cheekytink's DIBB Photo Blogs

I blooming love this place. Everything is so photogenic and clever.
Edutainment was a utterly genius concept. I explained to Morgan how the "legs" under Spaceship Earth work as rain collection channels from the geodesic sphere...
he told me I was a geek.
I took it as a compliment!

This was the first day of many in EPCOT center for us, so we took it easy- golf ball, the Land (Millie liked the greenhouses), a snack at Sunshine seasons.
This was the coconut pyramid.
Genuinely I couldn't finish it. The base was about 8cm across and it was dense sweet shredded coconut, blended with what I can only assume was condensed milk! Utter heaven but just a bit too big!

Morgan chose the chocolate mouse sandwich, and couldn't wait for me to take the photo (a bit of a theme....).
It was very rich and "claggy ".
I'm not a fan of chocolate desserts, but he is and it didn't last long so I can only assume it was good!

Choc chip muffin was Millie's choice. It was big and very tasty but she ended up sharing it. Too much for a 4yr old!

Autograph book purchased, we happily got in line to meet Pluto...
however, no cuddles were given and the book and pen were given at arms length.
Still.... slowly slowly catchy monkey...

All I can say is, I NEARLY said yes, until I considered how we would get it home.

So this was pretty much as close as she would get... working on it though! He big brother also got a book so they could compete for autographs- he wanted to encourage her to get furry cuddles too.

She touched him!!! Woohoo....

We decided to quit whilst we were winning and headed to Norway (via The 3 Caballeros ride) for our Akershus ADR.
Never having done princess meals etc, it was fun to see how excited Millie was.
This Belle was the most beautiful and wonderful Belle I have ever met. She was engaging and really focused on each little girl. Millie was utterly transfixed.

They discussed books and reading.

No problems with cuddles here.

Happy little person.

Aurora is Millie's favourite princess. I personally think that she sometimes looks like a chap in drag, but not today. Aurora was kind a funny. Very good interaction.

Smorgasbord starter at Akershus was excellent. Salads, cold meats and cheeses, salmon, and lots of accompaniments. All fresh and tasty.

I went for the traditional meatballs with mash and lingonberry sauce.
Looked .... uninspiring.
Tasted..... amazing. Thumbs up Norway.

Dan had pork on polenta with a redcurrant sauce. The meat was soft and cooked well, again tasty.
I can't stand polenta. Even in Disneyworld.

Millie's kids meal- grilled chicken, rice and green beans. Her perfect meal and it was absolutely big enough for an average adult!

Too much food, and I forgot to photograph the massive sharing desert platter we also had.
Well played Norway, good effort.

After lunch we decided to have a slow walk out and head back to OKW for a swim. On the way out we came across this character interaction-
Professor Honeydew and Beaker! Never seen them before and they were very funny... just around Fountain of Nations area.

After our swim we headed into Disney Springs- we haven't been here for 2 years and my goodness it has changed!
We had a good QS meal at Wolfgang Puck's and then discovered the well documented glory of Amorette's patisserie.

Nothing seemed to count as snack credits sadly, but we had to try these cakes- they were so pretty!
Dan chose an eclair that got its own little box and case!

Millie chose the "Mickey Mousse" which is a choc centre with a white choc mousse covered in this uber glossy red exterior.
Honestly- it's stunning.

I chose a limey/cheesecake thing which was nice but I like my citrus to be sharp and sour. This was all a bit too sweet.
The cakes are beautiful but for me, look better than they taste.


Breakfast photos to be uploaded later as are on the "real" camera but this was around 8.45 ready for the first ride.. any guesses?

First truck of the day for us. Amazing to go round without anyone in front of us. Lots of giraffes and we got to hear he male Lion roar!
I love the safari- it's different every time you ride.

Obligatory noisy moment.

3 people having a lean. It was really hot for a first day and quite a sweaty one (as usual
For AK).

Really really beautiful.
Congratulations to the imagineers who designed and built this area. It really takes your breath away. Some engineer has had a great time working out what isn't possible and making it happen.

Poser. Again.
In front of the Na'vi

The floating mountains are incredible.
It also smells different in areas of Pandora.

The flowers pulse and move in places!
Sadly the Na'vi river journey broke down as we got into the FP queue and so we decided to call it a day, as we had more FPs for other days.
The line for the flight of passage was at this point 190mins...

