A Very Magical Graduation Trip *Completed*

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by PippiDancer, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Wishes2you

    Wishes2you Mouseketeer

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    I came home and going through all my photos thought I wish I got this I wish I got that. I know the feeling. Oh that is good you are close to home. My DD is in RI at school but it is only about an hour away from home also.
     
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  3. PippiDancer

    PippiDancer Mouseketeer

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    After the Shark Encounter, we wondered around the park for a little while. There are some very gorgeous spots.
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    We passed a very sad looking Journey to Atlantis, which was closed for refurbishment that week. For those of you who don't know, it is a log flume/water coaster ride. We were super disappointed when we found out it was closed, it is one of our favorite rides. Dad and I rode it at least 5 times back to back on our last trip since there weren't any lines. Dad was more upset about this being closed than Splash Mountain.

    Dad and I decided to go on Kraken (and by that I mean that I decided to and Dad reluctantly agreed). We both chickened out on our last trip, so it was a must for me this trip.
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    This was the first upside-down rollarcoaster that either of us had been on (besides Rockin Rollarcoaster, but that is a different kind of upside down). Kraken is a floorless rollarcoaster, so I knew I had to take my flip flops off, but I didn't know where to put them and buckled myself in before figuring it out. I ended up asking the guy checking our harness things and he took them for me and put them on the floor of the exit side. Apparently Dad didn't realize it was floorless and got super nervous when the floor moved out from under us.
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    This is a screencap from a video Mom took, we are in the 3rd row.
    My head kept bouncing back and forth against the sides of my harness. I kept trying to put my head back, but it was really hard to keep it in that position, so I had a headache by the time the ride was over. If it wasn't for the head bouncing, I would have really liked the ride. Dad didn't like it at all.
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    Our ride photo.
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    For some reason Mom really likes to take pictures of us as we are coming off of rides that she didn't go on. So, this is the post-Kraken photo.

    After we conquered Kraken, we went to get seats for Blue Horizons, which is the dolphin show, since it was about a half hour before the show started. We got pretty good seats in the 4th row, which was right behind the splash zone.
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    She was almost directly over us at one point

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    The show was very cute, it was about a little girl's dream. The dolphins were out at the beginning and end of the show, but there were also trapeze artists, aerial artists, divers, and live birds flying around. I think I like this show a little better than the Shamu show because it has a storyline and there is a lot of different aspects to it. If you go to Seaworld, you should definitely see this show.
     
  4. PippiDancer

    PippiDancer Mouseketeer

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    After Blue Horizons was over, we went over to the manatee area.
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    There were sea turtles there too.
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    We wanted to go into the manatee building but could not find the entrance anywhere. The only door we could find was exit only and there was no other way to go around the building becuase it was fenced off. I don't know what we were missing, but we gave up looking.

    Next, we went to the underground dolphin viewing area and watched some dolphins.
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    Then went up to the Dolphin Cove. This was one of the things I was excited about because the last time we were there I got to pet dolphins for quite a while, and I probably could have stayed there all day. But I was really disappointed because they had the feeding area closed off and the trainers had just fed the dolphins, so they weren't swimming anywhere near the sides. So I didn't get to pet any dolphins :sad1:

    As we were watching them, a dolphin swam by us really fast and all of a sudden I saw a wall of water and then I was soaked! I wasn't expecting it and didn't even see it coming, so I was very surprised. And I don't mean that I got splashed and was a little wet, my entire body was SOAKED!!
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    It was actually worse than it looks in the picture.

    After trying to dry myself with paper towels (with little success) we went over to the Manta Aquarium and pet some manta rays. They were really smooth and rubbery, it was kind of a weird (but cool) feeling.

    We walked around a little more and saw some flamingos.
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    The park was pretty much empty because it less than an hour before closing and there was a Shamu show going on, so everyone in the park was there. We wanted to go on the Sky Tower, but the wait was too long earlier in the afternoon, so we decided to try again before we left. We ended up walking right on without any waiting.
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    For those who don't know, on the Sky Tower you sit in front of a wall of windows as the round platform thingy slowly spins around up to the top of the tower and back down again. You get an amazing 360 veiw of the park and the surrounding area. We went on during the perfect time because there was such a beautiful sunset.
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    If you look really closely, you can see the Characters in Flight balloon from Downtown Disney.
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    This is the Kraken

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    We could actually see the Shamu show from the tower.
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    Then it was time to leave. The park closed at 6 and I wish we had a little more time to do things. We made the rather long walk across the parking lot to get to the bus stop. We were moving kind of slow because my knee was starting to hurt again and I didn't want to make it worse. So I don't have to keep bringing up my knee, I'll just tell you now that it bothered me the rest of the week, but it was fine as long as I kept myself dosed on ibeprofen and slathered biofreeze on it every morning.
    We finally made it to the end of the parking lot and crossed 4 lanes of traffic to reach the bus stop. And by bus stop I mean a bench on the side of the road with a little tiny sign that said Lynx on it. It was getting dark so it was kind of sketchy. We waited about 10-15 minutes for the bus to get there and then a 20 minutes ride. We got off at the TTC, took the monorail to Magic Kingdom, and then grabbed a bus back to Port Orleans.

