It doesn't matter, we'll never see them again! A Dec. Mother-daughter TR

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by AnnieDan_Artlover, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    Then we walked over to The Seas pavilion. Where we saw my friends! I love those...
    "Mine, mine, mine"... it's so funny how, like Mama said, everyone looks completely retarted in that area, as we all can't help but blurt that out when we see those seagulls! :lmao:

    We had plenty of time before our Coral Reef ADR, so we did it all! We had never been to The Seas!
    Starting with taking a picture
    It's not the best... but Mama had trouble hitting the button delicately with the iPhone's new case (I did mention I had to get rid of it eventually because it made it too hard to push those).
    You can see my new ears!

    We started by riding a clamobile in Nemo and Friends... It was cute, but way too short! Barely seated in that uncomfortable thing and you already have to squirm out!
    I found the bit going sideways along the turtles in the tube a bit dizzying. I was scared Mama would get motion sickness with that, but she didn't. Yay!

    Then I insisted we try Turtle talk with Crush. It's a kids thing, but I had heard how cool it was to see it in action, and we had time to spare so... in the end, Mama didn't feel it was lost time, but she wasn't as excited as I was.

    I must say, this trip, compared to last, my mood was great. I was ready to be a kid at heart, I was ready to laugh and be excited, to find joy in the small things and get wide-eyed as if I was 5 again! Mama... not so much. Not that she would spoil it or anything... she just stayed more of an adult... so when she saw Turtle talk with Crush, she said "yeah, it's well done, it was nice". She laughed at a few jokes. She was willing to shout with everyone and play along... but she didn't ENJOY it, didn't completely let go. I think, for the most part, I was able to.
    But you can't force it. I have no idea why it happened this time and not the last. Maybe simply because I was physically better.

    After the turtle stuff we visited the aquarium. We like that and so it was not just to spare time. Problem was, especially on the second level, it was very warm and humid... I couldn't enjoy it and we had to leave in a hurry because I was starting to feel weak.

    I must say though, as much as I trust Disney and as much as I love looking at fishies in an aquarium... I don't like the idea of those fish and other marine life stuck in those boxes. It's a big dilemma for me.

    And so, it was about time to go have dinner!
    We headed to Coral Reef, and when we got inside I was very surprised at how beautiful everything was! walking up to the restaurant... wow.

    And we were seated... not a great table. Maybe we should've asked for a table "with a view" and waited for it... maybe it would'nt have helped, I don't know. But we were seated on the second tier, in the middle. So we were not close to the aquarium, AND there was another table in our line of sight... so when we tried to look at the aquarium, it felt (and looked) like we were spying on the table next to us! We were happy when they left!


    It's lucky we don't like fish and that I'm allergic (slightly) to seafood, because I would find it VERY weird to eat the nice fish I'm looking at!!!

    We ordered a caesar salad to share as an appetizer (OK... why is it that you english people insist on using our french word "entrée" for the main course, when in french, it means appetizer?! We get confused all the time!!! Anywho...), and it was very good! Maybe not the BEST we ever had, but very, very good!
    Then we both ordered the chicken with spaetzle. We did not know what it was... but the chicken was the only thing on the menu we felt like eating.
    Turns out spaetzle is a bit like gnocchi... but small like orzo... dense potato pasta. DELICIOUS! And the chicken was one of the best chickens I've ever eaten! We wanted to lick our plates...
    We finished with a shared crème brûlée and Mama took a Spanish coffee.
    That was also very good!

    When we looked at the menu and saw very little that inspired us, we never would've thought we'd enjoy our meal so much!

    I hadn't read great reviews about this place (not necessarily bad, just not great) so I didn't expect great things... we just wanted to see the atmosphere. Well, this was a great surprise!

    Food: 5/5 One of the best of the whole trip!
    Service: 4/5 Nothing bad to say, but she didn't do anything special, she doesn't stick out in my mind...
    Atmosphere: 5/5 Even with a bad table, it was very nice. Having something to look at is fun, there are nice boxes so it makes for intimacy, instead of feeling all piled up... it wasn't a very loud restaurant, the way it's arranged, and with the lighting and everything, it's relaxing so kids don't run around or scream a lot... and at about the middle of our dinner, there was a scuba-diving group in the tank, which made for even more entertainment! And they went around for a long while. We would stop seeing them, and then one would come back... They would wave, it was fun!

    It was one of those times when we felt we might get judged for being cheap, because we split our appetizer and our dessert. Would the CM think we were cheap? Would she be frustrated since it would mean a smaller tip?
    I almost felt like explaining that it was mostly because we simply wouldn't eat more food even if we ordered more... and then we realized the CM probably didn't care, probably saw every kind of people, including very, truly cheap ones...
    And it was one more occasion to say "It doesn't matter, we'll never see her again!" :thumbsup2

    Two very full ladies walked out of there and snapped this pic

    As we walked out I noticed I was missing one pin I had traded earlier in the afternoon... and since the same thing had happened just yesterday, I stopped at the camera center to buy some regular black pin backs!

    We then took the express monorail to the Magic Kingdom. But not as a shortcut to our resort... we were going to the park! YAY! MK! Finally!

    Tonight it was closing late to make up for the filming of the ABC Xmas parade in the morning, and we wanted to take advantage of it!

    Here is a pic of our first view of the illuminated, Xmas lighted, castle, and Main St.

    We arrived just in time to get a spot on the path between Main St and Tomorrowland, near the castle, for the new castle light show "Celebrate the magic".

    We then scooted over in front of the castle to wait for Wishes.
    It was a big adventure getting there, as it's pitch dark, already not easy for me to navigate... but Mama, with her eyes problems, doesn't see a thing, and is a bit scared of moving around in that darkness!
    So she hung onto my hoodie and I used the LED flashlight of the iPhone, and thanks to that I didn't trip and neither did she, and we got to a good spot, almost dead center in front of the castle and closer than where the path ends...
    While we were waiting there was a commotion, just about where we had come, near the path to Tomorrowland... a woman had tripped over the sidewalk and fell on her back (people had scooted over to let her fall instead of catching her, of course)... And not only was it so dark that she could fall, but it was so dark that people could hardly find CMs to call for help!

    Of course, it's still Disney, CMs eventually appeared, not too late, and the lady seemed OK, altough shocked and bruised.

    I know it has been that way "forever", but I'm really surprised there is no more lighting in such a crowded place, especially with so many kids, elderly and handicapped present!
    I understand they can't use big lights that would ruin the mood or the look... but would it be so crazy to add luminescent paint to highlight the sidewalk and tramway rails? To add a BIT more light, especially in more "dangerous" areas, like where paths cross?

    We noticed the same lack of light in all the parks... I see well enough in the dark, and I didn't feel safe. I'm not talking about dangerous people lurking to attack me, I'm talking going the wrong way or spraining an ankle on something I didn't see...


    After that little incident, we watched Wishes, and it was just as magic as ever!

    When it was over we walked to the special parade viewing spot I had learned about online... should I give it to you? ...mmmm... oh, alright!
    Go to Frontierland, especially in front of the Frontier Trading Post. There are even boxes there where you can sit to wait, and there shouldn't be so much people (if you go at the second one on a night where there are 2 parades) that you can't stay seated until the parade is almost there. Maybe even stay seated to watch it, if you don't feel you need to be up close!

    The parade starts in Main St. at the entrance of the park, and makes its way towards Frontierland, which takes about 20min.

    While we waited I went to get us a DoleWhip float, on a whim. I had just went to the bathroom, between Frontierland and Adventureland, and I figured where I was, and remembered where Aloha Isle was (I was soooo proud of myself for that!). So I did a quick stop there and surprised Mama with that late night snack. We hardly finished it between the 2 of us... but it was good. Tasted much better than last time we had one... must have to do with the fact I was just back from almost fainting from a BP drop that time and that we went to get one so the trip wouldn't end with a visit to the first aid station...

    Lucky I remembered to buy us a bottle of water with that though, otherwise we would've suffered! :rotfl2:

    And finally, we watched the Main Street Electrical Parade!!!
    Mama had watched it about 35 years ago... I had always wanted to see it, knew the song by heart!!! It was everything we wanted it to be!
    We liked it much more than Spectromagic... which we had loved!!!
    I can't wait to see it again!!!

    Sorry I don't have any pictures, I only carried my iPhone and even if it's amazing as a point-and-shoot, like MOST point-and-shoot cameras, it's totally crappy in low-lighting.

    After the parade we walked out of the park and back to our resort
    (I realize I took all the pics of the Contemporary, and none of our actual resort, BLT... probably because of the mickey head!)

    The walk took us 10 minutes. We couldn't believe it! It was magic!

    And once we got in our studio, we had a surprise waiting: Mousekeeping had come, AGAIN! Mama had been sure the rescheduling thing wouldn't have worked... and she had been right!
    But this time there had been no enveloppe laying around, so that poor mousekeeper came in and did a full cleaning and got nothing. Well, I know it's technically a non-tipping job... but we tipped the others... even if it wasn't willingly!
    I'm getting frustrated with this!
    How hard can it be to keep up with this? Don't they have a computer?

    My feet were killing me and I had something like 6 blisters... One on the side of each of my big toes, some on the back of the heels and a bunch on the ball of my right foot, under the big toe... probably from walking all weird because of the injury.
    Clearly, not wearing socks had been a bad idea...

    We were in bed at about 1am. And we had done ALL WE WANTED.

    High of the day: Seing Marie, MSEP & being able to do all we wanted!
    Low of the day: recurring theme : aching feet.
    Food of the day: Spaetzle

    High of the day: Soarin'
    Low of the day: Changing viewing spots in the dark
    Food of the day: Spaetzle

    Plan for the day
    Epcot from noon to around 9pm
    Must do's include Soarin', Captain EO, Imagination with Figment, Mission Space
    Lunch at Boulangerie pâtisserie
    Coral Reef dinner ADR
    MK for late evening, to see Wishes and 2nd MSEP

    What actually happened
    We arrived at Epcot a bit earlier, and we did everything we wanted but Mission Space!!!
    A most satisfying day!

    In the next chapter: What surprise could be in store for us?
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  3. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    Hi guys!

    This is a totally :offtopic: post, a short one, but dear to my heart.

    Today is the International Rare Disease Day.
    The disease I suffer from, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, hypermobile type, affects only about 1/5,000 people, maybe as few as 1/20,000.
    It may sound a lot, but just start counting, or compare it to other diseases, and it's really not a lot.

    It's not enough for doctors to really know anything about it but the name, most other health specialist even never heard about it (nurses, pharmacists, etc).

    It's not enough for big drug companies to want to do research about treatments, because it's not financially interesting. In the US, and in some countries, the governments have to force them with laws... sadly not yet in Canada... and it'll never be a big enough budget to really help all the 7,000 different rare diseases sufferers all around the globe, but it's a start!

    You can get more info here :

    Living with a chronic illness is never easy, but living with one that you feel alone in the world living with, one that few people know about and that even your doctor can't help you understand is even worst.

    Thanks for taking a moment to care! :goodvibes

    I'll be back soon with a real update, promise! :thumbsup2
  4. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    We woke up at 8:15am, took our showers (we had been WAY too pooped yesterday evening, WAIT... THIS MORNING! to take them!) and got ready and ate toasts for breakfast...

    At 9:30 we started our "errands":
    One of us went to pick up what we had bought and shipped to the resort's shop. We always take advantage of that option!

