This Halloween Was Hot As Hades! *updated 1/29/20*

Unca’ Donald

Nov 15, 2018
Hey howdy hey! Welcome to my Walt Disney World trip report for the dates of 10/26/19- 11/2/19. I can't believe that my girlfriend (Michelle) and I (Jonathan) returned from our trip 2 weeks ago tonight, and that this month is already halfway over! This was our 3rd Disney World trip of 2019, and our 4th within the last 12 months. You can read about the first of these trips here:

November 24, 2018- December 1, 2018 Trip Report

The 2nd trip was the week of my birthday in early May. I actually started a trip report for that one a couple of weeks before we went back to Disney World in June when Michelle was sent to a credit union conference at the Dolphin. I had intended to finish my May trip report, and do one for June after we returned home, but I never got around to it. I'd still like to go back and complete those trip reports, but I decided I really wanted to get to this one first.

To give you a visual of who we are, here's a picture of us from Disney Presents The Lion King, which was taken at Citizens bank Opera House in Boston, MA a week before our trip. We saw the same show there in September 2014 and we loved it. This time we took my parents with us and they really enjoyed it too.

Saturday, October 26, 2019 Part 1 - Travel Day

We had gone to bed around 11:00 pm the previous night, and planned to be up at 4:00 am to get ready. I actually fell asleep right away, which usually does not happen the night before we leave for Disney World. Unfortunately I woke up only 2 hours later and could not fall back to sleep, so I decided to just get up. I pretty much just played Disney Magic Kingdoms and Disney Emoji Blitz on my phone, and browsed the internet until I went to Dunkin' around 5:00 am to get something to eat. I returned home with the Maple Sugar Bacon Breakfast Sandwich and a small cold brew. After I ate breakfast I finished getting ready, and my dad showed up shortly after 6:00.

Our method of getting to Disney World is pretty much the same every time. The only direct flight to Orlando out of Portland, ME is Frontier Airlines. Michelle refuses to fly Frontier, despite never actually going on one of their planes, so we always end up having to take the bus to Boston, and then fly to Orlando on JetBlue. My parents live like 12 minutes from us, so my dad picks us up and drops us off at the bus station. I am not a big fan of our travel plans. If we took the direct flight from Portland we could leave like 2 hours later and arrive in Orlando at least an hour sooner. We would also save money. Sadly this is a battle I don't believe I will ever win.

There isn't much to say about the bus ride or flight as they were pretty uneventful, and everything was pretty much on time. We left our place just after 6:30 and arrived at the bus station around 6:50. The bus left Portland for Boston at about 7:30. It's roughly a 2 hour ride, and then we had about a 2 hour wait until our flight once we arrived at Boston Logan International Airport. The only thing I recall about our wait at the airport was getting a bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich on a bagel from Dunkin'

We were on flight 451 which was scheduled to leave at 11:42 am. It took off right around that time, and we landed in Orlando shortly before 3:00 pm. After getting our luggage we had a difficult time finding the Disney Magical Express. This happens every time we go. We finally found our way there, and when we arrived there were quite a few people in line checking in. This had me a little nervous about how crowded Disney World might be that week.

We got on the bus for POFQ, which was also dropping off at POR, OKW, and SSR. The vast majority of the people getting on our bus were going to POR. At 4:29 pm were were on Disney property. :earsboy:

I'll be back tomorrow with a much bigger post, and plenty of photos of our first night. See ya real soon!
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Unca’ Donald

Nov 15, 2018
Saturday, October 26, 2019 Part 2 - Hotel Check-in and off to Disney Springs

We were on our way to POFQ via the DME with stops first at SSR and OKW. The first stop was SSR and there was a bit of a hold up as there were already 2 buses there picking up/dropping off guests. The first bus there was the Moana bus, so I did get my first look at one of the character buses which was kind of exciting, even though I didn't get a great look at it since we were behind it, with another bus directly in front of ours. The drop off at OKW was much quicker, and then our stop was next. We saw one of the Minnie Mouse buses on the way too.

We were off the bus in front of POFQ at 4:59 pm and went inside to check in. Even though online/mobile check-in is available we always go to the front desk. We never have to wait more than a couple of minutes, if that, and Michelle likes to ask for a room on the 3rd floor near the bus stop. The CM we were checking in with told us there was a 3rd floor room available at building 6, and she asked us if we'd be okay with a 2nd floor room at building 4 if available. I said that wouldn't be necessary. POFQ is so compact that the difference between being in building 6 compared to building 4 would be only about an extra 30 second walk to the bus stop. Not a big deal.

One bonus of checking in upon arrival, for me at least, is being able to listen to the music loop that plays at the resort. I love the music loop that plays there, and I'm actually listening to it on Spotify as I type up this report. I used to listen to it on youtube, but the account of whoever had the video posted there was terminated. I was crushed when I went to listen to it one day a few months ago, only to discover the video was no longer available. After I found the playlist on Spotify about a month before our trip I made a note of all of the songs on it in case the playlist is ever removed. I've become a fan of New Orleans jazz in general just from staying at POFQ multiple times over the years.

We were in our room at 5:15 pm. I love how Mousekeeping make the hidden Mickeys with the towels and Mardi Gras beads.

So over the summer I began collecting Funko Pops of Disney characters. I had been tempted to buy some in the past, but I never really cared for the beady black eyes that they have. Well one day someone I follow on Instagram was posting pics of Disney and Pixar Funko Pops, and it got me looking at Disney Pops online. I discovered a really cool looking Pop of Scar that was exclusive to Hot Topic, and I ended up ordering that one and a few others. I was pretty much only collecting Disney Villains for awhile, but then I saw a Pop of Louis the Alligator from The Princess and the Frog, and I had to get him. I thought it would be a lot of fun to take him on Disney World trips and take pictures of him around POFQ. Here's the first pic of him I took at the resort:

After dropping our stuff off in our room we were out the door just after 5:30 pm, and headed for the dock to take a boat ride to Disney Springs. We waited around 10 minutes for a boat to show up. Even though we'd stayed at POFQ 5 times previously, and we pretty much always spend our arrival afternoon/evening at Disney Springs, we had only taken the boat there one other time, in October of 2015. It was cloudy and windy that afternoon back then, and it was a very chilly boat ride wearing a t-shirt and shorts. This time the ride over was much more pleasant. It was in the mid 80s and not as cloudy or windy. It was a little bit humid, but far from unbearable. That would change as the week went on though. :eeyore:

We arrived at Disney Springs a few minutes after 6:00 pm and we were both ready to eat. There aren't many places at DW where Michelle can eat. She has IBS and she also can't eat really acidic food or food with spices. She mostly has to look for places that have chicken or turkey, and she has to get that with certain vegetables or rice, and prepared pretty plain, usually just olive oil and salt. So she always goes to Earl of Sandwich when we're at Disney Springs. I like Earl of Sandwich, and I ate there on our first two trips, but so many restaurants have opened since then, and there's always something new I want to try. I was going to D-Luxe Burger for the Oktoberfest Burger.

The boat drops you off right near Earl of Sandwich, which is right next to Disney's pin Traders, so we decided to go look at the pins before we split up to eat. We spent about 10 minutes there and I saw a Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws AP pin that I knew I'd be back for later that night. More on that shortly.

So Michelle went over to earl of Sandwich, and I was on my way to D-Luxe Burger, stopping to take some pics of the various Fall/Halloween decorations along the way.

The sunsets are always so beautiful out across the water at Disney Springs. My phone pics can never do them justice.

I also saw the awesome Orange Bird mural along the way. I wanted to get a picture of us together in front of it whenever we got a chance, but I decided to take a pic of it as soon as I saw it, just in case I forgot about it and we never ended up back over there later.

Before I went to D-Luxe Burger I had to stop at the Disney Springs Welcome Center to see if I could pick up my Annual Pass there. So I follow a few different Disney World news sites and blogs, and when we were at Disney World back in June the news broke about the AP price increase. There were a lot of unhappy people online that day. I had never paid any attention to the AP benefits or price. After all, we live in Maine, and previous to this year we had only been going to Disney World about once every 2 1/2 years. After we got home from that June trip I read that Sam's Club still had AP memberships at the old price, and it was recommended to get them before they were gone. I started wondering if it might be worth it to get one, so I started doing some research on it. At the old price it seemed like I would at least break even as long as we went twice in the span of a year, so I decided to do it. I only wish that I had known a year ago that we would be going 4 times in the span of 12 months, as it would have saved me quite a bit of money had I bought it back then. Back then we had only planned on going on that one trip, and not going again for over a year, but things just kind of happened where we ended up going back a few more times.

So I got to the Welcome Center and asked the CM at the door if I could pick up my AP there. She told me I needed to go to the Ticket Center to do that. I didn't even realize there was a Ticket Center at Disney Springs. She told me where it was, and she checked me in on her device so that I'd already be checked in when I got to the Ticket Center. There were a few people waiting ahead of me inside the Ticket Center when I arrived, so I went ahead and placed a mobile order for my Oktoberfest Burger While I waited to be helped. After a nearly 10 minute wait I had my AP and I was ready to go eat.

