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Old 06-14-2010, 12:33 PM   #1
hhockman
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The "This is the BEST VACTION EVER!" Trip Report Part 2

Hey Everyone. Well, I finally found time to post a new update and my thread has been moved to Completed Trip Reports and I can't add anymore to it, so I'm starting a new thread and I'll go on from here. If you want to read the beginning it's here: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2305681

I didn't get past the first day, but there's a lot of introduction there. And in case you don't want to go back, and since I can "edit" those posts, I'm going to copy and paste my first couple of posts here too. You won't have the comments to read, but if you want to read those, head over to the old thread. I just can't start in the middle of a story...

Okay, introduction. Keep in mind this is word-for-word, picture-for-picture what is in the old thread. Which means, my family and I are all almost a year younger in these pictures than we are now.

Okay, well, I guess it is about time I got started on this thing. I think I have been keeping you all waiting long enough, and I finally have a few spare moments. For the sake of anyone who may not have followed along on my PTR (here), let me introduce the cast once again, quickly.

First there’s me:
(this is not the best picture ever)

*note-the pictures are generic and non-descript because I don't want to give anything away*

Heather, 33 year old part-time substitute teacher looking for a full-time job (still). I am a University of Florida graduate (and therefore a huge GATOR fan), and I love reading, writing, sports (especially watching my kids play), scrapbooking, photography, and all things Disney. I grew up on the Florida Panhandle, went to school in Gainesville, and lived in Tampa/St. Pete after I was married. As a result I have been to Disney World approximately 35 times (give or take). I’ve been to Disneyland twice and I’ve never been to any of the other parks. My favorite characters are Mickey, Pluto, Peter Pan, Simba, and Belle (the only Princess I really really like). My favorite attractions are Pirates of the Caribbean, Toy Story Mania, and Expedition Everest. My favorite of the four main parks is EPCOT.

Next is my DH:


Matt, 32, who is currently an Inventory Specialist at a local hospital. That basically means he delivers supplies, but he just got moved to a position where he also orders the supplies. He’s pretty overqualified, but he was let go about a year and a half ago from the company that moved us here to Georgia, and right now we’re happy he has a job. He also grew up on the Florida Panhandle, moved to Gainesville two years after I did (when he graduated), and moved to Tampa/St. Pete after he was married (which I’m sure is a surprise to you all since he is married to ME, and I already told you this is where we moved after we got married). I think he went to Disney once before we started dating. He went once without me after we’d started dating (his Grad Nite, I was in college). Since we’ve been together we’ve been approximately 10 times (give or take), so his total is about 12. I don’t think he’s ever been to any other Disney parks. His favorite characters are all the Lion King characters, Goofy, and sometimes Grumpy. He collects funny Disney hats (the huge ones, you’ll see two of them). His favorite attractions are Tower of Terror, Rock N Roller Coaster, and Toy Story Mania, and Expedition Everest. As you may have guessed, his favorite park is Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Oh, and he’s a HUGE Alabama fan. Everyone is entitled to one fault.

Next we have my older DS:


Will is 7 ½ years old (and will NOT let you forget that ½) going on about 20. He’s going through a stage where he wants to do everything an “adult” gets to do including working and ordering adult meals. We fought about meals a lot. He is in 2nd grade and is great at math. He hates reading but does okay. He loves Social Studies and Science. He especially loves history and the Presidents. He is pretty smart, but his anxiety and some processing issues sometimes prevent him from showing everything he knows. He is very much into sports and plays baseball fairly seriously (for a 7 year old). This past summer he played on an All Star team for the second year in a row. We do baseball for about 9 months out of the year. This year he’s going to try basketball for the other 3 months. His current obsessions are Star Wars and Pokemon. He loves to play sports games on the Wii and Pokemon games on his Nintendo DS. He is very sweet and very giving. He will do anything for anyone and is always ready with a hug. He also has an ATTITUDE and does not like it when he doesn’t get his way. He doesn’t deal well with change and can be very insecure. He also probably has an anxiety disorder, even though we’ve never gotten it diagnosed. He worries all the time about everything from getting a math problem incorrect to whether someone is mad at him. We try to give him a lot of hugs. His favorite characters are Goofy, Mickey, Donald, and Pluto. His favorite attractions are Buzz Lightyear, the Indy Speedway, and (I think) Toy Story Mania (are you seeing a pattern here). He also really enjoyed the American Adventure at EPCOT. His favorite park is probably Magic Kingdom, but possibly Disney’s Hollywood Studios (I haven’t asked him yet). He has been to Disney World about 7 or 8 times I believe, including this trip. He has never been to any other Disney parks.

