Trip Report: DVC Split Stay, MNSSHP, F&W, & ToT 10-miler (Complete)

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alicemouse's picture
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Day 5: AK

After two late nights at MK, we slept in a little bit this morning despite AK having EMH. This was also partially driven by Benn's general lack o enthusiasm for AK. I knew if I pushed for MEMH, I'd have a cranky husband on my hands and how much fun would that be? laugh We woke up around 8:15 and made it to AK around 10:30. The only thing that we missed was that I had intended to do the first FoLK show before using our Kilimanjaro FP. Benn didn't care about missing that because as he mistakenly informed me, he doesn't like that show anyway. (He doesn't like the movie. He does like the show, but he forgets that he likes it every time and he gets all mopey about me dragging him to it and then when we're leaving the theater and then he tells me that he forgot that he likes that show gaah Maddening.)

So AK started out with a Kilimanjaro FP and it was hot and humid and not rope drop, so the animals were mostly sleepy and lazy this morning. No lions in sight, so that was a bummer. It's our favorite AK ride (especially since they got rid of the stupid poacher script and just made it about the animals) so I'd never call a ride on KS a disappointment, but we've definitely done rides in the past with more activity. Next up we crossed over to Dinoland, USA for our Primeval Whirl FP. I was a little bit nervous about this one. I had taken Benn on the very similarly tracked Wild Mouse at Hersheypark over the summer after I had ridden PW for the first time and it was not well-received. The difference is the ride vehicle and the amount of guardrails and other appearances of safety on PW. Benn was a little unconvinced and kind of apprehensive because he would probably rather skydive than ever ride the Wild Mouse again. Our car spun around a lot more this time than it had the first time, but...he loved it! YAY!! we now have a new ride that we can do together at AK!!



We skipped our traditional stop at Flame Tree BBQ in favor of trying Yak & Yeti. Y&Y only got one strike--since they have a table service counterpart, no TiW discount. I had the Ginger Salad and Benn had the Sweet & Sour Pork. Both tasted very good and we would definitely eat here again, but if we have an active TiW card, we would probably go to Flame Tree, because we love the food there, too. After lunch, we took our first ride on Kali River Rapids. The ride was shorter than I thought it would be (even though I had watched a YouTube video first). We really enjoyed it, especially the part where we got soaking wet on a hot, humid day, but for the length of this ride, we will definitely continue to do it FP only. No pictures here because, you know, it's a water ride, but here's a partial picture of a very sleepy kitty from the Maharajah Jungle Trek for your enjoyment.


We decided that since storms were threatening again that we would scrap our plans for Blizzard Beach, so that gave us an opportunity to catch the FoLK show that we had missed earlier and happened to force us to practically walk right past Tamu Tamu to get a dole whip for Benn. It's possible that the Dole Whip was bribery for going to FoLK. wink I opted for a cookies and cream cone that kind of struck a nerve for me at $5.19. I had one of those "I remember when an ice cream cone was $.53" moments as I begrudgingly scanned my magic band. It was pretty darn delicious, but there was something about a plain ordinary ice cream cone hitting the $5 mark that momentarily made me turn into my father. I got over it by the time I finished my cone. Of course we went to FoLK and of course when it was over, Benn told me how much he had enjoyed the show. awesome It was our first time in the new theater and I like the new queuing area and the larger capacity. Also, the location is so much more logical. The theming was very nice as well--kudos, Disney. Well done. It appears that we caught Simba mid-yawn.

We swung by the Walgreens on 535 on the way home to grab a bottle of Diet Coke for Benn (part of the reason that he was extra grouchy about AK--caffeine withdraw) and some more water. The rental car cost us $137 plus gas for 11 days and we estimated that we saved about $130 on beverages versus buying the same items at Disney. To me, it is so worth the freedom that we gain by having access to that little car (or "big bus" as we typically refer to it).

We weren't ready to go home for the evening just yet, so we decided to visit POR, our first "home". We're just a little bit nostalgic about that place! muchlove We browsed Fulton's General Store and traded pins before deciding to walk down to French Quarter. We had never taken the walking path before and it was such a beautiful walk along the river! By the time we started back, it was beginning to rain, but rather than stand on the boat dock in the rain, we decided to just start walking.

We made it back to Riverside Mill Food Court just as it started to rain buckets! I had decided on the make your own pasta for dinner and Benn got...crap I forget and I didn't write it down. Anyway, while I was looking at all of the options, there it was! In all of it's fame and glory! THE MAGIC COOKIE BAR that our own believed Watchmaker has identified as the treat to beat all treats! SO of course I had to try one biggrin We gathered our food and headed for the table. I was just walking through the seating area kind of spacing out when a familiar voice jolted me back to reality--Amy!! I had forgotten that she and her mom were staying at POR! She had unfortunately not beaten the rain sad , but we got a few more minutes to chat which was most enjoyable and then she had to rush back to get ready for her big CRT dinner!!! We very much enjoyed our dinner. My pasta looks a mess, but it was delicious. Benn proclaimed the MCB as too sweet, but he's not a huge cookie fan. I enjoyed it immensely, though I don't know that I could eat a whole one myself in one sitting.

By the end of dinner, the rain had not subsided, but my email had been blowing up most of the afternoon with some contract negotiations a house that my dad just flipped and I had listed for sale right before we left, so we had to brave the rain and get back to BLT so I could deal with that mess. The darn house still isn't under contract even though I spent parts of 6 days of my vacation working on it. I would have drug my fee on it until we got home, but mom and dad were leaving for vacation the day before we got home and they were going on a cruise, which meant that they would have no contact while they were away and I couldn't stall that long. If it was any other seller, I would have let my backup handle it, but it was my dad and other people don't find him easy to work with. I'm in a much better position to be able to be frank with him and cut through all of the garbage that goes along with these negotiations.

