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Old 10-29-2012, 05:11 PM   #76
dolphingirl47
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I can't wait to be able to hang this door spotter from my fish. Days left at work, 8 days until I am officially on vacation and 12 days until we are on the Magic. I am getting so excited.

Corinna
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:12 PM   #77
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Walt Disney World Day 1

It will probably be around 1:00 AM in the morning by the time we get to the Boardwalk so I will take it easy the first day. Epcot is my favourite park and as it is also the closest, this is where I will be headed that day. I am hoping to get to the park for 11:00 when the World Showcase opens. This will be the first time for me that I enter Epcot through International Gateway. I am just hoping that I can collect my annual pass and my ticket for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party from there. The party ticket is not too much of a problem as I could always collect that at a different time, but I do of course need my annual pass. I will try to do as many of the Agent P World Showcase Adventure missions as I can that day and generally enjoy the World Showcase. Part of this will be picking a pearl at the Japanese pavilion, which has become a bit of a tradition.

This time will be a bit different from previous visits as I have the Disney Dining Plan and therefore will eat one meal a day at counter service restaurants. Normally I just graze when I am in the parks and have the odd sit down meal, which is usually a character meal. There are a number of different counter service options that day. I think my favourite option would be Katsura Grill at the Japanese pavilion, but depending where I am when hunger strikes, I may end up at Tangierine Cafe at the Moroccan pavilion or at La Cantina de San Angel at the Mexican pavilion.

I am planning to be back at the Boardwalk around mid afternoon. We have always enjoyed playing mini golf and have played all the courses on International Drive at least once and also played both courses at Winter Summerland. One course that we always wanted to play, but never have got around to is Fantasia Gardens. We intend to remedy this. With Fantasia Garden being so close to the Boardwalk, it would be a shame not to us this opportunity. Depending on how much we like it, we may play a second round, especially as this would be 50% off. Once we have finished at Fantasia Gardens, we will head over to the Swan and Dolphin. I have never been to those hotels, but Graham really loves them. I also recently seen some wonderful pictures of the bar at bluezoo. This looks perfect for pre-dinner drinks. The Zoo Berry cocktail comes highly recommended.

Once we enjoyed a drink or two, we will head back to our room to get freshened up and changed before heading over to the Yacht Club. Dinner that night will be at the Yachtsman Steakhouse. We both like a good steak and I have heard a lot of great things about this place. As we get in so late the previous day, we have an extra meal credit so it makes sense to burn it on a signature restaurant. Once we finished our meal, I want to have a look around the Yacht and Beach Club resorts before heading back to our room.
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:53 AM   #78
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Your plans sound great..love the list of firsts!
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:58 PM   #79
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Walt Disney World Day 2

This day is still a little undecided or at least the first part of the day is. It is very tempting to head back to Epcot to do Futureworld, but the following day is Morning Extra Magic Hour at Epcot so I will definitely head there then. So I think I will probably head to the Magic Kingdom for the morning and part of the afternoon. I am hoping to get a good look around the Fantasyland extension and ride my favourite rides in this park (Big Thunder Mountain, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, Itís A Small World, Haunted Mansion). I also want to have a look at The Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. I am sure that I will enjoy this. I am hoping to have lunch at Be My Guest as this is the first day this is officially open. If the lines are too crazy, I will try again later in the trip and probably head to Cosmic Rayís.

Mid afternoon, I am planning to head over to Hollywood Studios. This is my least favourite park and the only thing that really appeals to me there is Toy Story Mania. I assume that by the time I get there, all the Fast Passes will have been given out and the standby time is probably horrendous. However, the only reason I am really going is to see The Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. I have never seen this before and canít wait to experience it.

Dinner that night will be at Big River Grille and Brewing Works. I have wanted to try this forever and was thrilled when I realized that this is actually on the dining plan. I will have to pay a little out of pocket as I really want to try their Cheese and Beer Soup and starters are not included in the normal Dining Plan. Still, I am sure that Graham will want to try one of their beers so I wonít feel too guilty about this. After dinner, we may have a wander around the Board Walk to walk off dinner and soak up the atmosphere.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:29 AM   #80
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Everything sounds great. You are getting really close to leaving
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:26 PM   #81
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Yes, it is getting so close now. At the moment I can't make up my mind if I should be excited because it is getting so close or if I should panic as I still have so much to do at work.

Corinna
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:27 PM   #82
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Walt Disney World Day 3

This day is Morning Extra Magic Hour at Epcot so this is where I am planning to go that day. Even though we stayed onsite for our last three trips to Walt Disney World, I have never made use of Extra Magic Hours. I did make good use of this so at Disneyland and therefore decided to give it a go. With us being so close to Epcot, this is my prime opportunity.

