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Old 10-03-2012, 10:00 AM   #31
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Pictures from Day 1-2


DD getting ready to board the plane


Just some of her antics on the plane...covering herself in stickers


Arriving at WDW!


Already meeting one of Mickey's friends at DTD


DD's favorite princess
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:12 PM   #32
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Day 3 part 1
We woke up at about 7am to get ready. I put DD in her Belle dress, which she had been really excited to wear, but this morning all she wanted to wear was her Aaron Rodgers jersey that she had worn the day before and fallen asleep in. Needless to say, it was a fight to get her dressed and out the door. As soon as we were on the move, however, her mood improved as she took in all the sites near the Hippy Dippy pool. We passed through the food court to fill mugs. None of the adults were hungry, but I got DD a bag of crackers to munch on in her stroller.

We took the bus to MK and arrived quickly, about a half hour before RD. We spent the time waiting taking pictures, and enjoyed the opening show. Once we were in, we headed to tomorrowland and all the adults grabbed FPs for Space Mountain. Then we all went on the first ride of the trip - Buzz Lightyear. DD was surprisingly scared of this ride. She called the robots "monsters" and whined/wimpered the whole time . After we got off, we had a long talk about how everything that looks scary at WDW is actually pretend, and it is meant to be silly and make us laugh, not to scare us. Then we headed to COP for a more mild experience, but on the way we spotted Stitch. DD wasn't scared of him at all, and ran right up to him for hugs and pictures. Then we saw Chip and Dale, so went to meet them too. We rode COP (DD loved the dog), then my parents did the Stitch "ride" while DH and I took DD on the Peoplemover. Then, it was time to use our FPs for SM. DH and I went first, while my parents took DD for another ride on the Peoplemover. While my parents took their turn on SM, DD asked DH if she could ride Buzz Lightyear again. We were a little apprehensive because of how scared she was the first time, but she seemed insistent. Since my parents would be off SM any minute, DH took her over there and rode again with her. She enjoyed it the second time!

After my parents were done with SM, they took DD to ride a racecar at the speedway while DH and I did Stitch. Then we all saw the Monsters, Inc show, which DD loved, but we did have to remind her a few times that they were nice monsters.

Next we moved on to Fantasyland to tide the teacups (DD spun ours like crazy) and check out the new Dumbo rides. The line looked short from the outside, so DH and I jumped in it with DD. Well, we found out that the line went into a tent and was actually quite a bit longer than it looked like from the outside. Before we could contemplate what to do, DD saw the giant playground inside the tent and wanted to play. The CM at the playground handed up a device that looked like those pagers they give you at restaurants and said it would hold our place in line. We decided to let DD play a little bit, and figured my parents would come in if they got impatient, which they did after a few minutes. After DD had been down all the slides, we made our way back to the CM, who took our electronic thing back, but had us just go to the end of the line . I'm still not sure what the purpose of that thing was, but it was too busy in there to ask anyone. The line moved quickly though, and we got on after about 10 minutes, but or Dumbo didn't work and wouldn't move up. Seems like there's still a few kinks that need to be worked out of that ride, but the setup was definitely impressive.

Next stop was the Great Goofini, which DD was just tall enough to ride. It was her first ever rollercoaster, and she loved it. She asked to go on it again as soon as it stopped, but we were all getting hungry, so we told her we'd get back to it on one of our other park days. After potty breaks and getting FPs for Peter Pan, we went to get lunch at the Pinocchio Haus. DH got the BBQ chicken flatbread and I had the Caprese flatbread. DH talked them into subbing his dessert for fries, and I had chocolate cake. We both shared a bit of our food with DD. I can't remember exactly what my parents had...I think they might have shared a meatball sub. Everyone thought the meal was a pretty good CS option.

After eating, we rode Winnie the Pooh and IASW, and we saw Philharmagic. We still had a lot of time before our Peter Pan FP, and the line was long, so we decided to head out of Fantasyland and make our way back later.

