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Joined: 02/21/2011
Posts: 55
We're back!

And we had a wonderful time. But it is nice to be home with the animals too Smile

I had the bright idea to track our progress around the parks using the phone's gps and we clocked up around 100km (62 miles), over 5.5 days, give or take a little. We couldn't track the evenings because it ran out of battery, and there were a couple of times we forgot to stop it before we got on the bus, so it is approximate. Still, that's a fair bit of walking! I've included a link to each day's tracks so anyone interested can view them in google maps.

A couple of notes about the trip in general:
- free wifi was available at OKW and we did use it, just for keeping in touch with our MIL who was house sitting the animals for us.
- overall, we preferred AKL to OKW. The smaller size/less walking/one bus stop is better, plus, it seemed buses were less frequent when going to OKW.
- we would definitely consider going back for the food and wine festival and halloween parties - they were awesome!
- it was worth purchasing the express pass for the halloween night at universal studios. It would have been difficult to get through everything without it.
- another time I think I'd book a late-ish lunch at a resort each day rather than booking breakfast or dinner, just to avoid the most busy time of day.
- it seemed like there were a lot of breakdowns this time! Not sure why that would be the case though.
- the touring plans weren't so crucial this time, since we knew our way around. They were still handy though.

Saturday 15th: spent the day at Kennedy Space Center, then caught the magic express to Old Key West Resort. It was a 10 minute walk from the front desk to our room! I didn't realise how big the resort was when I booked it. We dumped our luggage and walked back to Olivia's for tea at 8:30pm. Rob enjoyed the meatloaf and I had the crab cakes - the sauces with this were wonderful.

Sunday 16th: first day at Disney!
Headed over to the Magic Kingdom today. We planned all our days around the lowest crowd levels (love touring plans!) and today was predicted at 1.1.
Breakfast at the main street bakery - cinnamon scrolls for the win. Rob loves these - here in Australia, things like this usually have sultanas or currents in them, so he avoids them.
We forgot the touring plan, so we were winging it. Straight over to Space Mountain, followed by Splash Mountain and Big Thunder. We managed to ride all of these several times during the day, although space mountain was down for a while in the afternoon. Multiple rides on pirates and the haunted mansion - by the end of the day, the staff there were getting into the halloween thing and having some fun with it. We also rode Snow White's Scary Adventures for the first time. Thought about riding Winnie-the-Pooh, but the line was too long! Did Buzz, although I think it broke after we go in line - the 20 minutes became 40, and the line itself didn't move an inch for quite a while.
MK closed at 7 for MNSSHP, so we headed over to Boma at AKL for tea. We only had breakfast here last time, and Rob was keen to try dinner. It was a lovely buffet, so many choices! I had a tiny taste of most things, then hit the dessert bar. They had Zebra Domes! I crossed those off my todo list Smile
Popped out to one of the viewing areas after tea to watch the animals though the night vision goggles. Unfortunately there weren't any animals to see, but using the googles was fun anyway.
To get home, we hopped on a bus to HS, then on to Old Key West.

Magic Kingdom:

Monday 17th: off to epcot for the day!
Got in just after 9 and started off with the touring plan. Got fast passes for soarin', then zipped over to test track and mission space, orange. Did sum of all thrills and living with the land (both of which we missed last time) and nemo, then bounced back to soarin'.
It was lunch time by then, so we headed to the world showcase and toured the festival booths.
Didn't eat at the aussie both, but it smelled like home, lamb on the barbie, yum.
Argentina, beef empanada
Caribbean, ropa vieja
Mexico, shrimp tacos
Scandinavia, taste of Scandinavia
China, pork pot stickers
South Korea, boolgogi BBQ
Hops and barley, lobster claw cuddler
Ireland, bunratty mead
Canada, cheese soup
Then on the second pass;
German pavilion, caramel square
Brewers collection, set of three beers, Rob knows what he had, I ate my caramel square instead.
Japanese pavilion, tangerine ice.
Walked out through the back of epcot and down to the yacht club. Rob's keen to stay there another time, so we went to check it out. It looks good, found beaches and cream, very pretty! Too full to eat through Sad Headed back through epcot and hopped on space ship earth on the way out.
Caught the bus to Hollywood Studios. Did a short tour of the rides hitting star tours several times. Also did the rock and roller coaster a couple of times. Didn't spend too much time there because we would be back tomorrow, although we did get dinner at the 50s prime time cafe's bar (mom's favourites sampler and pot roast, so good!).
Headed over to the magic kingdom for extra magic hours. Mainly concentrated on space mountain, splash mountain and thunder mountain. Did Buzz too and the astro orbiter and winnie-the-pooh (both firsts). Headed home at midnight!

