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Old 12-15-2009, 08:39 AM   #1
kittylady1972
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Smile Will my kids need therapy or antibiotics? Dec '09 Trip Report: COMPLETED 4/22/10!

Trip Dates: December 5 - 12, 2009
Resort: 2BR Villa at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort
Who: Our group of seven...my family of five plus the in-laws
Check out my Pre-Trip Report Link for more details


So this was going to be an easy trip report as I was typing it up daily from our vacation on my netbook to make it easy to remember all the details. Well the netbook was sadly left behind on our flight back from Orlando and I guess somebody else must have really needed it despite my hope that in the spirit of Christmas it would be turned into lost and found. It was not. Therefore I'll be doing this from my memory, which isn't what it used to be anymore!

Quick Summary: We left cold and rainy Maryland with hopes of seeing lots of sunshine and enjoying some warm weather. We had more than our fair share that week of rain and cold and dreary weather...just like home. Of course, on the day we arrived in Florida back at home it was snowing so at least we missed THAT mess! We were a bit sad to miss our new puppy's first snow experience though! We did get ONE pool day in, which the kids were happy about. We tried out several new restaurants this time and I'm sad to say something I never thought I'd say...but I am finally getting to the point where I am not happy with the Disney restaurants for the most part. The limited selections are really frustrating and I'm starting to echo the sentiments of many around here that the dining plan has really hurt the restaurants. I understand they are getting more people into the restaurants due to that, and of course they are getting more people through I'm sure since you really don't have to take much time making decisions. I was hoping to enjoy some of the restaurants more than I did but sadly...they were just okay. There are exceptions of course...California Grill is still a favorite that I think we'll keep as a new tradition. We all enjoyed Mama Melrose as well. Tony's Town Square was just okay...nothing exceptional but I'm glad we tried it. San Angel Inn was quite disappointing as well...it was okay, but nothing special. I think we'd be happy just having a few select counter service meals and maybe heading off-site for food in the future, since we always rent a car anyway.


QUICK LINKS!!


DAY 1 (Dec 5th): Departure Day and Airport Fun

DAY 1 CONT'D: Hollywood Studios and La Nouba
DAY 2 (Dec 6th): EPCOT Day and the Lost Child
DAY 2 CONT'D: Snacks, fun and dancing on the tables!
DAY 3 (Dec 7th): Animal Kingdom - Will my kids need therapy or antibiotics?
DAY 3 Cont'd: California Grill and MK at night
DAY 4 (Dec 8th): Magic Kingdom and Osborne Lights
DAY 5 (Dec 9th): Chef Mickey, Resort Touring, MORE Lost kids and POOL TIME!
DAY 6(Dec 10th): A rain-soaked adventure at Studios!
DAY 6 Cont'd: Relaxing at Disney
DAY 7 (Dec 11th): Our Last Full Day...very sad!
DAY 8 (Dec 12th): Last Day of the Trip

Next up: Our first day of travel, Hollywood Studios and La Nouba!!
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THE FUTURE: Nov. '14: Thanksgiving with Mickey * Oct. '15 FANTASY Cruise

The past:*Sep '14: SOG*Jan'14: DCL MAGIC*Sep/Oct'13 DCL WONDER*Aug'13:DLR*Jan'13: POP/SSR*Nov'12:VWL/DCL DREAM/THV*Jun'12:SWAN * Mar '12:BDWLK * Jun'11:BLT * Dec'09:SSR * May'09:BC&AKV *Oct'08:BCVDINING REPORT*Jun'08:POP* Nov'07:OKW&SSR*Oct'06:AKL*Jan '06:CR*Feb'04:BDWLK *Oct'03:POLY*Sep'01:CR*Oct'99:POR*Feb'97:ASM

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Old 12-15-2009, 08:59 AM   #2
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I am looking forward to reading the rest of your report and I am sorry to hear about your netbook Was there any identification in the bag for someone to return it to you? I would still like to believe that it may find it's way back to you...you never know. I have to kind of agree with the restaurant situation at Disney and I am NOT looking forward to those nasty whole wheat buns that crumble in your hands before you can eat them My family loves the burgers at Pecos Bill and now I don't even know if we will eat there because of the new buns. I understand healthy eating and all, in fact I love whole wheat bread, but at least get a bun that won't crumble to bits. I also heard something about the hot dogs at Casey's being switched to a blend of chicken and beef I think Oh well there are still great things to eat, I just hope they don't mess with the Dole Whips
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:25 AM   #3
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I'm in! Sorry to hear that your Netbook hasn't turned up yet. Maybe, it will. Looking forward to hearing all about your Disney adventures!
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Tink View Post
I am looking forward to reading the rest of your report and I am sorry to hear about your netbook Was there any identification in the bag for someone to return it to you? I would still like to believe that it may find it's way back to you...you never know. I have to kind of agree with the restaurant situation at Disney and I am NOT looking forward to those nasty whole wheat buns that crumble in your hands before you can eat them My family loves the burgers at Pecos Bill and now I don't even know if we will eat there because of the new buns. I understand healthy eating and all, in fact I love whole wheat bread, but at least get a bun that won't crumble to bits. I also heard something about the hot dogs at Casey's being switched to a blend of chicken and beef I think Oh well there are still great things to eat, I just hope they don't mess with the Dole Whips
Thanks so much and nope I didn't think to put identification in the bag and am now kicking myself royally for that one! I've just accepted it very sadly. Perhaps I can ask for a new one for my birthday in the spring? We didn't get to Casey's this time OR get Dole Whips due to the colder temps but I agree with you that if they mess with those I'd be upset!
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THE FUTURE: Nov. '14: Thanksgiving with Mickey * Oct. '15 FANTASY Cruise

