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Old 11-17-2012, 03:20 PM   #46
pg0314
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Originally Posted by tazdev3225 View Post
I had a Canon 230 until a couple of weeks ago. My grandson had baseball playoffs right before Sandy hit and between the cold and wet weather, juggling the camera and keping score my frozen fingers let the camera slip away. I dropped it on the open and extended lens.

I haven't been to Universal in 15 years. I may really need to add it to the trip my DH and I are taking next year. I have read all of the Harry Potter books and seen all of the movies. I agree with you the books are so much better.
Oooh, that sucks about your camera. But now you know what to ask Santa to bring you for Christmas!

If you're a Harry Potter fan, a day at Universal is a must. They really did a phenomenal job recreating Harry's world. My friend Evey just got back and said her kids were absolutely mesmerized and they all loved the Forbidden Journeys ride ... even Evey who's not much of a rider!
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:30 PM   #47
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Chapter Six: Part One

Chapter Six: Part One
“Can we do it? Yes we can!”

Monday, September 24, 2012
Day Six



So what’s the grand plan for our last Disney day?

Two women. Four parks. One day! Can we do it? Yes, we can!

We were up and on the road early so we could be at DHS for rope drop.



They let us in at 8:45 and we made a beeline for Toy Story Mania. By ‘made a beeline’ I mean, we strolled along at a leisurely pace and made fun of all the idiots sprinting to get there ahead of us. When we arrived, we found the vast majority of the other guests jockeying for position at the fast pass machines. The standby line? Practically empty. We might have waited 20 minutes at most.





This was our first trip on Toy Story Mania and it was a blast! And yeah, those scores are embarrassing, but this time I was slightly less horrible than Tena and I won!



Anyway, it was fun and we will definitely ride again. But it’s basically a fancied up carnival game and I don’t understand the whole stampede, massive long line, vanishing fast pass aspect of it.
As much as I enjoyed it, I would never stand in line more than 20 minutes to ride it. Different strokes, I guess!

Our original plan was to do one photo pass picture and one attraction at each park but we got done at DHS so quickly we decided to make it two attractions instead.

Our second DHS attraction was One Man’s Dream, since it was right next door to TSM and practically empty. I didn’t really learn anything new about Walt or the origins of WDW but it was a nice little museum and I enjoyed seeing the artwork and artifacts. There was a big display with pictures and miniatures of the new Fantasyland that was especially interesting.







As we were making our way out of the park we browsed through a couple of gift shops and Tena added another ‘must do’ to our list for the day: a pressed penny in each park! Fifteen years ago, our friend Mary went to WDW with us and got absolutely obsessed with the pressed penny machines … to the point that we were ready to shove pressed pennies up her nose by the time the vacation was over! To this day, we elbow each other and laugh whenever we see a pressed penny machine so it was the perfect addition to our itinerary for the day!

At 10:05 we were on our way out the front gates of DHS and on to our next destination. Obviously, not too many people leave the parks less than 90 minutes after arriving so we had the out-bound tram entirely to ourselves, which was hilarious! One down, three to go!

Next stop: Animal Kingdom!

We arrived around 10:20 and our first stop was the photo pass photographer at the front gate. This guy was really into his job and was doing a mini photo shoot with every group he photographed. It made the line move very slowly but we got some fun pictures.





Since we’d done everything we really wanted to do at AK the other day, we decided to just pick two attractions we could get on and off of quickly. We ended up with A Bug’s Life and Dinosaur:







It was our last day of vacation and FINALLY Mother Nature was being kind to us! It was a gorgeous day … warm and sunny but the humidity was low and there was a nice breeze. For the first time all week, we didn’t feel like we were about to melt. But as we made our way out of the park, we decided we’d better have a nice refreshing Mickey Bar just to be on the safe side!



We were out the gates and on the road before noon. Two down and two to go!

By 12:30 we were in Epcot.



We were making great time! Of course one of our two attractions had to be Soarin’ so we headed right to the Land Pavilion. The standby line was 50 minutes and the fast pass return time was 5:30 to 6:30. We planned to be at the Magic Kingdom long before then so we decided we’d just have to suck it up and stand in line. But first we needed some lunch. Since we were right there we ate at Sunshine Seasons again. I think it’s my new favorite counter service restaurant at WDW. We both had Mongolian Beef with fried rice … kind of spicy but really delicious. I can’t remember exactly what our desserts were. I think Tena’s was some sort of Danish and mine was an apple muffin kind of thing. I just know they were both yummy.



Then we went off to brave the standby line for Soarin’ which was 70 minutes by this time.



