Festive Fall Fun (Complete!)

Login to post comments
47 posts / 0 new
danijrod's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/23/2014
Posts: 414

alicemouse wrote:
danijrod wrote:
It was the first time I saw one man's dream and I literally filled up when I was watching it I love it!

Isn't it magical? I love Julie Andrews. I cry every time I see this film.

It really was, it just pulls at your heart strings I kept wondering what he would make of it all now. I think Julie Andrews was a perfect choice for it. muchlove

alicemouse's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/22/2013
Posts: 2832

Trip #2--The "just us" trip, except it didn't so much work out that way

Hi all! I've had no luck with the photo issue to this point, so my solution for now is that I will be posting real time photos and videos on our travel page, which you can easily link to if we're Facebook friends and there's a link to my Facebook in my signature. My trip reports here will be highlights sans photos. Unfortunately, with this fall being so crazy, I took very few notes and now that several moths have passed, my details are going to be a little bit lacking, but I have a new pre-trip to do, so I HAVE to finish the fall TR first!! LOL

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Day 1 - September 30

We arrived on the early flight, as usual, and checked into French Quarter, where we scored a 3rd floor corner room right across the street from the main building. Sweet. The room, itself, was typical moderate. Nothing overly fancy with touches of New Orleans, but not nearly as impressive decor-wise as our AoA Little Mermaid room had been. Having two windows are awesome, though and I had brought my Inside Out plashes for our Joy & Sadness meet & greet, so they adorned our window for the weekend. On the previous trip, I had forgotten that the coolest thing about staying at a value or moderate is being able to decorate your window, so I was pleased that I remembered this time. We were planning to meet up with Amy1989 and family, but because we were extra early, we were pleased to have time to grab a bit to eat--or so we thought. W stopped at the makeshift temporary quick service, where of course we have to try the beignets with breakfast and they took forever to be prepared. They were wicked awesome though. I'm not a donut fan at all, so I was very skeptical, but WOW!! With chocolate sauce! Amazing!

Untitled

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Untitled

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

We finally made our way to the bus stop about 10 minutes later than I had intended due to the beignet debacle and then we waited almost the full 20 minutes for a bus to arrive. Shortly after we boarded, we realized that we had a rather significant time issue--our bus to AK was not direct and we stopped at every single stop at POR, costing us easily another 15 minutes. So, we missed the end of the Festival of Lion King FP window where we had planned to meet Amy by about 5 minutes! ARGH!!! And those Cast Members were NOT letting us in. laugh Fortunately, we were able to catch the tail end of the standby line and catch the show and thanks to cellular technology, we were able to rendezvous with the Roberts family right after the show an enjoy each others' company for a few minutes. Afterwards we hit Kilimanjaro Safari and Primeval Whirl, where we met Nicole with her pin trading ptarydactyl. I don't know how to spell that word and autocorrect doesn't even recognize it, but you know which one I mean--the dinosaur that flies.

I really want a pair of these stilt shoes.
"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

First time I've ever gotten cool wildebeest pictures:
"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Nobody here but us trees...
"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Wide Rhino indeed
"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

After AK, we headed over to Olivia's for dinner. It was Benn's first time there and he was super impressed. Our hostess was from Laurel, MD, which isn't much of a feat because a lot of people are from there, but that's where Benn went to high school and the girl was about our age, so he was entertained by the fact that we actually knew some of the same people. We also met the manage, nit because anything was wrong--she just stopped by to say hello--and we got into a lengthy discussion about how Baymax is basically the best character ever. Oh, the food was good, too. I love those conch fritters more every time I eat them. My Cobb salad tasted a little bit off, but it was still mostly good and Benn loved his ___________. I totally forget what he ordered--looks like ribs maybe?? We did get dessert--I'm thinking either cheesecake or key lime pie. I remember that it tasted delicious.

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Untitled

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

That evening, we saw Star Wars fireworks again and we realized shortly before that our friend Betsy was at Disney with her family, so we met up with them and met the rest of the Betsy clan. We weren't really tired, so we decided to head over to Top of the World and see HalloWishes, too. Unfortunately, we got rained out. By this point, we were a little bit on the tired side, so instead of braving the rain to walk back to MK to get a bus to POFQ, we just called for a cab. Now BLT to POFQ isn't all that far, especially if you use the back way past Golden Oak, which the cab driver did. It was still $20 and we hadn't left property. I really thought that was kind of outrageous.

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

DAY 2 - October 1, 2016 (DO YOU KNOW WHAT DATE THAT IS???? THAT'S RIGHT, IT'S WDW's 45th BIRTHDAY!!!)

