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Old 04-07-2013, 12:05 AM   #1726
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Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
It really is magical, isn't it!
Very! And this is where DD16 wants to stay for her graduation trip, so 2015 AKL here we come!
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:01 PM   #1727
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Originally Posted by addictedtothemouse View Post
Very! And this is where DD16 wants to stay for her graduation trip, so 2015 AKL here we come!
What a perfect spot for that. All our kids absolutely fell in love with AKV and would be thrilled to stay there again.
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:19 PM   #1728
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I'm all caught up on your last 3 updates. Still recovering from my sinus surgery, so this was a nice treat to pass the time.

I absolutely love your pictures of AKL. We were lucky enough to stay there a couple of trips ago, and it's one of my favorite resorts. There is something about the atmosphere that they have created that makes me so happy. It's being totally surrounded by another reality, and it allows you to forget your regular life. I'm happy that your surprise worked out and the kids were excited to stay there.

I can't wait to hear about the tour that Kendall's going on. How fun for her!
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:37 PM   #1729
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I have always wondered about The Wave, but we have never tried it. My step-dad is a..."picky eater" and so my mom always plans to eat at the restaurants she knows he will like. We often try to avoid the "fancier restaurants" which is a shame because your food looked yummy!

What a cool gift for Kendall!!! I can't wait to hear about the tour!

I agree about the AKL doors...they are BIG and HEAVY and LOUUUD!! I sleep like the dead, so I heard nothing, but my sister complained several times about them.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:38 PM   #1730
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Loved your update!

The meal at The Wave sounded really, really good! And what a great idea to watch the fireworks from the BLT lounge. I have never seen Wishes (just some of the high fireworks from the MK bus stop) and I have seen Nightastic once from the Poly beach. Have yet to see any MK fireworks show in the park! The vantage point of the fireworks from the lounge is pretty cool.

Too funny about the boys association with the bus driver.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:42 PM   #1731
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Originally Posted by disneydancer86 View Post
I have always wondered about The Wave, but we have never tried it. My step-dad is a..."picky eater" and so my mom always plans to eat at the restaurants she knows he will like. We often try to avoid the "fancier restaurants" which is a shame because your food looked yummy!
I'm not sure I'd classify it as "fancier" though I suppose just reading the menu it might seem so. It's an in betweener I think. It is tough, I know on our next trip we will be skipping some favorites because there are some picky eaters in our group. I am grateful our kids are adventuresome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by disneydancer86 View Post
What a cool gift for Kendall!!! I can't wait to hear about the tour!

I agree about the AKL doors...they are BIG and HEAVY and LOUUUD!! I sleep like the dead, so I heard nothing, but my sister complained several times about them.
She was excited I couldn't believe how loud they were, I'm a super heavy sleeper too and even I heard them some of the time.

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Loved your update!

The meal at The Wave sounded really, really good! And what a great idea to watch the fireworks from the BLT lounge. I have never seen Wishes (just some of the high fireworks from the MK bus stop) and I have seen Nightastic once from the Poly beach. Have yet to see any MK fireworks show in the park! The vantage point of the fireworks from the lounge is pretty cool.

Too funny about the boys association with the bus driver.
You guys always seem to be heading for the bus during fireworks, is it the later hour or is the gang just not into it, or a combo? I know you are early risers.

Dinner was very good, I would highly recommend it. The Uncle Joe thing was funny.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:03 AM   #1732
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I've just spent the last week obsessively catching up on this TR because I am HOOKED! I love your writing style and this has been such a fun TR to read. You have an awesome family Can't wait to hang along for the rest!
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:50 AM   #1733
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The Wave didn't do anything for me when we ate there. It was the day after our wedding and NYE but there was no atmosphere and the service wasn't great, the CM said she'd get us free champagne but that never happened and the food didn't set me on fire either.

Wishes however I love with a passion and try to see if as many times as possible every trip and we always see it on our last night from CG, which I guess is a similar view to the TOTW.
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:15 AM   #1734
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Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post

You guys always seem to be heading for the bus during fireworks, is it the later hour or is the gang just not into it, or a combo? I know you are early risers.

