A Big Blue World at AoA with the Fab Four - Nov. 24-28, 2012 *COMPLETE

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by dreamseeker9, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. dreamseeker9

    dreamseeker9 DIS Veteran

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    When are you going in January? I think they keep some decorations up until mid-January, but I'm not sure. The week after Thanksgiving was amazing for light crowds at both WDW and IOA. The longest we waited for any ride was 45 minutes standby for TSMM at DHS during the evening EMHs. Next to that, we waited maybe 25 minutes for IASW- everything else had such short lines, it was amazing.

    We didn't go to the MVMCP. Next year, I'll be there for MNSSHP, so I may give that a try.

    Awesome that you have the 2015 trip already on the horizon! :)
     
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  3. dreamseeker9

    dreamseeker9 DIS Veteran

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    I think that's an excellent and very fair deal! :) I bet your DH will enjoy WWOHP, even if he's not a huge fan. The Forbidden Journey is an incredible ride. We didn't ride the Dueling Dragons roller coaster, but I heard it's also very good. And next year, they're opening the Hogwarts Express to connect to Diagon Alley in the other Universal park - of course, if you want to visit both, you'll have to pay for a ticket for both parks - way to make more money, Universal! :rolleyes: But I bet it's going to be just as incredible as WWOHP at IOA.

    I don't think I have any more photos from AOA, but that would be so funny if you were in the background of one! We probably rode a bus together at some point! :)
     
  4. dreamseeker9

    dreamseeker9 DIS Veteran

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    I think you're right about the addition not being open by then, but yeah, another excuse to return! ;) I'm sure you will love the WWOHP. Have a wonderful time!
     
  5. dreamseeker9

    dreamseeker9 DIS Veteran

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    Our taxi dropped us off at DHS, and we were once again all pumped up and ready to ride!

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    I love the parks at night. Actually, I've never been to the AK after dark, it always closes too early when I've been there for it to be dark yet... plus I've never stayed there for an entire day. But I think my favorite park at night is DHS, it just comes more alive on the streets with all those neon lights. Granted, there are some parts of DHS that are quite dark at night, as we were soon to find out, but the boulevards are very bright.

    The guys were on a mission to experience TSMM, so we got in line. Only a 35-minute wait, the longest of our entire trip, but still not bad considering it was 9:00 PM and evening EMHs. I really enjoyed the queue, fun seeing all those old games from my childhood. As for the attraction itself... meh. :duck: Yes, I know everyone is crazy for it. I enjoyed it, but I'm honestly in no hurry to ride it again. It just seemed like a lot of work to me! :p The guys all loved it, and G won out of the 4 of us.

    Next up was Star Tours. I wasn't really excited to ride this, I'm not a big Star Wars fan. But then as we were walking from TSMM to Star Tours, a glorious thing happened - we walked into the middle of the Osborn Festival of Lights! :thumbsup2 I had been hoping to see the lights, but I was following the guys around to their rides first. Once we walked into the main area, all 4 of us were in awe and just stood for awhile, taking it all in.

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    We timed it perfectly - just as we turned onto the main street, the lights started dancing to "I'm Getting Nothin' for Christmas". I even took some video. It was almost sensory overload but still so cool! My only wish is that we'd heard a different song - I had looked before the trip at some songs they play, and I was hoping for Barbra Streisand's "Jingle Bells", but hey - ya can't have it all. :)

    We made our way to Star Tours, maybe a 15-minute wait. Again, I was underwhelmed - it just seemed like a motion simulator to me, I really didn't love it. Then we were trying to make our way around Echo Lake, and boy was it dark in some places! Very strange.

    But then it was finally time for my FAVORITE RIDE - the Tower of Terror! :cheer2: I love this attraction so much. I have fond memories of my first time riding it - my parents and I were at WDW with my brother's high school choir in March 1997. My brother wanted to be with his friends, which was understandable, so it was mainly me touring the parks with my parents. I was 21 at the time, my first time to WDW as an adult, but as everyone knows you're still a kid at heart whenever you're at WDW. ::yes:: My mom, bless her heart, isn't much of a rider, and she certainly cowered when she saw the Hollywood Tower of Terror and heard those people screaming! My dad and I, on the other hand, couldn't wait! It was a rainy day, so we had on our Mickey ponchos, along with about 90% of everyone else in the park.

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    We got in line and were happy to make it into the Hollywood Hotel and out of the rain. The details were incredible! Then the pre-show started - I didn't know this before the attraction, but my dad grew up watching The Twilight Zone. He ate it up like no other! He was loving it before we even boarded the service elevator. I wasn't sure of what was to come, but I was fully enjoying his excitement, and I was ready for the drops. But as everyone who's ridden TOT knows, there's more to it than the drops. As we got into the elevator and the next part started, my dad was in heaven, he was so happy! His little boy was definitely coming out! :) It was a joy to be next to him for that attraction, and of course to grab his arm when the drops did start! We rode it twice, we loved it so much. I rode it again with friends in 2000, and of course I had to ride it once again now, it had been 12 years - unacceptable!

