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Old 04-18-2011, 10:12 AM   #1
DisneyZell
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Cruisin' a DREAM and WDW July 2-July 15th TR updated 1/25:Final Entry! page 15

I'm Baaaack!

For those of you who gave a large sigh of relief that my Mexican Riviera TR was finally done (although it took me over 2 years to finish the one from 1998 so you should be happy), unfortunately I'm back already. I've never done a PTR (that's Pre-Trip-Report for those of you who don't yet speak DIS) this far in advance. But What the heck...strange things always seem to happen to us in preparation of our vacations...so why not go ahead and bore....er...document it here for all of you?

First and foremost...our cast:

DH - That's me! Name's Drew, I'm 40 and when you are reading this report will be the main scribe under the nickname DisneyZell.

DW - My lovely and frequently correct bride, Deanna. When you are reading anything that seems intelligent under the nickname DisneyZell that would be her.

DS12 - My oldest son, Nick. Big sports kid...loves to have fun...and loves cruising and pizza. AKA (also known as for you non DISers ) Bacon Boy. Long story. Ask me sometime and I'll tell you, or go read my past TR's and you will find out.

DS8 - My youngest son, Connor. Skinny as a rail...never eats...needs to be entertained constantly. That's him! AKA Chocolate Boy. I don't think that one takes much explanation except to say when we say Chocolate...we mean just that. Not candy bars like snickers...just plain chocolate.

A different set of friends are cruising with us on this one. They are neighbors on the next street over. The husband and I coached youth football together a couple of years ago and ended up becoming very good friends. We now chat frequently and pretty much make fun of everyone, so be prepared. they will be joining us on the cruise portion (oh, I didn't tell you we are hitting the World the week before the cruise). Here is their cast of characters. I'm taking a good chunk of this verbatim from the e-mail they sent me...so here we go :

DFH (Disney Friend Husband. I had to use something different since our other neighbors have gone with us a couple of times...these guys deserve a new three letter initial!) - Brian. If you have read previous TR's you will note that I have frequently brought too much beer and had to give it away at the end. I don't anticipate having to do that with Brian as he can drink me under the table. In fact, I will be working my tolerance up to a high level as soon as possible.

DFW - Jennifer. According to Jennifer she will be sleeping in and will not be attending breakfast. She is more of a brunch person. Also she will be giving her kids the run of the ship with the Wave Phone as she plans on spending the entire 5 days in a lounger by the adult pool. She certainly does NOT want her kids hanging all over her. Ha! She talks a big game....

DFD11 - Ellie - She will almost be 12...and is a fireball. My guess is she will have 15 friends the first day.

DFS10 - John - Quite the ski phenom and very good athlete...John will also have a ton of friends very quickly. He's a quick thinker and very funny.

So there you have our crew. We may have others to add for the Disney World portion of our trip as our friends apparently don't want to spend any more time then they have to with us (we invited them to come to the World with us...but they said something about having to wash their hair???

My Cousin and his family may join us for the first part...but then again why am I telling you this? I can always add it later. Just pretend this paragraph didn't exist. Or I could delete it. Well, that just wouldn't be my way. How can I put people to sleep if I delete my boring posts....er...ACK! now you know my secret!!!

So for the cruise, our itinerary is a double dip (can you say yeehaw! No really, say it. I'll wait. anytime now...ok, moving on).

7/10 - Port Canaveral
7/11 - Castaway Cay
7/12 - Nassau
7/13 - Sea
7/14 - Castaway Cay
7/15 - Port Canaveral

We are in stateroom 7120 if you want to come and visit us...or leave us presents. I prefer small bills. We are in a Deluxe Family Ocean Stateroom with Verandah which according to the paperwork I'm looking at means we have a 04C. At one point we had an adjoining cabin with our friends...but they conveniently "forgot" to pay at the right time so they lost their cabin assignment and we are no longer connected. Hmmmmmm Somethin' smells fishy.