Finally, rounding out my immediate family, is my younger DS:


Christian is 4 ¼, going on 30. Yes, he sometimes acts older than Will. He is in PreK 4 and he loves everything about school. He can read simple books (he loves to read and desperately wants to be able to read “real” books) and he loves animals of all kinds. He has an amazing imagination and loves to pretend to be everyone from Clone Troopers, to Indiana Jones, to a Pokemon trainer. He is really smart. I’m afraid he might even be smarter than we realize (he’s not inventing a super computer or anything, but he is smart). He is also a good athlete and is currently playing his first season of coach-pitch baseball. He played soccer last fall. He idolizes his older brother and wants to do everything Will does. He loves to play the Wii (especially Lego Indiana Jones and Lego Star Wars) and his Nintendo DS. He is really good at puzzles and has recently developed an interest in Legos (Will has too, somewhat, but not as much as Christian).
He is a very picky eater and we had a monster of a time finding things for him to eat, even on the Kid’s menu, although he does like to snack. He loves thrill rides and was a little annoyed that 43” is just a little too short for Expedition Everest. He is very easy-going and doesn’t often worry about anything, though he does sometimes get upset when he doesn’t get his way or when he gets in trouble (which is when we remind ourselves that he is FOUR years old). His favorite characters are Mickey, Buzz Lightyear, and Lightning McQueen. His favorite attractions are Thunder Mountain Railroad, Goofy’s Barnstormer, and Soarin’. His favorite park is probably Magic Kingdom. He has been to Disney World, I think, 4 times including this trip. He has never been to any other Disney Parks.

So that’s my family. But this was a Grand Gathering and at one point our group included 14 people. I’ll introduce some of the other characters in my next installment, which I hope to get up in less time. I know my friends are waiting (patiently ) for me to get to the “surprise” so I will try to get the “Cast of Characters” introduced as quickly as a I can. Thanks for reading!


I'll go ahead and make another post for my next "old post". Don't worry, there were only a couple of updates on the other thread so there won't be many of these.
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:41 PM   #2
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The beginning of Day 1...the second time...

Well, I’ve decided I’m going to do this a little differently than I said in my first post. The rest of my group didn’t actually arrive until Day 2, so I’m not going to introduce them until Day 2. It’s unconventional, but what can I say? I like to be different.

So…without further ado…here…we…go!

Matt woke me up a little after 5 am on Friday, September 18. 2000 and 9. (sorry, Christian has been doing “calendar time” at school and now every time I say the date I hear it in my head with the day, month, date, and then the words 2000 and 9. Hope he’s not too confused in January!)

I didn’t want to get up. I know. We’re headed to Disney. I’ve been waiting for this trip for over a year. But it’s 5 am and I know I’ve got an 8 hour drive ahead of me.

I got in the shower and once I was dressed we got the boys up. About 5:30 my notes say. Will questions the time, but I put him off. We just tell them to get dressed. About 20 minutes later I’m drying my hair in my mom’s bathroom

(…oops, quick insert here…for those of you that are new you don’t know that we live with my parents. Long story…see the “looking for a teaching job for 3 years” part of the description about me…)

because my hair dryer is already packed. I suddenly hear my mom say to the boys, “You’re going to Florida!”

“Mom,” somewhat calmly…somewhat. “We didn’t tell them where we are going yet.”

“Oh,” she says. “Well I didn’t tell them WHERE”. Uggg.

Will says, “Sweet! I don’t have to go to school!” Yikes. What happened to my kid that liked school? He’s only in 2nd grade.

Christian says, “Sweet! I can play the Wii!”. Uh, no honey, we’re NOT bringing the Wii.

We finish getting everything ready and get in the car to go. These pictures are timestamped at 6:12 am.





They don’t look sleepy at all do they?

They weren’t.

About two miles down the road I realize I’ve forgotten my iPod.

At least we hadn’t driven far.

Once we go back to get it and are really “on the road” it’s about 6:20 am. Not too bad.

Here’s a couple of pictures out the front window time stamped at 6:52 am.





The boys are either watching a movie or playing their DS’s. Watching a movie, I think. Matt and I are talking. Still having trouble believing we are FINALLY on our way.

At about 7:30 am we stop for gas. Matt drops me off at Wal-Mart to grab a couple of things (hair spray-which ends up being so smelly I only use it once, barrettes-that I never use, a notebook to keep notes, some fishing wire, and some double-sided tape). I figure he will get gas while I’m inside. He doesn’t. I come out and it’s starting to get light out. We drive over to the gas pumps. The credit card doesn’t work. He goes inside. Still doesn’t work. So we use the Visa Gift Card we’d bought for him to pay for golf. Full gas tank. What a pain.

We drive across the street and get McDonalds. My mom gave me $20 in cash as we were walking out the door, so we used that. I don’t remember exactly how much it was, but it seems like too much for breakfast. McDonald’s has gotten expensive.

Here we are at 9:02. The boys are playing their DS’s. I’m still just looking out the window. Haven’t gotten out my DS or my book.









Out the window:



At about 9:15 we stop at a rest area.



We pull out of the rest area and drive for about 2 minutes. Matt is pulling to the side of the road.

Apparently we pulled out of the rest area too fast.

