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Old 01-09-2008, 01:22 PM   #1
cinderkelli
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Better Late Than Never Trip Report with Pics! Finally finished!!

Hiya everybody! I realize I am way late in writing this trip report, but I have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for my sister to send me her pics so I will have plenty of them to add. I know the reports with lots of pics are my fave so here we go......

Cast:
Myself - Complete Disney fanatic and planner of this, my second trip to the world this year.
My sister Amanda - has been wanting to go since I invited her two years ago and she was not able to.
My mom - who I pretty much begged to come until she said yes. She agreed as long as we got to do free dining, so when it was announced in April I was ecstatic.

So it is just the girls on a trip around The World AND with free dining. What could be better? I love taking people with me to Disney who haven't been in a long time to show them all the wonderful things that have been added since their last trip. The last time I was there with my mom and sis was in 1997. So obviously, there was a lot to fit in and we only had four days! We were flying in Sept 20 and leaving Sept 24. One park per day is a lot, but I was up to the task!

The first question was where to stay? I had heard a lot of good things about Scopa Towers (known to some as Pop Century), but mom wanted a moderate resort. We all researched and finally decided on Coronado Springs.

The second thing to research was which park to go to on which day. Well at the beginning of my research I realize Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween party was happening Sept 21. I had always wanted to go - I LOOOOVE Halloween - but my mom hates it so I knew she wouldn't want to. However, my sister was totally down so we got tickets right away. I figured it probably wouldn't sell out so early, but I wasn't taking any chances.

Pretty much from there it was cake. Just a look at that website I love (apparently I can't post names here) for best and worst days and crowd calendars (you know the one I mean right?) and figuring out where to eat with all our free meals (that was the fun part), then it was off to the world. I won't bore you with all the rest of my planning details. Why don't we just get right to it.....


Day 1 - Fly in, get to the hotel, go to sleep

This day is pretty self explanatory. We flew from Dallas to Orlando, got right on Magical Express, went straight to the hotel and got our rooms. One thing to note if you have never stayed at Coronado Springs. IT IS HUGE. Man I don't know how many times we got lost. If I had to change one thing, it would be to request a room closer to the front - like between the front and the big pool. I really am not averse to a little extra exercise, but when you are walking who knows how many miles a day at the parks anyway, I want a room closer to the action.

Up next...Day 2 - Where will we go? What will we do? You're on the edge of your seat aren't you?

Last edited by cinderkelli; 05-30-2008 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:47 PM   #2
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Day 2 - AK and MNSSHP

Ok, so I realize I promised pictures in the title and there were no pictures in my first post. I apologize, but I promise you will be inundated with pictures from here on out!

So we wake up on our first morning at Coronado Springs to an absolutely gorgeous day. It was sunny and about 75. Perfect! It was raining when we got in the night before so that was a nice surprise.

My mom and Amanda were then handed their first itenerary of the trip. Now, please someone give me some love and tell me you make laminated iteneraries for your trip. I think they both thought I was a little crazy. The plan for the day was to head out to the Animal Kingdom and try to get the whole park in by about 3 o clock. Then we had a 5:30 dinner reservation to get to at the Concourse Steakhouse before my sister and I headed to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.

We got to Animal Kingdom just before opening and the first thing we saw was Wes Palm. He was rolling around talking to people and mom and A (I will from here on out shorten Amanda to A cause it is easier ) thought it was about the cutest thing they had ever seen. We hurry in to the park so we could see the opening show, then we high tailed it over to Expedition Everest to get our fastpasses for later, then headed to Dinosaur. We stopped along the way to get a few pics....

That's mom and A



That's me and A



Me and A with a dinosaur - sorry I can't remember the name!



I know not everyone is a fan of Dinosaur, but I love this ride and I always love to see people's faces when they take the picture because everyone - including me even though I KNOW it's coming - looks terrified. It cracks me up. I really should have bought it this time but oh well.

