englanddg's Surf and Turf Adventure (and Trip Report!) - Page 5
Page 5 of 8 FirstFirst ... 34567 ... LastLast
Results 61 to 75 of 106
  1. #61
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Mickey's backyard (Orlando, FL)
    Posts
    2,542

    Re: englanddg's Surf and Turf Adventure (and Trip Report!)

    Got caught up! Sounds like a nice day at Epcot. Germany is one of my favorite restaurants there
    Dream: Feb 12-16, 2012,Fantasy: 20-27, 2012, Dream: Sept 8-12, 2013,Magic: Jan 20-24, 2014,Dream: Sept 14-18, 2015
    TD Moderator

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    2,937

    Re: englanddg's Surf and Turf Adventure (and Trip Report!)

    Day 11 - Lions, Zebras and Yetis, Oh My! (Part 1)

    Magic - 2 (Great Safari Driver, Marshmallows!)
    Peeves - 1 (Bus Nightmares)
    Breakfast - Too much to list, Tusker House Buffet (shared)
    Lunch - Lettuce Cups, (me)
    Roast Pork, Mac and Cheese Bake, Strawberries, White Roll, Fanta (kid)
    Dinner - Grilled Wild Boar Tenderloin, Fire-roasted Oysters on the Half Shell, Oak-grilled Filet Mignon, Glass of Black Pearl Wine, Coke, Chocolate and Tea Safari (me), Seasonal Fruit, Sirloin Steak and Mac and Cheese, Jiko's S'mores, Sprite (kid)
    Snacks - 2 Sodas, 2 Coffees (free) (me), 1 Sprite, 1 Fanta, Water (kid)
    DP Credits - 50 - 8 = 42 Meal, 34 - 2 = 32 Need $127, used $220
    Steps - 17,809 Steps, 8.66 Miles, 31 "Very Active" minutes, 3494 Calories Burned

    Whew, yesterday was long, but fun. Today we woke up rather refreshed and ready to go. Or...I did at least! We had an early breakfast at Tusker House (8:45a), and I was chomping at the bit. So, I didn't let the kid slow me down! I had already had my obligatory morning coffees from the food court, straightened up the room, laid out her clothes and was dressed and ready before I even attempted to wake the princess from dreamland.

    She woke surprising easily, but was obviously not pleased. She clopped off to the shower with dragging leaden feet. While she got ready I got caught up on some work and checked into the national news. Even though I had internet on the cruise, I pretty much stayed out of the loop as to what was happening in the real world.

    Nothing too interesting happened in the world, certainly nothing worth adding to this report, so I'll move on.

    We hit the bus at 8:00a. Plenty of time to make it to Animal Kingdom...or so I thought!

    We did get to spot a cool wrapped bus while waiting!

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3691/9...7767756c_c.jpg

    By the time the bus came it was closer to 8:30a, and by the time we got to Blizzard Beach it was nearly 8:50! I've been navigating these buses for 4 years now, you'd think I'd have it down to a science...and I thought I did. That week on the Fantasy has spoiled me, and I forgot to give it at least an hour. Sometimes it can take less, but you have to hit the buses just right...especially when going to Animal Kingdom!

    See, on the ship, you are never more than 5 - 10 minutes (15 max) from your Stateroom. This impacts your planning in several ways.

    One, you can dash back to the Stateroom quickly to pick something up, or to have a quick shower / change before going on to a new activity.

    Two, you can pretty much set your own schedule, due to this convenience. If you want to wait until the last minute and dash to something, you can, and you will still probably make it there on time, or within a reasonable window of tardiness. The only exception I'd say for this would be if you have to meet up with a Port Excursion group...though, I noticed quite a few people coming in at just the last minute for those as well!

    Three, All of the ships activities, while scheduled, are close at hand. So, it allows you to make quick changes to the day's plans at the last minute based on how you and your group feel at the moment.

    Now, I do understand that this convenience is largely due to the constrained area of the ship, something that cannot be replicated at WDW...but, it doesn't make me miss it any less! It is a completely different "style" of vacation!

    Moving on, we didn't make it to the Animal Kingdom front gates until nearly 9:15, 30 minutes late!

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7319/9...111d5e5b_c.jpg

    We high tailed it back to Tusker House, and the whole way I was hoping they wouldn't have an issue with the fact that we were half an hour late... The kid wasn't too fond of the pace, but she was excited to meet Daisy (someone who was on her list of Autographs to get). Myself, I was motivated by hunger! I was famished! Add to that the fact that Tusker House is among my favorite Breakfast Buffets that I've ever done, and I was excited to be there as quickly as possible!

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7341/9...5972b329_c.jpg

    Of course, we had to stop along the way because the kid, an aspiring Audubon Society Photographer I suspect, had to take pictures of some birds.

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3695/9...03571f76_c.jpg

    When we reached the bridge to Africa, she spotted Everest, and immediately said "Lets do that next!"...

    http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2807/9...8df1312a_c.jpg

    Finally we spotted our restaurant. No line outside at the hostess stand, that's a good sign! They looked up our reservation and we were given a receipt to give to the Photopass Photographer and the Rear Seating / Hostess station.

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7360/9...752918f7_c.jpg

    We immediately got to take a photo with Donald. After this, there was a short wait before we were seated. Not bad, considering we were so late. I was embarrassed at how things had gone this morning, but all seemed to be well! Soon we were ushered to our seats. Let the feasting begin!

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7324/9...2d1ce2f6_b.jpg

    My first glass of Jungle Juice drained, the kid and I ventured out to the buffet. It was looking fantastic today. Fresh, with a wonderful mixture of aromas that filled the whole room with airborne tastiness!

    The kid was in the mood for bacon.

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7317/9...52148c98_c.jpg

    Not pictures is a plate with a mickey waffle and fruit! But, she enjoyed her bacon (I may or may not have shared with her)...<grin>

    First go around, I decided to go rather light (because I accidentally grabbed a small plate!).

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3698/9...a1272f5e_c.jpg

    I got a Blueberry Muffin, which was pretty good (though didn't have many blueberries, but I didn't mind!). An egg and spinach fritatta, which was delicious. Just enough spice. Only thing I would have liked was some Tabasco...but I was too hungry to track any down! Then there was the cinnamon roll. While not a cinnibon, it was pretty good. I accidentally thought that the vanilla sauce that was for another breakfast sweet at teh same station was for the rolls, but it didn't matter, the flavors worked well together!

    Round 2!

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7454/9...ca53d5a9_c.jpg

    Biscuits and Gravy with patty sausage on top. This I cut up into a nice mix of sausage, carb and sawmill gravy. The gravy and sausage wasn't quite as good as Chef Mickeys was, but the biscuit was much better. I suspect it's all the same recipe across the parks...I just think I caught them right after they put out fresh biscuits!

    I got some ham and cheese fritatta and a vegetable quiche. Both were tasty. I also tried a yam dish which was very sweet, yet not overly so. It really hit the spot.

    Last on the list is the mielie pap! This I adore! It has a texture that's a mix between Cream of Wheat and Grits. It was buttery and smooth, and I think it works well with pretty much any savory breakfast item, including being eaten by itself. I got more later and mixed it with scrambled eggs and sausage. Yum!

    So, you may be asking...what is mielie pap? Well, it's a corn based porridge (like grits), but it's got a finer texture. It's one of the few truly "African" dishes on the buffet...and, as I said, it's delicious! There are several types, and the version at Disney isn't the most "authentic", but it's still excellent!

    We had a visit from Goofy...

