"I choose to be Amused!"-An Epic Trip to DL with a side of Oz(3/17-4 NEW POSTS pg17)

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by skier_pete, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. Aussie Wendy

    Aussie Wendy DIS Veteran

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    Just catching up-miss a few days and lots to catch up on! So glad to see the TR starting and good to know you had a good time over here. Your park touring style is like ours-hit em hard and fast then slow down after the crowds build and take in other stuff. You sound like my DH though-he gets tired travelling too long and wants to go home-I push Europe trips out past 5 weeks and he gets cranky-4 is in his comfort zone- but from Aus it seems so far to go without making the most of it. Looking forward to reading along!
     
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  3. DisneytheKid

    DisneytheKid A bad attempt at Billy the Kid

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    Hey Skier Pete, great trip report so far!:thumbsup2 Im enjoying all the great commentary and pictures. Can't wait to read more!!!
     
  4. BecBennett

    BecBennett Statistically, 6 out of 7 dwarves are not happy.

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    That's actually what I love about DLR compared to WDW. I felt like I spent most of my time at WDW on buses or ferries, and not enough time in the parks :rotfl:
     
  5. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Actually, I was doing the best of the bunch. I could've probably gone a little bit longer. DD was ready to go home after 2 weeks, and DW after about 2.5.
    Four was plenty though - I missed some things about home by then.

    Thanks, I'm going to try and update at least twice a week if I can, I am also putting together a photo book and a picture DVD, so my free time is being split up somewhat. (I write the TRs during free time at home, then usually post during lunch break at work if I can.) Stay tuned for some updates right after this.

    While I am going to hold off on declaring which place I prefer, I will admit that IS a very appealing part of DLR. That is why we generally don't hop at WDW...transferring between the parks just eats too much time.
     
  6. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    DD was really chomping at the bit to find Nemo, so after checking with a nearby CM and finding out it was open, we went back to Tomorrowland. (What exactly does Finding Nemo have to do with Tomorrowland, anyways?)
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    The early parts of this ride brought me right back to my childhood. Looking out that little porthole and seeing the bubbles go by as we dived reminded me of how amazed I was at 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
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    However, once the ride got “inside” it more or less turned into “The Seas with Nemo and Friends” as seen through a small, inconveniently placed porthole. It was still an awesome experience and a highlight for all of us. DD even wanted to get right back in line, even though the line had gotten longer. However, we said “NO” must keep seeing new things!!!! (We did re-ride on day 3.)
    By now, it was getting awful late, it was already like 10 AM! So, we stopped for a sunscreen application and I speed-walked across the park to get Indiana Jones fast-passes. Next up heading over to ToonTown. I was kind of excited to see this as it was supposed to be such a more fully realized "land" that WDWs, but in reality it was actually very lame.
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    Very neat outer theming, but when you would go into things, there'd be practically nothing there. We checked out Goofy’s house, and Donald’s boat first and basically these were just walk-throughs with nothing there. DD started back in with her winning ways of not wanting to do anything by refusing to ride the Gadget Coaster, though no big loss to the two of us. She did want to see Chip and Dale’s tree house, which other than a narrow stairway was a whole lot of nothing.
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    We then went into Minnie’s house and explored a bit. Some of our favorite gags:
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    There was also a cake in the oven. When you turned the knob, the cake rose and appeared to bake, and then collapsed in disaster! Quite amusing.
    We then wanted to go into Mickey’s house. Mickey was standing right inside the doorway, and there was absolutely NO line to see him! Of course, DD again refused to go inside. (ARGH!) I really don’t get her, she gets worse every trip with what she’ll do. I had told her we would not make her see any characters, but Mickey’s her favorite, and it really disappointed me that she wouldn’t see him.
    Anyways, a few more shots around the main fountain:
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    We stopped for a banana break, and sat and watched a hummingbird flit around a flowering tree. I then made DD ride the Roger Rabbit ride. Big fan of the Roger Rabbit movie, and the ride was OK. It’s of course unfortunate that they could only use the Roger Rabbit-created characters (well, that and the weasels – which are from “The Wind and the Willows” and also show up in the Mr. Toad ride). It was pleasant but not that great. There’s no equivalent at Disney World, and honestly that’s just fine. In fact, I found Toon Town in general to be a bit of a letdown and made me feel like I won't miss WDWs ever lamer Toon Town in favor of Storybook Circus.

