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Old 09-14-2011, 02:26 AM   #136
baseballmickey
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WDW Day 3, Magic Kingdom on NYE, Part 5

We just finished watching the MSEP, it was now approximately 7:40pm. Just over 4 hours until midnight!! We were very hungry and decided to go find dinner. My personal favorite Counter Service restaurant in MK is Casey’s Corner, naturally. Our plan was to head back to Main Street, where I would get on line at Casey’s and DW and DD would head over to find seats at the Tomorrowland Terrace. If all went well, we would just be finishing our meal before Holiday Wishes started at 8:30.

The parade was heading toward Frontierland, so we made our way against the parade-follower traffic toward the hub. As we crossed over the bridge, we got our first good look at the castle all lit up in holiday fashion.



On the castle stage was a DJ and he was already playing music. The NYE party was underway.

We also saw nothing but people everywhere. Most were sitting… in the middle of the street or on the curb, or against the fences. This was the NYE crowd we had heard so much about.







The only place you could walk (if you could call it walking… it was more like a zombie’s shambling) was on the sidewalk between the masking tape parade lines. It was very dark and people were so tightly packed that you couldn’t see the tape. You could hardly see the people who were sitting on the ground to your left and right, and sometimes, abruptly, right underneath you. I lost count of the fingers and toes I was stepping on. I began to mutter “excuse me, I’m sorry” with every step, even though it might have just been popcorn or trash I felt under my feet.

DW kept giving me her “What do we do, now?” face. CMs were located every 30 feet or so, directing everyone in the "pathway" to keep moving. There was no way to turn around, so we pressed on, hoping that when we got to Main Street, it might open up a bit. Eventually we made it down to Casey’s. It was slightly less crowded here, but not by much. We didn’t see any option other than to stick with the plan. I got on the end of the line at Casey’s, which was three or four people out of the door. DW took DD and crossed the street to go see if there were any seats to be had up at Tomorrowland Terrace.

At Casey’s, it was a madhouse. There were large groups of people trying to stay together, and they just ended up blocking the doorways and people couldn’t get to the lines. Somehow people coming in from the other entrance were getting in front of us and we (myself and the people around me) could see that and were getting frustrated. Finally, one of the groups ahead of us sent half their party looking for seats, so I was able to squeeze inside Casey’s and actually secure a spot on an actual line for a register.

Meanwhile… DW was taking this picture:



Now, you might be saying to yourself, how is it that she’s taking a picture of the tree in Town Square, when she should be over at Tomorrowland Terrace? Well, as I would find out a bit later, DW and DD couldn’t get there. CMs weren’t letting people through and all traffic was being diverted down Main Street. They tried and tried to either get around and up to TT, and when that didn’t work, they were just trying to get back to Casey’s… and they couldn’t. Finally, it opened up a bit and she broke out of the sidewalk and into the street to cross over and head back up Main Street. At this point she found herself with some breathing room and paused there to collect herself… and she took that picture.

Back at Casey’s, I was nearing the register, moving slowly but surely. I was formulating my escape route… figuring out how to best cut through to the condiments and then to the door… and that’s when I heard DW calling my name. She was back at Casey’s (which to her must have been a giant relief, but in my mind, this was not good.) I can tell she’s upset, but I’m thinking it’s just about not being able to find a seat. Again, we’re back to “what do we do now?” There aren’t many options, so I tell her we need to go to the other side of Casey’s, the back entrance near the BabyCare and the bathrooms… The look on DW’s face was complete terror. She could see the crowd of people between her and where I was telling her to go. On top of that, all traffic through Casey’s was being forced against her. It took a moment to explain what I wanted her to do. It was the same thing I would need to do once I got the food. She had doubts, so I tried to invoke my “former cast-member authority” to reassure her. Whether that worked or not, she and DD turned back out onto Main Street.

A minute or so later, I was up to bat at Casey’s. I ordered our meals and thankfully didn’t have much trouble getting the order. I cut through to the condiments and thankfully the three or four of us there were all very understanding and accommodating of each other. Loaded with everything I needed, I headed out to Main Street and took a hard right turn towards Town Square, followed by another hard right turn… into the Emporium. The Emporium was crowded, but manageable. Left into the next room, Right and straight through to another room, and right again brought me to the back room of the Emporium, which seamlessly transitions you into the back of Casey’s, where there are bleachers you can sit on… but they were full.

