crazycatperson's trip report!

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crazycatperson's trip report!

Background info:

We own non-DVC timeshares, and until this year have always used them to exchange into Orlando-area off-site timeshares, which are incredibly easy to get into and cost much less in terms of exchange points than DVC resorts do. So aside from one night at the Swan five years ago, we had never stayed on-site at WDW until this trip staying at Old Key West. The big question for us was whether staying on-site was worth it - would the Disney amenities compensate for the much higher exchange rate? I'll get to the answer to that question later.

Saturday, October 20 - Arrival Day.

Our trip to Orlando was completely uneventful - no traffic en route to the airport, no flight delays, no in-flight turbulence. (Well, there was a screaming baby in the row right in front of us, which literally drove hubby to drink.) Upon arrival around 6:00 p.m., we easily found the Magical Express and got right in line for the Old Key West bus, which according to the sign would also stop at three other resorts. However, it seems that nobody was travelling to those other three resorts because we instead got added onto the Magic Kingdom resort bus route. This would not have been a problem if the bus had not driven past Old Key West, taken us on a tour of the Contemporary, Grand Floridian, and Polynesian, and then finally stopped at Old Key West on the way back to the airport. As it was, we didn't arrive at our resort until nearly 9:00. We quickly checked in - no problems there - and I was pleased to discover that they had a birthday button waiting for hubby, who was celebrating his...um...39th. Yeah, let's go with that.

By then we were famished. I'd hoped we might have time to check out Downtown Disney or maybe even travel to another resort for dinner, but we decided that the fastest, easiest way to get dinner was to go to Olivia's, the table-service restaurant at Old Key West. (While waiting a few minutes for a table, hubby got that drink I mentioned earlier - a rum runner at the tiny bar adjacent to the restaurant. That and a very nice glass of merlot with dinner helped him forget that screaming baby and the long, long bus ride.) Unlike many of the restaurants at other resorts, Olivia's seems not to be a popular dining destination - I've never read a review on this or any other Disney fan site. Well, I can tell you that if you ever happen to find yourself at Old Key West and decide to dine there, you won't be disappointed by Olivia's. It's very low-key and casual, but the food is quite good. Hubby started with the conch fritter appetizer - neither of us had ever tried conch before - and we both loved them. They looked kind of like hushpuppies - if you've ever had Rhode Island clam cakes, they're like them but with a flavor like nothing I've ever tried before. They came with two dipping sauces - hubby liked the remoulade best, while I preferred the key lime mustard. For our entrees, I ordered the market fish (pan-seared grouper that night) with roasted potatoes, succotash and lemon tarragon butter. I'd never had grouper before - it's a light fish, which I am not normally a fan of - but I thought the grouper was delicious. (Totally unrelated - a truck just drove by our house and when I first heard it I thought it was one of the Disney buses, which we could faintly hear from our room at OKW. Wish it were!) Back to dinner - the roasted potatoes were crispy and flavorful, and even the succotash was good (lima beans normally turn me off). The lemon tarragon butter was also tasty, but I left most of it on the plate - I was trying to eat at least semi-healthy that week. Hubby got the seafood pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, vegetables, olive oil, and garlic and loved it. I had a taste and it was indeed quite good. Then, since hubby was wearing his birthday button, he got a free brownie sundae. Yay!

Old Key West is a sprawling resort of two- and three-story gingerbread buildings with winding roads, lots of cul-de-sacs, picturesque ponds, and a gold course. After dinner, we decided to walk from Olivia's to our one-bedroom unit instead of getting bell services to take us. Our carry-on luggage was just two backpacks, so even though our building was at the other end of the resort, it was still an easy walk. When we arrived, we discovered that one of the bus stops was conveniently located right across the street from our building, but in spite of that our second-floor unit was nice and quiet. Our windows overlooked the golf course, so the view was nice, and shortly after we arrived we heard fireworks - it was Illuminations. We could see flashes of light from the show but couldn't actually see the fireworks. Still, it was really cool knowing how close we were! Our two checked suitcases were delivered shortly after we arrived (since tipping is an occasional topic of conversation around here, I'll mention that I tipped the guy $5.00), so we unpacked and settled in for the night.

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clapping clapping clapping

Yeah! Sounds like a great start

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yay - trip report!!

looking forward to reading more

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clapping A trip report. Can't wait to hear more.

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yay yay

This is going to be a great report!!!