We headed over to Flights of Wonder then walked through the Majaraja. By this time our fastpasses were ready to go for Expedition Everest. We headed over, walked up to the fast pass line and were told to hold on for a second because it had been closed all morning for some sort of technical difficulties. This is when I start to panic! I was so excited to see mom and A's reaction. The first time I saw the yeti I almost jumped out of my seat so I couldn't wait to see how they liked it. Sometimes I feel like this must be what it is like to have kids and take them to Disney World - to get to relive everything through their eyes. I definitely can't wait for that!

Anyway, after a second he said 'ok we are now opening it up' so we head in to the fastpass line. Everyone else piles in behind us when they see that, so we feel so excited when we beat the regular line to the front and get to sit in the FRONT TWO SEATS on the FIRST RIDE OF THE DAY! How cool is that? I was so excited. So anyway, mom and A liked it, but it was ruined by the fact that they both got real motion sick after going backward. I get SO motion sick, but this doesn't usually bother me so I felt bad for not having mentioned it before hand. We got a couple sprites, though, and they were alive and kicking in no time.

We then grabbed fastpasses for Kilamanjaro Safari and headed to the Lion King show. Now I had never seen this show before. For some reason just always missed it. It was pretty good. Not sure I would see it again, but cool to see once. The acrobatics were my favorite.

Then it was time to eat our very first free meal on the dining plan! We decided on Restaurantosaurus. I totally forgot to take pics, but I promise all future meals have them. I had a hot dog and fries with strawberry shortcake. They have an awesome toppings bar and the SS was delish!

After lunch we saw the Finding Nemo musical. Now, I am a huge fan of broadway musicals. Besides Disney World, New York is my favorite place ever and I feel like I am a pretty good judge of a musical. This show was FANTASTIC. I mean I couldn't believe what a good job they did. This was broadway quality actors and effects. Very, very good and I give it

After that it was time for Kilamanjaro. Mom and A loved this of course. We saw tons of cool animals and I don't know how well you can tell in this picture, but it was funny how the lion was totally sprawled out on his back...



We did some more trails after that to finish. Guess it was sprawl out on your back day, cause the gorillas were chillin too...



Funny.

By now we were about done and figured we would have time to head to Downtown Disney before dinner. I had been wanting to go to Goofy's Candy Co so we headed that way. If you have never been you have to go! There is so much cute stuff in there. We did the thing where you select your treat and then pick what you want it covered in and they do it to your specifications while you watch. It was so fun! I got a rice krispy treat covered in milk chocolate and sprinkles, but there are tons of things you can do like marshmallows, graham crackers, etc and tons of things you can cover them in. It was fun, but we couldn't eat them yet because we had dinner waiting for us at the Concourse Steakhouse.

It is funny how you learn things about people when you are on vacation with them. My sister is hilarious, but I guess when her blood sugar gets low or stomach is feeling empty she has 0 energy. This is a picture of her at Concourse Steakhouse while waiting on our table to give you an example...



Then once she has eaten, she feels a lot better. I mean a LOT. To give you an idea, this is a picture of her the last day of our trip after finishing our meal at Le Cellier....



Yes, those are breadsticks on her fingers. That picture cracks me up every time I see it.

So anyway, we finally get seated at CS after quite a long wait. We are getting close to 7PM by this time when MNSSHP starts and I don't want to miss it, so we try to hurry with dinner, but I did get some pics of the food...

We all had the filet with a baked potato and brocollini. On the top there, that is red wine butter. I have never heard of it, but if you know where I can get it let me know...it was SO good.



Sorry, I started eating before I took the pic. You will find that is a theme with me. I get so excited to eat that I forget to take the picture!! For dessert we got the Key Lime Tart and the Creme Brulee. Both were delicious. I love a good tart key lime pie and this did not disappoint.





After dinner was MNSSHP. That is probably going to take a while to talk about, so I will leave you now and write about it later. Stayed tuned!
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Old 01-11-2008, 01:49 PM   #3
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I'm in! Great start on your trip report!

I've never seen Lion King or Nemo - they are both on my "to do list". We LOVED Concourse Steakhouse. (believe it or not, I have the same meal as you, but I had Butterfinger Cheesecake for dessert - it too, was ecellent)

Cant wait for your take on MNSSHP - we thought it was fun.

