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Old 12-03-2011, 07:26 AM   #91
skier_pete
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Wow! That's a full day. Pity about CG and Wishes....I've vaguely thought about doing it but I'm not sure that CG pricing is worth it for me.
So are you saying the average dinner in Australia won't be as expensive as the California Grill?

We really enjoyed it a lot the first time when it was just DW and I. It really can be fun, but the combination of things worked against us:

1) The early opening @ MK meant for an extra early rising...really only affected DD.
2) We weren't really prepared for how cold it was - this was really the only evening we had this issue the whole trip.
3) I thought with only spending 6 hours in the park and then having a bit of down time at the hotel would work in our favor - however, I think the swimming helped tire DD out even more.
4) Last trip DD tolerated a few late nights pretty well (we were out until Midnight twice) so I thought she would handle 10 PM OK.

Oh well, live and learn. It wasn't a horrible night by any means - if we let DD whining at us ruin things we'd never do anything..the kid has a stubborn streak a mile long...it just wasn't great is all.
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October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
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November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:18 AM   #92
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I came over from FosterA's TR and am loving your TR! I'm excited to hear what you thought of CBR over POFQ! I'm thinking of POFQ for my next solo trip and have stayed at CBR before though so am wondering if sticking with what I know would be better.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:15 AM   #93
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What a great MK day! I'm glad y'all got to experience a day of low crowds there, because we didn't have the same luck. Looks like we should have spent Friday there instead of at DTD! Oh well, there's always next time. Too bad such an expensive meal was a disappointment. Hopefully your DD was not ruined for the rest of the trip after the late night!
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:49 AM   #94
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Still here... finding little DIS time lately with all of the holiday hussle & bussle! Sorry Cali Grill didn't live up to expectations. I've considered getting a late meal to see Wishes or Illuminations somewhere but I always change my mind knowing the boys will be too tired to sit in a restaurant. Maybe when they get older...
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:58 AM   #95
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I came over from FosterA's TR and am loving your TR! I'm excited to hear what you thought of CBR over POFQ! I'm thinking of POFQ for my next solo trip and have stayed at CBR before though so am wondering if sticking with what I know would be better.
We liked both, but if I was going for an adults only/singles trip, I would pick POFQ every time. The smaller size makes it a very quiet resort. CBR is probably better with kids because of the new pool and all the activities they do for them. Of course, CBR does have the quiet pools with POFQ does not have, but there never seemed to be a ton of people around at POFQ. Plus I still like the less walking and the way the busses work there (first on, first off every time). Especially since you haven't been there - I would say try POFQ.

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What a great MK day! I'm glad y'all got to experience a day of low crowds there, because we didn't have the same luck. Looks like we should have spent Friday there instead of at DTD! Oh well, there's always next time. Too bad such an expensive meal was a disappointment. Hopefully your DD was not ruined for the rest of the trip after the late night!
Hey yeah-you should've joined us! Who needs DTD!

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Still here... finding little DIS time lately with all of the holiday hussle & bussle! Sorry Cali Grill didn't live up to expectations. I've considered getting a late meal to see Wishes or Illuminations somewhere but I always change my mind knowing the boys will be too tired to sit in a restaurant. Maybe when they get older...
I agree - wait until they are older and can appreciate the meal as well as the fireworks.
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December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
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November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

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Old 12-03-2011, 03:23 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by skier_pete View Post
So are you saying the average dinner in Australia won't be as expensive as the California Grill?

We really enjoyed it a lot the first time when it was just DW and I. It really can be fun, but the combination of things worked against us:

1) The early opening @ MK meant for an extra early rising...really only affected DD.
2) We weren't really prepared for how cold it was - this was really the only evening we had this issue the whole trip.
3) I thought with only spending 6 hours in the park and then having a bit of down time at the hotel would work in our favor - however, I think the swimming helped tire DD out even more.
4) Last trip DD tolerated a few late nights pretty well (we were out until Midnight twice) so I thought she would handle 10 PM OK.

Oh well, live and learn. It wasn't a horrible night by any means - if we let DD whining at us ruin things we'd never do anything..the kid has a stubborn streak a mile long...it just wasn't great is all.
Pete - It depends on where you eat. I like 'Cheap Eats' and you'll see from the link that I'm not the only one who does. The Age newspaper in Melbourne issues this publication every year....as it does the Good Food guide. Establishments listed in Cheap Eats might set you back about $10 - $15 per person, entrees only.
And the Cali Grill pricing for entrees is maybe about $5 - $10 more per dish than entrees in Oz.

