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Old 06-26-2011, 08:41 PM   #1
kwitcherkicken99
Sleep keeps me pretty. CAFFEINE keeps me NICE!
This vicarious living is wonderful!
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Four Families, One World: A Mome Rath Meets Beverly! May 29-June 5, 2011


I decided on Sunday May 22, 2011 that I had had enough. I endured the carppiest weekend of my life, topped off by DD being diagnosed with a double case of pink eye and a side of sinus infection. I was tired and about to embark upon the final week of school and possible unemployment. As a student aide, AKA paraprofessional, the student I had been with for the last four years was graduating. I already lost it (emotionally) when his sister graduated the year before, and though I am much closer to her, his graduation was exceptionally hard for me to grasp. Also, not having a student anymore leads to me not knowing where/if I would have a job the following fall.

Stick a fork in me… I.WAS.DONE.

Then I recalled that one of my dearest friends and her mother were headed to WDW in a few days. I had been invited along at least twice and turned down both offers since my family was in Disney the previous September for a fantastic trip and MNSSHP (which was AWESOME!!!). I had spoken to my friend days before and was reminded yet again that there would still be room in the condo if I would like to join them.

So after the kids went to bed that night, I asked DH if I could go. I can’t recall the EXACT conversation, but it went something like this:

ME: “I think I want to go to Disney with Norma and the family”
DH: “You’d have to take the kids”
ME: “Okay”
DH: “How long would you be gone?”
ME: “About ten days”
DH: “TEN DAYS!!!!”
ME: “Well, we would drive”
DH: “You will have to take the kids”
ME: “Are you sure??”
DH: “I’ll have time to relax and clean the house”


Over the next couple days I schemed and calculated. Thought and mapped. And figured out that I could get us there and back for around $1000. Not too terrible for gas being $3.85 in Indiana, driving, paying OOP for meals, paying for 6 days of park tickets, and picking up a few souvenirs. [My fatal flaw in this calculation was neglecting to account for paid parking. I’ll touch on that later…]

So Wednesday rolls around and my friend’s son, Prince Philip, spills the beans to DS that we were going to Disney World together. DS didn’t believe him at first. There is no way we would be leaving for a trip in a couple days – we had planning and traditions to complete before a trip! I told both kids the truth once I got home from my photography assignment and was met with a less than excited response. DS said, “Yeah, I know… Prince Philip told me!”

Oy!
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:43 PM   #2
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Official place holder for chapter links and other nonsense

The title says it all.

I will keep chapter links and other important notices here.



Chapter 2: And we're off!!
Chapter 3: Day 1 - The Fountains
Chapter 4: Day 2 - EP alone with the kids
Chapter 5: EP Part 2 – in the golden afternoon
Chapter 6: Day 3 – DHS via O'Hana
Chpater 7: Day 3 – Gee guys, what are we going to do today?
Chapter 8: Day 3 – DHS afternoon naps all around
Chapter 9: I was going to make you wait, but that would just be mean of me...
Chapter 10: Day 4 – AK and learning Disney’s best kept secret
Chapter 11: Day 4 – the home of the spiteful water gods
Chapter 12: Day 5 - MK
Chapter 13: MK continued...
Chapter 14: MK after the storm
Chapter 15: MK & MSEP
Chapter 16: Cast Member Appreciation Moment
Chapter 17: MK again!
Chapter 18: Yo ho, yo ho a pirate's life for we
Chapter 19: Epic something or other
Chapter 20: A comparative post on construction
Chapter 21: Day 7 - EP
Chapter 22: The End is Near
Chapter 23: OK... Here's the list
Chapter 24: Autograph book making 101
Chapter 25: The most depressing day of vacation
Chapter 26: Photopass pictures!

Last edited by kwitcherkicken99; 08-10-2011 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:05 PM   #3
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Wow. It's still getting pretty hot around here
 
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I'm in!

And may I say, nice digs.

And holy carp, you pulled this trip together quickly.

And I'm all about character meet and greets, so I'm loving your start in Epcot!
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:30 AM   #4
kwitcherkicken99
Sleep keeps me pretty. CAFFEINE keeps me NICE!
This vicarious living is wonderful!
I'll take getting my feet up all the way
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 21hearts View Post
I'm here! Had a very busy day with doctor appointments for Rachel today.
Were these routine check-up visits??? [I hope]

Quote:
So WOW what a apartment! I'm speechless.
We were REALLY lucky. That was the second thing I told my husband (after "get the bail money ready") Norma didn't tell ANY of us that she booked the presidential suite. We even got a prime location. The rooms are so big, they can only fit 5 on one side (of our floor) and 6 on the other. (The room next to us was the showcase room.) I saw we lucked out because we were on the top floor AND facing the pool. It was great!

Quote:
Okay so the only characters I've ever seen at the World Showcase are Donald Duck (& this was years ago) and Aurora last March. This trip I am determined to see some more characters.
Okay... here is where we found everyone:
UK - Mary Poppins and Alice meet on the main path across from Yorkshire fish and chips CS place. Alice stands in front of a little cottage, Mary Poppins is just up the path. We didn't stop for either girl this time. Totally the kid's call.

