Friends Reunited - TRIP REPORT!! - COMPLETE

TotallyAngelic

Disney Addict
Joined
Aug 14, 2005
Another great installment ... you certainly fit a lot into your days ...even with such sore feet.

I am afraid I am one of those who doesn't "get" Duffy :confused3:confused3
I always think they have so many fabulous characters, so why the need to invent a new one ??? ( I know it is purely a marketing ploy really ... one bear = a hundred costumes and kids will want them all !! ) Sorry :(

I have to close my eyes at the whole Alien segment as I am absolutely terrified of that Alien creature. So I have never seen Sigourney in there.

Love the photos of you all with the small beer glasses :rotfl2: You did very well to drink all of that at lunch time and carry on. It would have been bed-time for me I think!
 

BethEJo

<font color=blue>I left the house at 5.45am - that
Joined
May 27, 2008
Another great installment ... you certainly fit a lot into your days ...even with such sore feet.

I am afraid I am one of those who doesn't "get" Duffy :confused3:confused3
I always think they have so many fabulous characters, so why the need to invent a new one ??? ( I know it is purely a marketing ploy really ... one bear = a hundred costumes and kids will want them all !! ) Sorry :(

I have to close my eyes at the whole Alien segment as I am absolutely terrified of that Alien creature. So I have never seen Sigourney in there.

Love the photos of you all with the small beer glasses :rotfl2: You did very well to drink all of that at lunch time and carry on. It would have been bed-time for me I think!
We did so much, yes. But then again I feel like we could have fitted in more but I'm sure we would have been even more exhausted!

I completely agree with your comment about Duffy as a marketing ploy! I however, have fallen for it :rotfl:

I tell you, I really could have done with a lie down after drinking all that beer haha :lmao: if we ever decided to 'drink around the World' in the future, then I don't think a litre stein here would be such a good idea! There's no way we would make it half way round!
 

BethEJo

<font color=blue>I left the house at 5.45am - that
Joined
May 27, 2008
07/05/2013: SPLISHY SPLASHY!​

Today we all woke around 8-8:30, and instantly, we all had a bit of a wobble at the realisation that after today we just had three full days left. They were going to be jam packed though, so we’d just make the most of them!

Tanya’s friend had also been on holiday at WDW and today was her last day. They hadn’t really seen each other as of yet, so Tanya planned to meet up with her at AoA for breakfast. The rest of us decided to head to a water park. However, Jo declared that she wasn’t feeling too grand and wanted to stay in bed in stead – she insisted that Emma and I go though. We weren’t going to be long as there was no way I was getting sunburnt today, so we made sure she knew that we’d back to check on her in a couple of hours.

We got ready and headed to Typhoon Lagoon, arriving at around 9.40. We couldn’t work out why the car park was so empty?! That’s when we got to the turnstyles and realised that it didn’t actually open until 10am… D’oh (again). At least we’d get a good pick of the sun loungers! We’d finally made our first park opening of the holiday! We ended up choosing some loungers on the side of the wave pool.


Not a bad view!

We just relaxed at first. We weren’t really in the mood for any rides today – just wanted to take it easy. Must be getting old… :rotfl: We sunbathed for a while (at the moment, no one would believe that I’d been in Florida for almost 2 weeks; I was still as white as ever) before then heading off to do a lap of the lazy river. We waited at one of the entrances for quite a while, waiting for two rubber rings to arrive. It was getting annoying as people started pushing in, not quite understanding the concept of waiting your turn. We were a bit confused; I’m sure we didn’t have to wait last time we were here. That’s when we realised that there was a huuuuuuuuge stack of rings just a couple of stops further down… oops!


Ahhhh! So that’s where they were all hiding!

At least we know for next time! We did a lap before deciding lunch was calling!








Obligatory toes in water shot…

We decided to dry off a tad first though, and returned to our loungers to lie in the sun for half an hour. We returned to find that a family had pulled a bunch of loungers in front of ours (who doesn’t want a pair of pasty man ****s as their view), and had used our two loungers to store all of their stuff on! They’d parked their stroller in between our beds too! The cheek of it! It was quite clear that we’d been using these beds as our towels were on them and our bags etc. were underneath. When we returned, there was no apology or any rush to move their things! They were a British family who now seemed genuinely annoyed that we had returned! Absolutely insane.

After a quick sunbathe, we decided to head to Leaning Palms to grab sone nosh. We were a bit reluctant to leave our beds again in case the family thought it was another cue to throw all their junk back on them! I gave them the Bethan Glare though, so I think they got the message! :bitelip: :lmao:

I got the turkey pesto sandwich with homemade chips for lunch. Oh my, oh my! This was soooo good, and think it might have been my best QS meal of the trip so far! The crisps were shamaaaaaazing. That’s a mixture of the words ‘Shamu’ and ‘amazing’ = ‘shamazing’. Shamu is, well, huge, so it signifies that something is hugely amazing… Ok, enough of Bethan’s language lessons! Anyways, yes, they were so good! No idea what flavour they were – ‘homemade’ flavour I guess! They were seasoned with a similar flavour to what the fries are seasoned with and they were hot and fresh! I wanted a bucket of them! I see myself as a bit of a crisp conisseur… after all a bag of crisps makes up my lunch most days when I’m on the wards - I know my crisps! :rotfl:


Can I get this right now please?!

