Mickey626's 7th Trip to the World! [LIVE!] [56k Warning!] [UPDATED 3/15!]
Hello everyone, it is me again- Mickey626. You may remember me from the trip report I posted for my last trip in May 2007 and the WDWCP boards. It is that time again. Once again, we are visiting the World. So, without further ado, I am proud to announce:
Caribbean Sunset: Return to Paradise
Our 7th trip to the Walt Disney World Resort!
As you may guess by looking at the picture above, we are staying at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort. Our first time too! Though we are only spending one night / two days in the World, we are still planning to do as much as possible in Epcot, the Magic Kingdom, and the surrounding resort areas of those two parks as well as our own resort.
Our primary reason for returning to Florida again, however, is not based soley on the Walt Disney World Resort. For the week we are staying there (March 14-21) we will be vacationing the better part of the week in Placida, which lies about 2 hours south of Tampa. There a relative of mine has a beach house and has agreed to let us stay in it along with my grandparents. I don't doubt fun will be had there. But that's not really the point of this report.
Onto the report. Or, really a blog I should call it. See, this report is going to try to be a LIVE report. While I won't be detailing you every single thing that happens (We are now getting on Splash Mountain...etc.) I will try to update this report at the end of each day- days in Placida included. I will try to keep the pictures and posts about the non-Disney portion of our trip to a mininum, as I know all of you infinitely prefer Disney World, as I do. ;) Hopefully I will get a good cell signal at the CBR or back at the house to update you with. If that fails, there's always the (expensive) high-speed internet available at Disney. Why pay $10 an hour when you can use the internet for free?
Anyway, keep your eyes peeled on this thread for the next week or so. We will be departing for Florida at about 10:30am on Saturday and arriving in Tampa at about...2:00 I'd say. As for now, I have a picture to tantalize you with: my room's shelf o' Disney stuff.
I have a whole bunch of cool stuff on here, like a framed picture I got from the World of Disney store for spending x amount of dollars, Year of a Million Dreams mouse ears that we got by being in line for Mission Space, and several autograph books from trips gone by.
PS: I am completely and irrationally infatuated with D23. I must become a member or I may perish. Do you think they have some sort of super secret meeting ground beneath Sunset Point? That's what I like to imagine :p
Re: Mickey626's 7th Trip to the World!
Day 1 and 2: It begins.
It is 4:00. I am currently sitting in front of the pool of a house that has far exceeded my expectations. The temperature is currently 84 degrees. Needless to say no extra clothes besides t-shirt and shorts are required. Sure beats the 50 and below weather of Maryland. You can bet that I'm pretty happy right now.
We got into Tampa at about 1:00 yesterday. The flight was easy and quick. Mom and I watched Walt's original unveiling of Epcot/Walt Disney World (Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color?) on my iTouch during the flight. Also read the latest AllEars newsletter, including the press release for some Sanaa menu items (with pictures!). Picked up our rental car (Prius) and drove to my Uncle's house, stopping at Hardees along the way. Let it be known that Hardees has the best chicken tenders in the known world. I think. Probably because mine freshly fried. Add a couple hours under a heat lamp and my opinion would have probably changed. We arrived at the house around 5:00 I think. The place is great. Has it's own screened in pool/patio. Went to Target to buy various furniture items and foodstuffs. Went out to dinner at a good (but VERY loud) restaurant right on a marina. Coconut shrimp were good.
Today we went out to breakfast and then went to Boca Grande Beach (Gasparilla Island) and walked around there, then walked around the town of Boca Grande a bit, and also renting a golf cart to see the whole area faster. I lot of really nice (and EXPENSIVE) houses both lived in and for sale around here. I wouldn't say no to living down here ;) Everybody's taking a nap now, so I have a couple hours before we go out for dinner.
Only 2 days remain for Disney. I am growing impatient. In reality Mom and Dad (or at least Mom) are looking forward to the World far more than anything we've done or are going to do so far.
Tomorrow we go into Tampa to see a Yankees vs. Phillies spring training game. Sounds good to me!
My Uncle's house we're staying in.
A beautiful sunset at the marina next to the restaurant we ate in last night.
There were a LOT of shells at the beach.
Boca Grande Beach
Boca Grande Beach Lighthouse
Fountain inside a quiet and pretty park in the town of Boca Grande.