You go, crazycatperson!

mickey

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Yay Jan and Dan! clapping

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Sunday, October 21 - Epcot and Hollywood Studios

I slept in a little Sunday morning; hubby slept in a little longer than I did, so while he was getting ready for our first day at Epcot, I walked up to Hospitality House (where check-in, the restaurants, and most of the other resort amenities are located) to get some milk to put on the cereal I packed into my checked luggage.

As we left our building, an Epcot bus passed by on its way to the nearby bus stop, so we took off jogging to get to the stop in time. Because of the meandering roads throughout the Old Key West, the buses have to make tight turns in parking lots and cul-de-sacs while going from stop to stop; before arriving at our stop, they had to pass the stop, turn around, and come back, so we frequently saw our bus coming and had time to make it before it stopped. Once on the bus, we sat back, relaxed, and didn't have to worry about how to get to the park du jour. So yes, we loved the Disney transportation system - first advantage to staying on-site.

We arrived at Epcot sometime after 10:00 a.m. and started our day at Spaceship Earth. Then we headed over to the Festival Center to get a wristband giftcard to use at the festival booths. While there, we found some really cool Mickey Mouse trivets and bought two, one for us and one for friends. And since we were staying at a Disney resort, we had them sent to Old Key West instead of lugging them around all day - second advantage to staying on-site.

By the time we were done, the Food and Wine festival booths were about to open, so we headed back to World Showcase and started grazing counterclockwise with the Hawaii booth. We both got the tuna poke, which is probably my favorite item of all (it's hard to say for sure since so many things are awesome). Our next stop was Greece, where hubby tried the griddled cheese (he liked it; I don't care for cheese so didn't try it). Next up was Canada and the chicken chipotle sausage. I first tried it during my F&W Fest trip last year, when hubby had to stay home for business, and subsequently made it at home for him, but of course the real thing at Epcot is much better than my homemade version. (Since we were near the Canada pavilion, I asked hubby whether he wanted to see the movie; he didn't - he wasn't much in the mood to see any of the movies around the World Showcase, so we skipped them all this trip.) The Ireland booth was next, and hubby tried the seafood fisherman's pie, which he later declared his favorite dish of all (it has lots of cheese, so I didn't try it).

Next up was France, but we decided to leave that for another day and concentrate on the things we knew we would love most. So that meant a stop at the Belgium booth for the mussels in Hoegaarden beer broth (delicious) followed by New Zealand, where hubby got the lamb meatball (he loved it) and I got the seared sea scallop (the scallop and apple radish salad were excellent but the red curry puree didn't appeal to me at all). By then we were ready for something sweet, so it was on to Morocco for my favorite dessert, baklava. The last thing we got on that side of the World Showcase was the lobster roll at Hops & Barley, which was quite good.

By that point we were both pretty full, so we circled around to Future World. Normally when we go to Epcot, we start at Spaceship Earth, then head for Test Track, then cross over to The Land and The Sea. This time, since we were coming from the east side of the World Showcase, we happened to pass Club Cool. I'd known for years about this spot to sample international soft drinks, but we never went out of our way to get there. This time, since we walked right past, we went in and liked it so much we made a point of stopping there two or three times during each of our visits to Epcot. My favorites were the watermelon soda from China, the lemon soda from Israel, the mezzo mix (orange flavored Coke) from Germany, and (yes!) the Beverly from Italy. While I wouldn't want to sit down at the movies with a bucket of popcorn and a tall cup of Beverly, I thought it was quite good as an aperitif.

More on Sunday shortly...

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Yay!...love the trip report so far! clapping

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Sunday, October 21 - Epcot and Hollywood Studios, continued

Since Test Track is closed, I can't handle Mission: Space, and Ellen's Energy Adventure is not something we need to see every single trip, we headed over to The Seas with Nemo and Friends, enjoyed the ride, visited Crush, and watched the manatees and dolphins for a while. From there we stopped at The Land pavilion and rode the Living with the Land ride. The tour guide mentioned the Behind the Seeds tour, and we decided to check it out for the first time. It was quite interesting, definitely worth the $18 admission charge. We even got a taste of an Epcot cucumber and got to feed the fish! While waiting for the tour to begin, hubby got a delicious creme brulee from a nearby dessert stand.

