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Old 10-16-2012, 01:14 PM   #106
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Jen headed over to Orlando for the weekend and spent Sunday in Epcot for the Food and Wine festivities!! She's probably in a food/liquor coma!!!!
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:11 PM   #107
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Waiting for more!
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:43 PM   #108
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Cover Girls (and Boys)

It was lunchtime and we were all ready to EAT! I was set on trying one of the new Spicy Chicken and Waffle sandwiches they have at Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square. Everyone else wanted to eat at Cosmic Rays so we decided to split up.

I went this way:



The sandwiches are prepared fresh to order, so you do have to wait a few minutes. But oh, it is so worth it! This is the best thing I have had to eat in the Magic Kingdom for a long, long, LONG time.



It is a crispy fried chicken breast fillet, dipped in a sweet/spicy sauce that really did have a bit of heat (spice) to it. Originally it was served with some slaw on top, but mine only came with some arugula on top. Easily removable if you are anti- green stuff. Unobtrusive if you like that sort of thing.
All of that deliciousness was cradled inside a large Belgian Waffle, also cooked fresh to order and just as it should be, crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside.



I took a few bites of it right then, so I could taste it fresh. I didn’t know how long it would be until I caught up with everyone else. The flavors meld perfectly. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure about the spicy sauce, especially when I had read it had an oriental tinge to it (it does)- to me, from the south, chicken and waffles is sweet waffles with regular crispy breaded, homestyle fried chicken. I thought the sauce would be all wrong. Well , the only one who was wrong was me. It was fantastic!

As I headed over towards Cosmic Ray’s with my yummy Sammie, I spotted something curious in the hub just near the walkway to Tomorrowland. It was Ron, with a person dressed in slacks and a Polo Shirt, with a clipboard. Ron appeared to be filling out some paperwork on the clipboard.
I wondered what in the world was going on. I knew the surveys were usually done back up Main Street , this would have been a quite unusual place for something like that. My next thought was “OMG someone got hurt”. I looked around for the kids and spotted them standing nearby, all appearing healthy and uninjured.

By now I had crossed the hub and asked Ron what was going on. He said, “Oh, they just took pictures of us” and motioned to a photographer and the polo-shirt outfitted lady with the clipboard. I was now close enough to see the emblem on the Polo Shirt. It read Disney Destinations.

It took about 10 minutes for Ron to sign all of the release forms giving Disney rights to publish the picture they took of him and the kids. Supposedly it will be used for Disney Destinations’ Social Media Division for a feature on “Disney Style”. The way she explained it to him was that it would be used on a site or sites like Pintrest and Tumblr. Of course when we got home I tried to find an official Disney Pintrest or Tumblr site and could not..I could only find the Disney Parks Blog and the Disney Facebook Pages. So if you frequent any of those sites keep an eye out, you may see us- the news famous Disney Style models!

Meanwhile, in the midst of all this, we are shooed out of the hub by none other than the Move It Shake It, Celebrate It Parade, which we have never seen before. And we just happened to be able to get a front row spot. In fact it was very easy to do so as the hub was not too populated. (We found out why later: everyone was in Cosmic Ray’s!)



Loved seeing the parade from right up front! It was a lot of fun!



















By the time Ron was finished with all of the release forms, it did start to get pretty thickly populated around us so we headed on in to get everyone else some lunch.



Ron and Brendan went to grab the food while Savannah and Sarah and I tried to get a table. It was crazy busy packed in there and we wandered the whole restaurant several times before finding a spot. I hadn’t been inside this place since it was the Tomorrowland Terrace and the décor was red orange and yellow! Never a huge fan since it ALWAYS seemed crowded, but this is where everyone else wanted to go so….



In any event eventually we found a table. We snagged it and before long the boys were back with the food.

Decent view.



Nothing too exciting here. I definitely had the best meal of the bunch!



Angus Bacon Cheeseburgers ($9.19) and Kids’ Chicken Nuggets ($5.49)



The boys liked the burgers. A lot in fact. They were well-cooked and juicy, the bacon thick and flavorful.



The girls’ chicken…well…I don’t want to go off on a rant here but the kid’s chicken nuggets that Disney serves are just absolutely disgusting. They are flat dry and taste more like freezer-burnt cardboard than chicken. Blech. Avoid at all costs.



Photo Disclaimer: Chicken is grosser than it appears.



Of course I still had my sandwich and it wasn’t very hot anymore. It still was very tasty cold though!
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:48 PM   #109
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We're Late! We're Late! We're Late for a Very Important Fastpass!

Right after lunch, we hopped over to Buzz to get fastpasses. They were for about an hour and a half later so we trekked back across the hub to ride Jungle Cruise with the FPs we got before lunch.

We were on Volta Val!



Jungle Cruise was great as usual! Although we got stuck for about 10 minutes at the end! That stretched the talent of our skipper. I think we heard every possible joke from the script. LOL.

