DCL             Our 5th Disney Cruise               DCL
Disney's Port orleans Riverside Resort July 2-8, 2017
Disney Fantasy July 8-15, 2017
Disney's Polynesian Village Resort July 15-18, 2017
It was time for our biennial cruise with our Be Our Guest Podcast family. Since Alex hadn't been to Walt Disney World parks since 2015, we knew we would combine pre- and post-cruise stays. This page is gold because this was Michelle's first cruise as a Castaway Club Gold Member since it was her 6th Disney Cruise Line cruise. It was our longest trip to date, totalling 16 days.

Click on any picture to open a slideshow for that day.

Day 1 - Sunday July 2, 2017
Day 1 started early again, but not nearly as bad as others. One of these years I will stop letting Michelle talk me into these early flights. With a 7:35am departure flight, the limo was scheduled for 4:45am. I didn't wake up with Michelle as usual, and she waited to wake me at 4:25am. I really had to scramble to be ready! It was a relatively smooth flight to Orlando. After a stop at Publix for snacks, we checked into Port Orleans Riverside for a week before the cruise. After eating lunch, we unpacked and I took a much-needed nap. The girls ventured to Port Orleans French Quarter. Later we headed to the Magic Kingdom for our first evening of fun.

DisneyCruiseBOGP17 Takeoff YouTube

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Shortly after takeoff.
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Back at our Happy Place!
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Michelle couldn't wait to get her rice krispy treat...on a stick!
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The goofiest on-ride photo. Nobody realizes it's here.
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Magic Kingdom ducks.
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Alex enjoying her spaghetti at Tony's.
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Waiting among the throngs for Happily Ever After, hoping the storms stay away.
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Looking back towards Main Street. It got twice as crowded once they stopped doing crowd control and everyone stopped in the walkways.
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Still 30 minutes to go.
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Our first Seven Dwarves Mine Train ride of the trip. The people that were supposed to be in the car in front of us couldn't figure out who was riding with who.
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It was strange not having anybody in that car.




Day 2 - Monday July 3, 2017
The next day was planned to spend the afternoon and night at Magic Kingdom. It was quite hot that afternoon...and very crowded, though these pictures don't show it.  We ended up not staying for the special 4th of July fireworks.  Instead we went to Disney Springs, had dinner at the Boathouse, and enjoyed the lower temperatures after the storms went through.
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Let's get a picture before we get too hot and sweaty and look wrecked.
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We almost didn't get to ride Splash Mountain because of lightning in the area. They had stopped, then started again. As we pulled into the unload area they stopped all outdoor attractions because of the weather.


Day 3 - Tuesday July 4, 2017
Out plan for the 4th of July was to spend it at Animal Kingdom, hoping without fireworks that it would be the least crowded park.  It worked out great. It was still smoking hot, but in the evening the crowd level dropped and we were able to enjoy Pandora, multiple rides on Expedition Everest (Alex), dinner at Yak & Yeti, a couple nighttime Safaris, and thanks to the generosity of a nice Cast Member, Michelle was able to ride Flight of Passage in Pandora with no wait.
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Pool time selfie
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Alex swimming at Port Orleans Riverside
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Pandora
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Banshee! Michelle had no idea. LOL
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Adults don't do good selfies.
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Enjoying the ambience of Pandora
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Michelle and Alex did single-rider line on Everest.
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The only area I got wet on Kali River Rapids.
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Recreating a picture from 2008.
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9 years later...
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Another ride on Everest.
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Alex rode 3 more times.
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Ice cream while waiting for Rivers of Light. Prepping for the cruise!
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Rivers of Light


