Trip Report I found us a table at Ohana, let's go back to Disney World

I visited WDW during Food & Wine last year and I realized I never finished editing my photos. What better way to motivate myself than to write a trip report?

Who am ? I'm gsrjedi, it should say so next to this post. There's a picture attached & everything. Feel free to read my previous trip reports at the following links: My first trip report: A visit to Cars Land, The Trip Report that was 23 years in the making, & We're going to DLP, We're not?, We Are?, OK!

If you don't have hours of free-time to read about my past adventures, let me introduce the cast of characters for this trip.

gsrjedi (me) - your fantastic scribe; despite living in Arizona my whole life, my earliest Disney memories are from my first trip back in 1989

Moms (that should be self-explanatory) - my mother; she tends to downplay her Disney love, but she's been more open about her love of the Parks recently

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We live in AZ, frequently visit DLR, & were just in the World in 2012. What brought us back so soon? Two things, we really loved WDW; and on that trip Moms learned of Ohana and was sad we couldn't get a table then. So in July of '14, I was checking out the My Disney Experience app and found a table at Ohana during Food & Wine. We already had an itch to go back, plus I love food! Plus, this time I had to visit (looks around the room for Disney executives), Universal, to check out Diagon Alley.

This trip had one interesting wrinkle. For a whole host of reasons, of which I was never fully clear on, we would be staying in 4 hotels this trips. We'd certainly be seeing a lot more of the resort this time.
 

gsrjedi

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Day 1 - 11/4/2014 - We Love Publix

Our US Airways flight, took us to Chicago where we had a couple hour layover. The flight wasn't bad, but on our previous trip we had quite a scare, so every bump & wiggle on this plane had us especially nervous. The flight was practically empty and Moms moved up to the seat in front of me so we both had our own rows.
- me on the plane

We ate some food before getting on our second plane. We arrived in Orlando with no complications. Since we were planning a day at Universal, we opted to rent a car for the entire trip instead of letting Disney drive us around. We were given a Chevrolet Spark, a tiny car that couldn't fit our two pieces of luggage in the trunk.
- our chariot awaits

We've used the tollroads in California, so it wasn't too jarring stopping at the various tolls. One of the things I love most about travelling is going to regular places that we don't have in AZ. So before we stopped at our first hotel, we visited Publix to get some snacks & drinks for the room. We have grocery stores like that here, but for some reason we really loved Publix. We were hungry, but decided to wait to eat at the hotel, since we'd only have one night to check out their food options. I knew we'd come back to Publix for a meal though.

Our first hotel for the trip would be -
DSC04232 by Michael, on Flickr

Moms wanted to try it since it was a new hotel and to see how she liked the value hotels (our previous trip we stayed at the Poly).
DSC04233 by Michael, on Flickr

We had done online check-in & with our Magic Bands everything was super easy. Yes, we did have 4 MBs each for the trip. We found our room and unloaded the car before visiting Landscape of Flavors for dinner.
IMG_0135 by Michael, on Flickr
IMG_0136 by Michael, on Flickr
IMG_0137 by Michael, on Flickr
IMG_0138 by Michael, on Flickr - I can never get sick of something so simple

A lot of stuff at Landscape looked good, but we both opted for the make-your-own-pasta to take back to the room.
DSC04234 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04235 by Michael, on Flickr

I will continue some more later
 

gsrjedi

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 1 - 11/4/2014 - Part 2: A Walk Through Disney Films

Even though I had been travelling all day & it was 11 at night, I wanted to check out some of the resort. I grabbed my camera bag & tripod and set off. I walked around the backside of the Little Mermaid section before crossing the bridge to Pop Century.
- came across this little guy
DSC04241 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04242 by Michael, on Flickr

After my brief visit in the decades of the past, I headed back of AoA to walk through the Finding Nemo area.
DSC04244 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04246 by Michael, on Flickr

