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baseballmickey 08-24-2012 04:58 AM

I'm Going Away... FOREVER! Oh, Great! Could You Get Me a Sandwich?? - updated 6/23!
Dessert Party Pics!, Page 13!

baseballmickey 08-24-2012 04:59 AM

Hello! and Welcome to my second attempt at a Trip Report!

Whether you came here knowingly or unknowingly, accidentally or deliberately, of your own free will or by court mandate... I welcome you and thank you for taking the time to read about our most recent Disney vacation!

Veterans of my previous attempt, "My First Trip Report - Escape from New York", will be happy to know that this TR will be different in a few important ways.
  1. I am starting this TR within a reasonable time since returning from our trip, so everything is relatively fresh in my mind
  2. I knew going into this trip that I would probably write this TR, so I took more pictures than usual
  3. Food Porn, completely non-existent in the previous TR, will make an appearance
  4. Less "Little Black Rain Clouds" will follow us around
  5. An expanded Cast of Characters, including the newest member of our immediate family, and several members of our extended family.
  6. Non-disney life updates. I have changed my view since the first TR. If something is happening while I am writing this, I'll share it with all you.
  7. Color coding. With the inclusion of things not directly related to this vacation, I'm going to try to color-code my updates so anyone skimming can easily find them.
    • TR updates will be BLUE
    • Life stuff will be GREEN
    • Flashbacks will be ORANGE
  8. No names will be changed to protect the guilty! None of this DD, DS, DW, etc. stuff. Let's get personal and use actual names!

Before we get the introductions out of the way, I'll just give you a little taste of what we'll be getting ourselves into so you have a few things to look forward to, or so that you can decide now if this ride is not for you.

Our TR details a 2-week Land and Sea adventure, Some might refer to it as a "Cruise Sandwich", that was nearly 2 years in the making/planning. It takes place in the Heat and Humidity that is the end of July through nearly Mid-August. We will share our first stays at two of WDW's deluxe DVC resorts, Bay Lake Tower and the Beach Club Villas. If that isn't enough, we will show you the AWESOMENESS that is the "Dream" and the PARADISE that is Castaway Cay. We'll hit all four theme parks, but not the water parks. There'll be Fireworks Views from the Balcony, a Plethora of Desserts, A First Haircut, A First Mountain, A Princess Make-Over, Character Breakfasts, Character Hogging, Lots of Diaper Changes and Potty Breaks, a Slew of "Awwws" (both good and bad), Fish Extenders, Door Magnets, an Unlikely Earworm, A Sudden Downpour, Electronic Equipment Disasters and Mishaps, One Major Meltdown, and 17 different Modes of Transportation...

This TR will be told from the Point of View of my little family of 4. However, this vacation will include another 12 members of my family. At times we will be all together, and at others we will be broken down into smaller family units. The ages will range from 1 all the way up to 68. With so many people, including the little ones and my parents, there will be some slow going. This is by no means a commando trip! Aside from my son, we've all been to WDW before. Only the cruise portion will be a Disney first for most of us.

So are you all excited to get this thing going??
Alright then. Let's do this!!

baseballmickey 08-24-2012 05:00 AM


baseballmickey 08-24-2012 05:01 AM

So, yeah.... Hi! :wave:

My name is James, and obviously, I'm "baseballmickey" on the DIS. You can find me hanging out in the DisDads subforum of the Families forum, The Photography forum, and I've been known to make appearances in the DVC, DCL, and Budget forums.

This is me from our last trip back in December of 2010.

I know, that's a nice face I'm making there with Mr. Smee.

So, what can I tell you about me?? Well, like so many of us, I am a DISNEY NUT! I was one of those fortunate kids whose parents loaded him in the car with up to all 7 of his siblings and drove from New Jersey all the way down to Florida seemingly every year to visit WDW. So my obsession began at an early age. My entire family loves Disney, but for some reason, I seem to be the most Disney-Crazed of the bunch. I did rebel against pictures with characters for a while as a teen, but as you can see, I no longer have that problem. I think as a teenager I was afraid people would think I was a dork... Well, if that was my reasoning, then why did I walk around WDW in jeans in the middle of august??? :lmao:

I think what put me over the top was when I was accepted to the College Program back in 1994. I worked as a Custodial Host at the Magic Kingdom for a semester, and it pretty much made me a park expert! That was many, many years ago and a lot has changed in the park, so while I can't claim to be quite as knowledgeable as I used to be, I still retain my top spot by virtue of the experience it did give me.

Nowadays, I am a father of 2 kids, and the husband of 1 wife. I help pay the bills by working as a freelance television director/technical director in New York City. This is a field I've worked in for just over 10 years. My freelance schedule allows me to play the role of Stay-At-Home-Dad to our kids during the school year. Some of my other roles around the house are "The Fixer", "The Landscaper", "Garbage Man", "Dishwasher", and the "Grocery Shopper."

I am a huge baseball fan! LET'S GO METS! and like other sports as well. I love playing softball in a somewhat competitive league on the weekends. I have a great interest in science, as well as science fiction. I am a big Star Wars fan and an avid reader. I also love researching my (and my wife's) family tree. I've been working on that for about 5 years or so, on and off. I also like to dabble in photography and graphics. I love to decorate the outside of our house for Christmas and Halloween.

