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Old 05-26-2011, 10:36 AM   #76
GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes
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Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
They also sell some delicious fruity flavored frozen drinks that taste fantastic during the heat of the day. Why didn't you try one of those?????
No clue. I must have been having a senior moment.

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What? You want me to move from the middle of the row? Do you have any idea how much money I spent to be here?
Oh, really, you spent that much too?
Well, it cost me a lot of money to be here and I'm going to sit where I want to!!!

Sorry, just made me think about your negative guest interactions comments in the last updates.
Oh, just wait until we get over to MK in the next chapter.

I’m one of those folks that try really hard to just go with the flow and not get in anyone’s face about minor things (like common courtesy, or consideration ). As such, I’ve gotten stepped on a few times in my life.


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You'd think that they have a bunch of DIS Dads working there. Speaking of which, I wonder if they're hiring?
Good question. I’m pretty sure I could work for Dr Honeydew. I’ve got a lot of experience with things that go mightily wrong and/or blow up in your face.


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I like your laidback touring approach. I just hope that I can slow down to stop and smell the roses when we go. I tend to want to do everything multiple times when I get the opporunity to go my one time every 3 to 10 years.
Oh,believe you, me… There are many things I’d ride all day long if given the opportunity, and we’ve made many trips that were very heavy on rides. But… Christmas is a different situation. We’ve been down to WDW enough times now that we can justify skipping even a major attraction from time to time. And yet, even though we’ve been able to go relatively often, I can never be certain that I can pull that off (I’ve just been very lucky so far). The only reason I haven’t tried to buy into DVC is that for nearly ten years now, I just can’t guarantee that I’ll have gainful employment beyond the end of the week (and that’s a long time to be under constant stress for the same reason). We like the Disney experience so much that as a family, we’ll purposely do without a lot of other things in order to justify the extra cost of a trip to The World, but I also need to have the option of canceling it at the last minute.

I really could use that job at Muppets Labs… If I could survive the random explosions, the work would likely be far more stable
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:17 AM   #77
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I've been falling horribly behind on all of the TRs that I've been following, so this morning I sat down and plowed through all of your updates, all the way back to where I left off at Animal Kingdom. You're doing a great job - hopefully I can keep up now!
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:29 PM   #78
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I've been falling horribly behind on all of the TRs that I've been following, so this morning I sat down and plowed through all of your updates, all the way back to where I left off at Animal Kingdom. You're doing a great job - hopefully I can keep up now!
Thank you Master… ...I try.

High praise indeed... Seriously, I’m just honored that anyone even subscribed. Andy has been doing a really good job of keeping me honest though (and I appreciate it ).

I’ve been reading along with you’re Houston TR but haven’t posted anything so I can’t even think about complaining when it comes to the number of posts anyone else has on my little effort. This tells me that I need to get out of the shadows a bit more and join in on the conversations (which is part of what I’m doing with this trip report in the first place). Considering the normal way that the DisDads generally go about hijacking a TR, I figure that either A: I’m moving too fast, B: y’all are being kind to the first timer, or C: the bulk of you haven’t found this one yet. I suspect the serious hazing is on its way.
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Old 05-26-2011, 01:01 PM   #79
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The ToT is one of the better attractions but there are some folks that simply can’t bring themselves to get on the thing. My DW fits into that category. Neither she nor I are very fond of freefalls, but I don’t mind them when there is the force of speed involved (thus converting the fall into a dive). The tower doesn’t actually let you drop. Rather it pulls you down so you don’t notice the weightlessness so much, but it’s still more then Tamara really wants to deal with.
Really? I'd say I noticed it quite a bit.

Once again, your DW is a good woman.

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Well the next nearest attraction in the area was “Muppet Vision 3D” (another of our favorites), so we decided to take in the show.
The Muppets are great! Have you seen the trailer for their new movie?


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…and we also got to take in the entire pre-show, which is good because the Muppets put on one of the best pre-shows of any attraction at WDW.
The pre-show is like a bonus attraction.

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Another bonus for being at the head of the queue was that at least this time around, we wouldn’t have to fight so hard for a seat in the theater.
And you didn't have to crop-dust anybody as you climb over them, either! Come to think of it, maybe that's a drawback.

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Once the folks at Muppet Labs had succeeded in blowing up the entire theater (again), we walked down toward the Lights, Motors, Action show, but we’d already missed the start of the last performance for that one (maybe next time).
Darn. That's a pretty cool show, too.

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But we weren’t too upset. The sun had set by then and it was time to take in a very different type of spectacle.

