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Old 07-26-2012, 02:19 PM   #31
tayalltheway
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May 20, 2012

Chapter 10
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC!


Alright, here we are on day 2. And this update is when the first part of our TR title will be explained. Unfortunately, I realized I forgot something during the last update which will factor prominently into this one! On the way out of the Magic Kingdom, we stopped at the Emporium to do some shopping. The most important things on the docket were our hats for the trip! On our last trips we had gotten the following: regular Mickey ears with traditional embroidery (2008); bride and groom Mickey ears, embroidered as Mr. and Mrs. (2010); a Pluto hat for me, and Minnie ear headband for Tracy (2011). This trip we had our headwear purchases planned in advance. I was getting a WDW ball cap because I wanted something I could wear back home. And Tracy was getting Duffy ears.

Now might also be a good time for me to expound upon our feelings about Duffy. I know that for some reason, Duffy is a very controversial subject among Disney fans. Some people love him, and some people absolutely detest him. We fall very firmly among the former group. We can’t get enough of Duffy. When we were planning our trip to Disneyland, Duffy had recently been introduced to the parks and we were very excited to get our bear first thing upon arriving. Anyway, here is where I will plead the case for Duffy’s acceptance into the hearts and minds of Disney fans everywhere:

Duffy is adorable, soft and oh-so huggable. He is a great souvenir for fans old and young who want another piece of Disney to bring home and have in their lives. He is the least threatening character ever. All he does when you meet him is hug, wave, and clap. We like to refer to him as a bit of a simpleton. When people complain that Duffy is a symbol of commercialism in the Disney parks, I say yes that is entirely true—but how is that different from any other piece of merchandise in the parks? Disney merchandising creates things that they think we will enjoy and their entire goal is to sell them for profit. Disney is still a business, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Duffy is also a great international symbol. Japanese Disney fans LOVE Duffy. If you look up videos of Tokyo Disney Sea, they have an entire stage show devoted to him. So why not bring him to the USA and let him spread the joy? Epcot is a great place for Duffy to live at WDW. They integrate him into World Showcase pretty seamlessly and without being too intrusive. I also think he’s a great idea for the Kidcot fun stops. Finally, the backstory Disney has created for Duffy is just plain cute. Minnie made him for Mickey so he’d always have a piece of her when he was out at sea. So come on people! Lay off Duffy and let him live his simple life.

Anyway, we bought our hats at the emporium. Tracy got her Duffy ears.



I got this hat



We also found this magnet that we really liked. We don’t have a dog yet, but love all the Disney dogs, so for now we’re going to put a picture of us with Pluto in the frame.



And we got a 2012 photo album. We later exchanged it for a different album, however, so I don’t have a picture of the first one. We spent over $50 (easily) so we got our Disney Visa discount.

Now we fast forward back to our second morning. We had made a decision the night before to do something that might shock and appall some readers. It was after 1:00am by the time we got to bed, so we decided to… skip rope drop at Epcot. Cue the screams. We just figured that since Test Track was closed for refurbishment anyway and Soarin’ Fastpasses don’t run out until after noon, we could still do everything we wanted to in Epcot even if we didn’t get there as the park opened. Plus, the Touring Plans Crowd Calendar had this day predicted to be a 1.1 at Epcot, so we were expecting a pretty empty park. We woke up to Stitch screaming “Good Morning, NO SLEEPING” on the wake-up call at 9:00am. After the long day of travelling, and going all-out touring the day before, I don’t know if I’ve ever slept more soundly.

After rolling out of bed, drinking some coffee, and sunscreening up, we were ready to go. But even though Epcot was already open, we weren’t ready to head there quite yet.



Instead, we wanted to get a breakfast item that had sounded especially appealing on the menu at Sassagoula Floatworks. So we made our way to French Quarter. And lo and behold, the walk was actually quite short.









It was so short, in fact, and we were so disheartened by the fact that the Riverside bus took so long to hit all the stops the previous night, that we decided we might use the French Quarter stop for some of our transportation to and from the parks. This was my favorite part of the paths around POFQ: “Rue D’Baga”



French Quarter, like Riverside, is just beautiful. I love these grounds.



