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Thread: Springtime With the Mouse - a WDW Trip Report

  1. #1

    Springtime With the Mouse - a WDW Trip Report

    So I'm about 4 days back from my usual springtime visit to the World. It was a long weekend, Friday through Monday, and just too short (as most trips are!). I had visits to 3 of the parks (no DHS this time). Nothing spectacular happened - good flights, nice room, pretty good weather most of the time, good-sized crowds but not too huge. It was a fun trip, marred only by my own sad state as a gradually aging old guy (more below).

    Here's the obligatory skippable paragraph. Long time readers will know that I've got a screwed up right foot, the result of a motorcycle accident when I was 20, which was (mumble mumble) years ago. Well, this injury has been joined by a bad LEFT knee. I think it's just age, but it's hurting and not enjoying taking weight. I have lost a few pounds, but I guess it wasn't quite enough. Most of the trip I was a shambling limping mess. Good thing I brought my trusty cane, which I never have to use except for Disney trips. It's really hard to look around and enjoy the vibe when you're hurting and just gritting your teeth and trying to make it back to you car. So I'm rethinking my park visit plan. I may have to schedule down days every other day. It'll mean more hotel room time, but if it means better quality in the parks, I'm all for it.

    Friday, April 13 -

    Flight was on American. No upgrades to Business Class available, but I was sitting by a lady of small size, so I was comfortable. Plus it was an Airbus, which had that entertainment screen in the back of all the seats, so I had a good movie to watch. Which was a good thing, cuz we had a HUGE mechanical delay. They spent about 1 1/2 hours trying to fix it, then gave up and moved us to another plane, which took another hour or so. Then, once we got out to the head of the runway, we were on another hold while paperwork caught up. All told we left about 3 1/2 hours late. I had all kinds of stuff I wanted to do in Epcot before dinner. But with the delays not only was all of that out, but I was 25 minutes late for my dinner rez. Bad way to start the trip!

    Dan


    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

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    Dinner was at Monsieur Paul. As I said, I arrived about 25 minutes late, having skipped Spaceship Earth, Test Track, a FP+ for Frozen, a set from the Voices of Liberty and a showing of The American Adventure. A great loss of some quality stuff, but at least I had a fine meal ahead of me. They've changed a lot of things in the last year, all for the better. The bread service was excellent -



    I was supposed to pick one of the three choices, but I told the lovely young lady that I'd have 1 of each! Appetizer was escargot in a puff pastry -



    I don't know what all the colored dots were - they all tasted like mashed taters to me! Main entree was the beef tenderloin with wedge potatos on the side -



    And dessert was Le Sphere - chocolate ice cream with hard chocolate around it, sitting on chocolate cake, and a warm chocolate sauce poured on. Really yummy!



    Now I had time for a tradition that I usually do before dinner - the glass of wine out at lagoon-side -



    Now it's martini time in the Rose & Crown -



    ... followed by IllumiNations and a walk around the World Showcase Lagoon. I probably should've skipped that walk, but it was so much fun till the pain hit the next morning!
    Dan


    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  4. #3

    I haven't mentioned anything about my room yet. I was staying in my favorite moderate, the Coronado Springs. The construction they were doing on the new tower didn't impact me even a little bit. My room was one of the new rooms, with hardwood floors and a walk-in shower with rain head. Very very nice. The only thing odd about it was that they put the (very noisy) bathroom fan on a motion sensor. So any time you walked anywhere near the bathroom, the fan started up and wouldn't stop. Of course you could push the button on it to turn the fan off. But it was just a weird design choice, and I had to turn it off about 15 times over the 4 days. I didn't have much of a view from my room, but these courtyards were all pretty close -





