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Old 01-18-2013, 11:25 AM   #241
Missyrose
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Quote:
Originally Posted by left210 View Post
I am new to your trip reports and really enjoyed it. I did not read all the comments in between though so my questions might already be answered. If so, sorry. We are going in Oct this year for the first time with kids. How are the crowds, wait times for rides, etc? Do you still need to be there for rope drop at that time of year? We are considering renting DVC points and are looking at a split stay too. Any tips or recommendations on that? Did you move your own luggage for your split stay or did you have bell services do it for you? We have done a split stay before but not with DVC so I wasn't sure how that worked.

OMG - your photos are amazing!!! Can your fiance give me photography lessons? - LOL!!!
October is a great time to visit the World! The temps are cooler than summer but still warm enough to swim. The crowds are pretty good. It's gotten more crowded every year in the past three Octobers. Disney has gotten pretty good at generating interest in the slow times each year. Between the Halloween parties and the ever-expanding Food and Wine Festival (our favorite!), October has become a popular time to go. But just remember that kids are still in school so it'n nowhere near as crowded as holidays or summer.

We do tend to be rope drop people and I'm a planner (even on laid-back trips), so I tend to pick days based on the crowd calendar.

As far as renting points, it's a great option that will save you far more money than any Disney discount. There's just a couple of things of things to remember when renting points.

1) DVC resorts book much further out than the regular resorts. Owners can book their home resorts at 11 months out and can book any of the other DVC resorts at seven months out. So owners began booking for October trips in November.

2)Renting points is typically a final transaction, no refunds. So make sure your plans are very firm!

As far as taking a trip on rented points, you won't get daily housekeeping. But a split stay works the same as it does at the regular Disney resorts. Disney will move your bags for you if you take them to bell services. We opted to just hop in a cab with our bags and drive straight from BCV to AKL.

If you need any help with navigating the point-rental process, let me know. I know a couple of DVC members who rent points!


Quote:
Originally Posted by wiigirl View Post
Wonderful TR!
Thank you! And thanks for reading along!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tallen429 View Post
Thanks for joining in! Food and Wine is, hands down, our favorite time to head to Disney World. This was our third October trip in a row (and we've another planned for our honeymoon!)

Yay! We're excited try January again, we went the first week of February back in 2009 and the parks were ghostowns! It was freezing, but so much fun running from ride to ride with basically zero waits.

What parks are you going to which days? Maybe we can meet up! You are going to love BLT (our second home resort) and AKL. You get the best of both worlds -- one resort right in the middle of everything and one where you feel like you have been transported to a far away place.



Our park days on the 30 and 31st are pretty open but will likely be a mix of MK and Epcot. On the 29th we're doing DHS. We will hit AK earlier in the trip while we are at AKL.
This is our fourth AKL stay but our first at BLT. We have stayed at a LOT of the deluxes and our fav Mod is POR.
You can always send me a pm and let me know what your park plans are!
Your park days sound great, I'm sending you a message right after I do all these responses!

Quote:
Originally Posted by natebenma View Post
I may not have stated that well. Yes, the actual Robin Williams. But no, not live- he starred in the film you watched as you went to the different rooms in the animation building.

Speaking of Disney Trivia- I was wrong as my guess for Donald Duck's Middle Name (The), but I looked it up so now I know.



.
We're going to have quite the girls trip planned. I totally agree on the boat air conditioning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by natebenma View Post
I am glad to see Columbia Harbor House so high on your list!

CHH is my second favorite counter service in Disney- Sunshine Seasons is the first, and I haven't tried Wolfgang Puck's Express yet. Someday.

Your menu selections are excellent, but the tuna sandwich is really good too. Heck, even the hummus sandwich is a winner there.

You are one hundred percent correct about the seating. Upstairs is the place to be! I don't think people know there is an upstairs, so it usually isn't very crowded. It is, however, air conditioned. And the decor is definitely more TS than CS.

I'm so glad the wise people on the DIS clued me in on this great dining spot!
I sooooo want to try WPE too! Maybe on this trip. Maybe we can convince Franklin to try the tuna on this trip (since he's the seafood lover, after all).