I went into the MDE app to alert D-Luxe Burger I was ready for them to prepare my food, and I went to the nearest restroom to wash my hands. When I arrived at D-Burg the line was out the door. I went inside to grab a pager at the mobile order counter and went outside to find a seat on the deck. I love sitting in this area as the sun is going down.

My burger was delivered to me 5 minutes after I took my seat outside. It was 6:54 pm and I wondered how many people who were already waiting in line when I arrived were still just waiting to order. Mobile ordering for the win.

It doesn't look great in the picture, but the Oktoberfest Burger was really good. It had split smoked sausage, stout cheese, braised red cabbage, lettuce, tomato, and grilled onion. The only thing I can think of that would make it even better would be if it had a pretzel bun instead of the Parker House Roll. I quickly ate it and headed to Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill.

A few weeks before our trip I saw a review on Disney Food Blog for the Nutty Buddy Sundae. As a lover of all things chocolate and peanut butter I knew I had to try it, I was just hoping there would be a spot at the bar for me to order one. It was a Saturday night so I wasn't feeling good about my chances. There was a guy outside to check in with, so I asked him if he knew if there were any seats available at the bar. He took a peek inside through the window and told me to go ahead in.

After I sat down I asked the server if they still had the Nutty Buddy Sundae. He wasn't sure so he went to check, and then came back to tell me they did. Yes! I ordered one, and 10-15 minutes later it arrived.

It was sooo good, and it attracted quite a bit of attention. A group of people down the bar to my right were asking the server about it. Two women who walked past me when they were leaving commented to me about how amazing it looked, and one of them told me she was tempted to walk over and ask me if she could take a picture of it before I started eating it.

It took me about 20 minutes to eat it, and I was stuffed after. Michelle and I had been texting each other while I was there, and she had been browsing some of the various shops near Earl of Sandwich after she had finished eating. She was in World of Disney and I told her I would meet here there. On my way over there I saw a couple of people on stilts wearing Halloween costumes. Sadly selfies down turn out very well in low lighting.

Right before I arrived at World of Disney I ran into another person on stilts, but this one also had stilts on their arms to walk on all fours, and was covered with leaves and vines. I've never had the opportunity to see Divine in person at Animal Kingdom, but I'm assuming it's the same costume. I wasn't able to get a decent pic with them moving around in such low lighting.

Michelle became obsessed with puzzles around the same time I started collecting Disney Funko Pops. When I met her in the store she had two puzzles that she was waiting to get with my AP discount. After that we looked around in the Marketplace Co-op shops, Disney's Days of Christmas, and Art of Disney. I liked the holiday theming in the area, and in some of the store windows.

We went back in Pin Traders so I could get the AP Jack Skellington pin, and I also bought a Dr. Facilier pin. We then went to the Lego Store and Lovepop. Check out Lovepop if you ever get a chance. It's like a little stand in front of Paddlefish and they have some really cool 3D paper art.

This BB-8 outside of the Lego Store was new to me. There was also one of Rey.

We were trying to take a selfie in front of the Orange Bird mural, and it wasn't going so well. Luckily a woman walking by with her sons offered to take our picture for us.

I had to go in The Ganachery to get a few of the seasonal chocolate squares. I didn't eat them until I got home from the trip, but I'll share that pic now so you can see what I got. They were Dark Chocolate, Espresso, Chai, and Chipotle.

There was one more stop I wanted to make before we left, the Cookie Dough and Everything Sweet food truck. They had a Halloween Cookie Dough Waffle Taco that was only available from that day until Halloween, and it looked pretty festive. It had Pumpkin Spice and Cold Brew cookie doughs topped with chocolate sauce, whipped, cream, and a chocolate spider.

I have mixed feelings on this treat. I've only ever had frozen cookie dough, so this cookie dough was a lot different from what I'm used to. It was warm, and the consistency was kind of like mashed potatoes, only slightly harder. The most disappointing thing about it for me was the Cold Brew cookie dough because it had no coffee flavor at all. Overall this cookie dough taco tasted pretty good, it was just kind of weird to me with warm mushy cookie dough.

I brought along my Halloween Stitch Pop to take a picture with it for a photo contest on Instagram, but I ended up not submitting it. Here's that pic:

After I finished eating it it was 10:00 pm and we were ready to head back to our resort. Michelle had wanted to take the boat back, but we were right near the bus stop so we opted to take the bus instead. On the way to the bus stop there was a group of drummers with their faces painted like zombies. We stopped to watch for a minute or so.

Usually when we stay at POFQ the lane for the resort at Disney Springs is one of the furthest ones away, but on this night it was right at the front. Our bus pulled up just as we got there, which is always a great feeling. Unfortunately there was a driver swap, and we sat there for 10 minutes before the new driver showed up. We got back to the resort at 10:40 pm.

Over the summer as I scoured the internet for Disney Funko Pops I came upon an online store called Box Lunch. They had a lot of great Disney merchandise, and I saw an awesome Louis shirt I felt would be the perfect shirt to wear on our arrival day whenever we stayed at POFQ. I got quite a few compliments on the shirt that day. Before we went to our room I wanted to get a few pictures of me in the shirt around the resort. These two were the most obvious locations:

I also got a pic of this cool painting that was in the lobby.

We were back in our room just before 11:00 pm. We got to bed about midnight, and I was looking forward to our first park day which would be Animal Kingdom.
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DIS Veteran
Jan 1, 2014
What a nice first evening at DS, the sundae oh my, that looked awesome.

I really like POFQ, such a nice resort, we have stayed 3x.

I love the ballroom HM dancers in that print, very cool.
  • Unca’ Donald

    Nov 15, 2018
    What a nice first evening at DS, the sundae oh my, that looked awesome.

    I really like POFQ, such a nice resort, we have stayed 3x.

    I love the ballroom HM dancers in that print, very cool.
    We always enjoy our evenings at Disney Springs on arrival day. That sundae was definitely one of the highlights for me that night.

    We love everything about POFQ. I can’t wait to stay there again.

    The print was really cool. It was perfect for Halloween.

    Following! We were in WDW the same time and it certainly was very hot!
    We couldn’t believe how hot it was most of the week. In 2015 we were there the week prior to Halloween week and the weather was perfect, mid/upper 70s and it didn’t feel humid. Definitely much different this time around. I look forward to seeing how your trip went.

    Unca’ Donald

    Nov 15, 2018
    Sunday, October 27, 2019 Part 1 - EEMH at Disney's Animal Kingdom

    The thing I was looking forward to most on this trip was the opportunity to hit the parks early during the final scheduled week of EEMH. I love rope dropping, and the thought of being able to do it earlier than usual, with even lower crowds, was very exciting. Michelle doesn't share my enthusiasm for rope dropping, and prefers to sleep in a little and meet me at the parks a little later in the morning. That would certainly be the case for the majority of this trip. On this particular morning the plan was for her to meet me in Harambe around 9:00 to watch the Tam Tam Drummers before going to Rafiki's Planet Watch.

    We had gone to bed near midnight after returning from Disney Springs on our arrival day. I had set my alarm for 4:45 AM but I woke up around 3:00. By 3:30 I realized I most likely wouldn't be falling back to sleep. I grabbed my phone off of the nightstand and began playing Disney Magic Kingdoms and Disney Emoji Blitz. Once I reached the point in both games in which I wouldn't be able to continue doing anything else until some time had passed, without spending money, I began browsing the internet, and trying to move up our 5:45-6:45 FOP FP. By 4:20, with a lot of time still to kill, I decided to get ready and head down to the lobby. At least I'd be able to listen to the POFQ music loop down there instead of just lying in bed in the dark.

    I was out the door at 4:57 and took a couple of pictures along my walk to the lobby.

    As I approached the back entrance of the lobby I was disappointed when I noticed the music loop wasn't playing outside. Apparently they don't turn it on that early in the morning. I decided I might as well just go take a seat on a bench at the bus stop. While I was there I continued playing the games on my phone, browsing the internet, and trying to move up our FOP FP. The first bus I saw, which was for DHS, pulled up around 5:20. The first AK bus arrived just after 6:00, and only a few people besides me boarded it.

    I arrived at the line for guests without bags at 6:15 and shortly after they started letting us through. I was like the third person at one of the touch points to enter the park and we began tapping our MagicBands at 6:34. After passing the check point where they confirm you are eligible for EEMH I assumed we were free to move along to Pandora, which was my experience rope dropping the park in both May and June. I'm a pretty fast walker, and I was going solo, so I expected to be one of the first people on FOP. As I approached the top of the incline, which then leads down toward the Tree of Life, I was disappointed to see that we were being held there.

    I thought I'd be in line for FOP before EEMH began at 7:00, but they didn't begin walking us down there until 2 minutes before 7:00. This was a little frustrating since it's such a long walk. I mentioned I'm a fast walker. I've worked in fast paced jobs for the last 20 years, so I've become accustomed to moving quickly over that time. I'm just wired that way now. Walking slowly in such a large mass of people wasn't an easy thing for me to do. As we moved forward I kept looking down in front of me to make sure I wouldn't step on anyone's heels. It was still dark out, and the park was poorly lit, so I could barely tell where I was stepping. It was a miserable long walk for me trying not to step into people in the dark.

