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Old 12-17-2012, 12:43 PM   #31
mnmrmustard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PracPerfPatricia View Post
Hey Mike,

Sick on vacation... is not fun... I hope it wasn't too terrible for them...

Sorry you were sick too...I think something is just going around everywhere... DD had a respiratory thing last week... still lingering... DS had a stomach thing... DH & I caught the variety pak from them... so I can empathasize with your plight...

Hopefully everyone is healthy for Christmas...

Anyhow... I think being closer to the front of POP was probably better than the pool because I think it was kind of cold to swim although DS is crazy for the water...he swam & loved it...

You got some great photos of AoA-the Nemo section is very cute... it's over the top Disney at its best... That whole area now with POP and AoA combined...must be really photogenic

Really can't wait to read about your CP experience...... ours went a little differently than planned so I hope that you had the traditional CP experience...


It did put a damper on things, but Roxy and PumpkinGirl were real troopers and got as much enjoyment as they could considering they were on cold meds the whole time :P

Yes, we got a whole mixed bag of stuff here at home. I'm at work but still not over it and Roxy & PumpkinGirl are at urgent care to try and figure out what to to with her chronic cough. I hope you all are feeling better or get there soon! Heathy before Christmas is certainly the goal!

Yes, I was a bit unhappy at first about the location not having a view. But it was darned convenient. And Bean got me into the pool despite it not being hot out - she love the water too.

Thank you on the Nemo photos, more on the way. And I agree, the whole AoA/POP theming is really fun! Next time I hope we are able to stay at AoA itself.

I've gotten all of the photos loaded onto my computer from the trip. Now I have to go through them and edit/resize and such. LOTS more pics to come! And as far as CP, we did a change-up and ended up doing 1900 Park Fare instead so we had no CP experience at all. I'll have to get over to your TR and read how yours went!

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Originally Posted by Trentmom View Post
Sounds like you got perfect room location

Sorry roxy and pumpkingirl were under weather still, but looks like you and Bean had some fun exploring AOA

Great pics

Yes, it was really convenient - out the door and off we would go!

Roxy and PumpkinGirl got rest whenever they could and still managed to have a good time. But it was nice exploring with Bean
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:18 PM   #32
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Day 1 Part 3 - A Walk thru 3 Memorable Movies at AoA

Bean and I continued our adventure thru the Pridelands at AoA. One thing I forgot to mention, the nightly movies that they show outdoors at the resort are shown right under Mufasa at Pride Rock. They were just wrapping it up as we walked thru there.

Our next stop brought us to the Elephant Graveyard! Bean started exploring along with a couple of other cubs



As you can see from Bean perching on it, those tusks were sizable!



Banzai, Shenzi, and Ed were watching over the yard






And a bit farther along on his own outcropping was a favorite of mine, Scar




On the other side of Scar's perch we find Zazu. Bean struck a good pose with him


We exited the Pridelands and waded into the ocean, quickly finding ourselves Under the Sea. Our first find was the coveted Dinglehopper!



A pipe, some treasure, and a larger than life beer stein followed







Closer to the pool we find Eric's statue sitting proudly


King Triton made for an imposing 4 story figure


Between him and his nemesis we find Sebastian striking up the orchestra


And then we find the evil Ursula dominating the buildings across from Triton. Do you think Bean liked the pose?





Across the pool from the two towering foes we find Ariel and Flounder


The rest of the area had some dancing fish and good ocean theming.

Now since we were at the far end of the resort we had to trek back out of Mermaid, back across the Pridelands, past the hub & Nemo, and finally on to Cars Land.

The first thing that caught Bean and my attention that we expected the Cars characters to be the same size as regular cars. I guess they made them smaller so the wee ones could not feel like they were too big to be around.

First we saw the Sheriff


Then the Mayor


Flo was next


Followed by Ramone and his low profile wheels


The whole pool area was themed as the Cozy Cone Motel with a full facade as you walked up






I liked the cone shade areas around the pool. I'm sure they'd be very popular when it got hot outside.

Next up we finish up our trip thru Cars land and make our way back to POP and the 50s to see how the other half of the family was doing.



Click here for the next Chapter: Day 1 Part 4 - Finishing up a Long Day
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:45 PM   #33
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Day 1 Part 4 - Finishing up a Long Day

Beside the Cozy Cone pool we find Luigi's shop


Him and Guido were very cute


Across from them we find Mater's Tow Yard


Bean noticed that someone had already chipped one of Mater's teeth




There we lots of little bits of theming if you were paying attention. Stuff like the Radiator Springs Chamber of Commerce logo on the pool fence


At the far end of the pool area we find Sarge's setup with Sarge standing guard




The far building was themed as the Wheel Well Motel complete with gas tanks and our two main characters






The last character we came across was good ole Fillmore


We walked back to hourglass lake and followed a path back to the bridge. Both Bean and I tried to take pictures of POP reflecting on the lake but neither of us could keep the camera steady enough to get a decent shot and I was too tired to look for a place to set the camera down to get one.