Hubby had declared that this trip was "all about eating," so we returned to World Showcase to graze for our dinner, this time going clockwise. We skipped the Terra vegan booth (I'm not a big fan of fake meat) and started with the jerk spiced chicken drumstick at the Caribbean booth, which we shared. Good thing we did; I loved it but hubby was not a fan. We then tried the beef empanada at Argentina, again sharing it (delicious), after which hubby had the Mexican shrimp taco (excellent) and caramel custard (blah). I skipped Mexico this time around since I'd tried the shrimp taco last year and wanted to save my appetite for other items. Next up were the Swedish meatballs at the Scandinavia booth (not much different from the meatballs at Ikea). At the China booth, I got the chicken satay, which was tasty if not exactly Chinese, and hubby tried the mango tapioca pudding, which he liked. A little farther along we stopped at The Joy of Tea stand and shared an order of egg rolls (delicious). At the South Korea booth hubby enjoyed the lettuce wrap, but complained that the kimchi wasn't spicy enough (I'd tried it last year and didn't particularly care for it).

Off topic: the CATS are so happy we're home that I'm trying to type this around two of them, one on each arm. Apologies for any typos I miss.

By then it was time to head over to Desserts and Champagne for the 7:30 meet-up with Dee and, we hoped, Jessi and Julie. We arrived a little early and waited nearby. Five or ten minutes before the meet-up, a woman in Pooh ears stopped nearby. It had been some weeks, maybe months, since I read Dee's last trip report and saw her photos, and while I didn't think this woman was her, the resemblance was close enough that I kept an eye on her to see where she went. When she turned toward the Desserts and Champagne booth, I thought maybe it was Dee, but she walked right past. A few minutes later Dee herself came over, and this time we were directly across from the booth so I knew it was her. (While we were waiting, hubby got the dessert trio. I had a taste of each, and my favorite was the lemon custard.)

We had a nice half hour chat with Dee talking about what we'd done so far, where we were going, where we were staying, and some of our favorite Disney things. I envied her upcoming December trip - how great to leave knowing you'd be back in less than two months! Then it was time for us to hop to Hollywood Studios for Fantasmic and EEMH and for Dee to get back together with the friends she was touring with. As we were walking toward the World Showcase gate, we saw a poor frightened little bunny rabbit that got stuck in the middle of the walkway surrounded by big scary people. Poor baby! We stopped long enough so he could scurry off into the bushes to our right. We debated walking to DHS but decided to take the ferry and save our legs for in-the-park walking.

We arrived at Fantasmic just five or so minutes before the show, so we didn't have the best seats, but IMO that was better than standing around half an hour or more to get better seats. The show was great as always. Then hubby got some butter pecan ice cream, after which we strolled around enjoying the park. Our only ride that night was the Great Movie Ride - we got the gangster storyline. By then we were getting tired, so we headed to the bus stop hoping we wouldn't have to wait too long. Of course, there went an Old Key West bus just as we approached the bus stop, so we got to wait around in line another 20 minutes. And that wrapped up our first full day at WDW.

Tomorrow's a work day Sad, so the trip report might slow down a little after tonight's last entry.

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LOVE the trip report.... can't wait to read more!! muchlove

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Monday, October 22 - The Day of Four Parks

Yes, all four!

Hubby slept in again. I managed to get up relatively early for a vacation day, so I got ready quickly, grabbed a granola bar breakfast, and made my way to the bus stop.

This was supposed to be our second day at Epcot followed by EEMH at Magic Kingdom, but I decided to start out at Hollywood Studios instead so I could ride Toy Story Mania, my favorite ride in all of WDW. I arrived at DHS around 9:30, before the FastPass line opened, so the standby wait was short by TSM standards - I spent no more than half an hour in line and on the ride. While on the ride, I felt my phone vibrate. Hubby was up and on his way, so as soon as I got off I headed for the Epcot ferry.

We arrived at Epcot around the same time and met at the Canada booth, where hubby had the cheddar cheese soup (he liked it) and we shared the wild mushroom beef filet (delicious). In order around the World Showcase, we visited Greece again (spanakopita for hubby, Greek salad to share); Ireland (more lobster and seafood fisherman's pie for hubby); France (we shared the coq au vin, chocolate creme brulee, and sparkling pomegranate kir); Morocco (kefta pocket and merguez sausage; the sausage was best - oh, and I forgot, I got their sangria Sunday); and Germany (bratwurst, yum!). We also shared a tiramisu from the regular dessert and coffee stand by the Italy pavilion. As we passed the American Adventure pavilion around 1:00, we saw 20 and 30-something fangirls already lined up to see Hanson! (And I also forgot, we stood behind the seating area Sunday for about three songs by Survivor. Ehhh.)

