TR - Get your Disneyfied Christmas B-Day Fix! - Hub, Grub, & Up, Up and Away! - updated 5/18

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by mnmrmustard, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    I thought I replied to these yesterday, but the Dis has been difficult for me lately, sometimes sitting there waiting for me to submit again, after I've already hit "post reply!" Sorry I've been lagging. I have been avoiding coming here just a little bit, because it makes me so itchy, and because we won't be going again for at least another year! :P
    Great video with the characters and I always loved to listen to the piano players! I was living vicariously through you during your early morning solo time. Those are the best!!
     
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  2. Steppesister

    Steppesister DIS Veteran

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    Still hanging in there, reading as I can. :) Life has gotten in the way of DISing as much as I'd like, but I'll take whatever time I can get.

    That looked like a fantastic meet with PP! I love all the different facial expressions; everyone really looked like they were having a fun time!

    Oh my! Going along a parade route, is.... daunting. Kudos to you for getting to the Flag Ceremony despite the gigantic road block! And isn't it great... the Flag deal? I loved it. Made me a bit misty eyed. :)
     
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  4. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    I can understand the "itchy" feeling of wanting to go back, my nephew and some friends of his leave tomorrow and I'm sooo wanting to go back. Bummer about DIS being temperamental. I know in the past I've copied posts before hitting "Post Reply" just in case they flake out. That way you can just paste it right back in and give it another go.

    I love those little moments like stumbling across music and characters. Some of my favorite times too. I'll be getting back to posting TR stuff very soon - right now putting together a little WDW side trip chapter :thumbsup2

    I hear ya, life is just crazy. I've been away from the boards for about 10 days due to a conference and playing catch-up at work when I returned. Finally getting my bearings again. The Pan meet was awesome, both kids were laughing and having so much fun!

    Thank you on braving the parade crowds to get to the ceremony, it was worth it! Glad it evoked a response from you, they do it very well and it always gets me too.

    About to post some WDW pics - tune back in when you can! :goodvibes
     
  5. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 28 – A Walt Disney World Interlude


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    Hello All! Sorry I’ve been away for a week and a half – but I have good reason! On April 28th I flew back east to take part in the Midsize Enterprise Summit’s Spring Conference. This is a big IT event that I traditionally attend in the fall as those are more in tune with us west-coasters. But I am on the Advisory Board for their IT Security Summit which is happening in May and needed to dialog with event staff and other Advisory Board members to get my bearings on expectations for the event.

    Why am I sharing this with you all here on the Boards? WELL! The event was being held at the Dolphin Resort adjacent to EPCOT! Now I’ll tell you right off the bat that I did not make it into a single Disney Park, there wasn’t time and I was short on funds. But there was still some Disney magic to be had along with some MAJOR sleep deprivation!

    As is the case for most of us, getting sleep before a trip is nigh impossible. I managed to get to bed around 11:30pm and had a 3:30am wake-up for a 6:15am flight to LAX. I had loaded the car and showered the night before so basically I kissed Roxy goodbye and got dressed and was out the door. Upon arriving at the airport I received a bit of a reality check in Medford adding in another carrier – the lines were MUCH longer. Still I am a careful traveler and made it thru and to my gate with some time to spare.

    The hop to LAX was uneventful and I was in the terminal heading to my departure gate for MCO by just after 8am

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    I had a 2hr layover here so I found a restaurant and ordered a fruit plate and a Bloody Mary because why not! They changed my gate while I was eating and I ended up walking back to the same terminal I landed in. But I got more steps in so yay for that.

    The trip from LAX to MCO is a long one and I was stuck in coach in a middle seat. At least I had a laptop with movies and good headphones so I was able to zone out for the 5+ hour trek. We made it to the gate around 6pm and I made my way to the only monorail I would partake of while at “The World”.

    Click here to see me sing the short version of the Monorail Song!

    I had a reservation with MEARS to get me to the Dolphin. We had used them on several occasions for family trips to WDW to get us to Universal and they had been fine. But the shuttle van was cramped and we were of course the last stop on the driver’s route. Not sure I’ll ever do that again.

    Check-in at the Dolphin seemed to take FOREVER!!!! Me and mine always stay at POP Century and with the same amount of clerks they moved thru the lines MUCH quicker than their Dolphin counterparts. The fountain in the lobby was pretty impressive though

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    It was just after 8pm when I made it up to room 9047
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    Standard double room pretty nicely appointed – loved the shower. I have more pics of the room if anyone is interested.

    The view was pretty awesome
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    Once I settled in I realized I was HUNGRY! I had gotten a cheese and crackers box on the flight and it was dinner time for my stomach, which was still on west coast time. It was Saturday evening so I knew everywhere was going to be packed so I had planned accordingly.

