Walt Disney World Trip Report Part 30 – Until Next Time

Day 8 – 11/11/2014

After a rousing performance by the Country Bears, we had a FP+ for Haunted Mansion. It was another great ride.
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Having visited the 999 happy haunts for the last time this trip we decided it was time to eat. Columbia Harbour House was right there so we figured why not. Moms got the lobster roll & I got a tuna sandwich. It was okay, nothing exceptional, but it hit the spot and wasn’t terrible. DSC05914
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After lunch, the Liberty Square Riverboat was pulling up and unloading. A boat ride would be a nice final ride. The riverboat gives you some nice views of Haunted Mansion & Big Thunder as you go by. Moms spent most of the ride sitting and relaxing with the views as I ran around upstairs getting photos. DSC05923_HDR
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When we were booking this trip Moms was intrigued by the Fort Wilderness Cabins and wanted to check out that resort before we left. So we said goodbye to the Magic Kingdom so we could head that way. Before we could leave MK I had to get an Orange Swirl though. I’d kinda like to try a Dole Whip swirl now.
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We were expecting Fort Wilderness to have a lobby like the other resorts, but it doesn’t. Just a small area to check-in and the rest of the resort is basically a campground. Not surprising really, just a little unexpected. The guard at the gate gave us a funny look when we said we were just there to check out the resort. Now I know why. We drove through the resort and it is pretty neat. I wouldn’t mind taking a cross country road trip and staying there for a few nights.

With that our trip was coming to an end. We stopped at a Hess station to fill up the car and headed back to the airport. I picked up one last souvenir for my nephew at the Disney Store there since I hadn’t found anything for him to that point. We had booked the flights on Moms frequent flyer miles with US Airways and had enough points to upgrade the return trip to first class. It was nice, but I don’t know that I’ll ever pay what they want for those seats normally. IMG_0280– US Airways 1st class meal

I’ll post some final thoughts shortly.

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Walt Disney World Trip Report Part 29 – A Good Old Fashioned Jamboree

Day 8 – 11/11/2014

I woke up pretty early, about 6:30, and for me waking up early on vacation is pretty much picture time. I got dressed and headed out to the dock for some photos. The sun was just coming out and there were two weddings getting ready, one at the Yacht Club & one across the way at the Boardwalk. It was a great way to start our last day.
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We checked out of the hotel and loaded up the car. Our flight 5, so we figured we’d spend our last morning at Magic Kingdom.

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We had no real objective, but Moms wanted to watch the Country Bear Jamboree. We slowly made our way through Adventureland and Frontierland in that direction.
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The Country Bear’s hadn’t started performing yet, but were about 5 minutes away from starting. We wandered around Frontierland and bought some popcorn to kill the time.
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Finally, the Bears were ready to go on. We like the show and will probably make it something we do whenever we visit WDW since the Bears have moved away from California.
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Walt Disney World Trip Report Part 24 – Getting Our Yacht On

Day 6 – 11/9/2014

After our snack run, we headed to our final hotel stay. The Yacht Club. I was excited to check out Stormalong Bay more than anything. We checked in and of course, my Magic Band had been deleted from the stay. At this point it was just easier to get a new MB just for this room stay and use my other ones for park entrance. This helped to balance me out though with a MB on each wrist. We had a room near the quiet pool and it was quite a walk from the lobby. It was close to an exit near the dock for the Friendship boats though. The décor of the room definitely wasn’t too our taste.
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We rested for a bit and eventually headed out to check out more of the resort. The dock and beach area is pretty great. Walking through Stormalong Bay made me want to jump in right then. DSC05427
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Magic Kingdom was our destination for the evening. We arrived and slowly made our way up Main Street. Taking in the Christmas ambiance at night.

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We got to the Castle and headed through it on our way to Fantasyland. They were getting ready for some nighttime show and apparently they close off the walkway through the Castle for the show. The thing is the CMs just came by with a rope with very little warning and no compassion. This happened as we came to the exit. We were walking at different paces and I made it through before just before they started blocking people. I understand preventing people from coming in, but they didn’t want to let the people who were already in the Castle through. They were telling those people to go back through the Castle and take one of the side paths. Moms was one of those people and she wasn’t having any of that. They eventually let her through.