Quote:
Originally Posted by happenin2you View Post
I agree with the other poster, I can't believe how empty Star Tours was for you! I don't know about WDW, but we get to DLR pretty frequently and there is always at least a 45 minute wait. The last time we went was in late Sept in the low season and Star Tours, Cars Land, Space Mountain, and TSM all had 45 minute or longer waits pretty much at all times. That will be a huge plus to our next WDW trip, low waits at Star Tours

And I think I'm going to have to check out CHH. My hubby loves a good clam chowder, and as long as there's AC, he'll eat it any time of year.

Random question for your talented hubby to be: what kind of photo editing software are you using? I've played around with the idea of buying some, but I'd hate to waste my money on something meant for professionals, or something that is not very effective. I kind of want to start playing around with editing software before I get a DSLR so at least I'll have an idea of something and not be completely lost. I'd ask for advice on a good DSLR, but I'm planning to wait until I finish my student teaching (I have 3 whole semesters of it so Spring 2014) before I buy a DSLR because I want to jump right into a beginners photo class at the local community college and I'm sure technology and models will change before then. Thanks for any guidance you can provide.
Here's my deep, dark secret (that might get me kicked off the Dis for even admitting it), I happen to like Star Tours better than Toy Story Mania. Don't get me wrong, I like TSM. But I am happier on a day riding ST multiple times and TSM just once or twice.

Yes! You should totally try CHH, you will love it!

Franklin will be along shortly to answer your questions about his editing process.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PracPerfPatricia View Post
Ahhh... the Ditch is a peaceful little respite... I love that there are little places like that in the World... little "secret" escapes... It's got a cool little vibe too... a sort of Modern Mexican/Frida Kahlo kind of thing... when I think about it... it's kind of got a little bit of an urban feeling about it... So was the cucumber 'rita more Sweet or Savory?
Yes! People who go to Disney once or twice in their lives tend to think that Disney is all about the bright, colorful and crowded. But those of us that really get to know Disney World know that these quiet, out of the way spots are what really make for fun times in the park.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PracPerfPatricia View Post
Hmmm.... Epcot Resorts so tough... like which child do you like better... I can't speak as much to the Yacht Club because I don't have as much experience with it... The BC and the BW both have so much going for them... how important is Stormalong Bay to you? I think that the Boardwalk may actually have a more "Romantic" Decor but then if your there you can't see it lit up across the lake at night... Can you really go wrong either way?
We love, love, love Boardwalk. But we can still enjoy the things we love about BW even when staying across the lake. Since we're going to need some laid-back pool time after the wedding, we're leaning toward wanting SAB available to us. We really enjoyed bobbing along the lazy river and we didn't find the pool as chaotic and kid-filled as others have described.

As far as BC vs. YC, there are a couple of things pushing us toward YC. We really like having a balcony, so that's guaranteed at YC. And it's the only resort of the three Epcot resorts that don't have a DVC building, so we'll get to stay at the other two far more than we'll ever get to stay at YC.

What do you think?


Quote:
Originally Posted by PracPerfPatricia View Post
Restaurant Countdown

Boma is just awesome and I'm not always a buffet fan... but Boma's food is just exceptional and again they have great coffee.... I want to do our last breakfast there in July...

I'm going to have to break down and try EoS... will have it when we go to DTD... (I'm a big WPE fan so we often do that when we want CS...)

Via Napoli was really quite good... fun ovens too... attractive space (btw... have you ever been to the 2 Amy's in DC... have had a couple of good meals there...)
I feel the same way about Boma, I'm not a buffet girl, but Boma is totally worth it!

I've never been to 2 Amy's, but I've had their pizza at a charity event I went to. It is SOOOOOOO good!


Quote:
Originally Posted by PracPerfPatricia View Post
(Donald's Middle name is Fauntleroy....not sure about spelling... & your Donalds turned out nicely...)

I had never heard of Characterpalooza... must do... I'd love to meet the Queen of Hearts and Malificent and the Evil Queen... those villains seem hard to find...Thanks for that awesome tip...
Yes! You got the middle name!

Characterpalooza was so much fun. It's a total whirlwind, but so much fun. The best part was I checked so many of the villains off my list that day, it left us tons of time to do other things at the Halloween party later in the trip!


Quote:
Originally Posted by PracPerfPatricia View Post
Awww...I love Casey's ...it's got such pretty seating in front...great views, good hot dogs... haven't gotten the corn dog bug I'm afraid... but I love the dogs and I love the clips they play inside as well...

