SOOZE's 12th Anniversary Yuletide Fun 2/6 LINK to NEW PTR!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Sooze, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Sooze

    Sooze DIS Veteran

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    We woke up the next day to a gorgeously perfect morning. We left the sliding door open as we got ready for the day so we could smell the Disney air and hear the Disney sounds!
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    The big, ugly balloon was flying high already this morning. I was watching the breeze just move this thing all over the place. Made me a bit weary of ever getting on it!!
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    Just a quick picture of the courtyard outside of our window. So pretty:
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    We jumped in the car and drove over to the Poly for our 9 am reservations at Kona. I was beyond ready to eat some of that Tonga Toast! On our way through the parking lot, we saw this funny sight:
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    You just never know what you're going to see in Disney World!

    So, today was Monday.. you know, the day that NO ONE was supposed to be here. The day that has been reported as the slowest day of the year in Disney. Well... I'm guessing folks hadn't received the message because the Poly was MOBBED!! Here is the line we had to wait in just to check in at Kona:
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    We saw several angry guests who had no ADRs trying to get into the restaurant. There were LOTS of empty tables, but they were turning people away unless they had a reservation. Thankfully, we were all set!

    Of course, Matt made fun of me because I thought our ressies were at 9, but it was really 9:40. So we could've slept another half hour. And after the day we had yesterday, those 30 minutes would've meant A LOT!

    Oh well! That really doesn't matter, because in just a few minutes, we were at our table looking at this:
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    Here is the view I had while eating:
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    I really like the atmosphere in Kona.

    Before we knew it, our food was here. Another classic Matt expression... fill in your own caption:
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    He ordered an omelet, I got the Tonga Toast (of course) and we agreed to split them to share!

    Here I am ready to enjoy the delicious fare:
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    :rotfl:Just kidding! You don't eat it like that, silly! Check out the strawberry compote in front of me. Oh my gosh! I don't think I used that the last time I got Tonga Toast. This time, I did. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.... I am just drooling remembering how scrumptious it was!!

    We basically devoured the meal and were quickly on our way to DTD. I did not take a lot of pictures here because I was too busy spending WAY too much money!:confused3

    I did take out my camera at the new Trend-D store. Really LOVED the displays in here!

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    Next stop was the Christmas store. We were really hoping to get some holiday decor for our house. Most specifically, a tree topper and a tree skirt. We were SO disappointed in the selection:sad2: EVERY skirt was $75! I am sorry, but I am NOT spending $75 on a tree skirt. I can't imagine how many skirts they'd sell if they'd make a more wallet-friendly skirt... it doesn't have to have all the fancy embroidery, expensive fabrics, and plush feel. Just a cotton or felt version with that DisneyWorld touch. So what did we do?

    Well, earlier, at World of Disney, we were checking out the $75 monorail that runs around the track... and we were talking about how we'd love to have that going around our tree...

    So... $75 on a fancy skirt? Or $75 on a monorail that moves, and has little figures you can play with? EASY ANSWER!! We ordered the monorail and had it shipped to the house. We decided to tell the kids that Mickey was sending them a Christmas present. It all worked out perfectly!

    The tree topper didn't work out, either. I must have a tree topper that lights up.. not sure why... just one of those 'that's-the-way-I've-always-had-it' kind of things! I could only find ONE topper that lit up, and it just didn't call to me. So, we were stuck with our same old angel we've had for 14 years!

    Our final disappointment... the Christmas store sells no exterior decorations! What? Again... imagine the money they'd make there! Now, we are very subtle with our exterior decorations.. well, except for the giant Mickey wreath on our garage:
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    We were hoping to find a lighted Mickey head to hang in the large window above our front door. Nothing.

    Before we left, I grabbed a few shots of the Christmas merchandise:
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    We left somewhat disappointed, but decided to cheer ourselves up with some Magic Kingdom action!

    We drove over to the Contemporary and headed up to the monorail:
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    We admired the Contemporary's MASSIVE Mickey wreath:
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    And a little closer:
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    A few fun stories on the monorail... I grabbed this fun shot with the shadow of the balloon decorations on the glass:
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    And here is Matt...
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    What is he doing? You ask? He was using the voice recorder on his iPhone to record the monorail announcement "Please stand clear of the doors... Por Favor....etc. etc. in Spanish". He then texted it to all of our friends who were jealous of our trip. It makes a great ring tone, too! Once he did this, we started thinking of all kinds of things we could record and send to people!

