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Old 12-03-2012, 11:30 PM   #211
tayalltheway
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Chapter 58
Pizza Party


We hurried through World Showcase as we had to get all the way around to Italy.



I couldn't not take some pictures of the beautiful sunset that was happening over the lagoon, however. I took several pictures and stitched them together as a panorama when I got home.



We were making pretty decent time, so we stopped to look at the puppets for sale outside of China. The Frumps had pointed out this deer puppet in several of their trip reports, and we wanted him too!



This was basically the extent of our tour of China on this trip.



It's the one pavilion we rarely make it through, though one of these trips we need to eat at Nine Dragons. I took one more sunset picture as we approached Italy.



Arriving at the Italy pavilion, we went straight toward Via Napoli, our dinner destination.



We checked in and ogled at the beauty of that building.



Despite our difficulty scoring a timely ADR, it wasn't that busy, and we were seated pretty quickly. Our server started us off with some bread with olive oil.



I just love fresh bread at restaurants. It's delicious.



After we ordered, one of the other servers walking by noticed us taking pictures, and offered to take one of the two of us.



And then the pizza came. We ordered two pies to split between us. The first was the Piccante (spicy Italian sausage).



The second was the Carciofi (white pizza, artichoke, fontina, mozzarella, truffle oil).



I'm going to find it difficult to put into words just how delicious these pizzas were. It quickly became one of, if not my favorite meal of the trip. Everything about it was just the perfect pizza. Part of it might have just been that I love pizza as a food, so it already had that going for it, but I know good pizza. We lived in New York for years, and this was on par with the best pizzas I ever had there. The secret, I know, is in the water that they import from a water source with the same pH, minerals, etc. as the water in Naples, Italy. It was worth it. I ate as much as I possibly could, but faced the same food wall that I'd hit so many times on this trip already, so we were really sad to only be able to finish a little more than half of each pizza.

Feeling thoroughly stuffed, I took a few more pictures of the restaurant.





It was about at this time that we heard IllumiNations going off from the promenade. We wished that we could hurry out there to catch some of it, but we knew that probably wouldn't happen. Earlier in the dinner, one of the chefs had inexplicably come by our table to chat with us for a few minutes. He asked about our anniversary buttons and we told him our details, then he basically left. As it turned out, however, he was trying to figure out the details of our celebration so he could have us sent out a special anniversary dessert. We were already stuffed and had ordered our dining plan dessert to-go in case we got the room for it later, but we felt obliged to at least nibble on the special dessert the chef sent us. I took a bite before I remembered to take a picture.



We only ate a few bites before our actual dessert came out with the check. We ordered Tiramisu to eat a little later. After settling our bill, we stepped back outside into a quickly-emptying Epcot.

Overview of Via Napoli Dining Experience
Service: Our server was really great. He was very attentive! 5/5
Atmosphere: I think Via Napoli is one of the prettiest restaurants in World Showcase. Between the architecture of the building and the overall layout, I was really impressed. Since the restaurant wasnt very busy, we didnt notice any problems with noise, but when it's packed, I bet the acoustics in that huge room might make it seem a little loud. 4.5/5
Food: Fantastic! Some of my favorite pizza ever. 5/5

First Visit?: Yes
Will Return?: Absolutely. I've had cravings for the artichoke pizza in particular several times since we went.


Italy was entirely deserted as we went back out into the night after dinner.



Since Epcot was officially closed, no one was really sticking around World Showcase.



This proved to be a disappointment for us, because we realized that Karamell-Kuche had closed with the rest of the park. We had been hoping to stop in there and use one of our snack credits to get some caramelly goodness. Chalk it up as one more place we need to hit on our next trip! Instead, we settled down on a bench outside Japan to enjoy our tiramisu. Except we realized we had a problem—we didnt get any to-go silverware with it. Luckily for us, there were several cast members breaking down an IllumiNations dessert party right in this same area. We asked one of them if we could have a couple forks and they gave us a small handful. Now we returned to our bench and opened our dessert.



It was as delicious as it looked. I love tiramisu, and this was certainly all I was hoping for. We were still pretty stuffed, however, so we ate as much as we could before retiring our horde of plastic forks.



Continued in Next Post
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1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

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Old 12-07-2012, 10:28 PM   #212
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Chapter 59
One More Sleep


Having finished all we could eat of our tiramisu, we began to walk back to Future World. On the way, however, we spotted this family!



It was our pal from our first Epcot day, the “only-duckling” who seemed to be both spoiled and overly-protected, and this time he was being corralled by both his parents.

