' Hippos and Tigers and Flowers, Oh My! - A Solo March '18 TR - Update 5/24 - Epcot evening | The DIS Disney Discussion Forums - DISboards.com



Hippos and Tigers and Flowers, Oh My! - A Solo March '18 TR - Update 5/24 - Epcot evening

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by Lesley Wake, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    Hello! And welcome!

    upload_2018-3-5_14-39-21.png

    This is my second trip report on the forums. My previous (and first) visit to Disneyworld was in September 2018, with the trip report available here:"We've gone too far"-A sister trip with surprise guest Irma! Sept 2017.
    You can find the PTR for this trip here: Footloose and Fancy Free-March & December 2018 PTR.

    Trip Details:

    Where: Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jambo House Standard Room
    When: Feb 28 - March 4, 2018
    Ticket: Premier Annual Pass (the gold ticket that works for both Disneyland and Disneyworld), plus Disney After Hours ticket.
    Dining plan: Nope, I considered it, but crunched the numbers and decided it wouldn't be worth it since I could get the AP discounts. But that didn't stop me in my dining decisions!
    Memory Maker: Yes, it came with my AP and was the best thing ever!

    Introductions
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    My name is Lesley and I'm a 32 yr old engineer, living in Los Angeles. I've been a huge Disney fan all my life and have been a Disneyland AP for the past three years (with a few month break; I also upgraded that AP to a Premier AP for the WDW benefits this past spring). Thanks to that AP and my close proximity to DLR I get to go all of the time. I may also intersperse this TR with a couple Disneyland mini-reports! I also have a trip planned to France, including Disneyland Paris, this May/June, so am super looking forward to it!

    And...that's it! Yes, this is a solo trip. My motto is, if I have to wait for someone else to come along, I'll never get to do anything fun! In the past I was a bit hesitant about even visiting Disneyland alone. But that has come and gone and now I am so ok with doing solo trips, I have a solo(ish) 10-day December WDW trip, a solo Disneyland Paris trip, and a solo Disney cruise booked!
    Read along to get the answers to find out the following:

    • How many rides would I hit during Disney After Hours?
    • What was my favorite food at Flower and Garden?
    • Would I get to see Augustus, the baby hippo?
    • What things did I do for strangers, and were they considered creepy or helpful?
    • How many slushees would I end up drinking?
    • How many magic shots would I take? Bonus: how many of the Orange Bird?
    • What would be my new favorite Disneyworld restaurant?
    And please, feel free to comment or ask questions!
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  2. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    Following along! :wave:
     
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  4. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

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    I am 2nd!!!! Woo Hoo!!!

    Great picture of you !

    My guesses:
    • 12
    • All of it?
    • I hope so!!! I want to see pictures!
    • I hope it wasn't too creepy.
     
    Lesley Wake likes this.
  5. PlutosRHM55

    PlutosRHM55 Pluto's Prince (Haters back off!)

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    I've ARRIVED ready to follow along.

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    So excited to hear all about it! And I so support your philosophy on solo trips. If I have the money now for a trip, I'm going, get more done being on my own and not have to worry about what another person wants to do. It's so relieving.
     
    Lesley Wake likes this.
  6. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Yay glad you've started! Can't wait to hear about the trip and find out the answers to those questions!!
     
    Lesley Wake likes this.
  7. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

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    This is my favorite TR teaser of all time :)

    I hope you got to see Augustus because there is nothing cuter than a baby hippo!!!
     
    UrsulaTime likes this.
  8. absolutmey

    absolutmey planning epic 2020 trip!

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    following!
     
  9. UrsulaTime

    UrsulaTime Mouseketeer

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    Is it weird to congratulate someone on a solo WDW trip?! Because that's what I'm doing. I think it's cool! Can't wait to read more!
     
  10. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    Preview Post - Flower and Garden Food!

    I definitely tried my fill of Flower and Garden and hit pretty much everything on my list!

    Northern Bloom:
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    Beef Tenderloin Tips, Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce, Whipped Potatoes with Garden Vegetables

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    I thought this was very good, with rich flavors. I also really liked the potatoes, nice and light! The meat I had was pretty tender.


