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Old 12-14-2009, 01:13 PM   #1
Angrypenguin
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A Christmas Processional TR, 11/30/09-12/4/09 at AKL. 12/28 Chefs De France!

Hello! My name’s Kevin, and I’m a Disaholic.

I figured that I should preface with that statement, although it seems I’d be preaching to the choir considering the audience here on the DIS. My wife and I enjoyed a lovely trip at AKL the week after Thanksgiving, and I felt the need to document this great experience with you all. We saw lights, we saw trees, we saw Steven Curtis Chapman singing with tweens. We really needed this trip due to all the stressful events of life these past few months, but first a little background.

Cast:
My lovely DW, Julie (25). A wonderful woman by all accounts, she’s put up with me and my incessant whining these past few months .


Me:
An engineer by day, Batman by night, I slay evil doers in the heart of Texas with my fearsome scowl. I also love to take pictures. Seen here.

I think it’s my big teeth that strike terror into the hearts of men.

(By the way, wedding photos and our wedding trip report can be found in my signature. I know, I’m a shameless self promoter. Don’t hate me because I’m nerdy.)

My wife and I are newlyweds, having married at everyone’s favorite place at the Wedding Pavilion at the GF back in March. Since then, are lives have taken an interesting turn. After being discouraged by the high real estate prices in beautiful and wondrous Southern California, we decided to do a 180 turn and take company transfers to try out Dallas, TX. Well, needless to say, we (and by we, I mean me) are having adjustment issues, and between leaving our home, moving, and buying a new house (HUGE! 4300 sq ft. house? Can’t get that in SoCal), I booked us a trip semi-last minute (about 6 weeks in advance) to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for the week after Thanksgiving. We love the World so much that we’d marry it if we could, but settled for getting married at it instead.

We’d never been to WDW during the holiday season, so we were eager to see all the lights and decorations and experience all the fun filled holiday events that Disney could offer.

We left Dallas on a stupidly cold Monday morning (11/30), and soon enough landed at MCO. I believe it was 28 degrees when we left. 28 degrees! I know, we’re originally from Michigan, so 28 shouldn’t be a big deal, but the past five years in Southern California have thinned out my blood and turned me into a left-leaning-California-hippie-wimp, so I’m still trying to get used to teeth chattering cold.

Anyways, being the Disney vets that we seem to have become, we glided through the terminals and found ourselves seated at the front of the ME bus with a heavily accented bus driver. Now, we’ve taken 4 trips in the past 2 ˝ years to Disney, and I think 3 out of those 4 trips we’ve had bus drivers who hardly speak intelligible English. God Bless them, they try hard, but when I listen to them I spend half my time wondering if they’re asking people to cheer because we’re at WDW or if they’re informing us about undertaking safety precautions in case of catastrophe. So, not willing to take any chances, every time when the bus driver came on for an announcement, I cheered for Disney World while taking note of the exit doors and throwing myself on top of my wife to shield her from the bomb blasts that may or may not be happening.

Anyways, we arrived at AKL Jambo House without too much trouble, checked in, and took in the great view we had. When we booked, we had always wanted to stay at AKL but only if we got a Savannah View. Luckily, we got some good AP rates for the week after Christmas, and got bunk beds to boot.


Our view:




Our room:


It was still early afternoon, and the only thing we had planned for that evening was dinner at BOMA. So we grabbed a quick lunch at Mara and headed over to AK! A few pics:

Tree in front of the Animal Kingdom


Look how small the Tree of Life shrank! It’s okay, I’m used to shrinkage.


Ahh, the view.


Next installment: I’ve ridden EE a bazillion times. Why this time was more terrifying than all the others.
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Last edited by Angrypenguin; 12-28-2009 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:03 PM   #2
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By the way, I can't think of anything catchy for a title...any suggestions?
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New 2013 Alaskan pics Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4

Wedding pics here, here, and here

Disney World pictures here and here and here


My flickr: www.flickr.com/kevinkyen
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:21 PM   #3
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I'm in! You and your wife are just the cutest couple ever.

I often say that trip reports and pictures are what keep me sane until my next Disney trip. Thanks for your contribution to my sanity.

Looking forward to reading more!


Lisa
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Old 12-14-2009, 03:45 PM   #4
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ooo, we got in on the same day and I too left under 30 degree weahter! Ugh!

We spent the week at the WL, I'm anxious to see how your week at the AKL was!
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Old 12-14-2009, 04:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeystoontown View Post
I'm in! You and your wife are just the cutest couple ever.

I often say that trip reports and pictures are what keep me sane until my next Disney trip. Thanks for your contribution to my sanity.

Looking forward to reading more!


Lisa
Thanks for joining, Lisa! I always do what I can to help people stay sane

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneychix View Post
ooo, we got in on the same day and I too left under 30 degree weahter! Ugh!

We spent the week at the WL, I'm anxious to see how your week at the AKL was!
Welcome, Disneychix! We really enjoyed AKL. Despite some minor annoyances (not being on the monorail being the biggest), I think that we'll strongly consider staying there again.
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New 2013 Alaskan pics Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4

Wedding pics here, here, and here

Disney World pictures here and here and here


My flickr: www.flickr.com/kevinkyen
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:38 AM   #6
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Great start!
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:42 AM   #7
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What a great way to start a TR, you really hooked me in!

Your pictures are fantastic. I'm in!
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by praisehisname View Post
Great start!
Thank you! I hope you hang around, and that I don't do anything to scare you away

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer48 View Post
What a great way to start a TR, you really hooked me in!

Your pictures are fantastic. I'm in!
Thanks Jennifer, I appreciate it!

