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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Day 3 of our WDW/Cruise Adventure! MAGIC KINGDOM (Section one)!

Day 3 of our WDW/Cruise Adventure! MAGIC KINGDOM! (Section one)

Day 3 began fairly early as we had a special meet-up planned.  We headed out for what would turn into a very exhausting day.  As I reflect on this day, I really remember how tired I was by the time I crashed and burned on the bus around 11:30pm! (more on section 2 later in the week.)

To start out, we did our favorite attraction.  Pirates of the Caribbean.  It has always been the first thing I do when I am at Magic Kingdom. 

Then we headed over to another favorite, Jungle Cruise.  We had a really young "skipper" (or maybe they just seem to be getting younger-I think I am just getting older!)

After we made it back to civilization in a safe manor, we headed to meet up with my friends.  We were meeting Joe and Chrissy (who we were with at EPCOT the day before,) but we were also meeting up with someone who has become very special to me.  Amy Falk Petermann who is .  She is co-creator, and head author at The Relocated Tourist.  If you have never read this blog, make sure to stop by.  She always has great tips, and wonderful stories about her experiences at WDW from the perspective of a former "tourist", now local.  
Amy and I connected through the Disney Facebook community, WDW Radio, Lou Mongello and her blog over the last couple years.  I knew she was special, but now I know that first hand.  What a doll she is!
Here are Amy and I in front of Cinderella Castle!

We then all headed off to Pirates!  Hey, I always have to do my favorite attraction at least twice!!
After that, we made our way to Big Thunder Mountain.  Another of my favorite attractions at Magic Kingdom.  After we left there, we went to Haunted Mansion.  I love the new extended, and interactive queue area.  So many cool things to do, and try.  We had no wait, so almost went through too fast.  I would have loved to spend a little more time there.  

 Here we are as a group with our favorite "bust"

Madame Leota's ring in the cement.......see it???

On to Liberty Belle Riverboat.  It had been years since I have been on this boat.  My favorite part about it, is the great pictures you can get from the "water side" of other attraction such as Big Thunder Mountain, and Haunted Mansion.

 See what I mean about the pictures???  I just love seeing this side!!

A zoom in of the roof of Haunted Mansion, really shows those "Chess Pieces" on top!

I just loved getting the "boat view" perspective of these attractions!  

Thank you Liberty Belle Riverboat!!

Paul and I had lunch reservations at noon at Crystal Palace, so we had to bid goodbye to our friends.  Gave Amy a big hug, in hopes that we will be able to see each other again in the not too distant future, and spend more time together.   

Lunch was great as always at Crystal Palace.  Not only is the food good, and the atmosphere charming, but having lunch with "Pooh and Friends" is always a treat.  Those who know me well, know that Eeyore is one of my very favorite characters.  I sat like a little kid jumping up and down in my seat waiting for all the characters to come by the table for pictures, but especially Eeyore!  
I lucked out, as Eeyore was first!!

                                                                                Don't pull his tail!

 Cute little Piglet!!
 Tigger wanted to bounce!
Sweet Winnie the Pooh!

After lunch, we went to Splash Mountain, which was down earlier when we were with our friends.  It was back up and running, and about a 20 minute wait.  Paul had never been on this attraction before.  Our last trip in 2010, Splash Mt. was down for refurbishment for a couple months, so we had to miss it.  

After Splash Mountain, we headed to Hall of Presidents.  

Here is a picture of my all time favorite President!!  And, what a President he was.  

After we left Hall of Presidents, we went back to Adventureland, and I had Paul get in line for a Dole Whip, and I made my way over to Sunshine Tree Terrace, and ordered a Citrus Swirl!  YUMMY!!!

I made it through my line quicker, so I waited for him, and we shared our treats with each other.  

After our treats, we went over to Magic Carpets of Aladdin.  I had never been on this attraction before, and it is just as I thought.........just like Dumbo.  Cute, but not a "rock your world" experience. 
We then exited the park for a couple hours, and caught our bus for the resort to we could rest a little, and change into our costumes to head back for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party!  More on the evening portion of Day 3 later this week!! 
Until then, think about is Mickey's birthday.  Remember, "it all started with a Mouse," and we would not be doing anything like this if it was not for Walt Disney, and our beloved Mickey Mouse!!  Happy Birthday Mickey!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day 2 of our WDW/Cruise Adventure! EPCOT!

The second day of our trip was great!  EPCOT!  Need I say more?  People have asked me what my favorite this is at EPCOT.  My response is always, "just being there."  It is such a fabulous place. 
We arrived early on 10/10/12.  That was a Wednesday.  We got there just after the park opened.  We had some fun plans for the day, and wanted to take advantage of every minute we could.  not only were we going to be there for Food & Wine Festival, but we were also meeting up with some of my Facebook friends from my Walt Disney Maniacs group who were at Walt Disney World at the same time as us.  What a great coincidence.  Joe and Chrissy D. and Nick and Barbie M. We had a nice time with them. 

Since we arrived fairly early, we wanted to get some of our favorite Future World attractions in before meeting up with the gang.  We headed for SOARIN' first, as that is Paul's favorite attraction.  We only waited for about 20 minutes, so we were thrilled.

After leaving the attraction, we headed straight to the FASTPASS kiosks and got our passes to return in about an hour and a 1/2 later.  We went right to Sunshine Seasons and got a light and quick breakfast. 

