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Old 03-31-2009, 12:11 PM   #16
Faldred
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What Really Happened: Park Day 2 (DHS, Tuesday)

Arriving at the parking lot without incident this time we headed in early for our breakfast ADR, where DS3 had a blast meeting the characters, especially Leo and June from Little Einsteins. It took longer than I had "planned" on, so the park was open before we were ready to leave.


I love to conduct!

As a result, I missed the mad dash toward TSMM, and wound up just standing in line for about 20-25 minutes to get fastpasses for about a 1 PM return time. By then, we had missed the "next show" for both Playhouse Disney and Little Mermaid, so we waited for the next PHD show. DS3 and DD2 loved it, as did DS2, up to a point. About halfway through, the noise got to him and eventually DW took him out of the show.

By then it was late enough in the morning that passed on Little Mermaid, and headed over to Muppets 3-D, which was well-received by the whole crew (though the twins preferred the "pre-show" as again, they refused the 3-D glasses. Coming out of the theater, we headed over to visit with Lightning McQueen and Mater, which let us walk into Mama Melrose right about ADR time.


Start your engines!

After lunch, the twins were nestled into their stroller for a nap as DW headed over to get fastpasses for Tower of Terror (1) and Rock & Rollercoaster (2), figuring we'd use DS3's ticket to sneak an extra fastpass in. However, neither attraction was giving out fastpasses, and so we wound up missing those rides altogether. Meanwhile DS3 and I took on TSMM, and then DW got a turn while I dealt with the stroller. DS3 used his spending allowance to buy a Buzz Lightyear toy, which I elected to not have shipped back to the room.

Post-TSMM, we checked again on Little Mermaid (no luck) and headed over to Star Tours to see about the Jedi training. We were late, and only got to see the end. Deciding to try the other side of the park for Beauty and the Beast or single-rider on RNRC, we wound up accidentally finding a good spot for the parade. By now, the twins were awake, and DS2 again had issues with the noise, but as long as I kept him back from the main road about 20 feet or so, he did OK.

We decided to risk Beauty and the Beast, even knowing DS2's issues, and again, DW had to leave with him during the show. The others, again, enjoyed themselves.

Not quite sure what to do until dinner at this point, we stop to watch some of the street performers -- Minerva Lipwhistle (Hollywood Has-been) and her hanger-on Judy Patootie. While "Minerva" was playing the scene to the end, "dying" in the street, another CM dressed as a period police officer asked me, "did she fall down?" (I think he was seriously wondering). I responded, "oh yes, quite dramatically. Just between you and me, I think she's had one or two glasses too many." He then informed me that it was unlikely, but that Ms. Lipwhistle was usually "off-kilter", and then he strolled on.


VERY "dramatic" street theater

On our way over to Sci-Fi (still early), we notice no line outside the Great Movie Ride. I mean literally no line. I asked a CM, who replied that it was basically a walk-on. So we did it. In a rare occurrence, DS2 and DD2 loved it, and DS3 was a little scared (but not in a bad way) during the shootout scene and "Alien".

After a somewhat disappointing dinner, we headed on out of the park, only about 20 minutes before closing time (7 PM close).
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March 2009: Port Orleans Riverside ( Trip Report -- Dining Report ) -- May 2006: Vacation Village timeshare -- May 2002: Orange Lake timeshare

Last edited by Faldred; 03-31-2009 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:50 PM   #17
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Enjoying your TR...traveling with wee ones is a whole different ballgame-one I'm no longer playing in.
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:49 AM   #18
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What Really Happened: Park Day 3 (MK, Wednesday)

This time, I was determined not to get lost trying to park in the wee hours (as we had an 8:10 AM ADR at Crystal Palace), and, with my diligent navigator, made the correct turns to get to the Magic Kingdom gates without incident. Remembering the problem last time about the cast member lot, I made sure to turn early this time.

Too early.

Wound up in the AAA/Handicap lot. So, backtracked again to get to the correct area. Between this and stopping for a photopass picture with the Castle in the background, not to mention the line at check-in, we were a little late for our breakfast, which killed any chance of getting out into the park at 9 AM, but frankly, breakfast was fun.


