A Winter Escape to the Enchanted Forest-Jan'13 TR:**5/21 Parting Thoughts/New PTR!

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

  1. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! The last thing I read about the show in relation to the Avatar is that they will most likely move the venue of the show to Africa based on some zoning/utility paperwork submitted to the local government agency. You should definitely try it next time!
     
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  3. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Disney Picture Post #6

    I think this would be a view most of Le Cellier's fans are accustomed to. It's the view that has greeted me the last two times after we checked in with the hostesss at LC. The kids usually run off to the right to spend some time at the Kidcot Station while some of the adults mill around waiting for our table to open. Maybe it's the anticipation of the meal to come, but looking up and seeing this always seems to get me excited.

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    IMG_6150 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr
     
  4. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Saturday January 26th - 10:30am

    We picked up DS’ stroller and started making our way back to Discovery Island. I don’t know how it happened, but before I knew it we were engulfed and walking in the middle of the pack of a two tour groups who were leaving the show as well. Not sure if any of you have ever experienced this. I found it very difficult to find a way out of this mass of people especially with a stroller and a 6 year old. It felt like I was encased in a gigantic Jello with no place to go! :lmao: The tour group came to a halt as soon as they crossed the bridge, and we took that opportunity to wedge ourselves free.

    Encased in Tour Group Jello

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    We walked over to Flame Tree BBQ for our lunch and it was about 11:10am. DFIL took the kids to find a table – I asked him not to take the first pavilion but go waaaaay back and told him that he should be able to find a relatively crowdless one. DFIL and DW had the BBQ salad. I had the pork sandwich. DFIL did an awesome job of finding a table with a great view of the water and Everest.

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    As I sat down with the tray of food, I noted two ducks just standing three feet away, intently waiting for the next item of food that drops to the ground whether it was intentionally or not. It was a nice relaxing lunch, staring out over the water. As we were finishing our lunch, I left about 5 minutes early to grab some FPs for Dinosaur and the rest of the group headed into the Boneyard at 11:50.

    Along with the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground, this one has always been a big hit with our kids. DS was so excited that as we were parking our stroller he leaped off and ran at full strength darting past all of us into the playground before any of us could shout “Wait”. I started chasing after him. When he entered the playground, he stopped, did a 360 spin as he looked around really quickly trying to figure out which way to go, then he spotted the stairs going up the net structure and flipped the turbo switch one more time running up the stairs.

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    IMG_5736 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

    I finally caught up with him and told him he had to wait for the rest of the group. The kids first wanted to go to the dig site which the adults had no problem with since it’s well shaded and plenty of sitting space while the kids go digging for dinosaur bones with the bucket and shovels.

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    IMG_5727 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

    DD spent the next 20 minutes piling up a mound of sand and building a “volcano” with some help from DFIL. DS was just digging sand out from random locations until he unearthed the tip of a long bone. He got so excited and was proud of himself. I told him that he should dig out the rest of the bone which he did. I don’t think I realized this before, but on the speakers they play a “radio station” with a couple of DJs talking about dinosaurs and paleontology. One of the songs they played was “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” by REM – I’m guessing it’s a tongue in cheek reference to the extinction of the dinosaurs?

    After watching the kids play in the dig site for awhile, it looked like we had time for only one excursion to Dinosaur for the adults. I sent DW and DFIL on their way and stayed with the kids. I like the ride but was okay with skipping it this time. The kids and I moved back to the main part of the playground where they found a set of three slides all originating from one climb.

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    IMG_5729 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

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    IMG_5738 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

    Since I was by myself, I planted myself at the bottom of the slides, and the kids would run up the stairs and come down the slides. After a couple of times, they started playing tricks on me by each of them coming down a different slide. I would see DS pop out from the yellow slide and ask him where his sister was. DD would then quietly slide down the blue slide and sneak up behind me. They got a kick out of keeping me guessing. They also went up the giant net structure and down the big spiral slides as well. When DFIL and DW joined us back from the time travels and nearly avoiding becoming T-Rex bait, it was about 12:40pm. I asked DFIL what he thought of the ride having been on it before – he told me he couldn’t really remember much from the first time last year so basically everything was still new to him and the dinosaurs popping out still surprised him! I think I’ve been on that ride one too many times to know exactly where they pop up so it definitely diminishes the surprise factor.