We’d had amazingly good luck with standby lines all week and never waited more than 15 or 20 minutes for any ride So we couldn’t complain about having to wait this one time … well, we couldn’t complain much! We passed the time chatting with the very nice couple in line behind us. They were from North Carolina but he’d grown up in Pennsylvania. In fact, he was born about 10 miles from where we live. Small world! And when we finally got on the ride, we were rewarded for our patience with seats in the front row!

After Soarin’ we went to the little photo center under the Golf Ball and picked up our free print from the Disney Visa meet and greet. We’d decided not to bother claiming it since we’d already pre-paid for the photo pass CD and could just print it from home. We only went to the photo center to take a look at our photo pass pictures. But the cast member who waited on us talked us into getting the free print. “We can put on special borders that you can’t get at home!” he insisted. So we caved and got it and it did turn out pretty cute!



Since we were right there, we made the Golf Ball our second Epcot attraction … and once again we missed seeing ourselves on the big screen afterward. Tena had picked an undersea adventure for us and I’m sure the picture was hilarious. Not that we’d know!




4:00 and we were on the monorail to the Magic Kingdom. Three down and one to go!
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:44 PM   #48
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Chapter Six: Part Two

Chapter Six: Part Two
“He ripped my head off! Now that is just rude!”


After leaving Epcot, we hopped a monorail to the Magic Kingdom and arrived around 4:30 pm.



We planned to stay at MK until we tired out and knew we’d do more than just two attractions. But what to do first? “The train!” Tena suggested as we walked in the front gate. So up the stairs to the train station we went!




We made the complete circle and arrived back at Main Street just in time for the flag retreat! They do this every afternoon and if you’ve never seen it, it’s worth checking out.













The guy in the sunglasses and ball cap is NOT Steven Spielberg, though he sure looks like him! He was the honorary veteran of the day who was chosen to take part in the ceremony. I wonder if he got to keep the flag afterward … if so, WDW goes through a lot of flags in a year’s time!

We headed over to Future World for another ride on Buzz Lightyear. Our scores were slightly less embarrassing but yeah, we still suck!







Still so intent! You’d think we’d be better at this as much concentration as we put into it! We did a little better this time but that’s not saying much. And Tena still kicked my butt.

Then we took a ride on an old favorite: The WEDway People Mover. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s just the People Mover these days but it will always be the WEDway People Mover to us. I love the People Mover! It’s a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the park and it’s fun to get little glimpses inside the other attractions.



After we got off the People Mover, we realized we were missing our Visa Rewards picture! Yikes, when did we have it last? Tena had been carrying it and was sure she had it when we got on Buzz Lightyear. And sure enough somebody turned it in and they had it waiting for us at the exit to the ride. These Disney cast members are just too darn efficient!

After a quick bite to eat … somewhere? Cosmic Rays? … we headed for Fantasyland. We had to fit in three rides on It’s a Small World to break our record. Only it turned out that Fantasyland was MOBBED. The standby line was 20 minutes so three rides was going to take us close to two hours. Well, nuts. It was around 7:00 by then and the park was open late for the Electrical Parade so we could do it. But we’d been on the go for 12 hours without a break and were starting to get tired. So our record of five rides in one trip still stands. Oh well, it gives us yet another excuse to come back to Disney!

With Small World off the agenda and Fantasyland packed full of strollers and whining children, we beat a hasty retreat. People were walking right on the Haunted Mansion and we wanted to check out the interactive queue so it was a good choice for our very last attraction of the trip. At the end of the ride, the ghost sitting on top of our Doombuggy reached down and ripped Tena’s head off, which she declared was just plain rude! Hee! We love the Haunted Mansion.





After one last Dole Whip for the road, we started making our way out of the park. People were staking out their parade spots so Main Street was pretty crowded but we worked our way along slowly, browsing in a few shops and stopping at the Confectionary Shoppe to pick up a couple of treats for the plane ride home.




8:00 and we were on the ferry headed ‘home‘ . Two women … four parks … one day! We did it!!!! And it was an awesome day, by far my favorite of the trip and a great way to end our vacation.



Good-bye Walt Disney World! We had a blast and, to quote a mouse we all know and love … “See you real soon!”






Up next, the trip home, a few final thoughts and some bonus pictures!
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:12 AM   #49
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Chapter Seven

Chapter Seven
“My toes are in first class!”

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


We had a fabulous time celebrating our birthdays at Walt Disney World but all good things must come to and end. Tena was missing her hubby, I was missing my kitty and we were both missing our own beds. Time to go home!

We’d packed our cameras and were in “I’m tired and ready to be home” mode so we didn’t take a single picture. Not that there was anything exciting to take a picture of. To make up for the lack of pictures in this chapter, I’m going to do a follow-up post with some pictures that didn’t make it into the trip report but are too good to keep to ourselves. So stay tuned!

Our flight left at noon so there really wasn’t time to do anything beforehand. We just took our time getting ready to face the day and had a leisurely breakfast at a nearby IHOP. Pancakes … yum!

