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Trip Report **COMPLETED** I Can Fly with Hurricane Matthew October 2016

Discussion in 'WDW Trip Reports' started by LeighM, Oct 9, 2016.

  1. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member

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    I have to say this trip did not turn out how I was expecting lol. A lot of things were changed - some of our choosing and others were caused by Hurricane Matthew. I didn't take as many pictures this trip as I have during previous ones. First of all, I was still feeling under the weather this trip and spent a lot of it medicated LOL. Also, my husband and I knew going into this trip that it would be a transition of sorts as it would be our first vacation since the death of my mom over the summer. It was definitely a bittersweet trip. Our next trip back to WDW, whenever that may be, will definitely be a lot more lighthearted and fun. However, I'm glad we had this trip though. It gave us a much needed break and, because I still wasn't 100%, we were forced to really slow down this trip.

    Who: Me and my husband, R
    When: October 1st - 8th
    Where: Port Orleans Riverside, Alligator Bayou section

    I'm still editing the pictures that we took. My husband wanted me make sure that I had food pictures for this trip report (since I failed every other trip we took LOL) so he took most of the food pics. And thank goodness he did because I started eating as soon as the plate was put in front of me :)
     
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  2. dclfan

    dclfan Well-Known Member

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    I am so sorry to hear about your Mom, I couldn't even imagine how you were feeling. At least you got to spend some quality time in Disney with your other half. I look forward to hearing about your trip. Count me in.
     
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  3. DisneyJeff

    DisneyJeff Well-Known Member

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    I'm following. :)
     
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  4. meganwdw

    meganwdw Well-Known Member

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    I am so so sorry to hear about your mom but will be following along to hear how you trip goes! I hope it was full of magic, laughs, and happiness and I'm sure "Matthew" really made things interesting! My mom passed away in June after a very short fight with cancer. I found out she was sick the day after we got home from what was one of the best trips to WDW we had ever had. Now we are headed back down in December as a bonus trip to cheer me up and I'm not quite sure how I feel yet b/c I have felt like the "magic" has been ripped right out of my soul. I've been trying to do my usual pre trip rituals to get excited but it's not been the same.
     
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  5. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Thank you. This trip was definitely a double edged sword. Surrounded by families at WDW was both a reminder of what I had with my family but also what I lost. But I considered this trip like ripping off a band aid. It had to happen at some point and there were more happy moments than sad ones.
     
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  6. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I'm sorry to hear about your Mom. My Mom got sick June 3rd and died July 4th, also after a very short fight with leukemia. My grandfather died in January and my mom 6 months later. At the age of 35, I never thought I would be planning 2 funerals of my last immediate family members. That was such a whirlwind time in my life and I still feel like I'm processing everything. I totally understand what you mean about the magic being ripped out. I felt much the same way. There's just a part of you that's numb to it. This trip was very hard for me to take because Mom loved Disney movies and I would see reminders of her everywhere. But it's a trip that had to happen at some point - I'm looking forward to our next trip (whenever that is) because I feel like it will be so much more fun. I hope you have a great trip in December! Let me know how your trip goes.
     
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  7. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Saturday, October 1st

    On Friday evening, a former coworker of mine drove 2 hours to come house sit and watch my dog and 2 cats for the week. She was fantastic because if it wasn't for her, we would not have been able to take this trip. A few years ago, my dog almost died from a bad reaction to a vaccine that caused meningoencephelitis, which almost killed him. Because of that, he's no longer able to receive vaccines and not able to stay in a kennel. Not that I could put him in a kennel anyway because, while he's improved, he still has the condition and stress makes it worse. Mom would always watch the pets and she died too quickly for me to hire a professional dog sitter to stay the week. When my coworker found out, she offered to stay and work from our home for the week. I have so much gratitude for her for that - she totally went above and beyond!!

