Kiwi's July TR 6 - Parting is such sweet sorrow

Thanks for stopping by to read my trip report! If you've been keeping up so far, jump down to the wavy line to pick up where you left off.

Staring!:

Julie - That's me. I'm 20 (spending my 20th birthday in Disney World) and am a Cast Member at the Disney Store. I'm a total Off Kilter nut, and have planned meticulously for this trip in hopes that everything goes well. This is my eighth trip in three years.

Mom - Debbie, my mom. She's in her 40's and is also quite the Off Kilter nut. She's the one that was really excited about showing our newbie around, so she did lots of the meal planning and pep talking to Patsy. She also drove most of the way. This is also her eighth trip in three years.

Patsy - The newbie! She's 55 (I think...if not, she's close) and is mom's first cousin. She's been to Disney World once before, but didn't get to spend much time seeing everything. She also hadn't taken a vacation in many, many years, so she was excited at the chance to get away for a while. Her excitement and willingness to be dragged around and talked into things she normally wouldn't do was a good asset to her.

When did we go?: July 10th-15th, 1999
Where did we stay?: Magic Castle Inn and Suites (in a suite)
How did we get there?: Drove our van from Nashville
How long is this section?: 1504 words

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Would you believe me if I told you that I, the compulsive trip note taker, didn't take a single note about our return trip home? Upon inspection of my notes at the time of writing this, I have discovered only blank pages in my notebook after the notes about day five, so from here on, I'll just be going on memory.

I'm sure we left somewhere around 7:00 because we had to get on the road so we wouldn't be driving late into the night. We stopped at McDonald's for breakfast, where I had an egg and cheese biscuit and hash browns. I don't recall what mom or Patsy had.

I think I slept through most of the ride back, or at least five or six hours of it. I think it rained some...I'm not sure. The next thing I remember, we were pulling up at Patsy's house. Her mom greeted us all with big hugs and stories of what had happened during the week. The final verdict from Patsy was that she had had a great time and was ready to go back! We hauled all of her luggage in and said goodbye.

By the time we got home ourselves, we were met with piles of mail and a kitty in need of petting. I wish I could go into more detail about the trip home, but you probably don't care anyway, right? hehe

Trip Summary

Wow, what a wonderful trip! I probably couldn't have asked for this trip to turn out any better than it did. My birthday was magical beyond belief, I had a great time meeting up with all my friends, I had lots of new dining and entertainment experiences and I got to show a Disney World newbie around! I really noticed just how much the Cast Members went out of their way to make my birthday special, and I appreciated it a lot!

Weather

To have been July, the weather was pretty nice. Of course it was hot and humid, but there were very few times when the heat was overbearing. There were lots of overcast times and some rain showers to break up the insanely hot and sunny times. It never detracted from anything with the possible exception of making my hair really frizzy.

Crowds


The only other experience I'd had with Disney World in July was in 1997 during the 25th anniversary celebration. Things were certainly not that hectic this year. It was crowded, but not overly crowded. I'd say the average wait for the E-Ticket rides was around a half hour most of the time, while for the smaller ones, it may have been around fifteen to twenty minutes.

One really great thing we noticed was the almost absence of Brazilian tour groups. I only encountered one great big group, and that was in the Magic Kingdom. We saw other smaller groups, but there couldn't have been more than 15 people in each of them. In 1997, the Studios was so packed with Brazilian tour groups that we were only able to see two shows and have lunch in the course of six hours, but on this trip, they didn't affect wait times or street congestion at all. I was surprised at this...maybe Disney is finally limiting the size of the groups that can come in or something.

Hotel


As always, we were very pleased with our hotel. Though getting to it could have been a little easier (still had lots of construction going on on 192) we were very happy with the room, temperature control, water temperature and pressure, continental breakfast and hotel guest services. It was nice having the room separator too, so one person could get dressed on one side, one on the other and one in the bathroom. We never used the microwave I don't think, but the fridge came in handy for chilling drinks and cream cheese. Another flawless trip. I still recommend Magic Castle to anyone without hesitation.

Ok, enough with that. On to my best and worst list.

Favorite meal: Lunch on my birthday at 50's Prime Time with my Brother Lerroy

Favorite new experience: Watching Lord of the Dance

Most magical moment: It's a three way tie: 1) Spontaneously being given a Happy Birthday card signed by all the cast and CMs working backstage at the Doug Live show, 2) Seeing that Brother Lerroy had been good on his word and carried the piece of paper I gave him around for two months, and 3) Hearing Off Kilter play Happy Birthday for me.

Biggest disappointment: The sauerkraut at Biergaren being cooked in pork stock instead of water :-(

Best CM encounter: Had to be Brother Lerroy

Thing I wish I had done: Watched Food Rocks a few more times, gotten to see Scott and Josh, two friends on the College Program, and watch Fantasmic!

Thing I'm glad I experienced: My birthday at Disney World. I can't imagine a more special birthday than the one I had.

Favorite souvenir: My Otter! My beautiful Otter!

Thing I wish I hadn't done: Wasted the money on the Chef Mickey character breakfast. It was ok, but definitely not worth the money.

Thing I'll have to do again: Ride Rock 'N' Roller Coaster!

Funniest thing I heard: Patsy yelling "Oh momma, they're just beatin' the crap out of me!" hehehe

Favorite "Julie only" experience: Being a Beet and Pleasure Island the first night.

Nicest Loins viewed: There were some nice loins on display at Pleasure Island, but I'd still have to go with Off Kilter.

Thing I have a new appreciation for: Lord of the Dance. I really wasn't expecting it to be as precise and coordinated as it was. I was expecting someone to be out of step at some point, but no...no one missed a single beat! Wow!

Best thing about the whole trip: How even if I had been in 100% control of how things went on my birthday, I would not have been able to make it any better. All my plans fell into place wonderfully and made it the best birthday I've ever had.

Worst thing about the whole trip: How screwed up my tickets got. But it's a lesson learned now...if I'm using employee paper exchange tickets, redeem them *one at a time*!!!!! :-)

Final thoughts:


I just can't emphasize enough what an exceptionally wonderful trip I had. When I think of all the trips I've taken to Disney World, I'm certain that this is one of the top two...maybe the top one. From Off Kilter singing Happy Birthday to me to seeing Brother Lerroy to watching Lord of the Dance, to getting to be a Beet, I could not have asked for a better birthday. Even with all the changes going on that are making people so unhappy, the Magic is still there. You may have to look for it a bit, but when you find it, it's totally overwhelming. This trip was the first time I had ever been totally in awe of all the magical things going on around me. I can't have those kind of experiences at home even if I try. I still believe in Magic...do you?

Thanks for listening to my diatribe. I know I can get long winded, and I appreciate those of you who have trudged through it. If you have any questions or comments about anything, please feel free to e-mail me. Have a Disney day!

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