View Full Version : Newb's, a little pixie dust and tears (a first timers trip report)

10-18-2011, 08:05 AM
For those of you whom read my PTR, I apologize it has taken me so long to start this report. For those who havent, here's the link'


To quickly recap for those who haven’t. Although DW and I took DS to The World 8years ago when he was only 18mo old and we planned nothing more than staying at a nearby timeshare and buying a 4 day park hopper pass. Seriously that’s it. Therefore we have called this our Honorary First FAMILY trip. Before I get too far let me introduce our cast of characters (and believe me they live up to that name).

I guess I’ll start with myself:


Name: Matthew
Age: 29
Favorite Character: Aladdin
Favorite Park: All of them
Favorite Restaurant: Chef Mickey's

Next would be DW who has put up with my shenanigans for almost 10 years now.


Name: Sarah
Age: 28
Favorite Character: Tinkerbell and Piglet
Favorite Park: MK
Favorite Restaurant: CRT

And the kids.


Name: Ian
Age: 9
Favorite Character: Stitch
Favorite Park: Epcot
Favorite Restaurant: Coral Reef


Name: Morgan
Age: 7
Favorite Character: Cinderella
Favorite Park: MK
Favorite Restaurant: CRT


Name: Allyson
Age: 3
Favorite Character: Tinkerbell
Favorite Park: MK
Favorite Restaurant: CRT

DW and I had been planning this trip since Feb 2011 but didn’t tell the kids. Even though it is rather cliché now, we loved the idea of the surprise and wanted that memory. I will try to post a link to the video in the next chapter. We stayed at POR for 6 days at the end of Sept 2011, bought 5 days’ worth of park passes (non park-hopper) and a dining plan.

So if you’re up for the ride (and I sure it will have its ups and downs since I’ve never done this before) I invite you to be our guest.

10-18-2011, 08:11 AM


Meet Our Crew (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=42980611&postcount=1)


Chapter One: The Surprise (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43001135&postcount=10)
Chapter Two: Arrival (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43986004&postcount=17)
Chapter Three: The Money Shot (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44160814&postcount=18)
Chapter Four: Wishes!!! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44226195&postcount=24)
Chapter Five: Fun with OCD (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=44551274&postcount=25)


Chapter Six: Heroes (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=45272082&postcount=33)
Chapter Seven: The Most Dangerous Weapon in the World! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=45368744&postcount=36)

10-18-2011, 10:14 AM
Joining in and just remember we are always here to help. I posted some info on your DDC post about your table of contents.

Can't wait to hear more!

10-18-2011, 10:25 AM
I'd love to hear more, too! Looks like we were there around the same time (Sept 27-Oct 4), and I am, also, currently trying my hand at my first TR!!

10-18-2011, 11:46 AM
Another three kid family who was there in September joining in! And we're planning to stay at POR next year, so I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

10-18-2011, 01:14 PM
I'd love to hear more, too! Looks like we were there around the same time (Sept 27-Oct 4), and I am, also, currently trying my hand at my first TR!!

Cant wait to read your TR. You missed the rain then, yes?

Another three kid family who was there in September joining in! And we're planning to stay at POR next year, so I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

POR was good, I will have an entire chapter on it later in my report.

10-18-2011, 01:48 PM
I'm here! :thumbsup2

10-18-2011, 01:52 PM

10-18-2011, 03:07 PM
Totally in for this one! I like hopping in early so I can keep up instead of having to sift through 100+ pages (which I have done when bored! :lmao:)

Hope you can post the video of the surprise! I LOVE surprise videos, cliche or not. I want to do this one day when DH and I have kid(s).

10-19-2011, 10:08 PM
OK so DW and I started planning this trip in February 2011 and from the beginning we wanted it to be a surprise for our three kids. We wanted our own commercial. This decision however would waiver many times throughout the 7 months of planning and waiting. The kids would see a commercial and beg to go and we would have to hold firm. We would be planning something and our excitement would take us to the edge, or we wanted to get the kids’ opinion but didn’t want to give anything away. I swear the constant back and forth in our head was the most torture I have put myself through.