With all of the rain and the ridiculous amount of air conditioning that was flowing at BLT, I was very seriously considering buying a sweatshirt, so after I finished working, we walked over to the Contemporary to browse the shops and play at the arcade. Normally, I would never condone this because we could have gone to DisneyQuest for free on the PAP, but I really like the arcade at the Contemporary. We hopped on the monorail for shopping and pin trading at Grand Floridian and then made our way back to Top of the World for Wishes. Unfortunately, we hadn't been paying attention to the fact that Wishes was at 9:00 because it was a fall weeknight...oops. So our wind table acquired at 9:50 really didn't do us much good. But we did enjoy another round of house chips and a mojito (me)/ gin & tonic (Benn). We decided that both were just ok. I preferred my chocolate martini from the previous evening and Benn preferred the Sam Adams Oktoberfest. Also pictured, Benn modeling the latest in fashion accessories--the Marie boa, and my favorite shirt of the evening...unfortunately available in kids sizes only sad Why does Disney not think that adults like hilarious t-shirts, too?



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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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I saw that T-shirt during our last trip and thought it was awesome.

And where did the Marie boa come from? I could use that as an everyday scarf in winter. Because I am old and can wear whatever the heck I want to wear. biggrin

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So sorry to hear that you ended up working on so much of the trip, I completely understand what a bummer that can be.

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crazycatperson wrote:
I saw that T-shirt during our last trip and thought it was awesome.

And where did the Marie boa come from? I could use that as an everyday scarf in winter. Because I am old and can wear whatever the heck I want to wear. biggrin

rolling It was at the mercantile at Grand Floridian. It would make a dandy scarf!!

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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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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Kristen K. wrote:
So sorry to hear that you ended up working on so much of the trip, I completely understand what a bummer that can be.

It does get me down sometimes, Kristen. But I do try to remember that the reason I can have so much job flexibility now and get to travel more often is that I can work remotely. One reason that I'm really looking forward to California in March is that since we will be on a cruise, I should have long periods of time with no cellular signal...blissful relaxation! And gosh when we're in port, the darn thing might just have a dead battery! laugh

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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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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alicemouse wrote:
The only thing that we missed was that I had intended to do the first FoLK show before using our Kilimanjaro FP. Benn didn't care about missing that because as he mistakenly informed me, he doesn't like that show anyway. (He doesn't like the movie. He does like the show, but he forgets that he likes it every time and he gets all mopey about me dragging him to it and then when we're leaving the theater and then he tells me that he forgot that he likes that show gaah Maddening.)

When he complains prior to seeing the FoLK, Do you then tell him that he always complains about the FoLK before you see it, but afterwards he always says he forgot he actually likes that show??? I would love to hear that conversation if you did. It would be like the "Who's on First" Abbott and Costello bit. laugh

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Day 6: EPCOT

Well, we hadn't been to Food & Wine for a few days, so we thought it best to remedy that. We decided that part of the coolness of staying at BLT (aside from the very powerful air conditioning) was the ability to monorail to EPCOT! So in spite of having our very own "big bus", we popped over to the contemporary at about 8:15 to board the monorail for TTC. It took quite awhile for the EPCOT monorail to arrive at TTC, which of course had me panicking that we were trying to ride during the EPCOT beam maintenance window, but surely Disney would have provided us with signage had that been that case. The monorail arrived just a few minutes after my momentary freak out. As we were taking our monorail your of EPCOT, we noticed that there seemed to be an awful lot of people in the park--at first we were thinking tours and ADRs at Akershus, but there were a LOT of people. When we got through bag check we realized that yet again we had stumbled onto an EMH morning! Bonus. We only had a 15 minute advantage, but that's an important 15 minutes. Our plan had been to ride Soarin' on standby today, so we went there first. We did wait for a while--maybe 20 minutes of so, but nothing compared to riding late in the day. The CM loading the rows must have noticed my apprehension to accept the last seats in the back row of Concourse A, so she let us go to the front row of concourse B, which is my favorite spot--no feet in front of you and no distracting fish eye effect from accidentally glancing at the side of the screen. Also, since we were on the end, I could get a really good look at the ride mechanism. It was wicked cool.


After Soarin', we booked a Behind the Seeds tour for 2:15 that afternoon and went over to ride Living with the Land. We had tried earlier in the week to get a last minute booking for Marceline to MK, but it was booked solid for every day that we were at WDW, so we picked Behind the Seeds because it's not expensive and there is always same-day availability. We almost picked Keys to the Kingdom again, but that would have required changing park days or skipping a 7DMT or Anna & Elsa FP--neither of which was an option! When we did Living with the Land in May, a lot of the exhibit areas were empty and I was worried about the future of the greenhouses, but it turns out that it was all part of the natural planting and harvesting cycle because everything was bustling with activity again.

We left the Land shortly after 10:00 for our Test Track meet up with Sally-Ann and Graham! We had such a great time together. We exchanged a few gifts that we had previously arranged and we got to see some of their wonderful pin collection and create our cars together. It turns out that in the UK, there is a children's program called Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom and they brought us the cutest fridge magnets from the program and some Jelly Babies that are popular in Dr. Who. We can't open the Jelly Babies yet because we're going to take them along to Thanksgiving so that we can share them with Benn's twin brother who may just be the world's biggest Dr. Who fan. After the ride, we took a photo in front of one of the cars--a Chevrolet something or other. We were having a great time, so Sally-Ann and Graham offered to give up their Mission Space FPs so that we could all go up to Food & Wine and enjoy the first booth together. We decided on New Zealand where we tried a lamb meatball. Not bad, but not my favorite thing that we ate. I think that Sally-Ann and Graham chose a different booth if I remember because correctly because they didn't care to try the lamb--probably a good call. I'd have rather had another scallop from Scotland. We decided to split up so everyone could continue at their own comfortable pace around WS.



