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Old 10-10-2011, 01:04 PM   #46
hgharvey
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Subscribing to your thread, never been alone but since the kids are getting a little older it will be harder to pull them out of school so I'm thinking maybe I could get away for a few days by myself. I could use some time just walking through all the shops and looking at everything without having to rush to the next ride. I feel like I missed so much a couple of weeks ago when we were there. Right now just living through you and your beautiful pictures!! What kind of camera do you have taking such wonderful pictures. I love pictures, the more the merrier. Can't wait to read more and how enjoyable it was.

Holly
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:30 PM   #47
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Keep your photos coming. I am really enjoying your perspective.

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Originally Posted by Belle599 View Post

Your family sounds just lovely. Do you have 3 kids total? If so, I bet a room a Wyndham Bonnet Creek resort would be perfect since you would have multiple bathrooms for the price of a value resort. And it is such a gorgeous resort.
We are staying at the FW Cabins. We wanted onsite. We have free dining and the use of Disney transport. That was all a plus for us. 1 extra bathroom would be nice but we don't plan on spending too much time in our Cabin anyway.
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:59 PM   #48
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Monday, September 12, 2011

ZZZZZzzzzzzzzZZZZ
What is that you say? That is me sleeping in on Monday. I find that lately my trips to WDW all start in the same manner. A crazy jam-packed day for the first full day, and then a leisurely day for the 2nd full day.

This trip is no different.

I think that a great use of a sleep-in day is to tour Epcot's World Showcase. You can easily sleep in and arrive at Epcot for the 11am open of World Showcase.

Woke up just before 9:30, and lounged around for most of the morning. Man, OKW is an amazing resort for lounging.

Left OKW at noon and I had a 12:45 ADR at Via Napoli so this was my first destination of the day.

Here is lunch: Margherita Pizza, individual size - $16.



This was good, but I had really high expectations (my local Italian restaurant has to-die-for thin crust Italian pizza) so this did not meet my expectations. It was low on the mozza and a bit too my flour left on the dough - quite dry.

I was actually a bit hungry after eating this, and usually after a WDW table service I am stuffed.

Since I covered Canada and the UK yesterday, off to France I went for dessert.

Epcot was EMPTY.....awesome! It was a 1.1 day per touring plans.

Back in May 2011 I was looking for an orange bird shirt (I think it was featured on the disney parks blog in early 2011). They did not have my size in May....only size Small. This shirt was junior sizing so I definitely needed at least a Medium.



In May, I was told that this shirt was only sold in American Adventure Heritage Manor. Since I was passing by this shop, on my way to France, I had to duck in and see what they had.

They had my shirt!!! In a medium!! AND it was marked down to 14.99!! I also got this shirt for DH because he looooves root beer - marked down to 13.99. I know that this store got a lot of food-themed shirts in the Summer but it looks like they are not selling well.



Arrived at the Boulangerie Patisseire at about 2:15 and got - YUMMY ALERT! - the Napoleon - $3.95 including tax.

Note that the Boulangerie Patisseire serves its ice water in an insulated coffee cup. This is the only CS that I have encountered that does this.



I was only able to eat half, what a waste!

I love sitting at the cafe tables in France and people-watching, what ambiance.





You might remember me mentioning that one thing I wanted to do on this trip is see some of the few attractions that I have never experienced. I can now mark Impressions de France off my list! It was a gorgeous film and really transported the viewer. I enjoyed it and will probably make DH watch it in the future. These 2 older ladies, probably in their 70s, were sitting near me. At every scene, they would gasp loudly and say loudly "Oh, isn't it just beautiful!". They were so cute because they had no idea how loud they were being haha.

I browsed the lovely stores in France, and pretended to speak broken french to the CMs hah. I actually found a scent that suited me in the Guerlain store and in hindsight should have taken a photo of the name on the bottle. I try lots of scents but have never found one good enough to commit to. This one smelled like lilies of the valley a bit..........if you know what it is please tell me!