    I had to make another FP run to Expedition Everest, so I told DW to give the kids 5 more minutes then meet me at the entrance to the Finding Nemo Musical. I got our FPs for the time window I wanted starting at 2:30pm. When I got back to the entrance of the musical, I couldn’t find my family. I tried calling both DW and DFIL cell phones but no answer so I backtracked all the way to the Boneyard. I didn’t see DS’ stroller in the parking area. I figured DW probably took the long way around by going back to Discovery Island and the entrance to Dinoland before coming back uphill to the theater. So when I went back to the theater, I saw them coming up the path. We walked in the theater at 12:55pm and there were still plenty of seats (albeit to the side and edges) in the front rows so we grabbed our spots. I could tell DS was starting to get a little tired and sleepy but he was still distracted enough of the fleeting images of Nemo swimming through the bubbles at the sides of the theater.

    I think the last time we had seen this show was over 4 years ago and before DS was born. So this was a big treat for him. And even though I’d seen it only once a long time ago, I still recognized the In the Big Blue World song mainly because it’s one of the songs I heard quite frequently whenever I was on hold with Disney Reservations on the phone! It’s a very fun show especially for the little ones.

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    DORI!
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    The puppetry or whatever the correct term is, is very well done. And I had totally forgotten about the GINORMOUS Nigel sticking his head in from the side of the theater!

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    IMG_5769 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

    It’s cute how they converted some of the famous lines from the movie into songs like “Fish Are Friends Not Food” and “Just Keep Swimming”. I’m not saying the tunes are Tony worthy, but they’re good enough to keep everyone entertained. DD once again was transfixed during the entire show. DS was able to stay awake during the whole time which says a lot about how much he enjoyed it.

    Next Up: Everest and a bird show
     
  5. emma212010

    emma212010 DIS Veteran

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    Wow! Your show pictures are amazing!! The colors!

    The Dig Site looks like a relaxing place for parents! ::yes::
     
  6. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! I love the colors and the designs for the FotLK.
     
  7. arbolita

    arbolita DIS Veteran

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    Whenever I see a tour group, I tend to turn and run the other way screaming, so I fortunately have avoided getting stuck in between two of them!

    You know, I'm not sure I've ever really looked in to the Honey I've Shrunk the Kids or Boneyard playground areas. I keep intending to do that on one of our trips, just to see them, but hasn't actually happened yet.

    Great Finding Nemo pictures!
     
  8. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    I share the same sentiments about screaming and running away from tour groups. :lmao:
     
  9. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Disney Picture Post #7

    This turned out to be my favorite among all the pictures I took in New Fantasyland.

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    IMG_6749 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr
     
  10. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Had an interesting, fun, and eventful weekend. One of DW's cousins who lives in Northern VA got married on Saturday and we hosted DW's family at our house including my nephew and niece, ages 6 and 3. 4 kids running, laughing, yelling, and screaming all over the house. On Saturday morning, DS was pushing his cousin on his little Lightning Mcqueen car when he slipped, fell, and banged his lips against the a sharp edge of Mcqueen's trunk. DS was very upset over the amount of blood. There was a very small laceration right above his lip. DW and I took one look at it and knew that he would need at least one stitch. So while I took DD to her ballet class, DW took DS to the ED and got him fixed up with a dissolvable stitch. And when he got back home, he went right back to running and playing.

    Later that day, as we were starting to get ready for the evening wedding, my brother in law realized that he forgot to pack his outfit for the wedding. With only one hour to go before we had to leave, I drove him to the mall. Within the hour he picked out an outfit and we raced back home. Then all went to the church and arrived with 15 minutes to spare!!

    So as the bridal party was marching down the aisle to the typical classical music being played by a live brass qunitet, I was getting ready to settle into my seat expecting the usual processions. That's when the fanfare began to play for the bride's entrance and to my great delight I recognized the first few bars of the music to be......the fanfare/march music from the last scene of Star Wars (A New Hope) when Luke and Han marches down the throne room to receive their medals. All of the geeks and nerds in the crowd responded with quiet glee! :lmao: I thought that was cool. All was missing at the end of the bride's entrance was a wookie howl. :rotfl:

    Then we drove over to the reception slightly up north of DC in Chevy Chase. On my way over there, I nearly careened into another car in the next lane by accident. Can I just say that I HATE driving through the multitude of circles in DC? Even after driving in DC for 5 years I still have trouble navigating through some of these road traps. I have almost never successfully navigated through a circle correctly the first time. Inevitably, I always end up on the wrong lane that takes me to the wrong street. So normally, when I plan my routes on Google Maps I avoid any routes that take me through a single circle. Did I mention I hate circles? Unfortunately, I did not have time to plan this particular route ahead of time.

    Anyway, once we arrived at the reception hall I was once again pleasantly surprised to see a Famous Dave's BBQ catering truck parked in the back! YES! This wedding just keeps getting better and better. And when we walked in, on the stage was a full swing band set up! A swing band!! Been to my share of weddings but THAT was a first. The live music was great. The kids had a blast dancing and running around. I found out later that the bride's father plays trumpet (started during his Army days) and is a member of a couple of local swing bands. The band members whom a lot of them knew each other from their Army days made a promise awhile back that they would play at all of their kids' weddings. So cool.

