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Old 12-01-2012, 12:17 PM   #46
jen_uk
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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   #47
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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   #48
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More nice photos again.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:24 AM   #49
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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   #50
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FOTLK is ending!!! I'm gutted!

The colour in your photos really pop.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:54 AM   #51
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Thanks for the comments. Bit sad that I'm getting close to the end!

Anyway, got the second half of the day. Not even done the photos for the last few days yet, so that's my next task.

Day 11 - evening. Crystal Palace and MNSSHP

When planning our costumes, our primary concern was something very simple that was easy to pack. So we came up with this:



Yes, we were all Wallys. Not particularly original, and in fact we did find a few others over the evening, but we were the only Wally family, which was quite fun. Got quite a lot of comments from other guests and CMs, although we did have fun correcting all the Americans, that no, we weren't Waldos, we were Wallys!

Where's Wally?


Headed in about 5pm, got wristbands, candy bags, and maps. We'd got an ADR for Crystal Palace at 5.20pm, with the plan of being done by 7pm for the start of the real party. Got seated fairly quickly. Buffet here was pretty decent I thought, good mix of stuff that the kids were ok with, and some more interesting food, which was nice.
M+G with Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger, which was fun:





We were all done for about 6.50, so was good timing. First thing we did was head back down Main St and get the SOTMK special card, we were lucky I think - once we'd got ours a big queue formed up, and they weren't exactly being efficient.

We pretty much spent the next 3 hours or so doing the Trick or Treat stations - visited all of them, with the occasional ride along the way. Weren't fussed about the M+G. We were a bit horrified by the first candy queue - was about 200m long, but they moved extremely quickly, and they were generous with the candy, which was nice.

We avoided the first parade, although we did notice with about 15 minutes to go there was almost no crowd in FrontierLand on the lake side, so we marked that as a spot to come back to for the second one.

Have to say - I'd been a little apprehensive given some of the mixed reviews - big queues and crowds - we all really really enjoyed the party. Despite not doing all the "attractions" - the Villains thing and all the M+G, the atmosphere was fantastic, doing the candy runs was fun, and although it was apparently a sell-out, we didn't find it overly busy; no busier than some days we'd had in the park. I think Disney have got the balance pretty good with numbers. I would probably say it was my favourite Disney experience of the whole holiday, and I think the rest of the family would agree with that.

We'd probably done a full clockwise circuit of the park by Hallowishes time. With 15 minutes to go we actually found a really nice spot, just a bit below the Tomorrowland Terrace there is a picnic area - we got a good spot standing on the steps there.



Nowhere to support a camera unfortunately, so it was another case of mainly failing to get handheld shots.







But WOW - Hallowishes was absolutely AMAZING. Best firework show by far. The finale was just stunning - they seem to surround the park with massive explosions - standing where we were it was literally all around us. No way to capture it, but this was as good as I got:





Had time for a few more rides, and making sure we'd topped our candy bags to the brim, then went off to stake out spots for the parade. Sure enough, with 10 mins to go, we got a ropeside spot in Frontierland, which was great. Loved the parade, really fun seeing all the villains out.





The Mary Poppins sweeps were making a mess of the concrete, to great effect!






We had time for a couple more rides, and then it was off home after a really great enjoyable day. They even managed to shove more candy in the bags on the way out!

Next - lazy day; shopping, pool, Ohana.
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:53 PM   #52
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Great idea to go as a Where's Wally family
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:54 AM   #54
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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   #55
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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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Old 01-14-2014, 10:59 AM   #56
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I thought I cut it a bit fine.....my 2012 report was finished 3 days before I departed for the 2013 trip
Now that trip report........em...
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:05 AM   #57
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Fab trip report. It was like a story as I read them one after the other.
Great pictures and your family are such fun
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Old 01-19-2014, 04:48 PM   #58
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great report, its nice to read from someone whos just done Disney for the 2 weeks. That's what we're doing this year.

lovely photos
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:35 AM   #59
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Hello from another nottingham person! Enjoyed reading your reports today... Now get it finished
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:27 PM   #60
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Thanks for your kind comments.

I'm thinking about it, honest
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