"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. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    I'll have to put my thinking cap on. Depending on what else you've eaten, we might do something in the moderate category.....or if you prefer, a home cooked meal. :teeth:
     
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  3. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    :thumbsup2 We would probably not object to home cooking - as other than with our friends we will be doing a awful lot of eating out for that month!
     
  4. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Clearly still being affected by a too-long first day – we struggled this morning to get up in time. The good thing was we were heading to Animal Kingdom, one of our family favorites and one my DM was really looking forward to. Plus, it warmed up significantly overnight, and like the rest of the trip we had a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the high 70s…sweaters were a thing of the past. In addition to getting ready, we had to again have our keys re-issued and get our official KTTW card...I went down at 7 AM and did this. Even though we struggled, we actually made it out to the bus stop by 8:15 AM, but with the further distance and all, we got in line at Animal Kingdom only a few minutes before they let us through the gates. Fortunately the lines weren’t that long, and since most people there that early are positioning themselves for the EE/KS sprint, we were able to get pretty close to the front for “The Adventure Begins” show. Whose kid is that, anyways? And noticed that Hidden Mickey on the truck?

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    I promised my family that we would be able to take a more leisurely pace today, but ONLY after the Safari Sprint. Sorry everyone…RIDES FIRST! RIDES FIRST! Because we watched the opening show. (Which we could hear from our balcony last year @ AKL.) we were more at the middle of the pack coming in. But really we didn’t have to wait at all to get on the Safari. Here’s some of the better shots…

    Got a nice treat early on with one of the black rhinos being right up near the truck having a snack.

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    Giraffe checking out a termite mound:
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    A two headed Giraffe?
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    Wildebeast
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    Hidden Mickey Island
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    Has anyone noticed the Ostriches? It’s been a few years since we’ve seen them on the ride. Do they not bring them out anymore?

    Anyways, after the ride, we got into Animal Kingdom mode, which means…it’s time to slow down and take it in. After a bathroom break for DW and DM where DD and I snacked on some pistachios, we headed into the Pangari forest trail. It’s funny having walked through here 7 times in the last 5 years, I don’t really tire of seeing the same animals. While we probably didn’t spend as much time there as my mother would have liked, it was a good 45-60 minutes that we spent walking through. We looked around and found most of the birds in the aviary:

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    Then onto the Meerkats. They were doing some behavioral training with the Meerkats, trying to teach them to sit on a overturned bowl to get their treat, the keeper did indicate they were new to this, which is good because they were very bad at it.

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    Finally the Gorillas. We were hoping to see the baby, but we only got a glimpse of her playing on the hilltop:

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    Next up - RFP.
     
  5. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Once we finished the trail, we headed out to Rafiki’s Planet watch. It was already 10:30 AM at this point, so I was worried that we would have missed the animal procedures, but they were doing an examination on a blue-feathered Macaw that was pretty cool. They had him under some gentle anesthesia:

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    DD also sat through a Demo with a snake which she later got to pet. I seem to remember this was a king snake or something like that:

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    We did a little of the petting zoo, but then folks were getting antsy for lunch, and since we were headed to Flame Tree BBQ for lunch, it would take a little while to get there. As we made our way through Harambe we got over by the drums and I saw people gathered round the bushes next to the drums. I spotted one special bush and brought my mom over and said to her “Watch that bush right there!” she stood peering at it for a about a minute and said “Oh my gosh, it’s a person!”

    It was Devine, and we just happened to pass by at a moment when she was well hidden. We also got a snapshot and signature with Turk from Tarzan. We had sort of decided that we weren’t going to go after characters as much this trip. Last trip we wanted to meet 50 characters and met 52….this trip with DD anti-character thing we decided we would only do M&G if they were characters we’d never met before and the lines were short. Well, Turk qualified:

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    We finally made it across the park to Flame Tree BBQ for lunch. One of the top QS meals at WDW in my opinion, plus a great place to sit on a beautiful November day.

