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tralin 11-03-2012 04:40 AM

Our Last Family Vacation: That WE pay for!
Last Family vacation: juggling teens and preschooler

Let me start with the basics, I’m Tracy, I’m in my early 40’s and I am the obsessive planner in the family. In fact, my family refused to even discuss our September Vacation until September. Fortunately I had the dis family to help me plan and feed my planning addiction. My family consists of Monty DH 46, Carly DD18, Erica DD16 and Kaitlin DD4.

We are from Vancouver, Canada so our original plans were to take just the DH, DD4 and I to Disneyland. But, we have a very persuasive travel agent who found a fantastic deal for us to take DH’s older 2 with us on one last family vacation. (At least one that WE pay for.) We had to adjust our plans from the first week of December to the third week of September but we were able to do that will little difficulty. I will get ahead of myself here (as you find I tend to do as you read on) and say that I will NEVER visit DW in September again. Our last trip was in 2008 in January and I will stick with the winter months. The heat and humidity pretty much did us in. But never did it affect the enjoyment of our once in a life time trip. I say once in a life time because it was DD4 (Kaitlin’s) first introduction to everything Disney and even though I knew she would love it, watching her STILL exceeded my expectations.

If you’re still with me, let’s get started and re-visit the happiest place on earth.

Our trip began several thousand miles away. We had quite the debate about getting there. Airfare from Seattle was half the price from Vancouver so we decided to drive to Seattle. Option A: Leave at a respectable time and get to the resort at midnight (don’t forget about the 4 year old.) or Option B: leave at the ridiculous time of 5:30am and get to the resort at dinner time, leaving everyone time to eat and relax. But that meant leaving Vancouver at midnight. (Don’t forget about the 4year old).

We chose Option B and waivered on spending the night at a hotel in Seattle, however, since we were getting BACK to Seattle at midnight we thought staying in the hotel on the other end of the trip made more sense. (Don’t forget about the 4 year old.) So what would be better to work around a very active (not hyper just very busy) preschooler who is anything but a couch potato. We were banking on her sleeping most of the way. A gamble I know. We hadn’t travelled like this with her before so we had no idea how she would react.

So, Day 1 looked like this:

Midnight: Leave Vancouver, Kaitlin woke up (I had counted on her sleeping the whole way) and did not sleep for another 2 hours. We drove the 3.5 hour trip to Seattle, parked the car and Kaitlin woke up again. We boarded plane number one at 5:30am and flew 2 hours to San Fran. Kaitlin stayed awake the entire time. (I had counted on her sleeping the whole way.) She did really well for her first plane ride though. We changed planes (thank god I listened to the diser’s here and decided to buy a stroller instead of renting one so that I had airport use) and boarded the next flight to Orlando. A 5 hour flight. Kaitlin was still awake. But I had planned for this, I pulled out the shinny new Leap Pad 2 which I spent a fortune loading with all things awesome for just such an emergency. However, she was handing it back to me within 30 seconds and getting cranky. I realized she was tired (Of course, she hasn’t slept near what I was hoping she would) so I pulled out her blanket and pillow (thank god I listened to the diser’s here) and she cuddled up and slept the entire 5 hours. So, now do I wake her up and risk cranky child on a small cramped plane or let her sleep and risk having her up all night. With consideration to the other passengers, we let her sleep.

We were all checked in a ready to go to our room at the Caribbean Beach Resort by 6:00pm. (3:00pm Vancouver time.) The resort was beautiful. It exceeded our expectations straight off. We were located in Jamaica 45 as requested. It was only a 5 minute walk to the pool and concessions so we were thrilled. Although this was our last family trip and most of the trip itinerary would center around Kaitlin, we did have big surprise for Carly (18) and Erica (16). We got to the very small room with only 2 double beds for 5 people and asked them where they would like to sleep. Both of them were troopers but I don’t’ think either had given much thought about the cramped quarters. They masked their facial expressions very well and said wherever would be fine. So I hand each of them a key and said “how about each of you take one bed?” I so should have had the video camera on as the look of shocked realization that they would actually have their own privacy came. As requested we had connecting rooms so total freedom wasn’t going to be had, but at least they could live in their own mess and heat. (They like a very warm room. So warm that there is almost no difference going from their room to outside. In fact, so warm that they attracted not one but TWO hissing cockroaches in their room. I have to state that this resort is beautiful and we found it very clean so it was absolutely no fault of the resort that these girls attracted the bugs. We were right next door in a refrigerator and had no issues.)