    Our original plan was to go to Downtown Disney and get something to eat there, but we decided to just stay at the resort for the night. Mom and I looked around the gift shop while Dad ran to the room to grab our mugs and we met up at the River Mill. We all decided to get make your own pasta again. Mom and I got shrimp alfrado and Dad got chicken alfrado. And we all got cheesecake with strawberries for dessert. The pasta wasn't even close to as good as it was the first time. The sauce was kind of watery and they put way too much pepper in it, but the garlic bread was much better this time. The cheesecake was very delicious.

    After we ate, we went back to the room, put our swim suits on, and headed over to the quiet pool. It was very nice and relaxing, we were the only ones around for a while. Although the water was a good temperature, the air was kind of cool once we got out. After our swim we went back to the room, I took a quick shower, and we watched Duffy's bedtime stories on tv for a little while before going to bed.
     
  5. PippiDancer

    PippiDancer Mouseketeer

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    The next morning we got up around 7, Mom got up a little earlier and went to River Mill to get coffee for her and Dad and used snack credits to get some everything bagels and cream cheese for all of us. The bagels were ok, but kind of dry. After eating breakfast in our room, we finished getting ready and headed to the bus stop. We didn't have to wait very long for a bus and soon we were on our way to Animal Kingdom for extra magic hours!
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    The Christmas tree was still up.
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    We weren't planning on getting there right at opening, but we were ahead of schedule and ended up hearing the opening music as we were going through the turnstiles.
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    We knew exaclty where we wanted to go first, so after quickly checking the map we started our journey to Africa for an early morning safari!
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    There were a lot of people going the same way and we figured that a lot of people had the same idea as us. But Kilamajro Safari was basically a walk on.

    We had a really good safari trip, a lot of animals were still sleeping, but we saw a lot of active animals very close to our vehicle too.
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    There was a large group of giraffes migrating across the grassland and were pretty much folowing the road.
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    Giraffe crossing!
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    They were so close to us!
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  6. PippiDancer

    PippiDancer Mouseketeer

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    After our safari, we decided to walk through the Pangani Trail.
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    We were looking at these fish for a little while and just as we were about to walk away someone next to us pointed out the hippos. I had no idea they were there!
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    We stopped and watched the gorillas for a little while, the baby one was very cute.
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    The Tree of Life looked so pretty with the sun back lighting it.

    We walked through Africa and went over to Asia. We decided to skip Flights of Wonder because I'm terrified of birds, but went through the Maharaja Jungle Trek.
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    We went through the bat room very quickly because I hate bats and encounter them enough in the residence hall I live in. Good thing the bats that live in my hall aren't as big as these, I don't think I would ever leave my room! :scared:

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    After our trek through the jungle, we stopped to watch the monkeys up in the trees for a little while. They were making so much noise.
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  7. PippiDancer

    PippiDancer Mouseketeer

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    After we looked at all the animals, Dad and I decided to conquer Everest. On our way there we passed a sad looking Kali River Rapids, which was closed for refurb. We were not having very good this week with rides being closed. Mom was especially disappointed about Kali, it is one of her favorites.

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    Dad and I both really liked Expedition Everest. They were building it on our last trip so it was kind of cool to ride it after seeing it in construction. We had to wait about 15 minutes (I think) but we didn't really mind. I really like that the queue is kind of like a Yeti museum, it gives you a lot to look at while you're waiting. We ended up in the second to last row. I was surprised by the part where the Yeti comes out, I barely even saw it and Dad didn't see it at all, he didn't even know it was there. I'm not sure if this was because we were in the back or what. :confused3

    After we escaped the Yeti, we were going to grab fastpasses for later, but the window was during out lunch reservation, so we waited. We walked around for a little while and explored some of the shops.

    At this point it was about 11:00 and we were all hungry, so we decided to see if we could get in early for our 11:30 reservation at Yak & Yeti. They told us that they could take us early, so we found a spot to wait. I don't like that waiting area, it is very small and there is nowhere to sit. There were a few other families waiting and it seemed very cramped. We had to wait 10-15 minutes before they sat us, I'm not sure why we waited that long since the restaurant was completely empty. They sat us upstairs in a room in the back corner.
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    We weren't sure what to order so we asked our waiter for recommendations. He was very nice and explained some of the dishes to us, he even suggested that we substitute the rice for chicken fried rice.
    I got the shrimp tempura and substituted chicken fried rice for the jasmine rice.
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    It was very delicious, the shrimp and the rice were both amazing. It also came with vegetables, which I didn't eat because I don't like them. But Mom ate some of them and said they were good. I even tried the chili plum sauce, it wasn't that bad. I was expecting it to be spicy but it was more sweet.

