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Old 10-29-2009, 04:47 AM   #31
disney4dan
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Just discovered this post and wanted to let you know I'm enjoying it so far! Congratulations to your daughter on her battle and victory over her cancer. Our oldest son, 17, was just given the green light as cancer free this past June after first being diagnosed at age 15. Is there any thing worse than those first few days waiting for pathology results and trying to educate yourself on the disease?

Anyway, glad you are able to celebrate now and I'm sure your family is stronger now and ready to relax on vacation! Looking forward to more!
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:22 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by disney4dan View Post
Just discovered this post and wanted to let you know I'm enjoying it so far! Congratulations to your daughter on her battle and victory over her cancer. Our oldest son, 17, was just given the green light as cancer free this past June after first being diagnosed at age 15. Is there any thing worse than those first few days waiting for pathology results and trying to educate yourself on the disease?

Anyway, glad you are able to celebrate now and I'm sure your family is stronger now and ready to relax on vacation! Looking forward to more!
Congratulations to your son! Yes, scary days, those were. I think our worst was the day of diagnosis. Many others could compare throughout her treatment. What got me, was they told us that treatment for her cancer had a 75 - 95 % success rate with long term survival. But I then during the course of her treatment, 3 other kids (teens) with the SAME cancer, didn't make it! That hit really hard, knowing there is no rhyme or reason to why some kids will make it and yet others won't. I became very good friends with a mom whose daughter was diagnosed with the same cancer the month prior to my DD. My DD was deemed High Risk and the other child was deemed Standard Risk. That other child relapsed 13 months into treatment. She then had a bone marrow transplant, and relapsed again just 6 months later, and passed away 5 weeks later to do severe side effects of the next phase of treatment. Because we were such good friends, I carried a kind of guilt "why her child?" I didn't by any means wish that it were my child, heavens NO! But it became difficult for her to see my child, and I completely understood. Nothing was fair, nothing is FAIR in the fight with Cancer!
DD did the SLING SHOT here at Old Town the other night. This is a ride where two people are stapped into a double seated contraption, then tilted backwards and shot, I have no idea how many feet into the sky (but lets say you could see all of ORLANDO from up there!). I did not want her to do this, we were LUCKY she has survived cancer, I didn't need some freak accident to happen with a risky ride, but alas my fears had NO effect on her desire and determination to do this! Off she went, DS12 video taped it, I kept my eyes shut for most of it! I don't think my worry for her will ever or any of my children will ever dissipate, at least not her! She gets a fever that lingers a little too long, I'm worrying. She complains of back pain, I'm worrying. Thankfully, those things haven't happened too much since she finished treatment, but my brain always seems to kick into high alert when things like illness or risky rides crop up.
Now we are off to Disney rides, and I'm not sure how many near panic attacks I'll have LOL, but hopefully none as I TRUST DISNEY.
Congraulations to your son again, it sure is good news to hear he is cancer free!
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:43 AM   #33
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Day 4!! was spent at DOWNTOWN DISNEY! WOW, that was fun! I got tears in my eyes when we drove under the Huge WALT DISNEY WORLD SIGN.

[IMG][/IMG] [IMG][/IMG]

We spent way too much money LOL, but all was worth every penny! The highlights of our day other than all the sites, were getting spit on by STITCH and having pixie dust sprinkled all over DD!
At "The World Of Disney" store, above one of the entrance doorways, there sits STITCH way up top. He might be cute to look at and take pictures of but watch OUT! He SPITS! Literally! We thought it fun watching DS6 trying to figure out how stitch does that, and fun to stand in the wet spot on the pavement and run away before the spit came! (unless your Dad was Holding you there!)
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LateCr in the day it did start to rain. We were leaving another store near Goofy's Candy CO. and it started to rain! I had my SLR camera around my neck and no case to carry it it. I held my baggalini bag over top of it for some protection as I sought shelter. DH just wanted to walk fast to our destination, T REX, for lunch, but I didn't want my hair to get soaked, my camera, I can't stand rain drops running down my glasses, then I saw the doorway to "WORLD OF DISNEY" and made a Bee line for that entry way. Keeping my head down so as to avoid the rain on my face and glasses, I had NO IDEA I was running right into Stitche's Line Of Fire!
BAM, he got me! DH and DS6 were outside LAUGHING Hysterically. It was DISNEY, so I had no Choice but to laugh too! The rain stopped soon after that, and it was sunny again, as is typical of Florida!

