2009 Disney Daily Blog

Click here to see a sampling of pictures.


Today we started our 9th vacation to Disney World!  We woke up early to catch our 7:45 flight, and arrived in Orlando at 11:00.  Disney's Magical Express picked us up at the airport and brought us to our beautiful hotel, The Port Orlean's Riverside.  Our room wasn't ready, so we ate lunch at the food court, pin traded with cast members, walked around outside and took pictures, and looked in the gift shop.  Once our room was ready, we unpacked, and headed to the Magic Kingdom!  We did alot today in four hours and had a great time!

When we arrived at the Magic Kingdom, we walked around in the Main Street shops and bakery, took some pictures, and just enjoyed being "home" again.  We headed over to Frontierland, and we were surprised to see Cowboy Goofy, as we have NEVER seen him before doing meet and greets!  After a Texas howdy to Goofy, we went over to Adventureland to take a ride on Aladdin's Magic Carpets.  It started to rain, so we went inside for a meal that all four of us love, taco salads!  We found these a few years ago and have made them at home, but it was nice to have the "original" again!  The rain let up, so we went back to Frontierland, and had another character first!  We met Donald Duck dressed as Davy Crockett!  After autographs and pictures, we went over to Tomorrowland for one of our favorites, The Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor Comedy Club.  This is a fairly new and really neat attraction that uses technology to incorporate audience members into the comedy acts.  One of the acts included a monster telling a story using guests as characters from the Monster's Inc movie.  All of a sudden, we saw Neil's face up on the screen - and he was the character of Mike Wazowski, who is his favorite Monster's Inc. character!  Since Mike only has one eye, Neil had to cover up one of his eyes with his hand.  It was really cool to see Neil up on the screen! 

After the show, we went over to use our fastpasses for Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin that we had picked up before Monster's Inc.  We saved the galaxy with Buzz, and decided to head to Fantasyland.  On the way over, it started to rain again, so Courtney and Megan got ice cream and we went inside to eat it.  By the time the ice cream was gone, the rain had let up and we headed out.  Our plan was to get fastpasses for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and then watch Mickey's Philharmagic.  As we were getting our Pooh fastpasses, we got surprise fastpasses for Mickey's Philharmagic that were immediately good.  We enjoyed the show, and after taking a ride through the 100 Acre Woods, we decided to head back to the Riverside.  We pin traded our way down Main Street and made some good trades.  Our bus was waiting for us when we got to the stop, so we got on and enjoyed the ride back.  Our driver even pointed out a "Bambi" on the side of the road!  Courtney and Megan put on their swimsuits and enjoyed a swim at the pool by our room.  Everyone showered and was exhausted from the long day!  The plan for tomorrow is Typhoon Lagoon water park in the morning, and Epcot in the evening, with dinner in Japan.  Check out pictures from today and check back tomorrow for another update!


Today was our second day, and we decided to head to Typhoon Lagoon water park for some fun in the sun!  After saying aloha to Stitch and Lilo, we went to the HUGE wave pool!  We all had fun catching some waves.  After that, we went to the family raft ride, Gangplank Falls, where we got in a big inner tube and went down a river.  We went to another tube ride, Keelhaul Falls, that had individual inner tubes.  Next, we jumped into the lazy river, Castaway Creek, and rode it around to the front of the park.  We got off and grabbed a bite to eat at Leaning Palms.  It was nice because we found a large seating area that was completely empty, so we had a private dining shack!  The parks have been pretty empty so far this trip, which we have enjoyed.  After lunch, Neil and Megan got back in the wave pool again, while Bonnie and Courtney walked around the water park.  After 3 hours, we went back to the hotel.  Courtney and Megan still wanted to be in the water, so they took a swim in the main pool at the hotel, that has fountains and a water slide.