I came up for air and wanted to go by the lobby since we didn't spend much time there during check-in or while getting food.
DSC04248 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04250 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04251 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04254 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04259 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04257 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04262 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04249 by Michael, on Flickr

I started to head back to the room by way of the Lion King area
DSC04267 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04268 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04269 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04272 by Michael, on Flickr
 

gsrjedi

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 2 - 11/5/2014 Part 3: A Disastrous Start

After hanging out with Simba and friends I headed back to our lowly standard, non-suite room in the Little Mermaid section. It was after midnight at this point, so I didn't spend a ton of time taking photos of that section of the resort.
DSC04273 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04275_HDR by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04281_HDR by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04288_HDR by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04291 by Michael, on Flickr

Being West Coasters, it was still relatively early for us, but after a day of travelling we were tired and fell asleep easily.

We woke up and loaded the car and headed for -
DSC04296 by Michael, on Flickr

Where we had lunch fastpasses for Be Our Guest. Here's a pro-tip. Do not have multiple Disney accounts, and if you do, definitely don't link your Magic Band & hotel to one with your theme park tickets to the other. It causes lots of problems and they really can't fix it. Luckily we brought our physical tickets, so I had that to get in. Guest Services was having all kinds of trouble. The girl wiped my ticket to try & put it on the MB, but when we went to Town Hall they said there were no days on my ticket or MB. We were able to get the days put back on the ticket and just decided to get the MB stuff sorted later since we didn't want to waste any more time. It was a complete cluster & I don't recommend it.

Somewhat sorted, we made our way to Adventureland where we rode our first ride of the trip. POTC. The wait was about 20 minutes, and Moms hadn't been through the queue on the last trip. Apparently we weren't very good pirates since we came out of their with no booty or treasure. Maybe next time. We stayed in Adventureland for a unique experience (at least for the U.S. parks), the Magic Carpets of Aladdin.


Having visited a whole new world, it was just about time for our lunch. I should say, we aren't park commandos when we're at Disney. We like to absorb the atmosphere. Plus, as often as I stop to take photos, it's hard to maintain a brisk pace. We slowly made our way through Liberty Square with a brief stop at the Tangled restrooms.
DSC04300-Edit by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04310 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04313 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04311 by Michael, on Flickr

We arrived a little early, so Moms took a seat in Gaston's while I explored a finally finished New Fantasyland.

DSC04325 by Michael, on Flickr

DSC04323 by Michael, on Flickr

DSC04322 by Michael, on Flickr

To be continued...
 

gsrjedi

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Great start of the TR! Love the pics! Can't wait for more!! And off course following along!

Great photos and I like your writing style. Looking forward to more!!!

Nice pictures so far! Love the Art of Animation ones.

Thanks!

Great pics! How do you like the Sigma 60mm? I have the 19 and 30mm.

I like the 60 a lot. I'm more comfortable with the 35 focal length & don't use the 60 too often, so it works as a cheaper alternative to the Sony 50.
 

gsrjedi

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 2 - 11/5/2014: Part 4 - Nothing Grey Should Taste This Good

With the arrival of our lunch fastpass time, we crossed the bridge to The Beast's Castle. We hadn't done the advanced ordering of our food so we got in the "order your food when you get here" line. That's so 2011; so primitive. Both of us ordered the braised pork and I ordered The Grey Stuff. We found a seat in the West Wing to get away from some of the crowds.

DSC04326 by Michael, on Flickr

DSC04329 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04330 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04332 by Michael, on Flickr

The food was excellent. We both really enjoyed the pork. The Grey Stuff? The Grey Stuff was amazing, but entirely too small. I need it to be about four times the size. The restaurant itself is packed full of little details. Makes you want to walk around everybody else's table to see everything. Which is pretty much what happened to us. The only open table we found in the West Wing was the table right next to the rose, so we had a constant stream of people coming up to take pictures.

