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Old 01-15-2011, 05:52 PM   #46
ChildAtHeart82
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Animal Kingdom - Saved by the DIS

I forgot to mention in the last update that as we were leaving V&A, I noticed how empty Citrico's looked. We didn't have plans for dinner the next night so I thought I would check and see if there were any available ADR's for the next night. There were some good options and we decided on Fulton's. I'd done the search on the Disney Dining site on my phone and the site said that Fulton's was on the dining plan. I didn't think Fulton's was, but it was late and I made a mental note to check the Dis about it the next day.

We woke up the next day and after the usual start made it to the bus stop. We waited a little longer for a bus this time and saw three or four buses for the other parks before ours came. It was still only a 25 minute wait, though, and once again, we had a bus to ourselves. We got off the bus and made our way to



We had a pleasant wait for rope drop. While we waited, Lucy consulted the map and told us where she wanted to go first.



They let us through the turnstiles and the rope was right on the other side. I thought it was kind of weird that put the rope that close. Last time we were there, the rope was at the start of Discovery Island. The opening show was cute.



When they dropped the rope, I took off with the crowd to grab fastpasses for Expedition Everest. The rest of our group was headed to ride Safari. I like Safari, but the show is about the same every time for me, especially the poacher part at the end. I was willing to skip it this time, knowing that we would be back for another trip soon enough, in order to have a better touring schedule.

It was a hectic scramble toward Everest but it was calmer than the Toy Story stampede. I grabbed fastpasses quickly. I did notice that the standby line was roped so that the entrance to the line was before you got to the fastpass machines. Facing the entrance, it went to the left and then past the fastpass machines. I noticed a lot of people rushed past the entrance to the line and had to go back to get in line. Fastpasses in hand, I noticed the single rider line wasn't open yet. I was a little bummed since I had planned to kill a little time by riding Everest. I waited a little while and thought about what to do next. As I was about to leave, I checked the single rider line again and it was open! I got in line and was the only one there. I got on a train pretty quickly. I discovered that riding a roller coaster on a chilly morning is...well, chilly. I enjoyed it, though. I still had time before the group finished Safari and so I got in a line again. This time I got to ride in the front row!

After two times on Everest, DW still hadn't let me know they were done with Safari yet. I probably had time to ride again, but decided it was time to move on. It was only about ten minutes until we could get more fastpasses so I made my way to Dinosaur. While I was waiting there, DW let me know they were done with Safari. I still had a few more minutes to wait so I told them to move on to the Pangani trail and I would meet them after. I grabbed fastpasses and went to meet the rest of the group. Here are a few pictures from the trail.




I met up with the group and we made our way toward the best show at Disney, Festival of the Lion King! We had a little time to kill so we stopped along the way for this photo.



I think I have this picture from every trip:



We didn't get any good pictures of Lion King because we had some issues figuring out how to get good pictures without the flash on. It was a great show and everyone really enjoyed it. Lion King is a must-do for us on every trip!

After Lion King, we made our way over to my favorite character meet and greet spot. The Pooh and Friends area never seems to have a line. I think people don't notice it because it's off to the side. This was Lucy's first time getting really close to characters and we weren't sure how she would react. She loved the characters! She smiled and talked to them and had a great time. She especially loved Tigger. For the time being, it seems that Tigger is her favorite Disney character. I would love to show you pictures of her with the characters, but we only got Photopass pics at this spot. I'm still waiting to get my CD and when we do, I'll post the pics.

After meeting Pooh, we went to watch It's Tough to Be a Bug. We took these pictures of the Tree of Life along the way.



Everyone liked the show and some of us were caught off guard by the surprises, especially the one at the end. It was now time for lunch. DW and I had been really looking forward to trying the Yak & Yeti CS, but we thought her family would like Flame Tree BBQ more. As we were leaving the show, I ran off to grab our food at Yak & Yeti and told DW to lead the rest of the group to Flame Tree to save time. As I was waiting in line at Yak & Yeti, I realized that I still had everyone's Key to the World cards from running around for fastpasses! They couldn't get food at Flame Tree until I got back with the cards. I didn't have to wait too long for food so we didn't lose much time. I took our food to Flame Tree, handed off the cards, and found us a place to sit. DW and I both had the Honey Chicken and chocolate cake.



We both really liked it. We saved the cake for later since we were used to it by now. We did like the chocolate mousse option from Flame Tree, though. After lunch, we went to use our Dinousaur fastpasses.



It was bumpy, but not as rough as I remember it being. After Dinosaur, we went to use our Everest fastpasses. On our last trip, DW rode Everest and was terrified of it. I'd been trying to convince her to ride it again, but after a lot of coaxing, we agreed that she wouldn't have to ride if she conquered another one of her fears later. We'll get to that later. We ended up having only four people that wanted to ride so we were each able to ride twice with our fastpasses. I never would have thought that I would get to ride Everest four time in half a day during one of the busiest time of the year!

