Day 6, Part 1- Goodbye Disney World, Hello Disney Dream!

Our last morning at the resort we got a quick breakfast at the Boardwalk Bakery while we waited for the bus to come bring us to the port for our cruise.

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They had tasty looking Disney inspired desserts and pastries as well as breakfast items.

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My aunt had the Mickey shaped muffin a couple of days prior and she said it was just okay but they are very cute. I want to get a mickey shaped cookie cutter to make stuff like this. (Although I’m sure these were made in a mickey shaped muffin tin.)

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I was curious about the scrambled eggs in a waffle cone and was just adventurous enough to try it. It wasn’t bad. It was just a waffle cone you’d get ice cream in but filled with scrambled eggs with bacon and I think there was cheese in the eggs too.

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We had a visitor too while we were eating breakfast.

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My aunt and I couldn’t pass up the chance to use the photo booth on the boardwalk before we left.  It was stifling inside but it only took a minute.

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Also while eating breakfast this cool Model A car drove past us.  There was a wedding on the premises and this sweet man rents out his car and chauffeur’s for the weddings at the Boardwalk.

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We had some time before meeting up with the bus to head to the cruise so my aunt and I went to check it out and the man who owns the car took a picture of us in front of it.

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We took our time walking back and checking out the grounds for our last time before we had to go. It really was a gorgeous place and I would love to stay there again. It is super expensive though and if I ever come back, I think we’ll have to stay somewhere cheaper unless I win the lottery… Maybe I can save up enough in 7 years for my 40th to stay at one of the nicer resorts.

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Wanted to go into Seashore Sweets but ran out of time. I think they sell the same candies that every other Disney Parks candy shop sells.

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We saw a family riding these bikes while we were there but it was just too hot for that kind of exercise.  Plus with one cousin having COPD we didn’t want to risk her getting worse.

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Then it was time to wait by the Conference Center for our bus to Port Canaveral to get on the ship!

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It took about 1/2 hour and they had a video playing about what we would experience on the cruise and it made the time fly by. Before we knew it we were approaching the ship!

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This feels like a good stopping point for day six.  I will get through the rest of the day soon. I’ve already got the pictures uploaded just need to work on the post.

I hope you’re enjoying my trip report (from over a year ago!) and please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for future posts, both reports and regular posts. Thanks for reading!

Day 5, Part 2- Hollywood Studios, and Epcot Ending

Ok so last post we left off at just getting to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  We were both exhausted by the time we got there so we decided we were just going to do things that were must sees/dos on our list and we both decided we wanted our last few hours at Disney World to be in Epcot.

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Elsa and Anna topiaries.

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We wanted to cool off for a second so we headed over to The Trolley Car Café which is the Starbucks located on Hollywood Blvd in the park.

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We got a couple of smart waters which we realized helped us feel much better with the excess heat and humidity (of course we learn that at the end of the trip but oh well!) I had to grab a Jabba the Hut cupcake too. It was quite good.  The Jabba on top of the cupcake is white chocolate, which isn’t my favorite thing in the world so I think I took a bite and tossed the rest. I’d rather just have the cake part of a cupcake. I’m that weird person!

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We decided there were really only a couple of things we wanted to do, the Great Movie Ride, and the Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream show and they were both at the end of the street so we headed to The Great Movie Ride first.

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Having seen the outside of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in LA, the building looks the same.  Just different signatures in the cement!

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The inside was lovely.

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We enjoyed the ride very much.

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Then off to see One Man’s Dream.  I was really glad we got to see this because apparently we are closing it.

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There is a small museum in the lobby area for the show.

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I know ours is smaller but I love our castle better.

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IMG_1218 I would have loved to have been able to see the Tower of the Four Winds.  It looks so cool! Unfortunately they tossed the parts into the Hudson River (don’t quote me on that… it also could have been the Atlantic Ocean too) after the 1964 World’s Fair…

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Cinderella Castle.

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Another bucket list item for me is to go to Disneyland Paris.

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Explorer’s Landing Fortress in Tokyo Disney Sea. That would be an amazing to see!

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After getting a cool break in both attractions we made our way back (I know we missed out on a lot but we were tired and really wanted to end our trip in Epcot). We stopped quick in the Disney & Co store to get a pin and take a quick look.

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We were smart this time around and went back on the boat.  Much much quicker!

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With beautiful views of the Boardwalk.

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My aunt and I both love Chinese food and we wanted to have a nice sit down dinner so we decided to check out the China Pavilion.

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There wasn’t a wait at the Nine Dragons Restaurant so we gave it a shot.

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I definitely need to come back to Disney World because there is so much we missed!

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We shared the pot stickers.

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Don’t ask me why but I opted for the sweet and sour pork.  It was very good but I should have been a little more adventurous.

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My aunt got the Honey chicken which was A-MAZ-ING! I think we both wanted to try a couple of things so that’s why we chose these two. Luckily the honey chicken is in one of the recipe books I got.  Definitely going to try it one time and I’ll post about it when I do.

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The ambiance was lovely too.

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After dinner we went and got a couple of sweets at the caramel shop in the German Pavilion before heading back to our hotel.

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Not sure if I mentioned already but Werther’s Original totally reminds me of my grandmother.  She loved their hard candies.

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By the time we left Germany, the park was officially closed and we had to head back to our room.