Our view in the sun from OKW. Over the 12th fairway and "sand trap" (bunker to us!).

Dinner for us was offsite today.
The vote was for the Outback in a change to our usual Red Lobster 1st night tradition. Still doesn't sit comfortably with me...
Honey Rye bread 👍🏻

And new to the menu- the LOADED blooming onion.
Topped with fries, plastic cheese and bacon.
Just when you thought a blooming onion couldn't get any better... 😱

Tusker Breakfast still the best buffet breakfast on property IMO.
The buffet area has been extended and now even greater options on offer.
Beef bobotie, curry, rice and others have been given a bigger area although the toaster is still the slowest toaster in WDW.
Goofy, Mickey, Donald and Daisy had fab interaction.

Daisy is always so glam.
I will always be jealous of her lashes!

The main man on Day 1 sets the trip off on the right footing.
Millie was terrified of fur-characters, so we made a strategic decision to buy autograph books as a way of persuading her to get a bit closer.
This morning we hadn't purchased them yet- there was no way she was saying hello.
She managed a wave at Mickey, and that was an improvement to last trip!

Car selfie.. just before we got stuck on the M20 for 2 hrs.
Made going the night before completely worth it for stress-free flight day!

This was what held us up...

The boy. Pose undoubtedly to be assumed several times over the next 2 weeks.

Rare photo of Mr Cheekytink. Waiting for our drinks at the Premier Inn Gatwick.
Remarkably good. Food was fine and drinks weren't expensive. Room comfortable, but a little bit of a squeeze with 4.

Engrossed in colouring.

Still no drink.... shouldn't be too long I hope!

Breakfast on flight day. Approval is given to Premier Inn. Surprisingly good and even hot! Needed to do full British experience as won't be getting any of this For the next 2 weeks. Black Pudding and HP sauce ❤

Hurrah. Airport treat.
I "forgot" my perfume, so had to purchase more. Bargain hunting was high and found this as £75 - it was $199 in JFK in April.
I count that as £75 free money!
Also had to be very British and buy Tea bags as I forgot to pack them... 🙄

When we arrived it was chaos. Loud, busy and full of shouty people.
It has now emptied out a bit and much better.
Morg is enjoying the racing simulator, and I have a lovely skinny Flat White 😍

Pre-trippie for us, the cheekytinks. I always start with good intentions, and they fall apart around day 7, BUT this year we have so many added amazing things to do, I will do my very very best to keep up.

Mr and Mrs Cheekytink. With champagne.
Pretty much standard (I wish!!)
I turned 40 back in April this year which led to a week in NY to celebrate, and Dan also reached that milestone in June (no week in NY!)..
Then my cousin Niki is 40 in October- exactly 6 months (to the day) younger than me.
Hence the "120years of birthdays" as a title for our trippie.
It will be my 14th visit to WDW and Dan's 8th..
And already planning 2018 before leaving on the 2017 trip!

Cheekytink kids- Morgan 14 and Millie 4.
Long suffering (but adoring) big brother to princess sister.
Millie has been to WDW 3 times but doesn't remember those trips, so it's like starting afresh this year.
Morgan- trip 6.

The other 2 joining out trip- the cousins, or 'Ohana ❤.
Niki and Simon my lovely familam who live in NY. We visited them in April this year for my 40th and plan to head back asap...
Meanwhile, a mid-way meet is nearly here..

So, heading over on 20th August to here, the glamorous PI Gatwick North...
Weirdly, a close colleague from work is heading on holiday on the 21st and also staying overnight, so we have a hot date with some glowtinis in the bar!

We booked a package deal with Virgin Holidays last year as it was actually cheaper than booking the 4 flights alone!
So that means we get V-Room access!!
Very excited to try out the new refurbished facilities....

So we head off on one of these...
for the first time ever in dibber's row!!!
Almost as excited about that as anything else! Lol

So we are staying here- OKW.
We stayed here in 2014 and loved it. It's a fabulous resort and in a 1-bed villa with over 1000 sq.ft to share it's a great option for a family who also want the benefits of onsite and DDP.

This is the hotel we got with our VH package...
As we aren't using it, the 'Ohana from NY will be staying here when they arrive.
Win win all round! We have used this approach before and because this hotel is so close to WDW it means we can pop down Sherbeth to Perkins to meet them for breakfast easily! Yummy yummy!

