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Old 05-23-2013, 11:20 AM   #151
pinkcardigan
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I'm at the conference too! I read your whole trip report on the way up this morning on the train. Loving your report thank you
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:18 PM   #152
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I'm at the conference too! I read your whole trip report on the way up this morning on the train. Loving your report thank you
Wow - small world! Hope you enjoyed the conference Glad you're enjoying the trip report; I'm enjoying writing and sharing it!



I arrived back from the conference during the early hours of this morning. I'm just finishing up the next day of the TR and will post it later tonight.

Here I am at the conference with my poster entitled: Probing the potential for functional recovery in patients with neuromyelitis optica using visuomotor practice.
(It's more interesting than it sounds )

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Old 05-24-2013, 02:48 PM   #153
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Your poor feet - I really sympathise! Paradiso 37 sounds lovely, burger looked amazing, nom xxx
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:13 AM   #154
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Your poor feet - I really sympathise! Paradiso 37 sounds lovely, burger looked amazing, nom xxx
I'm craving one of those burgers now... actually I'm just craving any Disney food! The boring cheese and salt and vinegar crisps sandwich I just made just doesn't compare


Photobucket was being a right slow-poke last night - have just managed to upload the photos now and so next instalment is coming right up
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:44 AM   #155
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05/05/2013: OHANA MEANS FAMILY


We decided to make it a bit of a lazy morning today – we were all pretty tired, and the girls didn’t arrive back until around 3am after the run.

By the way, they had a great time at the EE Challenge last night! It was a mixture of solving clues and with tackling obstacles along a 5k route. There were lots of CMs along the way cheering everyone on, and a bunch of characters too – they said they were pretty much the fastest character meets ever! A great experience though!! They were in the last group to be set off for the race as they had picked the slowest run time beforehand, meaning that they didn’t end up finishing until around midnight. They then had a great time doing some of AK in the dark, especially Expedition Everest. They topped off all their hard work with a McDonald’s at 3am! Their medals looked amazing; you could open them up and they had a compass inside!


I woke up around 9am this morning, but the others were still out for the count. I started to get ready whilst the others woke up and decided they’d spend a little down time next to the pool this morning. As appealing as that sounded (plus it was sunny for the first morning in a while!), my foot was still a mess and I decided I’d have to finally make the journey to the pharmacy.

I caught a bus to DTD and then a Lynx bus to the area just past the Crossroads and walked to Walgreens. I ended up buying so many various dressings and tapes that I could pretty much open up my own first aid station now! I also managed to pick up some Neutrogena make-up that I can’t buy here in the UK, and some flavoured cigariilos for my Mum. I also stupidly bought four big bottles of Gatorade and iced tea. D'oh! These were super heavy in my rucksack. Funny that! When I started making my way back I realised that I had just missed a bus, so decided to keep on walking from Crossroads straight back to DTD. It wasn’t the longest of walks, but boy did it feel like it now the sun was out! I decided to drink one of my Gatorades to lighten the load and because I was parched – I felt like I was training for the army or something, marching along with a heavy rucksack on my back! I also managed to acquire another blister. Aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhhhh! It seems that any shoes I own are not made for walking more than 20 minutes in! I vowed that I will never come to Florida without a car in the future!


Not a bad job, even if I say so myself! It definitely helped!

Finally, I got to DTD, and again had just missed a bus to OKW. Whilst I waited for another I managed to devour half a family bag of cheese Bugles that I had also picked up from the shop! I sat next to a group on the bus; it looked like they had not long arrived as they asked me about the bus route when we pulled into OKW. We all got off the bus at South Point, and they continued walking next to me as I walked to the back towards building 55… were they following me haha?! We jokingly commented that this was too weird, as we ended up being in rooms next to each other!

I arrived back at around 12.30 and saw that the girls were still by the pool. That morning, when we woke up, we all decided that we’d go to DTD that afternoon. Now that the girls were comfortable in the sun though, they weren’t sure if they wanted to leave. Tanya and I decided that we craved an Earl of Sandwich too much however and we headed back to the room for her to get changed. Emma also quickly changed her mind and decided she’d come with us. Not many people can resist an Earl ! Jo however, is just too much of a sun worshipper!

