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Greetings friends. It's been a while since I've made a trip report; many years in fact. But I had such an amazing time in Orlando last January that I wanted to share it with the world. So, buckle up. This may take a while.

 

 

 

Chapter I - The Arrival

Chapter II - Skewered Banshee Wings

Chapter III - Manic Kingdom

Chapter IV - Better Butter Beer

Chapter V - Self-Induced Dehydration and Schnitzel

Chapter VI - The Honeymoon Alliance

Chapter VII - The End

Chapter VIII - The Movie

 

Chapter I - The Arrival

 

Eleven years ago, Megan and I met while working at Hollywood Video. We spent many years together sharing laughs, gaining valuable life experiences, traveling the country, making amazing friends, eating food, drinking copious amounts of alcohol, and, of course, visiting theme parks. And on October, Friday the 13th of 2017, we enacted a brilliant scheme of getting some of our best friends to spend a week at Walt Disney World with us by getting married.

 

 

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Our plan went perfectly. Those idiots were suckered in by the lure of being witness to their friends being spiritually joined as one person forever and couldn’t refuse this once in a lifetime excuse to travel to Central Florida for nearly half a month.

 

 

Over the course of a year, from engagement to wedding to the big day, planned an unforgettable Group Honeymoon that folks are talking about to this day.

 

 

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There were eleven of us. Five couples and one lonely, but enthusiastic, man. Most of us originally come from the Midwest, but now many of us, myself included, live across the country in a small town off the Pacific called Los Angeles. There is a prerequisite. Our large group has taken several day trips to Disneyland with great success. But there are those who have never experience the East Beast known as Orlando. The plan was for 10 days in The World.

 

 

 

On January 20th 2018, the plan unfolded.

 

 

 

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Meg and I flew out first. It’s our honeymoon, afterall. We were sure to plan a few days for us to be by ourselves, without the crew. But mostly, we wanted to get a lay of the land and prepare the hotel for everyone’s arrival. We also had a hot date planned.

 

 

 

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The flight was fine, by the best I could remember. We both were dying to get to the resort. Everything was finally coming together.

 

 

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What a swanky joint! Would ya look at all that swank.

 

 

For the next week and a half, we called Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House our home.

 

 

There…

 

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Do you see it?

 

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This happy little guy served as a room signifier and wonderful greeter to our room. He seems to smirk and say, “It’s going to get wild”.

 

 

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The suite was… well… sweet.

 

 

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We had a pool table!

 

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We had our own balconies, all three of these!

 

 

And it looked down at animals!

 

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King sized bed for us Honeymooners.

 

 

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Huge bathroom.

 

 

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And had a kick*** bathtub with jets and Mufasa can watch you while you’re naked!

 

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We didn’t have much time to stick around. We had a bus to catch.

 

 

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Enjoying Walt Disney World’s massive size is always a novelty to me, being a Disneylander. The amount of roadways and waterways and sprawling acres of (swampy) nature is fascinating to me. I love seeing it. So, we decided to hop a bus to Hollywood Studios...

 

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…to walk along the river that leads us to the Epcot located resorts.

 

 

It was the first time we walked this way; on our last trip we realized we could take the boat from Hollywood Studios to Epcot. I thought it would be just as scenic and probably faster if we walked it. This path has become one of my favorite walks in Walt Disney World. I love how quiet and secluded it is: a rare find in the number one tourist destination. It reminds me of (and we don't have access to it anymore) the path that ran alongside the monorail and Downtown Disney in Disneyland. We used to walk that path because it was nice and quiet and would often be faster than the parking lot trams. Of course, this path in Walt Disney World is the extreme version of that. Quiet and secluded in Southern California means there’s only a few dozen people around, not zero.

 

 

Of course, today this view looks very different. I haven’t seen them in person yet, but we walked right by the Skyliner construction. We would all prefer monorails, no doubt, but I’m also interested in being dangled over the gaping maw of a hungry alligator in a tiny, swaying, unairconditioned bird cage. When those open, things should be very exciting indeed.

