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Old 03-18-2011, 08:14 AM   #31
TanzUnited99
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Have just come across your TR and had to comment, as I am also a planner and loved looking at your itinerary and colour coded sheet of the parks! Love Laura's map of Epcot with places to find all the hotties

OMG on seeing David Boreanaz!!! I also loved Buffy so would have been sooo excited and what a way to start your vacation!

Boo on having that kid behind you on the plane - I have had that on a long flight and it isn't pleasant

Love the pics of SoG and that snowman set up sure is amusing! I imagine myself being as excited as you guys on our first trip and squealing in delight over every little thing!! Hopefully I won't get too many funny looks - don't think I'd care though

Love all the purchases and yay on booking another trip and getting the same room!
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:27 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eight View Post
I love your description of your seeing the castle in the monorail. Every time I go to Disney World, it's like, "woah, it's so big! and pretty!" Sleepy Beauty's Castle just seems so small in comparison.
I know right?? It's just SO humongous! In my next post (a tangent post actually, about a recent DL excursion) I included photos of the backs of both castles. When you look at them both one right next to the other like that, it's pretty crazy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eight View Post
Edit:
P.S.
Is it cool if I quickly mention I started my TR? You can find it here.
Hahaha- well certainly! I finally caught up the other day and am loving it so far!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pkdof View Post
Love your report so far. We were on the same flight LAX to MCO and also saw DB on the plane.
Hahahaha OMG really??? I'm finding that hilariously hilarious at the moment! What a very small world! Wasn't that a great flight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VBsHustla View Post
How on earth can one possibly spend over an hour in Mouse Gear?! That's quite impressive, but I definitely would have stormed out after about ten minutes!
DUDE, I have NO idea!!!! My mom and Heather were frequently the most annoying touring companions! They kept leaving me and disappearing and I would have to exert SO much energy trying to find them again. How do you spend an hour in Mouse Gear and 5 min in the China pavilion?
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SoG, November 2011 / SoG, December 2011 / WL, May 2012 / SoG, July 4th 2013 (PTR: This Land is MY Land!)/
-In Progress- "I Don't Cruise… I Jingle Cruise." --A New Year's PTR--
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:40 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToonTagTrolleyDollie View Post
hey just found your thread and ive just caught up Loving the arts and crafts you did before hand, i may just have to invest in some pom poms and glitter glue
Cant wait to read on!
Why thank you! Pre-WDW crafting is pretty much the most rewarding activity ever. I def recommend door magents- returning to our room was always such a riot. Plus when a staffer came by once w/ extra towels he gave me the most bewildered expression.

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Originally Posted by UncleOrville View Post
I also can't believe you spent so much time in Mouse Gear. Too bad you didn't know your way around at that point - I def would have been out of there about an hour earlier.
I am truly never venturing into Mouse Gear ever again. I think after getting an hour of sleep, a 3000 mile journey, and being starving I was too delirious to really put my foot down!

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Originally Posted by UncleOrville View Post
I do love that camera case you got! I am hoping they are still there this week; will certainly pick one up if they are!
I hope you found one! I bought my new camera in the summer and all the camera cases I saw were terribly ugly so I refrained. So glad I waited for the perfect hot pink Disney variety!

Quote:
Originally Posted by em6668 View Post
I was sent to this report by VBsHustla on twitter. I was not steered in the wrong direction. Really enjoying it so far. Hopefully things will settle down in real life so you can continue.
Thanks so much! VBsHustla has excellent taste in TRs. I prob shouldn't be DISing at the moment but oh well! Currently drafting a new post about a recent DL trip and another that should finish up our first night in Epcot finally!
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-In Progress- "I Don't Cruise… I Jingle Cruise." --A New Year's PTR--
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:58 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TanzUnited99 View Post
Have just come across your TR and had to comment, as I am also a planner and loved looking at your itinerary and colour coded sheet of the parks! Love Laura's map of Epcot with places to find all the hotties
Excellent- a fellow Danny Tanner-ite! I got such a kick out of those pocket itineraries and I actually consulted mine several times during our trip. I really recommend this great site that offers free "crowd calendars" and suggests the optimal park to visit for the day:

easyWDW crowd calendars

Just pick whichever month you need from the right. Their December calendar agreed almost exactly w/ my predictions, so I find them reliable. Plus we ran into almost no crowds during this trip which was dangerously close to Christmas, so I consider crowd logic a really worthwhile exercise.

