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I'm getting too old for this - My last trip being a Theme Park Commando


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1 hour ago, ThemeParkCommando said:


The officer came up to talk to us. The dog was happily looking at my husband and ignoring me. My husband and I both have our license to carry, and he does so more than I do, back in Texas. The pants he was wearing hadn’t seen a pistol in over a month, though, and had been laundered twice. The dog still pegged us. What a great nose! Anyway, after a quick bag check and patting my hubbys pockets, we went on our way. I told the officer to give that dog a great reward. The name of the dog was a hoot, too. We were scented by officer ‘Scary’ Terry.
 


Morimoto’s dinner was really nice. We were sat by the kitchen area, we could see into the kitchen from the big floor to ceiling windows they have. I really enjoyed the Iron Chef shows, Japan’s more than America’s, and many other cooking contest shows. Because of that, it was fun watching the plates being prepared. Hubby and I ordered the Peking duck for 2. He had never had duck before, and I’ve only had it rarely in more American versions. We also had the egg roll appetizer, egg drop soup, lo mein and steamed white rice. Didn’t get an adult beverage this time.

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Couple of comments. 

First, that's some nose on that dog!  I'll have to keep that in mind when I encounter explosive sniffing dogs.  Hasn't happened to me to this point. 

Second, my mouth is watering over that duck!  Peking Duck is one of my favorite dishes...I love finding an authentic restaurant that carves it up tableside.  So delicious.  I like duck in general, but prepared that way is so good.  I also enjoy a good roasted duck with sauerkraut.  But, as you noted, it can be quite fatty.  When prepared properly in a Chinese place I think a lot of the fat renders out of it and it's not so "bathroom inducing".  LOL.   

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Daughter number two would have loved the Nightmare Before Christmas tree. In fact it is her favorite Christmas movie which she introduced our granddaughter to last night. I think it will end up being GD's favorite too as the rest of the evening it was a 15 month old going around the house saying "Jack".

Duck can be fatty but drying it for 24 hours in the fridge and pricking the skin before cooking will help a lot of fat to render out. I like to smoke ducks, no Dave not that way, and the longer cooking time tends to render more fat than what I can achieve in the oven. We aren't big on turkey so it is not uncommon for us to serve smoked duck along with another poultry such as pheasant and ham for Thanksgiving.

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On 12/22/2021 at 8:19 AM, Grumpy and Grandma said:

Grandma and I still enjoy the TIKI Room and probably since it was one of the first attractions we saw when we were at DL in 1969.  (I know we're old). It was our first trip to the park together since she came to visit me when I was stationed in San Diego.

What a sweet memory❤️

 

23 hours ago, ThemeParkCommando said:

 

 

 

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Okay... lots to catch up.  First, thanks for taking the time to share your trip.  I know it's a lot of work.   We were at the Fort at the beginning of November and did the halloween party at the MK and one day at MGM.  For us, so much feels different... it's a little sad.  But, I still like hearing about the joy others find.  I know this trip was bittersweet, mama.  My heart ached for you when you described the fireworks moment.  I am, again, so sorry for your loss.

Sorry that there were some technical bumps, but all-in-all it sounds like a nice trip.   The comment on the Hall of Presidents made me laugh.  We thought those Star Wars Lego characters were amazing!  But I do wonder if I'm the only one who misses the old DTD.  When we'd go to the Fort, we used to go to DTD 2 or 3 times.  This time we were in the area for 11 nights and only spent about an hour or two in "Disney Springs".  Bleh... just not my thing.  Expensive shops and restaurants and truly a "if you build it they will come" environment because it always feels SO crowded.  To each his own I guess.  Obviously LOTS of people like it :lol:   Tree at The Polynesian was really pretty!

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Friday! – A full day at Hollywood Studios, emphasis on Galaxy’s Edge.

This is the big planned for day. All the timing for every other park was due to the need to experience the Star Wars expansion to the limit. When it was time for me to make reservations, Friday was the only day I could get the lightsaber build reservation, and reservations for Oga’s Cantina, so this day was set in stone early. This day will be the biggest section of my trip report.