    We had a lovely trip over to the MK, with only a few strange glances at our recording activity!!:rolleyes1
     
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  3. Sooze

    Sooze DIS Veteran

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    We arrived at Magic Kingdom to more crowds. We weaved our way through Main Street traffic:
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    Grabbed a random shot of holiday decor:
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    And even went stealth to catch a shot of PEEPS for Jordan!!
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    My husband just didn't get why I couldn't stop laughing after that! I was just proud of my shot... and they had no idea!:rotfl:

    We were kind of in a rush because we were wanting to catch the last show of "Dream Along With Mickey" in front of the castle. Why? Well, we have a friend who is a cast member. We had a WONDERFUL encounter with her at Spring Break:
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    Well, she was now playing Snow White in the show! We were so happy for her, and she knew we'd be there for the last show. Here are another bajillion shots of it. Enjoy!
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    Hilarious!
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    Everyone all together now... OUCH!!!
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    And out she came!!
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    Love this one!!
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    And a video clip of our friend in action (See if you can catch her waving at us!):
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    Cont'd in next post!
     
  4. belle8306

    belle8306 DIS Veteran

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    Wow! I can't believe how busy it was! Kona is wonderful! I need to get there for breakfast someday. The Disney store had some cute tree skirts. Maybe they will be on clearance after the holiday. The monorail around the tree sounds so cute!
     
  5. JenSop

    JenSop DIS Veteran

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    OMG! I think I'm going to totally steal your monorail ringtone idea next time I'm down there! That is awesome!:thumbsup2
     
  6. Sooze

    Sooze DIS Veteran

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    Here are a few more shots from the show:
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    Next up was dinner. We decided to try a new Counter Service: Pecos Bills. We had heard about the touch screen ordering and decided to give it a whirl. We felt a bit 'dirty', though... knowing that CMs were going to be losing jobs to these things... but oh well!

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    Again, it was UBER crowded, so we went outside and found a nice bench to sit on. I know I had a BBQ of some kind (chicken?pork?) and enjoyed it very much. I have no idea what Matt got, but we both had a nice meal.

    We snuck in a viewing of the updated Hall of Presidents somewhere in here. It was fine... nothing much to say about it!

    We had a great ride on Pirates. You know how the 'Disney pros' always GO LEFT when most of humanity goes right? Well, it really paid off for us! I was thinking that maybe the left side was closed because, as we walked into the main PotC entrance, a MOB of people were heading to the right. But, nope, the left was WIDE open. We strolled right in and got a whole boat to ourselves!! We let out some giddy 'yes-we-are-Disney-professionals' laughter as we passed the folks that went right, and were WAITING to load their FULL boat, and then enjoyed our ride!
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    Don't worry... we just took this quick picture with flash as we were pulling out of the dock. No more flash during the ride, right?!

    After our encounter with Jack Sparrow, we were passing the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse! Something I've never done. Matt climbed around in it in July with Tyson and was really not feeling up to it.

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    Me? I was excited to go!!

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    It was fun! Not something I'd ever wait in line for, but it was cool! I enjoyed hearing the 'polka' music that they play in the treehouse. I listen to live365 Disney radio when I'm working at school, and that song always comes on. I'd never experienced the music with the attraction... well, now I have!!

    As we crossed through the hub on our way to Tomorrowland, I caught my very first glance of the Icicle Castle. Wow... it took my breath away. Truly, pictures can NEVER capture the magic... kind of like Osborne lights. You just HAVE to see it live to really get it!

    Here is a TERRIBLE picture as we blew by:

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    We battled it out on BLY. Matt had a COMMANDING lead, but I came back at the last minute!! This was my attempt to document the win... first, I accidentally had my flash on, so you can't see the numbers.. but you CAN see how Matt was TRYING to block the score!!
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    Then, I got my score:
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    And another attempt at Matt's... though he was pushing my arm around...
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    124,560... just in case you can't see it!:rolleyes1

    Next was a carefree and wait-less ride on TTA. And... we still love each other... because now we're EVEN!
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    Our next ride was the newly refurbished Space Mountain. We kept watching it all night and the wait times would flux from 30-50 minutes. So when it said 40, we decided to go for it. This became our #3 worst line.. behind TSM and Soarin'. The reason is this: After you meander your way through a long single queue, you emerge into the ride-load area and think you are almost there. PSYCH!! You now have to do the back and forth line for another 30 minutes. It's just torture.