So for the first time we get to do this.
Yes- Halloween in August! (Sorry Geoff!)
We have out costumes organised, but what a headache trying to plan something for us all to wear that won't kill us in 95% humidity!
I'm happy with what I have engineered, but you will have to wait for the party to see what we have organised!

We also get to do this for the first time ❤❤... in true Dibber fashion- Food and drink, yum.
We have been looking at the menus and are so pleased we have DDP and many many snack credits to use! I will really try to take photos of the foods (and drinks) we have from here as it is something I was looking for and struggled to find...
The options look so amazing and we will also be keeping a look out for Lou Mongello on the first few days... you never know when you might get a sweaty hug!

So I am an unashamed planner.
I need to feel in control before we go...
if we change things up when we are there all is fine, but in need to feel like we are going with a plan to get the most out of our time...
hence this- spreadsheet Page 1

Page 2... 😂

Back on an early start today with an 8.05 ADR at Tusker house.
It was much better than I expected.
The food was lovely and I had a great chat with the South African chef who was carving the ham - he told me where the animals hang out on the treks and on the safari. Really interesting.
The jury is out on beef bobotie to be honest... Even now I really don't know if I liked it or not.

Duck encounter. Our server this morning was just OK. Not very good at keeping drinks topped up and didn't let us know if characters were come at all.

I was impressed that my lash extensions rivalled Daisy's.

Goofy with a character and morgan. The t-shirts caused lots of hilarity and we had great interactions.

More goof.

The big man.
Millie was really excited but got a bit scared if the characters tried to touch her. She was much better than last year... I maintain it's all about exposure: surely that's a reason to go back again next year?

After breakfast we headed to the safari and I got some great photos with my long zoom lens on the DSLR. I haven't finished editing them yet and there are lots... It would be very dull to upload them into this report. I may add them later on.
We then stopped and had a boogie with the drummers in Africa and the whole vibe in harambe was rocking. Millie had a little dance.
On our way towards Asia we had this photo- shame you can see the hoardings on the tree.
That's something I forgot- sadly due to building works when you come across the bridge into the main part of discovery island you are faced with green boards everywhere. I hate it. Really ruins the area. Nothing subtle or careful about it- 10ft fence and lots of it. I hope they get it finished ASAP.

We then found these two trouble makers... (Not me and Morgan!)

Photo of our selfie

Selfie result.

We then went on round to Asia where dan and Morgan rode Kali river rapids twice (using baby swap) whilst Millie and I watched from the bridge.
We had QS Yak and Yeti for lunch which was really really good. Then we headed on for our FP at Everest.
We have never actually managed to ride Everest despite being in AK many times. I rode alone first - what an awesome ride. Really great classic coaster with fantastic theming. I met dan and morg afterwards who asked me what it was like before they rode... I *may* have omitted the backwards bit....oops 😉😉😉

This was the ride photo. It still makes me laugh now.
After they rode I had another go via the single rider line. It was just as good the second time.
After this we walked to our FP for Finding Nemo the musical.

This was them on the ride..

I think this is the best live show in WDW. I love the original songs and the cast are great. We all keep singing the songs even now we are home, and it was the quietest Emilia had been all day- she watched the whole thing.....

For dinner tonight we went off property to Bahama Breeze for a change of scenery. We had to pop to the hotel we "weren't" using to ensure that when Niki and Simon arrived there wouldn't be problem and they would be able to stay there. We obviously didn't tell the hotel that was our plan (??subletting? Although we didn't charge them) and as they had been paid by Thomson anyway we thought it was a good idea. After dan had been in an done his rock-star-mess-up-the-room thing, we headed back to the bottom of Vineland and had a lovely dinner at BB. I had 2 cocktails tonight- this was the painkiller and was great..

So we can recreate it at home.
Again, went for coconutty one to prevent over-enthusiastic sampling.

This proved hard to say after a couple of the others... It was nice though!

Sampler appetiser- onion rings,
Conch fritters, jerk chicken wings and coconut shrimp.

I opted for coconut shrimp as main too.

Dan had buttermilk chicken sandwich

Steak for Morgan again.

This is the Yaka Hula Hickey Dula.

We love EPCOT. There isn't much more to say about the matter. It still (even though areas are grossly outdated) holds a really special place for me. The home of "edutainment".
We got the bus from OKW which was a relatively short hop and not too busy on the bus. We headed first for... Starbucks. I needed caffeine and lots of it- venti cappuccino snack credit for me!
Then we moved on round to test track... We had worked out that with 3 FPs and baby-swapping it meant that actually Morgan could ride 3 times without queuing and he was very happy. It's the first time we have done the "new" version of the ride and it is awesome. It really turned out to be probably our favourite ride of the trip.

