September 5


We were traveling to Disney for the annual Pin Event held at EPCOT and flying Southwest out of Buffalo. Also traveling with us were our friends Susan and Allison. They were staying at the All Star Resort and we were booked at POP Century. This was another year with free dining and the theme of the pin event was very exciting. Dreams HapPin was the theme and Figment was the ambassador. We arrived at MCO right on time, we were taking advantage of the free Magical Express this time so we headed over to the Disney welcome centre on the B side of the airport. We checked in and were directed to the appropriate line. Our bus was waiting so we said a quick good bye, see you later to Susan and Allison and boarded our bus.

Heading to the pool at POP Century

At first it seemed like a long wait for the bus to fill but both Gary and I thought at the same time, "This is how long we would have waited for our luggage". Once we were on the road it was a quick drive over to POP and we were checked in very quickly. Our room was ready, number 1258 in the 50’s building, very close to the main hall. I had packed our swimsuits in the backpack so we got changed and went down for lunch and a swim. When we went back up to the room we were going to have a little nap, just as we were lying down there was a knock on the door and the luggage was there already. I sorted everything and then we had a little nap.
Up and refreshed we went to Downtown Disney and did some shopping, it was nice to wander around the area without the nightly crowds and we were able to see in the daylight. When we had our fill of the shops we caught a bus over to Animal Kingdom Lodge where we had a dinner ADR at Boma.

Waiting for the bus

 Twilight at Arusha Rock

Dinner at Boma is always a nice dining experience, the food was delicious and the service was very good. After dinner we walked out to Arusha Rock and saw the animals, it was starting to get dark but we could still see quite a few Zebra’s and Giraffe.

Since we had to catch a bus back to Downtown Disney to transfer to the POP bus we had planned to go to the Pin Station to see if any of our trader friends were around but after such a long day and a big meal I think Gary was happy when I said I would rather just go back to the room. Our POP bus was sitting there when we got off the AKL bus so our trip back to the resort was pretty quick. 

Back in the room it was a race to get our swim suits on and jump in the pool to get cooled down. I love the pin event but I really don’t like the September heat, too bad they wouldn’t do this in January. After our swim it didn’t take long for us to get into bed and lights out.

September 6


We didn’t have to be at the pre-registration until noon so it was a lazy morning, we got up, showered and made our way down to Everything POP for breakfast. After breakfast we had a nice swim and just relaxed a bit at the poolside before getting dressed to go to the Yacht and Beach Club Convention Center for registration.

We took the bus to Downtown Disney to catch the Yacht Club bus, while we were waiting for the Yacht Club bus we started talking with a lady also waiting for that bus. She was also going to the pin registrations so we struck up a good conversation with Sandy and found our way to the event together. Once we were in the convention hall we met up with Susan, Allison, Mike and Anne. We got a big table to sit at and check our goods, Sandy came and joined us and knew Susan and Allison from previous Disneyana events.

Coffee at poolside

Chillin' out before the Pin Event

Gary and I were getting a little hungry but didn’t want to spoil our dinner at Ohana so he walked over to Hurricane Hanna’s and got us a sandwich and drink to share, it took the edge off and I continued to yak and compare pins with the group.

Since it was so hot and we didn’t have a lot of time we decided to take a cab back to POP to drop off my pins before going to the Polynesian. I also gave us enough time for a bit of a rest, Gary had a nap and I organized my pins.  Soon it was time to catch the bus to the Magic Kingdom and from there the monorail to the Polynesian.  

We checked in at the Ohana podium and I requested a window table so it took a little longer for us to be seated but it was worth it, I love looking out over the resort. Our meal was fabulous as usual and on the way in to be seated the CM was asking us if we had ever eaten there before etc. and Gary mentioned that he wished they would bring back the pineapple and caramel, the CM said that it may be happening in the future. I don’t know about that, I have gotten to really enjoy the bread pudding too much now to change back.