    It did not disappoint! Even though the drop sequence isn't as suspenseful, it's still a winner to me. And riding it at nighttime makes it even better, IMO. :thumbsup2

    J doesn't love TOT because the drops make him queasy, but he was a good sport and still went on it with us. He really enjoys the RnRC, so that was next. The wait again wasn't bad at all, only about 15 minutes. It's a very fun ride, and it was a great way to end the day. It was about 10:45 PM when we finished, and we debated riding again, but it had been a very full day, so we headed out.

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    We were quite fortunate to only have a 5-minute wait for the bus to AoA. I think we all collapsed soon after getting back to our suite!

    Coming Up... Captain EO and my first time riding Soarin' - yes, the Fab Four are heading to EPCOT!

     
  6. deedee2177

    deedee2177 Disney Darling

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    Another great update!! I didn't get to do ToT or RnRC my last trip because w had the kids...but my DH got to do it. We did go on both in Feb '11 during our Disneymoon, and we both had a blast!

    I'm so thrilled that during our upcoming trip in April we will have my Mom, MIL and my sister to help watch the kids so my DH and I will be able to go on some rides together. I'm not sure if I will do ToT again because it scares me to death...I'm not a small girl and I just worry about that seat belt breaking...LOL!!! :rotfl:

    Enjoying following along with your report. Makes me wish I had followed through and done one for our November trip. I struggle to remember all the details from the trip now, so I'm determined to do a better job keeping notes for my upcoming trip.
     
  7. dreamseeker9

    dreamseeker9 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks, deedee! I'm not small, either, and I didn't have any problem last November on TOT - I say go for it! :woohoo: Take advantage of having family there to watch the kids, definitely!

    I am finding that I wished I'd taken better notes as well, there are some things I just don't remember - like who rode with me on TSMM or what we had to eat and drink at the GF Cafe. I'll definitely do a better job when I go to DLR (3 weeks from today! :yay:), and next year when I return to WDW. I enjoy writing, and these TRs are fun to do! :)
     
  8. deedee2177

    deedee2177 Disney Darling

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    Well I will definitely be following along with your other TRs!
     
  9. dreamseeker9

    dreamseeker9 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks, deedee! :blush:

    I'll have to check out your PTR as well!
     
  10. oneprincessjo

    oneprincessjo Mouseketeer

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    We don't arrive until January 23rd so I am sure the decorations will be long gone by then... But I know my last Christmas trip wasn't my LAST Christmas trip. I will be back for many more!!! LOL. I really want to try MNSSHP one year, I have never been before, but every time we are settled we end up going back for Christmas instead. I will need to do a two weeker one year in the distant future so I can be there during the switch over and experience both in one trip ;)
     
  11. dreamseeker9

    dreamseeker9 DIS Veteran

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    That is an AMAZING idea! I'll have to put that on my wish list! :thumbsup2
     
  12. dreamseeker9

    dreamseeker9 DIS Veteran

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    Hi all! Just wanted to let everyone know I haven't forgotten about my TR. I've been spending a lot of time on gift scrapbooks for G, J and S. We are all getting together Friday night, and J's parents are here visiting as well. It will be a year since our trip, so I want to surprise them with these scrapbooks. I'm almost done, only a few pages left, which is a good thing since I have to work tomorrow and Friday, so I really only have tomorrow night left to finish them!

    So I expect to write my next TR update this weekend, along with an update on how G, J and S liked their scrapbooks! :)
     
  13. Carrie772

    Carrie772 Resolve to Recycle!

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  14. dreamseeker9

    dreamseeker9 DIS Veteran

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    Wow, so sorry I haven't updated in so long! I plan to post an update this weekend, and I want to do my DL trip report that I took after Thanksgiving - just a day, but it was my first time in Disneyland, and I enjoyed it.
     
  15. deedee2177

    deedee2177 Disney Darling

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    Looking forward to your next update and the bonus DL update. :)
     
  16. dreamseeker9

    dreamseeker9 DIS Veteran

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    Update: My personal laptop has finally died, almost 9 years old. The good news is that my vacation photos were uploaded onto Photobucket already. But I did lose some files and some more recent photos. :(

    I'm in the process of switching from a PC to a MacBook, and I will update my TR once I'm on the MacBook. Sorry for the delay!
     
