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Old 03-10-2007, 05:41 PM   #1
sejejoemmiev
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Cast of Characters
Me(29)
DW (29)
DS1 (8)
DD1 (7)
DS2 (4)
DD2 (1)
DM (Fifty-something)
DSis (23)

Well, here I sit at my computer, one week after departing the Magic. I am sipping my first duty-free white-russian and DD1 has finally agreed to remove the braids from her hair. The reality of the end of the obsessive planning and preparation is finally setting in-and it is rather depressing. But that is why the DIS Boards were invented. I see that there must have been a writers convention on my particular sailing of the Magic, as this is about the tenth report-but if everyone else planning their trip now is as crazy as I was before, then I know you all won't mind. Just can't get enough of anything DCL!

Chapter 1:Arrival and MGM
Our adventure actually started on Feb. 19th. It was a cold Monday morning in the northeast. We were flying JetBlue out of Boston. For those who remember, this was at the height of the JetBlue chaos. A major winter storm the week before had thrown the whole airline into a tail-spin (poor choice of words) and we spent the weekend hoping that we would be flying, but grateful to have planned on traveling well before our sail date. We spent much of the prior two weeks packing our ten suitcases, and even shipped off several boxes to our WDW resort (Port Orleans/Riverside) ahead of time. So when 4 am. arrived, we simply hopped into the mini-van and headed to the airport. We arrived at around 5:30 for our 7 am. flight. We pulled right up to the sky cap and boy did he look happy at the sight of our luggage first thing on a Monday morning. He gathered our things and began printing our boarding passes. Now that I was free of the bags, I truly felt as though I was on vacation. That lasted for about thirty-seconds. That was the point when the sky cap informed me that my name was on the federal governments watch list and that we would have to go to the counter for further inspection. HERE WE GO! Not even off the ground and my stress level is heading north. (Turns out people with common names like mine often have this problem, (DS1 had the same problem on the way home) Things went nice and smooth after that little hiccup.
We arrived in Orlando late morning and took Disney's Magic Express service to our resort. I would strongly recommend this program. We have visited WDW three times in the last five years, and have never stayed on-site. We always felt we could save a lot of money doing it on our own and staying outside of Disney property. This time around, we priced out a Disney Vacation plan that included lodging, tickets, and meals; and we were pleasantly surprised at the total. I will never again do it on my own! Doing it this way, your vacation really does begin at your home airport as you don't see your bags again until you arrive in your hotel room later that day-and leave the driving to the cast members! The magic never ceases to amaze me.
I know this is the cruise line forum, so I won't get into too much WDW detail, but it was part of the vacation and I can't just leave it out. After we got dropped at the resort and check-in, we hopped on a Disney bus over to MGM Studios. The weather was beautiful! Several people told us that it had been in the 40's a few days before and that we had lucked-out. (It was 5 degrees at the airport with a wind chill of -20, the 40's still would have been short-sleeve weather for us!) Immediately upon entrance at the park, I realized it was school vacation week for many areas of the country, and that EVERYONE had decided to take a Disney World vacation this year. You literally could not walk down the street, never mind trying to get on any of the popular rides. "Lets try fast passing" my DW said. That sounded like a good idea so I headed over to the Rock'N'Rollarcoaster to get some of those coveted passes. As I approached the entrance to the ride, I saw an enormous line that reached almost over to the Tower of Terror. I thought to myself, those people are crazy-get a fast pass and come back later. Yeah, good thing I am the only person smart enough to have thought of that. As I neared the fast pass machine I saw the CM letting everone know that passes were gone for the day. Say what? It's only noon. I must have thought this aloud as she looked at me and said they were all dispersed about an hour ago. I thought to myself, is it too late to skip the parks and take a back-to-back cruise. The rest of the day went well and it felt great, after all the planning and dreaming, to be back here at Disney with a week of the parks and then our first seven day cruise to look forward to.


