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Old 01-24-2013, 07:27 PM   #151
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Oh what wonderful pictures! Everything looks so magical!
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:14 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by jenseib View Post
What a fun day. What did Graham do all day then? I love how you separate and do your own thing and still have a great time.

I love the Osborne lights. they are breathtaking.
He went to Downtown Orlando and had a wander around and then visited Orange County Regional History Center. We actually have totally different approaches to vacations, but somehow cruises and staying at Disney works for both of us. When we are at Disney, I tend to head for the parks and he goes resort hoping or explores the local area.

I was absolutely blown away by the Osborne Lights. I am glad that I finally got to see them.

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Oh what wonderful pictures! Everything looks so magical!
It really was magical.

Corinna
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:26 PM   #153
dgbg100106

It is pretty unique... Just like me
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphingirl47

He went to Downtown Orlando and had a wander around and then visited Orange County Regional History Center. We actually have totally different approaches to vacations, but somehow cruises and staying at Disney works for both of us. When we are at Disney, I tend to head for the parks and he goes resort hoping or explores the local area.

I was absolutely blown away by the Osborne Lights. I am glad that I finally got to see them.

It really was magical.

Corinna
I really like the cardigan you got....
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:30 PM   #154
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I really like the cardigan you got....
I really love it and it is understated enough that I can wear it to work. I am so glad that Graham pointed this out.

Corinna
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:32 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by dolphingirl47

I really love it and it is understated enough that I can wear it to work. I am so glad that Graham pointed this out.

Corinna
He gets bonus point for that one...
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:08 PM   #156
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I have been following your trip report from the beginning. It is obvious you are perfectly comfortable being you and doing what you enjoy without being concerned about what others think. A LOT of people in the world, including myself, could learn something from you.

Please continue your report. I am thoroughly enjoying it.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:50 PM   #157
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I have been following your trip report from the beginning. It is obvious you are perfectly comfortable being you and doing what you enjoy without being concerned about what others think. A LOT of people in the world, including myself, could learn something from you.

Please continue your report. I am thoroughly enjoying it.
Welcome on board. I have a very responsible job in every day life so when I am on vacation, the kid in me comes out to play.

Corinna
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:10 AM   #158
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Lovely photos Corinna my night time ones never turn out very well.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:24 PM   #159
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Lovely photos Corinna my night time ones never turn out very well.
I have to admit I delete more than I keep when it comes to night photos.

Corinna
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:06 AM   #160
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Night time photos are tough, you need the perfect amount of light and to be very still. Most of the time you need to turn the flash off if you taking pictures of lights or fireworks.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:58 PM   #161
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Day 14

I had set my wake up call for 7:00 AM as I had another first ahead of me. This was the first time that I would attend Extra Magic Hours at Walt Disney World. The morning Extra Magic Hour was at Epcot that day and with us being so close to Epcot, it would have been a shame not to make use of this. It did not bother with breakfast that morning, but got up and ready and headed out. Unfortunately a boat was just pulling out when I got to the boat dock and I had to wait for the next one. I got treated to a. It of water ballet though. There had been two boats at the dock, one for Epcot and one for Hollywood Studios. They pulled away from the boat dock at the same time, went parallel for a few meters and then turned in opposite directions perfectly synchronised. It really looked like the boats were dancing. Once the boats were out of sight, I used the time until the next one arrived to take photos of my surroundings.



























Fortunately I did not have to wait long for the next boat and they still had not let anybody into the park when I arrived at Epcot. The line was quite long, but it moved quickly once they let people in. I am sure everybody who was in that line headed in the same direction I did: towards The Land and Soarin. This is where coming in through International Gateway is a distinct disadvantage. It takes too long to get to Soarin. In the end it did not matter. Soarin was down. I went to get a Fast Pass and by 8:10, the return time was already 10:20. Then I headed over to do Living with the Land. This was my third day in the parks and I had not done a single ride. I definitely needed to put this right. I have always liked Living with the Land and this was a walk on when I eventually got there, but getting there was a challenge. The line for the Soarin Fast Pass machines blocked the way through. In the end I weaved my way through Sunshine Seasons even though that was still closed. I enjoyed the ride and took some photos, but it did bring out the teacher in me. In front of me was a family of 5. The parents sat two rows in front and their three girls were in the row right in front of me. The parents seemed to be totally oblivious to the fact that two of the girls kept standing up and one of them even repeatedly tried to reach out and touch some of the things we went past. I kept shooting them my evil teacher look, what that had no effect, nor did the announcements asking everybody to remain seated and keep their arms inside the boat. I have never heard a cast member to come on the PA to remind people of this during the ride before.

















