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Old 01-03-2013, 09:52 AM   #31
kittylady1972
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SATURDAY NOVEMBER 17th CONT'D

So we just left Hollywood Studios and headed back for a short break in our room. We knew we needed to allow plenty of travel time to reach Pioneer Hall for our 4pm Hoop de Doo Reservation and so we headed over to Ft Wilderness.

We found parking and made our way over to the main building. We had plenty of time but weren't sure where to go, so we finally got directions on how to get to Pioneer Hall...and were directed to catch a bus. I think we headed over to a bus stop but it appeared to be the stop for the Magical Express. Sure enough, asked again only to find we had to walk across the street to another bus stop. Okay then...

So we waited and finally the bus arrived. Wow...didn't realize just how vast the Ft. Wilderness Area was there! We had been considering cabins there for a future trip but it seems just so huge! I still think it might be cool to do someday...but not sure the family shares that sentiment!

Eventually we found our way here:


We had LOTS of time before our reservation. So the kids spotted this:


They played for a little bit, and then we had some photo ops of the nice tree here:



(Noah age 8 insisted on having his OWN photo and NOT with his sister...and so we also have this one)
'

I guess sometimes being child number 3 can get old having to do everything with your siblings!

We took a family photo which turned out great:


Before long, we had some bread and salad and the kids dug right in:


I took photos of the hall all decorated for the holidays:


Soon enough, the show was beginning:


Introductions were made...and he clearly stole the show:


More show:


And at the end, we got to play our own instruments:


All in all, it was just a fabulous show! The kids really enjoyed it and I was surprised that even my picky eater found some food. My youngest did ask for some mac n'cheese (not a regular menu item) and they served a nice dish of that for him. I though the chicken and ribs were good, the salad was nice, the all you can drink sangria was VERY nice, and really overall I wasn't there for the food but the experience. It definitely delivered. I don't know if we'll do it again anytime soon but as a special thing every so often I think it's great!

After we were all well stuffed full of food, we hopped our bus back to our car and drove back to the resort. That's when we decided we really wanted to spend some time at MK for the evening. I though my FIL would jump at the chance to see the new Fantasyland finally...but he and MIL declined so it was just the five of us.

We arrived when it was dark and I insisted on tons of family photos with the castle, driving everyone insane.







Hey I needed a holiday card photo!

We decided to make our way first towards the new Circus area since we hadn't seen that yet.



A ride on the newly relocated Dumbo was a must here. It looks so cool at night:








Kids also wanted to ride Barnstormer, so we did that quickly as well.

And that was all for that part....but would we be able to get into new Fantasyland? It still wasn't unofficially open to the public until the following week. We headed over there anyway.

There was a guy outside of it with a rope who said they were still in dress rehearsal mode. They were having a ticketed event there too for some of the attractions...but we would be allowed into the area! YIPPEE!



We were just so excited, even though it was at night we had to walk around a bit. They were letting people on the Little Mermaid Ride without tickets...so of course we had to try it out!




The kids could not believe it and neither could we that we were getting this chance. It was so cool!



And a quick photo in front of Gaston's fountain:


We could not see Storytime with Belle as they were still only allowing the ticket holders into that area. They said we could try back later...but we didn't do that. We were happy just being able to do what we had done already.

CONTINUED.....



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

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Old 01-03-2013, 09:54 AM   #32
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SATURDAY NOVEMBER 17th CONT'D
Kids wanted to drive the cars...isn't that the coolest thing for all kids? So over to Tomorrowland Speedway for a short ride:




It was late and we had an early breakfast the next day. It would be our Chef Mickey's meal and then we'd head out to Port Canaveral for our cruise!

So back on the boat to our resort:


On the way back over we saw this:




And the Contemporary holds fond memories of past visits for us:


When we returned to the resort, we were walking by the beach and we spotted the evening Boat Parade about to begin...and we had prime viewing. We plopped down in the sand and watched the show which the kids thought was the coolest thing. I guess we've always seen it from a distance but never the entire thing...with music. So it was a nice end to our fabulous evening.

Then we returned to our room, knocked the sand out of the shoes, and kids were in bed while I packed and repacked everything for the next morning. We were trying to minimize the bags to take on the cruise with us as there was no need to take EVERYTHING. I think I finally got to bed after 11pm that night!

UP NEXT: Chef Mickey and our DISNEY DREAM becomes a reality!
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THE FUTURE: Nov. '14: Thanksgiving with Mickey * Oct. '15 FANTASY Cruise

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Old 01-04-2013, 05:53 AM   #33
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OK... Totally Loving your Hoop-De-Do photos... Depending on what Disney offers for discount codes, this is something we would really like to try to do... What was your travel time to get there? And it looks to be pretty difficult to find once you are there?? Interesting.