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7432/9...72fec64f_c.jpg

    And while the kid was using the restroom, Mickey came around...

    http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5481/9...48f33707_b.jpg

    But, neither of these were who the kid was waiting for...but don't worry, the lady of the hour made her appearance!

    http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2846/9...0c15c0bb_c.jpg

    Sated and happy, we made our way out into the African Village, stopping to enjoy the jams of these guys!

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3701/9...95638bc2_c.jpg

    Nothing like a great Street Party! The kid and I danced a bit, and she couldn't help herself but to pick up some instruments from the shop next door and join in the jam session!

    http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2843/9...065454b3_c.jpg

    I asked the kid if she'd like to go see the petting zoo at Rafiki's Planet Watch, since we were in the vicinity of the train station already. What's funny is that...in 3 years of prior trips ranging from 10 - 14 days each...we've never been back to that part of the Park. She got very excited by this idea, and after a quick pit stop on the way to snag some Fast Passes for the Safari, we were on the train on our way to have a new adventure!

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7326/9...4799c5a9_c.jpg

    The ride was pleasant, and I actually really liked all the details they put into the train itself (including making the ride a bit rocky, so the cars sway back and forth). The announcer was a bit boring...and it sounded like he really didn't want to be there, but we saw some neat things along the way. See, there is very little themeing on this ride once you leave the station. Rather, you are taken through the modern backstage area where they care for and house the animals. We got to see two White Rhino's up close, which was pretty cool. But, otherwise, I wouldn't call this "immersive"...rather it feels like they ran out of money halfway through design / construction, and just decided to say...forget it...we won't even try to theme it!

    Not that I mind, it was interesting to see the backstage areas. But, it doesn't really fit with the theme of the train...so, like I said, for such a well themed train, it felt...incomplete.

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3720/9...5868eda3_c.jpg

    When we got off, these guys caught the kid's eye, and she insisted we both take pictures with them. I spared you the picture of me...I'm not nearly as cute as she is!

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3679/9...f230b0f4_c.jpg

    Then we followed the nature trails back to the main attractions, the main building and the petting zoo! I enjoyed this walk. It's got a slight grade, but lots of shade and things to look at. They also have exhibits along the way, and I noted CMs out at each exhibit answering questions and giving short presentations about each animal. I love this sort of interactive stuff. I had noted it at Living Seas yesterday, and while I can't say if they always did this here, it's still nice to see!

    Along the way, the kid stalked a bird, and of course had to get a photo of it! Can you see him?

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7394/9...c282b0e1_c.jpg

    We came up on the main building and went inside. Immediately the kid was captivated by a CM holding a live baby alligator (which the thought was a crocodile at first, but it wasn't...always look at the snout!). The CM let her bet the Gator, and commented that the kid's eyes almost matched the Gators eyes. If she ever saw the kid attack a powdered doughnut or a bag of chips, the CM would realize she wasn't far off. The kid really does have Gator blood...at least when it comes to sweets! I don't have a picture of this because I was video recording and forgot to capture a picture during it.

    But, from there the kid really wanted to take a picture with this guy!

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7433/9...582c22a5_c.jpg

    <continued next post>

    Last edited by englanddg; 08-13-2013 at 11:51 PM.
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
    2010 - 2 weeks @ CBR
    2011 - 3 in DC, 14 @ CBR
    2012 - 3 @ Uni Royal Pacific, 12 @ Pop
    2013 - 3 @ DLR | Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ
    2015 - 2 in DC, 3 @ Uni Portofino, 3 @ AKL, DCL Fantasy, 4 @ AoA

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    2,937

    Re: englanddg's Surf and Turf Adventure (and Trip Report!)

    Day 11 - Lions, Zebras and Yetis, Oh My! (Part 2)

    I have to say, I think this area is rather nice. First, 1/3rd of it is air conditioned (a rarity at Animal Kingdom!). But, they also have a lot of interesting exhibits and CMs wandering around doing "meet and greets" with the true characters of the parks in hand, the animals. Not only did we meet a Gator, but we also met a Possum (which the kid thought was a giant rat at first, but really Possums are Marsupials! Close relatives to Kangaroos!), and her personal favorite...the albino Ferret.

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7380/9...d5545a8d_c.jpg

    All the CMs allowed touching and petting (closely observed, of course), and had giant jugs of hand sanitizer with them for after the "meet and greet" was over.

    At this point the kid wanted to tour all of the exhibits they have here. I handed the camera over to her. She waited about 10 minutes to get this picture..."I want him to come down close!", she said.

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3806/9...4c3d915b_c.jpg

    She also liked this Iguana.

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7411/9...3b0b60f5_c.jpg

    His (or her, I can't tell) compadre was a few yards away in the vet's office (visible to the public) getting a checkup by a group of CMs.

    After this we went over to see Rafiki, who was doing Meet and Greets. Along the way, the kid decided she wanted to take this picture (yes, she chose the pose, my kid is silly).

    http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5345/9...e50d6663_c.jpg

    Rafiki had quite a line at this point, even though the venue wasn't crowded at all. But, I noticed some interesting rooms behind him that I thought we should check out. It turns out, these rooms are the same technology as the old Sounds Dangerous Barbershop Rooms (which I always loved, and the kid did too before they were shut down!).

    Kiddo immediately recognized the booths and headphones, and made a comment about it, excited. After making sure that our headphones were on the proper ears (gotta get that full surround sound experience!), I hit the start button.

    It...was...fantastic! It was a presentation that starred the voice of Mother Willow from Pocahontas (something I wouldn't have recognized, but the kid did)...of course, like many things at Animal Kingdom, it took the conservation message and beat the listener over the head with it...not with a small reed, or even a thick stick. Nope, it used an industrial grade pile driver. But, all that aside, the sound effects were very well done.

    After this we went out to the petting zoo, where the kid played for about a half hour before we went over the gift shop. I came very...very...close to buying this. Not sure where I'd put it, but I wanted it!

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3783/9...82738c81_c.jpg

    We picked up a shirt for her mother, who is a huge Tigger fan.

    http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2852/9...2ab6cf9b_c.jpg

    Oh, and this is what you should see if you book a flight to Orlando through Travelocity!

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7334/9...7f913118_c.jpg

    Here the kid also quite literally begged (something she doesn't do much) for something. A Nala stuffed animal. She really wanted this. Of course, at first, I did the knee-jerk parental "No." Which was followed by, "Maybe later, lets see what else there is"...but she didn't give up. She REALLY wanted this Doll. The last time she'd begged for anything like this it was for the Figment doll back in 2010 that she still sleeps with at home.

    So, I caved...but with one condition! She had to carry Nala all day long. See, she didn't want the tiny Nala doll that would easily fit in my bag. She wanted the larger one. Also, she didn't want to wait for hotel delivery. Something about this doll "spoke" to her. <shrug> We've all had that moment with a toy at least once in our life. <grin>

    Frankly, I didn't think she'd carry it more than 15 minutes, but nope. She carried that doll all day, everywhere. Kudos, and I was quite happy she kept her promise without any nagging or comments on my part. It just made me feel good about the purchase, that this was something she really wanted, not some fleeting toy that she'd forget about in a day or less.

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7304/9...20a43bfa_c.jpg

    Though, throughout the day she did come up with some unique ways to carry Nala around.

    http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2816/9...0c315444_c.jpg

    It was time to leave, as we had a Fastpass window for the Safari closing soon. So, after picking up something to drink, we waved goodbye to Rafiki's and began our voyage back to Africa!