Nice fountain.



The decorations at Sassagoula Floatworks are a little terrifying. But fun.



Here’s the delicious menu item we sought. Biscuits and Gravy.



They were so good! We paid for them out of pocket because we didn’t want to waste a Quick Service credit. Needed those for Epcot later!

Tracy decided she wanted these for breakfast every day. Alas, it was not meant to be, and this was the only time we got to enjoy them.



We made our way out of Sassagoula and to the bus stop.



Before too long, an Epcot bus pulled up!





The entrance to Epcot soon appeared. Another bus ride that didn’t take very long!



We were a little nervous about these crowds as we approached the gates. Didn’t exactly look like a level 1 crowd day…





When we got to the turnstiles, the cast member working took a look at Tracy’s hat and said, “I just love your ears. We so rarely see people wearing those. And Duffy is going to be ECSTATIC when he sees them!! He’ll be so happy.” Thus we had a new catch phrase for the trip. I don’t know how many times we ended up saying “Duffy is going to be ECSTATIC” about various things, I just know that we got more and more emphatic about it each time.

As we got through the gates, we saw the beautiful Spaceship Earth with the monorail passing in front of it.



Let the Epcot adventure begin!!

Continued in Next Post
__________________
1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

Last edited by tayalltheway; 08-01-2013 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 07-26-2012, 02:37 PM   #32
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Joining in !! Loving your TR and all of your photos !! Looking forward to reading more and seeing more food porn !!
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:29 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melmar136 View Post
Love your review of PF! We haven't been there yet, but really want to try it, mostly for the strawberry soup and the interactions with the step-sisters. They seem hilarious!
Hope you get to go to 1900PF soon! It really was a lot of fun. And I could really go for some strawberry soup right now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by windi622 View Post
I am absolutely loving your trip report so far!!

What an exciting way to start your trip!!

Can't wait to hear more!
Glad you're enjoying it! Thanks for reading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jecskc View Post
Joining in !! Loving your TR and all of your photos !! Looking forward to reading more and seeing more food porn !!
Thanks! There's lots of good food pictures coming up. All of our meals on this trip were delicious.
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1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:35 AM   #34
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Chapter 11
Bankruptcy


Okay, this chapter title has nothing to do with the trip. I’ve just always dreamed of reading a book where Chapter 11 is called Bankruptcy. I don’t think said book exists, so I’m stealing my genius idea for this trip report.



Back to our story. Before passing go, collecting $200, or doing anything else in Epcot, we had to make our way to The Land to get our Fastpasses for Soarin’. The disadvantage of missing rope drop was that the Fastpass times for this most-popular Epcot ride had been ticking quickly up while we were enjoying some shut-eye.



We made it into the park and to The Land pavilion by about 10:30.



The Fastpass return time was somewhere in the 2:00-3:00 range, so we got a pair.



With that goal accomplished, the mad dash part of our Epcot day was out of the way, so we returned to the park entrance. This was the last day of the Flower and Garden Festival, so we lucked out in getting to see some of the exhibits right before they closed up. Here’s the main topiary at the front of the park: Sorcerer Mickey and the dancing elephants from Fantasia.



We stopped for a few Photopass pictures.





Now we were left with a bit of a conundrum. We wanted to hit as many attractions in Future World as possible, but really didn’t care about the order, so we just picked one and started walking.





We arrived at Mission: SPACE and immediately chose our line—green team all the way. We went on the orange side once on our trip four years ago, and it was truly the closest I’ve seen Tracy get to throwing up on a ride. And I didn’t feel so hot either. So we’ve retired our orange team space suits and will be dong the green side from now on.



Tracy was unashamed of our choice!



The line for the green side of the ride was nonexistent, so we were immediately able to board our ship to Mars. We also got an entire car to ourselves, which was fun because we could scream all we wanted without worrying about disturbing anyone else. We even successfully hit all eight buttons between the two of us! After successfully landing our ship (who builds a runway on the edge of a crater?), we made our way out through the gift shop, stopping first to record a video postcard to send to our parents.