See ya' real soon!
Re: Mickey626's 7th Trip to the World!
Day 3: Baseball!
Yesterday the highlight of the day was going to see the Yankees vs. Phillies game in Tampa at the George M. Steinbrenner Field. Yankees won, as usual. Here are some pictures from the game:
In my next post, there will FINALLY be pics and info from DISNEY! Yay! Expect them either tonight or tomorrow.
Re: Mickey626's 7th Trip to the World!
Sounds like fun, can't wait to hear the Disney portion!
Re: Mickey626's 7th Trip to the World!
absolutely beautiful pictures... looking forward to your updates
(bag me some of those lovely shells!)
Re: Mickey626's 7th Trip to the World!
So it is time! Finally, the Disney report is unveiled!
Sorry for being kinda late with this. I was just having so much.....fun in Florida to really update you. That and a kinda crappy cell-tower based internet connection. Anyway, I'm home now and here is the review, as promised. Pictures will not appear here because A.) I'm too lazy to bother with [img] tags and B.) It would probably blow up the bandwidth here. That would be bad. So, instead, you can find the photos here in my Facebook Photo Albums:
Dylan Weidner's Photos - Spring Break 2009 [PART 1] | Facebook FLORIDA DAY 1
Dylan Weidner's Photos - Spring Break 2009 [PART 2] | Facebook FLORIDA DAY 2
Dylan Weidner's Photos - Spring Break 2009 [Part 3] | Facebook FLORIDA DAY 3 [POST WDW]
Dylan Weidner's Photos - WDW 2009 (Part 1) | Facebook WDW DAY 1
Dylan Weidner's Photos - WDW 2009 (Part 2) | Facebook WDW DAY 1
Dylan Weidner's Photos - WDW 2009 (Part 3) | Facebook WDW DAY 1 & 2
Dylan Weidner's Photos - WDW 2009 (Part 4) | Facebook WDW DAY 2
So then, without further ado:
Mickey626's 7th Trip to Walt Disney World- aka "Caribbean Sunset"
We got up really early at my Uncle's house (see above) and were on the road by 7:00 am. What was surprising and really awesome was that there was no traffic at all near Tampa and we actually got to the Caribbean Beach in about 2-2 1/2 hours instead of the estimated 3-3 1/2 by Google Maps. Cool. So anyway we got to the Caribbean. Beautiful place. Massive. There was no way we could see all of it. Great colors, very vibrant. Lots of nice foliage. We made our way into the Custom House for check-in, myself doing the whole process (since I booked it- AND I have an ID now!!).
This is where the first (and pretty much only, thankfully) problem arose.
We bought a Water View room. Non-pirate. For some reason, they were unable to give us a water view due to the extreme amounts of group booking there. I'm serious- there were literally like 5 different sports teams staying there @_@. Guess this is one of the negative aspects of staying at a moderate resort >_> They did, however give us a nice room in Martinique, which I requested at check-in. Standard view. They did, fortunately, refund the price difference since we got a standard view. This view didn't turn out so bad after all. Dreading the horrific view of a parking lot a'la WDW 2005 A (Polynesian Resort, Rapa Nui, first floor, view: A BUSH. And the parking lot.), I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by a view of the lush gardens and courtyard of our building, building 22 (Room 2260 to be exact). We got a Finding Nemo themed room, which was what I was secretly hoping for :D The bedspreads are so colorful and fun!
After dropping off our things we headed to Old Port Royale Centertown. Very short walk which was nice. In Centertown I bought two pins- a limited edition St. Patrick's Day 2009 pin, and the official Caribbean Beach Resort pin, which features Pirate Mickey in front of the Pirate Fortress seen in the main pool. Also got our obligatory Mickey rice-crispy treat and devoured it on sight.
After this we drove to Epcot, which was very close. Less than 10 minutes. We decided to walk to the front gates. Took a little while to get our tickets at Will Call (Hear speaching engrish?? Aha....no. SPEAK ENGLISH. PLEASE.)