    Mom got beef and broccoli and also substituted chicken fried rice.
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    She really liked it, I tried some and it was very tasty. The broccoli was cooked well, the beef wasn't fatty, and the sauce was yummy.

    I think Dad got sweet and sour chicken with chicken fried rice, but I don't remember exactly.
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    He also enjoyed his meal.

    For dessert, Mom and I both got the cream cheese wontons
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    They were so amazing and perfect! They were crispy on the outside and the filling was so good and creamy. The warm pineapple and strawberries complimented it very well and the honey vanilla sauce was warm and beyond perfect. And of course, the ice cream just made everything better.

    I have no idea what Dad got for dessert, but I'm pretty sure he like it, whatever it was.

    After lunch, we walked back over to Expedition Everest to get some fastpasses.

    I believe we saw It's Tough to be a Bug next, but it might have been before lunch. We didn't have to wait long to get into the waiting room and were the first ones at the door. The show was ok, but not anything great. We also had really bad seats, since we were the first ones in we got seats in the first full row (not the half row in front) that were all the way at the end of the theater. I think since we were so far forward and at a weird angle to the screen that some of the effects weren't as good as they would have been if we were in the center.

    Our next stop was Chester & Hester's Dinorama and Dad and I went on Primevil Whirl. The seats are so close together that we were squished and were practically on top of eachother. The ride was fun, but it was so jerky.
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    Next we went on dinosaur. We didn't go on it on our last trip so we had no idea what to expect.
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    Mom was debating whether or not to go on it and decided not to. Good thing, because I don't think she could have handled all the jerking. The ride was fun, but slightly terrifying. :rotfl:
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    Our ride photo

    Our fastpass window for Expedition Everest was open at this point but we decided to give the motion rides a break for a little while and to go on Kilamjaro Safari again. I don't remember how long we had to wait, maybe 15 minutes?

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    We had another good safari, but it was a lot bumpier than I remembered.

    After 3 jerky rides in a row Dad and I were not feeling like going on a rollarcoaster, so we didn't end up using our fastpasses. It was about 2:30 at that time we had seen everything we wanted to, so we decided to make our way out of the park and relax at the resort for a little while. We weren't rushing and explored some of the stores on our way out. Mom and I wanted a snack, so she got a frozen banana and I got a Mickey bar :mickeybar yum.

    We didn't have to wait long for a bus and got back to the resort in no time. We got back to our room and just relaxed for a little while before our dinner ADR.
     
  8. librarygeek

    librarygeek DIS Veteran

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    Great Sea World photos! I love all of the rides there too. It's a bummer that Journey to Atlantis was closed because that ride is awesome. I know you said you don't do a lot of roller coasters, but did you try Manta? We're big roller coaster people and that one ranks pretty high on the list of best coasters I've been on.

    And I love Animal Kingdom! Looks like you got some good safari shots - I still really want to see a zebra there!
     
  9. PippiDancer

    PippiDancer Mouseketeer

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    We thought about going on Manta, but after Kraken there was no way Dad was going on a rollar coaster that was upside down the entire time. And I didn't really have any urge to go on it either. :laughing: Maybe next time.
     
  10. PippiDancer

    PippiDancer Mouseketeer

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    After relaxing at the resort for a little while, we got ready for our 5:45 dinner ADR, and headed to the bus stop to catch a bus to Magic Kingdom. We ended up having to wait a while for our bus, at least 2 busses for the other 3 parks went came and went before the MK bus. We finally arrived at Magic Kingdom and headed towards the monorail.
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    We had to wait a while for the monorail too, the announced that they had just put a new monorail in the system and it was having technical problems so they were waiting for it to clear the track. We finally got to the the Grand Floridian and found 1900 Park Fare. Despite the fact that we left more than a half hour early, we ended up being 10 minutes late.
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    We checked in and decided to pass on the picture. We were waiting against the wall kind of across the check in desk and ended up standing there for a while. We noticed that people who had checked in after us were getting seated after waiting only a few minutes, so Mom asked the CM how much longer until we were seated. The CM told us that we were assigned to a specific table and that it was still occupied, so we would be seated once that table was avaiable. It made absolutely no sense to me why we had to wait for one specific table, but whatever. We went back to our waiting spot (which was kind of in the way) and heard the CM tell someone else that they could wait in the lobby, which we didn't know we were supposed to. So we went and found seats in the lobby, which is gorgeous by the way.
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    The Grand Floridian is so amazingly beautiful! One day I will stay there, hopefully. It is my dream hotel!

    We ended up waiting at least another 10 minutes before our pager went off. We were seated and the waitress explained how the characters came around. She told us that it would be a little while until the first character came by, so we went to get food. There really weren't many options. I don't remember exactly what I got on my first plate, but I know I pretty much just took a few bites of everything because it wasn't very good. I got mac and cheese and a baked chicken drumstick from the kids station, which wasn't that bad, and the mashed potatoes were pretty good too.