    Then I had to call Mousekeeping, AGAIN, because of the snafu from yesterday, with them coming to do our full service as originally scheduled, even though we had changed it so they wouldn't come until Monday!
    The CM I got on the phone was not very apologetic, didn't seem to care much, even when I said I was sorry that the poor mousekeeper had no tip because we had not known she would come... I asked that the supposedly re-scheduled mousekeeping for Monday be cancelled... turns out it wasn't in the computer (argh), and said I was getting tired of them showing up when they were not supposed to, and I certainly would make sure I wouldn't be charged for any of the "extra" cleanings! The CM assured me I wouldn't. :rolleyes:

    And then... drum roll...
    We booked our next trip!!!
    I had done some research before we left, while I had all my documents and more time, so I already knew the good dates for weather vs. price vs. crowds vs. events (we wanted to go back for Halloween and Food & Wine Festival).
    The only offer in the DVC studio was for free dining, but booking full price and not for the dates we wanted, so it wasn't at all good for us.
    But I knew the extension to call for a bounceback offer, if I could get one... so I dialed #8844 on our studio phone... and it worked!
    But it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. I thought I would simply get a machine telling me if there was a bounceback offer for us or not, and what it was, and the PIN code to use...

    Instead I got a booking agent asking what she could do for me. :scared1:
    I almost was at a loss for words! So I said I was wondering if there was a bounceback offer we could take advantage of when we were planning on coming back... she asked for our information (name, reservation number), made sure we were still checked-in... and told me there was indeed and offer!!!
    But it didn't exactly fit my dates... so I went ahead with the closest match, and instead of telling me, for example "I can offer you 35% off a Deluxe, or 20% off a Value" etc, instead also of telling me prices... she asked where we wanted to stay...
    Well, that pretty much depended on the offer!
    But we went ahead asking a quote for our wish, the Contemporary... I had to basically decide everything and only then did I get the price with the discount.
    Turns out it was indeed about 35% off! We could get the cheapest rooms (the only ones we can afford, even with the discount), the Garden Wing, standard view. But we couldn't care less! Well... Mama cared a little... she's worried it will be a longer walk... but it's not like we have a great choice. The other availability was club level! Heck no. It's like 3 times the price...
    So we went ahead and booked it!
    We are COMING BACK!!!!!!
    Dates will be Sept. 25th to Oct. 4th, 2013. Yeah!
    Right now we are staying at Bay Lake Tower, which is the round-ish thing on the left of the main building. Next fall we will be staying in that H-shape thing on the right. We'll hope that we'll be lucky and get a room in the building closest to the main one, so that the walk to the bus, monorail and MK is shorter!

    After that was settled, we went to take the bus, and waited. And waited. And waited some more. It took over 30 minutes for the bus to arrive! And we got it, and it was freezing. The A/C was full on, but even if it was pretty hot outside, people inside were not wearing much and so after 5min everyone was shivering... that felt like the longest drive ever! We got to Animal Kingdom at about 12:30pm.

    And of course we were hungry!

    We took the time for this nice pic:

    We then walked straight to Yak & Yeti's quick service counter, as we had loved to eat at the full service restaurant 4 years ago!
    But we did not eat there.
    We asked a CM if we could take the trays further away, and he said we could take them anywhere we wanted in the park as long as we brought them back... and then he laughed and said we didn't even have to bring them back!

    We witnessed people eating in the most uncomfortable positions, sitting on the curb, on top of garbage cans... and we took our trays and walked less than 90 seconds to the HUGE sitting area near Flame Tree BBQ, where we had the most peaceful meal of the whole trip, I think.
    Alone, close to the water, so nice...


    This is a nice little "secret" you should all note somewhere!

    As for the food, I took the honey chicken and Mama ordered the mandarin salad. We loved the little boxes it came in! It was still plenty hot by the time we settled in (in fact, was still hot when we finished eating). Well mine... Mama's salad was cold, duh.
    We both loved our food! Perfect. We'll eat there again for sure.

    Then to digest a little, we walked the Discovery Island Trails. And I couldn't help but be amazed that I was walking it instead of being rolled on it with difficulty. It was so much better than last time! :worship:

    And finally it was time for Expedition Everest!
    Thank god for the single rider line! :cool1:
    I rode it twice in a row.
    The second time, I got seated with 2 young teenagers, and it was so funny. The boy sitting with me asked if it was my first time, if I would scream... he said he would... I told him as long as he didn't throw up on me he could do as he pleased. :rotfl2:
    And then he started to tell something about a girl to his friend... but then stopped and said "I'll tell you later" and I couldn't help but add "Yeah, cuz I'm here, ya know..." :lmao:
    I love messing around with teens heads! They see me like this dinosaur, while I oh so remember the feeling.

    Anywho... I loved EE just as much as I remembered, maybe even more now that I could just walk to the single-riders line and hop on, and do it again, without Mama having to push me around.
    And even if she had to wait for me, it was much more fun for her to just sit on a little stone wall further and people watch!

    But I felt twice in a row was enough and I wanted to do something else.

    At 3:15 pm I had to take some pills, of course, so we took some ice cream at the Anandapur bus. I tried an orange soda float (with vanilla ice cream), it was great! Mama took a simple vanilla ice cream cone. And thank god we remembered to take a water bottle with that! :)

    With that in hand we moved on to scout a parade spot. Mama had studied the parade route, and felt the area between Africa and Asia would be a good spot, so we walked there. It was already not a busy day, but there was a whole section that was EMPTY! I soon found out why though... the sun was setting, and you had it straight in your eyes from that side of the road. And there was no roped-area on the other side. It was also making it very hot, and of course there was no shade. But I decided I could handle it if I could sit on the ground. Except Mama does NOT sit on the ground. So she took a walk, went to stand a bit further away in the shade, moved a bit... I was VERY happy to be sitting anyways, my feet, as usual, were killing me.
    Ligaments don't repair themselves fully even with rest and care... they definitely don't when you continue using them! As for the heat, let's just say I was VERY happy we had thought to buy this cooling scarf! (and to bring it that day!).

    Then finally the parade started, Mama joined me and I got up... and we realized we had the PERFECT spot!
    Not only did we have plenty of space (even though, of course, by then others had joined us), but we were on the edge, so we were the first the characters saw after a turn, and since there was only one side rope-off, they had all their attention only on us!
    I never had so much character interaction!

    This guy took my hands and started to dance with me! :laughing:

    Then Chip and Dale came buy
    And one of the handlers pointed out to them that I had the same exact scarf! So they came to "chat" with me for a bit (so sad that Mama doesn't carry her own camera, she could've captured those moments... happened to fast for me to give her mine, I barely had time to lower it!)

    Pluto also came by

    It was like that pretty much all the way!

    Except towards the end... a family came and stood on the side of the rope-off area... on the "security corridor" or "free pathway" if you might call it... They were told repeatedly by CMs to NOT stay there and move... and of course they didn't listen.
    There was a young girl of maybe 9 y.o. with that family and she stood next to me, and of course the characters would interact with her then and not with me.

    Had she been in her right place, had her mom asked if she could stand in front of me and went to stay behind herself, I would not have minded at all. It's normal that kids get the attention! As much fun as it was to play with the characters, let the kid have fun while she's a kid!
    ...But the way her parents are raising her made me angry, showing her that bullying is the good way to get noticed and have fun is not the right way... so that, I minded. :mad:

    The interaction was good even with those guys

    Poor guys, working so hard to move those floats while it was so hot out...
    And then the funniest moment happened : one of them announced that snow was gonna fall (behind the Donald float). To which Mama replied (loudly enough that he'd hear) "Sure, that's why you're sweating so much!" :rotfl:
    I couldn't believe she had blurted that out!!! It's so NOT her style!!!
    Everyone had a good laugh, the sweaty guy included! :rotfl2:
    And it was another one of those "It doesn't matter, we'll never see them again" moments...

    In the next chapter: Does Mama find something she likes at Boma?
  5. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    After the parade, we did the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
    After which we took this pic:

    And we were on our way to see Nemo- the Musical. We had seen it in 2008, but we felt like sitting down and enjoying a cute little show :goodvibes
    Once again, it was fun to be free of the wheelchair, as we had better seats!
    I still have "Keep on swimming" stuck in my mind months later... big earworm, I'm warning you! :rolleyes1

    I couldn't resist Primeval Whirl, altough I was worried I would be sitting with others like last time... In 2008 they maybe it was busy, or I got an incompetent CM, because I got seated with a dad and his son... but as you may or may not know, PW is a VERY jerky ride, and the seats are made for 4 kids, or 2 adults... and there is no real separation of the 2 seats, it's just a bump. So you very well might end up bumping the person besides you.
    It won't be fun even if it's your kid, as you might fear you'll hurt him by crushing too hard on him, but when it's a STRANGER's kid! :scared1:
    Let's just say I had no fun at all and just spent the ride holding on as hard as I could and trying to counteract the pushes and pulls so I wouldn't crash on that kid... :sad2:

    Luckily, that did NOT happen this time.
    There was no FP or single-rider line, but the wait was a big 5 minutes... so I went in... and while I waited I could see the CM asking if there were single riders, and how many would be riding, and I could see he never put more than 2 adults together, never put strangers with others either. Phew!
    I rode ALONE. And it was much more fun!!!
    I still tried not to slide, as getting bumped around too much I can get hurt bad (no joke), but I really could enjoy the ride.

    Wow, that is NOT a kiddy ride! It's really one of the roughest ones, when you stop to think about it! It goes down fast, turns you around in many ways, jerks roughly... spins a lot... the only thing it doesn't do is HUGE drops and loops. I'm not saying it's too much for me. But I'm saying it's much more thrills then you'd expect looking at it... it's built the right way to get you the "weeee" feelings without using lots of space... and so if you have scaredy-cat people in your party, motion-sickness prone people who think they'll be fine because it looks like a thing for kids... just don't let them ride this!
    On the other hand, if you have thrill seekers who think they'll be bored and don't want to try it... push them to, because they'll have more fun than they think! :goodvibes

    In front of Primeval Whirl we saw Christmas Pluto and Goofy taking pics, so we got in line. It looked worse than it was, with the line doing a snake... it barely took us 15 minutes to get there.
    We got out the autograph book we had gotten for our friend's little boy, and asked if we could get pictures of the characters while they were signing (without us in it) so we could show "the little kid back home" they really did sign it!
    As you can see, they were happy to oblige, doing a big deal about it (even though it seemed it was a weird request, from the way the handler and Photopass photograph looked at us)

    And then it was time for OUR picture

    I finished the park day with a ride in Dinosaur... I can't remember if I rode it straight on or if I had taken a FP earlier... sorry!

    On our way out of AK we took that pic

    We took the bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge, and the driver was kind enough to make sure we got off at the right stop after I asked him a question about Boma... I had not done all my homework, not realizing there was more than one AKL stop!

    Once there, I realized the bad side of having a dinner ressie was we wouldn't be able to see what the resort looked like, just the inside...
    But already, the inside was awesome!

    Since we had a bit of time to spare, we waited for a Photopass photograph to finish setting up and we took this pic
    He asked us to look surprised...
    After that Mama practiced a "surprised" look for days!!!

    (don't tell her I put this pic here, she'll kill me! :scared1:)

    And finally we got into Boma.
    We were shown to our table... quite a bit far from the buffet... we almost got lost, haha!
    Mama had been worried she wouldn't like anything. Because she can be a tad difficult and she's not fond of new tastes... but she was willing to try, and was OK with eating just salad and bread for one meal if it came to that.