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The only thing that kept me from being totally depressed was that we were headed to the cruise the next morning so we had something to look forward to.

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Well that ends our Disney World portion of the vacation and 1/2 of the trip down.  I hope these are easier to read now that I’m splitting them out a little more.  Let me know if you have any tips or if there’s anything you’d like to see that maybe I got to but missed posting about!

Day 5, Part 1- Downtown Disney

This is our last day at Disney World and we did a few different things I’m going to start out this post with the first half of our day which was spent at Downtown Disney (now Disney Springs which happened a few months after our trip) then the next post will be the rest of the day.

Our cousins wnated to sleep in and didn’t care to go to Downtown Disney so my aunt and I got a quick breakfast at the morning coffee bar at the hotel.

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Then took the bus over to Downtown Disney. We mapped out the place and circled the shops we wanted to visit while there since it’s so big.

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Day 4- Magic Kingdom

Well I was doing really well there on getting the trip report out!!! At least I’m almost 1/2 way done with the trip! I have been really busy with a lot of life complications that I’ll explain on my other blog but for now, lets get into day 4 of our trip!

We decided to grab a quick breakfast at the lounge area of our hotel.

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The lounge area was really neat and had a vintage library room feel.

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I loved the old toys and games they displayed on the bookshelves along with the books.

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Not that I want to keep complaining about the weather, but this gives you an idea of how humid it was… And us Californians with our dry heat are not used to this much moisture in the air! I know… We’re wimps!

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After our quick breakfast (which consisted of another bagel…), we walked through Epcot to get to the Monorail to head over to the Magic Kingdom. We had a friendly little hello from a squirrel.  He was pretty cute.

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So, apparently we can’t swim into Epcot from the Boardwalk… Bummer…

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Even the Manhole covers have hidden Mickeys on them.

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Ah, beautiful World Showcase.

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There’s the monorail!

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The Imagination Pavilion.

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Fountain by Spaceship Earth.

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Leave a Legacy at the entrance in Epcot.  They don’t let you add your picture anymore but it’s pretty cool to see who has.

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My cousins were bummed they couldn’t add anything…

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The big Spaceship Earth Ball.  That thing is so freaking huge!!!

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Made our way out of Epcot to head towards the Monorail.

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Scooter brigade following their leader! They look like three big kids!

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Had to take advantage of the great view of the ball.

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Got on the Monorail almost immediately.

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There is so much more room than Disneyland’s monorail!  We fit my aunt’s scooter in the middle of our space and our cousins’ were in another car on the same monorail.

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Pretty views of the resort.

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It took maybe 5 minutes to get to the Magic Kingdom.

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My only glimpse of The Grand Floridian (no joke, I wrote Californian… Oops!) and I definitely plan on making a stop there next time I visit to take a look around.

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There’s the castle!

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I know it’s blurry, but I was excited to see the inside of the Contemporary Resort! Besides, we were moving fast and my photo taking skills aren’t amazing…

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Outside of the Contemporary. I would love to stay here sometime! I’d love to stay anywhere who am I kidding but with a view of the Magic Kingdom and easy access to both Magic Kingdom and Epcot via the Monorail?! Who could ask for more?!

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The best view I got of Space Mountain.

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We made it!!!

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The front of the Main Street Train Station looks like a bigger version of the Disneyland one.

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Seeing this sign at Disneyland always turns me into a kid, and it was no different at the Magic Kingdom!

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Everything is so much bigger here!

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Definitely similar in looks but a lot bigger.

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Taking a casual stroll down Main Street.

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We stopped to take a picture with Walt and Mickey.

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This nice family offered to take our picture together.

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We had a fastpass that morning for the Seven Dwarves Mine Train so we made our way to Fantasyland. They were working on the front of the castle so we had to make a detour through the side entrance by Liberty Square.

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So pretty!!!

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Magic Kingdom marker.

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La Fontain de Cendrillon.

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See, that’s what it says…

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Backside of the castle.

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Hi Minnie!

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I was a doofus and forgot to put sunscreen on my pale body so we had to stop and get some so I didn’t become one giant red blister…

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Love the beanstalk vines climbing up Sir Mickey’s shop.

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Seven Dwarves Mine Train was shut down for a bit so we had to put off our fast pass and we decided to hit some of the other rides in Fantasyland while we waited.  Our first attraction was Mickey’s PhilharMagic which I was really excited to see and I loved it!

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We sat in the handicap section.

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The ride was up and running after PhilharMagic so we headed over to Seven Dwarves Mine Train!

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I love that there is more representation of the princesses such as Rapunzel’s tower.

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Of course you can dine with Belle and the Beast too which we would have loved to do but it’s next to impossible to make reservations there as it’s so popular… Next time though!

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Finally off to the Mine Train!

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I love the queue!!!

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We were right in the front row.  It’s like Big Thunder where really being in the back is more fun but I am glad we got the front for our first time.

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Yay! This by far is my favorite ride in the Magic Kingdom!

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I had to get these pictures from the ride as I have never seen happier faces!!! Four of the biggest kids!

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You end the ride seeing Snow White dancing with the dwarves.

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Ooo… Be careful, Snow… Don’t take any of her apples! Especially the red one.

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Our cousins wanted a little break so my aunt and I headed for it’s a small world.