We caught a bus to DTD and headed straight to EoS – I decided I should try something new, and went for the holiday sandwich (turkey, stuffing, gravy and cranberries) – it was gurrrrrrrd! Where's the drooling smiley?! I also had some potato salad and a cherry Coke. I wasn’t sure if it was due to the thick, creamy potato salad and the super sweetness of the cherry coke over here or whether it was due to the fact that I had eaten so many cheesey Bugles a couple of hours earlier, but I was only able to manage half my sandwich. Shock horror - that is inheard of for me!!! I wrapped the remaining half, and decided it’d make a good breakfast tomorrow morning.




After lunch we did a spot of shopping. First was the Memories/Art of Disney store; when I was here a couple of years back I remembered them selling some really nice pens which I thought would be nice to get, what with starting a new job and all. Tanya also wanted to visit her friend who now worked here. We were both out of luck however – Tanya’s friend was on break and the pens were no longer in this shop. I had to take a photo of this though (my Mam enjoys painting, and painted a copy of the original Girl with a Pearl Earring for an exhibition)…


The Daisy version…


…and Johannes Vermeer’s original

Not too dissimilar!

Next we headed to the pantry shop… when I get my own place, I will be spending a lot of money in here on future trips! I want all the kitchenware! I loved the coffee range, and ended up buying a container of around ten pots of differently flavoured Disney coffees. Since returning home, I’ve already made my way through the coconut crème and caramel toffee flavours….mmmm! They are very good and smell gorgeous! Next to try is the cinnamon pecan flavour – I’ll report back!

I was also about to buy the ceramic coffee mug that was insulated like a travel mug and with a plastic lid. However, Tanya told me that during her program, when stocking these mugs in the shop, she noticed that the rubber seals kept popping off the top so that the lid was not watertight. Phew - this made me decide not to buy the mug. I had bought a different travel mug at Disney in 2011 and started using it to drink coffee on my drive to work. I always used to get dribbles of it down my tops and at first thought I was just being a messy puppy and considered investing in a bib . Eventually, I realised that the threads in the mug’s lid had worn slightly after a few uses, and the coffee was coming through the seal and down my top. I wasn’t going to splash out on another mug for the same thing to happen… I’ll get a reputation as a dribbler! People already think I’m weird without having stains all down my shirts!

We headed over to Trend-D next – I’m so glad that I was never a CM working here, as I’m sure I would have spent all my wages before the end of a shift! We also bumped into Nick whilst he was working. He looked very authoritative and managerial in his shirt and tie and various phones and beepers on his belt – he didn’t get the third degree from me this time around though! (I've also just found out that he's been offered a full-time position as a Leader after his Professional Internship program ends - great news!) After a quick chat, we headed over to the World of Disney and had a good look around.


Wish shop fronts were like this in the UK!


Posh ears!


I still regret not buying this!


There’s nothing cuter than Duffy in a Goofy hat!

We ended up at the jewellery counter (as usual!) – some of those earrings cost over $4500 . One day my friends, one day! I then picked up the bits and bobs that I needed to get for people back at home: a gift for my friend Michelle to thank her for lending me her underwater camera, some postcards for my Disney friends back at home who unfortunately couldn’t make this trip with us, and some sweets and biscuits for my cousins and grandparents. I also found the nice pens that I had been looking for – I decided on the perfect pen, it was all sparkly and shiny and I loved it! However, it didn’t have a pocket clip on it, and I knew I’d probably lose it after one day on the job! Pens are a commodity on the hospital wards you know! I left it for now and decided I’d buy one the next time I returned to WDW in a few years. Instead, I opted for your standard big Mickey head pen – no one could get away with stealing that one from me !

The afternoon had just flown by, but we were back at OKW for around 5pm.

We had reservations at Ohana this evening, and planned on going into MK afterwards for Extra Magic Hours. We got ready and headed to the bus stop. Emma suddenly remembered that we were doing MK tonight, but couldn’t possibly do so in her current dress. She ran back to get changed, but of course in this time, an MK bus turned up which we were hoping to catch. She got back but luckily we didn’t have to wait too long for another to arrive. We hobbled to the monorail, and again ended up stopping twice in the middle of the tracks for traffic clearance. We were making a habbit of this! We eventually made it to the Poly, and checked in at 7:15, so just a teeny bit late. Phew!

