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PassPorter is a small business, and for many years it supported our family. But the world changed, print books took a backseat to the Internet, and for a long time now it has been unable to make ends meet. We've had to find new ways to support our family, which means new careers and less and less time available to devote to our first baby, PassPorter.

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So we encourage you to stay in touch with us and your fellow community members wherever works best for you!

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Old 11-29-2018, 09:35 AM   #31
lindawdw
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I just found your TR and got all caught up with your updates (you've been a busy girl with those updates)! Even though your plane was delayed by an hour on the runway, it's always great when they still land on time! For me, it's the most exciting thing driving under the WDW entrance sign and then pulling up to your DVC resort for the gate check in!!! I'm so glad that you enjoyed your stay at OKW so much. We've stayed there a few times, our first being in 1996 when we stayed in a one bedroom and fell in love with how much space you got in the room!!! I need to try Olivia's one of these days because it gets such great reviews. I totally agree with you about the security lines at Epcot being the worst. They really need to find a better system for the front entrance and I'm really hoping that the International Gateway doesn't become a total mess once the gondola's open. What a great first day you had with such terrific weather. Your beverage seminar sounded fun and all your samplings around the WS looked delicious. We loved the scallops this year too! Your shirt that you purchased at the shop in Great Britain is just adorable. We were very surprised at how long the lines were also this past October for the Figment ride since it usually was always a walk on.
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Old 11-30-2018, 06:23 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by pamcarey View Post
The wine seminar sounds like fun! Like you, I prefer white wines, but like to try new things, especially when itís a tasting and I donít have to buy a whole bottle!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
It was really fun but in all honesty, those wines were uber expensive and I don't think we will be buying any of them! :

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Nice start to your trip and quite some extensive updates.


Glad all went well getting to WDW with the exception of the delay on the tarmac. Your room and view at OKW looks very nice and recognize it well as I've played golf at the LBV course many times. Some nice eats and bevs at the festival and what you needed after the travel today.


Nice breakfast at Olivia's and hope to try one day but not sure if it's worth traveling to. Your wine seminar looked interesting and enjoyable and the host is the same one I had for mine last year. Enjoyed all the photos as well! Too bad it was so hot!
IMHOP, Olivia's is worth travelling to! Our host was great with lots of awesome information that actually made us want to visit the area someday!

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Wow! You were busy with the updates today! Sounds like a good start to your trip.
You didnít say whether you cried when they said Ďwelcome homeí for the first time?
It was a great start and I surely did cry, Colleen!!

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Our internet has been down today and is still slow, but you've definitely been busy with updates. I totally agree that Epcot as the worse security check lines, even when they have both sides of the entrance open. I really wish they could expand this somehow. I can't believe how hot it was for you all.
It was definitely hot, Cam but in a beautiful way with the mornings nice and cool for the most part! We were able to go swimming most days which was so fun!!

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Great Photopass pics!
Thanks, Cheryl!!

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Originally Posted by Colexis Mom View Post
Just getting caught up! What a great time youíre having, despite the heat! Lots of great eats and drinks! And purchases! Love the pictures!
The heat was not bad at all. Thanks, Marnie!!

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Originally Posted by lindawdw View Post
I just found your TR and got all caught up with your updates (you've been a busy girl with those updates)! Even though your plane was delayed by an hour on the runway, it's always great when they still land on time! For me, it's the most exciting thing driving under the WDW entrance sign and then pulling up to your DVC resort for the gate check in!!! I'm so glad that you enjoyed your stay at OKW so much. We've stayed there a few times, our first being in 1996 when we stayed in a one bedroom and fell in love with how much space you got in the room!!! I need to try Olivia's one of these days because it gets such great reviews. I totally agree with you about the security lines at Epcot being the worst. They really need to find a better system for the front entrance and I'm really hoping that the International Gateway doesn't become a total mess once the gondola's open. What a great first day you had with such terrific weather. Your beverage seminar sounded fun and all your samplings around the WS looked delicious. We loved the scallops this year too! Your shirt that you purchased at the shop in Great Britain is just adorable. We were very surprised at how long the lines were also this past October for the Figment ride since it usually was always a walk on.
Thanks, Linda!! Oh my gosh, those scallops!! I love that shirt and plan on bringing it in ONLY ONE WEEK!!! I don't know what's up with Figment either.
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Old 12-02-2018, 05:47 AM   #33
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Our Tokyo Pairing Dinner!!

We stopped in France to watch the acrobats which are still as amazing as ever!






Then we enjoyed Moroccan for a few minutes:




Then outside the pavilion, the female drummers were out so we enjoyed that as well before checking in for our Tokyo Pairing.






