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View Full Version : Grand Villa at Old Key West in March...and lots of plans to be made.


brewcrew80
11-12-2009, 02:49 PM
I posted one of these a long time ago, for this same trip..but, I think it is too old to be open. That's more than ok. Good chance to start over anyway. I realize I'm new and nobody knows me, but if nothing else, having a written record of this trip and the planning seems like a good idea.

Also, sorry in advance if this isn't as visually appealing as others. I'm kind of a minimalist when it comes to typing. Black and white words ...maybe a few pictures. No smileys. No pretty colors. Also, not one with the abbreviations. I've read other people's trip reports...and I don't know what half the stuff means.

Anyway, enough with giving you reasons NOT to read this. Here is what is up.



Starting sometime between March 19th and March 21st and ending one week later, myself and my family will be going to Walt Disney World. Spending 1 or 2 nights offsite, and the rest at a Grand Villa in Old Key West. Those reservations were made in May.

Me-Dan-I'll be 30 at the time of the trip. Disney was a huge part of my childhood. I've been there several times, but not at all since 1998 (allthough, my wife and I did go to Disneyland for our honeymoon in 2006). I loved every trip. I love the movies. I get more enjoyment out of anything Disney than most grown, straight men.

Wife-Kelly-She'll also be 30 at the time of the trip...barely. just 3 weeks earlier. She doesn't share my love for Disney, but made huge strides in the above mentioned 2006 trip. We've been married since 2005. We've gone on 2 big vacations with her family. But, this will be the first with my side.

Daughter-Lydia-She'll be 2.5 at the time of the trip. She loves everything. Anytime she sees new things, she loves them. Swimming is one of her favorite things to do. It's gonna be a good trip for her.

My Parents-this trip was their idea. They've always had the same Disney love I've had, and have been looking forward to having a grandchild to bring to Disney since the last of the kids were grown...they bought into the Vacation Club as soon as it became an option and has been saving points for a Grand Villa for a long time for this trip.

My brother Pat...and his wife Kristen-both just 2 years younger than me. They got married in 2008. Used to live in Green Bay just a few miles from my house, but last October they moved to Columbia, SC. So, We see them on holidays. And we drove out to visit last March.

My sister-Angie-25 at the time of the trip. Loves doing family stuff. loves spending time with Lydia. loves travelling. Possibly the only one remotely as excited for this trip as I am. She lives in St. Paul, MN.

My brother-Tom and his girlfriend Beth-both 23 at the time of the trip. just finished college. Both have real jobs. but, they live on opposite sides of the state. future seems uncertain, but as of now, they're both coming.

so, that's it. 10 of us. We're going over prime Spring Break times, but my wife is a high school social worker, so our options were kinda limited.

So, on with the plans.

Other than the fact that we know we have the Grand Villa at Old Key West from March 21st - March 26th (sunday-friday), we have no plans finalized yet. I know I would like to stay offsite for 2 nights to extend the vacation, and my parents and Angie have said they would do the same.

Also, airfare is mostly ridiculous right now. Southwest just started flying out of Milwaukee this month, which helped. Ideally, I'd fly. But, if the costs stay the same way they are now, I think driving from Green Bay to WDW with a 2.5 year old may actually happen. It wouldn't be too bad. We're in the process of buying Kelly's parent's Honda Odessey, and Tom and Beth said they may or may not be interested in riding with us. My parents and Angie will definitely be flying. And Pat and Kristen will only have to drive from Columbia. So, I'll be keeping my eye out for cheap airfare. If it happens, great, if not, we're in no hurry to spend more than we have to on plane tickets. And, as I mentioned, we drove to Columbia last March and Lydia did very well. This would be further...but, it could be done.

Once I get transportation nailed down, I'll start looking at hotels for the non-disney days. I know I'll have many options there.

Also, I decided about 1 month ago that setting the Disney trip as a deadline would help lose some weight. I'm about 6' 2 and was 220 when this weight losing crap started. I'm not going crazy. just eating lean cuisine or weight watcher meals for lunch and running on the treadmill in our basement 3 or 4 times a week. There were some great immediate results, as I've lost 12 lbs so far. down to 208. 199 is the goal by march. Not overly ambitious, but it's a good round number.

So, that's all for now. The planning is gonna shift into high gear soon, and with nothing planned yet, it could be busy and interesting.

brewcrew80
11-18-2009, 10:42 AM
So, Interesting day. And, frustrating day. My daughter woke up at 3:30 am. went right back to sleep. I did not. I stayed in bed until 5, then said "screw it" and hit the treadmill. then, looked at flights. I do this daily. but, i found one on southwest that leaves saturday at 5:50 pm...$74. the return fare was still high, so i figured i'd book the flight out and keep looking for the flight back. Well by this time, it was time to get ready for work. no big deal...i'd just book it when i got in. no such luck. the same flight went to $147 in the hour between visits to the site. so, that sucks. i was pretty excited to get airfare that cheap. But, it will have to wait.

also, gotta go back on what i said earlier. I see a lot of people use colored font to distinguish themselves as the owner of the TR. so, i'll use green.

brewcrew80
11-24-2009, 11:37 AM
Well, not much for updates at this time. I talked to my brother Tom for a while.

-Everytime his gf comes up, the subject is very quickly changed. The whole crew is wondering if she'll be joining us, but nobody can get a straight answer. My dad said he'd invite my Grandma (86, but acts 10 years younger) if the gf doesn't go. We will see.

-He also seems to be pushing for the wife and I to drive so he can ride with us. He loves road trips. He thinks air travel is too much stress. I am not opposed to driving if airfare stays where it is. Again, we will see.

-Also, EMH have been posted. I never thought our trip would be dictated by EMH, but, the one nice surprise was the fact that on Monday, March 22nd, AK has EMH in the morning and DHS has them in the Evening. I didn't think anybody would have interest in spending a full day at either park...but a half day seemed too short. But, now things seem to have shaped up nicely for an early start at AK, back to OKW for a nap for the child and a lunch, then, off to DHS for the afternoon/evening. This would make the trip 3 days of park fun and 3 days of pool fun. Personally, I'd like more park days, but I think I'm in the minority there. But, EMH could really help make everybody happy.

FreezinRafiki
11-24-2009, 12:07 PM
I've always wanted to stay in a Grand Villa. My brother and his family go to Disney every few years, so we might coordinate with them sometime to do it. (He lives not too far from you in New London)

I know what you mean with the airfare. We went last March and I did the same thing. Checked every day for flights out of Milwaukee, and all of a sudden AirTran was at $46 each way. I jumped at it and booked. I was assuming that it was a problem where their website that it accidentally sold them that cheap. No one ever contacted me about a mistake, so I was a happy camper.

We have driven since then, and like you read in my TR, it went well. So well in fact, that we are already planning to drive this March and next December. The mini van helps a lot. If you do end up driving, I'll be happy to pass on everything I learned.

Good luck with the planning. Keep posting updates, they help me get through the long, cold winter. :thumbsup2

FreezinRafiki
11-24-2009, 12:18 PM
Also, I decided about 1 month ago that setting the Disney trip as a deadline would help lose some weight. I'm about 6' 2 and was 220 when this weight losing crap started. I'm not going crazy. just eating lean cuisine or weight watcher meals for lunch and running on the treadmill in our basement 3 or 4 times a week. There were some great immediate results, as I've lost 12 lbs so far. down to 208. 199 is the goal by march. Not overly ambitious, but it's a good round number.


I almost forgot - congratulations on the weight loss. I've dropped close to 40 pounds in the last year or so. It's not easy, but the results are worth it. Keep it up!

rentayenta
11-24-2009, 12:34 PM
:thumbsup2 You will LOVE the GV at OKW!!! We stayed there last May and it was awesome! So much room, great pools, Olivia's is sooo good, and just plain old fun!

DisneyDaddy-O
11-24-2009, 12:46 PM
I'm here and ready to read.popcorn:: I didn't see the TR in your siggie. You can type out your title of your TR in your setup and link it to your TR, that way it shows the title of your TR not the link. Just an FYI:goodvibes

I have always wanted to stay at a Grand Villa as well, but am afraid my family and I would kill each before the trip was over. :lmao::rotfl2:

Funny about the weight loss thing, I decided after our trip last year that it was time to do something after we came back and I saw all of our pics.:scared1: So I started watching what I was eating, walking a ton, and cut all sugars out of my diet. So far I have dropped about 75 lbs, pretty scary I let it get that far.

Congrats on what you have accomplished so far and keep it up.:thumbsup2

Good job on the PTR so far, looking forward to some planning.:woohoo:

brewcrew80
11-24-2009, 01:34 PM
I've always wanted to stay in a Grand Villa. My brother and his family go to Disney every few years, so we might coordinate with them sometime to do it. (He lives not too far from you in New London)

I know what you mean with the airfare. We went last March and I did the same thing. Checked every day for flights out of Milwaukee, and all of a sudden AirTran was at $46 each way. I jumped at it and booked. I was assuming that it was a problem where their website that it accidentally sold them that cheap. No one ever contacted me about a mistake, so I was a happy camper.

We have driven since then, and like you read in my TR, it went well. So well in fact, that we are already planning to drive this March and next December. The mini van helps a lot. If you do end up driving, I'll be happy to pass on everything I learned.

Good luck with the planning. Keep posting updates, they help me get through the long, cold winter. :thumbsup2


Yes, now that I know people are reading this, I will update way more frequently.

And, yeah, driving, I'm mostly ok with. Kelly is on the fence. It's the drive back that gets to me more than the drive down there. Driving TO WDW seems like an exciting adventure. Driving back just sounds like a long depressing drive back into winter.



I'm here and ready to read. I didn't see the TR in your siggie. You can type out your title of your TR in your setup and link it to your TR, that way it shows the title of your TR not the link. Just an FYI

I have always wanted to stay at a Grand Villa as well, but am afraid my family and I would kill each before the trip was over.