    It continued to get worse once we reached the point where a line for FOP was forming. We began moving forward, but a big man in front of me was waiting for his party to reach him, and he wasn't moving. I wanted to go past him, but I was as far to the right of the walkway as possible and groups of people were holding hands as they pushed forward, so as not to be separated from each other. I ended up getting bumped into and almost knocked over. I was pretty stressed at this point, and I was still in a bad mood when I entered the first pre show room at 7:15. It ended up being the least enjoyable ride on FOP I'd ever had, and it was by far the most stressful rope drop experience I've had at any park. That was the last time I will ever rope drop FOP.

    Once I was back outside, after exiting through the gift shop, it was 7:31. My plan for the morning had been to ride FOP, Na'vi, Dinosaur, and Everest, in that order, and arrive at Kilimanjaro before the park opened to everyone else at 8:00. I felt I would need to be at Na'vi around 7:15-7:20 if I were to have any chance of accomplishing this, otherwise I would skip that ride. When they didn't start walking us to Pandora until almost 7:00, I knew it was already out of the question since the FOP pre shows take up several minutes. Na'vi is far from a must-do for me, so I didn't care that I needed to skip it. Michelle likes the ride a lot more than I do, and I've never had any trouble getting a FP for 2 later in the day for it anyway.

    I walked quickly to Dinosaur and arrived at 7:39. I was surprised, and disappointed, to find out that the pre show video wasn't optional. There was literally no one in the queue below after I exited the pre show room. I got Mike Wazowski'd on my ride photo thanks to the plant graphics. :rotfl:

    That's me in the front row on the right side of the picture.

    It was a beautiful morning looking out across the water on the way to Everest.

    I took a seat on the Everest train at 7:54

    and it was a minute before 8:00 after I exited through the gift shop. So I wasn't going to be at Kilimanjaro by 8:00 like I'd wanted. Earlier in the morning I had heard a CM tell a guest that the ride wasn't going to be open until 8:15 so I was hopeful I'd still have a fairly short wait when I arrived there in a few minutes time.

    These guys were just hanging around as I passed by at 8:01:

    I took a few other pictures along the way, and as the line for Kilimanjaro came into view around 8:07 I noticed that it was already quite long. When I got near the line I heard a guest telling someone that it wasn't going to open until 8:30. I wasn't sure if that meant what time they were going to start loading guests on to vehicles or what time they would allow them to start walking in. Either way I decided I was going to pass on the ride when I saw the line was backed all the way on to the bridge that led into Harambe.

    If the line had already started moving I probably would have gone for it, but I was feeling pretty hungry since I hadn't eaten anything yet that morning. That made it an easy decision for me to go to Creature Comforts instead, and I felt even better about my choice when there were only a few people in line to order there once I'd arrived. I ordered the biggest Starbucks cold brew and the Halloween cupcake, and went to the area where everyone usually waits for their order. It's usually so crowded there that I don't really notice them making the drinks, but I had a clear view this time. I saw a large cold brew, which I assumed to be mine, being poured, and I was disappointed with what I was seeing. I saw a cup that had coffee in it, and it was only 1/3 full. From there another 1/3 of the cup was filled with water before the remaining 1/3 was topped off with ice. I just assumed that they fill the cup completely with ice before pouring the coffee in it. I had no idea that they poured water in, and that only 1/3 of the cup was actual coffee. After seeing that, I decided that I would only order a medium from now on.

    I could tell that the woman who calls out the names for the orders was having a difficult time reading the name on that cup before calling out what sounded like "Sara." So I figured the next large cold brew I saw would likely be mine. Time went by and no one went to the counter to pick it up. Eventually she picked the cup back up, looked for the name on it, and again called out "Sara" after not looking very sure about it. I was thinking it had to be mine, but I decided to wait a couple of minutes. Of course, nobody claimed it, so I walked up and said "Hi, I ordered a large cold brew and I've been waiting for awhile. I think that one might be mine." She just looked at me and said "Yes, that one's yours." I never really thought I looked like a Sara, but what do I know. :laughing:

    I knew I had been in there for quite a while, but I didn't realize it had been about 20 minutes. I took this picture of my Halloween cupcake at 8:34

    and then parked myself at one of those large mushroom statue things that are in that area so I could eat my breakfast. The cupcake, which was filled with dark chocolate mousse, was really good. When I was done I checked my phone, and Michelle had sent a text letting me know she was in Harambe. I let her know that I was at Creature Comforts and that I'd be over after I washed my hands. She told me she was going to Kusafiri to get a croissant, which she was sitting down eating when I met her at the Tam Tam Drummers stage. We still had 10 minutes before their show, and I told her I was going to go see if I could find a Lion King wall that I had seen a picture of, while she ate. I had seen a picture of the wall on Instagram. It looked like a metal wall and it had Simba and Nala on it. I was thinking it must be in the Harambe Market area so I headed over there. As I neared the corner of the building that holds Zuri's Sweets Shop I could see the top of a wall that looked like it, and when I got closer I saw Simba and Nala. I was surprised I was able to find it that quickly, and that I had never noticed it before. I went back over to Michelle to let her know that I found it, and to see if she wanted to get pictures in front of it.

    She also wanted a picture of herself with this Mickey wall:

    We arrived back at the stage at 9:04 and the drummers were already drumming. Once they were finished we headed to the train that goes to Rafiki's Planet Watch, which we had never been to. A week or so before the trip I had read that they were doing a villains drawing class at The Animation Experience. I let Michelle know about it and she really wanted to do it. Even though we were doing 2 AK days this was the only time I was really able to fit it in around everything else that I had planned for us to do. I had a hard time deciding if I should get us FP for it. I didn't think we'd need it that early in the morning, but I also hated the thought of taking the train out there and finding out we couldn't do it because it was full. A few days before our trip I decided not to risk it, and switched our Kali FP to The Animation Experience. At some point I decided to change it back, thinking there was no way it would be full that early in the morning.

    We got to the train station at 9:14 so we had some time to kill before the train arrived.
    This provided the perfect opportunity to try and move our 5:45 FOP FP up. I wasn't looking to add a bunch of FP throughout the day after our initial 3, but the time we had for it wasn't ideal. We were planning to watch ROL (Michelle had never seen it) at 7:30, and I also wanted to get on kilimanjaro around 6:20-6:30. I wanted to make sure we had FP for Kilimanjaro in order to be able to ride it at that time. I was somewhat concerned about being able to get FP for it after tapping in to FOP that late, but I was more concerned about how long the line might be by the time we got over to Kilimanjaro if we had to ride FOP that late. Luckily I found FOP for 4:00 after only a few minutes of refreshing.

    We were on the train for rafiki's at about 9:00. On the ride over we saw a few character posters promoting the Animal Kingdom movie, which I'm not even sure was still in theaters at that point, and a couple of Ostriches. I was surprised this phone pic turned out as well as it did on a moving train:

    We ended up inside The Animation Experience building at 9:40 and we were like the 3rd group in the stand by line. They let us in the drawing room at 9:50. We grabbed a piece of paper, drawing board and pencil, and took a seat to the far left up front. We ended up deciding to get a seat that was more centered in the back row. I was pretty happy when I learned that we would be drawing Scar. I was worried we might end up with Hopper from A Bug's Life. I like the movie, but he isn't exactly someone who comes to mind when you think of Disney villains.

    The class was a lot of fun. The woman who instructed us would draw lines on her paper, which would be projected on a few large screens, and you would follow along. I've always been good at drawing things I can look at, but I've never been one to do sketches. It was kind of hard trying to keep up since her arm would keep blocking her drawing, and Scar is a pretty complex character to draw, so it started to feel a little rushed as we went along. I ended up falling behind and couldn't catch up by the time the instruction ended. We brought our drawings home with us. I took this picture of them last week, and it was the first time I had seen mine since I drew it. Mine is on the right. Looking at it now he looks too blocky, and his face is stretched out too thin.

    After the experience we went outside to look at the animals and there was a gift shop called Out of the Wild. They had nice looking frames you could buy for your drawing, but they were $40. We opted for the poster tube which I think was $6. Unfortunately they won't deliver it back to your hotel since it isn't Disney merch, so we had to carry it around the park the rest of the day.

    We didn't look at the animals for very long since they were pretty much just animals you could see on most farms back home, which was disappointing.

    We decided it would be a good idea to use the restroom before getting back on the train. While we were back inside the building looking for the restroom we walked past the window of a room in which it looked like they were doing some dental work on a kangaroo. We watched it for about a minute, and after using the restroom we went to get back on the train.

    Despite my poor FOP rope drop experience I had a pretty swell morning. I'll continue with our Animal Kingdom day next weekend.

    Unca’ Donald

    Nov 15, 2018
    I'm back with a Trip Report update a week later than anticipated. We got a lot of rain at the end of last week and I discovered we had a flooded basement last Saturday morning. So I was dealing with that last weekend. Ugh. But that's behind us and it's time to push forward.

