Vacation Potpourri - Disney Dream, Kidani Village, and more! - Vacation Wrap-Up 4/24

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Bridora, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    Wow! Talk about rain! It was raining that day wasn't it?!?! I would have been just like you and wondering whether or not to even go to Universal that day for fear that we'd be wasting a day of tickets. But, it looks like Davis was right and ya'll were able to do quite a bit so far.
     
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  3. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    There was a lot of rain! Thankfully, we had our ponchos and Davis and I had those red rain jackets we purchased a year or two ago in Epcot! Yes, we were walking around Universal in Disney ponchos, but we were not the only ones! :)
     
  4. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    I've seen lots of folks wearing Sea World and Univeral ponchos at Disney so I'm sure it's pretty "norm". I hate the ponchos so I think that we're going to be looking into buying alternate rain jackets for our May trip.
     
  5. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    More Monday, May 28, 2012

    After our non-motion-simulator trips with ET, it was time for a snack. Luckily, a Churros stand was handy and we decided it was time we found out what all the fuss about Churros was.

    I didnt mention in my previous post that as you leave the outside part of the ET line, you pass through a building with cast members and computers before entering the woods part of the line. As you pass by, the cast member takes each persons name and I think gives each person a card. Im fuzzy on the details, but at the end of the ride, ET thanks you by name for helping him. I didnt mention it before because it was so hard to hear and understand ET! If I hadnt known it was going to happen, I might have missed the whole thing!

    And the verdict on Churros?


    Yummy!


    There was a neat little park area we wandered around while the kids enjoyed their snack. Close by that is a great little photo-op demonstrating some kind of movie magic. If you stood in just the right place, and placed your camera just so on the stand provided, so that it lined up a prop with the buildings behind you, youd get a picture that looks something like this:


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    The Hollywood backdrop is actually part of the set up and is not really behind them, though the building really is across the way from where they are standing. Pretty cool, we thought!


    Next it was on to Twister&Ride it Out While youre waiting in line, in the outside switchbacks, there are TVs overhead showing clips of real-life tornados. Being from Arkansas, Ive been near my fair share of tornados and had a few hit close to home, but nothing like the ones theyre showing up there. I think Helen Hunt and her Twister costar are featured as well in the video. I know they definitely are featured in the attraction. Once youre inside the stage is set for the storm and you file into a set area where you stand in rows (think the Harbor Attack portion of the Backlot Tour at Disney). All the tornado action takes place right in front you - the storm, downed power lines, flying cows, all the scariness of a real tornado. And honestly, if youre a small child, it probably is real-life scary! Davis also sat this one out because we were unsure as to what it was. Once wed been through it - Allison insisted that he needed to experience it, so back they went while Luke and I browsed the gift shop.


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    And groomed cows.


    I saw these cute little bookmarks for sale and thought it would be a great project for the kids to make as gifts:


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    Tongue depressors!


    After that we did what turned out to be one of my favorite attractions, Disaster! I guess you could say its the Universal equivalent to Disneys Backlot Tour, only better. I know - is this a Disney board or what? Anyway - its loads of fun and at the end everyone boards a subway car headed for disaster prepped to scream and other such things on cue - followed by a movie trailer starring pretty much everyone on the subway car!


    And that was a great attraction to end our Universal Studios day upon. We stopped at the in-park Ben & Jerrys shop on our way out. My notes say we got lost while leaving, but doesnt specify if we were lost leaving Ben & Jerrys or leaving Universal Studios and I cant quite remember. Surely we got lost somewhere on the road between Universal and Disney World. I cant imagine either park would want to make it easy to find the other!



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    But finally we saw it!


    Once we were back on our home turf, we headed straight to Downtown Disney for a late dinner at Earl of Sandwich. The time was 9:00 pm, so we must have stayed at Universal right up until closing.


    After our delicious Earl of Sandwich, which we must have during every trip,


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    it was back to the room for the night.
     
  6. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    I like the rain jackets we have better than wearing a poncho, but they don't cover your legs. If you don't like your shorts to be wet, you might want to get something longer! That was not something I'd considered before. Also, with a poncho, it's easier to cover a backpack.

    I'll be hoping that you buy some new rain gear, remember to pack it, and even bring it to parks with you, thereby scaring the rain away!
     
  7. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    I had thought about a plain raincoat/jacket not covering the backpack. I was some at Academy a while back that had what looked like pleats in the back which may give me some extra back room.

    Lord I wish that packing ponchos would keep rain away! Every time we go, we have rain! :sad2:
     
  8. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    Oh yeah, I bet the pleats would give you enough room. :thumbsup2
     
  9. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    Tuesday, May 29, 2013

    Raindrops Keep Fallin on my Head


    But that doesnt mean were going to stay inside in bed&


    Even though we did sleep late. What better time to roll back over and sleep a few more minutes than a rainy vacation day?

