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Old 12-14-2011, 05:17 PM   #16
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Gosh...this is starting to be a trend.

While writing my trip report from 2 years ago, right in the middle, my hard drive crashed. I can't believe it but...it's happening again...with the laptop I got to replace the other one.

At least I was wise enough to back up info and get the extended warranty!
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Old 12-17-2011, 02:29 PM   #17
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Day 6 - "Wow...that a LOT of food."

Another late night means another day of sleeping in. I got up at 10, and got the kids up at 11. We headed over to the Magic Kingdom for a lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern. It is a gorgeous restaurant, and the food portions were gigantic. None of us could finish our meals. The food, however, was excellent.





Before we went to lunch we had time for TTA and Monsters Laugh Floor.

After lunch, we headed over to Hollywood Studios. Getting there late after eating, we opted out of the big rides…we started with the Great Movie Ride, then we went to see “Beauty and the Beast.” Excellent, as always.







Then we went to watch the movie portion of the Animation Academy, got some snacks (almonds, popcorn, cotton candy and sodas) and headed over to watch Fantasmic. It was a great show and we had great seats…just the line is so huge to get in.







We were still pretty tired from the super late night last night, so we headed back to Pop Century when Hollywood Studios closed, watched some t.v. and worked on photos. A good night’s sleep sounds great.

Next up: Day 7 - "I'm All Out of Love"...UGH!
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:50 PM   #19
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Laptop back...check
New hard drive installed...check
Transfer stuff from external hard drive to laptop...check

And now, back to my trip report!


Day 7 - "I'm All Out of Love"...UGH!

I could tell that the kids were getting a bit worn out. With the late nights for the MNSSHP, the late extra magic hours at Magic Kingdom, and a late night at Epcot, I decided to let them sleep as late as they wanted today, and take some time to just relax. And that is what we did. We slept in, I did two loads of laundry ( like Pop's laundry rooms)



and I worked on photos for a while. The kids went swimming, and we had lunch at Pop Century. After a nice relaxing morning and early afternoon, we were ready to head back to Epcot for the evening.

We had a good time in the Future World section. We got fastpasses for Test Track later, since we didn’t get there until a bit after 4, we rode Living With the Land, Figment, and Finding Nemo. We spent quite a bit of time in the Living Seas pavilion checking out all the sea life. Andrew and I also designed a roller-coaster in Sum of All Thrills.

After this, we headed over to the World Showcase. Wow. It was crazy busy. I like the fun food of the Food and Wine Festival, but not the rowdiness or the crowds. Air Supply was playing…ew. I'm sorry, but I'm not a fan. And it was LOUD. Which would have been okay if it was a band I liked. Which it wasn't. We just sampled some food from some countries, then left.

Flan from Mexico:




Apple Strudel from Germany:




Both were very yummy.


The band in England was way super loud too, and they were playing "Bohemian Rhapsody." Again, not a favorite of mine. I like a quieter World Showcase, so we will go during a weekday earlier in the day, and also after the Food and Wine festival ends. On the way out, we used our fastpasses for Test Track. We shared a car with a young boy and his dad, and he was so cute! It was his first time on the ride, and he was so excited. He loved it. It made the ride much more fun. Back to the hotel where Andrew watched the Eagles-Bears game. What a nice, relaxing day.

Next up...Day 8 - "No ma'am...there's no pink in that hamburger."
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:33 PM   #20
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Day 8 - "No ma'am...there's no pink in that hamburger."

Today we got up after a great nights sleep. We went to Hollywood Studios, and we had had just enough time to do a class at the Animation Station. We drew “Dug.”









Then we went to lunch at the Sci Fi Diner. That was fun! They had fun old movie clips and videos playing. We had milkshakes, burgers and fries. I am one of those people that cannot eat a hamburger if there is any pink in it. So I always order it "very well done." Well, my hamburger looked mighty pink to me, so I asked the server about it. He said that the lighting in there makes the burgers look pink when they are not. He even took out a pocket flashlight (I assume enough people have questioned it) to show me, but I still thought it looked pink. I ate around the hamburger, but didn't eat the middle. What I ate was good, and I loved the fries and milkshake, and the atmosphere. The kids loved it and said they definitely want to return there on another trip.



Then we went on the Great Movie Ride, as it started to sprinkle rain and we wanted to get indoors. Then we watched the parade,







We then went to the Indiana Jones show. I love the beginning of that show a lot.









Then we left, and went back to the hotel to rest. After that we went down to Downtown Disney. Andrew and I went to Ghirardelli and Sierra got a caramel apple from Goofy’s Candy Co. Then we just window shopped, and grabbed sandwiches to take back to the room at Earl of Sandwich. A quieter, relaxing day.

Next up: Day 9 - "The DIS boards are a good place to make new friends."
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Old 12-31-2011, 04:18 AM   #22
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Day 9 - "The DIS boards are a good place to make new friends."

Sierra wasn’t feeling well this morning, so she stayed back at the hotel, and Andrew and I headed out to Animal Kingdom. We started with Expedition Everest, which was great as always. Then we went to find some frozen lemonade.

