"When I went it was all lights, and music, and Mickey doin' his magic." — Aug. '18 Disneyversary TR

disneyAndi14

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 1, 2014
Love your quick trip recap. Sounds like a very fun trip and how cool doing the manatee experience
The Japanese experience at the new restaurant sounds amazing, yum!
 

MeghanEmily

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 21, 2016
Love your quick trip recap. Sounds like a very fun trip and how cool doing the manatee experience
The Japanese experience at the new restaurant sounds amazing, yum!
Thanks, Caroline! It really was such a fun trip :) I loved the manatees! They're such gentle curious creatures. And I found the company that did our tour was very respectful of the animals and their habitat. The Japanese restaurant was amazing! Definitely felt that it was worth trying, despite how expensive it was. We would go back again, but we wouldn't pay for the tasting menu again. It was very good, but once was enough for that kind of experience.
 

chunkymonkey

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 27, 2009
You guys did so much during your Nov trip! The manatees are so cute! I'm so happy we got to meet up for a ride through the safari and dine at Satuli together. And yay for Takumi Tei, wasn't it so good? The sushi is adorable. I need round sushi every day!
 
  • missjackiemcg

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2013
    What a fun trip recap!! Your D~ bag is just the cutest, and I adore your Hercules inspired shirts!!! So great!

    The manatee encounter sounds really incredible. My cousin's daughter is enamored by manatees, so I will definitely be sharing your experience with her.

    Sounds like you really made the best of your trip!! How exciting to be headed right back!
     

    Tracy161

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2006
    Thanks, Tracy! It was so lovely! A shorter trip than some of our others, but so much fun :)
    It sure sounds like you had a blast! :thumbsup2

    captioning it with something along the lines of how I'm actually feeling something akin to contented happiness that night, something that's been elusive to me as of late as I've been living with a lot of depressive/anxiety symptoms.
    I'm so glad that you had a reprieve from your depressive/anxiety symptoms on your trip. I hope you have some time during the upcoming holidays to relax a bit. I completely understand what school can add to the anxiety equation. How much longer do you have with school now? I'm sending you hugs! :hug:

    I set foot in four parks over the course of the day, pop over to Sam's Club in between, and end my day at Disney Springs to pick up some gluten free treats for us to have a sweet breakfast the next morning.
    :worship: Now that is one productive day! :thumbsup2

    One of them literally hugs N, and keeps rolling over and basically throwing himself at us for belly rubs. We leave feeling peaceful and honoured.
    Awww, how sweet! What a great experience! You guys sure do some really amazing things on your trips :goodvibes
     

    kastoney

    Disney foodie served with a side of sarcasm
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2010
    tried renting a car with a hotwire hotrate for the first time, which also resulted in some money saved, as well as a much cooler rental car than we'd normally drive! (Can you say, "Mercedes-Benz?")
    Wow so fancy! I only ever book rental cars through hotwire or priceline as they have the best deals but never have I gotten a luxury car. Awesome!

    I'm actually feeling something akin to contented happiness that night, something that's been elusive to me as of late as I've been living with a lot of depressive/anxiety symptoms.
    ♥ ♥ ♥ Nothing like some Disney to elevate the soul.

    I awake to a phone call that he can't get in to the unit even though he picked up his extra key at the front desk because I've accidentally left the door latch in the locked position.
    Oh no!!!! Sorry for you both

    I have no idea what this is but it look amazing!!!! We love the Wave breakfast but will have to give lunch a whirl. The DIS podcast guys are always raving about it

    Love the shirts!

    That evening, we head to the Dolphin for a wonderful dinner at Shula's in a belated celebration of N's 30th birthday.
    Happy belated birthday N! We did Shula's for my b-day this year too and it was definitely wonderful. Blew Yachtsman completely out of the water

    The other couple gets out of the water and back onto the boat to warm up, and as soon as they leave there are probably a dozen more manatees coming in. One of them literally hugs N, and keeps rolling over and basically throwing himself at us for belly rubs.
    What an amazing experience. I had no idea something like this even existed. We always joke that our dog is like a land bound manatee as he's all sorts of slow, fat, and cuddly. Will definitely have to try the real things sometime

    We try a new dinner for us that night at the Boathouse and are absolutely blown away. The food is perfect, and our server is one of the best we've ever had.
    Wow! Those are some big superlatives right there. We've only done it once but may have to give it another go

    We do the 7-course tasting menu, mine being modified slightly for allergies. It's super expensive, but the service is fabulous, and we love learning little tidbits about Japanese cuisine, art, and culture. The food is to die for.
    Oh I'm kicking myself for not trying this on our last trip. We were concerned about how long the meal took and Casey's tolerance for it. But your food looks so amazing all I'll have to do is show her the sushi and she'll be sold.