The past:*Sep '14: SOG*Jan'14: DCL MAGIC*Sep/Oct'13 DCL WONDER*Aug'13:DLR*Jan'13: POP/SSR*Nov'12:VWL/DCL DREAM/THV*Jun'12:SWAN * Mar '12:BDWLK * Jun'11:BLT * Dec'09:SSR * May'09:BC&AKV *Oct'08:BCVDINING REPORT*Jun'08:POP* Nov'07:OKW&SSR*Oct'06:AKL*Jan '06:CR*Feb'04:BDWLK *Oct'03:POLY*Sep'01:CR*Oct'99:POR*Feb'97:ASM
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:49 AM   #5
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Smile Dec 5th (Day 1): Departure Day and Airport Fun!

So we were up around 4:30am for our planned 5am departure from home for the airport and our 7am flight. Here was the original plan for our day:

DAY 1: (SAT) Arrival Day...our flight leaves at 7am, putting us in Orlando nice and early at 9:10am. Now my FIL will want to LEAVE for the airport I'm sure by 4:30am, even though we live only 15 minutes away. He like a good 2-hour window before the flight. With three kids to keep entertained in the airport, and not wanting to deal with them cranky, I will attempt for probably a 5am departure from our house which is still going to suck. Yet it will all seem better when we get to arrive early at Walt Disney World! Since we can't check into our room, we might as well hit a park. Studios and EPCOT are good parks for easy parking access, so STUDIOS is the winner! I have dining reservations at Brown Derby and Mama Melrose's...but since we've never eaten at Mama Melrose's I think we'll have dinner there. It's a late lunch, close to 2pm, so that we can coast through dinner with maybe just snacks somewhere in Downtown Disney before our evening plans...seeing the 6pm show of La Nouba. We've never seen this but I used my AP discount for some great tickets in Tier 2. I'm very excited about this which is odd since I have never had much of an interest in doing it. However, since MIL will not have the chance to do many rides this time around, we're going to now gear our trip towards the shows and this one seemed good. So hopefully we can have our late lunch, then go back and check into our room, then head over to LaNouba. Oh and if it's not too much, maybe we'll try to see Santa in Downtown Disney.

By the way, I was doing Twitter updates from our trip, so you can check those out with some photos here:

http://www.twitter.com/disneyholic

For the most part, we stuck to this plan, leaving the house just before 5am but as I was driving and we were just a mile from the house I realized I forgot to wear my wedding rings...the HORROR! I didn't want to go the whole week without them...is that crazy or what? So I turned around to get them and we were back on the road by 5:05am. Got the airport and checked in with plenty of time to spare, despite the fact that they had to find us all seats...so I should tell you that little story. The day before our flight I checked in online with AirTran...even printed our boarding passes and all was good. Now when I made the original reservation back in July I payed the extra $5 each for seat assignments but the pickings were slim so I had one child sitting between my two in-laws, one child with me and one with DH as that was the best I could do. Well since my in-laws reservation was made by us but with their own credit card, we had them check-in on their own as we knew they would most likely be given the option to upgrade to Business Class for a discounted rate, and with MIL using a cane this would be better for them. So when they did that, it meant that I had my son sitting by himself or with strangers. So Friday night before our flight I checked the seats and found they had 5 seats all in row that showed up as AVAILABLE according to the online seating chart on AirTran. So that evening I went to change us all to sit in one row together...and as I assigned the seats and moved to the next screen so skip our flight back and then finalize the changes, I got all kinds of error messages that the seats could not be assigned...and my new boarding passes showed NO seat assignments...and a $30 credit on my account. Of course, this freaked me out enough that I called AirTran that evening and spoke to a phone rep who basically said yep, no seats available EXCEPT exit aisle which we can't use with the kids. He told me what would probably happen is at check-in they would offer the exit row (normally an upcharge as well) to other passengers for free so I could sit with my kids. Ok fine.

So we check-in at the front desk, check our one bag, and head to the gate after grabbing some breakfast. As we line up to board the plane and the gate agent scans the boarding passes...he pauses and notices that I am in a row with the two boys...and it's an EXIT row and that can't happen. YIKES! I walk down and board the plane where I tell the flight attendants my situation...and they check the passenger list and determine that the two seats in front of the exit row are available, but there is one person in the third seat...they suggest I switch with that person. Sounds good.