 

 

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Meg and I finally made it over to Boardwalk. We had just been on a plane for six hours and a bus for another hour, so we were looking for a the quickest way to get alcohol into our bloodstreams. But since we didn’t pack our flask, and we also like themed bars, we waited until we could get to the newly opened Abracadabar.

 

 

I would never discourage a visit to a bar with inventive drinks and a fun atmosphere. Abracadabar had some good drinks that did their job (or did they? I don’t know it was a long day and maybe I was just punch drunk from traveling)!

 

 

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It’s not to Trader Sam’s standards, but, so far, nothing is.

 

 

 

 

We stumbled back out into the night and carried ourselves across the nearby bridge. I could feel a little excitement as Epcot could just be seen in the distance. Meg and I had decided that our Honeymoon date night must include very expensive meat and found that the Yachtsman Steakhouse was just the place to get it! I have no idea if they are the best steaks on property, but the sound of a “dry aged” steak sounded freaking awesome.

 

 

And it was.

 

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Even in writing about this I feel SO. FULL. And between traveling, the constrictive clothing (dress code), the alcohol, and the meat induced sweating, we were delirious and wanted ever so much to get back to Jambo House.

 

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Yes, you will see food in this trip report. No, I’m not sorry.

 

 

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The best way we could think to end our first night was to get in that freakin’ tub and drink some homebrewed screwdrivers. The bathtub was necessary because gravity had severely increased after one hundred and twenty dollars worth of steak and we needed to maximize our buoyancy.

 

 

We were finally able to relax and let our vacation begin. After a year of planning and waiting, it was finally here. It’s so odd to actually experience it all knowing that 10-months-ago-you has got present-day-you’s back. Apparently that guy really knew what I would want and really took care of me. The distance between Planner Me and Vacationer Me is almost a whole person different. Hell, I wasn’t even married then!

 

 

It was then time for sleep, for the party would arrive in the morning.

 

 

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I can get used to waking up to this!

 

 

Meg and I started the day by immediately breaking the sacred Disney BubbleTM. We got a room with a kitchen and dammit we are going to use it. We hailed a Lyft from out front and made the short trek to Publix. I was honestly surprised to see how close Animal Kingdom Lodge and Publix are from each other. The property line is RIGHT there and Animal Kingdom Lodge is on the far, far Southwestern corner. There was a small road that led us right there, out into the dreaded “real world”.

 

 

We stocked up on supplies. Breakfast foods, liquor, beer (Meg and I don’t drink beer, but our housemates sure do), and several cases of water. Florida, I love you, but your water tastes funky. No… like… farty.

 

 

Back at Jambo House...

 

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Entertaining ourselves until the rest of the gang arrives. And yes, my wife has a SICK tattoo of the Nautilus fighting the giant squid from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

 

 

Then suddenly…

 

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Austin and Jen (not pictured, whoops) were the first to arrive! Jen grew up in Florida so was quite experienced with the differences from Disneyland, but Austin is a California boy and I was most eager to see his reaction to the pure size and scope of this place. He didn’t disappoint.

 

 

 

Nick and Natalie arrived next!

 

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These two globetrotters have seen more chain-lifts and upstop wheels than I could dream. Nick is a coaster buddy of mine from way back in our days of being teenaged youths terrorizing Six Flags Great America. When he and his totally awesome wife Natalie had lived in SoCal, we would all frequently meet up to terrorize the Happiest Place on Earth.

 

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Jackie is Megan’s best friend from childhood. There’s probably no one else on earth I would say needed to be there if you were having a party or looking to party or looking to continue a party or anything. This gal knows how to have fun. She is joined by Mikey, her ever enthusiastic boyfriend who is equally gregarious.

 

 

Have you been keeping track? There will be a quiz.