    Prince Charming was the first to come by.
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    He asked us how our day was, asked if I wanted a picture, and then moved on to the next table. It was definitely a disappointing interaction. Cinderella came by right after.
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    She chatted a little more than Prince Charming, but didn't stay much longer. Another disappointing interaction.

    We had a break before any more characters came by, so my parents went up to get more food. I noticed Lady Tremaine was getting close and was getting nervous that my parents wouldn't make it back to the table in time to see her, but they did. I finished my first plate when she was a few tables away so I decided to wait to get food. Lady Tremaine was a much better interaction than Cinderella and Prince Charming were. She saw our celebrating buttons and I told her I was graduating from college to be a teacher, so we chatted about how her daughters were home schooled but that they would make wonderful teachers.
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    Drizella was only a few tables away after Lady Tremaine left, so I still didn't want to get up to get food and risk missing her. I ended up eating most of Mom's strawberry soup while we were waiting, which was pretty decent. Drizella stopped by and complained about Cinderella ruining her party since she showed up univited.
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    Anastsia wasn't that far behind, so once again I decided to wait to get food. These 3 characters were staggered awkwardly apart so that they were close enough together to not have time to get food but far enough apart that you were waiting for a little while.

    The tables that are against the wall (like the one we had) all share a bench that stretches from one end of the wall to the next and the other side of the tables have chairs. Mom and I were sitting on the bench. The lady at the table next to us decided to move from a chair to the bench, but instead of sliding over behind her table she stayed in the gap between our tables. She was practically sitting on top of me, there was literally less than an inch of space between us. I tried to ask her to move a few times but she either didn't hear me or was ignoring me. So, when Lady Tremaine and Drizella were at our table the only way I could get up to take a picture was if Mom slid over and I climbed over her. When Anastasia got to our table she asked if I wanted a picture but I was blocked in because the people next to Mom were standing between our tables to get a picture with the characters. Anastasia managed to get that lady's attention and got her to move. But it was super awkward and realy irratating :mad:

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    After Anastasia left, I was finally able to get up and get more food, but my parents had finished eating by then. I got some jasmine rice, which was pretty good, and some more mashed potatoes, baked chicken, and macaroni and cheese from the kids' section. Thank goodness for that kids station or I would have left very hungry. I also got a piece of bread and a roll, both of which weren't good at all.
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    I really like the Mickey plates because you can seperate messy foods so they don't touch or mix together. Not to mention they are adorable

    Next was dessert. I got a mini cheesecake, a fruit tart thing, and chocolate mousse in a chocolate cup. The cheesecake was ok but the crust was way to thick so I just ate the filling, the fruit tart and the chocolate mousse were good. Everything seemed like it should have been kept cooler than they were, the chocolate mousse cup was pretty melty and the cheesecake would have been better cold.

    Overall, we had a pretty bad experience at 1900 Park Fare. The food was not good and the character interactions were too disappointing to make up for it. Not to mention we had to wait a long time and other people were getting right in. It isn't a place I'd be going back to anytime soon.

    Our plan for the night was to go to Epcot after dinner. So we took the monorail to the TTC. While we were on the monorail I realized that it was 8:00 (yes, our 5:45 dinner went until 8 :sad2:) Epcot was closing at 9 that night so I was debating if it was even worth going, but we decided to try it anyway. It was about 8:15 when we finally got into the park. We checked the giant board that has wait times for all the rides (love that, by the way) and found out that both Soarin and Test Track had a 40 minute wait. We decided to go on Test Track since it is better at night. Our plan was to ride that and get out of the park before Illuminations was over so we could beat the mad rush out of the park.
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    We waited and finally got in our car. The ride kept stopping and then starting several minutes later. Every time we stopped or started it was very sudden and I'd get jolted forward which was kind of painful with the seatbelt. Since the ride took a lot longer than normal with all of the stops, we got off right after Illumantations ended and we had to fight the crowds back to the bus stop and wait a while for a bus.
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    We got back to the resort and I watched some Stacy before bed.
     
  11. PippiDancer

    PippiDancer Mouseketeer

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    The next morning we got up, got ready, and grabbed a bus to the Magic Kingdom for our 8:20 breakfast reservation. We got to the Magic Kingdom and headed straight for the monorail station.
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    Pretty soon we were at Chef Mickey's!
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    We did breakfast here on our last trip and definitely wanted to go again. We checked in, took our picture, and were seated right away. As we were going to our table, Donald started following us.
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    Our waitress asked if orange juice was ok, but Mom and I wanted apple juice and Dad wanted Coffee. She told us it would be a little while before the characters came by our table, so we went up to get food. I got a little bit of everything, but I don't remember exactly what that was. The breakfast pizza was good and the mickey waffles were delicious, as always. I was very excited to see the cheesy potato casserole from Akershus, but it wasn't even close to being as good. It wasn't long before Donald came by.
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    He didn't stay long, just took a few pictures and left.