View from our room.

We all settled in and headed out for a bite to eat and to explore the resort. We did not have high expectations on food quality and found it to be neither good nor bad. We checked the pool times as Kaitlin had slept for the last 5 hours and DH did not, I thought I would take her to the pool while Monty got an early bedtime. (with work and all he only had maybe 5 hours of sleep out of 36 hours.) We read the time wrong though and thought it closed at 8pm instead of the actual 11pm. What was I going to do with this kid? We went back to the hotel room to find that Mickey had left a whole bunch of presents. (I had shopped the 50% off sale at the Disney store before we left) Everyone got PJ’s and shirts. Kaitlin didn’t really know what to think as she had no idea about the adventures she was about to have.

By 9:30 we were all in bed looking for a good night sleep. (6:30 our time with a kid that had a 5 hour nap.) Somehow though and with a lot less fight than I anticipated, even Kaitlin fell asleep.

tralin 11-03-2012 05:32 AM

First ever meet and greets, First Ride
Day 1
Because we are west coast dwellers and because we were dragging along 2 teenagers, I had only planned one early morning wake up. This was not it. We got up about 9am, went for breakfast a little shopping in the gift shop (as recommended on the dis,) I let Kaitlin buy one thing so that I would not be hounded all day. She chose a very cute Minnie Mouse hat (yep, the red one with white polka dots and the Minnie face.) Then we got on the bus for Animal Kingdom. I have to interject here that with the exception of the last day; I found the transit system awesome. I had heard horror stories about CBR and wait times, but we never ever waited more than 5 minutes in any direction. One of the trip reports that I am still following and love (she still hasn’t finished and she went in May) had said that they found it easier leaving from Old Port Royale and I have to say that for the most part we did to.

We arrived at Animal Kingdom and Kaitlin was about jumping out of her skin with excitement. What was funny was that she didn’t really know what she was so excited about. We had watched some You Tube videos in preparation, but so not the same as being there, especially if you have never been there.

Animal Kingdom is our least favorite park. In my opinion it’s like a big zoo and we don’t like zoos. Kaitlin wants to touch, feel, feed, play with the animals, all this looking stuff is of no interest to her. But, this park does have the best ride, which is why we decided to get this park out of the way first. We got our Photo pass Plus redeemed (I bought early and got the discount, best money I EVER spent.) then we headed off to get Everest Fast passes. Kaitlin is 42 inches tall and loves the thrill rides at our local park, so fortunately, she could go on all but a handful of rides. Our fast passes were about 40 minutes away so we ran over to Kali River Rapids for our first ride. I knew by the way we ended up sitting that I was going to be soaked and Kaitlin too. We came down the first hill and got a little wet. The girls sitting across from us were laughing at Kaitlin’s reaction when a sudden shower of water popped up behind them getting them soaked. Kaitlin thought that was the best ever. Carly and Erica, not so much. Somehow Daddy got off the ride dry as a bone. Another opportunity to teach Kaitlin that life is not always fair.

It was time for our fast passes. This was also Erica’s first trip to Disneyworld as she chose not to come with us in 2008, so this was her first time. I let Monty go with his girls first while I tried to figure out how to entertain Kaitlin. Snacks are always a good start. Within 15 minutes, they were back! My turn, with rider swap, the girls got to ride again. Again, we were back in 15 minutes. We added the photos to our PP+.