As we left the pavilion, the Jammitors were playing so we stopped to watch for a little while. They are so engaging and it was very fun.



We didn’t really know where we wanted to go next, so we checked the wait time board. Living with the Land and The Seas with Nemo and Friends both had waits of 45 minutes or more, so we were left with a quandary. We are not the kind of people who will wait in that sort of line! We decided to cross over to Journey into the Imagination. Neither of us had ever been on it before, but we’d heard so much about Figment from podcasts that we wanted to know what all the fuss was about. On the way, a nice cast member took our picture in front of the fountain.





We got to the Imagination pavilion and it had a 30 minute posted wait!! Keep in mind that this was supposed to be a 1.1 crowd level day in Epcot, but it felt extremely crowded and every ride had astronomical wait times considering it was barely noon. We took a beat and regrouped. We weren’t about to wait that long for Imagination either, considering it usually has a 5 minute wait if any. So we decided to check out some of the elements of the Flower and Garden Festival instead.

First up—Bambi’s Butterfly House.



This was fun. There were lots of brightly colored butterflies and some nice flowers to boot.



We also love all the characters in Bambi, so these topiaries were fun.



I think that might have been the first picture in which the infamous fanny pack makes an appearance! I’ll admit it—we are fanny pack people in the Disney parks. I know it is absurdly nerdy, but I truly don’t care. We both have bad backs and necks so we have no desire to lug a backpack around all day, and Tracy never wants to carry a purse in the parks because it’s annoying. Instead, I don the fanny pack, and it holds everything we might need in a day, from ponchos to Advil. I very quickly stop noticing it’s even there.

After exiting the butterfly garden, we noticed that the Genie was doing a meet and greet over by one of the fountains. He is one of the rarer characters in the park and we had never met him before, so we got in line. It was just in time too, because they cut the line off right after us!



We grabbed another Photopass picture there too. I like this border that was available for the festival.



Next we checked out some more topiaries. Peter Pan.



Tick-Tock Croc (aka Mr. Grin)



Farmer Mickey and Minnie



And of course, Pluto!



It was starting to get close to lunch time already, but first we figured we had time for one more meet and greet. And we were hoping he would be ECSTATIC to see us!!

Continued in Next Post
__________________
1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

Last edited by tayalltheway; 07-27-2012 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:53 PM   #35
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I'm on board! All caught up now.

Let's see...what can I remember to comment on?

I love your idea of splitting CS meals on the dining plan. I'm not sure if DH and I could do it all the time (usually because of wanting different items), but even just some of the time would be great. I love to try new things but rarely want (and definitely never NEED!) the huge portion served. I'm going to have to discuss this with him!

I hope that guy that took your picture in Adventureland was just not sure how to work the camera and not being nosey with your pictures! Although, not knowing how to work a point-and-shoot is just sad...

Love the pictures of Dumbo at night. I actually haven't seen any with the lights like that!

I think you've persuaded me regarding the Duffy debate. I honestly hadn't thought too much about it. I guess I was indifferent. But you made some very good points. I'm not sure I'm a huge fan, but I think I'm cool with him now. I know that makes a huge difference...me being cool with him, right? Everyone was waiting on MY approval, I'm sure.
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:44 PM   #36
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Chapter 12
Good Food, Eh?


We got in line to meet Duffy right as he was coming back from a break.



There were only about 5 groups in line in front of us, but the line still took about 15 minutes, partly because Duffy went back to “get some cookies” after only about 5 minutes out. While we were waiting, we saw this pair hanging out in the bushes.



We saw this little guy several times throughout our day and referred to him as the “only duckling.” He didn’t seem to have any duckling siblings, so his mother was being a little overbearing trying to keep him safe and in line. We also saw this thing swimming in the water and had no idea what it was. Our best guess was sea serpent?



When we finally got to the front of the line, we were certainly ecstatic to meet Duffy! He was very pleasant, though he didn’t seem to notice Tracy’s ears. Oh well… We knew he was just a simpleton!