DW and DD were in a corner by the TV. DD was asleep in the stroller. She had probably been asleep since shortly after the parade. DW did not look happy. I announced myself by saying something stupid like, “here’s the food.” DW’s response was “I want to go. Now!” DW was on the verge of tears. The crowds, not being able to sit, and especially the not being able to get anywhere… all this on top of being sick and pregnant…it was all just too much. It was the airport all over again. We were huddled in the corner, and unable to get to somewhere we’d be more comfortable. I let DW vent. It was really all I could do. I agreed that we needed to leave, but trying to do so meant going back out into the crowds to fight our way to the exit. In the meantime, we had a little breathing room right where we were, and we had our food. So DW and I ate. I saved DD’s for her in case she woke up. DW was still visibly upset. We ate our food, but I don't think either of us really enjoyed it. I can't speak for DW, but that whole time I was trying to figure out...

What were we going to do next?
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:56 AM   #137
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Oh man! Just reading about those crowds makes me all anxious! Yep, you've confirmed what I've always suspected.....there is NO WAY I could do WDW around NYE. And I so felt for your DW....being sick & pregnant in those massive crowds....poor thing! I hope the night ends on a good note for y'all!
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:24 PM   #138
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Oh my gosh! Those crowds sound just terrible. Your poor wife! I am upset for her!
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:56 PM   #139
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Those crowds sound terrible!
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:59 PM   #140
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Sorry I've been away for a bit.

DD's expression on the barnstormer is PRICELESS!! So great! When she becomes a coaster fanatic like yourself, you can show her those pictures of, "remember when."

Oh, my goodness. Those crowds do not look or sound good. Poor DW, I was in her shoes in 2009 when we went during Thanksgiving and I was pregnant and sick. I didn't have to fight those unbelievable crowds, though. I hope that you make it out of there unscathed.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:22 AM   #141
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Well, the Christmas pictures are really nice. But the experience sounds horrifying! Sorry it was such a mess.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:19 AM   #142
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Oh boy... I am only at the beginning and I have to go to work BUT I laughed out loud so much. That was very brave to get in the car ot the hotel. My husband and I wouldve been sure that the driver was going to rob us then ditch us in the snow too!

Further I cant believe that you got to the long term parking AND got your car. Awesome!

That snow was so ridiculous. Isnt it funny how all the snow blew off the top of the car at the lot?

Cant wait to read more
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Old 09-28-2011, 02:29 PM   #143
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WDW Day 3, Magic Kingdom on NYE, Part 6

Before going any further on this TR, I have to correct something from the last update. DW looked it over and pointed out an error I made, so please bear with me as we step back in time to where DW and DD left me on line at Casey’s to go look for a place to sit…

DW took DD, who was napping in the stroller, and crossed Main Street and tried to walk up to the Tomorrowland Terrace. I wrote before that the CMs made her turn down Main Street. This was incorrect. What actually happened was that she was able to walk up past the Plaza Restaurant, and it was at this point, halfway between Main Street and Tomorrowland Terrace, that she was stopped and forced to make a right turn… BACKSTAGE. We’d experienced this one time before, where they open this gate to facilitate getting people out of the park… so DW thought she was being forced to leave!! I can only imagine how she must have felt, being caught up in that flow of people being herded back toward the exit. In her mind, she was being forced to leave the park and wasn’t sure if she’d be able to get back in. Fortunately, instead of having to proceed all the way out of the park, she was able to get back on to Main Street by Le Chapeau, in Town Square. THAT is how she came to be standing by the tree. She worked her way back up Main Street and cut across to get back to Casey’s.