Funny about the weight loss thing, I decided after our trip last year that it was time to do something after we came back and I saw all of our pics. So I started watching what I was eating, walking a ton, and cut all sugars out of my diet. So far I have dropped about 75 lbs, pretty scary I let it get that far.

Congrats on what you have accomplished so far and keep it up.

Good job on the PTR so far, looking forward to some planning.



Thanks. and thanks for the tip on the sig. Made the change.

Nice work on the weight loss. 75lbs is mind blowing.




You will LOVE the GV at OKW!!! We stayed there last May and it was awesome! So much room, great pools, Olivia's is sooo good, and just plain old fun!


oh, I'm sure I will. I've stayed there before...not in a GV. But, Kelly has kinda questioned how 10 people in one place will work. I have purposely refrained from showing her pictures of the resort. I want to see her jaw drop when we get there. :cool1:

FreezinRafiki
11-24-2009, 01:54 PM
You signature link is still a bit off. Try using this, except change it from "URL*" to "URL="
(I can't post it like that, or the boards will hide the actual URL. It's quite frustrating...)

PTR
Grand Villa at Old Key West in March...and lots of plans to be made

FreezinRafiki
11-24-2009, 01:58 PM
And, yeah, driving, I'm mostly ok with. Kelly is on the fence. It's the drive back that gets to me more than the drive down there. Driving TO WDW seems like an exciting adventure. Driving back just sounds like a long depressing drive back into winter.


That's what we were afraid of too. But even after a vacation in paradise, there is something nice about looking forward to your own bed, your own kitchen, you're own routine.

brewcrew80
11-24-2009, 02:16 PM
thanks! think i got it working now.

So, in my first post, i said no colors, smileys or abbreviations.

oops, oops, oops.

I'll try to get pictures up at some point of the family....but, can't from work, and that's where i do my posting.

DisneyDaddy-O
11-24-2009, 02:41 PM
Link works great now!:thumbsup2

I have not seen you on the Dis Dad's thread, this is where we talk about all things Disney and Fatherhood, hope to see you there.

Dis Dad's Club II (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2224667)

brewcrew80
11-24-2009, 02:53 PM
Link works great now!:thumbsup2

I have not seen you on the Dis Dad's thread, this is where we talk about all things Disney and Fatherhood, hope to see you there.

Dis Dad's Club II (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2224667)

thanks! i'll have to check that out. still finding my way around this place.

lovealldisney
11-25-2009, 01:32 PM
Hi :wave: fellow cheesehead!

Just found your pre-TR! Can't wait to hear all the plans! :hippie:

brewcrew80
11-25-2009, 02:58 PM
Hi :wave: fellow cheesehead!

Just found your pre-TR! Can't wait to hear all the plans! :hippie:

Thanks. I can't wait to make them.:eek:

brewcrew80
11-25-2009, 03:05 PM
Well, probably won't have any updates for the next few days. Going out of town for the weekend. Minneapolis to see the wife's huuuuge extended family. Her mom is one of 7, so it'll be over 50 of us in the same hotel.

But, tonight, my brother and sister are coming over on their way up to my parent's house, and spending the night. so, we're gonna order pizza and have a couple beers...and i'm sure the trip will be discussed.

Things I'd like to find out:

-If Tom's gf will be joining us.

-Whether Tom is really set on driving...Wouldn't surprise me if he gave Kelly and me a big sales pitch for driving down there. I'm half sold anyway...and I think Kelly is just a sales pitch away.

-What their visions are for the non-park days...and how many park days do think they'll shoot for....really, just curious if they'll just go with the flow or if they have specific plans for the trip.

So, see ya Monday. I may or may not have something of substance to add.

FreezinRafiki
11-25-2009, 03:33 PM
Hi :wave: fellow cheesehead!

Just found your pre-TR! Can't wait to hear all the plans! :hippie:

Where are you from? (I grew up near Appleton, college in La Crosse, and live in Racine now. So I guess you could say I'm from "all of it"):rotfl2:

FreezinRafiki
11-25-2009, 03:35 PM
Well, probably won't have any updates for the next few days. Going out of town for the weekend. Minneapolis to see the wife's huuuuge extended family. Her mom is one of 7, so it'll be over 50 of us in the same hotel.


:crowded::crowded::crowded:
Have a good trip and a Happy Thanksgiving!

lovealldisney
11-30-2009, 07:38 AM
Where are you from? (I grew up near Appleton, college in La Crosse, and live in Racine now. So I guess you could say I'm from "all of it"):rotfl2:


Hi!
Sorry I would have posted sooner we were out of town for the holiday.
We live in Milwaukee! Huge Brewer fan too. Well me and my DD hubby and DS not so much. :goodvibes

wdwgirl03
11-30-2009, 08:04 AM
I'm in! I love reading fellow Wisconsinites' trip reports! :thumbsup2

brewcrew80
11-30-2009, 10:29 AM
I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

The weekend was good. I shopped more than I ever have. But, Christmas shopping is now almost done.:yay: And, my jeans are all starting to be way too big on me, so, I needed some new ones. So, productive weekend.

Stayed at a hotel in Bloomington, MN. It was weird NOT checking airfare on Thursday and Friday. Like I've said, I've been looking every day. So, on Saturday morning, I went on the lobby computer, and guess what I found.......The $74 flights from Milwaukee to Orlando that I barely missed out on and mentioned in my second post in this thread. So, this time, I jumped on them. And called my parents to let them know. Tom and Angie were there for Thanksgiving too...So, I talked to Tom, and he said he might book 'em. Talked to him the next day and he booked a ticket. I asked if it was just him or him and Beth. He said, "just me...for now." so, We'll fly out Saturday the 20th at 5 pm. and get to Orlando at 9. Probably get a cheap hotel with shuttle service to the airport and get up early on Sunday to check into OKW.:yay:

Still need a flight back, but I'm not too worried about it. Knowing I can get there for a cheap price is a good piece of mind to have. But, I would really like to fly out on Saturday. Not sure how everybody else would feel about that or how easy it'd be to change hotels. If my parents are up for it, it won't be a problem, but if they end up leaving friday, the trip might be a day shorter than I'd like it to be.

So, plans finally made. I fully expect the my sister and parents to book flights soon now that 4 of us have the party started.

brewcrew80
11-30-2009, 10:30 AM
Also, I have to say, I love how many Wisconsinites I have following along!

wdwgirl03
11-30-2009, 06:07 PM
Also, I have to say, I love how many Wisconsinites I have following along!

And it looks like lots of Brewers fans too. :thumbsup2 My dad and I are actually leaving a day later for our April trip so we can go to the home opener. :rotfl:

brewcrew80
12-01-2009, 09:45 AM
And it looks like lots of Brewers fans too. :thumbsup2 My dad and I are actually leaving a day later for our April trip so we can go to the home opener. :rotfl:

I just read that. fun stuff. I'm a big fan too. I have gone to the home opener 4 of the past 5 years with a group of friends. It's always our one weekend to act 10 years younger. Anyway, last year, we didn't go because it was against the stupid cubs and tickets were way expensive. So, instead, we went to 2 games in the next home weekend series. It was a lot of fun. We're torn as to what to do this year. Can't beat the Miller Park parking lot on actual opening day. But, the money we save going to a different game is real nice too. especially since it'll be weeks after a Disney trip.

wdwgirl03
12-01-2009, 05:51 PM
I just read that. fun stuff. I'm a big fan too. I have gone to the home opener 4 of the past 5 years with a group of friends. It's always our one weekend to act 10 years younger. Anyway, last year, we didn't go because it was against the stupid cubs and tickets were way expensive. So, instead, we went to 2 games in the next home weekend series. It was a lot of fun. We're torn as to what to do this year. Can't beat the Miller Park parking lot on actual opening day. But, the money we save going to a different game is real nice too. especially since it'll be weeks after a Disney trip.

haha, it was the same with us...the past couple years we've gotten one of the 9-game plans that includes the home opener as a tenth game. But since they were playing the Cubs this year we skipped it. :mad:

lovealldisney
12-02-2009, 06:28 AM
haha, it was the same with us...the past couple years we've gotten one of the 9-game plans that includes the home opener as a tenth game. But since they were playing the Cubs this year we skipped it. :mad:

We managed to get tickets for the home opening weekend. I wanted to experiance a game against the Cubs. Never again! The section we were in the police had to come and escort a few rowdy Cub fans out of the park. I also went on a field trip a few years back with my DD and her class to a game at Wrigley Field they were playing the Brewers. It was fun until the drunken idiots in front of us started heckling the kids. I mean come on they were 6th graders! I have to say our stadium is awesome compared to Wrigley.

brewcrew80
12-02-2009, 09:10 AM
Most Cub fans are just useless on an epic level. I went to a Brewer-Cub game at Miller Park a few years ago. It was about 95 degrees and the Brewers lost 10-3. heat+annoying Cub fans+lopsided Brewer loss=NOT a good time.

But, I'd go again. gotta do my part to make sure there are always more Crew fans the cub fans in Miller Park.

wdwgirl03
12-02-2009, 05:59 PM
We managed to get tickets for the home opening weekend. I wanted to experiance a game against the Cubs. Never again! The section we were in the police had to come and escort a few rowdy Cub fans out of the park. I also went on a field trip a few years back with my DD and her class to a game at Wrigley Field they were playing the Brewers. It was fun until the drunken idiots in front of us started heckling the kids. I mean come on they were 6th graders! I have to say our stadium is awesome compared to Wrigley.

I forgot we went to the Cubs game on Easter this year and I guess I was prepared for the worst after all the horror stories I heard. Surprisingly it was not too bad (we only had one Cubs fan near us and he was pretty quiet). We also went to one of the games against the White Sox and they were totally obnoxious. That's pretty bad about them heckling kids! :confused:

Sorry for totally hijacking your PTR, brewcrew.

brewcrew80
12-03-2009, 10:29 AM
I forgot we went to the Cubs game on Easter this year and I guess I was prepared for the worst after all the horror stories I heard. Surprisingly it was not too bad (we only had one Cubs fan near us and he was pretty quiet). We also went to one of the games against the White Sox and they were totally obnoxious. That's pretty bad about them heckling kids! :confused:

Sorry for totally hijacking your PTR, brewcrew.