*ahem* yes, so the 2009 International Flower and Garden Festival was pretty much fully ready, and fortunately all the topiaries were out on display. Last time we were in the World (May 2007) we were in Epcot for the actual festival. I think the topiaries are better this time around. Can't say much about the activities as there were none. A couple of the playgrounds were eventually opened to the rabid children who needed to burn energy (why would anyone need to burn energy in a theme park? Whatever. Headed straight to Canada. Saw the new O' Canada show featuring the delightfully funny Martin Short and the remastered "Canada- You're a Lifetime Journey" by somebody (Celine Dion?). Fun show. They did a great job- AND they still had the part with the Mounted Police. Started the Kidcot Mask here.
After Canada we headed towards Mexico, stopping by World Showcase Traders (or whatever shop it is) on the way. In Mexico we checked out the cool little wooden hand-painted animals for sale. Mom bought a World Showcase visor here and I did the added to the Kidcot mask, as usual. **** OBSERVATION: They were selling Tostitos in there. Why Tostitos? Why not something more....you know....authentic?
After Mexico we continued our tour around the World Showcase, clockwise. Stopped in Norway for Kidcot and salted licorice (Dad). No rice cream this time :(
Continued to China. FINALLY got to meet Mulan (fav. Disney's Princess) after 9 years. Took long enough. I have to admit though...she didn't look very....Mulan-y. I don't know. Look at the picture and judge for yourself. Note that this was the ONLY character I got a picture/autograph from. Not that I'm outgrowing them, but that we just didn't have enough time!
Arrived at Germany for lunch at Biergarten, our now favorite restaurant in Epcot. Let me explain.
When she came up to us to order our drinks, I thought she looked really familiar. And then it dawned on me.
She was our waitress last time we were there- nearly 2 years ago!
And she remembered us.
This may have been partly due to the fact that Dad was wearing the EXACT SAME shirt he wore last time were dined at the Biergarten, but still cool nonetheless. She told us that she came over from Germany for one of Disney's International Cast Member programs (May have been the college program) way back in 1984- just two years after Epcot opened (right?). She returned to Germany one last time and has never looked back from Florida since. Or at least it seemed that way. She's awesome. If any of you are going to dine at the Biergarten in the future, say hi to her for me if you see her! (from Dylan- the kid with the red hawaiian shirt.)
Anywho, after Lunch we decided to try to get into Soarin'. No such luck- a whopping 135 MINUTE LINE- with NO fastpasses let. WOW. Even when we got to the park at roughly 10:30, there was already a 2 hour wait! Pure insanity!
Instead we visited the newly-reimagined Spaceship Earth, which we meant to go on anyway- it being new and all. Not too much different. I miss Jeremy Irons terribly. The animatronics looked good. Interactive screens were a nice, and very funny touch. Probably installed to hold kid's interest.
HIDDEN MICKEY: I really liked Spaceship Earth because I KNEW there had to be a ton of hidden mickeys in it. I only found one out of a lot more that other people have found (upon reading up on it just now). Just after the sleeping monk scene is a scene with a painter painting on a bench. To the left of him is a hidden mickey made up of three circles of white paint, supposedly dripped from the cans near him. Amazing. I was really amazed by how many I missed though! In the post-show area, we sent off our videos that our in-vehicle screens produced to my email. We actually got them this time unlike another time where Mom and I tried to send a different one from Innoventions.
After Spaceship Earth we returned to the World Showcase- this time going counter-clockwise to France. While Mom and Dad watched Impressions de France, I scurried off to the kidcot stops at both France and United Kingdom. What made my day was finding "HobNobs" in the UK pavilion. I had these chocolate-topped digestive biscuits in Ireland when I went there last summer, and was so excited to find them. I had to buy some. I chatted with the cast member manning the kidcot station about the college program. British Invasion was playing.
I headed over to France and took some really nice pictures- especially one of the billboard-like tower...thing. Mom said they had them in Paris when she was there.
When Mom & Dad finished Impressions de France we headed to Morocco.
You know, I never really realized how beautiful this country is. We usually just skip over it unless I'm doing a kidcot thing or Aladdin characters are present. But as I waited for my kidcot addition, I looked around the shop I was in and thought it was pretty cool looking. The arcitecture around the whole place is so intricate too and really lovely. Snapped plenty of pics.
