Last minute trip to WDW is a go!

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cy1229
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Re: Last minute trip to WDW is a go!

Post by cy1229 » Jan Tue 05, 2016 8:40 pm

subsonic wrote:These posts need likes :)
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Re: Last minute trip to WDW is a go!

Post by Amy » Jan Wed 06, 2016 2:19 pm

Ok, so I actually did most of the first day's TR while in transit ~ hope that makes up for some not so timely TRs in the past ;)
I'll fill in a few spaces here and there, as well as the story cy1229 is already "privy" to...yes, I'll share. It's somewhat embarrassing but it really is good for a laugh.

Quick synopsis for those not starting at the very beginning...Figment and I arrived at our local airport and found our flight to be cancelled due to the plane never arriving in the originating city...sigh. Faced with a 12 hour wait until the rescheduled flight, we opted to take a motorcoach bus to Chicago where we could get on a slightly earlier flight. It wasn't a bad ride, a little foggy here and there, five stops between South Bend and Chicago, a little hostility from a lady a few seats behind us when the bus driver insisted she pay or show her ticket, and one exciting trip to the bathroom for me.

Figment is always cold, but radiates heat like a furnace. The bus wasn't full so I had sat a seat ahead and opposite from her with the intention of moving if the bus filled up. The lady behind us struck up a conversation with Figment and kept her quite occupied for the first 45 minutes or so of the trip. I did check in occasionally but was fairly naughty and let her fend for herself ~ this lady could talk! Anyhow, that died off after the lady had to take a work phone call. I think I heard a little sigh of relief from Figment when the phone rang. At the second stop, that lady went back to use the bathroom in the bus. I had to go so I asked if it was clean. She said it was and they even had hand sanitizer so I figured I'd take the chance and headed back. Picture if you will a port-o-potty on wheels. And a hand sanitizer dispenser mounted on the wall. Those were the facilities.

Well, I had no more than got perched (yes, this toilet seat was high enough my tippy toes just barely touched the floor) when the bus lurched out from the stop. Needless to say, I had not been expecting that! :shock: I could hear sloshing liquid below me and I really didn't know how far down it was so I was a bit freaked out about that. We hit a huge bump and the toilet seat lid whacked down on the back of my shirt :shock: :!: I still had to go but I just couldn't with the sloshing, holding the lid back with one hand, not sure what the other hand was doing but it was likely freaking out just like me, and it took all I could do to just get down off the potty with the curves and bumps and lurching. I was a little more relaxed once I could see that the liquid level was much lower than it had sounded while I was on it ~ and the lid itself looked clean...ish. I got back to my seat and Figment must have seen the horror in my eyes because she asked what had happened. I'm not ashamed to say it took me a few minutes to find my words :lol: She had said she had just thought about working her way back to use the restroom herself after I was done when we had lurched out of that last stop. She wisely opted to wait until we got to the airport after hearing my story!

We got to O'Hare safely and they wouldn't gate check our check through luggage since we already had been given boarding passes for a later flight out of a different airport. Luckily a roaming gate agent took pity on me and helped me get up to the counter fairly quickly and assisted us with our luggage. We ended up getting through security and had about an hour before our flight during which we split a really expensive sandwich. I'm not a coffee drinker so I really don't have background info on Starbucks, but I can heartily recommend the location in Cincinnati by whichever gate we were flying out of. They were incredibly busy and very kind when I inquired about purchasing 2 glasses of ice water. They told me there was no charge and gave me two large glasses. They were equally nice when I went back for a refill before boarding the plane as we had been told there would be no beverage service on the short hop.

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There was a creepy guy seated in our row across from me who had that wide-eyed glare-y stare and a leg that bounced and bounced. The plane was not full at all so I was able to slide back one row shortly after we hit altitude. He still stared, but at least I wasn't in the direct sight line anymore, and he didn't seem interested in starting at Figment so I didn't feel badly about leaving her there...plus that whole radiating heat thing :roll:

There was a family of three headed to some tropical location, I forget which now, that had some sort of connection to the flight attendants. He bore just a very slight, passing resemblance to Kenny Rogers and that obviously was some sort of joke they had. They kept his wife and him supplied with special "coffees" from before we left the ground until we landed. I'm impressed he was still upright by the end of the flight!

I kept my eyes peeled as we neared Orlando to see if I could see any of WDW from the air. I did spot the Orlando Eye, and although it was pretty cloudy, I'm pretty sure I saw Spaceship Earth, or something very similar in size in a blueish light.

