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Old 09-16-2012, 08:27 PM   #76
CAStevens218
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We were up bright and early the next morning…we were very excited about this day. We were going to Discovery Cove!! We did Discovery Cove on our very first trip, and were very excited to be going back. It is such an amazing place!

I was up and moving at 7:00AM and Ben got up at 7:30AM. All we had to do was throw on bathing suits, so we were out the door by 8:00AM. We jumped in the car and arrived at Discovery Cove at 8:15AM.

This place is gorgeous from the moment you pull in. There are beautiful plants and flowers everywhere you look. You are immediately transported to a tropical paradise!



We parked quickly and made our way to the front door. Unfortunately, we ran into a line that was all the way out the door! An employee came out and explained that they were having computer trouble and would have everyone inside ASAP.

Eventually, they got their system up and running, and the employees formed two lines to direct guests to the next available computer. As usual, we ended up in the super slow line. I’m not sure if there were more computers for the other line, or if the employees were slower on our side or what, but a ton of guests who arrived after us got to check in before us. This was a bit frustrating because we knew that our dolphin swim time was determined by when you check in, so all those people were getting ahead of us. We prefer an early dolphin swim time, and it didn’t look like it was going to be in the cards of us.

We passed the time checking out the amazing decorations in the lobby.



When it was finally our turn to check in, everything went smoothly and quickly. They took our photos for our ID cards and assigned us a 1:05PM dolphin swim. We were a little bummed about that because, like I said, we like to get it done early so we don’t have to spend the day looking at the clock. Oh well, we would make the best of it.

The good news was, we were at an amazing park and were ready to take advantage of all it has to offer.

We exited the lobby and made our way to get breakfast. All the food is included for the day…breakfast, lunch and snacks and drinks throughout the day. So convenient!

We got in line and made our breakfast selections. They have a lot to choose from and I imagine there is something to please anyone. The line moved quickly and when we had our food we found a table outside to enjoy our breakfast.

Ben was being a pain and wouldn’t get out of the shot for the picture of our breakfast….after he tried to get me to take a new picture without him acting like a dope in it…but I said no, no, this one is going on the Dis! So, here is our breakfast!



We chose a sampling of everything…and everything turned out to be just okay. Not bad, but nothing fantastic either. My yogurt with strawberries was definitely my favorite part!

Our next stop was to get our locker and vests. All you have to do is walk up to the locker area and the attendant will assign you a locker and give you a key. They key is on a rope that you can easily wear around your neck for the day.

At the wetsuit area, you can choose between a vest and a full wetsuit. When we went in January we chose the full wetsuit, but since it was a nice, hot July day we went for vests this time. I’m not sure which direction I would go in if I ever get to go back. The vest was much easier to get on and off for sunbathing and bathroom purposes, but it chaffed under my arms. The wetsuit was a pain to get on and off but actually a lot more comfortable. You have to have something on at all times so the lifeguards can spot you easily…so I would have to carefully consider my options!

You also get your snorkel and mask at the wetsuit area.

Once we were all settled, we decided to head to the aviary first. Feeding the birds is so much fun!



There are a few different rooms in the aviary and you get a cup of food to feed the birds. All you have to do is hold your hand out with the food and you will have birds landing on you for a snack!

The aviary is beautifully decorated, with tunnels and doorways connecting the rooms.



The birds are everywhere…so many gorgeous animals to see!



This peacock was just hanging around when we walked into the first room. It was sooo pretty!





Before long, we had birds landing on us to steal some food!











This one surprised me!



I did NOT like this guy….kind of creepy!



As we were making our way out, we went back through the first room, and saw this amazing sight!





After the aviary, we walked back to the locker to drop off the camera. I apologize for the lack of photos for the rest of this update. I have a few more, but not a ton because I mostly left the camera in the locker. This is a water intensive park, after all! We had underwater cameras, but we haven’t gotten them developed yet.

We went to the Freshwater Oasis next, which had just opened a few weeks before our visit. It has sea otters and marmosets. I thought this area was actually pretty disappointing. The sea otter area is very very small, and they weren’t doing much of anything at all. There is only one small family of otters, so if they aren’t active there isn’t much to see. I guess it just wasn’t what I pictured.

There was one very cool looking area here with seats in the water. The lifeguard there explained that we could bring food and drinks in with us, so we planned to come back later in the afternoon for some relaxation.

We made our way to the reef area next. The new reef area had just opened and was so much bigger than the one we had experienced on our first visit. Here, you get to snorkel with beautiful tropical fish and rays! There is also an area with sharks behind glass.

