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Old 12-11-2012, 10:59 AM   #46
Angies1274
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Wow! Loved your mini-trip report!! It looks like you had a great time! All your pictures have definitely made me more excited if we decide to join my in-laws next year. Thanks for sharing! I wrote down some of the places you visited so we can check them out!
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:24 AM   #47
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Wow! Loved your mini-trip report!! It looks like you had a great time! All your pictures have definitely made me more excited if we decide to join my in-laws next year. Thanks for sharing! I wrote down some of the places you visited so we can check them out!
Angie, you definitely need to go to Cade's Cove. Even if you don't see any animals (we always have), the scenery is gorgeous and the cabins and churches in between are very interested.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:06 PM   #48
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Trying to catch up!! I've been so busy with holiday stuff at home and at Reid's school. 'Tis the season, right?!?

Disney on Ice looks like so much fun! I especially love the pictures of the Peter Pan part.

Anyway....y'alls trip to Gatlinburg really looks like so much fun! The pictures are all so beautiful and made me really miss the trips Ed & I used to take there when we lived in South Carolina and Georgia. I won't lie...the only thing we've ever done in Cherokee is go the casino.

Have you ever gone to the Biltmore in Asheville? That's another great excursion. And they decorate it beautifully around Christmas time. Definitely worth the side trip!
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:41 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Angies1274 View Post
Wow! Loved your mini-trip report!! It looks like you had a great time! All your pictures have definitely made me more excited if we decide to join my in-laws next year. Thanks for sharing! I wrote down some of the places you visited so we can check them out!
If you get to go I think you will have a fabulous time! Dollywood is fun too. It is different from Disney, of course, but it is great in its own way!

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Angie, you definitely need to go to Cade's Cove. Even if you don't see any animals (we always have), the scenery is gorgeous and the cabins and churches in between are very interested.
I agree! When we go for more than a few days we usually find ourselves at Cade's Cove multiple times! Another great drive is the Roaring Fork Historical Road. It is a lot like Cade's Cove but goes up into the mountain side. It has houses you can walk through and another great trail to a waterfall: Grotto Falls. This one isn't paved though and can be muddy if it has rained lately but so worth it! You can walk behind the waterfall and see "the backside" of water!!

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Trying to catch up!! I've been so busy with holiday stuff at home and at Reid's school. 'Tis the season, right?!?

Disney on Ice looks like so much fun! I especially love the pictures of the Peter Pan part.

Anyway....y'alls trip to Gatlinburg really looks like so much fun! The pictures are all so beautiful and made me really miss the trips Ed & I used to take there when we lived in South Carolina and Georgia. I won't lie...the only thing we've ever done in Cherokee is go the casino.

Have you ever gone to the Biltmore in Asheville? That's another great excursion. And they decorate it beautifully around Christmas time. Definitely worth the side trip!
Thanks! glad they brought back some good memories! We would love to live closer so we could visit more. I told Keith midway between there and Orlando would be great! We really don't go to Cherokee except for passing through. Most things close in October. There is a great museum there and the summer activities are neat. A good walking tour with Cherokees doing different things. But we love the Biltmore!! We actually have gone every trip for the last three or four years and decided to take a break this time but we still missed it! And it is only a 90 minute drive so not a bad day trip. And the Christmas decorations are so amazing!!!
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:40 PM   #50
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The first full day begins!!

Thankfully with this huge delay I had only gotten to the first days post! Hopefully this is the first of many fast posts for you!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

“There are two kinds of travel: first class and with children.”
― Robert Benchley, Pluck and Luck



This day begins as most of our mornings…no rope drops this trip! This is a bit of an adjustment to me but we are here for relaxation this go around! I also have no real plans except when my ADRs come into play—another huge thing for me! I mean NO plans!!! When the kids are along, we always do rope drop even if Keith just meets us later. I had thought I would go alone but I just never felt like leaving both of us alone just so I could be at Rope Drop…specifically Magic Kingdom. That Welcome Show is a favorite of mine but I relented and did not go this trip.

Outside our room the blue sky was very apparent!



Our door...nothing special but it helps remember the room number!



And a daytime shot of one of last night's pictures.



On the way to the bus stop, Keith asks where we are going and I told him there wasn’t a plan. Then the one thing I hate about not having plans and goals began to happen! Are we just going to wander and wander and waste precious time? Oh, the horror!!! I cannot fathom it being afternoon and we haven’t done anything!! We make it to the bus stop and see that some stops have long lines.

We know we will be at Epcot that evening and I really wanted to avoid that park over the weekend. I had read in all of my research that weekends at Epcot are a mad house due to the Food and Wine Festival.

The bus stop for Magic Kingdom was pretty long too. But also, Keith really, really dislikes Magic Kingdom. I mean, he REALLY dislikes Magic Kingdom!! So I know that one is out!

