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Gwen's Trip April '10

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by gwennie81, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. gwennie81
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    gwennie81 Earning my ears

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    Mom decided she would like to go to Epcot when she and dad come down since the weather was so crummy when they were here in January.

    I booked a room at All-Star Music. I've only stayed there once and barely got to see the resort. I got the room for $68.50. Pretty good deal, right? It's nice being a Passholder.

    I FINALLY got a reservation at Le Cellier. I've been wanting to eat there for SO LONG! I can't believe they actually had a noon slot open. I'm super-stoked to eat there and I hope we have the best lunch EVER!

    I promise to do a trip report and will probably send some MOTM pics when we're at the park! :yes:
     
  2. gwennie81
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    gwennie81 Earning my ears

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    Sorry, the room was $68.25 and then $77.13 after taxes. Still a great deal!
     
  3. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    ooo yes please :yes: !!!

    That's a great rate in anyones book and with a le cellier meal as well you can't go far wrong :)

    As much as I enjoy the Magic Kingdom, it doesn't truly feel like I'm REALLY at Disney until I've been to EPCOT And watched illuminations
     
  4. Beccaberry
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    Beccaberry She's beccalicious! Forum Host

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    Woohoo!! That *is* a great deal! Well done!

    Can't wait to hear what you think of Le Cellier!
     
  5. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    We've not dined at Le Cellier in ages. It will be interesting to read your review. I always enjoy your commentary on the food items you've tried at any given vist. :yes:

    That is a great rate for a hotel room on Disney property! :eek: Enjoy!
     
  6. gwennie81
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    gwennie81 Earning my ears

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    So now...a couple of my friends want to go to Magic Kingdom on Saturday! So, now it's kind of a 2-day trip. I don't know how I'm going to survive! I hope K & D don't want to stay super-long on Sat. but I'm sure they'll want to see the fireworks. They volunteered and got free passes and they're burning a hole in their pockets. Plus, they wanted to go before it gets too hot down here (I agree).
     
  7. foreverducky
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    foreverducky Addicted to Mickey

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    Can't wait to hear about the restaurant. I have yet to eat there, but have wanted to badly. I don't care if it's a 100 outside, I would love to try the soup.
     
  8. Isafari
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    Isafari Wild Animal Expert

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    The only time I've ever tried a steak while in Florida has been at Le Cellier....this is now what I have each visit to the restaurant.

    The soup I found delicious too :yes:

    Oh, and the breadsticks are very tasty too!

    I'm hungry!!
     
  9. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    :mental: brilliant!!! please please send some MOTM photos :D
     
  10. gwennie81
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    gwennie81 Earning my ears

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    I have to say, #1, I tried the soup at the Food & Wine Fest last fall and really wasn't all that impressed. Maybe because it was just a little cup and not specially dished out but...Campbell's cheese soup out of the can with a shake of tabasco is what it tasted like to me.

    HOWEVER! The chicken sausage w/ polenta and the maple glazed salmon with lentils were TO DIE FOR!

    PS> You want good steak in FL, cooked to order CORRECTLY?...Come on over to the Port Orange Steakhouse. Best steak I've had outside of Kansas, the beef state!
     
  11. Tinkfan
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    Tinkfan Earning my ears

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    So when are you going? We'll be there next week-end!!:yes:
     
  12. gwennie81
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    gwennie81 Earning my ears

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    Gwen's Trip, Day 1.

    Saturday: Went to Magic Kingdom with friends, K&D. I had to wait FOREVER for them to get tickets (30 minutes at the ticket stand. No kidding). Once we got over to the park, it was not crowded AT ALL! I was amazed.

    We arrived on Main Street just as they were having a small parade with about 3-4 floats. They shot streamers out of cannons. It was very fun.

    The first thing we did was Tomorrowland. Space Mountain was having technical difficulties, so we got Fast Passes and did the Carousel of Progress and the TTA. By the time we got done with those, Space Mountain was back up so we just got in line, figuing we could get through the stand-by line quicker (we did).

