Sunday, July 29, 2012

Facebook Freebie!

Hey everyone!!  Just wanted to stop by and let you know that there is gonna be a TON of AMAZING things going on next month for the big ScrapMatters birthday bash!  So, if you haven't grabbed my current FB freebie yet, do it now because I will be changing it out on Wednesday!  See you soon!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

WDW Trip Report Part 4.2 - Animal Kingdom Lodge & Magic Kindom EMH

We got out of the Taxi and headed to the lobby of the Animal Kingdom Lodge to see if any of the other MouseScrappers were there yet.  We didn't see anyone so we did some exploring and relaxing around the hotel.  This hotel is STUNNING. Soo pretty!  The lobby has gorgeous detailing.



The giant window is awesome and i love the giant rocking chairs they have in the downstairs portion of the lobby.


We headed outside to check out the Serengeti area of the hotel to see some of the animals. On the way you pass some seriously awesome fire pits with rocking chairs that I would have loved to seen at night!


There were some Giraffes grazing out in the Serengeti area that we were able to get some photos of.  It would be seriously amazing to stay at this hotel and have those animals as your view every day.


After that we headed back inside to just relax and enjoy the atmosphere.  I could have easily sat in that lobby all day long.  It was very peaceful.

After a few minutes the MouseScrapper ladies met up with us and we all headed down to Boma to check in for our reservation.  We had to wait a little bit, but it wasn't too bad.



Boma was SUPER delicious.  There were so many amazing things that I wanted to try, and in true Tanya fashion I came back to the table with 5 plates of food.  It was all really good.



They even brought me out a birthday dessert!  It was a ton of fun getting to chat with some of the ladies that I have known for so long, but have never actually gotten to meet in real life.  Doing that is always such a great time.  After dinner we all headed back up to the lobby to get a group shot.



We said our goodbyes and then Heather, Kendall and I headed over to the gift shop to take a quick look around before catching the bus over to the Magic Kingdom for their extra magic hours.

Heather had a problem with her credit card when we were at dinner so when our bus got to the Magic Kingdom she thought it would be best for her to head back to our hotel, get it straitened out and then come back and meet us.  So Kendall and I headed into the park.  We stopped to take a break at some chairs down in from of Tomorrowland Terrace while the people that were in the park for the day were starting to clear out.  An announcement came over the speakers saying that The Magic, The Memories and You were going to be starting in 5 minutes!  This was awesome since Kendall hadn't seen it yet and we were already sitting in the perfect seats for it!  Of course I had already seen the version that we have here at Disneyland where it is projected on It's A Small World, but it was really awesome to see it done on the huge Cinderella's Castle.  It is such a beautiful and touching show.  I just loved it.



During the show Heather texted to me to let us know that she was beat and was just gonna stay at the hotel and relax for the rest of the night, so Kendall and I decided to get as much done as we could since this was the last time she would be at the Magic Kingdom on our trip.  We started in Tomorrowland and headed over to Space Mountain.  The great thing about EMH's is that the lines are pretty short compared to what they would be like during the day so we pretty much got to walk through the whole Space Mountain line.  I was really excited to see how this version compared to Disneyland since the seats are totally different.  I also thought that is was really cool seeing the ride car pop up along side part of the queue!  I could hardly contain my excitement!  The track itself was quite different and riding one person per row was such a fun change!

After Space Mountain we headed back towards Fantasyland and rode the Teacups.  This was one that I definitely think is better here at Disneyland.  I understand the need for the area to be covered, but the whole thing was just really dingy and outdated.  Not to mention when the ride starts to slow down, it makes a AWFUL squeaky break sound!  It was pretty funny!  It is always a fun ride though and we had a good laugh trying to get photos while twirling around.


From there we walked through the rest of Fantasyland to go to the Haunted Mansion.  I loved the queue for this ride!  There is so much to look at and touch, but what makes it really awesome is that if you don't want to see any of the interactive stuff, you have the option of skipping that portion of the line.  We headed into the ride and for the most part it was the same as the one we have here.  There are a few scenes right at the beginning of the ride that we don't have so those were interesting to see.
After that, the rest of the ride is the same.



After the ride we headed over to the Liberty Square area.  I LOVED this area.  The buildings, the bell, the lights in the tree, it was all awesome.


 I also loved the giant Christmas store that they have there!


From there we headed all the way around the river over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  This was awesome!  For the most part the ride is the same, but all the turns go in the opposite direction!  There was also a little part in the middle of the ride where you go through a western town and the track does a little up and down twist!  It was my FAVORITE part of the entire ride!  So fun!