Hello officer. We’re headed to Orlando. No, there’s no reason we need to hurry. No, we didn’t realize we were doing 87 in a 70 MPH zone. (Matt swears he was NOT going that fast).

Sit…sit…sit (the kids want to know why we are still sitting)

Finally, we get a warning…for not having an updated insurance car (it expired in July and I never printed the new one off). And a ticket. There’s no amount. He says we’ll have to call.

Matt calls. It’s $221. THAT’S a nice way to start a Disney trip. But then I remembered how Lisa started her Disney trip, and I’m thankful that it’s just a ticket. (See, I was already thinking of you guys!)

Drivin…drivin….drivin….

About 10:30.


Christian singing:







Will:



11:00….what have we here?! Whew. Seemed to take FOREVER.



11:30 am. This van is heading in the same direction we are. Poor guy. He does know he’s going to LOSE tomorrow, right?



Suddenly the traffic slows. I CAN’T be traffic going into Gainesville for the game tomorrow already!

Creep. Creep. Creep.

I look at my watch. Are we going to make our 3:30 TRex ADR?

Traffic creeps for a while and then speeds up. Before Gainesville. I still don’t know what had happened.

At about 12:45 pm we stop at the rest area that is just past Gainesville and just before Payne’s Prairie.







Here’s Payne’s Prairie. I lived in Gainesville for 6 years and never actually made it out there.







At this point the kids are starting to ask questions.
“How much longer?”
“We’re going to be in this car forever!”
“Are we going to Granny and Papa’s house?”

That last one was Christian and Matt told the first outright lie when he said “Yes.: I shake my head. We’re not supposed to LIE. (We had previously told them we were going to SEE Granny and Papa-which was the truth). Will then asks where we are sleeping tonight. We just avoided the question.

I’m starting to get antsy too.

We pass a sign that says “Orlando. Exit 1 mile.” Will reads it out loud. I quickly say, “We’re not going to Orlando!” (Well, we’re NOT) and Will says “I know”. Thankfully he doesn’t know anything about Florida geography. And he also doesn’t realize that Orlando to is very close to Disney World.

They are still clueless. Whew.

Gotta get in the shower. Both boys have baseball practice this afternoon.

I know what you all are waiting for...I'm hoping to get it up tonight.
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:54 PM   #3
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Installment 3...AKA the rest of Day 1, I think...

I know you all have been waiting patiently, so I’m going to get at least a mini installment in.

I believe when we left off we were somewhere near Wildwood, where you get onto the Florida Turnpike (or don’t, if you choose to head toward Tampa). The kids were getting antsy and tired of riding and I was getting worried they were going to start noticing the ever increasing “Disney World (insert number here) miles” signs.



So I did what any good mom would do and gave them a movie to distract them. As those of you that read my PTR know, they’d already received two new Nintendo DS games each. Will got Transformers and Lego Star Wars, Christian got Diego and Lego Star Wars. Both played Lego Star Wars a lot and the other game they got, not so much. By this point they were pretty done with the DS’s though. Even with the Pokemon games that they normally love to play.





So I handed them a set of DVDs that has Pokemon Diamond version episodes 1-17. Yes, there were 17 episodes, each 20-30 minutes long. Will was so excited he hit his head of the back of the seat-hard. I could tell from the tears in his eyes that it HURT. But, they put the movie in, put their headphones on and….silence. They were totally engrossed. We passed the first “Disney World” sign on the turnpike. The closer we got, the more nervous I got…and then we were passed.

The next was just as we were getting off the Turnpike. Matt tried to stop and pay the toll where they couldn’t see the sign, but then he wasn’t close enough to actually give the money to the person. So he got out of the car. And she dropped it. So he has to go back and get it. Meanwhile I’m sitting there thinking “please don’t look up, please don’t look up”. They never looked up.

We got Clermont. And through Clermont. And then the signs really started. Christian said something to me about some Pokemon in the movie. I turned around to look at him, but he’d been talking the whole time without taking his eyes from the screen.

At around 2:15 I’m getting sick to my stomach with anticipation. We’re SO close. They are still watching Pokemon. “Bless that Pokemon!” I think to myself (and I know I thought it because those exact words are in my notes). This isn’t a normal thought for me, but I am very thankful for Pokemon right this second. Just a few more mintues…Please don’t let them look up!



Sign after sign after sign. Even with the stopping and starting from the lights, they never looked up.

It started to sprinkle. And then the last test. The curving exit where I was SURE Will would look up, recognize where we were, see the signs overhead and it would all be over.

Nope.

Never looked up.

Finally, we saw this:



“Boys, look!”

No response. They couldn’t hear us with the headphones on and were too engrossed in the movie.



“Boys. Boys! LOOK!”

I was starting to get afraid we’d pass the sign before they looked up. Matt was taking pictures of the sign and I had the camcorder on.

“Guys. Take off your headphones. Look!”



Finally Will says, “Disney World? We’re at Disney World?” in a very soft voice.

Christian repeats, “Disney World!?”