My apologies for getting my facts a little screwed up. I think you’ll agree that this adds even more to DW’s stress level. Now back to the story…

We had just finished our food in the back of Casey’s, and we needed to make a decision about where we were going to go next. Having a bit of food and being out of the worst of the crowds for a few minutes had done nothing to improve our mood. So, it was decision time… but what were our choices?
  1. We could leave MK and go to another park. But how would the crowds be at the other parks? We couldn’t be sure. We had to be honest with ourselves. Given the circumstances, if we got into the car, there was probably only one place we would be headed, and that would be back to SSR. Taking Disney transportation anywhere meant coming back to TTC for the car, and that wasn’t appealing either.
  2. We could head to one of the MK resorts. We’d watched MK fireworks from Poly once and it was nice. This, or even just getting a seat on the monorail and riding it around for a while seemed like a better idea than going to a different park. But we were still 3 ½ hours away from midnight, and we didn't think we could kill that much time just sitting around.
  3. We could stick it out at MK. But the only way to stick it out at MK was if we could get a Fairy Godmother to show up, wave her wand, and make the crowds disappear.
  4. We could leave and go back to SSR, crash, and try to make the most of our last day tomorrow. It had already been a long day, and we were all exhausted and sick to begin with.

DW was voiting for Option 4. DD was sleeping and was thus abstaining from the democratic process. I wanted to stick it out. But I was torn. We had gone through so much to get here and celebrate the New Year at MK. It was disappointing to come so close and not get to do it. I know this was just one moment in our vacation and we were lucky to be there at all. It would be great to be in MK at midnight, celebrating with everyone… but even back at SSR, we’d still be in Disney and not at home. So I did what any husband would do… I stalled and tried to think of another option… anything.

I believe I was thinking out loud when I asked DW “what if we didn’t watch the fireworks from this side of the castle? What if we were on the other side?” It seems like such a simple thought now. And writing this all out makes it seem kind of silly that we were putting ourselves through all this frustration because we had to eat on Main Street and find a place to be for the fireworks and all that. As I write this even now, I find myself wondering why we never considered this option earlier…

**WARNING: The author of this TR is about to wax philosophical. This is undoubtedly due to the fact that he knows there are people reading this, and his ego feels obligated to share his insights with those poor unfortunate souls in an attempt to transcend mere Trip-Reporting, and reach a new plane of vacation-story-telling that noone would probably understand anyway. Rest assured, due to the DIS restrictions on money changing hands through the boards, there will be no attempt to sell you anything… The actual TR will continue in a few paragraphs.

Okay, I can’t move past this part without getting these cluttered thoughts freed from my mind. It’s funny that I would get sidetracked here because I’ve had so much trouble the past few weeks with finding time to update. In fact, there was a night not so long ago when this entire update that I am writing now was pretty much finished… and I lost it. Damn computer rebooted on me and I lost it all. And in that version, I didn’t write about this… funny how that works sometimes.

So why didn’t we consider going somewhere else in the park to eat when we saw the mass of people in front of the castle and down Main Street? I figure there are many people who might say, “yeah, what took you so long?” And there are probably people who would say, “oh yeah… I never thought of that either.” But what drives me a little crazy is that I DID know this. I just forgot it until that moment.

My first trips to WDW were as a kid, and those early trips I pretty much did what I was told. I watched parades, shows and the fireworks with my family. But it wasn’t long before I reached a point where it was okay for me to go off with my siblings and do things separate from my parents. It was a whole new way of doing WDW. On those trips, the parades, shows, and fireworks that had people lining up to wait… well, those were the best times for us to hit the rides. We would run around Fantasyland and Tomorrowland like lunatics from the time the MSEP started until the fireworks were long gone.

Then, on the cusp of adulthood, I did the College Program. Being immersed in the Magic Kingdom and the rest of WDW for 6 months was amazing. I still loved the rides, but my attitude changed because I could ride almost any time I wanted. I could stop and look at things I never appreciated before. I saw the parade and the fireworks every night I worked, and I got to see them from pretty much every place you could see them from.

So I knew. I knew that when the fireworks were going off, that everybody headed to Main Street and all the other lands became practically deserted. And I also knew that if you didn’t mind not seeing the castle during the fireworks, well then hands-down, the best place to watch MK fireworks from is Fantasyland, and more specifically, my personal favorite spot is in front of Mrs. Potts. There are no trees, roofs, or anything else blocking your view! And the fireworks go off almost right over your head!