We took the monorail back to Magic Kingdom after dinner and decided we should get our annual passes rather than wait until the next morning - it would be faster. I had accumulated a whole stack of cards over the past 3 years that consisted of gift cards and 1 day base cards so when I went to guest services I was hoping to be able to use the best combination to save a few dollars. Well we got lucky, we arrived at the window in front of a wonderful cast member named Claudia. I gave her 6 “one day base” tickets and 8 gift cards and asked, what can we do with all this? She applied them all toward our passes and said, “this is a bit outside Disney policy, but I am making a special accommodation”.  She had to stay past her normal quitting time to complete this complicated transaction, on the day she was beginning her vacation!  Well done Claudia, Thanks!  Just another demonstration of Disney Magic.

Armed with our new AP’s - and huge smiles on our faces - we walked through the gates to the Magic Kingdom. I love the feeling you get when you first see Main Street. The crowds were starting to form along the street in anticipation of SpectroMagic. We decided to take advantage of this and headed directly over to Tomorrowland. Along the way I stopped at Le Chapeau, and VMK and of course walked through Uptown Jewelers to check out the pins. We got to Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor just as it was going to enter, the show is very cute and we did get lots of laughs. We both miss the Time Keeper but this show is at least a decent replacement. From there we jumped on Buzz, Gary beat me again although only in the last few minutes. We walked right on Space Mountain, Pooh’s Adventure and surprisingly enough Peter Pan’s flight.  It was 9:55 so we decided to leave the park to beat the fireworks crowd - unfortunately, so did everyone else. There was a huge line waiting for the bus so we got to see the fireworks from the line. We caught the 6th bus after waiting about 15 minutes – not as bad as we had expected.  Back at the resort I picked up the parcels that I had shipped to the room the day before and we had a swim – then lights out.

September 7

We were up and ready to go early; it was the first day of the Pin Event and I wanted to be there when it opened. We had breakfast at Everything POP and met a few of the pin people we had met the year before. We caught the bus and arrived at EPCOT in plenty of time. They had a special entrance for the pin traders, since everyone have bags and sometime suitcases full of pins they had a sniffer dog that took care of the bag check. So rather than a security person checking the bags, in groups of about ten we walked into an area, laid our bags etc. on the ground, stepped back, as Taz, a 7 year old Shepherd checked them out. Once we had Taz’s approval we picked up our bags and headed straight over to Future Show Place, a huge building behind the scenes between Canada and Great Britain.

Taz - the "sniffer dog"

Lined up for the opening of the Pin Event

The hall was decorated in Disney style, everything was amazing. The event sold out again this year so that meant that there were 1400 people attending. Even with the numerous pin-trading boards set up, the lines were very long. I have learned from attending previous events that this is just the way it is going to be so I am prepared to just stand all day. The first time I got to my turn to get a pin I got one of the new lanyard pins, I was pretty excited but it seemed that my luck was all spent on that one pull. Gary on the other hand had a great bit of luck. I had equipped him with the list and pictures of the pins I wanted and he just kept going to the mystery barrel and managed to get almost all the pins I wanted.  

Some of the event decor - Donald and the Philharmagic Orchestra

More decor - a 20,000 Leagues submarine

More decor - Dead Men Tell no Tales

More decor - Halloweentown

For lunch we went to the Sunshine Seasons, Allison joined us but Susan wanted to stay and do some trading. After lunch Gary & Allison decided to stay and do some rides, they rode Living with the Land, Circle of Life, Soarin’ and watched the new film O Canada. On the way back they got caught in a rain down pour and got soaked.  

Growing a Mickey Pumpkin in "Living With the Land"

Gary liked the entertainment at Marrakesh

After the event closed at 6 p.m. we walked over to the American Pavilion so I could pick up a “First day of Issue” set of the new Disney stamps. We then walked back to Morocco to have dinner at Marrakesh. It was our first time dining there and while the food was good we both thought that there were other places we liked better, but I am glad we tried it.  
After dinner exhaustion was setting in, I was beat, the heat and the day of standing was taking its toll. I had wanted to try and meet up with Ursulinda, I knew she was in the park somewhere but I just plain ran out of steam. Gary had gotten a Fast Pass for Soarin’ so we did ride that on our way out of the park, but that was all I had the energy to do. We caught the bus back to POP, Gary had a swim and I sorted my pins for the next day and then crashed.

