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Old 05-30-2010, 06:00 PM   #1
Quacktatty
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A Solo Flower and Garden Trip: 5/2 to 5/7 @ POFQ - Updated 7/5

Hi All,

Welcome to my 4th trip report. This is my 4th solo trip and my 2nd trip as an AP holder. I'm going to skip the typical intros and get right to the trip report. If you have a strong desire to delve into my past, I think my past 3 reports will give you enough info!

This trip was in honor of Flower and Garden (although I did less of that than I thought). It was a shorter than usual trip for me, but it was my "budget" trip thanks to a great AP rate on my room at POFQ, a free flight courtesy of credit card points, not having to buy tickets thanks to my AP and getting discounts on food with Tables in Wonderland.

Day 1, Part 1 -

Day 1 started much like any other day 1. I was up at the crack of dawn, actually before it. My flight was at 5:45am which is far too early if you ask me, but it SHOULD have gotten me to Orlando early. Should being the key word of course...

The flight from PVD to ATL was relatively uneventful. I was in the exit row and there was an empty seat between me and the window seat person. That's because I'm a professional at willing people away from boarding at the last minute and taking the middle seat. I had my Dunkin Donuts from the airport with me so I was full and happy. We landed early and I had plenty of time to go from Terminal B to Terminal E in Atlanta.

Boarding was quick, but the plane was HOT. The flight was very full (no willing away middle seaters this time) and it seemed like there was no air moving at all. Then came the waiting game...we took off almost an hour late. This was thanks to our pilots being delayed in Detroit getting to Atlanta, then a crazy line for take off. At 10:45 we were #12 in line for take off in 15 minutes. Then 15 minutes later we were #6 in line for take off in 15 minutes. Errr? Luckily, we made good time in the air and landed only about 20 minutes late.

Since I was renting a car, not using Magical Express, I went to baggage claim for my luggage. The bags were slow, but my suitcase came out soon enough. By now it was 12:30 - I should have already been in a park - argh!!! Instead, I still had to get my rental car and make my way to WDW. The rental car pickup was quick, I didn't have to do anything inside, instead I went right to the garage because I'm a Dollar Express member (try not to be jealous).

In about 25 minutes and a few dollars in tolls later I was driving under this



I considered going straight to a park, but I thought it would be better to get my Key to the World first. I also hadn't decided where I'd go, so POFQ it was. I had used the online check-in which asks you when you think you'll be arriving, I think they use this to prioritize who to give the ready rooms to. Both times I have used the online check-in I arrived around 12/1pm and my room was ready. I got building 1, just a regular room, but I had an around the corner view of the Sassagoula River. It was a quiet and lovely location. I was close to the parking lot too - bonus!

I always forget to get clean pictures of the rooms, so I made sure I did this time around





I did a quick drop of all my junk and slathered myself in sunscreen and headed off to my first park..
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Previous Trips: DL and WDW numerous times on and off-site as a child, 1999 High School trip to WDW, played on stage at Cosmic Ray's and in DTD. 3/03 - 1 Day in MK, 10/03 - ASMovies, 1/07 - 7 nights POFQ, 9/08 - 6 nights AKL, 10/09 - 10 nights POP/AKL, 5/10 - 5 nights POFQ, 10/10 - 7 nights AKL, 11/11 - 5 nights DLR (HoJo)

Trip Reports: May 2010, October 2009, September 2008, January 2007

Dining Reviews:October 2010, May 2010, October 2009, September 2008


Last edited by Quacktatty; 07-05-2010 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 05-30-2010, 06:22 PM   #2
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Day 1, Part 2

I started my trip like I do so many others, at Animal Kingdom. There are a lot of things that draw me to this park, especially well, the animals. It's also a great picture taking park.

My first stop was lunch at Flame Tree BBQ. It was a great meal to kick off the trip. I sat in my favorite location by the water and enjoyed my view.



After eating headed to Africa



One ride is never enough so I got a fastpass and then stood in the standby line. The line wasn't long at all and soon enough I was on a truck.



It was a good day for animal watching, lots of giraffes out and about and I even saw a white rhino up and walking around - a rarity.





Hello again my favorite safari stars!



I didn't expect to stay at AK for too long so I wanted to get in all the big things. From Africa, I walked to Asia to do EE. The single rider line came through again with about a 5 minute wait.





I had wanted to catch the Nemo show which I thought was at 3:30 so I ran to Dinoland where I discovered I was too late. The show actually started at 3:15 so I was really late.

Dinosaur was basically a walk-on so I did that. I always manage to be the first out of the pre-show room and many many feet ahead of those behind me in line. I guess you could say that I'm a professional pre-show exiter!