As I said, the reef was huge so we jumped right in to check it out. Be aware that the water here is significantly colder than in the areas without animals! My final opinion was that I liked the old reef better for fish because they were in a more concentrated area. However, the rays in this reef completely make up for that. I LOVED this new reef for the rays!

I found a spot in the rays “flight path” and literally just laid in the water and reached out to pet them as they swam past. I must have spent an hour floating on my stomach in the water petting rays! I absolutely love cownose rays! If you have never had the chance to pet one, do it next time you are at an aquarium! There is nothing else like it!

I think I would have been content with the rays all day, but Ben started to get hungry so we got out to have a quick snack. We chose drinks (water and soda), a bag of chips and a granola bar. We sat in chairs on the beach near the dolphin pools and watched the dolphins while we ate.

The beach area is just gorgeous!





After our snack, we decided to take a spin around the lazy river. This lazy river is like nothing you have ever seen at a water park! It is beautiful and quiet and never felt crowded. It is also huge! One loop took us about 30 minutes!

We grabbed pool noodles from the beach and proceeded to float around and relax. Be careful in here because there are some shallow parts where you could scrape your feet/legs/knees. This is one of the only improvements I would make…the entire thing should be deep enough to float! There should also be a little bit more current so you don’t have to swim as much. Honestly though, there are nitpicky things…this place is AMAZING!

After our lap of the lazy river, it was dolphin time! We made our way to our cabana to check in and sign the necessary paperwork. We all sat in the cabanas to watch a video and hear the rules.

Next, we were split into groups. We were with a man from Hong Kong and his son and a mom and her three kids from Japan. A very diverse group!

We were led into the water by the trainers we would be working with and met our dolphin, Thelma! Thelma was the largest female in the pool and weighed about 500 pounds!

The trainers get the dolphins to perform various behaviors such as sounds and tricks like waving and splashing. They then have each group pose for photos, including kissing the dolphin!

While all this is happening, the trainers give a bunch of great information about the dolphins. One thing that I found interesting is that the dolphins pretty much choose when they “work”. If a dolphin doesn’t want to work one day, it just doesn’t come out of the back pool and into the pool where the guests are. They are not forced to work if they don’t want to, which I think is great.

After photos, you take turns swimming out into deeper water to get pulled back to shore by the dolphin. This is so much fun! The ride feels so fast!

A few more tricks and a goodbye splash later and it was time to exit the pool. The interaction is so much fun, but goes by so fast!!

They take you to see your photos after the interaction. They are so so soo expensive, but, unfortunately, if you don’t have someone with you who isn’t doing the swim to take photos for you, you don’t have a choice but to purchase them if you want pictures.

We ended up choosing 3 4x6 photos for $25 each. We purchased the photos a la carte, but the cheapest package would have been $89. It came with keychains that we didn’t want, so we decided to save a few bucks and just choose the pictures we really wanted. We were given an order number to pick up our pictures at the end of the day and headed on our way.

Lunch was next on our agenda, so we made our way back to the food building. This line moved a little slower than breakfast, but it was good because there were a ton of choices to ponder!

We ended up with a ton of food, but we just kind of picked at everything because, like breakfast, it was just okay.











We left full, and that was what was important! Since we were in the area, we checked to see if our pictures were ready. They were, so we paid and went back to the locker to drop them off. We figured it was good to beat the crowds that would be picking up at the end of the day.

We took another spin around the lazy river next, and then went back to the reef, where I spent at least another hour floating on my stomach and petting the rays!

We decided that we were ready to lay in the sun and relax next, so we grabbed a snack of iced tea, a soft pretzel for Ben and an ice cream sandwich for me, and headed to the underwater chairs in the freshwater oasis.

We got comfortable and enjoyed the warm water and warm sun for about an hour. I actually closed my eyes and dozed on and off during that time. It was heavenly!

Unfortunately, closing time came all too soon. We dried off and gathered our belongings to head to the car. I stopped and bought a tshirt that I had been eyeing before we left, and we made our way out, with one last glance back at the freshwater oasis where we had spent an amazing hour relaxing together.



We were back at Port Orleans Riverside within 15 minutes of leaving the parking lot at Discovery Cove. We dropped our stuff off in the room and walked to the food court of fill our mugs. Ben relaxed in the room and I went to the quiet pool near our room with my book.

I went back to the room at about 8:00PM and showered and changed. We headed to the food court around 8:45. We ordered a large half cheese half pepperoni pizza and used two counter service credits for it. It came with two drinks and two desserts as well. We got a magic bar and an m&m cookie.

