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Old 02-08-2013, 05:59 PM   #196
dolphingirl47
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Originally Posted by tiggrbaby View Post
What fun photos! You certainly managed to get a lot in, too!
This was actually a very relaxing Disney trip for me. My normal approach is crisscrossing the parks at speed getting from on ride to the next and trying to minimize waiting times. This time I just wandered where my fancy took me and stopped and admired things that caught my eye. Now I want to do the same at Disneyland. Maybe that is something to keep in mind for my birthday trip in 2014.

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I had gotten very behind on your report but its kept me entertained today while i've been off work sick.
I am glad to be of service. I hope that you feel better soon.

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Old 02-09-2013, 08:45 AM   #197
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I am all caught up...

Beautiful pictures and looks like you had a magical day!
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:45 PM   #198
dolphingirl47
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Day 17

Once again I got up at about 8:00 AM, got ready and headed for the bus. Before I left, I made sure that Graham knew were to meet me as we had a reservation for Sanaa that evening. Once again I got lucky and I had a minimal wait for the bus. I was heading to Animal Kingdom for the day. I had seen photos of the character trees at Camp Minnie-Mickey last year and I wanted to see them for myself. The bus was not too busy and with it still being so early, it headed straight to Animal Kingdom rather than stopping at Blizzard Beach first. So I made good time. I was temporarily sidetracked though by the huge tree just outside the entrance to the park. This was truly beautiful. As I walked past it after having taken some photos, I spotted some Photopass photographers around the back of the tree. So I made good use of them. I also got one of my favourite magic shots there.















When I entered the park, I picked up a guide. This was another day that was all about the characters and the decorations. I do like Animal Kingdom, but in terms of attractions there is actually very little there that draws me. It's Tough To Be A Bug, Expedition Everest and Primeval Whirl all freak me out, Dinosaur makes me ill and although I love Kali River Rapids, it was still a bit chilly for this. I was however really curious about the new version of the Kilimanjaro Safari. Still, I was actually really enjoying concentrating on the characters and the decorations. So the first stop was to go and see Russell and Dug from Up. I was not overly excited about Russell, but I had really wanted to see Dug and the line was quite manageable. I think I waited about 5 minutes. I got a hug from both of them and then we posed for some photos before I moved on.

















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Old 02-10-2013, 03:55 PM   #199
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I then headed towards Dinoland USA. This is normally my least favourite land, but I had heard that the Christmas decorations there are quite special and also Santa Goofy and Pluto were hanging out there. On the way there, I came across a path that seemed to go nowhere,but had a cast member by the entrance. I asked the cast member what was down there and he advised me it was Winnie the Pooh and friends. I decided that Dinoland ISA would wait and headed down that path. This is probably the nicest character Meet and Greet location that I had ever encountered. The path to the actual Meet And Greet went through a jungle and the pavilion where the Meet and Greet took place was right by the river. It was all rather idyllic. To make things even better, Pooh, Eeyore and Tigger were in their Christmas outfits. True to form, when it was almost my turn, all three went in one after the other for a quick break. They were back again really quickly though.























Once I had my photos taken, I pushed on to Dinoland USA. This area did not disappoint. The Christmas decorations there were definitely on the tacky side, but this was wonderfully in keeping with the themeing of the land. I had to smile a few times. I really liked this and was glad that I had read about this before the trip. Otherwise I may have bypassed this. Meeting Santa Goofy and Pluto in his holiday best was also a real treat.



























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Old 02-10-2013, 04:13 PM   #201
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Then it was time to head over Camp Minnie-Mickey, which was really the main reason I was at Animal Kingdom. I have to admit that I have never really had a look t this area before. I have seen Festival of the Lion King a few times before, but then I always went straight there and straight back out again after the show. I never stopped to look around. This is such a shame as there are a lot of lovely little details there. Of course, the main reason that I was there was to see the character trees. I did not have to walk for very long until I encountered the first one. Some of them were quite well hidden every time I thought I had found them all, I spotted another one. With some of them it was very obvious which character or film they represent. With others, I am still puzzled now. However, they were all pretty and full of amazing detail. I also made good use of the characters there. As soon as I entered the area where the character Meet and Greets are taking place, I spoofed King Louie and Baloo. Unfortunately they were about to go in. I asked the cast member at was with them when they would be back and he said that he was not sure if they would be back out together, but they should be out again individually later in the day. I was absolutely fine with individually. I headed off to see Donald. There were only a couple of families in front of me. Donald was in his safari gear. He was the only member of the Fab Five that was not in his holiday finest. When I finished with Donald, King Louie was out again. I went to see him. He is a lot of fun. Then it was on to see Chip and Dale followed by Minnie. All of them had a minimal wait. I was on a roll. Next up was Mickey and he had a serious line. I still only waited about 15 minutes and used the time to catch up online on my iPhone courtesy of the free WiFi. Unfortunately when I got to the front of the line, I was told that the Photopass photographer's camera was not working. She took some photos with my camera, but it was a shame that I could not get any professional photos with the only character that I had to wait for a bit to see. Still, this did not spoil meeting Mickey. When I finished with Mickey, King Louie and Baloo were out together again so I headed over to see them before I went in search of some lunch. I think poor Baloo did not know what to make of me. He was my favourite Disney character for much of my childhood and I was not going to leave without a huge. Whereas King Louie was very extrovert, Baloo was not. Still, I got my hug, but I started to wonder if I loved the wrong character for all those years during my childhood.













