I am planning to concentrate on Future World that day. My first stop will be Soarin and I am hoping to do this a couple of times before the lines get too long. By the time I have done this, normal opening time should have approached and I will get a Fast Pass for Soarin so that I can ride this again later. Depending on when the return time for the Fast Pass is, I will then have time to do Living with the Land, Jouney Into Your Imagination with Figment and maybe even The Seas With Nemo and Friends. Once I have done Soarin, I will either do what I have not managed to do before and then do Living with the Land and Jouney Into Your Imagination with Figment again. By then, I am sure it is time for lunch and I am planning to check out Sunshine Seasons for this.

After lunch, I will check out Innoventions, Spaceship Earth, the Pin Trading Station and Club Cool where Mezzo Mix and the Watermelon Soda are a must have. Test Track will unfortunately still be closed, but I will do he green version of Mission:Space. I will then head back towards International Gateway. If I get the chance, I will do an Agent P mission at France and/ or the United Kingdom before heading out of the park.

The rest of the afternoon, I will spend swimming and enjoying the resort. I may head over to Beach Club at some point to have a No Way, Jose sundae at Beaches and Cream. Dinner that night is the clam bake at Cape May Cafť at the Beach Club. This seems to be a bit of a strange choice as I do not eat seafood, but Graham loves it and there should be enough to keep me happy as well. I am also really curious about the Oreo Bonbons. After dinner we will quickly pack our things together and have an early night as we will have an early start and a busy day ahead of ourselves the next day.
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:55 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphingirl47 View Post
Walt Disney World Day 3

This day is Morning Extra Magic Hour at Epcot so this is where I am planning to go that day. Even though we stayed onsite for our last three trips to Walt Disney World, I have never made use of Extra Magic Hours. I did make good use of this so at Disneyland and therefore decided to give it a go. With us being so close to Epcot, this is my prime opportunity.

I am planning to concentrate on Future World that day. My first stop will be Soarin and I am hoping to do this a couple of times before the lines get too long. By the time I have done this, normal opening time should have approached and I will get a Fast Pass for Soarin so that I can ride this again later. Depending on when the return time for the Fast Pass is, I will then have time to do Living with the Land, Jouney Into Your Imagination with Figment and maybe even The Seas With Nemo and Friends. Once I have done Soarin, I will either do what I have not managed to do before and then do Living with the Land and Jouney Into Your Imagination with Figment again. By then, I am sure it is time for lunch and I am planning to check out Sunshine Seasons for this.

After lunch, I will check out Innoventions, Spaceship Earth, the Pin Trading Station and Club Cool where Mezzo Mix and the Watermelon Soda are a must have. Test Track will unfortunately still be closed, but I will do he green version of Mission:Space. I will then head back towards International Gateway. If I get the chance, I will do an Agent P mission at France and/ or the United Kingdom before heading out of the park.

The rest of the afternoon, I will spend swimming and enjoying the resort. I may head over to Beach Club at some point to have a No Way, Jose sundae at Beaches and Cream. Dinner that night is the clam bake at Cape May Cafť at the Beach Club. This seems to be a bit of a strange choice as I do not eat seafood, but Graham loves it and there should be enough to keep me happy as well. I am also really curious about the Oreo Bonbons. After dinner we will quickly pack our things together and have an early night as we will have an early start and a busy day ahead of ourselves the next day.
Come on Corrina you can handle the Orange side of Mission Space...Nelia did it this year!!! We love Cape May, did it on our anniversary in Sept. Love it!!
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Old 11-01-2012, 01:38 PM   #84
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Your plans sound fab Corinna, I hope you have a Magical holiday and I look forward to hearing all about it at the Girly Weekend when you get back
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:41 PM   #85
dolphingirl47
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Come on Corrina you can handle the Orange side of Mission Space...Nelia did it this year!!! We love Cape May, did it on our anniversary in Sept. Love it!!
She is one brave girl. You are talking to somebody here who suffers from motion sickness in the stationary version of Wild Artic at Seaworld. My poor back also would not stand for it.

Corinna
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:42 PM   #86
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Walt Disney World Day 4

This is going to be a busy day and I hope that everything will go according to plan. We will be moving from Boardwalk Villas to Old Key West that day, but we also have a very full day planned. We will get Bell Services to move our stuff for us. Once they have either collected our luggage or we have dropped it off (I donít know the Boardwalk at all and have no clue of the distances involved), we will get a taxi to Discovery Cove.

