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 Pre-Christmas Trip Report

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Sydney
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PostSubject: Pre-Christmas Trip Report   Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:51 pm

Although we didn't stay at CSR this trip, I thought I'd share a trip report for anyone who may want to read.
For those who don't know, I'm Sydney, married to my hubby of 17 years Ron. We're from Texas but have lived in the Charleston, SC area for about 15 years since he's been in the AF. Our boys are Taylor (17) and Jared (13) and we are all Disney lovers! We decided to surprise the boys by staying at AKL since this will most likely be our last big family vacation since Taylor starts college next year. Ok, on with the report!

Day 1

We had all been up late the night before leaving for WDW because Taylor had state band competition. I had gone along to chaperone, while Ron and Jared dropped the dogs at the kennel and then drove up to meet us. We slept in a little, then had breakfast, got ready, packed last minute stuff, loaded the car, and were on the road at 9:00!



It was a pretty uneventful drive down with little traffic and construction. The boys just listened to music, Ron and I got to talk peacefully, and Jared even got some math homework done.



We stopped in Jacksonville for lunch at Whataburger, per tradition (we miss these from Texas), had some leftover Halloween candy for snacks, and were ready to pull off I-4 towards the magic a little before 4:00.



We passed AK and then pulled up at the guard gate to get our parking pass. The boys hadn't really been paying attention, but started to when we pulled closer to the resort.



Ron just casually mentioned that I had to go check on our dinner reservation, and I jumped out and went in before they could see my face. I was greeted with a "Welcome Home!" and took in the impressive lobby- wow, we're actually here to stay! There was no one waiting at the check-in desk, so I was helped right away. I know the CM could tell I was excited from the huge grin on my face and she asked if this was our first stay. I explained that this was a surprise for the boys and Ron was in the car with them and they thought I was just checking on a dinner reservation. She got all our stuff together and gave me KTTW cards too, explaining that we should keep them on us in case our magic bands didn't work at any time. At this point the guys came up behind me and were saying "Are we really staying here, for real?!?" Ron couldn't keep the secret any longer- he got this shot of them when they found out:



The CM then chimed in with "And the best is yet to come!" She proeceeded to show us where our room was and we all freaked out! It was #3269 on a side section off the Kudu Trail with a Sunset Savanna view! It was so nice to be off the main hall- much quieter- and on the main level, so no elevator or stairs to take when going to and from parks. We grabbed our stuff out of the car and headed to our awesome room.



Our room looked spectacular! We dumped our bags and just checked everything out at first.



We had some towel animals from our Mousekeeper Analie. She took care of us during our whole stay and I actually had the pleasure of meeting her one morning when we were leaving later- very sweet!




We then unpacked our clothes and toiletries. There was plenty of room in the closet to hang all of our clothes, and the boys shared a big drawer and Ron and I shared the other for our pj's, socks, and other stuff. I loved that the bathroom counter was large enough for our things and had an extra ledge for extra room so we could all spread out. The tub was great as well because the rim had a wide edge so all of our things fit. Usually in hotels I'm trying to squeeze my stuff in a corner, Ron's in another, and the boys' in another. All of our things fit here.




Once unpacked we spent the rest of the afternoon watching the animals- and there were lots of them. We were amazed at our view and how close the animals got. It was so relaxing to hang out on the balcony and be so close to them.











After the animals had their dinner it was time for us to head to our 6:00 adr at Boma. I had originally planned to eat at Big River Grill or ESPN Club and hang out at the Boardwalk our first night, but after switching to AKL, Boma seemed to make sense. We'd eaten there for breakfast but never got to try it for dinner. It definitely did not disappoint. We arrived a few minutes early and were seated right away in the middle section, but not right in the main walkway. Caroline our server took our drink orders and explained what and where all the food was. Ron just got Coke but the boys and I tried pomegranate lenoade- yummy!



There really is something for everyone here, from more traditional palates like Ron and Jared, to more adventurous tastes like Taylor and I. I took full advantage of all the excellent offerings, trying a little of this and that. My favorites were the seafood stew, curried pasta salad, spicy bbq and sweet mustard sauces with the meats, the salmon, and the fruit salad.



I also made a dessert sampler and finally tried zebra domes!



For us this was really a great use of dining credits and an excellent way to start off our trip!

After stuffing ourselves we went outside to enjoy the fire for a while. This was such a nice touch to the resort.



The boys decided they'd like to do Disney Quest tonight. I checked with the concierge to find out how we could activate our military vouchers. SHe said we didn't need to go to a park first because there was a guest services window right next to DQ- perfect! We waited less than five minutes for a bus and were on our way to DTD!



Last edited by Sydney on Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Day 1 continued   Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:53 pm

After getting off at the second stop for Pleasure Island/West Side we walked towards DQ. There were two families being helped at the guest servies window, but when one was done it was our turn. The CM was very knowledgeable and took Ron's id, our vouchers, and had me write down everyone's name and birthdates. She thanked me for writing everyone's names on the vouchers so she knew who was linked to which one. She entered all the info, issued us "real" card tickets: Mickey for Ron, Minnie for me, Goofy for Taylor, and Donald for Jared. She let us know that all of our fp+ selections had transferred so no further action would be needed for those- sweet! We were on our way to DQ!



We were sent up to the 3rd level where we discovered a cool game! It was just like to movie.




There are so many games and activities here- really something for everyone. The guys found some shooting games while I played some of the classic games.



Jared loved the unlimited skee ball, and right behind that was the pinball machines- I was doing awesome on those!



We remembered from the time we went years ago that there were cool interactive games too. We loved Pirates of the Caribbean- we got the second highest level and vowed to come back to win the top level.



We also did the Aladdin one- this one is individual and we were all able to win on our turns. It's cool, but I think I'm getting old since it makes me kinda dizzy like the other simulator rides. We did some other activities like Sid's Create a Toy. We got some big laughs out of who could make the silliest stuff.



Taylor and I got into a "best out of..." contest with one of the car racing games, and I finally gave in and conceded that he won. Jared and Ron got really far on a jungle quest kind of game during this time. We played a few others till it was 10:00 closing time. As we headed back to the bus we got to see the balloon up over DTD.



We didn't have to wait but a few minutes for a bus and we were back to the resort. The boys showered up while Ron and I looked for animals, and we all went to bed. Super first day!
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PostSubject: Re: Pre-Christmas Trip Report   Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:53 pm

Very cool! Your pics look awesome. How was AKL? The PoC at Disney Quest is one of my favorites rides.