Day 4 - Wednesday July 5, 2017
The next morning I was up very early to go fishing. Alex wasn't feeling well, so she stayed in the room.  I picked up Mike and Paige at French Quarter, then we picked up Steve and Hanna at Wilderness lodge before heading to the Yacht Club for our fishing excursion.  We had a blast and caught a ton of fish!  Well, they all did on live bait - it was much slower fishing for me with plastics.  We loved fishing in World Showcase Lagoon at Epcot.  Unique views!
Later that evening we went to Hollywood Studios.
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Our first stop was in front of the Amercan Adventure pavillion.
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Mike and the girls fishing in the front of the boat.
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Mike's first of many fish!
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Steve with his first of the morning.
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Hanna with a bluegill.
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I think she's having fun? LOL
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Proof that I did actually catch a few too.
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Hanna with another nice bass.
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Paige and Hanna definitely caught the most fish...
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Steve with a very nice bass! Great background.
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Paige moving up in size...
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Another small one for me.
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Loved this view!
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Paige with the monster. This fish was over 5lbs.
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Proof you can catch nice bass in Epcot!
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They were pressure washing the friendship boat ramp.
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Mike broadcasting Facebook Live...
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...and snapping pictures on our way back to the Yacht Club...
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...where we continued to catch good-sized fish!
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Paige and Hanna with a great double caught right behind them in the corner of the dock.
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Mike also caught a turtle!
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I love this picture. It was an awesome 2 hours fishing with friends!
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Selfie!
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Alex putting her hands in concrete outside the now-closed Chinese Theater.
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The queue for Muppets 3D.
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A selfie with the Swedish Chef to send to Margaret.
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Alex on Rock 'n Roller Coaster.
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Alex and Michelle on Tower of Terror.

Tower of Terror YouTube



Day 5 - Thursday July 6, 2017
Today was an Epcot day. The girls went early, I chose to sleep in and then met them later.  After dinner at Teppan Edo, we went back to Riverside to swim at the quiet pool and do laundry which is conveniently located right there.
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It was a beautiful day, but extremely hot!
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They did single-rider and ended up in the same car anyway.
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Another bad on-ride photo on Frozen Ever After.
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Making our way around World Showcase.  Norway.
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France.
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Japan.




Day 6 - Friday July 7, 2017
Our last day pre-cruise.  The plan was Animal Kingdom for a couple hours in the morning for the girls to ride Flight of Passage.  We ate lunch at Satu'li Canteen in Pandora, then headed back to Riverside to shower again (did I mention it was smoking hot again?) before heading to Ft. Wilderness for Hoop Dee Doo Revue.  From there we took the boat to Magic Kingdom.
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While I took care of getting a replacement Disney Visa redemption card (I forgot to do it before the trip), the girls posed for Photopass pictures.
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Lunch at Satu'li Canteen
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Michelle playing with her banshee.
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Driving back to Riverside she needed a Banshee selfie.
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Hoop Dee Doo selfie!

Hoop Dee Doo Revue Fun YouTube

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On the boat to Magic Kingdom.  Moments after taking this all our phones went off with a Tornado Warning. There was a nasty storm to our east.  Luckily, it hardly even rained at Magic Kingdom.
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Space Mountain!






Day 7 - Saturday July 8, 2017
It's time to cruise!!  We left WDW around 9:00am, stopping at a Walgreens before hitting the highway. For the first time we encountered a line of cars waiting to pull into the port, but eventually we made it in and got checked in for our cruise.
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First drink of the day!
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First cone of the cruise!
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Still working on it...waiting for our Muster Drill.
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The Plainfield, IL crew waiting to check in for our Muster Drill.
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And again the BOGP crew takes over a section of Deck 12 for the Sail Away party.
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There were clouds and some lightning, but no rain. The good side was that the temperature was tolerable.
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Brighter skies ahead.
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We were leaving the storms behind.
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Michelle and Leslie
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Hope and Alex
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Day 8 - Sunday July 9, 2017
Sunday was a day at sea, so not many pictures.  Michelle and I hung out at Satellite Falls, then had our Mixology class.  
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I love this view!
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The Minnie pants from Sweet on You.

Mixology Fun YouTube



Day 9 - Monday July 10, 2017
Day 2 of the cruise we were at Cozumel, Mexico.  We chose to not do an excursion and took taxis to Paradise Beach.
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Pulling into the port.
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Rainbow and Royal Caribbean ship.
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There were 3 RCCL ships in port this day.
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Michelle took these pictures when they returned to the ship.
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While they shopped, I went to grab a cone and take some pictures.
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Day 10 - Tuesday July 11, 2017
The next day we were at Grand Cayman.  Hope joined us for an excursion to swim with dolphins and we had a great time.
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Michelle checking out our view of Grand Cayman.
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For this port we anchor offshore and take tender boats into the port. We were the only ship in port this day.
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Waiting for our turn to swim with a dolphin. It was very hot in the sun!
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Our first time to touch the adult dolphin.
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Swimming out across the pool to get ready to be pulled back in.  Here you can see the baby dolphin that swam around its mother the whole time.
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Cayman Dolphin Extreme Swim YouTube


Grand Cayman Tender YouTube

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Back on the ship, relaxing on our veranda.
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Dinner tonight was our second time at Animator's Palate. That means it is our chance to become an animator!
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My drawing.
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Michelle's drawing.
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Alex's drawing.