We brought the food back to our loungers and as I sat down, some messages came through from Jo on Whatsapp. Remember, she had stayed in the room this morning due to not feeling well. She sounded all panicked and angry and so we finished up lunch and headed back to OKW to find her.




We found her in the Gurgling Suitcase having a few cocktails to “get over this morning”. She explained to us what had happened – it’s utter craziness!

Jo had been sick not long after we had left, and decided to return to bed. Soon she started to hear a really loud machinery noise. Our Jo likes her sleep and she was not happy haha – she decided to step outside to see what was happening. As she popped out onto our balcony she noticed her swimsuit and towel was missing from the railings where she had previously laid them out to dry. She went back inside thinking that she may had forgotten that she had already brought them in but couldn’t find her stuff anywhere. She went back on the balcony… and now this is unbelievable… to find two construction workers (there had been a lot of construction and maintenance work going on around OKW over the past couple of days) on the other side of the railing (we were on the ground floor). One was swinging her tankini bottoms round and round his crotch!!! She said they just stopped dead when they saw her, and they were all a bit rabbit in the headlights! They must have thought the room was empty!

Jo absolutely hit the roof! She ran back inside and got straight on the phone to front desk demanding that someone come to the room to sort this out – she couldn’t believe her eyes! Over the course of the next 30 minutes, numerous CMs came to visit the room including two maintenance managers. This is what really annoyed us. They stated to Jo that the workers had told them that they had knocked on our door this morning at 9am to inform us about the work, and claimed that they had spoken to all four of us in person. Ummmm…. No, I don’t think so! For one, Tanya had left the room by 9am leaving just three of us there, and we didn’t see anyone, let alone receive any note or hear a knock on the door!

More phone calls went back and forth between various managers and now suddenly the story had changed. Apparently now, the construction/maintenance workers or whoever they were, claimed that they had called to the room 15 minutes earlier where Jo had answered the door to them and gave them permission to remove her tankini from the balcony railings??? Jo exlcaimed why would she have done that when she could have removed it herself… the studios in OKW are not exactly huge, and the balcony is simply a few steps away from the room door. Plus, does removing someone’s swimsuit “so that it wouldn’t get damaged” (as they put it) involve you needing to swing it round your crotch??

What had gotten Jo really upset however was the fact that she felt like they were trying to make out like she was lying. Firstly the construction workers came out with some bull saying that they had spoken to all four of us this morning in person, and secondly one of the maintenance managers went on to say that they had used this particular construction company for over 10 years and believes every word that the workers say; they couldn’t possibly see them doing such a thing. This brought Jo to tears. :mad:

Now the front desk manager wanted to speak to us. They just apologised again, and asked us to remember that this isn’t a regular occurrence. Good to know that...! I wanted to take this further but Jo was having none of it – she was just so upset and wanted to forget about it. I wish I had really been there earlier this morning when this kicked off! They tried to offer Jo an $80 room credit as compensation to replace her tankini. However, we didn’t use our room keys to charge to our room and after some persuasion they eventually gave it to her in cash.

What a crazy ordeal! How would have thunk it?!

We left Jo in the Gurgling Suitcase and headed back to the room to get showered and changed. It was still quite early in the afternoon, and seeing as we were nearing the end of the holiday, we couldn’t just stay in the room and watch TV. Instead Emma and I decided to head to AK to see the Festival of the Lion King for one last time before meeting the others at Raglan Road for our ADR this evening. Tanya was spending the day with her friend, whilst Jo wanted to stay at the bar making her way through the cocktail list!

Continued in the next post...
 
  • BethEJo

    <font color=blue>I left the house at 5.45am - that
    Joined
    May 27, 2008
    We arrived at AK at around 4:30 and headed straight to Africa for some snacks. We bought some popcorn and candied pecans to share between us, and some African margaritas to wash them down with!




    It was soon 5 o’clock however, and so after downing our drinks we headed to see the last FOTLK show of the day. Emma wanted to sit in the lion section again (purely because of the bloke representing that section in the show), and we had great seats – the front-most non-reserved row!


    Ooooh there he is again!

    Something that I was wondering on our way out of the show… I swear there used to be a Lilo and Stitch meet near one of the big gates around here. I have this picture from 2011. However, it was now a smoking area. Am I getting confused – was this the same place??