Millie loved the seas pavilion and looking in the tanks at the fish. Turtle talk with crush was lost on her, but we still found it hysterical.
A clever American child asked crush "which football team do you support"....
Cue much laughter.

Millie was fascinated by these little guys!

All hail the Cronut.
Sorry, "croissant-donut" in disney terms...
The refreshment place between future world and canada sells these. Personally I found them a bit greasy and undercooked inside, but everyone else (including Millie) agreed with the rest of the world that they are the best thing ever.
Worth experiencing at least once... We double and triple checked them on other visits just to make sure 😉

Oddly, we decided on an anti-clockwise route around world showcase. Most unusual for us, as die-hard clockwise fans. Morgan managed to get the Uk and France completed on the Agent P adventure. Millie and it had a little wander around the shops and sat in the shade round the back of the Uk for a while and sniggered (subtly of course) at the american's discussions of how this "was EXACTLY how England was" etc etc...
'Nuff said.

Lunch was time to try out a new QS for us- the tangierine cafe. We had planned to eat at boulangerie les Halles but discovered that they don't have high chairs so time for a re-think... I thought Morgan might complain but he chose a chicken and lamb schwarma platter, and actually ate quite well. I am now a big fan of this QS. Great quality ( not really dodgy doner kebab meat) and the salads and hummus on the plate were really good. The baklava desserts were fab and I sneaked in a Casablanca beer, just for the complete experience 😉😉

Dan had the chicken platter and again- really good. I would definitely go back.


We took a little time out this afternoon in Tutto Gusto, which was a charming and friendly as ever. One of our servers we discovered came from the small Venetian Island that Dan's dad grew up on.. Really weird! Millie charmed all the male servers and after a couple of drinks each we assured them we would be back later in the week. It's one of my favourite places in WDW to spend an hour or two.

Tonight after a stroll as far as Germany then back to Canada (ensuring a shopping trip in the Mitsukoshi store and the kids having an ice cream from France. Us adults opted for the grey goose slushie) for dinner at Le Cellier.
I was apprehensive as it has genuinely taken me 4 years to get and ADR here and I was worried I had built it up in my mind to this amazing place and that it might not actually be that good...
We had a 15 mins wait for a table but eventually got seated fine. We had the cheddar cheese soup to share and then steaks all round- really good. A great bottle of red and desserts to go again as Millie was tired. I forgot to take photos tonight- oops!
The food was amazing, the wine was great and the atmosphere was better than expected... But the best thing about Le cellier? The staff. Without a doubt the server we had (Lauren) was the very best CM we encountered throughout out trip. She knew when to be there, when not to, what to advise and how to deal with a toddler who started to get a bit fed up.
Anyone who refers to that time when a toddler is getting tired and cranky as "using every last ounce of her energy to revolt against the system" (with a big smile) gets my appreciation... Well done Lauren, you are credit to Canada. Next time we will try to go back and try the poutine... What a shame you can't buy some as a snack credit from the cart that sells the moosehead?.

First "proper" morning today and despite our concerns, Millie slept from 8pm through til 6am! We were awake every hour in anticipation of her waking up though!
Having read so many trip reports we had gone down the classic DiBBer route if booking Crystal Palace for breakfast at 8.05am so we could get those empty Main Street shots. Turns out that DiBBers are absolutely correct- a great way to start the holiday. We drove to the poly and parked there all day knowing that we had an ADR for Kona cafe this evening and that we would be shattered and not in the mood for faffing with buses etc. So we hopped on the resort bus from the Poly to MK and arrived around 7.50am. It was our first experience of disney transport buses- they take FOREVER! Note to self- allow more time for travel.
We got into MK no probs and had the obligatory "quiet" shots on Main Street.
Dan and Morgan got fed up with me taking lots of photos of my favourite bits of Main Street and so we headed up to CP.

Main Street station

Happy to be here?
I think so...

Millie ready for breakfast after a good sleep.

I love this photo I took...
I took about 30 at this point but this was the best.

More station action

I love little corners of Main Street. The story behind this area blows my mind in its detail and clever theming. I wish I could spend all day here...

