Friday, December 07, 2012

It's a wild world

Our planning suggested that animal kingdom would be less crowded today. It's not the most popular park, and the Christmas decorations are a bit more low key here. Our planning was good - we did everything we wanted here, and waiting in no lines!

We got fast passes for Everest right away, and then went off to see the nemo show, and grab passes for dinosaur. Nemo is one of our favorite shows at disney. It's original music, with great puppetry, and of course the great story. Because it's original, it has the least amount of weird cuts and the smoothest story, in my opinion.

The dinosaurs are scary! Hope they don't time travel back with us.

I just love wandering around Asia. The pennants are so colorful, and the backdrop of the mountain is great.

You can't go too far at disney without seeing a turkey leg. We decided to share one, and Paul decided to dissect it rather than eat like a cave man (who, according to Paul weren't around during dinosaur times, anyway)

I love Everest!

This was the only time we were in animal kingdom to see the parade, and it was the jingle jungle parade! We were facing the sun for most of it - oops - but still managed to have a great time before leaving.

Dinner was at kona cafe. A less than magical moment yesterday was aloha isle running out of dole whip. It boggle the mind. Anyway, the poly has a never ending supply, so we got our dole whip (minus the pineapple juice, boo hoo)

Dinner was at kona cafe. I had read some bad press on it lately, but our experience was great. We did wait a bit here for dinner, but were seated within about ten minutes of our reservation time. Crab cakes and warm pineapple bread (with honey walnut butter omg) to start

Lamb for Paul, duck for deb. Both were outstanding.

Creme brûlée for Paul, panne cotta for deb. yum.

We dashed into the magic kingdom to check out a shop and caught a small bit of the electric parade. Thankfully, Cinderella and Snow White had moved on to flirting with other gentlemen, so we went safely home to bed for an earlier night.

We're going on a safari tomorrow! Better get rested or the alligators will eat us up!

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More magic by the minute!

So, let's just say that the wifi at disney was less than magical, so the blogging was disrupted. We're safely back in reality land, with real dishes to clean, bags to empty, and real back aches.

On Tuesday of our vacation, we knew it would start to get busier, so we booked smartly to help us avoid the crowds and do everything we wanted.

First, we went to crystal palace for breakfast. Our reservations were at 8:50am, which was just before the magic kingdom opened. So, lucky us got to get in the park with almost no one there! The photopass photographers were already out, so we some fabulous shots of the two of us and the opportunity to take our own shots with very few people in them.

There is always someone there nice enough to take your picture!

It was then time for our Segway tour at fort wilderness! We did the Epcot tour last time, and really enjoyed it. We had enough time to wander around and check out the decorations there before going on a great tour!

Not us! Photo of Paul is not on the ipad.

After our tour, we went to the Grand Floridian to check out their decorations and massive gingerbread house. The velvet ropes are about four feet off the ground.

Back to the magic kingdom, where the new fantasyland was OPEN! We loved going under the sea and checking out Belle's village.

And, the camera was working at splash mountain today!

To cap off a great evening, we bought tickets for the fireworks party. We had the best view, best deserts, hot chocolate, and no worrying about where to be.

We then watched our favorite parade - the electric parade. I cannot hear that music without smiling. We were (quite literally) dancing on Main Street. Yes, Paul was dancing. It's his favorite parade, too. Tinker bell leads the parade, and I shouted up to her that it was Paul's birthday, and she shouted back birthday greetings. Since the late parade is much less crowded, Cinderella and Snow White noticed Paul's button and started flirting with him. I'm going to have to keep my eyes on those girls.

Oh, almost forgot. TEACUPS!

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Monday, November 19, 2012

A mellow day at the movies

Today was our day with no reservations. Since we have a truly magical day planned tomorrow, we decided to be a bit low key today.

We started by having a nice breakfast at the hotel, and then found the boat to go to downtown disney. We decided that watching a movie would be a good thing to do today, since the best theater back home is our living room. We had planned to see the James Bond movie, but didn't want to do the dinner and movie thing, so we went to see twilight. The price was cheaper than back home - $12 for two tickets - what the heck? Of course, there was more than just us in the theater, so hopefully they make up for it in volume.

Deb normally loves previews, but five is her limit. Plus, although we were at a vampire movie, did every preview really have to be about witches, vampires, or zombies? Very strange.

At any rate, the movie was good, and we followed it up with a nice lunch at Wolfgang puck's express.

We did some more shopping here at probably the world's largest disney store, and then headed to Epcot to wander around and eat more shwarma. Seriously, the shwarma is that good. We eat it twice almost every trip. Paul likes to visit the universe of energy and take pictures outside of the cool glass building, and send himself postcards from the future in spaceship earth.