Lunch at T-REX was FABULOUS! We had no ADR for there, we just decided to give it a try and there was no wait! The food too, was Delicious!
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Later, as we walked back to visit Goofy's Candy Co., there were two CM's from World of Disney (specifically BBB). They looked so cute in their uniforms, and they looked SO HAPPY as they chatted with each other. To me, their faces just Beamed Disney Philosophy. I walked over and asked if I could take their photo and they happily obliged. Then they saw DD18 and coaxed her over to them and asked her if she would like some pixie dust! They then sprinkled it over her shoulders and Hair and DD18 just SPARKLED for the rest of the day!
[IMG][/IMG] [IMG][/IMG]

DS6's favourite Store was the LEGO Store! We must have spent a whole hour in their! He finally picked out to building sets (we set the limit at two, but that didn't stop him begging for more). We were AMAZED with the Lego Sculptures, wondering how on earth they made many of them!
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Treats from Goofy's Canday Company:
The biggest Candy store my kids have ever seen! Again, tons of time spent in here, just looking at everything. Then it was time to pick their treats. Rice Crispy Mickey Heads it was! But still being full from lunch, we got them to go. The CM's packaged them up beautifully for the kids!
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Making Star Wars Lightsabres. This was a highlight for all 3 of my boys! DS6 happily made his lightsabre, a red one, but then got upset when he found out his oldest brother made a double Lightsabre! No amount of reasoning would work. Personally, I was ready to just walk out of the store with him, but DH caved in to the tears, and DS got what he wanted (this time). In retrospect we both realize how much of a bad idea it was to give in.....
Now here's a tip for any parent considering letting their kid make a double lightsabre! We quickly realized there was no other place other than OUTSIDE to play with this thing! See the size difference between a singel and a double?
[IMG][/IMG] [IMG][/IMG] [IMG][/IMG] [IMG][/IMG] [IMG][/IMG]
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:48 AM   #34
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So glad you had a safe trip and are having fun! Enjoy your cruise!!!

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Old 10-31-2009, 09:55 AM   #35
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Certainly sounds like you are having a great time and can't wait to hear all about it.
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:58 AM   #36
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Congratulations to your daughter and her victory over cancer!

Enjoy your cruise. I have a son with a life threatening illness. He too got a Wish from the Childrens' Wish Foundation. We have been going back to Disney Health permitting and are taking our first Land and Sea package.

Our Canadian Children and made of strength and determination!

Congratulations again!

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Old 11-07-2009, 02:50 PM   #37
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Welcome back! Sounds like all your trip planning (OH MY!) paid off! I need to search around a bit to find more of your posts, because I've read more from somewhere else and am now lost. Congrats on the big drive too - I've always wanted to try that, but it is daunting. Looking forward to reading more!
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:16 PM   #38
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Smile Cool pre-trip report!

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Glad 2 meet ya by the way -


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Old 11-30-2009, 05:56 PM   #39
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Hi! I'm subbing- can't wait to read all about your cruise before we take OUR cruise next October!! Congratulations to your daughter, so happy for all of you!!

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Old 08-04-2010, 08:48 PM   #40
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Getting caught up! DAY 4 CONTINUED!


Pessed Pennies, Stuffies, Crazy Hats and Puffles:

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[IMG][/IMG] [IMG][/IMG] [IMG][/IMG] [IMG][/IMG] [IMG][/IMG]





Then it was back to our Hotel late in the afternoon.

