A Tikifest Trip Report
Posted 02 August 2007 - 09:16 PM
The Cast -
Me (Aaron) - ADP 38 WDW Fanatic
Kim - Disney Wife 36 - No choice but to be a WDW Fanatic
Anna - Disney Daughter 7 - New WDW Thrill Junkie
Date - July 25th - 31st
July 25th -
Left Indianapolis at 7:00 AM via Airtran Airways. Smooth flight and landed at OIA around 9:00AM. Proceeded to the Alamo rental counter in the garage to pickup our vehicle. We are Quicksilver members so getting our car was a breeze. Time saved at the airport is more time at WDW. We took 528 Beeline Expressway to I - 4 and got to the Beach Club Villas at 10:15AM. We made great time, but our room was not ready. We got dressed and headed out to Storm-A-Long Bay. Great fun! This pool complex is awesome complete with a lazy river. We sat near Hurrican Hannah's and had a light snack before heading back into the pool.
At 1:00AM called the WDW guest line and was informed our room was ready. We went to our 1 bedroom DVC unit room 466 with a view of the DVC quiet pool. It was a great location and view. The room was beautiful and clean.
At 4:00PM we headed for the Studios for a couple attractions and a 6:00PM ADR at 50's Prime Time. We got fastpasses for Star Tours then headed straight to Muppets with no wait right into the preshow. I love the preshow. It's very enteratining and the time goes by very fast. After Muppets It was time for our fastpasses for Star Tours. I never understood how we got fastpasses for Star Tours at 5:05PM when the standby line was around 45 minutes. Do guests even know about fastpass? Anyway, we rode Star Tours and checked out a few novilties in Tattooine Traders. After exiting I wanted to check out the construction wall near the large AtAt walker. The construction wall is for the Jedi Training Stage to be added in the near future. It didn't appear to me that the size of the stage would cause the AtAt or Ewok Village to be removed, but who knows for sure.
After we completed Star Tours we headed over for our 50's Prime Time ADR at 6:00PM. As we entered the restaurant it began to rain. Great Timing! I headed over to the bar for a quick beer, but before I could get it down our pager went off. We were seated at 6:05PM. Our waitress was Aunt Jenn and she was awesome! I ordered the meatloaf, Kim ordered the Fried Chicken, and Anna ordered the kids Mac N Cheese with veggies. All of our entrees were very good. For dessert we ordered the hot fudge brownie sundae. It was large and all 3 of us could split it. Total bill was $49.00 with 20% DDE Savings. As we walked out of the Prime Time the rain had stopped. I couldn't believe our luck!
AFter dinner I had promised Anna we would get her hair wrapped so we headed back over to Muppet Square where I had seen a hair wrap station. Anna got her hair wrapped by a very nice CM. Total cost was $24.
After Anna's hair wrap it was off to the hat. Anna collects pins and wanted only one pin on this trip....A ToT pin specifically. We found it and bought the pin she wanted.
Anna and Kim headed over to watch The Little Mermaid while I headed down Hollywood Blvd to check out some of the details I've always missed when entering and exiting the park.
After Little Mermaid and my short, but fun detail excursion Anna and I decided we wanted to ride ToT. Anna is 7 and has never been on ToT. I was a little hesitant, but she seemed charged up to ride it sooooo off we went.
The standby line was 45 minutes, not too bad really. We jumped in line and the the wait was 45 minutes. After the preshow we entered the hallway to the boiler room and all of a sudden the line stopped moving. Rumors were flying around that the ride had broken down. Oh Noooo! Now what? :roll: We were stuck, we really couldn't exit the attraction so we decided to wait. There was a group of intoxicated college kids behind us who kept us entertained for the additional 20 minute wait. Ok...So the ride is back online the line starts moving. Once we enter the boiler room Anna starts getting a little apprehensive about riding. One of the college kids began to talk to her and says its not so bad, you can do it. Well, the encouragement worked she jumped into the elevator and up we went. I have to say she was a trooper and I was proud of her. She made it through the ride even with 6 drunk college kids screaming there heads off during the drop sequence. In fact, she wanted to get back on for another ride. I told her no way as we needed to get into the Fantasmic Theatre for the 10:30PM showing of Fantasmic.
As we entered the theatre the line to get in was already long. The theater was roped off as Cast Members were cleaning and getting the theater ready from the previous 9:00PM show. As we waited and waited the time kept going by. at 10:15PM the rope dropped and people began filing in. I knew there would be no way the show would start on time; however, I was wrong. The show started promptly at 10:30; however people were still filing into the theater. It turned into a dangerous situation as everone began hurrying to a seat no matter who was in front of them. I started thinking how nice it would have been to get the Fantasmic Dinner Package, but I digressed and told myself it wouldn't have been worth it.
Fantasmic was great as usual, but I noticed a few new scenes since last I watched it in 2006. After Fantasmic we knew the line for the boat would be long and we still had some energy so we decided to head over to the Great Movie Ride. It was EMH that night until 1:00AM so we decided to take advantage of it. The line for the GMR was 10 minutes. The attraction was as good as I remember and Anna really enjoyed it the most. She really loved the Wizard of Oz scene. After GMR we decided to head back to BCV beacause we had an early 7:30AM ADR at Cape May for our character breakfast. We jumped on the boat and headed back to the Beach Club villas. We got to bed around 12:30AM.