Dinner was very good, I would highly recommend it. The Uncle Joe thing was funny.
Three reasons, actually. The early to bed, early to rise thing. An aversion to crowds. My DH does not want to deal with the masses trying to exit the park all at once, so our goal is to get out before the fireworks. And finally, and most importantly- the rest of the gang does not really care if they see fireworks or not! Which is why I have only seen the fireworks show once (and solo) and why I am alone on most viewings of Illuminations.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:05 AM   #1735
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunset Cliffs View Post
I'm all caught up on your last 3 updates. Still recovering from my sinus surgery, so this was a nice treat to pass the time.
I am SO sad you are having to go through this again, that's just rotten. I hope and pray that they got it all this time and soon you will truly be breathing easy. I hope you are being spoiled rotten, recovering fromt hat deserves it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunset Cliffs View Post
I absolutely love your pictures of AKL. We were lucky enough to stay there a couple of trips ago, and it's one of my favorite resorts. There is something about the atmosphere that they have created that makes me so happy. It's being totally surrounded by another reality, and it allows you to forget your regular life. I'm happy that your surprise worked out and the kids were excited to stay there.

I can't wait to hear about the tour that Kendall's going on. How fun for her!
There is somethign so peaceful about AKL, I think it really makes you stop and think, and slow down. Which is a very good thing. Very Zen, and very needed!

I might have to have Jeff write a tour recap for that portion

Quote:
Originally Posted by disneydreaminA115 View Post
I've just spent the last week obsessively catching up on this TR because I am HOOKED! I love your writing style and this has been such a fun TR to read. You have an awesome family Can't wait to hang along for the rest!
Oh gosh, thanks and So happy to have you here! While we are winding down, we aren't done yet. I should get this one done before our next trip (Memorial Day weekend) but not much before. LOL!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilly View Post
The Wave didn't do anything for me when we ate there. It was the day after our wedding and NYE but there was no atmosphere and the service wasn't great, the CM said she'd get us free champagne but that never happened and the food didn't set me on fire either.
I can definitely see where atmosphere would have been very meh after a wedding and NYE. It's not terribly romantic that's for sure. Sad on the service and the bubbly, I can see where that would not leave a great impression.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilly View Post
Wishes however I love with a passion and try to see if as many times as possible every trip and we always see it on our last night from CG, which I guess is a similar view to the TOTW.
I've never been to CG but yes, I'd think the view is similar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by natebenma View Post
Three reasons, actually. The early to bed, early to rise thing. An aversion to crowds. My DH does not want to deal with the masses trying to exit the park all at once, so our goal is to get out before the fireworks. And finally, and most importantly- the rest of the gang does not really care if they see fireworks or not! Which is why I have only seen the fireworks show once (and solo) and why I am alone on most viewings of Illuminations.
3 very valid reasons. Mine seem to be have 2 of those 3 reasons although they are quite focused on it for NYE so we will see!
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:16 AM   #1736
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Call me irresponsible

Finally. It was day 11 of our trip, the second to last day and at long last we were actually going to a park! Our plan was to be up early and make it in time for EMH Rope Drop. It had been a long day and getting everyone moving wasn't quite as easy and quick as Id have liked and we didn't have time to finish our coffee. On the verandah or otherwise! So we made a decision. We still had several more mugs to pick up with our Dining plan. We had brought one with us and purchased one at OKW. We decided that well, they were disposable and we would have much better start to the day bringing a full mug of decent tasting brew with us then buying something inside the park. We filled up our mugs and hustled down to the bus. In all the craziness of getting everyone up and out and onto the bus...I didn't take a single picture. We had wanted to allow ourselves as much time as possible to not only maximize our day but to leave time for a ticket detail once we got to the park. What was that detail you ask?

