Wild Africa Trek, a Disney Wedding, AoA photoshoot, and more!Aug 2013 TR update 12/21

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by librarygeek, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. librarygeek

    librarygeek DIS Veteran

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    Magic Kingdom Morning

    We were so happy to be waking up in Animal Kingdom Lodge this morning, and not the Detroit airport! We were supposed to meet up with the bachelorette party around 10am in Magic Kingdom. The original plan was for the girls to do Magic Kingdom, and the boys to do Hollywood Studios. However, DH was coming with me just to get in at MK. I have an annual pass but he does not. However, one of my friends that was going to be at the bachelorette party is a cast member and very generously offered to let him in for free with her main gate. So he had to go there first.

    We drove over to MK, parked, and then planned to take the monorail over. Well, the monorail wasn't running, so it was the ferry boat for everyone. Well, have you thought about how many people are probably waiting to get over from the parking lot to MK around 9:30am in August? A lot! :scared1: Needless to say, it took over an hour to get from AKL to the front gates of MK. In retrospect, just taking the bus would've been a much better option, but we thought it would be easier to take the car since DH planned to go over to Hollywood Studios and there's no direct route from MK to HS. Any way you slice it, it was going to take a long time.

    But soon we were on the ferryboat sailing over to MK! I do enjoy the ferry... just usually on the way back or for an afternoon break, not when I'm trying to get over the park!

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    We met up with my cast member friend and she got DH into the park. However, he started to re-think heading over to Hollywood Studios. For one, he didn't want to spend over an hour to get over to HS after just having spent all that time to come to MK. Plus, he didn't really know any of the guys that were going to be there and was feeling a little uncomfortable. So ultimately he decided to stay with us for a bit with thoughts of going off on his own to give us some girl time. All the other girls said they had no problem with him being there though!

    We then found the bride and her group! They had Space Mountain fastpasses to use, so while they were doing that we snuck off to buy her part of the wedding gift we were planning to give - a personalized picture frame. We then grabbed fastpasses for Splash Mountain, since the other girls had some for that afternoon. We all met up again at Pirates. The sign said a 55 minute wait but we figured what the heck, we'll all just hang out. Well, something was super off because we only waited about 10 minutes!

    Then we split up again - most of the girls went off to use their Splash fastpasses (which turned out to be earlier than ours), and DH, myself, and two of my friends went off to find something to eat. We passed through New Fantasyland. Every time I'm there, I can't help but check up on the progress of the 7 Dwarfs Mine Coaster! I can't wait for that to open!

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    DH and I decided to try Be Our Guest for lunch. But they said the wait would be over an hour! So it was off to Cosmic Ray's instead. Our meals were... less than stellar. There will be more details in the dining review, but we were not impressed. However, we got to sit in the room with Sonny Eclipse and I do think that is some pretty fun entertainment for a counter service restaurant!

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    We then met up with the whole group again to do the Little Mermaid ride. I enjoy the movie, but was never a huge fan. However, for some reason I just adore this ride. I love everything about it, especially the Under the Sea room. And the queue is really fun too!

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    Next we all split up (again!) so that those of us who already ate could ride Splash Mountain, and those that did Splash already could eat. I'm glad everyone was so flexible and not concerned with staying together the whole time - that's one of the problems with touring with a big group, but this one was so easy! Dani, the bride-to-be, was so easygoing and such a calm bride! She rocks :goodvibes

    I'm so happy I got on Splash Mountain, as it's one of my favorite rides in Disney and definitely my favorite in the Magic Kingdom.

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    I was inspired by one of my new DIS friends, Rob, to actually take my camera on Splash Mountain to get some pictures! I'm kind of pleased with how they turned out. Here's just a few:

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    I was aiming to get a good picture going just over the top. And I ended up with this:

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    Which I am absolutely in love with! My friend put her hand up like that for the ride photo, but it came out perfectly centered in my photo with the castle and space mountain right there in the background. I think it's pretty neat!

    I think my face in the ride photo is mostly out of fear for protecting my camera, rather than the actual drop ;)

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    We all met up again for a special character meet and greet, but this time DH went off on his own. He was interested in riding Haunted Mansion. One of the girls at the bachelorette party knew a cast member who is "friends with" a character, and were doing a private meet and greet with us. She said it was probably going to be Aladdin and maybe Jasmine. Who actually showed up turned out to be even better!

    To be continued... popcorn::
     
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  3. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Ohhh cliff hanger for the character Meet & Greet!! :p

    That really was a cool photo for the drop on Splash. Glad to know that Rob inspired you. :)

    Darn! You really are stuck with few options if they dump you at the TTC with no monorail to get to MK. Could you walk to the Poly and take one of the little boats over?? Oh, and way cool photo of the castle on your approach to the MK dock!!

    Sonny Eclipse. he's one cool alien dude!! I actually like the rotisserie chicken meal at Cosmic Rays.
     