I distinctly remember someone commenting when I did my first post for the Mexican Riviera that he didn't read posts that didn't have any pictures. So here is a picture.


this, apparently, is very similar to the hair dryer that will be in my stateroom.

Unlike the last cruise we do not plan to upgrade at the port, so I don't know that we will get there too early. Our official port arrival time is 10:30 - 11:00am. As we were concierge last time it will be very disconcerting to stand amongst the common folk. But alas, it is what it is.

Yeah, it's gonna be like that.

so pre-trip preparations. It's my responsibility, typically, to find the hotel room and rental car for these trips. On that note I have failed miserably as DW took the lead and booked the car. And the hotel. I suck. Clearly I suck. or she has too much time on her hands. She is quite the planner that wife o' mine. We are staying at the Courtyard Cocoa Beach the night before the cruise and at a Residence Inn the night before our flight home. Can ya tell we are Marriott people?

We rented our car from Budget...the plan is to have it for the week before and then drop it off by the port...and then get another car when we arrive back. Did I make any of these reservations? no. and in fact I'd have no idea what we were doing if it were not for DW's organization and putting them all nicely in a folder for me to see.

this is much like it is for my entire life. She puts it in a folder and I go along for the ride. Not bad, not bad at all. is this incentive for me to do my job and do the rental cars and hotels? I think not.

AH! But the week before the cruise, I have to talk about that. We are staying at a Marriott Timeshare that we traded into...which has 3 bedrooms...which is why our friends *could* have stayed with us...but I digress. DW spends alot of time on the DIS boards and bumped into this program through Disney called, ok, I don't know what it's called, but DW will chime in and help out here. It was originally set up for home schoolers but has been opened to everyone now...and you go to a free class inside the parks (I think we are doing an ocean one...but there are a whole bunch), and if you do that you can buy heavily discounted park hopper tickets. I believe (and again DW will pipe in if I'm wrong (one of my benefits, ahem)) that we ended up getting 5 day park hopper and 5 days in the water parks and Disney Quest. Heck of a deal if you ask me.

Now, if you look at the dates of the trip you will note that we are going to be there during the summer....I hate summer...because it will be very busy. Well, here is where you would be happy to be married to DW. She will know down to the minute which park we should be in...which ride in that park we should go to first, how we should do our fast pass tickets...etc. She rocks and I've been telling her for years she should start her own Disney travel agency and start making some money for our passion about Disney. But alas that has not yet happened!

So I think that's it for now...hope you grabbed your coffee before you started reading...and if not, check the mirror before you leave to make sure you don't have keyboard marks on your forehead.

Next up: No idea....but I'm sure I'll bore you with somethin'

DZ

Last edited by DisneyZell; 01-25-2012 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:35 AM   #2
DisneyZell
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DW here...just to set a couple things straight before we get too far into this...the tickets we got were through the YES program. Great deal if you happen to be going while they have a class going on. We will be going on July 4 to a class in Epcot and yes it is about oceans. This will be our first trip taking the kids to the water parks (DH & I went to Blizzard Beach years & years ago, so I don't even remember much of it). We have never been to Disney Quest before but it sounds like something the boys will love as well.

"Unlike the last cruise we do not plan to upgrade at the port, so I don't know that we will get there too early." So says DH...but he should know better...we will be getting there fairly early so we are able to get on the ship and start the aquaduck ASAP. And no, I'm not talking 7:30 early, more like 10:00...don't worry Drew, you can still sleep in a bit!

Everything else sounds just like it happened...DH does tend to get a few things wrong, but I do give him credit for writing these reports...he takes my journals and turns them into great stories.
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:05 AM   #3
DisneyZell
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Originally Posted by DisneyZell View Post
DW here...just to set a couple things straight before we get too far into this...the tickets we got were through the YES program. Great deal if you happen to be going while they have a class going on. We will be going on July 4 to a class in Epcot and yes it is about oceans. This will be our first trip taking the kids to the water parks (DH & I went to Blizzard Beach years & years ago, so I don't even remember much of it). We have never been to Disney Quest before but it sounds like something the boys will love as well.

