The Wonders of WDW Continue to Delight

Admission to the park/attraction featured in this review was provided for the sole purpose of review. This review has not been monetarily compensated. Please note that any personal opinions reflected in this post are my own and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.

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It’s Star Wars’ Opening Weekend as well as Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival’s closing one. I’m putting my park hopper to good use. Complimentary bus, boat, and monorail transportation is hassle free and resort reservations allow magic hours off-property stays don’t give.?I am on the move.

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First stop: ?Animal Kingdom’s Kilimanjaro Safari open-air bus trek of the savanna. ?I am on the hunt. ? This refuge is about conservation, environmental education, and entertainment. Before I shoot and ?bag many of its 250+ species of 17,000+ animals with my camera, I stop to appreciate the beauty of flamingos near the Tree of Life.

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Second stop: ?Hollywood Studios and its Star Wars Parade, Star Tours, Star Wars and Disney characters, live talk shows featuring celebrities like Ashley?Eckstein?, James Arnold Taylor, and Ray Park, ?my late lunch real Cobb Salad (its secret is fine chopping) and not to forget flowerless chocolate cake (absolutely decadent) at the Brown Derby.

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Next stop: ?EPCOT’s 20th Flower and Garden Festival. ?This 75 day garden party is all about fantastic landscaping. ?24,000 cast member hours and 500,000+ plants, shrubs, trees make 100+ topiaries come alive. ?Must sees include:

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NEW for 2013 ?Monster, Inc.’s Mike and Sully as well as Disney Channel’s Phineas and?Ferb.

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Park entrance before Spaceship Earth–Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Donald and Daisy cookout with grill,?weiners, 20th anniversary cake, and tennis court all live horticulture.

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Tinker Bell’s Butterfly House on Imagination Walkway–Topiaries?of huge, butterflies and tiny sisters Tinker Belle and Periwinkle stand outside while inside?1,000 live native butterflies representing up to 10 species?flit among fairy friends Terence, Rosetta, Periwinkle, Iridessa, and Fawn.

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Peter Pan is nowhere about. ?Look for him elsewhere high up in the United Kingdom with Captain Hook and Tick-Tock?the Crocodile lurking nearby.

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Time to follow the yellow brick road into a Land of Oz playground. I am disappointed to find no sand sculptures celebrating an Earth Day movie release. ?I even manage to catch?Starship?in its Flower Power Concert. ?I quietly, very quietly, join Mickey Thomas in a chorus or two to We Built This City. ?Luckily music critic hubby is not around to stop me.

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If only ?I could see all?EPCOT’s?topiaries?illuminated! The?garden marketplace culinary creations featured in??Future World and ?The Lands’ kiosks inspire me to sup?al?fresco internationally. I savor my selections: potato, chive and cheddar cheese biscuit with smoked salmon?tartare?and sour cream (United Kingdom’s Cottage),?Terrine?campagnarde, baguette,?et?compote?de?ceris?(France’s?L’Orangeiie), and flan?de?guayaba?(Mexico’s?Jardin?de?Fiestas). ?I also purchase school bread at Norway’s?Kringla?Bakeri?og?Cafe for later. ?It together with a good cup of hot coffee makes a great bedtime snack.

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Final stop: ?I make my way back to Hollywood Studios stopping at Darth Mall for souvenir pins and tees. ? Time to get a seat for live?Snig?and?Oopla’s?Hyperspace Hoopla dance off where Chewy steals the show. The show changes yearly…better and better…funnier and funnier.

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I follow the crowd out then see a sign that points to?FANTASMIC’s?Hollywood Bowl?Ampitheater outdoor stage?late showing. I find myself in a crowd of thousands viewing?Sorcerer Mickey, ?the Evil Queen, dragon and villains. Its 27 minutes of?water screens, pyrotechnics, lasers, lights and an 80 foot ship piloted by Steamboat Willie with 26 Disney characters waving to the audience is the best nighttime spectacular ever.

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My triple dip (Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot) on a park hopper has been a blast. ??I am tired; my scooter battery is almost dead; my camera batteries need charging. ? It really is time for me?to head back to my resort. I pass on the Magic Kingdom for another time.

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I know I will be back again and again as long as the wonders of WDW continue to delight. I’ve been busy making memories ?as my photopass autographed pic shows.

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