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On the airport monorail ~ hooray
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We got to the ME just a few minutes before the bus arrived and were directed to the very first seats on the bus once they saw Figment wasn't moving very well. Much nicer than a few years back when she had to struggle all the way to the back of the bus after the families all but trampled us as they got on the bus. There was a driver that serenaded us with different songs, most not Disney, but it was still very nice and he obviously was enjoying his evening. I gave him a Mickey penny as we were leaving ~ I actually had to hop off the bus quick as he wasn't going to be our driver!

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We got to Pop Century a little after 7:30 and I was still rolling the idea of getting to MK around in my head when I found out our accommodations weren't as I had requested. Figment is no longer able to get into and out of or even use a tub shower safely so when we travel I always be sure to get a room with a shower stall, or an accessible shower. When I first made the reservations, they assured me that we had a room with an accessible shower and two beds. (Most accessible rooms have a King bed). When I checked the reservations online I had noticed the alphabet soup after our reservation number had one letter I couldn't figure out what it meant ~ a "K" ~ so I had called and sure enough, the room had a King bed. I explained once again we really needed two beds and after being placed on hold a few times, I was assured that the reservation had been fixed to include 2 beds with the accessible shower. Sadly they either didn't fix it, or it became un-fixed in that last few weeks before our arrival. I will give the front desk cast member and also the CM in the back of the house that was doing more of the heavy calling their props, they checked everywhere on property. After a little over an hour, I finally said I needed to go get something to drink, and they told me to go ahead and have a seat, they would keep checking and get back with us. I went ahead and got our refillable mugs, after checking that they would work at any resorts if we had to transfer, and sat and chilled. Figment was a bit more restless and pacing back and forth in the lobby in her banged up ECV. They came out awhile later, and this was the first I met the CM that had been working behind the scenes and apologized up and down that they were not able to offer a solution that evening. She told me that she would leave a note for the morning staff and her supervisor would also keep working on finding us a room. Visions of sponge baths, or 8 tormenting nights in a shared bed danced through my head, the other option they considered was a roll away bed in with the king size bed ~ have you seen the size of the value rooms?! ~ still not sure how that would have worked ~ but I was determined we would have a good trip, even if it wasn't starting off very promisingly.

We got into the regular room we were given and fell into bed a little after 11:30...and yes, I took a shower after a long day of travel and goodness only knows what germs I had been in contact with over the course of the day!

Lucky money count ~ 2 pennies
Plan ~ EPCOT
Actual ~ none :(
Temperature ~ high of 66 (not while we were in Florida to enjoy it, but that was the reported high that day anyhow), low of 61 and humidity of 89%
Four Keys cards filled out ~ 2 (one each for CM assisting us at the hotel)
Last edited by Amy on Jan Wed 06, 2016 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Last minute trip to WDW is a go!

Post by wewantsdaredhead » Jan Wed 06, 2016 3:51 pm

Booooo for the rough start...yayyyyy for the TR.

Has anyone updated the pool on how long it will take to finish this one? :lol: :lol:
I think I have, "This one wont be finished before Amy takes another trip" don't I?

;)
Love ya Sis!

More, more!!

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Re: Last minute trip to WDW is a go!

Post by Amy » Jan Wed 06, 2016 7:50 pm

wewantsdaredhead wrote:Booooo for the rough start...yayyyyy for the TR.

Has anyone updated the pool on how long it will take to finish this one? :lol: :lol:
I think I have, "This one wont be finished before Amy takes another trip" don't I?

;)
Love ya Sis!

More, more!!
ha, ha, ha. I always finish them before the next trip ~ it's the goal I make for myself so you might want to change that bet mister ;)
No trips in the immediate future so I suppose all bets are still on though :twisted:

ooops, almost forgot ~ bless your heart (they use that over by you right?!)
:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Last minute trip to WDW is a go!

Post by cy1229 » Jan Thu 07, 2016 1:50 pm

Amy wrote:
wewantsdaredhead wrote:...

Has anyone updated the pool on how long it will take to finish this one? :lol: :lol:
I think I have, "This one wont be finished before Amy takes another trip" don't I?

...
ha, ha, ha. I always finish them before the next trip ~ ...
Ahem... Um, I think the evidence will show that you did, indeed, complete your trip to Disneyland with Figment and your brother before you completed your prior WDW trip report.

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D 8-)
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Re: Last minute trip to WDW is a go!

