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Old 09-21-2009, 04:39 PM   #1
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Cool Funny Faces and Haircuts:The Princess and The Duck-First Trip*3/9 Earning Our Ears

Welcome to our crazy, funny face makin’, Donald Duck chasin’ trip report. We arrived back in the real world last Friday (9/18) and we are already ready to go back to our new home away from home the wonderful Wilderness Lodge. Our trip was filled with magical moments and magical meltdowns, along with memories that will last a lifetime.

Join us on our journey and you will our ups and downs, mostly caught on camera. We ended up taking about a thousand photos and we could have taken well more than that if experiencing the little moments hadn’t taken over.

For those of you who didn’t read our Pre-TR here is a link. But let me reintroduce you to our cast of crazy characters….

Me: (Mommy) Disney lover for as long as I can remember, never been to Disney World (or Disneyland for that matter) before. I was looking forward to EVERYTHING! Not only would we be experiencing things through our own eyes but the eyes of our kiddos. The magic is alive in this family! I was the master planner, packer and researcher for this trip. A job I am sure I will be sharing with DH next time since he has been converted to a Disneyaholic!!

DH: (Daddy) Had been to WDW one time about 10 years ago and was not impressed *gasp*. He was looking forward to doing Disney the right way and seeing it through the kid’s eyes. He has defiantly become a Disney convert since our trip and was saying over and over he wanted to go back as soon as we left! Lets see how that turns out....

DS (4): Our new little music box! He is our angel, most of the time. This trip was planned for maximum magic for him and he played along beautifully! He was on constant look out for his “favorite guy” (Donald Duck of course) and can sing nearly every song that played in most of the rides! He showed how fearless he was facing down roller coasters and characters alike with humor and excitement!

DD (2): Our little princess! She took this trip fantastically better than could be expected! She likes her routine so pulling her through 4 parks for 7 days was bound to be a recipe for disaster more often than not. To our surprise she was pretty go-with-the –flow for most of the trip, not to say that our meltdown moments didn’t come fast and furious at times. She didn’t lose her independent streak as she tried to push me OUT of the car on Goofy’s Barnstormer or Winnie the Pooh so she could ride alone. LOL

To begin I will give you a few highlights. Our trip not only surpassed our hopes but shot them out of the park for the most part. We learned what we liked as a family and what we can pass on for next time, which is a valuable tool to have. Our plan was a 6 night/ 7 day trip staying at the Wilderness Lodge. We had originally bought park hoppers but decided we didn’t need them so we had 6 day base tickets giving us one day off from the parks. We were arriving midday on Friday 9/11 and leaving evening Thursday 9/17 giving us half days in the parks those days.

Stay tuned for stories of DS hitting on the Princesses, DD's hair fiasco, DS finally meetin’ the Duck, 10 sets of clean towels, magical call from Goofy and touring MANY WDW bathrooms.

I finally convinced DH to join and add his two cents in so when he adds to the story I will update him in the links as well! (In red)
FIRST UP: Final Preparations!

Here We Go

We Have Arrived
Disney Meltdown
Dining With the Princesses
Around the World Part 1
Around the World Part 2
Illuminations and EMH

Waking up is hard to do...
Breakfast With Pooh and Friends
Halloween Sidebar
Tut Tut It Looks Like Rain Part 1
Tut Tut It Looks Like Rain Part 2
Mousekeeping Who? and Dinner with Mickey
DH's Trip Rememberings
DH Explains the Hairy Situation

Breakfast at DHS Part 1!
Breakfast at DHS Part 2!
Video of "CHA CHA CHA" Dance
Who Needs a Stinkin' Touring Plan Part 1
Who Needs a Stinkin' Touring Plan Part 2
DH's Magical Moment
Keep Walking Nimcompoop!

Mustang Sally has a bad day!
Lorelai's First Haircut!

