Iím sitting in dreary England wishing to be in sunny Orlando, and taking my cue from longislandguy (as I am a Long Island girl), I shall set about writing a much delayed trip report for my July 2009 trip to the World.
And in minor roles, my twin sister, Michelle, her friends, Izzy and Valerie, Ben Franklin, and my parents.
We flew in from MacArthur to Orlando on the Fourth of July and used Magical Express to get to Saratoga Springs where we were checking in for our stay in the awesome Treehouses! We were totally psyched because we donít generally get our first choice DVC and we called at the crack of dawn when the booking window opened, and we got it! This is the twenty-something trip for my family, but the most of the others had never been.
(Izzy, Heather, Michelle, Valerie)
As I went to check in with my parents, the kiddies took over the little television area to watch some Disney cartoons. They golf carted us over to the treehouses, which I, uh, didnít take any pictures of but Heather did:
This is what you get when you have six seventeen and eighteen year-olds in a hotel room: hair straighteners on the kitchen counter. You can see in the background a banner as we were celebrating our high school graduation, my sister and Iís birthday as well as my parents twentieth wedding anniversary.
The treehouses were just awesome. The master bathroom is so awesome that itís worth noting. I showered every time there. Itís sooooo cool.
It was about mid-afternoon and we were off, as I was insistent that we go to the American Adventure on Independence Day. And we are huge Voices of Liberty fans; so the special concert was a must-do.
We hopped on the bus from the treehouses, then on to Saratoga, where we didnít wait long for an Epcot bus. We got through security and then sat for a bit while my mother went to deal with annual pass renewals.
(Valerie, Michelle, Izzy)
We noticed some strange activity a few feet away, what looked like a bowling bag was in a bush. There were a few security guards blocking anyone from getting too near it. Along come the police with a bomb sniffing dog! Rather exciting start to the day.
ĎFirst Visití and ĎCelebratingí pins in place, I took the obligatory first shot in front of Spaceship Earth, then we were off and running, not taking in much of anything for fear that weíd miss the final concert of the day. But we got there in time to take a photo with a certain favourite founding father of mine.
(Me and olí Benny, wearing my tri-corn hat in honour of the day)
Then the event weíd been waiting for:
The three of us are all choir students and as such were slightly disappointed that they used piped in music for the concert whereas the Voices usually sing a cappella. But we didn't mind much, they put on a lovely show. Then some Spirit of America, a viewing of the American Adventure, then heading off around the rest of the lagoon, stopping to meet Mulan and Belle and Mexican Donald on our way out to the monorail to make our way to the Magic Kingdom to see some Fantasy in the Sky.
At the station I asked for us to be seated in the front of the monorail as I thought it would make a lovely first monorail ride for my friends. We were pointed to a gate where there was already a couple waiting, but when the monorail pulled up, there was some dispute as the couple had not asked first, and we were allowed on first.
Our driver, Austin, was soft-spoken, but enthusiastic, and we mooned over him a bit, as teenage girls will do. He told us about how he used to work Rock 'n' Rollercoaster, but he much preferred driving the monorail. (More about this later)
We took the boat from the TTC and then it was time for those awe-inspiring fireworks; and the awe-inspiring Fantasyland crowds. Somehow we got it into our heads that we'd be able to walk around half an hour before the fireworks were scheduled to begin. Let it be known that you cannot. I have never seen such a mob mentality than when I was stuck in the worst Disney crowd I've ever been in between Dumbo and Ariel's Grotto. People were screaming, ramming eachother with strollers, yelling at people in wheelchairs. The three of us literally could not move for minutes at a time. Finally the fireworks begin to go off and everyone just settled down where they were, we found a place where we could breath and:
We wandered a bit after park closing, took advantage of a fairly empty Toontown and Pooh's Playful Spot for some photo-taking, and then it was back to our tree abode for the night.
I took more than a thousand pictures, so much more is forthcoming.