    Now. The upgrades. 1st of all, in the long single line that you start in, they have installed some games to play in order to take your mind off the long wait. THESE ARE COOL!! Here is Matt trying his hand at one of the games:
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    The bad thing is, while people are playing, it holds up the line for a good 5 minutes... then everyone moves forward a big jump. Not a big deal, but when you're way back in the end of the line and you don't know what's going on... standing still for 5 minutes can make you feel like you're waiting for Soarin!!

    The other upgrade we noticed was the smoothness of the ride. We really enjoyed it! We aren't big Space Mountain riders.. so there may be other things that we just didn't notice!

    It was finally time for Wishes, so we joined the herd of humanity (thanks, Great Biscuit!) in front of the castle. Here is my one and only shot I took during this whole thing!
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    Not too bad for my little cheap camera! We got there 45 minutes early, and were already crammed into a spot. I couldn't believe the number of people who would try to squeeze their way in front of, or next to us, only to realize it just wasn't going to work. It was the longest 45 minutes wait EVER!! There was a nice family in front of us that had a few kids and a big honkin' stroller and what looked like grandparents in tow. I saw the dad start making a bottle... mixing formula and trying to balance all of the crap that was on the stroller. Then it hit me... where is there a baby? I didn't see one! So I watched carefully, then was stunned when he handed the bottle to his wife, who proceeded to feed it to her AT LEAST 3 year old daughter. She even cradled her like a baby! Weird... I know I shouldn't judge when i don't know the situation, but... it was hard not to stare in disbelief.

    Wishes was beautiful, and we made sure to record some of it with our phones to send to our envious friends! The only downer was there was no Tink. We had a great spot to see her, too. Not sure what happened?

    When it was over, we jumped on a bench that was quickly vacated, and watched the MADNESS that was the exodus from Magic Kingdom. People watching is SOOOOO fantabulous, isn't it!?!

    Finally, we started to head out ourselves. We stopped for some PhotoPass shots in front of the castle... this is my princess/prince pose:
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    (I was mad the photographer didn't get my feet. I was SO standing like a princess...)

    And the fairy tale kiss... with the prince's eyes open!:headache:
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    And one more stroll down Main Street. It was fun to think about the next we'd be here with our kids in a few months!
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    We walked back to our car at the Contemporary, then back home. We knew we'd be able to sleep in the next morning, which was such a wonderful thought!

    Tomorrow was our Epcot extravaganza! Come back now!
     
  7. Shelly F - Ohio

    Shelly F - Ohio Disney Extraordinaire

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    Why wait till your next trip, you can go to youtube and find the monorail announcement.

     
  8. praisehisname

    praisehisname DIS Veteran

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    Loved all your Magic Kingdom/Contemporary pics! Hope you had a fabulous Christmas!
     
  9. timandlesley

    timandlesley <font color=darkorchid>The tag fairy may not but t

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    LOVED this update Sooze!!! Now Tim and I HAVE to try Kona for breakfast this summer, time to re post the ADR's!!!! What a great day you guys had. LOVED the shots you got at night at Magic Kingdom, Tim never made it over there at night on his Dec. trip so I loved your pics. Also thought it was great seeing Matt recording the monorail lingo, LOVED my text by the way, so THANK YOU!
    Hope you guys had a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! See you soooooon!!!:thumbsup2
    Lesley
     
  10. jwwi

    jwwi DIS Veteran

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    Sooze,
    Isn't the castle with the lights just fantastic. I absolutely love it! Sounds like you had a fun day/night at Magic Kingdom. So much fun that you knew Snow White in the show. I did see the wave, very cute.princess:

    I was reading about your inability to find a Disney light for your window at the Christmas store. I got one for Christmas, it is from Walgreens, and evidently was on sale for 1/2 price before Christmas. I think it is cute, and it was only 3.50, now that is a deal. I am sure they are probably gone by now, but check out the website, or your nearest Walgreens.

