Allie's Fabulous, In-Your-Face, Surprise Graduation/Anniversary Trip of Awesomeness

Login to post comments
78 posts / 0 new
JoAnn C's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/20/2011
Posts: 6556

Sorry to hear about your experience at Whispering Canyon and the buses. Looking forward to reading more.

__________________

DIStickers.com Ticker

DIStickers.com Ticker

DIStickers.com Ticker

amy1989's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/30/2013
Posts: 1404

Yay more trip report I'm so with you on the finding nemo songs I sing them all year round!!!! Haha

RobynPrincess's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/14/2010
Posts: 2859

Omg I love your shoes Allie! They are so pretty!! How talented is Jon?! So pleased they didn't get ruined in the rain, as soon as you posted about the rain I was like 'OMG WHAT ABOUT THE SHOES?!?!?!!!!!!' Gotta laugh at the dyed feet though hehe.

Lion king always makes me cry, especially the bit where the kids get involved - and I don't even have kids! Mango pie is my reason for yak and yeti, I cannot get enough of it. I know everyone talks about the wontons but I think the mango pie is seriously overlooked. It's probably my favourite dessert in all of disney.

__________________

Our Very Merry 24 nighter Nov/Dec 15
Watson's go West May 15
The one with all the birthdays Oct 14 4 Big Birthdays and a Vow Renewal thrown in
The OMG trip June 14 30th Birthday present from the hubs
Girly trip March 14 A last min cheapy week
September 13 our first all DVC stay
TR May 2013 the last min bargain trip offsite
Oct 2012 TR with a cruise!big family trip featuring the beach club, AKL, the dream and a villa offsite
TR on a budget May - June 2011offsite condo
TR Sept - Oct 2010 big family trip in an offsite villa

Allie's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2012
Posts: 5418

alicemouse wrote:
Ohmygosh! Have they seriously still not fixed the bus issue at Coronado??! We stayed there April 2012 and transportation was AWFUL! After fantastic bus service at POR two years earlier, I had disregarded the advice of a friend who recommended a rental car at Coronado because I thought that perhaps she was just being a bit fussy. Lesson learned. We saw CM's with clipboards appear at the bus stops in the morning about half way through that trip and I thought that they must have gotten the message that transportation at this resort is pitiful and they were trying to remedy the situation. Apparently that was not the case and it is STILL an issue!

Sounds like by the time you got AK that things were starting to get back on track!

It was seriously so bad! I thought at first we were just having bad luck but it got even worse as the trip went on.

RobynPrincess wrote:
Omg I love your shoes Allie! They are so pretty!! How talented is Jon?! So pleased they didn't get ruined in the rain, as soon as you posted about the rain I was like 'OMG WHAT ABOUT THE SHOES?!?!?!!!!!!' Gotta laugh at the dyed feet though hehe.

Lion king always makes me cry, especially the bit where the kids get involved - and I don't even have kids! Mango pie is my reason for yak and yeti, I cannot get enough of it. I know everyone talks about the wontons but I think the mango pie is seriously overlooked. It's probably my favourite dessert in all of disney.

Right? I'm not even a big dessert person and I die over that pie!

Allie's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2012
Posts: 5418

Monday, September 1 Part Two

We got to Hollywood Studios a little before 5 and booked it back over behind Muppets 3D to try and catch the last showing of the day for the Frozen sing-a-long. The line system back there was really confusing with a separate line for FP+, those who had gotten a return time earlier in the day, the premium package members, and the standby line. We got tripped up a couple of times before finally finding our way back to the standby line where we just barely made it in. We were in the second to the last row but we all still really enjoyed the show. The historians were funny and the entire audience of kids belted out every song. It was really cute and I'd be shocked if this goes away anytime in the near future.

Once out of the sing-a-long it had started to rain so we circled over to the FP+ booth where we were told that Star Tours, Muppets, and Fantasmic were the only attractions left for the day. We picked a FP+ for the 10pm showing of Fantasmic and then popped over into Muppets to wait out the rain. This is another attraction that I enjoy immensely but really could do with an update. Afterward the rain had let up so we wandered around before getting in line for Start Tours. About two minutes into line we decided that it was probably not worth the 30 min posted wait so we got back out of line and headed over to Tower of Terror where we got in line only to decide the 25 min late wasn't worth it. We gave into our indecisiveness and split up, Megan and Gillie going shopping for a hat and Jon and I heading over to the Brown Derby Lounge.

We got a table at the Lounge with absolutely no problem and had a super relaxing hour or so out on the veranda. We split a margarita flight and enjoyed the sounds of Mulch, Sweat, and Shears sets mixed in with the Summer Frozen Dance Party.

It was extremely loud, but I loved the atmosphere and know I will definitely be enjoying this spot again in the future when the Frozen Summer Party is over and it is a little quieter. Jon ordered the Derby Sliders (Wagyu Beef with Cognac-Mustard Aioli, Smoke Gouda, Bacon, and Avocado served with Duck Confit, Taleggio Cheese, Chipotle Vegetable Slaw, Sweet Onion and Orange Conserve, and crispy Leeks) and I ordered the Blue Lump Crab Spring Rolls (Snow Crab Claw, and an Asian Slaw with spicy Miso Aioli) from the inside menu and we shared both along with another order of the margarita flight.

