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Old 01-04-2012, 01:06 PM   #61
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…Behind the Seeds Continued, continued…















At the touch & feel table…


















At the end of the tour, our guide offered to take group pictures of us, so we handed over our camera and posed for this picture:





We then backtracked our entire path, back to the beginning.


I enjoyed the tour, and I think the kids did too. I don’t know if they’d want to do it again, though. Right now, I think they’d just rather be “in” the parks, doing not-so-behind-the-scene things!





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Old 01-11-2012, 10:19 AM   #62
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After our Behind the Seeds tour we used the Fastpasses we’d gotten earlier for Soarin’. That is always one of my favorite rides. I love all the smells and I love how it feels like if I could just stretch my foot down a few inches more, I’d be able to touch the ocean.

That’s where I pretty much lose any recollection of what we did next. Not that I’ve forgotten the vacation, I’ve just forgotten in what order we did which things.

But that’s ok.

I’ve been thinking it’s time for a change around here anyway, sha-na-na-na-na!

Time to Change

Ok, maybe not that kind of change, but a little bit of The Brady Bunch never hurt anyone.


I think, instead of a play-by-play recap of our vacation, I will hit the highlights, share some of my favorite pictures, throw in my thoughts on Boardwalk vs. Beach Club, and I won’t forget to include the story of how we ended up extending our vacation by two more nights.

So stay tuned, won’t you?
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:07 AM   #63
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Night Photos

Davis & I both enjoy taking pictures. Photography is fun, but I wouldn’t consider myself anywhere close to being professional, even though I’d like to know more about it.

One thing we were itching to try this year was to take some better night photos. We have packed our tripod for the past 3 years probably, always with the intention of fireworks photography, but never using it. I think in 2007 we might have used it to film the fireworks from the train station. That was the year we went without the kids, so taking the tripod into the Magic Kingdom one night was no big deal. This year we also came equipped with an automatic shutter release remote. Using that eliminates the shakiness created when you use your finger to press the button on the camera.

One of those first few nights, while we were still staying at the Boardwalk we took the camera out for a spin.








The Screendoor shop on the Boardwalk.

Seeing this photo reminded me of a little funny. We had been shopping there, probably for Vinylmation figures, and then probably traded at least once. When we returned to our room we received a call that they had found Davis's wallet. Wow! Having your wallet returned before you find out that it's missing -- Disney Magic!





See the waves in lights near the bottom right of the picture? Our room was in that area -- Crest O' the Wave



Dance Hall! This is also where they host Welcome Home Wednesdays for DVC members.



There was no way to resist dancing to the music that was playing on the Boardwalk!



This may or may not have been the same night we took the following pictures at Epcot. I know that first Friday we were there (May 27) Epcot had Evening Extra Magic Hours. We love us some Evening Extra Magic Hours! We are in the habit of going back to our room sometime in the afternoon to change, shower, or just take a little break so it's hard to match pictures sometimes! But it looks like Luke is wearing the same shirt.



I love watching the railroad and exploring the mini-village in Germany. The detail is just amazing!


















There's nothing like enjoying a snack that is bigger than your head!


There is just something so Magical about Disney at night.
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Last edited by Bridora; 01-12-2012 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:22 PM   #64
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Had to get caught up. I am glad that you enjoyed the Behind the Seeds tour...even the kids. I have to talk myself into doing out of the way sorts of things because I always want to be in the parks just go-go-going. I wracked my brain trying to figure out what your "mystery" picture was supposed to be of. That was the section where they showed you how to make the hydropontic aquarium thing wasn't it? That's also where they gave us samples of the cucumbers grown in The Land. I wonder if it was some sort of note reminding them what they were supposed to be showing you there?