But this was about "When in Rome". I look at the Cali Grill pricing compared to other establishments in the US and I think they are a tad overpriced.


Its a pity that your DD was a bit whiney this trip. It's amazing how it changes from one trip to another, isn't it?
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:43 PM   #97
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Pete - It depends on where you eat. I like 'Cheap Eats' and you'll see from the link that I'm not the only one who does. The Age newspaper in Melbourne issues this publication every year....as it does the Good Food guide. Establishments listed in Cheap Eats might set you back about $10 - $15 per person, entrees only.
And the Cali Grill pricing for entrees is maybe about $5 - $10 more per dish than entrees in Oz.

But this was about "When in Rome". I look at the Cali Grill pricing compared to other establishments in the US and I think they are a tad overpriced.


Its a pity that your DD was a bit whiney this trip. It's amazing how it changes from one trip to another, isn't it?
Well, we are definitely going to be going with "cheap eats" when we visit. I keep telling people it's weird that I am planning the most expensive vacation I've ever taken while at the same time trying to plan it as a "budget" vacation. But we'll be up for trying one of those "cheap eats" from the book when we meet you!

Actually though - Cali's prices are I feel more typical for that level of food at a good US restaurant than when you pay $30 to eat the lousy food at Chef Mickey's. As I said, the food was actually quite wonderful, and prevented the meal from being what could've been a total bust. Not quite the best food of the trip - but a close 2nd.
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December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

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Old 12-04-2011, 04:05 PM   #98
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Joining in !

I'm SO not an early riser and a lucky to get to the parks by lunch time. I can't get over how EMPTY the park was though .. that's awesome.
My boys are 7yrs old and although they aren't big whiners .. but there are certain rides that they refuse to do which irritates me since I don't ask them to do anything really wild (like TOT or Mission Space) but fun things like Splash Mountain and It's Tough To Be a Bug ! I'm hoping bribery might work our next time around.

Great report so far .. can't wait to read more !! Great pics too .. your dd is adorable.
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:29 PM   #99
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Joining in !

I'm SO not an early riser and a lucky to get to the parks by lunch time. I can't get over how EMPTY the park was though .. that's awesome.
My boys are 7yrs old and although they aren't big whiners .. but there are certain rides that they refuse to do which irritates me since I don't ask them to do anything really wild (like TOT or Mission Space) but fun things like Splash Mountain and It's Tough To Be a Bug ! I'm hoping bribery might work our next time around.

Great report so far .. can't wait to read more !! Great pics too .. your dd is adorable.
Just so you know, I love you and all the other late risers like you! You make our trips so wonderful.

Thanks for the compliments. We haven't solved the "get her to ride it" part yet. She totally refused some things, like Splash Mountain which she has ridden at least 8 times before. But she did try Mission Space and liked it quite a bit (the green side).
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October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:37 PM   #100
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Just so you know, I love you and all the other late risers like you! You make our trips so wonderful.
You're welcome !
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:24 AM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_pete View Post
Well, we are definitely going to be going with "cheap eats" when we visit. I keep telling people it's weird that I am planning the most expensive vacation I've ever taken while at the same time trying to plan it as a "budget" vacation. But we'll be up for trying one of those "cheap eats" from the book when we meet you!

Actually though - Cali's prices are I feel more typical for that level of food at a good US restaurant than when you pay $30 to eat the lousy food at Chef Mickey's. As I said, the food was actually quite wonderful, and prevented the meal from being what could've been a total bust. Not quite the best food of the trip - but a close 2nd.
I'll have to put my thinking cap on. Depending on what else you've eaten, we might do something in the moderate category.....or if you prefer, a home cooked meal.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:17 AM   #102
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I'll have to put my thinking cap on. Depending on what else you've eaten, we might do something in the moderate category.....or if you prefer, a home cooked meal.
We would probably not object to home cooking - as other than with our friends we will be doing a awful lot of eating out for that month!
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October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:41 AM   #103
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Day 2 - Animal Kingdom

Clearly still being affected by a too-long first day – we struggled this morning to get up in time. The good thing was we were heading to Animal Kingdom, one of our family favorites and one my DM was really looking forward to. Plus, it warmed up significantly overnight, and like the rest of the trip we had a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the high 70s…sweaters were a thing of the past. In addition to getting ready, we had to again have our keys re-issued and get our official KTTW card...I went down at 7 AM and did this. Even though we struggled, we actually made it out to the bus stop by 8:15 AM, but with the further distance and all, we got in line at Animal Kingdom only a few minutes before they let us through the gates. Fortunately the lines weren’t that long, and since most people there that early are positioning themselves for the EE/KS sprint, we were able to get pretty close to the front for “The Adventure Begins” show. Whose kid is that, anyways? And noticed that Hidden Mickey on the truck?