Hugs are what Tiggers like best!

Since we'd promised DS3 that we'd head straight to Splash Mountain, we did just that. I fastpassed BTMRR and DW and DS3 then went standby on Splash Mountain, getting a rider swap ticket for me -- I took the twins over to the nearby playground, where they had a good time. Coming off the ride, DW and DS3 got to meet Goofy, and then all five us went back for more meet and greet, then DS3 and I used BTMRR fastpasses and got the rider swap. DS3 loved it -- he actually asked if that was all when the ride was over (since it's much shorter than Splash Mountain).

Meanwhile, DW took the twins over to FP Buzz. By the time we met back up in Adventureland, the twins were asleep. Ok... earlier than we'd like (before lunch), but at least together.


Too much excitement?

So... DS3 and I go on the treehouse (pretty crowded!) -- without having any exposure to the story, I was surprised at DS3's interest... and the view. from the top is stunning. With the twins still being out, DW and DS3 ride on the flying carpets, and we headed over to lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern.


A magic carpet ride

After lunch, we wanted to FP Peter Pan on our way to Buzz, but the return time was late (we had a dinner ADR at Kona), so we grabbed FPs for Pooh instead. Buzz went well -- I had DS2 and DS3 while DW took DD2. DD2 like the spinning, so DW spun the car pretty much constantly, not worrying about score. I was able to "play" a bit more, since DS2 was wedged in nicely in the middle, and managed to post a 6-figure score (barely). Afterwards, we went on TTA (had to wait in line!?!?!?), and then headed back over to use the rider swaps.

We cut through Adventureland, and found a reasonable wait for Pirates of the Caribbean, so we decided to do it -- the kids all liked it, and we picked up pirate "ears" for DS3. The way to Fronteirland was now blocked by the parade, so we watched from the back of the crowd.

My turn to go first with DS3, as we used the rider swap on Splash Mountain while the twins got to play again. I have never, ever, gotten that wet on Splash Mountain in my life. You know those "effect" cannons that shoot off at the bottom of the 50-foot drop? Try being in a log looping around the waterfall in just the right (?) place when that happens. We got broadsided -- at least I was seated on the inside, so DS3 didn't take the full brunt of it. And all of this at the very start of the ride -- some of the inside areas can be cold when you're soaked! Still, it was lots of fun!

As DW and DS3 go to use the BTMRR swap, I load up the twins and head over to Aloha Isle to get some dole whip floats for snack. We also picked up an "Itsakoodsie" for DS3 and some juice as well.

By this point, we only had time to use out Pooh FPs before heading to to monorail to make our Kona reservation. After dinner. back to the resort for bedtimes for the kids. (And a late night for use doing laundry...)
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March 2009: Port Orleans Riverside ( Trip Report -- Dining Report ) -- May 2006: Vacation Village timeshare -- May 2002: Orange Lake timeshare
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:36 PM   #19
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What Really Happened: Park Day 4 (Epcot, Thursday)

No problems finding the parking lot. We were actually a little too early, so we had to wait for the lot to open at 8AM. It didn't leave us much time to get unloaded, through the gates, and over to "Norway" for an 8:30 ADR, but we managed. Breakfast with the princesses went fairly well, but the park was well opened by the time we got out.

(Spaced reserved for Photopass picture)

So, we head on over to Test Track to ride standby (and get rider swap). DS3 and I work our way through the line while DW picks up Soarin' fastpassess. Not too long of a wait -- it took only about 30 minutes to go through the line and ride the ride. DS3 loved it; it's the first thing he wants to do on the next trip (which he hasn't quite realized is a long time away), and of all the rides he talks about since we got back, it's the "thrill ride" he most mentions. DS3 used his spending allowance to buy a die-cast monorail train set (he talks about the monorail about as must as "fast track", as he calls it).

(Spaced reserved for Photopass picture)

In a strategic error, we chose to use the rider swap right away. We should have probably held it for the afternoon while the twins were asleep, but we didn't want to "backtrack". DS3 didn't mind going back-to-back, however.