Cathy
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:20 PM   #4
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I am so excited to read the rest of your report! I leave in 20 days for my first trip and just reading this is getting me even more excited!
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:47 PM   #5
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We were at WDW from Sept. 16-22. On Friday (the 21st) we were also at Animal Kingdom during the day and then at Chef Mickey's that evening.
We love the Creme Brulee at Concourse Steakhouse. It is REALLY good.

Great start to your trip report. Can't wait for the rest.
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:49 AM   #6
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I love it!

It's like I'm reliving it!
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Old 01-18-2008, 11:02 AM   #7
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Thanks for the responses everyone!

Cathy - Butterfinger cheesecake sounds amazing! I wonder how I missed that?

We did love MNSSHP - it is coming up soon I promise!
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:11 PM   #8
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Day 2 Part Two - MNSSHP

So we were full and happy from our great meal at Concourse Steakhouse and next up was what I had been waiting for all year. Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party! Halloween is my second favorite holiday and I love to dress up. A and I had been trying to figure out what to dress up as and we finally decided on something that would be comfortable and totally appropriate for Disney World - little girls! We got some Disney PJs and both took stuffed animals to top off the outfit. Here is us at the entrance...



Mom hates Halloween so she headed back to the hotel and had a margarita by the pool.

I will just say right up front, this event was totally worth the ticket price. If you like Halloween, they do it right! I loved all the decorations and costumes and stuff around the park. Here are a few of the decorations...







Pretty cool no? Anyway, we got there right at 7 so we had to make sure we got the most out of it. We got our trick or treat bags and a map and headed out. The first thing we did was ride space mountain, then we walked all over Tomorrowland, Fantasyland and Mickey's Toontown for candy. At the entrance to one of the candy lines there was a cast member standing there who was supposed to be acting scary I guess. He saw I was carrying my Winnie the Pooh and he looks at me and says in a scary voice 'I see you have Pooh'. And that was it. It was so random and funny, A and I kept saying that to each other the rest of the trip. 'I see you have Pooh' in a deep voice, and then burst out laughing. It was funny, I promise.

Up next was pretty much the must do thing for everyone at MNSSHP - Haunted Mansion. It was closed for refurbishment when I was there during summer, and I couldn't wait to see all the new stuff. I was not disappointed. The upgrade to sound effects alone was worth it, not to mention the new attic scene, stairs, paintings etc. It was AWESOME. We rode it twice in a row and then staked out our places for the parade. The parade was so great and I challenge anyone who sees it to keep from getting the Boo To You song stuck in your head! Boo to You and Boo To You....Happy Halloween! See I still know it. Alright so the lyrics aren't exactly challenging, but still.

Here are some pics from the parade...











Very neat. As soon as that was over we ran back to HM and rode it again. Then we had a little bit of time before the next Villains show and Hallowishes so we just sort of moseyed around to take notice of the things going on. We saw these guys singing about the headless horseman and what happened to him. If you look closely you will see that they are all ghosts and their costumes show how they 'died'...



They were really good. Next up, Amanda wanted to ride Cinderella's carousel. I never ride this, but she really wanted to so we headed over. She was so excited, here are pictures of her when we got on...



And then here is a picture of how she felt when it was over...



Have I mentioned she cracks me up?

Anyway, on to the villains show. It was good, but a lot shorter than I thought it would be. Like maybe only ten minutes or something. However, that song was just as, if not more, catchy than the Boo To You song! 'It's Halloween-o-ween everybody!' I don't know how many times I sang those songs during our trip.

After that we went to grab popcorn and a drink for Hallowishes. The lines were crazy long and we barely got it before HW started. I LOVE fireworks so Wishes/Illuminations/Fantasmic, etc are some of my favorite things about WDW. I loved HW too and was so sad when it was over because I knew it was time to leave. However, I knew I would be back the next day so I didn't get too sad.

So to recap my first full day at the World:
Fave part of AK - Finding Nemo show and being first on EE
Fave part of MNSSHP - the whole thing! It was all awesome.

Least favorite thing - waiting forever at Concourse which put us at MNSSHP later than I wanted. But oh well! It was still a wonderful day and we still had three more! Day 3 coming up....
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:28 PM   #9
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I love all of your pictures. We really liked how they decorated for Halloween as well.Great post!
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:11 PM   #10
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Great, great, great..and you two looked cute My DD(3) dressed up and Snow White & the 8 adults were the 7 dwarfs & the Prince. We had a blast too.