After this is my all-time favorite- JAPAN!!! Here I not so quickly found the kidcot station located inside the tin toy museum and looked inside Mitsukoshi. The Mitsukoshi Department Store is my FAVORITE store in all of Disney World. And everybody there is so nice :) I didn't buy anything since they didn't have the t-shirt I was looking for
**** OBSERVATION: At EVERY OTHER COUNTRY except Japan (or so it seemed) they had a T-Shirt that had 1.) The flag of the country, 2.) Names of cities in that country. and 3.) A black background. I would have bought this IF it was in Japan, but sadly no. And yes, I did ask. Oh well.
So I didn't by anything at Mitsukoshi. I decided not to by any food products because I've finally realized that I can get the same thing (FOR MUCH CHEAPER) at a Chinese grocery store pretty near my house. Or in any Chinatown. I was thinking of buying a Pokemon plushie for my friend because her and I are so insanely addicted to Pokemon it's not even funny. But I thought "Hey, I'm in DISNEY. I'm getting her a DISNEY thing." So I bought her a Camp Rock pin. She's into the JoBros about as much, if not more than Pokemon. The same can't be said for me though. I infinitely prefer Miley :P
But enough rambling. After Japan we quickly (like *really quickly*) went to America and Italy for the Kidcot stuffs and then bolted over to Disney's Yacht Club Resort for our Dinner at:
Everything about this place was great. Except the crying children. But really they can be expected anywhere you go in Disney (except Victoria & Albert's ;) ). They didn't bother us too much. Our waiter, Marc (Mark?) has been working at the World for the past 18 years (I think), having waiting positions at various restaurants such as Boatwright's Dining Hall (could have been Bonfamille's Cafe even) and Spoodles. Great guy. Just the right kind of waiter you want to have.
Food was superb. Best steak I ever had. I got the Filet. Awesome. Mom and Dad both got the beef short ribs. I tried this and they were equally good. The PERFECTLY roasted garlic cloves that came alongside our bread were really good spread on it. I also noticed that they seem to have an updated version of my beloved White Chocolate Mickey Puzzle Dessert. The puzzle in question is much smaller than previously and now included were (I think) different kinds of cupcakes and a LOT more frosting/paint. Interesting. I however did not order this, nor any dessert because we had to get back to Epcot for Illuminations. Excellent meal overall. Decor is kinda off though- more arts and craftsy that I think would belong better in the Wilderness Lodge or Grand Californian.
On the way back to Epcot we noticed a sizeable group of kids gathered on the Beach/Yacht Club beach watching some sort of Disney movie. I have never heard of this before so I'm assuming it's a nightly activity for the Beach Club's Sandcastle Club child care center. Makes perfect sense, as the weather was beautiful. Heck, the weather was great the whole time- not just in Orlando either: EVERYWHERE. No rain. Never got below 50. I didn't swim at all though because A.) My uncle's pool was too cold because it just got repaired and B.) We didn't have time to swim at the Caribbean Beach- the water was luxuriously warm though in the quiet pool :3 Would have loved to...
Also on the way back to Epcot we watched several families riding surrey bikes around the Crescent Lake Loop. What was funny is that they really picked up speed as they came down the hill that leads down to the Beach/Yacht Club from the bridge that goes over the International Gateway canal! :D Everyone looked like they were having a blast. I've decided that I must do that sometime- ride a surrey bike around Crescent Lake. Though I've ridden surrey bikes on REAL boardwalks before and even on the Wilderness Lodge/Ft. Wilderness trail back in 2000, I think it would be awesome to ride on the Boardwalk Resort boardwalk. Oh! I almost forgot. I went over to the Beach Club while Mom & Dad were finishing dinner and bought the premier issue of Disney twenty * three! Great magazine. Read it on the flight home. Really shows how massive and insanely brilliant and successful the Walt Disney Company is.
So we got back to Epcot. I went in Mitsukoshi one last time to take pictures because I loved it so much and then we staked out a nice spot on the upper level of the Mitsukoshi building. There we watched Illuminations and the view was amazing. Though a tree blocked the view of the globe momentarily, we could clearly see it, the fireworks, and the fireballs quite clearly. The Japan arch made a great foreground piece as well. I will say that it looked eerily reminiscent to what it may have looked like during the bombing of Hiroshima/Nagasaki. All the fireballs, smoke and such. Interesting. Show was great. And I didn't even cry during "We Go On." I totally though I would. Guess not. Hmm. This may have something to do with the fact that I know we will be visiting a Disney theme park sometime next year (either Land or World again).