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7368/9...10db3468_c.jpg

    As we traveled back, I thought...why had we never visited this part of the Park before? It was a lot of fun, and very interesting (more interesting, at least zoologically speaking, than most of the rest of the park...as there was a ton of CM interaction there, and edutainment to boot!)...

    Well, I think I figured out an answer by the time we pulled into the station. Park layout. See, Animal Kingdom is my least favorite park, and there's more than a "no childhood memories of it" thing going on with that feeling. I can articulate exactly why I don't like it.

    1) It's hot. By far the hottest of all the parks. Even when the weather is rather mild (as it has been so far this trip), due to the nature of the park, it is very enclosed, breezes are rare, and it just feels hot and stuffy all the time. I suppose this adds to the "immersive" nature of it, but I'd rather not spend the day feeling like I just stepped out of a steam bath constantly.

    While I would probably be able to handle this fine by myself, with a kid...and being a single parent with one, it's just a nightmare. I couldn't even imagine a single parent taking more than ONE kid below teenage years to the park. That must be a nightmare.


    2) It's huge. This, I think everyone knows. The Safari alone is larger than the whole of Magic Kingdom. People complain about how "long" it takes to walk EPCOT...well, Animal Kingdom puts that to shame!

    3) It's layout stinks. Why? Because the park is so large! Magic Kingdom is a wheel. Epcot is a figure eight. Hollywood Studios is a blob. Animal Kingdom is a giant circle with "spurs". To make matters worse, you don't start off "on" the circle. Rather, you enter at one of the "spurs" and have to travel from there. Now, I know one could look at the map and argue that it is indeed a "hub and spoke", and factually they'd mostly be correct. Discovery Island is the hub, and all the other areas, largely, spoke off of that. But, the issue is, this model doesn't work at this scale! It's so easy to get lost, it's ridiculous. Which leads to my next observation...

    4) Lack of distinctive themes / landmarks. Sure, if you know the park, which by now I do, then it becomes rather easy. You spot things like Everest in the background, you notice the subtle differences between Asia and Africa, and the nice transition between the two lands. You can identify if you are on Discovery Island by the buildings, and of course views of the Tree of Life. Dinoland has always been rather distinctive, so I won't talk about that. But, my point is, it took many visits to get to that point.

    When your central landmark is a tree that isn't much taller than the trees that surround it (when viewed from a distance), and frankly is shorter than the "pine tree" cellular tower off to the side...and a mountain that is isolated on one far end of the park. Well, it just makes visual navigation difficult. It's sort of like being dropped into the middle of NYC having never been there before and without a map. Everything just starts to look the same.


    5) Underwhelming experience. Sorry, but it's a zoo, and not a great one (though certainly not a terrible one). There's a version of Big Thunder Mountain on Steroids (Everest), a few great shows (if you can find them in time for the shows...not familiar with the park, yeah, good luck!), as I said, it's hot, which means whiny kids and parents with short tempers...list goes on.

    My point is that, I've never walked out of Animal Kingdom and thought...wow, that was a fantastic experience, I'm so glad we came! I have walked out many times (most times) thinking...well, that was interesting and sort of fun, but jeez, am I glad the park closes early! And plenty of other times in the dozen or so times I've visited where I've said...forget this...it's hot and the kid is cranky (as are other guests)...I'm leaving.


    I'm gonna stop here, because I could go on for a while...and I really don't mean to turn this into a "why I am not fond of Animal Kingdom" post, because I really do love the park, and the more I go, the more I appreciate the subtle beauty of it all. But, it was what I thought through as we rode back to Africa and the kid lay on my lap cuddling her new friend Nala. I wanted you to be aware of where my mind was at, so the following has proper context.

    So, why have we never done Rafiki's before? Well...it's hidden in the back of the Africa pavilion, so it's hard to find unless you are seeking it out, and even then it's a challenge because the signage blends in with the surroundings. Also, we've just never wanted to stick around long enough to explore the whole park. And, having done it now, I think this does that area a disservice, as it is loads of fun. We will certainly be going back to this area on future visits (maybe even this trip!).

    Back in Africa, we snagged an OJ to share between us and went off to the FP entrance for the Safari!

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3669/9...737f65c3_c.jpg

    The FP line was a virtual walk on, or so I thought. We wound our way through the queues passing many hot looking parents, many with restless children. What do I mean by "what I thought"? Well...when we got to the second stand where they actually collect your Fastpass, we were ushered by the CM through a small gate into a special loading deck...one I had not seen before. I really wasn't paying attention, just following the guests in front of me and adhering to CM directions (what else do you do in a line?).

    Well, there's a reason why I'd never seen this deck before. It was the Guest Assistance Card loading zone! This area was for those with physical or other disabilities which require that they have a calmer loading zone to depart with their motorized scooters or wheelchairs (among other things).

    I quite literally wasn't paying any attention, and actually was chatting away with the kid, but the foreign nature of the queue was niggling in the back of my mind. At first I sort of thought, well, maybe this is something new that has to do with NextGen and FastPass+ testing...


    Well, I should have paid more attention to my surroundings, specifically the guests that surrounded me. Why? Well, because someone (a guest) turned and looked at me and the kid as if we had just committed a mortal sin, and said in an accusatory tone, looking us up and down as if we just ran over his pet hamster...he said..."Chief, don't you know this is only for people who are truly disabled?"

    Ok, let me start with the fact that I hate the term "chief". I know it's something that is common in parts of the country, and is akin to "dude", "bud" or "guy", but it just comes off as rude to me. That being said, I hadn't realized it, and as soon as he snapped me out of my little world with the kid, I immediately noticed where we were (and the special accommodations on the loading deck that was a few feet away).

    I apologized to the man, and told him I merely went where the CM had instructed I go. This is the truth, I have no interest in "faking" a disability to save 5 or 10 minutes in a line. That's what FP is for! <grin>

    I turned to backtrack through the line and go explain the situation to the CM so he could get us into the normal FP line, but with this action the man seemed to understand this was an honest mistake, and he immediately softened. "Hey, don't worry about it. Stay here. Just say you are with my family if anyone asks. I just didn't know if you knew where you were, and I didn't want you to get into any trouble."

    I didn't completely buy his explanation, due to his tone at first. So, I protested again, but he insisted. Perhaps he felt a touch guilty for how he jumped down our throats at first, I dunno. But, since he insisted, and by now the line had filled in quite well behind us, I decided to take him up on his offer. As it turns out, his family was really nice. His wife seemed to adore chatting up the kiddo about what was coming, as she decided she was the "expert" about this ride...they had never been on it.

    Shortly after this they started loading up our truck. Now alert as to the considerations I should make due to the loading zone I was in, I paid attention as the CM asked if Guests in scooters were "able to transfer". All of them were, and apparently wanted to sit with their families, so the kid and I made our way off to the side and took the two seats right behind the driver (the empty space next to that area is where Wheelchairs go for Guests who can't do a walking transfer...so I wouldn't want to take that spot if they wanted to be with their family...but, no one wanted it, so...).

    The kid, pretty much oblivious to the undertones surrounding the situation, was excited by this. "Yes! We are right by the driver!", she exclaimed! From this point on, no mention was ever made of our unintentional faux pax.

    However, I will ramble on a bit more about our experience before moving on. Anyone who thinks that the GAC is some "easy life", it's not. And, I'd argue, at least for this ride, it isn't even faster. I watched 8 trucks depart before we could, because our truck couldn't depart until the other truck that was running GAC guests arrived. As a result, we ended up waiting far longer than if we had gone through the normal FP line (I recognized the family behind us in the FP line pass 6 trucks before we did!).

