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Old 04-09-2012, 07:27 PM   #196
SOUTHERNtinkerBELLE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oboedm View Post
Sounds like you got through your Epcot day without too much frustration, so yay! I really need to try SAI next time I go. I am officially putting it on my must do list!
I hope you get to try SAI! It's a great restaurant and a lovely atmosphere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheThomsLuvDisney View Post
Great Update, sounds like a nice day overall! My DFIL was not a fan of most of the rides and actually got a little motion sickness on Soarin' which we all thought would be his perfect ride!
Thank you! I was surprised that a lot of the attractions that I thought everyone would enjoy didn't always turn out that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissPrice View Post
Hi Courtney I am along for the trip! Just started reading today, but all caught up. Also read your PTR. You are such an amazing planner, love the daily letters with the park trivia...such a nice touch. Day 2 looked like a lot of fun. Epcot is my favorite park and I love San Angel as well. Cant wait for the next update-Amanda.
Hi Amanda! Thank you for joining in! I'm glad you're another SAI lover. There don't seem to be too many of us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamerchic33 View Post
Hey you!
Hope you are feeling better and I hope court went well!
Great update! (as always!)
I have never tried any other dessert at the BW Bakery, other than the fudge, and the fudge never disappoints!
Are you going to go to F&W on your next trip?
xo
Thank you for the kind words!

If I ever go back to the BW Bakery, I will have to try the fudge.

We are definitely be doing F&W! I can't wait!


Quote:
Originally Posted by CandleontheWater View Post
It looks like you guys had a great day (minus your grandmother not feeling well in the beginning). I'm really impressed with how much you accomplished, WITH two sit down meals and an afternoon break!

Sorry that it wasn't really pool weather, but I have to admit, those drinks look awesome! What I wouldn't give to be chilling by a pool with a frosty drink right now!
I wish I was by the pool right now, too! We did get quite a bit done, but still had time to relax, which was nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MHTeacher View Post
Glad you're feeling better and that you and your car are recuperating from the accident!

**************************





I know I shouldn't laugh, but I couldn't help but notice that your grandmother's hair got a little wind in in during this trip! She's so cute,and just always so perfect looking!



Never eaten at R & C Pub---but I must say that the fish and chips looks pretty tasty!





Great family picture!
Haha, yes grandmother was definitely a little wind blown after TT. I think that might have been one of the reasons that she didn't like it very much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMC423 View Post
Courtney, I'm so sorry about your accident, glad you're ok and thank goodness for insurance!

I've been MIA also and just caught up on your Epcot report, I love Epcot it is one of my favorite parks. You guys really seemed to have a good time yay! I also like your grandma, she looks so cute in all the pictures! She seems like such a good sport. I really like your planning style for this group trip, it seems that you planned your just the two of times very well and I think thats key to large group trips. Can't wait to hear more!
She was a good sport! She had a couple of episodes where her blood sugar dropped because of her stomach, but she just kept on going. She always does!

The alone time was definitely cherished! I think that is absolutely key to a group trip.
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:13 PM   #197
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Hey Courtney, which Vera bag are you carrying? It looks like the perfect size! Did it work well for you? I have a real small crossbody one and the backpack, but I want something a little bigger.
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:03 PM   #198
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Hi there!

I stumbled across your report and I'm hooked! But I'm a little OCD about stuff, so I only read the first update (what got me hooked) and I followed the links back to your other TR so I can read them in order. Yes I am a dork.

I do have to chime in and say I love your daily newsletter idea! I'm going on a cruise in June with my family and there are 6 of us and I am sort of the unofficial planner of the group and always get asked all the questions, so I might steal your idea!
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:44 AM   #199
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Hi! I know you must be super-busy! Hope everything's going well for you!

Waiting patiently for an update....
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:43 AM   #200
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Courtney, Just wanted to say I am still here waiting when you have time... Boy do I know how long it can be for me between updates and I am not a newlywed....
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:27 PM   #201
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solana131 View Post
Hey Courtney, which Vera bag are you carrying? It looks like the perfect size! Did it work well for you? I have a real small crossbody one and the backpack, but I want something a little bigger.
I use the hipster. It is the perfect park bag! It's not too big, but it's really roomy and can fit lots. I can easily stuff the main compartment with a poncho or umbrella, a water bottle, my sunglasses, and my camera with no problem. They are also really comfortable, too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonders10 View Post
Hi there!

