Quantcast Fest 1 of 4 done! A week of food, wine and walking. Day 8 and wrap up thoughts
 
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Ithaca, NY
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    Default Fest 1 of 4 done! A week of food, wine and walking. Day 8 and wrap up thoughts

    The theme park time warp had really caught up to me by the end of the week. Between 4 super packed days at the beginning of the trip to being inside a conference center, not eating too many vegetables, and not enough sleep I was really starting to feel the fatigue on my last day. It was the final day of the conference, and I was presenting a session at 10 a.m. I planned to head to Animal Kingdom after the last session that morning and it was nice to sleep past 7 and not worry about booking lightning lanes or getting into a virtual queue. I packed up the room, ate some breakfast, and went to present my session. Everything went really well and I enjoyed the end of the conference.

    I changed into one last park outfit and went over to AK for an afternoon of slower pace, enjoying the vibes, taking in some live entertainment and doing laps on Everest in the single rider line. I didn't get in soon enough for the 1 p.m. Nemo show so I hung around Discovery Island, browsed the shops, met Moana, and headed to Dinoland. I wanted an ice cream cookie sandwich and hoped they had the seasonal pumpkin one from years past but unfortunately they didn't have the right ice cream for it. I went with just regular vanilla and chocolate chip cookies. It was still really tasty.

    I got in standby for the next Nemo show, but some floatillas were coming by the lake so I went over to wave at Pocahontas, Meeko, Goofy, and Launchpad. I know many folx are not huge fans of the Nemo show, but I adore it. I loved the original version so much and had mixed feelings about the revamped shorter show. All the songs are still there but the storyline has been really condensed and I think it lacks the emotional beats because of the time limits. I was thrilled, though, to get to see Jared Bradshaw in the cast. He and his wife, Lindsey Northen, were Broadway actors in NYC (he was in shows like Jersey Boys and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and she was the Glinda standby in Wicked for many years) and when the pandemic closed all the theatres they relocated their family to Orlando and now work as entertainment Cast in the Nemo show. They have an Instagram account and YouTube travel channel and are just genuinely kind and talented people. Jared has several tracks in Nemo, this day he was on as one of the sharks but he also does Bruce the main shark and Mr. Ray. I hope next time I see the show I can catch Lindsay, she does either Peach the starfish or Dory.

    After Nemo it was time to run laps on Everest. It wasn't peak crowded today and it was after 2 p.m. so many people hop out of AK since it closes so early and the other parks stay open so much later. I love a late afternoon in AK! I did 3 rides on Everest doing single rider, the standby wait was over 30 minutes but I got on each time in about 10 or less. Gosh, this is still my favorite ride in all of WDW, even with TRON and Guardians in the mix. A highly themed, practically made, classic thrill ride just has something the newer technologies really lack for me. Maybe it was the Joe Rhode of it all, but I can just feel the Imagineering all over AK in a way that I can feel the Imagineering when I go to Disneyland in CA. The people who worked so hard to create this experience leave their heartprints there.

    Anyway, I was not feeling my best by this point. Maybe 3 laps on Everest in 45 minutes had something to do with it. I also was just reaching my saturation point and a salad and a comfy bed were starting to seem really good to me. I still wanted to hang a little longer and debated getting on the waitlist for Nomad Lounge. But since I had to drive back up to the airport I didn't want to get anything alcoholic and the food options weren't speaking to me. I decided to drink some more water and hit a late afternoon Safari. I was in the back row of my safari truck, which was great for viewing but not great for someone who gets motion sickness. After the Safari it was going on 5 p.m. and I had a decision to make. I wanted to stay through park close but I also had to drive back up to a hotel by the airport, gas back up, and have an earlier night because I had an early flight the next morning. I made the call to take care of myself so I ordered a salad at Panera next to my airport hotel and made my way out of the park and drove back north. I love AK at dusk and nighttime but there was no way I would make it and if I forced myself I knew the consequences would not be good. When I'm back in December it gets dark much earlier in the day so I'll enjoy a 5 p.m. sunset drink at the Dawa Bar then.

    Travels home went smoothly and I'm back to planning my next trip! Some final thoughts:
    - Halloween is not my favorite holiday but it's absolutely my favorite time to visit WDW! The Party was super fun as always and I am so happy Husband enjoyed it.
    - G+ is sometimes necessary depending on what you have going on and what's worth it to you. I'm always in favor of making your own choices, and I know it's not a perfect system. Once you get the hang of it, it really does work.
    - I had not had my own transportation during a stay before and I really liked having a car to get around. Nothing against the buses or Skyliner! I actually loved having the Skyliner there at POP. Unfortunately, I will need to pay for a rental car myself (work covered it while I was at the conference) and I can't budget for it in December. Maybe my spring trips.
    - Exceptional service and the magic are still there! Do you have to look harder for it? Yes. Do we want it? Of course we do. Are we entitled to it? No, we aren't, but I genuinely think most Cast want to do what they can for us within whatever frameworks and rules they have to work in. That's out of their control.

    Welp, that's all for fall! Christmastime is next in just a couple months! Thanks for following along everyone. See ya next time!
    ~Nikki~
    Last Trip: February 2024
    Next Trips: April 2024

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  4. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Florida
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    That was a nice, relaxing way to wind up a Disney trip! Christmas isn't so very far away so you'll be back soon!!
    Linda aka: Faline
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning,Trip Reports and Disney Camping
    [email protected]

  5. Thanks BriarRose0708 thanked for this post

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