Completed 11/4: Final Thoughts "It's a Bit Less Humid Today, Right?" - a September 2018 Trip Report

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by Araminta18, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. mcjaco

    mcjaco Kelp!

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    We were there the same week. Apparently, not at the same park on the same days!

    Good god, was it hot that trip....
     
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  2. Araminta18

    Araminta18 DIS Veteran

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    Oh my gosh, sooooooooo hot. I was not prepared for that heat + humidity, hence the constant lying to ourselves every morning that it was a bit less humid! :) Hope you still had fun :)
     
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  4. juuuliebeth

    juuuliebeth Mouseketeer

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    Wow. Just played some serious catch up with your report. Sounds like a wonderful time! Loved the Mary Poppins/Bert costumes. She's a favorite of mine too. Super jealous you got to meet here, as they capped her line both times I tried. :(

    I've heard service at 'Ohana hasn't been great recently, which makes me sad. It's the source of many wonderful memories for me. I'm headed back in March and plan to be vocal with my server to make sure I get as many as the appetizers as possible. They really are better than the meats, to me anyway. And that bread pudding! To die for.
     
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  5. PrincessP

    PrincessP DIS Veteran

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    This is turning out to be such a dream trip with all of the great table service meals and full park days. I love that you also take time to notice the special details....tiny doors....embossed design inside Woody’s lunchbox, etc.

    Victoria & Albert’s - wow!

    That lenticular photo at ToT....is that photopass? Only offered at certain times? So cool!
     
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  6. Araminta18

    Araminta18 DIS Veteran

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    Oh sad they capped her line! There was no one waiting to meet her; I guess it must ebb and flow. Hope you get to meet her some time! :)

    You can get more appetizers?! I had no idea! I definitely would have asked, cause the noodles and the salad were really good. Maybe we'll have to go back, get an earlier seating, and more appetizers! Hope your meal there is awesome :)

    It really did turn out to be a dream trip--Trevor even mentioned to me that he expected enjoy it, but he really had way more fun than he expected to. It was fantastic.

    Nope, the lenticular photo is an extra thing you can do at the exit of the Tower of Terror ride, right by where you could buy the regular ride photo. I believe it's offered any time the gift shop is open--just tell the CMs at the counter (where you'd buy the normal ride photo) that you want to do the lenticular photo and they'll take care of you. I think it may take a while to print if you wait for them to print the photo out (cause they have a special printer that does the lenticular effect--it's like printed on plastic!), but if you just take the photo and have them send it back to your resort (if you're staying on site), it doesn't take hardly any longer than a normal photopass picture. Definitely recommend it--it's super cool!
     
  7. Araminta18

    Araminta18 DIS Veteran

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    Thursday, September 20th (part 1):
    Marceline to the Magic Kingdom Tour

    Another early morning! We were up at 6:30 and at the bus stop at 7:05. This time we waited for the bus (rather than uber-ing to the MK), as it showed a time on the board for the MK bus to come. Honestly, we mostly waited for the bus because I forgot something in the room and Trevor had to run up and get it. We'd bought the MNSSHP shirt, but after trying it on, I decided I'd rather get it a size smaller. So we were going to bring it with us and try and exchange it. I'd set it right on the counter by the door so we would be sure to remember it, and of course, we forgot it! So Trevor ran back to get it.

    While waiting for Trevor to get back (and for the bus), we dug into my Sprinkles birthday cupcake. Best way to start the day: dark chocolate banana cupcake for breakfast! We also remarked to each other that it (for sure!) felt a bit less humid this morning! It didn't, but hey, hope springs eternal.
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    A little squished, but still good. Yea, still good.

    The bus came at 7:19. On the bus, there was a customized spiel: it started with "Welcome Foolish Mortals" and was Haunted Mansion themed! Mentioning the "macabre motorcoach" and to (of course) "beware of hitchhiking ghosts". I never heard a customized spiel like that on any of the other buses, and I just loved it. It was such a fun little touch. And bonus: the bus went directly to MK with no stops, and we arrived at 7:34.

    The first thing I noticed as we got off the bus was the really prominent smell of garlic! It wasn't unpleasant, just unexpected both at the MK and that early in the morning. According to the security guard, it was the Tony's Town Square restaurant. He may have been messing with us, but it makes sense. It was a bit of a funny start to the day--garlic at the MK!
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    We were let in to the Magic Kingdom at 7:45 on the dot, and we headed over to the Town Square Theater to check in for our tour: Marceline to the Magic Kingdom. We got our headsets, buttons, and "complimentary" water bottles, and sat down to wait for it to start. It was my first time in there, as we've never met Mickey nor eaten at Tony's, so I enjoyed the fun theming in there.
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    Our guide called us over a little after 8; Trevor was in the restroom and I got a little worried he'd miss it (I love him but he is SLOW in bathrooms), but luckily he came out only a minute or two after we'd gathered up.

    Our tour guide was Michael, from Buffalo, NY, and he was AMAZING. Funny, personable, super knowledgeable--everything you could want in a tour guide. He started off by telling us two of his pet peeves--one, it's Cinderella Castle, not Cinderella's Castle, and two, it's Walt Disney World, not Disney or Disneyworld. The second one was most important, 'cause he weaved that thread all throughout the tour: the whole park is a tribute to Walt, and the name is intended to reflect that tribute, from his brother Roy. It made for a really cohesive tour, constantly going back to and referencing how this is a tribute to Walt, how it reflects Walt's values and desires and ambitions. As people who don't know a lot about Walt Disney or the construction/history of the park, it was fascinating.

    Michael said this tour was much larger than he usually has--usually Marceline to the Magic Kingdom has 10 people, but our tour had 20 or so. I don't think that really affected our tour that much, except that we only rode Carousel of Progress and Haunted Mansion, and I'd read that other tours usually ride at least one more ride (Winnie the Pooh or Small World).
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    We started going up Main Street, where he pointed out how time moves forward as you move towards the castle, like the lamps start by being gaslit (or rather, look to be gaslit) and then become electric lights near the castle. We stopped at the hub where he talked a bit about how Walt lost the rights to Oswald and came up with the idea for Mickey on the way back after that trip to NY where he basically found out he'd lost Mickey. He also talked a lot about Roy and his involvement with the company and Walt, and really painted a touching portrait of brotherly love.
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    Our tour guide talking at us in the Hub, and the view into a completely empty Liberty Square. That was pretty neat!

    We then moved into Liberty Square and into the Haunted Mansion. We went through the entire queue, which he used to illustrate the concept of "plussing"--adding to something, making it better. He told us about the murder mystery in the busts, which you would never notice normally, but adds to the story and the queue, for those guests who do notice. Also, fun fact (maybe spoiler?): the murder mystery ends with the crazy aunt being the last one "dead', as she died because the matches in her hair caught fire. But Michael pointed out that in the hitchhiking ghosts tableau near the end of the ride, you can see a small picture of Cousin Maude that indicates that maybe she faked her death and just wants you to think she's dead. Plussing.
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    (I was really excited to get a picture of her with her eyes open!)

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    (the bride's ring!)

    It was really neat to go through the queue with him explaining all these fun trivia bits. And then we all rode with him telling some more trivia as we rode, which was also enjoyable. But the best part was afterwards: we got to go backstage, and see exactly how they make the effect with the disappearing ghosts in the ballroom. SO COOL. Just this alone is worth the tour. No pictures, but just really neat to be able to see. Highly recommend. :) (Also, they had glow in the dark tape that for some reason I found fascinating. I want some).