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    We had a leisurely morning; did some laundry and made a batch of chocolate chip muffins - Disney style.


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    Since there isnt a muffin tin in the kitchen, I just poured the batter into this dish and popped em in the oven. I had made some like this the year before and the kids requested I do it again. I guess its one of our Disney traditions now.


    Heres a picture I put on Instagram:


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    And the weather report from my phone:


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    What a week!


    I stepped out onto the balcony and took these shots:


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    But this was supposed to be our Islands of Adventure day, the day we were going back to visit Harry Potter! Remembering how wed enough time to do the attractions wed wanted to the day before, I wasnt quite as antsy, but I was still ready to go!


    It had pretty much stopped raining, so we decided to visit the Polynesian for lunch at Captain Cooks. On the way, we swung by the Lost and Found to see if anyone had turned in the hat that Luke accidentally left behind on Soarin.


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    Weve had pretty good luck with Lost and Found things in Disney before, but did we this time?









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    Yes we did!


    Hooray!



    And now, well walk to Captain Cooks:


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    Just look at all those goodies!


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    A few food pictures:


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    We always love to visit the Polynesian. It has such a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere.


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    Good-bye for now, Polynesian - its time to go to Hogwarts!


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    I know some of you do not, but I do like birds!


    Soon enough, we were seeing this sign:


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    And walking (or riding) through the parking garages again:


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    We began our trek down City Walk:


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    Continued in next post, below&
     
  10. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    Continued...


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    Once we were inside the park, we headed straight on through to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.


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    Some of us trying to get there faster:

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    And then, finally:


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    Im not real super sure where I took these next two pictures, but theyre next in the album and I dont want to leave them out!


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    The kids and I got in the (75 minute) line for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey It had made Davis sick last year, so he chose to sit out this time. Poor thing, I dont know what did that whole time we were in line. And what was worse than the line constantly shrinking behind you? Really, we watched it get shorter and shorter as we waited and waited. Oh well, soon enough we were inside the castle and then flying on broomsticks with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Still a fun ride!


    We stopped in at Ollivanders wand shop to have a look around. I think both kids bought a wand there.


    After that, they talked Davis into riding the Dragon Challenge with them. I had ridden it last year, but that was enough for me - so it was my turn to sit one out. The line for the Dragon Challenge was only 15 minutes, so I just wandered around taking pictures while I waited for them.


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    Then I thought I might as well go up to the exit of Dragon Challenge and take pictures there as well.


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    It started sprinkling again just about the time Davis and the kids came off the ride. Did that stop the kids from wanting to ride the Jurassic Park River Adventure?


    Nope.


    If youre gonna be wet anyway&


    They enjoyed it so much in the rain that we let them go again by themselves while we waited in the gift shop!


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    Continued, below...
     
  11. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    Continued...

    The rain didnt seem to be letting up, but we wandered through the park some more, eventually winding up at Dudley Do Rights Rip Saw Falls. Davis and I let the kids do this one on their own, too. As we walked away, the cast member at the entrance asked the kids, Do you parents know they have rodents on their jackets? Ha ha!


    We walked around a bit close by the ride and made our way to the bridge that overlooks the big drop - kind of like the one near Splash Mountain. I wanted to get the kids on video, but I didnt want the camera to get wet. Luckily, Davis had a pretty good case on his phone and he let me use it. After a couple false starts, I did get the kids on the ride, in the rain! Youll be able to hear my excitement at this at the end of the short video, ha ha!


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    That was them!


    Shortly after that we made the decision to head back to Kidani Village for the night. We saw a huge bird nest on a billboard on the way out.


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    Wonder who lives there?


    Once we were back on Disney property, we drove around, exploring for a bit - taking roads wed never been on before, that kind of thing, before going back to the room to clean up for dinner.


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    Beautiful sunset.




    We had either already made an ADR for Sanaa or called and were able to make one for 8:00. Woo hoo!


    You know by now Im not the best at food pictures, but I did make an effort at Sanaa, however small.


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    We ordered the bread service, but I didnt write down our choice of accompainments. The description from allearsnet.com:


    Indian Style Bread Service
    Choice of 5 breads and 5 accompaniments
    Serves Two $9.99
    Breads - Naan, Garlic Ginger Naan, Spiced Naan, Onion Kulcha, Papadum


    And my pictures:


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    And this is probably the Tandoori Chicken, but Im not positive:


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    From the Tandoor Ovens
    served with Apple-Raisin Chutney and choice of Basmati Rice or Five-Grain Pilaf
    Tandoori Chicken $17.99
    Tandoori Lamb $18.99
    Tandoori Shrimp $20.99


    A couple of atmosphere pictures:


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    And some dessert ones!


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    If you can even see that one, lol!


