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Old 01-31-2013, 09:14 AM   #166
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Did they not have crab legs that night? I think it's only certain nights of the week and we went on that night. It was a big hit with Claire and my niece. They loved cracking the legs and then decided to actually try it and found out they both like crab legs. My niece requested that for dinner one night and my sister gave her a big no.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:15 AM   #167
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I love all the decorations and your lovely pictures. It looks like you had a wonderful day!
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:29 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by jenseib View Post
Did they not have crab legs that night? I think it's only certain nights of the week and we went on that night. It was a big hit with Claire and my niece. They loved cracking the legs and then decided to actually try it and found out they both like crab legs. My niece requested that for dinner one night and my sister gave her a big no.
Yes, they did have crab legs, but they came in bunches that looked like they were still attached to a crab. Graham found this a bit too daunting and passed on this.

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I love all the decorations and your lovely pictures. It looks like you had a wonderful day!
I am so glad that I got to see them. I liked the decorations at the Epcot resorts better than the one at the monorail resorts.

Corinna
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:00 PM   #169
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Whew! Finally caught up again! Everything was very beautiful! I hope that I can visit sometime when the Christmas decorations are up! It amazes me how Graham gets around the various cities that you visit and he has no desire to go into the parks!
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:55 PM   #170
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Oh. Thats the only way I have had them, so I guess thats the norm here. You get a lot of meat in that attached part. YUM. I could go for some now.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:30 PM   #171
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Whew! Finally caught up again! Everything was very beautiful! I hope that I can visit sometime when the Christmas decorations are up! It amazes me how Graham gets around the various cities that you visit and he has no desire to go into the parks!
He was the person who introduced me to the parks, but he detest crowds. He took me to Disneyland Paris for my first birthday after we met and always pledged that he would take me to Walt Disney World. He may have regretted this by now.

This really works for us. I get to be a big kid in the parks and he enjoys exploring the local area.

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Oh. Thats the only way I have had them, so I guess thats the norm here. You get a lot of meat in that attached part. YUM. I could go for some now.
Graham's idea of crab legs are the single split ones they serve for Brunch at Palo.

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Old 02-02-2013, 01:54 AM   #172
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Great day, shame about the other guests on living with the land, we have had a few rides ruined by the antics of other guests. I love all of the gingerbread artworks. I really must get back to wDW over the Xmas period it has been a long time since we did that.
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:35 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by dolphingirl47 View Post
Graham's idea of crab legs are the single split ones they serve for Brunch at Palo.

Corinna
This made me laugh. The way they are served in Palo is very rare. One of my favorite restaurants in Long Beach is one where they put a bib you, bring you a roll of paper towels a hammer and then dump a big bowl of seafood (sort of your choosing) along with corn, potatoes, andoille sausage in front of two or more people and you just eat with your fingers.

I guess in the US we are used to working for our food!
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:50 PM   #174
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Originally Posted by irongirlof12 View Post
Great day, shame about the other guests on living with the land, we have had a few rides ruined by the antics of other guests. I love all of the gingerbread artworks. I really must get back to wDW over the Xmas period it has been a long time since we did that.
I am so glad that I finally got to experience it. All going well, we will go to Disneyland while the decorations are up next year and this is meant to be even more spectacular.

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This made me laugh. The way they are served in Palo is very rare. One of my favorite restaurants in Long Beach is one where they put a bib you, bring you a roll of paper towels a hammer and then dump a big bowl of seafood (sort of your choosing) along with corn, potatoes, andoille sausage in front of two or more people and you just eat with your fingers.

I guess in the US we are used to working for our food!
It is hard to get proper seafood in the UK and I have never seen crab legs anywhere. The the only exposure Graham has had to them is at Palo.

Corinna
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:01 PM   #175
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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.
Ive never found Chip and Dale!:/ Glad you did!!
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:39 AM   #176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
This made me laugh. The way they are served in Palo is very rare. One of my favorite restaurants in Long Beach is one where they put a bib you, bring you a roll of paper towels a hammer and then dump a big bowl of seafood (sort of your choosing) along with corn, potatoes, andoille sausage in front of two or more people and you just eat with your fingers.

I guess in the US we are used to working for our food!
If you come to maryland, you get a table vovered in butcher paper, and they dump the cranes on the table, if you want a malet, you have to ask for it, no bibs allowed and you get a roll of paper towels.

If it is soft shell, you just get the whole thing fried between bread.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:43 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by dgbg100106 View Post
If you come to maryland, you get a table vovered in butcher paper, and they dump the cranes on the table, if you want a malet, you have to ask for it, no bibs allowed and you get a roll of paper towels.