    Wow, was it NOT the case!
    This is the only time I thought of taking a food picture in the meal, and almost in the whole trip, too

    I ate about 3 plates like that, plus 2 bowls of curries cauliflower soup (the one without coconut!) AND a dessert plate! And Mama ate just as much!
    We didn't necessarily eat the same things, for example she didn't even got to taste the hummus, because she ate more salad and other things, but she was just as happy as I was!
    It was de-li-ci-ous!!!
    I ate more than I usually eat in one DAY, and I still was sorry I couldn't eat more!

    I have since found the recipe for that soup, and made some (check my next trip PTR for that recipe) and I've managed to make it almost as good... yum!

    I must say though, it's true that the Zebra domes are overrated. Not liking alcohol, I did not like them at all. Mama liked them, but didn't rave about them.
    I much prefered the bread pudding, dessert-wise!
    ....Getting hungryyy...

    So, Boma:
    Food 5/5 Some of the best food we ate on the trip. We should be going back!
    Service 4/5 It's a buffet, for starters... Our plates were not cleared each and every time we left the table, and as you can see in this picture, our drinks were not always full. But since it's a buffet, I never expect a lot... and it's not like we had to wait forever to get our drinks or the bill at the end, and the CM was very nice and friendly, talking to us about the weather in Canada and so on.
    Atmosphere 3/5 It's noisy, especially when you have that short african percussion performance, you have to navigate between tables to get to the buffet (unlike H&V or other places in Disney which I remember from 4 years ago, where it's clear wide paths), and it's not clear which food is where, even though the CM explained it to us when we got there. Some food are there twice (if I remember right?) but not all, so many people end up just going all along the line when it's not needed, feeling angry that you "cut them" when you are just wanting some couscous or soup... It could be better organized.
    But the look and feel are nice!
    1st time? Yes.
    Would recommend? Definitely! And would go back!

    At about 9:30pm we took the bus for MK... it was there when we got out of AKL, so we ran to it... well Mama walked as fast as she could and half-ran with her full belly from Boma and her tired legs... how could I run in my own situation, full as well, just as tired, with my bad heel and so on? I DID NOT WANT TO WAIT ANOTHER HOUR THERE!!! I think they call that despair energy. We do in french anyways.

    When I got there, the driver said "Are you trying to make your mom lose weight by having her run like that?" :eek:
    I could NOT believe he was saying something so disrespectful!!!
    I should've taken his name and report him... but I was so much in shock and so tired I didn't even think about it at the time.

    From MK we walked to the BLT while the magic was all around us: Wishes in MK, IllumiNations in Epcot and the Electric Water Pageant on the lake were all going on at once! :goodvibes

    Once we got "home" we ran some errands in the Contemporary: bought tomorrow's breakfast at the market and Contempo Café.
    That's when I took that pic of the gingerbread creation

    Doesn't it look nice?
    Sadly, it doesn't taste as nice.
    We bought a shingle, and first off, I was put off to notice there is CHOCOLATE under it. Chocolate and gingerbread don't mix, in my book.
    Plus, it was a bit dry. My own gingerbread is at least 3 times better!!!

    And on that note, we went to bed at around 11pm.

    High of the day: The character interaction in the parade... tied with booking for next fall!
    Low of the day: The long wait for the AK bus and then being so damn cold!
    Food of the day: Curried cauliflower soup at Boma!

    High of the day: Booking for next fall AT THE CONTEMPORARY
    Low of the day: Long wait for the bus
    Food of the day: Curried cauliflower soup (what can I say, it was good!)

    Plan for the day:
    AK from mid-morning to park closing at 7pm
    Expedition Everest
    Jammin' Jingle Jungle Parade
    Dinner at Boma at 7:40pm
    See Wishes from the Top of the World Lounge (at least try to see if we could get admitted as non-DVC guests renting points...) and/or EWP on the lake.

    What actually happened:
    Arrived at AK after noon
    Did all the attractions planned and the parade too
    Dinner at Boma, we were early, as usual: 7:20pm
    We were too late for either EWP or Wishes.
    Overall a great day!

    In the next chapter: Mama gets the TR bug!
  6. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    Wow, almost one month without writing... I've let you guys down... :guilty:
    I'm sorry and I'll try to make it up to you... and not do that again!


    We woke up around 8am, had breakfast in the room, as usual... and we took it at a slow pace. Taking the bus for HS a little past 10am.

    We arrived around 11am.
    We hadn't even walked in the park, just off the bus, and since my feet hurt a lot and my feet were swollen, Mama suggested I remove my socks, which we put in our bag.

    As usual, getting in the park we got a Photopass pic

    And thank god for the time post on that pic, because having almost taken no notes that day... without those and the receipts, that TR post would be bad! :lmao:

    We were already hungry and I of course had to take pain pills, so having heard of that almost hidden gem of the Writers Stop café, we went to find that... what a disappointment... because it was only sweets... and nowhere to sit, really!
    We were not in a mood to eat cookies or cupcakes... but we were there, hungry, and I couldn't walk anymore... so we settled for that.
    I must say, though... OMG! I took a peanut butter cookie (and WHAT a cookie! I think it was 6" in diameter!) with half a pint of milk... it was heavenly! Mama took a muffin (HUGE of course) with a diet coke (yuk... those DON'T go together! someone needs to tell her that :teacher:)... It was good and did the job.
    We ate sitting on a bench close by, with a mom breastfeeding on the bench beside us... it was peaceful :)

    After that we decided to do the Great Movie Ride, which turned out to be less than great. We remembered it to be "so-so"... but having now done all the parks, and 4 years later, not being "park naive", it just felt very outdated... and much in that ride lies on the shoulders of the CMs and their acting skills... and our "guide" was the worst EVER. You know the part where one uses a gun, in the ambush? That was simply pitiful. Like, high school amateur bad. No... high school BAD acting amateur bad. Because many high school who love theater would've been much better!
    The Wizard of Oz scene was beautiful as always, though.
    I kept thinking "people need to do very hard auditions to work in those types of jobs... how could that girl get the part???".

    We then went to Toy Story Midway Mania, to get fast passes. I was lucky, at 12:20pm we could grab our 2 FPs... for a return time of 6:30-7:30pm that evening! A little later and I wouldn't have gotten any!

    We checked the line for Woody and Buzz... and it still was way too long for us, especially with my feet.

    So we sat down for a bit... and it turns out we sat down in the line to see Minnie! She had either went for a short break or was scheduled to be there in a few minutes, and it was the spot to wait... and we ended up being 3rd in line totally by chance! We wouldn't have waited in line for Minnie, as I already had her autograph and pics with her in different costumes already... but hey, we could wait sitting and were already there! :thumbsup2
    Plus, when we saw her arrive and it was a new outfit... yay!


    Then, Mama hoping to help with my aching feet, thought that maybe if I could wear different shoes, I would feel better, we started looking for some, especially Crocs. We remembered buying some Disney Crocs in 2008, and they were everywhere then... But we checked a few stores and could not find a single pair, except very little, for kids.
    So we stopped for a breather, near Hollywood and Vine... and we stopped a cleaning CM to ask her if she had any idea where we could find adult Crocs shoes. That lady went above and beyond. She told us to wait there and left her job to go ask someone else and she came back to give us the info.
    I can't remember her name now, but rest assured we noted it and made sure to send an email to HR to say how great she had been. And we made sure she knew how much that extra service had meant to us!

    Sadly, the info she gave us was that only 2 shops in HS still carried Crocs shoes... and when we went there, it turned out even though they were the right brand, they were not the comfortable, ugly things, but flip-flop type sandals, which would've been no good for me. :guilty:

    It was then that I had to stop for a bit before I had a blood pressure drop because of the heat.
    I had NOT brought my little cooling scarf today, because we had checked with AccuWeather and they had said it would be pretty cool today! Well, turns out ACCUWeather is not ACCUrate at all. It was HOT. Too hot for me. I started feeling dizzy. So I sat down while Mama went to find me some Powerade, which I drank slowly... after which I felt better... and we filled our water bottle and poured the Gatorade powder we always carried with us in it, and I continued to drink that along with lots of water.

    When I felt better we walked to Rockn Roller Coaster and I rode it twice in 20 minutes using the single rider line, at 1:25 and 1:45.

    It's at that moment that Mama caught the TR bug! :cheer2:

    She asked me for my TR notebook and said she might as well take notes while I ride, instead of me rushing to write things in between things, or forgetting... or going to bed later, etc. She said she had plenty of time when I did attractions she couldn't do. As much as she likes to people watch, it gave her something to do.

    From that moment on, each time I went to do a ride she doesn't do... she would get the notebook out and write down all we did since the last entry! And in a much nicer way than I did, with more details, most of the time, too! :thumbsup2

    As became my routine, right after RnR we went to Tower of Terror, which we had taken FPs for just before RnR. I rode twice, at 2:10 and 2:20pm. Yup, it was THAT busy. :goodvibes

    After all that shaking around, at about 3pm, I was definitely hungry. Mama had been hungry for ages, she always is (her words!)... so we went to ABC Comissary, where we had noticed an interesting menu walking by a bit earlier... Mama ordered a cheese angus burger with fries while I ordered the quinoa chicken salad. It was delicious!!! And way too big. We could've easily shared either of our choices... but neither of us felt like eating the other's choice. :confused3
    ABC Comissary:
    Food: 4/5 Very, very good, especially for a fast food! But only 4 out of 5 because the choice is limited.
    Atmosphere: 4/5. Not that bad, really! TVs everywhere, but not too loud, lots of seating and very airy. Is that a word? Not cramped, lots of space. And cool.
    Service: 5/5 Fast as a fast food place should be. Nothing special to note.
    It was a nice place to relax and regroup. We didn't feel we had to rush out of there or didn't want to hurry to leave, on the contrary. We even saw someone sleeping in there! :p
    1st time? Yes
    Would I recommend? Yes. We'll go back.

    With full bellies, we went for the Backlot Tour. More to pass the time then because we really felt like it, honestly. But also because we knew Mike and Sully from Monsters inc. were taking pics at the exit. We could've just walked in the exit... but we had all the time in the world, so why not to the attraction?
    It was non-eventful... I seem to remember more action in the canyon at the end from our 2008 visit... did they change it?

    When the ride ended, I left Mama and made a dash for the characters, so I would be among the first in line. My reasoning was : there is a LOT of people in each ride vehicle, and so each time it unloads, when the bunch of riders exiting arrive at the character location, the line forms... if you take your time exiting and walking around the exhibit, when you get there you're at the end of said line, and wait the longest... if you know what you're doing and head straight there... you'll be first in line, behind those poor people last in line from the previous batch. :teacher:
    But Mama being unable to walk fast (more from an inability to rush than because of any health issue), and since she didn't care for those characters, I rushed alone... and indeed didn't have to wait long.
    Mama caught up with me quickly enough and waited close by while I took those:

    Don't you love how small and thin that big furry Sulley makes you look? I do! ::yes::


    Mike being a plastic ball makes things a bit awkward, I must say! I wasn't sure if he (erm... she, I'm sure) was trying to give me a high five or shake my hand (those arms are not articulated)... I didn't want to be mean and ignore "him"... but I only cared about Sulley... sorry! :rotfl:

    Walking out we took that Photopass pic

    In the next chapter: Is Le Cellier really overrated?
  7. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    Then it was time again, at 5:45pm, for pain meds... and time to lose time.
    So we decided for the nachos at the Stunt show cart close by... but we sat down in front of Studio Catering Co.
    Wow... those nachos were NASTY! I've never tasted fake orange cheese so salty... I ate a bit because I had to... but it wasn't easy! That was 4$ in the trash. But snack choices are limited. Either you eat a pretzel or chips or you go for sweets like cookies and muffins... or you go for meal items like hotdogs... It was a problem often, but HS was the worst park snack-wise.
    Many carts had only 1-2 items to offer, you often had to walk far to get to any food item, way too far to get something different... since it was off-season, lots were closed... and variety park-wide is limited.