The kids ate some of those Rice Crispy Mickeys and then it was Homework time:
[IMG][/IMG] [IMG][/IMG]
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:21 PM   #41
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I am curious to know how much it you approx to drive down to Orlando? (gas, hotel, food)

We have often wondered ow much it would cost us to drive instead of flying. We are also a family of 5 and we would leave from Montreal. So far I have always found direct flights out of Burlington (2 hr away) between 1100$ to 1400$, would it be less to drive?
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:36 PM   #42
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DAY 5, Thursday October 29th, 2009

Last night, we packed up the van, and just as we finished we noticed a couple standing at the walkway to the hotel room doors. They were looking over at us, so I drew DH's attention to them. LOW AND BEHOLD, they were my DH's Co- Workers!!!!!! What are the chances of driving 2000 plus Km's (or is it miles) to a place as BIG as ORLANDO, and end up staying at the EXACT SAME HOTEL as someone you work with? WOW! So the 4 of us stood and chatted for a while, had some good laughs, and learned my DH has another name (to me he is Martyn, but apparently at work, he is "MARTY")
So now DH is bugging me "LETS GO", we are ready to Check out of this Place and Check into CBR!!!! Then off to EPCOT!
So this might be it till we are home from vacation!
Thanks for the well wishes!

Continued........

We checked in at The Custom House at Caribbean Beach Resort by 8:00 am. The kids waited in the kids TV area, while we did the paper work ect... Surprisingly, we were able to get into our rooms right away! The Custom House itself was Beautiful! Almost Empty too, at that time in the morning.
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There was a very nice lady at the Cruise Desk in the Custom House. I went over to talk with her to see if we would be needing to see her again before we checked out of the Hotel. She said she could do everything for us right there. She pulled up our reservation and turns out the one document I had printed off at home, and was SUPPOSED to bring with me, I had actually left at home. No problem, she said, she printed off another copy there and had us sign that. If I remember correctly it was the "Contract Signatures Form". So once done there, there would be no need to check in there again.
[IMG][/IMG]

After leaving the custom house, we drove over to Jamaica where our rooms were located. We had connecting rooms 4645 and 4646. The only thing we didn't like was the fact that there were stairs to climb and a long walk around to the hallway that our rooms were located in.
We were unpacking the van, when all of the sudden one of the hinges on the lift gate broke! ERRRGGHHHHH! Was it just the hinge or was there a problem with the whole hydraulic system? Well, nohting we could do about it then. We turned off the automatic gate opener as the liftgate didn't want to stay open anyway. When we opened it, it would automatically start to close again. So now our liftgate became a two person job. One to hold it open and one to unpack. The rest of us ran up and down the stairs with all the luggage and supplies, loading it all into our rooms. After the workout, we discovered a closer set of stairs and parking space, on the OTHER side of the building!!
[IMG][/IMG] [IMG][/IMG] [IMG][/IMG]

After getting unpacked and organized, it was time to head to Epcot! Disney is the method of Transportation for the remainder of today!
[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:50 PM   #43
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epcot

We have the Disney Dining plan for our Time in WDW. We each had available to us for each of 3 days, 1 Quick Service Meal, 1 Snack, and 1 Table Service Meal.
ADR for today is at Chef De France for 5:10 pm
Even before entering the park, Autographs started! STITCH was waiting right there!
[IMG][/IMG]

The whole entry way was SO different from what I remembered of 3 1/2 years ago! The first ride we hit was SOARIN! That was and still is my FAVOURITE! If we had had the time, I would have retreated back there to go on it again and again. But also, Epcot and World Showcase, is actually a HUGE place. Did I ever mention how Perfect the weather was for us here? I don't think it ever rained again after that day in Downtown Disney! And warm, in fact Hot at times. Not humid though, Just Perfect!!
We finally got a great one of these traditional photos! Love the Golf Ball!
[IMG][/IMG]

We did test track. It was DS6's and my first time ever on this ride. I wasn't sure I wanted to go on it, as I don't do rollercoasters and typical kind of thrill rides. Motion sickness is big with me, and a rollercoaster ride once as a child and then once as an adult, told me, these rides are NOT for me. But the rest of my family other than the youngest LOVE them! Especially DS12! DH isn't that gung ho for them anymore either, but goes on them because we won't let DS12 ride alone (unless an older sibling goes with him too). BUT Test track was DH's favourite from 3 1/2 years ago, and convinced me to try it. SO OK, Test track, I actually liked. The race around the track was actually Scary but in a fun thrill kind of way! I would definately do Test track again!
[IMG][/IMG]

So we did most rides and attractions in Future World. Lots of Autograph seeking too, and making the most of our Photo pass. Oh yes, forgot to mention we took part in a photo pass share with two other families. It worked out GREAT! Lunch was a Quick Service at the Electric Umbrella.

