Shenanigans, Tomfoolery & Mayhem, Oh My! A Christmas/New Year's TR (New 6/12!)

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by SoNotAPrincess, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. shan23877

    shan23877 I make lists about my lists

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    OH no! At least you didn't have to go into the doc's office, and yes I think your logic about days off was sound.:goodvibes

    Gorgeous POR pics. I can't wait to see it for myself!

    Love Bee's pics. Those Mulan pictures are fantastic.

    My favorite picture though is the one of your brother. I feel like I should dig up a pic I have of my little brother (age 27) posing with a Build a Bear Ariel wig on to share with you. :laughing:
     
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  3. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    Oh no, how frustrating about your knee!! At least you didn't have to go in to the doctor's office - hopefully it was feeling better the next day!!
     
  4. SoNotAPrincess

    SoNotAPrincess Disney Diva

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    I know! It was such a bummer, but it's not like I didn't know going in that my knee was gonna be troublesome. ;) Not having to leave the bubble is DEFINITELY the bright side!

    They had a good time...I was coveting those ears myself! :rotfl:
     
  5. SoNotAPrincess

    SoNotAPrincess Disney Diva

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    I was SO glad I didn't have to leave the bubble...that's the WORST! I can usually get "logic" to agree with me, even if I have to twist it around a bit! :lmao:

    I'm excited for you guys to stay at POR...it really is a special place.

    I really like those character photos, too...that particular friend of Mulan's is my favorite!

    I would LOVE to see your brother in the Ariel wig, although he might not be as happy to have me (or anyone) see it! :rotfl: I love that my brother is so silly and has no problem whatsoever being a total goofball! :goodvibes


    The whole knee thing was a real downer, but I was at DISNEY and that helped a lot!
     
  6. SoNotAPrincess

    SoNotAPrincess Disney Diva

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    Day 6, Chapter 34—Downtown, Where the Lights are Bright

    “Christmas shopping, never an easy or a pleasant task.”
    Love Actually

    Before we get on with this chapter, a quick real life update to explain my extended leave of absence from the Dis. My knee surgery was moved up unexpectedly, so I was in the hospital for a few days. It went well, and the tendon replacement was successful (yes!). After the first week or so, recovery started speeding up and getting easier, and working from home is a real blessing. The next (and hopefully last) surgery will probably be scheduled at my next check up, and that one’s somewhat trickier because it involves quite a bit of bone work, as well as the joint repair. Fingers crossed!

    I’m way behind on everyone’s trip reports, but I hope to get caught up this weekend!

    OK, on with the TR!


    There are lots of good eats at Disney World. I’ve been known to call many WDW restaurants my favorite…and the thing is, for different reasons, I really do like each of them best.

    But that’s a different story for a different day.

    Our dinner ADR was one that I’d been looking forward to…Wolfgang Puck—The Dining Room. I’ve had many delicious meals at WP Grand Café and WP Express, but this was my first visit upstairs.

    It was a chilly evening, and we took the boat from POR to DTD. I loved the slow chug down the Sassagoula River, the sound of boat horns blaring greetings to passing vessels, wildlife dotting the shoreline, and the wind nipping at my cheeks, lifting my hair as it whispered breezy kisses on my forehead. I remember my hand nestled in Gabriel’s, Brianna’s happy chatter, my brother’s chuckle, Lenny taking it all in, and Mom’s smile as she looked from face to face, making memories.

    I apologize in advance for the lack of photos in this chapter. I was a bit hopped up on goofers to combat the pain, and, as I’d already learned, asking Gabriel to take pictures was futile. Mom was intimidated by my camera; and, although my brother took photos, they’re not posted on facebook or I would’ve pirated them!

    We disembarked and made the short trip from the dock to the restaurant….

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    WolfgangPuck.com

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    DisneyFoodBlog.com

    We checked in and were taken upstairs to a table by the window with a lovely view. My least favorite thing about WP Café is that it gets pretty noisy, so I was glad it was quieter upstairs.

    I wish I could say that it was a fabulous dining experience, but it just wasn’t. It’s not that it was bad…the food was good, but not any better than what you can get downstairs in the café or at most Epcot TS restaurants. The service was good, too, although the waiter got our orders confused; and we played musical plates to get them right. Nobody’s perfect, though. He was very gracious in his apology, and he was very good with Brianna, patiently explaining all her menu options.

    I expect more from Disney’s signature dining experiences than a prettier view and higher prices, which is pretty much what we got. Nothing was bad…it just wasn’t “signature” and certainly not worth two dining credits.

    For what it’s worth, Brianna LOVED it. She got the kids steak that came with whipped potatoes and veggies and ate every bit of it, even going so far as to say that the potatoes were the best she’d ever had.

