Disneydoc's Thanksgiving 2013 trip!

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Disneydoc's Thanksgiving 2013 trip!

Well all, I am back in the World. I arrived safe and sound on Sat afternoon, and headed straight to DTD for lunch at Earl. Had the Caprese sandwich upon your recommendations - major yum. Only ate half, saved the rest for dinner.

It was a long hoof from the West Side parking lot all the way in, but I needed to walk after the drive. Got a delicious Ghiaradelli peppermint chocolate square for free, browsed around just a little, and headed over to my beloved Jambo House for check in.

The room was ready, but bell services were backed up in getting carts up to rooms. I had a lot of stuff with me - I bring a lot of my own food for my temperamental tummy. mickey

So I left my stuff with them, and headed over to Kidani for the 4:00 cultural tour. It was so awesome to hear the African CMs tell us all about the symbolism and significance behind the AKL resort, and about their own countries. I highly recommend this, but note that is more adult focused.

I plan to try and spend more time around the resort this trip, and want to do all the other things they offer here too. One of them is a tour and tasting of Sanaa!

My standard view room this trip overlooks the pens. Not as nice as in past trips, but it is interesting to see and. Hear what is going on. Lots of giraffes around - I love to watch them run.

I must say that the magic bands and fast pass thing ROCKS! So easy. Haven't charged back to my room yet to test that -
Using gift cards.

Had to ride the bus over to MK to see the castle and therefore be home officially. mickey used a FP for Peter Pan and HM, got some coffee at SB, walked all over, did Small World with no wait, browsed a bit, and rode back to Jambo to get some rest.

The weather on arrival was cold! Lots of sweatshirts sold. I was prepared this year - my last Nov trip taught me to be ready for warm and cold. Did not have to buy warm clothes this time, as I bought them last year.

Yesterday, Monday, was just a perfect day except for a few clouds. Warmer, not as windy, hoodie at night. I was having one of those gut problem episodes like Robyn has, and cancelled my ADRs with concierge so I would not get charged. I will be better off to grab one day by day if I feel like it. I am usually fine if I just do not eat too crazy, and it settles down after a couple of days. I am already a lot better as I write this!

Monday AM I hoofed between Kidani and Jambo a couple of time to get a mile and get moving. Hung around the resort - love the Zawadi marketplace - and after a light lunch in my room I headed out to Epcot. FP for Crush (dude) and Spaceship Earth. I bypassed long lines for both! Then I hoofed all the way around the WS, across the BW ( stopping in the bakery to see what seasonal stuff the had), and on to HS via the walking path.

Walked right on to the Muppets, got a delicious pumpkin apple muffin from Writer's Stop (did not think I should try that cream cheese icing on the carrot cake cookie yet). It was light, and SO flavorful. Note: forgot to mention that in addition to the Earl sandwich on the first day I also had a small pumpkin cheesecake from The Mara that night. I think those two things were a bit rich for me and triggered my problem. sad BUT that cheesecake was realllly good. Will try it again in the future.

Can you tell I am on a quest for pumpkin or gingerbread this trip? Stay tuned!

Watched Mulch Sweat and Shears rock out at the Hat, walked right on to the Great Movie Ride, bought myself my very first Jim Shore figure in the Animator store ("Joy" - Mickey over the word), and strolled back to Epcot on that beautiful evening. Did not even need my jacket.

Walked around the WS again. Low crowds, so pleasant. Popped into a few stores for a browse, resisted Karamel Kuche (just feeling better - don't blow it!), and made my way out to a bus with no wait.

Another lovely day.

This AM is rainy - all the animals are huddled under a tree! Very overcast. I kinda like it - it feels Christmasy. Not sure what I might do yet.......hmmmm.....

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VelcroPooh

Yay! Glad you are having fun (except the tum tum issues). Rainy day....hmmmm....I bet you figure out something lovely.

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Well, never totally believe the weather forecast in Orlando. It did not rain on me at all the whole day by the time I got out there! It was warm, no hoodie needed, and I now regret leaving those shorts at home.

Visited the GF this afternoon to see it in Christmas splendor and had my first shingle from the gingerbread house (see earlier post - it's all about pumpkin or gingerbread this trip). biggrin that resort is so classy, but it feels a little stuffy. While I will totally chill out in the AKL lobby with my coffee, I feel like I have to wear makeup and mind my posture at GF. laugh

I also made an AM run over to the Character Warehouse for some discount shopping - a hoodie for me (DBF says it is 20 degrees in Georgia today), 3 Christmas ornaments for gifts (ok, 2 for me), and a cute t shirt for $5.

Then over to Publix across the street for some food. Love DVC villas!