Laura's Epcot map I found to also be quite accurate!


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Originally Posted by TanzUnited99 View Post
OMG on seeing David Boreanaz!!! I also loved Buffy so would have been sooo excited and what a way to start your vacation!
I know!! I still laugh out loud about it sometimes. I love that they were standing right next to us and I hardly noticed at first.

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Originally Posted by TanzUnited99 View Post
I imagine myself being as excited as you guys on our first trip and squealing in delight over every little thing!! Hopefully I won't get too many funny looks - don't think I'd care though
I'm so excited for your first trip to the World!!! Seeing all of the notorious WDW landmarks for the first time was truly even more superb than I anticipated. And I was semi-worried that my expectations would be too high. Def not the case- even my parents can't wait to go back!
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:15 AM   #35
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another new ticker!!!

BY GOLLY, I HAVE ANOTHER NEW TICKER!!!!

Hello there, long time no see! I've been terribly busy w/ school lately and haven't been able to DIS. In fact, I shouldn't even be DISing right now but one of the first things I thought to do after dreaming up my latest WDW adventure was to make a new ticker! My notorious comrades, Kendra and Laura (aka VBsHustla), and I are spring breaking in the World! I managed to scrounge up a reservation at SoG w/ less than a month to go (I had to call them several times per day for a couple days in hopes of snapping up someone's cancellation). In addition, we'll be running up to Cape Canaveral for a half day to (fingers crossed) see space shuttle Endeavor lift off. This is the second to last shuttle launch EVER, and once we realized that it became quite the emergency.

You can watch the launch here:
Spaceflight Now | STS-134 | Mission Status Center

I have of course already constructed a crowd calendar and drafted our itinerary. I am SO not getting this paper done right now...
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-In Progress- "I Don't Cruise… I Jingle Cruise." --A New Year's PTR--
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:57 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magichusky View Post
I really recommend this great site that offers free "crowd calendars" and suggests the optimal park to visit for the day:

easyWDW crowd calendars

I love that website too, especially as it is free! Have already been on it many times and have it saved in my bookmarks!

I'm so excited for your first trip to the World!!! Seeing all of the notorious WDW landmarks for the first time was truly even more superb than I anticipated. And I was semi-worried that my expectations would be too high. Def not the case- even my parents can't wait to go back!
Thank you!! I have the same worry but am glad that in actual truth you loved it and you all can't wait to go back!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by magichusky View Post
BY GOLLY, I HAVE ANOTHER NEW TICKER!!!!

My notorious comrades, Kendra and Laura (aka VBsHustla), and I are spring breaking in the World! I managed to scrounge up a reservation at SoG w/ less than a month to go (I had to call them several times per day for a couple days in hopes of snapping up someone's cancellation).

I have of course already constructed a crowd calendar and drafted our itinerary. I am SO not getting this paper done right now...
on going to Disney World on your Spring break!!! Yay on getting a SoG reservation after calling several times and constructing your crowd calendar and itinerary!!

I remember during my studies I used to look for every excuse possible so I didn't have to deal with my assignments
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:03 PM   #37
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TANGENT #1: DL on Saturday, Jan 22nd, 2011

TANGENT #1: "SWING KIDS" | Disneyland Saturday, 1/22/2011

Certainly I wasn't exclusively being academic for the duration of my month long absence from the DIS- I went to Disneyland! It was strange b/c when I was at the MK I kept thinking I was in DL and this day while I was in DL I kept thinking I was in the MK!