After meeting our good friend, we went to the Duffy shop along the World Showcase lagoon. Tracy wanted to get this Duffy wristlet, but couldn’t imagine a scenario of ever using it.



The Duffy store had some very fun theming.



After leaving the store, we checked out some more topiaries.



And there was this cool sand sculpture for the Disney Nature movie Chimpanzee



We tried one more time to go ride Imagination, but there was still a 30 minute posted wait. We asked the cast member at the entrance if that was really right and he said he’d worked there for 6 months and had never seen it so long. They even had to open up the extended queue inside.



Once again, we didn’t want to wait, so we made our way back to World Showcase instead. Our lunch reservation was in about a half hour, so we figured we could explore a couple pavilions while waiting.

First up was Canada.



We really enjoyed the country-specific Mickey ears in World Showcase during this trip.



And even though you can’t tell from this picture, we really liked the Canada/frontier-inspired Pluto plush. He’s just so random!



So we bought him! We had him shipped back to our resort. We explored more of Canada. We went on a road trip from Colorado to Seattle about 5 years ago and went on the ferry up to Victoria, so we’d seen a lot of the real-life places this pavilion is based on.



We had never walked around the back before though, so this was our first view of the Niagra Falls.



The gardens are based on Butchart Gardens, which we went to in Victoria.



We had a few minutes still before lunch so we poked over to the UK pavilion. Their Mickey ears were fun too.



Now it was time for lunch though! We made our way back to Canada and checked in at Le Cellier.



While waiting for our table to be ready, the cast members were asking Disney trivia questions and giving out stickers as prizes. We must have been some of the only big Disney movie fans because we kept being the only people who knew the answers. By the time our table was ready, we had 3 stickers each!

After waiting about 10 minutes we were seated. We were in the New Brunswick room, and I know our server told us a fun fact about it, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was. Here’s the fancy menu.



We were splitting one credit on this meal as well, so we got one drink. A raspberry smoothie.



This was really tasty. It had a good combination of sweet and tart and was very refreshing. Next out came the delicious Pretzel Bread.



We’d read about this pretzel bread in reviews and were very excited for it. It was soft and warm and delicious. It also was great to dip into our bowl of Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup.



Even though the soup, as an appetizer, wasn’t included in our dining plan, we had heard so many people raving about it that we had to try it. We ordered a bowl to split. It was delicious! The beer flavor really makes it taste unique, and the bacon bits on top are the perfect complement. For our entrée we ordered the Wild Mushroom Filet Mignon.



This was wonderful! The steak was so tender and juicy and was just delicious. The mushroom risotto it is served over was great too. After we finished the bowl of soup, I started to slow down a bit during the main course. In the end I couldn’t finish my risotto, so this was plenty of food to share.

For dessert, even though we were both pretty stuffed, we knew we wanted to try the Chocolate Moose. He was very cute and they brought us a piece of “Happy Anniversary” white chocolate.



After a couple bites, I unfortunately had to throw in the towel. I just couldn’t eat any more! We rolled out of the restaurant back into the heat to continue our tour of Epcot.


Overview of Le Cellier Dining Experience
Service: Very good. Nothing to complain about, and she was helpful in splitting our meal over one dining credit. 4/5
Atmosphere: The restaurant is very pleasant, though the tables are very close together. We ended up being seated between two other anniversary couples, so we had a good laugh about that. I imagine that if you were next to a family, however, it could get loud. 4/5
Food: The food here was really great! One of the best meals I’ve eaten on property. 5/5

First Visit?: Yes
Will Return?: Definitely would want to! Unfortunately it sounds like lunch is going to go up to two credits next year, so we’d have to weigh that against the value if we were on the Dining Plan again. We got a great deal splitting one credit between the two of us though.

Continued in Next Post
__________________
1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

Last edited by tayalltheway; 07-30-2012 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:14 PM   #37
tayalltheway
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbprincess
I'm on board! All caught up now.

Let's see...what can I remember to comment on?

