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Old 01-19-2013, 09:00 PM   #16
murmkc
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Coronado Springs looks awesome!
I always order WAY too much from wegoshop or garden grocer but it is better than going without!
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:26 AM   #17
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Mistake #1



We knew we wanted to head to the Animal Kingdom. Normally we'd do MK first, but it was the 6th - Grand Opening day for the Fantasyland expansion so that was out. Plus they were closing at 7 for the Christmas Party. AK was close, and D had never seen it, so wed go there first, and head for Epcot when it closed.

We left our room and headed back to the main area of the resort.

The view was beautiful. Sadly, we never took a chance to check the place out though. Most days we just saw the parking lot between our building and the bus stop. We didnt even get a glance at the amazing pool! Or any pool, actually. If we stay there again (if his company decided to do another party there this year), we will take some time out to take it all in.


Walking beside the lake.




I am a topiary fan, and I really loved this set outside the back door of the lobby.



But what about food? Everyone was hungry. Hannah just wanted to GO and grab something once we were there. Danny & I werent so sure and wanted to see what the CSR had to offer. Somehow this lead to a little family meltdown. Hannah felt like we werent listening to her since we didnt automatically do what she said. I tried to explain what we were thinking and she got a little crycry. I kind of lost my patience right then and things got stressful. It was a low point as Danny & I tried to manage the crowds and check out the restaurants while Hannah freaked out and I wondered if she was going to be an emotional roller coaster the whole time (she wasn't). In retrospect we should have hopped the bus and headed away from that crazy crowded place. But we didnt. Instead we headed into Cafe Rix.

Mistake #1.

Cafe Rix is tiny. Its a narrow little room with coolers full of cold food and drinks, windows with hot food sitting out, and soda fountains on one side, cash registers on the other and a narrow aisle between them. And the place was packed. You had to make your way along the crowded food side, make your choices, and then squeeze back through the crowds to the entrance to get in line to pay. There was no way Danny was getting through there on his scooter, so he went off to find a table and trusted me to choose his lunch. I picked a bacon cheeseburger for him and chicken fingers for me. Hannah picked up a bacon cheeseburger as well. We grabbed our sodas and struggled up to a register. I gave them way too much money for what we were getting and made our way through the crowded room to a lovely empty space inside the bar that Danny had been led to by a helpful CM.

It all tasted about as bad as it looked, but we just counted it as a good lesson learned early.

Before


After.
Obviously not so bad that we couldn't eat it, but when there are left over french fries, that's saying something. At least in my family.

The bar, called Rix Lounge, was pretty nice. I think we were the only ones in there. So even though the food was really bad, the surroundings were lovely. Gotta look for the bright side, right?








These light fixtures were awesome.

After we threw out our trash, we headed out front and waited for a bus to the Animal Kingdom, which came quickly and was mostly empty. Danny did pretty great at his first time getting a scooter onto a bus, and finally we were on the way to a park!

Next up: Off to Animal Kingdom


Last edited by dawnmichele; 01-22-2013 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:31 AM   #18
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Big Welcomes to you!!

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Hi! Subbing - cant wait to read more!
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Im in!
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Woo -hoo! Can't wait to hear more!
Thanks for joining in and Thanks for saying hi!!
I hope you enjoy it!
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:37 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by murmkc View Post
Coronado Springs looks awesome!
The CSR is incredibly beautiful. Seriously. I'm so sad we didn't make time to go check more of it out. I know they have tons more to offer than we were able to take advantage of. That's the down side of an awesome place to stay at Disney - I never want to spend the time to enjoy it.

The room was a great size, too. There's not quite enough room for two people to walk between the feet of the bed and the TV/dresser area, but we really never felt cramped at all. Plus there was plenty room for the scooter. I'm a SCR fan.

Quote:
I always order WAY too much from wegoshop or garden grocer but it is better than going without!
Even with what we didn't use, I know we still saved money with what we did use - especially the water and soda. We'll do it again, but I'll probably write down my order and then take a few things off the list before I place it.

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Old 01-21-2013, 10:42 AM   #20
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Yikes!

