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  1. #46

    • Minion
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    Re: My First WDW Trip (Sept. 28-Oct. 5) *Pictures*

    Such a great job!!!...Keep it coming!!
    "Happiness is a state of mind...." Walt Disney


    "You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you." Walt Disney



    thmar

  2. #47

    • xmanmom
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    Re: My First WDW Trip (Sept. 28-Oct. 5) *Pictures*

    Day 6

    We started out our day bright and early with breakfast at Boma, which we paid for out of pocket because we already had accounted for all of our table service credits.



    A view of the food pods and the open kitchen beyond.



    Breakfast was just as delicious as dinner, although slightly less adventurous. The best part were the pastries and the pap (if you like grits, don't miss it!).





    We were fairly worn out from the Halloween party the night before so we actually headed back to the room and crashed out for about another hour before getting ready and heading to Downtown Disney.



    A cute display outside the Christmas store.



    More elephant photos outside the Rainforest Cafe.


    I found SO many awesome things I wanted to buy in Art of Disney, alas, I don't have the kind of money it takes to purchase these items and these pictures are all I have.









    After a good amount of shopping we decided to split lasagne at Wolfgang Puck Express. The food was good and more than enough to split but I don't think the manager was too happy with us for doing that.





    We continued to shop and sightsee and just generally take it easy. I was actually somewhat underwhelmed with Downtown Disney and am a bit sad that we wasted one of our parkhopper days doing this, but we probably needed a less hectic day after going non-stop for about six days straight.

    Spitting Stitch at World of Disney.



    Geoff and the skelleton pirate manning, uh, the ship?



    After DTD we headed to the Contemporary because we planned to use two table service meals for a special meal at the California Grill. This sculpture is behind the Contemporary Resort, with a convienent stand so that you can take timed pictures. I wish they had those in more places.



    Geoff and Mickey.



    There were birds flying all over the place at the resort, we never figured out what type of birds they were.





    Of course, these are ducks, who assumed that we were coming to feed them. They were not too happy when they figured out that we had nothing for them.



    This little guy was completely fearless and walked right up to me.



    We had a fair amount of time to kill before our 8pm reservations so we sat on some lounge chairs by the pool and looked out at the lagoon. It was a beautiful day and laying there was perhaps the most relaxing portion of our whole trip.



    The clouds were huge and puffy and the sunlight was illuminating them beautifully. At one point I saw a cloud that looked like a pair of mouse ears and I jumped up to take a picture but the wind was blowing the clouds so quickly that you can just barely see it in this picture.



    When it was time to check in for our ressies we still had a few minutes before our table was ready so we sat at the bar and got some drinks. Once again I got some stares for taking pictures of the drinks, but Geoff explained it by saying "We don't have children, so we take pictures of our alcohol." That endeared us to the couple next to us who were on their honeymoon from New Jersey and we had a nice chat with them before it was time to be seated.





    We were actually seated near a window looking directly down into the Magic Kingdom, you could see the AstroOrbiter spinning and the colors of the castle changing. It was amazing and the perfect spot for watching the fireworks. We didn't even have to leave our table to go out to the observation deck, which was good because we were in the middle of dinner at that point.

    We started with sushi as our appetizers. Geoff got the deluxe sushi combination and I got the tuna three-ways. Everything was delicious and the portions were so huge that we had a hard time finishing our entrees.





    Since we are big seafood fans we went with fish for main courses as well. Geoff got the halibut with the fennel and peppers on the side and I got the salmon.





    For dessert we both got the chocolate souffle cake, Geoff got his the way it was meant to be served with the raspberry sauce and ice cream. I don't like raspberries so I was difficult and asked for mine with vanilla ice cream.





    Dinner there was very good and we enjoyed the fireworks show from that vantage point, however I think that I would not use two table service credits there. Next time, I would go but pay out of pocket and just get sushi and dessert because otherwise it is just painfully too much food. Plus we really love sushi and were completely satisfied after the appetizers, the main courses were just overkill.

    I would also make sure I went there on a night when the Magic Kingdom is open late because trying to get back to our resort took forever because we couldn't take the monorail back to a park to pick up a resort bus. Instead we had to bus to Downtown Disney and then catch a bus to our resort. We were quite exhausted by the time we got back to the hotel.