I wanted to get to Africa to use my fastpass but I got paraded. They wouldn't let me over the bridge to Africa. I got as close as I could and then figured I'd just sit back and take some photos. I didn't really have another option.











Finally, the parade was over and I could start towards KS. It was like swimming upstream. EVERYBODY was leaving the park and I was trying through the mass of people coming towards me. I stuck close behind some CMs who were doing post parade clean up and made it through unscathed.

KS was a walk-on, I didn't bother using my FP. It was another good ride as all the animals were getting ready to wind up their days.







Both lions were awake - something you very rarely see





There was a 4:45 Nemo show that I wanted to see so I walked alllllll the way back around to the Theater in the Wild. The show was just OK, but I was glad that I saw it at least once this trip.



I left the park immediately following the show, since nothing else was open and the park was officially closed, and by 5:30 was on the road to my next destination.
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Previous Trips: DL and WDW numerous times on and off-site as a child, 1999 High School trip to WDW, played on stage at Cosmic Ray's and in DTD. 3/03 - 1 Day in MK, 10/03 - ASMovies, 1/07 - 7 nights POFQ, 9/08 - 6 nights AKL, 10/09 - 10 nights POP/AKL, 5/10 - 5 nights POFQ, 10/10 - 7 nights AKL, 11/11 - 5 nights DLR (HoJo)

Trip Reports: May 2010, October 2009, September 2008, January 2007

Dining Reviews:October 2010, May 2010, October 2009, September 2008

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Old 05-30-2010, 09:49 PM   #3
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I love to read people's solo reports! We were there from the 1st-5th and at AK on the 2nd, too! Hot hot hot.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by appleorchard View Post
I love to read people's solo reports! We were there from the 1st-5th and at AK on the 2nd, too! Hot hot hot.
That whole week was MUCH hotter than I was expecting it to be! This was my first trip in the spring, I underestimated the weather, that's for sure.
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Previous Trips: DL and WDW numerous times on and off-site as a child, 1999 High School trip to WDW, played on stage at Cosmic Ray's and in DTD. 3/03 - 1 Day in MK, 10/03 - ASMovies, 1/07 - 7 nights POFQ, 9/08 - 6 nights AKL, 10/09 - 10 nights POP/AKL, 5/10 - 5 nights POFQ, 10/10 - 7 nights AKL, 11/11 - 5 nights DLR (HoJo)

Trip Reports: May 2010, October 2009, September 2008, January 2007

Dining Reviews:October 2010, May 2010, October 2009, September 2008

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Old 05-31-2010, 11:21 AM   #5
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Day 1, Part 3

Renting a car has become the new way of life for me at WDW. I was very resistant to it at first, but I'm totally sold now. Just the ease of getting from park to park is worth it, but add in the time saved getting back from late dinners and how often times first thing in the morning the parking spots are closer than the bus stops, I'm convinced.

Anyway - enough of that...on to the stuff you are really here for.

I decided that I wanted to end my night at Magic Kingdom, but needed a quick Epcot fix before hand. Instead of driving from Epcot to the TTC, I decided to cut out the middle man and just park at the TTC.







Monorail Lime was waiting for me at the station, so I hopped on and it was off to Epcot. I was hoping for the Tron-o-Rail, but I must have missed it.

There wasn't too much that I wanted to do in Epcot, but a few things were a must. Number one was Spaceship Earth. It doesn't matter how many times I go to Epcot in a trip but SSE is the one ride that I must do at least once each time I'm there. I've ridden it so many times now that at the end, I just start to get silly and pick things I'm not really interested in like Health or Leaving the House



I also did Sum of All Thrills in Innoventions. My goal was to get the top score - 1278 - thanks to a tip from my favorite fellow Mensan, Len Testa. Unfortunately, apparently Len is in the 99.9% and I'm only in the 98% because I couldn't figure it out. I ended up only getting 1,000, but I enjoyed myself nonetheless.

I figured that was enough for the first day, so I started back towards the Monorail to Magic Kingdom. There was barely any waiting for a Monorail back to the TTC - always good. Instead of taking another monorail to MK, I figured I'd take the Ferry. In the long run, this was a more wait option, but I kind of liked relaxing a bit. The other bonus was that there was barely anybody on the ferry, making it extra relaxing!





Since it was an evening EMH day, bag check was packed. The park was crowded too. Well, crowded for me anyway - probably not crowded compared to any busy time of the year.



