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Old 02-06-2013, 10:19 AM   #61
Marsheliz
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Peter Pan is secretly my favorite ride at MK!

It came out on DVD yesterday and I can't wait to get it!
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In Memory of my mama... 10-15-56- 04-10-13
Second Star to the Right and Straight on Till Morning

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April 2005- Offsite.. My now DH's first time
December 2005- Offsite ( ENGAGED at MK)
December 2007- Offsite ( Pregnant with Lawson)
February 2011-All Star Sport ( Pregnant with Landen)
September 2012- 1 night @ POFQ
September 2012- 3 nights @ AOA
October 2013- Caribbean Beach Resort
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October 2013 TR- http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3207813
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:09 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Marsheliz View Post
Peter Pan is secretly my favorite ride at MK!

It came out on DVD yesterday and I can't wait to get it!
I love a ride that gives you your very own pirate ship!

I only wish it wasn't so darn dark in there so I could actually get a decent non-flash picture!
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:17 PM   #63
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A Hammock at the Poly
Day 2—Part V



One very short resort monorail ride later, we had our first look at the Polynesian!




WOW. This resort was beautiful! We admired the interior decoration, plants, (and water feature!) of the Great Ceremonial House as we sped past it… but we had a destination in mind.

We did stop (briefly) along the way to grab a picture of the decorative resort map:



We then bolted past the pool and onto the beach in order to find… the hammocks.

Here’s me:




And here was my view:




This. Was. Heaven. I’m telling all of you, after a crazy day of hopping all over Magic Kingdom, kicking back in these hammocks was the best plan ever.

Anika enjoyed it so much she fell asleep!




After a bit of relaxing, the usual hyper Jenny was ready to do a bit of exploring. I left Anika in her hammock and ventured out to take a few pictures of the beautiful grounds of and around the Polynesian. Here was the view from the beach:






Fabulous, no? I also had to get a few shots of the boat dock and the different Poly longhouses. I’m especially excited that I got a decent picture of the Hawaii longhouse—you can see (what I think is) the Kamehameha Club-Level two-story lounge!






I also had to get a shot of this:




Does anyone else think it’s awesome that Disney even themes their TRASH CANS?!

Once I’d finished wandering, I grabbed Anika from her glorious hammock so we could make our way back to the GCH for dinner. On the way, we grabbed a picture of the famous Poly volcano pool:




It looked really fun! I can definitely see that this pool would be a major perk of staying here. (Along with close access to those fabulous beach hammocks!)

We made our way back into the GCH, and finally slowed down to take a few pictures:






Yes, it really is as lovely as it looks in everyone’s pictures! One thing you cannot get from other’s trip reports is the smell… it’s HEAVENLY. Disney theming is at its best here because it really feels like they plopped you in the middle of a tropical paradise. (Yes, I may have been rather enamored with the Polynesian…)

I also made Anika try out one of the cool chairs:




After running up and down the stairs a few times for the pictures, it was five o’clock and time for dinner!

Bring on the meat!


Up Next: Dinner at ‘Ohana!
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:27 PM   #64
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Aloha!
Day 2—Part VI



Here we were, excited for a much-anticipated meal at the famous 'Ohana!




As we had an early reservation, we were seated in a fairly empty restaurant. It was also very nice that they seated us at a table for four—more room for the food!

We started with the pineapple and coconut Welcome Bread:




It was quite tasty, but we were very good and only had a bit.

Anika ordered her usual water, and I very excitedly ordered a top-rated Disney adult beverage:




A PINA COLAVA!

It was glorious! I think mine was a bit heavy on the raspberry (at least as compared to most other pictures I’ve seen of the beverage), but I love raspberry so that wasn’t a problem. It was DELICIOUS and worth every bit of the $8.25 I paid for it!

I believe we got our leis on our way into the restaurant (I think that sounds right, but it’s been so long that I’m not sure!), but we didn’t walk out of there with just one. There was a guy that wandered around covered in them, and he found every opportunity possible to stop by our table and gift us with another one! He even artfully placed one on each of our heads! It was so fun and fabulous that we kept them there through the whole meal. (It’s nice that they spread Disney magic around to the older “kids” as well!)