September 8


We stopped for breakfast at Everything POP again and ran into some of the pin people, it’s nice to have friendly chats here and there with people you have met over the years. We arrived at EPCOT about 9 a.m. and went through the same security check as the day before. We had met up with Tammy and her mom on the bus so we walked over to the event with them. It was another hot day already so I stood in the line and Gary went to find a shady spot to sit until they opened the doors. The wait wasn’t too bad since you spend the time chatting. As we entered through the big gate we met our friend Bob from Whitby so he walked in with us. Once inside Susan also joined us. Gary went to the Mystery Pin line and Bob, Susan and I stood in the pin board speed trading line. Gary was rubbing it in that he had gone through his line 3 times to our one.

Yakkin' and Tradin'

Disneyland Paris Exhibit

For lunch Gary and I went back to Sunshine Seasons, they have a great selection and the food is very good. I went back to the event after lunch but Gary went off to do some rides. He went through the queue for Soarin’ and got to play the new virtual game, he say’s unless the whole group participates it doesn’t work very well but it was pretty neat. He then rode Mission Space twice, once on the orange side and once on the green side. By the time he got back to the pin event I had finally been able to complete the new lanyard set, Susan and I got lucky and were at the front of the line for two refreshes. He was relieved, he could now go and sit down and read his book. I picked up our refreshments and event gifts and joined him for a bit of a sit down. The auction was starting and it is interesting to watch, I can’t believe what some of that stuff sell for!  
The pin event closed at 6 p.m., just enough time for us to go and watch the new movie at Canada before checking in for our ADR at le Cellier. I like the new movie, it is a whole lot better than the tired one that had run since 1982. Martin Short does a great job adding a bit of humour to the narration. We got out of the movie just in time for our ADR and we were seated right away. It didn’t seem as busy as it usually is. We had our usual meal and it was not a disappointment, it was very good, when the CM asked how it was, I said wonderful as usual, we always order the same thing, we are a little boring.  

The fountain at Imagination

After dinner we walked over to the Land to ride Soarin’ again, we had Fast Passes that Gary had picked up earlier so we were able to walk right on. By the time we got off the ride the park was closing and Illuminations was about to start so we just went to the bus stop and back to the resort. Gary had his usual nightly swim and I crawled into bed.

September 9

Another hot day, Gary got up and went directly to the pool for a swim before he went for breakfast. I was slow to get up and shower. I walked down for a coffee and then back to the room to catch up on the trip report. Gary took some pictures around the POP Century Resort and then went off to MGM by himself.  He rode Tower of Terror twice, then sat through the Muppet show to cool off in the air conditioning.  He rode Star Tours twice and then it was time for the Lights, Motors, Action Stunt Driving Show.  By 2:00 p.m. the heat was getting to be too much for him, so he caught the bus back to POP.  It took me until about noon to write up the report and I was starting to get hungry, today was supposed to be Magic Kingdom day and I had my taste buds set for a burger at Pecos Bills so off I went. I wandered down Main Street and over to Frontierland to get my burger. After lunch I walked through the Caribbean Plaza and rode Pirates, then back to the bus so that I could have a swim before meeting Susan & Allison for dinner at the Crystal Palace. I was just coming back to the room when Gary was going down for his swim, then we both had a bit of a nap.

Potato Heads at POP Century

Wow - no one in front of Cinderella Castle

Gary had a light dinner at Everything POP and spent the evening at poolside reading and dipping now and then to keep cool. The heat was really getting to us. I went back to the Magic Kingdom for dinner at the Crystal Palace.
I met Susan and Allison right at 6 p.m. and we were seated almost immediately. We had a great table alongside the windows overlooking the water, it was quite a bit quieter back there and we had a great visit. The food was better than I remember and I ate way too much. 

Allison & Susan

Fountain in Adventureland

After dinner we strolled over to Pirates and walked right on the ride, then we took our time walking over to Fantasyland to watch Philharmagic. It was getting close to Wishes time so I thought I would beat the crowd and get back to the resort, it was still miserably hot and I was getting tired. It was Extra Magic Hours and seemed very busy out on the streets so it took me a while to make my way through the crowd. Back at the resort I was just getting to the room when Gary was coming up from another swim, we both had had enough heat for the day so it was lights out.