Hey, no need to be sorry! Happy to talk about the Brewers during the planning down time.

Probably won't have any real news to report for a couple weeks.

I was thinking about celebrating the 100 day mark (1 week from today) with a list of the things I'm most excited for and a day by day plan that is obviously not gonna be even close to what happens.

brewcrew80
12-07-2009, 09:45 AM
Some Random Thoughts....

-I'm going to the Packer game tonight! My brother-in-law's friend gets a lot of tickets through work, and he called last night to tell me he had 2 extra tickets. So, the wife and I are going....for free! Gonna be a great game.


-Speaking of football....It's shaping up to be a good year for me in fantasy football. 2 money leagues are both looking pretty good. I know at some point in this Disney trip, there is gonna be something that I'll want to spend money on that Kelly may not totally agree with. So, any fantasy football winnings are going to the Disney funds. Hah, I knew I'd find a way to relate football to my Disney trip.

-No other real updates. Returning flights are still high. I'm not worried. I am waiting to book a hotel until my parents book their flights. So, kinda at a standstill. I also fully intend to volunteer and get a free Disney ticket. I think everyone going on this trip will be doing the same. But, of course, need to wait until January for that.

-Weight is down to 206.5. My highest was 220 in June, so, doing pretty well. Christmas should be interesting. Haven't seen my brother or his wife since June. I think they'll be quite surprised.

-So, that's all for now. Mostly lame update. Thursday is the 100 day mark. I think I'll celebrate with some personal Disney history and specific things I'm most excited for for the trip.

FreezinRafiki
12-07-2009, 11:17 AM
-I'm going to the Packer game tonight! My brother-in-law's friend gets a lot of tickets through work, and he called last night to tell me he had 2 extra tickets. So, the wife and I are going....for free! Gonna be a great game.



-So, that's all for now. Mostly lame update.




Oh no, no, no. There is nothing lame about getting tickets to a Packer game. I'm under 19,000 on the season ticket waiting list. My wife and MIL put me on the list one year for my birthday. At the rate I've been going up the list, I think it works out to be 2073 before I get my seats. :thumbsup2

Have fun at the game!

DisneyDaddy-O
12-07-2009, 11:56 AM
-Weight is down to 206.5. My highest was 220 in June, so, doing pretty well. Christmas should be interesting. Haven't seen my brother or his wife since June. I think they'll be quite surprised.

Congrats on the weight loss, it's really tough but well worth it. I have about 20 lbs to lose yet. Christmas is always the hardest time of year, moderation is the key. Good luck.


-So, that's all for now. Mostly lame update. Thursday is the 100 day mark. I think I'll celebrate with some personal Disney history and specific things I'm most excited for for the trip.


Don't forget to do your double digits dance!!:thumbsup2

:banana::banana: :dancer::dancer::dancer: :banana::banana:

brewcrew80
12-07-2009, 01:57 PM
Oh no, no, no. There is nothing lame about getting tickets to a Packer game. I'm under 19,000 on the season ticket waiting list. My wife and MIL put me on the list one year for my birthday. At the rate I've been going up the list, I think it works out to be 2073 before I get my seats. :thumbsup2

Have fun at the game!

Thanks, I will. I'll give a full report tomorrow. Since, this PTR has also turned into a good discussion forum for Wisconsin sports...and I'm MORE than ok with that. ;)




Don't forget to do your double digits dance!!



Normally, I'd just say that nobody wants to see that..but, double digits, plus a friday...yeah, might have to happen.

wdwgirl03
12-07-2009, 05:40 PM
Woo hoo, have fun at the game! Go Packers! I went to a game for the first time a couple years ago and am hoping I'll get to go again in my lifetime. :rotfl:

brewcrew80
12-08-2009, 08:42 AM
Game was fun. Really didn't seem that cold. got there about 45 minutes early, bought a brat and a beer. Ah, sitting in Lambeau Field with a brat in one hand and a beer in the other. Doesn't get much better than that.

I really enjoyed the game. The 2 guys behind my wife and I were these 2 guys in their 60s. Think Statler and Waldorf. They second guessed every play. It was hilarious. They were just stereotypical old fans that probably still think the forward pass is too gimmicky. They both had think northern WI accents too. think Fargo. Kelly and I were both laughing out loud and stuff they said. I think by the end, they were doing it for show.

And, of course, the Packers won. Playoffs are looking good! Got home at 11:30 and went to bed. Gonna need some coffee today.

brewcrew80
12-08-2009, 03:53 PM
Surprise Update!

So, I was sitting at work when I got an e-mail from my mom. Subject was "Florida." As soon as I saw that, I figured they booked flights. And they did. They are flying to Orlando on Friday morning, which wasn't an option for us because Kelly would be unable to get off work that day. And flying back the following Friday night. Direct flight leaves Orlando at 8:50. I looked at the one way prices for that same flight and they were as cheap as our flights out. So, I jumped on them.

This is good for several reasons.

1-$$$$$$$$ The amount we have spent on airfare is considerably less than the amount we planned to spend on airfare.

2-I was torn between wanting an extra day (leaving saturday)...but, not wanting to deal with the inconvinience of moving hotels for part of one more day. The fact that this flight leaves so late is the best of both worlds.

3-Being on the same flight as my parents is also a big win. They can drive us to the airport (they will be renting a car) on Friday.

And, as I was writing this, my brother Tom e-mailed me asking how much I paid...I told him and asked if he was in...We will see.

So, there it is. The trip is OFFICIALLY from Saturday, March 20th - Friday NIGHT, March 26th.

All the advantages of a Saturday-Saturday...very few disadvantages.


So, let's review. In the past 48 hours, I:

-Got free Packer tickets

-Watched the Packers get a big win

-Lost another lb

-Booked flights home from Orlando

Things are good in brewcrew80land.

now, time to hope the Brewers can get a deal done with Randy Wolf.

lovealldisney
12-10-2009, 10:18 AM
How are all you Wisconsinites surviving the snow and now the deep freeze? Milwaukee wasn't hit so bad but boy west and north of here really got it!
Stay warm!

brewcrew80
12-10-2009, 11:22 AM
How are all you Wisconsinites surviving the snow and now the deep freeze? Milwaukee wasn't hit so bad but boy west and north of here really got it!
Stay warm!

Yesterday was in interesting day. My wife works in a school. they decided to call it a snow day the night before. My work has a hotline for inclement weather. They said last winter than any decisions would be made by 6 am.

So,

6am-woke up. laid in bed for 15 minutes. dialed the hotline. work is open.

6:20-after getting the warm clothes on, I shovelled. just my half of the driveway for now...I just wanted to get to work. still took 40 minutes.

7am-showered.

7:15-walked out the door. roads were bad. I've driven on worse...but, about halfway to work, the wind really picked up and visibility was BAD. the drive usually takes just under 20 minutes.

7:45-almost to work. 2 things happened simultaneously.
-heard the Gov. called it a state emergency and advised only to drive during emergencies.
-felt my phone vibrate. text message from a co-worker. i knew exactly what it was.
"you know work is closed today, right?"
-well, NOW i do. so, turned around and headed home. they made the call at 7. my boss called me, but i was showering.

8:30-FINALLY GOT HOME after a pointless hour of driving.

rest of the day, just played in the snow with wife and daughter. did round 2 of shovelling at 7. This time it took 2 hours. The plow made the snow waist-high. I am so sore today.

FreezinRafiki
12-10-2009, 11:36 AM
How are all you Wisconsinites surviving the snow and now the deep freeze? Milwaukee wasn't hit so bad but boy west and north of here really got it!
Stay warm!

I live in Racine, 3/4 of a mile from Lake Michigan. Tuesday night's storm all fell as rain here. Even on Wednesday, snow was flying all day, but hardly any of it stuck. The kids were getting antsy to go play in the snow yesterday, but we didn't have any!

wdwgirl03
12-10-2009, 05:19 PM
brewcrew, glad you got to see a Packer win! I was getting a little nervous after Baltimore scored and then didn't they fumble the kickoff right after that?! :scared1: (I thought that's what they said on the radio).

How are all you Wisconsinites surviving the snow and now the deep freeze? Milwaukee wasn't hit so bad but boy west and north of here really got it!
Stay warm!

I was at school today and my office had ice on the window. On the inside. I don't think that is good. :rotfl: We barely got any snow here...kind of bummed since I was hoping for a snow day. Oh well.

FreezinRafiki
12-11-2009, 11:05 AM
Just noticed on NASA's website that the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery (Mission STS-131) is scheduled for March 18th. If you get lucky, it might be postponed a few days and you might get to see the launch. I got to see a little bit of one a few years ago. We were sitting in the airport, waiting for our flight home. I was able to press up against a window and look to the east. It was an amazing fireball / smoke trail. I've heard that even at Disney World, which is 60 miles away, its an incredible sight!
Good luck!

http://www.nasa.gov/missions/highlights/schedule.html

brewcrew80
12-11-2009, 12:23 PM
Just noticed on NASA's website that the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery (Mission STS-131) is scheduled for March 18th. If you get lucky, it might be postponed a few days and you might get to see the launch. I got to see a little bit of one a few years ago. We were sitting in the airport, waiting for our flight home. I was able to press up against a window and look to the east. It was an amazing fireball / smoke trail. I've heard that even at Disney World, which is 60 miles away, its an incredible sight!
Good luck!

http://www.nasa.gov/missions/highlights/schedule.html

ah, thanks for the tip. i'll have to keep my eye on that.

brewcrew80
12-16-2009, 10:29 AM
Brief update.

