December 2017 at WDW

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Amy
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Re: December 2017 at WDW

Post by Amy » Jan Sun 28, 2018 6:41 pm

You really lucked out on the timing of the rain this evening didn't you?
Love your photo of Tinkerbell in the parade! We always loved the nighttime parades but didn't always take in the daytime parades because of the crowds. It was difficult enough to keep a space for two, so I'm thinking there is no way I will be able to keep a spot for one when I next visit :(

horizons1
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Re: December 2017 at WDW

Post by horizons1 » Jan Mon 29, 2018 9:37 pm

I've stayed in all the Epcot resorts and like the Yacht and Beach Club hotels the best. You chose wisely!

Great TR so far.
No one's gloomy or complaining while the flatware's entertaining.
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I am Sulley
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Re: December 2017 at WDW

Post by I am Sulley » Feb Sat 03, 2018 3:53 pm

horizons1 wrote:I've stayed in all the Epcot resorts and like the Yacht and Beach Club hotels the best. You chose wisely!
As this was a bit of a special trip a good deal of research went into it and we were not disappointed. Clearly the Yacht & Beach Clubs have alot of fans.
There are two more now :D

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Re: December 2017 at WDW

Post by I am Sulley » Feb Sun 04, 2018 6:19 pm

Day 3 Thursday 7th December

We awoke to a rather grey morning, but not too cold. Today was to be our main Studios day. I find Studios a bit of an enigma - seems to have so much potential but doesn't quite deliver. Of course with some of it closed as the new Toy Story Land is constructed, would there be enough to fill our day?
First decision of the day - Boat or walk?
Walk won, after all why stay close to a park if your not going to walk. A 15 minute stroll and a pause to look at the buses, well you know what I like, if not check my flickr pages. My wife understands, at least I think so :lol:
We only had Star Tours booked for late morning so after a look round at the Christmas decorations
ImageDisney's Hollywood Studios by wdw1998, on Flickr
We took up a place for the March of the First Order, enjoyable if a bit short. My wife had not done Star Tours on previous visits so as a fan was looking forwards to it. As simulators go its not a bad ride but again I feel needs a bit more.

Lunch was booked at Hollywood & Vine for Minnie's Seasonal Dinning. This was an unintentional character meal. We had tried to get in at the Sci-Fi Theatre but couldn't, so booked here not realising it was a Character meal until after we had booked it :shock: An excellent buffet with Minnie, Mickey, Donald & Daisy and a special meet with Santa Goofy. I had forgotten how tall he was!

We were in plenty of time after lunch to pick a good spot to watch A Galaxy Far, Far Away. Now this I enjoyed and as a bit of a fan it was good to see the Charcters and get a few good pictures.
ImageChewbacca by wdw1998, on Flickr
A quick dash from here as it was time for round two of our challange. Toy Story Mania. I prefer this to Buzz and it showed as I comfortably took the high score and levelled things up at one each. We now had a bit of a gap until Muppets 3D so booked a FastPass for Indiana Jones and wandered around a few shops. I find walking distances in Studios quite short which was good as we were here to relax & enjoy. That was our theme for the holiday.

So Muppets 3D, for us compulsory. We love the Muppets they bring back memories of younger times. I would also say the Indiana Jones Stunt Show should be on everyones list. Yes its getting on a bit now but I think it stands the test of time. And the ladies can just imagine Harrison Ford :roll:
We had intened to garb a bite at PizzeRizzo but found it closed so headed over to ABC Commissary, which I would class as just OK. It had gone dark now so we crossed to Sunset Boulevard to watch the Sunset Seasons Greetings projection show on The Hollywood Tower.
ImageDisney's Hollywood Studios by wdw1998, on Flickr
I find these projection shows are fascinating and it is so good how they do it. We enjoyed this a bit too much and almost forgot to get back for Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! We didn't get the best spot but nevertheless it was a thoroughly enjoyable show mixing fireworks with projected images and "snow" glistening in the lasers. We then went mad, with just 5 minutes until Fantasmic started we decided to try and get in. We did it and sat about 3 rows from the back. To be honest had we not seen it before we would have been disappointed, the seats were poor.

We now faced the same decision as at the start of the day, Boat or walk? Walk won again and we timed it perfectly to stand on the Boardwalks bridge and watch Illuminations. How many fireworks had we seen in the last couple of hours?!