    We all agreed that the desserts were the best part of the meal…chocolate lava cake, crème brulee cheesecake, and key lime pie (best graham crust EVER).

    It’s probably not fair that I compare all Disney signature dining experiences to California Grill, which, in my opinion is the best of the best that Disney has to offer.

    Will we go back to WP Café and Express? Without a doubt! Will we return to WP—The Dining Room? Sadly, probably not.

    On a happier note, I love the WP slogan, especially when it’s lit up in glorious neon colors! (I missed the “eat” part…d’oh!)

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    We spent some time strolling through DTD, but it was really crowded. Maneuvering a scooter through the multitude was pretty challenging, but getting around in the shops, especially the Disney Store, was impossible. The place was jammed! Mom and Lenny took Bee to Ghiardelli’s (like she needed more chocolate), and I decided to park my ride and walk in to see what there was to see. I was moving pretty slowly and got jostled around pretty good, even though I was hanging on to Gabriel or Earl almost the whole time. The one time I ventured away from them, to look at pins of course, I got bumped (hard), lost my balance, and almost got up close and personal with the floor. At that point, we decided that it was time to exit.

    I have a couple of photos, but there are more DTD pictures in an upcoming chapter!

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    So many beautiful Christmas trees!

    I was more than ready to head back to the resort. There was no plan to hit the hot tub, but that’s what happened. We even talked Mom into getting in with us by assuring her that if the boys could help me get out, they could certainly help her out, too. She caved when I told her I’d stuck a pair of shorts and a T-shirt (she doesn’t do swimwear) in my suitcase for her “just in case”. At first, Bee was all about the pool, but her daddy was able to cajole her into the hot tub with the rest of us, and it was so much fun talking and laughing and letting the day slide away into the bubbles.


    Up next: Epcot—Take Two
     
  7. shan23877

    shan23877 I make lists about my lists

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    I was seriously considering WP-DR for this trip. I am sorry that you didn't enjoy it. I too consider Cali Grill the gold standard, so I'm guessing that I probably wouldn't love it either. Live and learn huh?

    You have such a way with words, I love that you not only took the time to enjoy the small moments, but to describe them to us as well. I can almost picture your mom smiling happily in a boat surrounded with some of her favorite people.

    Yay for a bonus hot tub night! I LOLed that you mom 'doesn't do swimwear'. How sweet of you to think of bringing her something.

    Wishing you a speedy and painless recovery (or at least well medicated). Sending good thoughts your way!
     
  8. marDgreen88

    marDgreen88 DIS Veteran

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    Good to hear about your knee! Hopefully it'll work out perfectly.

    That boat ride sounds perfect! There is something about those Disney boats that just make me so happy. :goodvibes

    I honestly didn't realize there were so many variations of Wolfgang Puck's at DTD! :laughing: Those desserts sound amazing!

    I really can't handle the crowds at DTD honestly. Crowds at the parks don't bother me (to a certain extent) but when DTD is crowded it's just... not worth it!
     
  9. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    I'm glad to hear you've been feeling well! I hope the rest of your recovery is good and speedy!! :thumbsup2

    I have ALWAYS been curious about WP-DR...and you completely confirmed my suspicions!! I'm sorry to hear you didn't enjoy your meal!!
     
  10. PracPerfPatricia

    PracPerfPatricia DIS Veteran

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    I've always been really curious about Wolfgang PUck's Dining Room as well... Thanks for trying it for me... I don't have to now...:lmao:

    I do like the Express for Counter Service & I happen to like Raglan Road but but for Signature Dining it is hard to beat Cali Grill or Flying Fish... (although I think I'd like to try bluezoo)
     
  11. SoNotAPrincess

    SoNotAPrincess Disney Diva

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    It's always a little sad when something is disappointing, but you're right...live and learn! And there are lots of really great places to eat at WDW!

    Thank you...the little moments are sometimes more powerful than the ones we plan and work so hard to make happen!

    Ah, the hot tub...I'd love to have one at home; but then it wouldn't be a special vacation treat anymore! :confused3

    Thank you...I've been very thankful for the miracle of modern medication! :thumbsup2


    I love the boats at Disney! :goodvibes

    Wolfgang Puck is taking over the world...and he's starting at DTD! :rotfl: The desserts were SO yummy!

    I know what you mean about DTD crowds. I love to shop, but I can only take so much shuffling and pushing before it gets to be too much!


    Thank you!

    I've been wanting to try WP-DR for a long time...I'm a big fan of both the other WP restaurants. I guess it just goes to show that not even Disney can hit a homerun every time!