I was most amazed at the number of people who were already sitting on Main St. for a Spectromagic parade that didn't even start until 9pm. I've never seen Spectro, so I guess I don't get the draw. I certainly wouldn't wait 2 hours for it, or really for anything (except Robert Irvine which I did at Food and Wine last year )

I had dinner at Casey's. The outside tables were totally full so I ended up sitting inside on the bleachers and watched some cartoons. Sitting inside was good since it was hot, but getting in and out of those things is not so easy. I ended up sitting down and then getting surrounded by other people who obviously started eating after me. I felt rude standing up and walking over there food to get out, but I guess I had no choice.

Tomorrowland was calling my name, my favorite place in the MK. First things first, I grabbed a Fastpass for Buzz. Buzz is like SSE - no matter what, it must be ridden while in MK. I had a little bit of time before the FP would be ready, so to the TTA I went! The TTA is the best way to relax, people watch, check Tomorrowland wait times, have a snack, etc. I wrote a little bit in my note book, checked out the Space Mountain line, and in general, had a good time.

Obligatory feet picture



I still had a little bit more time before my FP was ready for Buzz, so I ended up doing the TTA again. Before I went though, I got myself a Cream Cheese Pretzel from the Lunching Pad. Since the official rule is "no food" on the TTA, I put it in my backpack for loading and then waited until I was around the first turn away from the CMs before pulling it out and snacking. I'm sneaky....

It wasn't time for my Buzz FP yet, but the standby line was reasonable, so I took advantage and did Buzz twice - once standby and once with the FP. My first time is usually pretty bad, but I feel like I had a good round first score.





Space Mountain was on my list of things that I wanted to do, but I never made it. The standby line was 70 minutes and FPs were gone by 8:30. Another thing for another day. I wasn't feeling quite done, so I went for one more ride on the TTA.

A little bit after 9pm I was feeling beyond tired and decided to leave. I guess being up since 3:30am was catching up with me! I wanted to be at rope drop the next day so I needed to get to sleep soon. It was kind of tough to get out through the Spectro crowds, but I weaved through the stores and made it out. I did stop at the Main St. Bakery for a cheese danish for breakfast the next morning.

I took the Ferry back to the TTC and was back to POFQ by about 10pm. I took a short walk to the food court (love small resorts!) and picked up an OJ for the morning and a sprite for a drink before bed. I didn't get a refillable mug this trip which I think was a good idea. I have Tables in Wonderland so I got a 20% discount at the food court and didn't get too many drinks that would have been usable with the mug. Plus, I have too many mugs at home and there is no room left in my cabinet. Until there is a new style mug, I probably won't be getting another one.

I called for a wake up call and then turned on the TV and went to sleep. And sleep I did.
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Previous Trips: DL and WDW numerous times on and off-site as a child, 1999 High School trip to WDW, played on stage at Cosmic Ray's and in DTD. 3/03 - 1 Day in MK, 10/03 - ASMovies, 1/07 - 7 nights POFQ, 9/08 - 6 nights AKL, 10/09 - 10 nights POP/AKL, 5/10 - 5 nights POFQ, 10/10 - 7 nights AKL, 11/11 - 5 nights DLR (HoJo)

Trip Reports: May 2010, October 2009, September 2008, January 2007

Dining Reviews:October 2010, May 2010, October 2009, September 2008

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Old 05-31-2010, 01:31 PM   #6
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Day 2, Part 1

Mickey and Stitch woke me up at 7:00 am and I was feeling refreshed. A good night sleep was all I needed to get me ready for my first full day at WDW. I got dressed, got breakfast and was out the door by 7:55. I had a date with rope drop at the Magic Kingdom.

I drove to the TTC and saw a waiting monorail - score. Except, they had to do some safety checks before we were on our way.



After about 5 or 10 minutes we were on our way and made it to the MK by 8:30. I waited by one of the big planters for rope drop where people felt that there children could just stand in front of me, on me, etc. to watch the show...um? I was also amazed at the number of people that wait until they get to the park to put sunscreen on their kids. First of all, it takes like a half an hour for sunscreen to really kick in, second of all, you are doing a good job putting it on if the kid is dressed and sitting in a stroller...sigh.

The opening show started pretty early and the guy they had doing the show was pretty good.







The park actually opened up a few minutes early, a trend that would be repeated a few times over the trip. I knew that Space Mountain would be my first stop so I cut through the Noodle Station and waited by the rope there. I used the time to hone my getting to be first in line rope drop skills, but wasn't up to par yet and was maybe 25 or 30 people back in line.

I have to say, I LOVED the new changes. It's truly dark again and much smoother. I had a wonderful time and couldn't wait to ride it again. The only thing I didn't like is where the picture is taken...nothing has really happened yet so the pictures aren't that great.



