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Old 04-25-2011, 02:00 PM   #136
amazingact21
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Checking Out and Heading to AK:


Despite not getting to bed until about 4 a.m., DF and I were up bright and early at 8:00am to pack our belongings.

I sat outside on the deck and watched golfers fight with the birds over space on the green and tried to remember everything I was seeing.

It was hard to believe that we were already having to leave our resort. It felt like we had just arrived!


Thankfully, having a park day to look forward made lugging all our bags to the car much easier.


When all our stuff was packed away in the trunk, DF and I made a stop at the front desk. Since we'd already paid for everything, we just had to tell them we had vacated our room and then we were good to go.


DF wanted to make a quick stop at the gift shop, but I didn't feel like fighting the store crowds, so I waited outside.


And that's when I saw it....



It was as if there was a light shining around the little stand.



It was...



A coffee shop!!!!


Finally! After 5 days of being caffeine-deprived, my prayers were answered!




While DF was perusing, I bought the biggest mocha frapp they had and practically inhaled it.


Getting a decent cup of coffee made saying goodbye to SoG a lot more easier than it would have been had I not had caffeine running through my veins.


DF and I got into the car, plugged in the GPS with directions to get us to Animal Kingdom, and drove toward the park.


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Old 04-25-2011, 02:19 PM   #137
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I'm so happy for you both!! How exciting! Alex did a very good job on picking out a ring.

Love the AK shirts, too. They came out really good. I think it's nice to have a trip to celebrate the engagement rather than the engagement itself at Disney World.
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:34 AM   #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateKate View Post
I'm so happy for you both!! How exciting! Alex did a very good job on picking out a ring.

Love the AK shirts, too. They came out really good. I think it's nice to have a trip to celebrate the engagement rather than the engagement itself at Disney World.

Thank you!
At first, I thought it'd be cool to have an engagement at Disney, but now I am happy it's already happened. The shock of it has finally begun to wear off, so now we won't be so consumed with, "Ohmigod! Wow, this is happening!"
Instead, we'll be able to focus on Disney and our celebration.
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:29 PM   #139
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Animal Kingdom Morning:

DF paid the parking fee at the gate, and we were directed to the Dinosaur lot.

The driver of our tram that took us to the AK entrance was amusing. He kept repeating, "Remember...you are dinosaurs! Someone, roar for me like a dinosaur."

"Dinosaurs, people, dinoasurs! Trust me, when you're all tired after a long day at the park, you are going to want to remember DINOSAURS!"


The trick obviously worked, because last Sunday, I asked DF if he remembered where we'd parked at AK and without hesitation he replied, "The Dinosaur section."





At the entrance was AK's holiday tree.



And some holiday wreaths above the wooden entrance posts.


I loved the heads of the giraffes.


When DF and I entered the park, it was shortly before 10a.m. and we wanted to see if we could catch the first showing of Festival of the Lion King.

So...stopping by the Tree of Life long enough to take a picture:




We continued on until we came to the sign for FotLK


The CM standing next to the sign told us we could sneak inside the building, but the show had already begun.

I thanked her and told her I'd prefer to wait until the next showing.


Of course, that meant waiting around for another hour.


What to do...


I spotted Camp Minnie Mickey and suggested to DF that we go down there and see what characters we could spot.

When we got to the area entrance, we saw that there were very few people down by the seats. The crowd barely filled half the benches.

Despite the lack of an audience, the characters and the CMs singing and dancing were involved; they were zesty and full of life.


Feeling a little too old for the show, DF and I stood at the back and watched other families let their toddlers interact with Chip and Dale and Thumper.

DF tried to nab a photo of Thumper:



Becoming bored, DF and I left and walked around looking at Christmas trees for a bit. I loved how many themed ones were displayed. You could look at them and tell a lot of thought and planning went into them.


I found Pluto's dog house adorable.


My favorite one was Finding Nemo.

The starfish ornaments and blue coral were awesome, and I found myself wishing I could decorate a tree in that style with my younger brother, who's favorite movie is Finding Nemo.

This tree came in second place for my favorite:


It was outside the entrance to FotLK, which I thought was very fitting.



Around 10:40, DF and I made our way to the door leading into the Festival's building and waited.


This was my number 1 TO-DO on this trip, and I was nearly bouncing up and down with anticipation.

My favorite Disney movie is The Lion King and that has a lot to do with its music. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the movie's soundtrack, so I could not wait to hear the songs live on stage.