It had gotten so bad at one point that we told the kids we wanted to take them and begun “dream planning” with them on what they would like to do “if we ever could go”. Using the cost (non-discounted to make it seem worse) as the reason why we couldn’t go, “it was too expensive”. Through this “dream planning” we were able to get a lot of ideas of what the kids wanted to do. We watched The Disney Parks DVDs with them and reviewed the Disney website. This was when it was the hardest to keep the secret. Equally as hard was hiding the mail. DS loves to get the mail but we couldn’t run the risk. A big shout out to Mark Pratt of Fairytale Journeys for having the wisdom to request our welcome packet sent to him then forwarding it to us in a neutral non-Disney envelope.

The only dilemma that still lingered as far as the surprise was concern was how to actually tell the kids. DW and I decided that instead of giving them their new backpacks for school, we would wait until the trip. We filled them with a bunch of stuff to keep them occupied on the plane like books and magazines and activity pads and toys. Each kid had a theme of their own and all their stuff followed that theme. For DS it was Phin and Ferb, DD7 is the princess, and for DD3; Tinkerbell. On top of all the stuff in the bags were Mickey Mouse t-shirts and a postcard we had gotten sent from the fairy godmailer list. The post cards were from the kids’ favorite characters talking about how they would see our kids soon.

Now our kids are very smart. I know everyone says and believes that about their kids but DD7 has even been skipped ahead a grade. That said, they never once caught on to our whispering and sneaking around like when we were buying t-shirts for them from the Disney store at the mall for the trip, with them there with us! With this in mind I went ahead and created an actually invitation to hand to them that clarified we were leaving right away.
So the morning of our trip I took the kids to McDonalds to get breakfast (which we never do). This bought time for DW to pack the final few items we needed, and our friends who would take us to the airport could arrive. Since we were leaving on a Sunday we used the excuse that they were going to church with us. I hated lying but I swallowed my integrity because I knew it was for a good cause. After breakfast and before leaving for “church” I; “suddenly remembered” that we “finally got” the kids their backpacks. Wink, wink! The final product turned out like this:


The little one was a little overwhelmed by it all but she soon after warmed up and got excited too.

10-19-2011, 11:20 PM
Your kids are adorable - particularly your little one, how sweet :flower3:

I can't wait to read more, your surprise was great! :cool1:

10-20-2011, 04:37 AM
signing on--


10-20-2011, 07:27 AM
Love the surprise! :thumbsup2

10-20-2011, 08:32 AM
Your surprise video was awesome! I can not wait to read more about the trip.

Also, looks like the link instructions worked for you!

10-21-2011, 07:59 AM
Your kids are adorable and I LOVED your video. It made me cry! It must have been so hard to keep the secret for so long, but so worth it in the end!!

11-20-2011, 10:49 PM
Sorry everyone that it has been so long since my last post. Without too much detail it has been connection then computer then connection issues again. should be good now so I will try to get more of the TR done asap.

02-09-2012, 11:02 PM
After a quick wardrobe change we were off. To our benefit DW and I have very good friends who work within the airport. Armed with their advice we were quickly through security and to our gate waiting to board. At this time we let the kids check out their activity bags for the flight, convincing them that now would be the best time for DS9 and DD7 to get as much of their schoolwork done as possible. Both of their teachers had customized homework for them based around the trip. DD3 however became completely enamored by the plane itself and the workers and didn’t want to do anything but watch them out the window.


The flight itself was quick and uneventful. The previously mentioned friends had given the kids some natural fruit suckers to help with the pressure changes but I didn’t get them distributed fast enough upon landing to help DD3. I felt so bad for her but didn’t know what more I could do, she’s normally a thumb sucker but I couldn’t even convince her to try that. Upon arrival in Orlando I was very impressed at how easy it was to make our way to the Magical Express boarding area. After a quick ride on the mini monorail of course! We were on the bus in less than 5 minutes and not long after on our way to the happiest place on earth.


