Monday, June 27, 2011

WDW Trip Report - Surprises - 8 Things That I Didn't Expect

Very rarely am I genuinely surprised during my Walt Disney World vacations, but I have to admit that a number of things surprised me this go round. Would any of these have surprised you?

1. 50's Prime Time Cafe: I was soooo set to hate this experience. The mere mention of this table service makes my brother-in-law's blood pressure go up! However, I found the atmosphere to be charming, the food to be scrumptious, and the entertainment to be hilarious! In fact, I honestly can't wait to go back, and it might be a more regular stop for me in the future. Read about Kyle's and my experience there here.

2. Disney's Hollywood Studios: In November 2010 DHS did not prove to be the favorite park of the group. In fact, it moved to the *bottom* of the parks ranking for me. It just didn't quite hold the magic and fun that it did in the past. This trip, though, it was a blast! We went twice just so we could ride Star Tours again, and I honestly enjoyed our time in the park. While Disney's Animal Kingdom has moved up to my #3 most favorite Disney park, DHS being in last place doesn't at all mean it's a disliked park. Disney's Hollywood Studios redeemed itself in a big way this year.

3. Parades: Kyle and I never once stopped to watch a parade, and yet I *love* Disney parades! We did see a large portion of Spectromagic as we walked to Haunted Mansion (or Fantasyland, I can't recall for sure because we were really worn out), but we never stopped. We also peeked at a few other parades, but we used parade times to take advantage of shorter attraction queues. I don't feel like I missed out in skipping the parades. Maybe next time I'll stop for them. It was much more relaxing to not wait an hour squished next to randoms for a parade to begin.

4. Rope Drop at Magic Kingdom: I'm not even putting a link in this one. If you've read my blog at all, it's no secret that I adore Rope Drop at Magic Kingdom! It's musical; it's magical; it's down-right awesome (wish I had another good "m" word, suggestions?)! This trip, I was tired, I wanted sleep, and I gave up Rope Drop with little hesitation. In the long run, that was probably the best thing for me. I needed that sleep. I've seen Rope Drop numerous times. I can sing the whole thing to you right now if you asked me to (but I'll spare you). It's firmly in my memory. Next time perhaps, but again, surprisingly, I don't feel gypped because I missed it.

5. Missed Attractions: Before we skipped ANY attraction, Kyle and I tried to be in total agreement that missing it was fine with both of us. You saw on our last video that we said the trip was a success, and I'm sticking to that claim. Big attractions we ended up missing due to super long queues (or deciding we were too tired): Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Country Bear Jamboree (ok I'm a little sad about that one as well as Indiana Jones), Rockin' Roller Coaster, and Kali River Rapids. Off the top of my head, I can't think of anything else big. We rode every single thing in Epcot though (and that's what really matters, right?). Really though, we rode everything that really mattered to us, all of our "must-do's".

When you go to Walt Disney World quite a bit, it's ok to miss an attraction or two because you know you'll be back again some day. You hit what feels best at the time and since it's vacation, you skip the long queues, if you can't grab a FastPass, or stop when you're exhausted. I've come to terms with this, and despite missing these "big" attractions, I am delighted to say that I don't have regrets or feel like I missed something huge. I conquered all the Mountains in November. I'll conquer them again next trip.

6. Food: I can't link to just one post in my recent trip report to explain this, but a rich meal at the beginning of the trip set my stomach on edge for the rest of it, and I could barely eat. A note to dieters: if you're restricting fats, processed foods, and calories prior to your trip, huge meals will NOT go well once you're at Walt Disney World. You've been warned.

Prior to the trip I was looking forward to the meals and snacks. Once I got sick, partaking in those meals and snacks became minimal. In fact, there were entire "must-do" foods I missed out on like France's Napoleon, trying a Dole Whip Float, and being adventurous tasting foods at Boma. One day I'll eat those things, and it will be glorious. This trip was just not the trip for me to be a foodie.

I did find a few surprising delectable treats that my stomach could handle. Frozen Lemonade and Lemon Italian Ice were both soothing on my stomach (as long as they were in small doses). As much as I hate to admit this, beer always sat well. However, since I was operating on less food, I tended to get super giggly very quickly. Mickey Waffles actually settled my stomach on the last morning of our trip, and most of our table service meals were ok if I was feeling even halfway up to eating them. I lost 2.6 pounds during our 6 day trip, and as of today I'm 4 pounds down from where I was before we left.