We couldn't eat much more at that point, so we took the boat from Germany to Mexico and rode Spaceship Earth again, this time with audio in French, just for fun. Hubby minored in French in college, and I've taken a few classes, but the only reason I understood anything was because I've gone through with English audio umpteen times. At the end of the ride we selected a fun future in French, but the monitor died before we could see it!

There wasn't much else we wanted to do at Epcot besides eat, so on the spur of the moment we decided to park hop to Animal Kingdom. While hubby rode Expedition Everest using the single rider line, I headed for Kilimanjaro Safaris to get FastPasses. We didn't really need them " the standby line was quite short - but I got them anyway, and after putzing around and listening to the Bollywood DJ, we headed over to the safari. It was warm and the animals were rather lethargic, but it was still a fun ride. And I am happy to report that they appear to have scrapped the whole poachers story, which always seemed a little cheesy to me. Since it was hot (by Pennsylvania standards, at least), we found a bench in the shade and sipped a Coke while waiting for the parade. Just before the parade approached, I moved to stand along the parade route with hubby behind me, and since I'm quite short we both had an excellent view. This is hubby's favorite parade, so it's one we don't want to miss. After the parade had passed, we followed it around and then made our way to Festival of the Lion King, which IMO is the best show in all of WDW. We sat in the giraffe section; fortunately we both know how to bleat like a sheep.

Since we wanted to graze some more at Epcot and make it to Magic Kingdom in time for fireworks and EEMH, we headed out. More to come....

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Another forgot-to-mention: we caught Captain Eo between The Land and the World Showcase Sunday afternoon/evening. Hubby's first time seeing it. It's a real hoot if you're old enough to remember the 1980s.

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Monday, October 22 - The Day of Four Parks, continued

Back at Epcot, we headed straight for the World Showcase and started grazing at Australia. I got the shrimp on the barbie and hubbie got the grilled lamb chop. We each had a bite of the other's dish; I liked the lamb chop in spite of the fact that I normally don't care for lamb; he didn't care for the shrimp at all. I got a shrimp taco at Mexico, we shared another order of egg rolls from The Joy of Tea stand; hubby got the seared filet of beef from South Africa (I had a bite and thought it was superb); and hubby also got the artisan cheese selection from the Cheese booth and the kielbasa and pierogies from Poland. Then I tried the white corn arepa from the Florida booth. I thought it tasted better than it looked, but hubby didn't care for it. Hubby got the dry sake at the Japan booth; I had a few sips and liked it. Then I tried the seared mahi mahi at Singapore (excellent). We finished up with more tuna poke from Hawaii, and I had another lemon custard from Desserts and Champagne. And then we hopped the monorail to the Transportation and Ticket Center.

Once there, we decided to take the ferry across. Hubby stopped at the coffee stand for a cookie (stale) and Earl Grey tea (good). I mentioned that the TTC was supposedly one of the best places to see the MK fireworks, so we decided to wait there to see the show. We found a bench near the ferry and chatted up a couple of families waiting there for the same reason. As 9:00 approached, we noticed the electric boat parade and hurried over so we could get a better view of it. That alone was worth waiting at the TTC - if you've never seen it before, be sure to check it out. Just as the fireworks started, a family of grandparents, parents, and two young children who'd just gotten off the ferry came over and stood right in front of us. (Did I mention that I am quite short?) It wouldn't have been so bad if they'd stood still - I could've found a spot to look around them - but they kept moving around right and left, so I had to keep moving as well. At one point the younger woman looked right at me and I glared at her, but I don't think she got the hint. Fortunately I didn't miss much, but it kinda ticked me off. When the show was over (awesome as always), we boarded a ferry and got an even better look at the boat parade as it went right by us. The lights on the boats depicted many different types of animals - a sea serpent, whale, turtle, dolphins, and King Neptune in a seahorse-driven chariot, among others. Then they all turned into U.S. flags and stars.

