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Old 09-06-2013, 10:54 PM   #1
hakepb
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Better late than never? July AKV, POR & BLT photo trip report


This took much longer than expected, but I'm finally trying to put together my trip report.
I'm not a big plan of split stays....but when you realize your DL plans wont work with summer camp schedule.. (and I had GCV booked ) at the last minute (within 2 months) we put together 6 days at Kidani in a standard 1BR, 2 days at POR (only ever saw SSR for July 3rd and 4th, but decided to save points) and 2 days at BLY Lake View 1BR...so, let the fun begin.

..or did I say rain? 2/3 the way through this trip, I thought my TR would be titled "a not so photogenic trip report". I know the prototypical Fla summer 15-45 minute downpour, but this was all-day cloudy and hours of rain. I spent more time in a poncho than all my previous trips combined. Photographically, there wasn't the good sunlight and skys that typically interest me. It did clear up a bit in the last few days, and I did wind up with too many photos to process.

I'll start with Kidani. We had a standard view. At online check-in, I chose "Pembe" knowing that some standard rooms had a partial Pembe view...and I got a room on the narrow "pathway" between the 2 sections of the Pembe Savannah We were on the 4th floor with a 7X5X room number (meaning there were 50 other rooms we passed on the way from the lobby. It was a far , far walk, but a far superior view to a bus stop view.

From a later trip day, here was our view:

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Old 09-06-2013, 11:02 PM   #2
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There were 2 advantages of all the rain.
1) clouds kept the temperatures reasonable
2) clouds often mean more interesting sunsets to photograph.

Here's pictures from several days:











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Old 09-06-2013, 11:06 PM   #3
hakepb
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just in case you were thinking the rain was all made up (because I dont take the camera out)


more to be added in the next few days, leading up to our crazy last day, is 4 parks in a day possible?
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:24 PM   #4
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Our first park day was MK..because we always do that

In the evening, the castle looked nice:


And we enjoyed MSEP:


With its patriotic ending:
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:47 PM   #5
hakepb
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The next (late) AM, we saw an Okapi walk by our "standard" room


Then we took a bus to Animal Kingdom park


In Africa after a Tusker house breakfast (Normally, I would only book a Boma breakfast when staying at AKV, but we made this ADR before we found enough availability at AKV)






And then went on the safari:








And EE


Then back to the room
Here you can see the feeding slot in a log to encourage animal activity:


After a rest, we took a bus to the MK
A view of Kidani from a bus stop window:




New Fantasyland:
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:48 PM   #6
hakepb
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For some reason, many pictures are now out of order online and my PC... Our first day, we ended with Wishes by Sleepy Hollow:




Our next day we started in MK, then went to DHS in the afternoon. After one rain, it cleared up enough for a ride through catastrophe canyon:



Adding to multiple rain closures for rides during the trip, we also experienced some odd shutdowns, like Splash without H2O:

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Old 09-13-2013, 08:08 PM   #7
hakepb
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On July 3rd we said "Hi" to the Okapi and Tommy before heading to MK:







In Fantasyland:


An HDR shot:






The train all decked out for the 4th:
(But we learned, don't board the train right before the 3:00 parade, because we waited, and waited before we could leave)


Before the fireworks:




Fireworks behind the hub, too:






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Old 09-13-2013, 08:23 PM   #8
hakepb
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On the 4th, we checked out of Kidani and headed to Jambo for a breakfast at Boma. At Boma, we were very disapointed to learn the cinnamon-raisin French Toast was no longer on the buffet. The chef was nice enough to make us an improvised platter with a different cinnamon bread (yum!) but I don't think we can expect that service, again.



And an HDR: (HDR is not my favorite thing, but it helps capture more detail in high contrast situations)


And then to DHS.
I probably took too many pictures of LMA, but they were fun:




(The stunt rider did not catch on fire as he slid through the fire)




DHS was much more packed than last year, we did not get a decent spot for the fireworks.