So how did I block this out? I have to “blame” it on DW. She came along, and I brought her on her first WDW vacation. She fell in love with the place, and I quickly adapted to her way of doing Disney. Thrill rides took a backseat and food, which was never a high priority for me, suddenly became important. We were enjoying things like the flower and garden festival, eating at character meals, and sitting in front of the castle to watch shows. And I was fine with it. I got my thrill-fix in where I could. But not getting on ToT or MS wasn’t going to make or break my trip. I made sure she saw the fireworks above the castle that first trip, and that’s how she had always seen them. Our vantage point would vary from one side of Main Street to the other, from the hub to Town Square, and our favorite spot had become the Tomorrowland Terrace seating area.

And then came DD. And a lot of things have changed yet again. She’s also always seen MK fireworks from a “castle view.” So where am I going with this?... I’ve been fortunate to have been able to experience WDW from my early years all the way to fatherhood. Over that period of time, my perspective kept evolving. And I think that is what I love so much about doing this TR. If I’m going to be honest here, I must admit that when I first stumbled upon the DIS, I saw the TR threads and I thought, “***?... why would anyone want to read about someone else’s vacation?? Especially someone you don’t know?!” So why would I write one? My initial motivation to write this TR was more about telling the story of our getting to WDW more than what we did while we were there. But in the process of actually writing the TR, I gained a new appreciation for the dynamic of having people reading along as I was writing. I found myself stopping to read other people’s TRs as well (initially to scope out the competition and get ideas on how people structured their reports) and I found myself enjoying them. I found myself enjoying seeing WDW through other people’s eyes.

So my conclusion, as of right now, is that TRs are not about comparing and contrasting trips, or keeping score on how many times you did something or went somewhere, or about how much you spent. The TRs are about sharing our perspectives on Disney. And so that’s why I ask you to forgive me for rambling here. Because I just now figured out the purpose behind this, and I can’t go back and rewrite this TR, nor can I write one for all the previous trips I’ve taken. The best I can do is sum up those various perspectives here, and admit that I had some of those memories locked away… probably waiting until my own kids are old enough to want to run around MK like lunatics instead of watching the parade… and I’ll be very tempted to join them!

So I just needed to get that out. For those of you that were able to make any sense out of that, thank you for sticking it out. For the confused and lost… I’m sorry. It’s ridiculous that as I am working my way up to the penultimate moment in our trip, that I suddenly pause and write what sounds like it should have been an epilogue. If it’s any consolation, you are not alone in thinking that I am crazy. My train of thought is often misdirected and sometimes derailed. Ask my DW, and she’ll tell you that she still has no idea what I was saying when I tried to adlib my vows at the altar on our wedding day.

As I was mentioning somewhere in all that mumbo-jumbo, my perspective and my priorities on what the ideal WDW vacation is had changed. I guess we were so focused on that ideal, that we didn’t consider the alternative, which in this case, was watching the fireworks from a non-traditional location. If it worked, it would be the best solution. The questions that remained were whether the crowd was so unusually large that the other lands would remain crowded as well? And was it worth it to try?

DW was not sold on this idea. I told her that if it didn’t work, we could still leave. We’d just be taking one last lap around the park to do so. Ultimately, I’m not sure if it was her desire to stick it out, her faith in my judgment, or just her fear of Main Street that made her agree. But we had a new plan. In sticking with the “pushing our luck” theme of this vacation, we decided to wait until after Holiday Wishes, which was in just a few minutes, and make for Fantasyland. DW took a moment to go to the restroom, while I took DD and stepped outside to see if there might be a spot we could watch the fireworks.

The crowds were still as bad as they were. We had a little breathing room right outside the back entrance to Casey’s because it was not a good viewing spot. I tried to move up and get out from under the roof, but a CM was positioned in front of us to direct traffic and he saw what I was trying to do and told me I either had to join the flow of traffic or step back. So I stepped back and waited, and got an unexpected pre-show of sorts.