I love your idea of splitting CS meals on the dining plan. I'm not sure if DH and I could do it all the time (usually because of wanting different items), but even just some of the time would be great. I love to try new things but rarely want (and definitely never NEED!) the huge portion served. I'm going to have to discuss this with him!

I hope that guy that took your picture in Adventureland was just not sure how to work the camera and not being nosey with your pictures! Although, not knowing how to work a point-and-shoot is just sad...

Love the pictures of Dumbo at night. I actually haven't seen any with the lights like that!

I think you've persuaded me regarding the Duffy debate. I honestly hadn't thought too much about it. I guess I was indifferent. But you made some very good points. I'm not sure I'm a huge fan, but I think I'm cool with him now. I know that makes a huge difference...me being cool with him, right? Everyone was waiting on MY approval, I'm sure.
Thanks for reading!! Yeah, we didn't split every meal either, but often enough that we got to try lots of different foods. I really think the guy taking our picture was just that slow! And welcome to our side (the correct side) of the Duffy debate! I guarantee he's happy to have you.
__________________
1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:21 PM   #38
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Nice reporting! And I really loved the Chapter 11 humor! I don't know why I never thought of that as I am an avid reader.
I am pro Duffy as well. I looked forward to meeting him last November but was a bit disappointed that he was wearing Christmas garb instead of his usual uniform.
I stayed at French Quarter on my last trip and was also getting tired of all the extra stops that the "motor coach" had to make. But I enjoyed being close to down town disney which is one of my favorite places as Disney.
Can't wait for more report!
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:27 AM   #39
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Chapter 13
The Future is Now


After lunch, we made our way back into Future World.



We were really hoping the lines would have died down to levels more like the 1.1 day we were expecting. Our first test was going back to the Imagination pavilion for a third time.



Finally, the posted wait time was 10 minutes. That we could handle. We queued up, and in reality it only took us about 5 minutes to get to the front of the line.





As I said, this was our first time on this ride, though I had watched a ride-thru video of the original incarnation with the Dreamfinder. I would rate the attraction as it is now as sort of meh. There was nothing wrong with it, but I’m glad we didn’t wait 30 minutes. Figment is an interesting little creature.



After we were done imagining, we made our way toward Innoventions. We have had the Disney Visa card for over three years, so we should have been able to go to the special character meet and greet on our last trip to WDW and our trip to Disneyland. Alas, the weird hours and our bad memories got the best of us both times. This time, however, we were determined to get our picture. We just had to find the right place.



The Disney Visa photo spot is in Innoventions West. Unfortunately, we had no easy way of figuring out which Innoventions building was the west one. The first one we tried was actually correct, but we didn’t know where in the building to look, so we second guessed ourselves and went to the other Innoventions building. After wandering around lost for about 10 minutes, we finally looked up where we were supposed to be going, and quickly found the line for the meet and greet—about 10 feet away from where we started. Oh well. The line was pretty short. After about 5 minutes, we were led back behind the curtain. Who was there to greet us? None other than Mickey and his faithful pup Pluto!



Pluto is one of my absolute favorite characters, so we were really excited to meet him AND Mickey in one place. After meeting and greeting, we were stuck in a pretty similar situation to before lunch. The lines were all still pretty long, but we needed to get Future World over with before too long so we’d still have plenty of time to wander World Showcase. The line for Spaceship Earth was longer than we’d typically like to wait in, but it seemed to be moving pretty fast, so we got in it.





I always really enjoy Spaceship Earth. When I think about Epcot, the ride never comes immediately to mind despite the fact that the dome it’s housed in is the icon of the park. Once I do remember it, however, I’m reminded that it’s very relaxing and has some of the best audioanimatronics in all the parks. I also really enjoy the Judi Dench narration even if I liked Jeremy Irons’ accent better. It never hurts to be reminded to thank the Phoenicians. On the descent this time, we tried to mix our answers up a bit, but I think we pretty much always end up with the same general scenario. Here are our pictures on the post-show globe before they zoom off toward New York.



After Spaceship Earth, it was finally time for our Fastpasses for Soarin’. We made our way back toward The Land.