We carried our pizza to Old Man Island and found a table on the deck of the pool bar. We enjoyed our pizza, the beautiful night, and the fun atmosphere at the pool. That pizza is so good! I love the sauce!!

We were back in our room by 9:45PM, where we relaxed and watched tv. We had a fabulous day at Discovery Cove and can’t wait to go back! I know this place is expensive…but, seriously…if you can swing it…DO IT! You won’t regret it!!
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Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:04 AM   #77
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Discovery Cove sounds AMAZING! It stinks that you weren't able to get an earlier time, but still sounds like an incredible day. That peacock is just gorgeous. Love them! Swimming with all the different animals is a little icky to me in a way, but I'd sure love to do it! The dolphin must've been amazing. How cute that you did kissing photos, too. I'm really hoping for the boys to try this when they're old enough. (Do you remember the age? I haven't looked into it in a while, but thought we had some time yet..) Great day!!
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:37 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by jc040404 View Post
Discovery Cove sounds AMAZING! It stinks that you weren't able to get an earlier time, but still sounds like an incredible day. That peacock is just gorgeous. Love them! Swimming with all the different animals is a little icky to me in a way, but I'd sure love to do it! The dolphin must've been amazing. How cute that you did kissing photos, too. I'm really hoping for the boys to try this when they're old enough. (Do you remember the age? I haven't looked into it in a while, but thought we had some time yet..) Great day!!
Discovery Cove is just wonderful. It is so unique and fun and relaxing! I love it!

Swimming with the animals kind of freaks me out but I love it at the same time! I need to know what is around me...I don't want something to touch me unexpectedly! I do love those rays though!!

I'm not sure if there is an age requirement...I'm pretty sure the kids that I've had in my group have been much smaller than your boys! They will love it when you finally get them there!
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Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:59 PM   #79
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Wow! Discovery Cove really looks likes you are on a tropical island somewhere. It's been in the back of my mind for a while now. It looks like the perfect way to relax. My friend said it was the best day of her honeymoon.

We swam with dolphins when we went to Riviera Maya last year and it was so much fun, especially since it was just my DH and I, the dolphin and the trainer.
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:42 PM   #80
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I wish I was there right now . . . but instead I'm just reading about it at work We went swimming with dolphins on our honeymoon in Hawaii and it was awesome, but not as nice as it is at Discovery Cove. Great update!
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:23 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by DisneyCrafter View Post
Wow! Discovery Cove really looks likes you are on a tropical island somewhere. It's been in the back of my mind for a while now. It looks like the perfect way to relax. My friend said it was the best day of her honeymoon.

We swam with dolphins when we went to Riviera Maya last year and it was so much fun, especially since it was just my DH and I, the dolphin and the trainer.
We absolutely LOVE Discovery Cove. It is so beautiful and relaxing!

Your dolphin swim experience sounds great! We would love to do something more private like that some day!


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I wish I was there right now . . . but instead I'm just reading about it at work We went swimming with dolphins on our honeymoon in Hawaii and it was awesome, but not as nice as it is at Discovery Cove. Great update!
HAHA...definitely a great work passtime!!!!

Hawaii...how awesome!! I would love to get there some day!!!
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Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:22 AM   #82
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Friday was one of the days I was most excited for on our trip! We had plans from morning until late at nightwell, actuallyuntil very early morning the next day!!

We were up bright and early with an alarm at 7:00AM, although I hit snooze until 7:20AM and Ben until 7:45AM. We got ready quickly and walked out of the room shortly after 8:00AM.

We made the quick drive to our destinationHollywood Studios! We walked up to the gates around 8:20AM and joined the lines. There were many more people than I expectedthe lines at each turnstile was about 30 or 40 people deep! I took a quick survey of our options and we made our way to the turnstile at the far left, where there were only about 15 people in line.

We didnt have long to wait once we got settledI had read that Hollywood Studios had been typically opening a bit early and that held true on this morning. The gates opened at 8:45AM and we headed inside.





Our first mission was Toy Story Mania in the standby line. We had never been through it before, only riding through the fastpass line in the past, so I was pretty excited to check out the themeing of the line.



This line is so nostalgic to me! It completely brings me back to my childhood.





Mr. Potato Head is so much fun!



I love the lights hanging from the Tinker Toys!



We got a Wheezy car! So cute!



Here we are, ready to go! I was psyched up to kick Bens you-know-what!! I can never win at Buzz Lightyear but I have a shot at TSM!



We had so much fun.but.Ben won! Booo!



As we walked out, we debated grabbing fastpasses for later, since the return time was awesome, 10:30AM-11:30AM. We decided against it in favor of fastpassing Tower of Terror or Rockn Roller Coaster instead.