    R and I had to wake up at 4:30 on Saturday morning to start to getting ready so we could leave the house by 5:15 to make the 45 minute drive to the airport. This was my first time ever flying so to say I was full of anxiety was an understatement LOL. I had a lot of concerns about this trip because 2 weeks prior, I caught a bacterial upper respiratory infection which was beginning to turn into pneumonia. I don't live closely to my primary care doctor so I went to the local urgent care place to get antibiotics. She didn't listen when I told her how my doctor always treated it so it wouldn't affect my asthma as much. So going into this trip, I still wasn't feeling 100%. I was no longer contagious but I was having severe coughing that was affecting my asthma so breathing was very difficult.

    We get to the airport and we only had to wait about half an hour before it was time to start boarding the plane. The plane was smaller than I imagined. Luckily, the take off was very smooth (according to my husband because what do I know???) and it was clear skies (although I was unable to look out the window LOL).

    2016-10-01 08.54.25.jpg

    After maybe an hour, I started to get excruciating ear pain. My ears don't pop normally like other peoples. It took all day before I got complete hearing back in my left ear. Soon we were landing and I got to experience the Orlando airport, which I've read so much about it other people's trip reports lol. We had no problems making our way to the Magical Express area and there was a nice to get onto our bus but we were able to get onto the bus that was there so we didn't have to wait at all before loading.

    Because we did Online Check-in, we received a text with our room number while we were on the bus unloading at Old Key West. I looked at the resort map and saw that they gave us the request we made, which was close to the West Depot in Alligator Bayou. Our last trips, we used either the East Depot in Magnolia Bend or the South Depot and the bus was typically full before it got to us. So I learned my lesson and requested a room close to the West Depot, which is the first bus stop for the theme parks. We were in room 3418 and the walk to the bus stop took less than 5 minutes - I walk fast so it was probably closer to 2 minutes. It was a little further from the lobby but I would much rather be closer to my room at the end of a busy day in the parks. I would definitely request this location again. It was great being one of the first ones on an empty bus!

    Sorry for the quality of the images, I was taking pictures on my phone as I was walking to our room. It definitely looks like a bayou :)

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    One of the bridges next to our building.
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    Here is the room. I prefer the decor in the mansion buildings but I will always request this building when we stay here again. A bottle of mosquito repellent was waiting in our room.
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    We changed clothes and I put on some make up because we had plans to meet a friend from college at Disney Springs for a 2PM lunch at Art Smith's Homecoming. While waiting for our ADR and our friend to show up, we walked around and looked at all of the changes. I really like it although we have most of the new shops here in our town so I wasn't big on the shopping experience.

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    We received a text from our friend telling us to go ahead and have lunch without her because she was stuck in traffic on I-4 and wasn't moving. Because R and I haven't had anything to eat all day we went without her. She came right as we finished so we didn't get a picture of her chicken sandwich but she said it was really good.

    We ordered the hush puppies for the appetizer, and while it was good, it wasn't the best I've ever had. But then again, I am extremely picky over my hush puppies LOL.
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    I ordered the shrimp and grits and OMG it was sooooo good! As you can see, I started to eat before R could take a picture of our food LOL. I told you I was horrible about taking food pics because I just want to eat :)

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    R ordered the fried chicken and donuts. He said this was in the Top 3 of the best friend chicken he's ever had. The top 2 are actually from my hometown of Charlottesville. That town has some great fried chicken so I knew it would be hard for Homecoming to top it. We now live in Williamsburg and have yet to find any great fried chicken.

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    We totally forgot to take pictures of the desserts though. I ordered the Hummingbird Cake and R ordered the Shine Cake. The Hummingbird cake was definitely the better of the two options. Not that there was anything wrong with the Shine cake but we all preferred the flavors of the Hummingbird cake better.

