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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. LadyBelle

    LadyBelle Well-Known Member

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    Following!

    I can't wait to post my giraffe pics. :angelic::angelic:

    Let me add my condolences on the loss of your mom. I hope this trip brought you some comfort.
     
  2. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Thank you - Disney did provide a lot of distractions. And I couldn't help but be both annoyed and humored by the people acting like I was an extra from the Walking Dead. I'm not even exaggerating LOL - there was one woman who told her daughter to get up and move when I coughed due to my asthma. I almost wish I had taken video :confused: I've never experienced anything like that before. And I did say some un-Disney like words in my head when I messed up the video of the giraffe walking next to me. He was close enough for me to touch too. I told my husband later he shouldn't trust me with any type of technology when I'm under the influence of medication :facepalm:
     
    PacNWTigger and MinnieM123 like this.
  3. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Tuesday, October 4th

    We slept later than we intended because of insomnia, but we woke up refreshed and ready to start our day - and we had another long day planned because I wanted to stay at EPCOT for EMH so R could experience the new Soarin and do Test Track again, which has hasn't done since our 2014 trip.

    We get to EPCOT around 11AM

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    There were bright blue skies but we could see the occasional grey cloud in the distance. But it was calling for rain later in the day so I wore my Tevas but R decided to risk it and wear his only pair of tennis shoes. He wore the sandals yesterday and it didn't rain. You can see where this is going :D

    I have never seen long lines for Spaceship Earth before. We rode for the first time last year and I had a mini anxiety attack once we got to the top. It was hot in there and the ride stopped. I won't be riding again...

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    Our first stop? Club Cool for more Bibo of course!! I told you this guy was flat out addicted!

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    We had one more must do for the Food & Wine Festival so we hiked over to Ireland for the Seafood Fisherman's Pie :hungry: The crowds at the kiosks were very low compared to the same time yesterday so we had no wait at all. R had breakfast at Riverside while I was getting ready since I wasn't too hungry. Originally he was going to get his own but he was too full from breakfast so most of this delicious dish was mine - all mine!

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    It was another scorcher of a day and I had left my hat at the resort. I was obviously thinking too much about my feet and not enough about my head.

    We explored the shops in the UK pavilion. While there, we overheard a cast member tell another couple that the building was designed so that each door looking out of the store, looked out on a different time period of British history :jawdrop: How did we never notice this???? So of course we had to go to the back of the store and look for ourselves.

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    And since R loves architectural details, he had to take a picture of this:

    2016-10-04 13.04.18.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
  4. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    We looked at the time and realized we had to hurry to the Festival Center for our 2PM Culinary Demonstration. This was another new to us event that I was looking forward to. We get to the Festival Center and check in and receive our tickets and saw it was a sold out event. I was hoping we could keep the tickets to use as a souvenir but they kept them as we entered the demo area o_O We had another line to wait in until they let us in to the seating area. During this time, the woman working the event walked by to make sure we all had tickets and half the people in line had to leave to get them bc they didn't realize they had to check in first. There was a Spanish speaking family behind us in line who didn't speak any English and didn't understand why the woman was telling them they had to leave the line. I showed them a picture of my ticket but they didn't "get" it. R is somewhat bilingual so he tried communicating with them that it was a paid event. It was a definite challenge for both because of dialects and different Spanish words but they realized they couldn't enter without paying. They let us enter the demo area and it was a mad rush for the "perfect" seats. We were towards the back of the line so we didn't get front and center but we enjoyed our sitting location. We weren't crowded, had a perfect view of the chefs, and the television and I was close to the bathrooms :joyfull:

    We sit down and helped ourselves to the water. The brought around wine or soda for those that wanted it. R got the diet coke and I had the wine. We looked at the printed recipes placed at our seat and knew I made a good choice. Two chefs, two dishes, for the price of one :cool:

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    I liked the sense of humor of both of these chefs. The chef making the cheesecake definitely liked limoncello. And who can blame him?
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    The chefs had just started talking when the skies opened up and it poured! The sound of the rain was so loud in that building and we were glad that we were there. And a few minutes later, I noticed workers getting buckets and caution signs because the ceiling was leaking at a steady rate. One of them told me later, that they weren't able to fix it because it wasn't safe for workers to be on the building. I didn't know if she meant at all or just during that time of year.

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    We received the pork dish and we liked the flavors. I don't really eat pork but if this was prepared, I could make an exception. It was really good.

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    And then we received our dessert. This part made me emotional because I introduced Mom to limoncello a few years ago. She always loved her hard lemonade but had never heard of limoncello until I brought a bottle home. In the summer, she always liked it when I made the spiked lemonade for her. This chef soaked the strawberries in the limoncello and it was sooooooo good. I wish we had thought of doing that before!! I knew Mom would have loved it and it made me really sad that I couldn't make it for her when I got home. It's always the little things that hit you the hardest when you least expect it. I pulled myself together and enjoyed the rest of the event.

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    Too soon the event was over. It was still raining so we browsed the merchandise and purchased a few things. The heavy rain stopped but it was still lightly drizzling. I had my umbrella, rain jacket, and Tevas so I was good to go. R got his shoes wet but I told him to let it be a lesson to him to listen to his wife LOL.