    We now needed to get to DTD for our Raglan Road reservation. There are of course no direct buses from the parks to DTD, and so we jumped on the first resort bus that pulled in. This turned out to be AoA – it was a very busy, but at least I could finally catch a glimpse of the resort! I got a lovely view of the resort’s bus stop :) I wish we’d had more time to explore a little! We didn’t have to wait long for a DTD bus to drop by. On the bus, a father and his young daughter were sitting opposite us! The girl couldn’t have been older than five or six and was happily sitting there, playing with her Simba and Nala toys when suddenly….ZzZzZzZzZz. We had been watching her – it was just so cute. Her Dad picked her up and plonked her on his lap, and declared that she might have been the wrong choice of dinner companion for him tonight! :rotfl:

    Tanya was already waiting at Raglan Road and we met her at the entrance. She told us about the day she’d had finding her old co-workers around WDW and catching up with them all! I was so excited to be back at RR – we had some great nights here during the Program although just with drinks; we had never eaten here before. Now we just needed Jo – we hoped that she hadn’t fallen asleep somewhere after all her cocktails! I text her and she replied telling me that she had been on a bus but it had broken down and now was waiting for another. It just wasn’t her day today!






    I love this picture – Tanya had said something really “American” (as she put it) about the UK and Emma was laughing at her! She asked if Ireland was near England! Notice how Tanya looks a tad embarrassed!

    It looked like some conference was out and about tonight, as there were lots of name badges and shirts and ties around. Either that or there was an incredible amount of overdressed people around this evening! They all seemed to have descended on RR and so we had to wait a while to be seated after checking in. This wasn’t so bad though as the dancers had bought their boards outside and strutted their stuff for the crowds. It was great to watch. I was so obsessed with Michael Flatley and Riverdance as a child (OK, OK, until the age of 19) so I could watch this stuff all night! Wish I could dance like that! I have been known to have a go after a few pints… :P

    Eventually, we were paged and taken to our seats. Unfortunately, we were not in the front section and couldn’t see any of the dancers or band! It didn’t detract too much from the experience as you can still hear everything, and it’s bustling and busy and a good atmosphere, but it’s great being able to see everything all the same. Instead, we decided we’d move forward or to the bar after food to get a few drinks.


    One thing that instantly struck me about this place was the attentiveness and ‘nice-ness’ (sorry, I know that’s not a good word) of the servers and staff! They were extremely nice and chatty, but not in that ‘fake’ way. They apologised lots because there was a slight delay with our drinks and they just bent over backwards to make sure everyone was enjoying their evening! Excellent service! Even the menus made us laugh! This is the FAQ section that tickled us on the back of the menu (and is taken off the Raglan Road website).

    Yes the Pub came from Ireland. The Bars are 130 years old. Much like we feel at 2am.
    No we stand corrected. The restrooms did come from Wisconsin. (Go Wisconsin!)
    Yes some Irish guys own it. Their Bank Manager will be delighted to see you here.
    No our Servers will not try an Irish dance – we tried them out and it was just ugly…
    Yes our food is different. It’s what we eat in Ireland today (5 hours ago actually)
    No we don’t cook anything from frozen or anything that’s not fresh.
    Yes Irish cuisine has indeed come on a bit. Fancy that…
    No we don’t know how Chef Kevin looks so young for an 80 year old man.
    Yes he has cooked for Queen Elizabeth and U2.
    No he won’t accept low quality ingredients (see line 3 above)
    Yes our house Band plays 6 nights a week. Talented too but don’t tell them.
    No we don’t serve half pints. Its grounds for imprisonment back home in Ireland.
    Yes our Irish Dancer is pretty and she did dance with that famous fancy-pants Dancer
    No she is not on the dating market. (The line starts here…)
    Yes you can dance if the urge takes hold of you.
    No thanks but we’d rather not watch. Delicate tummies you know…
    Yes our little shop is quite pretty with fancy clobber and gifts. Thanks.
    No you can’t take the bronze statue (outside) home with you.
    Yes our Fish’n’Chip store beside the Pub serves fresh fish flown daily from Boston.
    No we’re not crazy. It’s worth the effort. And the fish get air miles.

    To drink, I went for the Jay’Gail Sangria which was a “a refreshing blend of Magners Cider, Peach Schnapps and Fruit Liqueurs & squeezes”! I highly recommend it – it was so good, and ended up being the first of many that night! Who knew you could make a cocktail with cider?! It was served in a jar with some fruit and just went down way to easily! The others were a bit more sofisticado and went for the very berry blueberry martini: “Smirnoff Blueberry Vodka, Chambord, Triple Sec & cranberry juice”. I had a try of this and it was also very good – if you love sweet, very fruity drinks, then this is for you! If you like something a bit fizzy and unusual however, then go for the Jay’Gail Sangria! As I drank more and more, I started calling it the “Gay Jail” drink… that has a whole other meaning :rotfl: :rotfl:


    With our drinks we were also bought some soda bread with an oil/Guinness dipping sauce. I didn’t hear the gentleman say it was Guinness, and when I saw it, just assumed it was oil and balsamic. Imagine my surprise when I put it in my mouth and got an intensely sweet, rich flavour! I really enjoyed it once I realised that it was some kind of Guinness reduction – again, very unusual and not something which I have tried before. It complimented the savouriness of the bread well.


    For the main course I had to go with the Mixed Grill after seeing some pictures and reviews somewhere around the DIS. And it didn’t disappoint! Lots of meat served on a bed of mashed potato! As usual, I was left feeling stuffed. However, we weren’t going to be defeated and we still ordered dessert.