This morning was special because we were going to meet a dear friend that I made right here on the DIS, a few years ago. We met a couple of years ago at Disney, and were happy to realize that we were going to be vacationing at the same time again! After texting back and forth and figuring out where to mett, we decided to meet at Kilimanjaro Safari. Then we went over and rode Expedition Everest as single riders. After that, I took Andrew to get some pizza at Pizzafari, and we visited with my friend. Then we rode Everest again together, and then Dinosaur, and we also saw "Festival of the Lion King." Great show.

Andrew and I headed back to Pop, and Sierra was feeling better and was ready to go out. So we headed over to Epcot.

We rode Living with the Land, and saw Captain EO. I had forgotten how truly terrible that movie is...but we had a blast laughing at the permed hair and mullets. Were the 80's really that bad? We had a great Mongolian beef and rice dinner at the Sunshine Seasons café. Then we started around the World Showcase. We visited England, and then while touring France, we ran into my friend and her party again! We ended up talking for almost an hour at the French bistro, then decided to ride Soarin’ together. We headed back to Pop Century and had a great night.

Next up: Day 10 - "Day 10 – “Finally! We do the Hoop De Doo!”
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Old 12-31-2011, 04:33 AM   #23
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Day 10 – “Finally! We do the Hoop De Doo!”

We headed over to Epcot to try to hit it on a non-crowded day, but we didn’t have much time as we had dinner reservations for Hoop De Doo tonight. We toured through the World Showcase, but didn’t have much time to stop and see shows, etc. We are going to have to return to do that. We were able to fit in one ride in Mexico. Andrew’s sunglasses broke again, so we had to buy yet a 3rd pair. Andrew was able to get his Fish and Chips in England, which he was looking forward to very much.

We took the bus over to Fort Wilderness. We walked the entire length of the campground (I love to do that once each trip.) And we toured the horse barn, which is a favorite of mine. We looked a bit in the store there, then headed over to the Hoop De Doo.









The show and dinner were a lot of fun. We took a bus over to Epcot, and rode Spaceship Earth and Test Track.





We got back to the hotel and rested.

Next up: Day 11 - "Yay me! I rode Tower of Terror!"
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Old 12-31-2011, 04:41 AM   #24
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Day 11 - "Yay me! I rode Tower of Terror!"

Headed over to Hollywood Studios. Andrew and I rode Tower of Terror first thing. I have avoided this on trips past, but this time, I got up the courage so that my son could have a chance to ride. It was his first time, too, and he loved it!






Then we went to the Writers Stop and got mochas/hot chocolates and cookies/muffins. Then Andrew and I went to see “Lights, Motors, Action” and Sierra went on the Great Movie ride.






We then left and went back to the hotel for just a bit, then headed on over to Downtown Disney. We saw “Tower Heist,” which was pretty funny. Then we got Sierra dinner at Earl of Sandwich, and Andrew and I got dinner at Wolfgang Puck Express. Then we window shopped just a bit, bought some art books at the Art of Disney store, then went back to the hotel. We rested a bit, Andrew went swimming, and Sierra and I took a few photos of the hotel, and the construction of the new hotel.

Next up: "My favorite day...Everest 12 times and the Magic Kingdom until 3 a.m."
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:12 AM   #25
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Day 12: "My favorite day...Everest 12 times and the Magic Kingdom until 3 a.m."

While I loved every day of my vacation, this day was just exceptionally fun.

We started our day over at Animal Kingdom. We got fastpasses for Everest, and Kilimanjaro Safari.

We saw DeVine...so amazing...




We went over to Rafiki’s Planet Watch and spent a lot of time over there looking at the animals.





A game about feces...who knew?






We had lunch at Flame Tree Barbecue. It was really good...




We went on the Safari...








...then Dinosaur, then Everest. We then stayed until it closed at 7 pm, and rode Everest about 12 times. It is so pretty there at night.








After that, we went back to the hotel to rest for a couple of hours, Andrew and Sierra had dinner at Pop, then weheaded over to the Magic Kingdom for the Extra Magic Hours. (At this point, I made one of the worst decisions I did on the trip...I decided to leave my camera back at the hotel. I didn't think about all the great shots I could get of a near empty park. I won't make that mistake again!)

We rode Pirates, Jungle Cruise, Big Thunder, Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Small World, Snow White, Peter Pan and Space Mountain. We grabbed a small bite to eat at Starlight Café. On the way out, we grabbed some breakfast at the Main Street Bakery. We stayed until 3 a.m. The parks were pretty much empty.

A great day!!

Next up: Day 13 - "No Tonga Toast for me."
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:25 AM   #26
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Day 13 - "No Tonga Toast for me."

Phew! This is a long trip…which is a good thing, but the kids are getting tired of being on the go. As much as I hated to do it, I cancelled our Kona breakfast : ( Something to look forward to next time, I guess. I was so looking forward to some Tonga Toast and Kona coffee. I just didn’t want to drag them out of bed early after another late night at the Magic Kingdom…which they loved.