After showers and resting, we headed to Epcot for the rest of the day.  When we got there, it started to rain, so we looked around in the Art of Disney store, and then continued on to Innoventions.  Courtney and Megan did a 3 part game called the Great Piggy Bank Race.  Next, we picked up a Mission Pass for the new Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure.  Courtney and Megan got a snack of a lemonade slush and a churro, and Bonnie got a margarita in Mexico.  We walked over to Italy where we picked up our Kimmunicator (a special cell phone) for the adventure.  Our adventure was in Japan, so we made our way over there.  We watched videos on the Kimmunicator that told us the clues and gave us hints, which took us around the Japan pavillion.  After completing our mission, it was time for our dinner at Teppan Edo.  We enjoyed our salads with ginger dressing, filet mignons, shrimp, rice, vegetables, and ice cream.  After we were STUFFED from a wonderful dinner, we went to America and watched Billy Joel perform.  We made our way over to the United Kingdom, listened to the Beatles, and took pictures with Pooh, Eeyore, and Tigger.  After that, we went to Epcot Character Spot, where Mickey, Pluto, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy were waiting to greet us.  To finish off the night, we took a ride on Spaceship Earth, and headed back to our hotel.  Tomorrow, we are having breakfast at Animal Kingdom, and dinner at Downtown Disney.  Check back for tomorrow's update and take a look at some great pictures from today!


Today was our third day and we went to Animal Kingdom for a day in the wild!  We got there at 8 when it opened for resort guests, and headed straight back to Expedition Everest!  Neil, Courtney, and Megan rode it and Bonnie got fastpasses so they could ride it later.  Then, we went to the Tusker House restaurant where we were joined by Mickey, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy!  It was a great way to start our day.  After breakfast, we headed over to Camp Mickey-Minnie, and said hello to Pocahontas.  Then we went and watched The Festival of the Lion King, which was AMAZING!  We took some pictures by the Tree of Life, and then headed to Dinoland.  Bonnie got fastpasses for Kali River Rapids, and Neil, Courtney, and Megan rode Dinosaur.  Then it was time for us to use our Expedition Everest fastpasses.  We rode it once with the fastpasses, and once in the single rider line.  We saw Flik and stopped for some pictures and autographs, and then got a snack of pineapples and pretzels.  Then we made our way over to Asia where we rode Kali River Rapids.  Since we were wet from the ride, we decided to head back to the hotel and get a bite to eat there.  We enjoyed fish, chicken, and hamburgers, and rested before our night at Downtown Disney.

When we got to Downtown Disney, we went to the Art of Disney store, where Bonnie got a neat holographic poster for the living room.  Then we went to a new store called Tren-D, that has unique Disney clothes and jewelry for teen girls.  Courtney got a pretty bracelet and earrings and Megan got a cute wristlet.  Next, we walked around and took some pictures, then made our way over to Raglan Road for dinner.  We had never been here before, so we were excited to try this Irish restaurant.  Bonnie, Courtney, and Megan had steak and mashed potatoes, and Neil had fish and chips.  We enjoyed hearing our waiter’s Irish accent, especially when he said tomato.  When it came time for dessert, we decided to order four different ones and share them.  They were all delicious!  We stopped in some stores along the way after dinner, including the Harley Davidson store, Magnetron, and Disney’s Candy Cauldron.  After that, we went in to Disney Quest for some indoor fun.  Courtney and Megan played a neat virtual pinball game which they liked.  Then we went downstairs and all rode the Virtual Jungle Cruise, which made it seem like we were paddling down the river – we even got splashed!  Then, Courtney and Megan decided to try CyberSpace Mountain, where they built their own roller coast and then rode it.  They set it to medium speed and didn’t put any upside downs since it was their first time, but after riding it they decided it was too boring so they made a new one!  This one was on the fast speed and went upside down three times.  They liked this one a lot better, but next time we go back, they want to make one with all upside downs!  After a very fun night, we decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel, because we’re waking up early to get to Epcot when it opens.  We’re VERY excited for our dinner at Yachtsman’s Steakhouse.  Tomorrow is someone’s anniversary!!! 19 years! Check out pictures from today and check back tomorrow for another update!


