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Old 05-25-2009, 10:29 PM   #1
King Charming
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The Exploding Trip 5/29-6/1

Hi all. For those who visit the cruise board I might be familar. I'm also Hypermommy's husband, for those who may know her. I wrote a pre & post TR about our first ever (and almost free) cruise Apr/May 08. We got bit real bad by the cruise bug and Castaway Cay, so our second (and last) family cruise will be Nov 09. (and there is a current PTR over there).

Anyway, we try to go semi-often, even buying Fla res passes in 06. But Mickey's boat cost too darn much, so future trips were put on hold to save for the return cruise. We were cool with that, even though it's been 18 mos for DW, and 30 months since I've last been there. Then the Mic said we could get in for free! Well, one of us at least, and only on our birthday. That got me thinking we could go down without the two boys, for just a day trip, and spend very few dollars. (I know, I should know better by now). I missed kidnapping my wife the morning of her Bday in April and hauling her away, mostly due to her job situation and my thin wallet. Then I kinda let slip that I wouldn't mind a quickie at the end of May for my Bday, provided she get a different job (or something like that). Ka-pow! she put in her two week notice and lined up a freelance gig. She also has a Disney related website, so we have another acceptable reason to show up there once in a while. The eating machines (aka DS 15 & DS 13) are even OK with staying behind, as a greater payoff looms large. (Yes, they had a blast on the boat)

But oh how a simple day trip did morph. Did ya know we could get Fla res 2 day passes for only $99 and a merchandise credit on my Bday? So we need a room, hum... extra magic hours Fri night at MK? Book us a room at the All Stars will save us parking fees also, so sure, I was fine with the upgrade. We'll go the 29 & 30 May. The only real snag wasn't what to do with the kids, but what to do with the 2 dogs. Heck, we know lots of fools, er.. friends who will make sure they don't kill each other, but taking in big and medium dog, no, not really. Boarding? I think not, as there is no line item for it in the new budget and this could kill the whole deal. Thankfully a fellow Boy Scouter will stay here with everyone both Fri & Sat night, allowing us to stay late on Sat night before heading home.

And then it happened again, he reached right into my pocket with barely a how ya doin? They stopped selling the 2 day pass! They now sell THREE day passes. Whoa, that means another night at A/S. Well, I guess I'll have to deal with it, we will just leave Sunday afternoon and be home by dinner.

Then D23 makes reserved seating available to the concert and fireworks at Epcot on Sunday evening. Of course DW's a first year member, and wouldn't it be nice.... Oh fiddle sticks, not again. How can this be happening to me? Just as that sinking feeling set in I remembered the kids. Oh good, we have kids and no one to watch them. That didn't last long as the neighbor said they could sleep over there Sunday nite. Ouch! So a third night was added to the reservation.

At least it won't cost the old checking account much as creative financing has again bailed me out. Some very insured clown rear ended me 2 weeks ago, and his insurance company has been very generous to me when they found out I wasn't claiming injuries. So I get to take a rental car to Orlando and I'll just let Mickey cash the check. Just tell me one thing, how does he ALWAYS know when I have a few extra bucks?

Last edited by King Charming; 06-06-2009 at 01:40 AM. Reason: add dates to title
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:43 AM   #2
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I believe I left off crying about costs that keep increasing, so I'll continue. Why should we be limited to only three parks in 3 days? Aren't there FOUR parks? When you have been away for as long as we have, all the parks have something new. Since another pit stop in Orlando is at least another 18 months away.... No! Not another night, please, I can't take all this pre trip fun. Instead we will add the park hopper option, only adding $25 to the $139 +tax tickets. Oh yeah, this is starting to sound more and more like the free cruise we won that only cost me $4.5K.

But I've found a way to save a few bucks by taking as much food as we can carry. I must have looked pretty silly packing all our stuff into the Pop 2 1/2 years ago. I even brought my own 2 wheel dolly to move our mini-frig, microwave, coffee maker, cases of food & soda, suitcases, et al. for a nine night stay. While the dolly will stay home, I'm sure a couple of good sized coolers will come along.

