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Thread: Turning 63 With the Mouse - A WDW Trip Report

  1. #1

    Turning 63 With the Mouse - A WDW Trip Report

    I've been back for about 3 weeks, so it's probably time to get this thing started. My plan was to visit during my birthday on 9/29, getting in some time with the Food & Wine Festival, seeing Galaxy's Edge for the first time, and staying in the new Coronado Springs Destino Tower. I had everything all booked when I found out that there was a big event at work that I was going to miss, so I had to reschedule everything, including the perfect set of ADRs. Fortunately I hadn't booked flight yet, so I was able to change everything without extra cost. I even got most ADRs that I wanted (missed a few, but there's always next time).

    Thursday, Sept. 26 -

    Flight was on American, on an older plane that didn't have the entertainment system. I started with 3 people in my row, but on guy moved after the doors closed, so I enjoyed my window seat with nobody next to me! I picked up my rental car from Alamo with no issues, and was off to the parks! First stop - the Destino Tower -







    The view from the 11th floor was, as advertised, spectacular -





    A quick unpack, change of clothes, and it was off to Epcot, where my smiling face wasn't greeting me for the first time in 20 years -



    Time marches on, and a lot of people really hated these monoliths. But I took a lot of pleasure knowing that my face was one of the many thousands that was right there in the front of Epcot. We'll see what they do with the re-positioning of the pics.

    I had time for a FP+ at Frozen, a quick ride on Spaceship Earth, and then it was off to France for pre-dinner drinks -



    more . . .

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

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    Thursday, 9/26 cont. -

    Dinner the first evening was at the Coral Reef. I had to navigate past construction walls to get to my destination -



    Dinner started with a delicious shrimp cocktail -



    ... followed by the mahi mahi with a side of crab oscar -



    ... and finishing with a tasty blueberry cheesecake -



    Now it was time for my standard finish of an Epcot day - Rose & Crown for drinks, IllumiNations, and then a long walk around the World Showcase. At least, that was the plan. I made the huge mistake of arriving at the R&C around 7:30pm, which gave me way too much drinking time. I ended up having 7 (!) martinis, and then for some reason didn't want to watch the fireworks. I stumbled out to the main gate, hopped a bus, and headed to bed. Not very responsible of me, but at least I wasn't driving!

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

  4. #3

    Friday, 9/27 -

    Today started at the Magic Kingdom with early entry at 7am -





    I headed straight for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, riding with maybe a 15 minute wait. Then across the way to Journey of the Little Mermaid, and then once around on Pooh. Now it's time for my first FP+ at Pirates -



    ...followed by a standby ride on the Haunted Mansion -



    ...and a standby ride on Big Thunder (crowds were pretty low all week).

    Lunch today was at the Skipper Canteen, starting with Orinoco Ida's Cachapas -



    ... and Dr. Falls Signature Grilled Steak -



    My waitress either wasn't feeling well or just wasn't into the schtick. She was pleasant, but no banter at all. Still a tasty lunch, followed by heading back to my tower room for a well deserved nap.

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

  5. #4
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    What the heck? A bunch of wine then 7 martinis and then a 7 am rope drop at Magic Kingdom? That is IMPRESSIVE!


  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by wdwchuck View Post
    What the heck? A bunch of wine then 7 martinis and then a 7 am rope drop at Magic Kingdom? That is IMPRESSIVE!
    I agree. I would have been passed out cold.

  7. #6
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    Me too! Head throbbing, stomach churning, and the only thing that would fix it would be a triple bloody mary without the blood. That steak sure looks good. I am going to try that next trip.


  8. #7
    Registered User ericles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wdwchuck View Post
    What the heck? A bunch of wine then 7 martinis and then a 7 am rope drop at Magic Kingdom? That is IMPRESSIVE!
    Yikes - I'm impressed...and strangely enough, craving a martini
    Mrs. Slocombe is my spirit animal

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  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by wdwchuck View Post
    What the heck? A bunch of wine then 7 martinis and then a 7 am rope drop at Magic Kingdom? That is IMPRESSIVE!
    Yeah, not the smartest thing I've ever done. At least I didn't schedule a 6am early early thing like I did last time!
    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by wdwchuck View Post
    That steak sure looks good. I am going to try that next trip.
    You won't be sorry - Dr. Falls knows what he's doing!
    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung View Post
    You won't be sorry - Dr. Falls knows what he's doing!
    Thanks for your trip reports Dan. I always enjoy them and the pictures are outstanding.
    Going to try and get in to the Skipper Canteen now for our December trip.