Now that we were appropriately “lei’ed” and bevereaged, it was time for the food onslaught to begin!

First, the delightful Mixed Greens Salad with Honey Lime Dressing:




Along with the Pork Fried Dumplings (or, to most people, pot stickers) and the Honey-Coriander Chicken Wings:




Holy cow! Did you see how many pot stickers and wings they brought for two (fairly tiny) people?! I don’t know how they expected us to eat even half of those, but we tried our very best. Anika learned that she LOVES pot stickers on this vacation, so she did her part and finished off a good half dozen. I split my appetizer stomach room between the pot stickers and the wings.

Oh, and that salad! I loved it! It’s a very nice, “light” addition to an otherwise heavy meal, so it was quite a treat!

One course down, and still lots of food to come! Here’s the Noodles with Teriyaki Sauce and the Stir-Fried Vegetables (broccoli and snow peas):




Anika was pretty excited about both of these, as she loves anything with a noodle, and broccoli is her absolute favorite vegetable. (She’s a weird kid, what can I say?) I’m pretty sure I explained the ‘Ohana menu before we got there, but she was practically beside herself when they set broccoli on the table!

Now, bring on the meat!

First, our fabulous dipping sauces (Pineapple Sweet and Sour, Chimichurri, and Peanut)—I tried and enjoyed all of them!




The meat came out fast and furious. In a matter of minutes, my plate went from looking like this:




To this:




The meat variety includes Oak Grilled Chicken, Asian Barbequed Pork Loin, Marinated Sirloin Steak, and Spicy Peel-n-Eat Shrimp.

We both enjoyed all four meats, but I think the steak and the shrimp were my favorites. Peeling the shrimp was a bit of a pain the rear end, but it was worth it as they were very good. The shrimp were Anika’s favorite as well.

Here’s Anika enjoying her meat:




Notice all the leis?

Finally, it was time for the ‘Ohana Bread Pudding, with bananas, caramel sauce, and ice cream!

I failed on the pre- and post-sauce photos, so all I have is the after:




Yes, it tasted every bit as good as it looked.

We were now three for three on awesome desserts for the day (yes, I’m counting my frozen cappuccino as my breakfast “dessert” because gosh, it practically was a dessert!). Ah, dessert—the best part of any meal.

Fully stuffed but still mobile (yay, us!) we left ‘Ohana about an hour after we arrived. I grabbed a few photos of the restaurant on our way out:




(Next time, I’m walking right up to those grills to get a close-up shot of the cooking meat! I don’t even care if they think I’m nuts!)


Final Verdict—‘Ohana
Delicious. Absolutely delicious. Yes, it’s a load and a half of food, but there wasn’t anything we had that wasn’t tasty. Anika adored the pot stickers, I loved the salad, and both of us were crazy for those shrimp. The dessert is an excellent way to top off the meal (even if you’re so full by that point that it’s a little tough to eat it!). It does get a little noisy in there (and a little dark, if you’re not sitting in the middle of the room) but I thought the atmosphere really added to our dining experience rather than take away from it. Even if they keep the new changes, we would still love to come back! I can handle a little fruit in my salad, and as long as they don’t take away the pot stickers, Anika will be happy!


After an excellent dinner, it was time to climb back on the monorail for some Extra Magic Hours at Magic Kingdom!


Up Next: Even More Magic Kingdom (in the dark!)
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:42 PM   #65
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YUMMMMMMMY ooey gooey toffee cake (the only highlight to our LTT ADR)


And even more yum...Ohana bread pudding!! Oh goodness how I could go for a big bowl of that right now!
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:37 AM   #66
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We went to Ohana's for breakfast this past September and I totally agree the Poly is AWESOME! Man wouldnt that be nice to swim in the pool!!

I might have to try the dinner there- I wish it was characters though, with two small kids- we normally just do the sit down character meals.. Maybe when they are older!
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In Memory of my mama... 10-15-56- 04-10-13
Second Star to the Right and Straight on Till Morning

No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep believing.. The dreams that you dream... Really do come true....