Explorin' Tomorrowland
Splashin' Around

A Mad Hatter and a Pirate
Random GF Photos
A Model is Born
DH is Banished
Legos and Ponies Part 1
Legos and Ponies Part 2

Will this Bus Ride EVER END????
This is Disney Feels more like the Amazon!
What to do...
Our Last Night

The End Begins... Tales of no underpants
Earning our Ears

OT-Medieval Times TR

Last edited by PrncessA; 03-09-2010 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:44 AM   #2
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What a cute family you guys are!

Isn't it amazing how truly magical Disney World is! Our first trip to Disney back in 1998 when our son was just 1 and our daughter was 11. 11 years later, we have 14 trips under our belt. Never in a million years, did we think we'd become certified Disneyholics.

I love seeing Disney World through a first time visitor's eyes and look forward to reading all about your Disney adventures!


2014 trip report: Disney dangled the visual weinee and Mickeystoontown gobbled it up! Our two week adventure!

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Old 09-23-2009, 02:17 PM   #3
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Here we go....

Sorry about no photos in this chapter, but I promise the rest of the trip is full of them. I didn't get the camera out until after we went through airport security.
Our trip started with the day before we left. Our plan had been to have our bags packed on Wednesday so that we would have all of Thursday to relax and really start our vacation. I knew this would not happen but it was a wish none the less. LOL Those of you who read my Pre-TR know that DH had extreme dental surgery about a month ago. We were hopeful that he would be completely healed by the time we went to Disney but as we got closer we knew it was going to be a stretch. This was devesating to me since we had booked the DxDDP specifically because DH loves food. Now I was worried about what and even if he could eat. This made getting into vacation mode hard!

That day after I got off work my mom and I went and got mani-pedis and I started getting excited. She took the kids to the park to give me and DH time to pack and load things into her van since she was driving us to the airport. We managed to get most things packed and a load of laundry done but we had a lot to go. She ended up leaving her van with us since she is walking distance away and we would pick her up in the morning.

We fed and washed the kids, who were bouncing off the walls with excitement. They had no idea what was going on, just that their normal routine had changed. DS had been asking ALL day to take the last Mickey Head off his countdown and learn his surprise. The kids ended up going to bed a little later than normal even though the plan was to get them in bed early. DS pulled his last Mickey and we announced his surprise…… We were waking them up early to go to the airport to see the airplanes. DS was excited and ask if he got to go IN the airport. Yep, easy to please. Since they went to bed late they were out within’ minutes and we continued our work.

DH and I finished packing and when I was satisfied I had packed all I could we relaxed a bit. We are big Food Network fans and DVR many shows. We watched an episode of Iron Chef and an episode of Dinner Impossible. It was getting late and I knew I needed sleep so I set the alarm clock for 4:40am, since I wanted to be out of the house by 5:45am. I think I went to sleep at around 11:30 or so, DH stayed up and was watching some DVR’d sports I am sure.

Next thing I knew DH was coming in the room with my cell phone. He had fallen asleep watching TV and my cell ringing had waked him up. I looked at the clock and it was 5:00am!! My alarm hadn’t gone off! Thank goodness my boss called to wish us a good trip or we might not have made it on the plane! We got up and got ready, I called my mom to make sure she was up, and we nuked the kids some french toast sticks.

I filled their new surprise sippy cups (Cars and Princesses) with milk and we went to wake them up. It wasn’t too hard since they are very early risers and we were only getting them up an hour or so before they would have normal woke up. We got them dressed and since I had done DD’s hair before she went to bed we were ready to go. They put on their crocs and LOVED their new sippy cups and we were off, sort of. We picked up my mom and then headed to the CVS, I had realized I needed travel size SPF and laundry detergent. Traffic was actually worse than I expected but we made it to O’Hare in good time and unloaded the luggage and the kids and said goodbye to my mom. Our trip was about to begin!!!

Just a little side note: During the ride to the airport I was writing my mom directions to get back to the airport to pick us up. It isn’t that long of a drive (about a half hour) but my mom is HORRIBLE with directions. I have sooo many memories of her getting lost that I could fill up an entire TR with them. When I was about 14 we went to Kings Island in Cincinnati, OH. We left after closing and we all fell asleep with my mom driving. We were suppose to head north to Springfield where we lived but when my dad woke up he saw a sign and we were a few miles outside of Indianapolis, IN. Needless I made my directions very detailed, I was pretty sure this was useless anyway.