(and yes- getting stuck is by far the recurring theme of our day!)





After Jungle cruise being in Adventureland and all, we determined it was time for a cold refreshing snack. While Aloha Isle was just up the way with its tempting Dole Whips we decided to go Old Skool and get the newly-returned OG Orange Swirl from Sunshine Tree Terrace!



Tart frozen orange juice swirled with vanilla soft serve.



There was an intriguing story about the Orange Swirl on the DFB Podcast and how, when talk of the Orange Bird coming back was rampant, an Imagineer dug around in storage and found the original Orange Swirl machine from back in the day. They went though all kinds of trials and tribulations getting the parts to get the machine back into working order but eventually did. As a result of that we can now enjoy Orange Swirls the way they are supposed to be with the frozen OJ and not sweet cloying orange soft serve from an antique WDW original machine!

Yep. Tangy!



Sour is good!


We all enjoyed it!

Frozen treat break, we passed through the breezeway and went Rons way to BTMRR (kindof- remember you are already in Frontierland at that point NOT all the way back at Liberty Square like the way he was suggesting earlier).

We had old FPs for Big Thunder that we were lucky enough to be able to use anyime since it was down when we returned to ride again after the 2nd ride on Splash.

We all had another super fun ride in the back!

We made the mistake of popping in to use the restrooms by Splash and got stuck having to let Sarah run around the Laughing Place.









She had fun!

Then we walked back towards Liberty Square (again). There was a whole lot of walking and a whole lot of park-crossing to accommodate these FPs.
Since we were in the area we dropped in on the Haunted Mansion. The wait said 20 mins but it did not look bad at all. For some reason the HM has had horrible lines the last few times wed been at MK.



Oh look. Fastpass+, Yay. /sarcasm. So as soon as they implement that everyone will be forced to go through the graveyard.

Right now though, it was still an option. As we approached everyone was bypassing it and nobody was going though the graveyard/new queue area. A CM stationed there was saying no wait to go through the interactive queue- which was true at the time there was nobody in it.
So of course we listened.




The queue is fun dont get me wrong. It is brilliantly detailed and should be seen by every visitor at least once. But as it turned out this time it didnt work for us. As soon as we passed through the doors that had opened closed and we were the first to be cut off. Oh well.

Normally it wouldnt be a huge deal but we were well into our window for the Buzz FPs. We had time to make it there but only if there were no more delays&&

But this is Haunted Mansion after all. Probably the most notorious ride in WDW for going 101 (the CM term for breaking down). And we were not to be denied. As soon as we reached the endless stairways scene, sure enough our Doombuggy stops and the spiel plays&you know the one Frightful spooks have interrupted our tour please remain in your Doooooooooommmmbuggies and we will resume in just a moment

Or maybe 10-15 moments.

So after finally getting free from the mansion we hightailed it to Buzz and arrived a few minutes past our FP end time. I wasn't worried about it since I knew there was a 15 minute grace period but the CM was VERY stern about us being late and expressed how he was going to be nice and let us in just this one time but we should be sure to arrive within the window from here on out. Geez dude.

So lets blast some Aliens!



I let Sarah do the shooting this time and look- she did really good! 101,100. She almost caught up to Ron and his 188,800!





And then we though wed give Space Mountain one more try with Sarah. Standby was 20 minutes so we hopped in (where was everyone? ) and hoped for the best. Again she made it past the entrance check but was denied at the load area. Oh well. We tried.

From there we trekked BACK to Fantasyland (lots of walking today, did I mention that?) for a ride on Sarahs favorite- its a small world!



I do like the pretty gold and white color scheme. Beats the old-fashioned pastel powdered sugar-butter mint colors we had going on a few years back. I dont like the new queue configuration of entering through the old exit and exiting through the old entrance. I guess 36 years of doing it the old way will do that to ya.





Looking over the rail into the water blow for Bs old cell phone. He dropped it in there a couple of years back. I wonder what kind of crazy things they find when they drain it?



Not quite. Im pretty sure the happiest cruise that ever sails will actually be in three more days.



Ooh! I can get pretty pictures in here without my flash now!





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Last edited by nenner1; 10-16-2012 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:52 PM   #110
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Adventures in the New Land






Please, oh please don’t let us get stuck HERE!




After the ride, as we were waiting to disembark our boat, and we pulled up right under the clock, it went off. We haven’t seen this in a while!



These CM’s up in the windows of Pinnochio’s Village House are cute. I wonder if they are there all day. Are the tables not there anymore? I always wanted to sit there!



We had one stop left before we would call it a day: The New Storybook Circus area of Fantasyland!





Here are those infamous peanuts in the cement. Not real, but realistic looking!



We headed first to Dumbo- the new and improved dueling Dumbos with fountain effects and the queue-less queue. Woo-hoo!



