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Old 10-19-2012, 05:05 PM   #61
GrandCalifornian
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Allie was sleepy this morning and we let her sleep while I took a shower and got ready. Paul went down to fill mugs and grab strawberry waffles to share for breakfast.

I really enjoy the morning mug and breakfast runs. It was neat to see the hotel with even fewer people around, although this time I didnt go out until about 8:00. I imagine the early rush had already left for rope drop at whatever park they had planned. I always took my phone with me and shot lots of pictures during the quiet walks.

This morning our plan was to catch up on things we had wanted to do earlier but hadnt gotten to yet, and first on that list was going back to Animal Kingdom.

Nancy had gone to DTD for the morning to do some shopping and we went off to Animal Kingdom. We had quite a wait for a bus but we got a great bus driver with a lot of personality to make up for it. Once we got to the park I went over to gust services to inquire about upgrading our park tickets to a Premier pass. (Backstory: we had Disneyland annual passes that were going to expire within the month. Disney had just raised the prices of our passes by 20% so we got to thinking about it during the trip and realized that we could apply the cost of the 10 day park hopper tickets we had for the trip toward Premier passes and it would still be cheaper then renewing our passes when we got home. Brilliant I tell ya!). So the cm I talked to was probably the worst cm I encountered the whole trip. He was super cranky and told me that I couldn't upgrade our passes until all of our dining credits were used up or we'd loose them (we later found out this isn't true). While I was doing that the boys and Allie went to go see what the line for Everest looked like.

There were some crowds at the park, but it was probably not too long after 10AM so we were still in the morning rush.


Not to be denied EE this time, Grandpa and I made our way over there to see how long it would take and decide on a plan for Allie. I suggested just each going through the single rider line, but he preferred to stay together and ride together, so we decided on baby swap.

I was so ready to ride this roller coaster we didn't ride it on our honeymoon and I sure didn't feel like riding a roller coaster on our first visit to the park. I caught up with them and the standby said 20 mins so we opted to do baby swap and I waited with Allie for abut 15 mins until they were off the ride. Then it was my turn! It was so much fun!



I almost wish there was more of a wait because it looked like there were lots of neat things in the queue. Jim met us in the dump shop and we adopted a Yeti.

I couldn't resist those little guys are so stinking cute and Allie loves him. We were hungry so we backtracked to Flame Tree BBQ. We ordered a pulled pork sandwich and the 1/2 slab of ribs with chocolate mousse and key lime mousse for dessert. The ribs were different and had a good smoky flavor but they weren't "fall off the bone" tender. Allie loved the baked beans and kept asking for more jelly beans. It was probably one of the better meals for her, she ate really well.


I really enjoyed Flame Tree. The eating area is pretty neat, because it first looks like there are just a couple of tables next to the counter, but then there are like four levels of seating areas that extend all the way down to overlooking the water. The food was all very good, and like Melissa mentioned the ribs had a very unique flavor that was very good, but they required more effort than the ones I fell in love with at TE earlier in the trip.
(Paul would prefer it if all meat was so tender you could eat it with a spoon).
After we filled our bellies we walked by theFlights of Wonder show and a CM had an owl out and said that a show was about to start. I was excited to be able to catch the show and Allie loved it.



It was a great show. We sat up in the bleachers and still had a great view. I think Allie could see better too because of the tiered seating. After the show we resumed our trek over to the safari ride. We only had a couple minute wait and as usual the ride was great. It was the middle of the day so most of the animals were asleep or hiding but there were several juvenile giraffes out and they were very close to the truck.



The safari ride was good, and we enjoyed getting to see more different animals every time. The ride was smoother not being in the back of the truck, and we got to see some elephants too.


I was starting to worry about time though, because our big event for the day was the first show at Hoop De Doo, which was at Fort Wilderness at 5:00, so since it was about 2:00 we figured we should head that way.


We decided after the ride it was time to head back to the hotel so we made our way back to the front of the park stopping for a photo pass pic on the way. It started to rain as we left the park and by the time the bus got to Blizzard Beach it was POURING. I'm glad we didn't get caught up in it at the park. As usual though it didn't last long and when we got to the hotel it had cleared up. We headed up stairs to the room and found that the mousekeeper had arranged all of Allies "babies" on the beds.


Allie read a book with Nancy while Paul and I went to get mug refill then I did some updating in the trip journal. Allie got bored so we got out the potato head and had fun with that for a little bit.


Pretty soon it was time to head out to our Hoop De Doo ADR. We had a bit of a wait for a bus but it isnt a long ride so we made it with plenty of time to spare. We checked in and got our picture taken (Allie still looked slightly tortured) and then let Allie wander around a bit.



When we were seated we found out our table was right against the stage!

