Shanghai and Hong Kong Disneyland March 17 – We're in Mickey Avenue with the Aussie Dissers; 04/24

Discussion in 'Other Lands' started by PrincessInOz, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. Aussie Wendy

    Aussie Wendy DIS Veteran

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    Thanks!! I intended to do this but simply had to go to bed last night rather than spent another 30 mins remembering how to do it - lol! and I wouldn't be saying that - you are snapping this one out pronto and I do have work I am meant to be doing - like right now!!!. Bye..off to earn some $ to pay for another trip.
     
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  2. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    I was so looking forward to seeing your hotel pictures PIO, and you did not disappoint :thumbsup2

    Ah, glad it wasn't just me then. This tripped me up badly on my first trip there. And you can only imagine the craziness of Opening Day and nobody having the slightest clue what was going on or being able to understand me lol!

    I wouldn't let PIO's experience put you off the Maglev. I was a young woman on my own with long blonde ringlets (so stood out just a little bit!), and would struggle to even say ni hao correctly lol! I had absolutely no trouble at all. I was much less concerned about taking the train than I was about getting a taxi :eek: My hotel was right near Longyang Station (where the Maglev stops), so I didn't have to worry about changing trains or getting a taxi from there.

    I also had no problems whatsoever with pickpockets or personal safety. I went for a walk and took the train a bit further into the city that evening (once again on my own). Wandering around a quiet waterfront area in Pudong in relative darkness, I felt quite safe and had no immediate concerns. On the train and in other crowded areas, I just made sure that I held my handbag in front of me where I could see it. I didn't make any special efforts anywhere else.

    PIO's mother is absolutely lovely and was a lot of fun too!
     
  3. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    As PIO mentioned previously, some of us did have some slight issues with the Disneyland Hotel. My main issues happened when I returned to the hotel for a mid-afternoon rest. It was our second day of constant soaking rain, and I was having issues with my connectivity and was losing touch with the other DISers. I was a bit over everything, and was looking forward to freshening up in my room and hitting the club lounge for some lunch.

    We had previously checked in, but the room wasn't ready, so I went back to the reception desk to pick up my room key, which was a smooth and painless process. However, up in the room, the toilet wouldn't flush! Tried to wash my hands before heading back down to reception to make a complaint, and there was no water coming out of the basin taps either. Tried the shower - no water there. So back downstairs I trudged. After some initial confusion, I was told that they were doing some maintenance and had in fact turned off the mains to the entire hotel. Would have been nice of them to let me know that when they were giving me my room key! Apparently it was due to come back on soon. In all fairness, when I got back to my room, the toilet had been flushed. I assume they had sent someone up with a bucket.

    While I was downstairs and annoyed about the water situation, I decided to head to Bacchus Lounge for a drink. Upon check in, we had been given some vouchers. The writing was mostly in Chinese, but when they were handed to us, we were told they could be used for a drink. I handed the voucher over at the bar, and was surprised that I was able to choose from any of the drinks available - I had assumed that it would be the usual 'welcome drink' situation, where you just get what you're given. I chose some tropical concoction, and enjoyed it while taking in the lovely views over the lake to the park. Unfortunately there had been some confusion and language barrier issues. When I went to leave, I was given a bill for the drink! Apparently the voucher was only for a discount on a drink, not a whole drink, and I was left to pay about AUD $10. Normally this wouldn't have been a huge issue, but when were staying club level, so I felt a little ripped off about paying for the drink and I left feeling even more annoyed than I had felt when I went in!

    After freshening up in my room (now that the water was back on), I headed to the club lounge for another drink lol! I still hadn't eaten anything either, so was looking forward to seeing what snacks they had on offer. Unfortunately I arrived just as they were packing up the afternoon offerings, and the evening offerings wouldn't be available for another hour. Of course, I would have known that if I'd have actually looked at the club lounge schedule and my watch before I went in, but the incident with the water had meant that I had turned up later than expected. Anyway, I was still able to get a drink, and drank it while taking in the views and checking up on facebook etc. Eventually the evening snacks were ready and I was able to make up a nice little plate for myself before heading back to the park.

