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Old 10-29-2011, 01:46 PM   #61
Belle599
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - continued

So I left off in DHS at about 11am and hungry. Normally when I stop by Writer's Stop for my coffee (as I did earlier this day), I grab a carrot cake cookie. However since I am trying new things this trip, I did not have the carrot cake cookie. This is why I'm ready for lunch at 11am!

I really do not like DHS counter service. I think our only decent choice will be to have something from Starring Rolls.

Now it is past 11am, and I want to also see the 11:30 Beauty and the Beast. To Starring Rolls I go!



See Gertie is already eating her lunch too



Can I live on this island?



Bypassing Disney Channel rocks



Arrived at destination Starring Rolls! My lunch! Red velvet cheesecake cupcake $4.25 with tax



My receipt for the cupcake shows 11:27am, so I must be a Olympian speed walker because I JUST made it to the 11:30 Beauty and the Beast show as it started.



Every single time I have watched this show in the past few years, this guy has been Gaston.



I took some video during the show. But a warning, the quality is not very good. It is a bit blurry/shaky at times since I was eating my cupcake with my other hand hahaha.

Here is the link:

Beauty and the Beast, live on stage, September 13, 2011

Ahh I love this show.

I was only able to eat about half of my cupcake. The cupcake was very good, but not quite as good as expected.
Really, these Disney cupcakes are deadly and require 2 people!

Next up is one of my must-dos on every trip. I already had a FP from earlier and grabbed a second FP.

I didn't actually need my FP because it was walk-on.



They merged the single-rider line, FP line, and stand-by line part way through since it was so slow.

I think this is my favourite ride at WDW. Well, at least for today.



I have not been on ToT for 3 or 4 trips. This is the only ride that DH will not ride since he does not like the drops. Because he won't ride it, I psyche myself out and think that it is too intense as well.



Through the lovely queue



It's like a jungle out there



I am forever taking pictures of Disney light fixtures haha



Wouldn't this be a great spot to have your lunch?



Scary!



So I rode it! And I was really nervous....until after the ride when I realized that the drops really aren't that big. I was like "Really, that's it?!" I seem to remember larger drops......this was my first time riding with the new ride sequence.

I will be back to this ride again before my trip is done so that I can prove to myself that really, it is not too scary.

Time to sit down and have a rest, so let's go see:





I love looking around the pre-show here. So funny!



Every time I visit, I see something new:



Who's excited for the new Muppets movie? Nov 22 I think. I will be seeing it!



It was now 1:20pm and I am heading out of the park.

Time for an afternoon break!

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Old 10-31-2011, 07:10 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryr1oz View Post
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!
Thanks for the kind words, I am glad you are enjoying! I agree that it is nice to have DH there to share with and while solo trips are fun, it is nice to also have trips with the significant other. Gotta mix things up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OziJo View Post
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.
You will LOVE the new Star Tours! In case you don't know, there are several segments to the ride, and multiple different versions of each segment. So many permutations/combinations of the ride. I recommend that you leave time in your day to ride it several times so you can have difference experiences.
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:24 PM   #63
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Quote:
I have not been on ToT for 3 or 4 trips. This is the only ride that DH will not ride since he does not like the drops. Because he won't ride it, I psyche myself out and think that it is too intense as well.
I'm with your DH. I didn't do ToT in CAP because I don't like extreme drops. We also have a ride at DreamWorld on the Gold Coast in Queensland called The Big Drop (or something like that) that I wouldn't do. I usually leave these rides to DH and the DD's.

Having said that your report has inspired me to give it a go. So I will set this as my challenge for the trip.
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:03 PM   #64
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Tuesday, September 13 - continued again!

After exiting the turnstiles, I made a quick stop at the payphones, which are located beside the Guest Relations windows. I think I may be the only person to use these payphones in the last month as no CMs knew where they were haha.

Why the payphone? Giordanos pizza was on my mind so I called my order in so that I could pick it up on the way back to OKW.