  4. DisneyKid4Life

    DisneyKid4Life DIS Veteran

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    Oh dear, that poor monorail has seen much better days. It seems to be broken more and more often. I'm like you, I do like the ferry, but not so much when I'm in a hurry.

    Haha, I really love Sonny. It's great entertainment while you eat.

    Awww, a shout out in your TR. :hug: That's so sweet and I'm so honoured that you said that you have no idea!! You got some wonderful Splash photos and I LOVE THAT LAST PIC!!!! Like seriously LOVE IT!!!
    Haha, I totally know what you're saying in protecting the camera. It does take some practice. Funny too that I've heard that the way your friend is holding her hands that sometimes Disney won't sell the photo because sometimes they think it's a gang sign or something, I'm not sure. :laughing: Again, this is just something I've heard, I can't confirm it. But I found it interesting. And oh yeah... I LOVE THAT LAST PIC!!!!

    Ooh Is the this going to be the best M&G ever coming up... popcorn::
     
  5. librarygeek

    librarygeek DIS Veteran

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    I know! I thought briefly about other options to MK but I wasn't sure what would take more time in the long run so we just stayed where we were.

    And last time I was at Cosmic Rays I had a turkey sandwich that I really enjoyed... I think this time around our choices were just a bust!

    Aww, thank you! It really was because of your pics that I decided to actually have my camera out on Splash, haha. That's interesting about Disney not selling the photo - they didn't seem to have a problem this time around, but I would guess it has to do with the CM that's working (and perhaps what country they are from, if they might suspect it's a gang sign?). That's pretty funny though!

    Hopefully the character meet and greet isn't a disappointment... at least, it wasn't for me so I hope it isn't for everyone here either!
     
  6. shalom

    shalom DIS Veteran

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    Bummer about the monorail. I love that thing, but must confess I feel a bit of trepidation riding it any more. The MK is the best way to start a WDW vacation, IMHO, but not if you miss the opening show! :eek: :eek:

    Only half kidding. ;) :duck:

    I can't wait until they finished the dwarf mine -- dunno if I'll ever ride it, but going on the rest of New Fantasyland I think it's going to be beautiful and I'm just dying to see the whole thing complete. :yay:

    Wish your lunch had been better. Disappointing lunches justify a Mickey bar or similar snazzy snack, right? ::yes::

    Really liked your Splash Mountain pics, but also enjoyed this one, which is of something I didn't notice while there:

    Plus, where but the Dis do I get enthused about a picture of piled up broken dishes? :rotfl2:
     
  7. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

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    ooooh, a M&G tease .... feels like how they cut to commercial right before telling us which dish was on the chopping block on, um, well, Chopped

    Great pics and glad you are happy with your Splash ones. That really is such a great ride! Always wonder what Walt would have thought seeing that view from the top looking out over all of the Magic Kingdom :goodvibes
     
  8. librarygeek

    librarygeek DIS Veteran

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    Haha I know what you mean - I hate missing the opening show! Like this time around. Unfortunately it wouldn't make any sense to get there for opening when my friends weren't coming until 10, and they were the ones getting DH into the park!

    You can bet I had a good snack later that afternoon! ;)

    And thanks on the photo! That one was I think towards the beginning of the Little Mermaid queue. Everyone is distracted by those crabs that are trying to sort the objects (or whatever that little game is), but if you turn around you find that!

    Haha I love Chopped! It comes on and I'm always like, "I'll just watch the appetizer round," and then I have to wait through commercial to see who gets chopped and then they go right into the next round and I'm hooked for the whole episode!

    I love imagining what Walt would think of that view, I'm sure he would love it :goodvibes
     
  9. RGirl

    RGirl Change Is Good

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    Great update! I loved the Splash pictures, especially. Very cool!

    I can't wait to hear about the meet-and-greet!!! :woohoo:
     
  10. librarygeek

    librarygeek DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! I'm excited to go on Splash again next trip to try and get some more pictures!
     
  11. librarygeek

    librarygeek DIS Veteran

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    The Best Character Meet and Greet!

    Here it is! Well, at least it was the best character meet and greet that I've ever experienced. I'm sure other people have other great stories to tell, but this was a pretty unique opportunity.

    One of the girls we were with was "friends with" Aladdin, and had arranged a private meet and greet before he was to appear in the 3:00 parade. She thought Jasmine might be there as well. We were taken back by a cast member to a room right next to the Barber shop, right near where the parade starts. We walked in... and were greeted with every princes that was in the parade!

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    It was pretty incredible. How often do you get to meet most of (not to mention any) of the princes?? There were all there and it was so cool! Plus, we had a good bit of time with them - we probably spent about 10 to 15 minutes there. Everyone was able to get individual pictures with each of the princes:

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    I mean, I don't think you can even meet Prince Eric anywhere in the parks normally!! Having all of the princes was pretty much the perfect meet and greet for a bachelorette party too ;) Plus, seeing the princes interact together was a lot of fun. They teased each other a lot about whose outfit was better and made references to their princesses. It was really amazing! I thought I had been lucky to meet a couple of princes during the True Love week in February, but this just blew it out of the water!

