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Old 01-02-2004, 01:02 PM   #151
jennymouse

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What a wonderful dinner! Disney never ceases to amaze me at thier attention to detail. I agree, the food stole the show at this event. And you couldn't have asked for better company with minybear and nutz4dizny! Did you notice how nutz4dizy's hair sort of fit right in too!LOL Just kidding, nutz4dizny! Love ya, mean it!

Thanks so much for sharing with all us DISer's, Janet. You could've easily kept this intimate event to yourself, but instead you took your time and effort to present this excellent report. It's the unselfish contributions like your's that make the DIS such a great resource for planning our WDW vacations. Who would've known that such an event was even possible. Thank you.
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Old 01-02-2004, 07:12 PM   #152
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Old 01-03-2004, 05:54 AM   #153
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jennymouse - You are too funny!!! I never noticed that but you are right! I blended in quite nicely! LOLOLOLOL!

Also your point about Janet2k is right on the money. I have never met such an unselfish caring person as Janet. She is one of a kind and I am lucky to have her as a friend! She HAS contributed so much to these Boards with information and pictures and such!

We better look out because if someone from Disney is reading these Boards they might snatch her up and hire her to work for them!

Thanks again Janet for all the hard work and HOURS you put in writing this report to share with others!

Renee aka nutz4dzny



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Old 01-03-2004, 09:43 AM   #154
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Quote:
Originally posted by nutz4dzny
jennymouse - You are too funny!!! I never noticed that but you are right! I blended in quite nicely! LOLOLOLOL!

Also your point about Janet2k is right on the money. I have never met such an unselfish caring person as Janet. She is one of a kind and I am lucky to have her as a friend! She HAS contributed so much to these Boards with information and pictures and such!

We better look out because if someone from Disney is reading these Boards they might snatch her up and hire her to work for them!

Thanks again Janet for all the hard work and HOURS you put in writing this report to share with others!

Renee aka nutz4dzny



Thanks for taking it my ribbing in the loving way in which I meant it. I'm a strawberry blond myself, and love your red!

NO, Disney can't have Janet, she's our Princess, all ours!
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Old 01-03-2004, 06:36 PM   #155
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We just came in from seeing the movie. DS had been nagging us for a while. We finally gave in! :happy1:

I spent the entire movie checking out the sets and scenery! I now appreciate the magnitude of the environment even more, if that's possible! WOW!

btw, the movie was only so-so, imho. BUT, DS liked it and I had fun because of Janet's amazing event!
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Old 01-04-2004, 03:16 AM   #156
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Thanks, everyone, for your kind words. Sharing the Haunted Mansion Movie Set Dinner event was a lot of fun for me. I hope I did the event justice.

I have seen the “Haunted Mansion” movie twice now. The first time I saw it, I saw it with my son (my son did not attend our family vacation due to his college schedule). When I saw the movie that first time, I was primarily only interested in viewing the movie sets (I wonder why? ). Then I saw the movie again two weeks ago. This time I saw it with my husband, my daughter, and my dear friend from home who had joined us on vacation (that was the first time the three of them had seen the movie). It was a lot of fun sitting in the theater and watching their reactions anytime the ballroom set was shown. I really enjoyed the movie that second time around.

I spent a good portion of today updating all my posts in this thread. I have (hopefully) fixed all the broken links to my photos that were caused by Yahoo’s recent changeover of their on-line photo albums (and I was happy when they restored my albums that had “disappeared” during their changeover). I have also fixed all the links that were broken when Disney recently changed their own website. With that said, if anyone finds a link that is still broken, please PM me and I will fix it.

I still have a few more things to share regarding my vacation: a manatee-sighting excursion on the Crystal River, courtesy of WeFullTime & her husband; a group dining reservation for Disney’s New Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show with Minybear & her husband, Nutz4dzny & her husband, my dear friend from home, and my family. I will try to find the time to share those memories soon.

Again, everyone, thanks for your kind words.
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Old 01-04-2004, 09:28 AM   #157
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I just read your Haunted Mansion feast (I'm a little behind). I have to say that I thought your other adventures were amazing and could not be topped - I was wrong. That sounds like it was one very special dinner!
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Old 01-04-2004, 03:03 PM   #158
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Janet2k, I have really enjoyed reading your trip report. And I also appreciate your making it one long thread, instead of posting each entry as a separate thread! Made it so easy to read everything without having to search for consecutive entries and remember which number I read last! I can hardly wait to read the rest.

Thanks for sharing your family's trip with us!

