** Magic Mirror ** Back from the World! VIDEO ADDED!!!

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** Magic Mirror ** Back from the World! VIDEO ADDED!!!

We are back from Walt Disney World! We had an amazing time and I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart muchlove Without the tips, trip reports and all your thoughts and comments accumulated here in this blog post-we could not have possibly gotten as much out of this trip as we did. HOORAY to all of YOU! yay yay yay

So, Let's start! mickey

We had our animal/house sitter and her husband drop us off at South Bend Airport and our flight was on schedule...smooth flight to Detroit where we made our connecting plane which flew us straight to Orlando International...We hit it just right as the Magical Express was waiting and left shortly after we got our seats...within 45 minutes we were walking into the lobby of Port Orleans French Quarters..and it was just before 2pm ! We got initiated with our Mardi Gras beads and our first happy surprise, our room was ready for us early clapping

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We checked out our room-took a quick look around and I fell in love with the Mickey Shampoo!

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We requested a standard room and was assigned to building 7- second floor, parking lot "view"...
Here is a picture from our room:

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I was more than happy with our room..we did not hear any of the traffic or noise from parking lot 7, which is probably a lesser used parking lot by the looks of it...If we had the ability to have a seat outside our door I probably would have sprung for the river view..but considering we spent very little daylight time in our room..this suited us fine.

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Yes! Trip Reports! Good to hear that you had a great start. Can't wait to hear MORE!

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I loved Port Orleans French Quarter..it was everything I hoped for..plus more! It was even more pretty in person..and I completely enjoyed the New Orleans architecture..it was peaceful in the courtyard and I rarely saw more than a handful of people around when I went out.

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After making our way to the river...we caught the ferry for our relaxing 20 minute ride to Downtown Disney..what a peaceful way to travel! Our driver on the way down shared some trivia and some stories..and the time flew..it really didn't seem to take very long to arrive...

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I loved this light in Tren-D

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And how about this rice krispie treat?? Only $49.95

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We cut our own Geode at T-Rex Gift Shop

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What a beautiful first day!

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and .. it was off to Planet Hollywood for our first dinner!

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I have only been to a Planet Hollywood once..and had read mixed reviews about this one on Trip Advisor..but I have to say..we had a great meal..everything was tasteful and our service was great...we sat close to the 2nd floor balcony and enjoyed dinner with a view of the main floor...we even took time to walk around and look at the movie props on other floors.

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AJ had the Spaghetti Pomodoro and I had the New York Strip Steak....and we split the Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie ala Mode... after all that- we needed to do some walking!

Downtown there were some Halloween decorations up-

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We walked around downtown for quite awhile after dinner..enjoyed our free sample of chocolate at Ghirardelli's..the squares were the Pumpkin Spice flavor..the lady handing them out saw our anniversary buttons and gave us each a handful of chocolates..YUM

It was close to 10pm and we were starting to drag so we went back and took the boat ferry back to the French Quarters. When we got in the room we had a message blinking on our room phone so I listened to it. It was Mickey and Minnie singing us Happy Anniversary - how cute!

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I just love the FQ it is so quiet and quaint. I am glad you enjoyed you stay. For a parking lot view that isnt bad. We had a parking lot view the first time and it truly was a parking lot view.

Can't wait to hear more.

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Some day I'll stay at POFQ. It looks beautiful.

Looking forward to reading more.

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The next day, Monday- was Animal Kingdom and the Wild Africa Trek! Tonight I'll leave you with a few more pics from our first day...

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Nice report and excellent pics.

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I love love love the trip report and pics! Thanks MM!!! And I agree, POFQ is to swoooon for!!! I feel like I am right back there now!! yay yay

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Keep it coming there MM! awesome Im working midnight shift and need all the reading I can get.

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Awesome trip report so far! Loving the pics! Can't wait to read more!

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Yay! Sounds like you were off to a fantastic start! I can't wait to hear and see more. Thanks so much for posting so many pictures. I absolutely love that Evil Queen mosaic, where is it from?

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Very cool report!

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JoAnn C wrote:
Some day I'll stay at POFQ. It looks beautiful.

Looking forward to reading more.

Joann you have to really want to keep it simple. We like small and quiet, some want more amenities like sit down restaurants, pool bars, multiple pools, kids clubs, spas, all or some of those things and none of those are at FQ.We love it anyways.

I hope Mirror loved it too.

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LOVED your pictures! Really enjoyed your report. Thanks for sharing. So glad you enjoyed POFQ. It is a BEAUTIFUL resort! Did you go to the "Magic Kingdom"? Can't wait to see your pics of there if you did.

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Loving the TR and all the pics!

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Thank you everyone for your happy comments! I still had today off and was hoping to post more items this afternoon but my computer decided to go on the fritz...it appears its coming back up-so hopefully tonight I can work on Day 2..

Kristen K- the mosaic is in Downtown Disney at The World Of Disney, one of the back rooms has the "villains in vogue" area and there are several beautiful mosaic villains around the room..of course, I showed my predjudice by only photographing the Evil Queen.

Angels444- We LOVED the French Quarters..yes more quiet and less going on...exactly how we wanted it..I would not hesitate to go back and stay there next time..it's just our style!

Mr hub- I've worked midnights and afternoons-I feel your pain..hoping to start about 10pm Michigan time on loading and updating..so hopefully I can entertain you for part of your shift!

Poppet- Yes ! We went to all 4 worlds, and included MNSSHP and the Wild Africa Trek... so lots and lots of report and pics to come over the following days >>>> Smile

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Did you find a person to give your water to? What did you think of the beignets? Glad to hear you had a good time can't wait to hear more. 51 days for me.

