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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Honeymoon Day 3: Mid-Day Magic Kingdom

On Wednesday morning, we slept in a bit and were able to leisurely sip our coffee and enjoy the lovely resort. On the agenda today was to pick up something special for my mother and then spend the rest of the day at the Magic Kindgom.

We made our way over to the Carribbean Beach resort, where my family had many magical vacations.  I picked up a a beautiful watercolor print of the resort for my mother and was delighted to show my new hubby a place that is in so many of my wonderful memories.

We walked around Port Royale and grabbed a snack to eat by the pool.  Then we enjoyed the warm sun and views of the water.

It was such a lovely day!

After the Carribbean, we grabbed a bus to the Magic Kingdom.  By this time it was about 2:00 so I knew the park would be BUSY.  Our goal today was just to take our time, see some of the rides with fast moving queues, then take advantage of the later extra magic hours that evening.
We made it!

The Partners Statue
View of Mainstreet and the Castle.  This will always take my breath away.

Isn't this a great shot? I think I just got lucky.

There was only a short wait for Pirates of the Carribbean so we made our first stop there.  Brent and I had ridden on the Disneyland version two years ago so it was fun to be able to discuss the differences between the two. The cool, dark queue was just as I had remembered it... perfectly themed to the ride and so refreshing.  After walking in the hot sun all afternoon, the blast of cold all over your body is such a wonderful feeling.

After Pirates, we stopped for a Pineapple float (a dole whip with pineapple juice).  This was my first time trying one!  It was delicious but I think I prefer the dole whip.

This was our Adventureland view as we snacked on our frozen delights.
The TIKI ROOM!!  I can't tell you how happy I am that the original show is back. 

Tiki Room pre-show

Aloha!

We had grabbed a fastpass for Splash Mountain earlier and made our way there after the Tiki Room.  After only a short wait we were happliy boarding our log flumes.  Splash Mountain was closed during our Disneyland trip so this was Bren's first time.  This has always been one of my favorites and I was so happy to share it with my new hubby.

By this time I was quite hungry.  Brent had grabbed a burger at Pecos Bill's but I wanted to get a sandwich at Columbia Harbour House.  Despite the crowds, the upstairs of the restaurant was completely empty and we were the only ones taking advantage of the beautiful views of Liberty Square.  I had the Lighthouse sandwich and it was delightful.

After eating I really just wanted to walk around and take in a few sights.  We walked through Fantasy Land, grabbed a Fastpass for Winnie the Pooh, and made our way to Tomorrowland.  I just had to see Sonny Eclipse at Cosmic Ray's!  Brent was quite perplexed at this lounge-singing animatronic in a quick service restaurant.  I assured him that it was amazing :)

(photo from wdwmemories.com)

Then I dragged him... ahem... I mean suggested that we ride the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (TTA).  I have always loved this little ride... there is never any wait and today was no exception.  After this trip however, I have an even bigger appreciation for this attraction.  Dare I say this may be my all time favorite ride?!  I just can't help it... the views of Tomorrowland, the dark part inside of Space Mountain, the EPCOT model... it's all so nostalgic.  We rode the TTA more than a few times during this trip!


Back in Fantasyland we hopped on the happiest cruise that ever sailed, It's a Small World.  Always a wonderful and classic ride.  After that we watched Philharmagic with no wait at all.


Then it was on to Winnie the Pooh.  Unfortunately the ride broke down for quite some time however it did allow me to get a few fun shots. 

This is a charming ride but I certainly do miss the previous attraction, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

We decided to take a little break and check out some of the deluxe resorts nearby.  We saw this Duck and her ducklings waddling around on our way out, how cute!
We took the boat across the lake, here is a great view of the Grand Floridian.  We would visit this resort later, our stop was next up...

 
We disembarked at the Polynesian


At the Sushi bar, we relaxed for a bit in the fun tropical atmosphere.

Here are our drinks... can you guess which one is mine?  I actually had the beer and Brent's Maitai is on the right.  The beer was a coconut brown ale.  This was quite possibly the most delicious beer I have EVER had.  It was just a light coconut flavor but really added something special. 

