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Old 04-08-2014, 06:58 PM   #136
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:31 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by meggiebeth View Post



Hello there! Thanks for joining in, you're very welcome!

I am so glad to meet someone who takes an active role like me in planning for their parents! Most people our age don't- or their parents won't let them!

How did you find the vegetarian options in WDW? I was surprised that some restaurants didn't have one vegetarian choice- all meat and fish! Although requesting something did work, it would be nice to have a choice on the menu.

Hope you're having a lovely Spring!


I find that when I'm planning which ADRs to book, it's helpful to go onto the Disney website or Allears.net which have menus for all of the restaurants. Then I know which places have food I can enjoy too! Most places are good about having veggie burgers or customizing some sort of pasta. And of course, if there's nothing else, there's always salad...

Sounds like your trip has been great so far. Glad to see you enjoyed AK!
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:54 PM   #138
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I love all of your shots! They seem to capture the mood and the fun that your beautiful family is having.

Also, I have never been to Disney during the holidays so that AK Christmas Tree is something else.

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Old 04-09-2014, 12:09 PM   #139
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Lovely photos of AK. I have to say, one of the most interesting things to me about WDW (being a DL vet) is how WDW really spreads things out. In CA, we have almost as many attractions as WDW's 4 parks spread across 2 parks that are literally across the street from each other (By the way, this is not a slam on WDW at all. Just an observation). I think it explains why AK is 1/2 day park for so many.
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:39 PM   #140
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Finally back from our trip and getting caught up on everything.

We ate at Rainforest Café this last time too. It is very much the same as T-Rex. We were just looking for a place that had more variety than Flame Tree Barbeque for DH, who is sensitive to certain kinds of food.

AK is probably park #3 on my list of favorites, DHS being my least. I am looking forward to your review on Festival of the Lion King - we skipped it the time before when we were there, and then this trip they were in the process of moving it from where it had been to another location, so was not available. I was kind of curious to see what is was like, had heard rave reviews.

The walls you saw, by the way, I believe is the beginning of building the Avatar land. Not sure what they are going to call it. Too big to see over, but I'm not sure if anything exciting is happening yet.

Hope the exams are going well. DS only had two big exam periods, midterm and end of year. As a senior, they let him skip the end of year exams and because of the massive snows and amount of time they were out of school this year, midterm week was cancelled. So he is having a very easy senior year! No standardized test required of younger grades, and only AP tests, which are college courses he has been taken in high school. If he does well enough on the tests, he can skip that particular course in college! He is doing AP Physics and AP Calculus this year, which just blows my mind. He obviously got his math and science smarts from his dad.

Next year he goes to college, and if tuition payments allow it we may make a trip to WDW during a quieter time of the year, this last Spring Break was crazy!!

Expedition Everest is one of our favorites as well. We rode at RD, had a FP mid-day and then got to ride it at night several times, that was great!!
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:34 AM   #141
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I really must apologise for not writing an update for so long- I am very thankful that you've stayed reading along with me! I've been busy with exams, and have finished now, so have a while off school.

Photos, Photos, Photos and a Jingle Parade at Animal Kingdom

We then headed over to the Tree of Life, where a Photopass photographer was on hand to get some family shots! We took some of our own while we were waiting for her to finish with some other guests. Frustratingly, William wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. He refused to get in any of the photographs, much to my dismay. Of course, his attitude clearly influenced Rory who ever so suddenly didn't want to be in the pictures either!





Snap! Snap! Snap!



Thee Photopass photographer gave us a photo frame to pose in and my dad wanted us to pull miserable faces in it for the first photo. Clearly my mum and Rory didn't get the message!



Afterwards, we decided to rush over to the Festival of the Lion King to see the show we had heard so much about. We never got a chance to see it in 2011 when we visited, so we were eager to watch it this time round.







I must say, it was a very good little musical- much better than I thought it would be. To be honest, the Lion King isn't one of my favourite Disney movies, but this show was very entertaining.

We had Fastpasses for DINOSAUR! and wanted to use them. When we got there, there was no line! It's frustrating when that happens, as it feels like you've 'wasted' a FP, but I'm not complaining!

When we walked over to Dinosaur, I got a little concerned because people were lining up for the parade already. I'd heard lots about Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade and really didn't want to miss it. Unfortunately, my family didn't share the same enthusiasm- again, with William grumbling, he, my dad and Rory went off to ride Dinosaur again and my mum and I squeezed into a spot for the parade. It was incredibly busy and lots of people were hovering in crossings and forced to move on. We were lucky to get the spot we did when we did!

This parade is UNIQUE to say the least... I found it a little weird! Nevertheless, I enjoyed it and took lots of photos. I did feel sad that whilst I spend so much time planning the trip and am willing to do what others are wanting to do, my brother would not make a compromise for me. Rory would have loved the parade, I'm sure!

Here are some parade photographs, starting with an enthusiastic dancer...















When the parade had ended, we met back up and headed out of the park to get ready for dinner- the much anticipated Hoop Dee Doo Revue! We'd already done this in 2011 and were very excited to see it again.