We noticed that in our car in the monorail, there were two older men who were talking about hoping to eat at Ohana this evening but without a reservation. They ended up being infront of us in the line at check-in and we heard the CM turning them away. A lady behind us in the line also overheard this and interrupted to tell them that as luck would have it, two members of their party were no longer able to make dinner at Ohana this evening so they were welcome to fill in those two spaces and have dinner with her and her family! They’d obviously never met before, and this was just so sweet! Only in America!

It didn’t take long for us to get called in, and we were all in awe at the restaurant – especially when the hostess mentioned this was practically like a meat buffet but we didn’t have to get up to get our food; it would just be brought to us! Perfection - all the makings of a great restaurant! We sat down and before we'd even spied the drinks menu, we had already decided on four Lapu Lapus. We also ordered some soft drinks, and soon after the appetisers arrived.






We now tucked into the bread – Jo and I were impressed! Coconut and pineapple, are two of my favourite flavours. And who on Earth doesn’t like bread?! Therefore, three for three! Tanya and Emma were not so keen… The appetiser also included salad, honey-coriander chicken wings and pork fried dumplings. The chicken was very sticky and messy (which is in no way a bad thing!!), and we were really greatful for the hot hand towels. That’s when we realised that we hadn’t used our hand towels at the Spirit of Aloha dinner show the other evening – we had definitely been doing something wrong there then! My guess is eating ribs with a knife and fork haha… Both the chicken and the dumplings were good. I didn’t have a favourite when it came down to taste, but overall I slightly preferred the pork dumplings purely due to the fact that they were easier to eat!




Next was the meat. Oh the meat! So much meat! Again, never a bad thing! Mr Atkins would have been proud tonight haha! First the prawns arrived, then the chicken, then the steak and followed lastly by the pork. This was all accompanied by noodles and stir fried vegetables. I was surprised by how much I'd managed to escape fries this trip! My favourite out of this lot was definitely the prawns. Possibly due to having so much meat over the past week, but they were soooo good irrespective of that! The pork was also gorgeous, but it came at the point where I had eaten so much of the other stuff that I couldn’t squeeze it in! I of course managed to have a taste though! Bethy’s tip for Ohana: pace yourself. You don’t know is going to turn up next!


Prawns, noodles and veggies

Continued in the next post...
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:58 AM   #156
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Also, the food was so good that we kept forgetting about our Lapu Lapus! We just didn’t know what to eat/drink next?!




Finally, the dessert came! Another fantastic bread pudding-based item officially titled ‘Ohana bread pudding’ served with bananas and caramel sauce. Also known as heaven on a plate! Oh yeah, and there was ice cream with it as well. Ooops, just drooling all over the keyboard here…


We really enjoyed the dessert, and all had quite a sizeable portion of it (you always have room in your dessert stomach right?) but still over half of it ended up getting wasted

This was definitely a highlight meal of the trip – I would have had no qualms whatsoever in paying for this out of pocket. I believe that it was thirty-something dollars per person to eat here which I think is really good value considering the atmosphere, the food and the fact that you’re dining in Disney! I would highly recommend, and I will definitely be returning!

After finishing our drinks we settled the bill and headed downstairs to the jewellery shop as I wanted to take another look at the ring. This is not after a bit of palava with the bill where we had put in $60 in cash alongside the remaining balance on our gift card to cover drinks and tip. Our server returned saying we still owed him money and claiming that we’d only given him $40. There was a little bit of to’ing and fro’ing where I insisted that I had given him $60. I always collect the money from the others and count it numerous times at each meal. He eventually pulled the money out of his pocket, counted it, and sheepishly admitted that we’d given him $60. Thank you sir and good night

Before I move on, that reminds me about the gift card. As was (and is currently) the deal with booking with the WDTC-UK, we were given a $200 gift card in our Mickey mail. We decided that we’d use this on tips as it was an easy way to split it. Ages ago I read that someone on here did that and I thought it was a good idea! However, from our experience, when trying to use the gift card to pay the tip one of three things happened:

1) They had to go and consult a manager to sort it if we hadn’t ordered anything else alongside using the DDP. For example, if we hadn’t ordered alcohol/appetisers, using the DDP would bring the cheque to $0. On a few occasions our servers informed us that they would have to get their manager to sort it out and ‘to reopen up the cheque’ or something. It just meant it took a teeny tiny bit longer, but that was no odds to us.