I promised my family that we would be able to take a more leisurely pace today, but ONLY after the Safari Sprint. Sorry everyone…RIDES FIRST! RIDES FIRST! Because we watched the opening show. (Which we could hear from our balcony last year @ AKL.) we were more at the middle of the pack coming in. But really we didn’t have to wait at all to get on the Safari. Here’s some of the better shots…

Got a nice treat early on with one of the black rhinos being right up near the truck having a snack.



Giraffe checking out a termite mound:


A two headed Giraffe?




Wildebeast






Hidden Mickey Island










Has anyone noticed the Ostriches? It’s been a few years since we’ve seen them on the ride. Do they not bring them out anymore?

Anyways, after the ride, we got into Animal Kingdom mode, which means…it’s time to slow down and take it in. After a bathroom break for DW and DM where DD and I snacked on some pistachios, we headed into the Pangari forest trail. It’s funny having walked through here 7 times in the last 5 years, I don’t really tire of seeing the same animals. While we probably didn’t spend as much time there as my mother would have liked, it was a good 45-60 minutes that we spent walking through. We looked around and found most of the birds in the aviary:





Then onto the Meerkats. They were doing some behavioral training with the Meerkats, trying to teach them to sit on a overturned bowl to get their treat, the keeper did indicate they were new to this, which is good because they were very bad at it.



Finally the Gorillas. We were hoping to see the baby, but we only got a glimpse of her playing on the hilltop:





Next up - RFP.
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:53 AM   #104
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Day 2 - Continued

Once we finished the trail, we headed out to Rafiki’s Planet watch. It was already 10:30 AM at this point, so I was worried that we would have missed the animal procedures, but they were doing an examination on a blue-feathered Macaw that was pretty cool. They had him under some gentle anesthesia:





DD also sat through a Demo with a snake which she later got to pet. I seem to remember this was a king snake or something like that:



We did a little of the petting zoo, but then folks were getting antsy for lunch, and since we were headed to Flame Tree BBQ for lunch, it would take a little while to get there. As we made our way through Harambe we got over by the drums and I saw people gathered round the bushes next to the drums. I spotted one special bush and brought my mom over and said to her “Watch that bush right there!” she stood peering at it for a about a minute and said “Oh my gosh, it’s a person!”

It was Devine, and we just happened to pass by at a moment when she was well hidden. We also got a snapshot and signature with Turk from Tarzan. We had sort of decided that we weren’t going to go after characters as much this trip. Last trip we wanted to meet 50 characters and met 52….this trip with DD anti-character thing we decided we would only do M&G if they were characters we’d never met before and the lines were short. Well, Turk qualified:





We finally made it across the park to Flame Tree BBQ for lunch. One of the top QS meals at WDW in my opinion, plus a great place to sit on a beautiful November day.

They have a great BBQ Chicken salad that both DW and DM got



I decided to go with the BBQ Ribs…I am a super rib-snob as I only want ribs if they are super tender and fall off the bone with no effort. Somehow, they get the latter right here without quite hitting on the former, but they give you a very tasty BBQ sauce for dipping and a large rack of ribs, so overall it’s a hit. Plus beans and cole slaw make a great DDP meal.


Dessert of chocolate mousse or keylime mousse:


To be continued with afternoon of fun.
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK NEW TR

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Old 12-06-2011, 05:11 PM   #105
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You got some great pictures on the Safari! The rhino picture was cool! We saw ostriches on our Safari (the 19th) I don't think I got a picture though.

I missed that your daughter was not feeling the characters this trip until this update somehow. That saved you a lot of time, I felt like the only thing that had waits were character lines! My daughter is the same about rides. I have a good story about that from our last day - so stay tuned to my report - lol
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