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  1. #26

    What Me and The Hippos Have In Common (according to my 6 yo daughter) PART II

    (still working, but will try to finish this day!)

    After lunch, we were all incredibly full. My brother and kids really wanted to go see the tigers and my mom and I really wanted to shop. So, we decided to split up. The kids really wanted to see the Nemo show, which started in about an hour and a half, so we decided to meet at the theater about ten minutes to showtime. Mom and I would get in line and wait for everyone.

    We waddled our way down the pathway and had a great time shopping in all the stores. I picked up the cutest cookie tray with a milk cup for Santa. I never saw anything like it anywhere else on property the whole trip. Animal Kingdom is the only place where I would say if you see something unique, pick it up. You may not find it in another store! Anyhow, I had the *new* CM who really didn't know how to send something to the resort - - and she had no one else working with her to help out. She figured it out, but I thought that was odd. Busy shopping season and left to fend for herself!

    At one point, we were on our way towards the Nemo show and I saw a hat on a kiosk that my husband bought way back on our first trip. It was orange and he'd bought it because it was unique. For awhile, we always knew where he was at home because of that stinking orange hat. And then he lost it. Of course, I had to buy it! We had the guy laughing because we decided to tell my husband we found it at the lost and found... LOL

    Off to Nemo. We thought there would be a long line, but we were able to walk right up to the entrance of the inside queue. We were a few minutes early, so we sat on the nearby bench and waited. While we were there, this mom brought her kid in a stroller up - and he was eating an ice cream with the biggest grin, but totally covered in chocolate. I commented that someone had had some fun - and mom said it was his birthday treat. LOL. The family was clearly enjoying themselves, and it was fun to see them not freaking out over the messy kid, but enjoying it. Life is messy sometimes.... go with it!

    Finally, the family arrived and we headed into the theater. We were almost last, so we got seats down at the bottom on the far left. They were o.k. seats, but while we waited, we were subjected to this bright orange/yellow spotlight right in our eyes! Thank goodness they turned it off when the show started!

    If you haven't seen this show, it is worth checking it out. This was our first time. They use a combo of puppets and people in costume and do a great job of acting out the story of Nemo. The effects were very creatively done and cool.

    Funny thing - my daughter was the first one in the row, and about three seats away from me. Apparently, she couldn't see very well, so she leaned over and put her head on the shoulder of the person next to her.... a Japanese tourist! Poor person! I apologized after and he just shook his head, grinned, and said, "Kids!" What a nice guy. Kids don't understand social norms and my daughter, in particular, feels like the world is here for her. Most of the time, she plays right by the rules, but, as kids do, sometimes she oversteps the boundaries. I was grateful he took it well!

    We were all getting tired at this point, so we decided to try to use our safari passes from earlier before heading out. On this safari, we saw hippos playing, crocodiles and a whole bunch of zebras and giraffes on the savannah. It was eerie - it actually looked like the animals were holding a meeting. LOL.

    We were pooped by this point, so we left the park and headed back for a rest/swim. We decided to just chill out in the room that night, have Roaring Forks, and play around at the resort. My son really wanted to check out the arcade.

    After our nap, we went to the pool. Even my brother came down for awhile. At one point, my daughter and I were swimming alongside each other, at which time she says, "Mommy, look, we look just like the hippos we saw earlier today! ... Well, you do. I'm too small." (LOL!!!) This is why we say kids are great - - they just haven't had their "edit button" installed yet.

    My daughter also got brave and decided to go down the waterslide. She had been too scared to go. She thought (even with the life jacket) that it would dump her under the water. So, even though I was ready to go inside and getting cold, we waited for her to go down the slide over and over and over. And that was the last time she did it this trip... lol.

    We went back upstairs and cleaned up and then got ready to go down for dinner. Dinner was at Roaring Forks. My kids had the pizza. (I swear those two will become either pizza or mac and cheese because that is all they ate this trip!). The kids meals are a good deal. One entree and choice of two sides - healthy and unhealthy. But with the choice of two, my kids would generally go for the fries for one and the veggies or fruit for another. Then eat the fruit first and get too full for the fries... LOL. I had the bacon burger with fries. I don't know what the husband had.

    One thing about Roaring Forks - it can be hard to get seats together. They have four person tables, so you can sometimes get two together if you are a bigger party. They have a microwave in there if you just want to heat something up. They also have a nice condiment/topping bar. It really made the burgers that much more special!

    We used four counter service and a few snacks (for dessert).

    After dinner, we went shopping in - where else - the Mercantile! And then, the Tanners went to the arcade while my mom and brother went to their room to relax.

    After that, we went to the room and the kids did some homework while I ran down with the refillable mugs to get them hot cocoa.

    We ended the night with fireworks and cocoa on the deck....

    AH, the life!

    Tomorrow: The Slowest Cooked Waffle in History!