We continued on to Mexico for Shrimp Tacos (delicious) and corn cheesecake (disappointing), Africa for Beef tips (disappointing), Itally for Caprese Ravioli (Benn's second favorite after the Kielbasa), Brazilian cheese bread (great taste, but unusual flavor), and a Spicy Hand Roll from Japan (my first ever sushi--I would try it again, but I didn't care for whatever was mashed up in the center on this particular kind). We ended our luncheon tour with a Belgian waffled with berries (not my favorite, but not bad). It rained off and on, so we spent much of our lap around WS dodging in and out of shops.






On our way back to Future World, we stumbled onto a Mary Poppins meet & greet and then went over to the Seas to kill a few minutes until our tour started. On the way out of the Seas, the heavens opened up and the monsoon began. We waited under the overhang and 10 minutes later, you wouldn't have known it had rained had it not been for the wet pavement. Waiting for the rain meant that we arrived for our tour just in time. Christie was our tour guide and she did an excellent job showing us through the greenhouses. We learned about growing a hydroponic garden, tasted a cucumber that was grown personally by Christie, saw a real live fish feeding frenzy, and sprinkled ladybugs as a natural predator to hunt the insects that try to destroy the crops. For the first time, we got close enough and could be still enough to actually see the shrimp that you can see from the boat ride. We also did a scent identification test for some spices, which since I neither garden nor cook, I failed miserably laugh . For me, one of the most impressive things is the enormous container that holds nothing but discarded toothpicks from the vegetable sampling. It was a very neat tour and for $20 (or less if you're a Disney Visa card holder), it's well worth the time. Even if you do it just to get some greenhouse photos where you can stand still and actually have time to frame your photo before you snap it, it was worth the cost.


By the time we finished, we were ready for "dinner", so hey! How about more Food & Wine? OK! At Greece, we tried the Spanakopita and the Griddled Greek Cheese, both or which were absolutely delicious and are why the Greek cart was my overall favorite of the festival. Although to be fair, I never did make it back to check out the potato pancake with Salmon at Scotland. Benn stopped at the Refreshment Port to try a Cronut (spelling), which really tasted kind of like a churro to me. Hence it needed caramel dipping sauce. The Refreshment Port people should strike a deal with the people at the Werther's caramel store in Germany to try to compete with the churros at La Cantina. For one more course...or maybe two, we decided on the Beef Bourguinon in France--WOW. This was my 3rd favorite after the scallop and the Greek cheese and it blew the beef tips in African away. For dessert, pumpkin ice cream macaroon sandwich--round 2.



The rain began again and since we were damp from our shoes to our spirits from battling the weather all day, it was time to go home. We decided that since we were all the way at the back of World Showcase, it would be smarter to walk to Beach Club and hop the bus to MK. From there it was just a short walk or monorail to BLT. A great plan in theory, but poorly executed when after waiting 15 minutes for an MK bus, we discovered that other people who had arrived 15 minutes before us were also waiting for the MK bus. If you've spent time busing from the EPCOT resorts, you know that this could only mean one thing. When the right bus did finally arrive, it was going to be PACKED. After we realized this, an EPCOT bus pulled up (I was under the impression that you can't bus form EPCOT resorts to the front of EPCOT, so either that is false or the rain had caused the boats to stop running.) Anyway, why loo a gift horse in the mouth. We could just bus to the front of the park and then transfer to the Contemporary bus. One problem--we could not seem to locate a contemporary bus from the EPCOT depot. Whatever. We ended up walking back to the monorail anyway. So we walked in the same distance in total if not farther, wasted about 30 minutes, and ended up on the monorail anyway. Plus, because the monorail entrance is inside of the bag check area, we had to go through bag check to get back in to get on the monorail ramp. Moral of the story? Just suck up the rain and walk back to the darn monorail in the first place.

When we got back, I did my BLT training run and turned in an even better time than I had at Wilderness Lodge. Somehow even with the heat and humidity, I was running better in Florida than I do at home. I had expected the opposite because my runs at home had been going pretty well in the gorgeous fall weather, so that was a pleasant surprise. I think I was motivated to get out of the heat as quickly as possible. While Wilderness Lodge has a much more scenic trail, I felt safer running alone at BLT. I did manage to catch a beautiful sunset after all of the rain. The running trail went right past the marshmallow roasting event, so I stopped to join in after my run. I chatted with some very lovely cast members there. I went back upstairs where Benn was napping to do some more work on the contract. After Benn woke up, we returned to Top of the World where we managed to time the fireworks much better tonight. We were a little bit hungry since we had cut our food sampling short, so we ordered a tempura shrimp cocktail. It wasn't a lot of food, but it tasted very good. After Top of the World, we decided to hit the pool for a bit. In keeping with the rest of BLT, the water was absolutely freezing. We sucked it up and swam for a while because the pool was so super cute. And we tried out the water slide which is higher and more fun than the one we loved at OKW. On a warmer evening, we could have spent quite a while at the pool. Back at the room, we caught the end of the electrical water pageant from the balcony. We decided to try to see the whole thing the following night because it was cute, but without seeing the whole show, I didn't really get it.

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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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AnnielovesDisney wrote:
alicemouse wrote:
The only thing that we missed was that I had intended to do the first FoLK show before using our Kilimanjaro FP. Benn didn't care about missing that because as he mistakenly informed me, he doesn't like that show anyway. (He doesn't like the movie. He does like the show, but he forgets that he likes it every time and he gets all mopey about me dragging him to it and then when we're leaving the theater and then he tells me that he forgot that he likes that show gaah Maddening.)

When he complains prior to seeing the FoLK, Do you then tell him that he always complains about the FoLK before you see it, but afterwards he always says he forgot he actually likes that show??? I would love to hear that conversation if you did. It would be like the "Who's on First" Abbott and Costello bit. laugh

laugh We may have to add audio recording to the photos in the future or maybe video. He was being so sulky that I decided to let him remember for himself that he liked the show. It should have been a tip off that it was good if I was dragging him to a Lion King show. It's one of my least favorite Disney movies.

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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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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alicemouse wrote:
Kristen K. wrote:
So sorry to hear that you ended up working on so much of the trip, I completely understand what a bummer that can be.