April 2005- Offsite.. My now DH's first time
December 2005- Offsite ( ENGAGED at MK)
December 2007- Offsite ( Pregnant with Lawson)
February 2011-All Star Sport ( Pregnant with Landen)
September 2012- 1 night @ POFQ
September 2012- 3 nights @ AOA
October 2013- Caribbean Beach Resort
June 2014- Weekend Surprise at Port Orleans Riverside!


October 2013 TR- http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3207813
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:21 AM   #67
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Hi there Jenny I now caught up!

Starting with GFC - we LOVE that place! I'm with your sister in that I'm their french toast lover. I've never ordered anything else there since they are THAT good!

Are you trying to tell us that you are not a huge Peter Pan ride fan?? You would rather ride Snow White's Scary Adventure? Ok, I'll overlook that but at least you love Carousel of Progress!!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that attraction!! Everyone should sing along .... it's a big bright beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day...

LTT is another favorite of ours. So glad that you are a fellow ooey gooey toffee cake lover! You and your sister were there just a week or two before us in Feb. last year. When we ordered the fried cheese we only got the logs. Boo! You got the last of the cheese nuggets. Sorry you didn't like the tri-corner sandwich. Another menu item that was ushered out the back door when they changed the menu. And those fries... oh my! So good!

We tried Ohana (dinner) for the first time last trip and I LOVE that place! The bread pudding is definitely worthy of all the praise.

I'm looking forward to reading so much more!
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:19 PM   #68
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Thanks for a great TR. I'm really enjoying reading along and the food pics are making me drool. :-)
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:55 PM   #69
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Your dinner at Ohana looks really good! Love all of the leis!!
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:50 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debrapagliasotti View Post
YUMMMMMMMY ooey gooey toffee cake (the only highlight to our LTT ADR)


And even more yum...Ohana bread pudding!! Oh goodness how I could go for a big bowl of that right now!
It was a GREAT day of desserts.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsheliz View Post
We went to Ohana's for breakfast this past September and I totally agree the Poly is AWESOME! Man wouldnt that be nice to swim in the pool!!

I might have to try the dinner there- I wish it was characters though, with two small kids- we normally just do the sit down character meals.. Maybe when they are older!
Even though there aren't characters, there is certainly entertainment (coconut races, parades, etc.), but maybe if they're a bit older they'll love it even more.


Quote:
Originally Posted by emmysmommy View Post
Hi there Jenny I now caught up!

Starting with GFC - we LOVE that place! I'm with your sister in that I'm their french toast lover. I've never ordered anything else there since they are THAT good!

Are you trying to tell us that you are not a huge Peter Pan ride fan?? You would rather ride Snow White's Scary Adventure? Ok, I'll overlook that but at least you love Carousel of Progress!!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that attraction!! Everyone should sing along .... it's a big bright beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day...

LTT is another favorite of ours. So glad that you are a fellow ooey gooey toffee cake lover! You and your sister were there just a week or two before us in Feb. last year. When we ordered the fried cheese we only got the logs. Boo! You got the last of the cheese nuggets. Sorry you didn't like the tri-corner sandwich. Another menu item that was ushered out the back door when they changed the menu. And those fries... oh my! So good!

We tried Ohana (dinner) for the first time last trip and I LOVE that place! The bread pudding is definitely worthy of all the praise.

I'm looking forward to reading so much more!

Don't get me wrong - I do like Peter Pan! For some reason, though, Anika and I really enjoyed Snow White this time. I know we'd been on it on other trips... perhaps it was the nostalgia factor since the ride was going away?

As much as I love thrill rides, I adore the Carousel of Progress.

I'm glad you like 'Ohana! I was worried that it wouldn't live up to the hype, but we really enjoyed it!


Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderlustNZ View Post
Thanks for a great TR. I'm really enjoying reading along and the food pics are making me drool. :-)
Thanks for reading! There are many more food pics to come...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stringbean&Wingnut View Post
Your dinner at Ohana looks really good! Love all of the leis!!
I was pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed it!