We saw the sign for the standby wait and it said 20 mins. Nice! After so many years of having to RUN to Dumbo at rope drop and arriving to a 30 minute wait this was great. It was really confusing how to find the line though. Not marked really well, and nobody else was walking in when we were. Eventually we found our way.



Oh, OK!

So once inside the tent, you approach a CM at a podium where you are given a beeper ( the flashing kind like you get at a restaurant, made to look like an old-time admission ticket) and are then let loose inside the Big Top- a circus tent full of the things you'd expect to find in the domain of that other famous kid-loving rat- Chuck E Cheese!







The pros: it’s cute, it’s air conditioned, and there are places to sit. Did I mention the air conditioning?

The cons: it’s crazy, loud, and chaotic. And good luck rounding up your kid when the beeper goes off. You’d better hope they aren’t in that tunnel tube up by the ceiling refusing to come out.



Yes, this is definitely my favorite part right here:



It seemed like we did wait the full 20 mins or more in the tent. When we were finally called to line up outside to board the ride, we had about 10 more minutes of a wait out there. About 2 or 3 ride cycles.



It wasn’t bad at all. To be able to walk up to Dumbo at 5 PM and be on and off in a half hour and not spend 29 minutes of it in a switchback is pretty awesome.


















There is still a Dumbo you can take your picture in, too!



After our flight on Dumbo we walked very quickly past the Casey Jr. splash area. Although I had brought Sarah’s bathingsuit and even a towel, we decided to bypass it this time.

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Old 10-16-2012, 06:56 PM   #111
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The Signstormer



There’s no getting just “wet” here, more like soaked.



One last ride, and that will be the Barnstormer featuring the Great Goofini.



Now I knew this ride was getting a re-theming but when I had read that they were keeping the “Barnstormer” part of the name that they might actually keep the Barn part of the ride. Not so much. This one was a disappointment, mostly because they could have done so much better.



First of all another queue switcheroo. Enter through the old exit and exit through the old (unchanged except for the missing theming, although still meandering) entrance. Pet peeve.

OK, the queue theming was cute, but to remove the really adorable barn and surroundings (the chickens! The corn!), they replaced it with a…well….a sign. Sigh.











The rest of the ride minus the sign is barren and unthemed. This is a fail, Disney. It is an off the shelf ride but good theming can make it so much more. Especially since the duration of ride itself is like 38 seconds.







It should now be called...wait for it....the “Signstormer”



So that was it for us in MK. We headed out towards Main Street and the exit right at the stroke of 6 PM.










Remember I told you we found out why they enclose the latex Mickey Head balloons inside the clear plastic balloon now?
This is why.


All in all, we had quite a successful day. Although it seemed busy, remember we cris-crossed the park at least twice, and rode the three mountains 2-3 times each (Space the kids rode 5 times!). We were stuck on three rides for about an hour and a half total too. I think we covered a lot of ground and rode pretty much everything we wanted to!





We still had to go to dinner at our traditional beginning-of-vacation place, Cracker Barrel, and drive over to Port Canaveral to the Ron Jon Cape Caribe resort!

Up next: ___Miles to Ron Jon!
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:37 PM   #112
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I've been following your TR. LOVE IT! so detailed and entertaining. You're getting me excited for my WDW/ DCL western Caribbean cruise next may on the Fantasy
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:40 PM   #113
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Great installment!
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:25 PM   #114
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Sounds like y'all had a busy day in MK!

That chicken sandwich looks really good! I wish I had found the time to try one of those on our recent trip.

I love the whole new Storybook Circus area. I think they did a really great job with it....especially now that there are 2 Dumbos. I agree completely with you about the play area for Dumbo - nice that it has AC but such a pain trying to get your child out of there!
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:45 PM   #115
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wow you did cover a lot of ground for not being there RIGHT at rope drop you became the family of the day, got signed on to be part of their website peeps, rode tons of rides after getting stuck a few times had some good food and still saw a parade LOL You did well!!!
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:27 AM   #116
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Great update, Jen!

Loved the photos of Storybrook Circus and the new Dumbo area. We won't be back to WDW in quite a while, so I will rely on you and future TRs and photos to keep me update.

Anxiously waiting for the CRUISE portion of the trip!
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:34 PM   #117
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Great update, sounds like a great day in MK! Looking forward to reading about the cruise portion, my favorite!
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:10 PM   #118
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Love reading your trip report ~thanks for sharing~
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:15 AM   #119
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Talking

I'm loving this story!!! I'm hoping it is finished before I have to get on the Fantasy . . .

Is Brendan now taller than Ron?
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:09 AM   #120
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Hey Jen, Loving your pictures. Thanks for the how tos about putting rhinestones on t-shirts. I know two eight year olds that will love this on their diva'd up clothing!!!!!
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