I guess I will just have to go back to the store to find the scent.....

I bought DH an orange caramel lollipop in the La Mode Francaise store. They have all kinds of small candies priced from 30 cents up.

Some food and wine booths were out, and every day there were more and more. When you see these planters, you know that Disney is hiding something behind them.



After France I stopped by Morocco, another amazing pavilion. While sipping on my ice water, I noticed this squirrel hiding above a door.



It then jumped into a large plant and made a huge noise haha.





I followed it into the shop, where it sat in the display. A Morocco CM came up to me and we chatted about this squirrel while he fed it french fries and told me it was his pet. Only in WDW!



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Old 10-12-2011, 12:20 AM   #49
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Mmmm. That napoleon looks heavenly!
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:18 PM   #50
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A squirrel! In Morrocco!! Must be WDW.

I'm loving your TR Belle.
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Wonderful time at Fort wilderness- A mini TR with Pictures


My Jan 2012 PTR. We Are Coming from the Land Down Under!


Jan 2012 WDW Fort Wilderness Cabins DH DD1/18 DD2/15 DD3/13 and Me
2009 Disneyland with DH & DD1,2 & 3; 2001 Disneyland DD1 with her DGma and dance troupe; 1992 Disneyland with DH & DD1 an unknown passenger after our European trip.
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Old 10-15-2011, 03:26 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZehnJahren View Post
You have a point about the room at night, and I never thought about it like that - I more thought I'd have all this time in the room. But you're right, if you stay all day, you'll just have time for a quick relaxing dip in the hot tub before bed time. Hmm, something to think about.

I am very much an obsessive broccoli lover - I eat about 2-3 cups a day, 5-6 times a week. I steam it and fresh-grate some black pepper Parmesan cheese over it. I also have a lemon garlic olive oil topping that I like a lot. Or I'll add leftover broccoli to quinoa, or to my sandwiches. I tried it for the first time in my life about 4 years ago, and now I eat it ALL THE TIME. Thanks for the tips!
Thank you for the broccoli ideas! I usually have mine with a sprinkle of lemon juice and garlic salt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fabulousmadhatter View Post
Well the timing of this TR is perfect ! I have booked with Dave for DVC points at OKW in January for 8 days 7 nights. First time Solo and really looking forward to staying in a Delux Resort for the first time. Your photos are really great and your first full day has left me exhausted lol I am a little over 60 yrs young and should maybe start getting back to my treadmill. All your tips about eating smaller and more often are all getting filed away in my trip planning notes. I will try to avoid getting a special needs room at all costs, had one once and found the walk in shower quite dangerous with all the water splashing all over the floor. I am a little worried about feeling a bit weepy when the music and the fireworks are on, always nice to have a body to hug at that time. As for not having to wait on anyone else for anything, PRICELESS. Keep this report coming and thanks.
Too bad Dumbo AND Big Thunder Railroad will be down for refurb during my visit.
You are going to love OKW! It's so quaint and a lovely place to come back to each evening. I agree with the slipping hazard on the roll-in showers for those of us who luckily do not need the roll-in feature. I see that BTMRR will be under rehab for several months....I would miss that too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hgharvey View Post
Subscribing to your thread, never been alone but since the kids are getting a little older it will be harder to pull them out of school so I'm thinking maybe I could get away for a few days by myself. I could use some time just walking through all the shops and looking at everything without having to rush to the next ride. I feel like I missed so much a couple of weeks ago when we were there. Right now just living through you and your beautiful pictures!! What kind of camera do you have taking such wonderful pictures. I love pictures, the more the merrier. Can't wait to read more and how enjoyable it was.

Holly
Hi Holly, thank you for your kind words. DH gave me a Nikon Coolpix S8100 last November for my birthday and I love it. It is just a point & shoot and is very compact such that you could fit it into a clutch. I have not educated myself much about photography so could not handle a SLR at this point. However the S8100 has many features (10X zoom, shock absorb etc.) of a fancier camera but is very user-friendly which is important to me.
I believe that the S9100 is the newest version and has a 18X zoom which pretty impressive for a point and shoot!