But, it is my first update in the double digits. 94 days!:yay:

Tom booked a return flight. Same as us. So, only my sister hasn't made arrangements.

I rule at fantasy football. One big step closer to some extra spending money for Disney. Thank you Ryan Grant!!!!

It's cold. I want to go to Florida. NOW!

Almost Christmas. shockingly, my Christmas shopping has been done for 2 weeks.:woohoo: Celebrating with the in-laws this saturday. Then, my brother and his wife are flying into town next wednesday. Haven't seen them since early July! Gonna be a whirlwind week of Christmas and family fun. I'm sure the Disney trip will be a hot topic of discussion. Which is nice. I am an exciteable person. I've been wanting to talk about this trip since it was planned in May. But, (understandably), it was just too far away for the others to get too excited about. So, I was alone in my excitement. Now, it's coming. Plans are getting made, the months are (almost) turning into weeks, and everybody else is catching up with me in terms of excitement.


Well, that's all for now. Gonna make some non-update updates soon. Just something outlining how I think each day will go, something else discussing what specific things I'm most excited for...and, back to the beginning...the story of how this trip finally happened.

Coming soon.

brewcrew80
12-21-2009, 05:09 PM
Hello!

:santa::santa::santa:

-3 Months from today is the day we check in to OKW!

Well, last week, I dunno what happned. The excitement of booking plane tickets kinda wore off. The Disney trip was kinda back to the back of my mind. It's still 3 months away. Christmas is coming up. Even the 100 day mark didn't excite me.

But, the excitement is back, in full force this weekend. With a little help.

1-I finally saw 'Up' on friday night. Wow. I had heard nothing but good things about it and have been waiting for the DVD to come out. But, historically, movies that get across the board positive reviews fail to meet my personal lofty expectations. But, 'Up' was really that good. Makes me want to get a hold of every Pixar movie and watch them back to back.

2-Travel Channel had a marathon of Disney on saturday. Half watched the Cruise line special. Fully watched the Behind the Scenes show. And REALLY enjoyed Samantha Brown's favorite Disney things. Watched the Behind the Scenes show with my daughter while we both at lunch. I asked her if she wanted to go there, and she said "Yes" which is her usual response. But, at one point she randomly said. "Go there. after done eating." So, she's ready. :thumbsup2

....and, so am I. Not that I really NEEDED a Disney shot in the arm like that. But, wow. Has me re-thinking any plan that has me spending anything less than a full day at all parks. I'm sure that wasn't their intention or anything. :rotfl:

So, yeah, I was in a good mood this weekend. Until the stupid Packer game. Now, off to Lambeau Field to trash our place kicker's locker.

wdwgirl03
12-21-2009, 06:02 PM
Up is definitely one of the best Pixar movies. There's a little bit of everything...sad moments, funny moments, touching moments. So good! We got the DVD but have yet to watch it.

So do you think the Packers will still make the playoffs? They better...*crosses fingers*

brewcrew80
12-22-2009, 09:40 AM
So do you think the Packers will still make the playoffs? They better...*crosses fingers*

I think so. They still have a game on the Giants and the tie-breaker over the Cowboys. Not to mention a relatively easy last 2 games against the Seahawks at home and against the Cardinals who will likely have nothing to play for and will just be resting their injury prone players before the playoffs. So, yeah, I am not worried. I'd be even less worried if they won on sunday though. :sad2:

DisneyDaddy-O
12-22-2009, 11:45 AM
Hello!

:santa::santa::santa:

1-I finally saw 'Up' on friday night. Wow. I had heard nothing but good things about it and have been waiting for the DVD to come out. But, historically, movies that get across the board positive reviews fail to meet my personal lofty expectations. But, 'Up' was really that good. Makes me want to get a hold of every Pixar movie and watch them back to back.

.


Gotta say I loved UP, great movie. Pixar has hit a couple of homeruns in the last little while, Wall-E was also a favorite of mine, I thought that movie was very well done.:thumbsup2 Glad to hear your filled the "magic tanks" and are back on track.

brewcrew80
12-22-2009, 02:36 PM
Special Christmas Edition.

Tonight is my last night at home for a while. Then the Christmas tour of the upper midwest starts. Going to my parent's house tomorrow - Christmas Day. My siblings will be there, including my brother and his wife. I haven't seen either of them since early July. Then to Milwaukee to celebrate with some extended family. Then the big haul to Western MN to see Kelly's family for a few days. Back to work on the 30th....for another 2 day work week. :)

So, It will be a nice relaxing weekend. Except for the part next Sunday where I have to try to watch the Packer game in Viking Country. yuck. But, I'm excited. Especially for the part where I don't have to work for a week.

So, until next week....Have an excellent Holiday!

brewcrew80
01-05-2010, 04:57 PM
Happy New Year Everybody!

Well, Christmas is obviously long gone. And it took a while to get back into the normal routine. Couple updates.

-Tom's girlfriend Beth will be joining us! Just for the first half of the trip. Probably Saturday - Wednesday. But, great news! I had thought the ship had sailed on her coming.

-My grandmother gave each of us a $100 disney gift card to use on the trip.

-Just need to pick a date, but, pretty sure Kelly and I will be volunteering at cerebral palsey bowling event for our free Disney Day.

-PACKERS ARE IN THE PLAYOFFS!!!! woo! big day on Sunday! Also, if the Packers end up playing you-know-who in the playoffs, you're gonna see a different side of brewcrew80.

-Thursday is a big day too. I turn 30!

-Damage report from the holidays: I gained 3 lbs back. Expected. I'll get back down.

-This trip is coming up fast!

wdwgirl03
01-05-2010, 06:44 PM
-PACKERS ARE IN THE PLAYOFFS!!!! woo! big day on Sunday! Also, if the Packers end up playing you-know-who in the playoffs, you're gonna see a different side of brewcrew80.

Woo hoo! :yay::dance3: It kind of stinks though that they have to play the same team again right away.

Cool about the Give A Day, Get A Day outing. I have to decide what to do so I can get my ticket!

FreezinRafiki
01-05-2010, 09:20 PM
-PACKERS ARE IN THE PLAYOFFS!!!! woo! big day on Sunday! Also, if the Packers end up playing you-know-who in the playoffs, you're gonna see a different side of brewcrew80.

-Thursday is a big day too. I turn 30!

-Damage report from the holidays: I gained 3 lbs back. Expected. I'll get back down.


Go Pack Go, Happy Birthday, and 3 pounds isn't too bad. You should be able to drop that in no time!:thumbsup2

brewcrew80
01-06-2010, 04:53 PM
Woo hoo! :yay::dance3: It kind of stinks though that they have to play the same team again right away.

Cool about the Give A Day, Get A Day outing. I have to decide what to do so I can get my ticket!

Yeah, scheduling oddity there. 3 of the first round games will be repeats of the previous week. and there was a chance for all 4!

I'm ok with it...but, all I can think about is the fact that an Eagles and Packer win would result in another meeting with Brent and the Viqueens.:eek:

brewcrew80
01-11-2010, 10:26 AM
Well, in case anybody is worried about me after the Packer game yesterday, I'm fine.

I really enjoyed the game. I'm a die-hard Packer fan, but I'm a football fan first. And I can appreciate the fact that they just played the highest scoring game and one of the better games in playoff history.

It was a great effort to come back to tie the game the way they did.

NEXT YEAR!!!!!!!!!!

FreezinRafiki
01-11-2010, 10:52 AM
Well, in case anybody is worried about me after the Packer game yesterday, I'm fine.

I really enjoyed the game. I'm a die-hard Packer fan, but I'm a football fan first. And I can appreciate the fact that they just played the highest scoring game and one of the better games in playoff history.

It was a great effort to come back to tie the game the way they did.

NEXT YEAR!!!!!!!!!!



I hear you. Flashbacks of the Seattle Playoff game in 2004 when Harris took an interception back for the winning touchdown. What goes around comes around, I guess. I think it was SI.com that pointed out that Rogers, Jennings and Finley are all very young and have a lot of good football ahead of them.
But the thing that made me feel the best was Brad Biggs, a Bears reporter from the Chicago Tribune saying this: A wise NFL observer told me the Bears' biggest problem isn't a coordinator search, it's the Packers. "They'll be good for a long time."

brewcrew80
01-20-2010, 01:03 PM
I'm back again.

2 months from today!

My sister booked her flight....to Charlotte. she's spending a couple days with my brother and SIL and driving down with them. So, everybody's travel arrangements are set. My parents will get there first. Then we'll be divided in 2 waves. Me, Kelly, Lydia, Tom and Beth Friday night and Pat, Kristen and Angie at about noon on Sunday. excellence.

Probably gonna volunteer at a bowling event next weekend to get the free Disney day.

Otherwise, not much new. Winter sucks. I need to do something. going skiing with friends at the end of February. That'll be fun. Also, taking Lydia to an indoor waterpark in Wisconsin Dells the weekend before skiing. So, that'll be nice. But, the next month is a lot of nothing.

FreezinRafiki
01-20-2010, 01:58 PM
I'm back again.

2 months from today!

My sister booked her flight....to Charlotte. she's spending a couple days with my brother and SIL and driving down with them. So, everybody's travel arrangements are set. My parents will get there first. Then we'll be divided in 2 waves. Me, Kelly, Lydia, Tom and Beth Friday night and Pat, Kristen and Angie at about noon on Sunday. excellence.

Probably gonna volunteer at a bowling event next weekend to get the free Disney day.

Otherwise, not much new. Winter sucks. I need to do something. going skiing with friends at the end of February. That'll be fun. Also, taking Lydia to an indoor waterpark in Wisconsin Dells the weekend before skiing. So, that'll be nice. But, the next month is a lot of nothing.

Sounds like it's all coming together!

Which resort are you going to in the Dells?

brewcrew80
01-20-2010, 03:11 PM
Sounds like it's all coming together!

Which resort are you going to in the Dells?