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2/24/07 Western -- First ever trip report: http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1384014
8/2008 EB Panama Canal Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....t=panama+canal

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Old 03-10-2007, 05:45 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing!! Can't wait to read more...
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Old 03-10-2007, 07:47 PM   #3
sejejoemmiev
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We started off our first full day in Disney by heading back over to MGM to actually ride some of the rides we had planned on for the first day. We got to the park around 8:30 a.m. and ran right over to the Rock'N'Rollercoaster to fast pass it. We rode Tower of Terror while waiting for out return time for the coaster. We also took in the Lights, Camera, Action car stunt show, the Backlot Tour, and had lunch at the 50's Prime Time Cafe. The highlight of my DS2 day was getting up and personal with Lighting McQueen from the movie Cars.




Then it was off to the Magic Kingdom. I thought MGM was crowded, the MK was even worse. We had time for one ride before our dinner reservation. Wait times for rides throughout the week ranged from 50-90 minutes. Luckily, we had a full day planned for MK so we didn't really feel as though we had to do anything. Dinner that night was a ferry ride away at the Fort Wilderness Lodge. We ate at their Whispering Canyon Cafe. This is a very fun place to eat-especially with children. The waitstaff really know how to have fun along with providing great service. I knew nothing about the experience we were in for when I arrived, but it didn't take long to figure it out. When our waiter delivered the drinks for the six of us, he threw (literally) about thirty straws and fifty napkins across the table. I won't ruin the surprise for anyone who may visit here, but be sure to ask for ketchup! After another full day in the parks, we headed back to Port Orleans. We stopped off at our room, and changed into our swimsuits for a quick jump in the pool. The warmth of the day had definately been replaced by a crisp chill, but the kids had no complaint. DW and myself on the other hand couldn't wait to call it a day and get into a warm bed.
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2/24/07 Western -- First ever trip report: http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1384014
8/2008 EB Panama Canal Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....t=panama+canal

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Old 03-10-2007, 07:59 PM   #4
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Wednesday was another early day for us. We had breakfast reservations at Donald's Breakfastosaurus for a character breakfast at 8 a.m. The restaurant was about half way through the park, and the main gates didn't open until 9 a.m. This means that after rushing through breakfast, we were able to bolt over to the new Expedition Everest ride and get our fast passes before the crowds stormed in. It was a very hot, crowded day at AK, but we were able to fit in all the rides and attractions that we had planned on, unlike our past visits to WDW. For those heading down anytime soon, be sure to ride Expedition Everest, it is worth the wait!







We finished off this day with dinner at Rainforest Cafe. We met up with some friends of ours who moved to the Orlando area several years back. We had a long relaxing dinner with our friends and caught up on life. This happened to be Extra Magic Hour Evenings for guests staying at a Disney resort. So by the time we left the restaurant, the park had really quieted down and we squeezed in one more ride on Everest. I already recommended going on this ride, try and do it at night, and sit in the very first car-you can see all of Disney's property and a good portion of Orlando! It is also much more intense at night.
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2/24/07 Western -- First ever trip report: http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1384014
8/2008 EB Panama Canal Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....t=panama+canal

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Old 03-11-2007, 05:11 AM   #5
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Thanks for sharing
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Old 03-11-2007, 06:29 AM   #6
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Great report so far! We were there last March when it was totally packed and crazy so I can relate!
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Old 03-11-2007, 10:15 PM   #7
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Thursday morning came fast, and after three full days in WDW, we slept in a little. We got to the MK around 9:30 and headed right to the Main St. Bakery for breakfast. This was our first time on the Disney Dining Plan, and this is one place that you really get your money's worth at. In order to use a counter service credit, we were 'forced' to get a breakfast sandwich (or Uncrustables PB&J for the kids), a bakery item, and a drink for each of us. The drinks for the kids ended up being smoothies. That was a lot of food, especially for little kids!




