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Trip Report 2019 "It's Been a Long, Long Time" Trip Report *COMPLETED*

LeighM

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
My husband and I just got back from our week at WDW yesterday and I will be starting this trip report soon. To give everyone a reminder, we were there from April 27th to May 4th and were doing a split stay at three resorts - Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, and AKL Kidani Village. Also, every trip we hear one song more often than any other, which becomes our theme song for the trip, which strangely usually also coincides with something that happened in our trip - and this year was no different. I'll explain the title of this report in a later installment. I do have to say that I have mixed feelings about WDW after this trip and I'm not totally sure I can put those feelings into words. I still LOVE the resort and can't wait to go back but there was something different this trip that I can't quite figure out. We were focusing less on the parks and more on the resorts and other experiences so may be that had something to do with it. I'll try to explain during future entries. I did write my thoughts in a journal this time so that I didn't forget the small details. Did we accomplish everything we wanted to do and see? Was there any family drama this year? Stay tuned :)
 

Minnie1986

Well-Known Member
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LeighM

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Saturday, April 27th

Our flight was scheduled to leave Saturday morning at 11:06AM. I asked our pet sitter to arrive at 8AM so that we could go over some last minute details over caring for our dog, Pippy, and two cats, Littles and Misha. I was happy to find her after our previous sitter moved out of the area and my friend had to cancel for work reasons. She was able to stay with them a lot during the day because of her class schedule.

Here is my furbaby, Pippy, age 12.5 years. I came close to losing him 4 years ago after he had a bad reaction to a vaccine that caused a brain issue called meningoencephelitis. So I've been very over protective of this little fluffball, who is totally my doggie soulmate! Love him to pieces!!! The older he gets, the more guilt I feel over leaving him for extended periods of time. Especially since stress can aggravate his brain issue and makes mobility more difficult.

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This is Mom's cat, Littles, who is now close to 16. Mom rescued him as a kitten and bottle fed him. I didn't think he would last long after Mom died but he's still going strong. He was angry at me in this picture because I wouldn't let him get on my lap.

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This chunky monkey is Misha, age 14. I rescued her from the shelter for my Mom after her other cat died. She's a total sweetheart but still a pain in my butt. She's on a diet but you wouldn't think it to look at her. She lives for naps and food.

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The pet sitter arrived on time and we were out the door by 8:30AM, even though I was running a little bit late. We only live 40 minutes from the Richmond airport so it was an easy drive there. I don't know why anyone would assume I'm on my way to a Disney vacation....

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His car had a message that he had low tire pressure. Being way out in the country, we aren't near a gas station so we had to drive 30 minutes to the nearest station and fill the tire. Luckily, it's on the way to the airport! While waiting for that, I remembered that I left my muscle relaxers back home. I've been having issues with my neck and wanted to bring them with me in case I had any issues. Oops, fingers crossed for no issues but I know now that I'll be avoiding certain rides.

We lucked out at the airport when we chose the North parking garage because it turned out to be right at the JetBlue luggage claim that would make our arrival back home much easier. We were able to park on the ground floor so we were able to walk right in. Richmond is a smaller airport, with a great layout, so check in was a breeze, TSA pre check was easy peasy, and soon we were at our gate with over an hour to spare. My husband and I prefer to be early and wait instead of leaving later and risking something going wrong - like low tire pressure LOL.

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I tried to not take my anxiety pills this trip for the flight but right before boarding the husband made me take a pill. Glad he did too!! R was unhappy there wasn't a McDonalds in the airport for his breakfast and he refused to pay $5 for a non-Disney muffin. So he had to wait until we checked into our resort to eat. I remembered to take a Sudafed to help prevent the ear pain I experienced during my first flight. So that and EarPlanes really do help me.

