I started packing last night and finished this am which just consisted of
throwing everything in my suitcase.   I packed up all my electronics into my
backpack.  I used my last counter svc meal for breakfast at PC.  I went back
to the
room, made sure I didn't leave anything behind, and left the room to check
out.  I went to the same area I checked in a week earlier and just asked me
if everything I had was out of the room, which I guess at that point they
deactivate my room key.

It is now
9:30 am. car picks me up at 2:30 pm.   5 hours to kill.

When I booked my vacation originally, I only purchased 6 days worth of park
admissions. My thinking was I wouldn't be there long enough to make it worth
while to pay for a 7th day, or I thought it wasn't.

When I called to pay off the balance of my trip, I inquired how much a
additional day would be.  $1, with tax $1.07.  Like they say, with the new
Magic your Way park tickets, the more you go, the cheaper it is per day.  So
while adding a 7th day only costs $1 more, you have to avg how much it cost
for all the days tickets, then divide by the number of days for a true cost
per day.

I checked my luggage, which is just outside the main entrance, took my
digital camera only and set out to the
Magic Kingdom.

First stop was Tomorrowland and TTA.

Sat down to have my last Mickey bar with my last snack option.

Then walked over to Pirates of the

While riding Pirates, I noticed the boat in front of me using their Sony
camcorder with the light on.  And so did the CM's who monitor the inside of
the ride, as they said over the rides sound system to please turn off the
light, which they had to repeat a second time before she did shut it off.

I know the light on the camcorder did very little to take video of the ride,
as the light was too weak to really light up the sets you are traveling
through.  The same can be said that strobe flash on cameras does not make
any difference on objects further then 4 to 6 feet from you.  If anyone
looked at my photo of Spaceship Earth at night, it was taken with my digital
camera, with the strobe light off and a very steady hand.

If you have been thinking.. .hey pirates is a very dark ride... how do cm's
monitor the ride?  They use allot of infrared light, night scope technology.
If your camcorder has night vision capabilities, if you switch it on, you
will see everything as bright as day.  Another reason they don't allow flash
photography or video camera lighting, besides ruining the experience, a
flash or any type of light will overwhelm their night vision cameras, almost
blinding them to events going on in the ride, so then it becomes a safety
issue, which is why they are so strict about their no flash photography

Went on Its a small world again.  Wish I had my camcorder with me as the
clock was doing its thing.

While yesterday I was ready to go home, today I didn't, but all things must
come to a end. So does vacations.  Its now
1 pm and  I headed back to Pop
Century for some lunch.  Did something
stupid here, I left my mug in my luggage which was still checked.  So I
bought a drink anyway,

I did some last minute exploring of Pop Century and photo taking. I
my luggage, got my mug and  used it for the last time.  I waited just inside
the main entrance for my car pickup for the ride back to the train station.

Roger from SunRay picked me up and had my back at the Orlando/Amtrak
station by
3 pm.  My train was running about 40 minutes late, so I sat down
waited.   They made the announcement that the train will be here in a
couple of minutes, so I went outside and waited to take a photo of the
locomotive.  Sure enough, I have it in ho scale, but never imagined it was
so big in real life.  For those like me, it was a Genesis locomotive.

Unlike my train trip down to
Orlando, my trip back north was less stressful
since I knew what to expect. To deal  with eating in the dinning car, I
placed all my valuables in my backpack and took it with me to the dinning

Just outside
Orlando train station, we passed a old style preserved
passenger train headed by a old style steam locomotive.  Again too fast to
get my camera to take photos.

I slept better on this trip, cause either I was used to it, and some of the
adventure wasn't there anymore.  For dinner, I had Prime Rib, for breakfast,
just some eggs, and lunch was a hamburger with potato chips. I guess they
cant have a deep fryer on a moving train :)

Even though we left
Orlando late, we made up the time and got into Penn
Station early.

