Trip Report: Tim’s 30th Birthday in Disney Day 1

Today is Tim’s 30th Birthday! Woo hoo! Happy Birthday, babe!

In stark contradiction to what the world tells us to feel about reaching the 30 mark, and despite my “old man” teasing of my husband, I am super excited that we are reaching our 30’s. We have done a LOT during our 20’s and they feel complete. I feel excitedly ready to find out what the next decade will hold for us. Maybe it’s because we were married so young, and started our family so young, but I feel like our age hasn’t necessarily matched our maturity in years past, and maybe now that we are starting our 30’s we will finally be viewed as grown ups {whatever those are}.

Today’s celebrations of Tim’s big 3-0 status will be minimal since he has this thing called a job and I am officially homeschooling and all of that super fun stuff. However, as many of you know from following our social media outlets, we celebrated a bit early and a couple of weekends ago we took a lovely adults-only trip to Disney!

So. Much. Exhausting. Fun. Here’s what went down:

Friday 3:30am, we awoke from a restless night’s sleep on my mother’s couch and loveseat. We had spent the night there since we were leaving the children in her charge while we were gone. A wash of the face, a brush of the teeth {notice I didn’t say hair}, and a change into clothes rendered us ready for a quick drive and almost equally as quick flight to Disney World. Tim had found a stellar deal for $49 tickets to Orlando, which spurred on the idea for a last minute birthday bash. Since we are annual pass holders, it was a big “DUH!” as to whether or not we should go.

If you have the chance to go to Disney, you go. “DUH!”IMG_4021_2

Our flight landed at 7:30am. We caught the Magical Express {Disney’s complimentary transportation to those who are staying on Disney property} and arrived at the Boardwalk Inn by 8:40ish. Although we are DVC Members, we paid cash for this room because all of this year’s points are currently tied up and Tim found {yet another} amazing deal. We were able to book a studio at the Boardwalk for only about $80 more than a night at the Allstar Resorts. {Is it possible to say “DUH!” too many times in a post? Okay, good.} Since the Boardwalk is just a short walk away from Epcot, it was Tim’s 30th birthday we were celebrating, and Epcot just happens to be his favorite park, you guessed it, it was a big fat “DUH!” that we booked our one-night stay there.IMG_3962_2

We were happily greeted at the door when we walked up by a woman saying, “Are you Mr. and Mrs. Elrod?” {How do they do that? This Disney Magic stuff is no joke.} She escorted us to the front desk where they checked us in, took our luggage, and we literally walked straight out of the lobby and walked into the back entrance of Epcot by 9:04. Epcot opened at 9:00am.IMG_3983_2 IMG_3982_2 IMG_3981

The first thing we did was take a stroll hand-in-hand to France where we shared a chocolate croissant. Magnifique! [kisses fingertips]IMG_3968_2IMG_3759

Tim, being the fantastically thorough Disney-planner that he is, had already booked us fastpasses for Soarin’ starting at 9:30, so we headed towards The Land. We knocked out Soarin’ and Living with the Land, then passed up our fastpasses for Journey into Imagination in exchange for a ride on Spaceship Earth. {Can I just say how much I love Spaceship Earth? I always forget this ride in the talks of “What’s Your Favorite Disney World Attraction?”, but man. I am just such a history nerd. I get all the feels every time Judi Dench says into my sound-wired headrest, “After 30,000 years of time travel, here we are, a truly global community, poised to shape the future of this, our Spaceship Earth.” Watch out, Elrod kids. Homeschool is about to go Disney.}IMG_3764

Tim’s face in our future lives had me belly-laughing!

Content with skipping rides we’ve ridden so many times, we took an hour or so to just brows World Showcase. We debated lunch in many countries, but decided to stop and eat in China at Lotus Blossom Cafe. We split the orange chicken and drank tap water, because we’re so thrifty like that.IMG_3783IMG_3980_2 At this time, the Florida heat and humidity was starting to bear down so we decided to head back to the Boardwalk to find our room and take a dip in the scary clown pool {Y’all. They don’t even put a picture of this pool on the Disney website because it’s so scary ugly. Google it.} Thanks to a fellow Periscoper, we were easily talked into a stop at Beaches & Cream at the Beach Club on the way back.IMG_3791IMG_3795

Now we come to the part where I have one of my few Disney complaints: For the most part, we Elrods are Disney optimists. We are certainly opinionated, but we like to look for the best in a company that is dear to our hearts and in which obviously have a lot of literal stock. But the woman who escorted us to the front desk and the gentleman that checked us in when we first arrived were wonderful. The guy that checked our bag, not so much. He acted like it was such a chore, and we have never encountered this before. Usually our concierge guys at Wilderness Lodge and Bay Lake Tower are super accommodating and friendly. Tim almost always over-tips them because they are so personable. Well, when we went back to see if our room was ready, the quiet girl at the desk, immediately got a snippy older woman to come and assist her, who informed us as, if we had been complaining, that, “Check-in is NOT until 4:00, so there is nothing I can do.”

[And all the DIsney-goers go, “Gasp!”]