    They have a great BBQ Chicken salad that both DW and DM got

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    I decided to go with the BBQ Ribs…I am a super rib-snob as I only want ribs if they are super tender and fall off the bone with no effort. Somehow, they get the latter right here without quite hitting on the former, but they give you a very tasty BBQ sauce for dipping and a large rack of ribs, so overall it’s a hit. Plus beans and cole slaw make a great DDP meal.
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    Dessert of chocolate mousse or keylime mousse:
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    To be continued with afternoon of fun.
     
  6. joy13

    joy13 DIS Veteran

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    You got some great pictures on the Safari! The rhino picture was cool! We saw ostriches on our Safari (the 19th) I don't think I got a picture though.

    I missed that your daughter was not feeling the characters this trip until this update somehow. That saved you a lot of time, I felt like the only thing that had waits were character lines! My daughter is the same about rides. I have a good story about that from our last day - so stay tuned to my report - lol
     
  7. Moodyzblu

    Moodyzblu DIS Veteran

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    AK is by far my most favorite of the parks. I could walk around there forever.
    You got some great shots of the safari !
    Flame Tree is also one of my favorite CS meals. I loved surprising my friend last trip with these little gem's because she thought we would be eating burgers all week. NOT. :)
     
  8. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Great Safari pictures Pete. And I practically licked the screen with that picture of the ribs!

    I loved the t-shirt your wife is wearing. It's gorgeous! :thumbsup2
     
  9. FosterA

    FosterA DIS Veteran

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    I agree, great Safari photos!
    I also did see the hidden Mickey on that jeep. Very sneaky:thumbsup2

    I thought the weather on our AK day was so perfect!
    So what were your mom's thoughts? Did she seem to enjoy AK?
     
  10. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Haha! Nice plug for your TR! Don't worry, I have been following along. She's been afraid of meeting characters for a while, except in a "dining" setting she loves it. I don't know why it is. The one time I got anything out of her, she said "I don't know what to say to them." I do think she still thinks they are the real deal. (Of course, so do I.)

    I am sort of amazed at myself on a few of those shots. That's just a little Nikon CoolPix Point&Shoot. It takes really good pictures though - unless it's at night. The funny thing is I discovered on this trip that my PHONE appears to take the best night shots. Who'da thunk it?

    Mmmmmm. It had me drooling a little too.

    I think my wife got the shirt last year at AKL. She's really good at finding Disney clothes that aren't just the typical T-shirt.

    We had two near-perfect weather days for AK. The only really "HOT" days of our trip was Wednesday which turned out OK because it was DHS and we spent a lot of time sitting watching shows.

    My mom did love AK - it was her favorite park of the 4. I think it helped that we could do it at a much slower pace than the others by devoting two days to it. She also loves animals, which seems to be a family trait. (I did as a kid, and DD really does to the point she wants to be a zookeeper someday. I sort of picture her working at AK someday - if even just in a CP.)

    SkierPete
     
  11. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    I forgot to put this picture of DM and DD from the train ride to RPW:

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    So, the goal for the afternoon was to see Flights of Wonder, the Lion King, and the Parade. So of course, DD insisted we had to go to the boneyard.

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    We gave her a half hour there before we had to head to the Lion King show. So far, the crowds were not too bad around the park this day. Of course, we haven’t really gone on any rides since 9 AM. The Lion King show as good as usual, but our entry timing was bad as we were stuck way in the back of the Lion section. DD had really wanted to be part of the parade at the end, but our lousy seats precluded that. I also didn’t bother with pictures because of where we sat, but this show was as fantastic as always.

    After it let out, we had a little bit of time to look at the character trees. I really wanted to take pictures of ALL of them, but we just didn’t have the time.

    Here’s a couple – see if you can figure out who’s who:
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    So, #1 (as well as the last) is Pluto, #2 is Chip and Dale, #3 is Big Al (or one of the other country bears) and #4 is the same one we couldn't figure out 2 years ago, but what I think is for "Brother Bear" or "Koda".