    After Space Mountain, we decided to eat because it was already 1230pm. (We didn't even get into the park until 11am.)
     
  13. gwennie81
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    gwennie81 Earning my ears

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    We ate lunch at the Columbia Harbor House. Once again, no line. We ate upstairs (something I'd never done. Also we rode on the top deck of the Ferry across to MK, something else I'd never done. And very nice, and less crowded than the bottom, BTW). Anyway, the dining room upstairs had a nice view of the crowds below. And on the wall was a carved sign that said "Flying Dutchman." HA!

    After lunch we went on the Haunted Mansion (I HATE that ride)! Of course we got stuck. I ALWAYS get stuck! For 20 minutes, I had to sit between the singing busts and a gravestone that was bobbing up and down. K kept turning around and making ghostly noises at me. I just whipped out my Blackberry and got on Facebook for a while. They got us going again and right before I went into the room to get my hitchiking ghost, we get stopped again. This time only for about 3 minutes but still...

    After we left there, K wanted to go over to Tom Sawyer's Island (something ELSE I'd never done). We explored on the island and went in a cave. K got these kids to run ahead of D & I and jump out and scare us at the exit. BRATS! I did the best at going across the bobbing barrel bridge. My feet stayed dry!

    After that, we were going to skip the afternoon parade and go on Big Thunder Mountain. However, we got all the way up in the queue and the ride broke down. We decided not to wait and got out of line before anyone else could.
     
  14. gwennie81
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    gwennie81 Earning my ears

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    K & D wanted to go on Splash Mountain but just then the music cranked up for the afternoon parade. I convinced them to watch the parade (which they ended up liking). We stood just past the bridge connecting Splash Mountain with the parade route. We stood on a low wall just to the side of the bridge where there’s a bend in the river after the drop from the ride. Anyway, it provided an EXCELLENT view of the parade since we could see over people’s heads and got some great pictures.

    After the parade, K & D hopped in line for Splash Mountain (I did not want to get wet!) I rode the train around the park. I sat in the very last seat in the train (big enough for one or two people that really like each other!) When we were pulling out of the station, I looked below and saw K & D so I hollered and waved and proceeded to get busted by the conductor for having my arm out of the train. D’OH! K saw me and waved back.

    When we went past Toon Town, I saw out of the left hand side, a large area that had been cleared and still had a silt fence and turbiditiy barrier around. Maybe they’re expanding Fantasyland that way? On the other side of the train tracks? Hmm…

    Anyway, after the train ride was over, I only had to wait ~10 minutes for K&D to finish Splash Mountain (they did NOT get that wet, BTW). We had some time to kill before our Fast Pass time for BigTM so we spent a few minutes in the gift shops in Frontierland. We went back to BigTM and it was still shut down so we gave up and went back to Fantasyland (which we had skipped earlier).

    D wanted to go on It’s A Small World (no arguments from me!) We went around the queue fairly quickly and started heading down the ramp when K asked what we were doing for supper. I asked if they wanted to do quick-serve like we did for lunch or sit-down. They said sit-down. I said I couldn’t make any promises, but whipped out the trusty Blackberry where I have Disney Dining on speed dial. I called and it was so loud in the queue that the automated thing kicked me right to an operator.

    I explained to her that we were already at the park (at this time it was about 5pm) and were there ANY reservation openings for supper? She said there were 3. The Plaza at 810pm, Tony’s at 830pm, and a 3rd place I couldn’t hear because it was too noisy and once I heard Tony’s my mind was made up. Too be polite, I asked K & D which one they wanted. They didn’t know. I asked which time was better. They didn’t know. At this point, we’ve turned the corner down the ramp to the last part of the line. I shouted, “We’ll take Tony’s!” The reservationist said she was going to give me the confirmation number and I had enough time to whip a pen out of my purse with my right hand, keep holding the phone in my left hand, and I wrote the number going down my forearm b/c I had no paper! I told the girl she had been fantastic and saved our evening and hung up just as we got ready to step in the boat!