Around 10:50, the doors opened and they let us all in.




DF and I randomly sat down on the set of bleachers directly across from the doors.

Turned out, we were in the elephant section.



We had a lot of laughs waving our arm and trying to sound like an elephant.


Soon, the show began.

They brought out all the animals.

We were to the right of Simba, my favorite!




We watched the monkeys jumping on the trampoline and flipping in the air. It was my favorite part of the show; those people are so talented to be able to balance and time their moves down to the second.
Graceful.


Not to mention entertaining.



Then came my favorite song, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" with the two birds flying in the sky.



It was really entrancing watching the scene play out with the song. I couldn't tear my eyes away from it.


There was also a fire-breather, but none of the pictures of him turned out, so I can't show that part.


Children came to the stage and danced with the zebras, lions, and giraffes, and everyone in the audience (especially me) swayed in their seats.

I really loved how interactive the actors were with the audience. They'd come right up to the side of the bleachers and get you to clap, and they'd pose for pictures whenever they saw a camera.
There was a handicapped woman sitting in front of DF and I and we watched as the leader of the elephant group kept coming by and hugging her and dancing next to her. It was really sweet.


Before I knew it the show was over.




And DF and I had to leave.


By the time we were back outside it was almost 11, and we figured we could do one more thing before we would have to stop for lunch.

But what?


Since KS was the closest attraction near us, DF and I both agreed to get the animal knocked out.
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:23 PM   #140
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Looks like a great start to a great day! I had no idea about the themed Christmas trees. They are so cute. I'm glad you got to see Festival of the Lion King. My Favorite!
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Old 04-29-2011, 11:19 PM   #141
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Hello! New to your trip report, and I just read the first couple installments, but I just had to comment already. My DH was in the USAF for 10 years, and our last base was in NW FL....where are you all at??
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Old 04-30-2011, 03:58 PM   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyAsh32 View Post
Looks like a great start to a great day! I had no idea about the themed Christmas trees. They are so cute. I'm glad you got to see Festival of the Lion King. My Favorite!

I wasn't aware of them, either, until we got to the park and started looking around. I liked them, because they were a little more discreet than the usual, very flamboyant Disney decorations.
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Old 04-30-2011, 04:00 PM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holly324 View Post
Hello! New to your trip report, and I just read the first couple installments, but I just had to comment already. My DH was in the USAF for 10 years, and our last base was in NW FL....where are you all at??
Hi, and thanks for joining in! I have lived all over the U.S, and NW FL is probably one of my favorite places. Alex is stationed at Hurlburt Field, but I live near Eglin and do all my shopping and runs on that base.
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Old 05-01-2011, 12:58 AM   #144
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I love Festival of the Lion King! There's so many talented in that show, between the exuberant Tumble Monkeys, and the soaring Bird Dancers and those amazing singers! Not to mention the fire guy. Good show.
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Old 05-01-2011, 02:59 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by amazingact21 View Post
Hi, and thanks for joining in! I have lived all over the U.S, and NW FL is probably one of my favorite places. Alex is stationed at Hurlburt Field, but I live near Eglin and do all my shopping and runs on that base.
We lived in Crestview for 4 years, and my DH was stationed at Eglin as an ATC in the tower. We loved our time there.....oh, how I miss the Destin commons and the Sandestin outlet mall! I am going to read your trip report now!!
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:08 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by PirateKate View Post
I love Festival of the Lion King! There's so many talented in that show, between the exuberant Tumble Monkeys, and the soaring Bird Dancers and those amazing singers! Not to mention the fire guy. Good show.

Agreed! It's no surprise why Festival is the most popular show at Disney World. The singers have such beautiful voices!
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:12 PM   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holly324 View Post
We lived in Crestview for 4 years, and my DH was stationed at Eglin as an ATC in the tower. We loved our time there.....oh, how I miss the Destin commons and the Sandestin outlet mall! I am going to read your trip report now!!

My family and I actually live in Crestview, but I spend the majority of my time in Navarre. I love the Destin Commons; it is such a beautiful area! Thanks for following along!
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:03 PM   #148
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Now that I only have 3 more updates left on this TR, I have found that I am procrastinating on writing them. I know I should knock them out and look forward to my next trip, but it's kind of sad to think that this December trip is about to really be over.


Spotting Some Animals and Grabbing a Nice Lunch:


The line for KS was very long, but DF and I decided to tough it out and wait. It was not the smartest decision in the world, but we weren't in any rush.