No MK track - the phone ran out of battery.

Tuesday 18th: Hollywood Studios!
Hit Star Tours again, several times. Rock'n'roller coaster was broken and they were turning people away. Rob did go on Tower of Terror, but I didn't. I'll think about doing it next time Smile Had lunch at Hollywood Brown Derby. I had the duck two ways and Rob had the salmon, then we shared the banana chocolate toffee tower for dessert. Very good, but perhaps not quite as good as I'd expect given the price.
We caught the bus to Coronado Springs - I love looking at the other resorts! It's huge! Even bigger than Old Key West, I think. Had a quick look at the reception area, then hopped on the bus to Magic Kingdom.
Arrived at MK about 6:30, ready for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party! It was so much fun and the park was pretty empty. It rained pretty heavily at first, but we did Buzz and it had lightened up by the time we came out. It did drizzle a little during the evening, but we were pretty lucky, given the forecast was for thunderstorms. We just did a loop of the park, trick or treating at the candy spots as we approached them and going on the rides in turn. There was a lot of people dressed up in constume, but we weren't the only ones in regular clothes. Space mountain was broken for a bit (again!) but they got it fixed while we were still in line.
We skipped the first parade - it was busy then, but there were a lot fewer people at the second parade. We also watched the fireworks from the magic carpet ride Smile The only disappointment was missing out on meeting Jack Sparrow - I lined up after the second parade, only to be told that the line ended two people in front of me Sad But other than that it was a good night and we stayed until midnight.

Hollywood Studios:

Wednesday 19th: up early and breakfast at Olivia's at 7:30. Very nice breakfast potatoes, sausage and eggs dish. Rob had the same. Headed out to catch the shuttle bus, but it was about half an hour late. The was another thing couple waiting for it, so at least we weren't the only ones.
Hit islands of adventure first, straight to the Harry Potter simulator ride. Wasn't a long wait, about 30 minutes. I love this one! Did the dragon challenge twice, first red then blue, since the wait was only 5 minutes. Wandered round to the river ride in Jurassic park. This wasn't open last time we were here. Great fun, big drop at the end.
On to spider man, love this, then the incredible hulk. Didn't do this last time, so did it twice this time. Picked up pretzels for lunch, then headed over to universal studios. Didn't realise last time the our tickets were for both parks, so we hadn't been here before.
Headed straight for revenge of the mummy, followed by men in black, and ET. Went round a second time and managed to get into disaster and the Simpsons, the lines were too long the first time. It was 5 by then and the park was closing to set up for Halloween, so we left and grabbed burgers from the whopper bar for tea.
Headed back to Harry Potter world and got back on the simulator (only 20 minutes wait) and the dragon challenge. Heading back to the main gates, but they had opened a shortcut between the two parks, so took that back into universal studios for their Halloween horror night.
I shrieked my way through the first two haunted houses, winter's night and nightingales blood prey. Rob jumped quite a bit too! After that I realised that they wouldn't actually touch me and I jumped a lot less.
We hit our third haunted house, the thing, our first scare zone, acid assault, then did the revenge of the mummy. That first scare zone had a woman in a clear perspex coffin, with rats in it. She was a real, alive person too (and so were the rats).
Lucky's lair scare zone was in a little narrow alley way, filled by the holidays of horror house. Walked all the way round to do jaws, then the saws and steam house and men in black and the nevermore house.
Bill and Ted's excellent Halloween adventure was quite funny, but it was getting really cold. I got some pop culture references that Rob missed for once.
Through scare zone 6, canyon of dark souls, which had lots of costumed people on stilts and on the The final two houses, the in between and the forsaken. We had 3D glasses for the in between, and there was a bridge through a tunnel that tricked your brain into thinking the bridge was tilting, so strange! The forsaken had the most awesome props, fish tanks with who knows what floating in them.
Continued on and did the last two scare zones, then headed out to the bus. We were so tired. Fortunately the bus had some no shows, so we were able to get on an hour early.