    Saturday, 4/14 -

    This morning was spent at DAK, starting out in Pandora -







    I had a FP for the Navi River Passage, but I got in an extra ride at park open in the standby line. This was my first time on this ride, and I really enjoyed it. It's reported to be too short, but I thought it was longer than I was expecting. I don't fit in the vehicles for Flight, so I wasn't able to see it (for now!). Next I hoofed it over to Everest, enjoying one ride in standby and then two more as a single rider. From there I headed to the Maharaja Jungle Trek, with the main goal of seeing the two new tiger cubs. This was very successful -





    After this successful encounter it was over to Gorilla Falls and some time with my friends -



    I had a FP+ for Kilimanjaro Safaris, but it was about an hour away, and I just didn't feel like waiting, It was lunch time, so I waddled across the park to Flame Tree, where I did the full rack of ribs for the first time -



    I would still choose the 1/2 rack if I had the option, but I didn't have too much trouble polishing off the full rack. And they were soooo good - meat just falling off the bone - very tasty! I just had time to make it to the 2nd showing of the day of Finding Nemo, and then it was back to the hotel to get off my screaming legs.

    Dan


    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  5. #4

    Now comes the part of the trip that just wasn't well thought out. I had a big dinner scheduled at California Grill, followed by the dessert party at the MK, followed by the early Magic thing at the MK tomorrow morning. Now, it was dumb to schedule a big dinner and then head right to a dessert party. And it was dumb to stay out late for a dessert party, sleep fast, and then go to an early entry thing. But that's the way things scheduled out, so I had to suck it up, buttercup, and get through it.

    I had some time to kill, so I wandered around the MK a bit. I went to the new Hall of Presidents for the first time - very well done! The film portion is totally unique, kind of a still with computer animation with live footage, totally unlike anything I've ever seen before. And I got the surprise of my life when Trump started speaking. I was really anticipating some booing, but what shocked me was about 1/2 of the crowd applauding! I headed next to Tomorrowland and the People Mover followed by once around on the Carousel of Progress. And then it was time for dinner at my favorite restaurant anywhere, the California Grill, starting with the sourdough bread service -



    They're serving the bread with an oil and spices thing, which just doesn't work for me - give me some good ol' butter any day! Appetizer was, of course, the Spicy Kazan Roll -



    ... followed by the filet of beef -



    They've changed this recipe over the years, and are finally back to a tamarind BBQ sauce - just excellent! I didn't do any dessert here, as I had the dessert party in the MK. I didn't even eat any of the desserts there - just had a couple drinks. They now do the Jungle Juice here, which made me very happy. The fireworks show was fine, but I was standing on 2 legs that were both hurting pretty badly, so I can't say I enjoyed the experience much. If I ever do this again it won't be after a big meal!

    Dan


    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  6. #5
    Registered User ericles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Maryland's Eastern Shore

    Great report as usual Dan! And as always, I'm really enjoying your photos. We have Monsieur Paul on our short list for our next (as yet unscheduled) trip, so I appreciate you commenting on your meal there.
    Hope you are feeling better!

    Mrs. Slocombe is my spirit animal

    www.snortrescue.org

  7. #6

    It takes me about 3 days to fully recover, so today I'm getting around great. Thanks for the thought!

    Dan


    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  8. #7

    Sunday, 4/15 -

    It was now time for my early entry, or as Disney calls it, Early Morning Magic. This is a program that's offered a couple times a week, on mornings when the park opens at 9am. I got in at 7:45, and could ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Pooh, and Peter Pan. Now, I could (and did!) ride SDMT 3 times in a row. But once on Pooh or Pan is enough for me. Then, when you're done riding you get a breakfast buffet at Pinocchio Village House -



    It was a pretty standard breakfast buffet, but it was tasty. By now it was around 9am, so I headed over to the Frontierland side of the park, enjoying a trip to the Haunted Mansion with no wait at all. It really was a beautiful day -



    Up to Big Thunder, then down to Pirates, and then back to Fantasyland for a showing of Mickey's PhilHarmagic. On my way over to Fantasyland I stopped to enjoy the Muppets in Liberty Square -





    I wasn't planning to do lunch today, what with the late breakfast buffet, so it was back to my room for a little more rest and recoup time.

