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Old 11-12-2012, 12:10 PM   #16
blestmom
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Originally Posted by dls881 View Post
Hi Blestmom!

Its Diane from RS. Loved reading your report and loved your pictures!
Hey Diane!! Nice to have you here!!!
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:22 PM   #17
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Day 2: “Now I’m a Believer…”

Being exhausted from traveling the day before, Andrew and I slept until 11, then quickly headed out.

Oh. My. Word.

It was hot. And humid. And HOT. At least for us. We are just not used to heat. We did one trip to Disney in September, because we got a fantastic deal on a hotel, but we said we didn’t want to come that time of year again…because it was just too hot for us. I’d like to say that because I live in Alaska I just can’t take the heat, but my older daughter handles it just fine. So in truth, it’s probably more accurate to say that since I can’t take the heat, I choose to live in Alaska. At any rate, we were hot. Really hot. Oh yeah...did I mention we were HOT???

We were in Epcot by 12. “Spaceship Earth” is one of Andrew’s favorites, so even though it is so cliché to ride that first upon entering the park, that’s what we did. As expected, Andrew wasted no time making goofy expressions for ride photo…and that continued through the entire two weeks. We had wanted to ride Soarin’ but since we got there later, the Fastpasses were already backed up to pretty late in the day, so we decided to skip it for now.

We headed over to the World Showcase. One of our first stops was the Boulangerie Patisserie in France. I had read numerous raving reviews about the Napoleon in the bakery. Not just, “I thought it was good,” but more like, “Oh my goodness…it is the best ever! You MUST try it! There is nothing on this earth as good as the Napoleon!!!” So I went with high hopes and great expectations. And…

I didn’t like it. I’m sorry. I really wanted to, but I just didn’t. It is lovely, though.




Andrew went with his favorite…the chocolate mousse.




I also ordered the ham and cheese quiche.



I really like the quiche, but...why on earth I thought I could eat both the Napoleon and the quiche at one sitting…I have no idea. I was so stuffed.

We looked around some of the shops in the pavilions.



One thing I was really looking forward to was getting my Laila perfume in Norway. I got it for the first time last trip, and absolutely loved it. I ran out a couple of months ago, so getting another bottle was something I wanted to make sure to do. When I got to the store, who was there but Geir Ness, the creator of Laila, himself. He introduced himself to me and asked me my name, and autographed my bottle of perfume, as well as a small purse size bottle he gave me as a gift, and he gave a small bottle of men’s cologne to my son. And he gave me an autographed photo. I felt like I just met an Epcot celebrity. Only other DISers would understand.

Andrew thought I was weird.




When we got to the American pavilion, we saw the Fife and Drum corps.





But wait....what's this?



Who? Smash Mouth? Oh yeah!!!!!! This was a very happy surprise. And quite the coincidence...

You see, in order to spend some 'quality family time' together before my oldest left for the Lower 48 for 3 months, we watched a family movie a few days before Andrew and I left for Disney…this one:



A very funny movie. At the end of the movie, there is a scene at a concert. Whose concert? You got it...Smash Mouth!

And…just 3 days before we left, my younger daughter and I went to see this in Anchorage:



At the end of the play, the cast dances to the song, “I’m a Believer” by who? Yep...Smash Mouth!

And now here they are in concert toni-ght! That is so cool. We are definitely going. Smash Mouth overload!!!

In the meantime, we stopped into the Karamelle-Kuche caramel shop in Germany, but because I was foolish and ate both the Napoleon AND the quiche, I was too full to eat my beloved dark chocolate sea salt caramel. I’ll have to wait for that.




Before going further, I just have to say, Andrew is really a great kid. He’s all teenage boy, and loves fast thrill rides, but he also likes “Living With the Land.” And he isn’t just tolerating it on my behalf…he really finds it interesting. So that was next on our agenda.



We also rode Figment, Maelstrom, and the Gran Fiesta boat ride in Mexico.

A little before 5, Andrew and I headed over to watch the Smash Mouth concert. (In case you don’t know who they are, they sing “All Star,” “Walking on the Sun,” and the re-make of “I’m a Believer” used in the Shrek movie.)



They were so good! We loved it!!



After the first concert, we headed over to China for dinner...




...then went back for the second set. They were even better.






I would have gone to the third set as well, but Andrew had been patient enough and I thought it wise not to test his patience too much the first day.

I wanted to stay and watch Illuminations, but Andrew was really tired. Not too tired, however, for one more ride on Spaceship Earth on our way out.

We headed back to the hotel, and dropped into bed. What a great day!
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:32 PM   #18
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Joining in!
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:29 PM   #20
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Subbing in and loving your TR so far!:thumbsup
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:37 AM   #22
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Day 3 – “Sneak peek!”

Although both of us were still tired from jet lag, we got up earlier today and headed over to the Magic Kingdom. Again, it was HOT. I’m such a heat wimp. And more crowded than I had expected. But we had fun anyway.

