A Magical Vacation Trip Report

Discussion in 'Disney Chat' started by MischiefMade, May 9, 2019.

  1. MischiefMade

    MischiefMade Ghost Dog Trainer

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    Okay....So I am going to get around to doing a trip report. I swear it. Hopefully tomorrow as I think I have finally gotten through my whole backlog on work. Stay tuned folks!
     
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  2. MischiefMade

    MischiefMade Ghost Dog Trainer

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    Let's Begin a most magical trip report.

    It all began on a sunny Saturday luckily. It was supposed to rain and we were worried about having to take off in bad weather seeing as the whole eastern seaboard of the US was being hammered with rain storms. It wouldn't have been too strange if we had to turn back due to inclement weather, but all was fine for the morning, and in to the afternoon as we threw the last things in our bags and got headed towards the airport. We always try to give lots of time before our flight, seeing as we have to clear customs on our end and it can sometimes take ages and ages to the point where staff are walking down the security line shouting, "if you have a flight departing at so and so time please come with us!". This time however the process was painless, quick and efficient and we were in the boarding area well before our flight time. The flight went well and we even made it to Orlando early, our bag made it to the carousel about the same time we did, and we marched to the Magical Express.

    I have to say that Disney makes it super painless starting at the airport. I handed over our document, was pointed in the right direction for what line we were to join, made it to the front, and was directed right on to the bus. There was a little bit of a wait for the bus to leave the airport, but the time was spent letting the people at home know we made it safely and playing the trivia that came up on the TV screens. I was told to keep my mouth shut so my mother and sister could have a guess, then they would look at me and ask if the answer was right. As we headed out and hit the highway I had to comment to my mother how much easier this was from our previous trips where we had rented a car and driven ourselves. We knew it was the right choice as soon as we hit Disney property and it was getting dark. Those roads are bendy, not terribly well lit or marked and I would have been terribly unhappy forcing my mother to drive in those conditions. We did pass Golden Oak (where there was some new construction underway for some very lucky people) on the way to our Resort and I got to impress my sister with some of my wealth of Disney knowledge. We were the fourth and last stop on the bus.

    That leads us to the check-in. I knew the weekend was going to be busy at the very least. When I had been looking at the Disney Resorts for our vacation I was very limited in what I could book, and I hadn't had much expectation for what I was going to get, except I vehemently did not want a view of a parking lot. I booked a fifth sleeper room at Port Orleans Resort: Riverside with a garden view as that was all that was available at the time in the price range I was looking in and I had heard amazing things about the resort. I chose not to do the online check in despite the constant hounding via email, seeing as I couldn't get my magic bands sent to my home and was going to have to pick them up at the front desk. When we pulled up at the resort we liked the exterior facade of the main building, but when we walked in to the main lobby we sort of fell in love a little. The soaring ceiling made it feel so spacious and airy, and the french inspired furnishing and theming to a steamboat departures lounge really caught our interest. I did ask if we could try and get a room in the Magnolia Bend section of the resort, seeing as we were only three people that would be occupying a room for five, but there was no room left in that section and we were told by the helpful Cast Member at check in that we were getting a renovated room in Alligator Bayou, which was a very nice surprise.

    We were assigned to building 36, and when we looked on the map we weren't so thrilled. To us it looked almost as far away from the "Sassagoula Steamboat Company" Main Building as we could get other than being in say building 24, but taking it in stride we took our paperwork, slapped on our magic bands, and headed over to Fulton's General Store to take a look, dragging our cases behind us. Very quickly I decided it was a very bad idea to be doing this and we should try and find our room and drop our things off , so I convinced my mother and sister we would come back and we headed off in to the night to try and find our room. We crossed the first bridge and admired the pool for a short moment and then made our way across Ol' Man Island (where the main pool is located), past the Fishing Hole (which we commented every day that it was a cute idea as we passed it) and made our way in to the heart of the Bayou. The walk wasn't bad at all, maybe five minutes at most, and it helped us start off our busy walking days with a leisurely stroll to get breakfast ultimately.