2) If we had ordered alcoholic drinks with our dinner, we used to put cash in for the drinks and then the gift card in for the tip. There was never a problem per se with this if I recall correctly, but a few quizzical looks.

3) They said it was no problem at all, whether we had ordered something extra alongside the dining plan or not. They did it without question.

So. Whereas we never had a meal where they actually couldn’t do it (take just the tip of a Disney gift card), there were a few comments about it and I got the impression that it wasn’t the preferred way… Forgive me if I am wrong. Our original plan was once the $200 had run out on our gift card, we’d load an extra $100 onto it each to cover the tips for the rest of the trip. However, due to our experiences we decided not to follow through with this and just let the gift card run out, whilst paying the remainder of the holiday’s tips in cash. So, that’s just my two cents worth…

Back to the TR…

We headed down to Wylan Galleries to check out the jewellery again – I had finally decided that I wanted to get the ring. I hadn’t really been keeping an eye on my funds on my FairFX card and was afraid to use my UK debit card for a large-ish purchase, as I had forgotten to inform the bank that I would be in the USA before I left (I’ve had previous experiences where my debit card has been blocked when I've used it in foreign countries where I hadn't let them know prior). I also didn’t have enough cash on me to buy the ring in that way. I attempted to check my balance on my FairFX card using the ATM at the Poly but had no such luck. It looked like I would have to leave the ring for now and return (again). It was already 9.30pm and we wanted to get to MK for Wisheeeeeeeees (dream a dreeeeam…).

We caught the monorail and got a spot to watch the shows. I managed to get lots of photos this time! Warning: castle photo overload.






“I can fix this!”


“And at last I see the liiiiiight”


My favourite projection!


The man himself!
















After Wishes, we met up with some of Tanya’s old friends from the College Program and headed to the Carousel of Progress. We needed to do a ride where there was minimal movement and lots of sitting down involved – we were still stuffed (as seemed to be the general theme of the holiday thus far!). We enjoyed it as usual, and the song has been stuck in my head ever since. No kidding. There’s a great, big beautiful tomorrowww…

Next the group wanted to ride Space Mountain but there was a 60-minute wait advertised. At this moment in time, this ride was 110% not for me… bleurrggghhhh. I was more than happy to sit this one out and wait for the guys – it would have given me a chance to do a bit more exploring with my camera without having to feel bad that I was dragging people arround! However, they didn’t fancy waiting that long and they decided to leave it. We headed over to the Monsters Inc Laugh Floor instead – Emma and I love this sooooooooo much. Especially Roz! It was quite late however, and didn’t have quite the same atmosphere as it does normally when there are more guests around! It was still a hoot though – Sam and Ella entertained us with their knowledge of human geography, where every city in the world is home to the Eiffel Tower it seems, and Buddy wowed us with his ‘telepathetic’ness. Remember, you need to say your number out loud to the audience, but he can’t hear you because he has his eyes closed I also loved Marty Wazowski and the addition of him now wanting to go to ‘Monsters University’. Does anyone have any info on how they actually do this show? It’s all so clever!!




Jo and I were really flagging by this point and so we decided we’d head back. The others didn’t think that was such a bad idea, and decided to join us. We had a couple of photopass pictures on the way out, and picked up some drinks and snacks on Main St. We weren’t getting through our snack credits as quick as we thought!! We arrived back in the room at around 12:30 and headed straight to bed, vowing that we wouldn’t eat ever again!

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Old 05-26-2013, 01:07 PM   #157
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Really great firework photos.
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:22 PM   #158
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Glad you enjoyed Ohana
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:06 PM   #159
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Really great firework photos.
Thanks Claire I wish I'd been closer to get some better shots, but that will have to wait until next time

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Glad you enjoyed Ohana
Yes it definitely lived up to the hype for us! I would love to try breakfast next time!