Monty was adamant on taking Kaitlin on the dinosaur ride. I wasn’t so sure, it’s very jerky and loud and she wasn’t yet acclimated to Disney Theming. We passed Prime Evil Twirl first which caught the girl’s eye. Kaitlin wasn’t big enough for that one so I took her on the triceratops spin ride. Boring!!!!!! She wasn’t impressed after Kali. But getting out the exit she saw something that did tweak her interest. She wasn’t too sure what it was though. Upon investigation I saw a short line with Pluto and Goofy at the end. I continue to underestimate my kid cause she knew who they where and was asking for her autograph book for them to sign. I didn’t even know she knew what the autograph book was for. Anyway, a quick call to Dad to let him know where we were and in line we stood. I had Kaitlin watch the other kids so she could get the idea. This was her very first meet and greet. Monty and the girls arrived just as it was our turn. She cautiously approached at first and handed over the book with some encouragement. Pluto tried to get her to dance with him while goofy signed but she was too busy staring and didn’t get what he wanted. A couple of hugs later and she were realizing what this was all about. She blew them kisses good bye and we pulled her out. (She wasn’t leaving).

I didn’t think that smile would ever come off, but then we went on the Dinosaur ride.

I relented and we headed for the ride. We should have checked the fast pass as it was already being redeemed, but it was the first day and we were all still thinking about the big adventure so we just got into the standby line. It wasn’t so long and before we knew it we were on the ride. (again, thanks to the dis I had bought glow sticks for Kaitlin for the darker rides so she wouldn’t be so scared and other guests wouldn’t be interrupted. We even ended up sharing some with other kids along the trip.) This glow stick was fantastic idea. The ride was not. She was a trooper though, and I even thought she was enjoying it for a while, but at the end she simply said “I didn’t like that ride.” I hope this would not bite us in the butt later trying to get her on other rides.

We were all hot and tired and not used to this humidity (have I mentioned that I will never go to Florida in September again?) It was time for our ADR. Our FIRST ADR for the trip and I was excited about this one. Tusker House! (True to free dining, almost all of our ADR’s were busy and not accepting walk ups, if you go during Free Dinning, be prepared. Thankfully, we were.)

As Shannon knows, thanks to her, I changed my ADR’s 100 times while planning this trip. And because of her I decided to give this one a try, AND it would give Kaitlin an opportunity to meet some characters without wasting park time. The hard part about this trip was accommodating the age ranges of everyone. I thought this one was kid exciting for Kaitlin, had enough variety for the teen vegetarians and enough atmosphere for mom and dad. It was a good thing we had this one too as it would prove to be the ONLY time we saw Mickey.

This restaurant was amazing. We all loved the atmosphere but Monty wasn’t so impressed with the food. He hates curry so even though there was enough variety without curry, his blinders went up and he didn’t see it. Kaitlin LOVED it. She began jumping up and down and flapping her arms in excitement. She was catching on to this character meet thing. Daisy came in and got the kids to dance and form a conga type line. Kaitlin was still new to all of this so she preferred to stand on a chair and watch. Every time Daisy brought the line by she would tap her head or touch her cheek. Kaitlin loved it. We really did try to get a nice picture of her and Mickey, but she wouldn’t let go.

It was Mickey so mom and dad got a picture too, but she still wouldn’t let go. We finally pried her off of the mouse and headed out. We checked the line for the Safari (we weren’t expecting to do it anyway) and found that it was way too long. We slowing sauntered towards the entrance taking in the atmosphere. We stopped and took pictures, some PP some not. We decided not to do anymore meet and greets there as we had just met or had plans to meet most of the ones offered and Kaitlin by this time was asking “Mommy, where are the princesses?” And that right there is why we did Animal Kingdom first. This was the last time we would go even an hour without seeing, hearing or meeting a princess.