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PostSubject: Re: Pre-Christmas Trip Report   Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:09 pm

Sounds like you had a blast!!

Keep the report coming, really enjoying it!!
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PostSubject: Day 2- DHS   Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:26 pm

Monday morning we slept in a bit, but as usual I was the first one up. I was concerened about the bathrooms at AKL at first, because in the values there's a curtain and at CSR there's sliding doors, so I wasn't sure how much privacy the AKL ones would give and how much noise it would be. But since ours was on the left once you entered the room and then the bedroom area was past that with the beds facing sideways, there was room for me to change and get ready after showering and I didn't even wake the guys. Ron got up and got ready too and by then the boys were up.
I had to laugh, cuz Ron asked me what park we were going to that day and I said DHS. He said ok, he just wanted to make sure he wore the right shirt! This coming from a guy who wears uniforms to work and is usually not a slave to fashion! He meant that he wanted to wear his grey Star Wars shirt. Coincidentally I was wearing my grey Toy Story shirt, and both boys not meaning to wore something grey. I rpomise we are not the super matchy family!



We headed out to the lobby and down to Mara for our first breakfast. Aaaah, I could get used to this! We got down to breakfast about 8:30and got our refillable mugs and ordered 3 bounty platters with eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, biscuits, and Mickey waffles which was perfect to share between the 4 of us. We also got to pick 3 drinks with this, so the boys grabbed Powerades to take to the park with us and we just got drinks in our mugs. Ron mostly got sodas for breakfast, I got coffee, and the boys got like lemonade or fruit punch or cocoa.

After breakfast we looked around the lobby and surrounding areas. There's a great little room that would be great for reading or just relaxing that had some cool artifacts.



We went back to our room to wash out the mugs, brush teeth, and say hi to some animals.





There was a DHS bus waiting when we got down to the bus stop so we hopped right on and were on our way. We said hi to some monsters on the way in.



The weather was looking a bit overcast and it was slightly cool. But nothing was going to deter us from a fun day!



Normally we are running to get a fp for TSMM then running to ToT and RnR, but I had already made fp+ selections for those later in the day. So it was a nice leisurely stroll in for once. I love the old Hollywood feel and getting to really see all the details in everything.



We grabbed a map and time guide and decided to do The Great Movie Ride first.



It was a five minute wait and lucky us got a "time checker" as my kids call it. They always feel lucky to get picked to take these to the next CM to gauge wait times.



Now that the kids are older they've seen most of the movies in this ride and can appreciate the history in it. They also like singing somgs from the movies as we go along. Seriously, they don't get embarrassed!



Ron's favorite movie star!



Our tour got taken over by the western bandit, which was a nice change since the last few times we've had the gangster. I think the boys actually forgot this other version and were confused when we went through the gangster part and nothing happened.



Another one of our favoirte movie series! It's funny how movies we loved watching growing up are now some of our kids' favorites too.



Ah, the classics.



I have always been a huge Wizard of Oz fan and now I've got my family loving it too.




The movie clips at the end are funny cuz we sit there and try to call out all the names of the movies. Kinda makes me tear up too. We had super CM's on this ride and enjoyed it.

Next we were going to do the Indiana Jones stunt show, but as we approached it was already full 15 minutes before show time. The next show would be while we were eating lunch, so we made sure we'd come back for the later show. Muppets 3D only had a 5 minute wait so that's where we went.



We got front row seats right in the middle- perfect! Always some good laughs from this show. I used to watch the Muppets Show when I was a kid so it brings back memories for me.



Since we were right there we did the Backlot Tour next- less than a 10 minute wait.



The people chosen to be in the boat scene were hilarious. Last time the weather was bad so they skipped this part. It was nice to see it this time. Loved how they updated this plane!



Catastrophe Canyon is always cool. I don't know how, but Taylor always ends up sitting on the side that gets wet!

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PostSubject: Day 2- DHS cont.   Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:28 pm

After the Backlot Tour we enjoyed checking out all the neat movie memorabilia. The boys were interested in reading all the stuff about the props and costumes from their favorite movies.




This was Ron's favorite artifact- a check from Walt.



Even though we wouldn't be seeing the Osbourne Lights this trip we still liked seeing all the Christmas decorations up.




Lunch time was at 12:20 at Sci-FI Dine-In. We've been several times before and love the food and fun atmosphere.



Even though we had an adr we still had to wait 10 mintues past our time, then when we got in it wasn't even that busy. Our waitress also kept mentioning that she was new there and didn't really know a lot. She was very slow with our service and those of the other cars around us. But it was still fun to watch the "movie" as we waited.



The guys got oreo shakes to drink but I just got water- I wanted to save room for food! We again ordered 3 measl to share knowing we'd get dessert as well.

The NY strip steak with potatoes, veggies, and onion rings:



The ribs with baked beans and coleslaw:



The shrimp pasta:



I had some of the steak and pasta and they were delicious. The guys liked the ribs too, and all the sides were just right. Dessert was superb too- I tried them all!

Candy bar dessert:



Ice cream sundae:



Turtle cheesecake:


All in all, it was a good meal, even though it took more time than we expected and the service could have been better. We will probably still come back other times, but I would like to try something different next trip.
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PostSubject: Day 2- DHS cont.   Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:32 pm

We headed towards Sunset Blvd. and enjoyed more of the sights and shops. I had to make sure I looked in one of my favorite shops- Villains in Vogue- to check out Maleficent stuff. We found a cool Maleficent shoe ornament that Ron got for me!





We had a fp+ for Rock-n-Rollercoaster from 5:10-6:10.



Jared decided not to ride so he waited in the gift shop for the three of us to ride. Whew- what a rush! We LOVE this ride, singing all the way!



While he was waiting, Jared did find a Stitch pin that he got with a gift card. It was kind of robotic looking and I thought it was a good choice.

Ron and Jared didn't want to do Towe of Terror, but it's one of Taylor and I's favorites, so we wanted to ride before we ate dinner. The line was only 10 minutes- woohoo!



It was getting to be dusk and clouding over, so the ominous weather added to the creepiness of the ride- perfect!



Ready for check-in!



We had an awesome time as always. I love that the pattern of drops changes so you never know what to expect.