That morning, I drove down to Anaheim b/c there was a dollhouse miniature show in a hotel adjacent to DL. (I build dollhouses and furnish them w/ expensive things I can't afford) Kendra was actually totally available for a DL run and was planning on going swing dancing that evening in Carnation Plaza! So it was decided that we would rendezvous in the hub around 4pm.

I arrived at DL around 4pm but had to renew my AP before I proceeded. I was starving so planned on immediately running to Hungry Bear for my $2 grilled cheese specialty. When I finally finished shelling out $400 and had my shiny new AP in my hot little hand, I was appalled to find that Main Street was in a disgusting state:



The hub looked even more atrocious:



I've never seen the castle totally walled off before! After I recovered from my shock, I bustled to Critter Country:



Once I got myself round the mountain I was infuriated- Hungry Bear was closed too!!! What in the Disney World was I supposed to eat now??? I hobbled over to Fantasyland to distract myself while waiting for Kendra.

The new Rapunzel (excuse me, Tangled) character meet 'n' greet area:





I scoffed at all the poor suckers standing in the hour long Peter Pan queue. Then I noticed this alligator steeple:



I don't recall seeing this before???



Still love my hot pink California castle:



However the Florida variety is rather imposing, I must say:



I then strolled into the gift shop inside the castle and found another thing I don't think I've ever seen before- this great Sleeping Beauty display:



My stomach was grumbling angrily at this point so I walked over to the Blue Ribbon Bakery and bought a monstrosity of a sugar cookie w/ hot orange sprinkles. I then went back to the hub where there were a million empty benches since the entire area was pretty much walled off and manically consumed the entire cookie in solitude. Unfortunately the 3000 sugar calories just weren't doing the trick so I wandered back down Main Street in a food coma and went through the shops, where all of the merchandise was quickly morphing into various food items.

Finally Kendra had arrived!! Even in my food coma, I spied her by the flag pole and we immediately set off to New Orleans Square for dinner since we were both starving terribly. Kendra mentioned that she had a hankering for this thing called a "Monte Cristo" sandwich that she had discovered on her last DL run, so we busted into Cafe Orleans w/ a 2 minute wait. Kendra ordered the sandwich and I settled on an $18 adult serving of mac 'n' cheese (what can I say? I don't do cajun-creole). The service at that place is the slowest ever but we wound up having a fabulous conversation and somehow dined for an entire hour. I sampled a bit of the Monte Cristo and almost had a heart attack. It was basically a fried donut enshrouding a block of meat and cheese, dipped in some sort of sweet fruit sauce. Definitely less of a sandwich and more like a dowich.

After eating we ran to Indiana Jones but it was broken! So we decided that we would instead go visit Abe, do the tower in CA Adv, then return to Carnation Plaza for swing dancing. Apparently a friendly gaggle of characters gathers in the Plaza every Saturday for a good swing. Kendra's recently been taking swing lessons much to my surprise since I can't imagine anyone voluntarily taking dance lessons. The food coma she was in made Kendra brave so she requested we eventually ride something "fast." I discovered that she hadn't been on BTMR in absolute yrs! We stopped for some FPs to use later on our way to see Abe.

We entered the Lincoln exhibition and I could barely take a pic of the original Sleeping Beauty castle model (Kendra's in the background gnawing on a turret) before the next show started.



Abe, you're up rather early this morning:



After the show ended, the silhouette of a brave, noble eagle swooshed dramatically across the walls and I became inspired and started brandishing my camera and singing: "Ameeeerrrricaaaa, spread your goooolden wings...." I was mortified when several people began gawking and Kendra exploded into laughter. I had been discussing this song earlier at dinner for some reason and Kendra exclaimed: "OMG, you really DO know the words!" Yes, unfortunately I can memorize songs and narratives from 99% of Disney attractions but can only recall 50% of my research on a good day. Oh well.

I took a few more pics while exiting the exhibition hall.

"You can't run from trouble, there ain't no place that far."