    We just sat there for what seemed forever, waiting for my TSMM FP window... I got there a few minutes early nonetheless... asked if I could go in... they checked the time on my FP... and said I could go since it was a slow day and only like 3min early... but that technically... I shouldn't.

    While going through the queue and waiting a little bit, I took pics because I felt bad that Mama couldn't see it. One of the most beautiful queues I've seen! Real nice for kids too! Only problem is, many parents slow everything down wanting to take pictures all the time!!!
    My suggestion? Next time, make it more fun and games, and less picture ops!


    Then I rode... and got a ridiculously low score:

    But I was not surprised... I had a bit of trouble using my shooter... In fact, I kind of couldn't wait for the ride to be over... My arm was aching so much!
    For those who never did that attraction, it's a bit like Buzz Lightyear in MK. It's a shooting game. It's not called Midway Mania for nothing. The ride transports you from shooting arcade to shooting arcade. Arm pain aside, I wasn't that thrilled... I kinda like shooting games, still remember Duck Hunting in the first Nintendo!... But... well, I expected more than just a shooting game! More than just being moved from one more-or-less stationary game section to the next.
    It still was pretty fun.

    Except the shooting mechanism is a pulling string. So you aim while moving with one hand, and you pull on a string to shoot.
    With my torn ligaments in my wrist and shoulder, lets say that pulling on that string repetitively and fast as I could for a straight... mmm, 5min?
    Well I got out and my arm hurt. Not like "take a pain med" hurt. But enough that I really didn't feel like riding again.
    Of course single-riders are not common, especially for that kind of rides... so I was left with that second FP. I kept it as a souvenir...

    Then it was time to head to Epcot for our dinner at Le Cellier!
    We had decided to take the boat. We had toyed with the idea to walk over there... but with my feet, it was out of the question.

    We had given ourselves plenty of time in case we had to wait long for the boat, I knew it took a while for the boat to do the circuit between the parks, as it stopped at the Boardwalk resorts along the way... But we didn't have to wait long, and since there were not a lot of people, the whole thing took only about 30min, I'd say.

    We got into Epcot through the International Gateway, of course... so already in the World Showcase... and thus... arrived at Le Cellier too early, once again.
    We took a chance and went to ask if we could be seated already... but were told no, and to come back to check-in at our reservation time.

    So we took our the iPhone with the Hidden Mickeys apps we had bought the previous day, and went back in front of the Canada pavilion trying to find a few... and pass the time.
    Sadly, as pretty much everywhere in Disney at night, it was poorly lit and very dark... so we couldn't see anything.
    We went inside the shop... just in time to hear a few boisterous teens talk loudly about what they thought was Canada... so we went back out before I exploded and gave them a lesson about Québec.

    Finally 8:15pm came around and we went in Le Cellier!
    We were seated in the back, in a corner and we loved it! It felt very intimate.
    We had decided not to try to speak french to our CM, honestly, a bit afraid to get bad service if they found out we were french or if they felt we were trying to make a point about it (yup, it's sometimes... often... that bad).
    We got a nice girl from Ontario, I think... and altough we didn't speak french... when I ordered the filet mignon I said it properly... in french... and she just gushed about how nice it was to FINALLY have someone say it right and how she longed for people being able to speak like back home. I guess even in Ontario they can say it like us.

    We both knew what we would order from before we left home... and had been salivating since then... and been worried it wouldn't be as good... I read so many reviews, and heard the DIS podcast crew... saying how Le Cellier is overrated!
    We both got the filet mignon, Mama with the potato pavé and myself with the mushroom risotto... And of course a cheddar-cheese soup to start!
    The cheddar-cheese soup was heavenly, altough quite salty... and the pretzel bread was just as good! I wished I had a bigger appetite to eat more!
    And then the filets mignons came, I took my first bite... and I hit my fist on the table saying "omg omg omg" and wanted to scream it was so good! Mama let me taste a bite (just one!) of her potato pavé, and I was almost sorry I had not chose that as my side... it was delicious! I asked for the recipe... never got it, by the way... sadly.
    But my mushroom risotto was to die for!
    Le Cellier:
    Food: 6/5 Nope, that's not a mistake. Our most expensive meal of the whole trip at 110$ for 2, even with TiW 20$ off and no alcohol drinks... but no regrets, the best meal I ever had, or very close to it!!! We didn't want our food to end!
    Atmosphere: 4/5 Nothing that special, but pretty quiet and our little nook was perfect.
    Service: 4/5 Lost a star because I never got the recipe I asked for... but the CM was very nice, we had all we asked for, she did go look for the recipe (it seems they have some "on hand", ready to give out... the most popular I'd guess... but for the others you have to ask, give your email and they ask the chef and then send them out... or not...).
    1st time? Yes!
    Would we recommend? Totally... if you have the money or are on the DDP! If we weren't going back during F&W we would go back.

    Bellies VERY full, we took the express monorail back to MK (first time we tried that option) and walked back to our resort. Turns out THAT is the way to go! Much faster and relaxing!
    Of course you have to walk that 10min... which, with my aching feet, wasn't easy. Those last steps, with the resort in view, were HARD. I wanted to scream with each step, and had to coax my body to go on... literally push myself on... but had we took the longer route, we would've had to wait so much longer...

    Once we got to the studio and I removed the shoes... I could see one more reason to hurt... I had a total of FOUR new blisters!!! The side of both big toes and the underside of the ball of the foot... I had 2 huge blisters on that left one.
    I should've known... that's why I NEVER wear shoes barefoot. With my EDS, my skin is very soft and fragile, and gets irritated very, VERY easily... Just the seam of a sock rubbing on my small toe for an hour can cause a blister... now walking in shoes in the heat all day without anything to cushion the rubbing of the shoe against the skin... that's the result.

    I soaked my feet again, iced them again... and screamed in pain again (not because of the soaking or the ice...). Just removing the weight of the feet and finally stopping kinda made it worst for a while... and after cleaning the blisters nicely (they had not popped though), I put special Dr. Scholl blister bandages on each of them. Boy was I glad to have packed those!!!

    We went to bed at about 11:30pm.

    High of the day: Sitting for a short break and finding ourselves 3rd in line for Minnie! Talk about pixie dust!
    Low of the day: The feet... again. And getting dizzy from the heat.
    Food of the day: Filet mignon with mushroom risotto at Le Cellier. Could you bring a mop to wipe my drool off the floor please?

    High of the day: Boat ride betwen HS and Epcot
    Low of the day: Not-so-Great movie ride, especially that awful gangster-CM
    Food of the day: Potato pavé

    Plan for the day:
    Hollywood Studios all day
    Ride Toy Story Midway Mania
    Dinner at Le Cellier at 8:15pm
    A very small plan! :)

    What actually happened:
    All of the above, and a bit more! That's the kind of days I like!

    In the next chapter: Stranded with the pirates!
  8. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    My plan said "Morning extra-magic hours". I had double-checked it at the beginning of November, when they released the updated December park hours. It was gonna be our first morning EMH!
    To be sure, I double-checked before going to bed... Using the 2 different Disney iPhone apps I had. Both now said there wasn't going to be any EMH.

    We were disappointed... altough not sad about sleeping a bit later!

    We still woke up early, at about 6:45am.

    We ate yet another in-room breakfast, uncrustables for me, toasts for Mama.
    I decided to try wearing Mama's Crocs shoes this morning, hoping it would help the pain... not having the feet closed-in tight and all...

    We figured we'd be there at rope-drop, just not an EMH one!

    So we left to walk to MK at 8:40.
    And when I got there, I realized I didn't quite know where to stand, where to wait... I was surprised that it wasn't more obvious... were we supposed to go through the turnstiles? Where was the little show going to be? I thought it would be outside the gates, but people were going in, and I couldn't see a crowd anywhere...

    So we asked a CM... who told us the park had been open since 8am!!!
    I told the CM I had checked and it said both apps said there weren't going to be any EMH! The CM said indeed there were not supposed to be any... but there had been enough people at the gates at 8am that they decided to open early.

    Between me and you, I think that was BS. I think there wouldn't be enough CMs arrived at their posts at 8am if the park had really been scheduled to open at 9am! I think there were people there at 8am because that had been the plan (EMH) and the apps had messed up.
    I was MAD.
    Ok, not super extra mad. I was there for long enough, that didn't make me miss a ton of attractions, it wasn't my only chance to see stuff, etc. But I did miss the rope-drop. And I was mad because I did my homework and double-checked... and that's what made me miss it! Had I not done that, we would've been there in time!

    So... we walked in.

    Got that pic on the way
    I like this one. It was the first time a photopass photograph suggested this, and I liked that it was different. :goodvibes

    Mama decided the first thing she wanted to do (as it really was our first time riding anything in MK, incredible as it seems!) was Pirates of the Caribbean.
    We headed there... and realized we were lucky after all, as Adventureland wasn't open yet! We had our small rope-drop!

    And headed straight for PoC.

    On the way, we passed the Aladdin's carpet camels... who spit on us... but from a weird angle, so we didn't think about it at all, flipped around and saw a CM washing the ground with a bucket of water or something... so we looked at him with accusing eyes and were like "hey! Why are you splashing us in the back?!"... without a word he pointed to the camels... We almost fell down laughing!!! :rotfl2:

    We got to PoC, for which we were maybe 5th party in line...
    Except when we arrived the CM told us we couldn't board! There was a "technical difficulty" and the attraction should be back "incessantly"... it wasn't the last time we would hear that!!! But we didn't know that yet...

    We were very close to the front of the line... so it wasn't an easy thing to turn around and exit... plus, we weren't in any hurry... and Mama REALLY wanted to ride this one... so we waited. For a while, nothing happened... then finally a first boat went through, empty... then it stopped again... then another boat... each time people were hopeful... eventually the CM said if the next boat went through without any problem we could board... we all clapped (the people behind us who couldn't hear him or see anything must've wondered what was happening!). And finally, we could get on! It was 9:20! We had waited 20 minutes for that technical difficulty to be resoved!

    An unforeseen consequence to that was that all the seats were soaked from going around the circuit empty without any human bodies to absorb the numerous squirts... We were all wet!
    We had fun, but Mama said it wasn't as fun as in her memory... even though we did ride it in 2008.