So this was totally and completely by accident because I wasn't paying attention. I was actually booking because it was Rosh Hashana, which means that Benn's office was closed for two extra work days--woohoo! Free vacation days! Not only did I book us on 45th anniversary weekend, but I booked the Marceline to MK tour for that morning for no other reason than that was where it fit best with our ADR's. Obviously I realized what date is was when I was booking, but we hadn't made any special plans to be at MK or take a tour that day. And ALSO, I knew I had been to the parks a lot over the past several years, so I decided to count up how many days I had spent in Disney parks in my life before this trip and the 45th was my personal 100th lifetime park day! So we were greeted with a special commemorative park map with a giant 45th anniversary splash inside, 45th anniversary buttons, and of course, it's Disney, so special merchandise. After we checked in for our tour, Benn noticed a gentleman wearing a 45th anniversary passholder t-shirt in the lobby and suggested that I go over and get merchandise before the tour started. Oh! Good idea, Benn! So I skipped into the Emporium, where I received the red carpet treatment. I must have passed 30 cast members welcoming me in the receiving line on my way to the cash registers right before the hats & clothing section, where I secured my AP t-shirt and pins without another customer in sight. I completed my purchase and returned to Tony's Town Square around 8:55. By the time our tour reached Main St. at about 9:15, the end of the merchandise line was backed up outside to Casey's Corner. Later in the day, it extended to the Hub. It was nuts.

The tour was awesome. This was my second time doing this tour and we picked it again because Benn hadn't had a chance to do it yet--the first time I took mom. We had Taylor as our tour guide and he did a splendid job with the information on the tour. He did stop the tour to take us to the Hub to watch the 45th anniversary celebration. Yes, it was a lame as you heard it was--clearly the guests wanted to make a big deal over the day, but management couldn't have cared less unless they could sell something. The only funny thing was that the banner didn't unroll properly in the clearly poorly rehearsed show. Because we took a break to watch the show, we had to cut time elsewhere, so we skipped riding Winnie the Pooh. I'm really glad that we skipped that instead of Carousel of Progress because this was our first time visiting the attractions since the new signage debuted. Also, I got a better seat this time, so my pictures on the ride were a little bit better.

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Untitled

See those people on the sidewalk? They are in line for merchandise. eek
"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

The only pic I took of the anniversary "celebration" because it was pretty lame...
"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

After the tour, we made our way over to Whispering Canyon for lunch. On the way, we got a glimpse of the DvC construction that will be part of...Boulder Ridge? Or is that what they renamed the existing part? I don't remember. These are the Wilderness Lodge Pizza Huts. The food was even better than it was last time and I really didn't think that was possible. This is quickly becoming my favorite restaurant. We had a quesadilla that might have been made out of angels' wings. It was so delicious. We hoped to Hollywood Studios specifically to use our Toy Story fastpass. I don't even remember if we did anything else--maybe Star Tours? and then popped back to the room for a bit for a nap.

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Our timing was perfect to see Old Faithful
Untitled

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Benn looked REALLY thirsty
Untitled

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

But apparently he didn't do a good enough job as ketchup distribution engineer to earn a full sized coke
"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

These quesadillas don't look like much, but they were dynamite!
Untitled

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

We were supposed to do Food & Wine for dinner, but the weather looked a little bit threatening. I convinced Benn to give it a try anyway. Well, as we arrived at the World Showcase Promenade, the rain was starting and the booths were closing. We beelined to the Odyssey Center because we knew they would stay open and we at least needed a snack while we waited out the rain and decided what to do. Fortunately, a lot of people had already left, so relatively few of us sought refuge at the Odyssey. We had a sticky pig wings and OMG they were amazing.

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

I pointed out to Benn that just because it was raining at Epcot did not necessarily mean that it was raining at MK and that Florida rain moves much faster than Pennsylvania rain. SO we braved the rain to the monorail station. Once on the monorail, we breathed sigh of relief, but as we approached TTC, the rain seemed to escalate if anything. Determined to make it to MK, we sprinted down the ramp and up the other side to get onto the train. The doors closed and the welcome spiel began--about EPCOT! CRAP! We got on the wrong monorail! In the dark and rain, we weren't paying attention to the location of the exit ramp versus the location of the entrance ramps and we had gone right back up the ramp to the same train! LOL! So we rode back to Epcot and rode back to TTC again. Again we did the rain sprint, but this time to the correct train. We didn't really miss anything because it was still raining at MK when we arrived. Of course we got selected for the metal detectors--even though it was pouring. SERIOUSLY?!?!?! UGH!!!