I was excited to do Hoop De Doo because I remembered parts of it from when we came when I was five, and because it was one event that Grandma just HAD to do during the trip. While we were planning the trip there had been discussion on the boards about it being closed for a refurb, but on our ADR day Grandma had called the first minute she could and reserved our spot. She wanted to be down on the main floor, so she decided to pay for the meal OOP and not use a dining credit. It worked out amazingly well, since this is where we were seated:


I think Grandma and Grandpa enjoyed the show and the meal, and we decided to get the picture of all of us that they took outside. The food was good, although nothing was exceptional. The ribs were good, but just not as to my liking as the ones from next door at TE. The cornbread was good, as was the strawberry shortcake dessert. Allie enjoyed the show too, and despite being really clost to the action she enjoyed it and wasnt scared. It was a really nice, well done event.



Allie really enjoyed the show and everyone had a great time.

After dinner we hopped on a boat headed for the MK so we could catch Wishes.

We got there as the MSEP was still going and Allie sat on my shoulders to watch (funny story: the week after we got back from WDW we went to DL and we were in a shop while the fireworks were going. The show at DL includes the music from the MSEP and when Allie heard it she got all excited and insisted we go outside to watch "the show" we had to explain it wasn't the same show, it was just the fireworks. Poor girl she was so sad :-( We promised we'd see the MSEP again though)
After the parade was over we relocated to an awesome viewing spot for Wishes.



I was glad to get to see Wishes from the park since we had only seen it from a boat earlier in the trip. It kept with our theme of scratching things off of our must do list before the trip was over. Melissa got some neat fireworks shots during the show:



I did enjoy wishes quite a bit, and it was probably my favorite of the three nighttime shows. I guess it is hard to compare it to Illuminations though, which really impressed me with the fire and moving displays. Well, at least I'll say I liked the fireworks at Wishes best...


It is an impressive fireworks show although it didn't completely wow me, I really like the current show at DL though so I'm a bit biased. After the fireworks Jim and Nancy headed back to the lodge while Paul and I, plus a sleeping Allie browsed the shops on main street and got a cinnamon roll the size of a softball for a snack.
The cinnamon roll was amazing, remembering it my mouth is watering. While we were snacking we were formulating our plan for the last full day. We realized that there was at least one thing from each park that we hadn't managed to accomplish that we still wanted to plus we still hadn't gotten to two of the resorts we wanted to check out yet. The only logical solution was to do EVERYTHING! Hit all 4 parks accomplish what we wanted to do and then check out the 2 remaining resorts on our list. It all sounds crazy with a toddler but we decided we were up for the challenge.


We headed out of the park after our little snack on Main Street and went to the boat dock. We talked excitedly about the prospect of buying Premier passes (and actually saving money by doing it) and whether we could actually pull off a four park day. We knew we would at least have fun trying! We got to watch the ELP from the boat dock, then got to bed because we had a big day ahead.



Last edited by GrandCalifornian; 10-19-2012 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:31 PM   #62
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We are going to see the hoop Dee Doo review. We are up in the balcony, so I hope we'll be able to see the show.

Did you ever eat at The Whispering Canyon Cafe?
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:11 AM   #63
GrandCalifornian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood Nymph
We are going to see the hoop Dee Doo review. We are up in the balcony, so I hope we'll be able to see the show.

Did you ever eat at The Whispering Canyon Cafe?
Hoop De Doo should be fun no matter where you sit. The performers move all around the room, so there is always something to see.

We did eat at WCC for dinner on day 5, here:http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...2&postcount=39
We enjoyed the platter (although it was before the recent menu change) but the ribs were just ok. I really enjoyed the pulled pork, but I guess they don't have it anymore. It was a fun experience, but Allie was intimidated by the noise and activities and didn't get into it.

We also returned to WCC for breakfast on Sunday, but that installment is coming up next...
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:03 PM   #64
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Around the World in One Day... Part 1



Our most epic day of the trip started with a breakfast ADR at WCC at 9. Our plan for the day was to get to all 4 parks, do one thing in each one that we still wanted to do, plus check out AKL and CSR the other two resorts we hadn't gotten to yet. Grandma and Grandpa thought we were crazy so they decided to do their own thing during the day. Breakfast was great, I shared my pecan waffle with Allie and Paul got the omelet.


We decided not to do the skillet because we just didn't need that much food and I really wanted the waffle. Allie really enjoyed the waitress "M.T." who played it harsh with the adults but really connected with Allie. She called her little sister which I think Allie really liked because since we've gotten back she'll often refer to people as her sister, even her daddy. When the waitress asked if we'd like ketchup Paul said yes, much to Grandpa's dismay, he would have been happy to be ketchupless if it meant we didn't have to make a fuss. All of the ketchup bottles were promptly delivered to our table which meant there was plenty to go around.


