"ENCHANTED TALES with ROB" - A Birthday/Christmas DISer Celebration! **NEW TR LINK**

DisneyKid4Life

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Great update, Rob! Your AKL photos are beautiful... Never been myself though. Another thing I've yet to do is Beaches and Cream so, initially, I was quite disappointed the wait was too long for you. However, sounds like Hurricane Hanna's was the place to be as that burger sounds delicious! :thumbsup2

Very excited to hear about the cruise! Ugh, don't ya just want to be there now... I am having major Disney withdrawal lately and I think it's because I don't have my next trip on the books yet! :rotfl: gotta fix that...;)
Thanks Tracy. I considered this more of a filler update which usually aren't my favourite. Just not as much fun for me, ya know. But it needed to be chronicled nonetheless. AKL is gorgeous, definitely check it out. I was sad to miss Beaches just because I'd heard so much about it and the timing would have been perfect. But I have no regrets at all. Hannahs was phenomenal.

I sure do hope it lives up to expectations (the story I mean... the cruise itself sure did for me). Oh yeah, MAJOR withdrawal. Lately I've almost always had at least something in the hopper. But, September is looking better than maybe, so hopefully I'll pull the trigger soon.


After having stayed at AKL in January, I didn't think the resort could look any better and then I see from your pictures what they do for the holidays. Nice!

Yes, Wilderness Lodge can't really compete with those live animals roaming the grounds at AKL including the giraffes. Perhaps they should look into brining in some bison in their backyard? :goodvibes

The lines at Beaches and Cream was pretty insane the one and only time I visited it in October. I think I must have stayed in line for about 30 minutes by the time I got my milkshake but it was oh so worth it.
You know Dave, that's a great point. I think this applies to all the resorts. Gorgeous always, but add in the holiday decor and it all just goes to a whole other level.

They do need to do something to compete. The geyser's cool I guess, but since I've never seen it actually go off and you're pretty much guaranteed giraffes at AKL, AKL wins.

It was so busy. I think the line for ice cream and such would have been doable, but to sit and order was just way too long. I will try it one day though. Perhaps during a better time of day.


Great update! :)
Thanks so much!!!

I have no words for that wardrobe malfunction photo of Chip omg :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

Um Pluto's Christmas hat tho is da bomb


OH MAN when I saw that pre-magic shot pose...I was like...STITCH
but no.
Just...no.

I remember seeing one of those screens at the GFlo and the Contemp (I think) and just....so cool. So very very cool

YES GIRAFFES >>>>>>>>>>>>

OMG LOOK AT THE LITTLE BABY ZEBRA IS RIGHT :lovestruc

JAMBO
HOLY CRAP GHFJNCFGHFGH

I can not take these photos of Jambo. I'm staying there for my first time in June and my level of excitement just skyrocketed holy crap

And now I will def make a note of this Angus burgher from Hurricane Hanna's
OMG Meg I know. Just the funniest capture. There's not much you can say about it. I figure just let everyone come to their own conclusions.

Oh... Yeah...

Hehe, I couldn't resist. Just trying to prepare everyone for the inevitable.

They do seem to be popping up at more places. I like it!

There can not be too many giraffe sightings. Clearly.

Isn't he cute??????? Baby animals rule.

Ahhh it's like heaven came to Earth. Just blown away.

Oh God it's beautiful Meg. You are going to go out of your mind. And I barely scratched the surface.

I want one NOW!!! Best burger in Disney (at least in my opionion). Why I don't know, it just is.
 

Tracy161

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
I'd love to be able to make September work again... It was so amazing last year! We shall see... Would be fabulous to be able to do a meet! :goodvibes
 

missangelalexis

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
WOW that is AWESOME that the bus driver said Happy Birthday to you over the PA systems!

I definitely want to visit AKL one day. GREAT animal pics!! That baby zebra :love:

Sounds like your time on the Boardwalk was a good one! Can't wait to hear about the cruise!
 
