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Old 06-04-2013, 09:14 AM   #1
dawnmichele
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Talking How'd I get so lucky?? My AP Year * Updated 8/22 Our Next Trip!





This started out as a pretrip report for my familyís visit to Disney World in December of 2013. We bought APs that trip and I used this post again when I was planning our surprise trip last April. Now Iím using it as a pretrip report and Disney talking space for our trip in just a couple months. Itíll be the last of our AP trips.

You can read about me and the usual players in the introduction, read along chronologically, check out or skip to the part youíre interested in.

Our next trip is October 18th through the 30th. It will be a split stay with 2 nights at Pop followed by Port Orleans Riverside.

Scroll on to check out an Index, and say hi if you feel like it!


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Old 06-04-2013, 09:15 AM   #2
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Index of Posts

I really appreciate it when there's an index of posts on a thread, so I will be linking them here as I add more!



December '13 Trip

Welcome! 6/4
Introductions 6/5
You can count me with the dreamers. 6/20
Making the reservations. 7/19
Let's Talk About the Food! 7/19
Yet Another Day 7/26
Disney dorkout 9/8
We're going to MVMCP! 10/9
Disney Clothes 10/16
My Magic Bands have shipped! 10/31
It's funny because it's true. 11/4
Magic Bands! 11/7
A new suitcase. 11/14
Our Next next trip. 11/15
Two new tshirts. 11/17
Is this trip super bad timing?. 11/19
Single Digits, you guys! 11/20
5 days 11/24
Disney Accessories 11/24
3 days 11/26
Mousekeeping Envelopes 11/26
2 days and 2 tshirts 11/27
I'm back, and going back. 1/16

April '14 Trip

36 days and counting. 3/22
It's getting so close. 4/8
What? No more Dream Along with Mickey? 4/10
Here's what I can't wait to eat... 4/14


April '14 Trip

Less than 2 months until I'm back!! 8/22





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Old 06-05-2013, 09:58 AM   #3
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Who's Going?

This is not a solo trip (although a solo trip is definitely on my Disney bucket list). I'll be going with a handful of my family members, and I know you're excited to meet them - so here goes!

As I mentioned, I'm Shelly, and here's a picture of me being blissfuly happy in the Animal Kingdom:



I'm 46, and besides Disney, I am sometimes obsessed with Doctor Who, taking photographs (I hope you like looking at photos because this PTR will be full of them), traveling to places beyond the magic World, reading, writing and my two dogs. I am also seriously into art journaling and "memory keeping". I've never been a scrapbooker, but I've also loved keeping a record of my life and my loves with paper and pictures. In 2010 I made a very fun memory book of my Disney trip. My last trip didn't get anything as creative - just a hundred page photo book from an online place. This year I'm trying to think ahead and plan something really great for the 2013 book.

Here is my excellent daughter, Hannah. Also known as "H" or "the girl":



This is her on our second trip with her (then) favorite princess, Ariel, in her old grotto:



This is her favorite photo from last time.



She is 20, and studying animation at a local college. In addition to Disney, she is in love with the show Sherlock, Tumblr, and video games. I asked her which was her favorite. She had to think a while for that one. "Well, the Edlerscroll series," she finally said. "Especially Skyrim. But I also love Mass Effect." She has Type 1 diabetes and Epilepsy, and we try really hard to not let those things effect our vacations. Also, she Hates to have her picture taken. Poor girl. This will be her 5th trip.


Just like last year, we are going with Hannah's dad and my ex, Danny.
Here he is with Hannah on our first trip. Check out the lady behind him giving me the stinkeye.



Danny and Hannah in front of the fountain. Dig that old school stroller. It was 1997.



Danny with very entertaining Peter Pan last year.



Danny (aka "D" or the DX) is a 52 year old brilliant, computer genius. It was his idea to come on this trip. He's not nearly as Disney freaked as H or I, but he really loves Disney World. Especially after last year. Danny has ankylosing spondylitis which makes it impossible for him to stand or walk for more than a few minutes. He didn't think he could handle a Disney vacation, but we convinced him with a scooter he'd do great. And he did. He loved it and wants us to come back every year. Danny went a lot when he was a kid, so this will be his 9th trip.

Here we all are together in front of the Animal Kingdom Christmas Tree on our last trip.



The three of us are staying from Nov 29 to Dec 9. D & H have to go back to real life of school and work. But not me. Turns out, my brother and his girlfriend are starting their Disney trip on December 7 and staying til the 13th. My brother is so awesome he's letting me tag along for the end of their vacation.

Here's a picture of me and my brother:



Oh wait. That's from 1979. We've changed a bit since then. Here we are this Easter.



