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Old 11-10-2011, 04:30 PM   #1
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"We Have Lots of Good Wine at Home, But We Don't Have Giraffes." **COMPLETED**

Welcome, one and all, to my chock-full-of-pictures trip report! I hope you'll enjoy all the stories and pictures. It was a wonderful trip, with lots of new experiences

For those of you who are new readers, here is a link to my pre-trip report:

Or a quick synopsis:
There's me, Gigi. I'm 38 and a certified Disney fanatic. This was my 11th trip to the World.
With me was my wonderful boyfriend DJ. He's 33 and this was his first time at WDW! He'd actually never even been to Florida before this trip (though he's been in almost every other state in the country, and had been to Disneyland when he was about 13).

We rented DVC points. Savannah view studio, 4 nights at AKV Jambo House, and 2 nights at AKV Kidani Village. We had the DDP for the first 4 nights, then the DxDDP for the last two.

So now that you're all caught up, here we go!

Twas the night before Disney, and all through my brain
Last minute events were driving me insane!

The storm (Snowtober or whatever silly name they gave it) left my apartment without power. That put a little fly in the ointment. Our plan was to do our final pre-trip running around, then go to my apartment to spend the night before heading to the airport the following morning. We wanted to spend time with my cats, since we'd be away for the week (yes, they have a pet-sitter who came here twice a day, but that's not like having their mom home!). No electricity and no heat changed all that.

We spent the daylight hours at my apartment, all blinds opened and candles lit. DJ even sat in the kitchen while I packed, with all 4 stove burners on, trying to warm up the place.

Back at DJ's apartment, we finished packing and actually got into bed by 10. Alarms were set for 4:30. Our flight was at 7:45, and we had to leave for the airport by 5:15.

Could I sleep? hahaha, no, of course not. My mind was racing -- half-excited, half worried that we'd forget something. I finally drifted off around 11:30... only to wake again at 1:30 That was my night. I'd say I got a grand total of 3 hours of sleep, waking up on and off until the alarm finally rang. DJ fared a bit better, but didn't get too much more sleep than I did.

We used ABC Airport Parking -- close to the airport with a free shuttle to the terminal, for a fraction of the cost (only $7 per day, as opposed to $18 per day at the economy lot at Newark). We couldn't find the lot at first. We got semi-lost, and I started panicking... and then we found it totally by accident. Relieved, we got on the shuttle and made it to the airport in time.

Once we were through security, we didn't really have much time. We ordered breakfast to go from someplace called Ruby's Diner. Pretty good breakfast sandwiches and potatoes. Way too big for either of us to finish, though. They were like hero rolls. If we'd known that, we'd have only ordered one sandwich. Oh well, next time we'll know better.

The flight was, by far, the smoothest one I'd ever been on. No turbulence at all. I tried to sleep, but I can almost never sleep on planes, so I played Hearts on my netbook and watched Big Bang Theory on the overhead video monitors (I love that show!). Before I knew it, we were on the ground in Orlando!

Off to Magical Express we went. This was a simple process, but we did not get an official ME bus. It was Mears. Oh well, no Disney propaganda video for us. Here we are, looking crazy and exhausted already and it was only 10:30

Coming up in the next installment, check-in to AKL Villas at Jambo House, and our first day in the World
Me The BF The Kitty

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Old 11-10-2011, 04:31 PM   #2
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:17 PM   #3
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Our Mears bus arrived at AKV Jambo, and we were checked in by noon. And our room was ready!!! 5509 on the Zebra Trail. It was not too far from the lobby, and pretty much directly above The Mara. Pretty good location.

Here are some pics of the room, and our Savanna view:

Our original plan for our first day was to go to the Garden View Tea Room for lunch, then straight to MK for the last Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. Well, things don't always go as planned. I was fully exhausted, and knew I needed a nap if we were going to last until midnight at the party. So we decided to grab lunch at the Mara, then relax at the resort until we were ready to head to MK. I was disappointed to have to cancel the Tea Room, but the party was more important to me, and I knew I'd be miserable if I didn't get a few winks in.

DJ got the African Stew:

He really enjoyed this. It reminded him of the 'street meat' he gets for lunch while working in Manhattan.

