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Old 07-29-2011, 09:37 PM   #961
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Great update, Cynthia. All of the cake reveal pictures are incredible; you seem to have really captured the moment.

And your massage sounds incredible. I've only had one once, at Coronado, and they are heavenly.

Gorgeous views. There is just so much to look at in that area of the world. The Eiffel Tower... the Tower of Terror.
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Old 07-30-2011, 09:42 AM   #962
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The Body Polish sounds awesome but I would also be bummed with having no face/scalp massage!

Love the pics and Mary Ellen's reactions to getting the cake! Am glad you managed to capture it
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:08 PM   #963
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Chocolate heaven!




I am definitely getting senile because I really thought it had a fruit filling. I should have known it was a chocolate mouse. All I really remember is how beautiful it looked and how tasty the actual cake and filling were. I think I got the filling confused with another cake I had recently. DOH!!!!!!

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I think he thought he was being funny, like joking, it was in a very teasing pleasant voice so I didn't take offense at all and we joked about it but it was a bit odd.
I do feel a little weird being a single rider on Soarin. Not sure why, but I have gotten that exact same vibe before.

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I love Soarin'. It makes me smile, too, and I really love it when I get to experience it with first-timers. Listening to their 'oohs' and 'aahs' and hearing the applause at the end makes me love the ride even more.

doesn't it always seem like you are riding it with first-timers? I always feel that why and I do love seeing and hearing how they react to the ride.

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The picture of the cake has me wanting to go bake something chocolate right now.
Yup - that cake will do it to you, that's for sure!

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Hmmm.... That's not a very nice thing to say....especially at Disney! Especially by a Disney CM! I am rather shocked! I find that I get the looks often and some people will even ask if I'm there alone and why! However, they're always nice about it! Infact, some people are even impressed and understand the indulgence of it all! I bet the CM was just jealous!
I'm glad you were still able to have a good ride and got great seat!
I'm surprised someone said, "don't you have any friends?"

I went on one completely solo trip and CM's were great about it. And, you're right - some are even impressed when they fine you are traveling alone.

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Originally Posted by tinacaplan View Post
Great update, Cynthia. All of the cake reveal pictures are incredible; you seem to have really captured the moment.

That she did, that's for sure!

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Originally Posted by tinacaplan View Post
And your massage sounds incredible. I've only had one once, at Coronado, and they are heavenly.
Cynthia's experience does sound really wonderful! I am a tad jealous that I skipped out on my appointment.

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Gorgeous views. There is just so much to look at in that area of the world. The Eiffel Tower... the Tower of Terror.
That's so funny that cynthia has those pix - I have the EXACT same ones that I took on a different morning. I certainly can't tell the difference between hers and mine.

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The Body Polish sounds awesome but I would also be bummed with having no face/scalp massage!

All this talk about massages is making me want one. After running all weekend, I could sure use it.

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Love the pics and Mary Ellen's reactions to getting the cake! Am glad you managed to capture it
She sure did, didn't she. I look stunned, to say the least.
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:09 PM   #964
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A Wild African Trek

When I last left off we had just finished our final meal with all 6 girls! Hard to believe we all had arrived by Saturday and now it was already Tuesday morning (May 3). One of our intrepid travelers was about to head home, so Tutto was the last meal we spent with Jen. We were all sad to see her go. Even though her flight didn't leave until some time in the afternoon, four of us wouldn't see her again because we were heading on a very special tour. And Jen, of course, was due to come back to the world in a month so I don't think she was too crushed to be leaving.

I don't know how I forgot to mention this, but Jen had bestowed a wonderful gift on each of us.



Seriously, who doesn't love a bar of basin soap???????

Another thing I forgot to mention was that somehow Cynthia's room key got screwed up when we added the two days of Dx dining. Because of that they credited us with an extra mug and an extra snack. Cynthia insisted I take the second mug (which turned out to be my third for this trip)



Seriously, who wouldn't want an extra mug? Now Denny, Nick, and I are all mugged up for our December trip. Ironically, we are probably doing the DxDP again for a few nights, so we will come home with 6 mugs! I think I really DO need an owner's locker!

So on Tuesday morning Cynthia and I got up nice and early and enjoyed a cup (or two) of coffee out on the balcony. Now it was my turn to take pictures with my zoom lens and I basically got exact duplicates of what Cynthia posted in her last update.















Cynthia and I decided we probably had time to catch the bus and still get to AK before the departure of our 9am? AFrican Trek. I'm pretty sure we needed to be there by 08:45.

Did we make it??????



YUP! With plenty of time to spare. This picture was taken on the OTHER side of rope drop. WOO HOO! I did visit AK one other time before rope drop, but it was raining and miserable out, so I can't count that.

Does this cast member look like he's saying, "what the....?"



