4 Birthdays and a Graduation... our June trip report

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by Sydney2977, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. Sydney2977

    Sydney2977 DIS Veteran

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    More World Travels

    The next stop on our tour was in China. I love looking through all the shops here- there's always cool things to find. DH decided to buy a nice fan and the CM there wrote his name on it.

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    A visit to Germany wouldn't be complete without a stop to get some caramel goodies. DH always has to get fresh caramel corn and we got a couple brownies too.
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    DS1 tried a beer he had heard about, I can't remember though. It's still a little weird to me that my child is old enough to drink! DS2 made a new friend while we sat down to enjoy our snacks.
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    We explored the shops in Italy next. My favorite is seeing the hand made masks. Once again, the kids found a silly photo op.
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    Japan was next, where we stopped to listen to the Taiko drummers and check out the shops. I always have to see the beautiful pearls. GF1 got some kind of purple drink that she loves. I had a sip and it's pretty good.

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    After we rode Frozen we had managed to snag another fast pass for Soarin'. It was just about time to ride so we said goodbye to Japan and wandered back over to Future World.
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  2. jhoannam

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  4. Sydney2977

    Sydney2977 DIS Veteran

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    Ending the EPCOT Day

    On the way back to Future World the daily afternoon/evening rainstorm began. Thankfully we had our rain jackets so we didn't get too wet but plenty of people were heading towards the exit. We got right in to another ride on one of our favorites.
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    Lots of people were waiting out the rain in the pavilion but we decided to go over to The Seas with Nemo. It was a walk on with less than a five minute wait.
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    We took some time checking out the creatures in the aquarium since we hadn't in the last few visits.
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    We had to introduce GF2 to Figment and that again was a walk on.
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    Afterwards the kids still wanted to play around.

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    Before we left we took in a show of the Pixar shorts. These are so cute. I especially connected to the one called Bao. Good thing is I love my boys' GF's. DH still had some caramel corn to enjoy at the movies!
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    We all felt done for the day and decided to hop on a bus back to POR. We hadn't eaten at Riverside Mills for anything but breakfast so we gave it a try. We grabbed our mugs from the room and walked over.

    GF2 ordered the create your own pasta with shrimp and alfredo. She said it was creamy and delicious.
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    DH and DS2 got the bbq pork sandwich- one with chips, one with coleslaw- and a side of mac & cheese to split. They said it was surprisingly flavorful and liked that it came on Texas toast.
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    I had the blackened chicken flatbread and it was so good! The sauce made it even better.
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    DS1 and GF1 ordered a chicken flatbread and also the meat lover's flatbread and split them. They also really enjoyed both of these.
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    We hadn't planned on eating here this trip besides breakfast but I'm glad we strayed away from the plan and did try it. It was a nice end to the day when we strolled back to our rooms, got cleaned up, and drifted off to sleep.
     
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  5. lauren_elizabeth

    lauren_elizabeth Disney World Lover

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    Joining in and all caught up! Reading your report has me wanting to stay at Riverside on our next trip. Love it!
     
  6. Sydney2977

    Sydney2977 DIS Veteran

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    Animal Kingdom Day

    We got up this morning and had a quick breakfast at Riverside Mills again. There were enough choices that you could have a different meal every morning, which I know I did. After that we hopped on a bus to AK. Surprisingly we all got seats on the bus but when we arrived it seemed more crowded at the gates. We looked around at the animals in the Oasis area then stopped to get a Tree of Life shot before heading to Africa for our first fast pass.
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    Our fast pass was for 10:35 and we were able to get right in. I love animals so this is my favorite thing in all AK. I've always wanted to go on a real African safari (I also had a 4th grade teacher who taught in Kenya and tied a lot of our curriculum into her cultural experiences) so this is probably the closest I'll ever get. Once again the weather was gorgeous and since it was earlier in the day there were lots of animals out. I go to take a ton of pictures but I'll just share a few one here.
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    This deer was so pretty and calm.
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    The okapi, if you haven't heard from going on the safari yourself, is related to the giraffe. At the Houston Zoo you can actually pet and feed them- they have tongues like giraffes too.
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    There was a group of bongo crossing the road so we has to stop for a while- which was awesome since we got to observe them right up close! I got so many shots of them and they are beautiful. They were going about their day like we weren't even there.
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    One of the cutest things was the baby hippo! Our guide was great because she actually stopped quite a bit for us to observe all the animals.
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    The giraffes and wildebeest were all over the place and we got some awesome up close views of both species.
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    The elephants were out and about as well.
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    This rhino was adorable trying to catch a nap in the shade.
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    The zebras were also mostly relaxing.
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    All the antelope type animals are cool but I think the Oryx is one of my favorites- so majestic. This one was literally strutting back and forth showing off for us.
    After our nice 20 minute ride it was time to return back to Harambe Village.
     