After a relaxing dinner and with a little bit of a buzz, we went to find Megan and Gillie. After wandering around lookign for the Backlot Express where they had been eating (apparently the Backlot Express is NOT over by the Backlot Tour?) we called and decided to meet up with them over by Voyage of the Little Mermaid. Along the way we noticed a lot of signs saying that many of the attractions would be shutting down at 8:00pm. We talked to a cast member and found out that the entire back half of the park shuts down for the fireworks an hour and a half before the show. This left only a couple of attractions (Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Rock'n'Rollercoaster, TOT, and MAYBE Star Tours from what I heard) which were all sure to be packed since there was nothing else to do.

When we found Megan and Gill we decided to go stake out a spot for the fireworks since there really wasn't much of an option other than that. We parked ourselves right outside the last set of shops on Hollywood Boulevard and sat down in the middle of the street to chat and people watched. Megan and Gill told us about their awful dinner at Backlot Express. They said they waited over half an hour for their food with no explanation as to what was taking so long and they had a CM get snippy with them when they went up to ask about it. Gillie got a burger if I remember right which she said was ok but Megan got some sort of turkey sandwich with cheese and bacon and she said she only ate the bread because the turkey was gross (though she is really picky when it comes to deli meat), the cheese was like rubber, and the bacon was practically raw. Nothing on the menu there really appeals to me anyway so I probably won't be in a big rush to try Backlot Express and I was really glad we had chosen the Derby Lounge instead.

Waiting for the fireworks to start, we watched an extremely intoxicated middle age lady rocking out to Mulch, Sweat, and Shears directly in front of us. She was wearing little lacy shorts and a white t-shirt that she kept taking off so that she just had on a black lacy strapless bra. She was jumping up and down like crazy and running into people around her and it was really funny not only to watch her but to watch people around us watch her. It stopped being funny though when we saw the little girl (maybe 6 yrs old?) with her continuously trying to get her attention, and the mom would pick her up and shove her back in the stroller so that she could keep dancing. At one point Dad came back and took over while mom went off to smoke and Dad completely walked away from the stroller for a few minutes, leaving the girl alone in a massive crowd of people. It was really sad and a bit sickening to watch.

At long last the Frozen Fireworks show finally got started. We couldn't see anything that was going on up on the stage/screen because a guy in front of us not only was filming with his phone, but he put it up on a four foot pole to stick the camera up over the crowd to film. It was highly annoying, especially because I was watching the guy's screen and it was capturing a terribly blurry picture so I'm really glad that was worth him ruining the view of everyone behind him. The fireworks we were able to see ok though and, while they were nice, I'm not a big fireworks person so I was bored after about two minutes. More so, I definitely didn't think they were worth shutting the whole park down for. In my opinion they just shouldn't do fireworks at DHS if they don't have a good system setup to do them.

Once the fireworks were over we fought our way against the mass of people to get back over to Fantasmic where we waited for about 5 min in yet another huge crowd of people in the FastPass+ "queue". Once in, we kept walking almost all of the way down to the end of the stadium since the entire FP+ group we were in was all trying to fight to get into the first couple of center rows we came to. We walked about 3/4 of the way down, walked all the way down to the front by the water, and then walked back to the center and got an excellent spot about four rows back dead center. I realized later that we may have accidently ended up in the dinner package seating (whoops!) but if that was the case no one said anything to us. We weren't there too long before the show got started.

I don't care what anyone says, Fantasmic is my favorite night time show...well not counting Hallowishes. Like I said, I generally get bored with fireworks easily so I love the show element that keeps me entertained. So much fun and seems to go by really fast, in my opinion.

Once Fantasmic was over we got out of the stadium way quicker than I had expected and we headed over to a non-existent wait for TOT. Yay, I love TOT and I could ride it all day! The people behind us were complete morons though and threw popcorn all over the ride vehicle and let their stuff, including Animation Academy pictures and a pair of Darth Vader Mickey ears fly all over the car. They thought it was just about the funniest thing in the world but I got so annoyed because it really ruined the ride and those Darth Vader ears are made of a hard plastic and really could have hurt someone! Luckily they didn't (at least as far as I know) and I knew we'd be back on the ride later so I got over it quick, but honestly some people.

Rock'n'Rollercoaster only had a 5 min wait too so we road through once and debated a second time but it was 11pm by this point and we were all pretty tired so we headed over to the loooong Coronado Springs bus line and then back to the resort for the night.

Allie's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2012
Posts: 5418

The Watchmaker wrote:
Cool...Also sorry to hear about your Whispering Canyon experience..We were going through try it for lunch on our last day but now Iam having doubts..

I'm a big believer in everyone should try something out for themselves once. I would never tell you to change your reservation, maybe it was just a fluke because I know a lot of people love that place. I just know personally it will probably be awhile before I give it a second shot.

Spook's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/27/2012
Posts: 2751

What is wrong with those parents!!?? eek Poor little girl. If her parents act like that in public I can only imagine what they're like at home Sad
And I can't stand when immature people think they're hilarious. Disney should make them clean out all the TOT ride vehicles.