Yup - That's us again on the OTHER side of rope drop and we are gonna milk it.

Good Morning Mr Duck



Good Morning Mr Animal Kingdom Workers



Good Morning Amazing Tree of Life



Now I know there are people who don't care for AK, but I LOVE it ! It's really one of my favorite parks. I especially love taking pictures there and there was certainly no shortage of picture taking opportunities!















Hurry Up you straggler Cynthia! The crowds are coming!







Continued.........




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Old 08-01-2011, 06:15 PM   #965
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Drawings on the wall outside of the Pizzafari bathroom





After our pit stop we decided to pick up the pace because the rope had clearly dropped and the regular crowd was descending upon us. When we got to the Tusker House there were CM's in place actually looking for people who were taking the trek.

We were given directions to a little path that ran to the left and behind of the Tusker House.













When we got to the end of the trail we were greeted by this ominous warning:



And just around the bend was this smily face



Lonnie - Our Fearless Leader!

It didn't take long before Lonnie had us all changed into similar attire:






In case you failed to notice, Melissa decided to opt out of our trek. I think she still had tons of shopping to do and really wanted to use her last full day to relax (if her family would allow it). Actually, I think the kids were all in school so she was safe. Phew!

Next on the agenda was a practice walk across one of the many dangerous rope bridges we were about to encounter.





Crossing was more fun then scary!

Next up.....



Jungle juice. When I saw the juice I started thinking, "ya know 90 plus minutes in this diaper harness may be a bit too long for my bladder". So Lonnie guided me over to the Tusker House so I could take one more pee break. Darn coffee and water!

Here's our other leader and I can't remember her name. Hopefully one of the other ladies will.



We were each outfitted with an ear piece, our lovely vest, and a water bottle. Look closely and you will see it locked on the vest.

Time to get started!

Oh - yeah - and our tour guides doubled as PP photographers. But you know me. I just had to have my own pictures as well. So that's all I'm going to show you right now. Just my pix. In fact, I looked at the PP pictures once on line, but I have not even downloaded mine yet. I really want them to be a surprise. Why? Because I'm just weird like that!

Here's a few non back stage pictures to get the tour started.







We traveled for a bit on the Pagani Forrest Trail











Our guides were quick to point out this hippo skull because we about to encounter a few really hungry hippos - in the flesh!!!!



Up Next Hungry, Hungry Hippos!







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Old 08-01-2011, 06:44 PM   #966
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Your morning at AK looks like fun so far! I would love to try the Wild Africa Trek but I don't think I could do it. Those rope bridges 353474387 feet in the air would leave me weeping with fear in the fetal position! I'm excited to see it all through your eyes! Looks like it's off to a good start! I wonder what they do if someone gets up there and can't make it all the way across! Yikes I'm scaring myself right now and I'm safe in the computer chair!
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:51 PM   #967
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Hungry, Hungry Hippos

It was a little awkward to be walking in a diaper/harness, but all was forgotten when we finally went back stage. Boy did we get the stares as we were walking towards our back stage entrance.

In short order we caught a glimpse of the hippos.



Seemingly benign and docile creature. Right?

NOT!

Apparently hippos are responsible for more deaths out on the savannah then any other animal. They are extremely dangerous and they have jaws like steel hinges. Not to mention giant teeth.

Here is another jaw left just for us out on the trail



Still not convinced?

Well, It just so happened that our visit coincided with feeding time and these lovely ladies were grad students or some kind of students who were about to feed the hippos.



Notice the safety straps. It would really suck to end up in the brink with the hippos.

Here we are



And here is our first hippo. Let the feeding frenzy begin.



Oh, wait, calling for reinforcements.



Open wide now.



A little wider.



Come on Hippo, show me what you got!



Now if this next picture doesn't totally make you cringe, I don't know what will.



What the........???????? Is that even possible?
That sends shivers through my spine.

Yum Yum. A Nice tasty half of watermelon is in that hippos mouth right about now.



Rerun.....



Stunned into silence



Even the chatter box in our group shut up for a few minutes. Yup, that's right. You know how there's one of "those" in every group. Well we had a chatty Cathy in our group and she asked a question or made a comment about every 5 minutes. Yup - one of those! I'm really not sure if I took her pictures. I mean, why would I want to. I thought C was going to strangle her a few times. Why stir up those emotions.

A few misc pictures before we start our next Trek activity.





We could see the safari vehicles from many vantage points on our Trek.







Up Next.....Zip Lining through the Tree Tops. Psych!!!!!!!! More like walking on a Disney bridge through the tree tops!



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Old 08-01-2011, 07:03 PM   #968
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I didn't think I could do it either, Stacy. Just ask Tracy how many "what if?" questions I asked her the night before. If I can do it anyone can!

