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Thread: Random Stories - Better Late than Never - Jan 17

  1. #26
    Senior Member pixarprincess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micah008 View Post
    You bet!

    When we did it the security hadn't yet changed... so I can't speak to it first-hand. But it likely would slow things down a little, and personally would get me to not bring any kind of bag along on that night just to make it easier. Come to think if it, I am pretty sure I didn't bring a bag along anyway, since I didn't want to have to deal with it (therefore no camera either other than cell phones).
    Yeah being female sometimes a bag is a necessity. fashionable clothes just dont have large enough pockets most of the time and my husband isnt too keen on carrying my phone everywhere for me not even to mention carrying my lip gloss or other girly-er needs. I'm hoping a small cross body bag wont slow us down too much.

    I'm also a little shocked that top of the world was the cheapest! but pleasantly surprised. We enjoy going there. Fireworks with a cocktail are superior to fireworks without

  2. #27
    Senior Member Micah008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixarprincess View Post
    Yeah being female sometimes a bag is a necessity. fashionable clothes just dont have large enough pockets most of the time and my husband isnt too keen on carrying my phone everywhere for me not even to mention carrying my lip gloss or other girly-er needs. I'm hoping a small cross body bag wont slow us down too much.

    I'm also a little shocked that top of the world was the cheapest! but pleasantly surprised. We enjoy going there. Fireworks with a cocktail are superior to fireworks without
    Yeah, understood, but even minimizing the stuff you bring should make it go faster.

    Part of what made TotWL the cheapest was not getting anything to eat... but even just comparing drinks there to other places, they were 'only' $9.75 and $11.00... where at Mizner's for example the drinks were $12.75 and $14.50. Of course it always depends on what you get...
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  3. #28
    Senior Member ChristineOH's Avatar
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    Thanks for the report! It's always fun hearing about your trips!
    June 2011 Poly, May 2013 POR, June 2015 CBR, June 2017 POR, March 2018 CSR, June 2018 POR

  4. #29
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    Really just enjoying the highlights you are sharing!! Maybe someday my DH will take me on an adults only trip and we can do a monorail crawl :)

  5. #30
    Senior Member Micah008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristineOH View Post
    Thanks for the report! It's always fun hearing about your trips!
    Quote Originally Posted by evansmom View Post
    Really just enjoying the highlights you are sharing!! Maybe someday my DH will take me on an adults only trip and we can do a monorail crawl :)
    Thanks!
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  6. #31
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    Great report as usual. I missed having your insight before our Mardi Gras trip this year. We always seem to be about a month behind you at WDW and I've been using you trip reports over the years for advance intel. From the looks of your signature, we'll be a month behind you again next year.
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  7. #32
    Member natfish's Avatar
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    Catching back up! I'm actually digging this loosey-goosey formatted report. I'm excited to take DH over to Territory Lounge for the bourbon flight next time - he's been dreaming about that private barrel Knob Creek since he learned about it. Do you recall how much extra your flight was?
    P.S. If you like Angel's Envy and Blanton's (and who wouldn't) try Russel's Reserve if you can. It's been a good, new bottle in our large rotation at home.
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  8. #33
    Senior Member Micah008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3dadknight View Post
    Great report as usual. I missed having your insight before our Mardi Gras trip this year. We always seem to be about a month behind you at WDW and I've been using you trip reports over the years for advance intel. From the looks of your signature, we'll be a month behind you again next year.
    Thanks! One of these years we will have to try to actually be there at the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by natfish View Post
    Catching back up! I'm actually digging this loosey-goosey formatted report. I'm excited to take DH over to Territory Lounge for the bourbon flight next time - he's been dreaming about that private barrel Knob Creek since he learned about it. Do you recall how much extra your flight was?
    P.S. If you like Angel's Envy and Blanton's (and who wouldn't) try Russel's Reserve if you can. It's been a good, new bottle in our large rotation at home.
    Glad the format is working out.

    Just so you are aware, the bourbon flight (and the Knob Creek) is available at other places too, but a few others (like Blantons) are not as easy to come by ... I am not sure exactly which places have it, and which don't though. Just keep in mind that normally the flight has specific choices, and I don't think its normal for them to do substitutions other than the normal choices. (so there isn't a standard price either) If you guys enjoy bourbon, make sure to get over to Abracadabar, they have some unique choices there too, and multiple good bourbon-based cocktails.

    I have had Russel's Reserve once before and enjoyed it (Nomad Lounge uses it in their Tempting Tigress cocktail too), but maybe will have to just pickup a bottle for my stockpile at home. Thanks for the tip.
    Micah

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  9. #34
    Senior Member Micah008's Avatar
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    Weather Summary

    When you go to Florida in January you never know what to expect.

