"We Have Lots of Good Wine at Home, But We Don't Have Giraffes." **COMPLETED**

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by ShesAPirate, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. ShesAPirate

    ShesAPirate DIS Veteran

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    Welcome, one and all, to my chock-full-of-pictures trip report! I hope you'll enjoy all the stories and pictures. It was a wonderful trip, with lots of new experiences :cool1:

    For those of you who are new readers, here is a link to my pre-trip report:
    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=42806098#post42806098

    Or a quick synopsis:
    There's me, Gigi. I'm 38 and a certified Disney fanatic. This was my 11th trip to the World.
    With me was my wonderful boyfriend DJ. He's 33 and this was his first time at WDW! He'd actually never even been to Florida before this trip (though he's been in almost every other state in the country, and had been to Disneyland when he was about 13).

    We rented DVC points. Savannah view studio, 4 nights at AKV Jambo House, and 2 nights at AKV Kidani Village. We had the DDP for the first 4 nights, then the DxDDP for the last two.

    So now that you're all caught up, here we go!


    Twas the night before Disney, and all through my brain
    Last minute events were driving me insane!

    The storm (Snowtober or whatever silly name they gave it) left my apartment without power. That put a little fly in the ointment. Our plan was to do our final pre-trip running around, then go to my apartment to spend the night before heading to the airport the following morning. We wanted to spend time with my cats, since we'd be away for the week (yes, they have a pet-sitter who came here twice a day, but that's not like having their mom home!). No electricity and no heat changed all that.

    We spent the daylight hours at my apartment, all blinds opened and candles lit. DJ even sat in the kitchen while I packed, with all 4 stove burners on, trying to warm up the place.

    Back at DJ's apartment, we finished packing and actually got into bed by 10. Alarms were set for 4:30. Our flight was at 7:45, and we had to leave for the airport by 5:15.

    Could I sleep? hahaha, no, of course not. My mind was racing -- half-excited, half worried that we'd forget something. I finally drifted off around 11:30... only to wake again at 1:30 :mad: That was my night. I'd say I got a grand total of 3 hours of sleep, waking up on and off until the alarm finally rang. DJ fared a bit better, but didn't get too much more sleep than I did.

    We used ABC Airport Parking -- close to the airport with a free shuttle to the terminal, for a fraction of the cost (only $7 per day, as opposed to $18 per day at the economy lot at Newark). We couldn't find the lot at first. We got semi-lost, and I started panicking... and then we found it totally by accident. Relieved, we got on the shuttle and made it to the airport in time.

    Once we were through security, we didn't really have much time. We ordered breakfast to go from someplace called Ruby's Diner. Pretty good breakfast sandwiches and potatoes. Way too big for either of us to finish, though. They were like hero rolls. If we'd known that, we'd have only ordered one sandwich. Oh well, next time we'll know better.

    The flight was, by far, the smoothest one I'd ever been on. No turbulence at all. I tried to sleep, but I can almost never sleep on planes, so I played Hearts on my netbook and watched Big Bang Theory on the overhead video monitors (I love that show!). Before I knew it, we were on the ground in Orlando! :yay:

    Off to Magical Express we went. This was a simple process, but we did not get an official ME bus. It was Mears. Oh well, no Disney propaganda video for us. Here we are, looking crazy and exhausted already and it was only 10:30 :rotfl:
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    Coming up in the next installment, check-in to AKL Villas at Jambo House, and our first day in the World :woohoo:
     
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  3. ShesAPirate

    ShesAPirate DIS Veteran

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    * Placeholder for links *
     
  4. ShesAPirate

    ShesAPirate DIS Veteran

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    Our Mears bus arrived at AKV Jambo, and we were checked in by noon. And our room was ready!!! 5509 on the Zebra Trail. It was not too far from the lobby, and pretty much directly above The Mara. Pretty good location.

    Here are some pics of the room, and our Savanna view:
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    Our original plan for our first day was to go to the Garden View Tea Room for lunch, then straight to MK for the last Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. Well, things don't always go as planned. I was fully exhausted, and knew I needed a nap if we were going to last until midnight at the party. So we decided to grab lunch at the Mara, then relax at the resort until we were ready to head to MK. I was disappointed to have to cancel the Tea Room, but the party was more important to me, and I knew I'd be miserable if I didn't get a few winks in.