We were getting hungry and the mac & cheese from Friar Nook’s sounded good. It definitely hit the spot, I love mac & cheese and this was not a bad version at all. DSC05496
DSC05513DSC05518– I find these walls odd; they look fine, but since they’re not connected to anything they’re just in the middle of the way

We were right next to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Moms had never ridden it so we hopped in line with about a 20 minute wait. The interactive queue is pretty neat. Out trip through the Hundred Acre Wood complete we started towards Liberty Square. A quick stop at the Tangled restrooms, then we rode Haunted Mansion.
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We were just walking along and ended up in Adventureland. I love corny jokes so the Jungle Cruise is one of my favorites. The wait was only about 10 minutes so we hopped in line. Being Christmas time, they had changed the ride to Jingle Cruise and added some Christmas items to the jungle along with some holiday “humor”. Our skipper, Mike, was fantastic. He had great energy and delivery. Everyone on the boat was cracking up.

By now it was getting close to 10 and we were starting to drag. We made our way out of the park as Wishes was going off. They had us exit “backstage” behind Main Street, so it was neat getting to see the backside of buildings. We just went back to the room and crashed. DSC05532– Swiss Family Treehouse
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Walt Disney World Trip Report Part 23 – The Haunted Mansion Store Is Dangerous to Wallets

Day 6 – 11/9/2014

Our visit to the mines successful, we headed towards Tomorrowland. I had moved my fastpass+ for Space Mountain up, so we stopped at Tomorrowland Terrace for a quick lunch to kill some time. We’re fans of the make-your-own-burger toppings bar they have there. Moms got a burger and side of green beans and I wasn’t too hungry, so I just got some chili cheese fries. Moms doesn’t do Space Mountain, so she did some shopping while I rode. I prefer the DLR version, but still find this one enjoyable, plus the “futuristic” scenes you pass by on the way out are cool.

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I joined Moms in shopping when I got off and ended up buying some Star Wars character cars. We were in the area, so the Peoplemover was a must do. Moms keeps trying to get me to start a Facebook group to bring it back to Disneyland.

We started to make our way towards Liberty Square to check out Memento Mori, which had opened shortly before our trip. Along the way I couldn’t resist taking more pictures of the Castle.

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Haunted Mansion is one our favorite rides. I like all three versions I’ve been on (with Phantom Manor being my favorite) and I even enjoy a couple rides on the Holiday overlay version in DLR. So a Haunted Mansion themed gift shop was a place we really wanted to check out. Both of us were excited about so many things in there. We ended up purchasing quite a few things. Easily the most we had spent so far. It was well worth it though.
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About this time we decided to head out and check in to our next and last hotel stay for the trip. We took a boat to the Poly and then walked to our car from there.
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DSC05416 – those bungalows look like an awesome place to stay

We got in the car and headed off property to Publix so we could pick up some more snacks for the room. I’d heard lots of good things about their sandwiches I just had to try one since I had such a small lunch. It was good, but I’m not sure it lived up to the hype.
– I take pictures of grocery stores sometimes