    Today's Totals:

    Food: 62+ Tiggers. 2 for the food at Roaring Forks (adequate and tasty, but nothing special) and the rest for that seafood curry from Yak & Yeti. Oh, I am drooling again thinking about it!

    Fun: 5 Tiggers. It really was a nice day. We all got along. Hardly any grumpies, and we got to do a lot.

    Dud: I really can't pick anything!!!

    Best: My daughter going down the water slide. I can't help it - - I love my kids!

    This and all of my posts are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

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  3. #27
    Registered User houseofmouse's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
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    Altamonte Springs, FL

    I really enjoyed the Nemo show in 2008. Hoping to see it again this summer, but still bummed I never got to see Tarzan Rocks.

    Have a Disney Day!
    You don't have to walk on water, it's how you walk on land.

  4. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by houseofmouse View Post
    I really enjoyed the Nemo show in 2008. Hoping to see it again this summer, but still bummed I never got to see Tarzan Rocks.
    I did. Don't be too bummed. Good show, but it was REALLY loud. They meant the "rocks" part.
    This and all of my posts are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

  5. #29

    Sounds like you and your family were having such a good time. I wish I had planned out more things, but maybe it is best I didn't. I had to change enough things as it was. But sometimes it is the unplanned things that happen that can be the best, like the water-slide and hippos


    Planning WDW, WL Nov 20-Nov 27 2014 ,WDW2008 off-site, WDW2010 Polynesian, WDW Polynesian Dec 15-21 2011

  6. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Tater View Post
    Sounds like you and your family were having such a good time. I wish I had planned out more things, but maybe it is best I didn't. I had to change enough things as it was. But sometimes it is the unplanned things that happen that can be the best, like the water-slide and hippos
    This was the first trip we went on where we really went with the flow. We had a loose plan, but we changed it whenever the mood struck. For example, on the day I am about to talk about, I got a case of the major grumpy syndrome, and I announced that I did not want to go back to the Magic Kingdom. It was too crowded for me to enjoy myself and I could feel it taking its toll on me.

    Now, my family didn't enjoy my announcement - mostly because when I said it, I was really grumpy and it came across like a vent. When I explained later that I didn't care if they went, but that I just wasn't enjoying myself and didn't want to drag them, or myself, down, we all understood. So, we talked about it and decided to head back to Epcot to get into stuff we missed. It turned out to be the best idea. It wasn't crowded, we got a lot done, and we really had a great time.

    With kids, I find you have to be flexible because when they put the brakes on, they mean it. They don't have enough awareness to say "after this ride, I'm going to melt down, so let's plan on going back to the hotel." They just will keep going until they can't handle the stimuli any more!

    Those unplanned moments were awesome this trip. And I can't wait for MORE!!!
    This and all of my posts are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

  7. #31

    Day 4: This Here's the Slowest Cooked Waffle in the Wilderness!

    We were all excited today to be heading out to the Magic Kingdom. Even though we go to Disneyland quite frequently, we never tire of it. Magic Kingdom feels like home - even though it has some differences from Disneyland. It had been awhile since we checked in at home!

    We had decided we would try and be there for rope drop so that we could get some stuff done early in the morning before we hit the wall. We were meeting WB and Carlee for our last shared day together, so we were excited about that, too! We woke up early, and realized we would not have time for breakfast in the room. We got dressed, ate some granola bars on the way to the bus stop, and devised a new plan.

    At rope drop, I would run for the bakery on Main Street and get what I could for everyone to share. This would tide us over until 11 when the restaurants started to open - and we could have something "real" to eat. I am not a morning sweets person - I have to have something hearty, with protein, or I just can't get going. I hoped they would have a bagel or something. The bakery can get incredibly crowded and you end up wasting all the time you gained in line - so that is why I chose to run.

    Now, rope drop means something entirely different at Disneyland (at least it did the last time I went to rope drop... lol). Rope drop in Disneyland allowed you up part of Main Street. You could wend your way through the shops on one side and be right at the cusp of Tomorrowland when the rope was dropped - half the crowd running for Fantasyland, the other half splitting between Indiana Jones/Splash and Tomorrowland.

    We were surprised when the rope drop had us standing for 45 minutes in the hot sun underneath the edge of the train station tunnel. Nowhere to go because we had people in line behind us. No place to sit. Not at all like rope drop back home! Not an enjoyable experience, at all! I couldn't even count being the first one in the park because, well, all the breakfasters beat me to it. Sigh.

    When the rope finally did drop, I power walked my way out of the crowd and then jogged towards the bakery. I hit a wet patch of pavement and slid a good five feet, nearly going over, but regained my footing. (Then did the same thing when I went in the store! Why wash the streets so close to opening?!).

