Thursday, August 20, 2009

Past Times: Walt Disney World Honeymoon July 2008

Our friends, Paula and Evan, are going to Walt Disney World in 2 weeks for their honeymoon. They've been married for 7 years now, and they're finally getting around to getting to the honeymoon. :) I'm really excited for them, and so in honor of their trip, I'm going to journal our trip to WDW last year.

Our trip was my in-laws wedding gift. Which I continue to be very grateful for. We booked everything, including our flight through Disney's website, which is amazingly cheaper, and they take care of you really well. They send you information and other stuff to get you ridiculously excited. After much speculation, Brady and I choose to stay at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. It was just to beautiful to pass up and how often would we get the chance to stay and such a nice place? Not very.

So we flew to Florida on July 14. We had a short layover in Dallas and arrived in Orlando in the early evening.
At our lay over in Dallas

Because we did the whole Disney package our luggage was tagged so Disney picks it up and sends it to our hotel and deliver it to our room, and we don't have to worry about it at all. We went down and got on the Disney Magical Express Bus to take us to our hotel.
On the Magical Express

When we drove up and got off of the bus, we were greeted by a woman from the hotel, like this:

She asked, "Are you the Gillman's?" "Yes," we replied. "You're with me!" She said and told us that we were upgraded to concierge suite! Awesome!
She led us through the lobby and to our room, Which was in a separate building than the main lobby, like most of the rooms. When we got to our room, their was a bottle of sparkling wine, a rose and a card from Mickey and Minnie saying congratulations to us for our wedding and honeymoon.
We were given all of our info, room keys, and of course, our "Just Married" buttons.
These buttons were awesome! Everywhere we went, the cast members would say "congratulations", even if they were just walking buy us, we would also get free stuff (desserts). More on that later.

Our luggage hadn't arrived yet, it was like 7ish by this time, so we decided to go out to get something to eat. We got on the shuttle to Downtown Disney. We got there and were suddenly very aware of the humidity of Florida when Brady stepped off the bus and the world disappeared before his eyes!
We couldn't really find a place open to get good food, unless we wanted to pay a bundle somewhere in Pleasure Island, which we didn't. We settled on the "Rainforest Cafe".

Ugh. I don't know who's been here, but the atmosphere of this place is redonkulus. If you love eating in an actual jungle, this is the place for you, monkeys and all. However, we both got their pastalaya and it was so delicious.
We had an odd seat right next to a fish tank and near the kitchen door. We felt like we were in the way. This will not be the last time we sit in a place like this on our honeymoon.

After dinner, we walked around a little and looked at cool Lego sculptures.
We headed back to the hotel around 10 to get some sleep for the next day, but not before taking pictures of our amazing lobby.

One thing I need to say about our trip is that we never woke up before 8am. Although I considered getting us up early to be at the park early, when it came down to it, I would rather take it slow and just enjoy our time together. We never ran out of time to do what we wanted for any day so we were successful. :)

We went to Epcot our first day. I knew that this park had the most walking, I wanted to do this before the end of the week, when we would most likely be tired. We arrived and had nothing really planned so we grabbed the map at the entrance and did stuff as we walked around.
We saw some street drummers jamming out. Sounds lame but they were good.
We grabbed Fast Passes to Mission Space. And walked around Innoventions. We checked out the ride, "Test Track" which is the fastest ride at Disney World. The line was really long and the fast passes where for late in the evening.

We hung around Mission Space since the fast pass time was coming up. We read the Warning sign in front of the ride telling us that there is an "intense side" and a side that is "less intense". Apparently the intense side is really intense, and there were many risks to go on this side. Of course, we chose the intense side. So you sit in this little capsule thing with four seats and you have a "job", I was the Pilot, Brady said he was the Engineer or something like that. And they tell you to pay attention because you have to a certain task (push a button), at a certain part of the ride. You do get a moment of feeling weightless, so this ride to awesome, but maybe too short.
We then went to the ride/show "Universe of Energy" starring Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye the Science Guy. It was delightfully awful.

We decided to get the fast passes to Test Track and use them when we were done with the World Showcase.

At this time we decided to start to walk the World Showcase. When we hit the first country, Mexico, we decided that we would buy a flag pin for each country that is there.
Strangely enough, we couldn't find the pin for 3 major countries, China, United Kingdom, and the USA!

Anyways, here we are joking around in Norway.
China:
We went to see the "Reflections of China " show, which is pretty good since it's in those theaters that have the screens all around you, and since China is gorgeous, it was pretty awesome.
Germany:
When we got to Germany, we were pretty hungry and after looking through our map we thought that Biergarten sounded pretty good.
Waiting to get into Biergarten.

This is a buffet restaurant and you sit in these long tables, most likely with other people. The beers they serve are in huge glasses and our sodas are sadly served in glasses half the size. The food was awesome. I didn't really know what German food is like, except sauerkraut and sausage, and it was a lot of that but they do have other things that was pretty yummy. The thing Brady remembers the most is the meat salad, all meat salad. I passed on that one. As entertainment, they have oompa band, fun times, had by all.
After eating, we were walking out and it was pouring! Cats and dogs pouring! We stayed under cover, waiting for the rain to light up, but it wasn't showing signs of passing yet. We saw people walking around in ponchos and we heard people saying that they are sold at the souvenir shops. So we ran over to one not far away. The store had them stacked on the counter by the registers. So we bought two and moved on into the rain.

We basically breezed by Italy because of the rain, stopping only for the flag pin.

We ended up at the American Experience. They have a show here so we decided to go, hoping the rain will light up by the time we got out.
Pre-Show

We go to the movie they show, basically it's about how awesome the United States is. At the end of the movie they play this song that I thought was new to me, but all of the sudden I found myself singing to it. Brady looks at me and asks how I knew that song. It was odd, I had no idea how I knew it. We were walking out when all of the sudden I realized that we sang that in choir at EAC! So weird.

Japan:
We kind of just skimmed this place too. Only pausing to find our pin and watch these drummer people.
Morocco:
I have no pictures of Morocco, we did walk around it, and it's cool. We ate here a couple days later so I'll find pictures of the restaurant when we get to that.

France:
We mostly just walked around France and took a few pictures. I wanted to eat at the restaurant "Chefs de France" but we had eaten at Biergarten, so nope.

United Kingdom:
By now, we're tired and just walking through places, no pictures here, and no PIN! But we did buy some "other country" pins, Scotland and Wales.

Canada:
No pictures, in fact, we didn't even really go into this country because, well, it's Canada.

We went over to Test Track to use our fast passes. We got into line and it was moving pretty slow then it stopped completely and we were informed that the ride had broken down. They said we could wait, so we sat on the floor and waited, and waited and waited. Then left.

We went back to the hotel to rest a little bit.
Us in our ponchos, just getting back to the hotel.

We got hungry and decided to go eat something and wanted to try a restaurant at our hotel. We went to the Grand Floridian Cafe, it was all that was open.
Waiting for our table

Our waitress was pretty cool. Brady and I had been saying "Super duper" to each other for a few days now and all of the sudden she said it to us and we freaked out! And she freaked out! There was a lot freaking out! Then she brought us free fondue dessert, because we were just married. YUMMY!
That was the end of the first day. There is more to come (this wasn't like Evan's childhood WDW trip, read about that here.)

1 comment:

  1. Excellent, excellent post. You have no idea how much this will help me when I go to start scrapbooking. I looked at all the pics, which weren't in order and said "holy crap".

    So thanks a lot. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

    ReplyDelete