    They even had one of those photo booths that seems to be the trend for wedding receptions these days where guests can pick out props, masks, or hats and take pictures to go in the guestbook.

    Anyway, a good time was had by all!
     
  11. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    We were too unsure of the boneyard with DS last year at 2 years old, but I think he will really love it this year so I'm excited to give it a try. I just worry we won't be able to tear him away. :rotfl: The Nemo Musical pictures you got are just beautiful. The colors they use in that show are so vibrant!

    Glad you had a fun weekend at the wedding, despite that mishap with DS's lip. :goodvibes
     
  12. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

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    I love your pictures! :thumbsup2

    That was a nice morning at AK. You can never go wrong with Flame Tree. I love that place. It looks like the Boneyard was a fun break for the kids after lunch. We haven't spent any time there yet, but I'm sure we'll spend our fair share of time there in the future.



    I'm glad that you had a good time at the wedding. I know my opinion of going to weddings usually isn't "that was fun." :rotfl2::rotfl::lmao:
     
  13. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Thanks!

    I'm such a big fan of Flame Tree that I haven't had a chance to branch out and try some of the other places to eat in AK. Maybe I can talk myself into trying something new next time but I seriously doubt it. :rotfl:

    And yes, I'm usually not very excited about weddings either which was one of the reason I opted not to bring my DSLR with me. Boy, did I end up regretting that decision as I watched the kids dancing in front of the swing band. :sad2:
     
  14. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    I think your DS will love the Boneyard just based on seeing how excited he was to play in the generic playground at Bonnet Creek. :) If he's like our kids, you'll have to plan for at least an hour at the Boneyard. Even then, we have trouble getting our kids to leave.

    The colors they use at both FotLK and Nemo are so beautifully done. I really enjoyed taking pictures at both shows this trip!
     
  15. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    Saturday, January 26th - 1:45pm

    Once we exited the theater around 1:45pm,I thought this would be a good time for an ice cream break. Had to start using those snack credits on our dining plan! So we found a nice shaded bench along side the gift shop for the Dinosaur exit – I think it’s called Chester and Hester’s Dinosaur Treasures. We took a break in this exact same spot last year for an ice cream break. It’s tucked in and away from the crowds and very well shaded. Plus, the restrooms are just around the corner. And as a bonus, if you needed to fill up your gas tank you have access to this.

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    IMG_5801 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

    The kids and I got fruit bars, and DW and DFIL got their Mickey Bar fixes. We sat there for a good 20 minutes or so enjoying the breeze and the treats. DS wanted to go on the Triceratops Spin. DD wasn’t too excited about it. She actually told me that the ride was for little kids. She’s growing up I guess. But she was a good sport for her brother and the four of them went on while I watched from the bottom. DS told me he liked the ride afterwards but he thought it was too short. DD had been hoping to go on Primeval Whirl which is one of the rides she wanted to try last year but couldn’t because of the 48 inch height requirement. Needless to say, she did not grow 4 inches in less than a year, so had to put it off again for the next trip. Still don’t quite understand why that particular ride has such a tall height restriction but I’m going to guess that the ride is actually rougher than it looks.

    Next, we walked over to EE to use our FPs. It was already 2:35pm, and I was planning on catching the 3pm Flights of Wonder Show to complete our trifecta of AK shows! We had never done all three shows in a single day. DFIL and myself went on first while the kids had fun watching the coaster drops from the viewing area to the side. DD briefly, and I mean very briefly, contemplated whether she wanted to try this one. One look at the drops and she was happy to just watch. Using our FPs we skipped ahead of the long lines to the front. I had been toying with the idea of attempting to capture some shots during the ride with my camera. But I couldn’t remember the sequence on this ride very well and whether the speed was such that I could hold on to the camera. So I took the camera with me but only snapped a couple of pictures when the ride comes to a momentary stop before changing directions.

    On our way up Everest
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    IMG_5815 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

    I can't believe Disney won't fix this piece of track. I mean it's been like this for years! Just like the Yeti! ;)
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    IMG_5821 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

    I wasn’t as dizzy as I had been last year after getting off of it. DFIL loved this one. He couldn’t remember much from the last time he went on it so it was like riding it for the first time again! When we exited the ride, it was already 2:50pm. It didn’t look like we had enough time to have DW and DFIL go even with the FPs. So I pulled some more FPs so that we could come back later and let DW have a shot at it. I sent off the gang to the show while I attempted to see if I could find two people who I could give my FPs away too. I didn’t have much time and this was turning out to be a very difficult task. Most of the people entering the standby line were groups of 4. And then whenever I think I spot a couple approaching they would inevitably veer towards the FP lanes. I had to give up after 5 minutes because the show was about to begin. I briskly walked to theater and caught up with my family.