I also liked the changes to the exit ramp. One of my first memories of Disneyland is going through whole Space Mountain queue with my mom and getting scared when it came to getting on the actual ride so we took the "chicken" exit out on the ramp. I thought that was so much fun that I agreed to go on the actual ride just so we could do the exit ramp one more time.



After I got off I grabbed a Fastpass for later and then got on the TTA. It was a good ride, we even got stuck at one point, only for a minute, but it gave me a chance to get some photos of Buzz that I'd never really been able to get before.





I also got a terrible picture of myself, I guess I was tired...yikes!



I got back on again right away for another trip around Tomorrowland, this time we didn't get stuck. After getting off I took another ride on Space Mountain. The line wasn't long so I didn't bother using my FP.

Around 10:00 or so I went to Fantasyland where I met up with a friend from work and her daughter. I ran into them while they were in line for the Carrousel. I waited from them to get off and then we hit Philharmagic, Peter Pan, the Carrousel again and It's a Small World. They had lunch ADRs for 11:30 at Tony's so I walked back to Main St. with them and then cut over to Adventureland for some adventures of my own.

MK should have been slow this day since there were EMH the night before but there were some crazy long lines! Jungle Cruise was 40 minutes, POC was 25. I didn't want to wait for any of these so I walked over to Splash to get a FP. The ride was down and they had closed the FP distribution as well so I was out of luck. I ventured back to Adventureland and decided that I'd just get in line for Jungle Cruise. The posted time was 40 minutes but I figured it couldn't be that long. It was. There were parts of that queue that I had never even seen before. Rooms that I didn't know existed. I was pleased to learn though that the queue announcements seem to have a very long loop and I don't think I heard them repeat once.







The skipper was okay, nothing extraordinary, but good enough. I mostly enjoyed taking photos.











I had a lunch ADR at Kona so I needed to leave the park. There was a hang up at the dock waiting to get off Jungle Cruise and then I almost got caught by the Celebrate parade (how many times a day is that thing??!) but I slipped through across the street and just managed to escape.
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Previous Trips: DL and WDW numerous times on and off-site as a child, 1999 High School trip to WDW, played on stage at Cosmic Ray's and in DTD. 3/03 - 1 Day in MK, 10/03 - ASMovies, 1/07 - 7 nights POFQ, 9/08 - 6 nights AKL, 10/09 - 10 nights POP/AKL, 5/10 - 5 nights POFQ, 10/10 - 7 nights AKL, 11/11 - 5 nights DLR (HoJo)

Trip Reports: May 2010, October 2009, September 2008, January 2007

Dining Reviews:October 2010, May 2010, October 2009, September 2008

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Old 06-01-2010, 07:47 PM   #7
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Day 2, Part 2

I took the resort monorail to the Polynesian for my Kona Cafe lunch. On the way I sat next to a guy who I quickly figured out was alone, but not quickly enough did I figure out that he was creepy. There was a family with 3 small kids on the monorail across from us and the creepy guy kept taking pictures of the kid. I'm not sure the parents realized or cared, but I was bothered by it. I try to be so careful not to get other people's kids in my pictures, but this guy was looking for it. Ayeesh.

I was seated quickly for a good lunch although the tables at Kona are a little close together for my liking. I might as well have joined the party at the table next to me since we were practically sharing a table as it was.

I left lunch feeling a little bit like death because of how much food I ate so I took a walk around and got a few pictures before departing again.







I really love the Poly and one day I'll stay there...I just can't manage to tear myself away from Animal Kingdom Lodge (my true resort love).

I made my way to the Monorail platform to head back to MK



Even the trashcans are cute at the Poly!



In a matter of minutes I was back at Magic Kingdom. I headed up Main St. to Frontierland



I wanted to get a FP for Splash for later and I also got in the standby line. It was a 30 minute or so posted wait time, but it was hot and I was willing to wait for a chance at getting wet. The line turned out to only be about 15-20 minutes, not bad at all.



Once I got off, I went up to the Frontierland train station.

There is no dancing on the train



I did a full loop on the train, taking in all the sights including a hidden view of the Fantasyland expansion. I'd share some pictures of that, but you can't see squat.





After getting off the train I walked over to Haunted Mansion which had about a 15 minute wait. The lines were much longer than I'm used to, but obviously still manageable.

My Space Mountain fastpass from the morning was burning a hole in my lanyard pouch so off to Tomorrowland I went. The posted wait time was 60 minutes so I was glad to have the FP. That is until I made it to the front of the line and found that the real wait was about 5 minutes..grrr. Oh well, I couldn't take back the FP now.



