Jennifer and Dave's Disney Adventure Report

Dates: 10/18 - 10/27, 1999 (10 day trip)


  • Jennifer Watson (author): 31 year old, writer and co-author of PassPorter Walt Disney World, on her umpteenth trip to Disney (from Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Dave Marx: 44 year old, writer and co-author of PassPorter Walt Disney World, on his 10th (or is it 11th?) trip to Disney (from Hackensack, NJ and Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Evans: 24 year old; online friend who we used to work with on AOL; Disney vacation veteran (joining us for the first three days)
  • Elizabeth: 21 year old; friend of Evans; never been to Disney before (also joining us for the first three days)
Updated 11/21/03

Copyright 1999-2006
PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

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  Our First Day: Monday, October 18, 1999

The trip out to Orlando went easily, though we did have a bit of a race to get to the gate on time due to the traffic in and around the airport (it was Monday morning, after all). On board, we weren't seated together (grumble grumble), but we managed to swap places with friendly travelers and sat across the aisle from one another.

We had arranged to have Tiffany Town Car pick us up, but our driver was not in baggage claim upon our arrival as usual. A call to Tiffany gave us the explanation: they had put us down for 9 PM not 9 am. A simple mistake, and one that was quickly and graciously corrected. Mohammed arrived within minutes to pick us up and take us to our resort, the BoardWalk Villas.

The cast member who checked us into the BoardWalk was training another cast member, so we didn't get much attention (regrettably). In fact, it wasn't until I asked a question that I learned we'd been "complimentarily upgraded" to a different room. We were supposed to have a preferred view, one-bedroom villa. None of these rooms were available, however. So we were given a standard view, one-bedroom villa for $40 less per night. We're happy for the savings, but frankly, this is not an upgrade but a downgrade. Nonetheless, we're very, very pleased with our room. While it does ostensibly overlook the parking lot, there is a pleasant pond and a wall of tress before it so it is easy to look elsewhere. You can also see The Hollywood Hotel (Tower of Terror) from one of the balconies. Better yet, our room was a corner room, which means that we have a unique diagonal shaped living/eating area and a very nice wraparound balcony with two doors (not to mention a private balcony in the sleeping area). And the jacuzzi tub! Jennifer was not disappointed, and had three baths by the end of the first day. The room was relaxing, luxurious, and very spacious. We loved it!

After checking in, we headed over to Epcot to go through the Millennium Village again. On the way, we ran into our friends Evans and Elizabeth near Canada. (Amazing how you can run into people in a place as huge as Epcot.) We set a time and place to meet later to watch Tapestry of Nations, then headed for the Millennium Village.

At Millennium Village, we walked around and made more notes and rode the Journey to Jerusalem ride simulator again. The ride really isn't that exciting, and the simulator seems unnecessary, with a lot of gratuitous bouncing and vibrating. No one else sitting near us seemed that impressed either, especially the kids. It is interesting to note, however, that there is a non-simulator section in the back if you prefer to see the film without getting bounced around. The view seemed equally well from all parts of the theater.

The Journey to Jersusalem pre-show, which Jennifer liked better than the ride itself, takes you on a tour of Jerusalem — old and new. At the start of the film, a toll-free number is flashed across the screen, but no identification is given along with it. We jotted it down and called when we returned. It turns out to be the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Jerusalem. The phone number, if you're intersted, is 1-800-514-1188.

We got a hold of a "program" to the Millennium Celebration that we hadn't seen before. In it, a stylized map of the Village noted that there was a tour and that we needed to go to the Guest Relations desk in the Village to inquire about it. Guest Relations desk? We didn't know one existed in there. So we asked a cast member for assistance, and she happily showed us the way. It turns out to be in the pre-show area behind a curtain -- not exactly easy to locate! Unfortunately, it seems the tour isn't available yet and that it is still being discussed. They did say that if the tour is offered, it should be held free of charge several times a day.

Elsewhere at the Millennium Village, we made updates to the make we're making of it, took a few more notes on the World ShowPlace theater, and noted that nothing seemed to have changed since our visit a little over two weeks ago.

By this point, we were tired from our journey and needed rest, so we went back to the room to cool off and put our feet up. Then it was back to Epcot to meet Evans and Elizabeth for Tapestry of Nations at Cantina de San Angel. The goal was for one of us to get a good table at the Cantina for Reflections of Earth. Good intentions, but it didn't work out so neatly. We arrived at 7:30, but folks were already camped out and not budging. At 7:30! The best we got was a table with an obstructed view of the lagoon. So Jennifer watched the table (and stayed on the lookout for a better table) while everyone else went off to enjoy the parade. We ended up staying at the same table, but standing up to watch Reflections of Earth when it started. The cantina seems to afford a better view of the fireworks and fountains, but the globe was harder to see. We thought we could make out the images on the globe better while standing in Japan (and the globe is really the key to enjoying this show). Nonetheless, we enjoyed it and appreciated the new perspective. We'll continue trying new viewing spots throughout this trip.

Afterwards, we slowly walked back to BoardWalk and caught a bus to Downtown Disney/Pleasure Island. We spent the rest of the evening comfortably ensconsed in the Adventurer's Club. Everyone but Elizabeth was intimately familiar with the Club, and it was a joy to see Elizabeth laughing and smiling as much as she did. She even got "picked on" by Colonel Critchlow Suchbench when she first arrived (he teased her about her name "Elizabeth with all the syllables pronounced" and the fact that she was from New Jersey, naturally). While we were there, we struck up a conversation with someone who seemed to enjoy the Adventurer's Club as much as us. It turned out she was a former cast member and there with her parents. Inevitably, the conversation got around to PassPorter and we had a nice chat about it. She and her parents, who are all big Disney fans and own all the books, were much impressed with it. It was a good night!

Back at the room, we attempted to sign on but the connection was too poor (problems with AOL, not our phone). So we gave up and happily went to sleep... it had been a long day!

From our PassPorter:

The weather on our first day was hot and sunny during the day (barely a cloud in the sky) and cool but still humid in the evening.

The best thing about our first day was getting a wonderful corner room at the BoardWalk Villas.

The worst thing about our first day was how crowded Epcot became in the evening when it had been uncrowded during the day.

The most interesting thing about our first day that we weren't tired all day, especially when you consider how little sleep we got the night before.

The most frustrating thing about our first day was being assigned seats in entirely different parts of the airplane even though we'd made our reservations together and a considerable while ago.

One word that best describes our first day is AHHHHHHHHH.

To learn more, continue on to our Second Day.

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