We still had a little time before our meal so we walked through the shop in Japan and found the exhibit area in the back:




This Sailor Moon looking girl was filled with Japanese candy




We checked in at 3:45 PM and were given a seating area and told that we would be called for dinner. We no sooner sat down then our hostess, Miko, came over and escorted us to our table. The chefs were already hard at work preparing our dinner:






We were seated with two lovely ladies from Atlanta named Barbara and Connie. We chatted on about Disney stuff until all of the other guests were seated. We found out that they also loved coming during the F&WF and enjoyed these special events. They were from northern Florida and always came in the fall and were staying at the Grand Floridian. We had lots of fun talking about our different experiences at WDW and it turns out that they had done the Senses of Africa tour this trip, which is my hands down favorite experience so we were all showing off our pictures.

When everyone was seated, Miko addressed the group and explained how the food and drink was paired and went over the menu in general. Then she went on to describe the ingredients used in the first pairing.

We were then served an aperitif of seared tuna with Karachi Miso dressing and it was delicious!! Along with our aperitif ,we were served a Kampala or welcome drink of a Sparkling Sake wine spritzer with strawberry boba bubbles. This drink was delicious and the boba bubbles were really cool!





Next we were served a beautiful plate which consisted of three different items. The pairing was a Sake flight consisting of three different Sakes; one for each tasting.



The first items were Sushi Donuts with Smoked Salmon, Roast Beef and Avocado. They were paired with Sho-Chiku-Bai Limited release Junmai Daiginjo Sake.

Next was a Japanese scallop sushimi with White Citrus sauce. It was paired with Tensei “Endleess Summer” Tokubetsu Honjozo Sake.

The final item on this dish was Yakitori style Quail with Tate and Arima-Sansho. The Sake pairing for this tasting was Hakutsuru “Toji-Kan” Futsu- Shu.

We had no idea what all of this was but graciously, Miko explained everything including the ingredients that went into this beautiful dish. The Sakes paired well with each of the respective items they were suggested with and Muffin really enjoyed this plate but I have to say, while the food items were delicious I am not a converted fan of Sake.

Our next pairing was my hands down favorite!! It was Wagyu Beef with a Trio of Flavored salts and Lobster Tempura with Kataifi and Yuzu-Kosho sauce. It paired perfectly with Tokyo 57 featuring Ki-No-Bi Gin from Kyoto, Japan. This dish was simple and delicious and the gin drink went perfectly with it!





Our last course was Roast Rack of Lamb with Umebashi and Plum Wine sauce and Inaniw-style Curry Udon with Duck. Again it was perfectly paired with a Japanese Old Fashioned featuring Akashi Ume whisky.







We were then given dessert which was yet another cocktail! It was called an Ichigo Dream Cocktail with Gold Flake. I loved this concoction but Muffin thought it was awful!






Barbara and Connie

We lingered for a bit talking to Barbara and Connie some more and then this wonderful experience was over. . We were each given a gift of beautiful chopsticks with a resting plate and an origami bird.





We stopped to listen to the Hooters for a little bit, who were just finishing up their Eat to the Beat set and then made our way out of Epcot.





I wonder who can afford these!:








The sky was beautiful and I can't tell you how pleasant the air was this evening!!







When we got back to OKW, we immediately saw these little guys:




The card read Happy Anniversary from the staff at OKW! We then decided that we were up for a walk so we headed to Olivia’s for some coffee before turning in tonight. This had been another wonderful day at WDW!!

Steps taken: 24,718

The weather today was: hot but pleasant at 87 degrees
The best thing today was: The Tokyo Pairing experience
The worst thing today was: the heat in the afternoon
The most magical thing today was: Coming home and finding a little surprise


Coming up: Keys to the Kingdom!!



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Old 12-02-2018, 10:11 AM   #34
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What an amazing food and wine pairing you had at Tokyo Dining - it sounds awesome!
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Old 12-02-2018, 11:59 AM   #35
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OMG! The paring dinner looked awesome!
What a lovely night!
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Old 12-02-2018, 12:23 PM   #36
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What an amazing special dinner you had in Japan. All of it looks so good and I know I'd love to do this. I think I tried to do this, but it was offered on a day I couldn't do it and I went with the Italian lunch instead. Hope I can fit this in on another trip. I believe there is another great meal experience in Japan as well that sounds very good.
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Old 12-02-2018, 04:29 PM   #37
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What an amazing food and wine pairing you had at Tokyo Dining - it sounds awesome!
We did and it was!!

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OMG! The paring dinner looked awesome!
What a lovely night!
Thanks, donna!! It was!!