We both loved these centaurs gathering for a festival for some reason:



We followed that up w/ CA Adv, which is looking disgusting these days w/ all the construction. Kendra insisted we detour through the new Tron rave area on our way to the tower, just so I could "witness the insanity." Unfortunately I didn't take any pics b/c I was so terribly flabbergasted. There were obnoxious electric blue strobe lights, obnoxious techno music, and weird CMs clad in white and dancing obnoxiously atop these elevated platforms. Tweens, teens, and wackos with glow in the dark attachments were pretending they were cool and attempted to rave dance while fist pumping, some sipping drinks w/ glowing ice cubes. Small children were going bananas w/ neon blinking hula-hoops (Kendra and I tried to join in but all the hoops were being rudely monopolized). In short, I was pretty much bamboozled by the addition of a fake rave to my wholesome escape. What in the Disney World at you, CA Adv???

CONTINUED IN NEXT POST...
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-In Progress- "I Don't Cruise… I Jingle Cruise." --A New Year's PTR--

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Old 03-24-2011, 06:10 PM   #38
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TANGENT #1 CONT (Part 2/2)

...TANGENT #1 CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS POST...

The tower was fabulous as usual. I was pleased to be ushered over to shaft #1. We returned to DL and were irritated to discover that Indiana Jones was still broken. So we continued on to Carnation Plaza. The place was in full swing:



Plus, a super popular band called "Stompy Jones" had come down from San Francisco for the weekend. Apparently they're adored by the swing community, hence the large turnout.



Funny story: Kendra met up w/ a guy (I think his name was Justin) from her dance class she had planned on rendezvousing w/ that evening. We finally found him and merely seconds after first contact, a girl w/ a purple scrunchie ran over, practically threw herself at Justin, introduced herself, and proceeded to hover. I was instantly amused and later pointed out the ambush to Kendra. Kendra confirmed my observation and explained that Purple was obsessed w/ Justin and was automatically jealous of everyone, however the two seemed to be perpetually locked in some weird pre-dating or worse yet for Purple, some pre-not-dating phase. Since I'm not really into swing dancing, I spent the rest of the time trying to take action shots of Kendra and spying on Purple.

















You'll be super duper excited to hear that I also filmed the madness that is swing:

Kendra swing dancing at Disneyland w/ Stompy Jones! (YouTube)

After Kendra had her fill of swing dancing, we realized we were positively freezing cold so we headed over to the now empty Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante and huddled under their heating lamps while we called our mothers (I wonder if I'll still have to check in like this when I'm 30?). Since the restaurant was conveniently adjacent to BTMR, we got in the FP queue. At that late hour our FPs only saved us about 5-10 minutes, but I'll take it!

Kendra, who hadn't been on BTMR in several yrs, totally flipped out and immediately requested another round later. We then ran back to Indiana Jones, which was still broken, so we hit up Pirates instead, during which the fireworks must've taken place. We were seated in the last row and unfortunately the boat behind us was chock full of ridiculous teens who decided to sporadically flick water at us. Once I realized where the water was coming from I was on the verge of jumping out and wading through the water so I could ring their little teenage necks when suddenly they disappeared into the fog. I assumed a CM was on top of things and spaced out our boats a bit to diffuse the situation.

After we emerged from the bayou, we rounded Tarzan's Treehouse and hesitantly peeked over at Indiana. It was open!!! People were straight up strolling into the temple so we decided to pass up the single rider line. Upon initially entering the queue, we paused and debated for about 10 seconds to make sure we weren't making a mistake by traveling into the regular standby line. Within that time, two giant, crazy college guys practically ran over us and started complaining loudly about the fact that we stupidly had no idea where we were going. I was like whoa there, I have 2/3 of a PhD- NObody w/ 1/10 of a bachelors in general studies calls me stupid! I whipped around in preparation for a smack-down and they began apologizing profusely. Unfortunately we got stuck w/ these strange characters for the rest of the queue and the entire ride.

We were pleased to discover that we had a full 10 minutes to get to BTMR for a 2nd ride before the park closed at 11pm. While screaming past my favorite goat chewing dynamite, we decided that we would get an ice cream sundae on Main Street on our way out. When we arrived at the establishment, we came across this exceedingly random but great photo opportunity:



I don't understand how I've been roaming DL for 20+ yrs and never realized that the ice cream shop actually has a name: "Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor." We ordered a double cookie sundae and split it. I of course annihilated my cookie within seconds.