We headed over to Splash mountain to get fast passes and then waited in line at Thunder Mountain which had a 70 min. wait. We did child swap, and after I rode with the oldest two, my wife and older two kids convinced DS (age 4) to go along with the promise of Doritos. We felt the need to bribe him because he refused to go on almost every ride the entire trip. He only agreed to go when it was a family ride, meaning everyone, even the baby was old enough to ride. When DS came off Thunder Mountain he stated, "That was so fun, but I had to close my mouth so I wouldn't throw up!"



Before our trip we went to Babies R Us and bought a light single stroller for the baby so we wouldn't have to bring our heavy, bulky double stroller on this trip. We planned on the older 3 walking and resting when they needed a break. DS2 had other plans. He did okay on Day #1, whined day #2, and on day #3 at Animal Kingdom he sat on the ground early in the day and refused to get up, stating "I am not walking anymore", and he meant it. We ended up renting a stroller for him the rest of the trip and it made life a whole lot easier, with less whining and less wandering. We were so excited for this WDW trip for our 4 year old because he was too young to remember our last trip and believed in Disney magic. Lets just say the only thing he wanted to do while at WDW was to sit in the rented stroller and play gameboy. The rest of our bribes towards him to get him to enjoy the rides and attractions came from removal and eventual return of the gameboy.
One of the best parts of a WDW/DCL vacation, is the fact that you don't feel the need to wait in the ridiculous lines for character meet and greets when in the theme parks. On the cruise, you will have many oppurtunities to meet and have photos taken with many Disney characters. After riding the Alladin ride, our DD1 saw a line forming. We asked a CM what it was for, and were told that Princess Jasmine, Genie, and Alladin would be out in 5 minutes. DD1 begged us to get in line, and after seeing that there were only about 10 people ahead of us, we agreed. An hour later, after we had our turn, we agreed to not have any more more pictures with characters until we reached the DCL terminal!
The rest of the day went well. Here is a few quick reviews of things to try. Dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern was a character meal that is done very well. Be sure to make reservations for this one, or you likely will not get in. The meal is served family style, and is kid friendly. Looking for a refreshing snack? Do not miss the Dole Whip (pineapple soft serve and pineapple juice)-it is amazing! It's a Small World has been re-done and is now cleaner and brighter, and the water no longer smells!
Right after dinner, DS1 and myself ran back over to Space Mountain to sqeeze in a run before the parade, while DW and the other kids got front row seats right outside Liberty Tree. Before walking into Space Mountain, I asked the CM for a child swap pass so DW could ride after the parade. He was a younger CM, and his response to me was, "I only have a few left". After staring at him for a few seconds, he just gave me one and we got on the ride. The SpectroMagic parade and the fireworks were the highlight of DS2 and DD2 trip to WDW. The look on their faces was priceless!





I have seen a lot of fireworks in my life, but there is just something about the way the MK choreographs it with music and lights that makes it untouchable. I wouldn't try and fight for a spot on Main St. however. There are plenty of other places throughout the MK where you can get a great view, and have room to breathe. Just ask a CM before the show, they'll tell you their favorite place to watch.





After the fireworks, we boarded the Disney bus for our hotel, and called it a day. This was my favorite day in the parks, even with the intense crowds.
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2/24/07 Western -- First ever trip report: http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1384014
8/2008 EB Panama Canal Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....t=panama+canal

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Old 03-11-2007, 10:42 PM   #8
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Sounds like a great start and your kids are very cute.
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Old 03-12-2007, 09:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sejejoemmiev View Post
When DS came off Thunder Mountain he stated, "That was so fun, but I had to close my mouth so I wouldn't throw up!"

That is hilarious! As a parent of a 4 year old, I totally understand the bribing - and whining - and refusal to do anything. Glad it all worked out OK though.