Last edited by BethEJo; 05-27-2013 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 05-27-2013, 12:58 AM   #160
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The dessert at ohanas is to die for, your nighttime photos are amazing.
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:35 AM   #161
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Just caught up with this as BH means teenage sleeping children! Seems as though you guys had a great time I'm loving reading along. I'm now off to order some new crocs on line as a means of avoiding the blisters! I know they're ugly but my perfect park storming shoes died last summer at the beach club and I've been dithering about what to replace them with. Your report has spurred me into action!

O'hana is my favourite Disney restaurant of all time I have to be rolled out of that place!
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:22 AM   #162
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The dessert at ohanas is to die for, your nighttime photos are amazing.
I'm going to look for some recipes for that dessert and thanks Andrea!

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Just caught up with this as BH means teenage sleeping children! Seems as though you guys had a great time I'm loving reading along. I'm now off to order some new crocs on line as a means of avoiding the blisters! I know they're ugly but my perfect park storming shoes died last summer at the beach club and I've been dithering about what to replace them with. Your report has spurred me into action!

O'hana is my favourite Disney restaurant of all time I have to be rolled out of that place!
For me, the comfiest shoes have genuinely been those spongy cheap flip flops that you can get from the supermarkets or Primark for like £1-2! And definitely not harb bottomed leather sandals Havaiiana flip flops are great too, but a bit more pricey. I do better in comfortable flip flops/sandals rather than shoes I think. Crocs are a good shout though! And there's tonnes of different styles available aren't there? Think I might join you in getting a pair for next time!

Haha! Definitely needed to be rolled out myself
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:49 AM   #163
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Just discovered your fantastic trip report Bethan ... and now I want to return to WDW. You have highlighted so many food and drink options which I have never indulged in, and it all sounds so tempting. May just have to start planning a trip in the next few years. Sounds like you had an absolutely fantastic time. I know Taryn is suffering with withdrawal symptoms and is off to Disneyland Paris in September to try and ease it a bit. She is still planning to apply for an art internship in Disney Animation Studios in California once she saves a bit of money.

Congratulations on graduating and qualifying as a doctor, and on getting your first job. What speciality are you working in Liverpool. Any plans to return to BCUHB at some time in the future?
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:35 AM   #164
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Just discovered your fantastic trip report Bethan ... and now I want to return to WDW. You have highlighted so many food and drink options which I have never indulged in, and it all sounds so tempting. May just have to start planning a trip in the next few years. Sounds like you had an absolutely fantastic time. I know Taryn is suffering with withdrawal symptoms and is off to Disneyland Paris in September to try and ease it a bit. She is still planning to apply for an art internship in Disney Animation Studios in California once she saves a bit of money.

Congratulations on graduating and qualifying as a doctor, and on getting your first job. What speciality are you working in Liverpool. Any plans to return to BCUHB at some time in the future?
Better late than never, 'ey Sarah Thank you for your kind comments

The withdrawal is horrible - I see new students going to work there now and just wish it could be us again! That's great that Taryn is going for an internship! I would love to work for the Disney company again, but can't see a way how it would ever be feasible! Unless Disney open a range of hospitals or need doctors in the parks

Hope you and Taryn are well! You really do need to start planning a WDW trip

I had a really good last placement at Ysbyty Gwynedd! I prefer the 'atmosphere' in North Wales so much more than down South! But first I must hit up Liverpool for two years - I've been given by first year rotations already. I'll be working 4 months in respiratory first, then 4 months in surgery (unsure of the specialty at the moment), and then 4 months in A&E. For my second year, I know that I'll have 4 months out of medicine to do a 'medical education' rotation in the University of Liverpool Medical School, but am unsure what my two rotations will be for the remaining 8 months. It's all very exciting but super terrifying at the same time! In the future, I will simply have to go wherever I can get a training place - if that turns out to be BCUHB at some point then I will be beyond happy
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Old 05-28-2013, 01:40 PM   #165
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06/05/2013: THAT’S SOME IMAGINATION, HUH?


The original plan for today was to be out of the room by 9am. However, none of us could physically manage that this morning – how lame! Instead, we ended up getting up at 9! I ate the remainder of my Holiday EoS from yesterday – I know it sounds gross, but it really wasn’t! It was even better a day old!