I think your night shots are fantastic! John bought me a tripod for my birthday and I am looking forward to taking it with us on vacation. It's not very big so it shouldn't be hard to put in my hipster or backsack.
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Old 01-14-2012, 10:25 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeystoontown View Post
Had to get caught up. I am glad that you enjoyed the Behind the Seeds tour...even the kids. I have to talk myself into doing out of the way sorts of things because I always want to be in the parks just go-go-going. I wracked my brain trying to figure out what your "mystery" picture was supposed to be of. That was the section where they showed you how to make the hydropontic aquarium thing wasn't it? That's also where they gave us samples of the cucumbers grown in The Land. I wonder if it was some sort of note reminding them what they were supposed to be showing you there?

I think your night shots are fantastic! John bought me a tripod for my birthday and I am looking forward to taking it with us on vacation. It's not very big so it shouldn't be hard to put in my hipster or backsack.
I think it was something along those lines, like don't forget to . . .

Thanks! Everything is so magical at night, I always have to try to bring it home with me!





I found this picture today while trying to get another post up. It's Allison's pretzel head photo. . .




If you look at the half of me on the left of the photo, you'll notice that we got more use out of those pull over rain jackets we bought at Epcot last year!
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Old 01-14-2012, 10:49 PM   #66
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Star Wars Weekends

Happily for our Star Wars lovin’ family, we were able to catch Star Wars Weekends while we were on vacation. Saturday, May 28th, we went over to Hollywood Studios to take in all the Star Wars we could.

We were most excited to visit the newly reopened and revamped Star Tours. Before our visit, I made a “Galactic Passport” for each of us.



Inside is a list of all the places you might visit while traveling as well as a place to write in the date you visited.



And the back has a place just waiting to be stamped by a Castmember!



And wouldn’t you know it—we were not the only Star Wars fans there that day! The wait time was longer than we wanted to wait, so we decided to hold off on Star Tours until another day. We had Park Hopper tickets and planned on visiting Hollywood Studios later in the week.

Instead, we wandered around. Luke contemplated signing up for the Jedi Training Academy, but decided not to. I threatened the kids that I was going to try out for the American Idol Experience, but they were just empty threats.

The one thing we had to do was visit the store. This year the Star Wars Weekend merchandise store was in a totally different part of the park than it’s been before. This is the store that has all the exclusive merchandise and is only open during the Weekends. It was located in a big empty lot past Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. You got to it by going like you were going to ride Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. Head under the upside down car, and then stay to the right. It was like an opening in the "side" of the park into an empty parking lot. The store was set up in a big big tent, and in we went.

The kids each found t-shirts to purchase. Davis was in search of the special pin set, but we found out that they didn’t have any this year. He was thinking about getting the Star Wars Vinylmations, but wanted some more time before making his final decision since, probably, the only way to get them all would be to buy the whole case! Here are some pictures I took of the Tower of Terror from the tent. A view you don’t normally get!


I took these on the way out, heading back into the park proper. The tent was a little behind and to out left. The exit back to the park was ahead on the right, through the silver gate thingys.


Zooming in on the Tower of Terror. . .




The way out is past those potted trees and through those open gates...


I turned around as we left the “special” area to get a shot of its entrance. Notice the sign at the top of the picture "Jabba's Hutt Event Merchandise" And I think that girl is dressed up like Amidala, though I've heard baring your midriff is coming back into style...

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Old 01-15-2012, 12:04 AM   #67
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Catching up with your latest updates!

The KP missions are so fun. Mexico is one of the couple I haven't done yet but maybe in April.

Bummer the kids weren't as excited as you'd hoped about the tour but it does look neat. I remember seeing a group who must've been doing that tour when we rode Living with the Land. And I totally agree about the sign that leads to "on stage." If only we could all work for Disney!

Star Wars Weekends sounds like fun. I think it would be interesting to do some day but I think I might have to learn more about Star Wars to enjoy it. haha
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:02 PM   #68
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Catching up with your latest updates!

The KP missions are so fun. Mexico is one of the couple I haven't done yet but maybe in April.

Bummer the kids weren't as excited as you'd hoped about the tour but it does look neat. I remember seeing a group who must've been doing that tour when we rode Living with the Land. And I totally agree about the sign that leads to "on stage." If only we could all work for Disney!