    A few more details from the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Even the mail slot is adorably themed.



    The firepit near the main savanna that has rocking chairs around it where you can sit, relax and tell folk tales.



    A couple different towel creations that Mousekeeping left us.



    Next: Day 7 - The finale - More Animal Kingdom, Les Chefs de France, goodbye to WDW and a couple of shots from our weekend in Indiana.

  3. #48

    • Minion
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    Re: My First WDW Trip (Sept. 28-Oct. 5) *Pictures*

    "Happiness is a state of mind...." Walt Disney


    "You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you." Walt Disney



    thmar

  4. #49

    • loves a silver lining
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    Re: My First WDW Trip (Sept. 28-Oct. 5) *Pictures*

    What a wonderful trip report You make me want to go back sooooooooo bad! And what an awesome VIP experience you go!!



    Delta Mu Chi Alpha ΔΜΧΑ

  5. #50

    • Pilot EdForceOne
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    Re: My First WDW Trip (Sept. 28-Oct. 5) *Pictures*

    Quote Originally Posted by lisaboo View Post
    I would also make sure I went there on a night when the Magic Kingdom is open late because trying to get back to our resort took forever because we couldn't take the monorail back to a park to pick up a resort bus. Instead we had to bus to Downtown Disney and then catch a bus to our resort. We were quite exhausted by the time we got back to the hotel.
    How come? From the CR.. you can take the resort monorail to the TTC, and then get to anywhere from TTC. Mono to EPCOT, Bus to MGM, or Bus to any resort. Or taken the CR's buses to any resort. I would have hoped the resort Mono to TTC for best flexibility (this is where the bus schedules help to get the best path).

    Thanks for the great comments on value of California Grill!

  6. #51

    • xmanmom
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    Re: My First WDW Trip (Sept. 28-Oct. 5) *Pictures*

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    How come? From the CR.. you can take the resort monorail to the TTC, and then get to anywhere from TTC. Mono to EPCOT, Bus to MGM, or Bus to any resort. Or taken the CR's buses to any resort. I would have hoped the resort Mono to TTC for best flexibility (this is where the bus schedules help to get the best path).

    Thanks for the great comments on value of California Grill!
    They wouldn't allow us on the Monorail at all after the park had closed. I don't know why as I would have thought they would have at least let us board to go to TTC but they said that there was no monorail boarding after the parks were closed. I don't know if the Cast Member was new and didn't know what he was talking about but he turned us and about 20 other people away and actually had a monorail stop at the station, the doors open and wouldn't let anyone on and then it left. I was quite frustrated because that was my plan - to take the Monorail to a park or TTC and then take a bus to our resort. The Contemporary buses do not go directly to other resorts and because all of the parks were closed at that time, the only place we could transfer to our resort bus was DDT.

    Hi~
    i just wanted to say how much i LOVE reading your report of your WDW experience. Yesterday i was looking up pumpkin carving ideas, and came across Micechat. I loved reading it so much i joined the group today! Keep up the good work, i am going to be soo sad when you write your last day Hope to get a lot of ideas, and tricks from everyone! jen
    I should have said this sooner but - Welcome IloveWDW! So glad that you decided to join. Thank you for the compliment.

  7. #52

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    Re: My First WDW Trip (Sept. 28-Oct. 5) *Pictures*

    What a great trip report.

  8. #53

    • Pilot EdForceOne
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    Re: My First WDW Trip (Sept. 28-Oct. 5) *Pictures*

    lisaboo.. so you haven't drawn any conclusions yet.. since being a NorCal'er.. I assume you've been to DLR a few times. Was WDW worth it? Did you enjoy the resort experience? Seems like you did due to all the eating adventures

  9. #54

    • Pilot EdForceOne
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    Re: My First WDW Trip (Sept. 28-Oct. 5) *Pictures*

    Quote Originally Posted by lisaboo View Post
    They wouldn't allow us on the Monorail at all after the park had closed. I don't know why as I would have thought they would have at least let us board to go to TTC but they said that there was no monorail boarding after the parks were closed.
    Hrmm.. an extra variable with the parks closed. Can't say I've been in that situation. There were no buses to TTC from CR? Another alternative would have been to simply take the walkway to MK, and board from there. Sucks you 'fell through the cracks'!