    We decided to walk to Hollywood Studios. The boat wasn't yet running and I didn't want to get back on the floating hell - did that last year and regretted it. It was a nice, relaxing walk. The storm had broken up the heat and humidity for the time being and it was really pleasant.

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    There were a few must dos for this park: ride TSMM (we had a FP for it later), meet Olaf (R's favorite character), see the new Star Wars Bay, and do The Great Movie Ride, since R didn't remember ever riding.

    Up next, Tuesday continued at Hollywood Studios....
     
  5. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Because of the rain, Hollywood Studios was almost empty. I checked the app and saw the waits for Toy Story were less than 30 minutes so we rushed back before the crowds returned now that the rain had gone. I had never actually been through the standby line before.

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    And yet again, I lost.

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    By the time our ride ended, it was time for our FP. By this time the standby had grown to 45 minutes.

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    My score was a little better but still lost. I always lose it in the ring section. I wanted to meet Woody and Buzz since they had no line when we entered TSMM the second time, but the wait had grown to 40 minutes. So if the wait for that had grown, we decided we better hurry up and see Olaf. We find his location and the wait is only 30 minutes. By this time, the humidity was getting worse thanks to the rain.

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    I didn't have my picture taken because I was looking rough about this time and I desperately needed a mirror, a brush, and pressed powder. R wanted to stop and see the 10 minute movie on Star Wars but we had just missed the door closing. I looked at the app and saw that wait at the Star Wars Bay was increasing so I told him we would come back to the movie. We watched the short movie there on Star Wars before entering the character area. R liked it but I still had hard feelings about missing out on meeting Wreck It Ralph and Vanellope. He really liked the new area since he's now into all the Star Wars movies. I've never been able to get that into them so I was indifferent.

    Many people leaving the theater thought this person was an audio animatronic until he started walking around. R wanted to get his picture taken with them but he waited too long and they had to go on patrol.

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    The line to meet Chewbacca moved at a steady pace so the 20 minutes went by quickly. The PhotoPass photographer missed the great shot of me meeting Chewie but he did get this one LOL.
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    R decided not to wait to see Kylo Ren for some reason. We headed out and saw the wait for The Great Movie ride was short. We got to the front of the theater and noticed the ride attendant asking if there were any parties of 2. I knew there were some in front of us but they were tuning everyone and everything out so I told him that we were a group of 2. So we were able to jump in front of a big group of people. The couple a few feet in front of us noticed what was happening and said they were also a group of 2 so they were also able to get on the waiting ride. I heard others complaining about us as we walked to the door but really, don't blame me because you weren't paying attention.

    I forgot just how long the ride took and by the time it was over, it was time to check in for dinner. I felt bad because I forgot the park closed at 7:30, our dinner was at 7 and R didn't have a chance to see that short 10 minute Star Wars movie he wanted to see so badly. I thought we would have time to go back later in the trip. HA!
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
  6. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    We had a little wait for Minnie's Seasonal Dine at Hollywood and Vine and I could tell my concerns were valid about how heavily geared it was towards young children. It was too late to change and there still wasn't any available ADR for 50s Prime Time so we just stuck with it. We were both hungry and we were there.

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    I didn't get a picture of the Halloween themed backdrop as you enter the restaurant and no one offered to take our picture. And since we didn't have children with us, we didn't get any of the Halloween themed goodies. And now that I'm thinking about it, we didn't get one of those cards with Olaf's signature either :mad:

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    We were seated at a table for 2 in a nice little nook. Our waiter took forever!!! It was a very chaotic place. Maybe it was because it was later and the children were hyped up, I don't know. The characters didn't seem to be meeting in an orderly fashion either - they seemed to be all over the place. I did enjoy seeing them in their Halloween costumes and I loved hearing Monster Mash play so many times :) I wish I had taken pictures of the food labels because they were Halloween themed as well.

    The food was surprisingly good and more than I was expecting. Or maybe we were just hungry. Here is a picture of one of our plates. I think I went up 3 times and had a plate full each time :jawdrop: Like I said, when I get hungry I can eat a lot of food.

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    The lobster mac and cheese was really good. And the pretzel bread and mustard was awesome!!! I definitely overate this time.

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    The pictures of Mickey and Daisy didn't turn out that well. I went up to try their desserts and this is where I went crazy. I wanted to try a little bit of everything and this is what I came back with...

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    And yes I ate most of that since R was too full. We rolled ourselves out of the restaurant. We decided to walk back to EPCOT for EMH. Fantasmic was still happening as we left. Walking back turned out to be a bad decision just because we had waaaaay too much food. It was a miserable walk. We still got to EPCOT before the boat that was loading at HS bc of all its stops. We get to EPCOT and people were lining up for Illuminations, which we've never seen. We looked at the waits for Soarin and Test Track. About this time, we both started to crash and decided we should go back to the resort and go to sleep. We had a full day at MK planned for Wednesday and we didn't want to be too tired.

    Luckily, we didn't have a long wait for the bus and we were the first stop at Riverside with only a 3 minute walk to our room. Never have I been so thankful for this room location LOL.