Keep on going with your report!
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Old 03-12-2007, 07:05 PM   #10
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can't wait to read more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-12-2007, 07:54 PM   #11
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Thanks for the positive feedback, it makes it a lot more fun to write these TR's. Hope I can keep it enjoyable for everyone-almost time for the cruise!
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2/24/07 Western -- First ever trip report: http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1384014
8/2008 EB Panama Canal Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....t=panama+canal
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Old 03-12-2007, 08:40 PM   #12
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I wasn't really looking forward to Epcot day, but knew we really should give it a chance as we had skipped it in each of our last three visits to WDW. It is a great place for adults and families with older children, but there just isn't a full days worth of activities to keep young kids entertained. We arrived early again, and prepared for another crowded day at the parks-and it was just as we expected. We picked up the rented stroller at the gate and made our way right over to the newer attractions that we knew would be swarmed all day. Luckily the new Nemo ride and Soarin were right next to each other. I went to get fast passes to Soarin while the rest of the crew got in line for Nemo. Both rides were very good. Next we headed over to Mission Space and Test Track. Surprisingly, Mission Space wasn't too busy, and we got on quickly. A little background information for you here. I suffer from motion sickness. If I am not driving a vehicle, than I need dramamine. Oddly, I am not affected in planes or cruise ships, thank god! Anyway, my children ALL inherited this wonderful gene and I knew Mission Space might be an adventure beyond what Disney advertises. Upon going through the gates to the ride, a CM asked us which experience we were interested in, the intense or less intense. I was unsure at first, but then he let us know that if we ever got motion sick, the less intense was the way to go. Needless to say I signed us up for the less intense ride. We waited in line and finally got to the 'briefing area' where the monitors instruct us of our mission. Like any Disney attraction, these short videos are well made and a little too convincing for DD1. She didn't want to tell me how scared she was, but it wasn't hard to tell from her trembling. I had never seen her this scared, and I thought for sure the CM's would ask her if she wanted to leave-they didn't. So after some reassuring fatherly advice and lies-she agreed to go into the 'rocket'. It was pretty tight in there which didn't help matters with a paranoid 7 year-old, then once we were buckled in, the capsule closes even more. Oh yeah, and there were barf-bags hanging in front of each passenger-forget DD1, was I going to make it? The ride started and it was as intense as I could take. I don't think DD1 saw too much as her eyes were closed most of the time, but DS1 loved it.
After getting most of the rides done in the morning, we got some lunch and made our way into the world showcase. From this point on, there is basically nothing to keep young children entertained. But surprisingly, adult beverages become as common as Mickey ears in the MK. We slowly made our way around from Canada over to Mexico. When we reached Germany, I got a call from my sister. She and my mother had just arrived at the main gate and were meeting up with us for dinner reservations at Le Cellier Steakhouse. Not only were they joining us for dinner, but they had flown down for the cruise as somewhat of a reunion.
My sister, 23, had gone to college in NYC, fell in love with the city, and never came home. After our first cruise several years back, she said that she would come along on the next one to spend time with her nieces and nephews. She had also convinced our mother to come along with us and overcome her fear of sea sickness.
After bringing them on Soarin', we headed back over to Canada for dinner. Le Cellier was a nice experience. It is a beautiful building and the food was very good. The restaurant really doesn't hold many people and our 7:30 resy turned into an 8:00 seating. This meant we had to rush through the meal to be able to catch the Illuminations Fireworks right outside the restaurant. As dessert was being served, we heard the show begin. I stayed to take care of the bill while everyone else went out to catch the show. I came out in time to see the last firework fade away, but the family said it was another great show.





Then it was time to head back to Port Orleans and pack our bags, because as far as I was concerned, the real vacation was to start in about 10 hours!
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2/24/07 Western -- First ever trip report: http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1384014
8/2008 EB Panama Canal Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....t=panama+canal

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Old 03-13-2007, 03:37 PM   #13
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Keep it coming!!!!! I am going on the Magic in January with a 6..going on 7 son and any info is good info.

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Old 03-13-2007, 04:40 PM   #14
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Just subscribing...love the TR so far!
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Old 03-14-2007, 06:37 AM   #15
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Great trip report.. Can't wait to read the rest.
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