    Goofy was next. He came by the side of our table, instead of from behind like all of the other characters did. Mom was trying to take a picture of him by himself while I was getting up, but he kept shaking his head and making a "no" motion with his hands. It was kind of off putting, I don't understand why he wouldn't just let her take the picture.
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    Dad and I posed with him.
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    And then he gave us each a kiss and started rubbing our heads.
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    Goofy is Dad's favorite, so we had to get a picture of the two of them.
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    The whole interaction seemed kind of rushed, I didn't even get to take a picture alone with him.

    After Goofy left there was a break in characters, so we went to get more food. I got some more breakfast pizza and mickey waffles (of course). And I tried a cheese blintz to try, I didn't like it but that just might be my taste. I also got more cheesy potatoes in hopes that another batch would be better, no luck. As were eating I felt a hand on my shoulder, I turned around and there was Mickey!
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    Once again, it was a very short interaction, just long enough for pictures.

    Pluto wasn't very far behind.
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    Minnie came by next, which I was very excited about because she is my favorite.
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    After she took a picture with Dad she started walking away and we had to call her back so I could get a picture. She came back, posed for a quick picture, and left again. Yet another disappointing interaction.

    Not long after Minnie left, our waitress gave me a graduation cupcake. And by that I mean she put it on the corner of the table next to me, said congratulations, and was gone before I could turn my head to say thank you.
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    We put my graduation on every reservation we had and this was the only place that acknowledged it at all.

    We did some napkin twirling and finished our breakfasts. I took a few bites of my cupcake, which was tasty, but didn't eat much since I was full.
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    Overall, I was very disappointed with this character breakfast. The food was good, but no great, and the character interactions were pretty much horrible. We had such a great experience and amazing interactions the last time we went. I understand that it was a table of adults and the characters aren't going to stay as long as they would with kids, but we had barely any interaction with the characters besides posing for a few photos. Mickey and friends are my parents favorites and I love them too, we we really hoping for some actual time with them. :sad1:
     
  12. Wishes2you

    Wishes2you Mouseketeer

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    Just caught up on your recent updates. Loving all the photos. I loved the photo you took of the garden and waterfall in Sea World. So beautiful! At Animal Kingdom I love how close the giraffes got to your truck. Great photos. We got great photos on our safari but the animals weren't that close. With my zoom lens I was able to get some really close up photos though. Much better than 6 yrs ago. We also got to see the tigers for some time too and photograph them. Sorry your character breakfast wasn't as memorable as your prior trip. Looking forward to more.
     
  13. PippiDancer

    PippiDancer Mouseketeer

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    After our breakfast with Mickey we headed back to the monorail and hopped on the Avengerail.
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    Soon we were back in Magic Kingdom! The first thing we did was stop to examine the map and schedule to make sure we didn't miss anything.
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    And then started our day with a magical walk down Main Street
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    The castle is just so gorgeous!

    We decided to start off in Tomorrow Land, but had to stop for a few castle pictures on our way.
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    There wasn't a very long wait time posted for Buzz Lightyear, so we decided to go on that and walked right on.
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    Next, we went over to Space Mountain to get some fast passes for Dad and I. And then decided to go on the People Mover, since it is a nice slow ride for Mom.
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    The view is so wonderful.

    Our next stop was The Carousal of Progress. There's a great big beautiful tomorrow just a dream away!! I'm pretty sure I was singing that song for the rest of the day, it is just so catchy! After our journey into the past, we headed over to Mosters Inc Laugh Floor. The show was very cute and funny. But during the entire show I was pretty nervous that I would get put up on the screen, I hate things like that. I'm pretty sure Dad would have gotten up and left if he showed up on the screen, he hates those things much more than I do.

    Mom wanted to go on Astro Orbiter after that, so that is what we did. We had to wait longer than you would think. The CM only gave us 2 of the card passes things, so we had to have 2 people in 1 rocket. For future reference, those rockets are NOT big enough for 2 adults.
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    That is us trying to get into a rocket. It was the most uncomfortable ride I've ever been on. It took us awhile to actually be able to sit in to rocket. We were very squished, we are both tall and have long legs which made things even more difficult. Dad's legs had to go around me, which meant that his knees were jammed against the side of the rocket and my knees were jammed against both side of the up/down bar. Once the ride started, I managed to move the up/down bar to move the rocket, but everytime we went down I was forced to lean against Dad's leg which drove his knee into the side of the rocket. Getting out of the rocket was extremely difficult. I'm surprised that the CM didn't realize that we wouldn't fit in very well.