    However, it was another bad night and my insomnia woke me up after a few hours sleep. Since I was up, I decided to cancel all our FP at MK for an evening Test Track FP so R could get to experience his favorite ride. MK was open until 11PM and EMH were until 1AM so I knew we had plenty of time to hit MK in the morning, take a break, go to EPCOT for the ride, and still have plenty of time at my favorite park, Magic Kingdom, in the evening.

    Up next - Magic Kingdom and another change of plans :cautious:
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
  7. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Wednesday, October 5th

    I really wanted us to get to MK early so that I could finally see the welcome show. Unfortunately, it took a while to get through bag check because I picked the wrong line to get into. That security guard had to go into every single pocket of every single bag. I don't know why he thought the young parents with a baby would sneak contraband into the inner compartment of their diaper bag but whatever. Just another irritation with some of their guards working security.

    We didn't have any FastPasses today because I cancelled them during the night so R could experience Test Track again. It was going to be another hot day and the crowds at MK were already crazy busy. I wanted to make sure I rode Peter Pan's Flight so we got into the 40 minute standby line. It wasn't even 9:30 and already the line was at 40 minutes!! I couldn't help but be grossed out when a Mom changed her 2 yr olds dirty diaper while in line. She had to put the diaper in their backpack and we had to follow the smell all through the queue :hungover: Two cast members were going through the line and giving us paper FP for Philharmagic. Ummm thanks? And I didn't know whether to be annoyed or humored with a 5 yr old boy kept mistaking me for his Mom and trying to grab onto me - the funny part? He was talking to his Mom while he was doing it LOL. Finally, we were able to board and the ride was great as always.

    We made our way to the Haunted Mansion since the wait was short. I wasn't able to do the HM during the Halloween Party and this is my favorite ride. The ride stopped during a really good part too :) After we had to depart our Doombuggy, we did Pirates with a very short wait and got the front seat. The drop feels different when you're in the very front. We decided to do Jungle Cruise during EMH since both R and I prefer the ride when it's dark.

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    The line was short for Under the Sea so we hopped in the line because it had AC and it was soooo hot. The ride stopped when we were in front of Ursula and I forgot to take a picture. Oops. After we got back into the heat and humidity of FL, the crowds had really ballooned. We decided to stop into my happiest of happy places - the Big Top - and get something cold to drink while staying in the AC :) The park was getting too crowded for us so we decided to ride the PeopleMover before leaving. And while on the ride, it stopped. Seemed to be a common theme in MK this morning. But it stopped in a very convenient location and this time I remembered to take a picture

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    We fought our way out of the park around 11:30 and took the monorail to the Polynesian. When did the monorail start smelling like a barn stall??? We get to the Poly and head to the Tambu Lounge. Since they were opened we thought maybe they would have their bread pudding available since they had their menus out. We placed our order and then the bartender came back and told us the manager said it wouldn't be available until Ohana has dinner hours :bawling: R was NOT a happy camper because he was already regretting not going the other night. During this time, we heard that Hurricane Matthew was changing course and not expected to come close to FL. We had Ohana dinner reservations on Thursday at 4 and Raglan Road dinner on Friday. I decided to change our Kona Cafe dinner tonight to Raglan Road. I haven't been wanting to go here for years but it never worked out. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to change Ohana to tonight although I would have so R could have his bread pudding. But we were still feeling optimistic. We left the Poly, went back to MK and rode the bus back to Riverside.

    After a short rest, we took the boat back to Disney Springs. We definitely spent a lot of time here this trip.

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    We had a short wait and soon were at the Marketplace. R decided he wanted to go back to Uniqlo to buy a shirt. We both really liked this store and their affordable Disney shirts.

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    And there's Raglan Road :)

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    We couldn't be at Disney Springs without going here for, you guessed it, more Bibo LOL

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    While he was satisfying his addiction, I purchased a Coca Cola shirt that I was eyeing earlier in the the trip. Because it was still hot and miserable and I felt my breathing getting worse, I bumped up our dinner time to 4 instead of 5. R complained a little bit but once he got there all complaints stopped :)
     
  8. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    We left Cola Cola and made our way to the Co-Op so I could purchase a Disney Dooney that R really liked with great placement. My weakness is Disney and purses so of course I would have an issue with Disney purses LOL. The bag I was given was paper and I wasn't happy with that. We went to the World of Disney and I asked one of the staff if I could have a plastic bag in case it started to rain, and she was nice enough to wrap the Dooney for me so rain wouldn't get it.

    It was time to head to Raglan Road to check in for our reservation. I didn't know that the first show started shortly after 4 and the restaurant was mostly empty. The hostess led us to the perfect table - front and center of the stage.

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    R and I both love Irish music and culture so I knew we would both love it. The Irish musicians were fantastic and R was enthralled. That's seriously the only word I can use :) I had to tell him to blink sometimes so he wouldn't scare the female band members lol. And when the Irish dancers came out, that's when I knew I lost him - no expectations of a conversation :angelic:

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    There's a funny story about the following picture. The older man in red didn't know there was going to be a dancer on the table behind him because he and his wife had their backs to it. When the dancer got on the table and started kicking, the man thought he was under attack. He jumped up and forward over the table which scared his wife even more! He moved his chair for the rest of the meal and kept videotaping their feet. I wished I had thought to do that :oops:

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    It took a while for our food to come out because I had ordered their pie of the day, which was chicken and mushroom. R didn't care because he was so entertained. The bad thing about sitting so close to the stage is the heat from the lights. I didn't realize that until our food arrived. It's hot outside, it's hot from the stage, and here I was ordering a chicken pot pie. Not my smartest decision. I wished I could have eaten more of it but it was so hot and too much chicken. But I would definitely order this again in the cooler months because I loved it.