    DJ got the African Stew:
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    He really enjoyed this. It reminded him of the 'street meat' he gets for lunch while working in Manhattan.

    I got the Pepperoni Flatbread. It tasted better than it looks:
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    For drinks and dessert, we got a Perrier, a cappuccino soda, Zebra domes, and a cheese coffee cake:
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    WOW, those Zebra domes were tasty! Never had them before. And the cheese coffee cake was OUTSTANDING. So moist and still warm :cloud9:. Really really good! We couldn't finish dessert, so we brought them up to our room to have later. I was glad we brought ziplock bags -- a tip I got here on the boards. We were able to keep that coffee cake fresh until it was finished.

    This meal would've been something like $28. It's the one meal I didn't note the price of (since the receipts they give you on DDP just say 0.00).

    After lunch, we headed up to our room and sat on the balcony for a little while... but I was fading fast, so I soon curled up in bed for a snooze. DJ stayed on the balcony, reading something on his Kindle, until I woke up.


    Up next -- Boo to You! Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party! :hmghost:
     
  5. Queenofallthings

    Queenofallthings DIS Veteran

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    Woo Hoo you started....I'm here but I have to go back and read now!!!

    Great start...all caught up! Your room is lovely and there is nothing better than a Savannah view is there? Can't wait for more!
     
  6. ShesAPirate

    ShesAPirate DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: Queen! Thanks for joining in! :thumbsup2

    Anyone else who's reading, I hope you'll say hello! :goodvibes
     
  7. ShesAPirate

    ShesAPirate DIS Veteran

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    Around 6pm, we left for MNSSHP :cool1:

    Here we are waiting for the bus:
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    The bus from Jambo to MK took 16 minutes. Not bad at all!

    Woohoo!
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    We stopped into the Main Street Bakery so DJ could get a coffee. I got a lemonade. No pics of that ;)

    My first order of business when we arrived was to get into the shops and get a Halloween pin. I'd read that they sell out quickly, and since this was the last night of the party, I didn't want to miss out.

    There were people hovering everywhere, all waiting for 7pm, when the "exclusive" Halloween party merchandise would be put out. I watched a few CMs check for wristbands, and then tell people they had to leave - even those with arms full of stuff to buy.

    The first items they put out were t-shirts. They didn't look all that cool to me, but people descended on them like it was Christmas Eve.

    Finally, I saw the pins at a register :banana: So cute!
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    I only bought one. I'm not a trader, I just collect.

    With that behind us, we set off down Main Street. Everything looked so pretty!

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    DJ's first ride at WDW was The Haunted Mansion :hmghost: I hadn't been on since before they made the changes, so it was somewhat new to me, too. So cool!

    Through the course of the night, we walked on to HM, as well as Small World, Peter Pan (my favorite!), Buzz Lightyear, Tomorrowland Speedway, and Space Mountain! Well, DJ walked on... I walked through - and right out the chicken exit :rotfl:

    We trick-or-treated as we walked around -- not necessarily on purpose. Just whenever we came across a treat spot, we got our bags ready. By the end of the night, we had a TON of candy. Good stuff, too - actual name-brand chocolates :cool1:

    We got popcorn at some point, but that only held us for so long. I knew just where we were going to eat -- Pecos Bill's! Oh yeahhhhh, fixins! ;)

    We both got the Angus cheeseburger with fries and iced tea.
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    DJ got strawberry yogurt as his dessert, and I got carrot cake.
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    Again, we saved the desserts to take back to the room (we had bags full of chocolate, after all), but the rest was soooo yummy. I love the sauteed onions and mushrooms and cheese on the fixings bar. The OOP cost for this meal would've been $30.61, but we used counter service credits.

    We ate outside, as the fireworks were about to start. By the time we finished eating, we kinda raced closer to the castle to get a better view. I only took one pic, because I wanted to enjoy the fireworks.
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    The castle after fireworks:
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    Not sure where we are here, but I love this pic :lovestruc
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    Before we knew it, it was time for the parade. I don't usually stop to watch parades, but I'd heard this one was awesome, so we found front-row spot near the bridge to Tomorrowland.

    The Headless Horseman started the parade! Somewhere I have video of his ride, but I'm not sure where it is right now. I'll add it in later. It was very cool!

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    (I promise, there are better pics coming. I'd only brought my dying point-and-shoot to the party -- didn't feel like lugging my big DSLR around that night.)