Isn't Dumbo at night ahhhhmazing???? It's like this ride that you don't give that much thought to... and then you see the new ride at night - and it's like this magical dream that you just can't look away from. LOVE IT!

So cool that they let you into FLE and you got to ride TLM!!! I am super excited to be able to go back just to do those things!

Sounds like an awesome end to a magical day!

D~
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:37 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMGeurts View Post
OK... Totally Loving your Hoop-De-Do photos... Depending on what Disney offers for discount codes, this is something we would really like to try to do... What was your travel time to get there? And it looks to be pretty difficult to find once you are there?? Interesting.

Isn't Dumbo at night ahhhhmazing???? It's like this ride that you don't give that much thought to... and then you see the new ride at night - and it's like this magical dream that you just can't look away from. LOVE IT!

So cool that they let you into FLE and you got to ride TLM!!! I am super excited to be able to go back just to do those things!

Sounds like an awesome end to a magical day!

D~
D - You should DEFINITELY look into Hoop de Doo. It was really a fun experience and just something different. The kids just loved it and the food was good. I know the dining plan has some options for going...be it late or early I can't recall. We did the early show and enjoyed it. The travel time wasn't horrible...just a bit confusing for us "pros" who were not familiar with this resort. I would probably make sure to show up AT the resort (if driving or by bus) at least a good 30 minutes before the show, to give you time to catch the "internal" resort bus back to the area. It does drop you off right where you need to be. I think if you catch a boat over it might be even easier. Catching a boat from the MK puts you right in the right place...but we didn't realize that until much later. You can avoid that whole internal bus ride if you do the boat instead.

I admit the night in NEW Fantasyland, even though it was a short time at MK, was really really great. I really love being in the parks at night...just such a different experience. We didn't have as much of a desire to do Dumbo during the day but at night with no line...it was nice.

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Old 01-04-2013, 12:53 PM   #35
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SUNDAY NOVEMBER 18th
After being up late the night before, it was time to get up early for our Chef Mickey's Breakfast which was just after 7am! I knew it was early but also that we were close and driving so it shouldn't be too difficult to make that time.

We headed over to the Contemporary, checked in and had the obligatory family photo taken. Yippee for Photopass Plus since we got that photo package without paying extra! I'll have to post that here later:

((PHOTO PLACEHOLDER))

We were seated and the characters were just coming out. First up was Goofy I believe:



And then...my daughter spilled some kind of sauce all over the front of her skirt. It looked pretty bad...it was red and dark and RIGHT in the front. So she donned her fleece coat and attempted to hide in the back for all remaining photos, like Donald:



Oh and Minnie got a BIG hug first:


Then a group photo:


Pluto is always fun...love the way he holds up his ears here:


And last but not least, Mickey:


Food was okay, but I missed the Krispy Kreme-like glazed donuts they used to have here. We were really here because it is a tradition. Believe it or not we are actually SKIPPING the Chef for our 2013 trip in a few weeks! Just don't want to spend the money.

After breakfast, I wanted a photo of my DH in front of this Chef Mickey wreath, but a cast member came over and said she wanted to have us "pose" in front of the wreath instead. So these "poses" were her idea:




Basically it is DH with his arms crossed because he spent so much on this meal and me...happy of course. Cute.

After our meal, kids wanted to get some pressed coins and look through the gift shops a the Contemporary. I took this photo outisde the gift shop of this cool display:


Breakfast complete, it was back to the room. We had to pack everything up and make our way out to the Port for part TWO of our 3-part trip: THE DISNEY DREAM CRUISE!!



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Old 01-13-2013, 04:36 PM   #36
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Sorry for the delay in updates, I know so many people are just anxiously awaiting the rest of my trip report! Just wanted to write a quick post here so I don't forget about it. I've been extra busy on my PRE trip report regarding our trip that is now less than two weeks away! I'm hoping to finish this report first so I don't have to work on two reports at once, but we will see if I can do that.

Around our house the focus is on stuff around the house and FOOTBALL as our BALTIMORE RAVENS won a big game this weekend and are one step closer to the Superbowl. We have been hosting playoff parties at our house and will host another one next weekend. We ALWAYS host a Superbowl party too, no matter who is playing, but it would be nice if the Ravens were playing.

So that's about it from here and hopefully I'll be able to get back soon with an update!
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THE FUTURE: Nov. '14: Thanksgiving with Mickey * Oct. '15 FANTASY Cruise

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Old 01-16-2013, 09:01 PM   #37
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SUNDAY NOVEMBER 18th (cont'd) - READY FOR OUR DREAM!
Ok when we last left off we were on our way to Port Caneveral for our Disney Dream Cruise!!! I think the drive took us about an hour and a half and we arrived in plenty of time. It was so cool to see this:



We were directed about parking and my husband decided to spring for the closer parking, but he still pulled up to the curb and let us all unload our stuff. Then he drove off to park while we got into line to fill out our paperwork and go through security.

