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Old 03-12-2009, 08:01 AM   #46
TeresaNJ

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Hi blestmom! Just checking in to see if there's any new stuff yet. While normally desserts don't excite me, I love chocolate croissants, and have been dreaming of one for days now. Your pic got me daydreaming again.
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Old 03-12-2009, 03:27 PM   #47
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The chocolate croissants were wonderful!

I should have a new update today. Thanks for stopping by!
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:31 PM   #48
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Day 5: “Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me…!”

What better place to spend your birthday than Walt Disney World. And Animal Kingdom at that…whoo hoo! We started off by picking up my Celebration birthday button, and gift card. Oh yeah…$75 to spend on something fun for me.




I so love Animal Kingdom. It is exciting, and yet relaxing, over there. I don’t know if any of that makes sense, but it has become my favorite park.

Right off, we went over to Expedition: Everest. It is so much fun…we rode it twice, and would have ridden it again and again, except we thought we’d would explore the rest of the park too.





We also went to see the “Finding Nemo” show. We didn’t get to see it last time, as it was closed the day we were there. So this was exciting to see something new. We really liked it. It was a very well-done show, very much Broadway-like.



We went over to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. We got to see a lot of characters.







By this time we were getting hungry, so we headed over to Pizzafari for lunch. Mmm…it was really good…and as you can see, not at all crowded.





We then went of Kilimanjaro Safari. I could ride that over and over and over…each time it is different. I find it fun to try to get good photographs no matter where you are sitting on the bus.








One of the nicest things at Animal Kingdom is just walking around and taking in the scenery.





We got to see “DeVine” and she was amazing.







We also saw “It’s Tough to be a Bug.” We really enjoyed looking at the beautiful animal wood carvings in the Tree of Life.





We went to see “Flights of Wonder” and enjoyed it as always.



Then it was time to go shopping with my birthday gift card. That was SO fun! I got a really cute Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, and a pair of birthstone Mickey Mouse earrings. Whenever I wear them at home now, it brings me back to what a fun birthday I had at WDW’s Animal Kingdom.

By this time, it had started to rain. The parade was cancelled, so we decided to head back to the hotel. “Princess” wanted to get access to the internet for awhile, so we left here at POP and the younger two and I headed over to Downtown Disney to get a Ghirardelli hot chocolate. “Princess” grabbed some dinner at POP, while the younger two and I grabbed a sandwich at Earl of Sandwich in DTD.

We went back to the hotel, and explored around a bit more.



We saw the unfinished buildings over at POP…too bad they weren’t completed…it would be really neat to see the theming from the legendary years (1900-1940).





The younger kids swam for a bit, and we relaxed in the hotel.

A hotel tip: The shoe organizer bag worked great at this hotel to keep little things organized and off of the vanity/sink area…a great tip found here at the DIS!



Tomorrow: “What do you have against cheese? Did the cheese harm you in any way?”
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Old 03-12-2009, 06:10 PM   #49
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wonderful!

animal kingdom quickly turned into my favorite park, but i have NEVER managed to get photos anywhere near the beauty of yours. the giraffe, hefalumps, and eagle are stunning.
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Old 03-12-2009, 06:21 PM   #50
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Subbing to yet another trip report!!
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Old 03-12-2009, 07:28 PM   #51
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I am so jealous of your safari pics! Mine are mostly the scene past the animal. I had a really hard time looking through my zoom, too - the CM would say there was a giraffe on the right, I would look right at the giraffe then look through my zoom only to lose it! By the time I figured out where it was, we had driven past it!

All that to say, any tips for this novice here?
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:02 PM   #52
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Great report. Just found it today and am all caught up now. Burrrr Alaska is cold but beautiful. Hope to read more soon and I'll leave you with a taste of spring.

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Old 03-13-2009, 09:46 AM   #53
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Animal Kingdom is one of my favorite parks too! When I worked for DVC I was frequently scheduled at Animal Kingdom, and as I would walk into the park listening to the music and looking at the beautiful foliage, I'd always think how lucky I was to work there. How on earth did you get such great pics on the safari and of the eagle at Flights of Wonder?
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:47 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckylady View Post
Great report. Just found it today and am all caught up now. Burrrr Alaska is cold but beautiful. Hope to read more soon and I'll leave you with a taste of spring.

Beautiful pics!
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:18 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debbieandroo View Post
I am so jealous of your safari pics! Mine are mostly the scene past the animal. I had a really hard time looking through my zoom, too - the CM would say there was a giraffe on the right, I would look right at the giraffe then look through my zoom only to lose it! By the time I figured out where it was, we had driven past it!

All that to say, any tips for this novice here?
I put my camera on automatic, and continuous focus. (Our first safari trip, all my pictures turned out blurry and I was so bummed. Seems I had bumped my camera and accidentally set it to manual focus...no wonder they were so bad!)

Sitting in the back row can sometimes help. You have the opportunity to turn around and keep shooting even as you're driving off. I just happened to get the back row for this set of pictures. But on other safari trips, I just sat wherever, and got some great ones there too, so

Quote:
Originally Posted by luckylady View Post
Great report. Just found it today and am all caught up now. Burrrr Alaska is cold but beautiful. Hope to read more soon and I'll leave you with a taste of spring.