My overall impresson of the Art of Animation Resort was that it would be a very cool place to stay once the prices come down a bit more. The food court had some unique offerings although we never ate a meal there we heard good things about it. One thing that struck me about it in comparison to all other Value Resorts was that you lose the direct entry onto balconies/sidewalks from your room. You have to travel down corridors to get to exit points and only have windows to look out on the resort. Not a huge deal but it does make it a bit harder for those putting up window displays to have their Disney statements seen.

By this time we got back to our room in the 50s area it was just after 10pm. We had been up and moving for just shy of 15 hours and were ready to be done. Roxy and PumpkinGirl were both asleep so I had Bean go in and take a shower while I picked out clothes and got things together for our first day in the parks. Bean went to bed and I grabbed a quick shower and was asleep before 11pm.

Tomorrow would bring us to DHS early for an 8:05am reservation at Hollywood & Vine. I was already regretting setting a morning ADR the day after our travel day. I wouldn't be doing that one again


Click here for the next Chapter:
Day 2 Part 1 - Early DHS Entry Brings Full Tummies and TSM
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:44 PM   #34
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Rest of AOA looks great. Bean cracked me up with all her posing

Hope getting up next morning was not too hard for everyone after your day of travel

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Old 12-18-2012, 08:12 PM   #35
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Great report.... what kind of camera did you use
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:25 PM   #36
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Love all the fun shots of AoA! I also noticed that there didn't seem to be walkways outside the rooms like at POP - just windows. I haven't stayed at a Value Resort yet but if I did, I'd like to stay at AoA esp with my grandson who is 5 yrs old. Your daughter is so cute in the pics - love that she is uninhibited and likes having her pic taken. You both make a great team!
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:11 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trentmom View Post
Rest of AOA looks great. Bean cracked me up with all her posing

Hope getting up next morning was not too hard for everyone after your day of travel

It is a really visually interesting place to see. I still need to go back there when its daylight to see what it looks like then. And yes, I loved how much fun Bean had with the posing.

The next morning was a bit rough but we pulled through ...afer all, we were at 'the World'!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellaally View Post
Great report.... what kind of camera did you use
Thank you!

It is just the entry level Canon Digital Rebel T3 with the standard EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS type II Lens. You can get a new one with lens and standard accessories for about $450 on Amazon.

This may be more info than you're asking for but I like the camera a lot. The battery lasts for 2 days even with heavy shooting and the 32GB SD card I picked up for it can hold more pics & movies than I've been able to fill it with.

I also really like the standard lens for general shooting, especially since it has image stabalization built in. The only time I took that lens off was when I shot the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. We were at the top of the stands and there is so much action in such varied light that I switched to my Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Aspherical lens (faster and better zoom). You'll see those pictures early on in Day 2 of my TR

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Love all the fun shots of AoA! I also noticed that there didn't seem to be walkways outside the rooms like at POP - just windows. I haven't stayed at a Value Resort yet but if I did, I'd like to stay at AoA esp with my grandson who is 5 yrs old. Your daughter is so cute in the pics - love that she is uninhibited and likes having her pic taken. You both make a great team!
Thank you, we had fun taking them I agree as far as staying at a Value, AoA is our next stop for sure! I know a 5yr old would love the place - he'd be running around like crazy trying to take it all in. Bean is a camera ham like me, and she took some great pics herself on the trip. You'll see some of her stuff in Day 2's TR. I'm doing the picture edits right now and should be able to start posting tomorrow or Thursday at the latest.
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:01 PM   #38
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Day 2 Part 1 - Early DHS Entry Brings Full Tummies and TSM

We all struggled into wakefulness on our first park day at 7am. I had gotten about 8hrs of sleep, Bean maybe a half hour more, and Roxy and PumpkinGirl were somewhere in the 9 1/2hr neighborhood. So not too bad as far as hours go but still a struggle given the long day we had the day before, and that our west coast brains were trying to tell us it was 4am instead of 7am, and two of us being sick.

Speaking of sickies, or ironically not speaking of ...well, let me rephrase. PumpkinGirl woke up with no voice at all. The cold had brought on a case of laryngitis. This was to continue for the rest of the trip. We thought about how to deal with it and the cold meds were keeping her symptoms at bay and she could walk and such, just no voice. So we ended up taking her luggage tag and flipping over the paper inside. On the paper we wrote Sorry, I have lost my voice with a smiley face. She wore it on her wrist and showed it to anyone we were interacting with and we did a sort of pigeon sign language for most communications. It made for some colorful experiences, especially with characters!