Part 2 up next

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Old 10-04-2012, 02:37 PM   #33
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*all caught up*

Sounds like your breakfast at the airport was kind of crazy. And then, to top it off, it disagreed with you. At least you got to preboard - finally, something positive, right?! The meal at Bongos sounds good. It was a place I had considered, also, but decided on T-Rex instead. Maybe next trip.

*love* all the photos of your daughter! She's such a cutie! The mini Packer's jersey is adorable, also. You guys got robbed!

Your MK day sounds great thus far even with the rocky start. Can't wait to read more!
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:21 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BearcatsFan View Post
*all caught up*

Sounds like your breakfast at the airport was kind of crazy. And then, to top it off, it disagreed with you. At least you got to preboard - finally, something positive, right?! The meal at Bongos sounds good. It was a place I had considered, also, but decided on T-Rex instead. Maybe next trip.

*love* all the photos of your daughter! She's such a cutie! The mini Packer's jersey is adorable, also. You guys got robbed!

Your MK day sounds great thus far even with the rocky start. Can't wait to read more!
Yeah, that airport breakfast was definitely the worst meal of the trip. I thought it was a bad omen at first, but all our other meals ended up going very well.

Bongos was really good and I definitely recommend it. I've read not-too-good reviews, but I think those people must not have ordered the Cuban Tour
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:20 PM   #35
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Day 3 Part 2

After leaving Fantasyland we headed to the Haunted Mansion. I was a little worried about how DD would do with this one, since she'd been kind of hung up on "monsters and ghosts" all day. DH held her in the stretching room, and she put her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes for most of the stretching room. She liked the actual ride, however, and said she wanted to go on it again once it was over.

Next I wanted to stop in the Christmas shop, since I always get a new ornament on each trip. Last time I got a Cinderella bell in honor of "our little princess's" first trip. In keeping with that theme, I got Aurora-themed mickey ears, since she's DD's current favorite princess. I think I'm going to let her pick a princess on each trip from now on, and get a corresponding ornament. Then, when she gets married some day, I'll pass them all on to her as part of her wedding gift.

As I was paying for my ornament, we heard the parade come through, so DH put DD on his shoulders and went to watch it along with my parents. I joined them once I was done, then we quickly snuck into Hall of Presidents as the crowd disbursed. I'm a political science major, history buff, and big Morgan Freeman fan, so I love this attraction. DD, on the other hand, wasn't too big of a fan, and she fell sound asleep against my mom about halfway through. Once it was done, we carried her out and got her comfy in the stroller with it reclined.

We had originally planned to go back to Fantasyland to use our Peter Pan FPs once we were done in Liberty Square, but DD was out cold, and Peter Pan was mostly for her. So, we decided to let the FPs expire, and take advantage of the opportunity to get on BTM and Splash Mountain while she was sleeping. We grabbed FPs for Splash, and took turns riding BTM. At this point, DH's allergies were bothering him, so he ran ahead to the first aid center to get some benadryl while the rest of us moseyed into Adventureland and got in the Dole whip line. We all enjoyed pineapple dole whip floats once DH got back, except for DD who was still asleep. We tried waking her up, but no luck. She LOVES ice cream too, so she must have been really tired!

Next, we headed back to Splash to use our FPs. DH and I went first, then waited with sleeping DD while my parents rode. The benadryl was making DH tired, and he took my About Town blanket from 31 out of the stroller basket and totally fell asleep on the ground next to the stroller while we were waiting. We were right near the stroller parking area, so we got a lot of strange looks from people going in and out, but I guess when you gotta sleep, you gotta sleep...

Miraculously, both DH and DD woke up on their own once my parents came back from the ride. We headed back into adventureland and rode POTC. DD has been really into pirates lately, and she LOVED that ride. I think she loved the gift shop outside of it even more. DH bought her a pirate sword for $5 and she was on top of the world.

At this point, we had less than an hour before park close at 7, and it was getting really crowded as people started coming in for MNSSHP. We decided we'd come back on another day to do more in adventureland. I'd promised Maddie a ride on the steam train during the opening show, so we decided to head back to Main St, take the loop around on the train, and then be done with MK for the day. When we got to the train, the were loading people in for the last round trip of the night. We just barely made it!