    Sunday, October 27, 2019 Part 2 - Afternoon at Disney's Animal Kingdom

    After exiting the train from Rafiki's Planet Watch we were back in Harambe at 11:16 AM. We had a 2:15 ADR scheduled for Yak & Yeti so we had nearly 3 hours to fill before that, including our initial 2 FPs. Since we were right near Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail it made sense to go there first. Whenever we do this trail we usually keep walking until we get to the Meerkats.

    The meerkats are one of my favorite things to see on any of the exploration trails. These little guys are always entertaining to watch, especially when they are scurrying around in groups.

    The gorillas weren't doing much when we got to them. Most of them were just sitting around. There were three of them sitting in a row to the far right of the viewing area, spread out with about 6 feet between each of them. There was one active gorilla who ran past them, trying to smack each one of them as he went by. It was pretty funny. Then he sat down and started eating a bamboo shoot.

    On the way out we noticed this gorilla taking it easy:

    We were out of there about 11:40 and we were off to do our first FP of the day at Expedition Everest, stopping for PhotoPass photos at the Everest Overlook along the way.

    When we arrived at Everest Michelle decided she wasn't going to ride it. She had a large kidney stone that she was going to have a procedure on to try and break it up shortly after we got back home. She didn't want to risk disturbing it by riding any jarring rides, which meant she would be passing on most of the roller coasters during the week. I felt really bad that she was going to miss out on a lot of rides. When we were there back in June she didn't get to do much because she was there for a conference for work. The one full park day she did have, it rained for about 6 hours straight in the afternoon. When we were there in early May for my birthday she caught a cold early in the week, which caused her to miss a lot of park time.

    So she tapped into the ride and walked the queue, but exited by the single rider area. It had a 35 minute wait posted when we entered and I was on the ride 6 or 7 minutes later. I brought the poster tube that we purchased for our drawings from the Animation Experience on the ride with me. I thought it would be fun for the ride photo to hold the tube up like a sword, like I was charging into battle. Sadly my timing was off, and the camera caught me as I brought my arms down.

    I met back up with Michelle and we went to Kali River Rapids to use our 2nd FP of the day. We tapped in at 12:19 with a 35 minute posted wait and we were on a raft just 5 minutes later. We exited the raft relatively dry and walked over to the Maharajah Jungle Trek.

    After spending around 20 minutes looking at the animals we made our way back to Harambe to catch the 1:00 Harambe Village Acrobats show, and we stopped for pictures at the Tree of Life overlook.

    I've had Memory Maker since our May trip and I get random people's photos once in a while. I ended up with dozens of photos from 10 different groups within the 20 minutes prior to when our pictures were taken at that spot. Most of the photos were from the few groups that were taken at that spot prior to us, but I also got some from completely different groups that were taken at the spot with the vehicle near the Kilimanjaro Safaris exit. Weird.

    The acrobat show hadn't started yet when we arrived in Harambe so we went in the nearby Mombosa Marketplace shop. I had to have Michelle take a picture of me in front of this poster since I was wearing my Lion King button-up shirt:

    We had never seen the Harambe Village Acrobats before. We never seemed to be in the area while they were performing, and we had never made the effort to go out of our way to see it until now. It was different than what I was expecting. I see the word "acrobat" and I think of people flipping around and stuff. We were impressed with the show though, and I would definitely watch it again. After it ended I wanted to catch the end of Winged Encounters, but I got distracted taking pictures on the way over.

    By the time we arrived in front of the Tree of Life all of the macaws were already gone, so we went in the nearby shops to look around. While we were in one of the shops I noticed Kevin outside. Whenever I see Kevin I rush over to her like a kid running downstairs to the presents under the tree on Christmas morning.

    Usually when I attempt to get a selfie with Kevin in the background I end up cutting off one side of my head or my chin, but I was pretty happy with this one.

    We did PhotoPass photos at the Asia Ruins at 1:47 and then we went to Yak & Yeti.

    When I checked in at Y&Y they had trouble finding me on the list. I was thinking we had a 2:00 but it was actually for 2:15. That was a little embarrassing. I ended up ordering the Lemongrass Chicken which wasn't on the regular menu, and Michelle got either chicken or fish with noodles.

    I enjoyed my meal and I would get it again if it was available. We were done just after 2:45 and it was off to Character Landing where Rafiki and Timon were to begin meeting guests at 3:00. We ran into Kevin again on the way over.

    There were only a few groups of guests at Character Landing when we arrived, and we met Rafiki and Timon at 3:07.

    We still had 20 minutes before the 3:30 Up! show started. We planned to catch that before going to use our FOP FP. We had never been on Tricera Top Spin before, and it only had a 5 minute wait posted, so we went over there. We got in line at 3:14 and waited about 6 minutes.

    We arrived at the Up! show a few minutes after it started and they held us outside until some of the birds in the show flew to their destination. Once inside we ended up taking a seat on the right side of the stage near the top of the bleacher seating. We saw this show for the first time the week after Thanksgiving last year. I thought it was okay to see once, but I wasn't really interested in seeing it again. But it had been rewritten fairly recently before our trip, so I decided to have us check it out. The character interaction was slightly different, but overall the show was relatively the same.

    Sitting up top did give a unique perspective of the area outside:

    For me the highlight of attending the show is being able to go up near the stage after it's over to see the bald eagle up close.

    After taking some pictures of the bald eagle we made our way to Pandora, tapping into FOP at 4:15 with a 90 minute posted wait. We were inside the first pre show room at 4:27. I enjoyed the ride a lot more than I had earlier in the morning following a less than thrilling rope drop experience. After FOP we got PhotoPass photos at the waterfall:

    We then took pictures at this Lion King wall:

    and PhotoPass photos at Lion King Corner:

    We went over to Otter Grotto hoping to get a look at some otters for the first time that day. There was a group of 5 huddled together sleeping but it wasn't a very picture-friendly vantage point. After that we explored the Discovery Island Trails on the way to It's Tough To Be a Bug. The timing was perfect as they were opening the doors for the next show when we entered at 5:20.

    After we had tapped into FOP earlier I was able to get us KS FP that we would be able to use around 6:20 as I had hoped. The plan was to ride the safari, watch ROL, and then go back to POFQ. We had a little time to kill so I wanted to go relax at Nomad Lounge and grab a beer. We took a seat in the "outside" area and it took some time before we were waited on. I ordered the First Magnitude Brewing Company Wakulla which is a Hefeweizen-style beer, and a welcome option on an 88 degree day.

    We had already been at Nomad Lounge about 20 minutes when the beer finally arrived at 6:00. I had to drink it fairly quickly if we were going to make it to KS around 6:20. We ended up getting there at 6:25. We walked through the FP lane but came to a dead stop at the area where guests drop off strollers. The line wasn't moving at all and at 6:29 we decided to bail since there was no way we were going to be able to ride and make it to ROL before it started at 7:30.

    As we were walking away it started raining, which made me think they must have stopped loading vehicles at KS because a storm was coming. That would certainly explain why the line we had just left was backed up and not moving at all. Sure enough, it started pouring and we took cover at Africa Hub Cart across from Tamu Tamu Refreshments. I was hoping it would pass quickly, but it was still coming down when I took this picture nearly 15 minutes later at 6:43:

    As we continued to wait for the rain to let up I began looking at FPs and I saw NRJ available. I decided to grab it since it was starting to look like ROL might not be happening. Since the Muziki Drum stand was right near us, we remained fairly entertained by different kids banging on the drums during the long wait. There was one boy, who must have been around 10, who danced non stop for a good 5 minutes or so.

    There was a guest from Ireland who had also taken shelter where we were and he began chatting with us around 7:15. By 7:27 it was still raining but not as heavily as it had been. I told Michelle I had gotten the FP for NRJ and I asked her if she wanted to go ride it and then head out. She agreed.

    We tapped in at Na'vi at 7:32 and it had a 45 minute wait posted. I didn't keep track of how long we waited to board but it must have been about 5 minutes. It was no longer raining when I took this picture of Michelle on our way out of the park at 7:59:

    We were in our room at POFQ at 8:40 PM and went to bed a couple of hours later. I would be getting up early the next morning for EEMH at DHS and Michelle would be sleeping in.
  • cstorm65

    DDC #699
    Feb 6, 2011
    I enjoyed starting your report. We loved French Quarter when we stayed there a couple of summers ago! We love the size, the closeness to Disney Springs, and the food court!

    Can't wait to read some more.

    Unca’ Donald

    Nov 15, 2018
    I enjoyed starting your report. We loved French Quarter when we stayed there a couple of summers ago! We love the size, the closeness to Disney Springs, and the food court!

    Can't wait to read some more.
    Thanks! The size of POFQ is what we like most about it. It's easy to get around and we've never had to wait for a 2nd bus because the 1st one filled up before we could get on. The boat ride to Disney Springs is a nice change of pace from the buses. The food court is good and I love the new Scat Cat's Club Cafe with all of the different beignets.

