August 27




Mary Ellen, Joe and Kristy



Let me start today’s trip report with a little introduction. Mary Ellen is a very special friend of mine, I call her my “bestest” friend. But before we met on Aug 27th, I had never seen her face to face, even though we had talked on the phone. But let me start at the beginning.

Mary Ellen and I are both members of a Disney yahoo group. One asked a question and the other one answered it and over a Disney subject we started writing e-mails to each other and over time started to get to know each other better. That was 2 years ago!

Ever since we have written to each other at least once a day, sharing life’s ups and downs and we have become very close friends living on two different continents. About a year ago we started planning to meet at ……. WDW, where else.

Joe is Mary Ellen’s husband, who turned out to be one of the easiest persons to be with – and very funny too!

Kristy is their daughter – a wonderful Disney loving young lady. 



Today was the “big” day! We got up a little earlier, got our “goodie-bags” for Mary Ellen and family ready and headed over to Port Orleans Riverside for breakfast. We were a little late for our reservation, but they didn’t mind and we were seated immediately. I didn’t have to think about what to order – I always have the Banana-stuffed French Toast - with strawberry-banana sauce and bacon. Tom ordered the Three-egg omelette with choice of fillings, served with homestyle potatoes and toast. The French Toast is wonderful and I wonder if anyone was ever able to finish it. The portion is huge and sweet!

After breakfast we strolled over to French Quarter to meet our friends. But before that I wanted them to experience a little Disney magic. I asked a very nice Cast Member at check in to hand them the three goodie-bags we had prepared for them at check in. He was a bit sceptic it would work, but made a note on the reservation and promised to try to make it happen. We then picked up a soft drink at the food court and sat down at a table on the opposite side of lobby to wait for them. Needless to say we were very nervous. Would we recognise them? We  had only seen a few photos of them! 

About 5 minutes later the Magical Express arrived and we recognised them right away. They went over to the Front Desk to check in and we waited in our “hiding place”. Well, the Cast member checking them in was still earning her ears and must have been otherwise occupied, because she forgot about the bags. While checking in Joe turned around and saw us! He started waving and so did we. After check in we all met and there was instant bonding. All our nervousness was blown away. We had met “old friends”. They picked up their goodie-bags from Mickey and we sat in the food court and talked for a little while. They needed a break and some food, so we took the goodie-bags back to our air conditioned room at All Star Movies, while they had a bite to eat.

When we came back they were still sitting in the food court finishing their light lunch. We were all ready to start our time together. And we wanted to start it in the right way – with a Kitchen Sink at Beaches and Cream. We got into the car, drove over to the Yacht Club and strolled through the hotel over to Beaches and Cream. Joe offered to hold on to the beeper and wait around the restaurant, while the rest of us “hid” in the air conditioned Beach Club Resort.We only waited for a very short time until our table was ready. We all had water and shared a Kitchen Sink!

Boy, that is a lot of ice-cream and toppings, and whipped cream and cherries!!!!!!! The five of us were not able to finish it, but we had so much fun when our server announced it and brought it over, then offered to take pictures of us. We all had a lot of ice-cream and the treats that came with it. Full of energy we strolled through the Yacht Club again and picked up Birthday Buttons for Kristy and Mary Ellen, who both had celebrated their birthday a few days before and this was their birthday trip too. 

The lady at the Concierge desk was really wonderful and after handing them their pins made sure we all got one! Mary Ellen’s Pal Mickey got a 1st visit one, Joe a Happy Anniversary one and Tom and I a Just Married one!

We had lots of laughs and went to the former Belz Mall to shop around the Disney Outlet Store. We all bought a few things before we headed back to French Quarter. We dropped Mary Ellen and family off, so we could all freshen up and get ready for our dinner at the Concourse Steakhouse.

About 45 minutes before our dinner we picked them up at their and they had brought presents for us as well. Wonderful additions to our Jim Shore collections!

We arrived at the Contemporary, parked the car, picked up another beeper and strolled through the shop on the 4th floor. A few minutes later our table was ready and we headed over to have our first dinner together.

For starters Tom had the Pan Seared Scallops with honey-vinaigrette dressing and I had the Caesar Salad. Don’t remember what everyone else had. Mary Ellen and I had the 7 oz. Filet Mignon - with Mediterranean bread salad and gorgonzola butter as our main course and Tom had the 14 oz. Chipotle Glazed Rib Eye with onion rings.

Tom and I both had Key Lime Pie and Mary Ellen and Kristy had the Seasonal Cheesecake, both with a candle on it, as they were wearing their birthday buttons.

Since there was some time left before the fireworks we decided to take the Monorail and go over to the Polynesian, where Mary Ellen and Joe had stayed during their May anniversary trip, to show us their room location. We explored the grounds together and then Joe surprised us all with his skills to make Dole Whips at Captain Cook’s. We all shared that one Dole Whip, since none of us could have finished a whole one.

It was now time to go back to the Contemporary. When we were looking for a compartment of the Monorail, where we could all ride together the driver of the Monorail saw the birthday buttons Mary Ellen and Kristy were wearing and invited us to ride in the front! None of us had ever done that before, so this was a truly magical moment for all of us. Unfortunately only 4 of us were allowed in the front, so Joe volunteered to ride in a regular compartment.

We arrived about 2 minutes before the fireworks were going to start and we hurried to the 4th floor platform underneath the Monorail tracks to view the fireworks from there. You could hear the music and we all enjoyed the fireworks very much! What a way to start our vacation together!

After the fireworks we went back down to our car and drove to French Quarter to drop off our new friends. We then went back to our room at ASMovies to talk about our experiences of that day for quite a while.