After a loop around the track, we took the monorail to Poly for our dinner at Ohana. We were a little early, it was about 7 and our ressie was for 8:05, but we thought maybe they'd let us in early. No such luck, they were packed, and the seating hostess informed me they were fully booked for the night.

DH was still having benadryl issues, so he zonked out on a couch in the lobby while the rest of us browsed the gift shop to kill time. We checked in 15 minutes prior to our ressie, and were seated about 10 minutes after our booked time.

Ohana Review:
We go here every trip, but I was a little worried since I had read that it had been going downhill. It was very crowded when we arrived, and it seemed like they were trying to turn tables over quickly. We were pretty much given all the courses of food right away, which was good since we were hungry, but I can see how someone who prefers some time to talk and relax between courses would be annoyed. Our waiter was attentive and gave good service, but did seem quite rushed. He offered my DD a complimentary beverage and child meal which was much appreciated, since she didn't have much interest in any of the other food. The bread and side dishes were just as yummy as I remember them (my husband and mom raved about the noodles). The chicken was better than I remember it (and I have very positive memories of everything at Ohana), really tender and flavorful. The beef, on the other hand, was so tough I couldn't eat it. My hubby and stepdad both reported having some inedible tough pieces, and some pieces that were very good. It seemed to be hit or miss. Same deal with the pork. The one piece I tried was dry and made me feel like I was choking every time I tried to swallow a piece. I just gave up on it and focused on eating the very delicious chicken, shrimp, and sides. If they had only served beef and pork, I would have been totally disappointed, but the quality and quantity of all the other food made the meat issues seem like not that big of a deal. The dessert was excellent as always.

I used to work on Main St. in the MK when I was doing the college program, so I've seen the MNSSHP parade and fireworks many times. I really wanted to see the halloween perimeter fireworks on this trip, but between a small budget and not knowing how late DD would stay awake, MNSSHP was just not practical. So, my original plan was to watch the fireworks from the beach at poly after dinner. We lingered at the table longer than I had planned for, however, but I was pleasantly surprised to see we had a perfect view from our table, and they even piped in the music. I hadn't heard that music since our honeymoon in 2008, which was shortly after my 2006-2007 CP, so hearing it really brought back some nostalgia.

After the fireworks we took the monorail back to MK, then jumped on the bus back to Pop. The bus was pretty empty with everyone at MK likely wanting to get their money's worth out of MNSSHP. There were two ladies dressed as witches on the bus with us, and DD loved their costumes. One of them gave her a big plastic spider ring, and she was SO happy. The ring didn't fit her fingers, but she carried it around everywhere with her for the whole trip, and it is currently residing in her jewelry box.

After that huge nap DD was reluctant to sleep, and I ended up having to sit in our dark room and rock her while everyone else had drinks in my parents room. By the time she finally went to sleep it was about 11. I visited for a little bit, but we were all tired and soon it was lights out all around.

Up Next...Day3 Pictures!
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:49 PM   #36
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DH and DD getting ready to go into MK.


Disney girl!


First ride of the trip!


First character of the trip!


Space Mountain!


Loving the Teacups!


The big playground inside the new Dumbo


Nap time!
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:15 AM   #37
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Day 4
We woke up with the intention of making it to AK for rope drop, but after stopping to re-fill mugs and get Maddie a breakfast bar, we ended up arriving by bus just after opening. We headed straight for Kilamanjoro. The signs said the standby line was only 10 minutes...it looked longer but we decided to chance it. We ended up waiting about 20 minutes before venturing out on our safari. I was surprised to find out that they've done away with the Big Red storyline, and they had part of it under construction, so it seems like they are changing things around even more. I always thought the Big Red thing was kind of corny, but I think DD would have liked it. She was, however, able to see a giraffe REALLY close...as in I had to hold her arm down, otherwise she would have been touching it.

We did the Pangani trail after, then headed toward Everest to get FPs. We grabbed a Mickey Bar for DD on the way. She made such a chocolatey mess that we ended up needing to change her clothes after she was finished.