As we are walking up, a bus to Hollywood Studios pulls up and we decide to hop on!! This is Keith’s favorite park, so I know he will be happy. Unfortunately, it is my least favorite. Fortunately, during the July trip I discovered little things that made this a park worth more than a few hours. Of course my favorite ride is here: Tower of Terror!!!! Love that ride with a passion!!! I also love Toy story Mania, Rock-in-Roller and Indiana Jones plus One Man’s Dream so besides those attractions, I pretty much have had no desire to go to DHS. In July we finally saw Streetmosphere acts and did a lot more leisurely touring and I found a hidden gem.

We load onto the buses and within 10 minutes we are getting off at Hollywood Studios! As I have said before: a great thing about POP Century was that most bus rides lasted 10-15 minutes max!!!



On our way, Keith and I discuss food because we had not eaten yet. We arrive and make our way into the park.

Entering the park...





It is then time to go get a Fast Pass for TSMM! We head over and grab a Fast Pass with a return time of 3:25pm. At this point it is around 10am. This means we will have a quite a bit of time to spend. Our dinner ADR is at Epcot at 5:30pm so all is good!!

After grabbing our Fast Pass we head off looking for something to eat, but all we can find are Danish/pastry type things so we decide it is really getting close to lunch so we will wait a bit. In our wandering we find ourselves on the Streets of America.



And I suddenly realized the lights were up and ready for the Osborne Lights.



Being someone that has never been at Christmas or during the prep time, I found this exciting being the Disney nerd I am! The lights were incredible in their spacing and seeing pictures, I can hardly wait until the day I can see this in person. Keith couldn’t get over the number of lights and we discussed the fun in checking all of those bulbs! Being the Griswold loving family we are, we couldn’t help comparing it to this as well!

We decide to just head back towards Pixar:



And then we decide to jump in line and do stand-by. This is highly unusual for me since the wait was 50 minutes but since we didn’t have any other big plans we decide to go for it.













As usual, Keith beat me but I still can best him in accuracy (for what that is worth!).





Continued in the following post...
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:42 PM   #51
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Continued from the previous post...

Having finished TSMM we enter One Man's Dream! We love this attraction so much! Keith has even taken to watching the Walt Disney special on CNBC....he has it recorded. Yep!! A little tour for your viewing pleasure....























The New Fantasyland was having soft openings leading up to our visit but unfortuantely they were only for CMs and their families during our stay! I am so looking forward to seeing this new addition!









Now it is time for FOOD!!! The closest place open is ABC Commissary.





Counter Service in Hollywood Studios has never been a venture I have undertaken. In March, I ate at Pizza Planet since our voucher was for counter service locals only. Pizza Planet was good and somewhere I would return. We have eaten at Starring Rolls and love it but this isnt really a lunch type destination in Keiths book. Reviews of most counter service options in DHS are spotty at best and sometimes down-right awful! ABC has gotten some fair reviews so we figure it is worth a shot.

I am not sure what I was expecting but when I entered the restaurant it wasnt really the atmosphere I thought it would be, but that is in a good way.



There were palm trees and it was pretty bright. TVs advertising ABC shows lined both sides of the restaurants seating areas.









It really was a pleasant surprise but looks can be deceiving! How was the food?

Keith and I both chose the same thing to eat: 1/3 lb. Angus Cheeseburger & Fried Shrimp with French Fries.



Since we were on the dining plan, we also got a dessert and we both chose the seasonal cupcake. It was extremely adorable and was carrot cake with cream cheese icing.



We both found the hamburger to be good. The special sauce they use is good and I liked it over the usual mustard, mayo and ketchup. I am not a French Fry lover but I find the Disney fries pretty good and dont mind eating them at all. In fact, I may even be a French Fry snob and saying these fries are pretty good is actually a huge compliment from me! The shrimp on top was a good addition and I saved it for last!

The cupcake was delicious per me and yuck per Keith. So let me clarify, I really like carrot cake the cupcake very good. I was full however, after my hamburger so I only ate half (plus these things are huge!!!). Keith likes carrot cake to an extent and didnt realize the cupcake was carrot cake. (Read the description dude!!) He really doesnt like sweet stuff that much so the icing was too sweet for him. The final verdict: dont go solely on Keiths not liking it since he didnt really know what he was ordering.

Overall verdict for ABC Commissary was an A. I really liked the atmosphere since it was at 11:30am and not too crowded. I also enjoyed watching the clips for the various shows which included an addiction of mine- Once Upon A Time! The food was good, not amazing but sustainable and definitely not disgusting.

We have full tummies...what could be next???

Last edited by TinksThree; 12-18-2012 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:30 AM   #52
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Great review of ABC comm. I came so close to trying it in July, but like you, I had only heard bad things and it scared me away. I will put it on my list of possibles for next trip. And I think that cupcake looks fantastic!
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:42 PM   #53
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Sounds like y'all were off to a good start that day! I'm interested to see how not having lots of plans affects your vacation. It's been so long since I've done that, I don't know if I could handle not having plans each day. Lunch looks really good. That cupcake will show up in my TR eventually. I do love carrot cake but....I have to side with Keith. I was really disappointed in it.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:58 AM   #54
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Trying to get caught up on the DIS! Sounds like a nice day-you are so brave to go without a plan! My DH would be happier if I'd do that one of these days, but I'm not ready! I really do just plan what park we'll be at and where we'll eat, but DH still grumbles.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:45 AM   #55
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Great review of ABC comm. I came so close to trying it in July, but like you, I had only heard bad things and it scared me away. I will put it on my list of possibles for next trip. And I think that cupcake looks fantastic!
Lunch was pretty good and I did enjoy the cupcake. I thought it was too cute! ABC can be a mixed bag...you just never know what you will get!

