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Old 12-30-2011, 07:24 PM   #16
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Chapter 4 - Thursday Part B

Chapter 4  Thursday Part B

What do you mean I cant go that way?

We got back to CBR at about 12:00 and got off at the Old Port Royale stop and grabbed some lunch in the food court. I think we had the exact same meals as we had on Tuesday evening. Me having the Philly Cheesesteak and April having the Turkey BLT. We also loved the Caribbean Jerk homemade chips&again. We headed back to our room at 12:20 for a few hours of rest and downtime.

At 3:15 we arrived at the bus stop to head back to Hollywood Studios and were walking in the gate by 3:30. With the good bus karma we are still about one hour from checking in for our ADR at Hollywood and Vine. So we go grab another FP for Star Tours, as if we need another one, but we do and it has a return time of 6:00. We then take in the Muppets 3D show prior to checking in for dinner.

Sorry, we took no pictures at Hollywood and Vine. It was a good dinner and we both enjoyed it. I had read some poor reviews, but neither April nor I are very picky eaters. It was worth it for the reserved Fantasmic! seats, which we found out later that we would need.

At 5:20 we headed over to the Studio Backlot Tour and both really enjoyed this experience. I have taken the backlot tour at Universal Studios Hollywood and it was not at that level, but this was a good experience nonetheless. Here are the pictures we took:

After the Backlot Tour we used one of our Star Tours FPs and walked onto the ride. Excellent ride again! We then went over and took in the American Idol Experience final show of the day. This is not something I would do every trip, but it was a neat experience. Next time DW says she is going to try out. I think she would do quite well!

After this show we thought we would head over and use our Toy Story FP before heading to Fantasmic! The ride was great again and then we headed over to the special entrance for those of us with reserved seating tickets. We arrived at 8:15 for a 9:00 showing and probably 70% of the reserved seating area was already filled. In addition to this the entire theatre was filled and there was still 45 minutes until the show.

Weather Report: I think we really lucked out with the weather which never really bothered us and never got about 93 or so for the week. Now we are a little used to the heat and humidity being from Oklahoma, but we did get lucky. I can honestly say though that waiting for Fantasmic! was the hottest I was all week long. It seemed like there was not a breath of air in that amphitheatre and I was about to die. I made it though!

Here is a picture of the crowd at about 8:30. Sorry it is not a very good picture because of the blurry spot, but it is the only one we took.

The show was excellent and we both loved it. For us it was definitely worth it to get the dining package as it is a show we loved and will want to do again.

Now, after the show instead of going out the main entrance we decided to go back out the way we had come in from the reserved seat entrance. Once we got back to around Beauty and the Beast the gate was open that we had come in before the show. We were going to go back out and around to Rock n Roller Coaster to use our FP from the morning. Well as I approached the gate a cast member came running from the side of some building saying I cant go through there. What do you mean I cant go through there, I am going to RnR and the park doesnt close for another half hour. Well she wasnt going to let us through so we had to keep walking around to the very front of the park and then fight the crowds back up the main street area. We finally made it back up to RnR at about 9:35 and used our FP. We both loved this as we both really enjoy thrill rides. We got out of here around 9:50 and had to get to Star Tours before 10:00 to use our last FP. We made it, used our FP to bypass a 20 minute stand by line and were at the bus stop by 10:15. We were back in the room by 11:00 or so after a long day.

Up Next: Two parks and a mid-day break  This is going to be a long day!

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Old 01-07-2012, 11:07 AM   #17
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Chapter 5 - Friday Part A

Chapter 5  Friday Part A

Two parks and a mid-day break  This is going to be a long day!


We were heading a back to MK for our second RD there of our trip thus far. The plan for this day was to head to MK until around lunch or so and then head back to the resort for a rest before finishing the evening at MK as it will be open until 2:00 am. This is something we could never do with kids so we figured we better get it out of our systems.

We were at the bus stop by 7:00, waited about 10 minutes and were at the turnstiles by 7:30 for an 8:00 am opening. This was not an EMH, just an early opening. We picked up a Space Mtn. FP at 8:05 with a RT of 8:40. We then rode space standby with no wait. Excellent ride! I loved all of the special effects. It is amazing how the sounds and lights happen right when your coaster car is approaching certain parts of the ride. Only at Disney!!

By this time it was 8:25 or so and we wanted to waste about 15 minutes so we could get another Space Mtn. FP before heading to the other side of the park. My FP collecting has become a game and I wanted to see how many I could get before we left for our afternoon break. We rode Buzz twice in the meantime with no wait and then picked up another Space FP at 8:40 with a RT of 9:35. We then headed to the other side of the park and rode Splash Mtn. walk on at 8:50. This ride is just a great experience. It has a thrill, it has the Disney touch, it has water, it has everything that is takes to make a great ride. Unfortunately April doesnt love it quite as much as me, but only because she doesnt like getting wet. Here are some pics we took around this time.

The crowd around Splash and BTMRR. Not sure when in the day this was though.



April&..pondering something?



By this time is was about 9:10 and we rode BTMRR walk on. Another great; classic ride. This is one of the few rides I have a memory of from when we came in my childhood. We then went and did some shopping outside of POTC&.and tried on some hats.



