We are onto day 5, we have made it more than half way through the trip report give or take and so much has already happened since we have been home, that I can’t wait to share with you guys.
But first we have to finish this glorious trip, day 5 we got up and noticed it had rained over night. We were really happy it waited because we saw it had a 60% chance of rain that day and we didn’t want it to ruin our water park fun ( even though hubby likes to swim in the rain.) The rain also brought it some cooler air, so I was really happy the day at the water park went off without a hitch 🙂
View of the parking lot from our room, all wet from the rain
Remember in my day 1 post I had said there were shorter ways to the lobby and bus if you chose different paths, well here is our example, from the Triton rooms if you head towards the parking lot and follow this sidewalk it takes you all the way to the buses and the lobby, much shorter but less scenic and there are cars, so watch where you walk. This walk will shave about 3 to 5 minutes off your walk verses walking through the Little Mermaid and the Lion King areas due to the narrow walkways and them being more crowded.
We had decided we were going to shoot for Animal Kingdom that morning and try to ride a few rides before heading to the Downtown Disney Marketplace, but the Animal Kingdom bus wasn’t there and we didn’t want to be late for lunch with my amazing grandmother, so we went in the lobby, to the ink&paint shop and the arcade to do some pin trading before we headed over to meet my grandma for lunch.
Dory in the Lobby
Ariel and Ursula
Another concept piece for Bruce
Ariel and sea horses, I love this one
Another shot of the pretty lobby rainbow
As you just saw me mention, we had been doing pin trading, this trip.
What is pin trading you might ask?
Well it is simple really and a ton of fun!
Step 1: Buy some official Disney pins
Step 2: Find a Cast member
Step 3: Ask them nicely to see their pins
Step 4: They will show you
Step 5: If you like any you see, you can ask you trade up to two pins with them
You can trade up to two pins per day with each and every Cast Member with a pin collection, so this leads to many fun trading opportunities on your trip.
Pin trading can also be done cheaply if you plan ahead (to learn more, check out this post I wrote about pin trading here.) We purchased a lot of 25 pins on Ebay for $15, which is a great deal compared to buying the parks (one pin starts at 6.95 on property.) You can also save on lanyards to wear your pins on the trip on Ebay or even make your own (we already had some at home.)
We hadn’t quite prepared as well as I thought though because we got hooked. 🙂 Which is easy. I LOVE Figment (the little purple dragon from Journey to Imagination at Epcot, for those who don’t know) and we found all these hidden Mickey Figment pins every time we turned around. Hidden Mickey pins are special because these are the ones they give to cast members only and they cannot be purchased, only traded for. We both started with about 12 pins to trade and we ended up having to buy a whole bunch on site to continue our fun, it was totally worth it though.
If this happens to you, here is a tip, if you buy a starter pack, you can sometimes find packs that have 7 pins for $29 dollars, which makes each pin less than $5 this is the best value we found on site. Or if you are really just looking to trade two at that moment, they do have 2 pack (blind packs) that I believe were around $11.
The pin trading is a really great way to interact with Cast Members like you never have before. You will learn their interests, stories about what rides they have worked, or even rumors about upcoming park designs.
At first we traded for things we thought looked neat and the more pins we saw the more an idea formed of what we wanted to collect. Once you figure out what you want to collect it makes the hunt easier.
On top of the that you can also ask the Pin Trader shop at Downtown Disney to see their pin book, so you can get an idea as to which pins in your set you are missing.
Also a fun fact we didn’t know going in, each Hotel has a pin board or book and then a large pin board that comes out once a day (most came out at 5, but it is better to ask what time the board is shown at each hotel) and some of the stores will have a pin board too.
Once you are hooked, you can’t help to want to talk to every Cast Member you see and can spot ones you need from a mile away!
It is a great experience and one that hubby and I bonded more so over. We started a collection of Figments, Orange Bird and added more to are already large Haunted Mansion pin board.
Here is what are lanyards looked like in the beginning of the trip after a few trades
and here is the collection the last day
As you can see the collection grew so much that Figment over took both lanyards and the Orange Birds didn’t even fit (we managed a full collection of them.)
