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Old 10-14-2012, 10:29 PM   #31
LAH LAH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriniandBre View Post
I'm all caught up and wanted to say I'm here for the ride I can't wait to read more of your TR and find out the locations you ate and the prices that were paid. I'm all for a Disney trip on a dime lol. Your children are beautiful, my girls and I love your nails and no matter how many times we land in Orlando we get excited like it's the first time.
Glad to have you here! We only ate counter service, always our cheapest route!

Thanks for joining in, and all your kind words

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Originally Posted by littlezar View Post
Sounds like the trip is off to a fantastic start even though you had to replace the camera!
Small price to pay to have a way to document it all!
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:13 AM   #32
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We always fly southwest as it is usually the cheapest for us. We haven't had any problems, but I do miss not having a personal TV!

Glad you made it safely! Sorry to hear about the Camera issues. That is an annoying problem to have on vacation because you NEED to have something to capture the memories!
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:06 AM   #33
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Just read your last TR, too (better late than never!) -
As a mom of 4 with an on-site partner, I can barely imagine how you handle 5!! You must have major energy, major patience, and major sense of humor!
Looking forward to hearing more, and wondering when the little boys' first trip might be?
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:12 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curiouser&curiouser! View Post
We always fly southwest as it is usually the cheapest for us. We haven't had any problems, but I do miss not having a personal TV!

Glad you made it safely! Sorry to hear about the Camera issues. That is an annoying problem to have on vacation because you NEED to have something to capture the memories!
They are not our cheapest route, but with the bonus 50,000 points it covered our flights (minus the flying tax).

I hate overpaying for things, but it was a small price to pay for a way to capture the memories!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HermanTriplets+1 View Post
Just read your last TR, too (better late than never!) -
As a mom of 4 with an on-site partner, I can barely imagine how you handle 5!! You must have major energy, major patience, and major sense of humor!
Looking forward to hearing more, and wondering when the little boys' first trip might be?
You are very sweet, but don't rush out to nominate me for sainthood or anything. I do the best I can, but it isn't always sunshine and roses.

We are working on a game plan for bringing the boys to WDW. They are all drug and alcohol babies (breaks my heart) and the oldest has some serious behavior issues. We want to bring them, but not at the expense of everyone else.

Thanks for joining us for the long haul!
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:46 AM   #35
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EPCOT and the YES Program


Early mornings don't feel quite so early when you are at DISNEY! Elsa and I shared a bed and we found it is getting more and more difficult to sleep well under those circumstances, but I'd rather have a lousy nights sleep here than a great one at home! 6:45am was our wake-up call, and Elsa and I bounded out of bed to get showers done, breakfast eaten, and ready to make it for the 1st bus to EPCOT at 8am. Michael and Elsa were both scheduled to take YES classes at 8:30 and I was so afraid we were going to miss it and be charged the full price of the tickets that we got at such a great discount.

We finally rolled Michael out of bed and were all ready and waiting at the bus stop by 7:50am. While standing there, pleased as punch that we were soooooooooooooooo not going to miss it, Michael decides there is no way he is going to be able to carry the DSLR around for his photography class and then the rest of the day.

Hold it. What? You mean the DSLR I lugged all the way from home because you were sure you needed it? The one I bought a special neoprene protective sleeve for, just for this trip, because there was no way you could be without the DSLR for the class? The very camera I bought a new memory card for so I could have the point and shoot while you had the camera that you ABSOLUTELY had to have, and couldn't talk you out of even 3 days ago?!!!

Yes, that camera.

I tried to put on a smile, but gave Michael and Elsa direct instructions to run back to the room, hide it in our luggage that would be transferred to our new room sometime today, and to sprint back to the bus stop. There could be no walking or we would miss our bus. Off they went, and thankfully they returned just as the bus was pulling up. Lesson learned. Michael doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to what he HAS to have. I breathed a sigh of relief when that bus pulled out of POP with us in it. This is what I had worried about the most since signing up for YES. Finding our classes wasn't very hard. Out by ticketing were a lot of excited teens and preteens standing in circle groups waiting to see what was going to happen. Michael would be taking his Captivating Moments: Images with Impact class on his own, while I would accompany Elsa on her Making Waves with a Marine Career class. Elsa missed the age deadline by 2 weeks to be able to do this on her own, but I thought it would be fun to do this together!