HS opened at 9am officially, so 8:30 am was our target. We got up and ready at 6:30, and made our Genie+ Lightning Lane and Individual Lightning Lane reservations in the car. The plan was to rope drop to ride Rise of the Resistance, and also buy the ILL so we could ride it twice. We got a 9:35 return time for RoR on our purchase. We were unable to secure a LL time for Slinky Dog, and we were looking for it by 7:01. That ride’s LL’s go fast! So, we got a LL for Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run at 9:15. We went ahead and bought the ILL for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad for somewhere around 2:30pm. Loaded up with our plan, we headed for the park.

This was the first time that the parking was not open more than 1 hour before the Resort opening time. We got to the parking area around 7:15, and had to wait behind the security truck. At 7:30, we started moving. We were the 4th car in line. The way HS parking is set up, at least for this day, this was not an advantage. Would have been better if we were the 25th car in line. The first row of parking was being done furthest to closest, instead of starting with the closer parking and moving away from the park gates. Bummer.

Oh well, even with parking done that way, we were out of our car and walking to the entrance ahead of all the people waiting to be guided into their closer parking spot. The skyliner was dumping folks off and the busses were too, so there was a decent crowd building up. We got up to the tapstiles and they were already open. We went in and started the long walk back to Rise of the Resistance, along with about 90% of the other early risers. There were no barriers at all until right at the RoR line. We got in line outside of the queue area because they weren’t letting anyone in the queue area yet. I would guess we were about at the 75 to 100 people in front of us mark. Not too shabby!

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At about 8:10, we were allowed to fill the queue. The queue is also impressively big. Lots of furbling ( our familiy’s term for the back and forth weaving through an empty or a fast moving queue). We stopped in one of the interior cave rooms, and were told we had about 3 more rooms to get through from there. Right at 8:30, we started moving again as they filled up the last bit of the queue and started the ride.
 

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For context, my husband is a super Star Wars fan. I love science fiction and the Star Wars universe, but I’ve always like Star Trek better (My sons name was/is Kirk, ‘nuff said). Both of us really enjoyed the RoR ride, the attention to detail was awesome, and the ride mechanics were impressive. What we enjoyed most was messing with the CM’s playing First Order privates, trying to get us to stand on colored ovals. Those folks make the ride. They stay in character and manage to deal with smart ass answers without actually hitting anyone, lol.

We were off the ride at about 8:45, and we started to walk into Batuu. We took the chance to grab every photopass opportunity. We stopped at the pet store, and I considered adopting a Kowakian Monkey-lizard that was perched on the shoulder of the shopkeeper. I decided I didn’t need another pet. Into another store we went, and were greeted by shopkeeper Emma. I purchased a Millenium Falcon charm with an ID holder, and she told me it would mark me as a sympathizer to the resistance, and to take care where I showed it.
 

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The shops fed over to Ronto Roasters, and then we went around the corner, and were greeted with the courtyard view of the Millennium Falcon. My husband just gasped. It is an interesting feeling to see up close the props of one of your favorite movie of all time. You so want it to be real. We took a good long look around the courtyard, grabbing pictures from all sides. Then we went in for our ride at about 10am. The standby was at 40 minutes. We walked all the way to the merge point without stopping, in the LL side.

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My husband and I both MUCH prefer the MFSR ride over RoR. We asked for the pilot’s position and waited one boarding group to get it. He got up / down flight, and I got left/ right flight.  A really stupid way to split up the piloting, but it does make you work as a team. We really tried hard, and it was a blast. We flew that ship through so many rock spires, lol. Could not get the hang of it for the first part, but we finally stabilized enough so that we got the first shipment of whatever we were supposed to be stealing. Our gunners did a great job. We were hot on the tail of our second retrieval when we were called back. Ride over. I like rides where I can actually participate.