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  7. Sydney2977

    Sydney2977 DIS Veteran

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    Pandora and a Lunch Break

    I had tried to avoid looking at any pictures of Pandora because I wanted to be mostly surprised when I saw it for the first time in real life. On our 2016 trip we had seen the structures from a distance as they were being built, but I had no idea how amazing they would look up close. They created a land where you feel immersed in the setting for the movie. If you haven't seen the movie it's a must before you go so you see what I mean.
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    I won't share too many images so I don't ruin it for anyone, but it seriously astounded me.

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    There is a drum center where CM's perform and guests can play on them when the show isn't going on.
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    We had a 12:00 fast pass for Flight of Passage but after riding I decided it is my new favorite- absolutely worth a long wait! It's like nothing I've ever experienced and I was so happy it didn't make me sick. I used to be able to do motion simulators and so did DH, but things like Star Tours now make us sick so we can't ride. FoP makes you feel like you're really flying and is so smooth. Myself along with the rest of our group was audibly oohing and aahing during the ride.

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    We looked through the gift shop after the ride and stopped to do some pin trading on the way to Asia for lunch. We had a 1:00 ADR at Yak & Yeti. We've eaten the counter service here but only DS1 and GF1 have eaten at the restaurant. Even with our ADR there was about a 10 minute wait but at least it was inside where it was cool because outside it had started getting hot.
    Once we were seated our server came right over, got our drinks, and just took fabulous care of
    us the whole time. This was one of the top three meals of the trip.
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    Our drinks were kept filled and our waitress was also great to talk to. Our food came out quickly once we ordered.
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    There were a couple specials that were listed on a separate summer menu. I had to try the seafood with spicy noodles and veggies. It was divine! Just the right amount of heat and sweet- I just wish it was one the menu all the time because I'd definitely come back for it.
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    DS2 tried one of the other special items- chicken and waffles. It had an Asian flare and came with a sauce and coleslaw that he said made it different in a cool way.
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    DH and GF2 had the sweet and sour chicken which they both enjoyed and could hardly finish.
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    GF1 had the sweet and sour chicken and enjoyed it.
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    DS1 chose the soy glazed steak and devoured it. He said it was worth the higher price than the other entrees.
    Overall we had an excellent experience here and would recommend trying it to anyone. We will certainly be back in the future.
     
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  8. tbholc81

    tbholc81 Mouseketeer

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    Great trip so far! We love Yak and Yeti!
     
  9. Grumpy's Wife

    Grumpy's Wife Dollar Tree gal here

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    I am so loving your trip report. I'm a little late but at least it isn't the last day. :)
     
  10. Sydney2977

    Sydney2977 DIS Veteran

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    In the Jungle...

    After that meal we all needed to walk some of it off so we waddled over to the Maharajah Jungle Trek. We could barely glimpse some primates hanging out in the shade.
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    I am absolutely fascinated by the bats and love the viewing area here for them. I remember a CM once telling us that each bat has it's own roosting spot and they have their own little stuffed animals in there- how cute is that?
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    Some more animal shots...
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    The tigers were a bit harder than normal to find because they were trying to get in the shade but we did manage to find one to observe.
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    I am not normally a bird lover and actually get a little scared when they start flying and flapping around, but I do enjoy walking through the bird section of the trek. The bird houses are adorable.
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    You can also get up close and observe their beautiful colors and their behaviors.
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    After a nice relaxing stroll we were ready for our next adventure.


     
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  11. Sydney2977

    Sydney2977 DIS Veteran

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    Afternoon Animal Kingdom Adventures

    Once we were done with our trek it was time for our FP at Kali River Rapids. We hadn't ridden in years since we've gone during cooler times, and when we went in March DS2 had a cast on because he fractured his ankle right before the trip.

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    We donned our jackets and didn't end up getting as wet as expected- and it actually felt good since it was so hot- but the family riding with us did. The poor mom lost her hat to but they didn't seem to mind as they were all laughing just as hard as we were.
    Next up we decided to get on EE since the wait time was down to like 20 minutes. GF1 sat this one out since she doesn't like it but used the time to secure us another FP.