    Since we go almost every year in January we know to plan ahead and bring clothes for all weather possibilities, and to be prepared with layers in case the weather changes throughout the day.

    This year was probably the best weather we ever had. The first 8 days had highs right around 80, and lows around 60 with partly to mostly sunny each day. We were really spoiled, and loved every minute of it. It meant we could actually use the pool any day we wanted (typically tricky this time of year), I got to wear shorts every day, and I didn't even bother with bringing a jacket many of the mornings for RD.

    Over the last few days of the trip we had a rainy/stormy day, and then it got slightly cooler but still into the 70s, and really wasn't bad at the end either.

    Official Weather Data:




    For a comparison, here was our trip the previous January. It was a very different story, with some very cool days at the beginning, and more rainy days, but even then we keep reminding ourselves that it is nicer than Wisconsin in January.

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  10. #35
    Senior Member Micah008's Avatar
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    Polynesian Resort and DVC Studio

    We had never stayed at the Polynesian either, but had dinner there a few times, and walked the grounds in the past. Here are my thoughts about the Polynesian and the new DVC Studios there.



    The Resort:
    - I really thought the transportation was great, especially the flexibility of options that being right by the TTC provides.
    - The monorail for MK is great of course, and being right next to the TTC means you can actually take either monorail (Resort or Express) when you return from MK to the resort (we took the Express at least twice, then walked.. which was actually slightly faster since there were less stops). Even having the Ferry walking distance could be a good backup plan if the Monorail is down.
    - For Epcot, walking to the TTC basically provides a direct monorail option. And, in one case for us when the Epcot monorail wasn't running, they had a bus running for backup.
    - The bus to HS was actually pretty quick, and although getting to AK from there takes a while it was doable the one time we went over there.
    - Capt. Cooks is one of our favorite QS locations anywhere. We had lunch there when we first arrived and it was even better than we expected (we had the Hot Beef sandwich and Pork Nachos). We had breakfast a few times there too.
    - Kona Cafe is also one of our favorite TS locations, which was nice to be able to go to without messing around with travel.
    - The Pineapple Lanai was great to get a Dole Whip on the day we used the pool. And, they even have the Swirl version of the Dole Whip which is my favorite.
    - Of course Trader Sams is a destination by itself, and was fun to be able to hit multiple nights.
    - The pool was very good, and although not my favorite, it is in the top half for sure.
    - The grounds around the resort are very well kept, and it was nice just to take a leisurely walk on arrival day just to check the place out.
    - It was also really nice to have a Children's Activity Center right at the resort.





    The Room:
    - Normally staying in Studios, and often having 5 people along, we don't spend a ton of time in the room, but really came to appreciate this one.
    - We were in Tokelau, in room 1938, which was a Standard View.
    - This room is on the first floor (no elevators or stairs), on the very end of the building absolutely closest to the bus stop and the main building, but right next to the path over to the TTC. I think it really was the best location for everything being convenient.
    - This was the most spacious studio we have stayed in, especially the bathroom areas.
    - It was really convenient having 2 separate bathroom areas, each with their own shower, especially in the morning. We were able to get the 3 adults ready in the morning in less time due to it, and missed this once we moved to the BoardWalk.
    - Being on the end of the first floor had one (minor) downside which was all the people walking by your room while you were sitting out on the patio. But, even that was amusing a couple times, since they didn't know we could hear their entire conversation.
    - The only other real downside was the number of points it takes to stay there, which is more than most other resorts. It helped getting a Standard View, but even then it would be tough to do every trip due to the cost.


    Here are some pictures of the room, and view...













    Last edited by Micah008; 05-13-2017 at 04:59 PM.
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  11. #36
    Senior Member Alcachofa's Avatar
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    Hey, first off, love this style of TR.

    A couple questions:
    How was service at Kona?

    Also, did I read that right? There are two bathrooms in the DVC studios at Poly?? Also, can you confirm these rooms have those little murphy beds in them? Thanks.

  12. #37
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    The Poly studios do have the murphy bed. There are not technically 2 bathrooms, because there is only 1 toilet. But there is 2 separately enclosable areas each with a sink and a shower (by the pictures above the shower/tub combo is in the same room with the only toilet).

  13. #38
    Senior Member R&RMom's Avatar
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    Thanks for the write up on the Poly! I stayed there as a kid, back in the days of the Dinosaurs, but can't remember much. I am really hoping my kids (8 and 11) are Ok with the pool. It does looks sort of small. However, we are staying there for the sake of convenience and theming, and it sounds like that worked really well for you guys.