StitchIsOurHero 11-03-2012 05:46 AM

I"m here!! Can't wait to read more! Kaitlyn is much braver than me...I still haven't ridden Dinosaur! :lmao:

momjeeps 11-03-2012 05:57 AM

Subbing! Can't wait to here about the rest of the trip! Something keep my occupied as I wait my 17 more days! :)

Vatrahaki 11-03-2012 06:29 AM

I am enjoying your review so far. We'll be at WDW in a little over a month. I have a 3yo daughter, so I am particularly interested in reading about your DD4 adventures.

pooksma 11-03-2012 07:54 AM

Hello fellow Canadian:wave2: Great start to your adventures. This remindes me of DS first trips when he got so excited and didn't really know why :rotfl2:

shan23877 11-03-2012 08:15 AM

I'm here! Great start so far!

I love that you got the older girls their own room, that's so thoughtful. Too bad about the cockroach though. :scared1:

I'm so glad that you loved CBR. I just think it's gorgeous.

Sounds like a great idea to start at AK. It's our least favorite too. Love all of the pictures-the one with Goofy and Pluto is priceless.

Darn it! Sorry that Tusker House wasn't as popular with the whole family, but as long as DD loved it that's all that matters right? Isn't it a gorgeous place? I can't believe that it's just a character buffet. The main room is so detailed and pretty!

OH Boy! Here we go on the princess world tour! :rotfl: I can't wait (sounds very familiar :laughing:)

And, sorry again about making you change all those ADRs, good thing I'm going so slow on my TR or I may have made it worse! ;)

tralin 11-03-2012 01:32 PM


Originally Posted by StitchIsOurHero (Post 46617269)
I"m here!! Can't wait to read more! Kaitlyn is much braver than me...I still haven't ridden Dinosaur! :lmao:

It's not our favorite and I guess the first time we did it we were experienceing Disney Magic because it was much more boring than we remembered. I am so sad that your TR is over but I'll be sure to follow the next one. Glad you guys had a great trip and thanks for jumping over here.

Subbing! Can't wait to here about the rest of the trip! Something keep my occupied as I wait my 17 more days!

Welcome! One thing I learned on here is that all the kids are SO different. You have to really know and listen to your kid. Kaitlin enjoyed the "kid" rides thanks to all the theming. But she is a real dare devil. This board saved me the last few weeks leading up. Enjoy!

I am enjoying your review so far. We'll be at WDW in a little over a month. I have a 3yo daughter, so I am particularly interested in reading about your DD4 adventures.

I was adamant that I wanted to take Kaitlin at age 4 for the magic and I am so glad I did. You are going to love watching your little one take in the magic. Thanks for joining.

Hello fellow Canadian Great start to your adventures. This remindes me of DS first trips when he got so excited and didn't really know why

Welcome! It was priceless seeing her so excited and then watching her take it all is as she "gets" it. The best was yet to come though. Animal Kingdom has nothing on the rest of the parks. :goodvibes

I'm here! Great start so far!

I love that you got the older girls their own room, that's so thoughtful. Too bad about the cockroach though.

I'm so glad that you loved CBR. I just think it's gorgeous.

Sounds like a great idea to start at AK. It's our least favorite too. Love all of the pictures-the one with Goofy and Pluto is priceless.

Darn it! Sorry that Tusker House wasn't as popular with the whole family, but as long as DD loved it that's all that matters right? Isn't it a gorgeous place? I can't believe that it's just a character buffet. The main room is so detailed and pretty!

OH Boy! Here we go on the princess world tour! I can't wait (sounds very familiar )

And, sorry again about making you change all those ADRs, good thing I'm going so slow on my TR or I may have made it worse!
Today 05:54 AM
YAY! you made it. I loved TH, Monty was just a picky eater. He got better. We would definatley do it agian. Last time we were there he fell in love with the Mango Pie at Yak and Yeti and was too busy missing that. Yes, we are about to share a lot of similar experiences. Thanks for coming over.

tralin 11-03-2012 01:55 PM

Finally get to meet a princess
The plan was to go from Animal Kingdom to the Grand Floridian but everyone was tired and hot and done with AK so we decided to head back to the hotel for a swim and change cloths. Kaitlin loved the pool. She wasn’t brave enough to try the slides, but really enjoyed just swimming around. The girls had a nap.