We were ready for dinner by now and wanted to eat before seeing Fantasmic! We chose Fairfaxe Fare, which we'd never tried before.



Ron and Jared grabbed a table while Taylor and I got the food. We ordered 2 of the chicken and ribs combos with Sprites to drink. I just ate the chicken but the guys had both meats. We thought the chicken was a bit dry but flavorful and they liked the ribs and bbq sauce. Jared and I ate the coleslaw which was just saucy enough, and Ron and Taylor liked the flavor of the beans.



When it came to dessert the CM, who was really impressively friendly and efficient, said we could get the carrot cake, chocolate cake, or the specialty cupackes if we liked- pumpkin spice. Of course we picked the special ones- so cute! They were perfectly touched with pumpkin and cinammon, not too sweet and a great fall taste.

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PostSubject: Day 2- DHS conclusion   Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:35 pm

After dinner it was time to walk across the street to see Fantasmic!



I had picked this as a fp+ to get in between 6:25 and 6:45. But when we were entering for our time, they were letting everyone in too and there was no special seating. Oh well, we still got a good seat and weren't trying to get in a certain spot or super close.



There were some funny CM's doing silly games and sing alongs before the start and trying to get the wave all the way back and forth around the stadium. This was the first event we got to see the Glow With the Show ears. They flashed on and off with the songs and the kids around us that had they seemed to enjoy them. This is Taylor's favorite show in all the parks so I'm glad we got in to see it. I will agree it is a must see for everyone at least once! Very awesome effects. Plus you get to see lots of characters- including my favorite Maleficent!








After Fantasmic! the boys decided they didn't want to do Star Tours after all. Ron and I get sick on the simulator rides, so we weren't going to anyway. Taylor wanted to do the single rider for RnR again, so we let him do that and it only took about 10 minutes. Deciding that we'd done everything we wanted for the day we strolled back to Hollywood Blvd.



We only had to wait about 5 minutes for a bus back to AKL. We had a nice walk back to our room, watched some animlas while the boys showered up again, and went to bed. Wonderful first park day!
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PostSubject: Day 3- down day   Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:58 pm

I was determined not to set an alarm this trip and just go with the flow. I did make a breakfast adr at Olivia's for our down day for 8:30 and was worried we might be late, but I woke up by 7:15 and everyone else got up soon after me. I made coffee for me in the room just to try it and it was good- better than the other kind they used to have at the resorts.
Originally we were going to go to Blizzard Beach this day, but since the weather felt too cool for us we said we'd do mini golf and resort hop during the day, and decided to drive. I was excited to check out some other resorts we'd never seen before. We pulled up at Old Key West Resort and I was pretty impressed.



It was pretty but had a laid back look too. We parked right up front and were on our way to breakfast.



We were warmly greeted and seated right away at a nice table by the window. It wasn't crowded at all and our server Janet got our drinks right away. The boys got chocolate milk and Ron and I just had water with lemon. We are both used to drinking a lot of water at home and I did not want to be getting dehydrated on vacation.



The pictures from DVC members decorating the walls were very charming and made you feel welcome, like being at a friend's. There were crayons on the table and Jared actually asked if there was anything to color on. Janet got a kick out of this and brought both the boys coloring sheets, which they both proceeded to color while we were waiting for our food. They said it was relaxing.



The funny thing to me was that there was a family seated next to us with 3 kids about 3, 5, and 7, and the parents were giving them their phones to play with and one had a tablet, yet my teenagers were having fun coloring and just talking to their mom and dad. It made me remember why I love them so much!
Because it looked big enough we ordered two of the Olivia's breakfasts to share, and it was plenty, and very tasty too! I had my two eggs scrambled and Taylor had his over easy. Rona and Jared had the breakfast potatoes, but I had a bite and they were good. We got biscuits, which were light and fluffy, and bacon and sausage too. Great meal in a warm comfortable palce.

After breakfast we looked around a bit. It's a beautiful resort but very inviting and not "stuck up" feeling at all. The area around the water is lovely and we liked the look of the buildings. The boys had fun goofing off.





Although we may not ever stay here because we don't really need the bigger room and space, if we did I would consider OKW for the comfortable feel.

Next up we drove to Fantasia Gardens to play some mini golf.



We had been years ago, but it was a night, so I was happy to see it during the day. We arrived right at 10:00 opening and were given a "tee time" and got to start.



There are so many fun holes here! They are challenging but make you laugh. Taylor got a hole in one on the very first hole! And Ron got one on the fifth hole. I would highly recommend taking a little time to enjoy a round of golf here!







You have to read all the intros to the holes to get what you're supposed to do, and they're really cute. There aes surprises along the way too!




This hole was the hardest for all of us. The fence thing is kinda in the way so it's hard to get the ball up the hill.




The last hole features Yensid- the sorcerer! As you probably know, his name is Disney backwards. But I've always thought it was cool that if you rearrange the letters it also spells Sidney, which is my grandpa's middle name, and I was named after him since I was born on his birthday, and the first time I went to WDW was with him!


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PostSubject: Day 3- down day cont.   Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:00 pm

Since we were right across the street I wanted to go in to see the Swan and Dolphin. Ron and Jared weren't interested but were totally fine just waiting for me to look around, and Taylor was up for joining me.



Ok, so we were acting silly playing in the revolving door.



I was going to have Taylor take my picture by the fountain, but a nice chef walking by volunteered to take a shot of us.



We walked around inside and then went outside to head over to the Dolphin.






The inside of the Dolphin is equally beautiful to the Swan.




We had to look around the art gallery here. Some amazing arists are featured.




We headed back to the Swan and decided that while they are both nice, the Swan had a better overall feel. Neither had a real Disney magic feel though, and we thought they felt too much like hotels and not the resort atmosphere we enjoy, so we wouldn't choose to stay here.

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PostSubject: Day 3- down day cont.   Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:02 pm

Two other joined resorts we wanted to visit were Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter. We were going to eat lunch at Blizzard Beach, but we had eaten at POFQ for dinner once before and we decided to try it again- especially since we hadn't been able to stop in New Orleans for lunch on the way home from Texas last summer and the boys wanted some beignets. First stop was Riverside.



The overall feel is very southern and reminded us of the plantations here in South Carolina.



We looked around inside and then walked around a bit outside enjoying the grounds and pool area. They're nice, but we probably wouldn't choose to stay here because there aren't queen beds and the overall feel is so similar to what we have here at home.