    Hope you had a great Christmas:santa:
     
  11. PrincessV

    PrincessV DIS Veteran

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    Susie, you've been busy - holy updates Batman! :cool1:

    I'm all caught up... and so excited for your win on Buzz! :banana:

    Hope you guys had a wonderful holiday! :hug:
     
  12. GreatBiscuit

    GreatBiscuit Golden but never flaky

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    Yikes! $75? That’s a bit pretentious. Was it sewn my Minnie herself or something?

    Ooooooooh. Me likey.

    Awesome call!


    That’s HILARIOUS! I’m so stealing that idea next time around!

    I’m not seeing it, therefore it cannot be proven. (We Matt’s gotta get each other’s backs you know.)


    Woohoo! I’m so glad they didn’t screw it up.

    No prob!


    It can certainly be entertaining.


    popcorn::
     
  13. jordanyosh

    jordanyosh DIS Veteran

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    great update! and so many too.

    Thanks for the stealth picture! I think they're Chinese peeps.

    I'm trying Kona for the first time in February because people keep raving about it. I'm going for Breakfast and for Dinner. That Tonga Toast looks good.

    How cool that you know someone that works there and that you were able to see them perform....
     
  14. Sooze

    Sooze DIS Veteran

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    SORRY GUYS! I went MIA for a while there, didn't I?! I guess the holidays and a new year will do that to ya!

    Aw, but then it's not "AUTHENTIC"!! :rolleyes:

    Thanks! We sure DID have a fabulous Christmas. VERY relaxing and blessed, for sure!

    Yes, PLEASE try Kona! That Tonga Toast is just something you HAVE to experience! We had a blast sending you texts! Hoping you can return the favor when you head back down this summer....:rolleyes1

    The castle with the lights is just breath-taking, literally!

    One of my friends told me about the Mickey light at Walgreens. I totally missed out on it, though. I'm praying they stock up on them again next year... or, I have decided, I'm just going to make my own!!
    I had a good run there, didn't I? Now I'm making you wait a LONG time for the next update! :sad2:

    The Buzz win was definitely necessary. I was so bummed about TSM! It made everything right with the world!

    I will say, the fabrics were very rich and expensive-looking and the skirts were plush and embellished very beautifully. I just wanted something more affordable, and less hoity-toity!

    And thanks for sticking with Matt... somebody's got to!:rolleyes:

    Wow... you can identify nationality?! You are a true pro. Maybe it's the time you spent in China...?:confused3

    Oh! Please share what you think of the Tonga Toast. I'll expect a full dissertation in your TR!

    Knowing performers at Disney is SO neat. I feel like we know a celebrity!:cool1:
     
  15. Sooze

    Sooze DIS Veteran

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    Matt just flew to Orlando this morning to participate in the Mini-Marathon on Saturday. So, to take my mind off the fact that he's in Epcot right now, and I'm not, I thought I'd do an update!

    On a side note, I also make myself feel better by looking at the weather forecast for Orlando this weekend... BRRRRRR!!!

    And off we go!

    We were able to sleep in on this, our Epcot day! We felt well rested and ready for our day full of food and yuletide festivities. We, once again, took advantage of parking at the BWV and made our way to the Boardwalk for breakfast. I was craving coffee and, to be honest, we have NEVER eaten at the BW Bakery before (SHOCKING, I know...) so we headed that way. The Boardwalk was empty, the weather was beautiful, and we had a full day ahead of us. It was a great moment!

    Our view whilst we ate:
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    Matt's breakfast... he had already eaten a bunch before I got my camera out. :sad2:Silly husband, he still doesn't think about my DIS friends that want to see the food WITHOUT bite marks....
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    And my breakfast.... this. was. delicious!!!!! It had Gi-normous blueberries in it! YUM!!
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    Our first stop was Soarin'. We just decided to wait standby. It was only posted at 40 minutes, and that was cool with us. SO different than when we have the kids with us.

    We were in line behind a group of 3 'older' couples. They all looked like they had been retired and that they had been friends for a while. Matt and I kept thinking about when we retire, and about our other DIS-obsessed friends, and how we will all come hang out at Disney together.... God willing, of course! The group was just so cute! We had a fun time waiting. Plus, the interactive games were up and running, so our arms got a nice workout, too!:thumbsup2

    Still waiting:
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    (You can see some of that group in front of us!)