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Old 02-10-2013, 04:22 PM   #204
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I have always been too worried to use the pillowcase
 
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I went across to Asia to get some lunch. One of the the counter service restaurants that I have eaten at before this trip was Anandapur Local Food Cafes, the counter service location for Yak and Yeti and I had thoroughly enjoyed this. So this was we're I was planning to eat that day. On the way, I took a few photos. Asia is probably my favourite area at Animal Kingdom. Eventually my stomach won out. There was quite a long line at Anandapur Local Food Cafes, but it moved steadily. Soon I had ordered my food. I went for the Honey Chicken, which was served with Rice and Vegetables, a side of Pork Eggrolls that I paid out of pocket for, a Coke and a Triple Chocolate Mousse. The food was great for a counter service. I had a bit of trouble finding somewhere to sit and eventually I realised that the only available table was a table for 8. I felt a little guilty about this, but I was soon joined by other people. After lunch, I walked around Asia for a bit longer to take some photos.

























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Old 02-10-2013, 04:32 PM   #205
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After I had walked off some of my lunch, I headed over to Africa to do the Kilimanjaro Safari. I was really curious about the changes that they had made. My timing was out on this occasion. All day, the posted waiting time was around 30 minutes, but now it had gone up to 45 minutes. Still, I had the time and I was determined to do this. There seemed to be a lot of cranky families and misbehaving kids about so 45 minutes ended up like feeling a very long time. We were nearly at the loading dock when a boy in front of me had a tantrum and was literally kicking and screaming. He kicked me square on the shin. I actually yelped. Not only did this catch me totally by surprise, but it also really hurt. The parents apologised profusely. I am not sure what words were exchanged between the parents and their son as they spoke Spanish, but sometimes a look can speak a 1000 words. They young man was definitely in trouble. He was about 7 or 8 years old. They kept him on a very short leash after this. Shortly afterwards, we reached the loading area and we ended up in line for separate safari trucks.







I have always loved the safari and I understand that every attraction at Disney does have to have a story associated with this and nowhere does this seem more true than at Animal Kingdom where even the restaurants and the shops have a backstory. For the most part, I actually really enjoy this, but the race to save Little Red from the poachers had alway left me decidedly underwhelmed. So I was delighted when I heard that this part of Kilimanjaro Safaris would be redone. I could not wait to experience this. This was also the first time I had a camera with me when doing this. I have done this attraction countless times, but for some reason I had never brought my camera. Well, this seemed the perfect day for it as we saw loads of animals even though it was quite late in the day. I even saw the elusive lions. Taking photos of moving animals from a moving truck is easier said than done though. I ended up with a lot of blurry pictures. I was not impressed that the only photo I managed to get of an Okapi was blurred beyond recognition. Still, I got plenty of other decent pictures and you always need a reason to go back. Finally we came to the new part of the ride, the new zebra area. I really liked this. I liked zebras at the best of times and this area had been done very well. They still managed to get a conservation message in there. The story was that this is an animal preserve that has been founded to protect the zebras from poachers and then it went into a bit of detail about how big a threat poaching is in Africa. I am often a bit critical when Disney makes changes to an existing attraction, but they did a good job there.











































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Old 02-10-2013, 04:38 PM   #206
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Once the safari was finished, I walked through Africa and took some more photos. Again I had to dodge people lining up for the parade. Cast members were just putting the ropes out so I made a quick exit before I got cut off from where I wanted to go. It was like an obstacle course, but eventually I was back at the Oasis and out of the way of the parade. I spotted a Photopass photographer and asked him if he could do a magic shot that I had seen before the holiday where it looks like you are cradling Simba. He said that he could do this and I really like how this has turned out. After this, I did a quick bathroom stop and then I left the park. My next destination was Animal Kingdom Lodge so I headed for the bus stops. This was the busiest I had ever seen the buses. The first bus came and every inch of the bus was filled up, but only about half the people waiting got on. The second bus arrived about 10 minutes later and not only did I manage to get on, but I also got a seat.























Having to wait for a second bus threw a slight spanner in the works. My plan had been to attend the Culinary Tour, which normally starts at 16:00. By the time I arrived at Jambo House it was 16:05. I figured this just gives me an excuse for a return visit and carried on with my day. I entered Jambo House through the shop and browsed in there for a bit before heading out to the lobby to admire the Christmas decorations. In the end it turned out that they were not offering the Culinary Tour that day anyway. I took some photos around the lobby and then I spotted a Photopass photographer in front of the tree. I had a few photos taken before heading down to Mara to get some Zebra Domes with a snack credit. I also filled up my refillable mug with some Orange Soda and sat out near the pool for a bit.

