After dropping off the old faithful rental car, we headed over to the airport to check in. Once again, they’d split us up! What the heck?! But the flight wasn’t full and the agent at the check-in counter switched us to different seats so we could sit together. And he’s our new best friend because he gave us awesome seats! We were in the first row of coach with nothing in front of us except a partial wall that separated us from first class. We had three or four times the normal amount of legroom which Tena, who’s 5’10”, was thrilled about. My legs aren’t nearly as long as hers, but I still enjoyed the legroom. And if I stretched my leg out straight in front of me, I could just barely get my toes into first class. Which is the closest to first class I’m ever going to get! Our buddy at the check-in counter also seated me on the aisle and Tena by the window with nobody between us! So we had plenty of room to spread out and relax for the flight home.

After a brief layover in Philly, we set out on the last leg of our trip home. The natural gas industry is booming in Northcentral PA right now and a large majority of the gas workers are from out of state. They fly home to visit their families every so often and then fly back. So the passengers on our little puddle jumper plane pretty much consisted of Tena and I and a bunch of gas workers. Tena reported that the guy in front of her was chewing tobacco and spitting into an empty soda bottle. And the guy across the aisle was watching porn on his laptop. Nice!

By 4:30 we were back in good old Lycoming County. All week long, whenever we talked to the folks at home, they reported that the weather was absolutely beautiful. Sunny days in the low 70’s, cloudless blue skies, crisp cool nights … perfect early fall weather, in other words. So what did we come home to? Cold, wind and rain. After a week in the Florida heat, it was a shock to the system but also a bit of a relief! And no matter how dreary the weather, it was good to be home!

My Aunt Carol picked us up at the airport and we dropped Tena off first. We’d barely gotten out of her driveway before she texted to say that the house was in better shape than she expected (her husband has many fine qualities but is not renown for his housekeeping skills) but “there’s a bicycle in the middle of the living room!”. I arrived home shortly after to find my cat, Chloe, waiting at the door with a look on her face that clearly said, “Where the @#&*^ have you been?! And knock it off with the hugging and kissing! Can’t you see my food dish is empty?!“

Yep, it was good to be home!

Still to come … some final thoughts and more pictures.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:21 AM   #50
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Great TR!! Funny how even though it's sad to leave WDW, it's so nice to come home to your own bed!! And my cats are the same way- don't give me attention- give me food!
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:39 PM   #51
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I am all caught up.

4 parks in one day sounds like fun. I think I will tell Vinny that we will do that next time.

Sounds like you had a great trip.

The 2 guys on the plane sound funny.

Thanks for sharing your trip with us.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:03 AM   #52
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Great TR!! Funny how even though it's sad to leave WDW, it's so nice to come home to your own bed!! And my cats are the same way- don't give me attention- give me food!
Thanks for reading! I always get a little teary eyed when I say goodbye to Disney but I'm always glad to be home. Even if my cat does have a one track mind!

Quote:
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I am all caught up.

4 parks in one day sounds like fun. I think I will tell Vinny that we will do that next time.

Sounds like you had a great trip.

The 2 guys on the plane sound funny.

Thanks for sharing your trip with us.
You should definitely do 4 parks in one day if you can manage it. It was so much fun ... my favorite day of the trip. Thanks for reading!
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:19 AM   #53
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Final Thoughts.

Final Thoughts.
"Less Advil and more enthusiasm!"


Let's wrap this sucker up, shall we? I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Mine was very nice … ate too much, curled up on the couch with a cat in my lap and took a post-turkey nap, spent the evening in my jammies watching terrible Christmas movies on Lifetime. This year my relatives expressed thanks for family and friends, God’s blessings, good health, beloved pets, celebrating the holidays for the 91st time … and chicks with big hooters! Ah, there’s nothing like the joy of a heartfelt family gathering, is there?

Anyway, here are a few final thoughts and some pictures that didn’t make it into the trip report but were too good not to share.

Tena and I have vacationed together many times before but a trip with just the two of us together 24/7 for a week …. I‘d say it had been 22 or 23 years. It was great to spend so much time together but had the potential for disaster. I mean, what if she’d developed some weird and annoying habits that I wasn’t aware of? But we didn’t get on each other’s nerves once! At least, Tena didn’t get on my nerves. And if I got on hers, she hid it pretty well. ;-) We’d always gone the commando route at Disney before, but this time we took a very laid back approach. We had a few things on our ‘must do’ list but otherwise our goal was just to have fun. What got done, got done. What didn’t get done, gave us an excuse to go back again. The result was a really lovely, relaxing vacation. So ladies, ditch your husbands for a week (if Tena’s husband is any indication, they’ll miss you like crazy and appreciate you more when you get home) and vacation with your girlfriends. Eat too much, don’t sleep enough, laugh until you pee! You won’t regret it, I promise!