Columbia Harbor House was possibly my favorite CS place until we went to BOG in December... It is just so incredibly themed, great food... speaking of which for Lobster Rolls have you ever been to Hank's Oyster Bar? Much more expensive than CHH but so good & I happen to love oysters as well...

The restaurant countdown is a great riff on the whole countdown theme...Lots of fun...
Casey's is great! I just always wish they find a way to add more seating inside, especially so you can watch the clips!

I cannot wait to try BOG. I even rejiggered our January plans so we could head to MK on the first day SPECIFICALLY to try BOG for lunch. I just don't want to wait anymore!

This has been a really fun countdown to put together, lots of fun trips down memory lane about some really fabulous meals.

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Old 01-18-2013, 11:36 AM   #242
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Thanks for the reply. Yes I would be interested in renting points. Do you know how much per point your friends rent for? You can PM me if you would like. Also, I wonder if the reason it has gotten more crowded in the last few years in October is because alot of schools are now going to a balanced calendar and many schools are getting 1-2 weeks off in October now at least in our area. That is the only reason we can now go in October.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:58 PM   #243
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Originally Posted by happenin2you View Post
Random question for your talented hubby to be: what kind of photo editing software are you using? I've played around with the idea of buying some, but I'd hate to waste my money on something meant for professionals, or something that is not very effective. I kind of want to start playing around with editing software before I get a DSLR so at least I'll have an idea of something and not be completely lost. I'd ask for advice on a good DSLR, but I'm planning to wait until I finish my student teaching (I have 3 whole semesters of it so Spring 2014) before I buy a DSLR because I want to jump right into a beginners photo class at the local community college and I'm sure technology and models will change before then. Thanks for any guidance you can provide.
The first step is actually in taking the photo. I shoot in RAW format, not JPG. The RAW file is the original data your camera "sees". When a camera makes a JPG file it actually compresses the RAW data, then deletes the rest. You have greater range with the RAW file so you can do things like, bringing detail into the sky or clouds, or brightening the darker areas while retaining detail.

Most DSLR will shoot in RAW, some RAW and JPG at the same time. Most small point-and-shoots will not have RAW capabilities.

Shooting RAW means you will need software to read it. I am using Adobe Lightroom 4. This is meant for professional use. However, the core of it is fairly easy to understand. Most people use it for basic color correction and exposure compensation. And there are other advanced tools to take it to the next level too. It has a great workflow, if you need to edit a lot of photos at once. It usually runs about $150, which isn't bad considering the last version was $300. There have been sales during the holidays for around $75, but those were short lived. You can also just download it and do the 30 day free trial to get to know it.

Lightroom 4 is not Photoshop. It isn't a photo manipulation software. You can't add a unicorn into your pictures. It is only to enhance your photos, not add/subtract to it. For that you would need Photoshop, and that's why it's $700

Original JPG


Edited from RAW, in Lightroom 4

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Old 01-18-2013, 07:04 PM   #244
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okay... just yummy on all the favorite restaurants!

And all those characters? At what time do they do that? I need to do that one day! I think I'll have to spend a trip looking for characters, since it has never been a focus on any of my trips.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:17 PM   #245
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Favorite Disney Restaurants

12. Casey’s Corner

For those of you that followed along on our last TR, you might remember that we counted down to the October trip by making our list of our favorite things to eat at Disney. The clear winner on that list was Casey’s corndog nuggets.



The decor is the perfect decades-gone-by jewel for Main Street in Magic Kingdom.





But really, it always comes back to the corndog nuggets. We grab them for a snack during the parade, we grab them on the way out of the park or we’ll add fries and drinks and make them lunch or dinner.



Basically, any time is a good time for Casey’s at MK!
My DS8 loves Casey's corn dog nuggets too! I'm glad to know someone shares his appreciation of them. They're his must have snack when turning the corner to Adventureland, he munches while waiting in line for Jungle Cruise or POC.

I'm with you on the Puffed French Toast - so yummy! I'm not a breakfast person but Crystal Palace is one we do each trip.