After Kendra caught up w/ me and, in turn, annihilated her own cookie, we traveled to the Emporium where I purchased a white lacquered Mickey Mouse silhouette photo frame. I later put a photo of my Mom, sister, and me in front of DHS back in December in the frame and gave it to my Mom as a thank you gift for WDW! My Mom actually almost bought the same frame in WDW. While exiting the store, I came across another thing that I had never noticed before- these scenes up near the roof of the store w/ animatronics. My fav was this woman sitting in an office and feeding her parrot:



So that about wraps up my tangent. Kendra was off to the Lion King parking lot while I headed to Mickey & Friends. Can't wait to shove Kendra on the WDW version of BTMR!! I'm planning on posting our Coral Reef dinner and the remainder of our Epcot evening in the next few days- just have to finish this terrible paper first! 'Til then- see ya real soon!
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:13 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TanzUnited99 View Post
I remember during my studies I used to look for every excuse possible so I didn't have to deal with my assignments
Hahaha totally! DIS is really the ultimate procrastinating tool. I don't know why I don't simply just complete the paper up front and DIS afterwards- it would be so much less stressful.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:59 PM   #40
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What a great DL Adventure! However, I am horrified by the following aspects: 1) Main Street: that castle looks even more pathetic than usual with that wall all around it! 2) The Tangled meet and greet: that hair all over Fantasyland looks simply disgusting! 3) the fried meat/cheese donut combo! The cookie, however, sounded sublime.

The Lincoln show looks completely amazing! I just adore any combination of Disney and patriotism, so I imagine that show is extremely inspirational! I am appalled that Kendra was shocked by your performance of Golden Dream Well, Kendra will know that song all too well soon enough!

Love the swing dancing video! Kendra's dancing and Stompy Jones were both very impressive!
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:41 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magichusky View Post
Yes, unfortunately I can memorize songs and narratives from 99% of Disney attractions but can only recall 50% of my research on a good day. Oh well.
[/SIZE]
So true. Well, except I'm not working on a PhD, but I mean, replace 'research' with 'everything important I should know' and you get me.
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:43 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by VBsHustla View Post
What a great DL Adventure! However, I am horrified by the following aspects: 1) Main Street: that castle looks even more pathetic than usual with that wall all around it! 2) The Tangled meet and greet: that hair all over Fantasyland looks simply disgusting! 3) the fried meat/cheese donut combo! The cookie, however, sounded sublime.
Hahaha hey, that castle is perfect in every way! But yes, the hair in the new Tangled area is disgusting! I was appalled that they also added a Rapunzel tower complete w/ hair to the German train village in Epcot. I thought I took a pic of that thing but I guess I was too horrified. Dude, don't remind me about that donut sandwich. I'm probably still burning that one bite off.

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Originally Posted by VBsHustla View Post
Love the swing dancing video! Kendra's dancing and Stompy Jones were both very impressive!
She's actually far too embarrassed to watch the video straight through! Hilarious! I thought she appeared quite coordinated (especially compared to what I'd probably look like in that situation).

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Originally Posted by Eight View Post
So true. Well, except I'm not working on a PhD, but I mean, replace 'research' with 'everything important I should know' and you get me.
Hahaha of course! I believe it's a motivational issue.
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:50 AM   #43
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5/13/2011: I'm back!

AN OVERDUE UPDATE- I'M BACK!

Greetings my dear friends! I'm so terribly sorry for my long absence! I was encumbered w/ school activities, most notably the dreaded "qualifying exam." I believe there was a 2 week period during which I did not travel outside. I ate spaghettios on my birthday. But there was something splendid waiting for me on the other side of the madness: an April excursion to Disney World! I've since passed my exam and returned from Florida (this time it was scalding hot instead of bitter cold) and am now available for some major DISing. Plus I'm of course planning on whipping up a brand new TR for the occasion. In the meantime, I'll post this teaser:



And now, for the conclusion of (omg I'm such a delinquent!) our first day at the World, back on Dec 17th, 2010...
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:55 AM   #44
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DAY 1.3: Dining at Coral Reef w/ Super Waiter!