It wasn't too long until we were delivering them to another table, Allie didn't want to take part so us adults had to carry them all over.


Typically I wouldn’t have asked for ketchup either, but I decided it was part of the fun. I also thought it would go really well with my breakfast potatoes, which it did. The look on Grandpa’s face whan I asked for it was pretty funny though. I really enjoyed the omelet, it was one of my favorite breakfasts of the trip. I had plenty of food despite deciding not to get the skillet. Then Allie played in the lobby outside of the restaurant for a bit and we said bye to Grandma and Grandpa, with plans to meet up with them for dinner that evening at Trail’s End.


After breakfast we headed out to our first park of the day. I HAD to replace the red velvet cupcake that had met an unfortunate demise in the heat earlier in the trip so we headed over to Hollywood Studios. When we got in the park we took a photopass pic. Paul had this great idea to hold up fingers for what number park of the day it was in each park to help document our epic day.


After that we made the quick walk over to Starring Rolls and picked up a red velvet cupcake. It was the best one of the trip! So yummy, I'm glad we made it back just for that.


We did a bit of shopping on the way out and Allie picked out one of those spinning Minnie Mouse light up toys. She'd been wanting one FOREVER like 3 or 4 months which is a long time for a toddler and I kept telling her that we could get one when we went to Florida well... she finally got her "Minnie spinner". One park down!


On the way out we saw Grandma and Grandpa who were just getting off the bus to arrive at HS. They had a few more things at that park they wanted to check out. We said hi and then hopped right on a bus that was waiting.


Our next stop was AKL. We had been doing some research before the trip about the possibility of renting points and staying there for our next trip so I wanted to check it out before we committed to something like that. I was pretty sure I'd like it but Paul wasn't convinced so much. Well, I fell in love with it. We got off the bus at Kidani and checked out the savannah viewing area, I love the rocking chairs that you can sit in and watch the animals, then we went and saw the gift shop and mug refill station.



I liked Kidani, and began to really see the appeal of staying at AKL. It was very nicely themed, as you would expect from Disney, but I was still really impressed by the quiet peaceful places for viewing the animals. I also thought it was neat that Kidani has its own mug station, so you don’t have to travel far for refills.


Allie had a meltdown over a baby Simba keychain so we had to high tail it out of there so we headed outside so she could chill out. We asked a really nice CM which way it was to Jambo House (the main part of the resort) and he told us it was quicker to take the bus but we explained we really wanted to see the resort and would rather walk so he pointed us in the right direction and it only took about 10 minutes. Allie was feeling much better about the world by the time we got there. It's not a particularly beautiful walk but it was a nice break for Allie and us, plus we don't mind walking. We checked out the big gift shop in Jambo House and I couldn't resist a set of toy zoo animals, but it didn't come with an okapi (my fave zoo animal) so we had to get one of those too to go with the others. After that we headed downstairs to find Mara, their quick service restaurant, because we were in search of ZEBRA DOMES.


The rumors are true, these little guys are delightful. The best thing I can compare it to is the Bordeaux chocolate at See's but they are unique. Allie ate two all by herself and wanted more of "that icecream". The pool is right outside so we got to see that, it's a neat pool with a zero entry so it would be great for little ones. I think Allie would like it. Then we headed over to find the playground. It is way better than the one at WL and not just because you can see the flamingos from the top of the slide.


It is a beautiful resort and I could see us staying there sometime. It was time for us to continue our trek to our next park. We'd spent more time than we'd anticipated at AKL so we were anxious to keep moving.


I was definitely impressed with AKL. Jambo House has a beautiful lobby that clearly shows its shared heritage with the WL. There are lots of bridges and overlooks and places to sit. I also really liked how close Jambo and Kidani are for being separate buildings, and the busses would make going between them easy if you didn’t want to repeat the short walk. Like Melissa, I was most impressed with the playground and pool area though. It is very cool that it is right next to the savannah. Also, as a “cheeseburger guy” I was happy to see the more traditional American food at Mara. It is a regular resort food court, with many of my favorites and those delightful little Zebra Domes.


Next up, Animal Kingdom. It didn't take long for the bus to pick us up at AKL and the ride from there to AK is pretty darn short.


We hadn't been to Dinoland yet so that's where we headed after our Photopass pic. I thought Allie might be interested in riding Triceratop Spin but, yeah, not so much.


We ended up crossing the bridge and heading towards Expedition Everest , meaning that we had finally walked through all of AK. Near Kali River Rapids the monkeys were playing in their enclosure, which was neat to see. I cant believe how effortlessly they swing from the cables.


On the way towards Africa we saw a very friendly Photopass Photographer who asked Allie about her new toy animals and got her to talk. Allie must have liked it because she smiled really big for her. The picture turned out neat too.