    We did It’s a Small World and then headed toward the castle (K & I were trying to gear D up to do the Tea Cups). K got a cup of “coffee” from the Enchanted Grove drink stand and D finally relented to a Tea Cup ride. K & I let D crank the cup to her pace. I got some good pics of them going around and around (I also got a really good pic of them standing in front of Cinderella’s wishing well that I hope they use someday…)

    After that, we decided to do Adventureland before dinner and had to squeeze around the crowd watching that mini parade we had seen that morning. We went on Pirates (5 minute wait) and goofed off in the gift shop for a while. Then we hit Jungle River Cruise and then headed up to Main Street because I thought the parade was at 8pm and thought we could catch a little bit before our dinner rez. However, they moved the parade to 9! Oh no! We were going to miss the parade! Oh well. We cruised the gift shops for a little bit and then decided to check in at Tony’s.

    Two people in front of me did NOT have reservations and were kind of rude to the hostess when she tried to send them elsewhere. When it was my turn, I told her not to worry, I DID have a reservation. She seemed relieved. I acted super-sweet and put in K’s earlier request that we get a table outside. She said she couldn’t make any promises. I said that was okay. I got a menu and K, D, & I looked over our options. I had never been to Tony’s but had always heard good things. D picked out Spaghetti & Meatballs right away because she said it was classic. K & I had a more difficult time. K because he was torn between two dishes and me because I thought pretty much everything was reasonably priced for dinner at a Disney park and everything sounded good.

    Another hostess took us to our table which happened to be only one table away from the front window! YES! Our waiter was a very nice young man who told us his favorites on the menu which helped K who ordered the lamb with polenta (it was a HUGE chunk of lamb!) D got her spaghetti, and I settled on the gnocchi (delish!). We ordered the zucchini for the appetizer. It was just then the high school bands started marching by and it dawned on us we WERE going to get to see the parade just fine! The zucchini came out and we were mildly disappointed with the tiny portion size (probably less than a small fries at McDonald’s), but were impressed by the taste (especially the dipping sauce that came with). We were also given yummy warm dinner rolls with olive oil w/ pepper to dip (also dipped our rolls in the leftover zucchini dipping sauce). K& I also had real coffee w/ our dinner.

    Most of the restaurant had cleared out at this point as most people had finished in time to watch the parade. We got our entrees shortly before the parade began. We actually did have a pretty good view, if you don’t mind not taking pictures or being right up front. D insisted that she and K do the “Lady & The Tramp” with her sketti. K had no clue what she was talking about and made her drop the first piece on her white shorts (Gwen’s Tide pen to the rescue!) When he understood what she was talking about, they did the L&T and it was totally cute. I got a pic. The other funny thing was D’s name, Donna, means “lady” and K’s last name is Ho, so instead of Lady & The Tramp, it was Donna & The Ho, and it made us laugh. But then we had to explain to K that Tramp actually meant a hobo or a wanderer and not a trashy woman.

    The parade finished up, as did we. Our waiter was super-sweet and brought me a cup of coffee to go. I tipped that boy VERY well! We left out the way your probably aren’t supposed to leave since the steps were roped off but, at the bottom of the steps we saw Lady & Tramp’s pawprints in the sidewalk and did a collective “AW!”

    We headed up Main Street to get a good view of the fireworks. We ended up standing (if you are facing the castle) on the right-hand side, on the sidewalk by the popcorn kiosk, just before you get to the circle. I had already alerted them to Tinkerbell so we decided to definitely stand on that side and had a perfect view. WISHES!!

    After the parade, we meandered back up front through the shops. D got a couple souvenirs for her little nieces. The park was not busy at all, all day. I was so surprised. Even when I went with the folks back in January and it was freezing cold, I think there were more people then than were there on Saturday. I was baffled. But PLEASED!

    Just as we were wrapping up and getting ready to head out, the speakers cranked up music again. They were going to re-run the night parade! What?!? It was going on 11pm! And hardly anyone was sitting out on the curbs! I had no idea who they were going to perform for since it seemed like most people had emptied out at that point. Oh, well. We didn’t worry about it and headed out to the car.