Up next, our last hotel 😦

Walt Disney World Trip Report Part 22 – Barnstormin’ the Mine Train

Day 6 – 11/9/2014

Today we would be checking out of Animal Kingdom Lodge and heading to our fourth and final hotel for the trip. The knowledge that this next hotel would be our last started to bring out those end of trip thoughts into my head. There weren’t many animals out in the savannah outside of our room. I went and checked out mom’s staircase viewing spot and sure enough all the animals were in that area. It must have been breakfast time since they were all chowing down.
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We packed up our stuff and headed to the car to load up. I spent some more time in the lobby taking pictures.
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Today was the day we were able to snag fastpass+ for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Initially we had times for later in the evening, but I was able to change them to 11 in the morning. Just with a 5 minute difference for each of us. It’s really weird how the system works to find times. We hopped on the railroad and took a trip to Fantasyland.
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When we got off the train we decided to ride The Barnstormer. It’s right about our speed and the wait was only like 10 minutes. We both thought it was a pretty fun little coaster.
– Space Mountain from the Barnstormer queue
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One of Moms favorites is Dumbo and since it was right next door and had a minimal wait we got in line. It’s Dumbo, I don’t really know what else to say about it.
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Afterwards we had about 15 minutes to kill before our Seven Dwarfs time was available. We wandered around New Fantasyland while I took some pictures.
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Our time had finally come and we entered the fastpass queue. We had about a 15 minute wait before boarding a train. I enjoyed the ride, it didn’t blow me away but neither was I terribly disappointed. I guess the most telling aspect of it is that I just don’t remember that much about my one ride on it. Hopefully I’ll get a few more rides in on my next trip.
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Walt Disney World 2012 Trip Day 7 – Saturday 12/08/12: Now It’s Time To Say Goodbye

This was it, our trip was coming to a close.  We had an afternoon flight planned so we could get some last minute park time in.  We packed our bags and dropped them off at the airline check-in so we’d be ready to go.  It seemed Disney World was sad to see us go as well because this morning was incredibly foggy and gray.  We wanted to take the boat to Magic Kingdom, but it wasn’t running because of the thick fog.  Instead we took the Monorail for one last trip.

WDW TR-423 WDW TR-424 WDW TR-425 WDW TR-426 WDW TR-427 – area around the Poly covered in fog

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Moms wanted to see the Country Bear Jamboree, so we took the railroad from Main Street to Frontierland.  Unfortunately, the Bears were acting up and weren’t open yet.  Hopefully they’d be back up before we had to leave.  We wandered into Adventureland where I purchased a Citrus Swirl I had heard so much about.  It’s frozen orange juice and vanilla ice cream swirled in a cup.  It was good, but I still prefer the Dole Whip.  Moms meanwhile got in line for Aladdin’s Flying Carpets since there was no line really.  I was going to join her, but was too busy eating my ice cream breakfast.

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WDW TR-430  WDW TR-432 WDW TR-433 – Magic Kingdom in the fog

WDW TR-434 – Magic Kingdom railroad cars sit front facing instead into the park like the Disneyland ones

WDW TR-435 WDW TR-436 WDW TR-437 WDW TR-438 WDW TR-439 WDW TR-440 – Frontierland

WDW TR-441 – Orange Bird cup

WDW TR-442 – Citrus Swirl

After Moms experience soaring over Agrabah, we made our way to Liberty Square to see the Hall of Presidents.  The preshow area with the Presidential memorabilia was really neat to a history nerd like myself.  The show itself was also pretty good.  Our patriotism once again topped up, we did the most American thing we could.  Ate a funnel cake.  After a nutritious snack, we went back to see if those Country Bears were back to normal.

WDW TR-444 – Liberty Square

WDW TR-445 – the Presidents of the United States

WDW TR-446 WDW TR-447 – more shots of the grounds

WDW TR-448 – funnel cake

WDW TR-443 WDW TR-449 WDW TR-450 – Haunted Mansion

The Bears were back up and we got a seat in the front row.  It’s been so long since they’ve been gone from Disneyland.  It was great seeing the show again.

WDW TR-455 WDW TR-451 WDW TR-452 WDW TR-453 WDW TR-454 – Country Bear Jamboree

By now it was just about time for us to get going, but I wanted to check out the New Fantasyland expansion in the daytime.  We made our way there and I pretty much just had time to walk through it and walk back before we had to leave.  I’ll save the exploration for next time.

WDW TR-456 WDW TR-457 – old Fantasyland

WDW TR-458 WDW TR-459 – Beast’s Castle

WDW TR-461 WDW TR-460 – Gaston’s Tavern

WDW TR-462 – one last shot of the Castle backside

WDW TR-463 – Cinderella statue

WDW TR-464 – one last photo of the castle

WDW TR-465 – one last shot of Main Street

We made our way back to the entrance and caught our favorite method of transportation, the boats on Seven Seas Lagoon.  What a great last ride to end the trip.  We got back to the Poly with about 30 minutes to spare before our DME bus came.