Our ADR was for 6pm so we got ready to go and hopped the bus. The heat and excitement were catching up with Kaitlin as she fell asleep on the way. We hadn’t told her we were having dinner with Cinderella. She wanted princesses so I wanted to make the first meeting a very magical one. We got to Magic Kingdom and decided to take the monorail over the boat that was just leaving. As I saw the huge line up at the monorail I realized this was a mistake. I had read on the dis about the monorail problems so we turned around waited for the next boat before everyone else figured it out.

On my two previous visits I had always longing looked at the Grand Floridian as we sailed by and now was my chance to see what was inside. It’s absolutely beautiful, but I think it’s way too fancy for me to be comfortable in. Nice place to visit though. We had to wake Kaitlin up for the reservation and had a bit of trouble getting her to take the picture. The older girls were putting their foot down on the picture taking so it was just the 3 of us and ironically it turned out to be one of our best shots.

We still hadn’t told Kaitlin yet who was inside. We walked in just as the Prince was being introduced. Once again I underestimated my child because as soon as she saw him she knew which prince he was and which princess he belonged too. We were seated just at Cinderella was being introduced and Kaitlin could not take her eyes off of her. She followed her through every table until she got to ours. Of course Kaitlin needed a bathroom break and while we were gone they did their dance thing. We missed most of it but when we got back the girls eagerly had to share how one of the step sisters was eyeing Monty up for dance. I guess the look on his face was priceless as he quickly moved out of range. Sorry I missed that one.

We chose this one partly because of the step family and the reports that this was so entertaining. The food was actually better than I thought it would be and even DH was satisfied. The problem I quickly learned about character meals is that the kids barely eat. Kaitlin saw the Prince emerge from the other room and he headed straight for her. He was nice enough and treated her like a princess. But of course, he was a prince, Not a princess.

Soon Cinderella herself appeared and Kaitlin was about beside herself. She couldn’t get any words out. Cindy was awesome and asked lots of questions. We got some cute photos.

Drusilla came by and was gone in 30 seconds, then Anastasia. She actually chatted for quite a while. I told her I had to step kids myself (pointing to the girls) and wondered just how they got Cinderella to do all the chores. “Look them in their room” she said. “Just make sure you can keep the mice away.” Kaitlin actually got that one. Sadly, the Step Mother disappeared and never returned. We saw her introduced but she left after the dancing and didn’t’ come back. I was disappointed by the characters in this one as I guess my expectations were a little high from the reviews. But Kaitlin had a fantastic time and that’s what counts.

Now that my child was duly hyped up it was time for EMH in MK. The only plan for tonight was to see the fireworks so that we didn’t have to leave with everyone else after them on our full MK day. Anything else after that was gravy.

It was about 7:30pm and the girls had space mountain on the brain so we let them run off. We took Kaitlin and just wondered around the square for a bit taking in the atmosphere. We went in the hat shop and Kaitlin quickly fell in love with the pink princess ears. She was wearing her Birthday button so one of the Cm’s said if she wanted the hat he would engrave her name for free. He gave me a card and we continued to shop. In the end that was the one she wanted to I took the hat and the card up to the till to pay for it and get it engraved. They seemed really confused and went back and forth to the back room and couldn’t figure out how to put it through the till. About 15 minutes later they finally told me to come back in another 15 to pick up the engraved hat. So we shopped a bit more, Kaitlin got a Mickey Balloon and we just savored the evening. When I went to pick up the hat they gave it to me and told me to have a magical night. I said “but I still have to pay for it”. The CM stated it was already paid or they wouldn’t have engraved it. There was a line up behind me so I walked out very confused, then I realized the reason for the delay at the till was that they thought the hat was free not just the engraving. I went in to fix the mistake (I had to set an example to the 4 year old) but the manager told me it was already done and to have a magical night. Gotta love Disney Pixie Dust.