    Unca’ Donald

    Nov 15, 2018
    Monday, October 28, 2019 Part 1 - EEMH at Disney's Hollywood Studios

    This was the day we'd be experiencing SWGE for the first time. I wanted to be out at the bus stop by 5:00 AM, so my alarm was set for 4:00. Michelle would be sleeping in and the plan was for her to meet me at the entrance to SWGE by 8:00, which I figured would give us plenty of time to ride MFSR and then head to TSL to get in line for TSM before the regular 9:00 crowd poured in.

    I didn't keep track of what time I got on the bus, or what time I arrived at DHS, but I remember only a few other guests got on the bus at POFQ with me, and that there were only like 30 guests waiting at bag check, which hadn't opened yet, when I walked up. I didn't bring my backpack with me this day, so I was able to go through the no bag line. I had taken a screenshot of my phone at 5:40 which I believe I took to signify what time CMs began allowing guests to scan into the park. I had lined up at a tapstile with only one couple in front of me.

    I'd be starting my morning in TSL, so I walked quickly down Hollywood Boulevard, keeping to the far right, until I reached the holding point. In the time I had before I'd be meeting up with Michelle, I was looking to do a couple of rides on SDD followed by a ride on Aliens, and then doing RnR and ToT as many times as time would allow.

    CMs began walking us to TSL right at 6:00, possibly a couple of minutes sooner. Much like my rope drop experience at AK the previous day, even though I was one of the first people to enter the park, a large number of guests were able to end up ahead of me by the time a line started forming at the ride. Unlike my FOP rope drop experience though, this one was far less crowded and not stressful at all. Not being nearly knocked over this time was a nice bonus as well.

    I entered the SDD queue at 6:05. It had a 10 minute wait posted, and I was on in only 3 minutes. Even though there is no single rider line for SDD, from my experience, once you reach the point where a CM asks how many people are in your group, they put odd numbered groups in a separate line, which tends to move you up ahead of the even numbered groups. This always shaves off a few, if not several, minutes of waiting.

    After my first ride, I got right back in line and entered the queue at 6:12. The posted wait was 15 minutes and this time my actual wait was 9 minutes.

    After my 2nd ride, the posted wait was still 15 minutes, so I decided to give it one more go. This time I entered the queue at 6:24 and waited 14 minutes.

    I think SDD is a lot of fun. Like with most outdoor rides, I feel it's even better when it's dark out. I especially like going up the incline after the "Go! Go! Go!" It's just really cool when you're leaning back going up the incline, looking right up at the black sky when the stars are out, as you make your way to the top.

    After my 3rd ride, I took out my phone to check the time. It was 6:40 and I was surprised to see Michelle had sent me a text at 6:34 to tell me she was already waiting for a bus at POFQ, and would be arriving at the park much earlier than planned. I asked if she wanted to do ToT, which she did not, so I told her to go to the SWGE entrance when she arrived. I figured I had at least 30 minutes before she got there so I stuck with my plan to ride Aliens next since she doesn't like rides that spin around.

    I really like how this area looks in the dark with all of the neon lights, but I'm not a big fan of the ride. It's one I could easily skip and not care that I didn't go on it. But with only a 5 minute waited posted, it's not like I'm sacrificing anything to go on it. It ended up taking 10 minutes though, so my morning was completely ruined. :rolleyes:

    On my way to SWGE I stopped at Market, which is just outside the TSL entrance, to see if they still had the French Toast Pretzel which I really wanted to try. There were two guests ordering ahead of me, so I looked around for any sign of the pretzel. It wasn't on the menu and I didn't see anything that looked like it among the food that was visible. When it was my turn to order, I was expecting the worst when I asked if they still had it. I was told they were just bringing them out at that moment. Yes!

    With French Toast Pretzel in hand, I continued on towards SWGE. After stopping to take the picture below, I saw Michelle walking by, maybe 100 feet ahead of me.

    When I caught up to her I told her I wanted to stop at one of the tables outside Baseline Tap House to eat my pretzel before we went to SWGE. She assumed I had already been inside GE, but I told her I had waited so we could see it together.

    The pretzel was really good but I didn't realize it was already coated with syrup even though they give you a little packet of it. I needed to wash my hands after eating it and I noticed a restroom over at PizzeRizzo.

    We entered SWGE at 7:21. There were PhotoPass photographers at the A-Wing and X-Wing Fighters. After we had gotten in line for the X-Wing, Michelle noticed there was only one group at the A-Wing, so we went over there first instead.

    I actually ended up with the photos of the group before us instead of ours, so I had to contact the PhotoPass Support Team after we returned home, and the pic above was the only one from that spot that wasn't out of focus.

    Our X-Wing photos turned out much nicer.

    As we were exploring the area, we saw Rey walking by. I walked up to her after she posed for some pictures with a group. She asked me if I was with the Resistance, and said that I must be undercover as a tourist. I'm guessing she uses that one a lot. I took a selfie of the 3 of us that didn't turn out very well.

    I wish now that we had taken individual pictures of us with her. Oh well, maybe next time.

    As I was looking at the selfie I had taken, Chewbacca walked over to Rey. She said something to him and then they started walking off in the direction we hadn't been to yet. We started walking in that direction and I was hoping to catch up to get some pics of Chewie, but we somehow lost them and ended up inside Ronto Roasters. After taking some pictures of the droid cooking the meats, we ended up near the PhotoPass spot looking out at the Millennium Falcon. The line was fairly long so I got in it as Michelle walked around the area taking pics. We waited 15-20 minutes. One of the shots is a super zoom one, and we are in the first pic.

    After the pics with the Falcon we got in line for the ride. It had a 35 minute wait posted when we entered the queue at 7:48. When we got to the point where we were handed the cards with our assignments, I assumed we would be engineers. I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at my card and it said "Pilot" at the bottom.

    Our group was called at 8:17, so we waited about a half hour total from the time we entered the queue. I was the pilot who steered up/down and Michelle was the left/right pilot. I will admit we crashed into a few things, but it was a lot of fun being the pilot. It was a very immersive experience, and being able to pull the lever to make the jump to lightspeed was awesome.

    It was almost 8:30 when we were back outside. I told Michelle I was going to go ride RnR and ToT, two rides that she wasn't going to do. I figured it would make sense for me to do them then, before the park opened to everyone else in a half hour, and then not have to worry about getting FPs for both rides later in the day. She was going to look around inside GE some more and then head over to Sunset Boulevard at 9:00.

    As I started walking up the steps after exiting TSL, I remembered that I had wanted us to get in line for TSM right before 9:00. Michelle had never been on it and I really wanted us to do it together. It only had like a 10 minute wait posted, so I decided to hold off on the Sunset Blvd rides. I texted Michelle to tell her the change of plans, but the text wouldn't go through. Sometimes she puts her phone on airplane mode to save the battery, so I had a feeling that was the case here. I tried calling her, with no luck. I decided to wait just outside TSM and continue to try to reach her. As the minutes passed by, the posted wait was slowly creeping up. I was worried she would walk all the way over to the end of Sunset Blvd before taking her phone off airplane mode, but I finally got a hold of her. We entered the queue a couple of minutes before 9:00 and ended up waiting about 15 minutes. She liked the ride a lot. She had never been on it before because she thought it spun around a lot.

    After TSM we went to use our first FP of the day at Star Tours. Michelle was going to ride it but she changed her mind last minute because of her kidney stone issue. After riding ST, I checked my phone and she had sent me a text telling me to meet her in the gift shop so she could use my AP discount. She ended up buying a shoulder Porg. I won't go on here about my disdain for The Last Jedi as a Star Wars movie, but I will say that I don't care for Porgs at all.

    I wanted to do the Edna Mode M&G since we'd never done it, but Pixar Place wasn't open yet when we got over there. Michelle wanted a croissant, so we headed for Trolley Car Cafe, stopping for PhotoPass photos on the way.

    She had no idea I was making that face at her Porg during that photo. :rotfl2:

    I ordered a Starbucks Cold Brew and a Poison Apple Mousse at Trolley Car and we walked around the side of the building to find a spot to eat. I was on the fence about getting the Poison Apple since it had apple inside it. I had never had chocolate and apple together, so I was unsure about it. I'm glad I got it though. It was really good.

    While we were outside eating, some of the Citizens of Hollywood pulled up nearby. We had never really seen them before so it was good timing. A little boy fell down right in front of them and a man who -after doing some research- I believe was Oscar Meyerwiener, began interacting with him. It went like this:

    Oscar: "Aww jeez, kid, you took a heck of a tumble there."

    Oscar: "Hey, are you alright, kid?"

    *Kid starts crying*

    Oscar: "Aww, don't be like that, kid."

    *Kid continues crying*

    From there, Oscar told the kid that one of the Citizens women (I don't recall her name) needed a hug. He asked the kid if he'd give her a hug and the kid shook his head "no." A couple more attempts got the same response from the kid. I kind of felt bad laughing, considering the kid fell down and was crying, but the scenario that played out after was pretty funny.

