Homecoming Kitchen – Jan.3, 2017

January 3, 2017 – Homecoming Kitchen​

We had our plans all made, ADR’s were in place, and I just kept coming back to this menu. I eventually decided to squeeze it in on our arrival day, and then spent the next 2 months looking forward to eating here. Seriously, I was so excited, and I’m not typically considered a foodie.

As we were sitting on the Magical Express at the airport, I started worrying about timing. I was still worried when the bus dropped us off at Old Key West, I was worried as bell services drove us to our room in a golf cart, I was still worrying when I boarded a Disney Springs bus. And of course, we ended up being 5 minutes early for our reservation – all that worrying for nothing!

Once we checked in, we were handed a pager and told it would be a few minutes – our pager went off about 90 seconds later. We were led to our table, a two-top directly behind the hostess desk. It was nice, because there was a wall so we couldn’t see the front door, and it also meant we only had a table on one side of us. I didn’t take pictures of our table, but here are some of the decor:

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The Florida mural above the kitchen was great!

I wish I could tell you how many hours we spent on All Ears, reading the menus and planning out what we would order at each meal on our trip. We had come to the conclusion that Homecoming would probably end up being our most expensive meal, as there were so many things we wanted.

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We each decided to start with a moonshine cocktail, I had the moonshine mash: watermelon-infused moonshine, fresh watermelon, lime juice and simple syrup, $12

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Oh man. I’ve had moonshine before, and it typically has a very…strong taste. This was by far the smoothest moonshine I’ve ever had in my life, it was amazing! Luke hates watermelon flavouring, he gave this drink his approval as well – it was much more of a light, natural watermelon flavour. So good.

Luke went for the waitresses suggestion, and ordered the Bootlegger: Rumshine and dark rum, blackberry jam, house-made grenadine, simple syrup, lime juice, $12

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This sounded weird to me, but again – holy smokes! It was so amazing!

Luke decided to order an appetizer and went for the Church Lady Deviled Eggs: Homecoming-style whole deviled eggs, $10

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I’m not a huge fan of eggs, even at breakfast, so I didn’t try any of these. Luke figured he would just have a few, and then pack them up and eat them for breakfast the next morning. Yeah, that didn’t happen. He loved them so much he ate all 6 of them (keep in mind, we hadn’t ate much all day and were STARVING by the time we got there). He also loved the house-made hot sauce, and was a little sad when he found out he couldn’t just buy a bottle to bring home.

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For entrees, Luke ordered the Art’s Famous Fried Chicken – buttermilk brined for 24 hours then perfectly fried and garnished with our house-made hot sauce served with creamy mashed potatoes, a cheddar drop biscuit and love. $27

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Again, this place was impressive. This was a huge serving, and absolutely incredible. The chicken was so tender and juicy, and had been butchered so that there were no bones present on the plate.

I wanted to try something else, and went for the Chopped Pork BBQ Plate: Dressed with HFK sweet and spicy BBQ sauce, served with momma’s mac and cheese and a cheddar drop biscuit, $24. I’m not a fan of mac and cheese, so I asked to switch to mashed potatoes instead. This was no problem at all, and both of us also had our potatoes topped with gravy (which was a little spicy, but so good!)

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This pork was so good! And the BBQ sauce – ugh. I’ve run out of adjectives for amazing. The mashed potatoes were so buttery and smooth. I think I could live off those biscuits, it was incredible.

All of that food, and I still wanted dessert.

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I had my eye on one thing – that Shine Cake: Chef Art’s signature dessert. An adult-only butter cake soaked with moonshine syrup. Served with a seasonal fruit gastrique and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream $10. This thing was so lovely, I had to take two pictures of it:

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What a way to end this perfect meal! This cake was so nice and moist, and you could taste the moonshine. I’m not much of a drinker typically, and I usually hate the taste of liquor, but for some reason this tasted fantastic to me. It was strong though – I see why it’s adult’s only! I honestly got drunk from eating cake. Now I want more of that…

Luke also ordered another moonshine cocktail to have with dessert, the Apple Pie a la Mode: Ole Smokey Apple Pie Moonshine, vanilla vodka, apple juice, cinnamon, house-made simple syrup and a dash of lemon $12. I forgot to take a picture of it, I was too busy shoving alcoholic cake into my face. I did try a sip, and it was ok. It was by far our least favourite of the three drinks we tried.