I was not using my cell since my phone is from a Canadian cell provider and it is $1.45/min in the US.

I think the last time I used a payphone it was 25 cents....it is now 50 cents.

I drove to the Giordanos in Lake Buena Vista and picked up my small cheese stuffed pizza YUM!



The drive was less than 15 mins from DHS, so when I arrived at 1:35pm I had to wait a few mins for my pizza. No problem since they had wifi so I gave DH a call.

The small stuffed cheese pizza came to $14.32 and actually lasted through 3 meals for me so I had it as leftovers in the coming days. A pretty good value. This is when it is nice to have the minifridge and microwave in the DVC villa.

In the past, DH and I have gotten a large stuffed cheese pizza and I think it is $20 or $21 and lasts the 2 of us for 3 meals.

After lunch I walked around OKW to check the resort out. Here is my photo tour of OKW!

Building 13 - home base



My unit



My rental car, Mazda CX-7 courtesy of the National Emerald Aisle



Awesome rental car, plenty of room for 5 people + luggage if you had a large family. Sucks on gas! I averaged 22mpg around Disney (I am used to about 36 mpg at home).



Ahhh Florida sky



Front of the resort. Luggage services guys were really nice and did a good job with my luggage when I switched rooms. Chatted with them for a while.



Check-in is on the right, the gift shop and Olivias is on the left.



Really nice theming around the resort makes it such a chillaxing place to hang out.



I spent about 2 hours at the pool, but did not take a photo of it apparently! I alternated between dipping in the water and laying on the lounge chairs. OKW has a great activity schedule and at this time there were pool games and a pool party - lots of fun.

Ahh palms



Lots of vegetation here



The buildings are very cute



After my relaxing afternoon by the pool, I did a quick drive around the OKW buildings to check out all the sections.

Then back to DHS!



I actually ended up parking in the same row that I did in the morning - weird!

Used my FP for TSMM





Not as good as earlier in the day



I went into One Man's Dream. I love this attraction.



I have never seen this many people in One Man's Dream as I have tonight! I really think there is a lack of things for people to do at DHS in the evening.



Make sure you leave enough time to look at everything.



I only made it to 1950 in this visit and left at about 6:40pm because I wanted to catch the Finale American Idol show!

I went into the sweets shop (says Beverly Sunset on my receipt) to get a cold and caffeinated drink. Turns out that the "iced coffee" they have there is just cold stale coffee poured over ice. To make matters worse, they don't even have real milk. Just those Coffee Mate packets which are really palm oil or something equally disgusting. ick.

I settled on a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie instead for $4.21 including tax. The cookie was just ok, but I was able to snack on pieces of it for the entire night which kept my energy level high.

It was now 7pm and time for the American Idol finale!



I ran into the theater at exactly 7pm. The CMs in the theater are very quick to enforce no recording, eating, drinking, or anything! You have been warned!

I am not really an American Idol fan, but do enjoy this show. It is quite entertaining, a good rest before battling the crazy Fantasmic crowds, and the time always moves very quickly - meaning that there is never a dull moment!



Next up.....Mulch, Sweat & Shears, Disney Metallica(?!), late night outlet shopping.






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Old 11-06-2011, 04:21 PM   #65
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Wow, what a great report. I found your report today and have just finished reading through the whole thing.

Going solo is so awesome. I went on my first solo trip in March and hope to go again sometime next year.

Looking forward to more updates.
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:37 PM   #66
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Reading your TR has me so excited for my first solo trip; when I first started reading it I thought "oh, I don't know if I'd want to go solo" but now that I've been there for a day by myself and read through more of your adventures, I'm ready to go!

Will be waiting for another update!
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:27 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OziJo View Post
I'm with your DH. I didn't do ToT in CAP because I don't like extreme drops. We also have a ride at DreamWorld on the Gold Coast in Queensland called The Big Drop (or something like that) that I wouldn't do. I usually leave these rides to DH and the DD's.