    I headed downstairs and headed across the causeway between the Swan and Dolphin. It was looking pretty spectacular as the last of the light faded from the sky
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    My destination was here
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    I strolled past this fine establishment, which would play a part in sleep deprivation later on in my trip
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    As I suspected all of the “sit down” dining options were pretty packed. But I am a man of simple tastes and made a beeline for the hot dog cart. I came away with a chili cheese dog and a foot long with mustard, kraut, and relish on it (I told ya I was hungry – lol)

    I watched the boats float by while I ate and then watched a street performer for a bit. I was pretty tired so I headed back to my room. The moon was huge, wish my phone’s camera could have gotten a good pic of it. But you can still see it shining in this night time shot from my room.

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    I called home and talked to the fam for a bit and then tried to go to sleep. I was hopeful that my brain would allow me to just conk out since I was so tired, but my west coast brain didn’t let me get to sleep until after 1am. Luckily my conference didn’t start until the afternoon so I was able to sleep in and made it until almost 9am!

    I got myself together and buzzed down to Fuel, their coffee/quick grab place and picked up a breakfast muffin and a big coffee. I ate up in my room while watching The Zoo on Animal Planet and headed out to take in the sites of the resorts. I took a BUNCH of pictures but whittled it down to just a handful.

    Out the door of the Dolphin looking up thru the fountain
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    There is a standard rectangular pool for the Dolphin and the Swan, and then they share a kids pool, hot tub, and the larger pool setup with a nice waterfall feature
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    I headed past the Swan and over the bridge towards the proper Disney Resorts. I strolled past the Yacht Club which of course was looking grand
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    I wasn’t stopping in there quite yet, I had another destination in mind. I came across this mighty ship
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    …and onto …you guessed it …Beaches & Cream!
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    I made it there at about 10:45am and waited for it to open. I didn’t have a reservation so went in the take out entrance. I was tempted by some of the adult concoctions they had to offer but ended up settling on a strawberry/chocolate shake.

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    I looked over the pool for the Beach Club, very cool setup! I had only seen it in pictures up to that point. I followed along the walkways from the Beach Club to the Yacht Club and had to go in for the obligatory maritime shots. I was happy to get a shot of one of the ship setups without guests on the couch

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    And of course the globe with the 1600s map reference
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    I explored the corridors of the Yacht Club, winding my way back towards the Dolphin. I eventually came out by the Yacht Club pool, which was kind of sad given the grandeur of the rest of the establishment. But I guess they have to keep it classic and upscale which means a standard rectangular pool.

    From there I took a nice shaded service road and turned onto the pathway leading around the Dolphin. From there I got a pretty good shot of the Swan
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    I had originally planned on grabbing lunch before conference registration at 1:30pm but was still too full from breakfast and that shake. So I had a seat at the bar in the lobby and had a couple of nice brown ales and pretzels while I waited. My view as I sat

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    The conference went from 2pm to 8pm and then I was back outdoors and on the bridge between the Boardwalk and Yacht Club, which I was told had a great view of the EPCOT and DHS fireworks. It did not disappoint!

    First IllumiNations at EPCOT at 9pm
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    A quick shot from the bridge looking down the backside of the Boardwalk
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    I had some time to before DHS’s show at 9:30pm so it was a good time to get those classic night shots of the resorts. The Boardwalk
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    And of course the obligatory shots of the Boardwalk framed by the lighthouse dock
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    I had lost track of time a bit and the first fireworks started going off while I was over by the Beach Club
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    I made my way back to the bridge looking towards the Swan and Dolphin and enjoyed the rest of the show
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    Click here to see a bit of the fireworks fun!

    I called it a night and spent the next two days in what is a marathon of a conference. It is short in days (only 3) but long in hours (8am – 8pm). Only one pic during the conference – one booth had actually hired a very believable Colonel Sanders impersonator complete with props!

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    The conference wrapped up on Tuesday evening and I had the choice of going to the closing ceremonies or help one of the vendors that I had gotten to know break down their booth. It didn’t hurt that they had a bottle of Jefferson’s Reserve bourbon and that they were a pair of down home Georgia boys. If y’all didn’t know I’m a born Georgian and my parents are still back there.

    After we got the booth packed up they invited me to dinner with them. I didn’t realize until we were heading there that their reservation was at Todd English’s Bluezoo. It was pretty spectacular and the company was amazing. I made some friends that evening that I will be visiting when I’m back that way in late May.

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    After dinner they were heading out and the after party had started up at Jellyrolls. Here’s where sleep deprivation decisions come back up. My brain had never fully adjusted to east coast time so other than that first night I hadn’t gotten much sleep. This had compounded by the time we reached this night.

    But I was at a crossroads. I had a 3:30am shuttle to the airport to catch an early flight so I could go straight to my room and attempt to get 3-4hrs sleep OR I could go watch the dueling pianos and have some more fun. So here’s your answer!

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    If you haven’t been to Jellyrolls it is a very lively show with the two pianists/singers playing very well off each other – this shot was taken around 10:30p
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    And THIS was shot sometime after midnight:

    Click here if you want to see a shaky video of me and 3 fellow IT geeks attempt to sing!

