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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How deb met the dwarves

Traveling out to Orlando was a breeze from Minneapolis, although we were more tired than expected for the rest of the day.
As soon as we got to the hotel, we took a few minutes to collect our thoughts and disney bags, and then headed to the magic kingdom. It was a bit overcast, but nothing would dampen our spirits! The drizzle of rain just reminded us of vacations in England!
We had seen a few Christmas decorations along the way, but nothing prepared us for the entrance of magic kingdom. The toy soldiers were out in full force, along with garlands all along Main Street.
The first christmas event was to watch the fairy godmother transform the castle into a decorated and fully lighted one. awesome.

Wow. It's amazing. Pictures will not do it justice.
Regular readers will suspect by now that deb was hungry, so Paul took her to Peco's bills before something bad happened. Deb suspected the dwarves would be in frontier land, and they were, but the line was an hour long. Ugh. We took some pictures instead. Aren't they cute in their little hats and scarves?

We rode splash mountain - twice! As we got to the end of the first ride, they asked if we wanted to ride again. Why not? No one was waiting the whole night, probably because it was too cold for anyone but tough yoopers. Unfortunately, their camera thingy was broken, so we didn't get to snag a photo of us.
It was now time for the parade. We got great spots in front at frontier land, right where the parade starts.

The big guy ends ends the parade!

After the parade, the line for the dwarves was the shortest yet, so we waited a few minutes to get an awesome picture. Sneezy apparently sneezed on deb, but it was all good.

After a ride on big thunder mountain, we checked out the fireworks, then had some yummy cocoa. We even checked our email! Hmmm...?
The new fantasyland is partly open, so we visited dumbo, the Barnstormer, and then daisy, Minnie, Donald, and goofy in the big top. They were a lot of fun in their circus costumes.
We then dashed to tomorrow land to see their cool show, rode space mountain, and pretty much were exhausted, so we wandered back home, getting some more PhotoPass pictures along the way.

Tomorrow land show.

Castle show

Main Street at night.

Happy, tired, and headed home.
Our bags were waiting for us in our room. Gotta love that magic!
The Internet, by the way, has not been as reliable as we hoped. We'll do our best to keep blogging! Our friends can find more regular updates on Facebook. Emails and quick things seem to work better.
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

On our way! WDW the Christmas experience

The bags are packed, we're at the airport, and we've had a great breakfast. Let's hope Paul doesn't have any forced marches planned for deb on this trip!

Will Deb meet grumpy or be grumpy tonight? Stay tuned!

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