Having said that your report has inspired me to give it a go. So I will set this as my challenge for the trip.
You can totally do TOT!! I have a similar story to yours. Near Toronto, we have a "theme park" called Canada's Wonderland and it also has one of these extreme drop type of rides, which I will NOT go on. I hate the feeling of leaving my stomach up above me.
However, on TOT, the drop feels much smaller than what I anticipated. I think the thing with TOT is that the theming is so absolutely wonderful, that it feels so spooky so a huge drop is not needed to get the scare factor.

If all fails and you are too scared to go on when you are there, have a drink.



Quote:
Originally Posted by nutz2notz View Post
Wow, what a great report. I found your report today and have just finished reading through the whole thing.

Going solo is so awesome. I went on my first solo trip in March and hope to go again sometime next year.

Looking forward to more updates.
Hi! Very nice to meet you and I'm glad you are enjoying my TR!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZehnJahren View Post
Reading your TR has me so excited for my first solo trip; when I first started reading it I thought "oh, I don't know if I'd want to go solo" but now that I've been there for a day by myself and read through more of your adventures, I'm ready to go!

Will be waiting for another update!
Whoohoo! Ok I guess I better write another installment then!
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:41 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belle599 View Post
You can totally do TOT!! I have a similar story to yours. Near Toronto, we have a "theme park" called Canada's Wonderland and it also has one of these extreme drop type of rides, which I will NOT go on. I hate the feeling of leaving my stomach up above me.
However, on TOT, the drop feels much smaller than what I anticipated. I think the thing with TOT is that the theming is so absolutely wonderful, that it feels so spooky so a huge drop is not needed to get the scare factor.

That's it I'm defiantly doing this!! And I'll have that drink too

BTW beautiful pics of OKW. This is what I think of as Disney. The attention to detail in everything Some people sneer at the fact that it's not "the real thing" but for me Disney is an escape from reality. That's the point. Of course those sneerers have never been to Disney.
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:07 PM   #69
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - Finale!


After American Idol, it was dusk. The Studios are so pretty at night.



Time to check out the 7:45 pm Mulch, Sweat and Shears show at the Sorcerer's Hat!



They brought the cutest girl up to play cowbell for Honky Tonk Woman. As a percussionist, I must say that she was not bad!



Here is the video I took of the "Dream montage" as I will call it.

I love how they ham it up for the camera!

I also never thought I would hear Metallica being played at WDW.

You must watch this video.

Mulch, Sweat and Shears @ DHS - Dream montage


Next up, the 8:30 pm showing of Fantasmic!

I bolted down to the theater and when I arrived at about 8:15ish, it was standing room only. The ushers directed us latecomers to the far left side where the standing room section is.

When I got over to the side, I looked back and saw that the dining package section was empty and they were starting to fill it with us commoners. I bolted all the way across the theater back to the dining package area and was able to get a seat! There is a hot tip for latecomers.

Here is the view from where I sat:



The show was great as always!

Mickey!



I find it difficult to take photos during Fantasmic so I apologize for the poor quality. But I loved how energetic Ariel was with her flipper lol.



Uh oh





Lucky for me, Mickey saved the day.

After exiting Fantasmic via a backstage area, I walked back to the Sorcerer's Hat and watched the tail end of the 8:45 Mulch set.

Also took a few night photos.



It was just past 9pm and I was not ready to go back to OKW. So far my trip has been very heavy on the parks, so it was time to go shopping!!!

Lucky for me, the Premium Outlets are open until 11pm. I hopped in my car and off I went.




I had been eyeing Vera Bradley bags for quite a while and it was finally time for me to commit to a bag.



Here is what I ended up with. The prices at the Outlet are really good. I got a hipster and a lunch bag, for $50!



It was getting late, so I bolted to the Nine West Outlet. Here is my bounty:

Booties!