  12. #11

    Time for the physical digression. I've long suffered a wounded right ankle (from a motorcycle wreck many years ago), but lately the knees have been fading, particularly the left one. So getting around all week was very difficult. I had my trusty cane, and should have been using it the first morning when I stormed the MK, but I thought I could get around better than I did. I used the cane for the rest of the week. It definitely slowed me down, but I had plenty of down time already scheduled in.

    Like tonight - dinner at Toledo, right upstairs from my 11th floor room. It's sure a beautiful restaurant -



    ... with a spectacular view, even better than the one from my room -



    This restaurant combines Tapas with a regular menu. I treated the Tapas like an appetizer, and started with the Rioja-braised Chorizo with field onions -



    ... followed by the Scallops, with fava hummus, olives, harissa vinaigrette, roasted carrots, yogurt powder -



    ... and topping it all off with The Toledo Tapas Bar, a progressive dessert tasting with the flavors of Spanish coffee, crunchy chocolate, raspberry mousse, and lemon curd -



    I really liked the way they served wine. You could order either 4 ounces (basically a glass) or 8 ounces, in which case you got a glass and then a little carafe with the rest of your wine -



    A really excellent meal, followed by the short walk to the elevators and back to my room for an early night.

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

  13. #12

    Friday, 9/28 -

    After a well planned and much needed early night to bed, it was time for the 6am extra EXTRA Magic Hours and DHS, and my first visit to Galaxy's Edge.



    Following internet advice, I headed to Toy Story Land first, as did about 1/3 of the crowd. Still I was able to ride Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania with minimal or no wait. I was kinda surprised at Slinky. I first rode about 6 months ago, and didn't like it very much. But this time I wanted to try it at least 1 more time, and I really dug it! Guess I wasn't wild about not knowing what was coming up.

    Time to see Galaxy's Edge for the first time -









    My only ride on Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run featured a young mom as the left pilot and her 4 year old son as the right pilot (I was a gunner). Since the kid didn't have a clue, we pretty much smashed into everything. It was a fun ride that I'll do again, but not a show stopper for me. My overall take on the land? Lots of theming, very little substance. I did get to munch a Ronto's Breakfast Roaster, though -



    With the early start, I was able to fit in a run on Star Tours and a showing of Muppets before getting on to the shows that I usually miss - Little Mermaid, Beauty & the Beast and Indy. Nothing really new here, but I do enjoy seeing these shows from time to time. Lunch was the Fried Plate from the Commissary -



    ... followed by nap time.

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

  14. #13

    I had another early evening planned, with dinner at Tiffins followed by a showing of Rivers of Light. I got to DAK just in time for dinner, starting with the corn chowder -



    ... followed by the short rib -



    ... and finishing with something called the Tiffins Trio - South American chocolate ganache, whipped cheesecake, passion fruit tapioca creme -



    Good dinner, marred by only one thing. Early on in the dinner, as I was moving some things around on my table, I managed to knock a plate off the table, and it crashed loudly on the floor. Instead of being embarrassed, I kinda held my hands over my head as if to say "Yup, that was me. Cool, huh?" I got a round of applause from the other diners, and a big smile from my waitress. I always say if you're gonna screw something up, own it in a big way!

    After dinner I went and saw Rivers of Light for the 2nd time ever. This will never be a favorite show, but it is nice and relaxing. After the show it was back to my room for a good night's sleep.

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

  15. #14

    Food and view at Toledo looks awesome. I will have to give this place a try.


  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by daisyd0 View Post
    Food and view at Toledo looks awesome. I will have to give this place a try.
    That was a really great meal!
    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  17. #16

    Sunday, 9/29 (Happy Birthday to MEEEEE!!!) -

    This morning I hit Epcot at rope drop, visiting Soarin' before my usual Adult Breakfast from Sunshine Seasons -



    Nothing special - just a good breakfast. I had a FP+ for Frozen, so I headed up to Norway for a ride. Next FP+ was for Spaceship Earth for the 2nd time this visit, and then it was time for lunch at Spice Road Table, and a tasty calamari appetizer and the mixed grill skewers -





    ... accompanied by their collection of tiny glasses of wine -



    Comfortably full, I headed back to my room for a break.