 

 

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Also, they are animal lovers and were very excited to see the critters roaming around.

 

 

“Okay, half of the gang is here and the other half is coming tonight. Let’s go drink.”

 

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Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar was a treat.

 

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Similar to Abracadabar, fun themed cocktails within a themed location. Again, not up to Trader Sam’s level, but still highly enjoyable. Especially with friends.

 

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We laughed, we cried, we drank. At some point, those who have tattoos started comparing them.

 

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This has nothing to do with theme parks, I just think it’s interesting. I don’t have any tattoos myself, but always find them fascinating. There are often some very skilled people creating art on a living canvas, so to speak.

 

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It seemed to have happened naturally, but we collectively decided that our group needed a sort of signature call and response phrase. Something that would be an easy way to find every one and call out at inappropriate times. Since we were staying in Jambo House, any time one of us had joined the group or we would give a ‘cheers’ with our drinks or even when we were at a loss for what to scream on roller coasters, we would be sure to loudly shout “JAMBO!” as a group.

 

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It was such an enjoyable phrase that we still often find ourselves calling “Jambo!” any time we see one another.

 

 

I know what you’re thinking, “Oh here we go, another group of drunk tourists stumbling around Walt’s Pleasure Paradise, breaking the decibel charts, and clogging up the midway”. Well, I say to you, you are probably right! And I wouldn’t do it any other way.

 

 

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So, a success for Jock Lindsey, I would say.

 

 

But we couldn’t stay out all night, as much as we’d like to. We had the rest of the group coming soon and we had an early day ahead of us, our first park day. We got some lunch at D-luxe Burger then hopped on the first bus back to Jambo House.

 

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The sun was setting on the Vacation Kingdom of the World. Our friends slowly trickled in as the night went on.

 

 

Meg and I decided long ago that we would buy our first meal for the room. Many of us hail from the midwest (Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota). We couldn’t think of a better meal than a little taste of Chicago’s own Giordano’s Pizza.

 

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It was quite a feast. We were sure to include some of Animal Kingdom Lodge’s famous zebra dome cakes that we bought downstairs at The Mara. It was a beautiful inauguration into Jambo House and into our honeymoon.

 

 

But there was little time to enjoy the pool table or the giant tub (we did both, but expedited), the morning was coming fast and we didn’t want to miss it. Tomorrow we would awaken the Animal Kingdom and take our first Flights of Passage...

Edited by Director_Guy
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What a great report so far! Looks like some of the images may not be loading (videos, perhaps?) and I might try to look into it, unless you think you know why on your end they might not be working.

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The scale of the Orlando resorts is insane.

 

I'm hooked! Can't wait to follow the rest of your report. And to find out about all the great bars before my trip in a few weeks!

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Woo, Hangar Bar!

 

Great report!

 

Thanks! I loved Hangar Bar! it was a nice place, should have tried the food.

 

Hangar Bar and Giordano's, pretty much a perfect day right there, but I guess all the other stuff is cool to .

 

My thoughts exactly! The trip was already at a high point and we hadn't even reached the parks yet.

 

wonderful start to a great TR!

 

and tho it's over a year, Congrats to you both! and how awesome so many were able to attend your destination wedding!

 

Thanks so much! Hard to believe it was over a year ago. To be clear, we got married in Denver not Orlando. The Big O was strictly for the honeymoon

 

The scale of the Orlando resorts is insane.

 

I'm hooked! Can't wait to follow the rest of your report. And to find out about all the great bars before my trip in a few weeks!

 

A few weeks?! How exciting! I'd sure love to go back. That's part of why I'm writing the trip report; getting all nostalgic. I hope you have a great time. You're right, the scale is massive. I'm always impressed. I love Disneyland also, mind you, but the things that work in Orlando really work. I love it.

 

What a fun TR! You're doing it right so far, can't wait to see what's next!

 

Thanks! Just you wait, more to come! I even have some video treats for y'all.