*

At 9:35 I ran back and grabbed a Splash Mtn. FP with a RT time of 10:15. I love collecting FPs!! We then rode POTC walk on. This is another ride that we enjoy, mainly because we love the movies. We then rode the Jungle Cruise at 9:55 walk on. At 10:15 I ran back and collected a BTMRR FP with a RT of 10:55. *

We knew we wanted to have lunch at Cosmic Rays on this day so we headed back that way, but stopped at Haunted Mansion on the way. Not much scary about this ride, but it is still really fun. The detail and animatronics are great. *

Cosmic Rays was just ok. We didnt like it as well as Pecos Bills. I had the Bacon Cheesburger, which was just ok. April had a kids meal Turkey sandwich which was just ok as well. I grabbed one more Space Mtn. FP on the way out of the park so we were leaving with 5 sets of FPs.
Space x 3
BTMRR
Splash Mtn. *

That was a good morning of FP collecting!

Up Next: You want to go where?&.now?

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Old 02-19-2012, 04:28 PM   #18
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Chapter 5 – Friday Part B

Chapter 5 – Friday Part B

“You want to go where?...NOW?”

Where I left off we had five FP’s in hand for MK rides and it was about 11:00 AM. This was aided by MK moving the opening time to 8:00 for this day. We were ready for our break, but were making a pit stop at…

Yes, that’s right. We were stopping at Animal Kingdom. Why you say? And that happened to be the same question April asked me. Well, we were getting out of MK about 1½ hours before when I thought we would and I had a science teacher urge to feed. I had wanted to take in the Rafiki’s Planet Watch area at AK, but just was not going to find time on our full AK day so we decided to head their now.

We hopped on the monorail at 11:10 and were getting on a bus to AK at the TTC by 11:30. Our plan was simple. Take the train to Rafiki’s, explore that area, possibly take in the Pangani Trail to see the Gorillas and then head to our break. Well, as we were heading to the train I spotted Kilimanjaro Safaris with a 45 minute stand by wait, but a FP return time of 1:05, which was about 1 hour and 10 minutes later. Well I knew Rafiki’s and the trail would take us that long so we grabbed a FP, what the heck, a bonus ride on the Safari would be nice.

We took the train the Rafiki’s, which is just odd with the whole riding sideways thing. I didn’t like it. We then got off and made our way up the trails to the main building because it was far to hot to hang around outside. The building was very neat, educational, and as a science guy I enjoyed it. I don’t know that it has much to give to the regular guest though. I enjoyed looking around, but can see how a lot of people skip this area.

We went back and toured the Pangani Trail and took some pictures. I think all of these are on the trail, but some could be mixed in hear that were taken at other spots.

Then we went and used our Safari FP. Our driver was just ok this time. I will elaborate when it comes to our full AK day on Sunday!

The last picture there is my absolute favorite animal, an Okapi. Just think it is really cool looking for some reason. It is part giraffe (the head), part horse (the body), and part zebra (the legs).

Well, that was it for our 2 hour detour to Animal Kingdom. We got on a bus for Caribbean Beach at 1:40 and were resting in the room by about 2:25 or so. We hit the pool, had a snack in the food court of a mini pizza that was really good and of course some more Caribbean Jerk chips.

Up Next: “We better be sleeping in tomorrow!”

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Old 02-24-2012, 10:44 AM   #19
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Chapter 5 - Friday Part C

Chapter 5 – Friday Part C

“We better be sleeping in tomorrow!”

We spent the rest of the afternoon at the pool and relaxing in the room. I think I may have even taken a nap although I am not much of a nap person. I knew we would need it since the plan called for us staying late at Magic Kingdom, which was open until 2:00 am tonight.

At about 7:45 we got on a bus back to the Magic Kingdom. We did not spend much time taking pictures tonight, so I apologize in advance about the lack of pictures in the post. Other than the Wishes pictures later we didn’t take many tonight.

If you can’t remember here are the FP’s we were holding at the time from the morning:
Space x 3
BTMRR
Splash Mtn.

As if we needed more we got a Splash FP at 8:10 with a RT of 9:30 pm. At 8:15 we rode BTMRR with our FP from the morning and then Splash with our FP from the morning. At 8:40 we headed over and rode Space with a FP. I love Space Mountain! Then at 9:10 we did the Carousel of Progress. A neat attraction when you think of its history, but not overly exciting by any means.

At 9:30 we made our biggest mistake of the trip: Stitches Great Escape. I don’t want to influence others to not ride this, but in our opinion it was by far the worst ride at Disney World. I don’t know what they were thinking on this one???

At 10:00 we found a table and settled in to watch Wishes from behind the Castle by Dumbo. Not the greatest view, but we didn’t have to wait at all, save a seat, or fight the crowds. Here are some pictures from where we were.

After Wishes was over we rode Snow White as we knew it would probably be closed before we came back again. A neat little classic ride. We then made our way over to Frontier Land and watched the Country Bear Jamboree. This was one of my only memories of coming to Magic Kingdom as a child. It is funny how we remember only certain things from our childhood, but this theatre and the entire show was exactly like it was in my memory. I could remember almost nothing else from Magic Kingdom, but I remembered the Country Bear Jamboree.

We then used a Splash FP that we got earlier and took a few pictures in Frontierland. The first one is a far off shot of the castle.

