View Full Version : Converting the Disney Skeptics - January 2013 trip report

01-21-2013, 08:05 PM
Hey there, hi there, ho there!

Not long ago, we'd been to Orlando twice without hitting the Disney parks. :scared1: My one daughter and I had been to the Magic Kingdom, and loved it, but the rest of them were all convinced WDW wasn't worth the time or the money. :sad2: But, as a lifelong Disney fan, it was driving me nuts to visit Orlando without doing the parks, so our third time out I finally insisted everyone do all the parks at least once. :thumbsup2

At first I was really excited, but the closer we got to leaving, the more I worried that they might end up not liking the parks after all. :scared:

Will my sons' loyalty to SeaWorld prevent them from enjoying WDW? Will my eldest's hatred of crowds and noise mean she hates the parks? Will my youngest's hatred of Mickey and Toy Story and all costumed characters mean she won't have any fun? Will hubby's preference for amusement parks mean the rides won't measure up? Will we experience any Disney magic? pixiedust: Can we convert the Disney skeptics?

Read along and find out!


The Hermit, 19, my eldest child. Getting this child to express an opinion is like trying to pull your own teeth with strong rubber pliers -- equally painful and futile. She hates crowds, noise and the sun, and is no fan of heat, either, so I was hoping that going in January would mean less of all of those.


Mr. Cool, 18, my eldest son. No problem getting him to express an opinion; he thinks WDW can't compare to SeaWorld and is only going to WDW to please mom. He agreed to spend five days at the Disney parks before hand, but by the time we get to Orlando is already trying to figure out how to skip out at noon and spend his WDW park day evenings at SeaWorld. *sigh*


SeaWorld Son, 16, has been an orca fan since he was 3, and fears that if he goes to WDW and likes it, he is in some way betraying his beloved wolves of the sea. As is clear in this picture (where he's pretending to be driving a Star Wars land speeder), he may be capable of growing a frightening pair of mutton chop sidburns, but he's still a kid at heart!


Ballet Girl, 15, is my compadre in this scheme to convert the skeptics. She's only been to the Magic Kingdom, and loved it, but missed having her siblings there, and has dreamed of going to WDW with the whole family ever since.


Warrior Girl, 12, may be our biggest challenge. All the rest of them at least like the Disney movies; she likes a couple of Disney movies, but her favorites tend toward the obscure (The Aristocats, Oliver and Company, Bolt), and she hates a lot of the most popular characters that she's likely to see in the parks.


Geek Dad, my beloved hubby, is resigned to the fact that there's going to be a lot of WDW in his future, so will do his level best to like it. :rotfl: We both tend to be behind the camera and so I have very few pictures of either of us, and so far all my pics of him from this trip, either he's in the dark or not facing the camera. :rolleyes: So here's a pic of him in Chicago:


And finally, there's me, your narrator, Shalom Hobbitess. :wave: And with that, we're off to Disney World!


Leave Indiana January 5 -- two day drive, so our reservation in Orlando is from January 6-18. I had five park days planned; one day in each park and then we'd vote on which park to hit a second time. In reality, things did not work out that neatly. :p





After that....???

01-21-2013, 08:08 PM

Our Resort -- Orlando Sunshine Building II (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47272801&postcount=4)

MONDAY January 7

Leu Gardens (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47277678&postcount=6)

Downtown Disney (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47280445&postcount=9)

AllStars Movies (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47280981&postcount=10)


Magic Kingdom Arrival and Opening Show (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47434858&postcount=11)

Magic Kingdom Merida, Fantasyland (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47437099&postcount=12)

Magic Kingdom Jack (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47451801&postcount=13)

Magic Kingdom, Polynesian Resort (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47452798&postcount=14)

Magic Kingdom, PUSH, Parade, more Jack (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47484087&postcount=15)

Magic Kingdom, Flag Retreat, Castle Show, Fireworks (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47489310&postcount=16)

WEDNESDAY January 9 Coronado Springs

Coronado Springs (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48134933&postcount=31)


Hollywood Studios, TSM, Phineas and Ferb (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47524491&postcount=17)

Hollywood Studios (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47683867&postcount=20)

Hollywood Studios, Animation Academy, Jedi (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47935021&postcount=26)

Hollywood Studios, Indiana Jones, Streetmosphere (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47975062&postcount=27)

Hollywood Studios, Evening (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47976974&postcount=28)

FRIDAY January Art of Animation and Pop Century

AoA and Pop (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48224500&postcount=36)

SATURDAY January Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom: Kilimanjaro Safaris, Pangani (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48292453&postcount=39)

Animal Kingdom: Oasis, Maharajah (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48296267&postcount=40)

Why You Should Never Feel Bad Because the Tiger's Asleep (www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48296411&postcount=41)


01-22-2013, 09:29 AM
I'm here! :wave2: Loved "meeting" your family, and can't wait to hear more!

But shalom......I am wondering one thing.........where is the photo of YOU?!?!? :confused3

01-22-2013, 02:36 PM
I hereby vow that I will never again plan an Orlando vacation less than a week after a Christmas trip with my extended family. Visiting my family makes me a little psycho, and planning a Disney vacation for/with them clearly had a negative impact on my Disney planning. :sad2:

For starts, after driving south for six hours, I suddenly realized I'd forgotten our park tickets. OUR PARK TICKETS. :scared1: *And* my $100 Disney gift card. :eek: :eek: :faint: Never done anything like that before. Plus the whole day I kept smelling overheated car. Our last trip to Orlando, we ended up stranded for two days while the van was in the shop, and only got down there as soon as we did because hubby insisted they get us a rental, so maybe it was just paranoia.

I know it wasn't all in my head, since I was fussing about smelling an overheated engine in one rest area when the kids pointed out a big truck engine billowing smoke two rows behind us! Not sure what the deal was, since although it was warm for winter it was still nowhere near summer temps, but it seems there were lots of unhappy engines around that day. At any rate, we made it to Smyrna, GA with no serious issues and stayed in a Baymont Inn & Suites. We need to start taking pictures of the motels and hotels we stay in but arent that organized yet, however I will say it was fine for a night. Next morning we headed for Orlando and our condo!

This trip was originally planned for May and we were going to stay at Bonnet Creek; we switched it to January and I wanted to stay at Vacation Village at Parkway (since it was cheaper and I figured we wouldn't be getting a lot of use out of Bonnet Creeks lazy rivers in January), but they sold out literally the day I went to make the reservation (I'd checked the day before), soooo we stayed at Orlando Sunshine, way out near the north end of International Drive. Mr. Cool wanted the Sunshine because he likes the bus routes there; he was going to SeaWorld without the rest of us and doesn't drive, which had a lot to do with which resorts I considered. Hubby liked the Sunshine because we could rent points from a pal so it was way cheap ($42/night). I was less enthused I like the resort, but would have preferred to be much closer to WDW for a trip that's so parks-heavy.

Last time we were in the Sunshine I building, first floor, and could practically walk out the back door to the pool (you had to jog over a bit to the gate). This time we were in the Sunshine II building, top floor, as far as possible from the pool. The Sunshine II units are also smaller (1228 sq ft versus 1380, according to the website), but because theyre laid out pretty well I dont think that bothered anyone much except Mr. Cool, who likes to have his own space. When we were at Sunshine I, he laid claim to the little table in the kitchen; this time there wasn't that extra table so he claimed the porch. There was some fuss checking in (the owner's last payment hadn't been applied to the right account or something), but the weekend guys decided to turn it over to someone who came in Monday and checked us in after a bit of confusion.

The guys at the desk were so out of the loop that they were having a hard time grasping the idea that we owned points but were staying on a rental, which may have been part of the problem. After we got up to the unit we contacted the owner, who said BG had assured him it'd be cleared up by Monday morning, which it was. We've rented from this guy before and I wasn't too worried, especially since it sounds like we could have just paid the difference ourselves and still done alright, but it was definitely a reminder that renting points isnt the same as going direct!

The unit opens into this little alcove -- the washer and dryer are in that closet:


Beyond that is the kitchen...


as well as the dining and the living rooms, and the screened porch is that blur in the back:


The bedrooms were to the right -- the master bedroom:


and bath area:


And the second bedroom:


There's a second bath as well. I meant to go take pictures from the porch about four times, but never did. It faced toward downtown Orlando over outlet malls and the like, which wasn't very exciting during the day but was kind of pretty at night. There were colorfully lit structures off to the left, likely Universal, which was also the source of fireworks some nights. Below were the grounds for the resort -- a lawn edged with plantings straight down, then the tennis/basketball court and the pool off to the left -- which were a restful view during the day. Although there was that parking lot with a big ol' RV to the right... :p

Behind the resort was a canal, then a big grassy field, then the field of dirt and construction. :rolleyes: Just as well we'd planned to be up early most mornings, because the distant "beep beep beep" of reversing construction equipment usually kicked in between six and seven. They were a block or so away, but hubby was fighting a cold that first week while I'm a light sleeper when excited, so we noticed them most mornings. Motivation for getting going, that's what. ;)

Once we got settled in a bit, the first thing on our agenda was getting some pins for the kids to trade. Ballet Girl and Warrior Girl traded pins last time, and wanted to do it again, and SeaWorld Son decided to trade as well, so we needed to start him out from scratch. So we headed for the outlet mall just down the way a bit, and it was a ZOO. January may be a slow time for WDW, but it clearly is not a slow time for Orlando; we rounded the corner to see rows of cars parked on the grass along the road, which wed not seen before. I'd already shifted our first parks day from Monday to Tuesday anyhow, so we decided we'd hit the outlet mall Monday morning.

We ran eldest son down to the welcome center he thought would have the bus pass he wanted -- they didn't, so we hit Walmart for breakfast groceries, and although we finally achieved success, vowed not to do that in the evening again! The snowbirds were out in force, I think; I know my Minnesota relatives head south after New Years and that must be pretty common. Plus when we finally did get to the outlet mall, tons of people from South America filling their suitcases with deals; January must be shopping month. Just generally much more crowded than when we've been there in May. The road Orlando Sunshine is on is pretty quiet, but we quickly learned not to turn right out of the resort because turning left from that road was next to impossible once the Outlet Mall opened, which had not been an issue on our other stay. Going the other way was a tad longer but much quicker.

01-22-2013, 03:23 PM
But shalom......I am wondering one thing.........where is the photo of YOU?!?!? :confused3

Hi, Gina! Welcome! :wave:

Funny you ask that -- reading your latest trip report right after reviewing a bunch of our trip pics, I was thinking how few pictures we take of each other. :upsidedow There are a fair number of the younger three, but not much of the rest of us. The only ones from a trip of me are a couple taken at the same time as the one in my pretrip report, where my face is mostly covered with hat and sunglasses.

We do have some family portraits we did for the church directory floating around; if hubby can track them down, I'll post one. :)


There ya go:


01-22-2013, 10:19 PM
Monday morning those interested got out to the Disney Outlet store for opening. We’ve gotten pins for a dollar apiece at the outlet stores before, and have always been able to get them for $3 or less, but the best we could find this time were pins for $4 apiece. Bother. I got enough to last the kids a couple of days and scheduled another visit. There were some lanyards that were $3; not the best deal but a color he’d like so we got one for SeaWorld Son, and then Ballet Girl bought one for herself (she’d forgotten hers). Then we hit Walmart and headed home to make lunch.

Ballet Girl decided she wanted a shower before we went to try and get her picture with the ballerina at All-Star Movies, so hubby, the Hermit and I decided to make a quick run to Leu Gardens while she did so. Leu Gardens has been "penciled in" on all our Orlando trips but we'd never gotten there, however it's best known for its camellias, and camellias bloom in January, so this time we were motivated. ;) We only had an hour, though, so we only did The Idea Gardens and part of "The Tropical Stream Garden.

Leu Gardens is beside Lake Rowena:


There are plenty of trees:


And palms:


And cacti:


And carnivorous plants:


As well as flowers, like these guys that look like someone stepped on them (not a camellia):


These fluffy guys (not a camellia):


These orchid-y things (not a camellia):


Whatever these are (definitely not a camellia):


Some more common flowers (not a camellia):


And these beauties (possibly a camellia):


(definitely a camellia):


We also have pics of lots of other flora and some fauna, and of course some waterfalls. :lovestruc And a random guy made out of pots. :confused3 Such a nice place, but we still had a Mission to accomplish, and our time was up, so we headed back to the condo.

