"Our TR - Now with 100 % less POFQ!" - Nov 10th-20th(3/5-Last Day & Final Thoughts!)

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by skier_pete, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Here are a few of DM's pictures, which show a nice travelog of the “World”:

    Canada
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    England
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    The “Channel”
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    France
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    Morocco
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    Mo Rockin’!
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    Belly Dancer!
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    Japan
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    America Christmas Tree
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    Italy
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    Germany
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    Next update will cover dinner @ Beirgarten as well as DW and my evening at Jellyrolls!
     
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  3. Moodyzblu

    Moodyzblu DIS Veteran

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    You had my most favorite meal at Epcot .. the pork chop !! I find myself craving those things. I usually get that with the strawberry dessert .. but might try the tiramisu next time. :thumbsup2

    I just love Epcot .. the day does go by fast when you're there .. there is just SO much to see and do there and I haven't even done it all yet.
     
  4. joy13

    joy13 DIS Veteran

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    Great Epcot day! How fun that your daughter got to open the slides, looks fun!
     
  5. FosterA

    FosterA DIS Veteran

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    That's cute how they had your DD "open" the slides for the day. And I gotta say, she looks pretty fierce in her pirate getup!;)

    Also pretty neat that you got picked to participate in the Next-gen thing even though it sounded like it slowed things down. At least by now in your trip rope-drop isn't quite so crucial.

    OMG! your DD wanted to do Ellen again??? Oh Lordy, I can't imagine having to sit through that twice:laughing: I'm glad you put the kabosh on that idea and didn't give in. You wouldn't be here writing your TR because you'd still be on that slow moving thing about now!

    Oh man! I wanted to see that candy lady so bad and we never did. You got great photos of her and the seahorse though so I "sort of" feel like I saw her. I also love all your DM's photos of Epcot since we only did World Showcase at night and never really saw any of those things. I would just love to walk in some of those gardens:love:
     
  6. Chicago Mo

    Chicago Mo DIS Veteran

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    HOW AWESOME your DD was picked!!!!! We were always missing her show!!!
    That is seriously awesome!!!
    You are rockin the TR!!
     
  7. Chicago Mo

    Chicago Mo DIS Veteran

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    :lmao:
    that's hysterical.
     
  8. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Agree with everything you say 100 %! That was one gooood pork chop.

    It was a fun surprise. We didn't even know they did anything special.

    I think they were asking anyone that would join in to participate with the next-gen test. I can't imagine how annoyed I would have been with it had it been at rope drop.

    The Energy ride was even worse before they put Ellen in there, though it wasn't as long. The whole dinosaur section is the same from back then, just throwing in the Ellen animatronic. I kind of enjoy the humor of the show. (I get the biggest kick out of the Einstein just stands there and does nothing the whole time.) However, it's NOT really a show I want to see every trip, but I'm afraid we might have to see it again next time too!

    Watching Myuki work is amazing, that she takes a blob of sugar and turns it into these sculptures in 2 minutes is amazing. You definitely have to give yourself more time for Epcot next trip. I know your cold/bug screwed up your Epcot plans, but it is a park that needs a lot of time. Every trip we leave Disney with that being the one we say "We really could've used more time at Epcot." We never even get time for Innoventions.

    Actually, getting picked for Myuki isn't that hard. Gotta get there 5 minutes before the show starts and plop your kid front and center. Then just get them to jump up and down with their hand raised...your chances are very high...but only expect one per family. This is at least the third time Myuki's made something for DD.

    SP
     
  9. Chicago Mo

    Chicago Mo DIS Veteran

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    I am THERE!!!! thanks!!!:thumbsup2
     
  10. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    How awesome that DD was chosen to open the slide! :thumbsup2 It's always so great when something unexpected like that happens that makes for such a magical moment.

    I love the picture y'all used for your Christmas card. So cute! :goodvibes

    One day, I just have to stop at Sunshine Seasons for nothing else except that strawberry shortcake. It looks divine. Maybe it will be the "Butterfinger cupcake" of our next trip...a dessert we just HAVE to try!!
     
  11. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    That Strawberry shortcake ranked in the Top 5 Desserts in WDW in the Disney Food Blog, so I guess its considered pretty good. Definitely worth a try. There's not many sit-down restaurants that I genuinely "miss" if we don't get there, but Sunshine Seasons is one of them.
     