I rode Buzz Lightyear next and was pleased to get some half way decent pictures of the queue

Hidden Mickey!











While I was on Buzz, my friend that I met up with earlier called and invited me to join her and her family for dinner at Whispering Canyon. They weren't in the park yet, so I planned to do a little bit more Tomorrowland and then head to Main St. when they got closer to arriving.

With a little bit of time left to kill, I got on Carousel of Progress. My goal is to have the theater to myself, but I haven't been able to accomplish that yet. There were only about 10 other people in the theater with me though. I was having good camera mojo on this day because I got some not bad pictures of the scenes.





Niagra Falls...slowly I turn...





It was about time to head out for dinner so I made my way to Main St. via the Noodle Station.

There were lots of construction walls up all over the park, but they had a lot of great quotes on them so I didn't mind to much. This one was outside the Plaza Restaurant.



I took one last picture of the castle and then it was off to the boat dock for dinner.



After dinner, I was too tired to think about going back into the park, not to mention it was kind of late, so I just went straight back to the TTC to get the car. Back at POFQ I went to the food court for some OJ and then back to my room where I crashed. A great first full day.
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Previous Trips: DL and WDW numerous times on and off-site as a child, 1999 High School trip to WDW, played on stage at Cosmic Ray's and in DTD. 3/03 - 1 Day in MK, 10/03 - ASMovies, 1/07 - 7 nights POFQ, 9/08 - 6 nights AKL, 10/09 - 10 nights POP/AKL, 5/10 - 5 nights POFQ, 10/10 - 7 nights AKL, 11/11 - 5 nights DLR (HoJo)

Trip Reports: May 2010, October 2009, September 2008, January 2007

Dining Reviews:October 2010, May 2010, October 2009, September 2008

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Old 06-03-2010, 08:19 PM   #8
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Day 3, Part 1

I started this day feeling very tired. I had gotten plenty of sleep the night before, but for some reason I woke up exhausted. But, I had a full day ahead of me, so I got ready and was on my way to Animal Kingdom by 8:15.

I arrived at the park by 8:30 and got a really close parking spot, I didn't even need to take the tram to get to the entrance. The Animal Kingdom parking lot seemed to fill up the least fast of all the parking lots - I was basically in the first row of general parking only 30 minutes before opening.

Rope drop was different than it has been in the past. Instead of going to the Oasis and waiting there, the show took place right at the entrance. It was a little cramped if you ask me, but since I'm not the President of Rope Drop Logistics my opinion doesn't count! Another thing that I noticed that was different was that Mickey was there instead of Goofy.





I decided to run to Kilimanjaro Safaris first. This is my favorite ride so I try to get in as many rides as I can. I wasn't really near the front at all, so I had to wait through a couple trucks before getting on. While I was waiting I talked to a CM at the loading area. He had commented on my Keens and I noticed his name tag had a very Italian name. The guy didn't look or sound all that Italian so I assumed he had forgotten his name tag and just grabbed someone else's. Turns out he was actually from Italy and told me a little bit about his town which had a very cool name that was too long to fit on the name tag. And for the life of me I can't remember what it was.

Once I finally got on the truck I had an amazing ride. Even the CM was amazed at all the animals we were seeing. She went off script quite often to remark at how lucky we were.





We saw actual monkeys at Monkey Point





Cheetahs



The female lion was sitting up on one of the high rocks



It was really wonderful - probably the best Safari I've been on and I have been on a lot

After KS, I grabbed a fastpass for later and then made my way over to Camp Minnie Mickey







Festival of the Lion King was on my short list of things to do at Animal Kingdom. It had been a while since I'd last seen the show, so I wanted to make sure I got a chance. The theater wasn't too crowded which was nice and I had pretty much a whole bleacher seat to myself. I was in the Elephant section and would have been able to get lots of pictures, but my camera decided to start dying. It's my own fault because I wanted to video the fire thrower and I hadn't remembered to charge my battery the night before - stupid. I do like that they allow flash photography in the theater. But it's really bright enough in there that it doesn't make much of a difference.





Following FOTLK, I made my way back to Africa and rode the safari again. I didn't get as many pictures and there weren't as many animals out, but if anything it was a relaxing ride.

It had been a while since I'd been over to Rafiki's planet watch and I was interested in seeing if there were any animal treatments going on at the vet so I hopped the train to Conservation Station. I was amazed at how long the line was for the train. The park wasn't crowded, but for some reason everybody decided they needed to get on the train right then!