Next up....A Day at EPCOT Early and Late!
Posted 03 August 2007 - 04:34 AM
Posted 03 August 2007 - 10:16 AM
The alarm went off at around 6:30AM. After our late evening at MGM and travelling the day before I was a little groggy. Anna and Kim seemed to be in good shape and ready to go when they awoke.
After getting ready it was time for our 7:30AM ADR at Cape May. I love this breakfast. We checked in at 7:30 and were the scecond family seated in the restaurant. The characters weren't even out yet. Maybe they had a long night as well .
After about 10 minutes we saw our first sign of characters as Minnie appeared in here beach garb. Then all of a sudden Chip out of nowhere Chip came over. t think we were the first stop for characters. So, what to do with both characters at the table. Take a photo, what else!
The food was really good. We loved the entire experience. Oh! I almost forgot. Goofy showed up as well. This is his breakfast so he needed to make an appearance. Since the restaurant was still slow the characters gave us a lot of interaction.
After breakfast it was off to the Internation Gateway to enter EPCOT. We walked from the Beach Club to the Gateway. It was a short, but very nice walk. It was 8:40AM and we were the first ones there. Clark Grizwald would have been proud! We chatted with the Disney Security Guard for a while and then they let us through at about 8:50AM to where the rope is at the bridge entering the UK. At 9:00AM the rope dropped and it was a mad dash to Soarin'. Who could get there first. Can you believe the wait was already 20 minutes by the time we got there. We opted for fast passes and headed over to Test Track. Test Track only had a 15 minute wait so we jumped on. It was more like a 5 minute wait. After we finished we jumped in line again and waited about 10 minutes.
Anna loves the post show to this ride. She loves jumping in the cars and pretending she is driving them. I maybe in trouble later in life!
Ok...so it was back to Soarin for our fast passes. Rode Soarin and got fast passes again for later. We headed over to Finding Nemo and rode that attraction. We decided to skip Turtle Talk and go check out Project Tomorrow over at Spaceshipe Earth. I've seen so many pictures and heard about it, but wanted to check it out for myself. It seemed pretty neat. Most of the exhibits were occupied so we just walked through. I tried to see into the unload area of Spaceship Earth to see if there was any activity, but it was well guarded. Project Tomorrow looks very cool, but you could tell there was more to come. It looked unfinished.
After we exited Project Tomorrow we headed for the character spot hoping the lines would not be too long. Unfortunately, the lines were long. I told Anna we would be able to see characters at the DVC party (Summer on the Savanna) later that afternoon. We headed back to the Land and rode Soarin' with our fastpasses one more time before heading back to the Beach Club Villas for an afternoon rest. But wait We did not ride Figment. This is Anna's second favorite attraction in all of Disney World. We jumped on Figment which had a 5 minute wait. We did some of the interactive attractions at the end of Figment and then it was off to the Beach Club Villas for a rest.
After our afternoon rest we headed back towards EPCOT at 4:00PM for the DVC party (Summer on the Savanna) which was held at the entrance to the International Gateway. The party was in a large, open tent. We entered the tent to find quite a festive atmosphere. There was a DJ, free face painting for the kids, several characters roaming around, finger foods and drinks, even a huge display of the new Animal Kingdom Villas complete with two DVC guides speaking to guests. The party was really great. Anna got to see several characters without hardly any lines. I even got to pose for one with her.
This was a very nice party (Did I already say that). There were also some raffles and free giveaways. Being a DVC member is really nice. Everyone got a free Animal Kingdom Villas bucket hat when they left the party. We thuroughly enjoyed it and it was totally free. Before leaving Anna insisted on getting a picture next to the party sign.
After the party it was onto World Showcase. It was still hot out and all I could think about was enjoying a Beer in Germany and the UK. Conveniently the UK was right there as we entered EPCOT. Rose & Crown Pub here I come! After purchasing and enjoying a brew we worked our way counter-clockwise around World Showcase. One of my favorite countires is France because I feel it is one of, if not the most authentic pavillion in all of World Showcase. The architecture and feel is amazing. Whenever I'm in that Pavillion I feel like I'm in France. Kim was anxious to move on, but wait I haven't had my pastry at the pastry shop. That is a tradition of mine, I must have a pastry! Ok..Kim you win let's go. I'll be back though. I've got to have a strawberry mousse, or something!
We made it to the American Pavillion and decided we would have a bite to eat at the counter service restaurant. I know this place is a disappointment for a lot of us World Showcase fans. Burgers, chicken fingers, etc. I did hear though that the menu maybe changing. There maybe some new additions coming. Let's keep our eyes peeled for some kind of announcement. It may not help though, this pavillion really needs a table service restaurant in my opinion.
We continued our trek through the World Showcase. Oh! By the way we saw some characters during our tour.
We made our way around the showcase and came to Mexico. I had not been on the Gran Fiesta Tour yet so that was first. I'd been waiting to see it and wanted to check it off my list. To be honest, I didn't know what to think after I got off. It was a nice change of pace I guess from the old attraction, but it's just an overlay. I kind of expected that though reading other reviews of the attraction. We wondered around the inside of the building and spoke with a nice Cast Member who informed me that there will be a tequilla bar coming sometime soon inside that building. I was excited to hear that piece of news.
