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Old 02-01-2012, 03:18 PM   #136
kaoden39
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Thanks! This was probably our best vacation at WDW ever!!

Oh that's great!! I am so excited to hear about it. In 12 days We are leaving to go to Disneyland for our second honeymoon!!
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:43 AM   #137
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I'm looking forward to reading your tr! I have a 6 yr old dd too.

I can't believe your almost 3 yr old is about the same height as my 4.5 yr old - he was JUST tall enough for Splash Mt!
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:22 PM   #138
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Autrotrain to Florida

First -- I am extremely sorry for the long wait (a month later!!!) I finally finished my photopass pictures last week. What was really funny is that in the past I have just done it within a few days/week. However, this time since I was much slower, Disney Photopass kept adding Bonus Photos to my account...so I ended up getting a lot more of the "stock" photos -- in fact, when I called, they said I already had all of the bonus content available! Yay!

Second -- dara -- welcome to the TR! It is certainly an adventure having tall children! Elizabeth (my youngest) actually rode Goofy's Barnstormer at 1yo!!

[/B]Off to Florida!!

Back on January 19, 2012, we took Rachel to school for a 1/2 day and then picked her up around 11:45am. Again, Jerry was not finished packing, but we were a LOT further along and were able to leave by noon. This time we decided to skip McDonalds and just purchase food at the train station. The thought was good (why not eat while we are waiting for the train) but the execution left something to be desired (dry, expensive sandwiches). Next time I may try to pack our own sandwiches to save some money.
Tuna Salad Sandwich, Ginger Ale and a bag of Bugles (approx 2 servings) were $12.25!!

As we walked into the station we realized this was going to be a very different trip. There were NO kids!! I should have realized this when the movie was "Breakfast at Tiffanys". Oh well, Rae/Elie found a quiet corner where Amtrak had some markers and they colored while eating some lunch. The train was packed with "Snow Birds" -- those elderly people who travel south for the winter. Our family felt sooooooo out of place! Now some of the people were really nice and I could tell they loved kids/grandkids ... but some of them were the 'grumpy old men' (and women) who I could just tell were going -- crap, I hope those kids aren't in my car!


Off to board the train.


(Now that picture above is actually a cardboard cut out of the train (about 18 inches) but I thought it looked really good.


Lessons we learned in the past were to go to the Lounge car as soon as you board...and we did, getting one of the very last booths available. This worked out great and we brought toys for the girls to play with this time. The main game was Disney Yahtzee, which helped put us in the mood even more!

Rachel and me


Jerry and Elie


As you can see the colors for this trip were Purple and Brown.

We ate the usual snacks -- crackers, cheese, veggies, fruit ... and I had a glass or eight of wine


Which really put me in a relaxed mood


We had a very pleasant conversation with the people in the other booth and stayed in the lounge car until 4:30pm. Then we went back to our room and let the girls play a bit before dinner.


5pm came and we were not hungry, so we waited until the 2nd dinner bell call and off we went through the train cars to the dining car. As you can see there isn't much room ... which is a good thing when the car goes bumpity-bump!


Here is the menu.


And here is the table set up:


I still was not hungry since I ate a lot of snacks/wine earlier but ordered the salmon. It was ok. The beef has always been tasty in the past and I should have stuck with that.

They had a chocolate Tort for dessert and I gobbled that up!

Jerry and Rachel


Then we went back to our rooms to brush our teeth/potty/put on PJs for the girls and take our evening walk. This time Rachel and I found a "secret" lounge car booth - pretty cool for a large group. It was located underneath the regular lounge car.

Rachel got Tiana (her 2nd favorite princess) for Christmas.


I ended up talking to Conductor Steve in this booth section for a bit (very nice) and then we headed back to our room. I grabbed a couple of cookies and some hot chocolate on the way.

We went to bed early.

Around 3am, Elie fell between the crack of her bed and mine and cried as she didn't realize where she was. We woke up at 6:15am but lounged around until 6:45am and had breakfast at 7am.

All in all a good first day!

Last edited by Marshay; 02-27-2012 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:17 PM   #139
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YAY...You started!!!

Glad train ride was still fine with snowbirds

That other lounge looks cool


That cardboard train looked so real
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:46 PM   #140
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love the Gymboree!
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:19 PM   #141
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YAY...You started!!!

Glad train ride was still fine with snowbirds

That other lounge looks cool

That cardboard train looked so real
I know...finally! I'm still waiting for my PP CD but figured I could start our traveling days awhile.