Tracy can fill more in on our morning...I'm not sure either of us have pictures. We chose to take a taxi rather than rely on the bus service and for some reason the driver was fixated on my name, Christine. . It's French, he said, are you French? Why did your parents name you that? How can you not know why they named you that? It was a bit much that early in the morning.

And to top it off he took us to AKL instead of the park at first but we got there eventually. It took us a bit to find the guy checking trekkers in.

Once we found him we had some paperwork to sign. I was tickled to see there were numerous paragraphs on how I was releasing rights to Disney to use my image in any photos taken and just an itty bitty sentence or two on how, oh by the way, you might die, contract unpronouncable diseases or otherwise be disfigured.

The morning was off to a fun start! We had a great time getting "suited up" and couldn't wait to get started. Little did we know how AWESOME it would be!!!
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:44 PM   #969
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinacaplan View Post
Great update, Cynthia. All of the cake reveal pictures are incredible; you seem to have really captured the moment.

And your massage sounds incredible. I've only had one once, at Coronado, and they are heavenly.

Gorgeous views. There is just so much to look at in that area of the world. The Eiffel Tower... the Tower of Terror.
It was heavenly!!!!!!!!! Both the massage, and our views

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The Body Polish sounds awesome but I would also be bummed with having no face/scalp massage!

Love the pics and Mary Ellen's reactions to getting the cake! Am glad you managed to capture it
I was bummed but it was still a great spa experience.

Her reactions were priceless!
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:56 PM   #970
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My morning started out...the same as Mary Ellens!

Seriously though, we made great time and it was a bit of a trip to be on the other side of that rope.

However we did have a rather funny experience with Samuel Jackson before entering. Maybe mary Ellen can recall the details????

I took a few pictures as well

TOL (of course!)







A tour?



So pretty



So empty!











And...that's all I took! I debated about bringing my camera. I had it, then I didn't. I decided to leave it in the locker. And frankly, I'm glad I didn't. I knew Mary Ellen would take tons, as would our guides and that was good enough for me. One less thing to weigh me down (or add to the really unflattering outfit).

I think Melissa opted out, worrying about the heat and Jen had already done it on a previous trip so it was just the 4 of us. And chatty Cathy (who annoyed all of us) and some other cool folk.

I think I'll let Mary Ellen tell the story through her pictures before adding in the photopass, unless she prefers otherwise (though hopefully she got them on disk too, as I know I mailed them!)
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:48 PM   #971
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Mary Ellen and Cynthia -- great pictures of Animal Kingdom.

ME, I'm with you. I LOVE the AK. It is my third favorite park afater MK and Epcot (the Studios is way down on the list).

I so want to do that Trek, but it just isn't in the budget this year. I can't wait to see more the trek pictures.

Oh, and that hippo and his mouth.
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:57 PM   #972
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I just MEK's reaction pics - they had me in tears! What a wonderful moment. I'm sure she feels beyond blessed to have you all as friends!

I'm drooling over the Trek pictures!!! That hippo pic made me do a to see it that closely....wow, that had to be intense!
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:15 AM   #973
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WOW I had no idea the Wild Africa Trek was that extreme! When I saw the harnesses, I was like...this is definitely not what I had imagined! That hippo is pretty crazy-looking, I definitely wouldn't want to be anywhere near them!

Needless to say, I'm pretty sure this is one tour I won't be considering! I'll experience it vicariously safely on the other side of my computer screen.
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:57 AM   #974
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Originally Posted by sunny_stace View Post
Your morning at AK looks like fun so far! I would love to try the Wild Africa Trek but I don't think I could do it. Those rope bridges 353474387 feet in the air would leave me weeping with fear in the fetal position! I'm excited to see it all through your eyes! Looks like it's off to a good start! I wonder what they do if someone gets up there and can't make it all the way across! Yikes I'm scaring myself right now and I'm safe in the computer chair!
The tour was really good and it seriously wasn't scary at all. It was probably safer than driving in a car. They try to make it seem extreme, but it's really not. It was just a really enjoyable way to spend the morning. They gave us so much information that it was impossible to retain 10% of it.

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I didn't think I could do it either, Stacy. Just ask Tracy how many "what if?" questions I asked her the night before. If I can do it anyone can!
You did not look scared at all. Every picture I have of you, you are smiling!!!!!

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Originally Posted by 2xcited2sleep View Post
Tracy can fill more in on our morning...I'm not sure either of us have pictures. We chose to take a taxi rather than rely on the bus service and for some reason the driver was fixated on my name, Christine. . It's French, he said, are you French? Why did your parents name you that? How can you not know why they named you that? It was a bit much that early in the morning.
OY! A chatty cab driver and then chatty Cathy. Way too much sensory overload!

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And to top it off he took us to AKL instead of the park at first but we got there eventually. It took us a bit to find the guy checking trekkers in.
Oh brother. You should have just taken the bus. Nice and quiet and empty!

