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Trip Report Triskaidekaphobic Trip Report (live)

Discussion in 'WDW Trip Reports' started by brifraz, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. RedNoseMickey

    RedNoseMickey Well-Known Member

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    I don't consider myself that old (is 40 old?) But I agree with you about some parents. Their laziness and selfishness is astounding some times, it is hard work raising good kids and some people just can't be bothered.
    Was the meal during the DVC tour free? I would be interested in doing a tour during my next visit so just wondering.
     
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  2. bee

    bee Well-Known Member

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    Heck, I'm 28 and could reasonably have small children at this point in my life (I don't!) and I agree completely!
     
  3. brifraz

    brifraz Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Afraid the tour had no meal, some light beverages and snacks and some ice cream at the end. We had 1900PF reservations that just happened to fit into the time frame of the tour.
     
  4. RedNoseMickey

    RedNoseMickey Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the info.
     
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  5. susan lees

    susan lees Well-Known Member

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    40 is the new 30 lol. I'm in my 50s so I always go for that theory:D
     
  6. brifraz

    brifraz Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Big, full day in Animal Kingdom today. We're pretty tired, but I think I can manage to get some details and pictures posted for you tonight before I turn in. We were already somewhat awake, fed, and in the car by 7am today. Which meant at AK by 7:15am. In the past we have proudly been the first car in the lot at each of the parks on different occasions, but today we were about 20th or so. The whole 'preferred' parking that they offer now has really ruined that, though. Being early still means parking a quarter mile from the entrance!

    But we still were among the first into the park and in the middle of the throng moving toward the Na'vi Flight of Passage. So we got into Pandora and on the ride by about 8:15am. By the time we got off it and were walking toward Africa, the line was already over an hour long. But, the ride...amazing. It's like Soarin' on crack. Very lifelike, definitely very re-rideable, and not TOO over the top motion simulator so as to make me sick! As I mentioned, we headed to Africa and then passed right through it to get to Asia. So, about 8:30am it was Expedition Everest time. And, about 8:40am it was Expedition Everest time. And, about 8:50am it was Expedition Everest. Yes, the girls rode it three times in a row - middle, front row, and back row. I took pictures.
    everest flags edit.jpg

    Then to Dino-land, and a ride on Primeval Whirl followed by our FP+ for Dinosaur (like we actually needed it), both of which my stomach (surprisingly) survived quite well. Our brunch reservation at Tusker House was for 10:30am, so we managed to see It's Tough To Be A Bug on the way over. Which was slightly foreshadowing the fact that as we waited for that brunch, we saw a rather large cockroach. But, it didn't hamper our good time once we got inside and were enjoying the food. Nice to see a few new things show up on the buffet and I particularly enjoyed the salmon at the carving station.

    After lunch, we still had a little time before our Finding Nemo show, so we did the Pangani Jungle walk (or Gorilla Village as it is now called) and saw all the good animal friends on that one - although the gorillas themselves were not very active - I guess over 90 degrees is tough for them, too. Then it was close enough to the Nemo showtime that we headed that direction. Once inside (with FP+) we got to enjoy what is, most likely, our favorite theatrical show in the world. We really love that show. So much so that the girls found it necessary to take a picture of me showing how much I enjoy it.
    finding nemo sleep edit.jpg Yeah...might've dozed off a little during the show. But, I really do love it and recommend it incredibly highly!

    Refreshed from the nap show, we did the Maharajah Jungle Trek and enjoyed those animal friends before heading to the 2:30pm Flights of Wonder show. Always enjoyable and today the birds were being particularly ornery, so some unexpected humor in there! We then took a slow walk to Festival of the Lion King (stopping at lots of photographers along the way) for the 4pm show there. If there is one thing that Animal Kingdom does above anywhere else, it is the shows. Both Nemo and Lion King are really exceptional and (despite my napping this afternoon) well worth the time!

    After Lion King, we headed back into Pandora for some dinner at the new restaurant there. And, yes, we did try the online ordering. Worked out great, was solid quality food (and fun drinks from next door and Pongu Pongu), and relatively decent deal for a theme park meal!
    pandora food1.jpg pandora food2.jpg pandora food3.jpg

    We had FP+ for the Na'vi Boat ride, but not until 7:10pm, so we headed back to Africa where the safari had no wait at all. Which is crazy, because the vast majority of the animals were out and about and being quite interesting! Here are just a couple of pictures that really don't do any justice to what we saw.
    safari wildebeest edit 1.jpg safari giraffe edit.jpg

    After the safari, we headed back to Pandora to just do some exploring and then for our boat ride. Did I mention yet how beautiful the area is? Well, I should have. Pictures don't do it justice, but I'll try anyway!
    pandora 2 edit.jpg pandora 1 edit.jpg

    And that doesn't even get into the 'alien' plants that are all around! We did finally get on the boat ride and it was really cool. Not nearly as exciting as the Flight ride, but quite excellent to look at and much easier on the digestive system. The final AA is simply incredibly lifelike and moves like no machine I've ever seen!