We started into World Showcase around 1pm. This was my family's FIRST time ever in World Showcase. We just couldn't fit it into our Schedule on our First Disney Trip in 2006. I had made Passports for my 6 and 12 yr olds, but then forgot about them till after we'd already been through the first 4 Countries! We started at Norway and worked our way around Counter Clockwise. World showcase actually took a lot longer than I thought it would so we never did get to do the last Country, MY OWN!! But back to that later.
We loved Malestrom in Norway! Although I truly enjoyed looking through the shops in each country, my kids did not! We quickly got them hooked up with Kim Possible Interactive Adventure Game. In retrospect we should have put the kids into two teams of two (since the teens were also SO into this), but we didn't do that. So all 4 were fighting over the communicator for each mission, not wanting to take turns (really, my teens too????)
Between that petty arguing, they did have Some fun with it. I can see how they would have had more, if we had more than one communicator.
They really enjoyed finding the things they had to find, and watching funny and cool things happen when they correctly completed a mission!
[IMG][/IMG] [IMG][/IMG]

Here they made this Green Monkey rise up out of the water!
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We let them each do 2 missions each, as it was this activity that really Slowed our progress through World Showcase. When they were finished, they deposited the communicator into the bin they are to be put into. Truly and awesome game if you can spare the time!
[IMG][/IMG]


So around the world we continued. Watched the amazing outdoor show in China, with the huge drums. Took some time to relax and watch a gentleman at the Out Post carve something out of wood. Don't know what the final product was as we didn't have time to stay THAT long My two youngest boys partook in the Kidcot areas around the World. There was a kidcot center in each Country. They had a mask on a stick that they would add some color and designs to at each stop, and a special symbol from each country to hang off the mask. This activity kept them busy while we were at The American Adventure. There was a Beer tasting event happening and DH just HAD to go do that! That took about a 1/2 hour total. I didn't go in with him as someone needed to stay with the two younger boys. DD18 and DS16, wanted to wander around a bit on their own, and I felt they more than deserved that time. DD didn't go far, and then ended up getting really relaxed on a Wall/bench:
[IMG][/IMG] [IMG][/IMG]