We're thinking about eating at Backlot Express. I hope we have better luck than your sisters crossfingers

__________________

magicalkingdoms.com Ticker Free Disney Tickers

crazycatperson's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/19/2011
Posts: 3709

Spook wrote:
What is wrong with those parents!!?? eek Poor little girl. If her parents act like that in public I can only imagine what they're like at home Sad
And I can't stand when immature people think they're hilarious. Disney should make them clean out all the TOT ride vehicles.

We're thinking about eating at Backlot Express. I hope we have better luck than your sisters crossfingers

Our experience at Backlot Express was very different - good service, good food, a college program CM who chatted us up while we waited for my special-order burger, and the wait wasn't all that long. It was our first time eating there, since we usually head for ABC Commissary and the rather healthier Asian salad, but next time we want a burger at DHS we'll definitely head for the Backlot Express.

Allie's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2012
Posts: 5418

Glad to hear it was maybe just an off day! Like I said, I don't think Gillie had any problem with the burger other then the long wait.

The Watchmaker's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/08/2014
Posts: 1802

Allie wrote:
The Watchmaker wrote:
Cool...Also sorry to hear about your Whispering Canyon experience..We were going through try it for lunch on our last day but now Iam having doubts..

I'm a big believer in everyone should try something out for themselves once. I would never tell you to change your reservation, maybe it was just a fluke because I know a lot of people love that place. I just know personally it will probably be awhile before I give it a second shot.

I know what you mean Allie..We haven't booked it yet as we want to find out the time that MDE will be picking us up..I read reviews yesterday on another site and about 80% of people enjoyed the food,Tho most of them agreed it was loud with the CM'S causing mayhem with the guests..Will decide when we get there.. awesome

Magic Mirror's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/18/2012
Posts: 2979

My tolerance for drunk, half naked people is pretty low, especially those ignoring their children.
sad yuck gaah

Allie's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2012
Posts: 5418

Tuesday, September 2nd Part One

Tuesday was another bright and early day for rope drop at Epcot. We got there just as they were letting people in but we didn't see any of the flag waving or rope drop show that I sometimes hear about. I don't know if it was not running today or if it was done earlier, but regardless we weren't too sad as we headed straight back to Test Track. It already listed a 20 min wait which must have been a preemptive wait time because we walked straight back to design our vehicles and then we got immediately into a vehicle. This was our first time on the ride since the refurb (it was closed on our last trip) and I thought it was ok but not something I need to ride more than once a trip. After Test Track we walked over to Soarin' which also had a non-existent line. We got put into the first row of the first showing after we turned up. Love this ride!

When Soarin' was done we decided to make a leisurely walk through the World Showcase, out the International Gateway, and onto a Friendship Boat to our 9:30am reservation at Kouzzina. Even with leaving ourselves plenty of time, we still only just made it. I don't think showing up late would have been a problem, however, since the restaurant was practically empty. This was our first time at Kouzzina and I had made the reservation on a whim after it was announced that it would be closing later this year. I'm really glad we had a chance to try it once because breakfast was delicious! Megan and I ordered the Stacked Kouzzina Breakfast (two poached eggs, Kalamata olive toast, artichoke spread, and sweet potato hash with bacon or chicken sausage) which was fantastic. Jon ordered the Breakfast Skillet (eggs, pequillo peppers, Nueske's bacon, onion, potatoes, Greek cheese, and arugula) that, despite my amazing breakfast, I was extremely jealous of because it was even tastier then mine. Gill, being the picky eater that she is, ordered the American (two eggs with breakfast potatoes and choice of bacon or chicken sausage) which looked pretty boring next to ours but still tasty. Jon and I had debated splitting a warm honey-pecan cinnamon roll as well just because it sounded so good, but I convinced Jon that we were already going to have a ton of food so we opted out. Apparently there was some sort of mix up in the kitchen and our tickets had gone missing or something so after a long while of waiting (we didn't even really notice we'd been waiting very long since we were playing 20 Questions with Disney characters so we were pretty distracted) the chef came out, apologized, and said they were just starting our order. As a thank you for waiting he had brought us out two cinnamon rolls to share! What a coincidence! And I'm glad we didn't miss out on them because boy were they good! I also ordered some sort of house Mediterranean-style Bloody Mary after I had heard we'd be there for a while longer, and that was pretty yummy too! All in all it was a great breakfast despite the mess up that we honestly hadn't even really noticed!

Full up to our brims, we made the short walk back over to Epcot and rode Journey into Imagination and then wandered back over to World Showcase to take a picture with Mulan in China, ride the Gran Fiesta Tour, and then grab an avocado margarita for me.

Sorry about the red eyes!