Cathy
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Old 02-11-2008, 03:20 PM   #11
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Day 3 - Magic Kingdom

I never know what to say when people ask me which park is my favorite. I go in to my 'well I just don't know, I mean I like them all for different reasons' spiel. But then I think, 'if I had to pick just one to go to if I were in Orlando for one day, which would it be'? And I know, it is the Magic Kingdom. I mean you can never get bored here. There are so many things to do and it is just magical.

SO, here we are on Day 3 going to my favorite park. Granted we were here last night, but it was for MNSSHP and my mom wasn't with me so today I am so excited. Now, because we were going to be up late for MNSSHP, I made this a little bit of a sleep in day. We slept a little late and then we went for a nice relaxing breakfast at Kona Cafe. I had never been there, but this was my meal that I was most excited about. I had heard about Tonga Toast and pressed pot coffee and I was STOKED!

So we show up to Kona and wait just a bit before we are seated. Everything sounds so good we can hardly decide what to eat, so we all got something different. I got the Tonga Toast, A and mom got french toast and the Macadamia Pineapple pancakes. Then we got a couple pots of pressed coffee and some lilikoi juice. I had heard mixed reviews on the juice, but I loved it. Here is a look at our breakfast - half eaten AGAIN - a little of all of ours on my plate.



So delicious. I definitely give this meal a hearty two thumbs up!!

After breakfast we headed over to MK on the monorail. Another reason I love it so much is that out of all the parks, it seems to have the most little hidden things. Like right away I show A and mom the Lady and the Tramp Paws in front of Tony's. I always think that is so cute.

We headed first to Pirates. They hadn't been on since they added Jack Sparrow and the new Davy Jones mist at the beginning. They definitely thought that was pretty cool. We then went and rode BTM - and I pointed out the Lytum and Hide box on the way in. I always think that is so funny for some reason. This is moms favorite ride, I think, in all of WDW. She loves roller coasters, but not big ones, so this is perfect for her. After riding, the most exciting thing happened. We were walking out and I see people counting how many people were getting OFF the ride. I thought this a little unusual until I realized they were wearing the Dream Team outfits! I almost had a heart attack and then started looking around like are we winners or what? They didn't say anything to us, but I heard one of them say 'ok 12345 right there, we're done' and then 12345 of us got Year of a Million Dream lanyards with collectors pins on them! Pretty awesome no? I didn't expect to win anything so it was pretty exciting.

Next up was Splash Mountain. Ok, so no kidding we are getting on the ride and my mom decides she cannot bear to get her hair wet. So she pulls out, you guessed it, a shower cap! I am guessing she had given this some thought before hand. This picture makes me laugh every time...



So hilarious. She told me explicitly not to show anyone that picture. Sorry mom! I love you.

Next we made our way through Adventureland and Frontierland doing all the classics - Jungle Cruise, Country Bears, etc. Next up, mom wanted a soda or something, so me and A went to do the Liberty Belle Cruise. Ok, so I had never done this before in all my trips to Disney. But everyone I talked to and everything I read made it sound like it was a crime that I hadn't done it yet. So this time it was a must. Well, you can guess from the expression on my face what I thought of it...



Yeah, I thought it was pretty boring. Sorry to you who are fans. Maybe it is one of those things, like if I hadn't ridden Snow White before I would probably think it wasn't great, but since I have ridden since I was little I love it?

Next it was time for a nap, so we headed to the Hall of Presidents. Now, don't get me wrong. I love this attraction, I really do. But after a day in the sun, walking around and then you get in this cool dark theater? Man, I don't know the last time I went in here and didn't at least doze off for a second. Mom loves this attraction though, so she was really excited.

After that mom got to see the new Haunted Mansion and then we decided it was time for a snack. Now, if you have not tried the Figaro Fries at Pinocchio Village Haus, GO NOW. They are so delicious and you can almost convince yourself they are healthy. I mean look at all the tomatoes and lettuce on there!



