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Old 06-05-2012, 07:06 AM   #31
kittylady1972
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Mar 7 (continued): EPCOT on a Segway and Wishes Dessert Party


We were still pretty soaked from our ride on Splash Mountain, but it was time to report to the Tommorrowland Terrace for the Dessert Party. We headed there close to 7pm and there was already a decent line. DH was concerned but as I watched I noticed there were tags on all of the tables so that meant the seats were already pre-assigned. There was no rush to get there extra early!

My full review can be found here.

Overall it was a great experience. We would definitely do it again. Once it was over, I don't recall what we did. We may have stuck around a little bit and done a few more rides, and we most likely did some last minute shopping on Main Street since it would be our last day there.

We probably headed back to the room to pack and get ready for our last day!

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Old 06-05-2012, 07:10 AM   #32
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Mar 8th: Celebrating my 40th Birthday in a Disney Park!

I woke up with mixed emotions. Happy that it was my birthday and I was in Walt Disney World. Ok with the fact that I was turning 40! Sad that I'd have to leave the park after such a great week!

What would be on agenda for our very last day? Stay tuned to find out!

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Old 06-05-2012, 07:47 AM   #33
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March 8th: Happy Birthday to ME!
So we woke up this morning and got our stuff all packed up and ready to go. We cleaned out the frig and ate any remaining leftovers then packed everything into our rental car and headed out to our first destination...the only park we had NOT been to yet this trip: ANIMAL KINGDOM!



For the most part the plan was to hit the Safari and ride EE and not much else. I can't recall what we did once we entered the gates, but I think we headed right for EE first. We grabbed Fastpasses and noticed this right away, which I tweeted:



Pretty sure those signs had not been around anywhere else that week, so the new Fastpass rules were going into effect today. I even noticed the pass itself:



No late arrivals...so we'd have to make sure we returned in time to use these. I think we rode EE and then decided to hit the Safari. The wait time there showed something pretty small, like maybe 20 minutes but the line definitely seemed to go on for much longer than that! I didn't keep track but I think we waited a bit longer, but before long we were ready to load up into our vehicle and for the first time EVER we got a seat RIGHT BEHIND the driver! Very cool!

Gosh I wish I could recall her name, but she was awesome! Before we headed out, she glanced in her mirror and saw my birthday button and told EVERYBODY on our vehicle that this was Dina's Birthday Safari and had everybody wish me a Happy Birthday! It was too cool!

We saw LOTS of animals and she was great about stopping long enough to let us take photos, which is rare for most rides. The most AMAZING part had to be as we approached the area for the giraffes. They were out all over the place and they decided to cross the road in front of us, so our vehicle had to STOP and wait for them!



Our driver just kept talking about how COOL this was as we sat completely still for at LEAST 15 minutes or so to let the giraffe slowly make it's way across the road, and it stopped in front of us in the road for a while...and then another one did the same thing. She kept saying she was supposed to call somebody who would come out and help move them along, but she wasn't doing that. I don't know if that was true but it was still awesome to just sit and observe the giraffes for so long up close! I thought I had my camera rolling on video, only to discover lately that I had not STARTED the video! UGH! Still...amazing!

Not only that but we got to see all of the cats...my favorites!







We even caught a glimpse of this guy:


CUE the Hakuna Matata song!

It was definitely one of the BEST Safari rides EVER! Just fantastic!

After that we decided to hit Dinosaur. We are in the back right, my DH making some king of gesture there:


Love that woman in the front though!

We did get another ride on EE in time for Fastpasses and then I think that's about it. The only other thing was stopping to get a few Photopass photos in front of the tree. We found a great spot to see all the details of it so I took quite a few photos myself!







By around noon I was tweeting that we were leaving AK but we had a fabulous morning there even though we didn't do a whole lot!

Up next: EPCOT!!!


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Old 06-05-2012, 08:17 AM   #34
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Mar 8 (continued): Happy Birthday to ME!
We left AK and headed over to EPCOT and we knew we wanted to eat some lunch. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6:35pm so our plan was to hang out at EPCOT until about 3:30pm or so.

We had lunch ressies at Le Chef de France and as much as I wanted to try the French Onion soup there, I just wasn't feeling it overall. Instead we decided to stop in at Coral Reef and see if we could get a walk-in there.

There were quite a few people hanging around and we asked about the wait and were told at LEAST 30 minutes. DH didn't want to wait, but I said let's just put our names down and see what happens.

About FIVE minutes later they were calling our name...and we were seated right in the very FRONT of the restaurant, one table away from the tank!