    The line in the bakery was three people long, and it went so quickly, I barely had time to think about what I was ordering. I ordered a ham, egg and cheese croissant, an apple turnover, a cinnamon bun, and a chocolate croissant for the 6 of us. Got a few waters (and a diet coke for me), and a banana and decided I couldn't carry any more. I met the group over by Casey's, where I was immediately greeted with, "Where's my coffee?" Urrrggggh. I just carried breakfast for everyone and you want me to somehow also juggle hot coffee???

    And then, "Well, are you going to give me some money for coffee?"

    Now, I gave everyone spending money every day - including my husband. Simply so I didn't have to play the "I want" game all day. I must admit, we exchanged some words. This was starting off to be a very grumpy day.

    So, he went off to get his coffee and we all sat and ate while we waited and waited and waited for him to return. Remember the master plan to avoid the bakery lines? I was fuming, but, after a few minutes, I decided to just let it go. We were on vacation!

    After our semi-satisfying breakfast (the ham and cheese croissant was EXCELLENT), we headed off to Tomorrowland. We were supposed to meet our friends there, but had about 30 minutes to wait. They had gone to the Mickey Christmas Party the night before, so they were a little slow this morning.

    The first thing we decided to do was Monster Laugh Floor. This was totally new to all of us. We had no idea what to expect. My daughter and mom got picked to be one of the people who talk about where they are from. When the monster said he knew everything about California - and how we have pandas, kangaroos and the Eiffel Tower, my mom said, "correct!" It was pretty funny. At least we weren't "that guy."

    On an aside, my daughter gets picked for *everything.* Seriously. Turtle Talk - every time we go. If there is a "we need a volunteer," it is my daughter. My poor son never gets picked... its very hard. He's such a sweet kid - tries really hard to be happy for his little sister. Makes me conflicted, though.

    Afterward, our friends had arrived. We caught up for a few minutes and then decided to go on the Peoplemover. I know it is called something else, but to me, it will always be the Peoplemover. My son was dying to go on it (and has declared it his favorite ride... LOL). We had a great time - the grownups chatting and plotting the rest of the day and the kids yelling, "Wheeeeee."

    Next, was Carousel of Progress. The host came up to my daughter and told her she had an important job (yep, picked again!). He wanted her to give the dog attention because no one ever pets him anymore. He said if she waived at him, he would respond by wagging his tail. It was pretty cute - and she, and my son, followed his directions. Wouldn't you know it? Every scene, he wagged his tail for them!

    I'm fairly certain we went on Buzz next. I don't have a distinct memory of it, but I think we did. My son and I were on a team and neither of our guns worked very well. We got a very dismal score and my son was bummed out. I only did better than him because I somehow hit a high target once. But, mostly, nothing registered on our guns.

    At this point, we were all hungry. So, my brother asked us if we wanted to compete in one of his famous challenges. My brother has been making up trip game shows for us for years now. He even makes videos of the game show and edits them into episodes. It is very fun! WB filmed an earlier episode for his first game show when she and her family were at WDW. Now, they were going to be in a challenge with us!

    We paired off - kid and grownup on each team. WB and her daughter, me and my daughter, and my son and husband. Grammy was the judge and my brother filmed us.

    The challenge was simple: One teammate went into Casey's, ordered a hot dog, and then went to the toppings bar to pile it on. As creatively as they could, fit as many toppings on the hot dog. Thank God I got my daughter on my team. She is picky and fussy, so I knew she would make a very plain dog.

    My brother said "go," and we were off. On the way to Casey's, a squirrel ran right in front of us, and my daughter and I said, in unison, "SQUIRREL!" It reminded us of Doug from Up.

    She went in and I helped her in line. She did the ordering. Then went to the toppings bar, but she couldn't reach anything - so I had to put on the toppings she selected. Ketchup, cheese and some pickles. Not bad.

    Well, now, I am the SLOWEST eater in town. I just can't eat fast. Even when I try, I am still the last one at the table eating. Most times, people are already on to or done with dessert. LOL. I didn't hold out much hope. Still, for her sake, I tried.

    We came in.... last. LOL. In fact, I was still chewing my last bite when the results were announced.

    Well, we were all still a little hungry, so we decided to head over to Sleepy Hollow to try the touted new waffle sandwiches. My husband offered to split one with me. My son didn't want anything (odd since he hadn't eaten a hot dog), and my daughter wanted an ice cream sandwich.

    I have to make one comment. I HATE this eatery. You order at one window. One window down, you pick up hot food. Two windows down, you pick up drinks and cold food. And if you are one person with little kids?!? Keeping an eye on them, carrying food back and forth... not at all streamlined or efficient!!!

    So, I got my daughter's ice cream sandwich and drinks, and sent her over with her dad and the gang.

    WB and Carlee each ordered a waffle sandwich. They had gotten their sandwiches already and went to sit down. While I went for the ice cream, one guy had gotten in front of me in the hot food line. So, it was he and I waiting on waffle sandwiches.