The Fastpass line was pretty short and we made our way to the front very quickly. We always like to be in the top row of the center section so we get the best view, but that row was already full this time, so we settled for the second row of the center. This ride wins the award for best safety spiel hands down between Chief Flight Attendant Patrick…



…and these little beauties.



Soarin’ is probably my favorite ride in the Disney Parks. Obviously I love some of the classic dark rides for different reasons, but there’s something about Soarin’ that is always thrilling. The technology is still some of the best of its kind, and one of the only attractions where you truly feel like you are flying. Possibly my favorite part of Soarin’, however, is the music. It is one of the most played songs in my iTunes. Talk about one of the most perfect pieces of instrumental park music. I don’t think anything beats it. When we land, I get to hear one of my all-time favorite sounds in WDW—the clicks of several hundred seatbelts being released at once.

We followed up Soarin’ with Living with the Land since we were in the pavilion and the line wasn’t too bad.



I think this was the first time I noticed a group taking the Behind the Seeds tour while we rode. I’d like to take all the Disney tours someday, and I like the fact that this one is so inexpensive. Maybe we’ll do it one of these trips.

We followed up The Land with (what else?) The Seas with Nemo and Friends.



There was a Photopass photographer in front of the pavilion this time.



The lines really had died down by this point in the day, so we basically walked onto our clam-mobile. We were very glad for that, because I can’t imagine waiting over an hour for this ride like people apparently were doing earlier in the day. The ride is fun, and the technology at the end where they put the Nemo characters in the tank is very impressive, but we probably would have skipped the ride rather than wait. The exciting part of The Seas pavilion is really the tanks you can view after the ride anyway. We saw dolphins, manatees, sharks and sea turtles. We’re huge animal lovers and go to the NYC zoos/aquarium about once a week, so these types of exhibits are some of our favorites.

After The Seas, we had hit pretty much everything we wanted to see in Future World (I do want to go on Ellen’s Energy Adventure someday, but we never have an extra hour). So we grabbed our passports and headed back toward World Showcase for the next part of our Epcot adventure.

Continued in Next Post
__________________
1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

Last edited by tayalltheway; 07-30-2012 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:37 PM   #40
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Chapter 14
Meet the World


Going back into World Showcase in the counter-clockwise direction, we skipped over Canada and hit the UK.



We are counter-clockwise people when it comes to World Showcase, which I didn’t know was weird until I started noticing on the boards that most other people do it clockwise. First we checked out the Winnie the Pooh topiaries.





We always seem to be in a hurry when we have toured World Showcase on previous trips, but we wanted to really take our time on this visit. We went around the back of the UK to stroll through the gardens.





Mary Poppins was out so we took a picture with her. She wondered if we had flown there via umbrella.



Next we walked across the bridge by the International Gateway.





We stopped for a Photopass picture with the Eiffel Towel.





At this point we were getting hungry, so we made our way into France and to the Boulangerie Patisserie.





I didn’t get a picture of our snack, of which I am very ashamed, but I can report that it was a Chocolate Croissant. And it was delicious. After eating, we posed with the cool fountain.



Then we went to meet Princess Aurora. When we met Aurora in France on our last trip, we had just finished taking a picture with her when she went over to her handler and said, “Lady Pamela, may I have a word?” They then quickly went off together backstage. I assume that was our first glimpse of what a face character does when they have an emergency need to go to the bathroom. Now whenever we see Aurora we laugh remembering this.





After eating and meeting, we noticed the silhouette artist’s stand along the World Showcase lagoon. We liked the smaller size of these silhouettes and decided to get one done!



Sitting and watching the guy cutting out the silhouettes of one another was really weird. Suddenly the paper transformed into something that was unmistakably Tracy! Here’s what we ended up with.



After getting our silhouettes done, we realized it was already about 6:00 and we had only gotten to three countries. We needed to pick up the pace, but there was still more to do in France! First up was trying an Orange Grand Marnier Slush. The Touring Plans Lines app has a chat feature that we read pretty constantly leading up to this trip, and everyone on there SWORE by this drink.