    All in all, this trip ended up being one my recent favourites, despite it being shorter than most of our WDW visits. We did a few special things, but also just enjoyed the typical park experiences that we sometimes miss out on by trying to cram our days full of splurges and new extras: riding favourite rides, pin trading, and just walking through the parks and enjoying the atmosphere.
    I love, love, love me some long trips but I've found with shorter trips you somehow savor it a bit more and focus on what you really want to do. I usually end up loving those trips the most too.
     

    pkondz

    . . Dis Dad #797 . . Hoping to get lucky
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2007
    (And yes, we're going again in less than a month. Try explaining that to my in-laws!)
    I can so hear my mother's voice... "You're going again??" :sad2:

    Yeah. Sorry I'm doing something that I enjoy. I should just do what you want, I suppose.
    We stayed offsite at my grandmother's timeshare, and she graciously gifted us some of her points again, so we saved a whole lot of money there.
    Nice. :)
    We also tried renting a car with a hotwire hotrate for the first time, which also resulted in some money saved, as well as a much cooler rental car than we'd normally drive! (Can you say, "Mercedes-Benz?")
    Holy cow! (And I didn't know Hotwire did cars too. I have done hotels through them in the past, but not for some time.)
    pick up my fancy Mercedes, pop quickly into a Walmart
    Those two things shouldn't be in the same sentence.
    I'm actually feeling something akin to contented happiness that night, something that's been elusive to me as of late as I've been living with a lot of depressive/anxiety symptoms.
    :hug:
    Meghan? Call me if you need someone to talk to. Okay?
    I'm feeling a seemingly paradoxical simultaneous combination of energized AND peaceful.
    I know that feeling. ::yes:: :cloud9:
    You'll need to dye your hair blue if we're to meet, though.

    :lmao:
    Cute as a button!
    Agh!!! :scared:
    Wondering how many US readers saw that and first thought "Cold!"
    We decide on sandwiches from The Wave, which ends up being a delicious lunch with excellent service.
    I'd like to try The Wave some day. I've peeked in, but that's it.
    I think Boo to You is objectively a better parade, but I enjoy the Christmas parade more
    Interesting observation. I prefer Boo, but I really love Halloween...
    and I absolutely unashamedly fangirl over the toy soldiers and the reindeer.
    :laughing:
    :lmao:
    N—an artist by trade—is seemingly jealous that I tried the animation experience without him,
    He doesn't do enough on a day to day basis that he needs to when he's on vacation?

    :laughing:
    We get to catch up with good Disfriends, Su-Lynn (@chunkymonkey) and her DH, Steve,
    Nice! Great folks. :)
    Su-Lynn and Steve tell us about their meal earlier in their trip at Takumi-Tei, and N, who has wanted to go there for some time, is enthralled
    Totally not surprised.
    It's an early morning as we drive the fancy Mercedes out to Crystal River to meet our manatee friends.
    Oh! I remember you were going to do that!
    They're perfectly friendly, but the manatees like N and me better! (Sorry to those folks if you happen to be reading this TR!)
    :laughing:

    Yay! (Sorry to those folks if you're reading this)
    The water is a little chilly, but there are tons of manatees just newly arriving from the gulf at this time of year.
    Do they migrate? Come in for birthing?
    The other couple gets out of the water and back onto the boat to warm up, and as soon as they leave there are probably a dozen more manatees coming in.
    Timing is everything.
    One of them literally hugs N, and keeps rolling over and basically throwing himself at us for belly rubs.
    Wow!!!
    Were you allowed to bring an underwater camera? Or are these shots taken by the crew?
    Awwww!!!