    We had to walk by the Tangled bathrooms to get to the door for going backstage, and as we did, Michael pointed out some of the hidden Pascals, and also Maximus's hoofprints in the pavement--they actually say "Maximus" in the hoofprints! And if you pay attention, the hoofprints terminate at a sack of apples, with a few apples being half-eaten--a very happy Maximus. :)
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    At that point, we took a 10 minute break (this was 9:50ish), and then we walked through Fantasyland, heading towards Tomorrowland. Michael did stop at the Carousel and tell us fun stories about Walt as a husband and father, which were really cute and helped to humanize this man of mythical proportions. Apparently his wife was wary of having kids for a while because of Walt's strong committment to his business and she didn't know how good of a father he'd be. But apparently he was amazing: there's the story of how his daughter didn't realize he was "THE" Walt Disney and asked for his autograph when she found out. And the story we didn't know was how he would have a Daddy daughter date where he'd take the girls to the park and they'd ride the carousel over and over again cause they kept catching the brass ring that gave them a free ride, never realizing that they kept catching the brass ring 'cause Walt was tipping the operator to make that happen. Michael also told us the fun story of about how much Lillian hated this old hat of Walt's and kept trying to get rid of it.

    We also walked by Winnie the Pooh and learned about how Walt basically made Winnie the Pooh a household name in the USA, because he read it to his girls who loved it, but it wasn't popular here until after Walt made the movie/tv show of it.

    We finally ended up by Carousel of Progress, where we got a theatre to ourselves and had Michael telling us fun trivia as we rode, including pointing out hidden mickeys.
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    After the ride, the tour ended outside the ride, because as Michael said, after 3 hours its no longer a tour, it's a hostage situation! :) Though honestly, we would have been very happy to have the tour go longer with Michael as a guide. We did tweet a compliment for him to WDWToday, as it was a fantastic tour. Interesting, informative, engaging--and not expensive (comparatively!). Highly recommend it. Trevor wasn't super excited to have to get up early for this, but it ended up being one of his favorite parts of the trip. Mine too. :)

    The tour over promptly at 11, we headed to the Emporium quickly to try and exchange my MNSSHP t shirt for the right size. They didn't have the right size (though they did look for me which I appreciated), but while they were checking, another cashier was amazing and helped me apply the AP discount to the MNSSHP t-shirt purchase (since Trevor bought it without me and he's not an AP holder) and to our purchases the day before at Pandora--the cashier said he applied it but it didn't take anything off. So Suny at the Emporium was able to apply the AP discount to both purchases, which was a huge help! We also tweeted a compliment for her as well. :)

    Done with that, we headed to our lunch ADR at the Plaza. The ADR was at 11:20, and we checked in right on time. We were seated almost immediately. This was our first time eating here; I was surprised by how small it is! But I like the whole art nouveau vibe. We were sat right next to the swinging doors heading into the kitchen which I didn't love, but wasn't a huge deal.
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    Trevor got the bottomless milkshake (strawberry :D) and I got their milkshake of the month, which was the birthday cake. That one is definitely more for instagram than for eating. The actually shake itself had kind of a weird aftertaste. But the cupcakes were good, and I'll be honest, as a frosting-aholic, I totally scraped the frosting off the cup and ate it. Yum. :)
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    For the food, Trevor ordered the Baked Honey-Barbecued Brisket Mac & Cheese, and I got the Chicken Strawberry Salad. Both of these were really good. My salad was huge, but very tasty. I loved all the flavors, with the cheese and strawberry and chicken...yum. And it was light--perfect on a hot day.
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    Trevor really loved his mac & cheese, though it was too big for him to eat. He doesn't like cheese a whole ton, but he loves mac & cheese with a cheese sauce, rather than like stretchy/melted cheese. And so this was perfect for him. :) We were both super happy with our dishes.
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    While we were eating, they had some of the citizens of main street come in and select a "junior mayor". It was this adorable little 4 year old at a nearby table--he was super cute, but a little overwhelmed. It was a fun little touch!
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    As we were leaving, our waitress brought us a chocolate milkshake to go, cause Trevor wasn't sure whether to get strawberry or chocolate first, and then he got strawberry but didn't eat enough to want to order a second milkshake. So the waitress brought him a chocolate milkshake to go! Very nice of her. A refreshing change from the service we had the night before at Ohana.

    From the Plaza, we headed to the Big Top to see if they had the MNSSHP shirt in the right size for me to do the exchange. We walked right by the Purple Wall, and they had a photopass photographer stationed there! Which I thought was strange, but hey, Disney is leaning into all these instagram things I guess. She didn't have a line, so we had to stop and get some pictures :)
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    We then made it to the Big Top without any more stops, and we were in luck! They had the shirt in the right size, and processed the exchange for me super quickly. This was also when I finally caved and bought a hat. I hate wearing hats, but the heat beating down on my head...too much. So I bought the Grape Soda baseball hat. The poor cashier was having a hard time ringing it up (not sure why?), and so gave us Dumbo stickers for the wait. We weren't in any hurry, so we didn't mind. Bonus stickers! :)
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    We had a fastpass for the Jungle Cruise from 12 to 1 pm, but we knew with the grace period we had until 1:15, so we took our time meandering from the Big Top through Fantasyland around to the Jungle Cruise. We first stopped back at Pinnochio Village Haus to sign the Blue Fairy's Wish Book, since we remembered to bring a pen this time. :)
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    Then, we were walking back through the Tangled bathrooms, and Trevor was like 'Wait! We need to look for more Pascals!" I didn't realize he'd be so into this, so I'd never mentioned it and the first time he heard about it was on the tour that morning. So we took 5 minutes or so and found almost all the Pascals? I think we were missing maybe 1. But it was fun. They're not hard to find, but require just enough effort to make you proud you found it. It was nice.
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    We made it to the Jungle Cruise at 12:55, and were on the boat at 1 pm. I don't have any memory of this cruise, so the skipper was likely fine, but nothing special.
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    (Jungle Cruise queue selfie!)

    After the cruise, we headed over to Splash Mountain for our 1pm-2pm fastpass. We got in line at 1:26, and they were passing out the new ziploc baggies! That was unexpected and kind of fun. We were on our log at 1:33, and got a little bit wet, which was exactly what we wanted on such a hot day. :)
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    We decided to go with "sleeping" for our picture :)

    After Splash, we decided to blow off our Big Thunder Mountain splash pass in favor of napping on Tom Sawyer island. We got lucky, and arrived at the rocking chairs a little after 2, just as a group was vacating. Score! We promptly fell asleep for about an hour or so. It was a little more oppressive than it was on Sunday (a little less humid HA!), but we still woke up feeling refreshed and not as exhausted.

    As we were heading back to the main park area, I was refreshing to see what fastpasses we could get and I got CRAZY lucky and scored a fastpass for seven dwarves starting at 3:45! So we had a little bit of time, and decided to stop by the ticketing office in Liberty Square. On the way we stopped at a couple photopass photographers, stationed in places I hadn't seen before--one right by the entrance to the Tom Sawyer rafts/Big Thunder mountain, and then on that little raft walkway.
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    We got into the office at about 3:30, and there were 3 people in front of us in line, and two people being helped. There were 2 other CMs there but they were doing other things behind the counter, not helping guests. It was kind of a long wait (like 15 minutes), as one of the groups wanted help making fastpasses for today and didn't understand why she couldn't get a fastpass for Space Mountain, or some of the other popular rides. But eventually we were called to the counter and got our questions answered quickly (I think I was asking about if we had to go to the front of the park to get the Disney After Hours wristband, and if I could pick up my AP magic band slider there, or if it would be mailed to me).