    Also, as a side note, I did worry vaguely that this bus, since it was dedicated to GAC, would skimp on certain experiences (go slower, avoid bumps, etc), but that didn't happen at all.

    So, embarrassment passed, we settled back to enjoy the show! And, it started off well as soon as the Driver started speaking! Not only did he have funny jokes, with a very dry sense of humor (almost Haunted Mansion style dry, and it wouldn't surprise me if he had worked that ride earlier in his career)...but he also was full of interesting tidbits of edutainment. If you haven't caught on by now, I enjoy that sort of presentation!

    So, off we went! (lots of text above, so get ready for a slew of pictures!)

    We saw these guys, looking all lazy. Did you know that hippos can hold their breath for up to 7 minutes, and will many times fall asleep underwater?

    http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2832/9...fab8b19f_c.jpg

    We saw this guy, a baby reticulated giraffe. What does that mean? Well, their patterns are slightly different than the other giraffes, and they also will do things like bend their front legs to get to items on the ground, like water!

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3726/9...75f7fa7d_c.jpg

    He was hanging around with this Masai Giraffe. I guess Giraffe offer Baby Sitting Services! <grin>

    http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2811/9...b3189ef8_c.jpg

    And this guy...did you know his horns are cooling units? (Ok, that's a pretty common factoid on the tour, but I needed something to go with the picture!)

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7327/9...eaaa9a42_c.jpg

    Then there was this bad boy...I could almost hear the tik tok going as he cooled himself and waited for an unfortunate red velvet coat wearing Pirate Captain to come along to say hello!

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3731/9...0e8c096d_c.jpg

    Of course, here you should queue the Miami Vice music! Did you know the pink color comes from their diet, and at Disney they use special supplements in their food to simulate this (thanks Rafiki's Planet Watch)?

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7332/9...68265bce_c.jpg

    "HIDE NALA!" said the kid..."THEY ARE GOING TO GET INTO A FIGHT!"

    http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2867/9...fa8ea949_c.jpg

    But, really the Lioness was keeping an eye on some friends we saw earlier in the day. The White Rhinos!

    http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5520/9...19216348_c.jpg

    Sad...there are less than 1500 of these guys left in the wild...

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7332/9...58f12be6_c.jpg

    But, the good news is that they are thriving in captivity, and are slowly being reintroduced to the wild!

    Of course, we saw a lot more on the ride. As we pulled into the unloading zone, we pulled off to the side before the dock and sat for a while. The Driver said we were playing "his favorite game".

    You know...the "waiting game".

    Then, for the next few minutes he'd pipe up with some random analogy. "Ah, the Waiting Game...it's like Checkers, except if I tried to jump the truck in front of me with my truck, I wouldn't be able to say king me. In fact, I'd probably have a lot of paperwork to fill out, including unemployment forms." and "Ah, the Waiting Game...it's like Chess...except the board is made of mud, the major pieces are the trucks and the pawns are the Safari Drivers."

    He literally went on like this for a while...and it was hilarious.

    Eventually we were given the green light, and while I'm used to pulling up to the unload dock, on this truck we passed it! The driver quipped, "You are about to see a super secret backlot area of Animal Kingdom. So, get your cameras ready, because very few Guests get to see this!" I scrambled to get my camera ready...

    "Are you all ready? It involves a bridge and a few small trees. Enjoy!"

    Ok, Mr. Driver...you are too darned funny!

    So, we pulled into the loading dock we departed from, and the kid and I went about the rest of our day. Our ADR for lunch was approaching, so it was time to head to Asia!

    <Continued Next Post>
    Last edited by englanddg; 08-14-2013 at 03:01 AM.
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
    2010 - 2 weeks @ CBR
    2011 - 3 in DC, 14 @ CBR
    2012 - 3 @ Uni Royal Pacific, 12 @ Pop
    2013 - 3 @ DLR | Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ
    2015 - 2 in DC, 3 @ Uni Portofino, 3 @ AKL, DCL Fantasy, 4 @ AoA

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    1,514
    Love your detailed TR!!

    We've only done Rafiki's Planet Watch on our first trip in 2000, I think it's time to visit it again on our upcoming trip!!

    When exciting the safari, have you looked at the gorilla's? Mostly one of them can be found when you go a bit to the right, sleeping or playing with a blanket, very cute. Most people go straight to the next attraction and walk to the left, so it's nice and quiet there.

    Love the pictures, you can see your kid is having a fantastic time and I love Nala
    Looking forward to our Disney vacations

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    35
    Love the trip report. Can't wait for the pictures.

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Christchurch New Zealand
    Posts
    107
    Love your trip report!

    Sent from my iPad using TalkDisney

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sioux City IA!!!!
    Posts
    367
    Love reading the trip report. I think you have a great point of view of the parks an cruise. Enjoying the photos! Kiddo looks like she is having a blast.
    ASMusic 1999
    ASMusic 2000
    ASMovies 2004
    ASMovies 2006

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    2,937

    Re: englanddg's Surf and Turf Adventure (and Trip Report!)

    Day 11 - Lions, Zebras and Yetis, Oh My! (Part 3)

    The walk to Asia went quickly. Along the way, we saw Everest again, which made the kid very excited that we were headed in that direction! I had wanted to run over and pick up a fastpass for Everest before our meal, but we were cutting our ADR window pretty closely, so I decided against it.

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3798/9...95a8354c_c.jpg

    We checked in, and were told they would call our name as soon as our table was ready. While waiting, the kid simply had to collect all of the pennies! It was smart of them to place this in the waiting room where it can appropriately tempt children and collectors of all ages!

    http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2836/9...57e254e3_c.jpg

    I love this restaurant. It's so well themed, with lots of bric-a-brac to look at and unique sculptures, etc. I could quite literally spend 15 - 20 minutes just walking around and soaking it all in (which, I may have done in the past, and couldn't help but to walk the whole restaurant this year, though I didn't gape as much as I'd like to...wouldn't want to stand in front of someone's table while they are eating and snap pictures of the decor behind them! I'm weird, but I'm not that weird!).

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3684/9...5e8fa9b5_b.jpg

    This year we got to sit upstairs, which was the first time we've gotten to do this. I really enjoyed it! We had a great view of the staircase. This doesn't sound interesting, but when you consider all the decor in the restaurant, there's plenty of eye candy to keep you interested.

    I got the Lettuce Cups for Two. The server did note that this appetizer does require that two people use their "appetizer" sections of their credits for it, but he allowed me to use the kid's appetizer to obtain these delicious little goodies!

    http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2810/9...49b590f0_c.jpg

    They come with minced chicken breast seasoned with oyster sauce, soy sauce, and I couldn't place the rest of the flavors, but they were very sweet, very Asian. It comes with matchstick carrots and bean sprouts for added crunch and a delicious Saigon Haison sauce to top it all off. The dish is very similar to one served by P.F. Changs, but that doesn't make me like it any less. Last year I got the Seared Ahi Tuna (though, that could have been the year before), as I recall, and that is excellent as well...but this year I felt it was time for Lettuce Cups!

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7309/9...116a1e59_c.jpg

    For an entree, I had the Orange Chicken. Tempura Chicken, broccoli, carrots with a sweet honey sauce. Very good! Also, tempura chicken is one of those dishes that it's easy (and common) to find it's under-cooked, or more often, overcooked. This chicken was delicious and perfect! The jasmine rice had black sesame seeds on it, which was a nice touch. I completely enjoyed this dish and would definitely get it again!