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    GF2 had never ridden this since she's never been to AK and absolutely loved it.
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    Thanks to GF1's efforts we were able to go right over to Dinosaur and ride it with FP's. DH doesn't like this ride because of the jerkiness (though I tease him and say it's cause he's scared!) so he relaxed outside while we all rode.

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    While on the ride DS1 had put his backpack just on the floor instead of wrapping the straps around his legs or tucking it in a pouch. During the ride I felt the backpack sliding on the floor past my feet about to completely slide out of the vehicle since it doesn't have closed sides. I had my sunglasses just folded and hanging on my shirt so when I bent over to grab the backpack my sunglasses fell off and out- I was so annoyed! I asked a CM at the end and they said to check with guest services before we left the park and if they hadn't found them to check with lost & found tomorrow. I gave him a description and my name and number and he said they find tons of stuff everyday so he was sure they'd be found. Of course I had to harass DS1 about not securing his bag and making me lose my sunglasses though!
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    It looked like it was getting ready to rain again for the typical afternoon shower but we wanted to try to walk the Gorilla Trail. Sure enough we only got to see a couple animals before CM's came out and told us we had to turn back- they were closing the trail due to possible lightning. It started sprinkling so we rushed over to FotLK to try to get in for a show. There was a line built up but we were fortunate enough to get into the next showing. We still all go to sit together too in the giraffe section. This is my favorite show and it had us all singing along. It's a must see every trip for us.
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    By this time we were all getting hungry again so we scurried over to Flame Tree BBQ. It was still drizzling a bit but was slowing up and there was a group performing across the way from Flam Tree. We had a great CM who was taking our order- super friendly, efficient, and dancing along to the music like us. We took our food to the covered area next to the building and took a nice long break relaxing and enjoying our food.
    I got the chicken salad and used bbq sauce instead of dressing- so good! I was surpised how much food I got as well and it was flavorful chicken.
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    I can't remember who but two of them got the baked mac & cheese with pulled pork and onion rings
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    and the other three go the fries with pulled pork, bbq sauce, and cheese.
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    It was all just the right amount for dinner and they enjoyed the indulgent flavors.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
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  12. Sydney2977

    Sydney2977 DIS Veteran

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    Animal Kingdom at Dark

    I know some people still can't do AK all day but we've always done a full day here and I was personally sad to have to leave by 5pm when it used to close. Only DS1 and GF1 have been since they added Pandora and started staying open later, so this was a real treat to experience AK in the dark for the first time. We were able to get another FP for the safari so we headed there after dinner.
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    I was slightly disappointed because the only animal we really got to see was one we missed during the day- the lions. Everything else was either too far away to see or I guess already in their enclosures for the night. I feel they need to add at least some lighting somehow because you really can't see anything. We did get to stop and watch the lion pace back and forth so that was cool.

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    Apparently no one but me was interested in seeing the Rivers of Light show so we skipped it. We did have on more stop we all wanted to make and that was Navi River Journey. Plus we wanted to see Pandora lit up at night. Walking through was amazing! Pictures don't do it justice, you really have to see it in person. There was only a 20 minute wait for Navi and there are cool things to look at.

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    GF1 wanted to try to take some pictures during the ride so she was snapping away on my camera while I go to soak in the awesome atmosphere. I would definitely recommend riding this at night.
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    Afterwards we wandered around Pandora some more and got to watch the drum show. Of course everyone couldn't resist playing on them too.
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    Before we left we stopped into one last store to look around. I'm seriously considering trying to dress up like this for Halloween next year- I totally already have the ears for it!
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    I'm kind of regretting not getting something with the AK 20th anniversary logo. I can't believe it's been that long since it's been open.
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    We said goodnight to Pandora and AK, hopped on the bus back to POR, and crashed for the night.
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  13. MickeyReeds

    MickeyReeds Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for sharing your trip! I'm really enjoying reading along!
     
  14. Sydney2977

    Sydney2977 DIS Veteran

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    Breakfast in the French Quarter

    As this was our last park day and we had gotten so much done during the other days we decided to do breakfast at POFQ. DS1 and GF1 have stayed here and DH, DS2, and I stayed here during our last trip. It is probably one of my favorite CS locations out of all the resorts. It was another gorgeous day outside and we took the leisurely boat ride over.
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    Before long we were hopping of the boartand making our way into
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    We've been coming to eat here during our Disney trips for years so my family is familiar with the menu. They have added a few different things though but still a great change from other basic breakfast offerings.
    DS1 already got his fix of beignets in when he walked over to get some several nights before, but I was saving my turn for breakfast. Delicious as always, and brings back memories of visiting New Orleans growing up. My grandfather is from there, though he lived in Washington, DC when I was a kid, so when he'd come visit us in Texas we'd take him to visit New Orleans too. A stop at Café Du Monde was always on the agenda. DS2 also got the beignets.