We love EOS & WPE. Lots of good food choices at DTD which was one of the reasons we liked the idea of buying at OKW to take the boat to DTD. Food is an important factor of vacation, right?! : )
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:39 PM   #246
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Originally Posted by Pixel Dust

The first step is actually in taking the photo. I shoot in RAW format, not JPG. The RAW file is the original data your camera "sees". When a camera makes a JPG file it actually compresses the RAW data, then deletes the rest. You have greater range with the RAW file so you can do things like, bringing detail into the sky or clouds, or brightening the darker areas while retaining detail.
Excuse me if this is a terrible question (it's been a while since I was in photography classes and working with LR) but you're taking the RAW form of the photo, putting it through LR, then saving as a JPEG?

I'm hoping to get the program soon. Love it much more than PS just don't have the funds right now. Would definitely make me want to take more photographs if I had an awesome program to edit with.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:29 PM   #247
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Originally Posted by Pixel Dust View Post
The first step is actually in taking the photo. I shoot in RAW format, not JPG. The RAW file is the original data your camera "sees". When a camera makes a JPG file it actually compresses the RAW data, then deletes the rest. You have greater range with the RAW file so you can do things like, bringing detail into the sky or clouds, or brightening the darker areas while retaining detail.

Most DSLR will shoot in RAW, some RAW and JPG at the same time. Most small point-and-shoots will not have RAW capabilities.

Shooting RAW means you will need software to read it. I am using Adobe Lightroom 4. This is meant for professional use. However, the core of it is fairly easy to understand. Most people use it for basic color correction and exposure compensation. And there are other advanced tools to take it to the next level too. It has a great workflow, if you need to edit a lot of photos at once. It usually runs about $150, which isn't bad considering the last version was $300. There have been sales during the holidays for around $75, but those were short lived. You can also just download it and do the 30 day free trial to get to know it.

Lightroom 4 is not Photoshop. It isn't a photo manipulation software. You can't add a unicorn into your pictures. It is only to enhance your photos, not add/subtract to it. For that you would need Photoshop, and that's why it's $700

Original JPG


Edited from RAW, in Lightroom 4

Thanks! I don't think I need Photoshop. I don't want to add or subtract objects, just enhance what is already there. Thanks for the insight!
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:13 PM   #248
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Originally Posted by DisneyFreak06 View Post
okay... just yummy on all the favorite restaurants!

And all those characters? At what time do they do that? I need to do that one day! I think I'll have to spend a trip looking for characters, since it has never been a focus on any of my trips.
Characterpalooza starts at 4:50 p.m. Each round of characters lasts 20 minutes and there can be up to three rounds, depending on what time the first Fantasmic starts.

Our first trip didn't really include any characters, there were just too many attractions to ride. But since then, we like the change of pace that characters bring to touring.


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Originally Posted by tb1972 View Post
My DS8 loves Casey's corn dog nuggets too! I'm glad to know someone shares his appreciation of them. They're his must have snack when turning the corner to Adventureland, he munches while waiting in line for Jungle Cruise or POC.

I'm with you on the Puffed French Toast - so yummy! I'm not a breakfast person but Crystal Palace is one we do each trip.

We love EOS & WPE. Lots of good food choices at DTD which was one of the reasons we liked the idea of buying at OKW to take the boat to DTD. Food is an important factor of vacation, right?! : )
I do love how portable the corndog nuggets are, so handy!

Clearly, eating isn't just part of our Disney vacations, it's kind of the centerpiece.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:20 PM   #249
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Excuse me if this is a terrible question (it's been a while since I was in photography classes and working with LR) but you're taking the RAW form of the photo, putting it through LR, then saving as a JPEG?

I'm hoping to get the program soon. Love it much more than PS just don't have the funds right now. Would definitely make me want to take more photographs if I had an awesome program to edit with.
That is correct. Shoot in RAW > Process in Lightroom > Export (save) as JPG

Think of the RAW files as "digital negatives" and the JPG files as the final product, the print. In the end, we still need to convert it to JPG to share it with the world.

Lightroom will still edit JPG photos. But, you just won't have the latitude for correction, as you do with RAW. Especially in high contrast situations, like my example above. White balance is a key difference when editing with RAW over JPG. Indoor shots that were once yellow or orange can be easily fixed with the RAW file.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:27 PM   #250
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixel Dust

That is correct. Shoot in RAW > Process in Lightroom > Export (save) as JPG

Think of the RAW files as "digital negatives" and the JPG files as the final product, the print. In the end, we still need to convert it to JPG to share it with the world.