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Our plane arrived and soon we were boarding. I like being towards the back of the plane to be closer to the bathroom (nervous bladder here!!!) and JetBlue used to load from the back to front which was a very smooth process. But they changed it from back of plane window, to middle, to aisle, etc as you go up the plane. We were in Group C and it was just a cluster. People in the middle of the plane trying to put their carry on in overhead compartment, preventing others from getting to the back of the plane. I'm not a fan of the change. But we still managed to leave 10 minutes ahead of schedule. Because we had high winds from the storms the day before, take off was horrible. R said it was the worst he's ever experienced. I was listening to Marconi Union's song Weightless to try to relax. It works wonders for me! About an hour into the flight, the kid behind me started kicking and hitting the back of the seat. The family did nothing. So I said something loudly to my husband so that the family could hear me and then the grandmother told him to stop. Really? You have to be told that him hitting the seat is obnoxious before you tell him to stop? I don't know anyone who wants to experience that so it's just a common sense no brainer to me. The flight attendant arrived with snacks and drinks and I discovered this delicious little snack.

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I was happy to discover these in our grocery store when we got back. And this is a good reminder to me to share one of the changes in this trip. I've been having health issues, which the doctors couldn't diagnose. Turns out I'm gluten sensitive - I'm not celiac but gluten causes severe bone and joint pain in my legs and horrible bloating. My glucose level is high, which was causing the nerve pain in my feet, and my gallbladder isn't functioning properly so I have to avoid fatty foods. And all of this happened soon before our trip. So going into Disney, I'm having to be gluten free, no dairy, low fat, low sugar, low carbs. I was having a difficult time adjusting to this new, forced upon me diet, and I wasn't sure how I well I would do sticking to this diet with all the temptations of Disney. Stick around to find out how I did :rolleyes:

We approached MCO and had another bad experience landing because of the wind and the pilot turning sharply to line up with the runway. If this was my first ever flight, I don't think I would've ever flown again. It was that bad. R was extremely nauseous so I made him take a Bonine was we landed and I could get to it. He thought having the middle seat is what made it worse. He usually gets the window and I get the aisle but because JetBlue was stupid and went from 2 seats to 3 someone had to have the middle and I need the aisle to help with my claustrophobia. We were supposed to land at 1:11PM but made it at 12:55PM. Yay for arriving early!

It took forever to get off the plane and I had to use the bathroom so bad. Because the flight was horrible with turbulence, I could never get up and use the restroom on the plane. Eventually, we made our way to Magical Express. There weren't long lines at all. We had just missed a bus and had to wait for another bus to Caribbean Beach Resort.

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It was in this line that I got hit in the head with a man with a backpack for the first time :) It never fails to happen. And also the first experience this trip with people having absolutely no self awareness. It's one of the things that affected my trip this time despite my best efforts to think positive. This was the offending backpack.

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While waiting for another DME bus, we got a text that our room was ready. After about 30 minutes a bus came and soon we were off. We stopped at AoA where only 2 families got off. Then it was off to our resort where we would be spending the next 2 nights.....
 
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LeighM

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Saturday continued...

Soon we were arriving at Caribbean Beach Resort.

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I loved the atmosphere in this resort! Tropical music playing and the smell in the lobby was fantastic!!

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Even though we knew our room was in Jamaica 45, we went to the front desk to get a map and to opt out of housekeeping. That was a $10 gift card. We explored a little bit but wanted to go to the room to change clothes and go to Spyglass Grill. We were both starving at this point, especially R.

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This was the front of our building. It was the first building on your left as you crossed the bridge so it was in a fantastic location and really close to the pool and lobby. And I loved the happy yellow colors of the buildings in Jamaica.

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Facing back towards the island and the bridge.

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Another shot of our building but from the bridge.

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Outside of the lobby.

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I just love this part of the resort.

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I know these pictures are out of order but I'm having a hard time getting the pictures to download and then upload to the site. Hopefully it's working normally again soon. I ran into mousekeeping after we left our room and I asked for the under construction pins since none were in our room (since most construction was finished except for the Skyliner work). He was nice enough to go get them for me since I collect them.

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Rista1313

Well-Known Member
Saturday, April 27th

Our flight was scheduled to leave Saturday morning at 11:06AM. I asked our pet sitter to arrive at 8AM so that we could go over some last minute details over caring for our dog, Pippy, and two cats, Littles and Misha. I was happy to find her after our previous sitter moved out of the area and my friend had to cancel for work reasons. She was able to stay with them a lot during the day because of her class schedule.

Here is my furbaby, Pippy, age 12.5 years. I came close to losing him 4 years ago after he had a bad reaction to a vaccine that caused a brain issue called meningoencephelitis. So I've been very over protective of this little fluffball, who is totally my doggie soulmate! Love him to pieces!!! The older he gets, the more guilt I feel over leaving him for extended periods of time. Especially since stress can aggravate his brain issue and makes mobility more difficult.