The Kalahari.


a b-day gift from my parents.:banana:

wdwgirl03
01-20-2010, 05:58 PM
Woo hoo, only 2 months to go! :thumbsup2

We have had a really hard time finding anything to do for the Give a Day so I have a feeling we won't be doing it at all. :confused3

Cool about the Dells. I haven't been there in years.

brewcrew80
01-21-2010, 09:14 AM
Woo hoo, only 2 months to go! :thumbsup2

We have had a really hard time finding anything to do for the Give a Day so I have a feeling we won't be doing it at all. :confused3

Cool about the Dells. I haven't been there in years.

wow, we found a bunch of stuff. there was one where all ya had to do was make a blanket.

brewcrew80
01-21-2010, 09:17 AM
So, while I'm back to posting...I thought it'd be fun to post a very early look at what the week might look like. Obviously very subject to change.


Friday, March 19th-As of now, I have this day off of work. I don't need it. Flight doesn't leave until late Saturday, but I have lots of vacation time and would rather NOT work than work. So, it'll probably be a lazy day of packing and preparation. This is also a full day of NCAA tournement. So, the idea of being home is extra appealing.

Saturday, March 20th-TRAVEL DAY!-No hurry. Just wake up, load the car up. Probably meet Tom near Milwaukee somewhere and get to the airport a solid 90 minutes early. We'll get to Orlando at 9. Only 8 our time, so Lydia will hopefully NOT be overly tired. get the bags. My parents are picking us up from the airport and we'll go to whatever cheap hotel we found for the night.

Sunday, March 21st-Now, the trip really starts. And this is the day that could set the tone for the trip. Get up early and check into OKW....then, it'll depend on the weather. If it's sunny and 85, pool day. If it's overcast and/or cool, evening EMH is at the Magic Kingdom, So, no real hurry to get there since we can stay late. Either way, we'll be able to get up and get to the resort without having to panic about missing valuable park time.

Monday-March 22nd-Morning EMH at AK. Evening EMH at DHS-I'm mostly married to the idea of making this day an intense park day. I think the rest of the group would be opposed to 4 park days. And if we're gonna see 4 parks in 3 days, this day is key. Get up early, head to AK...spend the first half of the day there. Then head to OKW for a lunch and a nap, then on to DHS for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, March 23rd-This day will kinda depend on what happens sunday. If Sunday turns out to be MK day, then this day is likely a pool day because 3 park days in a row doesn't do anybody any good. If Sunday is a pool day, then today could very well be Epcot day. EMH in the morning. Which is nice. I love Epcot. I've said it before. Something relaxing about it. Not very line-intensive. Just kinda a place ya see at your own pace. And, if we see it on this day, we can always park hop over to MK for the rest of the day. Allthough, seeing Illuminations is something I don't want to miss.

Wednesday, March 24th-I'm thinking pool day. EMH is at AK. we'll probably have been at parks 2 of the first 3 days. I'd really like to pool hop on this trip. So, I'll probably push for spending a few hours at a different pool. Likely SP since it'd be easy to get to...and looks awesome.

Thursday, March 25th-Another day that depends on Sunday. If sunday is a pool day, this is MK day. morning EMH, and obviously, a park with a lot to do for a 2.5 year-old.

Friday, March 26th-low key pool day. Probably some time at DTD. Mostly lazy day before the flight leaves at 9pm.

FreezinRafiki
01-21-2010, 09:38 AM
I just though of something. Triangle crayons. Rather than the normal round ones, they make some in the triangle shape. If DD is coloring on the plane and she sets one down on the tray - it doesn't roll away!
Because I know how we love to bend around a squirm on those ever-so-spacious airline seats to find a crayon that fell to the floor.

brewcrew80
01-21-2010, 09:56 AM
I just though of something. Triangle crayons. Rather than the normal round ones, they make some in the triangle shape. If DD is coloring on the plane and she sets one down on the tray - it doesn't roll away!
Because I know how we love to bend around a squirm on those ever-so-spacious airline seats to find a crayon that fell to the floor.

Brilliant. I'll have to look into that.

Maybe I'm setting myself up for a rude awakening, but I'm not THAT nervous for the flight with her. She travels really well. We drove to South Carolina last year and she was very happy watching the portable DVD player.

The landing pains might be tough, but she's a tough girl.

brewcrew80
02-10-2010, 04:09 PM
Hellllllllllllooooooooo!

It's been a while. Planning downtime. Just counting down the days. Not many updates.

I am the pround owner of a new furnace. :mad:

Everybody in my family has either done, or signed up for the Give a Day, Get a Day. free tickets for all!

I haven't seen any of my siblings since Christmas...and that will likely continue until the trip. My sister is working every day...including weekends from about a week ago until the trip.

so, here's some random thoughts...

It'll probably be a bit of a down time for actual planning, so I thought it'd be fun to post the things I'm excited for and just general thoughts on plans and hopes for the trip.

I think I'm equal parts excited for just being on a vacation with my family, being in Disney for myself and taking my daughter to Disney.

-So, I'm most excited for just being there and being at a great resort with great people. Whether we're hanging out at the pool or at a park, I'm sure the real fun will be at random moments.

But, in the interest of this post, the specific things I'm looking forward to....

-Epcot in general-This may seem way too broad, but, ever since I was 5 or 6, I've had a special love for Epcot. I have always felt more "at home" there than at MK. I resent change more at Epcot than any other park. For my money, I wish Horizons and World of Motion were still there instead of Test Track and Mission: Space. I think Epcot was at it's best when it was the land of the E-ticket dark ride. I think Lydia will enjoy it too. Even if the concept of the attractions are beyond her grasp, being on a ride with bright colors and blinking lights will be great for her and me. I think our day at Epcot will be nice and relaxing. I know people will want to convince me otherwise, but I really don't have much interest in Test Track or Mission:Space. I've never been on either, but I know what they're about, and they just don't seem worth the wait or Fastpass. So, It'll be a fun day at a park, with minimal lines. Plus, nobody in my family( self included) has ever been there for Flower and Garden Fest, and I know this will add to the experience.

-The 3D shows. Every park has one. I've seen 3 of 'em, and I am very curious what Lydia thinks of them. I could see her being absolutely amazed...or just wanting to play with the glasses and not understand that they're needed for the show. But, I think any of the shows have potential to be Lydia's favorite attraction in the World.

-PotC-This is a big one. I know already that Lydia is a little thrill seeker. And this is the one ride with some form of mild thrill that she'll be able to go on. PLUS, I've never been on the new version.

-Expedition Everest-Yeah, I haven't been on it. Looks amazing. So, this will be one instance where I'll have no problem handing the child off to Grandma and Grandpa and having some fun for myself. :)

-Getting OKW. I know how amazing it is. My family knows. But, Kelly is mostly clueless as to how awesome Disney Resorts are. I've intentionally NOT gone out of my way to show her pictures. But, I know when she sees the place, the pool, our Grand Villa, the grounds in general, her jaw is gonna drop. It's gonna be fun. Same with Pat's wife.

-Fantasyland-This is almost too obvious to mention, but I fully expect the collection of attractions in Fantasyland to provide some very memorable Lydia moments.

DisneyDaddy-O
02-10-2010, 07:15 PM
Your trip is coming up quickly, you and Lydia are going to have a blast. I totally agree to take it slow and enjoy all the other stuff Epcot has to offer other than "thrill rides". Both rides in the Mexico and Norway pavilions are great fun and the lines are not going to be bad at all. This will also give you the opportunity to really get deep into all the countries and see the entire area. You can also stop and watch the shows within each country, the British Invasion in the UK pavilion and Off Kilter in the Canadian pavilion are both really good.

Have a great trip.

FreezinRafiki
02-11-2010, 12:00 PM
My kids loved the 3d shows. It's fun to watch them try to grab the jewels that come floating out of Mickey's Philharmagic. Evan had just turned 3, and he watched the movies pretty intently.

I'm excited for Flower and Garden too. It usually starts around April, but they're opening early this year - the first weekend in March. Which just happens to be the first weekend we're there! :banana:


And I'm feeling you on the furnace issue. A week before we left in October, our water heater corroded through and started leaking. It's not furnace money, but it was still several hundred dollars I didn't want to spend right before vacation. Was yours on its last leg, or did it quit all together?

brewcrew80
02-11-2010, 02:12 PM
And I'm feeling you on the furnace issue. A week before we left in October, our water heater corroded through and started leaking. It's not furnace money, but it was still several hundred dollars I didn't want to spend right before vacation. Was yours on its last leg, or did it quit all together?

Well...when we bought our house in 2005, we knew the furnace wouldn't last forever....so, it wasn't a shock. But, it was one of those things we tried not to think about...even in the last month when it sounded like an airplane was taking off in our basement. :teacher: meh. ah well. it was bound to happen....and, if I would've consulted Murphy's Law, I would've known to expect it right before a vacation.

brewcrew80
02-15-2010, 02:48 PM
33 DAYS!!!!


More random notes.

-Lydia's favorite TV shows are currently Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Handy Manny. Excellent. Glad she joined Team Disney like her Dad and not Team Nick/Barney like her Mom. Anyway. We've been telling her that we're going to Mickey Mouse's house. She's excited for this...and, of course, she has now transformed this into "We're going to Mickey Mouse's Clubhouse." oops.

-Apparently, Cirque de Whatever isn't playing while we're there..except for the Thursday night. I'm cool with this. My family seemed more than a little interested in going. I was.....on the fence. not much for Lydia and $$$$$$$. It is now a non issue. Next trip.