    The lady behind the window asked what we ordered - he ordered the same thing I did - chicken waffle sandwich. She said, o.k., it would be up in a few minutes.

    Now, mind you, we can see everything going on in the kitchen. And here is what I saw: The girl at the window doing triple duty - selling products, handing products out the window, and getting drinks. 4 people, including a manager, standing around chatting. Occasionally, one would leave to turn a waffle or put some batter on. No sense of hurry.

    20 minutes later, WB, who had finished her waffle, came up to see what the trouble was. I told her we were waiting to have our waffles made. Oh. Seriously, I can make a waffle in ten minutes at home - - from scratch!

    10 minutes later, I was still waiting. At this point, I wanted to just cancel the order, but I was afraid that might take longer than waiting to get my order.

    Finally, after I waited 35 minutes, my waffle came out. Without a word from the staff. Not, thanks for your patience, not sorry... nothing. My family, meanwhile, went off to watch the Hall of Presidents, and I sat and ate with WB. Carlee took my daughter around to look at stuff (they were best buds! Seriously, it was nice for her to have a big sis!).

    My verdict: Concept, good. Execution, bad. The sauce breaks the waffles down so that they become too mushy to hold the chicken. The chicken piece was way too big to eat in the waffle - would have worked better as strips of chicken with a little sauce and a side of "dipping" sauce. The flavors were yummy together. But NONE of it was worth a 35 minute wait.

    It was getting really hot by now (for me), and the heat was not helping my mood. This was my last chance to hang out with WB and Carlee, so I was trying to hold it together, but I really just wanted to get back to the hotel, nap and swim.

    There was one thing I needed to do, though. WB loves Country Bears - so I HAD to see that with her. Off to the bears we went next. It was a swinging time! We don't have this in Disneyland anymore, so my daughter enjoyed seeing it. My son and grammy went shopping and skipped it.

    After the show, we met outside. Wendy sent her daughter ahead to see about the line for Splash. Apparently, it was 90 minutes long. I think the only time I waited that long was when it first came to DL, before fast pass, on a hot, June day. We'd wait.

    We decided to walk over to Pirates. Even if the queue was long, it was a cool waiting area, so the heat wouldn't be getting to me. So, we walked over and were astounded to see the line out to the sidewalk. It appeared to be moving along well, though, so we jumped in. We were just up to the front door of the attraction when a cast member came out, shut the door, and closed the rope off. The ride was being shut down- they didn't know for how long. We waited five more minutes and then decided to leave.

    The group decided to go try Haunted Mansion. My mom and I got cut off by the crowd and I suddenly couldn't remember how to get there. I knew it was over near Liberty Square, but in my mind, where it was located is across from the Hall of Presidents, and where that was was near Frontierland. I was right, in a round-about way, but we ended up walking a long way to get there. We missed a turn somewhere.

    The kids were playing on the stockade and everyone was sitting waiting for us. We looked at the lines - 60 minutes - and just gave up. I said, let's go to the hotel for awhile and come back later.

    Unfortunately, this meant that we couldn't hang out with my friends anymore. They had an early flight in the morning and had to go back and pack. We said our goodbyes, and then walked out of the park. Man, was it hot and crowded.

    A word about the business of Disney this week. Now, most of December, they have the holiday party at MK. It is usually 1-2 days per week. On those days, if you want to enjoy a park after, say, 5, you can either pay $60 extra or go to one of the other two parks that are still open. I'm fine with that.

    This week, there were no less than 5 holiday parties - meaning, the MK was closed off to anyone who didn't want to pay extra 5 out of 7 nights. For my family, that meant that we would have had to pay an extra $300 (just for me, dh and kids) to enjoy a park we had already spent $4k to visit for the week. It also guaranteed crowds on the days where there weren't parties - because everyone wanted to make sure to get their park time in.

    Now, to add a wrinkle to this - Disney also had private parties two of the nights at Hollywood Studios, closing that park down at 7. Which meant that anyone not invited to the party and not able to pay an extra $300 for a holiday party, were either shut out for two nights of their vacation or had to suffer the crowds in Epcot.

    That is not, at all, what I call making Magical Memories....

    O.k., back to the regularly scheduled trip.

    So, after we left, we got on the boat back to WL. I had this nagging feeling in my head. It was that feeling of, "I am grumpy. I am not enjoying this trip right now. I need to do something to change that."

    So, I announced, "You know, guys, I don't think I want to come back to MK tonight. You can, but I am just not feeling it."

    They tried to talk me into it. My brother surmised that it would be our only night to do anything nighttime in MK (see above about the schedule). The kids said they wanted to do rides - - but I knew a night of slogging through those crowds would make me miserable.

    We decided to go back to the hotel and think about it for awhile.

