Three Cheers for Minnie Ears: A March 2019 Trip Report *Updated 6/8*

StowellClan

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 10, 2019
thanks for all those pics from the tommorowland terrace dessert party...I was on the fence about booking that for our next trip...totally doing it!
 

Spacecow

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Love all the character meets - how fun!



:laughing: Looks like the people behind you were in on it - they look pretty relaxed too!

I honestly can't wait to try the Skyliner! I think it will beat the heck out of waiting for a bus to come.
That picture worked out so well- I love when the people behind us end up playing along without knowing it!

I think the Skyliner will definitely be an efficient way to transport people (when it's not raining/about to rain...) I just don't want to be anywhere near it ;)

You girls really love your rough coasters! I'm the opposite of you though - I will do ToT without hesitation, but RnRC is a no-go!
So funny- by our powers combined, we could conquer all of the thrill rides at Disney! :wizard:

My sister and I were talking about it the other day and both agreed that RNRC is actually really mild aside from the launch. At least from our point of view, lol.

I'm so loving your trip report. Such wonderful sister memories you're making. You had an awesome first day. Long but you accomplished so much.

I can't believe you were able to get up and make rope drop on day two. :thumbsup2
We definitely made a ton of memories- i'm so grateful that we had the opportunity to go. If I get my way, we'll have many more sister trips in our future.

I'm still surprised we made it to rope drop too- but that's the magic of Disney I guess!
 

Spacecow

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
thanks for all those pics from the tommorowland terrace dessert party...I was on the fence about booking that for our next trip...totally doing it!
You're welcome! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!! It's an amazing experience from beginning to end! :)
 
  • Spacecow

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2017
    Day 2, Part 2: A Magical Mid-Day Break and Garden Grill Dinner
    On our way out of the park, we saw that Donald and Daisy's line was short, so we popped in for a visit.




    Then, the plan was to pop over to Disney Springs and re-do our merchandise mishap from our arrival night. Since we were relying on buses as much as possible, we hopped on to a bus to Sarasota Springs and planned to walk over.

    This was our first time visiting Sarasota Springs, and it was lovely! The walk was very pretty too. Soon enough we were in the Springs.


    It really was a lovely day for a walk.
    The Co-Op was our first stop. I picked out a Minnie dress harness for Lucy, after much deliberation about what size she would be. She's about 22 lbs (although 24 now after spending the week with my parents...) but she's very fluffy and shaped like a tatertot. I've been burned by buying too small dog clothes before, so I went with an XL.​

    The tag said it was for dogs over 100 lbs. Here it is on my Pomeranian mix.



    Pretty much a perfect fit, although we had to adjust it a little.
    We also picked up our traditional Christmas ornaments and commemorative T shirts. After our shopping excursion we decided to stop in for a sweet treat at Sprinkles!



    After indulging our sweet toothes (sweet teeth?) we hopped back over to Pop and settled in for a bit of a break. We never took a single mid-day break on our last trip. I think that since we "only" had 5 park days, and it was our first trip in a long long while, we felt like we had to go go go at all times. But, with a longer trip and so many extra events planned, it was much easier to slow down.

    We had a cute little surprise waiting for us in the window.



    Looks like mousekeeping liked our minnie ears too.

    We settled down on our comfy beds to watch various Disney channels.


    I always love watching these videos. They make me so excited for the vacation that I'm already on!
    Our break was much needed. We both even took a little nap. Feeling nice and refreshed, we headed out to Epcot for our Garden Grill ADR. I got us a late Test Track FP, so the plan was to ride that after dinner. Then, we were going to see Illuminations for the first (and last) time.

    It wasn't long before we were taking our first Epcot photopass pic in front of Spaceship Earth!





    Love this magic shot!

    We then headed over to The Land:



    We were half an hour early for our ADR, but we checked in anyway. To my surprise, we got seated pretty much right away!

    We weren't in the booths on the first level, but honestly, I liked our spot better. I think it would be annoying to have to get up out of a booth when every character came around. Getting up from a table was easier!