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    And as you can see, I started eating again before R could take a picture. I was hungry! After we finished our entrees, it was time for dessert. I was full but we wanted to try different desserts. I knew he was going to order the bread and butter bread pudding. The waiter said the orange pudding was warmed so it might help my throat, which was sore from all the coughing. Sounds good to me.

    Another server brought our desserts:
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    Umm, that doesn't look like orange pudding!! I think this was the raspberry pavlova. Whatever it was, I didn't like it so I just ate the ice cream. When our server saw what was brought to me he said he would go back and bring me the orange pudding but I told him it was okay and that I was fine eating the ice cream. No way could I eat all that sugar with my cough! R tasted it and didn't like it either although he loved the bread pudding!

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    The waiter was thoughtful and brought me a cup of ice water to go. As soon as we got ready to leave the restaurant, the sky opened up and it rained so hard. I had to put my Coke shirt in the plastic bag with R's items and the only bag big enough was my paper bag from the Co Op. We headed to the bus stop and the paper bag broke because it got soaked even with an umbrella over it. But the purse was okay ;)

    In line waiting were people from one of the water parks. I don't know why they didn't change clothes before leaving the park or why they didn't wear a cover up but they were all wearing bikinis and swimming trunks :jawdrop: To say they were uncomfortable on the air conditioned bus was an understatement. Another woman on the noticed I was holding onto a soaking wet paper bag so she was nice enough to give me one of her plastic bags to use as a trash bag.

    We got back to Riverside and the rain had slowed to a drizzle. We dropped off our packages, changed clothes, and was headed back to the parks when I received an email that Test Track was down. Seriously, this man can't get to do anything he wants. I felt so bad. He decided to go to MK and skip EPCOT.
     
  9. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    MK was busy and I told him about Main Street Electrical Parade leaving. We had never seen this before and it was something he really wanted to do. Someone had told me that the parade starts in Adventureland so off we went. We found out later it's where the parade ends but it was fine because we had a great view. The next time I want to see a parade, I know where I'm sitting ;) We had to wait an hour for it though. A family got there after us with young children and I told their Mom that the kids could sit in front of us when the parade started. A few minutes before it started, a woman with 2 kids came over and asked if they could stand in front of us to see the parade. Ummmm no!! We waited an hour for this spot and I already had 3 kids that will be in front of us. I don't know why she thought she could get our spot!! The woman next to me that I was having conversations while I was waiting was like "that took some nerve."

    Here are a lot of parade pictures:
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    I didn't want to see the parade but once it started, I'm glad R talked me into it. Now I'm sad to see it go :(

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    Am I the only one who wonders why Prince Charming isn't in the carriage with Cinderella but in the back with the Step Sisters???

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    Yay, I got to see Peter Pan and Captain Hook having a sword fight :)

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  10. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    More of the parade...

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    Mom and I loved Pete's Dragon. We watched it a lot when I was a child. 20161005_214117.jpg When I saw it for sale on DVD last year, I had to buy it. R hasn't watched any of the old Disney movies yet but I want him to watch Pete's Dragon and Bedknobs and Broomsticks with me :)

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    When the America float went by the crowd let our a loud cheer.


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    Have I said yet how much I enjoyed this parade? After it was over, we walked around until it was time for EMH. We decided to cancel our 8am breakfast at Be Our Guest since we learned I wasn't doing well with late nights followed by early mornings. That made me sad:( By this time, the hurricane was looking dangerous for Orlando and we were very uncertain what was going to happen the rest of the week. I love late night EMH at MK because the crowds really thin out. We rode some of the rides we haven't been able to get to yet. We did the nighttime Jungle Cruise and had one of the best skippers we ever had. He was hilarious and had all of us laughing the entire ride!! We also rode Buzz Lightyear since it didn't have a wait. And it didn't matter how focused R was on winning again because I knew he couldn't even come close to beating my score!

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    To be honest, I don't know what I did to score so high early in the game. R didn't even notice bc he was so focused on the game. After the game, it was close to midnight and knew we had to get back to the resort to get ready for bed. We had plans to go to MK but that's not quite what happens thanks to Hurricane Matthew....

    Up next - all my carefully laid plans go to you know where in a handbasket!!!