    Mostly, my complaints were fairly minor and it wasn't really the hotel's fault (except for the water) - it was just me having a bad day. It certainly wasn't my best Disney day, and on the bus ride back to the park I found myself repeating 'a bad day at Disney still beats a good day at work' in my head lol!

    And for what it's worth, I had a lovely evening in the park and finished off the day on a high note :goodvibes
     
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  5. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Absolutely. But I guess this is a case of their country, their rules.



    That could work if you don't mind the trip back and out again.



    I liked the hotel lobby very much. It was rather 'adult'. I think that's why I like the Beach Club lobby as well.



    I need to learn about the various dynasties as well and how they fit into the timeline!



    YAY!
     
  6. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    If there is only one of you, it is probably a cheap way to travel! Hope you decide to stick with the Maglev option, despite the scammers.



    Maybe....next time we go, you can join us! ;)
     
  7. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Phew! Glad you liked them!!

    :)


    Awww. I'll let her know!



    Thanks for sharing!
     
  8. Fairy Floss

    Fairy Floss Mouseketeer

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    Where country are you In?
    I make scarves with a pocket for your valuables
    These came about as a result of almost being pickpocketted in Paris
     
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  9. Fairy Floss

    Fairy Floss Mouseketeer

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    Just another note about park tickets
    I ordered mine with my room reservation and didn't have to show my passport at the park
     
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  10. Aussie Wendy

    Aussie Wendy DIS Veteran

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    I agree PIO's Mum was wonderful. Besides being such a warm, friendly, fun person you should have seen her on Tron!

    As per Zanzibar 138's comment, like her we transferred from Toy Story to Disneyland Hotel but just for one night. We also got caught with the water issue. We checked in and the desk clerk said they had given us a room on a high floor so we had good views. When we went upstairs (to a room that yes had views across the lake and even the castle if I squewed sideways!! and we had only paid for a standard room so I presume was a bit of an upgrade) we discovered no water. I rang down to reception as was unsure if it was just our room but whoever answered the phone couldn't understand what I was asking. I got put through to a better English speaking manager who confirmed there was an issue and the whole hotel was off and "did we need housekeeping to bring a bucket to flush". I said no thank you but we did think that they should have let us know when we checked in that there was no water for the next hour or so, instead of us having to chase it up. I felt they didn't really know how to handle the situation and "to save face" hoped it would soon be fixed. As we were cold and damp it was unfortunate.

    We got crankier that night. Almost midnight we were in bed almost asleep when DD said to me she thought someone was softly knocking on our door. The next door people had been very noisy an hour previously especially and we felt that the walls were very thin as we had heard click, click, clicking - probably them turning the bedside lights on and off trying to work out how to make the headboard light up (which we had done at 4pm!) but it sounded right by our ears where I presume the beds must back-back. So I said no it's for next door. We dozed off and 10 mins or so later our phone rang and it was reception telling us "why didn't we answer the door to our room service" - quite crankily. I said we haven't ordered room service and after some tooing and frooing of them questioning and me responding we agreed someone had given the wrong room number. 10 mins later very loud bangs on our door. I got up - I admit I was cranky now - and it was the room service lad insisting he had to deliver to us. I kept saying no, no, not us, we just told reception, and since his English was not very good I mimed we have been asleep as he seemed most determined he was going to give us room service come what may and not take no for an answer. Then his phone rang and there was a convo in Chinese - I presume from reception, and he smiled, agreed it must be someone else and departed. I made sure when we checked out it hadn't been recorded to our room! So I don't know if the real people ever got their order!

    The third, very minor incident, was when we collected our bags from Bellhop that evening prior to saying goodbye to PIO as I had something stored to pass on. They kept trying to order us a taxi and we kept saying no not yet, we are saying goodbye to our friend. We knew we wanted to use the bathroom, maybe grab a snack etc first as there would be nothing at the airport hotel. It just felt like a fly buzzing about me so I was fairly short in the end saying please go away. We will come and see you when we are ready.