It does get me down sometimes, Kristen. But I do try to remember that the reason I can have so much job flexibility now and get to travel more often is that I can work remotely. One reason that I'm really looking forward to California in March is that since we will be on a cruise, I should have long periods of time with no cellular signal...blissful relaxation! And gosh when we're in port, the darn thing might just have a dead battery! laugh

LoL! Trust me, I completely understand! I think that's one of the big reasons I'm so completely hooked on cruising. It's not often I get a real vacation without work when I'm traveling but being at sea almost forces me to slow down and relax. It's awesome.

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Loving your report. I hate to work when I'm on vacation, but I console myself with how important and indispensable I am. laugh

You are going to love Disneyland. All that travel time is eliminated.

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DAY 7: MK/EPCOT

This morning's realization was that we had hit the point in the trip where more days were behind us than remained in front of us sad, so I got up to enjoy the sunrise over Bay Lake to make myself feel better. Running low on our granola bar and cracker stockpile, we decided that today would be a "real breakfast" day, so we made our way to Contempo Cafe. Benn had the Big Bounty Breakfast platter or some such nonsense. I predictably had a Mickey Waffle and OMG y'all...they served it with caramel banana sauce! yeah It was like angels were dancing in my mouth. I straight up hate pancake syrup and that seems to be what people want to serve to accompany pancakes and waffles. Anyone that serves up honey or caramel with a waffle is aces in my book! Bonus, since Contempo Cafe is right next to Chef Mickey's, you can catch the occasional glimpse of a character.



We arrived at MK in the rain (what else is new) and using our new favorite "go left" strategy, walked right on to Pirates, BTMR, and HM. I took a strong no-poncho position on this trip. I'm always the one who ends up hauling the silly things through the park and after they get wet the first time they start to smell and then I get water in my bag--it's less of a hassle to just get wet. It's Florida. The rain is mostly warm. During one particularly heavy rain wave, we entertained ourselves at the Frontierland pin store and played around with the black & white settings on the camera. It seemed like it was going to dry out, so we were Fantasyland-bound, but after a spin on the Carousel, we were greeted with more rain, so we were left to lurk around at Castle Couture, which for two childless adults doesn't appear strange and creepy at all! laugh


We switched our rainy day venue to Philharmagic, where I was lucky enough to be entertained by the most high-maintenance woman I've ever encountered. First of all, they stopped in the middle of the aisle. gaah Then she wanted to move up to the front because she was too short to see (mind you, we were in the dead center of about row...7 maybe. This would have inconvenienced about 200 other people.) and then she had to sit up on her leg to see over the guy in front of her. Then she thought she might be blocking the people behind her. She ran her mouth from the time we sat down until about 15 seconds after the house lights went down. If I'd had a rubber mallet in my bag, I might have had cause to use it! Meanwhile her 8-ish-year-old child sat perfectly content in anticipation of the show. I wanted to help her family run away. The show was lovely as always and after we left, we were able to lose crazy lady quite quickly. Sheesh.

Next up was a highlight of our trip. I love Dumbo and Benn gets slightly queasy on it and doesn't trust that his elephant won't fall off the stick, but he'll usually ride it with me once per trip, so rain firmly tucked up into the clouds, off we scampered to Dumbo. As we walked out under the awning to join the queue, the rain returned. This was wear my no-poncho stance went a bit off the rails because by the time we boarded, it was absolutely pouring--to the point where it seemed that WDW had decided overnight to turn Dumbo into a water ride!!! rolling It was actually a ton of fun and probably my best ever Dumbo ride.

After a quick dry off, it was time for our most anticipated FP of the trip--the Anna and Elsa meet & greet! Talk about an efficient FP. I don't know what the technical procedure is at the moment with these queues since it seems to change daily, but we walked into Princess Fairytale Hall and we were in front of princesses inside of 5 minutes. The previous day, Aurora had been greeting with Anna and Elsa, but we got separated A&E on our day instead. Our princesses did not look the part at all, but their characterizations were really excellent. We had a very enjoyable visit.

We popped into the shops and watched the Dapper Dans and the glass sculptor while we waited for our lunch ADR at Liberty Tree Tavern. The ambiance was really nice and our server was fantastic. Benn really liked his fish meal and our lobster dip appetizer was delicious, but my salad was really disappointing--mostly because most of the lettuce was iceberg. Now I don't mind paying a fair price for a good salad, but don't fill the bowl with $1 lettuce, throw a few chunks of chicken on it, and charge me $15. I had a salad at Wendy's on Sunday afternoon that was way better and for $7, I got fries and a drink included. Benn's meal was good enough that we would try Liberty Tree again in the future, but it won't be at the top of the list. It looks pretty tasty in this picture, but I assure you that in person, it was not.


We had been planning to leave after lunch, but the rain seemed to have moved on for awhile, so we switched our unused morning FPs and scored a free pass for Jungle Cruise and BTMR. It turns out that we were able to overlap these rescheduled FP with one beginning at 2:20 and one beginning at 2:30, which I thought was interesting because you cannot do that when you book initially. Since we were close to parade time and we hadn't watched Festival of Fantasy yet this trip, we decided to try to find a spot. It was a very low crowd say, so we had not trouble getting a space near the beginning of the parade. Unfortunately the rain was threatening again, so we ended up having a great spot for the Raining Day Cavalcade. At least since it was the short parade, we were able to cut through Advetureland and make it out of the park before the parade finished, so we had a nice peaceful walk back to BLT for nap time.

After our super fun bus snafu home from EPCOT the previous evening, we opted to drive to F&W for dinner. According to Benn, "we cut through Future World like it was on fire" laugh and started our latest culinary tour at Patagonia with a Beef Empenada (Benn's new favorite). On a pile of recommendations and against my better judgement, we stopped at Terra for a crab less crab cake. I'm pleased to report that it was actually quite delicious--not as good as a crab cake, but so few things are. We also did Scotland (for another scallop and Benn wanted an Innus & Gunn), a replay of Griddled Cheese from Greece (still delicious, but proportioned differently, so not quite as tasty as the first time), and Morocco for a spicy shrimp roll (my notes say it was good, but I can't verify that it even happened. I can't remember eating it and I have no pictures confused). One thing that I've neglected to mention is how cute I found all of the F&W booths. Every booth really does a great job portraying a feeling of culture and taste associated with each country.