One that only shows up during the holidays…
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Old 05-26-2011, 03:21 PM   #80
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Really? I'd say I noticed it quite a bit.
It’s an odd thing, but on this ride, I don’t notice that dead-stomach feeling one usually experiences when you’re dropped and only the acceleration of gravity is pulling at you. It could be that the darkness is keeping me from having a visual frame of reference and preventing my eyes form sending confused signals to my brain (that’s also assuming I actually have something that resembles a brain). But I also noticed that any type of ride that has a lot of speed and force behind it is a lot easier to deal with in general and especially in a drop or any kind of steep down hill.

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Once again, your DW is a good woman.


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The Muppets are great! Have you seen the trailer for their new movie?

I saw a link for it on the DDC yesterday. I didn’t see it coming at all. Very funny.

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The pre-show is like a bonus attraction.
You betch’em Red Rider.

The only preshow that was near as funny was the one for the long gone “Cranium Command” that was in the now defunct Wonders of Life pavilion at EPCOT (but I’m really showing my age here).

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And you didn't have to crop-dust anybody as you climb over them, either! Come to think of it, maybe that's a drawback.
I think it’s a drawback. I should have thought about that when I was dealing with this same peanut butter over at the PhilharMagic (but again, I’m getting ahead of myself ).

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Darn. That's a pretty cool show, too.
Yep. But, I have seen it many times, and as Arnold would say: “I’ll be back”.
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Old 05-26-2011, 03:35 PM   #81
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Bonus Feature - 1: Cranium Command

Hay! I found the script for the Cranium Command preshow
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


The audience stands for the preshow. We see an animated film. The opening scene shows a large group of military recruits seated in an auditorium.

Trousdale: I hear this new C.O. they sent over from HQ is a real featherweight.

Sicto: Ah, he's probably some desk jockey. Never been up in a brain in his life.

Bugle call sounds, and the recruits jump up and salute as General Knowledge enters.

Soldier: Ten-Hut! At ease!

General Knowledge: <blustery and LOUD> All right, you pitiful, soft-bellied sad sacks, eyes front and listen up! I'm your commanding officer, General Knowledge. And it's my job to turn you mealy-mouthed meatheads into a crack squadron of Cranium Commandos. Your job - if you can cut it - will be to run the most sophisticated information system ever devised: the human brain. You! There in the back! Suck in that gut and wipe that smile off your face! The brain is serious business. Now, listen up, you miserable toads! This is your brain.

<we see an illustration of a brain>

You will eat with it, sleep with it, you will never leave it! Without you, the brain is nothing. Without your brain, you are nothing! It took three million years of research and development to make this lean, mean thinkin' machine what it is today. In those years, we had some successes

<we see a photo of Albert Einstein>

and some failures,

<we see a photo of Jim Varney as Ernest>

and if you meatballs can't fly right, you'll wind up piloting one of these.

<we see a chicken>

Do I make myself clear!?

Recruits: Yes sir!

General Knowledge: I can't heeeear you!

Recruits: YES SIR!!

General Knowledge: That's better. A brain is divided into two halves, the right and the left.


<a small, bespectacled recruit, comes in late and tries to find a seat>
Buzzy: Excuse me, uh ... heheh ... sorry. Heheheh.

General Knowledge: You!

Buzzy: Me, sir?

General Knowledge: No, your mama! Yes, you! Get up here on the double! Move it, Move it, move it! What's your name, recruit?

Buzzy: Buzzy, sir!

General Knowledge: You think you're ready to pilot a brain, Fuzzy?

Buzzy: That's Buzzy, sir. Oh yes! You just let me in the control pa -

General Knowledge: Quiet! Do you know that the brain can process up to three million bytes of information per second?

Buzzy: Uh ... why yes, sir -

General Knowledge: I don't think you've got the ability to care. I don't think you understand the amount of concentration and commitment it takes to run this lovely unit. Just look at you! You're a disgrace! Does your mother still dress you, boy?

Buzzy: Well, yes sir.

General Knowledge: Don't talk when I'm shouting!! Drop and give me twenty!

Buzzy: Sir! Yes sir! <does as instructed>

General Knowledge: Where was I? Oh ... yes. Your brain is divided into two halves. The left brain handles the linear thinking: analysis, logic. The right brain is the creative center, home of the emotions and imagination. From the command seat, here in the cortex, you'll run the whole shebang. Any questions?

<Every hand in the auditorium goes up.>

No? Good!

<Warning beepers sound.>

All right, you chickens, this is it. Let's scramble. On the double! Move it, move it, move it!