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This is the first ride of our trip I was truly able to compare to Disneyland and I have to say I love Disneyland’s way better… Not only the façade but also the ride itself.  I still love the ride though.

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Selfie time! I do feel guilty for not taking more people pictures on our trip…

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Au Revoir Small World!

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I hope Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum aren’t harassing that poor little girl.  She doesn’t look too happy.  I wouldn’t be either especially with the Queen of Hearts standing behind me!

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Around lunch time we decided to head over to Liberty Square and had lunch at the Columbia Harbour House.

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The Fish and Chips were amazing! Super crunchy! I got the combo with the nuggets in case I didn’t like them (and because I’m 5 apparently) but there were so good!

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Our cousins had a hankering for a funnel cake after lunch and the Sleepy Hollow restaurant nearby sold them so I walked through some of the shops while they sat and had their dessert.

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Couldn’t miss out on the Christmas Shoppe!

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I got stuck on the other side of where there while the Festival of Fantasy parade went on so I figured I might as well enjoy it.

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Hi Ariel!

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I loved the Peter Pan float!

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And what’s a Disney parade without miss Tinker Bell! My absolute favorite!

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Merida’s float was pretty cool too.

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I got this picture totally by accident!

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The Fantasia Float.

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Of course Mickey and Minnie are the stars of the parade!

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The end. I am not really a parade person as I don’t like wasting several hours to wait while I could be going on rides or doing something better with my time but this was an amazing parade and I’m very happy I got to see it.

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We took advantage of being nearby the Haunted Mansion.

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I will admit they have better queue, but I like our mansion and ride overall better.

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The Queue was interactive.  If you put your hand on one of the instruments of this mausoleum, it would play that instrument.

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I love the nod to Thurl Ravenscroft. Not only did he voice the narrator for the Haunted Mansion, he voiced many other characters for Disney.

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This one was my favorite.

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Oh so THAT’S where Madame Leota is buried…

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It’s beautiful, and probably goes along better with the Liberty Square theme, but I like our mansion much better.

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I took a quick walk through Memento Mori which is the only all Haunted Mansion store (we don’t even have one in Disneyland). I didn’t get anything as I’m not a huge Mansion fan… (Don’t hurt me, I’m just a big chicken!)

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The liberty bell.

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We were all looking forward to seeing the Hall of Presidents.

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Lobby area.

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We sat in the back again which is nice because it’s high up enough so no heads are in your way. It was really cool to see all of the presidents together.

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After that, we walked through Fantasyland to get to Tomorrowland and saw Tigger and Pooh off to do something important.

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Now was my turn to get a sweet.  I was looking forward to getting one of the layered cake cups at the Cheshire Café and man it did NOT disappoint!

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Look at all of that sugary/cakey goodness! It was sooooo good! I wish they had these in Disneyland!

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We wanted to get out of the heat so we went in and saw Carousel of Progress which I was looking forward to seeing. It left Disneyland several years before I was born.

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It was neat to see the different new inventions in each decade they showcased.

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After Carousel of Progress, we split off from our cousins because they were pretty tired and they were going to park their scooters early to rest and wait to see the parade and fireworks.  So my aunt and I went off to go on the Peoplemover and even though it’s different, I never thought I’d have the chance to go on the Peoplemover ever again in my life since it left Disneyland in the early nineties and it was also one of my favorites as a child.

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They even have the escalating walkway like the Disneyland one had.

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So excited! We got a front car too so after taking this picture, my aunt and I sat on her side and had a great view from the attraction.

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The ride brings you all around Tomorrowland.

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After Peoplemover, we went through a couple shops in the area.

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Then we made our way back to the castle.

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So we could walk through to see the beautiful mosaics of Cinderella’s story.

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So pretty!
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It was getting into early evening and we wanted a good spot to watch the Main Street Electrical Parade so we headed over to walk through the rest of the park.

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The Diamond Horseshoe (I didn’t know they had one…) looks just like the Golden Horseshoe in Disneyland just a little bigger.

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Another thing that I was super excited to do and never thought I’d be able to see again is the Country Bear Jamboree.  My dad and I LOVED this show!

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Glad to see Max, Buff, and Melvin again. If you’re in Disneyland and go on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in Critter Country, once you enter the Hunny Heaven room, turn around and you’ll see them hanging on the back of the wall.

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We were getting pretty tired and wanted to get a good spot on Main Street for the parade so we headed for a quick walk through Adventureland.

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Pirates was closed for a refurb so we couldn’t go on it anyway.

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I’m not sure if the Tiki Room Under New Management is still running but we skipped this attraction just in case because I heard it was awful and I didn’t want to taint my love of The Tiki Room.

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I love the look of the shops though. Has an outdoorsy market vibe.

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Watch out, he spits… No really, he does.  It’s a good way to cool off I guess.  The kids were enjoying it.

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The Magic Kingdom still has the original Swiss Family Robinson too.  I love the Swiss Family Robinson movie and was bummed to see it replaced in Disneyland but Tarzan’s Treehouse is neat too and they have a nod to the old treehouse by playing Swisskapolka on the gramophone at the bottom of the treehouse.

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My aunt wasn’t feeling all that well and decided to skip dinner. I just grabbed some corndog bites at Casey’s Corner and they were just okay.