We were in line behind people with a little baby, and since DF had nowhere to run, I asked him a bunch of baby questions, like, "What do you hope we have first, a boy or a girl? Do you think you're going to be like your dad? Do you think I'm going to be like my mom?"

DF and I both come from really big families and we both have said we wanted lots of kids, but I don't think DF enjoyed talking about them at WDW. Especially when he was stuck in a standstill line.
In my defense, though, he brought it all on himself when he talked about the Jedi Training Academy two days earlier.

I was merely building onto that conversation.


After what probably felt like 3 hours to DF(it was only an hour) we hopped aboard one of the jeeps for our safari tour.


We sat in the front row, and I called our car the "adults car." At first, it was because there were NO kids in our car.


None.


That was the first time I'd ever not been around children at WDW.



The 2nd reason to the name is coming up...


DF and I saw some hippos soaking up the winter sun.


There was also some swimming around in the water.


We came across some workers:



Halfway through our trip, the vehicles in front of us became backed up, so we spent a lot of time looking at wildlife.

Turns out, the vehicles had to stop because two of the animals had gotten a whiff of springtime a little early and decided to share their love in the middle of the road.


These guys threw the whole tour out of the window.
(By the way...DF insisted on the photo, not me!)


The other guests in my car started to have a field day and they had the tour guide completely forgetting everything about his script. He kept trying to reign them back, but everytime he began speaking in the intercom, he just busted out laughing.


It was a really good thing there were no kids in our car, because the jokes my carmates were saying were on a PG-13 level.


Eventually, the tour guide composed himself enough to drive us past the giraffes and elephants.


I became excited when I was able to see the baby elephant walking around.



When we came to the lions, the tour guide was really nice. He pulled around and even though we were really behind schedule, he stopped the car and sat there until every person had found where the lion was hiding.



Since the ride had kind of gone out of the window, our tour guide really did try to make sure every person in the car got a great view of each animal.
It was very sweet.


Near the end of the ride, our tour guide made a half-hearted effort at keeping the skit going.
"Oh, hey guys, how about we go save the elephant from some poachers?"


I didn't even know we were looking for poachers, that's how uncontrollable our car was.



We drove through the rough terrain, saw the water, and came to the poacher's campsite.



"Yay, we saved the animal."


Our tour guide said it like he was saying, "Oh, yay, the light turned green."



He left us all with cheerful farewells and a big smile, which I deciphered as: "Thank you for the change of pace, but pllllleeeeeaaasssseeee get out of my car so I can go get back to what I'm supposed to be doing."



DF and I agreed that KS might not have been the most thrilling ride of our trip, but it would definitely be the most memorable. I still can't believe how off-track that tour got.



It was lunchtime when we got off the ride, so DF and I stopped at Pizzafari to grab a bite to eat.
I could have sworn I'd taken pictures of the restaurant, but I must have accidentally deleted them.

Both DF and I say that this was the best CS place we ate at the entire trip. The service was unbelievable! There was CMs spread throughout the restaurant directing people to free tables, and they helped people grab napkins, condiments, and extra chairs when needed.

DF and I ordered the pepporoni pizza, breadsticks, and caesar salads. I am kind of a picky person when it comes to my salads (I HATE stale lettuce) but this one was really fresh and the breadsticks were very soft.

After eating so many burgers and fries the past few days, the salad was a really nice change. It gave us a nice jolt of energy and the atmosphere of the restaurant relaxed us for awhile.


As we were going to leave, a CM with a Stitch plush hand, stopped my DF and excaimed, "You have a Stitch key! I wish I had one. Listen, no matter how many people ask, DON'T TRADE THAT PIN!"



Wow.



DF and I weren't really sure how to reply to that except to reassure the CM that we would hold onto it.



In the end, we didn't hold Pizzafari very high in our expectations list, but after eating there, DF and I would not hesitate to eat there again. DF has even said he wouldn't care about ever eating at a TS restaurant there since Pizzafari was fulfilling enough.


I don't neccessarily agree with him on that, but I will say that it's my number 1 place to go when I want pizza at WDW.



Up next: Our AK afternoon. AKA: The FUN post! (And you will finally be able to see the WORST ride picture of me EVER taken. )
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:35 PM   #149
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Just found your TR. I really enjoyed reading it so far. Congrats on the engagement. Hope you have a wonderful trip I see you are leaving in a few days.
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:47 PM   #150
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Awesome trip report and congrats on your engagement
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