    After dinner, we walked around Disney Springs and my friend purchased a shirt but soon we were caught in a downpour. We didn't know when it would end so we hopped from store to store to get closer to the Lime Garage, where our friend had parked and to the new resort bus stops. Because she had a 3 hour drive ahead of her to get back home, we decided to call it a day. My breathing was getting worse, so we just relaxed in our room the rest of the day and called it an early night. Sunday was going to be a very busy day. I made these plans before I got sick, so I knew it was going to be very hard for me. We had plans to be a Animal Kingdom, then have dinner at Sanaa, before going to the Magic Kingdom for the Halloween Party.

    Up next - Sunday, October 2nd and Animal Kingdom and MNSSHP....
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016
  8. Jess G

    Jess G Well-Known Member

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    following :)
     
  9. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Sunday, October 2nd

    Originally, we had plans to spend the entire day in Animal Kingdom, have dinner at Sanaa, and then return to the park for it's nighttime entertainment. But the more I thought about not going to the Halloween Party, the less happy I became so a few weeks before, I purchased tickets for MNSSHP for Sunday. The party tickets were cheaper, I was hoping that Sunday would be less crowded, and we had time later in the week to come back to AK. We didn't try to do rope drop this day because I still wasn't feeling great so it was a very relaxed morning. We got there soon after opening and realized I forgot to put on sunscreen so I had to buy a small bottle. We saw DeVine as we entered the park.

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    We got in line to meet Dug and Russell since the line was short. The PhotoPass photographer wasn't very good so the pictures didn't turn out well. We walked towards Africa to browse the shops until our FP for the Safari and ran into Flik.

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    After the picture, we just took in the atmosphere of the park. We noticed there was a garden there with banana trees and pineapples. Everyone else walked by and didn't even notice. I guess we're just garden nuts LOL.

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    Soon it was time for our FP. It was already getting humid so I knew this would probably be the only time I could ride that day. Unfortunately, we were in the same row with a man who took up the entire area whenever he tried to take a picture and he took his time with each shot. So I could never get good pictures unless it was on my side, which was rare because there weren't many animals. We did have an awesome experience when a giraffe walked along side my side of the van. I took a video of it - well at least I thought I did. Turns out the red record light never came on so I missed recording the entire thing! My bad lol.

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    Sorry for the blurry image - it was a drive by picture.
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    Too soon the ride was over, however, I was glad that we had an excellent driver. At this point, it was getting close to 11 and we wanted to eat at Harambe Market. My coughing was getting worse so we decided to sit and wait there. I found a nicely aimed fan under an umbrella and settled in for a while. My husband took pictures of the area. Oh! I forgot to mention that on Saturday, we stopped by the Coca Cola store so he could get his Bibo. He fell in love with the drink at Club Cool during our previous trip so he was definitely craving the drink this trip! He had one full sized cup on Saturday and he was looking forward to having another at Harambe Market.

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    R had the ribs and Bibo while I had the tikka masala and Sparberry. He was a happy camper with the Bibo. The sparberry had a good flavor but was really sweet. He liked the flavor of the ribs but agreed with me that the tikka masala was the best of the two dishes. The chicken was really tender and spiced really well. T
    he dessert was good but not memorable.
    2016-10-02 11.10.53.jpg