  • jordansmama

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2010
    Another great post- I'm loving all the pics, especially of AKL.

    That's so great that the bus driver wished you a happy birthday over the PA. Disney magic at its best!!
     

    amazingact21

    Upendi
    Joined
    Nov 6, 2010
    Oh, AKL...it is such a great resort to tour! I can't imagine walking from Kidani to Jambo House, though. That's a pretty far trek!

    It's so cool when someone recognizes you from the DIS. Makes you feel like a celebrity. :rotfl2:



    You saw Corey?! I'm jealous. It'd be so cool to see one of the podcasters in the park or surrounding areas.
     

    DisneyKid4Life

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 3, 2013
    I'd love to be able to make September work again... It was so amazing last year! We shall see... Would be fabulous to be able to do a meet! :goodvibes
    Oh Totally, do it up. I think I'm definitely on the better than 50% side of things. I just need to work out the details.

    WOW that is AWESOME that the bus driver said Happy Birthday to you over the PA systems!

    I definitely want to visit AKL one day. GREAT animal pics!! That baby zebra :love:

    Sounds like your time on the Boardwalk was a good one! Can't wait to hear about the cruise!
    It was so cool and unexpected Alexis. Way to make me feel special Mr. Bus Driver!!

    I still can't believe it took me this long. I highly recommend a visit. The animal sighting are spectacular. And baby Zebra was just too cute.

    You just can't have a bad time on the Boardwalk, especially at night. It's just so alive. And I can't wait to share the Cruise really soon.


    Another great post- I'm loving all the pics, especially of AKL.

    That's so great that the bus driver wished you a happy birthday over the PA. Disney magic at its best!!
    Aww thank you so much!!!

    It really was such a lovely and unexpected gesture. Disney just continues to amaze.


    Oh, AKL...it is such a great resort to tour! I can't imagine walking from Kidani to Jambo House, though. That's a pretty far trek!

    It's so cool when someone recognizes you from the DIS. Makes you feel like a celebrity. :rotfl2:



    You saw Corey?! I'm jealous. It'd be so cool to see one of the podcasters in the park or surrounding areas.
    For sure... GORGEOUS!! Haha, I so wish I knew that beforehand. At least I'm not crazy in thinking it was a long walk.

    You know it kinda did. I met so many DISers this trip, but many were planned and others, even though they weren't specifically planned, we each knew we were there, so there wasn't the huge surprise factor. This totally was out of nowhere. So very cool.

    I absolutely did!! I'm just really bummed I was in such a hurry or I would have stopped. It shouldn't have been a massive surprise because they held DISapalooza while I was there. But still, pretty neat.
     

    TinkyCheeks

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 10, 2007
    I've spent quite a bit of my spare time for the past couple of days reading your TR, and I'm so glad I found it! You seem like you're having such a great time! I can't remember everything I wanted to comment on, but just know I'm really enjoying reading along!

    I love that you not only celebrated your own birthday but also Walt's. It is sad that not too many CMs seemed to know about it. It seems like the company would have made a bigger deal. But it sounds like the few who did know abut it made up for the many who didn't! :thumbsup2

    Merry ChristWishes. Perfection! :cloud9:

    I just love all those conversations that happen out of the blue in Disney. I had the best time last December listening to my son and another little boy compare notes about their trips, talking about what they'd loved and giving one another tips. Those moments mean just as much as the big ones.

    I can't wait to hear about the Illuminations Cruise!
     
  • DisneyKid4Life

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 3, 2013
    I've spent quite a bit of my spare time for the past couple of days reading your TR, and I'm so glad I found it! You seem like you're having such a great time! I can't remember everything I wanted to comment on, but just know I'm really enjoying reading along!

    I love that you not only celebrated your own birthday but also Walt's. It is sad that not too many CMs seemed to know about it. It seems like the company would have made a bigger deal. But it sounds like the few who did know abut it made up for the many who didn't! :thumbsup2

    Merry ChristWishes. Perfection! :cloud9:

    I just love all those conversations that happen out of the blue in Disney. I had the best time last December listening to my son and another little boy compare notes about their trips, talking about what they'd loved and giving one another tips. Those moments mean just as much as the big ones.