It was really weird not having any friends for the girls to play with. It turns out there were some kids on board but they must have been in coach b/c we never saw them in our dining or sleeping cars.

Yeah, the cardboard train turned out really good. I'm planning to use that as a background page for my photo book.

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love the Gymboree!
Me, too! I had bought the girls that line when it came out, what 2 years ago now? But only gave it to them as Christmas presents this past Xmas, b/c I wanted them to keep things clean for our Disney trip.

I was glad when the sizes I guessed on fit them, since I was planning 2 years in advance. But generally I've been able to double the age to get their size.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:27 PM   #142
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Me, too! I had bought the girls that line when it came out, what 2 years ago now? But only gave it to them as Christmas presents this past Xmas, b/c I wanted them to keep things clean for our Disney trip.

I was glad when the sizes I guessed on fit them, since I was planning 2 years in advance. But generally I've been able to double the age to get their size.
I think that line came out fall of 2010, so wow on your planning ahead! double the age to get the size - so your 3 yr old wears a 6?? My almost 7 yr old wears an 8 in gymbo tops and dresses and a 7 in bottoms, and my 4 yr old wears mostly 4s, sometimes 3s. But we've already established that he's a shorty!
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:32 PM   #143
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I think that line came out fall of 2010, so wow on your planning ahead! double the age to get the size - so your 3 yr old wears a 6?? My almost 7 yr old wears an 8 in gymbo tops and dresses and a 7 in bottoms, and my 4 yr old wears mostly 4s, sometimes 3s. But we've already established that he's a shorty!
Yeah, Rachel is wearing 10s (soon to be too small) and 12s. I'm really sad b/c this will be her last year to wear Gymboree clothes. I really like how I can match up the colors w/o having them wear the EXACT same thing. I know it sounds crazy but I'm going to miss shopping there for both of them.

Elizabeth is wearing 5s right now and I just roll the sleeves a bit. I'll switch her over to 6s in the spring/summer. Now they also live in leggins...if I got actual pants or jeans, then I would have to downsize. But we find leggins the easiest to wear.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:46 PM   #144
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I understand! I have other obsessions aside from Disney and one of them is Gymboree! I actually match my 2 boys and sometimes try to match my girl's colors with theirs too - holiday lines work great for that! Too bad your bigger girl is almost out of Gymboree - I think I'd cry!
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:38 AM   #145
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Oh the fun! When I was a little girl we lived in a town that was at that time a retirement town. Those old people can be mean. So speaks the voice of experience.


Poor Elie.
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:10 AM   #146
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It is super fun that your girls will have the memories of riding the train overnight! I have great memories of going across the country with my mom. My only regret was that I never got to sleep in the top bunk in the little compartment.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:06 AM   #147
Marshay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dara00 View Post
I understand! I have other obsessions aside from Disney and one of them is Gymboree! I actually match my 2 boys and sometimes try to match my girl's colors with theirs too - holiday lines work great for that! Too bad your bigger girl is almost out of Gymboree - I think I'd cry!
If I had boy/girl, I'd try to match them too!!

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Oh the fun! When I was a little girl we lived in a town that was at that time a retirement town. Those old people can be mean. So speaks the voice of experience.

Poor Elie.
yeah, I'm sure I'll think the same when I am a grandmother-type, too. It was just sooooo weird to be outnumbered like that!

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It is super fun that your girls will have the memories of riding the train overnight! I have great memories of going across the country with my mom. My only regret was that I never got to sleep in the top bunk in the little compartment.
Good point! Instead of memories of being stuck in a car and everyone yelling and complaining, we are building fun memories of relaxing on the train.

Ahh, no top bunk? Rachel loves her spot up there...although Elie is going to be vying for that spot soon, too!
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:48 PM   #148
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First day

Here are a few photos of our room on the train.

Elizabeth's lower bunk bed


Rachel sleeping peacefully on the upper bunk bed


Elie loves climbing up the ladder:


The train was going to be late (again!) in Sanford so after breakfast, we went back to the room and the girls watched a Disney movie on our DVD player and Jerry and I took a little nap. Then we were in Sanford and just had to wait for our SUV.

The girls played on the playground (and we found about 6 other kids there, too, but they must have been in coach or arrived late for the sleeping cars b/c we never saw them until the playground).


Our SUV was #165 out of 207 cars so we did have a bit to wait. After getting our car we stopped a McDonald's for food along the way and a quick stop at Walmart for some perishables.

Then we saw this sign! Yay!!


