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Old 09-03-2011, 09:16 AM   #1
beebeeryan
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The MAGIC, the MEMORIES, the storms, and HEY! Where's Perry? Aug 2011 TR (upd: Oct21)

We're BACK. The long awaited and planned trip is all over. But now I get to relive it by writing my first Trip Report! With loads of pictures!!! It's all I've got now, since another trip won't be planned till at least 2013.

We raced Irene to get out, changed tickets, went a day early, battled rain and thunderstorms, lightening, leaking bathrooms, closing pool, ride malfunctions, a trip to Lost & Found...but we found Perry, so it's all okay.

So here we go...

The PTR has more info, but here's a recap.

WHEN and WHERE


August 25 (26 was original departure date) - September 1, 2011
Disney's Contemporary Resort

WHO:

A Photopass photo from last year, since I haven't ordered this year's CD yet.

Me: Barbara The Disney addicted Mom. I’m 38 and a stay-at-home-mom at the moment, but worked in the travel industry for a tour operator for many years. Now I have a small home business doing digital design, like photo collages and designing digital scrapbooking products. I Disney!

DH: Mike is 40, like WDW!!! DH is a CPA. He loves Disney too, not as much as I do, but he enjoys it. Just isn't thrilled with the cost of it of course. The pictures from last year prompted him to lose 40lbs over the winter!!!

DS 8: Matthew My big guy. He's 8 and starting 3rd grade in a few days. He loves the 3 Magic Mountains, and RnR. He went on Mission Space the bad side with Daddy and loved it! He’s kinda shy, but starting to come out of his shell a little lately and a wonderful artist. He wants to be an Imagineer when he grows up and design rides at Disney.

DS 5: Eric My Little Guy, very shy but very funny once you get to know him. A video of him from last summer's trip is in the Memories show on the castle every night and he thought it was pretty cool getting to see himself up there.

Coming up...
Racing out to beat Irene...and why is the earth shaking???

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Old 09-03-2011, 09:17 AM   #2
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Table of Contents

Chapter Links

Day 1 August 25 Thursday
Racing to Beat Hurricane Irene to Florida
Arrival at Contemporary
Awesome Pool Slide

Day 2 August 26 Friday
Uh Oh, I left my waist pack Under the Sea
I cannot even believe who I saw

Day 3 August 27 Saturday
104 days of summer vacation, and we're gonna do it ALL, or are we?
Little Man is a Star (AKA a very quick blur across the castle)!

Day 4 August 28 Sunday
Magic Morning
Stormy Weather

Day 5 August 29 Monday
Hahkuna Matata
Hopping Around the World, barely

Day 6 August 30 Tuesday
Drip Drip Drip
It's Raining, It's Leaking...
Do the Hokey Pokey and turn yourself around

Day 7 August 31 Wednesday - The LAST day
Where Are We Going Today?
All Good Things...

Random Updates:
The Real McCoy (quick story of useless knowledge learned on the trip)
Photopass Pictures from Days Gone By...
All about Poutine and May West
Final Thoughts

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Aug 1984 ~ Dec 1992 ~ May 1998 (POFQ) ~ Aug 2010 (VWL-Video) ~ Aug 2011 (CR) PTR Video TR~ Aug 2013 (YC)Review Dining Video




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Old 09-03-2011, 10:42 AM   #4
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I'm here too! So glad you had a great trip and I CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR ABOUT PERRY!!!
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:56 AM   #5
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:36 AM   #6
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Racing to Beat Hurricane Irene

So the TR really starts a few days before the trip. By the Sunday before the trip, Hurricane Irene was well formed and churning along heading straight for Florida. We were glued to the Weather Channel and various online sites trying to determine if we needed to change our plans. With the flight situation over the weekend, we worried that if we couldn't fly Friday morning as planned, we would probably not get out till Sunday or Monday. Irene was scheduled to, according to certain forecast tracks to be arriving into Orlando Friday early am, right when we were flying in. Monday night we finally made the decision to spend the money and change the flights to Thursday morning, making sure we'd get there and not be flying into or through or even around a Hurricane.