Thanks for the pictures of spring...it looks beautiful where you are. We've got a ways to go before spring reaches us up here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeresaNJ View Post
Animal Kingdom is one of my favorite parks too! When I worked for DVC I was frequently scheduled at Animal Kingdom, and as I would walk into the park listening to the music and looking at the beautiful foliage, I'd always think how lucky I was to work there.
Oh, that sounds so nice! I just love the music, the green, the animals...then whole atmosphere. Love, love, love it!!

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How on earth did you get such great pics on the safari and of the eagle at Flights of Wonder?
Well, those are the 'best' of the ones I took, and I did some cropping and such on the computer, too. I'm just not showing you the hundred or so that didn't turn out...

Thanks for reading my report!
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:04 AM   #56
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i'm so glad to see others had "challenges" getting good pictures on the safari....blestmom, yours are stunning and i think would make gorgeous greeting cards and should be in frames! the one time i attempted photos on that ride, i'd only get other people's noses, so i gave up.
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:20 PM   #57
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Great TR so far! I'm really enjoying it and I've decided to jump in and join the fun.

And, I must second (or third or fourth) that your pictures ARE beautiful.
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Old 03-14-2009, 03:29 PM   #58
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I'm in! Your trip sounds amazing so far
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:39 PM   #59
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Day 6: “What do you have against cheese? Did the cheese harm you in any way?”

So yesterday was “my” day. I got my birthday button, my gift card, and everywhere I went, people were wishing me a happy birthday. I loved it! Just hearing a “Happy Birthday, Deb!” made my day. They must have really been prepping the cast members, because I had cast members shout it from across the walkway. It was really fun.

Disney cast members are the best…seriously! I saw them do so many nice and fun things for guests…they really make the trip for me.

My kids also got buttons, saying they were celebrating, but it wasn’t the “It’s my birthday” button. It just said “I’m celebrating” and then it leaves a space for you to write something if you want. After a day, “Princess” decided to write something on hers. Here is what she wrote…



It led to a lot of strange stares, and a great interaction with a Jungle Cruise skipper (more on that in a minute)…

Since we haven’t slept in one day yet, and we’ve got a ways to go, we did decide to sleep in and head to the parks a little later. We had our one and only breakfast at the hotel. It was good, but we just aren’t big breakfast people. At home we are, but on a WDW vacation, we just like to grab a quick bar or muffin or something, and head on out.

The crowds were really low today. It had rained a bit in the morning, and it was cold.



Lines for rides were short...











All in all, it was a pretty relaxing day. We started off by seeing the Pirate Tutorial. Now two years ago, “Mr. Energy” got chosen not only to be in the show, but also to fight Captain Jack Sparrow himself. Amazing how much kids grow in two years, because he was way too big to be considered for this kind of thing now. The kids they chose were very young, and really funny! One kid didn’t speak English, and good old Captain Jack just jumped right in and spoke to him in Spanish. I thought that was cool.







Meeting Captain Hook and Mr. Smee…



And a quick ride on Pirates of the Caribbean...



We then went on the Jungle Cruise. We had a fantastic skipper who was really funny. Her name was Sarah, and she was great!



She saw my daughter’s button, and asked her, “What do you have against cheese? Did the cheese harm you in some way?” She kept at it the whole time. She also had what “Princess” thought was the best line in any ride…she said she was going to give us some advice…if you crawl out your window at night to go have fun with your friends, and use your parent’s car, just make sure to turn the radio station back to country, oldies, or talk radio.

"Aw, look at the lions babysitting that zebra..."





Rode Splash Mountain again, now that “Mr. Energy” likes the ride…







As well as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad…



No trip to Disney is complete with a trip or two to Casey’s so off we went. We took the food to eat over at the Tomorrowland Noodle Station. The seagulls were hard to keep away from our food!



But we had a great view of the castle...



We took a ride on the Liberty Riverboat. There are so many scenic things there that can be overlooked…







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Old 03-14-2009, 06:43 PM   #60
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Day 6: “What do you have against cheese? Did the cheese harm you in any way?” (part 2)

We rode Haunted Mansion again. I don’t really like creepy stuff, but the ride itself is so well done.



In honor of the kids’ grandmother, we did go see Country Bears one time.





We also spent some time over at Tom Sawyer’s Island. It’s so pretty and relaxing over there.







I think it’s cool to try to get some shots of attractions from a different perspective over on Tom Sawyer's Island...





We rode Dumbo (even though we were the only party without little kids)…



The Tomorrowland Speedway…



Tomorrowland Transit Authority (always called the People Mover in our family)...



And explored Mickey’s House at Mickey’s Toontown Fair.



We also went on the Teacups…





The evening was spent walking through the park and enjoying the beautiful surroundings.







So, nothing big or major today. But it was a perfect day at the Magic Kingdom, and that in itself is spectacular.

Tomorrow: “Mom…please…stop!”
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