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We parked her scooter and I sat on the sidewalk in front of it and we had a little big of time to rest.  Here’s Roe E Disney’s window.

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My aunt wanted to go into a couple of shops quickly so I had a quick facetime with my mom and my cousin who she was visiting down in LA for a couple of days so it was good to talk with them.  And I had to get in a selfie with my ears on.

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Before we knew it, the sun set and we were getting close to seeing the parade. This cute little girl and her parents were sitting next to us on the sidewalk and almost immediately, she comes up to me and told me that she was four and she loves Minnie (I was decked out in Minnie gear) and she talked to me for close to an hour. She was so cute.

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It was finally getting to be time for the parade. So many memories of things I loved as a child. It was great to relive them!

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A couple of minutes after the parade they had, Celebrate the Magic, a projected show on the castle.

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It was kind of hard to see some of the projections from the pictures but mainly showed some of the more popular animated movies such as Frozen, Alice in Wonderland, Wreck it Ralph, Rapunzel, and some others.

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Shortly after, they performed the fireworks, Wishes Nighttime Spectacular.

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No one does fireworks better than Disney.

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We were super tired after the fireworks so we did a little bit of shopping on Main Street and decided to head back to the hotel.  We had to take the bus back because the Monorail drops you off at the other entrance to Epcot and it was closed by then.  We did take the monorail to the parking drop off because that’s where we were told we had to go for the busses but it turns out they pick up right outside of the entrance to the park… Oops…

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Instead of taking the Monorail back, we thought it would be fun to take the Ferryboat.

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We finally found where we were supposed to go.

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Finally on our way back to our hotel room.

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We had an amazing day at the Magic Kingdom and it was very nostalgic for me and I can’t wait to go back.  Up next will be our last day at Disney World and since these seem to run really long, I’m going to start splitting up the days into parts with my trip reports so they are easier to read. Maybe easier to get out as well!  I hope you’re enjoying my trip reports and I will start working more on these once things die down a bit in a couple of weeks.

Disney World/Disney Cruise Day 3- Animal Kingdom, Cruising the Boardwalk, and Fireworks at Epcot

Onto our second day in WDW! I decided to go with a casual Aurora Disneybound outfit this day although with the humidity, jeans (no matter how light of a fabric they are) are a BAD idea! BAD, BAD BAD! Otherwise this was one of my favorite outfits and I have already recreated for the last Disney meeting I went to as well as will for future visits to Disneyland.

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I attempted to curl my hair with a flatiron not that it made much difference but it was better than nothing.

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We took the bus over to Animal Kingdom and we just planned on being there for half of the day.

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I had a bit of a time keeping the humidity from fogging up my camera lens but did the best I could.

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It’s a beautiful park/zoo. We would have loved to spend more time there but with all of the vegetation, it was way more humid here than the rest of the resort so it got to us more than the rest of the days.

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When you enter the park the first area is the Oasis area where are of the birds are.

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Do you see it? Look in the middle of the picture…

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How about now? Yes that is a real live woman that just kind of more around in that place and it took us a minute to realize why there were a bunch of people standing around that area.

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Lots of Macaws! They are so pretty!

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The Tree of Life just ahead but that was going to be our last stop.

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Not much was opened yet! It was early though so that’s understandable.  I guess I’m used to Main Street USA in Disneyland (and in the Magic Kingdom) and everything is open when you get into the park.

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More Macaws.

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First place we found was Pizzafari and they had simple breakfast things there which was fine with us. None of us were interested in a big breakfast.

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Loved the theming.

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It’s a simple quick service restaurant and for breakfast they had bagels and some egg dishes, but it was good.

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Yes, another bagel. I wasn’t too worried about what I ate on the trip because of all of the walking I was doing.

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And we were off to our next adventure!

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And into Africa we went!

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Finally got to our destination. The Pangani Forest Exploration Trail to see the Gorillas.

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I don’t know what this is but it’s cool.

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This dude’s just chillin’.

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Footprints in the cement.

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I don’t remember what this is called but it looks like a cross between a zebra and a donkey.

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Following the Scooter Brigade.

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Had to go through this small building to continue our trail. Not the easiest thing when you have three scooters to navigate!

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That is a Hippopotamus Skull.

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Continuing on the trail.

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Meercats! I love Meercats!

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A fuzzy Zebra because I couldn’t get my act together with my camera!

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Finally to my aunt’s favorite part, the Gorillas. First up was the female and child area.  This baby isn’t dead although I was a little panicky about it. He was just taking a quick snooze though!

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Must be nap time!

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We know you’re not supposed to look a Gorilla in the eye but my aunt swears she was looking RIGHT at her in this picture and she felt like they had a connection.

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The baby woke up at that time and said hi to all of the people.

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Then promptly sat on Mommy’s lap.

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The next exhibit held the Silverback Gorillas. Silverbacks are just adult male gorillas and their backs and butts turn gray as a sign of maturity.

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That face! Like, “what are you looking at?!”

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Um nice butt?

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Now caption this surprised looking face!

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Chillin’

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Don’t turn your back on me!

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Their muscles are huge!

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We had fastpasses for Expedition Everest so we hightailed it over there.

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I thought this tree was really pretty with the purple flowers.

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Off to Expedition Everest!

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We finally saw the mountain and my aunt took one look at the said absolutely no! So our cousins and I went on and she waited for us.