    After we ate, we spent some time browsing the shops to stay in the AC as long as possible. I don't know why, but Animal Kingdom always feels like the hottest park to me. We were supposed to ride Kali River Rapids but we decided not to bc R forgot to wear his sandals and he had only packed one pair of tennis shoes. One pair of tennis shoes!!! I knew I couldn't stay in the park too much longer without getting sick so we saw It's Tough to Be a Bug. I always enjoy this show. But we were sitting behind a family with a really young son and I knew there were going to be problems. Soon after the show started, the kid started screaming bloody murder. Seriously, I've never seen a child so terrified. The parents picked a good time to leave because I'm not sure he would've recovered after one of those giant spiders fell from the ceiling because it would've been right over his head LOL. After the show was over, we left the park to head back to the resort. I took more meds and took a nap.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
  10. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I don't remember how, but we made our way over to Animal Kingdom Lodge - Kidani to wait for our 5PM reservation. I was really excited because we were to stay in Jambo House on Friday night. We decided to not visit this resort and head straight to Kidani. While we were on the bus, the sky opened up and it poured!!! Luckily, the bus stops and walkways were covered so we were able to get into the resort without getting soaked. But there was a family in front of us that stopped in front of the door closest to the bus depot. They weren't guests of the resort either but were afraid to open the door. They assumed it was locked so I had to take the lead in entering the building. Once inside, they asked me which way they needed to go to Jambo House. They were not happy when I told them that the 2 resorts were not connected and they had a nice walk outside to get to Jambo lol. After parting ways with the unhappy family, we explored the lobby and walked downstairs to Sanaa to request the window seat. It was still raining and not able to go outside to see the animals so we watched them from the windows downstairs. One of the cultural representatives came over to talk to me and we had a great conversation from everything about animals, respect for nature, generational differences, etc. It was such a great experience. After he left, I found my husband and found out he was on his phone researching watches. I was like seriously????

    The hostess came to find me and we got the same table as last time. Yay!! Great view of the savannah although the animals weren't as active because of the rain.

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    My husband really wanted to come here again because he loved the chicken dish as part of the meat platter. Unfortunately, the chicken wasn't an option and was replaced with the sausage but he still really enjoyed his meal.
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    I tried the steak this time. I asked for medium well and instead got it well, which made it slightly too dry but the flavor was still really good. I normally don't eat steak but I had a late night at the Halloween Party so I wanted a heavier meal.
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    For dessert, R wanted the dessert sampler. I told him that was what I had last year and while it was good, he should try another option because it just didn't wow me. He ordered anyway, while I ordered the tapioca. And can I just say that was the best dessert I had the entire trip. I am going to dream about that simple tapioca pudding!! I could have an entire bowl of it right now!

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    It had stopped raining by the time we finished dinner so we caught a bus to the Magic Kingdom...
     
  11. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    We hopped over to the Magic Kingdom at 6:30 and waited FOREVER to get a party wristband. I can't figure out why they handle that process the way they do. It seems like it would be easier if they handed out the wristbands once you go through the turnstiles rather than gather in a large group with the castmembers handing them out right afterwards. It was just a zoo! Once entering the park, they had us go through the back way through the gates. That was our first time going that way and it was neat.

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    The only character that I just had to meet were the The Tweedles since I'm a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland. I was not expecting the line to be so long. We decided to get in line in case the line never shortened - and I waited an hour!!! The lines for all of the characters were long so this was the only one we did all night. But while we were waiting in line, the family in front of us was lecturing one of their sons about the importance of paying attention to everything - his surroundings, what he's doing, etc.

    View attachment 168653

    The PhotoPass photographer wasn't very good at this meet and greet either, which was a common theme this trip. Because of that, we didn't fully utilize our Memory Maker package. After this, we went to the Big Top (my most favorite place in the park) and saw they were selling the Party pins. So time to get into another long time. And who was in front of us but the lecturing family LOL. It was hilarious because he was so spaced out that he didn't even notice that his family had moved on to the register to pick out the party merchandise and he was the only one left in line. I was waiting to see how long it took him to realize he wasn't with his family any longer and it took longer than I was expecting. No wonder they were expecting him to pay more attention to what was going on around him :)

    After that, we saw a special picture spot, which I was hoping was one of the MagicShots but it turned out to be this:

    View attachment 168652

    It's just not meant to be for me to get the hitchhiking ghosts or the poison apple bc when I did find them, the lines were too long. Which was also another theme of the party. The lines for candy were long as well. I heard someone say during one of our many waiting in lines that the party ended up being sold out. Not sure if that's true but it definitely felt like it being surrounded by the crowds.