After that, a bit of tea and coffee in the food court, and then off to an early bedtime!

P.s. if you don't know, the disney cleaning staff are sort of famous for leaving behind towel animals. We're using our second bed to arrange them in different scenes each morning. Here is yesterday morning with our Mickey ears, and two swans. Just a little extra magic every day!

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

More action at Hollywood studios

We had a nice slow morning today, having some beignets at the hotel and fruit for lunch. Forgot to take pictures, so just imagine a donut covered in powdered sugar, and you're good!
We had lunch scheduled at Hollywood studios today that came with reservations for fantasmic. We really enjoy that show, and having reservations makes it a little less stressful to just walk in and find a seat.
Lunch was at mama melrose's - yum! We started with mussels in a lovely tomato broth.

Pasta for the main course. Paul had fish piccata, and I had shrimp with a cheese sauce.

Desert was a medley of treats.

We spent quite a bit of time in the gift shop today. We saw some really cool cartoon drawings done right at the studios. Paul fancied one for his birthday, we got a Christmas one for our home, and we got Paul a personalized one with a birthday greeting from Mickey.
One of our favorite shows is lights, motors, action, so we headed to that next. This time, we got to see it with the new lightening McQueen material. Very cool. It was fun to see him in action.

We then meandered to the other side of the park to see fantasmic. We love this show. The water effects, fireworks, and action make it really unique. Plus, who doesn't love seeing Mickey be the hero?

There was a little time left before the park closed, so we spent some more time seeing the Osborne family lights. We enjoyed sharing a hot chocolate flavored with gingerbread, and watching the lights. You can check out a bit of the action here.

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Lights, camera, more lights!

We started today with a conundrum. What do you eat at 10:30? Deb was sure it wasn't breakfast, but it also wasn't lunch. By the time we figured out what meal it might be, deb was ready to share a sandwich for lunch. Yum!

We then headed to Hollywood studios, for a day of glamour and excitement. Or, mostly thrill rides and shows. We managed to ride several rides (tower of terror, rock-n-roll roller coaster, star tours) and catch two shows (beauty and the beast, Indiana jones, and the parade). Deb still gets a little misty over beauty and the beast.

We shopped a bit, and just wandered around in general before our dinner at the Hollywood brown derby. We really enjoyed our meal, and particularly our beverages before, during, and after!

Deb had salmon, Paul had bison.

Our last call for the night was the Osborne Christmas lights. They are jaw droppingly amazing. The lights and music are fantastic. If you aren't in the spirit after seeing and hearing these lights, you must be Scrooge before seeing all of the Christmas ghosts.

We came home to cute little towel swans kissing, and had some tea before snuggling up for the evening.

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It's an Epcot kind of day

We were tired, so we really slept in this morning. Deb planned dinner at the garden grill, so we could take it easy this morning.
As we got into Epcot, the topiaries were amazing. Donald and goofy were skating in the front - so awesome. Loads of pointsettias, too. Just gorgeous.

There were also Bambi, thumper, flower, and stitch. So cool.
We mostly wandered around today, doing things we weren't able to do last time, or things that were our favorites, like soarin' and the land. We continue to be amazed by how many British people are on the land. They do love their gardens, although none of the children got terribly excited when they saw cucumbers this year.
As usual, the trip continues to be ruled by deb's hunger, so we stopped in the afternoon to get a Mediterranean snack. Love that shwarma and hummus!

Dinner at the garden grill was great again, with visits from chip, dale, Mickey and Pluto. As usual, we asked for more vegetables, while our neighbors asked for more mashed potatoes.

Desert was a yummy baked bread with berries and ice cream. Simple and delicious.

We had fast passes for soarin after dinner, but took a relaxing ride on the land first to see the greenhouses at night. Since we hadn't seen illuminations last time, we found a spot to watch the fireworks. They were amazing. (I'm going to say that a lot on this trip, but trust me, it's one of the adjectives that works.)

Deb had half-planned taking advantage of the extra magic hours tonight. Epcot was open to disney resort guests until midnight. So, while most folks left after the fireworks, we had some really nice time to wander though the countries, do a little shopping, and have a drink at the English pub. We also managed to catch quite a few photographers to get some great pictures at night at Epcot.

The best part of magic hours was that when we came back to the hotel, they were getting all of the Christmas decorations up. We got to see what we've seen on tv in the past. They have everything organized by crates, and lay it out, and spend the night putting it up.

Another long day, and time for bed!

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