Since we were right by Norway and Maelstrom had no wait, we hopped on that next. Megan and Gill claim they had never been on and Jon didn't remember that you got a "little wet", so everyone else was in for a big surprise when our bottom halves got drenched when water splashed up the side of our boat. I'm glad that Jon and I got a last shot at it and that Megan and Gill got to experience the attraction once before it closes *wah*wah*

It was around 1pm at this point and we knew we wanted to head back to the resort for a bit to swim, but I wanted us all to grab lunch before we left. Gill and Meg ventured off together to get Gill some chicken tacos at La Cantina de San Angel and Megan some fish at Yorkshire County. I had had my heart set on trying a schwarma platter from Tangerine Cafe so we made an almost full circle around the World Showcase to pick one up to split and then meet Megan and Gillie outside Rose & Crown to eat. Because of all the walking, the extreme heat, and the big breakfast that we had consumed not too long ago, none of us were very hungry. Megan was able to get down most of her fish but Gillie just picked at her tacos, Jon didn't eat anything, and I ate maybe three or four tiny nibbles of the schwarma platter before I gave up and threw the rest of it away. It was really sad wasting so much food and now I have to make sure to try this restaurant again in the future.

We slowing meandered up to the front of the park to catch a bus back to Coronado Springs where we changed out of our sweaty clothes, put on some swimsuits, and hit the pool. It felt so amazing to relax in the water for a bit, but the slide was a bit of a disappointment so I got bored pretty quickly. Jon and I decided to go back to the room and get cleaned up while Megan and Gillie spent some more time in the water. By the time we were done getting dressed the girls still weren't back yet so we sent them a text that we were heading back to Epcot and for them to let us know when they were headed over. As we got back on the bus, I saw that I had gotten a text from JanJ earlier that morning so I replied that we were headed back to Epcot and that we'd meet up with them in France around 5pm.

Karlipants's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/02/2012
Posts: 456

I am loving your TR! I have to admit, there are a few things in reading this that I a finding out for the first time!! I have been SO out of the loop... Like really, really out of the loop with what has been going on at Disney since my trip past December. I had no idea that they are doing fireworks at HS now, and that they are Frozen themed!? Looking into that soon as I finish typing! I agree that it's a shame they close down the rides for fireworks though... No other park does that, that I know of? Correct me if I'm wrong.

Also, I had no idea that they were closing Kouzzina! I'm so sad, we never made it there on our last trip although we had an ADR. Now I wish we had gone. Bummer.

__________________

"There's a great big beautiful tomorrow just a dream away"

[url='http://www.mickeypath.com/']

[/url]
[url='http://www.mickeypath.com/']

[/url]
http://www.wdwforgrownups.com/forum/karli-and-marks-honeymoon-pre-trip-report

http://www.facebook.com/KarliInWonderland - My Disney Facebook page with live updates while i'm in the parks!

Allie's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2012
Posts: 5418

Karli, we went to the fireworks the last night of the original Frozen Summer Fun Party that was supposed to end September 1st. The fireworks were a party of the party which was included with general admission. They extended the party through the end of the year now but the fireworks are no longer run every night, only on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. You've probably found that all out now if you went to google it, but just in case!

It is a big shame about Kouzzina! I've heard mixed reviews (mostly negative) about dinner but breakfast was fabulous! They're replacing it with another Italian restaurant opening sometime this December. Wah wah.

EmFord's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/12/2014
Posts: 414

I love your picture with Mulan muchlove

__________________

Allie's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2012
Posts: 5418

Tuesday, September 2nd Part Two

Jon and I got to France a little early so we wandered around the shops for a bit before going over to stand by the benches across from the Grey Goose slush stand. It wasn't long before a couple started approaching us that could only be KenJ and JanJ! We chatted for a while over slushes (I got the Grey Goose Citron and Lemonade and Jon got the Grand Marnier and Grey Goose Orange), caught up on what we had each been doing so far, and I admired Jan's awesome Haunted Mansion magic band. What lovely people and I'm so glad we got a chance to meet up! All too soon we got a text from Megan saying that they were just getting to Epcot, so we snapped a quick picture before going off our separate ways (picture stolen from Jan and Ken's trip report).

We met up with Megan and Gillie over by Spaceship Earth and then headed over to Innoventions East and got right onto Sum of All Thrills. Jon and I were a little nervous about it since neither of us deal really well with simulators, but even with making our roller coaster a little wild we still felt fine afterwards. Once out of Innoventions we hopped back over to Spaceship Earth to ride and then played with some of the Siemens games at the end. When we were finished there we still had about an hour before our dinner reservations so we decided to use up our Mission: Space FastPass since we hadn't used any of our FastPasses so far that day. The entire walk over Jon and I debated whether we should try it since Megan really wanted to do Orange we had gotten a little queasy on Green last time. Despite our better judgment, as we approached the ride we decided to just give in and do it. Hey, remember how I said we weren't very good with simulators? Oh, well! We had done fine with Sum of All Thrills so it'd probably be alright, right? And if we got sick, we could just close our eyes, right? WRONG. As we loaded the ride they announced on the pre-show that if you feel sick you should NOT close your eyes because it would make it worse. Crap.

The second the ride started up I felt like I was going to puke so I stared straight down at the keyboard and joystick the entire time and focused on that and it got me through. We got off and Gillie was a little shaky and queasy and Jon was drenched with sweat and was white as a ghost. We stopped in the lobby/game area just after the ride to sit down for a bit, and I was so worried about taking care of them that I didn't feel too bad at first. Once we were able to get them moving out of that area (the flashing lights and loud noises weren't really helping), we walked back over to Innoventions East and found benches to sit down on. It was in there that it really hit me and it started feeling like everything around me was spinning, so I laid down on the bench for a bit while Jon and Gillie sat there in silence and Megan went off to play in Innoventions (she was feeling fine and in fact said that she thought the ride was a little lame...jerk!)