Lightroom will still edit JPG photos. But, you just won't have the latitude for correction, as you do with RAW. Especially in high contrast situations, like my example above. White balance is a key difference when editing with RAW over JPG. Indoor shots that were once yellow or orange can be easily fixed with the RAW file.
Thanks so much for all the info. When I was working with LR it was just with JPG but I'm sure editing RAW will be different but really great.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:32 PM   #251
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Favorite Disney restaurants: Nos. 10-7

We're one week away from heading to Disney! Can you believe it? It feels like these past few weeks have flown by. Let's hope this next week keeps the pattern going.

Franklin and I had a big day, we met up with our wedding photographers for an engagement photo shoot! We got glammed up and took lots of photos at different places in downtown D.C. As soon as the photographers put up the sneak peek blog post with some of the photos next week, I'll post a link for all of you!

And now, on with the countdown...


Favorite Disney Restaurants

10. Beaches and Cream



B&C is new to our favorites list, but it’s debuting in our top 10! It’s the perfect little soda shop, with tasty food and even yummier desserts. It specializes in burgers.



But they have other options beyond burgers and fries, for instance, the grilled cheese was amazing.



But the real stars of the show are any of the ice cream items. Franklin loved his root beer float.



And all the ginormous ice cream sundaes looked AMAZING.



But even the slightly smaller brownie sundae we ordered was out of this world!



9. The Plaza
Many people pass The Plaza by because when it comes to the Disney Dining Plan, it just isn’t the same value as other table service restaurants. But that’s kind of what we love about The Plaza, you get a delicious TS meal at a price much closer to CS. It’s become our go-to respite on our MK days.

The sandwiches are incredible.







And The Plaza is one of the only places to gets fries that are different from your typical Disney fries. They’re steak fries and I always ask for them extra-crispy! Once again, no meal is complete without a dessert and The Plaza’s sundaes are among the best in the World.





8. CRT

Oh CRT, you know a man loves you when he puts up with a princess breakfast at Cinderella’s Castle. No pictures from our meal yet, but the food was really good. Franklin had the lobster and crab crepe, while I went with the breakfast platter that had eggs, fruit, potatoes and sausage. The pastries were also really, really yummy.

I, of course, wore my favorite Cinderella T-shirt for this breakfast and when we met the star of the show, she said: “I should have your face on MY dress!” So cute, right?

7. 50s Primetime Cafe

50s Primetime Cafe entered our rotation on our very first trip to Disney World together back in 2009 and it’s remained planted there ever since. We’ve already established that the CS restaurants at DHS leave much to be desired. So we always schedule a TS lunch on our DHS days and 50s PTC is our go-to option. The food is great and the atmosphere is TONS of fun.



Let’s start with the food. My go-to meal is the fried chicken. It’s true southern fried chicken, with just enough crispy batter to keep the chicken tasty and moist.



Franklin has gotten the pot roast,



or the Mom’s favorites platter.



We always share some onion rings.



And we always finish the meal off with the brownie sundae (topped with caramel corn and M&Ms!)



But the food is only half the story, the antics of the wait staff are equally fun.

Cousin Cooper was our waiter a couple of years ago and he was a hoot. He brought me out two iced teas because he said “I know how you iced tea drinkers are.”



And if you break the rules, they might make stand facing the wall while the rest of the restaurants chants “shame, shame, shame.”



On our last visit, Aunt Donna was super sweet (as long as she didn’t see us using our cellphones at the table!)



And she dubbed us part of the “Clean Plate Club.”

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Old 01-19-2013, 10:17 PM   #252
heaven2dc
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I love your restaurant choices! The Plaza definitely is a must do next trip (whenever that is.....) The ice cream sundae looks amazing! Can't wait until your next trip!!
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:19 AM   #253
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Hurrah for one week!!

Totally agree with you on The Plaza and their sandwiches and steak fries. Seriously yummy! And love Beaches 'n Cream too. I really wonder why the don't expand the size of the restaurant...so tiny!!

I haven't been to Prime Time in forever...might have to put that on the list.

Hope you have a great trip!!!
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:49 AM   #254
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One week! Can't wait to live vicariously through another of your reports!
Sme day I have got to get me to Beaches and Cream. Looks amazing.

I totally agree about 50sPT too! Love that place!
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:23 AM   #255
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Only a week to go!!! We just returned from a 4 day trip and couldn't believe how warm it was - 80's every day.

Loving the restaurant reviews.
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