<All the recruits step on Buzzy in their haste to follow the General's orders.>

What now, Scuzzy? Takin' a nap? Get your fanny in gear and hustle!

Buzzy: Sir! Yes ... sir!

<A military-type chant is heard, like something the Marines would sing on a long march.>

Chant:

Little women, little men,
Tucked inside your cra-ni-um!
We're the ones that make you go.
Cranium Comma-andos!


We see many different human heads. Each head opens up at the top, and a Cranium Commando will step in to pilot that brain.

Buzzy: <singing> Little women and little men -

General Knowledge: Blinky, you leadfoot, if you moved any slower you'd be going backwards! Putting you in a chicken is cruelty to animals! I'm gonna stick you in a squid, a lumpfish, a talk show host! Now get in line. Move it, move it, move it!

Soldier: Ten-Hut!

General Knowledge: Here's your assignments, so listen up! Sicto!

Sicto: Sir!

General Knowledge: You drew a rocket scientist. Ha! Sicto, if your brains were dynamite, you couldn't blow your nose! Take off!

Sicto: Sir, thank you, sir!

General Knowledge: Trousdale! Can you walk and chew gum at the same time?

Trousdale: Never tried, sir!

General Knowledge: I'd like to know how HQ picked you for this job, Trousdale. With a dart board?! That's your NFL All Pro runnin' back over there! Now get outta my sight!

Trousdale: Sir! Thank you, sir!

Buzzy: Uh, General Knowledge, sir? You didn't give me an assignment yet, sir.

General Knowledge: Oh no! This has gotta be a sick joke! So, goldbrick, you wanna pilot a brain, huh?

Buzzy: Yes sir!

General Knowledge: Well, some gen-i-us at HQ has picked you to pilot the most unstable craft in the fleet!

Buzzy: You - you don't mean -

General Knowledge: You guessed it, Stinky. An adolescent boy. This particular model is twelve years old. Very unpredictable.

Buzzy: Don't worry, sir! I can haaa-aaaa <falls> Don't worry, sir. <chuckles> I can - I can handle it.

General Knowledge: You couldn't find your head with both hands and a flashlight! Sweet blue yonder, where do they get these knuckleheads? And why do they always wind up in my outfit?

Flight Control: Roger, twelve-year-old, all clear for takeoff on delta one niner tango. All clear. Over.

General Knowledge: <to the audience> Hey, you goldbricks, this ain't a spectator sport! Where do you think you are, Disney World??!! Get your strollers in line and hustle! On the double! Move it, move it, move it!


= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

And I found a Youtube Vid that includes the preshow
(it starts a couple of minutes in)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMFJKjGBgOs

And the second part that has most of the actual presentation.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfwHMQHimlQ

Last edited by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes; 05-26-2011 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:36 PM   #82
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Chapter 5 – Day 2

- Part-8: “Let there be Lights”


We may have missed out on the “Motors… Action” part of the day, but we were just in time for the “Lights” part of the trip. I’m sure that you’re aware of lengths to which the Imagineers go to in order to decorate the parks for the holidays. Generally, the bulk of the trimming takes place in the shops and around the main entrance areas of the parks (and is just as fabulous as you might expect). But if you’ve never actually been down to Disney during the Christmas season, then you may not be aware that they also go to rather extraordinary lengths to decorate the Streets of America section of Hollywood Studios. Here’s the back story…

Once upon a time, there was a Dr. Osborn who lived in Arkansas and had a lovely little daughter that loved Christmas lights. As this fellow had both the desire to make his little girl smile and the where-with-all to pull it off in grand style, he would just cover their house in lights each year. It got to be a tradition and folks started coming from around the area to see what all else he’d be adding to the collection each season. The display got so large that he actually bought the house next-door to have more room for the display. The problem was that this luminary extravaganza began to draw so much traffic and such a large crowd each evening, that the rest of his neighbors couldn’t even get in or out of their houses. Needless to say, litigation soon became the inevitable result and the whole thing came to an end. This story caught the “ears” of one of the wheels at Disney, and they approached the Osborn family and asked if it would be possible to recreate the entire display onto the grounds of what was at the time called “MGM Studios”. All were in agreement and boxes and boxes of lights and other related paraphernalia were transferred from the Ozarks to Orlando.