When I exited the ride, it had been my intention to exit The Land and do something else. However, I spotted that Soarin was now open. The standby time was showing 45 minutes, but I figured I had plenty of time so I got in line. In the end it was only about 15 minutes and I was glad that I had chanced it. At this stage, I really headed out. I decided to walk through Innoventions and there was just one family waiting for The Big Piggy Bank Adventure. For some reason I have always enjoyed this and normally there is always a longer wait. So I played this and then went to find some more characters.







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Old 01-29-2013, 02:03 PM   #162
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I knew that both Daisy and Goofy were supposed to be out near the entrance so I decided to go and see them. I was really surprised that the line for Daisy was much shorter. Goofy is relatively common around the parks, but this was the first time that I had encountered Daisy away from the ships. I got into Daisy's line first. There was only one family between me and Daisy when she briefly went away to powder her beak. She was back again a couple of minutes later. When it was my turn, Daisy posed with me for a few photos. She was the last of the classic characters that I was still missing in her traditional costume. The rest of them I managed to catch at Disneyland earlier in the year. Once I had said goodbye to Daisy, I got in line for Goofy. Just before it was my turn to see him, it was his turn for a quick break, but again, he was back very quickly. While I went over to the Photopass photographer to hand him my Photopass card, a boy at gone to see Goofy. I was a little bemused when I turned around and Goofy had company. Goofy's escort handled this fabulously though. She went over to the boy and explained to him that he had to wait his turn and walked him back to his family. I think Goofy felt bad about this, too, as he spent some extra time with me.

























Meeting characters is thirsty work and it was actually a bit warmer that day. So once I had said goodbye to Goofy, I headed over to Club Cool to get a few samples of Mezzo Mix and the Watermelon Soda. I so wish I could get the Watermelon Soda in the UK. After I was somewhat rehydrated again, I went in search of Chip and Dale. On the activities guide, it just said Innoventions as location. I could not figure out where they would be so I asked a cast member and he pointed me in the right direction. They were actually pretty much straight across from The Land. This suited me just fine as I was going there next anyway. So I went over there and joined the line. The line was not huge, but there were quite a few people waiting to see Chip and Dale and I was surprised that they did not have a Photopass photographer with them. Still, their escort was more than happy to take some photos with my camera.



After I had said goodbye to Chip and Dale, I went across to The Land to use my Fast Pass for Soarin. I am not quite sure what they were doing, but I was sent from one boarding gate to the other. When I went where I was told to go, I was sent somewhere else again. Still, this game of musical boarding gates worked in my favour. After they had nowhere else to send me, they actually told me to go to row one. That is what I consider a result. In the end, I waited as long with my Fast Pass than I had done in the morning in the standby line, but it was well worth it. When I got off the ride, I was ready for my lunch and I headed over to Sunshine Seasons. I had only ever had a snack there before and was curious about their lunch offerings. Well, lunch did not disappoint. I had the Slow-roasted Pork Chop with Cheddar Mashed Potatoes and BBQ Sauce followed by a Brownie. The food was gorgeous and the portion was huge. This is probably the best value I got our of my counter service credits. They also had Orange Soda so I was happy.