    After we finished eating, we had a half hour to kill before our 11:00 FP for the Frozen sing-along, so I wanted to go back to Pixar Place to if it was open. To be continued...
  • Unca’ Donald

    Nov 15, 2018
    Monday, October 28, 2019 Part 2 - Late Morning/Afternoon at Disney's Hollywood Studios

    On the walk over to Pixar Place we came across the Star Wars characters marching to the Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away show. Link to video I took below:

    Star Wars Characters - Disney's Hollywood Studios

    When we arrived at Pixar Place, Mr. Incredible was out.

    After taking a few pictures of him, we went inside to meet Edna Mode and waited about 5 minutes.

    When we arrived back outside, Mrs. Incredible was making her way out. She spent most of her time hoola hooping with little kids.

    We spent about 10 minutes in the area taking pictures before leaving for the Frozen sing-along.

    We tapped in at Frozen at 11:06 and they opened the doors at 11:15. We got pretty good seats near the front.

    We saw this show for the first time the week after Thanksgiving in 2018. I remember they did a holiday version that included Olaf back then. There was no Olaf this time.

    After Frozen we were going to SDD to use the 3rd of our initial 3 FPs. On the way over, Michelle went to use the restroom just outside of Pixar Place, so I went to see if any of the Incredibles characters were out. Frozone was out and he was tossing a ball around with the kids in the area.

    We tapped in to SDD at 12:15. It had a 60 minute wait posted and we waited only 5 minutes. While we were in line I was able to get a ToT FP that I'd be able to use before we went to the 1:15 Indiana Jones stunt show.

    Michelle was going to browse in some shops while I went to ToT and then meet me near the Indiana Jones entrance. I did the Sunset Boulevard PhotoPass with the tower in the background on the way to the ride.

    I tapped in at 12:38. It had a 40 minute wait posted and I waited 15.

    We took a seat at Indiana Jones near the front and to the far right. I tried my hardest to be selected as an extra, jumping up and down and spinning around. There was a group of 4 teenage girls seated directly in front of us and one of them was selected. We hadn't seen this show since 2010, so it was enjoyable to see again.

    We had a 2:05 ADR for Oga's Cantina, so we headed back to SWGE after Indy. I checked in at Oga's a few minutes before our scheduled time. The line outside was fairly long, so I thought we might be waiting a while, but my name was called at 2:07 and we were led inside. When I first saw the menu for Oga's back in August, and saw that there was an IPA called "Bad Motivator" by Sierra Nevada, there was no doubt in my mind what beer I would be ordering and what shirt I'd be wearing.

    I had worn the t-shirt under the Endor themed Return of the Jedi button-up shirt I was wearing.

    The beer was pretty good, but certainly not worth $13.25. That said, I feel like we're paying the high drink prices more for the experience of being in a cantina that feels like it's right out of a Star Wars movie, and to me that experience was worth paying for an overpriced drink. Michelle doesn't drink at all, so she didn't order anything. We both thought Oga's was really cool. The theming was great and DJ Rex was a lot of fun to watch.

    We left Oga's at 3:02 and the First Order was arriving when we got outside. It was fun watching this officer question nearby guests.

    Every time we walked past the Millennium falcon, I hoped to get a picture of it with no guests standing in front of it. I didn't have any luck though. There were always people in front of it taking pictures and people taking shade from the sun under it. So I just angled my phone until there were no heads in the shot. One head did sneak into my pic on the far left though.

    We went inside Droid Depot to look around. The theming in this shop was great too, with all of the different droids and droid parts. Michelle and I both bought one of those really cool $100 metal gift cards while we were there.

    We ran into some Stormtroopers on the way out of the land.

    After leaving SWGE we went to Sc-Fi Dine-In Theater for our 3:45 ADR. We both love this restaurant. The theming and atmosphere is so unique and the food is pretty good too. I wish I could remember the name of our server. He was very engaging with us and the family seated in front of us in our "car." He was pretty funny too. I enjoyed the Sci-Fi Barbecue Platter with a Samuel Adams Octoberfest and Michelle got the Chicken Pasta.

    While we were at Sci-Fi I was able to get myself a FP for RnR. I wasn't crazy about riding it right after eating so much food, but it was going to be my only chance on this trip to ride it. Michelle went to browse the various shops on Sunset Boulevard while I went to RnR. I also stopped for some PhotoPass photos.

    I tapped in at RnR at 5:26 to a 35 minute posted wait and ended up waiting 13 minutes. You probably can't really tell, but I'm supposed to be playing air guitar in my ride photo.

    Once I was finished with RnR we went to LMRA for the first time and we arrived just as the doors were opening for the next show. This was a neat little show and worth checking out just to see the Lightning McQueen animatronic.

    After the show, we were ready to call it a day at DHS. We stopped to look at the nearby pins and Michelle bought a few of the holiday pins which we were seeing for the first time. We did one more PhotoPass opp on Hollywood Boulevard and browsed the nearby shops before exiting the park at 6:45.

    After returning to POFQ, and cleaning up in our room, we went down to Scat Cat's Club Cafe. I had been looking forward to trying the seasonal Pumpkin Spice Beignets. I got them in a sundae with vanilla ice cream and a little caramel sauce and sat down to eat it at 8:12.

    The Pumkin Spice Beignets weren't quite what I was expecting. I didn't realize they were just the regular beignets with pumpkin spice sprinkled on top of them. I had just assumed the actual beignets would be made with pumpkin spice batter. Regardless, the sundae was really good.

    After I ate my sundae we went in to the newly expanded Scat Cat's Club. I was excited when the expansion was first announced and I had read that there would be live New Orleans-style jazz played there. I saw the previous music act one night when we stayed there back in May and, while I enjoyed it, I always thought about how great it would be if they had a live act playing music similar to what's played on the music loop at the resort.

    We walked in and sat down, and I was disappointed to find out that the music wasn't going to be like what's played on the music loop. I was expecting a lively atmosphere but it was your typical dimly lit lounge and relaxing lounge music. The musical trio was very good for what it was, but it was a big let down for me based on what I had been expecting.

    I ordered an Abita Amber which was a decent amber lager, and I believe the first beer I'd ever had from a New Orleans brewery. We stayed for 3 or 4 songs and left a couple of minutes after 9:00, ready to get to sleep.

    Unca’ Donald

    Nov 15, 2018
    Tuesday, October 29, 2019 Part 1 - EEMH at Disney's Hollywood Studios Round 2

    I was up early for my 2nd day in a row of EEMH at DHS. Michelle and I would be attending MNSSHP that evening. She didn't have a park ticket for the day, so she would be going to Disney Springs and then meeting me in line for the Jack and Sally M&G once she was able to enter MK with her party ticket.

    I was out the door of our hotel room at 4:57 AM hoping to catch a bus to DHS around 5:00. As I was walking past some bushes near the bus stop, I startled something. Whatever it was that I had startled shook the bushes loudly which in turn scared the heck out of me. A few minutes after I sat down on a bench at the bus stop the culprit emerged.

    A bus didn't arrive until 5:18 and not many other guests got on. I was off the bus at 5:29. I had my backpack with me so I had to go through the bag check line. I had discovered the previous day that being one of the very first people to arrive at the holding area doesn't necessarily mean you'll be one of the very first people to ride whichever attraction you're going to, so I decided to grab a Starbucks Cold Brew at Trolley Car Cafe once I was in the park.

    Once I was back outside with my coffee, I was able to move all the way up on the right side of the crowd and I felt like I had gotten myself into a pretty good position for when they began walking guests to TSL. That turned out to be the case as I ended up being one of the first people in the queue at 6:02, and 2 minutes later I was on the first Slinky they sent out that morning.

    I got right back in line and waited only 3 minutes.

    When I got in line a 3rd time, the posted wait was still 10 minutes and I waited 6. I need to remember not to lean so far to my right on the ride so that I don't get covered up by the graphics on the ride photo.

    So I rope dropped SDD on back-to-back days during EEMH. The previous day I went through the no bag line and went right to the holding area once inside the park. I ended up riding it 3 times from 6:00 to 6:40. On this morning, I arrived at the park later, had to go through the bag check line, and went to Trolley Car Cafe instead of going right to the holding area. Yet this time I was done with my 3rd ride at 6:25. So I was 15 minutes ahead of where I was the previous day. I could have gotten on SDD again with a short wait, but I wanted to go explore SWGE while it was still dark out.

    I entered GE a couple of minutes after 6:30 and the PhotoPass photographers weren't out at the A-Wing or X-Wing yet. I would have liked to have gotten photos with them while it was dark, but it was not meant to be.

    I walked around taking pictures of the various droids and vehicles scattered throughout the land before Doing the Millennium Falcon PhotoPass op.

    After the photos, I got in the single rider line for MFSR at 6:50. The standby line had a 15 minute wait posted and I was in the cockpit at 7:03, taking a seat on the left as an engineer. When the ride started, I was paying more attention to what was happening on the screen than I was my task. When I realized I needed to start pushing buttons, a bunch of them were flashing and I panicked. I ended up messing up and I think my blunder kept us from getting 100.% I felt kind of bad about it, but nobody said anything.