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great trip report.... Can't wait to hear more Smile

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Yes! I loved the beignets...and my friend lives in Sebastian, she was able to come up Friday night and visit for a few hours..so I sent the water home with her >>

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Day 2-Monday... We went to Animal Kingdom. Neither of us had been there before so it was all brand new. It opened at 8am for an extra magic hour and we were there promptly for the rope drop.

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There was no show or any kind of formality...two CM's took the rope down and asked that we wait until they had it completely out of the way before we started to enter. They explained briefly what attractions laid on each side and they let us go thru. The crowd seemed to divide equally both directions. We went straight to Mt. Everest and walked right on the ride. In a way it was kind of sad, because I had to look hurriedly at what was in the interior waiting areas. We didn't even wait 5 minutes and we were on the track. I "forgot" to tell AJ that the roller coaster (**SPOILER ALERT**) goes backwards..so she was really surprised at that part.

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We walked thru the gift store and took a few photo's outside. We went to Dinosaur next and again, walked right on. We stopped at "It's tough to be a bug" and headed to the safari. We waited about 10 minutes and boarded for the trip. The giraffes and the elephants were pretty active..the other animals were mostly lying down.

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By now it was almost 11am and we had reservations at Tuskers for brunch. We had about a 10 minute wait and were seated just in time for breakfast and lunch options (thanks to the board for that tidbit of information!). Our waiter was excellent. Very attentive and he made sure as soon as the characters came around that he was there to take our photographs.

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After breakfast we checked in for the Wild Africa Trek!

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While waiting to go on the Trek, I heard two different CM'S quote 2 different prices for the same tour we were on..none of which was as cheap as the $135 we paid to pre-book online.

Our guides for the trek were Daniel and Frankie. We found out later when we stopped at Guest Relations to let them know how good our guides were, that Daniel had been to the "real" Africa two times with Disney Adventures Tours.
They were both really laid back, informative and played well off each other's personalities.

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On the regular safari ride we had easily become frustrated. With the exception of the giraffe I showed above, the animals were not very close and the safari truck doesn't really stop. By the time we got the camera focused or zoomed we were by the animal. No problems with photographing animals on this Trek! The pace was very good and they didn't rush us with taking photographs or asking questions. The male hippos were amazing! And until you are standing above them, hooked to a harness, hanging over the side of their pond, you don't really grasp their size. It's a combination of all your senses. Standing there you can judge how big they are, you can smell how stale the air is from them, you can hear them as they come thru the water to get their food from the handler. It's a total sensory experience where riding the safari was like a "ride", walking the Trek made it all real and tangible.

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The expert handler waiting there for us was Melissa. She was very informative and answered our questions about how they vet check them, how they monitor their body signs. She said it was rare to have two male's together in captivity because they will fight, but the one male was very docile and submissive so it all worked out. She said they always watch and keep track of their minglings to make sure they don't start showing signs of aggression. I would never have thought of hippos as cute..but they were !

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As we were leaving the hippos, the female hippos (housed in an unseen area nearby) started "talking". The male hippo answered! They talked back and forth a few times. The first time we heard it, it really grabbed our attention. It's like nothing I've ever heard before and we knew it was from a large animal. Daniel explained it was the "girls" who had called to the boys "over here, girls over here, come see us" and the boys answered "boys over here, boys over here, we want to see the girls". When the male hippos talked, it would put goose bumps up your spine. Very primitive and eerily loud. We all had huge smiles on our faces!

Next came the rope bridges over the hippos and the crocodiles. I knew the rope bridges had missing planks but I didn't sense how far apart they were until I was walking them. There were times you had to really look down and pay attention to where you were stepping.

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Each person would go halfway across before the next person would start. There was some sway to the bridge but nothing really crazy. I'm not afraid of heights and I'm used to rapelling, etc. from work, so this was exciting for me. I felt totally safe hooked up to the harness and was not worried about falling. It looked Disney safe!

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It was like a big playground built for adults!

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We all stopped over the animals to take a good look and take photographs. By the time the last of us had crossed the two bridges..the guides said it was pretty clear a rain shower was moving our way. They thought we could make it to the Boma pavilion before it hit. We moved on to the crocodile pit where we were harnessed to a track above and again able to walk to the edge of the embankment and peer over the edges. The expert there had said the crocs had been restless and active possibly sensing the storm moving in but by the time we got there they were happily dozing back in the sun. Even though they were still and peaceful they were incredible and I couldn't help but think this is truly the last walking dinosaur on earth today.

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We shed our harness and vests and jumped on our private safari vehicle. They gave us "frosty towel" to cool us off and it was greatly welconed as we were past sweaty. The towels are like washcloths, ice cold and smelled of a pleasant lemongrass oil. I already looked them up online and think I'm going to buy them for the summer cookout!

The safari vehicle Trek was so different from the ride we took earlier. We stopped and stayed with the animals for awhile, taking our own photos and posing for photos the guides were taking.

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The skies continued to darken and that storm blew up closer. By the time we got to the Boma we had about 10 minutes to take photographs and just hang out while the guides prepared our "meals". It was so peaceful..and quiet, everyone was so contemplative and enjoyed the lost art of just -being-.... we all enjoyed the silence..a few took photos, a few used the provided binoculars, others just stood and stared at the beauty that surrounded us. It was synchronicity at it's best when the world just feels right and you are completely frozen in the here and now.

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