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Old 08-19-2009, 03:21 PM   #76
Hawleys
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Yes, the Animation Studio is just great. DW says that when we go back in October (and maybe Jan!!), she want to look at the schedule of characters and draw 3 or 4 of her favorites.

More updates soon...
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:18 PM   #77
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Day 1: Saturday August 8th, Part 4--Medieval Times and more DCA

After we returned from the parks, we stopped at the front desk of the Hojo and asked for a cab to Medieval Times. I had planned to take the bus but DW has a chronic illness that was acting up and we needed some time to rest before leaving.

I have only great things to say about the staff at the Hojo. They got a cab for us on pretty short notice and they were always friendly. Once I got to the room, I realized that our box of food (for DWs medical diet) hadn't shown up. I called down to the desk again and they immediately confirmed that it had arrived and would be waiting for us when we came back from Medieval Times.

DW took a bath and B and I chilled for about 25 minutes. The front desk called and let us know the cab was ready. The cab turned out to be a town car which was a nice surprise. The cost was $25 each way.

Medieval Times was campy and schlocky and very loud and lots of fun. The MC (Lord Chancellor) was a total riot. His looks and delivery were so Bruce Campbell. The food was not gourmet but that was as expected. There was plenty to eat and we all enjoyed it after walking all over DCA. The knight "battles" were fun to watch with sparks jumping out when weapons clashed. DW had fun predicting who was going to win based on their weapons. (Here's a hint--should you be involved in knight battle, don't choose the axe.) Our towncar was waiting for us when we left the venue and took us back to the Entrance Plaza.



We had FPs for Soarin' from earlier in the day so we made our way over and got in line. Wait time was short. This was a brand new ride for DW and I and it lived up to expectations. A must see!

After Soarin', we were ready to watch the Electrical Parade. Poor B had been hoping for cotton candy but by 8:30pm, all the stands selling it had closed! He was a bit disappointed. The EP however, did not disappoint and we remembered the camera. Even though it was close to parade time, we were able to find a spot on the ground close to A Bug's Land. B sat behind one or two other kids and had a great view.






Last edited by Hawleys; 08-19-2009 at 10:27 PM. Reason: Pictures!
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:03 AM   #78
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Enjoying your report...looks like a great time so far...
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:36 PM   #79
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Enjoying your report...looks like a great time so far...
So glad you are enjoying it! We had a fantastic time thanks to all of you here on the Dis.
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:49 PM   #80
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Day 2: Sunday, August 9th, Part 1--The Wee Hours and Magic Morning

After dozing on and off for a few hours, I truly woke up in the wee hours on Sunday morning. Trip related insomnia strikes again! 3:30am found me reading National Geographic in the bathtub in a desperate attempt to relax enough to go sleep. I did fall asleep eventually but I was not rested on Sunday. So please forgive me if there are some very foggy patches in today's report.

I left the Hojo around 6:15am and was second in line at security and first in line an the entrance. DW and B joined me around 6:45am and we shared some granola bars and looked at the park map to pass the time until opening. We were all jazzed up to go in and had fun counting down. Then we booked it through the left side of the tunnel and off to Peter Pan. The we in the previous sentence is DW and I. After about 40 seconds of walking we realized that we had already way out paced our nephew. Poor nephew is not the type who enjoys getting up early or "walking with purpose" so there was some coaxing involved to get him up to a reasonable speed. At one point, I even offered to be Chewbacca to his C-3PO (i.e. piggyback) but the offer was declined. It felt like forever but we finally got to Peter Pan. I believe we were the second family to get on the ride. DN loved it which made me feel like less of a bad auntie for dragging him out of bed and making him walk so fast!

After PP we were off to the Matterhorn. First we rode the right side, then the left both with about a 3 minute wait. Group consensus named the left hand side as faster and more exciting. The plan had been to ride the Teacups next but there was no one in line and DW thought it would be more fun to ride with a group so we went on Alice (no line) instead. Then came out and rode the Teacups (no line but there were a few other people).





Staggered off the Teacups and immediately hopped onto Mr. Toad.

By this time it was close to 7:40am so we decided to head over to Buzz. Went the wrong way and wasted valuable time exploring Pixie Hollow (dead end). Rode Buzz and got creamed by DW despite cheating on the internet to find the hidden high value targets. Then over to Space at 7:57 where we waited until the FP machine turned on to grab a FP and then walked on the ride.

It was an awesome start to our day.