UP NEXT: Our first trip through airport security ever! Our first flight!
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:21 PM   #4
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I would have been flipping out when I realized the alarm didn't go off like it should have! Thank goodness for the "hope you have a great trip" call!

2014 trip report: Disney dangled the visual weinee and Mickeystoontown gobbled it up! Our two week adventure!

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Old 09-29-2009, 01:36 AM   #5
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I didn't get to make it over to your ptr yet- but how exciting that you got to surprise them! Looking forward to more
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:24 PM   #6
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I'm following from the WL thread about your pros and cons!! We're heading to WDW in Dec for our 6th visit at WL so I can't wait to read your thoughts and opinions!!
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:35 PM   #7
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Hi - I'm subscribed and can't wait to read more. Your TR is sooo good! Keep it coming!

ps I'm just a couple hours south of you!
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Old 10-14-2009, 01:58 PM   #8
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Thank you all for the posts! Next chapter is almost done!
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:31 PM   #9
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I'm subscribing.

We are going to WDW 11/11 to 11/17 so the same dates but two months later. We are also essentially first timers (well, I went one time in 1989 and DH went to DL one time about 15 years ago and was "not impressed.") Like you, I've but a ton of work into planning this trip. We have a 4 year old and 3 year old, so I'm interested to see how you planned your days. Like you, we have 2 half days, as we arrive mid-day on 11/11 and leave in the evening on 11/17.
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:33 PM   #10
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We kept going and going and going and going it felt like, by the time we arrived at Mexico we were soaked and exhausted and running late. Who do we see tucked away in a shaded alcove in Mexico with a very small line…. Donald Duck. After Ethan had ask about nothing but Donald since we announced where we were going we thought about stopping but I knew we would see Donald many times this trip and our Princess meal was a onetime event. I angled the stroller so that Ethan wouldn’t see his Duck and we continued our trek towards Norway. I have to admit that the walk to the WS took FOREVER yet the walks through each country seem to be very short.

By the time we reached Akershus Castle we were running on empty and soaked to the bone! For a moment I was afraid that we were too late since there was quite a line outside the podium and I had forgotten our ADR cards in the room. DH wheeled the stroller into the shade and I stood in line to check-in, I am certain it was right at 3:20 or later. My first ADR check in went smoothly and I was told it would be a few minutes and they would call our name. Woohoo! I was startin’ to feel the Disney love.

I found DH on the other side of the entrance in the only shade he could find, he hadn’t found his Disney love yet a.k.a. air conditioning. It was time to release the kids, I had briefly looked around while standing in line and Norway was beautiful! I knew the kids would love the waterfall as they love waterfalls and water fountains, which are EVERYWHERE. I peeked in the stroller and this is what we found:

I think it one of the cutest photos of the entire trip! Poor little things were exhausted and they were use to a midday nap, one that I was hoping would happen AFTER we ate so that DH and I could enjoy the WS. Our options were either to let them sleep and wake them up right when our name was called or wake them up and let them explore for a few minutes. Either way we were risking major meltdowns but we figured a meltdown outside wasn’t as likely to echo as a meltdown inside. DS was awake instantly and amazingly wasn’t acting grumpy yet. DD on the other hand took a little work and finally really woke up when I said the Belle wanted to see her; again she didn’t seem to be very grumpy. We did a small amount of exploring in Norway and as I expected they loved the waterfall. DS wanted to ride Maelstrom but we told him we would have to put it off until after we ate.

DH in the small amount of shade he could find and DD not being a "princess" lol.

Our name was called pretty quickly considering the crowd around the podium and that’s when we joined the line. I was very excited about DD getting to meet Belle and had decided around Mexico that DH and I were way too sweaty to pose for photos. I think the concept of photo before the meal very good but I think the line is ill conceived. If I was sitting one of the tables right around the photo area I would have been annoyed at all the people hovering over me while I was eating and the line seemed to take forever. The kids were getting restless and I was afraid that the grumpiness was emerging right before our meet n’ greet. At last it was our turn and DH held DS back for an extra couple seconds so DD could have her princess moment.