It was getting close to 8:15 and we really needed to start thinking about our place for Illuminations. I told Kim we needed to head back towards the International Gateway and watch from there so we could make an easy exit after the show. Well, Kim didn't seem too interested in Illuminations, but Anna wanted to watch. Kim went back to the resort while Anna and I staked out our spot for Illuminations on the bridge connecting France to the UK. But wait! There's France in it's beauty calling my name....Aaron...You need a pastry! Aaron....You need a pastry. Ok..Ok...I get it! I grabbed Anna and off we went to the pastry shop. I know I'm crazy for giving up my spot right. I had a strawberry mousse which I love and Anna had a chocolate mousse which she only ate a couple bites. It was 8:59 as we finished our desseerts...Ok, hurry up let's go. Off we dashed to the bridge. Great! there's a spot. We watched Illuminations and decided it was time to head back to the resort. It was EPCOT EMH that night, but Anna was pretty tired from the days activies. I will say that Illuminations did give me a bit of energy. I don't know what it is about that show, but it charges me up.
Anna and Kim went to bed around 10:30PM while I stayed up on the porch relaxing and enjoying the view. Tomorrow was our checkout day and we were headed to the Polynesian for the beginning of Tikifest 2007. I was really excited about it. We have never stayed Concierge at the Polynesian and were looking forward to it. I went to bed around 11:30PM in hopes to be awake by 7:30AM the next morning.
Up Next: A Polynesian transition with a sprinkle of the Magic Kingdom
Posted 03 August 2007 - 11:17 AM
Posted 03 August 2007 - 12:32 PM
A great time was had by all. Even Len found time to try and learn the Hula!
Posted 03 August 2007 - 06:43 PM
Was this the same Mary Poppins that I met back in July who said she's been to Oceanside, Long Island? :mrgreen:
Posted 03 August 2007 - 09:49 PM
We woke up at around 8:00AM in the morning. I decided I needed a cup of coffee and took a stroll down to the Beach Club Marketplace with Anna to get some breakfast food to bring back up to the room. The weather looked to be nice outside, but the heat was waiting for us...lurking over the horizon 8)
We had our breakfast in the room packed up a few last minute items and got checked out. I had our rental car pulled around by the valet (free valet parking with your DVC card) tipped the CM and off we went to the Polynesian.
When we pulled up to the Polynesian it was a bit chaotic. There was one person assisting 3 cars and no other CM was around. I knew we would have to exercise some patience. I actually felt sorry for the guy because he was really hustling to make everyone happy. I actually tipped him more than usual. I had the car valet parked (free valet parking with our DDE card. I love this card) I went to the valet desk to let them know we were checking into the Hawaii building, but decided it would be quicker to go into the front desk and start the check-in process there.
After checking into the front desk we proceeded to the Hawaii building. We were met at the front door by Fran who checked us into the Concierge building. Our room was not ready yet so we decided to head up to the lounge and check things out. The view outside the concierge lounge is amazing; The Poly beach, The Seven Seas Lagoon and Cindy's Castle.
After relaxing in the lounge we decided to head to the Volcano pool for a quick swim. The pool and the Poly grounds for that matter were in excellent shape.
What separates the Poly from other resorts is it's tranquility and transportation options. The resort is very relaxing and is a retreat from the parks. You also have the Monorail to the MK, monorail to EPCOT via the TTC, the boat launch to the MK, and motor coaches to AK, MGM Studios, DTD and the Water Parks.
After the pool we went back to the Hawaii building to see if our room was ready. Indeed it was. We were assigned room 3528 a garden view room with a great view of the quiet pool. The room was large and the flat panel TV is a very nice touch.
After a rest we put on our orange Tikifest bracelets identifying us as Tikifest participants and we headed to the lounge one more time before going to the MK. We took the monorail to the MK. Anna loves riding it. Sometimes we just hop on the monorail to do the MK resort loop a few times.
We arrived at the MK around 5:00PM. The park was crowded as we expected, but we were going to make the best of it. My first thought was to go to the Laugh Floor. I knew that attraction could absorb crowds well. I have not been through it before and was excited to give it a try. We walked into the doors leading up to the theater and the wait was not that long. The preshow is pretty basic. TVs are on both sides of the hall and you watch Mike Woso give his description of how laughs create energy for Monstropolis. What's neat about the preshow is you have the opportunity to text your jokes to the Laugh Floor cast for possible use in the show. It makes the show more interactive and interesting for guests.
My overall impression of the attraction is positive. It is funny and is very audience interactive. Cameras pan the audience to select volunteers or people who they feel they can have fun with. This show is similar in technology to Turtle Talk where the on screen, animated characters interact with the people in the audience on a constant basis. Definately not an E ticket attraction, but could be considered a C or D ticket attraction.
After Laugh Floor we wanted to take a trip on the TTA. As usual there was no wait. We jumped on and took the trip around Tomorrowland. The TTA is a very relaxing ride. I really like the vocal portion of this ride...."Paging Mr. Morrow...Mr. Tom Morrow! I laugh every time I hear that.
We exited the TTA and got fast passes for Buzz Lightyear before going through the Laugh Floor. We rode Buzz and pretty much covered everything we wanted to in Tomorrowland. I wanted to ride the Carousel of Progress, but that would be for another day.
