct '06, Nov '07, Nov '08, Feb '09, Oct 09, Dec '09, Mar '10, Apr 10, Dec '10, Mar '11, May '11, Oct '11, Dec '11, Jan '12, Oct '12, Dec '12, Feb '13, Dec '13, Nov '14, Dec '14, Feb '15, Mar '15, Apr '15, May '15, Aug '15, Oct '15, Dec '15


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Miami Fl
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    Thanks for sharing ca!
    I like the sound of the changes they made at pop. Can't wait to see em.
    I can't get over the part that the guy kick his kid back. Lol. Crazy stuff!
    Frying pans! Who knew, right!?

    Talk Disney Moderator


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  7. #7

    Re: CA's December 2013 WDW Trip Report

    Great report so far Alice..... love the lime habanero margi's!

    MB
    Mike
    "Drink up me Hardees... Yo Ho"
    One day in Disney is better than none !!!
    30+ trips and counting to WDW
    EW Contemp. 83, Contemp. 84, Ft. Wilderness 85 EW Contemp. 86,Class trip 86, Oak Island Cove 02, Radisson 03, Radisson 03, POR 04, Radisson 04 Renaissance Inn 04, POR 2\05, POP 3\05, POR 06, POR 07, POR 08, AKL 10\08, AKL 3\09, Jambo House 5\09........ too many to list now :-)

  8. #8
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    Re: CA's December 2013 WDW Trip Report

    SUNDAY

    Parks visited: Epcot
    Resorts visited: BoardWalk, Polynesian
    Firsts: Via Napoli, Belle Vue Lounge, Kona Cafe (dinner)


    Today we were spending the day at Epcot and I knew there was no way I’d be able to do all the walking because my lower back hurt, which causes pain to travel down my right leg and make my foot numb-ish. We called Buena Vista Rentals because they deliver directly to the Disney resorts and they get the best reviews, but they had already done their morning rounds and couldn’t deliver an ECV until 2pm, so we drove to their warehouse and got one of those little $30-per-day portable ECVs that can be broken down into several pieces to fit in the car. The one they gave me was brand new and we kept it for four days. We charged it every night and it stayed on full charge almost all day!

    Because it took most of the morning to get the ECV, we were going to miss our pre-scheduled Test Track FP, so I went into the Disney app during our drive back to WDW and changed it to a later time. After all the griping I did about scheduling FPs in advance, being able to change it like this was really nice and convenient. (FP+ success #1)

    We valet parked at the BoardWalk and checked out the decorations in the lobby, then headed into Epcot. Another nice thing about valet parking is the valets helped load and unload the ECV. It took a few minutes to get used to the scooter, but they are pretty fun...when you’re not in a crowd.

    The Magic Bands worked perfectly to get into the park. (Magic Band success #2). We had an ADR at Via Napoli for lunch. Fortunately, we were seated in the side room, as the main room was extremely loud. We had a pepperoni pizza and blood orange Aqua Fresca (a flavored water drink). DH had a mug of Italian beer. The pizza sauce and pepperoni were delicious, but the crust was soggy. Near the end of our meal a family was seated at the next table. One of the family members, a man around 60 years old, had his finger nearly knuckle-deep in his nose, right in public, no shame, no attempt to disguise it, just picking away with abandon. DH had no idea this was happening because the table was behind him. Lucky him.

    In Germany, we stopped to watch the glassblower make Christmas ornaments. We went into the Stave Church in Norway, where they replaced the old Viking exhibit with a new one revolving around the movie “Frozen.” I was skeptical going in, but it was nicely done. After a few photos at the enormous Epcot Christmas tree, we went to Club Cool to try the new sodas. The only one we really liked was from Zimbabwe--a raspberry cream soda.

    Time for our Spaceship Earth FP+ reservation. I parked the ECV outside. Magic Band FP+ did not work and we had to pull up the app again. (Magic Band fail #2) At the end of the ride, during the part where they show your face in the little video about your future, my whole head was full of big holes! Were they trying to tell me something?

    Next was our Test Track FP+ reservation (parked ECV outside). This time, the Magic Bands worked, probably because we had rescheduled them that day. (Magic Band success #3) I took charge of designing the car and we wound up with a tiny, roundish, pink car (lol) that came in first for “Responsiveness.”

    Next FP+ was at Nemo, but we got there early and there was not much of a wait time, so we just went standby. I rode my ECV through the nearly empty queue, which was almost more fun than the actual ride because of all the curves. They took the ECV at the boarding area and had it waiting for me at the exit. We visited the adorable manatees, who appeared to be engaging in questionable behavior.

    (I’m looking at my notes and it says “echo-y woman fish” and I cannot for the life of me remember what that means.)

    We went back to World Showcase and watched the British Revolution play a couple of songs in the UK, then headed back to the BoardWalk. We had drinks in the Belle Vue Lounge, which was very calm and relaxing.

    When we handed the valet the ticket to get our car, he couldn’t figure out how to get into the drawer to get our keys (he was new and no one was there to help him). We waited patiently and he finally got them after struggling for several minutes.

    We freshened up in our room, then drove to the Poly for our Kona Cafe dinner ADR (sans scooter), where we again took advantage of the valet parking via Tables in Wonderland.

    Before dinner, we stopped in the Boutiki gift shop, where DH bought a T-shirt and found an aloha shirt that I agreed to buy for him as a Christmas gift.