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The flight home was uneventful.  Neither of us wants it to be another 23 years before we go back.

 

 

I’ll wrap this up with my thoughts on Disney World as a whole.  I was expecting that I’d be constantly lost in Magic Kingdom and going the wrong way to get to stuff.  To my surprise that didn’t really happen (it actually ended up happening to me on my next trip to Disneyland where I got the location of Big Thunder wrong).  Disney World as a whole is hugely impressive.  Driving from place to place the sheer amount of space and greenery around is amazing.  You almost feel like you’re in a Disney city.  You really do lose track of the real world when you’re on property.  One Man’s Dream is obviously a tribute to Walt, but after coming out of that it occurred to me that all of Disney World feels like it’s a tribute to Walt Disney.  I couldn’t give any specific examples, it’s just a feeling I had about the place.  I liked the extra attention the queues get.  Things like Photopass seem to make more sense out there.  Plus they put Photopass photographers all over the place (do they seriously need three in the center of Main Street in front of the Castle?)

I’m not saying it’s better, but Magic Kingdom feels like Disneyland 2.0.  It’s Disneyland, but more.  The things that make Disneyland Disneyland, taken to the next level.  Especially in the ways they try and separate you from your cash.  Cinderella’s Castle.  It is impressive from any angle.

Epcot was probably my favorite park of the four.  That mainly comes down to World Showcase for me though.  Going through that was one of my favorite parts of the trip.  I loved it there.  The rest of the park isn’t bad, but I’m all about World Showcase.

If Epcot was my favorite, Disney’s Hollywood Studios was my least, even though it had the highlight of the trip.  The Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights.  There’s just not enough unique things there that aren’t in Disneyland.  One Man’s Dream is awesome though.  And that Star Tours queue is terrific.

The theming throughout the entirety of Animal Kingdom might be the best of the American Disney Parks.  I’m not saying it’s the best park, but to me the attention to detail everywhere I looked was impressive.  Plus this park has my favorite ride, Expedition Everest.  It’s fantastic seeing all the animals you just come across while walking around, plus the trails and Kilimanjaro Safari.  Definitely the most unique of the American Disney Parks.

I loved it all though.  I’m not going to say which is better between Disneyland or Disney World because I really don’t know.  Disneyland is like a place of comfort for me, I felt more like a gawking tourist in Disney World.  If I got to visit it more frequently, that wouldn’t be the case.  I think each coast does some things better than the other.  Disneyland fans who’ve never been to Florida, should go and vice versa for Disney World fans.  I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to go back, I just know I won’t be waiting another 23 years to make a return trip.

 

That’s it, I only hope this was at least mildly entertaining for some of you.

Link to Day 1

Walt Disney World 2012 Trip Day 4 – Wednesday 12/05/12: A Trip to the 50’s

My cough woke me up again this morning, but right before sunset.  That meant I was going to go take some photos this morning.

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WDW TR-213 – Poly’s lobby Christmas tree

After shooting, I popped into Capt. Cook’s to try a Tonga Toast.  It was very sweet, but yummy.  So far this day has gotten off to a pretty good start.

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WDW TR-215 – Tonga Toast

We continued our “tradition” of visiting the park we had gone to the previous evening.  Today we had an ADR for 50’S Prime Time Cafe, so back to DHS we went.  We got to the park right as they were opening and headed for Toy Story Midway Mania.  The wait was already at 40 minutes, so we got fastpasses instead.

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Then we went clear across the park so I could experience the awesome Star Tours building.  I’m so jealous of that area in comparison to what we have for Star Tours in Disneyland.  Moms doesn’t ride Star Tours, so I rode it, still yet to be the Rebel Spy.  When I entered the store after the ride, I went straight for the Droid Factory area.  I have a good sized Star Wars collection, and have been wanting to make my own droids since we started planning this trip.  Moms found me in line as the kids in front were finishing up.  I was planning on making three droids – a 2-pack and a single, but Moms thought they were so cute she got in and made one of her own.

