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Trip Reports & Member Reviews Discuss A Brit Chick in Orlando: D23's Destination D 2011 - Day 2 in the Vacation Planning forums; Friday 13th May 2011 Despite the ominous sounding date, I was raring to go this morning at a bleary-eyed 6am. After a nice long shower and breakfast down in the ...
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    missbounce's Avatar
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    A Brit Chick in Orlando: D23's Destination D 2011 - Day 2

    Friday 13th May 2011

    Despite the ominous sounding date, I was raring to go this morning at a bleary-eyed 6am. After a nice long shower and breakfast down in the food court, I made my way out to the bus-stops to catch the next shuttle to Animal Kingdom. This morning I was booked on the 'Wild By Design Tour'. I caught the bus and arrived outside the park at about 7.50am, in plenty of time to join my tour group, which as it turned out was just myself and one other girl, who was also hanging at the parks solo. Our guides came over to meet us and I was pleased to see Marie who was one of mine and my hubby's favourite tour-guides from a few years ago when we took part in Backstage Safari.

    She was escorting us along with Barbara, who was also lovely and without too much fuss, we started our tour of the park.




    For those of you who have not signed up to do 'Wild By Design' yet, I highly recommend it. It focuses on all the cool little secrets that the Imagineers put in to the lands that sets Disney so far apart from all your average theme parks. The attention to detail was amazing, and even though I consider myself to be quite clued up about Animal Kingdom (it's my favourite of all the Disney parks), I still came away learning lots. In addition to the walking portion of the tour, we also got to spend some time with one of the gibbon-keepers and also a cast-member who worked with the birds in the Asia aviary (on the Maharjah Jungle Trek). We also had a short stop for a snack (fresh fruit and pastries) and a chance to chat with Barbara and Marie about Disney in more detail. The tour lasted a little over three hours, the first hour of which was before park-opening so we got to spend some awesome time in the Oasis and Dinoland USA with very few people around. The tour finished off in Africa (near the gorillas) where we posed for some photos with Marie and Barbara and also got some nice souvenier pins to take away (another one for my collection - woo-hoo!).

    After leaving the tour group, I had plans to just wander around the park and soak up the atmosphere, and also try and catch a few of my favourite attractions - Kilimanjaro Safaris and Flights of Wonder. As I was heading towards the Tusker House, I came across the beautiful Divine and managed to get some nice photos. If you've not had a chance to see her in the flesh (...leaves??...) yet, I would certainly recommend seeking her out. She's fascinating to watch and the reaction from the guests is also fun to experience - she really does look like a living plant - stunning!


    After Divine, I made my way over to Asia and squeezed in to the next show of Flights of Wonder. One poor chappy in the front row drew the attention of a chicken right at the beginning of the performance and ended up having it sat in his lap for over 10 minutes before any of the Cast Members noticed - it should have scuttled off backstage with the rest of the chickens right as the show kicked-off. Luckily, the chicken was house-trained and there were no unfortunate accidents (if you know what I mean!!).


    After Flights of Wonder, I did another slow walk 'round of Pangani Forest Exploration trail and then grabbed some lunch at the Yak and Yeti counter service before heading on to Kilimanjaro Safaris. Normally my hubby and I ride this first thing in the morning when it's a lot cooler and the animals are more likely to be active. By now, it was around 2pm and VERY hot. As it was, there wasn't a whole lot of activity out in the Savannah (which was to be expected). I did get a rare glimpse of the cheetahs though, who always seem to be hiding whenever I've ridden in the past. I also managed to spot a wart-hog or two, which again has been a rarity for me on previous visits.

    Next stop was the Maharajah Jungle Trek and a chance to check out the tigers who were very active today. It was also a good opportunity to take some pictures around the palace based on some of the information I'd been give this morning on the tour.


    By this time, it was nearly 4pm, so I followed the Jammin' Jungle Parade out of the park and then headed over to the Contemporary Resort where I needed to register for D23's Destination D event taking place tomorrow. The convention center was easy enough to find and fortunately the queue was pretty short to register.

    Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the queue to buy the event merchandise! The goodies were due to go on sale at 5pm, and already, there was a long line of eager-beavers wanting to get their mitts on the treasures up for grabs. To keep myself occupied, I flicked through the free reproduction of the Walt Disney World preview guide that was given to attendees, which I have to say was fab - a really nice gift - thank you D23! I waited for a little over an hour to get to the merchandise table and my poor credit-card got a heck of a work-out! I ended coming away with a couple of t-shirts, a shed load of pins, some souvenier park maps (of Epcot and the Magic Kingdom) and some Kevin Kidney/Jody Daily buttons.

    I also had a chance to meet and have my photo taken with Josh Turchetta (of D23 Armchair Archivist fame) and he was mighty pleased that I had purchased one of his pins - apparently that meant that he was no longer going to get fired! LOL.

    By the time I was lugging my haul of Disney goodies back out of the hotel, the line I was standing in was at least four times as long as when I was at the back - those poor fans had a LOOOOONNNGGG wait ahead of them!