I had completed most of our paperwork and my husband arrived pretty quickly. He pretty much parked right in front of the main building! We had to go through security and which point my MIL hit a snafu when she discovered she was carrying contraband! That's right, her travel iron was NOT allowed on the cruise. I may not have mentioned this before, but my FIL has this thing about ironing and that's one of the first things he tends to do when we arrive at hotels. This was gonna get ugly for sure!

Check-in went pretty smoothly. I handed over all of our paperwork and everybody got their photo taken for security purposes and we got our cards and state room assignments. I think our boarding time was group 9 or so which was pretty early. The in-laws had a boarding time right after ours so we figured we'd wait for them.

It wasn't too long of a wait and the place filled up pretty quickly with people. They called our group and we did go ahead and get in line, figuring we'd meet up with the in-laws later. We had most of our luggage with us as we boarded. Our reason? We had our adults-only dinner at Palo that night and couldn't be sure we'd have our luggage delivered in time to get dressed up for dinner!

We got on board and looked around a little bit, but eventually decided we wanted to head to get some food and go to the pool! So we got directions and headed there.

It was already a bit crowded, but we found some chairs and settled on a spot. We stored our luggage behind the lounges and then the kids were of course ready for swimming. We headed to the bathrooms to change into our suits and soon the kids were happy:



We grabbed some food and some drinks and worked on getting in touch with the in-laws. Eventually they did find us on the pool deck as well.

After we got some food into the kids, they were ready to hit the Aquaduck!

We learned that our middle two kids had to have somebody with them to ride it. So we designated the oldest child to ride with them. I can't remember who he took with him first, all I know is they went down once and had a blast. Then two other kids went up and that's when they closed the Aquaduck because somebody was stuck.

It would be later but eventually I would get a few photos of the rides they had there:









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Old 01-21-2013, 02:04 PM   #38
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Sunday Nov. 18th (cont'd) - Disney Dream

When we last left, we had boarded the DREAM Cruise ship. We all hit the pool and the kids took a ride on the Aquaduck. We had a little lunch and waited for our room to be ready. Eventually we decided to make our way over to our room and found our luggage all outside the hallway.

We entered our stateroom...and WOW! It was pretty spacious and so nice! We had this great porthole to look out:



And we could see a much smaller looking Carnival ship also at port:


We had a little time to kill so we also decided to wander out and find the kids' club for the evening and check that out:



Now our original plan was to have our Adults-Only dinner at Palo. However when I got our meal schedule I learned that our first night's dinner was to be at Animator's Palate and I REALLY wanted to eat there with the kids. It would be our only day eating there...and so I got on the phone to try to make some changes.

Eventually I was able to make the change and we could keep our Animator's Palate dinner and moved Palo to the next night. This was GREAT news for my FIL who was in a panic because his clothes were very wrinkled and he had no way to iron them. He wanted to send them out but of course they wouldn't be back in time for that night. We would not discover the room on our floor with the iron until much later!

So we all got cleaned up and made our way out to dinner. Here are the kids at Animator's Palate:


Now before we headed out to dinner, they did have some all ship announcements that we heard in our room. One of those was that we would have some rough waters on our way out of the port and for about 6 hours. Sure enough, by dinnertime this was VERY noticeable. For the most part, we were all feeling okay but while sitting at the dinner table there was DEFINITELY some rocking going on. Plenty of people were clearly having a hard time, the dining room had a lot of empty spots and people were carrying food out to take back to their rooms.

We had a wonderful serving team at dinner. They kept us entertained with magic and puzzles at the table. I wish I could recall their names or where they were from. This would be the only night we would all have dinner together so thankfully it was really nice.

After dinner we returned to our room...where we found this:


Awesome towel crab (coming from Maryland...way cool for us!) and our beds had all been turned down and the kids were turned out:



There was some disagreement about who would sleep where but they did find their spots for the night:


Since we had changed our adults-only night to Monday night, we still had wanted to find a place to watch the big Ravens vs Steelers game on tv. We decided we'd take the kids to the kids club for a while and we would head up to the pool deck to watch the game on the big screen.

My oldest son was given the choice to go the kids' club or older club or stay in the room and he chose the room. We headed down to drop the younger two kids off at the kids club. My 10yo daughter was NOT happy about this, while my youngest son (age 8) pretty much walked right into the club and barely said goodbye to me. I can't remember where DH had wondered off to but I spent quite a bit of time outside the doors of the check-in area with my daughter trying to convince her to go inside. Eventually a cast member spoke to her and said maybe I could go inside WITH her for a bit and just see if we would like it.