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Chapter II - Skewered Banshee Wings

 

We woke up before dawn. I’m certain everyone hated me for this decision and I completely understand that. Normally, I am a heavy and late sleeper. I’d rather be asleep than awake in most moments. However, Disney days are not sleep-in days. You only have so much time to explore the parks and it’s a Pluto eat Goofy world out there.

 

Pluto eat Goofy… does that make sense? The point is, you gotta wake up on time to maximize your enjoyment.

 

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Meg and I quietly came out that morning. We were among the first awake, but the rest joined us soon. We ate a small breakfast, greased our wheels, and we were out the door and on a bus just before sunrise.

 

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Last night, Brian and Vanessa (on the left) had arrived. Brian is a very good friend of mine from all the way back in middle school. He would never meet me at Six Flags Great America growing up, but in the last few years I introduced him to Disneyland and has been a straight up convert ever since. Vanessa, his fiancée (they just got engaged when we went to Japan!), is originally from Orlando/Kissimmee and has a complicated view of the parks, understandably so. I can imagine the opinion of a local is far more nuanced on the subject than those of us who are only there for a few weeks every couple of years.

 

We were among the only ones on the bus. I think maybe one other small group.

 

Here I am trying to steal Mikey’s beard.

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“Just one quick tug and it’s all mine!”

 

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When we arrived at Animal Kingdom, there was already a line out the door. We went through security and those of us who were bagless went on ahead, leaving us baggers behind. I’m sure it wasn’t intentional. I’m sure they still love us… right?

 

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“Ehhhh…”

 

The line moved quickly and were suddenly in line for Flight of Passage.

 

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DJ! DJ is our final member, he also arrived the night before. DJ we’ve known for a relatively short amount of time, but he is always an endless source of positive energy. The nicest guy ever to love heavy metal music. We chose DJ to be the guy officiate our wedding and he KILLED it. I’ve taken DJ to Six Flags Magic Mountain a few times and he loves the thrills. The previous March we announced our engagement at Disneyland and it happened to be DJ’s first time ever!

 

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Pandora was pretty neat.

 

The attention to detail is very impressive. As much as many of us like to say that Avatar has very little lasting cultural impact, it remains true that a good product is a good product. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this is evidence that IP is irrelevant. Imagineering was tasked to create something out of an IP no one has a significant attachment to and it still turned out to be an insane success; not because of the IP but despite it.

 

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We were able to get on Flight of Passage in no time.

 

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Actually, I found arriving early to be to our detriment! The whole immersive queue I had been hearing about was almost completely bypassed.

 

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We were ushered passed all of the cool experiments and the big animatronic and put into the pre-show room. Normally I’d say this is a blessing, but we had never done any of it before. That was a small disappointment.

 

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The pre-show was a big info dump. They had a lot to say to make sure you understood the premise of the ride. It was right in the middle of the part where they “scan your DNA” when a cast member came in and told us we had to move to a different pre-show room. Jackie promptly apologized for her “garbage DNA” gumming up the works.

 

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The ride itself was pretty good, I gotta say. It’s definitely the best version of this type of simulator attraction. How far that will take you depends on your personal taste. My own tends to gravitate toward fully built out 3D environments with animatronics, but I can appreciate this ride for what it is. The motion base works very, very good and I remember so many smells and misty waterfalls that really added to the realism.

 

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“I will fight you for pins.”

 

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We wandered around Pandora for a spell, just taking it in. But it wasn’t long before we were off to Africa to see the savannah.

 

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“Listen everyone, you can only ride the fictional animals.”

 

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And there were lots of animals…

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What more can be said really? It's exactly what you sign up to see. Nothing too exciting or out of the ordinaOH MY GOD A BABY HIPPO!!

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After our safari, we took the path nearby that lets us see a bunch of apes.

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I dig that this park has so many walking paths that you can have your own self guided tour and just explore.

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It was then time for our own Himalayan escape.