    After finally freeing myself from the lures of the D23 merchandise, I jumped on the monorail (or should I say TRONorail - very cool!), changed at the TTC and then made my way to Epcot. It was one of the final days of the 2011 Flower and Garden Festival and I wanted to squeeze in as many photos/video as I could before the sun-set.

    However, the second I stepped off the monorail, good old Mother Nature decided she had other plans for me and created one heck of a thunder/lightning storm. I did manage to squeeze in some photos before the downpour began, but only made it was far as the other side of the Fountain of Nations before having to take cover under one of the monorail beams. I was there for about 30 minutes, trying to avoid the inevitable soaking, and had to make a decision. I didn't have a wet-weather jacket or poncho with me, not that that really bothered me. But I didn't want my new D23 purchases (particularly the paper retro park maps) to get soaked and ruined. In the end, I grabbed my bag and ran like a crazy person over towards the World Showcase where I took shelter in the Duffy store. After another 15 minutes or so, the down-pour subsided to a mere drizzle and I was able to continue my tour of the Flower and Garden Topiarys and displays. Sadly, it was already starting to get dark now (thanks to the black storm clouds) and it wasn't long before I ran out of time (and light!) and had to admit defeat with my photographs. A real shame as there was some beautiful flowers/plants on show around the park.


    Next stop was the American Pavillion and I just managed to catch the last performance by Herman's Hermits - this is one of my dad's favourite bands from the 60s and I promised him that I'd record some of their show on video. They were a lot of fun to watch and Peter Noone did a great job of getting the crowd involved in all the songs. I ended up staying for the entire show - a definite high-light of my day. Next, I carried on around the lagoon to Morocco to watch Morockin' and then finally to find a place to view Illuminations. I ended up near the UK pavillion and as always, the fireworks were fantastic. And for once, I was not down-wind, so didn't get choked by the firework smoke - result!

    After Illuminations came to a close, I headed back to Future World as the park was open until midnight. I firstly grabbed some food at Sunshine Seasons (I didn't realise how hungry I was!) and then rode Living With The Land. I always think that going through the green-houses at night is kinda neat. Then I made my way to Spaceship Earth (an absolute must do on ANY visit to Epcot for me). By this time, I was starting to feel pretty tired and ended my day by taking some photos of the park at night and heading back to my hotel. Not before a little more souvenier shopping though (I know - I have a problem!).

    A great first full-day... tomorrow, Destination D!!
    Last edited by missbounce; 06-01-2011 at 12:20 PM.
    Cara
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    August 2011 - Disneyland California (Quality Inn and Suites) D23 Expo
    May 2011 - Walt Disney World (All Star Sports) D23 Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th Anniversary
    November 2010 - Disneyland Paris (Hotel Cheyenne) Bonfire Night Celebrations and Halloween Season
    September 2010 - Disneyland California (Disneyland Hotel and Quality Inn and Suites) D23 Destination D: Disneyland 55th Anniversary
    February 2010 - Walt Disney World (All Star Music and Polynesian Resort)
    May 2009 - Disneyland Paris (Hotel Santa Fe) Mickey's Magical Party
    October 2008 - Walt Disney World (All Star Movies, Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans Riverside, Polynesian Resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge) Halloween and Food and Wine
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    June 2007 - Disneyland Paris (Newport Bay Club) Disneyland Paris 15th Anniversary Celebrations
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    Re: A Brit Chick in Orlando: D23's Destination D 2011 - Day 2

    Wow, it look like you are having a wonderful time!! I love your photos btw!
    "You're dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway."

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    Re: A Brit Chick in Orlando: D23's Destination D 2011 - Day 2

    luv luv luv that lotso topary!


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    Re: A Brit Chick in Orlando: D23's Destination D 2011 - Day 2

    Quote Originally Posted by petals3485 View Post
    luv luv luv that lotso topary!
    Isn't it awesome? And the air around him smelt of strawberries too!
    Cara
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    October 2012 - Walt Disney World (Coronado Springs) Halloween, Food and Wine, Christmas Season ***UPCOMING TRIP***
    August 2012 - Disneyland California (Quality Inn and Suites) D23 Destination D: 75 Years of Disney Animation ***UPCOMING TRIP***
    August 2011 - Disneyland California (Quality Inn and Suites) D23 Expo
    May 2011 - Walt Disney World (All Star Sports) D23 Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th Anniversary
    November 2010 - Disneyland Paris (Hotel Cheyenne) Bonfire Night Celebrations and Halloween Season
    September 2010 - Disneyland California (Disneyland Hotel and Quality Inn and Suites) D23 Destination D: Disneyland 55th Anniversary
    February 2010 - Walt Disney World (All Star Music and Polynesian Resort)
    May 2009 - Disneyland Paris (Hotel Santa Fe) Mickey's Magical Party
    October 2008 - Walt Disney World (All Star Movies, Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans Riverside, Polynesian Resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge) Halloween and Food and Wine
    January 2008 - Disneyland Paris (Hotel Cheyenne) Christmas Season
    June 2007 - Disneyland Paris (Newport Bay Club) Disneyland Paris 15th Anniversary Celebrations
    January 2006 - Disneyland Paris (Hotel Santa Fe) Christmas Season
    September 2004 - Walt Disney World (Pop Century) Honeymoon