I get to my seat, see the woman in the row, ask if she wants to switch with me and she explains that HER two boys (ages 10 and 11) are sitting across the row from her and she doesn't want to move back because then she can't keep an eye on them ...even though she's just be one row behind and across the aisle. The good news is she seems nice enough and hey she has two boys so I tell her if it's okay I'll just put my two boys (age 9 and 5) with her and I'll be right behind them. Fine. It's really not that big of a deal, the boys are great, they've flown before, Nicolas does a great job taking care of Noah (who actually sleeps for most of the flight anyway) and this woman's two boys...well they are VERY talkative and really once I see them in action...I'm not at all concerned about mine! Nicolas also of course talks this poor woman's ears off any chance he gets, but again she's really nice and friendly and so I enjoy my ENTIRE exit row all to myself the entire flight! Oh and DH and Noelle (age 7) are in the seat right in front of my two kids also.

Flight goes well though, but it's quite rough due to all the weather in the east coast area. We arrive safely and head to get our luggage. Actually I take the boys to get the rental minivan and DH heads with his parents to get the luggage. Rental car is another fun story...she tells me they have a Cadillac Escalade available if I want that instead of my minivan...but I know it will cost a fortune for that so I decline. She wants to do the typical upsells and insurance too...and then the gas charge. I never get the gas on them since it's always so expensive, and after I decline she tells me the NEW policy is now I have to fill the tank up within 10 miles of the airport AND show a receipt when I return it. So tell me just because I fill up within 10 miles of the airport, how do they know I didn't drive 10 miles more than that? Really insane but I have a GPS with me so I figure when we drive back to the airport and are within 10 miles we'll get gas, which we do...but you'll hear that story later!

So after the fiasco of got the rental, where are you, cell phone calls back and forth to meet the rest of our party we are finally on our way to Disney! We arrive at Saratoga Springs around 10am.



Our room isn't ready but I ask for the text message and we decided to get some food in the kids since our lunch is at 2pm. We allow them to get dessert there since they are still serving breakfast food...and kids choose chocolate cakes, carrot cakes, and Nicolas does get a bowl of cereal. I really don't like the new pre-packaged cakes...I miss the larger slices of cakes. We then head out around 11:30am to Hollywood Studios! As we get out of the car at the parking lot and are walking to the tram I check my cell-phone...and I have a message from SSR that my room is ready! Looks like as we were probably eating our snacks, I got the message but I didn't realize it. Oh well.

Time to hit the Studios!
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THE FUTURE: Nov. '14: Thanksgiving with Mickey * Oct. '15 FANTASY Cruise

The past:*Sep '14: SOG*Jan'14: DCL MAGIC*Sep/Oct'13 DCL WONDER*Aug'13:DLR*Jan'13: POP/SSR*Nov'12:VWL/DCL DREAM/THV*Jun'12:SWAN * Mar '12:BDWLK * Jun'11:BLT * Dec'09:SSR * May'09:BC&AKV *Oct'08:BCVDINING REPORT*Jun'08:POP* Nov'07:OKW&SSR*Oct'06:AKL*Jan '06:CR*Feb'04:BDWLK *Oct'03:POLY*Sep'01:CR*Oct'99:POR*Feb'97:ASM
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Old 12-21-2009, 09:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Tink View Post
I am looking forward to reading the rest of your report and I am sorry to hear about your netbook Was there any identification in the bag for someone to return it to you? I would still like to believe that it may find it's way back to you...you never know. I have to kind of agree with the restaurant situation at Disney and I am NOT looking forward to those nasty whole wheat buns that crumble in your hands before you can eat them My family loves the burgers at Pecos Bill and now I don't even know if we will eat there because of the new buns. I understand healthy eating and all, in fact I love whole wheat bread, but at least get a bun that won't crumble to bits. I also heard something about the hot dogs at Casey's being switched to a blend of chicken and beef I think Oh well there are still great things to eat, I just hope they don't mess with the Dole Whips
We just came back yesterday and the buns were fine. I am not sure why there is such a stink about the buns. I had a hot dog at Casey's and a burger at Peco Bill. They were fine and they taste good too.
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Upcoming trip: CSR Dec 2 - 6
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:17 AM   #7
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Great start!
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07/87 DLR***05/98 All-Star Music***01/04 Polynesian/4-night Wonder***02/05 7-night Magic Eastern***
09/07 Beach Club***10/08 7-night Magic Special Western (double-dipping at Castaway Cay!!!)
***12/09 Pop Century***08/13 7 night Fantasy Western

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Old 01-06-2010, 12:39 PM   #8
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Smile I'm back - Hollywood Studios and La Nouba

Now that the holiday madness is over, I can resume the work on this trip report...from only my memory and photos so let's hope I can get most of it here.

We arrived at Hollywood Studios on a chilly and rainy day, though the rain at the Orlando Airport did not seem to follow us to the Studios.


It was just around noon so we headed right for TOT. My MIL could not ride, and the 5-year-old decided he did not want to ride, so the rest of us got in line for the very short wait. The drop sequence was AWESOME...I only wish I had the photo from it because it was great!

Next we headed over to Muppetvision since that was something everybody could do, including my MIL. On the walk there, we saw that Star Tours had no wait and decided to do that. Now I have not done Star Tours in probably 10 years. I can handle most rides, but I've found as I'm getting older (39 is fast approaching) I don't handle spinning rides very well AND any ride that's a simulator usually makes me feel a bit off. However, I decided to give it a try this time with the rest of the family and I tolerated it pretty well. After that, we headed to Muppetvision, as it was something we could all do together and we still had a little bit of time before lunch at 2pm at Mama Melrose.