    After saying our goodbyes to our dear princes, we went out to watch the parade right by the barber shop. I'm pretty sure we got a special wave from many of the princes too!

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    It was my first time actually watching the parade, and I enjoyed it. It was a little shorter than I realized, though that may have been because we were right where it started. It was fun, and there are some neat characters in the parade!

    My DH had gone off to do some rides alone as he's not really interested in meeting characters. By that time most of the girls were heading back to their rooms to get ready for dinner and the plans we had for the evening. So I met up with DH, who said he was in Adventureland. Well, not only was he in Adventureland... but he had a citrus swirl waiting for me!

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    So sweet :lovestruc He knew how much I enjoyed it on my last trip and wanted to make sure I had one this time around! After devouring the citrus swirl we decided to get in one more ride on Buzz Lightyear, since he had fastpasses for it. On the way we stopped for a castle picture. After all, I had pictures with all the other princes - now I needed a picture with my prince!

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    We had fun on Buzz - I'm pretty sure I beat him for the first time ;) Thanks to my friends I was with in June showing me some of the secrets! I still have yet to beat DH in Toy Story Mania though.

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    We then headed out of MK and back to AKL so I could get changed and ready for the evening bachelorette party festivities! DH was looking forward to a relaxing evening in the hotel room with his computer ;)
     
  12. JessM

    JessM We all have a dream

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    OMG! I am SOOOOOOO jealous of your Princes Meet and Greet! How magical! Great pics! Those are some pretty good looking princes, and all in one spot, how cool!
     
  13. DisneyKid4Life

    DisneyKid4Life DIS Veteran

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    HOLY MOLY Becky, that Meet and Greet in UNREAL!!!!! Even coming from a guy that is amazing and one of a kind. It sounds like they all stayed "in character" to which I am really happy to hear.

    Awww, a citrus swirl waiting. That is precious. Hmmm, or maybe someone was intimidated by all the prince attention. :rotfl2:

    Seriously though, sounds like you got a great guy there. :thumbsup2
     
  14. librarygeek

    librarygeek DIS Veteran

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    I know, they were pretty good looking! I have to say that I am a Prince Naveen fan, but Eric was pretty gorgeous!

    It was such a unique opportunity! Even though we were backstage they did stay in character, though it felt a little more of an "informal" in character which was a lot of fun. They were still the Princes but they seemed totally relaxed and loved joking around with each other!

    lol, it is true I do have my own Prince Charming! We think along the same lines a lot... I was going to suggest we get a citrus swirl when we met up again, and lo and behold there was already one waiting for me! :goodvibes
     
  15. sjs314

    sjs314 "Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and

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    That was surely the BEST Meet & Greet I've ever seen!
     
  16. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

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    Wow, what a great character meet and great surprise.

    When you said they were joking around and stuff made me wonder what a Real World type show would be with all the princes and princesses living in a house together


    This is the true story - true story - if six princes and six princesses who were asked to live in a house together. Find our when people stop being royal and start being real. The Real World - Orlando!


    All sorts of drama with Ariel taking super long showers, someone triping over Aladdin's carpet, or Beast accidentally smashing Cinderella's glades slipper
     
  17. emmysmommy

    emmysmommy DIS Veteran

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    That EPIC M&G beats any that I have seen or will see!! Your radiant smile says it all!! :goodvibes How awesome to be able to chat with all of them backstage.

    It looks like Prince Eric is pointing to you from the parade float.

    I discovered the world of Dole Whip products this last trip and I have to say that your photo gave me a craving. Yum!

    I love the Buzz photo. It looks like DH is concentrating and you have a mischievous look. :p

    Looking forward to hearing about your evening plans.
     
  18. librarygeek

    librarygeek DIS Veteran

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    It's hard to imagine a meet and greet that could rival it!

    Ahahaha that would be amazing! :rotfl2: Someone needs to make that happen, I'm sure it would be a hit! :thumbsup2

    Yes, when we were talking with the princes several of them said something like, "I'll be sure to tell my princess about meeting you and we'll give you a special wave from the parade!" It made us feel super special :goodvibes

    Haha I love the Buzz photo too. I definitely look like I am up to trouble, lol!
     
  19. RGirl

    RGirl Change Is Good

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    Okay, that is an incredible meet-and-greet! Lucky girl! I am thinking I will not be showing my DD this installment - she would be painfully jealous! :laughing:

    Despite all of that, the best picture of the bunch was the one of you and your DH in front of the castle - just perfect. :thumbsup2
     
  20. librarygeek

    librarygeek DIS Veteran

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    Oh yes, I don't want to cause any jealousy - I wish everyone could experience what I did!

    And thank you :goodvibes I do think I have the most handsome prince! :thumbsup2
     
  21. scholastica

    scholastica Mouseketeer

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    Ack!!! How awesome! That is probably the best M&G ever! Also I want a do over and have my bachelorette party at MK. What a fun day!
     

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