We're back & it was AWESOME! - Pics now included

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Kris1971's picture
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We're back & it was AWESOME! - Pics now included

Hi all! We're back from the magic, and we had a wonderful time. As promised, here is the trip report:

Monday 10/17 - arrived by auto train at 9:00 AM and made our way to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I'm a huge Potter fan and couldn't wait to see the park. It was more than I expected. If you are a fan of the books and the movies, the WWofHP really brings it all to life. The scenery is amazing, and you really feel like you are walking in Diagon Alley. We made a mad dash to the main attraction - The Forbidden Journey Ride. We waited in line for over an hour (the park was very crowded) but once the line made its way into Hogwarts Castle, I didn't mind it at all. The castle was amazing and really brought the stories to life! The ride itself was incredible but I have to admit, I did get a little motion sickness, and that doesn't happen to me often. It was a very intense simulator type ride. I could have closed my eyes, but I didn't want to miss anything. After the main ride, we did the Dualing Dragons coaster ride and then stopped for a butter beer. It was yummy but super sweet. Sort of like a cream soda with butterscotch froth on top. We spent a few hours at the WWofHP and then it was off to Disney. As much as I enjoyed WWof HP, nothing beats Disney. We checked into the Contemporary around 3:00 and were immediately shown to our room on the 11th floor facing the MK. The view was fantastic (pictures to come later). We showered, relaxed for a bit and then headed over to the Poly for dinner at the Kona Cafe at 7:00. We had never eaten at the Kona Cafe but the reviews were pretty good so we decided to try it. It exceeded our expectations. The food was phenomenal and I might even say, my favorite meal of the week. We started with the California Luau roll and it was some of the best sushi we have ever had. It was made with jumbo lump crab, avacado, and pineapple. I almost wished we had ordered more than one roll, and then they brought out the sweet bread with macadamia nut butter and it was so good. My DH has the teriyaki steak, and I had the tuna oscar. The tuna was served rare over fried green tomatoes with tempura crab. It was a delicious experience, and I highly recommend it. After dinner, we headed over to the MK for extended magic hours and were there until midnight. The crowds were very light and we did a bunch of rides before heading back to the resort and falling over from sheer exhaustion.

Tuesday, 10/18 - we woke up around 8:00 and grabbed some breakfast down at the Contemporary Cafe. The food was nothing special, but it was fine. After breakfast, we headed over for our first day at the Epcot Food & Wine festival. This was our first time at the festival, and I can say with great confidence, it won't be our last. We absolutely loved it. Of course we renamed it "Beer Fest". DH and I ate and drank our way around the world. We started with the shrimp tacos in Mexico, then moved on to Germany for a beer flight (3 six ounce samples of different beers), then onto Poland for kielbasa and pierogies. Then we discovered the Sam Adams at Hops & Barley. So more beer and scrumptious lobster rolls. We also headed to Ireland so DH could get a Guiness and I could try the lobster & scallop fisherman pie (yummy). The weather was overcast and the sky threatened rain all day, but it never did rain and the weather worked in our favor, the crowds were very light. We rode a few tried and true rides (Soaring, Test Track, Journey into Imagination, and Nemo), then it was back to world showcase for more beer before dinner at the Coral Reef. DH & I both had the NY Strip. Then we headed back to the Contemporary to shower and enjoy the Fireworks Spooktacular from our balcony. We both thought they were some of the best fireworks we've ever seen.

Wednesday, 10/19 - Woke up early, had some breakfast, and then walked over to the MK for the morning where I had my first ever Dole Whip. I went with the original while DH went with the float. Both were very good. Thanks all for that tip! Then we hopped on Pirates and then over to Frontier Land for Big Thunder Mt. There wasn't a line, so we rode it 2 times in a row. Its still a classic!! While we were in MK, we were lucky enough to meet up with MrHub and Scrappy for a few pictures. I'm pretty sure MrHub will be posting them, so I apologize in advance for my appearance - you just never look good after a morning of roller coasters and lots of sunblock Wink. It was great to meet them in person. As you are all aware, they are true Disney buffs, and as you are also aware, they are very nice people! After a few pictures and some story swapping, DH and I made our way back to Epcot for another afternoon at "Beer Fest". We just couldn't get enough of Epcot this trip. We tried the mussels in Belgium and the beer flight sampler there as well. Then it was on to the Tangerine Cafe for lunch (shout out to Bella) for one of my favorite quick serve meals of the trip! Then we continued our way around the world. The weather was gorgeous, and we really enjoyed walking around. More rides and then we met up with some friends for dinner at Restaurant Marrakesh. It was our first time eating here, and it was delicious! Much different than I expected. I was thinking it would be spicy, but it really wasn't. Afterwards, it was extended magic hours and Illuminations. We left 1/2 way through the show. We were beat.

