3 reports + links to more- 8 days since May + conversations galore
I'm Molly, spouse of Robert, and we are the crunchy granola parental units of Eamon.
The pre-trip DCA stuff you're looking for (said with the Jedi hand swoosh) is at the last page (for the moment) of this thread. ETA: post #192, page 13. Pre-trip for DL quickie trip starts shortly after. Links to the pages the TRs start are further down on this page.
We now go back to the original continuation of the start of the then-pre-trip for our May '09 visit!
E will be turning 5 next month, and since his b'day is right around Memorial Day, and since no one ever really came to his b'day parties b/c of holiday plans, last year we threw in the towel and decided to just go to Disneyland (resort) for his 4th. It was so successful, and there was so little (in other words, none whatsoever) outcry of remorse from friends and family, that we decided to do it again this year.
We would have just stayed happily at HoJo, but this year (this spring!) something big changed. We faced our disney uber-fan facts, added up past, present, and future $$ that has gone and will go to Disney, and took the plunge into DVC-land. I hear you, I hear you say "but you work with a budget when you go! but DLR isn't the best value for DVC! but but but!".
Well we'd first considered it in Sept of '07, and passed. We figured that our big trip would "do" us for awhile, and we only upgraded to APs because I knew we'd have a one-day visit, while visiting my brother in San Diego, within the year. You know, it just made sense. (and it did, a 5 day and a 1 day was more than an AP and then you get food discounts!)
But then by December of '07 we found ourselves on planes again, going to DLR again. And then there was that "well THAT wasn't much of a vacation" "Molly you have to go, we'll be fine" quickie solo trip just a month later. And so on and so on and so on.
Past trip reports!
Sept 20, '05, Oct 5, '06, & Sept 17-23, '07 at Paradise Pier Hotel and HoJo
Dec 5-9, '07 at Anabella
Jan 25-26, '08 solo at Carousel
May 26-30, '08 at HoJo
solo day Nov 5, '08 & family family Dec 5-8, '08 one night at the Hilton then "Big Kahunas" at PPH (upgraded to a suite!)
(I didn't do a trip report for the Ladies Trip, but I was there, early March, '08!)
DLH for HoJo fans
One day in DCA with newbies starts here.
Two days of mudder 'n son mainly at DL starts here!
What will be next???????
Then you have to realize that I have relatives in Florida. Relatives I love, and haven't seen in WAY too long. My aunt I last saw in '04. Her daughter I last saw in '00 (and I've never met her hubby or kids). The other cousins I haven't seen since '95, I think! Crazy. I should see these people more often. One group lives in Port Orange, the other group in Orlando. Seriously, what is keeping us from visiting?
Now that we really do want to start visiting, it only made sense that we'd go to WDW. The Port Orange cousin used to be a store CM, and she and her hubby spent their year of courtship at WDW on seasonal passes, they are also mega-fans.
You can see that many trips to WDW are in our future.
And so the decision was made.
And with this decision came "incentive" points, which mean "extra" points to use at DLR (or Saratoga Springs Resort in Florida) before October 3rd.
Therefore, this 5th b'day trip came to be!
I have views, how exciting!
I've never been a big "gotta stay onsite at DLR" person. In fact I really enjoy our time at HoJo and Anabella (Carousel not so much), and even the Hilton was nice for the 6 or so hours we were there. Value matters to us, and sometimes it's hard for us to find the value in onsite.
We stayed at PPH in December because at the time of booking it was the same cost (with AP rate) as HoJo's rate. Being AP holders we don't get Magic Mornings like a ticket-buyer would, so on-site had value that time. (if you ignore the price HoJo got to just before our trip)
But with the DVC thing, well, why not? At the time we were planning on an October trip to WDW, but later in the month. Not ending by the 3rd. So using the points on SSR wasn't going to happen. However, we couldn't stay a LONG time b/c of schedules, so instead of having a longer stay at the DLH, we opted for, um, Concierge. And I can tell you, I *never* thought I'd be saying that. Oh well. I'm sure we'll snag lots of bottled water and perhaps some brewskie for me in the evenings (if they still have that). It's just funny for me to stay at that hotel AND stay concierge. Sure wasn't a value for us without the "use it or lose it" points!
As I like to do, we're figuring out what our priorities are for this trip. Grizzly, of course. Toy Story Midway Mania, oh definitely. Animation Academy for sure! Every so often I wonder "will we enter Disneyland proper at all????" And the answer is "sure, at least for the hour of MM on Tuesday and Thursday", and "maybe if I book the Knights package at BBB for E"...and I guess we do need to go on Star Tours, and E has agreed to go into the Space Mountain building/line even if he opts out of riding. So those are DL things. But GRR, TSMM, and AA sure feel like more fun to me right now!