    We’ve had breakfast before at Kona Cafe, but not dinner. The complimentary sweet bread and macadamia nut butter were yummy, and the steamed pork buns appetizer was spicy and delicious. For an entree, DH had a Lava Roll (spicy tempura shrimp sushi) and a Hawaiian beer, and I had pan-fried noodles and a glass of wine. The noodles seemed bland at first, but they started to grow on me and by the time I was done I was really happy with it. We were so stuffed we had no room for the tempting desserts.

    After dinner we watched MVMCP’s Holiday Wishes from chaise longues on the Poly beach. There was a family next to us with a couple of little boys who had intensely flickering blue glow sticks. Fortunately, they had a good mom who made them turn them off when the fireworks started. After it was over, we headed back to our room.

    End of day 2.

    P.S. I remember what “echo-y woman fish” means! At Living Seas, a guide on the upper floor was telling guests about all the creatures and features in the tanks, but the PA system was so echo-y that it was very hard to understand what she was saying.
    Last edited by Curious Alice; 12-18-2013 at 01:51 PM.
    TALK DISNEY MODERATOR

    DL: At least 5 times in '80s
    WDW: '72, '77, '88, May '03, May '04, Nov '04, Jan '05, Feb '05, Dec '05, Jan '06, May '06, Oct '06, Nov '07, Nov '08, Feb '09, Oct 09, Dec '09, Mar '10, Apr 10, Dec '10, Mar '11, May '11, Oct '11, Dec '11, Jan '12, Oct '12, Dec '12, Feb '13, Dec '13, Nov '14, Dec '14, Feb '15, Mar '15, Apr '15, May '15, Aug '15, Oct '15, Dec '15


  9. #9
    Join Date
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    So what happens if, like me, you lock your phone in the resort safe and leave it there til you leave WDW? When Magic+ goes wrong, what happens then?

    Love the thought of you whizzing round the lines on your ECV. Did DH struggle to keep up?
    There's a great big beautiful tomorrow
    Just a dream away!

    TALK DISNEY ADMINISTRATOR


  10. #10
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    Re: CA's December 2013 WDW Trip Report

    They have stations in the parks where you can access your FP+ if you don't have a phone. There are CMs that are there to help you.

    The CMs at the entrances to the attractions have iPads so they can check your FP. When our Magic Bands didn't work, we had no problem whatsoever getting in. The CMs all know there are glitches, so they're very nice about it.

    And yes, there were times when I floored the ECV...lol!!!
    TALK DISNEY MODERATOR

    DL: At least 5 times in '80s
    WDW: '72, '77, '88, May '03, May '04, Nov '04, Jan '05, Feb '05, Dec '05, Jan '06, May '06, Oct '06, Nov '07, Nov '08, Feb '09, Oct 09, Dec '09, Mar '10, Apr 10, Dec '10, Mar '11, May '11, Oct '11, Dec '11, Jan '12, Oct '12, Dec '12, Feb '13, Dec '13, Nov '14, Dec '14, Feb '15, Mar '15, Apr '15, May '15, Aug '15, Oct '15, Dec '15


  11. #11
    I have a question, I was staying at the AoA resort from Dec 2- Dec 9, and I went over to Pop to get the Roast Beef sandwich ( cant remember the name but it had some chips and blue cheese) but it wasnt there Did you see it at all while staying at Pop??

  12. #12
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    Re: CA's December 2013 WDW Trip Report

    Sorry, Disney Kidd, we never made it to the Pop's food court.
    TALK DISNEY MODERATOR

    DL: At least 5 times in '80s
    WDW: '72, '77, '88, May '03, May '04, Nov '04, Jan '05, Feb '05, Dec '05, Jan '06, May '06, Oct '06, Nov '07, Nov '08, Feb '09, Oct 09, Dec '09, Mar '10, Apr 10, Dec '10, Mar '11, May '11, Oct '11, Dec '11, Jan '12, Oct '12, Dec '12, Feb '13, Dec '13, Nov '14, Dec '14, Feb '15, Mar '15, Apr '15, May '15, Aug '15, Oct '15, Dec '15


  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Curious Alice View Post
    Sorry, Disney Kidd, we never made it to the Pop's food court.
    D'oh! Oh well, glad you saw fireworks from the poly beach, I plan to do that next trip

  14. #14
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    All of a sudden I have a terrible cold. Started last night and has been getting worse all day. I am sure I caught it at WDW.
    TALK DISNEY MODERATOR

    DL: At least 5 times in '80s
    WDW: '72, '77, '88, May '03, May '04, Nov '04, Jan '05, Feb '05, Dec '05, Jan '06, May '06, Oct '06, Nov '07, Nov '08, Feb '09, Oct 09, Dec '09, Mar '10, Apr 10, Dec '10, Mar '11, May '11, Oct '11, Dec '11, Jan '12, Oct '12, Dec '12, Feb '13, Dec '13, Nov '14, Dec '14, Feb '15, Mar '15, Apr '15, May '15, Aug '15, Oct '15, Dec '15


  15. #15
    Join Date
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    CA you always give such great reports!
    When we were there in October we didn't gave any issues with our bands at all. Everyone of our fast passes worked.
    I did carry my phone with me but DH and DS left theirs in the room safe.

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