When I got to Conservation Station, I was in luck. There was indeed an animal treatment happening. They were neutering 3 hooded rats. I stuck around and watched one of the rats get x-rays and anesthesia and get half neutered before I left. Just listening to the CMs talk about it was hilarious enough that it gave me reason to stay around. One of the CMs was at her first day on the job I think and was being trained on what to talk about. She did a good job explaining rat neutering to the crowd that had gathered. She'll go a long way

The little guy about to become a little it



After a half an hour of education, it was off to more fun. Well, more things to do anyway. Next up was Its Tough to Be a Bug. This was yet another thing that I hadn't checked off the list in a while. I was glad that I took the time as it is a very cute show. And I love walking through the queue.

Last but not least was Dinosaur. No visit to AK is complete without a journey to extinction and back.



It was getting close to my ADR time at Sanaa, so I left the park to the get the car and head to AKL.
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Previous Trips: DL and WDW numerous times on and off-site as a child, 1999 High School trip to WDW, played on stage at Cosmic Ray's and in DTD. 3/03 - 1 Day in MK, 10/03 - ASMovies, 1/07 - 7 nights POFQ, 9/08 - 6 nights AKL, 10/09 - 10 nights POP/AKL, 5/10 - 5 nights POFQ, 10/10 - 7 nights AKL, 11/11 - 5 nights DLR (HoJo)

Trip Reports: May 2010, October 2009, September 2008, January 2007

Dining Reviews:October 2010, May 2010, October 2009, September 2008

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Old 06-05-2010, 02:47 PM   #9
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Day 3, Part 2

I left Animal Kingdom and headed to Kidani Villas for lunch at Sanaa. I wasn't paying attention and missed the sign to get to the Lodge (it should have been about a 2 minute drive) and ended up on the road away from where I needed to be going. Without really any place to turn around, I pulled into the All Stars and got directions from a guard. Thankfully it was a quick detour and soon enough I was back on my way.

Kidani is a beautiful resort, but the "awe" factor is not as great as it is at Jambo House. The view from Sanaa though is definitely tons better than Jiko or Boma. My lunch there was very good, but I was itching to be staying at AKL again. So much so that I had to make a stop at Jambo House just to see my favorite place again. I picked up some Zebra Domes from the Mara too then headed out to the main Savanna for some viewing.

There were only birds out, but they were getting fed so it was fun to watch. I talked to one of the keepers a little bit about feeding the AKL birds and trying not to feed the native Floridian birds and then decided it was time to go back to POFQ.



I tried taking a nap, but never ended up falling asleep so at about 5:30 I decided to take the boat to DTD. I was super close to the boat dock and even better, there was a boat waiting for me. The boat ride was nice, but those boats are SO LOUD. Not really relaxing at all. I'm not sure why they are so much louder than the MK resort boats, but they are. I took a lot of pictures along the way.







In about 15 minutes we had arrived at Downtown Disney. The boats stop at the Marketplace, but there are water taxi shuttles to PI and the Westside that you can take from the same dock.



My first stop was World of Disney where I purchased 8 Vinylmation figures and 2 "surprise" Vinylmation pins. I used my 10% annual pass discount and noticed that the total was lower than I thought but I figured I was just tired and didn't do the math correctly. I checked the receipt later and found that I wasn't charged for one of the figures and both the pin sets. Score!

My next stop was Basin where I went a little crazy as usual. I spent about $100 on soaps, but I really like them and I didn't want to run out before I get a chance to go back again! I bought mostly bar soaps and then 2 tubes of bath salts. Thank goodness for an Annual Pass discount there too!

There is a new Vinylmation store that had just opened up over on the Westside - D Street - so I definitely wanted to make sure that I saw that. They do trades as well for the Vinylmation figures if you have a duplicate or if there is one you don't like. I didn't have any with me to trade that day but I filed the information away for later. While I was there though I bought a Muppets Vinylmation and some Vinylmation magnets. I try to buy a different magnet on each trip and Vinylmation seemed like an appropriate theme for this trip.



I took the boat from the Westside to the Marketplace and then grabbed dinner at Earl of Sandwich. I took it to go and brought it back on the boat to POFQ. I was pleasantly surprised that the sandwich actual stayed warm all the back to my room.

After eating, I opened up all the Vinylmation figures.

Before



After



I got one duplicate (Herbie the love bug) and one that I didn't particularly like (Spectro Mickey) and decided that I would trade those at D Street on another day.