WDW TR-217 – Ewok village

WDW TR-218 – AT-AT footprint

WDW TR-219 – Droid Factory setup

WDW TR-220 – riding dirty like my favorite troopers

WDW TR-221 – AT-AT lurking

WDW TR-222 – the entrance

The Muppetvision 3D show was the next place we decided to go.  I’ve seen it before in California Adventure and think it’s okay, but Moms really liked it.  After the Muppets zany antics, we went on The Great Movie Ride.  I liked it, I thought it was neat with the cast members interaction preventing it from being just static scenes; Moms loved it.

WDW TR-223 – Great Movie Ride

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We headed to  50’s Prime Time for our ADR.  I wanted to eat there because it looked like a fun place when I was planning, Moms didn’t care too much back then.  She loves stuff from the 50’s, so when we walked in and she saw the atmosphere she was ecstatic.  We hadn’t even eaten yet, but she already declared it a winner.  I had the sampler plate with fried chicken, pot roast, & meatloaf, while Moms just had the meatloaf.  We both enjoyed our food, between that and the atmosphere I could see us eating here again if we make it back to Disney World.

WDW TR-226 – 50’s Prime Time

WDW TR-227 WDW TR-228    WDW TR-232 WDW TR-233 – 50’s atmosphere

WDW TR-229 – my sampler plate

WDW TR-230 – Moms meatloaf

WDW TR-231 – me & Moms enjoying our food

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Moms loves the Aladdin show in California Adventure, so we went to see the Beauty & the Beast stage show since it was starting soon.  This was also the time of our Toy Story fastpasses, so we ended up skipping that.  The show was okay, Moms thought Disneyland probably has better actors since that’s what everyone is trying to be in Southern California.

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After the show, Moms went back to rest while I rode Tower of Terror (ToT).  I had always been afraid of it, but in planning I kept hearing how much better the Disney World version was.  So last August when we were at Disneyland, I rode that ToT for the first time.  I wasn’t in love with it, but I knew I could do it.  The Disney World version seems more complete (especially when the elevator car goes through the 5th dimension).  I still didn’t love it, but at least now I’m ready for Japan’s version.

WDW TR-238 WDW TR-237  – the outside

WDW TR-239 – inside looks like the one in California Adventure

I wanted to check out the One Man’s Dream exhibit before I left the park.  I enjoyed seeing all Walt’s stuff and thought it was a great tribute to the man.

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WDW TR-243 – someday I’ll visit you in person

I left after that to join Moms for a quick break.

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WDW TR-248 – there’s our room

Moms wanted to check out the Christmas store at Magic Kingdom, so after we got some rest we headed back that evening.

WDW TR-249 WDW TR-250 WDW TR-251 WDW TR-252 WDW TR-253 – great sunset as we were heading to Magic Kingdom

The Christmas tree was up for the first time this trip since it hadn’t been put up yet for the filming of the Christmas parade.

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WDW TR-257 – you know I had to get another castle shot

WDW TR-258 – back down Main Street

Wishes was about to start, so I got a spot to get some photos while Moms did some shopping.

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After the fireworks we met back up and made our way to Tomorrowland for a burger at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.  We enjoyed the toppings bar and really making the burgers to our liking.  Either that or we were really hungry.

WDW TR-263 – hadn’t seen the castle from this spot yet

WDW TR-264 – ladies and gentlemen, the incomparable Sonny Eclipse

WDW TR-265 – our Cosmic Ray’s burgers

WDW TR-266 – another new vantage point

With full stomachs a thrilling ride didn’t sound to thrilling so the Peoplemover was calling.  After another fun ride, the park was already closing, so we made our way back to the Poly.

WDW TR-267 – from the Peoplemover

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WDW TR-271 – the Poly was playing the Emperor’s New Groove on the beach when we got back

Tomorrow we’d be breaking our “tradition” as we had an ADR for Le Cellier.

Link to Day 1

Link to Day 5