At MK we went straight for the Jungle Cruise, which IMO is always better after dark. I didn't catch our boat pilot's name, but she was hands down THE best Jungle Cruise boat pilot ever. Most of her jokes and lines were the same ones I've heard countless times before, but she REALLY got into the role, screaming with fear when there was supposedly something scary and generally behaving as if she needed the straps on her straightjacket tightened. Inside the tunnel she launched into the It's a Small World song so softly and slowly that by the time I realized what she was singing it was actually creepy. Kudos to her! We followed that up with Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion (hubby hadn't seen the revamped hitchhiking ghosts, he loved them), and It's a Small World. As we walked between PoTC and HM, the electric parade was approaching. We quickly dashed across the street and found a spot to watch; we'd never seen this version of the evening parade before and thought it was very entertaining. By then we were both utterly exhausted after walking through most of three (four for me) parks, so we walked through Cinderella's castle and headed for the exit.

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A few photos: the Cheshire Cat float in the MK electric parade, the living room/kitchen in our unit at Old Key West, and the golf course view from our balcony. I took the OKW photos while hubby was getting ready to start the day, so I couldn't do the bedroom/bathroom and never got around to getting photos in there, but the bedroom was nice and spacious with similar decor and view, a nice big jacuzzi tub with a sink, and a second room with shower, sink, and toilet. There was also a small room with full-size washer and dryer.

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I like the kitchen

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Great trip report and I really like the villa at OKW. Can't wait for the rest!

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Tuesday, October 23 - Typhoon Lagoon, Downtown Disney, and DisneyQuest

This was our scheduled "off" day, the day to make use of some of those minor park admissions that we've been collecting for several years on old no-expiration passes.

The day started with a visit to Typhoon Lagoon, which we'd never visited before since it's never been open when we were there. I'm not really into water slides - they can make me queasy - so we spent our time in the lazy river, in the wave pool, or just lounging around. I love the lazy rivers at Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon because they let you swim in them without an inner tube - can't do that at Hersheypark, and I much prefer paddling around on my own to floating in a tube. Really, you don't have to do much; the current carries you along just as well without a tube. I was mostly treading water horizontally or floating on my back. As for the wave pool, it's pretty intense. There's a wave pool at Hersheypark that I've swum in many times, but it never knocked me off my feet and over my head in the water! So I didn't spend much time in there. While hubby napped in a chaise longue, I wandered around the park and checked out the fishies, rays, and sharks. Didn't get in, though; I doubt they had swim masks that fit over eyeglasses, and without the glasses I wouldn't be able to see the fishies. Lunch was nondescript park food; we both got mediocre pork barbecue with fries and a large Coke to share.

We left mid-afternoon, showered and changed clothes, and headed to Downtown Disney for an ADR at Raglan Road. I realize it's a touristy version of Irish cooking, but we wanted to try something vaguely reminiscent of the kind of food one might find at a pub in Ireland or the U.K. So hubby got the shepherd's pie (he thinks it was made with ground beef, not lamb or mutton, so not exactly authentic), and I got the beef curry pie. We both liked our entrees well enough, but they were SO heavy hubby ended up stuffed and I couldn't even finish mine. After that meal, we both felt so bloated that we decided to cancel a couple of our table service meals later in the week - we had two scheduled for both Wednesday and Friday, and we decided one per day was quite enough, so no 50s Prime Time or Liberty Tree Tavern for us. (No great loss, Teppan Edo and Boma were much better choices, I'm sure.)

Once we finished dinner, we walked to the West Side and went to DisneyQuest. Neither of us had been there in two years, and several things have changed since then. The vintage video games seem to have all been replaced by newer versions and there's a new virtual reality attraction (we didn't ride so I can't describe it here). But we enjoyed the Pirates of the Caribbean " Battle for Buccaneer Gold virtual reality ride several times. It's probably my second favorite attraction in all of WDW. And we did pretty well for having just two people manning our ship instead of the maximum of seven. We always get the second highest ranking, Kings of the Caribbean, and were quite disappointed at never making the highest ranking, which I think is Masters of the Seven Seas or something along that line, until a cast member told us that you usually have to have at least five people on board to get a high enough score for that ranking.

I was still feeling rather bloated after dinner, so we left early and got to bed early for the first time since we arrived. Wednesday brought us back to the major parks. More tomorrow.

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Love it! I'm getting hungry reading about all that great food.....and doesn't it melt your heart when you get home and the fur babies shower you with love!? I sure miss mine when we are gone muchlove

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Ahh...reading this report while Sandy is keeping me up at 3am is just what I needed!