    Around 1am I stumbled out of there and started walking back to my resort. But on the way got pulled into a group of well-dressed people from some entertainment company. They insisted I join them and I ended up talking to music promoters, sound engineers, and a couple of singers until after 2am in Kimonos Lounge. Go figure :confused3 :thumbsup2

    They were still going strong but I had to get myself together. Luckily I had already mostly packed so all I had to do was shower, pack up my toiletries and put on my travel clothes. I got it all wrapped up around 3am and sat down to rest for a couple of minutes before heading down to the lobby to check out and catch my shuttle. I flipped on the TV and dozed off – oops!

    I snapped to at 4am and did a quick automated check-out from the hotel over the phone and rushed downstairs while calling MEARS. This actually turned out to be a very happy accident as I had of course missed the shuttle. But there was a MEARS driver who was already out front that had a no- show. I figure somewhere in the Dolphin there was a fellow conference-goer that had a bit too much fun at Jellyrolls!

    So instead of being in a cramped shuttle bus I got a private car to MCO, getting me there at around the same time I would have on the shuttle! I did the kiosk check-in and paid the extra $56 to get an exit row isle seat. I ended up in a row with a young couple and all three of us basically slept the whole way from MCO to LAX. And amazingly enough I didn’t have a hangover, just a stiff neck from plane sleeping.

    This time it was a 3hr layover at LAX and the same gate walk. I had lunch and a BIG coffee before getting the exact same gate change scenario, taking me back to the terminal I had arrived in. I watched The Martian on my laptop from LAX to MFR and then had the drive home, getting me to my doorstep around 4pm.

    The whole fam was there as was pizza so I have hugs and kisses and recounted my exploits in similar fashion that I have with you as we ate.

    I’ll leave you with this Life is a Highway, which was playing on the causeway as I walked towards Jellyrolls (sorry for the bad sound quality):

    Click here to see a colorful video of Life is a Highway


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    Click here for Chapter 29 - Main Street, a Climbing Adventure, and Night Falls
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
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  6. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    What a fun time! The monorail song was great, haha! It was fun to see your pictures because the only time I've been to WDW was just over 20 years ago, when I was in high school and had a national conference there, we stayed at the Dolphin! So a lot of the Boardwalk and hotel sights were familiar to me. :) Though some has changed, of course. :) It sound exhausting to sleep that little though!
     
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  7. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    LOL, thank you on the Monorail song! Yes, it was a great time and glad I could take you on a trip down memory lane. The only touch I had on this area up until this trip was taking the boat from EPCOT to DHS with Jinx during our 2012 trip and a quick walk thru the Yacht Club lobby.

    It was very exhausting but very rewarding! :thumbsup2
     
  8. Steppesister

    Steppesister DIS Veteran

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    Crap. I had a whole reply done up and even quoted mostly, then navigated away for too long, didn't save, and it's gone. :(

    I'll be back in a while to start over.
     
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  9. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    Oh no!!!! I hate it when that happens :sad2: Take your time, I'm working on my next chapter :thumbsup2
     
  10. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

    Joined:
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    Chapter 29 - Main Street, a Climbing Adventure, and Night Falls


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    So when we left off I had just finished a spontaneous meet & greet with Tweedle Dee and the Mad Hatter along with a grand musical interlude with Michael on the Piano. The rest of the fam had done FPs for Indiana Jones and had looped back around for stand-by so I had some time to kill.

    It was now fully dusk and I was at the hub and the balloons were punctuating the landscape.
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    The wreaths being back was so awesome, they really added that extra touch of holiday magic
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    I couldn’t resist a panorama of it
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    I stopped by to pay my respects to “Mr. Disney”
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    I kept walking towards the hub and had to get another balloon shot, this time with the castle in the background
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    As I made it to the hub I came across this festive ensemble. If anyone knows their name I would love to have a proper reference
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    I caught a bit of video of them with some happy girls AND A HAPPY DUCK dancing to Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland!

    Click here for Holiday Melodies and Dancing

    They finished their song and I turned and captured Walt trying to grab the tip of the Astro Orbiter
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    One must always get a front on shot of the Partners statue with the castle in the background
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    I contemplated braving Fantasyland but decided against it
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    Instead I decided to head to Adventureland by way of the Royal Theater where Rapunzel and “The Smoulder” were holding court
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    No interest in a solo meet & greet I wound my way thru Frontierland and on to Adventureland. Where was I heading? Well I needed some grub and the fam had eaten some Bengal BBQ in between rides so I did the same, getting a chicken skewer and a veg skewer. Afterwards I wanted to stay close to the entrance to Indiana Jones so I decided to climb!