We entered the park much more soaked the necessary and decided that meet & greet at Town Square Theater was the best place to dry off, so we opted for Tinker Bell as we had never met her before. We apologized for being all wet and told her it was because that mean old Captain Hook had made us walk the plank! Well Tinker Bell must have used some pixie dust on us because the rain had finally let up and it turned into a very nice night.

We had to swap Food & Wine for flatbreads at Pinocchio's Village Haus, but it was fine. We met up with Betsy and family unexpectedly and our evening of rides turned into watching Wishes and MSEP. It was the last opportunity that we would have to see MSEP come down Main Street for now, but having seen it many times, I didn't feel inclined to watch it. It's a lovely parade, but every since Paint the Night, I just haven't cared about watching it. I'm so glad we decided to meet up with Betsy and watch it though because watching her watch it for the first time was awesome and it was much more fun than I remembered. I think we'll actually make it a point to see MSEP in Disneyland in May.

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Day 3 - October 2

We didn't have time to catch Great Moments in History with the muppets on Saturday because we were rushing from tour to lunch and then there was the whole rain debacle, so that was our first priority Sunday morning. Ohmygosh. That might be the cutest show and the most adorable song ever. I don't think I can go to MK without watching it any more. Continuing our meet-up trend on this, our solo trip, we met up with a friend of Benn's from high school and his lovely wife. They had recently relocated to Sebastian, FL and it turns out that they are great Disney fans, too! So we had an enjoyable morning hanging out with them.

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Ok, Kermit. You and your band of weeeeirdos can help.
"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Waka, waka!
"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

We hit Pecos Bills for lunch, which means that this should be the day that we met up with MrHub, scrappy, JanJ, and KenJ for a ride on Pirates. I forget who took the pictures, but their not on my phone at that spot, so it must not have been me. I know we went back and forth a few times on how we were meeting up because our friends were having some transportation timing issues after brunch and then we tried to squeeze in a quick lunch before our meet up, but we got it all worked out in the end. awesome We were able to use our Jungle Cruise FP and catch Hall of Presidents (we had suddenly realized that regardless of the outcome of the election, we weren't going to be super excited about the forthcoming update, so we'd better seize the opportunity to catch it in its current form) before Festival of Fantasy.

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Dinner this evening was at Chef Art Smith's, where we were pleased to hear that Mr. Art Smith does visit the restaurant from time to time, but disappointed to learn that he wasn't in that evening. I really wanted to take a picture with him and send it to my dad (also named Art Smith in case you missed the pre-trip). We did enjoy the food, but we definitely over ordered because I was unpleasantly full. Also, while I love the mac & cheese and the hush puppies were good, I didn't actually care for the fried chicken. My favorite Disney chicken is still at the Plaza at Disneyland and the chicken at Homecoming didn't hold a candle to that. I would even say that I prefer the fried chicken at 50's Prime Time to what I had hear. It had a different flavor that was interesting, but I probably wouldn't order it again.

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

After dinner, we stopped at the new Coca Cola store. Ohmygosh! It is so cute I can hardly stand it. The rooftop coke bar with the flight of floats is awesome and a great value, but not to be enjoyed directly after a large meal. #sofull #mightexplode Also, we are typically diet soda drinkers, so high mini floats with regular sodas AND ice cream was a little bit of sugar overkill for us. Also, a word to the wise, most of the flavors on the international tray that they charge you for at the rooftop bar can be tasted at Club Cool in Epcot for free. Still, the view is wonderful and the merchandise is so clever.

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Coke floats!! I liked the red (strawberry?), grape, and orange the best
"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

I love the roving piano player!
"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Some festive holiday spirit
"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

We took the boat home to French Quarter and learned that the boat route has been split--there is now a dedicated boat for POFQ and one for POR. When we got back home, we stopped by the desk to apply some gift cards to our account and we met Mark, the most fun cast member ever! We were chatting with him about coming back down in a few weeks and when he asked us where we were staying and he said Polynesian, his eyes lit up! He normally works concierge at Poly and was on loan to POFQ because they were short staffed, but he was supposed to be back at Poly by the time we returned. He told us to email him before we arrived and he'd see what he could do about getting us a cool room. Swell!

Unfortunately, we had a casualty this morning. Benn had placed his glasses on the floor and I might have stepped on them. And...um...they might have broken a little bit.