    And by that point it was time for our 7DMT fastpass! They were making announcements about weather heading our way but would keep running the ride as long as they could, and we had our ride with no issues. :) It was sprinkling a bit, but I guess no lightning.
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    It was sprinkling a bit more/stronger as we got off the ride, so we decided to head over to Gaston's Tavern for a Lefou's Brew and a cinnamon roll (AS BIG AS YOUR HEAD!). So this probably wasn't the best idea, since it was a little before 4 pm and we had a 5 pm ADR at Be Our Guest and then the dessert party afterwards. But hey, we're adults, you can't tell us what to do. And I really wanted this cinnamon roll.

    So we ducked in out of the rain, and there were 3 CMs at the counter. Two (the ones on each side) had long lines, but the CM in the middle had no line. A family arrived right before us and got in the long line of the CM on the end, so we asked the CM in the middle if he was open, and he said he was, so no wait for us! We ordered, and he asked if we wanted to play his game. And we of course said yes, 'cause Disney and we're always up for whatever. He asked us a couple (really easy) Beauty and the Beast trivia questions, and then gave us our cinnamon roll and Lefou's Brew for free! That was an unexpected bit of pixie dust. :)

    Unfortunately the cinnamon roll was slightly burned, but we'd remembered to ask for extra icing, so it all evened out. :)
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    Next up: Be our Guest dinner and Happily Ever After Dessert Party!
     
  8. Araminta18

    Araminta18 DIS Veteran

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    Thursday, September 20th (part 2):
    Be Our Guest dinner and HEA Dessert Party

    As we were finishing up with our pixie-dusted cinnamon roll and Lefou's brew, we were trying to decide what to do next, and I saw an immediate use fastpass for Space pop up on MDE, so we ended up deciding that I'd go and ride Space, and then meet up with Trevor to do one last spin on Monsters Inc Laugh Floor. In retrospect, not the best idea...I didn't get off Space until a minute or two before 4:30, and so we ended up just missing the 4:30 Monsters Inc Laugh Floor show. The show didn't start until 4:55 ish, so we ended up ducking out early (I know, I know, we were that couple that leaves in the middle of the show...but we sat at the end of the row so we weren't disturbing anyone!) and racing up to Be Our Guest.
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    We checked in about 5 minutes late, but we were seated almost immediately.
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    I was hopeful that the atmosphere would be a little better for dinner, after the crazy noisiness of BOG for lunch, but no dice. It was still ridiculously loud. We were seated in the Ballroom, near the entrance to the West Wing. Out waitress was good too, but really just the noise is overwhelming and ridiculous. They need to add soundproofing or reduce the number of covers or something. We again could hardly hear the music, or each other. Made it difficult to talk.

    The food was delicious though. Trevor got the Mixed Field Greens for his appetizer, and I got the Assorted Meats and Artisanal Cheese Selection. Both were delicious (we kind of split them).
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    In between the appetizers and the entrees, we got the bread, which was still the old baguettes. Which I'm not complaining about--they were yummy. :)
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    For entrees, we both got the center cut filet mignon. Trevor had been so impressed with all of my steaks over the trip that he wanted to have his own steak. And they were both delicious. Tender, well cooked, a great sauce, not too salty. Yum.
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    (a really ugly photo...I promise in real life it looks way more appetizing!)

    And dessert was that sampler. I think my favorite was the raspberry macaroon, but then I'm a sucker for fresh raspberries. I think the grey stuff needs some fresh fruit or something to cut that richness. Also, because I was curious and none of the reviews spelled it out, it is a hollow cup *completely* filled with grey stuff, not a solid cup with some grey stuff on top.
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    We did rush through dinner a bit, cause we weren't sure about checking in for the dessert party and didn't want to be too late. The waitress brought me a birthday card signed by Belle and the Beast, so that was nice.

    We hopped in line to meet the Beast on our way out, and were second in line, behind a mother/daughter adult pair. The Beast was taking his break, but they said he'd be back in 5 minutes, so we were happy to wait.
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    This is my "I don't have kids so I'm complaining about families with kids at Disneyworld" ridiculousness, so feel free to ignore/tell me I'm ridiculous. A family (mom and 2 kids) had taken pictures with the Beast earlier, but the pictures apparently didn't turn out, so they asked the CM if they could quickly duck in first and take pictures with the Beast. The CM asked us and the mother/daughter in front of us if this was ok, and of course we said it was, but when the Beast came out, they ended up doing a full interaction with the Beast. First the little girl was scared of him, so just the boy and the Beast took pictures, and then the little girl started to warm up, so the Beast took pictures with the girl and her brother, and then the little girl really gained her confidence and was teasing the Beast, hugging him and running away and then coming back and dancing in front of him, while the mom snapped pictures of them. Then the CM started to (finally) prompt them to leave and the mom handed her phone to the CM and had the CM take a bunch more posed pictures of her with the Beast and her kids. They finally left, after about 3 or 4 minutes with the Beast.

    Not that much time, but it feels like it when you're waiting and were told that they just wanted to quickly sneak in and take a picture. I totally understand wanting a cute interaction, and taking advantage of it, but didn't they do that interaction the first time? Why do it again, especially when you're essentially cutting in line? It just was a little rude, to me.

    Our interaction was very rushed, but nice. I was a little bummed to realize the Beast can't actually sign pictures, as I had one that I wanted him to sign, but oh well. :)
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    Once done with the Beast, we headed over to the Terrace to check in for our dessert party. We of course stopped at a photopass photographer who didn't have a line on the way!
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    The dessert party was the "before" dessert party, so I was a bit anxious about getting a spot in the garden before the "after" people took up all the space. I was trying to ignore that feeling, since not having to rush to stake out a spot was the whole reason we booked the party! But it was super crowded, which didn't help with that feeling.

    We checked in at about 6:45, and got a reserved table. Instead of being up with the other garden people, we were put down in the group of tables just above where the terrace party sits, which I thought was a bit odd. Anyways. As we were sitting down, we saw a couple with "Disney After Hours" lanyards, so we asked where they got them, and they told us right by Stitch! So Trevor and I ran over there quickly, got our wristbands (and got lanyards too, when I asked for them), and came back to the dessert party.