    I'm always glad to take one for the team! :rotfl: It wasn't horrible; it just wasn't "signature".

    Raglan Road is a fave of mine, too. I enjoy the atmosphere and music as much as the food. Cali Grill is my number one, but Flying Fish is a close second. I hear good things about bluezoo, but I always manage to forget about it when I make ADRs. Someday I'll make it over there!
     
  12. SoNotAPrincess

    SoNotAPrincess Disney Diva

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    Day 7, Chapter 35—Epcot, Take Two


    “Someday you're going to find that your way of facing this realistic world just doesn't work. And when you do, don't overlook those lovely intangibles. You'll discover those are the only things that are worthwhile.”
    Miracle on 34th Street

    I hate writer’s block. I've had a bad case of it lately, the kind that lingers, making a muddle of my thoughts and rendering me incapable of getting ideas from my brain to my fingertips in a way that makes some sort of actual sense.

    Considering that writing is a big part of my job and that this TR is languishing unattended because of said blockage, this is bad. Very bad.

    Ugh. Ick. Yuck.

    Aside from writer’s block, life has been going at about a hundred miles an hour, including a Spring Break visit from Gabriel’s son and daughter. We had a lot of fun, even though I sat out the Great Universal Studios Spring Break Expedition of 2013. They loved US, especially the WWOHP and “real” roller coasters. (I think that's a dig at WDW's more family friendly coasters...pfft!)

    Even though I’m not a diehard Harry Potter fan, I do want to see WWHOP…eventually. Poor Gabriel…first WDW at Christmas and then Universal during Spring Break!

    Alrighty then…let’s journey back to December, 2012, shall we?


    Gabriel and I were up bright and early on New Year’s Eve Eve (that’s a thing, right?) and were at Epcot before it opened. Everyone else slept in, but they’d be meeting us for lunch.

    As we approached the turnstiles, I reminded Gabriel that he could use the RFID scanner (I had a paper AP, so I couldn’t use the scanner), but he grinned and pulled out his very own annual pass! I think I said something very eloquent like, “Huh? When…what…when…” while he laughed at me. As he put it, “Turns out that Disney is more fun that I thought. I imagine I’ll be coming back,” so he upgraded his park hopper the day before but decided to withhold that little snippet of information in order to surprise me.

    I was so happy I forgot to say I told you so!

    And now, the Tour de la Topiaries…

    Good morning, Goofy and Donald! Good morning, great big shiny ball!

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    After pausing for a few photos, we hit The Land for Soarin’, where the line was relatively short. That queue goes on forever! Oh, how I love Soarin’! I’m partial to flying over the orange groves and breathing in the smell of citrus. But I adore the fireworks…every time I soar over Disneyland is like the first time. Being wrapped up in the light and noise, I can almost feel the colors sizzle...truly, Disney at its finest!

    Next up was Living with the Land…I mean, it was right there; and it’s awesome, right? Well, I thought so! ::yes:: Gabriel, not so much.

    Who can resist balloons? (Obviously, not me!)

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    To make it up to him, we headed over to Mission Sinise…ummm…Space, which made him very happy. So happy, in fact, that he rode it twice, even though the line was longer than I liked. I haven’t ridden MS since 2006 (back when there was only one version) and I was happy to send him into space all by himself. If I were to ride it now (highly unlikely), I would be Team Green. Gabriel is Team Orange all the way, baby!

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    Having soared over California, sailed through an agriculture lesson that featured a nine-pound lemon and Mickey-shaped pumpkins, and successfully completed two space missions, it was time to leave the future behind us and venture into the World Showcase.

    We started in Mexico, which is one of my favorite pavilions. Gabriel enjoyed it, too, and said, “Next time, we need to eat here.” I liked hearing “next time”. :thumbsup2

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    We stopped by La Cava, and Gabriel got a Jalapeno Margarita. He said it was one of the best Margaritas he’s ever had, and that’s saying something! Back in the day, he…never mind, this is a family friendly TR! I had a sip, but it’s not really my thing.

    Since we were short on time, we hot footed it past the other pavilions, making brief stops in China to see the terra cotta army…

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    …and America, where I cracked an icepack, and we enjoyed the Voices of Liberty for a few minutes. I love them so much…the harmonies are amazing and make me feel extra patriotic!

    We lingered a bit longer in Morocco, which is one of my favorite pavilions.

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    It wasn’t too crowded once we passed through the arch, so I got off the scooter to stretch my knee and enjoy the shops a bit. I love all the different textiles and bright, saturated colors!