    The kid got...well, take a guess!

    http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5321/9...c4ba54e5_c.jpg

    For dessert she got some Vanilla Ice Cream, and I had Fried Wontons. Every time I eat here I eyeball the Mango Pie, but I always end up getting this decadent dessert...it's so darned good. Skewers with fresh pineapple and wontons filled with sweetened cream cheese, served with vanilla ice cream and a honey vanilla drizzle (is your mouth watering yet?). They go a step further and warm the entire dish (except for the ice cream, of course), which really makes the ice cream's cool nature stand out even more. It's great to get a bit of ice cream and a 1/2 wonton or piece of pineapple. The temperature and sweetness just explodes. It's awesome, and one of my favorite desserts on the Parks...it's fun, it's tasty, and it's unique!

    http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5337/9...ef051663_c.jpg

    Filled, and generally happy (we've had a lot of food today...but it's hot and a lot of walking, so we deserve the treats!)...we exited the restaurant and happened upon these guys performing.

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3762/9...224deac4_c.jpg

    I, personally, loved it, but unlike the Street Party in Africa, this didn't interest the kid much at all. But, she had her reasons. See, this was looming in the distance!

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3831/9...6d8e1ea6_c.jpg

    We went by the line, and it was posted as a 35 minute wait, but I could see it snaking up into the part of the queue that I hate...if you've ever been in it, it's terrible, especially in the middle of the day. It's the part that snakes around the outside rear of the queue area, and even with fans going, it's a nightmare of a wait. The kid agreed (I would have waited if she wanted to)...but, instead, like any seasoned park goers, we checked out FPs! The return time was between 4:45 and 5:45. Park closes at 6p tonight, and we had a 7:40p ADR at Animal Kingdom Lodge (Jikos)...so, I suggested that we snag two FPs and then leave the park, go back to the hotel and chill for a bit, change, and come back later!

    The kid liked this idea. She toddled off to get the FPs (she seems to enjoy that I let her do some things "by herself" now, even though I'm actually monitoring her the whole time...she's at that age when she's starting to be enthralled by independence. The parent in me hopes this stops at getting FPs. <grin>). While she did that I got us a drink to share for the walk back to the front of the Park.

    We made it as far as Nemo before the kid began to complain she was hot and tired (frankly, I was surprised she lasted this long). To her credit, she didn't try and pawn off Nala onto me...but she did offer to carry my day pack if I'd carry her on my back. They were just starting up the show, and we haven't seen this in a while...so, I offered that we stop to see it.

    There was a Disney CM in Security Guard dress standing outside calling out "Come and get your free A/C! Best A/C in the Park! You'll wish you had gotten here 10 minutes earlier to enjoy this A/C!" Cute...

    Anyhow, she declined, and I accepted her proposition as long as I could put her down when we got to Flame Tree. She wasn't exactly sure where that was (though I knew exactly where), but she still agreed. So, on my back, we high-tailed it past Dinoland USA and off to Discovery Island!

    Here, I sat her down...but she still was hot. She ran off to the shade provided by the shops / venues along the side of the walkway. To be fair, I was burning up too. I'm not sure what the temperature was, and it certainly wasn't the hottest I've experienced at Disney (in fact, the weather this year has been rather mild, and shockingly short on rain so far)...but, I decided to try something.

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7302/9...29188f3f_c.jpg

    I'd seen these all over the Parks this year, and don't recall seeing them before. I must admit to being curious how well it worked. I was sure it was a gimmick, but I'm ok with gimmicks! And, who knows, maybe this is the next major advancement in summer Park enjoyment for the heatmidity (yes, I just made that word up) challenged!

    So, basically, it's a lemon extract infused wet washcloth. That's it. It's cold because the mixture of oils encourages evaporation (and, in many cases, Disney displays them chilled, so they are even cooler). Fresh out of the package, they work extremely well...but leave your skin feeling like you just used an exfoliant (like Sea Breeze or Stridex). On a hot day, this clean and cool feeling is actually quite nice. However, the odor (while sort of pleasant)...is strong. Supposedly you can use this over and over again, just by getting it wet. But, I found that we used it to...well, no delicate way to say this...wipe off a lot of sweat. And, I prefered to wash it before using it again.

    After you wash it, it turns into a regular washcloth. So...was it worth the $6-8 (I don't remember the exact price) some odd dollars we spent on it? Nope. But, was it fun for this one experience on a hot day? Absolutely! The kid and I kept swapping back and forth, and even held little races towards the end (my idea to keep her moving) to see who would "win" rights to the towel until the next "race". As you can imagine...she won quite a few of these (though, when we reached the caves in Oasis, I purposefully beat her because I wanted some of the cooling goodness!)...

    As we hiked out to the bus stops, something occurred to me...why is the entrance to Animal Kingdom so open and covered with pavement? I'm sure it has something to do with the animals, but I'd like to know why. It seems to me that covering this area with tents (like EPCOT between Innoventions) or random trees, or really anything that doesn't turn the front gate area / walk to the Parking Lot / Buses into a trek through a concrete desert...would be a good idea?

    Once we got to the bus stop, the kid wanted a Fanta Orange (her favorite soda, and she only gets it here, according to her)...so, while she waited at the bus stop, I walked to the nearby soda machine and scoured our penny machine quarters to come up with $3 to buy one...because, as usual, the credit card reader on the machine didn't work. When I pressed the button, I got this.

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7335/9...b86216ac_c.jpg

    I think the soda machine was trying to let us know that we really needed to have some regular water. Soda doesn't dehydrate (that's a myth), but it doesn't do it as well as pure ol' water does. I thought the kid would be upset that it wasn't what she expected, but she wasn't. She gladly drank half of the bottle before I even got the first sip! (thanks Soda Machine Spirit!)...

    On the bus she dozed off (pretty normal for her to do so, and it had been a busy few days for us), and when we got back to the hotel I carried her to the room.

    We came back to a neat little friend to say hello to us!

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3797/9...904f9599_c.jpg

    I let her nap for an hour, and before waking her up I went down to get us some fresh drinks from the beverage bar at the food court.

    Ok, somewhat of a gripe, but I've never seen this bar clean. Ever. I don't remember CBR or Pop's bar every looking like this on a regular basis. It's not that people aren't staffed to clean it...it's just that they don't seem to accomplish anything! I've watched it a few times, and a lot of it seems to be related to the inefficient manner in which they care for the bar (and it's design). I'm quite familiar with how messy beverage bars can get, and there are lots of little tricks (like, I dunno, hot water to melt spilled ice, etc.) to keeping them under control. I've not seen that here, and I almost feel sorry for the poor CMs who take care of it because every time I see them they seem overwhelmed...

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3712/9...3d01a7e2_c.jpg

    When I woke her, she watched Disney XD for around a half hour (Phineus and Ferb, I think...though it could have been Suite Life) while I got ready. That is one nice thing about doing the cruise beforehand, I actually had some decent outfits to wear! Last year I skirted the edge of their dress code with nice golf shorts and a polo. This year I actually had dress shoes and slacks to go with my new 100% bamboo Polo I picked up in Costa Maya!