Funny thing is we weren't really sure where Mama Melrose was located, but we exited Muppetvision and we were right in front of the restaurant...SCORE!

The place smelled so good and we were a bit early so we had a little bit of a wait.

However, once we sat down and ordered the food...we were not disappointed! Everything was wonderful! We split two appetizers - the Antipasto and the Calamari and both were very good. I had a caesar salad with my meal that was just EXCELLENT. My husband and FIL had some kind of pasta dish with sausage I think, and my MIL and I had a mushroom ravioli dish...all of it was great. I wish we had room for dessert, but alas it was not to be!

Afterwards it was pretty much time to head back to checkin for our room, so that's what we did. The whole time we were walking around the park, my SIL was sending us texts with photos and videos from home...as it was snowing there! We couldn't help but laugh...yeah it may have been a bit chilly in Florida, but at least we weren't dealing with the snow. Granted it wasn't really much, no accumulation since it wasn't terribly cold at home, but it was enough.



Back at our room we quickly did a bit of unpacking and snacking for the kids. We were headed to La Nouba for the 6pm show and needed to be there by 5:30pm, so we didn't have a whole lot of time. We arrived and picked up our tickets and got seated in some GREAT seats...thanks to our DVC discount they were not nearly as expensive as they would have been.

The show was FANTASTIC and I was amazed that even the kids LOVED it. It was one of the things they talked about the most. I'm so glad we could share that experience with them and it may be something we do again on a return trip...if we can still get the great discount tickets!

We returned to the room and put everybody to bed, then DH and I hit the local Wal Mart for some quick grocery shopping for our villa. We stocked up on drinks for the most part and some breakfast foods, so that we'd have plenty to get us through the week. I was really focusing on not buying too much as it seems we always end up throwing out a bunch of food after our trips. We ended up doing pretty well this time, I have to say, and by the end of the trip the amount of waste was minimal.
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THE FUTURE: Nov. '14: Thanksgiving with Mickey * Oct. '15 FANTASY Cruise

The past:*Sep '14: SOG*Jan'14: DCL MAGIC*Sep/Oct'13 DCL WONDER*Aug'13:DLR*Jan'13: POP/SSR*Nov'12:VWL/DCL DREAM/THV*Jun'12:SWAN * Mar '12:BDWLK * Jun'11:BLT * Dec'09:SSR * May'09:BC&AKV *Oct'08:BCVDINING REPORT*Jun'08:POP* Nov'07:OKW&SSR*Oct'06:AKL*Jan '06:CR*Feb'04:BDWLK *Oct'03:POLY*Sep'01:CR*Oct'99:POR*Feb'97:ASM

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Old 01-08-2010, 01:06 PM   #9
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Take me back!

Ok, so I've been reviewing all of my Tweeting that I did while in Disney to help bring back my memory of our trip. I think the one thing I am most upset about in losing my netbook was the fact that I was doing journal entries there daily...and those are gone. Now I have to use my memory and I may have lost out on some good stuff.

Oh and it's hard to think about complaining about the mid-60 degree rainy days we were having in Florida while we were there when this week they are talking about possible SNOW there!

Anyway, day two - EPCOT - coming up soon!
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THE FUTURE: Nov. '14: Thanksgiving with Mickey * Oct. '15 FANTASY Cruise

The past:*Sep '14: SOG*Jan'14: DCL MAGIC*Sep/Oct'13 DCL WONDER*Aug'13:DLR*Jan'13: POP/SSR*Nov'12:VWL/DCL DREAM/THV*Jun'12:SWAN * Mar '12:BDWLK * Jun'11:BLT * Dec'09:SSR * May'09:BC&AKV *Oct'08:BCVDINING REPORT*Jun'08:POP* Nov'07:OKW&SSR*Oct'06:AKL*Jan '06:CR*Feb'04:BDWLK *Oct'03:POLY*Sep'01:CR*Oct'99:POR*Feb'97:ASM
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:06 PM   #10
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Sunday Dec. 6th

Sunday Dec. 6th
Ok, so my original plan for this day was to hit EPCOT and I wanted to do as much as possible there as we had a full day. Here was my plan:

FUTURE WORLD: Soarin, The Land, FP for Soarin again; Test Track, Mission:Space; Living Seas, Nemo, Turtle Talk; Imagination; Honey I Shrunk; lunch: YORKSHIRE FISH SHOP!; Kim Possible Missions; Gran Fiesta & Maelstrom; Universe of Energy, Spaceship Earth on the way out

We woke up to another somewhat chilly Florida morning for our first full-day at the parks. I headed over the main building of our resort at SSR and picked up some fresh pastries for breakfast. We let everybody wake up at their own pace and have breakfast...there was no rush to make rope drop for us. Once we were ready, we headed out around 9am for the park. Here are Nicolas and I bundled up and ready to go:


And here's our group entering the park:


We decided we wanted to do Soarin', but the wait as already 50 minutes at about 10am. We sent the men off to get FastPasses and told them we'd wait at Mission: Space for them. So while I waited there with my MIL and the kids, they got the passes which had a return time of 1:15pm. Here is Noelle, excited about riding Mission: Space for the first time, so I assume that is what we'll do:



So the kids spot their dad and grandpa and go running towards them...and they are screaming Test Track and heading there instead for some reason. MIL and I head over there as well and meet up with them in front of the ride, turn around and I realize...there is NO Noah!