    At first I was apprehensive about being in that section of the resort. I knew it was going to be nice enough grounds, but I had been captured by the manicured gardens and Antebellum style mansion buildings that made up Magnolia Bend when I was researching the resort, but boy was I wrong. From the first foot I set in the Alligator Bayou, I was very pleased with the cabin style of the buildings and the camp like quality of the landscaping (as we constantly said, it was like being at a very expensive, very nice overnight camp). It was made to look wild and overgrown but it was clearly well taken care of, and even though it looked like the small ponds were still water, there were actually little machines inside to agitate the water so that pesky critters couldn't lay their eggs upon it. We took the long way around to the room seeing as we didn't know any better at the time, but we made it safe and sound, and the room was simply incredible.

    The renovations had pulled out the carpet and replaced it with laminate, and the room painting and furniture had all been updated to quaint, more french inspired decor from the original hand made wood looking headboards and dark wood molding at the ceiling. It was a very peaceful feeling, with most of the colours being soft greens and greys, and a lot of wood tones. We placed our backpacks on the table and our bags on the seat that turned in to the fold out murphy bed, knowing that we weren't going to need it for the trip, and placed our valuables in the safe (which we found rather small). Then we got down to the business of pulling out our pre-loaded lanyards that we had filled with our pins at home, and made our way back to Fulton's General Store. We had been looking to pick up a few sundries, but left with only part of what we wanted due to the milk not having the best expiry date, and got to pin trading with the Cast Members there. One was even nice enough to tell us about the board on the other side of the store which my sister and I immediately ran over to. That is where I made my first trade with the Cast Member watching the board for the Goofy Present Hidden Mickey, and I was hooked from that moment on.

    After a few more trades and browsing the pins they carried in the shop along with the other merchandise, we made our way to the Riverside Mill Food Court and got 2 orders of Gluten Free Chicken Tenders and Fries to share, seeing as we had been in transit since the middle of the afternoon and it was now 10 PM, and we were starving. After figuring out how to make our orders for the morning and taking a quick look around, we made our way back to the room and went to bed, knowing that my mother and I were going to surprise my sister the next day with how large Disney Springs truly is, since she hadn't been to Disney in very many years (the last time she was there Pleasure Island was still a thing)

    And that my DPF friends concludes our arrival day. Since I enjoy waxing poetic it seems, I can continue to update over the next week with the rest of the holiday if people enjoy reading novels.
     
  3. momin.ator

    momin.ator Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting so far. I look forward to the next installment. :)
     
  4. Spr175psu

    Spr175psu Well-Known Member

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  5. MischiefMade

    MischiefMade Ghost Dog Trainer

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    Then I will endevour to be as detailed as possible in the rest of my report.

    I will be happy to post the very few pictures of the trip I have once I can figure out how to do so.
     
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  6. akarih

    akarih Meme Lord

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    Wow! Will have to read this all once I get the time.

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  7. MischiefMade

    MischiefMade Ghost Dog Trainer

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    Good Luck. This is only day one. More is to come
     
  8. starry_solo

    starry_solo Judge of the Dark Court Staff Member DPF Super Moderator

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  9. Shelterkat

    Shelterkat A Very Merry Unbirthday!

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    Can't wait to hear more!
     
  10. akarih

    akarih Meme Lord

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    Excited for installment two!

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
     
  11. dancecats

    dancecats Administrator Staff Member DPF Administrator

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    This @MischiefMade . We are all waiting for the full, in depth report ... :)
     
  12. MischiefMade

    MischiefMade Ghost Dog Trainer

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    Okay Guys! I hear the call! Unfortunately I can't get on the forum during weekends due to adult life, but weekdays at work are a good time to get off posts. (The original of this was too long so I have split it in to 2 parts)

    On to day two.

    We wake up at 7:30 AM, seeing as my sister has to take some medicine then and it's not too strange for my mother and myself to be up at around that time. On vacation I am a lazy bones though so I spent about an hour and a half laying around as we start to unpack a little bit. You know, just getting out the stuff that we need to hang up and our shoes out of the bottom of our bags. The thing about the rooms in Port Orleans: Riverside is that there is no dedicated closet with doors. There is hanging space but it is right beside the sink area, and we were worried about it getting in our way as we crammed three people in a space that is clearly meant for only two at most. I am pleased to say that though it was a squeeze, we could get three people in mostly and that the clothes did not get in the way what so ever. Also a great bonus was the double sinks, perfect for getting us all up and out in a relatively short amount of time.