After lunch I had planned to have another turn on Living with the Land, but at 45 minutes waiting time, I decided to pass. Instead I headed over to Journey Into Your Imagination with Figment. I have been to Walt Disney World a couple of times before when I was really busy like during Spring Break, Easter and over 4th July, but this ride was always a walk on. So it came as a real shock when the posted wait time for this ride was 35 minutes and the actual wait time was 30 minutes. Still, I love Figment and I figured that over the Thanksgiving weekend, it would be busier still. So this had to be done. When I got to the loading area, I started to understand why the loading time was so long. The ride vehicles are designed for 5 people, but the most I saw when I was waiting was 3 people. Indeed, I ended up being in one by myself even though there was a couple right behind me in line. I did enjoy the ride, but decided that it was time to call it a day as far as Epcot is concerned. I half-heartedly decided to have a look what the waiting time was for Spaceship Earth, but when I saw that this was 45 minutes, I headed straight for the exit.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:04 PM   #163
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As it was still only lunchtime, I decided to take the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom. I wanted to pick up my spell cards for the day and see if I could finish my mission at Frontierland. I checked at the Fire Station if everything was up and running again and was told that all was well apart from a problem with Maleficent in Fantasyland. As a big fan of Kingdom Keepers, this statement made me smile. Still, Maleficent was not my problem for the time being so I was not too bothered about this. I headed of to Frontierland to finish off my mission and soon Dr. Facilier was defeated. The next mission took me to Main Street. As this was the general direction I wanted to head in anyway, this suited me just fine. I decided to take the scenic route via Adventureland and used one of my snack credits on a Dole Whip Float.



Once I had finished my treat, I headed towards my next portal. This happened to be underneath the Train Station and well hidden. I eventually did find it and for once there was nobody in front of me. I found out that the villain I had to defeat this time was Cruella De Ville. After the cut scene, it showed me to which portal I needed to go next, but as I was so close to the exit, I could not be bothered to head in the opposite direction. So I decided that I would pick up where I left off on Thanksgiving and headed for the bus stop.

It seemed to take forever for a bus for the Boardwalk to arrive. While I was standing there, I saw two buses for the Yacht and Beach Club come and go. When the third one pulled in, I was just about ready to get on that one and take the boat back from there. However, the bus for the Boardwalk was straight behind this. We stopped at the Boardwalk first before the bus went on to the Swan and Dolphin.

I went back to the room to drop off my stuff and then I went in search of Graham. He had no specific plans when I left in the morning, but suggested that he probably would either be in the pool or out for a run around the Boardwalk when I get back. When I went to the main pool, it was obvious that Graham would not be there. It was quite busy and there were some noisy pool games going on. The quiet pool is quite hidden away. I could not find it until I asked at the pool bar where it was. This was pretty empty, but Graham was not there either. In the end I found him sitting on a bench on the Boardwalk.

Graham told me that there are turtles in the river by the Beach Club and that they feed them in the morning. As we had nothing planned, we decided to walk over there. I was thirsty again and fortunately Graham had his refillable mug with him. So we stopped by Seashore Sweets and I got some Orange Soda and he used a snack credit to get some Maple Syrup Fudge. Then we slowly wandered over to the Beach Club. We checked out the turtles, which came over when they saw some movements on the bridge and then had a look at the Christmas decorations at the Beach Club. They had a gorgeous Gingerbread Carousel there. We also had a bit of a look around the Beach Club Villas before heading over to the Yacht Club. The Christmas decorations there consisted of a beautiful train set and a Christmas tree with some rather unusual decorations.

Graham mentioned that the conference centre at the Yacht Club is supposed to be rather beautiful so we headed over there. He was right. This is something rather special. It is both luxurious and has a nautical feel. I bitterly regretted that I did not have my camera with me. At the conference centre, I also managed to find a business centre with Internet access. I had always been our plan to go to Discovery Cove on the day before Thanksgiving and it had been Graham's task to sort this out. However, with it being quite chilly when we got to Orlando, he had not done anything about this. As it was warmer now, we decided that we still would like to go. Unfortunately their website needs Flash Player, which my iPad does not have. So I needed Internet access on a computer. Fortunately I was in luck. Unfortunately, they only had non-dolphin swim packages available. Graham only wanted to do the non-dolphin swim package anyway, but I did not think that I would be very happy to go to Discovery Cove and not swim with the dolphins. So we decided on plan B.

