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Old 03-10-2012, 08:13 AM   #1
TigerTown
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Food, Fireworks, and Fun...A Quick Anniversary Trip to WDW

Were back and we made it to WDW!

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Kyle and I am a Disney loving husband and father of three awesome kids. I live in Michigan, I've been a Disney fan most of my life, and I try and get to the parks when time and finances permit.

My love of the Disney parks began with a View Master reel that I had to view every time I visited my grandmother. That reel took me to a place of fun and fantasy that I still love as an adult.

This was a child free trip with just my wife Akiyo and me. Our wedding anniversary is Feb 18th and since we would be on the road down to Florida that day, we decided to postpone our night out to Feb 21st. The original plan was only to have dinner at Narcoosee’s but as many things do, that turned into an overnight stay with a day at Epcot thrown in!

I’ll be separating this report into a few different posts. The first posts will cover day one Feb 21st 2012. The next posts will cover day two of our trip when we ventured into Epcot. The last posts will be a dining review of our dinner at Narcoossee’s. I’ll tell you in advance that dinner was incredible!

February 21st, 2012:

This trip down to Florida combined two of my favorite things in this world…Disney and Baseball! On our way down to Disney we took a little detour in Lakeland to see my beloved Tigers in some spring training action. The actual games hadn’t started yet but we were able to watch pitchers and catchers practice for the first time!

Below are some pics from Tiger Town in Lakeland:


My wife Akiyo with Willie Horton and Al Kaline (or, at least, they're parking spots).


The crowd waiting for autographs.


Akiyo inside Joker Marchant Stadium


Me inside Joker Marchant Stadium

You can find all of my spring training pics by clicking here.

We stayed in Lakeland for and hour or so and then decided it was time for lunch. I had read a lot about the town of Celebration and really wanted to check it out. We decided to have lunch at one of the more famous restaurants called Celebration Town Tavern.

The Tavern is located in the center of town and I must say that the food was really good. I had the Fish and Chips, Akiyo had a Mahi Pita Roll, and we shared an awesome bowl of Clam Chowder soup:


Akiyo in front of the Celebration Town Tavern


A little info about the restaurant


Akiyo getting ready to enjoy lunch


Clam Chowder...Yumm


My Fish and Chips


Akiyo's Mahi Roll up


After lunch it was time for some shopping! I had heard from John and Kevin of the Dis Unplugged Podcast that there is an outlet mall close to Celebration with a Disney Store offering discounted park merchandise. I had researched the location of the Orlando Premium Outlets before we left so it was just a matter of entering the address in the GPS and we were off.

I'm going stop here so I can get my kids off to ice skating lessons. See you real soon!
__________________
~Kyle





W&D Half 2012
Dumbo Double Dare 2013, Jingle Jungle 5K 2013, W&D Half 2013
WDW Marathon 2014, Disneyland Half 2014, Avengers Super Heroes Half 2014
Dopey Challenge 2015
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:36 AM   #2
TigerTown
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Good morning all... It's supposed to be a warm and sunny day here in Michigan. I'll be posting the second installment today assuming I don't spend the entire day outside. Have a great day!
__________________
~Kyle





W&D Half 2012
Dumbo Double Dare 2013, Jingle Jungle 5K 2013, W&D Half 2013
WDW Marathon 2014, Disneyland Half 2014, Avengers Super Heroes Half 2014
Dopey Challenge 2015
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:37 PM   #3
TigerTown
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerTown View Post
Good morning all... It's supposed to be a warm and sunny day here in Michigan. I'll be posting the second installment today assuming I don't spend the entire day outside. Have a great day!
As you can see, I ended up spending the day outside! I'll try to post the next segment as soon as I can (tomorrow night if I'm not too tired).
__________________
~Kyle





W&D Half 2012
Dumbo Double Dare 2013, Jingle Jungle 5K 2013, W&D Half 2013
WDW Marathon 2014, Disneyland Half 2014, Avengers Super Heroes Half 2014
Dopey Challenge 2015
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:01 AM   #4
TigerTown
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Time for another update...

