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Jaina Diotalevi -- November 2004 -- Walt Disney World (POFQ)


The Cast

  • Me (Jaina) - 15 years old, loves Disney, 4th trip
  • My mom (Cindy) - young at heart, loves Disney and thinks every child should go at least once, 5th trip

Dates and Reason for trip
November 23-30, 2004
I am writing this trip report summary style as it is already 3 months later and I cannot remember everything. This trip was taken just because my mom and I missed Disney and we would get to see the House of Mouse without my father and brother - they have lost that feeling of magic (what a shame!).

Resort
We were going to stay at one of the All-Star Resorts but my mom decided to upgrade and splurge for Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter (POFQ). Both of us loved the Resort and it was definitely large enough for the two of us. We loved how there was a curtain separating the sink/bathroom from the bedroom area. In addition, we requested a refrigerator and it was in the room upon arrival. We bought the refillable mugs and we definitely got our money's worth. I loved the feel of the French Quarter and I loved how it was small and had easy access to everything. We never went swimming, but the slide and pool looked awesome. We were in building 7 which was about a 3 minute walk to the food court/lobby and about a 5 minute walk to the bus stop. **If you stay at this resort the bedding has a hidden Mickey on it**

Parks, Rides, Observations

Magic Kingdom - This was our first park and we tried a few new rides this time. We went on Splash Mountain (4x), Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (4x - its better at night!), Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (1x - it was great), Stitch's Great Escape! (1x - won’t do it again), The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1x - won't do it again), Snow White's Scary Adventures (1x - it was great), Mickey's PhilharMagic (5x - I think it’s the best 3-D show we've seen, a great new addition to the park), the Mad Tea Party (1x - I would have gone again if we’d had time) and Pirates of the Caribbean(2x - this ride never gets old)

Things we missed but would love to do: Dumbo the Flying Elephant, The Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain (I need to gather up enough courage) and “it’s a small world” (it was down for rehab, I wish we could have gone on it).

Nighttime Entertainment: The SpectroMagic Parade (love it every time) and Wishes (great new fireworks display).

Epcot - We went to this park quite a few times. We went on Test Track (4x), Maelstrom (1x - it was our first time, I would do it again if there was a short line) and “Honey, I shrunk the Audience” (1x - it was hysterical to watch my mom jump). We saw all the countries and even tried a crepe from France. I personally don't recommend this snack, it was chewy and tough. And believe me, I know my crepes, my mom makes them at home. Unfortunately, we missed a lot of rides and shows here, Mission: Space (I need to work up the courage), Cranium Command and Body Wars (both were closed). We wanted to see the various shows in the different countries, but our timing was always off.

Nighttime Entertainment: IllumiNations (great show, my mom's favorite, we wanted to come back but we never found the time)

Disney - MGM Studios - We spent the least amount of time here. The only ride we went on was Muppet Vision 3-D (great but it’s getting a little outdated)

We missed Star Tours (My mom couldn't ride and it and I wasn't going alone)

Nighttime Entertainment: Fantasmic! (awesome, superb, great show - my favorite)

Disney’s - Animal Kingdom - We spent about a 1/2 a day here. We only did the ride aspects of the park as we are not really into animals.

We did It's Tough to be a Bug! (2x - great 3-D), Kali River Rapids (1x - awesome, whoever says you won’t get wet is lying), Kilimanjaro Safaris (1x - nice but we didn't really care for the story line) Primeval Whirl (1x - nice but a little too crazy for our tastes)

We missed the Festival of the Lion King

Dining
I am one of those people who loves to eat and to try new foods, however I knew dining at Disney would be a little expensive. My mom packed a whole bag just of snacks, and breakfast foods which worked out great. We brought a lunch box to the parks each day in a backpack, which we kept drinks cold and snacks from getting crushed. We only had about one meal a day but sometimes we had a little snack from a food stand if we were craving it. We were lucky enough to book a dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table for around 4:30pm - it was great food but mom and I agree there wasn't much of a selection. We got a great seats overlooking Fantasyland. We also ate at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at MGM for the first time and we both agreed that the food wasn’t bad and we loved the atmosphere. We ate at Boatwright's Dining Hall (at Port Orleans - Riverside) one night; I was craving a grilled cheese sandwich and although it wasn't on the menu I was still able to order it with fries. While in Downtown Disney, we dined at Planet Hollywood and while some people say the food isn't worth it, to us it was pretty good. Plus, (as an added bonus) we had a $25.00 gift certificate. On Thanksgiving, we ate at Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Make sure, if traveling to another Resort hotel, you provide extra time; it took us 50 minutes to get from our hotel to the Lodge. We loved the restaurant and we both tried new foods. The only place we really didn't like was Tony’s Town Square Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. We are Italian, so we know good Italian food and this was definitely not it. The menu was very small and not many options. The calamari was rubbery and the ravioli tasted like it was from Chef Boyardee. One place we would like to try next time is the 50’s Prime Time Cafe even though I’ve heard mixed reviews. I would also like to try the San Angel Inn in the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot. Various snacks we bought included, ice cream cones (no Mickey bars), slushies, crepes, hot cocoa (on a cold night) and macaroni salad (very good and a great price).

Weather
It’s true you have to pack for all weather in November. During the day it was in the 80s but by night is dropped to the lower 60s, luckily we each brought a pair of pants and a few sweatshirts.

Buses
We depended on buses throughout our stay because my mom didn't want to drive on vacation. The buses were very quick and we never waited more than 10 minutes. Our longest bus wait was when we were going from Boma to Epcot after dinner, about an hour.

Pin Trading
I'll end the trip report on a fun note; because we bought the Dream Maker package we each got a free pin and a lanyard. That started a hunt for unique and fun pins. We never traded except for pins we knew we couldn’t buy because they were old. We each gathered about 14 pins and although expensive it is a new fun hobby at Disney World.

This is summary style and I didn't realize it would grow to be this long. I am writing on a snow day from school after reading all the trip reports from the site (I know, hard to believe). Thanks for getting this far and I hope some information was helpful.

Jaina Diotalevi

jainad@optonline.net


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