In case you couldn’t tell, we LOVED this meal. I think it was a combination of being really hungry, the first meal of the trip and just being an amazing restaurant. This is actually the current #1 choice for our wedding reception when we get married at Disney next year…

The total cost of this meal was $107, or $113.96 after tax. It was worth every penny!

Our waitress, Tricia, was also great here, very attentive without hovering, and very friendly. We left her a generous tip :)

Transportation

All of these transportation options are free, and can be used by anyone. You do no need to be staying in a mono-rail resort in order to use the monorail – same for any of the boats and buses, etc.

Airport (MCO only) to any Disney hotel 

  • Disney’s Magical Express

All Star Movies/Music/Sports

  • Bus service to all 4 theme parks
  • Bus service to Disney Springs

Animal Kingdom Lodge

  • Bus service to all 4 theme parks
  • Bus service to Disney Springs

Art of Animation

  • Bus service to all 4 theme parks
  • Bus service to Disney Springs

Beach Club

  • Walking distance to Epcot & Hollywood Studios
  • Boat service to Epcot & Hollywood Studios
  • Bus service to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom
  • Bus service to Disney Springs

Boardwalk

  • Walking distance to Epcot & Hollywood Studios
  • Boat service to Epcot & Hollywood Studios
  • Bus service to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom
  • Bus service to Disney Springs

Caribbean Beach

  • Bus service to all 4 theme parks
  • Bus service to Disney Springs

Contemporary/Bay Lake Tower

  • Walking distance to Magic Kingdom
  • Boat service to Magic Kingdom
  • Bus service to Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom
  • Monorail srvice to MK & Epcot

Coronado Springs

  • Bus service to all 4 theme parks
  • Bus service to Disney Springs

Fort Wilderness

  • Boat service to Magic Kingdom
  • Bus service to other 3 theme parks
  • Bus service to Disney Springs

Grand Floridian 

  • Boat service to Magic Kingdom
  • Monorail service to Magic Kingdom & Epcot
  • Bus to Disney Springs
  • Bus to Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom

Old Key West

  • Bus service to all 4 theme parks
  • Bus service to Disney Springs
  • Boat service to Disney Springs

Polynesian

  • Monorail service to Magic Kingdom & Epcot
  • Boat service to Magic Kingdom
  • Bus service to Disney Springs
  • Bus service to Animal Kingdom & Hollywood Studios

Pop Century

  • Bus service to all 4 theme parks
  • Bus service to Disney Springs

Port Orleans (Riverside and French Quarter)

  • Bus service to all 4 theme parks
  • Bus service to Disney Springs
  • Boat service to Disney Springs

Saratoga Springs

  • Bus service to all 4 theme parks
  • Bus service to Disney Springs
  • Boat service to Disney Springs
  • Walking distance to Disney Springs

Wilderness Lodge

  • Bus service to all 4 theme parks
  • Boat service to Magic Kingdom
  • Bus service to Disney Springs

Yacht Club

  • Walking distance to Epcot & Hollywood Studios
  • Boat service to Epcot & Hollywood Studios
  • Bus service to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom
  • Bus service to Disney Springs

Luke here. Fallon covered the free transport.  Of which there is a lot. If you’re looking to stay off site, or should you need/choose to get from Point A to Point B – there are options too.

Mears Taxi – A Taxi company. They do Taxi stuff.  Classic. Tried Tested and True. Their rates aren’t bad. But it’s  the 2017/2018 season – who uses cabs anymore?

The easiest, quickets and most convenient non-free way to get around is via Uber or Lyft – for those unfamiliar, they’re both apps on your phone. You set up an account, attach a credit card, and whenever you need a ride just open the app. Punch in where you want to go and it’ll tell you the exact cost of the trip up front. It’ll give you the make/model of he vehicle picking you up, the license plate # and a timeline on when the ride will be there. You can watch on the app’s generated map as the ride approaches. It’s the best. Use it to get from park to park, to your dining reservations, to go to the grocery store and buy bananas for less than $1.69US apiece – whatever.

Also – if you want to get from park to park Disney World offers an express transit bus for an upcharge. It’s $19/day or $29 for a multi-day ticket.  We haven’t used it yet. But if you’re at Epcot and need to get to Magic Kingdom in a jiffy – this seems super handy.

Hollywood Studios

This park is currently undergoing a major overhaul. As a result, there  were a large number of things shut down over the past few years – and this park can easily be covered in a day (even a half day if you’re motivated enough). At some point in the second half of 2018, Toy Story Land will be opening, and then in 2019 Star Wars Land is opening. Expect HUGE crowds in this park after those open.