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This is Mom's cat, Littles, who is now close to 16. Mom rescued him as a kitten and bottle fed him. I didn't think he would last long after Mom died but he's still going strong. He was angry at me in this picture because I wouldn't let him get on my lap.

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This chunky monkey is Misha, age 14. I rescued her from the shelter for my Mom after her other cat died. She's a total sweetheart but still a pain in my butt. She's on a diet but you wouldn't think it to look at her. She lives for naps and food.

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The pet sitter arrived on time and we were out the door by 8:30AM, even though I was running a little bit late. We only live 40 minutes from the Richmond airport so it was an easy drive there. I don't know why anyone would assume I'm on my way to a Disney vacation....

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His car had a message that he had low tire pressure. Being way out in the country, we aren't near a gas station so we had to drive 30 minutes to the nearest station and fill the tire. Luckily, it's on the way to the airport! While waiting for that, I remembered that I left my muscle relaxers back home. I've been having issues with my neck and wanted to bring them with me in case I had any issues. Oops, fingers crossed for no issues but I know now that I'll be avoiding certain rides.

We lucked out at the airport when we chose the North parking garage because it turned out to be right at the JetBlue luggage claim that would make our arrival back home much easier. We were able to park on the ground floor so we were able to walk right in. Richmond is a smaller airport, with a great layout, so check in was a breeze, TSA pre check was easy peasy, and soon we were at our gate with over an hour to spare. My husband and I prefer to be early and wait instead of leaving later and risking something going wrong - like low tire pressure LOL.

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I tried to not take my anxiety pills this trip for the flight but right before boarding the husband made me take a pill. Glad he did too!! R was unhappy there wasn't a McDonalds in the airport for his breakfast and he refused to pay $5 for a non-Disney muffin. So he had to wait until we checked into our resort to eat. I remembered to take a Sudafed to help prevent the ear pain I experienced during my first flight. So that and EarPlanes really do help me.

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Our plane arrived and soon we were boarding. I like being towards the back of the plane to be closer to the bathroom (nervous bladder here!!!) and JetBlue used to load from the back to front which was a very smooth process. But they changed it from back of plane window, to middle, to aisle, etc as you go up the plane. We were in Group C and it was just a cluster. People in the middle of the plane trying to put their carry on in overhead compartment, preventing others from getting to the back of the plane. I'm not a fan of the change. But we still managed to leave 10 minutes ahead of schedule. Because we had high winds from the storms the day before, take off was horrible. R said it was the worst he's ever experienced. I was listening to Marconi Union's song Weightless to try to relax. It works wonders for me! About an hour into the flight, the kid behind me started kicking and hitting the back of the seat. The family did nothing. So I said something loudly to my husband so that the family could hear me and then the grandmother told him to stop. Really? You have to be told that him hitting the seat is obnoxious before you tell him to stop? I don't know anyone who wants to experience that so it's just a common sense no brainer to me. The flight attendant arrived with snacks and drinks and I discovered this delicious little snack.

View attachment 369777

I was happy to discover these in our grocery store when we got back. And this is a good reminder to me to share one of the changes in this trip. I've been having health issues, which the doctors couldn't diagnose. Turns out I'm gluten sensitive - I'm not celiac but gluten causes severe bone and joint pain in my legs and horrible bloating. My glucose level is high, which was causing the nerve pain in my feet, and my gallbladder isn't functioning properly so I have to avoid fatty foods. And all of this happened soon before our trip. So going into Disney, I'm having to be gluten free, no dairy, low fat, low sugar, low carbs. I was having a difficult time adjusting to this new, forced upon me diet, and I wasn't sure how I well I would do sticking to this diet with all the temptations of Disney. Stick around to find out how I did :rolleyes:

We approached MCO and had another bad experience landing because of the wind and the pilot turning sharply to line up with the runway. If this was my first ever flight, I don't think I would've ever flown again. It was that bad. R was extremely nauseous so I made him take a Bonine was we landed and I could get to it. He thought having the middle seat is what made it worse. He usually gets the window and I get the aisle but because JetBlue was stupid and went from 2 seats to 3 someone had to have the middle and I need the aisle to help with my claustrophobia. We were supposed to land at 1:11PM but made it at 12:55PM. Yay for arriving early!