One thing I never fully understood until this trip was the excitement often voiced about the on board video on the Magical Express. I am now finally enlightened and must say …. I wish I would have got on to the sarcasm. Seriously I was talking up the video to my kids and DW, took the token picture of the screen and sat in my seat eager for it to begin like a fat kid waiting for cake time at a birthday party. Although I love all things Disney I couldn’t help but wonder what was older, the video or me (FTR I’m vintage 1982 baby!)

If the aged theory that time flies when you’re having fun be true, then the adverse would be that time drags on slower than 90 year olds holding wheelchair races at the nursing home during moments of great anticipation. I swear that rather short bus ride took longer than the flight from Detroit. Not knowing where in the world (meant both figuratively within Disney and literally), I kept searching for signs that would hint to how close we were getting but alas, I was lost. Then finally there it was, the magical gateway that said “welcome, relax, and enjoy the magic”. Well actually I think it said welcome to Walt Disney World Resort but it spoke so much more to me.


The cast member who checked us in was so cute, in a completely innocent way. Her name was Clare, which stuck out because it is also DD3’s middle name. She spoke with such a sweet southern draw that I had to chuckle inside myself (as not to embarrass her) because she was/is from a neighboring city to my home town IN MICHIGAN! Then to add to it, watching her petite self retrieve the two packages I had mailed down ahead of time which likely weighed close to as much as her simply became more than I could stand. Against her wishes I took my boxes and thanked her for “being so awesome” and we headed off to our room.

02-27-2012, 10:20 PM
With first visit buttons for the kids, a birthday button for me, and triple verified directions on how to get to our room we headed across the property. I plan to do an actual “review” of POR later in this TR. The walk was longer than it seemed on the map but then again didn’t take too long. Once we found our room we took a few minutes to unpack and show the kids what we made mailed down, as if there hadn’t been enough surprises for them already. Swim suits and personalized towels, and water bottles, and b3 dresses, and breakfast food, and more.

Our plan was to take the ferry to DTD for dinner then hop a bus to MK. Before going anywhere though we stopped at the resort café and purchased two refillable mugs. Then, we took a look around Fulton’s General Store (gift shop). One of the cashiers was giving out Mardi-gras like bead necklaces but in a Disney way. Standing approx. 15ft away he would toss them with above average accuracy around the neck of his guest like a human ring toss game.

After getting a few ideas for souvenirs I wisely convinced the kids to wait and fumbling around for only a second; we stood on the boarding dock for the ferries. I must admit I wasn’t overly excited about the ferry but it turned out to be rather nice and relaxing, offering wonderful scenery. At first I thought the ride took too long but as the week went on I think it was more of my growing excitement that made it seem longer. The best part however was when DTD came into sight. I am fully convinced this is the best view and approach for DTD.

http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd477/fgtriot/DSCF6617.jpg http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd477/fgtriot/DSCF6615.jpg

The boat “captain” was rather dull but the workers at the dock in DTD were very friendly and fun. However they were not up to date on the goings of DTD. DW and I wanted to get the kids their ears and read online all about the store where you can let them create their own. The CMs on the dock told us right where to go and in a half walk half skip manner like from the park scene of Mary Poppins we headed straight there. The problem was they no longer let you make your own ears. :sad1: So DW and I decided to wait until we got to MK as we heard they have the best selection of ears.

