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Old 02-05-2012, 11:19 PM   #1
librarymouse
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World Showcase or Bust! A Jan 12 TR {Update 8/30/12}

Hello everyone! This is my very first Trip Report! *Waves*
I have really enjoyed reading everyone else's TR's and I am so excited to start my own! My husband and I were in WDW from 1/21/12-1/29/12.

Let's do some introductions!

Me: My name is Nicole, I am 26 years old and I am a librarian at a public library. Obviously, I LOVE reading and all things Disney. I am also a huge Harry Potter fan. I tend to have almost as much fun planning our Disney trips as I do actually taking them!

NICOLE'S FAVORITES
MOVIES: Beauty & the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Tangled
CHARACTERS: Belle, Rapunzel, Stitch, Eeyore, Jack Sparrow, Buzz
SONGS: When Will My Life Begin?, If I Never Knew You, Goin Down the Bayou, Be Our Guest, A Whole New World
PARK: Magic Kingdom, Epcot
RIDES: Big Thunder Mtn RR, Haunted Mansion, POTC, Peter Pan's Flight, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Toy Story Midway Mania, Soarin'
SHOWS: Finding Nemo: The Musical, Beauty & the Beast, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, One Man's Dream movie
FOOD: taco salad from Pecos Bill's, Yak & Yeti CS, Mickey Mouse bars


My hubby: Chris, celebrated his 27th birthday on the first day of our trip! He is a grocery manager at Kroger. He is a huge Star Wars fan, but I have converted him to a Disney lover as well. He is very funny and laid back; he is good for me and lightens me up when I get too "Type A" haha.

CHRIS'S FAVORITES:
MOVIES: Bug's Life, Swiss Family Robinson, STAR WARS
CHARACTERS: Heimlich, R2D2
PARK: Hollywood Studios
RIDES: Star Tours, Big Thunder Mtn RR, Great Movie Ride, People Mover, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
FOOD: breakfast at Main Street Bakery, taco salad from Pecos Bill's

This was our 4th trip to WDW together! We went once in 2005 with my family, for our honeymoon in November 2009, and for my birthday and our 1st anniversary in November 2010.

I grew up going to Disney World every few years with my family (and we always drove!) but Chris's first time was with us in 2005. I have been about 9 times. We usually don't stay on property. We LOVE the Floridays Resort but it was a little too expensive this time, so we went with a similar resort The Polynesian Isles (SPM Resorts...not to be confused with Disney's Polynesian).

First "real" update coming up next! Thanks for joining us on our journey!
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:04 AM   #2
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636 Miles: Richmond to Orlando!

The day before we left (Friday, Jan 20) Chris and I both had to work. We actually arrived home at exactly the same time, and we literally cheered in the driveway! We were so happy not to have anything else between us and vacation! We ate a little dinner and waited for my parents to stop by. They brought Chris a peach cobbler for his birthday, and my sweet Dad slipped me a little extra spending money for the trip! After they left I got down to business, washing some final loads of laundry, finishing up the packing, doing my nails, and hanging out on the DISboards! Chris fell asleep shortly after 8 but I didn’t get in bed until about 10:45. I woke up again at 12:30 AM and jumped out of bed, thinking it was time to get ready to go! Haha! After I realized it wasn’t quite time to go yet, I slept for a few more hours and got up at 3:15 AM (ouch) and got ready. My In Laws picked us up at about 4:35 AM. We said goodbye to our sweet kitty Jack and headed to the airport!

We got there shortly after five and checked our luggage and went through security. By 5:30 we were at the gate waiting to board! While we were waiting we got a quick breakfast from Caribou Coffee- definitely not Disney food! The cinnamon rolls were cold and dry, and although I ordered a mint mocha, I ended up with hot chocolate. But no yucky breakfast could dampen our spirits- we were on our way to Disney!

We took off at about 7 am and had a quick, comfortable flight to Orlando. When we got there we hurried to Baggage Claim to pick up our luggage, then over to the Rental Car counter. After not too long we picked out our Ford Fusion and loaded up our stuff! We decided to swing by our hotel to see if we could check in early before going to the park.

We found Polynesian Isles without much trouble. The resort was small but very pretty, with lots of palm trees and hibiscus flowers everywhere. Plus the weather was gorgeous...about 81* and sunny! It felt so good considering it was about 40* and sleeting in Richmond when we left!

Unfotunately, our suite wasn’t ready yet. But no big deal- we were heading to Hollywood Studious. But first, we had to find a REAL breakfast. Those cinnamon rolls at the airport just didn’t to the job. We made a beeline for the golden arches, and got some tasty bagel sandwiches at McDonald’s. Much better!