Yikes! My links in my Table of Contents were all off! I hate it when that happens. So sorry, and I promise I'll check them when I make them from now on.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:11 AM   #21
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I'm Hooked - looking forward to hearing all about your trip.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:42 PM   #22
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I'm Hooked - looking forward to hearing all about your trip.
Well hooray! I'm glad I hooked you.

And welcome. I hope you'll enjoy.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:24 AM   #23
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Off to Animal Kingdom!


The ride from the CSR to the Animal Kingdom is super quick. It seemed like less than ten minutes before the bus driver was straightening the ramp and sending Danny down it on his scooter. It wasn't quite the same as seeing the train station and going under the tracks into to hub of the Magic Kingdom, but I was Beyond Thrilled to see the gates of a Disney World park!



Danny wanted me to take this picture of the sign so we stopped for a split second while I did. Hannah was still kind of cranky and didnt want to slow down even that much. Impatience with me taking photos happened a lot on this trip. I still managed to take a lot of pictures, but truly not nearly as many as I wanted or had hoped to. Next trip, right? Thats why you always have to be planning a next trip. One of my Disney fantasies is to go by myself some time so I can go slow and take as many pictures as I want!

In the rush to leave the room, I had forgotten my PhotoPass+ voucher, but I knew I could add regular photopass pix to my account, so we picked one up and had our first photo taken outside the gate at the big Christmas tree. (Is that tree there all year and just not decorated or is it just an empty space most of the year?)



We took our first turn through the turnstiles and headed to the left.

We just kind of glanced at the animals on display along the walk. The fences are high enough that Danny couldnt see without getting off his scooter and after he looked at these birds, he was ready to skip the rest.



There was a Photopass guy there on the bridge, so I suggested we post for another shot.


And then there was the tree.



I dont think you can really appreciate that tree until you see it. I know I didnt. I had read all about it, watched all about it on Disney shows and even had my brother rant on about its wonder. I thought Yeah I get it, its a giant tree. But then when I saw it and walked all around it I realized I really hadn't gotten It. its truly amazing.



We got Danny to pull up in front of it and Hannah spent a while pointing things out and telling him how it was made. I just stood there and took in the beauty of the Animal Kingdom. We never did find the time to walk the paths and get a great close up look of the carvings, but we did stand at a distance many times naming all the animals we could pick out. Next time.

Ill say here I do not understand the AK is a half day park crowd. I think its a multi day park! There is so much to see there! Everything is so beautiful and incredibly themed. Its a great place to meet characters, and Dinosaur is one of my top 3 rides. I dont even watch the shows or ride EE, and I can easily stay from rope drop to close without getting bored.

/soapbox

We headed on, torn between going slow to take it all in and rushing to get in line for our first ride. We probably alternated between each.

Next up: Our First Ride


Last edited by dawnmichele; 01-23-2013 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:14 PM   #24
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Iíll say here I do not understand the AK is a half day park crowd. I think itís a multi day park! There is so much to see there! Everything is so beautiful and incredibly themed. Itís a great place to meet characters, and Dinosaur is one of my top 3 rides. I donít even watch the shows or ride EE, and I can easily stay from rope drop to close without getting bored.

/soapbox


Next up: Our First Ride
I'm slowly coming around to liking AK more. I think I'm ambivalent because I feel like for a new, planned park they laid it out really awkwardly. And the uneven pavement is killer for anyone with foot/ankle issues.

But... I'm coming around. Slowly, but I'm coming around. Mom and I had one of our best moments at AK at the Nemo show, so it's growing on me.

A bit.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:52 AM   #25
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Our first ride!

Of course our first destination was the Kilimanjaro Safari. I love that ride! Im an animal lover in general, so there's that part. Plus its different every time you ride! Its like a big mystery to see what the animals are up to when you drive past. Plus this time I had a new awesome camera (a Nikon d5100) and I was excited to use it.

So get ready for too many photos.



The wait time was only 10 minutes which was fantastic. It was our first time through a line with a scooter. The CM at the front pointed us through the regular line and we walked/drove quickly through most of the queue space. When we got to the part where you park your stroller, D got all anxious and tried to head in. He was really concerned about being a good scooter driver. He was instructed to keep going and someone when let him know when he got to the right spot. Throughout the trip Danny was so worried about not being a bother with his scooter, that he often stressed himself out. But in the end, it all went so smoothly he could have really relaxed. The CMs were always right there to direct him, incredibly friendly and always helpful.