We got one to share because we really weren’t drinking for the alcohol, and we asked them to put it in a regular cup instead of the fake martini glasses they usually offer. Someone on Lines recommended that because the martini glasses are a little flimsy.



It was really tasty! I could tell it was pretty strong, though neither of us had enough for that to matter much. Mostly I just liked that it was delicious and didn’t taste like alcohol.

While we drank, we waited to meet Marie the cat.



This guy showed up while we were in line.



We finally moved on from France after we met Marie. We passed through Morocco pretty quickly because we knew we’d be back for a meal there later in the trip.





The same held true for Japan.





As we reached the halfway point, food started weighing heavily on our minds again, and we were soon ready for the first of a couple dinners!

Continued in Next Post
__________________
1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

Last edited by tayalltheway; 07-31-2012 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:11 PM   #41
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fantastic trip report. Congratulations on your anniversary and your competition win.

DH won our first trip to WDW back in 2003 - says it's the most expensive prize he could have won as we've been back five times so far :
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:22 AM   #43
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Joining in for this fabulous TR.

Congratulations on winning the trip. That's awesome.

You guys are packing so much into each day...my kind of touring!
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:09 AM   #44
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Chapter 15
Bratswurth


We continued our circuit around the world, passing by our home country.



On our last trip, we saw the Voices of Liberty perform and then went to the American Adventure for the first time. Unfortunately, on our one day in Epcot on that trip, the temperature was over 100 degrees and we got to the USA late in the afternoon. That basically meant that try as we might, there was no prayer of us staying awake once we hit the comfortable seats and the air conditioning in that theatre. I think Tracy lasted about 5 minutes while I lasted about 10. I really want to see the show in all its glory someday, but this was not that day either. It was early evening and it was hot, and if we had tried to watch it, I don’t know if we would have lasted even a few minutes before our eyelids got heavy. So we passed by America and on to Italy. By this time we knew we needed to pick up the pace if we wanted to get to the end of World Showcase, eat two dinners, and ride two rides before IllumiNations.



We only had enough time to peek into Italy before moving along.



On the path between Italy and Germany, we stopped to look at the trains.



Finally, we reached the location of our next meal, Sommerfest!



Last winter, we went to the pop-up holiday market that they have in Columbus Circle every year. While strolling the booths, we came across one German booth that sold bratwurst and sausages. On their counter, they had a sign that said “The Bratwurst Supplier of Epcot in Walt Disney World.” We bought brats there for dinner that night, and they were delicious! They weren’t greasy like some brats, but they had a really nice flavor. Ever since then, I couldn’t wait to try one of those bratwursts again, so I jumped at the chance when we were making our list of Epcot counter service restaurants.

Now for a word about bratwursts. Several years ago, Tracy and I were big fans of the reality show Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, which followed Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson right after they got married. The pair had such a funny dynamic and she just came across as so dumb that we always enjoyed watching for a little bit of light entertainment. In one episode, Jessica and her mom were eating bratwurst and kept referring to them as “bratswurth,” so for years that is how we have referred to the food.

We ordered a Bratwurst with sauerkraut, a Pretzel and a Coke to split.



The brat was as delicious as I remembered, the sauerkraut was good, and the pretzel was soft and tasty. This time we tried to be a little smarter and didn’t finish the pretzel because we knew we still had another dinner ahead. Alas, we still got pretty full on our half-bratswurth alone.

We didn’t have much time to explore after dinner #1, but we stopped quickly into the crystal store because all the stuff in there is so cool.



And of course we went into Der Teddybar because that’s the best name for any store anywhere.



On the way out of Germany, we stopped at Snow White’s wishing well.



We hurried by China because time was marching on too quickly.





Our next actual stop was Norway.





We were annoyed that the wait for Maelstrom was posted at 20 minutes (1.1 crowds my foot), but we got in line anyway.



The line took a while—close to the posted time for once—but we did finally get to the front. This mural is one of the creepiest things in all of WDW. The boy is smiling demonically while he guts a fish.