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I must admit I was pretty nervous to go on myself…

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The drop is a lot taller than it looks.

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My aunt kept taking pictures hoping to get us and if you see towards the top the people in the white and pink tops are our cousins and I am in front of Harry in the white, I’m just hiding because I was terrified!

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The ride was a ton of fun but we were starving when we got off so we headed towards the closest restaurant, Restaurantosaurus. My nephew loves dinosaurs so I had to get some pictures for him in Dinoland and I thought he’d get a kick out of where we ate.

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Very disappointing burger, I should have stuck with chicken strips…

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I just wanted to take a quick walk through and find the replica of the T-Rex, Sue, which is the largest most complete dinosaur skeleton. We got a chance to see the real Sue in Fresno when she was “on tour.”

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This would probably be my nephew’s favorite area in all of Walt Disney World.

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Found Sue!

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It would have been cool to go on the Dinosaur ride but it was shut down but I don’t think I missed out on a lot because it’s the same ride set up as Indiana Jones in Disneyland just themed differently.

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Well we jut HAD to get my nephew something in the Dino Institute Gift Shop.

IMG_0399After getting a little something for my nephew, we headed over to Discovery Island to check out the tree of life.

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More Macaws.

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It really is beautiful.  There are countless animals carved into the trunk and limbs of the tree. Not that it’s a real tree.

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You could spend hours looking at this tree and find more that you missed.

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Daisy!

IMG_0402We saw pretty much everything we wanted to see at Animal Kingdom so we headed back to the hotel to change and clean up a bit before heading over to Epcot for Illuminations.IMG_0407_2

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I was finished before everyone else was ready so I took my aunt’s scooter around the boardwalk and channeling my dad by taking some photographs.

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You can see some of Epcot from the Boardwalk.

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The Eiffel Tower in the France Pavilion.

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The Swan and Dolphin Hotel.

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Yacht Club Resort

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After cruising the boardwalk I checked out more of the grounds of the hotel. Daytime picture of the Lady and the Tramp topiary.

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The main pool is circus themed.

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The clown slide is a little creepy but the pool looks fun.

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When they were ready, we took the water taxi over to the entrance to Epcot.

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You can see Harry and my reflections. Hello!

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The Beach Club Resort.

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We arrived!

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Our cousins went off and got seats at La Cantina de San Angel in the Mexico Pavilion for Illuminations while we checked out the UK Pavilion.

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I want a cottage that looks like this.

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My best friend lives near Bristol in England and brought me a Galaxy chocolate bar the last time she visited so I wanted to show her I found some in the states. I think they sell it at Cost Plus too along with a lot of other imported foods.

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A cover band was playing songs from different British musicians. Everything from The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to Blur.

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This will probably be the only time I will see a red telephone booth so we had to get a couple of photo ops in. As you can see, I changed into black capris and a Minnie Mouse t-shirt from the Lauren Conrad collection at Kohls.

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Hello!

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The UK Pavilion is definitely at the top of my favorite countries in the World Showcase.  The World Showcase is my favorite place in all of Disney World.

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We didn’t last too long before heading to the table our cousins saved and grabbed some dinner while we waited.  I got nachos. The were pretty good.

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And a mango margarita…

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And I had to try the churros for dessert.  They were really good. They earned second place on best churros I have had. Disneyland’s are still the best.

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Ready for Illuminations! IMG_0685

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It was a great show and we had great seats!

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The beauty of Illuminations is that you can see it from anywhere around the water so there’s more opportunity for good viewing.

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We once again closed out Epcot and headed back to our rooms to get a good night’s rest for day three at the parks in the Magic Kingdom!

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Navigating the hallways and elevators for my aunt.

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The maids left a surprise for us. That’s my headband, she just put a towel in it but I thought it was cute.

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She made a gorilla for my aunt.

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That ends day three and our second day in the parks. It was another fantastic day and can’t wait to share the next day. I hope you’re enjoying my trip reports. I’ll get to working on the next one right away as it’s going to take some time. I have twice the amount of photos to go through but I’ll get it up as soon as I can.

Disney World/Disney Cruise Day 2- Epcot

I know it’s taking me a long time to get these out. I’m working on a few things that got in the way and the pictures are all disorganized so it’s taking me a long time to get them done.  Anyway, I finally got the second day’s photos organized and down to 280 (so bear with me this is a long one!) uploaded to Flikr so on with day two!

I decided to Disneybound our first day in the parks as Merida.  Well, as best as I could do anyway.

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IMG_0146_2Once we were all ready to go, we headed off onto the boardwalk and down the right to Epcot.

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It was cloudy out and you can’t tell by the pictures but it was super hot and humid! It never did cool off at night our whole trip so being indoors was a Godsend whenever we got the chance. But still, I was in Disney World, it was a very small price to pay. Oh and when we were out on the Boardwalk we would see people jogging every now and then, they are crazy people!

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Over the bridge getting closer to Epcot! It was only about a 5 minute walk.

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The Swan and Dolphin and Yacht Club Hotels are nearby as well.

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We finally got to the side entrance to Epcot! My very first time checking in to the park with my Magic Band.  First you scan your band.

IMG_0159Then when the Mickey turns green on the gold ball, you scan your fingerprint. I believe the first time you do this is when they grab your fingerprint for the remainder of your stay.