Matt and I both start talking at once, “Yep! We’re at Disney World. How about that?”

Will says, “Does that mean we’re not going to Granny and Papa’s?” in this really sad voice.

Uh, no buddy, we’re at DISNEY WORLD. I wasn’t about to tell him that Granny and Pa would be there with him the next day.

It took a little while for it to sink in, I guess.

Will look, a Disney bus!



Will absolutely, positively, unreservedly LOVES Disney buses. Loves them. But he loves the old ones. The new ones, not so much. I think we got to ride an "old" Disney bus one time the whole trip. He enjoyed the new ones, but just doesn't like them as much for some reason.

Now we’re getting a little bit of a response. The start to point at things out of the window…in between returning to the movie.

We finally pull into our “home” for the week. Port Orleans Riverside.

We stop at the gate. They ask for our name. Matt shows them his license. We drive through and into the parking lot. Get out of the car. Go into the lobby.





Ahhhhhh.



We’re here. We’re FINALLY here!

I walk straight over to the Online Checkin counter and am waiting behind one person. I look over at the regular line…there’s no one there. I guess it might have been quicker not to check in early. Doesn’t really matter though, the person in front of me finishes up and it’s my turn.



Matt goes over to where they are showing movies to take pictures of the boys.



The CM asks my name and goes to find my paperwork. While he’s working I ask if the rest of our family will be near us. He said he didn’t know because they hadn’t checked in yet. We’re in room 8009. I remember reading that the first number in a room number at POR has to do with the building number and the second number tells you the floor. The last two are the room number. Sweet! We’re on the first floor.

We had a great room for not having paid for a water view room. We were on the first floor and overlooked a courtyard with a water fountain (which I think is technically a “water view”). It wasn’t far from the parking lot, but you couldn’t see the parking lot.

We collected the boys and walked out of the lobby towards our car. Will hugs me and says, “I love this vacation! It’s so magical!”

Finally.

My thoughts exactly, buddy.

We walk a few more steps and he says, “This is the BEST vacation EVER!”

That would become he refrain throughout the week.

Okay, I know that was short, but I got you through the surprise. Except for Will’s initial disappointment at not being at my grandparents’ it was as amazing as I thought it would be. Definitely worth the wait.
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:57 PM   #4
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The next mini report...

Another mini-report. I know you all must think I’ve fallen off the face of the earth. I’m not doing a good job keeping up with my TR, or anyone else’s. I worked 3 ½ days this week, and it just seems like it’s hard to get here on the days I work. Or Saturdays. Or most days anymore. Anyway, here’s something.

When I left off we were headed back to our car in the parking lot. Will had just declared this the “BEST vacation EVER!” and I was smiling with satisfaction when Christian agreed.

We drove all the way to the back of the resort. Our parking lot was just past the NORTH depot, which would have been a good thing to note at this time, but we didn’t.

We pulled the car into a parking space and grabbed a few things. It was getting close to 3:30, so we really just wanted to get anything that might melt out of the car before we headed over to DTD. Matt started grabbing bags and handing them to whoever was standing there, and if someone wasn’t he just put it on the ground.

We walked over to our room, which as I said, was overlooking a courtyard, but not a far walk from the parking lot. I took went to the bathroom and Matt took a few pictures and then I took a few pictures.



























Out the window:


Just outside the door:




But we didn’t have long to hang around. We needed to get to our lunch ADR. We hurried out to the car, got the boys in, and Matt quickly backed out.

“CRUNCH”

What was that? Oh, it just happened to be our toiletries bag that Matt had left on the ground behind our car. He jumped out, grabbed it, ran it into the room, and then ran back out to the car (we would find when we returned that it was a mess. The bag-which was part of a set of Disney luggage we’d gotten for Christmas-was ruin. It had a big hole ripped in it and shampoo all over the place. Matt’s shampoo was half empty and all over EVERYTHING. Several other things were ruined. It was not a pretty sight, and it took us a while to get it all cleaned up when we got back that night).
So we were finally on our way to Downtown Disney and it didn’t take us long to get there. We pulled into a parking spot under a tree, right at the front. Awesome. Got out of the car, crossed the street, looked up, and saw this:



I took a couple of pictures of the boys in front of the restaurant and we went to check in.



It was about 3:24:


After all the trouble it took to find an ADR time, I expected there to be a huge line in front of the place. There was no line to speak of. We checked in and were seated right away (and for future reference, if you want to eat here and don’t have an ADR, just show up. The few times we were in the area, there was never much of a line).





We sat down and ordered drink and the boys got light up glasses. I ran back out to the car to get my purse because I hadn’t brought my Rainforest Café club card in (didn’t know they took it at TRex, but they do) and then I went to the gift shop to see if I could find a cheap pen so I could write stuff down for you guys (I’d left my pen in the car and wasn’t going back out AGAIN).