We had all taken showers the night before and had set out clothes and such so it was just a matter of getting dressed and getting everyone out the door. We were out of the room by 7:30am and after a quick stop thru the gift shop to check the CM's lanyards for pins; we were at the stop for DHS with a bus just pulling up.

Here we are in our early morning glory






It was a beautiful sunny morning and after a short drive we were at the entrance to DHS and saw their wonderful tree


We got in the ADR line for Hollywood and Vine and were let in just before 8am. We had 8:05am reservations so our names were called very quickly and were seated at a table right next to the beginning of the right-hand buffet line. We were there for the food and the early entry, not so much the characters. They made their rounds and we waved to them and they waved back and moved on. I did get a couple of pics of Jake the Pirate while he was doing a song and dance with a couple of the CMs





The food was great, especially the cheezy spuds and the ham. The service was very good despite how hectic it was in there. We all ate our fill and were out the door by about 8:45am. We joined the flood of people that had just been lead in and made our way to TSM. I picked up FPs for it and we got in the stand-by line. It was at a 10 minute wait when we walked thru the entrance.

Bean took over photography duty for the ride queue:


As you can see some of the queue areas werent even being used yet


Who here wanted to knock over those dominos?


I loved that you could see scenes from Peter Pan thru the ViewMaster disk. I had one of those when I was a kid!


Yay, Tomorrowland!


Kewl


Watch out, its a shark!


Andy was quite the artist


Hi Roxy!


I love the board game theming on the ceiling


The monkeys broke out of their barrel!


I think Ive seen that hombre somewhere


I love the Pixar lamp reference


Bean found a hidden Mickey!


I see hand cactus


Faithful Bullseye


We were on the wheelchair side so we bypassed the upstairs queue and came out to a great view of Andys bed


At the foot of the bed is the Meeting Agenda from TS1  I thought that was very cool


Here is the scene as we waited our turn to board. There are only certain cars that have built in accommodation so we had some time to soak up the scene.


I rode with Bean, which was generally the rule. Roxy and PumpkinGirl stayed together with their sickie-ickies and Bean and I rode in the well but slightly crazy car. Bean was winning the whole way through but I managed to barely beat her out in the bonus round. She was not amused  lol

Next up we take a trip to the movies on the GMR!


Click here for the next Chapter:
Day 2 Part 2 - On to the Movies!
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:02 PM   #39
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That was a great idea with luggage tag. I bet it sure was interesting conversing with others that way

Bean captured some great pics in the que area. I never noticed that hand cactus before.

Trent beat me in TSM for first 3 rounds and then I took him out at the end...Mean Mom, I know
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:38 AM   #40
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That was a great idea with luggage tag. I bet it sure was interesting conversing with others that way

Bean captured some great pics in the que area. I never noticed that hand cactus before.

Trent beat me in TSM for first 3 rounds and then I took him out at the end...Mean Mom, I know
It did make for some interesting interactions and it acually worked in an unexpected way by taking a girl who is normally very shy and making her more outgoing and interactive despite not being able to talk.

We hadn't been to TSM at WDW before so it was all new to us. And as far as scoring goes Bean came back and beat me soundly the next time we rode it
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:29 PM   #41
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Love seeing all of your AoA pictures...and especially the Lion King... I haven't seen any of those before so its nice to see that section of AoA getting some love... Did you have a favorite/preference where you'd want to stay if you stayed there?

Seeing all those Cars pictures has me really jonesing to go to DLR and see the new Carsland... have read really great stuff about it... Ahhhh... not next year... but maybe 2014... maybe Grand Canyon to DL roadtrip...

Anyway I'm glad to hear your breakfast was good... & I know it made your journey over to TSM a lot easier than if you had been at the entrance to the Studios... (you and your girls didn't have to get involved in the running of the TSM lunacy as much ... and I'm sure that was better for all of you considering the being under the weather...

Looking forward to reading about the GMR...

(It's ironic... DS having a playdate with twin boys from his class... they love Disney and were there last summer but I found out driving them home...they both took turns being sick there... in fact one of them ONLY made it to their AK day... Luckily it's his favorite park...)
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:30 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PracPerfPatricia View Post
Love seeing all of your AoA pictures...and especially the Lion King... I haven't seen any of those before so its nice to see that section of AoA getting some love... Did you have a favorite/preference where you'd want to stay if you stayed there?

Seeing all those Cars pictures has me really jonesing to go to DLR and see the new Carsland... have read really great stuff about it... Ahhhh... not next year... but maybe 2014... maybe Grand Canyon to DL roadtrip...

Anyway I'm glad to hear your breakfast was good... & I know it made your journey over to TSM a lot easier than if you had been at the entrance to the Studios... (you and your girls didn't have to get involved in the running of the TSM lunacy as much ... and I'm sure that was better for all of you considering the being under the weather...