After resting for a good half an hour over in our private corner, it was almost time for our dinner reservations at Coral Reef so we slowly got up and drug ourselves over to the Living with the Seas Pavilion. We had to wait maybe 5 min or so before we were taken back to our table, a booth that was along the back wall with a clear shot of the full tank. I was a little disappointed we didn't have a tank-side seat at first, but it turned out that it was really nice to sit further back and get to see the whole thing.

I ordered a Caesar salad to start to try and settle my stomach along with the seared Mahi Mahi, laughing bird shrimp, hearts of palm, jasmine rice, cilantro, and coconut-lime sauce. Jon ordered the seared salmon filet with quinoa, salsa verde, and crisp vegetable slaw, Megan ordered the lobster and shrimp orecchiette pasta, and Gillie ordered the oven-roasted chicken with sweet corn pancake and tomatillo-lime sauce. My salad came out and it was hands down the best Caesar salad I have ever had. The salad, along with some bread, made me feel about a million times better. Jon said he was feeling better after the bread too, however just before our food came he disappeared into the bathroom and didn't return until about 15 min after the food came. Our server, who was absolutely FABULOUS by the way, kept coming back over and checking to see if he could take Jon's meal back and have it remade since it was losing so much heat. I told him to not worry about it as I was pretty sure after such a long time in the bathroom that we would be boxing up his dinner anyways. Sure enough, when Jon returned he didn't want a single bite of his food. I felt terrible. Lesson learned: we definitely will not be trying Mission: Space ever EVER again!

Other than Jon feeling like crap we had an absolutely lovely meal. I only tried my, Megan's, and Gill's dishes since I felt guilty eating Jon's when even he wasn't eating it, but everything I did try was delicious. Gillie's roasted chicken was easily the winner though which is funny because I probably would have chosen that entree last out of everything on the menu. For dessert everyone ordered the Chocolate Wave (Jon's sans the gelato so that he could take it back to the room) except for me. I ordered the Baileys and Jack Daniel's Mousse on our server's recommendation. It was good but I much preferred the Chocolate Wave which was amazing. I was honestly a little surprised at how awesome our meal was since Coral Reef gets pretty mixed reviews. We only went because Megan and Gillie had requested it since Danny and Vicky had eaten there on the Full House episode where they went to Disney. I will definitely be adding this to our short list of favorites though and will be back again, if only so that Jon can experience it a little better.

With Jon's food in tow, we left Coral Reef and headed back to the Coronado Springs bus to call it an early night. Jon was asleep within minutes of us getting back to the hotel.

Spook's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/27/2012
Posts: 2751

Aww poor Jon sad Hope he felt better by the next morning!
Erik doesn't do well on simulators either. We've done Mission Space in the past and he was fine but we haven't been on it in a few years. We have a FP+ for it but now I'm thinking maybe we should stick to the less intense version.

__________________

magicalkingdoms.com Ticker Free Disney Tickers

crazycatperson's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/19/2011
Posts: 3709

Yay for Coral Reef! I hope Jon's dinner was okay cold whenever he got around to eating it, or that you had a microwave to heat it up.

Hubby and our two friends all have FP+ for Mission: Space in November. I will be sure to tell them to do the GREEN side.

Allie's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2012
Posts: 5418

Our waiter was very sympathetic. He told us that he was one of the cast members that tested out the ride before it opened when there was ONLY an orange side and it was amplified by like 20%. He said he and just about everyone else was sick for days afterward! eek yuck eek yuck

crazycatperson's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/19/2011
Posts: 3709

Which just proves that it takes a very special kind of person to become an astronaut. Most of us need to keep our tushies inside Earth's atmosphere.

CEB NYC's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/11/2014
Posts: 112

Finally getting caught up on your adventures - sounds like you had a great time and made the best of the few bumps you hit. I'm sure you're sad for the trip to be over but excited to be back home with your sweet Penny. I can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip!

Offline
Joined: 07/19/2013
Posts: 1556

Great TR Allie! Again, it was really great to meet you both. awesome

It's really cool to read about someone's trip that was there at the same time as us.

That's crazy about Mission Space. I've never been on it and I know I never will as I've heard so many stories of feeling sick afterwards. I'm sorry to hear Jon was so ill during dinner. Nausea is probably one of the worst feelings you can have when you're trying to enjoy something.

The ride that gets me queazy feeling is Expedition Everest. The backwards in the dark stuff doesn't agree with me too well.

Regarding the bus service. We too found the bus service a bit lacking from the Boardwalk. When we were there in January, the bus to Downtown Disney never came after waiting for about 40 minutes. We finally just gave up. I'm not sure what the deal is with the buses.

AnnielovesDisney's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/12/2013
Posts: 887

Love your TR so far! Coral Reef is one of the restaurants DH and I want to try someday when we are at Epcot. We will probably just get the Chocolate Wave though. It is my goal to only eat dessert while at WDW biggrin I've read that the Chocolate Wave is awesome! BTW, I love Jon's shirt...I have the same one awesome I can't resist a Jack Skellington T shirt.