We had to do something in the park so we walked back to the Pagani Trail because we all love that part of the park. It was the best walk of the trip. When we got to the okapi exhibit the CM told us that there weren't any out right now but we hung out a bit and then one just walked out. It was the closest I've ever seen one. The best part? Allie picked up her new toy okapi and said that they were just the same :-)


We continued on to the meercats and there were a lot of them out. One of them was hunting a butterfly so that was super fun to watch. It's the most active I've ever seen them. After Allie got bored we continued on to the gorillas. I can't remember who was hanging out down in the glass exhibit but the male silverbacks were out in the next exhibit. There were three of them hanging out eating leaves and they were sitting so close. You could totally see the intelligence behind their eyes and I can only imagine what they think of us.


They were grunting and making all kinds of noises communicating with each other. While we were watching them eat Allie was watching and blew a raspberry at one of the gorillas and he looked up at her! He figured out it was her that made the noise and then followed her with his gaze as we left the exhibit. It was very cool. It was just about 3:00pm by now and we were getting famished so we got on the waiting bus for CSR, the next stop on our adventure. In true toddler fashion Allie said she had to go potty at the first bus stop of the resort. The couple sitting across from us said that the only place they knew of public restrooms was at El Centro (the main building) and that it was another 3 bus stops away so we pulled on a pull-up and crossed our fingers. Would Allie make it to the potty? Would we successfully complete our 4 park day? Would Allie ever take a nap? Stay tuned....

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Old 10-25-2012, 08:21 PM   #65
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I'm glad that you reported on your breakfast at WCC. We usually like to have a real sit down breakfast on our last day, before leaving for the airport and I had been thinking of eating there.

I would love to be able to check out the Animal Kingdom Lodge. It looks really beautiful.

That is the cutest picture of Allie holding out her animal. I love that smile.

We did four parks in one day, once, but I don't think we spent too much time at the fourth one. Park hoppers are fun.
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:12 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood Nymph View Post
I'm glad that you reported on your breakfast at WCC. We usually like to have a real sit down breakfast on our last day, before leaving for the airport and I had been thinking of eating there.

I would love to be able to check out the Animal Kingdom Lodge. It looks really beautiful.

That is the cutest picture of Allie holding out her animal. I love that smile.

We did four parks in one day, once, but I don't think we spent too much time at the fourth one. Park hoppers are fun.
Yeah, we had never eaten at WCC for breakfast but thought it would be nice and easy being right there. It was really good, and everybody enjoyed their food even though we didn't do the big skillets we thought we would. I could totally see eating there on a last day, and if we do decide to do WCC next trip it will definitely be for breakfast.

We wanted to check out AKL too, and never made it there during our honeymoon. It is definitely worth the trip to check out. We absolutely love WL, but would definitely stay at AKL if the situation was right. There seem to be deals on renting points there, which we would definitely consider sometime. We had heard the complaints about having to take busses everywhere from AKL, but it isn't bad if the busses are frequent enough, and we were able to get over there easily.

Thanks for the compliment on the PhotoPass picture. We finally got one from WDW where she didn't look tortured. She really liked that photographer.

We definitely enjoy park hopping, although this was a fairly extreme example of it. Normally two parks and a resort or two works out neat for us. We'd totally do it again though...

Thanks for following along
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:44 AM   #67
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Around the World in One Day... Part 2


When we left off, we were on our way to CSR on a bus and Allie needed a potty... We rode the bus around the loop at CSR, and arrived fairly quickly at El Centro, the main bus stop for the restaurants and front desk. We hopped off the bus and literally ran toward the lobby looking for a restroom. Of course there wasn't one right where we first went, and we ended up going all the way down the hallway past Pepper Market before we found one. Fortunately she made it, and after that excitement it was time to find lunch. I had been looking forward to trying Pepper Market since it is a quick service buffet, but because it was 3:30 they were closed for their transition between lunch and dinner. We ended up at Cafe Rix instead, where we ordered Cheeseburgers. The burgers were decent, and were served with chips instead of fries. We had a piece of cake for dessert and it was plain but good.


The food was ok, nothing special but it was food. I love hammocks and was excited when we saw some on the beach around the lake.



We made our way over to the Dig Site pool and playground which were both nice. The playground was really cool in concept but it needed to be cleaned, there were dead lizards on the ground and the bottom of the big tube slide had a puddle of dirty water so I didn't let Allie use it.



She had fun pushing Daddy on the swing though. There was a lot of sand around this resort and it got stuck everywhere even though we were only there for a little bit. There's a sandbox play area that looks like a lot of fun for kids but I just couldn’t help thinking about the amount of sand that would make it back to our room if we stayed there.