Pooh and usually Tigger meet in the toy shop in the UK. The WS Players do little shows on the path that leads to the toy shop.

OCCASIONALLY you will see training meet and greets at the International Gateway dock and the Millenium Village gate (the BIG brown gate in between Canada and the UK). I have NEVER been lucky enough to catch the M&G at Millenium Village.

FRANCE - Aurora meets on a path the the far right (as you are facing the pavilion) near the water (closest to the I-Gateway).

Marie meets at the tall round thingy that is covered with all the flyers and such. You will cross her meeting ground BEFORE you reach Aurora if you are coming from the UK.

Belle and Beast meet just past the crepe station as you head towards Morocco.

MOROCCO - Alladin and Jasmine met on the main pathway across from the pavilion near the World Showcase lagoon.

GERMANY - Snow White meets at her wishing well which is on the far left (again, I'm moving counter-clockwise around WS). It's kind of tucked away and you wouldn't notice it if you weren't looking for it. FYI - the line starts near the big door, not by the building. Learned that from experience.

CHINA - Mulan meets either right on the main path OR near the theater.

MEXICO - Donald meets just before the pyramid in that little alcove where the mariachi band plays.

Biggest thing to remember: most of the characters are gone by 4 - so get there early!

You can also see Stitch and Daisy near the entrance of EP, just past the gates, and also the Fab 5 at the Character Spot, though personally, I HATE waiting there... it ALWAYS takes forever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TarzansKat View Post
I'm in!

And may I say, nice digs.

And holy carp, you pulled this trip together quickly.

And I'm all about character meet and greets, so I'm loving your start in Epcot!
I was pretty much doing all the planning and keeping tabs on their trip dates because my buddy works 3 jobs and her mom keeps equally busy. I had the time so I kept up with everything. Plugging us into the equation was as easy as Shake 'n Bake.

[BTW - I'm all caught up on your's and Amanda's TR - I just haven't commented yet!!!]
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:37 AM   #5
kwitcherkicken99
Sleep keeps me pretty. CAFFEINE keeps me NICE!
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EP Part 2 – in the golden afternoon

After we saw Belle, we broke for our picnic lunch and then continued through France where DD saw “kitty”. I asked if they wanted to stop to see Marie and they asked to see her too. By the time we got up to Marie, DD chickened out again, so only DS went up to see her.


Just as we finished with Marie, we heard Princess Aurora was due to make an appearance at any moment. We grabbed our things and went over to her spot. DD didn’t hear me say who we were going to see next, so she started jumping up and down when Briar Rose came down the path.


She is probably the BEST Aurora we have met so far. Such a sweetie! The time was drawing near for Beast to make his first appearance for the day so we piled into the stroller again and backtracked past the crepe station to get in a MASSIVE line. Beast is an awful popular guy! We were neighbored by two families that were on the hunt as well, so we sat and swapped character hints and tips for the day. Both groups had Snow White on their list and were surprised when I told them about Jasmine, Alladin, and Snow White.

We finally got up to see Beast after about a 20 minute wait and Belle greeted the kids as old friends. :


I promised DS that we would ride “the golf ball” after seeing Beast, so off we set for FW. I will have to say, I was really bummed out that Rome was no longer burning on our trip. I sniffed and sniffed but the smell was gone. It cracks me up as I review the pictures from the trip. DS tells everyone this is our future.


It was about 2:00 by now, and the kids REALLY wanted to see Snow White. We didn’t have many options of things to do to kill time and we were hot. The day that started out very mild was turning into a miserable, hot day. Since we were in FW, we decided to head over to the Character Spot to cool off. The sign said 30 minutes. All I can say is, yeah… I wish! Granted, it was a great time filler and we definitely cured our hotness.

ETA: I won't have any character spot photos until we get our Photopass CD, but there is a diamond in the bunch. I'll share as soon as I can.

After the character spot, we decided to line up for Tinkerbell. We stood in a really long line for the 4:00p showing, but asked the CM if Snow White had made it in yet. He told us that he did see her, so off to Germany we went.

We got in line with everyone else then witnessed another group of people start a different line. Great… When our friend from the morning came out, she made us move to the back of the new line. A couple of folks went postal over the whole event and cut in line of the late-comers. This girl REALLY had Snow White down – right to the voice and she played it up as if her life depended on it.


We set back off for Tink. I won’t lie, and I know I received crap about this… but I’m REALLY bummed that it was just Tink. She did make quite the entrance though. I have NEVER seen a character come in any other way than through the super secret CM paths to their spots. This Tink came charging across the Plaza in front of Mouse Gears, jumped up on a bit of landscaping, behind a flag, and over to her spot. The kids took over one of our handheld fans to show her – in case she wanted to see how it worked.


We did encounter several training CMs. It was rare for us to see no less than 3-4 CMs in a little pod moving throughout the park. It was supposedly a 4.3 day at EP that day but we didn’t feel it. It’s one of the reasons I love that park!

We called it a day after seeing Tink. The condo was about a 3 miles from EP. Our compadres made it home a few minutes before we did. We didn’t expect dinner to be on the table, so it was a nice surprise to come home to.