 

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Austin, with all of the wonderful things that surround him, still manages to find a way to look at his phone.

 

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“Touch!”

 

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Expedition is as good as ever. Obviously, I wish the Yeti was working like it used to; the ride is missing a final climax, but I always leave it with a huge smile.

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First roller coaster of the trip and I don’t get to ride with my new bride?!

 

Those who had never ridden were very impressed, especially those used to Matterhorn Bobsleds back west.

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I think it kinda blew Austin’s mind a little.

 

 

The gang started to feel hungry, probably because I rushed them out the door so early. We filled our bellies and rested our feet at Flametree BBQ.

 

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I think Animal Kingdom has become my second favorite park in Walt Disney World behind Epcot. That’s not something I would have said when I first visited in 2006. I feel like it’s grown and improved but I also feel like I’ve spent more time in the park and gotten to know what it’s all about. I love how big it feels; how wherever you are there’s always something hidden away waiting to be found. I think the park has the best fully built themed environments, even ones that don’t relate to any IP.

 

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I still think it needs work. There are obvious sore spots like the Dinorama carnival area. The park definitely needs to be filled out more. But Disney definitely knows this and I think we are beginning to see these changes take shape.

 

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It certainly helped to expand my enjoyment of the park by staying in the hotel, though! Living there and entering the park as an extension of that theme really put me in the mindset.

 

 

“Hey, Austin. We hid a used bandaid in your baked beans.”

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When the food was over, we continued on to the rover, that shows the dinosau...ver.

 

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DJ No!

 

We had an enjoyable journey through the dark.

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Here we see the many reactions people had to watching Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

 

Around midday we wandered back over to Pandora to get a better, less rushed lay of the land.

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We had a FastPass for Na'vi River Journey. It was really nice, I think. If I had waited in line for more than 40 minutes I'd probably be pretty upset. It's kind of an incomplete experience. But, with the use of FastPass, I found it fairly enjoyable. The animatronic at the end blows me away, but the rest of the ride is mostly "cute".

 

Nick and Natalie I believe had a date planned in Magic Kingdom and they ran off for a while, knowing we would meet them in the MK area later. Brian & Vanessa went back to Jambo House for a little relaxation. The rest of us wandered around Animal Kingdom some more. We caught the Festival of the Lion King show which was pretty good, but probably on the list of I Don’t Have to Do That One Again. It’s a good show, but not worth my precious park time.

 

We found some drinks and did more wandering. But the day grew hotter and we grew more tired so we all ventured back to Jambo House for a refresh (and a nap).

 

The unsung benefit of staying on property is midday naps. How have I not been doing this before?!

 

 

 

Anyway, naptime...

 

 

And like that the sun was down and we were back out and on a bus...

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...to Magic Kingdom!

 

And then back on a monorail....

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...to my favorite place in The World.

 

 

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You lucky people, you, it’s the ever amazing tropical hideaway Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto!

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Yes, I love this bar. I love Disneyland’s and I love Walt Disney World’s. When I first walked in I said “Oh, look, a place built just for me”. Moody (almost spooky) atmosphere with colored lights, sweet drinks, interactive displays, and an intensive almost obsessive attention to detail that makes you wonder if maybe we should be spending our time and money on things that make the world better and not frivolous entertainment but who cares because I’m TTIIPPPSPSSYYYYYY.

 

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Everyone else had a great time. We got the entire surfboard to ourselves, it was great.

 

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And then the madness set in.

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Natalie got the lowering seat!

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Sam’s was a hit! We had a place to be so we vacated our surfboard to the next lucky folks and walked outside for a brief firework show…

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...and back inside for…

 

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...you guessed it, more booze!

 

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We had a reservation at 'Ohana and waited it out by patronizing the bar.

 

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These two on the right are clearly mid-”Jambo”.

 

It wasn’t long until we made our way to our table.