We made our way over to my favorite area of the park. I was so excited!!



Ben went over to get fastpasses for Rockn Roller Coaster while I waited near the entrance to Tower of Terror.

I spent the time just gazing at my love!!!



Ben was gone for SO LONG. I started to get very impatient. He was wearing orange on this day, and every time somebody would approach wearing that color I would get all excited but it was never him. Who knew orange was such a popular color!??!!

I heard people walking past saying that the roller coaster was down, and floods of people were heading toward Tower of Terror. I started to get annoyed at this pointwhat was taking Ben so long?? Didnt he know what was going on? Why wasnt he hurrying back to beat the crowd??

He finally made his way back, fastpasses in hand. He said that he couldnt decide what to do when he saw the situation at the RRC. Since it was down, the lines at the fastpass machines were crazy long. He didnt want to give up though because he knew we were only staying until lunch time and might not get to ride if he didnt get those fastpasses! He said he knew I would be getting annoyed so he was so torn!!!! This cracked me up and my annoyance disappeared.

We jumped into the ever-growing line for Tower of Terror. I know I saw this every time, but I love everything about this ride.



I sooo wish I could have the chance to walk through the roped off areas and check everything out up close!





I love the library and I would love the chance to explore it with the lights on as well!





Finally, we were through to the boiler room!



Blurry but excited!









Finally, we were standing in front of our elevator waiting to get on! People seemed to have a lot of trouble with the numbering concept on this tripIm not sure why. But it took a while for everyone to get sorted.



Waahoooo!!



We walked right out of the gift shop and made our way around for a second ride!



...continued in next post...
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Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
This Relaxation Thing Looks GOOD On Us!! July/August 2012 Honeymoon Trip Report
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:24 AM   #83
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...continued from previous post...

The wait was a lot longer this time. The first ride we had moved through very quickly and not stayed in one spot for very long. This was the longest we had ever waited for this ride.

They had the mist machines going and it felt really good to walk through themit was a hot one!!!





I had a ton of time to take pictures of the amazing details in this line since we were standing still quite a lot.



Has anyone ever noticed her before?









Front row this time! I love the view from here, but I actually prefer the middle or back for a better stomach in throat feeling during the drop!



After our ride we spent a few minutes in the gift shop. Ben bought me a Hollywood Tower Hotel pin and I got a tshirt I had been eyeing.

Now for a shock. This was the line for Tower of Terror when we walked out.



It was about 10:15AM and our Rockn Roller Coaster fastpasses werent good until 11:00AM. Obviously, Tower of Terror was not an option, so we decided to go to the Animation Building to see if we could get into a drawing class.

We watched the show, which was very cute and entertaining, we both really enjoyed it!



We got in line for the drawing class at 10:45AM and were able to get into the 11:00AM class, which was great.

I loved the art on the walls in the little waiting area.



The class was so much fun! I seriously could have been happy doing that over and over again!





We got to draw Tinkerbell, which I was very excited about. It was kind of tough, but I was pretty proud of my results. Ben thought his was terrible, but I think it is better than he says it is!



Mine:



Bens:



Now, it was Rockn Roller Coaster time!!!

As we made our way over, we stopped to watch some performers. They were doing a skit where the guy standing up had to pay a dollar to ask a question and the other guy kept giving him answers that required more questions. It was pretty entertaining and funny!



Rockn Roller Coaster was amazing, as always!







I love watching the cars take off! That part is too much fun!



Our next mission was a cupcake from Starring Rolls. This was our last to-do for our morning at Hollywood Studios. We jumped in line and chose a Red Velvet Cupcake. When we were there in January they had to-go boxes, so we asked for one since we didnt plan on eating it right then, but they said they didnt have any and never had. I told them I had gotten one in January but the guy just looked at me. Okay then.

We took the cupcake on a plate and Ben went into the candy store next door to ask for a box, which they happily gave him.

Here is our glorious cupcake!



Next up? Lunch! We had plans to eat outside of the park, so we walked back to the car and headed on our way. We arrived at our destination, Downtown Disney, at 12:30PM and had a really hard time finding a parking spot! We did eventually find one and entered Downtown Disney near the Lego Store, which meant we had a bit of a walk to our destination, Earl of Sandwich.

We were both hot and hungry and ready for a break, so we didnt stop anywhere along the way. We just wanted to get our sandwiches and take them back to the hotel to eat and relax in our air conditioned hotel room!

The line at Earl of Sandwich was surprisingly short! I chose their special, the Chipotle Chicken Avocado and Ben got his favorite, the Earls Club.



We got everything bagged up to go and made our way back to the hotel room. We ate comfortably in bed watching TV. Everything was SO good, as always!