    What an amazing experience! And I had no idea they made sounds!
    We start at Ohana for breakfast and share some fun interactions with the characters.
    I never think of 'Ohana for breakfast. I always think of skewers of meats and shrimp.
    We do the 7-course tasting menu, mine being modified slightly for allergies. It's super expensive, but the service is fabulous,
    Wasn't that amazing? The service is so good and rivals the food for top spot in excellence.
    The main course is a comparison of US and Japanese wagyu beef, and the marbled Japanese wagyu melts luxuriously in our mouths.
    That wagyu beef! OMG... so incredible!
    Love the shirt! :laughing:
    That dessert was so strange, wasn't it?
    All in all, this trip ended up being one my recent favourites,
    :goodvibes
     
  • the2ndstar2theright

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 7, 2017
    Sounds like you guys had a magical time! I love all the pictures, and your review of Epcot Forever makes me even more excited to see it! Also--love the "childless millennial" shirts:rotfl:
     

    MeghanEmily

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2016
    You guys did so much during your Nov trip! The manatees are so cute! I'm so happy we got to meet up for a ride through the safari and dine at Satuli together. And yay for Takumi Tei, wasn't it so good? The sushi is adorable. I need round sushi every day!
    We really managed to squeeze in a lot! I loved the manatees, and I'm so glad we had the chance to meet up and catch up again!

    And re: Takumi-Tei/sushi: Right!? Nathan doesn't know yet—so I'm hiding it in plain sight right here in my trip reports to see if he ever actually reads the chatter on them! lol—but I actually booked a late reservation here again after our Candlelight Processional show in December (...woah! December is almost here!) We won't do the tasting again, but I want to go back for the sushi again, and maybe we'll split an entree like one of the wagyu dishes, or something else like the sea bass or duck or something. It was very good, and Nathan was a big fan! I'll be an even bigger fan when we order something where we can use our TiW. :lmao:

    What a fun trip recap!! Your D~ bag is just the cutest, and I adore your Hercules inspired shirts!!! So great!

    The manatee encounter sounds really incredible. My cousin's daughter is enamored by manatees, so I will definitely be sharing your experience with her.

    Sounds like you really made the best of your trip!! How exciting to be headed right back!
    Thanks so much—I'm so proud of my D~ bag! I got a lot of compliments on it, and people were so impressed it was handmade. I've had my heart set on possibly getting a Bo Peep bag made someday as well, but I also realized on this trip when I was carrying Stitch that I'm more of a backpack kinda girl, so I'm not sure whether the future will hold another UPB for me or not. But she did nice a nice job with it!

    The manatee experience was awesome! I would totally recommend it. It wasn't inexpensive, but it also was less expensive than most of the animal encounters at Disney World. And the manatees were very lovable.

    I'm so glad that you had a reprieve from your depressive/anxiety symptoms on your trip. I hope you have some time during the upcoming holidays to relax a bit. I completely understand what school can add to the anxiety equation. How much longer do you have with school now? I'm sending you hugs! :hug:
    Thanks so much, Tracy! I'm sure you understand how stressful school can be and how it can affect your mental health! I'm rolling into final presentations and exams over the next couple of weeks, and then after that I have one more internship left from January to March/April. Then, if I play my cards right, I'm out in the world as a grown-up real-life speech-language pathologist!

    Awww, how sweet! What a great experience! You guys sure do some really amazing things on your trips :goodvibes
    We've been so lucky to be able to do some really fantastic things! :lovestruc

    Sounds like you guys had a magical time! I love all the pictures, and your review of Epcot Forever makes me even more excited to see it! Also--love the "childless millennial" shirts:rotfl:
    We really did have a special time! I hope you like Epcot Forever—the music makes me feel so nostalgic! And thanks, we got a lot of comments from cast members on those shirts! :lmao:
     

    MeghanEmily

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2016
    Wow so fancy! I only ever book rental cars through hotwire or priceline as they have the best deals but never have I gotten a luxury car. Awesome!
    It was very fancy, indeed! We've just got an economy car or a mid-size or something like that booked for our next trip, and I think we'll miss feeling like rockstars in our fancy luxury car.

    I have no idea what this is but it look amazing!!!! We love the Wave breakfast but will have to give lunch a whirl. The DIS podcast guys are always raving about it
    Yeah, that was Nathan's sandwich, and he loved it! It was a French dip. If it ever fits into your plans, it's a great lunch :)

    Love the shirts!
    Thanks! Lots of compliments from cast members on them for sure!

    Happy belated birthday N! We did Shula's for my b-day this year too and it was definitely wonderful. Blew Yachtsman completely out of the water
    So glad it was a wonderful experience for you! To say it beats Yachtsman is pretty high praise, but we totally agree.