    One thing that R and I noticed this trip was that so many people didn't seem to be having fun. They were rushing from line to line. Literally dragging their kids around. It just wasn't fun this time. The lines for the rides were longer than we wanted to wait in so we only rode a few that night. We were just exiting the PeopleMover when we heard the fireworks. Nooo!!!! We were supposed to view the fireworks from the front of the park this time LOL. Because it was so crowded, we were stuck in Futureland during the fireworks and it had to be the worst place to see them. Another year of a fireworks fail :) We can never seem to keep track of time! We walked around the park a little bit more waiting for some people to leave before we did. By this time, I was dragging and just needed sleep. We had an early morning ahead of us and I knew this night was going to come back to kick me in the butt. We stopped for a few pictures before leaving.

    DSCN1123.JPG DSCN1124.JPG DSCN1130.JPG View attachment 168651

    And I guess many people didn't know about this MagicShot because there were no lines at all.
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    And that was the end of Sunday. The next morning we had an 8:15am ADR for Akershus and a full day at EPCOT, including the Behind the Seeds Tour :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
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  12. MinnieM123

    MinnieM123 Well-Known Member

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    Yup, me too. The humidity there is extreme, and my theory is that somehow all the extra trees and plants somehow contribute to this really hot and sticky environment. I visit WDW in May, and it's even unbearable then. When I visit AK, I only go in the early morning and leave before noon. I'll usually visit AK twice during my vacation--but both times are in the early mornings. Although now that AK will be open some evenings, I may explore that next time.
     
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  13. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    This was the first trip that my husband noticed the temperature difference. One of the castmembers overheard us and said that she thought it was due to all of the foliage from the trees :) We had to leave AK around noon because it was so unbearable. I wanted us to go back Thursday evening after dinner at Ohana but the hurricane messed up both plans. Never did get to see AK after dark :(
     
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  14. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Monday, October 3rd

    The husband and I both woke up dragging this morning because of the late night at MK. It also didn't help that between my coughing and insomnia, I only got a couple of hours sleep :( We had an 8:15am ADR at Akershus so we got to the bus stop early. And waited. And waited some more. While we were waiting, R and I realized what my friend had said was true - there didn't seem to be as many little lizards around the resort. She had stayed at Fort Wilderness so we were hoping it was just there but they were definitely missing at Riverside. In previous years, they would be running around everywhere but this trip we only saw a handful and most of them appeared to be young. I guess Disney doing control for mosquitoes and Zika is having other, less pleasant side effects. After 40 minutes of waiting and seeing multiple buses for every other park come and go, we FINALLY get an EPCOT bus. We still got there with plenty of time but the breakfast line to get into the park was so long. About 5 minutes to 8:00, they let us into the park. One of the reasons I wanted this breakfast was to be close to Frozen Ever After so we could go thru the standby line with a shorter wait. We did have a FP for later this day and I wanted to ride it twice.

    We took our picture of Belle in her ballgown and were seated close to the buffet. I really enjoy Akershus although I prefer dinner - but that could be because I don't eat a lot in the morning. On the other hand, R looooves breakfast so I always try to schedule some breakfasts for him and he enjoyed the breakfast here. He said he would want to eat there again if we were on the dining plan but he wouldn't want to pay out of pocket for it :)

    Some items from the buffet
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    The family style breakfast
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    I did end up rushing R through breakfast so we could get in line for Frozen. But he can eat so much at breakfast that he won't eat anything the rest of the day and we had the Food & Wine Festival kiosks to go to!

    By the time we left Akershus, the standby line said the wait was 75 minutes. It didn't take that long and we kept up a steady slow walk throughout the queue. It was also nice and cold in there and today was gearing up to be another scorcher.

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    We both enjoyed the ride although there is room for improvement. During the Anna and Kristoff scene, right before the Let It Go sequence, I was surprised to see just a dark, blank wall across from it that looked unfinished. They could've been snowflakes there or something just to fill in that blank space.

    We headed out of Norway and saw a PhotoPass photographer standing around doing nothing. And yet, out of all the pictures she took, only a couple are shareable. Maybe we just had a bad luck with photographers this trip.

