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Old 02-12-2012, 08:15 PM   #241
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Originally Posted by MEK View Post
I seriously can't believe I am two days late for your last update. what the heck? How did I miss it?

I love that restaurant. I am still at work so I can't see your pictures, but I will make sure to lust in the food porn as soon as I can. I am leaving right from work to go to a wedding so I'm killing a little time.

So glad you had such a great evening. You are totally making me want to go back there. See - you can't have a bad meal at AKL - all 3 restaurants are top notch and even the counter service is one of the best.

Yum - bring on the wedding food. I'm hungry now.
Isn't Sanaa wonderful? I remembered you had enjoyed it as well!

The only AKL restaurant I have yet to visit is Mara, I've heard great things about there as well!

Yay, wedding food = cake!!

Originally Posted by Oliquig View Post
That food looks great, and I love the bird.
Haha the bird was a fun little visitor!

Originally Posted by GeminiAngel View Post
All caught up. That lamb looks awesome! Like you could just sop up the gravy with a big piece of bread.
Welcome!! Thanks! It was really good, Wingnut made sure to eat all of the gravy with the rice!

Originally Posted by MEK View Post
Now I'm caught up on your pictures and.....

1. Great view
2. Great shot of that bird. Looks like he's sitting at the table with you.
3. Great shots of the food porn.
4. Great smile on wingnuts face. Much better than the tongue!
Thank you!! (x4! )

Haha Wingnut DOES smile for pictures...usually...

Originally Posted by Megablocks View Post
Ooh Sanaa looks AWESOME! That bird that joined you cracked me up...I'm used to my dog staring at me while I'm eating, having a bird watching me would be hilarious
It was really so good! Hahaha it was kind of like a dog hanging out at the table, but there wasn't any way this guy was going to sneak scraps! He was so cool to watch!
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:10 AM   #242
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Originally Posted by Stringbean&Wingnut View Post
The only AKL restaurant I have yet to visit is Mara, I've heard great things about there as well!

Home of these little sweeties.

Here are some other good things you can get from Mara.

There is a pretty place to sit outside - plenty of seating among lush greenery.

Condiment area.

I hope it was okay to post those. If not, let me know, and I will take them off. You saying you hadn't been to Mara just gave me an excuse to take a trip to Animal Kingdom Lodge this morning through pictures.
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:15 AM   #243
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Could someone make these Tiki torches a little brighter?

After only a few minutes of shivering and regretting not bringing my sweater along, the bus to Epcot pulled up, and we got on board. The plan was Epcot to monorail to TTC to Tokelau.


The bus to Epcot part of the plan went off without a hitch. But then Wingnut suggested why don't we just take the bus back to the Polynesian, rather than taking the monorail and then having to navigate our way back from the TTC?

I didn't think that there was a bus from Epcot to the Poly, but I said we'd check. If there's a bus, sure, why not. We started checking around for the Legend of the Bus Stops, walking to the farther bus stop area, when a man sweeping up the area asked if he could help us.

"We're looking for the bus stop to the Polynesian?"

"Oh, no. There's no bus to the Polynesian from here. You have to use the monorail. Except after the fireworks, they'll have bus service to there. But that's not for a few more hours."

Monorail it is.

(Did I mention that it's still cold out?)

Walking back to the entrance of the park, we realized that the monorail entrance is actually not QUITE inside the park, but past the bag check area, so I had to make a quick pause there. And then up the ramp we went.

Boy, that ramp is steep after a long day, isn't it?

The monorail pulls up, and we hop on, and glide (that seems like the best verb to use when describing a monorail, at least, to me) to the TTC.

I suggested to Wingnut that we could take the monorail to the Polynesian, and it would drop us off at the GCH, rather than walking there. When we pulled up, the resort monorail was nowhere in sight, so we decided to just walk back.

Not a problem.

Easy as pie.

(Oh, sorry, that was me describing us walking down the monorail ramp.)

We started walking around the TTC, not exactly sure where we had even ENTERED it earlier this afternoon. It was dark now. And things look different at night.