If we do a character meal it will either be Minnie and friends b/c it's right there in the park (oh hey, there's another DL thing) or Goofy's Kitchen b/c it's right there in the hotel. However, character meals aren't the biggest *value* for us, since we're (previous readers say it with me) vegetarian, DS can't have anything with corn syrup etc in it, and neither can hubby, and hubby also has to keep his carb intake lower to keep his glucose monitor happy. We have a hard time finding value at Zoopa where it's $9 pp, let alone at a Disney character meal! But we still might do it. For the trip reports and knowledge gathering you know. My own mini and written "podcasts", LOL. Or to add to our button collection. :goodvibes
With the concierge doohickey, as well as the knowledge of where to get cups of ice water in the parks, we won't have to worry about buying water. Depending on what food is available in that room, we might not have to worry about paying extra to eat some of the time (chances are low for that, however). I doubt the concierge room has Pina Colavas, so I still might have to indulge in one of those...although...I bet the hotel has a place to buy a mixy drink if I should want one...either the Colava or that blinky flashy light drink I got last family trip at PCH Grill!
Eamon will have his birthday present from Disney on our second day there; we're already working with him to understand that when that money is gone it's gone (or so we're telling him...who knows what might happen in reality?). Because the whining really gets to us. Buy him stuff up front, he whines when he sees stuff at the end. Buy him stuff at the end, well, that never happens, b/c he begs for stuff in the middle. Buy him stuff throughout is even WORSE, b/c he can be holding one new thing in his hand, and ask for another thing a minute later.
We really have to work on this whole *spoiled only child* thing we've got going on. We're turning him into exactly the things we didn't like about *those* only-kids we each grew up with, the ones that did get everything they wanted and had expectations...augh. Then again, we still haven't donated or sold his old toys, because he STILL plays with them! Even his "baby" toys, few as they were, he still loves. So his toys are never wasted or ignored...they just get to be...a bit...much for the adults here.
So we're talking about what he might want, and working on the price of them and the reality of how many things he might be able to buy...who knows if it will be useful or not?
This is all re-hashing of things I've thought of and talked about before, sorry to the non-newbies. :)
Since I have been there twice as many times as they have been (visits, not days) this last year, it's hard for me to figure out what the focus should be...guess I gotta chat with Robert. He's been pretty busy at work, working on finding a different position inside the company while continuing to "make his numbers", and that results in a tired dude who just wants to play with Eamon, help me wash the dishes, and go to sleep. But he's on his way home now to start his weekend, and I'm sure he'll rally for the conversation.
It seems like we're going at a quiet time, entertainment wise. No Electrical Parade, no special Fantasmic (not that we enjoyed F! or would watch it again for a long time to come), etc. Everything is over by the Monday we get in, and won't start back up until the following month.
Any ideas out there? What new things should we do?
Oh yay! A new TR in the works! I am happy to see you back on this side of DIS-town, Molly! I have to go back and read your first two posts now.
Sherry I keep thinking of you b/c of the early May headliner at the Emerald Queen Casino up here in Tacoma. Nothing like a HUGE TV screen off the highway (it's on Reservation land not city land, which is how they can legally have that screen) flashing a certain rocker's picture every 5 minutes to keep it in the forefront of your mind!
Here I was supposed to talk to Robert about the trip today. But he came home sick as a dog! Poor dude. Along with how rotten he feels, it's going to mess up tomorrow, b/c I have a dermatologist appt tomorrow. This strange thing suddenly appeared on my cheek...thought it was a "blemish" for a couple days then noticed how large it was...almost like a blister on my cheek? WEIRD. Scary! Disturbing. Thankfully the derm I saw a few years ago is still in practice and I re-found him. Of course today I woke up and it's changed again, it's almost disappeared...I think maybe it's a w-word; there's one on my arm that comes and goes...I hope not, b/c to have a wart on one's face sounds just horrid. (of course, better than some nasty melanoma, but still, you know what I mean) If so though, if someday I start to get into Wicca, it'll be kinda funny, in a stereotypical Halloween-y green makeup and bumps on the face sort of way. :rotfl:
Booked all our airfare now. Feels good to have that taken care of. We had our flights down a couple weeks ago (Virgin America at sick-and-wrong in the morning...same flight I took for the ladies trip). Yesterday I did our flights up...booked hubby's and son's separately directly on Alaska's website b/c they each had $25 off codes from our December trip fares going down by $5 each! (I already used mine) And Alaska is totally cool b/c they deduct it from the base fare, which means lower taxes...so the $25 code got me almost $27 off! Each! Then I booked mine through Orbitz after clicking through my rewards site...hopefully that "took" so I can get 2.50 sunshine credit. :goodvibes
Next up? Getting to/from seatac and getting to/from Anaheim.