It was a GREAT restaurant and all we kept thinking about was how much our kids, and my DS7 in particular who LOVES fish would love this restaurant! Needless to say, for our November trip, I have a lunch ressie here for all of us!

So my full review can be found here, but I will say that we enjoyed watching the fish in the tanks and we really enjoyed the meal there as well!

As we were sitting there eating lunch, our phones got some text messages with some pixie dust! It turns out our flight had been delayed by TWO HOURS! So we would get an extra two hours to hang out at EPCOT!

Now the funny thing about this is that when I made our original flight reservations, there were two evening flights on SWA that I was considering. One was the 6:35pm flight and the other was I think an 8pm flight. I chose the earlier flight because I wanted to try to get home on my birthday in time to see the kids before they went to bed! Of course, now we would be leaving LATER than that other flight!

However despite the texts and checking the website my DH was surely convinced that SOMEHOW the messages were wrong. He was VERY nervous about missing our flight and was sure all of the messages were somehow wrong. What if the flight really does leave on time? This was driving me CRAZY! I was ready to enjoy some extra time in the parks but he still felt a need to show up early just in case our flight really did leave on time!

So I did what most wives would do...ignored him and enjoyed my time in the park. We stopped and watched a few street performances, something I seem like I never get to do when we are touring the parks with the family. These guys were very entertaining:



We stopped by to see if they had made more progress on this, which looked so cool!



We had to stop and watch the train for a while. My DS7 also LOVES trains!



ATTACK of the killer lizard!


We went over to La Cave de Tequila for one last margarita before the trip, and I'm sure we did some shopping. I knew the one thing I did NOT have yet was a photo with Mickey for my birthday! We wandered into the area of Innoventions for the Chase Visa photo at one point but nobody was around. We came back later, closer to 2:30pm I think, and as we walked through it looked like they were packing up to go. I asked the woman outside if it was possible to get a photo and she said she thought they were leaving but she would go ask. She came back out and said YES they would have time for ONE LAST photo and so I did get my birthday photo with Mickey. Yes, I was sure to tell him I was so glad to get a picture with him on my birthday! I'm like a big 40-year old kid!



We also had one last ride on the Sum of All Fears, this time creating a coaster. Once again, I survived another simulator ride...barely!

Before long we were walking out and getting one last glance at this sight:


It had been a magical birthday trip so I couldn't be too disappointed.

Besides we had a few more adventures as I drove us to the airport. First we had to do that mandatory fill-up-the-tank within a mile of the airport...or whatever. I found a place to do that...and missed the turn into it at least once. Then I guess we did not get a receipt, which we learned later we were supposed to do. I mean really...the tank is FULL clearly....why do you need a receipt to verify that I got it filled within the required distance to the airport? I swear they just want to make more money off of us, but they did let me slide on it and didn't charge me exrtra.

Also it seems the rental car area has changed quite a bit since I last rented, and although I made it into the correct garage, I ended up driving right by the area for our particular rental car company...and there was no way to turn around as it was one-way through there. So I ended up exiting the garage and making another circle back around to the airport. Of course, this was driving DH crazy! Did I mention we had planned to arrive at the airport by 6pm so that JUST IN CASE our flight truly did depart ON TIME we might have a chance to catch it?? Of course, you know it was still delayed by the two hours so we just sat at the concourse/gate until it departed.

Oh but we sat in the area across from our gate, since our gate area was really crowded. Well as it turns out we couldn't hear announcements about our flight very well from there. At one point DH looks over to see they are lining up in the cattle call area and we were NOT there yet! The HORROR! Oh we made it there and of course our flight was packed...but we still had one seat left between us in the back due to my DH's strategy...of course!

What is that? He sits on the aisle seat and had his arms crossed and generally looks pretty mad so that even people who notice the empty seat next to him don't bother to ask him to move...they end up taking other seats instead. Yep that's his big secret...don't let him know I told you!

Anyway flight home was uneventful, found our car at the parking lot easy enough and we were home and able to see the kids briefly before they went to bed!

And so our trip comes to an end just in time...we leave tomorrow for ORLANDO again! This time it is supposed to be a non-Disney trip but we may throw in a few Disney surprises along the way!!


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Old 06-05-2012, 11:36 AM   #35
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Wow! Sounds like you had a great birthday overall! I can't believe you got a walk-up at Coral Reef! That's awesome that Mickey stayed a bit longer for a picture with you!!!!!

Glad you eventually got everything sorted out with the flights and made it home safe!
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