Next Up, our first day at Hollywood Studios!

Continued in Next Post
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Old 02-11-2012, 01:18 AM   #3
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You're not Mickey Mouse! You're a rat!

When I left off, we had just decided to stop by McDonald’s for breakfast on our way to Hollywood studios. We each scarfed down a breakfast sandwich and headed on our merry way to DHS! This is Chris’ favorite park, and we had not been since they had updated Star Tours. Since it was his birthday, obviously we had to go to his fave park and ride his fave ride!


When we got there, we checked TSM but of course they were out of fastpasses by this point (I think it was about 11 am) and the stand-by wait was too long, so we went on to other things. First we did the Studio Backlot Tour. It was fun as usual, but I do wish they would update some of the outside movie props. I always love seeing the sewing and set design areas and looking at the props and costumes. They did have a few new things in the AFI costume area, including the Red Queen’s dress from Alice in Wonderland. On the way out of Studio Backlot Tour we saw Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc but didn’t stop to get a picture.




We walked through the Streets of America over to Star Tours and got FPs. Then we went to see Muppet Vision 3-D. I just love that show- hysterical! Sam Eagle cracks me up! I love when in the pre-show, Rizzo dresses up like Mickey, and Sam goes “You’re not Mickey Mouse! You’re a Rat!” That became one of our catchphrases for the whole trip! When we came out, Mulch, Sweat and Shears was playing. We caught the last few minutes of their show. It was a lot of fun, I had heard about them but never seen them before. I always like finding things that are new to me!

We decided to take a quick break for a drink, so we ducked into The Writer’s Stop- another first for us! I read about it in Jess’s (DisneyFreak508) TR. I loved it- it is so adorable in there! I just love all the cute cookies, stationary, and mugs they had! I really fell in love with an Alice in Wonderland tea pot they had, but I don’t drink tea very often so I couldn’t really justifying buying it. We found a perfect nook in the corner by a window, and got to do some great people watching while we enjoyed our drinks. I also wrote a bit more in my trip journal. By this point it was 1 pm.


Time to use our Star Tours FPs! We loved the new version! On our first ride we visited Naboo and did the pod race on Tattooine. Chris was really happy with it and made it his mission to experience as many different combinations on that ride as we could! After we rode, we caught a few minutes of the Jedi Training Academy show. The kids are so cute!


Next we rode the Great Movie Ride, another one of our favorites! We had a really good CM “tour guide.” By the time we were finished we were pretty hungry, so we decided to get lunch at Studio Catering Co. Last time we really enjoyed our meal there, but unfortunately this time we were unimpressed. We both got the Buffalo chicken sandwich, which looked really good but tasted terrible! It had a really greasy, processed taste and had hardly any buffalo sauce on it. I ended up eating mostly fries dipped in ranch dressing. I had planned on us going to the Brown Derby to try the grapefruit cake for dessert, but Chris wasn’t that interested and since it was his birthday I wanted to do what he liked!





Continued in Next Post!
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:13 PM   #4
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Next we went through One Man’s Dream and watched the movie. I cannot watch that without getting teary-eyed! I just think it is so inspring- I love how Walt wanted to create a place where families could have fun together! Where would we be without him? *Sigh* Also, while we were there a cast member saw us looking at a model of Sleeping Beauty's castle in Disneyland. She told us that originally, it was designed to look like Snow White's castle, and that's why Snow White's wishing well is in the courtyard. They changed it to Sleeping Beauty's castle because that movie was being released closer to the time of the park opening. Fun fact! :-)
Antique Minnie Mouse plush:

Model of Cinderella's Castle:



We rode Star Tours again, this time going to the Wookie planet- that’s a funny one! After our ride we went next door and watched the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. That show is always a lot of fun!




Chris had been eyeing the R2D2 mouse ear hats since our last vacation but he was reluctant to by them, so when he went to the restroom I bought them as a birthday surprise! At first he was kind of reluctant to wear them, but then he got into the spirit and wore them with pride!



We watched the American Idol Experience- I love how they make it so exciting! The 3 girls who sang were great too! After the show we rode Star Tours AGAIN, haha! It was fun though.

I was NOT a fan of the big stage they put up in front of the hat!


Then we did another of my favorites- Voyage of the Little Mermaid. I absolutely love the “Under the Sea” number with the blacklight puppets! By this time we were getting pretty tired from our early morning, so we took a couple of PhotoPass pics and left the park. I had made reservations at Rainforest Cafe at DTD, but Chris really wasn’t feeling up to it so we just went to Chili’s. It was actually really nice because it was calm and quiet there. Chris had the chicken bacon ranch quesadillas, and I got fajitas- yum! It was a relaxing, tasty meal even if it wasn’t at a Disney restaurant!