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    World Showcase wasn't open yet so we headed back to Future World. The only character meet and greet I wanted to do in this park was Joy and Sadness. I loved Inside Out and Joy/Sadness really summed up the feelings for R and I this trip. So of course we had to meet them!! We get to their meeting location and the line is already an hour long. Since it was inside, and it was hot outside, we just decided to wait. And wait we did!! I know it was over an hour long because the characters really take their time meeting each family.

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    Afterwards, we went to The Seas area to - you guessed it - hang out in the air conditioned building as long as possible :) There were so many people here but I found a nice, cold sitting area to watch the dolphins play. Too soon, it was nearing 11am so we headed out to go to one of R's favorite places:

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    He filled up with more Bibo - a common occurrence this trip :) And we were on our way to the kiosks...
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
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  15. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Luckily for us, most of the kiosks we wanted to go to were close together so we didn't have to walk too far. The lines weren't that long either so we didn't have to wait too long. If only that sun wasn't so dang hot!!

    Islands of the Caribbean - Jamaican Beef Patty and Pescado con Coco. The patty was okay but nothing I would dream about having again. And the fish was good but not as good as it was last year.
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    Refreshment Port - of course we have to stop here so R can get his croissant doughnut. And I had my first ever Dole Whip :)
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    The line was nonexistent for Farm Fresh and I had heard so much about the Loaded Mac n Cheese so I had to try it. We also had the Mango Mama Wine - we loved it and ended up buying a bottle later that day. Glad we did because none were to be found later our trip. One of the guys working the kiosks was actually a college student from where my husband went his freshman year so we talked about Virginia. It really is a small world. I did enjoy the mac and cheese but I'm a mac and cheese snob and I've had better :)

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    By this time, we were hot and on our way to miserable so I stopped at the Joffrey's Coffee Kiosk for their special Tiki Torch mixed drink - passion fruit with grey goose vodka. Loved it! But then I realized I had just taken more medicine so maybe I shouldn't drink too much of it.
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    R had the beef empanada from Patagonia last year and really enjoyed the flavors so it was one he wanted to try again this trip. We still enjoyed it.

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    Last year, I had the Bush Berry Shrimp so it was a must do this trip. It didn't seem as good and they didn't include rice in this dish. We loved it so much last year, that we ordered the bush berry spice online and have started making it at home. The spice also works well with scallops.
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    I had never been to the bakery in Norway and I heard so much about the school bread pastry so I wanted to try it. We got there and there was no line. But once I got there I had to try the troll horn instead and I'm glad I did. It was very light and perfect for the weather.

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    We stopped at one more kiosks: Mexico - Taco de Camaron and Flan de Chocolate Abuelita. The shrimp had a good flavor but I was expecting it to be more of something. I'm not sure what it was but it was definitely lacking something. R is from Puerto Rico and flan is one of his favorite desserts so he had to try this. It was really good. Not like his Mom makes obviously but still good :)
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    We did all of this food in less than 2 hours and we were done. The heat was beginning to affect my breathing, my coughing was getting worse and people kept looking at me like I had some horrible contagious disease. I had to make the comment that I'm not contagious so many times. It's like people aren't familiar with an asthmatic coughing - they see me using my inhaler so it's not like it's a scene from The Walking Dead. I had to get out of the heat, so we headed to the The Land Pavilion to wait for our 4:15 Behind the Seeds Tour. We wanted to ride Soarin but the ride had a wait of 1.5 hours so we went on Living with the Land, which is one of my favorites. But I actually fell asleep during the ride!!! I realized that I had taken the wrong meds, I took the ones that made me drowsy instead of the non-drowsy. This wasn't good because I also had that Tiki Torch drink so I could fall asleep at any time in any place bc I'm so sensitive to medication. We found a quiet corner in Sunshine Seasons so I could take a nap. And I was out!! I did not want to screw up the Behind the Seeds tour since it was something I had wanted to do for years. After about 45 minutes, I realized my blood sugar must have also dropped so R and I shared a place from Sunshine Seasons. We had the Cuban sandwich with plantain chips and creme brulee - sorry no picture. It wasn't the best meal from there but everything I wanted would've aggravated my cough :( We didn't use a dining credit for it because it wasn't in our plans and that little plate turned out to be $33 - wow. After eating, it was time to sign in for the Behind the Seeds Tour. I was still tired but not to the point of passing out LOL.