It was 11:50 and we headed over and watched the Hall of Presidents show in Liberty Square. This was actually one of my biggest surprises at Disney World. I loved this and found it extremely moving. More so our founding fathers than our current leaders, but it was really cool nonetheless. I would highly recommend this attraction.

At 12:20 we made our way down and had a “midnight snack”. What is the best midnight snack at Disney World???

DOLE WHIP!

It was awesome as usual. At 12:35 we headed over and used another Space FP. This is the hardest ride to take a bag on because of the small leg area. Almost every other ride is easy with a bag, this one is a bit difficult though. We went over the Buzz at 1:00 and I enjoyed another victory. I love these type of rides, but April is so competitive I can’t hardly get her to go on them because she doesn’t want to lose. I always say let’s just play this round for fun, but she is too competitive for that as well. At 1:10 we headed over and used our final Space FP. I just couldn’t let those go. Awesome ride again. Then we headed for the exit. There was almost no one left this night in Magic Kingdom. We had opened the park at 8:00 AM, but left at about 1:40 before the 2:00 AM closing. The secret this day was our 6 hour break at the resort in the middle of the day. That break works wonders, but all of you know that!!

We were at the bus stop by 1:45 and back at CBR by around 2:05 or so. A long but good day. April made the statement at some point that “we better be sleeping in tomorrow” and we were!

Up Next: “Does this dessert rival the Dole Whip?”

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Old 02-26-2012, 06:15 PM   #20
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Chapter 6 – Saturday

Chapter 6  Saturday

Does this dessert rival the Dole Whip?

Saturday was our sleep in day and it was much needed after the long day on Friday. Now, I will have to apologize again because I guess we figured since this was our sleep in day we didnt need to take many pictures. I only have three total pictures from this whole day. So, I will try to move quickly so we can get to Sunday were I have a ton of pictures.

We just spent the morning at the resort and swam some at the pool at around 11. For lunch I had the vegetable soup in the food court and it was very good. April, wasnt all that hungry so she just had some of the cereal we got from Garden Grocer in the room.

At 1:20 we boarded a bus to Epcot to spend a nice relaxing afternoon and evening there. What we didnt expect was to get a FP for Soarin when we arrived. I checked the times board and couldnt believe it when one was available. It was for 6:15 PM, but we wouldnt be back that way for some time so that was no problem. We had an Epcot RD later in the week, but this would be a nice bonus Soarin ride! Then at 2:05 we rode Test Track in the single rider line with only a 5 minute wait.

Then we went here&


&to the Mexico Pavilion to look around. And to ride the Gran Fiesta Tour walk on. It is another nice little ride, but nothing special.

Boat Ride Vent: Please allow me to vent about Disney boat rides at this point. I grew to hate on this ride, Splash Mountain, and Living with the Land the fact that the boats pile up at the end of the ride faster than they can get them unloaded. We were about 6 boats back on this ride when we stopped on the one in front of us because the loading dock was backed up. I wish there was a way they could fix this in the future. Sorry, just need to get that out.

At 2:35 we rode Maelstrom in Norway. I think about a 10 minute wait although I dont remember because I forgot to record the time. We also had a Raspberry Crème Puff at the Kringla Bakeri. It was very good!

We then headed up to the American Adventure because we wanted to see Voices of Liberty prior to the American Adventure show. They were awesome. I could listen to them for quite a while longer than their short show lasted. The American Adventure Attraction was good also, although I think I enjoyed the Hall of Presidents more. We then took the boat back to Showcase Plaza because we had to get to our dinner reservation in Mexico at&





I had made this ADR at San Angel Inn because I knew it would get us out of the afternoon heat for a little while. The reviews for the food were not great though, but we were looking forward to it anyway. I had the Carne Asada Steak and April had the Beef Tacos Appetizer. The food was pretty good, although in Oklahoma we eat Mexican food a lot. Mexican food restaurants in Oklahoma give complimentary chips, salsa, queso, and tortillas. Most tourist destinations dont do that so we generally do not love Mexican food in other destinations. But this was a nice romantic atmosphere and was in an air conditioned building in the summer in Florida.

After our ADR we took the boat back up to the other end of the World Showcase and visited the Impressions de France film. It was very good and had excellent footage. Our real reason to come to France though was to visit the Pastry shop and it did not disappoint. We split a giant chocolate chip cookie which was very good and we also split a Napoleon, which is not my other favorite dessert at Disney World. I will not say it is better than a Dole Whip, but it certainly gives it a run for its money. We loved it and would have gotten another but the line was getting longer as dinner time was ending.

We took the boat back to Future World and rode Test Track again in the single rider line with a 5 minute wait. Then at 7:30 we used our Soarin FP and loved the ride. It is an incredible experience, especially with the smells. At 8:30 we got a spot for IllumiNations. We got a spot right on the fence between Canada and the UK pavilions. I also got some fish and chips from the UK quick service place. We hadnt gorged ourselves at dinner and this was something very good that we snacked on as we waiting for IllumiNations.

The show was awesome. We both loved IllumiNations, especially the soundtrack that went with it. It was a great all around show that we will definitely not skip in the future. We arrived at the bus stop after the show at 9:45 and it took about 10 minutes to catch a bus. We were in bed by 10:45 and ready for our RD at Animal Kingdom in the morning.

Up Next: April&The bag just got really light.

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Old 03-09-2012, 10:43 AM   #21
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Chapter 7 - Sunday Part A

Chapter 7  Sunday Part A

April&The bag just got really light.