Glad that you enjoyed Typhoon Lagoon! It really is a good water park for people who don't like regular water parks. And the kitchen for OKW is huge! Looks like a nice place to stay.

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OKW looks gorgeous! Great trip report so far...and P.S. I'm super jealous you were there during Hanson. I so would have been one of those fan girls if our trip had been a few days later! laugh

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Can I please go back? Dang, I sure do miss my favorite place in the world!

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crazycatperson wrote:
Can I please go back? Dang, I sure do miss my favorite place in the world!

Yeah, I'd so rather be there right now, too. The streets here are about to become a lazy river!

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Yay Jan Smile
I need to find this other lady with Pooh ears!
awesome

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Wednesday, October 24 - Hollywood Studios and Epcot

I woke up refreshed and ready to go Wednesday morning, while hubby slept in yet again. (Yes, he does it at home, also.) So since this was Hollywood Studios day, I rushed out ASAP with a granola bar in hand and made it to DHS before it officially opened. First thing was to get a Toy Story Mania FastPass; second was to get in the standby line while it was still relatively short. I was on and off in less than half an hour and, since the FastPass line hadn't opened yet, I got right back in the standby line and did it again! Just FYI, I am not the best TSM player in the world; my scores hovered around the 100,000 mark, making me an eager beaver, I think? I'm pretty sure that critter was a beaver. Of course, I want to be a kitty cat, but that hasn't happened yet. When my second ride was over, the FastPass line had opened, but my FastPass window was still half an hour away, so I took a stroll around the park seeing the sights. I considered visiting the Great Movie Ride, but the line was out the door and down the sidewalk, so I skipped it.

(Off topic, our power just went out. Thank you, Sandy!)

I strolled by the 50s Prime Time Cafe to check out the menu, which reinforced my desire to skip that ADR. The menu sounded good, but unless I got the Caesar salad I knew I'd be beyond full and probably not hungry for our Teppan Edo dinner. And no way I was skipping Teppan Edo! By then my TSM FastPass window was about to open, so I headed over and rode it yet again. I could ride TSM a dozen times a day if the line weren't so darn long. As my ride ended, my phone buzzed - hubby had arrived. I told him to meet me at the TSM FastPass booth so we could get FastPasses and ride together later in the day.

We walked down Pixar Place into the Streets of America and got a PhotoPass picture taken with Lightning McQueen and Mater. Then we passed the Muppet 3D show, which isn't a must-see for either of us, but since we were in the neighborhood we figured we'd take the time. It was only 11:30 when we got out, but I'd been up a while and that granola bar was long gone, so we decided to get an early lunch. Hubby firmly vetoed Toy Story Pizza Planet - he's not a big pizza fan - so we went to the ABC Commissary for our first time. Good choice! Hubby got the fish platter, I got the Asian salad without meat, and we shared them both, so we both had a reasonably healthy meal. And both were quite tasty. I don't normally like white fish, but that was the best fried white fish I've ever eaten, anywhere. As for the salad, the lettuce was slightly limp Iceberg (boring), but the other veggies and the sesame ginger dressing were delicious. There were even a few pieces of pickled ginger in the salad, yum!

After lunch, we happened to pass the American Idol Experience just as the first show was about to start. Neither one of us watches American Idol; the ads have been enough to completely turn me off to the show. I don't care how horribly someone sings, I don't find watching people being insulted even remotely entertaining. But we usually catch the Idol Experience at DHS because it's just one show, and most of those folks actually can sing. We saw two teenage girls with good if undeveloped voices and a 30-something man who absolutely rocked. Of course the guy won, although I was kinda rooting for one of the girls because she has three CATS.

Our next stop was the thrill rides I can't handle. Hubby was going to get a Tower of Terror FastPass, but the standby line was amazingly short, so I walked through with him and took the chicken exit. I love the decor and theming in that attraction. Then I hung out in the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster gift shop while hubby took advantage of the single rider line. We decided to skip the Beauty and the Beast musical and stopped by Hollywood Scoops for another dish of that delicious butter pecan ice cream. After that we checked out the Magic of Disney Animation, but didn't stay long - aside from the promo for Wreck-it Ralph, nothing has changed.