After Illuminations we walked slowly counterclockwise towards Future World, stopping to take pictures of the beautifully illuminated American Adventure building, Chinese temple, and the Mexico building. Once we got to Future World we spent a very long time in Mouse Gear, as we always do when leaving Epcot, buying various items such as a 2009 pin and clothes.
We got the tram to our parking area (Journey) quickly and drove back to the Caribbean. One (or more?) of the sports teams in question was having a rather loud party on the Martinique beach, but we thankfully couldn't hear it in our room. They were playing volleyball and looked like they were having a blast.
Really, one of the greatest things for me on this trip was just watching people. When I saw the happy faces of children and the pirate adventure participants and the surrey bikers as well as the dancing children at Biergarten I remembered that, no, people are not totally scum and the world does not totally ****. I'm glad that Disney is still a place where (most) families can go together to have fun together.
Enough of my musings. We went to bed that night, prepared the next day for the
DAY 1 END
DAY 2 BEGIN
My hands hurt. I will tell you all about Day 2 tomorrow. Tomorrow is...the Magic Kingdom!
Re: Mickey626's 7th Trip to the World!
Wow, sounds like a great trip and a great growing experience for you.
Re: Mickey626's 7th Trip to the World!
DAY 2 BEGIN
Slept in too late- 8:00 am. I wanted to get moving by then. Magic Kingdom opened at 9. Ah well. Slightly annoyed by this fact, Mom and I went off to Centertown to get breakfast. Of course I couldn't stay moody for long since we were in Disney. We shopped around the Calypso Trading Post and got a Christmas ornament and some other things. Breakfast was a Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Croissant Sandwich which was good, though a bit cold by the time I consumed it back in our room. Centertown was annoyingly crowded and noisy at such an early hour. The constantly looping music did nothing to help this.
After breakfast we walked around the resort a bit, since we were staying there and all. "Discovered" Caribbean Cay which lived up to my expectations as a restful, quiet place to nap or just relax. Lots of swinging benches that offered nice views of the buildings and beaches. I found a definite Hidden Mickey embedded in the pavement on the pathway going between Caribbean Cay and the main pool. Awesome find!
Drove to the Magic Kingdom, which again didn't take very long. Parked in Daisy 29 and took the ferry (our first time!) to the gates. I noticed several activities for kids set up in the waiting line for the ferry, including chalk (there were already numerous drawings and "___was here-esque" inscriptions on the pavement) and hula hoops. A cast member was also blowing bubbles. A nice touch :) Waiting for the ferry took a little too long, but the ride gave us an expectedly beautiful view of the Seven Seas Lagoon- the Polynesian in particular. Another Pirate Adventure similar to the day before ran alongside us, it's young scallywags hurling all sorts of incoherent and vulgar threats at our massively oversized vessel. I assume this one was from the Grand Floridian.
Soon we arrived at the gates.
Once inside the park we headed directly to the Main Street Train Station. I had heard of some sort of morse-code/telegraph secret that was supposed to be hidden there. Though I never found it, I did get to experience the charming antique picture shows and games on the upper level. After this we got into the Street and Dad went off to exchange one of his shirts at the Emporium. It was at this time that the new "Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It!" parade came rolling through for the morning. Personally, I loved the previous opening celebration involving the turn-of-the-century performers and the "Welcome Medley" song. Alas. Mom really enjoyed this new parade though and soon I could not help but smile at the colorful costumes and kids dancing to the music. The cast members performing the parade are particularly energetic. It must take a lot of training/dedication/work to do so! Also while we were on Main Street I ducked into the Main Street Confectioners and watched the making of some particularly appetizing chocolate-covered apples (with marshmallow ears!). After Main Street we headed over to First Aid so Dad could get some bandaids for his feet. Note: my feet were absolutely killing me the whole time. Really. We ALMOST didn't go back to the MK after lunch, but I persevered ;) Kinda hard to really quit when your in DISNEY!
After First Aid we headed to Adventureland, purchasing our now traditional and mandatory Pineapple Dole Whip, consuming it on the way to the Jungle Cruise. Waited an absurd amount of time to get on the silliest ride in the whole park, but it was fun nonetheless. Mom had never been on it anyway I think.