    Once off the ride, we were getting pretty darn tired, so we just headed to the admission area for Rivers of Light (got the dining package with that brunch at Tusker House) and sat and waited for a while until admitted and then waited again for a while for the show. And what a show it is. Really beautiful. I want to see it at least once or twice more before I decide where it stands among the other shows that they do, but the visuals are just amazingly beautiful and well done and quite entertaining. And, again, no photo will do justice to what you really see.
    rivers of light edit.jpg

    Post-show, we had thought about another evening in Pandora, but were all just too tired, so we headed out. @MeffysMom and I got a quick nightcap at Gurgling Suitcase (more to see the friends we have there) and now it is off to sleep before tomorrow's long day at Hollywood Studios!
     
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  7. brifraz

    brifraz Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Another quite full day today. This time at Studios. In fact, this is likely to be our only visit to Studios during this entire trip - which seems a bit crazy, but we certainly did quite a bit there today (and elsewhere as you shall see). I did forget to mention earlier that as part of the 'benefit' of doing the DVC presentation, we each got 3 FP+ that we could use anywhere, anytime in the next few days (excluding Pandora, Mine Train, Frozen Ever After, and Pan). And today, we used them! But we'll get to that in a paragraph or two.

    This morning, we again were out the door by just a little after 7am and ready to go at Studios at 7:20am. Big EMH crowd there today as it was the only park doing them this morning and the only day of the week they are doing them. But, that was okay by us! We still managed to do quite a bit during that first hour. We started by going on Toy Story Midway Mania (a big family favorite), followed by Rockin' Roller Coaster (went with single rider so we only waited about 10 minutes), and then Star Tours. Just a quick nerd digression on Star Tours...how tough would it be for them to make sure that the segments you get are at least close to the same timeline? We started with escaping a Star Destroyer with the Millenium Falcon (our daughter was the 'rebel spy' on the ship!), then went to the battle of Hoth, and ended with the battle of Naboo. I mean, come on!

    At 9am, the rest of the crowd started to come in, so we went to Great Movie Ride (got the gangster scene...we always get the gangster scene) followed by Toy Story again (with the DVC FP+) and then Tower of Terror. Those were all with FP+, so no lines! At Toy Story we got the new queue and ride track.
    toy story new line edit.jpg
    On Tower of Terror we got the far left room at the beginning which meant a nice view of the lobby. I do love the theming in the Hollywood Hotel!
    tower of terror edit.jpg
    All through this, we were doing some FP+ manipulation and so we ended up at 11am doing MuppetVision 3D with a FP+ (just to use it up so we could get more). MuppetVision remains one of my favorite things at Studios - every bit of it is so well done with a great blend of over-the-top humor and tongue-in-cheek subtle humor. Just love it, and laugh out loud at it every time. I know it shows some age, but obviously has gotten love recently - all the ceiling fireworks were working fully!

    Then it was time for lunch at 50's Prime Time. It's definitely a family favorite and today we split the Pot Pie and the Fried Chicken plate between the three of us and had more than enough to eat! During lunch we plotted and planned and re-adjusted and re-evaluated and re-prioritized. So, after lunch, we caught a Friendship Boat over to Epcot (aka, the Nap Boat).

    Once in Epcot, the girls went to get some henna tattoos in Morocco. @MeffysMom is showing her 'Hidden Mickey' design here:
    henna edit.jpg

    We then went to Test Track to get a second ride of this vacation in on that one - again with the DVC FP+. Always a fun ride and certainly worth going into Epcot for, because afterward we caught the boat back over to Studios! Once back in our primary park of the day it was time for a third (yup, third) ride on Toy Story! Which was our last DVC FP+, but worth it as we have a lot of fun on that ride (even though @MeffysMom gets the high score in the car every single time - how does she get so much over 200,000???).