Thursday, 10/20 - MK day!! We walked over in the morning (I love the Contemporary's location) and started in tomorrow land. Hopped on Space Mountain then over to Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin where DH kicked my butt. He had control of the spin rod and it was really throwing off my aim. After some more time in Tomorrow land, we headed over to Fantasy land for my favorite- Peter Pan. They had drawings of the new Fantasy Land expansion, and you could see some of the construction. It looks like it is going to be awesome! After some time in Fantasy Land we made our way around to the Haunted Mansion and back to Frontier Land for more Big Thunder Mt. We stayed in MK until about 2:00 and then headed back to Epcot for more "Beer Fest". This time we tried the escargot in France and the grilled lamb chop in Australia (which came highly recommended by cast members). I won't bore you with more details on all of the beer stands we stopped at, but lets just say we were regulars at the Brewer's collection stand in Germany, the Hops & Barley stand in America and the Crafts Beer stand. They were our favorites. Our last food stand was the ever popular Hawaii for the Kailua pork slider. It was delicious. After a beautiful afternoon, we headed back to our resort to shower and get ready for dinner. It was our 40th birthday celebration dinner at the California Grill. We started with another batch of amazing sushi, and for dinner I had the snapper over dungenous crab and sweet corn risotto, and DH has the bison filet. Both were fabulous. The view of the MK was spectacular. After dinner we retired to our room to watch the fireworks from our balcony again. Spectacular or should I say Spooktacular!

Friday, 10/21 - Last day. We got up, got dressed, had some coffee on our balcony and then it was time to leave. We checked out and headed over to Downtown Disney to do some shopping for my niece and nephew and to have our final ADR at Wolfgang Pucks. This was the sad day...the last day of magic. Lunch was good and the shopping was fine, but I so didn't want to leave. After lunch it was off to the auto train and then home.

We had a wonderful time, and it was so hard to come home except for the fact that we were anxious to see our Old English Sheep Dog, Willow. We got her a stuffed Mickey, and she loves it! So now its time to start planning next years trip with my niece and nephew. Originally, we were thinking we'd go the first week of December 2012 because I've never seen the parks decorated for Christmas, but then I loved Food & Wine Fest so much, I'm thinking of changing it to October. Any opinions?

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Kris1971 wrote:
We had a wonderful time, and it was so hard to come home except for the fact that we were anxious to see our Old English Sheep Dog, Willow. We got her a stuffed Mickey, and she loves it! So now its time to start planning next years trip with my niece and nephew. Originally, we were thinking we'd go the first week of December 2012 because I've never seen the parks decorated for Christmas, but then I loved Food & Wine Fest so much, I'm thinking of changing it to October. Any opinions?

Well... depends on if your going more for yourself or for the kids? I think the kids would enjoy the lights and the Christmas themes at Disney more than F&WF, but thats just me. But also in October you have Halloween time as well which we plan on doing in 2013. So its just a matter of which you think?

Great trip report! Sounds like you had a blast!

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- 2013 Trip Report!
- My Int3ractiv3 Trip R3port '12 - CLICK HERE!
[url='http://www.wdwforgrownups.com/forum/pick-mases-dinner-disney']- My Interactive Trip Report '11[/url]

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Sounds like a great trip. You could plan your next trip around the last weekend of the F&W fest. The Christmas decorations are out. That's when I went last year and going again this year.

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JoAnn C wrote:
Sounds like a great trip. You could plan your next trip around the last weekend of the F&W fest. The Christmas decorations are out. That's when I went last year and going again this year.

JoAnn, that's a great idea! Is that the first week of November?

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Kris1971 wrote:
JoAnn C wrote:
Sounds like a great trip. You could plan your next trip around the last weekend of the F&W fest. The Christmas decorations are out. That's when I went last year and going again this year.

JoAnn, that's a great idea! Is that the first week of November?

I'll be there 11/11 - 11/18. The festival ends on the 13th. MVMCP starts on 11/08 or 11/09 this year.

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The festival is 09/28 - 11/11 next year.

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What a great trip report...Sounds like you had a blast Smile

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Kris - fantastic TR! I can't wait to eat at Kona Cafe after those amazing reviews, and I'm so glad you enjoyed the F&W!

As much as you loved F&W, I think with kids, I'd suggest the Christmas season. There are more holiday themed offerings (MVMCP, Epcot Candlelight processional, all the gingerbread house displays), and it would give you a chance to see the resort at a different time of year. Then, you can decide which you prefer. I agree - it's a tough call!