If it is soft shell, you just get the whole thing fried between bread.
I start to feel very glad that I don't eat seafood. Give me a nice juicy steak any day of the week.

Corinna
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:04 PM   #178
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Day 15

This day was a bit more leisurely proposition as we did not have to be anywhere before lunchtime. We got up at around 9:00 and went over for the Belle Vue Lounge for some breakfast. This time we had brought our refillable mugs so we got coffee in them and had a bottle of Orange Juice each as part of our counter service credit. We both had an Orange, I had a Mickey Blueberry Muffin and Graham had a Danish Pastry. When we finished our breakfast, we went back to the room to pack, which did not take very long. Then we called a Bellman to move our luggage to Old Key West. While we were waiting for him to arrive, I took some more photos of the room. Once our luggage had been collected, we were on our way.

















Getting to Epcot that morning was a slightly more complicated proposition. The tours meet by the Guest Services window near the exit to the monorail at the front of the park. As Graham had no ticket, we could not take the boat to International Gateway and walk through the park. So we walked up to the bus stops and took the bus to the Magic Kingdom. This was ridiculous that morning. We did not have to wait long for the bus to arrive. Even though it was a bit later than usual, there were a lot of people getting on the bus at the Boardwalk. Once everybody was on, we went over to the Swan. I thought it would be the same as two days ago that once we left the Swan, we would go straight to the Magic Kingdom especially as by this point, the bus was definitely full. However, we then went on to the Dolphin, the Yacht Club and finally to the Beach Club before going to the Magic Kingdom. Some people got off at the Beach Club to go to the character breakfast at Cape May. This was just as well as they really had packed everybody in like sardines in a tin. At least with some people getting off at the Beach Club, this created a tiny bit of breathing room. I was still glad when we arrived at the Magic Kingdom and could get of the bus.

As we still had plenty of time and we were at the Magic Kingdom anyway, I parked Graham on a bench in the sun with my handbag and quickly went inside to get my spell cards for the day. I had thought the Monday had been busy, but the crowds on Main Street that morning were ridiculous. I could not see any pavement for all the people milling around. I was only too glad to quickly get my cards and leave again. The line at the Fire Station was very short so I was in and out of the Magic Kingdom in about 10 minutes total. Once I had caught up with Graham again, we caught the monorail over to the Transportation and Ticket Center and then on to Epcot. We still got there well ahead of time. We found ourselves somewhere to sit in the sunshine. The WiFi from the park reached to where we were sitting so I could pass the time online.

When people started to gather near the meeting point, we got up and went to join them. Shortly afterwards, we were joined by three cast members. They introduced themselves and checked us off their list. The tour was at full capacity and the cast member I spoke to was quite surprised that I had been able to book this the previous afternoon. When we checked in, we had to select a colour. At this point it was not explained what this was for. One of the cast members explained a bit about the environment we were about to enter and the animals that we would encounter. Apart from countless smaller fish, we would be able to see sharks, sea turtles and various types of stingrays. He explained that the sea turtles are really curious and would probably come to check us out. He also mentioned that the largest ray in the pool, Beaker, was very sociable and was seeking out human contact. We were advised that we were not allowed to touch any animals that we encountered and that we were not allowed to get within a certain distance to the gate that separated the dolphins from the rest of the aquarium. With this out of the way, we then went backstage. He pointed out the filtration plant and explained about filtration at the aquarium.

Once we got inside, we went down a backstage hallway and then we were in the public area of The Seas with Nemo and Friends. He pointed out various areas, talked a bit about the manatees and the dolphins and then showed us where we would be diving shortly. It was then time to say goodbye to the observers who where left with instructions where they could best see the rest of their party. We then went through some other backstage hallways to the locker rooms. I was really impressed. Each locker had one of our names on it and inside we had a towel, a wetsuit, booties and a souvenir drawstring bag in the colour we had chosen earlier. We got changed and left our stuff in the lockers. Near the exit, we were intercepted by a cast member who collected our locker keys and doled out hair ties that were animal safe.

When we were all back, we were split into two groups and each group was lined up in a specific order. We were told to remember which order we were in. We then went upstairs to the classroom where we watched a short video about the animals in the aquarium and about the Disney Conservation Fund. They also explained a bit about the equipment we would be using. We would have enough compressed air to last us the 30 minutes that we would be in the aquarium, but if we were running low before that, we were advised to return to the diver's platform and they would swap it out. I was impressed that 100% of what we had paid would go to the Disney Conservation Fund. We had to sign a waiver and then we were off again.

