Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: November 6, 2014

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1Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World! This week we’re visiting Epcot for a quick update and an awesome concert. Then we’re heading to Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios for more fun.  Let’s get going!

The weather could not have been more perfect this weekend. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the air was cool and crisp. It was even cold in the evenings! If you take a look at the photo on the left you’ll notice the fountain in front of Spaceship Earth isn’t working. It actually hasn’t been for a while. Our joke has been it’s the mosquito breeding exhibit. 😉 Hopefully they’re able to repair it soon.

Want to see more exciting updates like this from around Disney World? Click to read more! 

Walking through Future World I was so struck by the bright, blue sky. It’s so seldom that we don’t have a sky full of clouds. It reminded me of the kind of skies you find in Disneyland. For anyone not familiar, the photo below is of an area just between Spaceship Earth and the Fountain of Nations.

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The real reason we’d stopped into Epcot was to see Dennis DeYoung. I wasn’t terribly familiar with him but my hubby insisted on seeing him. Wow, what a show! I think he might be the best performer yet during the Eat to the Beat Concert Series! We immediately decided to see all the concerts that night. The view of World Showcase Lagoon is very pretty from the waiting area for the American Gardens Theatre.

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Here is just a short clip from one of the concerts. Dennis seemed to be having a lot of fun and was very engaged with fans. I saw him sign several autographs during then show in addition to the one during the video below.

After a night full of concerts there wasn’t much time for anything else, but Spaceship Earth looked even prettier on the way out!

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Switching over to Animal Kingdom, this park is being slowly taken over by walls. It’s a little concerning that they haven’t mentioned what’s actually happening here because it feels like half the park is hiding behind construction walls. In addition to these below (at the park entrance) there are tons in Asia and Africa.

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Speaking of Africa, on my way there I stopped into this gift shop and noticed a stunning view I’d been ignoring. Can you believe the detail just in a gift shop roof? The details in Animal Kingdom are amazing and I truly believe the park as a whole is underrated. Of course, this would make more sense a little closer to It’s Tough to be a Bug!

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Just before entering Africa I noticed the enclosure I’d mentioned a few weeks ago has in fact become the new home for the cotton top tamarin. I actually think this is a little sad. Before they were on an island and while they were contained it gave the illusion that they weren’t trapped. Now they are truly inside an enclosure with what looks like wire mesh holding them in.

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On the Kilimanjaro Safari you could tell that it was cold because the normal animals you see were mostly hiding. I assume they were somewhere warm and out of the wind. The black rhino was out pacing and oddly, several hippos were out of the water grazing. It must have been a little chilly to swim!

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Several elephants were out and not bother by the cooler temperature. The big cats were not cooperating with me at all! Normally I’m able to get a decent photo of one of them if I ride a couple of times. Well, they were sprawled out napping in the sun every ride this weekend. Check out that lazy kitty!

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While we were wandering around trying to decide what to do next we caught a whiff of something amazing and followed our noses. We ended up at the Royal Anandapur Tea Company looking at their long list of yummy loose leaf teas. I decided to try the green apple iced tea and it was wonderful! My hubby tried the honey vanilla rooibos hot tea and it smelled amazing! This was a great treat on a cool day.

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Of course, we stopped in to see Flights of Wonder and the show was excellent. Several of the birds were misbehaving a bit and missing their marks. I wonder if it had to do with the chilly weather?

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I decided to try out the 240 frames per second slow motion on my iPhone. I always think it’s amazing when the doves fly in and this really captured it.

Next we stopped by to see the Maharajah Jungle Trek. Apparently the tigers had heard about my bad luck with the lions earlier in the day and decided to help me out. 🙂 There were several broken pumpkins around that I assume they’d played with to celebrate Halloween and few days before. 

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The bird house at the end of the Maharajah Jungle Trek is my favorite part. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rushed right here at park opening. The birds are socialized and as long as you’re quiet they’ll come right up to you. However, this late in the day it was very full and very loud meaning that most the birds were hiding up in the trees.

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It was already well after lunch time at this point and I still wanted to hit the Disney’s Hollywood Studios before calling it a day so I headed toward the exit. I noticed even more new Christmas merchandise! Keep an eye out – I’ll have a post on Christmas goodies coming out tomorrow. (Sorry for the delay – I had it in when promised but with so many excellent writers on staff it took a little while to get scheduled.)