We shopped a bit more, over in the courtyard with the Tie fighter. We watched the Stormtroopers hassling the crowd and threatening to arrest the lightsaber dueler’s for public endangerment. I love how this area really immerses you into the story, as much as can be done.

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On 12/24/2021 at 9:15 AM, keith_h said:

Daughter number two would have loved the Nightmare Before Christmas tree. In fact it is her favorite Christmas movie which she introduced our granddaughter to last night. I think it will end up being GD's favorite too as the rest of the evening it was a 15 month old going around the house saying "Jack".

Duck can be fatty but drying it for 24 hours in the fridge and pricking the skin before cooking will help a lot of fat to render out. I like to smoke ducks, no Dave not that way, and the longer cooking time tends to render more fat than what I can achieve in the oven. We aren't big on turkey so it is not uncommon for us to serve smoked duck along with another poultry such as pheasant and ham for Thanksgiving.

Nightmare before Christmas is my granddaughters favorite Christmas movie too.  I always bring her something on that theme for Christmas. 

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Thanks for all the wonderful comments.  Nice to see folks reading along.  I keep an eye on the view counts too, since I am bad about commenting on TR's, I can tell folks are reading along from those counts. 

We were now in the window for our ILL on Ride of the Resistance, so we walked back over using the path lower down, below Ronto Roasters and the shops.   There is an area there where you can play with your newly built droids with other folks who also have one.  They talk to each other!  It was cute to watch them for a bit.  That area is near a used landspeeder shop, where Chewbacca was out interacting with the crowd.   I wanted to know why I can never find a NEW landspeeder shop?  All the used ones are so beat up looking.  I think Chewy tried to give me directions to one, but I don’t speak Shyriiwook, and there were no translators nearby.  No joy there.

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Our 2nd ride on RoR was also fun.   We were in a car that took a different path from the first ride of the day, so got to see a little of a different area.  The AT-AT room is so amazing to me.   I kind of wish they had animated one to raise a foot and almost crush your car, but that is a minor thing, and I’m sure hard to do / possible safety issue.  Once outside, we stopped at a drink kiosk and bought the fun custom soda and water bottles with the Aurebesh printing on them.   I wish I had thought to buy one before riding RoR the 2nd time, so that I could threaten the First Order cadets with a thermal detonator.   Ah well, next time.

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Using Mobile Order, we grabbed an early lunch from Ronto Roasters and picked up a mouse droid popcorn bucket (except ours was full of chicharonnes).  RR only has a wrap or the pork rinds in terms of meat, so we got 2 wraps also and the Tatooine Sunset drinks. We then went into the lightsaber shop, to compare and discuss what accessories we wanted to add to our lightsaber.   Over by the extra Kyber crystals, we met…Emma!  She told us her boss owned multiple stores in Batuu, so she moved around a bit.   Since the shop was slow, we picked up all our extra goodies for the lightsaber we were about to build.  We then went to get in line for the build reservation.

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The lightsaber build ceremony was interesting.  My husband was the builder, I was videoing for us.  The area is small, so I had to video from over his shoulder.   The beginning was somber, there was a small history of the Jedi and a ceremony for choosing your kyber crystal color.   It was quiet.  Then they gave the order to build and all hell broke out.  It went from calm and quiet to maximum chaos.  I started laughing at the contrast.   Of course, my husband was lucky enough to be given a broken kit, so he had to have a few parts swapped out.  Once everyone had their lightsaber complete ( hubby was last due to the need to replace parts of his hilt), there was a ceremony to light the sabers for the first time.  That was pretty neat.  Everyone then raised their sabers and took their vows, and it was done.   We got a lovely sheath for the saber to carry it, and decided to go take it to get shipped home right away.

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When we went over to First Order cargo to get it shipped, we met up with… wait for it… EMMA!  She pulled us over to a register and in a hush-hush voice told us she was doing reconnaissance for the resistance, and not to blow her cover by mentioning the other shops.  We fell into the role play and asked if the First Order would allow a lightsaber off planet, and she assured us she would give it to ‘the right people’ so it would make it back to our home planet safely.   Little touches like this make the vacation so much more entertaining!