How was the auto train? You knew I was gonna ask Smile

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Thanks, Lizzy. I keep going back and forth on the whole Christmas vs. Halloween (F&W thing). I've got some time to make up my mind. I may leave it up to my niece & nephew/ brother & sister in-law to decide. The auto train was great. The trip went smoothly and dinner was delicious. We had the filet mignon with baked potatos and veggies. I have to admit on the way to Orlando, we were the youngest people on the train at 40 years old. There were a lot of snowbirds flying south for the winter. The train was pretty full so we had the 9:00 dinner seating. On the way home, it was only 1/2 full so we got the 7:00 dinner seating. I teased my husband while we were at our 9:00 dinner seating that if we would have flown, we'd have already been in Disney partying with Mickey, but honestly...I actually like traveling by train. There is something romantic about it.

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Great trip report, Kris1971! You've got me even more excited for my trip now. And thank you for reminding me that I need to try a Dole Whip during this trip. A year or so ago, I confessed on Twitter that I'd never tried one, and it's really kind of embarrassing, since they're such a popular staple at WDW.

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SoloFriendly wrote:
Great trip report, Kris1971! You've got me even more excited for my trip now. And thank you for reminding me that I need to try a Dole Whip during this trip. A year or so ago, I confessed on Twitter that I'd never tried one, and it's really kind of embarrassing, since they're such a popular staple at WDW.

Honestly, I never knew about the Dole Whip cult following, either. I had my first one last November!

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My husband had his first Dole Whip (he chose to go with the float) last month and he loved it! yay

Hoorahh for Dole Whip!

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I just got some of my pictures downloaded. The first two are some of the "too cute" halloween decorations on Main St in MK.

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The next shots are from our balcony at the Contemporary:

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Next are a few shots from the Food & Wine Fest (including the only food picture I took, the lettuce wraps from South Korea):

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And here's one I never thought I'd see....a drunk pooh in a stroller:

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great pictues. I love the "drunk Pooh"

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And for those of you who don't mind a few Wizarding World of Harry Potter pictures on a Disney site...these are for you:

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JoAnn C wrote:
great pictues. I love the "drunk Pooh"

Drunk Pooh was definitely something to see. Of course the funniest part was when I approached the guy pushing drunk pooh in the stroller and said, "Can I take a picture of your Pooh?" Words I never thought I'd hear myself say. eek

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And last but not least...our meet up with Mr. Hub & Scrappy!

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Kris1971 wrote:
JoAnn C wrote:
great pictues. I love the "drunk Pooh"

Drunk Pooh was definitely something to see. Of course the funniest part was when I approached the guy pushing drunk pooh in the stroller and said, "Can I take a picture of your Pooh?" Words I never thought I'd hear myself say. eek

I can't imagine many of us would ever think we would say that.

rolling

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Great pics! I love the Mickey Jack o Lantern on the lamp post...I have the same pic! I just think those are so darn adorable. That, and the "See you real soon" spelled out in Jack o Lanterns.

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I agree. The "see you real soon" was pretty darn cool!

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Kris1971 wrote:
JoAnn C wrote:
great pictues. I love the "drunk Pooh"

Drunk Pooh was definitely something to see. Of course the funniest part was when I approached the guy pushing drunk pooh in the stroller and said, "Can I take a picture of your Pooh?" Words I never thought I'd hear myself say. eek

Oh did I need that laugh!

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Wishin' I was at WDW!

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Kris1971 wrote:
JoAnn C wrote:
great pictues. I love the "drunk Pooh"

Drunk Pooh was definitely something to see. Of course the funniest part was when I approached the guy pushing drunk pooh in the stroller and said, "Can I take a picture of your Pooh?" Words I never thought I'd hear myself say. eek

Bwuahahahha! That's hysterical!

Love love love all the pics!! Thanks for posting!!! And so cool you got to meet up with mrhub & scrappy!!! YAY!

One of these times I so hope we are there the same time they are! I keep hoping they will adopt me and I can be the 48-year-old somewhat balding son they always wanted laugh

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JeffC wrote:
Kris1971 wrote:
JoAnn C wrote:
great pictues. I love the "drunk Pooh"

Drunk Pooh was definitely something to see. Of course the funniest part was when I approached the guy pushing drunk pooh in the stroller and said, "Can I take a picture of your Pooh?" Words I never thought I'd hear myself say. eek

Bwuahahahha! That's hysterical!

Love love love all the pics!! Thanks for posting!!! And so cool you got to meet up with mrhub & scrappy!!! YAY!

One of these times I so hope we are there the same time they are! I keep hoping they will adopt me and I can be the 48-year-old somewhat balding son they always wanted laugh

Jeff, I would love it if they would adopt me too. They are an awesome couple! And I'm glad you liked drunk pooh. I have never seen anything like that before at Disney. Too funny!

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JeffC wrote:
One of these times I so hope we are there the same time they are! I keep hoping they will adopt me and I can be the 48-year-old somewhat balding son they always wanted laugh

We already have 2 of them, sorry Jeff!