Initially the Disney folks set up all the lights in the “Neighborhood Street” area where they originally did some of the filming for their sit-coms In the 80s & early 90s (as they were trying to have MGM be both a theme park and a working studio at the time). This section has since been town down to make room for the Auto Stunt show (which was originally pioneered across the pond at “Euro-Disney”). The lights then moved onto all the building facades that make up the rest of the Streets of America and from that point Disney kept adding to the size of the display. The CMs will tell you that the stopped counting just how many lights actually make up the complete show after they crossed over the 5,000,000 bulb mark. They’ve also been progressively replacing the older incandescent bulbs with LEDs and are just about done with that transition as well. Another way they go about “plussing” the experience (as Walt would have said), is that several times each evening, they’ll have a “Dancing Lights Show” where they will play a piece of holiday music and coordinate the lights to coincide with the rhythm. Here’s a video of one of those performances:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hNqYtMzXB0


And here are a few photos of some of the vignettes that we encountered while walking around the “Light Show”































Hay a Hidden Mickey!
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Old 05-27-2011, 06:21 AM   #83
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I knew most of that story, but I had never heard the part where he bought the house next door!

Great pictures! I've seen the display several times, and it just more magical each time. There is just so much stuff to see there that every time I look at someone else's pictures, I see things I missed. For example: the tire swing! That's so cool.
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Old 05-27-2011, 07:44 AM   #84
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Awesome pictures. I really liked the light show when I went there back in 2009. We also like 50"s Prime Time and eat there our first night. It's such a fun start to our vacation. Great TR.
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Old 05-27-2011, 07:50 AM   #85
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Ah, I love watching youtube videos and reliving old attractions. I miss the Wonders of Life pavillion. Not as much as I miss Horizons though.

I love the light pictures. Always amazes me, and I can't wait to see them in person!

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I knew most of that story, but I had never heard the part where he bought the house next door!
Same here... I'd never heard that part.
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:58 AM   #86
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I knew most of that story, but I had never heard the part where he bought the house next door!

Great pictures! I've seen the display several times, and it just more magical each time. There is just so much stuff to see there that every time I look at someone else's pictures, I see things I missed. For example: the tire swing! That's so cool.
This is one of only two things that Tamara in particular wanted to spend some time getting into during this trip. She was completely open to any plan so long as we got to see the lights again. As usual, she did good. We last saw this display in its 2003 incarnation and it is very, very different now. The Imagineers just took the concept and ran with it. I will now consider a little time among the lights as an absolute necessity if you’re spending any holiday time at Disney.

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Awesome pictures. I really liked the light show when I went there back in 2009. We also like 50"s Prime Time and eat there our first night. It's such a fun start to our vacation. Great TR.
Thanks and I’m glad your following along.

(But of course you realize that encouraging me will only result in my posting even more of my mindless drivel. Just so you’ve been warned)

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Ah, I love watching youtube videos and reliving old attractions. I miss the Wonders of Life pavillion. Not as much as I miss Horizons though.
The last time I got to see Horizons was 1992. Needless to say, that is a long distant hazy memory. It was also a first anniversary trip and as you might expect I was paying far more attention to my “Baby Girl” then I was to what all was going on around me. Before that I’d have to travel back to 1985 to even attempt to pull up a mental image of any type. I’ll have to rummage through the YouTube offerings when I get home and try to refresh my memory of that grand old veteran.
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:35 AM   #87
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Chapter 5 – Day 2

- Part-9: “A Partridge and a Yarn Tree”


After spending a good long while among the “Osborn Lights” we started back across the park and decided to duck into “One Man’s Dream” (another one of those traditions of ours that is both a great place to take in the little details and includes a theater where you can rest your soles for a bit). After that we took stock of the situation. Star-Tours was closed for renovation, most of the live theater shows were done for the day and the line for ToT was still r-e-a-l-l-y… l-o-n-g… We could stay for Fantasmic which is a great show, but it was starting to get really cold (for Florida) and we’ve seen it before, so this time around, we decided to call it a day and head back to POR.

Now the casual Disney traveler would read this chapter and say something along the line of: “Y’all only got on 2.5 rides? Seriously… Are you nuts?” Well, if you’re only counting TSM, RRC and then (begrudgingly) including GMR as rides then I can see your point, but once you add in the live action and animatronics shows along with meal, the light show and just the general atmosphere of the park itself, we felt like we’d certainly gotten our “money’s worth”. As Disney veterans, there is very little that we have not already done in the parks, and (as I’ve said before) “I’ll be back”.







Decision made, it was time to catch the bus back to the resort. Once back on the grounds at Riverside, we decided to hop off at the South Depot right by the Dinning Hall and go ahead and get a little bit of dinner. There are a good number of choices available from the counter service areas at the various resorts, and POR in no exception. We all spread out and started looking around for something that would hit the spot for the evening. Tamara and I settled for something from the “Build your own Pasta Dish” counter. She ended up with something “Alfrado-ish” and I had something more along the “Pesto-ish” line. The pasta and various veggies were quite good for counter service and our general opinion of the food at the POR Dinning Hall is pretty much very positive.