By this time we were all starting to get hungry so we headed over to Wolfgang Pucks Express (awesome food and only a quick service on the dining plan). Like the resort I am going to do a complete dining review later in the TR but here is a food porn teaser.

http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd477/fgtriot/DSCF6627.jpg http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd477/fgtriot/DSCF6626.jpg

Following dinner we hopped a bus to Poly because we wanted the novelty of riding the monorail into MK. With plans in our head and a shortening timeline we head straight through bag check and into the park. Since we knew we were returning to MK later in the week we didn’t spend time site seeing around the entrance. Through the gate and around the corner.

http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd477/fgtriot/DSCF6635.jpg Followed by the money shot http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd477/fgtriot/DSCF6633.jpg

02-28-2012, 02:28 AM
I can't wait to read more! We (DW, DD5 and DS3 and I) are headed to WDW in 8 days, so the more I read, the more excited I get!


02-28-2012, 10:01 PM
I can't wait to read more! We (DW, DD5 and DS3 and I) are headed to WDW in 8 days, so the more I read, the more excited I get!


Congrats!!! I should get more up before you leave.

02-29-2012, 03:33 AM
Great TR so far! I love the way you surprised the kids with the trip. Our family ought to do that next time!

Wolfgang Puck Express looks great value for a counter service restaurant! We'll have to try it on our next trip! When we went in August it was really busy- which put us off.

Can't wait for the next update! :)

03-01-2012, 10:34 PM
Great TR so far! I love the way you surprised the kids with the trip. Our family ought to do that next time!

Wolfgang Puck Express looks great value for a counter service restaurant! We'll have to try it on our next trip! When we went in August it was really busy- which put us off.

Can't wait for the next update! :)

Thanks! The surprise was fun but we are having fun planning our return trip with the kids this time too.

WGPE was great, highly recommended. Dessert was just as awesome and the kids loved their food.

Working on the next update, hopefully will be done tomorrow.

03-04-2012, 07:44 PM
great start! can't wait to read more! I don't know if i'd ever be able to surprise my kids... unless i keep DW in the dark too!!

03-04-2012, 10:01 PM
One of the biggest reasons DW and I decided to get to MK the same day we arrived in FL was because it was the only night that fit our schedule in which we could see the Electrical Parade. We walked down Main St just taking it all in for the moment, checking out the shops and getting our first family photopass pics taken. DW bought the package before we left so she was determined to “get her monies worth” and boy howdy did she.


At this point Tinkerbell herself from high atop her castle perch could see we were lost as to where to sit and enjoy the Main St Electrical Parade and be in a good position for Wishes. Thankfully a CM came to our rescue with a very unusual connection. Emotionally scarring back story time (ok not so emotionally scarring but whatever). When DW and I decided to have kids we wanted to make sure they had fairly unique names since our first names were the most popular for like ten years running when we were born. Nothing extremely outrageous, but something not heard too often or something with a different spelling than normal. We chose Ian (DS9), Morgan (DD7), and Allyson (DD3). So when this particular CM shared the same spelling as our youngest we were happily surprised.

Allyson (the CM) recommended we check for a spot by the firehouse and follow the end of the parade down Main St to the castle for Wishes. We couldn’t get in by the firehouse by we did find a nice spot right near the gate but on the side of the little garden area. I actually really liked this spot because we could not see what was coming until it was rounding the bend just to our right. Honestly I still don’t know to what level I enjoyed this parade. On one level the concept is awesome; on another there wasn’t a flow to the floats that fit any overall theme. This is a personal thing though, I am a little OCD about symmetry, and flow, and patterns. Maybe even a little more than a little. My wife won’t even let me help with the scrapbook unless I have my own page.

The technology behind the preshow for Wishes called “Magic, Memories and You” is top of the line (as if Disney would do it any other way). Seriously though I pride myself on AV stuff and have never seen anything like this. Disney made that plaster/cement castle look like a linen sheet with the projections. Very, very impressive show. Then, WISHES!!!!

Some of my favorite shots.

http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd477/fgtriot/DSCF6713.jpg http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd477/fgtriot/DSCF6717.jpg http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd477/fgtriot/DSCF6734.jpg
http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd477/fgtriot/DSCF6765.jpg http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd477/fgtriot/DSCF6787.jpg http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd477/fgtriot/DSCF6795.jpg

*Notice the position and layout of the pics??? Just a little OCD.