My sister Susan will be turning 50 in 2015 and we’re planning to go back to Disney to celebrate. Based on what worked and what didn’t this time around, we have a few goals for our next trip:

Less Advil and more enthusiasm! Part of the reason for our slower, more laid back approach to Disney is … we’re old. And Pooh-sized. And woefully out of shape. And our joints ache. The aqua zumba helped a lot but still, our stamina was kind of pathetic. So we’re determined to be in better shape for our next trip. Tena’s goal is to weigh something that starts with a 1! Mine is less specific … I just want to see less of me and more of the background in our pictures! It’s a slow process but we’ve got three years and I’m confident we can do it if we set our minds to it. Life begins at 50, right?

Cargo shorts! On our first Disney vacation, Tena and I dragged so much crap to the parks with us that we could’ve used a Sherpa to carry it all. We’ve lightened the load over the years but still take more than we need. We usually take a backpack that we share (and Tena and Adam have done the same thing) but this time around it just plain got on our nerves. Halfway through the trip we switched to a small cross-over bag that Tena had and that was much better. But we still didn’t use half the stuff we had with us and going through bag check was a pain. So next time our plan is to take only what we absolutely can’t live without that will fit in our pockets!

December! The low crowd levels of September were great but the heat … yikes. We are chubby, menopausal women who love our air-conditioning. I’m not saying I’d never go to Disney in September again, but I definitely prefer slightly cooler weather. So our tentative plan for 2015 is early December. We’ve gone in December before and loved it. The crowds are manageable, the weather’s nice and of course, Disney at Christmas is amazing!

Speaking of Christmas, it’s right around the corner and I am sooooo not ready. I’m on vacation for six glorious days and I have a frenzy of cleaning, decorating and gift making planned. And on Thursday, Susan and Tena and I are traveling to Harrisburg, PA to spend the day at a massive craft show … can’t wait! So enough of me jabbering on and on. Let’s get to the pictures!

Meerkats! You gotta love ‘em!



Monkey butt!



Spoonbills! Okay, I have no idea what these birds are actually called but come on … if they aren’t spoonbills, they should be! All I know is they were adorable and absolutely everywhere at AK.




Happy Birthday to us! I’m telling you, those birthday buttons were worth their weight in gold!



Gosh, I wish these monorails weren’t so crowded!






Speaking of monorails, here’s the only picture I managed to get of the Avengers monorail:




Words of wisdom:



I think we just missed seeing this band play. Nothing exciting going on in the picture but we had to take it because Tena’s hubby is a professional tubist. Is tubist a word? Anyway, Adam plays the tuba so this picture is for him!



Okay, confession time. I don’t like Stitch. I’ve never actually seen the movie Lilo & Stich, but I’ve seen enough of Stitch to know that he gets on my nerves. But this picture is adorable!



Stumbled across these performers at AK. See the blonde girl behind the lead dancer? She was getting her African groove on big time and dancing very enthusiastically. She was shaking her butt so hard I thought she was going to dislocate a hip at one point! I love people who aren’t afraid to make a spectacle of themselves and just let loose and have fun. She was totally adorable!



Hugs from Tig!






So that’s pretty much it … my first trip report! I hope you had as much fun reading it as I had writing it. Have a wonderful holiday season and a big thank you to my small group of ‘fans’ who took the time to comment … I loved hearing from you!

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Old 11-24-2012, 10:14 AM   #54
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Yay! I loved your trip report and am sad that it's over. I highly recommend the Lilo and Stitch. It's all about family and it made Stitch one of my favorite characters.

I hope you do another trip report for your next trip!
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:47 AM   #55
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Thanks for posting your TR. I really enjoyed it.

You have to give Stitch a try. One of the best interactions I ever had with a character was with Stitch. I need a scooter because of bad knees, although I was hoping to change that, anyway he started playing with the horn on the scooter and followed me to keep tooting the horn. I felt like a little kid again it was so much fun.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:27 AM   #56
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You did a fantastic job on the trip report. So, so glad that we got to celebrate our birthdays at WDW! Just a couple things....no, you didn't get on my nerves and yes, tubist is a word.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:28 AM   #57
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I read through it all, and it looks like you had a good time! I definitely agree with the anti-commando approach to touring the parks. Much more enjoyable when you're not racing around to meet reservations, hit every ride, etc. Happy belated birthday!
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:58 AM   #58
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Great trip report! I agree about Stitch. I've seen the movie and I hated it!! DD loves it, though, so I'm sure there will be many Stitch meetings in The World.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:44 PM   #59
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I'm sad that this trip report is over.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:29 PM   #60
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Thoroughly enjoyed your trip report!
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