I stumbled across your report and I'm hooked! But I'm a little OCD about stuff, so I only read the first update (what got me hooked) and I followed the links back to your other TR so I can read them in order. Yes I am a dork.

I do have to chime in and say I love your daily newsletter idea! I'm going on a cruise in June with my family and there are 6 of us and I am sort of the unofficial planner of the group and always get asked all the questions, so I might steal your idea!
I am so glad you're enjoying the report and joining in!

Your cruise sounds like a lot of fun! I think the newsletters would be great! Another DISer with great newsletters is DisneyBarbie (Emma). Her's are so professional! You should check out her PTR if you haven't done so already!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MHTeacher View Post
Hi! I know you must be super-busy! Hope everything's going well for you!

Waiting patiently for an update....
Hi Michelle! I've been such a slacker lately. Update coming up now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedmom4 View Post
Courtney, Just wanted to say I am still here waiting when you have time... Boy do I know how long it can be for me between updates and I am not a newlywed....
Hi Judy! I'm so sorry I have been slacking with my updates! Day 3 is coming up now!
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:39 PM   #202
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So, you know you aren't spending enough time on the DIS lately when you come back from yet another weeks-long break and find all kinds of new smileys!

I really feel like I owe you all an apology for being so behind on all of your reports and for seriously slacking on my own! I really got to thinking last weekend after my day 3 update was thisclose to being ready to post and I just couldn't find the motivation to finish it...I'm just not enjoying writing this report. In fact, I'm really not enjoying reliving the trip. In some ways, I think I regret the trip.

I have never, ever regretted a trip to Disney, but this one was just so different. I knew it would be different, but I don't think I was prepared for just how different it would feel. I wasn't prepared for how many complaints I would face and how stressful it would be. I think all of these things have made the expense of the trip really difficult, too. This definitely wasn't our most expensive trip, but it did cost a pretty penny and I found myself feeling really resentful about paying off the credit card statement with all of the charges from the trip. I have never felt that way before!

Really, it just makes me kind of sad, because I hate having any feelings that are remotely close to negative associated with Disney. I am just so, so glad that we have our October trip to look forward to, which is really my only motivation to get this TR done so that I can get started on the PTR for it!

So again, I am so, so sorry for how much of a slacker I've been. I hope you all will understand! I am really, really going to try to do better and get these updates up quicker!

Day 3 is *finally* up below!
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:41 PM   #203
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PS... Please see my explanation/apology post above!

DAY 3 – PT. 1

Tuesday was our Animal Kingdom day! Miguel and I were very excited for the planned EE alone time. This obviously wasn’t the first or last time that Miguel and I would do an attraction that some of the group wouldn’t do, but because no one else cared to ride EE I planned for us to go our separate ways once we got in the park so that Miguel and I could do EE a few times and everyone else could do A Bugs Life instead of just stand around and wait for us. We were so looking forward to that precious 45 minutes!

We did our usual morning routine and soon enough it was time to meet the group in the lobby. Once we were all accounted for, we pilled into the car and made our way over to the AK, where we were very surprised to find this waiting in the parking lot! He was just standing there, hanging out!


So excited to be at the Animal Kingdom!




Once inside, we quickly split up. I gave the others directions to ITTBAB and told them to meet up with us in Asia when they were finished.

As soon as we were “free”, we took off! I didn’t realize just how commando we go when we first enter a park. We really do like to rush off to our favorite first attraction, and then at that point we kind of slow it, but we had been going SO slow the entire time. It felt so good to just dart off toward EE!

And even though we were in a hurry, we still managed plenty of time to snap a few pictures along the way.


This area of the Animal Kingdom is probably my favorite spot in Disney for pictures. I just love all of the detail and how beautiful and perfect the theming is. I have probably a zillion of these pictures, but I just never get tired of taking them!