**** OBSERVATION: There was this kid in front of us in the Jungle Cruise line. Whenever I would glance down at him he was always staring up at me like :O. It got a little creepy. Weird.
The themeing in the Jungle Cruise queue was probably better- and funnier than the ride itself. The narration overhead as you wait was particularly funny as well. I was feverishly searching for Hidden Mickeys while we waited, sure that I would find one, but never did. Hmm.
After Jungle Cruise we headed towards the Pirates Bazaar where I bought a spiffy new keychain- this one a replica of one of Captain Jack Sparrow's earings. I noticed that they've actually started playing music from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies in the Pirates of the Caribbean area. Maybe they've been doing this, but I don't remember them doing it last time we were there. Maybe I just wasn't listening hard enough :P
Having finished the bazaar we headed back to the hub to take Castle pictures, including a PhotoPass photo (remind me to look at those sometime....) After this we went off to lunch at
THE WAVE at Disney's Contemporary Resort (and soon Villas!)
As told, a lot has changed at the Contemporary. The Food and Fun Center/Arcade is now gone, the arcade now occupying the former space of Fantasia. Fantasia is now in the area the pin stand was smack in the middle of the Conscourse. BVG looks relatively unchanged. By now my feet were REALLY killing me, so I layed down outside BVG on a large, albeit flat upholstered table-like structure- except shorter. Headed down to the 3rd floor where I rested more and Mom made some calls. Soon we were at The Wave for our 1:30 Lunch reservation.
Excellent place. Fortunately we were almost the only people in the resort, and apparently the only table our waitress, Mary had. We chatted with her for a good while about things like the College Program and an incident she heard about from a fellow cast member that involved a kid and Tigger fighting. Like, real fighting. Lawsuit and all. Couldn't Tigger just have bounced on the kid's head? That I would've liked to see.
Food was good. I had the Angus Bacon Cheeseburger with Roasted Potato Wedges. Burger was a little dry due to my own darn fault in rarity preference and lack of ketchup. Mom ordered a Curried Butternut Squash Soup with a miniature Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Soup was excellent, if a little gritty. Even Dad, who normally dislikes curry to the extreme, enjoyed it. Roasted potato wedges weren't very crispy but were seasoned nicely.
The brown in the restaurant is unsettling. Though I had seen pictures of the interior, I was hoping for at least a tiny bit more blue. The blue seems to be quarantined to only the lounge/waiting area next to the bar. The brown makes you think of waves of chocolate or...well....nevermind.
New lobby, though modern, looked a bit cold and less kid-friendly than before.
A lot of construction was still being done not only on the Bay Lake Tower but near the marina area as well. I also noticed a new topiary of Sorcerer Mickey out back. At least I think it was new. Remember, it was about 4 years since I set foot in the Contemporary!
After lunch we headed back to the Magic Kingdom, my feet rejuvinated by resting at lunch and by the food. At the gate we all got a picture in front of the Train Station.
Headed off to Tomorrowland. Got a Fastpass for Buzz Lighyear's Space Ranger Spin (my favorite Magic Kingdom ride). Promptly went over to Carousel of Progress which as usual had little wait. Let it be known that Dad had been singing "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" on and off since we arrived at the World...or at least the whole day. He really likes this ride. And so do I. For some reason it never seems to get old with me. I also enjoyed searching for hidden mickeys, though I found none. I am convinced however that Disney hides Hidden Mickeys EVERYWHERE.
After Carousel we rode Buzz Lightyear. For some unexplainable reason I beat all of my scores, not to mention Mom's (the reigning champ) score, promoting myself up to "Space Cadet" class, a severe improvement over my previous "Ranger 1st Class" rank. I really think part of the game is about luck, but I am quite certain that I hit the two "biggies" at least once: the one on the back of the robot's arm and the big volcano. Also, we were briefly stopped at a point without any targets and I knew that if you held down the trigger you would still rack up some points. I had inform Dad about this.
After Tomorrowland we went back to the Hub where I got a picture that I had been meaning to get: The backside of Walt with him pointing towards the Main Street Train Station, Main Street blurred in the distance. With the crowds of guests congregating around him snapping pictures he appeared eerily dictator-like. I thought more of a King surveying his Kingdom and loyal subjects.
