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Old 02-22-2013, 09:37 AM   #136
shalom
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Wilderness Lodge was my favorite WDW resort before I saw any of them, I think because there are some photographers on the WL photo thread who are really good. But now there are soooo many resorts I'd like to stay at, it's hard to make up my mind!

My son is driving me crazy right now because he's heading back to Orlando in May... and I'm not. That's just too close to home. Plus he does right terrible trip reports. All in all, easier to celebrate with you.

Bay Lake Towers in less than forty days, I don't know how you can stand it!
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:34 PM   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytothreeboys View Post
We're at 40 days today too...but 40 days till we leave NY. That means 46 days till WDW with travel time and a cruise thrown in!

Ahh...the Magic Kingdom. It really is a place filled with wonder and magic. That explains why grown men and women want to ride flying elephants, shoot space aliens, and meet mermaids!

That camera looks a lot like mine. I have a Canon Power Shot and I really like it. Looks like the one you are looking at is a step up from mine...nice choice!
That sounds awesome! Both our trips will be here before we know it. I can't wait!

Yes it does! It sort of bums me out when I read on here how some people's kids don't want to go on some of those rides. Seriously?! I'm almost 28 and still love them all!

Thanks!

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Originally Posted by Pinkocto View Post
40 day dance!!!
38 days now, yippee!

Quote:
Originally Posted by marDgreen88 View Post
40 days is like... NOTHING! Amazing.

That camera looks good! I really don't know anything about fancy cameras, but the thought of lugging all the equipment around the park doesn't appeal to me.

I agree with you that pretty much everything at MK feels like a must-do! Everything there is so classic. LOVE.
I know!

I don't either, which is partly why I think I'll stick with a point and shoot. But with some of the features hopefully I can actually learn how to use them better than the one on the camera I have now.

Yup, everything is classic!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RachelNinja View Post
I love reading the recaps of your past trips! Ahhh, did I know that you were in the Jingle Jungle parade?!? That must've been super cool! I think that's by far my favorite parade, but more so the regular one and not the Christmas one. I'm so addicted to the music. For the past few days, Howard has come home to my listening to it while I cook dinner! He knows the song too, and we're always like, "Mas que nada, mas mas que nada ..."

I think it's pretty cool to work at Downtown Disney. Like you said, Earl of Sandwich! Yum! I always would love the opportunity to have more meals at WPE. There are so many things on the menu that I want to try, but we don't get to DTD as often if we don't have a car.

AHHHHHHHHHHHH, you have another trip planned after your April one too?!? That's amazing!!!

I don't remember if the single riders line at Test Track lets you design a car, but I know the FP line has the option to design it. The desks with the touch screens are much smaller, but you can actually get through it faster. Howard and I went on the standby line and then ran back around to use our FP (this was when we waited hours since the EMH at Epcot when it was down!). We saw they had the option to design, but we just bypassed it so we'd get on faster.

Yay for a new camera soon! I realized I rarely had my camera out during our December trip because I was constantly taking pics on my phone to post on Instagram. When I go back, I'll make sure to keep my camera around my wrist like I normally do because nothing beats having folders full of Disney pics!
Yup, it was so much fun being in the parade. It was like a dream come true because I had always wanted to be in one. The music is so fun, even if it gets stuck in your head. haha

EOS and WPE are so good. We don't really go to DTD all that much either but hopefully this trip we can go a couple of times so I can get both. It's hard to choose one of them!

Yes we do! It will make coming home in April a little easier.

Thanks for the Test Track info!

Yeah, I doubt I will be posting much on Instagram. I don't have an iphone so I have it on my ipod touch. We'll see though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shalom View Post
Wilderness Lodge was my favorite WDW resort before I saw any of them, I think because there are some photographers on the WL photo thread who are really good. But now there are soooo many resorts I'd like to stay at, it's hard to make up my mind!

My son is driving me crazy right now because he's heading back to Orlando in May... and I'm not. That's just too close to home. Plus he does right terrible trip reports. All in all, easier to celebrate with you.

Bay Lake Towers in less than forty days, I don't know how you can stand it!
haha, that's why it's so nice being in DVC because all of these places were resorts I would've liked to stay at but they're so expensive! DVC is such a great value.