I guess the trip is over, but one more train trip to take, the subway back

In conclusion, some thoughts.


I enjoy model trains, seeing a full size AC4400, Genesis, American, and so
on made my trip by rails exciting.  And I still chuckle to myself when I
think about the Juice Train we passed on the way down.  If you have no idea
of what I am talking about, and getting there isn't 1/2 the fun for you,
perhaps train travel isn't for you.  But I would do this again if I have the

One more thing about the Juice Train, not only train fans know about this,
but a truck driver friend of the family who works for a grocery store chain,
knows about the Juice Train :)

SunRay Transportation.

My previous trip in 2000, I used Mears for transport to and from the
airport.  Since I was traveling by rail, Disney's new Magical Express, which
is basically the same as Mears, was not available to
me.  But if I had the choice, I would use SunRay again.  Back in 2000, when
I got off the airplane and went to Mears to check in, they took me on a tour
of the airport to find me space on a minibus to take me to my hotel, The
Contemporary.  And I had to go by other hotels first.  Using SunRay or other
private car services, its nice to have a little less stress on a trip. I
went directly to my hotel, and they were there waiting for me.

Pop Century

It was a nice hotel, and the rooms were nice.  The only other time I stayed
onsite was in the Contemporary Garden wing and these rooms looked the same
me.  The only difference, besides the money of course, was the monorail for
transport to and from the Magic Kingdom.  To go to Epcot from any monorail
resort, requires a transfer at the Ticket and Transportation Center.  I
think the bus from PC to Epcot is faster then taking the monorail from the
Contemporary to Epcot cause of the transfer involved.  But the monorail runs
more frequent.

Bus Transportation in Disney

Since the Pop Century resort was the last to be brought online, it is the
furthest to walk to from the park entrance.  When they drop you off, they
drop you off as close as they can to the entrance of the theme parks. But
they only pick up from their designated pick up locations.  This is the only
negative thing I can say about staying at PC, the location of the bus pick
up at the parks.

Dinning Plan

Even though it was free for my vacation, I feel it is one of the very few
values about a Disney vacation, even if you paid for it.  I always say, when
it comes to things at Disney, they only have one Its a small world to ride,
but plenty of choices of what to do for lunch.  When making choices of where
to eat, you either eat at places you ate at before, or try something new.
On my trip, the only place I ate at before was the Crystal Palace, all other
meals was at new places I never tried before.   Some places were great, some
weren't.  But I wouldn't tell anyone to stay away from places I didn't
Everyone has different tastes and what I enjoyed, others might not and vice
a versa.

One fear I had about the Disney Dinning Plan was how you are treated since
they know in advance what their tip is, so there is no reward for good
service.  My service was great, they gave me a new glass of soda before the
old one was empty.

Going solo

This was my first trip going solo.  I was concerned about how one is treated
from going on rides to eating alone.  I was worried about nothing.  I felt I
was treated just as well eating alone as if I was a table of 5.  Service was

As far as rides, the only slightly negative experience I had was on Winnie
the Pooh when they stuck me in the back of another couple.  All other rides
I was sitting alone in the car.  (Ok, some rides only have one row cars.
:) ) I
don't think the ride was that busy that they couldn't sit me alone, but I
didn't complain.

Security/Bag Checks

Working in New York City in a job that takes me from the Federal Reserve
Bank (Die Hard 3)  in lower Manhattan to the Empire State Building in
Midtown, security is something I am used to dealing with.  Disney does 100%
bag check before you get to the main ticket entry points.  They examine
everything, but don't have you turn out your pockets, well maybe not yet :)
just kidding.  Just be prepared.  For how you and others deal with this will
either make you wait longer or not.  Some recognized me as a fellow New
Yorker and were more pleasant in their jobs then others.

For photos of my trip

For home video from the parks

Since I have all my trip reports done, I hope to work on both my still
photos and video.  I hope to label my photos better, and add some more home
video from this trip to what I currently have from previous trips.