Once I finished with the Internet, we went back to the Boardwalk. We came out opposite the boat dock and I decided that I had done enough walking and would catch the boat back. Graham thought that it would be quicker walking and set off. Well, even though I had a short wait for the boat, I still got there ahead of him. While I was waiting for him, I had a chat with a DVC rep who was out and about trying to convince people to do a tour.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:12 PM   #164
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When Graham had caught up with me, we went and did something about plan B. They offer a tour at Epcot called Seas Aqua Tour, which allows a small group of people every day to do a Scuba- assisted snorkel in The Seas with Nemo and Friends Aquarium. I had been fascinated by that idea ever since I heard about this when I did the Dolphin in Depth tour a few years ago. As we had learned to snorkel since, this suddenly was an option. This tour also does not require admission to the park so this worked for Graham, too. I was not too optimistic that we would be able to book this tour on such short notice, but it was worth a try. We did get lucky and they had two spaces available for the next day. The only issue was that as we were getting a DVC discount, they wanted to see our DVC membership card. For some reason the DVC Member notation on our Key to the World card was not enough. So I quickly went back to the room to get it. Once they had seen this, we paid for the tour and got our booking confirmation. This was something to look forward to.

With this out of the way, we went back to the room and had a little bit of down time. It was nice to just stretch out and catch up with my emails and Facebook. About half an hour later, we headed out again. I wanted some photos of the pool area so we went there first before going to the boat dock. While we were waiting for the boat, I took some photos of the Boardwalk and the surrounding area. As the sun was just starting to set, this produced some interesting colours.

































We did not have to wait too long for the boat and soon we were on our way to the Yacht Club. The lobby is pretty much straight across from the boat dock so we headed there first. I took some photos of the Christmas tree and the smaller Christmas decorations first and then went over to the train set to take some more detailed photos. Unfortunately the trains were not running, but I was absolutely blown away by the amazing detail.

















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Old 01-29-2013, 02:23 PM   #165
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Once I had enough of admiring the train set, we walked over to the Beach Club. The Christmas decorations there were a bit more traditional. The centre piece was gingerbread carousel. There were also a number of Christmas trees and a gingerbread house. I loved the Christmas tree there, which had pastel sealife decorations. I could imagine this Christmas tree in our home. I spend some quality time taking photos of everything and then I joined Graham on one of the very comfortable sofas and we just watched the world go by. There were loads of people milling around. When it was nearly time for our reservation at Cape May, we walked up to the podium, which is just outside the lobby area and checked in. We were given a pager and advised that there would be a short wait. Walking back towards the lobby, I spotted a chair that looked very much like the throne. As soon as I sat down, the pager went off. Graham took a quick photo of me holding court and then we headed back to the podium.

































Cape May was one of the reservations that I made on impulse and was never quite sure about. However, I wanted to eat at each of the Disney owned resorts in that area and this was the only option at Beach Club that takes reservations. Another reason that I wanted to eat at Cape May is that I had heart a lot about their famous Oreo Bonbons. The dinner buffet at Cape May is marketed as a Clam Bake. Graham loves seafood, but I don't touch it. Still, I had heard that there is a good choice of food for meat eaters as well. We ordered our drinks and then went to explore the buffet. Graham had assorted mussels and some shrimp to start off with and I went with the Caesar Salad, which was very nice. Graham then went back for some Salmon and Vegetables and I got some Gnocchi with a Beef Stew of some description, some vegetables, some Barbecue Pork Loin and some Beef Strip Loin. I loved the Barbecue Pork Loin and the Gnocchi with the Beef Stew so much that I went back for seconds. Graham had some more Fish and some more Mussels. We both thoroughly enjoyed our meal and it was not as noisy as we had feared. We were really quite full, but we figured that we ought to at least try some of the desserts. The desserts were all bit size, but I can' t remember what we had so they can't have been very memorable. They no longer offer the Oreo Bonbons. Apparently they can now be bought at their shop, but when we headed there after dinner, I could not find any either. Still, I did not look very hard as I was so full. What was very nice though was a special birthday dessert that our server brought out for me when she brought the bill. This was the most gorgeous Chocolate Mousse.



We opted to walk back to help digest some of all the food that we had. It was a beautiful evening and it was nice to take a leisurely stroll around Crescent Lake. When we arrived back at our room, I set the alarm call, we got ready for bed and then we settled down for our last night at the Boardwalk.
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