Allie's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2012
Posts: 5418

Wednesday, September 3rd Part One

Another bright and early morning because today we were signed up for the 8:30am Keys to the Kingdom Tour. Yay! It was also Jon and I's third anniversary so I was very relieved when he woke up feeling brand new after last night's Mission: Space fiasco. He ate his salmon and Chocolate Wave from Coral Reef cold out of the fridge for breakfast and he said it was all fantastic. I'll have to take his word for it because I was in the shower when he was eating and he didn't save me a single bite to try sad I can't fault him much though since a few bites of bread were all he had eaten since yesterday's breakfast at Kouzzina (you may recall he skipped lunch due to the heat the day before, as well).

I had wanted to get to the Magic Kingdom early to check in so that we'd have time to take some pictures of an empty Main Street, but due to unfortunate busing (I should have known!) and a bit of a struggle with a cast member that didn't want to let us into the park (he was looking at the wrong list for our names) we got in only about 5 min before our tour. We quickly checked in, picked out our lunch entrees, grabbed our headphones and name badges, and lined up for the start of the tour.

I won't go into much detail since I don't want to spoil it for anyone wanting to try the tour in the future, but I will give a brief overview of some of what we got to do. If you want to be totally surprised go ahead and skip forward to the next paragraph. We started with our guide talking about some of the history and hidden secrets of Main Street and the overall park. We then went through Adventureland and learned some background information for that area. We rode Jungle Cruise through on our own boat. There was a Skipper "driving" but our guide did all of the talking and told us more about the history of the ride. After some more wandering around Adventureland, we rode Pirates without our guide. She had warned us ahead of time that within the last 6 months or so the boats had been replaced with fiber glass boats. Due to the growing body shapes and sizes of the Disney population, the old boats had started getting stuck on the bottom floor since you are really only in a few inches of water. Since the new boats are so light you can now get a little wet on the ride when you go down the hill if you sit in the first couple of rows. Surprise surprise, when we got up to the front to get on the ride, everyone else on our tour had saved the front row for us! How nice! A "little wet" turned out to mean soaking...Jon, Gillie, Megan, and I were all pretty wet for the next couple of hours. Next up we went backstage and got to see some of the floats for the Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It and Main Street Electrical parades. By then it was time for lunch so we went to Columbia Harbor House where our pre-ordered lunches were already set out for us along with a nice commemorative KTTKT pin. Jon and Megan had the fish and chicken finger platter (I tried a bite of Jon's fish and it was yummy!), Gillie had just the chicken fingers, and I had the famous tuna sandwich which was especially delicious and refreshing after walking around so much in the heat. After lunch we rode Haunted Mansion, again with no commentary from our guide, and wandered through Liberty Square. Last up was the utilidors which were interesting, though pretty unremarkable to look at. We did get to see Aurora walking around in her sweatpants though which was pretty fun.

All in all, the tour was interesting and I'm glad we did it, but I probably wouldn't spend the money on it again since it was a LOT of walking, took up a big chunk of the day, and most of the information I already knew from other sources. We did enjoy it though and it was a different way to spend half a day when we come to the parks so often.

After the tour was over we relaxed a bit on some benches over by the Plaza while I took a survey for one of the CM/researchers wandering around. I probably took five or so of these throughout our trip. I hope that doesn't throw of their data but I hate saying no when they ask! biggrin When we were done with that our Seven Dwarves Mine Train FP+ had just opened up so we wandered back over to give it our first ride ever! We walked right on and really enjoyed it! I think it helped reading reviews before we went so I knew not to expect a big thrill attraction so that I wasn't disappointed. I was super impressed with how smooth it was! I had also heard that you don't really feel the sway of the individual mine cars very much, but I definitely did and Jon and I enjoyed swaying from side to side to really get them to swing. It was a cute attraction and a great addition to New Fantasyland, in my opinion.

It was a super hot day and Jon and I knew we didn't have dinner reservations until 9pm that night, so we stopped by Storybook Treats for a few brownie sundaes. Those things are massive and I kind of regretted not splitting mine with someone. Jon finished his up first so he decided to walk over past Gaston's Tavern to see the posted times that Gaston would be out greeting people. A few minutes later he ran back to tell us that Gaston was out right now! We polished off our sundaes and ran over to get in line just before it was cut off. Our Gaston was great but you could tell he was getting really hot and tired by the time he got to us. He was super fun to watch with the groups ahead of us though and he definitely appreciated my shirt!