My brother loves it when I say he's awesome. He's a 35 year old MBA who dreams of being an Imagineer. It's possible he loves Disney more than me. He's been a DVC member for quite some time and I don't even know how many times he's been. His favorite part of being at the World is wandering about taking it all in. We talk about Disney a Lot. He has his own pre trip report here. I was just posting along in his until I decided I had too much to say and needed to start one of my own.

Along with Brian is his girlfriend, Adriene. Her's a picture of them, also from this Easter.



I think Adriene is just a bit younger than Brian. They've known each other since Middle School. Adriene is an aerobics instructor. She is a big time Disney fan, but not as excited about the planning as Brian and I are. I know she's been a couple times before, but I don't know how many.


These guys are not going to Disney World with us. In fact at this point, I don't know what they'll be doing while we're gone. But since it's my trip report, I'm going to introduce them.



Daisy is our 5 year old Lhasa Apso. We found her on Petfinder when she was 3 months old. She's an adorable lover who lives for belly rubs. She is laid back and awesome. Her dream is to play with a bunny, but squirrels are a close second. She could not care less about Disney.



Spike is 4, and also a Lhasa Apso. How he came to live with us is a long (but lovely) story, but he's only lived here for 9 months. He is a funny, funny boy. And a little spitfire. He lives to sit in your lap or at least cuddle up close. You have to be careful or he will lick the inside of your mouth. And he is quick. He doesn't care about Disney, either, but he'll act like he does so you'll sit and talk to him.

And there you go! My merry little band. I love them all!

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Old 06-10-2013, 05:53 PM   #4
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Great start! The trip can not get here fast enough!
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:31 PM   #5
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Great start! The trip can not get here fast enough!
Thank you brother!

And if anyone is following along, Murmkc is my awesome brother.
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Old 06-19-2013, 05:54 PM   #6
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Joining in
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:25 AM   #7
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Joining in
Woohoo! My first joining in! (My brother is awesome, of course, but I don't think he counts.)

Thank you, and

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Old 06-20-2013, 01:35 PM   #8
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Like everybody else, I had a dream.

Last summer, while I was planning our December '12 trip, my awesome brother started planning a December '13 trip for himself and his girlfriend, Adriene.

Since he's awesome, he asked if I wanted to come along. I can't remember what was wrong with me, but in a moment of insanity, I said no thanks. I had gone in 2010. I was going in 2012. And we've been planning a big family trip in 2015 for ages. Somehow, at the time, that seemed like it would be good enough for me.

It didn't take long until I came to my senses, and lucky for me my awesome brother hadn't changed his mind. So when we went last December I knew I'd be going back within the year. And you know, in many ways that knowledge really helped me enjoy myself on our last trip. If I missed something or didn't get enough, I didn't mind. (This is why I think you should plan to go to Disney every single year!) It reminded me of Rick Steve's mantra for trying to plan a vacation to Europe: Assume you'll be back.

So lucky me, right? I was going 2 years in a row.

Then it was barely in to our vacation when Danny brought up the next part. We were kind of aimlessly wandering around the Animal Kingdom, having one of those blissful Disney moments. (I think especially for Danny who was enjoying the mobility his scooter was giving him far more than he imagined.)

"I think we should come back every year." he said. Hannah heartily agreed. I stood back, amazed at this miracle of pixie dust happening before me. My family, without any influence from me, was declaring we should travel to the happiest place on earth every year. Now that's some Disney magic.

Ok. So we were going in December (more about that later). My brother was going in December. Suddenly, the thugs from Rapunzel starting singing and dancing a playing piano in my head. I joined in -- "I've got a dream, too!!"

Here's what I was scheming: If everything worked out and the fairies continued with their magic dust, I might be able to work our trip with Brian's trip so I could end up there for both of them! The first 3 times I went, we stayed 6 nights. Last time, we stayed 7 nights. None of those seemed long enough. Two weeks though - that might be perfect.

There were a lot of things to work out. Brian already had his dates, but ours were up in the air. We'd have to wait for Hannah's fall schedule to know when her finals would be. And we had to wait to hear from Danny's work.

Last year, our trip grew out of a work trip for Danny. His company had their Christmas party and convention at Disney. It was such a great time we were hoping for a repeat in 2013, and if it happened we needed the dates to work out. No word from the company yet on their Christmas plans, so after H's schedule was published, we quit waiting for them and made our reservations.

We are leaving black friday, the morning after Thanksgiving. If it weren't more expensive and more crowded for the holiday, we'd leave a few days sooner. Since it is, on the 29th while many American's are standing in line to buy TVs and tablets at Walmart, we'll be heading to the airport in the dark.