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

  18. #17

    Sunday, 9/29 continued -

    I came back to Epcot for the evening, hoping to NOT repeat my heavy drinking a few nights before. I slow-walked up to the American pavilion and a performance from the Voices of Liberty -



    ... followed by my umpteenth showing of The American Adventure. Tonight was my one and only time at the Food & Wine Festival -











    As always, the hits for me were the filet mignon and cheese soup from Canada, and the Escargot Croissant from France. What a terrific way to get full and tipsy! Now it was time to head back to the Rose & Crown, for a much more successful round of drinks followed by IllumiNations and the walk around the World Showcase. Since they made the Disney parks totally smoke free, I abstained from my usual cigar. Not nearly as much fun, but I didn't want to get yelled at by guests and cast members alike!

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

  19. #18
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    8 glasses of wine on Sunday and you were still upright and able to have drinks at the Rose and Crown? What is your secret? How can you down so much booze and still function? I would be passed out by the seagulls.


  20. #19

    Well, they were SMALL glasses of wine . . .

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

  21. #20

    Monday, 9/30 -

    Today started out with early entry to Disney's Animal Kingdom. I headed straight to Pandora -



    I don't yet do Flight of Passage (gotta lose a few more pounds!), so I did the Navi River Cruise first thing with almost no wait. Then it was over to Expedition: Everest for a standby ride, a FP+ ride, and then a single rider ride. I had a 10:55am FP+ for Kilimanjaro Safaris, but that would mean missing Finding Nemo, so I went for the show, followed by some tasty ribs from Flame Tree -



    Kevin was cavorting when I finished lunch -



    After lunch I had time for It's Tough To Be A Bug, and then off to nap time.

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

  22. #21

    9/30 continued -

    The plan was to hit Epcot, and see IllumiNations for the last time. It didn't exactly work out that way. I had time before dinner for my traditional glass of wine in France -



    Dinner was at Monsieur Paul, starting with yet another new preparation of escargot -



    My waiter told me that they changed the recipe every 8 months or so. The main event was the Roasted New York Strip Steak with duchess potatoes, shallot confit, red wine sauce -



    A really excellent dinner. Now it was time to begin my visit at the Rose & Crown, but it (and the entire World Showcase) was jam packed with people, so I decided to hit the hay early. I missed seeing IllumiNations for the last time, but I'd seen it the night before, so I was happy.

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

  23. #22

    Tuesday, 10/1 -

    My last full day in the parks. I started in the MK with early entry at 7am. I went right to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with maybe a 10 minute wait, then Mermaid with no wait -



    I used a FP+ at Pirates right at 9am, once around on Big Thunder with almost no wait, then a FP+ at the Haunted Mansion. I had lunch with Sonny Eclipse at Cosmic Ray's -





    ... followed by my third FP+ of the day at SDMT, and then back to the hotel for my beloved nap time.

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

  24. #23

    My last evening was back in Epcot to see the new show -





    Dinner was at La Hacienda de San Angel, starting with chips and salsa -



    ... moving on to the Queso Fundido - melted cheese with chorizo, peppers, and onions with flour tortillas -



    ... and the Pollo al Pastor, Organic Chicken Breast with Chili Arbol Glaze and Pineapple Relish and Grilled Vegetables -



    My gosh, what a huge meal! That cheese dish alone was almost a meal. Stuffed and happy, I sauntered around to the Coral Reef for a few martinis, then out to the World Showcase for the debut of Epcot Forever. I really enjoyed this show - not nearly as much as IllumiNations, but still a well done show. And that's the end of the day.

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

  25. #24

    Wednesday, 10/2 (departure day) -

    I always spend the last morning the way I spend the first evening - at Epcot, which opened at 9am. I started with a ride on Soarin', followed by the Adult Breakfast from Sunshine Seasons -



    ... and then a FP+ ride on Soarin'. I next enjoyed Living With the Land with no wait, then next door to The Seas with no wait. I wanted to catch a ride on the new Skyrider -







    On my return trip to Epcot I rode with an engineer who had been working on the Skyrider for several months. We had an interesting chat about the ride, the stops, etc. He said that most of the stops are operator error, as a CM tries to bring a vehicle online and misses a tight window. He felt that most of these stops would reduce as time went on. Then came the big accident, so who knows now.

    Lunch was, as always on the last day, at the Rose & Crown, starting with a Scotch Egg -



    ... and a very tasty order of fish & chips -



    I had time for one more FP+ ride on Spaceship Earth, and then it was off to the airport and home. As I said at the beginning, the heat, combined with my painful legs, made this trip not one of the greatest. But then, there's always next time!








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

  26. #25
    Registered User ericles's Avatar
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    Enjoyed your photos as usual!

    Mrs. Slocombe is my spirit animal

    www.snortrescue.org

    www.merlotcottage.net

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