I got the Pepperoni Flatbread. It tasted better than it looks:

For drinks and dessert, we got a Perrier, a cappuccino soda, Zebra domes, and a cheese coffee cake:

WOW, those Zebra domes were tasty! Never had them before. And the cheese coffee cake was OUTSTANDING. So moist and still warm . Really really good! We couldn't finish dessert, so we brought them up to our room to have later. I was glad we brought ziplock bags -- a tip I got here on the boards. We were able to keep that coffee cake fresh until it was finished.

This meal would've been something like $28. It's the one meal I didn't note the price of (since the receipts they give you on DDP just say 0.00).

After lunch, we headed up to our room and sat on the balcony for a little while... but I was fading fast, so I soon curled up in bed for a snooze. DJ stayed on the balcony, reading something on his Kindle, until I woke up.

Up next -- Boo to You! Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party!
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:42 AM   #4
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Woo Hoo you started....I'm here but I have to go back and read now!!!

Great start...all caught up! Your room is lovely and there is nothing better than a Savannah view is there? Can't wait for more!

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Old 11-11-2011, 11:32 AM   #5
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Queen! Thanks for joining in!

Anyone else who's reading, I hope you'll say hello!
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:22 PM   #6
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Around 6pm, we left for MNSSHP

Here we are waiting for the bus:

The bus from Jambo to MK took 16 minutes. Not bad at all!


We stopped into the Main Street Bakery so DJ could get a coffee. I got a lemonade. No pics of that

My first order of business when we arrived was to get into the shops and get a Halloween pin. I'd read that they sell out quickly, and since this was the last night of the party, I didn't want to miss out.

There were people hovering everywhere, all waiting for 7pm, when the "exclusive" Halloween party merchandise would be put out. I watched a few CMs check for wristbands, and then tell people they had to leave - even those with arms full of stuff to buy.

The first items they put out were t-shirts. They didn't look all that cool to me, but people descended on them like it was Christmas Eve.

Finally, I saw the pins at a register So cute!

I only bought one. I'm not a trader, I just collect.

With that behind us, we set off down Main Street. Everything looked so pretty!

DJ's first ride at WDW was The Haunted Mansion I hadn't been on since before they made the changes, so it was somewhat new to me, too. So cool!

Through the course of the night, we walked on to HM, as well as Small World, Peter Pan (my favorite!), Buzz Lightyear, Tomorrowland Speedway, and Space Mountain! Well, DJ walked on... I walked through - and right out the chicken exit

We trick-or-treated as we walked around -- not necessarily on purpose. Just whenever we came across a treat spot, we got our bags ready. By the end of the night, we had a TON of candy. Good stuff, too - actual name-brand chocolates

We got popcorn at some point, but that only held us for so long. I knew just where we were going to eat -- Pecos Bill's! Oh yeahhhhh, fixins!

We both got the Angus cheeseburger with fries and iced tea.

DJ got strawberry yogurt as his dessert, and I got carrot cake.

Again, we saved the desserts to take back to the room (we had bags full of chocolate, after all), but the rest was soooo yummy. I love the sauteed onions and mushrooms and cheese on the fixings bar. The OOP cost for this meal would've been $30.61, but we used counter service credits.

We ate outside, as the fireworks were about to start. By the time we finished eating, we kinda raced closer to the castle to get a better view. I only took one pic, because I wanted to enjoy the fireworks.

The castle after fireworks:

Not sure where we are here, but I love this pic

Before we knew it, it was time for the parade. I don't usually stop to watch parades, but I'd heard this one was awesome, so we found front-row spot near the bridge to Tomorrowland.

The Headless Horseman started the parade! Somewhere I have video of his ride, but I'm not sure where it is right now. I'll add it in later. It was very cool!

(I promise, there are better pics coming. I'd only brought my dying point-and-shoot to the party -- didn't feel like lugging my big DSLR around that night.)

The parade did not disappoint at all. It was wonderful!

After more wandering around and going on Space Mountain, we were ready to head back to Jambo House.

A nice girl offered to take a pic of us on our way out, and we graciously accepted

The party was definitely worth the money, in my opinion. We had a great time, the park looked amazing, there were virtually no lines for anything... we loved it!

Coming up next -- we head to Animal Kingdom! Breakfast at Rainforest Cafe!
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