    Again, this was another no-brainer for me. I had heard lots about the bread pudding and I just had to try it. Our server assured me that I had made the best choice! The others all had something else, and theirs were brought out first. The server turned to me and said that mine had to come out last as it came with instructions haha! And wow, wow, wow – it was huge! Why did I have lunch today lol?! I was instructed to empty this jug of goodness onto the plate and then pour over the two sauces. The menu claimed: "Like no other pudding you have ever tried.
Believe us". And they were right! I really couldn't do it justice however, due to the quantity of meat I had just eaten!


    Before…


    …and after!

    By the time we had finished with our desserts the music and dancing was in full swing. However, it was still incredibly busy that we decided we’d head out, have a little walk around, and then return to get a few drinks later.

    First we popped into the Apricot Lane shop located just opposite to Raglan Road. This was under construction when we were here last. There are so many cute clothes in there!!! I ended up buying a pale blue blouse – I didn’t need it at all, but it was in the sale and so was a justified purchase I feel! I could have easily spent a lot more though! We then carried on towards Pleasure Island – I was amazed as to how quiet it was compared to when Jo and I was here on Saturday!


    Nobody wants to watch this guy on his harmonica and steel drums :(

    We carried on heading as far as Splitsville, having a look in all the shops along the way. I bet you can guess that we spent quite a while in the “Something Silver” shop! I managed to resist any further jewellery urges, and the only other purchase I made was in the Sosa Cigar shop. I bought an exotic fruit and vanilla bourbon cigar for my Mum. I really hope she tries it soon as I’m so intrigued!

    It was now around 10pm and we decided to head back to Raglan Road. Tanya had been on her feet all day and was shattered so ended up going back to the room. The rest of us managed to sink a few more cocktails – I wish I’d tried something other than the “Jay’Gail”, but it was too good! So why bother?! Maybe I was just having cider cravings from living in the Valleys! It was really fun watching the live band - it’s always a great atmosphere in here, as EVERYONE sings and claps along! Raglan Road is definitely one of my favourite ways to spend the evening in WDW!




    We didn’t end up staying too late as we had an early start tomorrow morning. It was Seaworld planned for tomorrow – finally I was going to be reunited with my baby Shamu! I think Seaworld is actually my favourite park in Orlando – or it might be a tie with Epcot for the top spot. I can’t deciiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide!
     

    jjk

    <img src=http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images
    Joined
    May 24, 2004
    just catching up loving all the Fantasmic Photo's. I am drooling over the bread pudding ..particularly as I am on a diet and my staple fare is fish or fruit :rotfl2:
     

    disney_princess_85

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 11, 2009
    I can't believe what happened to Jo! Just unacceptable! :eek:

    Looks like you had a great night at Raglan Road! Love the sound of the "Gay Jail". :rotfl: Might have to book an ADR there for October...
     
  • BethEJo

    <font color=blue>I left the house at 5.45am - that
    Joined
    May 27, 2008
    just catching up loving all the Fantasmic Photo's. I am drooling over the bread pudding ..particularly as I am on a diet and my staple fare is fish or fruit :rotfl2:
    I'm on a diet too - it literally pained me to write about Raglan Road haha!

    I can't believe what happened to Jo! Just unacceptable! :eek:

    Looks like you had a great night at Raglan Road! Love the sound of the "Gay Jail". :rotfl: Might have to book an ADR there for October...
    Haha, if you go, make sure you ask for the correct cocktail :) I can't recommend Raglan Road enough! I'm sure it's great for lunch but I would definitely go for dinner due to the dancers and bands :)

    Hey, not to be stalker-ish or anything, but I really like your friend's eyeshadow colour, you don't happen to know what brand/shade it is? :)
    As a matter of fact I do, because it's mine haha :rotfl2: she was taken with it after trying it out one morning! It's the Urban Decay Naked 2 eye shadow pallet. Costs about £30 but it's well worth it - there's not a single colour in it that I don't use!
     

    iHEARTflorida

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 18, 2006
    As a matter of fact I do, because it's mine haha :rotfl2: she was taken with it after trying it out one morning! It's the Urban Decay Naked 2 eye shadow pallet. Costs about £30 but it's well worth it - there's not a single colour in it that I don't use!
    haha, thanks!

    Enjoying the report, keep it coming.

    Can't believe what happened with your friend and maintence, especially on Disney property!!
     

    pinkcardigan

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 7, 2012
    Still loving this report its making me so excited and I'm not going for over twelve months! Is Ohanas a set meal? Last time we went we didn't book that many meals etc but after reading a few reports I realised we may have missed out so going to get it right this time.
     

    BethEJo

    <font color=blue>I left the house at 5.45am - that
    Joined
    May 27, 2008
    haha, thanks!

    Enjoying the report, keep it coming.

