eiblehs

Expedition Everest Enthusiast
Joined
May 31, 2017
Hello there! My name is Shelbie and this is my second Disney trip report. (Click here if you're interested in reading about last year's trip!) My boyfriend, Bradley, and I visited Walt Disney World together in late July of last year. The day after we left, I began asking Bradley, "When can we go back?" It took him several months to agree, but I finally got the go-ahead to book another trip!

I am all about planning when it comes to vacations, especially vacationing to WDW! I watch a dozen Disney vloggers and try to follow Disney blogs for updates. Bradley is more of a go-with-the-flow type. He gave his input on certain things, but for the most part, everything was constructed by me! However, he had a huge plan of his own that I knew nothing about... But I'll get to that later. ;)

As our trip got closer, our ADRs were booked, Fastpasses were scheduled, and we were packed and ready to go! Our travel dates were from July 29 through August 4, 2018. I snagged the Summer Quick Service Dining Plan when I booked through Disney, so that meant one free quick service meal per person per night of our stay. This ended up saving us quite a bit of money!

On our arrival day, we landed in Orlando just before noon. We jumped on the Magical Express and headed to check-in at Pop Century Resort.

Stay tuned for a rainy evening in Epcot... :figment:
 

eiblehs

Expedition Everest Enthusiast
Joined
May 31, 2017
Arrival Day & Epcot
We flew out of Little Rock, Arkansas at 5:55 a.m. When I originally booked our flights, it was a 7:00 a.m. flight. I got notified a month before that my information had changed. Bradley was not a happy camper because that meant waking up super early. I, on the other hand, was ecstatic because I knew that we would be landing in Florida much earlier than I planned... Even if that meant waking up at 3:00 a.m. :rotfl:

We got to Orlando just before noon and got to our room at Pop Century about an hour later. We stayed at Pop Century last year and really enjoyed the new renovations. When we found out where our room was, we realized it was exactly one floor below the one we stayed in last year. We were put in the 90s section again, but at least we were on the second floor and not the third! I was bummed because I was hoping to stay in a different building but at least we knew where everything was. We did get a king size bed so that was exciting!


We freshened up and walked to the bus stop to enjoy an evening in Epcot. Our first FastPass was at the character meet spot. Bradley had never met Mickey or Minnie before, and I hadn't seen them since 2001. This was a priority for us! We ended up having about 30 minutes before it was time for our FP, so we rode Spaceship Earth and took some pictures in front of it. I just love that ride so much!


We had such a great time meeting Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy! They were so funny, especially the Goof! He pulled his ears around his face to mock Bradley's beard. :rotfl2:



We were STARVING so we headed to the World Showcase. Bradley wanted to eat at Lotus Blossom in the China pavilion and I had plans to eat at my favorite, Tangierine Cafe in the Morocco pavilion. We just sat down with Bradley's food when it started pouring. I was glad we didn't have to walk from Future World in the rain, but I knew we'd have to face the weather at some point. We put on our ponchos (Pro tip: Buy them from Dollar Tree ahead of time because they are ridiculously expensive in the parks!) and pulled out an umbrella. We weren't going to wait out the rain because we were in Disney! We basically swam from China to Morocco so I could eat. I got a strawberry daiquiri with my meal and let me tell you... That was the strongest drink I have ever had in my life. :eek: The ladies at Tangierine Cafe definitely won't let you waste your money! We spent a couple hours in the World Showcase shopping. Bradley grabbed drinks from China, Morocco, Japan, and Germany. I couldn't drink again after that daiquiri! :rotfl: I did, however, stop by Germany to get a caramel treat. I wish I could have had one of everything! I decided to try the caramel s'more. It was pretty yummy, but I could only taste the chocolate. Next time I will get something with more caramel.

It was time for our next FastPass so we headed to TestTrack... Unfortunately, the rain hadn't let up so it was closed. We decided to use our "rain FP" on Soarin' instead. We were able to get B1 without even asking! It was incredible seeing it the way it was meant to be seen! We then walked right on Living with the Land which we waited for nearly an hour for last year, so that was nice. The park definitely didn't feel busy at all! We then went to Mission Space for our next FP. Mission Space was closed for refurbishment last year, so we were excited to try it! We braved the orange side and had a lot of fun! When we were leaving the ride, I noticed the sound of cars speeding by! TestTrack was open! We jumped in the single riders line because the standby was crazy. I don't mind riding with strangers if it means I don't have to wait in a long line! Well guess what?! The ride broke down with us on it. We ended up sitting on the track right after the seat-belt check for almost 30 minutes. Bradley and I were in separate cars riding with strangers. :rotfl2: Luckily, we didn't have to evacuate off the ride. They were able to start it back up! We were offered the chance to ride it again or get a bonus FP, so we went with the FP. (I actually wanted to ride it again but Bradley's stomach wasn't feeling too great after Mission Space and all of the beers he had prior.) The FP came in handy the next day in Animal Kingdom! We decided to take it easy since we had been up since 3 a.m., so we headed back to our room to get some rest before the park closed.