We broke from food and wine fair to stop at the caramel store for an apple and some popcorn. We had intended to stop at Australia for Pavlova, but that would have to wait...too full of caramel. When we returned to the car, we had a new companion--a sweet little frog! He didn't seem to want to leave the car, so her now resides at BLT instead of EPCOT. That little guy actually hung on all the way home! I thought sure once the car started moving he would bail out, but I guess he had places to go. Maybe he needed to get to MK because he was looking for a princess. During the drive home, Wishes was happening and let me tell you there are few things more awesome than driving home to beautiful fireworks over a castle. Bonus, we made it up to the room in time to catch the end of IllumiNations, which was visible from our balcony. Then we hung out until Water Pageant time. It was much better when we watched it from the beginning with the proper musical accompaniment.

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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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Thanks for the warning about the salad at Liberty Tree Tavern. We have a lunch ADR there in November and that salad was on my short list, but now it's totally off the list.

What did Benn think of the Innis & Gunn beer? My hubby loved it, and although I'm usually not a beer drinker I'm going to get one at the Scotland booth in November. It was the best beer I've ever tasted.

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Bummer about your salad...Benn's meal looked delicious! Before your and Mandy/Megan's TR I had never even heard of the Rainy Day Cavalcade! And amazing picture of Dumbo...love it! muchlove

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Ditto on the Dumbo pic! I love love love it!!!! All the black and whites are awesome!

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crazycatperson wrote:
Thanks for the warning about the salad at Liberty Tree Tavern. We have a lunch ADR there in November and that salad was on my short list, but now it's totally off the list.

What did Benn think of the Innis & Gunn beer? My hubby loved it, and although I'm usually not a beer drinker I'm going to get one at the Scotland booth in November. It was the best beer I've ever tasted.

Benn wasn't a huge fan of the Innis & Gunn. He's not typically a beer drinker either, but I think it makes him feel socially awkward around some of his old high school friends, so he's been making an effort to try some new beers. His favorite of the trip was Oktoberfest. Personally, I have yet to encounter a beer that I actually like the taste of and the Innis & Gunn was no exception. Give me vodka and fruity flavors any day of the week and twice on Sunday! laugh

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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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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Allie wrote:
Bummer about your salad...Benn's meal looked delicious! Before your and Mandy/Megan's TR I had never even heard of the Rainy Day Cavalcade! And amazing picture of Dumbo...love it! muchlove

JMed wrote:
Ditto on the Dumbo pic! I love love love it!!!! All the black and whites are awesome!

Thanks, folks! I wish I had started earlier in the trip. I spent the rest of the time switching back and forth between color and B&W. I like this new found feature on my favorite toy!

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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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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DAY 8: EPCOT/ Typhoon Lagoon/ DTD

It was another busy day! Unfortunately, it was resort switch day. Doing a split stay definitely had pluses and minuses. It did make our trip seem longer in way because it was like taking three separate vacations back to back and it was cool to experience so many resorts all in one trip--makes it easier and more fair to compare and contrast since we saw them all at virtually the same point in time. Though it was with a heavy heart that we left that beautiful balcony at BLT for the lovely (but certainly less grand) Saratoga Springs. Originally when we booked, 2015 was going to be either DCL or a non-Disney trip, but now that we are doing Grand Californian for the DL trip in March, I wish I had booked at OKW instead of SSR to save some points. By the time I realized that I could have saved us a few points, it was too late for the switch to benefit us and it's always nice to visit our "home".

When we checked in at Saratoga, we did encounter a minor computer glitch. The CM who helped us had a bit of trouble checking out our BLT reservation (see, we weren't suppose to go!), but she eventually got it straightened out. I believe that on the online check-in, there is not a spot to select "close to DTD", so I checked "close to carriage house". Our room assignment was in the Grandstands. We asked if there were any rooms available in Congress Park and we lucked out. Our room wasn't ready at 8:30 in the morning (shocking, I know), so we set up the new charging account and off we went! We got to EPCOT a little bit later than we had hoped, but not a huge deal. We still had time to ride Test Track before our Soarin' FP ran out, but we decided to go single rider just to be safe. It's a good thing we did because we just made the end of our Soarin' window. We had a few minutes to kill before F&W started, so I talked Benn into another Figment ride yay That was the first time I ever got him on that ride twice in one trip!

This was to be our last round at F&W as we would not be back to EPCOT on this trip. Lunch today began with the Tuna Poke from Hawaii (delicious--thanks, Jan for the ringing endorsement) and Conch Salad from Puerto Rico (kind of tough--ok, but mainly because I like cilantro). I wish I had chosen the Carne Guisada instead. I made up for it with the Canadian cheddar cheese soup. We had hoped to get an orange slush and a cup of sorbet in France, but neither place was open, so those will have to be a next time treat. At least we were right on time to meet Belle. We stopped for a Bratwurst in Germany. I don't so much do sausage, so I was prepared to hate this, but it was actually really good, especially on a pretzel roll and dipped in mustard. Next was lemongrass chicken in Singapore. This was about a 5th tier choice and Benn didn't care for it too much, but I really enjoyed it. On a whim, we decided to try the kimchi pork in South Korea and I'm so glad that we did because it was really delicious. Then, so that China wouldn't feel left out, we tried some Chicken Potstickers. They were actually pretty good, but not as good as Ohana. We almost didn't even stop because Chinese food is so plentiful at home that it's hard to get excited about it at F&W. It's not exotic fare. It's what we eat when I don't feel like cooking dinner. We hit Norway just in time to take our last ever ride on Maelstrom. Let's see, this was Thursday, so we were down to the last four days for the attraction. Finally we arrived at Australia and after about 5 laps around WS, I was finally in the right place at the right time to try the Pavlova. I know it's been panned by most of the F&W reporters, but I thought it was super tasty. It was a very light and refreshing dessert. Since this was our last day at EPCOT for this trip, I convinced Benn to go to the festival center one more time so I could have another cup of drinking chocolate.



















