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Old 12-24-2008, 11:42 PM   #241
joelp
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Merry Christmas to all ... and to all ...

a Good Night ...
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Me DW-Vicki DD-Danielle and DP Ranger and our new DP Sunshine

Off site - 8/76, 10/90, 10/94; POFQ - 5/07; AKL - 12/08; AKL - 9/09; Off site - 6/10; AS Movies - 3/11;
AKV-Kidani - 11/12; AKV-Jambo - 11/13 ; AKV-Jambo - 12/14


Dec 2008 Trip report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29702539
Sep 2009 Trip Report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post34156519
Sep 2009 TR continued (but never finished) at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post36403597
March 2011 PTR at http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2643038
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:45 PM   #242
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Dec 08: One sore back + two sore feet + a cranky kid =

For those of you who have been reading my pre-trip report, you may recall that Vicki (my DW) and I started planning this December 2008 trip to WDW way back in May 2007 – on the flight home from our last trip to WDW!

The May 2007 trip was our first trip to WDW in many years – and the first trip for our then DD-3.5, Danielle. There had been many changes to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot since our last vacation at WDW in the mid-1990’s – and we had never seen the Disney-MGM or Animal Kingdom parks. Finally, instead of staying at some cheapo off-site motel – we stayed on-site at POFQ and totally immersed ourselves in the WDW experience.

We were also joined by our DD’s grandparents for the entire week (OMG – you spent your whole vacation with your in-laws!?!?! – yep!!), my brother’s family for a couple of days, and Vicki’s cousins for a day at Epcot. The May 2007 trip also included a very special Mother’s Day lunch at Cinderella’s Royal Table.

We didn’t really know what to expect in May 2007 – and truly had a very magical vacation.

So – how to possibly top that trip?

Go back to WDW at Christmastime – by many accounts the most magical time of year to visit!

And splurge a bit (!!) and stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge!!

So we had very high expectations for this December trip – in hindsight – maybe too high. As a result, we were maybe a little too stressed about going and didn’t relax and let that WDW magic soak into our systems as much as we could have.

However – looking over the 160 Photopass photos, the 600 photos (and videos) that Vicki took, and the almost 6 hours of video that I shot – there were many (many!) truly magical moments, hours, and days in this trip.

So – despite my sore back, Vicki’s sore feet, Danielle’s occasionally cranky attitude (which – of course – made Vicki and I cranky and frustrated, too: “How can she be cranky?!? We’re in Disney World!!! Aaaaagh!!!” ) – and thus, the title of this Trip Report – we still had a wonderful time, filled with lots of great memories.

As a matter of fact, Vicki and I (well – at least I …) started planning our next trip to WDW – for the fall of 2009 (we hope!) – on the flight home this time, too!!

So let’s get this show on the road … !! (well – actually, off the road and onto the written page … make that onto the web … )

Cast of Characters:

Me – Joel (age: “12” – I’ll be turning “13” next September [yea – it’s a BIG one … a REALLY BIG one … and my birthday falls on a Saturday] – so where better to spend it than in the Magic Kingdom? - thus one reason for a potential September 2009 trip to WDW …). Chief planner, bottle-washer, and WDW-fanatic since May 2007 (‘nuff said …) Recently (very!) designated NDD#2 (for those of you who don’t know about this … check out www.thedisneydrivenlife.com) And, with a little luck, perspiration, and imagination, a future official (non-neurotic?) “Disney Mom [Dad!!]” …

Vicki – my DW of almost 9 years and LOML for the past almost 20 years … (age: not going there … you do learn some things after 20 years …) Not totally obsessed with WDW – but likes getting compliments on the many (and unusual) Disney t-shirts I have bought her over the years. And has been known to tear up on occasion while at WDW (who hasn’t …?) Loves roller coasters – so is waiting for Danielle to get tall enough to join her on Space Mountain (cuz Daddy did that ride once – and that was enough! ) And how can someone who doesn’t “get” WDW take over 600 photos of the place?!?