04-09-2012, 08:22 PM
As established in my last posting, I have a little bit of OCD on certain things. One of my biggest challenges if you will is when plans change. The weird part is that if the change is due to necessity I have no problem, nor is it to say I have to go so far to have every minute of every day scheduled out. I absolutely love being spontaneous as long as there are no existing plans but if someone wants to change something on the agenda simply because they want to, I have trouble computing that. Explaining all that is important in understanding the significance of what happened next.

Our original plans were to head back to the resort after watching Wishes in order to make sure we had enough rest (and yes I mean we as in DW and I , not the kids) for what was sure to be a fun PACKED week. However; since we had not yet gotten the kids their ears DW and I wanted to do so before we left. Knowing we had EMH, instead of rushing out of the park, we found the hat store near the front so the ears could be personalized.


This minor adjustment didn’t bother me since we had planned to purchase these hats earlier in the day when we were at DTD but didn’t because they no longer had the build-your-own store. However this is where is gets weird. The “ear store” as DD3 called it, was rather busy and we were informed that it would be 45 minutes before our hats would be ready. Normally this is a “point of concern” as I refer to them, although DW calls them my “freak out moments” but much like the Spirit of God during times of turmoil, the Disney Magic officially kicked in. All of a sudden I’m the one making suggestions to keep us in the park. “Well since we have time, why don’t we go meet Mickey? It’s just right next to the store.” What??? Did that just come from my mouth? Sure did and I hesitated not a moment. Of course the rest of the family was more than willing to accommodate my unusual mood.

We head to the Town Hall where to our surprise the wait was only 5 minutes!! Actually I don’t even think it took that long. We walked right into the staging area, was greeted by a CM that said he would be right back and in barely enough time to pull the camera out of the backpack before being guided to Mickey’s dressing room. There he was the symbol of childhood dreams and magic worldwide. An ageless embodiment of what is right and good with the beautiful Minnie at his side. What escapes me at this point is how within this awe inspiring moment fear could complete overtake DD3 and eradicate all previous excitement. Suddenly DD3 needs to be held and protected. With one family ahead of us (actually it was one lady in her mid 40’s-early 50’s) I am now attempting to console and convince DD3 that Mickey isn’t scary but loving. How’d I do? Well…..

http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd477/fgtriot/Photo0016FourBySix.jpg http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd477/fgtriot/Photo0031FourBySix.jpg http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd477/fgtriot/Photo0043FourBySix.jpg
http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd477/fgtriot/Photo0037FourBySix.jpg http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd477/fgtriot/DSCF6801.jpg

With that experience officially banked in our memories forever we headed back to our stroller but….we could meet the princesses now? Since we had no official plans (we weren’t even supposed to still be in the park) we decided why not. Thankfully this wasn’t even debated for a moment because as soon as we got in line to meet Aurora, Belle, & Cinderella there at the Town Hall, they closed the line behind us. We were to officially be the last visitors to these lovely ladies this evening. Both DDs were excited but DS9 not so much. I think it was more embarrassment than lack of excitement.


Now the girls were in their element, especially DD7. This also became our first “pixie dust moment”. What are pixie dust moments? They are those extra special, extra magical happenings that you never forget. It can be big (as we experienced later in our trip) or small and simple as a miss spoken thought as happened here momentarily. The first princess was Aurora and although she was pleasant you could almost tell she was tired from the long day and pushing to get through. Belle was much better, very interactive and fun. FTR, Belle is DD3’s favorite princess. However DD3 was shy and instead of talking to Belle, she kept whispering to DD7. Belle was great and played into it which really helped warm up DD3.

http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd477/fgtriot/Photo0062FourBySix.jpg http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd477/fgtriot/DSCF6813.jpg