    Dan


    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  9. #8

    Sunday, 4/15 (cont.) -

    When I first ventured out from my hotel room, I saw that the ground was very wet. I thought "good, I missed the standard Florida afternoon shower". Wrong -



    I had a terrific umbrella in my suitcase, but that was back in the room, so I just got wet. I finally got that first ride on Spaceship Earth, and then headed over to Test Track and the single rider line. The very nice lady right behind me didn't have a clue how the ride worked, how to design a car, whether it really mattered or not, etc. So I served as her resident pro for the length of the line - kinda fun! I headed up to France to see Impressions de France, and then down to the Coral Reef for dinner -



    I arrived totally soaked, and the check-in girl gave me a big linen napkin to dry off - a very nice touch! Dinner was right by the glass, starting with the calamari -



    ... followed by something I hadn't had before, the braised short rib -



    Really delicious, cut-with-a-fork tender. Dessert was the turtle cheesecake, which they've changed up a bit -



    Still tasty, but I think I liked the old presentation better. The rain had mostly stopped, so I hoofed it down to the Rose & Crown and a martini or three, followed of course by IllumiNations. No way I was gonna be able to do the walk around the World Showcase, so I just wandered out slowly, pausing at the spot on the lagoon directly across from America, and then home to my room.

    Dan


    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  10. #9

    Monday, 4/16 -

    Last day for this trip, and like usual I spent it in Epcot -



    I wanted to do a standby ride on Soarin', followed by breakfast at Seasons and then a FP+ ride on Soarin', but it didn't quite work out. By the time I got to Soarin' there was already a 30 minute wait. So I went ahead and did my FP+ ride, and then breakfast. Next was once around on Living With the Land, and then over to spend some time with the fishes at Nemo. I spent a little time walking around taking pics of topiaries -







    It was now time for my traditional last meal at WDW, which for some reason is always at the Rose & Crown sitting out on the balcony. No surprises here, starting with a Scotch Egg -



    ... and then the steak & fish -



    Lunch was pretty quick, as I wanted to get up to the American pavilion for a showing of the Voices of Liberty, who were in great voice, as always. A showing of The American Adventure, and already it was time to head to the airport. The flight home was totally full, but for some reason the 2 seats beside me were both empty (YAY!!!). No delays this time, and home to Dallas on time.

    I was really looking forward to this trip, and I guess I can say that I had a good time. But it really colors your enjoyment when it hurts just to get around. I'm considering planning a longer trip, like 7 or 8 days, where I have more time to recover between park storming days. Sorry to be such a downer, but I hope you enjoyed the read anyway!







    Dan


    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  11. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Gulf Coast of Florida

    Thanks again Dan for taking the time to write up your trip report. I share your love for California Grill and will be trying that steak and fish at the Rose and Crown the next time we go.
    I thought it was funny that you mentioned 1/2 the room clapped when the President Trump animatronic spoke. I have not heard of any more stories of "Resistance" crazies rushing the stage.
    When we were there it was surprising how much security was there just for a robot because of the loonie tunes.
    And thank you for motiving me to lose some weight. I need to stay focused on eating right and stretching so I can enjoy my next visit instead of being in pain and focusing on that. I understand totally.
    My old joints ain't what they used to be and they don't like carrying around that extra 20 pound sack of potatoes.
    Thanks again!


  12. #11

    Thanks for the great report and wonderful photos!


  13. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Drexel Hill, PA

    Thanks for posting and for the nice pics. Glad you had a good time even though you had a couple problems.


  14. #13

    Nice report, Dan. Sorry to hear your legs were acting up a bit, but it looks like you did get a lot of nice park time in.

    I hope the tiger cubs cooperate as well when I visit! That's on my list for DAK this time too.