Day 4 - October 3

We started off with breakfast at the Riverside Mill food court. Mickey Waffle!! muchlove Then we visited Fulton's general store looking for super glue. When we failed there, we tried the front desk. They had glue, but it totally didn't work, so Benn just went sans glasses for the morning so we could keep our morning plans before venturing out to Walmart where the vision center didn't open for another 2 hours. Luckily, he's a really good sport.

The day had finally arrived when we would see JOY & SADNESS!!! I had been looking forward to this meet & greet since it was first announced and I was hoping to catch a soft opening on our February or March trip, but alas, no. On our September trip, we only had 4 days and we had mom & pop in tow. They're not huge character people (yet), so we kept the meet & greets a spontaneous few. So we rope dropped Joy & Sadness and we were the first people in line. I don't think that's ever happened to me before! laugh We took all of the Inside Out plushies along and I showed Joy her plushy. Of course she was over the moon I pretended for a minute not to have Sadness plushy and of course Sadness was...sad. But we cheered her up when we let her know that we were just kidding.

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Finally today we hit Food & Wine with a vengeance. We tried everything at Mexico. My favorite there was probably the flan. We tried everything at Local Produce and the clear winner for me was the beet salad. My festival favorite was the lamb chop from Australia.

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

We had decided that the best course of action was to walk over to Boardwalk and uber to and from there. It was a short enough route and was the solution that took us the shortest distance away from the day's plans. Both uber drivers were awesome. They were very friendly and the ride was SO cheap. It was less than $10 each way! It was twice the distance that we had taken the cab earlier in the trip for less than half the price! Also, Walmart fixed Benn's glasses for free. They weren't permanently fixed, but good enough to last through the end of the trip.

After our uber back to Boardwalk, we popped into Ample Hills Creamery. It's a very adorable shop and the servers were lovely, but I was tremendously disappointed with the fact that I absolutely hated the ice cream. It had a foamy texture--just very un-icecreamy to me.

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Back at Food & Wine, we grabbed some Pao de Queso from Brazil (I love this stuff) and a Lobster Roll that was considerably better than the one I'd had the previous year, but still no match for Menemsha Fish Market on Martha's Vineyard. We visited the Chase Lounge (if you have DVC, go there instead.) It's crowded and I think not that great, but if you don't have to wait, worth t to stop in for free coke freestyle and a cell phone charge if you can find a free outlet--it was worse than trying to plug in at the airport! We also watched the American Adventure, a show that I usually avoid because well, I live here. I actually paid attention in History class, majored in Political Science & Economics, and for the three years I worked in DC, I practically lived at the museums on my lunch breaks. I've got a pretty good grip on how our country was founded. But I will say that I appreciated the show more than I had on past viewings. The kielbasa and pirogies were decent if I remember correctly, but the bratwurst was awful this year. The buttered chicken in Africa was consistent and tasty, just like last year. We enjoyed the flavor and the sauce on the dumpling in China and I got my Ghirardelli drinking chocolate at the Festival Center.

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

We capped off the evening with Benn's first visit to Jellyrolls. We had a great time! Though he agrees with me that they have got to start putting alcohol in the drinks! Our pianists were awesome that night and we sat down in the "orchestra" section at a second row table, so they were very interactive with us.

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Tasty, but apparently they forgot to add the alcohol?? Typical Jellyrolls.
"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Day 5 - October 4

Last day of mini vacation before it was back to reality. sad We caught the Muppets show again--I think this was the 4th time in two days. I don't know what it is. I'm not even a huge muppets fan, but I love this show. We also rode the carrousel, but our chief objective for today was lunch at Skipper Canteen, which has become a go-to for us. We started with that interesting bread. I can't call it delicious, but there's something about it. I'll be sitting at home and randomly think about that flavor and kind of miss it. We had the house made arepas, which are my favorite thing on the menu so far. Benn Nile Nellie's Noodle Bowl, which was very soupy and I didn't really care for, but Benn enjoyed it. I had the Tastes Like Chicken Because It Is, which was good, but still not a good as those arepas. Also not as good as that spiral noodle mac & cheese they used to have, but still a pleasant and interesting meal. Also, this time our server was MUCH more in character. I definitely love this restaurant.

Untitled

Don't worry--people are eating here. We just tend to eat meals super early.
"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Untitled

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Untitled

"Just us" trip WDW October 2016

Untitled

On our way out, we able to finish up our trip with some Dapper Dans, so it was a nice ending to our weekend. We had hoped to meet up with our next door neighbors, who had arrived at the park today, but it didn't work out because our FastPasses were on opposite sides of the park and our ADR's were staggered. Plus we had to leave the park by 1:00 or so.