    We never did get back over to see the rest of them…bummer! Next up flights of Wonder, but first DD had been pushing for a frozen lemonade since lunch. It was actually in her list of top 3 things at AK (Boneyard, Flights of Wonder, Frozen Lemonade) and even though she had one at MK the day before, she was insistant. DD wanted to get picked for this as well, and even though we were early enough to be in the second row, she didn’t get picked. Told her that’s the breaks.

    Is it just me that finds the funniest thing about this show the fact the guide’s name is Guano Joe..which essentially means S**t Joe!
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    And why oh why is this man wearing a women's blouse? :rotfl2:
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    Two down, one to go, we headed toward the front of the park and a spot to catch the parade. We chose where the Dinoland entrance branches off the main hub. DD was starting to tire, so her and DM sat on a bench in part of the ITTBaB queue area while DW and I held a front row spot for the parade. Of the three day-time parade, this is the only one I really enjoy. It’s mostly about the floats, which their cool animal designs. I really really want to get picked to be in this parade, but have yet to really find an effective way to do this. I also love the Christmas overlay of the floats:

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    Love Santa Goofy’s Naughty and Nice list! That Donald!
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    Also get a real kick out of all the character stockings. Timon’ and Pumbaa's are full of bugs, of course! Chip and Dale get nutcrackers - get it! And Remy and Emile full of gourmet food! The last one there is I think Jane from Tarzan. King Louie (Jungle Book) is also on there.
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    On the back of Santa Goofy's float are the stockings for Pooh and friends. A bit blurry, but you can clearly see Santa left Eeyore a tail! And of course Pooh's is all Hunny.
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    Even the characters are decorated – Timon with a popcorn garland
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    It was now a little after 4 PM and we had a 5:00 PM dinner ADR at Sanaa, so it was time to head out. On the way out, we got a few shots of the tree. I’m still kind of amazed it is November 12th, and the entire park’s Christmas Decorations are already up!

    Next up, Sanaa, a meal not to be missed!
     
  12. FosterA

    FosterA DIS Veteran

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    Oh man, I wish I had seen that parade!! Those are the best photos I've ever seen of it probably.

    I also never saw those character Christmas trees. I never saw the bird show.....What the heck? Did I even go to AK:laughing:

    Thanks alot, now I just HAVE to go back.
    p.s. I lOVE frozen lemonade too!
     
  13. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    You've reminded me what a great parade that is. Thanks for the lovely shots of the christmas overlays. I missed out on seeing that parade in 2010 :mad:.

    I'll assume that you're publically stating that you're drooling over the ribs.....not your wife's t-shirt....which you can drool in private. :laughing:
     
  14. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    :lmao: I'm pretty sure you were there - though I hear you were heavily medicated perhaps? Flights of Wonder isn't really great, but not bad. DD just loves it though. We have to see it twice per trip. The good thing is they change it up a bit at different times, so we just make sure to see it at different times.

    And for the compliment on the pictures - thank you. They did come out mostly pretty well. While I might not use a super-good camera, I pride myself on my shot-framing ability. The floats really fascinate me...I am not sure if you can tell this, but they are mostly manually-propelled. As with most of Animal Kingdom, the level of detail is amazing.

    Definitely drooling over the ribs - what I do over my wife's T-shirt is for a completely different forum...;)
     
  15. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    One of our absolute favorite meals of our last trip (or any trip) was at Sanaa, a restaurant situated in the Kidani Village portion of Animal Kingdom Lodge. When we stayed a Jambo last year, we tried all three AKL restaurants. We thought Boma was so-so and overpriced, but Jiko and Sanaa were fantastic. Since Jiko costs about twice Sanaa, I scheduled dinner @ Sanaa for tonight – since at one point it looked like we would not be on the dining plan yet. Well, we were so here we are…

    …oh – I missed those couple of shots of the tree:

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    So, anyways – of all the restaurants at AKL – Sanaa is the only one that looks out on the Savannah. We were able to spend a little time looking out there before our meal, but since we were at the first dinner seating (5 PM) we were seated pretty quickly. We got a seat right by the window and even saw some animals right outside:

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    At one point, two cranes started flipping out outside. They came right up to the window. Don't know if they were mating, or fighting over a mate. I didn't get a real good shot, but you can tell how close the animals could get.

