Discussion in 'UK Trip Reports Board' started by dolphingirl47, Dec 2, 2012.
The Aqua Tour sounds amazing......
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It really was and it was something a bit unusual to do. I can really recommend this.
The Aqua Tour sounds fabulous! Fran is getting better and better by the day and looking for adventurous things to do, so this might be something just up her alley! I'll have to mention it for October.
It sounds like a really neat tour, and they didn't have any problem fitting you with a wet suit? That's my fear, and especially Fran's. Those of us who are pooh sized and can't find many clothes in the park need to stick together and help each other out.
Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to hearing more about OKW and navigating around there. I really enjoyed the one night we stayed there in 2011 and looking forward to going back someday!
It really was amazing. They had no problem whatsoever finding me a wetsuit that fits. A wetsuit appeared in my locker as by magic and it was a perfect fit.
This seems like something David and I would like to do, but I am a tiny bit afraid of being below the surface of water. So with my face under the water and breathing thru the regulator might be little too much for me...
I am not a hero when it comes to be below the surface of the water either. I always joke that this is the reason why I learned to swim. Actually, the flotation vest that they put on you keeps you right at the surface of the water. You put your face in the water, but it is totally up to you for how long at the time you keep your face in the water. If you lift your face about an inch, you can breathe without a regulator. I have to say I was more than just a little nervous on the day, but it was an amazing experience.
This day was Thanksgiving and I really did not know what to expect. When we had been in Florida for Thanksgiving before, we spent the day at Seaworld and I did the Marine Mammal Keeper experience. Graham had commented that it was incredibly quiet in the park. I had planned to go to the Magic Kingdom that day. I got up at around 8:00 and got ready. I just missed a bus for the Magic Kingdom, but the next one was not far behind. The bus was not as full as I had thought it would be, which was definitely a good sign. I got to the Magic Kingdom just before 9:00 AM and it did not feel as busy as it had done the previous days. I headed straight to the Fire Station to pick up my spell cards for the day and then I continued by mission on Main Street. Some of those portals are quite difficult to find and one is well hidden inside a shop. Still, Cruella de Ville was defeated quite quickly and I was sent to a portal in Fantasyland. I headed there next and the villain I had to battle there was Ursula. The portals there are relatively close together and were also very quiet so it did not take me long to defeat her. I was then sent to Adventureland, but figured that this could wait.
Instead I headed into Tomorrowland. I went in search of Stitch, but he was not out and about. Instead I got a Fastpass for Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin and then got in the standby line, which had a posted waiting time of 35 minutes. It moved much quicker than this and in the end I only waited about 20 minutes. I prefer the version at Disneyland and Disneyland Paris, where you can actually remove the laser guns, but this is still a lot of fun. When I had finished the ride, I still had about an hour until the window for my Fastpass opened. So I decided that I would head over to Carousel of Progress. I have always enjoyed this and they were just about to let people in. There were about 20 or so people waiting so the theatre was nowhere near full. I had never noticed it before, but it is kind of strange that Thanksgiving is not included in the line up of holidays. One would think that this would be more significant than Valentine's Day or Halloween. I enjoyed this as usual and then had a wander around Tomorrowland. I still had a bit of time until my Fastpass window opened so I crossed into Fantasyland to get some photos with the White Rabbit who was out and about near Mad Tea Party.
Once I had my photos done, I went back to Tomorrowland to ride Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin again. Despite the Fastpass, it was still a good 10 minute wait, but it was so worth it. I am not sure what I hit, but in the second room, suddenly my score went up to 999,999. I could not believe that I got the top score. I figured you should quit when you are ahead and crossed back over into Fantasyland. I had seen that the Evil Stepsisters and Lady Tremaine would be out by Cinderella's Fountain. I had never met them before and this was a must do for me. Some other people were already hanging around in this area as well and it did not take long until the Tremaine family arrived. Unfortunately they did not have a Photo Pass photographer with them. The cast member that acted as their escort kept wandering off and when it was my turn to see them, she was not around. I stepped to one side to let the family behind me go ahead and she turned up again shortly afterwards. So I handed her my camera and asked her if she could take a photo for me, which she did happily enough.
When I had my photo taken, I headed back towards the hub and took some photos around there before heading for Liberty Square. I had to have a look at Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe and took some photos in there. There was nothing that particularly called out to me so I left empty-handed. My next stop was the Haunted Mansion. I could not believe how long the line for this was, but the posted wait time was 45 minutes, which was doable and I was really curious about the interactive line. So I got into line. The first part of the line had not changed at all and I made good use of the slow moving line to take photos of the Rivers of America and Big Thunder Mountain. Eventually the path split and I had a choice between the cemetery or the normal line. I went for the cemetery as the main reason for getting in that line was to see the interactive line. I loved the themeing, but it did not seem very interactive to me. For some reason the line really started to move quickly at this point and I did not have as much time for taking photos as I had thought. I am glad that I had seen it, but I think on future visits, I will bypass this. In the end, I only waited for about 30 minutes and I enjoyed the ride as much as usual.