Danny and Hannah will stay 11 days in a Little Mermaid room at Art of Animation, until December 9th. After that they'll head back to work and finals, and I will send my bags and myself over to Bay Lake Tower, where I'll stay with Brian and Adriene until the 13th.

And that's how my dream came true. I am obviously the luckiest girl in the whole world, spending 15 days immersed in the magic of Disney. But I think the trip is shaping up to be fantastic for everyone involved. I really want it to be and am doing everything I can to set it all up. I can't wait for us to all go and have great times and make great memories together. It's getting closer every day! (162 days)

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Old 07-07-2013, 09:44 PM   #9
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Did I mention that this trip can not get here soon enough!?!?

We are going to wear out all the photopass photographers, party with Mickey, and drink around the world like nobody's business!

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Old 07-10-2013, 03:55 PM   #10
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Ok, ok....

This is too weird!! We have LOTS in common!! First of all, I just read through your whole TR from last DEC...right off the bat, we're basically the same age (I'll be 46 in OCT), I HAVE Type 1 diabetes like Hannah (I've had it since I was 5 and am also on an insulin pump) and....

We arrive 11/30 for 14 nights!!! LOL...The only thing is, we'll be at BLT from 11/30 till 12/7 and then we switch to AKL for our last 7 nights (we are also DVC)....

So, I wanted to stop in and say hi! I have not done a PTR here (I have one on another board, but I am going to do a TR and post it here on the DIS).

I loved reading your TR a LOT! I love your writing style and your photos are FAB! I especially LOVED the ones of IASW. I am a HUGE Mary Blair fan especially because IASW and the mosaic in the CR remind me of my first trip to WDW in '77 which was the only trip I got to take with my dad...

Anyway....are you doing any ADR's this trip? Are you doing MVMCP? I have just about everything all booked except for California Grill and the holiday sleigh ride as a surprise for DH. (Can't book either yet )

I just have to buy our Photopass + (it seems like you would say it was worth it, right?)...

Anyway, just wanted to say Hi!

Oh! and P.S. I know who Todd Rundgren is.
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:22 AM   #11
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YEAH!!! So happy to join your PTR. Looking forward to reading along as your trip gets closer and closer.

My trip is in Jan and I am almost to the 180 day mark and we are getting so excited. Just finally got to make our reservations on Wed when the 2014 rates were released.

Next up ADR's on July 21st at our 180 day mark.
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:30 AM   #12
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Joining your PTR. Great start!!
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorelei528 View Post
This is too weird!! We have LOTS in common!!
Awesome! I love that I hope it means you'll enjoy the rest of this report!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorelei528 View Post
We arrive 11/30 for 14 nights!!! LOL...The only thing is, we'll be at BLT from 11/30 till 12/7 and then we switch to AKL for our last 7 nights (we are also DVC)....
So close! Maybe we'll be checking in while you're checking out. If you spot me, please say hi!

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I loved reading your TR a LOT! I love your writing style and your photos are FAB! I especially LOVED the ones of IASW.
Thank you so much! I really appreciate such sweet compliments!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorelei528 View Post
Anyway....are you doing any ADR's this trip? Are you doing MVMCP? I have just about everything all booked except for California Grill and the holiday sleigh ride as a surprise for DH.
Yes! Too many ADRs probably, but it's one of my favorite parts of the trip! Hopefully that will be what my next post is about. My brother, his BGF and I are doing MVMCP on the 10th. I've never done it before so I'm super excited.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorelei528 View Post
I just have to buy our Photopass + (it seems like you would say it was worth it, right?)...
Yes, I whole heartedly say PP+ was worth it. In fact I'd say buying it was one of the best decisions I made for our last trip. Loved it.

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Oh! and P.S. I know who Todd Rundgren is.
You are now my favorite.


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Originally Posted by gracer9977 View Post
YEAH!!! So happy to join your PTR. Looking forward to reading along as your trip gets closer and closer.

My trip is in Jan and I am almost to the 180 day mark and we are getting so excited. Just finally got to make our reservations on Wed when the 2014 rates were released.
Thank you! I'm so glad to have you along!
The 180 day mark is so exciting. And once you're done it makes the trip seem so much more real. I hope you get all your first picks!



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Joining your PTR. Great start!!

Thank you, and thanks for joining in! I hope you'll enjoy it!
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:02 AM   #14
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Making the reservations.

So, the ADRs. Everybody likes to talk about ADRs. Theyíre half the fun! Ok, maybe not half, but a large part, especially when youíre stuck in the planning stages.