After we got FPs, we noticed the standby line wasn't too long, so DH and I rode, then my parents rode. Next, we backtracked toward Africa for the Flights of Wonder show. On the way, we stopped at a pretzel stand to get jalapeno pretzels, but they were all out. The CM directed us and several other people looking for Jalapeno pretzels to a different stand near Flights of Wonder, but when we got there, they were all sold out too. My mom wasn't too interested in Flights of Wonder, so she ran to get pretzels from Dinoland while the rest of us went into the show. She came back after a few minutes and we all had jalapeno pretzels while watching the show (mom and stepdad split one, and Maddie and I split one).

Next we did the Majahara Jungle Trek, followed by another ride on EE with our FPs. Then, just DH and I rode Kali. As we moved down the river in the beginning, we could see there was a problem at the loading dock with people not buckling their seatbelts as their raft was about the depart. The CMs had to spray the raft with a big hose to keep it from moving on, then they stopped the ride. A guy on the raft with us made me laugh when he said "I guess they hose you down if you don't listen about the seatbelts." The issue with that raft apparently shut the whole ride down for probably close to 10 minutes. We were stuck directly on top of the lift, in direct sunlight. Everyone was baking and sweaty by the time things got moving again, so the big splash after the drop was welcomed.

When we got off the ride, we asked DD if she had to go potty since it had been a while. She kept insisting she didn't have to, but we all know how that can go with a toddler, so I bribed her with a visit to a "big sandbox" if she tried to go potty. She did, so we headed toward Dinoland, but we noticed the Lion King show was about to start, so we watched that first.

Once we made it to Dinoland, Mom and stepdad rode Dinosaur while we took DD to the excavation site to play in the big sandbox. I must say, I could have stayed there a while. DD was totally occupied, in the shade, with plenty of cold misters shooting down on us. Ahhh...

After my parents were done with Dinosaur, DH and I took our turn. Next we headed over to It's Tough to Be a Bug. This show probably scared DD more than anything else the whole trip, but it was only during the short "scary part." She liked it after that. She did, however, say she didn't want to see it again.

We still had some time before our dinner ADR, but not enough time for the Nemo show, so we decided to skip it, and instead we went back to Camp Minnie Mickey so DD could meet some characters. Lines were short, so she got to meet Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Baloo, and King Louie.

Finally, we headed toward the exit for our 5:15 Rainforest Cafe ADR. Here's the review:

We went here mostly for convenience, since we were spending the day at AK. I also thought DD would enjoy the theme. Hubby and I ordered our only alcoholic drinks of the trip here, since we had a gift card I had gotten through a daily deal site. We splurged on the souvenir glasses. I had a fruity lemonade concoction and hubby had a pina colada. Both were good, and mine actually made me a little tipsy, so they surely didn't go cheap with the booze, even though I could hardly taste it. The food really wasn't memorable. I don't remember what anyone ordered, except I know I had the portofino pasta. I was surprised at how small the portion was, compared to what I was used to from all the other WDW restaurants. I had planned on sharing with DD since she likes pasta, so I only ate about half and was still a little hungry after (usually half an entree is just fine for me). The dish was good, but not wonderful. I thought it was a lot like something I'd get from Olive Garden, but a smaller portion. We split the volcano cake for dessert, and that was really yummy and filling. Not sure if it was worth the 3 dessert credits they wanted for it though...

Verdict: 3/5, good, but I don't think we'll go back

We caught the bus back to Pop and just kind of took it easy for the night. DH and my mom took DD swimming for a bit, but otherwise we just watched TV to recharge for an early morning and long park day at Epcot.

Pictures coming soon...
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:49 PM   #38
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The Fallout from the Mickey Bar. We had to change her outfit after this...


One of my favorite rides!


DD enjoying the big sandbox with Grandpa and Grandma


Meeting Mickey! Sorry my camera must have gotten dots on it from the misters in the line...


She had no idea who these guys were, but loved them anyway



Our little family outside of RC before dinner

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Old 10-09-2012, 01:30 PM   #39
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Epcot
The next morning we were up bright and early at around 6 to get ready to leave for our breakfast ADR at Akershus. Today was mine and DH's 4 year anniversary, so we made sure to wear our buttons. DD had to be woken, and was pretty crabby until I got her in her Rapunzel dress and promised her princesses and more rides.