Of course I insisted that we pose for a photo next to a bin (garbage can) on the way out!



We saw another Photopass photographer on our way out and my dad persuaded William to join in...

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Old 06-09-2014, 11:08 AM   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riles_and_Gabe View Post
I agree that Animal Kingdom is our least favorite park. It usually only fills up a 1/2 day for us. I think this year we will try to pay more attention to the details. I think we have been missing out on that. Can't wait to hear what happens next!
Good to hear it's your least favourite too! Most people can't understand why we don't like it much. Our problem is that we focus on the thrill rides- I really think next time when we go to AK, like you, we should discover 'more'.

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http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3259321

Sure! Thanks for asking. I know she will be happy to have a new follower.
Thanks for the link! I'll head over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by minniemouse17 View Post
I find that when I'm planning which ADRs to book, it's helpful to go onto the Disney website or Allears.net which have menus for all of the restaurants. Then I know which places have food I can enjoy too! Most places are good about having veggie burgers or customizing some sort of pasta. And of course, if there's nothing else, there's always salad...

Sounds like your trip has been great so far. Glad to see you enjoyed AK!
I've been surprised in the past that many Disney restaurants only have one (or even no) vegetarian option on the menu! Restaurants here typically have several to choose from.

My problem is that I am not too keen on veggie burgers! I certainly had a LOT of pasta on the trip, though.

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Originally Posted by HarkiQuinn View Post
I love all of your shots! They seem to capture the mood and the fun that your beautiful family is having.

Also, I have never been to Disney during the holidays so that AK Christmas Tree is something else.

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Thank you very much! Welcome, and I'm really glad you are enjoying the report.

The trees are really impressive. Being early November, it still felt odd celebrating Christmas in that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdashgirl View Post
Lovely photos of AK. I have to say, one of the most interesting things to me about WDW (being a DL vet) is how WDW really spreads things out. In CA, we have almost as many attractions as WDW's 4 parks spread across 2 parks that are literally across the street from each other (By the way, this is not a slam on WDW at all. Just an observation). I think it explains why AK is 1/2 day park for so many.
Funny that you should say that- I've never really researched Disneyland before, and I never realised that attractions were similar in number! I'd love to visit Disneyland but sadly that doesn't look likely in the nearby future... you're really lucky living so close!

I agree about attractions and AK being a half day park. There just doesn't seem to be that much there. Similarly, my brother William hates Epcot because there are only two 'thrill rides', and even they don't impress him much. When you think about it, Epcot is pretty scarce regarding rides too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ougrad86 View Post
Finally back from our trip and getting caught up on everything.

We ate at Rainforest Café this last time too. It is very much the same as T-Rex. We were just looking for a place that had more variety than Flame Tree Barbeque for DH, who is sensitive to certain kinds of food.

AK is probably park #3 on my list of favorites, DHS being my least. I am looking forward to your review on Festival of the Lion King - we skipped it the time before when we were there, and then this trip they were in the process of moving it from where it had been to another location, so was not available. I was kind of curious to see what is was like, had heard rave reviews.


The walls you saw, by the way, I believe is the beginning of building the Avatar land. Not sure what they are going to call it. Too big to see over, but I'm not sure if anything exciting is happening yet.

Hope the exams are going well. DS only had two big exam periods, midterm and end of year. As a senior, they let him skip the end of year exams and because of the massive snows and amount of time they were out of school this year, midterm week was cancelled. So he is having a very easy senior year! No standardized test required of younger grades, and only AP tests, which are college courses he has been taken in high school. If he does well enough on the tests, he can skip that particular course in college! He is doing AP Physics and AP Calculus this year, which just blows my mind. He obviously got his math and science smarts from his dad.

Next year he goes to college, and if tuition payments allow it we may make a trip to WDW during a quieter time of the year, this last Spring Break was crazy!!

Expedition Everest is one of our favorites as well. We rode at RD, had a FP mid-day and then got to ride it at night several times, that was great!!
I hope you had a lovely trip! I certainly envy you!

I'd have to agree about Rainforest Café and T-REX being similar- especially food-wise. I really thought the ice cave part of T-REX was unique though and it would've been great to eat in there.

Interesting that you don't like DHS- that is our second favourite! I must say, whilst the Festival of the Lion King is a good little show, I wouldn't really call it Broadway quality as others have. It is, however, a nice detour from the heat, and a fun musical to see.

Glad you told me that- I didn't even think those walls might be due to the building of Avatar land. I can't say I am that excited (having never even watched Avatar) to see what it looks like when finished, but it would be a good reason to persuade my parents to book another trip.

It sounds like our school systems are very different! Two exam periods a year is pretty terrifying- we only have one. I can't believe he missed all his big exams this year- that is incredibly fortunate! I ended up being ill throughout most of my exams, but you are still expected to sit them- it's very rigorous. As for AP Physics and AP Calculus, they are totally alien concepts to me! I don't think I ever learnt calculus, and I dropped physics as soon as I could!

Not sure how pricey college is for you guys in the US, but here it's pretty scary! Prices for tuition have risen to £9000 a year (approx. $15000?) and that doesn't include accommodation or anything else. I've heard awful things about spring break at WDW- I certainly wouldn't want to go then!!