Last edited by kwitcherkicken99; 06-29-2011 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:50 AM   #6
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Still loving all the pictures! Your TR inspires me to become more diligent in the character hunting! We've always just kind of hit and miss who we got to meet! So any tips you want to throw in, let 'em fly!
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http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2#post43707322

Feb'15*PHM*AKL*May'14*AOA Vacation*Dec'11*Poly Xmas*May'09*Poly Vacation*June'07*Poly Vacation*Feb'89*MK-EP*offsite*June'88*Disneyland*offsite*February'88* EP*offsite
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:45 PM   #7
kwitcherkicken99
Sleep keeps me pretty. CAFFEINE keeps me NICE!
This vicarious living is wonderful!
I'll take getting my feet up all the way
 
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Chapter 2: And we're off!

The next day I’m off to buy ponchos, glow sticks, and 2 gallon zip lock bags at the dollar store. Then I spent the next few hours packing up my car and making new autograph books. The beastly stroller fit, as did our luggage. A conversation with my friend, Princess Leia, later and our game plan was set. I was to go to work, her family would pick up her sister down south of Indianapolis, and we would meet up somewhere along the way.

On Friday, we finished school a little late, and by the time I got through the line at the bank, I was already 45 minutes behind schedule!

The other half of the group was already three hours ahead of me on the road. They took their time, and I drove **ahem** slightly above the speed limit. We eventually met up in Elizabethtown, KY, swapped kids to the little girls were in the van with the DVD players, and Princess Leia and I had the boys in my car.

We would then drive through the night to reach Orlando and hoped and prayed that we would have a room available when we got there!

We took our time getting to Florida, taking many stops to stretch and swap drivers. We only had 4 licensed drivers on board so we knew we would have to be very careful! Getting through the Tennessee mountains in the middle of the night was a PITA.

Oh heck… I just realized I’ve neglected to give you all proper introductions!

Family 1: Grandma Norma. Resident pin trader and certified Disney nut. Son is a former CM, so Norma and her husband bought into a time share company that offers condos 2 miles from the Disney apartments just off SR 535. That allowed them to take at least 2 trips per year to go down for a visit.

Family 2: Princess Leia, Prince Philip, and Bella. My dearest friend and close confidant. Her son is 2 months older than my DS, her daughter is 2 months younger than DD.

Family 3: Debbie and Linzie. Norma’s step-daughter and Princess Leia’s half sister. Linzie is her pre-teen daughter.

Family 4: Mine. Me, DS4 and DD2.

We finally arrived at the Fountains on I-Drive around noon on Saturday. They didn’t have a room available, so we slapped on our swim suits and hung out at the gigantic pool.
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:48 PM   #8
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OK........ I haven't read a word yet, but couldn't resist trying to be first!

........ but then I've always been an overachiever like that.
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:02 PM   #9
kwitcherkicken99
Sleep keeps me pretty. CAFFEINE keeps me NICE!
This vicarious living is wonderful!
I'll take getting my feet up all the way
 
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Welcome aboard you!

I got my photos edited and sized, I just need to get them online. Still waiting for Photopass to get here... need to post our group shots so that I can prove I was ACTUALLY there.
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:06 PM   #10
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I bet it just seems like a dream.

We didn't take the boys to Disney until they were 4 and 6. That of course seems a lifetime ago to me. And now I have 2 Disney haters on my hands. I'm glad to see you're doing better with your 2!
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:46 PM   #11
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Ok... I'm waiting to hear the whole story.... Don't leave anything out. I still can't understand how you can be over Disney for a while....
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwitcherkicken99 View Post
So Wednesday rolls around and my friend’s son, Prince Philip, spills the beans to DS that we were going to Disney World together. DS didn’t believe him at first. There is no way we would be leaving for a trip in a couple days – we had planning and traditions to complete before a trip! I told both kids the truth once I got home from my photography assignment and was met with a less than excited response. DS said, “Yeah, I know… Prince Philip told me!”

Oy!
LOL! Katie would just say "No way are we going in 2 days. My mom didn't do any sewing!"
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:06 PM   #13
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Not to steal the show but I wanted to post a link to my travel blog for those that might be interested in reading about my adventures which start TODAY!! I leave in an hour for Yellowstone National Park. So anywho for those that would like to travel along with me click the link below and be sure to comment often makes blogging more interesting for me

Erica's Travel Site


Anyone is allowed along for the ride, should be a good one
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Old 08-14-2011, 05:53 PM   #14
kwitcherkicken99
Sleep keeps me pretty. CAFFEINE keeps me NICE!
This vicarious living is wonderful!
I'll take getting my feet up all the way
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DISNEYaddict4evr View Post
Not to steal the show but I wanted to post a link to my travel blog for those that might be interested in reading about my adventures which start TODAY!! I leave in an hour for Yellowstone National Park. So anywho for those that would like to travel along with me click the link below and be sure to comment often makes blogging more interesting for me

Erica's Travel Site


Anyone is allowed along for the ride, should be a good one
Tee-hee...
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