Amy
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Re: December 2017 at WDW

Post by Amy » Feb Mon 05, 2018 9:10 am

Sounds like a fun full day. Did you like the food at Hollywood and Vine then? I can't remember if we ate there before it turned into character dining, but I know we never did afterwards because the character meals are just too expensive with neither of us being big eaters.
How had your wife never been on Star Tours before? We liked Indy as well, but it is getting dated and I wonder if it's days are numbered.
We always watched Fantasmic from the rear as that is where the accessible seating is. I have to admit, there are better seats than others in the back, but we loved that show so much that it was always worth battling the crowds. It was more enjoyable of course when we had the Osborne Lights to wander through afterward though.
I agree on DHS being a walk-able park. It does seem as though it would be quite empty with so much of it under construction these days.
Looking forward to hearing and seeing more!! :goofy_bounce:

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Re: December 2017 at WDW

Post by I am Sulley » Feb Sat 17, 2018 6:42 am

Amy wrote:Sounds like a fun full day. Did you like the food at Hollywood and Vine then? I can't remember if we ate there before it turned into character dining, but I know we never did afterwards because the character meals are just too expensive with neither of us being big eaters.
How had your wife never been on Star Tours before?
Because Hollywood & Vine is a buffet there is something for everyone including fussy me! If I'm honest I like all the buffets but Crystal Palace is our favourite where we went next day.
As for my wife missing Star Tours before I'm not sure how, but she did enjoy it :)

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Re: December 2017 at WDW

Post by I am Sulley » Feb Sat 24, 2018 4:53 pm

Day 4 Friday 8th December

Magic Kingdom today but in a relaxed way as we were going out tonight
Took the bus at 9.30 and chatted to an American family on the way, he had spotted my "Everton FC" polo shirt (my soccer team). He wanted to talk as amazingly he was also an Everton fan, because of when Tim Howard played for us. He seemed genuinely excited to speak with a real English Everton fan!
We boarded the Walt Disney Railroad and did the full circuit back to Town Square then strolled up Main Street via a few shops heading to Under the Sea for our 1115 Fastpass. I like the Little Mermaid, too much according to my wife! But this is a nice boat ride, you really can't get these wrong can you? With an hour till lunch we explored Fantasyland. Now Carousels are my wifes weakness. In the UK we call them "Bobby Horses" you can probably work out why. We were certainly the oldest couple on there. I thought about borrowing some children so it looked better. Wait time for "it's a small world" was only 10 mins so we went in. After about two minutes a cast member rearranged the queue area and we got moved into the Fastpass queue and went straight on! I have a theory about this ride. It must have been designed in a hazy drug filled room with everyone high on whatever they were smoking/taking! It is enjoyable but really..............

ImageEeyore & Pooh by wdw1998, on Flickr
Lunch was at The Crystal Palace, our favourite Buffet, and once again we were not disappointed. Also a chance to see my best friend Eeyore - we have so much in common - so I'm told.
We finished in time to walk round to Frontierland a get a good spot to watch the Parade again, we love them.
ImageFestival of Fantasy Parade by wdw1998, on Flickr

Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain were our afternoon Fastpasses and we also managed a trip on the Liberty Belle Riverboat inbetween. As my wife had seen the drop on Splash Mountain before she remained very nervous about going on Splash Mountain. I had convinced her that it was wonderful ride and she would see all the Brer Rabbit stuff we remembered from our childhood. It was just an ordinary log flume and the drop looked worse that it was. "I lied". But we had a good laugh as we squelched our way to the bus back to our Hotel.
ImageSplash Mountain by wdw1998, on Flickr

Washed and changed we set out for our evening on the Boardwalk. What a great place this. You can stroll, sit, drink, eat, watch the street entertainment or visit the more serious entertainment. And all just a short walk from your front door.
We took a look in The Boardwalk Inn at the Gingerbread model before sharing a pizza from the Pizza Window. Then we became converted!! We had been told to try Funnel Cake, as we'd never had it. I am sure this has got to be one of the most unhealthy things I have ever eaten. Delicious! We have to have more!
At about 8.30 we headed into Jelly Rolls for one of the best nights we have ever had. At $12 each an absolute bargain! One of the funniest, entertaining, skillful and impressive performances we have ever seen. How those guys do it I do not know, but they are GOOD. Do it before you die!
As the clock approached midnight we reluctantly left for the short walk back.
Last edited by I am Sulley on Feb Mon 26, 2018 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Amy
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Re: December 2017 at WDW