    We were supposed to use the dessert line that the Terrace was using, and it was a long line. Like, 10 minutes or so. Ridiculous. I got several chocolate covered strawberries, and tried to get one of each other thing so Trevor could try them all (he'd run to the bathroom). A lot of the desserts were the same as the ones we'd had at the MNSSHP Hallowishes dessert party, so I focused on getting the things I liked and the new things. We ended up liking the strawberries the best again, so we asked a CM for a to-go box and to-go cup, and headed to the other food line ('cause the Terrace one still had a long line, but the Garden one had no line at all), filled up on strawberries and milk, and headed to the garden. Lots of people had gotten to go boxes, though we saw several plates stacked up on the trashcan so apparently some people just used the regular plates).
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    We of course headed for the back left corner, and were lucky enough to find a spot mostly unobstructed by poles and things. We sat down and just chilled. The garden was already fairly full, so I was glad we'd gotten down there when we did.
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    Even as the garden filled up, it never got any kind of crowded like it did outside the garden. We particularly enjoyed hearing the CM assigned to keep the path behind the garden clear constantly repeating to new people that they couldn't stand there. Honestly guys, if you find a clear spot 5 minutes before the fireworks, it's not a spot for you to stand in to watch the fireworks--you didn't just magically find a perfect spot that no one noticed! Cracked me up. Even with the "crowds" in the garden, once we all stood up to watch the fireworks, there was plenty of space to move around if kids were put on shoulders, etc etc.
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    HEA was scheduled for 8 pm, but at 7:55 they announced it would be delayed. Then at 8 pm, they announced it would start at 8:10. So not too bad of a delay, thankfully, since we had Disney After Hours afterwards!
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    (Trevor took this amazing photo!)

    Once it started I was blown away. I didn't have a big attachment to Wishes, since I'd only seen it once, so I was open to a new show. I loved it! Especially all the fun 90s throwbacks--Tarzan, Hunchback, Hercules....loved it all! Fantastic.

    After the fireworks, most people left the garden, but we hung out to watch Once Upon a Time at 8:45. That was pretty fun--I don't know that I'd make time to catch it every trip, but it was fun seeing it for the first time. I really like how well-done all the projections are. You wouldn't think the castle would be a good projection backdrop, but it really is. I'm fascinated by the mechanics of it, even though I don't know hardly anything about how its actually done.
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    Once Upon a Time was done right before 9 pm, which was also when the park closed, and when Disney After Hours started!

    We really wanted to just go with the flow for Disney After Hours, so the only plan we'd made was that we would start in Tomorrowland and make our way counterclockwise across the park, saving Fantasyland for the end of the night. So when Once Upon a Time ended, we were ready and booked it over to Space Mountain. Originally I was going to ride it solo, but then Trevor decided that he wanted to try it too, so we got to ride it together! There was a fairly large crowd heading that way, but most of them got turned away, as they weren't participating in DAH. I felt bad for them (a little bit), but mostly excited we could waltz right on! We got in line at 9:01, and boarded at 9:07 (seriously that queue is THE LONGEST QUEUE EVER). Trevor liked the space touches in the queue, but we were moving quick so he didn't get to spend a lot of time looking at them.
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    As for the ride, he was a bit nervous, but he ended up liking it! And we got a rocket to ourselves, so it's just me and him in the picture. :) However, for some reason, the picture didn't show up on the screens, so we had to go all the way around that stupidly long exit path (we weren't given the option to ride again without going all the way back around to the front), and then into the gift shop with a nice, but slow CM to get the pictures put on our band. I agree with the people who said it would be nice if DAH was just one hour longer, cause at times like this, waiting for something, it started to make me count the minutes, etc. It took like 10 minutes to get our picture, but eventually we got it, and headed further into the park.
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    We were heading for Dumbo! We got on at 9:25 and had a blast. :)
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    We headed over to the Barnstormer, where we boarded at 9:28 and were off at 9:32. That's a fun little ride--they were letting people stay on if they wanted to ride again, but we wanted to keep going.
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    We walked through Fantasyland and the long lines for 7DMT and Peter Pan, heading towards probably the Haunted Mansion, when I saw the Tangled lantern photo opportunity!! This was something I'd wanted but had completely forgotten about, and this was our only opportunity, so we hopped in line. It didn't look too bad, and I guess it really wasn't, but we got in line at 9:37 and were done at 10:01, so 24 minutes. Which, for an event like this, is kind of a long line. And what really bothered me was that most of the line was people who weren't doing Disney After Hours (no wristbands). The family right in front of us was a group of 10, and they did a ton of individual shots and various permutations of group shots. *sigh* If the CMs were enforcing the wristbands like they should have been, the line would have been a lot shorter. *sigh* oh well. We did take advantage of the line to get stuff from the snack carts--Trevor ran to the cart by the Haunted Mansion exit and got us a water bottle and a Mickey bar and an Olaf bar. So that made the time pass. :) And it was nice to enjoy just being in the Magic Kingdom.
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    Anyways, we were done with the photo at 10:01, and the photos did turn out beautifully, I'm just grouchy. :)
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    Next up: Disney After Hours continues!
     
  9. Araminta18

    Araminta18 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Thursday, September 20 (part 3):
    Disney After Hours continues!

    After the lantern photos, we (me mostly) were really feeling the "loss" of time, so we headed towards Big Thunder Mountain, stopping on the way to grab a popcorn from a cart (no lines!). It was kind of fun to be basically running through Frontierland with no crowds or anything.
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    We got in line for Big Thunder at 10:07, and were on the ride at 10:10. They were only running one side (though they were running both sides of Dumbo? no rhyme or reason), and we weren't allowed to stay on. But we got right back in line and were boarding again at 10:18. They opened up the second side as we were getting off our second ride, so not sure why it wasn't open originally.

    We decided to go ahead and ride Splash Mountain, though I was a bit worried about getting stuck or getting backed up. But Trevor wanted to ride it again ('cause it was still pretty hot) and I was up for that, so off we went. We were in line at 10:23, and on the ride at 10:26. (Side note: all the rides so far were using the regular queues, except for Big Thunder which was using the fastpass line). We got off at 10:41, so no real backup, thankfully! :)
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    We decided to be zombies for this ride

    From there, we headed towards Adventureland. We opted to skip Pirates in favor of more outdoor rides, and went for Jungle Cruise. We stopped on the way at a cart and got a bottle of Sprite and a frozen banana. The CM stopped us and said we couldn't take the banana on the ride, so I opened it up and took a bit, but it had nuts! Blech! So that went in the trash and we got on the ride.
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    We were in line at 10:48, and on the ride at 10:53, with a full boat. We had an amazing skipper--she was super funny! Early on in the cruise she did the joke asking "who believes the captain should go down with the ship?" and then picks one of the people who raises their hand and says "this is your new captain, captain [their name]" So she did that with this teenager named Brayden, and it became a running joke throughout the ride, her yelling "Captain Brayden!!!" when she got "scared" or things were going "wrong". It was hilarious! Hard to explain, but it was super funny.

    We headed to ride Aladdin's carpets after Jungle Cruise, and Captain Brayden and his family were on the carpets with us, so we of course yelled "CAPTAIN BRAYDEN!" He was a good sport about it, but his family, and us, and a couple other people who were on that Jungle Cruise ride were having a ball with it. :)
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    We stayed on to ride the carpets again, trying to get the camel to spit on us. :) We got off our second ride at 11:15 and decided it was time to head up to Fantasyland! On our way there, we saw the Main Street Vehicles were out and running, which was unexpected, but nice.

