Saturday, April 21, 2018

Disney Jan 2018 ~ Animal Kingdom, Part 1

(Wed, Jan 31, 2018)

Wednesday was an early morning as we were both excited for the day ahead so we were up and out of the room before 7am!  We were on our way to Animal Kingdom  and going to check out Pandora – The World of Avatar, a new land that had opened since our last visit!  Pandora has been open for less than a year and one of it’s rides is the current hot item ticket at Walt Disney World!

We caught an early bus and arrived at the park around 7:15 for a 9:00 opening. 

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We were able to go through bag check and security and were in line at the tap stiles before 7:30am.  By that point every tap stile as lined up about 30 people deep and the line continued to grow behind us.

I believe it was shortly before 8:00 that the tap stiles were opened and we quietly sauntered lightly jogged towards Pandora.  We had made friends with a family in the line and Hannah kept up with them as this mama isn’t used to moving at much more than that gentle saunter mentioned above.  We met back up on the bridge on our way to Pandora and the next wait began.

This was the group in front of us….

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And the line extended further than the eye could see behind us….still about an hour before park opening!  And yes….95% of these people were all headed to the same ride!!!

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The ride of choice, Avatar Flight of Passage

I will say I was surprised that the line did not start moving into Pandora until 9:00 as it’s common for Cast Members to begin the controlled walk towards the ride early.  I will say that Disney has mastered the controlled walk when you think of the thousands of people that were now in line and how they moved it forward slowly and from 25 people wide to single file without pushing, shoving and just moving forward.  It really is quite neat and while it would give my friend M Winking smile heart palpitations to be in a crowd like that, it’s part of the excitement for Hannah and I. 

As we entered Pandora and made our way towards the ride I snapped a few pics of this amazing new land.  They really did a phenomenal job of theming it!!!

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I don’t want to spoil the surprise but if you’re going to WDW, try not to miss Flight of Passage (FoP)!  It is breathtaking and unlike any other ride I’ve ever been on!  We were thankful to have FP reservations for later in the day so we knew we’d get to ride again.  Woot!

We exited the ride about 9:20 and by that time the standby wait was over 2 1/2 hours long!  Oh yes, arriving early was the key for sure!!

After FoP we made our way towards Africa to Tusker House for our character breakfast reservation.  The food at Tusker House is delicious and the character interaction great. 

Mickey told us Minnie was busy fixing her makeup so we didn’t see her but we did visit with him and some of his best friends.

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Hannah had never been to Rafiki’s Planet Watch so we boarded an oh-so-crowded train and took the 5 hour minute ride to the Planet Watch area.  Yes, we had this entire car to ourselves.IMG_0888

Rafiki was there to greet her.  She was a little hesitant about greeting him at first but after a few minutes she warmed up to him and decided he was an okay dude to go see.

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My niece Rebecca was the same when she was Hannah’s age and she exclaimed that she was not going to get anywhere close to ‘For-freekie!’ Winking smile

We took time to visit the small petting zoo before taking the train back to Africa.

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A great day was under way and it was still only early afternoon. 

Tomorrow, part 2 of our day at Animal Kingdom.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Disney 2018 ~ Magic Kingdom, Day 2, Part 2

(Tues, Jan 30, 2018)


After enjoying a great day at the Magic Kingdom we took a friendship boat to the Polynesian Resort to ‘Ohana, one of our favourite places to eat!  Their food is delicious!
Umm, I’m pretty sure we won’t go hungry and could possibly eat for an entire week with the amount of food they brought to our table! Surprised smile  There is a large wood fire grill in the centre of the restaurant and they bring giant skewers of chicken, steak and shrimp to your table throughout dinner.  ‘Ohana is one of our new favourites that we now book each trip.
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Noodles anyone?
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That’s better!  My beautiful girl.  Oh how I love her!!
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Hannah also enjoys the coconut races at ‘Ohana.  Love the extra activities offered at many Disney restaurants.
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We also decided that this would be the day that we celebrated Hannah’s 9th Birthday so when they asked for birthdays she went up.