We couldn’t leave Epcot without having ridden anything, knowing that Soarin’ was still open until 10:00, so we cut across at Innoventions and started to walk toward The Land. We passed the Imagination pavilion nicely illuminated.



Hurrying into The Land in case there happened to be a line for Soarin’, we came to the attraction and saw that miraculous 5-minute wait posted.



We quickly shuffled into line and made it to the front very quickly. Knowing this would be our last time riding on this trip, we asked the cast member loading whether we could be in section B, row one, and he told us we would have to wait till the next ride, but if we were willing to take row two, we could still be in section B. This was fine with us, even if it wasn’t what we were hoping for, so we stood on our spots. As the rows filled up, however, we noticed that the cast member must have miscounted row one. People weren’t standing on their allotted hang-gliders, so we saw that the row was two people short. Grabbing the attention of the cast member, we asked again if we could move up, and upon seeing the situation he was happy to oblige.

This ride on Soarin’ was one of my favorites of the trip because of the family we happened to be seated next to. It was just what appeared to be a single mom and her son, who was probably around five or six years old. We were a little skeptical as to whether he would be of the right age to enjoy the ride or whether he would be scared by it. Luckily, our fears were assuaged as soon as we took off. This kid LOVED the ride. He was whooping and laughing with every new change of destination. And when we went through the scene flying over LA traffic, he excitedly yelled out, “Woohoo, New York City!!!!!” He was so excited about it, that no one cared to correct him. Tracy and I were just cracking up at this kid’s reactions. We’re not always super fond of children, but this is exactly how I would hope my kid would be on his first trip to Disney—loving every minute of it.

Coming back to the ground, I got to hear my favorite “Disney sound” one last time before exiting the attraction—I love the sound of hundreds of seat belts releasing at once as everyone gets ready to leave Soarin’. It’s one of those uniquely Disney sounds. We grabbed our belongings and made our way back out into The Land. I snapped a picture of the balloons floating above.



It was well past closing time by now, and there were barely any people left in Epcot as we passed under Spaceship Earth en route to the exit.



Changing things up from our now-standard route home on a French Quarter bus, we actually waited for a Riverside bus this time. We had one more destination there before our night was complete. The bus came before too long and we were luckily dropped off at the main depot first this time.

We walked into the main lobby building, and headed over to the River Roost Lounge. We had heard many times as we planned to stay at Riverside that we needed to checkout Yehaa Bob’s show at the lounge. Unfortunately, we had never been back to Riverside early enough to see the show, and even now we didn’t have it in us to sit down and watch. So we just stood by the entrance to the lounge and watched as Bob performed a couple songs.



He is one of the most energetic and vibrant performers I’ve ever seen, and everyone seemed to be having such a good time at the lounge. We decided that next time we’re there, we’ll actually make time to see Yehaa Bob’s full show. Unfortunately, at this moment, Tracy was starting to feel like she was getting a cold. She hadn’t been feeling great since we got to Epcot, and now she definitely had a sore throat. Being sick in Disney stinks, so we decided to head to bed so she could get as much sleep as possible going into our last day.



We got back to our room, got ready for bed, and watched the fireworks on our headboard one last time before drifting off into our last sleep in Disney.

Overview of May 23, 2012

Highs
- Our day at the Wizarding World
- Riding the Forbidden Journey several times
- Our free Butterbeer steins
- Getting to meet several characters at the Magic Kingdom
- Our dinner at Via Napoli
- The hilarious kid at Soarin'

Lows
- The Butterbeer scandal
- Having it finally rain on us
- Waiting forever for a Magic Kingdom bus
- Tracy starting to get a cold

Weather
Mid 90s when it was sunny, then pouring rain, which cooled it off for a while, then hot and really humid once the storm was past.

Food of the Day
Carciofi Pizza from Via Napoli


Continued in Next Post
__________________
1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

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Old 12-08-2012, 11:26 AM   #213
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My mom and I ate at Via Napoli on our last night on our trip this past January. We actually ended up getting pasta dishes since we thought pizza would be too much, but I know I have to go back next time to try the pizza! (fyi, the pasta was amazing as well!!!) That place is just so cool looking inside. And I'm pretty sure we sat at the same table you guys were seated at, because the pictures we have from our table look remarkably like yours,
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:18 PM   #214
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VIA NAPOLI PIZZA IS TO DIE FOR!
But we went when it was packed and busy and I couldn't hear my mom yelling from the other side of the table. Lol. I assumed everyone was just being overly picky as usual when complaining about the noise since I usually enjoy restaurants and service that others don't like, but this was INSANE noise.
The pizza was so freaking good, though, that we weren't talking much anyways!