Star Wars Weekends sounds like fun. I think it would be interesting to do some day but I think I might have to learn more about Star Wars to enjoy it. haha
It was fun! I think we ended up finishing all the countries this visit. Not doing all of them, but doing the rest of the ones we hadn't done yet.

Yeah, I'm sure Star Wars Weekends is more fun the more you know about Star Wars!
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:12 PM   #69
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With the rest of Saturday’s details lost to time, we’ll move on to Sunday. I just can’t let go of the need to post chronologically!

Sunday was our moving day and also Evening Extra Magic Hours in the Magic Kingdom. We checked out of Boardwalk Villas and in to Beach Club Villas.

Some thoughts on staying at the Boardwalk:
We had a Boardwalk view which was SO NICE! I can’t say enough great things about that view. I took countless pictures from our balcony.

However, at night it was very noisy out there! There was one night in particular when some big game must have been on down at the ESPN Club that was an especially loud night. We could hear all the cheers from our room – door closed.

What’s the key in real estate?—location, location, location! Boardwalk definitely has a great location! We loved the ease of taking a stroll to Epcot.



The Friendship boats are also a transportation option to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios as well as Downtown Disney.

Inside the Boardwalk it’s easy to get lost! The hallways are so long, especially to get to where our room was. They zig zag all day long! And we only ever found one elevator for our wing, so it was always a long walk.

All in all, I enjoyed staying on the Boardwalk and I’m glad that we did!

This vacation we also made it down the boardwalk to dine at the Big River Grille & Brewing Works. I think we may have done this on Saturday after leaving the Studios.




Their brewery


Not quite sure why I took this one, but there's the bar area.


Our Chicken Nacho Appetizer, very good!
from allearsnet.com: Chicken Nachos - tortilla chips, creamy pepper jack cheese, sliced jalapenos, topped with pica de gallo and sour cream $11.99


My salad, maybe this one since I don’t see any chicken on there:
(from allearsnet.com): Greenhouse Salad* - fresh mixed salad greens, topped with Roma tomatoes, carrots, cheddar and jack cheeses, sunflower kernels, and croutons $7.99

We do like it there!


But back to Sunday, we checked in at the Beach Club and left all our luggage in the car to be unpacked later. We had a lunch ADR at Via Napoli and wanted to get over to Epcot for some sightseeing before that.

I also wanted to stop in at the bakery in France that I’d heard so much about here on the DIS for a little breakfast treat.

There were so many good looking things in the cases there, but also a pretty long line. Not wanting to hold anyone up, we made our choices and went in search of a table. We ended up with a small table in the ‘street’ outside.

I must not have any pictures from that time. Poor Luke spilled chocolate milk on his lap. He cleaned up the best he could and we promised him that we would go back after lunch when our room was ready and let him change.

We then walked around, enjoying our surroundings.












Soon enough, 12:30 rolled around and we were giving our name to the hostess at Via Napoli, excited to try it for the first time!






I was super excited to try Via Napoli – we’d heard such good things about it and who doesn’t love pizza? Especially pizza from Italy!

We were seated at a pretty good table. It was in the middle of the restaurant and had a great view of the pizza ovens.










A plate just waiting for some yummy pizza – or salad – to land on it.

We must have been really hungry that day. Come to think of it, I don’t think Davis or I had breakfast, maybe we just ordered something for the kids in France. We ordered the extra huge salad;
(from allearsnet.com): "Family Style" House Salad Served Exclusively with Pizza - minimum 2 people; leaf lettuces, roasted red peppers, marinated mushrooms, olives, peperonicini, red wine vinaigrette $5 per person

It was huge!

We also ordered a really huge pizza, the Mezzo Metro size. It was even bigger than we’d pictured when they brought it out to our table!





Sometime during our meal our Beach Club Villa became ready! This was good news for taking left-over pizza back with us. The pizza was so so good and I would have just hated to have to leave it behind. .