Today was Bonnie and Neil’s 19th wedding anniversary, and we were very happy to be celebrating it in Disney World!  We got to Epcot right when it opened and headed to the Land pavilion.  We got fastpasses for Soarin’ and then rode it in the standby line.  After our flight, Neil, Courtney, and Megan rode Living with the Land, and Bonnie went over to get Test Track fastpasses for later.  We ate a snack at Sunshine Seasons before using our fastpasses to ride Soarin’ again.  We shopped around in Mouse Gears before riding Test Track.  Then, it was time to hit the countries.  We started in Mexico and then continued on to Norway and China.  We stopped in the Africa outpost and then went to Germany.  We took pictures with Snow White and got a German pretzel.  Then we stopped in Italy and America, and took some pictures.  We ate lunch in Japan and had teriyaki chicken, rice, and salads.  Courtney and Megan got to help the aquaculturists feed the Koi fish in the pond.  Then we finished our way around the world with stops in Morocco, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada.  We took some pictures in front of Spaceship Earth and headed back to the Port Orleans. 

When we got back to the hotel, Bonnie and Neil had an anniversary card and balloons waiting for them from the hotel.  Courtney and Megan put on their swimsuits and took a quick swim.  We showered, rested, and got ready for our favorite meal, dinner at Yachtsman’s Steakhouse.  We got to the Yacht Club and took some pictures around the beautiful resort.  Then we got seated at Yachtsman’s and ordered our appetizers, caesar salads.  Bonnie got a filet mignon and Neil, Courtney, and Megan had 24 ounce Porterhouses, which is filet and strip.  We were STUFFED from the steaks, but we ordered our desserts, which we all enjoyed.  We headed back and called it a night.  Bonnie and Neil had a wonderful 19th anniversary, and they loved spending it in their favorite place with their daughters.  Tomorrow we’re heading to Hollywood Studios in the morning and Epcot in the evening, with dinner in China.  Take a look at today’s pictures!


We had a great 5th day in Disney World.  We started out at the Extra Magic Hour for resort guests, and got in to Hollywood Studios an hour before the park opened to the public.  Courtney and Megan rode Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster twice in a row since the line was short.  We got fastpasses for that and Tower of Terror before a quick breakfast at Starring Rolls Café.  We did some pin trading at Guest Relations and under the hat, picked up fastpasses for Toy Story Mania, and then headed to the American Idol Experience.  We were all excited to see this brand new show since we are big fans of American Idol.  It was SO neat.  Before the show, they did some taping in the waiting area which they used later in the show, and we watched a special edition of American Idol Today.  Three park guests that had auditioned for the show producers sang for us and we got to vote for the best one.  The winner from each of the shows during the day goes to the Finale at 7 pm.  The Finale winner receives a special pass to the front of the line at any American Idol audition.  The stage was set up exactly like the real show, and we all enjoyed it a lot.  Next, Courtney and Megan used the fastpasses for Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, which they love.  We had lunch at a place we’ve never eaten at before, Backlot Express.  We took some pictures and then headed to the Animation Courtyard.  We saw the Magic of Disney Animation, which was about how Disney characters come to life.  Then, Courtney and Megan went to the Animation Academy and got to learn how to draw Donald Duck in a step by step class with a Disney animator.  After that, we went over to Pixar Place to use our Toy Story Mania fastpasses.  This ride opened right before our trip last year, and we really enjoy it.  We loved the American Idol Experience so much, that we decided to catch another show.  After Idol, we headed back to our hotel for showers and to relax.

Our original plans for tonight were to eat in China at Epcot, but we decided to cancel that reservation.  We went to Downtown Disney in the evening and had dinner at Earl of Sandwich.  We love the one in Houston, but it’s far so we don’t eat it often.  Next, we went to the Pin Store and made some great trades to complete a lot of our sets.  We shopped around in Once Upon a Toy and World of Disney.  The plan then was for Bonnie to head back to the hotel and do some laundry and relax, and for Neil, Courtney, and Megan to go to Disney Quest.  The sky was DARK and there was lots of thunder.  Bonnie went to the bus stop and got on the bus, and Neil and the girls went over to Disney Quest even though it looked like it was going to pour any minute.  When we saw how long the line was, we changed our minds and went to the bus stop.  We ended up getting on the same bus as Bonnie.  We relaxed in the room and watched America’s Got Talent.  The plans for tomorrow morning are Ohana’s Breakfast at the Polynesian hotel and Magic Kingdom after that.  We’re heading to Hollywood Studios in the evening so we can see a Finale of the American Idol Experience, and to have a late dinner at Mama Melrose’s.  Check out today’s pictures and come back tomorrow!