  17. dreamseeker9

    dreamseeker9 DIS Veteran

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    After a night of fun and frolic, we slept in just a tad the next morning. Once we got moving, we grabbed food and coffee at the trusty AoA food court, then we were off to EPCOT!

    First things first... we headed into The Land pavilion and grabbed FP's for Soarin' (wow, is that area busy!), then rode Living with the Land. I had forgotten how enjoyable and peaceful that attraction is, I really enjoyed it! S was the last one to rise and shine, and we had rushed him to get to EPCOT, so we sat with him while he grabbed breakfast at the Garden Grill - he said it was just ok, not amazing. While we were sitting there, admiring The Land pavilion, I recognized the music playing - it was from one of my favorite movies, "The Prince of Tides". It kinda made my morning. :)

    Of course, I had to get a photo of SE:

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    We journeyed on to... the Imagination pavilion!

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    So pretty!

    It was time for Captain EO! :3dglasses I was so excited, I hadn't seen this movie in such a long time, but I had fond memories of it. As a Michael Jackson lover, I couldn't wait to see it again. The theater was not crowded at all, maybe 20 people tops. But that was okay because the 4 of us ended up laughing throughout most of it! We had forgotten how over the top it was, and we were loving the 80s looks. I rediscovered musical gems like "Change the World" and "Another Part of Me". Ah, good times! Love ya, MJ! :thumbsup2

    We rode Journey Into Imagination next, then looked around the zany gift shop - quite a mix of items in that Imagination pavilion, including some fun Muppets merchandise, but we held off. It was time for Soarin'! I was pumped, my first time on it! So we rode it, and... meh. Sorry to all the Soarin' lovers - it wasn't that I didn't like it, I found it be lovely and relaxing. I just didn't think it was an absolutely amazing attraction that lived up to the hype. :duck: Go ahead, throw the tomatoes at me. ;)

    We rode The Seas next, which I absolutely loved! Next visit, I'm spending more time just looking around this area!

    By this time, we were ready for some grub for lunch, so we decided it was time to head into the World Showcase!!!

    Next up... The Fab Four make our way around the World Showcase, and 3 of the 4 attempt to drink their way around!

     
  18. dreamseeker9

    dreamseeker9 DIS Veteran

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    RL Update: I'm adjusting to my new MacBook and am loving it! Luckily, I uploaded my photos to Photobucket or I would've lost them! Sadly, when my laptop died, it took several photos and music files along with it. :( But at least I'd already printed them all out, and I'd already made my friends' scrapbooks. I did lose, though, the photos I took of their scrapbooks. I still have mine, though, which isn't yet complete.

    On a fun note, I'm going to WDW in just 12 days! :banana: It will be my first solo trip, I'm very excited!

    More updates soon, I know this one was short! I have a lot of WS photos, I'll have to edit which ones I post! :)
     
  19. dreamseeker9

    dreamseeker9 DIS Veteran

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    Oh my, where does time go? Apologies for the lack of updates. I went to WDW and proceeded to have the worst cold that I've had in years for the entire time I was there, including an ear infection that required a round of antibiotics when I returned home. It was a bummer indeed. Enough on that.

    I've just finished a big conference, and I'm ready to enjoy some actual free time, so I really want to finish this TR! Thanks to those who have put up with my lag in updating, I'm going to write the next chapter now!
    :goodvibes
     
  20. dreamseeker9

    dreamseeker9 DIS Veteran

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    I love World Showcase so much - it's absolutely beautiful, and there's so much to see.

    We were a hungry group, plus we knew that we needed some sustenance if we were going to drink around the World, so we headed to Cantina de San Angel. I really like this restaurant, outside on the water. I had the tacos de pollo, they were tasty. We had a visitor while eating.
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    This little guy really wanted some food! I didn't see anyone feed him, though, which I think is a good thing.

    Next, we went inside the Mexico pyramid to shop, and the guys were ready for their tequila shots! I'm not a big tequila fan, so I opted out of this one. After the tequila shots, shenanigans ensued - the usual when you go to Mexico, trying on sombreros and panchos, all good fun. The boys were feeling good when we came back outside.
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    They're so cute. :)

    Off to Norway!
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    So pretty.
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    I loved the Christmas display that was in Norway.
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    We naturally had to ride the Maelstrom. We didn't have a drink here, decided to wait.

    More souvenirs to try on - both S and I tried on these beauties:
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    Next up... China!
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    Again, so pretty! I absolutely love the unique vibe in each pavilion - unique music, sights, smells. The guys decided to drink some Chinese beer. I again passed, it didn't sound appealing to me.