The kids also enjoyed the opportunity to be able to swim during the day, instead of just in the evening when returning from the parks. We had lunch at Pop Century.

After a restful morning, and early afternoon, we headed over Hollywood Studios. We rode Star Tours, and got to see a different version of the ride. I wasn’t aware there were different versions, and we liked this one better than the other that we saw. We also went on…surprise…the Great Movie Ride. Being Sierra’s favorite ride, she’s thrilled, but I think Andrew has had his fill for now. We also watched the “Little Mermaid” which again Andrew endured for our sake.





Then, we all went to see the Muppet show. We usually skip this…not being big Muppet fans. We don’t dislke the Muppets…we just aren’t the biggest fans. And we thought it was “okay.” But we did it. We also got to see the Osborne Lights, and really take our time there. They are pretty cool.








We headed back to the room and relaxed.


Next up: Day 14 - "Two very special souvenirs."
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:56 AM   #27
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Day 14 - "Two very special souvenirs."

Today was a long awaited day to be able to enjoy the World Showcase more leisurely…and we did! First, though, Andrew and I rode “Mission Space: Green.” He said next time he’ll try the Orange version. Sierra shopped for souvenirs, not being a fan of enclosed spaces. We had lunch in Italy at Via Napoli. The pizza was fantastic, and the kids said it was one of their favorite meals this trip.



We also rode the boat ride in Norway, and enjoyed some treats in their bakery.








We watched the “Voices of Liberty” and went to the American Adventure show.




We rode the boat ride in Mexico. We looked in the shops in each country, getting souvenirs for people back home, and got a picture of Andrew wearing his “Tundra” t-shirt in each country to send to the cartoonist.





I also got two special souvenirs, one of them being “Leila” perfume in Norway…love it!! Oh my, whenever I wear it back home, it just takes me back to Disney. I love it.

Sierra and I also picked out rings in Japan…the ‘pick-a-pearl’ ones. I let Andrew pick out my oyster, and I got a beautiful pink/white pearl. Sierra got a golden pearl. Mine is a replacement for a broken wedding ring. It is so beautiful.



We also saw a beautiful sunset at Epcot...



We also rode “Spaceship Earth” one last time.

We quickly headed back to Pop to drop of packages, etc., then headed over to the Magic Kingdom for a few quieter attractions we hadn’t been able to fit in yet, such as the Tiki Room, and the Country bears. We had dinner at Casey’s…yeah! The Magic Kingdom is also very beautiful at night...











Next up: Day 15 - "Wow...it's HOT!"
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:14 AM   #28
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Day 15 - "Wow...it's HOT!"

Our last day at the parks But it’s been a great trip, and we are so excited to come back next year. Today was hot…downright hot. We started at Animal Kingdom. We did one more Safari ride, and one more ride on Everest...








...as well as watched "Flights of Wonder." Got a few more souvenirs.








We then headed over to the Magic Kingdom. Still very, very hot. Quickly caught the end of the parade...






We rode the Riverboat, which was relaxing, and then went over to Tom Sawyer Island. Then we had lunch at Columbia Harbor House, which was great. We also had a Dole Whip. And I got one more package of the glazed almonds…man, those are wonderful. And a cream cheese pretzel. We rode Pirates as our last ride…and it’s our first too. So I guess that’s how we like to begin and end our Disney trips. We got more souvenirs here.

We went back to the hotel for dinner, and ate at Pop. The kids swam for one last time. Then Andrew and I headed to Downtown Disney while Sierra stayed back at the hotel. We got a few more souvenirs, then it was time for all of us to pack our suitcases. We have a long day of travel the next day.

Next up: Day 16 - "Until next year...and some lessons learned."
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:26 AM   #29
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Day 16 - "Until next year...and some lessons learned."


Got up, brought the refrigerator to guest services, and brought our suitcases down. Checked in, then headed to Downtown Disney for a quick lunch. (Unfortunately, sometime around this time our credit card number was stolen, and someone enjoyed a couple of nice meals at Pepito's Cuban Cafe on our dime. The credit card company reversed the charges.) Went back to Pop Century and just hung out in the food court until it was time to load up on the Magical Express, and head back to Alaska.

A few things for our family learned on the return trip:

1. Rolling carry-ons are a must from now on. Over the shoulder bags are just too heavy to lug around the airport.

2. Don’t order the hot food food items on the plane. Stick with the ‘snack pack’ things. My son, who is blessed with an iron stomach, did not feel well after eating the pasta with sausage. It was just bad.

3. Don’t skimp on $$ for entertainment. It was costly, but a couple of digi-players saved our sanity on the LONG flights…6 ½ hours, then 5 hours.

4. I was not aware that Alaska Airlines operates half passenger/half cargo ‘combi’ planes. It was a different experience. Not bad, just different.


We had a wonderful, 2+ week vacation! Disney never gets old, and we can't wait to come back.
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:55 PM   #30
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Wow! Your pictures are amazing! What kind of camera did you use?
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