DAY 1.3: Dining at Coral Reef with Super Waiter!

When we last left off (which was rather long ago ), I had just escaped from Mouse Gear within an inch of my life and we had journeyed into our imaginations for our very first Disney World attraction ever. We followed that up with the Nemo adventure which was quite convenient since it was adjacent to the Coral Reef, where we were dining that evening (8:50pm ADR). Thank goodness my Dad was already waiting there for us and had already checked in, because I was in a definite food coma.



Lemme in!!!!



We only had to wait about 2 min to be ushered into the dining room.



I was enamored w/ the assortment of glowing seashells scattered throughout the seating area:



There are 3 levels to the dining room and we were seated in the level furthest from the aquarium.



I was a bit disappointed initially but after about 20 min we had the whole section to ourselves so it was perfectly tranquil. During the 20 min that we had neighboring diners we were pretty irritated b/c there was a large party made up almost entirely of obnoxious tiny children. Umm, I think you belong at Chef Mickey's?

I adored the menu and little fish guide the Reef gave us so that we could properly identify all of the fish we were staring at. I of course stole both of them:



I got stupid excited every time the resident sea turtle drifted by but never managed to get a proper photo:



We decided that the standard offering of bread wasn't nearly enough since we were all starving so we ordered the Surf & Turf Sampler. My Dad got the lobster soup and a drink called "The Abyss." My Mom also had the cupcake vineyards chardonnay.





For our entrees, my Mom ordered the mushroom phyllo crisp:



My dad ordered the pan seared seasonal catch (white sea bass):



Heather ordered the pan roasted sea scallops:



And I had the seared chicken breast:



After we all decimated our meals, our super-waiter, Tony, caught me taking photos of the food and "writing feverishly" in my TR notebook. I informed him that I was "with the DIS" and he was delighted.

We didn't come all the way to Florida to miss dessert, right? To celebrate traveling 3000 miles, we went a bit wild...

Introducing the Bailey's & Jack Daniel's Mousse:



The almond gelato:



And Tony totally gave us a free "chocolate wave":



Not only did Tony insist that we order the Bailey's Mousse (which was genius, even though I'm not one for alcoholic desserts) but he gave us tips on mixing all of the desserts together in different ways. Dude, it was like a wonderful kind of rocket science. I preferred mixing the mousse w/ the almond gelato. In fact, if I could only order one dessert, I'd probably order the gelato, but I highly recommend the mousse even if you're not an alcoholic!

I adored Tony so much that I insisted we have our photograph taken:



When Tony found out it was our first visit to the World, he procured these light up Tinkerbell clip-ons that he presented to Heather and me:





We were SO excited!!! Sure doesn't take much to get me hyper at WDW. The Tinkerbells were actually extremely useful for the rest of the trip, because we used them to find eachother in large crowds at night.

Coral Reef was easily our #1 WDW dining experience (it even slightly edged out Le Cellier) and my parents became Reef obsessed- my Mom has asked me at least 10 times when we can make our new ADRs for next December. Even Col. Joy has inquired! In addition, when I ate at Coral Reef in April I was once again seated in Tony's section and he totally remembered me and asked where my parents and sister were! Hopefully we'll see him again next Christmas! By far the best waiter at WDW- apparently he's been working at the Reef for around 12 yrs.

Anyway, the night was still young and we were right smack in the middle of Epcot EMH! We hadn't even caught a glimpse of the World Showcase yet and I honestly had no earthly idea where the darn thing was even located. But of one thing I was sure: there be a maelstrom ahead!