Yes, my 5-year old is not there...I had assumed he had run off with the other kids to greet dad but that is not the case. PANIC!

DH and I both head back towards Mission: Space, the last area where the kids were running around, and he goes one way while I go another and he finds Noah quickly...in tears. Longest 5 minutes of my life of course.


Now of all the trips we've made to Disney...with one, two and three kids (and I've been in charge of 4 on one trip - a nephew six-months younger than Noah) we have NEVER lost a child. There have been times I've hit the parks with one, two or three kids alone...again my record for child losing was spotless. We got to amusement parks all of the time, not just Disney and it's just never been an issue.

You shall soon learn that I guess as kids get older, parenting skills get a little more lax and so it came to pass that I experienced my first time losing Noah. Sadly, this would not be the only time this trip.

So we head to Test Track which is showing a 25-minute wait...not too bad so we head in, leaving MIL behind to wait for us.

As we approach the first loading area, right outside the main doors to the screening room, we see the ride SHUT DOWN. An announcement is made that the ride is experiencing technical difficulties and as a result our wait time may be longer. We have been waiting for about 14 minutes at this point.

Thankfully the delay truly is not much longer, soon the ride is up and running again and we get on within the next few minutes. Great ride, but BRRR is it rough with the cold air at 60+ MPH!

Here is our group of six from the back: FIL, Nicolas, DH, then at bottom is Noah, me, Noelle


Up next: Will Noelle get to ride Mission:Space? If I haven't mentioned this before, this is the trip where we now have a second child to reach the magic 44-inch mark which opens up more rides for her and Noelle is my THRILL SEEKER for sure. It's all about what other NEW rides can she ride this time? She is determined to hit them all, as many times as possible!


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THE FUTURE: Nov. '14: Thanksgiving with Mickey * Oct. '15 FANTASY Cruise

The past:*Sep '14: SOG*Jan'14: DCL MAGIC*Sep/Oct'13 DCL WONDER*Aug'13:DLR*Jan'13: POP/SSR*Nov'12:VWL/DCL DREAM/THV*Jun'12:SWAN * Mar '12:BDWLK * Jun'11:BLT * Dec'09:SSR * May'09:BC&AKV *Oct'08:BCVDINING REPORT*Jun'08:POP* Nov'07:OKW&SSR*Oct'06:AKL*Jan '06:CR*Feb'04:BDWLK *Oct'03:POLY*Sep'01:CR*Oct'99:POR*Feb'97:ASM

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Old 01-14-2010, 06:16 AM   #11
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You had a pretty full first day, considering how early the day started for you!


Quote:
Originally Posted by kittylady1972 View Post
You shall soon learn that I guess as kids get older, parenting skills get a little more lax
So true! Glad you found Noah quickly, even though it seemed like forever!
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***12/09 Pop Century***08/13 7 night Fantasy Western

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Old 01-15-2010, 12:55 PM   #12
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Sunday Dec. 6th Continued

Sunday Dec. 6th Continued....

Ok, so we made it out of Test Track in good time, but I needed SNACKS so we hit Mousegear as I searched for some of these...



I love these little Chip and Dale cheese crackers, and I had seen somebody with the Chocolate Caramel Popcorn earlier and decided I must try it. So we did. The good thing about it not being terribly hot in Florida? You can walk around with chocolate snacks and not worry about them melting. Life is good!

The other thing we picked up, while waiting in the crazy-long line at Mousegear was this:



I highly recommend this one. This was another big hit for the kids...especially Nicolas...was reading about the Hidden Mickey's and trying to find them. We spent a lot of time with the kids pointing out Hidden Mickey's on the rest of our trip. I have to say I lost this book at one point (well left it on a ride) and my DH ran back to find it was found thank goodness...because I was ready to buy another one we liked it so much!


Next was a short trip through Innoventions I think? I can't remember if this was the day we did this or not, but I know that one day we went in and did the Fire House demonstration...Noelle and I on one team, the boys on another (Frank, Nicolas and Noah) and Noelle and I kicked some butt...but still lost to the other team. Oh well. I also took Noah and Noelle into the Don't Waste It exhibit while Frank and Nicolas headed to Sum of All Thrills. I finished with the little ones just before Frank and Nicolas tested out their ride and it was cool to watch. Hopefully next time the younger two will reach the 48-inch height limit to do this so I can try it!

Now we were all hungry...so we headed towards the World Showcase with thoughts of this place....



Mmmm....Fish n'Chips! However it was just around 11am and it wasn't open yet. Bummer. We figured it would be open soon, so I left the kids with my MIL and decided to get a stroller rental at the nearby International Gateway, while Frank and his dad hit some stores. On my way back with the stroller, I saw a Kim Possible booth, decided to check in and see what it was all about, and ended up with a mission for the kids that would start around 12:30pm. That should give us time to get lunch done.