    Peter Pan was routing people through the standby line (YAY!), so we got to play in the queue, with the shadow bells and tinkerbell. :) I love that queue. We got in the queue at 11:21, on the ride at 11:24, and off at 11:28.
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    We grabbed two more waters from a cart, and then decided to ride 7DMT again, as the line was posted at 15 minutes, and I didn't think it would really be that long. But it was neat to go through the standby queue--I spent a lot of time spinning the barrels! We got in line at 11:30, and were boarding at 11:38, and off at 11:42. So not 15 minutes! :) Though the person in front of me in the car totally blocked my face in the photo. Oh well, it's not like I don't have several other ride photos.
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    At that point, we decided to ride the Carousel, since we hadn't yet ridden it this trip. I loved the emptiness of Fantasyland at that time, and being able to see the castle change colors.
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    There was (of course) no line for the Carousel, and we had a fun ride, getting off at 11:50.
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    Also, fun fact, per Michael our tour guide: the Carousel is the only ride you can see from Main Street, as that was Walt's original vision--evoking the fun of a day with the kids riding a Carousel with their families. :) Looking this way, you can see the train station. The scrim kind of ruins it a bit, but hey, oh well.
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    We originally were thinking we'd end the night in Fantasyland, 'cause I'd read that sometimes the princesses come out of the FairyTale Hall at the end of the night and you can interact with them. However, Trevor wanted to ride Astro Orbiter at night, and since he so rarely expresses a preference (and is usually happy to go along with what I want), I figured that was a better bet than maybe possibly meeting princesses. So we booked it over to Astro Orbiter, and got in line at 11:55, but the elevators were being slow, so we didn't actually board the ride until 12:02. So definitely our last ride of the night, but it was worth it, soaring above the Magic Kingdom, all lit up. And it was a nice breeze. :) The only other group with us on the ride was a father and son from Brazil, so I again had fun talking with them in Portuguese. The little boy was so cute!
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    Anyways, after the ride, we meandered slowly to the hub, where they had lots of photographers out, so you can bet your bottom we got in line for pictures! The wait for a picture with the Castle was about 15 minutes, but totally worth it. And we made friends in line, so not bad. :) We also got pictures with Main Street in the background. These lines didn't bother me, since technically After Hours was over :) And we got to see the Kiss Goodnight at both 12:15 and 12:30. I love that little touch, always kind of makes me tear up a bit.
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    The shops on Main Street were closed up tight, but we didn't want to leave! So we slowly meandered our way down, taking pictures and just enjoying being one of the few people still in the park. We noticed fun little details, like the pumpkins carved with Casey's themes. But mostly just didn't want to leave, and have such a fun day end.
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    But eventually we left the park and got in the bus line at 12:39. This made the magic come totally crashing down (ok, that's a bit hyperbolic, but this part definitely wasn't magical). They had Swan/Dolphin/Beach/Yacht and Boardwalk all at one bus stop. The first bus came at 12:44, and we couldn't all fit, so we ended up waiting for the next bus. Which didn't come until 1:01. We left at 1:06am, and ended up going to the Swan and Dolphin (not Beach/Yacht Clubs thankfully!), and not arriving to the Boardwalk until 1:34. BLECH. They really need to fix the bus situation. We probably should have ubered, but we didn't want to walk all the way to the Contemporary. *shrugs*

    My sleep app says we went to bed at 2:14 am. Very late indeed. But worth it, except for the stupid buses at the end of the night. :)

    Fun with Metrics:
    Steps Walked: 22,744 (9 miles)
    Total AP discounts: $22.60
    Ride Total (Tiffany): 19.5 (Haunted Mansion, Carousel of Progress, Jungle Cruise, Splash Mountain, 7DMT, Space Mountain, 1/2 of Monsters Inc Laugh Floor, Space Mountain, Dumbo, Barnstormer, Big Thunder x2, Splash Mountain, Jungle Cruise, Aladdin's Magic Carpets x2, Peter Pan, 7DMT, Carousel, Astro Orbiter) *bold rides are ones done as part of Disney After Hours)
    Ride Total (Trevor): 18.5 (He rode everything I did, except for the one ride on Space Mountain during the day)
     
  10. QueenJen

    QueenJen Mouseketeer

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    Messages:
    267
    I do this all.the.time.....drives dh crazy and he is usually not in the best mood when he has to grab something just inside the house......at Disney on the other hand, he is all smiles and happy to go back to the room from the bus stop (a really long walk). :confused3

    Cool - I'll have to remember to look up, down, and around more.

    Funny how that happens.

    What is that guy doing?

    Very inconsiderate.

    Ugh...almost an hour is horrible.
     
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  11. Cloe Colton

    Cloe Colton DIS Veteran

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    Messages:
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    What a successful After Hours party!

    I totally agree with you about the families and photopass. Idk if its a new trend or what but I encountered the same experience as you at least three times on my last trip. Where they wanted one family photo, one with the grandparents and kids, one with the family and grandparents, okay now just the kids, now each kid individually. And I get it, I do. But its also not fair when half of your kids didn't want to be in one picture and now we have to wait for you to coerce them into twenty-five?? It's ridiculous. I feel guilty when me and my sister take one and then my Mom hops in and that takes probably an additional ten seconds. I just think if you're going to take that many, be so prepared that it doesn't feel like its really slowing anything down!
     
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  12. Araminta18

    Araminta18 DIS Veteran

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    LOL I know, right? I guess it's just more of that Disney magic :)

    There were so many details in the queue that he pointed out--so many throwbacks to imagineers and just fun details. If you like the Haunted Mansion, the tour is well worth it for all those fun details!

    I have *no* idea! It looks a bit...strangle-y, doesn't it?

    Yea, not my favorite part.

    It was--highly recommend it! Definitely worth the upcharge.

    Oh gosh, right? I mean, I understand wanting lots of permutations, but when you have to coerce the kids? Ugh. No. So rude. Like you say--be prepared and don't dither trying to figure out what shots you want now. Good grief.
     
  13. kclark9830

    kclark9830 Mouseketeer

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    499
    Wow, I don't even know where I start! First of all, the tour sounds super fun. If I ever convinced Micheal to do an adults only trip, I think we would both like it.

    I definitely want to eat at The Plaza. Trevor got exactly what I wanted. Yummy!

    And DAH sounds fabulous, even though I'd be dragging because, well, I go to bed at 9 most nights. :rotfl2:

    I LOVE all of your pics at the end of the night. So pretty!!!

    We never had to share a bus while we were there, so I guess I should count my blessings!
     
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  14. Araminta18

    Araminta18 DIS Veteran

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    DO it! The tour was an unexpected highlight. :)

    The Plaza seems to be a bit of a hidden gem. And even if the food is a bust, bottomless milkshakes! You can hardly go wrong. :)

    DAH is *so* worth it. Normally I'd be dragging that late too (I usually end up falling asleep around 10!), but with the heat, being out when it's slightly cooler was nice. And Trevor is a total night owl, so it worked really well for him. Then you get the bonus of being able to take all sorts of fun pics at the end of the night, when you're trying to make the day last just a little bit longer, since it was such a good day.

    Oooh, jealous! The sharing buses at nights was one of the only irritatants/downsides. Boardwalk was always last and it takes just so long to go through the Swan and Dolphin and Yacht Club and Beach Club. But hey, if that was the worst part of the trip, it was a pretty amazing trip!
     
  15. Stasieki

    Stasieki DIS Veteran

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    What a great day!!!! There is a DAH on the day we leave Disney in Feb. Totally trying to talk DH into staying one extra day. Problem is our DDs are already missing soooo much school.
     