At WDW, I am the "Driver", "Thrill-Seeker", "Snack-Eater", "Picture-Taker", and "Backpack-Carrier".

I am married to my lovely wife, Lisa. We met in 1998, and have been married for the past 7 years. She is also on the DIS, as Tinkermama117. Here's a pic of her and her favorite character from our last trip.

Lisa is an elementary school teacher for something like 12 years now. So, you can rightfully assume that she's the "Organizer", "Planner", "List-Maker", "Interior-Designer", "Saver" and "Shopper" of the household.

She loves music, dancing, bad reality television shows, taking vacations, cooking, and making sound effects when she does things. :lmao: She had never been to WDW when we met. I took her for the first time that very year and she fell in love with it. We've been going together ever since!

At WDW, Lisa is the yin to my yang. Where I want to just wing it and hit all the big rides, Lisa prefers to take it slower and never walk anywhere without a plan! She is always found with a Park Map and Show Schedule handy! She loves the shows, parades, and the food, whether it be a meal or a tasty treat.

Next up is our little Princess Isabella. We just call her Bella. This is one of my favorite pictures of her from the last trip:

Bella is an intelligent, inquisitive, imaginative, and absolutely beautiful former-preschooler. She will be entering Kindergarten in just a couple of weeks! She is a lover of animals, insects and nature. She is a dancer, a musician, an actress, and a little chef! She is very independent, yet also very sensitive. I think she gets most of her personality traits from her mother, sprinkled with just a little bit of mine.

She's a big princess fan as you might imagine. At WDW, she's taken over as my main model for pictures. She loves getting autographs and enjoys the less adventurous rides.

Lastly, we have the newest member of our family, Jackson. Jackson was there with us on our last trip as my wife was about 6 months pregnant with him at the time. He is a moody 16-month-old who can go from laughing hysterically to screaming bloody murder in no time at all. He surprises us with what he eats sometimes (jambalaya? tacos?), but the next meal he's turning his nose up at everything. Not that you can tell from pictures of me now, but he definitely has my hair... you'll just have to trust me on that one.

Going into this trip, Jackson is the X-factor. We have no idea how he will do. Bella did so well the first few times we took her. Lisa and I had fears that Jackson could end up being the other side of the spectrum and be an absolute terror. How would he handle the heat? waiting in line? the rides? the characters?? It was anyone's guess.

So here we are:

Don't we look like a perfectly normal, happy, well-adjusted family?? :rotfl2: This was taken right around Easter, just a few short months before we embarked on this adventure.

Next up, you have to meet the rest of the family....

baseballmickey 08-24-2012 05:01 AM

More Introductions
And now to introduce the rest of the cast of characters for this trip...

First and Foremost we have the people this trip is centered around (even if the TR is not centered around them.)

These are my parents, Dorothy and Harry. This summer, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary!! About 2 years ago, the idea was born to take a family vacation to celebrate this milestone. After some deliberation, we decided to do a cruise... and after more deliberation, it was decided to do a Disney cruise... and that got the ball rolling... But more about that later.

These are the people responsible for my addiction because they forced me to go so many times as a kid. :lmao: My mom loves disney and still loves to go to the parks and hit the rides and see the characters. My father secretly loves It's a Small World but has always fueled the rumor that he hated it. He was so successful in that endevour that their were countless attempts by all of his children to drive him insane with the song. The most infamous of those attempts was the toilet paper dispenser that played "It's a Small World" whenever you took a sheet... Nowadays, my dad plays the role of the annoying planner, general know-it-all, and park-pooper. He rents the ECV to get around the park and is constantly looking for a reason to take a break and have a cigarette.

Next up we have my oldest sibling, my sister Lisa, and her family: My brother-in-law Domenick, my niece Jennifer, and my nephew Domenick Jr.

Lisa is the role model the rest of us should have followed, but never did. She's got her act together, as far as we all know. She's a big pooh fan. I think my BIL isn't as into disney as the rest of us, but puts up with it on occasion. They were DVC members for a while, but recently sold because they just weren't using it enough to justify keeping it.

They could have just gave us their points. We certainly would have used them!! :confused3

My niece Jennifer is a college student with an outgoing personality and a dream of dancing. Oddly, she has been known to spontaneously fall to the ground... for no obvious reason. Her brother, is a teenager who lives a double life. From what I understand, he plays it cool with his friends, but he will allow himself to get caught up in the family embarassment without much of a fight as long as he thinks it won't get back to his friends.

Next up is the second oldest of the kids, my sister Dawn, and her son, Matthew.

Dawn is my main rival for family Disney-nut and Star Wars fanatic. She's been to Star Wars Weekends at WDW numerous times, and it drives me crazy that I have yet to go once!! She also is very sarcastic has no problems opening her mouth at any given time. She loves getting her picture taken with characters and will go on pretty much any ride.

Matthew is slightly autistic and it's sometimes hard to get him to interact. He is very into Star Wars as well, and loves computer games. He is almost of adult age and he is starting to try and exert some independence.