I enjoyed exploring CSR and might stay there at some point, but I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. The lake is pretty and rather good sized, but compared to Bay lake it did seem small, and I didn’t see anything exceptional that stood out and made me want to stay there instead of another Disney resort. We did enjoy walking through the rather large gift shop, and Allie enjoyed playing with the maracas.



After sufficient exploring we headed off to find a bus we waited about 10-15 minutes for a bus to Epcot. When we got there it had started to sprinkle and we were a little concerned the photographers would have packed up and we wouldn’t get a photopass pic. We were relieved when we got in the park and saw that they all just moved their cameras to under the monorail track.



The photographer was really nice and explained that this wasn't rain, rain was when you couldn't see Spaceship Earth from the entrance of the park!

Our goal in Epcot was to do the Great Piggy Bank adventure. I had heard that kids really love this and Allie really enjoyed it too. At the end she didn’t want to give up the Piggy Bank.



We promised we'd go look for one but all they had for sale were character shaped banks or a ceramic one which Allie said was glass so she couldn't touch it. They are missing out on a money making opportunity here because we would have for sure bought her a piggy bank that looked the same so she could save her money.

I was impressed with the Piggy Bank adventure and the interactive stuff at Innoventions. It is one of those areas where you could spend as long as you want with little kids, and they have fun with the cutest things. I was impressed that they had a full size fire truck in there too, but that’s probably the little kid in me. It really was funny how attached Allie got to her pink piggy bank. I am surptised that there is a “character” from the parks that you can’t find in a Disney gift store.

After searching for a piggy bank at Mouse Gears we walked over to see the new Chevy cars. Allie was mad that the Camaro was locked, she wanted to sit in it again. We moved on to the other side of Innoventions and had fun with the UL testing exhibit. After that it was time to go meet Grandma and Grandpa for dinner at TE so we headed for the bus.



We had so much fun on this trip and decided we really wanted to come back. We had recieved a bouceback offer of free dining if you book at a deluxe and we figured it wouldn't hurt to book and secure that reservation so while waiting for the bus back to the resort I called and booked for September 2013 at the WL!

Yay! We weren’t sure if we would be able to keep the reservation, but with Disney’s good cancellation policy and only requiring a $200 deposit we had to take the opportunity. We love the dining plan so much and with Allie being three next year she’ll be on the plan too, and getting to have her meals be free as well makes it an even better deal for us. I realize we would probably be able to get free dining if it is announced later in the year, or maybe get some other discount instead, but this was a sure thing and we were having such a great time that we wanted to have another trip to look forward to. It was pretty neat that Melissa made the call from the bus stop at Epcot, and as soon as she was done the bus arrived and we were on our way back to WL.

There we met back up with Grandma and Grandpa who had enjoyed their day too, just at a quieter pace. After Hollywood Studios Grandma went back to the hotel while Grandpa returned to Downtown Disney in search of another WPE Meatloaf sandwich. We met up back at the rooms but were only there for a few minutes before heading down to catch a boat to Fort Wilderness. After the great dinner we had there our first night, we had decided to eat there again on our last full night.



The buffet was great as always, and yes, they had my favorite ribs. I had multiple servings of them, and enjoyed everything else too. We did notice that there was no soft serve ice cream this time, while there had been earlier in the trip. Our great server, who sat and chatted with us during our meal, explained that the machine had broken and that they had Mickey bars they would offer us instead! None of us ended up taking advantage of the offer, but it was very nice of them. We did learn that our server would be moving to Be Our Guest when it opened, so we started making plans for an ADR there on our next trip. It is another thing that made us glad to be going back!


After dinner we headed out to our last park of the day. We let Allie play at the playground a little before catching a boat to the MK. We ended up on the very front of the boat and Allie was super tired. The CM that was helping the pilot of the boat got everyone to holler at a passing boat. Allie started bawling, she just couldn't handle the commotion being that tired. Just about the time I got her all calmed down another boat went by and she started crying again. The third time a boat went by everyone was quiet for Allie even though the CM encouraged everyone to yell again. It was so nice of everyone on the boat and Allie appreciated the quiet.



We had made it to our last park and Allie made it through the whole day without a nap! She was such a trooper. She fell asleep as soon as we took the last photo pass pic.



I wanted to check out the shops in Frontierland so we headed over that way but because it was EMH they had all closed. We wandered back to Main Street and spent our last two snack credits. We got an icecream cookie sandwich and a diet coke. The icecream sandwich is about the size of your head and super delicious.



I had really wanted to get the icecream cookie sandwich in part because it seems to be one of the best snack credit deals since it is almost $4 to buy, and looked really good. It was yummy, but a bit of a mess to deal with, and I was glad Allie was asleep for it because that would have been a real mess. We enjoyed the break and sat and talked about our fun day of four parks and four resorts and our wonderful trip.