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  16. Araminta18

    Araminta18 DIS Veteran

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    Oooh, do it! I mean, I say that without having kids to think about taking out of school, but it really was fantastic. Being able to stay on the rides, and just the more lighthearted attitudes of the CMs, etc. It just seemed more relaxed. Good luck convincing your DH! :)
     
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  17. PrincessP

    PrincessP DIS Veteran

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    The Marceline to the MK tour sounds amazing. I am definitely putting it on a wish list for DH and myself to do in the future. Love the Maximus hoof prints! My son figured out the HM busts telling a murder mystery on our trip in June. Some people notice those special things. I tend to be too concerned trying to make sure my kids get on their favorite rides...and then miss those details. The tour seems like a great way to slow down and APPRECIATE. :goodvibes

    Sounds like a fantastic DAH. I think all your research and background knowledge really helped you and Trevor maximize and appreciate each moment. It is probably why Trevor enjoyed this trip even more than he thought he would. :thumbsup2

    The little “Chip cup” of the gray stuff- too adorable!!

    Bummer that Beast couldn’t sign your special book. My kids met Beast back when he and Belle did a m&g in Epcot. Belle signed for him back then.

    Wonderful photos as always. :wizard:
     
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  18. StarWarsMomofGirls!

    StarWarsMomofGirls! DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
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    2,350
    That was a pretty epic day! Wholy Moly!!!!!

    That is an excellent problem to have!

    Best breakfast ever! Well, I did let my girls one trip eat a carmel apple and lolipop for breakfast, soooo basically the same thing.

    I need to check that out! We love Tangled.

    My husband ordered this awhile back and it was MUCH different looking. Mostly the mac n cheese was more brick shaped.

    I love that this is your thing now! And good idea! You guys had a long day!

    Amazing! That cinnamon roll is a must have for my daugther once a trip.

    The main ballroom is loud. But I remember our dinner being at least more relaxed than the breakfast we had there.

    No, that is annoying either way. My daughter was have freaked out that they "cut" in line. That is just parents taking advantage of people being kind. I also hate when people ask stuff like that. You say no and you are a jerk.

    Where would you recommend trying to stand? We are doing the after party version and I am very much looking forward to it. As the crowds in the general area are just crazy and my family HATES waiting in them.

    I love the girl TOTALLY photobombing you.

    Astro Orbiter isn't very exciting but I think that is the best way to finish off the night and the best time to ride it!
     
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  19. Araminta18

    Araminta18 DIS Veteran

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    Wow, I'm impressed that your son figured out the busts were telling a murder mystery! I don't ever notice those details on my own, which I think is probably part of the reason we loved the tour so much. Like you said, it is a good way to slow down and appreciate.

    funny you say that--the card I got looked like the Beast's name was signed in Belle's handwriting! Maybe that's the thing? *shrugs*

    Aw, thank you! :)

    That sounds AMAZING for breakfast. I approve :)

    LOL i'll be honest--brick shaped mac n cheese doesn't sound very appealing! But then I don't like mac n cheese anyways, so.... :)

    It's *totally* our thing now. A good compromise between my "go go go" which I can't seem to let go of in the MK, and Trevor's need to relax. One day we'll actually check out the rest of the island...one day!

    Right? no way to say no to a request like that without being horrid. :( But if that was the worst thing that happened, we had a pretty awesome trip :)

    Oh, definitely the back left corner, but there's a pole with the Mickey wreath on it, so not as far in the corner as you might would stand if the wreaths weren't up. But honestly, there really are tons of good spots, and even room to move around for a better spot once the show starts if you feel like where you are isn't working. My one caveat would be that if you want a picture from the photopass photographer in the garden, do that before heading over to the back left, cause once you're there, as the garden fills up it gets awkward to move back to the photographer, cause everyone is sitting down and sprawled out. Once the fireworks starts, everyone stands up and there's more room to move, but the photographer is gone by then and who wants to take pics during the show?

    LOL right? Me too :)

    I wasn't super excited, but you're right, it ended up being a great way to end, and a great way to not waste time since it is *such* a slow loading ride.
     
  20. Araminta18

    Araminta18 DIS Veteran

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    Friday, September 21st (part 1):
    Bon Voyage Character Breakfast and Food & Wine

    We got up around 8 this morning, only to find the Tragical Express envelope had been slipped under the door. Sadness. :( But we stuck the envelope on the counter and ignored it.
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    We had a breakfast reservation at 9am, at Trattoria al Forno on the Boardwalk. I really enjoyed these times when we were just staying nearby and could walk to our meal, or the park...so nice! No need to worry about transportation, just walked on down to breakfast.

    Anyways, the Bon Voyage Character Adventure breakfast! We checked in at 8:55 and had probably the longest wait for a table all trip: we were sat at 9:08. It seemed pretty busy there, but not too loud, or too crowded.
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    They first brought out the pastries, which were much better than I was expecting, especially the sun. It was a flaky pastry which I loved, as opposed to like a solid shortbread cookie or something that it looked like.
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    I ordered the Royale breakfast: Oak-grilled Steak, Cheesy-Egg Torte, and Fonduta with Breakfast Potatoes and crispy Onion. The steak was good, but I didn't really like the torte.
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    Trevor couldn't decide between the Tower of Pancakes: Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes and Seasonal Fruit Compote with Bacon or Sausage and the Golden Frittata: Salumi, Piquillo Pepper, Scallion, and Pecorino Romano Cheese with Breakfast Potatoe, so the server brought both! That was nice. We kind of split everything so we could taste it. Everything was really good--little nitpicks here and there but overall yummy.
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    We had great interactions with all four of the characters, though Ariel asked if I had a "thingamabob" and I said no, before realizing that she meant an engagement ring! Since we're married, and I most definitely have an engagement ring, I felt a bit awkward once I realized and spent the rest of the greet trying to hide my left hand! The one weird character thing was when we saw Prince Eric hugging/squeezing a waitress...maybe they're dating/good friends in real life but it looked super sketchy when he's supposedly Prince Eric! Hopefully no kids saw! :)
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    We got our pictures signed, and then had Flynn and Rapunzel sign our mini cast-iron frying pan. I think this may be something they get a lot--Flynn seemed...over the whole frying pan thing. But he still signed it, mostly happily. :) I also would pay money for a Flynn/Rapunzel joint meet and greet--the few times they interacted (cause they meet separately) they were hilarious.
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    About halfway through our meal they had a parade with the kids through the restaurant, which was cute. But we had more fun watching these two little girls near our table trying to get up the nerve to join the parade. Finally, they seemed to agree they'd both join in, but when the parade got near, the little sister shoved her older sister into the parade and then RAN back to her table. It was *hilarious*. :)

    We also continued our glow cube collection: Pascal and Tinkerbell. I got Pascal. Trevor got Tinkerbell. Cause that's the kind of couple we are. For those keeping track at home, this brings us up to: 2 poison apple glow cubes, 3 regular square glow cubes, the Headless Horseman glowing straw ornament, a Pandora unadelta seed, Buzz Lightyear, and then Pascal and Tinkerbell. :D

    After breakfast, we dropped the frying pan off at the room and then headed down to Epcot. We got there a little bit before the World Showcase opened, so we got some photopass pictures, and then grabbed a seat by one of the kiosks in the shade, and waited for it to open.
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    You can also see the clouds already gathering for the noon rainstorm...
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    To open the World Showcase, they did a cute little ceremony! They had a rope and then they picked two little kids to help, and gave them some confetti to toss in the air while saying "world showcase is open!". Not a big thing, but cute.
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    (Trevor waiting for World Showcase to open)