After our delicious supper we wandered around one of the stores at the Polynesian that Hannah enjoys browsing through.  From there we headed back to the Magic Kingdom with plans to see Happily Ever After since we had missed it Sunday night due to rain.
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We had an opportunity to go on a few rides and then staked out spots for the castle projection show, ‘Once Upon A Time’ and the new fireworks and projection show, ‘Happily Ever After’. 
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A friend loaned Hannah this coat and it was perfect for our trip.  It bundled into a tight little package and weighed next to nothing but it was warm when she needed it.  Thanks so much Liz and Ava!  I want to keep an eye out at Costco to pick one of these up for Hannah next year.
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The projections on the castle are nothing short of spectacular and SO detailed!  I had purposely not watched the shows online as they were both new in 2017 and I’m so glad I waited!!
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Although we hung out in the hub for a while waiting for the crowds to thin, one glance behind us let us know getting anywhere fast wasn’t going to happen.
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It was easy to decide that now was the perfect time to surprise Hannah with her early gift that I had been planning for her for the past number of months….a Pandora bracelet.  Buying it at Disney with her first charm being from there was an easy decision.  And she quickly knew exactly what charm she wanted too!
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Cinderella’s Castle…..perfect for my Disney loving girl!!
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Happy 9th Birthday Hannah!  Mommy loves you sooooo much! Red heart

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Disney 2018 ~ Magic Kingdom, Day 2, Part 1

(Tues, Jan 30, 2018)


We were excited to enjoy a second day in the Magic Kingdom (MK)!  There is so much to do in the MK that one day isn’t near enough for us.
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It was a chilly morning but we weren’t wearing winter coats so we were excited.  Hannah decided to use some of her spending money to purchase these cute new ears.  The bows are interchangeable so if she wants to purchase other bows in the future she can.
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This left her silver ears up for grabs so mommy was happy to wear those.  Love how Disney offers everyone the opportunity to be a child again!  Yup, works for us!
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A trip (or 3) on the People Mover is a must every single trip! 
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I’m hoping that once Tron is open in a few years that the People Mover will be rerouted through that attraction!
Hannah has often looked at the personalized parasols that can be created and this time she decided to buy a little one.  So cute!
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Hannah’s snack of choice is the dole whip and I decided to try a citrus swirl.  The ice cream was a tangy treat but I wasn’t crazy about it being served with orange soda.  Next time I think I’ll just stick with the ice cream in a cone or dish. 
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Each trip there are a few rides that Hannah considers trying.  Most times she decides to pass and that’s just fine with me but this time she was ready to take on a new adventure!  (LOL – I don’t think it hurt that her 5yo cousin rode it last September and she was not going to be outdone! Winking smile)
Space Mountain, here she comes!!!  Check out that confidence!
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And, she never looked back!  I was concerned as this is a roller coaster completely in the dark but she loved it!
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Another new thing we tried this time was, ‘A Pirate’s Adventure ~ Treasure of the Seven Seas’.  We picked up a map in Adventureland which led us around the area.  Using our MagicBands we found secret hidden treasure locations where her MagicBand would do cool things like shoot off a canon or cause buried treasure to be revealed.  Lots of fun and another new way for us to enjoy park time!
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After our treasure hunt we were off to ‘Ohana to celebrate an early 9th birthday for Hannah.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Disney Jan 2018 ~ Day 2, Epcot

(Mon, Jan 29, 2018)
Hannah and I started our day with breakfast at the resort and then made our way to Epcot.  The weather was still a bit dreary but this time we were better prepared.  Hannah is dressed for the weather while checking out our new ‘Hidden Mickey’ book.
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Thankfully by the time we were riding Test Track, our first ride of the day. the sun was out and stayed out for the rest of the day.  Yay!
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Hannah and her creation.  She always creates such neat cars!
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By the time we finished this ride I realized Hannah’s shoes were not going to make it though the day as her feet were cramping.  Normally we visit Disney in the fall meaning her feet have been wearing Crocs on and off all summer.  With it being January she’s been wearing running shoes with good support and her feet were not liking the jump back into Crocks.  Knowing Disney stores carry a lot of variety i was pretty sure we’d be able to find a new pair of shoes for her.  Oh baby….did we ever!  One look at these adorable shoes and we were both sold!!   Buh bye Crocks, Hello bling!!!
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We enjoyed a great day at Epcot hanging out in Future World at first and then moving to the World Showcase in the afternoon.
A highlight of our day was Hannah meeting Mulan.  She wore her costume and it was sweet to watch Mulan slow down and spend some special time with Hannah.  They were probably together for almost 5 minutes and Hannah was in her glory.
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Precious!
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We made our way through the World Showcase, exited at the International Gateway and took a boat over to the Beach Club for supper at Cape May Cafe.   They have a seafood buffet at supper which mommy really likes and Hannah can find plenty to eat plus she enjoys opening crab for mommy.  It’s a win-win I think!
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Opening crab was a tiring job though so Hannah decided to nap a little bit while I waited for the bill.  Love how she can sleep wherever she is!
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We decided to make it an earlier night and save ourselves some steps.  Rather than go back to Epcot and walk to the front of park for a bus, we took a friendship boat to Hollywood Studios and took a bus back to Pop Century from there.
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Another amazing day with my girl was in the books.
Tomorrow…Magic Kingdom Day 2!
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