Day Three – Part One

Posted by Carly Morgan

Day Three – Part One (Monday)

On Monday morning we opened Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The initial plan was to meet at DHS as a big group, but when push came to shove only Aunt Carole, J.W., Kyle, and I made it to the park opening. The rest of the group caught up with us after breakfast. To be fair, I’m not a huge fan of opening parks in groups of 6+ because people are always so pushy and rushed in the morning. My family doesn’t really do well in pushy and rushed (wheelchairs and all) so that early morning bottleneck run through DHS’s main street would have been really annoying.

As soon as we got inside the gates, Kyle took our four tickets and ran back to Toy Story Mania to get fastpasses. We learned our lesson during our honeymoon when we tried to get fastpasses for Toy Story at 10 AM, only to learn that they had sold out for the day. In the meantime, J.W., Aunt Carole, and I were able to walk onto Tower of Terror with only a ten minute wait. I adore TOT. It might be my favorite ride ever, although I have to admit that a lot depends on the people you get stuck with…like teenagers who yell just to yell or screaming/hysterical children who have been drug onto the ride by parents insisting that they’re “going to have a lot of fun.”

This ride in particular was really good. They change up the drop patterns on the ride all the time and since I’ve ridden it easily more than 50 times, I’ve kind of been through it all. This one sucked my breath out, though, when it went straight up instead of dropping, paused, went straight up some more, and then sucked us all the way down. I was easily in the air for 30 seconds, butt off the seat, floating up against the pull of the seat belt. Heaven.

By the time we got off TOT (love it!), Kyle had almost made it back and he had his brother (Justin) and brother’s girlfriend (Tracy) in tow, so we waited for them to ride Rockin’ Roller Coaster. I have to admit, it’s actually my favorite first-ride-of-the-day ride. I can think of four or five times when I went to MGM by myself as a CP so that I could start the day by riding RRC before I had to go to work. Kyle doesn’t share my enthusiasm for the coaster as a substitute for morning coffee, but since it doesn’t make him sick like teacups or Mission Space, he humors me. Aunt Carole and J.W. were all up for it and loved it…until Aunt Carole about toppled over while getting out of the ride. Flipping upside-down before 9:30 AM tends to play tricks on your inner balance.

The rest of my family finally got there and were waiting for us when we got off the ride. My grandparents and my Aunt Darlene and Uncle Denis don’t do coasters or rides that spin or rides that drop (or really anything that involves motion) so the group split up with part of the fam going off to watch the Beauty and the Beast stage show and the rest of us going to ride Tower of Terror and the Rockin’ Roller Coaster. I had been talking these rides up to my little brother and my mom ever since we’d worked at WDW in 2002, so I was beyond excited to get them on. As I thought, they loved both of them. Photo op!

After we got off the rides, my mom decided that her knee was really giving her a lot of trouble, so the boys went to get her a wheelchair…which made the fourth wheelchair in the group. It was also the last wheelchair, which was fortunate because we were running out of people who could push!

After we got everyone back together, I gave my mom, my grandma, and my two aunts pin lanyards, so that they could start pin trading. They like collecting things like that so I figured it would be a fun little distraction. Little did I know, it was to become a whirlwind obsession…(more on that later)…

We split off from everyone at that point. We still hadn’t ridden Toy Story Mania, but we had lunch reservations with Justin and Tracy at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater and we didn’t want to be late. As we wandered away, we realized that it was really the first time we’d had alone together where we weren’t sleeping. I’d like to say that we did something wildly romantic and talked deeply about our thoughts on marriage, but in reality we went and saw Muppet Vision 3D and then tried on all the hats at the gift shop. Good times.

Lunch at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater was AWESOME. I had never been there before and I was completely blown away when I walked in. The inside of the restaurant is just a big room with a tall ceiling and it’s done up to look like you’re walking around outside at a 50’s drive-in theater at night.