It was getting close to 11pm, when the stores closed so that was it for me. Back to OKW and into bed. Good night and see you tomorrow for another day of adventures!

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Old 11-22-2011, 09:24 PM   #70
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Today was another sleep-in day. Well shouldn't I come back from vacation well rested?

I woke up around 9 or 9:30 and was in the car at 11am. I drove to Hunter's Creek as I wanted to go to The Loop for shopping. I swore that there was a Starbucks at The Loop, but alas there was not! After driving around lost for a bit I remembered to use my GPS to find Starbucks. DUH! I was having a blonde moment while I thought I was totally on my own without using my iphone (I don't use it in the US since my Canadian cell provider price gauges for roaming), I could have just used my old-fashioned GPS!

Anyhow, after getting Starbucks, I was ready for shopping. I hit DSW and Kohl's since we don't have those stores in Canada.

Click here for the website of The Loop

DSW was disappointing and I left with nothing! Tragic, I know.

Kohl's was ok and I got a cute flowy top.

Next think I knew it was 1:45pm and it was time for lunch at Pei Wei. It was my first time at Pei Wei (again, don't have them in Canada). Pei Wei calls itself an Asian Diner. You wait in line to order your food, and then they bring your food to your table. I had veggie pad thai which came to $7.76. This was a huge portion and was very tasty. I brought half of it back to the resort for another meal, so this was an excellent value.

No photos thus far, what was I thinking!!??


Next up was the Lake Buena Vista factory outlets. Click here for the LBV outlet website.

Here is the LBV Outlet



While the 2 Premium Outlets (Vineland and I-Drive) seem to position themselves with higher-end stores, the LBV outlet is move on the lower end. The LBV outlet always seems to be quite empty, while the Premium Outlets are always CRAZY packed!

Plenty of parking



Previously, I had been very successful at the GAP Outlet at the LBV Outlets. Since it is not packed with people, I prefer this location since it is well-stocked, well-organized and quite large.

I did very well with combining the store sales with a 15% off email I had, and made off with 4 long-sleeved shirts and 2 cardigans for $77.

I headed over to the Nine West Outlet and found some cute lace up shooties - $36! There are deals to be had here in lovely Orlando!

Shooties can be challenging to pull off sometimes, because they visually shorten legs. These shooties are more Oxford-Shootie so they are work appropriate. Blah blah blah...this is not Disney now is it. Sorry! Moving on....

I left the Lake Buena Vista Outlet around 4pm and then I did something very bad and very un-Disney.

I parked at the Contemporary and walked to MK. Do NOT try this at home.
Seriously, don't worry the Contemporary parking lot was empty. If it wasn't I would not have parked there.

As proof, there were parking spots available in the first non-valet row. See how close I parked?



I had not been into the new Mickey & Minnie meet and greet, only have been to the Princesses before. The mood struck me, so let's go meet my favourite mice!



He is magnificent!



Awww bunny



It was really nice to meet Mickey and Minnie! They were so friendly to me, even though I was a single adult.

It must have been 5pm, because the flag retreat was starting! I have never seen this so stuck around for a while.

The Main Street band participates:



As does the Main Street Barbershop Quartet. The 2 girls said the pledge of alliegence and it was really cute.

Click here for a video that I took of a bit of the flag retreat

And up Main Street we go, to some of my favourite views of Tomorrowland:





I grabbed a FP and then hopped on Space Mountain. It was a 20 minute wait but worth it since I got to ride the left hand side. Usually the FPs are directed to the right hand side but I find the left hand track to be smoother and also a bit more adventureous.

After flying through space and grabbing a FP for Buzz Lightyear, I had a cinnamon roll craving!

It was time to visit the one location at WDW where I have probably made the most purchases.....time for dinner at 6pm.



Since it was 6pm, the Main St. Bakery was packed. My tip for eating here at peak times is to carry your tray down to the outdoor seats near the Plaza Restaurant. There is a smoking section down there unfortunately but today I was lucky that it wasn't smoky.