  14. #39
    Senior Member pixarprincess's Avatar
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    Glad to hear your thoughts on Poly and your room. We are staying there in June. Im also hoping for a room in Tokelau. Ideally second floor but we are also doing standard room, so we will see what we end up with. I also completely agree that the point cost is a little hard to swallow for Poly.

  15. #40
    Senior Member Micah008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alcachofa View Post
    Hey, first off, love this style of TR.

    A couple questions:
    How was service at Kona?

    Also, did I read that right? There are two bathrooms in the DVC studios at Poly?? Also, can you confirm these rooms have those little murphy beds in them? Thanks.
    The service at Kona was alright, but not perfect. I don't remember the exact details anymore, but I know we had an issue with the server forgetting the drink for one of my kids, and also offering to bring us more bread and then never actually bringing it. It didn't stand out as anything major for issues, but didn't stand out as excellent either.

    As said by others, it isn't technically 2 bathrooms due to not having a 2nd toilet in one of them. Disney technically calls it a "split bathroom", but for getting ready in the morning it is almost as good as having 2 bathrooms when 2 different people can shower, use a sink, and have their own separate area. Here is a link which includes the layout and more pictures: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2015/04/28...and-bungalows/

    Also, just so you know, the Grand Floridian Villas have a similar kind of bathroom layout, but slightly different in how they organized it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptlohmysoul View Post
    The Poly studios do have the murphy bed. There are not technically 2 bathrooms, because there is only 1 toilet. But there is 2 separately enclosable areas each with a sink and a shower (by the pictures above the shower/tub combo is in the same room with the only toilet).
    You are correct, the shower/tub is in the same area as the toilet. The one with the dedicated shower (which was very nice) didn't have a toilet.

    Quote Originally Posted by R&RMom View Post
    Thanks for the write up on the Poly! I stayed there as a kid, back in the days of the Dinosaurs, but can't remember much. I am really hoping my kids (8 and 11) are Ok with the pool. It does looks sort of small. However, we are staying there for the sake of convenience and theming, and it sounds like that worked really well for you guys.
    I am sure they will enjoy the pool, and the slide. They are a little old for the kids water area, but the 8 year old may enjoy it.

    Quote Originally Posted by pixarprincess View Post
    Glad to hear your thoughts on Poly and your room. We are staying there in June. Im also hoping for a room in Tokelau. Ideally second floor but we are also doing standard room, so we will see what we end up with. I also completely agree that the point cost is a little hard to swallow for Poly.
    Good luck getting Tokelau. It is a large enough building it is likely they can get you somewhere in it if you request that.
    Micah

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  16. #41
    Senior Member momof2boys's Avatar
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    I am way behind with catching up! Really enjoyed reading through your TR. Congrats to your son on losing his 1st tooth at WDW!

  17. #42
    Senior Member mgarbowski's Avatar
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    Nice report as always Micah. I will second your analysis of how useful the bathroom design at the Poly DVC studios is. In my experience it is very unusual for a studio to have 2 separate showering areas and it is a real plus. For us, and I expect many others, it is more useful than 2 toilets, because it speeds up the morning routine to get up and out in time for rope drop or whatever. And, it was smart or maybe just fortuitous that they put the nicer shower in the space without the toilet. This way if some people in your party insist on the cool shower and tend to linger there, the toilet side is free for others.
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  18. #43
    Senior Member Alcachofa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micah008 View Post
    As said by others, it isn't technically 2 bathrooms due to not having a 2nd toilet in one of them. Disney technically calls it a "split bathroom", but for getting ready in the morning it is almost as good as having 2 bathrooms when 2 different people can shower, use a sink, and have their own separate area. Here is a link which includes the layout and more pictures: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2015/04/28...and-bungalows/
    Thanks. I probably should have checked Dave's site before asking that question. However, Mr. Shute claims the 1.5 baths makes the room a little cramped, while you said it is the most spacious studio you've ever been in. Do you think that is really just because the regular Poly rooms are just so huge, taking the space makes the rooms seem smaller, but they are still quite large?