    Then, the kid took a shower and generally refreshed herself. She decided to wear her flower dress, but with her swimsuit underneath. See, she wanted to go swimming at the pool after we got back from dinner. Magic Kingdom had late night extra hours (till 1a) tonight, so I figured I'd ask her after dinner. In either case, the swimsuit worked fine, and the dress hid it perfectly.

    http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2863/9...199d2921_c.jpg

    But...things didn't work out. Bus mishap number one. We hit the bus stop at 4:50p or so, plenty of time to make it to Animal Kingdom...but I was still calculating bus times on the familiar Pop/Aoa or CBR schedules, not the unpredictable schedules of Port Orleans French Quarter (where you sometimes share a bus with Riverside, sometimes you don't...)...yeah, we had to go through all the Riverside stops, which took another 20 minutes, and then there was the stop at Blizzard. It was obvious to me that by the time we made it to Animal Kingdom, there was no way we'd make it back to Everest in time for our FP, much less be able to do the ride. Were the kid, er...not a kid, perhaps we could have pulled it off. But, I'd rather we fall back on another plan.

    So, I suggested we do mini golf at Blizzard! This went over very well (she loves mini-golf). We didn't keep score, but the kid is scary good at it. She had a few bad holes (I stopped counting after 5 tries), as did I (also stopped counting after 5)...but for the most part we blew through the course. More than one couple allowed us to play through...

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7404/9...a00348ee_c.jpg

    Next year, I'll need to ask that her mom pack her real putter and wedge that I got her, and we may try a few real golf holes. She's much better at putting than I am, and is pretty good with her wedge (10 yard shots for an 8 year old, not bad...she isn't a semi-pro, but she likes golf, as do I, so I plan to nurture that!). I wish Disney had a par 3 course for her where we could work on her drives as she gets a bit older...They do have a few "family" courses where we can play a good "best ball" game, I think, though next year is probably a bit early for that. I may take her out on a game where I let her do the close approach and putting...

    Anyhow, after the game, we headed off to Animal Kingdom Lodge...and here's where the buses wen't awry again!

    We waited nearly 40 minutes for a bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge. I wasn't really all that surprised, or upset...but there were two buses that stopped at our same bus stop that were from Hollywood Studios (which we shared a stop with), and there was one Guest who was extremely upset...

    Very upset...

    So much so that when the bus finally arrived, she spent the whole trip back complaining about how dirty Animal Kingdom Lodge was, and how her daughter (who had recently graduated High School) had said that for her "before college" trip she wanted to stay at AKL, and how when they checked in it took them both 3 - 4 moves to find a room that was "semi-clean" and that they couldn't stand the rooms they were offered because, well, her daughter has "terrible allergies" and can't stay in a "dirty room".

    She mentioned that she also had done a cruise recently, so I thought I could divert the conversation to that...big mistake. I got to learn about how the Magic is a terrible ship with ratty carpets.

    <sigh>

    Yeah, I'm a bit picky about being organized, but that was a bit more than I could take on the ride back. So, I adopted the "Yes...yes, that is interesting" look on my persona and suffered through...as did a few other people who surrounded us, from what I could tell.

    Soon enough we were at Jambo House!

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7381/9...e3660955_c.jpg

    It felt good to be back, but the kid was a tad upset...see, she thinks they used "real giraffes" for the carpets.

    http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5337/9...5e613d05_c.jpg

    She came to that conclusion last year while we were waiting for our Jiko seating...and I had hoped she'd forgotten it this year. She had not...

    Anyhow, we checked in at Jiko, and had some time to burn, so we went back to the Savannah Walk.

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7324/9...7345f831_c.jpg

    We enjoyed the Animals, but the kid had something else on her mind once she saw the venue...Marshmallows!

    http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2850/9...72a65777_c.jpg

    It seems we hit them just at the right time. Go figure! <grin> (Actually, the whole day today is pretty much a clone of a day we did last year where the marshmallows were a surprise...this year, I planned it such. Not that I'll tell her!).

    So, after getting a free stick and marshmallow, she was roasting away. How did they turn out? Well, lets taste...

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7393/9...d1d6312f_c.jpg

    Hrm...looks good...verdict?

    <Continued Next Post>
    Last edited by englanddg; 08-16-2013 at 05:13 PM.
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
    2010 - 2 weeks @ CBR
    2011 - 3 in DC, 14 @ CBR
    2012 - 3 @ Uni Royal Pacific, 12 @ Pop
    2013 - 3 @ DLR | Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ
    2015 - 2 in DC, 3 @ Uni Portofino, 3 @ AKL, DCL Fantasy, 4 @ AoA

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    1,514
    Wow, those fried wontons sound yummy!!

    I didn't know what to expect from it, but it sounds so goooood. Yak & Yeti is our first lunch at our upcoming trip, can't wait to try!! (also the lettuce cups!!)

    It seems like the busses on busy times work out great at POFQ (they don't share with POR too) and work out less during the rest of the day
    We didn't have to wait for more than 10 minutes mostly, but maybe we were just lucky
    Looking forward to our Disney vacations

  10. #70
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Phillyburbs
    Posts
    1,277

    Re: englanddg's Surf and Turf Adventure (and Trip Report!)

    I'm sure you probably mentioned it somewhere, but what kind of camera do you have? The picture quality is excellent! Great installment. Shame about the lady on the ride to AKL. Gotta love people that aren't happy unless they are miserable...
    Couldn't imagine life without WDW!
    Last Trip: Oct 2015
    Upcoming: Feb 2016
    Treehouses(2) Vaca. Villas(2) Poly(1) Contemporary(1) CSR(1) CBR(4) POR(1) Sports(4) OKW(1) SSR(2) AKL(1)
    **Oo-de-lally, Oo-de-lally, Golly, what a day!**

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    2,937

    Re: englanddg's Surf and Turf Adventure (and Trip Report!)

    Day 11 - Lions, Zebras and Yetis...Oh My! (Part 4)

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7311/9...8bfbe0e5_c.jpg

    Yep, perfect!

    Time to go check on our reservation!

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7374/9...e734edf8_b.jpg

    We still had some time to burn, so we wandered downstairs and outside to check out the pool area. We've never walked this part of the hotel before, and it was just as nice as the rest of the hotel.

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3804/9...6d9f0714_b.jpg

    Were it not for the location on the property, I would seriously consider a stay here. The kid really wants to do a Savannah View, but for the price of a Deluxe, I think I'd rather do Polynesian. <shrug> Still a pretty hotel though!

    Finally our restaurant buzzer went off. Oh, I hadn't mentioned this. When you check in you are given a buzzer, just like the ones they use at resort food courts when you have to wait for your food. I found that, while the range is limited, you can go out on the Savannah Walk and other parts of the Jambo House section of the hotel. I wouldn't try going over to Kidani with it <grin>...but who knows!

    Anyhow, the time had come!

    http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2884/9...b428df48_b.jpg

    I love this restaurant, ever since a trip report turned me on to it when I was planning last years trip. We enjoyed it last year, and I had to do it again this year! Our seater pointed out the hidden mickey just above the open-fire grill (which is in the Front of House, for all to see...they also have a semi-open kitchen here, and it's fun to stop by and see chefs preparing meals for other guests.

    I think my favorite part of the decor, however, are the "bird lamps"...

    http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5550/9...07de4927_b.jpg

    Though, the kid swears they are really Pterodactyls because "their wings are pointed!". <shrug>

    The bread came with the spiced butter. The butter was chilled, which I think detracted a bit from it, so I let it warm up to room temperature before diving into the bread. I seem to recall last year that they had more than one type of bread...but maybe I'm remembering wrong. Still, it's a tasty start to the meal!

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3806/9...26cc0732_b.jpg

    The kid ordered fruit for her appetizer, and asked for extra grapes. A few minutes later our server brought her a good sized bowl filled to the brim with a few small bunches of grapes. The kid was in heaven now...