Untitled

By the time we arrived back at POFQ to catch Tragical Express, it was raining. For once, I was actually perfectly happy to be heading home. The first outer bands of Hurricane Matthew were approaching the coast and there was still a lot of uncertainty about the path that the storm would take. Our new friends Joe and Missy from Sebastian, FL were supposed to be right in the range of early projections for landfall, so of course we were very concerned for them. We have several friends scattered throughout Florida and of course our neighbors had just arrived. Plus, I had a family of 19--among them only 4 adults and the rest were children of various ages--that was staying through the end of the week. Also, my parents had been on a cruise all week and while the ship was safely out of harms way because cruise lines aren't stupid or reckless, there was no guarantee that Fort Lauderdale would still have a functioning airport when the returned.

Untitled

I was only actually home for two days before heading up to Massachusetts to visit my cousin, so I watched most of the hurricane news unfold from Martha's Vineyard. Fortunately, despite from flight cancelations and in-room sequestering, everyone made it home ok. Myssi and Joe's home was spared as the hurricane shifted north at the last second. Mom & dad were actually on the very first flight back to Baltimore to leave Fort Lauderdale on time, a huge stroke of luck because mom had originally booked the flight right before that one and changed it because she was afraid there wasn't enough time to return to get through security. Otherwise, they probably would have been stuck in Fort Lauderdale for about two days before they could get them home on standby. My family of 19 had some difficulty as the father had an abrasion that he sustained on a slide at Typhoon Lagoon on their first day and he ended up hospitalized in Florida with an infection, but that was not a result of the hurricane.

There's not much to tell about Martha's Vineyard. There was lobster. Lots of lobster. I think in the 3 1/2 days we were there, I ate four whole lobsters and a lobster roll as well as countless shrimps, roasted Brussel Sprouts, and some dynamite guacamole dip that we actually helped to make at my cousin's restaurant. We were eating dinner and she was mad about having to go into work, so since my friend Christine and I had never worked in a kitchen before, we offered to come in and help so we could keep her company and she could get done faster. I don't know if we were not good at kitchening or what, but the bartender sat us down at a top secret bar and started making us drinks and bringing us any food we wanted. LOL The following day we went back out for more of the super cheap, super amazingly delicious lobster that we'd had on our arrival day and got absolutely soaked. Like I had a windbreaker with me and I had to break down and buy a legit raincoat soaked. On our way home, we stopped at a chocolate festival that had some seriously tasty creations. On our last night, we stopped at a seafood restaurant where we were the only people in the bar. We asked them to turn on the debates for us instead of the sportsball game that was on and the manager refused because he didn't want to cause a riot. We looked around and we were like, dude, um...we're in Massachusetts and we're all on the same page with 98% of this state. I think we're probably safe. Instead we went back to my cousin's house and watched it on my iPad. There's no wi-fi basically anywhere on the island, so thanks for the data overage charge, bar manager guy. waiting

So we had a great trip to Massachusetts. I love my cousin, so it's always awesome to get to spend time with her. She and her boyfriend are working on a farm in Gainesville, Florida for the winter, so I think they're going to come down and meet us at Disney Springs for the evening next weekend. crossfingers That's all for now. Hopefully I can wrap up with the late October trip in the next few days.

__________________

Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

Find me on Facebook

Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

JMed's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/16/2014
Posts: 3738

WOAH, I am tired from reading all of that!

Sounds like a great trip!

__________________

"I do not like the cone of shame."

"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell."

"It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell."

Jennifer Huotari | Create Your Badge

The Huotari's Disney Adventures | Promote Your Page Too

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

Awesome trip report as usual! Massachusetts sounds amazing!

alicemouse's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/22/2013
Posts: 2832

Trip #3 - The BIG Meet-Up!

This was the trip that got messed up by my new work schedule and caused the previous two trips to even happen, but even though we had to cancel the cruise portion, we were still fortunate to get to meet a lot of the WDWFG crew and a few other friends, too!

Day 1 - October 21

We arrived and checked into Polynesian and I was instantly in love. I hadn't ever thought about it before, but in 1971, WDW was all about guest experience and Disney execs hadn't started to concern themselves with the fact that the more rooms you can construct at a resort, the more revue you can generate. Our room was enormous! We had two bathrooms--one was just the rainfall shower and a sink--and the other was a gigantic full bath with a tub/shower unit. The room had tons of space, too and with the trundle bed under the TV, our storage drawers were under the bed and there was a cut-out space at the bottom of the bed where you could store a suitcase or shoes or whatever and keep stuff out from the center of the room. It was actually a really great set-up for us and with the large closet, I felt like we were spoiled with the amount of storage in the room. Unfortunately, we didn't get to use the pool--we were just too busy this weekend and I was getting over a particularly nasty cold anyway, which usually makes me not feel like swimming, but it looks awesome. I hope to stay there again and get to use it.