    My DH took the kids to the pool. I fell asleep about 3 minutes after they left. Slept until they returned. Ahhh, that felt nice. But, you know what? I still wasn't feeling going back to MK.

    I broached the idea of going back to Epcot and really doing up the rides. We hadn't been to the countries, at all, and we could start by eating dinner around the world. The more I talked, the more excited I got - and the more I could see I was getting to them. LOL. It was decided.

    We headed out around 4 and caught a bus immediately to Epcot. How's that for luck?

    When we got there, we went first, of course, on Spaceship Earth. Then, we all picked a ride we really wanted to do - so that we could try and get at least those things done that night. I wanted to do Ellen. My daughter wanted to do Test Track. My poor son wanted to do Imagination (more later), and my brother and husband wanted to do stuff in the countries.

    First, we went over and got fast passes for Test Track. They were for about two hours later, so we decided to go on Ellen first. I love this ride. I think it needs updating, but only because my kids had no idea who Bill Nye was.... LOL. I love the Nye Guy, so I wouldn't recommend taking him out. Still, Trebek still has a mustache....

    After Ellen, we headed towards Germany. We were getting hungry and my brother wanted to grab a bratwurst. We got a great deal here. We could combine two items and a dessert for a counterservice credit, so we split two sausages, got a pretzel for my son, and a black forest cake and drinks - and it only cost us 2 counter service credits!

    We then decided we would stroll leisurely back through the countries, taking in American Adventure and El Rio del Tiempo. We got to American Adventure and the show was going to start in about 10 minutes. I was so tired, I just wanted to sit down. Then, my son announces he is starving and really wants a hot dog. I told him to just wait until after the show and I would get him one. My fear was that the show would start to fill up and we'd get separated from the rest of the group. Plus, the rest of the group was nowhere to be found right then, so I thought we should stay put since they knew where we were. Well, he started to cry. He's a good kid - and there is only so long he can wait to eat. Boy, I felt bad.

    A few minutes later, my brother came and asked what was wrong. I told him. He said oh, and walked off. A few seconds later, he came back and said, "Josh, I really have to show you something," and they went outside. Well, apparently, he ran next door to get him a hot dog on his promise that he could wolf it down... LOL. Crisis averted.

    I love American Adventure, but I was a little bummed that they edited the ending film to take out some stuff and add more recent stuff. I liked the recent stuff, but I missed seeing Mary Lou Retton and some other things that were important in MY childhood. I wish they had just lengthened the film...

    Candlelight Processional was just finishing up when we came out, so we watched for a moment. The parks really lacked a holiday feel. No special music overhead, hardly any decorations... it was a real bummer.

    We kept walking towards El Rio. On the way, we spied someone with this humongous platter of nachos. My mother has scarcely met a nacho she didn't like. We decided we would get nachos while everyone else went on the ride. It took awhile, but we tracked them down at the Cantina. Got nachos (no meat - mom doesn't eat beef), sat down and shared them. We weren't even half-thru when the gang came to join us and helped us finish. The portion was big enough for all of us to share.

    Well, it was a little past our Test Track fast pass, but we decided to give it a go. We told the kids if they told us we couldn't go on, that was that. No worries, though - the guy looked at our tickets and waived us in. A short walk and we were in to the briefing room. Five minutes later, we were on the ride. My daughter freaked out because they put her in the "driver's" seat and she thought she was actually expected to drive. Poor kid!!

    It was getting near Illuminations' time, and we wanted to be out of the park before Illuminations was over. Beat the crowds.... So, we went over to our last ride - Imagination. Only to find out it was closed. Apparently, not everything in Future World stays open until closing. I am sure it is listed somewhere on the maps or programs, but we had missed it. Josh was beside himself. Poor kid.

    He finally gave a second choice - - Spaceship Earth. He decided he wanted to ride with me. That's my boy! We had a good time on the ride and stayed and played some of the games afterward.

    When we finally left, with our backs to the park, a huge BOOM nearly took me off my feet. I screamed. My brother laughed his head off because I had gotten scared at the beginning of Illuminations - - miles away from us! It was loud!

    Off to the buses and back to the hotel where we caught the tail-end of fireworks.

    Tomorrow - I Am Ready for My Close Up!

    Today's Totals:

    Food - 1 Tigger. It was all tasty, but what the heck was up with the waffle place?!?

    Fun - 3 Tiggers. It was way too crowded in MK for me, and I had to say good-bye to my friends. But, Epcot was great fun!

    Dud: The crowds!!!!

    Best: The hot dog challenge. That was very fun and I am so glad I got to compete in that with WB and Carlee!