After our snack we did some shopping at the emporium then called our adventure a success. It was a super fun day and we never felt really rushed. We took the boat back to the lodge and dropped Allie right in bed. We did some packing and sorting before crashing ourselves for the night.

Last edited by GrandCalifornian; 11-02-2012 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:32 PM   #68
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Did you need a reservation for Trail's End? I've been thinking about what we would do for dinner on our final night and this would be convenient.

I never heard of the Great Piggy Bank challenge. We'll have to check it out. Our three year old granddaughter will probably love it. I haven't gone to WDW with a little girl in a very long time and your trip report has been very helpful.

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Old 11-02-2012, 10:17 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood Nymph
Did you need a reservation for Trail's End? It is our final night and I'm not sure what're planning to do.

I never heard of the Great Piggy Bank challenge. We'll have to check it out. Our three year old granddaughter will probably love it. I haven't gone to WDW with a little girl in a very long time and your trip report has been very helpful.

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We didn't need ADRs for TE. We had one for our first night but it still wasn't crowded. On Sunday we went without one because we didn't want to have the deadline to try to meet, and it worked out well because we didn't end up there until after 8 PM. Even in our prior trip when it was way busier (in June) we ate at TE without an ADR and only had a 45 min wait.

We are so glad you are enjoying our TR. We just had a great time and enjoy sharing what worked well for us. Your trip should be great, there is so much fun stuff for kids that age!
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:16 PM   #70
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Hi. I have enjoyed your report and wanted to let you know i was here. I love all the dresses you made and i am love with you and your DD red mickey shoes! Did you make those as well?
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:32 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by leshunlenese View Post
Hi. I have enjoyed your report and wanted to let you know i was here. I love all the dresses you made and i am love with you and your DD red mickey shoes! Did you make those as well?
Thank you for following along! We are glad you are enjoying our TR and noticed the Toms. I painted them myself with inspiration from a pair I found on Etsy. It wasn't too hard to do I just used regular acrylic paint and they have held up pretty well. I made a matching pair for me and Allie and we got a TON of comments on them. So many I considered selling them on Etsy myself! We hope you enjoy our last installment coming soon. - Melissa
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:53 PM   #72
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I've Got A Golden Ticket


Now back to the program, sorry for the huge time gap but life and work got in the way of wrapping up the trip report. So Monday was our going home day but we didn't have to be on the ME bus until later in the day so we still had time to hit one more thing on our list. We got up to the alarm at 7 and started that dreadful chore of packing to go home. We got everything to fit in our suitcases but did end up leaving some snacks that we had brought but didn't eat. We wheeled our checked bags down and got them all checked in at the airline check in counter then went back to get our carryon bags to leave with bell services.
After that we headed off to the boat dock to catch a boat to FW for our 10:30 breakfast ADR at Trails End.

This worked out very well, because after a busy morning of packing up it was nice to have everything done and packed so that we could go have a nice breakfast and enjoy our last hours at Disney World. After spending 10 days in the hotel rooms packing up took a while, but it had been really nice to be there so long to get settled in and unpacked. We had brought a small luggage scale with us, which we all used to make sure we had each bag filled to capacity. We thought we might need to take an additional bag home with all of our purchases, but by leaving the uneaten snacks behind and spreading out the heavy items we were able to get everything into one bag per person. Leaving the bags at the hotel for the day worked well too, although we found that we had to go to the outside valet/bell desk to drop the bags off, because the guys at the inside desk didn’t know what we were supposed to do with them.

Breakfast was super good and Allie loved the Mickey waffles and so did I. Allie had been asking to pet the carriage horses all week so we decided we'd take her over to do a pony ride so she could finally pet a horse. She did great getting on the pony and was really excited until we started walking.


The pony took three steps and she wanted off. She still got to pet the pony though and we took a picture. The CM was so nice and refunded us the $5.00 cost of the ride.


I felt bad about not finishing (or really even starting) the pony ride, but like we’d expect from Disney the cast member was just perfect. It would have been worth the $5 just for her to get to sit on and pet the pony, but he insisted a refund wasn’t a problem and wanted to make sure we got a good picture. I enjoyed the late breakfast and having one more chance to walk around Fort Wilderness. This is still one of our favorite parts of WDW, and despite not spending as much time walking around here as we did on our honeymoon we really enjoyed it. Allie really liked the playground here by the marina, and it was probably her favorite playground of the trip.

After that we started back to the boat dock and stopped to hoola hoop on the way. I don't know what it is about those things but the kids love them, every time we went by Trails End there were kids outside playing with them.


When we got to the Magic Kingdom Paul and I stopped at guest services to upgrade our tickets to Premier Passes. The CM was very nice and it didn't take long before we were holding our "golden tickets"!


