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Old 12-22-2009, 09:21 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by Echo queen View Post
Do you have his app yet? So creative.
Maybe I'll just send the videos in as his application!

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Great updates! Glad you hadn't missed your shuttle!
Thanks! It was definitely a new experience finding the non-Disney resort shuttles.

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Originally Posted by meeko_33785 View Post
Well, I think I'm finally caught up from being gone at WDW this week. Sounds like you had a nice evening.

I've heard so many good things about the Jungle Cruise at night. I might just have to try it one of these days. I always figured that it would be too dark to see anything. Didn't realize that they had flashlights or spotlights.

That was nice that you got to get someone to take your picture at the Expo Hall. Great shot of you as the 8th dwarf.
Jungle Cruise at nite was definitely worth trying.
As is hanging out at the Exposition Hall - just try to bring people to take your picture!
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:27 PM   #77
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Day Two – Walking with the Animals

I woke up Sunday morning and headed to breakfast at the hotel.
I had read online that the BVS had a character breakfast on Sunday morning which I though was great!
I had never heard of Mickey showing up at a non-Disney resort.
And now I know why.
He didn’t.
In fact, nobody had any clue of what I was talking about.
Boy do I miss Disney resorts….

Breakfast was decent enough – your average spread.
Then I headed out to catch the 8:00 shuttle to Animal Kingdom.
If first stops in Magic Kingdom and then heads over to the jungle.
It was fun to watch 90% of the shuttle get off at Magic Kingdom.
I spent the drive talking with the shuttle driver and got to know him.
I also helped out some of the conventioners heading to the parks with tips and tricks.
By the end of the trip, the driver asked me to drive with him everyday since I was so helpful to the guests!

Anyway, we arrived at Animal Kingdom about 8:35 or so.
I had plenty of time to get in for rope drop – I was really interested to see the rope drop show at AK.
Last time we were too far away so we couldn’t really enjoy it – the stop to get the rental stroller really adds some time to the walk to Discovery Island.

So I headed across the parking lot which I now have a whole new respect for.
Apparently the Imagineers took time to actually make this look old with cracked pavement and lots of open space.
It’s supposed to be a nice predecessor to the jungles of Animal Kingdom.
It works really well when you come in from this side (also something new since I’m usually dropped off in front thanks to Disney transportation).

Along the way, I noticed the Celebrate Today! Signage was in full effect


I made my way to the entrance plaza for the perennial picture


Another random side note – ever notice that this entrance plaza differs from the other parks?
Magic Kingdom has the grand railroad with a small sign above indicating Magic Kingdom.
Epcot doesn’t even have any themed signs telling you where you are.
DHS has that Hollywood-style sign across the entrance which is nice.
But this one always stands out to me.
It just screams Animal Kingdom with that big elephant head and all the surrounding trees.
I don’t know – maybe it’s just me.

Anyway, I hopped on a line not many others were on – not sure why but one line was basically ½ the size of the others.
And, to top it off, nobody else seemed to notice.
The gates opened and I headed into the park and quickly down the left path (everyone else went right).
I made it through quickly - I’m a fast walker by nature and you wouldn’t believe how much faster you can travel without little ones in tow.
I basically was standing right next to the tip board about 2 or 3 people from the rope.
They brought a child up for the ceremonial opening of the tip board.
A boy got to "unwind" the covering and got a certificate and a cheer from the crowd.
Then Minnie and Goofy arrived for The Adventure Begins show.
I taped the whole thing to show the kids and it’s actually a cute show.
I think I even like it better than the one in Magic Kingdom.
The safari idea is much more fun than some random dancing on top of the railroad station IMHO.


Then the rope dropped and all heck broke loose.
People stormed to the left to make for Kilimanjaro Safaris.
The other half of the crowd stormed to the right to get to Expedition Everest.
I chuckled to myself and strolled along watching the people run frantically by.
Knowing that I’m a wimp and not into rollercoasters, can anyone guess where my 1st destination was?