  19. #44
    Senior Member Micah008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by momof2boys View Post
    I am way behind with catching up! Really enjoyed reading through your TR. Congrats to your son on losing his 1st tooth at WDW!
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by mgarbowski View Post
    Nice report as always Micah. I will second your analysis of how useful the bathroom design at the Poly DVC studios is. In my experience it is very unusual for a studio to have 2 separate showering areas and it is a real plus. For us, and I expect many others, it is more useful than 2 toilets, because it speeds up the morning routine to get up and out in time for rope drop or whatever. And, it was smart or maybe just fortuitous that they put the nicer shower in the space without the toilet. This way if some people in your party insist on the cool shower and tend to linger there, the toilet side is free for others.
    I wondered the same thing about which part of the bathroom had the toilet, and if they planned it that way, or it just ended up that way. The only downside for us personally was that my sister-in-law used the bathroom with the tub/shower (and toilet) so it meant the rest of us had to wait in the morning if we really had to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alcachofa View Post
    Thanks. I probably should have checked Dave's site before asking that question. However, Mr. Shute claims the 1.5 baths makes the room a little cramped, while you said it is the most spacious studio you've ever been in. Do you think that is really just because the regular Poly rooms are just so huge, taking the space makes the rooms seem smaller, but they are still quite large?
    The living room area of the studio to me felt just "normal" compared to other studios. I don't think it felt cramped, but when taking into account the bathrooms that was when the room as a whole felt spacious. The one that really felt more cramped was BLT studios, and they didn't even have extra bathroom space... and we have even stayed in a Value room at AKL... but BLT felt the smallest.
    Micah

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  20. #45
    Senior Member Micah008's Avatar
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    Peoplemover Crash!

    On our last day at Magic Kingdom, we didn't have much of a plan... it was all about letting everyone go on a few of their favorites, and then heading over to Epcot for the rest of the day.

    Late in the morning DS8 really wanted to go on Space Mountain a couple extra times, and we had a few extra Child Swaps from earlier in the trip... so while he went on Space with DW and DWTS, I rode on the Peoplemover a couple times with DS6.

    Once we all met back up, we were going to head to lunch, and then Epcot... but DS8 really wanted to do the Peoplemover himself too... since it is one of his favorites. So, we all went again (3rd time in a row for DS6 and I). I even debated just staying back ...


    As the ride exited the Space Mountain section and rounded the corner towards the Carousel of Progress, all of a sudden we slammed into the vehicle in front of us (hard!). None of us had any idea it was coming, and it was quite a jolt. Once we realized what had happened, we then saw that we were now stopped, and the vehicle behind us was still moving right towards us. Right before they collided into us, every vehicle on the entire ride came to a quick stop, as I assume the ride operator hit the emergency stop button.

    So, here we were, stuck, and with a bit of a headache:


    Luckily there was a nice breeze, shade, and we could see the castle off in the distance.

    They announced over the loudspeaker to stay seated, and the usual safety stuff, and we expected to get moving again before too long, but it didn't happen. Eventually (a good 15-20 minutes later) we saw some CMs walking down the track, but they walked right past us, saying they needed to go evacuate the people that were in Space Mountain first. You can see them walking towards us here.



    Another 20 minutes later we saw them evacuate other vehicles around us, and then eventually they made it over to us. They explained to us where to step and where not to step around the tracks (some is just plastic and can't hold weight, so to cross you have to actually step on the magnet squares themselves). And we walked back down the track and down a back stairway.



    As we exited they gave us an anytime FP good for (almost) anything in Magic Kingdom (except 7DMT), and sent us on our way. I honestly expected a little more process to take places, considering it was an actual crash and not just a breakdown. Plus we were on our way to lunch and Epcot anyway.... so the FP didn't really do us much good.

    After lunch we stopped by Guest Services, not to complain, but to make sure they knew it was an actual crash on the Peoplemover, and also to see if we could get the FP for something at Epcot instead. After a quick conversation, they set us up for 5 anytime FP+ on Test Track, and we were on our way to the monorail.


    This was my first time actually being evacuated from a ride, and the first time for sure being in an actual crash. In the end Disney handled things alright, but I think they could have done a better job making sure everyone was ok, and trying to better understand what happened. But, in the end we were all ok, and we got a bonus Test Track FP out of it. But next time I will stick to 2 rides in a row... and not push my luck.
    Last edited by Micah008; 05-18-2017 at 06:36 PM.
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  21. #46
    Senior Member mgarbowski's Avatar
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    No one has ever had that much excitement on the People Mover before.

    I'm glad you and everyone else was OK. But I agree the response seemed a bit lacking from Disney. Even viewed solely through their own self-interest it seems inadequate. Someone could come back and claim soft tissue neck injuries, concussion, or what have you and they have no records, no statements, no offers of medical attention (accepted or refused) or anything to protect themselves. Likely it would at worse be less than a rounding error on their books in terms of a potential liability, but they should follow good practices always. Then, of course, for the sake of their guests, they should want to inquire about such things as well. As you noted, everyone was fine and so in fact the response was adequate but just by chance.