Ok so maybe not, but they are so good and a new must do on my list. So we stopped for those and then made our way through Fantasyland. After that we grabbed fastpasses for Space Mountain and then decided to eat at Cosmic Rays for dinner. I had never eaten here, but man it was so good! And actually had healthy food. I had the chicken with veggies and A and mom split a wrap. They were all good...





Here are mom and A after eating. Don't they look happy?



We still had some time before SM so we decided it was time we purchased our first pins for our lanyards. Now, pin trading is sort of something I have always thought I might do one day, but never really bothered to start. So Disney giving me a free lanyard was a very smart business decision on their part. I am now in love with pin trading. I am the type of person who gets very excited very easily. So when I decided what I wanted my first pins to be and began looking, it was so fun! The thought of finding that perfect pin that I have been looking for just sounds great to me. So anyway, for our first pin buying experience, we all decided that we needed pins of our favorite princess. I have always loved Cinderella - I know, boring, but I can't help how I feel - and A has always loved Aurora. Now that you have seen pictures of my mom do you know who she got? Snow White of course! She has black hair and pale skin and usually wears red lipstick. The first time we came to Disney World, actually, our waiter at some restaurant told her she should come work there as Snow White. She really looks like her.

After buying our new pins, we rode space mountain and by this time it a) started to rain a little and b) was time to get a good spot for the parade. So we just stood in the rain and waited. The parade came and went and was wonderful as always. We had ridden everything we wanted, but wanted to stick around for Wishes, so mom and A wanted to go get a dole whip. Mom remembered how good they were from times past apparently. Now, I had only heard about Dole Whips, so I thought, a couple of years ago on my podcasts from Dr. Scopa. I heard how great they were, and so I tried one a couple of years ago. I am not a big fan of ice cream honestly, so when I saw that it was just ice cream, I assumed it must be the Dole Whip float that everyone raved about. So I tried that. I thought, eh, not for me. Too much pineapple. So when they got a dole whip, I said no thanks. Plain ice cream can't be any better right? But then I took a bite just to see. Then I took another bite, and another, and soon I am in dole whip heaven! I now get it! It was a very happy moment.

After Dole Whips we staked out a place on Main Street and watched Wishes before the mad dash to the bus stop. I love fireworks, did I mention it? Here is a pic.



Sigh...so pretty.

Well, we were exhausted, as I am sure you must be from reading this ridiculously long post. So I will stop here and just let you know that tomorrow, coming up - MGM! And yes it was still MGM then so I can call it that for this trip report at least.
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:11 PM   #12
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I fall asleep in the Hall of Presidents too. I hate to say it but I have also fallen asleep in the American Adventure. I think it's like you said, your walking in a hot park and it is nice and cool in these dark theaters.
Great update!
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:23 PM   #13
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Day 4 - MGM

Well, I will just apologize ahead of time for having NO pictures for today. I am not sure if I just forgot my camera or what, but I just realized I have no pics of food or anything else for the fourth day of our trip.

I love MGM, I do, but does anyone else think they need some new stuff? I am very much looking forward to the Toy Story Mania, and Tower of Terror is my all time favorite ride, but you can only see Catastrophe Canyon and the same ol stunt shows so many times before you begin to yawn. And I don't know how many times I have heard rumors of the Great Movie ride getting an update, but boy oh boy it needs one. Alright, griping over with, and on with my day....

We get to MGM early and at rope drop head straight for TOT. I love this ride so much. I love the creepy factor, how creative it is, the special effects and I LOVE that free fall feeling. So we ride that, cry as we pass the closed for refurb Rock N Roller coaster, then head toward the Great Movie Ride. Like I said, this ride could use an update. Those animatronics are awful. I mean you would think this was built the same time period as It's A Small World! And this ride could be so great. I feel like one day they will update it and I will be very happy. Having said that, I would ride the entire thing just to see the movie collage at the end. I love it! The music from Gone With the Wind swells and its all over. Goosebumps, tears, I am mush.

From there we do the Narnia walk through and see the Little Mermaid. We then decide to eat at the ABC Commissary. This food was not good. I will not be eating here again. I had a hamburger and it was all I could do to take three bites. Even the fries were bad. I don't remember what A got, but it wasn't good either. We all three ended up eating my mom's lunch which was the veggie stir fry. It was actually pretty good.

