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Thread: The (Almost) Perfect Trip - March '19

  1. #1

    The (Almost) Perfect Trip - March '19

    I'm a week back from a terrific trip to Florida. Great weather (after the first couple of days), great food, large crowds (but I can handle that), and no major troubles with the aging bod! I have had some trouble in the past with exhaustion, and with pain in the legs & feets (right foot broken many years ago, left knee going out). This time I started exercising (well, walking) about 2 months out, and it made a huge difference! I still had some pain, I still had to use the cane a couple of mornings. But overall I got around pretty well. The other cool thing was that I had booked a longer trip. I've been doing long weekends lately, Friday to Monday. This time I booked Sunday through Saturday, and was able to take more time off back at the hotel to rest up, which also made a big difference in my energy level.

    So enough about me - let's get on with the report!

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

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  3. #2
    Sunday, March 17 -

    It was really nice having Saturday to rest up, pack, and get ready for this trip. I had a nice flight out on American, a quick pickup of a car from Budget, and it's off to the south exit and the Greenway. Note that they've upped their tolls - now $1.75 a pop instead of $1.50. My hotel this time was the Caribbean Beach, with a pirate room. Now, I'm neither a pirate fan or a 12 year old boy, but this room had the cheapest rate of all the moderates (go figger). I had a nice room near the waterway, where I could enjoy a view of fishermen enjoying the mornings -



    First stop, as always, was Epcot -



    Actually this photo was from later in the trip - the first couple of days were pretty overcast and rainy. I had a FP+ for Frozen Ever After, after which I headed up to America to catch a set from the Voices of Liberty, but they were already done for the day. I still enjoyed a showing of the American Adventure, with one small exception. Some idjit a couple rows ahead of me decided to look at all the pics on his cell phone during the show. I let it go for a minute or so, then said very clearly "Please turn off that cell phone", which he promptly did. People are so dumb sometimes . . .

    I had time to stop in France and enjoy a glass of poully fusse wine -



    ... on my way up to the Coral Reef -



    Dinner was a new appetizer - a more or less traditional shrimp cocktail -



    ...followed by a totally new version of the mahi mahi -



    It's not as sweet as before, kinda spicy, really good. I had room (barely) for the turtle cheesecake dessert -



    And then it was off to the Rose & Crown pub for a few excellent martinis served by the lovely Holly, IllumiNations (for the 2nd to the last time - SOB!!!), and then a big walk around the World Showcase and back to my hotel. Just a really cool first day!
    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  4. #3
    Monday, March 18 -

    Now comes the "almost" part - the big mistake that I made. I had just completed a great evening in Epcot, which included a few martinis at the end of the day (and yes, I took the bus back to my room). Monday morning I had booked the Early Morning Magic thing at the Studios, which was about they only time the whole week I would get to enjoy the new Toy Story Land without big crowds. But to do this I had to get up after about 6 hours of sleep, feeling like crap, and just plodding through the morning. It was still a hard dark when I arrived -



    After slogging all the way over to the west side to get some OJ, I finally got to see TSL for the first time -





    I did my first ride on Slinky Dog -



    I confirmed that he had his tail back -



    I hate to say it, but I actually didn't enjoy this coaster. The problem was with the layout of the track. It's banked almost 90 degrees at times, but it went through those turns really slowly, and I felt like I was at risk of falling out of the car from a great height. I normally enjoy coasters, but this one didn't work for me.

    I hit all 3 of the major attractions, and then plodded over to the west side again for a pretty unimpressive breakfast, and then back to bed, where I slept through most of the day.

    The afternoon and evening were much better! I headed for the MK, where I saw this (new?) ferry for the first time -



    The crowds were huge, but I hit a few people eaters like the Carousel of Progress and the People Mover, where there was a line on the ground level, but it moved pretty quickly. Dinner was at the always excellent Narcoosee's, where I started with the calamari -



    ... followed up with the always awesome surf & turf -



    No room for dessert, but still a great meal. Time to head back to my room, making it a somewhat early night. But that was a good thing!
    Last edited by danyoung; 03-30-2019 at 06:42 AM.
    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  5. #4
    Tuesday, March 19 -

    This was Animal Kingdom day, where I did just about everything I usually do, in pretty much the same order. I don't ride Flight of Passage (I don't yet fit in the danged vehicles!), so I did the Navi River Journey with almost no line, then up to Kilimanjaro Safaris. It was another overcast, rainy morning, and most of the animals were under cover (a CM lady at the head of the line outright lied, saying "Oh, the animals LOVE this kind of weather!" Just not true.). There were a few good sightings -