Too bad you missed Bob, we missed him this trip, too. The only time we were around when he was was when we were checking in but we had a 6AM wake up call and decided to "catch it another day" yeah right
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:23 PM   #215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laur roo View Post
My mom and I ate at Via Napoli on our last night on our trip this past January. We actually ended up getting pasta dishes since we thought pizza would be too much, but I know I have to go back next time to try the pizza! (fyi, the pasta was amazing as well!!!) That place is just so cool looking inside. And I'm pretty sure we sat at the same table you guys were seated at, because the pictures we have from our table look remarkably like yours,
That's funny if it was actually the same table! I thought it was a great location within the restaurant because we could see the whole dining room from there. I know Tracy would have preferred a table right next to the pizza ovens, however. We were really cold with the A/C, and when we walked past the ovens on the way to the bathroom, we both noticed how nice and warm they were, haha. I bet the pasta was also delicious. I would like to try pretty much everything on the menu!

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VIA NAPOLI PIZZA IS TO DIE FOR!
But we went when it was packed and busy and I couldn't hear my mom yelling from the other side of the table. Lol. I assumed everyone was just being overly picky as usual when complaining about the noise since I usually enjoy restaurants and service that others don't like, but this was INSANE noise.
The pizza was so freaking good, though, that we weren't talking much anyways!

Too bad you missed Bob, we missed him this trip, too. The only time we were around when he was was when we were checking in but we had a 6AM wake up call and decided to "catch it another day" yeah right
I don't even remember if I had ever heard about the restaurant being loud; I could just guess that it certainly would be when packed. I imagine that was a little annoying... Glad the pizza made up for it though!

We were bummed we missed Bob too. Lou had broadcast Bob's whole show on one of his newscasts a couple weeks before we went, and Tracy and I had decided not to watch so as not to spoil it for ourselves since we were about to see it live. So much for that! Hopefully next time...
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1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:32 AM   #216
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May 25, 2012

Chapter 60
The Last Morning


Waking up on our last morning in Walt Disney World, we could already feel that aura of sadness that comes with preparing to leave. The last thing we were about to do, however, was waste any of our last day moping, so we got up and went through our getting-ready motions as usual. The only difference was that this time, everything began to find its way back into our suitcases. We had already packed as much as we could the night before so that we wouldn't have much to do this morning. We mostly just had to bag up our toiletries before we vacated.

I realized there were still so many things I hadn't photographed in our Royal Room, so I went around taking lots of pictures. Here's the scroll we got upon registering.



And here's a close-up of the placemats our server at 1900 Park Fare gave us on our first day to celebrate our anniversary. Unfortunately, they had gotten cupcake frosting all over them on that first night, and not being the highest of quality, the grease had run into the paper. We decided they sadly wouldn't be coming home with us.



I took a couple pictures out our windows. Beyond being a Royal Room, I think we also would have technically qualified as Garden View, because that's what our room looked out on.







I went back into the bathroom and photographed the Little Mermaid-inspired shower curtain.



The tile work in the shower had some Hidden Mickeys!



We still want this footstool, inspired of course by the dog footstool in Beauty and the Beast.



These H20 toiletries were certainly a big step up from what we had been used to Disney providing.



And since we had gone the whole trip without ever disturbing the second bed, our Mickey towel animal was still intact.



We pressed the fireworks buttons on the headboards one last time.



It's hard to really appreciate how cool that effect is through pictures. I'm sure there are videos on YouTube, which I recommend watching. It was just so festive and fun and magical. One of those little touches that goes a long way!

There were even some Hidden Mickeys in the curtains.



I noticed on this last day that the trim on the ceiling was different in the bathroom area than in the bedroom. It featured different characters with an underwater theme.





Here's our whole TV setup. The only thing it ever played while we were staying was Stacey!



And here's the permanent version of the letter from Tiana (the same one featured in the scroll) embedded into the table.



Almost before I knew it, we were all packed up, and it was time to bid our room goodbye. This was the first moment of many throughout the day when I got a little choked up. The entire upgrade had just been so awesome. Since we have no idea when well ever be able to afford to stay in this type of room again, it was hard saying goodbye.



Unfortunately, the clock was ticking, and we had places to go. I took one last picture of our room number as we closed the door.