The nighttime fireworks show is Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. This is my #1 night show at Walt Disney World (and second only to World of Colour at Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim). The Star Wars show incorporates fireworks with projections, music, lights and lasers – it’s so cool.

They offer another nighttime show, Fantasmic – which is inside a large amphitheater built for the show. Lots of characters, pyro, lights – it’s worth seeing.

You can catch a boat from just outside the main gate which makes stops at the Swan & Dolphin, Beach Club/Yacht Club, Boardwalk Resort and finally Epcot (in that order).

Hollywood Studios Food

In my opinion, this park has the weakest food options. This may change over the next few years as they finish Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land, but we actually chose to leave the park for lunch on our January 2017 trip. That doesn’t mean you won’t find something you like though!

Quick Service:

  • ABC Commissary – basic burgers/nuggets/ribs/etc
  • Backlot Express – hot dogs, nuggets, burgers, etc. They do offer a few Star Wars themed options
  • Catalina Eddie’s – pizza, caesar salad
  • Fairfax Fare – pulled pork, empanadas, etc
  • Min & Bill’s Dockside Diner – hot dogs, nachos, etc.
  • PizzeRizzo – Muppet’s themed pizza place
  • Rosie’s All-American Cafe – burgers, nuggets, etc

Table Service:

  • 50’s Prime Time Cafe – I really wanted to love this place, it came very highly suggested by friends/family, but it was just ok. It’s themed as if you’re eating at your grandma’s house in the 1950’s, some tables have black and white TV’s by them. Luke’s meal was much better than mine, my review is here.  The servers can call you out for using your phone, having your elbows on the table, not eating your veggies, etc. Try the peanut butter and jelly milkshake – you can walk in and get one to go. Menu is meatloaf, pot roast, chicken pot pie, etc.
  • Hollywood Brown Derby – a signature restaurant, which means a little higher end. Lamb, duck, steak, seafood. Most popular item is the Cobb Salad.
  • Hollywood & Vine – Disney Jr. themed buffet breakfast & lunch (Sofia the First, Handy Manny, etc) . Dinner is Minnie, Mickey, Donald, Daisy and Goofy
  • Mama Melrose’s – Italian restaurant
  • Sci-Fi Fine-In Theater – Designed to look like an old drive-in theater, the table booths are actually cars with 3 rows in each. The theming is awesome, I just wasn’t hungry/feeling great the day we went. My review is here. Menu is burgers, salads, steak – pretty standard American food.

Animal Kingdom Rides

  • Boneyard – a playground for kids with hidden “dinosaur” bones for them to discover
  • Conservation Station – Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Tons of animals to be seen here, and also a little petting zoo. Features the conservation efforts of the Disney company, and how this park is run. You need to take a little train to get there, but it’s a nice way to escape the crowds, and there’s a cute little petting zoo out there.
  • Dinosaur                                       – similar to Indiana Jones ride at DL, but Indy is way better. A bumpy, shakey, dark ride with dinosaurs. On-ride photo is snapped when the dinosaur screams at you. Lines can be long.
  • Discovery IslandTrails
  • Expedition Everest                                         – located in Asia. Hands down my favourite Disney ride. Fast-paced roller coaster that actually goes backwards at one point.  No inversions, but great hills and turns and speed. Photo is snapped after the shadow Yeti scene. Lines can be long – grab a fastpass or go first thing in the morning or the last thing at night.
  • Finding Nemo: The Musical – a 40 minute Broadway-style show based on Finding Nemo. Songs were written by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (the couple behind the Frozen soundtrack and the Book of Mormon broadway show).
  • Flight of Passage – one of the new Avatar rides. Wait times are often in the 2-3 hour range, but the ride is actually that good! I would never wait that long personally, but it is the best ride I’ve ever been on in my life..
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug – This is worth it just because you get to see the Tree of Life up close, as the theater for this is inside the base of the tree. It’s a 4D show that lasts about 10 minutes. Line is never too bad.
  • Kali River Rapids – A water ride, you will get wet. Usually shuts down for the month of January for refurbishment.
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris – Grab a fastpass, there are usually long lines for this. A guided tour on an open-air bus through “Africa”. I find animals more active in the mornings. Have your camera ready, there are lots of animals to see – lions, zebras, warthogs, hippos, alligators, giraffes, birds, elephants etc. The safe animals like zebras can walk right up to your bus, you’ll sometimes need to stop and wait for an animal to cross the road in front of you. Very cool. Worth doing at least once – but the animals are free-roaming and not forced to be in any one location at one point, so riding again is encouraged because you might see animals you missed the last time. Also – you won’t see actual cages. The lions are separated from everything else by hidden moats and caging, but you can’t see that. Same for the hippos, cheetahs, etc.
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek –  a walking trail to see animals. The star of this one – tigers!
  • Navi’ River Journey – the other new ride in Avatar land. A slow-moving boat ride with some of the best animatronics ever built.
  • Pangani Forest Exploration Trail – A walking trail to see animals. The baby gorillas were so adorable, and there’s also naked mole rats! And meerkats! I enjoyed this, I would do it again.
  • Primeval Whirl – A crazy-mouse style roller coaster. It was ok, I’d say worth going on once if you have the time – and I wouldn’t wait any longer than 20 minutes for it
  • TriceraTop Spin – Dumbo ride with dinosaurs!
  • Wildlife Express Train – a little train that takes you from the Africa section of the park to Rafiki’s Planet Watch (7minutes).
  • Festival of the Lion King                   – located in Africa. Amazing. A stage show that included larger-than-life animatronics and Cirque-du-Soleil style performers. Worth seeing without a doubt.