After dinner we stopped by Wal-Greens to pick up drinks and snacks (and sunscreen!) and finally headed to our hotel to check in. We were so thrilled- the condo was beautiful and very spacious. The master bathroom was huge and so pretty! I unpacked our stuff and talked to my parents on the phone. Chris got on his laptop for a bit and went to sleep pretty early. I was feeling grimy after being up for so long so I took a hot shower, then got my bag, cameras, and money straight for our next day in the park.

I took tons of pictures of our pretty condo!

Looking towards the front door from the living room:


Living Room:


Kitchen:


Super cute desk where I uploaded photos, charged batteries, and wrote in my trip journal:


Master Bathroom:



I took more but I think that is a plenty to post for now! :-)

Up Next: Day 2 (Epcot!)

Continued in Next Post
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:18 PM   #5
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Subbing! Beautiful condo that you got. Love when it's nice and spacious. Can't wait to hear more.
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:54 PM   #6
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Subbing! Beautiful condo that you got. Love when it's nice and spacious. Can't wait to hear more.
Hi! Thank you so much for reading along! We were really happy with our condo! I am going to check out some of your trip reports too...I am caught up on all the ones I've been reading so it will be great to have some new material!
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:11 AM   #7
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Disney World/Orlando is the perfect place for Disney, Harry Potter, and Star Wars fans! My husband and I are the same way!
We also love the Writers Stop in DHS. Although we were originally lured in by the poster for the show Castle outside the door.
Can't wait to read more!
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:57 PM   #8
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Hats around the world...Part 1

We got a bit of a late start this morning, the blackout curtains made the room SO dark, plus we were tired from traveling. We got to Epcot just before 11 am and headed over to Soarin’ to pick up FastPasses. While we were there we ate breakfast at Sunshine Seasons. We had the breakfast platters which consisted of eggs, biscuits, potatos, bacon, sausage and french toast. The French toast was delicious, but the rest was just Meh...It all would’ve been greatly improved by being a few degrees hotter. Lukewarm is not tasty.



After breakfast, we decided to give Ellen’s Energy Adventure a try...I think I was in middle school the last time I rode it, and Chris had never done it. I thought it was fun but a little long, and you know, educational.



We cruised over to Mission: Space next. The Orange side had a wait so we did the green side for a change. Still fun! And we didn’t need to sit down and have a 20 minute recovery period afterward, haha.

After our ride we picked up Test Track FastPasses and headed into the World Showcase. This is where our TR title comes into play...this was our 4th trip to WDW together, and we had never managed to make it all the way around the world showcase. So this time, it was World Showcase or bust!

We stopped in Mexico first, and browsed through all the pretty shops.




And of course we had the super orginal idea to try on all the sombreros!


Then we rode the Gran Fiesta Tour...we actually had the whole boat to ourselves! It was lots of fun, as usual.



Norway was the next stop on our world tour. We went into the Stave church and took a few pictures. Then we rode Maelstrom- front of the boat again, baby!



Then we shopped around The Puffin’s Roost (love the store name) and took the obligatory Viking hat pictures- good times!



We stopped for a snack from Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe- I had never been in before, and it smelled AMAZING inside! I had every intention of getting Schoolbread thanks to reading all about it from Kristen & the Frumps. BUT once I saw the Lingonberry Cheesecake I only had eyes for that tasty little morsel! It was just as delicious as I had hoped! Yum! It was very smooth and the little bit of berry on top was tart and yummy. Did I mention it tasted good?


After that we took a few more Viking pictures....



then we arrived in China! I think the China pavilion is so gorgeous!





First we went in and watched Reflections of China. We caught it just before it was starting so we only had to wait a couple of minutes! The movie really shows how beautiful China is...definitely makes you want to go there. After the movie we took our time wandering through the shops. We found a really hilarious and adorable Panda pet costume...we have an orange cat named Jack, and he is very grumpy. We nearly died laughing imagining him wearing that panda suit. I still wish we would’ve bought it, but $25 seemed like a lot just so we could torture our poor kitty.

When we finished browsing, the Chinese acrobats show was starting. It was good, but I was a little disappointed because the show was a bit different- they didn’t juggle the tables and stuff with their feet. Oh well. We also got to witness a Mom fight- apparently a child was kicking another lady during the show...the lady pushed the child’s legs away, and BAM mom-fight. Way to make a scene folks!