Then we made our way to the Tiki Bar.

We toasted to our wonderful honeymoon.  We have had so much fun already and there were still two and a half days left!  I can't remember exactly what we ordered, it was a sparkling white and sooo tasty.

We took the boat back to MK and by this time, the crowds had cleared out significantly.  Here we are at the Haunted Mansion.

Coming out of the Haunted Mansion, we caught the Electrical Parade.  With the sights and musical sounds, all of my senses were immediately transported back to my childhood.  I couldn't help but get teary eyed when thinking of all the fun I had at this park as a kid... and now I was experiencing everything in a new way. 

We got on a few more rides that evening and certainly took advantage of the extra hours, staying until the park closed.



Before we left we stopped by the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and enjoyed our cones on the bistro seats while watching the people pass by on Main Street.  There were still several Magic Kingdom attractions we had not seen but we would be returning on Friday for our last day in the parks. 

Up next is the Animal Kingdom and a visit from my Aunt, Uncle and two of their girls!










Thursday, July 19, 2012

Honeymoon Day 2: EPCOT (PICTURE HEAVY)

Well after a somewhat soggy day at Hollywood Studios, we were excited to wake up the next morning and see that the sky was only a bit overcast and it was not raining!  The weather ended up being just terrific... a few quick light showers in the morning and then the skies opened up for us.  The rain really helped to keep the temperature down... I didn't even need sunblock!  Anyway... off we go for a day at EPCOT.
Entrance (photo from wdwmemories.com)

Monorail! (photo from wdwmemories.com)
We got to the park entrance just a few minutes after the park had opened (I know, I know... I should have been there for rope drop).  After making a bee-line (B line?) to Soarin' and grabbing a fastpass, we enjoyed a relaxing ride on Livin' with the land (right around the corner).

Pineapples!

I'm still a bit tired....
We made our way over to Nemo and got on with no wait
After Nemo we were able to ride Soarin' pretty quickly.  We took a trip aboard Spaceship Earth and a look into the Art of Disney Animation Store before heading over to World Showcase at 11:00.


First stop: Mexico!
I think this just may be my favorite pavilion.  There is something so charming about the indoor/outdoor marketplace.  I remember being entranced by the Mexico pavilion as a child and I have always loved the water ride, El Rio del Tiempo.  In recent years, they updated this ride to the Gran Fiesta Tour with the cast of the Three Caballeros.  The music, the lighting, the fountain and the atmosphere really come together to make something special in this pavilion.
I bought this shirt and ended up wearing it later in the week :)
Here is a better shot of the interior

Here we are outside the Kringla Bakery in Norway where we stopped for coffee and a quick break.  So... I have still NOT tried the skool bread - I always have good intentions of stopping at Kringla for a mid-morning snack. This time we had reservations at the Biergarten in Germany for lunch and I did not want to spoil my appetite!  Next time skool bread... next time!


Eventually we made our way to Germany, I think Brent really enjoyed this pavilion!
We picked up some steins and sent them to our fathers
Here is the interior of the Biergarten.  The atmostphere is like an indoor/outdoor German village at night.  Though I've eaten here as a child, I don't remember the experience so this was all new to me.
Another interior shot
We split a beer flight... I think this was Brent's favorite ride.
The food was delicious, especially the pretzel bread and cheese spaetzel.
There was even a German band that played during our meal - how fun!
We meandered around and eventually found ourselves in Italy.
I really wanted to see the new Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar so we stopped in for a sip.  The atmostphere was very cozy... dark and cool with plenty of available cushy seats.  My chardonnay was excellent by the way.

The staff saw our "Happily Ever After" pins and surprised us with a song and this scrumptious torte!

Brent taking a break outside of the UK pavlion.

Gardens

Rock work in the Canada pavilion
After thoroughly exploring and tasting our way through all the countries, we made our way back to Future World for a ride on Journey into Imagination (sigh... sooo not the same as it used to be).

Before we left I snagged a photo of the moving fiberoptics outside of Innoventions West... where can I get some of these?!?

The next day we planned to be a bit more relaxed, visiting some other resorts in the morning and doing a half day at the Magic Kingdom!