DSC04333 by Michael, on Flickr

DSC04337 by Michael, on Flickr

DSC04341 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04342 by Michael, on Flickr

Our stomachs full, we made our way to the world of Tomorrow. We did some shopping before heading to one of our favorites - the Peoplemover. It was down though :( Carousel of Progress was up and running, so it wasn't a huge loss. We do like to get our Peoplemover in though when we're in WDW.

DSC04348 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04349 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04351 by Michael, on Flickr


After our journey through technological innovations we had fastpasses for Buzz Lightyear. We like the Disneyland version and wanted to check out this version. It's weird not being able to pick the gun up and move it around freely.


With the evil Emperor Zurg defeated once again. How does this guy keep getting out? That's the Intergalactic Justice System for ya I guess. We made our way out of the park to check in to our next hotel.
DSC04355 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04359 by Michael, on Flickr
 

gsrjedi

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 2 11/5/2014: Part 5 - The Cluster Strikes Back

After a fairly successful first park visit, we hopped back in our rental car to make our way to our next hotel. Port Orleans Riverside. We checked in and visited the concierge to get my magic band situation under control. The lady and her manager were on the phone with tech for at least 30 minutes. They were super helpful and helped put Moms at ease during this whole ordeal. Tech ended up deleting one of my accounts and tying the open account to the room. With my magic band working properly we headed to our room in Alligator Bayou.
DSC04363 by Michael, on Flickr
- unintentional selfie

DSC04369 by Michael, on Flickr




First impressions - we loved it! That forest-y feel around the rooms was amazing. The room was a good size. We'd only seen the lobby & our room and were ready to declare this the best WDW hotel.

After a break, we made our way to one of my main reasons for visiting at this time of year. Epcot Food & Wine Festival!
DSC04370 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04372 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04373 by Michael, on Flickr

DSC04376 by Michael, on Flickr

As we made our way through Future World, one of our favorite rides had a 5 minute wait. We decided to explore the history of mankind and get a glimpse of our future in Spaceship Earth.




Up next, Food!
 

gsrjedi

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 2 - 11/5/2014: Part 6 - A Successful First Visit to Food & Wine

Credit to Disney Food Blog for all the descriptions I will be using for Food & Wine pictures.

After seeing a glimpse of our futures, we headed towards World Showcase for the main attraction. The first booth we came across was the first place we stopped. At the Terra booth, Moms ordered a glass of watermelon juice ($2.75). We liked it, but it was nothing too special. We walked around a bit seeing everything on offer and keeping our options open. In front of Norway was the Farm Fresh booth, and they had one of the must-try items on my list - pepper bacon hash.
DSC04393 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04392 by Michael, on Flickr - Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon Hash with sweet corn, potatoes, hollandaise and pickled jalapeño (gluten free)

I ordered a hash ($4.00) & a key lime wine ($2.75). The only notes I have for this trip are about food, but they aren't too in depth. My notes (and my memory) tell me the hash was excellent; probably one of my favorite foods. I don't remember too much about the wine, I think it was sweet, but I did note that it was very good.

We continued our food journey to the next location, China. We ordered the roasted duck ($6.50), Mongolian beef ($5.00), & Kung Fu Punch ($8.50).
DSC04399 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04396 by Michael, on Flickr - Beijing Roasted Duck in Hoisin Sauce
DSC04397 by Michael, on Flickr - Mongolian Beef in Steamed Bun with Chili Mayo
DSC04398 by Michael, on Flickr - Kung Fu Punch with Vodka and Triple Sec

I'm thinking Moms ordered the duck and I had the beef. For both of us the beef was the winner, and I have a note that the sauce was great. The Kung Fu Punch was also very good and sweet as well.
DSC04400 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04403 by Michael, on Flickr

My next stop was the South Korea booth for a kimchi dog ($4.00). This was another one of my favorites. So good.
DSC04401 by Michael, on Flickr - Kimchi dog with spicy mustard sauce

Moms wasn't feeling too good so she sat down to rest outside of the China pavilion for a minute. I walked around the shop in China, but the only thing I purchased was a soda. We decided to head back to the room. First though, we had to stop in Norway. For that treat of treats, school bread. I'm sitting here wishing I had one right now.
DSC04404 by Michael, on Flickr - we had to get two since neither of us wanted to share
DSC04407 by Michael, on Flickr