Animator's Palate YouTube

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Later in the evening Michelle and I returned to Sweet on You since she wanted the matching Mickey pants.
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Day 11 - Wednesday July 12, 2017
Day 4 of the cruise was our third port in a row, Falmouth, Jamaica.  Here we chose to not do an excursion. Instead we shopped at the port and hung out with our BOGP friends at Margaritaville.
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The Jamaican flag.
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We were the only ship in port this day as well.
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Filled with a slushie alcoholic drink!
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The BOGP crew essentially took over the pool at Margaritaville!
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After we returned to the ship, I went up to Deck 12 to take pictures of Jamaica.
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A marching band entered the port to entertain the visitors.
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Margaritaville was just behind the ship.
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The Rahlmanns, Gardners, and Forresters still in the pool!
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Michelle takes pictures of all the towel animals.


Day 12 - Thursday July 13, 2017
After 3 straight port days, we were happy to have another Sea Day.  Not many pictures because we were busy hanging out at the adult pool and Satellite Falls. In the afternoon I spent a couple hours lounging on Deck 4 before we played trivia with the Mazzillis.
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My view from my Deck 4 lounge chair.
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Michelle's Mickey waffles.
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Michelle and Leslie did a champagne tasting.
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Another towel animal.


Day 11 - Friday July 14, 2017
The last day of our cruise was at our favorite port - Disney's Castaway Cay.  Ed, Eric, and I left the ship at 8:00am to go snorkeling.  The girls weren't far behind.  
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French Angelfish
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Eric
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Seargant Major
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Schoolmaster fish
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Ed diving to touch Mickey.
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A school of French Grunts
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A Lionfish? hiding.
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The BOGP group at the TMFLT smoothie event.
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Back on the ship, we hung out on the balcony watching the activities.
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This looked like fun, but is probably strenuous.
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Here comes Jessi & Eric's jetski excursion returning to Castaway Cay.
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Eric and Abby
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Jessi and Paige
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The menu we don't like to see!
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Our last towel animal.


Day 14 - Saturday July 15, 2017
After saying goodbye to a lot of our friends, we made our way back to Walt Disney World and our favorite resort, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort.
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Entering "the bubble" again.
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We are home.
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Unpacking.
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Nice, large bathroom especially large after being on the ship for a week.
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Alex promptly fell asleep.
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Our first time in the Niue longhouse.
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Room 1706 was very conveniently located near the Oasis Pool.
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The Oasis Pool. Michelle walked around to take pictures while Alex and I napped.
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The main pool.
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That evening we met up with Hope, Ed, and his local friend John. We then met up with the Rahlmanns, Gardners, and Hanna Forrester to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
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These pictures are so cool because we know just about everyone on this train.
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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train YouTube

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After riding Big Thunder Mountain with Ed and Hope, we parted ways as we had reservations for the fireworks dessert party.  
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We had an excellent viewing spot for Happily Ever After.
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Day 15 - Sunday July 16, 2017
We had originally planned to visit Animal Kingdom and Epcot this day.  But before the cruise we decided we had experienced both parks enough to satisfy us and chose to change our plans to just enjoy a resort day.  So we at lunch at the Oasis Pool and spent several hours swimming and just lounging.  Later we visited the monorail resorts and had dinner at the Contemporary. 
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Our view for much of the day.
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Day 16 - Monday July 17, 2017
Day 16 started very early for me as I had another fishing excursion booked. The fishing was terrible on Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon, but it was still a better way to wake up on a Monday than being at work!
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Sunrise as I walked to the boat docks.
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The infamous shoe tree. Cast Members on the transportation boats traditionally leave their shoes here when they leave the company.
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That afternoon while I napped Michelle and Alex braved the heat at Magic Kingdom.
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Alex is the oldest kid in the splash zone.
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It poured rain throughout our dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern. After dinner we started with Splash Mountain, then rode 7 more attractions before park closing. We were trying to get a lot in since we were going home the next day.








Day 17 - Tuesday July 18, 2017
Our trip has come to an end.  But first we had to have our traditional goodbye breakfast at 'Ohana. 
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We just beat the storms and departed MCO.
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Having to go east from Orlando to avoid the storms, I got to see some different areas than normal. This is St. Augustine, FL.
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Skirting some large storms on the way home.
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