I found a pen in the giftshop that had just been marked to 50 cents (I watched them do it!) and then quickly went back to our table. Just then the waitress showed up and we ordered.
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:59 PM   #5
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The rest of the last update...not sure why the pics are acting funny

We got a free appetizer with the club card (or you can get 10% off-that card is worth every penny of the $10 it costs. It never expires-I’ve had mine for about 10 years). Then I got a rotisserie chicken salad (it was huge, but I didn’t like it that much), Matt got the Stegasaurus Steak Sandwich, Christian got the kids’ Alfredo Pasta, and Will got the kids’ Corn Dog Nuggets (though, as usual, he complained about having to order off the kids’ menu). Here are some pictures:
























We were not in the Ice Cave, but right next to it. While we were waiting for our food I walked around and took a few pictures. We ate our appetizer (dip and chips) and our food came just as we finished.

















He's supposed to be looking mean:


Matt loved his sandwich, Will ate his corn dogs and some of Christian’s. Christian ate about half of his (which is normal), and I ate about half of my salad (which was all I could eat-it was huge). I took the rest back to the room. Then we ran into a problem. The meal came to just over $73. I had a $75 gift card. I originally gave her my check card to go with the gift card, but she couldn’t charge it because our meal was less than the amount of the gift card. I only had about $5 cash on me. So we gave her the cash, all the change I had, and the gift card, but she still only ended up with about a $7 tip, which I’m sure you can figure out is only 10%. There just wasn’t anything else we could figure out to do, so we finally just left, feeling bad.

We walked through the Lego Store and into World of Disney. We looked around for a few minutes, but it was getting late and we wanted to get to Disney Quest at some point, so I bought my backpack and we left.

In the Lego Store:


Outside WOD:
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:01 PM   #6
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And more...long Day 1, right?

We’d changed our plans a little and decided that Matt would just drive me by Boardwalk on the way back to the Resort to get the cakes. We stopped and I walked through Boardwalk and over to the bakery, taking a couple of pictures along the way.















Cakes purchased, I got back in the car, and we drove back to POR. When we got there Matt parked in the drop-off cul-de-sac type thingy and we spent a little while getting all of our stuff out of the car. It actually took longer than a “little” while. Then I unpacked while the kids chilled for a little while.

Finally I was ready to “decorate”, so Matt took the kids for a “walk”. It took me almost an hour to finish. Here’s a couple of pictures before the kids’ saw it:















I finished about 7:30 and headed out to find Matt and the boys so that we could head over to the Marketplace and Disney Quest. While they’d been gone Matt had pulled Will’s tooth. It had been pretty loose for a couple of days and he kept playing with it, so Matt finally just pulled it. I was secretly glad because it was his top tooth just to the right of his middle teeth and he’d lost the one to the left a while ago. Now his smile was balanced.



















This one is kinda blurry:


We took the boat over to the Marketplace and arrived about 8:00. We were all tired, but we were hungry too, and we really wanted to take the kids to Disney Quest. We had to switch boats once we got to the Marketplace to get over to West Side, so we decided to just walk instead. We walked pretty quickly though.

Finally, FINALLY, there it was.

We walked through the turnstiles (first time using our KTTW cards!), got in the elevator, watched the neat Genie movie, rode up to the 4th floor, and walked out into a video game lovers dream world (we had all been there before, but the boys didn’t remember it).

No sooner had we entered the Central Hub area (it’s called something “Port” but I can’t remember it right this second), than my mom called. My cousin had tried to call and left a message (she and her husband and baby had just arrived) so my mom was calling to tell me to call her (and to check in, of course). My phone was about to die and when I tried to call she didn’t answer. After a bit of phone tag between the three of us, we finally agreed that they would head over and call Matt’s phone when they got here.

And I’m going to stop here. Once again, it’s not a long installment. It’s taking me forever to get through even Day 1, but at least it’s something right. Hang around to see the kids’ reaction to their “room” surprise. It’s worth waiting for.
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:12 PM   #7
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"The rest" of Day 1 ;)

Thought you guys deserved an installment, so here's the rest of Day One. I can't get Photobucket to upload my video of the boys finding their "surprise" and I don't have many pictures because I was recording, but I'm going to try to upload it elsewhere and post the link.

So we’d just arrived at Disney Quest. As we were leaving the arrival area my mom calls and tells me my cousin is trying to get ahold of me. A little bit of phone tag ensues and finally we agree that she will call Matt’s phone when she gets to DTD (my phone is about to die). We walk into the game room and see the Pinball game (which is awesome). Take a quick left and there is a line of NASCAR racing games. My boys (especially Will) love NASCAR and love to drive, so they get in line. When it’s their turn Will takes and car and Matt and Christian take one (Christian can’t reach the peddles). They finish racing (I don’t think they ended up racing each other) and we continue to walk. We come to Mario Kart. Racing again. Will takes one machine, Matt and Christian another. After that we come full circle to the Pinball game. Christian isn’t tall enough, but they have a special stationary platform for people who aren’t tall enough, so he takes that. Will and I get a workout worthy of any Gym and Christian stands still and presses a button. Christian wins. Christina (my cousin) had called Matt while we were playing Pinball, so after three games, we head out of Disney Quest. We’d only been there about 30 minutes.















