Happy New Year – 2018!

Wow, it’s been _years_ since we’ve posted an update to our blog. ┬áStay tuned for the re-launch coming February 2018!

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Two trip reviews to come!

Yes — It’s been a while since we’ve updated our blog. Been busy load balancing work/personal life! We are well overdue for two Disney updates, first of our President’s week 2013 stay at Disney’s Contemporary resort and the second our Mediterranean Cruise on the Disney Magic during the summer June 2013. Stay tuned — trip reports to come soon! ­čÖé

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Rafiki’s Planet Watch

One of my favorite attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park is Rafiki’s Planet Watch. This area, formerly known as the conservation station, features several sections where you get a backstage view of the animal wellness center and even play with them in the affection area.

Within the Conservation Station, visitors are able get an up close look at how the park keeps the animals healthy. The veterinary Treatment Room offers large windows where you can witness routine veterinary procedures as well as emergency operations. After the daily procedures have been completed, visitors are able to intact with the veterinary doctors and nurses in a Questions and Answers session. The procedures are usually conducted in the morning so be sure to get there early!

The Conservation Station also houses the Animal Encounters Stage, Nutrition Center, Nursery, Amphibian and Reptile Center, and even Character Greetings!

At Rafiki’s Planet Watch, you won’t want to miss the “Affection Section”, an animal petting zoo that features a varsity of animals including goats, sheep, cows, pigs, and others. My favorites are the goats and sheep!

Rafiki’s Planet Watch and the Conservation Station are accessible by the Wildlife Express Train. The railway departs from the station in Africa roughly every 10-15 minutes. The railway is an attraction in itself that takes you behind the African Savanna at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park.

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Delicious Disney?

When you think of Walt Disney World there are several things that come to mind, Mickey and the gang, theme parks and lots and lots of FUN!!! We love Walt Disney World for all those things but we also love Walt Disney World for their undeniable ability to satisfy us during every meal. We constantly get the package with the Deluxe Dining Plan. The plan is simple you get three meals and two snacks for every night that you stay. Each meal consists of three courses; appetizer, entree, and dessert. I am the Advanced Dining Reservations Queen. I arrange each day with care to optimize our Dining experience. Signature Dining is our thing so we skip breakfast to have a two point Signature meal every night. Here are some Disney food pictures for your enjoyment!

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Caligrill
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Flying Fish Flyfish
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Jikos Jikochicke
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vianapolipizza via napolipizz
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Magic!

One of the reasons we cruise with Disney is their entertainment. They own endless amounts of content, obviously, and put on some of the best shows on the sea. During our Disney Fantasy cruise, we saw an outstanding performance by illusionist Jason Bishop. He put on an amazing show during unbelievable conditions (read: hurricane!).

Fast forward two months after our cruise, last night we caught word via Jason Bishop’s Facebook page that he had a couple extra tickets to his show in NYC! Needless to say, we jumped at the opportunity. The show was fantastic!

While Jason isn’t booked during our upcoming cruise on the Disney Magic, we do look forward what new performers Disney will have in store for us. I’m sure they will be terrific!

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Splash Splash!!!

A Typhoon wrecked havoc upon a tropical paradise and out of the wreck, Typhoon Lagoon was born!!! Typhoon Lagoon has the world’s largest outdoor wave pool. ┬áSteve LOVES it. I am partial to the lazy river!! I can float in it for hours. Typhoon Lagoon also has a shark reef that you can snorkel through. The fish are so beautiful and its a perfect way to cool off on a hot day., as the salt water is cooler. Typhoon Lagoon also has a water coaster, Crush’n’Gusher. Crush’n’Gusher is awesome and a ride that everybody should visit at least once.

A freak snowstorm caused the formation of Blizzard Beach and the theming is one of the best you’ll see anywhere. A ski resort was belt but soon the snow started to melt. This park has so many water slides that it is impossible to count and the leading Slide is Summit Plummet. Summit Plummet┬áis the flagship attraction at 120 feet (36.6┬ám) tall, and speeds 60 miles per hour (97┬ákm/h). It’s the second tallest and fastest free fall slide in the world.