    We had a fastpass for Frozen from 10:20 to 11:20, so we were (quickly) making our way around the World Showcase when we got some pixie dust! We were one of the only people that far back in the Showcase, and right next to the American pavilion, they had some characters out for meet and greets! We got to meet King Louie, Baloo, and Tigger! That was pretty fun--no lines, practically no other people. We didn't have our pictures with us to have them sign, which was a bummer, but it was still fun to meet them. I dunno how often they have characters here, but this was right at 11 am. If you happen to be back in World Showcase then, might be worth stopping by.
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    We kept moving along to Norway, and made it for our fastpass just before it expired.
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    Afterwards, we were passing the Thailand booth, so we stopped and got the Marinated Chicken with Peanut Sauce and Stir fried vegetables. This was an epic bust. Just...not good. Weird textures, taste was meh, it was just not good on all levels.
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    We were heading towards the Festival Center, so we stopped at Taste Track to get the taste of the Thailand chicken out of our mouth with a croissant donut with chocolate frosting and marshmallows and chocolate gelato. This was amazing. I thought it would just be a sugar bomb, but it was really good. Flaky and sweet and then the gelato...yum. I approve. Super messy to eat though.
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    After eating the cronut and a quick bathroom break, we stopped by the Festival Center so I could get my AP cutting board. They had a ton, which was nice. Even though they ran out of the flasks at the Light Lab, and the cups for Remy's Hide and Squeak (and apparently they're out of the Bailey milkshake glass at the Ireland booth too?), they had plenty of the cutting boards. :)

    It was a quick duck in and out for the cutting board (which fit nicely in my purse, huzzah!) and we headed towards Club Cool, taking some pictures on the way.
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    At Club Cool, I wanted Trevor to try Beverly--bwahahahaha. His reaction was underwhelming, but I suppose it serves me right. :)

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    We were hot and decided to get a slushy, but the nice CM gave it to me for free 'cause it was my birthday! She also loved my Stitch button. :) She even made a nice Mickey in my slushie. Awesome.
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    (I'm sharing the picture of me only because I look maniacal, and I have no idea how I managed that...but it makes me laugh :D)

    From there, we decided to hit up those booths in the "Eats" section. We started at Coastal Eats and got the Baked Shrimp Scampi Dip with Sourdough Baguette. I don't like shrimp, but this was a yummy dip. I just ate around the shrimp. :)
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    However, it had been cloudy all morning and finally the rain started. Luckily it started slow so we were able to finish our dip and duck into Figment to wait out the rain. There ended up being a standby line, but the app had plenty of immediate use fastpasses so we fastpassed it. Even when the whole point is to wait out the rain I hate waiting in line!
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    (aw, Robin Williams. RIP :( )

    It was Trevor's first time on Figment...wow, that ride is sad. I was smart and had plugged my nose in anticipation of the skunk smell! After the ride we played around a bit in the play area, including taking pictures in the photo booths. I'd show those pics, but they get loaded to your account just as 4 separate pictures, not as the strip. And I'm being too lazy to combine them into a photostrip using editing right now, sooooo no pictures here.
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    After the ride, the rain had mostly stopped, so we went back to the food booths. First up, Flavors from Fire. It was a bit crowded, and apparently the rain makes the wood there super slippery, so most of the seating/standing areas were closed off and what was left was packed. But we were able to share a table with another group.

    We got the Piggy Wings (Roasted pork wings with Korean BBQ sauce and Sesame seeds):
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    The piggy wings were a bit disappointing--a bit burned and just meh. We get korean bbq pork jerky from Costco back home, and that's really good but this was just meh.

    Charred Chimichurri Skirt Steak on a smoked corn cake with pickled vegetable slaw and cilantro aioli:
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    The chimichurri skirt steak was really good, especially with the slaw and the cilantro aioli--our steak was nice and tender and a good cut. I didn't much care for the corn cake--too much corn. But the steak was delicious.

    and Chocolate Picante dark chocolate mousse with cayenne pepper, chili powder and mango.
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    The chocolate picante was really good--I would have preferred more mango to cut the heat, but still, better than I was expecting. :)

    At that point, we were pretty tired and decided to head back to the hotel. Though I realized we were passing the Earth Eats booth and there wasn't a line, so I quickly got the Steakhouse Blended Burger: Blended Beef and Wild Mushroom Slider with Brie Cheese Fondue, Arugula, Truffle and Blue Cheese Potato Chip on a Brioche Bun.
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    This needed more sauce--the bun was dry and there was so much of it proportionally. But the taste of the burger itself was good. We liked the blue cheese potato chip too. But the proportions needed to be fixed--less bun, more meat, more sauce.

    We kept heading towards the International Gateway, but the Hawaii booth also didn't have a line, and it was right there on the way, so we got the Spicy Mayonnaise and the Teriyaki-glazed SPAM® Hash with Potatoes, Peppers, Onions and Spicy Mayonnaise.
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    I'd heard so much good things about the hash, but it was mostly just salty and unimpressive. I mean, good for spam, but overall, meh. Would have been better with more sauce.

    We also got the Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour DOLE® Pineapple Chutney.
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    The Pork slider was good, but was overwhelmingly soggy and also needed more spicy mayonnaise.

    We stopped at the Almond Orchard booth to get a cup of just the banana soft serve, and that was cold and yummy and amazing. Highly recommend it. They also gave us a ton of soft serve, more than comes with the sundae. It was fantastic and hit the spot, since we were hot and tired.
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    Continuing towards the International Gateway, we made one last stop at the Australia booth. We got the Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies and the Lamington: Yellow Cake Dipped in Chocolate and Shredded Coconut.
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    I don't much like coconut, but we'd been watching Zumbo's Just Desserts on Netflix and they had done a whole challenge with Lamingtons, so I wanted to try it. :) And it was good! Not my favorite 'cause of the coconut, but still good. And the Lamb Chop was good too--the potato chip crumbs on top were an unexpected good touch. And there was plenty of the mint pesto, which was appreciated after several dishes that needed more sauce.

    Anyways, after Australia, we finally made our way out of Epcot and back to the hotel....or did we? Find out in part 2! :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
  21. Araminta18

    Araminta18 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
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    1,188
    Friday, September 21 (part 2):
    Food and Wine

    So, I left off with us leaving Epcot and heading back to the room to take a nap. We did make it back to the hotel without any further stops, but once at the the hotel, we did make one more detour. :)

    For the past several days there had been a sign in the lobby saying "The Attic" was on the third floor. Trevor really wanted to check this out; he thought it was referring to the balcony-type room over top of the lobby. So we checked it out. It did not refer to what Trevor thought--it was the balcony room over the top of Jellyrolls. I guess there was a reception or dinner or something there later that evening, but it was empty (and open) at the moment, so we poked around. Really cute and fun! Like a beach cottage. Gorgeous views.
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    After our little exploration, we headed back to our room and slept. We slept from about 2:20ish until about 5. I remember waking up at 4 and being like, "nope, more sleep". :)

    Our original plan was to do Hollywood Studios that night, but since we'd eaten at the Brown Derby on our first day, and seen the fireworks, we decided that we'd go back to Epcot and knock out the rest of our Food and Wine list. That would let us spend Saturday morning before our departure at Hollywood Studios without having to bother park hopping back to Epcot.