We have not been to Discovery Cove since 2009. I can hardly believe that it has been so long. Since then a lot has changed. First of all, my favourite dolphin has returned to Discovery Cove. Dash was the first dolphin I ever swum with in 2001. She is a real rascal and as cute as a button. At one point she got herself shipped out to Seaworld as not only had she learned how to open the gates that separate the lagoons, but she also taught the other dolphins to do so. This produced chaos on a nearly daily basis. Dash spent a few years at Seaworld, but they now found a way to Dash-proof the gates and she is now back where she belongs. This leaves me with a bit of a difficult decision. You can actually request a specific dolphin, but there is another dolphin that has a special place in my heart, Capricorn, their oldest and biggest dolphin. So I will probably request to swim with either of those two and leave it up to Discovery Cove to decide between the two of them for me.

Apart from a change in dolphin population, there have been a bunch of other changes. I canít wait to see the Grand Reef and the new Freshwater Rainforest habitat. The Grand Reef especially is a huge temptation as on previous trips to Discovery Cove, I had not yet mastered snorkeling and have never really been able to appreciate the old reef. Now this has changed and I am sure I will love snorkeling in there. I also invested in an underwater digital camera so I can take plenty of photos. Another area where I will spend plenty of time is the aviary. I particularly love the small bird aviary where the cute Mouse Birds live.

When we are done at Discovery Cove, we will catch the shuttle to Seaworld and then get the number 50 Lynx bus back to Disney. I need to double-check the schedule, but they used to stop at Downtown Disney Westside. If they still do, this is perfect. We have a reservation for Portobello that night and we can just walk over from the Westside bus depot. I am really looking forward to this. We have only been to Portobello once in 2008, when it was still called Portobello Yacht Club. We loved the meal there, but somehow never managed to go back. When we finished our meal, we can just amble over to the Pleasure Beach boat dock and take the boat over to Old Key West to check in. Hopefully our luggage has safely arrived ahead of us so that we can just retrieve it on our way to check in.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:44 AM   #87
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Walt Disney World Day 5

I have to admit that I don't really know what to expect from this day. This will be Thanksgiving. We have only been to Florida once for Thanksgiving and that was in 2005. That time we spent Thanksgiving at Seaworld. I was behind the scenes for most of the day, but Graham was amazed how empty the park was. Neither of us had expected this. I figure I probably won't be quite so lucky at Walt Disney World.

I will be headed for the Magic Kingdom that day. I am planning on a mix of re-riding my favourite rides, maybe doing some additional rides and attractions like Carousel of Progress, Mickey's PhilharMagic and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. I also want to have another go at The Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. Most importantly, I just want to soak up the atmosphere and take plenty of photos.

Depending on the crowds, I either have some lunch in the park and stay for the Parade or if things are too crazy, I will leave the park at around 13:00, walk over to the Contemporary Resort and catch the bus to Downtown Disney from there. If I go down this route, I will have lunch at Wolfgang Puck Express before indulging in a bit of retail therapy. In that scenario, I would catch the boat back to Old Key West in time to get ready for dinner.

I took a little while for me to get excited about this trip and one of the results of this is that I made very few ADRs initially. I have a full compliment now, but initially I made only three and one of those was dinner for this evening. We will have dinner at Olivia's Cafe at Old Key West. Normally we are used to just walking in and getting a table, but I thought with it being Thanksgiving, it may be a smart idea to make an ADR. I have since found out that they are serving a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

The plans for the evening depend on how full and tired I am by the time dinner has finished. I had a look at the park hours and spotted that Magic Kingdom has two showings of the Main Street Electrical Parade that night. So I may head back to the park to catch one of them.
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:35 PM   #88
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Walt Disney World Day 6

This is going to be a slightly unusual day for me in that this will be very much a "Stop And Smell The Roses" kind of day. By now the holiday season should be in full swing and this will be my focus for the rest of the holiday.

That day I will head to Animal Kingdom. Although I like the park, there is usually little to keep my attention. Primeval Whirl and Expedition Everest freak me out and Dinosaur makes me ill. I love Kali River Rapids, but I found out in 2007 that getting totally soaked in the second half of November is not necessarily a great idea. I have always loved the two nature trails and will definitely have a leisurely wander through them. My favourite in the park is the Kilimanjaro Safari though. This is where I will head first. I can't wait to see all the changes that they have made. I will probably do the Pangani Forest Trail straight after this as it is nearby.

The main reason for my visit is Camp Minnie-Mickey. I have never really paid any attention to this part of the park other than going to watch Festival of the Lion King. This will change this time. During one of the quizzes on the Uk Community Board, I saw some of the gorgeous character trees that they have in this area. I can't wait to see them for myself. Depending on the lines, I will also give the Character Meet and Greet Trails a go.

I have also recently read that Dinoland USA is a good place for seeing Christmas decorations. Normally I just bypass the area, but I think this time I may pay it a visit. By that time, it should be lunchtime. I am planning to have lunch at Anandapur Local Cafes. This then has me in the perfect spot to explore the Maharajah Jungle Trek. By the time I have finished this, it will be time to leave the park and embark on the next part of the day.