There’s a big movie screen playing clips and commercials of campy B movies and the tables are actually little cars that you sit in, 2 by 2. There are actual tables that you can get, but we hopped into a car, with Tracy and Justin sitting in the front and Kyle and I sitting in the back. It was sort of nice, actually, because we were able to chat and visit with them, but at the same time it was like being on a date with just the two of us.

I got a turkey sandwich and a cherry coke (and officially started to fall of the diet wagon) and Kyle got a Reuben (like he always does) and an alcoholic milkshake with a glowing ice cube in it. We had the give-us-free-stuff-bride-and-groom-hats on, so the waitress made a big deal and brought us a free sundae, which we couldn’t even finish. I don’t remember what Tracy and Justin got, but I know that everyone was happy and everything was delicious. Ah, it’s a rough life at WDW…

Day Two – Part Two

Posted by Carly Morgan


Day Two – Part Two

At some point in the afternoon, everyone got hungry so we headed over to Pecos Bill’s for fries and burgers. Call me tacky and insane, but I freakin’ love Pecos Bill’s…mainly because I love to load my fries up on cheese and mushrooms from the condiment bar. Yes, I know it’s weird to eat a meal that is 90% condiments, but I don’t care. I love it.

While we were there, we caught up with some family friends that I’ve known since birth. It really started to sink in that we were bringing people from all over the country and all different parts of our lives together. I mean, I guess that’s what the point of any wedding is, but the fact that we were sitting in the Magic Kingdom with 12 of the people who are central to my life was pretty incredible. I also started to get the sinking suspicion that no matter what happened on the wedding day, the fact that everyone was going to be there meant that it was going to be awesome…(but more on that later, of course)…

My grandparents were done with rides after we finished eating, so we took them over to see the stage show and to nab good seats for the parade and fireworks. After they were situated, the rest of us ran back to ride Splash Mountain, which was not closed like we thought it was going to be. We filled up the log with our party (and weighed it down a considerable amount) so we ended up getting soaked. There’s nothing like the sun setting down on the MK while you walk around wringing out your t-shirt.

(if I didn’t look naked, this would be the greatest photo ever)

Kyle’s brother and his girlfriend caught up to us after we got off the ride and we all caught the light parade from the wooden sidewalks of Frontierland. Once the parade was over, everyone started to head towards the castle. And by everyone, I don’t mean just our party…I mean EVERYONE in the whole park started to head to the castle. So, when my aunt called and said that they were saving us a spot down front, my initial thought was “yeah, right.”

Luckily, my uncle is really tall and he was waving a pair of those light-up ears like there was no tomorrow, so we actually made it to the impressively large spot that they had saved. I will say this about my family – when it comes to saving stuff, you really can’t beat them. They’ll be all polite and sweet one minute and then the next minute you’ve got lots of tiny, angry Chinese people who are telling you off. It’s pretty scary.

I’ve never seen the fireworks from right in front of the castle. Part of that may be because you can’t actually see the fireworks from right in front of the castle. See, the fireworks are actually set off in Fantasyland, so when you’re right up in front, the fireworks are behind the castle and you only catch a bit of one every so often. The view of the castle was incredible, though. It was still done up in the holiday lights and it was simply stunning. Kyle filmed the whole thing so I could sneak peeks back at my fam. I loved watching their faces every time a really big one went off. I wish I’d gotten some pics, but it would have ruined the moment.

It was extra magic hours so we headed over to Tomorrowland after that. My cute grandparents just kept going and going! We thought for sure that they would tire out after a while, but they were having a ball.

As it got later and later Kyle and I decided to split off from everyone and go ride rides with his brother, his brother’s girlfriend, Craig, and his wife, who had all met up with us at the park. The video above has fun clips of us hanging out. The six of us did the late night rides thing, got thoroughly soaked on Splash Mountain, and didn’t get back to the resort until after midnight. That’s ok, who sleeps at WDW, anyway?