    Now that we were dressed enough for breakfast and washed, we took our leisurely walk to the main building to have breakfast at the Riverside Mill Food Court. Theming level in this restaurant is definitely 10/10, with a spinning water wheel on the outside being linked to a spinning shaft on the inside (if you are ever there look above the drink stations to see what I mean ;) ), and the tables and chairs are wooden and in a country style. Seeing as the whole party is Gluten Free (luckily sensitive and not celiac so cross contamination isn't going to kill us) we were sort of nervous for what our options may be at breakfast. We had tried to do our research, but we could find very little information about the current offerings and when I emailed Disney before our trip there was very little help on that front. I sent an email asking about the menus for the restaurants at Riverside and French Quarter in advance and the reply was that they were only available in person and that they try to make, and I quote, "reasonable efforts" to prevent the allergen from coming in to contact with the food I would be eating.....but I already knew all of that. I've been to Disney before and I know that they are allergy friendly and there is always something I'll be able to eat if I run to all their restaurants to look at all the menus then speak to a chef to get what I need. Luckily I knew a lot of the places I wanted to eat already, but knowing what was in my resort to begin with would have taken some of the stress off, seeing as I was going to have to eat there every morning of my trip.

    Anyway, since we had figured out how the ordering system for special orders worked the day before (where we line up, etc), we stuck my sister at a table and went to figure out what the heck we could actually order. We weren't sure that there would be Gluten Free bread for breakfast, but I had heard that at other resorts they at least had Mickey Waffles without gluten, so we figured that if the worst came down to it we would be sick of waffles, but we would have that valuable starch component in the morning. Luckily we found out that they were indeed able to make us toast, as well as pancakes, so we had 2 hard boiled eggs, 2 pieces of bacon, and one piece of toast for breakfast, which we were told would be a kid's meal. That worked out well for us, seeing as we hadn't been able to secure any milk the first day, and our three meals came with three small drinks. We only drink Non-Fat (or Skim depending on where you are from) milk, and the sundries shop only sells Whole or 2% (maybe it was 1%, but I can't really remember) and we couldn't buy the lower fat milk there due to the expiration date being garbage the night before. The food court has small cartons of Non-fat, and seeing as it came with our meal it all turned out way better than we could have ever planned. Now why did we need Milk for our room you ask? Well if you take a black coffee, put in sugar, and stick it in the fridge in your room, in the morning you can pull it out, put some of the coffee in a glass with ice and milk you have an iced coffee to get your day started without even having to get out of your pajamas (Pro tip here).

    Additionally we made the best purchase of the whole trip right here (other than my pins of course). That is the resort refillable mug. For $18.99 (plus taxes) you get a plastic travel mug (with a lid) that you can refill at any resort with coffee, tea, hot chocolate, pop, and juice (or what ever they have at the drinks station), and you can take it to the parks and have it filled with water. Now since we are a mother and two daughters travelling party we don't mind sharing out of one cup and we do it often with our water bottles and drinks so that we don't have to carry around three of everything. We also don't need a whole glass of soda to ourselves, using it for a small pick me up mid day. I can't tell you how much we saved by using the refillable mug to get coffee in the morning (one or two refills), and in the afternoon just to get a quick sugar hit for the three of us to share. Also we have been looking for that style of travel mug (soft instead of hard plastic) EVERYWHERE at home as my father routinely breaks his so that was his souvenir from our trip and he loves it.

    After we finished eating, my mother noticed a Cast Member holding up a pin board in the cash area, and that is how we found out that not only does the General Store have a Pin Board, but the Food Court does as well, so it never hurts to ask everywhere you go if they have one. After a quick browse at both boards at the main building, we headed back towards the room. The grounds really are peaceful at Riverside, even though it is quite a hike (it felt like forever on the first day and significantly shorter each day after). The only boats you see come up to the main building and go past Magnolia Bend, so the part of the river I got to walk beside/over is just quiet water and beautiful trees and bushes. There were even a few hammocks strung up that we didn't take advantage of, but were in lovely spots to just people watch. Another nice touch was in the pavement. Over on Ol' Man Island (where the main pool is) there was leaf prints in the concrete, and in Alligator Bayou, there were impressions so it looked like nailed down boards of wood. Just another touch of the Disney Magic.
     