We walked toward Wolfgang Puck’s and saw them walking towards us. I hadn’t seen Christina in a couple of years, and her daughter Winslow, was just 5 months old. It was nice to finally meet her. We went into WPE and the CM explained out the Dining Plan worked (we knew, but let him explain anyway). Then we ordered and went outside to eat. The kids were hungry and kept asking where the food was.

Finally we ate. Matt and I had mushroom and pepperoni pizzas. Will had a pepperoni pizza and Christian had a grilled cheese. We got three brownies and a chocolate chip cookie for dessert. We took all of them back to the room.



And talked. And ate some more. It was nice to catch up. Christina and Chris were staying until Sunday so when everyone finished eating we got up and walked back over to Disney Quest. Then we said our good-byes. They went back to their hotel and we went back into Disney Quest.

We knew we wouldn’t have long. We walked around for a minute and decided on Aladdin first. I love this attraction (except for the helmet being too heavy) because I imagined this type of virtual reality attraction when I first saw the movie, and I remember when they debuted the experience at Epcot. It’s really pretty neat, except for the fact that the disinfective they use gave me a headache (I have a pretty strong aversion to smells-I can’t even walk into a Yankee Candle store-and a strong smell will give me a headache pretty quickly. Will is pretty “smell” sensitive too).





After Aladdin we walked down the stairs to get in line for Pirates of the Caribbean. The boys kept asking to do the raft “game”, but Matt didn’t want to do it, and I forgot about it after we got off of Pirates. Pirates was a lot of fun, though. It is my favorite attraction at Disney Quest. The boys really like it too. Incidentally, I really miss the maze game they used to have on the bottom floor of Disney Quest. Does anyone remember that? One person played the game while the other person had to walk around and follow their “real” truck under the floor and give directions. It was cool. I don’t know why they got rid of it.









After Pirates we went up to the “kids” floors and played a bunch of games. Will did some bowling, Christian did some basketball, and I played a dance game (I love the dance games, but I am not very good, so I don’t like to do it when there are a lot of people) and Guitar Hero. I have GH for my DS and I really like to play it. One of these days I will get it for our Wii.






Finally, it was time for them to close. I wasn’t too worried because I knew we’d planned to be back 2 or 3 more times during the week. We weren’t sure if they boat was still running, so we planned to take the bus back. We walked out and walked all the way to the old bus stops behind Cirque du Soleil before we realized that they were “old” bus stops and that busses didn’t run there anymore. So then we had to walk all the way back up to the bus stops by Planet Hollywood.

The boys were tired.

We were tired.

And the bus took FOREVER to come.

Will kept asking and asking where the bus was. I think Christian fell asleep.

Finally the bus arrived and we got on and rode back to the resort. Remember when I said we SHOULD have made note of the fact that we were right next to the North Depot?

Yeah.

We both figured our bus stop would be the one after the front, so when the bus stopped we got off at the West Depot.

We never forgot it was North Depot again. It was a LONG walk back to our room, and Christian was asleep. We kept handing him back and forth until Matt finally had to put him down and wake him up. We just couldn’t carry him anymore. It seemed to take forever, but probably really only took about 15 minutes. It was midnight by the time we got back.

I got my camera ready while Matt was opening the door. Christian was awake by now and both boys walked into the room. My sign had fallen down, and we had to kind of direct the boys, but they were so excited. Will kept saying “I can’t believe Mickey came to our room and left us all of this stuff!” Now I had never said Mickey came to the room. I can’t remember if Matt said he did. But I wasn’t about to ruin that image for them, so I let them believe it. They went through everything in their bags (Will’s camera fell on the ground and we had to find it) and they oohed and ahhed. I showed them their books and they wrote down their “favorite thing of the day”. Then we quickly got them into their pajamas, and finally, ahh FINALLY, it was time for bed.

(I just tried to upload the video to Shutterfly and I'm getting an error there too. I plays fine on my computer, so I'm not sure why it won't upload. Sorry. They did have a great reaction!)

It was a very long, very, very wonderful first day.
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:17 PM   #8
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Last little update on the old report...

Hey everyone. I don't have a good excuse for not being here, but sorry. Lisa has been valiantly trying to track me down so I thought I'd say hi. I'm posting a picture from my Photopass from Day 2 I can try to make myself get over here (and so this thread doesn't get locked).

So here's a little teaser for you:



Wow. I can't believe how long ago that seems.

It seems even longer ago now. Going to work on Day 2 right now. I know this isn't going to be as good as it would have been months ago, but hopefully I can somewhat do it justice.

These pictures are REALLY making me want to go again. Just 15 more months, right?
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:41 PM   #10
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Welcome look at what the cat drug back in. Seriously, I am soooo very glad that you decided to come back and finish up the report. We've missed reading about your family.