Finally, it was time to board one of our favorite attractions!


EE was amazing as always! There is nothing like the very first ride of a trip. As soon as we got off we hoped in line one more time and then grabbed some FPs for later.

I figured by that point that the others would de done with ITTBAB, but when I tried to call no one answered so I figured they were still in the show. To pass some time, Miguel and I stopped at the Royal Anadapur Tea Company where I got an iced vanilla latte.




The latte was very good, and we both enjoyed just sitting and relaxing. We might have to make this a tradition!




After about 15 minutes I thought that surely they were out of the show, so I called again. I found out that they were out, and that they were waiting for us in Africa. Ok, not exactly what we planned, but that was ok since we had planned on the safari next. Miguel and I made our way over to Africa, where we ran into DeVine along the way!


After a quick stop to admire her, we continued our trek and met up with my family. It was starting to drizzle at this point, so everyone threw on their ponchos!


I decided that we didn’t have enough time for the safari since I was hoping to get into the 10:30 Festival of the Lion King show, so we decided to head over to Camp Minnie Mickey and come back later for Kilamajaro.

Along the way we stopped for two bathroom breaks, and I was of course starting to panic about making it to FOTLK on time! This was our only opportunity to see it, and I really didn’t want to miss it. I just knew everyone would love it!

Thanks to some power walking, we ended it making it to the theatre just in time! I believe we were in the giraffe section.


The show was incredible as always! We all loved it and it became one of the favorite things for all of us.


When the show got out, we still had quite a bit of time before lunch, so I thought a trip to DinoLandUSA was in order.

Of course, on the way we made a pit stop at yet another bathroom.


If you’re planning on traveling with a large group, my biggest suggestion would be to plan on lots of trips to the bathroom! I felt like we were at one after every attraction.

Finally, we made it to DinoLand, where thankfully Dinosaur had a very minimal wait. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this one with a wait recently – even on our honeymoon in the summer!


I wasn’t quite sure how grandmother would react to this one since it is kind of jerky and is scary to a lot of people. The verdict: not as bad as Test Track, but one time was enough!


You will also notice that I have my standard, every time I ride Dinosaur face. I seriously look that way every time! Not sure what Miguel was doing!

After Dinosaur, Miguel wanted to do Primeval Whirl. This is one that I could take or leave. I don’t mind it, but it isn’t a must do for me either.





After watching a few people zoom by, the rest of the group decided that Primeval wasn’t for them, so just Miguel and I went on . I always enjoy this, even if I do feel like I get thrown around the entire time!

Continued in next post
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:42 PM   #204
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DAY 3 Ė PT. 2

At this point, it was almost time for lunch, so we decided to leisurely make our way over to Yak & Yeti, stopping for a few pictures along the way.




We checked in and then settled in for a quick wait.


Soon enough, it was time to eat! Since we were all pretty hungry we started off with a couple of appetizers: pot stickers and fried green beans.



Both of these were ok, but not too great either.

Hereís what we went for for our entrees:

My grandfather and I both had the kobe beef burger. We both loved it! It had a great flavor and was huge! Neither one of us could come close to finishing it.


Miguel got the tempura shrimp. He liked it!


My grandmother wanted something on the lighter side and went with the lettuce cups.


My father and Mike both got a chicken dish that looked pretty similar. I think they were different, but you couldnít tell them apart. Sorry I canít remember the name!


For dessert we got two sets of the cream cheese wontons Ė aka my favorite dessert at Disney. These are SO good! I could have eaten both plates by myself.


Even though the appetizers werenít hits, we really enjoyed Y&Y. This was Miguel and Iís second time eating there, and it will certainly not be our last!

After lunch, it was finally time for the safari! We had all been waiting all day for it! On the way back over to Africa, we of course stopped for some pictures.


I love the view of the Tree of Life that is in the really lush walkway area between Asia and Africa. So pretty!




Itís also a great spot for PP pictures!


Thankfully we had grabbed some FPs earlier in the day, so we had no wait for Kilamanjaro! We climbed right in our jeep and off we went!