A few "I recognize that Minnie topiary!"'s and "I swear we walked past this gate"'s later, we found the sign pointing us in the right direction, "Walkway to the Polynesian".

(I swear, this entire path needs a giant brightly-colored line or something painted on it.)

We walked towards the sign, which led us toward a path surrounded by thick foliage. The path was dark, save for a few sparse tiki torches lighting the way.

It was at that moment that I was absolutely positive we would never see Tokelau ever again. Or at least, until the next morning, when things were illuminated again. We'd be found by one of the CM's on the golf carts, curled up under a palm tree 4 feet from the TTC.

Basically, if we had thought finding the TTC in the daylight was difficult earlier, well, that was just a simple stroll, my friends. Thank goodness Wingnut has the night-vision of an opossum.

(Wait. No he doesn't.)


We slowly walked along the under-lit and under-marked paths, attempting to just stay somewhat parallel to the parking lot. We figured that that route would at least take us to the GCH (theoretically), and if we got there first, well, that's a start.

I'm not sure what had happened to our trusty map during the afternoon, but we were definitely without a guide that evening. At one point, I saw a building that looked like ours (brown and rectangular) and raced over to the sign, sure that we were at Tokelau.

Nope. Tahiti.

Alright. Okay. That means we're close. Right?


Oh, how I missed the 1-building layout of the Yacht Club at that moment…

We continued on, hoping to see some sort of landmark, of which there aren't too many at the Polynesian. The roof of the GCH, for one. And the volcano pool. But both of those would have meant we missed our target.

Eventually, we saw a slightly-more-lit area ahead. Was it? Could it be?


We both breathed a sigh of relief entering Tokelau. We had made it back. We figured it out! We're so amazing!

(Let's not dispute that one, okay. Let me revel in our glory on this one time.)

Our room, proof we actually made it back! (And that ME had delivered our luggage)

But after FINDING the building, well, the plan had been to turn around and leave it again. Alright. We can do this. Again.

I resisted the urge to leave a trail of uneaten pastries from earlier (mainly because I didn't have any uneaten pastries from earlier…) along the path to the TTC. We had a much easier time finding our way there, with the unique roof serving as a beacon to us confused tourists.

I knew that we had to pick up our mugs from Captain Cooks, but as to the EXACT whereabouts of the Captain? Nope.

We literally did an entire lap and a half around the lobby of the Polynesian looking for Captain Cooks before I decided to veer our course down one of the hallways. Happily, overhead, we finally noticed the sign pointing the way to the quick service location. Straight ahead? I can do that!

We walked in and grabbed our mugs. We didn't really poke around too much, 1, because it was a bit chaotic there, and 2, because we were pretty full. And tired. And tonight was just not the night for squeezing in one more cupcake.

We also got some bottles of water while we were there. I'm pretty much a hydration fiend, and seemingly risk shriveling up into a shrinky dink if I don't have water at hand at any given moment.

(Who else remembers shrinky dinks?!?)

The cashier layout at Captain Cooks was a bit confusing, as two cashiers seemed to bounce back and forth between two lines per podium (4 lines total?), and I decided to just let Wingnut figure it out and stood unhelpfully about a foot to his side. I'm really not good at line physics when they merge or divert or whatnot.

But my smart Wingnut figured it all out and we were soon on our way back to Tokelau. We were getting slightly more familiar with the path to and from the GCH, thankfully, and I was feeling practically brazen when I suggested that we walk a bit past Tokelau when we got to the entrance, I'd love to see the view of the lake. I promised we'd just walk straight, no taking unfamiliar paths.

Oh, hey Castle!

We headed back to the room and I, of course turned on some Stacey.

And took a picture of our hard-earned mugs.

(I'm sure you guessed it already, but Wingnut's is the blue one, mine is pink.)

Relaxing in the room, I heard some booms outside. But I thought Wishes was at 9 that night, so since it was only around 8:02, that obviously couldn't be Wishes.

A few minutes later, the explosions could still be heard. (And no, we weren't at all concerned about inexplicable explosions outside our window .) Maybe it WAS Wishes? Instead of actually looking outside, I checked my list of ADR times and fireworks/parade schedules.