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  13. MischiefMade

    MischiefMade Ghost Dog Trainer

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    Once we got back to the room and changed it was time to head out to Disney Springs. Now my mother and I had last been there three years ago, but my sister hadn't been since before the update, so we were really excited to show her how gigantic it has become. By this time the heat of the day had started so we dragged ourselves to the main building, grabbed a quick glass of water and headed down to wait for the boat. The Boat ride wasn't long at all (maybe 20 min) and was a lovely cruise down the Sassagoula river in to the dock at Disney Springs (it is right by the bridge to Saratoga Springs at the back of the Market Place). Seeing as my Mother was a little out of sorts to our exact location I took her to where we usually start Disney Springs (right by Earl of Sandwich by the bridge to the Wyndam hotel) and we started to notice the difference right away. First of all the location of the Bippity Boppity Boutique and the Void virtual Reality experience we didn't enjoy at all. There used to a be a long store that went the whole length of all three buildings and on our previous trips we had spent a very very long time going through all the merchandise.

    Our second stop was Pin Traders of course. We were lucky that was during the time that the pin board was out so my sister ended up trading for two of the new present hidden mickeys for me (Mickey Mouse and Donald), and I made my two pin purchases (the newish Hat Box Ghost OE and the LE 101 Dalmatians Pop-Up Book) and we traded a whole bunch with the cast members there. Now I don't enjoy the whole blind pin trades that some cast members do. I'm paying for good pins right out of their stores and I am not going to open myself up to getting one, something I don't like, and two, something that isn't authentic. There are more than enough Cast Members that don't do the blind trade however and I think I made some really good trades for some good pins. I don't know if they are all authentic, but I looked for quality personally and I think I came out fine in the end.

    Next we hiked over the the World Of Disney Store, which is just as large as ever, even though the renovations sucked the soul out of it and took a quick stop in Amorettes to see what we would be able to get there out of curiosity. After that we high tailed it right to Blaze Pizza for lunch. Their Gluten Free Pizza's are amazing and I love that you can make a build your own pizza with any toppings for one price, and that you can say how much of any topping you want. It can be difficult to find a seat, but with three you can have one person ordering and two people looking for seats, then you sit one at the table and the other goes back to help the person ordering. Two tasty pizza's later and we head over to Starbucks as the day was so gosh darn hot. A balmy 90 Degrees to most but to us, having gone through a long and hard winter, it was taking all our energy just to survive the heat. We lounged around in the air con for a while, gaining strength while watching a kid wipe his face all over the interactive screen in there while his parents watched on before we moved on to the stores just across the way. As we browsed and wandered we tried to make plans for dinner, eventually settling on heading back to the Resort after a quick stop at Erin Mckenna's Bakery for a few slices of their delicious Lemon Loaf and maybe we would come back for dinner later.

    There must have been a change of plan sometime between when I left my Mother and Sister to go to the bathroom and the time when I showed up at the Bakery to witness the purchase of my heavenly Lemon Loaf cake. As we walked out of the bakery, me cradling my delicious treasure, my Mother and Sister told me there was a sign for $5 Margaritas that they had seen on their way. Never being one to give up a chance at a little fun I decided to come along. It was a good time to be had, the three of us sitting inside at the bar and watching the ball game (Kansas City Royals Vs.....someone. All I remember was that there was an great play and Kansas City got a run after being called out with two on base and 2 outs, but on the replay it showed the pitcher blocked the plate and then they lost two plays later), and I even got a chocolate easter egg from the bartender because I happened to be staring off in to space in his direction with my foggy headed buzz and he obviously liked me ;) . Be careful if you look young and want to drink alcohol on Disney Property and are not from the US. Both my sister and I are above the age of 21 but we had read ahead so we didn't have a problem. You have to have either your passport or a picture of your passport on your phone along with your ID to be served. Just a little tip so that no one has the awful experience of being turned away.