Danielle – our DD (age: 5 years and 1 month to the day we arrived at WDW. Her birthday will occur during “Jersey Week” in November 2009 – and thus another potential date/reason for a fall WDW trip … ). Sometimes a sweet little princess, sometimes an ornery Tinker fairy, and always our precious little girl (“I am not a big girl, Daddy!”). Would watch the Disney Channel 24/7 if we let her … (and other than PBS and movies, that’s all she watches!!) Favorite Disney Characters: Princess Aurora (Cinderella is so last year …), the fairy Rosetta (Danielle says she and I are both Garden-talent fairies …), Daisy - and lo and behold, who would’ve thunk it! – Minnie Mouse!!

That’s us in this picture:




The next post starts with Day One!!!
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Me DW-Vicki DD-Danielle and DP Ranger and our new DP Sunshine

Off site - 8/76, 10/90, 10/94; POFQ - 5/07; AKL - 12/08; AKL - 9/09; Off site - 6/10; AS Movies - 3/11;
AKV-Kidani - 11/12; AKV-Jambo - 11/13 ; AKV-Jambo - 12/14


Dec 2008 Trip report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29702539
Sep 2009 Trip Report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post34156519
Sep 2009 TR continued (but never finished) at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post36403597
March 2011 PTR at http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2643038
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:07 PM   #243
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Day 1 – Dec 6: “Minnie Kissed Me Four Times!”


“Danielle’s WDW Christmas Adventure” (yet another title for this TR) started on Saturday December 6 at 8:30 am. For those of you interested in knowing what I was doing just about every hour for the 24 hours previous to that time (besides going crazy …), check out the PTR in my siggie …

The plan called for us (and our DP – Ranger) to get out of the house by 8:30 am – and that’s what we did!! (A truly amazing feat if I do say so …) Speaking of Ranger, here’s a picture of him and the DD in front of one – the biggest of our four (!!) - Christmas trees …





We drove north about 20 minutes to drop Ranger off at his “resort” for the next 8 days. He’s happy when he goes there (there are lots of other dogs to play with!!) – but even happier when we pick him up after his “vacation”…

Driving back south to get on the Garden State Parkway and thence to Atlantic City International Airport, the plan was to hit an ATM so Vicki could get some cash … But along the way, she remembered she had forgotten to pack a bathing suit (it was December after all!!) – so we passed on the ATM and stopped back home (all of a mile-or-so off our course – no big deal …) – and we were soon on our way again, with the Magic Kingdom “Welcome Medley” filling the car …

I was a little trepidatious about flying out of ACY – especially given the unpredictability of December weather. But I must say it is one great airport to use!! We got a spot in the parking garage close to the elevator (but forgot to write down what floor we were on!!!) and a short 50-yard walk later we were in the terminal and at the Spirit Airlines check-in counter … Getting through security was simple and easy … And we soon found ourselves sitting in the waiting area at Gate 3 (there are only 4 of them!!) … with a whole bunch of Pop Warner cheerleaders … !!

Yes – we were braving WDW during Pop Warner week!!

BTW – my plan to surprise Vicki at MCO with the news that we were staying the whole time at AKL (as opposed to transferring from ASMovies …) didn’t come off. She figured it out when I put the “AKL” Magical Express tags onto our luggage … But she was still excited!!

The flight down to MCO was uneventful and we arrived on schedule … to the cheers of a whole bunch of cheerleaders !!

There was a big line at the ME check-in – much longer than in May 2007 (when there wasn’t any line!!) – so I began to get worried about the crowd levels (and cheerleaders!!) we would be facing in the parks … But it moved quickly, and before long we were waiting for the bus to AKL.

The ME bus stopped first at Pop Century and Coronado Springs (which was kinda nice, cuz we’d never seen any of those places – but it also just prolonged that long-awaited moment when we would get to AKL!!). We were the last stop on the bus trip.

The AKL does not look all that impressive when you pull up in front of it – you really have no idea how big it is and what awaits you once you go through the doors and into the lobby.

So I lead the way – stopped, turned around – and watched as Danielle walked through the doors and caught her first sight of the magnificent lobby and the 40+ foot Christmas tree …

Her jaws dropped, her eyes got real wide – and all she could say was “Wow!!” (Magical Moment #1!!!)