By this point, we had received a room ready text (ohmygosh! it actually works somewhere!), so we decided that going back to SSR to change was preferable to changing in the locker rooms at Typhoon Lagoon. Back to SSR, where we made our way up to the third floor with our bags. Our view was largely tree-obstructed, but we were happy to be near the stairs and the parking was plentiful in our area. We were very convenient to the quiet pool, but we had a lot going on once we moved, so we actually didn't take time to enjoy the pool.



Benn was very reluctant to go to the water parks, but I convinced him that it was important to research them to see what was there. I'm glad I did because we had such a great time at Typhoon Lagoon. Be advised that there is no parking fee, but you'll pay just as much to rent a locker and two towel, so remember to "borrow" towels from the pool at your resort if drying off is important to you. We learned for the second day that it was hot enough that we basically dried off walking bad to the car and the towels were not truly a necessity. However, because we were driving, the locker most certainly was. Good news: It's like $12 or 13 to rent a small locker, but you get $5 back when you return the key and even if you charged the rental via Magic Band, they just hand you a $5 bill, so that was kind of cool. Also, not something that you have a lot of control over, but the pavement gets HOT, so if the area in front of your locker is in the sun, watch out! I have no pictures of TL because water + camera = bad, so I'll just try to paint you a picture with my imagination brush. The theming here was absolutely amazing. It was like a deserted island (um except with a lot of people on it--actually it didn't seem very crowded. We could easily get a turn to do everything.) There was a giant ship to help orient you and the park seemed surprisingly small relative to the theme parks. The rides were more interconnected--there was one main hill and most of the slides started on that hill at some point.

We found Typhoon Lagoon to be confusing at first. The lazy river encircles the main activity area of the park, but you can only cross the lazy river at certain places and with all of the cabana areas, food locations, and non-linear paths, it is easy to become disoriented--especially since I was not wearing my glasses because we were at a water park and I basically can see about 8 feet in front of me without them. It probably took us about 10 minutes to figure out how to get onto the lazy river. I'd never been on one before and it was so much fun! You just hop in an inner tube and float with the current. As some spots along the way they have waterfalls and things to splash you, but there are no drops or sudden turns and you can get off the tube and easily avoid getting your head wet if you want to. I could have floated in the river all day, but we thought that perhaps we should see what else Typhoon Lagoon had in store for us. Next we tried the wave pool and it was all the fun of wave jumping in the ocean without the gross sea life and seaweed touching you. I would have really liked that if we could have had a boogie board, but I was afraid of crashing down with the wave and hitting the bottom. Under ordinary circumstances, I didn't care, but a watermark is certainly a more dangerous activity than a regular theme park and I didn't want to hurt myself before the race.

After a few waves, we turned to the water slides. These were a lot of fun, but I was surprised that we had to haul our own rafts and things up the stairs at each one. It wasn't bad except for rolling the team raft up the hill, but I was more surprised that it wasn't a liability insurance issue to have people walking up wet stairs. It was kind of nice to have that autonomy. We did the storm slides, which were a lot like the great pool slides at the resorts, but bigger. We also did Keelhaul Falls, Mayday Falls, and Gangplank Falls. I think Gangplank was the group raft. That was pretty fun. I think it was Mayday that Benn and I could ride together in a double inner tube. I totally forget what Keelhaul did, but I know that they were all fun and none of them were scary. I also forget what the big one is called at Typhoon Lagoon. Wow I didn't do a very good job on my notes for this day. It was a little bit overwhelming being at a completely unfamiliar park and trying to learn our way around and remember everything that we were seeing. I forgot what it was like to be a newbie at a park!! laugh We also stopped by the tank where you can swim with the sharks and fishes and rays, but that required snorkel gear and neither of us were terrible excited about having a plastic mask over our face and swimming in the tank with the fish poop when chlorinated water abounded. We did enjoy the underwater viewing area. We gave TL two thumbs up and we would absolutely go again. When we do our Universal trip eventually, I could see us paying extra to do a Disney water park day.

Since our building was the second one from the DTD walkway ( muchlove ), we walked to Earl of Sandwich for dinner. Holiday Turkey? Yes, please! Benn had a Turkey Reuben, not my cup of tea, but he liked it. We also split a tomato soup. Benn's picture below was taken right after he realized that he was out of sandwich. We did some window shopping and I made a crazy Potato Head. We walked down to characters in flight because back in April, I had purchased discount tickets for four on a groupon and the deal was that the money paid did not expired even thought the tickets would only be offered at the promotional price until the end of April. Well it was down when we went with my parents in April, so we missed out on the promo rate. We didn't try in May because there was no way that Benn's aunt was flying in a balloon. It was too windy when we tried in August. Well, you guessed it, too windy tonight, too. We knew we were coming back to DTD one more time, so no big deal. We finished up with some Ghiradelli ice cream on the way home. Gotta be honest, not my favorite. This is the second time I've tried it and it's to thick. It's almost chewy and it's so heavy that I feel kind of sick after I eat it.


After we got home, I did some contract follow-up and went for my last training run. SSR was definitely my least favorite place to run. The trail was poorly marked and I ended up running a random path through the resort. I did have one of my best times, though and it was a very pretty run.

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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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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Love reading your TR alicemouse! Love all your pics. awesome

If that was the Colony Salad at Liberty Tree Tavern, I quite enjoyed that when we ate there in January. I thought mine was a litter bigger, but I could be mistaken - maybe there have been some changes since then?