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    These next few pictures are from a cozy little common area I could have spent more time in:


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    After dinner, we dropped by Community Hall for just a few minutes because it was near closing time. The kids ended up checking out some markers and taking a few coloring sheets back up to the room where they spent the rest of the night coloring and practicing spells


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    The next day was intended to be our Pool Day, but would the rain continue?

     
  12. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2 Great TR!
     
  13. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! :goodvibes
     
  14. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    Wednesday, May 30, 2012
    Pool Day!​



    Also, the day I quit taking notes for whatever reason. Oops!

    This was our pool day. We also planned to spend time exploring more of the resort and just doing whatever we pleased.

    I cant imagine that we woke up all too early, because we usually dont. Im pretty sure I made another batch of those muffins for breakfast. And I definitely made some coffee to enjoy with my typical Disney breakfast - a Special K cereal bar, out on the balcony.

    Sometime after that (but not too long after that, knowing my kids) we headed down to the pool minus Davis. Hes not big on swimming; so he probably stayed behind to do some laundry - works for me! - and relax in the room.

    We had to put the waterproof camera to use, of course:


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    Dont laugh - you know its bright underwater!



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    While the kids hit the slide, I hit the bridge to try for some action shots:


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    No one yet...



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    View of the pool behind me.



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    There goes Allison!



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    And there's Luke!



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    Uh-Oh! I dont like the looks of those guys!



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    Allison again - looks like the slide was a hit!



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    The slide come out there in the left of the photo - I'm sure she's going again!


    After that I found myself a lounge chair to, well, lounge in.



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    Maji - poolside bar.



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    See that "baby slide" across the way? The kids thought it would be funny to try it out, but apparently it was too slow and no fun.


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    Wet pool deck. No big deal, right?



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    Except when it's wet because of rain!!



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    Soon - the lifeguards cleared everyone out of the pool.



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    Pretty much sums up Luke's feelings about it.



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    Do we stay or do we go?



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    Go. It was getting close to lunch time, which is probably how I convinced the kids to leave.



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    I love those lanterns in the trees!



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    Close-up lantern.



    I know this update was short, but Im running out of time up at the office today!


    Up next, lunch at Downtown Disney!
     
  15. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    I got behind on your TR but read your last two updates and really enjoyed them. That kidani pool is so pretty! No wonder it was hard to tear the kids away.

    So glad that the Forbidden Journey was worth the wait. I have yet to try it. It sounds amazing, but it is a little frustrating when the line behind you gets shorter. Nothing like picking the worse time to get in line.

    So glad you son found his hat. That's awesome.
     
  16. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    Forbidden Journey was worth it - so was walking through Hogwarts! - They really put a lot of detail into the whole Wizarding World section.

    We were glad to have the hat back, too!
     
  17. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    Wednesday, May 30
    Continued​



    After the threat of a thunderstorm had us leaving the pool, we made our way back to our room to find Davis and decide what to do next.



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    It was decided wed head to Downtown Disney and find something to eat when we got there.



    Who was on the savannah when we walked by the windows?



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    Anybody?



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    Ah! Theres some wildlife!


    Once again in the old folks van, I took some more pictures of the side road construction:




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    After some discussion, we settled on trying out a place wed never been to before.



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    Pollo Campero!






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    Lunch was pretty good!




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    Looks like 3 orders of chicken strips, each with a different side, and probably a chicken sandwich in the box. I also remembering ordering the sweet plantains, which must be what's in the bowl on the upper left of the tray.



    After lunch, we spent quite a bit of time wandering in and out of the shops at Downtown Disney. Ill let the pictures do most of the talking:



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    Oh, Duffy!



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    Luke was soooo excited to build his own lightsaber!



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    Meanwhile, Allison and I had fun trying on hats and looking at Vinylmation:




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    We made a visit to the Christmas store:


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    And to Goofy's Candy Co!

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    And now, my version of spot the difference


    Ready?




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    Continued in next post, below&
     
  18. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    &continued from previous post&

    Did you spot the difference? It was the man on the right side of the first photo!



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    Still want to eat at Raglan Road!




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    Having spend a sufficient amount of time at Downtown Disney (with no more rain/storms since we werent trying to swim!) we drove back to Kidani Village.




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    Sometime earlier in our stay, we had noticed maintenance doing some sort of work on or near the gates at Animal Kingdom Lodge. The one where the guard shack is, but if you have a room key you can go in the right lane and raise the gate. Well, we noticed a new sign was up when we passed by this time:



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    Yes, arm gate lowers after every vehicle. Id hate to be the one who found that out the hard way!



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    I bet you were wondering to yourself just what the weather was like then. Wonder no more, my friends!