I was beginning to get hungry and so were Kim and Anna. I suggested we head to Pecos Bills. We could check on the fast pass situation at Big Thunder and Splash and then grab a bite at Pecos Bills. When we arrived at Big Thunder the fast pass time was 90 minutes away. We immediately go fast passes for Big Thunder and headed over to Pecos Bills for dinner. I got the Cheeseburger (The fixings bar rocks), Kim got the hambuger and Anna got a kids chicken fingers meal. Everything was as good as I remember it. The seating area was packed. Fortunately, there is a lot of seating in Pecos Bills. By the way, I turned the fixings bar into my personal buffet, pickles and sauteed mushrooms galore !
We walked over to Big Thunder and rode that attraction. This is Anna's number one attraction at WDW. She simply loves it. She is one heck of a screamer as well. We exited Big Thunder and headed over to Pirates. The wait was 40 minutes. We decided to jump into the stand-by line and wait. The wait was probably every bit of 40 minutes. Again, this attraction did not disappoint. The new affects and AAs inspired by the Pirates of the Carribean movie are awesome!
After our Pirate adventure I had such a craving for a Dole Whip Float it wasn't even funny. I mentioned it to Kim and Anna. Anna strongly agreed while Kim gave me that look...What are you talking about, are you crazy! I replied "Oh no...Just living right!! Follow me to Aloha Isle." We ordered two Pineaple Floats. Kim and Anna split one while I had one to myself. I know, call me selfish! The Dole Whip Floats did not disappoint; in fact, it brought my core body temperature down 5 degrees! I had to go over to the first aid center due to Hypothermia symptoms. It was soooo refreshing.
It was 8:15 and time to find our spot for the Spectro Parade. This is our favorite night time entertainment at WDW. We love this parade and could watch it over and over. I think what does it for me is the music and the way it lights up the MK at night. Anna and I love watching this parade with a box of popcorn so I walked to the popcorn cart located in Town Square. Ok..We've got our popcorn and our spot. We are parade ready!
Ok...Enough with the camera already. Here comes the parade!
After the parade we decided to watch Wishes from the Polynesian beach. We hopped the monorail and returned to the Polynesian in 20 minutes. After Wishes I went to the Concierge lounge for a refreshment, relax and watch the Castle change colors. Anna and Kim went to the room. We had another early day ahead of us so I didn't mind that they wanted to call it a night early. The Magic Kingdom was open until 2:00AM, but tomorrow was another day.
I left the lounge and took a stroll around the grounds of the Polynesian admiring the atmosphere and just taking it all in. Funny how it worked out, but I ended up at the Tambu Lounge with a Sour Apple Chiller in my hand watching Sportcenter on the big screen TV. I ended up getting back to the room at 12:30AM .
I wanted to be at the Magic Kingdom at 9:00AM when the park opened. Our plan was to hit the Fantasyland and Frontierland attractions as soon as possible.
Next Up: More Magic Kingdom, Tikifest surprise meet, and a trip to our favorite restaurant on WDW property
Posted 04 August 2007 - 09:58 AM
And you're not the only one who uses the Pecos Bills fixins bar as their own salad bar. Sometimes I wish I could just eat the veggies off there and make a nice salad.
Posted 04 August 2007 - 02:26 PM
Awoke Saturday morning bright and early around 7:15AM. I wanted us to be at the MK when the rope dropped so we could get through Fantasyland and Frontierland without much waiting.
After getting ready we headed for the concierge lounge for some breakfast. This is the great thing about staying club level. You can grab and go, sit and eat without wasting a lot of time in lines at the counter service restaurants. The Poly lounge has this incredible hawaiin bread. Its a sweet bread with small pineapple chunks at the bottom. It is very good and extremely addictive.
Once we had our breakfast it was off to the monorail station for our ride over to the MK. Honestly, I had lost track of time in the loung and we were sort of rushing to the monrail station. I didn't want to miss the rope drop. We arrived at the MK at 8:50AM and walked through the gate. We headed straight for Fantasyland.
Let's see...We rode Winnie The Pooh, Dumbo, Snow White's Scary Adventure twice, Peter Pan, Tea Cups, Golden Carousel, and Small World within the first hour. We literally walked on each of those attractions. I knew Saturday was a good day to visit the MK, but come on, where was everybody.
Kim and Anna rode some of the attractions together while I got to ride shotgun.
It was 10:00AM and Ariel's Grotto was just about to open. Anna has a princess hat that all of the princesses have autographed except one. You guessed it, Ariel. We scooted over to the Grotto so Anna could get that last autograph on her hat. Ariel thought Anna had a great idea and loved signing her hat; however, she was curious why she had to be last. Go figure!
AFter we exited Ariel's Grotto we headed over to Small World. I was kind of hesitant since the crowd level was still very low. Small World has a good crowd load capacity and I didn't want to waste our time there. But, on the attraction we went. The most unique piece to this ride in my opinion is you can ride it over and over again and still find AAs or other details you've never seen before. After we exited Small World it was off to Frontierland for Splash and Big Thunder, normally I would want to ride Haunted Mansion since it's on the way, but that spooky construction wall is in the way. I guess we'll just have to wait until October.
