Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Working Song

Wow! In case you couldn't tell from our tweets, Kyle and I had an amazing time at Walt Disney World, and there is SO MUCH to tell you all! With it being the holiday season, it's hard to find time to get the entire trip down on my blog; however, I promise it will be worth the wait!  We have some incredible dining experiences (with lots of pics), some crazy bird stories, and tons of great holiday events excitement to tell you about.  I also have about 400 photos to sort through and videos to edit!

Oh, and as a special treat for you to look forward to, Mike from the Be Our Guest Podcast tweeted an interview request while Kyle & I were in Walt Disney World.  We did a 45 minute interview over skype last night where we talked all about our trip and shared some fun stories about our adventures.  Hope you can tune in on January 2nd for Episode #399!

While I work on writing all of the trip report posts (and keep poking Kyle begging him to give us a treat of a guest post or two), why don't you catch up on our Pre-Trip Report, and familiarize yourself with what our plans were before we left. 

Trip Announcement: Two Months From Today
How did we decide to go AGAIN?: Wanna Go to Walt Disney World... Again?
Resort Plans: Tie-Dye Cheesecake Makes All the Difference
Holiday Event Plans: This Trip is Going to be Legen.... wait for it...
Dining Plans: I Can't Wait to EAT!
Dining Plans Revisited: Where do you REALLY Want to Eat?
Snack Credit Dreams: Snacks to Try
Mid-Planning Project: DIY Craft Project & Giveaway
Contest Winner: And the Winner is...
Packing Tips: My Disney Bag of Tricks
Audience Participation: Choose Our Adventure (Again)!
How to Join Us: Follow Our Adventure

While you read those, I'll be doing this, hoping that some friendly woodland creatures will come help me write my posts:

Friday, December 09, 2011

Follow Our Adventure!

The "Choose Our Adventure (Again)" poll is still going on along the right side of the blog.  See this post if you're not sure what fun you're missing!  

I just wanted to do a quick post to make sure you can follow along with Kyle's and my Holiday Disney Adventure.  We both tweet A LOT while we're at Walt Disney World.  In fact, I've been told that some people practically stalked us online during our June trip, and that they really enjoyed following us around the parks from the comfort of their homes.  You can stalk us too!  (Oh yes, I just invited you to stalk us.  Kyle, you're welcome.  You know... stalkers really are a form of flattery.)

Kyle is @Drantis82, and I, Joanna, am @goddessofmath.  

The beauty of Twitter is that you don't have to have an account to follow our fun.  You can just click those links above and keep our separate Twitter pages open on your Internet browser of choice.  

Following us means you will...
  • ...know where we are and which attractions we're on at all times.
  • ...see TONS of photos from the Parks.
  • ...feel like you're at Walt Disney World.
  • ...be able to find us to say "hi" if you happen to be at WDW too!
  • ...be able to interact with us from home and request things (like a tweeted pic of your favorite spot at the Park we're visiting that day)!
  • ...get to read our random banter back and forth (like when Kyle won't sit across from me on the bus - my tweet, and he claims it's because I put my feet on the seat - his tweet. 

It really is endless fun (well, except for the fact that it has to end on the 14th)!  Feel free to reply to our tweets as we do try to reply to mentions as much as we can.  Please don't forget to vote in the poll to the right.  You get to pick the Epcot attraction we ride as soon as we get there on Saturday!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

This Trip Changed Everything!

My first trip to Walt Disney World as an adult was in January of 2009, and it changed my life for the better.  I stayed at the All-Star Music Resort in a room with my, then, 5 year old niece and 2 year old nephew.  (It connected to my sister and brother's-in-law room.)  Also joining us were my sister's in-laws: father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law x 2, sister-in-law, and their 2 kiddos.  It was definitely a lot of people to keep up with, but we mostly just met them for meals.
Me & my family (not the in-laws though)
I'm getting ahead of myself though.  My love of Disney started long before I ever visited a Park, but this trip changed my love into something new.  Before I go into my first adult trip, let me tell you about my previous Park experiences.  I had been twice before: once as a 4 year old in 1987, and EVERYTHING scared me.  I don't remember much from that trip except that Mr. Toad's Wild Ride really freaked me out, and Epcot, all of it, terrified me to the point that my dad had to carry me through the entire park. I also visited Walt Disney World with my high school marching band as a Junior in 2000.  Oh how different that trip was!  The wand over Spaceship Earth was so darn neat, and marching under SSE in a parade was a memory I'll never forget.  I wanted to spend more time in World Showcase, and I was so sad to leave.

This brings us to January 2009.  I was almost 27, and I'd been chomping at the bit to get back to Walt Disney World.  My sister said they were going again, and somehow I ended up on the guest list.  Immediately I realized I was out of my league when it came to trip planning (which we started almost 6 months out)!  I joined the disboards and designed family shirts as a way to countdown to the trip.  Basically, though, whatever my sister told me was good for our plans, I went with.  After all, she really was the Disney expert!  The pre-trip excitement was contagious, and our conversations always drifted back to our trip.

First picture  in MK
When we arrived at the All-Star Music Resort, a cast member welcomed us "home", and I just about cried!  It did feel like home!  The magic in the air was overwhelming!  We unpacked a bit and headed to Magic Kingdom.  We had just enough time to walk into MK before dining at Chef Mickey's.  My sister and I stayed on Main Street to find me a pair of Minnie Ears and to watch the Castle show while my brother-in-law picked up my niece and literally ran with her to her favorite attraction, It's a Small World, for one ride before dinner!  This was yet another time I teared up on this amazing trip.  The sight of them rushing off in excitement was so poignant!  