Finally Cinderella, DD7’s favorite and our “pixie dust moment” of the day. Whilst standing talking to Cinderella, DD3 says to Cinderella referring to DD7; “she is your favorite princess.” (photo above) Cinderella didn’t miss a beat and promptly responded; “I have waited my whole life to meet her!” We know what DD3 meant as I am sure Cinderella did too but I love how instead of correcting the statement, Cinderella played into it creating that moment we will not forget. From there the rest of the night was a whirlwind of fun, hitting Space Ranger Spin, The Transit People Mover, Carousel, and let DS9 try to pull the sword before calling it a night. Even through all the excitement, bedtime came pretty easy. Maybe it was the anticipation of the next day, maybe it was exhaustion from a full day, or maybe it was because it was after 1AM! Whatever the reason, I was the only one who had a hard time falling asleep, but that is normal for me, I always struggle sleeping in other beds besides my own. Yes I know, OCD.

04-10-2012, 02:44 PM
eat trip report and pics matthew! :thumbsup2 i love the picture of your son waiting for the princesses. you will have to remind him of that when hes 16!

04-10-2012, 06:46 PM
It never occurred to me to use Late Night EMH for things like a princess meet & greet. I thought it was only for riding rides. Thanks for the suggestion.:thumbsup2

04-11-2012, 02:21 PM
Great TR and great pics.

04-15-2012, 09:14 PM
eat trip report and pics matthew! :thumbsup2 i love the picture of your son waiting for the princesses. you will have to remind him of that when hes 16!

Thanks. We still pick on DS9 about that. The fact of liking girls still embarrass him.

It never occurred to me to use Late Night EMH for things like a princess meet & greet. I thought it was only for riding rides. Thanks for the suggestion.:thumbsup2

As you could tell, it wasnt planned to do that but it worked great.

Great TR and great pics.

:thumbsup2 Thanks, never doing this before, it's nice to know I'm doing well and it is entertaining.

05-15-2012, 07:49 AM
I really like your trip report. I loved the video of telling the kids they were going to Disney. I loved the "money shot." Awesome. I loved the "having one day for each child idea."

05-15-2012, 12:21 PM
Looking forward to more of your story! Thanks for sharing. :woohoo:

05-15-2012, 10:24 PM
I am loving your report! Can't wait to read more. :goodvibes

06-23-2012, 11:49 PM
Waking up our first morning at The World brought new excitements and surprises. For starters, even though the kids didn’t get to bed until after 1am nor DW and I until after 2am amazingly no one was exhausted getting up at 8am. Side note: Prior to our trip we made a journey 45 minutes from home to the nearest Disney store to buy the kids a few shirts (they had outgrown most of the Disney t-shirts they had) to our surprise they had made it into an outlet store and we were able to get everyone a new shirt for each day of our stay. After a quick breakfast of pop tarts and cereal bars (which we mailed down a few days before we left) we were dressed and ready to go.

Plans for the day were Hollywood Studios and avoiding rain. This was the only day of our trip were weather was to be an issue but I actually feel it was to our benefit but I’m getting ahead of myself. First thing we do upon arrival at HS was get our fast passes for Toy Story Mania. Feeling like little Charley Bucket with his golden ticket I did what any half knowledged Disdad would do; I took a picture of it.


Of course DW had no clue the significance and immediately questioned my sanity. Although this was a normal daily activity it came a little early for me today.

Since we were in the area we decided to go over to The Little Mermaid show. Normally I like to wait until after lunch for the indoor shows when the temp starts to climb and the kids could use a rest but DD3 wanted to go now. Admittedly The Little Mermaid is my second least liked princess story, but being a dad of two little girls we do all things princess. Remembering back to that disastrous attempt at a Disney trip DW and I took DS9 on when he was 18months old (that is for another story, has been considered a mulligan and stricken from the record which why we are still first timers), I wanted to sit in the middle or further back as to save both my neck and from getting sprayed with water. As it turns out either something changed or my memory wasn’t that great because the whole room gets sprayed, but; it was only a light mist and not at all what I thought I remembered. The black light aspect of the show was pretty cool and even DS9 liked the production (though he won’t public admit it now).