    What an amazing experience. I had no idea something like this even existed. We always joke that our dog is like a land bound manatee as he's all sorts of slow, fat, and cuddly. Will definitely have to try the real things sometime
    It's so cool! I believe Crystal River is the only place in the world where you can legally swim with manatees. Your dog being a manatee is cracking me up! :lmao:

    Wow! Those are some big superlatives right there. We've only done it once but may have to give it another go
    We may have just had a lucky night, but our Boathouse meal was pretty stellar. :)

    Oh I'm kicking myself for not trying this on our last trip. We were concerned about how long the meal took and Casey's tolerance for it. But your food looks so amazing all I'll have to do is show her the sushi and she'll be sold.
    It was pretty excellent. It does make for a fairly long dining experience, so I can see how it might be tough for Casey, but she also seems pretty mature and used to eating some really interesting foods/has a super sophisticated palate, so she might love it. The sushi would likely win her over! And the dessert is pretty unique, so she might find that fun. The tea ceremony at the end is also kind of interactive and interesting to watch. Our servers were really helpful and friendly, and they shared some stories with us about living in Japan and their culture and stuff, so I'd bet they'd be happy to answer any questions Casey might have and learn from her about her culture as well to help make the experience more fun for her.

    I love, love, love me some long trips but I've found with shorter trips you somehow savor it a bit more and focus on what you really want to do. I usually end up loving those trips the most too.
    This is a really good point. I think you're right. I love having lots of time to relax and take our time, and not feel like we need to get everything done in a day, etc. But there's something to be said for shorter trips where you really make every day count!
     

    Jenny Sanders

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 8, 2007
    OMG! Where do I start? First off, what an amazing trip. You and N got sooo much done.
    The Mercedes, WOW!!!
    Your character pics are adorbs!!!
    So cool that you got to meet up with Su-Lynn and Steve!
    I totally want to do the Animation Experience!!!
     
  • MeghanEmily

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2016
    I can so hear my mother's voice... "You're going again??" :sad2:

    Yeah. Sorry I'm doing something that I enjoy. I should just do what you want, I suppose.
    Yep, this sounds familiar.

    Holy cow! (And I didn't know Hotwire did cars too. I have done hotels through them in the past, but not for some time.)
    Yes, we were very fancy. I don't know how we'll cope when we have a regular old economy car next time.

    :hug:
    Meghan? Call me if you need someone to talk to. Okay?
    Thanks, friend! I'll always keep this in mind.

    You'll need to dye your hair blue if we're to meet, though.

    :lmao:
    I'll see what I can do!

    Very scary! #thanksphotopass

    I'd like to try The Wave some day. I've peeked in, but that's it.
    We've been once for breakfast and once for lunch. Nathan probably has a slight preference for breakfast, but I think I slightly preferred the lunch there. If it ever fits into your plans, it's been good for us!

    Interesting observation. I prefer Boo, but I really love Halloween...
    Nathan would agree with you. And it's a tight race for me, but I'm also a very Christmasy person. And I have more nostalgia attached to the Christmas parade as well. My mom and I saw it a few times together on trips before I ever started taking Nathan to WDW, whereas I only saw Boo for the first time a couple of years ago.

    He doesn't do enough on a day to day basis that he needs to when he's on vacation?

    :laughing:
    Right!? :rotfl:

    He actually doesn't do a lot of drawing in his daily life though. It's one of the areas where he feels like he needs the most practice and improvement. Other than for his stencils, most of what he does for work is about layers, and colour choices, and palette knife techniques and whatnot. So he had a lot of fun taking the time to try to hone his drawing skills!

    Nice! Great folks. :)
    Agreed!

    Do they migrate? Come in for birthing?
    Apparently they migrate when the temperatures drop because they can't survive in cooler water temperatures. There are springs in Crystal River that keep the water a consistent warm temperature (I wanna say somewhere around 72-74F, but don't quote me on that because I didn't look it up...) So when the gulf starts getting colder, they know to head to the warmer water for the winter.

    Timing is everything.
    Totally! We braved the water a little longer and were rewarded! Our guide also said something about how the other folks were drinking red bull or something like that, and she claimed that the manatees can sense your heart rate through the water and she thought that they were drawn to a slower more peaceful heart rate, and put off by people whose hearts are racing (perhaps from drinking an energy drink,) etc. I'd go out on a limb and say we were also a little more patient and gentle with the manatees than the other guy who got out. I noticed he jumped the gun a few times and tried to reach out to the manatees when they might not have been totally into it.