Aww, that's a bummer. Glad you're here following mine.

I really can't stand it. Every day I come home now hoping that our Magical Express stuff has come. That's always a sign that the trip is coming up fast. And the other day I was looking at pictures of BLT online which really didn't help much...
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:41 PM   #138
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37 DAYS!!!



The closer we get to April 1, the harder the wait is becoming. These next five weeks better go by fast!

To help pass the time, here's another look back at a DVC trip. I hope the pictures are not too big...I uploaded them to photobucket and am still trying to figure out how the new site works.

DVC Flashback #6: April 2010

Back in 2006 (and the beginning of 2007), Dad and I took a trip to California for the Rose Bowl (and of course we visited Disneyland!). This trip was the first time that it was just the two of us going to Disney World. We went over my spring break, even though at that time I was just finishing up a long-term subbing assignment.

Since it was going to be just me and Dad, we thought it would be a good time to stay at Kidani Village. See, Dad and I really enjoy the Animal Kingdom, while the rest of our family doesn't seem to like it nearly as much as we do. Plus, we really liked staying at AKL back in 2008 so we didn't mind going back and seeing the brand-new DVC resort.

It is always exciting arriving in the Magical Express Welcome Center and getting on those buses!



We stopped at a couple of resorts before AKL/Kidani and I remember that by that point, it was like we had our own private Magical Express bus because everybody else had gotten off before our stop!

I loved driving down the road and approaching the lodge. It's just so majestic!



When we checked in, Dad and I each received a birthday button (even though both of our birthdays are in March). But I remember Dad saying how when he made the reservation they asked if we were celebrating anything. Apparently he told them we were celebrating our birthdays. haha



Here's a random picture of the bed in our studio. Nice, huh?


As far as our view, we had a savanna view but it was the smaller savanna, kind of in the back. You could also kind of see the pool from our room. Here are some of our neighbors for the week:


So since we were staying at Kidani Village, it was fitting that our first park visit of the trip would be the Animal Kingdom! Oh how I love that park. I just don't get why some people don't like it. But anyway...for me, seeing the Tree of Life is almost as exciting as seeing Cinderella Castle. I love it that much.



We got to see a little bit of the parade.


We also did a safari and caught the end of Flights of Wonder. We had never seen the show before and we liked what we saw, so we knew we'd have to see the whole thing in the future!


Other highights of this trip include:

7 AM Extra Magic Hours at the Magic Kingdom!!!!!
To some people, getting up that early may not be that appealing but we live for it. There is something about getting up so early that's almost exciting-maybe because it's still dark out! It's kind of funny walking out to the bus stop and there's NOBODY up (except maybe a couple other crazy people! haha!)



Nothing beats the opening show on your first morning!


We love the EMH because you can get SO much done! We got through most of the major attractions within a couple of hours. Then later on in the day was another very exciting moment...

A DISmeet with RachelNinja!!!
Before our trips, Rachel and I had talked about meeting up at some point because a couple of our days overlapped. We ended up playing a little bit of phone tag but in the end we were able to meet! Dad and I stopped near Liberty Square to watch a little bit of the parade and then Rachel came over!

(random parade picture!)


When we met we hugged and then we all went to ride Thunder Mountain together using their GAC card. That was a lot of fun because even though Dad and I had already ridden it earlier in the morning, who would ever turn down a ride on BTMRR?! After the ride, Howard took a picture of the two of us (sadly I can't find that picture and it's no longer visible on that TR...Boo!). I remember Dad and I were also trying to convince Matt (Rachel's brother) to ride Splash Mountain. Because Rachel and her family were planning on staying later in the day, and Dad and I were just about ready to head back to the resort after being up so early, it was a quick meet but I am so glad it happened. They couldn't have been any nice and it was definitely exciting meeting a fellow DISer!

The Flower and Garden Festival!
I'm telling you, I will never get tired of going in the spring to see the amazing displays.


Oceans! Seeing the DisneyNature movies is another thing Dad and I have enjoyed. So bummed there aren't any new ones.