    So back to Epcot we walked, melting all the way. In Epcot we passed a guy double-fisting ice cream. He had the right idea! :)

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    We headed around the World Showcase to pick up eating where we'd left off, in Germany. We got the Schinkennudeln: Pasta Gratin with Ham, Onions and Cheese. It was really good! Too hot, but really good. If it cools down in November, this would definitely be a winner.
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    Next up was Africa, where we got the Berbere-style Beef Tenderloin Tips with Onions, Jalapeños, Tomato and Pap. This was also surprisingly good. I wasn't super psyched for it, but I ended up loving the pap. It was spicier than I expected, which Trevor appreciated. Another winner if it cools down. :)
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    Around the showcase we continued, to India! We were originally going to get the Naan with the dips, but the reviews said it was basically like Sanaa's bread service, so to preserve stomach space, we skipped it and got Korma Chicken with Cucumber Tomato Salad, Almonds, Cashews and Warm Naan Bread and Mango Lassi. Both were really good! As much as our pre-nap booths were bust, these ones were all winners. Trevor doesn't like Mango Lassi much, but a cold drink in this heat, always a winner.
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    Next was China. We found a nice bench and it ended up being about 15 minutes before the acrobat show started, so we figured we would wait and see the show. Trevor saved the bench and I went to grab us food. We got the Xi’an Pancake with Beef and the Beijing Roasted Duck Bao Bun with Hoisin Sauce. Continuing our streak, we loved both of these. Just yum. :)
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    We finished the food right as the show as starting. The show was amazing! We were seated behind the acrobats, but they clearly knew that it was basically a 360 degree audience, cause they turned to us for bows and things. And our view was fantastic, no one in front of us or anything. If you've never seen the acrobats, I highly recommend it. They did some acrobatic tricks on roller skates! Mesmerizing. And add in that it was a billion degrees...even more impressive! :)
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    After that, we needed to give our stomachs a break and decided to head over to the Land pavilion to ride Living with the Land and Soarin', taking pictures along the way.
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    For some reason I was convinced that that whole pavilion closed at 7, so we decided to do Soarin first and then Living with the Land if there was time. I'd been looking for a Soarin fastpass all day, but while I saw lots of Test Track and Frozen, no Soarin's popped up! It was weird. But we were stuck with standby: the wait was 25 minutes. We got in line at 6:42, and at 7:03 asked to wait for the next showing so we could get row B1. We entered the theatre at 7:14, and were off the ride at 7:23 (loooooong exit pathway).
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    Unfortunately, we discovered that while Living with the Land closes at 7, Soarin stays open til park close. Should have done Living with the Land first, as Trevor still hasn't ridden it. Oh well--live and learn!

    We decided to race over and use the Test Track fastpass I'd gotten earlier while looking for Soarin. We tapped in at 7:32, but the FP line was backed up. We didn't get in our car until 7:52. But our cars were only 2 points apart! One of us was 204 and one was 206 and I honestly don't remember which of us was which. But we had fun. :)
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    (I got worried about my hat flying off *right* when they took the picture. bummer)

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    After Test Track, we were on a mission. Finish off our Food and Wine food list! Only 3 booths left, so totally a doable goal. First up: Islands of the Caribbean.

    We got everything at this booth: Ropa Vieja Empanada with Tomato Aïoli, Jerk-spiced Chicken Lollipop with Roasted Sweet Plantain Salad and Mango Chutney Yogurt, and the Quesito: Puff Pastry with Sweetened Cream Cheese and Guava Sauce. The chicken lollipop was good (though I hate bones...so much), and the empanada was good but really hot, and a bigger portion than I expected.
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    The quesito was my favorite, but I have a notorious sweet tooth. Overall, this was a good booth. :)
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    Next was Greece. We got the Taste of Greece: Chicken Souvlaki, Feta Cheese Dip with Warm Pita and Lamb Sausage with a Dill Tomato Ragu, the Spanakopita: Greek Spinach Pie, and the Bougatsa: Warm Phyllo Dough Strudel with Sweet Vanilla Custard, Lemon Honey Syrup and Cinnamon.
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    Another winner! All of these were delicious, and again bigger portions than we were expecting. The Bougatsa especially was huge, and a bit too much cinnamon, but delicious. Yum.

    Last up: Mexico! We got the Short Rib Tostada: Corn Tortilla topped with Short Ribs, Black Beans, Salsa Verde and Spring Onion and then for me, the Coconut Rice Pudding served with Mango Coulis.
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    I feel like a bit of a broken record, but these were fantastic. The coolness of the rice pudding and mango were fantastic on the hot night, and the short rib tostada, wow. Delicious!

    Full and happy, we headed into the Mexico pavilion to ride the the Gran Fiesta Tour. We got in line at 8:32 and were on the ride at 8:36. I love that ride, even though it's short and cheesy. :)
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    (I never noticed that Donald was the pinata before!)

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    So, at that point, it was like 8:45. Fireworks were at 10. We'd finished (essentially) our Food and Wine list, so we decided to take our last chance to appreciate our balcony, so we'd watch Illuminations from there! So back around the lagoon we went. It was significantly more crowded around the Showcase than it had been earlier--hello Friday night, I guess.
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    (just wanted to point out that the guy behind us in the orange t shirt has no head. Thanks Disney trying to blur out people in the background! :) )

    We saw several people with the giant pretzels from Germany, and Trevor thought they looked good, so after hemming and hawing a bit, he decided he wanted to get one. So we did. :) This is happy Trevor with his pretzel. :D
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    Since he'd gotten his pretzel, I was reminded of the ice cream in France! Over that way we headed.
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    I wanted to get the ice cream macaroon and the ice cream brioche...but I decided to get the brioche with chocolate ice cream and raspberry sauce. YUM. So good.
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    Unfortunately it melted pretty quickly, and on our way out we decided to stop in the gift shop there at the International Gateway (i wanted a F&W shirt) so I'm shopping while trying not to spill on anything...it was a bit ridiculous. But I was successful in the end! A shirt, AND I didn't spill anything :).

    There was a boat waiting right as we exited so that was nice.
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    We stopped by the gift shop to pick up some stuff we'd had sent back to the resort, and ended up doing some more shopping--we got a Boardwalk print and I got a Boardwalk tee shirt. Cause we decided we really liked the Boardwalk, in case you couldn't tell. :)

    While I was shopping Trevor went back to the Flying Fish to get us some mocktails to go. The bartender remembered us and was happy to get us some drinks, so that was nice. Trevor got a housemade strawberry lemonade; I got raspberry fizz again, cause I like to branch out, apparently. We headed up to the room and camped out on our balcony. It was *so nice* to just sit and enjoy our balcony. We liked watching people playing the carnival games while we were waiting, and then once the fireworks started we didn't have the best view, but it was fine for us.
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    After the show, we had to confront the end of our trip, so we packed up the suitcases and basically did everything we could to get ready to go so we wouldn't have to spend time doing it the next day. It was a bit sad to pack up, but we'd had a great trip, and it had to come to an end sometime. *shrugs*

    Overall though, it had been a great day. Food and Wine, fireworks on our balcony...no complaints!

    Fun with Metrics:
    Steps walked: 23,688 (9.8 miles)
    Total AP Discount: $34.20
    Ride total: 5 (Frozen, Figment, Soarin', Test Track, and Gran Fiesta Tour) (we had a fastpass for Mission Space, but we didn't feel like riding so we just let it expire)
     

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