    Were you allowed to bring an underwater camera? Or are these shots taken by the crew?
    We were allowed to, and they sell those protective sleeves for phones and disposable water cameras, but they don't really recommend it if you want to be fully immersed in the experience. They take photos on a waterproof digital camera and you can purchase them after the tour (shocker!) It was a reasonable price though. Something like $30. So we coughed up the money for the photos on a USB.

    Awwww!!!

    What an amazing experience! And I had no idea they made sounds!
    It was fabulous! Something about being around marine animals makes me feel so content, and I think N is the same way. And they DO make sounds, but I don't think that's what you are hearing in the video. They made a higher-pitched kind of squeal (especially the babies when calling to their moms.) But our guide in the water with us also liked to "talk" to them and croon to them, so I think that's what you can hear in the video if I remember right. :lmao:

    Wasn't that amazing? The service is so good and rivals the food for top spot in excellence.
    Agreed! It blew me away.

    That wagyu beef! OMG... so incredible!
    Amazing! I haven't tasted anything quite like it before.

    That dessert was so strange, wasn't it?
    It really was! Such an interesting texture. Nathan was very excited to try it. (He also really wants to try Japanese cheesecake, so maybe he'll get to try that next time.)
     

    MeghanEmily

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2016
    OMG! Where do I start? First off, what an amazing trip. You and N got sooo much done.
    The Mercedes, WOW!!!
    Your character pics are adorbs!!!
    So cool that you got to meet up with Su-Lynn and Steve!
    I totally want to do the Animation Experience!!!
    We really did have a spectacular trip! It's hard for me to believe, looking back, that I only had 5 days there and only 4 with N. It feels like we did much more than that!

    We got pretty spoiled in our Mercedes. Even the car rental guy who checked out the car was ogling it a bit. :lmao:

    It was awesome to see Su-Lynn and Steve again. :) They're such nice folks and good park touring buddies.

    I totally recommend the Animation Experience! I don't usually bother taking the train out of Rafiki's Planet watch, but it was worth it and a lot of fun! It can feel a little fast and rushed sometimes, but so neat to get to watch the animators draw and try to copy them.
     

    chunkymonkey

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 27, 2009
    And re: Takumi-Tei/sushi: Right!? Nathan doesn't know yet—so I'm hiding it in plain sight right here in my trip reports to see if he ever actually reads the chatter on them! lol—but I actually booked a late reservation here again after our Candlelight Processional show in December (...woah! December is almost here!) We won't do the tasting again, but I want to go back for the sushi again, and maybe we'll split an entree like one of the wagyu dishes, or something else like the sea bass or duck or something. It was very good, and Nathan was a big fan! I'll be an even bigger fan when we order something where we can use our TiW. :lmao:
    That is exactly our plan for next time! Gonna get more of the sushi and share a wagyu, and yes we love using our TIW card whenever possible! I totally forgot to get a new one before our Nov trip so we had to get one down there so we don't get the cool plastic cards, just the paper card again. I really have to remember to do this each time we renew our APs!
     

    MeghanEmily

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2016
    That is exactly our plan for next time! Gonna get more of the sushi and share a wagyu, and yes we love using our TIW card whenever possible! I totally forgot to get a new one before our Nov trip so we had to get one down there so we don't get the cool plastic cards, just the paper card again. I really have to remember to do this each time we renew our APs!
    Great minds think alike! And that's smart. I just have the paper card, too. I'm always worried it'll get damaged.
     

    Steppesister

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2013
    as well as a much cooler rental car than we'd normally drive! (Can you say, "Mercedes-Benz?")
    Well, that's a nice little upgrade from the norm!

    get misty when the Tapestry of Nations music comes on and the fire-kites fly.
    I really want to see this soon!

    I awake to a phone call that he can't get in to the unit even though he picked up his extra key at the front desk because I've accidentally left the door latch in the locked position.
    OOpsies! LOL!

    Su-Lynn and Steve tell us about their meal earlier in their trip at Takumi-Tei, and N, who has wanted to go there for some time, is enthralled. I can already feel my pocketbook getting significantly lighter as I prepare myself mentally to book this ADR for the incredible-but-pricey tasting menu experience for the last night of our trip.
    I got to do that too recently and loved every single second of it. Everything was just.,... amazing. Just as wonderful as V&A but so very different.