8 pm Wishes. By now I could hear even more booms and explosions, which had to be the finale.

Oh well. Another day, then.

Last edited by Stringbean&Wingnut; 02-13-2012 at 06:42 AM.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:00 AM   #244
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Yup, the Poly is confusing! I've only been there twice to eat.
And once for a Hallowishes cruise. I plan on staying there someday.

The food at Mara looks really good. Except for one item: Zebra Domes. Yuck.
I had those at Boma, there wasn't any flavor to them.


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Old 02-13-2012, 10:25 AM   #245
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OMG, you have me rollin over here! How many times can you get lost in a day, that is the question?!?!

Thanks for the clarification on the mugs, and not-so-obvious to me...Rey picked pink and I picked blue on our trip!

Totally remember shrinkydinks, they still have them!
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:54 AM   #246
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Oh you poor things....wandering all around trying to find your room at the Polynesian. We had that same problem last year at the CBR. At least it was during the day time when we were wandering and not by the light of dim tiki torches.

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Old 02-13-2012, 12:18 PM   #247
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Things do look totally different at night don't they? We have navigated that path from the TTC to the Poly many times, at night too, and I am always amazed when we find it. It's so dark and if I don't have my glasses on, I'd be just as lost as you guys were.

Love the pink resort mug.

Sanaa looks so good, especially your entrees. Yum. I am drooling since it's lunchtime now.
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:34 PM   #248
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Oh my goodness, you're so right about the Poly layout being a little confusing. I didn't have any trouble, but that's because for some reason, I seem to always know where I am at WDW. I don't know if it's a curse or a gift. Farrell on the other hand? Oh man, that girl would not have been able to find anything if her life depended on it. I'm glad that you made it though. Truly glad that you didn't have to leave uneaten pastries as a trail back to your room. Because really, uneaten pastry crumbs would just be a travesty.

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Old 02-13-2012, 01:39 PM   #249
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Hahahah! I'm glad you admit to getting lost, because some people pretend it's so easy, like, "Yeah, we found our way back so easily. I could do that with my eyes closed walking backwards reciting the Gettysburg address." I mean, when I was staying at All Star Movies I had trouble finding my building/room, and there, the buildings don't all look the same! hahaha. ANYWAYS, sounds like yall had a good first day, despite getting lost!
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Old 02-13-2012, 05:28 PM   #250
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You didn't know you were going to need a flash light to get back to your room, did you? I'm glad you found it and I'm glad your luggage was all there waiting for your arrival. I really do LOVE that room.

You had such a busy first day after such an early morning. Boo to missing Wishes - darn 8pm start.

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Old 02-13-2012, 06:21 PM   #251
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Memom - Thanks soooo much for posting those photos of the Mara. This gets me really excited for our upcoming trip in April.

Sara - I am sorry you guys have been "directionally challenged" so far. Hopefully, things get better as the trip progresses. If you are like me, you get it all figured out .... on the last day.
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:37 PM   #252
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OMG I'm sure I'd have the same experience trying to get around the Poly, especially when it's dark, it is SO confusing! Glad you found your room eventually, and got your mugs, AND made it back!

Haha, shrinky dinks...I loved those things when I was a kid!

Ugh, Wishes at 8:00? What are they thinking, that is SOOOO early!

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Old 02-13-2012, 09:09 PM   #254
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Man, I really, really, REALLY want to try Sanaa. I always love your food reports!

Congratulations on finding your way back to Tokelau in the dark. I think you're pretty awesome. No map? Impressive!

I love that it's still day 1! Your TR is like mine...packed! (But honestly your updates are much faster.)
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:02 PM   #255
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Love it! Another hillarious update. Brighter torches, huh? So, based upon your experience, I think I might consider a thorough walk around the resort before sundown that first night. But you did make it! How long of a walk is it from Tokelau to GCH? I loved being so close to the BC marketplace so I could use my mug, a lot! It was great.

Too bad about missing Wishes, but I think you stayed more than one night...right?
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