    Oh! I forgot to include in an earlier entry that while we were in MK, I overheard one of the costumed characters on Main Street, who had come into one of the stores, tell one of the workers that "she doesn't get paid enough for this" :eek::eek::eek: My head turned so fast I almost gave myself whiplash!
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
  11. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Thursday, October 6th

    We watched The Weather Channel when we got back the night before and saw that things were not looking good for Central Florida and we unsure of what would happen at our location and what Disney would do. I had seen rumors online that the parks would be closing at 5PM that day but the worst of the hurricane was supposed to be overnight into Friday. We were supposed to switch to Animal Kingdom Lodge on Friday. That was our anniversary treat to myself. I had never stayed in a Deluxe before and had gotten a great discount on a DVC room. We were supposed to spend all day at the resort, swim in their pool, and have breakfast at Boma on Saturday before we had to leave. We decided to stop by the reception desk to see what our options were. We were told that even if we were hit by a category 4 hurricane, someone on the staff would be able to take us and our luggage to AKL. That didn't seem like the wisest decision and R and I didn't feel comfortable asking a cast member to put their life at risk just so we could stay one night at AKL. We asked if we could stay in our room at Riverside so we didn't have to move to another room during what was expected to be the worst of the storm. She had to call the reservation line, get approval, etc so it took a while because a lot of people were rearranging their plans. While we were at the counter waiting, we couldn't help but hear one man getting angry because he and his wife had been at the resort during another hurricane (Floyd I believe) and he wanted to be moved to a room closer to the food court because now he had kids and didn't want to be inconvenienced carrying food for everyone. One, I guess he thought he was the only person affected. Two, he must not have been thinking of the people who had paid for the preferred rooms who now needed to stay. Three, why didn't he just pay more for a preferred room from the get go - I mean he was traveling to WDW during hurricane season!! Anyways, he was upset when he wasn't able to get his room changed. After a while, the cast member came back and told us that we could stay in the room and would be receiving a credit for the difference in price.

    I told R that he could pick whatever park he wanted to go. I had done everything I wanted to do at MK but we hadn't done much at Animal Kingdom and didn't go to half of the World Showcase. He decided on EPCOT so off we went. They had already started preparations for the storm and R wanted me to take a picture of the lamp post.

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    All of them were wrapped with the plastic wrap material. We decided to go in the Mexico Pavilion and there was a mariachi band playing that we listened to for a while.

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    Then we went to the China Pavilion. In 2014, R fell in love with a sword but didn't buy it. He regretted it as soon as he got home. When we went back in 2015, he made it a point to make a special trip there to see if they had anymore swords he liked but they only had reproduction ones. He left that trip empty handed and I had to listen to him talk about the sword that got away for another year! So I told him we should go and see what options they had - and guess what? They had his dream sword!!! He was balking at the price like he did back in 2014 and I told him if he wanted the dang sword to get it so I don't hear him complain about not getting it for another year. So he bought it (just came in the mail today!) and I told him he better not complain about the price for the next year either :rolleyes:

    We did enough damage to our checking account so off we went around the World Showcase. We stopped in a few more stores but neither of us felt like shopping after just buying a Dooney and a sword so we really weren't into it. I remembered to stop in the Visa Chase Lounge in the America Pavilion.

    20161006_122701.jpg 20161006_122709.jpg

    Sorry for the poor pictures and the lack of them but people kept getting in my way as I was trying to take pictures. We found a table to enjoy our cold (and free) drinks while we charged our phones. After a half hour or so we were on our way. R decided to not stop in France to have anything from their bakery because he was still hoping for the Ohana dinner at 4. They were beginning to officially announce the 5PM park closures so we decided to hop over to Ohana to find out if they would honor our dinner reservation. It was an early dinner, transportation would still be running for a while afterwards, so we thought we may be fine. We get to the Poly and I ask at the concierge desk what would happen with dinner. She told me she really didn't know, they would be making a decision before they started their dinner service, which was a little over an hour away. I had a feeling she knew more but didn't want to say anything. We go up to the Tambu Lounge and watched the weather. I could see the skies getting dark and the wind picking up early. I told R that we should just leave, that I had a feeling we wouldn't be having dinner there, and the storm was coming much quicker than the news was saying. Needless to say he was VERY UNHAPPY. He wanted their bread pudding as much as possible and he didn't even get one serving :cry: I felt bad for him. This was the meal we were both looking forward to the most and was planning on it being our anniversary dinner. Luckily, we were able to get to the MK bus stops before people left the parks. We got to our resort and the line in the lobby for registration was soooooooo long. Everyone had decided to go to the parks first and then panicked when they got back to the resort later. We went to the gift shop to buy some snacks in case we weren't able to get out of our room until later the next day. I've learned through multiple snow storms, that the worst always happens when you don't make plans. While I was waiting in that line, I told R to go to the food court and order a pizza for us. I know, we went from Ohana to pizza :arghh:

    2016-10-06 16.17.44.jpg

    It was a great decision because he only had a 40 minute wait total from waiting in line to place the order to the time we got the pizza. By the time we finished, the wait was well over an hour from people getting back to the resort and realizing they needed to do something for dinner. Have none of these people ever gone through a weather emergency before??!!!! We saw people buying boxed lunches but we didn't know what they were for. We overheard other guests saying they were $13 lunches because the food court was expected to be closed all day on Friday. At this point, everyone was planning for the worst to happen. And I have to say, the idea of being hit by a category 4 was making both of us really nervous. We had both been in Hurricane Isabel when she was a Category 1 and that wasn't any fun - so much rain and tree damage. A category 4 was something neither of us wanted to comprehend. We decided not to buy the boxed lunches because I had purchased chips, breakfast bars, and cereal in the resort gift shop earlier.