Quote:
Originally Posted by IheartDDuck View Post
Mmmm. That napoleon looks heavenly!
It was ....if only I could have brought the other half home....

Quote:
Originally Posted by OziJo View Post
A squirrel! In Morrocco!! Must be WDW.

I'm loving your TR Belle.
Glad you are enjoying!
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Old 10-15-2011, 04:45 PM   #52
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Monday, September 12 - continued



I have always found that I spend the most time sitting around and doing nothing in Japan. The gardens are just perfect. I have taken so many photos of the gardens there that I am thinking of making a small photo assortment on the wall up my staircase at home.

With the Yakitori house refurb, I was a bit upset that the entire gardens were walled off.



Here is a view from behind the Yakitori House. You can't really see it, but they are expanding the size of the building.



I am hopefully that the gardens are even more beautiful (is that even possible?) when the refurb is done.

Ahhhh


I saw some Imagineers and Mitsukoshi employees in hardhats walking around the walls, and then entering into the construction zone near the new Kabuki Cafe.



Passing by Italy.....The Ziti Sisters were performing. They are ok, but there are better acts around World Showcase.



Destination: Germany



I must stop at Karamel Kuche at every opportunity. DH always picks up a bag of creme caramels and I wanted to get him a bag. But they were nowhere to be found! Only milk chocolate was available. I asked the CMs but they had no idea what I was talking about.....



Although I always try something new, I had a repeat this time. I was still a bit full from the Napolean as it was only 4:30, so opted for a smaller item here. The pretzel which is covered in caramel, then chocolate - $3.15 with tax.



Had to stop in Norway for Maelstrom.



It was such a slow day that the FP machines were not even operating. This resulted in a line of about 25 people (lol HUGE I know). I never wait in line here because I always FP, so this was new for me!



For the first time, I sat to watch the Maelstrom film after the ride. This was another "first" on my list for this trip. The film was playing when I arrived, so I saw the 2nd half of it. It was pretty decent and I will have to watch the first half next trip.

I was feeling tired so decided to leave the rest of Norway, China and Mexico for another day. Left just past 5pm.

One thing that I wanted to see this trip is what is North of MK if you drive up World Drive. I decided to go for a drive and see for myself.

There is debate as to whether it is "ethical" for non-CMs to drive on World Drive, north of the Contemporary.

We will NOT be having this nonsensical debate in this thread. Thank you.

I drive up World Dr., past the Contemporary, and took a right on Center Rd. I passed the MK CM parking lot on my left, and the monorail service station on my right. At Reams Road, I took a Right. At this intersection, there were at least 6 billboards for new housing developments nearby. It seems that they are building a lot back here. (you can follow along on googlemaps if you like)

Drove down Reams Rd and then left on 535/Winter Garden Vineland Road. It seem at this intersection they are building a shopping plaza with a Publix. It will be called Lakeside Village Center.

I kept following 535 to the Winter Garden Village shopping center which was my destination. There were many new housing developments back here, shops and preschools.

http://www.wintergardenvillage.com/

I stopped at Target at the Winter Garden Village shopping center to pick up water and snacks.

Then I drove back to WDW, to the Contemporary for dinner. This was a nice exploration for me as I needed the rest from being on my feet.

I went to Contempo Cafe once back when it opened but wanted to have dinner here. I LOVE steak salads and since they have one on their menu, it was a must to try this.

Steakhouse Salad - marinated beef, mixed greens shaved red onions, goat cheese, and vine-ripe tomatoes with mustard dressing

$8.61 with tax



Yum this was good! The goat cheese was lovely and the beef was high-quality. Unfortunately I could only eat half of it and was full. 2 people could share this and a dessert and that would be a good value for a meal.