I was just standing there next to the doorway, staying out of the way, when a man and woman stopped in front of me and started reenacting the conversation that DW and I had just before. This woman was in tears and couldn’t take the crowds and wanted to leave. The man was trying to be sympathetic and reason with her… it wasn’t going well. It was so eerily similar to what we had just done, that for a few moments I actually thought I was being mocked. But that couldn’t be. I became fascinated and although I felt bad about it, I watched it all play out no more than just a few feet in front of me. It was strangely comforting to see that other people were going through the same thing. Unlike us, they decided to leave, and I watched them disappear into the Emporium. I hope the rest of their night got better. I wouldn’t share this experience with DW until we got home. I was probably afraid it would make her change her mind about our plan, instead of comforting her.

It was time for Holiday Wishes. DW had not returned yet from the bathroom when the music started. Almost everyone participating in the human merry-go-round orchestrated by the CMs stopped in their tracks, and the CMs stopped trying to force them to move. For the next however-many-minutes of fireworks, wherever you were was where you were going to be. I got DD (a little groggy, but now awake) out of the stroller, left it by the doorway, and moved up to the best spot I could find. DD’s head was between two pillars and she had a pretty good view. My field of vision was very narrow. I was trying to look around the pillar and through a tree. As the first fireworks blossomed in the sky, DW appeared at our side. I’m sure her view was as bad as mine. Neither one of us took pictures, or videotaped. I honestly don’t remember much more than the three of us standing there in our obstructed viewing spot. I’ve since watched some youtube videos of Holiday Wishes, and it was like I was watching it for the first time.

The fireworks ended to roaring applause, and then the human Carousel of Not-Progressing was underway once again. DD went back into the stroller. DW and I steeled our nerves and plunged back into the fray. We had to go against traffic initially, but once we teamed up with a few like-minded trailblazers we were able to forge our way into Adventureland. With every step we took away from Main Street, it seemed like we gained an inch of personal space. It was by no means empty, but compared to where we had come from, it seemed like it. We cut over to Frontierland and up through Liberty Square on our way to Fantasyland (yet again). As we passed the Haunted Mansion, we saw the the line was out of control. I asked DD if she wanted to go inside anyway, but she wanted no part of it. Maybe next trip?

We made it! We were back in Fantasyland. And there was room enough to walk around. Nobody was waving lighted traffic wands at us. Nobody was bumping into us. Nobody was stepping on our toes or kicking the backs of our legs. We kept going until we got to the Carousel… and that’s when we saw it. A place to sit down!! Between the Carousel and Dumbo there is a large planter that has a bench built all around it. There was a nice, big, open spot there for us! We grabbed it and we sat down for a break.

And since we’re breaking in the story… we’ll break in the TR as well.

Up next… How we spent 3 hours waiting for the New Year to arrive!
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Last edited by baseballmickey; 11-21-2011 at 12:48 AM. Reason: ETA link to next update
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Old 09-28-2011, 02:50 PM   #144
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I'm so glad y'all were able to make it to Fantasyland! And you got a seat! I think that was a very good idea. When we did MVMCP last year, that's where we went to watch the fireworks....so much less crowded. Now, I'm interested to hear if y'all made it to midnight and, if so, if it was worth it.

I really liked your part about trip reports. I used to not understand the whole trip report thing either. But, I really got into them on here. And I really enjoyed writing my first one. I think it's a good experience.
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Old 09-28-2011, 06:49 PM   #145
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I like trip reports because I learn alot about things in the parks that we always miss...
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:52 AM   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amandaw View Post
Oh man! Just reading about those crowds makes me all anxious! Yep, you've confirmed what I've always suspected.....there is NO WAY I could do WDW around NYE. And I so felt for your DW....being sick & pregnant in those massive crowds....poor thing! I hope the night ends on a good note for y'all!
Quote:
Originally Posted by shan23877 View Post
Oh my gosh! Those crowds sound just terrible. Your poor wife! I am upset for her!
Quote:
Originally Posted by petals View Post
Those crowds sound terrible!
It was the first and only time I've seen THAT many people on Main Street USA. One of the most frustrating parts about it was that even if you knew where you wanted to get to, it was so difficult to do. Traffic on the sidewalk was pretty much "one way" in most places, and as much frustration as I would instinctively direct at the CMs for forcing us to do that... well, what's the alternative. There'd be nowhere to go AT ALL if they had allowed people to stop on the sidewalks. The only suggestion I can make is that they put CMs at the bridges leading back to Main Street to advise people what they are walking into. And perhaps they did that, and we just didn't see them.