Li Li
01-22-2013, 10:33 PM
I'm subscribed

Can't wait to hear more :)

01-23-2013, 08:51 AM
Welcome, Li Li! :wave2: Hershey's one of our favorite places -- we were there in 2009 and the kids are lobbying to go back. :)

01-23-2013, 09:33 AM
The last time we were in Orlando, we took pictures of Ballet Girl with the ballerina at All-Star Movies, but by the time we got there we were losing our light. So I'd promised her a re-do, and planned it first thing this time out. As you can see, planning it "first thing" doesn't mean we do it first thing. ;) Now we'd done Leu Gardens and were heading into WDW, Geek Dad declared that the first First Thing we had to do was get our tickets replaced! Undercover Tourist recommended we do that at Downtown Disney, so that's where we were headed.

I am inordinately fond of this fountain, so I stayed taking pictures of it while Geek Dad went looking for information:


When we got there, someone was taking a picture of a friend up with Mickey, and Ballet Girl thought this a great idea:


Waterfalls and pansies -- two of my favorite things!


Geek Dad came back and told us where he was headed, and we drifted after him, but the route led through Arribas brothers so the gap got larger...


The Hermit should have been along -- she loves sparklies!


Took a while, but the CM replaced all our tickets AND the $100 gift card! :cool1: Tempted though I was to get that gift card broken in, we barely skimmed through the pin store....


on our way to the boat dock. We'd rather ride one of Disney's boats than shop, is that bad? :upsidedow As usual, I initially went down the wrong side, toward the resort boat. :rolleyes: I only do that there; I think it's because I so want to stay at Port Orleans or Saratoga Springs! ::yes::

They've changed the balloon since we were there last!


I like it just as well, I think.



We originally intended to wander Downtown Disney a bit after the ride, but it was threatening rain and getting darker, so as soon as we got back, it was off to All-Stars!


01-23-2013, 10:24 AM
Now we had our tickets, things were looking up, and I was thinking this trip might go pretty well after all. Then I saw the ballerina -- who was all boxed in and only partly painted (or maybe they've decided to change her lips to blue, I dunno). :worried: Ballet Girl took it better than I did, and said she'd pose anyhow, and we'll do it again next time. At least there was still light this time. Someday we'll get that kid there when the ballerina's in good shape and it's sunny and bright!


I wanted to check out the resort a bit more, so we headed into the Love Bug section, and Herbie was missing. :crazy2: I knew a lot of rides would be down in January, but I had not thought through to the fact that the resorts were likely being spiffed up as well! Ballet Girl didn't mind, though. She just marched down and laid claim to his glory!



Then she decided she wanted some pictures of her sitting on an oddly stiff tire:


Then we wandered down to the Toy Story section. Woody looked good...


Buzz, not so much.


Hubby took pictures of his daughter...


While I noticed how much Rex's nose looks like an alien skull...


And considered staggering back to the room in an exhausted shape and having to approach this:


Or this:


Not sure I'd be happy there on days I'm so tired I'm seeing things...

Anyhow, we headed home, and, after dinner, I sat everyone down to give them a briefing on the next day. Ballet Girl and I had schedules, but everyone else had refused to discuss possibilities beforehand and still weren't particularly interested, so I offered some suggestions and headed to bed, excited for myself but filled with trepidation regarding some others.

We were going to the MK on a Tuesday, which is probably better than a Monday, but it was also the last day many locals had off from school, and I know I would save the MK for our last day if I was taking little ones and the scheduling worked out, so I was hoping it wouldn't be crowded. And I'd picked it going on crowd calendars -- the MK was not my first choice for introducing Mr. Cool to WDW!

Would they like it? Would Mr. Cool decide WDW was for little kids and stall on going to the other parks? Would the ones without a schedule get to ride much? Would my feet hold up? (Got a huge blister on the bottom of my foot the first day of our last trip to Orlando, and it really slowed me down.) Would Ballet Girl finally get her play time with her siblings on Tom Sawyer Island? Only time would tell, and meanwhile I was having a hard time sleeping!

02-07-2013, 02:08 PM
I forgot to mention another thing we did that Monday; picked up some snazzy socks at Dicks Sports Store. I've been having problems with blisters and wanted to try some Thorlos. I got another brand, too, I forget what. I liked the Thorlos the best and wish I bought more pairs! So a TRAVEL TIP for the Footwear Folks, I did the parks in Crocs with Thorlos socks, and highly recommend that combination. I think the footbed of the Crocs would have gotten to me without good, thick socks between me and the little rubbery spines. Although for the parks I also covered the balls of my feet with moleskin, and used moleskin along the side of one foot where I've got issues whatever shoe I'm wearing (not sure why). The socks are enough for an hour of walking at home, though.

Anyhow, since our first day at a park was a Tuesday, I decided we'd start with the Magic Kingdom. It was not a Best Park with anybody, but Josh gave it a Highly Recommended and TP considered it Neutral, and they gave it crowd levels of 2 and 3 respectively. PARKS TIP: If you want to get there early (as I do), and you're not dealing with people who don't come to full consciousness before eleven even if forced out of bed (I have relatives like that, but none of us are), I strongly recommend you terrorize whoever is most likely to pull the, I don't want to get up early Routine with regular doses of opening versus noon pictures. There's a crowd pictures thread in Theme Park Community here that posts them sometimes:


And Josh posts them at Easy WDW as well. After seeing a pair of those every couple of months before we went, Geek Dad, who is our usual Lets sleep in guy, never remotely suggested it on a park day, and we got to all of them in plenty of time. As in, in the first row, straight shot to the TTA kind of time:


I take pics from where the van is so I can find it at the end of the day. ;)

Mr. Cool wanted to take the monorail, but we've all ridden that and I had never ridden the boat (when Ballet Girl and I did the MK, Geek Dad dropped us off and picked us up at the Contemporary), so I voted the boat -- the monorail wasn't running quite yet, so I didn't even have to pull the Mom Card. I've read so many people talk about their excitement as the boat circles the island and the castle comes in view that I was surprised to discover you can see the Castle before you even get on the boat:


Not sure why I hadn't figured that out -- plenty of people recommend viewing Wishes from there -- but for some reason I expected it to be obscured by the island. So Geek Dad and I spent the trip over taking dreadful pictures of the castle and other surroundings (If you look closely, you can see the Christmas Tree still up behind the train station):



And slightly less dreadful pictures of the kids:


Mr. Cool is only a shadow's length away!


We got into the waiting area and Geek Dad went to the lockers while I settled in a fairly central position to see the opening show.


I am a big ol' sap when it comes to the opening show; I get teary eyed watching it on video, so of course for my first time there with the whole family I was wiping my tears and having trouble focusing the camera. :rolleyes:

When Ballet Girl and I went, the Mayor was Master of Ceremonies; this morning it was Fire Chief Smokey Miller:


I love the dancers, I love the train, I love the characters -- just the perfect way to start your day at Disney World!:



Sometimes I wish they had opening shows at the other parks, but from what I hear of the opening shows they used to have, no dancers anyhow. :confused3

Mr. Cool was still working hard at not being impressed:


I had suggested he go looking for Cinderella's Step Mother and Step Sisters later, but he was so busy doing his, "Sea World is better" routine I didn't think he'd take me up on it.

Ballet Girl hauled her dad and anyone else interested back to get in line to meet Merida, while the Hermit and I strolled back toward Peter Pan's Flight. Taking pictures all the way -- one of Lady and the Tramp's paw prints, of course (although youngest complains that the cement is the wrong color), and one of a window dedicated to one of Walt's daughters:


And of course a few of the castle:


02-07-2013, 05:52 PM
I love the castle and the castle area. For whatever reason, Cinderella was the Princess movie I was most familiar with as a child (I also loved the Rogers and Hammerstein version with Leslie Anne Warren), so that's part of it, I'm sure. The details just delight me.






Then we went on Peter Pan's Flight -- I had never ridden that before and hadn't thought it sounded that interesting; someone on the Dis convinced me it was worth doing, and it immediately became my favorite ride at WDW! I just love the swinging motion, I guess. :cloud9:

Meanwhile, Geek Dad, SeaWorld Son, Ballet Girl and Warrior Girl were in line to meet Merida, although only the girls went up:


Ballet Girl greeted her with a curtsey, and Merida curtseyed back, then said, "Oh, good; I didn't fall this time," and told them a story about going to curtsey and instead falling on a little girl!


Going to see Merida first thing is a good way to avoid the line, but I'm guessing it's not the best light of the day:


The light where they got archery lessons was better. Warrior Girl hit hers dead center -- I think the CM next to her willed it there!


The other two didn't do as well, so then they went to try their hands at the Sword in the Stone, with no success:


And then, since they were right there, the carousel:


Where my predictive powers proved to be quite wrong, and they found Mr. Cool with prospective future mother-in-law:



I haven't been able to get the whole story out of him, but apparently Mr Cool was wandering around behind the castle with his headphones on and she talked to him a bit (telling him to take his headphones out, is my guess, since you notice he's not wearing them here), then later she saw him heading over to meet his siblings at the carousel and joined him, which is when Geek Dad took these pictures.

The Hermit and I, meanwhile, had wandered back to New Fantasyland, where I wanted a picture of the waterfall by the Little Mermaid Ride. We needed to get back to meet Mr. Cool if we were going to, so I tried to get one without getting in line:


That wasn't going to happen, and there was no visible line, so we wandered down there just to get a picture, but by the time we'd gotten down they were just a trickle. :confused3 We waited a bit in this little alcove kind of out of the way for a bit, but no go. There were enough people heading into the ride by then that we decided not to go against the flow to get out of there and to just try it out instead. After we were well into the building and there were people behind us, the Hermit said she could hear the water pick up again. :rolleyes:

I was not impressed with the Little Mermaid ride, but I'm also not that into animatronics, and we'd already done an animatronic ride that day, so, could be me. We wandered over to Gaston's Tavern, because I wanted to try La Fou's Brew, and I was hungry enough I got a pork shank, then split both with the Hermit. I quite liked La Fou's Brew -- tastes like apple juice concentrate -- but neither one of us liked the foam topping much, however I didn't expect to (we're not mango fans). The pork shank was tender and woefully greasy, but we got more meat than some pictures indicate.


We went left instead of right, and so missed the room with Gaston's chair entirely (didn't do my homework!). OTOH, we were inordinately entertained by this bear(?) that someone had decorated with a pirate hat. Well, I found it entertaining -- the Hermit was more amused by my efforts to get a good shot of it in that poor light.


EDIT: Mr Cool protests to my speculation on his conversation with Cinderella's Stepmom -- he says he knows it's rude to wear his earbuds when someone's talking to them so she didn't have to point that out. Which is good to hear, since he doesn't often demonstrate those good manners when his family addresses him...

02-09-2013, 10:36 AM

Took another picture or two of New Fantasyland, then the Hermit and I decided to head back to the train station and take some pictures there. Saw the Royal Majesty Makers as we went, but there was a lot of traffic there and we kept going. The train was just leaving as we came up -- we went to the exit area, so a CM came over to make sure we didn't want a ride (we didn't), and then I took pictures of the luggage there while we waited. Mostly I was after the stickers:


I'd love to know what inspired the choice of stickers -- California and Mexico and the Pacific Northwest all made sense to me, and even Fargo, ND, but there were two for Wisconsin (well, one for Wisconsin and one for Door County), the only remotely midwest offerings, what's with that? :confused3

Finally, the train showed up. I got one blurry picture of the train just as it emerged from the trees, then my stupid camera decided to take an inordinately long time processing the shot, meaning I couldn't take another. Grrrr. This was to become an ongoing issue this trip, not sure what it's problem was. *sigh*


Finally just turned the camera off while I walked around to the other side, where I took some pics of the train sitting in the station. They refill the boiler about every other time around, I believe.