    No that was the fourth. The first was catching the ferry that afternoon. The CM there said the next ferry would only be 10 mins so we waited sheltering under their minuscule brolly in the rain rather than walk to the buses (our brollies had just about died by now). But the ferry didn't come. The ferry was half way across heading to the hotel side of the lake when we got there and pulled in to drop off I guess, but then pulled out and just did donuts in the lake round and round til finally a ferry came from the bottom of the lake, loaded up at the hotel and finally crossed to us and the other ferry departed down the lake. So our wait was around 35 mins. No big deal but if we had known it was some change-over time we would have just walked up to the buses instead. Perhaps the CM did not know that though or I felt more likely, it's a cultural thing and they want to tell you what will make you happy. Having limited sit-down shelter in the parks in rainy weather was an issue overall.

    In contrast every minute of our time at the Toy Story Hotel was perfect and maybe we just had quieter neighbours, but we didn't hear a peep from them though the room was occupied. Therefore, on return I am quite happy to stay there rather than pay the premium for the Disneyland Hotel. We still got H2O products, slippers etc. The cafe had not quite as good a selection as Disneyland Hotel but mostly the same items and it is easy to catch the bus over there for their eateries. You can walk to the parks though not as pretty and a bit further than Wishing Star Park. I know others in our group loved the Disneyland Hotel though so I think we were just subject to an unfortunate series of events! and it puts us in our place - because to be honest we are probably "Toy Story" kind of people - with our backpacks and usually bargain hotels and subwaying etc! So if your heart's desire is to stay at the Disneyland Hotel - and it is very beautiful - then go for it! and if you settle for Toy Story Hotel it's still great!
     
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  11. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    That's interesting...because I also ordered mine with my room reservation. We had a trainee Cast Member check us into the hotel and her and her minder made it a point to tell us that we needed to take our passports in.

    Oh well.
     
  12. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Thanks for sharing!
     
  13. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    A Room with a View



    My DM and I had decided early in the piece that we were not going to do a split stay at Shanghai Disneyland.

    As an aside, currently with only 2 resort hotels to pick from, a split stay might be worth considering especially if you’re looking at how best to allocate those precious accommodation dollar$ using Disney Fuzzy Maths (DFM).


    Once we decided that we were staying at the Disneyland Hotel, there was really only one room type choice for me. Irrespective of how the DFM numbers worked out and even throwing Club Lounge into the equation, I was always going to make the fuzzy maths work out for a Room with a View.

    In any case, neither my mother and I are big drinkers. In fact, I call myself a one-pot screamer. One pot of beer and I giggle silly and/or throw up. Alcohol does that to me. So, CL didn’t make sense….especially when we found out that it closed at about 9 pm at night.



    No one made any comments when I first posted this picture in the earlier edition.

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    Perhaps this might give you a better idea of the view.

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    Through the looking window and the haze…..my room with a view was straight out towards the park.

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    It was a little prettier at night. :teeth:

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    With no park tickets for this day, it made sense for all of us (Aussie Wendy and her DD came over to share the view) to take a look at the Ignite the Dream fireworks from our room window. It was also a good spot to share some snacks and a cuppa with them after our time in downtown Shanghai together.

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    This room worked out great for us. We left the curtains opened at night and I would fall asleep knowing the park was right out there. I would also wake up before sunrise to look at the park. For my DM, she would come back to the room every night and check out the fireworks from our vantage point. When I go back, I would definitely try and make sure that my accommodation budget covered for this same room class again.

    I know the others have posted that they had water issues or the lack thereof on the day that they changed over from the Toy Story to the Disneyland Hotel. My mother and I didn't experience that because we were in the park.
    And poor Wendy had the issue of being woken up in the middle of the night; as well as noisy neighbours. Again, we didn't have either of those two issues.





    (Continued in Next Post)
     
  14. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Ignite the Dream (From Our Room with A View)



    I have the best of luck and the worst of luck with them Fireworks Gods!