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What an amazing special dinner you had in Japan. All of it looks so good and I know I'd love to do this. I think I tried to do this, but it was offered on a day I couldn't do it and I went with the Italian lunch instead. Hope I can fit this in on another trip. I believe there is another great meal experience in Japan as well that sounds very good.
It was amazing and I highly recommend this tour!!
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Old 12-02-2018, 04:30 PM   #38
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Keys To The Kingdom!!

This morning I got up at my usual 5:00 AM and went for a nice jog. OKW is just so beautiful and peaceful in the morning!!









Muffin was still asleep when I got back so I worked on my TR a little and then went and got some coffee. This time when I got back, he was in the shower. When he was ready, we grabbed some water and headed to the MK.

Today was an EMH day here and we were in the parking lot by 8:10 AM and there honestly weren’t that many people here yet. We got to park in the Aladdin lot which is right behind the preferred lot and made for an easy walk to the TTC. On a side note, I can’t believe the parking fees these days!! Who on earth would pay 50 bucks for preferred parking?! Anyway!









The monorail was not running yet so we took the ferry over to MK and I’m so glad we did! . It’s a whole other perspective from the water and we hadn’t taken this route since the kids were little!! The other awesome thing was that we cleared security before boarding the ferry and got to walk right into MK.



































It turned out to be pretty good timing because when all was said and done we had just enough time without rushing to use the restrooms, stop for a PP picture at the park entrance and one under the Christmas tree in Town Square before checking in for our KTTK tour.



















The check in is at Town Square. When we checked in, we were given name badges and neck pouches and had to choose our lunch from the Pecos Bill menu. We were also each given a bottled water and then directed to the chairs in front of Tony’s for our group to gather.

Our tour guide was Tom and I could tell immediately that this was going to be an excellent adventure! Tom had just the right mix of energy, enthusiasm and command of facts that make a tour exceptional. I honestly cannot say enough wonderful things about him because I truly feel that who you get to lead a group on any occasion can make or break your experience.

Tom told us a little about himself first while we gathered out front of Town Square. He went through the college program at WDW and holds degrees in both Marketing and Finance. He got a job at WDW right out of college and started at Guest Services. He was part of the team that designed Magic Bands. He is from Queens, NY, which I think many of you know is where I grew up. He was promoted to his current position a couple of years ago and absolutely loves his job. It was clear to see this. He runs this tour as well as the Magic of Steam Engines, Star Wars, and Backstage Magic.

Next we were instructed to open our neck pouches and we found that they contained earpieces which we all tried to make sure that they were working properly. Then, sadly, we were informed that we were not allowed to take any pictures! Then we made our way under the huge Christmas tree in Town Square where Tom explained a little of Walt Disney World’s history.

******SPOILER ALERT******

I will be detailing some of what Tom told us below so if you plan to take this tour and want to be surprised or you find that it ruins the Magic for you in any way, you should not read the rest of this update and possibly some of the next one!

Tom had us look up at the second floor of the shops on Main Street and assured us that they were all working offices. Every single name on the windows of the second floor are either real names or the names of the shell companies used to purchase the land for WDW. There is even a ballet studio up there! He explained that the shops were all strategically placed with foodstuffs on the right because that is the side most people will choose as they enter the Park.

He also told us they had smellometers hooked up to the Main Street Confectionary and a Bakery before they partnered with Starbucks whose natural smells required nothing further to entice people in. These smellometers would spray the smells of candy and muffins about every 15 minutes as guests walked by and I truly remember the, myself! He told us the same was true of the popcorn carts. He said they used a special oil to bring out that fresh popped smell.

We then headed down Main Street and made our very first right onto Center Street. Here we went to the very end of the street where we all were able to sit on benches. Tom told us that this little Street is rarely used and the CM’s often come here for peace and quiet. This seemed impossible given that it is maybe 30 feet away from Main Street but he told us to listen and you truly could not hear much of the hustle bustle going on! Plus it is completely shaded.

Here I must mention that it was again hot today! Not humid but in the sun you felt like you were baking. Tom did his best to keep us in shaded areas each time we stopped. We headed back down Main Street and walked toward Adventureland. We stopped at the Magic Carpets of Aladdin and Tom explained how Disney repurposed parts for this ride from an old ride in DHS back when it was MGM and I am drawing a complete blank as to which old attraction it came from! There was just so much information!!

Then we walked towards the Jingle Cruise and he explained how this was the only attraction in MK that got a holiday makeover. The reason being that WDW had 80% ticket sales and 20 % Annual Passholders. I was surprised at that. He said Disneyland was the opposite and they changed out attractions more frequently there to keep guests coming back. Then we got to ride it like movie stars!!! We got to go in the exit, get right on the ride and had our own private boat where the skipper let Tom be the skipper!! It was awesome!!