If I recall correctly, it was then time for our Tune-in Lounge meet-up with Dee and Robyn, so we headed over there. I had no trouble spotting Dee in her Pooh ears, so I walked over and said "Meow!" to her and Robyn. (Let me just mention that I had an awesome time meeting everyone at all three meet-ups!) Robyn introduced us to her husband and parents; I welcomed them all to the U.S., and then hubby and I ordered a whisky sour for him and a kir for me. We spent about half an hour at this meet-up hearing all about Robyn's long long Disney vacation (yes, I was jealous!) She showed me a phone photo of her beautiful late kitty cat that looked so much like the little one we lost last August, and then of course I bored her with a dozen or so photos of several of my cats (and I didn't have photos of all of them). Dee filled us in on how she'd spent the last few days and was good enough to give both Robyn and me some Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom cards so we could start playing.

(Power's back on, thank God!)

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Wednesday, October 24 - Hollywood Studios and Epcot, continued

Around 4:00 hubby and I wanted to catch the Lights! Motors! Action! stunt show, and as I stood up I realized that my kir had kinda gone straight to my head! I was a little puzzled; I don't have a very high tolerance for alcohol, but I can usually handle one drink without any problems. Turns out they didn't have creme de cassis at the Tune-in Lounge, and I suspect that whatever they put into my drink in its place had a rather higher alcohol content than I'm accustomed to. Well, I was feeling quite happy at that point, but not stumble drunk, so we made it to the stunt show and purchased a bottle of water so I could dilute the alcohol. This was the first time we'd seen the show since they added the Cars characters; it didn't really fit the theme of the show, but I love Cars so I didn't mind. After that we stopped back at ABC Commissary for the seasonal carrot cake cupcake, which was tasty but had way too much frosting. I left about half of mine on the plate.

I'm just a little fuzzy as to the order in which we did the next few attractions (thank you, kir), but I know we used our Toy Story Mania FastPasses, visited Walt Disney: One Man's Dream, and split up while hubby rode Tower of Terror again and I rode the Great Movie Ride. And then we left DHS and took the ferry to Epcot for our Teppan Edo reservations.

We arrived around half an hour before our 8:55 reservations but decided to check in just in case they could get us in early. And they did. We were seated with a young family (mom, dad, three incredibly well-behaved small children), with an empty seat between us and them. We've been to teppan steakhouses before, but never Teppan Edo, and I have to say it was the best teppan steakhouse I've ever visited. Hubby got the scallops while I ordered the swordfish; the other group got various combinations of chicken, steak, and shrimp. Our chef was entertaining and kept the kids enthralled; in the photo I'll post later she's playing with the shrimp tails, flipping them into a bowl and later flipping one into her toque. And the food was awesome! Hubby was afraid the chef was overcooking his scallops, but he said they were delicious, and my swordfish was just about perfect. The noodles, rice, veggies were also quite good and perfectly complemented by the dipping sauces. I will definitely come back!

When we'd finished, we visited the Japan pavilion gift shop, and I bought a small Chococat stuffed animal. Apparently Chococat is as famous in Japan as Hello Kitty; he's a black cat with a chocolate nose, although my little stuffy has a teal nose. Very cute. (I'll try to remember to take a photo of Chococat as well as those Mickey trivets I mentioned a few posts back.)

We were well into EEMH by then, but there were no attractions we wanted to see that we hadn't already experienced, so we headed for the main entrance and caught the bus back to Old Key West.

And I'm still typing with cats on my arms.

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Three more photos: Robyn and Simon, Dee, and our chef at work at Teppan Edo as she flips shrimp tails around. You can see hubby's scallops directly beneath her knife; my swordfish is to the right behind the pile of mushrooms.

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Killer B trip report and faces too!!!!!

Tune-in lounge is one of NHshorty's and my favorites. Just enough retro, mid-century funk. Forget this Sandy stuff, let's hit the Tune-in for a grown up beverage!

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Great trip report. I hope you are safe as you battle SANDY. Right not we have a lot of rain and wind but that's it. I live 25 miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. I will be so glad when the rain stops as I am sure you are too. Keep safe, warm and dry.

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Loving the trip report so far....And now I'm craving some Teppan Edo...Sad we won't be going there this year

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Jess wrote:
Loving the trip report so far....And now I'm craving some Teppan Edo...Sad we won't be going there this year

We could........

Love the trip report!

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Great! I'm loving it! Hope your power stays on..even though we are in SW Michigan..
we've had strong winds today with 50mph gusts..nothing like you on the coast are experiencing though!