Weren't the leis a hoot?!
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:51 AM   #71
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I'm sorry about my long period of time between posts - life has been busy!

I promise to get another segment (maybe two!) up tonight!
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:15 PM   #72
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Beautiful recap and pictures! We arrive at AKL March 9. Looking forward to all of it, but will enjoy your TR in the meantime!
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:21 PM   #73
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Beautiful recap and pictures! We arrive at AKL March 9. Looking forward to all of it, but will enjoy your TR in the meantime!
Thank you! And

You will LOVE the Animal Kingdom Lodge - I know we did! I have a collection of AKL pictures coming up on Day 3!
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:38 PM   #74
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I didn’t wish for rain!
Day 2—Part VII



We arrived at Magic Kingdom and marched straight to a Photopass photographer:




I love how the main gate looks at night! Isn’t it stunning? I love it so much that I took another picture of it as we passed:




Now my trip reporting gets a bit fuzzy. I know we walked through here…




…and the only reason I know that is because I have a picture of it! My next picture comes about a half an hour later. I have no clue what we did during that half hour (as it was a year ago and I didn’t take very good notes that evening!), but needless to say, I’m sure we did something fun! My best guess is that we went on the Carousel of Progress again (as it is the most fun and entertaining attraction to do while digesting!).

As I have photographic evidence, I do know where we went next! We cashed in our Fastpasses for Winnie the Pooh. This was the only attraction all week where we were warned about being outside of our return time (a bit of foreshadowing for the months to come!).

As it was dark, I only took one picture:




An odd photo choice, you say? If any of you are familiar with RAGBRAI (an annual bicycle trip across Iowa) it may make more sense… one of my close friends is on a RAGBRAI team called the “Killer Bees.” I took a picture of the sign as a souvenir for him. He loved it!

Winnie the Pooh is another great dark ride… although it’s probably my least favorite of the Fantasyland Three, it’s still a fun and brightly colored ride. I do love the scene where Mr. Toad is handing the deed to Owl. Although I don’t really remember Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, I do know that I really loved it.

After our colorful journey through the hundred acre wood, it was time to stake out a spot for the fireworks.

I’ll let you in on a secret… until this vacation I had never seen the Magic Kingdom fireworks.



I know, right? I love fireworks (and had seen Illuminations several times), but my family was one of “those families” during the evening entertainment who take advantage of the super-short lines rather than watching. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, but this time I was determined to see the fireworks!

We picked a spot just outside and over the bridge of Tomorrowland. We got there in time to see The Memories, the Magic and You… and it was ADORABLE. It was totally awesome that they managed to “color” the castle, and the photos that they showed were super cute. My only (minor) gripe is they showed the photos really fast, so by the time you figured out what you were looking at, they’d already moved on to the next one! Despite that, it was a really fun thing to see.

Next up was Wishes! I’m terribly sorry, but I do not have one picture of Wishes (at least not from tonight!). I had totally lost my mind before this vacation and bought an actual video camera. Instead of photographing MM&Y and Wishes, I was determined to videotape them!

My only wrinkle in this plan was an unforeseen circumstance—rain! Just as the show was beginning it began sprinkling. It was pretty minor for me to call it actual rain, but the last thing I wanted to do was damage my brand new video camera! Therefore, I did what any normal person would do—I used my raincoat as an umbrella of sorts in order to cover both me and the camera! Worked like a charm.

One of my favorite moments from the video (other than the fireworks themselves) was Anika’s reaction to seeing Tinkerbell fly:

Anika: “Wait…was that a person?”
Jenny: “Oh yeah, that was a real person!”
Anika: “Wow!”

“Wow” pretty much sums up my entire Wishes experience—I LOVED it. Absolutely and totally loved it. I loved the music, the storyline, and, of course, the fantastic fireworks! Not only had we accomplished a goal of actually viewing the Magic Kingdom fireworks, but they were great!