    After our very squished orbit, Dad and I went to use our fast passes at Space Mountain. Much more leg room. Then we ventured out of Tomorrow Land and into Fantasy Land. Where we decided to ride the teacups.
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    Before we got into line, we spotted the White Rabbit coming out for his meet and greet and saw Pooh and Tigger heading over to their character spot. I love seeing the characters just walking around. After Dad and I got off the ride, Mom asked if I wanted to get in line but I didn't want to wait that long for the White Rabbit. However, Mom casually informed me that Alice had joined him while we were on the ride. Well that was a different story, I got right into line! I love Alice!! I've wanted to be her for halloween for years, but could never find a decent costume anywhere.
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    They closed the line right after we got in, so there was a CM standing behind us to tell people the line was closed. It was kind of funny to listen to all of the people who wanted to get in line. I felt bad for some of them who seemed so disappointed, but there were so many people who begged him to just make one exception, and some people were just down right rude. We waited about 20 minutes but chatted with the CM so it went by fast. The White Rabbit left when we got half way through the line but came back out a few people before us.

    When it was my turn, Alice asked what we were celebrating so I told her about my graduation. She said that made me "officially smart" and asked what I was graduating for. I told her it was to be a teacher and she said that I must know absolutely everything about anything. We chatted for a little longer before taking some pictures.
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    She was so cute, I love her British accent! After our interaction she told everyone that she was late for a tea party, said good-bye to the White Rabbit, and skipped away.

    After meeting Alice and the White Rabbit we headed into New Fantasy Land
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    We peeked at the new Snow White coaster. It looks like a good ride, I wish it had been finished. I guess we will just have to go back soon, right?:laughing:
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    We walked around and checked out the Belle area of New Fantasy Land, which is adorable. I like the theming of Gaston's Tavern, well the outside at least.
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    We went into a Beauty and Beast themed store and I wanted to buy everything! Just look at how gorgeous this painting is, how can you not want it?
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    We left the store before I spent all of my tuition money and happened to see Gaston.
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    We were getting hungry so we decided to get some lunch. Hmmm, where do you think we went? Here is a hint.
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  14. PippiDancer

    PippiDancer Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Messages:
    208
    You guessed it, we were having lunch at Be Our Guest. I love Beauty and the Beast, so when I heard about this restaurant I knew that we had to go there. I tried really hard to get dinner reservations, but they were completely booked for the entire week we were at Disney. But since it is considered a quick service for lunch we decided to just go then.
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    The line was all the way back to the menus and we over heard someone saying that a CM had told them it would be about an hour and a half wait, but we got in line anyway. Normally we would never wait that long to get into a restaurant, but eating here was non-negotiable for me, so we decided to tough out the wait. At least we had a good view from the line.
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    You can kind of see the line in this picture, and that was after we had already been waiting a while.
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    While we were in line, a CM saw our celebrating buttons and asked about them, so I told him I was graduating from college. A guy standing behind us over heard and this conversation followed...
    Guy: What are you graduating for?
    Me: Early Childhood Education
    Guy: Where are you graduating from?
    Me: The University of Maine at Farmington
    Guy: What state is that in?
    Me: ...Maine
    It was probably the most hilarious question ever. :rotfl: We ended up chatting with him for a little while while we were waiting.

    Finally we got to the front of the line and they let us inside...where the line continued. But at least it was out of the hot sun and we got to look at the gorgeous restaurant.
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    We waited for about an hour before we finally made it to the end of the line.
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    A CM gives you a plastic rose that has a chip in it and the directs you to a kiosk to place your order.
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    From what I'd read on DIS before our trip, I thought that the kiosks were touch screens that you order off of. But in reality it is a computer screen with a menu on it and you place your order with a CM that is at the kiosk. After we had all ordered, the CM told us to find a table and put our rose on it so they could tell where to bring our food and then we could look around if we wanted. We decided to eat in the Main Gallery.
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    Everything about this restaurant is so gorgeous!!!
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    Just look at that ceiling!

    We picked a table by the windows so we could watch it snow.
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    After we picked our table we went to get our fountain drinks and I checked out the Ballroom, which is also gorgeous.
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    We didn't have to wait very long for our food, which arrived in glass food carts. I got the croque monsieur and fries.
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    It was good, but nothing special. It was just like any other warm ham and cheese sandwhich. I only ate half of it because I was getting full and it was too hamy for me, but I'm weird about my ham sandwhiches. The fries were pretty good too.

    Dad got the carved turkey sandwhich and fries.
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    He thought it was good.

    Mom got the grilled steak sandwich and fries.
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    She said it was very good.

    For dessert I got the triple chocolate cupcake.
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    It was delicious. Very moist, rich, and chocolatey. But I didn't like the plastic paper liner thing it came in. I tried very hard to take it off, but couldn't figure out how. I ended up eating it out of the cupcake liner with a fork, which I think you are supposed to do, but still.

    Dad got the lemon meringue cupcake.
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    He thought it was good but had the same issues with the cupcake liner that I had.

    Mom got a chocolate cream puff.
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    She thought it was good, but not awesome.

    After we finished eating, I went to check out the West Wing. I liked the themeing, but I don't think I would want to eat in there because it is so dark.
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    The picture quality is horrible, but it was so hard to get a good picture since it was so dark.
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    I love the rose!