There is a third “Water Park” that should definitely be mentioned. Stormalong Bay is the Yacht and Beach Club pool. To call it a pool is doing in an injustice. It┬áresembles a beach-side water park with its sand-bottom pools, a circular lazy river, waterfall, and the “Shipwreck”, a large replica of a ship wreck with one of the highest resort water slides at Walt Disney World.

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The last water park is unfortunately no longer around. River Country should definitely have an honorable mention because it was an amazing part of Walt Disney World History. River Country was described as an old fashioned sinking hole and was the first water park in Walt Disney World. Located by the Fort Wilderness Cabins and Campgrounds, it was also convenient to get to from Magic kingdom and the now defunct Discovery Island.  For safety reasons, it closed in 2001 and is missed by Disney fans everywhere!

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Contemporary Resort

My parents and I immigrated here from another country. A year later my sister was born. They had to start from nothing so as a child we did not take many vacations. When I was 14 and my sister was 5, they finally saved up for us to go to Walt Disney World. We stayed at a Comfort Inn in Orlando to save money. I remember getting to the Magic Kingdom on the monorail from the Ticket and Transportation Hub clearly. I was fascinated by all the sight and truly excited to meet Minnie! I was awed by the beautiful Grand Floridian but something else caught my eye that made me speechless. There was a building that did not quite measure up to the beauty of the Grand Floridian, but something remarkable was happening, the monorail was going through the middle of the structure. I pointed this out to my parents who were just as shocked by the sight as I was, as my sister giggled that a choo-choo was going through the building. I deducted that the structure is part of Magic Kingdom and I will get to see it soon! When we entered the park, I raced towards Tomorrowland thinking that it was there by Space Mountain. It was after asking several castmates I was informed that this was a hotel. I begged my parents to stay there next time around. When my mom saw the price, I was told that it was simply out of the question. I simply gave up on my dream of staying at The Contemporary and accepted my fate of forever staying at the Comfort Inn outside the happiest place on earth. Well here I am 14 years later typing this story. Why? Because in one month I will be staying at the Contemporary. I am beyond excited and slowly regressing back to 14 years old!

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Animal Kingdom Lodge & Walt Disney Swan Trip

I have always loved Disney but lately my love for Disney has turned into an obsession. I blame it on my DH. He used to go to Disney every year as a kid and when we met I only been to Disney twice ( and stayed off property both times). He decided that I need to go again so so we went. That was 2006 and since then we been to Disney 8 times (not including day trips). We stayed at Pop Century which was my first time at Disney property and had a ball. I’m thinking I’ll start another thread to quickly summarize the previous 8 times, but this will be my Trip Report of our latest trip in August 2011. We already booked two more trips, one in March at Port Orleans Riverside (the only moderate resort we did not stay in yet) and in October on our very first Disney Cruise. I’m super excited about that because it will be on the DISNEY FANTASY!!!!!

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We live in Plainview, NY and we always fly into West Palm Beach because that’s truly where our vacation begins. Steve’s parents have a vacation house there so we always spent a couple of days there before driving to Disney. (They keep a car at the house at all times, so it saves on car rental.)

We originally booked this trip to last from August 22nd to August 26th with a stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge but woke in panic a couple of months before realizing that it is just not enough time. We booked this trip as a bounce back promotion with our resort heavily discounted. When Steve allied Disney to add another day, that promotion no longer applied. We decided to use our Starwood points and added another day with a stay at the Swan. This turned out great as I love the Epcot Resorts( we stayed at the Yacht Club last summer and loved it!) Through our Animal Kingdom Lodge package we also had a Deluxe Dining Plan as we are BIG foodies.

