Thursday, January 13, 2011

January Trip Report, Day 1

It's true, everyone!  What you've all been (hopefully) waiting for is finally here!  My trip report!  It's hard to believe that a week ago today (last Thursday, that is), I was hanging out with Cheryl in Hollywood Studios or eating sticky wings at Kona Cafe, but I was.  And now it's finally time to tell you about it!  Starting from the very beginning, of course, at day one.

I would be lying if I told you I didn't tear up when our gate attendant at the airport said the words "your plane will be diverted to Baltimore."  I was not at Baltimore.  I was in New York, and I wanted to get on a plane, gosh darn it!  Alas, it was too foggy for the plane we were supposed to get on to land, and it was all I could do to ask for pixie dust on Twitter and play games on my phone until we knew more.  Luckily, a while later, we were told that our plane was diverted to Albany instead, and just to fill up before returning for another try at a landing.  And finally, two hours later than scheduled, we got on an airplane to Orlando International Airport.

The plane ride was mostly uneventful.  James and I watched Beauty and the Beast, and I did some crossword puzzles.  We ate peanuts and airplane shaped crackers.  Oh, and our pilot told us our 2.5 hour flight would take almost 4 hours due to wind.  Awesome, right?  So yes, if you're keeping count, the plane that was supposed to arrive at 12:30 didn't land until 4pm.  Woohoo?  All that really matters is that we made it, I suppose.

Soon, we were on Disney's Magical Express, and we were on our way to the most magical place on Earth!  The DME video was the same, but there was a short Let the Memories Begin video that prefaced it.  I teared up a little then too, but I bet you would too.  Much faster than I expected, we were on Disney property, and I didn't even get a chance to take a picture of the entrance!  Nevertheless, we had arrived, and after short stops at Coronado Springs and All Star Sports, we made it to All Star Music.

We checked in, James and I got birthday pins, and soon we were throwing stuff in our room before heading to Hollywood Studios.  A short note on the check-in:  I had elected not to do online check-in both for the purpose of research for this blog and because last time when we did online check-in, we got the second to last room in the last building.  This time, in regular check-in, we got a room in the middle of the second to last building.  So take that as you will.

Anywho, I had distinct plans on making it to Hollywood Studios to see the Osborne Lights, and gosh darn it I was going to see them no matter how late our plane arrived.  I thanked my lucky stars that we had arrived (only?) four hours later than planned, and we got to the Osborne Lights around 6:15 pm.  Later than the 5:30 I was hoping for, but we got to see them, so no matter.  The lights were amazing (and it was snowing!), but we only stayed for one song at first, since James was starving.

We headed over to the nearest counter service we could find, which was ABC Commissary.  I had never eaten here before, and honestly I probably never will again.  James had a chicken and bleu cheese sandwich, and I had a surf and turf burger (aka a burger with three fried shrimp on top, which James ate for me).  James said his sandwich was okay, my burger was bland, and he didn't like the shrimp.  The meal was the ultimate meh, though the chocolate mousse for dessert was good!  After quickly finishing, we headed back to the Osborne Lights to wander a bit, see one more song, and search for the infamous black cat (we found it, by the way!).  After a while, the flashing lights were giving James a headache, so we headed back over to the shops on Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards.  After a bit of window shopping, we decided that we weren't quite ready to leave the parks, so we chose to hit up the Magic Kingdom.

Hollywood Studios Christmas tree
The line for the Magic Kingdom bus was extremely long, so we used our knowledge of Walt Disney World to walk right on to the bus to the Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian.  Even smarter versions of ourselves would have walked to the Magic Kingdom from the Contemporary, but we wanted to ride the monorail instead.  Finally we made it to the Magic Kingdom, and we headed straight to the TTA.  We also grabbed Fastpasses for Buzz for later while in Tomorrowland, and then we asked a cast member where the nearest churro stand was.  Obviously I should have asked Twitter instead since she gave us an incorrect answer (she made us go to Frontierland, while we later found there's one in Fantasyland).  And thus began the Great Churro Adventure of 2011.

Giant wreath at the Contemporary
After walking all the way from Tomorrowland to Frontierland (right before a parade, mind you... the cast members weren't pleased with us walking in the middle of the street), we simply couldn't find the churro stand.  Cast members were sending us up and down the street for this mystery stand, until finally we spotted the only stand that was closed.  I asked the cast member at the neighboring stand if that's where they sell churros and, what do you know, Magic Kingdom stops selling churros one hour before park closing.  Regardless of extra magic hours.  So here I was at 9:10 pm, knowing that there were extra magic hours until 1 am, yet ten minutes late for a churro.  To make myself feel better, we headed to Sleepy Hollow, and I got an ice cream soda.  And, bonus, we got to see the Main Street Electrical Parade while we ate.  Everything was right with the world again.

Before leaving, we hit Buzz with our Fastpasses, and then we were ready to get a good night's sleep before my birthday!

No icicle lights after January 1, unforunately.  Luckily the castle is still beautiful all year round.
To see all the photos from our trip to Walt Disney World, click here!


  1. This is such a good trip report. Thank you for sharing this

  2. I wonder why they stop selling churros an hour before park closing? That doesn't make sense to me! And now I'm craving one...

  3. Great first day! What the heck is a churro? And who won Buzz :D

  4. This!

    And James won Buzz. Every time. Sigh.