    Next it was time for the Pixar Movie Music show that is currently going on in the Theatre of the Stars (it's Beauty and the Beast most of the day). If you are going to WDW in the next few months, PLEASE do this! It's a great show and beyond that, it employs a decent sized live orchestra - something that is altogether lacking in the current world. Live music is always worth supporting!!!
    pixar music edit.jpg

    After that, we could just barely make it to the last Indiana Jones Stunt Show of the day, so we did! Another show I enjoy and hope that it finds a way to survive. I tend to like the things with live actors/musicians/etc. That being said, the Star Wars day show is...just not that good. Movie scene, character walks out and says something, little firework, repeat. Caught it as we were crossing back and forth. After Indy, we headed toward Launch Bay for our dessert party. But that will be in the next post!
     
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  8. brifraz

    brifraz Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    So, the Star Wars Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party. Great stuff. No, really. A lot of people poo-poo the dessert parties, but we have enjoyed all the ones at Studios that we have gone to (old Star Wars one, Frozen one, and this one). They have a few savory items which we easily make into a meal. Lots of dessert items. And drinks. Lots of those, too. And all of it is buffet. Plus some entertainment and a space to watch the night show (without staking it out an hour early). The pictures of the show really do it no justice as the projections on the buildings are really amazing and well timed with the lights and fireworks. Anyway, here's the pictures! Enjoy! And see you tomorrow from Wilderness Lodge...wait, I have to pack in the morning?
    star wars dessert edit.jpg dessert savory edit.jpg dessert sweet edit.jpg dessert liquid edit.jpg dessert jawa edit.jpg dessert trooper edit.jpg sw fireworks a new hope edit.jpg sw fireworks asteroid field edit.jpg sw fireworks maul edit.jpg
     
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  9. DisneyBound2017

    DisneyBound2017 Well-Known Member

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    Really late here, LOL. I used to be stationed at Bragg and loved the surprise walk down memory lane with HHH. Thank you for including it!
     
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  10. brifraz

    brifraz Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Quick little beef with Disney Springs. So, a couple weeks ago, Disney Springs announced a Gift Card promotion through a number of outlets - buy a $100 gift card and get a $25 'bonus' gift card starting on July 10th. These were Disney Springs only cards and only work at DS businesses. Cool, we thought. We were planning to spend close to $200 on things at DS, so we rearranged some plans to make sure we were at DS this morning to get the gift card deal (it is limited supply)...only to find out that they tweeted at 7:30am this morning that the promotion is now starting on July 13th. It's not a huge deal (although getting $50 in gift cards sure was a great incentive to buy the things we wanted now and not online later), but the fact is that we didn't buy things when we were at DS on July 5 because of this deal. We added a separate trip there just because of it. Oh well, just a bit frustrating. Still having a great day - breakfast at Whispering Canyon was fun as always and delicious as well. Looking forward to heading out to the pools and Geyser Point Grille (for dinner and drinks) tonight - after naps are all done!
     
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  11. brifraz

    brifraz Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    You know what today is in Trip Report-ville. It's lame, that's what it is! We moved to Wilderness Lodge, had late breakfast at the Whispering Canyon, went to Disney Springs to shop, napped in room, dinner at Geyser Point and then fireworks and Electric Water Pageant from the bar (with some pool time in there, too). No pics, sorry, just an actual vacation day!
     
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  12. susan lees

    susan lees Well-Known Member

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    Not Lame at all. Looking forward to next installment.
     
  13. brifraz

    brifraz Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Hey there! Midday on our final full day in the World. I do have a couple pictures to share from yesterday's time spent at the Wilderness Lodge. Here's the view from our seats at the Geyser Point Bar and Grill - it was pretty cool watching the evening storms come in and then depart.
    geyser point edit.jpg
    We also enjoyed some ping pong right at the waterfront.
    ping pong edit.jpg

    This morning, we were not up quite so early as we headed to Animal Kingdom, but with no EMH. So, we were in the park around 8:40am waiting for the rope to drop toward Asia. Since the girls did Everest 4 times already, we decided to start the day with Kali River. Which is not something we have ever done before, but it was nice to go right on board and then have some time to dry off. Our second destination was the Safari, which again was quite enjoyable. Lots of animals out and about. I will have some pictures later, but the best ones are on my daughter's phone which she is using right now! (but, bear with me, as baby giraffe shots will be coming your way soon)

    After the safari, we had some time before our FP+ for the Flight of Passage in Pandora, so we walked through the Tree of Life garden area and saw...for the first time in MANY visits to Animal Kingdom...the wallaby.
    wallaby edit.jpg In fact, upon a little more examination, we saw 7 of them hanging out in the back of the enclosure (which is right next to the garden walkway). Awesome! Also enjoyed getting some different views of parts of the Tree of Life.

    tree pano edit.jpg

    We then did the Flight again. It really is quite a cool ride and something I'm sure we will enjoy a lot more times in the coming years. And we took our time strolling through Pandora one last time - quite visually stunning! Then it was out of Animal Kingdom and back to Wilderness Lodge for some lunch. The girls are going to get manicures at Grand Floridian in just a bit (big splurge!) and then we will be headed to the Highway in the Sky tonight. See you then.
     