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    Im not sure what all happened next. Maybe we took a quick dip in the pool, maybe we made another visit to the Community Hall. I dont even know what we ate for dinner that night, but I do know that after dark we walked over to Animal Kingdom Lodge and did night vision animal viewing. It was really a pretty cool experience! Heres a Disney Parks Blog post about it:



    http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2010/08/disneys-animal-kingdom-lodge-after-dark-night-vision/



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    Pretty sure that's the pool area outside of Mara



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    Flamingoes!



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    Animal Kingdom Lodge is so pretty at night!

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    We then made our way back to Kidani Village and spent some time around the fire in the back:
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    An Instagram-enhanced shot of the fire.






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    We spent some more time wandering around the grounds. These lanterns are right at the entrance to Kidani Village - where you would pull up to walk into the lobby for check-in. Love this area at night!



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    Up next: Another off-property adventure!
     
  19. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    Thursday, May 31
    Off to Neverland -- I mean Legoland!​



    And let me tell you, Legoland is a bit of a drive! Google maps tells me its around 35 miles or about 45 minutes away. It seemed longer, lol!


    I noticed this interesting thing on the side of the road on our way:


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    Hidden Mickey!


    Finally, we spotted this:



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    Hooray! We made it!



    I dont remember what time it was that we arrived, but traffic was not an issue in the parking lot. There were quite a few other cars already there, but we didnt park too far away. There were no trams that I noticed, but like I said, the walk to the entrance wasnt bad.



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    Heres a map of Legoland if youre interested:



    http://florida.legoland.com/PageFiles/1140/20736_LLF_In-Park%20Locater%20Map%20%5B1%5D_r2.pdf



    We had to stop for a few pictures on our way to The Dragon rollercoaster, which was chosen to be our first ride of the day.



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    Detour: If you'll notice in those pictures above, Luke is wearing his lost tennis shoes!!!! Sometime after checking in to Animal Kingdom, probably after our first or second day there, I went to get the laptop out of its backpack and lo and behold there were Luke's shoes! I was dancing for joy! (I didn't grab my shoes or nothin' - I just ran for my life...) We had carried the backpack on board the Dream with us that first day and I guess while we were sitting on the pool deck, before our stateroom was ready, one of us (ahem, Davis) had stuck Luke's shoes in there for safe keeping. Well, safe they were kept, lol! But I was so glad to have them back, both for Luke's feet and our wallet's sakes!



    Now, back to The Dragon.



    I dont have any pictures of it. I had my video camera out, prepared to video our ride. It wasnt until we were seated in the car, me with the video camera strapped tightly to my hand, that one of the cast members told me Id have to leave the video camera behind with our bags. Boo!



    The ride was ok.



    We came to realize that Legoland is really geared toward the younger kids. Its a good thing we went when we did, while the kids were still young enough to enjoy it, even though Id say theyre right on the brink and were too old for several attractions.



    Our next experience was the Lost Kingdom Adventure (think Buzz Lightyear)



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    There were lots of cool photo opportunities throughout the park!



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    Finally, we spotted a rollercoaster that looked like one we would all enjoy:



    Coastersaurus



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    They had some pretty cute themeing in the queue.



    Unfortunately, the ride broke down and after waiting a few minutes we decided to abandon it until later in the day.



    We stopped for a drink and snack and I noticed these benches, which boasted they were made from recycled plastic -- cool!



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    Coming into Lego City, the kids got in a bit of a fender-bender:



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    This one makes it look like Allison is really upset, lol!



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    We found out the kids were too old for Driving School, so we hopped aboard Flying School - a pretty fun suspended rollercoaster.



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    After that, we grabbed lunch somewhere nearby. I dont remember much about the food, standard theme park food.



    Luke took the camera after he finished eating and took a few pictures for me:



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    ...Continued in next post...
     
  20. Bridora

    Bridora DIS Veteran

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    ….Continued from above….

    Lego City had another attraction we were excited to try - Boating School! This one looked really fun, you actually can steer your own boat around a course! Allison & I boarded our own boat just behind Davis & Luke. We let the kids “drive” and it really was pretty fun!



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    While there were quite a few things the kids were too old to do, Lego City still had several things we enjoyed.



    http://florida.legoland.com/en/EXPLORE-THE-PARK/Park-Map/LEGO-City/


    Another of those was Rescue Academy. The whole family can board a fire truck and compete against another family/fire truck to put out a “blaze”. You actually have to pump something in the truck to get your firetruck to move, then hop out and put out the fire before driving your truck back to the start. Very much game-showish fun!



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    I tried taking some video aboard our trucks, but it really was work to move those truck and the kids we like, “put that down and help us!” And so I did!






    Up next: A visit to “Cypress Gardens”
     
  21. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    You are not the first person that I've heard say that the drive to Legoland seemed longer than it really was. Nor are you the first to say that it's geared more towards younger kids. It does look really cool though!

    **Edited to add: Yay! for finding the tennis shoes! They were in a really really safe hiding place. LOL!
     

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