The first thing we did was ride Pirates of the Caribbean. We always ride that first at the Magic Kingdom. It’s our family tradition. We were going to ride Splash Mountain, but it was down. That, in turn, made Big Thunder very crowded, so we decided to come back later in the day. We rode Haunted Mansion.




We walked by Small World and Andrew agreed to go on it one time. He said he might as well get it over with early. Gotta love that kid!




We continued walking through Fantasyland, and…what’s this? Two cast members were in front of a walkway, and asked us if we’d like to check out the new Little Mermaid ride? Um….YES!!






It really is beautiful in there. I can only imagine how pretty it will be at night.




The ride was very quaint and sweet.








Saw the work being done on the Seven Dwarves Mine Train.




After seeing some of the new Fantasyland, we grabbed lunch at Pinocchio Haus. The flatbread pizzas were good, but not as good as the old individual pizzas, IMHO. We headed over to Tomorrowland. Andrew loves the TTA, so we rode that a few times. There are some cool views of the castle and Tomorrowland rides from there.






Then we headed back to Big Thunder and rode that. Splash was still down, so we went to the Jungle Cruise.




We were really surprised by how crowded it was. We waited over 30 minutes for Jungle Cruise, which for us is not usual. And it was sssooooo hot. I know. I’m complaining. I’m sorry. I just don’t do heat well. I didn’t realize how much Andrew liked Jungle Cruise, but I noticed this trip he asked to go on it quite a bit.

Also went to the Swiss Family Treehouse, which also has come neat views of the park from there, like the castle.






Andrew and I get along quite well, and we both are willing to give and take so the other doesn’t get too cranky. But one area we do differ in is that I really like parades, and Andrew really doesn’t. If I had my way, I’d watch just about every one, while Andrew sees their value only as a great time to hit the rides while others are watching the parade. I really wanted to see the “Celebrate a Dream Come True” parade, so I got Andrew an ice-cold Coke and we staked out a spot. Now…it was really, really hot. I think it was about 90 degrees, but it felt like 150, and here we were sitting on the sidewalk in the blazing sun waiting for a parade. I told Andrew if he would just hang on, I wouldn’t make him watch this parade again. He was a sport and didn’t complain after that. And I did get some good photos of characters.












We rode Pirates again, and by then, it was late afternoon. The park was closing at 7 pm for the Halloween parade, and I could see that the heat was starting to get to Andrew. I figured we were here for 2 weeks, so there was no need to keep pushing when we were hot and tired. I wanted Andrew to remember relaxing as much as having fun in the parks, so we decided to head back to Pop Century.

While waiting for the bus to the hotel, we saw this monorail go by. Andrew thought this was pretty awesome.






Going back ended up being a wise decision. Andrew swam for a little while, then he suggested we go to Downtown Disney for dinner, because he wanted to go to Wolfgang Puck’s. Andrew got a really great meal….Cavatappi Chicken Alfredo (peas, bacon and parmesan).




I got the Spaghetti Bolonese. It was good, but Andrew’s was better.




After we got back from DTD, we explored around the Art of Animation Resort.






We relaxed and watched t.v. for awhile, and finally went to bed because it had been a pretty full day.
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:18 AM   #23
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Yay for you getting in to ride the new Little Mermaid ride! I cannot wait to ride it in Sept!
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:01 PM   #24
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Day 4: “Will the chef hate me?”

Guilt is in play today. Not just any guilt, but Mom guilt.

Since it was just the two of us, I decided to spoil ourselves a bit (as if a 2-week trip to Disney in itself isn’t spoiling enough.) Andrew loves steak. Like…a lot. Me….I’m just ‘meh’ about it. The Canada pavilion, however is my favorite, and I’ve always wanted to try Le Cellier. Just like the Napoleon in France, I’d heard glowing reviews of Le Cellier… and not just the restaurant itself, but specifically the Filet Mignon. So I made a lunch ADR, and today was the day. But I am feeling guilty because I couldn't afford to take the other kids when they were all here.




Today was NOT a recommended day for Epcot, due to the increased weekend crowds (it was a Saturday) for the Wine and Food festival, but I figured we’d get in, have lunch, and go to another park.

Before we get too far into today, though, I do have to state that it was hot. And humid. I felt very sorry for this guy...




The first thing Andrew and I did upon arriving at Epcot was go to the Chase lounge. For one thing, we wanted to see what it was all about. And Andrew wanted the free soda. (Sorry for the bad photo, but no one was taking pictures in there, so I felt a bit conspicuous with my big camera. I just kept it around my neck and quietly pushed the shutter.)




I have to admit…it was pretty sweet. The entrance was in the back of the Ghirardelli exhibit in the old Wonders of Life building, so of course they had they person out front handing out chocolate samples. At first I was disappointed in the sample flavor…Pumpkin? Really?? But after tasting it….wow, it was really, really good. I’m having trouble finding now back in Alaska. And I've been searching. But back to the lounge…it was nice. Very small, but with couches, and free sodas.