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  14. coachwnh

    coachwnh Well-Known Member

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    Not lame at all. Actually, very smart. Sometimes WDW becomes more like The Amazing Race, or a competition, than an actual vacation. Glad you got to enjoy the resort.
     
  15. brifraz

    brifraz Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    As promised! The youngster is hiding in the bushes behind - you can just see her head popping up behind the older giraffe in the front. giraffe edit.jpg
     
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  16. brifraz

    brifraz Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Well, here it is...our final morning in WDW. Right now, we are waiting for our daughter to wake up so that we can get packed and ready to go - but we will do a half day in Magic Kingdom before heading out! So, last night...the Highway in the Sky Dine Around. We loved it. All three of us. Which is a bit of a surprise because our daughter isn't often adventurous with her foods. But last night she was and it made the evening pretty darn awesome. We started off by getting dressed up and taking the boat from Wilderness Lodge to Contemporary Resort.
    ready for highway edit.jpg The info on the event says 'business casual' dress is required, but we were definitely the best dressed people there - I was a bit surprised that all the men except myself and one other were in shorts! Anyway, we were happy to be looking fine! The first course of the evening was at the Wave in Contemporary. We had Bay Lake Sunset cocktails and Split Pea and Truffle Bisque. The bisque took a couple bites to really get into, but was quite good in the end. Sorry about the blue lighting in these pictures, but that's the way the room in the Wave is!
    bay lake sunset edit.jpg split pea bisque edit.jpg
    Then we hopped on the monorail and headed over to the Polynesian. Where the second course was Mai Tai's to drink with three 'bites' as appetizers: grilled beet with goat cheese, spicy tuna roll, and crispy pork belly with pickled vegetables. All were excellent!
    mai tai grilled beet edit.jpg spicy tuna roll edit.jpg crispy pork belly edit.jpg
    At this point, everyone from the different families on the adventure had started to mingle some and much to our delight, there was another younger girl on board tonight - and she and our daughter really hit it off, which I'm sure helped with our daughter's approach to everything! And it didn't hurt that her parents were both chefs. So, after another short monorail jaunt we were at the Grand Floridian where we started with a sparkling wine and charcuterie plate in the Tea Room and then moved up to Citricos for our main course. The main course was wine paired with braised beef short ribs and lemon halibut. We did some sharing (@MeffysMom is not a fish fan and I don't do beef, easy trade!) but, alas, did not get pictures of the main course!
    charcuterie edit.jpg wine edit.jpg
    Again, all the food was really excellent. Very well prepared and certainly more than enough to eat. And it was fun getting to know the five other families who were there. Now on to the final stop. Back at the Contemporary to the 4th floor deck for dessert, coffee and liquors, and fireworks. Desserts were quite delicious.
    dessert edit.jpg And, of course, fireworks were amazing. fireworks edit.jpg
    The lack of much wind made most of the firework smoke hang around the park which created some cool lighting at the end of the show.

    All in all, a really great event. A lot of people balk at the price tag, but seriously we got 7 course meal with 3 mixed drinks and 2 glass of wine - all in cool settings, with a fireworks view, and a chance to meet the chefs at each stop. It was really cool.

    Well, everyone is awake now. Time to pack the bags for the long drive home! It'll be a couple days before I get recovered enough to finish up the report, so I'll see you on Friday (or Saturday).
     
  17. DisneyBound2017

    DisneyBound2017 Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like a really neat experience!! Have a fantastic last day and a safe drive home!!
     
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  18. brifraz

    brifraz Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I know, I know. I need to give you the last day! Sorry. The weekend was quite busy and I started teaching at a camp this afternoon and will be there 9am-10pm each day this week. Hoping that during my afternoon breaks I can get you the final day of action at Magic Kingdom and Universal (should've just left after MK, but this is just the teaser post so details later!).
     
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  19. fractal

    fractal Premium Member

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    That does sound very cool! Never heard of Highway in the Sky Dine Around. Thanks for the info and review.
     
  20. brifraz

    brifraz Well-Known Member Original Poster

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