Post by Amy » Jan Thu 07, 2016 2:27 pm

cy1229 wrote:Ahem... Um, I think the evidence will show that you did, indeed, complete your trip to Disneyland with Figment and your brother before you completed your prior WDW trip report.

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D 8-)
Oh shoot. Really?! :roll: Oh man.... :oops:

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Re: Last minute trip to WDW is a go!

Post by Len90 » Jan Sat 09, 2016 6:01 pm

Wow that sounds like a rough start to the vacation. Was the hotel looking throughout the entire property for a room? Even if they couldn't find the accessible room they still were unable to accommodate you temporarily in a room with two beds?
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Re: Last minute trip to WDW is a go!

Post by Amy » Jan Sat 09, 2016 8:36 pm

Len90 wrote:Wow that sounds like a rough start to the vacation. Was the hotel looking throughout the entire property for a room? Even if they couldn't find the accessible room they still were unable to accommodate you temporarily in a room with two beds?
The room we stayed in that first night did have two beds, it just didn't have the accessible shower. And from what the CM told me, they had searched all the way up through the Grand Floridian so I do believe they were really trying. Too bad they didn't find one there ~ that would have been a real treat! :lol:

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Re: Last minute trip to WDW is a go!

Post by Amy » Jan Tue 19, 2016 7:59 pm

Day 2 ~ 12/8/15 ~ Animal Kingdom

We woke up this first morning knowing we had to have things packed up as at the very least we were moving to a room with an accessible shower and a roll-away bed for me. The CM on the phone that phoned to confirm we were moving rooms was very kind and put my mind at ease that they would try their very best to be sure we were comfortable no matter where we ended up.
The Pop Century food court was a madhouse. :shock: Mom and I shared a spinach mushroom cheese omelet and biscuit. During brekkie I got a voicemail saying they had located us a room at Port Orleans Riverside with an accessible shower and two beds ~ so we finally knew where we were headed and we wouldn't have to share a bed or sleep on a roll-away ~ yay! Figment was really pleased that we wouldn’t have to go back to this bustling food court for another meal. We finished up and headed out.

We arrived at AK a little before 10. Here at the entrance you can see some of the Avatar Land construction peeking out above the treetops.
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We headed toward the safari with a 20 min wait in the standby queue. We asked for a seat in the middle of the safari truck so she didn’t feel like she would get thrown out.
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We got to see the newest addition to the savannah ~ African Wild Dogs ~ they were super playful when we went past.
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When did they start skywriting over WDW? I'm not one for the propaganda sayings, but the smiley face at the end was fun :)
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Figment went to the Flights of Wonder show while I went off to Expedition Everest ~ it only took me 10 minutes from entering the single rider queue to exiting the attraction!

On my way back to collect Figment, I found a charm with my initial on it ~ it was tucked into a crack in the walkway and looked like it had been there a few days so I figured no one was missing it too badly. Into my lucky found money and objects collection it will go :D
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Flights of Wonder finished up about 5 minutes after I got back so I'm glad Figment didn't have to end up waiting on me. The only sad thing is that I missed seeing the birds :(

We had lunch at Flame Tree Barbeque where I was able to check out some of the construction on the new nighttime show.
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We were on our way out at this point but decided to take the time to detour through It’s Tough to Be a Bug, one of our favorites at AK. I give Figment a hard time about not watching where she is going sometimes, but she really does a good job considering the crowd levels. Here I caught her gawking while driving though the queue ;)
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And here is where she caught me catching her in the act :lol:
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We had been told at the Safari we should get Mom a Guest Assistance pass (or whatever it is called now) at Guest Relations when they noticed her mobility difficulties so we stopped there on the way out. The CM there was super suspicious and asked a ton of questions throwing out abbreviations and buzzwords left and right. I didn't know half of what he was saying which I would have thought would have been his first clue we weren't working any kind of system, but eventually he scanned both of our Magic Bands and took her photo. This would allow us to get a return time at some attractions and shows. The return time was always at least the same wait time as the posted standby time, and then we would have to wait again in the FP line when we returned so anyone thinking that is a faster way to get on attractions is sorely mistaken. I'm just glad it exists as it allowed us to safely get her on attractions that she would now have to skip otherwise. Anyone that would see her grin from ear to ear after she exits Soarin' would have to agree the extra wait time is well worth it. (I might have one of those pictures here somewhere ;) )

There was a break in the crowds trying to get a picture in front of the AK sign so I hopped in front for a quick selfie before we headed out for...
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Re: Last minute trip to WDW is a go!