We saw the fireworks, Kaitlin was in awe, and then we decided to try a couple of rides. We wanted to be out of the park no later than 11 so as to miss most of the crowd. We asked Kaitlin what ride she wanted first, expecting Small World or Pooh, but nope, Pirates of the Caribbean. Then it was Thunder Mountain and THEN Small world. The girls headed for Space Mountain avoiding Small world like the plague. We ended the night with the carousel and a nice walk through the castle. By this time it was 11:30 and we were pooped. Trouble is, so was everyone else and we ended in the crowed for the bus. Fortunately we got there just as one bus pulled up, loaded and we were easily on the next bus within 10 minutes. But what really got me worked up was that Kaitlin was passed out in Monty’s arms and do you think a single person offered a seat? Nope, not one! He had to stand and hold her the entire ride home. About 20 minutes! I did see this happen a lot where seats were not given up.

I have to say though, at every park no matter what time, the line for AoA was insane!!!! This night, they were cheering as busses pulled up. I’m hoping that’s just because it’s new and probably have a few tweaks to make.

TIP: If you are going to buy your child the Mickey Mouse Ears Balloon, get it on the way OUT of the park!!!!! So didn’t do this and it was a pain in the butt all night.

scottny 11-03-2012 02:09 PM

Great start to the report. CBR is so pretty and looks like a full day there.

Looking forward to more.

Vatrahaki 11-03-2012 04:19 PM

I loved your DD4's reaction when she met Cinderella! Seeing the happiness in her face made me laugh. So adorable! Before my daughter was born, I rarely got excited over anything. Ever since her birth, I live vicariously through her and I now smile everyday.

tralin 11-04-2012 07:19 PM


Originally Posted by Vatrahaki (Post 46620457)
I loved your DD4's reaction when she met Cinderella! Seeing the happiness in her face made me laugh. So adorable! Before my daughter was born, I rarely got excited over anything. Ever since her birth, I live vicariously through her and I now smile everyday.

She had the reaction meeting ALL the characters. Even the ones she met more than once. I agree though, the world is a completely, different and fabulous place when seeing through the eyes of a 4 year old.

Great start to the report. CBR is so pretty and looks like a full day there.

Looking forward to more.

CBR is definately beautiful. The one mistake I made in planning this trip, besides choosing September, was that it was 1 day too short and we didn't get a day just to hang out at the resort.

tralin 11-04-2012 07:36 PM

Princess Palooza and Big Kid Rides
Day 2
This was our full Magic Kingdom day, aka, tour of the princesses. And it started the minute we walked into the park at 11am.

A CM pulled us over to Aurora who only had 5 minute wait. You know your kid is excited when other parents in line are commenting “oh my god, look how excited that little girl is”. Jumping and flapping arms. Kaitlin decided to show Aurora her curtsy. Aurora dutifully returned the favor and then tried to keep her still long enough for a good shot. Turned out really good.

Then it was across the center to the Town Hall for the Princesses there. A 20 minute wait so we sent the girls off again while we waited. It turned out to be a 30 minute wait but oh so worth it. Cinderella, Belle and Rapunzel in that order. Another fantastic Cinderella had her blowing kisses to the video camera and showing Kaitlin how to curtsy. (This was now a routine for every princess we met.) Belle was also fantastic and started jumping up and down with her. Rapunzel was actually a little lame and seemed like she was just trying to get through the line. It didn’t matter though, Kaitlin only had one more Princess in mind: Snow White and knew she was just outside.

As luck would have it Snow White walked away just as we were showing up. So, we got a pp photo taken in front of the castle, then met Daisy and by the time all that was complete, Snow White was back.

Seeing her Idol for the first time.