A couple of minutes later – while I was checking us in – Danielle (with Vicki putting her camera to good use) was busy making a Christmas ornament using colored bits of ostrich eggs!!





And all I could do was smile and say to Vicki: “Is this great, or what!?!”

Danielle finished her ornament and we were off in search of our room – Pool View, Zebra Trail, #1474 – which turned out to be at the very end of the Zebra Trail, two floors down from the lobby. I had asked about getting a room on the third or fourth floors – apparently because the views from the first floor rooms were not that great – but they were all spoken for … But we loved the location and the view:





After we figured out where we were in reference to the hotel facilities, we realized we were just a short walk to the pool, The Mara (CS restaurant), and Boma (!!!) (and Jiko …) – as well as the arcade. And Simba’s Clubhouse was just down the hall. A perfect location!!

After unpacking we explored AKL at bit – Danielle fell in love with Simba’s Clubhouse and practically begged us to let her stay there!! But we were off to dinner at Chef Mickey’s – our first time …

On the way to the bus, Vicki smiled and told me “That’s it!! You’ve spoiled me … I don’t think I can stay anywhere else now!!” (Magical Moment #2!!!).

The bus service to MK was mediocre at best (all week – it was very good to excellent to the other parks) – and we arrived at the MK after about a 20 minute wait and a 25 minute ride. We walked to the Monorail, and after asking a CM, got in line to sit with the driver. This was going to be the DD’s first ride on the Monorail, and I wanted it to be memorable!!

We had to wait about 10 minutes until the driver’s cabin became available, but it was worth it! It’s a great place to sit – and the view of the Contemporary was very cool as we pulled into it.

[OK - let's see if this works ...]

























[OK, it kinda worked ... I love the juxtaposition of the monorail and the WDW train and its ring bell ...]


Dinner was at Chef Mickey’s …





We had about a 5 minute wait for our table – just enough time to get our picture taken (which we didn’t buy) …

I wasn’t expecting a quiet dinner with great food – but Chef Mickey’s was not nearly as noisy and rowdy as I have heard, and the food was very good. Given my trip-induced “nervous stomach”, I kept my plate to lighter fare – shrimp, salmon, salads, veggies. Danielle took a look at the Mickey mac ‘n’ cheese and said “Ewwww!” – but once she tried it, she found it to be very yummy and finished off a whole plateful!! Danielle had fun making a sundae – but I put my foot down on adding gummy bears to the mix!! Even so, our DD was (over)-stuffed to the gills, and we were a little concerned about a possible “explosion” …

The Character interaction was great (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto) – but I had forgotten to buy an autograph book in the AKL gift shop!! Mickey was a blast – and Goofy really liked the t-shirt I was wearing …
















… and Danielle fell in love with Minnie. And all week, when Danielle would talk to other kids, she would exclaim “Minnie kissed me four times!!!” (Magical Moment #3!!!)






After dinner we checked out the shops and Christmas decorations at the Contemporary. Compared to the warmth and ambience of AKL, the Contemporary seemed very hard and cold. Vicki and I agreed that we had no desire to stay there …

We then jumped on the Monorail to head back to the MK and the bus to AKL. The original plan was to stop at The Polynesian and The Grand Floridian and take in the Christmas decorations, but it was getting late and we were getting tired …

Our timing was good however, as we got to see some of the “Electric Boat Pageant” and “Wishes” while riding the monorail … Danielle fell asleep in my arms on the ride by the GF …

And our timing was bad, because we arrived at the MK just as the crowd was letting out after the fireworks. So I had to carry and hold a sleeping Danielle for about an hour as we walked to the buses, waited for an AKL bus to show up (only about 10 minutes), and on the bus ride back to the resort … Thus started the sore back!!

We arrived back at AKL to find our luggage had arrived safe and sound. We deposited Danielle in her bed




unpacked a little…

… and went to bed with visions of the Magic Kingdom dancing in our heads.

Needless to say – I didn’t get much sleep!!