Now it is true that I can make Lincoln cry when I squeeze a penny, but I seem to have a soft spot in my heart for Mickey. (or is it a soft spot on my head?, or in my wallet?). It must be the joy that he spreads so thick that I can't resist. When you see that special Mickey smile on a family member's face, you just know that you have to do it again.

Hey, maybe the Mic will cut back on these free offers and I'll actually be able to save a few $$$. Naw, that takes all the fun out of it.
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:01 PM   #3
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Itinerary

At 7:30am I'll be at the car rental place that is 3 blocks away. They called the other day to tell me the insurance co. notified them so I made a res.
8:00 Home to load the car 8:15 Leave
1pm Arrive All Stars, attempt check in. NLT 1:30 Bus to Hollywood Studios
4pm Bus to A/S 5pm Swim/Check in 6pm Dinner 7pm Bus to MK 1am Bus to A/S
Sat
??am Hypermommy out Noon wake up/swim/eat 2pm Bus to A/K 7pm Bus to Epcot 10 pm Bus to A/S
Sun
8am Bus to Epcot (EMH) 10 pm Bus to A/S
Mon
10am wake up/swim 11 am Drive to Downtown Disney 1pm Leave Orlando 6pm Home

As you can tell, Fri's stop at HS is nothing more than just a photo op and being able to say we went. It's our least fav, but I'm sure we will find something interesting or new to do. The fireworks at MK are a must do for me, so doing it the first night gives us a second chance Sat if it rains. The forecast for Fri ain't so good, but Sat & Sun look alot better. The extra 3 hours tonight were at the top of the list for staying on property.

Being the hyper one, DW sleeps very little when near Disney. So she was OK with doing her own thing Sat am while I was sleeping off my Mickey hangover. We'll meet over at A/K, as it has great photo ops, Everest, and cool hats. Then over to either M/K or Epcot for the fireworks show. As long as we get a picture with Mickey, today will be considered a success.

There will be EMH Sun am at Epcot, so being here all day might take some of the sting from knowing we won't be back for many a moon. This is DW's fav park, and the ending of the Flower Festival. Tony Orlando will do a concert before a special(?) fireworks show. I love drinking and eating around the world when the buses run so promptly. If I end up recording Illumination both Sat & Sun nite it will give me a chance to edit to two together for something that might approach watchability. Maybe the reserved seats will offer a better angle to shoot from. I'm sure the video camera will get plenty of use as I'll be taking a neat little mini-tripod.

Monday morning we will try to stretch it out as long as possible before hitting the road. Getting back home is always such a reality slap; nobody asking what they can do for you, but plenty of obligations that can't be ignored any longer. Kinda make me wonder why it is even part of the plan....
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:44 PM   #4
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So if I'm reading it right, it's 1:45pm (eastern) on Friday so you are bumping your way to DHS on the lovely Disney transportation!! I'm sure you're going to have a great trip!!
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:18 PM   #5
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We are back