With Wishes done and the crowd breaking up, we turned and walked back into Tomorrowland and took a spin on the TTA. I was determined to ride it at night in order to see all the fun lights! This was another videotaped attraction, so we are picture-less once again.

We redeemed our second Space Mountain Fastpass of the day:




It was still fantastic.

I took a few pictures of Tomorrowland on our walk out:




(No, we did not actually “ride” Stitch’s Great Escape—we did it once, and once was enough!)

We also stopped for a Photopass picture:




I also had to stop and take a picture of the Mickey and Minnie topiary:




Next we had a bit too much fun in front of the castle! Everyone else was (of course) taking pictures of the castle and the Partners statue. Don’t get me wrong, I took a castle picture:




But then we had a great time taking pictures with all the little statues that surround the Partner’s statue!

Here’s me with a certain big-eared guy:




Next was Anika with everyone’s favorite duck!




We also highlighted the sometimes missed Jiminy Cricket!




Finally, Anika posed with Br’er Rabbit. (That’s Br’er Rabbit, isn’t it?)




We also took a few pictures of the cute statues without us in them:






We had SO MUCH FUN doing this! Such an activity is certainly not on any published touring plan, but this proves how important it is to do some offbeat and random things during a Disney vacation. They usually end up being really memorable!

(continued in next post)
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:52 PM   #75
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(continued from previous post)

Believe it or not, we were hungry! Anika passed by an ice cream cart and just had to have this:




The Mickey Cookies and Cream Sandwich! This was the first of several she ate during the week—and she vows to get one every single day of our vacation this year! Needless to say, she loved her snack.

I was determined to have a “must-try” snack—a Dole Whip Float! To Adventureland, we go:




Right to Aloha Aisle:




Here it is!




I can certainly see the appeal, but it wasn’t my favorite thing in the world. I adore pineapple so I expected to love it, but I think it was almost too much pineapple for me. I’ve read that you can get vanilla ice cream with the pineapple juice—now that sounds really good and I’d love to try it!

With our stomachs happy, we walked right on to the Jungle Cruise. It was really fun to ride it in the dark!




Next we went on the nearly empty Magic Carpets of Aladdin. It was the closest we could get to having a Dumbo experience as they’d closed and moved the ride just a week or two before we arrived.




I love all of the water feature camels!

We finished our evening with another climb of the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.




It was a peculiar choice, perhaps, but Anika thought it might be fun to do in the dark. She was right! It was really fun to be climbing through a lit treehouse in the dark, and the best part:




There were almost no people on it!

During the day, you have to walk in a constantly moving line of people through the entire treehouse. There are a few places you can stop, but for the most part, you move with the crowd. I bet we were two of about a dozen people on the entire structure, so it was a lot of fun!






I think next time we’ll just do the Swiss Family Treehouse once it gets dark.

We had been at Magic Kingdom for almost THIRTEEN HOURS at this point (minus our jaunt to the Poly), so we decided to call it a day. We made one pit stop at the Main Street Bakery for Anika to get this:




A losing team cupcake.

This particular Sunday was Super Bowl Sunday, but we didn’t watch it as we were playing in Magic Kingdom! We didn’t actually know who had won and lost when we bought the cupcake, but as we didn’t have an affiliation with either team we just told them to give us either one.

Although the cupcake wasn’t a winner (in the technical sense—in the culinary sense Anika thought it was quite tasty!), the day certainly was! We had accomplished a huge amount of things that day… tons of attractions, three table service meals, a few snacks, lounging at the Poly, and our first-ever viewing of Wishes! It had been a great day.

In case anyone is ever curious about how much walking you ever do at Disney World… Anika decided to wear a pedometer during our trip. We weren’t as good at remembering it as the week went on, but as it was our first full day we have results! Anika walked 13.9 miles that day—more distance than a half marathon! Yikes! Considering all my Fastpass running and my wandering solo tour of the Poly grounds, I don’t even want to know how many miles I walked that day!

We went right to bed once we got back to the lodge—we had an early breakfast date with royalty!


Up Next: Breakfast at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
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