    We took the monorail back to the parking lot. Just as it was our turn to get on, they came on the loudspeaker and said it would be a moment because they had to reset the computer. GRR! We finally got on and had JUST pulled out of the station when the monorail came to a halt between the station and the Polynesian. We were only held up there for a few moments but then it was a jerky ride for a few more moments until we got up to speed. WEIRD!

    My parents also flew into Orlando that evening. Their flight got in at 1015pm. We were only in Sanford when mom called to say that they were in Port Orange but would go to Walmart and get a few things and meet us back at my house. We got back to my house at the same exact time! (1230am) and I finally got to bed and turned out my light at 2am. Just enough time to get a couple hours of shut-eye and get up at 6am to go to Epcot! (More on that later!).

    All-in-all we had a GREAT day. PERFECT weather, small crowds, did all the rides we wanted, saw the parades & fireworks, ate yummy food, and I got to do a bunch of things I’d never done before! YAY!

    Day 2 coming soon…
     
  15. josh.p.
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    josh.p. Addicted to Mickey

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    Glad you are having such a great time :yes: It feels as though you've not been gone since you've been sending us the great MOTM pics :yes: Glad you got to do quite a bit that you've never done before, too! :hug2:
     
  16. Rosie0610
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    Rosie0610 Imagineer

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    Wow, impressive report! Glad you had fun and got that great Dinner ADR!
     
  17. gwennie81
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    gwennie81 Earning my ears

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    Day 2:

    Sunday morning I woke up to extremely sore feet and legs (even with added inserts, my fashionable flats proved unable to conquer the Magic Kingdom). Mom and I were out the door by 7:30 am. We went straight to All-Star Music where I had booked us a night at a fantastically low price (thanks to being a Passholder!)

    Mom made friends with the girl at the concierge desk, who also happened to be from Kansas. Yay! The girl told me all about being a seasonal employee (you only have to work 60 hrs. a year and you still get all the benefits of a regular cast member). I may end up checking that out. I think I would be awesome as a guide on the Jungle River Cruise. HA! After mom got done holding up the line at the desk, we hopped on the bus to Epcot!

    The crowds were fairly low here all day. I was surprised. The weather was GORGEOUS! Mom wanted a pic of us in front of the topiaries up front (Mickey & Friends camping) but there was too much of a crowd so we headed to Spaceship Earth (no line, no wait).

    Next we did Soarin’. We only had to wait 20-30 minutes and passed the time chatting up a family behind us from England. The dad was concerned that the youngest boy was misbehaving so mom being mom, turned around and told the boy he was being very good and his dad should be proud of him. This relieved the dad and we ended up having a very nice conversation about where they should go next and what they should see. Of course we went on Living With The Land (my fave!) after that.

    After Soarin’, we went across to the Flower & Garden Fest Welcome Center. It was kind of a dud. They have WAY more going on in there during the Food & Wine Fest (and more merch). After that I decided we should head over to check in for our lunch rez. We had more time to kill than I thought so we stopped by Tiana’s wedding garden, had our pic taken in front of the dolphin topiaries along the walkway to World Showcase.

    At mom’s insistence, she had read that you could get free perfume samples at Givenchy in Paris so we trekked up there real quick. Sure enough, we got a couple free samps of Aqua Allegoria Flora Nymphea (orange blossom & honey...mmmmm…) I broke mom away from the perfumier so we could make our lunch rez.

    Lunch was at Le Cellier. I have wanted to eat here FOREVER. Once I have, I discovered I wasn’t missing as much as I thought. They have recently (?) moved the hostess stand up to the main sidewalk (where you enter “Bouchard Gardens”). I checked in with the hostess there and by the time we made it down to the front door of the restaurant, there was a hostess there ready to seat us. We sat in the “Yukon” dining room, which was decorated fairly “lodge-y” with exposed wooden beams, chandeliers, dim lighting…Our waiter was a total twerp. He tried to be “jokey” with us but only he got his own jokes. And then he rolled his eyes at us. BIG mistake. The only thing that saved him was his “trainee” waiter who was very sweet and nice and waited on us the rest of the meal. The twerp I guess took the hint that we liked the trainee better.