Then we hopped back in the car for a second to drive over to POFQ.



The other time we came here was a night and just for a quick meal. We were happy to be greeted this time by the friendly gentleman at the door who gave us all good luck coins and chatted with us.



My grandpa was from New Orleans originally so we used to visit there with him when he'd visit us growing up, and our family has visited too. It's a fun atmosphere at this resort, and my boys both play jazz, so they liked it.



Taylor plays trumpet and his nickname is Scat Cat, so he was happy to pose for this picture.



After looking around were ready for lunch.



There are different stations to order at and everyone got their own paper ticket and waited just a few minutes while their meal was prepared fresh. I like that there are lots of great choices here. We got our drinks and were going to get dessert but the CM at the bakery told us we could just bring back our receipts later when we were done eating so our desserts would be fresh. We grabbed drinks, paid with our credits on our magic bands, and grabbed a table which was easy since it wasn't crowded at all.



Taylor got the shrimp poboy with homemade chips and vitamin water.



Ron got the beef poboy, chips, and tea.



Jared got the fried shrimp, french fries, and vitamin water.



I got the muffaletta, bean salad, and a tea.



Mine was delicious and very filling- I would definitely recommend this meal! The guys really liked theirs too and said we should make this a regular stop on future trips.
We still had some room for dessert so the boys and I each ordered beignets and Ron got ice cream.



The weather was nice so we sat outside to eat dessert taking in the charm of the resort.



We took a walk to look around. It is also a nice resort, but we'd probably not stay here since it also has smaller beds, and we can stay in New Orleans on trips if we'd like. But I would recommend these resorts to others since they have a great overall atmosphere and layout.

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PostSubject: Day 3- down day cont.   Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:03 pm

We got back to AKL around 2:30. We went up to our room to relax and unwind. Jared did some homework and Taylor went down to get drinks for all of us, then they just chilled out. Ron and I spent the afternoon hanging out on the balcony enjoying the animals.





The boys had fun watching the animals too.



At one point some CM's came to clean out the pond. It was funny that the animals didn't seem to mind or run off.



We still got to observe them throughout the afternoon.




We named this antelope Ashley because it reminded us of how our older dog lays.



This one we named Hannah because she was chewing on her foot like our younger dog. It's mannerisms were hilarious to watch.






We really fell in love with the resort for it's great views and relaxing atmosphere.





This bird was really cool to watch as it built it's nest.



Later before we went to bed I asked Ron what his favorite part of the day was, and he said getting to enjoy the animals. I think we've found a new fan of AKL!
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PostSubject: Day 3- down day conclusion   Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:05 pm

At about 5:00 we hopped on a bus to DTD. Again, we only waited about 5 minutes.



We passed Planet Hollywood where we'd be dining for dinner later.



We didn't visit Splitsville, but it looks pretty neat and we might consider it for a down day next time. Although Taylor was ok for video games and mini golf, we didn't think bowling was an option for him.



We entered Disney Quest again for some more fun before dinner.



Buzz's Astroblaster wasn't working when we were there Sunday night, so that's where we headed first.



What a fun attraction! The boys paired up in one car and Ron and I got in another. You have to load balls that you roll over with your car into a cannon and shoot them at targets on other cars. Ron did the driving and I did the loading and shooting. Totally fun, and when you get hit your car spins out of control. We had a "blast"!



We played some other games throughout the complex.





Then we went back to Planet Hollywood for our 7:00 adr. They sent us up one level to check in, then up another level to wait for our table. It seemed really hectic and disorganized, and the staff was not really giving friendly attention to any of the other guests either. We were finally seated at a table off to the side near a side rail so we had a view down two levels.



There's a lot to look at here, but it seemed much noisier than the last time we came here, which was back in 2006 during the Super Bowl. Our waiter was ok, but nothing special, and again seemed rushed and not attentive, just going through the motions.



We knew what we wanted and ordered drinks and food right away, but it took forever to get there. Once it did arrive it was very tasty though. This time the boys got waters while Ron and I had Cokes. We used 2 dining credits and then also used the $15 certificate from our package.

First was the ribs that the guys shared.



They also got the New York strip steak with veggies and potatoe. I had a bite of each and they were yummy.



I ordered the chicken avacado swiss sandwich and shared some with everyone. It was perfect.



For dessert we got the big Ghiradelli double chocolate brownie that's meant to be shared between two people. I will say it should be for four- we could barely finish it, but it was great!



Honestly even though the food was just what we like, I would hesitate to come here again due to the service and atmosphere.

We went back to Disney Quest after dinner and went to try to conquer PotC. The CM working there was named Sydney too and we spent a minute talking to her while waiting for our ship. During our first game we got close, but still got second to best. We were determined and went right back again and Sydney got us back on another ship. This time we were successful- top level! Feeling fullfilled, we played some other games, and ended the night in a skeeball challenge.



At 10:00 closing we finally called it a night and went to catch a bus back to AKL. Again we were pleased that we didn't have a long wait and were all in bed before 11:00. It keeps getting better!
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PostSubject: Day 4- Epcot   Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:32 am

This morning we all woke up on our own, got ready, and were down eating breakfast at the Mara around 8:30. We got three bounty platters again, filled up our mugs, and got three Powerades to take with us to the park.



We dropped the mugs back in the room and hopped on a bus to Epcot. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and I was pleased since we'd be spending most of it outside.



Our first stop was the Land pavillion since we had a coveted fp+ from 9:15- 10:15 for Soarin'.



With the fp+ we were boarded for our flight right away. What an exhilirating ride! I love that the park scene at the end is decorated for Christmas!



Nxet we took a ride on Living with the Land since it was only a five minute wait.



I'm always amazed at all the things they grow here. I want one of these trees!



Found a hidden Mickey and Minnie in the fish tanks!




Nice Thanksgiving touches on the ride.



If I could rig one of these up at our house it would be awesome! We grow lettuce, but this would make it so much better.



Next we had a fp+ for Test Track from 10:55-11:55. We were all excited about experiencing the new version!



Ron and Taylor teamed up and Jared and I teamed up to create our own car. This immersive activity was a cool touch.



Jared and I's creation (he let me make it a little purple):


Ron and Taylor's machine:



Then we strapped in and got ready for the ride!