Still too early for lunch, we decide to hit "the giant golf ball" and do Spaceship Earth. Longest line I've ever seen there! It was a posted 20 minute wait, but it was at least 30 minutes. The critters all enjoyed the ride (indeed, DS3 wants to do the "golf ball" right after "fast track" on his next visit).

It was the hottest day other than Monday, and I was afraid that we'd have trouble all day long. But crowds were quirky all day on the non-headliner rides. Passing by Spaceship Earth in the afternoon, there was no line at all.

We headed over to The Seas for lunch, noting that the Nemo ride had a 45 minute standby time. After lunch, Nemo was a walk-on. So we walked on, and then proceeded into Turtle Talk. Unfortunately, DS2 was more than ready for a nap, and he go very upset, so I saw all of 30 seconds of the show. DW, DS3, and DD2 really enjoyed it, however.

After Turtle Talk, the twins were put into the stroller to nap (which they did, almost immediately) while DW and DS3 rode Soarin'. I took the opportunity to walk over to Mouse Gears to get princess headband "ears" for DD2 and a "little green guy" (from Toy Story/Buzz) hat for DS2 -- the total purchase qualified me to pick up a "Mickey Through The Years" watch for only $10, and since my cheap-o Timex watch band had broken earlier in the week, I got it.

DS3 loved Soarin' and was happy to do it back to back, with me this time. DW walked ahead with the twins and we met up with her at "Norway", to try one of the sweet pretzels in our snack around the world walk. We proceeded clockwise through the countries, stopping to let the kids play in the "green" area playground before going on to the UK, where we got a nice stuffed Pooh bear and some stacking blocks for the twins, and then on to Rose & Crown for dinner.


Stopping, of course, for a drum solo on the way...

After dinner, it was a nice walk back to the front gates to head back to the resort and to get the critters to bed.
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Life is short. Eat dessert first.

March 2009: Port Orleans Riverside ( Trip Report -- Dining Report ) -- May 2006: Vacation Village timeshare -- May 2002: Orange Lake timeshare

Last edited by Faldred; 04-03-2009 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janiejake View Post
Enjoying your TR...traveling with wee ones is a whole different ballgame-one I'm no longer playing in.
The last two trips have certainly been a different experience than the one before. As much as I look forward to a chance to do an "adults-only" trip sometime, I wouldn't miss these for the world.
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:51 AM   #21
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What Really Happened: Park Day 5 (MK, Friday)

CRT day! With a 9:35 ADR, we weren't in as much of a hurry this morning. We did want to make rope drop (which we did for the first and only time all week), but we still had time for showers/baths and to get the critters into costumes (Cinderella for DD2, Peter Pan for DS2, and Jack Sparrow for DS3).

For a change, I had the boys in the double stroller -- DW and DD2 were going to head over to the Main Street barber shop for a quickie hair sparkle prior to breakfast, and I was going on a "fastpass run" to Peter Pan, which we had not yet gotten to do. I was hoping for an early return time to possibly snag a second fastpass before breakfast, but they were set to have no return times prior to 10:05. Having some time before we needed to check in, the boys and I were able to ride the Carousel again, which was fine since DD2 doesn't like it anyway.

Meanwhile, the "girls" were third in line at the barber shop, so they didn't have to wait long. DW got blue paint (at least that's what it looked like) and tons of sparkles ($7.50), and DD2 just got glitter in her hair (no charge).

(Reserved for photopass picture)


We met up at the Castle, but before going in, we found a short line for the Fairy Godmother, so it was a nice bonus meet-and-greet.


Bibbity-bobbity-boo!

Breakfast at the Castle wound up featuring the same princesses as the day before (Jasmine, Belle, Aurora, Snow White) with the addition of Cinderella, of course. After a short breakfast, I took DD2 and DS3 on a fastpass run for Buzz Lightyear while DW changed DS2's diaper and took him on the Carousel again.

On the way back, I noticed Lady Tremaine and the stepsisters in the storybook garden, but a long line, and we were rushing to meet up with the others.

DS3 wanted to do the "magic movie" (Philharmagic) again, so we did, and then proceeded to do Small World (once again, a hit) before using out fastpasses for Peter Pan. I really like this ride, the effect is cool, but none of the critters seemed to care for it -- no complaining, but no desire to do it again. Maybe if they were familiar with the story...