-Currently debating cutting it down to 2 park days. Everyone else in my family seems to have 2 days at the parks in mind. My ideal would be 3. But, my current plan is to skip Hollywood Studios all together. I'd like to try Toy Story Mania. And, I had high hopes for the Muppet 3D movie with Lydia...and I'm ok with the Great Movie Ride....but, overall, just hard to justify the difficulty and price 4 parks would bring just for a couple attractions. So, it would be 1 day at MK, which would be free thanks to Give a Day, Get a Day. And, 1 day split between AK and Epcot. Plus, who knows...maybe we'll run out of stuff to do at Epcot and can duck over to HS to check out Toy Story. This would be a tough call. But, it would result in another full day with the family..and it would obviously save money....which could be used elsewhere..maybe a nice meal or 2. Plus...it would add excitement to our next Disney trip since Lydia will have a whole new park to explore.
-I do REALLY like Tower of Terror...And probably would enjoy RnR. But, thrill rides aren't the priority of this trip. Again, Next trip. :)

-Things to look forward to between now and the trip.
*going to the Dells next weekend and staying at an indoor waterpark hotel. a b-day present for Lydia from my parents.
*annual ski trip with friends the following weekend.
*after that, it's 3 weeks of not much.

FreezinRafiki
02-15-2010, 04:35 PM
-Lydia's favorite TV shows are currently Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Handy Manny.


-Currently debating cutting it down to 2 park days. Everyone else in my family seems to have 2 days at the parks in mind. My ideal would be 3. But, my current plan is to skip Hollywood Studios all together.
Here's where I'm going to have to play devil's advocate. Lydia would love Playhouse Disney Live On Stage. The characters show up as puppets (including Handy Manny and his tools) and the preschool crowd goes wild. Also, right outside of that stage is where you can meet Handy Manny himself. Not sure how much character meet & greets you plan on, but that is the only place that Manny hangs out.

Obviously, the budget will have to decide if you can do it or not, but DHS is on my family's "not to be missed" list.

brewcrew80
02-15-2010, 04:43 PM
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Here's where I'm going to have to play devil's advocate. Lydia would love Playhouse Disney Live On Stage. The characters show up as puppets (including Handy Manny and his tools) and the preschool crowd goes wild. Also, right outside of that stage is where you can meet Handy Manny himself. Not sure how much character meet & greets you plan on, but that is the only place that Manny hangs out.

Obviously, the budget will have to decide if you can do it or not, but DHS is on my family's "not to be missed" list.

I've thought about that. If we went to DHS, that'd be a must see. I dunno. Maybe I'll have to look at youtube videos...But, a puppet show.....just seems tough to justify for a full extra park ticket/day. Also, we've taken her to Elmo Live, and she enjoyed it, but not at the level we thought she would. This just seems kinda similar to that.

Anyway, I was too into planning, so I called Kelly, and it looks like tonight will be a round of intensive planning. If this happens, I will post updates tomorrow.

FreezinRafiki
02-15-2010, 04:56 PM
I've thought about that. If we went to DHS, that'd be a must see. I dunno. Maybe I'll have to look at youtube videos...But, a puppet show.....just seems tough to justify for a full extra park ticket/day. Also, we've taken her to Elmo Live, and she enjoyed it, but not at the level we thought she would. This just seems kinda similar to that.


True. If it helps - here is a list of the things my kids (5 and 3) like at DHS:
-Characters: Sorcerer Mickey, the Incredibles, and the UP characters in the Animation building. Minnie, Daisy, Stitch, Chip & Dale, etc out by the hat. Mike & Sully from Monsters, Inc. Lightning McQueen & Mater.
-Honey I shrunk the kids playground
-Streetmosphere performers
-Beauty & The Beast stage show
-Block Party Bash parade
-MuppetVison 3D
-High School Musical performances in front of the hat
-Toy Story Midway Mania
-Fantasmic

Of course, just because my kids like it, doesn't mean yours will. :confused3 Good luck discussing!

brewcrew80
02-16-2010, 09:54 AM
Well, it was just a brief planning session last night, but, somewhat surprisingly, Kelly wasn't all for the idea of just spending 2 days at the parks. I think we'll end up buying 2 day park hopper passes (in addtion to our one free day). so, we should have no problem seeing all 4 parks. Excellent.

But, I think I read that the backlot tour and the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids play area will be closed during our trip. Ah well. plent of other things to do.

brewcrew80
02-26-2010, 11:28 AM
OK, So

3 weeks left and things are getting interesting. For real.

1) Last Wednesday, I lost my job. Laid off. Not AS bad as it sounds. I will work there through the end of April. and severance + vacation time will keep me getting a paycheck through most of August. It was a shock. Didn't see it coming at all. But, I've been looking to upgrade. This just provides motivation. And, as if I needed motivation.....

2) Kelly is pregnant! Very early. haven't even told people yet. That'll happen starting next week with our parents. My siblings, we will wait until the trip, since that'll be the next time I see 'em. And, it'd be a fun way to start the vacation.

So, it's been a busy couple weeks. Also had our weekend at the indoor waterpark last weekend, which was a lot of fun. I am pretty sure we'll have to peel Lydia away from the OKW pool...even if it involves going to a park.

This weekend is our annual ski trip with friends. We'll actually have to tell them the news since the weekend usually involves a heavy amount of drinking, and Kelly won't be able to stick to soda without an explanation.

So, fun stuff. I knew...I just knew, when I started this PTR several months ago, that it would turn into 'one of those PTRs' where crazy stuff happens leading up to the trip.

Anyway, I'm outa here for the weekend. Time for some skiing. Just hope the fact that I've been obsessed with the Winter Olympics doesn't cause me to try some crazy aerial skiing stunt.

FreezinRafiki
02-27-2010, 08:45 PM
1) oh my god. That's quite a shock to get. I hope you find something soon. Why kind of work do you do?

2) Congratulations! I'll bet there will be quite a few dropped jaws around Old Key West!

wdwgirl03
02-27-2010, 08:51 PM
Wanted to say congrats too. That will be very exciting news to share!

Hope you enjoyed your skiing!

brewcrew80
03-11-2010, 02:27 PM
Wow. Single Digits. 9 Days!!!

Still things I don't know....

-Where we're staying on Saturday night. My brother volunteered to find a place...but, he's kinda been slacking. I'm not too worried. Just needs to have a couple beds...and a crib. Anyone know if most hotels in the area have cribs available for use?

-How we're getting to the airport on Saturday. I have a lot of extended family in Milwaukee. I could ask any of 'em for a ride and it'd give me a chance to tell them the exciting news (see last update). Just a matter of calling. Maybe that'll be a job for tonight.

-The Sunday of our trip is also causing some (very) minor stress. If the weather is good that day, it's a non-issue. Just check in to OKW and hang by the pool. But, my sister, brother and his wife aren't gonna get there until late morning. So, if the weather is questionable, it'd be a better park day. But, that'd kinda hose over the people that couldnt' get there right away. I feel I should have a plan in place for this and see what the late-arrivers think. I'm sure it'll just be a pool day anyway. It probably won't rain all day..And, even when it does, DTD is right across the river/lake.

Otherwise...
My parents surprised Kelly and I with combined b-day gifts. Tickets to Cirque on thursday night. They are don't the same for my brother and sister-in-law. So, that'll be great! I've never seen any Cirque shows, so this will be a new experience for me...and Kelly.

Pretty much set on 3 days at the parks. Bummer is..the way it works out, the ideal 3 days would be Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. It'd be ideal to have a break in there.

brewcrew80
03-16-2010, 11:06 AM
4 days.

4 DAYS.

Everything is mostly in place. We have our ride to the airport. My cousin that lives in Milwaukee. We'll leave Green Bay around 11. get to Milwaukee at 1. Take my cousin out to lunch..then, on to the airport.

Also got a hotel for Saturday night. Right by the airport. shuttle service. That is good. My parents offered to come pick us up, but they're staying pretty close to the resort, so, it'd be a drive for 'em. plus, the 5 of us wouldn't be able to fit in their car.

Things will go pretty fast between now and then. big "meeting" at work today. Not so much a meeting as a pizza party to celebrate the department going down in flames. Nothing exciting tomorrow...But, Thursday is Christmas in March! That's right...first day of the NCAA Tourney. Work always seems to go fast on those days. So, NCAA tourney+upcoming vacation+my lame duck status...not sure how much work i'll be able to do on Thursday. haha.

Friday, I will be working 3 hours. I had it off as a vacation, but I had an interview on monday, so, I used 3 of my vacation hours that day. So, just long enough to tie up some loose ends and head out for the week.

FreezinRafiki
03-16-2010, 11:18 AM
An interview already? Wow! How did it go?

brewcrew80
03-30-2010, 11:38 AM
So, I guess it's trip report time. :) The vacation was excellent. Really, everything I hoped for.

Day 1-Saturday-Travel Day.

I knew it would happen. I woke up at 5AM and knew right away there was no chance I would fall back to sleep. So, I got up, watched Sportscenter, relaxed. Kept looking at the clock. It had been 10 months since the trip was planned and now it was just hours away. And that seemed too long. But, once Lydia woke up, time started moving fast. Gave her breakfast. Packed some stuff. Started the process of loading up the car. I let Kelly sleep in as long as possible, since the pregnancy has drained her energy and it would be a long day. So, she got up, with enough time to shower and load the rest of her stuff. Ready to leave.

We walked out of our house at about 11:30. First stop was Kelly's parent's house to drop off our dog for the week. We budgeted extra time to hang out there for a half hour or so. So, we did. Chatted. discussed plans. Then, out the door at about 12:15. And, just as I hoped, Lydia fell asleep as soon as we got on the highway. And woke up just north of Milwaukee. Perfect. So, we stopped at a Qdoba and had some awesomely excellent burritos and moved on to our last stop before the airport, my cousin's house.

We got there, picked up my cousin. This was the point that I had set in my head as the moment the vacation would really start. We'd get to see my cousin, tell her the exciting news and generally just catch up on the 25 minute drive to the airport. And, it was enjoyable. She was very excited for us taking such a massive family trip and she was eager to hear about our plans and thoughts.