Tuesday afternoon, as I was sitting on the couch working on itineraries and such, I felt a strange sensation and wondered why I felt so dizzy. I wasn't dizzy, I realized when I heard and saw a picture hanging on the wall shaking. We were having an earthquake. Well, the earthquake was in Virginia and we're in Upstate NY, but we felt it pretty good. The house shook for 30 seconds or so. Earthquakes are not common up here and it was stronger than any tiny ones we have felt once or twice in the past. Very strange feeling.

So, now it's a race to pack since I've got a day less to get ready all of a sudden. We're leaving on the 7:30am flight Thursday morning. Re-did my online check-in, printed my boarding passes Wednesday morning and got B boarding on Southwest. DH had to scramble to get some work done with a day less to do it. But finally, after counting down from 181 days...the day has arrived! By Wednesday night it looked like Irene was going to stay mostly offshore so Orlando probably wouldn't be impacted very much, but we were just happy to not be worrying about it anymore and still getting there before things got dicey.

We're at the airport by 5:30am. Got the kids up at 4:45 and dressed, quick breakfast and out the door. The airport is only a 10 minute drive. Got a good spot in the closest long term lot. Checked in and there was no line at security which was strange, there are a lot of early am flights and it's usually the busiest time at the airport. Turns out we could have slept in a little longer. We were through security and at the gate by 6am and our flight was at 7:30. Blah.


We watched the sun come up and planes taking off till it was time to board.


Our bags heading to the plane!


Our flight actually got out a few minutes early as thunderstorms were expected and we landed a little early in Orlando too. We headed to Baggage Claim and discovered our Happy Limo driver was not waiting at the bottom of the escalator like last year. I called them, they said the driver was changed last minute and that the driver had just called them asking for our cell # and he was at the airport. Turns out he was waiting somewhere else for whatever reason and hadn't made his sign yet. Took about 10 minutes, but we finally found each other. Nice guy, his name was Wally and he gave the kids Walle Jibbitz for their crocs. First pixie dusting of the trip. We learned a lot about the history of the MCO airport from him too. And now I know why the initials are MCO instead of ORL which never made sense to me.

Next up...
Arriving at the Contemporary!!!
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:29 AM   #8
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I'm here!! Great updates! Congrats to your hubby on losing 40 pounds, I know that battle, it's not an easy one!!

Your little men are adorable and they look so happy! Sounds and looks like you were all having a great time, can't wait to hear the rest!
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:57 AM   #9
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I love when I find trip reports from people who stay at the Contemporary! We love it
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:55 AM   #10
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104 days of summer vacation and we're gonna do it ALL, or are we?

Saturday morning rolls around and the itinerary says we're going to Hollywood Studios. I had lots planned for this park. I really wanted to boys to see Lights Motor Action, they love that kinda stuff. I wanted to do the Animation thing since both boys love to draw and Matthew is really good already. We never did the Backlot Tour and I thought they'd enjoy the Catastrophy Canyon part. Of course, meeting Phineus and Ferb was high priority. Had to ride TSM and ToT and Matthew had to do RnR. It's a lot considering Matthew starts disolving into poutiness by 1pm. Eric could go all day and he's the younger one. Was hoping to stay here later, get everything done, see the 1:20pm LMA show and then leave. Did we get it ALL in?

Waiting for the bus, note the kid's shirts!

We headed out to the buses, our first bus ride of the trip. Waited only 5 minutes and the first bus that came was for DHS. People kept coming, strollers kept coming. Bus ended up packed. Our trip last year we never saw a packed bus, even in the morning. We arrived just in time for EMH Rope Drop, but they didn't really have a show this day. I told DH to take Matthew and go straight for RnR and Eric and I would go get the FP's for TSM since he can't ride RnR anyways. And I won't. Then we'd come meet them there and do ToT which Eric loves. He loved it last year at 4. Masses of people are all heading to Pixar Place. As we are approaching I see a line and quickly realize it's the line for FP forming and jump into it. I'm not too far back and it eventually stretches way further behind me. It took about 5 minutes before they even turned the FP machines on and then we started moving. Our return time was 10:45 I think, something around there. Not too bad really.