On that note, I am becoming a Resort kinda gal. I go to the parks less since DVC....I could hang out around these resorts and be content. They are top notch. I need to go over to Key West during this trip and check it out - probably when I check in to Saratoga in a few days. I passed ROFR on a nice contract there a couple of weeks ago. mickey yippee, more points.

I rode the Jingle Jungle Cruise yesterday rocking those FPs. Cute, corny. Also FP for Laugh Floor and Dumbo, of which I will never tire. Big kiddo here.

Speaking of kiddos, I was waiting for my coffee in Epcot Starbucks later that day when I noticed one of my students and her mom in line! What are the odds?

Walked all over the WS again yesterday evenings enjoying the lower crowds and sights and smells. They are getting all those little kiosks ready to open after Thanksgiving, many of which will have - here it comes - GINGERBREAD! The one in America will open Wednesday - hey, that's today! And I gotta get there for the Voices of Liberty Dickens carolers too.

So I think I will go on safari now. Later!

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Where is character warehouse? Sounds neato!

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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.

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quote=alicemouse]Where is character warehouse? Sounds neato!

There are two Disney's character warehouse locations. Each one is in one of the Orlando Premium Outlet malls. One outlet is located on I-Drive and the other outlet is on Vineland. BTW, the Vineland location is a only a few miles from DTD. These are both official Disney outlets that carry the actual merchandise that is in the parks, but older or discontinued merchandise.

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Yep, they rock. It does make you ill to see the things you paid full price for cut in half but you never know what will go there.

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You're having so much fun! I love it!

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Sitting in front of a fire in the Kidani library waiting for the tour of Sanaa! Overcast outside, a few animals out the window, Christmas carols sung by African singers.....life is good. mickey

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Thanks, Annie & disneydoc! I've been to Disney Store at the Vineland outlets. Maybe it was named "Character Warehouse" and I just saw mouse ears and stopped paying attention to anything else Smile

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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.

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Doc you're making me druel talking about those shingles, I love them, especially the once dipped in dark chocolate. God I wish I had one of those now. I would eat it with a coffee overnight. Aaahhhh! Have one for me!

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question. if one was to go to their resort from the airport via the Tifffany Town Car service which character warehouse would be the best to stop at along the way?

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Yay for another DisneyDoc TR! How funny that you saw one of your students! And I really need to explore the resorts more...you've inspired me! And those AKL tours sound awesome!

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CdnSquirrel wrote:
question. if one was to go to their resort from the airport via the Tifffany Town Car service which character warehouse would be the best to stop at along the way?

I don't think I can help here - not familiar with how to get to the airport. But the outlet I go to is fairly close to exit 58 off of I4, if that helps. confused

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Hi DisneyDoc. I am so glad you are having a great time at the World. I so wish we could have had more time to talk when I was there in October. I plan on going back but not until 2015. Have the Disney blues so bad. Happy Thanksgiving.

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CdnSquirrel wrote:
question. if one was to go to their resort from the airport via the Tifffany Town Car service which character warehouse would be the best to stop at along the way?

Looks like you can hit either one coming from the airport with no problem.

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Happy Thanksgiving from the World! Misty looking morning out there, but the Florida sun usually takes care of that. A nice pot of coffee is brewing on the counter right beside those cute AKL animal tiles over the sink. Waking up in Disney is the best.

Yesterday was awesome. That cold weather that my home state is reporting did make it here, but it took the humid hot stuff away, thankfully. Crisp weather, Mickey sweatshirts all over, scarves, coffee and hot chocolate in everyone's hands, a general "holiday" feeling. I love it. It does make me want to buy every sweatshirt I see, and every mug, and every fleece throw, and every holiday decoration....but I have resisted for the most part mickey (but the vacation is not over yet). wink

I started out using my 3 FPs for Animal Kingdom. The safari was first, and the animals were totally all out there. A Masai giraffe (the one with the irregular spots) was leisurely strolling on one of the roads, and my truck patiently waited for him/her to "find an exit ramp," as the hilarious CM put it. I think the animals must relish this cool weather too - that hot humid stuff is rough!

Another shout out for the FP plus system. I have made and changed them using my iphone multiple times. It is so awesome to be in the que for one, and move the time up for your next one. I have not waited for any amount of time this entire trip.

My other two FP priorities for AK are Lion King and Nemo. I am so excited, because the NY Broadway production of Lion King is coming to Atlanta!!!! I used a FP for Nemo that Am, then strolled around a bit, rode back to the lodge to eat in my room (a 5 minute ride total, including walking in the lodge), and pushed my last FP to later in the afternoon so I could go over to Epcot/HS.