Exploring the "Disney Details"
Before that trip, both Dad and I had read The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World. We always talked about how it would be fun to look for some of the details but never really did. Well, this trip was the perfect opportunity!

Ever notice how the Tower of Terror "blends in" with the Morocco pavilion?


Or how the number on this sign aren't just any old random numbers?


(DAK opened in April of 1998!)

SIDE NOTE: If you have not read this book, I would highly recommend it! Here's the link on Amazon if you're interested in it.

Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World

Animal-watching at Kidani Village
On more than one occasion we enjoyed watching the animals out on the savanna. We could watch them from our room, but it was even better going out onto the observation deck. Where else can you get this close to such amazing animals?! It just blows my mind. I easily could have spent hours out on those decks. There was even one afternoon where I talked to one of the CMs who was from Africa. He told me about some of the animals. It was also cute because I remember he asked me where I was from and when I said Wisconsin he started asking about snow. hehe





This is one of my favorite pictures from this trip!!!


And last but not least...

The Backstage Safari Tour!!!
This was another fun thing we decided to do since it was just going to be me and Dad. There is no way anybody else in our family would have done this tour. Since the tour wasn't until later in the day, we got to the Animal Kingdom early to do the rides and wander around the trails.



Anyway, there were only 2 other people in our tour group: another father and daughter. We had a great guide named Kelly and we had a lot of fun getting to see some of the backstage areas in DAK. My favorite parts were seeing the elephant barn (which you can actually see if you take the train to Rafiki's Planet Watch) and getting to see one of the giraffes up close. The tour ended with a ride on Kilimanjaro Safaris! It was a much different experience because we didn't get the normal commentary...Kelly kind of told us some more secrets about the ride. We loved this tour so much and hopefully some day we can do the Wild Africa Trek as well!

So, after a fun-filled week, we had to say good-bye to Kidani Village. It was definitely another great trip, and Kidani Village did not disappoint!


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Old 02-23-2013, 03:31 PM   #139
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Omg, CANNOT STAND the new photobucket. I think I'm gonna have to switch to a new photo sharing site. Dang!

I WANT TO STAY AT AKL SO BADLY. I don't even need a savannah view room, the observation deck is good enough! It's just so stinking beautiful!!! Ahhhhhhhhhh.

So fun that you got to meet Rachel! And yes, I have noticed that you can see ToT from Morocco. They couldn't have planned that more perfectly!

Woah, funny that you should mention the observation deck when I just mentioned it myself! Good to know that it's an awesome spot!

The Safari tour sounds like it was so cool! Another awesome trip!
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:31 PM   #140
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Loving all the photos!

The new photobucket does not make me happy.

I've read that book too, finding all the hidden things are so fun. Have you tried to make the tarantula jump at the Jungle Cruise? That's my favorite one.
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:38 PM   #141
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AKL is my dream resort. Some day I will stay there!

My family loves Animal Kingdom as well. I have never really understood why others seem to dismiss it. Oh well.....more for me!

There's nothing better than Flower and Garden Festival! It seems to be the most convenient time for us to visit and I believe I have been spoiled!
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:10 PM   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytothreeboys View Post
AKL is my dream resort. Some day I will stay there!

My family loves Animal Kingdom as well. I have never really understood why others seem to dismiss it. Oh well.....more for me!

There's nothing better than Flower and Garden Festival! It seems to be the most convenient time for us to visit and I believe I have been spoiled!
We love AK also. Is the Backstage Safari still happening? I had not heard of it.

We went to the F&GF in 2009 and have longed to go back ever since.
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:32 PM   #143
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We just got back from AKL Kidani Village and absolutely loved it. Amazing resort. But we are now thinking and planning to go to BLT next so I am excited to read your report.

I am a little nervous about going to this resort because I heard all the food, drinks, transportation and magical express is over at the Contemporary. I wouldn't want to walk there everyday to just catch a bus somewhere or to fill my cups from the meal plan.

I will be interested to hear what you think.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:30 AM   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marDgreen88 View Post
Omg, CANNOT STAND the new photobucket. I think I'm gonna have to switch to a new photo sharing site. Dang!

I WANT TO STAY AT AKL SO BADLY. I don't even need a savannah view room, the observation deck is good enough! It's just so stinking beautiful!!! Ahhhhhhhhhh.