At this point we headed to the Main Street Ice Cream Parlor to partake in there wares. I ordered a Mickeylodeon. Though it was not called this. It was called something like a Kids Cone or something...whatever. I think maybe the true "Mickeylodeon" is served at the Plaza Restauraunt. Whatever it's name, the scoop of vanilla with chocolate ears on a cone was nonetheless tasty. I noticed that they now offer both Rice Dream and Tofutti Ice Cream alternatives there. I'm curious as to when they started doing this....this would've been a godsend last time we went since I was on dialysis and dairy products were strictly limited. I got one of those delicious cones anyway last time, Rice Dream or no!
After our dessert we headed on over to Tom Sawyer Island at the suggestion that Dad wanted to see if it still hid the geocache box Mom and I discovered in 2005. Though I was pretty certain it no longer existed (it had been a good 4 years ago!) I decided to go anyway. I myself was interested in finding some of the more....controversial....secrets described right here in the WDW Secrets forum here including the man-sized hole filled with beer bottles.
We found nothing. I did scope out the bluebird detail that I read about earlier in a Disney blog in Harper's Mill though. And I'm now 100% certain that the paintbrushes no longer exist, as told by various sources here earlier.
After the Island I bought the aforementioned Camp Rock pin in Frontierland for my friend and we headed towards Fantasyland. Here we saw our beloved Mickey's Philharmagic. This show never ceases to delight me, though I've seen it a good 3 or 4 times now. The water parts are particularly cool. It was fun watching the first-timer kids experiencing it too. After this we headed off to Tinkerbell's Fairy Treasures.
I was on a mission. For pixie dust.
Yes, you read that correctly. I was intent on finding some of the stuff. I was mainly curious as to if Miss Tink would be willing to even part with the stuff, but I am mildly fascinated by its magical properties. Alas, none was being sold. When I asked the cast member working there she replied that Tinkerbell would be mad if they tried to take her pixie dust. At least she had a reasonable reply. I don't think I'd want to be on Tink's bad side.
Oh, I did actually get to meet Tink, by way of a "magical" bell in the shop that, when rung and her name called for, would summon Tink to a "window" behind the registers. Nice little touch and very believable to those who are young enough (or young at heart!).
We did not see Toontown on this trip. Not really enough time. I would have liked to see Mickey's house yet again and try to pick up some Hidden Mickeys and meet the Mouse himself, but we didn't.
After Fantasyland we headed out of the park. For Dinner at....
KONA CAFE at Disney's Polynesian Resort
Thought of the Day: Why doesn't the Polynesian have any villas yet? Contemporary soon will. Wilderness Lodge does. Wouldn't they be perfectly suited for such a family-oriented and fantastically-located resort? Maybe there's just not enough space. Or maybe it's simply that there are already 2 Magic Kingdom resorts that house them. Whatever.
We had a decent amount of time to kill before our 7:35 reservation at the Kona Cafe. Upon arrival I promptly went to the O'Hana check-in podium and inquired about the wait time for mere walk-ins like us and the sale and existence of the ethereal pineapple bread that they serve. Wait time was more than an hour and a half and, yes, the pineapple bread still exists, and no, they do not sell it. Kona Cafe it was.
We headed outside to check out the beautiful grounds. Dad had never really experienced the grounds a lot before since he didn't stay with Mom and I there back in March 2005 so he was interested. I ducked into Captain Cook's to confirm the existence of a Pineapple Dole Whip dispenser. Indeed it was there. I will remember this for next time. Now if only they'd serve that wonderful pineapple bread for breakfast down there..........! Don't they serve it in the concierge lounge? Hmm.
While Mom and Dad relaxed on the beach I headed up to Sunset Point to meditate/think sad thoughts/ponder/plan my marriage proposal/take pictures. The sunset looked really great from up there. Happy to see families playing on the beach together, especially the kids. I love the Polynesian. It may be my favorite WDW Resort. Such as happy and cheerful place.
Finally headed back to the Kona Cafe. Very loud and open, but food was excellent. Better than expected.
For appetizers we ordered the duck potstickers. I also got the Curry Shrimp Coconut Soup. Soup was amazing and mildly spicy. Potstickers were seared to a perfect golden brown- better than any I've ever made at home and the sweet/sour sauce that with them was nice, as were the unique black sesame seed topping.