After all that excitement, we were pretty hungry. We ate lunch at another place that was new to us...Lotus Blossom Cafe. I really enjoyed it! We both got the Orange Chicken and rice. I loved mine! We also got eggrolls, but I didn’t like those at all. I also liked how the restaurant was open to the outside, it was such a nice day and we had a great view of the pavilion.



After China, we continued around the world to Germany. We looked through the shops. I love the Christmas ornaments! We also watched the train village for a little while.



Of course, we had to try on some more hats...



More hats to come as we continue around the World Showcase! Stay tuned!

Continued in Next Post
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:04 PM   #9
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I love riding Ellen's Energy Adventure, especially if I need a good long period of relaxation.

I have never seen the lingonberry cheesecake at the Kringla Bakery. I always get either the cloudberry horn or the school bread. I may have to put that on my list, because I love lingonberries and I love cheesecake!

This may sound horrible, but mom fights are always the most entertaining. They just get so bent out of shape so quickly and then boom! It's on!
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IheartDDuck View Post
I love riding Ellen's Energy Adventure, especially if I need a good long period of relaxation.
It was nice for that! And I imagine it would have been really nice on a hot day!

Quote:
Originally Posted by IheartDDuck View Post
I have never seen the lingonberry cheesecake at the Kringla Bakery. I always get either the cloudberry horn or the school bread. I may have to put that on my list, because I love lingonberries and I love cheesecake!
It was really tasty! I wish I would have gotten one of each, haha! There is never quite enough appetite or money for all the treats I want to try! I guess that means I'll just have to keep going back!

Quote:
Originally Posted by IheartDDuck View Post
This may sound horrible, but mom fights are always the most entertaining. They just get so bent out of shape so quickly and then boom! It's on!
Yeah, to be honest I couldn't tear myself away! haha, please never let me be that angry while I'm at Disney!

Thanks for reading!
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnieMoose View Post
Disney World/Orlando is the perfect place for Disney, Harry Potter, and Star Wars fans! My husband and I are the same way!
We also love the Writers Stop in DHS. Although we were originally lured in by the poster for the show Castle outside the door.
Can't wait to read more!
Hi! Thanks for reading! I can't wait to visit the Writer's Stop again...this time I'm definitely getting one of those yummy cookies!
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:35 PM   #12
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Hi! I'm joining in! I went on a trip once where we tried on hats from around the worlds in Epcot! It was soo much fun! And pretty funny! Some of those hats are just toooo much!

I HATE that thing in front of the hat too! It messed all of my pictures! hahahahaha

My dad loves Star Wars, so I really do think its his mission to see them all. He rode it about 70 times. Okay, maybe not 70, but you get the idea. If your DH needs a new riding partner, my dad would be it! haha

Your chinese looks soooo good. I think that is what I am going to get during my next visit! I don't think that I could pass that up!

OH! and your condo or hotel looks SO NICE. I'm a Disney resort kinda girl, but if I had to stay anywhere else, I would definitely look there!

Can't wait to read more!
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:39 PM   #13
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Spaceship Earth a la Francaise!

Sorry for the long break in between updates! I am really missing Disney and I hate not having a trip to plan! I know Chris and I will go back, but we have not figured out when yet. November 2013 is our date for now, but I am hoping we will get there sooner! I just love going in the fall, and I know it’s not gonna happen this fall because we are going to the beach with my family and Chris doesn’t have enough vacation time. I would also like to try going during the Flower & Garden festival at some point too.

Anyway, back to the Trip Report! When I left off, we had just finished trying on hats in Germany. Next we went to Italy. It was really pretty, and I loved all the flowers. Since we weren’t eating there though it didn’t seem like it had a lot to offer- we went into one of the shops but the perfume was so overpowering we had turn around and go back out!





We decided to take a little break and look out over the water in front of the Italy pavilion, and I took a few pictures. A really nice PhotoPass photog approached us and offered to take some pictures of us. I was so happy because we have hardly any of the 2 of us from the trip. They turned out really pretty with the water and Spaceship Earth in the background. BUT here’s where my heartbreak comes in....when we got home I did not order our PhotoPass CD quick enough and the pictures from our first 2 days expired! SO SAD!! I felt so dumb. Still makes me feel bad. BOO!



After our photoshoot, we walked toward the American Adventure. On the way we spotted a ton of characters doing a meet and greet on the little side street by the American Pavilion. It was so cool! We saw Pluto, Mickey, Minnie, Stitch, Tigger and Baloo! Chris and I got a picture with Pluto. He was so cute!




When we got to the American pavilion, we had a while before the show started so we decided to try a drink I have heard a lot about here on the DIS...the Red Stag Lemonade from the Fife & Drum! It was just as good as I hoped. For those of you who haven’t tasted this yummy beverage, it is a frozen lemonade with Jim Beam and Bourbon- YUM. It was so tasty.