We finished lunch and headed right to Italy (I think) to pick up or Kimmunicator and start our mission. I think my FIL was more into it than the kids, searching out the next clue with them and before them. It was really cute and the kids totally enjoyed it with very little fighting.



As it turned out, after our first mission was over, we didn't follow instructions and ended up on another mission, but we had nothing else to do so we went ahead with that one as well. I have to say this was something the kids really enjoyed and really wanted to do again later on our trip. We just didn't get the chance.

After our KP Missions, it was time to head back to the front of the park and start thinking about heading to room for some rest before dinner. Our fastpass for Soarin' was ready for use so we did that as well as a quick ride on The Land, all the while looking for Hidden Mickey's along the way. We then hit Imagination since the kids were itching to ride that...but as we stood in line it broke down. We waited a bit, but then decided to leave and then it started moving again. We got back in line and rode it quickly, then the last ride of the day on the way out was Spaceship Earth, and then we headed back to our room for a bit.

So guess what? No Mission:Space for my daughter on this particular day. I'm sure she probably complained about it but my mommy-memory is not recalling it right now. There would be other EPCOT days in our future! Oh and that double-stroller I rented? I need not have bothered. I must now accept that my kids really have outgrown their need for strollers. I spent more time watching the kids push the empty stroller and trying to prevent them from running people over with it. I don't think we'll have to worry about that in the future. I guess it's finally time to give up my double-jogger hanging on the wall in my garage at home!

Dinner was for 6pm and a place offsite called Opa Taverna. An old high school friend of mine lives in Florida now, so we try to see her whenever we visit. She mentioned this place, having never been there for dinner but for drinks and such, and it sounded great. It really was awesome. The kids were all well entertained during our very long meal there by the belly dancer and fire eater. There was much singing and dancing and of course the best part of the evening for them was when dinner was over and the waitress invited the kids to dance on the tables:



I have never eaten too many greek foods myself, but we all ended up basically getting these sample feasts so we had trays of hot and cold appetizers, meats and seafood dishes and it was all really good. I tried stuff I had never had before and loved it. We would love to go back there for another visit for sure. I did feed my very picky 9-year-old a PB&J sandwich before dinner, just to be safe, but they had mac and cheese there that he seemed okay with so I won't worry about that next time.






__________________
THE FUTURE: Nov. '14: Thanksgiving with Mickey * Oct. '15 FANTASY Cruise

The past:*Sep '14: SOG*Jan'14: DCL MAGIC*Sep/Oct'13 DCL WONDER*Aug'13:DLR*Jan'13: POP/SSR*Nov'12:VWL/DCL DREAM/THV*Jun'12:SWAN * Mar '12:BDWLK * Jun'11:BLT * Dec'09:SSR * May'09:BC&AKV *Oct'08:BCVDINING REPORT*Jun'08:POP* Nov'07:OKW&SSR*Oct'06:AKL*Jan '06:CR*Feb'04:BDWLK *Oct'03:POLY*Sep'01:CR*Oct'99:POR*Feb'97:ASM

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Old 01-15-2010, 01:32 PM   #13
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Dec. 7th - Animal Kingdom in the rain?

Dec. 7th - Animal Kingdom Day
So I had planned for this to be our Animal Kingdom day because it was an early entry day. Yes, I know that's the WORST day to go to a park, but I figured we'd hit it early and get out and we never spend too much time at this park anyway. It always seems to be at least 10 degrees warmer than any of the other parks most of the time we are there.

Today would be an exception. With the cold and the rain this was the first time we found ourselves to actually be a bit chilled in this park.

So my MIL was going to rest at the room on this day, giving her back a much-needed break, but FIL was joining us for the trip. We had breakfast in the room and walked outside...into the rain. Yes it was rainy and dreary and my husband turned to me and said "Seriously?" and YES it is vacation...suck it up! As it turned out my GPS decided to take us the long way to AK and right to some back part of the park...where we could NOT enter anyway, so by the time we arrived at the front gate around 8am and the rain was gone!

We headed to the Safari first, which had no wait so we were on and off that in no time. Then we made a beeline for Expedition Everest...but it was down for technical difficulties and they hoped to have it back up by 10:30am. We headed into Dinoland USA instead, thinking Nicolas and the older boys (DH and FIL) would ride the Primeval Whirl and since I dislike spinning rides, I'd take the little ones on Triceratops Spin. I guess there were some difficulties with the Priveval Whirl, since I took two rides on Triceratops (first in front with the youngest boy, then in back with him) and when we got off the ride we learned they boys weren't able to ride their ride. Oh well.

DH now decides he wants to do Dinosaur...and I had fully intended to skip that one knowing none of the kids really like it. So as we approach the ride, who decides he does NOT want to ride but my OLDEST son...and the two little ones are ready to get on Dinosaur (if you recall, my daughter is the thrill seeker and she is determined to ride all that she can!) so I get on that with the two kids and my FIL, while my husband waits outside with our oldest son. So here are the four of us across the back...you can't even see my daughter! Crazy!