Epcot Rides

  • The American Adventure – located in the American pavilion.  It’s a mixture of animatronics and video that talks about the history of the United States. It’s about 20 minutes long. It is in a dark, air-conditioned large room so it’s a good spot for a quick nap. You’ll usually just need to wait for the next show to start, so never too long of a wait.
  • The Circle of Life – not 100% sure what this is. It’s located in the same building as Soarin’ and Garden Grill and Sunshine Seasons, but we didn’t have time to check it out.
  • Disney Phineas and Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure – You can do little mission-type things. It’s meant to give kids something to do in Epcot
  • Ellen’s Energy Adventure – 45 minutes long. We’ve skipped it everytime, and it is now shut down. The space where this sits is being used for a new Guardians of the Galaxy-themed ride (set to open in a few years)
  • Meet and Greet Anna and Elsa from Frozen   – a character meet and greet in the Norway pavilion. One of my favourite ones we did on our 2017 trip, but I love anything to do with Frozen. The lines were never terrible while we were there, thanks to the “magical doors”.
  • Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros  – located in the Mexican pavilion. A little boat ride featuring Donald Duck traveling through Mexico. It’s cute, and never has a long line to get on it.
  • Impressions de France – France pavilion. An 18 minute film about the country, and something we’ve never done.
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment – Figment is a little purple dinosaur, and old-school Disney fans love him. The ride is cute, silly but really out-dated. Wait times can vary, but I’d never wait more than 15 minutes for it.
  • Living with the Land – a slow-moving boat ride through some of Disney’s greenhouses. There are some really interesting methods of sustainable gardening, and some of the food you’ll see on this ride is used in Disney restaurants. It is usually a walk-on.
  • Frozen Ever After – located in Norway, and just opened last June. A boat ride through Arendelle. This has by far the longest wait times of any ride in the park. Expect at least an hour – highly recommend a fastpass if this is a ride you want to go on.
  • Mission: SPACE – a motion simulator. There are two different sides to this, the green side and orange side. Green is much tamer, orange is intense. From what I’ve heard, orange has a lot of G-force at one point and a lot of people feel really sick afterwards. We went on the green, and we’re normally fine on rides and still felt a little off just from the “tame” side. Wait times can be much longer for the orange side, green is usually 20 minutes or less.
  • O Canada! – a 14 minute 3600 video celebrating the natural beauty of our country. We watched it, but I don’t think it’s a must every time we go now. Narrated by Martin Short. A little outdated now, which you notice when they talk about “famous” Canadians.
  • Reflections of China – a 13 minute 3600 film about China.
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends – aa aquarium. There’s a slow-moving ride portion that is Nemo themed, and pretty cute. Take time to look around the aquariums and read/hear about the animals – the manatees are so cute! The ride part typically doesn’t have super long lines, but I wouldn’t wait any more than 15 minutes for it.
  • Soarin’ – Love! This is a flight simulator type thing, that lifts you off the ground and takes you around the World. It’s not fast-moving, it doesn’t involve crazy G-force or anything, but it lifts you up to a giant screen. Probably my favourite ride in Epcot. Lines can get long, get there first thing in the morning or use a fastpass. Also, pay attention to the smells when you’re flying over the elephants, Fiji and the Taj Mahal. Mmmm…
  • Spaceship Earth – The ride that takes you inside the giant golf-ball looking thing that is the icon of the park! It’s all about history, but there’s one moment where you’re in a giant room that looks like you’re in space looking down on the Earth with thousands of stars twinkling around you – super cool. The video can be pretty funny! The wait times are never too bad for this, and it’s a must-do on every trip.
  • Test Track                             – very similar to Radiator Springs Racers at DCA, but Chevrolet sponsored. On-ride photo during the fast part. At the beginning you get to design a car on a screen. One of the few “big rides” at Epcot, so grab a Fastpass to avoid huge lines. Definitely worth doing at least once.
  • Turtle Talk with Crush – Who doesn’t love Crush from Finding Nemo?! This is definitely meant for kids – it’s an interactive show.