    Views of the pavilion before we rotated past.

    This was our first time at Garden Grill, and the rotation of the restaurant didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. It's very subtle, and at times I didn't even know we were still moving.

    The first character to come around was Dale. I still have trouble remembering which chipmunk is which, so I not-so-subtly googled "who is Chip who is Dale" as he approached so I wouldn't call him the wrong name!

    The lighting was.... Not the best. But we learned to work with it.

    I like that the meal is served family style, so I didn't have to spend any time scouring the menu and weighing each choice .... only to end up with my usual burger/chicken fingers fare.

    I didn't take a pic, but the garden salad was SO GOOD! It tasted very fresh and the dressing was perfect.

    And the rolls.... Omg the rolls. I love bread and I was in HEAVEN. I took a moment to share my happiness with Snapchat.

    I had the citrus freeze, which was good. I'm not usually a fan of citrus, but I am a fan of pretty cocktails so I ordered it anyway.

    I don't remember in what order the characters arrived. But, at some point, we met Chip:


    Pluto:



    And Farmer Mickey!


    My sister and I were giggling like crazy over Farmer Mickey. We thought it was so odd to see him just walking around so casual, when we've only ever met Mickey after waiting in line. Plus, Farmer Mickey seemed much shorter than normal Mickey…. Is that just me? I tried to google “Is Farmer Mickey shorter than normal Mickey”, which gave me nothing.
    I should probably talk about the food now, huh?​


    Everything was so good! It all tasted so fresh. The only thing I didn’t like was the goldfish crackers on top of the mac and cheese, because I think goldfish are gross. Our server was so attentive and so kind- I forgot her name, sadly, but she was from China.
    Then it was time for dessert!



    Much like the rest of the meal, this was very good.

    The characters all came around for a second time, which was a nice surprise. At the other character meals we’ve done, we only see them come around once. I used the opportunity to make up for my not-so-great first picture with Dale:



    Cheese!

    We got the bill, and our server of course urged us to “take our time”. But I always feel bad doing that, especially knowing that people were likely waiting for their ADR and needed our table. So we sat for a second to soak in a last little bit of the experience and then exited our rotating culinary ride.

    I didn’t know what to expect from Garden Grill, and honestly wasn’t too excited about it. It was one of those “I’ll book it, but I think I’ll end up cancelling it” things that I never ended up cancelling. But, I’m so glad I kept it! I would definitely eat there again.

    It was time for our Test Track FP, so we headed over there. I was glad I managed to pick one up, because for our Epcot day later in the week I chose Frozen as our tier 1 ride.

    We made a VERY ridiculous car. Sadly, I didn’t take any pictures of it, so you’ll have to take my word for it. However, I did snap a pic of this gold wonder someone else made:
    Nice.​

    Soon enough, we were on the ride!



    Whee! I’m not a fan of Test Track’s photos, generally. Could just be us though. I feel like we’re always posing wrong or on the side of the car away from the camera.

    After our time as crash test dummies came to an end, we wandered over to the World Showcase to find a spot to watch illuminations. As I’ve mentioned, I hate staking out a spot for nighttime shows, so we didn’t get there super early or anything. I also didn’t bother to do any research about where the best places to watch were…. So we were really just winging it.

    To be honest, I really didn’t care much…. There’s something about Epcot that just makes me so apathetic. I like the park, in the same way that I like all Disney parks, but it’s my least favorite and I have a hard time getting excited about being there. There are many reasons for this, that I’m sure I’ll get into more when I get to our actual Epcot day. But yeah, my general Epcot apathy is why we skipped Illuminations on our last trip, but I figured since it’s ending we should see it just to say we did.

    Honestly, I don’t even remember where we ended up. But, soon enough the show started. From our spot, we couldn’t really see the rotating globe too well, which sort of took away from the experience, but I got the gist. Overall it was a good show. I like the “we are one” song in the finale. I’m interested in seeing what the new show is like.

    I took this picture at some point:


    We made our way out of the park and stopped at Spaceship Earth for a photopass pic:


    For as much as I’m “meh” about the park, I do love that big golfball in the sky. Especially when it’s all lit up.