While they were filling the train, there was steam coming up from a vent or something on the opposite side of the track way up where we were, not sure what that was all about. Once the train left, we wandered down the back route to Tomorrowland, enjoying the plantings as we went:


This next is not one of my better shots, but I am fond of pics of the other lands with the castle in the background:


After wandering Tomorrowland a bit, the Hermit and I rode the TTA - twice - and we decided that the People Mover is now our favorite ride at WDW. :teeth: The second time we were on it, it stopped for a while in Space Mountain, but not anywhere interesting, alas. I would have been happier if it stopped outside, and I find the long dark part boring, but other than that, love it. Just our speed, I suppose. :p

I wanted a cream cheese pretzel but we arrived at the Lunching Pad just at opening and they didn't have any ready. The CM suggested a hot dog but I just got a Blue Raspberry smoothie and then we played with the Kugel Ball (the granite sphere fountain) for a bit before we wandered over to Columbia Harbor House for lunch. We sat upstairs in the bit over the walkway, and the windows facing Fantasyland were blocked, however a kid at one of the tables on that side kept pulling back the covering so we'd get glimpses of the construction. I have yet to eat there when all the windows facing Fantasyland are clear. But the shrimp was good. :)

We were meeting everyone at Tom Sawyer Island at noon, so we headed over there. I sat and watched the runaway trains on Big Thunder Mountain while the kids had lunch and told me what they'd been up to that morning, part of which I've already mentioned, but also the Pirate Tutorial:




The Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse:


And Jungle Cruise, which was the "required ride" of the day (everyone was supposed to try it):



They had a lady captain, and they adored her. They were doing bits of her routine the whole trip. :thumbsup2

02-09-2013, 12:31 PM
After the kids got tired of shooting at orcs from the fort, we explored the island (which is really two islands, but whatever), finishing up at the mill, which has a couple of touchpoints to The Old Mill, one of my favorite Silly Symphonies:


Namely, the bluebird in the gears:


And the owl in the rafters:


Then we took the raft back to the mainland and the Hermit and I headed for Liberty Square (I forget why -- I think we were going to take the riverboat but decided not to), while Geek Dad and the younger three took the train to Tomorrowland.

The Hermit was feeling the heat, so I sent her into the Christmas shop while I took a few pictures. Is it just me, or is there something amusing about a castle, complete with Princess, visible from Liberty Square?



The tree is not at its best in January, I'm thinking:


Then we headed out, intending to do the monorail resorts.

I have long wanted to visit Disney early in December after the decorations are up, but I was much less excited about seeing the Christmas decorations in January. However I did like the gingerbread horse ornament on the Christmas tree.


But then I got to wondering about how big that popcorn must be...


For some reason I decided to just walk to the Contemporary instead of taking the monorail. It was in the eighties, so not one of my better plans. We'd planned on getting a cupcake at the Contempo Cafe, but when we got there, neither one of us was hungry. I got a V-8 and we sat in the lounge area for a while, discussing our day and just zoning out. But once we got rested and rehydrated, we decided we could handle a cupcake, and we got a chocolate mint one.

The picture is dreadful but gives you some idea of what it's like -- it's a dark chocolate cupcake with chocolate filling (which may have been minty, I forget) and light green mint frosting, soo good! Really, I have yet to get a cupcake at the Contempo I didn't like; the only problem I have there is making up my mind! We got this one because it was one we hadn't tried, and did not regret it.


Then we went over to the Poly, which I adore. I took a zillion pictures of the atrium and the waterfalls:


And a few of these palm leaves, just beginning to separate:


Wandered the Wyland Gallery, which always has cool stuff:


And then we had to hustle back to the MK without stopping at the Grand Floridian, because we wanted to see the Flag Ceremony at five.

02-12-2013, 12:36 PM
Meanwhile, my three youngest and their dad took the train to the Fantasyland station, where Geek Dad took a quick shot as it pulled away:


And then they played a round or two of Sorcerer's:


Then they wandered into Tomorrowland and met PUSH -- the kids were intrigued, but their dad was almost more interested in taking pictures of the guy running it:


But did eventually take pictures of the kids with PUSH:


And Warrior Girl gave him a hug:


Then they were off to do a couple rounds on Buzz Lightyear. Then they wandered back for the parade:


Figaro is a family favorite:


Aladdin looks like he's had a long day:


The Beast is willing to play along:


But Naveen has just joined the party and is raring to go!


Then they decided to do another Pirate Tutorial, where some pirate-y ladies lined the kids up with the rope and marched them around:


Then they had a photo session with all the kids -- "look normal, look funny, look piratey, look normal again":


I love the kid with the tricorn hat -- he was picked to fight Jack. Is it me, or do the other three look right terrified?


They all did fine, though, but the pictures didn't come out too well. And that was it for Jack that day.


02-12-2013, 08:40 PM
The Hermit and I got to the Flag Retreat area first, and I took some pics of the rehearsal.


Kind of a good thing, since this was my view of the "main event" -- the bass drum and drummer blocked it all!:


But I enjoyed it, none-the-less. :)

Then we retreated to the little alley off Main Street, and started catching up on what everyone had been up to.


Mr. Cool, however, realized they were starting the show in front of the castle, and he and his dad ran off to catch that, with Ballet Girl trailing after.


Mr. Cool had seen it earlier, it seems, and liked it enough he wanted to see it again!


He tends to like stage shows, but I was still surprised he enjoyed this one.


After that was done, we all headed back to Adventureland and collected FastPasses for the Jungle Cruise, then most of us did the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride and (against certain kid's protests) the Enchanted Tiki Room. We came back to use our FastPasses and were told that the Jungle Cruise was down, but while we waited for Mr. Cool to show they decided it was working after all, and off we went. We had a good time, but the kids felt compelled to tell me the lady pilot they'd had in the morning was better. ;)

Then we split up; Geek Dad took Warrior Girl to do the Tomorrowland Speedway; I can't remember what Mr. Cool went to do; Ballet Girl and SeaWorld Son went to finish out a Sorcerer's Game and then meant to meet the Hermit and I while we ate dinner; but I wasn't thinking and set up the meet at a CS that had already closed. Ooops! So the Hermit and I waited until they showed and then went and ate at Cosmic Rays.

We intended to watch the fireworks from the TTA, but the TTA was down and instead we got a cream cheese pretzel and just saw bits of them in the distance. Everyone else was watching from in front of the castle and Geek Dad got some nice shots, I thought, considering that he didn't have a tripod, first of Celebrate the Magic:


And then of the fireworks:




After the crowd thinned a bit, everyone eventually showed up at the rose pavilion, which was our meeting place, and we hung out there until the second showing of Celebrate the Magic.


Then, most of us made our way through the shops, while hubby took his last few shots, we joined up by the Christmas tree, and we went home. :)


02-16-2013, 01:13 PM
Not sure what we all did that Wednesday, because what I didn't do on this trip was fill out my trip journal. :rolleyes1 I can usually count on Ballet Girl to keep track for me, but I ran around more on our non-park days than she did and she didn't keep track of that.

One thing I did was picked up some Phineas and Ferb pins and some mystery pin bags at Character Warehouse. The Phineas and Ferb pins were $3 each and the mystery pins (2 to a bag) $2.50 each, which is more in line with what I'd expected from a Disney outlet store there. SHOPPING TIP -- since the real deals at the Disney outlet stores sell out quickly, don't expect them to be there the next time. OTOH, if there aren't any great deals the first time, try again a few days later and you might luck out!

I can just about always find pins and lanyards at the outlet stores for around $3 each if I check a couple of times over a week. OTOH, I've only found pins for a dollar each the first time we went, and lanyards for a dollar each the second time -- and I know the lanyards were sold out within a day. Going on the pins that show up on E-bay after we've visited, I'm pretty sure there are people who live nearby who check the stores regularly and clean out the best deals to resell. Nice for those who live far enough away they can't go themselves; not so great when you're in town and didn't pick something up you decide you want a few days later!

Thursday we went to Hollywood Studios. We got there before opening, and most of the kids headed straight back to Toy Story Mania with me, while Geek Dad and Warrior Girl veered off to get Warrior Girl signed up for the Jedi Training Academy. We probably all would have been fine doing Toy Story Mania, which develops the worst lines in all of Disney World, because the crowds were fairly light, but only a few hundred kids get to sign up for Jedi per day, so I didn't want to risk it.

Even doing it first, Toy Story Mania was the longest line the Hermit and I dealt with all week. I didn't want to Fastpass it because I thought the line worth experiencing once. My pictures there are pretty sad, and I think Geek Dad always Fastpassed because he doesn't have any.




Everyone enjoyed it, but some of us had to run meet Geek Dad so we didn't get Fastpasses just then but instead headed back toward Mama Melrose, because my older girls wanted to meet Phineas and Ferb. The guys were out when we got there, and no one was in line, but we had to wait for Geek Dad so I think one family ended up ahead of us. Ballet Girl went up to get some hugs and then they posed for some pictures.


She was happy with that, but there still wasn't anyone in line, so I suggested that, since she is a dancer, they should do some ballet poses. The guys weren't too sure about that, so Ballet Girl tried to think of some easy poses for them.


She suggested one, and the boys gave it a shot...


After mastering the foot position, Ferb started getting into it:



And then Phineas started dancing as well:


You can't tell from the pictures, but I'd say Ferb has a bit more ballet in his background than Phineas does -- which is quite true to their characters. :thumbsup2

Then the Hermit went up:


Phineas and Ferb kept thinking there was something familiar about her outfit, but couldn't quite put their finger on it...



They eventually settled down and posed for us:


Then we split up; Geek Dad and the interested kids going back to get Fastpasses for TSM, while the Hermit and I wandered toward the Hall of Fame Plaza.

03-01-2013, 02:39 AM
okay :wave2:I'm here and all caught up:cool1:... great report so far can't wait to hear more.... It's 1:30 am here so I best get to bed as Jaxon will be here in 5 hours and full of energy... I will be back soon to make a few comments on your trip so far!:)

03-03-2013, 10:53 AM
Nice report so far! Thanks for the heads-up about your posts with the character meet and greets. Ahhh they sound like so much fun! And I love the pictures of New Fantasyland. I am so excited to finally see that area.

03-03-2013, 11:29 AM
Two things I wanted to do at Hollywood Studios were to get pictures of all the busts in the “Academy of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame Plaza”, and to get pictures of all the signatures in front of the Grauman’s Chinese Theater, only one of which I accomplished.

Should totally have stopped at Tatooine Traders at this point – I expected to go back there when we watched Warrior Girl’s Jedi Training session, but then I forgot, meaning the Hermit and I never got there. *sob* The rest of them did, I believe -- SeaWorld Son bought an Ewok there, at any rate.


The Plaza would be a lot prettier without the American Idol thingies plonked in it.


Walt’s right in the center.


I recognized everyone there, although I’m pretty sure my kids wouldn’t. The I, Spy fans (which is to say, most of them) knew this guy at least;


After I took pics of all the busts, we stopped in at Starring Rolls and had a snack, then wandered over to the Grauman Chinese Theater.


I like the autographs with little drawings the best:




I can’t remember if the Hermit got bored (there was nowhere to sit) or if I decided to take a break, but before I'd photographed them all we wandered into the Great Movie Ride line area, where the CM commented on the Hermit’s outfit – I think she said something about being Disney Bound, but although both of us have been on that website, the Hermit and I were so distracted I didn’t even make the connection until we were way past her. The CM also gave us one of the little thingies you carry through, so I didn’t dawdle through taking pictures of the stuff in the lobby. Another thing I meant to come back and do and didn’t, ack! Someday I'll learn to "just do it!"

Eldest son did take a shot of the outfit from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when he went through on his own, though:


After the Great Movie Ride, we headed for the Animation Academy, but decided to do the movie, instead. I enjoyed the Wreck-It Ralph display.


The game looks beat up enough to have been in an arcade for a bit...


After the presentation, we decided we'd best wander over to join everyone else and watch Warrior Girl in the Jedi Training Academy. But first we stopped to take a picture of some of the artwork in the corridor back there:


And hit Writer's Stop for a carrot cake cookie on the way, discovering a picture of one of Ballet Girl's absolute favorite TV series over the door:


Writer's Stop also reminded me that there's an Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook I should check out -- have quite liked the recipes I've made from the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, although the author's comments made me roll my eyes sometimes. And there's a Winnie the Pooh Cookbook! Didn't know that, and my library even has it. Score!

03-03-2013, 11:35 AM
great report so far can't wait to hear more....

Thank you! I've been stalling because I want to get together with Ballet Girl and tale some pictures of the drawings they did that she's stashed somewhere, and I keep forgetting to do it when she's around. That kid is never home! Ballet and classes weekdays and Saturday, and then play practice on Sunday. :sad2:

03-03-2013, 11:49 AM
Ahhh they sound like so much fun!


Thanks for popping in! The characters really were fun. But we also tried to think of things to aid interaction -- I told Ballet Girl to curtsey to all the Princesses (they curtsey at the end of ballet performances, and she's been doing those for years, so she's got that down to a science), and also suggested she request a ballet pose if she can't think of anything else to say. And of course timing our Phineas and Ferb visit when things were so slow helped a lot; Ballet Girl didn't want to see a lot of the most popular characters or a lot of the big rides, so, except for Merida, it was pretty easy to schedule her when there wouldn't be much of a crowd.

I scheduled using suggestions from Josh of easywdw and/or the schedules on KennythePirate, and it seemed to work out pretty well. :)

03-03-2013, 11:54 AM
Awesome TR! :)

03-03-2013, 12:01 PM
Can't wait to see if you changed their minds about the world.