    To be continued...
     
  7. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Next we headed out of Toontown and made It’s a Small World our next stop.
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    We really liked how it loaded outside, and the whole clock mechanism, which while being repeated at WDW, is much more intricate and clever here. This ride is a family favorite in which all of us really like it (DW and DD slightly more than me, as they never tire of it).
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    We actually really enjoyed the addition of the Disney Characters within the ride. I know there’s some debate over this, but for the most part it doesn’t feel overly intrusive to the feel of the ride and kept well within the Mary Blair style.
    Alice and the White Rabbit:
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    Cinderella, Gus, and Jack:
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    One of my favorites, the cuckoo clocks (hey, isn't there one missing?):
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    Travel to India:
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    Mulan and Mushu:
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    Simba and Pumba (where's Timon?):
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    The three Caballeros:
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    The one exception I would claim to the addition is them putting Ariel in the ride. The dolls are supposed to represent the Children of the World, and you can argue that Aladdin and Jasmine, Cinderella, or Mulan characters can be represented as such. However, Ariel is a mermaid, and as such has no place on IaSW:
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    However, I AM OK with Marlin and Dory showing up, so go figure. (Actually – easy to figure – not fictional creatures, real fish.)
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    Slightly turned off by Stich being here, but again done in such a way as not obtrusive.
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    One of the goals of the trip is to see a real live Platypus in the wild. Does this count?
    (Footnote: You better get used to blurry pictures of Platypuses now, as that's gonna be a reoccuring theme on this trip.)
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    As we call them – The “huly-huly girls”. (A reference to the animated British TV show Charlie & Lola)
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    There’s only 2 North American characters in the WDW version, but at least three here, Jessie, Woody, and Bullseye. I especially like the “Bullseye” gag.
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    Overall, I gotta give a slight edge to this one versus MKs, more for the outdoor queue area than anything else. (It's also funny how it is set off kind of on it's own, away from the rest of Fantasyland.)

    That's all for today...more to come of course!
     
  8. Moodyzblu

    Moodyzblu DIS Veteran

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    IASW is one of the rides I am really looking forward to. It's always been a favorite of my boys and so I am anxious to see how they like this one.
    Toon Town was never a favorite of ours in WDW, in fact the only time we went there was during MNSSHP. So no big disappointment here.
    We are also looking forward to riding the Submarine ride. :thumbsup2
     
  9. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Oh.....THERE's Perry. You finally found him! :rotfl:
     
  10. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Oh, don't get me wrong, the subs were awesome to ride, if just for nostaglia's sake, but really its a kids ride, and any kid would absolutely love it. The funny thing is, 3 weeks later we rode the real thing on the real Great Barrier Reef! No, Dory though.

    Ah...you remember my original plan to make the search for Perry my TR title, however, I just got such a kick out of "I choose to be amused" that I had to use that. Fear not, though - the search for Perry will continue!
     
  11. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    After IaSW, we were starting to get rather hot. DD wanted a little break. She had bought a Mickey PDA in Toontown and wanted to play with it. (Turned out to be a total piece of crap – the first one worked for a day, I got a replacement, and that one never worked at all!) Anyways, I swung over to BTMRR for FPs, and at the same time got a frozen lemonade and a pretzel for us to share. We then returned to Fantasyland, which was showing much larger crowds. We decided to catch a couple of the less popular attractions…specifically the Storybook Canal Boats.
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    The ride was an outdoor ride that started out entering through the mouth of Monstro the Whale, and toured many sets of miniatures of various Disney stories. I found this particularly interesting having just read Walt Disney’s biography, and how for a period of time in the ‘50s he had become obsessed with Miniatures and was originally planning a large area of Disneyland to be miniature, but couldn’t get around how it would accommodate guests. Apparently this was what was remained of the concept, which has changed miniatures over the years. Agrabah!
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    Is this Cinderella's House? Not sure
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    That's Cinderella's castle, only slightly shorter than the Sleeping Beauty castle! I know this because of the pumpkin on the road up to the castle.
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    The boats are steered by live CMs, and they told sort of punny jokes that made this seem almost like a fantasyland version of the Jungle Cruise. Truthfully I sort of liked this ride. Not that we needed to ride it more than once, but it definitely had its charms.