Then we headed over to the line for Living With the Land.  It was fairly short, and was moving pretty quickly.  Took about 15 minutes all together to wait, so not bad again. 
Living With the Land is a very overlooked, but extremely interesting attraction.  On our last trip, it was down for refurbishment, so we were not able to see it.  It has been a long time since I had been in it, and Paul had never seen it, so this was great that we were able to get on it so quickly. 

 We then headed over to Spaceship Earth, and we had about a 25 minutes wait here.  We had time to spare, since we had our FASTPASSES for SOARIN', and had time until our meet-up with our friends. 

After SOARIN', we headed over to The Seas with Nemo and Friends.  Still time. 

We found Nick and Barbie, and then we located Joe and Chrissy.  We set off for some beverages in France, but a side stop in the UK for some pictures with Pooh and Tigger!

After taking some other pictures in the UK pavilion, we ran across none other than Mary Poppins!

After the UK area, we headed off to France.  I had a small sample of wine, and Paul had beer.  We left there, and went over toward the water, I went and got us a sample of the scallops from the New Zealand booth.  They were very good!
After that we got the opportunity to have pictures with Belle!  No Beast, just Belle. 

Paul and I had reservations at a wine seminar at the Food & Wine building, so we headed off on our own, and unfortuntaly did not get to meet back up with the rest of the group that day.  We were going to see Joe and Chrissy the next day at Magic Kingdom, and Nick and Barbie Friday night at RiverRoost.
So, to save time, and my feet, we took the Friendship boat from World Showcase across the water back to Future World where the seminar was located.  It did save a lot of walking, and time, and it really gave me a perspective I had never seen before, and gave me the opportunity to get some great pictures.

Our wine seminar was at 4pm.  We went in to the Festival Center to find out exactly where to go .  We walked up to the information desk, and there was a little boy about 5 standing there fiddling around with some things there, and we asked the young lady behind the desk where we go to check in.  She told us, and we stepped to the side, and were going to head off.  The Dad of this boy says to the young lady, "Is there some reason why you took care of them first?  He has been standing there and wanted to ask you something." REALLY?  Why could the kid not speak up, or his parents take him to the desk and have him ask what he wanted to ask?  I just gave the guy the look, and walked away.  He continued to yell at her after we left.  Grouches at Disney..........there is nothing worse.
Anyway, we got our tickets, and got in line for our seminar, and were seated about 5 minutes later.  The seminar for the afternoon was sponsored by Martin Codax of Spain.  The woman who was the speaker was Mariloa Varona Bayolo, the Export Manager,  for the winery/co-op.  She was very entertaining, and very informative at the same time.  You can tell she has a passion for what she does.  The wine was great and we even found it after we returned home, and bought some at our grocery store where we shop.

After the seminar was over we headed to the Mexico pavilion and went to the Gran Fiesta Tour attraction, which we love!  We then went over to China to watch some acrobats, and to search out Prince Min.  Don't know who Prince Min is?  Well.....let me tell you!  This is some information we covered way back last March on the Walt Disney Maniacs page in our Trivia Tidbits.

At the end of each ornate upward-tilting roof line, you will see a small character on the back of a chicken (yes, it is a chicken) That is the evil Prince Min of the state of Qi, ruler of China who was hung from his ancestral temple's rooftop way back in 238 B.C. at the command of the Prime Minister. Superstition dictates a representation of Prince Min sitting on the roof will protect that building from evil spirits. As added insurance, he is guarded by helpful animals that line up behind him keeping watch. The number of animals guarding Prince Min indicates the status of that particular building.

After China we backtracked  to Norway, first stopping off that the Scandinavia food booth to try and test their Swedish meatballs.  They were good, and I have a huge comparison, as my Swedish Grandma used to make some of the best I have ever had (and I can do a pretty good job myself!) 
On to Maelstrom!  We love this attraction, and were glad the wait was less than 25 minutes. 

After we left Norway, we headed over to Germany to take some pictures. 

 Then, we headed to Italy..........

 We took a leisurely stroll over to the American Adventure Pavilion and caught the American Adventure show.  We just love this, and it really makes me feel proud of our country with all that has happened here, and all that has been accomplished here in what really is a short life so far.

  Time for dinner!  Dinner reservations were at Tokyo Dining at 7:30pm.  This is one of the places I have been looking forward to dining at again, since our last trip.  If you are a sushi lover, they have great sushi here!

After the fiasco and debacle of my feet killing me the night we arrived and waiting for the Mainstreet Electrical Parade, I did not want the same thing happening waiting for Illuminations to start, so we passed.  We went instead to the Friendship Boats and headed over to the Swan and Dolphin Resorts as we had never seen them.  They were beautiful, and it was well worth the trip over.  Lots of business people in suits.  Not really the Disney vacation type place to be, in my humble opinion.  As we were walking through the Swan going back to the boats, who did we run into?  Mariola from the wine seminar.  She remember us from the audience!   She hugged us when we told her how much she enjoyed the seminar, and she gave me her business card, and told us "you need to come to Spain!" Maybe we will some day.

We took the Friendship boat back to EPCOT, and worked our way to the exit, and just made it back to our resort in time to have my head hit the pillow.  We would have to be up early to get to Magic Kingdom for another fun day ahead. 

Join us next week, as we talk about day 3, meeting more new friends, and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party!