That's a neat idea- we only rode Expedition Everest once on our last trip. We usually leave AK early so have never had the chance to do that yet.
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:55 PM   #143
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Your AK day sounds great and I love all your photos

I hope your AS Levels went well, in this house we will be finished with GCSE's on Friday and A Levels next Wednesday. Then we can relax
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:02 PM   #144
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Thank for your review of the rainforest cafe. We are going in September and are trying to decide between rainforest and yak and yeti (not counter service) We would like to plan a sit-down lunch in the AC and unfortunately Flaming Tree BBQ doesn't offer that.

Your trip review is awesome by the way. Most impressive. The DS can be a great experience but you have to get past City Walk. City Walk is nothing like Downtown Disney. It's definitely for the adults. Especially some of the newer rides are really family friendly. If you come back to disney you might try two days exploring the DS.
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:53 PM   #145
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Yay, another update!

Fun photos of the parade. I know that AK is done with their parade now -- I think it has to do with the Avatar expansion? -- so that's one thing I will miss when we visit. I am looking forward to the Lion King musical though
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:28 PM   #146
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Sounds like you had a great time. Hope to see the show next time we go.

Avatar was a good movie, I enjoyed it. It was very conservation based, as well as addressing the morality of displacing indigenous peoples, hidden inside an entertaining movie. But the scenery was incredible, so am hoping this new land will reflect that. And I heard rumors about some kind of dragon ride they are working on...hope that is true, it could be a very thrilling ride! But that is still about three years down the road.

They have their tests set the end of each semester, midterms in January and finals in June. With college it will be the same, each class only lasts a semester. We are looking at about 25K (USD) a year, and that includes his dorm room. He is going to a college in the same state where we live, so it is less expensive then going to another state. And his best friend is going to the same college, so they are having fun making plans.

Yes, Spring break never again. DS isn't much into it, so DH and I can go on a quiet trip during an easier time. But EE at night was awesome!

Looking forward to your next update!
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:48 AM   #147
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Old 09-25-2014, 07:38 AM   #148
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Dinner at the Hoop Dee Doo Revue

After a fun-filled day at Animal Kingdom, we returned to Saratoga Springs to get ready for a much anticipated event- our dinner show at Fort Wilderness! We’d visited this in 2011, although William outright refused to go that time. It was such great fun that my parents insisted he come this time around.

We had booked the last show of the night- and the big bonus of this is that DDP guests get category one seating! We were really hoping for a great seat- last time we were right up at the front, with a phenomenal view of the night’s happenings.



We were quite literally on this table (I got this photo from the internet). And what would you have it?! We were at exactly the same table as we had been two years ago!



We were thrilled. This table had a superb view and the irony was quite comical that we’d sat at the same table for two years in a row! When you get to your table, you are greeted with ever-comforting cornbread. This was the first cornbread I’d ever tasted in 2011 and it was love at first taste. We aren’t big cornbread eaters in England, so it’s something we strongly associate with America and Disney.



You also get little menus outlining what food you’ll be served. Obviously if you have special dietry requirements you can speak to the chef- I’m vegetarian and so needed to do this.



Our waitress came along and took our drinks order (served in rustic jam-jars!)



Soon after, we got our salad, which was also quite tasty.



Cue music and the rowdy show commenced! What superb entertainment. There’s songs, action and jokes all combined to make a great meal out for the whole family. It’s actually so much more than a meal out- it’s an experience of its own!



The show halted as we were served our main course, a mixture of meat and vegetables. We loved it- the food is simple but tasty and perfect when accompanied with the rustic venue and corny stage show!









Here we are enjoying our meals. I requested a pasta dish with tomato sauce (marinara) and had a side of broccoli.





Before long the rest of the show took off, with dazzling songs and hilarious antics from the actors. It really was superb. Rory fell asleep at almost every evening meal we had at WDW- unsurprisingly HDDR kept him awake and lively!







There was then a huge number introducing us to our dessert- strawberry shortcake! A tasty dessert- although it didn’t appeal to Rory, the fussy eater that he is!







We bid farewell to the actors as they went on their way to their next show!



What a fantastic night out for all of us. Rory had a blast, William was thrilled to have witnessed it and my parents were highly contented to have been able to experience HDDR once more. I was just in heaven to be at one of my favourite Disney experiences, after having anticipated it for so long.



Ratings for HDDR are as follows…

Hoop Dee Doo Conclusion
Atmosphere - 10
Service - 6
Food - 8
Value – 8

(We got this meal with two dining credits- good value to me! I’d think twice before paying $60 a head though… the DDP seems to be a better option for us when offered for free.)

Overall Rating – 9/10
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Old 09-25-2014, 12:47 PM   #149
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Ahhh such perfect timing! I'll be having my first HDDR meal ever 3 days from now! Great review and photos as usual

Edited to say that is so interesting about the cornbread -- I never really thought about it being a "uniquely American" food item, but it does make sense. I love how certain food items get so linked in our memory to certain places. For me, England is a sausage roll.
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