    And with that, day 2 was in the books! We had a great morning at Hollywood Studios, a great midday shopping and rest break, and a great dinner at Garden Grill. TouringPlans says that Hollywood Studios was an 8, and Epcot was a 7. Hollywood Studios definitely felt crowded, but Epcot felt deader than dead. Probably because we got there later at night.

    The plan for day 3 was all about Animal Kingdom. But, after two early starts in a row, we weren’t feeling up for ropedrop. So the plan was to show up in time to use our first FP on the safari between 10-11. Fun fact: Animal Kingdom is the only park we've never ropedropped. Anyway, stay tuned for our rainy, cold, and amazing day at Animal Kingdom!

    As always, thanks for reading! :)
     

    TheOneWithTheTriplets

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 27, 2018
    . But, with a longer trip and so many extra events planned, it was much easier to slow down.
    Agreed! I really appreciated that the longer stay allowed for a more leisurely plan.

    . It's very subtle, and at times I didn't even know we were still moving
    I only noticed when I'd look up and the view would be totally different. I never felt rotational in the moment.

    ouringPlans says that Hollywood Studios was an 8, and Epcot was a 7. Hollywood Studios definitely felt crowded, but Epcot felt deader than dead. Probably because we got there later at night.
    3/4 was our WS day and it definitely didn't feel too crowded. We were able to pick up bonus FPs for TT and FEA after a 5pm FEA FP which I was excited about. The only time we really felt the crowds that day was trying to grab a seat for dinner at the Mexico qs place.
     

    cinderaimee

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 26, 2016
    I love your evening at Epcot! I loved Garden Grill and I definitely remember thinking Farmer Mickey seemed really short too :laughing:
     
  • Grumpy's Wife

    Dollar Tree gal here
    Joined
    Jan 28, 2005
    I haven't been to Garden Grill in years but do remember we enjoyed our meal there.

    Note about Chip and Dale... Chip has the chocolate chip nose.
     

    SimplyGoofy

    "You are not Mickey Mouse... you are a rat!"
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2011
    I'm definitely in for a sister trip! Traveling with your sister is the best! :hug:

    I'm glad you were able to plan a fun trip after your really tough year. It sounds like you have a really positive outlook and I hope you're currently doing well!

    Wow, 15 hours at the Magic Kingdom?! We once started at rope drop and left around 11, but we also had a large dinner break at the Polynesian in the middle. I'm impressed!

    Your early hours at MK looked very successful! I'm also glad you enjoyed the dessert party! It's great to sit and enjoy the fireworks rather than be smushed among the masses. I've been to the dessert party a few times and have always enjoyed it. It looks like they now let you enter long before the fireworks? My past visits it opened an hour before the fireworks - good to know if I plan to go again!

    Good gracious, that's a big crowd at HS! :eek: I'm glad your plan to venture right worked well - three rides on RNRC (in one morning!) is excellent!

    That's another positive review of Garden Grill! I'm leaning toward the breakfast (as the cinnamon roll people keep posting looks DELICIOUS!), but I think I may book this for our next trip. I haven't been there in years, so it's likely time to return!
     

    unwritten01

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 15, 2015
    Our last trip we went to breakfast in GG entering through International Gateway. Some fantastic pics of the empty locations and the kids in front of empty Soarin. Enjoyed the meal as well! Can't wait to hear about AK!
     

    GGOOFY1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 9, 2005
    Enjoying your trip report. We are going in May and it will be bitter sweet watching Illuminations, knowing that it will soon be over. On to bigger and better things!!
     
  • Bama Mom

    Disney Dreamer
    Joined
    Dec 13, 2017
    Epcot is my least favorite park as well. Not sure why. There are some things I love there but the park in general doesn't excite me at all.
     

    Spacecow

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2017
    Agreed! I really appreciated that the longer stay allowed for a more leisurely plan.
    It was so nice- I think I'll always prefer to have longer trips than shorter trips where I feel like I have to squeeze a whole bunch in. Of course the tradeoff is that the trips will probably be less frequent, since longer trip = more money but I'm ok with that.