    I then, at 9:45, went to ride Splash Mountain... Did I say I was wet before?
    See, I was a single rider, so they put me where there was space... I was waiting in line, and the CM tells me where to go... and I realize I'm going to be FIRST. I tell her I'd rather not be first and get all wet. People around me laughed and she said "nah, you don't get that wet... everyone gets a little wet pretty much equally the same in every seat" and she almost pushed me. She did NOT want me to slow things down.
    I did NOT like the laughing and it all reminded me a bit too much of the bullying I suffered from when I was a kid and teenager... of course it wasn't that... but it reminded me of the feeling. So I didn't argue and got in.
    And I KNEW she had lied and that I would get very wet.
    See, I was not scared of that ride. You've been reading me. You know I like thrills.
    But I HATE being wet. The whole ride, I was just waiting anxiously for the next splash. COLD splash.
    It wasn't a super hot day. And it was still pretty early. Had it been 100°F outside I probably would've gladly hopped on and hope to get as wet as possible! But I think it was about 85°F.
    Anyways... I wish I had thought I would do that ride and get this soaked, because I might have brought, and worn, a poncho... then again maybe not. For fear of looking the wuss. ;)
    I got splashed a lot along the ride... but of course the final drop was the worst, as expected.

    Aside from waiting for the next splash (and not with excitement) all along the ride, I liked the theming and the music. Never watched the movie, but I love the characters and most of all the songs, which I've known for years, having "best of Disney" CDs.

    But I did not feel like riding this again, and don't think I will unless it's REALLY hot outside, just because of all that splashing. Did I say I hate it? :rotfl:

    I got out of there and we walked to where Woody was giving autographs. The wait was maybe 15 minutes, not too bad for such a popular character!
    We took out our Autograph book for our friend's kid and once again asked for a pic of him signing... The Photopass CM didn't quite understand the "without me in the picture", as you can see

    But no matter. Once I got home I cropped myself out of there and sent the pic, along with the others, to our friend. :thumbsup2

    This was one Mama agreed to take with me. I tried to make it different by having both of us imitate Woody's pose... but as you can see we failed miserably.
    When Mama saw the pic she said "I was SURE my feet was so much higher!" :rotfl2:

    As for me, I hated how WET I look. :crazy2:

    Right after that, at 10:20am, I finally got to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! It was the day of unfinished business, because in 2008, that and Splash Mountain had been the 2 attractions I was going to do when I almost fainted and had to be taken to the first aid center... and then leave, the only ones in MK I wanted to do and didn't.

    Well... I was disappointed.
    It's almost a kiddie coaster!!! I thought it was more thrill-oriented than that... No thrills there. Not for me anyways. It's... nice enough, I guess. Fun if you're going as a family, with your kids, I can see that.
    But I really didn't see the point of riding it a second time, not right away, not another day that trip. I will ride it again, once, next trip. That's it.

    During the ride I did notice there was something in the pouch of my seat (where you can put your loose items)... so when the ride ended I quickly grabbed what was in it... wow it was a lot! A few sunglasses, a few tech things (a cell and/or iPod Touch I think)... and a plush toy. Poor kid who'll be crying for that!
    I stepped of the cart and gave that to the CM standing there. I hope the family who forgot that stash was able to find it all back.

    Then we were hungry! Once more, before restaurants opened to serve lunch food. I mean... are we so different than anyone else? How come it always opens at 11am? Kids wake up super early, the park opens at 8am or 9am at the latest, so people have been up and had breakfast often before that... they'll be hungry before 11am!

    We figured we would eat at Casey's. Mama still remembered the corndog nuggets fondly, and so did I... and we were aiming for that!
    The upside to not being opened yet was there were still tables left. So we sat at one and kept it!
    Since I'm better at figuring out where things are, what I want and that stuff, and since I felt good enough, Mama stayed at the table while I went inside to order.
    I arrived just as the CMs were doing they're opening routine... which I had not known about.
    If you're there at opening time, send someone, a child if possible, at around 10:55 and they'll be in for a cute rendition of "Take me out to the ball game" and get a free pack of Cracker Jacks!
    I was just too late, I saw the end of the song, and was just a row too far to get a free pack (they don't give them just to kids. To everyone in the front row)

    I still was happy to catch that bit of magic :) It felt more important than getting a free pack of candy. :goodvibes

    Since I was one of the first to enter the restaurant, and went to one of the furthest cashiers on the right, I was first in line. But if you go there remember cashiers usually serve 2 lines each! Still, this helped getting our food pretty fast. When I got out the tables were all full, and the restaurant was getting swarmed!

    I decided to order myself a chili hot dog with fries and order us both a bucket of corndog nuggets. Of course, that was too much! But not by much...
    I didn't remember those corndog nuggets to taste so sweet... And it was my first chili dog, which is why I ordered one... and something else (the corndog nuggets) in case I didn't like it. But I DID like it! Except it really is a mess to eat! Phew! And it was huge!

    After lunch we decided to head out and go back to the resort. This pretty much had been the plan anyways... but my feet were killing me even worse in the Crocs. At first it had been better, as we thought... but I soon realized that without proper support, I was walking all funny. The torn ligament in my right foot made me walk on the heel and the outside of my right foot, and it was made worst in those shoes... And I was starting to hurt a lot in my knee and back... and the feet pain was coming back anyways!

    To show you the crowd levels, at about noon I turned back and took that pic of the people coming in Main Street
    It's not empty... but it's a peak hour... and you can see it's far from being packed! Look at the empty sidewalk!

    On our way out we stopped at the character greets FP machines beside the Chapeau shop, and we saw the FP return time was pretty close for Mickey, so we took one each. And we got bonus Dumbo FPs! But since Dumbo was at the other end of the park and for a bit later, and since we didn't want to go back there or wait, we gave them to what looked like a mother-daughter entering the park... they didn't seem that thrilled, maybe they didn't understand what it was. A couple before them had refused the FPs, even making us feel like we were trying to sell them something! :confused3

    We got in the Chapeau and I bought a Minnie fur hat which came with a scarf with the Minnie white gloves attached... you'll see a pic later. :)
    I had seen one or two people with that in the parks, and felt it would be awesome for me at home, since I'm always freezing!

    We browsed through the Emporium, but bought nothing...
    Same thing at the Confectionnary, where I only snapped that yummy pic

    At 12:15pm we went to see the Mouse himself and snapped that one
    I find it funny that the decoration on the curtain behind him makes it look like antlers! :rotfl:

    We left at 12:30.

    In the next chapter: How will we like moroccan food?
  9. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    We got to the room 10 minutes later (ah, the joys of staying at BLT!).
    My feet, knees and back were hurting a lot, so I wanted to float... but with the blister the spa wasn't a good option, so we opted for the pool. It wasn't SUPER hot outside, but plenty enough... especially with the water being heated.

    It wasn't crowded at all, and we both loved the zero-entry! Only small complaint would be that it's where all the kids were having activities... but since there weren't that many, it wasn't a problem... we just noticed it might be less attractive with more kids around... and we definitely didn't feel like staying in that side of the pool.
    I did like having good music there! But with the activities the music was often stopped for announcements... still, made it more fun than just silence (I'm one of those! :banana:)... and floating in water was heavenly. I just spent the whole time (maybe 30 minutes) my head resting on the cement border and floating... (I didn't want to float entirely and end up bumping in strangers :laughing:)

    After the floating, we showered and then tried to sleep... and we were tired enough that we did manage to sleep a bit! Just enough to feel totally screwed up afterward, which is why we hate to nap... we just felt like cancelling our ADRs and going back to bed, nauseous and all... But we knew if we did that we would be messed up even more, waking up late at night and hungry, and our whole sleep cycle wrecked for the next day. So we pushed through it and got ready, and out the door to the monorail.

    We started to feel better when we got to Epcot.
    We stopped at a photopass opportunity, as we had promised ourselves to maximize the expense... but already we were tired of taking the same pic over and over... with just the 2 of us and photopass photographers not helping us much, rarely directing us to do anything different... there was only so much different poses... it was either Mama on my right or on my left, sunglasses on or off, arms here or there, and a change of background!
    So we decided to try this
    The photographer was NOT impressed. I would've thought she'd find it funny... but even when we explained the why... we barely got a smile. :confused3
    Us, on the other hand, found it hilarious
    And that's one of my favorite picture of the trip! :goodvibes
    Those are what Photopass pics should look like!

    On the way to our ADR at Marrakesh, we spotted DUFFY! Our favorite type of character : fluffy and cuddly and cute :)

    We had plenty of time before dinner, so we went and did Maelstrom, which mama remembered as being fun. And it was!
    We sat through the movie... Mama kinda likes those, as long as we're sitting... but we wish they were updated though. It's so obvious it's dating back to the 80s or early 90s at best!
    We looked at the shop, not really looking to buy anything, just to pass the time... and they were having people try a norwegian perfume... turns out it smells just like mine! I wish I had it with me to compare! (I rarely travel with my perfume... I don't need it and it's just a disaster waiting to happen!)... anyone in the area should go to a store, grab a sample or test paper of Calvin Klein's Truth, and then go to Epcot's Norway pavillion and check their perfume. ;)

    We then went in the China pavillion, and I absolutely wanted to check out the Reflection of China movie... in 2008 when we saw it, there was no way I would've even dreamed I would actually be in that country 2 years later... Now that I've been there, I wanted to see the movie again and compare with my memories! ...and of course, show Mama and point to each and every thing I saw and excitedly say "I was there!" "I saw that!" ::yes::

    Mama did NOT like Reflections of China. She had forgotten how it's a 360° theater with NO SEAT. She leaned back against a railing and waited for it to end... often watching the floor or closing her eyes... I must say I wish there were seats too. And having to turn around is just cumbersome, not fun. We were almost alone in there, but I'm guessing if it's pretty full you just miss a lot and feel cramped instead of feeling immersed...

    I could NOT believe they didn't have one image of pandas in that whole movie!! That was a big disappointment... But seeing again the image of the Great Wall and other monuments I visited, like being there again... I wished those moments lasted longer...

    After the movie we went to the store... and I felt right back to Chengdu, even more than watching the movie
    Pandas! Pandas everywhere! In Chengdu, China, which is dubbed "home of the panda", panda items are sold everywhere, and everything is panda! So it was a blast from the past :goodvibes

    Sadly, what I was looking for wasn't there. I was hoping to find some Coca-Cola beverage only sold in China, that you can sometimes find in chinese stores... aloe juice. I would've also liked some special chinese candies I liked back then... But there were just the classic stuff.
    I did decide to buy a lucky cat. ...but I couldn't find the right one!
    I wanted a real lucky cat, which hopefully would be lucky for my health... maybe more, but at least that! I sorely need that! ...I don't believe in this much... but hey, it couldn't hurt, right?
    Well, I asked the CM, and she pointed me one... it was ugly as hell! And the box did not say what the CM said... so I decided to go with the cute lucky cat that the CM said wasn't really a lucky cat.
    So far, I had no luck in my health at all, so I'm guessing she was right :rotfl2:
    I should ask one of my chinese friends about it... :idea:

    After that we checked out the stores in Germany and Italy... nothing exciting (not to us anyways).

    Then we made our way around the Morocco shops, in which I bought a little pack of sandalwood incense cones, my favorite and not always easy to find! It was very reasonably priced... I should've bought more! :teacher:

    It was only 7:35, almost half an hour early for our 8pm ADR at Marrakesh, but we were hungry and tired and aching, so we asked if they could accomodate us, and they could! Well, in truth, they told us they could give us a buzzer and we could wait... and we might have to wait until our scheduled ADR time... but we barely waited 5 minutes. :)

    I know I like morrocan food, at least some of it, but Mama was slightly worried, especially since it wasn't a buffet... but she was willing to try. Saying at worst she'd eat a snack somewhere else afterwards!
    She ordered a cold mint tea, and we chose an appetizer combo for two, so we could try a few different foods. It included beef brewat rolls, chicken bastilla and jasmina salad. We ended up liking most of it, especially the beef brewat rolls!
    But Mama did not like the cold mint tea... I did though! I couldn't stop taking sips of it! It tasted just like Spearmint gum! ::yes::

    We both ordered chicken kebabs as our entrees, and we really liked it as well!