Did you know that we just got back from Disney? I've already started feeling that deep dark Disney depression. Only way to cure it was to start another report. Hope you'll read along.
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:19 PM   #11
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Day 2

GRRR. I had this whole thing done and then when I tried to post it they said I wasn't logged in. Good thing I did it in Word first. But I still have to add pictures again.

So let me just say now that even though I planned to get up and run prettymuch every day we were there I actually managed to do it…never. Not because I didn’t want to, but mostly because I got up early every day just to have time to get ready. I would’ve had to get up before dark or something to get running in too. So I never did. Don’t really feel bad about it either.

On Saturday Matt and I woke up at about 7:45 according to my notes. I’m not sure what we did for 15 minutes, but we woke the boys up at 8:00. Or maybe they woke up on their own. Remember, this was 9 months ago. I don’t remember everything anymore.

Will found his Disney Dollars from the Tooth Fairy’s friend Tinkerbell under his pillow. He didn’t seem terribly impressed. I’m not sure if he ever spent them either. Once they were up they started playing with the toys they’d gotten the night before and then broke out the portable DVD player to watch Pokemon. I started to wonder if we’d get them out of the room.

We managed, but it took a while. We got to Typhoon Lagoon about 11:00am. Needless to say, I’d planned to be there much earlier.

We took the Photopass pictures at the front and then headed into the park.



Crush N Gusher was first on the list. Will rode it twice because Christian wasn’t quite tall enough so Matt rode with him once, and I rode with him the second time. It was pretty cool, but doesn’t compare to a real roller coaster, of course. We got a lot of water in the face at the end, so Will wasn’t any happier with this “roller coaster” than he is with the regular kind. Thankfully, I’m pretty sure Christian will be tall enough for just about everything by next year. Maybe not Rockin’ Rollercoaster, (though maybe he will be), but just about everything else. I think he’s already 44” now, but we’ll see for sure tomorrow.





Anyway…after Crush N Gusher we did Gangplank Falls, Ketchakiddie Creek, Mayday Falls (and whatever the blue one is called) and rode the Lazy River by 12:20. The lines moved relatively fast and we were surprised it was as early as it was. We went to the Wave Pool after that and hung out there for a while. Took a few pictures. Both boys scraped their knees. Christian choked on a whole bunch of water when a wave hit him. And around 1:00 we decided to leave.









Yep. We were there for a total of 2 hours. I love water parks and I’m sure we could have stayed longer, but we had other plans for the day. You don’t feel as bad about only spending an hour or two in these places when you have the Water Parks & More ticket, but considering the small amount of time we spent at Disney Quest and Typhoon Lagoon. And we never used another option. I’m thinking there is a good chance we won’t add Water Parks & More next trip. There’s just no time. Plus I’m planning to get Universal and Sea World in somehow next year.

So we headed back to the room and rested for a little while. We snacked while we waited because we weren’t eating until about 2:30 when we headed to ESPN Club to meet up with my family and watch the Gator game.

I had a monster of a time finding pictures of my parents.

Here's my dad in Japan:


And my mom with my grandparents (the one's sleeping at the end of the report):


We met my cousin Christina and her family again at the Boardwalk and then a few minutes later my parents walked in. The boys were ESTATIC. Will just could not believe that his Grampa was there, and Christian didn’t leave Grandma’s side. My dad really doesn’t like Disney much, but I know in that moment it was all worth it for him.



We got in line at ESPN Club about 2:50 and were seated at about 3:00 right in front of the big screen showing the game. SO much fun to be at ESPN Club for a Gator game because there are always a bunch of Gators. Where we sat was the best thing that happened though because the service was just awful. Way below Disney expectations. It took forever for us to get our food, drink refills, and the check at the end. It wasn’t any busier than normal…remember it only took 10 minutes to get 9 people seated. We had Nachos for an appetizer. The kids were really hungry by this point. For our meal we had:
Me-Ribs and Lemon Merange Pie
Matt-Philly Cheesesteak and Rocky Road Pie
Will-Hot Dog
Christian-Pizza
Mom-Wings
Dad-Hot Dog
Christina-Bean dip
Chris-Reuben
The food was just okay too. I love the atmosphere at ESPN Club, but the food is just not as good as it used to be.

Christian and my mom:


After we left we stopped at the candy store to get the boys ice cream.
We got back to the hotel about 5:45 and watched the rest of the game. The Gators won 23-13.

At 6:50 we left for the Magic Kingdom and we arrived at about 7:15. We took it easy and walked slowly down Main Street. You all know how it is when you finally get into the Magic Kingdom for the first time. I look some pictures. We got a Photopass picture. Then we staked out a Spectromagic Spot.









We got very lucky. We ended up in a crosswalk and had a great view. I got a little testy with some kids who tried to get in front of Will and were blocking his view, but a very nice lady behind me agreed with me and helped me get the kids to move. Watching Spectro is always magical. Especially right after you’ve first arrived and you’re just starting to get into the Disney spirit.