Anyway, as you have read in the last update, my advice for anyone looking to go to MK on NYE is to keep your expectations low, don't think you are going to do it all (don't let that stop you from trying, just realize that it's very likely you miss something), and avoid Main Street USA once the first night parade happens. Unless you are content with staking out a spot very early and not moving from it for hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dekkerdisneydreamer View Post
Sorry I've been away for a bit.

DD's expression on the barnstormer is PRICELESS!! So great! When she becomes a coaster fanatic like yourself, you can show her those pictures of, "remember when."

Oh, my goodness. Those crowds do not look or sound good. Poor DW, I was in her shoes in 2009 when we went during Thanksgiving and I was pregnant and sick. I didn't have to fight those unbelievable crowds, though. I hope that you make it out of there unscathed.
That's okay, I've been away from my TR for a bit too! I asked DD the other day about going back on and she seemed unsure. But she HAS been asking to watch the computer-generated video simulation of the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train coaster. So perhaps she'll want to ride that when it opens?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
Well, the Christmas pictures are really nice. But the experience sounds horrifying! Sorry it was such a mess.
Thanks! There'll be some more pics in the next update.

Quote:
Originally Posted by averill94 View Post
Oh boy... I am only at the beginning and I have to go to work BUT I laughed out loud so much. That was very brave to get in the car ot the hotel. My husband and I wouldve been sure that the driver was going to rob us then ditch us in the snow too!

Further I cant believe that you got to the long term parking AND got your car. Awesome!

That snow was so ridiculous. Isnt it funny how all the snow blew off the top of the car at the lot?

Cant wait to read more
Thanks for reading! Yeah, it was weird how there was no snow ON the car. But that was less for me to dig. Although the other section of the parking lot was a lot worse. The other car we dug out was BURIED. I should have gotten a picture of that one!
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:57 AM   #147
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I'm so glad y'all were able to make it to Fantasyland! And you got a seat! I think that was a very good idea. When we did MVMCP last year, that's where we went to watch the fireworks....so much less crowded. Now, I'm interested to hear if y'all made it to midnight and, if so, if it was worth it.

I really liked your part about trip reports. I used to not understand the whole trip report thing either. But, I really got into them on here. And I really enjoyed writing my first one. I think it's a good experience.
Okay! so at least one person didn't mind my going off on a tangent!! I feel better now!

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I like trip reports because I learn alot about things in the parks that we always miss...
That is another great benefit of the TRs as well! I have learned a few things from the ones I have read. I seldom find one that I don't find entertaining, or informative, or BOTH! I can't believe I was so prejudiced against them in the beginning!
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:07 AM   #148
shan23877
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Great update! I originally started reading TRs to pick up some tips for doing WDW with a little one (we'd only been as kids or as childless adults). But, now I really enjoy reading about how others enjoy disney, and I did my TR because it was so wonderful, that I wanted to share that too.

Keep up the good work!
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:20 PM   #149
baseballmickey
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Originally Posted by shan23877 View Post
Great update! I originally started reading TRs to pick up some tips for doing WDW with a little one (we'd only been as kids or as childless adults). But, now I really enjoy reading about how others enjoy disney, and I did my TR because it was so wonderful, that I wanted to share that too.

Keep up the good work!
Thanks!
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Numerous Trips as a kid from 1974-1993. WDWCP MK Custodial Spring '94. Off Property, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001. Land/Sea @ ASMR/Wonder 2002. CBR 2003. POR 2006. Off Property 2007. DVC @ SSR since 2007.. SSR 2008, 2009.. BWV March 2010. SSR December 2010.
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:12 PM   #150
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Fantastic job so far! I've been away for a while too, but I caught up here! I feel bad for all of you at that point with regards to the crowds. In my opinion, the one place Disney needs to improve on is crowd control, both here in Disney World and out in Disneyland. Or maybe it's just a part of the whole Disney experience.
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