What a fun rush! Jared and I's car got higher scores than Ron and Taylor's so we got a laugh out of that, since they're the car guys! Then we got to race our cars in a game at the end.




There's some cool cars to check out at the end still.



We decided to go see Ellen and "Stupid Judy" next, and luckily walked in exactly as a new show was starting- perfect timing! We always get a good laugh out of this and the boys actually understand it now.



We followed that with The Seas with Nemo- cute as always.




It was time to try some new flavors of drinks from around the world before hitting the Food & Wine Festival.



My favorite was the pineapple Fanta, Jared liked the one from Brazil, Taylor liked the one from Thailand, and Ron liked the one from Peru best.



After a nice morning in Future World we were ready for the World Showcase.

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PostSubject: Day 4- Epcot cont.   Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:34 am

Our first stop was the cranberry bog where we learned how cranberries are grown.



Then it was time to start eating our way around the world! I had prepared a list of what we'd probably like to try in each country. My goal was to try something from each of the food booths. Ron and I aren't big drinkers normally and we just wanted to focus on the food part.



I stopped into the shop at the beginning, but they didn't have passports adn said to ask at the booths because some of them still had them.
Our first stop was



We tried the crispy pork belly with black beans, onions, avacado, and cilantro.We loved it- probably one of my favorites, and I was a little skeptical at first since I don't like anything fatty. But it was perfectly cooked and flavored.



Next we stopped at



for a beef empanada. We've had this before and it didn't fail to impress again- high scores from all of us.



We treid a new booth in



and chose the garlic shrimp with tomatoes, lemon myrtle, and rapini. The boys and I shared this since Ron doesn't really like shrimp. The three of us loved the light yet powerful flavors in this dish.



We ate next in



where we once again feasted on the rib-eye taco with chipotle salsa. It was as yummy as we remember! Great flavor with just the right amount of spice.



For most of the booths Taylor and I went through the lines while Ron and Jared snagged a spot to sit. Most of the lines weren't long all day. Towards the evening they got a bit longer, but they moved quickly. Most people were using mb's or the little gift cards so that seemed to make it much faster.

Since we were already in Mexico it was time to explore the pavillion, where we looked through the shops and watched the glassmakers, and ride the Gran Fiesta Tour.




Norway was our next destination. The church exhibit was closed since they were putting a new one in.



We stopped for a bite at the booth for



We got the lemongrass chicken curry with coconut and jasmine rice. It was pretty good when we mixed it all together to eat, but not at the top of our favorites list.



The line for Maelstrom said 20 minutes, but we decided to ride since we wefre already here. It ended up taking about 15 minutes and we were on a boat with another family that was being silly like us so it was extra fun.




We looked around the shops and had to take our traditional picture with our troll buddy! As we were leaving the pavillion we also caught a glimpse of Anna and Elsa from "Frozen" leaving their greeting area to go on a break. The boys didn't want to wait to get a picture with them, even though I thought it would have been cute!



We worked up an appetite for something from



so we tried the Mongolian beef in a steamed bun. This was surprisingly delicious with an interesting taste and texture. We all enjoyed this one. I also finally got a passport to stamp! I figured I'd go back later and get the stamps from the ones I'd missed.



We always enjoy exploring this pavillion.



The shops here are some of our favorites and the boys had fun finding some new things!



The historical aspects are also interesting and we enjoy larning about the cultures in all the areas too.



The architecture is amazing too.



When we came out we got to catch the end of the acrobat show.
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PostSubject: Day 4- Epcot cont.   Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:36 am

Our next stop on the food tour was



Jared and I got in line and got the Kimchi dog with spicy mustard and loved it- and Jared doesn't usually like mustard. The spicy flavor accented the cabbage and hotdog wonderfully. We have a local specialty hotdog place (it's been featured on the DDD show) that Jared wants to start making this!



It was Ron and Taylor's turn to stop in



to get the berbere beef with onions, jalepenos, tomatoes, okra, and pap. They both really liked it, though they said they wouldn't like the pap by itself, only stirred into the sauce. I tried a bite and thought it was super.



I got the cheese sampler that had Beecher's Flagship Reserve with honey, brie with apricot jam, and gouda on craisin bread. Jared tried the one with honey and liked it, but they wouldn't try anything else. I loved all of the, especially the brie- fantastic!



Up next we had



Taylor went and got a bratwurst in a pretzel bun while I was getting the cheese. I tried a nibble and it was pretty good, but the guys devoured it.



We enjoyed looking through the German pavillion and had to make a stop in the Werther's shop. We liked watching them make treats like caramel apples while we waited in line.




We used a snack credit to get a treat- a chocolate caramel cookie that was scrumptious.



We've been to



before and got our favorite kielbasa and potato pierogi with onions and sour cream. Good as always! Somehow I missed getting a picture of it- I guess we were in a hurry to eat it!

The next booth we sampled was another favorite



Jared doesn't normally like ravioli and has never tried it the other times, but we convinced him to this time and now he loves it too! So cheesy and a big size that makes it a great deal.



As we were stopping along the lake to snack I got some great shots across to the other pavillions.



We looked around Italy's pavillion,my favorite mask shop, and marvelled at the architecture here too.



Taylor and I stopped at the booth for



and tried the lobster roll. We both thought it could have used a little more flavor and would have tasted better a little warmed rather than cold, but overall it was pretty good. Jared tried a bite finally and decided he likes lobster too.



Ron and Jared went to the booth for



and picked the beef slider with monterey jack and sweet hot pickles. They didn't like the pickles (I didn't really either) but they loved the burger.



We ate outside around the fountain and had some friendly ducks come try to share our food!



We decided to experience



and headed inside just in time to hear a beautiful performance by the Voices of Liberty- very moving. Then we got to walk right into a show that was starting. I like the story in this, but the audio-animatronics are really what amaze me.
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PostSubject: Day 4- Epcot cont.   Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:39 am

The next pavillion was Japan. We heard the drummers finishing a performance as we approached. They have always been entertaining. What's cool is that Taylor's band at school actually has real taiko drums and he's learned how to play them! They used them in their winter and spring concerts last year and even in their marching show this year. They made stands to be able to roll them onto the field at one point for some of the students to play and had covers to decorate them for the theme- the playing really wowed the crowds. Jared's taking percussion and concert band this year and hopes to be able to learn to play them next year in high school too.