Good night, Epcot! Thank you for an eventful first night! Up next, Animal Kingdom! :simba:
 
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eiblehs

Expedition Everest Enthusiast
Joined
May 31, 2017
Day two: Animal Kingdom
We had Extra Magic Hours this morning in AK, so we headed straight to my favorite ride in all of Walt Disney World...
Expedition Everest! It's just so much fun! Animal Kingdom is my favorite park, and I think Expedition Everest has a lot to do with that. We then headed to Dinosaur, a ride I have a love/hate relationship with. I love the theme and the ride itself, but I hate being scared. This ride scares me but it's so fun! And way more intense than I remember... I had to hold on to my ears because I swear they would have flown off my head! The park had officially opened and EMHs were over. The park began to fill up more, but we stayed in Dinoland because it was still empty. We rode Primeval Whirl AKA Primeval Whiplash. We also decided to walk on Triceratop Spin since there was no wait. Bradley was not a fan of this ride. :rotfl:


We headed back to the Tree of Life to get some pictures before our first FP. Can you guess what it was? Expedition Everest, yasss! (We ended up riding it four times before the night was over!) I wanted to check out Donald's Dino-Bash because I wanted to see the characters in their cute costumes.



Daisy was fabulous! She's one of my favorite Disney characters. I love her sass! We then explored the park some more by looking at all of the animal treks. We had a bit of time before our Kilimanjaro Safari FP. The gorilla exhibit was amazing! I could watch them interact with each other all day.

We had a very successful safari ride! Here are some of my favorite pictures... Look how close the rhino got to our ride vehicle! :eek:



Another reason why Animal Kingdom is my favorite park... I love animals! We headed to Pandora to have lunch at Satuli Canteen. Last year, we intended to eat here but ended up being too stuffed from Flame Tree Barbecue (our favorite restaurant in AK). I liked my meal more than Bradley liked his, but the alcoholic drink I got (in the picture) was super gross. I'm glad it came with our free meal because I was struggling to drink that.

It was finally time for our Flight of Passage FP! We got to experience it last year but we both agree it was much better the second time. It's an incredible ride! Now that we had used our three FPs, I booked our fourth one for Navi River Journey later that evening. We still had our bonus FP from TestTrack breaking down. We decided to use it on Kali River Rapids because it was HOT. That ride is fun but too short. Luckily, we didn't get soaked.


We decided to take a mid-day break and head to the hotel to nap for a couple hours. I am so thankful that we did, because the park was nearly empty when we came back that evening. We had dinner at Flame Tree; we both got an order of pulled pork cheese fries. Oh my gosh... YUM!


We rode Navi River Journey and then I booked our 5th FP for Kilimanjaro Safaris. It was really cool getting to experience this ride in both the day and night time. We actually got to see the lions at night since they weren't out in the hot sun.

And you know we had to end the night with one more ride...


We had a fabulous day in Animal Kingdom! We went back to the room just before park closing because we had to wake up early for EMH in Hollywood Studios... Stay tuned! :chewy:
 
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  • eiblehs

    Expedition Everest Enthusiast
    Joined
    May 31, 2017
    Day three: Hollywood Studios
    We had extra magic hours starting at 7:00 a.m., so we had to wake up pretty early in order to explore Toy Story Land before the park opened. We got to HS around 6:40 and waited in a small crowd before cast members walked us back to Toy Story Land. We had FastPasses for Slinky Dog Dash later in the evening, so we decided to take advantage of this extra hour by enjoying the other attractions. It ended up working in our favor because a majority of everyone who was there early got in line for SDD. We walked right up to Buzz Lightyear for a character meet.


    We then headed for Toy Story Mania because it was only a five minute wait AKA just walking through the standby queue. This game is always so fun! Maybe it's because I've kicked Bradley's butt two years in a row... :earboy2:



    Next, we headed over to Alien Swirling Saucers. I had high expectations for this ride after watching a lot of vloggers talk about how fun it was. Unfortunately, they only had one side of the ride running. We had to wait in line about 15 minutes. It was fun but it wasn't what I was expecting. It's still fun, but the other two rides in Toy Story Land are significantly better.


    Check out Bradley's shirt! (Only $12.99 at Target!) I had to get a picture of him in A.S.S. Man, that acronym is great. We then decided to grab breakfast at Woody's Lunchbox because I had heard so many great things about it. I wasn't *that* hungry, so I opted for a kid's meal. I got the smoked turkey sandwich and Bradley got the potato barrel scramble bowl. Both meals were really, really good! That smoked turkey breakfast sandwich was great. I was impressed! I look forward to trying more from the menu in the future.


    Once we finished eating, our EMH was over. We were able to ride 2 of the 3 rides, meet Buzz, and eat breakfast in one hour. I think we made great timing! We decided to leave Toy Story Land because we knew it would be chaotic now that the park was officially opening to all guests. It was a bit hectic leaving TSL with the massive crowd heading in the other direction, but we managed to make it out alive!


    Bradley is a major Star Wars fan. I'm coming around... I'm up-to-date on all of the newer movies, but I have yet to watch the classics. He wanted to explore the Launch Bay and meet the characters since we didn't do it last year. Since the park was newly opened, there was no wait time to meet any of the characters. I'll be honest... These meet and greets were some of the most awkward meets we've ever had. Looking back on the other greets we had from last year and later on in the trip, the Star Wars characters were pretty awkward. I feel like we were rushed through them, especially Chewbacca's, but it was still cool to meet them. Unfortunately, the lighting in all rooms is terrible so our pictures didn't turn out too great. (We don't do Memory Maker!)