    We walked into the Flights of Wonder stage just in time. The show began within a couple of minutes of us finding a side seat near the front. The low flybys that the birds do during the show are always fun and exciting for the kids.

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    IMG_5836 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

    I found Tour Guide Joe to be funnier this time compared to last year. Not sure why since the script seemed to be about the same.

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    IMG_5825 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

    One of the cranes went off-script during his fly by when he/she decided to fly over the back fence over the theater leaving the host and Joe to just hang and wait while improvising some jokes.

    Here's the bird on it's way of escaping the theater.
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    IMG_5859 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

    One of the trainers was able to walk the crane back to the starting point and go all over again.

    Take number 2. Let's try again by bribing with some more food. :goodvibes
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    IMG_5860 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

    3, 2, 1, Take off!
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    This time the bird practically whizzed by our ears
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    IMG_5864 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

    And there’s of course the Bald Eagle. As soon as it made its appearance, DS started telling me that he wanted to see it fly like other birds. To his disappointment, the eagle stayed put.

    DD’s hand shot up in the air when the host was looking for someone to hold a dollar bill for one of the birds to fetch but of course they were looking for an adult volunteer.

    Off to fetch the dollar bill
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    IMG_5842 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

    One of the kids in the audience got to throw a grape high in the air and watch a bird catch it with its beaks midair while flying. After the show was over, three trainers brought out some of the birds up close to the front edge of the stage where the kids can take a closer look. DD asked a question to the owl handler about the macaws that were sitting on the tree behind him and whether they could also imitate people’s speech which the answer was that those birds usually don’t do it as part of their natural behavior even if they are capable of doing so.

    CM trying to hear DD's question
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    IMG_5874 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

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    IMG_5870 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

    Next up: The Parade
     
  16. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    IMG_5987 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

    I got incredibly lucky with this one. Near the end of our AK day, all of the adults got one more chance to climb Everest. Having been on the ride once earlier in the day, I felt more confident and comfortable about having my camera out and taking pictures during the ride. So I set my shutter speed fast at continuous bursts and as always flash off. As we approached the final cave where the "frozen" Yeti resides, I brought up my camera. With the fast turns and drops, I couldn't bring the view finder to my eye level so I just aimed the camera in the general direction where I thought the Yeti ought to be. As soon as the strobe lights started going off, I held down the shutter button and the camera got off 8 shots as the train zoomed underneath the Yeti. 7 out of the 8 pictures turned out mostly black. But this last shot turned out to be completely in sync with the flashes from the strobe lights from the ride.
     
  17. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Mmmm, Mickey bars!!! :mickeybar

    I don't get that height requirement for Primeval Whirl either. :confused3 I thought it may have something to do with the type of restraint system they use, but I don't really know. I hate those kinds of coasters anyway and avoid that one when I can! :rotfl:

    Glad the kiddos enjoyed Flights of Wonder. :thumbsup2 I am a little freaked out by birds, but it is one thing we have never done at AK, so I might have to get over my phobia and try it out one of these days.

    That Yeti picture is absolutely incredible!!! What a lucky shot!
     
  18. BellaBaby

    BellaBaby (Im)patiently waiting for next trip to Disney!!

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    Love your Yeti shot! Really cool!:thumbsup2

    Enjoying your TR as well!!:goodvibes
     
  19. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

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    Good call on the ice cream break. The last thing you want to do is let those snack credits go to waste.

    Congratulations on your AK show domination! You really packed it in that day! :thumbsup2

    That Yeti shot is awesome! :thumbsup2 That shot actually might be more intense than the actual "non-moving, strobe light lit, blink and you miss it" Yeti in the ride.
     
  20. DaveinFallsChurch

    DaveinFallsChurch DIS Veteran

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    A couple of the birds do a low fly by over the heads of the audience and depending on where you're seated, they could really whiz by you. I think if you park yourself in the rear side of the theater you should be okay. Also, the Tour Guide Joe character has a bird phobia as well but he manages to survive! ;)

    Thank you! More updates are coming soon!

    Completely agree with you that this Yeti shot gives the false impression of a menacing presence in the ride when half the time people miss it entirely. I think it took me 3 rides before I could locate it!
     
  21. StitchIsOurHero

    StitchIsOurHero <font color=red>I was smart enough to marry a DH w

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    All caught up! As usual, reading your report makes me SO ready to go!! Love the AK updates--Flame Tree is my favorite quick service in all of WDW!

    Love the story about the wedding, too! That music sounds wonderful!
     

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