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  1. #1

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    Cool MiceQuest, Communicore Weekly Live, Epcot's 30, & Sip & Nibble (Sep 29 to Oct 3 2012)

    Well, we just got back from a WHIRLWIND experience in Walt Disney World. My home resort is DLR, but after spending 2 weeks at WDW last November, we've come to consider it a home away from home.

    On Friday, Sept 28, we flew out to Florida. The humidity was not ideal, but it seemed appropriate, since we were staying at the Polynesian. That first night we were both exhausted and hungry, so we ordered room service. (LOVE the bread at the Poly! It's the best Hawaiian bread I've had.) After eating, we heard a noise that sounded suspiciously like fireworks... so I went outside, and was treated to a great view of the Halloween fireworks display from across the water.

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    The next day we had two events planned: the MiceQuest scavenger hunt, and the Communicore Weekly live show and taping. I somehow managed to take no pictures of the MiceQuest event, probably because I was running around looking for girls in blue soccer jerseys. (Also, use of cell phones wasn't allowed during the event, so there went my camera...)

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    Dave modeling our CW shirts

    We did meet George and Jeff from Communicore Weekly, though, and they loved our shirts. (Because it's hard to tell in the pictures: the Communicore Weekly logo is on the back, the Five-Legged Goat is on the pocket, and the boys' faces are on the sleeves.) We were told we should have made extra shirts to sell... it probably would have worked, too, because they were quite popular.

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    DustySage introduces the live show

    The live show was amazingly fun, and if you want to see what it was like, you should go here and watch the YouTube recording of it. (You will also get to see us in the video, because at one point near the beginning I got up to get a glass of wine. What can I say? Dusty told us to buy lots of drinks. I had to do my bit to help out.)

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    Yummy cupcakes! I didn't realize that the photo was blurry though, sorry. I guess I took this photo in a rush because I wanted to eat the cupcake instead of photograph it.

    After the show but before IllumiNations, we took photos with Jeff and George, met Ron Schneider and bought an autographed copy of his book, and ate surprisingly tasty themed desserts. (It was a dessert buffet... we didn't have high expectations. Luckily our expectations were exceeded.) There were cupcakes - yellow and chocolate - with "Epcot 30" printed on the top, cookies, and Rice Krispy treats with Mickey-shaped sprinkles.

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    Then, when IllumiNations started, we all gathered as a group and went to watch it. Because of the Food & Wine Festival, and the Chase Lounge perks, we didn't have a reserved spot to watch from, but it didn't matter. We still got to see most of the show, and we were in a prime position to scurry over to Spaceship Earth immediately following for an after-park-closing ride. Now, it had been publicized as a "lights on" ride, but then Disney said they might not be able to accommodate that treat due to the busy day at the park and possibly letting regular guests on at the same time. So we were hoping, but doubting we'd get to see SSE with the interior lights on. However, when we got there, only CW folk were in the queue. Since nobody else was allowed in, they left the lights on for us! Yay! Everyone was super excited.

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    The top of the dome was the neatest part to see, I thought.

    There's even a video of the ride with lights on, for those who are interested to experience what we did. (For those who don't want to see it, don't click on it. Though really, we saw no more than guests who get evac'd from an attraction, so I don't see why there's a kerfluffle about it.) (It also seems some people are annoyed about language in the video, but whatever. You hear worse stuff on TV every day, so there's that.)

    It was a great way to end a fabulous evening, and two well-run events. Many thanks (again) to MiceChat and Comunicore Weekly for organizing them!

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    Jeff, Alex, and George thank the group... but really, it is we who thank them!

    But wait, there's more! There's still the Sip & Nibble, MNSSHP, and then general hanging-out with MiceChat folk, so stay tuned for more...
    Last edited by bookwyrm; 10-09-2012 at 10:02 PM.
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  2. #2

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    Re: MiceQuest, Communicore Weekly Live, Epcot's 30, & Sip & Nibble (Sep 29 to Oct 3)

    On Sunday, September 30, we headed back to Epcot for the Sip & Nibble. Dave had been having issues with his knee, so we picked up a wheelchair for him before meeting up with the group.

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    Once we joined everyone and got going, we really had a blast. Other than "good food, and lots of it," I wasn't sure what to expect. What we got were several hours of socializing and meeting new friends, and a bunch of good food that we didn't have to entirely pay for.

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    sipping and nibbling...

    Because we split the food (and drink) buying duties, we all got to taste something from every country without breaking the bank. I think this was really the only way to go about sampling everything, and it sure made return trips to the F&W Festival easy! Since we'd already sampled the dishes, we knew what we wanted to go back for more of. (The Australian lamb and the Canadian cheese soup come to mind...)

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    AC! And padded chairs! Hooray for America!