It turns out the CM I talked to before about upgrading gave me false info about the dining credits, according to the CM who actually did the upgrading it doesn't matter how many credits you have because they separate the ticket from the package anyway if that makes sense.

I was pretty excited about the Premier Pass as well, although I’m not sure I did as impressive a dance over it as Melissa did. It was neat to have them in our hands though, and it gave us an awesome souvenir to take home with us so the fun could continue at Disneyland. It is interesting that we didn’t have to wait until the end of the trip to do the upgrade, so in retrospect we should have bought them earlier in the trip to take better advantage of the merchandise discount, but the earlier CM had told us we would lose our dining credits. That didn’t make much sense at the time, but we went with it.
Once we were in the Magic Kingdom, we did something we had wanted to all week but hadn’t gotten around to. We rode the train! We got on at the front of the park and rode it around to the back of the park next to the New Fantasyland expansion.


Then we went for one more carousel ride, which I think made it our most frequently ridden ride. I guess that is part of going with a two year old girl. She loved riding those horses, and she commented on how she was not scared to ride them.


Then we walked toward Frontierland and Tom Sawyer Island. Grandma and Grandpa headed back to the hotel, and we hopped on a boat for the island. The island is one part of MK that we thought was far more impressive than Disneyland. I remembered playing here when I visited WDW when I was five, and Allie had fun following the trails and tunnels. The fort on the island was neat to get to play in, and we took the escape tunnel to the other side of the island.


While walking on one of the bridges and taking pictures, we almost had a tragedy. I was holding my iPhone and I bumped into one of the cables supporting the bridge, knocking the phone out of my hand and down onto the bridge. It slid a couple feet, but stopped before sliding off of the edge. I was grateful, but felt bad for the poor lady behind us who was so scared about the phone falling. I quickly picked it up, and took one more shot before safely putting it away.


Yeah he almost gave a poor Brazilian tourist lady a heart attack!

By now it was early afternoon, so we decided to make our way back to the hotel where we would meet up with Grandma and Grandpa and wait for our bus. On the way out though I decided to make one more purchase at the gift shop on Main Street. I had been looking at the battery powered monorail set all week, and they had a green one, so with the AP discount I couldn’t resist. I paid for the shipping to have it mailed home, and it was one of those kind of splurge purchases that I usually would have talked myself out of.


(Side story here: The monorail arrived home about a week and a half after we did, and while it worked ok, the sound didn’t. I contacted Disney, expecting to have to send it back, and the nice CM apologized for the inconvenience and said a new item was on its way. A couple weeks later, a complete new monorail set arrived at our house. You gotta love Disney!).
Then we rode a boat back to WL, and met Grandma and Grandpa at Roarin Fork for a late lunch. I had one more Cheeseburger, which I really enjoyed while Melissa had a sandwich that was really tasty too. Grandma and Grandpa spent the rest of their snack credits on Rice Crispy treats for us to take home, which is another fun thing we had done on our honeymoon trip. By the time we finished eating it was only about half an hour until our ME bus was supposed to arrive, so we quickly headed upstairs and picked up our carryon bags from the valet desk. We waited out front for just a few minutes and a nice CM took one last group picture for us.


Then our bus arrived and we hopped on and headed for the airport. It was sad to leave WL for the last time of the trip, but we were excited at the concept of knowing we would be back. As the Bus pulled away we couldn’t find Melissa’s phone, but used Find My Friends to see that it was moving away from the hotel as well, so it was probably on the bus with us… It turned out to be in the backpack, and another phone crisis was averted. We stopped at the Poly and GF to pick up more guests, and then arrived at the airport very quickly. It rained most of the way to the airport, and we commented on our luck with the great weather. We might have spoken a little too soon, because just after we got through security they shut down the airport for departures due to a lightning storm. Allie had fallen asleep on the bus, and slept in her stroller most of the time at the airport. Our flight was delayed over an hour, which meant that our connecting flight in Texas would be super close. Once the storm cleared, we got on the plane, and Allie played with her new toy plastic animals.


As we arrived in Texas, we saw that our connecting flight had fortunately been delayed two hours, so we should be able to make it. Once we got off and arrived at the gate, we found out that they were having trouble putting a crew together for the flight, and it would likely be delayed longer. We managed to find a Mexican restaurant / bar that was still open and got some nachos for dinner, and we finally got on a plane about an hour later. Once on the plane we had to wait for another hour while some maintenance was performed, but finally we got in the air and arrived back in California about 3:30 AM. It had been a long day, but for a trip like that it was totally worth it.


Last edited by GrandCalifornian; 12-04-2012 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:14 PM   #73
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After that we headed off to the boat dock to catch a boat to FW for our 10:30 breakfast ADR at Trails End.