Carolyn
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Old 01-11-2004, 09:40 PM   #159
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Beach Club Villas Day Four, Part 1…

With the Haunted Mansion Movie Set Dinner event just a wonderful dream behind me, I reluctantly dragged my sleepy body out of bed. The entire prior day had been so full of action that I was truly bone-tired (and I’m not just talking about my broken leg, either). But I was excited about what the new day held in store for me – my family was beginning it with a boat outing, and ending it with the Spirit of Aloha dinner show. I felt confident that it was going to be another magical vacation day.

My family had been invited to join WeFullTime & her spouse on a Gulf Coast boat outing. They were kind enough to invite along my dear friend from home, too. Also joining the outing would be Nutz4dzny & her spouse. I was looking forward to this outing because I was hoping to catch my very first glimpse of a manatee in its natural environment (I’d only seen manatees in aquarium settings).

After I had showered and dressed, I woke up the other two lazybones in my Beach Club Villas resort room – my husband and daughter. After thirty minutes or so, we were ready to go. My dear friend came down to our room, and then the four of us headed outside into the early, morning sunshine.

We took a taxicab over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge, where we joined up with Nutz4dzny and her spouse. They drove us over to WeFullTime’s place, where we joined up with WeFullTime and her husband. Since there were eight people in our party, we needed two vehicles to transport everyone to the Gulf Coast. WeFullTime’s husband drove the “boys” in his vehicle, while Nutz4dzny drove the “girls” in her vehicle. Well, that was the plan until my daughter decided that she wanted to hang with the boys. WeFullTime allowed her to switch vehicles under the condition that she promised to “spy” on them for us. My daughter happily agreed and our mini-caravan was on its way.

My husband and daughter had their first visit to the Gulf side of the state during the prior week when we had visited my Aunt. But because it had been raining that day, they never really got a good look at the Gulf of Mexico. Since today was a sunny day, I knew they’d finally get a good view of it. My dear friend had also never been to Florida’s Gulf Coast before, so she was looking forward to her first glimpse too.

It took less than three hours to reach our destination – Crystal River, Florida. If you’d like to see where Crystal River is located, please click here. That’s a nice map because it gives you an idea of how far Crystal River is from Orlando. And for information regarding Crystal River and its manatee population, please click here.

WeFullTime and her husband had arranged for a pontoon boat to be waiting for us upon our arrival (click here for photo). Everyone boarded the boat. My husband quickly scanned the waterway around us in hopes of catching his first glimpse of a manatee (click here for photo). With Nutz4dzny’s help, my daughter put on her life preserver (click here for photo). Once everyone was situated, we shoved off.

Being a West Coast girl, I had never heard of the Crystal River area, but I had certainly heard of the West Indian manatees. Those lovely creatures are almost as famous as the Mouse. What I did not know, however, was that “Manatee Season” begins in October and runs through March. WeFullTime and her husband had graciously taken on the responsibility of being our Tour Guides and they shared with us that information. They also shared with us the fact that manatees come into the inland rivers during the colder months in search of warmer waters. The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge hosts the largest concentration of manatees in Florida pretty much year round. It was wonderful having two such knowledgeable folks as WeFullTime and her husband as our hosts for the day.

For those of you who are unaware of what a manatee is, it is basically an aquatic mammal with a large body that is full around the middle and narrows to a paddle-shaped tail (click here for description and drawing). For all sorts of information about this creature, please check out the Sea World / Busch Gardens Animal Information Database (click here). I found information on that website that leads me to believe that if manatees could walk, they would be the perfect Walt Disney World guests: “Manatees are nonaggressive, nonterritorial herbivores that spend most of their time feeding (six to eight hours per day) and resting (two to twelve hours per day). The remainder of their day is spent traveling; curiously investigating objects; and socializing by mouthing, rubbing against, and interacting with other manatees.” Okay, so forget the “mouthing” and “rubbing against” parts, but everything else sounds like the makings of the perfect Walt Disney World guest, don’t you agree?

The Crystal River waterways are beautiful (click here for photo). Many lovely homes sit along its banks. We hoped to catch our first glimpse of a manatee in those waterways because the water is shallow and thus warm and inviting to a manatee. WeFullTime’s husband told us what to look for as we peered into the murky waters beneath us. Everyone carefully looked for anything resembling a large, seal-like blob. Eventually WeFullTime’s husband spotted something (click here for photo). Could it be a manatee? He inched our boat closer (and made sure to be ready to raise the motor if he thought the manatee was going to swim underneath us so as to not injure it with the propeller). Closer… Closer… Closer… Yes, it was a manatee (click here for photo). Nutz4dzny and I got our cameras ready (click here for photo). We wanted to take a few photos of it. What a thrill it was to see this creature swimming alongside our boat (click here for photo).