Today was a very fun and packed day!  We woke up early to catch a bus to Magic Kingdom, then we hopped on the monorail to the Polynesian Hotel.  We had a great breakfast at Ohana’s.  Mickey, Pluto, Lilo, and Stitch joined us for the family style meal.  After we finished eating, we took the monorail back to the Magic Kingdom.  We went to Mickey’s Toontown Fair to meet Tinkerbell and other fairies in Pixie Hollow.  Courtney has been WAITING until Tinkerbell was a character we could meet, so she was very excited.  We shrunk down to fairy size and met Iridessa, Tinkerbell, and Rosetta.  After our time in Pixie Hollow, we got some watermelon and cotton candy (interesting combination, right?) at the Farmer’s Market and took a ride on the train.  We got off at Main Street and shopped and pin traded.  Then we met Bea Star and the mayor of Magic Kingdom, Mayor Weaver.  Then we headed to Tomorrowland to take a ride on the Indy Speedway cars.  We ate lunch at Pinocchio’s Village Haus which is fun because you can look into the loading area of It’s A Small World.  Courtney and Megan love to get a table by the window and wave as the boats float past us.  Then, we rode It’s A Small World and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  We stopped to say hi to Chip and Dale on our way out, and then we headed back to the Riverside.

Courtney and Megan went for a quick swim at the pool and we rested and showered before heading out to Hollywood Studios.  We went to the Finale of American Idol Experience which was REALLY neat.  The winner of the 7 contestants was Joe Massey, and he won a ‘fastpass’ to the front of any American Idol audition in the country.  It would be pretty cool if he made it on to the show!  After that, we ate a late dinner at a very good Italian place, Mama Melrose’s.  We headed back to the hotel and relaxed.  Our plans for tomorrow are Hollywood Studios and Epcot for dinner.     


Today we headed to Hollywood Studios again!  This has definitely become our favorite park this year!  We got there at 8:00 a.m. for the Extra Magic Hour.  Neil headed to Rock 'n' Roller Coaster to get fastpasses for the girls, and Bonnie, Courtney, and Megan went to Toy Story Midway Mania.  We rode it once, and then again after Neil joined us.  We really enjoy that ride.  We stopped to see Eeyore, Goofy and Pluto, and Goofy was especially excited because Neil was wearing a Goofy shirt!  Next, we headed over to Rock 'n' Roller Coaster so Courtney and Megan could use their fastpasses.  We pin traded and ended up talking to one of the cast members that we pin traded with, Vance, for a while.  Then we headed back to our hotel for an early lunch, since we had early dinner reservations tonight. 

We rested and showered, and then took the bus to Epcot for our 4:10 Le Cellier reservations!  This is our FAVORITE restaurant, and the ONLY time that they had available for our entire trip!  On the way over to Canada, we stopped to say hello to Belle.  We got to Le Cellier, and had the most amazing bread, pretzel bread.  We all ordered filet mignons that were incredible!  For dessert, Neil got a chocolate shake, Bonnie and Megan got the campfire s'mores, and Courtney got the chocolate on chocolate cake.  After we were stuffed from dinner, we headed over to Hollywood Studios for the American Idol Experience finale show!  Can you guess what our new favorite show is?!  Tonight's show was GREAT!  Out of the 7 performers, there was some real talent and we had a hard time deciding who to vote for!  Juanita Nave sang I Want to Dance with Somebody and won the finale.  Will she be the next American Idol?  After the show, we went to Downtown Disney.  We did some shopping in World of Disney, and then headed over to DisneyQuest.  Courtney and Megan had been wanting to do CyberSpace Mountain again, where they create their own roller coaster and then ride it.  The first time, they had 7 upside downs, and the second time they had 9!  After a busy night, we headed back to the hotel.  Our plans for tomorrow are to sleep in a bit, and head to Blizzard Beach in the morning.  Check out some pictures!