    While we ate the belly dancer and one musician got ready and gave us a short show... Mama was happy it was short, as she doesn't like those things. I don't mean "belly dancing", I mean entertaining while she's eating. Altough she's not a fan of middle-eastern music. I like it though. The entertainment while I eat (as long as it's not too loud, or I get sensory overload) AND the middle-eastern music.
    I snapped this bad pic of it

    As we were finishing our kebabs, our server came with a hot mint tea for Mama, saying she noticed how she did not like her cold mint tea, and that this was on the house, and she was hoping she liked the hot one better!
    pixiedust: Talk about a great CM!
    That one definitely deserved her thank-you card!
    Sadly, Mama didn't like the hot one any better... but I liked it just as much! I finished it... And asked the CM if they were selling it in the pavillion store, and if it would taste the same or if I would have to add fresh mint leaves like they had, or put twice the tea bags or whatever... she said it should taste the same with just one tea bag as suggested...

    Guess where we went next? Straight to the Moroccan store where I bought one pack of oh-so-not Moroccan Twinnings Green Mint Tea... I waited to be back home to try it... but I can vouch for it : it tastes almost exactly the same, just as great! It was perfect with bronchitis, and I can't wait to drink it cold next summer!
    ...I might even go make myself a pitcher now, even if it's not even warm out!

    To finish the evening on a high note, we stopped at Karamell kuche in Germany... There was a marvelous CM who was cutting the caramel apples in the number of portions we wanted with a special slicer... oh the joy! So often we had not taken those things because they were too big, too impractical... It was what we needed to be convinced! Bravo Disney for that sparkle of genius! So we got one caramel apple, a pecan caramel cluster and a small dark chocolate with salt and (of course) caramel. It was heavenly... but so expensive!!!

    As we left I took this (very bad) pic of the lit tree and Spaceship Earth "together"

    We brought all that with us to the resort, where we ate our snacks before going to bed at about 11pm.

    High of the day: Discovering the mint ice tea!
    Low of the day: Getting the first row in Splash Mountain and getting soaking wet
    Food of the day: Is mint tea a food?

    High of the day: Finally riding PotC in MK!
    Low of the day: 20min wait for PotC
    Food of the day: Pecan caramel cluster

    Plan for the day:
    MK rope drop
    Pirates of the Caribbean
    It's a Small World
    Haunted Mansion
    Splash Mountain
    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
    Casey's Corner corndog nuggets
    Marrakesh dinner
    Epcot World Showcase exploration

    What actually happened:
    Adventureland "rope-drop"
    Pirates of the Caribbean... with "technical difficulties" delay
    Splash Mountain... with soakage...
    Casey's corndogs
    Epcot World Showcase exploration
    Marrakesh dinner

    I wanted to add this... in the morning before we got to Adventureland we passed this funny scene...
    That handler was TRYING to bring Peter Pan to his break after an autograph and pics session... and that guy was fully in character, totally oblivious, stopping every 2 steps along the way, chatting with the kids, talking one by the hand to skip and hop... you can very plainly see how the CM is discouraged! I thought it must be a nightmare for her... but just the same, it must mean so many magic moments for all those kids along "Peter"'s way! :love:

    In the next chapter: What's wrong NOW?
  10. gwynne

    gwynne Be always blooming

    Jan 1, 2012
    I am enjoying reading about your Disney adventures. You two look so sweet in your photo with Duffy. Looking forward to the next chapter. :)
  11. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    Today is the half-trip mark! Of the whole thing, and pretty much of Disney too!

    We woke up at 6:30 am and got ready FAST. For once!
    We left for the Magic Kingdom at 7:15, because we had a very early ADR at Crystal Palace, the whole point being having the park to ourselves!

    We had never done this before and wanted to experience it at least once!

    As we left the Contemporary grounds I took this pic

    We got in the park at 7:30, and went straight to take pics of the almost empty park.
    We took this pic of me under the huge tree in the Main Street hub
    A pic of the whole tree, without me under it (or anyone else!)

    And this is how "busy" the Main Street hub was:

    Walking down Main Street

    Then turning back and looking towards the entrance...

    The usually so busy Casey's Corner

    ...Turning back looking towards the entrance, only 5 minutes later...[​IMG]
    Already much more people! The importance of getting there as early as they'll let you in!

    Now, the CM at the turnstiles will ask if you have a breakfast reservation, and they won't let you go further than where you have to go... but even just that walk down Main Street is plenty worth it! ::yes::

    We had that pic taken on Main Street

    And then we would've had that amazing, alone-on-front-of-the-castle-once-in-a-lifetime-amazing-pic... if it hadn't been that they were shooting something in front of it that morning... so our pic was not so perfect because of those booms in it...
    Still nice, we're still alone... but, well... there is this huge metal thing in the way. :rotfl2:

    Then I took that great pic of our breakfast destination, Crystal Palace:

    ...where we headed, for our ADR at 8:20... for which we were pretty early. After all, we got to the park very early to get the empty feeling... but there wasn't anything we could do and everywhere the CMs were directing us to the restaurant, not wanting any lingering... and I think they were even more strict because of the video shoot in front of the castle!

    No matter, we got to Crystal Palace, took a seat, ready to wait a bit. We still checked-in, got our buzzers...
    And then we noticed people accumulating... and soon enough, a CM informed everybody that there was a technical difficulty and the restaurant would be opening late, and they were apologizing for the inconvenience.

    Mama and I looked at each other and we just couldn't believe it... Seriously? Our second early morning at MK in a row, our second technical difficulty and delay? What were the odds?! :confused3
    We didn't mind and were not stressed about it.

    And turns out Disney handled things beautifully. Not 5 minutes later, CMs were making rounds with platters of danish and chocolate croissants, and soon a big coffee machine and cups were out on a table! But we didn't want to eat too much! ;)
    Not long after the manager went to see everyone to apologize personally too.

    Finally, about 30 minutes late, the restaurant opened, and families started getting in... We were seated at 8:45, so 25 minutes late... of course we had waited almost 45 minutes total, but that's because we were early! We had worried the wait would be much worse! It probably was, as the day went by...

    One sad side-effect of the technical difficulty was there was no puffed french toast! I had been waiting to eat there to try them!
    When the manager made her rounds to apologize AGAIN and I told her I was disappointed about that (not to complain, just as something to chat about), she noted that some were coming out to the buffet then... but we were finishing our meal and I was totally PUFFED myself! :lmao: I had eaten so much I was just about to explode... so sadly it will have to wait.

    I was impressed at how they handled everything.
    But I must say... I was kind of hoping to get a bonus fastpass or some kind of perk to compensate, as they sometimes give... Still, I can't say I was frustrated or anything. Very happy about how it happened.

    We didn't take pics or autographs with any of the characters. I already had all their autographs, our friend's kid doesn't know these characters... and we didn't feel like fussing for the pics. We really would've wanted a photopass photograph in there!

    As soon as we finished our meal and had paid... we had to go back to the resort.
    I had tried the Croc shoes again, and I really couldn't handle them. I was starting to get tendinitis on my shins from walking so weird.

    I decided to try my walking shoes once more, as I the blisters I got from wearing my Converse shoes without socks were so fresh... I was quite mad at myself from not bringing my other pair of Converse shoes...

    I had brought my hiking boots... but they're real heavy, not made for walking on streets... and each time I tried to wear them my swollen feet would be too tight in them. And it looked awful with shorts! I think I worn them twice in the whole trip... They're usually super comfy, but the damage was done.

    So... bad walking shoes it was, and back to MK.

    The whole thing took us almost one hour, and we were back in the park at about 10:40am.

    We stopped at the Chapeau, Mama wanting to find something for herself... but she doesn't have a nice hat head (so she says... but I have to agree), plus, she's quite difficult. She looked at a few, tried on some... and didn't find anything she liked.

    Then I looked at the Disney App and saw that Buzz was out! So that's where we headed! He was the most important one on the autograph list for our friend's kid!
    Plus, we never had a pic with him!

    On the way, we tried to stop to watch the 11am Move it, Shake it, Celebrate it! parade... but it was way too hot outside... I almost fainted and we had to leave and find a bench in the shade in a hurry. :sick:
    It made me sad and a tad frustrated, as usual when my health messes with my plans...

    We found Buzz and added the pic missing to our collection

    Then, to help me recover from waiting in line for Buzz in the heat... and because we like it... we did the People Mover!
    But Mama did NOT like the part in the dark (in Space Mountain) where we go backwards... well SHE was going backwards!... with her motion sickness, it made her queasy.

    After that we went to something Mama had been waiting for : The New Fantasyland!!!
    And she was disappointed. She had expected more, bigger, etc. As usual, I had tried to explain to her, but it didn't really made it's way into her... fantasy, hehe.

    I snapped those, but of course it has changed since then I'm sure!
    Construction on the future dwarves mining train...
    Under the sea's entrance with the new castle in the distance.

    We quickly checked out the new Storybook Circus area, without going too close to the water play area... not wanting to get squirted!

    And we did Under the Sea, Journey of the Little Mermaid!
    Even though it was brand new, there was only a 5 minutes wait. Almost not long enough, because the queue is nicely themed, with interactive games, and we didn't have time to check them out!

    Guess what? There was a technical difficulty!!! We got stopped for maybe 30 seconds in the middle of the ride... which was great, because we got to hear the whole song! :goodvibes

    But by that time I was wondering if that should instead be my TR title... "sorry for the technical difficulty" :confused:

    OK, but I'm almost forgetting the most important part: I. LOVED. IT.!!!!!
    I couldn't stop smiling. The biggest smile, from ear to ear. I couldn't stop SINGING. It's so beautiful, and all the best songs of one of the best scored animated Disney movies... and everyone all around you just as happy and sing-y. :cloud9:

    My new favorite MK ride!

    Then it was off to It's a Small World, which might be corny, but I'M corny... and I love that song! There was absolutely no wait for that one.
    I didn't remember how we didn't love the boats though. Wow, how can there be so little space for your legs?! As much as I love everything in that ride, we both couldn't wait for it to end just so we could get off and stretch! One of the most uncomfortable rides... Mama declared if I wanted to ride it again in the trip, I would have to ride it alone.

    We wanted to eat at the new Be Our Guest restaurant for lunch. We knew it was a counter service for lunch, so no ADR needed... The restaurant opened and started accepting ADRs after our 180-days window, so it had been too late for us... I had checked, thinking we could switch something... but there was nothing open of course. I had learned that even if you went for lunch you could get to see all the decorations and the menu was still nice, so it was fine by us!
    Sadly, being "New Fantasyland" official opening week, the restaurant was closed until Dec. 7th! Damn.

    We checked Gaston's tavern, but the very limited menu didn't inspire Mama. Using the iPhone app we went through the limited choices of MK, and settled on Peco's Bill even though it was on the opposite side of the park... After all, we had planned to leave afterwards, and Adventureland isn't too far from the exit...