    Griddled Maple Pound Cake with Warm Peach Compote and Sweet Corn Gelato

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    This one had so many different flavors, and I felt they really all worked well together. The cake could be a bit dry around the edges, but taking a swipe of gelato or compote helped that. The maple flavor wasn't overpowering. I loved the gelato and would eat that straight! The popcorn gave a different texture, but I did end up having a hard kernel, so watch out for that!


    Bauernmarkt

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    Toasted Pretzel Bread topped with Black Forest Ham and Melted Gruyère Cheese

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    This ended up being a disappointment; most reviews were raving over it, but it turns out the dishes served on the first day when bloggers visited was very well done, but once they had to make it for even more crowds, it just wasn't toasted enough. So the cheese really wasn't melted that much (more like solidified melted cheese); the bread was also so salty it was hard for me to eat it all. They were also having production issues and running behind on toasting the bread, so I think they just weren't leaving them in the oven long enough to get that lovely "burnt" cheese on top. I would suggest before getting it, checking out what people are walking away with. If it looks like mine above (light colored and not toasty) then I'd skip that booth.

    Hanami
    (forgot to get a photo of menu)

    Ginger Beef Yaki Udon: Thin-sliced Beef, Onions and Noodles tossed on the grill with Soy and Ginger

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    This was decent. I did feel like the beef was a bit too stringy with a lot of fat, but that is the way I've had it in other teriyaki places, so that may just be a result of thinly sliced pieces. Some of the udon were also a bit mushy and overcooked. Overall the flavors were good, but the textures were off for me.


    Teriyaki Salmon with Furikake Seasoned Brown Rice

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    I thought the salmon was very good, not under- or over-cooked. Though my piece did look smaller than the bloggers' version a couple days earlier. The sauce worked really well on the salmon, but once it got on the rice it was way too salty! It was weird, because rice alone was fine, sauce with fish was fine, but when rice combined with sauce it wasn't good!


    Frushi: Fresh Pineapple, Strawberry and Melon rolled with Coconut Rice, sprinkled with Toasted Coconut and Whipped Cream with Raspberry Sauce on the side

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    OMG, this ended up being my favorite dish of the festival! I was worried I wouldn't like it, because I'm not a raspberry or melon fan, but it was just so refreshing! The coconut rice was nice and sweet, without being overly sweet, and I actually liked the texture. It was the only dish I got twice!

    Pineapple Promenade
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    Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade

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    I think this was my favorite drink. It ended up being exactly what you would expect, though the violet flavor was pretty subtle. A friend thought it was super sweet though, so be prepared for that!

    The Honey Bee-stro
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    Local Wildflower Honey-Mascarpone Cheesecake with Orange Blossom Honey Ice Cream garnished with Fennel Pollen Meringue Kisses

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    This definitely was so pretty to look at. When the sun caught the honey it sparkled, which just doesn't come across in photos! The honey flavor wasn't overpowering though and the cheesecake was nice and light. Fennel was also not obvious in the flavor of the meringues. I think they were running behind on these too and I know at once point they ran out, so be prepared to order it early or wait in case they need to bring more over.


    Honey-Peach Cobbler Freeze (Non-alcoholic)

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    I got the non-alcoholic version because I'm not a blueberry fan and I also didn't feel like paying the extra $6. I did end up finishing this, but it took me a while to decide if I liked it or not. It had a weird aftertaste, like fake honey, if that makes sense. It also was more like a shake than a "freeze". Maybe the blueberry vodka would help out the flavor, but I'm not so sure.


    La Isla Fresca

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    Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer with Steamed Rice and Coconut Lime Sauce
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    I liked this very much, though it was hard to eat without getting messy. There also seemed to be a decent amount of shrimp and sauce.


    Tropical Freeze (Non-alcoholic)

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    Another one I did non-alcoholic to save the $. You could definitely taste the tropical flavors, especially mango and pineapple. Not too bad, but I didn't like as much as the other Freeze's I got.


    Fleur de Lys

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    Canard Confit Aux Gnocchi à la Parisienne: Braised Duck Confit with Parisian Gnocchi

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    This was very earthy. Most reviewers said it was more like turkey than duck, and I guess I would agree that if you like turkey, you'd like this one, though I don't know specifically what duck is supposed to taste like... There wasn't a lot of sauce, but it did provide a nice flavoring for the gnocchi. The gnocchi themselves were very light, though the ones at the edge were a bit dried out from being kept in the warmer; I preferred the ones in the center bottom, which were still moist. I did like this dish though.


    Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette: Large Chocolate Macaron Lollipop

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    This was very big, about 2x the size of a typical macaron. I do like macarons, but I prefer a creamier center and this one was pretty hard chocolate ganache. I did like the texture of the harder candy balls!


    La Vie en Rose Frozen Slushy: Grey Goose Orange, St. Germain Liqueur, White and Red Cranberry Juice

    [​IMG]
    Mine definitely was in the meltier stage; other people had a full mountain of slush that would take a while to melt, but I had to carefully balance mine out to a bench to eat! The alcohol was also not very pronouced, which was good for me, but I guess it's up to everyone else's tastes.


    Let me know if you have any questions! I'll begin working on the full TR once I get more done on the September TR!
     
  11. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Looks like you tried a lot of good stuff! A few of those would definitely be on my list if I was attending!
     
  12. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

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    Your whole post makes me want to push our trip next year into March, so we can do Flower and Garden. All of the food looked great!

    You can tell from the picture that the cheese was melted but then not anymore... :(

    I am intrigued by the Hot Dog option here!

    And the pineapple beers! I need that flight!

    And why are they serving Pineapple Dole Whip with Orange Fanta! Yuck! They have pineapple soda?! Did any of the bloggers you read up on try that?

    I guess that makes sense since they have to keep the stick in. But that is what makes macaroons too good. The delicate cookie and soft filling.

    So Pretty!
     
  13. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    Do it! Not just for food, but also just the gorgeous topiaries! I loved loved it!

    I didn't see any reviews about dole whip+fanta. Only Easywdw had a separate review for Pineapple promenade (https://www.easywdw.com/easy/blog/pineapple-promenade-review-2018-epcot-flower-and-garden-festival/).
     
  14. DLo

    DLo DIS Veteran

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    Following along. I am going in May - couple of days solo then brother and his family joining along. Going to try and hit as much F & G as I can on my own. ( don’t see the picky eater nephews wanting to slow down for that ). Thanks for the pictures and reviews.

    Have gone solo twice now and must day I enjoy doing what I want when I want !
     
  15. disneyAndi14

    disneyAndi14 DIS Veteran

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    Joining in, love all your F&G reviews. I am excited to hear about your DAH, since we had to miss ours.

    I forgot to add that I love Frushi and Violet Lemonade.
     
  16. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the link!

    I def think we are going to try for March! It all looks so fun. Plus with snow one the way AGAIN for us tomorrow. I am dreaming on being in Florida again.
     
  17. AnnieDan_Artlover

    AnnieDan_Artlover Mouseketeer

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    Joining! Just decided we will go beginning of March next year, and glad to learn we will be just in time for F&G!
     
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  18. Hamptonite

    Hamptonite Canada eh?

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    We will be at BC March 4th next year - can't wait to waddle back from Epcot most nights filled up on snacks.
     
  19. ariane37

    ariane37 Dis veteran

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    And I'm here! Appreciate the F&G food reviews since we'll be there in 2 weeks :) I'm a little disappointed as they've taken away 3 of my favorite dishes from last year, so hoping something takes their place.

    Hmm :( Josh at easywdw did do an extremely positive review which made me think I'd try it, especially since it's replaced one of my aforementioned favorite dishes from last year; the curryworst. But now I'm not so sure. I probably won't bother on our first day doing the booths and see how I feel the second day.

    This is on my list, glad to hear you enjoyed it!


    I don't eat any seafood but my DH ate about 9 of these in our 4 days at F&G last year :laughing: He even asked for a double order once!

    And this replaced another of my faves, last year it was a beautiful and oh-so-delicious raspberry macaroon! I'll try this but I'm very sad about the raspberry one being gone.

    This is my favorite drink from the festival :goodvibes
     
    StarWarsMomofGirls! likes this.
  20. Woth2982

    Woth2982 DIS Veteran

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    Following along!
     
  21. CaseFace5

    CaseFace5 DIS Veteran

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    Following along!

    Frushi is the BEST!
     

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