Meet-up trip October 2016

We were in Tokelau
Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

I've always said that I love the Polynesian's features, but I feel no need to actually stay there because I can visit to have dinner and watch the fireworks. I'm not a fan of all of the Earth tones. I prefer blues and greens, so I'm more immediately drawn to somewhere like Beach Club. However, I cannot overstate the awesomeness of being able to order 'Ohana as room service or watching fireworks on the beach and being in your bed less than 5 minutes later. Strolling down to Kona for breakfast without even needing to catch a bus? Heaven. I also didn't realize until we were actually there that you can walk to TTC, making Poly the only monorail resort where it is actually convenient to use the monorail for both MK AND Epcot in all directions.

We had emailed our friend Mark, who we had met at POFQ on our last trip and he had gotten us moved from a ground floor room facing the parking lot to a 3rd floor balcony facing a garden. Ha had also gotten each of us 3 bonus FP selections per day that could be used on anything except parades and the Frozen ride. eek There was also no restriction on repeating the same attraction with the bonus passes. yeah yeah

So our first order of business after arriving was to get lunch at Food & Wine. We tried to go reasonably light because our friends Howard & Leah were joining us for the 'Ohana twilight feast around 5:00, we stopped at Next Eats and the Chew Collective, where we enjoyed the Tomato Salad the best and the Gazpacho the least. I was really excited about the Gazpacho because it looked like the something I had eaten at DL Food & Wine in the spring. It was NOT similar. At all. And it's the only dish from the festival that neither of us liked enough to finish. We used some of our super FP's to double down on Test Track before heading to New Zealand to check out the meatball and the green lipped mussel. I though both were quite good--I could have done without the garlic on the mussel. Benn was a big fan of Hawaii's Kahlua Pork Slider--I didn't care for that as much, but I'm not a pork fan. Islands of the Caribbean was a booth that we were very excited to try, but we found it to be kind of mediocre. We did love the cheese plate at Wine & Dine.

Meet-up trip October 2016

This was delicious!
Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

On our way to pick up our free AP glasses, we stumbled upon the new Colortopia exhibit. It had some cool concepts, but the one game wasn't working right. I think Great Piggy Bank Adventure was better executed. The part where you sit in the room and they change the light colors to "affect your mood" is kind of weird. I feel like that could have been a cool demonstration, but they mucked it up. The best thing was the station where you could "mix" the paint colors by spinning the dual colored wheels.

Meet-up trip October 2016

We returned to our room to wait for Howard & Leah and order our special room service dinner. We had decided that we would split 3 portions after hearing how large they were. Holy crap. We could have ordered 2 portions for the four of us and still have food left over. When staying at the Poly in the future, we will eat dinner in our room every night and we will split one portion of dinner and save the bread pudding for breakfast every day. This is hands down the best value anywhere on Disney property. It was a little bit chilled by the time we received our food, but it didn't even matter. It was so good!

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

I have pictures next of being on a boat in Seven Seas Lagoon, but I know we went to Jellyrolls that night to meet up with Jan, Abby, JoAnn, Colonel & Mrs. Colonel....and I know I'm missing people. Not sure how we managed not to take a group shot.

__________________

Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

Find me on Facebook

Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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

wow I agree with JMed I'm exhausted just reading that!!! but it was great reading cant wait for more!

alicemouse's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/22/2013
Posts: 2832

Day 2 - October 22

This morning we were meeting Howard & Leah at AK, but they were doing Everest first and we had the FP's we cared about, so we weren't really worried about getting to the park by rope drop. On our way into the part, I picked up a Wilderness Explorer's book and what fun! You actually have to do things and learn about AK to earn the stickers. In some cases, you have to use information around you to solve a puzzle or answer a question. It's a pretty cool thing. If you've never tried it, it's worth checking out. We spent about 3-4 hours at AK and we only finished about 1/2 the book. TO complete the whole thing, you have to go over to Conservation Station/ Affection Section.

Meet-up trip October 2016

Let's be real, we didn't actually ride EE, but that's where we had agreed to meet Howard & Leah.
Meet-up trip October 2016

Leah was super excited about being chosen to be a FP wait time research assistant!
Meet-up trip October 2016

We had a lovely lunch at Tiffin's. The octopus, fish, tamale, and shrimp dishes were delicious and the passion fruit dessert cup was so light and refreshing. It's not overly fruity. The decor is just magnificent. They have the lanterns from Rivers of Light as well as some Totem Pole types of structures.

