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Old 02-14-2013, 01:17 PM   #196
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Originally Posted by DaveinFallsChurch View Post
I think she spent most of the time at the airport with her e-book. She seemed to be in good spirits whenever I checked in on her over the phone. As beautiful Reagan National Airport is in the main terminal, when you actually get to the gate area it gets really cramped with very few restaurant options. If I'm traveling by myself I usually park myself in front of the Five Guys Burger.
Yeah, I've flown out of there a couple of times over the past year. I had a flight delayed a couple of hours there also and spent an afternoon with a few other guys sitting in some bar there close to our gate. Even that was way crowded. I felt like our table was practically out in the terminal walkway.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:28 PM   #197
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Yeah, I've flown out of there a couple of times over the past year. I had a flight delayed a couple of hours there also and spent an afternoon with a few other guys sitting in some bar there close to our gate. Even that was way crowded. I felt like our table was practically out in the terminal walkway.
Yup, that sounds about right for DCA. It would be nice if they renovated their gate areas but it's such a relatively small airport that even closing one concourse would be shutting down a chunk of their capacity I'm guessing. You do get absolutely gorgeous views though on take offs and landings of the DC landmarks if you're sitting on the correct side of the plane!
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:48 PM   #198
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I've already started putting together a day-to-day itinerary for our next Disney trip which is 11 months and 2 weeks away. DW thinks I'm nuts. She may have a point since we have an overseas trip in June that I should be planning first.
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:16 PM   #199
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Rocking and Rolling

Disney Picture #4

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Old 02-15-2013, 06:31 PM   #200
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Disney Picture #4

You do like to tease don't you? Glad your DW made in in. Late but safe.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:35 PM   #201
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You do like to tease don't you? Glad your DW made in in. Late but safe.


Sorry, don't mean to tease.....or maybe I do a little Going through the pictures and processing them is taking some time and holding up my TR postings. So I thought between the updates I would share the pics that I've finished to give a preview of things to come!
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:28 PM   #202
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Disney Picture #4

LOVE THAT RIDE!!!
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:13 PM   #203
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LOVE THAT RIDE!!!
It's my favorite coaster ride at WDW too!!
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:24 PM   #204
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Bought the digital copy of the recently re-released Peter Pan and introduced it to the kids. They loved it! Now trying to decide if we should make plans for the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Cruise for our next trip!
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:12 AM   #205
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A Poacher-Free Safari

Saturday, January 26th - 6:00am

DW and I had just about 5 hours of sleep before the alarm on my cell phone went off at 6am. This day was our Animal Kingdom day! The thought of visiting AK always relaxes me because it’s a park where I know we’ll have more than enough time to see and do everything we want to. And there’s always time to sit for a snack and enjoy the scenery. When I had planned this day out weeks before, I had thought that everyone else would want to sleep in a little with all of the traveling the day before. So I had planned to make a trip to the food court by myself to bring back some breakfast for everyone else. Well, it turned out that everyone woke up early without any prompting. So, we all left our room to grab some breakfast at Landscape of Flavors around 7:30am.



I really liked LoF (is that even a DIS approved abbreviation? ). They have some interesting menu items to choose from. And there had plenty of space! During this trip, we had gotten in the habit of eating in this one corner adjacent to the Ink and Paint Shop where it was always empty. This morning I got one of their French toast dishes. The French toasts had a hint of Indian spices which I thought was an interesting combination of flavors that worked well. The kids got their Mickey Waffles. Once we finished our breakfasts, we drove to Animal Kingdom and parked after just a 10 minute drive. As we strolled towards the park entrance, the family who had parked next to us and now walking behind us joked that the best way for them to find their car at the end of the day would be to just follow us around all day and when we head back to our car, their car would be the one next to it!

We got in line once again at the RFID entrances. Actually there were about four lines for the RFID entries. The far left RFID line had two tour groups marked with those infamous flags. So naturally, we picked the far RIGHT line. And sure enough, our line moved about twice as fast the line with tour groups who were gumming up the entry process. I learned from my previous January trip that as long as you turn towards the opposite direction of where the tour groups are headed, everything would be fine. Once we got in, we walked all the way up to the entrance to Discovery Island where a rope held everyone back.

The Tree of Life always looks beautiful especially in the morning light.


It was sort of refreshing to see an actual rope drop. As soon as the rope dropped we walked over to Safari which was practically a walk-on . On our way there, a small group of Japanese tourists were being led by their tour guide who was an American and speaking what sounded to me as extremely fluent Japanese. I looked over to DW and said “That might be a job I want to do.” DW said "But you don't speak Japanese" to which I replied "Maybe for Koreans then? And I'll get paid to spend my days in Disney!" Although, my Korean has gotten very rusty over the past two decades so it may not be as easy as I think it is. DW looked at me with that “uh huh, suuuure” look and said “You’re not going to be carrying one of those little flags, are you?”

Almost everyone that were in the front of the pack with us walked at a casual pace towards the Safari. Except for this one family who was going at a more frantic speed and weaving in and out of traffic with their double stroller – they cut me and DW off by shoving their giant stroller in front of us and we had to stop to avoid colliding into them. Sheesh. DW and I were commenting to each other that it really wasn’t necessary to be that aggressive for Safari. They must had been having flashbacks of the TSMM run at DHS that no longer exists. Everyone heading there with us will be able to walk on the ride this early in the morning at rope drop.