    Then it was time for Dinner. I had heard that there was Gluten Free Fish and Chips at Raglan Road, something that I obviously don't get very often and if I do then it is done in a bread crumb and not a proper batter, so since we were still in Disney Springs and it was early enough I suggested we may want to do a sit down meal there. We did make our way over, and learning the wait wasn't too long we sat my sister down with her book (Thrawn) to wait for our pager to go so we knew it was time to be seated, and my mother and I headed over to Sprinkles Bakery. There are three Gluten Free treats there, a Red Velvet Cupcake, a Lemon Blueberry Cupcake, and a Chocolate Chip Cookie. I'd skip the Lemon Blueberry Cupcake since Erin Mckenna's has the Lemon Loaf which is honestly superior, but we picked up three Red Velvets as both baked goods we had acquired keep well and we weren't sure if we would make it back anytime soon. We returned right in time to have a quick restroom break (drink lots of water on hot days kids!) and were soon after seated at a table.

    Now the atmosphere of Raglan road is great with the dancers and the music, that was all fantastic. The food is also really delicious, the batter on the fish was crunchy, the fish was mild and flaky, and the tarter sauce was great. The portion size was not excellent for the price. Normally with fish and chips you get two pieces of fish and I only got one for my meal. Enough to be satisfied, but not enough to have a scrap of left over. My mother and sister shared the salmon dish, which says it comes with potatoes and spinach. The piece of fish was once again not very large for the price of the dish, and the spinach which was not listed as a garnish, but apparently was a garnish, was about three leaves on the plate. No problem, we thought we would just ask for a little more from our server seeing as I was also hoping to get a little bit of the vegetable as well. After asking our server he comes back after asking for a little more of the garnish to tell us he'll have to charge us. Of course that doesn't go over very well seeing as their menu says nothing about it being a garnish at all so of course at that point we have to pull over the manager, who gets us not only the spinach but gives us an order of the seasonal vegetable at no charge. As we talk to our waiter afterwards he says he asked his manager who told him he would have to charge us, and he was hoping we would speak to the manager ourselves about it! Something about all that didn't add up and just kind of put a sour taste in my mouth, but everything had worked out in the end.

    We finally dragged ourselves out of Disney springs and back to the resort where we curled up in to our beds after grabbing a coffee for our fridge and ate our cupcakes. Over all I feel like Disney has really sucked some of the soul out of Disney Springs and a lot of the whimsy and the merchandise I looked forward to was gone for more of all the same things that you see everywhere else, not that I don't enjoy it and wouldn't spend a ton of time there in the future.

    And that concludes day 2. Coming up next is day 3, the Epcot Epic.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  14. momin.ator

    momin.ator Well-Known Member

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  15. MischiefMade

    MischiefMade Ghost Dog Trainer

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    On to day 3....the Epcot Epic. (Ride reviews and impressions included)

    So day three was the first of two days that we spent in a park. My Sister and I have never been to Epcot before, and knowing that we are a group of well traveled women that love to shop, I figured that it would be fun to do the World Showcase and make an easy day of it. Another plus was that it was Flower and Garden Festival time, so I figured at very least we would have fun wandering to find all the food booths (since we are total foodies). Since I booked all our FastPasses in advance (I booked the hotel on property 30 days out, but will totally book 60 days in advance next time depending on what parks we are going to be visiting), we knew we had to be up fairly early, but not at some ungodly hour. I'm not one of those people that needs to be at a park at rope drop, seeing as on my vacation I don't want to have to rush anywhere.

    We woke up at 7:00 and took about an hour to get up and prepare a little, and headed off to breakfast. My sister was the smart one and had the same thing as the previous day, but my mother and I ordered a Breakfast sandwich. That didn't go over so well as we didn't realize they were toasting our bread on the flat top and using cooking spray on it, which doesn't agree with our stomachs. The previous day the chef had just toasted the bread plain so we could add our own butter/jam/what ever condiment we wanted. So with a little bit of an upset stomach we headed back to the room to grab our water bottle and I suggested that perhaps my mother and sister would like to bring hats along, but in my haste to explain when the next bus would be coming to the closest stop for our room in only a few minutes, I failed to explain they come every 20 or so minutes and rushed them out before they could truly decide. (There are four stops at Riverside and buses stop in this order, West Depot, North Depot, East Depot, and lastly the South Depot, then some times they will stop at French Quarter, but usually they are just straight on their way. We were close to the North Depot.)