We got back to the room and enjoyed our school breads. I was eager to check out the grounds of the resort, so I grabbed my camera and made my way towards the lobby. It was nearing 11 pm so not much was still open, but that's fine by me.
DSC04408 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04410 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04411 by Michael, on Flickr - lobby decoration
DSC04412 by Michael, on Flickr - another lobby decoration


DSC04416 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04417 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04418 by Michael, on Flickr

After about 30 minutes the day started to catch up with me and I headed back to get some sleep.
 

worldfanatic

Well-Known Member
I also love the tropical & swampy look/feel of Alligator Bayou.
We joined DVC in 2007, and have only stayed at those properties since then. But Port Orleans Riverside (and specifically the Alligator Bayou section) is the one spot at WDW that tempts me to briefly break away and pay cash again for a stay.
It's so unique, and by far my favorite Moderate.
 

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Well-Known Member
Love your pictures. Very beautiful. I am hoping to write a trip report of my own after our trip in September... and after reading your report I think I should work on my photo taking skills!
 

gsrjedi

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Thanks for all the comments everybody.

Love your pictures. Very beautiful. I am hoping to write a trip report of my own after our trip in September... and after reading your report I think I should work on my photo taking skills!

Do it, even if it's not right away. I find writing trip reports are a great way to help bring back some of those memories & the little things that you might not remember right away.
 

gsrjedi

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 3 - 11/6/2015: Part 7 - Today We Visit the Competition

I am a Harry Potter fan and had been regretting not visiting Hogsmeade on our previous WDW trip. With the opening of Diagon Alley I couldn't resist anymore. I had bought us each a 1-day park-hopper (or whatever Universal calls it), but no express pass. We put the address in the GPS and made our way across the Florida wilderness to this strange & mysterious land.

We opted for the Express Parking and after parking we hopped on the first moving sidewalk. Took another moving sidewalk to the bag check area, before taking two more to get to Citywalk. I'm glad we didn't have to walk all that way, because I would've been exhausted already. We made our way through Citywalk and entered Universal Studios Orlando.
- passed this minigolf course on one of the moving sidewalks

DSC04424 by Michael, on Flickr - like far-out man!

Our first stop of the day - Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem! We both love the Minions and this was high on the list of rides to try. The wait was about 40 minutes, so not too bad. I didn't do much research on the rides of USO, because I wanted to stay spoiler-free. We don't really do roller coasters & I knew a lot of their stuff was screen based, but I didn't know much beyond that. Now Moms doesn't handle simulator rides that well. I don't know why I thought she could handle it. I saw the stationary seats and I don't know why I didn't tell her to move down there. I felt really bad because I know she loves Minions, but she had her eyes closed the entire time. It's in a similar vein to Star Tours and I really liked it. I wish we could've ridden it again so Moms could sit stationary and enjoy the film. Maybe next time.

DSC04433 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04434 by Michael, on Flickr




Not having had breakfast, it was definitely time to get some grub. The nearest place was the Monster's Café. The restaurant is themed to the Universal Monsters, like Dracula, Frankenstein, etc. It has this mad scientist vibe going on which was pretty cool.
DSC04440 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04441 by Michael, on Flickr
DSC04442 by Michael, on Flickr


DSC04445 by Michael, on Flickr



We both ordered the half-chicken with potatoes and some green stuff that I hear San Francisco is using to ruin pizzas with. We were hungry, so we pretty much scarfed it down, but the chicken was not that great. I liked the potatoes, but didn't touch the green stuff.
DSC04449 by Michael, on Flickr




Up next, we were wowed!
 

FlaggNL

Well-Known Member
Still following along and thanks again for sharing! We will stay in POFQ this October and in October 2016 we will stay in PORS :) Great to see some pictures :) Can't wait for the rest!
 
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