    Up next, Behind the Seeds Tour....
     
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  16. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Finally it was time for the Behind the Seeds tour. And guess what? We were the only ones on this tour!!! I wish I had taken notes but I was sooo into this experience that I didn't even think about. My husband and I are not complete newbies to gardening and some of the techniques they use so we actually had good conversations with our guide. I had read various reviews and had heard that the guide can really make or break the experience and I was glad to see we had someone very knowledgeable and active in the field.

    We started the tour in the room where they show the beneficial insects and the pests they kill. I almost feel sorry for some of the pests because those beneficial insects can be vicious LOL.

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    The next stop was to look into the room where they propagate plants using biotechnology. This section was really fascinating to me. R wanted to go back before park closed to buy one of their plant samples but we kept forgetting. Next time! DSCN1135.JPG

    And then we were inside the greenhouse. We learned the details of how the hydoponics work, how much water is actually involved (very little), and how they give nutrients to each plant. It's not for everyone but we found it fascinating. I'm glad we were the only ones on the tour because we were really able to get more detailed answers to our questions - plus we got the entire tour bag of sliced cucumbers to ourselves :) The guide and R kept laughing at me but I love cucumbers lol.

    The guide pointed out this plant, which is native to FL and is the only host plant that an endangered butterfly will use. The plant is quickly becoming endangered due to over development, which is killing off the butterfly, so Disney is working with others to plant more around the state to increase the population of the butterfly. You can see their cocoons - they look like black seed pods on the green leaves.
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    We saw the shrimp tanks and I began to feel guilty about how many shrimp I eat. Those are the shrimp exoskeletons. Our guide didn't feel bad at all LOL.
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    We were able to feed the fish - and we got splashed with smelly fish water because those fish take food very seriously. You can see how much the water was churning. She told us more details about this but I didn't write it down. She also confirmed that the alligator tanks were removed because of what happened at the Grand Floridian. She said they had long term plans to remove them anyway but the attack made them move up their removal. They are all safely relocated somewhere else not on property.
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    I had to take a picture of the black pepper plant. Everyone who knows me knows I'm a black pepper addict. I love it and can never have enough on my food. I didn't know until this tour that white, black, and pink (??) pepper comes from the same plant, they are just in various stages of maturity.
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    And she also explained the miracle fruit to us. I had heard about it before but never paid much attention. It can turn sour foods sweet but changing your taste buds for short periods of time. The plant is now being used to help cancer patients enjoy their food. I think that's fantastic because I saw firsthand what my family members went through.
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    Soon our tour had come to an end :( R and I were glad that we had finally done this tour and it was 10% off with our Disney Visa. We probably enjoyed it more because we were the only ones on the tour but if anyone is interested in gardening, nature, or looking for something new to do without breaking the bank, I would highly suggest Behind the Seeds Tour.

    After our tour concluded, we had to walk back to Norway to use our FP for Frozen Ever After. Wow, the lines were long even for FP. And the queue didn't feel as cold either with all of those people crowded in there. We got the front row seat again too. We originally had plans to hop over the Poly so R could get the bread pudding from the Tambu Lounge before our Ohana dinner later in the trip but he said he was sugared out so we skipped it and went back to the resort. He later regretted that decision because of Hurricane Matthew. We had dinner at Riverside.