Next up is my oldest brother Tom and his two teenage daughters, Monica (right) and Alanna (left).

Of my four brothers, everyone says Tom is the one I am most similar to. We are both big "idea people" (with little follow-through). We love sports, games, puzzles, and have a similar sense of humor. We were both into VMK and were very upset when it closed down.

I don't see my nieces as often as I'd like to. My brother has shared custody of them with their mother in a different state. I don't know how my brother does it, but he drives out to Pennsylvania to get them and bring them to NJ for his weekends and then takes them back. In the summer, he gets them for certain weeks, and that's why they were able to come on the trip.

Both girls have birthdays during this trip! I'd say Alanna is the more girly-girl of the two and can be very silly. Monica is a bit more serious and likes to know things. Last time I checked, she wanted to be a crime scene investigator.

Next up in age order would have been my brother Michael, but he did not come. So we move past him to the last of my three sisters: Patty.

Of all my siblings, Patty is the one I have the least in common with. We just seem to have completely different tastes in just about everything. As a result, I struggle with having a connection with her. As a family, we're definitely not as close as other families are, as evidenced by the fact that we can go days, weeks, or even months without talking to one another. So this gap between the two of us is in addition to that. Strangely, it wasn't like that when we were kids. In fact, a lot of my memories of WDW are of her and I going on rides and doing things because the older siblings were doing their own thing. Now, she's a big country music fan and loves the Pittsburgh Steelers. She'd be down with thrill rides normally, but she's a few months pregnant and that means she'll be taking it easy on this trip.

Next in the age order would be my spot, followed by my two younger brothers, Shawn and Timothy, who did not make the trip either.

My family is from NJ and even though I am only about 75 miles or so from them, I don't see them very often because of my work schedule, and they don't get to see us or our kids as often as they would like either. We're also in a bit of a different place family-wise because our two kids are so young and all my nieces and nephews are teenagers at the youngest. It's a big group and not everyone's going to be wanting to do the same things. Going into this trip, we had some concerns based on previous family trips about making it work and balancing the alone time versus the family time...

So now that the introductions are all taken care of... on with the show!!

scott2997 08-24-2012 08:18 AM

I'm in James....great looking family! :thumbsup2

shan23877 08-24-2012 09:10 AM

Joining in! Beautiful family!

GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes 08-24-2012 09:27 AM

This should be quite the adventure.
Looking forward to the rest of the story (and all the side stories).

tinkermama117 08-24-2012 09:29 AM

I'm in only to make sure you are only saying nice, sweet and polite things about your wife. I hear she's awesome!

katoot 08-24-2012 09:48 AM

I look forward to reading more (and maybe it will inspire me to finish my own...)!

declansdad 08-24-2012 10:28 AM

I'm in! Back to read later.

afwdwfan 08-24-2012 12:10 PM

Hi! I'm in, thanks to your well placed shameless plug!:thumbsup2

chocolateMinnie 08-24-2012 12:29 PM

Beautiful family, adorable kids now bring on the trip report :goodvibes:

MissTink 08-24-2012 12:32 PM

I'm in! :goodvibes


Originally Posted by tinkermama117 (Post 45927972)
I'm in only to make sure you are only saying nice, sweet and polite things about your wife. I hear she's awesome!

:rotfl: :thumbsup2

baseballmickey 08-24-2012 03:03 PM


Originally Posted by scott2997 (Post 45927130)
I'm in James....great looking family! :thumbsup2

Thanks, Scott!


Originally Posted by shan23877 (Post 45927719)
Joining in! Beautiful family!

Thanks for joining!! So nice to see you again!


Originally Posted by GoofyIsAsGoofyDoes (Post 45927953)
This should be quite the adventure.
Looking forward to the rest of the story (and all the side stories).

Thanks, Rob!


Originally Posted by tinkermama117 (Post 45927972)
I'm in only to make sure you are only saying nice, sweet and polite things about your wife. I hear she's awesome!

I'm going to tell it like it is. My readers pay good money for this and they deserve nothing but the honest truth! As long as she stays nice and sweet and polite, then that's what I'll be relating to them.

By the way, that guy James in the Introduction part... He sounds pretty awesome!


Originally Posted by katoot (Post 45928218)
I look forward to reading more (and maybe it will inspire me to finish my own...)!

Thanks, Casey. So far, just the thought of this TR inspired me to finish up the previous one. I'll see what I can do to keep that going.

Perhaps this will help too:


Originally Posted by declansdad (Post 45928666)
I'm in! Back to read later.

Thanks, Darcy!


Originally Posted by afwdwfan (Post 45929991)
Hi! I'm in, thanks to your well placed shameless plug!:thumbsup2

Thank you, Andy! Glad to see the plug did it's job. The DDC is well represented on page 1.


Originally Posted by chocolateMinnie (Post 45930210)
Beautiful family, adorable kids now bring on the trip report :goodvibes:

Thank you very much!


Originally Posted by MissTink (Post 45930256)
I'm in! :goodvibes

Welcome Aboard!! Thanks for taking the time to follow along!

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