Post by cy1229 » Jan Wed 20, 2016 1:44 pm

I gasped at the crowds at the entrance! I really don't like lots of people... but it looked like it wasn't too bad once you were inside. Loved your "lion feet" pic. :lol:

The construction for the seats for the nighttime show in front of EE makes me sad. That was one of my favorite "photo spots" or at least "mostly scenic" spots. The seating area kind of ruins it for me now. I suppose it was the only place they had to build it but still. Bummer.

Explain what you mean about the guest assistance pass. It sounded to me like it wouldn't get you anywhere at all. And, also, why would Figment be unable to board Soarin? Is there something I'm missing that should be glaringly obvious to me? I'm so confuzzled...
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Re: Last minute trip to WDW is a go!

Post by Amy » Jan Wed 20, 2016 2:23 pm

cy1229 wrote:I gasped at the crowds at the entrance! I really don't like lots of people... but it looked like it wasn't too bad once you were inside. Loved your "lion feet" pic. :lol:

The construction for the seats for the nighttime show in front of EE makes me sad. That was one of my favorite "photo spots" or at least "mostly scenic" spots. The seating area kind of ruins it for me now. I suppose it was the only place they had to build it but still. Bummer.

Explain what you mean about the guest assistance pass. It sounded to me like it wouldn't get you anywhere at all. And, also, why would Figment be unable to board Soarin? Is there something I'm missing that should be glaringly obvious to me? I'm so confuzzled...
The parks were really crowded when we were there. I should remember to take more pictures of the crowds to show that, but I generally shy away from them as much as possible :shock: And it certainly wasn't as bad as summer/Fourth of July/New Year's Eve levels, but not as good as I remember it being the first week or so of December either.

Yeah, I'm hoping the theming of the seating will help it blend in better once that area is all finished.

The guest assistance pass is available for those who need a little extra help, whether people can't stand for long periods of time, have problems standing in the sun, people with special needs that aren't able to wait in crowds without endangering themselves or others. The CM we talked with pretty much was only going to give it to autistic children from the sounds of things. Probably has a little something to do with that whole disability tour guide debacle from a few years back.

Figment can board Soarin', although she does need extra time to walk from the center area where they instruct you to park your ECV and get settled as she doesn't have the mobility needed to get the seatbelt fastened without my help, which means I am also standing and waiting to get settled and buckled with people staring at me wondering why I'm not sitting down. But the bigger challenge there is navigating the elevator in the Land Pavilion. It is tucked into a corner and quite frankly there are people driving their rented ECV's with abandon which makes it a bit hazardous to be in that area. As far as some of the other attractions, while they are making the newer queues quite accessible with wider lanes and less switchbacks, some of the attractions take a fair amount of concentration to navigate them safely. Add in impatient people behind you, other guests not minding their children and letting them inch ahead of you and run forward, and then either low or high blood sugar levels which lead to mental confusion, it can make for a frustrating and stressful time for us both before ever reaching the attraction. The biggest help is at Peter Pan where the pass allows us to go up the exit ramp (after waiting until our time frame comes ~ much like a FP) and either slow, or in the case of this trip, stop the moving walkway so she can safely get on. She gets very out of breath with exertion due to her cardiac and breathing problems and even the walk from where I can drop her at the exit ramp for PP (and then I can run her ECV to the parking area which is further down) up to the boarding area is enough to have her severely out of breath :( Add in arthritis and the knee that has never healed properly from her run-in with one of those huge strollers back on our 2010 trip and it can be rough.

She actually almost fell disembarking our time travel vehicle at Spaceship Earth on this trip because while I was helping and paying attention to what was going on, the CMs were distracted and didn't slow the walkway. I had requested it when we boarded, they agreed, I requested again when we arrived back to the platform, then they flaked. Luckily I was able to bridge the gap between her, the railing and sort of floated her along and steadied her. I'm pretty sure I did not shoot a friendly glance at the CMs there as we exited back down the ramp to the accessible area. I'm so thankful there wasn't more than just the stumble. The kicker was when we had boarded I had requested for the walkway to be slowed as that generally gives her enough time to board safely, and I do hate to have them stop it if she doesn't need it as that does interrupt the time travels of other guests. And they said no problem. It was tight and we were very close to the end of the walkway before she was settled, but they said they couldn't stop it. Then they ended up stopping the ride anyhow to wipe down the vehicle right behind us for a protein spill. As I sort of held my breath, just in case, although I'm pretty sensitive to smells and was pretty sure I would have smelled something so I figured it might be a small "spill", the maintenance CM was muttering something about how there was nothing in the vehicle, but he was wiping it anyhow, and the CM was checking her clipboard and saying that they had been told the wrong vehicle. So I suppose they were having a rough time of it that afternoon anyhow. But still.... And the poor guests that ended up almost getting in the vehicle that did have the protein spill :shock: Ick!
Last edited by Amy on Jan Wed 20, 2016 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Last minute trip to WDW is a go!