Day Two – Part One

Posted by Carly Morgan

Day Two (Sunday) – Part One

We usually wake up super early on our first full day of a WDW vacation, but this time we let ourselves sleep in since my family hadn’t gotten in until late and we were spending the day with them. We actually did wake up pretty early, but we stayed in bed and watched TV so that we could let my family sleep. Of course, by the time I actually did call them, I found out that they were all up, that my aunt and cousin staying at the Pop had left without us, and that they were all getting ready to have breakfast. We were left in the Disney dust! I grabbed the duffle bag that had our flowers in it and we caught the bus/monorail over to Poly. We probably could have taken more, since the plan was to slowly move all the wedding stuff over there, but since we had a couple of days to go we figured the flowers would be enough.

We made it over to the Polynesian quickly and met everyone for breakfast at the Kona Café. I love seeing my family, especially when I haven’t seen them for a long time. To give you the full count, it was my mom, my stepdad, my little brother, my aunt, my uncle, my other aunt, my cousin, and my two grandparents. Kona was a ton of fun. I have to admit that I had never been there before. In fact, the only thing that I knew about it was that Van likes to go there for tonga toast and coffee. It’s funny the things you retain about people you’ve never met, isn’t it? Kyle got the tonga toast and mmmmm did it smell good. I was a good girl, though, since I was still on a diet. I admit that I was tempted by the free creampuffs that they sent us, but in the end I only had a nibble.

After everyone had enjoyed breakfast (except for the crash-dieting bride who enjoyed a Lara bar), we went to check out their hotel rooms. It’s amazing the difference between a value resort room and a deluxe resort room. I won’t go into all the details, but I can tell you that we went home that night and just shook our heads at our 70’s themed wallpaper trim.

After we took a couple of moments to enjoy the resort we couldn’t afford, the whole group headed over to the Magic Kingdom. It was quite the journey since we were traveling in a big group and we had two wheelchairs. My mom was also struggling a bit to keep up because she’s getting over a pretty serious knee injury. It took us longer to get over there than it should have because we went the wrong way and ended up walking (and wheeling) to the TTC instead of going up to get on the monorail. It’s so embarrassing to be the Disney experts and start out a week’s vacation with “uh…we don’t know where…wait, how did we…ok, I think if we go this way…screw it, let’s just get on this boat…”

Everyone got through the bag check and in the gates with no real trouble. I collected tickets and Kyle took off right away to get everyone fastpasses for the Pooh ride. (My grandma has a bear thing.) We were sort of a slow-moving bunch, especially by Kyle and my standards, but we were able to keep a good pace and hit a respectable list of rides.

We had a little bit of a snag in the Haunted Mansion. I was worried about my grandma getting onto the moving walkway and into the doom buggy, since she has a little bit of trouble, so I dispatched Kyle to walk in front of her and help her in before getting into his own. Somehow, we forgot to save one for him, so Kyle, my mom, and I all rode through the ride smashed into one of those tiny cars. We were cozy to say the least, but somehow we got back out!

Random funny story – so we had worked out this system where Kyle went off to get Fastpasses while the rest of us made our way from point A to point B with the wheelchairs and such, which ended up being a fabulous plan. We’d gotten fastpasses for the Jungle Cruise (turns out you don’t need them if you have wheelchairs) and we were waiting around in the front of the ride for our fastpass time when suddenly two cast members came up. It turns out that one of them reads my blog and recognized us, which was just too funny! I wish I had thought to get a picture with her, but I was so surprised I let her slip off without even catching her name…

Day One – Part Two

Posted by Carly Morgan

Day One (Saturday) – Part Two


Pop Century is a fun hotel. That being said, it’s not the nicest of Disney resorts. You don’t get quite the service and attention at the Pop that you do at other resorts on property. When we checked in we didn’t get a congratulations or anything, despite being listed as a Disney Bride and Groom and we had to wait more than two hours for our room with absolutely no estimate on when it would be ready. Like I said, not the worst service but sort of annoying.


While we waited for our room, we amused ourselves by grabbing some lunch and walking around the resort grounds. Pop’s whole thing is oversized relics from days gone by and there’s a nice bridge out in the back that is supposed to lead to another resort. They’ve stopped construction on that one for the time being, but I’m excited to see it completed because the theming will be early decades in the last century…20s and 30s and all that. The bridge is a very peaceful spot, so we went back there and chatted. After some pleading I was able to get Kyle to practice our first dance with me out over the water, using our little iPod boombox. We had been practicing our dance for about a month, but there were still some kinks…(more on that later).