    However, after we rode it, we then went on the Casey Jr. train ride. This train rides on a higher path over the same route as the miniatures in the Canal Boats. In addition, many of the cars, including the one we were on, are like animal cages. While it was a cute homage to Dumbo, it felt totally unnecessary with the canal boats being there.

    Speaking of Jungle Cruise, that was what was up next on our list of attractions. We waded through the crowds and got over to JC pretty quickly after a potty break. The line was actually pretty short, less than a ten minute wait, and we were sailing on Jungle adventure. The DL version, while different than WDW, is quite similar and really mostly the order of the scenes is different. The jokes are much the same though:
    "How do you know that's an African Elephant. Right...cause we're in Africa!"
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    Did you know the skipper trained him? SPEAK! Now – SPRAY THE BOAT!
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    Next up the African Savannah!
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    Oh look, those lions are watching over a sleeping zebra! Kids, you all know that lions babysit zebras all the time right?
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    I’ll let you fill in the joke for this one….
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    After JC – we used our Indiana Jones FP. Now, I have to give some backstory here – DD is obviously a bit of a fraidy-cat. But she has been VERY excited at the idea that there was an Indiana Jones ride, as she loves the Indiana Jones stunt show. Now, I had heard that it wasn’t as dark and scary as Dinosaur, but similar in ride configuration. I had never heard anything about specifics of the ride, but had heard it wasn’t that scary. However, as we started walking through the FP queue, DD was already starting to show signs of wanting to bolt. The creepy music and dark foreboding areas were sort of getting to her. I was pretty proud that she didn’t ask to leave, I think she was just real excited about it being Indiana Jones. Well, we got to the ride vehicles, and she wanted to sit in the middle. It turned out whoever had said it “wasn’t as dark and scary as Dinosaur” was only right by a matter of a few degrees. To our DD, this ride was pretty much a terror. She really just kept her eyes closed for the whole ride. Truth is, I honestly didn’t get to enjoy it much myself as I was too concerned about her. I remember there was a lot of stuff with a giant snake and collapsing bridge, and I think I really would have loved it had I been able to focus on it. (I can’t stand Dinosaur BTW – I think that ride is just “really dark, really dark – slow down – Dinosaur jumps at you from the right” and repeat that 5 times, very boring in my opinion.)

    So, we got off Indiana Jones and DD said, “I am NOT going to ride THAT again!”
     
  12. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    It was now coming up on 12:30 PM, we were now getting pretty hungry, and DD was starting to get hot and tired and cranky. I continued to try and “choose to be amused”, so I suggested since I wanted to grab FP for Splash Mountain that we lunch at the “Hungry Bear” down at that end of the park.
    By this point, we had walked through or by every land in the park, and I have to give DL a lot of credit. While I realize it is about 50 % smaller than Magic Kingdom, they’ve managed to somehow make it “feel” larger. There is a LOT of stuff in this park to do – way more than MK, and yet it somehow doesn’t feel overcrowded with the attractions right on top of each other. (Now, it DOES feel pretty darn crowded with people.) Really impressed by that!
    So, lunch at the Hungry Bear – was REALLY GOOD! I had the “Fried Green tomato Sandwich - cornmeal crusted fried green tomatoes layered with two slices of freash heirloom tomatoes, topped with havarti, romoulade, jicama mango slaw and served on a multi grain roll”
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    Holy crow was this a good sandwhich! I loved it! And the sweet potato fries were also great. Of course I love sweet potato fries as there is a place down by the river here in Buffalo that serves them with honey….yummm so good. DW had the “Turkey and Provolone Sandwich - With lettuce, tomato and basil mayo on a multigrain roll. served with roasted slaw”
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    This is the same slaw that came on my sandwhich, and it was also delicious. Both meals were very large as well. DD had a “Kid's Power pack - String cheese, nonfat yogurt, sliced apples with wholegrain Goldfish crackers” Once the lunch was done, we decided we were all in need for a break and wanted to go back to the hotel, we decided to take the DL Railroad from New Orleans Square. DD wanted a frozen Minute Maid Lemonade.
    The train was a very slow way to get back to the front. It stopped twice, once in Toontown/FL, and again in Tomorrowland. What was really unexpected about this ride, was that after Tomorrowland, the ride went through this Diorama area where they had a bunch of anamatronics of the grand canyon and then Jurassic Park (OK, not really) - actually the dinosaur scenes looked very similar to what you see in “Ellen’s Energy Adventure” at Epcot. (Sorry, no pictures) A neat little surprise.
    Also, on the very back of the train we were on was the “Lily Belle”, the private train car that’s named after Walt’s wife Lilian. I only noticed this because I know as part of the Backstage Magic trip we are taking next June you actually get to RIDE on that car!
    Anyways, back to THIS trip. By the time we got back around to the front of the park it was about 1:30 PM, and we were ready for a rest. (In case you are not keeping track – that’s 17 rides that we have done already!) But not before getting a photopass photographer to give us a snap:
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    …and then another one of DD by a bench she thought was pretty cool.
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    Once we got back to the hotel, we took about 40 minutes to go for a swim, which felt really good, and then returned to the room for about an hour long nap.
     