This morning we slept in a bit and then set out to Blizzard Beach water park.  We got there at 10 a.m. and headed straight to Teamboat Springs, which is the world's largest family raft ride, and we all enjoyed that.  Then we went over to the Runoff Rapids, a double tube ride.  Neil and Megan went down, and then Bonnie and Courtney followed.  After that, we went in the lazy river, Cross Country Creek.  We took that around to the small wave pool, Melt-Away Bay.  On the way out, we stopped to say hi to Goofy.  We had a lot of fun in the wave pool, and floated on the inner tubes in there.  Then, we headed to the Toboggan Racers and the Snow Stormers, which were fun mat rides.  We stopped to eat lunch at Lottawatta Lodge, and then got in the lazy river again.  Neil, Courtney, and Megan took the ski lift up the mountain to ride the Teamboat Springs ride again.  After that, we stopped for snowcones and then came back to the hotel.  We rested, showered, and got ready for dinner.

We went over to Animal Kingdom tonight.  Neil, Courtney, and Megan rode Expedition Everest in the single rider line.  This means that they got in a separate line, and whenever there was a party with an odd number, someone from this line fills in the empty spot.  They all ended up on the same train, just not next to each other.  After conquering the yeti, we headed over to Yak and Yeti for dinner.  Funny story - last year was the first year this restaurant was open.  We went last July, and LOVED it.  When we were seated this year, we were at the exact same table!  We had an amazing dinner.  We got four meals, baby back ribs, beef and broccoli, sweet and sour chicken, and tempura shrimp, and shared them all.  For dessert, we ordered two Brownie Ice Cream Sundaes for 2.  The head chef came over and talked to us and wanted to make sure we were enjoying our meal, which was nice.  We spent some time in the gift shop on the way out, and then headed back to the Riverside.  Courtney and Megan went down to the arcade to spend two free 30 minute cards that they sent us with our reservation confirmation.  Then, they went to the main pool and had fun on the water slide and in the hot tub.  Check out some pictures!  We're headed to Hollywood Studios in the morning!


Today was a very long, fun-filled day at Hollywood Studios!  We were there for eleven hours!  We rode Toy Story Mania and then headed over to the Animation Courtyard.  We were the first ones there at 10 a.m. when it opened, and we went straight to where Mickey was.  We ended up getting a private meet and greet with him, because no one else was in line!  We got to take all the pictures we wanted and stayed there for a while until another family got in line.  Then, the girls went to the Animation Academy again where this time they learned how to draw Minnie Mouse.  Then we got in line to meet the characters from the movie UP.  After that, Courtney and Megan rode Tower of Terror, and then we went to ABC Commissary for lunch.  As we were standing there looking at the menu, a man, with his wife and son, came up to Bonnie and asked her if we by any chance have a Disney website!  They had seen our website when they were planning their trip and recognized us from it!  They were the first people who have ever come up to us in the parks like that - so this is a shout out to Don and his family!  After our 5 minutes of fame, we ate lunch, and then rode the Great Movie Ride.   We rode Toy Story Mania again and then went to see Buzz Lightyear and Woody.  Then, Courtney and Megan rode Rock 'n' Roller Coaster twice in a row.  We stopped to get a chocolate croissant and a rice krispy treat, saw two of the American Idol Experience shows and then shopped to pass the time before the Finale.  We saw the Finale, which was great, and Kevin Dees won the Dream Ticket.  After that, we headed to the Port Orleans French Quarter for dinner.  We stayed here in 2005 so it was fun to come back for a meal.  Neil had a cheese and steak sandwich, Courtney had chicken parmesan, and Bonnie and Megan had taco salads.  We came back to the Riverside and chilled.  Tomorrow is our last full day and our last day in the parks.  We are going to Typhoon Lagoon in the morning, and then to the American Idol Finale, the Polynesian for dinner, and Magic Kingdom for the fireworks and parade!


Today was our last day, and talk about making the most of our park hopper!  We started off at Typhoon Lagoon in the morning.  It was cloudy and at times it sprinkled a bit, but the park was empty!  We went on Gangplank Falls, Mayday Falls, and the Storm Slides.  We spent a lot of time in the huge wave pool which we LOVE!  After taking a ride around the Lazy River and catching a few more waves, we headed back to the Riverside to get ready for our long afternoon and night!

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