Epcot

  • One of the largest of the Disney theme parks, at over 300 acres in size.
  • Name of the park is an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow.
  • Epcot was the second park to open as part of the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, opening its doors in 1981.
  • A giant man-made lake is surrounded by pavilions representing eleven countries of the World – Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Norway, USA, Morocco, Japan and China.
  • Each pavilion contains gift shops that sell items from that country – maple syrup in Canada, Haribo gummies in Germany, etc.
  • Nighttime show is Illuminations. This can be watched from anywhere around the World Showcase Lagoon and features music, fireworks and a giant globe.
  • Lots of food and drink options – each country pavilion sells alcoholic drinks specific to that country (you go to Germany for beer, Mexico for tequila, France has some great champagne/wine options, etc)

 

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom (MK) was the first park that opened as part of the Disney resort in Orlando back in 1971. It has been the #1 most visited theme park in the entire world for over a decade, seeing over 20 million visitors each year.

It is the park you think of when you think Disney – it’s the one with the castle.

Cinderella’s Castle is huge! If you’ve been to Disneyland and have seen Snow White’s Castle there, this one dwarfs it. Cinderella’s Castle stands 183 feet tall (100feet taller than the Castle at Disneyland).

The park itself covers over 100 acres, and is divided into different themed “lands” – Main Street USA, Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Tomorrowland and Fantasyland, The park is designed like a wheel, with the castle at the hub and the lands spreading out from that.

A mainly dry park – the only places to order alcohol are at Be Our Guest (supper only), Cinderella’s Royal Table, Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, Liberty Tree Tavern and Skipper Canteen (all table-service restaurants).

This park requires at least a full day to see everything, possibly more. It’s always a little more crowded than other parks, and there are a lot of things to do.

 

January 12, 2016 – Saying Goodbye to AK

After eating our terrible food, we were within our window for our 2nd FP+ – on the safari! I took so many pictures this time!

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After exiting our safari vehicle, we decided to walk the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail – we really wanted to see the naked mole rats! :love: The gorillas were also pretty cute…

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After finishing the walking trail, we checked on the time and realized a showing of The Festival of the Lion King would be starting right away. We rushed over there, and made it into the building before they closed the doors. Our seats weren’t the greatest, but that show is so good! Sorry I have no pictures, I put my camera away and just enjoyed the show. I think we are going to use a Fastpass on this show on our next trip, we enjoyed it that much!

It was our last day in a Disney park, so Luke decided to grab his last Dole Whip of the trip – with a shot of coconut rum.

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While he was waiting for his Dole Whip, one of the Cast Members came over and noticed my birthday pin that I was wearing. She asked me if today was my birthday, but I responded with “It’s my Birthday Eve!” (which was true, my birthday is January 13th). She smiled, told me to wait a minute and came back over with something on a plate. She told me she was allowed to give out a few of these each day to help people celebrate, and she wanted to give one to me. I had no idea what she was trying to give me at first, but once I saw it I thanked her so many times! Look at how awesome this looks:

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It was an elephant ear! What a great little dose of Disney Magic on our last day :) I was so happy after that, that CM’s small gesture just made my day! We took our snacks and found a picnic table to sit down that was a really nice quiet little spot. We sat for awhile, enjoying our treats and watching all the ducks walking around.