    We then decided to ride Star Tours since we didn't have a FP for it. It was basically a walk-on. Neither one of us was the Rebel Spy this time... I got picked last year! That ride is so fun! We ended up riding it another time during the evening. We then decided to do a little shopping to kill some time before our first FP.



    Anyone else just LOVE porgs? I wanted to buy this little guy so badly! They're just so cute.

    Once it was time for our FP, we headed to Rock N Roller Coaster. We both love, love, love this ride!




    Next, it was time for our FP for Tower of Terror. We rode this ride for the fist time last year, and Bradley declared that it was his favorite ride in all of Walt Disney World. (Tied with The People Mover, of course.)


    It's just so fun! Surprisingly, my ears stayed on the whole time. The park was starting to get pretty crowded. Everything seemed to have quite a long wait. Our FP for Slinky Dog wasn't until 3:30 p.m., and we had already ridden all of the other rides before 11:30 a.m. Bradley is not a fan of shows (I know... Blasphemy!) but I told him we would have to see some otherwise we'd be bored. We saw the Beauty and the Beast show last year, so Bradley said he'd like to pass on it. We decided to go catch an Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular show.

    I wanted to try pin trading this year because it was something I have never done. I frequently would stop anytime I saw a CM to look at his/her landyard. On the way to the show, I stopped to ask the CM at the Disney's Vacation Club booth on Sunset Blvd. if I could see his pins. It turned out that he was from Arkansas too! His hometown is only a couple hours from my hometown! Hearing his story about how he became a CM was so interesting! His dad spontaneously took a job at WDW after being laid-off in Arkansas back in the 1980s, so he decided to stay in Orlando as well and work for Disney just like his dad did. So cool! He ended up asking us if we'd be interested in sitting through an hour-long presentation over DVC. In exchange for this hour, we'd get 3 FastPasses each to use the rest of our trip and a $50 Disney gift card. We also would get free transportation from the park to Saratoga Springs in a DVC van. We said, "Heck yes!" :thumbsup2 He gave us a return time and then we headed to Indiana Jones to see the show.



    That show was really entertaining! I was glad we decided to give it a shot. After the show, it was time for our return time to go to the DVC presentation. We went back to the DVC booth and checked in. Next, we were escorted backstage to be picked up in the van. At this point, I started getting a bit uneasy. I'm not saying WDW isn't safe, but I imagined it would be more than just Bradley and me in the van. We got to go back behind the building for Rock N Roller Coaster to wait for our van. I was like, "What are we getting ourselves into...?" Luckily, once we got to Saratoga Springs, there were three other families/couples waiting for the same presentation. (Perhaps they only get one family per presentation from all four parks? Anyone know?) We were offered free refreshments and snacks. They had the famous POG juice! It was so yummy! I also helped myself to a cupcake too. :rotfl:

    We know DVC would never be for us because we don't stay in Deluxe resorts, but the presentation was interesting nonetheless. After the presentation, we were offered free ice cream sundaes from the parlor in Saratoga Springs while we waited for a van to pick us back up. Of course, I couldn't turn down free ice cream. I was about to go into a sugar coma from all of the free treats. :rotfl2:

    We got back to HS and decided to use one of our new bonus FPs to ride Rock N Roller Coaster again. This time, we got to sit in the very back. It was awesome! We then headed to watch The Voyage of the Little Mermaid show since we still had time to kill before Slinky. Ok.... Unpopular opinion (maybe?) but that was the worst show I have ever seen on Disney property. I love the lighting and water effects as well as the Ursula animatronic. However, the show was short and just jumped around with the plot. I felt like it was all over the place. And the CM playing Ariel forgot the words to "Part of Your World" at one point. It was so awkward! :eek: It was a nice break from the sun though. I wouldn't be sad to see that show be replaced with something else in the future or at least updated. It's pretty dated. :confused3

    It was finally time for our Slinky FP! We headed back to Toy Story Land when all of a sudden... Florida weather does what it does best. It started pouring. We tried to wait it out under the green umbrellas when you first walk in to TSL, but the radar didn't show it slowing down anytime soon. Our Slinky FP turned into a multi-experience pass that we could use anytime the rest of the day. We decided to head back to the hotel for an unplanned break. Even with ponchos and an umbrella, we were soaked. That rain was no joke.

    We came back to the hotel and unexpectedly fell asleep for almost two hours. (Not surprised with us waking up early for EMH!) When we awoke, it had stopped raining. We were super hungry though! We headed back to the bus stop and went back to HS. We decided to eat dinner at ABC Commissary. We know that HS has a poor selection for quick service dining, but that's what we were limited to with our free dining plan meal for the day. Surprisingly, our food was delicious. I am not joking! We were both very impressed. Maybe it's because our expectations were low because the restaurant has a poor reputation, but our food was actually worth eating again! I had the Mediterranean chicken salad and Bradley had the Southwest burger.