After we got off the ride, it really started to hit us how tired we were and my feet were KILLING me!  We took a couple minutes to rest in the rocking chairs at the exit of Big Thunder before we sucked it up and kept going.  I wanted to make sure I got a Dole Whip while on this trip since you have the option of getting it with orange sherbert here, so we decided to do that next.

The poor kid working at Aloha Isle probably thought Kendall and I were insane.  It was pushing midnight, we had been up since the break of dawn and spent all day in the sun.  We were a delirious mess and we were about to add a cup full of sugar on top of it all.  Kendall made a comment to the CM that I should get my Dole Whip for free since it was my birthday.  Of course he couldn't do that, but he did put my Dole Whip in a HUGE cup for me!  Twice the sugar for me!!  They were amazing as usual and now were were completely exhausted but totally pumped up on sugar at the same time.  It was like a second wind!


Since we were in the area we went on Pirates of the Caribbean next.  I did NOT like this version at all.  The building is ok, the queue was horrible and the ride itself was WAY shorter than the Disneyland version.  It was weird.  I am glad I went on it, but it was weird.


We both wanted to make sure we rode Dumbo since they were going to be re-doing that ride shortly after our trip so we crossed the park over to Fantasyland to make that our last ride of the night.  It was perfect because there were only a couple people in line!



We headed back to Main Street through the castle so I could take photos of the mosaic's on the inside.  They were gorgeous.



We spend the next 20 minutes taking photos of every inch of the castle.  It is so gorgeous at night when it is all lit up and it was a nice time since the park was pretty empty by this point.




Then we slowly headed down Main Street while I took photos.





Even once we were out of the park I was still taking photos!


By this time is was 1:30 am and there was almost no one around so I got some photos of the empty entrance to the park.


I can't even begin to describe the pain that was going through my feet by this point.  By the time we got back to the hotel I could barely walk.  My right foot was so swollen that I had to take off my sandals to walk to our room.  We got back to the room and I hopped in the shower hoping that a good soak would be good for my foot.  It was so swollen now that I had to take off my toe ring because it was cutting into my toe.


I headed to the ice machine to grab some ice in a bag to put on my foot while I was in bed.  I have never had a problem with my feet before and I kinda started to panic thinking maybe I got bit by something.  Especially because this was the first day where the mosquitoes really started to do their job on me.  Needless to say, I decided to except the fact that I had been walking more the past couple days (in sandals to make it worse) than I have probably ever walked in my entire life.  My feet just needed a good rest, so I iced them up and passed out for the rest of the night.

If this post sounds kind of frantic and rushed, it is because that is how the entire night seriously was!!  We ran from one end of the Magic Kingdom to the other trying to squeeze in as much as we could!


 Next Up: Epcot Day 2!

1 - Finally Being Able To Scrap A Album
2 - MNSSHP
3 - Wearing My Custom Bow Minnie Ears
4 - Tea At The Grand Floridian
5 - Tower Of Terror
6 - Photopass Photos
7 - France
8 - Figment Merchandise
9 - Illuminations
10 - Rock N Roller-coaster
11 - The Tree Of Life
12 - Phineas & Ferb
13 - Vinylmation Trading
14 - Test Track
15 - Magical Express
16 - Yak & Yeti
17 - Tomorrowland Transit Authority
18 - Extra Magic Hours
19 - Boma
20 - Splash Mountain & Space Mountain
21 - The Big Hat
22 - Finding Nemo The Musical
23 - Kilimanjaro Safari
24 - World Showcase
25 - Sci-Fi Dine-In
26 - Country Bear Jamboree
27 - The Hotels
28 - Pressed Pennies
29 - Spaceship Earth
30 - Earl Of Sandwich
31 - 1st Visit & Happy Birthday Pin's
32 - Haunted Mansion
33 - Dole Whip
34 - Animation Academy
35 - Seeing Heather in action on Toy Story Mania
36 - Meeting Lots Of Characters
37 - Expedition Everest
38 - Meeting Heather & Kendall
39 - First Vacation On My Own
40 - Walking Down Main Street

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WDW Trip Report Part 4.1 - Animal Kingdom

Woke up bright and early again this morning to get ready for a fun day at Animal Kingdom.  We were running a little late, but thankfully our bus stopped at AK first instead of Blizzard beach.