As you folks already know, I normally don’t leave the Walt Disney World property while I am on vacation. I was really glad that I had decided to do so today. It was so much fun spending the day out on the water with WeFullTime, Nutz4dzny, and their spouses. They are such wonderful people, and my family and dear friend truly had a ball all day long. By the way, even though we weren’t on Walt Disney World property, I’ll give you one guess as to where our hearts still lied (click here for answer).

As we rode along the waterways, besides doing a little manatee-watching, we also did a little bird-watching. Bird-watching wasn’t as easy as it sounded. Can you spot the bird in this photograph (click here for photo)? I couldn’t either at first, but WeFullTime’s husband pointed out its location to me (click here for photo).

Being in the warm, Florida sun for a few hours sure made everyone hungry. There were munchies and drinks onboard the boat, but WeFullTime and her husband had a heartier meal in mind for us. They drove our boat right up to the dock of Cracker’s Restaurant and moored it there (click here for photo). I didn’t have my wheelchair with me, so with the help of my husband and others, I was able to cautiously hop down the dock and inside the restaurant.

Since it was lunchtime, the restaurant was literally hopping. I could tell that this was a popular place with the locals. Once I took a whiff of the aromas that were wafting from the kitchen, I immediately knew why. Everything smelled yummy.

We were quickly seated at a large table and drinks were ordered. WeFullTime recommended some dishes from the menu and everyone placed their orders. Soon our meals were placed before us and we dug in. Boy, was the food good. I think the conversation at our table came to a complete standstill for several minutes as everyone filled their bellies. Cracker’s was a perfect choice for lunch, and I was so thankful that WeFullTime and her husband had taken us there.

Once our plates had been licked clean, it was time to go. WeFullTime and her husband graciously picked up the lunch tab for our group. What a lovely and unexpected gesture. Not only had they treated us to a fantastic boat outing, they had also treated us to a scrumptious lunch. What wonderful hosts they were.

We all got back on the boat and away we went. WeFullTime’s husband let my daughter take the wheel for a minute (click here for photo). She was a natural skipper (or so she thought). With WeFullTime’s husband safely back at the helm, we cruised the waterways for a little while longer. Eventually we had to head back into port because we had the Spirit of Aloha dinner show waiting for us back at Walt Disney World.

Once the pontoon boat had been returned, everyone boarded their prospective vehicles in our mini-caravan. But before we headed back to Walt Disney World, WeFullTime’s husband took us to the Gulf of Mexico so everyone could catch a glimpse of that beautiful body of water (and also a snort-full of the fresh, sea air). With that mission successfully accomplished, our mini-caravan was soon on its way back to Orlando.

It had been a wonderful, wonderful day. We had gotten to see a manatee in its natural habitat; we had gotten to eat a yummy lunch at a darling, local hangout; but better yet, we had gotten to spend the day with our new friends. It just does not get any better than that.
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Old 01-11-2004, 10:17 PM   #160
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Boy, you sure made our outing sound just as fun as it really was! We had a wonderful time with the gang that day and were so happy that a manatee followed us around on our trip on the water. Since we were so excited watching the manatee, not one of us managed to get a picture of its head above water. So here's a recent photo of a friendly manatee coming right up to our friend's kayak. Looking forward to more of your trip report!

Cindy and Dennis Henderson
Fulltime RVers, wintering in Florida at the Encore SuperPark Orlando
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Old 01-17-2004, 02:20 AM   #161
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Janet,

Once again you did a lovely job of remembering our day with your Posting of this trip report. I loved the Pics. It sure was a perfect day.

Cindy,

That was a good photo! Maybe we all can get together again in Oct/Nov 2004 and do another Manatee trip.


Looking forward to our next trip in May 2004!
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Old 01-17-2004, 08:19 AM   #162
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Thanks again Janet for all of the great details you've shared!

Cindy, that is a very cool picture!
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Old 01-19-2004, 02:17 PM   #163
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Thank you so much for these reports! I am actually glad I found them late so that I could read them throu without having to impatiently wait for each installment especially after your teaser on the dinner. That WAS truly magical. Thank you so much for sharing, I am really, really enjoying your trip!
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Old 02-08-2004, 06:02 PM   #164
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WeFullTime, what a wonderful photo of a manatee. Wow! Thanks again for such an incredible day. My family and dear friend truly had the most remarkable day.

Nutz4dzny, Pixiechick, & DisneyDreamer2, thanks for your kind words. I apologize for having taken so long to post in this thread. A few life-altering things have popped up recently, thus my absence. But I am bound and determined to finish what I started with this trip report, no matter how long it takes.

With that said, I should be posting about our group dining experience at Disney's Spirit of Aloha dinner show next.
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Old 02-08-2004, 06:09 PM   #165
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Quote:
A few life-altering things have popped up recently
I hope everything is okay.:D

I look forward to reading your report on the Spirit of Aloha show. I've heard great things and bad things about it.

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