I did notice yesterday that the crowds are beginning to roll in for the holiday. The first two days of this week were nice and light, as they were last year too. Lots of families taking pictures in front of that amazing Jambo House Christmas tree. I stop and gawk every time I walk through that lobby.

So after lunch I did ride the bus (no problems with those by the way) over to Epcot, and strolled through, across the BW, to HS in search of one of those holiday cupcakes from Starring Rolls - the one Kristen showed us, and also on the Disney Food Blog. SCORE!!! I went straight to it, with a back up plan of other places in the park that would have it should it be sold out, and told the CM that I had come all the way over here just for that cupcake. She said "well, here, then - enjoy!" and would not take my money!!!!!! eek I could NOT believe it. I sat out in the pretty sun and enjoyed every single bite of that maple frosting and pumpkin cake, and saved the Mickey chocolate for later.

After cruising around the park some more (and oogling the Jim Shore figures to pick out the one I want "next time") I exited to enjoy the walk back to Epcot. Can you guys tell I like to walk? I take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the World this way. I stand and look. It is so amazing here. Lots of other folks were enjoying the walk too - it was such a nice crisp day for it. LOVE Fall in the World.

Reentered Epcot via the International Gateway and popped into the Twinings Tea store in England. They have a sale going, and have Christmas blend and Winter Spice chamomile teas. HAD to have some, and it sure was good later that night back in the room. Very cozy. mickey

Then back to the AKL to drop off my tea and hoof over to Kidani for the Cultural Tour of Sanaa. They do this every day at 4 PM, by the way, and I highly recommend it. They take you through the restaurant, and show you the items displayed, what significance the arrangement may have in African culture, etc, and the best part - you get a naan bread service for free at the end!!! I know, it is spicy for this girl, but I loved the chance to taste it. The oniony flavored bread was delicious, even without any of the side dips, the crispy bread was spicy but good, and I loved the chutney and the "white" dipping sauce. The green stuff was incredibly spicy, but tasty. They even gave me a to go box, so I have some to enjoy today. Decided not to go overboard on it, just in case.

Note: I now really appreciate what I am seeing around AKL more because of these tours. It inspires me to spring for the tours at the parks and other resorts too that may offer them (Boardwalk used to, no?) - it just enhances my experience and connects me to the "magic" even more. I won't give away the secrets, but the lights out in front of Kidani mean something, the word "kidani" means something, the butterflies that you see beside all the proverbs around the property mean something....the word "sanaa" means something....take the tour to find the answers!!!

And also, I now think I want to stay at Kidani. I thought in past trips that I would not like it, as Jambo is so magnificent, but I love the more intimate feel of the place, and have changed my mind after the tours. The CMs make it wonderful too. Very homey.

I am going to try to also see one of the talks in the evening by a CM that uses video to talk about the animals. We will see - I may be in the parks more in the evenings from here on out, as the Christmas stuff is about to kick in!

After Sanaa, I put the leftovers back in my fridge, and caught a bus back to AK for Lion King. I must say the that park is beautiful and peaceful at night! The Christmas lights were all around, very quiet, and I strolled around before coming back "home" to make some dinner and settle in for the evening for some veggies and yogurt in my room. Jambo is the kind of place that you do not feel the need to rush in and out of - unlike how I felt at Boardwalk.

So this AM? I do have FPs for HS today....there is a pumpkin cheesecake at Sunshine Seasons that might need my attention, and lots of other gingerbread options coming out today. Who knows....

Enjoy your turkey day everyone! Santa

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glad you are having a great time. Hope you are feeling better.

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Happy Thanksgiving! It is supposed to warm up a bit starting tomorrow so hopefully we get to enjoy some Florida sun this trip! How awesome of that CM to give you the cupcake for free...definitely some sweet pixie dust Smile

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Allie wrote:
Happy Thanksgiving! It is supposed to warm up a bit starting tomorrow so hopefully we get to enjoy some Florida sun this trip! How awesome of that CM to give you the cupcake for free...definitely some sweet pixie dust Smile

Yes it has warmed up nicely! A beautiful Thanksgiving Day.

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This sounds like the absolutely perfect way to spend Thanksgiving. I hope the rest of your trip is just as much fun.

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That pumpkin cheesecake at Sunshine Seasons is sooooo good!

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Spook wrote:
That pumpkin cheesecake at Sunshine Seasons is sooooo good!

No kidding! I just had some a while ago and thought I had better walk over here to HS to offset at least a few of those calories. I see that cheesecake in my future before leaving Orlando. eek

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I have never been to AKL.....but with how you descibed it I can picture myself
by the christmas tree sipping a coffee!