    By the time we left, the rain had started so we just went to our room to hunker and watch TV. At this point, we realized that the red voicemail light was not working on our phone and had missed all of the special announcements. I was online when I read that all resort restaurants had cancelled dinner reservations and only honoring those made for their hotel guests. My instinct was correct. How nice for all of those Poly guests though :bawling: I found it interesting that I was finding out information quicker about WDW on social media than I was actually a guest of the resort.

    We heard a knock on the door and found this

    2016-10-06 17.11.29.jpg

    Staff was handing out a flashlight to every room in the event we lost power. That was awesome because R and I didn't pack a flashlight since we were flying. What can I say, we typically like to travel prepared lol. We stayed the rest of the night in the room, and we could hear heavy rain and wind throughout the night.
     

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  12. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Friday, October 7th

    We woke up around 8:30 and realized the worst must have gone around us. We turned on the news and saw that in fact, it had changed course last minute. Woohoo!!! We were still getting rain and strong winds but nothing worse than an afternoon thunderstorm in the summer. We still had to go to the lobby to check out and check back in so we headed out to the lobby. We past others getting ice but no one had left their rooms yet. We got to the lobby at a good time because the line at registration was short. We heard from a cast member that everyone that was on duty Thursday afternoon had to stay until Saturday.

    After getting that necessary bit of business out of the way, we went to the food court and saw they were serving a hot breakfast. Of course, it was a modified menu but it was still hot eggs, breakfast potatoes, and bacon.

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    Nothing to complain about there. However, that does remind me of what R overheard a woman say on Thursday. She said for the price she was paying, she was expecting a hot meal. We were both shocked....here we are going through a hurricane and she expects Disney to automatically be able to provide hot meals. Entitled and unreasonable much? We definitely saw more entitled behavior from both adults and children this trip.

    I don't know if landscaping/maintenance had already been out but this was the worst of what we saw around the resort:

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    We went back to our room until it was lunch time. We didn't take a picture but it was just a simple bacon cheeseburger. I didn't order anything because I had also seen on FB that Disney Springs would probably open at 5PM with a limited number of stores and restaurants open with modified menus. As we were getting ready to leave, two dads had picked up meals for their wives and kids back in the room. They were getting ready to go when one father said to another "are you really ready to go back to that room?" The other dad thought for a few seconds and said "no, not really," he sat back down and said "I'll tell them there was a long line." The other dad sat down too and both enjoyed their coffee LOL.

    After eating, we went to the arcade and saw this message:

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    I wish we had seen this earlier! We only played a few games because we figured the younger kids needed it more to get out all of that energy LOL.

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    They also had characters meeting in the lobby

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    We walked around the resort because I hate to do nothing for long amounts of time.

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    Another heavy rain band was beginning to come through so back to the room we went.

    Up next - Friday continued and Disney Springs
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
  13. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Soon we received confirmation that Disney Springs was opening at 5PM (yay for social media!). I went back to Facebook to see if I could find any new information and one of the Disney fan pages had a list of the stores and restaurants that would be open. This was our last day so I wanted to do something besides stay at Riverside. And honestly, I was a little bit bitter because the weather wasn't bad and I could've changed resorts and been at Animal Kingdom Lodge :( But it just leaves me something to look forward to on our next trip and things were modified at the resorts anyway so it really wouldn't have been worth it.

    We left our room and decided to get to the South Depot early. We didn't know at the time that bus pick up times were staggered at the resorts. We were waiting for almost an hour and I really had to use the restroom. All day drink refills were catching up to me quickly. That and all the hyper kids were really getting on my nerves. I told R that we could just get a taxi. As soon as we stepped out of line, the buses started coming :grumpy:

    After my pit stop, I went online to request a taxi. We went outside and a cast member was putting people into taxis based on how long they had been waiting. I told her that I had ordered one online and I was told they should be there now but I didn't have a taxi number. So we waited until I heard more from Myers. A few minutes later, a taxi came and the couple next to us had been waiting a while and the cast member knew I had ordered one, so she asked if we wanted to share a taxi. It was fine with us so off we went. While I was in the car, I received a call from Myers letting me know they were there but I lost connection. I later received an email that they tried charging me for the cab fare (but I didn't input payment info so that accomplished nothing) and I knew for a fact the staff member would be putting others into the taxi so it's not like the driver made a worthless trip - he got paid by others. The drive to Disney Springs only took 5 minutes and the fare was about $10. R tried to split the cost with the other couple but they refused to let us pay our half.

    We were dropped off at the Marketplace and I knew the lines would be crazy long and the menus would be modified. We went the Morimoto Street Food window and R ordered the ribs and I had the sesame noodles. Mine was definitely better than his and more worth the money spent. He had eaten earlier at the resort so I was definitely the hungrier one.

    2016-10-07 17.58.58.jpg

    While we were waiting in line, we heard a woman behind us tell others around her that she was stuck at Riverside all day and they didn't have any food. I had to insert myself to let everyone know they were serving hot food all day with a modified menu. Turns out they hadn't left their room all day and didn't know they were serving food, had characters in the lobby, or a free arcade :joyfull: She was so turned off by the experience (she had to leave the campgrounds and was given a room at Riverside), she said she didn't think she would ever bring her family to Disney again. I don't see why it was Disney's fault but okay. I agree the communication could've been better but take some initiative! It started to rain again while we were eating but nothing too bad. Those waiting in dinner lines probably didn't agree though.