    The parade did not disappoint at all. It was wonderful!

    After more wandering around and going on Space Mountain, we were ready to head back to Jambo House.

    A nice girl offered to take a pic of us on our way out, and we graciously accepted :)
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    The party was definitely worth the money, in my opinion. We had a great time, the park looked amazing, there were virtually no lines for anything... we loved it!
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    Coming up next -- we head to Animal Kingdom! Breakfast at Rainforest Cafe!
     
  8. Queenofallthings

    Queenofallthings DIS Veteran

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    I know a lot of people complain on here about how far AKL is from everything, but I don't find it bad at all! I love it there so the little jaunts to the parks don't bother us at all either:thumbsup2

    Looks like a fantastic time was had at MNSSHP! I love that party and agree with you, it's worth the price of the ticket! The line ups alone ... :woohoo:
     
  9. cocofifi

    cocofifi Mouseketeer

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    Diggin' this trip report. Subscribing.
     
  10. ShesAPirate

    ShesAPirate DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! Welcome aboard! :thumbsup2
     
  11. ShesAPirate

    ShesAPirate DIS Veteran

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    BEFORE I FORGET ----

    This was the best 7 bucks I've ever spent:
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    I got mine on Amazon, but I've seen them in Target and the supermarket, too. Water bottle with built-in filter -- took away that lovely Florida tap water flavor! We used it at the water fountains in all the parks, and in the sink in our room. It was GREAT! We drink a LOT of water, and would've had to start selling our organs on the black market if we'd had to pay $2.75 for each bottle of Dasani! This worked out so fantastically -- especially when we came across those extra-cold, hidden-in-the-shade fountains. I can't say enough good things about this water bottle :thumbsup2:thumbsup2:thumbsup2
     
  12. Missyrose

    Missyrose DIS Veteran

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    Joining in! We're in the beginning stages of planning a trip for next October where we'll rent points at AKV! Can't wait to hear what you think of the resort!
     
  13. ShesAPirate

    ShesAPirate DIS Veteran

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    Welcome! Thanks for joining. I've got nothing but good things to say about AKV. I will get more detailed in my next updates! :thumbsup2
     
  14. ShesAPirate

    ShesAPirate DIS Veteran

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    Day 2 - Animal Kingdom!

    Before I get into that, just wanted to share this pic of all the candy we got trick-or-treating at MNSSHP the night before:
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    It was quite a bit. We brought it to a party this past weekend and "accidentally" left it there :rolleyes1 (yeah, I reallllly don't need 5 pounds of candy in my apartment!).


    Anyway, back to Day 2...

    We woke up bright and early after finally getting a good night's sleep. DJ had purchased a pound of Kenya AA coffee at Zawadi Marketplace, but his attempt to make coffee was in vain -- since there were no coffee filters in the room OR available to purchase in the store :scared1: The coffee in the room was in pods. DJ tried to use paper towels or something, but it just didn't come out right. At least we were going out for breakfast and could (hopefully) get some good coffee. The bus from Jambo to AK took 5 minutes.

    We had breakfast scheduled at Rainforest Cafe. Now, I've been to WDW lots of times, and I read just about everything I can get my hands on. I wouldn't consider myself uninformed when it comes to Disney World... but I had NO idea they even served breakfast at Rainforest Cafe. Not a clue, until about 10 days before our trip :confused3

    Since I knew we were going to be at Animal Kingdom on this day, and that we'd be paying OOP for this meal no matter where we went, I booked the ADR.

    It was pretty empty when we arrived. There were maybe 10 other tables seated -- but it was around 9:30, so maybe it was full of park commandos/rope droppers earlier. We were seated right away, and our server brought us a pot of coffee (woohoo!) which was pretty good -- definitely not Nescafe!

    DJ ordered the Benedict Bamba, which is basically Eggs Benedict, with potatoes. He loved it. He said the eggs were perfectly cooked.
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    I'm not a big fan of Eggs Benedict, but I did taste it and it was pretty good.

    I had the Breakfast Sliders -- bacon, egg, and American cheese on little buns, also served with potatoes.
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    These were tasty! The bacon was actually good, the eggs were fluffy. I eventually pushed the buns aside, only because they were very filling.