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Last day at AKL (one more sleep) sad

So how often can you sit in your bed and see reticulated giraffe? That's what I am doing right now. I have fallen in love with giraffes this trip. I tried on some giraffe ears like crazycatperson's hubby, but they kinda squeeze my head - would end up with a headache if I wore them a lot. I may have to get a stuffed or carved giraffe, though...

It ended up being SO COLD yesterday! The temp was 38 degrees in the AM! I threw in the towel by around 6 PM and came back to the nice warm lodge. I had a FP for Fantasmic but could not see the metal seats and wind, especially after just doing LMA. Brrrrrrrrr.

Which worked out great - I had a quick dinner in my villa and then went down to the program with a CM at 7:30. He was from South Africa like so many of the AKL CMs are, and told us about the geography and animals of his country. So good! I love how Disney has stuff for Grownups too.

Earlier in the day I got my very first Chase Disney Visa free picture in Epcot! Good grief, I have read about Mr. Hub getting these but never did it. I got to hug Minnie (who loved my Minnie sweatshirt) and Pluto, and have a pic for one of my kids for Christmas. Soooooo I now will go again today and for my next two days, to collect 4 of these - I have 4 grown kids, but they still fight over stuff. sarcastic

Had a piece of pumpkin cheesecake in The Land to DIE for.....FYI they were serving a holiday turkey and dressing plate there too! It also had mashed potatoes and green beans and I think cranberry stuff. I just passes that right up for the cheesecake. Must have priorities! biggrin

Another really nice discovery over in HS - they have a new singer in Little Mermaid that is spot on. Whew. I had to stop going in there last trip because the poor girl just could not come up that 1/8 of a pitch needed to be in tune. It just hurt. But we are good now.

I also walked through and all around the BW, Beach Club, and Yacht Club lobbies. The Yacht Club has that pretty little miniature Christmas town display. The BW had a booth set up and were selling treats - hey Mr. Hub, they have gingerbread with the dark chocolate there, but not like the GF shingles. awesome however I did not see that carousel (gingerbread?) yet that I saw last year. Might be too early.

So today? I am pumped because today is the first day of Epcot's holidays around the world in the WS. I want to see those storytellers and maybe catch a glimpse of the Candlelight Processional. I decided not to buy a ticket to that this year, as I see so many magnificent things like this in Atlanta in my work with the Atlanta Symphony. mickey

Headed over to MK this AM for some FPs.....happy Black Friday everyone! Be safe!

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Moving to Saratoga Springs!

Well, I have now learned that while it is kinda neat to experience 2 resorts in one trip, I think I prefer to stay put! It takes away from my relaxing time! However, it was really smoothe and painless to move. I chose not to use bell services, even though I know they would move it all for me. I wanted to condense my stuff down to one smaller bag (ok, and a few other ones too) for the last (sniff) 2 nights.

So I lingered about as long as I could at Jambo, then looked behind me at that tree as I left. I drove over to SS about 10:30 not expecting the room to be ready. TONS of people checking in. And since having my request of Congress Park was not important because the sidewalk to DTD is closed, I took first available. Bingo, instant room in Carousel. Very nice, and last bus stop out of the park too!

So I am going out this AM to hoof around SS a bit. It is very nice and quiet here. Love that. It is also super nice to be able to park your car so close to your room - unlike the long walk from BWV and AKL to your room. I will remember that.

Yesterday I explored Epcot and more of those holidays around the world things. The day before I actually got to see Gary Sinise and the Candlelight Processional from the sidewalk right in front of the theater! Nice! Canada has a music group instead of their Santa this year. I also saw the 3 kings in Mexico for the first time.

Used a FP last night for Fantasmic, but I think that if you want a center seat now you have to buy a dinner package. Even FP folks were way on the outer banks. Then another spin around those Osborne lights. Amazing.

I did treat myself to my first ADR of the trip - lunch at my favorite place, Teppan Edo. Got the veggie dish this time, and it was just the right amount of food. Yummy! Then a pumpkin muffin from Writer's Stop later - gotta love a discount on food!

I have taken some pics with my phone. As usual they are not as good as the ones you all post, but I will try to upload them when I get home. Next trip I think I will bring my camera and carry it for some character pics!

Tonight is my very first MVMCP! So excited. Off to explore..... yay

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Enjoy your last days and nights and your first MVMCP. MK is pretty amazing all decked out for the Christmas party.

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Hope you enjoy MVMCP! mickey

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Have fun tonight at the party!

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Well guys, I have to go home. The party was awesome....will post all about the rest of the trip, and some concluding thoughts, when I get on the other side of that Atlanta traffic and safely home! It's been a great trip!!!! muchlove

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Safe travels!

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Safe travels!!!