So fun that you got to meet Rachel! And yes, I have noticed that you can see ToT from Morocco. They couldn't have planned that more perfectly!

Woah, funny that you should mention the observation deck when I just mentioned it myself! Good to know that it's an awesome spot!

The Safari tour sounds like it was so cool! Another awesome trip!
Yeah, a while ago when I signed in I could preview it before they officially switched and I hated it. Still don't like it.

haha yeah, that's the thing. While the savanna rooms are nice you can always just go outside to watch the animals! I remember in 2008 when we were at AKL we would be walking in the hallway and there are these huge windows. I would always be looking out them to see the giraffes! It is so cool.

It was so great to finally meet a fellow DISer after my failed attempt in 2009.

The tour was amazing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkocto View Post
Loving all the photos!

The new photobucket does not make me happy.

I've read that book too, finding all the hidden things are so fun. Have you tried to make the tarantula jump at the Jungle Cruise? That's my favorite one.
Thank you!

Ugh, with everyone complaining, they should just switch it back.

No, I have not tried that one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytothreeboys View Post
AKL is my dream resort. Some day I will stay there!

My family loves Animal Kingdom as well. I have never really understood why others seem to dismiss it. Oh well.....more for me!

There's nothing better than Flower and Garden Festival! It seems to be the most convenient time for us to visit and I believe I have been spoiled!
I hope you do get to stay there some day. It is a great resort (but really, they all are)!

It's convenient for me too since I'm on a school schedule. We've had pretty good luck with the weather (well...other than one trip, but I'll get to that in another flashback...) and the crowds aren't as terrible as some people seem to think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pwdebbie View Post
We love AK also. Is the Backstage Safari still happening? I had not heard of it.

We went to the F&GF in 2009 and have longed to go back ever since.
Yes, the tour is still going on. You can find more info on it here:
BACKSTAGE SAFARI TOUR

Quote:
Originally Posted by WDWaddictt View Post
We just got back from AKL Kidani Village and absolutely loved it. Amazing resort. But we are now thinking and planning to go to BLT next so I am excited to read your report.

I am a little nervous about going to this resort because I heard all the food, drinks, transportation and magical express is over at the Contemporary. I wouldn't want to walk there everyday to just catch a bus somewhere or to fill my cups from the meal plan.

I will be interested to hear what you think.
Glad to hear you enjoyed Kidani!

I wouldn't worry about having to walk over to the Contemporary for buses/food. It's not like staying at Old Key West or Saratoga Springs where you have massive, sprawling resorts. Bay Lake Tower and the Contemporary are pretty much right next to each other. Not to mention there is some sort of skyway connecting the two buildings.

All I know is that I absolutely cannot wait to be there!
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:21 AM   #145
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Good morning everyone! Happy Monday!

I only have half an hour before I have to leave for school but I wanted to try to get in a quick update to say...

IN FIVE WEEKS WE WILL BE IN DISNEY WORLD!!!

Only 35 days to go! AHHH!!

So yesterday I found this amazing Youtube channel that has resort tours and of course I watched the videos for Bay Lake Tower and the Contemporary (and the Polynesian...) which turned out to be a bad idea because now I REALLY can't wait. But seriously, that youtube channel had some really good videos. I may have to go back and watch some more (if anyone is interested I can post the link later because it seems like it would be great if you need a little Disney fix!).

In other news, Dad and I ran over to Best Buy again yesterday to get my camera. He ended up buying it for me as an early birthday present (I am spoiled...). So thanks Dad! I am very excited to start using it because as I was playing around with it last night there are some pretty neat features on it.

Now for the main reason I wanted to post this morning. I realized that now that I finished all the park must-do lists, I forgot to mention characters! I mentioned a few in my Magic Kingdom must-dos, but not in the other parks. So, here are the characters I would like to try and meet!

Sarah's Character Must-Dos!!!



Ariel...(MK)

Characters at Pete's Silly Sideshow...(MK) (Goofy, Minnie, Donald, etc.)...does anybody know if these characters rotate out? Like does who you see depend on when you go? Also, how many characters are in there at a time?