    I got to one of the landings and looked back towards Frontierland - birds were flocking around big time
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    The last of the light was fading from the sky as I captured a shot of the flag above PoTC and the Dream Suite
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    It still looked pretty bright upwards into the tree
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    Further up I could see BTMRR and see the Mark Twain thru the trees along with the construction crane for Star Wars Land
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    I turned around and came across this fearsome creature!
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    More fearsome than him was the step down that I didn’t see right after him and jarred my leg – ouch! I recovered and got a text from Jinx, they were done and Jinx wanted to come up and join me. Roxy and PumpkinGirl were on their way to get some beignets. We came across surrogate mommy and child

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    On down the tree we found Jane doing her hair
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    I gotta say Tarzan we being a bit stalker-ish – lol
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    Looking in that mirror above Jane he was looking REALLY stalker-ish!
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    We all met up and enjoyed beignets while walking back toward the hub. It was fully dark now and truly magical
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    One overexposed shot really taking in the light
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    As we walked I took a quick peek back at the now lit castle
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    Full darkness found us coming up on the tree with Christmas cheer popping up all around us as they prepared for the Christmas Party
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    It was time for that wonderful event, it was SNOW TIME!

    Click here for Snow on Main Street USA (bear with the video, the snow effect and music kicks in about 1/3 of the way in)

    Once that was over we were off to other adventures. Where were we headed do you ask? Well I’ll tell you …in the next chapter!


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    Click here for Chapter 30 - Spaced out Feats & Super Meets end Day 4!
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
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  11. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 30 - Spaced out Feats & Super Meets end Day 4!


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    We had just exited Disneyland and were not ready to end our night yet so off to CA we went! And if we were going to CA we were going to hit GotG!
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    Once inside we had to get a family shot in front of The Collector’s portrait
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    The ride was a blast with “Hit Me with your Best Shot” as our song. I don’t know what happened with the ride pic, it somehow got lost in the shuffle :confused3

    Upon exiting we really wanted to get some more shots in our Groot shirts. We headed towards the photo op area with Santa and his sleigh with the city skyline adjacent to the Hyperion. As we walked up we saw that Cap was out for a meet & greet. Huzzah for spontaneous character opportunities!

    In front of us in line was this miniature bombshell femme fatale repping HYDRA. I didn’t want to be nosy but had to snap at least one photo of her with Cap!
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    She was a cool cucumber …and we were our geeky selves

    Kids first for some conversation …Thor and Loki came up
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    Which segued into this handshake! Roxy was complaining to Cap that Thor’s handshake was a bit light and demonstrated for Cap
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    Cap of course had to show off ‘proper’ handshakes
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    He does have a winning smile!
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    No idea what he was talking about at this point but we were having a good time
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    Pose time!!!
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    After that we went back over to the PP spot and got some grand family shots
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    Once we finished that we were back taking advantage of MaxPass and another ride on GotG! Hello my mossy friend
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    SO AWESOME to make the connection with this painting after having seen Thor Ragnarok!!!
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    So many sharp pointy things!
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    Look, he’s waving - Hi Rocket!!!
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    This time I was really primed and got a solid shot of his hand going for Star Lord’s Walkman!
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    We stuck around in the room to get some quality prop pics. Omelet anyone?
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    Bonus points for anyone who can name the framed item at the top of this picture …or at least what movie it’s from
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    We finally moved on and made our way thru the queue and ended up with what was obviously (between us and the other occupants of the front row) the best GotG ride pic taken that night!

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    We made our way out and saw that the park was heading towards shut down and we were pretty spent. I had to get a good marquee shot as we walked
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    We turned to make our way out and said our farewell to the park and to the last trolley of the night
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    So we finished another day closing a park. We were all tired but feeling good and that we were getting a good balance of fun without overdoing it too much. We headed back to the hotel and went thru the standard shower rotation and bedtime rigmarole. We started talking about tomorrow, which was set to be our last day in the parks, our water ride morning, and most importantly the pinnacle of the trip – PumpkinGirl’s 21st B-Day Dapper Do & Imbibation Ambulation AKA Adult Beverage Walkabout!

    I won’t hold you in suspense on outcomes here. You are all in store for LOTS of smiles, LOTS of laughs, LOTS of fun and many, many special moments. With little debate of our 8 Disney park trips this was our single best Disney day ever. I’m going thru the pictures now and can’t wait to share them and the story of the day.

    Day 4 Ride Count:

    - GotG – 5 times (can you tell we like that one?)
    - Soarin’ – 1 time
    - BTMRR – 1 time
    - PoTC – 2 times
    - NBCHM – 2 times
    - Tom Sawyer Island/Pirate’s Lair walkabout
    - Disneyland Railroad – 2 rides
    - Roger Rabbit – 1 time
    - IaSW – 1 time

    Characters Met:

    - Peter Pan
    - Moana
    - Mad Hatter
    - Tweedle Dee & Dum
    - Captain America

    Shows/Events Seen:

    - The Laughing Stock Co. at the Golden Horseshoe
    - Christmas Parade
    - Flag Ceremony (finally!)
    - Michael’s Ragtime Piano
    - 6 Piece Band at the Hub (still don’t know their name)
    - Snow on Main Street USA


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    Click here for Chapter 31 - Dapper Day 5 Dawns in Swimsuits!
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
  12. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 31 - Dapper Day 5 Dawns in Swimsuits!