Michael headed out for his class with strict instructions to meet us at back at Spaceship Earth when he was done. After getting outfitted with little headset units, Elsa and I were ready to go through the gates with her class and head off to the aquarium. It was neat to be in the group with the headsets. Our director was able to quietly speak into her microphone and we all knew just where to go. When we got to Nemo and Friends, we had to hand over all of or belongings except for the headsets. They locked them up for us and assured us that no one would have access to it except for our director. I thought it was a bit lame to be camera-less, but I had NO idea how much behind the scenes we would be doing.

3 hours later and I can tell you if you have the chance to participate in a YES class, DO IT! We really enjoyed it. We got to go behind the scenes and see where the manatees escape to, up above the aquariums to look straight down at the dolphins, back to see food prep for the animals and much, much more! The time just flew by. We chose to do the YES program to save $ and for the experience. After catching back up with Michael, they both decided they would want to do it again, even if it wasn't for money saving purposes. We peppered Michael with questions about what they did, what they learned, and how he liked it etc... and he could only answer one. He really liked it but couldn't tell us why or anything they did.

Some pictures from Michael's class:












We decided to ride Spaceship Earth before lunch, and enjoyed it like always!


UP NEXT: A Shortened EPCOT DAY

Last edited by LAH LAH; 10-21-2012 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:41 AM   #36
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I had never heard of the YES program prior to reading your PTR. What an amazing experience for kids. Sounds like something to keep in mind if we ever have children. Thanks!
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:52 PM   #37
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I am enjoying your report!! Love the mani pedi!!! The YES program sounds interesting, I have never heard of it before. I will look into it for our next trip. Looking forward to more.


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Old 10-17-2012, 03:54 PM   #38
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We have looked into the YES program a bit. I homeschool, so we are really considering it for our next trip. Glad to hear you guys had a great time! The pictures turned out great!
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:37 AM   #39
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I'm a little late to the party, but I hope you don't mind if I join in!

I read quite a few entries of your blog, and your family is unbelievably adorable! So much love, and such a great story!

Thanks so much for sharing about the YES program! I'm hoping to take my two 15-year old sisters to DW in June, and I think they'd love taking one of those classes. The discount on tickets doesn't hurt either, ha!

Can't wait to read more!
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:23 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAH LAH View Post
EPCOT and the YES Program


Early mornings don't feel quite so early when you are at DISNEY! Elsa and I shared a bed and we found it is getting more and more difficult to sleep well under those circumstances, but I'd rather have a lousy nights sleep here than a great one at home! 6:45am was our wake-up call, and Elsa and I bounded out of bed to get showers done, breakfast eaten, and ready to make it for the 1st bus to EPCOT at 8am. Michael and Elsa were both scheduled to take YES classes at 8:30 and I was so afraid we were going to miss it and be charged the full price of the tickets that we got at such a great discount.

We finally rolled Michael out of bed and were all ready and waiting at the bus stop by 7:50am. While standing there, pleased as punch that we were soooooooooooooooo not going to miss it, Michael decides there is no way he is going to be able to carry the DSLR around for his photography class and then the rest of the day.

Hold it. What? You mean the DSLR I lugged all the way from home because you were sure you needed it? The one I bought a special neoprene protective sleeve for, just for this trip, because there was no way you could be without the DSLR for the class? The very camera I bought a new memory card for so I could have the point and shoot while you had the camera that you ABSOLUTELY had to have, and couldn't talk you out of even 3 days ago?!!!

Yes, that camera.

LOL!!