    The manatee experience looked fabulous. I've kayaked in the Keys and desperately hoped to spot one but never did. So glad you got to experience this up and (very) close!
     

    MeghanEmily

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2016
    I really want to see this soon!
    I think it's lovely. The only part I'm not crazy about is toward the end when they try to incorporate A Whole New World. I get where they're coming from, but I think they could have done something different that would fit better without using a movie song. But it really is quite lovely, especially in person. It doesn't hold the memories of Illuminations for me, and I'm sure the new show will be wonderful and very impressive, but all the EPCOT music in EPCOT Forever really does it for me! :)

    I got to do that too recently and loved every single second of it. Everything was just.,... amazing. Just as wonderful as V&A but so very different.
    Amazing, indeed! I wondered how it might compare to something like V&A's (which we also hope to do someday.) It was such an incredible treat!

    The manatee experience looked fabulous. I've kayaked in the Keys and desperately hoped to spot one but never did. So glad you got to experience this up and (very) close!
    It was so wonderful! I always feel a little nervous doing these types of experiences with animals because I really worry about whether the animals are being respected or treated properly. But in this case I had no worries once we did our little education session with the company and got out on the water with our guide. The manatees were so wonderful. I find as a stressed out masters student, and as a "millennial" type who spend a lot of time thinking about social justice issues, it's easy to stay in a headspace where you're always a little on edge and pessimistic with the world, but being in the presence of these gentle creatures for a couple of hours put my mind completely at rest. :cloud9:
     

    MeghanEmily

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2016
    Hello, friends! I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgiving holidays surrounded by your loved ones. :lovestruc Did everyone go commercialism crazy today with Black Friday sales!? I know I sure did! I went nuts and bought myself a replacement for my cracked phone case on Amazon! :lmao: I have, however, been considering taking advantage of the deal online at BJ's right now for discounted Disney gift cards for our upcoming trip, but I'll probably stick with my Old Faithful Sam's Club since we're flying out of a city that has one anyway. Last time I was here on this thread, I shared about our November trip. Now I'm ready to get my poor old August TR back in motion again...

    "As long as they have fingers, they're good to go!"
    Aug. 24—Part 1

    August 24th was a very, very busy day! I probably mentioned at some point in this TR that my friend, L, was in WDW with her family and overlapped with us for a couple of days. This morning we didn't have any plans—I'd set aside some rest time since it would be SUCH a busy day—so instead of resting, we decided to go to the MK to meet up with L and her sister, E, for a couple of rides before our late breakfast ADR.

    I had just dyed my hair extra pink the night before, in anticipation of a certain costume for a certain party that night.




    It was a beautiful bright morning as we monorail'd over to the MK.



    N and I got there before the sisters, so we stopped to see a photopass photographer.



    My excited arm was more "excited" than N's excited arm.



    We found L and E and caught up on stories from our respective trips. We decided we'd ride Pirates together. E didn't buy in to our whole pirate pose thing.







    On our way to Splash, I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the Country Bears out and about. Whenever I do, I have to stop and make a selfie attempt in honour of my friend and Country-Bear-lover, @xlsm! The sisters didn't know quite why the selfie stop was a must, but they just took it at face value that it absolutely was.





    We rode Splash Mountain, and E was worried about getting wet—as she's a lovely girl who's sweet as sugar and, hence, would likely melt—so she was the only one we could see around us in line wearing a poncho on Splash in August. In the end, however, E may have had the right idea. We got VERY wet.



    This ^ photo has since become a wonderful memento in my friendship with L.

    I had always enjoyed pin collecting, but L is the one who got me interested in pin trading. She and her sister were working on some mystery box pin collections, as was I, so we stopped in to the Frontierland Trading Post for some pin purchases and cast member trades. Before we parted ways, we all felt a sweaty friends selfie was required to commemorate the morning we had together.




    I had wanted to spend as much time with L and E as we could that morning, but I'd really pushed it a little too close. We had a late breakfast ADR back at the Grand, and it was looking like we might not make it back in time. We raced through the Magic Kingdom at the closest-to-a-run walk we could muster, only to find that we got stuck behind the parade when we hit Main Street. Normally I'd be much happier to see Judy Hopps, but I was in a hurry.



    Of course, once we finally got on the monorail, we also got stuck there.



    This photo ^ is an excellent representation of how incredibly warm and humid it already was this morning. That, of course, was also exacerbated by the pace we'd taken to get to the monorail in the first place.

