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Old 11-05-2012, 06:59 AM   #1
rex008
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Just back. 14 days of pure Disney

Just putting down a marker for a trip report really. Going to take me a while to sort photos and stuff out, but if I write an outline, it'll keep me reminded. Going to keep it in one thread I think.

Booked Sep/Nov last year, 1 bed at OKW, Virgin direct flights, free dining.
4 of us, me (39 YO child ), DW (similar age ), DS1 (10) DS2 (9). All booked as Disney adults to get 4 adult dining plans.

Me and DW had last been in 1997, so it had been a while!

We're fairly obsessive planners - read Unofficial Guide cover to cover, had spreadsheets galore. We'd done 12 of 14 nights ADRs at 6 months (two for 2 credits each). Pretty much planned the first week, then it was fairly open after that. Preordered MNSSHP, La Nouba, Photopass+.

Fri 19/10 Left Nottingham around 9pm, stayed at Travelodge Knutsford services. Last minute decision, I was fine about driving over on the Saturday morning, but DW was paranoid about missing plane. £30 for family room and free parking, booked 1 day in advance though!

Sat 20/10 MAN->MCO Virgin. A330-300, new entertainment system made the time fly, watched Madagascar 3, MIB 3, something else I now can't remember. Played 2 player battleships with DS2. Fairly easy immigration, bags, customs. Shuttle bus to Sixt site (5 mins). Not got E-class that I'd booked . Offered Merc GLK, but not until the day after. Couldn't argue much as I wasn't sure what they were, as they're not yet sold in UK. Offered Camaro for a day. Would have loved a go, but didn't think boot would be big enough. Took brand new Hyundai Sonata instead. Got to resort quite easily, 1 toll of $1. No queue for check in. We'd had grand plans of negotiating location, etc, but in the end took what we were given, which was 2721. Turned out to be absolutely brilliant; really good location for central amenities, with reasonable view if a little tree-obscured out the back.
Took boat to DTD, had a wander, used our first QS credits at Pollo Campero, which was ok. Kids and DW are all fairly fussy eaters, I'm the total opposite of fussy! Picked up Photopass+ next to Team Mickey. They set the ride photo bit to expire on 4/11 when I said I had a full 2 weeks, so that was good, as I wasn't sure when the 14 day restriction would start. Rather than walk back to boat (pleasure island pier) we thought we'd take the bus at the Marketplace end, which was definitely a mistake. At 9pm it took about 40 minutes to get out the bus park! Got back eventually and all crashed out.

Sunday 21/10. Woke up at 4am, never really got back to sleep. Kids did a little better. Bought a box of mini cookies in the OKW shop for breakfast (healthy!). Got bus to MK, was an easy journey. There for 8.30, watched opening ceremony. Did our "MK Touring Plan Day 1". This was basically tomorrowland and Adventureland. All absolutely loved Space Mountain. Did everything else in Tomorrowland. Enjoyed Buzz Lightyear, Stitch was very meh. CoP was cheesy funny. Great view from Astro Orbiter.
Ate lunch at Cosmic Ray's which I thought was actually pretty good - very efficient service there, which turned out to be not always true! And nice and cool inside on what was turning into a very hot day. The usual burgers and hot dogs, plus some deserts we really could have lived without, but Have Dining Plan, Will Eat.
Did some of adventureland - Swiss tree, which was a bit meh, Jungle cruise was fun, had a funny guide, Pirates was good - seems to have changed quite a bit in the last 15 years!
Was flaked by then (about 2.30pm) so got bus back to OKW. Which ended up a 45 minute wait! Last thing we wanted. Vowed to give up on Disney transport after that and the DTD bus the night before! Great afternoon swim in the pool.
Car swap saga started - this was really the only painful part of the whole trip. Sixt communication appaling, but ended up meeting their delivery driver in my wet swim trunks in the resort lobby! GLK was nice mini-SUV with inbuilt satnav, which was very useful. Could have been a bit bigger for boot space, but fine really.
Early ADR at Olivia's, was really nice there, nice food, good service. Both had the steak, which was excellent. Kids just had chicken of some variety (common theme for next 14 days!).

Wow, ok, this was going to be an outline. 1.5 days done! Will have to continue later!
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:19 PM   #2
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Started sorting my photos as well, so may as well do the first couple of days, then I'll embed them as I go along.

Quick turn around on the run up main street on Day 1:

DS1, DW, DS2 (having already spent money in the gift shop!)

First ride, ready for take off!


Cody (I think!) our Jungle Cruise guide:


Cap'n Jack on POTC:


First test of the new camera, very glad it works!


Because it meant I could do things like this:
Edit: Realised this link wasn't really working, so put it on Youtube:
http://youtu.be/qreUhff-Xzw
On proper water slides later!

Late, signing off. More to follow...