Why, a ticket for me! A special ticket that is. I had purchased a 1 day pass for myself (had the 1 day passes for the rest of them from the previous trip) prior to the price increase and after looking at it, had decided to upgrade it to an AP as that would cover my fall Food and Wine trip as well. I had done the math and while it didn't save me much, having the 10% discount at places that weren't offering the DVC discount did add up over the two trips and in the end I think I saved about $38 off the total cost versus buying 2 separate tickets for the 2 trips. Of course if I could get another trip in before it expires, well then Id really save but&alas...I dont see that happening. AP in hand, we headed to the turnstiles and actually made it in at rope drop. Barely but we made it! And then tossed our now empty refillable mugs. Irresponsible! It still bugs me. Heck it bugs me there isn't more recycling clearly to be found in the parks but thats another story. It did save us some money and got us much needed caffeine though, which are good things. Here is where my planning almost fell apart. Ill be honest; I really hadn't made a touring plan but definitely had some ideas in mind. Jeff however had some DEFINITE ideas and there may or may not have been agreement or disagreement about strategy. I knew, as did Jeff, that he and K would be going on the Safari as part of the backstage tour. I also knew we had a whole Savannah back at the resort. For some reason I really thought that would mean a different choice for the first fast pass of the day. And apparently I really thought everyone would let me tell them what to do.

Nope. Definitely not.



Clearly we were not the first to the FP distribution. Probably had a bio break on the way or who knows. LOL! We were a bit surprised it was as late as it was but oh well. Fast pass in hand it was off to....Kendall's favorite ride! As she and Jeff would be gone in the afternoon, they basically got to call the early morning shots.











Whew! We made it.

Ride (I mean Red) Neck photo



Right into the dump shop











Evan found a shirt he loved, but we convinced him to wait. Nothing like Souvenir god funds burning a hole in your pocket huh.

A rare picture of the 3 explorers. I seem to get folks in pairs, not full sets.







Did we go on it twice?

Why yes, it appears we did!



And look! The dump shop that leads to the "not a dump shop" Shop. Chester and Hesters Dinosaur Treasures!

Where they have a LOT of cool hats!







Kendall used to be obsessed with this guy, in fact, went as him for Halloween one year!





She was pretty obsessed with these for a while too



Our visit to Dinoland complete for the moment it was time to stroll to Africa. Why we don't take the shorter route via Discovery Island I dont know, but we never do. We always, without fail, go the long way through Asia.

Maybe so we can see these guys?





Continued in next post
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:22 AM   #1737
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Call me irresponsible, con't.

Continued from previous

Nah (though they are cute) we wanted to get one of these!



And visit with a lovely lady









The rest of the gang was less enthralled, Im not sure why but they were booking ahead. Maybe thats why Devine decided it was time for a break?







Arriving in Africa we were greeted by some wonderful sounds







Aha, the real reason Jeff and Kendall were booking it, they were hungry! We needed sustenance for our safari





If memory serves, the pickings were slim and not everyone got their first choice.

For Eric and apple danish and apple juice

For Evan, an apple turnover and a milk

Jeff got the last cinnamon roll in the place and I think Kendall and I went for cinnamon raisin bagels and cream cheese. Chocolate milk for K, a double espresso for Jeff and and iced mocha for me.









We used 5 snack credits on the 5 most expensive items which made our OOP costs under $15. Sadly it all looked much better than it was. Speaking for myself it was a pretty lame bagel and no one else seemed overwhelmed. The beverages were decent, I will say that and while it wasn't anything remotely special (and I'd have been truly annoyed had we spent $30 on it) it did what we needed it to do which was put a little something in our bellies to tide us over till lunch.

The human vultures satisfied for the moment it was time to find us a jeep!
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:02 AM   #1738
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Looks like you've conquered the picture mess great update, love AK. I wasn't sure if we'd make to that park on our upcoming trip as DH wanted more down time...but looks like I'll get my way, I mean we have an ADR at Yak and Yeti so whatchya gonna do
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:15 PM   #1739
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You made EMH rope drop !!!!



I will forgive you about the mugs..

Our backstage safari was 8 am. Did not realize there was an afternoon one.

Looks like you made good use of your morning. Sorry the bakery was a let down.

Can't wait to hear how the backstage safari tour went.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:46 AM   #1740
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Devine is simply amazing. I love AKV in general but Africa is my favorite part. The music and sights, the general vibe....can't be beat in my book.

I take the the tacky photos of photos too. I seriously wonder how many they actually sell.

I'm not a fan of the pastry carts either. I'm not a big pastry fan in general but the kids always seem disappointed with their choices, especially the bagels.

Cute pics of the kids posing in front of Dinosaur.
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