    I can't wait to hear about the Illuminations Cruise!
    Aww thank you Kelly, I'm so glad you found it too. I do confess to having a great time, and trust me, the second half will only be better.

    Oh Yeah, those were a great couple of days (well of course I just continued the birthday celebration throughout). It still disappoints me that so little was done for Walt's birthday, but you are so right; the ones who did made up for it a thousand times over.

    This needs to be the new name!!

    To be honest, these are the things that stay with me. I love all the rides and shows of course, but it's hard to distinguish them amongst various trips. But the personal connections forever stand out.

    Coming up next!!
     

    DisneyKid4Life

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 3, 2013

    HAVIN' A WILD (CHRISTMAS) TIME; BY LAND AND BY... LAGOON?
    Day 5 – December 7, 2013 Part 5




    I had been beyond excited about the Illuminations Cruise ever since Brenda so graciously invited me along.
    Honestly, I still have a hard time believing even now that someone I had never (at the point) met in person would do that.
    Now that we have, I’m sure she might reconsider… but TOO LATE!!!

    I posted on Facebook:
    ”Almost time for Illuminations Cruise! SO Excited!!!!!”

    I will point out right now, that while I did take photos on and of the cruise; I took exactly ZERO of the group.
    There were so many people with cameras that I honestly felt bad adding another to the pile,
    And I figured I could get access to some of them anyway, which I did, and I will give full credit to whoever’s photo I “borrowed”.

    The cruise itself starts at the Bayside Marina which is where we all got into a pre-cruise group shot,
    Which seems the perfect time to reveal the group, the whole group, and nothing but the group, so help me God.

    From Left to Right:
    Paula’s hubby Hunter, Paula (smile4stamps), Barb (jabead), Vicki (GoofySon'sMom), Brenda, Emily, Me, Linda (Linda67), and her DH Philip.


    (photo courtesy of Brenda)

    There was one other member that must have shown just up after the photo, but she will appear later.
    This was also my first time meeting many in the group, and my GOD what a wonderful group of people.
    They were all in the midst of a DIS Dining extravaganza as a final blow off to their Live Dining Thread, which was the focus of their trip,
    So again, the fact that they allowed me to join in is something I will never forget, and it was all because of Brenda.

    We were a bit late getting started as it takes a bit of work to get a group this size focused, but we still got the full package from our captains.
    We actually had 2 boats in total, so in the first boat was Paula, Hunter, Barb, Linda, Philip, and newly arrived Beth (Couchy),


    (photo courtesy of Brenda)

    And in the other was me, Brenda, Em, and Vicki.

    You can have up to 10 people on a boat I believe, but it was so lovely to have the extra space afforded us from having two.

    We leisurely cruised Crescent Lake past the Swolphin,



    All the way down to The Studios,





    Then back past the Swolphin and the Boardwalk.





    I know the Friendship Boats take much the same journey, but to have the privacy afforded by having your own boat,
    Well, you really do feel like royalty.
    I promise that if you were to ask a Friendship Boat to stop so you can take a picture, you might find yourself swimming.

    Our final leg was passing under the bridge which connects England and France (I guess that makes it the Chunnel?),
    Before docking side by side by side by side with some other cruise ships in World Showcase Lagoon.

    Look at all those poor saps up there “standing” shoulder to shoulder. LOSERS!!!








    (photo courtesy of Brenda)


    (photo courtesy of Brenda… but taken by ME!)


    (photo courtesy of Brenda)

    I’ll tell you now, to be right at water level waiting for Illuminations to begin was unbelievable.
    You really do feel special having this exclusive vantage point and not having to wait with the masses, jockeying for a spot.
    I truly can't imagine a more comfortable spot to watch this amazing show.