    Can't believe what happened with your friend and maintence, especially on Disney property!!
    I know - we thought it was a joke when she first told us! :scared1:

    Still loving this report its making me so excited and I'm not going for over twelve months! Is Ohanas a set meal? Last time we went we didn't book that many meals etc but after reading a few reports I realised we may have missed out so going to get it right this time.
    Oh, those twelve months will fly by! We booked this trip at just under a year out, and now I can't believe it's been over a month since we were at Gatwick excited to start the holiday!

    Ohana's is a set meal yes. Here's some more info from AllEars: http://allears.net/menu/menu_oh.htm Like I said, liken it to a meat buffet where they just bring the food to your table saving you from getting up :goodvibes It really is worth it in my opinion, but make sure you book it early!

    We wouldn't have had so many 'table service' meals if we weren't on the dining plan which we had free with our booking! Will you be staying onsite and have the dining plan? If we were paying 'out of pocket' for everything we would have just stuck to the 'counter service' meals - they have a lot more than just burgers and fries!
     
  • pinkcardigan

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 7, 2012
    Ooh thanks for the link :) we are staying off site taking my niece who will be 6 next summer. We keep using her as the excuse but we are just desperate to go back really! So full family trip with mum & dad, sister, her husband, my niece and my husband. Planning on counter service most days but thought husband and I would go off a few times and book reservations. I'm secretly planning the trip already I figured its never too early to plan......
     

    BethEJo

    <font color=blue>I left the house at 5.45am - that
    Joined
    May 27, 2008
    08/05/2013: SHAMUUUUUUUUUUUUU!​

    I cannot describe how excited I was for today, but my face was something akin to this:


    As I mentioned previously, I just loooooooove Seaworld and I really wish we’d spent more days there now! As usual with Florida holidays though, so much to do and so little time – that is what will keep me coming back! With your Discovery Cove tickets, you get 14 days SeaWorld and Aquatica admission included which is a really good deal I reckon! Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to Aquatica this trip but I have visited before. It’s a must for our next holiday!

    We woke up around 7.15, got ready and headed to Goods To Go for some breakfast before the taxi arrived at 9am. We decided to go for a taxi again after we had found it so convenient taking it to Discovery Cove earlier in the holiday. It would only be around $30 with the tip, so not bad when split between the four of us.

    We all went for the breakfast croissant this morning.


    We all really enjoyed it too… until the birds came. First these fluffy little podgy birds arrived – they were cute and came up close, but we didn’t feed them and they didn’t bother us. They seemed harmless enough. Then these bigger brown ones came – they weren’t huge by any account, not much bigger than the little ones, but boy did they have attitude. And a horrible pointy beak! These were a lot more brazen but we tried to ignore them. However, before we knew it, one took a dive at my head. I could feel its claws. Ew ew ew :scared1:! We managed to shoo them away, but minutes later they returned, now taking a dive at Emma’s head. That was enough for me – I threw the remainder of my breakfast in the bin and planned to leg it. That’s when it took territory over Tanya’s bag – it was standing on it and we were afraid to go near it! Tanya went into stealth mode, grabbed her bag and we ran! We must have looked so silly! :rotfl2: As we got to the taxi/bus area, our taxi was literally pulling up. We jumped in and took a huge sigh of relief – we had escaped the birds! :banana:

    We soon arrived and Tanya exchanged her online printout thingy for a ticket – because she hadn’t done Discovery Cove she had purchased a ticket online prior to coming to Florida. We all made it through bag check and through the turnstyles by 9.20!


    Tickets at the ready!


    Ahhh, I’m back ‘home’!

    It was still very quiet, and Manta was only showing a 10 minute wait so we just had to do it! We placed all of our stuff in the lockers, including Tanya’s glasses – the poor thing could hardly see now! We led her through the queue area and we were soon buckling ourselves into the seats. It’s such a strange feeling once your buckled in and they lift you up so you’re lying horizontally! Tanya was the only one who had never ridden this before and she started to have second thoughts! However, it was too late now as we started to move forward! :rotfl: I forgot how smooth this was – the bits where you’re just gliding along make you feel as if you are flying! However, I also forgot how fast this went and about the loop-de-lopp bit! Head compresssssiiiioooooonnnnn! We screamed so much! I loved this ride so much but it made my eyes water – they were streaming as I came off the ride and I had to assure the girls that I was OK! I dread to think what people must have thought if they were about to get onto the ride for the first time! :faint:


    After Manta, we headed back towards the front of the park to have our photo taken with Shamu! This is somewhat of a SeaWorld tradition for me :)


    Family portrait

    It was now time to head to the Stingray Lagoon passing the flamingoes along the way.