"Unlike the last cruise we do not plan to upgrade at the port, so I don't know that we will get there too early." So says DH...but he should know better...we will be getting there fairly early so we are able to get on the ship and start the aquaduck ASAP. And no, I'm not talking 7:30 early, more like 10:00...don't worry Drew, you can still sleep in a bit!

Everything else sounds just like it happened...DH does tend to get a few things wrong, but I do give him credit for writing these reports...he takes my journals and turns them into great stories.
is that a compliment or a put down?
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:21 AM   #4
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I'm watching you Foker

I'm watching you Foker

This is the DFWN - or whatever it is: Dear Friend Neighbor Wife.
What the Zellster doesn't mention is that I'm nearly a senior citizen (turning 50 next week) and like Jesus, I prefer not to travel more than a 30-mile radius from my home. So with all my phobias about planes (what if it crashes), the boat (what if it sinks), the hotels (what if there are bedbugs), it will be quite an accomplishment for me to just get there.

The DFHN is wanting to have another beer-brewing session before the trip to be sure he doesn't get dehydrated on the boat.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:50 AM   #5
DisneyZell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNeighbors View Post
I'm watching you Foker

This is the DFWN - or whatever it is: Dear Friend Neighbor Wife.
What the Zellster doesn't mention is that I'm nearly a senior citizen (turning 50 next week) and like Jesus, I prefer not to travel more than a 30-mile radius from my home. So with all my phobias about planes (what if it crashes), the boat (what if it sinks), the hotels (what if there are bedbugs), it will be quite an accomplishment for me to just get there.

The DFHN is wanting to have another beer-brewing session before the trip to be sure he doesn't get dehydrated on the boat.
Hi there...Deanna here...can't believe you actually got yourself a username and joined in! Now you just have to go and sign up for the Fish Extender's.

I don't like hearing about your phobias...the planes are what get me (but it never stops me b/c I love to travel). Drew always laughs at me when he sees me grab the armrest when we hit some turbulence. However, you are not even staying in any hotels this trip since you didn't take my advice and come earlier than the day of the cruise...you are quite the risk taker my dear. Anyway, glad to see you on the boards...but beware, it can become addictive.
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:05 AM   #6
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I love that you all are having your own conversation!!!!
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:38 AM   #7
DisneyZell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheNeighbors View Post
I'm watching you Foker

This is the DFWN - or whatever it is: Dear Friend Neighbor Wife.
What the Zellster doesn't mention is that I'm nearly a senior citizen (turning 50 next week) and like Jesus, I prefer not to travel more than a 30-mile radius from my home. So with all my phobias about planes (what if it crashes), the boat (what if it sinks), the hotels (what if there are bedbugs), it will be quite an accomplishment for me to just get there.

The DFHN is wanting to have another beer-brewing session before the trip to be sure he doesn't get dehydrated on the boat.
Adding to DW's post...yes, my kids definately have a double dose of Foker.

DZ
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyZell View Post
I'm Baaaack!


We are in stateroom 7120 if you want to come and visit us...or leave us presents. I prefer small bills. We are in a Deluxe Family Ocean Stateroom with Verandah which according to the paperwork I'm looking at means we have a 04C.

DZ
We are in stateroom 8594, also Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom w/ Verandah. DH (Jay) and I (Amy) are cruising with first mates DD13 (LouAnn) and DS11 (Ethan) and joining in on the FE exchange (thanks to your wife). Let's see how many more () I can add. Hmmm.... (This is our first family cruise)
Can't wait to meet y'all and everyone else!
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:14 PM   #9
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Ya'll are very fun!

