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The Tale of the Grow Walk ….Hunh? DCL Magic and WDW Review

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It was over. I was glad to finally have seen it, but I have no need to go back again…unless I need to cool off and have a nap. Claire thought parts were neat, but overall not impressed.


Of course, I had promised Claire she could do something she wanted to do after we had our education…and she was more than ready to get started.


We had to wait our turn…and I think we also had to wait for phones to be brought in.



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When it was our turn the girl asked for our ticket and I gave my wrist….after all, isn’t that what Magic Bands is all about? I mean they want EVERYTHING attached to it…..but not here…..you HAD to have an actual ticket to get a communicator. Luckily Claire had one…as I did not. I thought that was so odd as the majority of onsite guest would not have a ticket.

I have heard now this is somehow going to be something that will pull up on your smart phone. I am not sure if that has started yet or not.

We were able to select a country and we chose Japan. I didn’t want to do ones we had done a few years ago for sure and I had heard Japan was one of the better ones to do.

Claire…or as we now call her…Agent C….got her instructions and off we went.




Time to start the mission!


Claire is a control freak with this game and last time we did it we argued a bit because she needed help, yet didn’t want me to touch anything. I told her this time she was on her own and if she needed help she would have to hand me the communicator so I could actually see what was going. Luckily she is older and a bit more mature now, so that was OK, and she also could work and understand the whole thing a lot better this time.



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I took pictures as we walked around for her mission.


I have to admit that neither of us are familiar with Japans layout and never really went to the back to check that area out. The mission was telling us to go to places that neither of us had a clue where they were and the pictures were outdated, so we had trouble at times matching where they were.




We finally figured out where we were supposed to be. I had no clue this area was even back here.


Claire did her thing and next thing you know, Perry is coming out on a little boat.


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He stops and sets a bomb and then takes off.


And then a big water explosion happens, which scares some of the people around us. LOL!

We moved on to the next spot. I found a plug and took a picture while Claire was doing her thing. With everyone needing to keep their smart phones charged these days to use the app, it’s a good idea to have a mobile charger…or if you don’t, bring along your charger and plug in when you can.



We next went into the store and this bizarre thing popped out.


It was funny as no one around us even noticed it.

We were finally done. This went much smoother this time around for us. No arguing for the most part and Claire could handle most of the mission herself. We then had to drop off the communicator in a secret location and we headed off.



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We stopped to look at the topiaries, but it was hard to get pictures as so many people were lined up to get them in front of them as well.







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We were now working our way back towards the front because Claire wanted to ride spaceship earth.





We decided to stop in Mexico and take a ride.


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Believe it or not, but this queue was also long and they had extra ropes set up along the restaurant for us to go through.


We were behind a Mexican family and they were kind of rude….joking and pushing each other in fun and then as we came to the spot where we would enter the regular queue area they spotted family outside the ropes and told them to join them. The CM asked what they were doing…and then he goes “Oh your family is joining you…..that’s ok”. UM …no it’s not! And they proceeded to let 12-15 more people in line in front of us. I was not too happy about that or with the CM.

So we weave around the queue and they are super loud and rowdy now with the whole family there.

We get to the boats and we sadly end up with some of them. Claire and I had our own row and they tried to jam too many in another row…and so they try to get in our row and I tell them no. Sorry, but I am not having the rowdy family sitting right next to my child. It was bad enough they were in front of us. A couple ended up going in the row behind us.

We take off and I realized I should’ve asked to wait for the next boat. This was not going to be a pleasant experience at all.

They were loud, they sang, they clapped…and what made it worse was they were talking in Spanish, so I couldn’t even eavesdrop on the conversations.

And then one person starts taking flash pictures. There is nothing more I hate than flash pictures on the ride….and I spoke up. I knew they understood English and I said “No flash pictures!”. The lady looked at me and pretended to not understand, but I knew she did as did her kid and when she took another I glared at her and the kid tapped her and said “NO flash pictures” and she goes “OH”. Yeah she knew it and was pretending not too. UGH.






I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. It really was a rotten ride. And Claire kept looking at me like these people were crazy.

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We headed up towards Spaceship Earth then.