It took forever to get off the plane and I had to use the bathroom so bad. Because the flight was horrible with turbulence, I could never get up and use the restroom on the plane. Eventually, we made our way to Magical Express. There weren't long lines at all. We had just missed a bus and had to wait for another bus to Caribbean Beach Resort.

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It was in this line that I got hit in the head with a man with a backpack for the first time :) It never fails to happen. And also the first experience this trip with people having absolutely no self awareness. It's one of the things that affected my trip this time despite my best efforts to think positive. This was the offending backpack.

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While waiting for another DME bus, we got a text that our room was ready. After about 30 minutes a bus came and soon we were off. We stopped at AoA where only 2 families got off. Then it was off to our resort where we would be spending the next 2 nights.....
Did the backpack dude apologize at least?
 

LeighM

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Pictures of our room. We were happy to see it was a corner room!!

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The rooms look a little plain inside when their is so much color and character around the lobby. The bed was firm and the pillows were comfortable but it definitely needed another refurbishment, especially with the Skyliner opening soon.

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I do like the sliding barn doors in the rooms at CBR and CSR because it helps keep sound and light contained since I wake up earlier than R.

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Happy shower curtain.

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Here is a view of our room. It's in the front building on the 2nd floor to the far left on the corner. It had great views walking to the room, was not impacted at all by the Skyliner, and was quiet.

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We walked to Skyglass Grill. Didn't realize it was quite so far from our room though LOL. But it was really pretty. I wish I had taken more pictures of the pool area though. That was one thing I did not like about this resort. I'm used to Riverside and Coronado where the pool was in its own area. Not right next to the lobby. I liked how the hot tub had more separation from the pool but it was wide open to the walkway and didn't have the secluded, relaxing feel as the others. Plus, the smoking area was close by so I wouldn't have been able to enjoy the hot tub because of that.

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We found it!!

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There were a few tables remaining so we got one under the fan. Since this was the first day of vacation, I was determined to eat healthy! So I got the shrimp salad. Since I couldn't make up my mind over what salad dressing I wanted (both had pros/cons for my health issues), the CM gave me both to try. It was refreshing sitting outside in the heat. It wasn't the best salad I've ever had but it was good. I wished they were more generous with the shrimp though.

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R had the Cuban sandwich but only ate half of it because he didn't want to be too full for dinner at Sebastian's Bistro later in the evening. He said it was good. I can't remember if I had a bite of it so it must not have been that memorable.

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We sat there a while to relax before making the trek back to the room. We played a little Plinko and my years of The Price is Right made me win every time I tried. R? Not at all. Bob Barker would not have been impressed.

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LeighM

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Some more pictures of around the resort. CBR has a nice playground. There was a sign warning people to feel the equipment before getting on. They tried putting canopies over the slides, etc but not sure how much it will help with the heat in the hot Florida sun.

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There were also a lot of private areas to sit and relax on the island. We didn't use these as often as we wanted only being there 2 nights. Except for most of Saturday and Sunday evening, we really weren't at the resort all that much.

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I loved the color scheme in this section in the food court.

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Birds were everywhere! I love gardening and birding so I was happy to see a lot of activity around the birdhouse. And Riviera is MASSIVE!!! I think I would haved CBR a lot more if this resort wasn't towering over it. I wanted to stay at this resort during my first trip but I didn't like the lobby not being a part of the main resort. So I chose Riverside. I wish I had tried it once during the trips when we drove so I could've experienced it before the Riviera and Skyliner construction. I like being fully immersed in a theme and this resort just wasn't doing it for me. The Skyliner in particular really bothered me with those big steel gray beams plopped right in the middle of the resort sections. I hated seeing it.

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We went back to the room to relax before our dinner at Sebastians. And we were planning to go to the Grand Floridian to see the Easter egg display (finally!!). As I was closing the door, I saw this. Where is our red "you are here" dot? :)

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LeighM

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
These were the views outside of our room. We totally won the room lottery with our location. I don't think we could've asked for anything better for what we needed this trip. This was the courtyard facing our door. The main walkway and lake was on the other side of these rooms.