This was the absolute best meet and greet for Kaitlin. She was over the moon excited and once again speechless. They exchanged curtsies and a hug. I prompted Kaitlin to tell Snow White who she was going to be for Halloween. Snow White dutifully played and long and said “dopey?” Kaitlin couldn’t speak; she just kept jumping up and down and pointing at Snow White. Snow White played along masterfully and said “ME?” She told Kaitlin she had to come see her at the Halloween party to meet her prince and don’t forget about her dwarfs. Kaitlin was to give a special hello to Dopey from Snow White. While this was very cute, in the end it kind of screwed us at the Halloween Party because Kaitlin now absolutely HAD to meet the Dwarfs and I was not into standing in line for 2 hours just for a photo. We would worry about that later though as now it was finally food and ride time. 5 princesses in one hour and Daddy and I felt we had earned it.

We met up with the girls and we headed to the Liberty Tree Tavern for some lunch, as recommended on the dis. And of course it wasn’t far from where we were. It was as good as the recommendations and it was so nice to get something other than fried food.

We asked Kaitlin what she wanted to do. Pirates!!! Ok then, off to pirates we went. On the way we passed the Haunted Mansion. Kaitlin was obsessed with the You Tube videos so I asked her if she wanted to give it a try. She said yes so I reminded her it was just like Halloween and they were only pretend ghosts. “I know mommy” she said sarcastically. The girls ran off of get Splash Mountain Fast passes while we got in line for the Mansion. We chose to do the interactive line and it was lots of fun. The line moved so fast though that we rushed through it. Inside I again whispered that it was just pretend. I handed her a glow stick which again proved to be smart. She even gave her stick to another little boy who seemed a little scared and then asked me for another one. She did pretty good and we only covered her ears and eyes in the beginning. She was a little apprehensive until we got to the ballroom scene and then loved every minute stating at the end “that wasn’t scary at all mom!” Have I mentioned that I keep underestimating this kid? (She is also the kid in the Halloween aisle at the store laughing at all the scary props while 8 year olds are going by with their eyes closed.)

By now the girls were back with fast passes and we continued onto do Pirates again. There was no line so we zipped through.

Once we were done it was our fast pass time for Splash Mountain. I should mention here that we have a “log ride” at our local park but Kaitlin is too small for it still and it devastates her every time we go. Nothing and No one was going to keep her off of THIS log ride. Once we got to the end I wasn’t sure what she thought. “Let’s do that again!” Ok, it’s confirmed, I have a thrill ride kid.

I went to get the photo and sent everyone else on to get fast passes for Pooh. Here’s where the heat and humidity began to take its toll and the day started to take a bit of a turn.

When I caught up to everyone, they were sitting outside of Pooh with no fast passes. They didn’t know where to get them. I guess when I said outside Mickey’s Philharmagic and pointed it out as we passed by in the morning, no one was really paying attention and I wasn’t clear enough. Kaitlin really wanted to ride the Teacups which were close by and since we aren’t in our 20’s anymore, neither Monty or I can do spinning rides anymore so we sent the girls with her. I went to get Fast passes while they waited for the ride. BONUS I got surprise Dumbo passes too!