03-28-2013, 09:47 AM
Awesome TR! :)

Thank you.

Can't wait to see if you changed their minds about the world.

I will say I was pretty sure about everybody but Mr. Cool by this point. :)

Sorry to take so long getting this done. Got wiped out by the flu for a week, which kind of derailed me. :blush:

03-28-2013, 10:17 AM
While the Hermit and I were wandering around, Geek Dad and the three youngest went to get Fastpasses for Toy Story Mania for Ballet Girl and SeaWorld Son, who promptly changed those passes for ones Geek Dad and Warrior Girl had gotten earlier (which were too close to Jedi for Geek Dad), and zipped through the Walt Disney museum, which they enjoyed. Hubby most liked the diorama for New Fantasyland:


And they hit the Animation Academy, where they got to draw Flynn Rider (for which I am thankful, because Warrior Girl would have gotten fussed and refused to participate if it was most any of the classic characters).

Ballet Girl's drawing:


And Geek dad's version:


Then the girls got pictures with Wreck It Ralph and Vanelope. Vanelope suggested they pretend to be driving:


They rode Star Tours, then Geek Dad and Warrior Girl went to get ready for the Jedi Training while Ballet Girl and SeaWorld Son did Toy Story Mania again.

The Hermit and I sat in the Backlot express while I finished my cookie, then I joined hubby in front of the stage. Ballet Girl hurried up, and hubby handed her one camera so she could take stills while he took video -- pulling her in front of me and then standing beside her, meaning a fair percentage of all my pics include his back. :rolleyes: But they had the better cameras, plus mine started acting up right as Warrior Girl went up to fight Darth Vader, and I finally had to turn it off to get it to behave again, so it was just as well.

The Jedi Training Academy guy was great, very on top of it. One of the younger ones did not get how to work his sword and the CM coped beautifully with him, helping him while integrating it into his patter.


Warrior Girl thinking,Those fools trusted me with a light saber?


Ducking. That kid next to Warrior Girl is looking to get his head lopped off!


Warrior Girl living up to her name.


After the Training Academy, we split up again. The Hermit and I wandered into Backlot Express, but they didn't have anything I wanted badly enough to wait in line, so after taking a few pics we wandered right back out again! I'd kind of planned on doing the Epcot resorts, but the Hermit thought going home sounded better and I wasn't opposed. I'd planned on afternoon breaks anyhow, because that's when the crowds and heat (her two least favorite things) are at their peak.

On our way back to the condo we hit the flea market right near the resort, because the Tinkerbell-over-London mug I so loved had developed a crack and I couldn't use it anymore, and I was hoping to find the exact same mug again. Didn't think my odds were very good, but the third stall with Disney mugs had a bunch of them! So I was happy. Then we got a gonzo huge slurpee and appreciated bargain prices for a change, heh. So we crashed at the resort for a while while the rest spent the whole day there.

04-01-2013, 04:59 PM
Meanwhile, the rest of the crew was having a good ol’ time. They grabbed a snack at Writer’s Stop, retrieved some sandwiches from the front of the park, where SeaWorld Son insisted on a picture with this truck:


Then they sat in the stands, eating their lunch and waiting for Indiana Jones to start:


Geek Dad really liked the airplane – when Air & Space did an article on famous movie planes, they used a picture of the one at Hollywood Studios!


But personally, I think it looks unflyable – the propellers are so flat.


Geek dad got some nice action shots:



And some weird ones:


Then they rode Star Tours. Ballet Girl's journal is conflicting with her dad's pictures on what they did when, but at some point SeaWorld Son bought an Ewok, and at some other point they took pictures with the non-existent speeder bike:


Ballet Girl's journal also doesn't mention the Great Movie Ride, although I know they rode it and she liked it and everyone took pictures there. :confused3 So who knows what they did all afternoon. Eventually they did the last show of Lights, Motors, Action, and then wandered the Streets of America:


And ran across the highlight of their day thusfar, namely Frank, Connor and Heather doing a skit where the director tries to get things done and his two helpers are Very Difficult, in the course of which Geek Dad and the kids got to play extras of various sorts:




04-01-2013, 08:26 PM
The Hermit and I returned to the park and did Muppet Vision 3-D. We caught the rest of them in the Streets of America area and, after quickly checking in, wandered on to do the AFI display at the end of the Studio Backlot Tour before it closed. Disney's website claims it's "Villains: Movie Characters You Love to Hate", so I was expecting to see all the stuff I'd been looking forward to in that exhibit -- Darth Vader's costume, Cruella deVille's, Jadis' chariot and costume from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe -- but it was all lies, LIES, I tell you. :mad:

Instead there's a reproduction of Scarlet O'Hara's curtain dress, a life boat from Titanic, armor from Gladiator, and various things from North by Northwest, Casablanca, The Godfather II and The Sound of Music. *sigh* Great for people who've seen the old exhibit, and actually we thought it was fine, it's just that I would have much preferred the other one because that had a higher percentage of movies I love -- not to mention a higher percentage of movies the Hermit has seen! If I'd known about the change ahead of time we could have caught up on some of them pretty happily; bugs me that the Disney website isn't up to date on that. :sad2:

Then we got back together with the troops for a bit, seems like, but split up again because the Hermit and I decided we'd rather do "One Man's Dream" than go to Fantasmic. For some reason I didn't take many pictures after we got back, but I did get some of these adorable Figaro figures:


We had a bit of time before we needed to meet the troops, so we stopped into the ABC Commissary. I know it gets dreadful reviews when it comes to sandwiches, but I'd heard it was fine for desserts, which seems to be the case. We split a chocolate mousse and a strawberry parfait, and although I'd say the mousse was more pudding than mousse, we enjoyed them both. :)

Then we headed out to meet the troops and quickly realized that I'd managed to suggest a designated smoking area for our meeting place. :rolleyes: But we just moved back on their presumed route and waited for them there, which worked out fine.

Turns out we'd missed quite a lot by not going to Fantasmic -- not the show itself, but what happened beforehand. Most of the family had gone to the stadium early, of course (Mr. Cool wandered in earliest and eventually decided not to try to find a seat by the rest), and as it happened Connor was wandering the audience and recognized Geek Dad, Seaworld Son, Ballet Girl and Warrior Girl, quickly counting them off as: “Giant Camera, Ewok, Tourist, Tourist!” :teeth:

They got to talking, he eventually called Frank over and at one point they asked for our real family name. Then when they pre-show started, turns out they were hosting it. After directing some games with the audience (Finish the lyric, outscream the other team, etc.), Connor eventually announced a trivia game, and called Geek Dad and crew down. Mr. Cool was still sitting elsewhere by himself and didn't join in. Our last name is the same as a critter from a science fiction series, so when Connor asked them their last name, a lady sitting by Mr. Cool exclaimed, “Oh, come on! That’s not a real name!” :rotfl2:

Mr. Cool should have told her, "Hey, we had it first, lady." :p Anyhow, Geek Dad and the kids were Team Tangled, they got all their questions right (with hints from Connor on the Tower of Terror one – none of us have even ridden it). So they all got Special Disney Popcorn, which totally Made Their Night. My three youngest were tripping over each other trying to tell me what a terrific time they'd had, and Geek Dad was clearly pleased as well. Even SeaWorld Son was willing to admit that Disney was as much fun (maybe more) as SeaWorld.

I thought Hollywood Studios would be the park that converted Mr. Cool. Far as I can tell, it had no real impact on him. :confused3 But he was the last hold out -- it converted everyone else. :thumbsup2

Kids with their Fantastic Fantasmic Popcorn -- since we never get them all smiling at once, we just keep clicking...




04-01-2013, 08:39 PM
Great Pics! You guys look like you had a great time. Can't wait for more....:happytv:

04-09-2013, 08:47 AM
I just wanted to say that your photos are fabulous! You have a great eye!

04-17-2013, 06:45 PM
I always post here and then transfer to the TS4MS (because doing pictures there is a pain otherwise), so how did I manage to post Wednesday to my TS4MS trip report and not here? :confused3 That, or I'm going blind and this is a repost. :rolleyes:

So, to go back a day...

Wednesday we went back and got some more pins for trading at Character Warehouse (Disney's Outlet store at the north end of International Drive). The Phineas and Ferb pins were $3 each and the mystery pins (2 to a bag) $2.50 each, which is more in line with what I'd expected from a Disney outlet store there. SHOPPING TIP -- since the real deals at the Disney outlet stores sell out quickly, don't expect them to be there the next time. OTOH, if there aren't any great deals the first time, try again a few days later and you might luck out!

I can just about always find pins and lanyards at the outlet stores for around $3 each if I check a couple of times over a week. OTOH, I've only found pins for a dollar each the first time we went, and lanyards for a dollar each the second time -- and I know the lanyards were sold out within a day. Going on the pins that show up on E-bay after we've visited, I'm pretty sure there are people who live nearby who check the stores regularly and clean out the best deals to resell. Nice for those who live far enough away they can't go themselves; not so great when you're in town and didn't pick something up you decide you want a few days later!

Then we went out to Coronado Springs, one of the three Disney resorts I hadn't visited yet. Coronado Springs is the only "moderate" Disney resort with a convention center. When you walk into the lobby, you're greeted by a fountain:


and there are some nice details in the lobby like this wooden horse:


And, if you look up, there's this lovely painted dome:



And all kinds of molded or carved details, like this guy, which is an alcove just below the dome and so hard for me to make out!:


We walked through the lobby and part way around the lake to the pool area. The landscaping is terrific, but I forgot my camera and hubby seems to have been in a detail mood.




Although he did get some good shots of the pyramid by the pool:


And of SeaWorld Son clowning around with some statuary:


Love the depth of theming at the resorts! :cool2:

04-17-2013, 06:56 PM
You guys look like you had a great time.

Then those pics convey the truth! :teeth:

Great Pics!

I just wanted to say that your photos are fabulous!

Thank you both. :blush: Although I pick them out and often fiddle with them, a fair percentage of these photos were taken by my husband, and even a few by one of the kids. :)

04-22-2013, 12:51 AM
I spent the past few hours reading all of your trip reports. Thank you. I am really enjoying this one!

04-22-2013, 08:00 AM
Nice pictures from Coronado Springs. It is always fun to visit the other resorts. I haven't been to CS at all but it looks pretty!

04-25-2013, 01:52 PM
I am really enjoying this one!

Thanks! Glad to have you. :goodvibes

I haven't been to CS at all but it looks pretty!

It is, but I'm not sure how enthused I'd be if I was on the other side of the lake from the themed pool. It's a long way 'round! I'd probably walk over there once and ooo and ahhh over it, then only swim at the local quiet pool. :rolleyes: But I am not a slides person, and it has one of the best water slides on property; the kids would be over there a time or two for sure! :)

04-26-2013, 07:22 PM
Friday we went to the Art of Animation Resort and Pop Century. We were in a hurry for some reason; don't remember why, just remember Geek Dad was fussing over the time. Mostly we were there for some tie-dyed cheesecake at Pop, which I am inordinately fond of, but I wanted to get a quick look at the Art of Animation Resort since we were going right next door. I sure thought Geek Dad took some pictures there but were not finding them, so all I have is a couple I took in the Cars area.

I love how they've made tire tracks so it looks like he slid back into position!


I also like that they have Burma Shave-style signs:


Mater Used It
Dang Near Fainted
Looked Like He
Had Just
Been Painted

And then, instead of BurmaShave it says:


They have Disney versions of at least two of the common styles from the original: the Mater Used It jingle is typical of one sales type, while the Sheriff series on the other side is like Burma Shave's safety type. I've always thought Burma Shave was cool -- not just because of the signs, but because the original Burma Shave company even sent a guy to Mars! (Well, a Mars):


And of course, like Cars, it's part of the whole "Route 66" Vibe:

(from here: http://ninetoone.wordpress.com/2010/02/15/hello-world/ )

Ironically, there are now BurmaShave ads posted on Route 66 in Arizona -- which is one of the four (I think) states where the original company didn't put any up!

Unfortunately, about all we saw of AoA was a bit of the Cars area and the pool area in the distance. I really liked how deeply themed the Cars stuff was, and like how it feels like a series of little vignettes instead of randomly posed big icons. We didn't get that close, but from what we saw the Nemo pool looks cool. However I'm less enthused about the walls with the art sheets:


I dunno why, but for some reason the windows in the desert back ground don't bother me, but the windows in the "animation sheets" do. :confused3 So for me, it's like the AoA is half better themed than the other Values (the vignettes), and half worse themed (the animation sheets). But I guess I'll probably like it once I get used to it.