Am I a little bummed? Yeah. Did it ruin my trip? Surprisingly not even kinda. I can offer some advice to anyone who gets sick to their stomach at Walt Disney World though. Don't push it. Eat when you aren't nauseous, and eat what sounds good to you. Trust your instinct not to eat even if it means not eating much for an entire day. Sometimes your stomach needs time to settle. Don't worry if you have to eat off the kids' portion of the buffet at a table service. Do what's going to keep you from having to go back to the resort or from running to the restroom a bunch. Yes, food at Disney is *awesome*, but I'll be back, and when I go back, I'm sooooo going to enjoy gaining those 2.6 pounds back! ;-)

7. Kyle: It's a little dangerous me starting a category like this, but I promise it's not where ever your mind just went. I was scared to death before the trip that I would be awkward or that we wouldn't get along. Let me explain "Joanna-awkward". Sometimes when I'm really nervous when I meet someone for the first time I get super clumsy (i.e. trip a lot), have major issues making eye contact, and get my words all jumbled. I don't think I was like this; although, I did mention to Kyle when we met up that there was a possibility that I was about to get super clumsy. He may tell you I was exactly like this, but mostly I just ended up talking too much which was actually a good sign. So the surprise here was that I was super comfortable with him from the second we met which meant we really did get to know each other online before the trip. He can choose whether or not to tell you if this was his take on it since I can only explain how I felt.

I was also shocked that sharing a room (2 beds, people!) with a guy wasn't as awkward as I thought it would be. He also actually handled me being sick on and off very well. All in all the lack of awkward on this trip was amazingly wonderful.

8. Leaving: I had a ridiculously hard time with leaving at the end of this trip. I went into detail about this in the last day of the trip report, but I feel it's worth mentioning again. I was shocked that I was in tears the last day (which is weird because tears do tend to come easily for me). I've never had a hard time leaving Walt Disney World before, so it's natural to conclude that it wasn't leaving the parks that hurt but rather was leaving a good friend that killed. I've already been all sentimental about this, so click the link above to read about it, but it definitely was a shocker for me.

It never ceases to amaze me how during one trip to Walt Disney World one thing is hugely important and then next trip it's almost a nonissue. In November 2010 I was obsessed with the baguettes in France. This trip I was hardly even tempted to purchase one. In January 2009 I rode Tower of Terror multiple times (even alone a few times), but this trip riding once was enough for me. Rockin' Roller Coaster has always been a must-do, but missing it this trip didn't bother me in the least. Swimming at the resort has turned into a must-do easy afternoon for me now since it's so relaxing and refreshing. D-Street will *always* be a stop I make at Downtown Disney since Kyle introduced me to it this trip.

How about you? Have you had any Walt Disney World surprises? Anything that was a must-do turn into a may-do?

Next Post: I'll most likely write a sum up of the trip report with all the links to the days and an embedded playlist of all Kyle's and my videos. After that post I have no idea what I'll write about next. Really this blog is called "Joanna & Her Amazing Technicolor Interwebs" not "Joanna Does Disney" (although how did no one suggest that??), so I'm thinking I may write something about teaching next. I've had a post rolling around in my head for a while now that might find a place here. (Or I could just stick to Disney. I do have some Disney plans that I haven't revealed on Twitter, Facebook, or my blog yet!)


  1. Just wanted to say that I enjoy your blog and it sounds like you and Kyle had a blast!! I also saw on twitter that you were asking if people worked at the University of Mobile and I do...small world! I tried to tell you on twitter but I don't think you saw it. Follow me @scm505. Have a great summer!

  2. Rock on! Welcome to my blog! Always nice to have a new reader. :) We *did* have a blast! One of the best trips I've had so far!

    Just saw UofM show up on my SiteMeter & was curious who it was. I'm going over to twitter to follow you now.

  3. I stumbled across your blog while researching Disney. We will be going in August and have 3 kids (ages I think we'll have a great time). Loved your documenting on so many things!! I'm envious. I was thinking of doing something like this as well...but don't know if I'll have the time! You've definitely inspired me to do so though. I joined this blog site, but have no idea how to do anything in it yet. Going to read up now!

  4. Hi Jaime! Welcome to my blog! :D Have fun on your trip! I'm sure you'll have a blast. Good luck writing a blog and doing a trip report. They're fun to write and help you look back at your memories. :) Some people take notes on their trip, but I did mine from memory. The videos helped, and on this last trip I definitely sent some "remind me of..." texts to Kyle.

    Please stop back by and let me know if you write a trip report! Would love to read it!