We looked around the gorgeous gardens and the shops here just taking our time.



The next food booth we sampled was also



None of us like sushi, but we love teriyaki chicken (it's a favorite on Boy Scout campouts for our troop) so I thought the teriyaki chicken roll was a safe choice. By far, this was everyone's least favorite dish. The rice had no flavor and seemed dry, the chicken tasted like the pre-cooked kind with no tenderness, and you could barely taste any teriyaki flavor. After each having a bite we didn't even finish it.



Thankfully our next food stop was



We ordered the kefta pocket- Jared and I ate the veggie slaw and some of the beef and pita, then Ron and Taylor finished it off. Very good- it would make a good part of a meal for one person.



While we ate we got to enjoy Mo Rockin' and the belly dancer. I really enjoy their blend of music- makes everyone want to get up and dance.



Ron and I especially like looking around this pavillion since it brings back memories for us both- I lived in Saudi Arabia for a couple years when I was a kid and he's been deployed to the Middle East several times. The atmosphere here was really spectacular this particular night. The crescent moon behind the buildings was neat.



Ok, just when I thought "we won't be in Animal Kingdom so no camels and we won't be in Magic Kingdom so no camels at Aladdin" the guys managed to find a camel for "Hump Day" anyway!



Next up on our food journey was



We picked the venison sausage with mushroom, arugula, and black currant dressing. The guys liked the sausage and so did I- not too gamey and just the right spice. The "salad" was really yummy too- I wish I'd had more!



Onto a favorite in



with the beef ribs in cabernet with mashed potatoes. I have to say we're normally not lovers of French food, but this is very tasty. I let the guys eat most of this since they like it so much. It is probably one of the best uses of a snack credit since the portion is so big and filling.



I like the looks of the France pavillion at night, but no one really wanted to look around so I just snapped a few shots.



We stopped in



for a sweet treat- a Belgian waffle with chocolate and whipped cream. It was just enough for everyone to have a bite and wasn't overly sweet. The waffle had a nice crispness and wasn't soggy.



We moved to the UK pavillion next. We always like looking around in here.



Ron and I were poking our heads around a corner to see the kids lined up to meet Pooh and Tigger, and a dad says to us "Oh, if you want to get in line just go out the door and it's around over there." We were laughing and told him we were just reminiscing about when our kids were little! It is endearing that now our boys will point out cute things little kids do or say. We got some goofing off in too.



No Jared, you are NOT playing rugby!



Mmmm... then it was time to get one of Taylor and I's favorites from



the seafood fisherman's pie! This thing is sooo good- warm and flavorful and filling but you just want more! We gobbled it up but did convince Jared to try a bite first, and he even liked it.

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PostSubject: Day 4- Epcot conclusion   Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:41 am

Our last pavillion to visit was Canada.



We looked around in the shops and spoke to some nice CM's while in there. it reminds me of the Wilderness Lodge a bit and I love the rustic feel. Then it was time to grab a sample from the



food booth. We've had the pleasure to dine at LeCellier three times in previous visits before it became a signature location and it was definitely a favorite- the food, atmosphere, and service are unparalled! But we don't really want to spend that much or use two credits to eat here at this point, it may be something Rona dn I go back to try by ourselves at some point. Now we're just happy with a taste of the ever popular cheese soup, which was perfect as always!



The next booth I was excited to try was



I hadn't had Greek food in a long time, and there's not really anyplace to get it around here, so I'd forgotten how much I like it. When I went back home for my brother's wedding in Sept. I went to eat at a great Greek place and got to try lots of stuff that I fell in love with again. I knew Ron would love the spanakopita so that's what we ordered. The boys thought it was ok, but as I predicted Ron was all over it- it was flaky, warm, and flavorful. We've vowed to go to that restaurant when we go home next summer so he can try some more Greek eats!



Up next was the



where the boys opted for an orange Dole Whip. Ron and I would have tried any of the foods since we both adore pineapple (the boys don't though- more for us, hehehe...) but we were still a bit full. This is actually a much bigger serving but the boys dug into it before I could snap a shot!



At the next booth for



we had to wait behind two ladies who had apparently already been sampling some other alcoholic drinks since it took them a while to figure out what and how to order! Taylor and I just chuckled and then picked the frozen s'mores when it was our turn. Ron and I had a taste, which was super yummy and sweet, but let the boys finish most of it. They said they'd prefer this to traditional s'mores and wanted to know if they could make it at the next campout- so silly!



We got to



and I was excited to try the Kalua pork slider since I was too full last time and Ron ate the whole thing before I could take a picture and raved about it. Well, I guess I was so excited I forgot to take a picture this time too! But it was really delicious and I wish they served several of these as an appetizer or meal somewhere!



was our next flavor destination and we decided on the Banoffee tart- talk about amazing! The warm banana with the toffee flavor and the crunchy crumbles was outstanding!



Our last food booth was



and we finished with the chocolate cake with passion fruit sauce. For a vegetarian dish it was pretty good- not as rich as some of the other desserts and just sweet enough.



Now that we had thoroughly stuffed ouselves we were ready to head back to Furture World. Then I remembered I had to go back and get the passport stamps I missed at the beginning. So the guys found a bench to rest on while I went on my mission. It was a little after 8:00 and the "traffic" had started to really pick up. I think people may have come from other parks to enjoy the later evening at Epcot, so I was glad we'd gotten all the food we'd wanted by then.
After stopping for a stamp at each of the missed booths, I went back to meet the rest of my family. As I approached I could see all three of the completely cracking up laughing- they almost couldn't talk! as we began walking I finally got Ron to tell me that a dad and his about five year old son had just walked by pushing the mom in one of the Disney rented strollers, and she was about passed out in it probably from enjoying the "Wine" part of the festival a little more than the "Food" part! This I had to see, so Jared and I fast walked ahead acting like we were trying to find a restroom, and then when Jared said we passed them we stopped and turned around like we were waiting for Ron and Taylor to catch up. Sure enough, there was a grown woman in a stroller, looking out of it though sitting up a bit now, and a man and boy were pushing her! Glad that was never me!

Back in Future World



we looked around in Mouse Gears and the amazing Disney art shop. This place is like an attraction for us- the boys actually ask to see it. Taylor foundand got with his gift card a set of four 500 piece puzzles of Thomas Kincade paintings- Peter Pan, Lion King, Pinocchio, and Jungle Book.