We were at the bus stop by 8:00 waiting for a bus to Animal Kingdom and one arrive at 8:05. After a pit stop at Blizzard Beach we arrived at Animal Kingdom at around 8:35. We were only in line for about 5 minutes when the turnstiles opened at 8:40. At 9:00 I made the long walk for an Everest FP. Well, the throng of people got there and&.the FP machines wouldnt work. A cast member ran around like a chicken with his head cut off for a few minutes before a manager of some sort showed up, hit a button the back room and they started spitting out FPs. I was not happy, but April was waiting for me by the entrance and we rode Everest with about a 5 minute wait. This ride was AWESOME! We love coasters and this one is really cool, especially the big drop.

At 9:30 we ride the Safari stand by with a wait time of 10 minutes. Our driver was so much better today and I think there is truth to the tip of going on the Safari earlier in the day. It seemed to be a much better experience. Here are some of our pictures.





The giraffes were certainly the highlight of our safari as we had to stop and wait for them to cross the road. This was really cool and just made me think: Where else can you have this experience but Disney World?







After the Safari we stopped back by at 10:20 to pick up another Everest FP with a RT of 11:50. We then went down and rode Dinosaur with a 5 minute wait. April didnt love this ride, but I really enjoyed it. Again I am a science guy, love dinosaurs, and really love Jurassic park so this is right up my alley. It is a little rough, but a really cool experience to me. It was at this point after the ride that we headed over the watch the Nemo show. As we were walking I looked at April and said, April&The bag just got really light. We looked back and bottom had fallen out of our bag and all of our stuff was laying on the ground in Dinoland. We put the things back in the bag and I had to carry it from the bottom from then on so nothing would fall out. We would mess with finding a new one at Downtown Disney that night.

Up Next: Is BBQ really that good at Disney World?

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Old 03-09-2012, 11:41 AM   #22
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I haven't read it all, but I'm really enjoying your trip report. You and your wife remind me a lot of how DH and I spent our first visit to WDW. We even stayed a CBR on our first trip!

I can especially appreciate your "adventure" to get park tickets your first night. That is so something that would happen to us. We had an interesting adventure ourselves on our last trip. We wanted to go to the ESPN restaurant to watch part of a Monday night football game (I made the mistake of planning a trip for opening weekend of football..yikes!). We asked the concierage at the resort (which was POFQ this trip) the best way to get there. They told us to go to Epcot and walk or take the boat to the boardwalk area. Well, we didn't spend a lot of time at Epcot our first trip and we weren't that familiar with it. We didn't realize how far you had to walk through Epcot to get to the boardwalk through the International Entrance. Eventually we got there and it was a nice night for a walk. It just took us a lot longer to get there than we thought it would. So, when we left ESPN Zone it was around 10:00 or so. DHS had extra magic hours that night and should have been open until 10:00. We saw that boats were still running around the lake. We asked the captain if we could still ride to DHS and then catch a bus to POFQ. He said "sure, no problem". So we got on the boat. When we got to DHS (about 15 - 20min later I guess) and walked up to the bus loading area. The place was deserted. There were no buses, there were no people. Nothing. And the boat was gone. Luckily a security person came by not long after we arrived. We told him that the boat had dropped us off and didn't think it would be a problem since DHS was open late. This guy informed us that the park actually emptied out pretty quickly that night (lucky us!). He had a call a bus for us and another couple that had happened to wander up as well. It was quite a night!

DH is a huge thrill ride junkie (me not so much), but he just loves Disney World. I was surprised. I was actually afraid that he would find it too tame but he has the "Disney Fever" as I call it.

We are going again this June (9-16) and are taking our niece and two nephews. I'm encouraged by your report that the weather wasn't too bad. last June. I hope that we have such good luck as well!
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Old 03-10-2012, 05:40 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissManda View Post
I haven't read it all, but I'm really enjoying your trip report. You and your wife remind me a lot of how DH and I spent our first visit to WDW. We even stayed a CBR on our first trip!

I can especially appreciate your "adventure" to get park tickets your first night. That is so something that would happen to us. We had an interesting adventure ourselves on our last trip. We wanted to go to the ESPN restaurant to watch part of a Monday night football game (I made the mistake of planning a trip for opening weekend of football..yikes!). We asked the concierage at the resort (which was POFQ this trip) the best way to get there. They told us to go to Epcot and walk or take the boat to the boardwalk area. Well, we didn't spend a lot of time at Epcot our first trip and we weren't that familiar with it. We didn't realize how far you had to walk through Epcot to get to the boardwalk through the International Entrance. Eventually we got there and it was a nice night for a walk. It just took us a lot longer to get there than we thought it would. So, when we left ESPN Zone it was around 10:00 or so. DHS had extra magic hours that night and should have been open until 10:00. We saw that boats were still running around the lake. We asked the captain if we could still ride to DHS and then catch a bus to POFQ. He said "sure, no problem". So we got on the boat. When we got to DHS (about 15 - 20min later I guess) and walked up to the bus loading area. The place was deserted. There were no buses, there were no people. Nothing. And the boat was gone. Luckily a security person came by not long after we arrived. We told him that the boat had dropped us off and didn't think it would be a problem since DHS was open late. This guy informed us that the park actually emptied out pretty quickly that night (lucky us!). He had a call a bus for us and another couple that had happened to wander up as well. It was quite a night!