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Also, if the original food magnets weren’t enough for you there are now even more! The down side is they are still $12.95. But can you really put a price on having a Mickey waffle on your fridge?

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New Walt Disney World merchandise is also turning up. (Pictured left. Remember, you can click on any photo to see it larger) The odd thing is that this new merchandise doesn’t have a year listed on it. I’ve seen very limited items that actually say 2015. I wonder if Disney is getting away from dated merchandise in favor of something more generic? Also, the first Made With Magic items have started to appear in the parks. So far I’ve only seen the Minnie Mouse ears at $25. I’m holding out for a magic wand!

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Next we hopped over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to see The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow. As you may have heard, it’s closing on November 6th and I wanted to get video for you before it’s gone forever. It was just after 3pm and I walked up ready to wait however long it took. As I approached the cast member handed me a sheet of paper telling me to come back at 7pm and explained there is no standby line. Wow, just no answer other than we’ll see you in four hours for this ten minute long show? I can see why it’s closing…. 

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Undeterred, we walked over by the Frozen Sing-A-Long and were once again told without a FastPass+ we were out of luck and were sent to a FastPass+ kiosk. There they told us that four hours before closing the entire PARK was out of FastPasses and many shows would already be filling their last seating at that time. When we asked what we were supposed to do they suggested The Magic of Disney Animation or Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream.

I think anyone reading knows that I stay very positive about these things and generally don’t have a bad thing to say about Disney, but what a disappointment! It’s a very dark time at the Studios, my friends. Unless you have your Fastpasses I would suggest you don’t bother. I saw many, many frustrated people trying to figure out some way to spend their time. The line at guest relations was so long I didn’t bother getting in it. 

The silver lining is that this is still Frozen central! I noticed a new Christmas themed Olaf ($13.95) and a new Frozen Jim Shore figure ($65).

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With nothing much to fill the next several hours we didn’t make it to see Jack Sparrow. I know there have to be big plans for this park, but I just wish they’d let us in on the secret. Today it just feels like it’s slowly going out of business one attraction at a time without giving anything back. Next on the list to possibly go: this hat?

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One things for sure, eventually this park will be getting a Starbucks and that is one line worth waiting in.

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That’s everything for this week. Now let’s see what you can expect if you’re visiting next week.

Crowd Calendar: Crowds don’t look terrible except for one spike on the 9th. Be sure to keep an eye on party dates and plan accordingly.

Weather: The weather should be great with high in the mid 70’s and lows in the 50’s.

Remember: November 10th is the last day of the Food & Wine Festival. Expect extra crowds at Epcot as everyone stops by one last time.

Here’s my top tip for this week: You can’t trust Florida weather! This is the time of year where the forecast changes drastically and often. It’s a good idea to come prepared with light clothing but also some cold weather gear, just in case. If you find yourself freezing without a coat it’s worth paying for a cab ride to the Orlando Premium Outlets. There you can get a quality coat for less than the price of a Disney sweatshirt.

Do you have any news I missed or any requests for coverage next week? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, and thanks so much for reading! I’m wishing all of you the Best Week Ever, until next time!

Daisy Lauren

I'm just about the biggest Touring Plans fan ever and still pinching myself that they let me be part of the team! I love sharing all things Disney with you and always appreciate your ideas and feedback at: daisylauren@touringplans.com or @dizdaisylauren on twitter Above everything else THANK YOU for reading and commenting!

12 thoughts on “Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: November 6, 2014

  • November 6, 2014 at 6:40 am
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    Hey Daisy! Great to see, that you’ve wonderful “Best Weeks” again and again! Wonderful blog as always this time!

    I really love Animal Kingdom and the Hollywood Studios and I’m very sad and confused to see both in such a bad and depressing condition! I hope so much, they’ll fix all the walls and stuff at Animal Kingdom real soon and let the special magic wake up again there soon! I’m very excited to see, what’ll happen to the Studios, even if I’m very sad to see the hat and a few other things go! For me it was always a fantastic, magical park! We’ll see what the future has in store for all of us! Thanks for the magic and till next week 🙂

    Reply
    • November 6, 2014 at 6:38 pm
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      Hi Vanessa! 🙂 How are you doing! I’m really excited for updates to the parks.. I just can’t wait to hear what’s really coming.

      PS – Next week I’m taking you to MVMCP. Something to look forward to!

      Reply
  • November 6, 2014 at 8:27 am
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    I’m going to poke fun at differing expectations for a moment.