Last edited by rex008; 11-06-2012 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:23 AM   #3
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A pretty good start, looking forward to more.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:37 AM   #4
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Thanks!
Should manage to get Epcot day up tonight, plus I've done photos for the DHS day already, just not written it up. Lots of work, but really nice to document as I'm not usually a natural journal writer, and it'll keep my memory jogged!
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rex008 View Post
Thanks!
Should manage to get Epcot day up tonight, plus I've done photos for the DHS day already, just not written it up. Lots of work, but really nice to document as I'm not usually a natural journal writer, and it'll keep my memory jogged!
I like looking back a my TRs to relive the holiday.
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:44 AM   #7
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Love the two teaser shots - can't wait to see the rest of the day

The shot of the headless horseman is fantastic, you really get a sense of speed and movement - it's certainly not rubbish!
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:17 PM   #8
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Loving your trip report, agree with everyone else that your photos are amazing
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:35 AM   #9
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Day 11 - Wednesday 21/10 - AK, Crystal Palace, MNSSHP

Thanks for all the positive comments, and sorry it's been such a long gap - I had a hectic few days, and then motivation seems to drop a bit. So hoping this will push me through the last 4 days now.

It's going to be a VERY photo-heavy day. I'll probably split this into AK and MK parts to give you a breather!

We'd got MNSSHP booked for tonight with an early-ish ADR at Crystal Palace, so it was a case of picking a park for the first 1/2 of the day. I really wanted to head back to AK - we'd missed quite a few of the shows, plus I wanted to do the safari again with a proper camera.
It was still a bit cool today, which I'd read would mean the animals would be nice and active, so that was a good argument for it as well.
Got there close to opening. Of course the kids wanted to do Everest as many times as possible, so we headed there first just to keep them quiet for a bit .
Then we headed to the safari. Nice small queue. Got on and DS2 and I battered the shutter buttons on the cameras. The trucks are incredibly bumpy and rarely stop moving, so it can be really tricky to get a nice sharp shot (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!). Here's a few of my favourites:















We also walked the Pangani Forest and the Asia wildlife trails as well. Were very impressed with both of these; the gorilla habitat in Pangani and the Tiger habitat in Asia were both excellently done. Bird houses in both were impressive as well. More pics!













We had lunch in Flame Tree BBQ again - really liked the food here, and pretty efficient service as well.

We then did Finding Nemo the musical. I'd heard very good things about this, and we all really loved it. I thought it was excellently done, and, like in the Beauty and the Beast show, the performers were impressively energetic! Quite low light here, so fairly challenging to photograph, but got some reasonable shots I think, even with a long, quite slow lens.











Did EE one last time. Kids very much enjoyed this, must have done it about 6 or 7 times over the course of the 2 days we were in AK. Never seemed to have much of a queue, which was also good.

One thing I now very much regret is not taking time to do the FOTLK show or the Flights of Wonder, doubly so given FOTLK is scheduled to end. In fact I think we could easily have spent another 1/2 day in AK - we didn't do the train to Rafiki's Planet Watch either. Oh well.

Headed back to OKW, to change into our stuff for MNSSHP. Not So Exciting reveal in the next post .
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:36 AM   #10
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More nice photos again.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:24 AM   #11
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Love the animal photos. The silverbacks are always good to see.

Glad you found your mojo again to continue the last few days!!
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:20 AM   #12
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FOTLK is ending!!! I'm gutted!

The colour in your photos really pop.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:54 AM   #14
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Thanks for pointing me to your TR - I really enjoyed reading it. You clearly had a lot of fun and managed to do so much even with downtime

One thing did slightly worry me - the waits for buses to OKW. This is where are probably going to stay and if we go for 3 weeks, we only plan to have a car for one week of it.... So it will be buses for us - really concerned about this - you get so many people saying it's 'fine' then you hear of people who wait ages .

Loved the where's Wally family at MNSSHP - your DW looked fab!

You've given me some good ideas for QS meals as well - thanks!

Hoping to read the end of your TR soon .
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:42 AM   #15
rex008
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Thanks for the comments. It's funny, after posting the link I read the whole thing again last night. Amazing the memories it brings back. With planning in full swing for this year, it certainly helps to remind myself of events last time, and also the things we missed that I want to make sure we do this year.

I have also realised how often I use the phrase "pretty decent". Must use the thesaurus more .

It's hard to say with buses. I think we just got very unlucky twice in a row - once returning from DTD (where we should have just walked back up to the top and got the boat), and our first day return from MK, where we waited a long time for an OKW bus. The building we were in was very close to a bus stop, and they were there frequently; we just made the decision not to bother after that first MK day. I think we could have coped without a car, to be honest. Many many people do. OKW is a very nice place to have a car at though - you can park right outside your building, which is very convenient.

I honestly am thinking of finishing this off now - bit daft after 15 months, but better late than never! Only 3 fairly easy days to go, and it's good to exercise the little grey memory cells.
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