    Those of you that have followed on some of my previous TRs will know that when it comes to shooting fireworks with a castle in the middle of the picture will know that I normally need at least 2 bites of the cherry before I end up getting a shot that I’m happy with. This would be because I tend to forget something or circumstances happen that end up with the shoot not quite working out as planned.

    So you can imagine that I had mixed feelings when it came to shooting Ignite the Dream.


    Ignite the Dream is billed as a Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light at the Storybook Castle, Shanghai Disneyland. Like most other displays at Disneys around the world, this attraction combines building projections, fire, lasers and fireworks; and throws in water fountains as well.


    As a photographer, the demise of the fireworks ONLY show to this kind of hybrid lighting effects is a challenge to shoot. Afterall, the technique used to shoot fireworks is almost the complete opposite of the technique used to shoot building projections and lasers. I know any number of togs that have tried to jump from one technique to the other and not really doing justice to the pictures. I count myself in that number. It comes down to a choice of one or the other…..or carrying 2 cameras.

    (I'm working on acquiring the 2nd camera! Yes, that's step 1. After I figure out how to acquire the second camera, I'll have to figure out how to carry it. I just can't carry a second camera!!! and if anyone has any bright ideas, let me know.)


    From our room with a view, it was practically impossible to make out the building projections.

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    And at the distance we were away from the castle, it was impossible to see the water fountains. That happily meant that I only had to think about shooting the fireworks displays.


    And for those interested in the photobabble, I used my longest lens and zoomed right in on the castle. We really were a long way away and the shoot needed the help of the telezoom. For those not interested in the photobabble, just scroll on through for the pictures.

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    I set the camera up on a tripod and pretty much shot the fireworks using ISO 100, f/11 with shutter speeds anywhere from 2 – 15 seconds. As I was shooting the show through the window glass, we turned the lights off in the room to cut out any reflective glare. I do have a remote trigger and it does make it easier to start and stop the camera; and I use it to reduce the camera shake which happens when you manually press the button to take the shot. However, if you’re doing this for the first time and/or you don’t have a remote trigger, you can just as easily set your camera to a 2-second delay and that will also cut down on any camera shake in your shots.

    I always check the pictures after the first couple of shots. If the trails are too bright, adjust the shutter speed to a shorter duration.

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    If the trails are too dark, adjust the shutter speed to a longer duration.

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    After I was happy with the basic settings and had a rough guide for what sorts of shutter speeds to use, I just then focussed on shooting the show. Here are some of my favourites from this vantage location.

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    Remember how I said this is a hybrid lighting effects show that uses building projections….

    [​IMG]



    …..lasers….

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    ….fire……

    [​IMG]


    …..fireworks…..

    [​IMG]


    .....and throws in water fountains, which we can’t see at all?


    The downside of viewing Ignite the Dream from this location is that there are a LOT of seemingly dark gaps between the firework bursts. I gather from Zanzibar that the relatively smaller amount of fireworks could be due to the strict pollution standards that Shanghai is under. I think there are only about 15 or so firework bursts in the whole show. Those gaps are where you would be viewing the building projections, laser, fire and water fountain displays if you were right in the park. From the room and without any music, it can be a bit boring.


    For me, it was only after I came home and unpacked the pictures that I realised what a great view it was from that room…..providing you had telezoom eyesight. If I had realised that whilst I was there, I may well have chosen to come back to the resort on the second night to shoot this show.


    As it is….on this night….the Firework Gods were very kind to me. Very kind indeed!




    Postscript. Not wanting to spoil anything, but this was about the only time I got to capture the fireworks. So for me, the Room with a View was worth the money!




    (Continued in Next Post)
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017 at 8:49 AM
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  15. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    I Only Went Down for a Quick Snap



    After the show, Wendy and her DD said goodnight and headed back to their hotel. They, and the other Aussie Dis-sers, had chosen to do a split stay and were staying at the Toy Story Hotel. I gather there is a resort-to-resort bus so it was just a matter of waiting for that Disney transport to show up and catch it back.


    I had taken a few quick shots before Ignite the Dream around the resort when I had gone down for my quick snack and had left knowing I had unfinished business. So, whilst I had time, I figured I might as well head down for a couple of quick snaps around the resort. This time, I took my tripod with me.