    By the time we finished eating, the lines for all of the open restaurants were ridiculously long. Like 2-3 hour waits long. Raglan Rd was open and I was curious to see what they were serving and I believe the sign said cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, fish and chips. Dessert consisted of cookies, ice cream, and something else. I would not wait 3 hours for that when I could've had that at the resort. I think some people waited in line thinking it would be their regular menu and didn't look at all. Again, take some initiative and see what's being served before you blindly get into a line.

    We knew Coca Cola was open but we didn't know whether the roof top bar would be open because of the wind but off we went to check. They were open so you know what happened next:

    2016-10-07 18.31.41.jpg

    Bibo!!!!!!!!

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    A lot of people were going to the theater and Splitsville. We decided to walk around and look in the stores that were open. World of Disney was a madhouse. We walked through as quickly as we could and found the nearest door to exit.

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    It was beginning to get late and we had to finish packing so we went to the bus stop. There was a nice line that had already formed but a bus arrived shortly after. The bus stop is shared with both Port Orleans Riverside. But when someone went to get on the bus she got off and told everywhere that the bus was going to the French Quarter. No one else in line was moving or making any attempt to get on the bus so R and I slipped under the barriers and got on the bus. We didn't mind walking from the French Quarter to Riverside. It was no longer raining and it was a nice night. Plus neither of us were completely ready to go back to our room. Once we got on the bus, the driver got off and told everyone he was going to both resorts and for people to get on! We got some dirty looks by others because we were sitting down and skipped ahead of them in line, but it's not my fault that they didn't get on the bus when they all thought it was going to French Quarter. I'm not the type to blindly follow someone. Sorry not sorry LOL.

    When we got back, we saw they were offering one of my favorite dinners at the food court and they had opened up the quiet pools and people were enjoying it. I think they had the right idea - they stayed at the resort, had a nice meal, and then went swimming. Some of the people at Disney Springs were still waiting in line for dinner!!!

    We were told on Thursday that our reservations for Magical Express was transferred to Riverside and we would be getting a packet on our door. We got back to our room and no travel info. I woke up in the middle of the night and that was all I could think about. I called Magical Express to confirm and she couldn't find my info anywhere so I had to do it again. I also requested an earlier pick up time in case the airport was slammed. As I was giving her the names, she found my reservation under my husband's name. Not sure how or why the woman at registration changed it since we don't share the last names. But once I knew that it was good, I was able to go back to sleep.

    Up next - the trip back home
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
  14. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Saturday, October 8th

    I was up bright and early and the first thing I did was check the door. Still no travel info! So I knew I had to go to the lobby and print off the letter to give to the Magical Express Driver. It was a little after 8AM and our bus was supposed to pick us up at 9:30 and the line was almost to the entry to the lobby by the time I got there. I really wasn't sure whether I would make it in time. But luckily, some people in line moved pretty quickly. While I was waiting in line, R went back to the room to finish packing and bring our carry ons because we could see we didn't have enough time to eat breakfast, go back to our room for our luggage, and walk back across the resort.

    At 8:55AM, it was my turn to talk to registration. I explained the issue and she printed off the letter I needed but she told me that Resort Airline Check-in was closed and we needed to check our baggage and get the boarding passes ourselves at the airport. At no point was this communicated to us so I wasn't a very happy camper. Nothing on our door, no email, no VM (we had to check ourselves bc the phone hadn't yet been fixed) so I'm glad I went to the lobby instead of waiting last minute in my room. R had gotten back with our luggage by this time. We went outside to wait and there was a Disney Cruise Line bus substituting as a Magical Express bus. The driver asked if we wanted to go early to get through the security lines before the crowds got there so we left on an earlier bus.

    We must have gotten to the airport at a perfect time because there was no lines at the JetBlue counter and we were quickly on our way to security. The box with my purse and shoes wasn't waiting for me at the other end of the line and I had a moment of panic. I asked the agent and my bag had to go through security. She had to scan my purse bc something showed up. Turns out R had put an unopened bottle Power Aid in my purse instead of his checked luggage. I saw that and I yelled his name and he looked up and was like "oh my bad, that's my fault" - we did give the TSA agent a laugh especially when I told her that I couldn't figure out why my purse was so frickin heavy!

    Without the lines we had a 2 hour wait but that was fine with us. No stress or hassle. Our flight was still scheduled to leave so we were good. We had breakfast at McDonalds with no wait, looked in a few of the stores, and went to our gate. Then we saw our flight was delayed 30 minutes. No problem. Then it was delayed another 30 minutes lol. We were at the airport waiting for 3 hours. We decided to have lunch at Burger King but they only had a few options available. We liked the options so we were content. We were watching the flight path of our arriving plane and they were delayed trying to get around Hurricane Matthew. The Jetblue people were all laughing at the zigzags the pilot took :joyfull:

    It didn't seem like that long but as soon as the plane arrived and people got off, they were loading us on while they were cleaning, fueling up, and changing the luggage. They moved really quickly to make up lost time. I heard them say would hit some turbulence over the Carolinas and I was really nervous. This was only my second time flying and I was going to be flying over a hurricane. Fantastic!