    We decided to change plans around. Originally were were supposed to go to Hollywood Studios in the morning before going to EPCOT for more Food & Wine, go to our culinary demo, and then have dinner at Garden Grill. R wanted us to sleep in late and then go to EPCOT and go to Hollywood Studios in the evening. I'm glad we did change plans because I woke up wide awake at 2am and wasn't able to fall asleep again until 5am. Since I was up, I changed our dining reservations. There was no way we could do everything we wanted at Hollywood Studios and get back to EPCOT for our 4:30 dinner at Garden Grill and he didn't want to eat too late. I was looking forward to finally eating at Garden Grill so I was quite sad to cancel our dinner. I saw that there was a good dinner time had opened up for the Minnie's Seasonal Dine at Hollywood and Vine. I knew this was a character dining geared more toward children so I took a gamble and booked it. I didn't have that many choices since there were no openings for 50s Prime Time or Sci Fi. Oh well we would just have to make the best of it. We had plans to go back to EPCOT and enjoy evening EMH.

    Up next - More EPCOT, a culinary demonstration, and Hollywood Studios.

    OH!!! I forgot to include this: on Sunday, after we left Animal Kingdom, we walked from Riverside to French Quarter so R could have beignets. Because their food court is under renovation, I wasn't really sure what to expect. We went during the middle of the day, but the line was still stretching into the lobby. They have you line up, place your order with the cashier, they give you a number, you find a table, and then they'll bring you your food. We waited a really long time for those beignets. We had plans to go a couple of times but we didn't like the set up so we never went back.
     
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  17. MinnieM123

    MinnieM123 Well-Known Member

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    I'm so happy you took the Behind the Seeds tour. I've done that about 4-5 times now over the years, and I always really enjoy it. It's very informative and pleasant. Can't believe you two were the only ones on it--every time I've gone, there's at least 12-14 people, which is a nice, small group. I laughed over you eating all the cucumber slices--I love their cucumber slices too! There's nothing like fresh veggies from their garden! :hungry: :happy:
     
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  18. DimpledDevil18

    DimpledDevil18 Well-Known Member

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    Aww... I feel so bad about you being sick on your Disney trip. That had to be no fun!

    I'm really sorry to hear about your Mom. In a way, I'm gad that you said this trip had to be a little slower paced because of the weather and your health. Hopefully that made it less emotional as well *hugs*

    That's awesome that you guys got a private Behind the Seeds tour. My brother and I were talking about possibly wanting to do that on our next trip.
     
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  19. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I was putting down those cucumber slices like there was no tomorrow LOL. I was just so into the conversation and didn't notice that I never stopped eating :eek: Apparently, all of the tours before us were completely booked. I think the guide liked us being the only two as well. It was definitely one of my favorite things this trip!
     
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  20. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I think pushing myself so much on Sunday with AK and then the Halloween party that it set me back the rest of the trip. Because when I was forced to stop during the hurricane, I felt a lot better. If I had just one more week tofully recover, then I think it would've been completely different. Knowing my capabilities were less than normal changed the way we toured the parks. We spent less time in my favorite parks, MK and AK, and more time at Disney Springs and EPCOT. And, that was a good thing. I was able to experience things I wouldn't have otherwise. Last year, we didn't spend much time at Disney Springs and I enjoyed seeing the changes. My husband enjoyed the convenience of the Coca Cola store being a boat ride away - closer to more Bibo LOL. I just wish we had done more rides - Soarin and Test Track being two of the biggest. R really wanted to ride both and didn't get to do either. Poor guy didn't get to do most of what he wanted to do this trip. I felt so bad. It wasn't so much my fault as it was Hurricane Matthew's - I'll get more into that later :banghead: And going to WDW, a place for families, isn't always great when you're grieving the loss of your own. Mom wasn't able to go with us during any of our trips so in a way it was like I was taking her with me in spirit so she could see it through my eyes. And that brought me some comfort. Next time will be a lot easier!!!! And you and your brother should really take the tour on your next trip. It doesn't cost that much and it really is a nice experience.
     
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