Next up: Day 2 – Dec 7 … “Pixie Dust!, Princesses! - and a Pickle!?!”


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Me DW-Vicki DD-Danielle and DP Ranger and our new DP Sunshine

Off site - 8/76, 10/90, 10/94; POFQ - 5/07; AKL - 12/08; AKL - 9/09; Off site - 6/10; AS Movies - 3/11;
AKV-Kidani - 11/12; AKV-Jambo - 11/13 ; AKV-Jambo - 12/14


Dec 2008 Trip report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29702539
Sep 2009 Trip Report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post34156519
Sep 2009 TR continued (but never finished) at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post36403597
March 2011 PTR at http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2643038

Last edited by joelp; 01-14-2009 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:10 PM   #244
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Greetings and Happy 2009 faithful readers ...

I've started my trip report ...

http://www.disboards.com/showthread....1#post29677292
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Me DW-Vicki DD-Danielle and DP Ranger and our new DP Sunshine

Off site - 8/76, 10/90, 10/94; POFQ - 5/07; AKL - 12/08; AKL - 9/09; Off site - 6/10; AS Movies - 3/11;
AKV-Kidani - 11/12; AKV-Jambo - 11/13 ; AKV-Jambo - 12/14


Dec 2008 Trip report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29702539
Sep 2009 Trip Report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post34156519
Sep 2009 TR continued (but never finished) at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post36403597
March 2011 PTR at http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2643038
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:21 PM   #245
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I was just going through all of the threads I subscribe to and was literally just wondering "what happened to Joel?!?" Since, we were all there at the same time...and here you are!!! Great report, so far! Looking forward to reading more!
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TR: Our first family of 6 trip, including a proposal on 12/12/12 at 12:12 http://www.disboards.com/showthread....4#post46997114
PTR: Our first family of 6 Christmas Vacation Dec 2012!!!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3015456
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Old 01-14-2009, 08:40 PM   #246
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I'm in! I need to get back to mine, but life has been hectic as always!! We kept running into long lines like that. After a day or 2 we figured out if we took the monorail to TTC we could get a cab to ASMo for 20.00, between 2 familys it wasnt bad, it was worth the 10.00 to get there quicker and without standing room only!!
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Old 01-15-2009, 08:35 AM   #247
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What a great start!!! I love the picture of her wiped after a long day. So peaceful!

Can't wait to hear more...
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:51 PM   #248
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Your daughter is precious! And how awesome you're planning two birthday trips.
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:29 AM   #249
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Unfortunately, I'll be able to afford only one of them ... and I have a feeling the DD is gonna win out on this one ...

But that discussion will be the start of yet another PTR - so it will have to wait until this TR is finished ...

Thanks for joining in ...
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Me DW-Vicki DD-Danielle and DP Ranger and our new DP Sunshine

Off site - 8/76, 10/90, 10/94; POFQ - 5/07; AKL - 12/08; AKL - 9/09; Off site - 6/10; AS Movies - 3/11;
AKV-Kidani - 11/12; AKV-Jambo - 11/13 ; AKV-Jambo - 12/14


Dec 2008 Trip report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29702539
Sep 2009 Trip Report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post34156519
Sep 2009 TR continued (but never finished) at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post36403597
March 2011 PTR at http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2643038
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Old 01-17-2009, 08:31 PM   #250
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Post

And the saga continues with ...


Day 2 – Dec 7: “Pixie Dust!, Princesses! - and a Pickle!?!”


Part 1




We were up bright and early – and hit The Mara for breakfast (good croissants, croissant breakfast “sandwiches”, chocolate chip and blueberry muffins, etc …)

My back had pretty much recovered from the previous night’s exertions, but I knew it wasn’t 100% and warned Danielle that I wouldn’t be carrying her too much that day … and besides, we would have her stroller with us …

Danielle was in a good mood on the bus ride, dressed as a “Tinker Fairy” for her day at the MK (hey – that rhymes!!) … (I love the expression on her face, although I’m not sure exactly what she’s thinking … Is she planning something for her Daddy? Or just sucking up to me?)