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Up next was my aunt’s turn.

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And we’re in! We took a couple of quick pictures just inside of the entrance.  Here is the “scooter brigade” as they called themselves. My aunt is on the left, cousin Georgette in the middle, and her husband Harry on the right.

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The World Showcase portion of Epcot didn’t open until around 11 so everything was closed. It was kind of cool to have it so quiet and undisturbed as we walked through to Future World.  We first walked through the UK Pavillion.

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I loved the architecture!

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Georgette leading the way.

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The World Showcase surrounds a lagoon (I guess that’s what you’d call it) and you can see pretty other countries from where you are. Below you can see Germany, and Italy.

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Mexico and Norway.

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Next to the UK is Canada.

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This is the restaurant we went to later in the evening and it was fabulous!

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The bridge to Future world is right by Canada and off we went to explore!

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Imagination! Building… Never got a chance to go into…

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Upside Down Waterfall

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Monorail! It looks just like Disneyland’s but no color and they are a little bigger as you can stand in them. They really are just used for transportation and Disneyland’s you can treat as a ride which we will do.

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Beautiful grounds.  Just past the trees is The Land building which we headed to first.

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Home of Soarin’, Living with the Land, and the Circle of Life show.

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Ahh air conditioning!!!

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They had a restaurant in there so we grabbed a quick bite to eat for breakfast.

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Soarin’! This was my aunt’s first ride on Soarin’ because she has never been to DCA and it is by far my favorite ride there so I had no problem with making that our first ride of the day.

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But first, breakfast.

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Decent bagel and the worst apple I have ever eaten! Only took one bite!

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Then off to Soarin’!

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The lines for Soarin are no different in California where you just stand for long lengths of time because the ride is several minutes long.  But this queue was more interactive.  At first they just had changing artwork on the screens down the first hall.

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My aunt and I were seeing if there were any hidden Mickey’s in some of the artwork.  I think we found some…

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MAYBE some more.

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None here from what I could tell.

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Then the screen changed and you could see an imprint of yourself and these colored bubbles popped up and you would punch your fist towards the screen to pop the bubbles. Good way to pass the time.  Unfortunately that only showed up in the last couple of minutes of this part of the queue.

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When you turn the corner you get to a shorter hall way right before they split you off to the two theatres.

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After about a 45 minute wait, we were in line to head to our seats!

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My home town!

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My second home!

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My home in August!

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Up next we went on Living with the Land which is a slow boat ride.

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The boats totally remind me of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory… Am I the only one?

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You start off the ride in the dark with a history of agriculture.

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Then you go out into the green house where you see how they are making advances on growing crops in climates and soil they wouldn’t normally grow in. And ways to grow more crops in smaller spaces with vertical plants due to our growing population.

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They have larger gardens not unlike this on WDW property that they use for a lot of the restaurants on park property.

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Don’t ask me what these are, I don’t know.  And if they mentioned it or there was a sign, I don’t remember what it said…

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They had a small room you went through to show how they are farming sustainable fish as well.

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Wouldn’t be Disney without a little bit peak of Mickey and Minnie!

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These contraptions were twirling around and I think it helped the lettuces grow but I can’t remember exactly what they said.

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Vertical planting.

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This shows how you can grow crops above fish farming tanks and the water from the fish tanks feed the crops.

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We decided to take in a showing of the Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable. It’s about how we should really recognize how our actions affect other living beings around us and the importance of lowering your carbon footprint.

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After tackling the Land Pavilion, we headed towards the big ball to go on Spaceship Earth!

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It’s huge!

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Freaking huge and magnificent!

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We went through the handicap entrance with the scooters and you wait inside this area for your turn to get in line for the ride itself.

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This is another slow moving ride but it was really cool.

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Your screen is interactive.

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On Spaceship Earth, you learn a brief the history of the world, what got us to the present, and what we can do to lower our carbon footprint in the future.

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After the history segment you go through some black tunnels and answer some questions see how your future self would live.

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Hello!

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Self driving cars

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Apparently my future self has a green thumb.

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A literal living room.

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A window that changes the scene to your preferences. We’re apparently channeling our excitement for our upcoming cruise.

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After you see your little video you enter a big room (probably the center of the ball) and see the world from space.

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It was a great ride, but after that we were pretty hungry for lunch.

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We decided to go to the Electric Umbrella because it was close to where we were.  We passed a Starbucks on our way over to the restaurant and Georgette wanted to grab something there so my aunt and looked at a kiosk while we waited.  I wanted to get a hat for the shade but there’s something about hats on me that I don’t like… I sent this picture to Gina she said it was cute but wouldn’t be productive for shade purposes.  Didn’t end up getting it. It looks small on me… I don’t know if I have a big head or what.

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Finally off to get some grub!

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The food is the typical burgers and chicken strips type stuff you find at less themed restaurants if you get what I mean.  Chicken strips were pretty decent.  I’m a sucker for chicken strips and nuggets. Brings out my inner 5 year old. They had a few different sauces too including ranch and BBQ and I like to have multiple sauces to dip my foods in so that made me even happier.  Sometimes it’s the little things!

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Can you guess why it’s called the Electric Umbrella?

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Reminded me just a little bit like the Pizza Port in Tomorrow Land in Disneyland.