Funny story about this day.  Pay attention as the pictures go along, my yellow tank top gets more and more stretched out.  I have worn the shirt a bunch of times, but it just did not respond well to the Florida humidity.  It was pretty funny and it was a ongoing joke all day long.  I even had to remove my birthday button after a while because it was starting to stretch out holes where the pin was!  Ridiculous.  Lol.



We decided to wait until we left the park to get photos of the outside area that way we could head straight to get fast passes for Expedition Everest.  The park had just opened when we walked through the gates and Heather and Kendall had to keep me moving because when I first saw The Tree Of Life I could have sat there all day and taken photos of that thing!


It looked like most people where heading to the safari first so when we were walking to EE there was practically no one around!


Baloo and King Louie where out and ready to take photos, so we decided to stop and do that.  They were seriously awesome.  I think they were happy to have some people stop for them and let us take a ton of photos.



We continued on to EE only to see that the wait was only 5 min!



 We grabbed fast passes and decided to ride it as well.  Heather walked the queue with us so she could get some photos and then Kendall and I hopped on the ride.  In the very front!  It was amazing!  The detail of the queue and the ride was awesome.  I am so jealous that we do not have this ride out here because it is seriously one of my favorites.  So fun!








We ran into and chatted with some MouseScrappers we ran into for a minute and then we continued on to the Safari before the line got too long.  Here is a quick little video of the first couple minutes of Expedition Everest.  I was so excited to video the ride to show Chris when I got home, but my video camera didn't charge right the night before.  *WARNING*  I do say a mild bad word in this video, so if you have kiddos with you, you have been warned.

video

The Safari line was at about a 30 min wait so we hopped in line.  Luckily the line was in the shade, but the humidity was out of control!  Heather always said that it was hotter at AK than any other park and she was right!  I don't know if it was because of the location or because of all the plants, but it is ridiculously humid in the entire park.  My face was melting pretty much the entire day.



Once we got in our safari jeep the little breeze on our faces made it much more bearable.  The safari was so fun!  I loved seeing all the different wild animals just hanging out.  For the most part there are no fences and the animals can get really close to you.  The ride itself was a little bumpy, but what else would you expect from a safari!


Some of the highlights were definitely seeing the baby elephant, the ostrich that was RIGHT next to our jeep, the giraffes and the rhinos!







One of the things I wanted to see at this park was Finding Nemo The Musical, but the times totally conflicted with our lunch reservations so instead we decided to head over and check out the Festival of the Lion King.  We made it just in time for the next showing and we were all really happy to be out of the heat for a little bit.  I wasn't sure what the show was gonna be, but it ended up being really amazing!  I didn't realize until part way through that the floats they use for the show were the same ones they used at Disneyland for the Lion King parade a long time ago!  It was really awesome to see them again since I loved that parade.  I let Heather and Kendall take all the photos during the show so I could just sit back and enjoy it.



When the show let out we decided it was time to meet some characters!

Thumper was out so we stopped and met him.



Then we headed over to meet the fab 5 in their safari outfits!  First up was Donald.  I love the little areas that they meet in over there in Camp Minnie Mickey.  It is a perfect little area.



The lines were getting long for the rest of the characters since the showing of the Lion King had just let out so we decided to come back later.  We walked by Thumper again and this time Miss Bunny was out with him so we stopped again so I could get a photo with the both of them.



Heather stopped to use the restroom and Kendall and I headed over to meet Pocahontas. Right when it was our turn to take photos with her, Meeko came out and joined her! I have always loved Meeko so this was pretty exciting for me.


On her way back to meet us, Heather ran into Brer Bear!


We stood around a little bit and took some scenery shots and I bought a fan because I REALLY needed it here.


Heather headed back to try to get her photo with Pocahontas and Meeko, but of course, right when it was her turn to take a photo Meeko decided it was his turn to take a break.  LOL!

We started to mosey out way over to where were we gonna be having lunch.  We stopped at The Tree Of Life to take advantage of the Photopass Photographer.  He was photographing a couple when we got there, but were were next in line.  OMG.  The photographer was awesome and he was taking a TON of shots of the people ahead of us, but he was taking FOREVER!  It was soo hot standing in the sun waiting and we were getting SUPER irritated.  Finally it was out turn and he spent like 5 minutes fiddling around with our cameras and setting us up for shots and putting us here and putting us there, it was out of control.  We ended up getting some really good shots, but I almost died from the heat in the process.  





After the photos we headed over to get a quick look at Dinoland.  There is no shade in this part of the park so we made it quick.