Okay, I am finally finished reading your posts! It took me this long to get back to your TR.
First of all, how annoying it must be to see Bret's face (or anyone's face, for that matter) flashing every 5 minutes on a larger than life screen! Yikes! Don't know if you have kept up with my ongoing TR (which will eventually be leading up to another actual DLR trip, I promise!!), but I wrote about how some of my personal photos are going to be in Bret's upcoming autobiography (due out before Spring ends, they claim), and supposedly I get a photo credit in teeny print somewhere in the book. I know one of the photos they are using for sure (couldn't put it in the TR because it may be a little too racy for the DIS), and they (Bret's assistant & Simon and Schuster) are using at least one or two more of mine, but they were not sure which ones the last time I asked. I signed a photo release that they sent me, so we will see what ends up in the book. I am not getting $$$ for it, but it is probably the only time any photos of mine will ever end up in a Simon and Schuster book, so I am mildly excited about it!
Okay, this upcoming DLR trip for you and Robert and Eamon is notable not only for the fact that you are staying onsite at the DLH concierge level:scared1:, but also for the fact that this means an inevitable march right past the Lego store, and all that DTD has to offer (which seems to be less now that everything is closing down!)! I know that walk through DTD was something you had previously wanted to avoid, so little Eamon didn't get the 'I wants' before ever setting foot in the parks! Stay strong, Molly! Walk very fast - so fast that he doesn't hae time to notice anything!:lmao:
I see what you mean about the character meals not being a good value typically. I mean, because of the sheer cost alone it is hard to ever call them a "value." I guess the only reason it makes sense is that at a character buffet (especially a vast buffet such as Goofy's), you will have much more to choose from to meet everyone's dietary needs. And Minnie and Friends appears to have tons and tons of characters, which, for me, could be a drawback if I am actually attempting to shovel food into my mouth while posing with big furry critters every 3 minutes. But if you eat at Minnie's, there will certainly be no shortage of photo ops.
I am not sure yet what other activities you all should focus on or include in the plan. I will think on it. It sounds like the tried and true favorites are good enough for now. I don't blame you about skipping shows and fireworks and all that - we always skip them now unless we 'accidentally' stumble upon them in transit to something else. I can't recall - did you ever mention if you had seen the Aladdin show? That is one show I would make time for again - the Genie steals the whole thing. Have you checked out the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail yet (supposedly a good place for kids but I have not seen it yet). Have you taken Eamon over to Pirate's Lair yet? I know the Rivers of America are due to be drained soon for some work, which will close Pirate's Lair, but can't recall when.
I have a hunch that it is going to be HOT when you guys are at DLR, so the number of rides on GRR may multiply. What was the final total the last time when Robert and Eamon were with you? Was it 5 times they rode it? That may increase!
Oh, and good luck with the dermatologist's visit. I hope the blemish turns out to be something that will vanish quickly. I have a growth on my back that needs looking into (it is in the most impossible place to reach or see so I cannot get a good look at it), so a dermatologist visit is probably in my future too! What fun having fair, Irish skin that burns at even a glimpse of sunlight!
Looks like you have another dedicated reader.... :thumbsup2
I look forward to reading more!
More replies, woo!
Yes, the flashing blinking Bret is a bit disturbing. But then, just having those huge screens is disturbing, and I wish wish WISH that in that ONE case their tribal laws didn't supersede local laws. Have all the fireworks stands you want (even though it's illegal all over around here to set them off), but tear down those enormous, ugly, distracting signs. I remember when the first went up, the following year the accidents had increased by a crazy amount, b/c it's a dangerous curve where it was put anyway, then you toss in something you *watch* and it gets bad. Now there are TWO screens up at that one spot, then another, and then the one I keep seeing Bret on. All inside of maybe 2 miles.
I had not read that about your pictures, I'm so excited for you!
I can't believe I didn't think about the Lego issue. Augh. I'm hoping that since he'll be almost 2 years older than the last time we did that walk (when we had the "shortcut" from PPH wrong in Sept '07) that maybe "no" will have more weight. Or maybe he'll get some birthday money (other than "getting" the trip LOL, or the money Disney is giving him). Or maybe I've grown enough patience that I can handle being in a store while he messes about with lego guys. Now if they had a Playmobil store, THEN we'd be in serious trouble.