After we were stuffed with pizza and salad, we left Epcot, this time headed for the Beach Club!



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Old 03-07-2012, 12:15 AM   #70
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Why hello! I know I have pretty much dropped off the face of the Dis-planet. Bad princess. But woooooo updates! The bad part is I didn't even get to thank you guys for letting Tebow win his first playoff game! Not that we got much further in the post-season.

I had NO IDEA the "Jenny" was at DTD! Where is it by? I literally just watched that movie this week!! AHHHH SO EXCITED.

Oh and I always want to do the surrey bikes too!! One day...one day!! They look so fun and I bet it was a great way to burn some time even if it was a bit of a workout. For that reason...I may save it for whenever I go in a cooler season!

I have never seen the video game station but I've heard of it and always want to try it in Innoventions! But then again, I never do too much there. I've made paper and done Sum of All Thrills and that is about it. Landon is a little too young for that stuff and it's hard to keep him interested or calm so I can do it. Maybe in a few years he can go. I'm itching for a baby free Disney trip and I'm not even ashamed!

Thanks for the picture of the other side of the ToT. Now I know. I really hadn't even realized I didn't know every side of the ride-love-of-my-life. I am not a Star Wars fan...otherwise I would've gone to that gift shop myself and seen it in person, but alas...your pics will have to do!

Ahh Via Napoli...I LOVE that pizza so much. It's always hard for me to go back to "normal" pizza after that godsend. And...it's not looking like you got the sangria. Such a shame! They have the best sangria ever there and make it in-house!! If you need a reason to go back lol

And now...I await your Beach Club pics! You are definitely going to beat me in finishing your tr because mine is closed so I can't post mroe even if I wanted to! Whoops!
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:16 AM   #71
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We were at Epcot on the same day! Still catching up on your TR but am enjoying it
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:11 AM   #72
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Why hello! I know I have pretty much dropped off the face of the Dis-planet. Bad princess. But woooooo updates! The bad part is I didn't even get to thank you guys for letting Tebow win his first playoff game! Not that we got much further in the post-season.

I had NO IDEA the "Jenny" was at DTD! Where is it by? I literally just watched that movie this week!! AHHHH SO EXCITED.

Oh and I always want to do the surrey bikes too!! One day...one day!! They look so fun and I bet it was a great way to burn some time even if it was a bit of a workout. For that reason...I may save it for whenever I go in a cooler season!

I have never seen the video game station but I've heard of it and always want to try it in Innoventions! But then again, I never do too much there. I've made paper and done Sum of All Thrills and that is about it. Landon is a little too young for that stuff and it's hard to keep him interested or calm so I can do it. Maybe in a few years he can go. I'm itching for a baby free Disney trip and I'm not even ashamed!

Thanks for the picture of the other side of the ToT. Now I know. I really hadn't even realized I didn't know every side of the ride-love-of-my-life. I am not a Star Wars fan...otherwise I would've gone to that gift shop myself and seen it in person, but alas...your pics will have to do!

Ahh Via Napoli...I LOVE that pizza so much. It's always hard for me to go back to "normal" pizza after that godsend. And...it's not looking like you got the sangria. Such a shame! They have the best sangria ever there and make it in-house!! If you need a reason to go back lol

And now...I await your Beach Club pics! You are definitely going to beat me in finishing your tr because mine is closed so I can't post mroe even if I wanted to! Whoops!
Aw, Kimmy! Sorry your TR is closed. But woo hoo for mine still being open! I honestly wasn't sure it would be.

If you'll notice it's been January since I was last here.

I knew you'd appreciate that ToT picture. If you're going back during SWW and the store is in the same place, you'll have to go see it for yourself!

No, sadly I did not try the sangria. I don't even have a good reason why I didn't. But, now I must go back!

Beach Club pics soon, hopefully! (fingers crossed)

Oh! And the 'Jenny' is over by Planet Hollywood, I guess it "goes with Planet Hollywood" actually. If I remember correctly, as you're walking up from behind it, Planet Hollywood and Jenny are on your left. I didn't know about it either, until I read one of Mickeystoontown's TRs. Definitely fun to go see!