Back in the strollers to head over to Tomorrowland. First stop was the Speedway, which was only a 20-minute wait. I took DS3, DW took the twins. DS3 drove, though I worked the pedal for reach reasons, and had a blast. (I made sure to let him know that he "won" the race.)

We were hoping to fastpass Space Mountain for use during naptime, but the return window (at noon) was already out past 6 PM, which meant we weren't going to be able to do it with a 5:30 dinner (and leaving after dinner). Instead, we headed over to use our Buzz fastpasses. After leaving the ride, we saw Stitch with no line. OK, I'm not particularly fond of the blue fuzzball, but no line is no line. After that, we saw the line for Buzz was short, so we met him as well.


Even space rangers bow for princesses

Since this was right at Carousel of Progress, which we'd never done before, I asked about the wait, as there was no line, and I didn't realize it was essentially a continually-loading show. With no real wait, we did this -- DS3 liked it (as did I), the twins were getting tired but sat through it. Another trip on the TTA (this time, without any real line) and I took DS3 with me to grab lunch at Cosmic Ray's, while DW changed the twins and secured us a table at the closed and mostly empty Terrace Noodle Station.

Post lunch, the twins napped while I took DS3 on Aladdin's Carpets and Pirates of the Caribbean (with his costume, I just had to. A shame we missed pirate training, though... it was just ending as we got there). DW picked up some dole whip floats while she waited, and we had a nice refreshing snack before heading over to Fantasyland.


Aaaargh... who be nappin?

With a decently short line, DW and DS3 rode the Teacups (no rider swap granted, we were told this is universal in Fantasyland, as all rides have no height restriction) and then we headed over to Toontown to let the twins, now waking up, try the Barnstormer since they were doing so well with rides. It went over pretty well -- the most difficult part is that DS3 didn't want to ride by himself, but Barnstormer only fits 2 per row. A CM offered to ride shotgun, and DS3 got to make a new friend and was happy. The twins enjoyed the ride (DD2 actually had a blast just being in the queue, watching the coaster go around the track over and around her).

By now it was near dinner time, so we headed back to Main Street for our ADR at Tony's. We were early enough to see the flag retreat, and we got to meet Pinocchio before heading over to the restaurant. This caused us to be "on time", as opposed to early, for our meal, which resulted in a 15 minute wait.


DD2 checks to see if he's lying...

Post dinner, we rode the boat launch back to the TTC, for the change of pace. DS3 wanted to ride on the upper deck, so I went with him to keep him out of trouble, After that, a (mostly) uneventful ride back to the resort, and early bedtime again.

As far as the costumes went... it was a nice day, not too hot, and we didn't notice any problems with them, nor did any of the critters seem to tire of wearing them (except DS2 was trying to remove his shoes... but that's not a "costume" issue). As we had forgotten the bag of spare clothes, this worked out well -- we did have "emergency" spare clothes in the backpacks, but just as well to not need to use them.
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March 2009: Port Orleans Riverside ( Trip Report -- Dining Report ) -- May 2006: Vacation Village timeshare -- May 2002: Orange Lake timeshare
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:28 AM   #22
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What Really Happened: Park Day 6 (AK, Saturday)

Once again, an early ADR, and we were at the parking lot gates (no incident) early enough to have to wait for them to open. After unloading and getting backpacks and strollers set up, off through security and the turnstiles, and trek all the way to the back of the park to barely be on time for an 8 AM ADR.

After a nice breakfast, we got out into the park after opening, but still with no appreciable wait for Kilimanjaro Safari. The critters enjoyed the ride, though I'm not sure how "into" the animals the twins were. A few of the wild animals (I mean, other than our own critters) were close enough for good pictures.


Rhinoceros? Of courseros! And an ostrich, too!

From there, it was our very first visit to "Dinoland", heading via Asia for DW to pick up an Expedition Everest fastpass. Once there, and admiring the delightfully tack "carny midway" theme, we all rode Triceratops Spin twice, pretty much walk-on, and had a meet-and-greet with Goofy and Pluto before heading over to the "Boneyard" to let the kids play.