    Halfway through the event, we reached the American Adventure, and decided to go inside, watch the show, and enjoy the air conditioning. We arrived at the door just as the show was loading, so some of our group didn't make it in time. We all reunited afterward, though, and continued around the world (showcase) until we reached our final stop, the desserts and champagne booth.

    As with the MiceQuest, I didn't take as many photos as I'd have liked, but since I usually had my hands full of tasty food I'm quite okay with this.

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    A big thank you to Rick and Lu (as well as the rest of the MiceChat crew) for making this possible! It was really fun.

    But the Sunday fun kept going. After this, we went back to the hotel to freshen up, then headed over to Magic Kingdom for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. At the party, we met up with many MiceChat folk for fun and candy.

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    Tut, tut, it looks like rain...

    The party started out with rain. We got a bit soggy as we headed to Cosmic Ray's for dinner, but managed to avoid the worst of it. The bad thing about the rain is that it made the streets too wet for the Headless Horseman to appear in the parade, but at least it stopped in time for the rest of the parade to go on.

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    spooky Space!

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    DustySage and Fishbulb in the Dumbo queue

    We did several things while at the party, including trick or treat, ride the People Mover, ride Space, trick or treat, ride Dumbo, trick or treat, watch the fireworks and parade, and trick or treat some more.

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    Granted, once the Halloween party started, the park was officially closed. It was still weird to see workers lighting up the mine coaster super-bright when the rest of the park was in show lighting.

    With the end of MNSSHP, the "official" MiceChat events were over, but we were far from done with our trip and socializing. Updates on the unofficial meet-ups still to come...
    Last edited by bookwyrm; 10-10-2012 at 08:57 PM.
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  3. #3

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    Re: MiceQuest, Communicore Weekly Live, Epcot's 30, & Sip & Nibble (Sep 29 to Oct 3 2

    Quote Originally Posted by bookwyrm View Post
    Though really, we saw no more than guests who get evac'd from an attraction, so I don't see why there's a kerfluffle about it.
    Wow, sounds like you had a great time! But ... kerfluffle ??? Is that, like, an East Coast term? Maybe a secret WDW password or something?

  4. #4

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    Re: MiceQuest, Communicore Weekly Live, Epcot's 30, & Sip & Nibble (Sep 29 to Oct 3)

    After all the official MiceChat events were over, it was Monday, October 1st. Otherwise known as Epcot's 30th birthday! Once again, our first stop that day was Epcot. This time, we wandered into the World Showcase in search of breakfast. (Though technically, it was closer to lunch time. We never really transitioned to WDW time from DLR time.) On our first day at the park, we'd sampled the pastries in France. Today, we opted for baked goods from Norway.

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    A berry cream puff and Schoolbread. Yum!

    They were great, and hit the spot. As we were finishing our breakfast, we saw via Twitter that some MiceChat folk were having an early lunch at Via Napoli before all going their separate ways. (Some went home after this, while others visited whichever park they preferred.) We wandered Epcot a bit, both with some group members and on our own, ate more of the life-changing cheddar cheese soup from the Canada F&W booth, and eventually found ourselves at the Marty Sklar talk for the anniversary.

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    The only unfortunate thing about the timing is that we left the talk early because we had also made plans to meet up with some of the MiceChat crew for dinner at La Hacienda de San Angel (or, as we dubbed it, "New Mexico"). We enjoyed our meal and margaritas, but especially liked the company. Once dinner was done, it looked like it was going to rain again, so we decided to head inside La Cava Del Tequila for more margaritas.

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    Later that evening, we went back to our prior IllumiNations viewing spot to watch the show again, since there was a special ending for the anniversary. Most of us may have been a bit tipsy. And we may have annoyed some of the people standing near us because we talked during the slow parts of the show. But really, when you're not up front and all that's happening is the globe is spinning in circles with pretty pictures being projected on it, there's not much to do while you wait for more fireworks. (This is probably my biggest complaint about IllumiNations. There is too much of it that is very low to the ground, and not enough viewing areas that show it off.)

    The special tag for the show was fun, but essentially just a ton of fireworks. It was pretty, but the best part of it was when we turned around to walk back out, and saw "Happy Birthday Epcot" projected onto Spaceship Earth. We ended up walking near some other tipsy people (it's the food AND WINE festival. What do you expect?) and all sang happy birthday to Epcot. That was fun.

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    Again, at this point, the group split up into some smaller groups. My group ended up on the monorail, headed for the Contemporary Resort, where Dusty had a room at the Bay Lake Towers. Lovely spot! The room was really well set up, and I was jealous of the tub. But the highlight of the DVC tower is the Top of the World lounge. It's - you guessed it - at the top of the tower. And the view was stunning.