We hit the gift shop, where I got an AoA Nemo pin but didn't see anything else that tempted me, then headed over to Pop, where I agonized for some time over a bunch of charms, couldn't make up my mind, and bought nothing. :rolleyes: And then we got some tie-dyed cheesecake. :cloud9:

The thing with tie-dyed cheesecake is, at home, when I make red velvet cake or much of anything else with coloring, I skip the coloring. I can't always taste colorants, but I have often enough I avoid them. And tie-dyed cheesecake is ALL colorants; it's red velvet cake with neon-dyed cheesecake on top:

(from the Resort Thread for Pop)

^ That's what it usually looks like, except in a clamshell container, but on searching for a picture (we didn't take any), I ran across this:

(from this thread: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1216698)

Now I want one with *that* kind of presentation! :cool2:

Anyhow, that's one recipe I will never even bother trying to make at home, because I am dead certain half the appeal is the atmosphere. ;)

It was a nice day, so we sat outside and had a peaceful moment with our cheesecake and just absorbing the ambiance. :) And that was about as exciting as Friday got. :upsidedow

05-03-2013, 03:13 PM
I'm glad to be able to join in with your TR! Your pictures are great. It looks from the photos that you all had a good time and were enjoying yourselves, so I'm glad to see that it seems like your kids finally came around to the magic of Disney! And did I miss what you did on Thursday?? Anyhow, looks like a great trip :)

05-03-2013, 07:32 PM
And did I miss what you did on Thursday??

Welcome! :wave2:

I somehow managed to post out of order -- I finished the Wednesday post where and when it belonged and then didn't post it. :confused3 Fortunately I'd saved it, so not such a big deal I guess. Anyhow, Wednesday we went to CBR, Thursday Hollywood Studios, and Friday Art of Animation and Pop. :) Guess I can get it right in the index, but that, of course, would require going back and doing the index...

05-03-2013, 09:24 PM
So we pulled up to get our parking pass for the AK bright and early, and were promptly awarded with a Magical Moment card for "Dream Parking." :cool1: The CM told us to follow the blue(?) line which led us past everyone else. I took a picture as soon as I got out -- only way we could have been closer to the gate would be to park on the grass. ;)


The kids were more excited about this before their dad lined them up facing into the sun for a series of pictures. ;) I moved him over a bit and they perked up again.


So we headed in, snapping pictures all the way.


I wish the Beastly Kingdom was still in the plans. And that there was a dragon ride in it. Although why Disney choose giant bats for the dragon's enemies is beyond me -- wouldn't another mythical being be better, like a manticore or gryphon? Either one have a hard time taking on a dragon by themself and, like the bats, need the riders for help. Or they could have gone for tigers, who are traditionally the enemies of dragons in Chinese mythology. Or the fairies or sirens that Spanish dragons used to kidnap and hold prisoner. Nope. Giant bats. :confused3

Maybe I'm not so sad Beastly Kingdom never came to be after all. ;)


I wonder if Fantasia Gardens mini-golf shares anything but the name with the Beastly Kingdom ride they'd planned. :scratchin My guess is that, since the original Fantasia Gardens was going to be a flume ride, they decided they were never going to do it once they put in Kali Rive Rapids, so maybe there was some shared concept art or something.

If you scan down this page past the EE and Dinosaur stuff, there's some of the Beastly Kingdom concept art:


Mazes are cool. :)

I'd promised Warrior Girl we'd do the Maharajah Jungle Trek first, which doesn't open until a half hour after the rest of the park, so the Hermit, Warrior Girl and I dawdled through the Oasis.

Everyone else headed straight for Kilimanjaro Safari. Geek Dad bought himself a new camera the month before; combine "unfamiliar camera" with "gloomy day" and "jouncy ride," and I didn't expect much, but he got a couple of shots I liked.

I dunno what this is, but it looks contented:


This rhino who held them up a bit, then wandered off:


And he got a couple kinda blurry ones of the male lion:



Then they did the Pangani Forest Trail, which is where I expect he took this picture of a hungry okapi:


I've always been fond of okapi. Their coloring is cool, and they were considered mythical beasts in Europe and the Americas until someone brought back proof of their existence in 1901. Before that, it was "the African unicorn." ;) It's still called "the ghost of the forest." :cool2: So I don't know why it is, when people ask, "Which savannah at the AKL has the best view?", that so many people say, "avoid the Pembe, it doesn't have any giraffe, just okapi." I even saw one person call okapi the "poor man's giraffe." :sad2:

The Pembe is the smallest savannah, which I will bet is why it's not a favorite, I dunno why the okapi gets the blame. :upsidedow

/rant :blush:

Geek dad got a couple of clear pics of the gorilla's tush, and took many, many blurry ones of his face:


And he liked this bird's plumage:



05-04-2013, 12:15 PM
Meanwhile, the Hermit, Warrior Girl and I were dawdling along, talking to the occasional CM and looking at lots of birds.


And waterfalls:


And random architectural details:


And blurs in the distance that might possible be animals:



Pretty sure they're Reeve's muntjac, but you couldn't prove it by my pictures. :rolleyes:


How about a bird and a waterfall as an apology for that last shot? :upsidedow


We stopped at the Anandapur Tea Cart. The Hermit got some Roobios, which she thought was bland; I got some Chai which I thought was good.

It was starting to look like Tiger Country.


Or maybe dragon country. Nope, with those rounded ears, I'm calling it a tiger. Or a dragon-tiger.


Warrior Girl talked to the CM about the komodo dragons for a while. Venomous saliva? Warrior Girl's a fan.


She also liked the bats:


05-04-2013, 12:46 PM
But where we spent the most time was with the tiger, who was pacing off to the left. He'd walk over to the pool...


Stand there a moment...


Turn around...


And walk back.


After watching him do this a couple of times, Warrior Girl finally asked the CM standing there, "Does he do anything else?" The CM replied, "Well, they're creatures of habit, you know, and this is his usual morning routine."

But after doing that three or four times, he got more adventurous and headed around behind the pool...


And up to the other side...


Where he'd consider jumping -- I've seen them on videos galloping around across here like it was nothing, but apparently it takes considerable thought some days...


He'd gather himself up a bit...


Annnnnnd walk away again:


He went back to his route over to the left again, although this time when he came back he kept going up and around to the right side again, and each time he'd gather himself on the edge of the pool just long enough to convince Warrior Girl he was really going to jump this time -- before resuming his pacing. He didn't always go as far back as he did the first time, and eventually he'd just barely started up the hill when he stopped, turned around, and gathered himself up on the edge without even contemplating the idea. I took tons of pictures as he did this, and the sun must have shifted just enough that they are uniformly dreadful. :mad:

After gathering himself up tighter than ever for that jump across, he suddenly reaches out one paw...


And steps across. What's more, after that big ol' production going over the first time, he pokes around on the wet steps a bit, then returns the way he came, and doesn't even bother collecting himself -- he basically hops across with just a longer stride than usual:



Then he starts pacing in a big loop that doesn't even involve looking into the water. Apparently, that jump is his big challenge of the day, and he's done. So, if the tigers have been asleep every time you're there -- now you know what you've been missing. :rotfl:

05-05-2013, 10:04 PM
Warrior Girl appreciated most aspects of the Maharajah Jungle trek, including the artwork.


Note her shirt -- it's got Mickey running from a cheetah, crying, "Nice kitty, nice kitty!" Warrior Girl is convinced the cheetah takes him down and takes him out just off panel. :rolleyes:

I think these are blackbuck does. Whatever they are, they were having a good ol' time bouncing across from one side to the other, then milling about until something set them off again.


Geek Dad and his crew joined us by Maharajah Jungle Trek so Warrior Girl could switch to them while the Hermit and I wandered Asia a bit. We listened to a guy play an Anklung for a while.


Here's an example of what an anklung sounds like -- reminded me sort of a marimba, but obviously it's played very differently:


When he was done, we went to check out the palm leaf weaving.


About that time the guy who'd been doing it switched out with a lady, and the crowd dispersed considerable a bit after that, and the weaver offered to do an animal for the Hermit, who requested a fish (there were three choices -- fish and bird were two, maybe the third was a turtle?). The hermit wore her fish proudly for the rest of the day:


Checking the schedule, we saw it was about time for a bird show, and we were about done with Asia anyhow, so we got a pretzel and a drink and got in line. They did a brief bird show before they let us in, during which we realized everyone else in the family was going to that show as well, but since we were at different points in the line, Mr. Cool sat square in the middle while Geek Dad and the younger ones sat toward the right and the Hermit and I sat in the risers in the back (I'm short, I like serious risers).

This time sitting by himself was to Mr. Cool's advantage -- he got called on to participate in a trick:


If he doesn't watch it, people are going to start thinking he's having a good time... You could see the bird better if he were wearing a brighter color shirt, but it's there in this second shot:


Warrior Girl also got to participate -- she was called up to have a "special photography session":


Which she may or may not have appreciated.


What's funny is that, in this picture Warrior Girl is ducking and the other lady looks cool, but if I remember rightly, the other lady ended up ducking more than Warrior Girl.

After the bird show, the Hermit and I headed to Africa, while Geek Dad and the younger ones headed out to watch the Festival of the Lion King, which they enjoyed.



05-05-2013, 10:53 PM
Then they had some ice cream and headed for Dinoland:


Dinosaur! instantly became Warrior Girl's favorite ride. Here she is with her favorite dinosaur:


Then they spent some time exploring the boneyard and dug up some bones:


They watched Finding Nemo: The Musical, then headed out to the Maharajah Jungle Trek. The critters were not as active, but I like hubby's pics a lot better than mine! He's the real photographer of the family.





Then the younger girls danced, first in Asia...




and then in Africa, where people were line dancing to the band:



Warrior Girl has dropped out, and I think even Ballet Girl was getting a little tired:


So they decided it was time to sit on the train and take it easy on the way out to Rafiki's. :)

05-06-2013, 12:47 AM
your tiger pics are awesome! the girls look like they were having a good time!:goodvibes

05-06-2013, 08:17 AM
When we went over to Art of Animation my dad pointed out those signs like the Burma Shave ones. I would have never known what they were. haha

Great DAK updates! So cool you saw the male lion and I also love the picture of the blackbucks bounding across the grass. :thumbsup2

05-06-2013, 05:07 PM
your tiger pics are awesome! the girls look like they were having a good time!:goodvibes

Thanks! I think the girls did have a good time -- Ballet Girl is always up for dancing, and I know that AK is now Warrior Girl's favorite park. :)

When we went over to Art of Animation my dad pointed out those signs like the Burma Shave ones. I would have never known what they were. haha

They were before my time, as well, but my grandpa had a book on them. :upsidedow It was fun to watch the blackbuck sproing around -- I wish I felt that lively in the morning!

05-07-2013, 01:24 PM
So the Hermit and I went and got Fastpasses for the Kilimanjaro Safari, then did the Pangani trail. We like the Maharajah Jungle Trek animals a lot more, but the scenery on Pangani is pretty nice. Doesn't this look green and restful?


The stand-by line for the Safari was out there, but no one was in the Fastpass line -- seemed like a huge long walk down to the end, and some of the people waiting were Not Happy to see us buzz by. Next time I want to wear a t-shirt that says, "FastPass is free -- think ahead!" :rolleyes1 But I guess I should wait and see what they're going to be doing with that whole system first.

After the Safari, the heat and crowds were getting to the Hermit, so I got her a drink and we retreated to a people-free path for a while.


After she watched the stream and waterfalls for a bit, we headed over to Discovery Island and took pictures of the Tree of Life:



I wasn't in the mood for BBQ, so we headed to Dinoland and got a Veggie Sub at Restaurantasaurus, mostly just because it was something different, but we both liked it more than we expected. We ran across Mr. Cool, and the three of us headed up to catch the Finding Nemo show.

The only pics I took the rest of the day were of bathroom tiles and the like :upsidedow, so here's a pic from when Ballet Girl went:


After Nemo we hit the Joffrey tea cart again, where the Hermit discovered ambrosia. I mean, iced chai. ;) She actually got Green Honey Ginsing, which she thought tasted like soap; this is the kid who likes lavender lemonade, so that response surprised me until I tried it myself. :crazy2: I got the iced chai, which I hadn't really expected to like -- I love hot chai, but for some reason the idea of it cold didn't sound that great, and IMHO, it wasn't. But I gave her mine since hers was undrinkable, and she loved it.