    For those that like to see pictures of indoor corridors. Here’s what one looks like at the Disneyland Hotel.

    [​IMG]



    I forgot to include the pictures of the Tinkerbell Gift shop in the earlier post, so I’ll just put them in now.

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    The gift store is opened till about 11 pm at night, in case anyone is interested to shop after standard park hours.

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    Nothing will date this TR like the Beauty and the Beast merchandise that was prevalent during this visit!

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    I liked the Pixie Dust Tree (at least I’m calling it the Pixie Dust Tree) in the store. Make a wish!

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    This is the view from the top most level (Level 6) that looks down on the lobby.

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    You can almost touch those leadlights from this level.

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    Anyone else spot the obvious Hidden Mickey?

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    For the record and ETA after the original post. There is a Level 7 - the Club Lounge level - and a level 8. I've been reliably informed by Zanzibar and Shushh (thanks to you both!) that the Aurora Restaurant is on level 8. Our room card wasn't programmed to let us on to level 7. And we decided not to include Aurora for this visit. Next time!



    Every Disney lobby I’ve been to usually has pretty flowers.

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    This one was no exception.

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    I loved the details of the leadlight lamps in the lobby.

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    Dragonflies!

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    I wonder if this is lit during winter and if there is a Storyteller?

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    I also found a Hidden Mickey on the back of some of the chairs.

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    There is the most amazing Mickey and Friends statue in the lobby.

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    It was a musical theme!

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    This shot closed out and finished off my earlier unfinished business with that ceiling.

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    Ummmm…..I may have gone a little photo crazy with that musical statue but unlike earlier, there were no kids running around the lobby at this late hour. The only people up at this time of the night were the cleaners!

    But I figured that as I was there and the lobby was devoid of guests, I might as well just capture the Fab 5 and grab all the angles I wanted.



    (Continued in Next Post)
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017 at 9:15 AM
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  16. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    The Quick Snap Turned into a Cold Snap!


    As there was no one around, I figured I might as well head outside to take a look around the garden. This is the view from just outside the lobby and I think it could also be a good spot to capture fireworks from if you haven’t got a room with a view. It's just a slightly different angle to what I have from my room.

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    From this vantage point and with the telezoom lens, I just had to take a picture of the Tron building.

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    And the Castle.

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    I had no intention of spending too much time outside. Afterall, it was a cold night. But look what else I saw through that telezoom!

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    Topiary Mickey standing guard!

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    It was cold! I know….because I did get right down to SIT on that cold paving.

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    The guard didn’t exactly leave his post but this was probably close enough to where he was patrolling and he was curious enough to come take a look at what I was doing.

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    Both Topiary Mickey and the real guard at the back entrance thought I was crazy! It really was cold.

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    In case anyone is wondering, it was close on midnight by the time I was done. So much for a quick snap around the hotel lobby! Yup. I spent over 2 hours on this quick snap and cold snap.

    It was definitely time to call it a night. Afterall, I was freezing and there was important park business ahead for the next day!



    princess::upsidedow

     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017 at 8:52 AM
  17. darrenf67

    darrenf67 DIS Veteran

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    Yes we ate the popcorn and then used the containers to hold socks i think haha
     
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  18. Fairy Floss

    Fairy Floss Mouseketeer

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    Absolutely LOVE your fireworks shots!

    ... and I'm another member of your lovely mother's fan club
     
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  19. darrenf67

    darrenf67 DIS Veteran

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    the fireworks shots are brilliant - fantastic- great job!
     
  20. RodBelding

    RodBelding <font color=red>DIS Dad #589<br><font color=royalb

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    Great shots! That view is awesome!!!
     
  21. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    Amazing fireworks shots. For me, a park view room will always be more worthwhile than club level. I'm similar to you, don't really eat or drink enough to get much value out of it. Mostly though, I'll just go for the cheapest room category lol!

    Love your shots from around the hotel too.

    And FWIW, I believe the Aurora restaurant is located on level 8, directly above the club lounge.
     

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