Once we arrived in Frontierland we found the lines to be short. Big Thunder had a 15 minute wait and Splash appeared to have the same wait time. We chose Big Thunder first. We exited Big Thunder and headed to Splash. The wait was 20 minutes now. Anna and I jumped on while Kim sat back and waited. For some reason she won't go on this ride. Kim is not real big on drops 50Ft or over.
After we exited Splash we headed over to Adventureland. I was curious what the wait time was for Pirates. To my surprise it was only 15 minutes. By now it was almost 11:00AM. "C'Mon...What's going on around here...Where are the crowds!" The wait was 15 minutes and we enjoyed the attraction for the second day in a row.
We finished Pirates and headed straight for the Magic Carpets of Alladin. While waiting in line I saw someone with a dream fastpass. My curiousity got the best of me and I had to ask where he got it and when. He told me Space Mountain as they were exiting the attraction at around 9:45AM. I always like to ask people where and when they won there YOMD dreams. After speaking with guests on this trip and in the past it appears to me that most, if not all YOMD fast passes, lanyards, and mickey ears are given away between 9:00AM and 12:00 Noon each day. We actually won YOMD lanyards last October on Star Tours at 10:00AM.
After Alladin we decided to head over to Tomorrowland. On the way we passed Aloha Isle, but my common sense got the best of me. Keep moving...Move along. I wasn't hungry at all after our breakfast in the lounge.
We arrived in Tomorrowland and the crowd level definately picked up. I went over and got fast passes for Buzz. Kim and Anna waited for me at the entrance to Laugh Floor. We wanted to go through that attraction again. I was curious how much different it would be the next time through. Most of it was the same, but there were a few differences. The names of some of the animated characters had changed and a few of the jokes had a different twist to them. I still believe this attraction is being worked on and tweaked by the Imagineers.
We exited Laugh Floor and it was time for our fast passes at Buzz. We rode Buzz and when we got off it was time for Kim to leave. I had surprised her on this trip with a 50 minute massage and pedicure over at the Grand Floridian Spa. She was really looking forward to it. She left us and was on her way. By the way, we saved 10% off the Spa services with our APs.
Anna and I decided we wanted to ride the Carousel of Progress. I liked that idea since the crowds where building and the CoP absorbs crowds pretty well. We walked right into the attraction. I like this attraction. I think the concept is really cool. I did speak with a CM in Tomorrowland who told me that the final scene of CoP will be getting updated in the future. Who really knows if that's true. I'm hoping he's right, it needs it.
As we exited CoP Buzz Lightyear himself was walking up the ramp to CoP. What great timing. We jumped in line for an autograph and picture.
After our run in with Buzz we decided it was time to head back to the resort for a rest. We jumped on the monorail and headed back to the Poly for some R & R. I decided I wanted a soda so we made a quick stop in the concierge lounge. During my stop I saw a few people who were wearing there orange Tikifest wristbands. I thought I actually recognized them because I had seen there pictures on another discussion forum before we left. In fact, it was the same people. After a hug and hello we decided to sit in the lounge and chat. We also ran into another family who was attending Tikifest and they sat with us as well. After about 10 minutes of chatting Anna left the table and found a spot by the loung TV while we discussed all thing Polynesian and Disney. We ended up chatting for a couple hours. It was really nice to finally meet some folks we recognized and others we met for the first time.
It was about 3:00PM and I needed to get Anna up to the room for a rest. Kim would be coming back soon and we had a 5:00PM ADR for Ohana so we went upstairs to relax a bit.
Kim got back to the room at 4:00PM. We started getting ready for our 5:00PM ADR at Ohana. I love Ohana as you probably guessed. I do feel the food is above average, but what makes Ohana my favorite is the atmosphere and the other experiences. I love family style dining, I love the kids interaction, I love the interior design of the restaurant. It truly is a unique experience. Here are few photos we took prior and during our experience at Ohana.
Ok...So now I'm stuffed. What a meal. The plan was to head back to the MK so that's what we did after a stop back at our room. On the way we ran into another Tikifest attendee. We said our hellos, talked about where we were from, etc. It was great meeting everyone I've chatted with on the message boards, but never met in person.
We got to the MK around 7:30PM. The crowds where pretty heavy so I knew getting through major attractions would be difficult. This time I was just going to go with the flow. We ended up in Tomorrowland again. I told Kim and Anna we needed to do the Indy Speedway. I mean..C'Mon we are from Indy. Why wouldn't we go on that attraction? Anna wanted to drive, but unfortuately she's still too small. Probably a good thing for me since I was going on with her. The wait was 40 minutes. Longer than I wanted to wait, but I said what the heck. We jumped in line and the wait was probably every bit of 40 minutes.
Next it was back to the TTA. No wait as usual. We went up the people mover and right on. So it's 9:00Pm and the first parade was getting ready to start. I thought we would skip it this time and try and hit a few attractions. I figured the lines would be shourter since folks would be at the parade. We walked over to the Tea Cups. What was I thinking. How could I do Tea Cups hours after eating at Ohana? Well, the wait was only 15 minutes. We jumped on and fortunately I didn't get extremely sick. I was a bit woozy, but I survived. Next we moved on to Goofy's Barnstormer. Only a 10 minute wait. We jumped in line and did that attraction.