    I know we board the resort monorail all the time after park closing, but that's always from MK. Can't say we jumped on at a resort in awhile.

  10. #55

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    Re: My First WDW Trip (Sept. 28-Oct. 5) *Pictures*

    Quote Originally Posted by lisaboo View Post
    There were birds flying all over the place at the resort, we never figured out what type of birds they were.



    Those are Turkey Vultures. They have a huge wingspan and are amazing to look at. They love to perch on my balcony and leave nasty droppings. Yuck. They're heading south ... so thanks for the warning!

  11. #56

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    Re: My First WDW Trip (Sept. 28-Oct. 5) *Pictures*

    Awesome report!!
    Makes me want to plan another trip ASAP!

  12. #57

    • xmanmom
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    Re: My First WDW Trip (Sept. 28-Oct. 5) *Pictures*

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    Hrmm.. an extra variable with the parks closed. Can't say I've been in that situation. There were no buses to TTC from CR? Another alternative would have been to simply take the walkway to MK, and board from there. Sucks you 'fell through the cracks'!

    I know we board the resort monorail all the time after park closing, but that's always from MK. Can't say we jumped on at a resort in awhile.
    We actually did walk over to the Magic Kingdom and it was absolutely deserted with no busses running. This is part of why it took us so long to get home. It was a bit of a fiasco actually.

    Oh, and I have a few conclusions about WDW vs. DL, I will talk about them a bit more after my final report.

    Thanks mikelan6 for solving the bird mystery. We weren't sure if they were there all the time or just on vacation themselves.

  13. #58

    • xmanmom
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    Re: My First WDW Trip (Sept. 28-Oct. 5) *Pictures*

    Day 7

    We woke up semi-early on our last day at the parks and headed back to our favorite park, Disney's Animal Kingdom and headed straight for Kilamanjaro Safaris. We actually rode it twice at different points in the day hoping to see more or different animals. It was kind of funny because even though our rides were probably five hours apart a lot of the same animals were in the approximately same spots as they were the first time through.

    Crocodiles, hippos, lions (sleeping, look closely), flamingos, giraffes, a thousand-year-old baobob tree, the savanna and, of course, elephants.

















    We then went through another of the animal trails which included some indoor animal sections including a naked mole rat burrow and the gorilla habitat, which was beautiful, but all the gorillas were hiding from us, so the only picture I got was of this gazelle streched up trying to eat leaves.



    We then took the train over to Rafiki's Planet Watch. Make sure not to miss the Sounds of the Rainforest, it was amazing. We even got to meet the Rafiki him/herself. (I can never figure out if Rafiki is male or female, in the videos there at Conservation Station he sounds male but in the Broadway production of The Lion King Rafiki is portrayed by a woman. So maybe Rafiki is transgender? Who knows!)



    Lunch at the Tusker House was nice since the seating area is large and air conditioned. I had the salmon platter and Geoff had the fried chicken sandwich and they had the same good chocolate cake Flame Tree has. All of the food was quite good.

    There's even an elephant on the sign!





    The Tree of Life was really amazing, I loved trying to spot all the different animals and I thought it was neat that It's Tough to Be A Bug's theatre is down in the roots of the tree.



    We even caught DeVine as she stilted by.



    We, of course, made to sure to ride Everest again. Here is one of the many beautifully themed shrines to the Yeti.



    Below are some of the pictures I took on our first day at AK but I did not have room to post on that report. We spent only a little time in Dinoland since there were only two rides we were interested in. We really liked Dinosaur even if it is just the same ride as IJA. I did not, however, enjoy Primevil Whirl as I found it to be downright painful. All you heard, instead of screams of joy, was "Ow! Pain! Make it stop!" (Pretty much what I thought about the MK Space Mountain as well, sadly.)







    Dino Sue is the most complete T-Rex skelleton and AK has her!