    Me and Jo love the stingrays! I could lean on that wall with my hand in the water for hours! As I said in Discovery Cove, they feel so velvety! I love it when they lift one fin out of the water as if they’re high-fiving you or waiting for you to stroke them! We decided to go and get some food for them – I had never done this before! It was $5 for a tray filled with a couple of prawns, and it was so worth it! The signs tell you to hold a prawn in between your fingers and then lay it on the bottom of the pool. They then come and get it from you! I chickened out on the first go, and let the prawn drop and lifted my hand out as they swarmed all over it! I just didn’t expect that many stingrays to come, and they were all so splashy! On the second go I left my hand there – the sensation was so strange! The stingrays were like a prickly little hoover sucking the prawn from between your fingers! So strange! I was now on my last prawn and wanted to give it to a cute little stingray that was up against the wall with his face poking out! In my excitement, he had what I thought was his mouth open and I popped the prawn inside… that’s when the girls informed me that the stingray’s mouths were actually underneath and I had just popped a prawn into what was probably a nostril of some sort! Ooops! Again, they got really splashy, and we got a bit more wet than we had bargained for! :rotfl2:




    Prawn finger!






    High fiiiiiive!

    If you notice, Emma and Tanya aren’t in any of these photos… they were certainly not fans of the stingrays! :rotfl:

    We then headed towards the Dolphin Cove area and watched them for a while next to the feeding area. There wasn’t a feeding session taking place so the dolphins were happily swimming around near the viewing section.


    We also went to see them ‘underwater’! Oh darrrrrrn, why are they so cute?!






    Seeing as we were nearby, we thought we’d do Turtle Trek – we had never done this before as it wasn’t open in 2011! Something else that was new was the Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin attraction but this wasn’t opening until May 24th; we had missed it by just over two weeks. Booo :(

    Continued in the next post...
     

    BethEJo

    <font color=blue>I left the house at 5.45am - that
    Joined
    May 27, 2008
    We started to queue but realised that it was now almost 11am. We were planning on seeing the Shamu show at 12 and so decided to leave TT until later to ensure that we’d get seats in the stadium. Instead, we went to watch the manatees! Those of you who know me, know that I LOVE manatees! :bitelip: Next time I come to Florida, I will definitely be going swimming with them on the coast!


    It was quite quiet in this area and one of the education team members approached us, asking if we had any manatee questions. Oh boy, did I?!?! :lmao: I learnt lots! For example about what manatees eat! At Seaworld, they just eat lettuce. They can top feed like normal because the lettuce floats, but manatees are also bottom feeders in the wild. To ensure that they can still bottom feed, they pop the lettuce in some PVC pipes which sink to the floor. I also learned about the mould that they have growing on their backs – it’s like their natural form of sunscreen! Sometimes they scratch it off by rubbing along walls/rocks and some do it more than others; some like to have lots of mould, whilst others don’t! One manatee also had lots of parallel white stripes on her back. I asked what they were and were told that they were scars from a boat propeller :(. They found this manatee (Charlotte) not long after she had been injured and the cuts had been pretty deep. She also had several broken ribs and a punctured lung. They rescued her, and hope to release her back into the wild soon. They weren’t sure how old she was, but were guessing around 6 years. They can live until they’re 60 though, and so she was only a baba. The three other manatees were permanent residents; they had been rescued when they were babies, and in the lady’s words “their moms hadn’t had enough time to teach them how to be manatees yet”. How cute is that?! :cloud9:


    We then made our way over to the Shamu Stadium, taking in the scenery slong the way.


    I love the whale’s tail in the plants!




    We also got some ice cream to take with us for lunch. I had vanilla/chocolate swirl with hot fudge sauce and gummy bears! Delish! :cloud9:


    We arrived at the stadium quite early, but at least it meant that we had a good choice of seats!


    The show was amazing as ever! For some reason, it always reduces me to tears! From the promotional video they play at the beginning, to saluting the military, to shamu splashing the stadium – I love it all! Seaworld is the only park that can make me cry up to four times during a day haha! :love:

    I took so many photos of the show! Looking back at all of them is like seeing the whole show again in stop motion! :lmao:










    And the finale:


    One day, I WILL sit in the splash zone! All I need is a good poncho! It never ceases to amaze me the amount of people who start running out of their seats after the first splash!


    Goodbye for now Shamu :worried:






    We had also been looking forward to seeing the Shamu Rocks show this evening… however, we hadn’t done our homework before coming here and didn’t realise that this was only a seasonal thing when the park was open until late. Today it would close at 7pm. Ah well, another thing that will bring me back – I loved it so much when we were here in the summer of 2011!

    Continued (again) in the next post...
     

    BethEJo

    <font color=blue>I left the house at 5.45am - that
    Joined
    May 27, 2008
    After Shamu, we wandered over to the other side of the park to do Kraken.


    There was no line at all and we walked straight on. This is another smooth roller coaster, but I had forgotten how much of a head jiggler it was! I came off feeling a bit drunk, and decided to take it easy for the rest of the day! We decided to have a sit down to recover and enjoyed a cold drink. Soon it was time to head to our next show; Tanya had never been to SeaWorld before, and so we gave her the option of seeing the Blue Horizons dolphin show or the sealion show. Unfortunately, due to the early park closing today and our Dine With Shamu dinner reservation later, we only had time for one or the other. Tanya chose Blue Horizons :)

    Again, like everything else here, it was amazing! And again, I took sooooo many photos!










    Ta-da!