For entree I ordered the Pomegranate Barbecued Pork which was surprisingly tender and very good. Swiss Chard and Fingerling Potatoes sauteed in what could have only been bacon fat were equally tasty. The macadamia butter and Hawaiian rolls lived up to their delicious reviews I had read previously. For dessert I ordered the oversized Kona Kone- complete with blue cotton candy, coconut, nuts, M&M's, Mickey sprinkles, and a chocolate Mickey face. There was no way I could finish all of it, especially since we had only 15-20 minutes before Wishes! started outside. Mom and Dad enjoyed the Kahlua Torte.
After our hurried dessert we headed out to the beach and watched Wishes, view perfectly unobstructed with the exception of passerby and music piped in at satisfactory quality. Despite the large group that had joined us on the beach, it was still much more relaxing than standing smack in the middle of the park with the hordes as we did last time. I decided to videotape the whole thing. The Electrical Water Pageant was also performing at this time, which was a nice touch.
Soon the show ended, wishes set in mind of our next return to a Disney theme park, be it Land or World.
We walked back to the Great Ceremonial House and shopped around Trader Jacks/Samoa Snacks a bit, purchasing various food stuffs like coconut patties and some unbelievably good Peanut Butter Meltaways, as well as a tropical Mickey shirt. I noticed a kids novel called "Kingdom Keepers: Disney at Dawn" in Samoa Snacks. Upon further research I discovered that it is written by the same author, Ridely Pearson, who wrote the Peter and the ____ novels with Dave Barry that chronicle the events leading up to the Peter Pan Disney movie. I am interested in reading this. Off to the library!
And then we left.
I was in a surprisingly good mood, considering everything and that I thought I would be in a pretty rough state at the bitter end, especially with Sunset Point and Wishes. But I did well. We strolled back slowly to the TTC from the resort and got on the departing tram to Daisy 29. I listened to some poignant music as exited the property, ending with the ending theme, "Farewell," from Pocahontas as we drove out of the entrance gate. After "Drink Up Me Hearties Yo Ho" and "What Shall We Die For?" from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End I cheered up and we had a nice chat about really everything Disney on the way back. We like discussing the inner workings and business choices of the Walt Disney Company and pondering how they do what they do so well, at least in terms of customer service.
I eventually fell asleep somewhere on that 3 hour ride back to Placida. It was about 1:00 am by the time we arrived. Went to bed quickly.
DAY 2 END
The last three days were largely uneventful, at least compared to the awesomeness of Disney. The next day, Thursday we really just laid around and didn't do much. I uploaded, edited, and sorted pictures from the past two days at Disney. The next day we went to the beach one last time, a different one though. This one had a large abandoned, washed up yacht on the shoreline that looked rather striking against the blue background. We also spotted a strange looking bird (I think it was a heron) that appeared injured, apparently from the fishing line hanging from its neck.
We ate dinner out that night at The Temptation in Boca Grande. Really good and fresh seafood. Finally we headed back to the same marina we visited the first night and watched the dieing sunset.
We left for Tampa Airport very early the next morning. Our flight was for 11:00. Mom and I (and Dad partly) looked at our first issue of Disney Twenty Three on the way home. Really a great magazine. Packed with stuff that the likes of probably you fellow Disneyphiles and I love. Stories of Uncle Walt. Behind the scenes at Pixar studios (AWESOME.). All about The Little Mermaid on Broadway. A special article on the special Year of a Million Dreams suites in Disneyland/World. A blurb and a recipe from California Grill. A preview of Pixar's latest masterpiece- "Up." Hoping I can find more issues of it when they arrive on newstands. Better yet, I'd love to become a member of D23...a bit expensive at $75 a year though!
Arrived home safely. A great time was had by all.
I hope you enjoyed my Trip Report! Sorry if I rambled on a bit...I tend to do that. I didn't get to do quite as much as I hoped to do (Soarin', Test Track, Peter Pan's Flight) but I still had quite a time.
Until my next trip (2010!), SEE YA' REAL SOON!
Re: Mickey626's 7th Trip to the World!
Great report, I had fun reading.
Re: Mickey626's 7th Trip to the World!
Great reporting Dylan! The pics are awesome too!