One of our favorite WDW “Traditions!” is to “officially” start our WDW vacation with the “Welcoming Ceremony” at the MK on our first full day – so we hustled to the bus to make sure we would get a good spot … And that’s what we did: dead center on the RR Station, with some nice seats on a garden wall …




The RR Station Window says it all …




The opening ceremony is a lot of fun and not to be missed (about the only reason I can think of missing it is to schedule an early-morning breakfast ADR at The Crystal Palace or CRT to get into the MK before it opens … ) Magical Moment #4!!! occurred as soon as the music started and Bea Starr, Citizen of Main Street, USA appeared!! – I’d been waiting 19 months for that arpeggio!!




And then the WDW Train appeared with a load of Characters …





Our touring plan for the day had a number of “options” (depending on what we wanted to do, crowds, etc.) and included meeting up with Vicki’s cousin Claire, her ex- Jim, and their daughter Grace (plus – Jim’s birthday was only a couple of days away, so it was a “celebration” visit to the MK as well …). They were driving from the Tampa area and had gotten a slightly later start than planned, so we were on our own until after lunch.

So that settled which of the touring plan “options” we would use: off to Fantasyland for a bit before Toontown opens at 10:00 – when we would go in search of “Pixie Hollow” and Tink and her Fairy friends …

And with that, we walked into the MK, and grabbed the first Photopass photographer we saw (we had pre-ordered the CD and Photobook, so we were going to get lots of pictures this trip!) – and I had Vicki take a picture of the Photopass card in case we lost it (which we did in May 2007 … on our last day!!)

Danielle looks just a tad happy to be in the Magic Kingdom!! – don’t you think?






And as we walked up Main Street and then around the Castle to Fantasyland, I physically felt all the “stress” of the past few hours (days … weeks … months!!) lift from my shoulders, smiled, turned to Vicki and said: “Ahhh – now I feel better!” (Magical Moment #5!!!)

Danielle wanted to ride “Winnie-the-Pooh” (first time for Vicki and I) – and then wanted to ride “Again!!” … so we grabbed Fastpasses – and got a nice surprise: bonus Fastpasses for “Mickey’s Philharmagic” (Magical Moment #6!!!)

Right across from “Winnie-the-Pooh” was “Donald Duck’s Christmas Tree Lot”, with McScrooge Duck keeping watch over the “merchandise” … so we paid him a visit.





It was about 9:40 and a small crowd was forming by the Toontown rope drop (scheduled for 10:00) so we ambled on over there. Vicki was about to head off and do something (I forget what!), when at 9:45 the rope was unexpectedly dropped and we excitedly made our way into Toontown. We hadn’t spent much time at all in Toontown during our May 2007 trip, so it was targeted for a good “working over” this time …

We parked Danielle’s stroller outside the Toontown Hall of Fame and followed the crowd in search of Fairies … Two lines were forming – with an estimated wait time of 45 minutes for “Pixie Hollow” … and essentially no wait to see a bunch of Princesses …

About 5 minutes later, I would hear those words that would be repeated many times in the coming week: “I gotta go potty!!” So while I held our spot in line, Vicki and Danielle headed off to “Pete’s Garage” … and by the time they got back … it was my turn …

While waiting I pulled out some bubbles (yes!!) – and Danielle made some new friends from Ottawa …

[OK -spoiler alert here. If you’ve never been to “Pixie Hollow”, are into the Fairies (or have kids that love them …), and/or want to be surprised by the magic of it all – close your eyes and scroll down a bit!!]



There are essentially two areas leading to “Pixie Hollow” – a queue that wends its way alongside the gift shop … which ends at a door through which a CM leads a limited number of visitors at one time … to a “forest trail” … where we shrink and become the same size as the Faeries …

Danielle and one of her new Canadian friends had fun chasing the “Fairies” and getting sprinkled with pixie dust, as we got smaller … and smaller… and smaller …




… and then “Pixie Hollow” itself … where Iridessa ran up and welcomed Danielle!!