    Festival of the Lion King was super-fabulous. I really enjoyed this show. The performers (both the acrobats and singers) were outstanding, the music was great and more gospel flavored than the original soundtrack or the Broadway production and the costumes and sets were imaginative and fun. Here were the four "floats" with your section's animal at the front (lion, warthog, giraffe or elephant). We were the giraffe section...I was *so* close to being in the elephant section!! *pout*









    They even got some of the kids into the act.



    There was fire.



    It was a true spectacle.



    A close-up on Pumbaa.



    One last elephant shot on the way out.



    The Jammin' in the Jungle Parade was also a lot of fun and I loved how they represented the animals.



















    Many families were in floats like this one as part of the Year of a Million Dreams.











    We closed AK down again and headed over to Epcot for our final dinner at Les Chefs de France.



    Geoff was kind of wary about this meal because he didn't enjoy a french restaurant that we went to in Napa for our anniversary, but I assured him that this would be very americanized french food and I was right. The most "scary" french thing on the menu was my escargot. It was very good however, if you like escargot, actually the second best I have ever eaten.



    Geoff went for a safer lobster bisque as his starter. It was very rich and creamy.



    For an entree Geoff had the lamb shank, of which he only ate the meat and our dear waiter was quite distressed at the idea that Geoff didn't enjoy his meal. Actually Geoff loved the meat, he just doesn't eat veggies much. I tried his accompaniments and thought they were nice.



    I had the pork chop and cleaned my plate. It was quite good.



    For dessert Geoff had his favorite, creme brulee and I had the profiteroles, which were to die for! They are like a cream puff but with vanilla ice cream instead of cream and topped with a lucious chocolate sauce. It typically comes with candied fruit as well but I asked for that to be left off.





    I really enjoyed our final meal here and so did Geoff. We had a wonderful table right next to the window looking out at World Showcase and our waiter was a delight. The food was very good, if not all that adventurous and it was a beautiful atmophere. The lighting, mood and everything about it felt like it was right out of a warm Paris bistro. Our waiter even offered to take our final picture of our DisneyWorld trip.



    I was very sad to leave the World and so was Geoff. It is funny, because before Geoff met me he had never been to Disneyland and had only been to WDW once when he was five and was quite ill. His only memory was of It's a Small World and he had conviced himself that he did not like Disney. I begged him last fall to give me ONE chance to show him the Disneyland that I loved. He gave me that chance and after that he suggested two subsequent trips and even this trip to DisneyWorld. I think he is a confirmed Disney fan now. On this past Saturday he even looked at me and said "I miss Disney World."

    Having been to Disneyland over 50 times myself, I definitely noticed differences between the two resorts but I would be hard pressed to say that one is better than the other, they are just different and each have their pros and cons. I love that WDW is so expansive because it gives you so many choices for lodging and dining (something I obviously enjoy) and yet I like DL because it is more intimate and park hopping is so EASY. Some rides are better at WDW like Big Thunder Mountain and some are better at DL like Space Mountain. Some rides are just different between the two parks but neither is superior, in my opinion. Of course, each has things that the other does not have and I like it that way. I am excited for my next trip to Disneyland in April because I love that resort and always will, but going to Walt Disney World has been, as cheesy as it sounds, a lifelong dream come true.

    We left Thursday morning and flew to my fiance's former home of Indiana where we toured his alma mater (IU), went to his cousin's wedding and spent lots of time with my fabulous future in-laws.



    And thus my story is complete.


  14. #59

    • Pilot EdForceOne
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    Re: My First WDW Trip (Sept. 28-Oct. 5) *Pictures*

    Quote Originally Posted by lisaboo View Post
    Many families were in floats like this one as part of the Year of a Million Dreams.
    Just FYI.. that's not necessarily part of the promotion (tho I'm sure some of them probably were). They put guests on the floats all the time. Usually its guests picked to open the park, plus other selections throughout the day.

  15. #60

    • xmanmom
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    Re: My First WDW Trip (Sept. 28-Oct. 5) *Pictures*

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    Just FYI.. that's not necessarily part of the promotion (tho I'm sure some of them probably were). They put guests on the floats all the time. Usually its guests picked to open the park, plus other selections throughout the day.
    Ah okay, my bad, that was just my assumption.

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