So Eric and I then head towards ToT and just as we get there DH texts me that they are coming out. Perfect timing. We walk right onto ToT, no line even though it says 10 minute wait.

Picture of picture...we middle row left side



Then we head to Star Tours, another favorite of Eric's.

Ready to board our StarShip...

Star Tours was cool, even better than last year which we actually did just a few days before it closed for refurbs.


Then we walked through Streets of America, asked about Phineus and Ferb and found out they didn't start till 10am. So we headed to the Backlot Tour and did that.




We got out of there about 9:45 and headed straight for Phineus and Ferb which wasn't too far away. It's by the Muppet Theatre and where Lightening McQueen and Mater are. The line was already long when we got there, but probably not more than 30 minutes or so we thought. We're waiting, it's only going to get worse. And it did get worse. Right about 10am the music starts and the show start.



waiting patiently...


playing games with an acorn...



They "fake" make a movie and the director comes out and starts his thing and gets people from the line to join him. He picks people not right at the front of the queue since they'll be doing their meet and greet sooner. Phineus and Ferb came out and after a minute or so of playing to the crowd they went to their spots and they started the meet & greets. The show kept going on in the foreground and lasted about 20 minutes maybe then was done. Not sure when they did another show, but after that it was just wait in line. It was our turn about 10:40 so we waited almost an hour in line total. P&F took 2 quick 2 minute breaks during the 40 minutes they were out there.

video of boys meeting the boys. I didn't get any pictures, waiting for PP CD.

After P&F it was time for TSM with our FP's. We went straight over there and it only took about 10 minutes to be riding.



my lame score, I did much better last year.


Eric's score, he did better this year.

I beat everyone though. Ha! After that we went straight to Sci FI Dine In for our lunch ADR at 11:35. Which I planed to give us plenty of time to eat and make it to LMA for the 1:20 show. So far everything is going according to plan. After LMA we can do the Animation thing and then leave. Of course, on our way to eat, Matthew starts his whining about wanting to leave. He's had enough, why can't we just eat right here, pointing to any place we see along the way. This is where we made the connection that if he is not constantly plied with sugary treats, he goes into whiny mode and it just sets us, DH and I, off. We made sure to keep him high on sugar the rest of the trip. But I digress. We get to Sci Fi and it's nice and cool. We only wait 2 minutes and are seated in our car. Eric thinks it's cool we're sitting in a car. Matthew doesn't care, he just wants food and the pool, and he's sprawled out next to DH on the bench seat looking all doom and gloom. I just want to lock him in the hotel room and visit the parks alone. But I won't do that of course. I just want to. I think he would be a perfect future CM for the Haunted Mansion.

this was the best face he could muster for a photo...he looks terrified



I enjoyed the food and milkshake very much. I had the Turkey Sandwich and DH had a burger. Kids had, yes, you guessed it, Pizza. I swear to GOD are they not sick of pizza by now??? Apparently not yet.

We left Sci Fi about 12:30 and the whining had not stopped. DH couldn't stand it and just said let's go back to the pool. So, no LMA and no Animation. Both things I know Matthew would have loved had he gotten out of his stupid mood. I was now officially annoyed with him, 8 year old boy going on 16 year old teenage girl. It's only Day 3.

pouting at bus stop...


Up next...
Little Man is a Star (AKA a very quick blur across the castle)!
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beebeeryan View Post


We left Sci Fi about 12:30 and the whining had not stopped. DH couldn't stand it and just said let's go back to the pool. So, no LMA and no Animation. Both things I know Matthew would have loved had he gotten out of his stupid mood. I was now officially annoyed with him, 8 year old boy going on 16 year old teenage girl. It's only Day 3.

pouting at bus stop...