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    Let me start by saying Sanaa is simply a beautiful restaurant. I neglected to get interior shots though. The other thing that was very noticeable compared to California Grill from the night before was how much quieter this restaurant was, and also how the tables were NOT at all packed in. Even as the evening wore on and the restaurant got more crowded, the noise level remained very low.

    We started out with drinks, and I ordered a Mango Llasa (sp?) Smoothie, which is blown-away delicious. My DM had a glass of African wine which she really enjoyed. Pricey, yes, but a pretty big glass. We got a bread service for starters because we love the Indian breads. This is a picture from last year, but we got the same thing this year: Naan, Roti, Paratha for the breads, and Mango Chutney, Garlic-ginger Pickle, Roated Red Bell Pepper Hummus for the sides. All absolutely delicious:

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    We skipped getting Samosas for starters…these are a favorite of ours, but we will get to them at Tusker House.

    For dinner – DM had the “Today's Sustainable Fish - With Shrimp and scallops served with seasonal vegetables in a light curry broth”. She said this was the best meal she had of the entire trip:

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    DW had the “Slow Cooked in Gravy, Simple and Well Seasoned - Chicken with Red Curry Sauce & Shrimp with Green Curry Sauce with Basmati Rice. She really enjoyed it.

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    I had the Tandoori Lamb with rice pilaf – also fantastic. Do you sense a pattern?:

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    DD had meaty macaroni, which she liked but didn’t rate a picture…however, she insisted I take a picture of the desserts! DD had chocolate cake for dessert. (What, no ice cream?)

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    DW listed this dessert in her “Top 3 Must Haves” before the trip: The Orange-Sesame Cake - with Tropical Fruit Kulfi.

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    I looked on the menu for DM's dish. I though it was some sort of rice pudding, but the closest listing I could find was the Mango-Berry Tapioca Pudding:

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    And I had the Dessert Trio - Chocolate Cake, Tropical Fruit Kulfi, and Chai Cream (in the middle here)

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    We were so full, but enjoyed these desserts so much. The meal was absolutely wonderful again. I would honestly consider this restaurant the biggest “must do” of any Disney trip, as it is our families favorite. I would give it a 10/10 because not only is the food and atmosphere great, the prices are very reasonable considering what you get. (Our total bill including tip for 3 adults, one child would have been $138, but $107 of that was on the dining plan, with the bread service, wine and tip OOP – compared to $225 the night before for a similar level of food quality.) I cannot say enough good things about Sanaa, and though I tend to think that Disney food quality is good to very good in general – this is the rare piece of non-Signature excellence. If you want Signature dining (2 TS credit) food at regular dining (1 TS credit) pricing – check it out!

    By the time we were done, it was only about 6:30 PM, but we were pretty tired from the last two days of course, so wanted to head back to the hotel. DW wanted to stop at Jambo House to pick up an order of Zebra Domes, which we were all much too full to eat that night. Our plan was to take a bus back to Animal Kingdom, and then hop a bus from there back to the resort since the park didn’t close until 7 PM. I told DW to hop the first bus available, since they mostly stop at Kidani first, then Jambo, then the final destination. Well, so she hopped on an Epcot bus, while we waited for an AK bus.