We drove to Epcot and arrived outside the gates at about 7:45, only to wait until about 8 to be let in for our 8:05 ADR. By the time we made it to Norway and waited for those with 8 ADRs to be seated, it was about 8:30. DD met Belle right before we were seated, and we all got a picture with her. Aurora, Cinderella, Ariel, and Snow White all made their rounds to meet DD, pose for pictures with her, and sign her autograph book. About halfway through breakfast they had all the kids line up and march around the dining room for the "princess procession." DD LOVED this, and it is one of the things she is still taking about. We actually reminded her of it this past weekend when she was the flower girl in her uncle's wedding. We told her to talk down the aisle behind the maid of honor/best man, just like the princess procession

Here is my review of Akershus:

This is another one we do every trip. The quality has remained consistent over the years, and this visit did not disappoint. My DD was thrillled to get her picture with Belle at the beginning, to see all the other princesses, and to participate in the "princess procession". I'm not a big breakfast food person, so I liked that I could fill up on stuff on the cold buffet such as salmon, bagels, salami and cheese. My hubby loves breakfast food, and is a big fan of the hot eggs, sausage and potatoes. My stepdad is all about getting the most value out of the dining plan, so he made a point of filling up on the cold stuff since he said most of it was pricier than eggs.

Verdict: 4/5: We will continue to go here


After breakfast, we headed back to Future World, and decided to head to The Land to get fastpasses for Soarin. The standby line was long, so we grabbed the FPs and then walked right on Living with the Land. Then, we went over to The Living Seas building, rode Nemo, and went right into Turtle Talk with Crush. This was a little awkward, because DD wanted to sit on the floor with the other kids, but she also wanted to be able to see us. We tried having her sit by herself, but about 5 minutes into the show she was up and trying to find us. It was so crowded that we couldn't squeeze her into the seats with us, so DH had to go lay on the floor with her so he wouldn't be in the other kids' way. We love that show, but sure wish they would find a larger, more accommodating location for it.

After the show we looked at some of the fish tanks. We tried to watch a dolphin show, but it was so crowded and people were talking so loud that we couldn't see or hear much, so we moved on. Soon, DD declared that she didn't want to see any more fish and she wanted to leave, so we made our way out. On the way, in the gift shop, a bag of Nemo bath toys caught DD's eye. It had been a struggle getting her to take a bath in the hotel room (confession: she hadn't had one since we left home because she refused to get in the tub and I didn't want to fight with her ). I asked her if she'd take a bath tonight if we got her the toys and she agreed, so the toys came with us. Money well spent, and I am totally not above bribery

We went back to The Land to use our FPs, and DD got two more rides on Living with The Land while DH and I rode Soarin, and while my parents took their turn.

Next we went to Club Cool. For some reason, I'd never been here before. I really wanted to go last time we were here, but it closed early and we never made it, so I wanted to make a point of getting there this time.
Favorites: the watermelon one from China, the lemon one from Israel, and Beverly (that's right, I thought it was good. I know, I'm a weirdo. I love LaCroix sparkling water and that's what it tasted like to me)
Yuck: the Vegi Beta (although this was my mom's favorite), the cola one, and the ginger ale
My stepdad, who is always looking to pinch pennies, loved Club Cool and wondered why he had never been there before. He led us back into there multiple times as we made our way through Future World

After a quick ride on Imagination and Captain EO viewing, my mom, stepdad and DH wanted to go on Mission Space. I'm claustrophobic and not a fan of that ride, so DD and I browsed around MouseGear while everyone else rode. DD wanted a bag of candy corn, and I figured she must be getting hungry, but didn't want to get her lunch since we had an early dinner ADR, so candy corn it was (gotta love vacation eating)

Next stop was Ellen's Energy Adventure. DD fell fast asleep on this ride, so afterward we decided to wait until she was awake to do Spaceship Earth. After another stop at Club Cool, he headed over to the World Showcase.