I tried to put on a smile, but gave Michael and Elsa direct instructions to run back to the room, hide it in our luggage that would be transferred to our new room sometime today, and to sprint back to the bus stop. There could be no walking or we would miss our bus. Off they went, and thankfully they returned just as the bus was pulling up. Lesson learned. Michael doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to what he HAS to have. I breathed a sigh of relief when that bus pulled out of POP with us in it. This is what I had worried about the most since signing up for YES. Finding our classes wasn't very hard. Out by ticketing were a lot of excited teens and preteens standing in circle groups waiting to see what was going to happen. Michael would be taking his Captivating Moments: Images with Impact class on his own, while I would accompany Elsa on her Making Waves with a Marine Career class. Elsa missed the age deadline by 2 weeks to be able to do this on her own, but I thought it would be fun to do this together!

Michael headed out for his class with strict instructions to meet us at back at Spaceship Earth when he was done. After getting outfitted with little headset units, Elsa and I were ready to go through the gates with her class and head off to the aquarium. It was neat to be in the group with the headsets. Our director was able to quietly speak into her microphone and we all knew just where to go. When we got to Nemo and Friends, we had to hand over all of or belongings except for the headsets. They locked them up for us and assured us that no one would have access to it except for our director. I thought it was a bit lame to be camera-less, but I had NO idea how much behind the scenes we would be doing.

3 hours later and I can tell you if you have the chance to participate in a YES class, DO IT! We really enjoyed it. We got to go behind the scenes and see where the manatees escape to, up above the aquariums to look straight down at the dolphins, back to see food prep for the animals and much, much more! The time just flew by. We chose to do the YES program to save $ and for the experience. After catching back up with Michael, they both decided they would want to do it again, even if it wasn't for money saving purposes. We peppered Michael with questions about what they did, what they learned, and how he liked it etc... and he could only answer one. He really liked it but couldn't tell us why or anything they did.

Glad they enjoyed their classes! My husband and 11 yr old enjoyed his class (Ocean Discoveries) and he said he'd definitely take a class again.

Some pictures from Michael's class:












We decided to ride Spaceship Earth before lunch, and enjoyed it like always!

UP NEXT: A Shortened EPCOT DAY
Tell Michael he took some really nice pictures!
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:28 AM   #41
LAH LAH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer48 View Post
I had never heard of the YES program prior to reading your PTR. What an amazing experience for kids. Sounds like something to keep in mind if we ever have children. Thanks!
I wish they offered adult classes!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holly324 View Post
We have looked into the YES program a bit. I homeschool, so we are really considering it for our next trip. Glad to hear you guys had a great time! The pictures turned out great!
I didn't post his pictures of the people walking in front of him. I wish I could have joined him on his class too. We keep asking him what he learned, or what they said during the class and all we get back is a shrug of the shoulders.

Be careful though, after your child takes this class they will be sure they are the photog king.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HelloMimi View Post
I'm a little late to the party, but I hope you don't mind if I join in!

I read quite a few entries of your blog, and your family is unbelievably adorable! So much love, and such a great story!

Thanks so much for sharing about the YES program! I'm hoping to take my two 15-year old sisters to DW in June, and I think they'd love taking one of those classes. The discount on tickets doesn't hurt either, ha!

Can't wait to read more!
Happy to have you join us!! It's been quite a journey with the boys. Never thought I would have the heart to adopt. God decided I was wrong.

The discount was super nice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlezar View Post
Tell Michael he took some really nice pictures!
I will!
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:39 PM   #42
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A Shortened EPCOT Day


The YES classes were done and we decided to meet back up at Spaceship Earth, and once we were all back together we rode on it before heading over to the Electric Umbrella Restaurant to get some lunch! We didn't get free dining for this trip so we set up some guidelines to keep the costs as low as we could, but still enjoy our dining. We would be eating breakfast in our room, each of us could order one soda a day and drink water for the rest, and everyone could purchase one snack a day. I'm happy to report that Michael and Elsa never complained about our little money saving policy. I am so thankful they understood my reasons, and it really helped ease the anxiety of paying out of pocket for all the food! The money was budgeted, but hard to part with, none the less.

We ordered the Southwest Black Bean Flatbread sandwiches and weren't overly impressed. Just wasn't our thing, I guess.


After we ate our fill we decided to head on over to Innoventions West, a building we often skip right by, but not today! We grabbed this pic on our way:


Once we got to Innoventions we headed straight to Where's the Fire?. The kids remembered doing this on their first trip back in 2007, and were really excited to play it again. We had fun, and our team won! Then we took a picture with Michael and Elsa next to the big fire truck to send back to Chase at home.