As you can see, Danielle was dressed as a “Tinker Fairy” – which got her some extra attention – And then she caused a ruckus and amazed Iridessa and Tink by taking her wings off!! (“This is only a costume”, she explained.)




Tink had some fun with her new “Tinker Fairy” friend –






and then Rosetta (Danielle’s favorite!!) took her in hand and taught her to pose like a “Garden Fairy”


http://s542.photobucket.com/albums/g...t=MVI_7191.flv












(OK – let’s see here: Magical Moments #7, #8, #9, #10 … uhhh – I lost count!! For simplicity in bookkeeping – we’ll stop at #10 … )


We spent about 10 minutes visiting with Tink, Iridessa, and Rosetta – so that 45 minute wait was well worth it!!

After visiting with the Fairies, we were taken to a special door, which led us out of “Pixie Hollow” – growing bigger and bigger as we walked along the corridor – into the mother of all Fairy gift shops!! Otherwise known as “shopping heaven” to Vicki and Danielle …

[End of spoiler alert ... ]


After that we visited Minnie’s and Mickey’s Country Houses. Danielle had a great time playing with everything in Minnie’s House …







... and she got a big kick out of the mess in Mickey’s kitchen. (We saved the “Judges Tent”, “Donald’s Boat”, etc. for our next trip to Toontown … despite Danielle’s pleas …)




Mickey’s House was also decorated for the holidays:




We had a little time before our lunch ADR – with the princesses at Cinderella’s Royal Table!! – so we used our “Winnie-the-Pooh” Fastpasses, walked on to “Cinderella’s Golden Carousel”, and finally – in vain – tried to pull out that Sword in the Stone!!

And then it was just a hop, skip, and a jump (literally, with a 5-year old “Tinker Fairy”!!) to the CRT …


... where I will pick up with "Day 2 - Part 2" ...

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Me DW-Vicki DD-Danielle and DP Ranger and our new DP Sunshine

Off site - 8/76, 10/90, 10/94; POFQ - 5/07; AKL - 12/08; AKL - 9/09; Off site - 6/10; AS Movies - 3/11;
AKV-Kidani - 11/12; AKV-Jambo - 11/13 ; AKV-Jambo - 12/14


Dec 2008 Trip report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29702539
Sep 2009 Trip Report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post34156519
Sep 2009 TR continued (but never finished) at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post36403597
March 2011 PTR at http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2643038
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Old 01-23-2009, 06:50 PM   #251
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... as I was saying ...

And then it was just a hop, skip, and a jump (literally, with a 5-year old “Tinker Fairy”!!) to


Day 2 – Dec 7: “Pixie Dust!, Princesses! - and a Pickle!?!”


Part 2


the CRT …


Our May 2007 trip featured our first visit to CRT – and Danielle was (temporarily – until the day was saved by the Fairy Godmother!) completely awestruck by her first meeting with Cinderella and the other princesses. This time, however, she was much “cooler” about the whole princess thing … She even had a small drawing which she brought as a present for Cinderella (which was cute …) … and she seemed to feel right at home in the CRT …





So much so that she actually got into a cranky mood while having lunch (why?? – I have no idea!!)

Anyway, lunch at CRT was nice (despite cranky Danielle) and the food was good (I had the pasta … yummy … and couldn’t finish it all … and the sorbet and fruit desert … and managed to find room for some of cranky Danielle’s ice cream dessert – because a cranky DD doesn’t get dessert!!).

[BTW – don’t expect any food porn from me …]

But it wasn’t quite as “magical” as last time – although Danielle really did put her heart and soul into casting a spell with her magic wand!!



In addition to Cinderella, we met with Aurora, Jasmine, Belle, and Snow White – and again, compared to May 2007, this bevy of beauties just didn’t seem to have the “zing” that our 2007 group did … (and I missed the Fairy Godmother!!) But Danielle still had a wonderful time meeting the princesses.










So – no Magical Moments at CRT (erghhh!) … and Vicki and I agreed we would skip it during our next WDW trip (at least …)

It was now time to meet up with Claire, Jim and Grace! So while Vicki tracked them down (eventually at the Teacups of all places!! – so they were close), Danielle and I walked right into “Mickey’s Philharmagic” without a wait – where she finally kept her 3-D glasses on and thoroughly enjoyed the show!