At this point we decide there is really nothing else we want to do. Mom and A have seen Indiana Jones (that just goes to show how in need it is of an update!) and I think the Backlot tour is beyond boring and way too long. We all get motion sick so no Star Tours for us. We have an ADR at Mama Melrose's for dinner, so we decide to go to Downtown Disney for a while then come back for dinner and Fantasmic.

By the time we get to DTD it is pretty much pouring so we run as fast as we can to Wide World of Disney. We spend a lot of time in here, me especially trying to find my elusive pins. I am searching for Todd and Robin Hood and they are nowhere! It is fun to look, but frustrating when you can't find a single one. Oh well. We all buy a bunch of stuff, then we head back to MGM. We get back just in time for dinner at MMs, which I remember being quite delicious. I honestly could not tell you what we had because I have no pictures, but I definitely would eat there again. We are running late for Fantasmic and mom and A want coffee, so they run to get coffee while I stay and pay the bill. Haha, did I say pay? We don't PAY for food on this trip, we just hand over our Key to the World card and smile.

So we go to see Fantasmic! I love Fantasmic. I seriously would pay admission price to see it. I think it is amazing how they do the water effects. There is nothing else like it that I have seen. I always get excited to see people's reactions and they never disappoint. Mom and A thought it was so awesome. A said it was like a movie with the fire on the water and all. SO great.

After Fantasmic we headed back to the hotel and had some margaritas at the hot tub. Then it was off to bed to rest up for our last day. We were going to try to do Epcot in about 8 hours so we would need our energy!
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:18 AM   #14
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Day 5 - Epcot then Home

Sorry it has taken so long to finish this. This was our last day at the World and I was excited because I love Epcot, but sad to leave. We got up and headed to the food court at Coronado Springs. I hear people rave about it, but honestly I could barely eat mine. I got the omelet and fresh fruit. It didn't taste good. The eggs were like dry and crispy and the fruit did not taste good. Even the muffin wasn't very good. I would just say no to this food next time...

After that we headed out to Epcot. I headed to Soarin' to get us fastpasses and then met mom and A over at Test Track. The wait was already kind of long, but a very nice cast member had seen them waiting and gave them fastpasses anyway! Little pixie dust to start the day never hurts.

So we rode Test Track. I love when you go so fast on the outside part, except my hair is always in mats when I get off, but totally worth it!

After that it was off to Soarin. This ride is so great and I knew mom and A would love it. I just get chills from the music alone. I think this was moms favorite ride for the whole time. She wanted to ride it again so we got a fastpass for later. We pretty much headed straight to the world showcase after that. We had lunch reservations at Le Cellier at 2, so we started at Mexico. We rode Maelstrom then went to see when the next American Adventure started. I hadn't seen it in a long time and wanted to very badly. The next show was at like 1:30 and is what? like 45 minutes long? So we knew we couldn't stay the whole time, but we sat on the far end of the row close to the door and just left early. Kind of sad, but I will make a point of seeing it next time.

Lunch at Le Cellier was great. It was my second time eating there and I knew I had to have the cheddar soup. Last time I was here Le Cellier was booked, but they were nice enough to let us buy some soup to go. I have tried to duplicate it, but with no luck. It is so delicious. So I had the soup and a steak and mom and A had salads and sandwiches. After lunch was when A decided the bread sticks should be made in to finger extensions (see Day 2 of my post ).

We had to be back at the hotel at 4 to catch our Magical Express shuttle, but we had just enough time to squeeze in one last ride on Soarin. A great way to end the trip if you ask me. It is always sad to go, especially when you don't know when you will be back. I got to go twice last year, once the year before and this year I have no plans to go. The only thing keeping me going is that my husband and I are trying for a baby, so if everything works out, I am going on a 'first time away from the baby' trip around Oct/Nov of 2009 for Food and Wine festival. I haven't been to that yet and am dying to go.

Well, it has been great sharing my experiences with you all and I hope you enjoyed hearing about them. Until next time!!
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