Dig A Little Deeper: Dopey 2019

  • lhermiston

    Beer-powered running machine
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2013
    Christmas card picture 2019? Hahaha!

    Following along! I mostly lurked but thanks for hosting the Marathon Weekend 2019 thread. Nothing likely passing the time before race day by reading pages of SAFD over my morning coffee!
    Yeaaaaah...Maya was not feeling the posed photos too much this trip. I always try to find one to get framed, but that might be a challenge for this trip!
     
  • Smilelea

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 15, 2017
    I'm here! Reading everyone's trip reports is making me want to do one but I haven't been able to finish my mini trip report within a trip report from September (if that even makes sense).

    I do hate that I didn't stop by before the half. I headed that way and then realized everyone was heading to corrals so I just followed the masses even though it was early enough that I didn't have to.
     

    Ariel484

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2011
    Welcome! So, I *highly* recommend 50s. It was the most surprising meal of the trip in terms of quality and the chicken was way bueno. The antics were not bad and I’m sure you could politely tell your server you’d like to opt out of them.
    Thanks! I may have to risk it, that chicken looks so good. Now I need to get my husband onboard... :scratchin
     

    lhermiston

    Beer-powered running machine
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2013
    Joining the fun!
    Welcome!

    I'm here! Reading everyone's trip reports is making me want to do one but I haven't been able to finish my mini trip report within a trip report from September (if that even makes sense).

    I do hate that I didn't stop by before the half. I headed that way and then realized everyone was heading to corrals so I just followed the masses even though it was early enough that I didn't have to.
    Sorry I missed you!
     

    lhermiston

    Beer-powered running machine
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2013
    Day 2: Expo and Animal Kingdom

    I did my best to sleep in Wednesday morning since it'd be my last chance to do so for the next four days, but I'm sure I was up by 6 or so. My plan was to be on the first expo bus and thanks to a tip from @camaker, I walked over to POFQ to get on the bus there. The expo bus loaded around 9:30 and we were at ESPN Wide World of Sports by 9:45, which was much faster than in 2017.

    I started walking toward the area where I would get my Dopey bibs, but heard a dude shouting about merchandise. Since it was early, I thought I'd check out the lines. I headed into the arena and was initially encouraged by how few people seemed to be in there. My biggest turnoff from getting merchandise was the wait, so I thought I'd maybe pick something up.

    Wrong.

    I got to where the line was and it really wasn't bad, but I knew there would be some wait and I really didn't want to miss getting over to Animal Kingdom for Flame Tree BBQ at noon. I still have mixed feelings on this decision. From the sounds of it, the lines moved pretty fast and the whole expo experience was super quick for me, so I probably had time. But, a lot of folks said the merch was meh - not to mention the six Dopey shirts I got - so, who knows? Some of the long sleeve shirts looked slick, but I don't know how much I'd wear them.

    Anyway, I quickly bolted from the merchandise arena, went to the hall where bib pick up was and got in and out in roughly 10 minutes. It was awesome. So, kudos to whoever was handling that because it was infinitely smoother than the 2017 expo experience.

    I mulled the merch arena again, but the siren call of the parks was too strong, so I hopped on a bus back to POR. There, I rounded up the family and we made our way to AK.

    It was lunch time when we arrived and we immediately went to Flame Tree BBQ. Flame Tree has been kind of a white whale for us the past couple trips. We've wanted to try it, but the timing never worked out. It was totally worth the wait. Hannah and I ordered the sampler with ribs, chicken and pulled pork; Josie and Robyn got the BBQ mac and cheese and I think Maya got a hotdog.

    Maya was too obsessed with the scavenging birds to pay much attention to her meal, but the rest of us loved ours. I got an end piece for my ribs, so I didn't get *quite* as much food, but it was still so much. And really, really tasty. The girls' mac and cheese was amazing, too. Flame Tree totally lived up to the hype and will be in our dining rotation for a long time, I suspect.

    After lunch, we had FastPasses for Finding Nemo: The Musical, so we took the long way through Asia to get over there, stopping for a couple of family pics. While were walking, I told the girls I'd be running along that path in a few days for the full.

    DSC_2898 by Lee Hermiston, on Flickr

    PhotoPass_Visiting_AK_415197509572 by Lee Hermiston, on Flickr

    PhotoPass_Visiting_AK_415197509579 by Lee Hermiston, on Flickr

    Then it was Finding Nemo: The Musical, one of my wife's favorite Disney attractions. I'm pretty so so on it, but the songs are pretty catchy.

    DSC_2912 by Lee Hermiston, on Flickr

    At the end, I tried to get photos of Maya and the bubbles, but this was about the best I could get:

    DSC_2937 by Lee Hermiston, on Flickr

    Poor lighting. It could probably be fixed with some editing, but I'm not going to mess with it right now.

    Anyway, from there we went to Maharajah Jungle Trek where the tigers were pretty sleepy, but the birds were plentiful. Then we made our very first trip into Pandora.

    Pandora.jpg

    Pandora was definitely a cool place to check out. We roamed around just a bit before our FastPasses for Flight of Passage. We got in line, but quickly discovered Maya was too short for the ride, which was a bummer. I offered to do child swap with my wife, but she bowed out and they went to just chill out.

