Magic Mirror's October 2016 Trip Report - Halloween Style!

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Magic Mirror's October 2016 Trip Report - Halloween Style!

Last fall we returned to Walt Disney World in late October, celebrating our anniversary and enjoying one of our favorite times of year- Fall, Halloween, MNSSHP and Food and Wine Fest! This marked the second MNSSHP we've attended, however the first time we were rained out so this is really the only time we've been able to enjoy the entire party! Rather than do a day by day review, I thought I'd share our trip in events rather than a timeline.

Over the years I've become a completely OCD planner, which I know many of you can relate to! I changed and booked our reservations 5 (yes FIVE) times , start to finish , (yes five deposits, 4 credited back to our account) before we finally called it good.

We flew in on a Friday from Michigan via Southwest Air out of Chicago and stayed Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Port Orleans Riverside. Our first time at Riverside as we usually choose the French Quarters. This marked our first split stay, so Monday we moved over to Animal Kingdom Lodge in a standard room. Our dream resort and our first stay there.

So...lets get started!

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In the process of my making, cancelling, making, cancelling, making, cancelling, making reservations- we ended up at Port Orleans Riverside in a Royal Guest Room-Garden View.

Port Orleans-Riverside

Pro's:
Riverside is a beautiful resort and sits on the enchanting Sassagoula River.
For photo enthusiasts, there are wonderful shots everywhere.
There's nothing like an early morning walk along the river when the mist is rising up.

Cons:
The resort is LARGE-luckily the Royal Guest Rooms are located close to the main bridge.
Our room was located in the rear side of the building which required a maze of walking, slightly confusing and lacking a "short cut" path.
I never got the jest of the bus stop locations for our building and I always seemed to pick the wrong one to get off on, especially after dark, the trails seemed poorly marked and it was frustrating finding our way back after a long day in the parks. This could be because I failed to do "my homework" on the resort map before we headed out.

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Port Orleans Riverside - Royal Guest Rooms - Garden View

Pros:
The Royal Guest Rooms are located in the Magnolia Bend section of Riverside, in buildings Oak Manor and Parterre Place.
Both of which are located near the main bridge and near amenities.
The Royal Guest Rooms are so richly detailed. The extra warmth of the wood trim and furnishings enhances that extra special feel of the room.

Cons:
We spent very little time at the room that a Garden View would not be a priority that I would pay extra for next time.
The location of the room was at the rear, side of the building which was a long maze to get to.

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After spending the weekend at Port Orleans Riverside, we were moved on Monday morning to Animal Kingdom Lodge.

We were heading to Epcot early on Monday morning... so I settled our room account the evening before. Monday morning we went downstairs and gave our luggage to luggage services (we also gave them a tip in a decorated envelope) and left for the parks.

Later in the day I received a text with our room number for Animal Kingdom Lodge. Later in the evening we went to the lodge to check out our room. I was so excited to stay here-a dream resort for us! Our room was located just off the lobby and when we opened the door I ....... cried. Our balcony looked out at a concrete wall and a drainage roof. I was in shock. I knew we had a standard room, that we might face a parking lot, I just didn't think about facing a concrete wall! It was so tall, you couldn't look over it.

We went down to registration and I explained what had happened, and that I knew we only paid for a standard room..but was there anyway we could have a different room ? The Cast Member was so kind..she called on the phone to the room assignment department and was on the phone for about 10 minutes. She then told us she could assign us to another room. We were elated!

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Our new assigned room was still a Standard category but it was fantastic!

Pros:
Larger rooms
Deluxe H2O Products
Richly Themed
Animal Views

Cons:
Standard Rooms might have downright horrible views

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Our room looked out over the hot tub on one side and we could see the edge of the savanna on the other side. The savanna had a feeding station with in our view and we could watch the animals being fed.

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We always seem to miss DiVine, but this time we happened upon her right away!
She is beautiful, I could watch her for hours!

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Trader Sam's Grog Grotto at the Poly is quickly becoming our favorite place to grab appetizers and hang out for some down time. And thanks to Ken and Mr Hub's tiki mug pictures previously posted, we couldn't resist getting a few of our own to take home.

Appetizers here are outstanding! A great way to share some new foods and just soak up the ambience.

Chicken Lettuce Cups with Hoison-Ginger Sauce
Pan Fried Dumplings with Soy-Sesame Dipping Sauce

Shrunken Zombie Head
Gosling's 151 Black Seal Rum, Appleton Estate Reserve Rum, Bacardi 8 yr Rum, Tropical Juices, Falernum, and Cinnamon. Served in a souvenir Shrunken Head

Krakatoa Punch
Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Pyrat XO Reserve Rum, Orgeat (Almond), Sam's Gorilla Grog, and Hibiscus Grenadine. Served in a souvenir Tiki Mug

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We went into Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar in Disney Springs one evening. It was packed! Luckily a table in the very center of the back of the room opened up as we walked in. It was a great place to sit and get a nice cross breeze. The bar is layered in "artifacts" and we soaked up all the details. The party was in full swing and it was difficult to have a conversation above the noise so we happily concentrated on feeding our faces and finishing off our spirited beverages.

Air Pirate's Pretzels
A flight of Everything Pretzels with spicy German Mustard and Beer Cheese Fondue

Cool-headed Monkey
Starr African Rum, Van Der Hum Tangerine Liqueur, fresh Lime Juice, Watermelon, and Pineapple Juice

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Am I the only one who can't get enough of Tren-D's display windows?

They are always just so ... cool.... !

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Great TR so far! Glad they were able to work out the AKL room for you and those food pics are making me super hungry!