We had time to do one more attraction before we needed to leave to make our ADR. It was time for DW to conquer her fear...of birds. We went to go see Flights of Wonder.



We enjoyed the show, even DW, though she did cringe and shy away from the flying birds a few times. After the show, we made our way back to the bus stop. We got back to our resort and went to catch the boat to DTD.




It was at this point that I remembered to check the Dis about Fulton's being on the dining plan. I discovered that Fulton's is only covered by the Premium dining plan, which is enough to have it show up as covered by the dining plan when making online reservations. Lesson learned, and not a moment too soon! We decided not to go to Fulton's. We did some shopping and then went to Wolfgang Puck Express for dinner. DW and I both got the mac and cheese with creme brulee for dessert. It was delicious but we forgot to take a picture.

After dinner, we went to the kitchen store and spent a little time smelling various spices and teas. We caught a boat back to our resort. I finally got around to decorating our window and then we went to bed.



The Mickey and Minnie window clings were already on our window when we arrived. I just added our decorations to the one already there. We forgot to take the clings down when we left. I hope the decorations added brightened the next occupant's day.

Up next, we're at rope drop at Epcot and we go to an attraction that is probably not a rope drop attraction for too many people.
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Old 01-15-2011, 05:58 PM   #47
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Animal Kingdom Recap

Here's the recap for our Animal Kingdom day. Missed attractions in red. Unplanned attractions in green.

Kilimanjaro Safari
Pangani Trail
Expedition Everest
(4x)
Festival of the Lion King
It's Tough to Be a Bug
Yak & Yeti CS

Maharajah Trail
Dinosaur
Finding Nemo
Flights of Wonder

I was very happy with what we accomplished this day.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:16 PM   #48
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Photopass Pictures!!

Well, we checked mail tonight and we got our Photopass CD. Here are some of our favorites through our Animal Kingdom day.

















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Old 01-16-2011, 12:55 AM   #49
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Hey I am really enjoying reading your trip report.

We are from Rapid City, too (3 of us in one thread!) and we're going to Dis in a few weeks and also staying at POFQ. Small world. :-)
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:14 AM   #50
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Great update! The opening show at AK looks really cute! I will have to try to get there sometime, even though AK is my least favorite park!

Where is the Pooh meet and greet? Everyone always mentions it and I have no idea where it is! I had a hard enough time finding Thumper and Miss Bunny on my Disneymoon in May!

Wow you guys did a lot of shows in one day at AK! I have time management issues at that park, I'm going to seriously have to look into a touring plan next time!

I love your PP pics!
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:10 AM   #51
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Aww, the photos with your daughter and the characters are wonderful! She seemed to love Tigger's nose!

Very jealous that you were able to ride EE four times in one day! Must've been fun!
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Old 01-16-2011, 05:46 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megsie1000 View Post
Hey I am really enjoying reading your trip report.

We are from Rapid City, too (3 of us in one thread!) and we're going to Dis in a few weeks and also staying at POFQ. Small world. :-)
Hi! I'm glad you're enjoying my report. That's great that you're from Rapid City. It truly is a small world....after all (couldn't resist).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nermel9 View Post
Great update! The opening show at AK looks really cute! I will have to try to get there sometime, even though AK is my least favorite park!

Where is the Pooh meet and greet? Everyone always mentions it and I have no idea where it is! I had a hard enough time finding Thumper and Miss Bunny on my Disneymoon in May!

Wow you guys did a lot of shows in one day at AK! I have time management issues at that park, I'm going to seriously have to look into a touring plan next time!

I love your PP pics!
The Pooh meet and greet is on the way to Dinoland from Discovery Island. The path is to the right, just before the bridge. It's kind of across from Flame Tree BBQ.

I think Animal Kingdom is designed to make you take things at a slower pace, which is one of the reasons why we like going there after a few days of hectic touring at the other parks. I think that makes it tough, though to see a whole lot unless you have a very clear plan ahead of time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amazingact21 View Post
Aww, the photos with your daughter and the characters are wonderful! She seemed to love Tigger's nose!

Very jealous that you were able to ride EE four times in one day! Must've been fun!
Thank you! She really liked his nose. We bought her a plush Tigger after that meet and greet and she spends a lot of time chewing on his nose.
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Last edited by ChildAtHeart82; 01-16-2011 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:57 PM   #53
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Epcot Part 2 - One Little Spark

We had a slightly later morning on Christmas Eve. We had accomplished most of what we wanted in Future World on our first Epcot day so the goal was to arrive just prior to opening. It seemed like the extra sleep caused everyone to move a little more slowly this morning. It could also have been the four straight early mornings. Either way, we eventually got to the bus stop only slightly behind schedule and got to the turnstiles just before they started letting people through.