And then we had to find the rest of the gang … which we shortly did …

For some reason, Danielle and Grace have taken a real shine to each other, from the instant we all got together last March (2008), despite almost 20 years difference in age (maybe they knew each other in previous lives …?):



Since Claire and Co. had never seen “Mickey’s Philharmagic” – we put our “surprise” Fastpasses (from “Winnie-the-Pooh”) to work and walked right in again … and a fun time was had by all!!

And then we were off to find a spot to watch the parade … and ended up in front of Liberty Tree Tavern, where there is a porch with some benches … But the ladies decided to stand closer to the festivities on the street … so Jim and I joined them …




















The parade was a lot of fun, and I noticed a bunch of things I hadn’t seen before. I also kept the videocamera rolling during the entire “show” – but you’ll have to come for a visit to our place one night if you want to see it … (but call first ...)

BTW – while walking around the MK later in our trip, I spotted a really nice place to watch the parade. It’s along a raised planting area near the riverboat dock – there’s just enough room for about 5 people to sit (yes – sit!!) and watch the parade without having anyone in front of you!! I imagine you’d also get a lot of attention from the parade CMs at this location …

At this point, Jim and Grace had to relive her first ride on “Dumbo” almost 20 years ago – so we trekked back to Fantasyland – where Danielle and I joined them for our first ride on “Dumbo”. The (only!) 20 minute wait in line went pretty quick … I considered taking video while flying, but that little elephant can really move – and my DD likes to go up and down … and up and down … and up and down … so I passed …




So not only did we continue one “Tradition!” with that “Dumbo” ride – it looks like we started another …

At that point we still had some time left before we would be kicked out of the MK – the MVMCP started at 7 … (and we had dinner reservations at Boma! Boma! Boma! anyway) - so we headed into Tomorrowland, with the “Monsters, Inc. Laugh Factory” our goal …

Along the way we spotted a snack cart – so Danielle and I shared our first Mickey Bar of the trip!

And Jim – for some reason – decided to buy a big dill pickle!! Which – when the CM saw his birthday button – was given to him as a “present” … (Magical Moment #11).



I – for one (make that four – including Vicki, Grace, and Claire) – would never have considered getting a gigantic dill pickle as a snack … but it was actually quite tasty and refreshing (even after just eating a Mickey Bar!!) … So the group strolled further into Tomorrowland, taking turns munching on the pickle …

Monsters, Inc didn’t have a big line – so we first grabbed Fastpassess for “Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin” – and then jumped into the Monsters, Inc. queue, quickly finishing off the pickle before a Monster spotted it … and potentially mistook it for a “monster egg” or … (use your imagination – the possibilities are just about endless …) ...

In May 2007, Vicki had become a “victim” of one of the Monster comedians – no such “luck” this time, but her picture was flashed up on the screen with a cute written comment (which I forget …) as everyone settled into their seats. They must have some kind of face-recognition technology to continually identify the Monster, Inc. visitors and “victims” … or my DW just has “that don't pick me look” … (yea - that's the one ...)

Monsters, Inc was more fun than a barrel of monkeys (even without the pickle) … I mean – what’s not to love? Monsters – telling jokes!! Does it get any better than that?!? (Well – maybe … Monsters and monkeys?? ... and a pickle!!)

We then used the Buzz Lightyear Fastpassess – Danielle rode with me, while Vicki and Claire were just behind us, and Grace and Jim brought up the rear …

Now Claire has motion-sickness issues – and she was really concerned about riding Buzz – but she (and the rest of us!) had a “blast” – but I still didn’t break that 100,000 point level (95,000 + some change …). Buzz is one of my favorite rides …

Grace wanted to ride POTC – so it was off to Adventureland!! Again, Claire expressed some reservations – but the fun time we had riding Buzz, our encouragement, and the prospect of seeing Captain Jack Sparrow overcame her fears … and Danielle also enjoyed the ride (more-or-less …)

At that point it was getting dark and time for Vicki, Danielle, and I to head out of the MK and back to the AKL for dinner at Boma! Boma! Boma! Claire & Co. were going to stay a bit longer until the MVMCP started, and then head home. So we started strolling towards Main Street … and I decided we had enough time for a “Jungle Cruise” … which only had a 5 minute wait …

… and that too was a lot of fun (and very different) in the dark – even with all of the puns!! (And the monkeys … maybe the Disney-folks should add some Monsters, too? And I don't even want to think about what those boat drivers could do with a pickle ...!!)