Satisfied and tired, we strolled back to our room to settle in for the evening. As it was Christmas time, we wanted to have some type of Christmas Tree in our room, so we brought along one of the small “trees” that my momma had crocheted for all the members of our family way back when. These are really charming and I’ve had a number of folks ask about them, but unfortunately, I can’t tell you how they’re made (as I never learned to crochet). Anyway… When we got back to the room, we found that our “Mouse-Keeper” had left us the little towel-animal for the day. A small bird. We had a “partridge” to go with our “pair-tree”. Perfect.





Day two has come to a calm end. Fun was had, and lessons were learned. First: It’s is generally better to be over prepared then the other way around, so when in doubt, bring a coat (and you’d-a thunk that I’d already have known that one). Second: starting about four days out form Christmas Day, the crowds at WDW, can be challenging (something that would rear its head again tomorrow). If you’re only planning on coming down to WDW once or maybe twice in your entire life, I’d recommend that you get here during an off peek time frame and skip the idea of being on site during the last two weeks of the year (early December would likely be a better choice if you can swing it). But if you can moderate you’re expectations and are willing to be patient and flexible during this particular time of the year, you’ll have a magical time.
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:14 PM   #88
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We could stay for Fantasmic which is a great show
We feel the same about that show. It's a really good show, but unlike Wishes or Illuminations, you can't just wander over at the last minute and get a pretty good viewing spot. Going to Fantasmic is an ordeal that involves planning and usually a lot of waiting.

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As Disney veterans, there is very little that we have not already done in the parks, and (as I’ve said before) “I’ll be back”.
I'm trying to figure out how to mix an Austrian and South Carolina-ian accent. It's harder than it seems...

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Decision made, it was time to catch the bus back to the resort. Once back on the grounds at Riverside, we decided to hop off at the South Depot right by the Dinning Hall and go ahead and get a little bit of dinner. There are a good number of choices available from the counter service areas at the various resorts, and POR in no exception. We all spread out and started looking around for something that would hit the spot for the evening. Tamara and I settled for something from the “Build your own Pasta Dish” counter. She ended up with something “Alfrado-ish” and I had something more along the “Pesto-ish” line. The pasta and various veggies were quite good for counter service and our general opinion of the food at the POR Dinning Hall is pretty much very positive.
Speaking of Port Orleans dining, have you ever had the beignets at Port Orleans? My DD is a big Princess & the Frog fan and wanted to make some of Tiana's beignets. I said we should probably try them first so we know how bad we did baking our own. I've heard you can get them somewhere at POFQ...

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When we got back to the room, we found that our “Mouse-Keeper” had left us the little towel-animal for the day. A small bird. We had a “partridge” to go with our “pair-tree”. Perfect.
That's pretty cool!
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:23 PM   #89
Captain_Oblivious
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Well, the lights look terrific, and I hope I get to see them someday. Did you make it for the actual lighting ceremony? I'm sure that's a lot of fun.

And there's nothing wrong with avoiding crowds and taking it easy. Have to agree that the dining hall at POR is definitely above average.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:15 PM   #90
afwdwfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
“One Man’s Dream” (another one of those traditions of ours that is both a great place to take in the little details and includes a theater where you can rest your soles for a bit).
Never been there... really need to make it a point to see that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
We could stay for Fantasmic which is a great show, but it was starting to get really cold (for Florida) and we’ve seen it before, so this time around, we decided to call it a day and head back to POR.
Wish my wife felt that way about it. She HAS to see it. Great show, but with the hassle that it takes to go through the line to get there, I don't need to see it too often.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
Now the casual Disney traveler would read this chapter and say something along the line of: “Y’all only got on 2.5 rides? Seriously… Are you nuts?”
Nobody's asking if you're nuts. We already know the answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
Well, if you’re only counting TSM, RRC and then (begrudgingly) including GMR as rides then I can see your point
Do you sit in a car? Yes
Does it go somewhere? Yes
I guess it is a ride. Don't shortchange yourself, it is 3.0 not 2.5.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
The pasta and various veggies were quite good for counter service and our general opinion of the food at the POR Dinning Hall is pretty much very positive.
I'll keep that in mind if I'm ever around there and hungry!

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Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes View Post
(early December would likely be a better choice if you can swing it).
How about 11/28 - 12/3???
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