We have an ADR for Sanaa that evening so this gives me a good excuse to spend the afternoon at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Animal Kingdom Lodge is my favourite resort. I was lucky enough to see the Christmas decoration when we stayed at Jambo House for one night before our Panama Canal cruise in 2011. However, we were only there for 12 hours, we were exhausted after a transatlantic flight and the next morning I was just excited about the prospect of getting to the ship. So this time round I will take the time to really appreciate the Christmas decorations. When we stayed at AKL in 2009, I did the culinary tour, but we only made a very quick stop at Boma where we got to try some soup and a Zebra Dome. I have heard that the tour normally also includes Jiko so I will do this again. Once I have admired the Christmas decorations and enjoyed the culinary tour, I will head over to Mara to use a couple of my snack credits for Zebra Domes before heading over to Kidani Village to check out the Christmas decorations there. I will also head to the public viewing areas to see if I can spot the Red River Hogs and the Okapis.

Graham will meet me for dinner. I had made an ADR for Sanaa twice before and at the eleventh hour made a reservation for Jiko and Boma respectively. This time I am determined to go through with the ADR at Sanaa. I really want a dinner at AKL and Graham is not too keen on Boma as it is a bit noisy and we are already doing two other Signature restaurants, which is enough for one trip.
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:43 PM   #89
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Walt Disney World Day 7

This day is definitely going to be one of the highlights of the trip. I can allow myself a leisurely start to the day as I am going to concentrate on the World Showcase that day. I will aim to get to Epcot around 10:30 so that even if it is very busy, I am by the entrance of the World Showcase at 11:00. I should have enough time to have a good look around the Canadian pavilion. If the schedules from the last two years are anything to go by, I should also to catch the first story teller there before lunch.

Lunch that day will be paid out of pocket. When I made my first ADRs, I really wanted a lunch reservation at Le Cellier, but none where to be found for my entire stay there. I then spotted the page for the Candlelight Processional packages and as I wanted to experience the Candlelight Processional anyway this year, I decided to check this out. I was absolutely delighted when I realised that I could book a Candlelight Processional Lunch package at Le Cellier without any problems. After lunch, I will try to see as many of the story tellers as possible and enjoy the Christmas decorations around the World Showcase until it is time to go and see the Candlelight Processional.

Once this is finished, I will take the monorail over to the Transportation and Ticket Centre and then the resort monorail to the Contemporary Resort. This should mean some more Christmas decorations. Dinner that night will be at The Wave. We had a dinner there in 2010. We love the food, but the experience was spoiled by having a toddler at the next table who was screaming his lungs out for the entire meal. So it is time for a do over. There is also an ulterior motive behind this choice of dining venue. I found out a little while ago that as a special perk DVC members staying on points anywhere on site until the end of the year get access to the Top of the World Lounge. So after dinner, we will head up there for a drink or two and to watch the fireworks. After Wishes, we will head back to Old Key West.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:03 PM   #90
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Walt Disney World Day 8

This day will be a new experience for me. After enjoying our afternoon spent resort hopping so much at Disneyland and with all the Christmas decorations up, we will spend a large part of the day visiting various resorts. This means that we can have a bit of a lie in that morning. I am hoping to get going around 10:00 and take the bus to the Magic Kingdom. We should have had plenty of time the day before to check out the Christmas decorations at the Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Tower, but we may quickly walk over there so that I can take photos in daylight. If we go down this route, we will then catch the monorail to the Grand Floridian. The other option is go straight to the Grand Floridian. I have the feeling that we will spend a fair while there.

Once we have enjoyed the decorations at the Grand Floridian, we will head over the Polynesian. I have heard that this is probably the least decorated of the deluxe resorts, but it is worth having a look anyway. I have booked a table service lunch that day as we are going to have dinner separately that evening. I decided to go with Kona Cafe. We had breakfast there in 2010 and loved it so I figured we should really try another meal. After lunch, we will head over to Wilderness Lodge to admire their Christmas decorations and then walk off lunch at Fort Wilderness. Graham had a walk around Fort Wilderness when we were at WDW in 2010 and took photos of all the Halloween decorations. I have heard that the Christmas decorations are even more amazing and I can't wait to see them for myself.

After our walk around Fort Wilderness, I will say goodbye to Graham and head to Magic Kingdom. I will attend Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party that evening. I was in two minds about this for a long time. In the end I figured that I had an amazing time at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland so it would be a shame not to try this one. I will try to see the shows, the parade and the fireworks and catch as many characters as possible. I am so looking forward to this.

Corinna
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