I was checking emails as we walked and I saw a few in my business account, but nothing looked urgent and I had an auto responder going out anyways. Then my co-worker Deb messages me and says “so and so (we’ll call her Cheryl since I am sure she doesn’t want her name used here) emailed you and got your responder. She sees you are in Florida and asked me to see if you wanted Sea World Tickets”. Well garsh darn yes…but I already got free Sea World tickets, so thanks but I will pass. Deb messages back … “She can get you 2 for Busch Gardens then”…Again thanks, but I just can’t fit Busch in this week. We had every day planned and as much as I would love to go there and visit, I just didn’t have the time to this year.

And then Deb messages back….”Can you tour Discovery Cove? She can get a tour set up there, but you can’t go for the day since it’s so inclusive and only allow so many people per day”. Um yeah, I think so. I could take time away from my Sea World day and head over there.

So I email Cheryl and let her know that I would love to do that on Tuesday if it would work and she gave me the email of the people who could set that up and after going back and forth a few times over the next 24 hours I was set up to visit Discovery Cove on Tuesday. I was kind of excited to see it as I have heard such good things about it.


There was still a line for Spaceship Earth, but it moved fairly fast and I knew we couldn’t leave before riding it or Claire would never forgive me. And at this point, Epcot was not in the plans for the rest of the week officially. We had hoppers and might come back, but as the official planning went, this was our main day here.

We get in our car and I decided to play it “cool” and put my sunglasses on in the picture they take….and then on we went….



I only took a few pictures and only edited these 2…because I always take a ton and I really didn’t need to do a whole other set of the same thing.

Then we came to the picking of our future, which Claire was pretty much in charge of…..and we see our pictures.


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Well that is interesting….I have holes in my eyes!


We were laughing so hard about this and Claire thought it was the coolest thing ever…..Even at 45 I am still cool!

I posted the picture on facebook and my friend Cass…who you may remember went to DL with me….replied….”In the Future You have no eyes!”

We had a dinner reservation to head to now, so we started making our way towards that destination.



See the crowds!


Yeah it was annoying as all heck. We tend to be faster walkers and for some reason most others are NOT fast at all. They tend to shuffle in front of us. And then when you go to pass them, they move or all of a sudden expand to twice their original size.

Claire made comments more than once about this and how it’s like people see us want to pass and all of a sudden grow!

AHHHHH! This is better.



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It’s much easier walking here.


I do love the Yacht and Beach Clubs location and any time I can walk this way is a plus for me.




We were headed to Beaches and Cream, but we were talking too much and didn’t pay attention that we passed the Beach Club.



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Once we got to the YC we realized our mistake and had to backtrack.





We checked in and got our buzzer and literally only had like a 2 minute wait. We ordered waters to start with as it was super-hot.


Now we were here for one main thing….the No Way Jose. This is about the best tasting thing in the world to us. I asked Claire if she wanted any food or just some fries and she said no. I would’ve helped her eat them, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat a whole order plus attack Mr. Jose as well, so we just went with him.



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After a bit of waiting, our “dinner” arrived. The waitress offered to take our picture….Claire looks so enthused!


I then took this picture and posted it to facebook for the “where are we” game…I did this periodically throughout the trip.


And a couple of pictures of Mr. Jose before we dig in.



And then a few minutes later…..


It was darn good! We really pushed the last of it down though. We had eaten a lot this day, but who could refuse a No Way Jose!

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While eating we discussed our options for the evening. We were really hot and getting tired of the crowds. We started to think that perhaps we would just leave and go to the Marriott now. After some more talking we decided that since we had park hoppers, we should make good use of them, so we would go over to Hollywood Studios and ride Star Tours and then head back to POFQ to pick up our car from there and then off to the Marriott.

We paid our bill at B & C and headed out and I believe we stopped off at the rocking chairs where I texted my parents to get the info of where our room was and to let them know our plans.


And after a few minutes we decided to walk to DHS. This would help work off that ice-cream.




And we were chatting away and again, not paying attention and got about halfway to the Swolphin before we realized we made a wrong turn. LOL



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We got ourselves back on track to DHS and Claire had a burst of energy.