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    Jasmine and Aladdin were out, and it was fun watching them interact with the kids. One little boy was especially adorable; he was dressed like Aladdin and had a Genie lamp. I couldn’t hear what was said, but one of the picture poses was of all three of them rubbing the lamp…precious!

    World Showcase was jammed with people, and it was slow going getting to our destination. I’ve never seen it so packed! We bypassed France and the UK almost entirely and hurried on to Canada, where we’d meet up with the rest of the gang for lunch at Le Cellier.

    Cheddar cheese soup and pretzel bread, anyone?


    Up next: “I’m not eating moose no matter what you say!”
     
  13. shan23877

    shan23877 I make lists about my lists

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    How sweet that Gabriel upgraded his ticket and surprised you with it! I too enjoy hearing 'next time' from my DH. :goodvibes

    We've never done the restaurants in Mexico, but I'm always tempted to. Do you enjoy them?

    I loved hearing that story about Aladdin, Aladdin, and Jasmine. You never see little boys getting into the fun like that! How cute that must have been.
     
  14. Victoriasmom98

    Victoriasmom98 DIS Veteran

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    You did it!!! You converted Gabriel to a Disney Fan!! Good Job!! I think it's so sweet how he got an annual pass without your knowledge. That's just so cool!! You described Soarin so perfectly! I'm one of those who reallly like Living with the Land. Peter's a former farmer so he really enjoys it, too. I think our Victoria could care less....:rotfl: Great update!!
     
  15. marDgreen88

    marDgreen88 DIS Veteran

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    AHHH yay, Gabriel got an AP!!! :woohoo:

    Yikes, a packed World Showcase is just not quite as fun as a relatively busy but still manageable World Showcase. :lmao: I love the story about the little boy dressed as Aladdin! That's adorable!
     
  16. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    Great update! :)
     
  17. PracPerfPatricia

    PracPerfPatricia DIS Veteran

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    New Year's Eve eve... as in December 30th? ;)

    I"m a big fan of that orange smell during Soarin as well:goodvibes

    So for someone who's never done Mission Space... how bad is it really?...:confused::

    I think the Cava in Mexico is really pretty atmospheric... one of those "hidden" gems in plain site...

    I love Morocco :love: ... I think if I had to pick... the whole stretch between France and Japan (so Morocco too) would be my favorite...:)

    Hmmm... Le Cellier Review...

    popcorn::
     
  18. SoNotAPrincess

    SoNotAPrincess Disney Diva

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    I think I was more excited about his AP than he was. He's been saying "next time" quite a bit lately! :cool1:

    Although I've had several yummy beverages in Mexico, I've never eaten there (maybe the CS once, a long time ago), but I've always wanted to..the setting is just so beautiful that the food couldn't possibly be anything but yummy! :lmao: It's a must do for our next trip.

    That little boy dressed as Aladdin was too precious...he totally melted my heart. I love seeing the junior princes...it's so rare!


    I know! If Disney can win him over, they can get anyone...he was so sure that it wasn't his thing. Well, the joke's on him! :thumbsup2

    Soarin' is a must-must do for me...I can't imagine being at Epcot and not riding it.

    I enjoy Living with the Land, too...it actually makes me a little sad if I miss it. I grew up on a farm, so that probably has something to do with it.


    Gabriel's AP deserves a party! party: :rotfl:

    OMG, you are so right. Those crowds had me longing for one of my beloved September trips!

    That little Aladdin was so cute, and Jasmine was giving him lots of extra attention, which I thought was really sweet.


    Thank you!!
     
  19. SoNotAPrincess

    SoNotAPrincess Disney Diva

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    LOL...exactly like December 30! But New Year's Eve Eve just sounds better! :rotfl2:

    I love the way Soarin' is a treat for all your senses. Being a Florida native, the citrus takes me back to climbing trees with my cousins and feasting on oranges and tangerines.

    My thing with MS was never the spinning...I LOVE to spin, and that twinge of weightlessness (even if it's all in my head) is awesome. For me, it was the tight quarters that I didn't like. I'm not exactly claustrophobic, but that ride is just a little to close for comfort for me!

    I agree with you about La Cava...it's especially nice if you can get there when it's not too crowded. I've had some really good drinks there, but the Jalapeno was just not tickling my taste buds.

    It's so hard to choose a favorite pavilion, but Morocco just might be mine; at the very least it's in the top three. It feels extra authentic to me...not that I'd know since I've never been to the real Morocco!
     
  20. SoNotAPrincess

    SoNotAPrincess Disney Diva

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    Welcome to my life! Below is an actual conversation that took place a few days ago between Gabriel and me.