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This was facing the other side of our room. I don't think we ever saw anyone enjoying these spaces both days we were there.

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The pirate flag was flying today even though it isn't in this picture lol. It was still a little windy but the weather was perfect. We came from VA where we have only had a few days reaching 80 this year so getting to FL with high 80s/low 90s and high humidity was almost a shock to our system :)

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Finally time for dinner at Sebastian's Bistro and we were really excited to try them.

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LeighM

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I want these chairs in my house. The designers did a great job with this restaurant. I felt totally on vacation and relaxed in this restaurant.
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Because I had checked I was gluten free, I received their allergy menu.

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I had gone into this reservation wanting the shrimp on tamales but I was still somewhat full from lunch and the heat was beginning to get to me. So I went with the caribbean vegetable curry. The chef came out to talk to me to find out what I could and couldn't have. Because I have to limit my intake of dairy, she put the lime crema on the side.

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I'm glad she did because this entree was perfect without the crema. If I eat there again, I would still want to try the shrimp dish but if I had multiple reservations, I would get this again. It was a great choice on such a hot day. To drink, I ordered a non-alcoholic drink from the Banana Cabana pool bar because I had been ******* after this drink ever since I saw it on the menu on MDE during my planning phase. Yes, I lusted after a drink and it lived up to every dream I had about :)

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It's the Tropical Paradise - pineapple, lime, coconut and cinnamon dusted with nutmeg. It was so good that R and I each got our own on Sunday. I wasn't happy to see that he was drinking half of this but little did I know it would turn out to be a theme this trip LOL.

R had wanted a few items from the appetizer menu since he was full from lunch. He got the jerk chicken wings, which he said had a nice flavor but was a little bit too spicy for him without the celery. The dipping sauce did help break it up somewhat.

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These pull apart rolls were fantastic!! Yes, I may have fudged my diet a little and have one (or two) of the rolls with the mango butter. I can have gluten but only in very limited quantities. I'm still trying to figure out just how much I can have without the pain. Two of these caused minor gastrointestinal discomfort but no pain in my bones. I wanted more especially since R was full and didn't eat them all. But I was trying to "save up" for later in the trip when we had 'Ohana reservations. We originally had it booked on Sunday but after my diet limitations, I knew I couldn't have it on Sunday before any of our park days. That turned out to be a very wise decision. I also remembered to use my 10% Disney Visa discount here. First time that I remembered to use it for a dining discount in all of my trips with it :)

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We didn't have desserts here because we had something else in mind. After dinner, we caught the bus to the Magic Kingdom so we could go to the Grand Floridian to see the Easter egg display and then Tambu Lounge at the Poly so R could get a serving of their bread pudding. My internet is extremely slow, even though all of the pictures have finally finished downloading, so I'll end it here for the day. The next post will just be picture heavy of my favorite Easter eggs and thoughts of the day. Sunday will be Disney Springs to see The Avengers and dinner then back to the resort to relax.
 

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Minnie1986

Well-Known Member
Loving the report so far. I empathize with your GI issues as I am quite certain that i have become gluten intolerant and am not looking forward to getting that diagnosis before my next trip. Really grateful for your TR so I can have an idea as to some good menu options.
 

LeighM

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Really enjoying your resort pictures! I don't think I've seen another trip report there.
I wish we had spent more time there. We didn't get in the pool at all or relax on any of the beaches spread around the resort. Or eat from the food court. It wasn't my favorite resort - that goes to Riverside - but I wouldn't mind spending a few nights there again just for a resort stay.
 

LeighM

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Loving the report so far. I empathize with your GI issues as I am quite certain that i have become gluten intolerant and am not looking forward to getting that diagnosis before my next trip. Really grateful for your TR so I can have an idea as to some good menu options.
For me, figuring out that gluten was my problem was a multi year ordeal. For a while the doctor thought I had some auto immune disorder and one of my tests came back abnormal. So I went to a rheumatologist, but all of their tests came back normal. So then I began wondering if it was something in my diet so I cut everything out except lean protein, fruits, and veggies and then started slowly introducing things again. I never once suspected gluten because pasta has been a staple in my diet since I was introduced to solid foods. Pasta is my thing. But what happened was I began cutting most meat out of my diet and added in even more pasta. Breaking that addiction has been hard and I'm still struggling with it. But sure enough, weeks without pasta made my pain go away. I began eating it again and pain came back. Then I looked at my results from 23andMe, and sure enough I have a variant for gluten intolerance. The answer had been in that account for the last few years and I just never looked LOL :bored: I can still have small amounts of gluten a day - like a couple of those pull apart rolls. But I have to really watch my intake of gluten, carbs, and fat.
 