Here is my Chipotle Chicken Avocado. It definitely had a bit of a kick to it!



And here is Bens Earls Club. He loves this sandwich and has talked about it constantly since he first had it whenever we first ate at Earl of Sandwich!



After lunch we knew we had to rest up for the long night we had planned, so we napped from 2:00PM-3:30PM. We showered and got ready after our nap to head out for a night of excitement, which I will tell you all about next time!
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Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
This Relaxation Thing Looks GOOD On Us!! July/August 2012 Honeymoon Trip Report
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:35 AM   #84
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Can you believe we stayed at the Beach Club and never tried Beaches and Cream?!?
You must try it.

Great updates and pics.

I would love to got o Discovery Cove someday.

That line for TOT was crazy.

Earl is a great place to eat.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:37 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by CAStevens218 View Post

Our next mission was a cupcake from Starring Rolls. This was our last to-do for our morning at Hollywood Studios. We jumped in line and chose a Red Velvet Cupcake. When we were there in January they had to-go boxes, so we asked for one since we didnt plan on eating it right then, but they said they didnt have any and never had. I told them I had gotten one in January but the guy just looked at me. Okay then.

We took the cupcake on a plate and Ben went into the candy store next door to ask for a box, which they happily gave him.
Brilliant! I love taking Starring Rolls cupcakes back to enjoy in the room, and they are always smooshed by the time I bring them back b/c Starring Rolls never has boxes. This is the best tip, thank you!
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:58 PM   #86
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I love, love, love the drawing class! Both of your drawings are great.

Sounds like you had a productive morning and definitely needed that nap!!!
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:29 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by scottny View Post
You must try it.

Great updates and pics.

I would love to got o Discovery Cove someday.

That line for TOT was crazy.

Earl is a great place to eat.
I hope you get to go to Discovery Cove one day soon! It is amazing!

The Tower of Terror line was INSANE! Im so glad we got two rides in before it got too crazy.

Yumm, Earl of Sandwich, I wish I had some right now!


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Brilliant! I love taking Starring Rolls cupcakes back to enjoy in the room, and they are always smooshed by the time I bring them back b/c Starring Rolls never has boxes. This is the best tip, thank you!
This was a great solution! I think we had to put the cupcake on its side, but at least it was all in one piece!

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I love, love, love the drawing class! Both of your drawings are great.

Sounds like you had a productive morning and definitely needed that nap!!!
The drawing class was so much fun! I love things like that, cant wait to do it again some day!

We had an awesome morningand the day gets even better, just wait!
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November 1997 All Star Sports * January 2009 Pop Century * December 2010 All Star Music * January 2012 Pop Century * July/August 2012 Port Orleans Riverside/Beach Club * February/March 2013 All Star Sports/Art of Animation

Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
This Relaxation Thing Looks GOOD On Us!! July/August 2012 Honeymoon Trip Report
I'm Just SO HAPPY To Be Here!!! February/March 2013 Trip Report - IN PROGRESS!
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:11 PM   #88
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Just joining in!

First off Congratulations!!

I'm LOVING all of the pictures! Sounds like your first few days were just lovely!

I'm looking forward to future updates!
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:57 AM   #89
CAStevens218
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Originally Posted by GraceMonica View Post
Just joining in!

First off Congratulations!!

I'm LOVING all of the pictures! Sounds like your first few days were just lovely!

I'm looking forward to future updates!
Welcome, thanks for reading along!!!!!

We had a fabulous time this entire trip, from beginning to end! I can't wait share the rest!!
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November 1997 All Star Sports * January 2009 Pop Century * December 2010 All Star Music * January 2012 Pop Century * July/August 2012 Port Orleans Riverside/Beach Club * February/March 2013 All Star Sports/Art of Animation

Are You Sure That Snow is Fake? December 2010 Trip Report
We Are Flying 1000 Miles to Run 13?!? January 2012 Trip Report
This Relaxation Thing Looks GOOD On Us!! July/August 2012 Honeymoon Trip Report
I'm Just SO HAPPY To Be Here!!! February/March 2013 Trip Report - IN PROGRESS!
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:11 PM   #90
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I cannot believe people were waiting in that line!! Yikes! Glad you were able to get a couple rides in before. That was insane. (But anyone who rides that one probably is, too.. You know I'm kidding!)

Lovin the pictures! I've never seen some of this stuff before, so it's nifty to check it out on your TR. I think Ben's Tink pic looks great! I'm afraid to try that drawing stuff. Nice that you were able to get into a class so fast!

Earl of Sandwich must be good!
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