Hint: if you’re a loyal reader, it’s one we missed last time since the kids couldn’t go on it…
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:18 AM   #78
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We too are so very NOT into traipsing through the dark when a bucket will do just great
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Hmmmm... I am a loyal reader, and for the life of me, I can't figure this one out. YOu don't do coasters, but the kids couldn't go on it.??

Bug?

Kali?

I just don't know! It's driving me crazy!

Yes, I"m one who would notice the signage stuff too. I love the little details that make each park what it is.
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:11 AM   #79
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I'm glad you got a good view of the opening ceremony. That really is such a cute show.

Since you don't do EE and as I recall you all did the safari and bugs I will guess Kali is your first stop?
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:44 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by All7OfUs View Post
Hmmmm... I am a loyal reader, and for the life of me, I can't figure this one out. YOu don't do coasters, but the kids couldn't go on it.??

Bug?

Kali?

I just don't know! It's driving me crazy!

Yes, I"m one who would notice the signage stuff too. I love the little details that make each park what it is.
And here I thought it this was an easy one.
Keep trying!!

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I'm glad you got a good view of the opening ceremony. That really is such a cute show.

Since you don't do EE and as I recall you all did the safari and bugs I will guess Kali is your first stop?
Apparently this wasn't easy as I thought.
There's not much left in Animal Kingdom - any other guesses?
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:52 AM   #81
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I asked Caitlin what ride she thought you started with and her reply was "Dinosaur, duh" So is she quicker than her mom?
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:56 AM   #82
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I asked Caitlin what ride she thought you started with and her reply was "Dinosaur, duh" So is she quicker than her mom?
I knew I could at least count on Caitlin!
Sorry Dawn - she beat you to it!

Last edited by thecapells; 12-24-2009 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:59 AM   #83
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I asked Caitlin what ride she thought you started with and her reply was "Dinosaur, duh" So is she quicker than her mom?
Where is she by the way?
I figured she'd weigh in on her own!
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:04 AM   #84
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Where is she by the way?
I figured she'd weigh in on her own!
She has been super busy with college and not Dissing too much. Now that exams are over (and she just got her report card...4.0! ) and she is on break I think she'll be on more.
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:13 PM   #85
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She has been super busy with college and not Dissing too much. Now that exams are over (and she just got her report card...4.0! ) and she is on break I think she'll be on more.
Understandable.
Send her our congrats on the 4.0!
We'll look forward to hearing from her over break!
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Old 12-25-2009, 08:01 PM   #86
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Welcome…to Dinoland!

It doesn’t have quite the same ring as “Jurassic Park”, does it?
Anyway, I followed behind the mass of people heading towards Expedition Everest.
However, I veered to the right at the next big junction.
While Asia was calling them, I heard the call of the Dinosaurs!


As you can see, there were a couple of people who had the same idea I had but not too many.
I strolled towards the Dinoland bridge and noticed a path off to the side.


Ah yes, the meet and greet with Pooh.
I made a mental note of the times on the board and then headed over the bridge.
Welcome to Dinoland U.S.A.


I’ve always liked the Oldengate Bridge so I had to grab a shot of that:


I was literally taking my time through Dinoland and noticed lots of things I hadn’t really paid attention to before.
First, there was the researcher’s station complete with Triceratops skull:


And, of course, I passed the eye sore that is Dinorama.
I took a shot of the “flying triceratops” to show the kids


I noticed this guy as I wandered deeper into the realm of the huge beasts.


At last I arrived at the Institute itself with its grand pillars.


Once again, I always feel like this is something out of Jurassic Park.
It almost looks like the main building from the 1st Jurassic Park movie.
Too bad Disney didn’t partner with Spielberg on that one much like Indy – it would’ve fit perfectly here.
In fact, scrapping Dinoland in favor of a Jurassic Park would’ve been awesome.
Can you tell I’m neither a fan of Chester nor Hester nor their Dinorama?