    I’m sure when I saw it last time in 2011 there was a big black beluga type creature that the bad guy rode in the show, but it wasn’t there this time round. Did I dream it?

    (I just looked through some of my photos from 2011 and this is the black dolphin thing I was referring to. Not sure if it was the bad guy, but it definitely wasn’t in the show when we saw it today)


    After the show, we finally had time for Turtle Trek. We waited quite a while for this one, but some of the conversation educators talk about the manatees and turtles next to the tanks in the queuing area – it was all very interesting and the time passed quickly. These just used to be the manatee viewing tanks I think, but now form part of the queue for the Turtle Trek attraction.


    Oh, hello!


    Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    Boy was the wait worth it! This 360 degrees 3D movie was amazing – it turns you into a turtle basically, and you get to live out its entire life from hatching out of your own egg, to growing up and facing trouble in the sea and then laying your own eggs on the beach. You put on some 3D glasses and all stand in a huge dome screened area to watch the film that is projected on the dome. There’s stuff going on everywhere, and we kept turning round, looking up, looking left and right taking in all the amazing detail and story. It was so good that I had to hold onto something at the beginning as I could swear we were actually moving! It was such a cute story and again brought a tear to my eye! The soundtrack was gorgeous too and I really hope this attraction does what it intends to do and inspires people to just think about the environment and conservation a tiny bit more! The theme was to become an ‘Everyday Hero’ :) I always think that Seaworld do these kind of things so well. But then again, I am rather soppy!


    I’ll try!!

    After Turtle Trek we had a look in the gift shop before deciding to do Wild Arctic next. They had the biggest collection of manatee merchandise I had ever seen – I was over the moon! :cloud9:


    A enviable collection of manatee reading material :rotfl:


    Look at all their smooshed little noses! I wanted to buy ALL of these! I bought one last time we were here and named her Genevieve! She could do with a few friends :rotfl:

    I had to purchase this – the best mug in the world!


    We dawdled over, stopping by the Dolphin Nursery and then taking the bridge over the lagoon. As we crossed the bridge, we passed the Bayside stadium and I was reminded of something… this is where they filmed Jaws 3D in 1983! I remembered stumbling across this film on Sky TV last year, and whilst I watched it realised that is was filmed in Seaworld! However, I had forgotten about that until now! The film was ridiculous, but it’s defintiely worth a watch to see the old SeaWorld. The Bayside stadium doesn’t look like it’s changed much at all! Here’s a clip from the film where you can see some SeaWorld-y things: http://www.anyclip.com/movies/jaws-3-d/sea-world-show/
    Some guy has also visited the park 30 years later trying to pinpoint where certain scenes were filmed. It’s a little annoying but it’s interesting to see. You can find it on YouTube here.

    By the time we got to the Shamu Stadium/Wild Arctic area, it wasn’t far off our time to check-in for the Dine With Shamu dinner. Therefore we decided to leave WA until later. Whilst we waited to check in, we watched the whales in the under water viewing area before joining the queue.


    Whilst we queued, this weird mutant squirrel/rabbit thing came up from the bushes. What was this thing?! The family in front of us were talking about it and we joined them. It had the body and face shape of a rabbit but the feet, ears and features of a squirrel. Weird!


    Continued (again, again!) in the next post...
     

    BethEJo

    <font color=blue>I left the house at 5.45am - that
    Joined
    May 27, 2008
    Before long, we were led into the Dine With Shamu area. It was amazing!


    I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t this – I didn’t think the tables would be so close to the tank. Basically, we were all sat around the ‘backstage’ pool behind the show pool at the Shamu Stadium. You can see the stadium here:


    We were lucky to have been allocated a table right next to the glass and not in the next row.


    Our server and our table


    I’m enjoying the view!




    Watching the whales swim around prior to the presentation

    We had a great server who ensured that we were supplied with beers and soft drinks and we were shown the buffet. It wasn’t huge, but there was plenty of choice and all looked very good. It was standard salads/coleslaw, breads, meats, potatoes, jambalaya, fish and vegetables. There was also a kids area with nuggets, hot dogs etc. and my new favourite: mac ‘n’ cheese! I really enjoyed it!


    After everyone had gotten their food, the trainers started their session. At various points around the pool, trainers each had a whale and were showing little tricks whilst one main trainer wandered around the pool with a microphone telling us all about what they were doing, and giving some information about how they care for the whales and what techniques they use to train them. Every table had a good viewpoint – it was all amazing! We were so close to these magnificent creatures. I had major job envy!! Apparently we were lucky today, as we had all six whales out! They probably say that to every sitting though :lmao:!

    Some things that we learned were that all the whales have been trained to offer up their fin for blood samples whenever they are needed and that their teeth are brushed three times a day! I think us humans could learn a thing or two ;) We also saw them using the ‘whale whistle’ and the ball and pole which they use to train them to jump out of the water. They finished the presentation by doing a mini show – I was in awe!!


    The trainer giving the presentation


    Peekaboo!






    A flying whale!


    Byeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    It was now nearing 5pm and most of the restaurant had left to get a seat for the final Shamu show of the day. However, we stayed a little longer to enjoy dessert and to have another drink. As we were sitting on the backside of the stadium we could see it start to fill up. As we sat there, we watched one of the trainers gather up all the whales ready to start the show. I don’t know why, but I could really sense the excitement. Or that just might have been me! As the show started, the gate opened and we watched the trainer set them all off with a swoop of his arm. It was great to watch!


    Ready. Set. Go!

    I believe the Dine with Shamu package cost us $30 each – it was so worth it, and I highly recommend it. Personally, I would have paid that to just watch the whales do their little show in the tank and to watch the trainer’s presentations. The food and unlimited drinks was just an added bonus!

    We finished up, thanked our server and finally made it to Wild Arctic. When I rode this in 2011, I swear there was a seating system where there were some seats in the front of the simulator that didn’t move, whilst the seats at the back of the simulator moved a lot! At the time, I was dragged to the back and hugely regretted it. Of course, you’re buckled in and can't leave, so I closed my eyes and stuck my head between my legs and just prayed that it would finish soon! I felt so rough after this and vowed never to do it again! This time, as we were about to board the simulator there was no mention of any of this and so I asked the team member whether there were any stationary rows. She looked at me as if I had two heads and declared that all rows moved the same. Again, probably something that I dreamt… Anyway, there was no way I was going to do it again and so I headed on the ‘walking route’ and waited for the girls on the other side.

    As the girls got off the simulator we walked into the enclosures. We had a little competition of who could leave their hand on the ice the longest. Yes, mentally, we are six years old :lmao:! We then watched the belugas playing around for a bit before seeing the polar bear. Every time I’ve seen the polar bear, he always looks a bit down in the dumps :(. Finally, we saw the walruses – I didn’t realise how big these were! They kept swimming upside down to the glass of the underwater viewing area – so funny! We watched them for a while before making our way out through the gift shop.




    I resisted buying a manatee Christmas ornament so hard – it’s pretty cute though! The manatee, not me!


    After a good look around we realised that the park would be closing in 30 minutes and we decided to call it a day. We’d had a great time at SeaWorld, and it pained me realising that it would probably be at least two years before I made it here again. It was defintiely my favourite park!

    Again, we decided to take a taxi back – it was so nice just being dropped straight back at OKW rather than swapping and changing buses. When we arrived at OKW, Jo and Tanya decided to head to the room whilst Emma and I headed to DTD. We wanted to use some of our snack credits on stuff to bring home. We raided Goofy’s Candy shop and had a quick mooch in World of Disney. We would be having another early start tomorrow, so wondered what we could do for breakfast. We had lots of QS credits to use up, so got a couple of EoS’s for us to eat the next morning. Even if we just picked at it tomorrow we wouldn’t really have lost anything.

    We headed back to the Marketplace bus stop, and it seemed that they had implemented a weird new queuing system for OKW and the Swan and Dolphin. They were herding us in chains next to the bus stop and everyone was a tad confused. I had no idea why we couldn’t just wait at the bus stop like usual :confused3. Anyhow. We got chatting to a man who said he was at Disney alone to get away from work. How lush is it being able to do that?!

    We were back in the room and in bed for 10pm. We were asleep before our heads even hit the pillow. Tomorrow was going to be the Keys To The Kingdom tour day – again, exciting times! :upsidedow
     

    BethEJo

    <font color=blue>I left the house at 5.45am - that
    Joined
    May 27, 2008
    Ooh thanks for the link :) we are staying off site taking my niece who will be 6 next summer. We keep using her as the excuse but we are just desperate to go back really! So full family trip with mum & dad, sister, her husband, my niece and my husband. Planning on counter service most days but thought husband and I would go off a few times and book reservations. I'm secretly planning the trip already I figured its never too early to plan......
    Aw, I love the sound of that! I reckon it's a totally different experience with a young child! I need to find myself one :rotfl:

    Some meals with just you and your husband would be lovely! You have an endless amount of choices! And you're right, it's never to early to plan :) I reckon it makes the time go quicker!

    Have you got the 'Unofficial Guide' to WDW? It's a great book! Even if you've been before I'd highly recommend it! It's quite an entertaining read and has lots of good descriptions in it of both restaurants, attractions and everything else you can imagine! It also comes with some touring plans in the back which aim to give you a guide on how you could plan out your day! They're really handy if you're going at a busy time :goodvibes
     

    TotallyAngelic

    Disney Addict
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2005
    Whilst we queued, this weird mutant squirrel/rabbit thing came up from the bushes. What was this thing?! The family in front of us were talking about it and we joined them. It had the body and face shape of a rabbit but the feet, ears and features of a squirrel. Weird!


    [/I]
    Is it a degu ?
     

    Chilly

    RIP Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2006
    When I first heard about tankini-gate it sounded funny but on hearing the full story I say shame on Disney.

    I love Raglan Road as well will def be back there on our next trip as the food is so good. Cocktails aren't bad either.

    I know what you mean about Shamu bringing tears to your eyes.

    Any luck with your ring?
     



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