  12. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    So, for dinner we ate at Biergarten. We first ate here back in 2006, and enjoyed the show and thought the food was so-so. Overall, this experience was very similar. My father was born and raised in Austria, and my mother met him while skiing, so my background is half-“German” and we both enjoy this type of food. The food here is somewhat authentic but my big complaint is that the quality of the meat is all very low, mostly sausage and brats with lots of filler. For $35 a head, we should at least get a decent quality meat. The salads and the desserts were all quite good. Overall, not a bad meal. The show we saw was lots of fun but was rather short, at least it seemed that way. My mom and I both wanted some beer, so I ordered a large beer (at $13) and we split it. (Cheaper than two individual beers.)

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    I would give this restaurant a 7/10, with 9/10 for the atmosphere and 6/10 for the food. (10/10 for the beer though!)

    Towards the end of the meal, we were again going our separate ways. DM was going to take DD back to the hotel, while DW and I were to get a night out on our own. We started out with what was not much fun to me, though. More shopping. DW hadn’t gotten a chance to stop in Morocco, France, or England, so I tried being patient husband while she shopped. We did take a photopass picture though.

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    We exited through the international gateway and took the Friendship Boat over to the Boardwalk. It was a little after 8 PM by the time we arrived at Jellyrolls. While I have been to dueling piano bars in the past (most notably Pat O’Briens in New Orleans) I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. There was a $10 per person cover charge, which isn’t too bad. The bar itself is relatively small, with perhaps 20-30 tables and less formal bar seating wrapped around the outside, I’d say the place could hold perhaps 200-250 people at most. Center stage were two grand pianos which were facing each other, with a tilted mirror behind it that allowed you to see the actual keys of the pianos. There were of course two guys working the pianos, I can’t say I noted their names:
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    When we got to the bar, the place was still fairly quiet, but it livened up quite nicely as the night went on. I was wondering how the bar would handle the lull between sets, but surprisingly (to me) they solved this problem by having TWO sets of two pianists, and each set would come out and work for an hour while the other team took a break. This allows for what was essentially non-stop entertainment. The music was predominantly by request, with requests being written on napkins and carried up on stage by the patrons, a tip with your request moved it higher up the list.

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    What was most impressive about all this was the range of songs they would play. While there is no way to tell if there were requests that were refused for lack of knowledge, what was played was pretty amazing. They hit upon the usual standards (you could tell that they had no desire to play “Piano Man” for the 1,000th time, but did it anyways) to country songs (the one area my musical expertise failed me but I think there was a Taylor Swift song in there), to Meatloaf (“Paradise by the Dashboard Light”), Queen (“Bohemian Rhapsody”), Bryan Adams (“Summer of ‘69”), Bon Jovi (“Livin’ on a Prayer”), U2 (“Where the Streets have no name”), Eagles, Jimmy Buffet, Steely Dan (they struggled with the lyrics to “Reelin’ in the Years”) Garth Brooks, Train (that new sort of annoying one with “Mister Mister” in the lyrics), Etta James, Chuck Berry, Elvis, Journey, the Beatles, Sade (the one song they “couldn’t” do, as they didn’t know the words to “Smooth Operator”, but gave it a try) and many, many more. It was so impressive that they knew all these songs, though a different guy would take the lead depending on the song. One thing we found very neat was they used the piano as a percussion instrument as well, lifting the lid to drum out the beat, along with a tambourine. As the night went on, the “sing-a-long” aspect kicked in more and more as the crowd got larger and drunker. (I myself had 5-6 weak-a$$ drinks, so was mildly buzzed, DW only had two, but still ran up a bar bill of $60 – don’t come in expecting any food, though!) We really had a blast, probably slightly more-so myself than my wife. They also a couple of times have the wait-staff come up on stage to help perform the songs.

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    We finally tore ourselves away at 1 AM, where we had to go find a taxi back to our hotel.

    I have to admit something here, while I was having a great time on this vacation, I wasn’t really getting into it up to this point. I usually have a hard time getting to the point of relaxation on a trip, and maybe it was combined with trying to keep an extra person (DM) happy, but I also was getting a bit of a “been here, done this” vibe from the trip to this point. However, this night allowed me to really loosen up and let my (lack of) hair down. I found even though I should have been really tired the next few days, I felt a level of invigoration from this night, a shot in the arm that I really needed. I didn’t much care that the night ran us $100+, I just had a really, really great time, and the buzz lasted another 48 hours. (Until the crowded hell of Saturday at MK, anyways.)

    Day 6:
    Characters Met: 0
    Rides/Attractions seen: 4
    Waits of > 5 minutes: 1

    Totals (6 days to date):
    Characters Met: 16
    Rides/Attractions seen: 53
    Waits of > 5 minutes: 2
     
  13. joy13

    joy13 DIS Veteran

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    I love dueling piano bars :thumbsup2 JellyRolls sounds like a lot of fun!!!!
     