    This and all of my posts are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

  8. #32

    Day 5 - I am NOT the Next American Idol

    Today was the day my daughter and I were going to go on Tower of Terror. When we first started talking about this trip, I told the kids we would not ride the Tower. At 6 and 8, I felt they were too young. I remember riding it the first time, as an adult, and being scared nearly out of my mind (yet appreciating the finer qualities... .) It is my favorite ride, but I didn't want to rush them. Well, a month before our trip, they went to Disneyland with their uncles and were talked into riding - and my daughter loved it. She's such a thrill seeker!

    We decided to have an easy morning. We wouldn't make rope drop, but we would try to get to the park right around opening time. We had a nice leisurely breakfast at Roaring Forks - - simple pastries this morning - - then hit the bus. Two days in a row where we got the bus within five minutes of arriving at the stop. Ahhhh, this is the life!

    The bus ride was fun. It wasn't at all crowded and we had a nice family to chat with. I wished WB and Carlee were still there, but I knew we were going to have fun, either way.

    We got off the bus and walked the incredibly long walk to the entrance. We were all a little grumpy with my husband who has only one speed - slow. He wanted to take pictures of everything, but he can't just take a quick snapshot. He has to walk around, find the best light, wait for the planets to align.... it can get really annoying. We all love that he takes pictures, but no one wants to wait the 20 minutes it takes him to get the shot and he never wants to take pictures at times when we are all fine with the wait. (Like when we are in the pool or somewhere where we have no agenda or place to be....)

    We finally made it in the park and it was only about 5 minutes after opening. We headed, like everyone else, to get Toy Story Mania fast passes. The time showing was starting enough before our lunch reservation that we could ride the ride and then head over to lunch. By the time I got up to the front to get the fast passes, however, the time had changed. When I looked at the fast pass, I realized it started 5 minutes AFTER our lunch reservation. Since we were going to 50s Prime Time, we knew the meal would probably take up our whole hour window. We decided we would come back and use the fast passes after lunch if they would let us in late.

    Fast passes secured, it was time to do some rides. First up, Star Tours. My brother and the kids had been on this in Disneyland, but it was new to the rest of us. We got in line and it was moving fairly quickly. When we were nearly at the top of the line, a cast member asked how many were in our party. She then said - why don't you guys move over to the fast pass line, then. We thought she was being nice and giving us a quicker route... WRONG. The line we had been in continued to move while the line she moved us to came to a stand still. Urrrrgggh! Go figure! LOL!

    We finally made it on our Star Speeder. Nice driving, C3PO! I must admit, it made me a tiny bit motion sick, but I was fine within a few minutes. My daughter really wanted to be the rebel spy, but she was not discovered on this voyage. Her secret is safe with me.

    After the show, we decided to head over and catch the Muppets. My kids have just gotten into the Muppets, so we thought this would be very fun. We ended up sitting way too close, but I found it fun because I could see the penguins better than before!

    We walked around for awhile looking in the shops. I found a disturbing trend of items without price tags on them this trip. What is that about? I figure if they can't be bothered to tell me how much it is until I get to the counter, I can't be bothered to buy it. How do I know the prices aren't different between me and someone else? I picked up several items in the stores we visited and very few had any price tags on them. Bad show.

    After shopping, we decided to go and watch the Indy stage show. It was a few minutes until it started. We got separated from my brother and daughter (they stopped to look at something), so I spent a lot of the beginning of the show looking for them. I hadn't seen the stage show in quite some time. Not much has changed - except the last time I saw the show, they had this great crowd warmer. He was hilarious. Now, they just pretty much start the show. We were very close to the stage, so I got to swoon over the handsome Indy up close. Hubba-hubba!

    It was time for our lunch at 50s Prime Time. We were starting to feel sluggish and I was half hoping we'd get an unplayful waitress. We went in and were told we were early and they were running late so we would have to wait. That was fine, except they didn't even want to take our name down until it was our reservation time. We were only about 10 minutes early and the lobby was fairly empty. I didn't mind that they wouldn't seat us until later, but I thought that was a little weird. Eventually, one of the other cast members took our name down and put us in the queue.

    We went and waited in the lobby area until some seats opened up. The kids sat on the floor in front of the t.v. (that brought back some childhood memories!). We had just gotten comfortable when our name was called.

    Our waitress was very nice, but she did not play the part. It ended up being o.k. because the other waiter in our section did - and it was just enough that we enjoyed the fun, but also got some down time. I really liked our waitress, too - so it all worked out!

    My mom ordered the onion rings to start and my brother ordered a salad. I had a chocolate milk shake. The milk shake was huge, but I sucked it down in minutes. It was sooooooo tasty!!! The onion ring platter was enormous - each of us had several and I don't think we finished them. My brother's salad looked good, but he said it was absolutely swimming in dressing. And he likes dressing!