Since our next reservations in Black Spire Outpost weren’t until  evening, we decided to go off planet for some touring.  We went over to Star Tours to grab a shuttle.  I used the LL feature here to bypass the 15 minute line.  The LL was for just 10 minutes in the future, and we took a bit of time to grab a Mickey bar and take a break.   After flying with R2 and C3PO,  we started wandering in the direction of the Chinese Theater.

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We stopped by the Indiana Jones stadium to pull the rope on the mine shaft / well / whatever that is. It was fun, and we startled a few passerby. I’m glad that little easter egg is still there. We got in line for our Mickey and Minnie Railway journey, and I was very happy to have purchased the ILL. The line was at 70 minutes. We only had to wait about 10 minutes overall. The ride was a fun little jaunt, but it is not going to become a favorite of ours. We don’t like the new animation of the Disney characters. Goofy is just too scruffy for our liking, we much prefer the older animation. Also, it just wasn’t as much fun as the old ‘Ride the Movies’ ride. Stepping out, I made a LL for Alien Swirling Saucers for about 20 minutes into the future, and we walked into Toy Story land to look around. Toy Story Mania had no available LL options, and we didn’t want to wait in the 50 minute line, so we just took pictures, and enjoyed some people watching. We bought some water to help stay hydrated, as the temperatures were heading into the upper 80’s. Toy Story land suffers from the same issue as the carnival area of Animal Kingdom. Too much heat reflecting asphalt and no shade.
 

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We actually enjoyed the ride on ASS ( sorry, I just HAD to use that acronym once, lol), it was a cute little ride and I love the voices of the Toy Story green aliens. I also like being flung around in circles, so that helps. Afterward, we walked back into Galaxy’s edge and explored the area. We stopped for a photo pass opportunity, and then wandered over to the milk stand and got our blue milk and green milk to try. We opted not to get an alcoholic variety. Both of us prefer the blue milk, which surprised me. Considering what is in them, I thought I’d like green milk better, since I love all thing citrus. But the green milk just tasted too bitter. Maybe they put more grapefruit juice in it than the other flavors? Dunno, but blue milk was the winner, although neither was good enough for us to get a refill.
 

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Then we went into the droid store, so we could considered our ‘extra’ options to purchase for our upcoming droid. That shop was very busy and very noisy, so hearing the sounds of the extra sound chips you can buy for your droid was pretty challenging. They have a BUNCH of extra’s for the droids, more so than for the lightsabers. We checked in for our droid build with the CM holding a clipboard, and waited outside in the shade for our turn.

The droid build was much more chaotic and ‘self serve’ than the lightsaber build. You get in line, pay for your droid and wait your turn. A droid wrangler will come to you with a basket, and guide you to the conveyer belt with all the droid parts. You are shown the instruction graphic so you know which parts to pick, and left on your own. After you choose your parts, you turn around and face away from the conveyer, and another droid shop employee will direct you to your build space. Each build space has a diagram on how to assemble the droid. They are very tight together with others, there is no space to video your builder actually assembling the droid. Also, it is really noisy in there, cannot stress that enough. Not sure if they could put in sound dampeners but wow, I was a little overwhelmed.
 

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When you have your droid assembled, the engineer will come over and get the electronics working, and make sure your droid’s chip and wheel gears are all working. You get a little tutorial on how to run the droid and they pack it up in a nice cardboard case for you. Leave your droid on when you are done, because there are some cute effects to play with. We exited the building, and started walking back to First Order Cargo to ship our droid home. As you pass other droids in the outpost, they talk to each other. Your box may start shaking as your droid discusses whatever news droids find important, with the droids waiting outside their respective buildings. It’s adorable. They will also talk to other boxed up droids if you happen to pass close to someone else carrying their new droid.
 