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Day 9: MK/ Blizzard Beach

Rope drop and turn left...this works so well under the new system with these low to moderate crowd levels. We did notice a slightly larger crowd today as the race weekend participants started to arrive. We had a FP for Barnstormer this morning because I love that ride, but I hate waiting in line for it because it's only about 5 seconds long. Luckily there was basically no line, so we saved our FP for later (not that we ended up using it, so it doesn't really matter). We used our 7DMT FP while we were waiting to meet up with Benn's friend from high school and her husband who happened to be down for the weekend. I didn't take a ton of pictures today because we already had a ton and we had done a very similar itinerary most other days that we had come to MK, but I did continue playing with the B&W feature and I finally got a decent shot of the old hag at the cottage on 7DMT.




These dear, sweet people had told Benn the day before that they were going to use that email link that they had received a few weeks earlier to get a FP for BOG at lunch time. Awww...if only. So of course that didn't work, so they decided that they would arrive at 10:30 and just get in line. Well, that would probably be a little late, but we agreed to meet them at the line. So when we exited 7DMT at 10:25, we walked over to BOG, hoping to still be able to grab a spot in line for them. Of course that was too late and they had closed the line. Benn's friends arrived around 10:45. After a few minutes of visiting while we watched to see if the line would be reopened, the CM's guarding the gate came over and offered us paper FP's for 12:50. The friends (who were also with another couple who were also running in the ToT 10-miler) proceeded to spend the next 15 minutes attempting to track down coffee. At one point we were checking Pinocchio's Village Haus and we decided to split up and meet later at Top of the World to watch Hallowishes. I was looking forward to spending more time chatting with them, but we were starving, had a PPF FP coming up, had to go to the runDisney Expo for packet pick-up, and wanted to get to Blizzard Beach in the afternoon. If we kept touring by meandering aimlessly around, we were never going to get our must-do's accomplished. So we just grabbed some flatbreads for lunch wince we were already at Pinocchio's. I also ordered a Blue Raspberry slushy...big mistake. Apparently the machine wasn't turned on early enough or it was malfunctioning because it was barely cold and without the proper amount of ice, it was basically a cup of blue raspberry syrup. I love blue raspberry, but that was a little rough. Peter Pan made up for my disappointing slushy and then we headed off to the Expo.

I was at ESPN Wide World of Sports for a conference last summer to learn the new compulsory gymnastics routines that I had to teach to my team, so I was familiar with the venue, but this was Benn's first trip. I really like the vibe there. All of the buildings are yellow stucco and accented with palm trees, it just comes across as a really fun place. Packet pick-up was in the giant arena where our conference was held and all that was in the arena was the packet pick-up, transportation information, a seminar stage, and a photo op. In typical Disney style, everything was clearly labeled and easy to find. We picked up the race packet, t-shirt, and the pin that I had pre-purchased. We also stopped to talk with the transportation representative for directions on the best way to get to the race. Since SSR was a host resort, we were able to take a bus directly from SSR to DHS and then take the same bus back when we were ready to leave the after party. I also signed up for the runner tracking with a little bit of difficulty because Facebook was being uncooperative.






We could have easily left at this point because all of our needs for the race had been met, but we decided to walk over to the expo just to see what it was like. I did buy another pin that was made specifically for the event, but that was it. There was soooo much merchandise and it was soooo expensive. Like one of those cute little running skirts was $70. Definitely not something that I needed! After buying our pin and making a lap around the expo, we changed for Blizzard Beach and headed out!


We had decided that towel rental was not necessary and we had intended not to rent a locker, but we neglected the fact that we had to do something with the car key and with the electronic key fob, tying it onto a swimsuit strap and playing in the water was not really an option. So, we got sucked into the locker thing again. This time we were notified of the option to get either an Olaf sling bag or $5 back when we returned the key. I would characterize Blizzard Beach as more fun and easier to navigate than Typhoon Lagoon, but not nearly as charming. The lazy river is very similar, so we enjoyed that again. The wave pool is different here. It deploys small rolling waves instead of "typhoon-like" waves and inner tubes are provided for riding the waves. I was sitting on one of the tubes and the motion actually made me a little bit nauseous. Benn had the same issue on the lazy river. Nothing bad, just a little bit off balance. The slides here are broken up into slop colors. The team slide is way more fun at BB than at TL, but you have to have at least 4 people to ride, so we've finally found the one ride at WDW where being a party of 2 is not an advantage. The Toboggan slides were awesome! There is a racing slide and a curvy slide and you go down them headfirst. I've always said when we watch the Winter Olympics that I would rather do Skeleton than Luge because I'd much rather face down the hill so I can see where I'm going. Well after using the toboggan mats, I can officially confirm that this is true. The other great thing about the toboggan style slides is that you glide across the water to come to a stop on the surface rather than dropping into a deep pool and having water shoot up your nose. Finally, I decided to try to take a step toward conquering my fears of dropping and enclosed spaces. Benn and I did a racing slide that was partially enclosed and started off with (to me) a steep drop--I think it was called Double Dip or something. In exchange, Benn rode the chairlift, which totally freaked him out. He thinks that the chairs will fall off the rope. We weren't sure if the water parks would hold our interest, but we shut the park down both days, so I would say that they were a hit! Once again, no pictures because, you know, water.

We had some time before dinner and obviously required showers, so we went back to SSR. Benn took a quick nap and I read through the race information before we left for dinner at The Wave. We had a little bit of extra time when we arrived, so we stopped by the Contemporary arcade again. Benn had an amazing round at the Robin Hood game and won 500 tickets. We didn't have time to choose a prize, so we were going to try to make time to come back later. We had been looking forward to a relaxed dinner at The Wave, but since we had made plans to meet with Benn's friends, we felt a little but rushed with our 7:45 reservation. We decided to split an appetizer (The Wave appetizer for two) and an entree (Pork Tenderloin). The service here was fantastic and the fish tacos on the appetizer were delicious. The pork was good, but not as good as the kimchi pork at South Korea and let's not even talk about it as compared to the pork at Ohana. To be fair, I'm not typically a huge fan of pork and Ohana and South Korea were basically the best pork I've ever eaten. The crab cakes on the appetizer were nothing compared to the crab cakes that we get in the mid-Atlantic region and they were incredibly disappointing. Oh and the potatoes that were served with the pork were stiff and tasteless. It may have just been our selections or it may have been an off night, but I had high expectations for this meal and I was definitely disappointed in our meal overall relative to the other fabulous dining experiences we had during our trip.





