JanJ & KenJ's first stay at BWI live trip report!!

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Just got back from Animal Kingdom so I'll upload some pics from our visit there.

One of the great cast members at Animal Kingdom!

Crowds were next to nothing and you could literally walk onto any ride. We hit the Dinosaur ride.

Then a stroll through Asia.




Notice the wait times for Expedition Everest!

Then to Africa!

Couple of pics from the Safari. Loved the baby giraffe!

These were some of the characters at Rafiki's Planet Watch.


These were cool (literally). A fan with misters mounted on it. Gotta love Disney Engineering!

Then lunch at the Yak & Yetti, one of our favorite restaurants. Awesome beer there! This is Safari Amber Draft. The bartender said it's brewed by Anheuser Busch exclusively for Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Our appetizers were Thai Chile Wings and Pork Pot Stickers.

Main was the delicious Lo Mein.

We then headed back to the resort where we are right now.

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Isn't the Boardwalk amazing? Hubby says we will never stay anywhere else! haha

Love the pics too!

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Love our pictures, it is ALMOST as good as being there. We know what you mean about the deluxe resort bug. It is hard (so hard we have never done it) to go back once you have stayed in one.

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Eeyore wrote:
Isn't the Boardwalk amazing? Hubby says we will never stay anywhere else! haha

Love the pics too!

Thanks Eeyore! The boardwalk is amazingly fun. Just love being here. clapping

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scrappy wrote:
Love our pictures, it is ALMOST as good as being there. We know what you mean about the deluxe resort bug. It is hard (so hard we have never done it) to go back once you have stayed in one.

Thanks Scrappy! I kinda had a feeling we'd like deluxe. Now I KNOW we do! laugh

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OK, so now I have to make plans to have lunch at Yak & Yeti. I can almost smell that food through your pictures!

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Loving this trip report! So many gorgeous pictures. Hope you're having an amazing time yay

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Loving the report! I am so glad you are having a great time! clapping clapping

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Ken and Jan your report is super and pics are beyond great.

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mrhub wrote:
Ken it's beers and ears.

You can check off what you've tried too.

OMG!!! I am so excited for this app!!

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Day 4 - Evening

We WERE going to go to Downtown Disney, but we waited for over half an hour an no bus came. I had read complaints about the DD bus from Boardwalk and experienced the frustration ourselves tonight. Oh, there were lots of buses for MK and AK, but no DD.

So, we gave up and went to Epcot.

No crowds to speak of at Epcot. Hardly any wait times. Soarin' was 20 minutes stand-by!

Checked out the store.

Started heading back to International Gateway.

Wait! Is that a hidden Mickey in the clouds? I mean, a NOT so hidden Mickey?

Must find out. Guess I should ask Mickey himself. Hmmm... where to find him.

First, we asked Pluto.

Then I ran into Minnie. Jan didn't look too pleased at first that Minnie was so friendly with me.

But she got over it and joined in for our photo.

And then I found the man himself. Mr. Mickey Mouse. He said he had nothing to do with the cloud outside. Yeah right! Like I'd believe a mouse! laugh

We ended the evening not with a fancy dinner, but with something simple... PIZZA! awesome

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How do you like the rapid refill program?

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That pizza looks great! Where is that from?

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Mandy wrote:
How do you like the rapid refill program?

To be honest, I prefer the old unrestricted system. I think Disney is the only one that benefits from the new system. I don't see any advantage for the guests. But the rapid refill system itself seemed to work fine. You have to wait a few minutes between refills as it locks you out. Struck me as ironic being called "rapid refill". laugh

I also think they should allow the mugs to be re-activated on a future visit so you don't have to buy new ones.

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h0ney227 wrote:
That pizza looks great! Where is that from?

The pizza was good! It's from the Boardwalk pizza place located at Kouzzina's.

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KenJ wrote:
Struck me as ironic being called "rapd refill". laugh

I thought the same thing the first time I heard that. Shouldn't they be call the "Not so rapid refill mugs"!

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kywildcatchick wrote:
mrhub wrote:
Ken it's beers and ears.

You can check off what you've tried too.

OMG!!! I am so excited for this app!!

I used it last year but switched to a Samsung. That's the only app I really miss..

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I am really enjoying your trip report! Super envious of the lack of crowds!!! awesome
Your pictures are phenominal!!! Thank you for sharing your Disney fun!

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Loving your trip report - fantastic pictures - I especially love the early morning ones from the Boardwalk. The wet wood lent a beautiful sheen to the ground with the lights reflecting off of it. Stunning!

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Great pics again!