I usually don't read many ptr's but you guys are too much fun! Planning on a December 2011 cruise on the Dream... 4 nighter much better than the 3 nighter. Looking forward to more banter... get those neighbors back in too! lol!
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:16 PM   #10
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Cabin 6516 here. I guess that cover the 6th, 7th, and 8th floors, who's next.
I may try to start a trip report, but I still am not good at posting pictures. And, what's a good trip report without pictures!
(Also, I'm not a good lead - I need somebody to play off of. Otherwise, I'm just worthless.)

Now, DZ about this trip report, sooo, what's the plan????

I say we figure out how to take over the teen area. It looks like a lot of fun.

I was looking at pictures of the giant floor screen to play games on in the kids area. I wonder, can we get one of those screens on each wall and the ceiling. It could be the first real life version of StarTrek's holodeck. Put the floor on something similar to the Star Tours mechanism. Thinkk of the games we could play. Of course, this would be available only to the adults - we need our play area too. Not just a pool to hang out at that has limited access by the children.
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:34 PM   #11
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Okay, "I do solemnly swear I am up to no good." BUT, I will be good and not usurp a trip report.

Now, back to that holodeck idea - number 1, make it so.
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:59 AM   #12
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Cannot wait for the trip report!!! Congrats on the move!
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:25 AM   #13
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I'm in!! Congratulations on the move!!
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:00 PM   #14
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Yo.....ho....ho.....and a bottle of.....Oh wait, you haven't started your TR yet.

Please post here when you start your new thread so we know where to stalk....oops, I mean...harass....oops...I mean follow you. Yup, that's it, follow you.
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Old 08-16-2011, 03:50 PM   #15
DisneyZell
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Chapter 1: Day 0, travelling to Florida

ACK! my Trip Report went to the second page. That is just wrong. You people are supposed to keep the TR up on the front page, even if I don't even glance at it for a few weeks!

My apologies, priority has been on getting our new house set up, getting the kids in school, etc...etc...but I think I have finally reached a point where I'm comfortable taking time away from putting things away (well, ok, so I'm escaping....don't tell DW! I'm like Dory...ESCAPE (pronounced escapA), it's spelled just like Escape. Ahem. That made zero sense at all. But as I always like to say, you get what you pay for!

While this first edition won't have too many pictures, there will be plenty, trust me. Between our camera and our photopass CD...we have alot.

But before I get going, I have forgotten in my last few TR's to do the shortened version. Some of you may be going on a trip sooner than later, and some of you may not have the patience to have to dig through my mundane blather in order to get to the meat of the story. Yes, if you are a person who flips to the back of the book to find out what happened before reading the rest of the book, this section is for you. Ready?

We got on a plane, we landed, we checked into our timeshare, we went to a park, then another park, then a water park, and then a park, and disneyquest, then another water park, then a park, then a park, then we drove, then we stayed in a hotel, then we boarded, we sailed, and we disembarked. Happy?

For the rest of you, buckle in. Have you ever seen anyone who had neck surgery? they wear those big plastic things that keep their heads perfectly straight? I recommend you go buy one of those so that when you fall asleep at the keyboard you don't smash your head on it and end up with "f" "g", "J" and maybe "t" permanently implanted there. I cannot be held responsible. Do I need a waiver???

anyhooooo...you all know the back story leading up to this and the nightmare that was selling our house. This particular entry will start on July 2, a lovely Saturday in beautiful Amherst, NH. Today was the day we were to head to Florida.

Wait, before I start. Just a warning. This is a combo Disneyworld and Disney Cruise TR. Sorry about that. If you don't want to read about the World, I suggest you return in about 2 months. I should be writing about the cruise by then!

As you read, things had been bumpy for our house...and this morning was no different. We welcomed an electrician as well as the folks to put in fire sprinklers in our basement. We were leaving a noon. Being the enternal optimist that I am, I was sure they would be done before we leave. Yeah, right. DW had to run the dog to the kennel lady (she is awesom. If you live in southern New Hampshire PM me and I'll give you her e-mail. She essentially lives 2 hours away from us, but comes down a couple times a week to drop off and pick up dogs. She exercises them daily, takes pictures and puts them on facebook...etc. Very nice, but I digress...*sigh*, if you don't know me by now...I will do that alot.)