Dinner at Chef Mickey's was the first we saw of the in-laws.  (I'm risking a writing an entire trip report here, I know!) I was blown away by the yumminess of the food and fun we ALL had with the characters.  As a little girl, all I wanted to do was meet Minnie Mouse, and I never got to.  (Back then there weren't set meet and greet areas like there are now.)  Meeting her and getting a picture was such a great memory!
Me, Minnie, and my niece
My sister's planning paid off, and we had a wonderful trip (so much so that we went back in May when we unexpectedly got out of school for a week for the Swine Flu Panic).  I remember smiling the entire time and knowing this was a trip I would be making over and over again.  This trip is the one I where I wore sequined Mouse Ears every day.  It's the trip where we realized that my niece gets super nervous when she meets characters and makes this face:
It's the trip where we realized I was scared of the characters too and did what I call a "Pic & Run" where I got the pic so quick no one knew I was gone and the character was waving at my dust clouds as I retreated!
Hate this picture, but it's pretty darn funny.
I did get better though! November 2010
This trip gave me hope, as a single gal, that I could have vacations without having a "special someone" to make them with.  Nothing is sweeter than walking through the Parks and having a little hand sneak in to hold mine!  Oh the amazing memories I have with my family thanks to this trip!

After returning from this trip, I started becoming more and more entrenched in the Disney Community.  It really started my journey toward becoming a Disney Blogger (but that's another story for another post).  We took another Walt Disney World trip May 2009 and November 2010 together (no in-laws though), and we're going on a Disney Cruise November 2011.  I've been back with a friend once in June 2011 and will be going back on Saturday with him (surely you know this - haha!).  This trip matured my love of Disney into something that is almost indescribable and definitely odd to some of my friends.  Odd how one trip can be the turning point in someone's life...

(Speaking of future trips, did you vote in the poll under the Castles on the right side of this blog?  Kyle & I need you to help pick which attraction we visit in Epcot when we arrive on Saturday afternoon!  It's up to you; our fate is in your hands!)

PS - No idea what's going on with the spacing on this post! When I added the pics it messed things up, so I either end up with double spaces between paragraphs or none at all! O_o

Friday, December 02, 2011

Choose Our Adventure (Again)!

Last trip Kyle and I let my blog readers pick which Magic Kingdom attraction we would ride as soon as we got to Walt Disney World.  We greatly enjoyed putting our "fate" in your hands, and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover won (which we both loved)!

These are the pics that we tweeted in June 2011
from the TTA: Peoplemover to prove we rode it first!

(See the POLL right there under the Castles? ------------------------->
Remember it! You'll come back to it later!)

In celebration of the fact that in one week we'll be at Walt Disney World, we've decided to allow you, the readers, to choose our adventure again!

Epcot is going to be the first park of our trip, so we've picked 5 rides that don't usually have crazy wait times (who wants to stand in line for 2 hours for Soarin' the second they get into Epcot??).  Like last time, I'm posting videos of each ride for my non-Disney readers to use to help them vote.  (Most of these videos are from a GREAT YouTuber that goes by the moniker of holyRONANempire. Check out his channel to see more excellent videos of Disney World attractions.) 

All of these attractions are "dark rides" meaning that videos of them aren't super easy to see, and (PSA moment here) FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY is NOT ALLOWED.  Some of the attractions have sections in sunlight or brighter light that are easier to see. 

1. Spaceship Earth: SSE is one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture in the world (in my eyes at least).  The ride inside is historical and iconic.  Anyone who loves Epcot will tell you that there are times when they miss the smell of Rome burning.

This is the only non-holyRONANempire video because this one has better audio. The YouTuber for this video is disneyrob. Spaceship Earth is currently narrated by Dame Judi Dench.

2. Living with the Land: I don't know if it's the catchy song, the absurdity of 10 pound lemons, the short wait time, the peacefulness of this boat ride, or just the neat information inside this attraction, but this is one of my favorite attractions at Epcot.  It's calm and fascinating and a nice rest stop.

3. The Seas with Nemo: This attraction is best experienced with Katelyn and Joshua at my side, but I always like to visit it at least once during a trip to ride the EAC with Crush!

This video walks you through the queue too. The ride itself is towards the final third of the video.

4. The Three Caballeros: I could go on this attraction over and over and over again! I love singing along with the music (and that Kyle sits next to me and sings along as well), and the wait time is always short.  I think it's one of Epcot's hidden gems.  I can't count how many times we rode it in June!

5. Maelstrom: The queue for this ride makes me claustrophobic, and the attraction itself is really kinda of weird, but I always enjoy it. The trolls are fun, yet spooky, and the exit from the boat is different than most exits (looks like you're walking onto the dock in a town in Norway). 

Around the 3:00 mark the ride goes into a lighter section that's easier to see. It's like the Internet: you have to look out for TROLLS!

Here's the fun part!  You get to vote using the poll on the RIGHT side of my blog (under my Castle icons - way back up there at the top of the page)!  Just click on the circle next to your favorite attraction.

We would love for you to leave a comment below to let Kyle and me know why you like the attraction you chose.  The poll ends at noon on the 10th.  We'll check the results on our phones on the way to Epcot and then tweet pics of us on the attraction of your choosing.