Universal Studios:

Thursday 20th - had a sleep in, up at 830. We were pretty tired, so it took us while to get going. Off to the animal kingdom! Followed the touring plan, mostly. Grabbed fast passes to Everest, then headed down to primeval whirl. Dinosaur, then grabbed a cherry turnover and a cinnamon scroll for a late breakfast. Got fast passes to safari, then went back to Everest (fun!). Did the two treks, followed by the safari. Lined up for Everest again, the wait was just under 30 minutes. Headed down to discovery island and walked the paths at the base of the tree, found one we didn't walk last time.
Caught the bus out to Saratoga springs, then walked across the bridge to the downtown Disney market place. Wandered all over the downtown area. Had a decadent hot chocolate from Ghirardelli's, along with a salted caramel hot cocoa. The caramel one was incredibly sweet! The chocolate was nice, and although the lady told us that it wasn't sweet, it was sweet enough.
Picked up taffy from goofy, along with character gummies.
Dinner at Fulton's crab house. We both had the clam chowder for starters, then Rob had the seafood trio for main and I had the popcorn shrimp and catch of the day. The chowder was excellent, as was the dip that came with crackers. My fish was a little bland though.
We had talked about going back to MNSSHP for a second time, or to HS for extra magic hours, but Rob was feeling a bit off - i think the lack of sleep caught up with him - so we headed back to the room. I took the opportunity to sort out the luggage for tomorrow, finished my book and caught up on these notes.

Animal Kingdom:
Downtown Disney:

Friday 21st - last day Sad
I cancelled our breakfast at Olivia's yesterday, so we had a small sleep in, dropped our bags with bell services and headed out to MK which had morning magic hours. We got in just before 9.
Did all our favourites and then Tom Sawyer's island which was a first, then headed to downtown disney again. Earl of Sandwich for lunch - their holiday sandwich (turkey, cranberry, gravy etc) was fabulous! If I'd tried that earlier, I would have eaten there all week. We grabbed icecream from Ghirardelli's then the bus back to the resort. A quick change of clothes, the onto the magical express for the trip back to the airport.

Magic Kingdom:
Downtown Disney:

Kristen K.'s picture
Joined: 09/01/2011
Posts: 23803

Sounds like a fantastic trip! I love that you tracked you path with the GPS, how fun is that! Your food reviews are making me hungry this morning!

Vettelover's picture
Joined: 03/28/2009
Posts: 4658

Great trip report Helen thanks a lot and thanks for the tip about GPS tracking, I will try that when I go.


Mase's picture
Joined: 03/02/2011
Posts: 5438

Thats really cool with the GPS! Great report! biggrin


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

JoAnn C's picture
Joined: 05/20/2011
Posts: 6757

Welcome back. Glad you had a good time. I have to run out for an appointment so I'll read the trip report later on.


Jess's picture
Joined: 03/04/2011
Posts: 3280

Loved the trip report....that halloween thing at Universal sounds like so much fun Smile


JoAnn C's picture
Joined: 05/20/2011
Posts: 6757

Great trip report. I like the Google maps you included.


Lizzy_B's picture
Joined: 10/25/2010
Posts: 3246

Wow - you packed so much in! Sounds like you had a fantastic time....thanks so much for sharing !


Joined: 02/21/2011
Posts: 55

Thanks guys, glad you liked it. I look foward to seeing other people's maps in the future Smile

Bella's picture
Joined: 06/11/2010
Posts: 3886

Man..too bad I always over eat at Disney because I can't imagine how much weight I would loose walking 60 some miles. Oh well. I'd rather eat Mickey Bars I suppose!

Great TR! We enjoyed OKW but I agree it's surprisingly gigantic isn't it! I loved the Crabcakes at Olivia's when we went..yum..yum!


mickey Bella

Joined: 02/21/2011
Posts: 55

Bella, I weighed exactly the same when I got home as when I left...I guess we did enough walking to offset the amount of food we ate! And I would choose to eat dessert everytime wink

JoAnn C's picture
Joined: 05/20/2011
Posts: 6757

helen wrote:
Bella, I weighed exactly the same when I got home as when I left...I guess we did enough walking to offset the amount of food we ate! And I would choose to eat dessert everytime wink

Got to love when that happens. Desserts rule!