So, next stop, airport. Got out of the car, unloaded our stuff, gave my cousin the keys, and walked in.....And of course, the first people we saw in the airport were Tom and Beth. Our travel partners for the day. They just finished checking bags,so they watched our carry-ons while we checked our luggage. Then went upstairs and hung out at Quizno's while they ate. We told them our news and they were highly excited. Lydia was excited to be in the airport. She climbed up on windows to stare at airplanes and looked around at everything around her. Time really flew before it was time for us to. :)

Boarded the plane. Lydia sat by the window. Thrilled to be sitting like a big girl and not in a car seat. Take off was great. She actually looked out the window and giggled as we left the ground. But, to her, the most amazing part was the 'table' that folded down from the seat in front of her. We put her portable DVD player on it, put in some Barney and she was dancing in her seat the whole flight. Really. Kelly and I got to read books, listen to music. Same stuff we'd do on a flight before we were parents. Even the landing was a non-issue. She was so amazed at the city lights getting closer and closer, I don't even think the ear pains bothered her.

So, we were on the ground in Orlando. Waited a little while for our luggage...started to get a little nervous, but it finally showed up. So, I called our shuttle and we were on our way to the hotel. We got there and decided to order pizza. It took forever to get there. Probably an hour. But, there was college basketball on and we were in Florida. So, as with the rest of the day, the time flew. We finished our pizza and went to bed. As far as travel days go, this was as smooth as it gets.

FreezinRafiki
03-30-2010, 12:29 PM
Welcome back!
That certainly sounds like one of smoothest travel days I've heard of. Gotta love that. :thumbsup2

You should post a link over on the DIS Dad's Club thread. The guys love reading trip reports.
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2366118

brewcrew80
03-31-2010, 12:28 PM
Sunday

-The first real day of vacation....and the one day that didn't happen at all as I thought it would...

I figured we'd wake up, call my parents, they'd pick us up and take us to OKW....kinda expected the 3 people driving from SC to get there around noon. They had a 7 hour drive. They PLANNED to leave at 3 AM...but, I had my doubts. Then, I figured we'd hang out by the pool all day.

So, woke up when Lydia did at around 7:30. Had continental breakfast. Sent a text to Pat, Kristen and Angie to see where they were. It wouldn't have at all surprised me if they had just decided to sleep all night and left early in the morning. NOPE. Pat texted me back. "just 90 miles to go!" I was shocked. I had to call him. They got up and were out the door by 2:30 AM. They took turns driving and they'd really be here by 9. So, under the original plan, they were gonna meet us at OKW. But, turns out, Pat already had the La Quinta Airport hotel in his GPS and was coming there to meet us!

So, Lydia and I finished breakfast, and we went to the room to tell the others that we'd have company in an hour. So, the line for the shower started and the next hour was a mix of dressing, eating and packing. Then, I got 2 phone calls within about 2 minutes. One from my parents saying they were on their way. And one from Angie...from downstairs, asking what room we were in.

So, all at once, all 10 of us were in Florida together....crammed into one tiny hotel room. Time to upgrade. :)

We called OKW..as expected, our villa wasn't ready. So, we drove to Downtown Disney. Took 2 cars and kinda took a back way in. I was enjoying being a passenger. Looking out the window for any hint of Disneyness. I took in all the billboards and signs. Then, we got there. Pulled into the parking lot behind whatever building has a statue of the Genie on top of it. So, after 10 months and 1400 miles and so much planning, we were welcomed to Disney property by Robin Williams' ***.

We walked around for a little while. Lydia loved the lego dogs and the lego dragon in the lake. Then, we decided to eat at Earl of Sandwich. new experience for all of us. We were lucky enough to find a table big enough for all 10 of us. So, i shared the pregnancy news with the remaining 3, and enjoyed our meal. REALLY enjoyed the meal. Great food there. and cheap. perfect lunch spot. Everybody loved it. I got the Hawaiin BBQ sandwich. Kelly referred to her Caprese as "the best sandwich she ever had."

After lunch, we just walked around, checked out the Disney stores. Then, it started to rain. Forecast said there was a chance of this. So, we figured it'd be a good time to head to Old Key West. We made the short drive over there. As soon as we got in the lobby, it started to pour. The lifeguards ran in with kids from the pool and gave them all white windsocks and markers. Lydia got one too and really enjoyed scribbling on her windsock. What a nice touch. Kelly was impressed too. She only stayed on Disney property once when she was 10. So, this kind of service was mostly new to her. After the lengthy check-in process, We drove to our room, unloaded...Of course, everybody was blown away by the size of our villa. But, it was kinda overshadowed by trying to haul suitcases in in the rain.

After the unloading was done, it was still pouring. So, my parents said they'd go to the grocery store and we could just hang out...that was nice. So, we did. The crew that drove from South Carolina was exhausted, so, they got to relax on the couch. Tom and I watched basketball. This was nice....for an hour. After that, I just wanted to be outside. Swim, walk, explore. I didn't care. I just felt so antsy being there after all the waiting and being trapped inside by a freakin' downpour. And it just kept coming.....

...for 3 or 4 hours with no break.

Finally, it slowed to a drizzle. So, Pat, Angie, Tom and I took a brief walk. Just to the pool and back. Felt good to be outside. So, we walked back and ate. Pat and Kristen made food for the night, so, we just ate in. Then drove to the boardwalk to walk around. It was a nice night. We got ice cream, took a lap around the lake. I enjoyed it. I really like seeing the Disney Resorts, So, walking through the Yacht and Beach club and Boardwalk was fun. Then we saw a street performer briefly and went back. It was only a little after 9, So, Tom, Beth, Kelly, Lydia and I put our suits on and sat in the hot tub for a while. Finally, some swimming. We even jumped in the main pool since they kept it at such a comfortable temperature. We knew monday would be Magic Kingdom day, so we didn't stay long.

On the way back, I decided I'd duck into the front desk and ask what the weather was looking like for tomorrow....ugh. "rain until about 2 pm." That made my stomach sink. Spending THE park day battling rain was not what I had in mind. Then, to make it worse, everybody else was in bed by the time we got back to the villa. So, any alterations to plans could not be discussed. And, I had no idea what people's plans for getting up the next day were. I found myself full of anxiety. Surprisingly, it didn't take too long to fall asleep.

So, the first real vacation day was over...and really...not what I had in mind. It had it's moments. But, what I thought would be a care-free day by the pool turned into a mostly frustrating day trapped inside, then a decent night followed by uncertainty for what I hoped would be a highlight of the trip the next day. Ah well. Not EVERYTHING could be perfect.....

brewcrew80
04-08-2010, 11:56 AM
Monday

-Sunday ended with so much uncertainty, I didn't know what to expect today.

I slept decent. Woke up real earlly. A little after 6 AM. So, I went downstairs and turned on the Weather Channel. The rain had shifted south! Not even overcast. Forecast was for sun all day. I could've jumped in the air. I was also shocked that I was the first one awake. My parents are notorious early risers. They were up soon after. Followed by Lydia. So, I fed her breakfast. Angie woke up sometime in there too. I was starting to wonder how early of a start we'd really get with half the group still asleep. So, I went upstairs thinking I'd get people moving. Another surprise. Kristen was up and showered and Beth was showering! Pat and Tom were both up too. So, I got Kelly up and we were in full swing.

Out the door a little before 9:30 and the bus to the Magic Kingdom was there soon after. Lydia was highly excited to ride the bus. She was happy sitting in another big girl seat and looking out the window....So was I. Again, just looking for signs of Disney. It all came at once. Space Mountain, the Contemporary, The Grand Floridian, and finally, a monorail. We were there.

So, we got off the bus and found a stand to exchange Give a Day vouchers. We did. We all got park tickets and a special voluntear button. Kinda cool. And were now ready to walk through the gates. But, the stress wasn't completely done yet....

....The night before, I had given somebody else my camera to take a group picture. On the handoff, the camera dropped (I blame the other lady...but, not important). It worked right away after being dropped, but now, as we were walking up Main Street towards the Castle, and the lense wouldn't even opened. Kelly freaked out. She messed with it. I messed with it. No luck. My dad was trying to get a consensus on what to do first and we just weren't interested. They decided on the Jungle Cruise. Fine. While in line, the lense finally tried to move. It was clear that it was just slightly bent. So, we just manipulated it back...and it worked again. Relief. But, really overshadowed the Magic Kingdom enterance.

The Jungle Cruise was good. I didn't pay much attention..just focused on Lydia. She was amused. Just happy to point and name the animals. Then, the cave happened. I've never known Lydia to be afraid of the dark...but, the combo of the darkness and the vicious looking tiger caused her to grab mommy and close her eyes. But, after the cave was the baby elephants. And she was a huge fan of those.

After that, we just stayed in the area for Magic Carpets of Alladin. No line. No camera stress. felt like the real first ride. I made a few comments about these types of rides being available at any local amusement park, but it really was fun. Lydia loved it. She sat with Pat and Kristen and Kelly and I sat in front of them...She was able to wave to the other carpet full of family members and my parents on the ground. Plus, being up high gave me a good chance to just look around and finally let it sink in that I was finally there.

Tiki Room was next. Lydia was a huge fan. She was the only one. Pretty sure she thought we were actually listening to birds sing. She loved it.

So, at this point in the day, we decided to do Pirates and the Haunted Mansion, then eat and break apart for the day. Some people wanted to do the big kid stuff, we wanted to it Fantasyland hard. So, Pirates was next. This and Haunted Mansion were a little much for Lydia. She never showed signs of understanding the dark context of stuff. but, she got it. Didn't cry, but didn't open her eyes much either.

After those 2, we got fastpasses for Splash Mountain....

Ate lunch at...I dunno. ...some place in Frontierland that has taco salads. Bad food. We did get free cookies because of our volunteer buttons. That was a nice touch.

After lunch, fastpasses were ready. We were gonna just go in 2 groups, but my mom said she'd be happy to take Lydia...so, the 8 of us went. It was fun. All I could think during the ride was; "yup, Lydia would love this one. they should have a version without the drop."