All the orange birds, plus the deebees
This was really one of the highlights of our trip, hubby really loved it, he said it was like one big scavenger hunt. If you haven’t tried it, I suggest you try it, but be warned you may get hooked, be prepared 🙂
In the ink&paint shop we got really lucky, one of the Cast Members there was into Figment too and she had some we needed and filled us in on some of the ones to look for. Thanks! After we checked out the whole area for new pins, we got on the bus to Downtown Disney
Hubby looking sharp waiting for the bus 🙂 Like the lanyard?!
Me- check out the lanyard, it is covered!
Once we made it downtown, we got off in the Marketplace. There are two parts to the Downtown Disney area, (soon to be called Disney Springs) there is Westside and Marketplace. Once we got off the bus, we headed to Art of Disney, one of my favorite stores in the Marketplace. It is filled with art (you may even get to see a Cast Member creating sketches for purchase in the shop) and is connected to a create a tee shirt shop and a paper goods store (good place to get scrapbook stuff or a notebook to journal your trip.)
Here are some of the amazing pieces we saw in the Art of Disney
Stitch reading the Ugly Duckling
The Haunted Mansion
Mixed Media Wind in the Willows (Mr Toad is having a mania!)
Mickey and Minnie as Luke and Leia
speaking of Halloween, they had an entire case filled with replicas from the Haunted Mansion Nightmare Before Christmas overlay
Haunted Mansion Urn and the Piston Cup
Frankweenie B-movie poster (loved that it looked creased)
Stitch and Koi fish
Thomas Kincaid Jungle Book
20000 leagues under the sea
From there we went to see all the yummy snacks at Goofy’s Candy Co.
Goofy mosaic made of jelly beans
Some really cool candy apples- Lightning, Sully and Mike
Cheshire cat, Goofy and a graham cracker covered one!
Cast member dipping the apples
So many delicious treats!
HUGE rice crispie treat Mickey and Minnie heads
Ok, now I am hungry but we made one more stop before we met up with my Grandmother, the pin traders of course!
Russell and Dug have pins too!
We had heard about 30th Anniversary blind packs for Figment and we found them here after checking out the pin trading book, I was talking about before. We bought two of them and with a purchase of $25 or more, you can buy a blind pack pin for $2.95, we did. The Cast member that was helping us knew we were looking for Figment and helped us try to find the Figment completer pin. Our first try was a bust so he let us buy another one (without the whole spending $25 again) and we got him! Another wonderful cast member, thank you 🙂
This is what the blind packs look like
And here is the awesome pin that helped us complete one of our Figment sets, love it!
Now it is finally time for you guys to meet my grandmother, my Nana, Fay!
Fay lives in Florida, so we couldn’t come to Disney and not see her. She is one our favorite people and we were so happy to spend an afternoon with her.
We went to T-Rex which is a Landry owned restaurant like The Rain Forest Cafe, which is also at Downtown Disney and I am sure you guessed by the name, dinosaur themed 🙂
The outside of restaurant
The bar area- love the Jellyfish
A giant Octopus
and another dinosaur My favorite part of this restaurant was the ice cave
when it is down time the cave is blue and cold but if you have experienced the “lightning storm” at The Rainforest Cafe, you know Landry’s always has something fun in store for you and here it is a “meteor shower”, every 30 minutes, the dinosaurs come to life and the cave turns red and it gets really loud (note if trying to catch up with a loved one this may not be the best place, lol.)
Cave during shower
Don’t think this guy survived the shower
Hubby and Nana, such a good picture
We were having such a nice time we forgot to take pictures, but the meal itself was nothing to write home about. I had a guacamole burger and Kris had a pulled pork sandwich, appetizers were a quesadilla and a flatbread, and we had doughnut holes with dipping sauces for dessert.
Verdict on T-Rex is the environment was fun, noisy but fun and I think once is enough, the food isn’t special and the prices are kinda high, without the dining plan this meal was $85+ and only Kris and I got food.
That is where I will leave you guys for today, tomorrow we will continue our afternoon with Fay, back to the hotel and Disney Quest 🙂