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Back at First Order Cargo, we were met by a much more stern First Order cadet, who agreed to ship our droid off planet, but first needed to inspect the droid for contraband. (Basically, opening the box to turn the droid off, lol... a fun way to do it). Outside of the shop, we were near the Tie Fighter stage area, and more Stormtroopers were out, being gruff and trying to maintain order. There were a lot of lightsabers out, as it was dusk and they glowed beautifully, making for great photo opportunities with the lighted ship and Stormtroopers in the background. We watched the people for a while.

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Then it was time for our reservations at Oga’s. We got in pretty quickly, only about 5 minutes after our scheduled time. We had a spot at the bar, and a very lively bartender. I was happy because DJ Rex was playing music, but not nearly at the ear splitting levels most bar’s seem to like these days. Oga’s only offers 2 snack plates, so we ordered both. The Batuu bits, which are chips and dip, and the Happabore Sampler, which is a charcuterie plate. They were both pretty good, with the odd shaped chips and strangely cut meats to try and make it seem more outer worldly. I still had to drive, and both hubby and I were pretty tired, so we decided to only have one alcohol drink between us, but order more of the virgin drinks. We got the Outer Rim libation. It was a fancy margarita, and it was really good! We also got a Carbon Freeze in the first round. That one is fun to drink, with dry ice contained at the bottom of the glass, making the drink roil with bubbles, smoke and the popping pearls ( boba balls) bouncing around inside.
 

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We soaked up the atmosphere, took some pictures, listened to the hilarious stories of people who had been there a bit longer than us and were getting tipsy. One group had purchased 3 pets, and had them all in the same carrier. We were all having a rousing discussion of which pet would be left, since 2 were obvious carnivores, and the third was definitely a prey species. From the looks of it, it wasn’t so much a pet carrier as a small, portable thunderdome. ( for the record, these are all stuffed animals, and there were no kids around)
 

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For our second round, we tried the Hyperdrive, and the Jabba Juice. All the drinks were very good. My husband had never tried any boba balls before this, and he really liked the effect the give to your drink. He’s now on the lookout for more to try.

When we were done at Oga’s, we made a last round of the shops and then left through the warp space into Toy Story land. Toy Story Mania was posting a 20 minute wait time at 8:30. We jumped on line, and only waited 10 mnutes to ride. As we were making our way out of the park, we saw people heading for the Chinese Theater area. There was no show scheduled on the Genie+ app, but apparently there was going to be one.

We stopped in a decent spot off to the right of the theater, pretty much straight out from the ramp leading down to Toy Story land, and got to see the Wonderful World of Animation projection show. It was cute and a nice end to the night, as it was totally unexpected.
 

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We trudged back out to our very far away car ( I really shouldn’t complain, as it was only one row that we had to walk, lol), and drove over to the Car Care center to turn in the rental. After hours drop off is pretty easy. Just check the car for belongings, and drop the key in the lock box. We used the Lyft app to get a ride back to the resort. We started packing up what we could, since our vacation is almost over, and we didn't want to have to pack ALL of it after our last full day. We had brought an entire collapsible duffle bag as extra, since we only checked one bag going to Florida on SW Airlines, and hubby only had one carry on. We knew we'd need the extra space, even with shipping stuff out. Our next day, the final park day, we would be experimenting with a number of ‘new to us’ park options. Also, will we get the coveted LL on Slinky Dog?

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Saturday – Last day at the parks.

 

So, for this day, we knew we weren’t going to be done with HS, but we were pretty sure we didn’t need an entire day there. We also had reservations for LeCellier at 8:45PM at EPCOT. Also, we hadn’t yet ridden the skyliner. Now, we are not a family that enjoys the Disney busses. We prefer the freedom of the rental car. We also prefer to tour one park per day, rope drop to close. So, we had a big, different plan for today.

 

Our plan was to get an LL for Slinky Dog, then head over to Tower of Terror and Rockin’ Rollercoaster. Watch the first showing of Beauty and the Beast stage show, then head back to the hotel for a rest. After our rest, we were going back to HS for a final run through Galaxy’s Edge, then take the skyliner over to EPCOT. I’m still a little miffed I had to buy park hopper for all 5 days, when I only needed it for one.