Kim and Anna had pretty much had there enjoyment of the Magic Kingdom for the day. They were ready to head back and call it a night at the Poly beach and get ready for bed. I on the other hand wanted to stay and walk through some of the Main St. shops. I did some shopping around to see some of the new merchandise. I watched Wishes from Main St. between a few shops.
At 10:45PM I decided it was time to leave so I hopped the boat to the Poly and was back in 10 minutes. I went up to the room for the evening. I wanted to be up early in the morning so we could make it to the Animal Kingdom for rope drop. I knew it would be a challenge though. We were all pretty tired already and needed a good nights sleep.
Next up...AK..Wow! It's hot! Tikifest! The main event!
Posted 04 August 2007 - 08:26 PM
Isn't Ariel the most adorable of all the Princesses? It's a shame I won't be visiting her anymore since she and the other Princesses make me feel like a 7 year-old girl.
Posted 05 August 2007 - 11:51 AM
The alarm went off at 7:15AM just as I had planned, but unfortunately my body didn't agree. Neither did Kim & Anna. I told Kim we would just sleep in. We'd had a long couple of days and we needed the rest; especially for tonights activities.
At about 9:00AM we arose and started our day. We went to the lounge for breakfast went back to the room and Anna and I agreed it was time to go to the Animal Kingdom. Kim said she was going to stay back and hang out at the pool.
Instead of taking the rental car I opted for the bus from the Poly. I had heard from others how poor the bus service from the Poly was to the AK so I wanted to see for myself. As we walked to the bus station at the Poly the AK bus was waiting for us. Lucky break! We hopped on and away we went. Our first stop was the Grand Floridian, our next stop was Blizzard Beach. We finally reached the AK in about 35 minutes. Not bad considering the two stops. By the way the automation installed in the WDW motor coaches is very nice. Music and announcements are played while you are in transit. As you approach a destination themed music for that destination is played. For instance, AK music is played as we approached the AK bus station.
We hit one snag during our trip to AK. I realized Kim still had Anna's AP from the day before. What to do? Go back and get it? That would take forever! :roll: I got it! When we get to AK I'll go over to the ticket booth and get a replacement AP for Anna. I still had the receipt since we bought new APs for them at the beginning of this trip. It worked out perfectly, no problem. This was one time all of the knowledge of the World I've gathered from forums, boards, and even podcasts; i.e. WDWToday (DING!) really payed off!
We entered the AK at 11:00 and headed straight for Dinoland U.S.A. Anna loves this section for some reason. She had never been on Primevil Whirl because she was not 48'. This trip she was 48" and she was soooo excited. We jumped on and she loved that ride. Next we jumped over to Triceritops Spin. Rode that attraction and when we got off I realized how hot it was getting....I mean frying pan hot. AK is the hottest of the 4 Disney parks in my opinion. I think it has to do with the copius amounts of foliage in the park, but who knows for sure. I had to get inside somwhere, rest and cool off. We headed in Donald's Breakfastasaurus. Once we cooled off we headed over to Dinosaur. Anna wanted to try this attraction even though I told her it is a bit scary. She didn't mind. The wait was 20 minutes so we hopped on, went through the pre-show and on our time traveller.
As we entered the forest I could tell Anna was a bit nervous. She grabbed the bar in front of her and put her head down. She kept it that way most of the ride. She made it through the ride and as we exited she said "I don't want to ride this again". That's ok. We don't need to. I think what made it tough for her was the loud noise. The audio on this ride is rather loud; which enhances the experience. See Matt, if a 7 year old can make it through so you can you! You can do it!
After Dinosaur we went over to watch "It's Tough To Be a Bug". It was very good, but I could have done without getting stung in the back from the bees let loose in the theater.
After we exited the theatre I told Anna it was time to leave. We needed to get back and prepare for Tikifest. I wasn't sure how long the bus would take, plus I wanted Anna to rest.
We headed for the bus depot and it started to rain lightly. We took cover under the bus depot waiting for our bus. 10 minutes...15 minutes, etc. The bus came 20 minutes later. So we get on the bus. Our first stop was Blizzard Beach. A lot of guests got on because of the rain I assume. Our next stop was the Contemporary, then it was onto the Polynesian. Total trip time was 50 minutes. Pretty long!
We got ready for Tikifest and headed out of our room at 4:00PM. We walked over to the TTC to hop the monorail to EPCOT. It was a very nice ride. I love this ride as it provides some great scenery as your approach and go through EPCOT.
Once we entered EPCOT we went straight to Figment. Rode Figment and Kim was telling me on the way to The Seas that she met Steve at the pool today and discussed there conversation with me. Pretty cool! We rode the Seas with Nemo & Friends got off the attraction and headed upstairs to the aquarium. We checked out the sea life and finally it was time to go downstairs and find the door leading to the VIP Salon. I knew it was near the Coral Reef restaurant somewhere.
As we approached the Coral Reef I saw those orange bracelets all over. Everyone was waiting for the doors to open. Anna started speaking with some folks who were there for the event so Kim and I jumped in. Anna would speak with anyone. She is pretty outgoing and loves to speak with people.
Here are her new friends.