DH is a huge thrill ride junkie (me not so much), but he just loves Disney World. I was surprised. I was actually afraid that he would find it too tame but he has the "Disney Fever" as I call it.

We are going again this June (9-16) and are taking our niece and two nephews. I'm encouraged by your report that the weather wasn't too bad. last June. I hope that we have such good luck as well!
Thanks for reading along. Sounds like you had fun too with the Disney transport system. Thank goodness for that security guard though, he called a bus just for you all, that is one of the things I love about Disney. They have that way of making each person feel very important.

June was great for us. It got a little crowded towards the 16th when we were going home, but we still had an awesome time. It is hot, but use the morning hours when it is cooler and spend the afternoons at the hotel and by the pool or in indoor attractions.

By the way we went to ESPN club during our trip to catch something as well. I don't think I have gotten to that day in the report yet.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:57 PM   #24
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Chapter 7 - Sunday Part B

Chapter 7  Sunday Part B

Is BBQ really that good at Disney World?

After the bag incident we headed over to get our seat before the Finding Nemo Musical that started at 11:30. We got in line around 11:10 and got a great seat right in the middle of the auditorium.

After Nemo we were heading to lunch at Flame Tree BBQ. I had read so many great reviews and we love our BBQ. I did stop at Dinosaur first and get a FP at 12:10, it had a return time of 12:50.

Lunch at Flame Tree was excellent. It was a little hot on this day so eating outside was a little uncomfortable, a nice indoor seating area would be nice here, but the food was really good nonetheless. I had the pulled pork while April got the BBQ chicken platter. We traded some I believe so we both got to try each meal.

We used our Dinosaur FP at 12:55 as we were making our counterclockwise loop back towards the exit. We then went over and did two back to back rides on Everest with FPs as we didnt want to have to walk back to this part of the park to use our final FP later. We absolutely love this roller coaster&Awesome! At around 1:45 I went searching for the egg rolls that are talked about at Yak and Yeti and the pork ones were excellent. A really nice little snack on this day. As I was eating my egg rolls we continued around the park and got in line at the Lion King Show at 2:00 before a 2:30 show. The line was already quite long so it was good that we showed up early. Here are some pictures of our show:





We loved the Lion King Show. By far the best live show at Disney for us. We didnt feel the others, such as Nemo were bad by any means, but we loved the Lion King. April and I both sing and lead worship at our church in here in Oklahoma so we are familiar with music and performing. The Lion King show was unbelievable in this respect. The singers were very talented and as far as we can tell they were performing live, which we loved. Unlike when we go to a place like Six Flags where everything is taped vocally. That is cheating!!

We made our way out of the park at about 3:10 and waited about 25 minutes for a bus to Caribbean Beach. By far our longest wait of the trip. I think every trip has at least one bad bus karma day and this was shaping up to be ours.

Up Next: $8.50 for that? Really? It better be good!

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Old 03-21-2012, 10:47 PM   #25
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Chapter 7 – Sunday Part C

Chapter 7  Sunday Part C

$8.50 for that? Really? It better be good!

We spent about an hour is all relaxing in the room before heading to Downtown Disney. The plan was for us to have dinner at Earl of Sandwich and then just shop for some souvenirs and hang out. We did have a mission to find a new park bag since the bottom fell out of ours in Animal Kingdom earlier that day. Little did we know the search at Downtown Disney would last forever!

We got on a Downtown Disney bus at 5:15 after waiting only about 5 minutes. We went right to Earl of Sandwich so we could get there as early in the dinner rush as we could. We still had to sit at a table outside. It was fairly hot this day and I dont really like to eat outside when it is hot, but the food was excellent. All of the reviews were correct. Best value at Disney World. I think I had the Italian sandwich while April had her favorite, the BLT.





For some reason I have no more pictures of our time at Downtown Disney. Dont know why? We then headed through many of the stores on our way to the main stop, World of Disney. We bought some souvenirs for us and others in our family.

After shopping some we headed over to Ghiardellis for dessert and found all of the sundaes were $8.50. Wow, that was almost double the cost of my dinner at Earl of Sandwich. All I told April was it had better be good for $8.50, although how can you mess up ice cream, chocolate, and caramel. I think I got the peanut butter sundae and April had the butterscotch one. Yes these were really good, dont know if they were $8.50 good, but hey were at Disney, enjoy it!

Now in the midst of all this we were still searching for a new park bag and were having no luck. As large as World of Disney is there was not a bag that was the correct size except one that I think cost like $85 for some reason. We walked all the way down by the movie theatre and stopped in every store looking for a bag, still not finding one. There were a couple of stores back up by Earls that we had missed so we decided to walk back up that way and check them out. Well, the last store that we had not been in, I think it is called Disney Trends had a bag that wasnt perfect, but April liked it and said she could use it once we got home as well. So we bought it. We were tired at this point from all of our shopping&.and eating&.that we forgot to even take a picture of the new bag.

We went to the bus stop at 8:00 and waited about 30 minutes. Again, this was our bad bus karma day. Finally the bus came at about 8:30 and we went on to the next DD stop, but that is where they change drivers and our bus was making a switch. I have my CDL to drive a school bus so I know a pre-trip and post-trip inspection must take place, but I wish there was a way that it didnt have to take 15 minutes when they switch drivers. For those of you planning a trip the bus service to Downtown Disney is much sketchier than to the theme parks. We had very few waits of more than 10 minutes to get to a theme park during the week, but our one DD trip had a very long wait.