 

Our first attempt to run our plan fell through immediately. We were unable to get an LL for Slinky Dog, and we were online right at 7am. It was amazing how fast those LL’s go. So, instead of RD and heading to TOT and RnR first, we had to swap it. We got a decent time for an LL on RnR. We headed out to grab the bus to HS, and were lucky enough to walk right onto one at the POFQ station, at 7:15. 

 

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A quick trip to HS, and we were walking into the park, heading with about 20% of the people for SD. We got into line about 50 folks back, at about 7:45. Then, we waited in the damp, dewy morning.  The picture shows where we were in line before opening. Had a nice conversation with the couple in front of us, and at about 8:15, they opened the line and let us into the main queue. We rode SD, then meandered over to the area where Star Wars Launch Bay is. A few characters from Disney Jr. were out, and Pluto was also out for photo ops. We stopped and interacted with him a bit.

 

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The Launch Bay area is not having character meets, yet. They have it open for touring, so you can see the props and the movie posters / concept art. They ALSO have a Chase Visa Photo op here, that we did not know of. The photo op is with virtual characters, just like it is over at EPCOT, but I was totally stoked to see K-2SO in my photo! He is voiced by Alan Tudyk, and he is currently one of my favorite actors ( other parts played by Alan: “Wash” in Firefly / Serenity, King Candy in Wreck-It Ralph, Duke Wesselton in Frozen, Duke Weaselton in Zootopia, Hei-Hei in Moana, Tuk-Tuk in Raya and the Last Dragon, and Harry Vanderspeigle in Resident Alien).

 

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After that fun time, we strolled toward Tower of Terror. The wait time was still posting 10 minutes, so we didn’t rush. We stopped on Sunset Blvd and got our pictures from the PhotoPass CM. She was fun to talk to.

 

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Our ride on ToT was right at 10 minutes wait, and I enjoyed myself, although the ride seemed, somehow, slower on the drops than it used to. Not sure what’s up with that. I still love the Twilight zone part, I miss watching those shows. Moving on, we went and tapped in for our Rockin Rollercoaster LL. I still like this coaster a lot. The interior signs were working this time. Last time we rode in completely in the dark, no internal traffic signs or anything.

 

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We decided to get a REALLY early lunch at 10:30, from Rosie’s All American Café. We got a cheeseburger each, and one Reindeer mousse to share. This was the only time I’ve ever had Disney let me down. The burgers were great. Fresh, hot and delicious. The reindeer mousse? Ooooo… On my 2nd bite, I got something that did not belong. Not sure what it was, maybe a hardened piece of the gelatin used to set the mousse? It wasn’t hard, but seemed to be the same texture as chicken gristle. Well, I’m not one to get grossed out over things like this, but I wasn’t going to eat any more of it. I took it back to Rosie’s, quietly handed it back and explained the issue. They got a supervisor, and I had my money refunded. No muss, no fuss.

 

We walked over to BatB, and really enjoyed the show. My husband kept ribbing me about it, because he’d been asking over the last 3 visits to see this show, and we kept missing it. The last time, they moved the showtimes on me and I didn’t notice.

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4 hours ago, fladogfan aka Gretchen said:

Thanks!  Glad you had fun and weather wise was pretty nice.

One question/thought,  In the photo in front of ToT it looks like you are getting ready to swat Tink ;)

My husband said the same thing.. lol.  I was trying for 'suprised' , but my hand is just in the wrong place.

 

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For the first time in forever, we left a park at midday. We went back to the hotel, took a quick shower and took a nap for an hour. We then got up, got dressed and went back to HS. We had one final thing to accomplish back at Galaxy’s Edge. It was about 1:30 when we walked back into the park, and it was about 85 degrees. We got a cold beverage an d started the long walk to the back. This was our one crazy decision, as we wanted a photo pass photo with our new ‘couples’ shirt, in front of the Millenium Falcon. Worth it!