    When we finally got to 1900 Park Fare to check in, we were definitely late. Very late by my standards. I remember it being around 20 minutes past our ADR time, which was also near the end of the window for breakfast. I apologized to the seater and explained about the parade and the monorail, and she told me we could still be seated and it would be just a moment.

    We had been to 1900PF for dinner before, but never for breakfast. The food was reasonably good, but I have in my notes that "our server dropped the ball." I remember service being very slow and things we asked for never coming, like another glass of juice, etc.










    I had asked a CM if the characters here could sign since I brought an autograph book with me. I thought it might be a situation like they tried at the Crystal Palace where the characters only gave out signed cards. Instead, the CM replied to me like I was ridiculous for asking, and assured me that almost all characters sign. She laughed and said, "As long as they have fingers, they're good to go!" (Autographs = check!)

    The character interactions were very good, though we had to wait over an hour to see everyone. The Mad Hatter was a lot of fun, but Alice was the very best! She was quirky, and curious, and very animated.














    After our breakfast, we finally headed back to our room for that rest we were supposed to take. Then later on in the early afternoon we decided to head out to the docks to rent a boat! N and I wanted to be able to share the same boat—Searacers have a weight limit of 320 lbs and I'm not going to tell you how our individual weights break down so as to make that not quite feasible for us! lol—so we chose the Boston Whaler Montauk, a fun little motorized boat that seats up to six people.



    The skies were looking a little ominous, but it hadn't started raining, so we were feeling good.



    We had a lovely little self-guided tour on the water, breathing in the fresh air and checking out the monorail resorts and the Magic Kingdom entrance from a distance.











    A little over halfway into our intended half hour of boating, we were signalled by the water patrol. Unfortunately, there was lightning in the area and we were instructed to head straight back to the marina immediately. This didn't end up being all bad in the end, though. Since our time was cut shorter than 30 minutes, the cast member at the docks told us we wouldn't have to pay anything for our rental. :thumbsup2

    We sauntered back to our room for some downtime, then started primping for our special evening. We were headed to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party!
    🎃 :mickeyjum
     
    Last edited:

    MeghanEmily

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2016
    "We need food 'cuz we are always hungry."
    Aug. 24—Part 2

    I have no idea where this quote came from on our trip, but it's accurate. :lmao:

    Once we were in costume and ready to go, we hopped a monorail to the MK. While waiting for the monorail, I snapped our first selfie of the night, knowing we'd never look this fresh and non-melted in our costumes again.




    I was very proud of my homemade costume, complete with feather-wrapped hot-glued cat ears, and a homemade tutu.

    Continuing with this trend of taking photos while we were still relatively "fresh," we stopped for some photopass photos.






    It was still several hours before the official start time of the party, so I had booked us an early dinner at the Skipper Canteen. We checked in and sat to wait for our ADR...perfect time for another selfie!



    We had a fantastic skipper named CC. (And yes, I do believe that's how it was spelled.) She was on point with her jokes, and was also generally a super-attentive server. N and I chose to split two different entrees. He ended up eating more of the very blurry seafood stew...



    ...don't worry, it wasn't that blurry in real life. I ended ended up eating more of the steak that we ordered...



    These were both great dishes and were cooked very well. I noticed when we were at Skipper Canteen recently, however, that they've changed what they serve with the steak now.

    We made a stop in Adventureland to get our party bands next. Then we got in line for the one and only stupid-long-lined character meet that I wanted to prioritize for this party: Moana.

    Once we got in line, which I believe was shortly before 5:00 or so, N looked at his phone and realized the battery was almost dead. "Oh no!" I exclaimed to him. "We're going to have to TALK!"

    Despite my joke about us talking to pass the time, N actually ended up waiting in line without me briefly. You may remember that I had gotten sick a couple of days earlier in the trip. (No? You didn't remember that? It's okay, I'd forgotten about it, too. Man, this TR has been dragging on for a long time! :lmao:) I was feeling quite a bit better, but I had one of those nasty tickly coughs that was hanging on. N stayed in line outside the Tiki Birds attraction while I went to the first aid station to locate some cough drops. While I was gone, N messaged me that they still hadn't let people in to the actual queue line yet, and could I pick up the Annual Passholder party t-shirt he'd been eyeing. I got his shirt, as well as the pins I'd wanted from the party. When I found him in line again, he hadn't moved an inch.

    Around 5:40, we were all let inside the Tiki Birds queue line. Shortly after, at 5:45, the line began to move.