    Off to the Gorilla Falls Trail, where there were a few gorillas out -



    I headed next to Everest, where I only rode twice - stinging rain can be painful! Time for the first showing of Finding Nemo. Great cast, especially the guy playing Crush - great singer! Lunch time already, of course at my beloved Flame Tree BBQ -



    A showing of Tough To Be A Bug, then back to my room for my traditional old-guy nap.
    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  6. #5
    Tuesday, March 9 (continued) -

    I headed back to DAK for dinner at Tiffin's, in a room I hadn't been in before -



    Dinner started with their delicious mushroom soup -



    ... followed by the tamarind braised short rib, which to my uneducated palate was like really tender and tasty pot roast -



    Dessert was the Tiffins Trio - South American chocolate ganache, whipped cheesecake, passion fruit tapioca creme -



    This was the third time I've eaten at Tiffin's, and it's always been excellent. I was kinda gonna see Rivers of Light, but it was still raining. So back to my room for another early night.
    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  7. #6

    Sounds good so far!

    Sorry to hear you don't like Slinky Dog. I did the Morning Magic thing for DHS back in October for the same reason, but since I did like Slinky Dog, I did something like 7-8 trips, maximizing my bang for the buck. I did Alien Swirling Saucers I think twice, and TSM once. I'm sort of surprised you didn't mention the (to my perception) much longer exit pathway out of TSM. It's got some nice theme elements on the way out, but seems like a trek to me.

    -Dave

  8. #7

    I was all ready to get on Slinky another time, but I just didn't feel like it. I don't know if it was my lousy condition or a real fear of the ride, but for that morning it was one and done for me. And yes, that exit of TSM is ridiculously long!

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

  9. #8
    Wednesday, March 10 -

    Today was back to the MK, where it was a beautiful morning -



    I did the west side of the park, with little or no wait at the Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder, and Pirates. I was passing through Liberty Square when a Great Moments in History show started -





    Time for an excellent lunch at the Liberty Tree Inn, starting with the clam chowder -



    ... then the amazing pot roast -



    ... and finishing with the always yummy Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake -



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

  10. #9

    Wednesday, March 10 -

    I had only one goal for this afternoon/evening - dinner at the California Grill. I got a great table, and then proceeded to eat exactly the same things I always get here, starting with the Spicy Kazan Roll -



    ... then the oak fired filet of beef -



    I tried a new dessert (hey, who says I'm in a rut?) with the Warm Valrohna Chocolate Cake, - vanilla bean ice cream, milk chocolate whipped panna cotta, cashew clusters -



    Full and happy, it's back to my room for another early night.

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

  11. #10
    Thursday, March 21 -

    (Sorry, I did a weird date jump there - I think I'm back on track now!)

    Another beautiful day in the Magic Kingdom -



    I had a few minutes to kill before my first FP, so I suffered through small world. FP time for Pan, then over to the Jungle Cruise for my next FP. It actually wasn't quite time yet, so I suffered through the Tiki Room. I had a really wonderful JC skipper (sorry, can't remember her name). Great delivery, even on the old tired jokes.

    Lunch was at Cosmic Ray's and a tasty burger -



    ... munching away under the musical eyes of Sonny Eclipse -



    Time for my FP ride on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, then my favorite time of the day - nap time!
    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  12. #11
    Thursday, March 21 (continued) -

    I had scheduled the dessert party for this evening, so I wanted to eat kinda light. I enjoyed a 4th FP showing of Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, and then dinner at Columbia Harbor House. I wanted to eat upstairs, and I guess I looked pretty pathetic trying to balance my tray while forcing my bum knees up the stairs, cuz a very helpful guest offered to carry my tray upstairs. Pathetic, but grateful for the help!

    After dinner I headed over to the Tomorrowland Terrace for the party. I had a great seat with a pretty good view of the castle and fireworks, but it was just cold enough to be uncomfortable. I had a great sweatshirt in my car, but that did me no good. The desserts were pretty tasty, but the POG juice was way watered down. Overall not a bad experience, but I coulda used a bit higher temp.
    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  13. #12
    Friday, March 22 -

    I had initially planned on sleeping in this day, and then heading to Epcot around lunch time. This just didn't work out at all. I had such a good night's sleep that I woke up around 7am, and just HADTA head in to Epcot rope drop. I followed the crowd to Soarin, scoring a ride in the middle top row with a wait of about 5 minutes or so. Next I did a ride on Living With The Land with about a 5 minute wait, and then next door for a little time with the fishes at Nemo. I passed on Journey Into Imagination (a really sucky ride!), opting to do the Pixar Film Festival. By now the World Showcase was open, so I headed up to lunch at Via Napolli, starting with the arancini -



    ... and then a margherita pizza with sausage and pepperoni -



    Totally yummy! Next was the American pavilion for my one and only viewing of the Voices of Liberty -