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Sounds like y'all were off to a good start that day! I'm interested to see how not having lots of plans affects your vacation. It's been so long since I've done that, I don't know if I could handle not having plans each day. Lunch looks really good. That cupcake will show up in my TR eventually. I do love carrot cake but....I have to side with Keith. I was really disappointed in it.
No plans gives me slight anxiety. I have had too many mishaps with no plan trips (to anywhere not just Disney) but I just went with it this trip. July had gone pretty well at a slower pace so I just went with it this time! We'll see how that works out! Funny on the carrot cake! Maybe I was overwhelmed by its cuteness!!

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Trying to get caught up on the DIS! Sounds like a nice day-you are so brave to go without a plan! My DH would be happier if I'd do that one of these days, but I'm not ready! I really do just plan what park we'll be at and where we'll eat, but DH still grumbles.
I am behind on the Dis too! I am hoping I can catch up while others are busy with the holidays! I am almost there! Going with no plans is stressful yet relaxing at the same time. However, I don't know that I could always tour that way! The unknown of missing something gets to me!!
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:32 AM   #56
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A little more of DHS plus some things never done!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! Ours has been a very busy, fun-filled holiday thus far! I had hoped to do more updates being off work for a few weeks but, yea, that hasn't happened! But here's a little one at least!

After eating we head towards Streets of America again. I am not sure why really. Once there we see Mulch, Sweat and Shears so we stop briefly and enjoy their groovyness!







We then leave this area to make our way towards Tower of Terror!! Once we reach Sunset Blvd we see a Streetmosphere act going on. Since this has become one of our favorite things we stop to watch!





This guy makes me giggle! He reminds me of an actor on ABC Family’s “Chasing Christmas”. There is a little guy angel that is very mischievous. The movie has Tom Arnold in it and it is an adaptation of “A Christmas Carol”. He is just so darn cute!!

Moving on down the road I snapped some pictures since I just really love the character this area has! You can notice those blue skies are getting grayer as a cold front approaches…







We reach Tower of Terror to use our Fast Pass but the ride is down to one elevator and the FP line is a 45 minute wait! We decide to fore-go it this time and go for another Fast Pass later. But it isn’t time to get a new FP so we decide to head off to some shops and look for a hoodie. The weather had turned off very cool. Got to love those cold fronts!! The wind made it slightly cooler that we had anticipated, so Keith wanted to find a hoodie.

We look and look but he is so picky: nothing on the back (and most have huge emblems on the back), nothing big and that stands out on the front, no zipper but a pullover, and the color had to be dark blue or black. You would think of the tons of merchandise Disney offers something would meet these standards but nope!! Giving up, I head off to get a ToT FP and Keith goes to sit and wait for a new attraction…one I have wanted to see and he is indulging me!

I grab the FP and then meet him at Beauty and the Beast!



Granted I didn’t fully divulge the fact that this has singing but he has seen the movie and knows there are songs, but needless to say he hated it! Sit him on metal seats and force him to listen to singing and watch dancing and he’d rather have his teeth pulled out one by one!!

I, on the other hand, adored the show! It was all I expected it to be! Of course I managed to get a few pictures! And since it was my first time, I took tons and tons!! So "Be My Guest!":




















"Enchanted? Who said anything about the castle being enchanted?"
- Cogsworth, the talking, walking, mantle clock next to Lumiere, the mobile candle stick!














Continued in the following post....

Last edited by TinksThree; 12-27-2012 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:43 AM   #57
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Continued from the previous post...



















“If he could learn to love another, and earn her love in return by the time the last petal fell, then the spell would be broken. If not, he would be doomed to remain a beast for all time. As the years passed, he fell into despair and lost all hope. For who could ever learn to love a beast? -Beauty & the Beast”



















In the end, Keith survived the torture and I was happy to get to see the show. So we head off to see something that will make Keith happy!!
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:55 AM   #58
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Oh my gosh! Keith and John are cut from the same cloth. We must never ever travel together. Wait, I take that back. We coudldsend them off on their own and you and I and the kids would have a great time. Seriously, Keith was a sweetie for sitting through Beauty and the Beast with you. It's been years since I've seen it.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:19 AM   #59
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LOVING your TR!
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:56 AM   #60
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Oh my gosh! Keith and John are cut from the same cloth. We must never ever travel together. Wait, I take that back. We coudldsend them off on their own and you and I and the kids would have a great time. Seriously, Keith was a sweetie for sitting through Beauty and the Beast with you. It's been years since I've seen it.
I think that would work! Keith and John could nap and talk on their phones! We could run off and do the things they dislike! I kept missing Beauty and the Beast and then the rumors of it going away made me determined to see it. I was glad Keith suffered for me! He is a gem!

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