It was just past 7pm which was sunset at this time of year, so I headed out to the 4th floor balcony for some sunset photos.
DH and I really enjoy sunset photos and paintings (some nice ones in the Wyndham galleries!).







Has anybody watched Wishes from this 4th floor balcony? Is it almost as good a view as from Cali Grill?



The express monorail was stuck......again...



I browsed the shops on the 4th floor and decided that I wanted to see Illuminations!

Let's go back to Epcot, shall we?


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Old 10-22-2011, 01:21 PM   #53
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September 12, 2011 - continued

After dinner at Contempo Cafe, I had a seat on the sofas in the Contemporary lobby and chatted with DH on Skype for a bit, since there is free wifi in the lobby and convention areas of the Contemporary.

I also walked out to the pier and looked at the Sea Raycers and chatted with the CM at the rental place. I have never driven a boat before. In keeping with trying new things at WDW this trip, I really wanted to take a boat out onto Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon, but was a bit scared. Maybe I will think about doing this in the upcoming days of my trip.

Off to Epcot we go!

Parked at the Beach Club, so that I could smell the Beach Club lobby haha



But really, the Beach Club lobby smells sooooo good.

**Sidenote**

I searched some disboards and found a thread which explained that they use the commercial version of this product in a scent called Green Clover and Aloe
http://www.enviroscent.com/Shop/Accscent-Machines

At $200, DH will not let me buy this.

Bath and Body Works has two similar scents: 1. Green Clover and Aloe (but discontinued), and 2. Rainkissed Leaves



http://reviews.bathandbodyworks.com/...ews.htm?page=4

This past weekend, DH took me to the one and only Bath and Bodyworks outlet in Canada and I found handsoap and body spray in Rainkissed Leaves - yay!! The scent is about 85% similar I would say, so I have captured the magnificent scent of the Beach Club at home!

**End of Sidenote**

Ok so I'm badass and parked at the Beach Club and walked to Epcot.

Don't worry parking police, there were tons of open parking spaces since it was Low Seasons and since I have an AP I am not defrauding WDW out of any parking revenue.

The movie on the beach was just starting



Arrived at International Gateway at about 8:40pm.

I usually watch Illuminations from between the 2 stores at the foot of World Showcase.

On recommendation of the bag-check security man, I decided to watch from the viewing path in Canada.

But first, I got an English Rose from the Rose and Crown. YUMMY!



Compared to the previous day, the open portion of the Rose & Crown was much larger (remember they were replacing the floor). There were about 10 Brits in the bar (mostly from Manchester) and these people were having a spectacular time singing along with the Hat Lady who was playing at piano.

The Hat Lady started Hey Jude while I was waiting for my drink and these fun Brits pulled me into their singing and dancing - lots of fun!!

With minutes to spare, I did settle on watching Illuminations from the Canada path.

Here is the moon!



Since it was slow season, I was able to get a front row viewing spot.

I set my camera on the fence in front of me and videoed all of Illuminations.

Here is my link to the video on youtube.

My video of Illuminations

Sorry that there was a tree in the sky in front of me, and at times these guys were quacking a bit.



As much as I love all WDW night-time entertainment, Illuminations is my favourite. I love the message that Illuminations communicates and it inspires me every time I see it.

And that's it for today, we're going to Hollywood Studios tomorrow!


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Old 10-22-2011, 08:40 PM   #54
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That salad looks really good! I'm glad you enjoyed it. It does look like enough to feed two people.

I often park at the Beach Club when I want to go to Epcot. We're rebels I guess.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:12 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by IheartDDuck View Post
That salad looks really good! I'm glad you enjoyed it. It does look like enough to feed two people.

I often park at the Beach Club when I want to go to Epcot. We're rebels I guess.
It is nice to know of a good, reliable salad at WDW since there are so many gross salads at CS locations....*ahem* Studio Catering Co.!

Yeah, with the parking, I use judgement depending on slow times of year/slow days because as a resort guest I would hate to come back to my resort to find no parking spots.