And here is where the other instance of Mom guilt comes into play. In the lounge they also had wristbands for priority seating for tonight’s “Eat to the Beat” concert. When I talked to my younger daughter and told her we had seen Smash Mouth, she asked me what other concerts there were. I started to list them off to her, and when I got to “Javier Colon,” she screamed. “Mom! No fair! You get to see Javier Colon?” I had no idea who this person was, but apparently she did, and she was quite indignant that someone who didn’t even know who they were had the opportunity to see him. She made me promise to go to his concert, and take pictures. Apparently, he is the winner of “The Voice” from the first season. She watches the show every week. I have no interest in it. But she is a singer, and it’s one of her favorite shows. So I told her I would go and take pictures. This seemed to satisfy her a little, but I still felt bad I was going, and she wasn’t.

Mom guilt is some of the worst guilt there is.

So Andrew and I got our wristbands for priority seating at the concert (and soda and pumpkin chocolate) and headed on over to lunch.

The Canada pavilion is so pretty...




We had the first reservation time of the day for lunch. It was really pretty in there. Our server was very sweet. She said we were her first people from Alaska she’s served, and she was pretty excited about it. She asked us a lot of questions of what it is like here. We started with the yummy bread.




I had heard such wonderful things about the pretzel bread, and it was quite good, but my favorite by far was the sourdough bread. I could have eaten an entire basket full. Must be the Alaska in me.

Then we had the cheddar cheese soup, and then the filet. When we ordered, I asked our server if the chef would cringe when he found out I wanted my filet well done. I just can’t eat meat with any pink in it at all. She was very nice and told me that the chef would “butterfly” it for me…split it apart so it gets seared more evenly, rather then really dry on the outside to get the inside well done.

It really did look like a butterfly!




And she substituted mashed potatoes for us since neither one of use cares for mushrooms. The filets were delicious. Andrew said it was his favorite meal of the trip.

We ended with the maple crème brulee, which was outstanding.



Overall, a great meal and a great experience. We left quite happy and satisfied.

Since it was crowded in Epcot, we decided to head over to the recommended park of the day…and my personal favorite park…Animal Kingdom!

The first thing we did was…look at a gift shop! Boy, Andrew was thrilled with that (not!) I just love the park so much, and I love the gift shops there, too. But I only made him endure about 3 minutes there. We got fastpasses for Everest, then went over to Dinosaur. Andrew loves that ride.



Then we went to Primeval Whirl.




Did I mention it was hot? And humid? It was.


It was time for our Everest fastpass. Everest is our favorite ‘thrill’ ride in all the parks. We could ride it again and again and again. But not right now. It was too crowded and hot.

We then headed to my favorite attraction…Kilimanjaro Safari. Now this I could do over and over, pretty much all day long. All of my kids know this, and they do indulge me and let me go on it a lot.






I find the animals absolutely fascinating.

We rode Everest 2 more times, Primeval Whirl 2 more times, and Dinosaur 1 more time. We also explored one of the animal trails.




I have to explain this next photo...

I love seeing Disney through the eyes of my kids. On the animal trail, we were all watching the gorillas, which were so cool. But Andrew noticed something else...this.....




I almost missed it completely.




We were getting tired, but…we still had the “Javier Colon” concert in Epcot to get to. So back on the bus we went.

It was almost time for the concert when we got to Epcot, so we headed right over to the American pavilion. We got seated in the front row, and I got some great views of Javier for my daughter.






When the concert was over, we were pretty tired…it had been a long day. So we went back to hotel, watched some t.v., and fell asleep.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:55 PM   #25
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Mom guilt is the absolute worst guilt I do agree! My DD8 is very good at it too. I hardly ever go out but when I do she sure can lay it on thick.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:44 PM   #26
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Wonderful report so far.

I had plaid polyester pants too and loved them.

I understand the mommy guilt. In June my 2 girls, my sister and I are going on a girl's trip and my DS16 won't be joining us. I have promised him a trip the following year without the girls, so he says he's okay with it.

The food at Le Cellier looks so yummy. It's one of my favorite restaurants in Epcot. I'm hoping to get a reservation for our girl's trip.

Looking forward to more.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:13 PM   #27
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Hi I just found your trip report and I'm loving it. I feel for you with the "Mom Guilt". I'm so glad you and your son seem to be having a great time. Can't wait to read more.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:05 PM   #28
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Great updates. Your pictures are really beautiful. I love the spider web. Definitely not a Disney picture, but so pretty all the same.

Sounds like you have had two very full days so far. Was it hot? Your meal at WPE looks so yummy. I loved that they butterflied your filet at LeCellier. I actually tried to reach out and take a piece of that bread.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:24 PM   #29
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Great report and pics.

We were there too then. it was warm but the 3 years before this one were incredibly hot. 2009 was 111 degrees.

I missed Smash Mouth and Javier. I did see one concert while I was there.

Looking forward to reading more.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:47 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by FancyNancy View Post
Mom guilt is the absolute worst guilt I do agree! My DD8 is very good at it too. I hardly ever go out but when I do she sure can lay it on thick.
Yeah, it is tough, isn't it?
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