By 11:30 it was clear that they guys were not going to finish, luckily we had a neighbor to come and lock up...we told them goodbye and headed out. Any idea how hard it is to walk away with your house wide open with a bunch of strangers in it? Just chalk that one up along with the many other strange things we had to do to sell our house!

so it was off to the bus. New Hampshire has this bus service that will take you to Logan Airport in Boston. Cheap and easy...so we just parked our car in a park-n-ride lot, and jumped on the bus. Since we are all about timing we arrived about 5 minutes before the bus left...nice! hop on and away we go. It takes about an hour and a half to get down there, but no worries about the traffic or anything else...just sit and read your book. And when we got there we got our first bit of pixie dust magic...we offered a tip to the driver and he turned it down. Crazy! Who turns down Money? I'll have to keep my eye on this guy. But it was good...since we had been raining money down on everyone in the world the previous several months...and knowing that we were soon going to enter the wallet vacuum zone (come on, you gotta know what I mean with this...once you pass under the arch (picture to come soon), a vacuum attaches to your wallet and does not let go until you are dry. And then the mouse starts using your credit card!

HA! anyway...if you recal our trip in the spring we flew on Continental...not a good experience at all. Do I learn from my mistakes??? Well...YES! of course I do! I can't believe you doubted me. I might not be able to carry on with this TR (oh, TR is Trip Report for those of you who don't yet speak fluent DIS. In past TR's I spelled everything out in a helpful way, but some of you have been with me for quite some time...you should be up to speed by now. Feel free to ask if I use an acronym that you are unaware of. )

OK, fine, I'll carry on, but no doubting me again. In addition to the bus driver, I clearly need to keep an eye on you guys.

So, back to my story. Given that we DID learn our lesson with Continental we were flying Delta. I have not flown Delta for quite some time, so wasn't sure what to expect. We made it through security without an issue, and I was actually happy as we were in the new Terminal A...which is beautiful. The only bad thing about it is they make you walk 6.5 miles (approximately) to the gates. I understand that I need to lose some weight...but come on! Seriously! more on the distance when I come back into Boston (yes I said when I come back into Boston...not We...ooooh, foreshadowing! I'm at it again. Ha!)

When we booked our flight we didn't have seat assignments...and we were told we would get them at the gate. So we hit the gate and they weren't ready. Off to lunch at Fudruckers...let the eating things in large amounts commence! Then it was back to the gate. Checked with the lady at the counter...and there was something very, very strange going on. Something I would never have expected at the airport. She was NICE! and even a bit funny. At this point I'm not sure what to make of it. I mean...I've seen nice people before...just never at the airport.

It would turn out that all the Delta employees were nice. Flight Attendants...gate attendants. It was a strange feeling. Now that I live out in California it will be hard...but I'm going to try to fly Delta. I'm all about friendly people.

OOH, time to board. And surely you don't care about how nice the Delta people are. Heck, most of you are here to read a TR about DCL. Ahem...sorry about the long wait you are about to endure. We got on and the seats had so much more room than the Continental ones. We were not in any special section, so I was pretty impressed with the space they gave us. Not uncomfortable at all. Again...weird.

Shortly after we took off they came around with a cart. With snacks. Free snacks. Really. Free. again, crazy. clearly these people don't know how to run an airline.

Ah, I must digress because I forgot to share something with all of you. For those of you who are regulars on the DIS boards, the DCL component...you probably have read that you should get all your stuff out that you want to take on the cruise, and then cut it in half. We took that to the nth degree. Unfortunately Delta does follow the other airlines in that they charge you to check bags. We are cheap...and didn't want to pay those fees. So we put all of our stuff for a week at Disney World and a 5 night cruise into one carry on bag each. Yup. One bag. We went mega minimalist. Now, we had a washer and dryer in our timeshare...so that allowed us to do laundry...but essentially we had our shirts that DW made, a couple pairs of shorts, one pair of swim trunks, and several other t-shirts. I also had one pair of slacks, one pair of dress shoes and 3-4 polo type shirts for the cruise. That's it, and again it all fit in the one carry on suitcase. And you know what? We didn't die or anything...or cry about missing clothes. More on space in the cabin when we get there....but I had to share that. Yeah...we are pretty cool. We know it!

