When do you get excited about a trip to WDW?

When you decide to go? I didn't

When you book everything? I didn't

When the day arrives to leave? I didn't

When you arrive in Orlando?  Getting there :)


Did I mention that this was my first vacation that I planned myself? Yep :)

ran out of family members who wanted to vacation at WDW, so with the offer

of the free meal plan, I decided to do this solo.


Transportation to Orlando from New York, booked

Staying onsite at Disney's Pop Century, booked

going from home to NY Penn station, subway

This only left how to get from Amtrak train station in Orlando to Pop

Century hotel.


I spoke to Jennifer on themouseforless yahoo group and she recommended

Sunray.  I looked at their website and it was geared for airport travel.  I

contacted Sunray and Bob responded back to me that yes they do pickup from

Orlando train station, just enter the information and everything will be ok.


I filled out the online form and Bob responded back to me with all the

information for my car reservation.  Even when Amtrak adjusted their train

schedule and I had to adjust my pickup and drop off times with Bob, there

was no problems, but lets get back to day 1.


So here I am off the train, in Orlando and thinking... wow.. I made it here

all by myself :)


Bob was waiting for me, and drove me to the Pop Century, a quick 20 minute

or so ride from Orlando Train station.  Being 9/11 and I being from New

York, the 911 attacks were what we spoke about most.


Bob dropped me off in front of Pop Century, and I am still feel more

overwhelmed then excited :)


I checked in and got the 70's buildings as I requested.  I was going to ask

about any chance of a preferred room upgrade, but didn't.  I was asked if


first floor was ok.  I thought about it, and really didn't know what to

answer.  I thought about it some more, figure no worries about elevator

waits, so I was on my way to room 108, which is 1/2 way down the other wing

past the big wheel.  Not a big deal walk from the Classic Hall.  Before I

left, they checked up on all my adr's.  He took out a map of Pop Century,

and told me how to get to my hotel room.


Arrived in room 108 and looked it over.  From what I can remember from my

2000 stay at the Contemporary Garden wings, the room itself looked the same.

It didn't have the little balcony area like the Contemporary did, and you

entered from outside, not a inner hallway, but didn't think the room itself

made a difference.


For my trip, I bought myself new clothes, mainly lots of Coney Island and NY

type t-shirts

T-shirts, where I live, and a NY Yankee ball cap (more about that on another

email :) )


I shaved (I suggest you don't shave on a moving train :) ) and showered to

refresh myself.  Placed my laptop and other valuables in the room's safe.

Packed my backpack with items like my camcorder, Brita water bottle, and fan

mister and headed off to DAK and Flaming Tree for ribs for lunch.


Let me say my thanks to all the members of the Travel-wdw yahoo group for

putting up with a little fun I thought up.  While most people write trip

reports after they returned home, I was doing mine real time from my cell

phone and a small little keyboard that attaches to it.  Every move I made, I

sent a email about it to the group.  This also helped me keep track of my

daily events.  I wish I could have done this for all the Disney related

groups I belong to, but would have been overwhelmed even if only a couple

people would have responded to me and I would have felt bad if I didn't take

the time to respond to.


Let me also answer now the person who asked me what room number I was in so

she can crank phone call me in the middle of the night, you don't need the

room number, but the persons name ;)


I took the bus to DAK.  One reason I booked at the Pop was the fact that it

only makes one stop, not multiple stops like the all-star resorts.  Well, as

I found out, this wasn't totally true.  The bus that goes from Pop to Dak,

also makes a stop at Blizzard Beach.  Fortunately going there, the bus asked

if anyone was heading to BB, which we didn't, and we skipped it.


Living in post 911 New York, going into such world wide known icons like the

Empire State Bldg and knowing that they do bag checks now, I was prepared to

make things as easy as possible for this process to go smoothly.  Met a

couple of ex- Brooklynintes and we chatted while they thoroughly inspected


back pack.  Made it to the park entrance and told them before hand, I didn't

have my finger scan yet, just arrived at WDW and this was my first park

entrance.  They had me insert my door card/park admission card into the card

reader, make the peace sign with my finger and insert them, and that was it,

I was in DAK :)


First stop was lunch on the dinning plan at Flaming Tree.   Out of all the

places I knew I was going to eat at, this place interested me the most.  I

had ribs, which came with a small piece of corn on the cob, and some beans.

The meal included dessert which was a peace of chocolate cake.  I ordered my

food from the cashier, she scanned my card, I signed for it, and that's all

there is to the dinning plan.


I got my food really quick, and then had to figure out a place to eat.  The

tables are sort of behind the counter service building, found a empty table,

and tried to relax, still feeling overwhelmed by the adventure of the day.


While eating, I thought I heard a parade starting, but it turned out to be

Tarzan Rocks.


Finished eating and decided to go on Dinosaur first.  Took out the park map

and tried to figure out how to go from here to there.  To travel in the

other theme parks seems simpler then DAK, maybe because you can see

landmarks and know where you are.  All you see are trees in DAK.


I went to the fast pass machines first, then noticed or was told there is no

wait, so I skipped getting the fp and went on the ride.  Now this isn't the

first time I rode this, so I knew what to expect, but I tell you this,

either this ride got more violent, or I was really exhausted from the little

sleep I had the night before or I still a little sick, but I was shaking

when I got off and had to sit, drink some water and recover for a bit.