  13. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Lunch looks great....and you've succeeded in making me hungry.

    Lovely pictures of the family.
     
  14. Aussie Wendy

    Aussie Wendy DIS Veteran

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    Wow-what a lot you covered in just the am! I never knew they had embedded Disney characters in IASW-must watch out for that next time I am at DL-is it only the DL version that has done this? Laughed at Indiana Jones -our first time on it was in the parks with our daughter who had just turned 6. We didn't know about swop and ride (if they even did it then). She was just tall enough to ride and we begged her to come on with us so we could both ride - so she did. Terrified she kept her eyes shut the whole time! and at the end of the day when it was a walk straight on she came with us a second time-still eyes firmly shut hanging on like grim death. She also remembers being terrified of Matterhorn-actually terrified of nearly everything we took her on-lol! Cut to next visit when she was 20 and she couldn't wait as IJ is amongst her all time fave movies and she could remember snippets of how much like the movies this ride was. Couldn't get her on Matterhorn again -she still hates any sort of roller coaster and won't even give this mild slope a go.
     
  15. Aussie Wendy

    Aussie Wendy DIS Veteran

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    and even at 20 she still always needs to find something to eat just when I am packing in all the rides while its quiet..and if you don't feed her she gets whiny or feels motion sick on anything she goes on......but who else will drool in the shops with me or get excited about a great TS meal!
     
  16. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Thanks. I was even thinking when eating there..."Oh PiO could come here with here DH - this is a vegitarian choice!" I've actually never had fried green tomatoes until this sandwhich (it's really a southern US thing) but if they are always this good I would try them again.

    Yes, only DL added the Disney characters. I hope it stays that way, not because I didn't like it, but to keep the two rides unqiue from eachother.

    I think our DDs fear stems from her very first WDW trip at age 3.5. We took her on Winnie the Pooh, thinking OK...mild ride no problems. Well, the ride scared the bejeesus out of her. And since that day, any new (indoor) rides it is always a total throwdown to get her to try it. She really was doing pretty well at DL - she resisted many of the Fantasyland rides, but did them and didn't mind them too much (she didn't like Mr. Toad though). Until we got to Indiana Jones. Though she rode that voluntarily, it freaked her out so bad that I think it affected the whole rest of the trip. Too bad really.

    The good thing is there are really only a few rides at WDW she won't do, and I think next trip when she's 10 we may even be able to get her on Space Mountain. Some good friends just got back from a WDW trip, and their DD (our God-daughter) whose 6 rode Space Mountain AND Expedition Everest, and when DD heard that she got very thoughtful. I am not sure she likes being outdone by a 6 year-old.
     
  17. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Too bad your DD didn't want to meet Mickey, especially with there not being a line! After walking through Mickey's house, which is usually the line, I would hate to be at the end of that thing if it reached the door. It felt like it went on forever!

    Love your pics on IASW. I totally agree about Ariel. I think they incorporated the other characters in well, but Ariel felt SO out of place since she is not really from "country" but from the ocean. Maybe if they had her in her human form, although I'm not really sure what country Eric is the prince of anyway. :rotfl:

    :thumbsup2 Truth!
     
  18. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Actually, Mickey was standing at the very front of the house, like you could see him just inside the doorway. So I assume when the lines are shorter he hangs out here, and then you walk through the house. Really the only character meet we were mad that we didn't do.