    After the ride I took some more photos outside.

    I went in Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities which I had forgotten to do the previous day. The theming inside this shop was great, especially the animatronic. After that I made my way back to the A-Wing and X-Wing, and I ran into a Stormtrooper along the way.

    I stopped for a PhotoPass op on the way to my Oga's ADR. I assumed it was just a normal photo in front of Kylo Ren's TIE Fighter, but it was a Magic Shot.

    I heard the photographer tell the guest in front of me about another nearby photo, which turned out to be this Super Zoom one:

    At Oga's I ordered the Mustafarian Lava Roll and a Spiran Cafe. The drink was Peru Alto Mayo organic Joffrey's coffee, orange marmalade, Gosling's 151 rum, vanilla whipped cream, and citrus zest.

    I enjoyed the cinnamon roll. The coffee was just okay, and I didn't really get any of the flavors until the last couple of sips since everything had settled on the bottom of the mug. So that last sip was a little overpowering. Definitely not something I would order again at $17.

    I left Oga's at 8:38 and immediately got a selfie with a Stormy:

    8 minutes later I was able to get my coveted picture of the Millennium Falcon with no guests in front of it:

    I left SWGE at 8:56 and as I made my way out of TSL I passed Woody and Bo walking to to their M&G location, holding hands.

    I was ready to leave the park for a breakfast ADR at the Poly, but I stopped at 2 more PhotoPass locations as I made my way to the exit.

    Then some of the Citizens of Hollywood came out, so I stopped to watch them for a few minutes.

    I was tempted to get in line to meet Chip and Dale near the exit, but I wanted to make sure I had some time to look around the Poly before my ADR, so I decided to skip them and go right to the bus stop. I exited the park a few minutes after 9:20.
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    DIS Veteran
    May 26, 2003
    That Magic Shot photo was so awesome!! You had a great morning at HS and nice that you got to do a lot before heading to the Poly.

    Unca’ Donald

    Nov 15, 2018
    Tuesday, October 29, 2019 Pat 2 - Magic Kingdom Prior To MNSSHP

    It was a bit of a wait for the bus to the Poly to show up at DHS. The sun was out in full force and it was very hot, even standing in the shade. A few other groups boarded the bus when it arrived and we were dropped off at the Poly a couple of minutes before 10:00. You can't visit the Poly and not take some picture of this guy:

    I went to the restroom to remove the Star Wars shirt I had worn for DHS and put it in my backpack. Underneath that shirt I was also wearing a Jack Skellington shirt which I had on for MK and MNSSHP. After that I looked around in the shops and I saw a couple of magnets I considered buying. One of them was Stitch, and the other Moana, and I really liked the artwork on them. They were $10 each. I decided to think about it and went to Kona Cafe to check in for my ADR. They took my number and told me they'd text me when my table was ready.

    I went back to the shops and I was going to buy the magnets, but then I remembered I was going to be at MNSSHP that night and I felt I shouldn't buy anything prior to that. I went back to the area in front of Kona Cafe and waited for my alert to get seated.

    I had been wanting to try the Tonga Toast for a while, but staying at POFQ, and using Disney transportation, there was no way to get to the Poly before the parks opened, and I had never wanted to sacrifice that first hour of low waits at the park for a breakfast. I saw this morning as the perfect opportunity to finally try the Tonga toast before going to MK, and the original plan was to get it at Captain Cook's. But a week and a half before our trip, I saw that Kona Cafe had Pumpkin Pancakes. I was torn on what I should do, but I ended up deciding to go for the pancakes instead considering they were seasonal and the Tonga Toast would likely always be there. So I made the ADR for Kona.

    I was seated and placing my order around 10:45. I ordered an iced coffee and the Pumpkin Pancakes with Spiced Ham. My server told me the Spiced Ham was Spam and asked me if that was ok. I decided to get bacon instead. My meal was served only 10 minutes later which seemed pretty quick.

    Sadly, this breakfast I went out of my way to try was easily my worst meal of the trip. The pancakes were dry and rubbery which made me think they weren't pouring fresh batter on a grill, and that they were likely reheated. Normally I wouldn't even use half of the cup of syrup that was provided, but I ended up pouring the entire cup over them to try and counter the dryness. It didn't help. The cinnamon butter was really good, but that hardly made up for pancakes that were like something you'd get out of a box from the freezer at the grocery store.

    After finishing my meal, and wishing I had stuck with my initial plan of Tonga Toast at Captain Hook's, I boarded the Monorail for MK at 11:17. I walked up to the front of the park 10 minutes later.

    Once inside the park, I followed the Move It! Shake It! floats down Main Street USA towards the castle.

    When I reached the end of Main Street, I found a spot on the sidewalk to the left, where it starts to form a circle, to take some pictures as the floats passed me.

    Once the floats left, the area cleared out quite a bit and I was ready to set up for a photo contest I was going to enter. Earlier in my report I mentioned I had started a small collection of Disney Funko Pops. For the last 2 1/2 weeks of October Funko's Instagram account was running a daily photo contest: #FunkoPhotoADay. Each day had a different theme and this day's theme was "Shoefie." I had ordered a cheap Mickey Pop from Amazon when I got the idea to use one of my Mickey Vans shoes with the Pop as the fireworks went off above the castle at the end of MRFF in the background.

    It seemed like a great idea and I felt it would give me a great chance of winning the contest, but it was really hot out, and I was going to have to wait about 25 minutes in the sun for the climax of the show. Since the area was so clear of people at the moment I decided it would make more sense to just take the photo right then, instead of trying to get a perfect picture with fireworks in the middle of a large crowd of people. I took a few pictures and settled on this one:

    A woman who was walking by noticed what I was doing and came over, curious about the pictures I was taking. I showed her the photo and told her that it was for a photo contest. After that I decided to stick around to watch the beginning of MRFF.

    I only lasted 4 minutes. It was too hot standing in the sun, and I was more than ready to go use my first FP of the day which, fittingly, was at Splash Mountain. On the way over, I ran into Wendell.

    Chip and Dale were roaming around the Splash Mountain area in their frontier outfits.

    Before going on the ride, I decided to post my pic for the contest as I didn't want to risk forgetting to do so later on. I took one last look at the rules to make sure I had everything in order and then I noticed it said that winners would be chosen randomly. I had assumed a bunch of Funko employees would choose some of their favorite photos and then vote on a winner, but it sounded like having Cinderella Castle in the background of my photo wouldn't give me any better chance of winning than if I had just taken the pic in my backyard with a random tree in the background. After discovering that info, I was definitely glad I had decided not to wait that extra 25 minutes in the sun to take my photo.

    I tapped in at Splash Mountain at 12:31 with a 30 minute wait posted and I was on a log in only 6 minutes. Whenever I ride Splash, I sit right in the center of the row I'm seated in since CM don't try to put single riders with other people on this ride. At least, that has always been my experience. I was seated firmly in my spot and then a woman started to climb right in, so I had to scoot over. I got fairly wet on the ride. The girl seated in front of us got drenched.

    After exiting Splash I was able to go right to HM to use my 2nd FP, tapping in at 12:57 to a 15 minute posted wait and an actual wait of 10 minutes.

    After the ride I did the Hitchhiking Ghost photo op. I wish I had know which ghost they would add to my photo because I would have held my hat up to mimic him.

    I had some time to kill before my 7DMT FP, so I went to Storybook Circus to see if Pluto was out roaming the area. There was no sign of Pluto, so I browsed Big Top Souvenirs for a few minutes, and then walked throught the Little Mermaid and B&TB areas of Fantasyland. I got this Magic Shot before I went to 7DMT:

    7DMT had a 40 minute wait posted when I tapped in at 1:40, and I waited 5 minutes.

    With all 3 of my FP out of the way, my plan was to watch the FOF Parade from the sidewalk in front of Town Square Theater and then get right in line for the jack and Sally M&G.

    I took a few photos along the way:

    I also stopped at the Plaza Garden Super Zoom photo op.

    After shooting the photo, the photographer noticed there was nobody in the background directly behind me at the moment. He told me to wait because he was going to take another one of me with no one behind me. I thought that was really cool of him to do.

    *This part is continued in the post below*
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    Unca’ Donald

    Nov 15, 2018
    *I like using blue type for my trip reports. When I tried to post this update, I got a message informing me I couldn't have more than 35 pics in a single post. So I copied and pasted this half, but it posted it with black type, so I'm just going to leave it.*

    I got a good spot next to a trash can in front of TST for the parade a few minutes after 2:00. I'm a big character guy. I love taking pics of the characters in the parks, and getting my picture taken with them, so the parade is one of my favorite things to see. If I'm in MK during the parade it's a good bet that I'm watching it.

    Once the parade concluded, I went inside TST to get in line for Jack and Sally. A CM gave me my party wristband and I walked down the hall to where the M&G would be taking place. There were 4 smalls groups in line already. I sat down on the floor and I lucked out as there was an outlet on the wall right next to me. So I plugged my phone in and spent the next hour and a half playing games on my phone and looking at the photos I had taken that day until Michelle arrived around 4:15.