I forgot to mention that I've promised them some heavy POOL time. I've been remiss in that part of our trips, and even though we've all figured out that if I say "you guys swim while I go to the parks" I do do DO mean it, I think I'll want some of this pool time.
They did GRR a total of 10 times last trip. I missed out on one of their times around. I think I'm going to wrap saran wrap around my shins this time, to keep from reacting to that water. Because my reaction is NOT pretty.
Ooh that's reminding me that I have a date with cleaning the tub...bleah.
We did see Aladdin in '07. Had the preferred seating, but that kinda ruined it b/c you didn't get the full view. I hate complaining about it, but it was *too* close, ya know? Plus E had to go to the bathroom during it, so we entirely missed the carpet ride scene! Robert felt so bad for us.
About the fireworks...I had figured they wouldn't have them that week, since I hear they've been cutting back and it was weekdays...imagine my surprise to see fireworks on the calendar! It's always interesting to find out that what you thought was an actual opinion (not wanting to see the fireworks this time) was actually a protective defense mechanism. :laughing:
Hi MWDreams! Glad to have ya.
Alas, I sense our rice getting closer to being done (brown rice in a rice cooker...takes 90 minutes but it's so good!) and I *have to* clean that tub before that happens. :headache:
I'm in! :)
My brown rice was a flop, IMO. Hubby loved it...but for the full story I must say that he slathered it with Korean red bean spicy paste. :scared: So I could have served him just about anything rice-shaped and he would have liked it. I think. :)
Got a list of must-rides from Eamon. Did pilates today (woo!). Cleaned a bathroom. Gave the boy a bath. Ran the dishwasher and did a bunch of laundry. Whew! What a day!
I've also made a pile of all my Disney-thoughts notebooks so I can consolidate all my thoughts. I am so tired of having multiple notebooks. Now that I'm getting a handle on laundry and dishes, and I'm working on whatever room flylady tells me to work on during the week, and I'm exercising, I just feel like having 13 notebooks is ridiculous. (and I think almost anyone would)
I was supposed to get a phone call from the chef at, um, somewhere in Disneyland Resort, b/c I called about a cake but needed to know ingredients. Alas, they did not call. So I'll have to call again! Then again, maybe being there and having his breakfast of choice is enough for a 5th birthday... Probably.
Made an appointment for the Knight's package hairdo at BBB. For his birthday, just after Magic Morning ends. Hopefully he'll enjoy it. I just hate that it's sooooo marketed towards girls, since boys do indeed like dressing up, but DS is still pretty open to hanging out with girls and likes having his hair spiky, and he needs a replacement sword/shield anyway, so we're doing that.
Then an hour later I have us scheduled for Minnie's breakfast. Haven't told him about that yet, just in case we need to change it.
All in all a busy birthday morning! Let's just hope he doesn't want to swim THAT day, with the "knight's" hairstyle, LOL.
While on the phone with the lady, I actually started talking about the message they were sending with Princess and Knight packages! Hello, what about the Prince? Why a Knight, who exists to protect people LIKE PRINCESSES? Why have meek princesses and brave knights? What kind of message are they sending???? And I started cracking up, and said to myself and to the CM "I guess we just have to ignore the message Disney is sending, and have fun, huh?" and then gave her my info for the appointment. :rotfl:
And seriously, how spiky gelled hair possibly with mickey confetti in it = Knight, I don't know! But he needs a replacement sword/shield anyway...I'll just keep telling myself that over and over and over until I believe it!
Plus, we have the day before for me to run in there and check it out...maybe while hubby and son ride Dumbo 18 times in a row. :rotfl:
Oh, and I got a simple diagnosis for the thing on my face, just some sort of dermatitis. He said it's the same thing that comes and goes on my arm, too. I now have a cream to put on it; a steroid, which I normally am not happy to do, but I really REALLY did NOT like having that thing on my face!
I love that dermatologist, I really really do. He's like... 90, wears the most beautiful shoes, doesn't have a computer in his office. He saw 4 people from the time I walked in to when I left. Busy, no nonsense, and...he told me to get some sun! I said "that's an odd thing to hear from a dermatologist", and he told me "I believe in sunshine, in moderation". And really, I am a bit peaky since I've been cooped up all rainy season, I could probably do with a few rays.
What the heck does "peaky" mean?
I just realized that E will be old enough for the Pinnochio's Workshop for this trip. Now I need to see the $$$ for it. Because it would be kinda fun to have just a couple hours to run around and ride the coasters with the husband-dude! Plus E would love love LOVE it. Gotta go research, after doing some flylady stuff around the living room.