We had a blast!! The 'vacation' ended up a tad more expensive (as always), but we deserved a childless weekend. There were a few sore spots, some surprises and free stuff, and lots of celebrating.
Friday
Up at dawn for the both of us. Routine for DW, unheard of for me. We both slept fairly well. A quick ride to the rental car place had me there at 7:20, 10 mins prior to opening. Back home (3 blocks away) by 7:45, so we packed, loaded the car, and were away by 8:45. Huh? An hour? Well, the first trip out the driveway was appearently just practice, as we came back for (her) sunglasses. We made good time on the highway. It was a smooth ride until we neared Orlando, when my navigator went AWOL . Grumpy showed up pretty quick and was most unkind to his wife . I pulled it together at exactly 1:05 when we entered the lobby of the sports hotel. Check-in went fast (room was ready), and bought our tickets. I loved/hated our room location; Hoops hotel, way down at the end. On the plus side it was on the first floor and where nobody would be walking past. But I don't think you can find a room (3111) much further from BOTH the parking lot and food court. With the rate I got ($240 total for 3 nites), I didn't care. We made it to the bus stop by 2.
For some unknown reason we went to AK. I guess I wanted my new hat more than I was willing to admit. We did Everest (25 min wait), but mostly wandered around. The weather was iffy, raining on us while unloading the car, but it stayed dry the rest of the weekend.
Back to the bus and straight to MK. One of the highlights of the weekend occured at 7:15 when we walked under the railroad bridge and onto Main Street. First stop was the bakery for a turnover and choc milk. There was no parade tonight (boo), so more wandering until Wishes, which I videotaped. We had a fine angle with the fireworks just to the right of the castle, even with an obstructed view (darn that popcorn stand ). We expected the park to close at 9 with three more EMH; everything got pushed back an hour (hoo-ray). The longest wait was at Haunted Mansion, 30 mins at 10:30 and Peter Pan, 20 mins at 9:30. Small World was boarded up but open! I didn't ask why, but was glad so many other people assumed otherwise as I walked right on. We also walked right onto Pirates around midnight. We did everything we wanted to (no mountains), and were extremely content as we walked out at 12:53.
The bus situation could have been depressing, as only resort guests are leaving at this hour. There was only about a bus load of folks at the A/S Movie & A/S Music loading areas, but A/S Sports is slap full and we are at the end of the line . As we walk up bus 1 comes in for a load. After it leaves we watch we watch the other two A/S busses gobble up those people. 15(?) mins later bus 2 arrives for a load. About the time it fills up and everybody outside the bus begins to groan, bus 3 swoops in, pinning bus 2 in place, and gets us. We had to stand as we where the last to get on, but at least we were moving. After a minimal wait in a situation that had Grumpy raring to go, it was nice to get back to the hotel so fast. We were in bed by 3. It had been a great day, hitting two parks, and we still had 2 full days to go!
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:59 PM   #6
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But it's my Birthday

The best overall experience from the whole weekend was walking slowly. It was so darn nice to not be in a hurry. While families around us are whizzing by, we ambled. You get to notice the finer details that way; like hearing the music and talking from the open window of the Music & Dance Studio on the second floor, or strolling down the deadends to photograph the icons from a new angle. Without having to consult others (ie the kids), we just waltzed around like we owned the place and had all day to get there. It was totally stress free.

Going to the parks on your Bday is a blast if you like being recognized. They gave me a special button upon check-in to wear that you print your name on. Of course I wrote King Charming on it and received a warm welcome from darn near every CM I encountered. Most were amused and a few of them really got into it with me. I also got hit with some pixie dust and it really threw me for a loop. As we were leaving the park Fri nite (starting from the back), I stopped for french fries as the stand was closing. "That's alright" she said as she handed them to me, "and happy birthday!" (Yeah, I wore the button both Fri and Sat). Now I know what that usually means in the real world, but here? "No, really" she says as she shoos me away. The fries were hot and tasty.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:26 PM   #7
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Oh you guys sound like you had a wonderful time! So gald you could do it the way you wanted. I love research trips! I need photos and it was hard to tell, did you lose your video camera? I hope not.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:57 PM   #8
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My Dh and I went for the weekend for my birthday last April and left the kids at home. Of course being canadian I wasn't able to get the same discounts you got. But nonetheless it was great for two of the reasons you have mentioned.

1)As a Mom I don't usually make much of a fuss about myself and enjoyed it.
2)We took the time to do adult things at an adult pace without having to worry about pleasing the kids.

Can't wait to hear about the cruise!
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Old 06-13-2009, 05:30 AM   #9
Hypermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Charming View Post
As you may recall dearest, disagreeing with ANY assessment documented by the King is strictly forbidden!! I rule my kingdom with an iron fist! Now to the back of the line with you and we'll hear no more of this nonsense. (If it's alright w/ you dear).
Hmmmmmm... the cast iron is still all packed up from the last camping trip. Now what shall I use..... hmmmmmmmmmm

Quote:
Originally Posted by King Charming View Post
I'll be riding from now on.
Yippeeeee!!!!!! His feet really were a mess. I hate to see him feeling so bad because quite honestly, despite all the terrible teasing we do of each other, he really does treat me well and is a wonderful, wonderful man!!!! I was like a little kid at Disney thoroughly enjoying all the new stuff. I think I may have caught him kind of roll his eyes when I said we had to go through the standby line at Toy Story Midway Mania but I'm not 100% sure. He stood in line for 30 minutes for me to ride Peter Pan. He's just absolutely wonderful to me!!!

Now ... now that that's out of the way, I'll go back to my normal snarky self. Can't let his head get as big as Mickey's hands, you know.