    The lady on the far left was the new director - I'd never seen her before. The group as a whole was wonderful as always. I really wanted to see The American Adventure again, but I needed my beauty rest.
    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  14. #13
    Friday, March 22 (continued) -

    The main goal of this evening was seeing IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth for the last time ever. I had dinner at La Hacienda de San Angel. I was seated right by a window, which I initially thought was great for the view. After a few minutes I started to notice that it was incredibly hot by that window, which made for an unpleasant dinner (and I guess I was so uncomfortable that I forgot all about food pics!). Dinner was the crema de elote, a delicious corn soup, and the Carne Asada , - New York Strip served with Cascabel Beurre Blanc and Pumpkin Habanero Dust, Queso Fresco, and Corn Mashed Potatoes. It was really good, but as anyone who has ever eaten here knows, it's a LOT of food. I was royally stuffed with quite a bit of food left on the table.

    Now it was time to head to the Rose & Crown for drinks, again from the charming Holly, and finally watching the fireworks show for the last time - I'm really gonna miss this show! Once around the lagoon, and time to head back one last time to my room.
    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  15. #14
    Saturday, March 23 -

    Last day for this trip, and I spent it in my favorite park, Epcot. I just missed rope drop, but still had plenty of time before my first FP. I did the single rider line at Test Track, which finally opened around 9:45 or so. Then up to Norway for a FP ride on Frozen. Lunch time was at the Rose & Crown, sitting out on the balcony. I had to go through a couple of tables till I found one with enough shade to make the lunch bearable. Appetizer was, of course, a scotch egg -



    ... followed by something I'd never tried here before, the bangers & mash -



    Really excellent, and a nice final meal. I had a FP booked for Spaceship Earth one more time (only twice this trip), and then it was time to head for the airport.

    And that ends my spring 2019 trip. I had a much longer trip, but probably got less done than on previous trips. And that's a good thing - I need to slow down a bit, smell the roses, and give the old bod a little more time to recover from a big park storm. Next trip - end of September for my birthday.









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

  16. #15

    Thank you so much for sharing your trip report. Sounds like a great week.


  17. #16
    DVC Member ssmerdel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana

    As always Dan, enjoyed reading your adventure. Sounds like you had a magical time. We will also be there in September. This will be our first adult only trip.

    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; 2018 BWV; 2019 Mar-BLT/Sept-AKV Jambo

  18. #17

    Dan,

    Thanks for another great trip report. You had mentioned that you saw IROE for the last time ever, but you mention going near the end of September. Current scuttlebutt is that the last day might be Sept. 30th, so you might still have one last chance. We'll be there a few weeks before you, and hope we get one more shot at it as well. Good luck!


  19. #18
    Registered User ericles's Avatar
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    Jul 2002
    Location
    Maryland's Eastern Shore

    Wonderful photos as usual! Thanks for the trip report -

    Mrs. Slocombe is my spirit animal

    www.snortrescue.org

    www.merlotcottage.net

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by goofy1958 View Post
    Current scuttlebutt is that the last day might be Sept. 30th, so you might still have one last chance.
    That would just be incredibly cool! My birthday is 9/29, and my next trip starts that day, with Epcot planned. It would be just too perfect!
    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  21. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Gulf Coast of Florida

    Thanks Dan! Another great trip report. I got full just reading it.


  22. #21
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Drexel Hill, PA

    Awesome report as usual. I love your pics. I have yet to see the Lion standing up on the safari. Im going with my family in June and we have a total of 11 people so I booked the early morning magic at Toy Story Land so we can do all three rides. Im glad you were able to get around better this trip.


  23. #22

    I feel for you with your having to look out for 11 people. One of the great advantages of being a single park stormer is the fact that you don't need to worry about any one else - you just gotta worry about yourself.

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

  24. #23
    DVC Member ssmerdel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Greenwood, Indiana

    The (Almost) Perfect Trip - March '19

    Dan, they just mentioned on Disney Park Blog that Illuminations last night will be Sept 30. They were discussing the new show Epcot Forever which will begin on Oct 1. I’m excited because I will get to see it one more time when we go in Sept.

    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; 2018 BWV; 2019 Mar-BLT/Sept-AKV Jambo

  25. #24

    Now I'm excited!!!

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

  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    Now I'm excited!!!
    I'm probably not as excited as you, but this does have me wondering if I should try to repeat the insanity of seeing first show/last show like I did for Wishes and HEA back when they changed at MK. That was fun, but the crowds on each night were totally nuts! I am guessing this will be similar.

    I have been generally going roughly around this week in the fall...... hmmmm.....
    -Dave

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