The boys wanted the last ride to be Spaceship Earth and luckily there was only a five minute wait!



Ron and Taylor always seem to ride this together while Jared and I team up.



I love this ride, and it's cool to me when Jared and Taylor now throws in little tidbits they've learned from school about some of the parts. We made our postcards to send to ourselves, silly faces made on purpose, and were on our way.



We had an outstanding time and got to do everything we wanted without rushing at all- so happy! We didn't even wait long for a bus either, and were back to AKL soon.



We had been chatting on the bus ride in the morning with a nice lady and her elderly mom and another older couple without kids. We saw the lady and her mom had these sliders on their mb's that we had seen on other people and had assumed they bought. She informed all of us they had received them at check-in. Our family and the couple had both arrived on Sunday and we hadn't gotten them. The lady told us to just go to the front desk when we got back and ask for them, so Ron and I sent the boys up to the room to get ready for bed while we waited at the desk. The lobby is so peaceful at night so we didn't mind waiting while a few people ahead of us in line go their issues taken care of. Ron even commented that he could probably sleep in the lobby. When it was our turn the nice CM presented us with our four complimentary glow-in-the-dark sliders and told us that there were more sliders and other accessorries avaible for purchase at many of the gift shops. We got back to the room and added them to our bands, the tucked in for a good night's sleep!

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PostSubject: Re: Pre-Christmas Trip Report   Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:54 am

Wow, did you guys eat all those items? They look amazing! I love the F&W fest and miss that we didn't go this year. Thanks for sharing!

Love the 2013 MB add on

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PostSubject: Day 5- MK   Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:34 pm

We slept in this morning a bit, but I was still up beofre everyone else. After I got ready for the day I walked around a bit outside while the guys were getting up. The resort was so calm in the morning. Every day I came to appreciate it more.





I checked out the hot tub and fitness center as I explored.






When I got back to the room the guys were ready to go so we hopped on a bus and headed to the MK.



I had figured on going to the Grand Floridian or the Contemporary for a quick breakfast just to change things up and to look around. I let the boys pick and surprisingly they chose the Grand Floridian.



It was not what I expected- so much more magical and with some lovely Disney touches.





I was very impressed with the elegant look but relaxing feeling of the Grand Floridian. I expected stuffiness but didn't get that at all.



We asked and were politely directed to the Gasparilla Island Grill, where were ordered two meals, since it was about 9:30 by then and we had an early lunch adr. We got a bounty platter which came with eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, a pancake, biscuit, and Mickey waffle- they were all very good. We also got a Mickey waffle platter so we coule each have our own Mickey waffle, and some more bacon.




After breakfast we went back to the lobby to see the gingerbread house. It was still under construcion but it was astounding anyway.







The lobby was very comfortable and cozy. Jared wanted a picture of what he called "Kevin's cage"- Kevin being the bird from "Up."



We saw a bride and her bridal party taking pictures and as we were leaving we saw the car we figured they'd be using.



The Grand Floridian is definitely somewhere we'd consdier staying because of the atmosphere, beauty, and the monorail transportation is convenient. We hopped on the monorail to head to the MK for our day of fun.

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PostSubject: Day 5- MK cont.   Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:38 pm

We had arived at Magic Kingdom!



We leisurely strolled up Main Street taking in all the excitement and Christmas decorations. Of course our first destination was Adventureland!



we passed Jungle Cruise and there was already a 20 minute wait so we decided to try to get a fastpass with our tickets- no problem, we'd come back later.
All of us have the same favorite ride at MK- PotC! There was like a five minute wait so in we went! Walked right on and rode, but something wasn't quite right. There were some parts where things weren't moving properly and the most noticeable was at the end with Capt. Jack not moving. As we were coming out the CM's were closing the front and turning a bunch of disappointed guests away. We were glad we at least got to ride first.



So we kept walking along to



I had the brilliant idea that we should do Splash Mt. next so if we got wet we'd have time to dry off before lunch.



Miraculously there was only a ten minute wait and the weather was feeling warm.



We walked right on through and were ready to join Brer Rabbit for an adventure. We were all singing along through the ride.



Before:



and after:



Are you kidding me?!? Taylor and I ended up in the very front row which was sooo much fun, but we got the top half of us soaked! I had to go in the restroom afterwards and use paper towels to try to dry off since my hair was dripping. Mental note- bring a towel next time and don't put on any eye makeup! It was totally worth it though.

The ride photo came out cool though!



It was time to return for our Jungle Cruise fastpasses and I was just glad we'd not be getting any more wet. We had a surprise to see it all decorated for Christmas around the line, ride, and boat.





Our captain Rick was really funny and we actually heard some new jokes we hadn't before. I always enjoy the predictable corniness of this ride.







We figured we'd head to Liberty Square next.



The line for Haunted Mansion looked long from a distance but the wait was less than ten minutes.



Besides waiting in line is part of the fun on this ride.



We drug our bodies to the dead center of the room as instructed.




We got in our doom buggies and picked up some hitchhikers on the way out. I would have to say that Haunted Mansion is probably my second favorite at MK.

We wandered into Fantasyland and loved the new Rapunzel section- nicely incorporated!




Since Small World was right there and a five minute wait we hopped on a boat around the world.



As we got off it was time to take a stroll back up Main Street for lunch.
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PostSubject: Day 5- MK cont.   Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:39 pm

Our lunch adr was for 12:40 at one of our favorite places- Tony's! We have made this a must-do since our second trip.



We checked in and only waited a few minutes to be seated. By some weird coincidence we were seated at the exact same table as we were at last time!



It's such a nice place and we prefer eating in the bright patio area.



Our server Bethany was wonderful through the whole meal. First she brought out our drinks- Coke for Ron, and refreshing lemonade for the boys and I.



We picked three dishes to order and split between the four of us. One was the spaghetti and meatballs- love the sauce and juicy meatballs!



The chicken parmigiana was delicious as always- nicely breaded and seasoned and perfect with the pasta and sauce.



My favorite dish was the pizza bianca topped with chicken, pancetta, arugula, and creamy marscapone- it was divine! Next time I'm getting one all to myself!



We still had a bit of room for dessert so we picked the gelato



the spumoni



and the tiramisu- all were heavenly!



As we were leaving we got to meet the proprieter! We will definitely still be making Tony's a must-eat place on future trips.