The safari was great as usual. The standout was really the white rhio! We saw tons of them and they got super close to our vehicle. I love when the animals really get close.


After Kilamanjaro, we had accomplished every thing that we had set out to do, so we decided to return to the BC and rest up before our dinner at Shulas.

Continued in next post
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:44 PM   #205
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DAY 3 Ė PT. 3

That afternoon it had gotten a bit chilly, so no SAB time was in store for us. Instead, Miguel went down to the gym for a while and I rested and tried to heal an ugly blister that was developing.

Later, we all got ready for dinner and met up in the lobby.




On the way over to the Dolphin, Mike got a work-related phone call that literally went on, and on, and on. It was one of those, really important so no one else felt comfortable to talk, calls. Apparently, there was a contract on a house that was falling through and it had to be saved right that minute!

Finally, the call ended and we were free to go inside and get checked in at Shulaís!

This was our first time visting the Dolphin, and I was really excited to check it out. I had briefly considered either the Swan or the Dolphin for our trip and still had it in mind for future vacations, so I was really hoping to get a better feel of the resort.

I really liked the lobby of the Dolphin, but I immediately felt like I had left Disney! It was a strange feelingÖ


We got checked in at Shulas and relaxed in the big, soft chairs that they have in their lobby.






Meanwhile, Mike got another call and disappeared. When our name was finally called, he was still nowhere to be found. So, on we went without him. We got through the ordering of the drinks, the appetizers and the explanation of all the different cuts of meat before he finally joined us. So, about 15 minutes? Not exactly how I had pictured one of our nicer meals of the trip going, but at this point, that was pretty par for the course.

I must admit that I was too nervous to take any food pictures during this meal, and because of that, I have sort of forgotten what we ate! The restaurant was pretty dark and business like and I felt like the flash of the camera would have been too noticeable. I do remember that we got Cesar salads for our appetizers, which were good. The bread was also great!

I pretty much stick to filets, so I know I had a filet, and so did Miguel and my grandparents. I have no idea what my father and Mike had! I thought my steak was good, but it didnít blow me away. I felt the same about the sides, which was a potato dish of some sort and either broccoli or asparagus.

Since I was honestly dying to get back to Disney at this point and ready for something a little more casual, I suggested we skip dessert and go back to Beaches and Cream later. Everyone was in agreement! After paying our bill Ė my father treated us all to this one Ė we made our way out of Shulas. So what did I think? Overall, it was a good meal. Every dish was good, there certainly wasnít a bad bite. It was just kind of standard upscale steakhouse food, though. What I really didnít like about the restaurant was that I felt like I could have been eating at a steakhouse in any city. There was definitely nothing Disney about it! The restaurant was filled with ďexecutiveĒ types who seemed to be on business dinners more than vacation. There were lots of sports jackets and business talk, and it was just overall a very masculine vibe. Will I go back? I donít think so. Again, not because it was a bad meal, but because I could get the same meal in Atlanta. When Iím in Disney, I want a Disney meal! I definitely wouldnít suggest not going there, though, because it is a good restaurant. If you do go, just be prepared to be transported back to reality for a bit.

Even though I was aching to get back to the BC, I had one thing I really wanted to do before I left the Dolphin. Since I was still thinking about the hotel for the future, I really, really wanted to see a room. I wasnít super impressed with the room photos on the website, but I figured that seeing them in person might be better. After a brief wait at the check in desk, a gentleman met us and took us up to a room. The whole way we got quite a speech about the differences between the Swan and Dolphin and Disney resorts. Seeing as I was a bit homesick for my Disney resort, I found this kind of off-putting!

I donít have any pictures (theme for the night) because I thought that might be inappropriate. The room that we saw was nice, but I didnít really think that it was on par with Disney Deluxe rooms, even though they are supposed to be. To me, they seemed more like Moderate rooms in a Deluxe hotel, if that makes since. There were some nice features, like the big balcony, but overall, my mind was made up that the Swan and Dolphin just arenít for me. If Iím in Disney, I want to see some Mickey! Now, if the Swan and Dolphin were in any other city, Iíd have no problem staying there. For me, it really is about the level of Disney, and not the level of luxury/service/etc.