    3/4 was our WS day and it definitely didn't feel too crowded. We were able to pick up bonus FPs for TT and FEA after a 5pm FEA FP which I was excited about. The only time we really felt the crowds that day was trying to grab a seat for dinner at the Mexico qs place.
    Nice! I think Epcot handles crowds well- when we went to flower and garden later in the week it was busy, but it didn't feel overwhelming. There's so much space for everyone to spread out.

    I love your evening at Epcot! I loved Garden Grill and I definitely remember thinking Farmer Mickey seemed really short too :laughing:
    So glad to hear it's not just me!! Maybe it's because he's not wearing a hat? I feel like I usually see Mickey when he's wearing a hat.

    haven't been to Garden Grill in years but do remember we enjoyed our meal there.

    Note about Chip and Dale... Chip has the chocolate chip nose
    That's a great way to remember them!

    I'm definitely in for a sister trip! Traveling with your sister is the best! :hug:

    I'm glad you were able to plan a fun trip after your really tough year. It sounds like you have a really positive outlook and I hope you're currently doing well!

    Wow, 15 hours at the Magic Kingdom?! We once started at rope drop and left around 11, but we also had a large dinner break at the Polynesian in the middle. I'm impressed!

    Your early hours at MK looked very successful! I'm also glad you enjoyed the dessert party! It's great to sit and enjoy the fireworks rather than be smushed among the masses. I've been to the dessert party a few times and have always enjoyed it. It looks like they now let you enter long before the fireworks? My past visits it opened an hour before the fireworks - good to know if I plan to go again!

    Good gracious, that's a big crowd at HS! :eek: I'm glad your plan to venture right worked well - three rides on RNRC (in one morning!) is excellent!

    That's another positive review of Garden Grill! I'm leaning toward the breakfast (as the cinnamon roll people keep posting looks DELICIOUS!), but I think I may book this for our next trip. I haven't been there in years, so it's likely time to return!
    Our first MK day was the best- definitely started the trip off on a high note! The 15 hours definitely took a toll on us though :laughing: we got to the fireworks dessert party pretty early, and since there were already people there I wonder if they open it up 90 minutes before showtime now, even if they don't publicize that. I wrote we got there at 6:50, but according to the time tag on my first picture it was closer to 6:40. So pretty close to 90 minutes before the 8 pm show.

    Hollywood Studios was definitely busy that morning but we did pretty well. Not heading to Toy Story Land at all helped, lol.

    I loved Garden Grill, I recommend the dinner 100%! Although I do really want to try the breakfast as well. It's just such a fun setting!

    Our last trip we went to breakfast in GG entering through International Gateway. Some fantastic pics of the empty locations and the kids in front of empty Soarin. Enjoyed the meal as well! Can't wait to hear about AK!
    So fun- I would love to try an early breakfast there. Maybe on our next trip.

    Enjoying your trip report. We are going in May and it will be bitter sweet watching Illuminations, knowing that it will soon be over. On to bigger and better things!!
    Glad to hear you're enjoying it :) I'm super excited to see what they come up with for the new show- given how popular Illuminations is they'll have some big shoes to fill!

    Following along. Glad you are doing better.
    Thanks for following and thank you for your kind words!

    Epcot is my least favorite park as well. Not sure why. There are some things I love there but the park in general doesn't excite me at all.
    I feel like Epcot is a very polarizing park. Those that love it, LOVE it. And then there's us, who could really do without it. There's definitely things I like but if I had to skip a park, I'd skip Epcot easily.
     

    Spacecow

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2017
    I'm back! Disney-related life updates first: My friend and I are contemplating taking a weekend trip to Disneyland this summer, which is exciting. We'd be diving head first into the post Galaxy's Edge crowds, but eh, it's Disney :) hopefully it works out.

    Now, back to our third park day and our first day at Animal Kingdom!