    For lunch, the kids had - what else - mac and cheese. My brother and I both had the sampler. I forget what Carl and my mom had! The sampler was great, but enormous. There was a full chicken breast, a large slice of meatloaf and a single portion of pot roast. All of this and mashed potatoes and green beans. Carl, the kids and I could have shared this. Still, I decided that I would try for the coveted "clean plate" award. I ate until the food no longer tasted good - - that should have been common sense to stop there. I don't know why it was so important to me to finish. The food was great, but that wasn't it. I did finish, but felt sick from eating all of that. I skipped dessert - so did my husband and kids. We were all stuffed! But, there was no "clean plate" sticker for anyone! Bummer - I ate all that for nothing! (LOL)

    We needed to use our fast passes up, so we headed over to Toy Story Mania. We were about 20 minutes past our due time, but we were prepared to be turned away. We weren't. We went in and had a great ride - although it did stop for a minute at one of the screens. I don't think any of us had a very spectacular score. I beat my son - and he was sad. Poor kid!

    We decided to let the kids blow off some steam at the Honey I Shrunk the Kids - or as I call it, the terrifying lose your children adventure dome - playground. It was very hot by this time and I was getting very tired. My brother and husband took the kids in while my mom and I browsed one of the stores. She decided to continue browsing while I went and sat in the exit and waited for the kids to come out. And waited. And waited. My brother came out and went to the shop, and I went in to find my husband.

    When I went in, I could hear a kid crying - and he sounded just like my son. He was calling, "mommy, mommy!" and crying. I couldn't figure out where the crying was coming from. I found my husband and he went to look for my son - and couldn't find him. He also couldn't find our daughter. Now, this is a playground that only has one exit/entry point, so I was fairly comfortable that they were still in the place. But now I was wondering if my son was hurt somewhere and couldn't get out. My husband sent me to the exit to wait while he rounded up the kids. My daughter eventually came out, and then my husband - saying he couldn't find Josh. He looked worried. My brother went back in with him and eventually found him. He was fine - but we were all a little shaken up. We didn't know where he was for about 25 minutes!

    We decided a walk was in order, so we strolled over to Sunset Blvd. My daughter decided she no longer wanted to ride Tower of Terror. My mother can't tolerate the ride anymore, my brother thought his knee wouldn't hold out (he'd injured it fairly seriously a few years back and it took a long time to heal), and my husband was too full. It would have to wait for another trip!

    My brother had another game show contest for us to participate in. This time, my daughter and I were on a team. Each team had to come up with a superhero name and a costume for less than $10 and in 10 minutes. I think I had the hardest time. My daughter decided she wanted to be Tinkerbell. She didn't care that there was already a Tinkerbell who didn't have any super powers or that everything she picked out was way above the $10 mark. Finally, I convinced her that she could be Tinkerbell with a green cape and a cute hat. I got a cute dish towel, and used her own pins from the lanyard to secure it to her back. Then, I asked for some extra plastic bags and make a hat out of them by cutting holes in them and attaching them together. My costume consisted of plastic bag ruffles on my arms and neck. Our super powers = to save lost tourists by providing them with directions. Lame, I know.

    My son was The Whisker... and his costume consisted of a whisk. LOL. At least we got handy things... LOL.

    Everyone was tired, so we decided to go back for our break. The guys and kids went off to the bus stop and my mom and I hung back to finish up some shopping. We bought several Christmas presents and had them shipped home.

    We ended up walking out the wrong way and got lost - almost ended up in the parking lot. Finally, we found a cross walk that put us back on the bus side and were soon on our bus back to the hotel.

    We went up to our rooms for a little rest. I wanted to go back to the park and see the Osbourne Lights - something we had really enjoyed our last Christmas trip. My mother wanted to stay at the hotel. So, we opted to return for the lights and maybe a ride, and then return to the hotel for pizza dinner.

    I was very disappointed in the lights. Our last trip, the lights were the whole backlot area. You got hot cocoa at the beginning and then walked through and looked at each house. Music played overhead and it was very cool. Now, it is only the Streets of America. It was so crowded, you couldn't tell where you were walking and I nearly got run over several times. People kept stopping to take photos and they would stop right in front of you. I kept getting separated from my kids. And the lights were cool, but they were in such a contained area, you couldn't really enjoy it or take it all in. It was a real bummer.

    After the lights, we had just enough time to go on Star Tours again. This time, we got Yoda - that was cool!!!

    We headed out of the park and then back to the hotel where we spent way too much money on pizza for dinner in the room. It was o.k. pizza, but very expensive for what you got. The fireworks went off, so we watched those while we ate. Played Mad Libs for awhile and then had the kids take baths before bed.

    Tomorrow, Animal Kingom Part Deux.

    Totals for the day:

    Food: 3 Tiggers. 50s Prime Time is always good, but there is just too much food! I like to eat, but even I know it is too much! The pizza was decent, but too expensive!

    Fun: 3 Tiggers. It was a meh kind of day. We had fun, but losing the kids in the playground was a real bummer!