So, with my mind made up, I was very happy to get back to the BC. I was really glad that we got to see a room, because I donít think I would have been very happy have I had booked the hotel without seeing it first.

Once back at the BC, we all changed into some more comfortable clothes, and down we went to fill up on ice cream!







We opted against the kitchen sink, and this time just went for sundaes, although I honestly felt more full after the sundae than the KS! I think B&Cís motto is bigger is better! Boy were they tasty, though!




After we were all completely stuffed, we made our plans for the next morning, said our goodnights, and went our separate ways to turn in for the evening. We had a big day ahead of us the next day Ė the world showcase, with a very minimal break!
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:01 PM   #206
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Courtney! I was so excited to see an update, but I feel so sad to hear your explanation for putting it off! It's so stressful planning for such a big group and I completely know how you feel. At least you can say you've done it, and now stick with what works for you guys!

I liked your review of Shula's. I feel like I don't hear much about it, and I feel like I've been contemplating eating there for a while, but it seems like it's something I don't need to rush to. Who would want to feel like they're not in Disney when they're in Disney?!

And now I'm craving ice cream. I just LOVE beaches & cream!
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:02 PM   #207
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Oh gosh, you don't have to apologize to us (well me anyway)! It was a big adjustment for you guys to go with everyone else....we could all tell that it wasn't your favorite trip from the beginning. And lots of people don't update frequently....thats why I have 19 subscriptions, so I always have a new update to read Don't worry about it! When you do update it is great!

Good to know about the Dolphin. I was considering them also for this next trip coming up and I am glad I didn't do it. I share your opinion that when I am in Disney, I want to feel that I am in Disney!

Once again Beaches n Cream looks fabulous! I am really hoping to find that little gem in July. I know it gets busy and we are going at the busiest time of the year, but we will try it at off times and hope to get lucky

Keep 'em coming, you are doing great!
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:43 PM   #208
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Hey!
Welcome back!
How are you feeling???
I am so sorry to hear about your thoughts regarding this trip!!!!
Hope you will keep it going!!!
xxoo <3
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:45 PM   #209
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I love long updates! I can totally relate to your feelings about traveling with other people. A few summers ago I went to WDW with 15 family members and it was definitely different then I was used to. I enjoyed it, but I prefer it to be me and DBF. I look forward to reading more!
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:53 PM   #210
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I feel like I had so much to comment on as I was reading, and now it's all slipping away! lol...
But a few things:

Miguel's face in the Dinosaur pic is hilarious! I noticed it right away before I read your description of the picture. And your grandma holding on for dear life! lol

I love your silvery top you wore to dinner! So pretty.

Long drawn out phone calls drive me nutsssss! I hate them! Especially when you are at a social gathering (which a vacation is!). I mean, duty calls and he has to deal w/ his business obviously, but it's definitely not fun for those that have to sit by quietly or wait around for you to finish!

In the pic of you & Miguel at B&C, the ice cream cones are giving you little bunny ears! aw! lol

The cream cheese wontons at Y&Y look SO delicious! I want to eat there just to get like 5 servings of dessert! The iced latte looks good too...Can you tell that I am in countdown to snacks mode right now? I am so focused on your food!

Your TR is making me a litttttle bit nervous right now! We have our take-the-whole-family vacation coming up in 2 weeks, and I feel like there might be tensions (or WILL be...at some point at least). I think overall we will have a good time regardless, but I feel like I will probably look back and have some moments that I won't want to remember. It's always hard when you have a group and put them into a situation where you are on the go, there are time constraints, and you are together for the entire day for days on end! I was just thinking, while I was reading your update - it's a good thing that you guys didn't all share a grand villa! At least with the separate rooms you had some time to decompress and be on your own each day. Then, after thinking that, I remembered that my family IS staying in a villa (but a 2BR) and my mind started racing! haha

And...another thing I noticed. No complaints from the peanut gallery this entire day! Or none worth mentioning anyway! So that is a plus at least!
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