    We got there shortly before 1:30pm, and the place was full. Still, it's a great place to eat, because it's HUGE! As full as it looked, I still managed to find us a table, and I could see more open tables around.
    Since I wasn't feeling top-shape, Mama went to order for both of us. Turns out it wasn't the best idea, since she had trouble finding her way back, and then I had to go to the counter to choose my taco salad dressing from the self-serve bar (you can add sour cream, tomatoes, cheese, etc)... Mama had chosen a cheeseburger with fries for herself.
    And then she had forgotten the napkins and I had to go back once more! :rolleyes1

    We took our time to eat and then left MK and walked back to the resort.

    Once again we went to the pool and took a shower before taking a short nap.
    And when I woke up I felt even worse than the day before!

    In the next chapter : A girls' night out!
  12. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    I got ready for my girls night out with my Orlando friend whom I hadn't seen for about a year!
    And Mama got ready for a relaxing night, doing laundry and watching TV.
    I think she was even happier than I was!

    I took the bus going to Downtown Disney. See, my friend is from Orlando but I didn't want to ask her to come pick me up, and I had driven enough already and didn't feel at ease driving around Disney... so I felt like relaxing and letting the bus do the job! So we had picked DTD as our meeting place.

    The bus took maybe 20 minutes to arrive... and a long time to get Downtown! All in all, it took me one hour to get there!

    But I had plenty of time and was in no hurry.
    It didn't help my post-nap drowsiness though...

    I got there at 7pm, with an hour to spare... but didn't want to do much shopping, because I knew I would be back with Mama just for that later in the week... still, I did a little shopping for myself... I stopped at Little MissMatched, where I bought socks and THOSE
    (they're AMAZING! I still love them and wore them every day all winter).

    Then I went in search of the Rapunzel braid... see, my goddaughter is very much into princesses, and Rapunzel is her favorite. And for the past 2 days, in MK, we had been seeing little girls with a great looking Rapunzel braid! It was like a braided crown, which continued in a long braid to the floor... or almost. It really looked nice, and it was something easy to play with for kids... so I thought it would be a great gift for her... but we couldn't find it anywhere in MK! We looked around, we asked... no one had it. I was told to look in DTD, at the World of Disney, the biggest Disney store...

    So I went there. ...and they didn't have it. They had A Rapunzel braid... but not the same type at all. It was a wig. Not half as nice looking or as easy to put on. They sent me to Once Upon a Toy Store... which didn't have it either, of course. (I found out since that it's on the Disney online store... which I had checked back then, but hadn't seen the item, go figure?!)

    While I was in World of Disney I decided to get her a coloring book in which I will put the princesses autographs later in the trip...
    And I bought myself a replacement for my glowing Tinkerbell, which wasn't glowing anymore... The battery price was the same as the new Tink, so...

    A bit before 8pm I got to the Rainforst Café and sat on the sidewalk in front of it to wait for my friend Ashley. I had made ADRs for us the night before.
    But she wasn't showing up... so I walked up to the podium and asked what their policy was for being late with an ADR... the answer was to check me in and telling me my friend would probably arrive before they called my name anyways, as they were running a bit late.

    Going back outside after that didn't seem the right thing to do (they had showed me to the bar as the place to wait), and I was super hungry... so I went to the bar and ordered a frozen raspberry lemonade... and soon realized I wouldn't hear at all if they called my name! All I could hear was the ambient noise, the chatter of the people around me, and some buzzing when they would call someone's name.
    This made me anxious. I found it frustrating and stupid. I was there to have fun, not to get worried!
    I also was getting worried about not knowing how things were supposed to work... no one explained a single thing, like if visitors were there all the time... isn't this a tourists place?
    I had to ask where to wait, you have to guess that if you order something at the bar you'll have to pay for it there (which takes FOREVER)
    I felt stressed out, didn't know if I could bring my drink with me if I got up, wanted to go check my text messages outside, as they didn't seem to work inside... stupid little things, but I really didn't feel comfortable, didn't feel I belonged. Was not made to feel welcome.
    Sometimes, telling you too much how things work can make you feel patronized, like you're being treated as a kid... but the opposite isn't much better... leaving guests without a clue isn't much better.

    I eventually got up and left my drink there, hoping for the best, to go see the guy at the podium to ask if he had called me and say we couldn't hear a thing back at the bar... he brought up the volume... or so he said... but I didn't hear much better. So after long minutes of efforts, I finally caught the barmaid's attention and after more long minutes of her taking her sweet time, I was able to pay my half-consumed drink and went back near the podium to stop worrying about not hearing my name being called... and hopefully catch Ash when she arrived!

    She texted me about that time that she had lost herself, was sorry, and was now, she hoped, on the right way and should be there shortly.

    About that time, my name was called and I was seated. My server was very nice about the fact I was seated even though my party wasn't full, which seems isn't the norm... but they accomodated me since they weren't too busy (many empty tables)... The manager even came to chat with me, asking if I knew when my friend would arrive, sympahtizing with me... I was wondering what all the fuss was about. What if I had just wanted to eat alone? It's not like I had asked for 2 tables, to seat 12 people, and only 4 showed up and I was asking to hold the second table, while people were stuck waiting at the door... I was at a table for 4 (could've been a table to 2), and was alone. If they had asked me to, I would've ordered immediately... but would they really have refused someone to join me? Sure, it would've meant the table would be taken longer... but I could've been a slow eater just by myself... and they would just make more money... So I really didn't get it.

    Anyways, they made a fuss, but not in a bad way. It felt more like they didn't want me to get bored! When Ash texted me she was still a while away and was stuck between Disney buses and not 100% sure where she was, I decided to order an appetizer, thinking if she showed up we could share it... and if not I would've been sorry to wait!

    She eventually arrived at 9pm, an hour late. I was almost finished with my appetizer (spinach and artichoke dip... just ok).
    She apologized profusely, angry at Google Maps which had sent her the wrong way, more than once... angry that she was THAT late, even if she had given herself plenty of time and left early!

    I wasn't angry at all, I felt sorry for her, stressing out in her car and struggling to find the way, driving all that time!
    The important part was we were finally seeing each other again and we would have a nice time!
    Had she ditched me last minute, I would've been mad, but that was no reason to be.

    We ordered (she had trouble finding a truly vegan option... I ordered the Planet Earth pasta... which was good, but not marvelous).
    We caught up and had a great time, even though Rainforest Café isn't the best place to talk, with all the noise. Still, between the thunderstorms, it wasn't too bad!
    Ash liked the place, it was her first time, and since we met while working with pandas, we found it fitting, with the animal setting.

    I ordered the Volcano dessert, but since she cut processed sugar from her diet, she didn't want to eat it, and I was totally full... so I had it boxed up. She insisted on paying for my appetizer since she was so late... we argued for a while but I let her. I learned that those things... you need to accept sometimes. And I'm so broke, haha!

    We then went in the store, where she wanted to buy a few panda items she had heard about... We both worked with pandas, but she did more than I did, and she is a true panda fan, much more than I am... she collects panda stuff...
    When we got to the cashier, she told him we were pambassadors and had worked with the pandas in China... and the guy was like "yeah right, uh uh", not believing us, not really caring (since he didn't think it was real)... And Ash was all "what? You don't believe me? That's where we met! Show him Dan!" And I got my iPhone out and quickly went to the pic of me holding a baby panda...
    And the guy, stupidly, asks "is that a real panda?". Duh... why would we take pics in blue paper surgeon outfits with a plush toy? Because it made us look good? No, not really...
    We had a good laugh!

    Ash suggested we do something else, as we had just spent over an hour together, but I had been up since 6:30 in the morning, the nap didn't really count... I was pooped. We hoped we would have a chance to see each other again and spend more time together before the trip was over... but it didn't happen.
    5 years younger than me, she decided to play big sister and to walk me to the bus and see me off to make sure I was OK.
    But that was real nice of her.

    I got back to the studio at about 11pm.
    Mama told me she went to the Contempo Café at around 9pm, after doing the laundry, and she had ordered, once more, a Turkey BLT with chips.

    High of the day: Under the Sea and seeing Ash
    Low of the day: Being weak due to the weather and losing time in the park because we had to go back to the resort to change my shoes
    Food of the day: Taco salad

    High of the day: Watching TV in bed!
    Low of the day: New Fantasyland not being what she thought it would be
    Food of the day: Turkey BLT and chips

    Plan for the day:
    Early arrival at MK, before opening
    Empty MK pics
    8:20 ADR at Crystal Palace
    Visit New Fantasyland
    *Plan at the beginning of the trip was to go see the cheerleading and dance competition at Wide World of Sports... but we had to fit my dinner with Ashley somewhere, so the plan changed to -->
    Meet Ashley for 8pm dinner ADR at Rainforest Café (while Mama does laundry and eats in room... or whatever she likes)

    What actually happened:
    Early arrival at MK, before opening
    Empty MK pics... including one with rigging in front of the castle...
    8:45 breakfast at CP
    Trip back at the resort to change shoes
    Visit New Fantasyland
    Shopping at DTD / Laundry
    Dinner with Ashley at 9pm / Dinner in room for Mama

    In the next chapter: Is an uneventful day a good or a bad thing?
  13. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    Thanks!!! Glad to know I haven't lost all of my readers :rotfl2:
  14. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

    Oct 29, 2012
    Loving you TR! :)
  15. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    THANKS!!!! :goodvibes

    And welcome aboard! :wave2: (I didn't welcome you already, did I? My memory is so bad...!) :scared:
  16. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2007
    We woke up at 8:30am, ate our now-starting-to-get-boring in-room breakfast. I had my uncrunstables and Mama had toasts, AGAIN. We did add fruits that we had gotten at the Contempo Café the night before.

    We both checked our emails (Mama works from home part-time, so even though the people she's working for knew she was away, they could contact her and it was due time she checked!... but there was nothing. They let her relax!). We checked our accounts and called my dad.

    We then took the bus to Animal Kingdom... which is the longest ride (apart from DTD).
    We got there at noon... seems to be our habit!

    And took that pic

    And we redid the "surprised" pic...
    with a much better result

    That big tree is really impressive and original...

    First thing we did was stop at the Garden Gate cart, because Mama wanted a hat and a bag.
    She had bought a messager bag which was super cute... but it's just one big pouch. I had told her I didn't think it would be practical, having to feel around the bottom every time you wanted something, but she didn't listen to me, saying she wouldn't have any problem with that and that I was exaggerating.
    But of course, the first day we had wanted to use it, back at Universal, she realized we had lots of small items that needed to be at least put in something to regroup them, because it was crazy otherwise. So she asked if she could take my pencil case (of course I agreed, I used the bag too) and we put all the content of the pencil case in a Ziploc (if it hadn't been for me, we wouldn't have had those either...), and some other items in Ziplocs too.

    Still, she became frustrated having to remember what was in the pencil case, what was in Ziploc bags... and things still ended up hard to find.
    And putting papers in there meant they were crumpled.

    I had brought my trusted Baggalini messenger bag, with LOTS of pockets, perfect for travelling, which we had used last trip, which I have used in ALL my trips since 2008, including a one-month long trip to China. This bag has only 2 caveats: it's a bit heavy even empty (so many zippers...) and it can only be worn one way.
    Still, it's my favorite.
    But Mama hates it. She didn't like it in 2008. Still, she tried it again... and still hated it.
    So she wanted to find a new one.

    And at that first stop in AK, she found what she wanted!
    She found a cute visor hat that didn't make her look too weird (NOT a hat head, I told you!) and a messenger bag. The kind of messenger bag even I would use back home, one like which I had been looking for, in fact!
    Khaki material, with a snap flap...