    Your food reviews continue to make me consider new things. I guess I never looked enough to realize there was a good breakfast option at Pinocchio's, I might need to check that out. I'm also thinking it might be time for me to finally try to visit one of the restaurants in France one of these days, as I haven't prioritized doing that on previous trips. Your pictures and commentary make me think it's time (well, maybe not this time (might be too close for an ADR), but in the fall I may have to get with the program and plan in advance.

    Glad to hear you leg is recovering now that you're back home.

    -Dave

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1313 View Post
    I guess I never looked enough to realize there was a good breakfast option at Pinocchio's...
    Remember, that's only for those who pony up for the Early Morning Magic thing. It was kinda fun, especially getting off of SDMT and getting right back on again with NO wait. And as part of the package, the breakfast was good. I don't think I'd spend all those bucks just for the breakfast, though.
    Dan


    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    Remember, that's only for those who pony up for the Early Morning Magic thing. It was kinda fun, especially getting off of SDMT and getting right back on again with NO wait. And as part of the package, the breakfast was good. I don't think I'd spend all those bucks just for the breakfast, though.
    A-ha! I guess I didn't read up on that. I read too quickly and though of regular Extra Magic Hours. I should have realized with the wait times you were quoting that it was something different than normal EMH.

    Thanks for explaining!
    -Dave

  17. #16

    Thanks for sharing your adventures Dan, I always enjoy your reports. I have occasional back trouble and I've found a good hot soak in some epsom salts helps ease the strain. Give it a try 🤗 it works for athletes. Looking forward to your birthday trip in Sept.


  18. #17

    Glad you enjoyed it, TulaBelle. But as of right now I'm NOT planning a birthday trip to WDW. Of course, I've NOT planned this trip many times before, and always end up on a plane headed east. We'll see how it goes . . . . .

    Dan


    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  19. #18

    Hi Dan: I always enjoy your reports and pictures. My wife just logged me in after years of reading reports. I've written reports in the past and have one in Word that I have to get her to show me how to put it on Mouse Planet.

    One one of your past reports you noted you'd be at the world in the World in Sept. 2017 on the same dates as us. Well I did look for you. We were at Animal Kingdom the same day you were (knew that from your TR of your Sept. trip). While people watching, I saw a man go by that I though was you but he was walking with a cane and you had never mentioned that you used a cane (until your TR) so I didn"t call out to you.

    About your knee. I had a bad knee where I could hardly walk. When I would get out of the car I had to wait a few seconds before I could start walking I finally went to the Rothman Institute here in Jersey and they gave me a steroid injection. In two days I was moving around like I never had a problem. It's been a couple of months now and I'm still pain free.


  20. #19

    Yeah, I used the cane for the first time on my September 2017 trip, so that was probably me! I'm taking a wait and see attitude right now on the knee. Now that I'm back home it's not hurting too bad, so we'll see . . .

    Dan


    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  21. #20
    DVC Member ssmerdel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana

    Always enjoy reading your reports. Thanks for the Spicy Kazan Roll picture. I am planning a father/son trip next March for my son's college graduation, and he loves sushi and anything spicy. I know that is something he will like, so I am planning on dinner at California Grill.

    Shawn
    Past Trips: 2006-POR; 2008-POP; 2009-CBR; 2010-VB/AKV Kidani; 2010-BLT; 2011-BWV; 2011-AKV Kidani; 2013-BCV/BLT; 2014-AKL Jambo (Concierge); 2015-SSR/OKW; 2016 BCV/AKV Kidani


  22. #21

    You won't be sorry!

    Dan


    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  23. #22
    Self-Proclaimed Disney Queen! Pammer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sacramento, CA

    Thanks for another great trip report, Dan! I'm sorry about your mobility issues; I totally sympathize with you due to the issues I've been having at Disneyland with my feet & knees...I'm sure if I could keep my weight down I would feel better, but that is so darn hard to do!

    Pam
    DL trips: too many to remember actual dates, but they began in the 60s!
    WDW trips: 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013



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