 

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We left HS after that, a long walk back out to the Skyliner. Just had to ride that before we left WDW. We hopped over to EPCOT, and got there at about 3:30pm. It was Saturday…and OMG it was more crowded than I have ever seen that park. Wall to wall people on the main walkway. We had though about doing Test Track, but one look at Genie + and we gave that up. No more LL’s available, and a wait time of 60 minutes.

 

So, we got down to the serious business of shopping for Christmas presents. Having come in at the international gateway, we started for Japan, first. I have a granddaughter and a sister-in-law who love Anime, so this was a good start. After picking up presents, we stopped to watch the Daruma Vendor show in the Japan courtyard. We love this holiday show, and we think the presenter was the same Japanese lady who we’ve seen the last 2 times we were there. We were happy she was not still caught up overseas, ( it’s a good possibility she lives in the USA now, I suppose. )

 

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We also stopped to watch the Hannukah holiday show, where the presenter was telling the story of the dreidel. That was really nice. I love the various holiday showcases. Walking back through Morocco, we got a glimpse of Jasmine, and then a few pictures with Belle in France. The kiosk for the Grand Marnier slush was open, this time, but it looked to be a half hour wait. Ah well, I’ll get one someday.

 

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We looked hard for presents for my husband’s parents, over in England and Canada, but just came up empty handed. A lot of neat stuff, but nothing in particular that we thought they’d like. We did find a couple of stocking stuffers, some Butterfly Kisses soap for his mom, and some Sled Dog Drool soap for his dad. His dad HATES dog kisses, so it was a good joke soap for him.

 

We went in to see the Canadian 360 film. There were about 15 people in the theater with us. It was a nice show, lovely scenery. A few more tears from me, because this is the type of country that my son chose to make his final resting place. (Sky Lakes area of Oregon, for those curious). It’s very beautiful in that part of the country.

Next up, we had our first dining experience at Le Cellier, the Canadian Steakhouse. I have to say, this was another exemplary round of Disney service. Our server was Sam, she is from Canada, and started at WDW with the program that handles the various countries staffing at EPCOT. She met her husband here in the USA, so now lives in our country. I made an offhand comment that I hadn’t had my ‘drink with a glow cube’ yet this vacation and placed my order. However, I misread the description of the drink I wanted (the EAR-idescent sip-a-bration), and it didn’t actually come with a glow cube. Sam kindly pointed this out. I told Sam not to worry about it, I still wanted the drink. She took our drink and appetizer orders and left us to look at entrée options.

When she came back, she put down the drink I ordered, sans glow cube, and also my husbands drink. Then, she went around a corner, and came back with a water for me, dancing with glowing light! I got my glow cube, it was sooooo sweet of her to do that. Hubby and I both got the cheese soup as an appetizer, and we ordered our steak, and the classic poutine for our entrée. The reviews are true. That cheese soup is amazing! So good, just a bit heavy. Our steaks were cooked perfectly. Hubby and I both agreed that poutine must be an acquired taste, as we did not prefer it. It was OK, just not something we’d miss.

For dessert we had the Warm Pecan-Brown Butter Tart. That was also a good call. It was so good, we ate it slowly to savor it.

 

mpVal59.jpg

 

We finished up, and walked out of Canada and into the Harmonious show in progress. We watched until the end, and then began our walk to the busses. It was about 10:30pm. We got back to the room around 11:15. Our Tragical Express was due to pick us up at 3:30am, because for some reason I booked a 6:45am flight. What was I thinking?!

 

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Final thoughts:

I probably should have put this at the beginning of the report, because it has the most useful information about traveling to WDW right now. Well, call this the reward for traveling there with me, as I reminisced.

Mousekeeping is limited. Something I must have missed in all my reading, but mousekeeping is still not doing sheets or bedding changes. Neither will they make the bed on their days in the room. Mousekeeping comes every other day for light cleanup and to replace towels and sundries. If you want to come back to a freshly made up room, you will need to make your beds before you leave. If you want new sheets, just call down to the concierge, and they will have new bedding delivered. Mousekeeping will pick up dirty sheets on their cleaning days.