  14. FosterA

    FosterA DIS Veteran

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    Great review of Jellyrolls! It sounds like ya'll had a fun night! I'm glad that you finally got to relax and let your hair down:laughing:

    I think we would like Biergarten for the beer but I honestly don't like German food. blah! It's really sausage, just not a fan I guess. But the entertainment and beer would be fun!

    p.s. like the photo of you and DW, super cute.

    Did your mom and DD do anything fun after they left or did they crash out early for the night? Maybe they went to a different bar to tear it up and you didn't even know?:lmao:
     
  15. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    It was definitely!

    The food was even worse (or wurst perhaps :lmao:) than that. The "meat" was very low quality. The carving station had what they called "German Meat Loaf" which had basically the taste and consistency of Bolonga. The Sausages weren't much better, being also not very "meaty" at all. The best meat was the chicken schnitzle, which was pretty good. I ate a bunch of food, so I enjoyed it enough, but was not very impressed. For the price they charge, I would never considere it without the Free Dining. For the beer, you can get that out in the main pavillion, and it's quite good. (I also like the Morrocan beer a lot.)

    DM and DD did not really do anything fun, at least nothing that they told us. DD had been having to do homework assignments, which I haven't really talked about here, so I know she spent a little time with that. It was close to 7 PM by the time they left the restaurant. They are both pretty early-to-bed types, so I wouldn't be surprised if DD went to sleep at 9 PM and DM was about 20 minutes behind her.

    SP
     
  16. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Jellyrolls sounds like a fun way to spend the evening! I have heard it was fun but never really seen it reviewed in a TR. It will definitely have to take a spot on my "Disney bucket list." :goodvibes

    I feel you on the shopping. :laughing: I enjoy some shopping in Disney, don't get me wrong, but it is usually me trying to drag DH out of the stores so we can get to something else!
     
  17. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Now I'm really bummed that we gave JellyRolls the flick in 2010. DH and I were supposed to go with my DB and his girlfriend. But they opted for a quiet night instead and we didn't go.

    Something to put on the list for my next trip! :thumbsup2

    Looks like you had a GREAT night there.
     
  18. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Ah...it's was just "Oh goody - we have a night to ourselves...what should we do...I know, let's shop!":rotfl2: It really wasn't too bad, I was just feeling tired and not into it.

    I could see Jellyrolls being very "up-and-down" based on the crowd. There was a large group from a John Deere convention (they make tractors and stuff like that) which was quite loud and rowdy, which really helped liven it up. I could see on a quiet night this being less entertaining, but it was a great time! The biggest issue I see for our future attendence is how to go when it doesn't really liven up until 10 PM, but we need to get someone to watch DD. We could drop her in one of the nearby Kid's Clubs (Boardwalk or BC/YC) but those only are open until 11 PM.

    You definitely should check it out if you get the chance, though. The musicianship of these guys is fantastic.
     
  19. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Day 7

    It was a late night, and morning dawned as our only rainy period of the trip. We had planned to go to Typhoon Lagoon today and it was tempting to try and change things around, but I don’t like messing with the structure of the trip. There were no thunderstorms in the forecast, so I said we should still go to the park. In my view, the BEST park to go to on a rainy day (as long as its not cold) is a water park. #1 – you are already in your bathing suit and spending much of your time wet. And #2 – other people will avoid the water park because most people don’t agree with #1. (Sit by a pool and watch everyone leave when it starts to rain.) DM had decided she didn’t want us to spend the money on the water park for her, so she would just hang out at the resort for a while.

    The nice thing is that the water parks do not open until 10 AM, allowing us to sleep in a bit more than regular rope drop. However, we decided because we had an early buffet lunch that we were going to just have a big breakfast and the snack at the water park. So this is what we ate at Port Royal, DW had the breakfast sandwhich:
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    DD had the kids waffles and I had the Bounty breakfast or whatever they call it here:
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    I am not much of a “breakfast out” person. The reason being I can prepare most of the typical breakfast foods much better than what restaurants do, and much cheaper too. Occasionally at home I like eating out for breakfast, but rarely on vacation. That said, the food was passable, but not very good. In fact when I rated the resort at the end of the trip, I only marked off for the breakfast food. (Specifically - the biscuit and meat and potatos were good, eggs bad, french toast horrible.)

    We did get our gear together and headed to Typhoon Lagoon for rope drop. The bus ride over was uneventful and quite fast.