Now we walk back towards Expedition Everest because we had Fastpasses for it. We notice the line for Nemo is there and it is about to start, so we hop in there and decided to catch that first...which brings wailing from my daughter who only wants to do RIDES! Not SHOWS!

Of course, we have to wait a while for the show to start...so here we are waiting:



We sit in front of a family with small children who are just hacking up a lung constantly. I am starting to rethink NOT getting vaccinated for FLU right about that point. The show begins and the kids really enjoy it, as I knew they would. Amazing how mom and dad can sometimes have GOOD ideas huh?

Now we head for Expedition Everest. Noelle is thrilled about finally being able to ride this one for the first time! Noah is not big enough for this, but everybody else is so they head off to ride while I wait with Noah. He is hungry and we search for snacks nearby, but the closest thing that is open before 11am is the ice cream stand. Frozen Bananas make a good breakfast, right?



They are on and off the ride pretty quickly, and we still have two Fastpasses to use so I go back on the ride with Noelle. We are on and off quickly and she loves it again!


Now we start walking towards the front of the park. I had promised Noah we'd return to ride the train to Rafiki's Planet Watch, so we are heading in that direction I think. For some reason we decide to try and catch It's Tough to be a Bug...something none of the kids have done because we are afraid they will FA-REAK out on it. Yet we decided to try it anyway.



Amazingly, they all handle it very well. Of course, I notice in the seats some of the effects don't work too well and since the kids are sitting a bit forward in their seats, they don't get poked and such either. That may have helped. Overall it goes well. We have accomplished yet another new ride for them and I don't think they will need therapy!

We also walked by Flights of Wonder and the show is just starting...so we stop in and catch that as well. We had seen this before, but FIL had not and I got to videotape the whole thing this time as it's really a cute show.

Next up is the train over to Rafiki's Planet Watch. We have not done this ever with the kids...so it's been over 10 years since we've seen it. We soon realize...there's not too much to miss there. We spend a little time there, the kids chase a few goats with brushes, there are no animal things going on live at the time, so we don't stay too long. No need to go back there for another 10 years I guess! However Noah is happy because we ride a train over and back, even if it is a short ride. The boy loves trains!

On our way out of the park, I get ice cream for everybody as I had promised them earlier in the day. That completes our day at AK!



Up next: dinner at the California Grill...and I head out on my own to a park with the three kids!





__________________
THE FUTURE: Nov. '14: Thanksgiving with Mickey * Oct. '15 FANTASY Cruise

The past:*Sep '14: SOG*Jan'14: DCL MAGIC*Sep/Oct'13 DCL WONDER*Aug'13:DLR*Jan'13: POP/SSR*Nov'12:VWL/DCL DREAM/THV*Jun'12:SWAN * Mar '12:BDWLK * Jun'11:BLT * Dec'09:SSR * May'09:BC&AKV *Oct'08:BCVDINING REPORT*Jun'08:POP* Nov'07:OKW&SSR*Oct'06:AKL*Jan '06:CR*Feb'04:BDWLK *Oct'03:POLY*Sep'01:CR*Oct'99:POR*Feb'97:ASM

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Old 04-05-2010, 10:51 AM   #14
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Dec 7th Cont'd: California Grill and MK at Night

So we get back from Animal Kingdom and have a little bit of time to get ready for our dinner reservation at the Calfornia Grill that night. We have a 5:50pm reservation and Wishes is at 8pm this evening, so timing should be perfect.

I am so looking forward to the flatbreads that they did NOT have during our May trip (the said the oven wasn't working at the time). This time they have them and I order one...it does not disappoint! We also get the sushi...superb as always. I have to have my favorite...the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli...another winner! We get a bottle of wine to share at the table and it's so good...we order a second one!



I order some kind of pork for my meal. It's pretty good but I'm so full from the other food that I really don't need it.

Now it's time to order dessert...and just as we get it they dim the lights and begin Wishes and we watch from our table. We aren't along the window but still have a pretty good view.



It's just awesome as usual! Nicolas did order this dessert sushi that we all thought so was so cool:



So dinner is now over...it's about 8:30pm...and this is the one night that we have where the Magic Kingdom is open late and there is not a Christmas Party. I must see the park lit up for Christmas. The food and the two bottles of wine and the fact that Frank is really not feeling well means he is not up for a park. Of course, he thinks I'm crazy for wanting to take the kids to the park. They MUST have their sleep. I will not be deterred. The decision is made...he will take his parents back to the room, I will take the three kids to the Magic Kingdom for a little while.

It's a great evening at the park. I just love walking in and seeing this:



I take all kinds of photos of the kids with the castle and the various decorations. They all turn out great.


We decide to hit Big Thunder Mountain Railroad since it will be cool to ride it at night. As we stand in front of the ride, the wait time reads 30 minutes or more and I tell the kids if we do this it means the only ride we can do. They are okay with this...almost. The cast member tells another group the wait could be longer. Nicolas is NOT happy...but we go for it. As it turns out, we walk right onto the ride. Sure we have to walk through the entire ride queue but it's clear it is not going be a 30-minute wait. We are probably on the ride in 15 minutes or less and it's GREAT! Nicolas and Noelle ride behind me and Noah and they love it!