As you can see it was starting to get a little dark now too.


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We went in and saw a photopass photographer, so we stopped for a couple.


Hoochie mama in full force here!



And then we made our way back towards Star Tours.



One of these days I will eat here!!! I can never just work it in.


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Jedi Training was in full swing, but Claire had no desire to watch.


Evidently this would’ve been the park to visit today and the crowds were a lot less and the line for Star Tours was very fast.

I think we also had a sequence we hadn’t seen before…or at least part of it. We always enjoy this ride and it was a lot of fun once again.

Once we finished that we made our way out and towards the front again.


We made our way to our bus stop and waited for the POFQ bus. We had quite a wait, but we had an entertaining CM in the area, so it wasn’t too bad.

I think we were the only ones on the bus to head back, which was fine by us.

I sat there and listened to the music and I swear it was Harry Potter music. I asked the bus driver …he was a nice guy as well…and he said no, but he couldn’t place it. The more I listened to it, I am positive it was Harry Potter music…..which I guess would make sense since ABC Family is the channel that always plays Harry Potter on TV. I posted that I thought I heard it on the bus to facebook….and I had a few people tell me they were sure they have heard it before on a bus as well.

After a short ride, we were back at POFQ .




And we got in our POC car and I programmed Siri to find the Marriott…in which she gave me every other Marriott but the one I wanted.

Finally after fighting with her for a little bit I was able to pull up the right Marriott and the directions were soon spitting out at us.

Let me say once again…..I hate driving in Disney. I love staying onsite and letting the buses do the work for me. Though it’s not always the most convenient…I do prefer it most days.

I am not familiar with the area at all because of this and I always get lost. Luckily I managed OK going to the Marriott….in the dark…but it took quite some time and it seemed like an odd way to go. As the week went on, I got better at it once I got to a certain point, but I would never find my way on my own without Siri there to guide me…at least from the start.

As we got near the Marriott…all of a sudden Siri said we were there. Um… no we are not. She is famous for doing this to me. We drove up and down the road and I found a side entrance and went in, but still couldn’t find there resort. I called my parents and they told me to come back further, so I did and found the guards gate. I pulled in and gave the room number and told him my parking pass was supposed to be waiting for me, so he handed me that and gave me not so great directions to the building. Luckily it wasn’t too far back and Dad was standing outside on the 3rd floor waving to us.

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The next issue was parking. The lot was crammed packed, but I did manage to find a spot and we unloaded a few suitcases and took those up and then I ran down for the rest of the bags.

I took some quick pictures before settling in. We had a 2 bedroom room, with Claire and me in a room with our own door as well and set up like a studio.





Our room connected to the living room/kitchen area, which also was the door my parents used to enter.


Behind those double doors next to the fridge is a stackable washer and dryer!


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I guess that’s all the pictures I took…but I think I took more later. But I am sure one reason was because I had a little someone begging to go to the pool. So we fished out her bathing suit and she quickly got ready to head to the pool. The main one was right across the street, which was nice.


Actually there are several smaller pools over here and 1 big one. It’s really a very pretty pool complex. It had a kiddie pool, hot tub, and I think one was a lap pool.



And tonight they were having a movie at the pool. I believe it was Monsters U. I found us some towels and a seat and Claire got in the pool. Most of the kids in the pool basically were watching the movie, which is pretty much what Claire did too, but she was having a good time.

It was getting chilly now, so I covered up with the towel and checked emails on my phone while she watched the movie.



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After the movie was over….we got there late and it was closer to over when we arrived….I gave Claire the final warning and then it was time to get out. We did walk around a little bit to check the area out somewhat before heading back to the room though.





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We headed back to the room and Claire got ready for bed. I asked my parents if they picked up something at check in for me. My friend Deb had been on a Disney cruise recently and had a voucher for a free photo that she never used. She said she would send it to the resort for me to pick up and I could use it on the ship.

Mom said “oh yeah, they told us we had something waiting, but I told them we didn’t so I wouldn’t take it”. UGH! I had even told her the day before about it…I guess she forgot. So I headed back to the check in area and asked the person at the desk. She had to call someone and then she told me security would bring it to the room. I wandered a bit on my way back and as I was walking up, so was security, and I signed for it and got my package with the voucher. That was so nice of Deb and we did use it!