    CONTINUED NEXT POST
     

    DisneyKid4Life

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 3, 2013

    Day 5 – December 7, 2013 Part 5 Continued


    A short time after docking, it began.
    I really paid no attention to the photos I was taking and just simply rested my camera on the ledge of the boat and clicked randomly.
    I was way more interested in focusing all my attention on the show in front of me.





















    PLUS, being there during the Christmas season we got the added bonus of,

    The Illuminations Holiday tag.













    Trust me when I tell you that my pictures do not in any way do this experience justice.
    Not even close.
    After the last pop faded into the night sky, I actually sat there mesmerized for quite a while, sitting silently in place.

    The thoughts of everything this experience meant to me hit me all at once…
    The emotion and spectacle of seeing Illuminations from this unique vantage point…
    The beauty of Illuminations itself, the pyro, the colour, the music…

    But much more than that was the fact that I was sharing it with a group of people as passionate about Disney as I am,
    And the reality that Brenda was so unbelievably kind and generous to even include me in this.

    Never in my wildest dreams, back when I joined DISboards, did I ever picture a scenario where I would be sitting on a boat,
    In World Showcase Lagoon,
    Watching what felt like an "exclusive" showing of Illuminations,
    With not one, not two, not three, but SEVEN card carrying, DISboard’s handle having, members of the DISboard community.

    It all hit me in that moment.
    This was beyond mere words and I really have none to truly express my gratitude.

    Vicki looked over and asked why I was so quiet, and all I could really muster was a quiet “Wow.”
    And it wasn’t just the show itself, it was everything.

    We circled around and made our way back to the Marina to disembark,
    And by the time we arrived back, I had more or less recovered my mental faculty.
    So much so that one thing struck me as we excited the boat, and that was how little of the provided snacks we actually consumed.

    So I did what any normal person would do in that situation…

    I took ‘em.

    From both boats.

    They were included as part of the cruise package, and despite the fact that my entire involvement was merely showing up,
    I wasn’t about to leave it all behind, so I borrowed one of Brenda’s Christmas bags and filled ‘er up.

    Before everyone scattered, we arranged another group photo of everyone in attendance, this time with one addition.
    Again From Left to Right:
    Barb (jabead), Beth (Couchy), Em, Vicki (GoofySon'sMom), Linda (Linda67), Philip, Paula (smile4stamps), Hunter, Brenda, and Moi, along with my bag ‘o vittles.


    (photo courtesy of Brenda)

    And then another with the inclusion of our wonderful captains.


    (photo courtesy of Beth)

    And just to be completely clear, our captains were FANTASTIC!!!
    Plus, our captain (on the right in the photo beside Brenda) would laugh at pretty much anything,
    So I enjoyed his laughter immensely when I pirated the boats of their bounty.

    We all hung around for a while before eventually disbursing to head back to our respective resorts.
    I walked with Brenda and Em as far as the Boardwalk as they were heading back to their room,
    And I was heading back to the car at DHS via the walking path.

    However, in the dark, and having never taken it before, I completely missed the walking path and ended up at the Swolphin.

    Thankfully, I backtracked and found the path I needed and eventually arrived back at my car in the empty DHS parking lot.
    Plus I also had plenty of snacks for energy!





    I drove the short drive back to POP and was back in the room in no time flat.

    I posted on Facebook:
    "There are no words to express my gratitude to Brenda for tonight's Illuminations Cruise. None. Just know that is an experience I will never forget. To get to spend it with her and Emily and to meet so many other great members of the Disboard community was beyond special.

    Oh yeah I also cleaned out all the leftovers..."








    UP NEXT… A SPECTACULAR CHRISTMAS WITH MY DISNEY MISTRESS!
     

    DisneyFreak06

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 17, 2006
    Wow! Just wow! Maybe I need to do an Illuminations Cruise so that I can enjoy Illuminations!

    Thanks for sharing your experience, and thanks to Brenda for inviting you so we can read about your experience! I'll read about it on her TR when she shares it later!
     