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    After finishing the evening chatting, nursing drinks, and snacking on appetizers, we made plans to meet the next day and headed to bed.

    In the morning, four of us (me, Dave, Dusty, and Crystal) gathered at the Contemporary again and drove to Animal Kingdom. It was the first time this trip that we'd been to DAK, since so much of the trip was focused on Epcot. The park was just as lovely as I'd remembered it, though. Very green and full of life. I don't remember the exact order we did things in, but I know we went on the Kilimanjaro Safari, rode Indy Dinosaur, and (they) went on Everest.

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    The brave Everest explorers...

    Afterward, we headed over to Yak & Yeti for lunch. I don't quite know how to describe Yak & Yeti, but the food is great. It's Asian themed, but not standard. And the drinks are very good too! It's weird adjusting to drinking with cardboard straws, but the worst part is not the straw getting soggy (they don't), but the straw freezing up when you're drinking a blended drink. Like my Yak Attack. Oh well, it was tasty and had enough alcohol in it that I didn't mind looking silly when I had to defrost my straw.

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    Not only are the drinks at Yak & Yeti yummy, they are also very colorful!

    Shortly after lunch, Dusty and Crystal had to leave for the airport. Our big happy MiceChat family was gradually parting ways... very sad.

    On our own in DAK, Dave and I wandered through the Maharajah Jungle Trek. Many of the animals were either sleeping or hiding from the coming rain, so we didn't see as much as we had on previous trips through the jungle. It was still lovely, though, and along with several photos of birds and bats, I managed a picture of the elusive companion restroom...

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    Once you start taking Bathroom Break photos for the Communicore Weekly boys, you'll never be the same again...

    Our last stop in DAK before the park closed was the Theatre In The Wild to watch "Finding Nemo, the Musical." It's one of my favorite Disney live shows, ever. Very cool, and the music is too catchy for its own good.

    With the park closed, we hopped on a bus to take us back to the Poly... but from there we headed into MK again. More on that in a moment.
    Last edited by bookwyrm; 10-10-2012 at 08:59 PM.
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  5. #5

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    Re: MiceQuest, Communicore Weekly Live, Epcot's 30, & Sip & Nibble (Sep 29 to Oct 3 2

    Quote Originally Posted by lctom1 View Post
    Wow, sounds like you had a great time! But ... kerfluffle ??? Is that, like, an East Coast term? Maybe a secret WDW password or something?
    Sounds like Dad needs to bone-up on his Clan Lore and sayings!! Poor Lamb!

  6. #6

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    Re: MiceQuest, Communicore Weekly Live, Epcot's 30, & Sip & Nibble (Sep 29 to Oct 3)

    So, we left off on October 2 as we were headed back to MK in the evening after spending the day at DAK. We knew that there were still a handful of MiceChatters around, and we were hoping to meet up with them. There were no specific plans, though.

    We decided to head to the Harbor House for dinner, and try to connect from there to make plans for a meet-up. Instead, we discovered that the Harbor House closed early that night. Since we were so close, we swung by Peter Pan to pick up a fastpass. Pinocchio's Village Haus is across the way, and we were hungry, so we swung in for dinner.

    While we were waiting for our tray of food, I noticed this Tweet:

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    Huh. Funny, Jeff seemed to be in the same location as us! Dave stayed to wait for the food, and I went in search of Jeff.

    No Jeff. But I did find an empty table by the window, so I snagged it.

    Dave decided to be silly and take a similar picture as Jeff had. And guess who was in the front row of the first small world boat that came floating by? Yup! Jeff and company! We had sat down at the exact same table they'd just left!

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    It really amused us, and when they finished riding it's a small world (it really is), they joined up with us. We spent the rest of the evening enjoying the MK and each other's company. We rode all sorts of things, including Winnie The Pooh, Peter Pan (guess who else had gotten fastpasses just prior to dining at Village Haus? Can you say deja vu?), Buzz Lightyear, and Haunted Mansion. We did not, however, ride Space Mountain. It was down. Instead, we got on the People Mover. And what did we see when we entered the Mountain?

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    The lights were on! Yes, we geeked out. Yes, we took pictures. Jeff even took a video - I think it's on Facebook somewhere.

    We also timed it perfectly with regard to the fireworks. We got to watch them from the People Mover, which was a really neat experience. Next we headed down toward Adventureland, stopped at the Dole Whip stand, and ended up going on a Jungle Cruise. A PRIVATE Jungle Cruise. It was the skipper, and the six of us. And that was it. It was an epic experience. At one point, the boys laughed so much at one of her jokes that she broke the script to look at them and say, "it wasn't THAT funny..." (She lied. It was that funny.)

