Tales from the WORLD - Six Trip Reports from 2018 in ONE!


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2018 would prove to be a year of ups and downs for me. I graduated from college in May, was trying to get my foot into the door of employement (which proved nothing more than a challenge due to me having Autism, it has been very hard for me to get employeed successfully, but I am now working on a 4-week assessment, which could lead to an externship and possibly full-time employment, over at Deloitte), and I got to go to Disney 6 times, 3 of those as an AP. So without further ado....


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Chapter 1 - A Monorail Adventure with a Silver Star! (January 9, 2018)
To start 2018, I decided to do something similar to what I had done in August 2016 and January 2017 where I did Disney Springs, plus the Monorail Resorts, and Magic Kingdom, but I decided to take a very different way home - instead of taking SunRail home, I would be taking Amtrak home from Kissimmee to Deland! The forecast did call for rain, but that didn’t really happen.

That morning, I decided to take Uber from my home in New Smyrna Beach to the Deland ITF, and then switch to Votran from the Deland ITF to the Debary Station. That was very uneventful, but we did have some traffic between Deland and Orange City. We pulled in just as the train did. I went on the 8:00am Southbound from DeBary to Lynx Central Station, however, due to signal issues between Sanford and Longwood, combined with 20mph speed restrictions, we ended up about 20 minutes late. Link 50 ran into traffic on the off-ramp coming from the 528 at SeaWorld as well, but that didn’t matter at this point of time.

Disney Springs was not busy at all that morning, decided to start by grabbing a cupcake sandwich at Sprinkles, before swinging by DTech, World of Disney, and a few other stores. Made the decision to go to the Basin at the Grand Floridian instead of the one at Disney Springs.

Then I took the bus to the Polynesian, and checked out the resort for a little bit. Was planning to get a Dole Whip, but instead decided to not spoil my planned lunch.

I then hopped on the resort monorail to the Grand Floridian, had lunch at the Grand Floridian Cafe. It was okay, not bad, but not good either. It was just “fine.” By this point I heard about the incident involving monorail red earlier that day through Twitter. Then swung by Basin White and picked up a few bath bombs before hopping on the monorail to the Magic Kingdom.

I ended up knocking down Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train pretty quickly! I did take the WDWRR from Fantasyland to Main St USA just in time to catch the last bit of Festival of Fantasy!

I then left MK for the Contemporary by means of the resort monorail. Grabbed a drink over the Outer Rim lounge, did a bit of shopping, and then had to update my iPhone 5S. Decided to hightail for the resort monorail by 4:30pm for the Transportation & Ticket Center. I then grabbed Lynx Link 56 for Downtown Kissimmee, leaving the TTC at 4:47pm. Arrived at the Kissimmee Amtrak station by 6:00pm, about 58 minutes before train 92’s “scheduled” arrival time (6:48pm). When I got there, the station agent told me the train would be arriving around 7:15 pm, then 7:39 pm. Turns out, the station agent at the Kissimmee station might have known me...

The train ended up arriving at 7:41pm, about 53 minutes late (Amtrak’s never on-time here in Florida for that matter). A passenger who was on the train had brought along a “roll-along” speaker was getting off at Kissimmee, and one of the conductor’s told him “Sir, if you bring that again, you will not be permitted to board the train!”

Decided to grab dinner in the cafe car after we departed Kissimmee. Had me a hot dog, Doritos, and a Mtn Dew. The hot dog was okay, not the best.

Ended up arriving back into Deland at 9:17pm - 46 minutes late. I had texted my mom on the train and she said she was on her way (it was raining back home!) The road from the Deland station (Old New York Ave) is VERY DARK at night, there is no lighting of any kind. Overall, Amtrak home from Disney World is considered to me “one and done”. I will not be taking Amtrak home from Disney World ever again anytime soon, the train was late, it was cramped, it was filthy. I’ve had better Amtrak experiences on the Northeast Regional and Pacific Surfliner and those would do those again!



As the parent to an ASD son, I'm feeling encouraged and hopeful that one day my boy could a) go on a trip to the World himself, if he likes, b) write about it in an interesting and eloquent manner and c) become employed. Looking forward to the rest of the report.


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Chapter 2: First Festival of The Arts - at the last minute too! (February 4, 2018)

I never really thought of doing Disney trips at the last-minute until this came about, but when it did, I had fun! The story behind this trip goes like this:

On February 3, I was busy doing laundry and homework when I was contacted by Corin Shields, the president of our college’s new “Imagineering Club” who asked if was interested in going to Magic Kingdom the next day. Which I responded “YES”! Originally, the plans were that we would go to the Amway Center first, then to MK, but those plans changed at the last minute to us skipping the Amway Center and going to MK instead. I decided to also hit Epcot, and have dinner at California Grill and see Happily Ever After from there! I didn’t care that tomorrow was Super Bowl Sunday, and that the forecast called for rain, but took the later into consideration hoping that crowds would die down. Picked up some FPs for MK as well, plus a California Grill ADR too!

The next morning I got up at 5:45am, assuming we would leave around 6, only to find out that there were communication issues, and this turned into a long game of “phone and Facebook messenger tag.” We ended up leaving Leesburg around 7:30-8:30 and arrived at the TTC by 9:45-ish. I grabbed the Monorail for MK, then headed for Space Mountain and used my first FP there. I then did TTA, before hustling to the hub to catch the 11:00am MISIDPI. I had packed along a pair of bunny ears, along with my Nick & Judy plushies! I saw someone very familiar to me, from the “I’m So Disney...” Facebook group I am a part of - Emily Carter and her daughter Andrea! I called out “Emily Carter, it’s Ian from I’m So Disney on Facebook!” We took a selfie together as well.

Well what happens next is that once the floats come into position, and Nick moves to his side, Judy comes down and hugs Andrea first, a few moments later Judy gives me a big hug and kisses my cheek (3rd such time this has happened, bear in mind)! Me and her take two selfies together, and the conga line gave me a chance to go to the other end of the float to see Nick! He sees the plushies and ends up hugging me! I told him it was, “So good to see you again, you SLY FOX!”

(Oh, and did I mentioned that an Argentine Tour Group took a selfie with me?!)

Then knocked down Under The Sea - Journey of The Little Mermaid, grabbed lunch at Village Haus, and then did Splash Mountain, getting off the later of the three JUST IN TIME as it started to rain!

That’s when I had an idea as I was walking down Main St, MISIDPI got canned due to rain and had to go back in.... I grabbed out my plushies again, and Judy saw then! She did a “hang-10” gesture and blew a kiss!

Took the monorail over to Epcot, wasn’t raining there... yet. Knocked down Test Track and Mission Space (ONE RIGHT AFTER THE OTHER), then my Festival of The Arts adventure began! The Festival of The Arts is so much fun! I liked all the paintings there, and I even saw someone who appeared on PBS!!!!!! I also did Gran Fiesta Tour, visited Club Cool, and did The Seas with Nemo and Friends, all before departing for Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and in turn California Grill.

Had dinner there, LOVE the flatbreads here, but where did the Banana Fritters go? Oh well, at least the Churros with Ice Cream was good. Server was very attentive too!

Got to see Happily Ever After for the first time too, but it was delayed due to rain! Much better than Wishes 1,000X! Then we had to meet back up at Disney Springs to head back to campus. And we heard the Eagles won on our way back to campus!

Overall, crowds that day were (surprisingly enough) super manageable at Magic Kingdom, and Epcot “felt dead!” Very good day overall, got a lot done, and I would do this again!



Well-known member
Congrats on being an Argentinian celebrity :RpS_thumbup:
I love the fireworks from California Grill too.
Sounds like another great day!