While waiting outside I saw Len Testa sitting near the entrance to the door so I went over and introduced myself. He was speaking with some friends so I didn't want to intrude so I kept it brief and told him I'd see him inside. For those of you who don't know Len he is a very nice person and very personable. He is totally geeked out about Disney. He probably needs to be since he works for the Unofficial Guide (DING!). He showed me his new Apple IPhone which was really cool. We talked a little about Youngstown, OH were we both spent a lot of time early in our lives. It was great conversing with him.
So the doors to Tikifest opened. We were escorted upstairs to a private room which was huge. This room was very long with a ton of space. There were 4 or 5 windows to the aquarium which acted as a babysitter. Anna loved looking through the glass seeing the fish most of the night. She did find some time for hula lessons.
After speaking with several other people we met, I got a chance to speak with Steve Seifert. I wanted to thank him for hosting the event and tell him how much we enjoyed it so far. I began to tell Steve how I was in Southern California a few months ago with my brothers playing golf. He said you play golf? I said, kind of. Great we need a 4th for tomorrow. Three of us are playing tomorrow at the Magnola. I was like..."I'm there". I'd love too! I didn't have my clubs or shoes, but I figured I could rent them. This was great. I've always wanted to play golf at Disney and never fit it in my schedule. This seemed like a great opportunity as we didn't have many plans for tomorrow. Steve really made me feel like I belonged. Not really knowing Steve before this event I was floored by his persoanlity, openess, and his friendliness.
After a few more meet and greets I decided I needed to get a bite to eat and a drink. The food was fantastic! There was flank steak and chicken with several side dishes. The food was top notch and prepared perfectly. There was an open bar which was icing on the cake. I had a glass of wine and a few beers. It was terrific!
AFter an hour or so everyone started feeling great...Even the kids.
Towards the end of the evening there were several give-a-ways. Steve had arranged for some great prizes. Anna won a $40 Disney gift card for best dressed at the event. She was completely surprised as were we. I have to say...Being a little biased of course....She did look great! We also won Lunch with a Disney Imagineer. I couldn't believe it. What a great prize. I was sooo excited. The Imagineers name was Sean Robb. He was actually going to be golfing with us the next day. How cool is this. I did get to meet Sean during the party. Sean is a great example of Disney. He is kind and very personable and loves to meet new people. I really enjoyed spending time with Steve and Robb at the party and the next day. I wish we could have spent more time together, but the friendships we made were very special to us.
Two hours had passed and it seemed like only 15 or 30 minutes. Everyone was having such a good time that the time flew by. Steve and Lisa (Magical Vacations Travel Agent) arranged for us to get a VIP viewing of Illuminations at 9:00PM. This was icing on the cake for us. We'd never seen Illuminations from a VIP spot. We were escorted to the UK behind the Yorkshire fish and chips stand. I never knew this placed existed, but there is a landing back there right on the water with a great view of the globe, infernal barge, and firework barges. As we waited for Illuminations to start we chatted with others who were attending the party. I spoke with Len a little more, Terry, and Dave from the Poly concierge desk. He was very insightful. He told us facts about WDW I never knew before. I really enjoyed his insights.
Illumnations started and it was really cool. I couldn't believe how close we were to the show. Anna was sitting with her friends that she made at the party while Kim and I sat on a bench watching together. We were sooo close I could feel the heat from the infernal barge fire!
What a great end to a great evening. After the show we said our goodbyes, exchanged some Email and contact information with others.
AFter we left we jumped aboard the monorail to head back to the Poly. We stopped by the lounge where we saw Lisa who said she was heading to the MK for EMH. The MK was open until 3:00AM. She said they were going to try and make it until close. Wow! Good luck! I had to be up early or I might have went myself, but the alarm would be going off around 5:45am for golf. I was extremely excited about playing; especially with Steve, Sean, and Chris (Lisa's Husband).
This was one day at WDW I certainly will never forget. We got to experience some unique things. Tikifest was great, getting to see the the VIP Salon was cool, getting to experience a VIP spot for Illuminations was fantastic, but making new friends who share our Disney passion was the best of all. The only disappointment to this day was that it had to come to an end!
However, I was looking forward to the next day. Golf was on the schedule and who doesn't love playing; especially at WDW. Something I'd never done before.
Next up....Golf at WDW with friends plus playing in the sand....Lunch with an Imagineer & DTD with a Trip to the new Animal Kingdom Villas..Well, sort of.
Posted 05 August 2007 - 12:42 PM
Posted 05 August 2007 - 03:03 PM
Glad to hear you got to meet Len. All joking aside, he's very fun to hang around with. And Steve Seifert is a lot of fun. It sounds like Tikifest was a pretty fun event. Hopefull next year I can stop by.
Posted 06 August 2007 - 08:09 PM
The alarm went off at 5:45AM as planned. I was pretty excited to get the day started even though it was our last full day at the World. I got dressed and ready for golf and headed down to the Concierge lounge for a cup of coffee.
Our meeting place was the valet station at the front of the Polynesian. When I got there Sean was already present. Steve was not too far behind. The light was just starting to break and we were a little worried about Chris. Apparently, Chris had experienced a little too much of the Magic Kingdom. The Magic Kingdom was open until 3:00AM and Chris may have been around until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning.
Chris made it ! We jumped into a taxi (free transportation to the Disney golf courses from your resort) and were on our way to the Magnolia course. We entered the clubhouse and got checked-in. We proceeded out to the driving range where I noticed the moon and sun were both up. Pretty interesting! I'm a supersticious person so I thought maybe something funny might happen today.