TO BE CONTINUED...
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SoG, December 2010 ('Jungle All the Way!' A Very Christmasy TR / PTR) / SoG, April 2011 / SoG, September 2011 /
SoG, November 2011 / SoG, December 2011 / WL, May 2012 / SoG, July 4th 2013 (PTR: This Land is MY Land!)/
-In Progress- "I Don't Cruise… I Jingle Cruise." --A New Year's PTR--
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:02 AM   #45
magichusky
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DAY 1.4: Epcot EMH

DAY 1.4: Epcot EMH

We waddled out of Coral Reef around 10:15pm; Heather and I were of course still glowing alien green with our light-up Tinkerbell freebies. Destination: World Showcase. But no one had any clue where it was!

Which way, Christmas Pluto?



On the other side of the Christmas tree, of course!







Once we rounded the humongous tree, I raced over to that wide open space adjacent to the Friendship dock, where most people park themselves to watch Illuminations. I ran up to the railing against the water and stared at the World Showcase for the first time ever. My parents and Heather were too Coral Reefed out to follow me and hung back by the tree area. Heather said that all she could see was a fire green orb of light zooming around in the darkness.

For some reason, Epcot was entirely empty- I had to consult my pocket itinerary just to double check that there was indeed EMH and it wasn't closing. As I leaned up against the railing, I found myself surprised at how large each of the pavilions was, especially the American pavilion! I remember it being so quiet and dark and being entirely stunned that I was in Disney World. Epcot has always been very "Disney World" to me, since it's so unlike anything at Disneyland, so I was quite delighted that it was our first park.



The other thing that's very "Disney World" to me: Maelstrom! I've somehow become obsessed w/ Maelstrom over the years and had watched it countless times via YouTube. Now it was time for the real thing, the big kahuna. My Mom was also excited to see the Norwegian pavilion since she lived there when she was in her twenties. Colonel Joy even became inspired and the trolls magically transformed the grumpiest German in America into a Norwegian Viking:



The grumpiest sister in America resisted the power of the magic trolls but had already sprouted a helmet:



"What is this Maelstrom exactly?" my confused counterparts inquired. I explained that it was a Norwegian POTC. We entered the Maelstrom expecting peril and adventure but instead found beauty and charm. What a FABULOUS attraction! An instant favorite. The obsession continues.

We emerged from the Fjording with a few souvenirs (Mom went a bit nuts!). She purchased a jubilant troll (watch out, some of the trolls for sale were made in China! We had to look for a real Norwegian one), a red Dahla horse ornament, and a St. Lucia figurine (my favorite!):



I also had to get a special Epcot passport- I was impressed by the quality! Quite similar to a real one:







They also had a deal in which you could buy a discounted fleece throw if you spent more than a threshold amount. Figment and I have of course confiscated the throw:



We were all rather delirious from our long journey, so after Norway we started to head out. On the way, we were overwhelmed w/ curiosity as to what exactly was inside that big ball (which I'm convinced looks fake if you stare at it long enough):



So we hopped onto Spaceship Earth as there was no line:



I read somewhere that if you take a pic w/ the flash on of the caveman scene, a message will pop out at you somewhere. Either I'm a sucker or just photographed the wrong wall segment:



Heather and I were of course talking and had no clue that the ride was taking our picture. Consequently, our futures look ridiculous!





We all agreed that SE was smelly inside and the strangest pseudo-educational attraction ever. Loved it! Although I must say that I despise the mammoth hunting scene at the beginning.

After inhaling the SE fumes for far too long, we teetered back over to the monorail for our return trip to SoG. I had no idea what these things were:



Well, good night dear World! Hope to get to know you a bit better tomorrow- but I like what I know so far!

Next time: Our first full day in WDW but... rain, rain, go away! DTD, AK, and a Wishes cruise!
__________________
Lauren
SoG, December 2010 ('Jungle All the Way!' A Very Christmasy TR / PTR) / SoG, April 2011 / SoG, September 2011 /
SoG, November 2011 / SoG, December 2011 / WL, May 2012 / SoG, July 4th 2013 (PTR: This Land is MY Land!)/
-In Progress- "I Don't Cruise… I Jingle Cruise." --A New Year's PTR--
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