Up next...
Little Man is a Star (AKA a very quick blur across the castle)![/COLOR]
I have GOT to say it is SO nice to have another parent writing about the moody kid..lol..I figured I'd get flamed for being so real about my moody kids..lol.. Of course the pictures have only begun of the nonsense Taejan pulled..LOL
What day was this HS visit? U said a Saturday but what Date?
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:54 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by justakrazymom View Post
I have GOT to say it is SO nice to have another parent writing about the moody kid..lol..I figured I'd get flamed for being so real about my moody kids..lol.. Of course the pictures have only begun of the nonsense Taejan pulled..LOL
What day was this HS visit? U said a Saturday but what Date?
It was Saturday Aug 27th.

YOU gave me the courage to go ahead and whine about my whiny kid. But seriously, everything I planned was for them and it just annoyed me because the 5 year old would go along with anything and everything knowing if we were doing it, he'd like it. But Matthew is not the happiest go luckiest kid around normally, so I know this, but it just was so much worse on the trip. When you're stuck together 24/7 it's hard to ignore. I couldn't send him to his room, because it was my room too!!! I felt bad because in order to not make bigger scenes, we just gave Matthew his way when he got like that, but then Eric missed out on things he wanted to do. Poor kid barely saw any characters this trip because Matthew didn't want to. By the end of the week I said too bad, go somewhere with Daddy, but Eric and I are waiting in this line to see this character whether you like it or not. It's his trip too. We spent a fortune to bring you to the happiest place on earth, at least pretend to be happy for more than just the time you are actually on your favorite rides or in the pool.
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:19 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by beebeeryan View Post
It was Saturday Aug 27th.

YOU gave me the courage to go ahead and whine about my whiny kid. But seriously, everything I planned was for them and it just annoyed me because the 5 year old would go along with anything and everything knowing if we were doing it, he'd like it. But Matthew is not the happiest go luckiest kid around normally, so I know this, but it just was so much worse on the trip. When you're stuck together 24/7 it's hard to ignore. I couldn't send him to his room, because it was my room too!!! I felt bad because in order to not make bigger scenes, we just gave Matthew his way when he got like that, but then Eric missed out on things he wanted to do. Poor kid barely saw any characters this trip because Matthew didn't want to. By the end of the week I said too bad, go somewhere with Daddy, but Eric and I are waiting in this line to see this character whether you like it or not. It's his trip too. We spent a fortune to bring you to the happiest place on earth, at least pretend to be happy for more than just the time you are actually on your favorite rides or in the pool.
Yep I hear ya... that is why I let the teens go offf cus I couldn't deal with the drama. My 9 year old is NOT a go with the flow and it caused a few issues.. my daughter is more willing to go with things. The now 6 year old.. well you'll see if you continue reading my report..LOL.. and yep.. we had the 3 wee ones and us in that tiny Pop room.. no break from the nonsense.. and it built as the 10 in park days went on.. by the end I couldn't wait to get home and just send them all to their rooms!
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:29 AM   #14
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Little Man is a Star (AKA a very quick blur across the castle)!

So, after leaving DHS with Matthew Whiner, we headed back to the resort for a little swimming and calming down time. We had a late night planned. We changed and went to the pool, but within 20 minutes of getting there, guess what? Dark black ominous clouds started rolling in and they closed the pool due to lightening in the area. If it's within 6 miles they have to close they told us. Lovely.

So maybe, just maybe...it was a good thing we left DHS? Maybe Whiny Boy saved us from getting poured on at the LMA show? Maybe. But I refuse to acknowledge that one way or the other.

We headed inside to the 4th floor to check out the stores again. Matthew picked out a Woody Hat and Eric got Mickey Ears. His first! He also got a Monorail and some track. We grabbed a few things at the market for the room and then headed back.

Goofing off in the room waiting out the storm...



It wasn't raining anymore, only lasted a few minutes, but the pool was still closed. We hung out in the room for 20 minutes when we finally saw from our window the pool being open again. Back to the pool. Very convenient to be able to see the pool from our room. Keep this in mind for later in the trip...




So about 6pm we head out towards MK for the evening. Tonight we have the late night, getting everything in, one shot. Parade, Memories and then Wishes. We'll park ourselves right in front of the castle for the best view of Memories, have a good spot of the MSEP and Wishes too. So we walk to MK. Along the way, I yell out, "I FOUND PERRY!" The kids start laughing when they see (they were too busy staring at the ground looking for salamander to notice) the guy in front of us.