I just want to include a picture of our baby staring at the luggage angry that we are leaving…

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Day 1- August 21st

We have a vacation house in West Palm Beach, so usually we drive to WDW early in the morning so we can have a full day. We woke up at 6:00 AM so excited to get on the road. After a couple of YEE HAW signs which we love because that’s how we measure how close we are. We saw the SIgn for OSCEOLA parkway.

We got off the exit, and soon passed these trees

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Steven loves these trees, he said it makes him feel like he is in an enchanted forest.

And soon we see this…

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YAY!!! WE are here. We followed the signs to the Epcot resorts and arrived at The Swan.

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Steve loves the Westin hotel because he adores their signature smell White Tea. When we entered the lobby, they most have just changed their cartilage because we were enveloped in the smell. Our room was ready and we quickly ran up without unpacking as we were upgraded. The views from our balcony…

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Yep.. thats Expedition Everest!

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We were sooo eager to get to Epcot, we decided to unpack later. So, we started on our walk..

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We arrived to EPCOT thru the world showcase and decided to go on Test Track first. Single Riders lane was only 10 minutes so we jumped on that. I LOVE Test Track. It’s probably my most favorite ride in EPCOT. It was great as usual. Please excuse my appearance, I’m wearing my travel clothes…

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Mission:Space, however, is something I literally can’t stomach. Steve finally convinced me but I only agreed if we go on the green team.

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We then decided to check out Ellen’s Universe of Energy. We passed the old Wonders of Life Pavilion. Steve is obsessed with it.

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After Ellen, We did a couple of more rides. Soaring was fun as always and Living with the Land was great. We also did nemo and spaceship earth. We started getting hungry and decided to stop by the Yacht Club and get some lobster rolls at Captain’s Grille. They were delicious as always! Sorry no pictures but I made up for that later. After lunch, we decided to go back to the Swan and go to the pool.

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We thought carpet at the Swan was pretty cool.  The swan pool was actually really fun! They have a Grotto and it flows like a mini lazy river. I would definitely recommend using it if you stay at the Swan or Dolphin. After the pool, we decided to take a mini nap before dinner. When we woke up, Steve decided he did not want counter service for dinner so he called to see if there were any Epcot restaurants available.

 

 

 

 

 

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Stopping by the imagination pavilion before dinner. (How 80s is Captain EO)

We ended up going to Tokyo Dining and having a bunch of sushi tools as we are both huge sushi fans. We then walked around World Showcase.

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We watched illuminations and went back to the Hotel. We were moving tomorrow and checking into Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge!!!

Day 2, August 22nd

We woke up bright and early for our move to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I have wanted to stay in this hotel as soon as I set eyes on it sooo I was beyond excited!!! We checked out of the Swan and went to Hollywood Studios as we decided to check in right at lunchtime. The reason for this is because we had ADRs at Sanaa. We quickly grabbed fast passes for Toy Story Mania. After that we went on The great Movie Ride and Tower of Terror as I’m obligated to do it multiple times a trip!
We drove to the Lodge and when I saw this,

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I almost cried!
We quickly checked in and found out that we were upgraded from Savannah view to Arusha Rock view. Yay more animals! We were giving our room and mu obsession with taking pictures officially started!!

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After we to to our room, I continued to snap away.

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We finished checkin out the room, and decided it was a good idea to take a shuttle to Kidani Village to check into Sanaa. There was a huge line for a bus to Animal Kingdom, they really need to build a walkway or something.

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We arrived at Sanaa and checked in. This was the thatched ceiling in the lobby that Steven found interesting.

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We were seated pretty fast. The restaurant is breathtaking and the views were unbelievable so I continued snapping away.

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We had samosas for appetizers which were absolutely delicious. For entree Steve had Beef Short Ribs and Durban Chicken with basmati Rice.

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that was absolutely delicious!
I had Shrimp with Green Curry Sauce and Chicken with Red Curry Sauce with Basmati Rice

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which was amazing as well!

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Disney’s Grand Floridian and Spa Resort

Here’s our amazing view from our room at Disney’s Grand Floridian and Spa Resort. This was during our honeymoon in 2009. ­čÖé

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Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

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