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7403/9...2fa31289_b.jpg

    However, she didn't like the blackberries, so those were donated to me! How thoughtful of her!

    The Dining Plan only includes one Appetizer, but I wanted more! So, I ordered two. One, of course, I'd have to pay for, but that's ok. It's not like I get to eat here all the time!

    I got the Grilled Wild Boar Tenderloin. This has Mealie Pap (I've already spoken about how much I enjoy Mealie Pap), Chakalaka and is seasoned with White Truffle Oil and Micro Cilantro. This is all served on a tomato salad with olive oil and a variety of spices. I had it last year and remember it being absolutely fantastic. Well, it certainly lived up to that memory. I quickly devoured this, and actually wished I'd ordered two!

    http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5344/9...11301195_b.jpg

    I also got the Fire-roasted Oysters on the Half Shell. This is served with Lemon, Butter, a home-made hot sauce, horseradish and smoked tatsoi...all on a bed of sea salt. These were ok. I wanted to try something new, and I haven't had Oysters in a while, so I thought this would be a good choice. And, while I have no complaints, there was nothing spectacular about them. I certainly would try something else on a future visit, and avoid these.

    http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2832/9...16ac1986_b.jpg

    Now, on this whole trip I haven't had a truly excellent steak yet...and even though I had Le Cellier coming up later in the week, I really wanted to have one...and, if any place was going to give me a unique beef experience, I would expect it to be Jikos (can you tell I'm a fan?)!

    Last year I got the Seared Barbarie Duck Breast, and it was fantastic. This year I got the Oak-grilled Filet Mignon, served with pole beans, spoon bread and a South African red wine sauce. As a side note, the server did offer that if I wanted I could substitute the pole beans and spoon bread for Mac and Cheese, which used to be the way they served this dish. But, I decided to try the newer recipe.

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7291/9...94eae7f2_b.jpg

    The kid, however, did not! She wanted her steak and mac!

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7298/9...fd051789_b.jpg

    Those brown things under her steak are roasted sweet potatoes. She didn't like them very much, so it was another thing that was donated to my plate during the meal.

    As usual, the kid wanted to "play fancy", and had her soda in a wine glass. Our server played around with this calling it her "Non-alcoholic Bubbling Chateau de Sprite, 2013 vintage." Very cute! I, on the other hand, wanted something with my meal. I asked our server to choose for me, mostly because I hate staring at wine menus like I have any idea what I'm looking at.

    She chose Black Pearl, a South African vintage. 2010, I think. Anyhow, it was very good, and paired wonderfully with my steak.

    The manager stopped by part way through our meal, and while I really can't complain about this, she did upset the kid. See, the kid was picking at her food, mostly because she wanted to cut the steak herself. Now, I'd already offered quite a few times to do it for her, but she's learning her own independence, and it wasn't harming anyone for her to do it herself. Had the restaurant been packed, I may have insisted that she let me cut it just to speed up our meal so they could turn the table...but it wasn't. So, I was letting her enjoy herself.

    The manager walked up and noticed this, and took it upon herself to cut the kiddo's steak for her...even though the kid and I both asked her not to. However, I didn't press the issue, and the kid is far too polite when it comes to authority figures (adults) to do so either. And, I really can't be upset with the manager, she was just trying to help (and did so with a very good attitude), but after she walked away the kid frumped a bit that "I wanted to do it...they never let me cut my own steak". Oh, if you want some background, that's coming from the cruise, where the service team cut her meal for her every night. :P

    Anyhow, this didn't stop her from devouring it all (except for the few bites I stole...I love that mac and cheese!), and soon it was time for dessert!

    The kid got the same thing she got last year, deconstructed 'Smores. Not that I blame her...this dish is awesome!

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7446/9...52a05bbe_b.jpg

    She had great fun picking away at everything until she discovered she could dip her spoon in the chocolate mousse / toasted marshmallow fluff and then rub it in the chocolate snagging the little candy coated toasted rice balls. I was able to snag a bite...but just barely!

    Myself, I decided to try something new this year, again. Last year I got the Cinnamon-Chocolate Flourless Cake, I think. This year I went for the Chocolate and Tea Safari. This had Vanilla Rooibos-Tanzanian Chocolate Cake (yum), Free Form "Kit Kats" (yummer), and Green Tea Ice Cream (yummest!). I liked getting a small portion of the ice cream and then some of the chocolate cake. It was a good dessert, and I would certainly do it again! It came with a candy straw as a garnish, but the kid snagged that! I didn't even get a bite...so it's not in the picture.

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7285/9...d7e6a5de_b.jpg

    I had wanted to get some fresh coffee in a coffee press, but my server informed me this makes 6 cups! Yeah, I love coffee, but no way after such a full meal (and a full day) could I down six cups! So, I just opted for a regular cup (same blend, and it's VERY good!).

    Meal over, we stopped by the ornate restrooms (ok, odd thing to mention, but I love these restrooms), and then went up to catch a bus. We needed to hop through one of the parks to get back to POFQ. Our plan was to go swimming tonight while I did some laundry. Plus, the kid wanted to try and do the marshmallow roast at our resort!

    We had two options to hop tonight. One was through Magic Kingdom, as they had extra magic hours going until 1a. The other was Downtown Disney. Since DTD is closer to our resort, and it has two stops to choose from, I decided to do that. Also, it was the first bus to show up...though the Magic Kingdom bus came soon after. We boarded and the ride was painless.

    However, once we got to DTD it was NOT painless. The bus dropped us off and we walked to Stop 1, where we shared a bus stop with Saratoga Springs (which, I should note, is right next door!)...

    Well, we waited. And waited. And waited.

    And then we waited some more. During this time the 3 families we joined initially had turned into a small mob. A bus showed up, but it was for Saratoga Springs. We watched as 3 CBR buses passed, a few Pop / Art of Animation, and quite a few Monorail Resort buses...but no Port Orleans Buses. About 30 minutes later, another bus made a move for our stop, and you could cut the mob anticipation in the air with a knife.

    Nope, this bus was also for Saratoga Springs. You could tell that the 40 or so people waiting were getting extremely frustrated. They were hot, tired, kids were getting restless. We were now well off schedule, having arrived around 9:45p, I thought we'd have no trouble getting back to the resort by 10:30 so the kiddo could swim for an hour or so before bed, but now it was getting closer to 10:35, and we'd been waiting 45 minutes.

    DTD was just nuts tonight too, it seems. More than once I saw someone pull into the bus queue lanes thinking it was the entrance to DTD. One guy slowed down next to me, and I approached his car to give him directions...but he waved me off, and punched his GPS. Um...dude, that GPS already put you into the bus loading lanes where you are not supposed to be. Maybe you should pay more attention to the signage? Oh well...

    Also, looking at the line of frustrated Guests, I just knew that when the bus finally showed up, it was not going to be a comfortable ride. Lots of double strollers, lots of cranky looking parents, and lots of tired kids. So, I made an executive decision...we were going to take a taxi! The kid liked this idea. So, we walked over to the taxi stands behind World of Disney.

    The first Taxi we came upon was a Mears (big surprise, eh?), but the guy refused to take us if we didn't pay cash. This really frustrated me, as I don't carry cash regularly anymore. So, we went off to an ATM to get some (there's one near World of Disney). Since we were in the area, we stopped in there for a moment, and it was chaos as well! So, we walked over to the toy store and the kid picked out a princess from there. Then we got some cash from the ATM and went back to the Taxi Stand.