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    Right from the start – this park was EMPTY! This is our 4th stop at TL in the last 4 years, and normally at rope drop there are around 500-1000 people standing around to get into the park. Today, there were literally about 20 people standing talking to the cast members. Still somehow a different family got picked to be “The Big Kahuna”! (Well, one child gets picked as “Big Kahuna” and gets to open the park and I think gets other perks as well.)

    We made our way into the park and picked a chair. It was raining lightly so we decided to stay under a canopy. We hit the wave pool for a few minutes, here’s the opening crowd in the wave pool:
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    DD loves the two mid-size slides to the left of the wave pool, so she did those a few times,
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    and then I insisted we head for the slides before the “crowds” arrived. (Really wasn’t necessary.) We went and ran the three tube slides. Here’s a picture and a video:
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    DD then wanted to do the kiddie tube slide at Ketchakiddie Creek. Unfortunately, she was declared too tall! So we played a little in the area, spotting a couple hidden Mickey’s in a cave.
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    We also moved all our stuff to a covered area here, but by this point the rain had let up, and it turned out it was completely over for the day. We then used the lazy river to take us over to Crush N’ Gusher:
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    I thought DD would love it, but after one ride she said it was way too rough, and her bum kept rubbing on the ground (an obvious flaw of the ride). We figured it was now late enough in the morning to get some of one of our favorite treats in all the “World”, the fried mini-donuts. For some sick reason I didn’t take a picture, but they are exactly what they sound like. Small fried donuts that cost $7 for a dozen (though you actually get 15-16) and are a heavenly combination of fried dough and powdered sugar. Way, way, way better than beignets, or at least the ones they serve on Disney property.

    Continued in the next post.
     
  20. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    So we again got in the lazy river. I have to say, the water everywhere was so nice and warm. The water in the lazy river was perhaps even too warm, as I think the sign said it was 85 degrees. Here’s some of the wreckage you see riding around the lazy river.
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    We looped around after a stop at our bag, we went over to the Shark Reef. DD loves fish (as you may already realize, but in the past when we tried to do the Shark Reef she had a hard time because they do not provide kids masks and snorkels, and they were simply too big for her. Well, this time we brought our own – thus the stop at our bag. We headed for the shark reef, and again ZERO wait. They give you a brief tutorial and then you snorkle across this large tank. It’s about 20 feet wide and maybe 150 feet long, and full of fish and small sharks. The water is usually quite cold, but for whatever reason it was a little warmer today, I remember one of the CM said 73 degrees, so it didn’t feel too bad. (Usually it’s in the sixties.) I really wanted to give the underwater camera a test-out, so I took a lot of pictures.
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    I was quite surprised to see a hammerhead. At one point, he swam really up close to me. He must be very well fed, though.
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    Hidden Mickey 15 feet under!
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    This fish got really up close to me, must’ve been new…
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    DD absolutely loved this. Loved, loved, loved it. So much so that we had to go around and do it three more times. Again, with no wait, this wasn’t a big deal at all. I also want to say at this stage I was VERY impressed with this little cheap-o ($63) Kodak Easy-Share underwater camera. It doesn’t take great pictures above water, but really nice underwater stuff. It held up through the whole trip, and we definitely will be taking it with us to Australia.

    The day was going quickly, and it was already afternoon, so we decided to head back to the wave pool. We had to leave by 2:30 PM or so, because we had a 4:50 PM dinner ADR at Crystal Palace and needed time to get back and shower and change.

    This is where I really was in awe of how empty the park was. The next time someone starts one of those “Show me pictures of an empty park” thread, I will post these pictures. But, remember, these were not taken when the park opened. These were taken at 1 PM. And I need to point out by this point, the sun had come out and it was a beautiful sunny day probably high-seventies, just absolutely gorgeous.
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    DD for some reason didn’t want to play in the big waves as much as she usually did, but in addition to the massive waves, they run a couple times a day for 30 minutes of gentle waves, so we went out in the pool for some more of these.
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    We wrapped the day with another three laps of the shark reef, and then I wanted to do one run down the Storm Slides. Again back to the crowds, on the way out, DW asked a CM at the gate if they thought there was a thousand people in the park. The answer she got: “Oh no, there were much less than that.” So there you go, less than 1,000 people at a Disney (water) park.

    Overall, it was an absolute fantastic day at Typhoon Lagoon. I really have to find a way not to schedule stuff in the afternoon of our water park day, I really would love to spend the whole day here at one point.
     
  21. Chicago Mo

    Chicago Mo DIS Veteran

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    awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     

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