We raced eagerly along with the rest of the rope drop crowd and quickly got in line for our first attraction of the day...Spaceship Earth! Seriously, though, we held back from the mad dash and had a nice relaxing walk to Spaceship Earth. Not surprisingly, it was a walk on. It was fun. I enjoyed the look into our future. I don't really remember much about it and it never showed up in our inbox even though we tried to e-mail it.

After Spaceship Earth, I went to grab Soarin' fastpasses and then we went to walk around Innoventions. There was no wait for Sum of All Thrills so we all took turns designing thrill rides. DW and I rode together. Since they only give you four minutes to design your ride, I made choices quickly and designed a ride that was probably a little more aggressive than DW would have chosen. She was nervous, but we both enjoyed the ride.

We then went to try Club Cool and found out it didn't open until 11:00. We went to ride Journey into Imagination. I finally succeeded in getting a song stuck in my family's heads. I'm still getting texts from my sister-in-law that she randomly finds herself singing that song. It may be my greatest acheivement of the trip.

After journeying with Figment, it was time to go to The Land for our Behind the Seeds tour. The tour was interesting. It was mainly a gift for DW's dad, Paul. He really enjoyed it and asked a lot of questions.

Lucy was very attentive.



We learned about the hydropnic growing methods.



We eventually decided we needed a stroller for Lucy.



The tomato tree was different.



We thought about making some lemonade.



Here's a close-up of the alligators.



Rhino enjoyed the tour too.



After the tour, we used our Soarin' fastpasses and then made our way to World Showcase. We made our way to Mexico, saying hi to Goofy on the way.



We stopped in Mexico for lunch. I forget what DW had. I decided that I was going to eat around the world this trip. We tried on our last trip, but since the Food and Wine Festival was going on, we quickly figured out that was a bad idea. In Mexico, I had some churros.



The churros were really good. I try and eat at least one churro on every Disney trip. We then made our way to Norway. I'd been looking forward to trying schoolbread.



We really liked and it and will probably get it again. I know fans of schoolbread have said that it's not as good as it used to be. If that's so, then it must have been really good before. We then made our way to China.



I considered getting a new hat,



but then realized I wouldn't wear it after we got home. We had egg rolls in China.



We continued our way around the lagoon.




I wasn't sure if the African outpost counts as a country or not so I got some ice cream.



I couldn't find any really good small portion options in Germany so I opted for the classic choice, a pretzel.



As would be expected, the pretzel was heavy and filling. It was at that this stage of my quest, not even halfway around the world, that things became difficult.

In Italy, I found a much smaller portion to balance out the pretzel, a canoli.



I realize up to this point, our tour around the world is mostly pictures of food. We knew when we started World Showcase that we didn't have a whole lot of time. We moved through the countries pretty quickly, but it was a good first exposure. I've reached my picture limit for this post, but I promise the next post will show that our World Showcase experience included more than everyone watching me eat.
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:34 PM   #54
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Epcot Part 2(cont) -Now That We're Done Eating Around the World, It's Time for Dinner

We left off in Italy. The next logical step was of course, going back to China. We went back to China to watch the acrobats. I don't think I'd ever seen this show and it was great. They do some amazing things in that show.

After the show, we quickly made our way to Japan to watch the drummers.




During the show, I grabbed some shaved ice. In the rush back and forth, I'd forgotten that I was going to count our dinner in Japan as my food from Japan. Luckily, shaved ice isn't very filling.



After the Japanese drummers, we went to watch the Fife & Drum corps in America.




While in America, I grabbed a jalapeno pretzel. It was tasty and was a lot easier to eat than my German pretzel.



We also stopped for a photopass picture.



We had about an hour left to finish touring World Showcase and make it back to Japan for our ADR. We set out for Morocco. We toured the alleys for a little while and I ate some pistachio baklava.



I like baklava and enjoyed this.

We moved on to France. Every trip to Disney, I have to get a chocolate crepe. Even in my somewhat full state, I still really enjoyed my crepe.



I only had a few more stops on my eating quest and we didn't have a whole lot of time left. I got shortbread cookies in the United Kingdom.



Since there's not a CS option in Canada, I got a candy bar (made in Canada) from the gift shop.



It was okay, but I wasn't a huge fan. I had finished my quest, though! DW had a bite of everything except for the ice cream from the African outpost so we'll say that she tasted around the world. Now that I was done eating around the world, it was time to go to our dinner reservation. We made our way back to Japan and then found our way to



We checked in and only waited for a few minutes before our table was ready. We ordered our food and waited for the show to begin. One of DW's sisters has a gluten issue and I was very impressed with how the restaurant handled this. A manager came out and explained the gluten-free options to her. The chef then prepared her food separately.