When I came out of the Haunted Mansion, I headed towards Frontierland. By then I was ready for some food and I had planned to eat at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn And Cafe that day. On my way there, I spotted Chip and Dale in their Cowboy outfits. I decided to get in line. I was very lucky as they closed the line right behind me and Chip and Dale were not scheduled to be out again that day. I had my photos taken and then headed for lunch. I was a little concerned by the crowds, but I did not have to wait long to place my order. I had a Coke and the BBQ Pork Sandwich with Apple Slices. I also used one of my snack credits to get some Chili Cheese Fries. They were very nice. I did not really fancy any of the dessert options, but went with the Strawberry Yogurt.
After I finished my lunch, I headed over to Adventureland to deal with the next villain. I really do not understand what they were thinking when they decided on the locations for the portals in Adventureland. This is even more irritating as Adventureland has the highest number of villains to battle with a total of 3. I ended up going into battle with Jafar. The first portal was behind the stroller parking for Pirates of the Caribbean and to get to the portal, you have to battle cast members reorganising the stroller parking as well as people dropping off or collecting their strollers. The next portal was better placed as it was in an alcove outside a shop, but it tooK some finding. The next one was inside a restaurant, which made it quite difficult to find and a nightmare to get to as you had to weave in and out between tables and dodge people with trays. The last portal was in a more sensible place again as nobody who was not playing the game had any business being there. It did however take some finding as it was tugged away towards the right and kind of behind Sunshine Tree Terrace. Once I had defeated Jafar, it sent me back to Fantasyland. I headed in that general direction, but the parade was about to start and there was no getting through. In the end, I never managed to get back to battle with Maleficent. I managed to walk along the path in front of the castle and ended up in Tomorrowland again.
I decided that I would have one more attempt to see Stitch, but he was not in his usual spot. I headed towards to exit of Tomorrowland and saw there was a show just starting up at the Rockettower Plaza Stage so I decided to hang around to watch it. It was nothing that taxed the brain cells too much, but it was quite cute and Stitch was quite prominently represented in this. Apart from Stitch, the show featured Buzz Lightyear, Mike Wazowski and various dancers. The show was called A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas. During the show, Stitch was charged with finding Santa and bring him back for the shows great finale with almost disastrous results only for him to save the day by dressing up as Santa himself.
After the show, I slowly wandered back towards Main Street and ultimately towards the exit. I took a few more photos along the way. When I came up to Town Square, I noticed a Photopass photographer by the Fire House doing some fun poses. I decided that I would not mind a few more photos either and headed over there. We did a bunch of fun poses and then I got another magic shot. By the time we were finished, I was all theme parked out for one day. I stopped by the entrance for a few more photos and then I headed over to the bus stops.
For once, my ideal little world actually worked. Just as I walked up to my bus stop, the bus pulled in and it was reasonably empty. I headed back to our room. I had arranged with Graham that if I was not back to the room by 17:30, I would meet him outside Olivia's Cafe. I was back about 45 minutes before that time, but there was no sign of Graham. I stretched out on the bed for a bit and checked in online and at 17:30, I got my refillable mug and made the move toward Hospitality House. When I got there, Graham was just walking up to it as well and we went to check in at Olivia's Cafe.
This was one of the first reservations I had made at a time I was really struggling to get excited about this trip. As soon as I knew that we would be in Florida for Thanksgiving, I also knew that I would want to have Thanksgiving dinner at our home away from home. We had eaten at Olivia's Cafe a number of times on previous trips and always enjoyed it. We also had never needed a reservation before, but I figured that this day would be busy. I was right. They were serving both the a la carte menu and a special Thanksgiving menu that was served family style. We got Oven-roasted Turkey served with Stuffing, Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Yams, Giblet Gravy, and Cranberry Sauce. I passed on the Yams and the Cranberry Sauce. I was quite surprised by the portion size as this was just the perfect amount of food for two people. After having had huge portions all trip, this was nice. Once we had finished our food, our server wanted to bring out more, but we declined. For dessert, we had a choice between a slice of Pecan, Pumpkin Pie or Apple Pie. Graham went with the Apple Pie and I tried the Pecan Pie. Service that night left something to be desired. It definitely showed that they are not used to being this busy. Our order was taken quickly and some water and our food came out quickly. In fact the food had arrived before the Coke that I had ordered did. I knew that they were busy, so I was not too worried. At some stage I was asked if I wanted a refill, but that never materialised. The real issue arose so when it came time to pay. We had been asked at the podium if we were using the Disney Dining Plan, which I had confirmed. It also stated very prominently on our Key to the World cards that we were on the Disney Dining Plan. So I was decidedly less than impressed when I realised that she had charged the cash amount for the meal to our room rather than deducting the dining plan credits. I flagged her down and this was refunded and the dining plan credits were deducted. For some reason though the slip we had to sign did not contain the usual space to leave a tip. We waited if she would come back so that we could put this right as neither of us had any cash on us, but after nearly 20 minutes we gave up. I figured that I would be able to sort this out at the podium, but by that time people were queuing out of the door so I gave up on this, too.