    They had some other options on the menu that sounded yummy, but I think we both made the perfect choices. It was a really nice way to start our day at Animal Kingdom :goodvibes

    (again, this meal was OOP, and with tax and tip came to $36.34)

    With our bellies full, we headed into the park. Our first stop was It's Tough to Be a Bug, which was a walk-on. I love this attraction. DJ did, too. He sometimes gets a headache from 3D movies, but no issue here.

    We walked on to the Maharajah Jungle Trek. I actually hadn't done this in probably 10 years. It's usually so damn hot in Animal Kingdom that walking more is the last thing I want to do. But it was gorgeous out on this day. Nice and breezy :thumbsup2

    Here are some pics from the Jungle Trek:
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    These bats were just gigantic! And cute!
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    After the Jungle Trek, we took the train over to Rafiki's Planet Watch... where we met this little guy:
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    The petting zoo was less-than-thrilling when we were there. The animals were all pretty busy eating.

    We headed back to the main park and DJ got a fastpass for Everest. Then we walked on to Kilimanjaro Safari.

    This was one of the best rides I've ever had on KS. So any animals. The only one sleeping was a lion (though we could still see the top of his head).

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    Kind of off-topic, but before we left, I got my hair cut... and I really hate it. She cut my bangs way too short. I'd been just pushing it back with my sunglasses, but since I was wearing them most of the time at Disney, I decided I needed something else... and I couldn't resist these little beauties:
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    Me: Do I look stupid with these on?
    DJ: You're in Disney, it doesn't matter :)

    I got SO MANY compliments on these ears for the rest of our trip! And we didn't see a single person wearing them other than me. Lots of people with zebra striped ones, or black ones... but no one with the pink leopard spots except for me :banana:

    But I digress...

    DJ went on Everest and I relaxed and waited for him. It occurred to me, though, that I could try to watch him come down the main drop. I walked over just in time, and caught this shot of his descent. He's in the very last car with the turquoise shirt. I thought that was pretty amazing!
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    After wandering around for a while, meeting Goofy and Pluto (those pics are on our Photopass -- which I will add when I get them), we were both ready for a snack.

    We found a cart in Africa and each got a Safari Amber and a hot pretzel. Delicious!
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    We'd done everything we wanted to do at AK by that point, so we headed back to the resort. It was a really great day!

    Up Next -- we hit the pool and hot tub (and pool bar!) at Jambo House before heading to Epcot for the evening. Guess which restaurant in Epcot was by far the most disappointing of our entire trip?
     
  15. bjgrazi

    bjgrazi <font color=darkblue>I remember those days fondly<

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    I love AKL it has been my favorite so far. I'll see in January how it measures up to VWL. Love the ears, I'm going to have to look for them.

    Where did you find the brita? I've looked around here since reading your report and haven't found it. I don't drink soda or sugar drinks, so that would be great for me. I should float with all the water I drink.

    Looking forward to the next installment.
     
  16. ShesAPirate

    ShesAPirate DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: and thanks for reading!

    I got my Brita on Amazon, but I also saw the same one in Stop & Shop and Shop Rite, as well as Target. It paid for itself within an hour, with how much water we drink.

    Here is a link:
    http://www.amazon.com/Brita-1006025...8RDY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321381150&sr=8-1

    In the brick-and-mortar stores, it was in the same aisle as the full-sized Brita pitchers. Good luck!
     
  17. ShesAPirate

    ShesAPirate DIS Veteran

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    Back at Jambo House, we changed into our swimsuits and went to the pool.

    Sorry I didn't take any pictures of the pool itself. I only had my phone with me and it just didn't seem to do it justice. (In a later installment, I will have several pics of the pool area at Kidani Village. I remembered my camera that time!)

    It was probably not ideal swimming weather (about 79 degrees, and the sun was going down), but it was still nice to get in the pool for a while. We spent much more time in one of the two hot tubs, though. That was heavenly :cloud9: Nearby, there was a fire lit, and people were roasting marshmallows. The fire smelled great!

    After the hot tub, we went over to the Uzima Springs Pool Bar for a cocktail :goodvibes

    DJ ordered a Rum Runner:
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    I couldn't decide what to have. The bartender told me what types of margaritas she could make, then recommended a Raspberry Mango one. Sounded good to me, so I ordered it.
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    YUM! Very tasty! And STRONG! I never expect mixed drinks, especially frozen ones, to be strong at all... but this one was. DJ tasted it and agreed.