We got our room after a couple of hours, but our luggage was a little slower. I admit that I started to enter a slow panic. See, we had a little bit of trouble with our luggage. To be more specific, I forgot to ship what needed to be shipped and the result was that we had to stuff everything into our bags. No, everything. What is everything, you may ask? Well, everything includes:

• wedding dress
• shoes, veil, purse, jewelry
• tea outfit complete with hat, dress, and vintage heels
• 8 adult size hoodies
• 15 attendant gifts, 7 vendor gifts, 5 parent gifts, 3 child-at-wedding gifts, and one flower girl gift
• 5 bouquets, 7 boutonnières, one flower basket, 5 bags of petals, and one flower wand
• one week’s worth of clothes for each of us
• 2 cameras, one camcorder, one laptop, one iPod boombox, and two iPods
• one copy of every scrap of paper relevant to the wedding
• hair straightener, hair curler, hair dryer, hair products (I have lots of hair)
• bride and groom mickey ears
• Matching Mickey Mouse rain jackets (never worn)
• a partridge in a pear tree

All of this (except for that last one) went into 4 checked bags, 2 carry-ons, and 2 personal items. Kyle and I each had a hat on. He wore his Mickey ears and I wore my tea hat. I knew that we could only carry on so much and the cameras/camcorder/laptop sure as hell weren’t going to survive being checked, so in the end I had to choose between my flowers and my wedding dress. I came damn close to just wearing the wedding dress to make sure that nothing happened to it, but in the end it got checked.

So, when it wasn’t arriving magically via Magic Express, I started to panic a little. Luckily, our luggage got there about a half hour after we did. Both of my suitcases had been broken (one handle and one strap) but the contents were 99% unharmed. The only thing that got dinged was Katelyn’s mini-lunchbox. Don’t ask me how, but it had a giant dent in it when I gave it to her. She loved it anyway.

We finally unpacked, freshened up, and hit the Magic Kingdom. We’d heard (falsely) that it was the last day that Splash Mountain would be open for the week, so we went straight there and stood in line for an HOUR, which is the longest I’ve ever waited for that ride. We did notice a couple of little things when we were floating through on our flume…eyelids that were stuck, parts that weren’t moving…it’s funny to realize that we’ve been through so many times that we know every nod and turn and whistle. Maybe we’ve been over magic-ed.


We wandered out after Splash Mountain. We’ve never been huge on the fireworks and we were feeling pretty beat after our late night/early morning. We did pop over the Grand Floridian on the monorail so that we could take a look at the wedding pavilion. They were cleaning up, so we were able to actually look in for the first time. We also hung out and listened to the band at the GF, dreaming about the fact that we’d be staying there in just a few days. I’ve walked into the Floridian a hundred times, but every single time it just takes my breath away. So completely beautiful…just breathtaking…

It was late by the time we made it back to Pop Century, but sweet Kyle ran down to the food court and got me my end-of-the-night hot chocolate like he always does. We watched a bit of resort tv, got a phone call from my family that they had arrived at the Polynesian, and then drifted off to sleep in our two queen beds, happily wrapped up in hotel sheets.

Day One, Part One…(and it begins!)

Posted by Carly Morgan

Day One (Saturday) – Part One

We woke up at 4:30AM on Saturday morning. I had printed out our itinerary the night before and had a general sense that our plane left around 6:30, but being completely neurotic I always like to arrive at the airport really early. Our friend Grey, who is our official drive-us-to-the-airport friend, showed up at 4:45 (bless his heart) and we ran around like headless chickens trying to get everything into the car.