Seriously guys, we have never run into this type of customer service in Disney before. Sometimes I wonder if Disney makes their employees take mandatory “happy pills” before work because they are usually so chipper. {However, having previously been a Cast Member, I know this isn’t so.} But this woman was so rude, right off the bat. We were both pretty offended. We asked for our one suitcase from the concierge desk and he, once again, begrudgingly got us the bag that he had to tote nowhere, and we slipped off to the public bathroom to change into our swim suits. As if we weren’t already a little put-off, as soon as we sat down by the pool, it began to downpour. We grabbed our bag and hustled it back up the huge porch located on the backside of the lobby to take haven from the rain, since we had to room in which to retreat. Another family that shared our situation followed.

If we had had our children with us, this could have been a potential nightmare, but surprisingly, sitting there on the porch overlooking the lake between the Boardwalk and Beach and Yacht Club, it was so relaxing. We charged our phones, chatted, people-watched, Tim took a nap, I read it a book; it was an introvert’s Disney Dream and I loved it.

After about an hour, the woman of the party that shared in our roomless delight, came barging out of the side door to where her family sat nearby. Y’all. Disney makes for the best people-watching. She was wearing a white maxi skirt and dark tank with a big, floppy, black hat, and big gestures of outrage to match. {Now, this is meant to be read aloud in your best Jersey accent. C’mon, just play along. It was so entertaining, I wish I could act it out for you.} “I can’t believe it!” she said loudly, and all heads on the porch turned to look. “Our room is ready! Our room has been ready! I didn’t get a text!”

At this Tim jumped up and went inside to check the status of our own room. I was left to witness the rest.

“She’s givin’ me some story about an emergency fire drill and it messed up the system, but I ain’t buyin’ it! Not for what I’m payin’ here a night!! Sittin’ out here like we’re some kinda homeless people! [wild arms flying around her head] Getcha stuff, lets go! [Mostly to herself as she crossed in front of me to gesture to her other grown son sitting on the other side of the porch] Not for what I’m payin’ here a night!!”

[insert all the laughing-to-tears emoji faces]

Not to burst your bubble, but our room still wasn’t ready. Tim finagled his way into a different room with a less desirable location and we headed that way to change for dinner. Dinner plans included steak and the famously cheesy potato soup at Le Cellier in the Canada pavilion, so we were pretty anxious to get there. We gave ourselves forty minutes to walk from our room to the restaurant, which ended up being about twenty minutes too much. We dawdled around the UK and Canada, got pictures made by a Photopass Photographer, watched Canadian burly-men {and woman} throw axes at a block of wood, that sort of thing. Once our reservation time rolled around, we went in and got seated immediately at Le Cellier.IMG_3798 IMG_3805

We ordered the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup and the Le Cellier Poutine {french fries with canadian cheddar, black truffle, and red wine reduction on top!} for appetizers, then split the filet mignon that came on top of a wild mushroom risotto with heirloom tomatoes in a truffle-butter sauce. So delicious. All of it. So delicious. It was so nice just sitting there, chatting about work, kids, adoption, Disney, dreaming about our future; I love my man and spending time with him one-on-one is just the best. Also, I should mention that we had a fantastic waiter. He was gracious, informative, prompt, and friendly. When dining in World Showcase, I always try to make it a point to ask about the waiter’s home county. The staff in the pavilions in World Showcase are here on work visas from the country they’re working in, so it’s always interesting hearing stories about their home and their take on America. {Just so you know, on authority from a lovely waiter at Via Napoli, pepperoni and grated parmesan are completely American ways to eat pizza, so I make a point not to order that while dining in Italy. “We onlee haz zat here because, you know, zee Americans like eet.”}IMG_3813 IMG_3814 IMG_3815

After we ate, Tim decided he wanted to go to Magic Kingdom. This was such a shocker because Illuminations is his favorite nighttime firework display and I just knew he was going to want to see it sans kids. Nope. We headed over to Magic Kingdom for some Starbucks, a ride on the People Mover, Haunted Mansion, Dumbo…whatever had a short wait, honestly. About halfway through our tour of Fantasyland, I decided I needed a LeFou’s brew, so we stopped to charge our phones in Gaston’s Tavern. Upon ordering, the guy at the register noticed Tim’s Birthday button and gave him the LeFou’s brew and a cinnamon roll on the house! Whaaa? Happy Birthday to me {because Tim could care less about either}!IMG_3830IMG_3990 IMG_3823

Once the sun started setting, we monorailed {yes, I just used monorail as a verb} over to the Contemporary and then walked to Bay Lake Tower for drinks and an appetizer at the Top of the World Lounge. I had a white sangria and Tim went for a mule. We also ordered the Bay Lake Tower BLT Flatbread. At 10pm, Wishes started at Magic Kingdom and we watched from the Top of the World viewing area. It was magical, to say the least.IMG_3842 IMG_3845IMG_3996IMG_4027

After Wishes, we high-stepped it back to the monorail because Epcot had extra-magic hours that night and was open until 11pm. We made it there at about 10:40, so we were able to stroll one last time through Epcot and stopped for cronuts on the way back to the Boardwalk. We seriously ate all the food on this trip…but it was so worth the calories and subtle tummy-ache.IMG_4019

We fell into bed for a five hour snooze, ready to start the Disney madness all over again the next day. Be sure to stop back by Wednesday when I post about Day 2 of our trip!

With love, Malorie

One thought on “Trip Report: Tim’s 30th Birthday in Disney Day 1

  1. I read every word and was disappointed that this blog didn’t include day two! It was cut off from me like a movie and now I have to
    wait for the sequal. Funny thing is, I where you were and what you did through periscope… But now I get to hear all the fun stuff in between! Come on Wednesday!

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