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PostSubject: Day 5- MK cont.   Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:43 pm

After our delicious lunch we strolled back up Main Street and got to enjoy it since it was less crowded now than at opening time.



Someone was nice enough to take a shot of us. (my poor hair still hadn't recovered from Splash Mt!)



The weather had really become gorgeous- prefect temps and beautiful skies.



Since we had two afternoon fp+ for Tomorrowland that's where we headed next.



We started off with a tour of Tomorrowland on the



They were back to goofing off again as we rode around, but that was one of the best things about this trip- enjoying them just be kids.


The first ride they wanted to do was



There was a 20 minute wait listed but it ended up only being 10 minutes from the time they walked in to the time they got out. Ron and I decided to watch from the grandstands so we got to talk while they drove. They had fun as always.




Our family loves the nostalgia of



We walked right up as a show was starting and we got front row seats. We did get to watch the 20's part twice since it stopped at the end and then re-started without rotating around. I wish they could make one where it went through all the decades, but Walt's original is really special and I hope they never get rid of it! It's a great big beautiful tomorrow!



We had a fp+ from 3:10-4:10 for



We love this ride and it really brings back memories for me of my first visit when my brother and cousin and I convinced my grandma to ride it- and she loved it! Now I get to enjoy it with my family. We were seated towards the back, which gives a little more pull on the drops. I can't figure out if I like the front or back more.



Our Buzz fp+ wasn't till 4:20-5:20, but the wait time was at 15 minutes so we decided to just do stand-by.



I do like the que for this ride so the time went quick.



I rode with Taylor and Ron rode with Jared. Taylor and I got pretty close scores but I never do a really good job of steering, so that probably impeded him. Ron and Jared ranked high in their scores though.

There was a show that had already begun for



but we were first in line for the next one. In our audience was a big group with kids that were obviously there on a special trip. They used one of the adults in that group to continually pick on which they all loved, and they used those kids in the show and they picked some with adorable presonalities- it was very touching and funny.



By the time we were done with the monsters we could go back to Buzz again.



This time we switched partners and I let Jared steer this time. Of course he kept turning it so he could hit targets better than me! Ron and Taylor really got into it- they take their zapping very seriously!



We took another ride on the Peoplemover and then said goodbye to Tomorrowland.
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PostSubject: Day 5- MK cont.   Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:47 pm

From Tomorrowland we next crossed over into New Fantasyland! On our last visit we caught a glimpse of some of the construction over the barriers so we were excited to get to experience a lot of the new parts that had been opened. One thing that's still uner construction is the new Snow White mine ride, but they have a cute barrier up that you can look through and there is quite a bit visible over the top.




Up first we found the




There was only a 10 minute wait listed for



so on we went. We don't usually wait for this ride since the boys have gotten bigger because the waits are usually so long, but creating two rides and having a fun play area while you wait was brilliant. We actually didn't even have time to wait in the play area because we ended up being led right on by the CM. It was fun to be able to experience this new old favorite!



We checked out the water play area and meet & greet tent and found some silly photo ops too. This whole re-done part is really a treat.



The next new attraction for us was



We had just watched The Little Mermaid the week before we left so the story and all the songs were fresh on our minds. Prince Eric's castle is amazing! My brother saw the pictures and asked who's castle that was and said he wanted to live there!






The line was only about 5 minutes and we liked all the details as we walked through.



The ride itself was beyond my expectations- very well done and lots of energy- we loved it!






The additions in Fantasyland really tie everything together and make the whole area very magical. The sunset was a spectacular backdrop too.






For the first time ever, the boys did not want to ride the carosel, but of course we had to watch



I know this has Mickey in the name, but I really love it because Donald is the real star in my opinion. We really love all the music in here too.

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PostSubject: Day 5- MK conclusion   Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:50 pm

Before leaving Fantasyland we wanted to check out the other new castle- that of the Beast!






They did an amazing job to make this look so realistic like you're really seing this faraway castle in the mountains. Walking through the area you feel like you're in a French village.

We knew we were going to be eating dinner at



in a few nights, but wanted to look around while it was still light outside. It's such a neat experience. I think the check-in area at the beginning and the bridge just makes you anticipate it more.



Our final fp+ of the day was from 6:20-7:20 for



I can not ride with Ron and I can't ride with Taylor anymore either becuase I feel like the bar doesn't come down far enough, so they rode together.



I figured out that even riding with Jared that the bar still doesn't come down very far, so we were sliding all over the place, bouncing up to almost standing on the drops, and throwing our hands up all while giggling our heads off! This ride is fun during they day, but I think even more fun at night!



I planned to do this ride at this time so it would be before dinner and we'd be right by where we wanted to eat at



We don't eat burgers almost the whole rest of the trip because we know we'll be enjoying the huge loaded bacon cheeseburgers here. We have figured that three meals are the prefect amount for us. We get all the toppings we each like and make a feast. I personally like mayo, lettuce, grilled onions and mushrooms, topped with melty cheese sauce, and the crispy onion rings are the cherries on top! The cheese is also perfect for dipping the French fries!



We were so stuffed that we just took the little chocolate cakes, which are in a prefect little travel container, to go in our backpack and ended up eating them later.

There were a few more attractions we wanted to hit so we went back to Fantasyland. I swear the Rapunzel restroom became our new favorite since we seemed to keep going back to it during both times at MK. It is really a neat area.



The one disappointment for this trip was that Peter Pan was closed. I've always said Taylor is my Peter Pan and it's one of our family's favorite Disney stories. But we'll just have to come back.



But one we missed last time that we had to do this time was another classic



This one is also special since I grew up with Pooh being one of my favorite characters since I was very young according to my mom, and my family have always enjoyed the gang from the Hundred Acre Wood.



We had to go back to tow of our favorites before the night was done, the first being Haunted Mansion.



Just before 9:00 we came back to ride PotC again, this time it was working perfectly, so we were all happy!




We decided to call it a day and headed towards the exit. On our way out Wishes was going on so we were still able to enjoy it a bit even though we weren't interested in stopping to watch. It was nice to be able to take our time walking since everone else was pretty much stopped watching.





At the bus stop we waited less than 10 minutes and were on our way back to AKL.



This was probably one of the most enjoyable days of the whole trip. We had a nice ride back, the boys got cleaned up while Ron and I animal watched, and we all turned in for a relaxing night's sleep.
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