After years of refusing to try my myriad of chais, the iced chai at the AK converted her; now the Hermit likes every chai I do. :confused3 And she still periodically talks about how wonderful the iced chai at Animal Kingdom is. :) So I sat and drank my water and she savored her iced chai while Mr. Cool wandered off because we were boring. He returned almost immediately with the troops and we had a very short confab because the parade was due to start and, after agreeing to meet at Rafiki's, they all ran off to do that.

The Hermit and I got to Rafiki's first but were quickly joined by Mr. Cool, who started lobbying to go home. :scared1: While he hadn't shown a lot of enthusiasm for the other parks, he hadn't tried to convince me to leave early, either. I still wanted to see the Festival of the Lion King, but when everyone else got there they all said they'd seen what they wanted, so I finally told Mr. Cool we'd head home after we were done here.

Which meant, of course, that he started trying to hurry everyone off. :rolleyes2 The younger three wanted to check out all the little critters and displays at Rafiki's, and their dad joined them.


Mr. Cool finally gave up on hustling them and slouched beside the Hermit, grumbling to himself, while I took pictures of exciting stuff like bathroom tiles and the carpeting and such like. :teeth:


Finally got tired of Mr. Cool's agitating, so the Hermit and I went down with him to wait for the train, and the rest of them were going to "catch up." Which they did, actually, but only because the train was taking forever -- last train of the day, so they wanted to collect everyone and we had to wait until they declared the building all clear and etc. So we drifted through Africa as the band was playing; nobody was dancing, and there was a big clear space in front of the band, so Ballet Girl took advantage of that and did a big solo dance in it:


Her father thought this was terrific, and I didn't really mind, but Mr. Cool was horrified. At first I thought he just thought she was rude for holding us up, but, nope, he thought it was rude of her to be taking up so much space dancing. I told him I was absolutely not going to go grab her by the ear and drag her off when her dad was happily filming away, especially since no one else seemed inclined to dance (or seemed to mind her dancing), and she didn't even dance for one full song, but apparently he was never more humiliated in his life. *sigh*

Ballet Girl finished with a flourishing bow to the band and left the dance floor, but I made them stay until the song was done (the band is pretty good!), then of course we had to check out the otter on the way out (otters are Ballet Girl's favorite critters, and she hadn't seen then yet), but eventually we got into the car and headed home.

So we'd been to three of the four parks, and all of the kids except Mr. Cool had decided Disney was definitely worth doing. :cool1: Mr. Cool, however, had seemingly not liked anything he'd seen thus far, was vowing he'd never do Animal Kingdom again, and the only park left was Epcot. Problem is, stage shows tend to be Mr. Cool's favorite thing, and Epcot has no stage shows. :scared:

05-10-2013, 12:52 AM
We had the same parking spot!! We were there super early in February and were the first ones of the day so they gave it to us. I love that they do that!

You got some great pictures in Animal Kingdom!! And I have always just seen the Tigers sleeping so at least you saw a little more action ;) I have to say, they really are just big cats. Sounds like they act exactly like my pet cats do - sleeping most of the day, and wandering around acting weird every once in awhile, lol.

I hope that somehow Epcot is able to convert Mr. Cool!

09-11-2013, 07:58 PM
Well, it's been a leeetle while since my last post here :blush:, but now I'm back on a more predictable schedule, I thought I'd try to finish this puppy. :) And one of the mods kindly moved it back into the Trip report forum so I could do so. :thumbsup2 They've reconfigured my picture storing site, though, so this may be interesting...


I scheduled Sunday as a down day, since I wanted my feet in good shape for Epcot, so I stayed put in the resort. I about went stir crazy! Should have done the Caribbean Beach Resort, which is the only resort I haven’t seen yet.


Got there bright and early. As you can see, the kids were all bright and bushy tailed...


Well, okay, they were awake. :p The Hermit, SeaWorld Son, Ballet Girl and I headed for Living in the Land first thing while Geek Dad and I think Warrior Girl headed for Test Track. We had two days in Epcot planned, and to be honest, there weren't that many things in Future World I wanted to do -- World Showcase is the real draw for me. So we were in no hurry and, after we did Living in the Land, the Hermit, SeaWorld Son and I stopped at Sunshine Seasons for a snack while Ballet Girl went to do Soarin'.

We got four desserts and everyone got at least a bite of each. I thought the chocolate mousse cake, cheesecake, and strawberry shortcake were all “fair to middlin’” – not that great, but okay. The crème brûlée, however, was a great disappointment. Not inedible, it’s just that it didn’t taste anything like a crème brûlée should. It tasted like marshmallows, with an under tone of egg – marshmallow custard was not the flavor I was looking for. :sad2:

I'm not even sure if the kids had ever had crème brûlée before, so they weren't really disappointed, but they're not marshmallow fans and so didn't like it either. That's one of the few foods I really like that I've never made myself, now I think on it, and I probably should, so the kids know what it's supposed to taste like!

Anyhow, we headed out to the Seas -- well, Ballet Girl and SeaWorld Son did; I stayed to take eight bajillion pictures of the tiled wall and whatnot while the Hermit sat people watching while she waited for me.


But eventually we wandered over to the Seas, did The Seas with Nemo and Friends, and checked out the aquariums. Ballet Girl and SeaWorld Son went to do Turtle Talk with Crush, but the Hermit and I went to wander Innoventions for a while, had a couple of free sodas at Club Cool, and then headed toward Canada. We were early, but they had characters meeting over there for Limited Time magic so there was a little crowd gathered. The Hermit and I aren't much for lines so we just waited over by the garden until the CM took down the rope.

And I took some pics, including this teddy:


I love Canada. Look at that wandering walkway!


However the fake rock in the back is laughably bad.


Still, I think it’d be nice to sit on that bench there in the late afternoon when it’s shaded to take a break with a snack. Of course there’s not much snacky stuff available high handy – the Disney Food Blog points out that there are salty snacks and candies in one of the Canada shops, but also that they’re pricey even compared to other Disney shops. Canada Pavilion, just what is your problem? :rolleyes:

Oh, well, on to the UK. I am inordinately fond of these.


I should have gotten square onto this, but then I’d be blocking the doorway. Sometimes it’s, “Which do I want more – to be polite, or to get better angles?” :p


How do teddy bears manage to be so classically English when they originated in the US and Germany?


This is the butterfly and knot garden, I assume, since there’s a “life cycle of the butterfly” box behind where I shot this.


I hope everyone else likes random Epcot pics as much as I do. ;)

09-12-2013, 08:34 AM
'Cuz here's some more...

France. I could not find Belle’s library. :sad1:


These clipped bushes make a really cool pattern if you look at them on Google maps – there’s a fleur di lis in the center -- but there’s no way to really see it when you’re actually there that I could find. Most gardens around here that have something like this where you have to be elevated to see it have a little observatory platform; Disney keeps it as something special for tall people and map obsessives I guess. And maybe people who look through the windows in the upstairs restaurant (if I’m remembering rightly that Monsieur Paul’s is up there).


The Hermit and I stopped at the Boulangerie Patisserie for lunch, and had crème brûlée for dessert, which, while it's not the best I've ever had, definitely tasted like it should. :thumbsup2

Morocco. I have no idea who this guy is, I just liked the way he was framed by the door!


The problem with Epcot is, the longer I was there, the more randomly I was snapping. Fez house is one of my favorite places, but its symmetry really makes it clear that I was just sort of clicking as I went, because every time I turned around there was something else I wanted, like the fake rosebush:


The Hermit liked Fez House, because there was somewhere she could sit while keeping an eye on me as I was shooting everything in sight. :teeth:


We were perusing shops as we went, and The Hermit got excited about a necklace in one of the shops so I bought it for her as an early birthday present. Then we headed into the museum.



We were expecting temps in the seventies and ready for temps in the sixties this trip (January!), but it was in the eighties nearly the whole time we were there. Sometimes the skies were kind of light and there was a bit of a haze or it was overcast, but right regularly the skies were blue enough to look like a summer day.


Silly me, right after I took that pic we stopped to get something to drink in Japan (I got a strawberry smoothie and eldest got strawberry kaki gori). By the time I was finished with my smoothie and was trying to take pics I had dim light again. :rolleyes:




Not the most effective moat when an unguarded building crosses it…


So we met the kids and hubby at the Museum in Japan -- the exhibit is on how anime and manga make use of Japanese myths and fables; we all thought it pretty cool but of course we're all fans of anime and manga. :)

09-15-2013, 10:23 PM
Glad to see you're back and posting! My schedule has also been a bit crazy but I am trying to keep up with the trip reports!

I love to see the random pics around the World Showcase. It is just so beautiful and wonderful to take pictures of! You find some really unique spots too.

09-18-2013, 09:18 PM
Glad to see you're back and posting!

Thanks! And thanks for the kind words on my pics, as well. :)

My schedule has also been a bit crazy but I am trying to keep up with the trip reports!

I prioritize trip reports as well (or I subscribe to them, which comes to the same thing). But while I am good at reading them even when I'm busy, I'm not so good at posting to them. :blush:

09-18-2013, 10:05 PM
When we split up that morning, Geek dad and Warrior Girl headed straight for Test Track, which, as it turned out, they both really liked. Of course they hadn't ridden the earlier version, but in this case, ignorance was bliss. :thumbsup2


Then they headed for the Land pavillion, but stopped to listen to these guys:


And also stopped at Innoventions, I believe, and a CM flagged them down and asked Geek Dad to take a survey. When he gave the kids' ages, the CM assumed Warrior Girl was the 15 year old and was surprised to hear she was the 12 year old. In telling the story, Geek Dad said he suspected the guys doing the Jedi thing had their doubts about Warrior Girl’s age as well, but she really was just twelve -- she's still twelve, matter of fact; her birthday is in October. Even as an infant, all her well baby visits she'd be 90th percentile in height, and 50th in weight. Born to be a model or something, that kid. :rolleyes:

Meanwhile, Ballet Girl got to ask Crush a question at Turtle Talk about shell patterns ("They're like a human fingerprint, dude!"), then she and SeaWorld Son headed over to the Imagination pavilion, where they did Journey Into Imagination with Figment, waved to Geek Dad and Warrior Girl who were entering as they left, and did a couple of Agent P World Showcase Adventure, which they both loved. :)

Warrior Girl and Geek Dad met up with them when they all got in line to see Mulan:


SeaWorld Son joined in the Mulan conversation on pins but didn't get his picture taken. Afterwards they split up again, and Geek Dad went back to do Living With The Land, according to his pictures. Geek Dad has some tomato envy -- he used to do a huge garden every year; now he just does tomatoes but his plants aren't as abundant as these:


And I didn't take any pictures of the Japanese museum exhibit, because I figured Geek Dad would (he's the better photographer and has the better camera), but he didn't take any pictures, either! Rats. He did, however, take some kid pictures as we headed out:


We went home and had lunch and then most of us crashed -- Geek Dad took Ballet Girl out because she wanted new shoes -- which I was none too sure about, but when I asked her later Ballet Girl said the new ones were more comfortable than the old, although she thought they were homely and wanted to get new ones once we got home. Which still hasn't happened, somehow... :rolleyes1

Geek Dad wanted to see the fireworks show, but we see a lot of fireworks at home (the kids grew up being able to see fireworks from the house and we can still walk to two places that hold them multiple times a summer), so no one else was really that interested, even though I told them Illuminations is a lot more than fireworks. My girls were loving WDW, but I was not the only one losing steam.

Mr. Cool insisted that Epcot "wasn't that exciting -- but it's better than hanging around the resort," so he'd go back, and SeaWorld Son is like his dad -- doesn't move fast but just keeps moving -- so it was boys night out while we ladies took our ease. I think they got there well early enough to do other things, but my boys don't fill out their trip journals unless I pin them down and make them, and Geek Dad didn't take any pictures, so I have no idea what they did other than Illuminations. But they definitely did that!




Then they headed for home, Geek Dad stopping for pictures at "the big golf ball", some of which actually had a kid in them:


09-23-2013, 10:12 PM
Just stumbled across your TR and read it! I'm really loving hearing about your trip! I had my own Disney skeptic to convince on our first trip, but he was so much easier than Mr. Cool! :laughing:

09-28-2013, 10:14 AM
I had my own Disney skeptic to convince on our first trip, but he was so much easier than Mr. Cool! :laughing:

I should have called Mr. Cool Mr. Annoying. Wait until you hear his final verdict, and when and how he delivered it. :rolleyes:

09-28-2013, 02:35 PM
Okay, digging up pictures for Tuesday, I realize I got it wrong, that wasn't when Mr. Cool said going to the park was "better than hanging around the resort," because Mr. Cool didn't come home with us when we went to Epcot on Monday, he went and did the monorail resorts.