Afterwards it's getting late so we head out of the park, stopping for a few more photos.



So we now head for the bus stop to catch a ride back to our room. The bus is PACKED! I put one child on my lap and make two other sit next to me sharing one seat. All three kids fall asleep on the ride back to the resort.

It's now after 10:30pm and we reach SSR and the many bus stops. I think I know the one we need...but I haven't had to ride the bus back to our resort before. We get to the next to the last stop...and I consider it but don't get off the bus. Now as we pull away and we get to the last stop I realize my error...and I've missed our stop.

We get off the bus and I tell the kids we have to walk back, thinking it may be a bit of a hike. They all break out in tears...they are TIRED! I call Frank getting him out of bed and ask him if he can come get us. We walk and before long...we are approaching our building. I call him back as he is getting into the van to come get us! We get back to the room and collapse in bed.

The question is, how badly will I pay for this tomorrow??




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THE FUTURE: Nov. '14: Thanksgiving with Mickey * Oct. '15 FANTASY Cruise

The past:*Sep '14: SOG*Jan'14: DCL MAGIC*Sep/Oct'13 DCL WONDER*Aug'13:DLR*Jan'13: POP/SSR*Nov'12:VWL/DCL DREAM/THV*Jun'12:SWAN * Mar '12:BDWLK * Jun'11:BLT * Dec'09:SSR * May'09:BC&AKV *Oct'08:BCVDINING REPORT*Jun'08:POP* Nov'07:OKW&SSR*Oct'06:AKL*Jan '06:CR*Feb'04:BDWLK *Oct'03:POLY*Sep'01:CR*Oct'99:POR*Feb'97:ASM

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Old 04-05-2010, 11:38 AM   #15
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Dec 8th: Magic Kingdom and Osborne Lights!

So since it was a late night for the kids, we are in no hurry to get them up and out the door. Of course, they are still up pretty early and before we know it we are in the van and on our way to the Magic Kingdom...our first DAY here!

As soon as we walk into the park I take note of something...a giant Christmas Tree at the end of Main Street that was NOT there when we left the park at 10pm the previous night. Disney Magic! Plus the streets are decorated with wreaths...again they were not there before! Wow!



Our mission for breakfast is the Main Street Bakery. We could not wait to return here for breakfast! Frank and I split a few things since we know it will be more than enough food. We pose for a few photos on main street after breakfast and then hit the rest of the park.

First step is Fantasyland of course...got to get those out of the way before the crowds. We ride the teacups:


and Pooh and Peter Pan and Small World. I think we doubled-back to Tomorrowland to also catch Buzz and ride the Speedway. I know we hit Space Mountain where Noelle got to ride for the first time and she was THRILLED!



Lunch was at another favorite...the Columbia Harbour House. LOVE the clam chowder and the fish there! Then it was over to check out the Hall of Presidents for the first time with the kids...I think Noah fell asleep here. Then of course it was Haunted Mansion time:




Then it was off to ride Big Thunder Mountain RR followed by SplashMountain. We are very close to the 3pm parade time so we park Frank's mom near where the parade will start and go ride Splash with the kids. We get in line and before long Noah has to use the restroom...BAD! I jump out of line with him and send Frank and his dad and the other two kids on without us. We run to the bathroom and back...it's not too bad. We are standing in line at one point and I turn around to hear Noah calling for me...he has lost me again! At this point I break out a permanent marker and write my cell phone number on the upper part of his arm! I tell him if he gets lost he is to have somebody call that number....I never think he'll have to use it of course.

As we approach the loading area for Splash we look down and see Frank and his dad and the kids waiting for us, so we all get to ride together! We don't get too wet...but Frank's dad is riding up front with the kids and they aren't as lucky. We get off the ride and rush back to find MIL with her scooter...and as it turns out the parade is ENDING at this point where we left her...so much for the plan of waiting for it to end and hitting the rest of the park while it's still going through the area!



Now it's time to start making our way back out of the park...and we catch Pirates on the way out and I think Jungle Cruise too. We get back to our room to relax a bit and freshen up before dinner that evening.

Dinner is at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater.

It's a great place to stop since our plan is to see the Osborne Lights that night I have another favorite...the black and bleu steak salad and it's wonderful as I remembered. We even get dessert too...which is okay.

Then we head right over to the see the Osborne Lights...it's wonderful of course. We spend a lot of time here, checking out a lot of the lights and having some photos done too.



__________________
THE FUTURE: Nov. '14: Thanksgiving with Mickey * Oct. '15 FANTASY Cruise

The past:*Sep '14: SOG*Jan'14: DCL MAGIC*Sep/Oct'13 DCL WONDER*Aug'13:DLR*Jan'13: POP/SSR*Nov'12:VWL/DCL DREAM/THV*Jun'12:SWAN * Mar '12:BDWLK * Jun'11:BLT * Dec'09:SSR * May'09:BC&AKV *Oct'08:BCVDINING REPORT*Jun'08:POP* Nov'07:OKW&SSR*Oct'06:AKL*Jan '06:CR*Feb'04:BDWLK *Oct'03:POLY*Sep'01:CR*Oct'99:POR*Feb'97:ASM
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