We finished in plenty of time to get up to Top of the World to meet Benn's friends. We had a great spot for 6 staked out against the wall. Benn texted them to find out where they were. At first they told us that they had gone to the Contemporary for Mexican confused We quickly realized that they meant Coronado. By the time their bus arrived at MK, the rain had begun. Of course by the time they arrived upstairs (the friends that they were staying with own DVC, so they had no trouble getting into the lounge), the rain had mostly stopped. We ended up having a dry spell long enough to watch all of Hallowishes and then spent some time visiting in the lounge. It was our last "normal" Disney evening for the trip and it was a great way to spend it.


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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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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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The fantastic trip report continues! SSR and Typhoon Lagoon were especially interesting to me because we've got both of them coming up in February. Fish poop water ... LOL!

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Ha! Benn looks sooooo sad that his sub is gone! biggrin

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Allie wrote:
Ha! Benn looks sooooo sad that his sub is gone! biggrin

Confession: I had to have him pose again because I missed the shot the first time.

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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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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Worth it.

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alicemouse wrote:
Personally, I have yet to encounter a beer that I actually like the taste of and the Innis & Gunn was no exception. Give me vodka and fruity flavors any day of the week and twice on Sunday! laugh

Have you ever tried Abita Purple Haze? I'm not a beer drinker at all and I drank about half of Geordon's glass of this.

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I have the same problem with inner tubes - ride one for very long and I get queasy. So I don't - I either swim in the lazy river or use one of those noodle things to make swimming a little bit easier. The only slide I can handle at Blizzard Beach is the toboggan ride that goes straight down. Even the curvy one makes me sick.

Sorry you didn't like the Innis & Gunn. The only other beer I've ever had that I thought was half decent was also an Oktoberfest beer, but not at WDW. My drink of choice is usually wine, although I enjoy an occasional gin and tonic and really old brandy and whiskey (or whisky for the Scottish among us biggrin).

Also sorry you didn't have the most awesome meal ever at The Wave. We really enjoyed it when we were there, but didn't order the same entree you did.

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crazycatperson wrote:
I have the same problem with inner tubes - ride one for very long and I get queasy. So I don't - I either swim in the lazy river or use one of those noodle things to make swimming a little bit easier. The only slide I can handle at Blizzard Beach is the toboggan ride that goes straight down. Even the curvy one makes me sick.

Sorry you didn't like the Innis & Gunn. The only other beer I've ever had that I thought was half decent was also an Oktoberfest beer, but not at WDW. My drink of choice is usually wine, although I enjoy an occasional gin and tonic and really old brandy and whiskey (or whisky for the Scottish among us biggrin).

Also sorry you didn't have the most awesome meal ever at The Wave. We really enjoyed it when we were there, but didn't order the same entree you did.

I knew that you had motion issues, but that's a bummer that it even hits you on the water slides!

I've really never had a beer that I've liked the taste of. Mostly I can't get past that vague stale bread sort of flavor. I can choke down a corona if I stick about 6 lime wedges in it, but that's about it, so I'm really a terrible judge of whether or not a beer is any good. I've got a whole list of things that most people seems to like that I just can't stomach--coffee and any variation thereof, mushrooms, pineapple, blueberry, cherry (except maraschino), peaches, mangos, pretzels (and I live in Hanover--pretzel capital of the universe)....and probably some others

We already had The Wave booked, but when I read your review, I was looking forward to it even more. It wasn't bad and I really can't say enough nice things about our server, but the food just wasn't a standout for us as a whole. And it may very well just have been the particular entree that we chose that night. I do like that the food is all local. I like that we support the farmers by creating local demand for their meat and produce and I like knowing where the food is coming from.

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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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Kristen K. wrote:
alicemouse wrote:
Personally, I have yet to encounter a beer that I actually like the taste of and the Innis & Gunn was no exception. Give me vodka and fruity flavors any day of the week and twice on Sunday! laugh

Have you ever tried Abita Purple Haze? I'm not a beer drinker at all and I drank about half of Geordon's glass of this.

I haven't, Kristen, but thanks for the suggestion. I didn't think I liked wine either, but last December when I ended up hanging out with Magic Mirror at EPCOT due to both of our significant others being ill one night, I did try a wine in Germany that I really liked. I think it was called William's Punch--it had a creamy texture and it was served warm, not like any other wine I'd ever tasted and it was actually pretty good. So I guess there's a possibility that there's a beer that I like somewhere out there!

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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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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Loving your trip report and all the great pictures. It sounds like you made the best out of even the rainy times. What fun that you got to experience staying in multiple resorts! Did you have a favorite (sorry if you said and I missed it)?

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CEB NYC wrote:
Loving your trip report and all the great pictures. It sounds like you made the best out of even the rainy times. What fun that you got to experience staying in multiple resorts! Did you have a favorite (sorry if you said and I missed it)?

Thanks, CEB NYC! Wilderness Lodge was hands down my favorite Disney resort I've ever stayed at--and that's with the main pool torn out. Bear in mind that I have never stayed at Poly, GF, AKL, or Yacht/Beach Club. I did like Bay Lake Tower and the theming is as rich there as WL, but it's much more subtle. There was a time when I would have loved it, but WL just felt so cozy contrasted with BLT's cold (including temperature...brrrr!). Saratoga is our home and it's a wonderful resort, but our room this time was a big shabbier and had a poor view compared to our last experience there.

__________________

Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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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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What an amazing trip report alicemouse! Your photos are excellent. And those food photos... MMMMMMMM.... awesome

Thanks for sharing your trip with us! mickey