    We were fortunate to meet Moana at 6:11, before the actual party had even begun! Normally I don't like to spend that much time waiting in a queue line, but in the case of a character like Moana who I really wanted to meet, I'd much rather do that waiting before the party offerings actually start, and then have my party time available to do other things. Meeting Moana was a bit anticlimactic after we spent so much time waiting, but she was still fun, and as spunky and brave as I'd expect her to be in real life.







    The photopass photos don't make it look too bad, but let the selfie record show that I was sweating like a stuck pig!


    :eek::faint:



    Since the party still hadn't actually started, we took a few more photopass photos...



    I love N's dazed expression in this one...





    ...then we ran into a real scary dude!





    N is a big fan of villains, and of Jafar in particular, so I didn't have to work very hard to convince him to do this character meet.

    We also had gotten this photopass photo while we were waiting in a short line to meet Jafar:




    Now that it was after 7:00, we got in line for Pirates to experience the extra actors who take part in the Halloween party overlay.



    ...we kinda failed on the ride photo this time. I think I was taking a picture of something, and N just looks lonely taking the photo without me.









    I had been hoping to see the Hocus Pocus show next, but once we got to the castle stage I realized that it wasn't actually playing at that time. (It would only have a showing at that time on particular nights.) Instead, we sought out another photopass photographer, so I could get another of the magic shots on my wish list.





    Then we checked in on the character line for the Queen of Hearts, but it was too long, and it was beginning to rain a bit. We were both feeling a little peckish, our Skipper Canteen dinner seemingly long gone, so we ducked into Cosmic Ray's for Second Dinner.



    N had his eye on this special party-themed burger called the Muenster Smash Burger (a play on "Monster Mash." :-))





    It had muenster cheese and tater tots, and an ooky spooky purply-black bun. As far as quick service burgers go, he loooooved this!

    I, on the other hand, went simple. I only had so many options as an allergy diner, and a hotdog and fries sounded good to me in the moment. So good, in fact, that I didn't even manage to get a photo until I'd already taken a bite!




    Next we'd hoped to hit up the Haunted Mansion, but it was down when we finished eating. Instead, we listened to the Cadaver Dans for a bit. Then we headed back toward Pirates again to look for a photopass photographer. The photographer told us she didn't have any magic shots, but that she could take a picture of us doing this instead...



    #ThanksPhotopass :laughing:

    I think I've hit my photo limit, (as well as my procrastinating-from-schoolwork limit,) so next time I return it'll be with some photos from the Boo to You parade, and our last ever HalloWishes. Stay tuned!
     

    MeghanEmily

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2016
    Aaaaaannnd we're back!

    MNSSHP Continued...
    Aug. 24—Part 3

    When I left off yesterday, we were about to go find a spot for the Boo to You parade. I prefer to watch my party parades from Frontierland so as not to fight the Main Street crowds, and so we don't have to secure a spot as early or wait as long for the parade to start. And while I think Main Street is more magical for the Christmas parade, I actually find Frontierland feels a bit spookier and more thematically appropriate for Boo to You. I I was always told to wait for the second parade as it's not as crowded, but after nearly missing out on the parade due to poor weather the year before, now I always aim for the first parade so I have two shots to see it just in case one gets rained out. We found a spot to stand at the rope and waited a while for the parade. (Not a crazy wait...maybe 30 minutes? Not sure...)




    I seem to recall that the Headless Horseman didn't ride that night, and I think it was because it had rained earlier and it was still a bit misty at the time of the parade. Before too long, we were seeing this...

































    I love this parade. The gravediggers are 100% my favourite part, followed by the ballroom dancers. After it was over, we got our chance to squeeze in a ride on the Haunted Mansion, which was operational again. What is a Halloween party, really, without a visit to see the Happy Haunts?





    Next, we headed straight for Main Street to find a spot to watch the fireworks. Little did we know that this would be the last time we'd watch HalloWishes.

















    We adored this show! N, in particular, felt it was the best nighttime spectacular that Disney offered. Change is inevitable at Disney, as in life, but we will miss HalloWishes very much.

    We headed back to the Emporium next. N's passholder shirt I'd bought him ran particularly large, so we went and exchanged it for the next size down. While we were there, I was too tempted and I also ended up buying a passholder tank top. It was a great purchase though, as I've worn it many times since then, including on subsequent Disney trips.
     

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