We got back about 9:00, went to bed and got ready for a big rope drop on Monday.

Up Next: The most anticipated ADR of the trip!

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Old 03-22-2012, 07:15 PM   #26
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Chapter 8 – Monday

Just for the record, if anyone is still reading after 9 months, I am kicking the trip report into high gear. I should be done in the next few days. I finished writing the entire report yesterday as we are on spring break here so I have had to go to work at the school. Enjoy!

Chapter 8  Monday

The most anticipated ADR of the trip!

Well with only two park days left we decided that today would be a fairly relaxing day as Tuesday was going to be pretty long. We were spending today at Epcot. We were going to be there for rope drop so that we could ride Soarin and Test Track, but we planned to leave the park after our 1:15 lunch reservation to just relax for the rest of the day. We got to the bus stop at 8:00 and a bus pulled up at 8:05. After making our way to the park and walking to the front gate it was about 8:25 when we got to a turnstile. I didnt write it down, but I think they started letting people inside around 8:50, at which point we went and got a spot right on the rope on the right side of Spaceship Earth.

At 9:00 I joined the fray once again and was kind of worried about this rope drop dash since Soarin is kind of hard to get into being downstairs in The Land, but I managed to be the first person to a machine and secured a return time of 9:42 AM. We got in line at 9:05 AM and rode Soarin. I failed to write down how long we waited, but I know we arrived at Test Track at 9:30 AM, so it was probably around 18-20 minutes to ride. We did the single rider and walked onto the ride. When we got off we got a FP for Test Track for later. This was at 9:45 and we got a RT of 11:15 AM. At this point we were able to slow the pace a little and take some pictures.





We also headed inside Innoventions at this point. I think we played the fire safety game. It was pretty cool. We really just looked around and wasted some time. At about 11:00 we headed over and had a snack at Sunshine Seasons since our lunch reservation wasnt until 1:15 PM. AT 11:20 we rode Soarin with our FP. We then made our way over at noon and used our Test Track FP.

I love these two rides. Test Track is really cool how they put you through the actual driving tests. Also, the amount of detail at Soarin is great, although it would be nice to have an updated ride movie somewhere else.

At 12:15 we went over and rode Spaceship Earth with a wait time of about 5 minutes. At 1:00 we went and checked in at the ADR we had been looking forward to ever since I snagged the reservation at the four month mark. Guess where? See if you can tell from the following picture right outside the entrance&&&..



If you guessed Le Cellier. You are correct! We split the cheddar cheese soup appetizer and it definitely lived up to the reputation; especially when you eat it with the pretzel bread. I would highly recommend it as an appetizer. I ordered the New York Strip steak and it was excellent. April, who normally likes steak, just wanted a burger for some reason, but she talked about that burger for weeks. She loved it. It had some sort of BBQ element that I cant remember at this point, but I had a bite (or two!) and it was very good. We also shared a Crème Brule for dessert and again, we were not disappointed. Looking back Le Cellier was excellent. If I were on the dining plan thought I would definitely go at lunch for 1 credit. Im not sure it is worth the 2 credits for dinner though.

After dinner I promptly suspended taking notes for the day. I guess I was just a little tired at this point. I know we just went back and relaxed at the resort, swam, had dinner in the food court, and I know for sure we watched IllumiNations from by the pool at CBR. You cant see everything, but it was a nice ending to the evening as we were able to just walk back to our room and get to bed about 9:30. Although I did suspend taking notes I decided to become a photographer at this point and get some pictures of our resort. I will leave you with those.



Up Next: Finally, we get to use our ponchos.

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Old 03-24-2012, 11:58 AM   #27
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Chapter 9 - Tuesday Part A

Chapter 9  Tuesday Part A

Finally, we get to use our ponchos.

On our last park day we had made a small switch to our itinerary. We had already done most everything we wanted to at Magic Kingdom so we decided to switch to Hollywood Studios to get some more thrills rides in. We were skipping Toy Story this day and heading straight to RnR. We caught a bus to Hollywood Studios at 8:00 AM and after they opened the turnstiles we got a spot right on the rope to the right side.

Here are a couple of pics from our spot:





This is a very easy rope drop since 99.987% of everyone else was heading to Toy Story. We went and got RnR FP with a return time of 9:40. We then rode stand by with a wait time of about 5 minutes. I then rode Tower of Terror after waiting about 10 minutes. April did not want to ride with me as she is not a big fan of those drop rides. I am not either at say a Six Flags where everything is exposed, but ToT did not bother me any. In fact, I loved it. This ride was themed so well and the buildup was almost as good as the thrill rush itself.

AT 9:40 we got another FP for RnR as that was our main mission for the day. We then rode RnR with our FP from earlier. At 10:40 we got in line for Voyage of the Little Mermaid. This is DWs favorite Disney movie from her childhood and still and so we wanted to get this done since we missed it on our other HS day. It was better than I expected and DW loved it, not surprisingly. At 11:15 we got a FP for Star Tours and then rode standby with a WT of 10 minutes.