    We had a lot of ground to cover before our dinner ADR and then the Candlelight Processional, so we kept moving. Next up - Germany!
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    I started taking photos across the water and of Christmas decorations, I'm not 100% sure which country we were in when I took some of these. I think this one was near Germany.
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    We of course went to Karamell Kuche to bask in that awesome smell and to buy some goodies. I stocked up on some great stocking stuffers for family, we love our Werthers candies. :) The guys had some German beer. At this point, I had a headache and decided I would not be drinking around the world, though I had my sights set on one drink in particular coming up...

    Next up... The Fab Four finishes our tour of WS, I find my drink of choice, dinner at Rose & Crown Pub, and the Candlelight Processional with Neil Patrick Harris!
     
  21. dreamseeker9

    dreamseeker9 DIS Veteran

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    Ah, Italy! I will go there one day! Until then, I'll settle for the WS version.
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    What's not to love about Italy? I wish we'd had more time to soak it all in. We did at least run into these lovely ladies:
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    Very entertaining!

    Beautiful view from Italy toward FW and SE:
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    J was feeling the Italian mood (and the alcohol!):
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    Love that guy!

    On to AMERICA!
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    I thought the Christmas tree here was especially beautiful.
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    Preview of what was to come... we were excited!
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    We still had 4 countries to cover, and we were running out of time, so we hurried over to Japan!
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    I had never before taken the time to really wander around and appreciate this area. The koi ponds and gardens were absolutely gorgeous, a must-see when visiting WS! It was so peaceful back there, truly incredible. G and J bought some Japanese beer while I took several photos (don't worry, not all shown here! :) ).
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    We had to hurry, so we moved on to Morocco!
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    Here's another country that I never took time to explore until now. I was amazed to find these hidden away areas toward the back of the pavilion - very quiet and relaxing!
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    Of course, we were all drawn to the gorgeous fountain:
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    We were losing daylight, and our ADR was quickly approaching - 3 more countries, starting with France!

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    Thank goodness, I was thirsty! I fully enjoyed my Grand Marnier slushy - so good!!! I wish I'd taken a picture of it, but I guess I was in too big of a hurry to drink it. ;)

    France is another country where I could explore and lounge there forever, but we had to move on to the UK.

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    We knew that we'd be back here soon for our ADR at the Rose & Crown Pub, so we didn't linger long.

    Next up - Canada!
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    Here is one of my favorite photos from the entire trip.

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    We made the mistake... er, decision... to see O Canada. I say mistake, not because it isn't a great movie, but because 3 out of the 4 of us were drunk at this point, and a 360-degree movie where we all had to stand wasn't our brightest idea. No one got sick, thank goodness, but they were definitely holding tightly onto the resting bars and closing their eyes throughout the movie! I was glad I'd only had my slushy! :)

    While in Canada, a bird decided to relieve itself on J's shirt, so J bought an O Canada shirt to wear. It suited him!

    We headed back to UK for dinner at the Rose & Crown Pub. I had made this ADR as part of the Candlelight Processional dinner package, so we didn't have to wait in line... or so we thought. We had a great waiter, and we enjoyed ourselves, but the food wasn't excellent in my opinion.


    I was in a hurry to get in line for the CP, I had a feeling the line would be long, even with our passes. Sure enough, I think we hit the back of the line between Japan and France! The guys were shocked. G knew what to expect, but S and J didn't even really know what the CP was.

    A selfie while waiting in line, me and J:
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    Finally, we made it in, and we were pretty far back! I felt bad for those who had been waiting for a really long time and didn't make it into the theater.


    The stage was all set and looked beautiful!
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    Time for the show!
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    Love NPH!

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    We all enjoyed the show, especially me and G - we heartily sang along at the end to "Hallelujah". I have to say, though, that I don't think I'd do the CP again - it took up a lot of time, even with the dinner package. And now that I've experienced it once, unless the show is changed a great deal, I don't really need to see it again. I just saw NPH as Hedwig on Broadway, now that's a show I'd see again and again - he is INCREDIBLE in that show! But I digress... :)

    We hadn't yet been on SE, and we wanted to avoid the IllumiNations crowds- I think we were all crowded out after the CP. So we got on SE with no line, but it broke down twice while we were on it. If there's a decent ride to be on when it breaks down, it's SE - comfortable seats, dark ride - we were ok with it, except that we wanted to be out of EPCOT before IllumiNations ended. We walked out of SE just as IllumiNations was starting, so we were good to go. We didn't have to wait long for a bus back to AOA. I decided to try the pool again, it was freezing! We walked around the LM and LK sections - I didn't have my camera with me since I'd been swimming, but they were amazing. I really enjoyed AOA overall. Then we crashed hard - it was a long but very fun day!

    Next up... AK and MK, then we celebrate our last night at WDW with a special dinner at the California Grill!
     

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