    The man who picked up our fare this time wasn't nearly as picky, and gladly took us on our way to our destination. By now it was 10:45...

    I'd had this feeling that as soon as we walked away from the bus stop, a Port Orleans bus would pull up. Well, as we passed by the stops I glanced over at Stop 1, and it was still mobbed. Either the bus hadn't come, or lots more people showed up. Still, for $12, it was a nice change to avoid the craziness that was the bus transit that night!

    We got back to the hotel at 11p, almost on the dot. The kid paid the cabbie, and immediately ran off to the pool. I followed along. She quite literally whipped the dress off and asked for her goggles, and was off swimming. I ran up to the hotel room briefly while she sipped on a drink at the table and snagged my laptop and got caught up on some things.

    Too tired to do Laundry, we stopped around midnight, and made our way up to the hotel room. We turned on Disney Channel, and the kid got ready for bed.

    She hit the bed, and before I knew it I heard a soft snore coming from under the covers. Yeah, the kid sleeps "under" the covers...wierd little child!

    So, that's our day. Long, fun, and full.

    So, on to the meal plan analysis!

    To break even we need to spend around $127 a day on dining. Today we spent:
    Tusker House Breakfast (2 credits used)
    Me - $31
    Kid - $17

    Yak and Yeti Lunch (2 credits used)
    Lettuce Cups for Two - $13.99
    Adult Crispy Honey Chicken - $18.99
    Wontons w/ Pineapple - $8.99
    Adult Coke - $3.25

    Kids Tenders - $8.49
    Kids Sundae - $1.99
    Kids Sprite - $2.25

    Tax - $4.05

    Snacks
    Drinks (x2) - $6

    Jiko Dinner (4 credits used)
    Kids Filet w/ Mac - $12
    Smores - $6
    Fruit -$3

    Adult Filet - $44
    Coffee - 2.59
    Boar Appitizer - $16
    Chocolate Dessert - $10
    Tax - $6.09

    Total = $216.47

    Blew the plan out of the water...though we did use 8 dining credits today. Tomorrow shouldn't be so deep, as we only have one ADR.

    Next, Day 11 - The N'awlins Spirit!
    Last edited by englanddg; 08-16-2013 at 06:55 PM.
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
    2010 - 2 weeks @ CBR
    2011 - 3 in DC, 14 @ CBR
    2012 - 3 @ Uni Royal Pacific, 12 @ Pop
    2013 - 3 @ DLR | Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ
    2015 - 2 in DC, 3 @ Uni Portofino, 3 @ AKL, DCL Fantasy, 4 @ AoA

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    2,937

    Re: englanddg's Surf and Turf Adventure (and Trip Report!)

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    I'm sure you probably mentioned it somewhere, but what kind of camera do you have? The picture quality is excellent! Great installment. Shame about the lady on the ride to AKL. Gotta love people that aren't happy unless they are miserable...
    Yeah. I don't mind well spirited observations, but griping just to gripe, is annoying. Oh well, I did note that as terrible as she thought everything was...she was still staying for 10 days! <grin>

    I have a Sony Cybershot DSC-50. It's not a terribly awesome camera, but I think it takes pretty good pictures. I wish the zoom was a touch better...but I like some of the other features, specifically for park use...

    For example, I like the landscape shot. I also like the fact it takes 16.1 Megapixel pictures...

    But, I think my favorite is that it can do video AND take 16.1 Megapixel pictures AT THE SAME TIME.

    This is perfect for meet and greets, but it also is nice because I can capture the kid on video AND get snapshots at the same time. Also, it's good for rides where I may wish to both video and get pictures (like the Safari, for example)...

    So...nice little camera. Glad you like the pictures!
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
    2010 - 2 weeks @ CBR
    2011 - 3 in DC, 14 @ CBR
    2012 - 3 @ Uni Royal Pacific, 12 @ Pop
    2013 - 3 @ DLR | Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ
    2015 - 2 in DC, 3 @ Uni Portofino, 3 @ AKL, DCL Fantasy, 4 @ AoA

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Hampton Roads,VA
    Posts
    289

    Re: englanddg's Surf and Turf Adventure (and Trip Report!)

    Thanks for more trip stories and yes, I have to agree, Animal kingdom is a pain if you don't know much about it. We have not seen one show and I so wanted to see the lion King. Just couldn't find it. And it was a rainy day, so we were in no mood to track around everywhere.
    09/02/2014 5th anniversary Disney trip "The Beauty and the beast, Sonja&Tommy"
    October 2009 honeymoon PO

  14. #74
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Phillyburbs
    Posts
    1,277

    Re: englanddg's Surf and Turf Adventure (and Trip Report!)

    Quote Originally Posted by englanddg View Post
    Yeah. I don't mind well spirited observations, but griping just to gripe, is annoying. Oh well, I did note that as terrible as she thought everything was...she was still staying for 10 days! <grin>

    I have a Sony Cybershot DSC-50. It's not a terribly awesome camera, but I think it takes pretty good pictures. I wish the zoom was a touch better...but I like some of the other features, specifically for park use...

    For example, I like the landscape shot. I also like the fact it takes 16.1 Megapixel pictures...

    But, I think my favorite is that it can do video AND take 16.1 Megapixel pictures AT THE SAME TIME.

    This is perfect for meet and greets, but it also is nice because I can capture the kid on video AND get snapshots at the same time. Also, it's good for rides where I may wish to both video and get pictures (like the Safari, for example)...

    So...nice little camera. Glad you like the pictures!
    Cool, thanks! I always get Cybershots, but mine don't come out that good. It is several years old though. About time to upgrade!
    Couldn't imagine life without WDW!
    Last Trip: Oct 2015
    Upcoming: Feb 2016
    Treehouses(2) Vaca. Villas(2) Poly(1) Contemporary(1) CSR(1) CBR(4) POR(1) Sports(4) OKW(1) SSR(2) AKL(1)
    **Oo-de-lally, Oo-de-lally, Golly, what a day!**

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    2,937
    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post

    Cool, thanks! I always get Cybershots, but mine don't come out that good. It is several years old though. About time to upgrade!
    One thing I normally do is turn off the auto flash. I rarely use the flash at all...

    I find it tends to go off more than I would like and you end up losing some of the "natural" colors in the photo.
    Last edited by englanddg; 08-16-2013 at 11:54 PM.
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
    2010 - 2 weeks @ CBR
    2011 - 3 in DC, 14 @ CBR
    2012 - 3 @ Uni Royal Pacific, 12 @ Pop
    2013 - 3 @ DLR | Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ
    2015 - 2 in DC, 3 @ Uni Portofino, 3 @ AKL, DCL Fantasy, 4 @ AoA

Page 5 of 8 FirstFirst ... 34567 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. englanddg's Surf and Turf Extravaganza!
    By englanddg in forum General Disney Chat
    Replies: 118
    Last Post: 07-30-2013, 01:38 AM
  2. englanddg's Magical Mystery Tour (and Trip Report)!
    By englanddg in forum Trip Reports
    Replies: 187
    Last Post: 06-30-2013, 11:42 PM
  3. Help First trip to Disneyland and California Adventure
    By Bandit323 in forum Disneyland Theme Parks
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-26-2013, 09:46 PM
  4. My Doomed Disneyland Trip (a trip report)
    By Dumbo Ears in forum TD archives
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 10-19-2005, 07:02 PM
  5. Pics from trip finally up(Trip report soon)
    By iggyboo in forum TD archives
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-02-2004, 10:38 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
BACK TO TOP