A cast member who was walking by saw that we were sad and tried to console us, reminding us that we could always come back! Then he offered to take our picture.



And that was that. We rolled our suitcases away back toward the main building.



I tried to get as many pictures as I could of the beautiful resort as we walked through one final time.





We loved these hitching posts that are located throughout.





It was another beautiful day! In that moment, I think we both wished we could stay there forever.



Continued in Next Post
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1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

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Old 12-12-2012, 03:49 AM   #217
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That Epcot sunset is amazing! Gah Disney skies... they sure know what they are doing!

That overprotected spoiled duckling has it all!!

Quote:
Here’s our whole TV setup. The only thing it ever played while we were staying was Stacey
That's the way it should be

Awh leaving day is so sad!!
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:56 PM   #218
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Leaving is always so sad.....
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:40 AM   #219
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussiesalad View Post
That Epcot sunset is amazing! Gah Disney skies... they sure know what they are doing!

That overprotected spoiled duckling has it all!!


That's the way it should be

Awh leaving day is so sad!!
I don't know if I had ever appreciated Disney sunsets before like I did on this trip. I think part of it was just that we happened to be in some great places at dusk! The Epcot one was definitely my favorite though.

I wonder what has become of the only-duckling in the months since we were there... Now that he/she's full grown, does he/she still have an entourage? Will he/she be that overprotective when he/she has ducklings?

And yes, leaving is THE WORST.

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Originally Posted by wiscbugs View Post
Leaving is always so sad.....
I have to not allow myself to think about leaving until the actual day comes so I don't get sad in advance! I never want to go.
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Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:45 PM   #220
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We will be going back May 26th-June 2nd. POFQ is our favorite resort. I can't wait to get back. Thanks for bring me along with your TR. I enjoyed reading it.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:27 AM   #221
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We will be going back May 26th-June 2nd. POFQ is our favorite resort. I can't wait to get back. Thanks for bring me along with your TR. I enjoyed reading it.
I'm jealous that you get to go to POFQ! I'm sure it will be a blast! Your dates line up pretty close with when we were there. It's such a great time to go! And thanks for reading. Even though my last post seemed a little final, the TR still isn't done. We've got another half-day at the Magic Kingdom before we board the Tragical Express back to the airport. Hope you enjoy the end of the report as well
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1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:30 AM   #222
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Chapter 61
Our Own Personal Kingdom


Continuing our walk to the main building, luggage in tow, we went over the bridge and saw the beautiful Sassagoula one last time.





Finally, we reached bell services, and dropped off our luggage for them to hold while we enjoyed a final partial day in the parks.



I peeked into the lobby and took a picture of the ceiling.





Next, we made our way past Fulton's General Store to the bus stop.





Tracy still wasn't feeling great this morning. She was definitely getting a cold, but she was keeping it at bay as best she could.



Our bus arrived and we boarded for our morning in the most magical park.



Arriving at the Magic Kingdom, crowds were very low at the gates.



Why? Well, this was about 45 minutes before rope drop. Luckily, that didn't stop us from walking right in!



We had a reservation for breakfast at Crystal Palace at 8:45 this morning, and entered the park at about 8:20.

I had heard many times on Lou's shows with Beci from Mouse Fan Travel about how special it is to get into the park before opening and get to experience a practically empty Main Street. We knew that was a must-do on this trip. Entering Town Square, it did not disappoint. There was practically no one there.



Besides a smattering of cast members, the only other guests we saw were people walking either to the Crystal Palace or Cinderellas Royal Table.



This meant I was free to photograph EVERYTHING on Main Street without the usual hordes of people blocking each building.







We were excited that the Photo Pass cast members were already lining Main Street and the hub, and we stopped to take pictures with each one of them as we progressed down the street.



Several of these photographers must have been training, as one of the managers kept reminding them to do magic shots. The only magic shot most of them knew how to do, however, seemed to be Tinkerbell. Needless to say, we got LOTS of pictures with her...



I kept snapping away between Photo Pass pictures, as we just tried to breathe in the ambiance of the deserted Magic Kingdom.





Tracy and I had both just finished reading Charles Ridgway's book, so his window was a fun one to find.





The only sad thing about Main Street on this whole trip was that the bakery was being refurbished, so all our pictures featured the not-so-beautiful faux-façade.



At least the scrims they put up are better than nothing. But we were still excited when we moved past the bakery and could get some clearer photos.