As we were leaving The Little Mermaid show I spotted another opportunity that was originally planned for later in the day. The Disney Jr show was letting in right then and there wasn’t many people in line. I figure we could get right in and not have to wait in line later. So we head over there and soon realize why so few people were in line. They had been letting in since before we got out of Little Mermaid so by the time we got there the line closed and we had to wait anyhow. This however ended up more magical as while we were in line the characters from Disney’s Little Einsteins were coming out for their meet and greets which required them to walk right past us.


The Disney Jr show was pretty much what you would expect it to be. I love how interactive they make it for the kids and DD3 was in her glory.

http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd477/fgtriot/DSCF68932.jpg http://i1221.photobucket.com/albums/dd477/fgtriot/DSCF68922.jpg

This was also my first encounter with my new favorite Disney Jr TV show. Jake and the Neverland Pirates! We didn’t have any shows like that when I was a kid. Playing pirates all day long with a friend who does whatever you say and a pretty girl, going on fun adventures, outsmarting the bad guys and having enough booty to be set for life before age 8. Jake is officially my new hero! I even left with a few gold doubloons in my pocket.

From Disney Jr we decided to cross the park to meet my other animated heroes. Dreamers, inventors, adventurers, opportunist, entrepreneurs, and owners of the world coolest pet; Phineas and Ferb! The temperature was starting to rise so they characters often had to take “breaks” to get some water so we spent quite some time in the queue line. I was very impressed with Disney’s forethought on this wait, having interactive entertainment appropriately themed. The “radio DJ” knew his stuff, sounded authentic, and got the party rolling with several P&F songs for the crowd to play along with. The only way this meet and greet would have been better is if DD3 would have gotten in the pictures and if Agent P would have been there.

At this point we were starting to get hungry so we stopped at Pizza Planet for a bite to eat. Like WGPE, I will do a full review later but it was pizza and arcade games with an amazing cupcake. Warning the following picture may cause under controllable drooling and strong desire to do something dirty; like baking!


06-24-2012, 06:35 AM
As a dad of two dds, I get that whole princess stuff as it doesn't get much better. Oldest (10) is starting to not be as interested, but it is just starting. I take pics of FP, Dole Whips, and other Disney pics that DW just doesn't understand and never will. We are out of Playhouse Disney and am happy. I didn't like sitting on the floor.

07-03-2012, 10:37 PM
As a dad of two dds, I get that whole princess stuff as it doesn't get much better. Oldest (10) is starting to not be as interested, but it is just starting. I take pics of FP, Dole Whips, and other Disney pics that DW just doesn't understand and never will. We are out of Playhouse Disney and am happy. I didn't like sitting on the floor.

I'm not too worried about out growing the princess thing, that one doesnt bother me much. However, I hear ya about that literal floor seating!

07-03-2012, 10:49 PM
Now by lunch time day 2, where we rejoin or story, DS9 has gotten fully involved with pin trading. Having heard great things about it I went on eBay before our trip, ordered one lot of 50 random pins and split them between all of us. DW and I made sure to do much research to learn the unwritten “rules” of Disney pin trading and as this served for much enjoyment we’re certainly glad we did. Before you ask; yes I know this is actually off topic but it does become important to know for later and as previously established I am slightly OCD and simply put, I needed to say it. It would be awkward if later on I mentioned pin trading and you didn’t already know we had been trading the whole time. Then again I guess no more awkward than this paragraph has become. Well I’m not going to erase and retype all of it so let’s just move on.