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After lunch we were off to the World Showcase! We do regret not doing more in Future World but with reservations in Canada coming in a few hours we just didn’t have the time to finish.

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The American Pavilion across the lagoon.

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The UK Pavilion.

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Obviously this is China…. Right? Okay seriously, this is the France Pavilion if you couldn’t tell by the Eiffel Tower.

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Japan Pavilion

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German Pavilion

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Norway and China Pavilions

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Italy Pavilion

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We started in the Mexico Pavilion and worked our way clockwise. Each country has cast member working there from that country.

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There’s a lot more to the building than it looks from the outside.  And it’s nice and cold in there too!

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When you first go inside there is a small museum of Mexican history.

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Beyond the gallery is a shopping area that looks like night time in Mexico.

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It reminds me a bit of Pirates of the Caribbean and the Bleu Bayou.

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There is a board ride inside featuring the Three Caballeros.

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The boat goes by the restaurant inside the shopping area before going through the tour of Mexico.

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Just like the Bleu Bayou.

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After the ride and browsing a bit we headed to the next country, Norway.

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I love the idea of having a living roof like this.

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There is a small gallery inside of the church.

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After a quick walk through we just kind of glanced at the China Pavilion because it was getting closer to our reservations so we wanted to get to the countries we wanted to see the most.

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I would have loved to take a look around but we were in a rush.  We did get to it later in the trip but I’l talk about that when we get to that day.

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Taking a quick break in the shade.

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They have water taxis to get you to several places in the World Showcase quicker than walking.

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Between China and Germany is a small African Outpost with some outdoor shops.

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Up next the German Pavilion which is definitely one of my favorite if not my most favorite country in the World Showcase, Mexico is close too as is the UK.

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They have an adorable miniature town called The Romantic Road.

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We first went into the Caramel shop.  It smelled heavenly in there.

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Their caramel corn was one of the more popular items.  Which is what we got.

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It was pretty good a little too hard for my taste but still good.

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After that I walked around a bit while my aunt and cousins sat for a while. So I journeyed through the Christmas store.  I believe Christmas is big in Germany.

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From what a friend told me, there is a German tradition to hide a pickle in the Christmas tree and whoever finds it gets a prize or something like that.

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Then into the toy shop.

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After that I decided to get a pretzel and waited in a long line for it.  Most people were getting beer and they had a grapefruit beer I believe the name is Schofferhofer if you want to look for it. My brother found it in a liquor store. Since the line was slow I took some pictures of the surrounding area.

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The clock struck 4 while I was in line and the clock tower the little dolls came out and clanged on the bell.

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I hate beer but the grapefruit beer sounded too interesting to pass up so I got one too and I loved it! It probably helped that it was hotter than hell and the beer was cold but it was somewhat sweet and not too strong. The pretzel was okay.  Kind of dry. I was expecting more of a german pretzel.

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Next up is Italy. Which was designed after Venice and I was a little disappointed. I thought they could do a lot more with Italy.  I am a little biased because I’m 1/2 Italian and feel most connected with the Italian culture.

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I mean it was beautiful but I felt like they needed more plant life, I don’t know maybe I’m wrong.

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It feels a shame we didn’t eat here but I grew up on Italian food so…

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After a quick walk through we went to the America Pavilion.

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This cast member, Lonnie, saw our cousins’ Anniversary buttons and Harry very proudly told him they’ve been married for 60 years so he got them both on the phone with a message from Micky and Minnie congratulating them on their anniversary.  Then he got them a certificate that I didn’t see.

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Took a couple of pictures while they listened to their message.

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Then he led all of us to the restaurant next door since the show we were seeing wasn’t going to start for 15-20 minutes.

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He announced to the restaurant and I’m paraphrasing here, Here ye, Here ye, please join me in congratulating Mr. and Mrs. Walsh on their 60th Wedding Anniversary!” and everyone hooted and hollered. It was really cool!

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He then proceeded to get them each a dessert.

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Harry got a brownie and Georgette an apple pie I think.

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After they ate we went back and took the waiting room for the show and got to go up the elevators to the handicap seating area.

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We ran out of time to see the American gallery.

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We got in before everyone else did.

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As soon as the theatre filled up, Lonnie introduced the show and had everyone congratulate Harry and Georgette on their 60th and everyone was cheering for them and they were both waving from above the seats.  They looked like the King and Queen of Disney World.  It was easily one of the greatest moments of our trip.

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The show was really neat.

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After the show a Journey cover band was just finishing up so we listen for a minute then passed the Japan Pavilion.

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Another one I wish I could have seen.

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Then walked by the Morocco Pavilion.

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Up next the France Pavilion which takes up another 1/4 of my heritage.

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The France Pavilion is beautiful!

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We had just enough time to see the Impressions de France show.

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By that time we needed to get over to Canada for our reservations at Le Cellier.

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I had two of the pretzel rolls sticks and they were 1,000% better than the pretzel I had in Germany, oh my God were they amazing!

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I got cheese soup as an appetizer. It was good.

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My aunt got their salad which was really good.

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My aunt and I split a side of creamed spinach which was runny…

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On my friend’s request, I had the filet which was AMAZING! I love filet mignon and it came with mushroom risotto which was also amazing.

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We skipped desert because Georgette wanted a funnel cake. The maple creme brûlée sounded interesting so I may try making that some time.