    We decided to use our Slinky FP after dinner. Toy Story Land at night looks completely different than it did earlier that morning. The lighting is more noticeable and everything just seems better. We rode SDD and had a lot of fun! I know it is a family coaster and I prefer thrill rides, but it was still enjoyable. I don't think I would ever wait more than an hour for it though.





    We got to sit in the back which was super exciting! I love when that happens. Since we had (finally) used all of our original FPs, I decided to look to see what else we could get. Guess what?! There was a FP for Slinky Dog that was going to start in 5 minutes. I couldn't believe it! The ride currently had a 135 minute wait and I scored a FP for it! I was so excited. Bradley and I both agreed that it was better the second time. If you can, ride it twice.

    It was coming up time for Fantasmic, which is my favorite firework show in WDW. However, we decided to take advantage of the low wait times for the rides instead of seeing the show. We were able to ride Star Tours and Tower of Terror again without a long wait. Tower of Terror was incredible at night time! When you get to see the rest of the park at the top, it was a beautiful sight seeing the park all lit up.

    Before we left, I decided that I wanted to try the carrot cake cookie. Carrot cake is my favorite cake flavor and one of my only regrets from our trip last year was that I didn't get the cookie. I know that the cookie has changed a bit now that it is being sold in the Starbucks location, but I still enjoyed it. And yes, I ate the whole thing by myself. I am a sugar maniac! How I was able to have a cupcake, ice cream, frozen slushie, and now this ginormous cookie in one day without getting ill is beyond me. No regrets!



    We crashed when we got back to Pop Century but we had a great day. I was excited to have two bonus FPs to use the rest of our trip, and of course, that $50 gift card was going to come in handy for our dinner reservation at 'Ohana later in the trip. We called it a night so we would be rested up to tackle Disney Springs and Magic Kingdom the next day. Stay tuned! :sulley:
     
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    eiblehs

    Expedition Everest Enthusiast
    Joined
    May 31, 2017
    Day 4: Disney Springs & Magic Kingdom
    What was originally planned as a "rest day" turned into quite a bit of foot work! Last year, my feet were done halfway through the trip. Keeping that in mind, we planned for this day to be spent at the hotel (sleeping in and pool time) and then our night would be spent in the Magic Kingdom. Well, we decided to scrap the rest-day-idea and go to Disney Springs instead. Neither one of us had ever been to DS before, so we decided to check it out! We did end up sleeping in, which was much needed after waking up early for Hollywood Studios the day before.

    We got to DS right at noon so we decided to have lunch. We were limited to a quick service restaurant but luckily there are quite a bit of options for QS dining in Disney Springs! We decided to try The Polite Pig. We could smell the BBQ aroma from outside and it was definitely enticing! Surprisingly, the restaurant was nearly empty when we got there. There was no line and empty tables galore. However, by the time we left, there was a line out the door! I ordered the ribs with crispy brussels sprouts and Bradley ordered the brisket with macaroni and cheese.


    The ribs were much better than the brisket. They fell off the bone! Not to mention the portion size is incredible for the dining plan. I have a rather large appetite (if you couldn't tell from the previous posts) and I struggled cleaning my plate. The brussels sprouts were life-changing! The cornbread muffins were cold which was disappointing. Everything else was pretty good; I'm glad we gave it a chance!


    We hit up World of Disney and a handful of other shops. As you can tell, the weather wasn't great. It rained on us the entire time we were shopping. We spent about three hours there before we decided to head back to the hotel to drop off all of our merchandise. We had FPs booked that we needed to get to and the Magic Kingdom had extra magic hours from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. :tink:

    Ok, I know a "bad" day in Disney is better than a good day at home... Let me just say that our night in MK was the worst night of our trip. In fact, it was the worst time I've ever had in Disney! :eek: It was incredibly crowded and busy the entire time we were there. And the weather was monsoon-like 80% of the time. We tried to make the best of it because, hello! We were in the Magic Kingdom! But sometimes it was difficult. Heavy sideways rain, thunder, lightning, closed attractions, and heavy crowds did not make for the most magical place on Earth.


    I'm glad we were able to get a castle picture before the storm hit! Because after that monsoon, we looked like drenched rats! :laughing:

    Despite the long wait times and closed outdoor rides, we were able to do a quite a few attractions! We rode Big Thunder Mountain as soon as we got there with a FP (thankfully before the rain). Then a ride that is both of our favorites...


    Does anyone else prop their feet up on The Peoplemover?! You can tell Bradley loves sitting next to my feet. :rotfl:Don't let his face fool you. He props his up too!

    We then watched The Carousel of Progress (a classic!) and headed to The Haunted Mansion for our second FP. That was when the storm hit. Although we were in the FP line, it was crazy busy because people were filling up the indoor attractions. And even though most of the queue is covered by an awning, that sideways rain and wind showed no mercy. It was intense!

    Our third FP was for Splash Mountain, but that was closed due to the weather. It was closed the rest of the night. I was heartbroken that they never opened it back up, even when the weather cleared up! We decided to cash in the "multiple experience" FP for Space Mountain. Again, the FP line was crazy but SM is my favorite ride in all of Magic Kingdom so I would wait forever to ride it. Ok, not really, but it felt like forever! :rotfl2:

    We decided to continue our indoor adventure and try something new. We decided to try Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor for the first time. It was an attraction that neither one of us had ever desired to do, but boy I'm glad we did this time! That show was HILARIOUS! I had no idea that the "monsters" pick on audience members. We loved it! When we left the show, the rain had stopped. Yet, the outdoor rides were still closed. We rode The Little Mermaid ride because it had a short wait. Luckily, when we were done all of the rides were back open. Well, except for Splash Mountain. :(

    I booked our fourth FP for Jungle Cruise. That ride is a must-do every time!