    1) How is cool/cold weather “perfect”? I don’t escape Canadian fall-winter-spring so I can experience cold weather. Give me 80F every day and an afternoon in the hotel pool, please.

    2) Starbucks is overpriced burnt-tasting sludge! I want them in every park so that people wait in THAT line instead of Rock’n’Roller Coaster.

    Reply
    • November 6, 2014 at 6:39 pm
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      Hi J – you’re so right! It’s all about perspective. And you’ll never catch me in the Rock’n’Roller Coaster or ToT line. I’m too wimpy! 😉 That’s all yours.

      Reply
  • November 6, 2014 at 9:09 am
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    How rude of those lions 😛 Didn’t they know it was you??

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    • November 6, 2014 at 6:40 pm
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      Haha, Michelle! Right?? The people are depending on me! LOL

      Reply
  • November 6, 2014 at 3:27 pm
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    Great photos and video, Daisy. I especially like the multicolored Spaceship Earth. Are you shooting everything with your iPhone? I’m trying to decide what camera to bring with me.

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    • November 6, 2014 at 6:46 pm
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      Hi Steve! It’s funny you ask, I just downgraded. I was shooting with a professional camera but it was ssssoooo heavy. I traded quality to not break my back. Everything here with the exception of the slow motion video was shot with a Canon SL1 and cheap (and light) lenses. One of the only exceptions was the Spaceship Earth photo you mentioned – it was shot with a Sigma 35 f/1.4. (But on a crop sensor a Sigma 30 f/1.4 would be the same for $300 less)

      Let me know any photography questions. I’m no expert, but I’m a big nerd and love talking cameras! 😉

      Reply
  • November 6, 2014 at 7:25 pm
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    Whoa, that dove video gave me goosebumps all over! What a great capture! One of the things I like most about your blogs is your optimistic view; even though you visit so often, you never seem jaded about it. I know I can also trust your opinion if you say something really is underwhelming, because you’re so disinclined to look for that sort of angle! It’s a refreshing approach, really. I know Disney is not infallible and I don’t suggest people should never be disappointed, but we have to trust that this time of yuckiness in some areas will lead to some really amazing park experiences in the near future. Oddly, the walls at Animal Kingdom don’t seem to bother me much as I just love love love that park. I did notice more of them last month than earlier in the year, but it didn’t really detract from the experience for me, though I’ll be so excited to see how the park looks without them. It was fun to peek at the potential boat ride construction going on. 🙂 The Studios are definitely a bit frustrating (though having missed Jack Sparrow on both trips, we watched it on YouTube when we found out it was closing and realised we hadn’t missed much).

    I love those food magnets, help me out with what the bottom left is? Different Mickey waffle?

    Reply
    • November 10, 2014 at 8:49 pm
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      Hi Gillian! I’m sorry – something is going on with my notifications. I didn’t see your comment until I logged in tonight. You know, after it published I looked at this and felt badly about how negative it sounded. But I was so frustrated. It feels like there should be a big “by appointment only” sign on DHS. I just know they’re going to do something great. I wish they would let us in on it so I could be excited about the future rather than just frustrated with the current mess.

      That said, we went this weekend with the proper expectations and had a great time. I’m getting ready to write about it now. 🙂

      Oh- and the bottom left is a Mickey Pretzel, I believe.

      Reply
  • November 9, 2014 at 7:09 pm
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    I feel your pain with Hollywood studios. We did a fantastic dining experience and then had to fill the time between the dinner at 4 something and the show. Nothing was open. Shows were full, backlot studio tour was closed. Kids were too small for R’n’R or ToT. We ended up deciding that a 75 minute wait for Toy Story was our best option even though we had already done it more than once. Then the show was a washout from weather. Very disappointing. Hollywood studios is my least favorite park. I can’t wait to see what they do with the new construction. I am hoping that it improves a lot. With a good touring plan it is barely a half day park right now. So sad to have hours of boredom waiting for the one thing you want to see on a WDW vacation when the other parks are so jam-packed.

    Reply
    • November 10, 2014 at 8:51 pm
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      Hi Leslie! I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one. It just feels like it’s slowly falling apart over there. I *KNOW* they’re going to do something amazing… but having some idea what would make the current pain a little more understandable.

      It’s funny you say Toy Story – my hubby joked that we could wait in line and ride it twice to wait for our Jack Sparrow passes. Hah!

      Reply

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