Continued in Next Post
__________________
1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

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Old 12-16-2012, 12:49 AM   #223
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Chapter 62
Photo Pass Overload


As you can see, it was still pretty empty as we reached the end of Main Street and looked back toward the train station.









While we were approaching the hub, the family of the day drove by in the fire engine. I guess they were getting some sort of special tour before they boarded the train to open the park.



We asked one of the Photo Pass photographers whether we could do some backwards-facing pictures with our ear hats and the castle, and they gladly obliged.



Reaching the Partners statue, I had to get a picture without thousands of people around.



There were more Photo Pass photographers around the hub, so we kept asking to take pictures.



One of the photographers actually had us pose facing away from the camera, but she decided to have us tilt our heads away from each other so the castle would be in the shot. The picture DID NOT have the desired effect, but might win the prize of the trip for the most awkward shot.



And then she had us pose with Tinkerbell again.



I played around with our shadows and our ears hats in silhouette.





When we got up to the castle, there was a small group going on a guided tour. I would love to do one of those someday! There they are in the background of this picture.



Our next Photo Pass photographer was a sassy Frenchman who had us change up the poses a little. We had fun with him.





Some of these castle shots are the best Photo Pass pictures we've ever gotten, except for that darn crane looming over Fantasyland. One of these days, I'm going to take the time to Photoshop the crane out of them.



Seeing that we were ending up with lots of similar pictures, the manager/trainer from earlier came up to one of our photographers and told her to have us do another magic shot. This time, we got to do balloons.



After the family of the day had finished using the fire engine, it was abandoned in front of the castle. So obviously, Tracy and I went up to take some pictures with it.





One of the photographers hanging around asked us if we wanted a picture with the fire engine together.



I took another picture of our favorite statue as our time before our reservation started ticking down.



We paid a visit to the Rose Garden and the Tomorrowland area of the hub.





But finally, it was time to check in at Crystal Palace. We started to make our way toward the restaurant.



I didn't know when the next time I'd get to see Main Street this empty would ever be, so I lingered a little longer and took a couple more pictures.



Finally finished, for now, we went over to Crystal Palace and checked in for our reservation.

Continued in Next Post
__________________
1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

Last edited by tayalltheway; 01-07-2013 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:15 AM   #224
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Chapter 63
A Small Smackerel


We checked in at Crystal Palace, were given our pager, and told that we would be seated shortly.



Finding a bench outside the restaurant, Tracy and I sat down to wait.



We found that this spot had an especially nice view when there weren't thousands of people rushing by.





Both of us admitted that we weren't super hungry this morning—the food wall for this trip had definitely been hit—but we were still excited to try the buffet and meet our favorite Pooh characters.



After our pager went off, we were led into the restaurant. I loved this topiary sculpture in the entryway.



Our hostess offered to take our picture with it en route to our table.



As we were seated, we noticed that our table had been decorated with confetti for our anniversary.



We were seated on the right side of the restaurant.



Our server came over and took our drink orders. Tracy got orange juice, I got apple juice, and we both got coffee. Almost immediately after she brought our drinks, we had our first character interaction! Tigger stopped by our table.





There was a nice lady at one of the tables behind us who offered to take our picture together!



And now, we realized that Tigger had been the tail-end of the last round of characters that had come to visit. Now we had plenty of time to hit the buffet before everyone else came our way. On our first trip to the buffet line, Tracy and I ended up with pretty similar plates.



Clockwise from the top, we had Biscuits and Gravy (always a favorite, as you saw earlier in the trip), Corned Beef Hash (I rarely like corned beef hash at restaurants unless it is definitely fresh. When it comes from a can, as this kind did, I'm a little creeped out by the texture. Tracy enjoyed it though), Bacon (Disney bacon is never the best. I like my bacon crispy, which theirs is not), Breakfast Pizza (this was one of the things we were most excited to try, and it was good!), Puffed French Toast (the signature breakfast item here, this was definitely good. I think we would have appreciated it more at the front end of the trip, however. By this point, we had gotten a little sick of heavy, fried foods), and a Mickey Waffle (what can I say about Mickey waffles? They're delicious, and any food shaped like Mickey Mouse will automatically trump all).

After our first plates, the waiting game began. We were both pretty full already, but we knew it would be a while before the characters came around. I sniped this picture of Tracy when she wasn't expecting it, and I thought it came out with her looking a little shifty.



I tried to imitate the shifty-eyed look too, but mine didn't come out as well.



While we were picking at our plates and waiting, the parade around the restaurant started up. I took a picture of Eeyore as he marched by.