I also took the chance to book the Bounceback offer that was in my room. I got 40% off an AKL Savanna view room for October and I can't wait to get back! It was a really good deal saving me about $150 a night.
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Previous Trips: DL and WDW numerous times on and off-site as a child, 1999 High School trip to WDW, played on stage at Cosmic Ray's and in DTD. 3/03 - 1 Day in MK, 10/03 - ASMovies, 1/07 - 7 nights POFQ, 9/08 - 6 nights AKL, 10/09 - 10 nights POP/AKL, 5/10 - 5 nights POFQ, 10/10 - 7 nights AKL, 11/11 - 5 nights DLR (HoJo)

Trip Reports: May 2010, October 2009, September 2008, January 2007

Dining Reviews:October 2010, May 2010, October 2009, September 2008

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Old 06-06-2010, 04:38 PM   #10
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Day 4, Part 1

Today was my Epcot day and I wanted to definitely be there for rope drop so I left at 8:30 for a very short drive (less than 10 minutes) to the park. After getting through bag checked I walked to the left most turnstile that was open. The next turnstile was for Guests with breakfast ADRs but from experience I knew that once the park opened up, they'd make that a regular line. I was right and went from about 15 or 20 people back to about 5 people back.

I then went to the opposite side and went to the far right rope drop to do the Soarin' morning run. I was right at the rope next to a guy who fancied himself an Epcot/Rope Drop/Soarin' expert. He talked to the CMs, regaled those listening with tips and fun facts. In reality, he was kind of a loser. He kept this up through the entire walk to Soarin' (not a short walk at all) and eventually I just boxed him out of the front and he kept talking and commenting as he dropped further and further behind me.

Pluto saying hi before Rope Drop



Because of my amazing Rope Drop skills, I was very first on Soarin'. Or at least I was first in the standby line. Three people came through the FP line with a special FP or something and one was in a wheelchair. The CM at the line let them board first, but they were sent down to the last area and everybody else was loaded into the first. So, I was still Row 1, Seat 1 on the left of the theater - w00t!

After getting off Soarin' I grabbed a FP for later and then got in line for Livin' with the Land. Or rather, I walked onto a waiting boat. This is among my favorite attractions at WDW. Very relaxing and very interesting for an aspiring gardener like myself.







I wish I had a good place to grow Sunflowers this big!



I know these are supposed to be Mickey heads in the lettuce, but it always looks like Stitch heads to me



I still had time until my FP was ready for Soarin' but I didn't want to stray to far from the Land so I took the short walk over to the Seas with Nemo and Friends to ride Nemo. As always, the queue was non existent so I took some time to take pictures of the signs before people behind me caught up.





Big Blue World is one of my favorite songs from Finding Nemo the Musical so I always sing along a little too loud during this attraction.



After Nemo I did Turtle Talk with Crush. It was a cute show although the kids didn't have great questions. Instead, Crush did a lot on his own like talking to the whale, Dory and the bikini bit. I know that this is a "unique" experience every time, but I've only seen it a few times since it opened and it's been virtually the same.

My FP was ready for Soarin' so off I went back to the Land.

Hi Patrick!



After that I had a quick breakfast at Sunshine Seasons and sat and relaxed for a little bit. I had been feeling kind of queasy, probably due to all the eating I had been doing, but having a little food and some soda calmed my stomach quite a bit and I was ready to take on the day again.

I decided on one more ride on Living with the Land before moving on. When we got to just before the greenhouses a guy came over the announcement saying over and over again (like really 10 times at least) that everyone should stay seated. I figured that people in the boats ahead or behind us were standing or something, but later I realized that the water had stopped moving and the boats were getting stuck. It just took a while for our boat to get to the point of no movement so the announcements didn't make sense at the time. We were back moving after not to long, though this made the announcer out of sync with where we actually were in the ride. On a side note, I love that guys voice and wish he would do my answering machine

Journey to Your Imagination was next on my list and as always it was a walk-on. After JTYI I considered doing HISTA one last time before it became Captain EO but the next show was over 20 minutes away and I wasn't willing to wait. I am looking forward to this becoming Captain EO for at least the short term and hopefully being changed from HISTA permanently following that. That show is just not relevant anymore, kind of like most of the movies in Great Movie Ride.