As an appetizer, I got the tuna sensation, which was tuna and avocado in soy sauce.



This was really good and I would order it again. DW got the miso soup.



Our chef then came out to prepare the rest of our food. We chose our meat and then everyone got vegetables and noodles.




I ordered swordfish, since I'd never had it before, and DW got scallops.




We both enjoyed our food, but if we went back I would probably get the filet. We both got the green tea pudding for dessert.



We got a candle because we were celebrating our anniversary. I could have eaten way more of this!

Overall, our experience at Teppan Edo was very good. I'd read good and bad reviews before we went and most of the reviews were accurate. I thought the show part of the meal was better than similar places we've been too. The food was probably not as good as other places we've been too, but it was still good. We would eat here again. We got our Candlelight passes and went to check out the line.

[continued in next post]
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:04 PM   #55
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Epcot Part 2(cont) - We Missed Illuminations! It's Way Past 9:30 in Japan!

When we got to the line, there were only a few people in line and the CM said that we probably had about 45 minutes before we needed to be back in line. Lucy decided to take a break.



DW, Lucy, and I found a bench while the rest of our group went to see a little more of World Showcase. They saw a few of the storytellers and then joined us in line about 30 minutes later. The line started moving about 7:55PM. We ended up with really good seats in the center section, about eight rows back. I took some pictures of the stage before the show, but I was in charge of the camcorder during the show so we didn't get any pictures.





It started to get a little chilly, but it wasn't too bad. The Candlelight Processional was amazing! Our narrator was Edward James Olmos. DW and I were excited about this because we are huge Battlestar Galactica nerds. He was a really good narrator and it was easy to tell that he believed what he was reading. The processional was a wonderful way to spend Christmas Eve.

We made our way out of the theater and found our stroller. We found a good spot for Illuminations in front of Japan.





Illuminations was supposed to start at 9:30. At about 9:40, it still hadn't decided.

"We must have missed it because we're in Japan and it's way past 9:30 in Japan."

The show started a few minutes later. I've skipped Illuminations my last few trips to Disney, but I'm glad we watched it. I really liked the fireworks, especially with the holiday theming. Lucy enjoyed the fireworks.



After Illuminations we made our way back to the front. We stopped for a photopass picture before making our way to the bus stop.



We didn't make it on the first bus, but another bus came pretty quickly. We went back to our rooms and slept, knowing that for the first time this trip we could actually sleep in.

Up next, Christmas and lot of gingerbread decorations.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:17 PM   #56
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Epcot Part 2 Recap

Here's the recap for our second day at Epcot. Missed attraction in red. Unplanned attractions in green. As you can see, all we missed was Club Cool.

Soarin'
Journey Into Imagination
Spaceship Earth
Behind the Seeds

Club Cool
Sum of All Thrills
World Showcase
Eating/Tasting Around the World

Chinese Acrobats
Japanese Drummers
Fife & Drum Corps

Teppan Edo
Candlelight Processional
Illuminations

Having two days at Epcot made for a very relaxed second day in Future World, but I still felt rushed through World Showcase. I think I always end up feeling like we didn't have enough time in World Showcase. Maybe next trip will be different.
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:45 AM   #57
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Eating around the world sounds delicious, especially the baklava and crepes! I'll have to consider doing that on my next trip.
It looked like you guys got wonderful seats for the CP!
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:23 AM   #58
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Okay I'm all caught up! Great updates! I love the picture of you in the Chinese hat, because I took a picture of John wearing the same hat on our trip! Your eating around the World quest looked amazing! My stomach was growling the whole time. I love the picture of your chef posing, too. Very cute!
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:17 PM   #59
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Victoria and Albert's looks so good! I hope I get a chance to try it someday.

I love the pictures of Lucy with the characters! She looks so happy.

Looks like you all had a great Christmas Eve!
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:36 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amazingact21 View Post
Eating around the world sounds delicious, especially the baklava and crepes! I'll have to consider doing that on my next trip.
It looked like you guys got wonderful seats for the CP!
Most of the food around the world was great. The crepe, baklava, and schoolbread were probably my top 3. The shortbread and candy bar were mainly just to check off the countries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by therussells08 View Post
Okay I'm all caught up! Great updates! I love the picture of you in the Chinese hat, because I took a picture of John wearing the same hat on our trip! Your eating around the World quest looked amazing! My stomach was growling the whole time. I love the picture of your chef posing, too. Very cute!
Our chef put on a very good show!
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