[QUOTE=King Charming;32221920]I thought it quite ironic when I found the black box rodent traps around the property; seems Mickey doesn't like the compitition.[QUOTE]

Yeah, those were hilarious!!!!! The one by our room was right there out back by the little pond where the gator was. I think KC put it best when he reminded me that some people pay hundreds of dollars to stay in a room that allows them to see animals as soon as they wake up in the morning (AKL). But my baby gets them for me for a reasonable price!!! Ain't he wonderful!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by King Charming View Post
I got the greatest Grumpy T-shirt ever, better than "I'm Grumpy because you're Dopey". This one says "Genius by birth, Grumpy by choice".
Yep, that's my man!

Quote:
Originally Posted by King Charming View Post
And finally, as a great man said not so long ago, 'You can only spend a dollar once, memories last a lifetime'.
Ain't that the truth!!!! I lost my Daddy when I was 15 and it's not the things he gave me that I remember but the times... playing baseball out in the yard... the trip to Biloxi to visit his brother.... the time he put a fish down my kid sister's bathing suit.... the times he'd sit in his chair and "turn into a monster" and scare us until my mom would fuss at him.... (see... I was well trained at a young age).... the tickle fights. Yep... it's truly the memories that last.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplepeg View Post
** need photos and it was hard to tell, did you lose your video camera? I hope not.
I'll get some photos up in the next message. I understand that I've been falling down in my duties and sincerely hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me.

Yes... the video camera is lost. We have a habit of flipping the little bar on the door that replaced the chain lock (remember those?). This keeps the door open while we go out to have a smoke. But it also allows folks to peek in the room. So as we took a break from packing up to leave, we put a pillow over the camera so no one would peek in and see it laying there on the bed right by the door. Well..... we didn't do as good a job of checking on the room as we should have and the pillow never got moved again. We figure the camera went in the laundry with the sheets. KC has tried lost and found a couple of times but no luck. Bummer, too!!! Now I've got great video of Jammin' Jungle and Block Party that I can't see because I can't finalize the disk. And that probably wonderful video of Illuminations was on there too and that's probably one of the best spots we'll ever have for watching it. Guess I'll just have to continue to be a member of D23 so I can participate in the next dessert party they put together.
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:38 PM   #10
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Okay... so it took me all day to get things organized over at Photobucket. I had to resize each picture individually. Gotta find out if there's a bulk way to do this. Anyway... you asked for pictures ... be careful what you wish for!

KC at checkin


KC buying our tickets... bet it's some of the quickest few hundred dollars he's ever spent!


I like the flags that are up everywhere. Definitely like the balloons "What Will You Celebrate" motif better than the funky junk they had on the monorail for the Year(s) of (several) Million Dreams.


Ahhhh... we're on the bus and headed to the parks. Time to relax


Since it was a leisurely trip (no kids) we actually had time to spend in the Oasis in AK. We had a great time exploring all the little side paths and such.


Here's our host, KC's beloved buddy the Mouse, in the Jammin' Jungle Parade


See... it wasn't all that crowded.


Don't mess with the Yeti!



More pics to come tomorrow including MK for EMH, DHS and, my personal favorite, Epcot!
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Old 06-14-2009, 05:02 PM   #11
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As promised, more pictures........


After AK, we went over to MK for EMH. As we strolled up Main Street heading for the bakery I made Jim stop by the wooden indian for a picture that I'd always wanted.



Wishes!!!!


CoP 2009... actually everything we did this night was a classic... Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, POTC, Small World and Peter Pan. I don't remember anything else but it was really wonderful to spend the evening enjoying the classic attractions of the MK.




Okay, now it's King Charming's actual birthday. Look at the grin on that mug!!!!


Here's one of the few pictures you'll see of me. I'm usually behind the camera. But my man treats me like a princess!


Potato Head was GREAT!!!! I loved the entire TSMM ride and wish we'd had time to do it again. But I wanted to get to Epcot too so it was a tossup. But it was a great ride - great concept and excellently executed. And it's very nice to see Disney making the queue and experience too!


Okay, so maybe an army of two




Okay, that's enough pictures for now. Next up... Saturday Epcot for King Charming's birthday!
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