    We began to get an appetite so we headed to Bradley's favorite restaurant in all of Disney... Casey's Corner! Unfortunately, we timed it during Happily Ever After. Can you say CHAOTIC?! Rookie mistake. That line was crazy and it was so unorganized in there. People were getting incorrect orders, they were out of straws (before the ban), and people left their manners in the hotel. We finally got our food (seriously, it took probably 30 minutes after we ordered).


    Yes, he ate that entire thing by himself WITH the fries! It was the hotdog of the month: The Hot Diggity Dog. It had cheese, spicy ranch, fried onions, and bacon. I had the mini corndogs and fries. They were ok... I definitely wish I would have ordered a hotdog!

    We then headed to Mad Tea Party because it's one of my favorites. Bradley spins the hell out of our cup and it just makes me laugh the whole time. It's just so much fun!


    We ended the evening in Tomorrowland. We rode the Peoplemover one more time and then Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. Bradley kicked my butt--again! I don't understand how to get points on that ride. I swear I get a laser gun that doesn't work every time. :mad:


    But I look so determined to win though, right?! :rotfl2:

    The park was near closing so we decided to call it a night. We were pretty worn out--so much for that rest day. Lol! Stay tuned for our day in Epcot and a dinner review of 'Ohana!
     
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    eiblehs

    Expedition Everest Enthusiast
    Joined
    May 31, 2017
    Day 5: Epcot and 'Ohana Dinner
    We decided to sleep in this morning, but not too late! When we got to Epcot, it was just in time for our first FastPass. We originally planned to rope drop the park, but that went out the window. We kicked things off with our beloved Spaceship Earth. Though it cannot be compared to any of the tier 1 rides, Spaceship Earth is just a truly incredible ride. I swear I notice something new each time I ride it. We decided to head into the World Showcase to grab a small bite to eat. We wanted to save our appetites for our early dinner at 'Ohana.

    The Refreshment Port near the Canada pavilion is always a must for me. I dream about the croissant donut. Bradley is not big for sweets, so he got the poutine with the cheddar bacon soup on top. Both snacks were incredible! He and I both agree that those were the best fries that we had on property. And trust me, Bradley ate a lot of fries on our trip. The Refreshment Port seemed to be the only one who can serve fries correctly.



    Next, we headed over to Norway for our second FP, Frozen Ever After. We did not have the opportunity to ride it when we were in Disney last year, so this was a must for me! (Bradley is indifferent when it comes to Frozen, but he did like the ride!) Now, Bradley never got to experience Maelstrom; I did back in 2001. This was both of our first time riding FEA. It was just so cute! I love a good dark boat ride.

    We decided to grab a drink in Mexico--another first for us! Last year we attempted to drink around the world (check out my 2017 trip report here) but once we got to Mexico, they had stopped serving alcohol. I was determined to try the famous avocado margarita, dang it!


    It was definitely an interesting flavor. Would I order it again? Probably not just because it was a $16 drink. Did I hate it? Not at all. But it's not something I would go out of my way to get again. I am glad I tried it. Bradley ordered some kind of Mexican beer; he liked it! I wish we would have sat in La Cava de Tequila, but we just got our drinks to go. We walked around the Mexico pavilion eyeing all of the merchandise for sale. Coco is one of my favorite Pixar/Disney movies, so I enjoyed looking at all of the features for the movie inside the pavilion. We decided to ride the Gran Fiesta Tour again since it had a low wait time, plus, we both really like it!

    We walked around the World Showcase some more before it was time for our third FP. Once it was time, we made our way over to swim the seas with Nemo and friends. Neither one of us *love* that ride, which is a shame because we love the movie. But it is cute and a good way to get out of the sun for a bit. We actually both prefer walking around the aquarium after the ride more than anything. We were able to watch the manatees being fed while we were there. It was really neat!

    We then went to Club Cool to get a quick drink--this time, no Beverly! But man, I could drink a gallon of the melon soda. Yummy! I decided to see what I could book for our next FP now that we had used all three. Luckily, I was able to snag one for Soarin'! We were stoked! We made our way over to the Land Pavilion so we could ride it. We didn't get B1 this time, so we had the leaning tower of Eiffel. :laughing: It's still fun no matter where you sit! It was getting close to our dinner reservation time, so we decided to leave a bit early just in case traveling from Epcot to the Polynesian took some time. Neither one of us had ever been on the monorail. (I know, craziness!) It was crowded at first; we had to stand until we got to the TTC. Once people got off there, we were able to sit down for the short ride to the Polynesian.