    So, Josie, Robyn and I did FoP on our own. I think the pre-ride stuff takes a little long (I'm sure there's a valid reason, probably to make the wait feel shorter), but it was pretty neat. We got on the ride, got buckled in and WHOA. From a thematic and technical standpoint, FoP was amazing. I definitely said "wow" out loud a few times.

    That said, I'm really not a huge fan of the 3D motion ride fad/phenomenon. By the end of FoP, I was feeling a little queasy. So, I can appreciate FoP for being an outstanding ride, but it won't replace Splash, Haunted Mansion or Tower of Terror in my book.

    We didn't have passes for the Navi River ride and no one felt like waiting. But, I did want to check out Satuli Canteen after @rteetz strongly recommended it. The girls grabbed a table and Hannah and I got in line to grab a protein bowl. We got noodles, chicken, beef and the creamy herb (I think?) dressing.

    Unfortunately, Satuli Canteen was not much of a for anyone, but me. Ryan, I get it. I would order that again if I was flying solo, but the family will probably skip next time.

    From there, we trekked back to Africa (there was a ton of crisscrossing the park that day) for Kilamanjaro Safari. We had FastPasses and got on pretty quickly. Kilamanjaro Safari never disappoints, so that was a lot of fun.

    DSC_2973 by Lee Hermiston, on Flickr

    DSC_3012 by Lee Hermiston, on Flickr

    We were going to do the Gorilla Falls Trail right after the safari, but it closed at 4:30, so we were SOL. Instead, we checked out one of the shops and found a gift for my father-in-law, whose birthday is next month.

    At 5, we had reservations at Yak and Yeti, another restaurant that had been on our wish list for a while. We got a table upstairs and it was fairly quiet. I had every intention of ordering the Korean short ribs, but they had a separate menu with some specials and I ended up ordering the teriyaki steak with firecracker shrimp. The shrimp were really good, but the teriyaki was a little overwhelming on the steak. I finished everything and it was fine, but next time I'll probably try the ribs. Everyone else enjoyed their food (though I don't remember exactly what they all got, outside of Robyn's cauliflower dish).

    It was about 6:30 when we finished dinner and everyone was pretty much ready to call it a day. Hannah and the girls went straight to the bus so they could get back and hop in the resort pool for a little bit. I opted to stick around for just a little bit so I could check out Pandora at night.

    DSC_3026 by Lee Hermiston, on Flickr

    DSC_3034 by Lee Hermiston, on Flickr

    Pandora looked awesome in the dark, so I'm glad I did that.

    When I got back to POR, the family was in the pool, so I went to the poolside bar and ordered a drink (I'm not as good as @jennamfeo at documenting these things). It was fine, nothing crazy. Disney drinks on the whole seem kind of weak and are definitely overpriced, but what can you do?

    After that, I went back to the room, laid out my running gear for the 5K and crashed pretty quickly.

    Next up: 5K and Magic Kingdom (I really need to come up with more clever titles)
     
  • Chaitali

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 2, 2011
    Beautiful Pandora at night photos :). I feel the same way about FOP, I loved it but I hope they don’t rely too much on screens and 3D in the future.
     

    lhermiston

    Beer-powered running machine
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2013
    Glad you liked Satuli. My favorite there are the bao pods and the cheesecake dessert. It’s not for everyone though.
    The cheeseburger pods sounded interesting. I wish we could’ve used snack credits to try a couple.

    Beautiful Pandora at night photos :). I feel the same way about FOP, I loved it but I hope they don’t rely too much on screens and 3D in the future.
    Me too. I thought Universal had too many motion/3D rides. We were not big fans.
     

    mankle30

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2017
    Unfortunately, Satuli Canteen was not much of a for anyone, but me. Ryan, I get it. I would order that again if I was flying solo, but the family will probably skip next time.
    While we ate at the Yak and Yeti QS counter at Animal Kingdom, I did go into Satuli Canteen to get some water and I want to eat there so much, just from how good the food looked and smelled!
     

    lhermiston

    Beer-powered running machine
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2013
    While we ate at the Yak and Yeti QS counter at Animal Kingdom, I did go into Satuli Canteen to get some water and I want to eat there so much, just from how good the food looked and smelled!
    I recommend giving it a shot. Definitely a unique dining option.
     

    jrmint427

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 19, 2013
    I’m following along! I ran the Goofy Challenge in 2013 and have always though about going back to try the Dopey some day. I’m excited to hear how it went!

    Yak and Yeti is always a favorite for us. We were supposed to try 50’s Prime Time on our last trip but didn’t make it. I’ll have to keep it on the list for our next trip!
     

    lhermiston

    Beer-powered running machine
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2013
    I’m following along! I ran the Goofy Challenge in 2013 and have always though about going back to try the Dopey some day. I’m excited to hear how it went!

    Yak and Yeti is always a favorite for us. We were supposed to try 50’s Prime Time on our last trip but didn’t make it. I’ll have to keep it on the list for our next trip!
    Welcome!

    I liked - but didn’t love - Yak and Yeti. I’ll definitely give it another shot. 50s Prime Time is definitely worth checking out.
     

    roxymama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 26, 2015
    Following along!!! I didn’t get the chance to check out toystorylsnd yet. Definitely on my list for next trip!
     

    lhermiston

    Beer-powered running machine
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2013
    Following along!!! I didn’t get the chance to check out toystorylsnd yet. Definitely on my list for next trip!
    I can’t say much for the rides since we didn’t do any of the new ones, but it’s a beautiful area at night.
     



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