And, yes, before you let me know Jurassic Park was indeed built at the "other theme park", I know.
But it wasn't Disney.
I've been over there and experienced the sick Triceratops animatronic which had way too long a wait for basically nothing.
I don't even think it's there anymore.
And I've seen the attractions just for kids.
And yes, I've even ridden the main ride - despite the drop and the fact that I hate drops.
I thought the dinosaur animatronics would be worth it.
Boy, was I wrong.
Really bad theming, animatronics that looked fake, and a 90 foot drop.
I'll never do that ride again.
In fact, the only redeeming feature of that "Island of Adventure" is the Jurassic Park gates themselves.
At least those were perfectly recreated from the movies.
But I digress (and we'll discuss this more later anyway).

Looking closer look at the Dino Institute's pillars reveals that they are presenting some sort of dinosaur exhibit.
Let’s check it out!


Along the walkway to the Institute, Dino-Sue stands triumphant.
I love the fact that she was carefully recreated as an homage to the original.


Finally we reach the gates of the Institute itself


I was able to grab one of the other few patrons who came this way to prove that I was here.


This was a big deal to me since I love this ride but, with the kids in tow, it’s hard to come this way.
However, I hope to enroll them at the Dino Institute on our 2011 trip.
I believe by then they will have met the prerequisites.
But for now, it was just me and I was in no hurry.
I slowed down and start snapping away.
From interesting angles


To the educational lobby interior


To the T-Rex in the pre-show area


I was enjoying this part of the solo trip.
Enjoying the details at my speed and exploring what I wanted to explore.
No kids getting bored or frightened.
Definitely a new way to look at it.
And I really enjoyed not being in a rush – I had a list of stuff to do today but I had a couple of hours before I needed to get to those…

After the pre-show with Mrs. Huxtable herself, we were ushered into the depths of the Institute.
I really like the details here as we descend to the laboratories.


It’s obviously a basement of some sort but the signage makes it seem like the Institute tried to make it feel as pleasant as they could.


At the bottom of the stairs, the Time Rover awaited our prehistoric adventure!


And then, in the blink of an eye, and a jarring of the rover, we were off.
A rocky adventure ensued and we had a blast.
Meteors rained down, dinosaurs closed in on us, and that silly doctor kept pushing us onward guaranteeing our safety despite the computer warnings.
When the meteor shower started in earnest and we were out of time, who finally appeared?
Why it was Aladar! We quickly returned to the present and just in the nick of time!
Departing our rovers, banners showed where we’ve been.


And then the monitors above showed our new friend Aladar wandering the facility.
He apparently escaped and was exploring his new surroundings.


Isn’t he cute?


Heading towards the gift shop, we got a glimpse of our past and how we handled it:


Then it was into the gift shop itself where this guy was just “hanging around”


I’ll leave you here but come back soon.
We still have to explore the grounds outside of the illustrious institute!
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Old 12-25-2009, 08:15 PM   #87
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Merry Mikemas!

And I just wanted to say Happy Holidays and Merry Mikemas to everyone out there!
(the 25th is my birthday so, to me - it's "Mikemas!")
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Old 12-26-2009, 01:08 AM   #88
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We too are so very NOT into traipsing through the dark when a bucket will do just great
What a fun way to meet new folks and say howdy
 
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Hey There!!

Merry Christmas AND Merry Mikemas!!!

I hope you were able to celebrate in a grand way!!

Enjoyed your foray into Dinoland- lovely descriptions!!

I wouldn't have ever guessed you'd go on Dinosaur- REALLY! I thought too bumpy etc...
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Old 12-26-2009, 05:11 AM   #89
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Nice update on Dinosaur! We love that ride!
Happy Birthday!
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Old 12-26-2009, 07:41 AM   #90
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Merry Mikemas! I hope you had a great birthday.
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4/02-CSR
6/89-FW (trailers back then)
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