Genie+: For us, just 2 people wandering the parks, Genie+ was worth it. We used it daily and probably averaged about 5 rides using it, at each park. The only 2 rides we never managed to grab were Test Track and Slinky Dog. We didn't try real hard with TT, because we just weren't that into it. So that's $75 to save about 1 to 2 hours a day in line. Worth it to my feet.

Mobile Ordering: I LOVE this feature and took advantage of it wherever I could. I can understand how it would be hard to work with if you have any kind of severe allergy or food intolerance. Not a whole lot of options on most items. But when you can use it, nothing like just ordering while in line, and having your food ready when you are ready to eat.

QR codes for full restaurant menu's: This is the hardest thing to get used to. If I am eating in a full service restaurant, I don't want to stare at the tiny screen of my phone for the menu, I want a full, page turning menu. Can't put my finger on exactly why, maybe because the explanations of each dish are easier to compare that way? After our first dinner at Nine Dragons, we decided to study the menu's before we got to our restaurant, so we would know what we wanted, and didn't even have to use the menu in house. It just felt better that way. At Skipper Canteen and at Morimoto's, both our servers there brought us paper menu's when we tried to explain we'd already chosen our options before arriving. I think they are used to the older crowd griping at them about it.

Crowds and attitudes: We did not see a lot of crowding, except on that Saturday. Probably a lot of locals coming to enjoy the Christmas season. The only time I saw upset guests was in front of Columbia Harbor House. The mobile order 'required' seemed to really rub people the wrong way, there. Outside of Sat'uli Canteen, there was a general air of "yes, mobile order is how it's done!". Also, Docking Bay 9 at HS had happy people using mobile order.
I never once saw a cranky CM while at the parks. Everyone we waved at or spoke to seemed to be in a great mood. It was what I expect of WDW, I felt the CM's were happy to be back. Or they were great at faking it.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my trip report. Not sure when I'll be back to WDW. We have Disneyland and a Disney cruise on tap for our next adventures.

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20 minutes ago, ThemeParkCommando said:

Thank you all for taking the time to read my trip report. Not sure when I'll be back to WDW. We have Disneyland and a Disney cruise on tap for our next adventures.

Thank you for sharing your adventures and have a great time on your trip to CA and your cruise... Always a fun thing to do.

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OH, I forgot one part.  The reason for the title of this TR.  

According to our Pokemon Go game, we walked 58 miles during the 6 days we were at WDW.   You can see by the pictures, I'm not an 'in shape' person, except for the concept that round is a shape.

 

I have a condition called "palmoplantar keratoderma' which causes thick callouses on my feet ( up to a half inch thick in some places, and that's with all the buffing I do to keep them down).  Due to this I have a lot of foot pain, and a new issue called 'polymyalgia rheumatica', which causes pain in hips and shoulders,  I just was in a lot of pain walking that much.  

 

I still intend to do theme parks, but I think next time I'll be part of the ECV crowd.

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4 hours ago, fladogfan aka Gretchen said:

Foot pain can really mess up a good day.  Sorry you have to deal with that.

I am old. 

I use a flip phone.

Can I use that for the menus?

Liked your idea to read menu before getting to restaurant.

As long as your phone can access the internet.  It might not be able to read a QR code, but you can find the menu's on the WDW website for each restaurant.  My Father in Law still uses a flip phone, too.  He does have internet access with it.  It's slow, but it works.

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20 hours ago, keith_h said:

My guess is your flip phone will do just as good a job as a smart phone in keeping the paper menu from flying off your table.

:ROFLMAO-1:

 

17 hours ago, ThemeParkCommando said:

As long as your phone can access the internet.  It might not be able to read a QR code, but you can find the menu's on the WDW website for each restaurant.  My Father in Law still uses a flip phone, too.  He does have internet access with it.  It's slow, but it works.

No internet for me on phone. 😁

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