Since we had eaten lunch a little later than we originally planned, by the time we were done people were already lining up for The Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun! parade. As we walked the parade route failing to find a decent seat DW decided to stop and ask a group of three CMs standing nearby for their recommendation. The CMs directed us about 100ft away to a corner just beyond The American Idol Experience but before the main center by “The Hat”. Upon arriving at the suggested spot we hear a voice behind us calling, “Family, Family!” It was Tameka, one of the CMs that directed us to this spot. Assuming I had misunderstood her previous directions I, by my typical nature, instantly apologized. Turned out I hadn’t done anything wrong. “I have a better idea for you!’ she proclaims in an excited yet pleased way, “follow me.” Tameka then guided us right back to where we first asked for her seating suggestion. One of the other CMs whose name escapes me, stood by with a huge smile on her face and stated they were going to give us “special seating” unhooking a rope previously blocking the steps of The American Idol Experience. So there we sat, front row, center steps. The CMs stuck around and talked with us while awaiting the parade. This was the first of what DW has come to call “pixie dust”; those extra special moments that go beyond a great time and make clear the term “Disney magic”.

For anyone with children who enjoy the masterpieces that the Disney/Pixar partnership has brought us, this parade is a must! Easily my personal favorite of the parades we saw both planned and unexpected (I’ll explain later). The music is obnoxiously addictive, where in you wanna dance listening to it, can’t stop singing it but both love and hate every moment. Got an awkward silent moment? Bring back the song “it’s a countdown to fun. 5-4-3-2-1” Crap! Now DW’s singing it again. Gonna be difficult to sleep tonight. Anyhow; having no one on the opposite side of the route then us meant all the characters and cast focused directly on us. Often coming right up to us to shake hands or high five, toss beach balls around or pose for our camera shots.



Obviously that last one is a personal favorite. I don’t know if it was the way she shook that hula-hoop or the cowgirl outfit but being this is a family site I will say no more.

Given the price of this trip for a family of five, we established early that DW and I would NOT be purchasing every souvenir that our children wanted. They had each saved up their allowance (mostly by force) and had been given gift cards from friends and family members. DW and I predetermined one exact souvenir that we would purchase for each of the kids (besides their ears, I mean come on those are a must and don’t count). Again I know this is a detour from our main story but important to know because after the parade we took DS9 to get his special gift. As nothing more than a grown child myself, a truth I ashamedly admit, I knew exactly what to get for DS9. THE MOST DANGEROUS WEAPON IN THE UNIVERSE!!! So we head over toward Star Tours so he can make his own light-saber. As much as this was a great idea for DS9 it was complete torture on my OCD. With each selection he made I stood behind him screaming in my head how those pieces weren’t supposed to go together. Really? A Jedi hilt with a Sith beam and Yoda’s power crystal? You’re killing me kid! I guess the important thing is that he loved it.


I guess.

While we were letting DS9 build his light-saber, the overcast skies decided to finally open up and rain. Although most of the rain was a simply drizzle the moments of downpour had us pinned down. We decide to try and wait out the rain for a moment and look around the rest of the shop. After a vocal chuckle over a t-shirt with Mr. Potato Head in a Darth Vader helmet talking to a French fry saying “I am your father,” I actually made my first pin trade. After scoring the first of the Yeti series I would spend the rest of the trip looking for I decided we cannot wait any longer and needed to head out. Having prepared for rain, we all donned a poncho.

At this time it was drizzling nothing major but in order to avoid the rain DW throws out the idea of going to watch the Beauty and The Beast stage show. As we arrive we notice that the play had already started (I may have mixed up the start times) and we do not have enough time to wait for the next start and make our dinner ADR as it was a bit earlier than normal for us. Instead we decide to peruse the shops between the auditorium and Hollywood and Vine where we were to dine. DW of course was finding many purchases she wanted to make that caused me to find various colorful ways to excuse why that item wasn’t good or right or worth it or whatever that prevented me from having to actually buy it. Big moment for me was Planet Hollywood where they had the pink Power Rangers outfits. Unfortunately DW would not pose for a pic with it. Finally the rain lets up and we head to eat albeit a few minutes early.