When we were done with Gaston we headed over to Frontierland to hop on Splash Mountain with no wait due to our FP+. This time we were in the back two rows so we didn't get quite as wet but it was still fun. Our next plan was to once again try and head back over to the spot that AnnieLovesDisney had recommended to watch the Festival of Fantasy parade from, but by the time we were off of Splash the crowds along the route were starting to form so we decided to just grab a spot where we were. The first spot we nabbed had a group of middle age ladies standing up against the rope. We stood next to them and they told us to move because they might want to sit down when the parade started. Why they couldn't just sit down where they were currently standing I don't really know, but we left anyway even though it didn't make any sense at all. We grabbed another spot next to a woman who had her stroller spread out next to her in front of the ropes. I figured she was saving a couple of spots there so we grabbed the open area next to her. She turned to me and told me that her children would be standing there. "Your children are going to be standing right here, where I am?" I asked. "No," she said, "they're going to stand in front of the stroller." Ok....I wasn't standing anywhere near the stroller...? I told her that was fine and that we'd move if we were in her children's space when they got there. Sure enough, when the kids showed up they had plenty of room. I definitely understand that people that get there first should get their choice of spot and shouldn't have it taken away from people who show up later. I would never try and push or crowd someone out of a spot that they had staked out and were saving for their family. However some people get overly territorial! You don't need a 5 ft radius around you in order to enjoy the parade and I also don't think it's fair for you to try and reserve that when you don't need it. Everyone wants a good view of the parade so just back off a little and share the limited space.

It was hot hot HOT during the parade and we roasted under the bright Florida sun but we absolutely loved the parade! I usually hate parades but this one was spectacular and I really enjoyed being right at the beginning of the route so that we could catch it all right away and then move on to other things. I was also glad we were right at the beginning because by the end of the floats it was looking like it might start raining soon and the "helper" CMs that were watching the floats were picking up the pace to get the parade moving quicker down the route.

Allie's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2012
Posts: 5418

KenJ wrote:
Great TR Allie! Again, it was really great to meet you both. awesome

It's really cool to read about someone's trip that was there at the same time as us.

That's crazy about Mission Space. I've never been on it and I know I never will as I've heard so many stories of feeling sick afterwards. I'm sorry to hear Jon was so ill during dinner. Nausea is probably one of the worst feelings you can have when you're trying to enjoy something.

The ride that gets me queazy feeling is Expedition Everest. The backwards in the dark stuff doesn't agree with me too well.

Regarding the bus service. We too found the bus service a bit lacking from the Boardwalk. When we were there in January, the bus to Downtown Disney never came after waiting for about 40 minutes. We finally just gave up. I'm not sure what the deal is with the buses.

Great...we're staying at Boardwalk next trip! laugh At least we'll be able to walk to Epcot and DHS!

AnnielovesDisney wrote:
Love your TR so far! Coral Reef is one of the restaurants DH and I want to try someday when we are at Epcot. We will probably just get the Chocolate Wave though. It is my goal to only eat dessert while at WDW biggrin I've read that the Chocolate Wave is awesome! BTW, I love Jon's shirt...I have the same one awesome I can't resist a Jack Skellington T shirt.

I surprised Jon with that one in his suitcase. I had run to Old Navy the day we left to make some returns and saw it sitting there and couldn't resist!

JoAnn C's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/20/2011
Posts: 6556

great trip report. Glad Jon was feeling better the next morning.

__________________

DIStickers.com Ticker

DIStickers.com Ticker

DIStickers.com Ticker

JanJ's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/14/2013
Posts: 1658

Great pictures of the parade - you know, we never ended up seeing it. The 2 days we were there at that time, it got rained out. January for sure!

Glad to hear Jon was feeling better - that ride sounds crazy. Ken and I will definitely not be going on Mission Space. laugh

Allie's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2012
Posts: 5418

Wednesday, September 3rd Part Two

To cool down a bit after the parade we shot over into a near empty auditorium to watch Country Bears. It had been probably a decade since I'd seen that show and it's cute and a great spot to take a break. We were feeling pretty lazy, so we wandered back over to Frontierland to hop on the train to take us back to Fantasyland. We stopped in for some quick pictures with Donald, Goofy, Daisy, and Minnie under the big top and said hi to a CM in the Big Top Souvenirs shop that we had met and chatted with at Fantasmic a couple of nights before. She worked in the Big Top area of Fantasyland but was over at DHS that night to watch Fantasmic and was a fellow Minnesotan there on the college program.

Our Enchanted Tales with Belle FP+ was almost up by now so we hurried over to catch the end of our window. Jon and I hadn't seen this attraction since we got to do one of the preview nights of New Fantasyland during our Oct 2012 trip, and as cute as it was the first time it had greatly improved since the dress rehearsals. Jon got to be one of the knights (you can tell he's thrilled about it in the picture! Ha!) and Gillie got to be Philippe. I just love this attraction and can't wait to take Penny to it next year!

Philharmagic was right nearby so we headed that way next. We had also wanted to ride Jungle Cruise once with the actual Skipper experience, so I grabbed a fourth FP+ reservation for us at the kiosk next door on the way in. We must have just missed the last showing because we had to wait in the lobby for a bit, but it was totally worth it because I absolutely love Philharmagic and it is hands down my favorite 3D show! Fantastic!