We had woken up a little by the time we got to the airport (10 min drive) but apparently we hadn’t woken up enough because when we got to the check-in kiosk we realized two things: 1) I had left my wallet attached to the keys in the ignition of the car Grey was driving back to our apt and 2) We had forgotten one of our bags. This really just points to my insane state of mind. I usually check, re-check, and triple-check EVERYTHING before we fly anywhere. I don’t think I’ve forgotten a bag for anything in my life and here we were, with Kyle and Grey doing 80 MPH back to our place and me chewing my nails to stubs in front of the Delta check-in desk.

By the time Kyle came back with the lost bag and my wallet, it was 5:45. I wasn’t worried about it because that left us almost an hour before our flight and the Columbus airport isn’t exactly LAX. However, when we went to check in, we were denied. It turns out that I had printed out the itinerary for our February trip to Napa (for which our flight leaves at 6:45 AM) whereas our flight to WDW was leaving at 6:00 AM. Delta has a strict “check in 30 min prior to the flight” policy…something about luggage or some other inconvenient crap.

The woman behind the kiosk shrugged and told us to get in the GIANT we-have-issues line. Luckily, we were saved by two things. One was that I started to get that whole trembling lip thing that signals tears. The other is that my sweet husband-to-be had his Mickey groom ears on and so we were attracting positive attention. One of the Delta agents, who will be now referred to as our Delta Guardian Angel (DGA), came over and quickly rebooked us on a flight that was leaving at 7:30 AM. It meant a difference of only an hour from when we would have gotten there originally. After thanking her profusely, we made our way to the gate.

Of course, the drama did not end there. We sat at the gate for about ten minutes before they made an announcement that something was wrong with the plane. Then, ten minutes after that, they made another announcement. Apparently, the Columbus airport has one mechanic…and they keep him on call…but for some reason they couldn’t find him at home…at 6:10 in the morning…

So, we sat and sat and sat. The captain kept coming back on to let us know that they still couldn’t find him. Kyle stood in line with his Mickey ears on, but since there were about 40 other people in line, there wasn’t much that the guy at the podium could do. So, Kyle went off in search of Starbucks and I sat and left angry blogs about how much I hate Delta. Then, suddenly, DGA appeared out of nowhere. Apparently they had called her up to help with all the chaos and she spotted me in the crowd.

She called me up to the podium and then grabbed one of my bags and took off! I scurried after her and she rapidly walked me to another gate while slipping me new boarding passes and whispering that I needed to keep hushed about our new arrangements because everyone else would be irritated if they knew we’d been rebooked. Not only did she rebook us magically (for the second time!), she put us in first class on a flight that was leaving in ten minutes. Kyle booked it back from Starbucks and off we went to Atlanta!

The flight from Atlanta to Orlando found us back in coach, but at least we were in an exit row. It was actually pretty nice because it was a big plane and it was mostly empty, except for the occasional rowdy family. One such family was behind me and the stewardess did the cutest thing. She took all the boys up to meet the pilot in the cockpit. I thought they stopped doing that sort of stuff in the eighties, but off they went, following her like the Lost Boys.

The cuteness factor was taken down a notch when there was an incessant dinging that started after they went up front and rang throughout the entire plane. At first we laughed about how they must be having fun up there with all the buttons, but after what was seriously about ten minutes of dinging we were starting to curse under our breath. Suddenly, another stewardess came and started fidgeting with my armrest. I wasn’t touching it at all, but when she fidgeted with it the dinging stopped. When she walked away I turned to Kyle and said “that was weird”. It was at that point that he confessed that he had accidentally had his elbow on the attendant-call-button for that whole time and had only realized it when she came over to see why our seats were dinging. Yeah…

Since we were in an exit row, we ended up sitting across from the stewardess who was in the jump seat. She turned out to be really chatty and she just kept talking and talking for the whole flight, which was sort of nice because she made it fly by. At the end of the flight, she snuck us a bottle of red wine, warning us not to show any other passengers. (Apparently, Delta employees can only be nice to passengers as long as they don’t tell anyone)…

We made it from the airport to Pop Century with absolutely no drama whatsoever. I love that we don’t have to pick up our luggage anymore, thanks to Disney’s Magical Express. We were just whisked off to WDW for our fairytale…

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