I have to say this moment made the entire day worth it! It was completely magical and great memory. DD was in awe and couldn’t take her eyes off of Belle. She was entranced and not at all fearful! Score! DS was close behind and couldn’t wait to show Belle his new Buzz shades. She was perfectly in character asking DS if Buzz was his favorite storybook character and asking him about his favorite books. DH was taking photos but with all the commotion of me in the way and the photopass photographer next to him combined with the lighting only a few came out. Our photo from the Photopass was wonderful and I will try to scan it later.

We were seated straight in front of the entrance all the way in the back at a large table. I left DH with my drink order and headed to the restrooms. When I got back DH re-explained the buffet and menu combination. Snow White was at the table next to ours and the kids were getting excited but when she was done with that table she disappeared. Luckily the kiddos were satisfied with the promise she would return to them later.

We pursued the menu and I decided on a pulled pork sandwich and DH got the dumplings. Since DD is only 2 she wasn’t included on the meal plan but as I rightly guessed neither kid were all that interested in much food at meals, too much to look at and too many characters to wait for. I ordered DS ravioli with the sauce on the side and nothing for DD. The waitress told me that since DD was under 2 I could order something for her for free. I was surprised at this but I ordered DD the same as DS, I was sure they could have gotten away with sharing but just in case I ordered it.

I started to head to the buffet for our cold meats and salads when Cinderella greeted us! DD was beaming! I have to admit that after the wonderful interaction with Belle, Cinderella was a little disappointing and very quick! DD didn’t care she was on cloud nine!

I stayed put since Aurora was next and she is not only my favorite for DD’s. I was not disappointed! DD was so excited she could barely stay sitting she kept saying “MY PRINCESS MY PRINCESS” over and over, it was adorable. DS wasn’t shy either! As Aurora was talking to DD our little prince waited very patiently before saying “Excuse me Princess, excuse me Princess. Can you stay and eat with me?” I wish I had it on video because it was hilarious.

Aurora declined saying she had just had lunch with her Prince at the palace.
Disney magic had really caught our family full force now! The air conditioning and much needed caffeine had relaxed me and DH. We were finally on vacation!!

I headed to the buffet to grab some food for me and the kids. It is a nice small buffet and from what I can remember I had a salad and grabbed DS some salami and cheese. I tried to get DD a few things but she is very particular about food. I cannot get her to eat any kind of deli meat or ANY cheese other than on grilled cheeses. She doesn’t really care for any cold foods she had to pick up and eat. DS on the other hand would LIVE on crackers and cheese if we let him and salami is a favorite of his since he fell in love with the book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”. I do believe that she ate a few crackers at this point.

As the rest of the family ate their meat, cheese and salad DD was playing peek-a-boo from under her napkin. She had no idea that Ariel had come up behind her and when she peeked her head out this was her surprise:

It is one of my favorite photos of the trip! Since DD had never watched The Little Mermaid or Cinderella before I was a little concerned that she wouldn’t take to these princesses like “her princess Aurora”. Boy was I wrong! She loved Ariel! DS wasn’t shy again with his “Excuse me princess…” This time he asks Ariel if she was really a fish and why she had a star on her head. He was very comfortable talking with all of the face characters, like he had known them for years. We took the posed pic and then Ariel showed them how to make fish faces.

I looked around the restaurant and it was practically empty. There were a handful of tables full but basically we had to place to ourselves. That is when DH mentioned that they had shut the front doors and it hit me. I thought we were catching the very beginning of dinner (I had read the dinner times somewhere) but we had actually hit the very end of lunch. The Princesses had disappeared, no Snow White to be found. Luckily the kiddos had forgotten all about her.