    Me: “We need to go to Disney for a few hours after my next doctor’s appointment.”
    Gabriel: “Need? Or want?”
    Me: “Neeeeeeed. The monorail is wrapped for the new Iron Man flick.”
    Gabriel: “That’s cool. What’s this one called?"
    Me: “Iron Man 3, right?"
    Gabriel: “The monorail, doofus, not the movie.”
    Me: “Oh. Well, there’s been the Tronorail, so maybe the Ironorail.” (rhymes with monorail)
    Gabriel: “Or the Manorail.”

    That’s right, people, we have deep, intellectual conversations at our house!


    Day 7, Chapter 36—“I’m not eating moose no matter what you say!”

    “If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am now."
    Christmas Vacation

    I chose the quote for this chapter because I actually said it when Gabriel and I arrived in Canada and MY FAMILY WAS ALREADY THERE! I would have been less surprised if George Clooney had been waiting to present me with a flawless 10-carat pear cut pink diamond ring, leading to a throw down between him and Gabriel over who would get the honor of spending the rest of their life showering me with expensive gifts.

    I can’t remember the last time my family was on time without me being around to nudge, prod, and bully them into it.

    Hence the quote.

    It went zoomin’ over their heads; but Gabriel gave me a little pity chuckle, which is the verbal version of a pat on the head.

    Thanks, honey.

    I’ve never been to Canada, but if the Canadian pavilion is any indication, I know I would love it. You can’t go wrong with a lush garden, crystal clear pond, and ducks…not to mention the rocks, waterfalls, and rushing rapids. A nature’s paradise, for sure.

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    And to top it off, there’s Le Cellier!

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    I haven’t been to LC in a while, so I was happy to get a lunch ADR before it goes to two dining credits like dinner. It was an easy choice since Mom, Earl, and Gabriel all requested (demanded) an ADR during this trip. I’d forgotten how dark it is inside the restaurant and how close the tables are to each other. A little extra room would’ve been nice, but I understand they’re trying to move as many people through as possible.

    The questions everyone asks, of course, are “Was it good? Is it overhyped? Is it worth two credits?”

    Yes, it was good. Very, very good. Our server was excellent, the steaks were perfectly cooked, and the cheddar cheese soup and pretzel bread were as yummy as I remember. The risotto makes my list of the best things I’ve ever eaten, and Earl said his steak was unparalleled. Mom, Lenny, and Bee were all extremely happy with their meals, too. Bee especially loved the cheddar cheese soup. While he enjoyed his meal a lot, Gabriel alone didn’t quite get why LC is such a big deal.

    In my experience, the food lives up to the hype and the service is stellar; so, yes, I think it’s worth two dining credits. It’s never been a “must do” place for us, but we’ll definitely be back.

    We had a delicious, relaxed lunch with lots of chatter. Bee told us that they’d taken a long walk around the resort that morning and she’d tweeted a bunch of POR pictures of to her friend Destiny, which prompted me to raise my eyebrows at Earl and Lenny and ask how long she’d been on Twitter. Bee piped up with, “What’s Twitter? Why am I on it?” I tried to explain it to her, but she wasn’t very interested. Turns out that her best friend’s big sister spends a lot of time tweeting and sending photos to her friends, so Bee thought they were one and the same.

    Our good time was culminated by dessert. Maple Crème Brulee yumminess! When our server was explaining the desserts, we all encouraged Brianna to get the chocolate moose; but she wasn’t having it. For some reason we couldn’t get her to accept that it was mousse not moose. She finally put an end to the discussion by announcing quite forcefully, “I’m not eating moose no matter what you say!”

    Easily one of my favorite lines from the whole trip!

    Our server was very sweet and brought out a moose for her anyway; and, of course, she LOVED it. What’s not to love, right?

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    After lunch, the park was uber crowded, so we decided to head back to POR, but on the way out, Mom wanted to stop for Spaceship Earth; so we did. It was about a 35-minute wait, which was a first for me…I’ve never waited more than 20 minutes for SE in my life!

    I won’t name names, but four of us were lulled to sleep by the dulcet tones of Dame Judi Dench. Brianna liked it even though it was a “learning ride”, and Mom loved it; so it was all good.

    Is it weird that I still kinda miss Walter Cronkite’s narration?

    Don’t answer that.

    Buh-bye, big shiny ball!

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    Up next: Sweets, Treats, and Tired Feets
     
  21. shan23877

    shan23877 I make lists about my lists

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    I appreciate your review of LC. We never got there before it went to 2 credits for lunch, and there are too many other signatures I'd like to try. Sounds like it should go on the 'next time' list though!

    Too funny that Brianna not only thought she was tweeting, but that she thought you guys were trying to get her to eat moose. What a strange dessert that would be!
     

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