    Not a lot of pockets still... but 2 small ones in the front and a small zipped one inside.
    So we still needed the pencil case... but we could remove some stuff from it and make it easier to find stuff in it... and in the bag. And things would be less crumpled.

    She liked the bag a lot, and it looked nice. It was comfortable to carry, altough not as much as her original messenger bag, which had a very large strap.

    At 12:40pm we were hungry (duh) and went to Pizzafari, which we hadn't tried yet... and we felt like eating PIZZA!

    On our way we took this next pic, where you can admire Mama's new hat!

    I remembered reading the portions at Pizzafari were big enough to share, and we always have too much, so we only ordered one pepperoni pizza and caesar salad combo... and indeed it was enough.
    Mama probably could've eaten it all by herself... or more than half... she has a much bigger appetite than I have... but she did have enough.
    It was good!
    We would eat there again.
    But I honestly don't remember anything else about this place!

    At 1pm we went to get the UP! characters' autographs.
    I was very happy to see this guy

    Not so excited to see the boy. Another one I almost felt like ignoring and/or asking to leave for the pic!
    But I was nice and we took it all together

    On our way to the Festival of the Lion King theater, I snapped a few nice pics




    We got there and didn't have to wait, we walked right in for the 1:30pm show and were seated in the back of the Elephant section (very last row, on the side, which suited us. It's not like there's a bad seat in the house, and that way no kid would kick us, and I could rest my back on the wall)

    I didn't want to watch the show through my lense, so I didn't take a lot of pics, but I did make a few. Especially to show my dad, because at the time we did not know if he would come with us next fall. We spent so much time wondering if he'd like this and that, and a lot of what we did I know I was doing wondering how it would be next fall doing it with Dad if he came with us... at times I was hoping he would, overcome with emotion at the prospect... at times I was hoping he wouldn't, thinking of how much he could ruin this for us...



    Those monkeys acrobatics is my favorite part of the show!

    When we got out of the show, we stopped by the bathroom close by... and when we got out of there, I couldn't believe the amount of people in suit and ties! People who clearly were not regular tourists and didn't "belong" there! CMs were with them, and they were there in groups, being shown around... women in high heels, men in nice polished shoes... I was weeping inside for their poor feet... and they must've been so HOT, because the weather was perfect... to be in summer garb! Not full-sleeves, 3 pieces-suits garb!

    I felt I was totally disturbing them, walking between the groups and taking my pics... but hey... I wanted my pics!
    There were a lot of nice specially decorated trees in that area!

    Lilo & Stitch's
    (you can see an "official" group behind!)




    And then, of course, I was due for pain meds... so at 2:10pm we stopped at Chip n Dale's Cookie Cabin, just out of the Festival of the Lion King. There are a few tables there, and I ate strawberry shortcake while Mama took a Coke float. Oh my... that shortcake was HUGE! And it was delicious! And I ate it all!

    And wouldn't you know... our brand new messenger bag broke! One of the pocket snaps stayed on the pocket (in other words, it ripped off the flap!). Not impressed. :sad2:

    Then it was off to It's tough to be a bug. Mama wasn't that excited to do it again... But it was a hit!
    In 2008 we didn't fully experience it, because I was in the wheelchair, and Mama got to sit on a normal bench beside me... This time, we got special seats, like normal people! Meaning, with effects!
    And I know, for myself, I'm in a better mood... more in a kid-place. So more easily surprised, laughing more easily, etc.
    So we laughed a LOT!
    I wouldn't say it's the best attraction of the park, but we enjoyed it!

    My advice would be, for anyone in a wheelchair... if you can leave it outside with the strollers and walk in... do it.
    Or at least ask to be seated in a normal chair like everyone else.
    I really don't know why I didn't do that, as I could transfer back in 2008... maybe it was easier and faster not to... but I would strongly suggest not staying in your wheelchair or scooter, as you miss half the fun!

    After that we went to Dino-Land, where at 3:15 I did Primeval Whirl (just as much of a blast as last time!), then walked to Dinosaur at 3:50, for which I had gotten a FP earlier.
    As I walked in, a teen cheerleader bumped into me... it had been full of cheerleaders in the parks since we got there because it's the annual Pop Warner competition... so we would cross groups of dozens of giggling teens or pre-teens all dressed together accompanied with a few moms and/or coaches...
    They usually didn't bother us.
    But that girl bumped into me, cut in front of me... and since I'm polite, and pretty zen, I stepped aside to let the 3-4 friends running after her to catch up with her...
    But then about 20 more turned the corner, and they wouldn't let me get in!
    One of them told me "sorry, there are a lot more of us coming!"... and the way she said it wasn't a real apology... it was more like she expected me to keep letting them all go TOGETHER in front of me!
    I replied that I could SEE that... not in the nicest way... and went in, bumping a few of them in the process (bumping... as they would simply not be respectful and either move out of the way for others, or basically check where they were and if others were in the way).

    Frankly, they had not bothered us much, but having seen most of them acting that way for almost a week, not respecting others and expecting everyone and everything handed to them... I went from zen and peaceful to super angry in a split second!
    While waiting in the room for our turn in the pre-show and then in the pre-show room, these girls were so impolite and disrespectful, pushing and shoving strangers, opening closed doors (yup, a few of them actually left the preshow area and went directly ahead), etc. I would've slapped a few! :rolleyes1
    I couldn't believe those coaches or moms or whomever were accompanying them were not saying anything...
    It seems they teach a lot in cheerleading, but they forget to teach them respect.

    Out of Dinosaur, I went in the store with Mama and we exchanged the messenger bag. Hoping it would last, this time.
    It was a pain to transfer everything in it, right there on the counter with people waiting...

    Finally, we trekked to Expedition Everest which I wanted to ride again. By then it was 4:35pm.

    When I was out of there, it was time, altough a bit early, for our 5:45 Yak & Yeti ADR.
    AK was closing at 6pm today...
    We were there around 5:15, but they let us in.
    And it was a good thing they let us in early, because very soon, they let us know they were closing.
    We were not the only ones in the restaurant... altough there were not many of us. I'd say, when we finished our meal, maybe there were 3 families left.

    We ordered egg rolls to share as our appetizers, and they were good. Not the best ever eated, but good. Mama took vegetables lo mein as her entree, while I went for a different choice as usual : Crispy Mahi Mahi.
    We both loved it. And as a dessert, which we did NOT want to miss, we took the fried won tons with pineapple. It was delicious!
    But we had such a funny moment when Mama told me she thought the won tons were not fully cooked "the middle is mushy"... It's cream cheese!!! :rotfl2:

    As we were eating and time passed, CMs went all around us to clean tables and the floor, put chairs on tables, etc. First off, moving the chairs around to clean the floor is not only a bit rude, making you feel rushed to leave... but in that restaurant the chairs are made of wood... and so is the floor... so it was VERY noisy. But putting chairs on the tables! I mean, seriously?

    At first I thought maybe they do this each time customers leave a table... but they did it all around us and it didn't stop. They were clearly closing shop.
    I can't believe they do this while there are still customers in, eating!

    Of course every restaurant will do some cleaning all day-long... but not so much as that.

    Still, as much as they seem to want us to leave, the service wasn't crazy fast. Not saying we waited overly long... but we did wait a bit. We arrived there before our ADR time of 5:45, and we only got our receipt at 6:40! And it's not before we took our sweet time eating... because it was so annoying we felt rushed and ate pretty fast... and we already are fast eaters!

    When we did get the check, Mama gave the TiW along the room card, as usual... and the CM came back to tell us we had reached our limit.
    That very morning, Mama had said she should go to the lobby to pay our account so that wouldn't happen, as she felt with all our meals and purchases, the 1500$ limit might be near.
    (When you stay on property and use room-charge for everything, you have a set limit of how much you may spend before going to the front desk and actually charging it to your credit card, setting the account back to zero... If you stay in a value, that limit is 500$, in a moderate resort, it's 1000$ and in a deluxe or DVC, it's 1500$).
    Since we ONLY and exclusively use our room-charge when in Disney, to make things easier... the limit gets met fast.
    And Mama was right... we were close, and she should've went that day.
    But she didn't.
    And of course we never bring credit cards or more than 20$ cash with us to the parks...

    So the Yak & Yeti manager had to call the Contemporary BLT's front desk, they had to talk to Mama who had to authorize the charge to be put to her credit card... it all took over 20 min. First with our server just leaving us sitting at our table with no further detail of what was going on... then getting up to go to the front desk to ask, eventually talking to the manager... waiting some more...

    And all the while, Mama was worried there wouldn't be any buses left when we got out of there and we would be stranded in AK or something like that.
    I knew that wouldn't happen, plus, we had cellphones and could always call a taxi... but she was on the verge of panic.

    Eventually it was all sorted out... and there were still a few families in the restaurant, and another walked out at about the same time we did.

    She HATED walking out in the dark, empty park.
    Which ruined MY pleasure, because I LOVED it!
    She actually didn't feel safe! I mean, really? I'm not naive enough to say nothing bad can ever happen in Disney just because it's Disney, but I'm one able to walk alone at night in a big city, so clearly walking alone in a dark amusement park doesn't scare me. Mama... not so much.

    This is what AK looks like when it's closed (or almost)


    Sorry it's a tad blurry... low-light is never great with iPhone cameras... (not even with my good one).

    I had to convince Mama she had time to go to the bathroom and we wouldn't be locked in it...

    We walked out of the gates... saw this
    (so much better NOT blurry...)

    And there was a bus waiting.
    With a CM dispatching us.

    He was asking which resort you stayed at, and putting you in different "lines" accordingly... Lines is an exaggeration, as there were only 3 families there, us included.

    That CM told us to get on the bus. The driver asked us where we were going, and when we did told us he wasn't going there... but the CM was right on our heels to tell him he WAS, change of plans...

    I can't remember what other resorts he was going to... but I know we got lucky because we were dropped off first!

    So, for anyone curious, that's how they roll! After hours, they combine routes according to the demand.

    We got to the room a bit before 8pm.
    We relaxed, rested... called my grandma... and my best friend finally joined me on FaceTime, after trying for a few days (not always being on WiFi is why it took so long!)... to announce me he was gonna be a father for the second time! :cheer2:

    We went to bed at 10:30pm.

    High of the day: It's tough to be a bug
    Low of the day: Those cheerleaders in Dinosaur
    Food of the day: Strawberry shortcake

    High of the day: Festival of the Lion King
    Low of the day: Being shoved out of Yak & Yeti
    Food of the day: Coke floater

    Plan for the day:
    Relax and heal my feet
    Get at AK early
    Meet characters
    Primeval Whirl
    Expedition Everest
    Kilimanjaro Safari
    Tree of Life (get close and take pics)
    Festival of the Lion King

    What actually happened
    All of the above, except Kilimanjaro Safari and arriving at AK at noon instead of early... which was plenty enough!
    So, to answer the question... an uneventful day was PERFECT. :goodvibes
  17. momabbate

    momabbate DIS Veteran

    Apr 1, 2011
    Love reading mother daughter trips. I have only done one but my daughter is already hinting at another one.:goodvibes I can only go every three years or so right now.
    Can't wait to hear more. Your time at Universal has giving me some ideas for my next trip, if only I can get my hubby to agree. it is still a year away so I have some time. Will just have to make numbers look right to get my way. :rolleyes1

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