Maelstrom is just plain bizarre, and that’s why I love it. Between the trolls and the narration, it’s always a fun time. But after we went back, back, over the falls, we returned safely to port and moved along. We did not stop to watch the movie (someday I would like to put in the time to do that as well), and we moved on into the gift shop. We posed with everyone’s favorite troll.





Neither of us was hungry at all, but we needed to try another snack that everyone raves about, so we stopped into Kringla Bakeri og Kafe.



We needed to try… SCHOOLBREAD!



We sat for a few minutes and ate our schoolbread. This also didn’t quite live up to the hype, but I think it might have just been our particular piece. The bread wasn’t as soft as everyone says it usually is, and I think I was just too full to fully appreciate it on the whole. Oh well, now I know I like it and next time maybe can eat it on a slightly emptier stomach.



While it probably wasn’t the smartest idea, we still had another quick service credit to use on the day, so we made our way toward Mexico and La Cantina de San Angel.



This area was under refurbishment on our last trip, though there was a stand offering many of the same menu items. What we got then, we wanted now because they had been delicious. We ordered the Nachos, Churros con Cajeta, and a Pineapple Jarritos. Our schoolbread is also still photo-bombing this picture.



These nachos are SO GOOD. They’re loaded with toppings and incredibly tasty, but I could only eat a few chips before I started feeling full to bursting. It was a really sad moment. The churros were good, but the sauce was a little weird. The “milk caramel” was not what I was expecting, and I know Tracy really didn’t like it. The jarritos, however, was very refreshing! We ate what we could fit, which really wasn’t much, and then we moved into the Mexico pavilion.



Continued in Next Post
__________________
1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals

Last edited by tayalltheway; 07-31-2012 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:41 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sue_88 View Post
Nice reporting! And I really loved the Chapter 11 humor! I don't know why I never thought of that as I am an avid reader.
I am pro Duffy as well. I looked forward to meeting him last November but was a bit disappointed that he was wearing Christmas garb instead of his usual uniform.
I stayed at French Quarter on my last trip and was also getting tired of all the extra stops that the "motor coach" had to make. But I enjoyed being close to down town disney which is one of my favorite places as Disney.
Can't wait for more report!
Thanks for reading! Glad to have another Duffy supporter on our side. When we met him in CA last year, he was in his Halloween pumpkin costume, so we were glad to get to meet him in his regular outfit as well. We also liked being near Downtown Disney. As you'll see coming up, we liked taking the boat there from POR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chocolateMinnie View Post
fantastic trip report. Congratulations on your anniversary and your competition win.

DH won our first trip to WDW back in 2003 - says it's the most expensive prize he could have won as we've been back five times so far :
Glad to hear winning the trip worked out so well for you! We'll be sad to go back to paying for WDW after this trip haha...

Quote:
Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
I'm enjoying your trip report Tay and Tray!
Thanks! Glad to have you!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by oOJulieOo View Post
Joining in for this fabulous TR.

Congratulations on winning the trip. That's awesome.

You guys are packing so much into each day...my kind of touring!
Welcome! We are indeed commando tourers all the way! And this was us being a little more relaxed than we've been on previous trips.
__________________
1987 - WDW Visit in the Womb * 1990 - First WDW Visit * 1993 - First DLR Visit * March 1996 - Family Reunion at Treehouse Villas * March 1999 - Family Vacation at Treehouse Villas * March 2005 - One Day at MK with Friends * May 2008 - First Visit with then girlfriend (now wife) at POP * June 2010 - Disneymoon at Best Western LBV * Sept 2011 - Return to Disneyland at PP * May 2012 - Grand Prize WDW Radio Trip at POR Royal Room * November 2012 - Move to CA to become DLR locals!

Can We Move Here and Be Pancho’s Handlers? A Sept '11 Throwback Disneyland Trip Report
Duffy is Going to be ECSTATIC! a.k.a. Thank God She Was Jewish - May '12 WDW Trip Report
We Moved to Disneyland!! Now What…? Stories from New DLR Locals
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