Breakfast was super good and Allie loved the Mickey waffles and so did I.
Which one was a better breakfast, Whispering Canyon Cafe or Trails End? We like a nice breakfast on our last day at Disney and I was planning at eating at WCC. But I've been curious about Trail's End.

Quote:
Allie had been asking to pet the carriage horses all week so we decided we'd take her over to do a pony ride so she could finally pet a horse. She did great getting on the pony and was really excited until we started walking.

The pony took three steps and she wanted off. She still got to pet the pony though and we took a picture. The CM was so nice and refunded us the $5.00 cost of the ride.
The pony ride sounds like fun. My grandchildren might enjoy that. The 5 year old has already been on a horse, they live in Colorado and got a chance to ride my cousin's horse, but the 3 year old hasn't tried it yet. They might really enjoy it.
Quote:

I enjoyed the late breakfast and having one more chance to walk around Fort Wilderness. This is still one of our favorite parts of WDW, and despite not spending as much time walking around here as we did on our honeymoon we really enjoyed it. Allie really liked the playground here by the marina, and it was probably her favorite playground of the trip.
I really want to check out Fort Wilderness. It is something that I've wanted to see but it never seemed to fit into the busy schedule. This will be the perfect opportunity. My sister thought that getting one of those cabins would be fun.

I've enjoyed following your trip report. WL is new to us and you've been a great source of information.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:15 AM   #74
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Which one was a better breakfast, Whispering Canyon Cafe or Trails End? We like a nice breakfast on our last day at Disney and I was planning at eating at WCC. But I've been curious about Trail's End.
It is always a close call and an interesting comparison between TE and WCC. Specifically for breakfast they both were good, but I probably slightly preffered TE based on the variety of food available. A major factor is that TE is a Buffet while WCC is table service, so that could be a convincing factor either way for someone. WCC is super convenient to just go downstairs when you're at WL, and we had a great breakfast meal there, but if you haven't been over to FW it is worth the short trip to TE, and a fun quiet place to walk around.
For Lunch or Dinner I would definitely give the edge to TE based on food quality. I REALLY enjoyed our dinners at TE, and for dinner at WCC the food just wasn't as good for us.

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The pony ride sounds like fun. My grandchildren might enjoy that. The 5 year old has already been on a horse, they live in Colorado and got a chance to ride my cousin's horse, but the 3 year old hasn't tried it yet. They might really enjoy it.
The pony rides are set up really nice, and for only $5 it is cheap fun. You get to lead the child and pony around some trails between the barn and the TE / Hoop De Doo building area. One thing to watch out for is the weight and height limits. I have seen other reports where an older child was disappointed by being too tall to ride the ponys. There is a maximum height of 48 inches, and a maximum weight of 80 lbs.

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I really want to check out Fort Wilderness. It is something that I've wanted to see but it never seemed to fit into the busy schedule. This will be the perfect opportunity. My sister thought that getting one of those cabins would be fun.
We love the FW area. During our honeymoon we walked over there from WL almost every morning and we just loved how quiet, peaceful, and seemingly secluded it is compared to the hustle and bustle of the parks. We gave thought to a cabin too, but preferred the amenities of staying in the nicer WL hotel. We love to go over there to visit though, and a dinner at TE is on our must-do list every trip. I remember that you are planning on doing Hoop De Doo during your trip, so it might work out well to plan on arriving early and checking out the area before the show. It is just a short boat or bus ride from WL, or about a 15-20 min walk.

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I've enjoyed following your trip report. WL is new to us and you've been a great source of information.
Aww, thanks. We're glad that you followed along, and it was so much fun sharing the details of the trip that went so well for us. Your trip is getting really close, and we bet you are going to love it, especially WL. Feel free to come back with any more questions as it gets closer, but I bet you are pretty much set now. Enjoy your trip, we can't wait to hear about it!
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:43 PM   #75
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Aww, thanks. We're glad that you followed along, and it was so much fun sharing the details of the trip that went so well for us. Your trip is getting really close, and we bet you are going to love it, especially WL. Feel free to come back with any more questions as it gets closer, but I bet you are pretty much set now. Enjoy your trip, we can't wait to hear about it!
Now that we are less than two months away, I have gotten very excited about staying at the WL. We have gone to WDW enough times to not be as excited about the parks as we used to be. So this is like a brand new adventure and we can't wait.

Our daughter will be visiting us for a few days next week, without DH and kids, so we will have plenty of time to talk about our trip. I plan to tell her about your trip because I know she'll be interested in what WL is like with kids.

I've already considered a BB for next time, if it is offered.
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BC - 2001, 1998, 1994, 1992; YC - 1997; GF - 1989, 1988; Poly - 1987, 1986, 1985; CR - 1981, 1980; offsite - 1982, 1976, 1973
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