    Dud of the Day: The Osbourne Lights. I had been looking forward to seeing those and they were just poorly executed. Not special, at all. Seemed more gimmicky and a way to sell stuff than it did a celebration of the holidays. Sad.

    Best of the Day: Seeing Indy that close. Hubba hubba!

    This and all of my posts are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

  9. #33

    I forgot to explain the title: all day, my daughter kept trying to get me to try out for the American Idol Experience. But, when I jokingly sang a song for a possible try out to her, she said, "mommy, I wouldn't go with that one." LOL!

    This and all of my posts are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

  10. #34
    Registered User foolishmortal's Avatar
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    the other side of crazy
    Quote Originally Posted by HTanner View Post
    My dear mom can't help with the GS. She is nearing 70 but won't admit that it affects her sometimes. I would have been fine if she could communicate she's getting tired or having trouble, but she doesn't. She just gets this air about her - and I am very sensitive and can feel it. Several times on the trip, she snapped at people - imo inappropriately - and she pretty much ruined our last meal for me because she was just so dang grumpy.

    Still, she's my mom and I love traveling with her. We have a great time together! I just need to remember her limits, even if she won't set them for herself.
    I hear this one. My dad is 68 and does the same thing. At least with him you can see it coming as he starts to turn red and his little eyes get all beady. So that's when you stuff food in him and send him off to take a nap!

    He is a blast, but the GS is bad when he goes down that road.

  11. #35

    Best surprise ever!

    My Disney Twin!
    Your brother and I conspired with each other for quite a while and it was all worth it! I have to just tell everyone that it is because of this site here that we became friends! I think it was fate(for lackof better word) that you and I were at WDW in 2002 just days from each other. I am still amazed.

    Car and I had great fun with you and the family and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Next time though, we are dropping on TOT.

    Love you bunches.


    Btw, you DO know the first quest was rigged don't you? I was supposed to win all along...........it's all your brother's fault. Now get 'em!


  12. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by wlbbcb View Post
    My Disney Twin!
    Your brother and I conspired with each other for quite a while and it was all worth it! I have to just tell everyone that it is because of this site here that we became friends! I think it was fate(for lackof better word) that you and I were at WDW in 2002 just days from each other. I am still amazed.

    Car and I had great fun with you and the family and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Next time though, we are dropping on TOT.

    Love you bunches.


    Btw, you DO know the first quest was rigged don't you? I was supposed to win all along...........it's all your brother's fault. Now get 'em!
    I believed all the quests were rigged. I can't wait to see the video!!!

    We are looking next at a February trip and we're split between Animation Suites or Poly. (Wilderness Lodge is always a choice, too).
    This and all of my posts are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

  13. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by HTanner View Post
    I believed all the quests were rigged. I can't wait to see the video!!!

    We are looking next at a February trip and we're split between Animation Suites or Poly. (Wilderness Lodge is always a choice, too).
    Do a split stay. The kids will enjoy the Art of Animation for a few days and then you older folks can enjoy the dream resort for a few days. Perfect compromise. . I can hook you up with the greatest guidebook....

  14. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by wlbbcb View Post
    Do a split stay. The kids will enjoy the Art of Animation for a few days and then you older folks can enjoy the dream resort for a few days. Perfect compromise. . I can hook you up with the greatest guidebook....
    LOL.

    I am actually waiting to decide until I hear the first reports from people who have stayed there.

    As for the cruise - unless things change financially for us here, that probably won't happen. Not that I don't want to, but we really can't justify taking the cruise on what we are working with right now. But, I never say never!
    This and all of my posts are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

  15. #39

    I'm enjoying your trip report! I can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip.


  16. #40

    I agree, I love this trip report. I am glad you had a good time (overall). And the GS hits EVERYONE at some point during a trip.

    Shelley
    DLR - '05, '06, '07(x2), '09; WDW - '97, '10; '13; Disney Cruise - Fantasy '13

  17. #41

    I'm enjoying your trip report. I'm so glad you weathered the storm of unemployment. My DH lost his job unexpectedly 2 years ago. He was able to get another only 8 days later, but it scared the life out of us!

    We may be heading out to your "home" this summer. When we visit my family in LA, we are either going to go on a cruise or go to DLR. I'm rooting for DLR, but am going to let the kiddos have some input!

    just can't get enough of disney

  18. #42

    Oh, and it sounds like you did/do some type of employment law. My sisteris a labor and employment attorney in LA!

    just can't get enough of disney

  19. #43

    Haven't read it all yet, but loving the report so far!! How fun that your Disney friends got to meet up with you!! I had to laugh about you two looking a lot alike, because DFF4 and I met on MP too and when we vacationed together in December our families kept mixing us up too. Of course, we confused them all the more by wearing the same color shirts and matching Mickey head bands ;-).


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