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The food was very good. So good. I am a meat fan. I eat a lot of it. Almost exclusively meat, actually. ‘Ohana has some of the best, my god. I am such a fan of this place, it’s one of my top two restaurants in the resort.

 

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But it’s not just the meat! We had three veggie-people on the trip with us and all three of them were so happy and stuffed by the end of this.

 

And I don’t know how we had no picture, but the BREAD PUDDING desert is fantastic. I have dreams about that thing. The kind of dreams that would be impolite to share on a family friendly forum. My god, it’s so tasty. When asked how good it was by our server, Natalie jokingly replied with “I think we’re gonna need five more of these”. And guys, they did it. They brought us five of those freaking things. Oh my god.

 

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There I am at the end clearly in the middle of the remains of a meat skewer.

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And of course, you can have drinks there.

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No, Jen, we already did this bit.

 

‘Ohana was fantastic. We were all so full. It was time to throw in the towel.

Or hold up the white flag, either way we were done.

 

After that, we all piled into two separate Lyfts to get back to Jambo house. It was a successful day, indeed.

 

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“You’re not gonna wake us up again early tomorrow, are you...?”

Edited by Director_Guy
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Any report full of booze, food and animals gets two thumbs up from me.

 

Thanks for sharing your adventures!

 

You and I think alike.

 

Animal Kingdom and Trader Sam's! Best day ever?

 

You all look like you're having fun, and that's what this is all about.

 

I can't deny that it was probably in the top 10 days of the 10 day trip.

Edited by Director_Guy
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We're so limited in what we'll be able to see when we get to WDW in a few years (only two parks possible for us), your great TR has definitely confirmed one of the two parks we are wanting to visit....

 

Animal Kingdom ~ For The Booz.....uh.......Pandora!

 

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We're so limited in what we'll be able to see when we get to WDW in a few years (only two parks possible for us), your great TR has definitely confirmed one of the two parks we are wanting to visit....

 

Animal Kingdom ~ For The Booz.....uh.......Pandora!

 

 

That's quite a shame you only get a few days, but two days beats none! What other park are you looking to visit? I'm glad I can encourage enthusiasm for Animal Kingdom. It's a very unique park, very well designed. It definitely needs more attractions, but I do think you could absolutely spend a full day there, especially if you like to go at a slower pace.

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Chapter III - Manic Kingdom

 

Jambo!

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The day began like most days: early.

 

This day was Magic Kingdom day. You know, we’re not monsters. We wouldn’t fill our friends up with alcohol and meat late in the evening and force them to wake up before the parks open. Meg and I told them all that we were going to the park early and that there was a FastPass reservation at 11am for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. No obligation to do any of it.

 

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Austin and Jen were the only two to take up the offer, the others enjoying some hard earned sleep.

 

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The morning was fairly relaxed. We got there pretty much just after opening and went straight to Peter Pan’s Flight. The wait wasn’t very long and we got to enjoy the queue, which is very different from Disneyland’s awful outdoor line in the harsh sun. People talk about bottling “Disney smells” but that’s one smell that may have to be left out.

 

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“There, there, Jen. It does have air conditioning.”

 

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We toured Fantasyland for a little while, taking in the sights and waiting for our FastPass.

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It was then that we learned Jackie, Mikey, and DJ had all rushed to get to the park by our FastPass time. They weren’t aware that it was a one hour window, so they thought we had already ridden. They went straight to the line and rode without us.

 

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The rest of our gang was on their way into the park. Our FastPass time was up, but with our gang about to be complete, we stalled for time on It’s a Small World.

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What to say about Small World… it’s classic. I have no feelings on it except Disneyland’s is probably better, except for the flooded set aspect. I think that looks really great, reflecting everything back off the water.

 

And then we waited…

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And waited...

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“Oh hey there! Did you expect this trip to be more exciting? Alright, let’s skip to the good stuff.”

 

Friends arrived and we coasted.