    Eating at 'Ohana wasn't part of our official plans until about a month before our trip. I had originally booked a breakfast at Garden Grill for this day. I wanted to splurge on one table service meal for our trip, and I had heard so many great things about GG. Doing the math, the breakfast would have cost us about $75. I went back and forth between wanting to keep the reservation and wanting to try something else. While I know the character interaction is amazing there, meeting the characters was not a priority for us. The food and value is what matters more. I just kept thinking, "Is $75 worth it for scrambled eggs and tater tots?" With all of the Disney vloggers I watch, I had always wanted to eat at 'Ohana. I considered it a dream to have dinner there. I realized it would be just under $100 for both our meals. I came to terms with "Are you willing to spend an extra $25 on better quality food?" The answer was yes. I decided to bite the bullet and cancel our Garden Grill reservation. Booking a dinner reservation for 'Ohana a month before the trip wasn't as easy. I was finally able to snag one for 3:30 p.m. for an early dinner. That wasn't the most ideal time, but I was going to take what I could get. (I ended up being able to modify it closer to our trip for a 4:30 p.m. time slot.)

    We got off the monorail about 35 minutes before our reservation time, but we went ahead and checked in. I wanted to explore the hotel a bit while we waited for our table. We went downstairs and got lei'd. :rotfl: I just think that the Polynesian is truly a beautiful resort. It just may be my dream resort should I ever have the opportunity to stay at a deluxe property. We made it back up the stairs and had just walked into Moana Mercantile to browse when I got the text saying our table was ready.


    Check out that view from our table! Wow! We didn't ask for a specific seat; we were just happy to be there. I was shocked when the hostess took us to that table. What an incredible view! And of course, that pineapple coconut welcome bread was devine. I knew better than to fill up on bread, so I had a small slice. Bradley, on the other hand, finished the rest of it off. He loved it!


    While you shouldn't judge Bradley for eating nearly that entire loaf of bread, go ahead and judge me for basically eating this entire bowl of salad. If it's green and healthy, Bradley won't touch it. However, I am a huge fan of salads, especially with exotic dressings. You guys... This salad was so yummy! While I didn't clean the bowl, I came close. I could make a meal just from the salad. It was delicious! Next came the bowl of appetizers...


    Everything in this bowl was delicious except for the ginger coriander chicken wings. Neither Bradley nor I liked them. They tasted like the smell of Lysol, honestly. We were not fans. We both LOVED the potsticker dumplings. We ended up asking for more later in the meal. Those little dumplings dipped in the sweet and sour sauce changed my life. I am ashamed of how many I consumed that day. We also both really liked the noodles. And of course, I was left to eat all of the vegetables by myself, and they were good too.

    Next came the steak, chicken, and shrimp skewers. This is where it gets interesting for us. The steak was on the medium well side but nearly all of the pieces that we both got were very, very chewy. Definitely not tender cuts of steak. Bradley didn't care for the steak, but I liked the flavor. If you got past the chewing, it was really yummy. I ate his pieces of steak because he wasn't feeling it. It worked out, though, because I wasn't a fan of the chicken! It had way too smokey of a flavor for my liking. If you like that smoked/wood grilled flavor, then you will like the chicken. It was too overpowering for me even dipped in the sauces. I had a couple bites and then gave mine to Bradley. So it worked out! I ate most of the steak and he ate most of the chicken. When it comes to shrimp, I'll eat it cooked/prepared any way. Bradley only likes fried shrimp, but I insisted that he tried theirs. I am not crazy about how it's peel and eat shrimp. My fingers/hands were so nasty by the end of our meal. Thankfully, our server ("cousin") provided us with hot towels. Believe me when I say I had to use both of them to clean my hands. That shrimp is messy! The shrimp was my favorite meat. The pieces were huge and the flavor was incredible. Bradley even liked them--but I had to peel them for him before he'd eat them. :sad2: :laughing:


    Ok, typing this trip report and looking at pictures from our dinner is making me hungry. And of course, we both loved the dessert. Although Bradley isn't a huge fan of caramel, he fought my fork off when I was going in for that bread pudding! Our server also brought us a rice krispie treat with the bread pudding--not sure why he did. We didn't have any celebrating buttons on, but I did box the treat up later for a midnight snack. :blush: It was yummy but nothing compares to that caramel banana bread pudding. I wanted to ask for more when it was gone, but I knew there was no more room in my stomach.




    Overall, we had a great dining experience at 'Ohana. I definitely do not regret eating there. I feel like we got what we paid for. Our meal came to $96 before the tip with no discounts. We were able to use that $50 gift card from the DVC presentation from earlier in the trip, so that helped cover a chunk of the bill. The worst part now was having to go back to Epcot after that heavy meal. :rotfl2:


    We got back on the monorail and headed back to the park. Man, walking around after a dinner at 'Ohana was nearly miserable at first. I felt like a beached whale. I snagged us a fifth FP for TestTrack. Bradley was like, "Seriously? We just ate!" But it wasn't so bad. After we rode TT, I couldn't get any more FPs that were worth anything. Everything that was left was just "meh." We decided to spend the rest of the evening in the World Showcase. We did a little bit of shopping too. Bradley bought himself a hat in the American pavilion that caught his eye from the first day of our trip. Despite us being incredibly full, we couldn't pass France without getting a frozen Grey Goose lemonade.


    That is probably my most favorite alcoholic drink in all of Disney World. We shared one last year, and Bradley said it's too good to share. We had to get our own. :rotfl: We walked around the World Showcase some more just taking in the sights and sounds. It was our last day in Epcot for the trip, and we weren't ready to say goodbye.