We headed over to Dinoland and hopped in line to get our photo with Goofy and Pluto since they are in special outfits there.  The line for this was awful.  It was hot, there was no breeze and there were Love Bugs EVERYWHERE!  I had a really cute moment with Pluto where he tried to run off into the sunset with me.  It was quite funny!


After we got the photos we wanted we got the heck out of Dinoland as fast as we could.  We were running a little late for our lunch reservation and Yak & Yeti so we had to practically run to get there in time.

It was soo nice in the restaurant.  We were seated towards the back a little, out of the light and heat so it was a great way to cool down while we ate.  I ordered a ice tea, which I guzzled right away, but I was a little weirded out by the paper straws that they give you for your drinks.  I understand the reasoning but I was not too thrilled with having that thing disintegrate in my drink.  But, I was so hot and thirsty that I got over it.


The food was soo good!  I had a tempura shrimp plate that I would totally get again.


Heather and Kendall's meals look amazingly good as well.



I got the pineapple/wonton dessert too and it was TO DIE FOR!  Seriously.  I ate mine and then half of Heathers. LOL!


After lunch we headed back over to Camp Minnie Mickey to see the rest of the characters.  We got to see Goofy, Minnie and Mickey fairly quickly and then we went to claim our spots for the Jammin' Jungle Parade.






Picking out a spot for the parade was such a fiasco.  We (along with quite a few other people) had perfect seats which cast members didn't bother to tell us we couldn't stay at until 5 minutes before the parade was about to begin.  I thought Heather was gonna punch some people!  It was just ridiculous.  In the end we found a new spot and everything turned out ok.  But it was still a bit of a pain.



The parade was so fun!  So colorful and the animal floats were amazing!  I also loved how each of the fab fives floats were so perfectly personalized to each one of them.







Here is a little video snippet of the parade as well!

video

After the parade ended we waited for the crowds to dwindle by browsing around the shops that we were standing near.


We headed over towards the Tree Of Life to get some better photos of it and found the awesome path that leads us right under the tree!  It was amazing.  I knew that the tree was huge, but it looks even more massive when you are standing directly beneath it.  The detail of the carvings that make up the trunk are truly breathtaking.  I could have spent all day here and it was probably my favorite area of the whole park.  There are even real animals!  So cute!  I think we got there at a great time because there was no one else around!







The park was getting ready to close soon and we still hadn't used our fastpasses for Expedition Everest so we headed back over to that side of the park to do that.



On the way we stopped to take advantage of a photopass photographer that was taking photos with Expedition Everest in the background.  It was nice to get some good shots with the parks iconic mountain in the background and the PP was super nice!




I am pretty sure that this is my favorite photo from the whole trip!  I just giggle every time I see it.


Kendall and I headed into the ride and Heather planted herself in the proper area to be able to snap a photo of Kendall and I while were were on the ride.  She did awesome and totally got a fantastic photo of us coming down the big drop!




By the time we got off the ride the park had already closed so we headed out to get some photos in front of the main gates.  We got photos in front of the main sign and even got some photos of the amazing Lion King topiaries they have out front!





We needed to start heading over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for our MouseScrappers meet-up at Boma, but the lines for the buses were soo long!  We decided to hop in a taxi instead to just save ourselves the headache.


1 - Finally Being Able To Scrap A Album
2 - MNSSHP
3 - Wearing My Custom Bow Minnie Ears
4 - Tea At The Grand Floridian
5 - Tower Of Terror
6 - Photopass Photos
7 - France
8 - Figment Merchandise
9 - Illuminations
10 - Rock N Roller-coaster
11 - The Tree Of Life
12 - Phineas & Ferb
13 - Vinylmation Trading
14 - Test Track
15 - Magical Express
16 - Yak & Yeti
17 - Tomorrowland Transit Authority
18 - Extra Magic Hours
19 - Boma
20 - Splash Mountain & Space Mountain
21 - The Big Hat
22 - Finding Nemo The Musical
23 - Kilimanjaro Safari
24 - World Showcase
25 - Sci-Fi Dine-In
26 - Country Bear Jamboree
27 - The Hotels
28 - Pressed Pennies
29 - Spaceship Earth
30 - Earl Of Sandwich
31 - 1st Visit & Happy Birthday Pin's
32 - Haunted Mansion
33 - Dole Whip
34 - Animation Academy
35 - Seeing Heather in action on Toy Story Mania
36 - Meeting Lots Of Characters
37 - Expedition Everest
38 - Meeting Heather & Kendall
39 - First Vacation On My Own
40 - Walking Down Main Street
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