    So, we were only there a few minutes when one pulled up. The driver let us on, but he was NOT happy about it, saying that we should take a bus to a different park, and that he wasn’t supposed to take anyone back to the park. (I’m thinking now I should’ve just said I was parked there!) Anyways, we got back to Jambo, and he let everyone off, and then he was again saying we should get off and go to a different park. Well, DW was still there at Jambo, so we decided to just get off the bus and wait for her. Once she was there, we got on a DHS bus instead. We were whisked to the park, and then had to get a bus to Carribean Beach. Surprisingly in all this, we really didn’t wait that long for any buses, and were back at our resort in under an hour. Everyone was pretty tuckered out, and I warned them all that the next day would sort of be one of our longer days – or at least a lot of walking and crowds – it’s FOOD AND WINE AT EPCOT!
     
  16. Moodyzblu

    Moodyzblu DIS Veteran

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    The food at Sanaa looks amazing !! The desserts looks yummy as well. TOO much food for us though !
    Great update and pics ! :thumbsup2
     
  17. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    I'm thinking that when you come, a nice home cooked meal with a different curries might be on the agenda at my place.


    Great looking food and what a score with the table. Nice to be able to give the animals a view of the food as they walk past.
     
  18. FosterA

    FosterA DIS Veteran

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    Wow! all that food looks incredible. I'm a bread-y so seeing that bread makes me want some, now! I'm not sure which entree looks the best to me. Maybe the fish or the chicken one. Sorry, lamb is just to "exotic" for me:laughing:

    The desserts look to die for!

    Seems like a lot of bus hopping around but if it all took under an hour, that's not bad at all really. When did ya'll eat your zebra domes? I wanna see a photo of those because I've heard of them but not sure I know what they are.

    Hope you got lots of rest this night for your big day following!!
     
  19. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    You got some great pictures of the Jingle Jungle Parade! We have STILL never managed to catch more than a glimpse of the AK parade, and none of the Christmas overlay parade. One of these days we will have to see it.

    Sounds like an interesting dinner. How cool that you can see the Savannah from inside the restaurant! I've said before I'm not an adventurous eater, but that fish dish looks yummy!
     
  20. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Really, the portions weren't that huge, really just right...and again the prices aren't really bad at all $18-$24 for entrees.)

    Yummm...now I'm drooling again! I did ask for a window seat when we walked in. Since the restauarant had literally just opened, it wasn't a problem.

    Yum...and Indian bread is sooooo good. The food here is a bit on the exotic side, but they don't really go very far with the spices. The desserts are all soooo good too, again, slightly exotic, but really not weird or anything.

    We were totally unimpressed by Boma, but I do have to say Zebra Domes have a reputation for a pretty good reason. They are sort of like mini Tiramisu treats. Here's a picture from last year, they are the two striped desserts on the right:

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    They have like a cake inner layer with chocolate outside, and they use a liqueur called "Amarula". It's an African drink that's sort of taste like a cross between Kahlua and Ammiretto (sp?). DW has sort of become obsessed with this, and is constantly making desserts with Amarula in them. (We have a big bottle in our house!)

    She didn't run into the restaurant and swipe them...you can buy them at "The Mara" which is the quick service store at AKL.

    We DID finally eat them a few days later. It's so hard to actually come back to the room HUNGRY on the dining plan. They were still good even after a few days.


    That parade is well worth seeing! Way better than the other two daytime parades. The problem is getting a spot for it, since the pathways are so narrow, you do have to stake out your viewing spot a good 30 minutes ahead.

    And you really should try Sanaa sometime, especially since you guys have a car, you don't have to deal with the bus transportation to get there. I would argue that it really isn't that "out there" food, and they have some selections such a steak and chicken that are very very mainstream. I recommend eating when it is still light out so you can see the animals - they are open for lunch as well. As I said, two trips in a row where it was the best meal we had!
     
  21. skier_pete

    skier_pete DIsney-holics Anon

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    Our photopass share wrapped up, and we were sent the pictures. Here's a few from the first TWO days of the trip. Day 3 hopefully coming soon:

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