    We decided to ride Spaceship Earth one last time before it was time to leave. We missed Illuminations, but we are more ride kind of people than watching fireworks if you haven't noticed. We ended up getting stuck (imagine that!) towards the end of the ride on the part where we were moving backwards in our time machine. Luckily, we were only stuck for about 5 minutes. That is one ride I definitely would not want to be evacuated off of! :eek: We started our day in Epcot and ended the night with a ride on Spaceship Earth. It felt right.


    We headed to the bus stop so we could go back to our hotel to rest up before our last full day in Disney. Stay tuned for our day in Magic Kingdom and to hear about a magical moment!
     
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    eiblehs

    Expedition Everest Enthusiast
    Joined
    May 31, 2017
    Day 6: Magic Kingdom
    We spent the last day of our vacation in the Magic Kingdom. Our day had a rough start, but it ended up being a magical day. We planned to take advantage of the EMH from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., but we didn't make it to the park until 8:40 a.m. Unfortunately, we encountered a Disney bus issue when trying to get to MK. While trying to leave our resort, one of the MK buses had a mechanical issue. The doors would not close; therefore, the driver couldn't move the bus. We baked in the hot sun outside of Pop Century standing in line and waiting for another bus to show up. I was even contemplating spending money on a Minnie van... I was not in a good mood. All I could think about was our EMH being wasted. Once the second bus showed up, the people who were stuck on the first bus got off to get on the new one. Well, once it was empty, the doors to the first bus shut! It turns out that it was too packed and a stroller was tripping the door sensors in the back of the bus. :sad2:

    Once we finally reached MK, we only had 20 minutes left of our EMH. :mad: What I didn't know was that only Tomorrowland and Fantasyland were open during the extra magic hour. As much Disney planning as I did for our trip, that was one thing I did not know. We took a couple pictures in front of the castle since it wasn't too crowded.


    We decided to wait for Frontierland to open rather than exploring the two lands that were open. Once the park officially opened, we were part of a giant mob of people rushing to get on rides. We wanted to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad one more time; since we didn't have a FP for it, we headed straight there. Luckily, we were able to walk right on with little to no wait.

    Next we headed to Pirates of the Caribbean since we didn't get a chance to ride it on our first day in MK. Honestly, we were hesitant to ride it because we got stuck on it last summer for nearly 45 minutes. (Yep! We lost our EMH in MK last year too! Oh, the irony!) Luckily, everything went smoothly and we were able to ride it with no issues.

    We had a little bit of time to kill before our first FP, so we headed to Fantasyland to look around Big Top Souvenirs. That is one of my favorite gift shop locations on WDW property! I reallllllly wanted to grab a treat from the case, but we had early lunch reservations at Be Our Guest and I didn't want to ruin my appetite. When it was time for our FP, we headed to Seven Dwarf's Mine Train. We rode this coaster for the first time last year, and neither one of us thought it was worth the hype. We enjoyed it, but we couldn't figure out why the wait times were always so high for it. Our opinions changed after this trip. We were able to snag the last mine car, so maybe sitting in the back made it more enjoyable. The ride was so much fun! Still wouldn't wait an outrageous amount of time to ride it though.



    It started to sprinkle a bit, so we thought we'd find somewhere indoors. Neither one of us had ever visited The Tiki Room attraction. We knew it is a WDW classic so we thought we'd check it out. Unpopular opinion: It was so weird and we didn't enjoy it. I appreciate the history behind it, but that was definitely a one-and-done attraction for us.

    We spent a bit more time in Fantasyland and rode Winnie the Pooh before heading to my favorite land, Tomorrowland. We cashed in our last bonus FP from the DVC tour on Space Mountain. I love that ride! We then rode another favorite of ours, the PeopleMover. Next, we took pictures in front of the legendary purple wall. We didn't do this on our last trip, so it was yet another new experience. (Bradley doesn't understand the hype. Lol!)


    It was time for our lunch reservation at Be Our Guest! We pre-ordered online (ALWAYS DO THIS) so when we checked in, we just headed straight to an empty table. I was so excited because we were able to get a spot in front of the snowy windows in the ballroom. While waiting for our food to arrive at our table... A magical moment happened. A cast member came by to check on us. I thought this was strange because we hadn't even received our food yet. Bradley asked her if she would take our picture. This was a red flag for two reasons: Bradley HATES taking pictures and he certainly wouldn't ask a stranger to take ours. I knew something was up. Well, it turns out he had something up his sleeve...




    He asked and I said yes! :love: It was such a magical moment! I honestly was not expecting this to happen so it was a total surprise. I was so happy and ready to get out of there to call everyone. I wasn't even hungry when our food showed up. :rotfl: It's a good thing I wasn't even hungry anymore because my turkey sandwich was not good.

    I don't know why I didn't learn my lesson from last year. (I didn't like what I ordered last year and knew the Croque Monsieur was the way to go. Yet, I wanted to try something new. It was a mistake.) The turkey sandwich was dry and had little to not flavor. I was dipping it in the ketchup just to make it better. It was just meh.

    The CM who took our pictures during the proposal brought us some celebratory buttons.