Post by cy1229 » Jan Wed 20, 2016 5:03 pm

Ugh protein spills.... my downfall. It's the one thing that I as a mom am a huge failure in. I can't tolerate the sound, the smell, the sight. I always worry that someone near me on a plane will end up upchucking if we run into turbulence. Because if they upchuck, I upchuck, and since I've had two babies... well the moms on here will know exactly what my worry is. :shock: :shock: :shock: :?

I knew your mom had trouble walking (hence the ECV) but I didn't realize the major PITA it can be to get to some of these places. Totally forgot about needing an elevator to get to Soarin. And the switchbacks make sense... some of those attractions were built before the ADA. We need to come up with a combo ECV and Segway vehicle that has a handle on it for the rider's companion to steady it. Figment sits and holds the handle, you help steer and keep her from falling off.

Actually now that I imagine such a thing in my mind, it would be more like those little ride-on toys that toddlers use with handles in the back, and not be dignified at all.

Ok... carry on. As you were... sorry for my rambling.

Next day?
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Re: Last minute trip to WDW is a go!

Post by Amy » Jan Wed 20, 2016 9:15 pm

cy1229 wrote:Ugh protein spills.... my downfall. It's the one thing that I as a mom am a huge failure in. I can't tolerate the sound, the smell, the sight. I always worry that someone near me on a plane will end up upchucking if we run into turbulence. Because if they upchuck, I upchuck, and since I've had two babies... well the moms on here will know exactly what my worry is. :shock: :shock: :shock: :?

I knew your mom had trouble walking (hence the ECV) but I didn't realize the major PITA it can be to get to some of these places. Totally forgot about needing an elevator to get to Soarin. And the switchbacks make sense... some of those attractions were built before the ADA. We need to come up with a combo ECV and Segway vehicle that has a handle on it for the rider's companion to steady it. Figment sits and holds the handle, you help steer and keep her from falling off.

Actually now that I imagine such a thing in my mind, it would be more like those little ride-on toys that toddlers use with handles in the back, and not be dignified at all.

Ok... carry on. As you were... sorry for my rambling.

Next day?
:lol: :lol: :lol: Ok, the visual of your assist device made me laugh!

Yeah, overall, it can be sort of a pain. The last trip we took, the CM told us that the fact that Mom was using an ECV would be enough and we wouldn't need anything further, but the training of the CMs is so inconsistent that it was easier to have the pass, show it to the CM and ask where we needed to go. DL/DCA is so much further advanced with ADA compliance and helping guests enjoy the parks safely.

It's just harder for me each trip we go to see the attractions that she can enjoy shrink as she ages. She had a very difficult time exiting Dumbo and the CM that was working was really rude. Luckily the guest just coming in saw our predicament and came over and helped me get her up and out. It meant a lot to us in the face of the rudeness of the CM and he was a young guy with a small child. But somewhere along the line, he obviously has had some dealings with older people, or his parents just raised him to help others. That whole do unto others thing comes to mind...
You could kind of see that she figured that might have been her last trip on one of her favorite attractions though :(

Phew, on to happier topics ~ um, no, still have the conclusion of Day 1 in the parks to finish before I go on to Day 2! But probably not tonight...don't want to rush ;) :P

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Re: Last minute trip to WDW is a go!

Post by ImagineerWannabe » Feb Mon 15, 2016 9:20 pm

I hadn't noticed you'd started your report with pictures. Such lovely ones from the airplane on arrival! So you got an upgrade to Port Orleans? I'm glad they finally got the room straightened out for you.

A great read! Looking forward to more :)

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Re: Last minute trip to WDW is a go!

Post by Amy » Feb Tue 16, 2016 8:33 am

ImagineerWannabe wrote:I hadn't noticed you'd started your report with pictures. Such lovely ones from the airplane on arrival! So you got an upgrade to Port Orleans? I'm glad they finally got the room straightened out for you.

A great read! Looking forward to more :)
Yup, it was nice to get an upgrade ~ first one we've ever had. I always read and hear from people how they are always getting upgrades. Maybe that just doesn't ever happen when you stay at the value resorts.

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