We got on the last row of the Safari truck. The animals were out and about since it was still earlier in the morning. The baby and mother rhino were munching away their breakfast. A cheetah briefly sprinted across the top of its hill. And the male lion stood at the edge of it’s Pride Rock and gave us a large yawn. Giraffes were plentiful and so were the elephants. The kids loved the ride and DS couldn’t get enough of the animals. He was pointing and yelling out the name of the animals left and right.

Spending the entire day in the pool


One of these days, I hope to get to see the termites as well.






Loved this sight! We rarely see this guy up and about.


I really enjoy going on this ride first thing in the morning. Not just to avoid the lines and crowds later in the day, but it also gives us more opportunity to see the animals being active and moving about. The “savannah” always looks gorgeous this time of the day basking in the morning sun. Halfway through the ride, DD suddenly remembered the rickety old bridge from last year and asked with concern whether they still had the bridge. I told her yes, but that it would be okay. Just as I soon said that we reached the said bridge, and made it through with some extra bumps and being half tilted to the left. This was also the first time that we were on this ride with no Wilson on the radio and no storyline about trying to chase down the poachers and the little elephant. Disney decided to get rid of that element of the ride and add a zebra habitat where the little (fake) elephant and the poacher trucks used to be. I was kind of mixed about not having this story thread. I always thought that having a fake sculpture elephant at the end of the ride went against the rest of the attraction which was primarily made of real animals. Ok, there are still the ostrich eggs, termite mounds, and the upside down tree that may be less authentic. At the same time, not having to chase the poachers meant that the truck didn’t have to speed through the curves as it cut between the hot springs and geysers – and that was less exciting. Overall still a great and fun ride. I’m just counting the years until both kids are old enough to go on one of those special up and close safari tours that Disney offers at AK.

After we exited the ride, we entered the Pangani Forest Trail to look for some gorillas. When we entered the bird sanctuary portion of the trail, DFIL and the kids each grabbed one of those bird guides and became immersed in trying to find some of the birds. DD really enjoyed this activity. So we spent some extra time to let her explore while I stared at this yellow bird hanging upside down.





The gorillas were also on the move especially the young one (not a baby anymore) who was running around trying to engage its father to play with him. Very cute. I couldn’t get any good pictures out of this scene because they were located right behind the glass.

Once we finished, we strolled back to the main part of Africa to make a quick restroom stop. I’m always amazed at the level of detail that went into the theming of the buildings and atmosphere at Animal Kingdom. And I’m always finding something new I hadn’t seen before. We must have stood outside these restrooms across from Tusker House a bunch of times during our past trips, but had never noticed these wall posters until now.



One of these trips, we will take two days instead of one to explore all of AK ‘s little nooks. I also want to go through some of these shops.


Next Up: FotLK!
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:21 AM   #206
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Love your safari pictures- very nice! I have to say that I've always wondered if there are actual termites in those mounds or if they're just decorative. One of life's mysteries, I suppose
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:02 PM   #207
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Love your safari pictures- very nice! I have to say that I've always wondered if there are actual termites in those mounds or if they're just decorative. One of life's mysteries, I suppose
I came to the conclusion a couple of trips ago (without any actual verification ) that the termite mounds fall in to the same category as the ostrich eggs since they appear exactly the same each time we go. The very first time I went on Safari years ago I really believed that they were all real.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:55 AM   #208
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Happy Unbirthday to You!

Disney Picture #5

I had an opportunity to tour Magic Kingdom solo while everyone else went back to the resort for some pool time. I was looking around Frontierland when it was almost time for the Celebrate a Drem Come True Parade so I grabbed a spot across from the shooting arcade. This turned out to be one of my favorite pictures from the parade. I think the four of them were wishing people happy unbirthdays to their left and right when I took this. I just love the expressions on Wendy and Alice! And, Wendy is catching some air in her excitement.

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Old 02-18-2013, 09:46 AM   #209
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Great pictures! I love Rock n Rollercoaster!!!! Definitely my favorite in Disney World too.

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On our way there, a small group of Japanese tourists were being led by their tour guide who was an American and speaking what sounded to me as extremely fluent Japanese. I looked over to DW and said “That might be a job I want to do.” DW said "But you don't speak Japanese" to which I replied "Maybe for Koreans then? And I'll get paid to spend my days in Disney!" Although, my Korean has gotten very rusty over the past two decades so it may not be as easy as I think it is. DW looked at me with that “uh huh, suuuure” look and said “You’re not going to be carrying one of those little flags, are you?”
You want to be a tour guide??? In theory, it seems like a great idea... getting paid to be in the parks. But when you really thinkg about it, you're saying you want to be one of the most hated people on the DISboards!

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Except for this one family who was going at a more frantic speed and weaving in and out of traffic with their double stroller – they cut me and DW off by shoving their giant stroller in front of us and we had to stop to avoid colliding into them. Sheesh. DW and I were commenting to each other that it really wasn’t necessary to be that aggressive for Safari.
The thing is, you probably passed them when they got to the point where they had to unload the stroller and give it to the CMs.

It looks like a great morning. Even hitting the Safari first thing, it seems like I still never get to see the animals that active.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:25 AM   #210
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You want to be a tour guide??? In theory, it seems like a great idea... getting paid to be in the parks. But when you really thinkg about it, you're saying you want to be one of the most hated people on the DISboards!

The thing is, you probably passed them when they got to the point where they had to unload the stroller and give it to the CMs.
I would have to disappear from the DIS if I did become a tour guide.

We had a stroller with us too but it's funny how having experienced Disney many times helps out. I knew exactly where the stroller depot was coming up on the queue so we got DS out of the stroller while still moving and handed the stroller to the CM without breaking stride!
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