    Mom ordered the steak salad and I got the prime rib sandwich. For munchees they bring out 3 breadsticks. A multi-grain, a pretzel, and a sourdough. I think we could’ve eaten a dozen pretzel ones. They were all pretty delicious. The steak salad came with a few strips of sirloin alongside spinach leafs, celery root, portabello mushrooms, and a few other items I can’t remember. The prime rib sandwich was shredded p.r. with white cheddar and horseradish sauce on cibatta with a side of potato salad. It was pretty dang good. Mom and I split halvsies so we each got to try each other’s. I’m done trying lunch at Le Cellier but I’d still try to have dinner there sometime (I’m the type that has to touch the burner a couple times before I learn the stove is hot. HA!).

    After lunch we decided to go back across and start going around World Showcase at Mexico. It’s tradition! Along the way we stopped at the “rinse bath & body co.” kiosk. I bought a few bars of soap that smells amazing and works great. The lady makes all-natural products out of her shop in Georgia. Her website is Rinse - handmade soaps, skin sticks, peppo foot sticks and many other delectable bath & body products.

    At the site of the old Cantina, there is a partition that completely encases the new construction of the restaurant, except the deck. There is going to be seating for at least 100 people on this expanded deck area. So excited! In Mexico we just perused La Tienda. I finally got to poke my head in the tequila bar. I’d never been able to get close before. There’s usually a huge crowd. No worms for me, though! I did get a cute little purse that will be perfect to carry my essentials during future Disney trips.

    We wandered the gift shop at Norway and asked the hostesses about the Akershus Castle meals. I think doing lunch or dinner there sometime might be fun. The green roof over the dining area between the Stave Church and the bakery was really pretty. I took a picture of that and the marathon runner (I may be her some day!)

    In China we watched the movie, of course. My fave! “The Li River winds like a silver snake between these scattered dragon’s teeth. Whoever looks on this, loses himself in eternity.” HA! Aaaannnd, we wandered the gift shop here (gift shops will be a theme today with my mother). There is a NEW China gift shop down by the lake. I can’t really figure out WHY as it kind of takes away from the integrity of the area.

    In Germany I got my first drink of the day, a Riesling. Mom had never had Riesling before so I let her have a taste. She likey. The little train town was looking nice and festive for the occasion and there was a Snow White and Seven Dwarves topiary garden between the Outpost and Germany. Very cute!

    In Italy I wandered back to get a pic of the screen wall set up to block the construction of the new pizzeria (SO excited!) I really hope we can get a decent slice there. I was going to get a Prosecco but mom talked me out of it because she really wanted “pink champagne” in Paris.

    In America we stopped in to watch the Voices of Liberty singers but there was a lady literally on top of mom (I seriously thought she was going to bear hug her) and as we value our personal space, decided to leave during the performance. Once outside and getting a chance to breathe, we headed over to Japan to…shop. Didn’t get anything, though! Just like going in and looking at the crazy stuff. I took mom in to see the Mikimoto pearls which she’d never gone in to see before. Anyone want to buy me a black pearl jewelry set? HA! Just kidding. I think the classic ivory ones would look better. HA!

    We breezed through Morocco and made our way back to La Belle France. Mom didn’t know that champagne only comes from Champagne so the barmaid kind of chided her for ordering the “pink champagne” (the Sparr Rose). The other thing was, there was only a little left in the bottle so mom asked, just kidding, if we could just take the bottle. The barmaid said, “Oh, no! There are cameras all over! We are not supposed to!” I said, “That’s okay, I’ll put my sunglasses on and no one will know it’s me!” The people behind me in line cracked up. The barmaid did not. She filled up our glasses to the very tippy-top and then there was just a leeeeetle bit left in the bottle. Guess what? She dumped it down the drain! WHAT!?! That just made my mom declare war on France. C’est la guerre…

    Earlier in the day mom had tried to get my picture with Marie, the cute kitty from Aristocats, but she left before I could get in line. Marie was out again but there was such a line and at this point it was a tad warm so I didn’t want to stand in the queue. I don’t care how cute that kitty is!