181 days before our trip starts, I had a crazy busy day. I photographed a wedding and got done just in time to rush to Starlight, an outdoor theatre in KC, MO where I was meeting an old friend for dinner and a production of Spamalot. I had a blast, but I didnít get home and into my bed until after midnight.

I did not sleep well that night. I kept waking up to look at the clock. At 4:30 my alarm woke me up so Iíd have a minute to get myself together before I loged on. That was a little too early and I ended up spending a lot of time in front of my computer anxiously waiting.

I had planned and organized well. I had a list of my hopes, arranged in order of what was most important to us/hardest to get, to the ones I knew would be available with no problem. With the list at my side, I impatiently waited until 5 am Central Time. In fact, I was so impatient, I tried logging on several times a little early - just in case my clock was off. It wasn't. I passed the time by posting on the December FB site.

Just after 5 the website let me make some reservations. But not all of them! There were some days that the website would just not let me make reservations for - at any restaurant! Sometimes, it would act like it was going to and try to take me to the next page, but then hang up before the next page loaded. Angry Donald would show up to tell me no such luck. What the what? Didn't they know I needed those reservations?

I checked the FB page and I wasnít the only one having that problem. Some folks were suggesting alternate ways to try, but they weren't working for me either. I realized Iíd have to wait to talk to someone on the phone at 6, but I still kept trying online until then.

I called right at 6am and within minutes I was talking to a very nice, if not over friendly, CM who helped me get those last few reservations I couldnít get online. Around 6:30, I crawled back into my bed and drifted back into a sweet sleep, dreaming of all the great meals (and dining experiences) I would be enjoying in 180+ days!

So what did I get? Iím going to make a new post for that!
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:29 PM   #15
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Let's talk about the food!

I love to talk about food. And read about food. And take pictures of food. And look at pictures of food. So, lets talk!

Heres my list of our ADRs, and what Im looking forward to trying at each one!

Yak & Yeti
None of us have eaten here before.
Ive never made an ADR for arrival day before, but this year I thought Id give it a try. I really want to check out Y&Y and Im not sure where else I might fit it into our trip. Well be at the AK plenty (we are fans) but since Im trying to not have more than one table service a day on this trip, this day seems to be the Y&Y day.
I have never been to the World at a time AK is open past 5, but on this first day of our trip they are open until 7! After dark at the AK seems dreamy and we are all excited about experiencing it.
At first I made our reservation for 5:45, but since the sunset calendar says itll be about 5:30 when the sun goes down that day, I decided that was too late. Plus we might not be done eating until almost closing so that would not do. I cancelled that one and have switched to a 4pm reservation. That should have us finishing up in plenty of time to see the sunset and wander around the park in the dark. On the other hand it might be a rush to make to the resaturant on time since our flight arrives at MCO at 1pm. So Im still not sure itll work, but my fingers are crossed, and we're going to try really hard.
Heres what Im excited to try at this restaurant:
Wok Fried Green Beans! Oh yes. I am in love with green beans. And fried? Yes, please.
Lettuce cups for Two. I dont know if anyone will share these with me, but I love lettuce cups. These always look delicious in peoples trip reports. If no one will share, perhaps Ill just make them my meal.
If Im going to get an entree, Im torn between the Crispy Honey Chicken and the Lo Mein.
But for dessert - Hello? Those Fried Wontons are reason enough to visit this restaurant. I can not wait to try these!


Sci Fi Dine In
Weve all eaten here more than once.
In my family, we all love highly themed restaurants at Disney, and this one is a favorite. Last time we ate here, we were seated at a car table (is that what theyre called) instead of the regular cars with two benches facing the screen. We actually liked this a lot more since there are 3 of us and this way no one has to sit alone. Ill be asking for one of those again, and since theyre less popular I think well get one.
Last time we ate there, I really wanted to try the Fried Dill Pickles, but no one else was interested so I went along with onion rings instead. The rings were fine, but this time Im going to get the fried pickles even if no one else wants any. Id like to check out the Famous All American Picnic Burger. It sounds crazy with a hot dog and sauerkraut on top of it. I dont know if I could eat a whole one, and Im pretty sure no one else in my family would share because of the sauerkraut. But maybe they will if we get that on the side. Otherwise Ill probably just have a regular burger with mushrooms. Either way, Im pretty sure Ill be skipping dessert here and having a cupcake from Staring Rolls sometime that day instead.