Our food arrived and as I expected the kids wanted NOTHING to do with eating anything. We finally convinced DS to eat a couple Mickey raviolis but DD ate practically nothing but managed to get red sauce all over her new dress. DH devoured his meal and half of mine; my mind was set to rest that he wouldn’t be able to eat. The pulled pork was pretty good but I didn't eat any of the salad since I hate cucumbers. DH said the dumplings were GREAT, but he loves nearly all food.
My only food porn of the trip!

We were practically the only people left in the entire restaurant and without the Princesses the meal started dragging on..

I took DD to the restroom to try and clean her up. I changed her into her spare dress and rinsed out her now red one and placed it in a zip top bag (these are a life saver). When I got to the table our dessert was right behind me. DH left me and the kids to fight over the chocolate mousse while he took the cheesecake. I don’t think any of us ate any of the rice cream. We finished our dessert quickly and we were ready to hit the road, or the boat that is, for our first ride. Problem was we didn’t have our check and our waitress had gone MIA. When we spotted her we flagged her down and she said there had been a problem with our check and a manager had to fix it. I am not sure what the problem was but I am pretty sure she wasn’t supposed to give DD an entire meal for free.

Either way we soon broke out our virgin KTTW and used our first meal credits. Easy and quick we were paid and ready to rock and roll. I had eyed the “throne” in the lobby as we came in and on my multiple trips to the restroom and had made a mental note to grab a few pics of the kids in it while it was empty. Lucky us they had just opened the door for the dinner crowd and the seat was completely taken. Oh well a pic for next time. All in all we really enjoyed the meal and the ambiance, although it did take up quite a chunk of time. We will probably be doing the meal again on our next trip if only for the Princess interaction alone.

We headed out of our air-conditioned bliss and into the hot FL sun. DH and I commented frequently that hardly any of the Cast Members ever sweated while we looked like we were drowning in our own. Disgusting I know but anyone who has ever been hot at Disney understands!! The costumes for Norway looked especially warm and DH couldn’t stop mentioning it. We took a right headed to Maelstrom with a quick check on our stroller as we went…

I will stop here as it is a long chapter already. Up next: Our first ride and our trip around “The World”
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:34 AM   #11
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i am on board ! can't wait for the continuation of the day!
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:15 PM   #12
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This update ran a little long with photos so I am breaking it up into two photo filled posts.

When last we left we were heading out into the heat and we were ready to embark on our first official WDW ride!! First thing we noticed of course was that our stroller was gone, being the Diser I am I knew not to worry but of course my mind instantly was thinking how foolish I was NOT to add the insurance. I had meant to add it but completely forgot with everything else. Luckily DH was directed to right below the restaurant to the stroller parking area, duh! It still amazes me how much space at Disney is devoted to stroller parking alone!

After locating our stroller we headed back up and into Maelstrom with I think only a 10 minute wait if that. This was our first ride queue and we weren’t sure how they were going to react. Luckily the line moved quick and if memory serves me right we made it through with only one fall off the bars and one child ducking beneath the chain to the emergency exit right as we about to be sorted into our boat rows.

Our impressions on Maelstrom aren’t extensive, it was pretty forgettable. The kids liked it but never mentioned it again and we all were not big fans of standing waiting on the Norway film. We were the first boat to unload so we had quite a wait and all we wanted to do was get our Disney exploring on. The kids spent the time walking on the edge overlooking the water. I was convinced they were going to lose a Croc over the edge but I tried my best to let them explore. DH and I used the time to look for hidden Mickey’s which after 7 days at WDW I can honestly say they are well hidden! I will be reading a Hidden Mickey book before our next trip!

By the time the doors opened to the movie there was quite a crowd waiting and we were at the back and I am sorry to say we didn’t stay and watch the film, nor did ANYONE else. The theater was completely empty as we walked out and we felt really bad, but we were ready to bust out on the WS. We loaded the kids into the stroller and headed off to China.

We had been hoping that DD would take a nap through the WS but she had no intention of that and she became very grumpy very fast. With DD grumpy and the heat we were not touring China, more skimming it until we made our way to the back of the pavilion where we met a piece of Disney Marketing Genius!! Being a fan of thecapells’ trip report I was looking forward to the KidKots and that is where we found our first!