Last edited by Hawleys; 08-22-2009 at 12:17 AM. Reason: Pictures!
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Old 08-22-2009, 12:03 AM   #81
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Day 2: Sunday, August 9th, Part 2--After Magic Morning

After riding Space Mountain, we headed over to Star Tours which was a walk on. Fun ride but starting to seem a bit dated. I hope all the rumors about an updated film are true. Just for comparison, over the course of our 4 day trip, we went on Space Mountain six times. We only went on Star Tours once and B never requested another ride.

After Star Tours, we hurried B through the giftshop and booked it over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. BTMRR was B's favorite ride and our most ridden ride by the end of the trip with a grand total of seven rides.

After BTMRR, B was hungry so he and DW headed to New Orleans square for grub and I hustled over to Splash Mountain for fastpasses. I met up with the crew at Pieces of Eight. B told me that he and DW had "shared" a churro (breakfast of champions). Since B had really eaten the whole churro, we went and got two more to "share". One for me and one for DW.

Then on to the Haunted Mansion where we all sat in one Doom Buggy. I love the graveyard scene where the busts are singing. Does anyone know if the music was composed just for the attraction?

Post HM, B wanted to shop more so DW convinced him that we should check out the Pooh Corner. We bought a poncho for B to wear when we rode on Splash Mountain so that his road rash from the scooter accident would not get wet. B and DW shopped some more and I went to get another set of Splash fastpasses. I was denied by the FP machine and had to wait a few minutes until we were eligible. Back to Pooh Corner to find B and DW and take them to ride Pooh with me. I find this ride to just be so adorable, especially the part where Pooh dreams about the Heffalumps (sp?). B and DW were meh about the ride but B enjoyed posing with the honeypots.



Energy was starting to flag a bit by this time so we made our way to Pirates which is a nice long, sitting down and resting ride. We scored front of the boat seats for an awesome view and stuffed B in his poncho just in case. I'm sure the people behind us were not so happy with our last minute decision to put on the poncho. B has a giant head and we have no kids which meant there were arms in the head hole and a head the in arm holes and a kid complaining that we were suffocating him. While floating through the bayou, we pointed out the Blue Bayou dining room to B and told him that's where we were going to lunch.

Feeling refreshed after our pirate adventures, we caught a raft to Tom Sawyers Pirate Island for some scrambling around. I had never been before and we had a great time exploring all the caves. I had forgotten what I read on the Dis about the effects of touching things in Dead Man's Grotto (Bumbershoot warned me!) and we all got scared. We spent a good 45 minutes or more wandering around and losing each other in the caves and finding each other in the caves and sneaking up behind each other in the caves. Good times for all.

The Bone Cage


Pirate Treasure


Did you know that there is a map to the whole island in the treehouse? B had us take a picture with the iPhone and then we went to every place that was listed.



By this time, it was getting close to our 11:30am PS at the Blue Bayou. While we were waiting at the dock for the rafts, the Davy Crocket canoes went by. I pointed them out to DW as they had been recommended as a fun activity. She told me I was crazy and that there was NO WAY she was working while on vacation.

We made it to the restaurant around 11:20am and we were seated almost immediately at a waterside table. Score!

Next up: Blue Bayou review for DesertDwellers
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:51 AM   #82
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Great report. Love all the details. It looks like a fabulous trip.
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:03 AM   #83
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Great report. Love all the details. It looks like a fabulous trip.
Hey QueenDoOver! So glad you are reading along. I'll try to keep the details coming.
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Old 08-23-2009, 01:43 AM   #84
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Having so much fun reading your trip report. I agree with your wife - the canoes hold no interest for me. It's funny, BTMRR was probably our most frequented ride.

B looks like he was having a great time. What terrific memories you all made.

Looking forward to the Blue Bayou review. Thanks for looking out for me.

Last edited by Desert Dwellers; 08-23-2009 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:50 PM   #85
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Day 2: Sunday, August 9th, Part 3--Blue Bayou

Overall, our experience at the Blue Bayou was very positive. As many, many, many people have said, you can't beat the ambience. And for the record, we received excellent service. Polite, attentive (refilled drinks without asking), etc. The cost was exorbitant for the quality and presentation of the food. Was it worth it? Totally! Would we do it again? Maybe for dessert only but not for a whole meal.

The good stuff: We checked in at 11:20am for an 11:30am PS. I asked if we would have to wait for a waterside table and the hostess told us she would check and get back to us. We had barely gotten settled on a cushy bench and our name was called. We were seated at a waterside table. Sweet! The table was directly to the right of the server's station as you faced the water. In another nod to the good service, it was not a problem at all to be next to the server's station.

More good stuff: We were hungry and thirsty! Our drink order was taken right away and drinks and bread appeared in short order. We took turns going to the bathroom to wash our hands. The bathrooms were clean. I'm going to quote my DW here as she describes the bathrooms "They were clean and like, more accented than a regular bathroom."