We re-entered the public area. I think some people were not too impressed by being paraded through The Seas with Nemo and Friends while wearing their wetsuits. We are used to wearing wetsuits as we have our own and I was not in the slightest bit bothered about this. We briefly stopped in front of the window where the dolphins were as there was some training session going on and then we headed up the spiral staircase inside the air-conditioning duct to the top of the aquarium. When we we got there, we were welcomed by a group of dive masters. Some would observe us from the platform and some would be in the wanter with us. It suddenly became clear why they had arranged us in a certain order. They had lined up our fins and the rest of the equipment in this order. We were asked to sit down at the edge of the platform. It was actually incredibly easy to put on the gear. It was just like putting on a backpack. I passed on the fins. They quickly explained the pressure gauge and the regulator. We were advised to breath in, put the regulator in and then breath out as this would get rid of any water that was trapped in the regulator. We also got some "Mickey spit" to prevent our masks from fogging up. Once we were all geared up, they asked us to step back and then they called one family at the time forward to have their photo taken. Once the photo was done, you then went into the water. Graham and I were up first and then the moment of truth came.



I have always wanted to learn how to SCUBA dive, but I was a bit nervous of all the equipment. Well, it is incredibly easy to breath through a regulator. The only issue that I had was that my mask let in a bit of water so I had to adjust it every few minutes and let the water out. With hindsight I should have gone back to the platform and asked for a different mask. Still, it did not stop me from enjoying myself. They had told us that the sharks are hanging out in one specific area of the aquarium, which had been named Shark Alley. What they had failed to tell us, was that Shark Alley was right by the platform. So the first thing I saw when I put my face into the water was sharks. They watched me and I watched them, but they stayed right at the bottom of the aquarium. I was absolutely fascinated by them and spent a lot of my time in the water looking at the sharks. I have a bit of a phobia of both sharks and stingrays, but the sharks were not an issue because they kept a respectful distance. What really freaked me out so were the turtles. They are huge when you are in the water with them. One came straight at me. I turned around to make a quick escape and swam almost straight into Beaker, their huge stingray. I am not sure what Beaker made of this, but she gave me some space. Towards the send of our time in the aquarium, after I had watched the divers cleaning for a while, I encountered Beaker again. She turned up right underneath me and followed me. When I slowed down, she did. When I changed direction, so did she and when I swam quicker, she did, too. She stayed far enough underneath me that we never touched, but it was an absolutely amazing experience. It was such a shame that we were not allowed to bring our underwater camera.

Soon it was time to go back to the platform. They asked us to sit down and take the fins off first and hand them to the Dive Masters. I did not need to worry about this as I had not worn any. They then helped us to get out of the rest of the equipment. Once we had been liberated, we stepped onto dry land and were each passed a towel. On the way to the locker rooms, we stopped by the main dolphin area and then by one of the back pools that is used by the dolphins. It was a definite bonus to get to watch them for a bit. Once we got to the locker room, we collected our keys and got showered and changed. We were supposed to leave our wetsuits, booties and towels in separate bins, but we seemed to be a bin short so I took the towel with me thinking that the bin for this may be outside. It was not, but one of the cast members that had been with us throughout took the towel off me. Once a few people were ready, one of the cast members took us upstairs to the classroom, where we found the photo that had been taken and the obligatory survey. This is now done on an iPad. There were also water, coffee and hot chocolate available, but we passed. We were finished very quickly and were escorted back to the public area of The Seas with Nemo and Friends where we were left to our own devices.

This had taken me by surprise. When I did the Dolphin in Depth Tour, we were taken back to our starting point. We had a quick look around. This looked really empty. So I asked Graham that as we were here anyway, if we should just check out what the wait time for the clam mobile ride was. This was one of the things that I had not get around to the previous day. The posted waiting time was 5 minutes, but it was actually a walk on. We did this ride and then headed towards the exit. I wanted to check out what the waiting time for Spaceship Earth was. The posted waiting time was 10 minutes, but the line ended just outside the doors to the loading area so I know that this would be a walk on as well. We decided to do this, too. When we finished the ride, we played a game where you wear 3D glasses and then put together a skeleton. I have always enjoyed this game, but only ever played this by myself. Playing as a team changed the experience. Once we had finished our game, we headed towards the exit. We had some photos taken by a Photopass photographer near the exit and then we went to find the bus.