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After we finished up our snacks, we started making our way along the path back to Asia. We stopped for a few Photopass pictures:

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We didn’t walk much farther before we saw a line for a meet-and-greet, so we decided to wait. It was around 20 minutes of waiting or so before we were at the front of the line and meeting Baloo and King Louie! They were so much fun! They were fascinated by my brightly dyed hair.

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By the time we said our goodbye to Baloo and King Louie, we were inside our window for our third Fastpass – on my favourite ride!

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After riding Expedition Everest, we walked outside and looked at the standby time – only 15 minutes! I actually clapped my hands in excitement and shouted “Again!” :rotfl2:What can I say, I was in a really good mood that day! So, we joined the standby line, and less than 15 minutes later we had this picture taken:

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We’re in the back row, doing an over-the-head high five to each other :rotfl: – we had fun with ride photos!

By this point, it was around 3:30, so we decided to start slowly making our way out of the park. We did stop at It’s Tough To Be A Bug though.

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We’ve been to the California version of this, so we knew what to expect (and when to lean forward haha). I love the location of this in Florida though, it’s so cool to be underneath the Tree of Life! I did not like the fake smoke though, I got really filled up, and was finding it a little difficult to breath (the joys of asthma).

After the show, we continued walking towards the exit, but Luke stopped to use a snack credit on a raspberry-lemonade drink thing. It sounded really good, but it was way too sweet for my tastes! He drank some of it, but found it too sweet after awhile too, so about half of it was thrown away. Oh well, we had snack credits remaining that we had to use up!

After tossing away the way-too-sweet lemonade, we said our final goodbyes to Animal Kingdom, and left a Disney park for the last time on this trip :( We caught a bus back to All Star Music for the final time. We weren’t in a rush, and had no other major plans for the evening, so we made our way to Intermission Food Court – we still had dining plan credits to use! You can read that review here. After emptying our dining credits, and enjoying our last Disney meal, we went and collected our luggage from Bell Services and called a cab. 25-30 minutes later, we were dropped off in front of Westgate Palace to start the Universal Studios portion of our trip.

January 12, 2016 – Last Disney Day :(

Day Eight – Part One – January 12, 2016​

We woke up fairly early this day, since we sadly had to leave All Star Music :sad:. While we finished up with the packing we didn’t do the night before, we ate a few snacks from our stash we had ordered online (cookies for breakfast is something I can get behind every day of the week :love:). After we finished packing and getting ourselves ready for the day, I took a few pictures of our room and then we said goodbye to it. Originally, this was going to be a non-park day – original plan was to head to Disney Springs for a few hours before calling a cab and going to our next hotel, but after I got sick on our Animal Kingdom day last week, I knew I had to get back there. One day over the weekend, we had stopped by the front desk at our hotel and we were able to upgrade our 6 day tickets to 7 day tickets, and it only cost us $10/each! That same day, I signed into my Disney account and was able to grab some great Fastpasses.

We dropped our luggage off with bell services, and they placed it into storage for us for the day. We then caught a bus to Animal Kingdom again – and I was determined to do the park justice this time! According to the time stamp on the following Photopass pictures, we arrived by 9:40am – so we weren’t doing too bad on this morning!

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After entering the park, we stopped for more Photopass pictures in front of the Tree – it was our last day in a Disney park, and I was determined to get our money’s worth out of pictures!

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We walked along, and decided to jump in line to meet Russell and Dug! I love Up! I had actually never saw it, but within the first month of dating Luke made me watch both Up and Wall-E, since they are two of his favourite movies.

We had a bit of a wait for this, maybe 20 minutes or so, but it was worth it! This was a cute meet-and-greet!

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After telling Dug what a good dog he was, and admiring all of Russell’s Wilderness Explorer badges, we headed over to Dinoland to use our first FP+ on Dinosaur.

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I mentioned when we went on it last week, and I’ll mention it again – this ride is just ok. If you’ve ever been on the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland, you’ll understand how that is so far superior to Dinosaur. That said, we will more than likely go Dinosaur every time we’re at Animal Kingdom…

We were getting pretty hungry by this point so we stopped at the Yak & Yeti quick serve. You can read my review here, but just know that we probably would have been better off just staying hungry :crazy2:. The best part of the meal was the sitting area – it was outside and huge! At first we thought it was just a few tables, but they stretched back and around the building. It wasn’t busy at all, so we had no problem finding a table.

There was a cute little water feature which had a bunch of birds bathing.

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Next: Finishing Up at Animal Kingdom