    We rounded out the evening with Pirates, but by then the park was closed and we had to leave. Dave and I stopped along Main Street for ice cream, and we made tentative plans to meet up with Jeff again before they left the next day.

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    Wednesday, Oct 3 was our final day at the parks. Fortunately, it was a full day at WDW, as we were flying out on Thursday. We started in MK, ate lunch at the Harbor House, and met up with the others as they exited the People Mover. From there, we headed over to Big Thunder, but that was closed. So, we hopped on Pirates one more time, and then they had to leave to catch the Magical Express.

    Dave and I stayed in MK for a short while, and did a few things - among them, we tried our first Citrus Swirl. It was good, though it doesn't replace Dole Whips. They're two different treats, both good in their own right.

    After MK, we headed over to Hollywood Studios.

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    There were only a few things we really wanted to do while we were at HS: we both wanted to ride Tower of Terror, and Dave wanted to try the Rock & Roller Coaster. We walked onto TOT, without even a five-minute wait. It was awesome. And the attraction was as good as I remembered it. I so wish that they had put the full version into DCA, and not the shortened one. Oh well. After TOT, Dave rode the coaster and I bought a cookie. (It was yummy.)

    And with that... we were done with HS. So we hopped onto the launch, and headed back to Epcot for dinner. We tried the Rose & Crown and the Biergarten, but both were accepting only diners with reservations at that point. Our third choice was Restaurant Marrekesh in the Morocco Pavilion, and they were able to seat us without any problem.

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    So tasty! And a good portion size for me, too!

    Both of our meals were very tasty. I had the shish kebab, and Dave had the roast lamb.

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    Moroccan lamb. Yum!

    I wanted dessert afterward, because they had baklava. Which I love. So we ordered one dessert to split. It had three types of baklava: one that I'm used to with walnuts, one with almonds, and one with pistachios. I liked the walnuts the best, but all three were good.

    Once dinner was over, we decided to hop back on the monorail and head to MK to catch the Electrical Light Parade. The only problem was, it had been raining, so they cancelled the early parade. Instead of that, we caught a few rides (People Mover again! Yes please!) and then sat on some rocking chairs along the Rivers of America to watch the fireworks. (Great seats. I wish we'd thought to keep them for the late showing of the parade.) After the fireworks we headed over to Big Thunder, which was open again. I do love riding that attraction at night!

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    Then it was parade time. Hooray! I miss this parade so. And it still seems weird to hear "The Magic Kingdom is proud to present..." I'm so used to it living at Disneyland.

    Once again, we closed MK. (Easy to do when the park is only open until 10.) However, Epcot had extra magic hours until midnight, so we hopped on the monorail (again) for some last-minute shopping and a ride on The Sea (with Nemo and Friends). It was weird seeing The Sea with the aquarium dark, but the fish need their sleep, too, so I wasn't really surprised.

    We got our shopping done, and had late-night dessert snacks of tiramisu and creme brulee from The Land. We found seats over near Communicore West... it seemed an appropriate way to wrap up the trip.

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    ​Roy, Minnie, and Nikki
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  7. #7

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    Re: MiceQuest, Communicore Weekly Live, Epcot's 30, & Sip & Nibble (Sep 29 to Oct 3)

    One more set of pictures to post... but these aren't from WDW.

    After we left Walt Disney World, but before we went home, we ended up in Philadelphia. We were near there to visit family, so I requested a specific tourist stop. You can probably guess what I wanted to see:

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    Ever since producing "1776" with my local community theatre, I've wanted to go see Independence Hall. I'm really glad we were able to get there, and that we managed to see everything I wanted to see in the limited time we had. The weather was great, too. It was a good temperature, and - though more humid than home - significantly less humid than Florida, which made me happy.

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    I wasn't expecting the heightened security around the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, but I guess I should have been. These are rather important historical sites for the US, so safeguarding them is a really good idea.

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    We did get in for the tour of Independence Hall, and our tour guide was quite knowledgeable about the site and its history. I can't really say whether the other sites in the area are worth the visit, as we didn't get to any of them. Same with the other events available... all we really had time for this trip was the tour (free!) and the walk-through of the Liberty Bell exhibit (also free!). Those two things, however, were certainly worth the trip! I'd recommend a visit to everyone who's able to get there.

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  8. #8

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    Re: MiceQuest, Communicore Weekly Live, Epcot's 30, & Sip & Nibble (Sep 29 to Oct 3 2

    ^^^Wow! They've really enhanced Liberty Square!!




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    Re: MiceQuest, Communicore Weekly Live, Epcot's 30, & Sip & Nibble (Sep 29 to Oct 3 2

    Quote Originally Posted by sbk1234 View Post
    ^^^Wow! They've really enhanced Liberty Square!!



    If only!
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