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

    Aug 10, 2013
    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

    jhoannam DIS Veteran

    May 12, 2014
    joining in.
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  4. Sydney2977

    Sydney2977 DIS Veteran

    Aug 10, 2013
    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.
    DLo likes this.
  5. lauren_elizabeth

    lauren_elizabeth Disney World Lover

    Feb 1, 2006
    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

    Aug 10, 2013
    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.
    DLo likes this.
  7. Sydney2977

    Sydney2977 DIS Veteran

    Aug 10, 2013
    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.
    DLo likes this.
  8. tbholc81

    tbholc81 Mouseketeer

    Oct 27, 2016
    Great trip so far! We love Yak and Yeti!
  9. Grumpy's Wife

    Grumpy's Wife Dollar Tree gal here

    Jan 28, 2005
    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

    Aug 10, 2013
    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.

    DLo likes this.
  11. Sydney2977

    Sydney2977 DIS Veteran

    Aug 10, 2013
    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.
    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
    DLo likes this.
  12. Sydney2977

    Sydney2977 DIS Veteran

    Aug 10, 2013
    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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    fgnghg5821 and DLo like this.
  13. MickeyReeds

    MickeyReeds Mouseketeer

    Oct 25, 2007
    Thanks for sharing your trip! I'm really enjoying reading along!

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