The outlet looked like many others I’ve seen but the Disney’s Character Premiere store was incredible! It had a ton of merchandise from the parks and cruise ships as well as Vinylmations that were on clearance. After about an hour in the store we were ready to check out. We ended up with two jackets, two Run Disney running shirts, and the entire set of 40th Anniversary Vinylmations. Just to give you the extent of some of the discounts, we got the entire six piece set of 40th Anniversary Vinylmations for $20. They normally sell for $12.95 each.


Akiyo and her new jacket


The newest editions to our Vinylmation collection



After our shopping adventure it was time to check into the hotel. Since we originally hadn’t planned on spending the night in Orlando we waited till the last minute to reserve a hotel. I figured the best way to get a decent hotel at a good price would be to go on Priceline and bid for it. I chose the area near downtown Disney and bid $100 for a resort level room. Since this was Presidents Week I didn’t hold much hope of getting a hotel to accept my bid. After submitting the bid I was surprised to find acceptance right away. We were able to get a room at the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort, Bonnet Creek. The resort was beautiful and perfectly located right next to the Caribbean Beach Resort.


Stock image from the Wyndham Website



I need to take a quick break here to mention that, while I’m typing this report, I’m listening to DIS Radio. I have to say that this is the best background music for writing or reading anything Disney. I would be so sad if it ever went off the air!

Anyway… back to the report…

After taking a little nap we headed out for the evening. Our first stop was to drop the car off at the Grand Floridian Resort where we would be having dinner later in the evening. Lately Disney has been a little more strict with who they let park at the resorts. Since we were there two and a half hours before our ADR’s, I was a bit worried that they wouldn’t let us park yet. I pulled up to the guard post and after he checked my ID and verified that we had reservations, we were able to park with no issue.

We valet parked (self parking is really far) and headed into the resort. We had both been to the GF before but never ventured past the lobby. I must say that if you are into Victorian architecture or theming, this resort is beautiful. I can’t really say that this is my style but I can appreciate it’s beauty.

Since we had a couple of hours to kill, we hopped on the monorail and headed for the contemporary resort:


The WDW Monorail


Contemporary Lobby



As many of you know, the monorail goes right through the lobby of the Contemporary. It’s a cool sight to see from the lobby level.

We headed downstairs and scoped out some areas of the resort that I hadn’t been to before. The gift shop is located in the main concourse so of course we had to do some window shopping!

A little bit of trivia here: Did you know that the Contemporary Resort was one of the two resorts located on property when Walt Disney World opened in 1971? The other original resort (The Polynesian) will be visited later in the trip report.

Our next destination after the Contemporary was Epcot. I wanted to get the entertainment schedule and a map for the following day so we headed over to the park:


Outside the gates


A blurry picture from inside the Monorail



Before we jumped back on the monorail I wanted to check out the little gift shop in just outside of the entrance to Epcot. I hadn’t planned on buying anything but I found a nice little book about Epcot that I decided to pick up for some light reading. It was a small Imagineers Field Guide to Epcot with many interesting facts. I actually had it with me the next day and referred to it while we were walking through the park.

Our next stop was the Polynesian Resort. We have been there a few times so it wasn’t new to us. I always enjoy walking through the Wyland Gallery in the lobby and when I win the lottery we will be shopping there for real! There is also a great coffee bar that turns into a Sushi bar after 5PM. It is located just outside the Kona Cafe and a little known tip is that if you can’t get into the Kona Cafe, you can order the full Kona menu at the Sushi bar.

Once our tour of the Poly was finished it was time to head over to the Grand Floridian for our anniversary dinner at Narcoossee’s…

I’m going to cover the dinner with a full dining review in a separate post so I’m going to end this half of the trip report here.
__________________
~Kyle





W&D Half 2012
Dumbo Double Dare 2013, Jingle Jungle 5K 2013, W&D Half 2013
WDW Marathon 2014, Disneyland Half 2014, Avengers Super Heroes Half 2014
Dopey Challenge 2015
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