Looking forward to reading about the GMR...

(It's ironic... DS having a playdate with twin boys from his class... they love Disney and were there last summer but I found out driving them home...they both took turns being sick there... in fact one of them ONLY made it to their AK day... Luckily it's his favorite park...)
We loved the Lion King section and even before seeing it we knew that it was where we wanted to stay when we go back. The theming is just so cool and although it doesn't have a pool it has one on either side of it.

Grand Canyon and DLR would be a cool combo - and 2014 would give enough time for the crowds there to finish dying down. We may do the same as far as a 2014 DLR trip. Either that or a Disney Alaskan Cruise

Oh yes, it was MUCH easier getting to TSM from there, we strolled along the back side of the shops and came out into the hub in front of the hat and went right across and down to the FP bay and queue. No pushing or grumbling or anything.

GMR pictures coming up - all taken by Bean again

Yes, even though we had illness it only really affected us on our AK/MVMCP day. And Bean made up for the loss of AK time on her daddy/daughter day and we all got a lot more MK fun on our last day so it all worked out. It would be such a bummer to miss so much of the parks after all the planning and expense. Overall I still think it was a pretty successful trip.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:09 PM   #43
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Day 2 Part 2 - On to the Movies!

We made our way out of TSM and had meant to stop here next to see what Jack Sparrow was up to.


Unfortunately it didn't open until 11am so at Bean's suggestion we headed around the corner to the Great Movie Ride. Now I know there are two camps on this one, but my family really enjoys it. It is corny and some say outdated, but we love taking that slow ride down memory lane.

We made their way through the entrance queue of costumes. Again I let Bean do the camera work. She did good capturing them with the flash without glare by angling the shot - that's my girl!







We came in to the big screen and caught most of it. Then we moved on to the ride itself. I had Bean put it on the action setting so the flash wouldn't go off and told her just to shoot as much as she wanted.

Here we go!


Mary and Bert making mischief on the rooftops


We were on the 'gangster' track and were soon taken hostage by a gangster mol


We mosied on to the western area and found Clint and John




I was very impressed by her shot of Clint. I was never able to capture him given the low light on the porch where they have him standing.

We came into the western town and went thru the shootout




Does anyone know why they stopped having the bank catch on fire? I waited for it but it never lit up.

Next was a trip to space on the Nostromo. Bean got a shot of the Alien!


Then our adventure took us to lost treasures and Indiana Jones


Why did it have to be snakes?


We made it to the giant jewel and the mol couldn't resist






Eeek, scary mummies!


Beyond them we find Cheetah and Jane




And then on to Munchkin Land and that Wicked Witch!










Next up we finish our movie ride, take in Star Tours, Muppets, TSM on our FPs, and Indiana Jones all before lunch!


Click here for the next Chapter:
Day 2 Part 3 - Movies, Star Wars, more TSM, and Indy!
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:35 PM   #44
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Day 2 Part 3 - Movies, Star Wars, More TSM, and Indy!

On we go thru the Great Movie Ride

Next up - hark, the Emerald City!




We disembarked and made our way past the ABC Commissary and on to Star Tours










It was cool to see it redone and I'm glad I rode it, but motion sims make we queasy if I ride them too many times so I'm glad the ladies were happy with just one ride. Oh, the ride was basically walk-on.

The ladies wanted to go to Muppets 3-D but it was almost time for our TSM FPs Bean took the obligatory fountain shot along with what looks to be an ice cream sundae before we moved on





Since Bean got such great shots of the queue we only took one more - I wanted a pic of the balsawood airplane


Another fun ride and this time Bean came back with a vengeance - beating everyone else in the car with a score of around 175,000.

We headed out and checked times for events and saw that the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular was about to start. I stopped off to take a pic of the DHS sign in the hub


before catching up to the fam as they entered


Now I must warn you, this is one of them that I really wanted to capture the action of. Last time I was part of the extras so I missed much of the show. So I took a LOT of pictures which will stretch across several posts. We were at the top of the stadium so I switched to my faster lens with a better zoom.

We settled in and soon enough Indy was crashing in thru the roof






Next up is his sequence dancing thru the spears - I decided to just collage those out


Up he goes...


...and DOWN he goes!


And back up again!


On past the choppers




He's got the idol!


The ground rumbles!


...and the doors open!


Here comes the boulder - run Indy!!!!!!


Next up Indiana's adventures continue!


Click here for the next Chapter:
Day 2 Part 4 - Indy's Adventures Continue!
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:44 PM   #45
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We love the Great Movie ride, corny and all. I love watching all the movie clips while waiting in line and I love the movies at the end.

Bean got some great shots

I never noticed that Ice Cream. Is that outside of TSM?

Great shots of Indy. We love that show too
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