Disney fairies (MK)...I guess the fairies aren't one of my priorities since I've met them before (even though it was a few years ago). My main reason for wanting to see them again is if Periwinkle is still there for meet and greets. Yeah, not going to lie, I love the Tinkerbell movies! They are so cute.

Merida!!! (MK)...I am sure this is still a pretty popular meet and greet and I am willing to wait to see her. I love meeting the newer characters!

Mickey Mouse (Epcot)...Dad and I both have the Disney Visa cards and they have a meet and greet in Innoventions for Disney Visa cardholders where you can get a free 5 x 7 photo. Last time we did it we actually were able to get 2 pictures since we each have our own card.

Speaking of Disney Visas, I just ordered my Rewards card so I will have some reward dollars to spend on souvenirs. YAY!

Phineas and Ferb (DHS)...I have only seen this TV show a couple of times but I think it would be fun to meet them.

Wreck-it-Ralph (DHS)...I have not seen the movie but like Phineas and Ferb, I still think it would be a fun meet and greet.

So there you have it. Do you have any favorite characters you like to meet? Or am I forgetting any of the newer characters?

Hope everyone has a good week! We still have not gotten our Magical Express stuff but maybe when I get home it will be here. *fingers crossed*
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:36 AM   #146
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Great list!

We like to meet characters, but don't spend a lot of time standing in line for them or seeking them out. If we stumble on one that we want to meet and the line is not too long, we'll wait. The exception being the Tink meet and greet on our last trip. That was a must do for me and we did wait for about an hour to meet her.

I hope you manage to meet all your favorites!
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:29 AM   #147
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Loved your AKL recap. Looks like such a beautiful resort! It's one I have wanted to visit for awhile, but we just haven't made it there yet.

Great character choices. At Pete's Silly Sideshow, it is always Minnie & Daisy meeting on the left side and Donald & Goofy meeting on the right side. It's two separate lines, so you'd stand in line to meet Minnie & Daisy, then have to exit and re-enter the separate line for Donald & Goofy to meet them. Early in the morning both sides were pretty empty.

I am excited about meeting Wreck It Ralph! (And it's a great movie if you ever get a chance to watch it!). I hope Ralph and Vanellope are both still there when we go in October.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:38 AM   #148
danceintherain
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This makes it look like they're all there all the time... kind of like the Character Spot at Epcot
http://www.insidethemagic.net/2012/1...rybook-circus/

I too love the Animal Kingdom. It's just such a well-themed park. I always wish I had more time to spend there.

I'm not a huge fan of waiting in line for characters. We're more if we see one, we'll jump in the line if it's too short type of people. That may change as DS gets older, but for now he won't know what he's missing.

My favorite character M&G is King Louie & Baloo. We've stopped to see them every trip in the last few years.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:43 AM   #149
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WOOHOOO, 5 weeks! Not bad at all! Hooray for your new camera!

I'm sure someone has already told you, but from what I read on twitter (various different accounts) it sounds like all the characters at Pete's Silly Sideshow have a personal set that they each stay at.

OMG, you haven't seen Wreck-it Ralph?!?!?! I'm telling you, you HAVE TO see it before you! It comes out on DVD on March 5, which is next week, so you honestly need to rent it at least!!!! I'm insistent on this because I honestly have an obsession with it. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. And I'm pretty sure that you get to meet Ralph AND Vanellope there! Wooooooo!

Anyways... YAY CHARACTERS! One of my favorite things to do at Disney!

Edit: I totally forgot to say this, but I watch resort walk-thrus on you tube all the time! (Okay... THAT is a bit of an exaggeration but I do watch them a lot.) Do you watch the Popsong1 channel, or AllEarsNet? Or something else?
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:23 PM   #150
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LOVE all of your pictures, it's making me want to be there NOW, lol!

Meeting characters is one of my very favorite things. I'm just a big kid at heart Pooh is my favorite of course (if you couldn't guess), but I also love meeting Mike & Sully, Mickey & Minnie, and really want to meet Buzz & Woody this year, we've never braved the line before. The fairies are a LOT of fun too, though I doubt we'll see them this year as DD is a little older, and DS surely won't be interested .
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