    If there is no real or perceived danger, and the response is quick, having to evacuate can be fun, and they do accommodate you pretty much any way you want with the make up FPs. That was the case the only time I experienced it in February on Tower of Terror. It was actually one of my all-time trip highlights, but we didn't have to wait as long as you did.
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  22. #47
    Senior Member pixarprincess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgarbowski View Post
    No one has ever had that much excitement on the People Mover before.
    hahaha! probably true.

    Glad to hear everyone was ok! Does seem a little strange that they were not more concerned. Wonder what caused the problem...

  23. #48
    Senior Member Micah008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgarbowski View Post
    ...Even viewed solely through their own self-interest it seems inadequate. Someone could come back and claim soft tissue neck injuries, concussion, or what have you ...
    That is exactly what I was thinking at the time. I actually did have a headache from my head hitting the seat (above the padding of course) since I was going backwards. It wasn't a big deal, and faded after a while... still seemed like they would have wanted to document it somehow.

    Quote Originally Posted by mgarbowski View Post
    ... having to evacuate can be fun, and they do accommodate you pretty much any way you want with the make up FPs. ...
    I agree. I actually wish we had gotten stuck in an area that would have been more interesting to evacuate through to see some backstage areas.

    Quote Originally Posted by pixarprincess View Post
    Glad to hear everyone was ok!
    Thanks!
    Micah

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  24. #49
    Senior Member Micah008's Avatar
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    Illuminations and the Storm

    We had beautiful weather for most of the trip, but towards the end was our first rainy day, but even then it didn't come until later in the day. In fact, this day was quite eventful as DS6 had already lost his first tooth and we had been in a crash of the Peoplemover, both on this same day.

    After we made it over to Epcot, it had started getting really windy, enough to make eating at the Arts Festival booths a real pain (imagine getting a nicely plated item, and then watching the micro-greens and parmesean cheese toppings blow away about 3.4 seconds later, before you even get a fork). During the afternoon we dodged a few quick rainstorms (by watching Impressions de France, and getting some sweets at the Karamel Kuche). As it got closer to dinner we saw a couple of much larger bands of rain coming on the radar, and knew we needed to use our anytime FP+ for Test Track before it started actually raining.

    Soon after we got off Test Track the first storm hit, and rain really come down for quite a while. Since it was nearby, we ate dinner at the Electric Umbrella, and waited for the storm to pass. We could see streams of people heading to the exit at the front of the park, both before and during the rain. However, since we were staying at the BoardWalk, we needed to make our way over there instead, and preferred not to do so in the storm. We went over into Mouse Gear for a bit too after we finished eating, and eventually there was a break in the rain, and we headed out.

    As we got to Norway we had noticed that there were truly were very few people in the park at this point, and also noticed that the wait for Frozen Ever After was posted at only 15 minutes... and we just had to do it, especially since it was our one and only time we have ever gone through the standby queue. While we waited (which took even less than 15 min) they made an announcement that due to the next line of storms coming they would be moving Illuminations up to 8:35 that night. As we got off the ride it was about 8:30, and still no one around, so we decided just to stop and watch the show. It was really amazing to see with lightning in the distance, and so few people around that it almost felt like a private showing, similar to what we experienced a year earlier after a really rainy day.

    Once the show ended we headed back quickly to try to make sure we made it before the next storm came. We stayed dry as we made it around the World Showcase, but as we got to France it started sprinkling, and as we got out the International Gateway exit the skies completely opened up. By the time we made it to the bridge the rain was coming down in sheets and the wind had picked up enough that it felt like it was blowing us backwards at times.

    We finally made it into the BoardWalk, looked at each other, and just laughed at how completely drenched we all looked. Luckily we just had to make it up to our room, dripping all the way down the hallway.

    Moral of the story, when it storms you can really take advantage of lower waits and lower crowds as everyone else leaves, and if you end up getting stuck in the rain yourself at least enjoy it.
    Micah

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  25. #50
    Senior Member Micah008's Avatar
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    Sorry for the delay in the trip report.... We are off to Mexico tomorrow (the real Mexico, not the Epcot one) for our 15th anniversary. Our first trip without the kids, ever.
    Micah

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    Apr '87 offsite; Feb '91 offsite; Feb '04 offsite; Feb '10 Pop; Jan '12 ASSp; Jan '13 Pop; Jan '14 VGF/AKV; Mar '14 POR; Aug '14 SSR (Report); Jan '15 VGF/AKV/OKW (Report); Jan '16 BLT/BCV (Report); Aug '16 AKV; Jan '17 PVB/BWV (Report); Jan '18 Pop/BRV; Aug '18 AKV; Jan '19 PVB/BCV; Jan '20 VGF/AKV/DRR

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