Right in the middle of the parade Will asks me if there are people inside the Chip & Dale costumes. Uh oh. Then he asked about Mickey. I told him the truth. He seemed to be okay with it, but he wanted to know the peoples’ names. He’s always interested in that kind of thing for some reason. If I’d known their names he’d want to know their how old they were and when their birthdays are. I know more peoples’ birthdays because of him…

We went to Buzz Lightyear next. I won. I love Buzz Lightyear. It’s such a fun ride. Although it has some major competition now in Toy Story Mania. It’s competing against itself essentially.



After the ride Will said he was hungry so we got some snacks. I’m still not sure the Dining Plan is worth it…although when it’s free it’s cool. I’m thinking very seriously about renting DVC points next year though, so we wouldn’t get Free Dining, and I think I’ll be okay with that. We never seem to use all of the credits and it’s a hassle to “have” to be at restaurants every day, and I’m hoping this way we can get a better resort (I REALLY want to stay at AKL again) and pay less. But we’ll see.

So Matt and Will got rootbeers (Will was very excited to get a large drink for himself), Christian got ice cream, and I got a strawberry-banana smoothie. Yes. I know. Will said he was “hungry” and he ends up with a rootbeer.

We took our snacks to the Tomorrowland Bridge to watch Wishes. Hopefully you’ve all seen Wishes, because there just aren’t any words to describe it. The boys love it and it was the first time I can ever remember Will watching fireworks and not being scared. At least since he got tubes at 18 months. He’s always hated the noise, but he loved it this time. I tried to get pictures, playing with the settings on my camera, but I didn’t get any really great ones.





We started to head out of the Magic Kingdom, but prettymuch everybody had the same idea, so we basically couldn’t move. At least not more than an inch at a time. By the time we got to Main Street it got better.

The line for POR was horrendous, so we decided to ride the bus to POFQ and walk. Turned out to be a good decision. We got on the bus quickly and the walk was kind of nice. I hadn’t been to POFQ in a really long time, so it was kind of cool to experience it. It was kind of a long walk, especially by that point in the day, but it was so much better than standing in line forever at the Magic Kingdom waiting for our bus.

The boys on the bus:





POFQ:


I made a stop at the store to get a lanyard pouch for my cards and the boys headed to the room. My grandparents had arrived, but were asleep, so that surprise would have to wait for tomorrow.

We got ready for bed and everyone had a small snack. The boys wrote in their books and Christian fell asleep around 11:00. Will followed at 11:30. Matt beat them both and was asleep at 10:45.

(see Christian is awake while Matt is asleep?)


I’m pretty sure I followed right after Will. We had to get up early again the next day, after all.

Last edited by hhockman; 06-14-2010 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:32 PM   #12
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We felt the same way about ESPN Club when we were there on our 2007 trip. The food was ok, but the service was not up to Disney standards, for sure.

I love the wave pool pics! It's too bad you weren't able to spend more time at the waterparks. We loved both Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon! It looks like you had fun in the time you were there, though.

You are brave to see Spectro from Main Street...that's all I'm gonna say about that! LOL!

We did the exact same thing with the POFQ bus last spring...I think we did it twice. The walk is SO much better than the wait!
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:35 PM   #13
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Yay! You guys found me! So glad to "see" you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytothreeboys View Post
Hi Heather....welcome back!
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeystoontown View Post
Welcome look at what the cat drug back in. Seriously, I am soooo very glad that you decided to come back and finish up the report. We've missed reading about your family.

Did you know that we just got back from Disney? I've already started feeling that deep dark Disney depression. Only way to cure it was to start another report. Hope you'll read along.
Lisa, I will definitely go check it out. I'm hoping I will actually be around the DIS again while I'm not so busy during the summer. Well, not so busy except for baseball. But I'll try to keep up with the DIS and I'll definitely read your report.
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Old 06-14-2010, 04:41 PM   #14
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For years and years, we didn't do the Water Parks & More option on our tickets. Then, we got a free ticket upgrade that included the option. If it were up to my kids, we'd go to a water park every year. But, like you said, it can be hard trying to work the water park into a tight schedule.

I absolutely love the picture of Will (or was it Christian?) jumping into your Dad's arms. What grandpa wouldn't love Disney after something like that?

We've never eaten at ESPN and it's never been on our "do we want to eat there" list either. We aren't big sports fanatics so that may be why.

Sounds like ya'll had a good time at the Magic Kingdom. What a great way to end a day.
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Old 06-14-2010, 06:00 PM   #15
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Hi there!

All those surprises sound like such fun! It must've been cool planning for that. I'm taking my younger cousins on a trip in 2013 and I'm already planning all sorts of surprises for them!

Wow....I can't believe Will asked the question about the people. I dunno how I would handle that. But I guess since he asked, it shows a level of maturity?

Your sons are just gorgeous. I swear, Will looks like he wears mascara! Beautiful eyes

I can't wait to hear more about your trip!
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