  • scrpbookr

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 21, 2013
    I never realized exactly what the Illuminations cruise included! I love that the boats are docked in World Showcase lagoon! Thanks for sharing!

    That is quite the haul of snacks!! I was wondering what could have possibly filled that big Christmas bag.

    We'll all be on the edge of our seats waiting to hear more about this "Disney Mistress". Don't keep us waiting too long!
     

    teekathepony

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 2, 2009
    Oh man... I feel speechless just reading about it! The whole experience sounds just absolutely incredible, and to share it with so many DISers is just the icing on the cake. Wonderful photos, I especially love the group pics! It sounds like an unforgettable time, Rob.
    Too funny that you cleaned out the snacks! That's a lot of chips!
    Now I'm trying to remember who the mistress was!! :rotfl:

    Sent from my iPad using DISBoards
     

    Jennifer84

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 21, 2013
    Going on an IllumiNations cruise is on my bucket list.

    What a fantastic Dismeet! :grouphug: Looks like a really fun group!

    You got some great shots for just snapping randomly :thumbsup2 I TRY to get good fireworks pictures, and they are always blurry :confused3

    I don't blame you for "pirating" the snacks. I would've done the same thing. :rolleyes1
     

    MEK

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 8, 2005
    That looks just like the car Denny and I rented for our Tampa trip. It didn't have a big gas tank but it got really good mileage.

    SO WOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!!!!! for the Illuminations Cruise. It is definitely on my bucket list and you really were blessed to be able to hook up with Brenda and go on that cruise. That really is such a special experience.

    Cynthia did that cruise with her whole family and she said it was fantastic. I can't imagine what it would be like to almost be sitting in the center of the fireworks. Very, very cool!
     

    JDUB

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 11, 2011
    Wow!!! Awesome update on cruise. There is no better place to find people who "get it" when it comes to disney and you got to enjoy that experience with them. Truly amazing Rob!! Can't wait to see the pics from airport checking your bags with all those chips. :rotfl2:
     

    lauren_elizabeth

    Disney World Lover
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2006
    Wow! How awesome was that cruise?! So COOL! :thumbsup2 I've been able to see Wishes from a boat, but I bet seeing Illuminations was breathtaking!

    Hahahaha, I love how you took all of the leftover snacks. I'm glad you didn't let them go to waste!
     

    gracer9977

    Happiness is Disney
    Joined
    May 2, 2006
    Ahhh So excited to finally get to hear all about the Illuminations Cruise. How wonderful you got to spend it with such a great group and have such an amazing experience. Also, I love that you cleaned out all the snacks. Quite the haul you had. :)

    Your poor lonely car, all by itself in that huge parking lot.

    I can't believe that you got to meet Thumper, er Thumpa!!! That is awesome I would love to meet him.

    I love the Jammin Jungle Parade, something about the music and maybe cause I just love AK so much but I really enjoy seeing that parade and I am very sad that it has ended but hope they will replace it with something even more jammin!!!

    LOL the un-family-friendly happenings with Chip and Dale hopelessly trying to distract everyone. :rotfl:

    Totally awesome that the bus driver announced your birthday. :)

    Love all the dis-meets happening in this report and looking forward to the next update.
     

    PrincessCaitlin

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2009
    Sounds like a great night! I have always wanted to do an Illuminations cruise!

    Great pics of Illuminations! I bet the view was fantastic!

    Good job taking the leftovers :rotfl2: Someone had to! You can't just leave all of that food behind :thumbsup2
     

    Wood Nymph

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 19, 2012
    Never in my wildest dreams, back when I joined DISboards, did I ever picture a scenario where I would be sitting on a boat,
    In World Showcase Lagoon,
    Watching what felt like an "exclusive" showing of Illuminations,
    With not one, not two, not three, but SEVEN card carrying, DISboard’s handle having, members of the DISboard community.

    It all hit me in that moment.
    This was beyond mere words and I really have none to truly express my gratitude.​
    There are a lot of nice people in this forum. I'm glad that you had such a great time. :goodvibes
     


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