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Epcot was closed by the time we were done with dinner.

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Wo we walked by the UK pavilion and back to the boardwalk.

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We got funnel cakes by our hotel on the boardwalk.  My aunt and I split one and didn’t even eat 1/4 of it they were so rich.

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Back to our hotel to drop off our things.

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My aunt and I needed to grab a couple of things at the general store on the boardwalk so we headed over there for a minute. Tried on another couple of hats and almost got the white one but decided against it…

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This one was too heavy.

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Then we were off to bed. It was an absolutely amazing first day at in Epcot and I’m glad that was my first park in Disney World.  It is easily my favorite park in Disney World. I hope you enjoyed the almost 300 pictures and anticipating more long posts but it was my first time and they are trip reports!🙂 I’ll work on my next day and get it up as soon as I can!

Disney World/Disney Cruise Day 1- Journey to Florida

I am back from my trip! I can’t believe it came and went so fast! It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

We left Sacramento International Airport on June 10th in the morning. We have a cute small airport in Sacramento and it’s very easy to navigate. We went out of the newer terminal which I have never been in before and they had a beautiful chandelier in the food area near outer gate.

IMG_0091 We had one stop in Las Vegas but we didn’t have to get off of the plane but we didn’t get to Orlando until close to 9 at night. With the 3 hour difference that was roughly 8ish hours of flying.

The airport had different stores for the main attractions in the Orlando area including Disney World, Sea World, Universal Studios, and the Kennedy Space Center. IMG_0092

There is also a big Hyatt Hotel right in the middle of the airport.  IMG_0094_2

We wandered around the airport a little bit trying to figure out how to get to Disney’s Magical Express and finally found a sign pointing the way.

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Couple minutes later, more signs…

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Couple more minutes, and we finally got to Disney’s Magical Express.

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We got outside and in line to get on the bus and I got my first experience with humidity.  I realize why the rest of the country thinks Californians are weather wimps… They do don’t they? I’ll never complain about humidity in California ever again.  Not even when at the ocean!

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About a half hour later we got to the Walt Disney World Resort and two stops later we were at our hotel.  We stayed near Epcot at the Boardwalk Inn.

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The hotel is beautiful!

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IMG_0043IMG_0042 The hotel is split between the Inn side and the Villas for DVC members which I am not one but if I ever won the lottery I most certainly would be!

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Finally we got inside an air-conditioned much drier room.

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They had a little area with pamphlets and a miniature model of one of Disney’s ships which we would be on in 5 days!

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The lobby was big and the them of this hotel is turn of the century Atlantic City and I loved the architecture. IMG_0051

IMG_0060While checking in they gave me a First Visit button, my cousins got Anniversary buttons for their 60th (yes, 60th!) wedding anniversary, and my aunt got a celebrate button for her retirement.
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I loved the lobby. It’s so beautiful!

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Nice relaxing seating area by a fireplace which wasn’t necessary for June but they had it on anyway…

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The carousel on top of the circular sofa moved every 15 minutes.
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The chandelier above the sofa was really cool!

IMG_0106After checking in, we went down the hall to the elevator.
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There were beautiful paintings on the wall that reminded me of a Thomas Kinkaid painting.

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There is a bar/breakfast area on the way to the elevators.

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There was a beautiful curio cabinet in the elevator waiting area.

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We were on the first floor (the lobby is technically the second floor because the boardwalk itself is lower than the entrance to the hotel) and WAY down the hallway almost to the end of the hotel it seemed.

IMG_0116_2We finally got to our adjoining rooms and they were very spacious and I saw the famous Mickey Ears  towel laying on one of the beds.  IMG_0062

I want to learn how to make these!

IMG_0120_2Wall art of postcards of Mickey and Minnie’s travels. IMG_0088

IMG_0071We had a flat screen TV with a couple of USB plebs below it to charge electronics. We didn’t turn the TV on once.  IMG_0063

IMG_0064I love the Minnie Mouse Lamp on the desk.

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Hidden Mickey on the desk leg.

IMG_0080More Hidden Mickeys on the sconces between the beds.
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Boardwalk Curtains

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Our patio.

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Bathroom Sink area.

IMG_0117I love the ferris wheel pattern on the shower curtain.

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I like the blue and green tiles in the shower too.

IMG_0086After getting our luggage and everything settled in the rooms we set off to see if there was any place open to get something to eat because we were starving!
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The back part of the hotel opens out onto the boardwalk.

IMG_0138There was an adorable floral display of Lady and the Tramp from the area in the picture above.

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IMG_0140Even though it was night-time and almost 11:00 pm, it was still hot out and incredibly humid!  IMG_0141

It was really pretty at night along the water.

IMG_0135_2There are a couple of other hotels surrounding the lagoon.  IMG_0134

The only place left open was a pizza window so we had to eat outside but at least it was fast.

IMG_0136_2They only had cheese, pepperoni, or their special which was mushrooms, roasted garlic, and spinach.  It was good except the spinach wasn’t great on it so I picked most of it off. IMG_0132_2

There’s quite a bit to do on the boardwalk and even a little general store that had a few grocery items like milk, water, cereal, and snacks.

IMG_0133After our quick bite, we headed back to our rooms to get to bed so we could make an early start to our first day in Epcot. I’ll start working on day two immediately and get it posted within the week!