So, moving on to Fantasyland. At Lydia's request, Snow White was first...oops. So, that's 3 in a row that scared her. I knew it was kinda dark...but, wow! The queen trying to push a boulder on our head might've been the last straw. but, still no tears. Pooh was next....well...fastpass for Pooh. Return time wasn't for another 3 hours, but it did give us bonus fastpasses for Mickey's Philharmagic. So, we walked right in. First time seeing it. It was good. Lydia reaching for the gems during the Little Mermaid part was one of the highlights of the day. Her first experience with 3-D. Then, Snow White. Lydia loved the non scary parts...but, wow. I know the name says "scary" but, I didn't think it'd be that dark. It's a Small World next. meh. I'll probably skip that one next time. Next, a snack and Pooh's Playful Spot. Lydia was a fan. I could tell she was getting tired though and wasn't sure how that'd affect the day. But, it was time for our fastpasses for Pooh. Another new one for me.

So, in the middle of all the Fantasyland stuff, we did get pretty good spots for the 3 pm parade. Lydia loved this. She was yelling to characters and waving. got Kelly teary-eyed. We knew at that point that we should find a way to be there for Spectromagic at 8.

By now, it was 5. Tom and Beth went back to OKW to relax for a couple hours right after The Haunted Mansion. They were coming back at 6:30 for their Space Mountain fastpasses. So The remaining 7 of us walked to Tomorrowland for the first time. My parents encouraged us to go on Space Mountain while they took Lydia on other things. Angie stayed with 'em as she had fastpasses with Tom and Beth. So, we did. The line was about an hour, but it went real fast. We had video games to play in line and were able to just chat without a child to watch. It was refreshing. Ride was ok. Doesn't hold a candle to Disneyland's version. Got done and waited for my parents and Lydia. They had much success. She fell asleep in line for Buzz, slept through that. Then loved TTA...a lot. Then, they actually went on the Carosel of Progress. So, all told, Lydia napped for 35 minutes. Good enough. She was energized..as were we. This break in the day made the rest of the day possible.

And now, it was just Kelly, Lydia and I. We did the Indy Speedway next...another big hit with Lydia...Before that we got fastpasses for Buzz. Got to do that right after the Speedway...Then, I saw something I completely spaced out...The Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. So, we got right in. So awesome. Lydia was Boo, for anybody familiar with the attraction. She was beyond thrilled.

Now, it was supper time. We went to Cosmic Ray's for a bad burger and fries. Then, parade time. We found a good spot in Liberty Square. The parade was great. Lydia was wide-eyed the whole time. And that lasted until about 30 seconds after the parade. Then, she was asleep on my shoulder. Not unexpected. She was a trooper...and loved almost every minute. But, Kelly and I still wanted to see the fireworks, so, we found a spot and watched them. Then, we realized we were missing one thing we wanted to do..Peter Pan. So, we went over there. 10 minute wait. So, we did it. without waking Lydia up. She slept through the line and the ride. It was my first time riding in over 15 years. good way to end the day.

Great day. pretty much everything I had hoped for.

FreezinRafiki
04-08-2010, 12:06 PM
Busy day, too! Sounds like Lydia had a great time!

brewcrew80
04-14-2010, 05:10 PM
Tuesday

This would be a much needed pool day after the intense MK day the day before. And, in the morning, Kelly and I made the decision that we would only have one more park day. We would split it between Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Animal Kingdom would be skipped on this trip. Tough call...but, it'd be a day away from everybody else...and a lot more money. So, it was a pretty easy decision.

We woke up and had breakfast...and went to the pool as early as possible. We got seats in a sandy area right by the pool. Perfect. I started out swimming with Lydia while Kelly relaxed on a beach chair (her favorite part of any vacation). I took Lydia down the slide once...and got yelled at by a lifeguard. Can't have kids on your lap. Only one person at a time. This was bad news. Lydia loves waterslides, but only on somebody's lap. Never ran into a situation where we couldn't do that. So, Kelly took her up and sent her down by herself....fail. So, We only took her down the waterslide when there was a new lifeguard on duty :). I'm not one for breaking the rules...but, that rule is dumb.

Anyway, we took a break for some sandwiches for lunch, and went right back to the pool. It was a nice day. Sunny and mid 70s. We decided we'd go somewhere to eat supper even though my parents had thought we'd stay in. So, we decided on the Big River Brewery on the Boardwalk. Looked like a fun place, we are all beer nerds from Wisconsin...So, it seemed like a good idea. Fail. The food was just bad. Out of all 9 of us, I think 1 person liked the food she got. And we're NOT a family of complainers. I got some very dry chicken. My dad got a mahi mahi sandwich that he said tasted inferior to a fillet o' fish from McDonalds. Just bad, bad food. Too bad, since it was the one time we wanted to eat somewhere nice as a group. I would've pushed for a resort place...but, with that many people, we kinda had to meet in the middle at a place with a varied menu. The beer was ok...not great. After supper, we went home and went to bed. It was a nice relaxing day. Tomorrow, would be the second park day.

brewcrew80
04-14-2010, 05:11 PM
Wednesday

Woke up...Perfect weather. On this day, we all had kinda different plans...

Myself, Kelly, Lydia and my parents would split the day between Hollywood Studios and Epcot

Pat, Kristen and Angie would spend the full day at Epcot.

Tom and Beth would relax by the pool in the morning before Tom drove Beth to the airport for her flight home. He said he was more than happy to relax by himself from 4pm on.

So, the 5 of us walked to the bus stop and were there for about 30 seconds before the bus to the Studios arrived. Perfect. Lydia loved the bus ride again...We got to the park and went straight for Toy Story Mania. Wow. What a ride. Really fun. Worth the whole trip to that park.

After that, we went over by the Little Mermaid and Playhouse Disney shows. both were a half hour away from the next show, so, my parents got all of us fastpasses for Tower of Terror (yes, my dad assured Kelly it was safe for her). And we waited in line for Handy Manny and some critters from Little Einstein. Lydia is a big Handy Manny fan, so she was pumped. Little Mermaid was ok...I expected more. Playhouse Disney was ...well...Lydia liked it. My parents skipped it and used their fastpasses.

So, we met them at the enterance and gave them Lydia, and did ToT. Awesome as always. And we got off and saw there was 12 minutes before the Cars stunt show...and it was on the other side of the park. So, we ran. And JUST barely made it. I had never seen this before and was very impressed...And, surprisingly, Lydia loved it. I thought she'd lose interest, but she enjoyed it.

Then, my parents left for Epcot. We just wanted to do the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids playground and the Muppets. The playground was really crowded. So, we didn't stay long. Lydia enjoyed the Muppets.

So, time to leave Hollywood Studios...right at 3:00, just as I planned. But, I forgot about something...On our way out, we noticed people waiting for a parade...I had forgotten all about the Block Party Bash. So, we waited and watched it. Glad we did. we got great pictures of Lydia dancing with Bo Peep.

So, now it's 4:00 and time to take the boat to Epcot. It was a nice relaxing boat ride. Lydia fell asleep on Kelly's shoulder. and transferred to the stroller without waking up. So, I sent a text to everyone that we were in Epcot and made our way towards future world. Wanted to eat, but strollers aren't allowed in buildings...in hindsight, should've just got something from a stand in the World Showcase. ah well. We just got popsicles to snack on. Saw Chip and Dale with a reasonably short line, so, we waited while Lydia slept and nudged her awake when she was next in line.

Then, met up with the rest and went on Imagination with my parents and Angie. Pat and Kristen were gonna run back to OKW for cold medicine for Kristen. Lydia LOVED JIYI. Probably her favorite of the trip. Which is awesome, because it was my favorite when I was little and the ride was still good. Although, the new version did exceed my low expectations. After the ride, we played in imageworks and checked out the jumping water. Lydia loved both. Now, we broke off. Just the 3 of us again.

Did Nemo next. Again, Lydia loved the ride. Another candidate for her favorite. I was impressed too. Then, we looked at the aquarium and did Turtle Talk. Then, Spaceship Earth. The novelty of being in the giant ball was enough to get Lydia real excited. I liked the ride...I liked it better when there was more substance at the end as opposed to the interactive screen part. Seems like a waste of a lot of good ride space.

By this point, we hadn't had a real meal in a while, so, we debated between something at the Land or something from Mexico. We looked at the menu at The Land, but Kelly was not impressed, so, to Mexico we went. Real good food there. Probably the best meal of the trip. just got the counter service stuff, but we were all impressed. And, while we were eating, my parents and Angie walked by. My parents were going to do the stuff that Angie already did in the morning, So, Angie stuck with us and we went into the Mexico pavillion....This was the moment that I think Kelly "got" Disney. She had been to Epcot before, but did it wrong. focused on the rides and didn't explore. She was blown away by the theming in that building. So, we walked around a bit and walked on the boat ride...I should mention that we walked on every Epcot ride so far. It was my first time on it since it was re-themed with Donald...and again, it vastly exceeded my expectations. Very immersive and impressing looking. Lydia, again, loved it. Yes, it's very possible that her 4 favorite rides were at Epcot.

By now it was dark out...just a little time to explore before Illuminations. And, I got a surprising text...Pat was back...with Tom! Kristen still wasn't feeling well, so she gave Tom her ticket. They knew it would work because Kristen didn't have to do the finger scan. So, now Tom and Pat were with us and we headed to Maelstrom. Then, just walked around, explored the countries on that side, and got a great spot in front of Germany for Illuminations, which was awesome as always. Then, went for the gates and got on a bus as it was leaving. Perfect timing.

Lydia went right to bed and the rest of us stayed up and had a few beers and discussed the day. Really, I wish we had more time at Epcot. I knew it'd be fun, but it exceeded my expectations.

ehaimann236
05-15-2010, 10:15 PM
hey there. we are going with a 2 bedroom and a studio because the GV is much more than that. can you give me some insight as to the benefits of the GV and if it is worth the amount of points. thanks

Eric