    We were greeted by Jack and Sally at 4:37. During the interaction with them, Jack said "Look, Sally, I think he's turning into a werewolf." Of course, I had to play the part and, thankfully, the PhotoPass photographer captured the moment. Something one of those lame mounted cameras likely wouldn't have captured.

    The M&G exits through Curtain call Collectibles so we looked around in that shop for a few minutes. On the way over to Emporium to check out the party merch, I wanted to stop at the train station to see about getting the party exclusive SOTMK card. There were no guests there, so I figured they probably weren't handing the cards out until the party started at 7:00. I've never played before, and I don't own any cards, so I was expecting to have to register to play in order to get the card. I walked up and asked the CM about the card. She asked to see my party band, marked it, and handed me the card. Michelle got one too.

    We looked at the party merch at Emporium, but I didn't see anything I really wanted. I had always purchased a pin for whichever party we attend, but I didn't care for this pins this year. I was tempted to get the cauldron shaped Sanderson Sisters mug, but we already have a bunch Disney mugs taking up cabinet space in the kitchen. Michelle ended up getting a party shirt.

    When we left Emporium, the Move It! Shake It! floats were out and we stopped at the end of right side of the street, where it turns into a circle, to watch them go by. There was a mother and 2 daughters -probably in their early 20s- dressed as the 3 Good fairies from Sleeping Beauty. Not only were they getting a lot of attention from guests, but the characters on the floats were pointing at them and cast members were commenting to them about their costumes as they walked by. Once the floats were out of the area, guests started going up to them to ask if they could get a picture of them, which the 3 seemed happy to do. Michelle wanted me to get a picture of them, which I felt weird doing. They had big smiles in the photo though, so I guess I was the only one bothered by it. I wouldn't feel right posting it on a forum though.

    I usually prefer to see clear skies in my photos, but I think clouds above the castle add to the fantasy theme:

    Next, I wanted to go see what time Pooh and Friends would be meeting in their party costumes. On the way over, Michelle wanted to meet Merida. There was a bit of a line to meet her, and I wanted to find out what the situation would be for Pooh, so she got in line while I continued on. When I got there, Pooh and Tigger were out doing their usual M&G. I asked a CM about the party M&G and he told me it would start around 6:00. I didn't feel like waiting nearly an hour, so I decided to go see what the line looked like to meet Gaston. It wasn't bad at all so I decided to meet him.

    After meeting Gaston, I went to the nearby restroom. After that I began to walk back to the Pooh M&G and Gaston was walking in my direction. As we were about to pass each other I went for a fist bump, but he went for a handshake. So I switched to the handshake and, of course, he switched to a fist bump. We finally settled on the handshake. :laughing:

    Pooh and Tigger were still meeting when I returned around 5:30, but there was already a line forming for the party M&G. I got in line and Michelle met me there a few minutes later. Here's one of her photos with Merida:

    We ended up meeting Pooh and Friends at 6:35.

    After that we went to Tomorrowland to get in line for the Lotso M&G. There were several groups of people already waiting when we arrived, and we had nearly 20 minutes to go until he would come out, and MNSSHP would begin. I'll be back next time with the details on our evening at the party.
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    Unca’ Donald

    Nov 15, 2018
    That Magic Shot photo was so awesome!! You had a great morning at HS and nice that you got to do a lot before heading to the Poly.
    Thanks! It was a great morning and I'm glad I was able to make it out to WDW to experience the morning EEMH while they offered it.

    Unca’ Donald

    Nov 15, 2018
    Tuesday, October 29, 2019 Part 3 - Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

    We had been waiting in line to meet Lotso for about 20 minutes when he came out at the start of MNSSHP. A PhotoPass photographer also came out and went around asking the guests in line if they wanted a Magic Shot. Naturally, we opted to do it.

    We met Lotso at 7:16. They don't call him Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear for nothing:

    After we met Lotso, Michelle wanted to use the restroom, so we walked over to the one near Mickey's Star Traders. I was really happy with how things had gone so far. We were only 20 minutes into the party and we had already done 3 of the party exclusive M&G that were a priority for us. Overall, we did spend a few hours waiting in line for them, but we had only spent 15 minutes of actual party time waiting in line.

    While I waited for Michelle, I checked MDE for the wait time to meet Mickey, since the plan was to next head to the park entrance to do the Headless Horseman Magic Shot. I don't recall what the posted wait was, but it was longer than I wanted to see. I was hoping it was because guests were still arriving, and then deciding to meet Mickey since it was right near the entrance. I then decided to see if tickets were still available for the party, and they were. I was hoping the evening would continue to go smoothly with the party not sold out.

    We passed a long TrT line near Monsters Inc. as we left Tomorrowland. On our way towards Main Street, Michelle mentioned she wanted to get an ice cream at some point. I hadn't really planned for a snack break during the party and would have preferred to get something after the party had ended. She didn't want to wait that long, though. Since we were already on our way to Main Street, she went to Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and I went to Main Street Bakery to get the Amuck Cupcake.

    We met back up at one of the yellow tables outside of The Plaza Restaurant to sit down and eat our snacks before continuing down Main Street. It was already 8:00 when we stopped for this PhotoPass op.

    The posted wait to meet Mickey had gone down since I had checked it about 40 minutes earlier, but when I looked inside Town Square Theater, I felt the actual wait time would be longer than what was posted based on the length of line that was waiting outside the room. So we went outside to do the HH photo, and I hoped the line would be shorter once we got back inside. Is it just me, or did the make the Horseman and his horse way too big for this photo?

    I love the lighting outside the entrance.

    We returned to TST and the line to meet Mickey looked the same. I was torn on what to do. I really wanted to meet him, but we had already lost a half hour eating snacks and I didn't feel like spending another half hour in a character line. I had wanted to go to Frontierland to see the Cadaver Dans, and then see the outside of HM for a bit before going to watch the first parade from somewhere in the hub area. Reluctantly, I decided to skip Mickey and head to Frontierland.

    On the way, I decided to pass the gazebo to see if the Gravediggers were meeting. The were out, and there were only a handful of groups waiting, so we got in line. Less than a minute after, the CM stationed there announced they would be leaving for a break and returning at 8:30. We didn't want to wait 15 minutes just for them to return, so we did 2 nearby Magic Shots that had no wait.

    As we walked out of that area and Frontierland came into view, I couldn't believe how crowded it looked over there. I wasn't even sure if the Cadaver Dans were out at that moment, and I didn't really want to end up going into that crowd for nothing, so we headed for the HM. There was a wall up on the right side of our path to the HM which made the walkway much narrower, and we had to fight our way through the crowd. Frustration was beginning to set in. The night had gotten off to a great start, but now all of my plans seemed to be falling apart, and the park was already feeling way overcrowded.

    I had hoped to do the Magic Shots outside of the HM, but the lines for both were pretty long. We watched Madame Carlotta for a bit and left a few minutes before 8:30 to find a spot near the castle for the parade. When we arrived, the hub was already packed and then the lights went out. Were were planning to watch the midnight Hocus Pocus Villains Spelltacular, so I hadn't paid any attention to the other showtimes. Neither of us wanted to stand there in that crowd for the show, and then the parade and fireworks as well, so we decided to bail on the hub.

    We had over a half hour before the parade would kick off in Frontierland, so we went to check on the Mickey M&G again. The posted wait time was the same as it had been when we tried earlier, but the line was noticeably shorter, so we went in.

    We met Mickey at 8:59 and then went to find a spot for the parade. I was hoping to be able to meet Donald in Storybook Circus after the fireworks, so we got a spot for the parade on the right side near the pathway to Tomorrowland. We were a few rows of people back from the sidewalk and we had a decent enough view. We both like this parade a lot and we were planning to watch the 2nd one as well. We enjoyed the new fireworks show too. I especially liked the projections on the castle of the dancing skeletons.

    Instead of going to Storybook Circus, we went down the Tomorrowland path to check on the line to meet Stitch since it was much closer. The line wasn't bad, so we stayed there and ended up meeting him at 10:44.

    After meeting Stitch, we ventured to Frontierland to get a spot for the 2nd parade. We got a great spot across from the shooting arcade.

    Here's a video I took of the Headless Horseman: Click Me

    After the parade, we went back to the HM to check on the Magic Shots. The lines were short, so we did both.

    We arrived at the hub for the Hocus Pocus Villains Spelltacular at 11:55 and I couldn't believe how crowded it was that late in the evening. The previous year, we watched the MVMCP castle show at midnight and we got a spot right near the front of the castle only a few minutes before it began. There was a ton of room all around for that show. The entire hub area was pretty well packed for this Hocus Pocus show though.

    By the time we got back POFQ and got to bed it was 1:50 AM.



    Earning My Ears
    Nov 21, 2014
    I anxiously await your posts. We are planning to go this year the same week you went in 2019. I’ve been worried about crowds, but seems like it wasn’t as bad while you were there as I would have thought. Been reading that October is now a really busy month to visit and have been getting concerned. Your trip report is showing me it’s still a good time to visit. Especially with the right plans.


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