    Anyway we just missed a bus to Epcot and had to wait around a little while, but soon we were on the way to the park. We got there with time to spare for our fastpass so after clearing security and getting past the admissions area with little to no trouble we headed over to the first two shops right at the entrance to do a quick browse of the merchandise (and the pin stroller), and took a quick restroom break (once again drink your water kids!). Then off to our first fastpass at 10 AM, Spaceship Earth. First of all there is nothing at all like seeing the geodesic sphere with your own eyes, and I find it such an amazingly iconic structure. To me it is equally as beautiful as Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom, but in it's own way (and is currently the lock screen on my phone, replacing a night view of the Las Vegas Strip). If the only attraction we had gotten to experience was Spaceship Earth then I would have been happy. What ticked me off a little was that the fast pass line on Spaceship Earth was merged with the standby line pretty early, so there wasn't much advantage to actually using the fastpass, but there wasn't much else other than what I had already booked that I wanted to do in the park as far as attractions went so we didn't make a huge deal of it. I love the whole idea of travelling back in time and seeing the way the world has developed and the narration was top notch, and then came the scene of earth floating amongst the stars at the very top of the sphere and I cried. Our earth is a beautiful thing. My sister laughs when it comes up however. She thinks it's sweet. Then at the end when they make the video of you and your partner, my sister and I picked the same thing by coincidence.

    After one of my favourite experiences of the day, we had about an hour to kill before our next fastpass, so looking at the My Disney Experience we tried to look up some attractions with a short wait time. Frozen Ever After was only a half hour wait, so knowing that it would line up horribly in the afternoon, we decided to take our chances. We stopped to take a quick picture with the Minnie and Mickey Topiary and continued the hike to the Norway Pavillion. By the time we got there it was a 45 minute wait, and it was an awful idea to hike halfway across the park as the temperature had already hit the sweltering 90 degree high, but we joined the queue regardless. We sat my sister on the half wall, and I took every opportunity to sit on the little barrels to try and save my poor feet from the abuse they were going to take. The queue area for Frozen Ever is really well themed but be prepared to sweat on a hot day as everyone is packed together in a fairly small area and it felt like there was very little AC. Eventually we got on the ride and what made it so special was the little girl in front of us waving at the animatronics of Anna and Elsa every time she saw them! It was so cute that we had to tell her parents how adorable she was after the ride. Otherwise our favourite parts were the lifelike quality to the animatronics and turning around to watch them freeze in place after we had passed. Surprisingly right in the unload station there were two Cast Members with pins so we pulled over to have a look but didn't end up trading.

    Next we had to go back to Future World for our next fastpass, the land pavilion in particular. On our way we stopped for a tropical slush at one of the Flower and Garden Festival booths, which was good, but came in a tiny plastic cup with no lid and no straw and some crunchy crunchy pineapple on top. Tasty but not worth the price if you ask me, and we didn't end up getting anything else from the food booths. We also stopped on the way to fill our water bottle, and then headed in to the building. Once inside we weren't prepared for what we would see, and honestly, it was kind of weird having Sunshine Seasons take up all the room between the two attractions. We headed down the escalator, and headed in to the fastpass line for Soarin'! Now if I had to do it all again, I would ask to be up in the middle section (front row preferably, and I think the middle row is Concourse B), seeing as we were in concourse C or the right side of the theater and right in the front row. Now why would this be a problem? Well since they lift you in to a curved screen for your flight, if you aren't in the dead center then all the straight lines curve! So we got the bent Taj Mahal and the leaning Eiffel Tower, but that was all part of the fun and since were were in the front we didn't see other people's feet in our view. After that we were just in time to hop over for our next fastpass.

    I apparently timed these really well so it was just a hop, skip, and a jump over to Journey in to Imagination with Figment. We basically got front of the line on this attraction and cut out the 20 minute wait. As soon as I had used that third fastpass, I also went in tot the app and booked a new fastpass for a couple hours down the road seeing as by this time a lot of future world was very lined up and we said that if we didn't want to bother going back we didn't have to. Now here's the thing, none of us liked the attraction. All of us said it was the worst attraction we went on the whole day and Figment just drove us completely crazy. Most of the experience was completely forgettable, and the only thing I really remember is that the skunk smell is just burnt coffee, and the air that hits you in the back of the head giving me a small heart attack. After bypassing ImageWorks "What If Labs" and explaining to my sister that the whole "Link" thing is the for a meet and greet with Wreck-it-Ralph and Venellope, we checked out the pins in the ride exit store and then headed to lunch after a quick stop to trade at Pin Central where I did a quick trade for a Chip pin I had been looking for to match a Dale Pin I had traded for at some point.