    We had a really rocky take off - R said it was the worst he's ever experienced but once we were in the air it was okay. This was our view in the start of the flight
    2016-10-08 14.25.34.jpg

    I looked at my phone an hour into the trip and this is what was ahead of us!! The darn hurricane was following me home!! Whatever happened to it curving and not coming this far up the coast???

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    It was some pretty bad turbulence. R was getting nauseous but I was holding onto the seat belt pretending I was on TSMM LOL. This was the view of the last half of our trip

    2016-10-08 15.23.04.jpg

    The pilot announced that there were strong winds in Richmond so it would be a rough landing. I was expecting it to be worse than it was but it was still unpleasant. Stupid Hurricane Matthew!!!! Upon landing, they quickly hurried us off the plane. It didn't take us long to get our luggage and get to the car in the garage. Glad we were in the garage bc it was raining pretty steadily in Richmond. We were home in less than an hour and our trip was over. We were both sad to be back in reality. He had a lot of deadlines at work to look forward to and i had to deal with insurance and mortgage companies.

    One thing I did find really amusing this day was how many men and women complimented me on how much they loved my luggage. I didn't expect it to be such a big hit with strangers

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    It was very easy to find my suitcase though :)

    Final Thoughts
    • I definitely noticed a difference with the attitude of some of the cast members this trip. I'm hoping it was just because of the crowds and the heat and not a permanent change
    • I will not be going back to WDW this time of year - too hot and too crowded. Next time, I would like to go in December to experience all of their holiday events. Or go back in early March since we loved our trip in 2014
    • We did not get to stay at the deluxe resort, go swimming, play miniature golf, or eat at Ohana and Boma. We had a lot planned for Thursday and Friday and the hurricane completely screwed up all our plans. But we were together and safe so I really don't have that much to complain about
    • We ended up walking a total of 54.68 miles and for the first time ever - no blisters!!! My Reeboks and soft, cushioned socks really made a difference!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
  15. LadyBelle

    LadyBelle Well-Known Member

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    1. Yeah, we wished Matthew had curved out to sea as well. Totally didn't like the 15 inches of rain in 24 hours. It'll be a long recovery.
    2. Yes, your luggage is adorable!!
     
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  16. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Where do you live? We really lucked out where we are. All of the heavy rain in VA went just to the east and west of us. None of the heavy rain bands set up over our house. There was a lot of flooding in both areas and power outages. Our power went off a few times during the night but it came back on. We're really thankful but have a lot of sympathy towards those less lucky.

    I got into an argument with a cousin while in WDW because she couldn't understand why I was more concerned about my safety in Orlando with a category 4 hurricane coming at us instead of the possibility of her daughter being shipped out. She told me that I was being a drama queen and that it was only a hurricane and that it wasn't like I was going to die. I could always get in a car and drive home on 95. The conversation quickly went downhill and none of it can, or should be repeated, but needless to say I'm sure she felt like a complete fool once she watched the news.
     
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  17. MinnieM123

    MinnieM123 Well-Known Member

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    :hilarious: I say that at my job, too, but not within earshot of others! :rolleyes:

    Really enjoying your TR, by the way. You've had some great observations. Your photos are wonderful, too. I'm particularly enjoying the nighttime parade ones--outstanding.
     
  18. LadyBelle

    LadyBelle Well-Known Member

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    I live in The south eastern part of North Carolina. Schools have been closed all week, roads collapsed. They've closed parts of I-95 until sometime in November. The county south of us got it worse. Their schools are closed indefinitely; some are still being used as shelters. I was very, very lucky. I didn't lose power or cable (#firstworldproblems).

    IMG_0781.JPG
    This picture was taken by a newspaper photographer on that Saturday. That road is five minutes from me and it's where I drive to get to work each weekday.
     
  19. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I've seen pictures from Lumberton to Roanoake Rapids towards the coast and the amount of flooding is just staggering. A friend of mine from high school now lives in the north eastern part of NC and the road down from her house was completely washed away. When we were driving down in 2014 we had to take a very long detour around Roanoke Rapids because I-95 was completely flooded and they had to close the roads. That was just from a very heavy rainstorm so I can't even imagine the effects of a rain monster like Matthew. We had about an inch of standing water in our yard and that was it but the places around us got slammed. And in 2015, we just missed the flooding in SC that closed 95. Do you notice a pattern? Every time we travel to FL, somewhere along the east coast gets hit hard!! I'm starting to feel like a jinx :)
     
  20. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I always said worse at my old job - mostly to my former manager :rolleyes: When Mom died, I had to turn in my notice so I could pack up the house and move to be with my husband. I worked there for 11 years and now that my trip is over, I need to start looking for a new job here. The problem is that I've enjoyed not working the past couple of months. I told my husband, I'll start working just so I can afford more Disney trips now that I can fly :) It won't be any time soon, but I do see more long weekend trips in my future!

    Thank you for complimenting the pictures. I kept forgetting to take pictures and I can't figure out how to take nighttime ones with my digital camera so most of them were taken with my phone. I was shocked when I saw that those turned out better than my Nikon :jawdrop:
     
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