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We were at Epcot on the same day! Still catching up on your TR but am enjoying it
Ahhh, Epcot in May, such a nice place to be! If I don't get a move-on I'll still be writing about this trip when May rolls around again!

Thanks for reading, I'm glad you are enjoying it! I'm going to work on putting some more out there...
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:09 PM   #73
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When last we left, the fearless Disney Adventurers were making their way into uncharted territory, unsure of what would lie ahead.













Our room was on the 2nd floor, on the back-side of the building.


And now, I will show pictures of my favorite part of the room:

The view from our balcony was a nice little courtyard area and a mysterious road.



Looking “to the left, to the left”



And looking to the right






Cute path in the courtyard area.



The balcony!



Pretty sure this was not the same day, but here’s what I did for a short time on some days when we would come back to the room for a quick rest, shower, or change of clothes.


The cool thing about sitting out on our balcony, besides the part that you’re sitting on the balcony of a beautiful Disney resort, is that when Matsuriza, the Japanese drummers in Epcot played, we could hear them! It only took a few minutes to figure out what the sound was. We could also hear British Revolution from our balcony. Fun stuff!


And you know I had to get a panoramic shot of our ‘backyard’:



It was just a little messed up!



I really did love that balcony!





Ok, I promise, no more balcony shots! On to the inside!

Here is the entryway: table and mirror. We have just walked in the door, the room is around the bend, to the right. You can see the bench at the kitchen table in this picture.





Walking in and overlooking the kitchen and living room areas:





Here’s one without Davis, lol!


And if you walk into the living room and stand in front of the couch that pulls out into bed and look back toward the front door, you’d see this:


Bar area and kitchen

…continued in next post…
__________________
Return of the Old Folks' Van - A May 2013 Trip Report - In Progress!
Vacation Potpourri - Disney Dream, Kidani Village, and more! (2012)
I Know There's A Hanna-Barbera Land Around Here Somewhere! (2011) We Stuffed Our Faces, and Searched for the Tronorail, It's Trip Report Time! (2010) The Prius & The Poly Trip Report (2009)
______________________________
2003-My 1st Trip to Disney!-All Star Movies ** 2004-Pop Century ** 2005-All Star Movies ** 2006-Caribbean Beach ** 2007-Caribbean Beach (without the kids!) ** 2008-Port Orleans Riverside ** 2009-Polynesian (we became DVC owners!) ** 2010-Bay Lake Tower**2011-Boardwalk/Beach Club**2012-Dream & Kidani Village**2013-Old Key West
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:14 PM   #74
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…continued

For this next picture I stood in the kitchen and looked toward the master bed/bath area. Straight ahead and turning left will lead you to the master bedroom and bathroom with the tub. Straight ahead and just slightly right (through the open door) is the bathroom with the shower. They have connecting doors, if I remember correctly (It’s been a long time now, lol!)




A closer look through the open door.

And entering …



the bedroom on the left,



the bathroom on the right…



More shots of the bedroom:




Looking back toward the rest of the room:

Those shutters open in to the bathroom, above the tub area.


Don’t forget the chair!

And that was pretty much our room. I can’t remember exactly where the washer/dryer are, but I know we had one! I loved staying at the Beach Club. I loved the room, the balcony, the smell in the lobby!

The walk to the food court area where we refilled our mugs was a fairly short one, and we were right next to a parking lot. In fact, our room was at the very end of the hallway, (seriously, I think there was one more room past ours) so that we had two choices when leaving our room.

To go to the car, for driving anywhere, (we did not take Disney buses this time) we just walked pretty much straight out to the elevator.

To go down to the food court/lobby/Cape May Café/pool/Epcot, etc. area though, we had to go left when we left our room and down a longish hallway to the big Atrium area (which was gorgeous, but I can’t find pictures of, did I even take any?) to an elevator bank. We then walked out of our Beach Club Villas building and to the main building.