We get there and I take this picture, then stop into Guest Service where the lovely girl at Epcot Guest Services told me to go to find my lost waist pack. I wait 5 minutes in line for the next available CM. I tell her my story. She tells me she is TERRIBLY sorry, but I was given misinformation. The Lost & Found is not here, it's at the TTC in it's own separate building off to the side. I mean Epcot chicky was very specific, it's to the right after you go through bag check. Bag check...AT THE PARK. Not the TTC. Ugh, what!?! Well, I'm not getting it now. We're hungry. Good thing I brought the ziplock baggy with me to protect my camera incase it rained. I can fit the camera in the waist pack and was planning on putting it in there, I was quite confident I was getting it back.


We head over to the kids favorite place, Frontierland and decided on Pecos Bills for dinner. Have never eaten here actually. I had the Taco Salad and enjoyed the DIY toppings bar. DH looked at the tray when we got the food and said, "umm they forgot your salad." It was just a tortilla shell with ground beef in it. LOL I said you get everything else at the toppings bar I assume. I assumed right. Kids got burgers an DH got the BBQ Sandwich.


Again, we went on Splash and Thunder Mountains and we made it through Swiss Family Treehouse which we'd never done. Then it was time to head over to the hub and grab a spot right in front of the castle. We wanted the best view to see Eric up there in the video. I proceeded to take a lot of pictures of the castle changing colors as it got dark.

Matthew was instantly exhausted because sitting and waiting is just not what he wanted to do. I've been waiting 6 months to see this in person. We're seeing it.

The "tude" started right away when we got to our spot. 8:12pm...

We had planted ourselves a few rows in from the curbside and everyone was sitting and there were 2 strollers and a wheelchair in front of us. We thought this would be good since we knew could all easily see over the wheelchair. Worked out well, everyone stayed sitting during the parade and we were the first row of standing people so the kids had a good view. One lady decided to stand to take pictures and people were yelling at her to sit down since she chose to sit curbside she should stay seated. Honestly, standing and taking picture from in the road is not going to give her the best view or angle, she's too close. If she wanted to take photos she should have come back a few steps. But whatever. I shot around her mostly. Matthew did get up and enjoyed the parade, he said he liked that the best, better than the fireworks or Memories.

He did smile during the parade too, but I haven't seen the evidence yet.I took a snapshot from a video.

The everyone just turned in place and sat down and waited for Memories. I thought it was an incredible show, much better in person than just seeing it on YouTube. And being so close. Amazing. I warned DH and Eric when he was coming up and we all saw him. Matthew was half sleeping in DH's lap, he says he didn't fall asleep, but who knows. He didn't react to the castle on fire scene which he always does when he's seen the video so I'm pretty sure his eyes were closed for most of it. Eric thought it was cool to see himself even if it was real quick. They took away the screen they had up I see during the videos online, probably because people complained about it being up there all the time. But it's harder to make out the video without that screen there, the arches on the castle make it harder. Then Wishes was due to start in just a few minutes so we stayed in place as did most people. Well...I never realized this but the front of the castle is probably the very worst spot to watch Wishes from. We couldn't see anything around the castle, they were right behind it and the far away high ones were slightly better. Now we know.

Scoping out my view of where the video will be during Memories




















Eric's moment... a snapshot from the video I was taking on my Flip.


I posted a brief clip of that part of the video on YouTube...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvKfRzYpM5o


Getting out was slow going, but we were very happy when we finally reached the exit and could just walk home. Only a few people on the walkway and hoardes of people everywhere else heading to the buses and such. It was nice I gotta say.

Took this at 10:10pm on the escalator heading to our room. We had gone up to get an ice cream snack at Contempo. Happy little guy got to see himself in lights!



Up next..
To Fantasmic, or Not to Fantasmic, that is the question.
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Last edited by beebeeryan; 09-09-2011 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:18 AM   #15
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Loved reading about your trip - you did a great job! Your younger son has the greatest smile!
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