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

This steak was awesome
Meet-up trip October 2016

I cannot overstate how delicious this passionfruit parfait cup thingy was.
Meet-up trip October 2016

I basically have no idea what we did for the rest of the day until we got to the big meet up at Top of the World. The cold I was getting rid of was one of those ones where you just feel kind of loopy. If I don't have pictures, I'm not sure what was going on and I was really dragging, so I wasn't taking very many pictures sad . We managed to monopolize the entire area of tables in front of the window over the course of about an hour or so. It was such a nice way to get to meet everyone! Fireworks were great that night and with a notable exception or two, the drinks were nice and the snacks were awesome. It was so cool to get to meet so many people!

Our crew! muchlove
Meet-up trip October 2016

I know we went back to MK that night afterwards because it was extra magic hours, but once again, no photos...I'm pretty sure we rode Pirates. Outside of that, I really don't remember much. I know Howard & Leah were leaving in the morning, so that was the last little bit of time we got to spend together.

__________________

Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

Find me on Facebook

Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

alicemouse's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/22/2013
Posts: 2832

Day 3 - October 23

I was supposed to meet up with CCP this morning to play TSM during EMH at DHS, but if you read her trip report, you'll know that she had fallen ill, possibly due to a not-so-fabulous no-jito from TOTW the night before. TSM is a favorite ride for both of us and we were looking forward to riding together, but to be honest as rundown as I was feeling, I also appreciated the extra magical morning nap. Thanks to our extra magical FP's, Benn and I did get to ride TSM 3 times later in the morning. I still have not achieved the elusive deer or bear despite knowing the easter egg bonus items now.

For lunch, we had decided to go to Teppan Edo. We LOVE hibachi and we had been here twice, but once we had a hibachi restaurant at home, it seemed unnecessary to pay so much more to go to while we were at WDW. I'm so glad we went back. Over time, an experience changes in your mind and there were aspects of having a meal here that I had forgotten about. We had a wonderful meal and I'm pretty sure I'll hold the position that it's worth going here in the future. The level of service was much better than I remembered and the interaction with the chef was considerably better than it is at home. Also the quality of the food was higher. All around, this was an excellent experience.

Meet-up trip October 2016

I <3 ginger dressing.
Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

After grabbing some hi-chew from the gift shop, we hopped to MK for Festival of Fantasy before returning home for dinner at Kona Cafe and the best lamb chop I've ever eaten in my life. Benn had an Asian-inspired salad with chicken that was good, too, but that lamb chop was amazing. For dessert, I opted for a side to to Disney Springs for rice pudding gelato. We decided to make it an early night because we had a tour in the morning!!

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

__________________

Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

Find me on Facebook

Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

alicemouse's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/22/2013
Posts: 2832

Day 4 - October 24

This morning was our Magic of the Steam Trains Tour! From a logistical standpoint, I would recommend staying at Contemporary/BLT on a trip that you are taking this tour because transportation at this time in the morning is...complicated. Neither the monorail nor the boat was running this morning, or at least not early enough for us to get to MK by 7:45, so we were stuck with a bus and the bus was backed up and it was terrible--we finally made it to the gate at 7:44. The meeting place for this tour is in front of the park--either at the turnstiles (they're not really turnstiles anymore--what do we call them now? Touchpoints?) or in front of the train station.

Meet-up trip October 2016

This tour was fabulous and it was the one time during the trip that I frantically typing away on the notes app on my phone. We got the awesome empty park pics and out guide Matt actually stopped to let us take advantage of the photo opp. The train that used to do the Welcome Show is only used for that purpose because it's the only one with no safety rails on the left side so that the characters can step off the train toward the guests. I had been in the cab of the steam trains earlier in the year at Disneyland, but we didn't have the opportunity to get up close with the engine running. We got to see the trains go through their safety checks and learned about the conductors only being allow to drive the trains under 10 mph and how just like it's hard to maintain a stead speed pushing a stroller or wheelchair around the hilly park, it's also difficult to maintain a certain speed over the hilly train tracks. The brakes work differently than our cars. They are only all on or all off. So the brake man has to toggle the breaks on and off at every station to line up perfectly with the handicapped loading ramp. Driving the train is the hottest job at WDW with cabin temperatures often exceeding 120 degrees, so there is a special air conditioned break room just for the engineers and conductors. Just like the characters, they have a maximum work time before they are required to take a break. The rule of thumb on the engine is "if it's painted, it's hot. If it's not, it's hotter!" This tour does include a commemorative pin, but no meal.