    Overall, I would say that Be Our Guest was worth the wait. The food wasn't anything that great, but the decor and the atmosphere more than makes up for it. I would eat there again and again for the sole purpose of sitting in such a beautiful room and looking around at everything.

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  15. PippiDancer

    PippiDancer Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Messages:
    208
    By the time we finished lunch it was around 2:30, so we decided to find spots for the parade. We ended up finding amazing spots in Liberty Square right on the corner of the parade route. We were able to see the parade from the front as it was coming towards us and then from the side after it turned the corner, so we had a completely unobstructed view. We sat on the ground right behind the ropes so no one could squeeze in front of us.
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    Our view of the parade route.

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    Waiting for the parade.

    I got really excited when I saw the Main Street Philharmonic because I thought the parade was starting. But they were like 10 minutes ahead of the parade, which I thought was weird.
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    While we were waiting a CM came by and told us that the Grand Marshall for the day was a woman named Amy, who had breast cancer, and her family. The CM asked us to cheer for her and yell her name when the car drove by. When the Grand Marshall car came by, you could hear everyone along the parade route cheering. I'm so glad I was able to be a part of making that moment so special for her. :hug:

    The parade wasn't far behind!
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    The parade was super cute! We got high fives from several characters. But I'm surprised by how short it was. We spent more time waiting for the parade than we did watching it. I really wish it was at least a little longer, I didn't want it to end.
     
  16. librarygeek

    librarygeek DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2,963
    I love new Fantasyland, especially all of the Beauty and the Beast stuff. I wanted to buy everything in that store too! We had dinner at Be Our Guest and loved it. Your pics of lunch look good too, I'd love to try it. The steak sandwich looks especially tasty!
     
  17. PippiDancer

    PippiDancer Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Messages:
    208
    After the Celebrate the Magic Parade was over, we fought the crowds back into Fantasy Land. I wanted to go on Peter Pan's Flight, but the posted wait time was 80 minutes and we didn't think that was worth it. So we went in PhilharMagic instead. That show is very cute, I like that there are so many different Disney characters in it.

    After the show was over we went to check the wait time for Peter Pan again, which had dropped to 40 minutes. We were debating whether or not we wanted to wait that long but it was probably our last chance to go on it this week and I didn't want to miss it, so we decided to stick it out. As soon as we got into line, a man came up to us and gave us 5 fastpasses that they weren't going to use. It was such a wonderful time to be sprinkled with some pixie dust! Thank you, whoever you are. Since we only needed 3 of the fastpasses, we looked around to find 2 people to give the other ones to, which took longer than you would think. Eventually we spotted 2 older ladies get into line, so we offered them the other fastpasses. They were very thankful and it was nice to spread some of our own pixie dust. We hopped right into the fastpass line and walked right on.
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    The ride was cute, but I'm glad we didn't have to wait 40 minutes for it.

    After our flight over Neverland, we went to get fastpasses for Big Thunder Mountain. And passed a very sad looking Splash Mountain.
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    After getting our fastpasses, we looked around in the Splash Mountain gift shop and just wondered around for a little while. We decided to go on Pirates of the Carribean again. This time I refused to sit on the end because I didn't want to get splashed again, so I sat in the middle. Our boat stopped right under the pirate on top of the bridge, so we got to stare at a dirty pirate leg for a few minutes before we started moving again. We wandered back over to BTMRR after that but had some more time until our fastpass window opened up, so we decided to hop on the train and do a full circle of the park.
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    Our fastpass window was open after that, so Dad and I got in line for BTMRR. We ended up sitting in the second row of the first car.
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    For some reason it seemed to be a lot slower than it was earlier in the week. Although I'm sure it is probably because the last time was in the dark.

    Next, we just wandered around for little while. Mom noticed that the next showing of the Country Bear Jamboree was starting in a few minutes, so we decided to watch that.
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    It was ok, but felt really long to me (even thought it wasn't). It isn't anything I feel compelled to see again.

    Once that was over, we were getting hungry. So we went on the search for food and to find a spot for the 7:00 Main Street Electrical Parade.

    We had reservations for a viewing spot for Wishes across from the Plaza that came with our vacation package through AAA. Our plan was to watch the 7:00 parade only if we could find a good spot close to the Plaza on Main Street so we could get to our viewing spot quickly. If we couldn't find spots we would watch the 9:00 parade.

    We spotted Sleepy Hollow and I remembered the nutella waffle sandwiches I read about on DIS. I wanted to get one, but they weren't under a snack credit and it wasn't worth spending almost $7 when we had snack credits to use up. We wandered over to Main Street to check out options at the Bakery and Ice Cream Parlor, but there wasn't anything I wanted. Main Street was packed, so it was very hard to move around. We decided to skip the 7:00 parade and watch the 9:00 one because there was no way we were getting spots. I remembered seeing a cream cheese pretzel on the menu at the Lunching Pad and decided that is what I wanted, so we went to order that. Mom and Dad decided that they wanted to go back to the Ice Cream Parlor. We went our viewing spot so we could grab a good table, since it is first come first pick. I sat there and ate my pretzel while Mom and Dad went to get their ice cream. I don't remember what they got, but they both looked delicious. And my pretzel was very yummy also.