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    Five days have gone by so very fast. And yet it didn’t have the same feeling that past trips have had. There was no feeling of remorse for opportunities missed, no “I NEED MORE TIME!” We were feeling pretty darned good and we woke up knowing that today was going to be spectacular!

    For once it wasn’t me who got up first. If you recall I had taken advantage of my Magic Morning at CA to do a triple shot of GotG. The kiddos had other plans, they wanted to hit Fantasyland before things got crazy. So they were up and out the door while I was still getting myself together.

    They grabbed their breakfast and headed down and caught rope drop. They actually skipped Peter Pan, hitting some other classics – specifically Mr Toad!

    I always wanted to go Nowhere In Particular
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    Their car awaited them
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    Car Selfie!
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    Where are the rest of the dinner guests?
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    Nobody’s getting off with time served from this guy
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    Maximum sentence every time!
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    That is one evil train
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    While they were enjoying the goodness of the classic rides I had made my way into the park. Roxy was sleeping in a bit more and was going to slow her pace down a bit today so I went down solo. We were all dressed to hit the water rides so I was stylin’ some cool blue trunks and a Mary Poppins T-shirt from a local production of the musical I was a part of.

    This was fortuitous and I had an unexpected encounter with none other than our beloved Mary and good ole Burt! They were fascinated by my shirt and lead to a great interaction. After our talk someone else in line was nice enough to take my phone and snap a pic of the three of us

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    Meanwhile the kiddos had wrapped things up in Fantasyland and were getting ready for the Frontierland rope drop. I met up with them and snapped a shot of my early birds
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    …then leaned over the rope to get a pic with them
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    A CM guarding the rope border and I talked and he asked about the kids and I explained that I had already used my Magic Morning and was just shooting the breeze with them. He was very nice and slyly unhooked the rope and gave me a nod to come thru to join them. What an awesome guy – huzzah for cool CMs bringing families together!

    I talked more to the kiddos and said I was at their disposal as far as where they wanted to go. They were in the mood for a classic so it was off to HM for us! Is there anyone else who had never noticed what looks like the Creature from the Black Lagoon next to the moon?
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    Zero got his bone and then some!
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    That is not a happy wreath
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    I had also never noticed this little guy – love his vest!
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    I still want to know what I did to deserve the skull and crossbones next to my name!
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    PumpkinGirl managed another epic shot of the Hat Box Ghost
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    He’s no Sandy Claws!
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    So many happy faces
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    Hear those trumpets call!
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    And the obligatory Oogie Boogie shot – looks like we got the question mark, that can’t be good
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    While we were finishing our visit with those happy haunts Roxy had made it to the park – she sent me a selfie (a rare occasion) as she moved thru the ticket line
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    Her ankles were bugging her quite a bit so she headed over to grab an ECV from the rental counter. Her having made it to day 5 before getting one was an amazing accomplishment. On our 2012 trip to WDW she needed one the whole trip.

    We decided to meet up in Adventureland and around the same time I got a text from a friend of mine from Oregon who is in the same beard club as I am. He was down with his family and stopped by to say hi – don’t look at his hand or he gets to pop you in the arm

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    We spent some time talking and then parted ways, his kiddos feeling the pull of Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Meanwhile we were ready to embark on our journey to get doused! That’s right all – it was Splash time!

    I was very happy with this shot – love the little details of the ride and the Critter Country appropriate Holiday decorations
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    No pics on the queue or during the ride, we had packed away our phones for safety. The first time down we didn’t plan anything other than me trying to sneak a smooch
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    But the second time around I managed to convince the family to do YMCA!
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    We got a pretty good soak on between those two trips down. We headed down around Critter Country to the Rivers of America to hit the restroom. The river was beautiful with the exception of that darned crane. Such is the price for progress!
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    The upside of the ECV beyond the obvious is that it gives us a place to stash our extra stuff!
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    The Mark Twain came by while we were there – lots of waving back and forth
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    Once our pit stop was finished we started making our way out – I tried to get a picture of the front of the Columbia, but it is pretty obscured by foliage and fencing
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    Onward past the Haunted Mansion as the sun rose higher into the morning sky
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    We made quick progress back to the front of the park, I only stopped to take one more pic of the horse drawn trolley as we headed up Main Street USA
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    We headed over to CA and got on Grizzly River Run. I took zero pictures during this timeframe as all electronics were buried in plastic bags to protect them from the ride. We rode the rapids twice in a row and were very wet and pretty cold by the time we rolled back around on the second run. I had meant to take a pic of us all wet but just plain forgot.