The first thing that struck me as we headed to the first tee as how lucky I was to be playing a round of golf at Disney. To top it off I was out there with an Sean, Steve, and Chris. I knew the day would be terrific. Of course, the next thing that struck me was I forgot my camera. Nooo! I wanted to get some shots of the course and the gang hitting some golf shots . Oh well, Kim and Anna would get some shots later as they were headed back to Animal Kingdom. I tried to persuade them the night before that they should head to the Studios, but I couldn't get Kim to agree. Oh well, it was her choice.
So we are on the first hole tee box and I think I'm ready to hit. My first shot was down the middle, perfect. My second shot goes a little too far and trickles into the sand trap in the back of the green. Well...This is where it gets funny. My ball was underneath the lip of the sand trap. It took me about 6 shots to finally get my ball out of the sand trap and on the green. I was about to ask Steve for a pale and shovel as I thought making a sand castle would have been a good idea at the time. We played through our round with a few breakfast drinks in between Before you ask, I choose not to publish my score. I really had a great time golfing. The Magnolia course is spectacular and in incredible shape. Any of you considering golf on your next Disney trip should definately do it.
After our round we headed back to the Polynesian. We had a 2:00PM ADR at Kona Cafe and Sean and Steve were going to dine with us as part of the Lunch with an Imagineer.
While we were golfing Kim and Anna had fun with the camera at Animal Kingdom.
Kim and Anna came back from the Animal Kingdom around 1:00PM. We got changed and ready for our ADR at Kona. We met Steve and Sean at the entrance to Kona and were seated promptly. We really enjoyed our conversation with Sean and Steve. We learned a lot more about them and Disney Imagineering. We even got some insider information about certain attractions under refurbishment. Don't ask, because I'm not telling. By the way, the food was very good as usual. Kona is a great Disney restaurant and I've never had a bad meal there. I had the Island Chicken Sandwich, Kim had the same. Anna had the Kids Mac N' Cheese with fries and a Kona Cone for dessert.
I really enjoyed everything about this meal. We really enjoyed getting to know more about Steve and Sean and dining with my family. I mean...What could be better than this. Unfortunately, lunch had to come to an end, but it is somthing we will always remember.
We said our goodbyes and figured we would see each other around the resort before we left on Tuesday.
We headed back to the room picked up a few thing and headed to Downtown Disney. We picked up a few souveniers for family and friends back home and a few things for Anna at The World of Disney and Team Disney. I really like Team Disney. I prefer the merchandise in this store over The World of Disney. While we were there I wanted to head over to Saratoga Springs Preview Center to check out the new Animal Kingdom Villas Studio and 1 bedroom models. We already owned points at AKV and wanted to see the accomodations up close.
We went to the boat dock and took the boat transportation to SSR. We walked to the preview center and spoke with Tim before entering the models. DVC members can view the models between 5 - 7PM daily. We walked through the models and I have to tell you they are very spacious. I had heard they were spacious but pictures really don't them justice. There is a lot of detail in the tile and woodwork.
The DVC guide we spoke with in the models said AKV will have the second largest room accomodations of all the DVC resorts. Old Key West's are the largest.
AFter our tour of the AKV model villas we headed back to the boat dock for our trip back to DTD. We stopped in the Art of Disney just to browse and decided it was time to leave. We jumped into our car and headed back to the Polynesian.
We arrived back at the Polynesian at 7:00PM. Just enough time to grab a bite or two of the California Roll that was out as part of the Concierge offerings. Kim and Anna headed to the pool for a swim. I went out to join them but did not swim. I sat at a lounge chair and just enjoyed the atmosphere. I saw that Anna was playing with Steve in the pool. Steve & Sean's families were at the pool as well. At 9:00PM we headed for the Polynesian boat dock to watch the Electrical Water Parade. We watched the show and headed back to the Polynesian beach to get our spot for Wishes. Anna had other ideas as she and a few friends she made decided it would be more fun to build a sand castle. The sand castle turned into a giant pile instead. The kids enjoyed making a pile more than a castle. I guess the castle on the other side of the Seven Seas Lagoon was enough for them.
After Wishes we hung around the beach a little more and went to the lounge for a drink and to relax. We reflected on our day and week at Disney and enjoyed just relaxing and sitting together while watching the castle change colors. Another end to another magical day. Tomorrow was our check-out day, but our flight wasn't departing until 5:05PM. I knew we had enough time to squeeze in a little more Disney magic before we departed.
Up Next - A quick Magic Kingdom Trip, our departure, & a reflection of the week.
Posted 07 August 2007 - 09:11 AM
We better see you and your wife at the next Tikifest!!! We missed you, Mike and Mike. We have a good photo of Len doing the Hula!!!
Posted 07 August 2007 - 12:45 PM
I will be there next year Steve since I'll be living down there, I figure I can stop by. Len has had great things to say about Tikifest so I'm definitely going next year.
Posted 07 August 2007 - 01:08 PM
I thought I heard you say on Sunday's live show that you were heading to the World tomorrow (Wednesday).
Have a great trip! Let us know if you go drinking around the World Showcase! I want to know if you make it.