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    DH got the chicken biscuit with a side of tots- and had to make a "Hidden Mickey" out of them.
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    GF1 got the chocolate chip pancakes with tots and bacon.
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    GF2 got a sweet roll and tots.
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    DS1 got the breakfast pizza which he raved about. I tried some and admit is was really yummy!
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    We had a nice relaxing breakfast and the seating area wasn't crowded at all. DH says he misses the bog float decorations but the new décor is still nice. I especially like the display of Mardi Gras masks.
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    On our way out they found a pin board and we did some trading.
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    We walked around a bit outside on our way to the buses. DS2 stopped to say hi to his saxophone buddy gator. DS1, who plays trumpet, thinks they should have a statue of Louis playing trumpet somewhere. I could see them re-theming somewhere in the future to be more Princess and the Frog themed like they did the rooms.
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    We jumped on a bus to where the consensus was to go- Epcot!
     
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  15. Sydney2977

    Sydney2977 DIS Veteran

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    Traveling the Other Half of the World

    We still needed to finish seeing the other half of the World Showcase. We stopped at Club Cool on the way through Future World so DS2 could get his birthday frozen Coke. The ret of us just tried out favorite flavors again. I was surprised at how big the free one was.
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    We stopped into a shop at the Port of Entry so we could do some pin trading. I was excited to see these products on sale from right here in the Charleston area!
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    Firefly Distillery is on Wadmalaw Island, right down the road from the only tea plantation in America and the Boy Scout camp the boys went to multiple times a year. They've been to the distillery as part of the chemistry merit badge, and we've been for their tastings. They started with sweet tea vodka and have expanded to other flavors, plus rum and "moonshine." I recommend trying some.
    Our first stop in World Showcase was Canada. We looked around, pin traded, and took some silly pictures.
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    UK was next on our tour. We looked through the shops and listened to some music.
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    In France we did some more exploring. I personally can't wait till they open the Ratatouille ride.
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    Morocco was the last country to visit. Strolling through the shops here always reminds DH of his deployments to the Middle East and me of the two years I lived in Saudi Arabia as a kid. I always have to take a picture of the guys with the camel- harkening back to that Geico commercial about "hump day."
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    Everyone was still full from the late breakfast so we never did stop for lunch. We figured it was time to head over to MK since we had some afternoon and evening fast passes. On the way out we got a good look at the construction for the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride.
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    We sure will miss Ellen and Bill Nye the Science Guy, but we'll always have the memories. It will be nice to have another new attraction in Epcot.
    There was only a short wait for the next monorail and then it was off to MK.
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  16. Sydney2977

    Sydney2977 DIS Veteran

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    Magic and a Magical Dinner

    We arrived at MK and were able to head right to our first fast pass for the day- Peter Pan's Flight. I purposely made them for later in the day because I knew we'd be ending the day at MK but didn't know ahead of time where we'd start the day. Peter Pan always reminds me of DS1 since he was his favorite growing up. I was happy to get to ride since our last trip all together it was closed.
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    GF1 wanted to take GF2 for a quick little surprise so we stopped into the dress shop behind Cinderella's Castle for a sprinkle of Pixie Dust. They both got dusted- it's great to see them still acting like kids.
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    Then it was time to head back up Main St.- we did some pin trading in the shops on the way- to our dinner 6:35 ADR at Tony's. This is one of our family's favorite spots and DS2 specifically asked for this to be our final meal to celebrate his birthday. We like it for the atmosphere, always excellent service, and just basic American Italian food.
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    GF1 and I got the chicken parmigiana- definitely a large portion and tasty as usual.
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    DH and GF2 got the chicken fettuccine Alfredo. I admit the sauce isn't as good as the old Alfredo's in Epcot- as a kid that's what got me addicted to Alfredo sauce- but it's still yummy. DH was nice enough to let me have a nibble.
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    DS2 go the spaghetti and meatballs and DS1 got the trio with fettuccine Alfredo, spaghetti and meatballs, and chicken parmigiana. He loved them all but could barely finish. I think next time DH and I might split this.
    Our server Jing was absolutely one of the best we've ever had, and the best of this trip. She was so sweet, funny, on top of drinks and the food, and just a pleasure. She brought out a special treat for DS2 since she noticed his birthday button- a card "signed" by Lady and the Tramp and a sweet treat. We all sand Happy Birthday to him.
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    We got a couple orders of cannolis for everyone else to share. These are mighty rich and I recommend sharing, especially after a big meal.
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    This made for a wonderful last meal of the trip and another great memory of one of our favorites.
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    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  17. Sydney2977