I got back just as the girls were getting on the ride and Monty mentioned to me that everyone was hot and tired and maybe we should go back to the hotel for a break. This really meant that HE was hot and tired and didn’t want to miss anything so we should all go back for a break. After I counted to 10 before I responded with my knee jerk reaction (age does have some benefits in that I am learning to keep my mouth shut and think before I speak) I told him it was already 4pm and the electrical parade of which HE wanted to see was at 8pm and there was no other opportunity to see it which meant that if we went back to the hotel now, we would miss the parade. (I wasn’t leaving just to come back for only the parade.) I suggested we grab some ice cream and everyone could talk about it. (Knowing that by the time we did that there would be no options left, either leave for the day or stay.) The girls got off the ride and everyone was up for ice cream. On the way we passed the speedway and my tomboy kid HAD to drive the race cars. Monty was still pouting so I took the higher road and asked him if he wanted to take Kaitlin on this one and I would sit out and take pictures giving him some one on one time. I know him well enough to recognize he needed a recharge and Kaitlin was usually the best way to do that. Is that manipulation???? Anyway, technically Kaitlin was not big enough to drive but they let her behind the wheel anyway and Monty stepped on the gas. The kid was in heaven!!!!! She’s a crazy driver but she was in heaven and kept telling Monty to go faster. It was so cute. Anyway, everyone else got off in a much better mood (so I don’t feel guilty about the manipulation) and we got some ice cream. By this time it was time for the Pooh ride which Kaitlin enjoyed, but it wasn’t a thrill ride and she didn’t feel the need to that again. We decided to go on Dumbo and the girls drew the line in the sand. They went back to space mountain while we got on Dumbo. Just like the dinosaur spin ride the previous day, it was ok, but it wasn’t a thrill ride. The storm clouds were brewing when we got off so we found the girls and decided to find someplace for dinner before the water came. Much to my surprise they wall wanted to go back to liberty tree tavern so off we went. Everyone ordered something different than last time and we enjoyed a very nice relaxing meal while it absolutely poured torrential rain outside for about 20 minutes. The down side is that this also put the parade in jeopardy.

By the time we emerged from dinner the rain had passed, the sun was back out and it was 7pm. The rain cooled everything off so everyone was feeling better, had fully tummies, and went to find a spot for the parade. There was a great spot with some seating left in the hub but I had a bad feeling about it. As more and more people were gathering I asked Monty to ask a CM if the Parade even came this way as it didn’t make sense to me. Seems people really are sheep and as someone sat down hundreds of others followed without questions and soon the area that would not even see the parade was full of spectators. We quickly moved back through Liberty Square and found an open spot right across from the Diamond Horseshoe. What luck. I sat on a cement slab with the girls while Monty held the spot. Soon it was 8pm, then 8:10 then 8:15. Finally an announcement that the parade was about to start. The people next to us bolted to the other side. I thought that was strange but then Monty said the entire time he was standing there they were talking very loudly to each other, but never to him, how rude that we had taken their teenage daughters spot. A: then she should not have left and B: maybe they should have said something when we asked if we could stand there when we arrived. Anyway, the parade started and we were in a fantastic spot. Kaitlin and Monty were mesmerized. (The two of them are light freaks. You should see our house at Xmas. ) The girls never got off the slab and eyes never diverted from their phones. Wi-Fi is NOT always a friend. When it was over, Monty said that it was worth the wait and not having a break. Vindication! Of course, the late start now has us leaving the same time as everyone else. We pushed our way through the crowd trying desperately to get back to the front gate before the fireworks were over. We made it on the first bus. (and didn’t even have to stand.)

We got back to the resort, went to the food court to refill drinks and get snacks and relax. It was at this time as we were putting the key into the slot that Erica very nervously said “what the hell is THAT!” In the window we could see the first cockroach in their room. Monty got it out, we told them to turn on the air conditioning, unlike most teens they listened, NOT! Finally, we all got to sleep. Good thing, cause the next day was going to test my "flexability" and patience.

momjeeps 11-05-2012 10:01 PM

Enjoying your TR! Two weeks from tomorrow for me.

shan23877 11-05-2012 10:36 PM

Caught up! Such wonderful pictures and memories of Kaitlin and the princesses!! I love the ones of Cinderella having her blow kisses, and the Snow White ones!

You really do have a thrill rider! Lucky for you and her sisters that she's not really into the 'baby rides' :rotfl:

So glad that you enjoyed LTT-we've yet to eat there. I've heard really good things about it though.

Good job keeping the family there! Sometimes 30 mins of sitting is just what the doctor ordered. And ice cream never hurts. :laughing: I'm so glad that you got to see MSEP. One of my favorite memories from childhood visits. :goodvibes

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