Pick a Pearl was at the top of my must-do list, so we took the boat to the other side and walked over to Japan. It was crowded in the store, but there was no wait to do Pick a Pearl...just a lot of people hanging out right there

I'd never done it before, and had asked DH before we left if it could be my anniversary present. I tried to find an ugly oyster, but they all looked the same to me, so I just pointed to a random one. I ended up with a 7mm pink pearl. I chose a sterling setting that also had a small (fake) diamond on it. DD's birthstone is a pearl and mine is a diamond, so there was some sentimental value. I also selected a sterling chain. We decided to wait the 20 minutes for the pearl to set, and browsed around the store while we waited. Mom found a few dishes and glasses that she liked. I tried to talk her into doing PAP, since I was now hooked and wanted to see what kind of pearls other people would get, but she didn't want to.

Once my pearl was ready to go, it was getting close to our 5:15 ADR at Yachtsman Steakhouse, so we headed toward the boat launch. After a nice ride we arrived at Yacht Club, and it started pouring rain just minutes after we made it inside. We really lucked out with our timing, because this was the only time we saw rain on the whole trip. We got DD up and took her potty, then checked in at the restaurant and were seated right on time.

Here's my review of Yachtsman Steakhouse:

The Yachtsman Steakhouse
We wanted to do one 2-credit TS restaurant, and had originally booked Le Cellier because we had been there before and liked it. Then I read some awesome reviews for Yachtsman on the Disboards, and convinced my family to try something new. We were not disappointed. My hubby and stepdad each had porterhouses. They both were able to finish them. I had a taste of hubby's and was very impressed. It's pretty amazing how they can make such a big piece of meat so tender, and it's also very well seasoned. The herb fries served with it were also amazing. My stepdad proclaimed them the best fries he's had at any restaurant, ever. Mom and I both had the prime NY strip. Mom thought it was good, but preferred the filet at Le Cellier, although it wasn't really a fair comparison since she didn't get the filet from Yachtsman. I LOVED the NY strip, and preferred it to anything I've ever had from Le Cellier. We both really liked the scalloped potato thing that came with our steaks, but I would have been even happier with some of those amazing fries I kept stealing off of hubby's plate . We shared habenero infused chocolate cake and peanut butter pretzel bars for dessert. Both were amazing. My mom particularly loved the habenero infused cake, and said that dessert alone would make her pick YS over Le Cellier, even though she liked the meat from LC slightly better. The service was good, our waitress was friendly and attentive, especially with our DD. We were not offered anything complimentary for our DD (although we did pay to get her mac and cheese from the kids menu since she isn't a bit meat eater). The seating host asked about mine and hubby's anniversary pins and wondered if it was the actual day. It was, and we told him so. He gave us a "happy anniversary" menu, but we didn't get an extra dessert. I was a little disappointed with that. We actually never got anniversary desserts from anyone on this trip, and we got them at nearly everyone one when we went the same time last year. I wonder if they are cutting back on that, or if we just didn't seem "special" enough . Anyway, it was still an excellent experience.

Verdict: 5/5, We will be back

It poured out all through our dinner, but by the time we were ready to move on the rain had stopped . We jumped on the boat back to Epcot and walked a loop around WS until we made it to Norway. WS was PACKED, but surprisingly Malestrom had no line, so we went on it. DD loved it, and kept asking to ride "the troll ride" again all night.

We went back into Future World and got on Spaceship Earth. DD rode with DH and I rode alone, so I got a cartoon "boyfriend" in my little story, while DH and DD were together in theirs.

By this time it was about 8:30 so we decided we better go find a spot for Illuminations. It was so crowded that the only place we could go was right on the ground, just a little bit away from the walkway. We stayed near the entrance to WS so we'd have an easy out, and we started walking shortly before the end of Illuminations, looking up as we moved. We successfully beat most of the crowd to the parking lot, and were able to get out of the park quickly, even though we had parked close since we had arrived so early for breakfast.

After we got back to Pop, DD did as she had agreed and jumped in the bath with her new toys. Then it was bed time all around.
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