I'm late but here now!!!
The chefs at the resorts sometimes takes a while to get a return call, but be persistant (if he hasn't called you back already....). They can also help you with the Minnie & Friends breakfast on what is safe to eat. We've used them in the past when Anthony couldn't have milk...we were going to be there for a week & needed to know what are options were.
The BBB is definately going for the girls.....have you seen those prices???? :scared1: I know my son would enjoy getting "done" up.....loves spikey hair & such....and of course my 3 yr old IS a princess!
I do have to laugh when people spend all that money to get their kids made up & then take them on the water rides or the fast rollercoasters that totally undo everything they had done in the salon....... why bother? :rotfl:
Here's a suggestion on the souveniers & E........ when he sees something he likes, tell him you're going to write it down in a notebook & towards the end of your trip.....sit him down & say if you had to pick between this one & that one....which one would you pick......keep going until you get it down to a manageable amount you're willing to do.
We did this with our kids & boy did it help!!!! The 3 yr old actually would tell me to get out the paper & write it down.....lol
My excuse in the beginning for doing that was because I didn't want to carry all that stuff around & neither did they....so they bought into it.
Looking forward to seeing more!!!
PS: I was the extra at the Dole Whip for Bawb & we spoke for a while after the pictures...... it's funny because your name was the only one I remembered!! I'm starting to recognize faces & putting the right names with them...... hoping to join in the upcoming trips!!
I remember you, definitely! You probably remember me b/c I was chatting with you and your hubby after. :)
The list idea is such a good one, but unfortunately, I have a problem with lists. I forget about them. And Eamon is onto me. :scared: I forget about the lists and then he reminds me when it's too late (like when we're on the plane or in the car leaving somewhere).
Of course, we've been there so often recently that we know much of the merchandise! :rotfl: And since one of the few mainstream things we do is pay attention to age recommendations on toys, he knows what "5 year old" things he wants to get. There's some noisy flashy Buzz blaster thing that is, strangely, for 5 and up, and I'm sure that's on his list. And there's a Stormtrooper thing that's for 5 and up too. Since he's getting these "on" Disney with his b'day giftcard, and since he has waited since he was 3 to get those two things (yes, hubby had him watching Star Wars when he was 3, ugh...though it caused such awful behavior that the movie was put in time out until he was into his 4s), I've resigned myself to them. Can't guarantee they won't keep accidentally (just after hubby holds them, strangely enough) losing their batteries, like the noisy flashy pirate sword did, but he'll be happy to have 'em.
I think, however, that we'll snag the giftcard and just make cash available to him. I think he understands money more than cards...that there is so much money in a wallet, and when the money is gone, it's gone. But then...that means we'd have to buy souvenirs since you can't use it on food...hmm. Might have to rethink that one!
Now that I've made the Minnie's reservation, I'm rethinking that, too!
Oh, for food stuff, we haven't had problems with eggs or their waffles (though I don't like their waffles), and they might have some morningstar farms veggie sausages in back (Storytellers does and I've heard PCH Grill does, so I'm hopeful!), so we'll be fine. But you can see how it's NOT a value for us! :rotfl: Then there's the fruit, oh, the fruit. And even though we don't use the syrup there, DS can have powdered sugar sprinkled on his waffles, and that makes him almost as happy as syrup. We're very thankful about the powdered sugar, b/c some corn sensitive kids cannot have it! It's "cut" with small amounts of cornstarch, and that causes some kids to react. Eamon doesn't react to cornstarch, and we're so glad about that. Doesn't react to plain old corn either. Just when it's turned into syrup! :confused3
Especially given his father's family history, I do continue to wonder if it's just a BLAST of blood sugar that causes the violence and inability to listen, etc, with corn syrup, HFCS, and corn syrup solids (oh I remember the day we discovered he can't have Dole Whips (b/c of c.s. solids) like it was yesterday, and it was dec '07!). When hubby has the same things, he passes out entirely, and since he was diagnosed with diabetes in Sept (though he controls it fairly easily, with no medicine) we do think it's related to DS's opposite reactions to the same ingredients. And the Dole Whip day was made so much worse b/c hubby was first busy taking a survey with a CM, and then while I was trying to reign in the Boy, DH kinda passed out on the bench. It was a BAD day (pre-diagnosis so he was still eating things like that) for everyone.
So anyway, I'm rethinking Minnies b/c I think we might enjoy other things more. Decisions decisions.
E still wants to go on Indy. Alas (from his point of view) and thankfully (from mine), he still has 2 inches to go, last we checked.
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