    Sydney2977 DIS Veteran

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    Favorites Packed Into Our Last Night

    As we headed to Tomorrowland after dinner we saw a beautiful rainbow- it was nice that we missed the daily rain shower while we were eating.
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    Our next fast pass was for Buzz from 7:30-8:30 so we walked right on. Once again I got the lowest score of the group but it was still a fun ride.
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    We had our last fast pass for Space Mt. from 8:45-9:45. We did some pin trading while waiting for our spot to open and then jumped right on for a wild ride. When we got off it was only showing a 10 minute wait because everyone was going to watch the fireworks. The kids decided to ride Space Mt. again but DH and I sat it out.
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    GF1 recommended trying to ride 7DMT since it usually has a low wait time during fireworks. We got in line and it only showed a 15 minute wait! I've never actually been through the normal line and it's pretty cute. They all got into playing along as we practically skipped through the line.
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    There were two more rides we absolutely had to do before leaving. On the way there we noticed there was only a 5 minute wait for IASW so we managed to drag DH on to ride. He jokes about it being torture but secretly I think he likes it!
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    We made a pit stop at the best restroom ever.
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    Then we jumped right in line at Haunted Mansion. I always love doing this one at night.
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    The last ride of the night was going to Pirates. It's a favorite of all of us and sort of a tradition in our family to ride it last.
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    It was just about time for MK to close and since we were so close some of us wanted to get Dole Whips. GF2 hadn't tried them and didn't know if she'd like it so GF1 suggested they get a Citrus Swirl. DS2, GF2, and GF1 ran over to Sunshine Tree Terrace while DH, DS1, and I got in line for our Dole Whips- well a Dole Whip float for me. The other three came back only to say that STT was already closed. GF1 doesn't like pineapple but DS2 and GF2 decided they were going to get a Dole Whip to split. When they went to the counter the CM gave them a free one as the last he was serving for the night! Turned out GF2 does like them- haha, another convert!
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    We enjoyed our treats as we walked out of the park. We went through the Main St. shops to look and do some pin trading. It was a perfect way to end the evening and the last park day of the trip. Once we got to our bus stop we waited about 10 minutes and were able to get on the next bus. We dragged ourselves back to the rooms, packed up some, and set alarms for in the morning. We had one last thing to do before heading home the next day.
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  18. Sydney2977

    Sydney2977 DIS Veteran

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    Departure Day

    Even though we weren't going to a park on departure day, I still wanted to do something fun before we headed back home. It was another beautiful day when we woke up. I was first up and then everyone else followed and finished packing, though we were still pretty tired.
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    We had breakfast at Riverside Mills.
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    I got the chicken biscuit sandwich with fruit. It was so good and I wished I'd had it at least one other time.
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    DH got the Mickey waffle and bacon- and had to make Mickey look like he belonged in the group Kiss! How come I can't get him to stop playing with his food? He says that if I'm going to take pictures of all the food he's going to try to make it fun.
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    The kids didn't order anything different so I didn't get pics of theirs. After stuffing ourselves we headed back to the room, made one last check to make sure we had everything, and loaded up the vehicles. We drove to Disney Springs and parked in a garage. I went over to lost and found with GF1 while everyone else waited. I put in a report for my sunglasses and said I'd check back in a few hours. We met the rest of the group back at AMC.
    I was so excited when I found out that this weekend was the opening weekend for The Incredibles 2! We had gone online ahead of time and purchased tickets for the 10:30 showing so our seats were already picked out. We also brought candy from home.

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    I remember when the first one came out and we have pictures of us with Mr. and Mrs. Incredible when the boys were much younger. Our seats ended up being excellent- on the second level and right at the edge so no one to try to see over. But really the way the seats are set up it is very comfortable and everyone has a great view.
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    We all loved the movie! Afterwards we all went over to lost and found and lo and behold- they'd found my sunglasses! I joked with DS1 that now he wouldn't have to buy me a new pair! We went back to our vehicles, said our goodbyes, and got on the road. It was an uneventful drive back and we got the girls dropped off and were back to our house by 9pm. I know it will be a while, but I look forward to doing another group trip because it was so much fun!
     
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