September 10


Today was MGM day, we had breakfast at Everything POP and since it was so hot already, we decided to hang around the resort for a bit. We had a swim and a sit by the pool before going up to the room to get ready. We then headed to the bus stop, it seemed to take forever for the bus to come and by the time it did we were soaked from the heat. As soon as we got into the park we walked though the air-conditioned stores to the Tower of Terror and we rode it twice since there was no line. It was lunchtime so we decided to eat at the Commissary since it was Air Conditioned; the food was good and it gave us a chance to cool down. After lunch we over to Lights, Cameras, Action and the show was just about to start. We got really good seats right up front and in the middle.  

"Reverse" jump in Lights, Motors, Action

Olives, Tabasco, Sweetener and Mustard - Yummy!

After the show was over we walked up through the streets of New York to the Muppet Theatre and then over to ride the Great Movie Ride. From there we walked over to the Animation Gallery, watched the show and then chatted with one of the artists. I struggled with myself about buying another cell, the new one being release September 22nd is a black and white and I quite liked it so I decided to wait until our next trip in December to make my choice. It was time for our dinner at Primetime, we checked in and waited at the bar for our names to be called. While we were waiting the troupe of three “Public Works” Streetmosphere performers came into the bar area to entertain those waiting.  They all ended up gathered around Gary and I at the bar.  While one of them admired Gary’s “iced tea” another made a big performance with a skewer of stuffed olives. He very meticulously sucked the pimento out of each olive (still on the stick) and then carefully layered the cavity with Tabasco sauce, mustard, artificial sweetener, more Tabasco, more mustard, more sweetener and then one final dash of Tabasco before he ate them.  Needless to say, he washed them down with his “Martini” (water).  Just after they left, we were called to dinner where we had a very fun Cast Member wait on us; she really played her role well. The food was great as usual and we both enjoyed our PBJ milkshakes. 
When we had finished we decided that we would pass on Fantasmic this trip since we have the Dessert Package booked for MouseFest and since it was pouring rain we thought it would be cancelled anyways. We walked out to the bus in the rain but it felt good. Back at the resort we went for a swim and then crashed.

September 11


Our last day to enjoy a park; since we had not been to Animal Kingdom yet we got up early and we were on the 8:30 a.m. bus. When we got to the park they were just opening the gates so we wandered over to the kennel to check it out.  We plan to use it in December for one of the longer MouseFest days. The Cast Member gave us a tour and some information; it really looks like a nice clean place for Zak & Zoë for a few hours. When we came out the crowd had dispersed so we headed directly to Expedition Everest. Again there was no line so we walked right on, we were able to sit in the last car, which was fun.

Expedition Everest

Temple near Expedition Everest

The Yeti

After Everest we walked over to the Safari ride, this was the only ride with a line, we waited about 30 minutes and it was unbearably hot. I know that AK is hot even on a cooler day but it was just too much for us, so we decided to have lunch at Pizzafari and go back to the resort for a swim. 

Yak & Yeti Restaurant - opening soon

A stilt walker named Devine

Chefs de France Restaurant

After some time in the pool and a short nap we caught the bus to EPCOT, we had an ADR for Chefs de France. It was a great meal, I love their Onion soup. We both had the salmon and enjoyed our window table. After dinner we walked around World Showcase, rode the ride in Mexico and then finished off with a walk through Mouse Gear before catching the bus back to the resort. It was time to pack!

September 12




We got checked out, had breakfast and went to Downtown Disney for a last minute shop. We got there before the stores opened so we could get these great pictures without other people in them. When the stores opened I picked up what I needed and we headed back to the resort.

One potato - two potato . . .

Carousel at Downtown Disney

Pirate theming is everywhere

The much-photographed Lego sea serpent

Two of them are not made of Lego blocks

Look - It's Goofy!

Acting Goofy at the airport

We were using Magical Express and our pickup time was 12:15 p.m. This was a full 3 hours prior to our flight and that was the only downside I could find with ME, it made for a long wait at the airport. Other than that I was really pleased with the service and will use it again. We hopped on the ME bus, waved goodbye to Disney, got checked in at the airport and arrived in Buffalo at 6 p.m. We were across the border in no time flat and actually arrived home safe and tired before midnight. ……only 78 more days until we go back to Disney!!!!