Having finished the right side of Future World, I headed to World Showcase for some topiary picture taking.
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Previous Trips: DL and WDW numerous times on and off-site as a child, 1999 High School trip to WDW, played on stage at Cosmic Ray's and in DTD. 3/03 - 1 Day in MK, 10/03 - ASMovies, 1/07 - 7 nights POFQ, 9/08 - 6 nights AKL, 10/09 - 10 nights POP/AKL, 5/10 - 5 nights POFQ, 10/10 - 7 nights AKL, 11/11 - 5 nights DLR (HoJo)

Trip Reports: May 2010, October 2009, September 2008, January 2007

Dining Reviews:October 2010, May 2010, October 2009, September 2008

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Old 06-06-2010, 05:00 PM   #11
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Day 4, Part 2

One of the reasons that I took a trip in May was to see all that Flower and Garden had to offer. In retrospect, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that I didn't go on a weekend when all the events are going on and it's not as big of a deal as Food and Wine. I did enjoy walking around taking pictures - as you will be able to tell shortly, but I won't be making any special effort to get back in coming years.

I started on the Canada side and took pictures of just about everything along the way.

Hidden Mickey - this looked VERY cool from the Monorail



Mickey and Minnie welcoming us to F&G





These guys were in one of the kids play areas.



I managed to get pictures of Bambi and Thumper even though they were doing maintenance in the beds when I walked by.





I did something I never usually do since I was in full fledged picture taking mode - I walked through each of the countries. There were places I saw that I never knew existed!

Canada





I saw this guy during my Backstage Magic tour in October at the Horticulture farm. It was fun to see him out in public for once.





Morocco





Japan





This is a picture that I take on every trip



While in Japan I did some shopping. I picked up a bunch of candy for my mom and two Lucky Owls. They are the follow up to the Lucky Cats that they have at Mitsukoshi. I got a blue and silver one. The little sheet that they come with says that blue will make you calm and relax and silver will bring you patience. Two things that I need very much! I had my package sent back to the resort since bringing candy around in the hot weather wasn't going to be a good idea.

I also stopped in America to see The American Adventure. I came in at the end of the Voices of Liberty show which was good because I don't really like listening to them. While waiting for the theater to open up, I walked around the displays that are in the wings of the lobby. They had a bunch of stuff from Mark Twain who I think is very interesting. Most of it was actually borrowed from the Mark Twain house in Hartford, CT which is less than 5 miles from my house.

American Adventure was good, I had forgotten most of the show since I last saw it in 2008 so I didn't feel like I was repeating it.



Italy



Germany





In China, I had a snack of Potstickers from Lotus Blossom Cafe. This turned out to be a foolish meal because I was eating at 'Ohana that night, but they were good anyway!

China had topiaries of all the Chinese Zodiac signs.

This is my year, the year of the Rooster



I also went inside and saw the soldiers - another favorite







Norway and Maelstrom were my next stop.



The Maelstrom line was short and everyone RAN through the theater at the end so they didn't have to watch the movie. There were about 10 people sitting in the theater with confused looks on their faces, I guess they haven't been subjected to the Norway film before!

While at Norway I got a snack from Kringla Bakeri og Cafe, my favorite, Rice Cream. I need to get more than one next time because it's the best!

I finished up with a ride on Gran Fiesta in Mexico. After the ride I took a few minutes to watch the Arribas Brothers guy make a glass fish. It was really neat. I didn't find any inexpensive glass things that I would have wanted to buy, but there were a lot of expensive things that looked cool (and out of my budget!)
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Previous Trips: DL and WDW numerous times on and off-site as a child, 1999 High School trip to WDW, played on stage at Cosmic Ray's and in DTD. 3/03 - 1 Day in MK, 10/03 - ASMovies, 1/07 - 7 nights POFQ, 9/08 - 6 nights AKL, 10/09 - 10 nights POP/AKL, 5/10 - 5 nights POFQ, 10/10 - 7 nights AKL, 11/11 - 5 nights DLR (HoJo)

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Old 06-07-2010, 01:34 AM   #12
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Subbing.

This picture is fantastic!
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:20 AM   #13
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Old 06-07-2010, 07:21 PM   #14
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Horray! Readers!!

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Subbing.

This picture is fantastic!
Thanks - the Ankole Cattle are my favorites...I want to adopt one

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Previous Trips: DL and WDW numerous times on and off-site as a child, 1999 High School trip to WDW, played on stage at Cosmic Ray's and in DTD. 3/03 - 1 Day in MK, 10/03 - ASMovies, 1/07 - 7 nights POFQ, 9/08 - 6 nights AKL, 10/09 - 10 nights POP/AKL, 5/10 - 5 nights POFQ, 10/10 - 7 nights AKL, 11/11 - 5 nights DLR (HoJo)

Trip Reports: May 2010, October 2009, September 2008, January 2007

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Old 06-07-2010, 09:17 PM   #15
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I'm so glad I found your report. I am taking my first solo trip in September. This will also be my first time at POFQ. Looking forward to more adventures.
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