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

Lighting the fire to boil the water to create the steam to run the drive arm
Meet-up trip October 2016

See the shadow on the ground? That's our engine performing a "blowdown", one of its morning safety checks. The smoke is shooting more than 100 ft into the air.
Meet-up trip October 2016

On our way to lunch, we happened to see a Mary Poppins meet & greet pop up and I had just seen a sign advising us not to feed the birds, so I had to go ask Mary about it. She cleared the whole thing up and said that the birds in the park had plenty of food, so it was ok not to feed them. After enjoying my chicken waffle from Sleepy Hollow, we saw Great Moments in History and finally saw the Paul Revere show and rode It's a Small World and got a personalized goodbye in the last room!

Untitled

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

Afterwards, we headed to Epcot to find some more Remy's on our scavenger hunt and we managed to meet up with Dee briefly before our dinner reservation at La Hacienda de San Angel. We chose the del mar platter for two and it was fabulous. Apparently we had dessert--it looks like flan, which would make sense because I love flan. After dinner, we met up with Jeff, the owner at my agency who was just starting a solo trip. We met Anna & Elsa together and then he came over to Poly and joined us for Wishes on the beach, which he had never done before. This is where that room location was amazing. We were hunkered down for the night watching the Disney news channel by 10:30. It took Jeff another hour to transfer and get back to Pop.

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

I have no entree picture...I don't know...I guess it tasted too good.

This was the best Elsa I've met
Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

__________________

Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

Find me on Facebook

Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

alicemouse's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/22/2013
Posts: 2832

Day 5 - October 25 (last day sad )

We had planned breakfast at Kona this morning and in turns out that jhugo and JoAnnC were doing the same, so it was great to get to meet up one more time before our trip came to an end. I forgot my phone for breakfast, so I don't remember the name of the thing I ordered, but it was basically a breakfast burger. Benn ordered the Tonga Toast and we split. Both were amazing and Kona might be my new favorite WDW restaurant.

I think we had Tragical Express pick-up around 2-2:30 and thanks to Mark and the super FP's, we fit in a ride on Test Track and 3 rides on Soarin' plus a lap around World Showcase and our first ride on Frozen Maelstrom. I wasn't a fan of any of the Moroccan dishes that we tried, but I did like the beef in France very much and the frozen alcoholic push pop was amazing.

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

Hummus Fries--these were probably my least favorite festival food, but I'm not a huge fan of hummus, so...
Meet-up trip October 2016

The Frozen ride was the last thing we did and compared to Maelstrom, I think it's pretty terrible. I miss being able to look out over the falls and there is far too much dead space in this ride. The current wait time relative to the ride experience is terrible. I won't bother with it again until the wait time gets to 15 minutes or less and I definitely won't waste a FP here again. I predict that within 2 years, this will be a tier 2 FP.

Meet-up trip October 2016

It was never this cold in Maelstrom
Meet-up trip October 2016

After that, it was time for Tragical Express preparations, so we headed back to Poly and Benn enjoyed a farewell dole whip and we did some pool and resort photos while we waited for the bus. It was a fantastic trip and it was very sad knowing that we were leaving with no return date planned even though we have some awesome adventures planned for 2017 and beyond. Thanks for reading along! Until next time... mickey

Meet-up trip October 2016

Meet-up trip October 2016

__________________

Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

Find me on Facebook

Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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

Oh my gosh, we had the lamb chop at Kona back when we did our first adult trip in 2012 and it was just as good back then!

alicemouse's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/22/2013
Posts: 2832

Now updated with pictures, thanks to Kristen, who figured out the perfect solution to my photo problem! muchlove

__________________

Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

Find me on Facebook

Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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

Pictures look great, thanks for sharing!

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

Jellyrolls was fun that night. I didn't think to get a picture of us.

__________________

DIStickers.com Ticker

DIStickers.com Ticker

DIStickers.com Ticker

JMed's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/16/2014
Posts: 3738

ohhhhhhh, now I want those Hummus Fries. They were my favorite! Smile Thanks for sharing with us. Pics are great.

__________________

"I do not like the cone of shame."

"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell."

"It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell."

Jennifer Huotari | Create Your Badge

The Huotari's Disney Adventures | Promote Your Page Too

danijrod's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/23/2014
Posts: 414

Absolute delight to read thank you so much for sharing Smile yay