Ethan was an instant fan and although he didn’t understand what the mask was at first he was very excited to receive his. He proudly recited his name and age and received his personalized mask with Chinese name and learned he was born in the year of the Rooster. The guy working the KidKot table made one for DD as well, but messed her name and she has a Mickey head, lol. He was also flustered about her animal as well. She said she was a pig, which I thought was correct since I am as well, but then he changed it and stamped what looks like a horse. We set DS loose on the table of markers but since DD was grumpy we thought it best to keep her in the stroller, she is fine once she is in the stroller but getting her back in it would have been WW3.

We explored the gift shop while DS was coloring and DH found a solar keychain for me, but I’m not big on key chains so I passed. After looking a while I convinced DS that we would continue his mask at the next country, he of course had to have a look around and really liked the puppets. We cut it short since DD was again getting grumpy and we needed to be on the move.

Now here comes my stupidest move of our entire vacation and I am still to this day mortified about it! I KNEW we were in China but my brain didn’t register that apparently when I went up to a vender and ask them where the Pick a Pearl was. “In Japan”. I was horrified, I felt like I had completely disrespected the entire country of China! Needless to say I wanted to hightail it out of China! We were headed out when we spotted Mulan a few feet away and as I bent down to let DD out of the stroller Mulan we saw Mulan leaving…. Oh well better to get out of China before the vender told a friend and an entire mob descended on the idiot American who didn’t know China from Japan.

Next stop Germany or land of BEER as my husband calls it. He was very excited about Germany and trying a beer that he couldn’t get at home. He however stopped at the first cart he saw and ended up with Beck’s, he is still upset that he didn’t explore more! I left DH enjoying his beer with DD who was very grumpy and very sleepy and took DS into the gift shop to find the KidKot.

This time I remembered that we had taught him how to say hello in all of the WS languages and German was his favorite. He wasn’t shy and greeted the KidKot worker with "Guten Tag!", he was so proud of himself. He chose yellow for his mask and hunkered down for some coloring. I have to say that I could have spent hours exploring that gift shop, it was very interesting, but I could hear DD giving DH a heck of a fight and I felt guilty leaving him to deal with it by himself. I convinced Ethan he would have more time in the next country and we headed out.

I was hoping to get a good photo of the kids with the fountain in Germany since but they were NOT having it.

Our first Hidden Mickey

We loved the miniatures in Germany! When I was in Jr. High I had a favorite teacher that had lived in Germany for many many years and he LOVED talking about how beautiful the countryside was and I have always wanted to visit to see what he spoke so highly of. Then miniatures were a beautiful recreation of what I had in my mind. The kids however were NOT behaving. I figured they were hungry since they didn’t really eat all that much at our meal.

I cannot express how much we LOVED the dining plan! We LOVE LOVE LOVED IT!!! We are the type of people who would worry about every penny spent on food even if we had allotted twice the money for it, that is just us. Having ALL of our food prepaid was a huge time and stress saver! Not once did we ever worry about rationing snacks or how much a snack cost or if we really needed one. If we saw a snack and we wanted it we got it! It was GREAT! I have to say the popcorn was our favorite of the week; do they put something in the popcorn to make it better at Disney?

To put it simply we began our snack plan in Germany with a pretzel and water. The pretzel was good but mostly went to waste since the kids didn’t really like it and I was stuffed!
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:31 PM   #13
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Well my plans to return after the weekend turned into returning in a month! Just finished page one and am loving your TR! The ditching DH on the WL elevator cracked me up! Looks like the princess lunch was a hit. (Your Ariel was much more true to the orig than ours.) Sorry Snow White never showed up. That's a bit odd. Looking forward to reading more.

Note: No trees were killed in the posting of this reply, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

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Old 12-26-2009, 09:49 PM   #14
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Bumping so my DH can find it... Welcome!!!
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Old 12-30-2009, 01:32 PM   #15
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I just had to add this video of the kiddos doing the "CHA CHA CHA" that morning.

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