Claire and Co. still had an hour-or-so before they would have to leave, so we said goodbye with hugs and kisses in front of the Castle and made our way to the bus back to AKL …



[Nice late-afternoon lighting on the castle ...]

We had a short wait after checking in at Boma! Boma! Boma! – so we put Danielle in charge of the “buzzer” and strolled around the AKL lobby and Arusha Rock and the lobby …

Dinner was excellent as usual … I was hoping for Palaver Stew on the menu, but didn’t luck out … Vicki ordered one of the special non-alcoholic drinks (an apple-flavored frozen slushie thing that was really good!) and we both grazed our way through the offerings, while Danielle stuck with chicken nuggets and fries … and then fell asleep on my lap!!

And at that point we made our way back to our room and put the kid to bed … followed shortly thereafter by yours truly …

Thus, ends Day 2 of our little adventure … with my back just a tad sore … Vicki's feet still in pretty good shape ... and Danielle no longer cranky (cuz she was sleeping!!)




Next up: Day 3 – Dec 8 … “Hi – We’re the Dream Squad”

[Yea - you read that right!!]
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Off site - 8/76, 10/90, 10/94; POFQ - 5/07; AKL - 12/08; AKL - 9/09; Off site - 6/10; AS Movies - 3/11;
AKV-Kidani - 11/12; AKV-Jambo - 11/13 ; AKV-Jambo - 12/14


Dec 2008 Trip report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post29702539
Sep 2009 Trip Report at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post34156519
Sep 2009 TR continued (but never finished) at http://www.disboards.com/showthread....7#post36403597
March 2011 PTR at http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2643038
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Old 01-24-2009, 06:15 AM   #252
Cutefeet
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wow, sounds like you guys had a great trip. Did you happen to take any photos of those sore bare feet of vicki's? if u could please post a couple, that would be great. I feel her pain and i want to compare hers with how beat up mine got after a week in Disney. lol thanx
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Old 01-24-2009, 06:59 AM   #253
mrsswat
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Location: South Jersey - too far from "home"
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hey fellow new jerseyian...

interested in knowing what kind of camera Vicki uses...her pics are wonderful. So is your report! And here's something for you to look forward to with Danielle-my family was there 12/23 - 12/30 and my youngest DD, who is 22, REALLY wanted to see the Christmas parade ON Christmas day. None of the 12 party members, including myself, wanted to "brave the crowds" (especially since she wanted to go early and get a great seat on the curb and wait). So having felt sorry for her, I opted to go. And man, it was the best thing I did the entire trip. Not only was it special seeing that wonderful parade ON Christmas day, the DD, age 22, turned to me when it started coming down the street, and said, "OMG mom I think I'm gonna cry"! She was so excited! Many similar comments were made during the parade which made it so special. So, my moral of the story is...somehow the magic never diminishes for the kids of Disney nuts! She's been going with us since she was 2, and always finds something new to "wow" over every trip. Makes it all worth while.
PS - you might want to look into Disney Vacation Club - going that many years makes it more economical. We did it so it was paid off before the college tuition payments kicked in! (we have 2 DD)
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Old 01-24-2009, 07:39 AM   #254
bucci818
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Subbing! What a great report...your daughter is beautiful. What time was your lunch ADR? My group of ten where there the same day for lunch. Ours was at 1:35pm. Can't wait to read about the rest of your trip!!
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:44 AM   #255
ilovmy3kidz
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great photo's! I love the ones of the rope drop, we've never gotten to see one!
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