Not as quiet as we expected bit still a nice way to start the day. The hoardings around the hub and hideous though. Really horrible and ruin the area. I know they are doing work, but just nasty....

Breakfast time...
We had a server who was Australian called Kip.
He had the weirdest accent I have ever heard. We genuinely didn't understand him!

And now the selfies started...

It became apparent that this would be the theme of the holiday so I embraced it..
Morgan however simply said (shaking his head) "Mum, I want no part of this..."
He soon changed his mind when Piglet came along!

I still maintain that Eeyore gives the BEST hugs. (Pluto a close second place).
Eeyore agreed.

Pooh bear.
I loved the breakfast lasagne... Yummy! Stopped any rumbly tumblys.

We used out FPs to good effect today and ride buzz (3 times), Morgan did the speedway, teacups, 7DMT, small world, barnstormer, dumbo (4 times), TTA and tiki rooms... Phew! And we watched the festival of fantasy parade for the 1st time... (I am officially in love with Flynn Rider... Smooth git). Photos of parade to follow in another day.
We had our ADR at Kona for 5.45 knowing we would be exhausted so headed over to the poly around 5.15.
The resort monorail was the only loop working so the queue was pretty big (became a bit of a theme for the monorail this trip sadly) but we arrived in time for a photo and a swift drink..


It was actually pretty strong.
Luckily Dan hates coconut, so I was able to drink it all without fear of over-enthusiastic "sampling"...

We ate here

Coconut bread with pineapple butter. Millie and I ate lots if this.

I had the crusted lamb. The meat was good but sadly the potatoes were vile-
Like little rocks. Hardly cooked. I asked the sever but she was running around crazy between lots of tables and she never managed to bring me more...

Dan had noodles, which Millie ate!

Morgan has his first steak of many.

Desserts were boxed up to go and after dinner we were so shattered we were very glad we had parked at the poly and just had a swift drive back to OKW. Kona was ok, but perhaps not as good as I had hoped.
Early night for all as off to EPCOT tomorrow.

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cheekytink's DIBB Photo Blogs
120 Years Of Birthdays- Day 2 - Nearly 35? Looking Good 😊
120 Years Of Birthdays- Day 1
120 Years Of Birthdays- Travel Day
120 Years Of Birthdays- Pre Trippie
Old Key West, Cocktails, Cousins and Characters- Day 5 Animals.
Old Key West, Cocktails, Cousins and Characters- Day 4- First EPCOT
Old Key West, Cocktails, Cousins and Characters- Day 3- Magic Kingdoming
Old Key West, Cocktails, Cousins and Characters- Day 2 Arrival
Old Key West, Cocktails, Cousins and Characters- Day 1 Travel Day
Old Key West, Cocktails, Cousins and Characters- Pre-trippie for August 2014
Dubai Dreaming- Day 6- Time For A Few More Shops?
Dubai Dreaming- Day 5, More Mall And Munching.
Dubai Dreaming- Day 4. The Recovery From The Food
Dubai Dreaming- Day 4. The One With all the Food
Dubai Dreaming- Day 3, Cont
Dubai Dreaming- Day 3, Shopping and Enormous Plant Pots.
Dubai Dreaming- Day 2- Flight Day
Dubai Dreaming- Day 1 Travel Day
Naples Vacationtastic - Day 15- Driving To Miami
Naples Vacationtastic - Day 14- Messed My Days Up Somewhere (now Sorted!)!
Naples Vacationtastic - Day 13- Fishing Bait, Flash Floods And Phenomenal Food.
Naples Vacationtastic - Day 12- Tomatoes And More Shopping
Naples Vacationtastic - Day 11- Botanicals And Breadsticks
Naples Vacationtastic - Day 10- Back To The Coast And The Rain
Naples Vacationtastic - Day 9- It's Supposed To Be Quieter!
Naples Vacationtastic - Day 8- The Epic EPCOT Day Of Eating
Naples Vacationtastic - Day 7 - The Magic Journey
Naples Vacationtastic - Days 5&6 Rain And Marco
Naples Vacationtastic - Days 3&4 Forgot To Photograph!
Naples Vacationtastic - Day 2. Too Much Food.
Naples Vacationtastic Day 1- Travel Hell, Should Have Been Heaven.
2010 With The Oldies
Naples And Beaches August 2013 Pre-trippie
Dubai Days
2011 WDW- Same Place, Moving Faster
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