 

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This ride has the best on-ride photos I’ve ever seen. The lighting and post-processing is surprisingly nice!

 

The FP was stacked this day cause up right away was Space Mountain. We made the trek across the park.

 

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DJ led the way, even though he has absolutely no idea where any of us were going. He just has an energy that can’t be depleted. You let him off the leash and off he runs! He did this his first time at Disneyland, too.

 

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Time for Space Mountain.

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Space for Time Mountain.

 

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This is probably the weirdest part of the ride to take a picture, second only to an on-ride picture we’ll get to in a bit.

 

All that coasting got us hungry. Now with all the great food we’ve been having, sometimes you have to just eat what’s closest. And if we’re going to eat crummy hot dogs and hamburgers, at least we’ll do it in a unique setting watching Earth’s favorite Sonny Eclipse, in Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.

 

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I guess while everyone is eating, I’ll talk a little bit about Magic Kingdom.

 

I like it. It’s hard not to compare it to Disneyland, which is vastly superior, I’m sorry. The attractions they both share are almost unanimously much better at Disneyland and the entire park oozes charm. But Magic Kingdom is a great park in its own right. They thankfully made room for all the people, the castle is very striking compared to Disneyland, and the peoplemover still runs. Look, I enjoy both. A lot. And on any day I’d rather be at either of them than none of them.

 

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After lunch we wandered the park some more, hitting the headliners.

 

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Big Thunda

 

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Haunted Mansion (my favorite, and actually I think this one is better than Disneyland’s)

 

And we couldn’t miss

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The Tangled Restrooms, an iconic establishment.

 

 

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It was then that a few people in our group heard a ping sound coming from their pocket. It was a notification on their phones for a trivia game called HQ. If there’s anything to date this trip in a specific time period it’s us all stopping to play HQ in the middle of Magic Kingdom.

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We were stopped here a good 20 minutes answering trivia.

 

Unfortunately, nobody won any money.

 

 

We drowned our sorrows in Mickey’s Philharmagic, which I happen to really love. I’m not a huge fan of 3D shows but I will definitely see this show every time I’m in The World. If only they would update it with a digital projector.

 

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It was then time for the real feast we had planned for the day.

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I was surprised that they would seat this many at a table at Be Our Guest. I remember the tables not being very big the last time Meg and I ate here.

 

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What I didn’t know was that we should have requested to sit in the main dining hall because we got sat in what I like to call “The Worst Wing” and it should be forbidden.

 

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It’s not a terrible room, but the other two rooms are heavily themed and this one feels like a big afterthought. The kind of place you’d put people when they show up with a party of 11…. Oh.

 

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The food was mediocre! I think I liked this place better last time due to the atmosphere. Somehow being in a themed environment makes food taste better. The blandness of The Worst Wing really opened my eyes to the mediocrity of the food here. Unfortunate, because I really like the rest of the place.

 

After dinner, Nick and Natalie went back to Jambo House to grab colder weather supplies. The rest of us walked through Frontierland, our bellies full, enjoying the night time ambiance. I looked up at saw a lot of birds darting around very fast. Nightbirds, I thought.

 

But they were not birds. They were BATS! A good dozen or so, flying above us as we entered Adventureland. That’s fascinating to me. Disneyland has cats and Disney World has bats.

 

Once in Adventureland, we hopped in for a ride on Pirates of the Caribbean.

 

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This is the weirdest spot for an on-ride picture I’ve ever seen. Nothing is happening here. Everyone is guaranteed to have a dull expression on their faces, as evidenced by our picture. It’s not that the ride is unexciting. If you took a picture of a bunch of people watching a movie it would look similar, but we don’t want to remember movies like we do rides. We want to see our excited laughing expressions, the ones we remember making. It’s really bizarre to put the picture here BEFORE the drop.

 

Sorry, that’s a weird thing to care about, but what a strange decision!

 

We headed for the exit. Jackie and Mikey called it for the night and returned to Jambo House.