When I was at the Contemporary earlier that day, I was amazed at how many empty spots there were in the aisle directly beside the valet aisle, which is right in front of the main entrance to the hotel.

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Old 10-23-2011, 11:06 PM   #56
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

So far I've been to MK and Epcot, so on the agenda today is DHS.

After sleeping in yesterday, I was aiming for a rope drop day today.

Arrived at DHS and parked in Stage 42, which is quite close to the front. Since it was close, most people were walking to the entrance instead of waiting for a tram.

HOT TIP (if you didn't know it already lol)

There are 2 bag check areas at DHS.

1. Main bag check (where you go if a Disney bus, or the tram drops you off)

2. A lonely single bag check station staffed by a lonely Security person on the side near guest relations.

On this particular morning, everyone in Stage 42 was walking the LONG way around to the main bag check. I crossed the street and went through the lonely single bag check.

Every time I went to DHS this trip, I was able to park close to the front (since the crowds were so low).
And every time I went through the single bag check.
And every time, the security person made some comment like "Where do you work?", like I worked at WDW or something.
Nope, I am just a smart cookie!



Off to TSMM we go



Arrived at TSMM at 9:13 and got a FP right away. FP time was 10:55.



Wait time posted as 45 mins, but I guessed that was inflated so went into line.



It actually was about 25 min wait. It was such a slow day at DHS that they were only loading people in loading rows #1 to #4 on TSMM.



Unfortunately they did not need any single/doubles on the right hand side of the queue so I waited in the normal line with the commoners haha.



This score is not bad for me! (I am not nearly as strong at scoring as DH.)



Just before 10am, headed over to The Great Movie Ride.





I wanted to pay attention to the room before The Wizard of Oz, which was originally supposed to be the tornado, but now is Fantasia (but still windy!)

I love, The Movies!



Got a good look at the windy room, that would have been a small Tornado.



On The Great Movie Ride, they only had one vehicle running, instead of two. This was evident when we got into the room where they show the montage of movie footage and we were the only car in there.

Had to make a stop at Writers' Stop for a Cappuccino.

Why is Writers' Stop not on the park map?



Enjoyed my morning coffee while strolling the Streets of America.



I love how authentic the street is here!



Here is where the purple cat was last Xmas for Osborne Lights.



Singin' in the Rain.....does the water come out randomly? I saw that the ground was wet, but didn't see any water coming out - confused me!



Stopped by the Cars meet and greet which is relatively new (new to me)



Far more popular was the new (to me) Phineas and Ferb meet and greet. Sorry photopass guy, I have snapped a not-so-flattering photo of you!



I finished my morning java, so next up is Star Tours!



I had only been on this 2 times before, both during soft-opening, so no photos were allowed at that time.



It was just past 10:40 and the posted wait time was 15 mins which was a hair longer than I actually waited.

Look up!



This was an all-new sequence for me, with storm troopers when we took off, a visit to the Wookie planet, an appearance from Princess Leia and then Boba Fett.



This guy is my favourite part of the queue! Such cool stuff go through his scanner!



At this point it was a bit after 11am and since all I had so far was a coffee, there was a rumbly in my tumbly.

What should I have for lunch? hmmmmm

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Old 10-24-2011, 07:36 AM   #57
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:03 PM   #58
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:59 PM   #59
maryr1oz
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Really loving your report - i love travelling alone, there are so many benefits

Although it is nice to have hubby there occasionally to share special sights with

Can't wait to read more!
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:02 PM   #60
OziJo
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I'm so excited for Star Tours. I'm trying not to be because I don't want to be disappointed.

When DH and I went to DL back in '92 we loved the original Star Tours and went on it 4 times and we were only in DL for 1 day!! Then in in '09 we went back again. Still loved it and so did the girls but could we see it was getting a bit dated.

So when I heard they had updated I was so excited. Secretly I'm as excited for Star Tours as I am for Harry Potter...shhh don't tell the girls.

Thanks for the pics.
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