We landed around 5:30...We had reserved our car at Budget. Again. If you read previous TR's...the first Disney Cruise we ever took we rented from Budget and made a huge mistake. Any of you remember what it is? If I had anything to offer I'd offer a prize for the first one to PM me. But alas I now live in California...that giant Mickey Wallet Sucking Machine is nothing compared to the California Wallet Sucking Machine...so I got nothing.

**************First Tip Coming********************
I like to grandstand on my tips. Now I've probably done this 100 times. Sign up for whatever car companies frequent renter program. Most of these will then allow you to bypass the counter and go right out to the garage. We didn't do this a few years ago and waited a couple hours to get a car

Doing this will save you alot of heartache! Don't make the mistake I did a few years ago.

But as I DO learn from my mistakes....we were out of there relatively quickly. Budget, by the way, was by far the cheapest for the week, and to drop off and pick up in Cocoa Beach. I recommend them. And you know I don't recommend things lightly!

So we were off to our Villa. We do not own DVC. We own Marriott. As I don't want to get flamed, I'm not going to comment.

We booked at the Imperial Palms resort...which has 3 bedrooms. The master...and then each kid had their own room. We tried a few times to get a couple of people to join us...but apparently we smell. Our neighbors who are joining us on the cruise couldn't for a variety of reasons. Maybe they don't think we smell. I'm sure they will chime in at some point.

Some pictures (thanks for bearing with me through the non-picture part of the story)

This is our villa from the front door. It has been redone in the last few years..granite, very nice kitchen, etc.

The main room from the other direction.

The master

One of the two bedrooms. This one had a queen and a pullout.

The other bedroom. OK, OK, the pictures are not from the day we stepped into the place. Unless they didn't bother to straighten up the room! ACK!

The view. There was a cute little lake out behind our villa. Very nice.

Normally we request to be on the top floor so we don't get the noise from the villas above us. This is a holdover from DW's parents...and the many years we went to their timeshares. But we got a bottom corner unit on this trip...Boy was that lucky. We were so happy we had the bottom by the end...when you have been out at a park all day and are exhausted...the last thing you want to do is climb three flights of stairs to get into your villa. Add to that carrying groceries! yikes!

I will pause here whilst you go get some coffee. I'm almost done with this day. go ahead. No need to worry about the rest of us while you take your time. HEY, come on...seriously? do you need that much sugar in your coffee??

Need to have groceries for the week. When we do Disney World we bring our food in so that we can spend our money on other things. This started a few years ago when we went to Disneyland Paris. We did it there because everywhere we read said that the food was terrible. And it was..the one day we didn't carry our food in. We have gotten in a habit of getting baguettes, smearing them with Brie cheese and adding salami. Yum. We also wanted breakfast stuff and some snacks. We were going to eat dinner out (which is partly why we were bringing in lunch!).

What better place to go to get your food cheap than Walmart? We found one right down the road on Vineland avenue in Kissime. HOLY COW, what a mistake. This place was an absolute Zoo, and I wouldn't wish our experience on anyone. NOT MAGICAL AT ALL!!! There were 10,543 people packed into this store...all of whom were rude, oblivious to the world and just plain pushy. But we needed to get our food...and we did. By the time we were done we didn't want to stop anywhere for dinner...so we bought a few things to eat in the Villa. This short period of time was the most exhausting of the whole trip. Can you believe that? Anyway, avoid this walmart at all costs. I surely won't ever return there! Sheesh!

So it was off to the villa, a quick dinner and then to bed about 10pm. DW had our week planned out in....

Chapter 2: Hollywood Studios!
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