Michael and Elsa chose to do Smarter Planet next. It was a cool interactive video game where you are the star! You create your avatar with a picture of yourself, and when you jump it jumps! I never saw the screen, but I watched Michael and Elsa jump around and dodge things, laughing the whole time. Pretty much Michael's dream come true to be IN a video game! They moved over to play the vintage video games while I called the boys. They were doing great, but I missed them something fierce. I was in a total funk. It was mostly inward, but I was very unsettled, and was really wishing we had brought them. The reality is it just won't work right now, but my heart was still sad. It's a weird feeling to be in your happiest of happy places, but also wishing you could be home with the rest of your family. This was new for me.

I gathered Michael and Elsa, snapped a picture and we headed on out:


We sampled drinks at Club Cool (side stepping the Beverly) while tracking out the rest of our day. We decided to ride the major rides, skip the countries, and head back to our resort earlier than normal. So off we went to Ellen's Universe of Energy.


The kids have posed for 1000's of pics at Disney (I average 800 a trip, but weed out about half...I'm obsessed, I know!) and have started getting creative/dramatic. I love it We enjoy the pre-show greatly, especially Michael. The ride is fun, but I was super tired and just wanted to curl up on the seat and snooze. I might have even dozed for a moment or two. Next on the list was Mission:Space. We rode the wimpy green side with Michael so he wouldn't be alone. He once rode the orange side with us and felt like his head was going to explode. Usually Meema and Peepa are with us and Peepa rides it with him, but they wouldn't be arriving for a few more days. This is what Elsa thought of that:


Enjoyed it, like always. We take our jobs VERY seriously and just enjoy pushing the buttons. Test Track was closed as was the frozen coke stand we were counting on for our snacks. We bought some jelly beans and shared those as we headed over to Soarin' where Elsa was FINALLY tall enough not to have the baby safety strap on.


It was only 3pm, but we decided to head on back to POP. I was anxious to keep up with the Olympic coverage, Elsa wanted to swim, and Michael thought he would really like to use one of his 5 passes to Disney Quest (every gamers dream). One last picture and we were on our way, leaving EPCOT way earlier than ever before:


We made it back to POP, ordered a pizza, and picked up the keys to our new room located in the 1960's right by the Hippy Dippy Pool!!!!! We picked up our pizza and headed to check out our new digs. It was pretty neat that they moved all of our luggage for us. All we had to do was unpack it! So we ate the pizza while doing just that. Michael and Elsa went out to swim for a while and then they decided to go to Down Town Disney where Disney Quest is located. I have never let them go anywhere like this on their own before, but I guess there's a first time for everything. I was nervous, but they did a great job of taking the bus to DTD, finding Disney Quest, enjoying the heck out of it, making it back to the buses, and returning home by the time we agreed on. They are really growing up.


While they were gone I walked around and got a pic of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head to send back to Easton:


Once we all back to our room and settled in, we finished watching the Olympic Prime Time coverage together and called it a night, falling asleep quickly with thoughts of Magic Kingdom in our dreams.

UP NEXT: On Our Way to the MK

Last edited by LAH LAH; 10-24-2012 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:47 PM   #43
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Great update! I would luv to hear more about the YES classes. I wonder if they have them for younger kids? They sound like a lot of fun. The girls and I are huge dolphin fans and that would be a great class for us to do. Learning and seeing behind the scenes is awesome!

Tell Michael he did a great job on the pics he took.

I am so sorry you felt sad on the inside. You are a strong and wonderful mom to do this for your older children. I really admire your strength.

Can't wait for the next update!!

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Old 10-21-2012, 10:36 PM   #44
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Great update! Love Soarin! My two are only 6 and 4, but I am already having a hard time with them growing up so fast! Craziness, I tell ya! Looking forward to hearing about the Magic Kingdom!
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:21 PM   #45
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Excellent update! I can't believe how big the kids are getting! It must be nice (and weird too) to send them off on their own like that! When kids are little it almost feels like that day will never come!
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