    We ate at Electric Umbrella, seeing as it was close by and we could actually find the menus online for allergen free. We shared the 2 different types of Salads that they had on the menu, and were surprised that they didn't come with anything else. I mean it does say on the menu that everything comes with a choice of side, so it was kind of weird that they wouldn't put that the salad comes by it's self. Still it was more than enough for the three of us and none were hungry. We decided from there to pop across the way to the Mouse Gear store, where my sister bought a package of stickers that for the rest of the trip we never saw elsewhere. It's a bunch of attractions in a travel style, and I have already called the Haunted Mansion one, which she is more that happy to give me. We browsed a little longer and then headed over to our last attraction and fastpass for the day back at the Land Pavilion.

    Living with the land is AMAZING. I loved seeing all the innovations in food growing and the sheer amount of species that Disney cultivates. All the hidden Mickey's were a great addition too! In the rain forest bit we had a funny moment as well. My Mother's hair curls very quickly in the humidity and when it gets wet, so we have a system that her hair is protected at all costs! I pulled my hat off my head on placed it on hers so fast that my sister didn't even realize what happened. All was well and the hair came out just fine! As we walked out of the exit, at the tour desk we noticed a Lanyard and I traded for the Dumbo Tsum Tsum pin which was very adorable.

    By coincidence an old friend of mine was doing a meetup in Epcot the same day that we were there for his Podcast (which is part of WDW News Today) and he was also running events in conjunction with Stage 89. Since he was going to be at the Canada Pavilion and we were close by we stopped just to say hi. I was wearing my hat and sunglasses so he didn't recognize me at first, but when I pulled the glasses off he was terribly surprised and gave me a big long hug and also gave my sister and I the fantasy pins he was going to give out at the end of the event. After our quick Hello we went through the shop (and happened to see a candy that we had brought with us for the trip and was in our purses), and cookies that we didn't even know were Canadian to begin with (the brand more so than the type of cookie). We stopped to pin trade at the cart in between the UK and Canada (I got an Tea Cup pin with Ariel on it), and looked in the shops before I insisted I wanted an ice cream at the France Pavilion.
     
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  16. MischiefMade

    MischiefMade Ghost Dog Trainer

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    I can't tell you the last time I had an Ice Cream Sandwich. You just don't get Gluten Free Ice Cream Sandwiches, or at least I haven't see one, so we headed in to L'Artisan des Glaces. This is the most inefficient place I have ever been. The first part isn't bad since you all line up in one line and order what you want, but where you actually get your frozen treats is complete anarchy. Now I don't go on vacation, or to Disney, to tell off other guests, in fact I try my best to be respectful and kind to everyone, and I am more than happy to wait my turn in line. Now at L'Artisan des Glaces, there are two lines to get served after you have paid, but none of the staff says anything about a second line, and people are constantly skirting around all the people standing in line patiently and getting served first, even when they came in last. At a certain point we had enough and we told both the guest to wait their turn and the Cast Members what was happening, but the Cast Members were very dismissive, condescending, and rude to us for bringing up the issue that a bunch of people were standing in line to be served and they were just helping people who should be at the back of the line. You know there is a problem when another guest comes up to you and says they are happy you spoke up. At this point we asked to speak to a manager, who took forever to get there and when we bring up that there is no mention of two lines, the staff being disrespectful to us when we tell them the issue, serving people who have skipped ahead when there is a huge line of people waiting, and that there numbers on your receipt which we suggested may help in serving those who came first, he says "I understand the issue and you are right but the number has nothing to do with anything", at which point we tell him "we don't need to hear the behind the scenes stuff on how your system works", to which he says "yes but I just have to tell you that it doesn't work that way and...". At that point we just cut him off, told him thank you very much we are going to Guest Relations, and walked right out of there.