Yea, we waited for about 45 minutes for a bus for DTD. Several people got up and left. It was disappointing. You're correct - like a million other buses came through, but none for DTD!

Question - Can you still use the mug at any resort? I know you are not supposed to fill up anywhere but your home resort, but my parents leave this weekend and are staying at Cor. Springs. They were wondering if they could refill at the Boardwalk when they walk from EPCOT to DHS?

Thanks!

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Eeyore wrote:
Great pics again!

Yea, we waited for about 45 minutes for a bus for DTD. Several people got up and left. It was disappointing. You're correct - like a million other buses came through, but none for DTD!

Question - Can you still use the mug at any resort? I know you are not supposed to fill up anywhere but your home resort, but my parents leave this weekend and are staying at Cor. Springs. They were wondering if they could refill at the Boardwalk when they walk from EPCOT to DHS?

Thanks!

We'll ask Eeyore when we fill them up again. I can't see why not if both resorts have the rapid refill system. Thanks and glad you enjoy the pics - it's all Ken, he's the photographer.

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Day 5 - Lots of pics to share so I'll break it up into a few posts. Today we got up really early and headed to MK for the Magic Behind Our Steam Trains Tour.

We arrived to an eerily empty Magic Kingdom. When we arrived at around 6:45, it was very quiet. The music hadn't started playing yet and everything was just very quiet and peaceful. Then at 7 am sharp, the park music began. It was really cool being there with no crowds at all.

These are some shots of the front entrance.




Some workers power washing the streets just inside the main gates.

Then a glimpse of inside the Kingdom without the guests!

And an very empty Main Street USA.

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Can't wait to hear how you liked the Train tour! My husband and I loved it!

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The Steam Train tour was awesome!

Just a disclaimer here. All the photos I'm posting are "legal". Even though some are backstage, we were told that these are allowed by Disney so no rules are being broken here. awesome

Our tour guide was an engineer named Joe. He was a lot of fun and was a great guide!

After this tour, I had a new appreciation for steam trains. I couldn't believe the amount of work that's involved in running one. It's just amazing.

First, one of the trains pulled up to the main station and the engine stopped short of where it normally does just for us! It was for a photo op, so of course I took it!

Next, we boarded the train. This train has specially modified cars that don't have a rail along the left side. This is the one they use for the characters to greet the public when the park opens. We took this train to the back of the park, then switched to a spur line and went backwards all the way into the round house. The train then dropped us off and headed back to the front to get ready for opening.

The round house area is actually not round at all. It's a giant service complex. Steam trains on ground level. Monorails above. And the Disney buses have a service depot right beside it.

Inside the train service bays.

This is a newer "tractor" that they have which is used to inspect the tracks.

That's the Disney bus service center in the background.

Some photos of the train that we were learning about.



Me and the locomotive! muchlove

Jan got to sit in the "fireman's" seat. It was VERY hot in this cab. Joe said it gets up to 120F in the cab!

Some gauges inside the cab. The big one shows how much steam pressure there is and they have to maintain it very closely.

The view from the window.

An finally, this is how they "light up" the train. They use a cotton type material and throw it in the fire box where the diesel fuel is.

I took more pics of the tour, but these represent what we did. We had a great time and I'd recommend it to anyone half interested in trains.

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We spend the rest of the day in MK and also headed over to the Poly to get something at Boutiki.

This is what Main Street looked like after our tour ended. A little different that earlier!

Some general shots of MK as we walked around. The crowds were very light as you can see.



Here are some of the awesome lights used to light up the castle.

George Washington's beer cup! I thought this was very cool.

Some more general shots.





This is a quiet nook to enjoy a coffee and something from the bakery. It's right around the corner from the bakery and is always very quiet and secluded.

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Next, we boarded an empty monorail and headed over to the Poly. We rode the complete circuit once through so we could see the GF construction progress.

The new GF DVC resort.


Some shots inside the Poly.




My favorite store! awesome

Waiting at the bus stop.

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more awesomeness from you guys, Jan and Ken! More pics of the train tour! I am not bored with them, and I bet the others aren't either. I just LOVE all your pics, and it is so special to see the park not crowded, or better yet, empty. mickey

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Kris1971 wrote:
Can't wait to hear how you liked the Train tour! My husband and I loved it!

We both really enjoyed the tour Kris. As Ken mentioned, we had no idea of what the engineer and fireman had to do to keep the steam trains running. Definitely recommend it. awesome

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Wonderful report today!

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There seems to be rain or thundershowers every afternoon at this time of year. However, this storm rolling in tonight looks ominous. Lots of lightning and they stopped running the boats.