After we finished we headed inside to watch the American Adventure. It was good as always! “America! Spread your golden wings/Sail on freedom’s wind/Across the sky!” I think we had the song in our heads for the rest of the day!

Next we went on to Japan. So beautiful! I had a wonderful first time experience- shopping in Mitsukoshi! It was so amazing in there! I bought “Hello Panda” cookies, a Totoro notebook, a Chococat pen, and a lucky cat! By the time I came out it was dark, haha! Right outside the shop we enjoyed watching the woman sculpt animals out of candy- it was so neat! Each one only took 2-3 minutes. While we were there she made a flamingo, a dolphin, a cat and a dragon.




Since it was dark now, we decided to skip the rest of the World Showcase and go back to Future World. Along the way we got another PhotoPass picture. Again, I’m upset that I didn’t order the CD in time but this photog did take some with our camera.



When we got to Future World, we decided to visit Club Cool and taste the soda. I really liked the lemony soda from Israel and Chris liked the Watermelon one from China and the veggie one from Japan. While we were there we got to enjoy another lady get her first taste of Beverly, haha! We know better!



After Club Cool we headed to The Land to use our Soarin’ FastPasses. On the way, I finally bought myself a pair of ears- I got the sequinned Minnie Mouse ear headband. Even with the FP’s it still took a very long time to get on Soarin’. We did get to sit in Row 1 though, which is my favorite!

By this point it was getting late and we still hadn’t eaten, so we grabbed dinner at the Electric Umbrella (I know, I know). We each got the bacon cheeseburgers and I got my favorite treat- the mini strawberry cheesecake!

After dinner, we rode Spaceship Earth. Unfortunately one of us hit the touch screen when we were getting into the car, and we accidentally made it speak French for the entire ride! It was too funny! After our ride we played with some of the games in the exit area, then it was closing time. My feet were killing me, but we had a really great day!
My loot:


Hopefully there won’t be such a long time between posts next time! Next post will be about Magic Kingdom!

Continued in Next Post
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:18 PM   #14
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Joining in, can't wait to hear more, neighbor. Thanks for the tip about Red Stag lemonade... i love any type lemonade.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:27 PM   #15
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Magic Kingdom

Today we were heading to Magic Kingdom!!


We got to the park entrance around 9:15 and rode the tram and the ferry to the park.



First we stopped for a quick breakfast at Main Street Bakery. Chris had a ham, egg and cheese croissant and I got a cheese Danish- yummy!



After breakfast we headed over to Tomorrowland.


We went straight to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. We picked up FPs and jumped in the standby line. The wait was not bad at all and we had a blast. Buzz is definitely one of our favorites!





We stopped to make a pressed penny- I think we got one with a little green man on it!


Next we rode the People Mover.





Then we took a couple more spins on Buzz Lightyear and picked up Space Mountain FPs. We got smoothies from Auntie Gravity’s- one of Chris’ favorite Disney treats. After our snack we rode Space Mountain. When we got off, we left Tomorrowland and made our way to Fantasyland.

We did our best to peek over the big wall and see what was going on with the expansion, but we couldn’t see much! Can’t wait for it to be done!


We picked up FastPasses for Winnie the Pooh, and we got surprise Philharmagic FastPasses with them! Yay for pixie dust! Of course we went right in to watch. Somehow we missed Philharmagic on our 2010 trip so I was really excited to see it again!


After the show we rode It’s a Small World. I love how they wave to you from the control tower when your ride is getting ready to start! Gotta love those extra little Disney touches.




We headed back to Winnie the Pooh to use our FastPasses. In this case, the FastPass line was NOT fast! It took forever for us to get on the ride, and we were in the glaring sun most of the time- there is no shade in the FP queue! Once we finally made it on, I loved the ride as usual! It is just so cute.


After waiting in that long line behind the most obnoxious family in the world (I am not exaggerating! okay, maybe a bit, but they were REALLY annoying) we were ready for a break from the crowd so we decided to do the Hall of Presidents.

But by this time we were hungry for lunch, so we went to one of our favorite quick service restaurants- Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Cafe. We got those yummy taco salads and shared fries and a drink. Somehow I don’t have a food picture...I think it was super crowded in there and we just ate quickly. I had a hard time throughout the trip getting pics of Chris’ meals because he was usually already chowing down by the time I got the camera out, haha.

After lunch we were ready for our calming experience at the Hall of Presidents.



We saw this interesting MK medallion in the ground by the pass through to Adventureland.



Continued in Next Post
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