Back over to Adventureland we went to hop onto Jungle Cruise. We didn't even end up using our FP+ though as there was absolutely no wait. We got the front seats of the boat right by our Skipper who was great! I love the cheesy jokes on this ride...so great! While we were on the ride it started down pouring around us, but just as we huddled outside of the attraction to dig out our ponchos, it slowed down to a gentle drizzle that actually felt great in the heat. We put the ponchos back and enjoyed the rain. We crossed through the hub to get back over to Tomorrowland since we had missed Monsters Inc Laugh Floor the other day. Jon and Megan had a bet going last time on who could get there joke chosen to be in the show and we never found out if either of them had made it since we had to skip it, so this time they submitted the same jokes to see who would win. Megan's made it in and Jon was a poor sport for quite a while afterward! laugh The Laugh Floor is one of my absolute favorite attractions and they were especially on today, the whole audience was roaring! I'm always so impressed with this show!

It was getting late in the evening so we left the park and caught a bus back to the resort so that we could all take a shower and a Skype break with Penny before Jon and I had to be back over at the Contemporary for our California Grill reservation. After another bus back to the Magic Kingdom, we snapped a quick anniversary picture outside the gates before we split up and Megan and Gillie headed back in to watch the Main Street Electrical parade and Wishes and Jon and I hopped on the monorail to get to dinner.

We checked in on the 2nd floor and then were taken up to the restaurant. Jon asked the host if we were able to wait for a window side seat since we were a little early and the host told him that he wasn't sure but that he should check again with the hostess when our buzzer went off. A little weird, but ok. We went and grabbed a seat at the bar and perused the menu to try and decide on a drink. Before we could order though our buzzer went off and we were back up at the front. Jon again asked if we were able to wait for a window seat. The hostess told us that we could wait for about half an hour but there were no guarantees that a table would open up. She asked us if we wanted to see the table first and we said sure. We were brought over to the side of the restaurant that had a great view of the castle and we were only a few tables away from the window, plus they already had the table all decorated for our anniversary with confetti so we said this one would be perfectly fine.

We sat down and were quickly brought some bread and two complimentary glasses of champagne. Our waitress said she would step away for a moment so that Jon could make a toast. Jon is not super great at being put on the spot so he paused for a second and then said something to the effect of "To a great three years and may we have at least another three great more!" I laughed and scolded him for setting the bar so low, so he tried to think of something else to add but our server could obviously sense we was struggling and came back over to save him laugh

I ordered some sort of cider concoction and Jon went with the passion fruit margarita. For food I ordered the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli to start and the dragon roll for my main course. Jon went with the Sweet Corn and Halibut soup and the Bison Tenderloin. We shared everything and it was all incredible. We fought over who had the better appetizer (I thought the ravioli won and Jon was convinced his soup came out on top) but despite the delicious sushi we both agreed that the bison won that round. I don't have a single complaint about anything though, it was all amazing. Jon didn't like his passion fruit margarita because it was too strong for his taste, but that was ok with me because I got to finish it then! I apologize for the really poor quality of pictures; they were all taken on my crappy phone in a dark restaurant.

As it neared fireworks time we went out and snagged a perfect spot on the balcony. I'm actually really glad that we ended up doing it this way vs. in the restaurant because it was so romantic and relaxing standing out in the cool night air with our drinks and enjoying the view. I was a little bummed they didn't pipe in the music for the Celebrate the Music projections, but it was still a really great experience and a fun, different view of the fireworks.

Back inside our table had been cleared and we had dessert menus in their place. As excited as I had been to try the sundae sampler, we were both really full and decided to pass on dessert. Our wonderful server again seemed to read our minds and brought over a complimentary creme brulee instead. We had to force it down but it was a delicious, perfect end to a perfect meal. I cannot rave enough about how spectacular the whole night was and I'm really glad we decided to spend our anniversary there.

We grabbed the monorail back over to the Magic Kingdom in order to catch a bus back to Coronado Springs. By the time we got there it was 10:55pm, 5 min before the buses were supposed to be done running from the Magic Kingdom that night. We approached an empty bus terminal....well, all of the bus lines were empty or nearly empty with only 5 people tops waiting for a couple of the resorts. All except Coronado, that is. We had FIVE ROWS OF PEOPLE. FIVE. Waiting an hour after park close. I would be interested to know how long some of those people had been waiting there. A bus showed up soon after we arrived but of course they could only fit about a third of the people on there. We waited another half an hour before another bus showed up for us and then one of the other buses that was supposed to be for another resort came over to take our group as well so that we didn't at least have to wait for another Coronado Bus to come back. I know park close is a busy time to try and catch a bus and it wouldn't have been so terrible waiting if we weren't the ONLY resort with any sort of line at all. And we had five rows of people an hour after park closing. I just thought it was super telling. Regardless, we squeezed onto a packed bus and made the ride back "home".

EmFord's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/12/2014
Posts: 414

That sounds like such a lovely anniversary! You have me considering attempting a last minute ADR there for ours. that sounds so fantastic.. I love that they really made you feel special. Such a bummer about the busses. It really makes me wonder what was going on that Coronado was consistently bad. So weird. I hope it didn't ruin your awesome night muchlove

__________________

Allie's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2012
Posts: 5418

I forgot to mention that on Tuesday as we got back to the World Showcase from breakfast we ran into Merida with no line just inside the International Gateway entrance. I didn't even know she made appearances in Epcot!

And here's some pictures that Megan and Gill took of the Main Street Electrical Light parade, Celebrate the Magic, and Wishes