Here's one of the last pictures he took in Epcot, probably taken right before he joined us:


Just to add a little pressure to his current career choice crisis. :rotfl:

I think maybe he took the boat back across the World Showcase lagoon with us, because this is from his next batch of pics:


And then he went to the Grand Floridian:


Where he took a ton of pictures:





Before heading out again:


He took a few shots of the MK as they went by:


Then he skipped the Contemporary entirely, not even a photo :scared1: (my favorite resort -- ignored!) before spending some time in the Poly:


But I think he zipped through there pretty fast; not many pics, and most of them blurry, like he was snapping as he went.


If his pictures are anything to go on, he missed all the performers that I thought would be the main attraction for him at Epcot. :confused3 His next pics are of the fireworks.



After everyone got home, we sat down to consult on the rest of the week. We all had five day tickets; I planned on one day in each park and a second day at Epcot and I kind of wanted to kick my ticket up so I could do a half day at the Magic Kingdom our last full day in the condo. The Hermit thought that was a plan, and everyone else wanted to do second days at Epcot and the MK, but my three youngest and Geek Dad thought they needed to do another day at Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom, as well! :dance3:

Mr. Cool, of course, was the dissenting voice. :rolleyes: He was going to SeaWorld the next day, whether everyone else went to a Disney park or not. The other four finally settled on Hollywood Studios. Warrior Girl was the only strong Animal Kingdom vote, and it was a STRONG AK vote, we settled that one by promising her a one day ticket to AK with mom and dad next trip, even though that trip is supposed to be a "parks free" one. Of course I have Sekrit Plans of kicking my one day ticket up a few days... :rolleyes1

So Tuesday is Hollywood Studios for Geek Dad and the younger three, SeaWorld for Mr. Cool, and a quiet day in the condo for the Hermit and I. :upsidedow

10-10-2013, 07:51 PM
How neat that your son went and toured some of the monorail resorts on his own! That sounds like a fun thing to do. I don't really go to check out many of the resorts unless I'm planning to eat there (or staying there, of course!)

10-16-2013, 01:34 PM
How neat that your son went and toured some of the monorail resorts on his own! That sounds like a fun thing to do.

Our last two (non-WDW parks) Orlando vacations, my older girls and hubby and I toured the resorts on our "slow" days, and always enjoyed ourselves. The Hermit and I just like wandering around soaking up the ambiance; Geek Dad likes to take pictures and Ballet Girl likes to have her picture taken, however, I think the real appeal for those two is the snacks. ;)

Mr. Cool came along once, complained, "That's all you do? Wander around and get a snack here and there?" and never went again. So then, when he's got a ticket for the parks, he decides to do the resorts instead. :confused3

I highly recommend doing Wilderness Lodge and the monorail resorts if you want a quieter break from the parks some day. :) I think the Contempo Cafe has some of the best cupcakes on property, and of course you can get Dole Whip at the Poly. :thumbsup2 I like all the WDW boat rides, but I particularly like the boat from Wilderness Lodge to the MK; it goes through a canal above the road to the Contemporary. :cool2: If you time it right, there are various events as well (tiki lighting ceremony at the Poly; fireworks and the water parade from any of them, although of course the view of the fireworks isn't necessarily the best). I also really want to do the boat ride from the Port Orleans resorts to Downtown Disney, and we like to do the Epcot resorts in the afternoon when the Boardwalk performers are out.

But we also schedule "down days" into even our non-Disney vacations, so we're kind of into slow-paced stuff anyhow I suppose. :p Dunno if you'd enjoy it or not. :scratchin

11-02-2013, 04:30 PM
On Tuesday, Geek Dad and the younger three hit HS bright and early.


They did all kinda other cool stuff - the kids played in the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground, did Toy Story Mania a couple of times, etc. -- but I guess Geek Dad wasn't in a picture-taking mood, because after a few shots at the entrance, he was done for the morning. That'll learn me for not going. :rolleyes:

Geek Dad and the younger three picked up the Hermit and I for lunch at the Dolphin. Id heard good things about their dessert buffet there, but the place was practically empty  I think there were one or two other tables with people at them  and while the food was all fine (I think everyone had salad), there wasnt a lot of selection at the buffet, maybe six or eight things, so that was kind of a bust. Probably a better deal in the busier seasons. *sigh

They dropped us off and headed back to HS, and promptly ran across Frank, Connor, and someone who wasn't Heather (either Ballet Girl didnt get her name or I didnt write it down), and again enjoyed their show:


And this time they managed to get hold of them after long enough for a group picture:


And they did Indiana Jones again; Geek Dad liked the set:


Not the best picture, but I love how hes flailing and she looks so relaxed:


I like this shot, too:


They did TSM another time or two, as well as Star Tours, then came home early enough to swim in the pool for a while.

Meanwhile, Mr. Cool went to SeaWorld, where a lot of the Christmas decorations were gone:


Compare to this, taken on his earlier vist:


He sent SeaWorld son a picture of Christmas Orcas:


He did the shows and wandered around:


And he tried to figure out how the oyster sea diver blew rings of bubbles:


He didn't take a lot of pictures but said he had a good time. And, although I was sadly aware of how little time we had left, we were all ready for the Magic Kingdom the next day! :)

11-07-2013, 11:40 AM
I would have liked to begin and end the trip with the MK, but I also wanted to do laundry and kind of recouperate Thursday afternoon, and wanted a full day at the MK. So we decided to do the MK Wednesday and Epcot Thursday. We got there bright and early and took the boat across.


Mr. Cool was not feeling photogenic.


The train, the train!


We’d had big plans of riding the horse-drawn trolley down, which is something I’d wanted to do from the first but hadn’t gotten around to, however the trolley wasn’t going that day because they were working on the pavement or something. So we took pics of some kids in the car:


And we stopped in for some Sorcerer’s cards, then Warrior Girl went to commune with the trolley horse:


Then we strolled up to the castle and paused while hubby took pictures (someone may have run off for JC Fastpasses here, I can't remember):


...before finally proceeding on to the carousel, which Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsisters were riding. When the carousel stopped, Anastasia thought the ride should have been longer;


...but was instantly recharged once they got over to the line waiting for them:


Overcharged, maybe:


Ballet Girl offered up her brothers and the stepsisters squabbled a bit over who got which boy:


Then they posed for pics:


Except for the part when Anastasia ran over to chase the birds (“Cinderella’s always making friends with the birds – see, I can make friends with them, too!” Cue: Birds scattering):


Then we all went on Peter Pan, which I had suggested the night before, and it’s a small world, which I had NOT suggested the night before, because I knew Ballet Girl would protest. This is pretty much the look she gave me when I said we’d be riding as a family -- just add a bit of rage.:


I told her, “You’re not riding a ride – you’re riding history!”


She was not convinced. :p

After it’s a small world, we all split up; the Hermit and I heading for Liberty Square, Mr. Cool for who knows where, and the rest for Tomorrowland.

It may have been January, but there were still plenty of flowers:


The girls gave Tomorrowland Speedway a try; Ballet Girl definitely prefers the Disneyland version. Then Ballet Girl and SeaWorld Son went on the Buzz Lightyear ride while Geek Dad and Warrior Girl did the TTA:


… then saw PUSH again. After Geek Dad and Warrior Girl rejoined Ballet Girl and SeaWorld Son, they wandered over for a quick Jungle Cruise ride and picked up some Dole Whips, then it was back to Tomorrowland for Buzz Lightyear and Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. Finally they headed for the train station where we were all meeting to take a lunch break.

12-03-2013, 08:25 AM
The Hermit and I drifted down toward Liberty Square.


I think we were going to ride the Riverboat, but it was too early, so we stopped for slushies in the Liberty Square Market we had the place to ourselves.


Early as it was, the heat was getting to the Hermit a bit, so I sent her off to the air conditioned stores while I took pics of this and that.




Then, for reasons which escape me at the moment, I decided not to wait for the riverboat, and not to do Hall of the Presidents (which would have been the sensible approach, since then the riverboat would have been running by the time we were done), but instead went over to do take pictures in the rose garden. Which I enjoyed considerable, actually.



I really like the little pavilion there.


The Hermit was happy to sit and watch the waterfall over by Cosmic Rays.


While I took eight gazillion more flower pics.


Then we wandered over to the Tomorrowland Terrace, taking pictures all the way.





I got a Blackberry Jasmine Iced Green Tea, which was okay. We got a cream cheese pretzel at the Lunching Pad to go with it. We took a couple of rides on the TTA.


Then headed to the Fantasyland Railroad station because we were meeting everyone at the Main Street Station.


12-10-2013, 11:20 AM
I love that the stepsisters were riding the carousel! And it sounds like your meet and greet with them was a lot of fun. I've heard they're very interactive and fun to meet, though I've never had the chance to do it myself.

And wow, it looks so empty in all of your pictures! I guess January is another good time to consider going, even if some rides are closed for refurb. And your pics are really great as always. I love how you find so many lesser seen things to take pictures of!

12-10-2013, 11:04 PM
I've heard they're very interactive and fun to meet, though I've never had the chance to do it myself.

One cool thing about the stepsisters is that there wasn't much of a line for them, however I'd looked them up beforehand so we knew when and where they'd be showing up, which probably gave us an edge. The stepmother and Drusilla were pretty quiet, actually, maybe because Anastasia was rattling on so!

And wow, it looks so empty in all of your pictures!

Part of that is where we were (that time of day, Fantasyland and Adventureland are much more crowded than Liberty Square), but crowds were definitely lighter in January than May. I took some crowd shots as were were walking from the rose garden over to Tomorrowland; this was at about 11:00 a.m.:


Mr. Cool took some crowd pics as well -- Adventureland at 1:50:


And Frontierland about 2:00


It was unusually warm for January when we were there, which according to some may have actually kicked the crowds up a bit. :scratchin But even if the crowds were larger than usual for January, they were pretty moderate I thought.

Glad you're enjoying the pics, and thanks for the kind words. :)

03-05-2014, 10:31 PM
knock knock, anybody home? just popped in to catch up:coffee:

09-02-2014, 04:37 PM
So! We are still on Wednesday, January 16th, 2013! I was going to consult with Ballet Girl, which I finally did. Then I had to fight with the computer to get my photos to show up (hubby finally had to intervene). Then I spent some time sulking, because it’s clear we’re not going to get to Florida in 2015. :sad: Hadn’t even finished sulking when summer chaos hit. :crazy2:

To be honest, I’m still sulking a little bit about no Florida in 2015, however I’m thinking we’ll go in 2016 AND 2017 to make up for it. So that helps… a little. :upsidedow OTOH, part of the reason it’s getting harder to schedule is that hubby has more responsibilities at work – if we go twice in a year or so, he probably won’t be there the whole time. Decisions, decisions…

Anyhow. Wednesday at the Magic Kingdom. After futzing around at the train station a bit, most of us went home to the condo for a break and lunch. Eldest was tired and hot and the two of us didn’t do much when we got back – watched some live performances, rode the TTA, wandered back to Gaston’s Tavern for LeFou’s Brew, watched Gaston interact with guests. I tried to get a shot of Space Mountain from near where Gaston was signing autographs, but, alas, it was too dark for my camera.


Have to try for that shot again when we get back -- and with the Mine Train in it! :hyper:

I'd only had a couple things on my "Must Do" list for this second day at the MK, and one of them was to get some pics of the carousel, but by the time we'd gotten there I'd lost my light.


Gonna have to try again during the daytime, I think.


Another thing on my "Must Do" list was Philharmagic:


Had I known about all the bad puns in the lobby, I would have dragged Geek Dad along:


And SeaWorld Son would have liked to have seen Donald:



But you just can't do everything, and, best I can tell, he managed to keep busy...

09-02-2014, 05:26 PM
I have no idea who did what after we got back, except that it’s clear that Geek Dad and Ballet Girl were not doing the same things at the same time.

At some point, Geek Dad wandered around taking pictures of random architectural details:



And non-architectural details:


And sights from the train:



And watched the show in front of the castle again:



Then he wandered New Fantasyland:


And enjoyed a performance by the Royal Majesty Makers:


I suspect he was with Warrior Girl much of that time; she generally won't meet the characters but likes to watch some of them from a distance, and Geek Dad got some pics of Mr. Cool with Gaston:


This Gaston is GOOD – has the look and has the moves:


Then Geek Dad got together with Ballet Girl, and they went to do the Move It, Shake It Parade; Geek Dad took some pics of the castle while they waited.


And lots of the parade with Ballet Girl:


Then he hauled her back to have her picture with Gaston, as well. It was drizzling a bit (this is when the Hermit and I were in Philharmagic – we’re geniuses, that’s what), so Ballet Girl took her glasses off. Gaston was still in top form.