LeighM

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
After dinner at Sebastian's, we caught a bus at the lobby to MK. We didn't have to wait very long. There was something odd about the bus rides here but I didn't figure it out until Sunday. At Riverside, I'm used to the themed music they play on the buses on the way back to the resort. I LOVE that because it really helps to set the atmosphere and mood before you get back to the resort. Caribbean and tropical music did not play on the buses any of the time we were on the way to CBR. It was silent. And it was odd since I'm used to POR. We made a mental note to listen to the music at CSR when we switched resorts. While we were waiting for the boat to Grand Floridian, I saw the new smoking area for MK.

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It was definitely out of the way and we didn't smell any of the smoke while waiting for the next boat. And the smokers had a great view overlooking the lake. I realized just how bad the smoking section is at Epcot when we were there on Tuesday when we had to hold our breathe just walking by it. So many smokers, the wind, and humidity really bumped up the fragrance level that day. And speaking of fragrance, I do have to mention how wonderful it was this trip to experience all of the gardenias blooming. I used to have a gardenia tree back home (which is just an annual in our area) and we have great memories of this scent. I didn't realize how much Disney used these for shrubbery until this day. It was lining the walkways on the island at CBR, the paths around the Poly and Coronado Springs, the pools at Animal Kingdom Lodge. I think it really helped to make us slow down so we could enjoy the scent of gardenias.

We got to the GF and I realized that it was Dapper Day weekend. I totally forgot about it but the lobby was full of people in Dapper attire listening to the band and dancing to the music. It was nice but a little too much for this claustrophobic. So, instead of having the relaxing experience I was hoping for while listening to the music, I quickly took pictures of the Easter egg display and hauled my butt outta there :) The lobby feels spacious until it's packed with people. This was the first time I heard the song, "It's Been a Long, Long Time." And this is a good spot to explain something about myself. I was born in the early 80s but my Mom was born in 1944 and my Grandma in 1918 and they were the dominant influences in my life. I grew up listening to 20s Jazz, 40s Big Band, Blues, and 50s Rock and Roll. And strangely enough, that music appealed to me more than it actually did them. I love all things retro. I've always identified a little bit with Captain America being a man out of his time because I always felt like I grew up in the wrong decades LOL. Old people LOVE me because they recognize me as one of their own - we talk about the music, the movies, TV shows, you name it and I'll probably know it :) So when I heard the band playing this song, a song to which I knew all of the words, I became very content. My husband, however, can't tell one old song from another LOL.

Here are some of my favorite Easter eggs. The detail work they put into these are amazing!

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And my most favorite? The frog prince!!!!!

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After we saw all of the eggs, we walked to the Poly and enjoyed the smell of gardenias. We went to Tambu Lounge, which was packed as usual. We had another encounter with a rude, entitled person. We were waiting to order a single serving of bread pudding. A couple that was having a drink at the bar next to R got up. A woman came out of nowhere, looked at R and asked all nastily, "Can I help you?" and told her friend that she was holding that chair for her Mom. He was like "nope, just waiting to order something" and she just rolled her eyes. Her loss because if she had waited a couple minutes, she could've had the seats and table that opened up for us a couple minutes later in front of the windows overlooking the resort :cool: R was so happy to start off his vacation with his most favorite dessert ever - 'Ohana bread pudding!

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But he swore it wasn't the exact same bread pudding LOL. I didn't taste a difference. Yes, I made yet another exception to my diet by only having a "few bites" of the dessert with ice cream. But I was pushing my limit with not just the gluten but the sweets, dairy, and fat so I truly did have to control the urge to finish off the plate :)

We were getting tired so decided to call it a night and go back to Caribbean Beach and get ready for Sunday. We had a DVC tour planned in the morning and tickets to watch Avengers in the Dolby theater in the afternoon.
 
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