    It was getting late, and we needed to shower and change before heading to Epcot for dinner, so we went back to our room.


    The bus from Jambo to Epcot took 14 minutes.

    We took some Photopass shots, then walked onto Spaceship Earth. I hadn't been on since they made the changes a couple of years ago. I really liked it!

    Here's our goofy pics from the end:
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    After that, I was STARVING. Seriously, it was probably 8:00, and we hadn't had an actual meal since breakfast! Since we were having a sit-down meal, we kinda ran past all of the Food & Wine kiosks (don't worry, we'll hit them in later installments!) and checked in to the restaurant.

    Our title for this review? "A Hearty 'Meh'"

    That's right, folks. Les Chefs de France was a HUGE let-down for us.

    It took quite a while for us to get seated, first of all. It was very crowded. And it seemed even worse since I was about to eat one of my shoes, I was so hungry...

    Finally at our table, we were brought a warm baguette. That was decent, but nothing special.

    We both ordered from the Prix Fixe menu, and both started with the French Onion Soup.

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    This was the best part of the meal. Nice and hot, lots of cheesy, flavorful broth. Definitely a home-run.

    Unfortunately, the entrees weren't even a single :sad2:

    DJ had salmon. I don't eat seafood, but holy cow, does this look like the blandest plate of food ever?! Is this a French restaurant or a hospital :confused:
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    He's the one who titled the review, "A hearty 'meh'", so you can imagine his response to this entree. It wasn't inedible or anything, but it was nothing to write home about. It was just 'meh'.

    I had the braised short ribs with pasta, mushrooms, and pearl onion
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    Note that I didn't say pearl onions. I said pearl onion because there was one. One single pearl onion. That may have contributed to the lack of flavor in this dish. It was as if they'd never heard of salt, first of all, and the meat, while fork-tender, was pretty fatty. Just boring. Again, not inedible, but no sparks.

    Oh, I should mention, we each had a glass of wine... and even they were not great. Tasted like they needed a LOT more time to breathe before being served.

    Okay, so onto dessert. That's gotta be good, right?
    :sad1:

    I ordered the Profiteroles. The chocolate sauce was FANTASTIC. I could've eaten it with a spoon. The ice cream, also good. But the pastry was yuck. Chewy. Just not very enjoyable. I just ate the ice cream and chocolate sauce.
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    DJ ordered the vanilla creme brulee. Even that was bland! I couldn't believe it. Definitely not enough brulee and too much creme ;)
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    I've searched my receipts, but can't seem to find this one. It would've been about $85 (without the lousy wine), but we were on DDP.

    Oh, one highlight of this meal was that we could see Illuminations, at least partially, from the restaurant. Would've been even better had we been seated in the sunroom area.

    Back at Jambo, we opened a bottle of African wine we'd purchased at The Mara the day before, and sat on the balcony.

    And this is what we saw:
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    He stayed right in front of our balcony for quite a while, almost putting on a show or posing for us. It was awesome!

    We tasted the wine, and it was so-so. And that's when DJ commented, "We have lots of good wine at home. But we don't have giraffes."

    Indeed :lovestruc

    Next up - Hollywood Studios! And JIKO!!!
     
  18. Missyrose

    Missyrose DIS Veteran

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    What a great day! We've done AK once in three trips to Disney, but we're going to give it another shot when we go back in March.

    Looks like you had a wonderful afternoon back at the resort. Roasting marshmallows?!?! So cool. Sorry your dinner was a bust at Le Chefs. We had lunch there in 2010 and it garnered a big, fat, "meh" from us. The food was okay, but we're not in any rush to go back. I am totally in love with that photo of the giraffe from your balcony. It makes me so excited to stay in a Savannah View room!
     
  19. ShesAPirate

    ShesAPirate DIS Veteran

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    It was so worth it this time around. Our evenings (and some mornings) sitting on the balcony, watching the animals, were incredibly relaxing. It would be difficult to stay in a regular room on future trips.
     
  20. ShesAPirate

    ShesAPirate DIS Veteran

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    Before I begin on Day 3, I just remembered something from Day 2 I forgot to mention. We'd gone down to the shop in Jambo House in the hopes of finding coffee filters. No such luck. We were told they're replacing all the coffee makers in AKL and aren't selling coffee filters anymore (oh, how I hope this means there will be Keurigs in the rooms! That would be incredible!). Anyway, a lovely person who shall remain nameless managed to find us a little stack of coffee filters somewhere. We were thrilled! And supremely grateful for this little bit of pixie dust pixiedust:

    Okay, on to Day 3...