Then at 11:45 we headed into Backlot Express for some lunch. I had a burger and April had a chicken sandwich I think. Typical quick service meal as it was nothing special, but enjoyable as we got a table indoors out of the heat and humidity. Yes, we were finally feeling the Florida humidity and rain might be coming.

At 12:20 we hurried over and got a seat for Beauty and the Beast, another one of DWs favorite movies. The show was at 12:45 and was really good. During the show the rain started and so we were very thankful that the show was done in a covered outdoor theatre. After the show though there was actually a little excitement that we finally get to use the ponchos. We had been carrying them all week and finally get to used them.

With ponchos on, and camera put away so it wouldnt get wet&sorry!, we headed to use our FPs at RnR and ST. We enjoyed one last ride on each of these before saying goodbye to HS. The rain stopped as we were leaving the park and we went and caught a boat to the Beach Club for a visit to one of our must dos on this trip&.Beaches and Cream and to try and get some rest before our last night at Magic Kingdom and a surprise for April.

Up Next: Can you really rest on your last day?

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Old 04-16-2012, 08:50 PM   #28
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Chapter 9 – Tuesday Part B

Chapter 9  Tuesday Part B

Can you really rest on your last day?

We got to the Beach Club at around 2:30 and had to find Beaches and Cream. We finally did and then decided on what kind of ice cream we wanted to go.



I know we both got shakes, but cant remember what kind. We took them and found a table on the sidewalk overlooking the pool area at the Beach Club. It was a nice little bit of relaxing, but once those cold shakes were gone it got a little hot. We went in and found some nice big chairs in the Beach Club lobby to relax in for a while. I dont think we fell asleep, but the rest was sure nice. At about 3:30 I think we went over and explored the Boardwalk area a little bit and even went inside the ESPN Club and watched some TV and had an appetizer. Just a little bit more resting time. But we finally decided we couldnt rest on our last day at Disney so we went ahead about an hour before we had planned and found a bus to Magic Kingdom.

Took this picture on the way to the Boardwalk:



While on the bus to the Magic Kingdom we saw a family heading back from there that had two extra Buzz FPs that they gave us. This was just one of those little pieces of Disney Magic so thank you to whoever that was! We walked in and went right over and got a Space FP at 4:55 with a RT of 7:45 PM. There was another round of rain about to come through so we headed over the Mickeys Philharmagic to stay inside. What a great show that features some great Disney music and characters. We really enjoyed this one. When we came out it was still raining a little so we put on our ponchos and headed over and watched the Country Bears Jamboree. Then we headed over and rode Pirates with a 10 minute wait time. Then at 6:40 we rode Haunted Mansion one last time and waited about 20 minutes for that one. At 7:05 we headed over and pulled a FP for Splash Mountain. Then we were going to get some dinner and I was going to reveal the SURPRISE to April!

Up Next: April&I cant believe I kept this secret, but&

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Old 04-23-2012, 04:22 AM   #29
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Chapter 9 – Tuesday Part C

Chapter 9  Tuesday Part C

April&I cant believe I kept this secret, but&

We headed over the Pecos Bills for dinner and this was maybe my favorite counter service meal of the trip. I love the fixins bar. The food is good and it is in the air conditioning as well which always helps. I think we split the pulled pork sandwich and fries. I convinced April to split a meal&or vice versa is how it usually works. Then it was time to reveal the surprise.

The backstory: I had looked for a Dessert Party reservation after we booked the trip, but it was way before they open up those dates. I had the idea though to tell April I didnt get the reservation and until this night at Pecos Bills she still thought the same.

The excitement on her face when I told her that we had a Dessert Party reservation at 9:00 was priceless. It was worth the entire trip just to see her expression at that moment. Brownie points for me!!!

After dinner we headed over and caught the Hall of Presidents show and this was AWESOME. I dont know how anyone could sleep through this. I had goosebumps throughout a lot of the show. I wont mention which president I did fall asleep during, but for the rest of the show I was very interested. I would highly recommend this show to anyone who goes to this park. In my opinion it is a must do attraction.

At 8:40 we used the Buzz FPs that were given to us and then I grabbed us a Space FP before heading to our Dessert Party reservation. At 9:05 we showed up for our reservation and helped ourselves to the buffet. This was a great experience that we will definitely do again. We jumped up about 9:50 and got a great spot right at the rail to watch Wishes. Here are some of the pictures of desserts, the parade from a distance, the castle, and the fireworks.





After the fireworks we were down to our last couple of hours in the Magic Kingdom, but we were going to make it worthwhile. We rode the TTA at 10:25 and kind of let the MK clear out after the fireworks. At 10:55 it started to rain just a little again and we ended up riding Pirates one last time. At 11:10 I had to have one last Dole Whip as a farewell to Disney World and it was excellent again. At 11:25 we rode BTMRR walk on and were planning to use our Splash FP, but it was broken down. I guess we would have to take a trip back to ride Splash. We worked our way back around the park and used our Space FP and did some other things, but I didnt write much down. We had been up for about 17 hours at this point. At about 12:30 we left the park for the final time and after being up for almost 19 hours what did we do? We ran to catch the CBR bus that was waiting. We made it, but I think April beat me and told the driver to wait as I was dragging at that point. But all in all a great last day at Disney World.

Up Next: Oh what a sad day&heading home.