Even more good stuff: The salad course was delicious. It was a chopped salad with greens, red peppers, cherry tomatoes (the pear shaped ones), cheese, sausage, thinly sliced onions and vinagrette. There was probably more stuff in the salad that I don't remember. Dressing was a bit heave so maybe request on the side. B's kid's meal came with crudite and dip. He ate the carrots but not the celery and declined an offer to share my salad.

The mediocre stuff: Our main courses were mediocre across the board. I had the crab cakes and they just didn't wow me. They didn't quite taste fresh enough; too much filling to really taste the crab. DW had the Monte Cristo and she enjoyed it but to quote her again "I realized I liked the concept of the Monte Cristo more than the actual Monte Cristo. It was a lot of fried on a lot of grease. You CAN have too much of a good thing". I also tried the Monte Cristo and it was yummy but very heavy with too much breading for my taste. Both Stephanie and I thought the potatoes that came as a side dish were delicious. I've never had potatoes prepared in quite this way. They were sort of scalloped but drier than I would expect for scalloped. But not dry in a dried out way, just not with sauce. But they had some kind of cheese that was so tasty. Anyway, B ordered the salmon and I think he has been spoiled by the salmon that his grandmother cooks for him in Seattle. After a couple bites he told us that salmon shouldn't be crunchy.

The fun stuff: Both B and I got a kick out of waving to people in the boats as they came by. We also saw some cast members walking about inside the bayou. Maybe repairing something? I love the lanterns that are strung up over the dining area. Where can I get these for my backyard?

The stuffed stuff: I had been hoping to try dessert but we were all too full to even think about it.

Next up: Battling the effects of insomnia...and losing

Last edited by Hawleys; 08-25-2009 at 11:56 PM. Reason: Because I will never learn to spell.
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:59 AM   #86
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A great TR! Looking forward to your further installments.
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:34 PM   #87
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(I tried posting from my iPod, but DIS booted me out when I hit submit reply. I'll try again.)

Sigh, I'm wanting very badly to go back to DL during our Fall or Winter break, but it's just not feasible. Reading your trip report only increases my DL jonesing. So I'll occupy myself until next summer making my "absolutely, must-do, no excuses" list. My son already had Blue Bayou on his list, now I'm certain next trip I will be sitting waterside. I don't even care about the food, I just want to wave at the boats.

Too bad about the insomnia. I can never sleep well in hotels, either. It's getting better now that the kids are older. When they were little, every time they stirred, I'd bolt awake, worried they would fall out of the big hotel bed. (It's happened.) My daughter also grinds her teeth. I can't hear her at home, but in the same room? Yikes.
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Old 08-27-2009, 08:42 AM   #88
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(I tried posting from my iPod, but DIS booted me out when I hit submit reply. I'll try again.)

Sigh, I'm wanting very badly to go back to DL during our Fall or Winter break, but it's just not feasible. Reading your trip report only increases my DL jonesing. So I'll occupy myself until next summer making my "absolutely, must-do, no excuses" list. My son already had Blue Bayou on his list, now I'm certain next trip I will be sitting waterside. I don't even care about the food, I just want to wave at the boats.

Too bad about the insomnia. I can never sleep well in hotels, either. It's getting better now that the kids are older. When they were little, every time they stirred, I'd bolt awake, worried they would fall out of the big hotel bed. (It's happened.) My daughter also grinds her teeth. I can't hear her at home, but in the same room? Yikes.
The food wasn't bad, it was just really expensive. But it was so cool to actually be IN the ride. If I'm in the boats when you are there, I will wave back. You and your son are going to enjoy it.

The insomnia kills me. Part of what makes it frustrating is that I KNOW that I should be sleeping and that I will enjoy my vacation more if I am sleeping. I totally agree with you about having trouble sleeping in hotels. The worst is staying with my Dad. He snores so loudly.
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Old 08-28-2009, 04:52 PM   #89
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I'm really enjoying your TR.
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Disneynerd420's January 2010 Birthday trip report!!! http://disboards.com/showthread.php?...1#post35194091
2 Guys, a Mom and The Mouse. Sept '09 (A disneynerd420 Trip report) PIC INTENSIVE! http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2268157
Check out my June 5th through the 10th 2009 trip report! http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2203536
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:23 AM   #90
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I'm really enjoying your TR.
Thanks disneynerd420! I wish that I had as many great pictures as you do. Next trip I will be more vigilant with the camera.

I need to get cracking on some new installments. Work has been busy and our tenant is moving out which means we have been spending time showing our rental unit and doing credit checks. Boring but necessary. Updates coming soon!
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