    We had accomplished our goal though and squished our way out of CA and back to our hotel. We took our time and showered and changed into our dapper attire. Well PumpkinGirl, Roxy and I did while Jinx was reasonably dapper but was actually doing a Cosplay and was going to fly solo for a bit and then meet up with a friend he had met the day before. The family splitting was a bit out of necessity as the three of us would be drinking and Jinx is only 18. He was totally fine with flying solo as he had some goals to accomplish and would be circling back around with us off and on throughout the day.

    Tune in next time to check out our stylin’ selves, see who Jinx is cosplaying, and see how our imbibition ambulation or adult beverage walkabout (It’s NOT a pub crawl – so says Roxy) gets started!


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    Click here for Chapter 32 - Dapper Dos Drinking from the Tropics to the Theater!
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
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  13. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

    Joined:
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    Love those pictures in your Baby Groot shirts. They turned out great! And I like the breakdown of everything you accomplished in the day. That's a fun thing to do! That is a great idea to dress in "get wet clothes" and I love the Mary Poppins/Bert picture! :) Someday I want to have older kids (that don't wake up at 5 am every day) and spend more time and feel that "perfectly full of Disney" feeling at the end of a trip! But until then, I'll take whatever we can eke out. :)
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
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  14. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    Thank you, we really loved those shirts! I had never done the end of the day breakdown before - probably saw it on someone else's TR and just decided to add it in as an extra bit of fun :goodvibes

    Yes, we decided before our trip that we would set aside a half day for wet rides and dress accordingly. Too many past trips with the damp chafing walk around. I was sooo happy to run into Mary and Bert in that shirt, total happy accident.

    You'll get to that point before you know it of having the kids old enough to make the trip an experience where you don't have to worry or look after things, you can just have fun and enjoy each other at this amazing park :thumbsup2
     
  15. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

    Joined:
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    Chapter 32 - Dapper Dos Drinking from the Tropics to the Theater!


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    We all finished getting out dapper on and I consulted “The Plan”. If you read my PTR you will have seen my route map:
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    Now right off the bat I knew that despite the fact that I did a BUNCH of research and planning for this little outing, that all bets are off once you start down the road of it. You can ask anyone who has been on a drinking adventure that, as Barbarossa says, “the code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.” Substitute route map for code.

    Our hotel is on the corner of Harbor and Katella, so we were going to walk down Katella turn onto Disneyland Drive to get to DTD and Earl of Sandwich. But everyone was still pretty content food-wise from breakfast so we decided that we would eat lunch a bit later. So the route map was blown right out the door. Instead we started walking the same way but instead go directly to the Disneyland Hotel and specifically to Trader Sam’s

    The walk seemed longer than we had thought since it was just a straight city sidewalk following the back of CA. But when you consider you’re walking behind Cars Land and Paradise (Pixar) Pier, then turning and following the back of PP and past both the Paradise Pier Hotel and the Grand Californian it makes sense as it is a bit of a walk. But it is still a little bit shorter than walking in the entrance/hub and dealing with security and then winding thru DTD.

    We did hit a milestone in an old school sign for the Disneyland Resort so I took a pic of our B-Day girl
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    While I was snapping the shot a couple walked up and were nice enough to snap a pic of the three of us
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    Pretty snazzy aye?
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    We made our way down and Roxy and PumpkinGirl started questioning where I was going but I’m one of those lucky people with a really good sense of direction and the ability to visualize maps in my head. And I know the map of the Disneyland Hotel! I took us across Disneyland Drive and in thru the entrance road and the traffic circle.

    From there we took the pathways past the Frontier Tower and the Fairy Tale Wedding Garden. An event had recently taken place and there were some other well-dressed people walking around and enjoying themselves. We kept walking and saw the back of Trader Sam's. And then it was into the fray of finding a table in that tiny establishment!

    We squeezed into an upright table right next to the door that only sat two (I stood) and we got our order in. After a lot of watching and waiting and having one table snaked out from under us we managed to get one!
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    The atmosphere was fun as usual and hectic. If you haven’t been, picture the Enchanted Tiki Room run by a bunch of crazy drunks!
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    I had meant to keep track of the drinks we had but that fell on its face right away. We all ordered something different and PumpkinGirl tried each one but liked the colorful one the best
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    I thought I had taken a video of the volcano erupting and the storm but couldn’t locate it. There are plenty of vids on YouTube that are better than mine anyways. I did take a picture of the ship in the bottle sinking though
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    We were going to hit the Uva Bar in DTD but it was already after 3pm so we decided to head for CA. That is until we stopped to duck into the candy shop
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    Oh, part of my wardrobe for this adventure was of course a Mickey Tie along with a tie pin and an umbrella pin, both given to me for my work with Make-A-Wish
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    Our next stop was the Macaron stand to secure a Birthday Macaron for our Birthday Girl!
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    While Roxy was making that purchase for her I took advantage of the Star Wars posters for some epic selfies!
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    We headed thru security and into CA and split up so Roxy could use her receipt to pick up another ECV. She had not been amused to have to end up doing so much walking but handled it like a champ. While she did that I took PumpkinGirl over to the Carthay Circle Theatre.
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    I showed her the plaque and explained some of the history
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    Love this mosaic
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    We of course had to get our “tickets”
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    We headed in and I had told her that to get the full experience we must sit at the bar
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    Our bartender was Shane and he was a fine gent who offered something attuned to PumpkinGirl’s tastes
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    Roxy had joined us and we soon had drinks in hand
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    We were contacted by Jinx, who was now in CA. We decided to meet at GotG and I secured FPs thru MaxPass for it. While the ladies finished their drinks I took a quick tour, taking pictures of the pictures showing the theatre and some memories in relation to Walt
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    They had a classy little tree in the foyer
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    PumpkinGirl was feeling a buzz but was handling it well and wanted to have some fun. So we decided to do GotG and then head to The Cove for some Lobster Nachos and the coveted Mickey’s Fun Wheel from the secret drink menu. Tune in next time to see what surprises come our way, what sites we see, and how well our girl balances fun and fermented spirits!