My plan was to go to DAK, do a couple of things here, then spend the rest of

the day at Dis-MGM where I have 6 pm adr's at Hollywood and Vine.


It was about 2:30 when I decided to try the safari ride next, but somehow


confused in ride names and headed to jungle trek instead.  I walked through

this very quickly thinking this is like a preshow for the jungle ride.


At 3 pm, I had enough here, decided to leave, go back to hotel and rest

before going to Dis-MGM and my adr at h and v.  Got lost for about 20

minutes before finding my way out of the park ;) Glad I wasn't going to be

sleeping with the animals tonight.


Leaving DAK on the bus, we did stop off at BB and pick up passengers for

Pop.  Rested till about 5, left my backpack and just headed with my digital

still camera.  One of the reasons was what to do with things when I went to

get food from the buffet.


About 5 pm, left for Dis-MGM from pop. Got there pretty quick, right before

parade time, as they were about to shut down the main street for the parade.

Made it to H and V before my adr and decided to walk around a little and

take some photos.  Off in the distance, I saw the parade and so little

people watching it.  The park must have been empty., but h and v was fully

booked.  They were suggesting to people to go to 50's prime time or return

later in the night to eat there.


I returned about 5:45 and checked in.  While waiting to be seated, person

after person was turned away for lack of adr.  After waiting a couple of

minutes, I was called to be seated.  This was my first sit down meal on the

dinning plan.  I had a couple of concerns.  When I am getting food, how do

they know whether I am done yet or not.  I figured this out the last minute,

told the waitress, that as long as I am still eating, I will leave my ball

cap on the table.  The other concern would be how I was going to be treated,

considering the gratuity is already included and she knows what she is

getting.  I felt I was being treated great even though I am just one and

eating on the dinning plan.  I had new glasses of soda to drink before the

old one was empty.  A experience I had at all my sit down meals. One other

thing worth mentioning.  Even though the dinning plan doesn't say

your beverage is refillable at sit down meals, it is.


While getting food. I noticed people carrying their backpacks with

them, so that's what I will do when I am at the Crystal Palace later in the



For those that don't know, there is something called the Fantasmic Dinner

Package where if you eat at certain Dis-MGM sit down restaurants, you get

preferred... or should I say reserved seating for Fantasmic?  When I was

taking care of the bill, the server/cm presented me with the pass for the

Fantasmic reserved seating area.  I was surprised to get this as I didn't

book the Fantasmic dinner package.  I didn't plan to attend this, but figure

I would now.


For those who don't know how the dinning plan works for sit down

restaurants, it works like this.  they present you with a real bill, minus

gratitude, even though they know you are paying for it with the dinning

plan.  You give them your room key/park admission card, they take it, you

get back another bill including gratuity and total price, which you sign off

on.  your copy of the bill shows no amount due and how many sit down meals

you have left.


About a quarter to 7, headed over to Great Movie Ride.  For those who don't

know, there are two interactive parts, either you see the cm at the head of

the tram deal with a gangster who takes over the tour or a cowboy.  In my

case was a Cowgirl.  From what I understood later,, when its slow, they only

have one show running, the gangster one, but tonight, they have both rooms



Its now about 7:20 and I headed over to Muppetvision which of course is a

walk-on, or should I say, just a wait in the preshow area for the main show

to begin.  The water effects didn't work tonight, but the bubbles did.


At 7:40, headed over to the special entrance for the Fantasmic dinner

package people.  For those that don't know, you enter by a gate right by the

gas station at the entrance to the park.  After walking about 5 to 10

minutes, you enter the stage area,  I sat all the way on the right hand


third row from the front.


Weeks before I made up to meet with Rosie from the mouse for less yahoo

group back at the pop century food court at 10.  Like I said, I wasn't

planning on doing Fantasmic, so I hope I don't miss the meet :)


I've seen the show, I have it on home video, and even have it on my website

to view whenever I want to. So it was really no big thing for me.


When it was over, I left the theater hoping to walk all the way back to the

gas station entrance so I am right by the park exit.  The CM's had other

plans, instead of going to the exit of the back stage area I hoped, they

directed everyone back to Sunset Blvd, then you have to walk through that

street to Hollywood Blvd to leave the park.  At the critical turning point,

half joking/ half serious, I did ask the CM if I can walk the way I entered

the park, he looked at me and my t-shirt (wearing I heart (love) NY t-shirt)

, and said only if I lived at New York, I turned and said laughably, but I

do live in New York, Brooklyn to be exact, but I wasn't going to make a big

thing about it.  After all people don't wear shirts from where you live,

just places you visit... right? :)


I made it back to Pop by about 9:30 or so.  I bought my refillable mug.

They have two types, a coffee type mug and one that looks like a tall glass

with a handle.  After inquiring from the register CM, they both hold the

same amount and cost the same, so I bought the glass type.  This is made out

of plastic, but I can best describe it by calling it a tall glass with a



Met Rosie (Mrs Potts), she called me by my chat name, Capt_Nemo and we

chatted for a while.  We exchanges some presents, she gave me a Bruce the

shark pin from Finding Nemo fame (yea and my last name is Sherman, after the

dentist too :) )  I gave here some pressed pennies from my Coney Island, NY

Aquarium, and some pressed pennies I did from Disney already.  Then walked

back to her hotel room, spoke to her husband till about 1 or so??  Went back

to my hotel room and checked email till about 1:30 am.


Tomorrow, first full day at Magic Kingdom and dinner highlight at 'Ohanna