Good view from this spot as well:



I like taking snaps of the castle when you can see the "moat":



And the view behind me, so you can see where I sat:



It has been a while since I've experienced Carrousel of Progress, so here we go:



Why did they take the year off the yellow gear? It was on during New Year's 2010 and did make the transition to 2011....



Now to use that FP for Buzz...



My score



Let's keep with the tomorrowland theme and visit the Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor - it has been a few trips since this one as well:



Used my Space Mountain FP



Next up.....this might be my favourite ride at MK....



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Old 11-22-2011, 10:03 PM   #71
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - Part 2



And here it is, ladies and gentlemen, The Peoplemover!



There are some good views up here



The future that never was...



My residence



I hopped in line for AstroOrbiters next, but probably should have saved this for another day - the line looks short but the wait is deceptively long, due to the elevators!

But....at least there are good photo opportunities





Time to fly, I forget how much pull that you feel as the ride ascends and descends.



Pretty colours!



For some reason, I had yet another Space Mountain FP and of course HAD to use it. I tried out asking the CM if I could ride the left track even though I was not in the standby line, and Yes, they did let me!

At 8:40, I had to run over to Main Street as tonight was my first time watching the Magic, Memories and You in its entireity.

But not before I made a stop at the Bakery! I got a cheese danish and it was pretty good. Sorry no time for a photo.

Awesome castle show!



Wishes!





Someone left the light on





Ooooh.....AAAhhhhh....



Click here for a video clip of Wishes!

I stopped by some pin books/boards to check out the trading swag. There is a 3 page pin book in the Confectionary, a large pin book in Guest Relations, and a pin board in the Photopass pickup area.

Good night!





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Old 11-22-2011, 10:59 PM   #72
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I've said it before and I'll say it again- your photos are just gorgeous
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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 11-23-2011, 07:06 PM   #73
Belle599
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OziJo View Post
I've said it before and I'll say it again- your photos are just gorgeous

Thank you, you are so kind! I know that I always enjoy lots of photos when reading TRs so thought I would return the favour.
Many many many more photos to come!

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Old 11-25-2011, 06:44 PM   #74
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Thursday, September 15

It's Animal Kingdom day! I just love taking photos at AK because of all the beautiful animals.

Arrive at AK at about 9:20ish. Today was my unlucky parking day (it was bound to happen) as I had to start a new row of parking, and had the farthest away space. In the words of Eeyore, Ho Hum.

Entering the park:

Black Swan



Giant Anteater - this guy is my favourite!




Still sleeping



Holey moley what is this?





I got my cappuccino at Safari Coffee and it was piping hot so I killed some time looking in the store near the Kilimanjaro Safaris - I think it's called Mombasa Marketplace. This is one of the more unique (if there are any) locations for merchandies and I had found some nice wood-carved giraffes here in the past.

On my way to Mombasa Marketplace



Let's stop on the bridge and enjoy the view



Some things that caught my eye at Mombasa Marketplace



Hmmm I wonder if DH would wear this shirt...



This stuff was relatively new, have not see it before



I grabbed a FP for Kilimanjaro Safaris first, and then rode. Only a 10 minute wait:



I think the wait time includes the time it takes to walk through the queue. I have not been through the non-FP line for a while so I forgot how long it was! It was really empty in the parks this morning. To prove it, I did not stop walking until I came to this spot, where I took this photo:



Here we go!





A black rhino



Hippo



Not a hippo



These hippos look like they are hungry......hungry hippos



I am a big giraffe lover, they are such cuties



Come say hi to me



Please look my way



Thank you, you are so beautiful!



Safari to be continued....