    We strolled over to U.K. and wandered around the Twining’s tea garden. Mom bought grandma a Rose & Crown coaster to say it was a souvenir from me. I heart the Rose & Crown. We watched the British Invasion and people-watched. The point of going that day was to see Herman’s Hermits but I didn’t want to go to the first show. Instead we grabbed a beer to-go in the Rose & Crown (thanks, Gail!) and went to grab a bench to watch Off-Kilter. Mom took this opportunity to “drunk-dial” people and I’m sure annoy everyone around us. Oh, well. The band was in rare form that day and totally cracked everyone up. There was a super-fan there wearing a bunch of Off-Kilter merch and an old man kept driving his little rascal around in circles like he was “dancing” to the music. HA!

    After that, we headed back to see Herman’s Hermits. Let me tell you, I have NEVER seen a bad performance at the American Gardens stage. Everyone had always been fantastic! We grabbed a bench not too far away from the stage. And I decided I had time to go get a Sam Adams. Like I said, the concert was awesome. Peter Noone has still got it and is a super-cute guy. After they were done, mom and I went to the front of the stage and she got her picture with the guitarist (whoever he was. HA!)

    After the concert, we decided to kill time by going back down to catch the last Beatles performance. We decided to grab a bite at the Rose & Crown but they didn’t have any open tables so we just stood at the bar and shared a very delicious reuben sandwich. LOVE the food at the Rose & Crown. We also had another beer. We met some colorful characters in there and I got a Strongbow to-go and we went and grabbed a spot down by the bridge between U.K. and France for Illuminations.
    It got pretty chilly that night and I was glad I had worn jeans and a long-sleeved top. Mom was less fortunate in shorts and a tee. After Illuminations we took our time walking back up through the park so I could get some night pics.

    We made it back to the room in one piece. We stayed at All-Star Music in the Broadway building #7 and our room was very neat and clean and nothing was broken or needed replacing. Very reassuring. We had a great night’s sleep and the next morning stopped at the McDonald’s just outside the All-Star resort area. They’ve recently renovated that Mickey D’s and we found it to be very clean.

    After that, I wanted to hit the Prime Outlet on International (I hadn’t done nearly enough shopping, I guess. HA!) I just wanted to go to the Disney outlet. I mostly look for Food & Wine Fest merch and sure enough, I found the notecards I wanted for 99 cents ($18.95 at the Fest) and a pack of 20 coasters for 99 cents ($8.95 at the fest). The artwork from this past year was so cute! I want to frame the notecards and hang them on one of my walls for a collage. The coasters will just be nice to have.

    That was my trip! I may go back just for the day once in May to see either Davy Jones or Chubby Checker again. I’ll just have to see what the weather’s like. Other than that, no more overnights probably until August or September!

    Hope you enjoyed the report. Let me know if you have any questions!
     
  18. gwennie81
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    gwennie81 Earning my ears

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    D'Oh! I also forgot to mention we stopped at Downtown Disney and I picked up at great little book about Epcot written by the Imagineers! It was only 10 bucks. Great book for anyone that is an Epcot junkie like myself. I need to do one of those Segway tours someday!
     
  19. Deafjeff
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    Deafjeff Serious Forum Regular

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    Brilliant report! Really enjoyed reading it!
     
  20. Beccaberry
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    Beccaberry She's beccalicious! Forum Host

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    Whew!!! I'm exhausted!!! I feel like I've gone all over EPCOT *with* you!!!

    Great report!! Wish I was near the outlet, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have some of the F&W "merch" at those prices!!

    Thanks for sharing!
     

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