We eventually got to the chair parking spot and a CM opened the gate and led us to a waiting spot. There was one other couple waiting there, so of course we struck up a conversation.

Something I love about being at Disney World (and oh, there are so many) is making Disney friends. If theyre in the mood for chatting, theyre generally happy and having a good time which makes any conversation better. Plus you have this giant thing in common - Disney Love. You talk about where youre from or what youre doing - maybe what you just did or what youre going to do next. Even when youre complaining about the last time you got stuck on the monorail or the ride that just broke down, its fun because youre all at Disney. Sometimes the friendship only lasts 5 minutes while you wait in line, sometimes it can carry on for quite a while. However it works out, I love Disney friends!

So this was our first set of Disney friends - a man in a scooter and his wife. We told them it was our first time and they were full of tips on how to manage the parks. We were super grateful. They also let us know how affordable it is to buy one for yourself. The man had one at home and insurance had covered the full price. They come apart easily and are light enough the lady could load it in the trunk of their car all by herself. D talked about all the things he doesnt do around our town because they involve too much walking and mused about checking into it when we got home.



After a bit, a vehicle pulled up for us and they loaded us into the back row. We had to wait quite a while for enough chair people to show up and load, but eventually we were full and headed out for a two week (but wait! we only had an 8 day pass!) safari.


First up, a hippo, hiding under the water.


Dig the scary birds! And the hippo not hiding. I love it when they're out walking about.




Our driver told us how much he loved the view of the savannah. I thought it was pretty nice as well.




The giraffes were out enjoying a mid morning snack.




The Mandrills were enjoying some social time.


The big male elephant was on his own, as usual.


I love the Boabob trees. And I love elephants the most. So here come too many pictures of them enjoying their day at the Animal Kingdom.




The momma and her baby!








Just past the elephants, we saw the very pink, very pretty flamingos.


And around the corner, one more shot of the elephants! In case you didn't get enough.


These guys were close enough to our bus I thought they might try to board. And close enough to the lions it kind of seemed like a big tease. The lions did not seem bothered. (Like Lauren Conrad/Catherine Tate. Does anyone get that reference?)


Look! There are two of them!






And last (but not least), the new zebras. They seem to have made themselves quite at home.

Of course our safari was cut short after that. Before we knew it we were back at the platform full of scooters and wheel chairs. We said goodbye to our driver, Danny climbed back in his scooter and we headed out, discussing what adventure we were ready for next.

Next up: Dinosaur, Dug and a Mickey Bar



Last edited by dawnmichele; 01-31-2013 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:10 PM   #26
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I love the pictures! There are quite a few that stand out to me - great great photos. I can't wait for the day I can put a little more into my pics - I'm usually trying to snap a few before I'm chasing down a child!
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:25 PM   #27
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Great photos! You make me want to get a better camera for my next trip.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:37 PM   #28
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I'm in!

Great pictures of the safari! It's always fun when the animals get thisclosetoyourvehicle!

I'm glad you liked CSR! We're trying it for the first time this May, so I'm happy to keep reading postive reviews.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:44 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geckodani View Post
I'm slowly coming around to liking AK more. I think I'm ambivalent because I feel like for a new, planned park they laid it out really awkwardly. And the uneven pavement is killer for anyone with foot/ankle issues.

But... I'm coming around. Slowly, but I'm coming around. Mom and I had one of our best moments at AK at the Nemo show, so it's growing on me.

A bit.
That's excellent, I'm glad to hear it!
You have a point about the lay out I think. I've spent a lot of time there and still can't always remember what is where or how to get where I want. And I understand about the uneven pavement! I've heard it's especially bad for people in wheelchairs. Luckily for Danny he was able to zoom about on his scooter just fine.

I know it's not everyone's cup of tea over there, but I really love it. I hope you'll have some more great experiences there on your next trip!
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:33 PM   #30
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Only 316 days until the next trip... I am plotting and scheming all sorts of fun stuff! Until then I have to get my fix with your trip report!
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