Post by Amy » Feb Sun 25, 2018 1:54 pm

What a nice relaxing day!
We never ate at Crystal Palace, but I hear a lot about how good it is, so I might have to try it one a future trip. We did go to Jelly Rolls once though before the cover charge kicked in and had a really nice time.
So your wife forgave you for the teeny fib about the drop on Splash Mountain? It really is a fun attraction with all the other scenes. I always manage to work myself up in anticipation of the "scarier" aspects of rides, and then laugh when I get through and remember they aren't that bad.
I had to laugh at your description of "squelching" back to the bus. Perfect description! :lol:

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Re: December 2017 at WDW

Post by horizons1 » Feb Mon 26, 2018 11:05 am

I think that's the first review I've ever read about Jelly Rolls. Glad to hear that the cover charge is worth it.
No one's gloomy or complaining while the flatware's entertaining.
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Re: December 2017 at WDW

Post by I am Sulley » Mar Mon 12, 2018 4:31 pm

Day 5 Saturday 9th December

As we had had a late night, I am getting too old for them :roll: , it was good that we only had to walk to Epcot for an 1110 Fastpass at the Pixar short film Festival.
We entered via the International Gateway on a rather wet morning and with few people around was able to get one or two good photos. The Pixar show was fun and when we came out still had time to fit in Figment which for some reason my wife does not like. Ah well lunch was booked at the Rose & Crown for some good home cooking.
ImageEpcot - United Kingdom by wdw1998, on Flickr

To explain what happened here a bit of background info is neeeded. I live about 10 miles from Liverpool (You all know where that is) & 15 miles from Chester where I work, in a small town called Heswall. Ok! got that.
We walked up to confirm our reservation and I noticed the CM's badge said she was from Chester, the conversation went like this
ME "I see you are from Chester, whereabouts?"
CM "It's not Chester. I'm from Neston but they wouldn't let me put that" (Neston is the next town between Heswall and Chester)
ME "Oh Neston, we are from Heswall"
CM " Heswall, really, I have friends in Heswall, where do you live?
ME " Do you know The Harvest Mouse?" (A local pub)
CM " Yes, she lives near there"
ME "We live just off Irby Road"
CM "OMG! That's where she lives Irby Road. Wait til I tell her that her neighbours have been here. I probably have been past your house. It's always lovely to see people from the UK but this is crazy!"
ME "I fly 4000 miles and meet someone from down the road, well almost!"

Our meal in the Rose & Crown was as ever delicious and as my wife correctly states "Has the best steak she has ever tasted" I now agree
ImageEpcot by wdw1998, on Flickr

Epcot is our favourite park and we took the opportunity to start fully exploring some of the countries we had not had time to on previous visits. If you really do it properly I think it would take you days, we had some time and found bits we had not dicovered before in Japan & Morocco for example. Our Fastpass for the Frozen ride was 1615 which we found a bit disappointing. It is simply the old ride with some cute Frozen scenes in. Another tick on the to do list but not on the return list. We did pop in the Norwegian Church and were pleased to take a photo of this dress for our "Princess"
ImageEpcot - Norway by wdw1998, on Flickr

We continued our exploration, picking up Christmas Cookies at the "Cookie Nook" in the Festive Center and browsing the shops before sharing a burger at the Electric Umbrella.
We had probably done a fair bit of walking and after our late night last night decide not to stay for illuminations and returned to the Yacht Club to get a good rest for an early start tomorrow

Amy
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Re: December 2017 at WDW

Post by Amy » Mar Tue 13, 2018 7:36 am

Wow ~ what a small world. And good to know the food at Rose and Crown is authentic and tasty! I wonder why they wouldn't let the CM put her actual hometown on her name tag?
What was the Pixar short film festival? Where is that showing?
I'd love to live locally so I could take the time to explore each country. I know we took some time to look around each when we were on a longer trip of about 10 days once. I love wandering around Morocco ~ so many beautiful tucked away spaces there!
Ready for some more :D