Finally, after about a half-hour since Tigger had stopped by, more characters started making their way toward our table. First was Winnie the Pooh himself!! Tracy had purposely saved her Pooh shirt for our last day, knowing wed get to meet him. He liked it!





Next, Eeyore came by! Hes definitely Tracy's favorite Pooh character, so she was really excited.





Once again, the nice lady next to us offered to take our picture.



The final character to come to our table was Piglet.



Piglet seemed to have some trouble figuring out where I was in relation to his ears, so I peered over.



Our server was very motherly and couldn't believe that we were full after just one trip up to the buffet. Every time she stopped by to refill our waters, she kept hinting that we should take another trip up. We finally obliged.



This time I got some pineapple, yogurt, and the Breakfast Lasagna. I realized after getting the lasagna that bananas were a key element, and since they bug my stomach, I ended up getting Tracy to try it. She only took a couple bites though, because she too was stuffed by this point. She also had a small bowl of ginger yogurt, but I didn't get a picture until it was all gone.



Satisfied with our attempt to eat some more, our server brought us our check. We paid with our last table service credits and got up to leave.

Overview of Crystal Palace Dining Experience
Service: Our server was very nice. She kept insisting we try to eat just a little more—she must not have understood the concept of the food wall. 4.5/5
Atmosphere: I really enjoyed the Crystal Palace setting. The restaurant is really pretty and we liked our location. The character rotation is totally luck of the draw, and it was a little lame that we were seated right at a time with such a long break between characters. I felt bad for some of the families around us with young kids who were seated at the same time as us. They couldn't get their kids to sit and wait for 30-45 minutes for the characters to come around and ended up leaving without getting to meet them. 3.5/5
Food: For a Disney breakfast buffet, this was definitely good. We tried and liked all the signature dishes. 3.5/5

First Visit?: For me, yes. Tracy had been here before when she was younger.
Will Return?: I think we definitely will. We love the Pooh characters enough that I think we'll want to do another meal here. Probably not on our next trip, but some day.


Continued in Next Post
__________________
1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

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Old 12-29-2012, 02:06 AM   #225
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Chapter 64
A Horse of a Different Color


On our way out of Crystal Palace, I took a few more pictures of the topiary in the entrance.



Since Eeyore is Tracy's favorite, she posed with him.



And I did too for good measure.



I love this banner that's hung over the dining room.



Pooh bear.



And here's a view of the beautiful glass ceiling above the Crystal Palace.



As we exited the building, we saw a sight that we literally had to RUN to catch up with.



The horse-drawn trolley was going by! We had been wanting to ride this Main Street Vehicle since our first day in the Magic Kingdom. We had actually been on our way to try to find the horse when we were stopped by Brick and given our Grand Marshal duties the other day. On that occasion, the cast member who we asked had told us that she didn't think the horse was going to be out any more that day. We had all but given up on seeing the horses at all since we had skipped our trip to Fort Wilderness, so we were extra excited when this one was suddenly there! We raced over to get pictures before it was gone.





Unfortunately, as the horse was going back to Town Square, we couldn't ride the trolley. Getting to see him was almost as exciting though! We stayed in the hub for a few minutes.



I took a picture of our favorite elephant's statue.





Now we decided to walk through the castle into Fantasyland because this was the first time on this trip that we had noticed the castle thruway being open. Every other time we had been in front of it, the stage was all set up for the castle show.



I took a few pictures of the Cinderella murals. They really are beautiful!







Happily ever after!





Now that we were back in Fantasyland, it really was time for that goodbye ride aboard Snow White's Scary Adventures.



It was odd knowing that we'd never ride it again at WDW, but also knowing that we'd soon be moving to Disneyland where the ride still exists. It made the farewell seem much less permanent, about which I was glad! After the ride, we exited back out into Fantasyland.



Since the return time was still decent, we grabbed Fastpasses for Peter Pan's Flight.



And that was it for this brief journey into Fantasyland. Next, we crossed the ocean into Liberty Square.



We wanted to take another spin through The Haunted Mansion, and we were glad that the crowds were still very low this morning.





This best-of the Magic Kingdom tour was going pretty quickly, and after our ride through the Mansion, we were done with Liberty Square. Now we headed into Frontierland to pursue the dream that Tracy's favorite mountain might reopen just in time for us to take a wild ride.



Continued in Next Post
__________________
1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

Last edited by tayalltheway; 01-07-2013 at 09:14 PM.
tayalltheway is offline  
 



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