Once we left the restaurant, I quickly stopped by their counter service restaurant to fill up my mug with the Coke I never got in the restaurant and then we slowly walked back to the room. It was a beautiful evening. When we got back to the room, I had my Coke and my Chocolate-covered Strawberry and then we settled down in front of the TV. I noticed that the message light was blinking and it was a message from Mickey. We chilled out for about an hour and then we got ready for bed.
Loving the trip report and all the pics! Santa Stitch might just be the cutest thing ever
He was too cute for words. I so wish they had a Meet and Greet with Santa Stitch.
What fun photos! You certainly managed to get a lot in, too!
I had gotten very behind on your report but its kept me entertained today while i've been off work sick.
This was actually a very relaxing Disney trip for me. My normal approach is crisscrossing the parks at speed getting from on ride to the next and trying to minimize waiting times. This time I just wandered where my fancy took me and stopped and admired things that caught my eye. Now I want to do the same at Disneyland. Maybe that is something to keep in mind for my birthday trip in 2014.
I am glad to be of service. I hope that you feel better soon.
I am all caught up...
Beautiful pictures and looks like you had a magical day!
Once again I got up at about 8:00 AM, got ready and headed for the bus. Before I left, I made sure that Graham knew were to meet me as we had a reservation for Sanaa that evening. Once again I got lucky and I had a minimal wait for the bus. I was heading to Animal Kingdom for the day. I had seen photos of the character trees at Camp Minnie-Mickey last year and I wanted to see them for myself. The bus was not too busy and with it still being so early, it headed straight to Animal Kingdom rather than stopping at Blizzard Beach first. So I made good time. I was temporarily sidetracked though by the huge tree just outside the entrance to the park. This was truly beautiful. As I walked past it after having taken some photos, I spotted some Photopass photographers around the back of the tree. So I made good use of them. I also got one of my favourite magic shots there.
When I entered the park, I picked up a guide. This was another day that was all about the characters and the decorations. I do like Animal Kingdom, but in terms of attractions there is actually very little there that draws me. It's Tough To Be A Bug, Expedition Everest and Primeval Whirl all freak me out, Dinosaur makes me ill and although I love Kali River Rapids, it was still a bit chilly for this. I was however really curious about the new version of the Kilimanjaro Safari. Still, I was actually really enjoying concentrating on the characters and the decorations. So the first stop was to go and see Russell and Dug from Up. I was not overly excited about Russell, but I had really wanted to see Dug and the line was quite manageable. I think I waited about 5 minutes. I got a hug from both of them and then we posed for some photos before I moved on.
I then headed towards Dinoland USA. This is normally my least favourite land, but I had heard that the Christmas decorations there are quite special and also Santa Goofy and Pluto were hanging out there. On the way there, I came across a path that seemed to go nowhere,but had a cast member by the entrance. I asked the cast member what was down there and he advised me it was Winnie the Pooh and friends. I decided that Dinoland ISA would wait and headed down that path. This is probably the nicest character Meet and Greet location that I had ever encountered. The path to the actual Meet And Greet went through a jungle and the pavilion where the Meet and Greet took place was right by the river. It was all rather idyllic. To make things even better, Pooh, Eeyore and Tigger were in their Christmas outfits. True to form, when it was almost my turn, all three went in one after the other for a quick break. They were back again really quickly though.
Once I had my photos taken, I pushed on to Dinoland USA. This area did not disappoint. The Christmas decorations there were definitely on the tacky side, but this was wonderfully in keeping with the themeing of the land. I had to smile a few times. I really liked this and was glad that I had read about this before the trip. Otherwise I may have bypassed this. Meeting Santa Goofy and Pluto in his holiday best was also a real treat.
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