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    Click here for Chapter 33 - More Guardians Than We Bargained For!
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
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  16. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Chapter 23 - More Guardians Than We Bargained For!


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    We met up with Jinx right as we were leaving the Carthay Circle and headed down the street towards GotG. As we approached we saw Groot getting his groove on!
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    But our FPs were ready so we headed on in. You finally get to see a pic of Jinx!
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    As I had said earlier he was doing a cosplay. And if you’re not recognizing “guy in trench coat” he’s playing Castiel from Supernatural. He was very happy because several people recognized him as he was walking around.

    Big smiles!
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    Obligatory queue pic
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    I had gotten pics of the Guardians themselves the previous morning so this time I made sure to get a shot of The Collector
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    …and THIS GUY
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    Obligatory Rocket pic
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    Isn’t she pretty?
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    Obligatory pic of Harold the Yeti
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    We were all having a good time
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    PumpkinGirl especially
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    Jinx was giving a quizzical look, probably from something PumpkinGirl said
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    We wrangled 2nd row for this one
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    We came out to dusk and some traveling minstrels
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    Sibling hugs in mommy’s ECV!
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    We were originally going to take off from there but heard that Groot was about to come back out and we just couldn’t resist. Soon enough our giant tree friend was out and we were walking up to see him
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    Of course PumpkinGirl got the honor of being first.
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    PumpkinGirl wanted to teach Groot some etiquette and curtseyed
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    …but Groot was fascinated by her hair
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    THEN PumpkinGirl got a proper bow
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    …and curtsey
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    More Grootful interactions coming your way!


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    Click here for Chapter 34 - A GrootFul Good Time
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018 at 8:21 PM
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  17. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Chapter 34 - A GrootFul Good Time


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    When we left off PumpkinGirl had gotten Groot to master both the bow and the courtesy, so he then turned to me and seemed fascinated by my beard. They missed a shot of him “petting” it, but got one of me laughing right afterwards

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    Jinx then got to say hello
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    Then it was time for family pics!
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    …and afterwards Roxy got personal pics with him
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    While I got a pic with my boy
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    Jinx was splitting off from there to get food and meet characters. And the rest of us were off to The Cove for more drinks and lunch that had now turned into dinner! As we left the area I had to grab one more shot of the GotG façade, with the sunset it was stunning!

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    We headed into Bug’s Land to hit the restrooms and I snapped a shot of the ornaments
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    And The Collector’s Palace, now well-lit as the last light faded from the sky
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    After restrooms Roxy took the ECV and got a spot in line at The Cove. Meanwhile, PumpkinGirl and I promptly got sidetracked and stopped by the Coco setup outside the preview building
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    Then hit up more drinks and some goodies at the Festival of the Holidays booths near Wine Country Trattoria
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    Wandered BACK into Bug’s Land!
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    …then BACK to the main drag and past Radiator Springs
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    At least we were finally making real progress towards Roxy. Meanwhile Jinx had eaten and was waiting in line for …you guessed it …another dose of Thor and Loki! Jinx shot a video that I had to break up into three chunks because he decided to flip the camera twice while filming

    Click here for the Grandmaster’s Intro and Thor’s Entrance

    Click here for Loki’s Entrance

    Click here for the two of them Bantering

    Hopefully Jinx got a better handshake than Roxy did the night before
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    Good banter of course
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    Pose time!
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    And a hug he had been too nervous to get the night before!
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    From there he was straight on to Cap
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    Good banter here too
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    And an excellent set of poses!
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    One more firm handshake and he was off
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    Click here for Chapter 35 - The Cove Delivers!
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018 at 2:55 PM
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  18. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

    Joined:
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    So much fun! I love all the pictures with Groot!
     
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  19. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

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    Thank you Jaina! It is amazing how full of life and expression he was - huge props to the character actor!
     
  20. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

    Joined:
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    Chapter 35 - The Cove Delivers!