 

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The rest of us hopped on a monorail.

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Epcot?

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Yepcot!

 

It would be a brief trip to round out the night. In a perfect world, I’d want everyone’s first trip to Epcot to be in the daylight. But we were very good boys and girls all day and had no liquor inside of us. We needed to beeline to Cava del Tequila.

 

 

DJ in search of the perfect hat.

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I don’t know folks… do we have a winner?

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HE HAS CHOSEN! SO IT SHALL BE!

 

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Mexico, my favorite Epcot pavilion. Maybe my favorite place inside a Walt Disney World theme park. I’m sure you’ve noticed they all relate to booze. But aside from the booze, the atmosphere is really nice. And there’s a ride!

 

By the time the rest of us got our first margarita, DJ already has his second one and ready for more.

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He’s a machine.

 

“You guys, I found a better hat!”

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Nick returned and we spent our little remaining time waiting for and riding Soarin’. Not wanting to outstay our welcome (and also we were tired and there’s already some pre-bought booze back in Jambo House), we hopped on a bus to take us back home.

 

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There was still more fun to be had. We needed rest, for tomorrow we would be breaking the sacred Disney Bubble™.

Edited by Director_Guy
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Mexico, my favorite Epcot pavilion. Maybe my favorite place inside a Walt Disney World theme park. I’m sure you’ve noticed they all relate to booze. But aside from the booze, the atmosphere is really nice. And there’s a ride!

 

Same, I love the Mexico pavilion. I've yet to eat at the new restaurant on the water but no trip to EPCOT is complete for me without a margarita and a ride on the Donald Duck Boat Ride (as my kids refer to it).

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continuing a fantastic trip report, with some truly wonderful pictures.

 

I had no idea Pirates even took a picture, and yeah, that's a weird place to put the camera (tho I do wonder what the woman in the front row is shielding her young boy from! PIRATES!!!???

 

and yeah, you got the crap room at Be Our Guest. . but at least the rose napkin is still cool?

 

great report.

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That Pirates photo. I always find the worst photos are on shooters when everyone is hyper focused.

 

Great report!

 

Haha! A great point. I've started to pose for those. Mostly mean mugging.

 

 

 

Hey You Guys.

 

[youtu_be]

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Same, I love the Mexico pavilion. I've yet to eat at the new restaurant on the water but no trip to EPCOT is complete for me without a margarita and a ride on the Donald Duck Boat Ride (as my kids refer to it).

 

I have eaten at the one outside, and it was fairly decent. Part of the reason I haven't eaten at the restaurant on the inside is because I hear the food isn't that great, despite being in a prime location, and I live in a city that has really great Mexican food. If anyone here says they love it I will definitely give it a try next time.

 

 

Good to know about Be Our Guest, as that's one I'm interested in when we go there.

 

Gotta have fun with hats at a theme park.

 

The atmosphere is very nice (as long as you're in the right room, but the food is merely fine. I'd say worth a dine at least once per life.

 

 

 

continuing a fantastic trip report, with some truly wonderful pictures.

 

I had no idea Pirates even took a picture, and yeah, that's a weird place to put the camera (tho I do wonder what the woman in the front row is shielding her young boy from! PIRATES!!!???

 

and yeah, you got the crap room at Be Our Guest. . but at least the rose napkin is still cool?

 

great report.

 

Thanks! I think they added the picture recently, within the last 2 years.

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This TR is a great reminder of how much fun I've had adulating at WDW. I love hitting the parks with the kid, but my wife and I had a blast on an adults only trip 2 years ago even if we did have a little guilt at first about leaving our daughter behind.

 

Your thoughts on Magic Kingdom versus Disneyland are right on. Both are great on their own, but Disneyland just has something else to it. I have people that know I've been to both ask me which one I prefer and it's such a tough question to answer and articulate.

 

Can't wait to see the rest of your recap!

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