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    Re: A Brit Chick in Orlando: D23's Destination D 2011 - Day 2

    We loved the Wild by Design tour when we did it too, lol at the chicken in the Flights of Wonder show, the Cheetahs always seem to hide for me too Great pics

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    Cool Re: A Brit Chick in Orlando: D23's Destination D 2011 - Day 2

    Sounds like a great trip so far. Keep the reports coming.

    PS, I cant help but read your posts with a British accent....
    77- Disneyland 89- Disneyland 94- WDW ASSp 95- WDW OKW 98- WDW Hol.Inn MG 99- WDW Off Prop. 06- WDW ASMov 2/8 -2/16 07- WDW Pop 2/4 - 2/14 07- WDW All Star Mus 9/11 - 9/17 08- WDW ASMov 10/27 - 10/30 08- DCL Wonder 10/30 - 11/2 09- WDW AS Mov 9/21 - 9/27 09- DCL Wonder 9/27 - 10/1 10- WDW Off Prop. 4/23- 4/25 10- DCL Magic 7ngt Estrn 10/23-10/30 10- WDW CSR 10/30-11/1 12 - POR 1/8 - 1/15 392 Miles from WDW
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    Re: A Brit Chick in Orlando: D23's Destination D 2011 - Day 2

    great report!! love your pics!! sounds like soo much fun!! i was wondering what you were up to while you were down there!!
    "A dream is a wish your heart makes..."

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    Re: A Brit Chick in Orlando: D23's Destination D 2011 - Day 2

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnO View Post
    Sounds like a great trip so far. Keep the reports coming.

    PS, I cant help but read your posts with a British accent....
    That's too funny JohnO

    Awesome post Cara, keep up the great work!

    BTW, is it bad that I kinda feel envious of you having the chance to do a solo trip??! Taking things at your own pace, doing whatever you feel like at that moment!!
    We may all grow old, but never grow up xx

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    Re: A Brit Chick in Orlando: D23's Destination D 2011 - Day 2

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkemma666 View Post
    BTW, is it bad that I kinda feel envious of you having the chance to do a solo trip??! Taking things at your own pace, doing whatever you feel like at that moment!!
    Yeah, I know what you mean... I always feel a little guilty when hubby decides not to come along, but I have to say, going solo can be a great experience. You can do what you want, when you want (without having to worry about other people - selfish, I know!) and I always meet lots of new friends when I'm away and get to chat to lots of interesting people that I might not otherwise if I had gone with Matt. That said, I can't wait for the both of us to do the Expo in a few months!
    Cara
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    *** PROUD CHARTER-DAY GOLD MEMBER OF D23! ***
    ***DISNEYLAND ANNUAL PASSHOLDER***







    MY DISNEY TRIPS:
    October 2012 - Walt Disney World (Coronado Springs) Halloween, Food and Wine, Christmas Season ***UPCOMING TRIP***
    August 2012 - Disneyland California (Quality Inn and Suites) D23 Destination D: 75 Years of Disney Animation ***UPCOMING TRIP***
    August 2011 - Disneyland California (Quality Inn and Suites) D23 Expo
    May 2011 - Walt Disney World (All Star Sports) D23 Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th Anniversary
    November 2010 - Disneyland Paris (Hotel Cheyenne) Bonfire Night Celebrations and Halloween Season
    September 2010 - Disneyland California (Disneyland Hotel and Quality Inn and Suites) D23 Destination D: Disneyland 55th Anniversary
    February 2010 - Walt Disney World (All Star Music and Polynesian Resort)
    May 2009 - Disneyland Paris (Hotel Santa Fe) Mickey's Magical Party
    October 2008 - Walt Disney World (All Star Movies, Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans Riverside, Polynesian Resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge) Halloween and Food and Wine
    January 2008 - Disneyland Paris (Hotel Cheyenne) Christmas Season
    June 2007 - Disneyland Paris (Newport Bay Club) Disneyland Paris 15th Anniversary Celebrations
    January 2006 - Disneyland Paris (Hotel Santa Fe) Christmas Season
    September 2004 - Walt Disney World (Pop Century) Honeymoon

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    Re: A Brit Chick in Orlando: D23's Destination D 2011 - Day 2

    Great photos and narrative, looking forward to more.

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    Re: A Brit Chick in Orlando: D23's Destination D 2011 - Day 2

    Jealous that you got to attend Destination D and all the cool merchandise. I was hoping they would make it available to D23 members who weren't able to attend.
    See ya,

    Melissa

    There are some things in my life that I'll never understand but they become the force that makes me who I am.

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