Hopefully have an update tonight or tomorrow morning!
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New 2013 Alaskan pics Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4

Wedding pics here, here, and here

Disney World pictures here and here and here


My flickr: www.flickr.com/kevinkyen
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:35 PM   #9
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On previous trips, we’ve never given the Animal Kingdom it’s fair shake. Sure, we enjoy it, we walk around, look at a few things, ride the safari and Expedition Everest, then call it a day and head over to Epcot or to the Magic Kingdom. This time, we were determined to spend a good amount of time walking the trails and seeing all the actual animals that Animal Kingdom has to offer.

So we spent some time taking in the atmosphere, and came across a few animals such as these guys:


This guy was picking on his poor buddy, it kept look like he was pecking inside his ear.


Somehow my boss was at the park, too! I didn’t expect to see him there.


Of course, the park was all decorated for Christmas.


Now, I was hankering to hop on Expedition Everest, and after some pleading and whining on my park, I got my lovely wife to agree to go on with me. This time, I really wanted to take some pictures DURING Expedition Everest instead of just taking pictures OF it. We breezed through the line (only 5 minute wait, which really just means walk all the way through).

For those of you wondering, I do have some pretty decent camera equipment, and I was terrified of having 2500 dollars worth of camera equipment come crashing to the ground from the top of EE. I looped the neck strap around my neck cross-wise, then looped it a couple times around my arm to make sure I had a firm trip on everything. Needless to say, I was relatively happy with the results:
On the way up:




A view over Asia:



A beautiful view of the sky, and the dolphin. Oh, and of my wife!



Oh no, what happened to the track??



Flying around a corner



The pic of us on EE. Notice me clutching the camera for dear life.


Since we were in Asia, we went for a look at the tigers and the ruins.





Unforunately, we were getting toward park closing, so we ran to the last showing of The Lion King and snuck in a couple minutes late. Always a great show!


.

More to come…..
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New 2013 Alaskan pics Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4

Wedding pics here, here, and here

Disney World pictures here and here and here


My flickr: www.flickr.com/kevinkyen
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:41 PM   #10
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Good for you taking the time to really appreciate Animal Kingdom. It's not the typical theme park and that's what I have to keep telling my husband who would rather just see the major attractions and leave.

You were able to take some awesome pictures on Expedition Everest. I'm too busy hanging on for dear life. Forget taking pictures.
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:26 AM   #11
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Jumping on for the ride!

Excellent, excellent shots Kevin! I hear you on taking pictures on EE. I tried it once during our September trip and just about knocked myself out with my gear.

Can't wait to see more!
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:49 AM   #12
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Great pics!
Can't wait to read more
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:33 AM   #13
Jennifer48
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AK is an underrated park in my opinion. There is so much detail to look at. I'm glad you were able to stop and look around a bit more.

To say your pictures of EE are fabulous is an understatement!
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeystoontown View Post
Good for you taking the time to really appreciate Animal Kingdom. It's not the typical theme park and that's what I have to keep telling my husband who would rather just see the major attractions and leave.

You were able to take some awesome pictures on Expedition Everest. I'm too busy hanging on for dear life. Forget taking pictures.
Hi mickey! Thanks for the comments. I agree, I think since we've been blessed to go to WDW enough times, it allowed us to be leisurely in AK. Too often we're running from one big attraction to the next.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd_H View Post
Jumping on for the ride!

Excellent, excellent shots Kevin! I hear you on taking pictures on EE. I tried it once during our September trip and just about knocked myself out with my gear.

Can't wait to see more!
Hi Todd! I was browsing through your Flickr the other day, it's amazing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessCaitlin View Post
Great pics!
Can't wait to read more
Thanks PrincessCaitlin! I hope you stick around

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer48 View Post
AK is an underrated park in my opinion. There is so much detail to look at. I'm glad you were able to stop and look around a bit more.

To say your pictures of EE are fabulous is an understatement!
Thank you!
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New 2013 Alaskan pics Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4

Wedding pics here, here, and here

Disney World pictures here and here and here


My flickr: www.flickr.com/kevinkyen
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:31 AM   #15
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Since this was still day 1, and I knew we wouldn’t be in the mood to be bouncing from bus to bus (or bus to monorail) to get dinner, I had made plans for Boma that evening. We love Boma, so much that we even had our rehearsal dinner there, and after a couple plates of the rib roast, potatoes, and whatever else was available, my lovely wife rolled me out of the restaurant and back to our room to turn in for the evening.

We had decided to do kind of a “backwards” trip this time around. Usually we always end up hitting Epcot first, followed by the MK, AK, and then Hollywood studios, but we were feeling rebellious and decided to hit AK first. Today, we were going do to Hollywood studios, another park we usually just run through fairly quickly.

Once again, massive tree out front!


It’s a blast seeing all the holiday accessories for sale!


Crawling around under the hat


My wife loves RnR, so we grabbed some fastpasses for that and ran back to get in line for Toy Story Mania.

Now, I love TSM, but I can never seem to score as high as I’d like. Plus, by the time the last game comes around, my arm is about to fall off because I feel like I’ve been punching someone nonstop for 5 minutes. Anyone have a good strategy on how to get a high score, but at the same time, pace yourself so you don’t feel like you just went nine round with Mike Tyson?

The afternoon progressed, and we had an early dinner reservation at Chefs De France in Epcot, so we made our way to the ferry to take the boat to Epcot. I’m sorry for the short (and somewhat bland) entry this time, but I promise I’ll make it up!

Up next: I don’t recommend taking the ferry, and how we got lost walking back to Hollywood Studios from Epcot. And thank goodness we did, otherwise I would’ve missed this shot:

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New 2013 Alaskan pics Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4

Wedding pics here, here, and here

Disney World pictures here and here and here


My flickr: www.flickr.com/kevinkyen
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