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    This is our viewing spot, we moved the table so it was right up against the railing once more people started showing up.

    We could see the floats from the Parade going by, so we watched that a little. We got to our viewing spot super early, but I thought Celebrate the Magic started 15 minutes earlier than it actually did. Oh well, it was worth it to relax while we ate and to get the best table in the viewing spot.

    Here is our view of the castle.
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    Perfect!
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    It is so pretty!

    Celebrate the Magic started and once again, I was in complete awe the entire time. That show is just so magical! I decided to video tape it this time since I had a ton of pictures from the first night. The only down side to our viewing spot was that we couldn't see the bottom of the castle, so we couldn't see some of the projections for Celebrate the Magic. Wishes started soon after and it was beautiful.

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    A very blurry Tinkerbell

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    The reflection of the fireworks on the water was so pretty.

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    Having that viewing spot was wonderful! I would defintely reccomend it if you get the opportunity. Not only did we have an amazing, unobstruced view of Wishes, but we got to sit in comfy chairs the whole time with a table and didn't have to worry about people crowding us.

    Once Wishes ended, we decided to wait a few minutes before heading to Main Street to let some of the crowd disperse. And what is a better way to kill time than taking some castle pictures?
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  18. Wishes2you

    Wishes2you Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    405
    I just came to catch up....I got to the MK parade part after you eating at Be our guest. What day was that? If it was Thursday we were literally right near you watching the parade. We were in the same area and our CM told us about AMY the Grand Marshall and if we could do him a favor and give her a big warm welcome. We also saw the big line and passed on waiting for lunch at BE our Guest. My DH does not like to wait in lines...at least not that long.
     
  19. Wishes2you

    Wishes2you Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    405
    Okay now all caught up. Your cupcake and your Dad's lemon meringue pie looked amazing. I love both of those. Loved all your photographs in there too as well as the parade ones and wishes ones. Looking forward to hearing more.
     
  20. PippiDancer

    PippiDancer Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Messages:
    208
    I love new Fantasyland too. Everything is just so beautiful. It doesn't hurt that it is based off of two of my favorite Disney movies. That Beauty and the Beast store was just dangerous, there were too many wonderful things in it.

    It was on Thursday. It is so weird that we were so close to each other! My Dad hates lines too, and I'm not that fond of them either. We were debating whether we should wait or not because we would never consider waiting that long to eat normally. But I wanted to eat at Be Our Guest so much, I would have been super sad if we weren't able to.

    Thank you!
     
  21. PippiDancer

    PippiDancer Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Messages:
    208
    We waited about 10 minutes after Wishes ended before we braved the crowds to stake out a spot to watch the Main Street Electrical Parade. We found a spot that was right in front of a building with a construction front up (this is important to remember for later). We held our ground despite the mass of people rushing past us on their way out of the park. There was another showing of Celebrate the Magic, so of course I watched it again. It was still wonderful even after the third time seeing it, and I probably could have watched it 10 more times without it getting old.

    About 10 minutes before the parade started a CM came up to us and told us that we couldn't sit there to watch the parade because the sidewalk was too narrow from the construction front. I completely understand why they closed off that area, but we were pretty upset that they waited that long to tell us. We had been sitting there for over half an hour and saw many CMs pass by in that time that could have told us. That area should have been blocked off some how or there should have been a sign. We had no idea that we weren't allowed to sit there, if we had we would have picked another spot. But since we didn't find out until 10 minutes before the parade started I was super nervous that we wouldn't find good spots, the sidewalks were packed with people. We were miraculously able to find an open section of sidewalk closer to the entrance on the other side of the street, so we still ended up with just as good of a spot. But it was a close call, and was way too stressful.

    I spotted a perfect photo op of Main Street with the castle and a bunch of balloons, but I couldn't manage to get a picture that wasn't blurry. This is the best one.
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    It wasn't long before Main Street went dark and the parade started.
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    The parade was very cute, but I wish it had more characters in it. From what I remember of SpectroMagic, I liked that better.

    Once the parade was over, we made our way out of the park. Since we were close-ish to the entrance, we didn't have to fight through that many crowds.
    We said goodbye to Main Street
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    and grabbed a bus back home to Port Orleans. Did I mention how much I love that the announcement on the bus says "welcome home" when it arrives at the resort at the end of the night.

    We got back to our room and found an adorable towel animal.
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    Our beds were also turned down and there were other fancily folded towels by the sinks and in the bathroom. It just added a magical touch.
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    We all got ready for bed and watched a little TV before falling asleep.
     

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