(Reserved for photopass picture)


Had a bit of a scare there -- after I returned from a fastpass run for Dinosaur, I couldn't find DS3 anywhere. He couldn't have left, because DW was at the only entrance the whole time. Eventually, I found the path that connects to the "sand pit" area, and found DS3. The delay caused us to miss the Nemo show we were trying for, though.

So, we headed over to Yak & Yeti CS to grab some lunch, and also some Kali River fastpasses. (Fastpass return times were pretty quick all morning, and I think they were set to "1 hour" instead of "2 hour", at least while we were getting them.) DW rode EE while I walked with the critters,letting the twins fall asleep. Then, we took turns on Kali River, using rider swap to let DS3 go with me first, and then DW.

We got soaked on our run, and it was cool enough that it was cold in the shade. Still, he wanted to go again, so he did. As for me, it was a bad day to have chosen denim shorts... I was damp until dinner, at least. At least we packed crocs to switch into for the ride!

Next up was Dinosaur. On the way, DS3 got a "lesson" at one of the kid's stations, and got a card with a stamp on it for his trouble -- he loved it! DW and DS3 ride Dinosaur... a mistake. It was too intense for DS3; no emotional scarring, but still a mistake. DW told me that I shouldn't do it (I'm a wimp, after all).

Still, we got some pictures taken, and got to hear a talk and QA about "Sue" (the replica T-rex) before grabbing a quick snack (DS3 getting another "stamp") ad heading over to catch "Nemo".

(Reserved for photopass picture)


I thought the show was supposed to be about 20 minutes, but it's closer to 40. DS2 held up well, and made it the whole way through. DD2 loved it, and made happy shrieking sounds throughout. I bet those around us thought she was upset, but she was actually ecstatic! DS3 loved it too. I thought it was well done, though the songs they created were a little cheesy, even for Broadway-style.

By this point, we were out of time, with an early Hoop De Doo seating, so we fight our way (parade time) through to the front of the park, and off we drive to Fort Wilderness. One bus ride (sans strollers, we stuck with the "leashes" here) later, we're waiting in line to check in and have yet another horrible group photo. The one from our camera is marginally better:


Kids... we're having fun, right? RIGHT???

The show was fun -- or would have been, if DS2 hadn't "lost it", but I think we just asked too much from him. I'd like to try this again when he's older.

Back at the resort, it was packing night. I hauled out what I could and brought the suitcases and cooler back in from the SUV. After the critters passed out, we packed up everything that wasn't needed for the morning, and eventually hit the sack ourselves.
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March 2009: Port Orleans Riverside ( Trip Report -- Dining Report ) -- May 2006: Vacation Village timeshare -- May 2002: Orange Lake timeshare
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:50 PM   #23
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What Really Happened: Park Day 7 (MK, Sunday)

Packing up and getting moving took a little longer than planned, so even with no navigational issues whatsoever, we barely missed rope drop -- they started letting people go as we were coming down the ramp from the monorail. Still, close enough for jazz.

This was "commando day". We were going to squeeze in as many "favorite" rides as possible, starting over in Frontierland. One hitch in the plan was that fastpass return times started at 10:05, meaning we were likely only going to be able to get and use one fastpass -- as is turns out, that was all that was needed.

First stop was Big Thunder Mountain, we were checked in for rider swap, even though it was a walk-on. We said we understood that parent #2 (DW) couldn't go until after the fastpass line opened. Frankly, the plan was to hit this on the way back later. DW collects Splash Mountain fastpasses while DS3 and I ride Big Thunder. It was a little cool in the morning, and I felt it on the ride, but it was still fun.

Next stop, Fantasyland. But first, a short detour as we meet "Frontier Donald" for a picture, given a short line.

(Reserved for photopass picture)

We parked strollers outside Philharmagic, and then went in (no wait for the next show), left the strollers behind, and just carried the twins toward Toontown -- it was going to be a short park day, so saving energy wasn't an issue. On the way, we walked onto Pooh and the Teacups; Dumbo already had a 20+ minute line, but everything else (except Peter Pan, perhaps?) had no real wait. Not quite sure what the twins thought of the Teacups, but no real complaints.