    I went down to The Mara while DJ got the coffee brewing :goodvibes

    I brought a Mickey Waffle (yay, finally! First one of the trip!) with sausage back to our room.

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    We shared that, as well as the yogurt we had leftover from Day 1's dinner, and the cheese coffee cake and zebra domes leftover from Day 1's lunch. We couldn't finish the zebra domes. Delicious, but very rich. So they got thrown away after this meal.

    After sitting on our balcony, having a nice and easy morning drinking our yummy Kenya AA coffee and watching the animals on the savanna, we got ready and heading over to Hollywood Studios.

    I'm still having a hard time with that name. I have to make a conscious effort to not say MGM.

    The bus to DHS took 10 minutes.

    The first things I noticed? This, before the gates:
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    Christmas decorations! I was sooooo excited! I love Christmas to a nearly obsessive degree. The lights, the music, the feeling of good will... it just makes me crazy-happy. Similar to the feeling that Disney gives me, but somehow a little bit different.

    Anyway, we worked our way into the park. It was a bit warmer on this day, and the park was pretty crowded. Not like summer-crowded, but just more crowded than MK, Epcot, and AKL had been the previous 2 days.

    I'm a little bit fuzzy on the details of this day, but I think the first thing we did was go The Great Movie Ride. I know some people don't like this one, but it's a favorite of mine. DJ enjoyed it, too. Our CM was pretty good -- not monotone like some of them can be.

    Next up was Star Tours. I was worried I would get a little nauseated, as I had on the previous version on this ride. DJ was excited -- when he went to Disneyland as a kid, he rode Star Tours repeatedly. It was his favorite.

    We walked right on. I enjoyed it, and it didn't make me feel :sick: DJ was a little disappointed. He thinks it's tamer now than the old version... and I think I agree, though I can't be sure. I seem to remember getting tossed around more on the old version... but I could be wrong. It was a cool ride, anyway -- but just didn't live up to our memories, unfortunately.

    I believe our next stop was lunch at Sci-Fi.

    We checked in. The lobby was a bit crowded, of course, and we waited a bit to get "parked", but not too long. I was thrilled that we got the front seat of the car -- and very close to the screen! Best seats I've ever had there :woohoo:

    DJ and I were both torn between the Reuben and the Smoked Turkey Sandwich, so we ordered both and shared them. We each asked for the condiments to be on the side (Thousand Island dressing, and Avocado Mayo, respectively). They both came to the table correctly.

    The HUGE turkey sandwich:
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    And the Reuben:
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    Both were very tasty, but I think the turkey was better. The fries were nice and hot and crispy, too.

    DJ had a cherry Coke, and I had the Glowing Character punch... because I'm five, apparently ;)
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    The "punch" was just light lemonade with maybe some raspberry in it. It was way too sweet, so I kept mixing in water.

    And here we are after we finished lunch:
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    This was a really great lunch. I'm so glad I added it at the last minute, even though it was OOP (cost about $45 with tax and tip). Everything was tasty, great atmosphere - 2 thumbs up :thumbsup2:thumbsup2

    After lunch, we did a LOT of walking back and forth. We walked to Toy Story Midway Mania at least 4 times to see what the wait was (since the fastpasses were all gone since early in the day). It was always at least 60 minutes. I just don't have that kind of patience :sad2:

    We walked around the back streets that look like NY and SanFran. The Osbourne lights were up (some of them) but would not be lit until after we came home.

    Moi :)
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    My honey :love:
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    We watched The Muppets 3D movie, which DJ (surprisingly) thought was better than It's Tough to Be a Bug. I hope that with this new Muppet movie coming out, Disney gets some more/new Muppet things going on. I loved them as a kid -- and still do now.

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    Over to the other side of the park, we went to Tower of Terror. I knew I wasn't going on, but wanted to walk through the queue with DJ so I could see it. So cool. I'd never seen it before. The detail is amazing. I've always been a huge Twilight Zone fan, so this was pretty awesome for me.
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    I took the chicken exit -- or as the CM who escorted me out called it, "The Elevator of Shame" :laughing: and waited for DJ where the ride lets out.