Soon enough it was time for Dinner. Now at 90 days out from our trip, when we were able to start making our ADR's, Le Cellier was what we had Wanted. But even from 90 days out, there were no openings available for dinner at Le Cellier. I had tossed around the idea of Biergarten and Tutto Italia. Dh wanted neither of those. We ended up agreeing on Chef De France, or more like I gave in to DH making the decision for us here.
The restaurant itself was lovely to look at. I felt we were under dressed in our T-Shirts and shorts/Capris, but we certainly had no time to go change. Our waitress...... hmmm, I dont' want to use harsh words.... She was pleasant enough, but seemed uninterested in the job. DS6 did not like Anything that was offered on the kids menu, but we went ahead and ordered him the cheese filled pastry. He ate only a few bites (very picky eater) DS16 and I ordered the French Onion soup, and this was in fact VERY Delicious! For the main courses, we each got something different.
I ordered the "Filet de boeuf grille, sauce au poivre noir Gratin Dauphinois et haricots verts" (Steak, potatoes and green beans) DH and DS12 ordered "Medaillon de Veau basquaise" (veal on onions with green beans and roasted potato.
My green beans were great, the potato gratin was ok, and although my steak looked good, it didn't taste good. To me it tasted like a tightly packed frozen hamburger would taste. Dh didn't care much for his meal but he ate it. DS12 could not eat his meal. He picked at it and picked at it. When the rest of us were done, as much as we could make ourselves eat considering we didn't really like the main parts of our meal, the waitress came by and asked DS12 if he meal was ok since he wasn't eating it. He told her very shyly, he didn't like it, and she did offer to bring him something else. She brought him out a chicken dish, he ate a bit of that, but Honestly it was a kids meal he wanted (but not from Chef de France). That was the biggest issue I had with the dining plan, the fact that kids 10 and over had to order from the adult menu. DS12 prefers the kids meals.
Now, even though our food was lacking in taste ect.... there was some mighty fine entertainment while we sat at our table! Outside the Window we were located aside of, there were entertainers stacking up chairs very precariously. Then one of them climbs the stack that was by now, 12 feet tall? And then he started juggling a few bottles of wine (I'm sure they were empty LOL). And in the restaurant, the Maitre De came around to each table and introduced us to Remy! He brought him over in a covered platter. When he removed the lid, There was Remy, squeaking away, and moving to look at everyone! Pretty awesome!
[IMG][/IMG]
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By the time we left Chef De France, the sun had started going down. The whirlwind trip down, early mornings and late nights were quickly catching up with DH and myself. I had so badly wanted to stay and watch Illuminations, the evening fireworks, but in the end, We left our teens to watch for us (of course they weren't exhausted!) We finished the world tour stopping lastly at the Canada Pavillion. Unfortunately it was all closed down by this point except for the kidcot center. The only person there was the lone Canadian CM in a LUMBER JACKET! OH my, that was surprising that the organizers would choose a lumber jacket to depict Canadians. Shocking really. I would have loved to have seen the movie shown in the Pavillion but I guess both Le Cellier and that movie will have to wait till another year!

On the way out, we passed by this CM. THAT made my night, a Really nice Disney Touch to end the evening with.
[IMG][/IMG]

Back at the Hotel, we found this cute little guy on the wall at the top of the stairs. I didn't know frogs could climb walls!
[IMG][/IMG]

And DS6 Discovered that TINKERBELL does Too leave gifts for boys!!!
[IMG][/IMG]

And that ends our Day 5.
Next up... DHS!
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:15 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Blanche_Neige View Post
I am curious to know how much it you approx to drive down to Orlando? (gas, hotel, food)

We have often wondered ow much it would cost us to drive instead of flying. We are also a family of 5 and we would leave from Montreal. So far I have always found direct flights out of Burlington (2 hr away) between 1100$ to 1400$, would it be less to drive?

Unfortunately, I didn't keep an Accurate record beyond the first night.
I do know we had to stop for gas 3 times on the way down and that was $60.00 USD each time. We stopped in one hotel on the way down, and that was 47.95 plus taxes USD for each of two rooms.
Lunch at Crackerbarrell was $47.85 plus tip on Day one, dinner I honestly don't remember what we did, think maybe we ordered a pizza. Breakfast was included in the room price for the hotel that night.
Day two we stopped for a late lunch in South Carolina and that was $52 plus tax, then again for supper at Subway in Georgia. We didn't stop again till we were at our Hotel in Kissimmee.
So by those estimates:
Gas and food and a place to sleep was roughly $400.00 one way.

In retrospect, we could have spent less on food if we stuck to fast food places, and packed our own snacks and drinks from home.

We did do better on the way home with regards to food. We did pick up snacks and drinks and premade sandwhiches for dinner, and drove straight through to home.

For us, the consideration to drive or fly weighted on the cost difference for our family of 6. We'd have to drive almost 4 hours to the closest US airport (Syracuse) and the best deal we could get would have been about $1560.00 for all 6 of us return. Then the cost of a car rental. So it definately made sense to drive. I also had to weigh the time difference. A 24 hour drive vs a 3 to 4 hour flight.......
We turned it into a vacation within a vacation, the drive. It really was fun and worth the time for us that time, our first time.
I may reconsider that enjoyment factor after we do this again this fall! I wonder how many times we can make that drive FUN! Though I must admit, I am looking forward to the next time!
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Old 08-05-2010, 04:16 AM   #45
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Cangrats on your daughter WIN over cancer!!!! Enjoying your TR very much. Glad you had a great time! Can't wait to read more.
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