We settled down then and I turned the TV on. The current news at the time was the missing Malaysian airplane. I would watch the updates on this each night. This TV had a timer….which I love and I would set it to go off after a certain amount of time and I could watch TV till I drifted off without worry of the TV left on all night.

Soon I drifted off to dreamland. We would have another full day in store for us tomorrow.

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March 23, 2014, Sunday

As I always do, I woke up way too early. I headed outside and took a little walk. I met a lady today and we got to talking. She was there with her husband and son who was close to Claire’s age. They were doing Disney and Universal I believe. We had a nice chat and soon it was time to head back to the room to get showered and ready for our day. I woke Claire and she got moving, but slowly. But at least she was moving.

We all had a breakfast ADR this morning and we were meeting up with my cousin Katie, who was also at the world. I believe this was her last full day here and would be heading home tomorrow, so we thought it would be nice to have breakfast with her and her family since our trips overlapped.

You may remember Katie from my 2012 Nov. trip report. Her family cruised with us…..Thad, and her 2 boys, Jude and Luke.

Even though we don’t live too far from each other, we don’t see each other very often.

I programmed Siri and Mom and Dad were going to follow us over to the Poly. Of course when we came to the MK gates, I couldn’t remember which way to enter and entered on the wrong side. I told the gate CM that the car behind me was also going to the Poly and then we made the crazy dash across all the lanes and luckily we were not killed, nor did we kill others…though I am sure someone probably cussed us out at some point……SORRY!!!!

Now the Poly is under construction and it was quite the mess there, but we had our bands checked as we entered…I told them once again the car behind us was part of our ADR and we found our parking, which was kind of far out, but not too bad.

We did have a little bit of a walk up to the resort, but it wasn’t awful.




Once we were about to enter, Dad realized he left his hat in the car. So he headed back to get that and we went inside. He is a hat fanatic and has to wear one while outside.

I believe this is now gone. I probably was there right before they started work in here.




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We actually were early, but looked around for Katie and family.


We headed upstairs and still no sign of Katie yet.





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Dad made it back and found us and Katie finally arrived as well. However, Thad didn’t make it….he was sick. I think both of her boys had been sick over the week as well. I know Luke was sick the day before they left, but I think he popped back to health pretty fast, but then Jude got sick one day while they were there and I think they even skipped a park day because of it. Thad took ill today and she was hoping he would feel a bit better later in the day to join them.


I went and checked us all in and Claire and I were the only takers on the photo op…..ok, it was mostly me and I made Claire join me.








We had a little wait before we were called back. The boys were getting antsy, and I could tell Katie was getting tired. They had a full week so they were wired…..oh and Katie was expecting as well….and she just had a little girl about 2 weeks ago.


Then a funny thing happened. Katie pulled out a bag of candy…I think it was skittles or something like that….and tells Jude he can only have like 3 as the rest are for Luke. She goes on to explain that Luke refuses to eat pretty much all real food and this is practically the only thing she can get him to eat….and she’s a pediatrician!!! I thought that was funny. And Luke must be surviving as he looks healthy. She says she tries to shove food in his mouth when she can, but she isn’t very successful.


She also told us since Thad wasn’t joining us, that we could use one of their dining credits….they did deluxe dining …..and she didn’t want to lose the credit. We decided that we would put Dad on her bill.


After a bit of waiting, we were called back….thank goodness as we were all starving now.




We had bread on the table, but I am one of the few that is not fond of it…because their famous bread has coconut in it and I can’t stand coconut….I tried it again and it was still icky!


I did nibble at the other kind, but that has raisins in it, which I also don’t like, so I had to pick those out.



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Last time we ate here in 2012 it was just OK. Nothing special and we had a poor waitress, which probably made us not care for it so much. This time we had a great waitress and plenty of food and refills on drinks. The food tasted better too.

We did tell the waitress how to split the bills and of course Dad starts up with…”I’m not with them, I’m with her”….UGH…we tell him to just be quiet and go with the flow.






Soon the characters started making their way around.







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