Be Our Guest
None of us have even peeked inside.
The only reservation I could get while Danny and Hannah are still there was at 9:30 pm on the same day we eat lunch at Sci Fi. The park closes at 10 so we might be leaving after the park is closed and that would be pretty cool. I dont even know if well be hungry at that point, but I wanted us all to have the experience of being the Beast's guest, so were prepared to just have some dessert if were too full at that time. Were all super excited to check it out (and meet the Beast)!

San Angel Inn
An all time favorite, we eat here every time.
This one is simple. I need a Wild Passion Fruit Margarita, and the Pollo A Las Rajas. No dessert here either since Epcot is overflowing with tasty treats.

Tusker House Breakfast
We tried this for the first time on our last trip and LOVED it. So of course were doing it again.
Who knows what I'll get, but Im hoping our 10:30 reservations will be late enough that they put out a little of the lunch food before we're done. I'm not a huge fan of breakfast, but I had some of the roast beef from lunch last time and couldn't stop thinking about it. Even if they don't - the juice, the food, the characters add up to a good time.

Via Napoli
None of us have tried this before.
For an appetizer, I cant decide if I want the Fritto di Verdura or the Mozzarella Caprese. I'll see how I feel when we get there. For an entree, I might get a pizza (so many look delicious) or I might get the Mezze Rigatoni all a Creme con Pollo. If I get a dessert, it will certainly be Tiramisu. Its my favorite. But I'll try to encourage someone else to get the Zeppole di Caterina so I can try a bite .

1900 Park Fare Breakfast
None of us have tried this, but I have always wanted to.
This is all about the characters. Like I said, I am not in love with breakfast. The rest of my family is so I'm sure they'll like the food. But I just want to say hey to Mary Poppins and Alice and the Mad Hatter and the 100 Acre Wood gang. Ok, I do want to check out the strawberry soup as well, but other than that the food seems to be just kinda standard breakfast.

Crystal Palace Breakfast
We did this a couple times when Hannah was a tiny girl.
I know! So many breakfasts and I dont even dig them. But it cant be all about me, right? So another breakfast for the breakfast lovers. Its possible Ill skip out on this one and just let D & H go, but well have to wait and see.

50's Prime Time Cafe
We tried this last time. We all loved the experience, but only Danny really loved the food.
Im planning to order the Caesar Salad with Chicken. Maybe I'll try a milkshake as well, although those two things don't really seem to go together. I'm not super excited about this one. I think it will be more fun than delicious.

'Ohana
None of have tried this, but D & H really love the whole Brazilian steakhouse set up.
This is the day my brother and his girl arrive. He is crazy about this place, so it seemed a perfect choice for one of our two meals all together. Our reservation is at 7, and Im hoping it'll be good timing to watch the Electrical Water Pageant and maybe the fireworks from the Polynesians beach after dinner.

Whispering Canyon
Another night for the 5 of us to eat together, and none of us have tried this before.
Again were going for atmosphere and experience over food. Well have to fight it out over which 3 entrees we get, but I'll vote for the beef and chicken. D & H will be leaving the next day, so I hope its a super fun night for all of us. Were also looking forward to checking out the Wilderness Lodge while were there. The pictures of that place are amazing and I've never seen it in real life.

Be Our Guest
D & H will be gone, so it will just be 3 of us that night. Brian and Adriene have never seen new Fantasyland before, so I think this will be an exciting night for them.
Our reservations are at 7 so Im planning on a real dinner this night. Im going to try the Grilled Strip Steak, and the Tripple Chocolate Cupcake for dessert.

Liberty Tree Tavern
My brother wanted us to make reservations there for the night were going to Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party, so we have reservations for 3 at 7:30. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I do not want to be having a sit down dinner during the few hours the party is going on! So they'll be enjoying a nice holiday style meal, but I'll be wandering around trying to meet characters and take a million photos.

Boma
Brian loves this place. I dont think Adriene has ever been and I know I havent.
Well spend the day at the AK and then have an early lunch at Boma. I have no idea what I'll eat here, but I'd like to try a little bit of everything. I'm hoping this will be as good as my brother says it is.

Liberty Tree Tavern
Again. Ish. This time its lunch just for me.
Everytime I see the Colony Salad in a report I drool. I can not wait to eat that thing! And of course I'm going to have the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake for dessert. I am super excited about this ADR.

And then thats it! My predictions, which are subject to change on a whim.
I have considered treating myself to one last fantastic meal on the morning I'm leaving, but I don't know. I'd love to say goodbye to the Princesses at CRT for breakfast that day, but it's pricey and after all those great meals I might feel too guilty to shell out another 50 bucks or whatever for one meal. I guess that'll be another wait and see!


Last edited by dawnmichele; 08-11-2013 at 10:44 AM.
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