Ballet Girl rode the Little Mermaid ride while Geek Dad took pictures.


Ballet Girl has listed the Haunted Mansion, People Mover, Ice Cream, and Carousel of Progress after Gaston and before the fireworks – either they were really moving, or she’s got things out of order! Anyhow, we all got together in front of the castle for the fireworks.


After the fireworks show, most of us sat in the pavilion by the rose garden talking while Geek Dad took Ballet Girl up front for more pictures.


We are going to miss that pavilion next time out. :worried:

So that was my last full day at Disney – Thursday I decided to just do a half day, because I knew the Hermit wasn’t going to last a whole day, and I was fine with spending half the day kind of decompressing while I packed and got organized and stuff. Geek Dad and the other kids were going to make a full day of it.

And, although he admitted he liked Gaston, and although he hasn't followed up on his threat to spend only half days at Disney, Mr. Cool still wouldn't admit that WDW was as good as, or in any sense better than, Sea World, or even that he thought Disney World was pretty cool. "It's okay, I guess." :rolleyes:

09-03-2014, 08:59 PM
I’d initially planned to do Epcot for two full days – one doing the right side of World Showcase, the other doing the left side. But in the end I decided to do a second full day at the Magic Kingdom, and only a partial second day at Epcot. I like to have a few hours our last day in the unit doing laundry and packing, rather than trying to do everything before check out the last morning. I do really enjoy Epcot, and heaven knows there were a lot of things I wanted to do there but didn’t get to, and even more I would have liked to have taken pictures of there, but when it gets right down to it, the Magic Kingdom still has a bigger piece of my heart.

We parked practically under the monorail track, then followed the track in, which made me happy. Epcot and the MK will always be the “coolest” parks for me, because they both have the monorail. ;)


It was as warm as ever that morning, but these guys may have known something we didn’t…


The Hermit and I had breakfast at Sunshine Seasons, splitting a Breakfast Platter and Breakfast pudding. The breakfast platter was okay, although I could not eat the eggs. I tend to hate restaurant eggs as a rule, so that wasn’t unexpected.

(photo from the DisBoards Food Pics thread: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2284684&page=137)

The Breakfast Pudding was pretty good, but I think that, for the calories, I’d just as soon have a chocolate croissant. :p


(photo from this DisBoards review: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=46940712)

Then I spent a long time in the Land again, because I wanted to get better pictures of the four seasons “balloons” there.


Didn’t get any shots I was real happy with, but I have a suspicion my camera really isn’t capable of doing what I wanted. Have to drag Geek Dad in there sometime, I guess. Or get a lot more serious about photography! :p


We watched the kids with Chip and Dale for a while, then wandered over to Club Cool on our way to Mexico. I have no idea why we didn’t wait to watch a fountain show – that’s something I totally intended to do this trip, and didn’t!

Mexico wasn’t open yet, so the Hermit stood in the shade while I took pictures of flowers...




...and flowers and architecture. :teeth:


Eventually they let us in. We looked over all the museum-ish stuff near the entrance, watched someone doing a bit of an Agent P Adventure, then spent considerable time looking at the Oaxacan Wood Carving – well, squinting at it, and taking pictures of pieces I thought looked interesting, because it’s dark in there!



Then we took the Gran Fiesta boat ride, which the Hermit may or may not have thought justified sitting through The Three Caballeros before we went. ;) We also spent a good while in the glass shop there, although the only picture I took was of the permanently installed stained glass.


Took a few more detail pics outside, then it was on to Norway!


Wandered around taking pictures, did the museum, then it started raining a bit and we decided Kringla was our best next move. Which didn't mean I stopped taking pictures, just that I added a more definite direction to things. ;)


The Hermit got a regular pretzel, while I got an almond pretzel, which was fine.

It was still quite overcast, but the slight rain had stopped by the time we moved on to China. Yay!

09-04-2014, 09:31 AM
Soon as we got to China, I saw that I had to take some duck photos for SeaWorld Son (he is a big fan of waterfowl).


And some pictures of "shop windows," including a dragon for Warrior Girl – not that there was any lack of those!


And a few sort-detail pics:



This painting in the back of one of the shops cracked me up:


Because the waves are so clearly based on this famous Hokusai painting:


Which of course is Japanese, not Chinese (that's Mount Fuji in the background.

The carp, however, reminds me of this painting by contemporary Chinese artist Zhou Wen Xi:


(from this post: http://www.stevesnedeker.com/4565/sensational-artwork-using-water.html)

So that's okay. ;)

I was seriously tempted by the little bubbling fountains in the back, but while I liked the concept all kinda lots, no one of them really stood out, so I resisted that impulse pretty easily.



Spent a lot of time in the garden area taking pictures.


Also got to see a statue rise out of the water in response to someone doing a Perry Adventure, which we thought was cool; the way it’s positioned, most people in the pavilion won’t even notice it.


On to Germany, where I had to take pictures of some of the Nutcrackers – SeaWorld Son has been collecting them ever since he performed in the Nutcracker one year. I’m not dead sure these guys are functional nutcrackers, but the one in the middle is clearly the Mouse King.


I'm glad they left the train set up permanently, since I'm pretty sure we spent more time looking over the train area than we did in Germany proper!


What is it about train set miniatures that always draws people? :scratchin

Spent a long time in Italy, not getting square on to things I was photographing. :rolleyes:



Then we wandered on to the American Pavilion, where I got an American Dream – strawberry and blueberry slush to either side of vanilla ice cream.


Photo from this Disboard thread (boy, can I relate to that title!): http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3062681&page=4

The American Dream may be my favorite Disney treat this trip – and the only serious contender is the Mint Chocolate Cupcake at the Contempo Café. Aside from a few outright disappointments, most of the Disney food I had was in the “tasty, but nothing special” category, in that I’d had something similar somewhere else that I’d liked just as well. I enjoy soft serve once in a while, it’s something I don’t make at home, and the combination of the soft serve with slushy flavors really worked for me and is something I hadn’t run across before. So definitely something I’ll be trying again.

OTOH, by the time I was eating it, it was clearly getting cooler, and looking like it might start raining again, which is not the weather that treat is designed for. :p Once I finished we headed inside to see the American Adventure. Not something I feel a great need to see again anytime soon, but we enjoyed it. When we came back outside, it was COLD. “Yes, it really is January” kind of cold. “Time to head back home for some long pants” kind of cold. “Why did I suggest meeting outside?” kind of cold. So we hurried down to the Morocco boat dock to find somewhere sheltered to wait in until everyone else to showed up. Which they quickly did. :)

09-10-2014, 09:44 PM
When we got to Epcot that morning, hubby and the younger ones had headed straight for Test Track, which is Warrior Girl’s favorite ride at Epcot. Geek Dad and the girls got the free pics they’ll e-mail to you.



I gotta say, I think Geek Dad does a better job as photographer. OTOH, not bad, for free. :p

Then they did Mission Space (hubby’s favorite Epcot ride), and the Seas with Nemo and Friends, where they goofed around for a bit. Ballet Girl does not look too distressed:


While Warrior Girl looks resigned to her fate (and possibly amused by it):

They had ice cream at Fountain View, did Mission Space one last time, then wandered into World Showcase, where Geek Dad took some Warrior Girl pics.


Eventually Ballet Girl hauled Warrior Girl off to do a Perry Adventure in Mexico. Warrior Girl abandoned her after that, but Ballet Girl did two more Perry adventures, one in the UK with SeaWorld Son and one in France by herself. All three younger ones liked the Perry Adventures, but for Ballet Girl they were the best part of Epcot.

Ballet Girl particularly remembers hiding from the rain doing the France Perry Adventure, when she looked up from her gadget to get her bearings and “felt like a real spy” because she was lying low – earlier adventures she’d always been with her siblings and they were just running around solving clues and talking, so while she enjoyed those too, doing one on her own was enjoyable in a different way it seems. :)

Geek Dad, meanwhile, enjoyed some of the live entertainment:



And took a lot of pictures…




… including this one that I had particularly requested, which came out pretty well I thought:


Then we all got together in Morocco and took our last Disney boat ride. Then our last Disney monorail ride. On our way home we picked up dinner at Walmart and spent the evening packing.

That night I commented on my disappointment that Mr. Cool hadn’t enjoyed the Disney parks as much as I’d hoped, and Geek Dad pointed out that everyone else had had a great time and wanted to come back, and that Mr. Cool could go to SeaWorld and do his thing while we did the Disney parks. Four out of five of the skeptics had had a great time, which wasn’t bad odds. I sighed but had to agree.


09-13-2014, 07:30 PM
We usually stop a few places on our drive back from Florida, do a museum or two, but I had correctly assumed we would be too tired on this trip to really want to do that, so I had nothing definitely planned, and we definitely weren't doing anything. As a matter of fact, the first day of the drive home was pretty quiet.

Right up until the early afternoon, that is, when Mr. Cool suddenly said, "I'm thinking about going to Disney World by myself this spring. Think it'd be okay if I took two weeks off in May?"

There was a long moment of silence, then Geek Dad and I yelped, "WHAT?!?"

"Well, I've traveled on my own before," Mr. Cool said, somewhat bewildered by our response.

"I thought you didn't like the Disney parks," I said.

"I never said that," Mr. Cool protested.

"And you never said you liked them, either," pointed out the Hermit.

"I liked them, I totally liked them, why would you think I didn't like them?"

Poor guy -- just about everyone then ganged up on him giving him evidence on why we just might think he didn't like them. :rolleyes:

Anyhow, he actually went back about the time our original trip had been planned -- late April, early May -- and wandered the resorts and did the parks and had a great time. :) Meaning ALL the Disney skeptics in my family are now Disney fans. I know it doesn't always work out like that, so I was really happy.


Disney Skeptic No More:


And THAT is the end of my story. :)

09-18-2014, 01:20 PM
I'm glad you decided to keep going with your TR! Sorry you don't get a 2015 trip, but I know it will make 2016 even more special :)

I'm loving all of your pictures!

This is the second time I've ever seen that American Dream. I saw it in someone else's TR a couple of months ago and had never heard of it! Definitely something I want to check out.

And yay!! You converted all of the skeptics! What a surprise ending!

09-19-2014, 09:36 AM
Sorry you don't get a 2015 trip, but I know it will make 2016 even more special :)


Good to see you! I am still in the middle of your Velkommen trip report, which I was enjoying, been thinking I need to get back to it, and then do your February one. Mr. Cool's boss offered him a dollar an hour raise if he gets a high school diploma, so now he suddenly want to go back and fill in the gaps (he's pretty much up to speed on the stuff he needs for work -- math, science, and writing -- but abandoned history entirely when he got the job at 16, and replied to my every complaint with, "I got a job without it, didn't I?" :rolleyes: ), so between adding his coursework to the usual stuff, and doing a classics course with the Hermit (which is taking more time than expected), I seem to have a lot less time for my favorite boards anymore. :(

I hope you're right about the wait making it more special. :) Right now we're not all planning to do the Disney parks 2016, except for one MNSSHP, because I really missed doing the resorts last time. I suspect Mr. Cool will go a few days -- and some of the rest of us might as well, but I'm trying to resist :p -- and then do the parks again in 2017. We're thinking about doing the Universal Parks in 2016 -- really want to see the Harry Potter stuff, plus we're unlikely to spend more than a day or two with those.

This is the second time I've ever seen that American Dream. I saw it in someone else's TR a couple of months ago and had never heard of it! Definitely something I want to check out.

I think Disney does decadence really well, but sometimes Disney food is just wrong (I'm looking at you, Sunshine Seasons :mad: ), and often it's just okay or fine. It's generally good for park food, and in that sense the American Dream is one of their best. Park food with an interesting twist. :thumbsup2

And yay!! You converted all of the skeptics! What a surprise ending!

That guy. :sad2: My mom does this thing where she introduces a new idea to my dad, he immediately hates it, and then she backs off but periodically exposes him to it, and eventually he will embrace the idea to the point of forgetting he ever disliked it. He's convinced he never changes his mind, and insists he was all for it from the beginning. :rolleyes: Drives me nuts (mom's just happy he changes his mind), and Mr. Cool clearly takes after his grandfather in that department. I guess he got that from my side, because Geek Dad and his brothers have a better grasp on reality. Sorry about that, Mr. Cool's future wife... should there ever be one. :upsidedow

10-10-2014, 11:34 PM
so glad you came back and finished your TR. I want to do one from our 2 trips with Jaxon but just can't seem to find the time...