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:: Aug 2005 CSR :: Aug 2005 AsMu :: Sep 2006 CSR :: Sep 2007 AsMu :: Apr 2008 (Royal Pacific Universal) :: May 2009 Contemporary & Windsor Hills :: May 2010 Windsor Hills :: Oct 2010 offsite & Beach Club Villas :: Dec 2010/Jan 2011 Sheraton Safari & Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort :: May 2011 Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort :: Sep 2011 Old Key West & AsSp :: Dec 2011 Bluegreen The Fountains & Springhill Suites at Seaworld :: Feb 2012 Pop Century :: Jun 2012 Courtyard Marriott Village :: Sep 2012 Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village :: Dec 2012 AsMu :: Feb 2013 Encantada :: May 2013 Disneyland! :: June 2013 Hampton Inn South LBV :: Sep 2013 Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House & Saratoga Springs Resort :: Dec 2013 Pop Century & AsMu :: Feb 2014 Windsor Hills & AsSp :: Mar 2014 AsSp :: May 2014 Encantada :: Aug 2014 AsSp :: Sep 2014 Disneyland! :: ...and 2 times as a wee one ::
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:40 PM   #75
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Thursday, September 15, continued

I am on the Safari, visiting with my favourite giraffes. The Safari PhotoTour continues!



Sorry for so many photos of giraffes, but they really are spectacular!



Quite the horns on these guys!


I rarely see these guys out and about.



It's elephant time!





Whoops wrong end



Next up is lots and lots of White Rhinos. I took as many photos as I could of these since they are DH's favourite! DH tells me how when he was growing up, the white rhinos were nearly extinct. They have made quite the comeback, I understand and are no longer on the verge of extinction.



Again, the wrong end. Nobody wants to show their pretty face?



Still sleepy over here



Awww what a big cutie! Look at his wrinkles hehe



More white rhinos!



Yay you're showing me your pretty face and horn





Isn't it cool how their horns grow?





What an incredible safari.

Now onto the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail

A meercat was actually out and about!



This dude is ALWAYS showing off in the window lol



There was a group of about 6 Disney Imagineers, managers and workers putting up some new trail markers.



An example of a new trail marker.



Have you ever noticed these cameras on the trail? I wonder if they are to view animals...or guests...



After the exploration trail, I stopped by Kusafiri Bakery.

A very important note regarding CUPCAKES.

They actually have different menus for before 11:30am and after 11:30am. The pre-11:30 am menu has no specialty cupcakes. Since it's still morning, I will have to return for a cupcake!

In the meanwhile, I grabbed an iced coffee from Safari Coffee and went to explore Camp Minnie-Mickey.



I have only every been to this corner of the park once, to see Festival of the Lion King. I was wondering if there was anything neato over here.

Turns out, if you are interested in character meet and greets, THIS is the place to be. Since I am not interested in meet and greets this trip, this cute waterfall was the highlight for me.



Let's continue on, to Asia, shall we?


__________________
:: Aug 2005 CSR :: Aug 2005 AsMu :: Sep 2006 CSR :: Sep 2007 AsMu :: Apr 2008 (Royal Pacific Universal) :: May 2009 Contemporary & Windsor Hills :: May 2010 Windsor Hills :: Oct 2010 offsite & Beach Club Villas :: Dec 2010/Jan 2011 Sheraton Safari & Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort :: May 2011 Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort :: Sep 2011 Old Key West & AsSp :: Dec 2011 Bluegreen The Fountains & Springhill Suites at Seaworld :: Feb 2012 Pop Century :: Jun 2012 Courtyard Marriott Village :: Sep 2012 Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village :: Dec 2012 AsMu :: Feb 2013 Encantada :: May 2013 Disneyland! :: June 2013 Hampton Inn South LBV :: Sep 2013 Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House & Saratoga Springs Resort :: Dec 2013 Pop Century & AsMu :: Feb 2014 Windsor Hills & AsSp :: Mar 2014 AsSp :: May 2014 Encantada :: Aug 2014 AsSp :: Sep 2014 Disneyland! :: ...and 2 times as a wee one ::
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