    Almost there:
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    You KNOW we asked to sit top row, center... so we ended up waiting just a wee bit more. Finally, we heard the beautiful sound of the clarinet in the "Soarin' Queue Waiting Song"...
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    .. and Kronk... I mean, Chief Flight Attendant Patrick, appeared to tell us about our flight:
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    Nice Work, Pal!!
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    We ended up sitting next to an older kid who had obviously ridden this ride MANY times. He was trying to tell everyone around him where the hidden Mickeys were in the ride. I know about most of them (golf ball, fireworks), but he kept insisting that there was one on a balloon in the golf scene. As soon as the scene starts, there is a man with a balloon cart in the bottom left corner of the screen. The kid said he lets go of a Mickey balloon.:confused3 I sure didn't see it. Maybe I'll check it out again next time!

    Next stop, was this new attraction:
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    We had to wait a good 30 minutes for it. One of the robotic arms was not working (They had 3 out of 4 going), plus... it's a kick-butt exhibit!! Who WOULDN'T want to do it?! We made ourselves wait for it because Tim and Lesley recommended it so highly, plus, we wanted to be able to get Tyson all excited about it for this upcoming Spring Break.

    After waiting, they corralled us all into the 'briefing room':
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    Next up, we got to create our coaster. I was wondering how they made this move along... I imagined some folks sitting here forever, trying to create their ride... but it was all timed. You had to keep moving, or they would just make choices for you. GOOD CALL!!!
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    I also loved all the little knick-knacks at each station. We felt like real imagineers!
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    We decided to create a jet plane ride. We tried to make it as THRILLING as possible! It was quick, easy, and even kids could whip this out. Plus... there was a bit of math and physics involved, so Walt would've been proud of the educational element.

    We took our card that the ride was loaded on, went to a simulator, hopped in, and rode the creation. IT WAS A BLAST!! Highly recommended!! I loved how you could see your ride partner on the little TV monitor inside your own monitor. That was really fun!

    By this time, our lunch ressies were upon us. Time to head over to Mexico!
     
  16. belle8306

    belle8306 DIS Veteran

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    I love :lovestruc Soarin'! Your treats from the bakery look good!:goodvibes
     
  17. jordanyosh

    jordanyosh DIS Veteran

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    I think I've said this before, but mornings on the Boardwalk are the best, especially when it's not crowded. Was there filling in Matt's danish? It looks great.
     
  18. Sooze

    Sooze DIS Veteran

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    :dance3:Me too! Me too!!

    And, let me tell ya, those treats WERE good! Can't wait to get back there this spring for another blueberry Mickey head.. yum!!

    I'm sure you've said it before, but you can never say it enough! It is a true 'vacation' moment when you're on the Boardwalk with nobody but your traveling companion(s), some treats, the gulls, and the tooting of the boat horns! LOVE IT!!!!

    No filling.. it was a cinnamon roll, but I think it's upside down, so you can't tell very well!:rolleyes: Obviously, though, it was delish!
     
  19. Sooze

    Sooze DIS Veteran

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    We had been looking forward to the next meal for so long, we couldn't believe it was actually time to head into the great Mexican pyramid to enjoy it! Of course, we arrived in Mexico about 30 minutes before our ADR, so we took some time on a bench in the sun to soak up the Epcot atmosphere. To our pleasant surprise, there were some musicians on the steps of the pyramid:
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    We had never seen these guys! Apparently, they've been around for a long while, but we've never happened upon them. See? People always ask me why we keep going back to WDW... haven't we done and seen everything? Why, NO, we haven't, thank you very much!

    More pictures of the entertainers:
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    Our view:
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    And here's a short video clip of them playing. Matt (who is a trumpet player) and I talked about that "Mexican vibrato" that trumpet players have in groups like this. It's such a wide-wavering vibrato. We were wondering how that ever started!
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    We finally got off of our butts long enough to walk inside, check in, and immediately be seated at our table. We were one table away from the water and had a great view of the volcano!