When we would get close to another boat, we would need our earpieces as Tom didn’t want everyone else to hear some of the things he was telling us. Otherwise he spoke on the microphone but instead of corny jokes, he gave us lots of facts!! He did throw in a few corny jokes for good measure though! .

He told us that each and every plant was real and most of them came from the highways. This was because Jungle Cruise was one of the first attractions at WDW and Walt Disney really had no cash! Walt also instructed his crew get weeds from the area and to call them by their Latin names so guests would think that they were exotic plants. The original groundskeeper for this attraction was Walt Disney’s personal gardener and he maintained the area for 40 years before retiring in 2001.

He also told us that the Jungle Cruise had no lightening rods and I will explain why in a bit. Next, Tom told us about Trader Sam, now Trader Sam-ta! His red and white striped loincloth was taken from one of the original boats. Then he explained how the boats are gas powered and do breakdown sometimes. He said guests usually have no idea that this happens because there is a towing system that works like this: the next boat in line connects to your boat underwater and tows it seamlessly from behind. You just feel like the boat behind you is a little too close!

When we disembarked from the Jungle Cruise, Tom took us over to the Tiki Room and had us stand outside under the thatched roofing. He explained that the thatch is actually aluminum and is angled so that it actually acts as a lightening rod for the Jungle Cruise!

Coming Up: More of our wonderful KTTK tour!!
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Old 12-02-2018, 05:22 PM   #39
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Great start to your F&WF experiences with the Tokyo Pairing!
Love your MK day so far. This tour is one of my favorites.
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Old 12-02-2018, 05:34 PM   #40
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Your photopass photos are superb! I love the one they made into a snow globe!
Glad you are enjoying the tour so far! It’s interesting that you can’t take photos at all! I understand not taking them backstage, but seems odd to say no photos at all.
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Old 12-02-2018, 06:12 PM   #41
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This is a great tour and I took this about five years ago and enjoyed it so much. I recognize a lot of the information Tom is providing.
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My Previous Trips1995-2000, 2006-Various in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, France, England, Holland, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Lichtenstein, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Morocco; 1998-U.S. National Parks (California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada) 1999-Las Vegas, 2001-Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii, 2005-Memphis, 2011-Austin, TX: ACL Festival and Orlando: Bay Hill Lodge; 2013-Paris and Eastern France's Wine Country, 2015-Memphis for 7 WDW: 2002-WL, 2003-CSR, 2004-AKL, 2005-BWI, 2007-POR, BC, 2008-Offsite Championsgate Omni & CBR, 2009-Poly, POR (Decade of Dreams), 2010-POFQ, GF, 2011-POFQ, 2012-CSR,WL, 2014-POR, 2015-DCL Magic in Western Caribbean, 2016-B Resort in DS, 2017-USF: Royal Pacific /WDW: Dolphin
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:51 PM   #42
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Great start to your tour! Lots of interesting facts! I hope to take this tour some day!


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Old 12-03-2018, 12:47 AM   #43
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Oh my, you did get a wealth of information from this tour! I'm drawing a blank as well about the ride from MGM that went on to become the Flying Carpets, but I'd love to know.

What a neat experience to have a VIP experience on the Jingle Cruise!
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Old 12-03-2018, 07:07 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam22 View Post
Great start to your F&WF experiences with the Tokyo Pairing!
Love your MK day so far. This tour is one of my favorites.
Thanks, Cam!! Both of these things were wonderful!!

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Your photopass photos are superb! I love the one they made into a snow globe!
Glad you are enjoying the tour so far! Itís interesting that you canít take photos at all! I understand not taking them backstage, but seems odd to say no photos at all.
Thanks, Donna!! I was very sad about not even being able to take onstage photos!!

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Originally Posted by SuperDave View Post
This is a great tour and I took this about five years ago and enjoyed it so much. I recognize a lot of the information Tom is providing.
It is a wonderful tour!!

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Originally Posted by pamcarey View Post
Great start to your tour! Lots of interesting facts! I hope to take this tour some day!


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I highly recommend it!!

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Originally Posted by chezp View Post
Oh my, you did get a wealth of information from this tour! I'm drawing a blank as well about the ride from MGM that went on to become the Flying Carpets, but I'd love to know.

What a neat experience to have a VIP experience on the Jingle Cruise!
This tour was so cool and I can't speak highly enough of Tom!!
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Old 12-03-2018, 07:45 AM   #45
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The pairing in Japan sounds fabulous! Glad you enjoyed all the eats and drinks! And a great start to your KTTK tour!
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