We reached Toontown, and had what wound up being our longest wait (about 5 minutes) for Barnstormer, then back to the strollers, moving them over by It's A Small World, doing the ride, and loading back up for a trip to Frontierland. I took the twins to the playground while DW and DS3 rode Big Thunder, and then DW rode Splash Mountain solo -- we only had time for one trip, as it was close to our lunch ADR, and DS3 didn't want to go... I think he was afraid of getting wet again and he just wanted to do the playground.

After that, off to lunch, and back to the SUV for the drive home. On the way, DS3 got to meet Chip & Dale -- the twins were in no mood to wait for this.


Hey, that's my hat!

A couple of stops (including Goofy's Candy Store) on the way out, and we hit the road. OK, about an hour and a half late, but, still...
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March 2009: Port Orleans Riverside ( Trip Report -- Dining Report ) -- May 2006: Vacation Village timeshare -- May 2002: Orange Lake timeshare
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:29 AM   #24
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What Really Happened: The Sad, Sad Drive Home

Once we finally got out on the open road, DS3, who had not napped all week (but was always the first to fall asleep at night!) drifted off pretty quickly, and was out cold for a good 2-3 hours as well barreled down I-4 and turned up onto I-95. Neither of the twins napped, as they had cat-napped on the way back to the car, but they were well-behaved and stayed interested enough in the DVD that was playing for them.

We actually dealt with a fair amount of smoke crossing the road on both I-4 and I-95. Never did find out what that was all about, but I'm guessing some kind of forest fire.

Our dinner stop was at a Mickey D's with an indoor playground. We had a nice stretch while the critters burned off any remaining energy, then put them into pajamas and loaded them back into the car with the most "relaxing" DVD in our set to soothe them off to sleep, which they did.

We got to the hotel at midnight (we called ahead to let them know we'd be late), and I ran upstairs to set up the room before DW shuttled the kids in from the car, one at a time. This worked reasonably well (DS2 required some help falling back to sleep), and we just slept as late as our bodies and the critters would allow.

I was first up, followed by DS3. Rather than risk waking everyone else up, I just took him down to the free "continental" breakfast -- I use the quotes because there were a few pastries, muffins, and cereals, but there were also eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, and a waffle station. Eventually, the rest of the gang joined us, and then we had a nice swim in the indoor pool before drying off and hitting to road around 9:30 or 10 AM.

Everyone held up pretty well, although by mid-afternoon, DS3 was getting cranky and started with variations on "are we there yet?" All things considered, though, the drive (both ways) went better than expected. We got home around 6:30 or 7 PM, ordered a pizza, and let the kids play in their rec room while I unloaded the truck and waited for dinner to arrive.

While we were all late to bed and having to go back onto normal schedule the next day, we managed to readjust to routine pretty quickly.

Final Thoughts

DW's biggest concern was the drive down, especially the first day. Mine was all of us sharing a hotel room for nine nights. Both wound up being much better than anticipated.

The kids were very, very good on the whole, and especially in the parks. "Meltdowns" were at a minimum (far less than at home), they enjoyed being outside in nice weather, and rides, with very few exceptions, were big hits.

DS2 had the toughest time, as he is more dependent on napping than the others (partially because he's the worst sleeper overnight) and he had difficulty with the noise from shows. Taking just him into consideration, though, the trip would still have been a success.

Traveling with kids is certainly a much different experience than going as adults without kids. Not better or worse, just different. You learn to enjoy just watching them bathe in the wonder and excitement, and if it means missing a ride or two yourself, it's no big deal. I know DS2 and DD2 will likely not remember this trip, but we will, and we have the pictures to reinforce that. DS3 seems to remember all to well -- he's already making up his version of a touring plan for the next visit! (Which, sadly for him, will likely be at least 2 years away, if not 3-4.)
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March 2009: Port Orleans Riverside ( Trip Report -- Dining Report ) -- May 2006: Vacation Village timeshare -- May 2002: Orange Lake timeshare
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:28 AM   #25
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Great trip report. I am traveling to Disney this Sept. with a 3 year old DD & a 1 year old DS and was interested to hear how it went with kids. It was nice reading that perspective...good for you for taking 3 under 3.
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