Also, a little feet update, not that you want it! Whilst in the bath this morning, I think the big blister must have popped whilst in the hot water… I only noticed, because something felt strange… I was standing on two feet!!! I hadn’t managed this since our first day! The relief was immense! I changed the bandage and dressing etc. as I still wanted to keep it covered, but finally, it seemed that it was on the mend!

We eventually got to Epcot, took a few pictures and headed over to Innoventions.










That’s one way to get a picture altogether!

We wanted to ride the Sum Of All Thrills but wasn’t sure in what side it was located. Of course we headed to the wrong side first, but still had a quick look around. I honestly think that Innoventions could be so much better than what it is… it seems like there’s a lot of space and not a great deal going on! It could really do a lot more to engage the guests here and get the kids interested in science, and energy and all that jazz! I love all that kind of stuff, but no longer feel it here

We eventually made it to the ride and didn’t have to wait long at all. In fact, we’ve never had to wait long to go on this. Do you think lots of guests are not really aware that it’s there? Anyhow, in 2011, Emma and I created an epic rollercoaster called the ‘Stealth Stuntmaster’ with the maximum number of loops and dives and upside down bits possible!! We now wanted to create version 2! However, we made a massive mistake by choosing the bob sled version – we didn’t realise it was the slowest vehicle available! It was still fun though, and we dubbed this one the “Slippery Phantom”! I kept accidentally referring to it as the Slippery Nipple – alcohol on the brain as usual! I love watching people in the robotic arms with just legs flayling everywhere! If this is something that you have never tried, then you really should! I believe it’s also in Disney Quest in DTD!


Introducing the Slippery Ni…I mean Phantom!

After this we headed over to Mission Space. Tanya and Emma had never ridden this before; Emma wanted to give it a go but Tanya was adamant that she was not going to do it. I claimed that if I could handle the green side, then Tanya definitely wouldn’t have a problem – that seemed to swing it for her Also, reason why I love this ride? Gary Sinise! Jo wasn’t interested in the piddly little green side and went for the orange – you go girl!




Our 'mission' finished earlier than Jo’s did. We were without an Engineer for the journey, but I think we made it OK ! We sat and waited outside for Jo and soon caught her staggering towards us! She declared that she was feeling all “wibbly wobbly” and needed to take five! The orange side is definitely not for me – you will NEVER catch me on it. I think it would literally be the death of me! In Jo’s words “the force messes with my mind” hahaha!


Obligatory astronaut photo!

We decided to do Ellen’s Universe of Energy next, partly because it was a sitting down ride and relaxing (for Jo!), and also because Emma had never done this either! Seriously, what did that girl do for 3 months during our College Program!? I actually love this – I think Ellen Degeneres is great, and I just love how old and retro this is now! It was also a perfect opportunity to take a short nap and catch up on my TR journal. This show was a winner all round!


After Ellen, it was now time to head all the way over to Germany but not before dropping by Radiator Springs!






As we got to Mexico, the Friendship boat was docking and we decided to catch it over to Germany. I like the views of the World Showcase that you get from being on the water!




Today, we had an ADR for Biergarten! I had read lots of reviews saying how fun it was and the food didn’t sound too bad either! I like schnitzel, so I’m in! We checked in, and whilst waiting decided to have a little look around the glass shop. It was quite quiet in the shop when suddenly our pager went off – however, this was the first time that the pager had spoken to me, thanking me for waiting haha! It was a little embarrassing as it was quite loud – I rounded up the girls quickly and headed in to find our seater.


This is a German pose apparently…???

In Biergarten, you are seated ‘family style’… is that the right term? Basically, the tables are big and they sit you with other families and groups! That was another thing that appealed to us! We ended up being paired with a family from Miami – I’m not sure if they were too keen about being seated with us… I just don’t think they were expecting it! They were nice enough, but they didn’t really want to chat, and ended up just speaking Spanish to each other and keeping themselves to themselves. Their little boy was cute though – he kept coming up to me and wanting to chat about his knight toy that he had! I think he could have talked for hours about knights and horses if his Mum hadn’t dragged him away to eat lunch!


Continued in the next post...
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