    Where is Eric from? I guess I never thought about it. He's got an American accent, but a british man-servant. He's a sailor (of sorts) but also has a castle on the shoreline. He also apparently has no parents, because they don't even show up for his wedding (TWICE!). :confused3 At least he gets a name, unlike many of the other princes. (Belle, Cinderella and Snow White's are all pretty nameless...though I think Snow's is Prince Charming, right?)
     
  19. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    I found this on Wikipedia!

    :rotfl:
     
  20. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Uh...OK. I guess since I've never heard of that before, I'll go along with it for now...but wonder if is the "official" line.

    You inspired me to do some research on Eric, though I could not find anything about is family or Nationality, an interesting point was made - Ariel and Eric are the only Princess/Prince to have a child in the Disney movies/DTV sequels. I guess it never occurred to me...apparently happily ever after typically means "no kids"!
     
  21. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    DD taking naps is always a bit of an iffy prospect, she usually struggles to wake from them and is usually short-tempered for the next several hours. We couldn’t sleep too long as I had made dinner reservations for Café Orleans @ 5:30, so by 4:45 PM we were on our way back to the parks, and again hopped on the train to get to Orleans Square.
    Orleans Square is the one land the is unique to DL versus WDW. (OK, Critter Country is also technically a “land”, but in reality its not much different from the Splash Mountain area of MK. Orleans Square is small, but well themed towards the streets of New Orleans.
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    There are not a lot of TS restaurants in DL – but two of them are in Orleans Square. The more famous is Blue Bayou, which has a reputation for having a great location (with the PotC ride) but high-priced mediocre food, and Café Orleans, which has better food and a more outdoor New Orleans atmosphere.
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    (One other small note here about differences between DL and MK – I remember always hearing that DL and MK were designed so each themed land was well separated from the others. While this is for the most part the case (with Liberty Square and Frontierland being the exception) at DL, the whole Adventureland/Frontierland/Orleans Square/Critter Country are all sort of in a big jumble on the west side of the park and are not particularly separated very well at all.)
    Back to our meal –we got DD excited to eat here by telling her this was Tiana’s place! She was really into the Princess & the Frog on this trip (listening to the soundtrack almost every night for falling asleep). I had very much wanted to try the fried Monte Cristo sandwich, and had originally planned on the traditional ham and cheese variety, but I was unable to resist the call of “Three-Cheese Monte Cristo - Swiss, mozzarella and Double Creme Brie fried in a light batter and served with Berry Puree dusted with Powdered Sugar”

    Dude, you had me at Double Crème Brie!:goodvibes
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    I wish I could say I loved this sandwich. I did really enjoy the portion with the cheese in it, especially with the berry puree. The brie was so nice and sharp. But towards the end of each wedge all you got was a big wad of fried dough – and it was a little too much “fried” for me…so while I enjoyed it, it wasn’t quite “great”. DW on the other hand had the “Seafood Herb Crepe - Pan-seared Mahi Mahi, Shrimp, and Scallops in a Creamy Tomato-Fennel Sauce”.
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    This by her comments was fantastic. Commenting that it was very light but still rich, contained actual vegetables. (One of her pet peeves of dining out is that you never get vegetables.) DD had the “Chicken Breast - with Pasta and Marinara sauce, served with seasonal Fresh Fruit”
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    But we were all looking forward to the most were these babies!
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    "Mickey" shaped Beignets - Topped with Powdered Sugar served with Raspberry Coulis and vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise.
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    And I am going to say that Disney got these suckers spot-on. The two dipping sauces went super with them. I thought they were much closer to the real thing than what they serve you at Port Orleans French Quarter. Nice job Disney.

    Dinner was done and we were hoping to still squeeze in some rides and maybe make it up until the fireworks. So, first up was Pirates of the Carribean – with DD starting out to hardcore resist riding anything. We told her this was the same Pirates (which she loves) and finally convinced her that it wouldn’t be scary.
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    (note the Disney Dream Suite up there above the sign. It's not the Castle, but I wouldn't turn it down either!)

    The line was pretty long, but also moved quickly, and we were loaded in about 20 minutes. Now, most say that this ride is “way” better than the WDW-MK version, but I am going to slightly differ from the majority. Yes, it is quite a bit longer than the MK version – but a lot of the early stuff seems to me to be kind of like filler scenes (caves, the bayou, more caves) and yes there are two drops instead of one – but I wouldn’t put this one as being way better than MK – but between the two, I would still give it to the DL version.

    Next up....things go downhill...fast!
     

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