Now I knew she would LOVE it inside with all the stuff to do there...singing, dancing, crafts...so much better than sitting in the room and watching tv which she does NOT like to do at ALL! So I went inside and we sat at the dance floor for a while. Eventually another cast member inside, noting my presence, asked why I was there and I explained the situation. She made a note to talk to Noelle, see what she liked, and decided to lead us over to the craft room. She introduced Noelle there to another cast member and that is when I was able to finally make my escape!

We grabbed the in-laws and headed up to the pool deck. The four of us grabbed some lounge chairs and just watched the game on the huge screen! We had a wave phone with us in case Nicolas or the kids club called us. Sure enough, I think after about an hour we got a text from the kids club and a call from Nicolas...letting us know the kids club had called and Noelle wanted to leave. So I went downstairs and picked up the two younger kids from the kids club. I decided to go ahead and deposit them back in our stateroom with our oldest son and told them they could watch tv there. Then I joined the adults back on the pool deck.

I think it was just past halftime or later that I decided to go check on the kids. I found both older kids sound asleep and my youngest happily watching tv. I had him turn the tv off and go to sleep as well.

We finished watching the game and went back to our room, having enjoyed our night and having won the game.

Up next...first PORT: kids leave the US for their first time ever!

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Old 02-09-2013, 09:28 PM   #39
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Fingers crossed I hope to do more updates tomorrow!!
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:01 PM   #40
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Ok so I'm not sure I'll get to that update tonight. Busy, busy weekend with not much computer time. I'll try to get some photos up to so an update soon.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:41 AM   #41
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subscribing..

Loved the Hoop de Doo info. That's been on my "next-time-we-come-here" list since our first trip

Also, I can't wait to hear more about your cruise! I can't wait until we do our first Disney cruise.. whenever that will be?! LOL.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:57 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvjen777 View Post
subscribing..

Loved the Hoop de Doo info. That's been on my "next-time-we-come-here" list since our first trip

Also, I can't wait to hear more about your cruise! I can't wait until we do our first Disney cruise.. whenever that will be?! LOL.
We hadn't done it since...well before DH and I were married and I took him to WDW for the VERY FIRST TIME...I think 1997? Kids and in-laws had never seen it. It was GREAT and I highly recommend it!

I really can't wait to write more about the cruise...whatever I can remember. I'm going to update my 2013 TR next since I got all the photos over to Photobucket that I need for a few more installments. Then I will try to get back to this trip report and the cruise!
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:31 AM   #43
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My sincere apologies that I am so far behind in getting this update done! I promise I will finish it...really, really really!

On a side note, I have two more Disney vacations already booked. Yes it's an addiction and I might need a 12-step program.

We have our family vacation to DISNEYLAND booked for this August now and yesterday I booked a 4-night Disney Dream Cruise for just DH and myself for October to celebrate our 15-year wedding anniversary. I think we are going to add a few park days to the beginning of that trip to do some Food and Wine Festival first. I'm on the waitlist for a studio at Beach Club Villas though.

Really looking forward to another cruise and I NEVER thought I'd say that until we took this last/first Disney cruise!
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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 03-18-2013, 08:58 PM   #44
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So is ANYBODY still bothering to read this any longer? Is anyone still interested in hearing the rest of our trip?

Well if you are then you might be in luck. I just finished uploading a BOATLOAD of new Disney Dream Cruise photos to my Photobucket sight. That means I can at least document our first full day and our stop at the Bahamas.

There will be tons of photos I am warning you. My laptop is about to shutdown due to low battery life but here is a quick sneak peak:










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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 04-03-2013, 01:18 PM   #45
kittylady1972
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Ah....the cruise memories. Have I mentioned how much fun we had on that trip? Oh but I have not even gotten to the fun part which includes the sick kids! Memories!

I only wish I had the forethought to go ahead and book another cruise while still on board. We tried but we got too impatient to wait for somebody to help us as the desk was always busy. And now...I am finding myself booking another cruise without the advantage of the savings. I did book today and took advantage of a special that allowed me to book with a reduced deposit, so that's something. As of now we plan to try a cruise on the Disney Wonder out of Galveston!

I don't know, part of me really wanted to try the Fantasy instead but the additional cost was really bugging me. It is our 15-year anniversary cruise so I guess it's okay to splurge a little bit. I might change my mind but we will see since I have yet to book the airfare to get there.

Disneyland planing for now is at a stand still as I don't have much left to plan there. I have several hotels booked on hold, have our airfare booked and paid for, have our car booked and have some plans in place. That's about it.

Right now I'd just like to get to Spring and enjoy some warm weather! I can't even think about AUGUST yet as that is the END of Summer!
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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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