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Once we found him we had some paperwork to sign. I was tickled to see there were numerous paragraphs on how I was releasing rights to Disney to use my image in any photos taken and just an itty bitty sentence or two on how, oh by the way, you might die, contract unpronouncable diseases or otherwise be disfigured.
I forgot about that, but at the time it was slightly freaking me out because I was already recovering from illness. Seriously, that consent form was over the top!

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Originally Posted by 2xcited2sleep View Post
The morning was off to a fun start! We had a great time getting "suited up" and couldn't wait to get started. Little did we know how AWESOME it would be!!!
I've never met a Disney tour I didn't like, that's for sure!


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Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
However we did have a rather funny experience with Samuel Jackson before entering. Maybe mary Ellen can recall the details????

I forgot about Samuel Jackson. shoot! I knew I should have taken a picture of him in his pajamas - it would have been so funny!

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I think I'll let Mary Ellen tell the story through her pictures before adding in the photopass, unless she prefers otherwise (though hopefully she got them on disk too, as I know I mailed them!)
Oh - I have them, but I haven't download them yet. I think I am saving them for a treat when I'm done posting all my own pictures. I was actually going to write about our adventures using my own pix and then do a montage with their pix. I am sure they are great, although I don't like that they throw some stock pix in there. For example, didn't they add some of the animals we definitely didn't see? Maybe I'm just jealous because I have yet to get a good picture of the lions!

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Originally Posted by KatMark View Post
Mary Ellen and Cynthia -- great pictures of Animal Kingdom.

ME, I'm with you. I LOVE the AK. It is my third favorite park afater MK and Epcot (the Studios is way down on the list).
It's such a pretty park and I still believe that the safari is really the best, most comprehensive, attraction in all of Disney world. I'm sure it consumes the most resources.

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I so want to do that Trek, but it just isn't in the budget this year. I can't wait to see more the trek pictures.

Oh, and that hippo and his mouth.
It was expensive. I'm not sure how much because Cynthia actually paid for mine in exchange for the rooms. I know it wasn't cheap, let's just put it that way. But, like I said, I have never regretted spending $ on a Disney tour because they are all so educational and fun!


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Originally Posted by brookelizabeth View Post
I just MEK's reaction pics - they had me in tears! What a wonderful moment. I'm sure she feels beyond blessed to have you all as friends!
That is exactly how I felt. I couldn't believe they would plan that surprise for me. When Nick saw the pictures the other night he said, "your friends gave you THAT???" He was pretty impressed.

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I'm drooling over the Trek pictures!!! That hippo pic made me do a to see it that closely....wow, that had to be intense!
How the HECK do they get their mouth to open like that? I am still in awe of the size of their jaw!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stringbean&Wingnut View Post
WOW I had no idea the Wild Africa Trek was that extreme! When I saw the harnesses, I was like...this is definitely not what I had imagined! That hippo is pretty crazy-looking, I definitely wouldn't want to be anywhere near them!
The harness looked extreme, but seriously I don't think it saved anyone's life. It really just prevented you from getting too close to things. Very effective in that respect.

The hippos mouths were crazy big. I didn't even realize it until I looked at the pictures because they quickly opened their mouths and closed them. I must have taken a bunch of quick pics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stringbean&Wingnut View Post
Needless to say, I'm pretty sure this is one tour I won't be considering! I'll experience it vicariously safely on the other side of my computer screen.
It really wasn't scary at all! Like C said, if we can do it - anyone can!
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Sorry Gaston, They are MUCH More Interesting than You!
Will You Chill Out if I Sprinkle You With Pixie Dust?

Remembering 9/11:MEK Original
Why Not Just Queue Up Another Disney Trip?
How Do You Think We Stay So Happy?
Inching My Way Closer to the Castle Sept 10 TR
Wheeling & Dealing at the WL May '10 TR
Play'in It at Pop Sept 09 Anniversary Trip
JUNE 09 TR...KICK'N IT AT KIDANI DH & I do Disney Solo! DEC 2008 June 2008 tripreport
My Trips 2002-Offsite 2003-POR 2004-Royal Pacific/Daytona Bch 2005-CBR 2006-Pop, SSR 2007-ASM 2008-Pop, Vero Bch/SSR, POFQ/SSR 2009-Kidani/CSR, Pop 2010- VWL, BLT 2011-POR/BCV, Disney's HHI Resort, OKW2012-Treehouse villa/BWV, VWL/BWV 2013-HHI, Secret off site location;BWV/AKL 2014- Tampa, ASSp/BCV, OKW
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:00 AM   #975
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Ooooo, the trek looks awesome so far!! I was thinking of doing either that or the Keys to the Kingdom tour at MK in October. KTTK was winning out based on cost, but you have me rethinking that.......
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