    My Mother and Sister didn't want to complain to Guest Relations afterwards, we weren't at Disney to get in to an altercation, but I had a sour taste in my mouth from all of this, and I didn’t want this to sit with me and ruin my day. So once again my sister was sat on a bench while my mother and I hiked over to the International Gateway Guest Relations to sort this out. On the way my mother asked me what I was hoping to achieve, what I wanted when I talked to Guest Relations, and I told her "all I want is an I'm sorry, you are right, that was wrong". That's exactly what I got (and a refund of my Money, which I wasn't even going to ask for), and I left so much happier that if I had just let the experience sit with me. As I like to say when I complain about things...."You don't know what is going on if we don't tell you." Ultimately we said that we got the true French Experience and weren't likely to go back.

    After the little pit stop to deal with the unwanted, bad, emotions, we bypassed everything else and headed straight for the American Adventure. This was a part of our day we had been excited about for weeks. I was reading up on the Flower and Garden Festival and just so happened to be reading the "Garden Rocks" concert series schedule, now a few weeks after we were there, one of the bands my Mother (and by extension my sister and I) like to listen to was going to be there, but I just so happened to mention to them about the band playing when we were going to be in the park. That's when my mother pulled out a CD from the collection and said "You know and like them too!". We grabbed a seat in the American Gardens Theater, and for another time left my sister sitting there as my Mother and I went to the Liberty Inn and grabbed a Kids order of Chicken Fingers and Fries, and a Kids salad (we realized how economical this was for us with the 2 sides and a drink and pretty well ate 2 kids meals between the three of us most of the time). Then my Mother went back after she had eaten and sent my sister in, so I got to sit in the air con while they switched out to sit in the heat. Once my sister was done eating I packed up the remaining fruit, a couple french fries, and the solitary chicken finger, and we went to join my mother outside.

    When we had originally sat down, the spot we had placed ourselves in was shady, by the time I got back we were under the full fury of the sun. We apparently hadn't accounted for the sun travelling across the sky as we waited an hour and a half for the concert to begin. I traded my mother my hat to protect her face, for a headband to protect the top of my head, and we chatted, laughed and finished off the food as we waited for the music. The concert by "The Orchestra with Former Memebers of ELO" truly was awesome, we really jammed out and sang along while we danced in our seats. It's now inspired my mother to take my sister and I to another concert at home since we had such a blast! We stopped by the China and Germany pavilions on our way back to future world and took a look very quickly in their shops. We even stopped to have a chat with the Cast Member out front of the Karamell-Küche store since he was in his words "babysitting" the Steiff stuffed animal (I think it was a rabbit) that had it's own little pin harness (SO CUTE).

    At this point we were tired, it was past 6:30 PM and the heat still hadn't broken so it was still the same 90 degrees it had been all day, so we decided to head out of the park. On the way we stopped at Club Cool, but we found most of the flavours far too sweet, and I don't get why people say the Beverly is so gross. I guess our pallets must be a little less used to sugar or something. We headed out right after this and went straight to Disney Springs to grab dinner. I am so happy they moved the bus terminal to close to the Coca Cola store. It made it so much easier to get the food we actually wanted without having to hike literally all the way across Disney Springs on our very sore feet. We ended up with 3 chicken rice bowls from YeSake, which were filling and tasty (we just ask for the sauce on the side so we can control how much we get), and we headed back to the room to eat our bowls in bed and watch TV with a desert of Lemon Loaf that we had picked up the previous day.

    And that ends day three of the trip, next is the shock on day four. The day that things kind of went to hell.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019 at 8:02 AM
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  17. Shelterkat

    Shelterkat A Very Merry Unbirthday!

    Rating - 100%
    392   0   0

    I'm loving your reports! And glad to find another fan of Spaceship Earth, my very fav attraction at WDW! It is so unlike anything DLR has and I'm not a thrill ride person so it's pretty wonderful :)
     
  18. MischiefMade

    MischiefMade Ghost Dog Trainer

    0   0   0

    I am so glad you are enjoying it! Yes it is certainly up there in my favourites. I only got to experience Disneyland once and we only had one day to really get in and see what it had to offer. We are not thrill ride people what so ever so as you will see once I get to our last park day we only did dark or slow rides.
     

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