    And a great view of our menu!
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    We ate our way through two baskets of chips and salsa. It's funny... I think we look forward to the chips and salsa more than the actual meal!:rotfl:

    But I ended up with the mahi mahi... AWESOME!
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    Matt went with the sirloin con chilaquiles... he enjoyed the steak, but the rest of the stuff on the plate.. meh...
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    We had a wonderful CM taking care of us. He kept the Diet Coke flowing and our chips and salsa full. It was a wonderful meal. We passed on dessert, hoping to grab some fried ice cream in between VoL sets.

    I had been watching the boat ride pass us all through lunch, and wanted to take a nice ride down the Mexican river. So I forced Matt to come with me. Matt's reaction? ....typical Matt...
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    :rotfl2: He couldn't complain that much... we walked right on the boat!

    Our next stop was a tradition with us when we come by ourselves.

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    That's right.. we headed to the American Pavillion... IT'S VOICES OF LIBERTY TIME!!! We were so ready to sit on the edge of that red circle and listen to several sets of our favorite performing group in all of Disney. We had never heard them during the Christmas season, so we were giddy with excitement to hear some new stuff... and for them to help us get into the Christmas spirit (nothing does that for us like some great Christmas tunes).

    Check out their GORGEOUS Christmas outfits:

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    We were absolutely blown away by them this time... well, as usual.. but hearing the Christmas songs... amazing!!! Our favorite tenor was there, and the young bass guy, too. Then some of our usual ladies, who never fail to entertain and sound perfect!

    She is so beautiful!
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    The wife of the creator of VoL!
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    The young bass guy on right.. such a cutie!
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    Not sure how many of you are on Facebook, but that website has changed so many things for us. Including the ability to hook-up with people we know who will be at Disney the same time as us. Case in point.. my friend Stephanie and her beautiful family live in Texas now. She saw one of my status updates about being in Disney. We found out we'd be there at the same time. So we exchanged cell numbers, and were able to see each other on the first night at Illuminations. We also knew they were going to be at Epcot on this day. To our surprise, they walked into one of sets of VoL and saw us sitting in the prime spots. Score! We were able to watch two sets of VoL together. It was great spending time and being able to chat, since we only got a quick hug on the first night. Here is Stephanie and me:
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    Hooray for 'old' color guard friends!!

    One more shot of the amazing VoL:
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    I do have some video to post of VOL. I'll get that loaded and do a separate post later! You'll have to hear some of their GREAT music!

    I had a mission to accomplish before we headed to our dinner reservations. That mission: To find mlill's daughter, Jordan!!! She is working at Epcot as part of the college program. A little birdie told me that Jordan was going to be working at the pin trading station that day. So Matt and I finished the loop of World Showcase, and headed back into Future World.

    I was shocked at how crowded and busy the pin trading station was!! I had to wait about 15 minutes before Jordan even had a chance to visit! But, we were able to sneak in a quick hello and a photo:
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    YAY! I met Jordan! She is SOOOO sweet and just seemed to fit PERFECTLY in at Epcot. I'm so glad for her and her family that she has been able to do this Disney gig. Wondering if her brother and sister will follow...? Before we left, she grabbed a special goodie out of a drawer. Apparently, her mom gave her the heads-up that Matt and I might be making a visit today. Look what she made for us:
    [​IMG]

    Isn't that sweet? :hug:

    I know it seems like we just ate at Mexico, but it was time for food once again! Please keep in mind that we enjoyed FOUR sets of VoL and a walk around WS before we went back to eat... just sayin'!

    Stay tuned for more food! And the Candlelight processional, too!
     
  20. micandminforever

    micandminforever DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Messages:
    2,176
    It was great you were able to enjoy four set of VoL, they really add to the Disney magic at Christmas.
    My husband and I are planning eat at Mexico in June, so I glad you gave a review.
     
  21. jwwi

    jwwi DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Messages:
    1,717
    Can't believe that you sat through 4 sets of VOL, I really must go and listen to them on one of my trips. I am happy that you were able to meet Jordan, how sweet of her to give you those magical moment certificates and buttons. I really enjoyed reading her family's TRs, but I don't think Michelle is continuing to write them.:confused3
    Looks like you had a beautiful day to be at Epcot. Can't wait to read about your dinner and processional experiences. Hope Matt dressed appropriately for the chilly FL weather.
     

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