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Old 04-24-2012, 09:23 AM   #30
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Chapters 10 and 11

Chapter 10 - Wednesday

“Oh what a sad day…heading home.”

We woke up on our departure day at about 9:00 and packed things up and got ready to head out. At about 10:45 we got on a bus to Epcot as we wanted to have a farewell monorail ride on our last morning as we had some time to kill. We rode the monorail to MK and got back to the CBR food court at about 12:30 and had some lunch. We caught the ME to the airport at about 2:15 and had a pretty un-eventful day traveling home. Flight to Denver and then back to Dallas. We did have to stop and get a hotel once landing in Dallas at 11:30 PM. We just were too tired to drive the 3 and a half hours back to Oklahoma City. So we actually drove in Thursday morning and then slept some more probably!

Thanks for reading along. I will probably be starting a PTR soon. We are in the process of adopting a baby boy. He was born on April 3rd and so we are going to be planning a trip around next June and I am ready to get the planning underway. Is it too early to be planning 14 months out? I guess I just need something to look forward to.
I will have one final post to share some of our favorites during this trip and the things we enjoyed the most.

Chapter 11 – Wrap Up and Favorites

“Can two thrill ride junkies love Disney World? – The Final Verdict”

For the last entry I would like to share some of the things April and I liked the best throughout our time at Disney World. So without further delay, here we go:

Favorite Attraction at Animal Kingdom
1st – Jon (Expedition Everest), April (Kilimanjaro Safari)
2nd – Jon (Kilimanjaro Safari), April (Expedition Everest)
3rd – Jon and April (Festival of the Lion King)
4th – Jon (Dinosaur), April (Finding Nemo)
5th – Jon (Finding Nemo), April (Wildlife Express Train)

Favorite Attraction at Hollywood Studios
1st – Jon and April (Rock ‘n Roller Coaster)
2nd – Jon (Tower of Terror), April (Voyage of the Little Mermaid)
3rd – Jon and April (Star Tours)
4th – Jon (Toy Story), April (Beauty and the Beast)
5th – Jon (Beauty and the Beast), April (Toy Story)

Favorite Attraction at Epcot
1st – Jon and April (Test Track)
2nd – Jon and April (Soarin’)
3rd – Jon (Spaceship Earth), April (American Adventure)
4th – Jon (Living with the Land), April (Nemo)
5th – Jon (American Adventure), April (Spaceship Earth)

Favorite Attraction at Magic Kingdom
1st – Jon and April (Space Mountain)
2nd – Jon (Splash Mountain), April (Big Thunder Mountain)
3rd – Jon (Big Thunder Mountain), April (Mickey’s Philharmagic)
4th – Jon and April (Hall of Presidents)
5th – Jon (Haunted Mansion), April (Peter Pan)

Best Non Ride Attraction in All Parks
1st – Jon and April (Festival of the Lion King)
2nd – Jon (Hall of Presidents), April (Voyage of the Little Mermaid)
3rd – Jon (Mickey’s Philharmagic), April (Finding Nemo)
4th – Jon (Beauty and the Beast), April (Mickey’s Philharmagic)
5th – Jon (Finding Nemo), April (Hall of Presidents)

Best Nighttime Show
1st – Jon and April (Fantasmic!)
2nd – Jon (IllumiNations), April (Wishes)
3rd – Jon (Wishes), April (IllumiNations)

Best Overall Attraction in All Parks
1st – Jon (Expedition Everest), April (Rock ‘n Roller Coaster)
2nd – Jon (Rock ‘n Roller Coaster), April (Kilimanjaro Safari)
3rd – Jon (Space Mountain), April (Test Track)
4th – Jon (Splash Mountain), April (Expedition Everest)
5th – Jon (Test Track), April (Festival of the Lion King)

Best Table Service Restaurant
1st – Jon (Kona Café), April (Le Cellier)
2nd – Jon (Le Cellier), April (Kona Café)
3rd – Jon and April (Wishes Dessert party)
4th – Jon (Hollywood and Vine), April (San Angel Inn)
5th – Jon (San Angel Inn), April (Hollywood and Vine)

Best Quick Service Restaurant
1st – Jon (Earl of Sandwich), April (Old Port Royale Pizza Shop)
2nd – Jon (Pecos Bills), April (Old Port Royal Deli)
3rd – Jon (Flame Tree BBQ), April (Corn Dog – No Specific Place???)
4th – Jon (Old Port Royale Deli), April (Earl of Sandwich)
5th – Jon (Old Port Royale Pizza Shop), April (Flame Tree BBQ)

Best Snacks/Desserts
1st – Jon (Dole Whip), April (Napoleon at Bakery in France)
2nd – Jon (Napoleon at Bakery in France), April (Sundae at Ghiardelli’s in DD)
3rd – Jon (Egg Rolls at Yak and Yeti QS), April (Caribbean Jerk Chips at Food Court)
4th – Jon (Caribbean Jerk Chips at Food Court), April (Dole Whip)
5th – Jon (Sundae at Ghiardelli’s in DD), April (Shake at Beaches and Cream)

The final verdict: Yes, Two thrill ride junkies can love Disney World. April and I had the most unbelievable vacation of our marriage and we will definitely be making a return trip, hopefully with children next time. Thanks for reading. We will be back!

Follow this link to my PTR once it becomes active.

June 2013 PTR
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