    He liked it, and of course said it was really tame (my little thrill-seeker).

    I believe after this, we got fastpasses for Rock 'n Roller Coaster, probably walked back to look longingly at TSMM, then back over to Anaheim Produce.

    We got a pretzel and a Golden Margarita to share:
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    Mmmm! The margaritas at Disney have improved dramatically, IMO, since my previous trip in 2007.

    This guy kept us company while we had our snack:
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    After this, we took what was left of our margarita and went over to the Disney Animation area and looked around. There were some character meet and greets going on, Sorcerer Mickey, Buzz Lightyear... and Winne the Pooh. I had to say hello to Pooh Bear, so we got in line. Those pics are on the Photopass CD, but it was great as usual. Pooh was making kissy sounds at me, kissed my hand -- very charming hahaha.

    Happy and in pleasant mood from our yummy 'rita, we headed over to TSMM one more time. The wait still said 60 minutes, but we decided to wait it out. I was so anxious to try it after hearing so many good things.

    (continued in next post due to image limits)
     
  21. ShesAPirate

    ShesAPirate DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,997
    (continued...)

    I took some pictures in the queue to pass the time...
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    As it turned out, it was only 32 minutes from the time we joined the queue until the time we got on the ride. What fun! It was a blast! If there wasn't such a wait, I definitely would've gone on again.

    We went back over to RNRC and DJ went on (yeah, no coasters for me). I sat outside and took some pictures while I waited.

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    DJ liked the roller coaster portion of RNRC, but found the Aerosmith portion unbearable :rotfl: To say he's not a fan is an understatement. We couldn't stop laughing about it.

    We were pressed for time and had to run in to Fantasmic! It was standing-room only by the time we got there. We grabbed a popcorn from a walking vendor and took our place in the back of the theater. Some people behind us - who had been expressly told where to go to stand because there were no seats left - tried to run from the standing room into the bleachers and were quickly hurried back to the standing room by CMs.

    That was my first 'what is wrong with people?!' moment during the show. I adore Fantasmic! It really wasn't bad at all standing. I don't feel like we missed a thing. There was no one directly in front of us, so we had a great view.

    My second 'what is wrong with people!?' moment came when there was about 5 - 8 minutes left in the show, and people started clearing out to beat the rush. I will never understand that. What's the point of going if you're not going to watch the whole show (or hockey game, or baseball game, etc)? I just don't get it.

    But the worst part was that they were walking soooo slowly - then blocking my view - as they made their way out. My Brooklyn girl came out a couple of times and I strongly said 'keep moving!' to people slothing by in front of me. If you want to leave and miss the end of the show, that's your choice -- but I'm not gonna let your desire to get out of the amphitheater before the rest of the crowd to ruin my experience and enjoyment! It's common courtesy, isn't it? To walk briskly or at least crouch down if you're walking in someone's line of vision? Grrrrr...

    Anyway, Fantasmic made me tear up, which I was a little surprised at. I've always loved it, but it moved me this time more than it had before. Yay :goodvibes

    The queue for the next Fantasmic show was horrendous. Gigantic. And it was, when we passed by, at least 45 minutes before they'd let anyone in the theater. I can't do that. I would rather stand during the show for 20 minutes than stand in a massive line of people for an hour so I get a seat on a cold metal bench any day of the week.

    We had no desire to join the crowd, zombie-walking their way out of the amphitheater, so we sat down on the standing room steps and finished our popcorn as the theater emptied.

    Back on the main street, DJ took some pictures. There were some pretty Christmas decorations up :yay:

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    We had a dinner ADR at Jiko coming up soon, so we headed back to Jambo after that.

    On the way out, the tree we saw on the way in was all lit up, so DJ took some pics. Very pretty, despite the one patch of lights that weren't lit:
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    The bus stop was a little crowded, but I guess people had been waiting a while because this older woman yelled to one of the security guards, "Excuse me! Sir! When is the bus coming?! This is stupid!". I wish I'd taped that. For some reason it struck us as hilarious. She was clearly more miserable than anyone should ever be at DisneyWorld. When the bus did come, and the driver was helping a woman with a scooter get situated, Yelling Lady stood there with a sourpuss, shaking her head back and forth... ugh!

    Okay, this entry is long enough, I think ;) And Jiko deserves not to be rushed through, so...

    Coming up next -- Our amazing dinner at Jiko!
     

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