We found that a mother bird had a nest full of babies along our walk, just right above the walkway. While we were there, those babies grew up and left the nest! It was fun watching for them every day!
__________________
Return of the Old Folks' Van - A May 2013 Trip Report - In Progress!
Vacation Potpourri - Disney Dream, Kidani Village, and more! (2012)
I Know There's A Hanna-Barbera Land Around Here Somewhere! (2011) We Stuffed Our Faces, and Searched for the Tronorail, It's Trip Report Time! (2010) The Prius & The Poly Trip Report (2009)
______________________________
2003-My 1st Trip to Disney!-All Star Movies ** 2004-Pop Century ** 2005-All Star Movies ** 2006-Caribbean Beach ** 2007-Caribbean Beach (without the kids!) ** 2008-Port Orleans Riverside ** 2009-Polynesian (we became DVC owners!) ** 2010-Bay Lake Tower**2011-Boardwalk/Beach Club**2012-Dream & Kidani Village**2013-Old Key West
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:37 PM   #75
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We split our stay between a Boardwalk studio and a one bedroom at the Beach Club the way we did because of our DVC points. Originally, we thought our “moving” day would be our “pool day”. But it happened that our moving day fell on the only Magic Kingdom Evening Extra Magic Hours of our vacation. There was no way we were missing out on that! You can’t beat staying in the Magic Kingdom until the wee hours of the morning! That night it was open until 2am. Yes, we do sleep later the next morning and miss out on things like Morning Extra Magic Hours, but we aren’t the best morning people to begin with. That is why we’ve only ever even attempted rope drop once. That was in 2010 and we made it! I’m sure a lot of it had to do with the fact that we stayed at Bay Lake Tower that year and were able to just walk right over. We are really all a bunch of night owls, which is why we love, love, love us some Evening Extra Magic Hours!

But first things first. It’s still sometime in the afternoon of Sunday, May 29, 2011, and we still need to get to the Magic Kingdom before we can spend all night there. We left our new Beach Club home to spend the rest of our day in the Magic Kingdom.

Remember, I’m just hitting the highlights here!


We drove over to the TTC and took a Monorail to Magic Kingdom.









We were glad to see the Tronorail still running. (I don’t think it’s the Trononrail anymore, though)





I’m not sure the significance of these next two pictures, was it the cloud? Or Space Mountain suddenly appearing where it wasn’t before? I don’t know…








Cinderella Castle! Those last 3 pictures must have been sheer excitement shots. It was our first visit of our vacation, after all!




Zooming on our 2010 vacation-home. I get such ridicule for my zooming-skills, especially on the videos I record!



Hello Train Station!



Why, certainly!


The afternoon parade was just beginning when we stepped onto Main Street. We headed for the sidewalk and continued on up…


























We went left at the corner, then past Crystal Palace, and crossed over into Liberty Square. The parade route was blocked off, but we found a nice place to linger among the houses. We had just read in the “Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World” book how each house is numbered according to the century it would have been built. I imagined we were waiting on our very own door stoop.

















…continued in next post…
__________________
Return of the Old Folks' Van - A May 2013 Trip Report - In Progress!
Vacation Potpourri - Disney Dream, Kidani Village, and more! (2012)
I Know There's A Hanna-Barbera Land Around Here Somewhere! (2011) We Stuffed Our Faces, and Searched for the Tronorail, It's Trip Report Time! (2010) The Prius & The Poly Trip Report (2009)
______________________________
2003-My 1st Trip to Disney!-All Star Movies ** 2004-Pop Century ** 2005-All Star Movies ** 2006-Caribbean Beach ** 2007-Caribbean Beach (without the kids!) ** 2008-Port Orleans Riverside ** 2009-Polynesian (we became DVC owners!) ** 2010-Bay Lake Tower**2011-Boardwalk/Beach Club**2012-Dream & Kidani Village**2013-Old Key West

Last edited by Bridora; 03-19-2012 at 03:44 PM.
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