The bus stop for Old Key West is now in the area where the charter buses go from so it was a bit of a hike to get there. Still, once we were there, we did not have to wait long until our bus came. We decided to get off at the Peninsular Road bus stop and walk over to Hospitality House. Check in was a smooth process. However, there was a bit of a disappointment. I always put a request for Old Turtle Pond Road on our reservation. When the cast member who checked us in marked on the map where our room was, it was on Miller's Road. Apparently the request had not been transmitted. He offered to check if they could change it, but as we had a relatively early dinner reservation at Downtown Disney that day, we decided to just run with it. With the check in all done, we headed over to the Bell Stand to see if our luggage had arrived from the Boardwalk. It took a little bit of finding, but it had arrived. One of the Bell Men took us and our luggage over to the room. The location was pretty nice. We were relatively close to the bus stop and the pool. We put our stuff in the room and quickly freshened up. I took some photos of the room and then we headed out to get the bus back to the Hospitality House.





Our plan was to take the boat over to Downtown Disney. As the restaurant that we had a reservation at was at Pleasure Island and the boats from Old Key West go to the Pleasure Island dock, this was perfect. We had to wait a little while for the boat. Twice we though the boat was coming, but the first time it was a boat that you can rent and the second time it was the patrol boat. The third boat was the boat for Downtown Disney. We have always liked the boat trip and there were plenty of birds along the river bank. Even though we had a bit of a wait for the boat, we still got to Downtown Disney well ahead of schedule. They had some very unusual Christmas decorations at Pleasure Island and Graham asked if I wanted to take some photos, but at this stage I was just concerned about getting some food as we had not eaten since breakfast. I figured we would be back. However, in the end this was the only time we were at Downtown Disney after dark and in daylight they were nothing special.

As we were both hungry, we decided to head over to Portobello to see if they could seat us early. We had ashore wait, but they did manage to fit us in ahead of time. Graham had an Italian beer and I had an Italian Peach Cream Soda and we both had some water. Graham went with Meatball Sliders, which were Beef and Veal, Chicken and Spicy Pork Meatballs in some really nice Tomato Rolls with Tomato Basil Sauce followed by Chicken Farfalle with Snow Peas, Asparagus, Tomatoes and Parmigiano Cream Sauce. I had the Wood Roasted Portobello Mushroom with Gorgonzola, Polenta, Rosemary Sauce. I had heard that this was even better than my beloved Portobello Mushroom and Polenta dish at Palo, but this was not even in the same ballpark. It was not unpleasant, but it was nowhere near as good as the Palo version. My main course however wowed me. I had the Rigatoni Calabrese with Italian sausage, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Olives and Escarole. It was a very simple dish, but so full of flavour. For dessert, I had planned to try the Biramisu, but I was too full. So I went with the Cappuccino Gelato instead, which was delicious. Graham went with the white chocolate custard caramelized with a crispy candy glaze. We both enjoyed our desserts.

After dinner, we headed over to Downtown Disney Marketplace. We still had some snack credits to use up and decided to do so at Goofy's Candy Company. On the way, I stopped by at Ghirardelli's to see if they still had the Peanut Butter Squares, but unfortunately they have been discontinued. We went to Goofy's Candy Company where Graham got some Maple Syrup Fudge and I got some Peanut Butter Fudge and a Chocolate-covered Strawberry. We then decided that we had enough for one day and headed to the bus stops. This is now much better organised than it used to be and we did not have to wait long for a bus either. When we got back to the room, we switched on the TV and had the Orange Wine that Graham had brought back from Downtown Orlando. Unfortunately it did not agree with Graham and made him quite ill later in the night. For the time being though we got ready for bed and then settled down for the night.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:02 PM   #179
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All caught up finally. Wonderful updates. Love the photos in BOG! They only let us as far as the bathrooms. We could look in the ballroom but couldn't go in. The details are just marvelous!

I've never tried either of the games in Epcot or MK. Sounds like I should put these on the list.

You got quite a few busy days. Your tour sounded quite fun.

Sorry Graham got sick, hopefully it didn't last long.
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-Pam

First Trip - YC '89, CSR '98, Pop '07, Music '08, AKL CL 1/11, SSR 12/11, 5N Dream Cruise & AKV 3/12, AKV CL 9/12 , OKW 12/12, 4N Wonder Cruise 1/13, 7N Fantasy Cruise & AKV CL 3/13, AKV 6/13, DL 9/13, VGF 12/13, OKW/AKV 1/14, 5N Wonder Cruise/VBR 3/14, Western Fantasy/BCV 5/14, AKV/BCV 10/14
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:46 AM   #180
dolphingirl47
I will post my goodies once I am back
I have always been too worried to use the pillowcase
 
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 27,963

Graham was as right as rain again in the morning.

The games are a lot of fun and I heard they are adding one to Animal Kingdom, too.

Corinna
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