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    While Jinx was getting his Hero time in we were seated at The Cove Bar, we managed a rail view looking out over the lagoon and the launch area for Cali Screamin’

    View over the rail
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    View looking out across the bar
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    We started looking over the drink menu
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    We knew we would be ordering the lobster nachos, we also decided on the tri-tip sliders. Both were wonderful! For drinks we of course had to get PumpkinGirl the Fun Wheel off the secret drink menu. I got the Zombie and Roxy got the Neverland Tea.

    Group selfie while we waited for our drinks
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    While waiting Jinx was till out exploring and ran into a new friend!
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    Huzzah, drinks!
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    We were doing some good-natured kidding of PumpkinGirl because she was already a bit tipsy before having the Fun Wheel
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    She took it well though
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    We had our drinks and ate …the food didn’t last long so I didn’t get a single picture of it. We were hungry!

    Afterwards I got a shot with Roxy and a slightly more tipsy PumpkinGirl – she was having a good time
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    We decided to head out and meet up with Jinx for one last ride on GotG. I went to pick up the ECV over by the rail and caught this spectacular shot of the lagoon.
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    We had thought about watching WoC but after the disaster that was Fantasmic! we had decided that we would much rather ride one more ride instead. We contacted Jinx and he met us on the way there. There would be no FastPass to be had at this time of the evening though, we would brave our one and only long wait for a ride – 70 minutes if I remember correctly.

    We wound our way around outside and really took our time when we got in, even letting people pass us
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    Happy smiling faces
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    A CM was nice enough to take a family shot
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    Out last interaction with Rocket
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    We weren’t sad though – we were all happy and enjoying every moment – lots of hugs and good conversation about our trip
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    One more hug from my Birthday Girl
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    And as we were loading Jinx’s cosplay was recognized by the CM loading us up and he said a Supernatural reference which completely went over my head but gave Jinx a wonderful grin. We had made sure we got the front row for out “last ride” and planned that our PumpkinGirl flash up a “21” while we pointed at her. Unfortunately she was still a little tipsy and reversed her two and one – lol

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    I am however a PhotoShop whiz so the one I posted on Facebook had those digits reversed and showing the proper “21”
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    Ran out of posting room so had to split this one off - next chapter being posted ASAP!


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    Click here for Chapter 36 - Wrapping up our Last Night
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018 at 2:56 PM
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  21. mnmrmustard

    mnmrmustard DIS Veteran

    Joined:
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    Chapter 36 - Wrapping up our Last Night


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    We took our time in the GotG gift shop afterwards and I came away with this little guy for my office
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    It of course plays “Come A Little Bit Closer” by Jay & the Americans, the song that plays while Yondu, Rocket and Baby Groot go on their rampage thru the Ravager ship. He sways back and forth while it plays. We got some other stuff including a GotG sweatshirt for Jinx and a shirt for PumpkinGirl. Can’t remember what else but there was more.

    By the time we came out the Collector’s Palace was shut down
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    We walked (and scooted) back up the nearly empty street towards the hub
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    One more shot of their festive tree
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    And I HAD to get a shot with the boys
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    Roxy dropped off the ECV and the kids decided they were done for the night so they headed back to the hotel. We however had one more stop to make before our adventure was done. Roxy and I had to hit the Jolly Holiday for some goodies to take home with us. We headed into Disneyland at about 8:30pm and decided to take a detour to hear the story of this gentleman

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    The theater was empty except for an older couple and a mom with her little girl, who was a very cute and very well-behaved little one. She had some great questions as we watched. Here are a few visual highlights of the show
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    Then the classic speech – moving as always
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    We came out right at 9pm to the show and another sprinkle of snow
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    The kiddos meanwhile had made it to our room so we finally got to see what the fireworks looked like from our window!
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    It took us 10 minutes to wade upstream and wait thru the line to make it inside the Jolly Holiday. I love the Mary Poppins vibe of this place, so very classic
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    We picked up several Matterhorn Macarons along with a couple of other macaron options including the raspberry rose, muffins, cookies, crème brulee, and I think some eclairs. Our goodies in hand we made our way out and back to the hotel just before 10pm. The kiddos had already showered and settled in so we took our showers and settled in.

    There was some small banter but we were all pretty bushed and turned in. We had arranged for a 1pm check-out and car pick-up so tomorrow morning was going to be as slow and low impact as we could manage. Tune in next time for one more walk to DTD, our journey home, and last thoughts.


    Day 5 Ride Count –

    - Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride x1
    - Haunted Mansion x1
    - Splash Mountain x2
    - Grizzly River Run x2
    - GotG x2

    Characters Met –

    - Groot
    - Thor & Loki
    - Captain America
    - Braer Bear

    Adult Beverage Walkabout Stops –

    - Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar
    - Carthay Circle Bar
    - Festival of the Holidays Booths x2
    - Cove Bar


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    Click here for Chapter 37 - Hub, Grub, and Up, Up, and Away!
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018 at 2:50 PM
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