    Day 3, Part 1: The Morning We Should've Worn Jackets

    We woke up not-so-bright and early and got ready for our morning at Animal Kingdom. I was very excited, as Animal Kingdom is my favorite park not named Magic Kingdom, and I was looking forward to riding Flight of Passage again. I got dressed without looking at the forecast, but then looked outside and saw that it was gray, gray GRAY outside. Nothing but clouds, and some light rain. I quickly unpacked the ponchos I bought for the trip and put one into my backpack. I was wearing a light hoodie and went back and forth about wearing a jacket on top of it. It sounds super weird, but I hate wearing a jacket on top of a hoodie, because I hate the feeling of having two hoods on. The forecast had a high of 60 something degrees, and I’m the type who warms up quickly, especially when walking around so much. In the interest of not having it take up space in my bag, I didn’t pack my jacket. I also convinced myself that I didn’t need to wear pants, because again, I warm up quick. My sister also chose to wear shorts and not pack a jacket. Would we regret these snap decisions? Spoiler alert: kind of.

    We had a bit of a wait for a bus, and all of our fellow parkgoers were donning their plastic ponchos, but the rain was so light we didn’t bother putting ours on. We were the last ones to squeeze onto the bus- the cast member behind us said “don’t worry, I’ll make sure you get on” which, like, I appreciate, buuttt I’d almost rather wait for the next one than be packed in like sardines. In any event, we made it on, and I had a nice view of the rainy road to AK:


    We got to the park with relatively little fanfare. Then it was time to head to the safari.


    It was just as wet and cold as it looks!
    I was in full on “I’m not cold, this is fine” denial by this point. But, I made my chilly bed and knew I had to lie in it.


    I was hoping the animals would be more active since it was raining, but our safari guide warned us about the exact opposite scenario…. That the animals would be looking for shelter and not out and about. Buzzkill!

    But, thankfully, we had a good safari!



    I forgot what these guys are called, but we saw them!​



    Hippos!



    Big ol alligator- crocodile? Big lizard.



    The wild dogs weren’t having any part of the rain. Can’t say I blame them.​

    Then, one of my favorites, giraffes!








    I love this one lol. It’s actually a screenshot from a video I took, which is why it's blurry. All three of them were just standing there under the little bit of tree canopy. In the video, the safari driver says “yeah, they don’t want to be out here, it’s raining”.

    Next, my absolute favorites, Elephants!


    The rain was really coming down for a little bit here.​


    This one is clearly showing what he thinks of us, lol.



    Rhinos!
    And with that, our time on the preserve came to an end. I always love the safari.

    Our next FP was Everest- so we headed over to Asia. By this point, the rain was still super light. We didn’t end up wearing the ponchos I brought this day, or any day at all during our trip. Quite the change from the daily rainstorms of our last trip!



    The forbidden mountain looms in the mist….
    We got on the ride quickly and got the experience of riding Everest in the rain. It was definitely fun- but the raindrops kinda hurt when you’re going so fast! Even in such a light rain, we got fairly damp. But, it was worth it!


    Whee! And ouch!
    We were cold, cold, cold by this point. We wandered away from Asia and into Dinoland USA. And there, we found something incredibly adorable.


    Dinosaur chipmunks!



    DINOSAUR CHIPMUNKS!



    Dinosaur!!!!



    Chipmunks!!!
    We waited about 20 minutes to meet them, and probably even longer than that because the party in front of us had at least 6 kids who all wanted pictures in different combinations, but it was so worth it. Look at their little costumes!! Their little dinosaur feet! The little zippers! I can’t even handle how cute they are. Like seriously, they’re so sugary sweet I think I got a cavity just looking at these pictures.

    Then, we went to go meet Goofy. Who was much less adorable, but still fun.

    We were on a slow trek to Pandora for our Flight of Passage FP and had plenty of time for distractions. So we wandered over to the Donald’s Dino-bash area, and walked past a few ducks I had never seen before… Until we got to Scrooge.

    Always a gentleman.
    The cast member asked us if we had been on the Safari that day, and we said yes, and she told us a silly joke about what you call a group of giraffes… Unfortunately, I can’t remember the punchline. But it was a real groaner, and scrooge wasn’t shy about it lol.