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Old 09-13-2013, 08:53 PM   #9
hakepb
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It took us at least an hour to ride a bus back to our new room at POR...most of that time was spent waiting (standing in the bus) to leave the parking lot. Traffic was not moving on the road between DHS and BWV...

Our POR room was in Alligator Bayou, so we got to experience the GFV-sized pull down bed. It looked like a nice option up through the pre-teen years. We were in building 15, so we were about 3 or 4 times closer to the main bus stop than our Kidani walk
The morning of the 5th, we drove to PORFQ' food court, tofinally experience the Beignets
And then went to DAK
FOTLK






I got stuck at a bridge for the parade:

And a bird flyover






And then another Safari:




I don't think I've ever seen the cheetah and lions behind burlap


At night, we went to the MK.
Following MSEP:




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Old 09-13-2013, 09:42 PM   #10
hakepb
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On the 6th, we checked out of POR, and into our first stay at BLT. For our lake view 1BR, I requested the typical even number, high floor room on the N side to hopefully get a partial MK view. But there was a big problem with our reservation that took the CM's about an hour to figure out (including calls to IT), so they "rebooked" our room, and called when it was finally ready. When I saw 7521 (an odd number), I felt deflated. But 75__ is that 5th floor? At least that will make an easy bridge walk
I walked into our room, near the middle of the "C" and was was pleasantly suprised with the view! (More Bay Lake than looking at other rooms)



We then walked onto the monorail (an unbelievably easy and fast walk!!!) and headed to EPCOT under mostly sunny sky's for the first time this trip!






And World Showcase:














Back on the monorail


Future DVC?



Back on the bridge to BLT






Back on the balcony, I caught a rare MK ferry on Bay Lake:


And back to EPCOTafter our dinner at Teppan Efo)


And then my first visit to TOTWL:




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Old 09-15-2013, 05:36 PM   #11
hakepb
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The last park day! (Again, I typed the post, but it disappeared on me)
Since we all wanted to re-do different attractions, and we still never made it into BOG...why not try all 4 parks in the same day.
We chose a much less than ideal touring plan because our priorities were TSM, BOG lunch (MK was open late, a sane person would wait until the evening for MK rides), EE and TT...adding to our day was an ADR for House of Blues dinner (in an attempt to finally use our Restaurant.com gift card)
So, we started our day with a typical, late breakfast at Contempo Cafe (still not tired of the short, no stairs/elevator walk from our room)

An then took a bus to DHS to pickup afternoon TSM FP, and rode Star Tours (where DS was the rebel spy, again)

Then we had to go to MK to make BOG before lunch closed:


And, we made it!




And then we took a look inside Diamond Horseshoe (since its been years since we've last seen in there)


Then we took the monorail to EPCOT, to quickly enter and grab an evening FP...but TT was "sold out", so I grabbed Soarin' instead.

Then, we went to DAK (Made it into all 4 parks!) and rode EE:


Then we took a bus to DHS and rode TSM


We were now looking like we might not make our dinner, but we took the bus to BLT, wanting to drive to DTD.....but our bus driver took a wrong turn into the MK bus depot...that extra time was too much, so we changed plans, and took a swim at BLT


And then we headed back to EPCOT for a quick dinner (I'm embarrassed to say we ate at Electric Umbrella), but I took a few pictures on the way:




After Soarin' we headed to MK to watch fireworks (other than the 3rd and 4th, we never stopped to enjoy an entire show) so I was really looking forward to the fireworks.
It was very busy, but we made it into the Hub for the start of the show:


But, the family was restless, they wanted to keep moving back towards BTMRR during the fireworks.

As it wound up, they accidentally drug me to
the
best
ever!
spot to watch a patriotic fireworks show, Liberty Square with the Liberty Bell as a foreground:








So, after the end of an amazing fireworks experience, we hit BTMRR and a few other rides on our last night!
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