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Old 02-10-2013, 04:45 PM   #207
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I will post my goodies once I am back
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Once I had finished my soda, I headed over to Kidani Village. The cast member that I talked to at Mara told me that there is a shuttle, but I could not find any evidence of this so I walked over. The walk did not take very long, but it goes through the car park. I had planned to go to one of the animal overlooks at Kidani and hopefully see Red River Hogs and Okapi, but by the time I arrived, the sun had gone down. So I had a look at the decorations there and got myself another Orange Soda in my refillable mug. When I came out of the shop, I spotted Graham. He had got to Kidani early, too. We both felt hungry so we decided to head over to Sanaa to see if we could seated earlier.









We went up to the podium and initially they told us that they were really busy and did not think they could fit us in early. We were perfectly OK with this and we walked away from the podium. We were then called back and given a pager. We were told that they could not make any promises, but they may just be able to fit us in a bit earlier. We headed out towards the Savannah overlook just outside Sanaa. We saw some animals in the distance and then we saw an animal very close by. Something was running around right by our feed. Graham said that this was a rat. I corrected him by saying that at Disney they are not called rats, they are called Remy. It was quite a big one, too. The Savannah Guide that was on duty by the outlook came over to say "hi" and she was not impressed at all when she noticed what we were looking at. We talked to her for a couple of minutes and then our pager went off.

We went back to the podium and we were seated. I was a little surprised that they seated us at a table for four even though there was an empty table for two right next to us. We ordered something to drink. Graham had a beer and I had the Malawi Mango Margarita, which was a frozen blend of Tequila, Van der Hum Tangerine Liqueur, Mango Puree and freshly squeezed Lime Juice. I am not normally a fan of frozen Margaritas and prefer mine on the Rocks, but this was very tasty. We also shared a bottle of water. Our server had just taken the order for our food when another cast member came up to us apologising that we had been seated at the wrong table. We were quite happy to move, but instead they moved the second table making up our table of four across. Shortly afterwards, our food arrived. Graham had chosen the New York Strip, a Coriander Chutney rubbed Strip Steak served with seasonal Vegetable Wat. I went with the Slow Cooked in Gravy, Simple and Well Seasoned option with Basmati Rice. I got to choose two dishes and went with Butter Chicken and Beef Short Ribs. We both enjoyed our food. For dessert, Graham had the Warm Rice Pudding with Mango, Pistachio Tuile and Cinnamon Ice Cream. I had the Dessert Trio, which consisted of Chocolate Cake, Tropical Fruit Kulfi and Chai Cream. I had been quite torn about this reservation as I was not sure if we would enjoy Sanaa, but we both agreed that we actually prefer this over Jiko.















We had settled our bill and were just leaving when something quite amusing happened. A bunch of cast members with drums approached the table next to ours for a celebration. The people at that table had obviously no idea what this was all in aid of. Graham made a comment that we needed to make sure that we never have anything to celebrate when we are there. I just smiled sweetly. Then it dawned on him. Even though we had never moved, essentially we had swapped tables. Every dining reservation also had a note on it that I was celebrating my birthday. They were actually there for me. We both laughed and got out of there as quickly as our legs would carry us.

I had mentioned to Graham about the Photopass photographer and that I had wished that we had met up over there so that we could have some photos taken together. It was still relatively early so Graham asked how we could get over there. By then it was completely dark and I did not fancy the walk back so we headed out towards the bus stops and took a bus over. We both had a look around the lobby at Jambo House. I will never get enough of this. We had our photos taken. There was one family ahead of us and it was so funny. The little boy in this family was not in a very cooperative mood and just generally silly. Eventually they did succeed in getting a family photo taken and it was our turn. Then we headed back to the bus stops to catch a bus to one of the parks and from there back to Old Key West. The first bus that turned up was for Magic Kingdom. We got on this. Graham asked if I had collected my spell cards for the day, which I had not. So he waited for me near the bus stops while I was quickly going in to get my spell cards. I have to admit I was tempted to stay a bit longer as it was only 10 minutes until the Main Street Electrical Parade. I have previously seen this in California and loved it. I decided that this would not be fair on Graham and headed back to where he was as soon as I had my cards. We then walked over to the bus stop. We did not have to wait long for our bus. When we got back to Old Key West, I put the Zebra Domes in the fridge, got ready for bed and called it a day. I was really tired and I knew that I would have a long and truly magical day ahead of me.













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Old 02-10-2013, 06:18 PM   #208
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Lovely update! The magic shot with Stitch was perfect as you had him on your shirt!
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:58 AM   #209
dolphingirl47
I will post my goodies once I am back
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Originally Posted by tiggrbaby View Post
Lovely update! The magic shot with Stitch was perfect as you had him on your shirt!
Yes, that was a lovely coincidence. This was the shirt I had made for our Hawaii cruise.

Corinna
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:00 PM   #210
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That was a very busy day and a wonderful update.

I like the photo of you cradling Simba also. It was very cute.

So sorry to hear that you got kicked by a kid, that was awful and I am sure the parents were beyond embarrassed. So, glad that you got separate trucks to ride in. A little less awkward.

We really like Saana and it is fast becoming a favorite over Jiko also.
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