    Our faces while she told the joke, lol.



    Cheese!

    As we walked back to the center of the park, we spotted a surprise avian visitor.



    Kevin! I still can’t figure out what this is. A puppet? A robot? Is someone in there? It’s so lifelike. We saw him (or her rather) several times on the trip and it was always fun.

    As you can see, it was still rather gray and damp outside. It wasn’t raining, but it hadn’t warmed up much. When we were walking, the temperature felt perfect. But when we stopped…. Wooo, we felt chilly. But both of us were too proud and stubborn to admit that we should’ve brought jackets.

    This post is getting a bit long so I'll continue our chilly tale.... In the next post. Please hold.​





     

    Spacecow

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2017
    Keeping with the spirit of Up, we got in line to meet Dug and Russel next. This ended up being a longer wait than we anticipated, because we got there right when they went to “check on Kevin”. Which was actually pretty cute because Kevin happened to be walking by, and Russel and Dug were VERY excited to see her.




    So cute!

    We continued on and got some tree of life pics, because why not.




    Then, it was time for Pandora!
    Pandora was just as beautiful as I remembered. I love it there so much! Of course, we took a photopass picture to mark the occasion.









    Sivako!
    Speaking of, it was time for us to join the avatar program ourselves. After the way-too-long preshow (they made us ‘move around a little’ and get ‘decontaminated’ twice) we were finally in the link chamber. Flight of Passage was just as amazing as I remembered. I always get teary eyed at the part where your banshee lands in the cave, with the other avatar, and the pretty purple and blue jelly fish looking things are flying around, and then you start moving again and it’s all so pretty and colorful. Ugh I love it. We only got to ride FOP once on our last trip- it was still too new to have any luck scoring a same day FP, and we didn’t want to wait in line. To this day I still haven’t seen the standby queue…But anyway, we were able to ride it multiple times on this trip, which was amazing.

    After our banshee flight, it was time for lunch. To us, Satuli was the only choice. The meal I had there on our last trip is still one of the best I’ve had in my life… Would this one measure up?


    First things first, I’m sad to see that the romaine base is gone. I mean I get it, on account of the whole contaminated romaine thing, but as a picky eater I was none too pleased to see so many other veggies on my plate. But, the creamy herb dressing is a miracle worker- it’s so good, I could eat just about anything with it. I need to find a way to make it at home! We both enjoyed our lunches. While we ate, I hit the app to refresh a little bit and landed on an Everest FP. We made the journey over there- but not before taking some photopass pics along the way!




    This picture is an accurate depiction of how cold we felt, lol. We’re from Arizona after all- cold weather doesn’t make sense to us!

    Soon enough we were making our way to confront the Yeti.




    By this point, we were cold…. And a little tired. Since we were coming back for After Hours that night, I knew we needed a break in the middle of the day. So we decided to head back to Pop. But, I almost changed my mind when I found this:


    The mythical same-day Flight of Passage FP! I was so, SO close to grabbing it and making us stick around. But, we needed time to rest before our late-night adventures, and we DEFINITELY needed to at least go back and grab our jackets, so I let it fall back into the great unknown for some other lucky park guest to grab. (you're welcome, whoever you are).

    I'll pick up with our mid-day break/warming session and After Hours adventure in the next post. Thanks for reading :)
     

    cinderaimee

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 26, 2016
    Wow! I don't know if I could have passed up that FOP FP! You must have really been cold :rotfl:

    The food at Satuli looks so good, it is definitely on my list for our August trip!

    I love all your M&G's - those dino chipmunks sure are adorable!
     

    missangelalexis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 27, 2012
    That stinks that it was so cold! But you guys were troopers and it sounds like a fun day. Love all the character pics!
     

    Cloe Colton

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 6, 2018
    Haha I've definitely been in that boat before. Thinking you'll be fine and then you end up freezing the whole time! It was probably a good move to head back to the resort to warm up at least!
     

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