    After sharing the good news with friends and family back home, it was time to get back to enjoying our time in the parks! It was time for our next FP--another first time experience: Peter Pan! We are thrill-seekers when it comes to rides. I know Peter Pan is very tame and very short, but I figured we'd give it a shot to say that we've ridden it. I'm glad we had a FP for it because the standby line was ridiculous. Bradley was like, "That's it?" when the ride was over. :rotfl2:

    We decided to keep with the trend of trying new things, so we headed to The Hall of Presidents. Another attraction we have never been able to experience. (Last summer it was closed for refurbishments.) We were surprised by this show. It was actually very entertaining as well as informative. Regardless of your political views and feelings about the latest presidential addition, I think everyone should experience the attraction. It's definitely one we will return to in the future!


    We then stayed in Liberty Square by visiting 999 happy haunts. We had a FP; yet, the wait time was a bit longer than I expected. The FP line back up all the way to the horseless-buggy at the start of the entrance. The Florida sun was taking a bit of a toll on us, but we refused to take a mid-day break on our last day in Disney. We'd power through the heat!

    We decided to cool off with another relaxing ride on the PeopleMover. It's a good one to prop the feet up for a bit and escape the sun.


    I booked our fourth FP for Space Mountain while relaxing on our tour through Tomorrowland. It's my favorite ride in Magic Kingdom, so I try to ride it as much as possible. :goodvibes We decided to go do Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor since we enjoyed it so much the first day we were there. That is really an underrated attraction. It is very funny!

    While walking to Adventureland, we caught some of the parade. Honestly, we have never sat and watched a parade in WDW. It's just something that doesn't interest us. However, it was cool to see some characters going by on their floats while just out and about in the park.


    I booked our fifth FP for Splash Mountain. We didn't get to ride it earlier during our trip because it was shut down. I was scared we wouldn't get to ride it at all. I was stoked that I was able to snag a FP for it; however, we had to wait a few hours for it to be able to be used. We noticed the wait time for Pirates was low enough to do standby, so we decided to ride it again. Luckily, we didn't get stuck! :laughing:

    We stopped for an early dinner at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn. We decided to split the fajita platter because it really is a lot of food, especially when you load up at the toppings bar like I do! It was pretty yummy... Definitely better than my turkey sandwich from earlier.

    While scrolling through Instagram at dinner, I saw that some vloggers I watch were in the park too! I power-walked from Pecos Bill all the way to Winnie the Pooh in Fantasyland because that's where they were. I was a hot mess when I spotted them; it was almost embarrassing. :rotfl:I was so excited to meet Taylor and Josh, The WDW Couple. They were super friendly despite me being a sweaty, nervous fan. Lol!


    It was getting close to our FP time for Splash Mountain. We headed to our laughing place!


    Although I don't care for water rides, there is something special about Splash Mountain. We had a blast! I can hear the music from the ride in my head as I type this... :rolleyes: We were pretty soaked, so we decided to head back to the resort for the evening. We had an early flight and had yet to pack anything! Of course, we stopped at the Emporium and stocked up on souvenirs and gifts beforehand. I got some really cute picture frames. I splurged on a Beauty and the Beast themed one to put our proposal picture in. :lovestruc

    Overall, it was a wonderful day in the Magic Kingdom. It was a perfect ending to our vacation. I hope you enjoyed reading about our incredible summer in WDW! I enjoyed sharing and reliving these memories with you.
     
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  • DisneyMichele

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 31, 2018
    Love your trip report! Where did you get all the matching/complementary T-Shirts you wore? You guys look great in all your pictures! I thought about doing memory maker, but it seems like you can get great pics without it too.
     
  • eiblehs

    Expedition Everest Enthusiast
    Joined
    May 31, 2017
    Love your trip report! Where did you get all the matching/complementary T-Shirts you wore? You guys look great in all your pictures! I thought about doing memory maker, but it seems like you can get great pics without it too.
    Thank you! My Minnie shirt and the Pizza Planet shirt came from Target. His Mickey shirt and both of our Lion King shirts came from JC Penney. My coworker has a screen printing machine, so she made my Toy Story shirt as well as a couple other shirts you will see in my next posts! In my upcoming posts: my Stitch shirt, Bradley’s Star Wars shirt, and his Marvel shirt also all came from JC Penney. :earboy2: We definitely don’t regret getting Memory Maker because cast members will take pictures of us with our iPhones. If we had a family or more people with us, I would consider it. But with just us two, it’s not worth the extra cost.
     

    eiblehs

    Expedition Everest Enthusiast
    Joined
    May 31, 2017
    following- can you list some of your favorite bloggers. Love your trip report!
    Thank you! The only blog I read fairly regularly is Disney Food Blog. However, I watch a lot of Disney vloggers on Youtube. The ones I would call my favorite are: The Dis Unplugged, The Tim Tracker, The WDW Couple, PagingMrMorrow, and then the Disney Food Blog also has a YouTube channel that is very informative. I watch a handful more, but those are my favorites!
     

    eiblehs

    Expedition Everest Enthusiast
    Joined
    May 31, 2017
    And that's a wrap on my trip report! I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed sharing our trip with you.

    :tinker: Thank you for following along!
     





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