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Re: December 2017 at WDW

Post by I am Sulley » Mar Sun 18, 2018 11:28 am

Amy wrote:Wow ~ what a small world. And good to know the food at Rose and Crown is authentic and tasty! I wonder why they wouldn't let the CM put her actual hometown on her name tag?
What was the Pixar short film festival? Where is that showing?
I'd love to live locally so I could take the time to explore each country. I know we took some time to look around each when we were on a longer trip of about 10 days once. I love wandering around Morocco ~ so many beautiful tucked away spaces there!
Ready for some more :D
The Pixar short film festival is next to the Imagination center. There is a introduction about the history of animation followed by 3 reworked shorts which include 3D effects. Piper about a baby Sandpiper is quite stunning in 3D whilst Get a Horse an old black & white has an amusing twist in this remake. Sorry no spoilers :!:

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Re: December 2017 at WDW

Post by horizons1 » Mar Mon 19, 2018 7:01 am

That's a great story about the cast member - it's truly a small world after all.
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Re: December 2017 at WDW

Post by I am Sulley » Mar Wed 21, 2018 4:41 pm

Day 6 Sunday 10th December

As this was the middle day of our stay we had sort of set it aside as a recovery day with the exception that this was the only day when we had to be up early.
I have a tradition when we go away that I have to have a big proper breakfast on one day so we had booked in at Cape May for 0805.
The breakfast was all I wanted but the sight of Goofy "Surfing" past the tables with a line of children following every 15 mins was more than we had bargained for :goofy_bounce:

The plan for the rest of the day was basically shopping!
What?
I hate shopping!

This is Disney and you don't go all that way to come back empty handed.
Since our last visit Downtown Disney was now Disney Springs so we boarded the bus to check out the changes. Upon arrival I paused at the Bus Station to take a few photos and got told off by an over keen employee who thought I was going to wander into the roadway and get run over. I may be nuts but I'm not mad! He was not amused.
What was our impressions of the changes? Artistically and aesthetically very pleasant but sadly the main shopping area just a bit too like any other shopping mall. Filled with mainly expensive designer label stores that we wouldn't normally visit. So we did have a bit of fun browsing with no intention of buying :lol:
We took lunch at Earl of Sandwich, which was busy, but I do like a good sandwich. We only have one in the UK in London which we have been to.
Then came the serious Disney shopping I would rather not say how much we spent. We bought both holiday gifts and Christmas presents for the girls, clothing and momentos for ourselves, even ornaments for our Christmas tree back home. My wife drew the line when I wanted the Christmas Train set too.
The compulsory visit was made to the Ghirardelli Chocolate shop to buy $50 worth to take home. I even managed to sneak back in unrecogniesd for a second free sample of the Peppermint Bark being handed out :roll:

ImageHouse of Blues by wdw1998, on Flickr
We took a stroll around the rebuilt Landings area which has become like an Epcot World Showcase of Bars before going to the roof terrace on the top floor of the Coca Cola store at dusk to enjoy the views. Unfotunately some light cloud ruined the sunset.

With the sun gone the temperature dropped rapidly as we made our way to Raglan Road for our evening meal. What a great place this is. We had good seats and in the time you eat you get to see the show at least twice, each show is different and the atmosphere is excellent. The food is plentiful and tasty.

ImageRaglan Road by wdw1998, on Flickr
So after a relaxing but fruitful day we made our way back enjoying the Chrstmas Lights on our way

Amy
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Re: December 2017 at WDW

Post by Amy » Mar Thu 22, 2018 1:59 pm

Sounds like a nice, relaxing day. I don't care for most of the stores at Downtown Disney/Disney Springs either because as you say, it is mostly just shops. But I suppose it is nice for locals, or people looking for something that comes from Disney, that doesn't necessarily scream Disney ~ although why you would want that? ;) :lol:
Earl of Sandwich is a nice place for a sandwich. We found we liked Wolfgang Puck Express just a tiny bit better though. Not all the hubbub of the Earl, and lots of good food at a reasonable price at Wolfgang's.
Never been to Raglan Road, but sure hope to check it out sometime on a future trip. I owe at least a couple of beers to wewantsdaredhead now so that might be a good place to lift a pint or two.
I hear you on not wanting to say how much you spend. World of Disney always gets a chunk of my shopping funds on each trip. But it is fun to look around!

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