And we also saw this sign! The skywriter was back....personally, I love this and it helps remind me to thank our Lord for the privilege of being back at Disney.


We checked into OKW.

Now I was not sure about this resort ... but we chose this b/c we hadn't been here before and it was less points than the other resorts.

Although our room was not ready it was on the first floor, Room 1414 right across from the HH --- woo hoo!! ANd it even had a water view. We were thrilled and couldn't wait to see it.

We decided to walk around the resort a bit until our room was ready.


The boat dock area to DTD.


The pool slide


Dolphin decorations


The pool activities had started so we all joined a hula hoop contest...none of us won but we each got a free water squirt toy and it was fun being in the sun.


Even Jerry gave it a try.


We still hadn't gotten the text that our room was ready so we got into our SUV and drove around OKW to the quiet pool which also had a neat playground for the girls.

Finally our room was ready at 4:15pm.
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:16 PM   #149
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Ticket dilemma

So before we get to the room, I have to tell you about our AP experience. I knew we wanted to get AP for this January trip and for January 2013. I had timed our vacations so they would overlap completely and by the last day...meaning I purchase on 1/21/12 and it expires on 1/21/13.

I had asked on several boards (DIS and Liners) about exactly when an AP expires and was told the above is correct.

Ok, fast forward to the check-in desk and I ask the CM just to be sure about the dates and he tells me, no. If I purchase on 1/21 it will expire on 1/20, so I had to wait until 1/22. Well that wouldn't work for us since I had plans (including a CCG ADR for 1/21 in DHS). Now today was 1/20 but I had planned to purchase tomorrow before going into the park.

So a 2nd CM comes over and says the same thing. I'm trying to tell them that I think they are wrong (in the nicest manner). So they bring over a manager, Stephanie, and she says -- have them get their tickets today and then give them a complimentary pass for 1 day, parkhopper so they can get into the parks on 1/21/13.

Sounds good.

They give me the free tickets and then I buy the AP.

And guess what the expiration date is: 1/20/13 (not 1/19 like they said it would be) so the AP covers me for 1/20/13 and the free ticket covers me for 1/21/13.

Now if I had just waited until 1/21 to buy the tickets, everything would have turned out exactly like I expected and WDW wouldn't have needed to give me the free tickets. But since the CM didn't understand when an AP expires, I got an extra day in the parks...well, evening actually. We hadn't planned to go to the parks tonight 1/20 but now we could!

So Arnold and Joann (CM) said that they learned something new today and would suggest getting the training manual updated/rewritten to say that an AP expires on the same day, one year in advance.

I felt very proud that I not only knew more than the CM but that I was able to help them learn something too.

Go Dis!!

Last edited by Marshay; 02-28-2012 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:28 PM   #150
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Garden Grove

I had gotten restaurant.com gift certificates $25 worth of food for only $2 and decided to give Garden Grove over at the Swan a try since friends of ours went and loved it.

There is a big tree in the middle of the restaurant, lit up.


It was delicious. We were one of only 4 tables occupied at 5:15pm on a Friday night. The characters kept coming around and around ...so much so that we had to tell the girls they had to eat their food and stop getting up all the time!


At first Elizabeth was shy of the characters but by the 2nd time they came around she was going to them and by the 3rd time she was hugging them and the 4th-7th times they were dancing, waving, hugging, kissing, etc.


Friday night was Seafood Night and it was good. Reminded me of Cape May Cafe but perhaps not as many options. However, they did serve a bucket of fried shrimp, clams and hushpuppies ... and each adult got:


Here are some samplings of our meal. Snow crab clusters, mussels, shrimp -- yum!! Also, the desserts were much better than Disney's IMHO.


Smiles and laughs were plentiful at this meal.


After dinner I decided that we should go to Epcot since we were so close and had the bonus day from the AP dilemma earlier. I also bought the TIW card to get 20% Table-service restaurants for this trip and our next one(s).

We went to UK and ran around the maze for 15 minutes or so. The girls loved it. The band started playing Elton John's pinball wizard and folks were singing/dancing. We got a photopass picture in France and then took the Friendship #4 boat back to the Swan/Dolphin and then drove home to OKW to unpack.

Our initial thoughts on OKW were the rooms are H_U_G_E!!! We had a great location, right across from HH and with a water/canal view and also could watch the golfers swing on the other side of the canal.

It was very relaxing (pics in another post) and I felt blessed! I said I will try not to rush us again this trip. Last trip (May 2011) I went for 5 days before going commando...maybe I could make it the whole week this time!
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