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Old 02-24-2013, 11:31 AM   #151
MomToPrincePhillip
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Thank you for the great TR, it was nice to read on with a different perspective. You gave us lots a food for thought, as we prepare for our 1st Disney Cruise. Thanks again for your time, honestly and sense of humor!
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:46 PM   #152
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The Mickey bar was a bit hit, but he didn't even come close to finishing it - those things are HUGE

I can't believe they had the Mickey Bar! We went on the Dream last year & all they had were the ice cream sandwhiches which are good but I had heard a lot about these Mickey Bars so i'm excited the Fantasy has them as we are going June 1. Loving your trip report!
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:26 PM   #153
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Originally Posted by Ensusieasm View Post
Well, once again I typed quite a lot about Vero Beach and lost it all because this site logs out if Im typing too long or somthing like that. So, if you do look into Disney's Vero Beach Resort, and have any questions, just let me know here on your thread and I will answer.
Thank you for the best trip report I ever read! If I have any more questions before my cruise in TWELVE DAYS!!!!! I will come back here and ask the expert! All The Best to you and your family (sock pals included) !
Wow - I'm humbled. *Blushing* Delighted to answer your questions!


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Originally Posted by MomToPrincePhillip View Post
Thank you for the great TR, it was nice to read on with a different perspective. You gave us lots a food for thought, as we prepare for our 1st Disney Cruise. Thanks again for your time, honestly and sense of humor!

I'm sure you'll have a fantastic time, and I haven't forgotten I need to send you my packing spreadsheet - hopefully tonight, now that the banking/taxes/backlog of paperwork is in order.

Thanks for reading!

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The Mickey bar was a bit hit, but he didn't even come close to finishing it - those things are HUGE

I can't believe they had the Mickey Bar! We went on the Dream last year & all they had were the ice cream sandwhiches which are good but I had heard a lot about these Mickey Bars so i'm excited the Fantasy has them as we are going June 1. Loving your trip report!

We got the Mickey Bars a few times - room service has them too (I read that on here) even though they're not on the menu, if that helps. It was Conor's special dessert the night we went to Palo. He was a happy boy - but he didn't finish it then either!

Thanks for reading, and have fun in June!
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:18 AM   #154
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Loved the report!
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:43 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by Conorama
Quality Time at MCO

Once at MCO, we took a bit of time to rearrange the luggage and check the weights - just a bit of game of musical clothing was needed, and the bags were all between 47 and 48 lbs, which pleased me beyond what is reasonable.

There were some very nice undergraduate students there doing an assignment - this is at about 10:00 a.m. on a Saturday a.m., and since I know the pain of student life, I participated. They wanted to know why were there, where we were from, etc., and then they wanted to know if we would ever be interested in an app about Orlando for tourists, and how much I would pay for it, and would I buy it if I was told about it when I was renting a car. I really felt for them, so I just gently explained that I research everything 20 times over BEFORE I go anywhere, so being offered an app upon arrival would not likely tempt me - I need REVIEWS. I need BLOGS. I need technical analysis! I was nicer than that, though.

DH trundled off during this process to find a luggage cart, and when I finished with the students, we made our way to check in with our friends at Air Canada. After standing in line for about 10 minutes, a manager came out to ask if anyone was going on the Montreal flight - and then he asked those people to get out of line, as they weren't ready to check that flight in yet. After about 5 minutes, it finally occurred to me that our flight was due to leave AFTER the Montreal flight, so we were not likely to be able to check in either. We confirmed, and got out of line, bummed out that we would have to truck our bags around for at least another hour.

When the going gets tough, the tough head to Starbucks, which is what we did. Newly caffeinated (adults only) and victualed, we then took turns exploring MCO with Conor while the other adult babysat the luggage. Fortunately, MCO, like most airports is an excellent place for people watching, so time went by pretty quickly.

Space boy

Conor's memory is problematic in that he never forgets what we hope he will forget. So, he remembered the "Cool Space Store" that he had glimpsed when we arrived at MCO a week before, and he really wanted to go. DH braved the store with Conor, and, not surprisingly, they two of them succumbed to temptation, to get this:

At this point, I dragged them off to check in, already, before they bought more stuff I would have to get through security.


More MCO

Check-in once again required lining up - about 15 minutes this time ...or longer, and I've just blocked it out. We had a great debate at this point about Conor peeing, because it looked like the lines for security were long.

Adults prevailed, barely, and Conor was thrilled to see a built-in, folding down step stool in the bathroom at the sinks - brilliant, actually. Hey- I'll take whatever it takes for him to pee!

We organized ourselves to go through security, and braved the lines. They were, however, much better than the last time we were in Florida - 5 years before we flew home out of Miami on Superbowl Sunday. Let us assure you that the that was a trip - heightened security in a US airport is not something we felt like trying twice - we are simple Canadians from small-town Ontario. I think we were in line for 2 hours there before getting through security. It was definitely over an hour, and I was pregnant, so not fun.

Surprisingly, the lines moved fairly quickly - 2 lines - first, to get your passport (or photo ID, I guess) and boarding card checked, then, to clear security.

In the security line, I noted the scary body scanners, and dreaded taking Conor through, as I knew that would get ugly. When it was our turn, we filled our multiple bins with my laptop, other random electronics, Sockie, small bags, coats/hoodie, and other stuff. DH and I were taking our shoes off when a very nice TSA guy told me that Conor and I could go through the "normal" scanner, since Conor was too short for the big one. Yippee!

At this point, we noticed that Conor had taken off his shoes (despite having just been told he didn't need to - he was genuinely trying to help), and was trying to find a bin for them - nice TSA guy got him a little bin just for his shoes, and this totally made my morning. I'm sure that job isn't fun, but this small act of kindness actually improved his day too, because he didn't have to listen to me wrestle a weeping child through security. Yeah, TSA guy!


Lunch, and other people's children - in a good way

Having emerged unscathed on the other end of security, we assembled our gear and headed to the shuttle-train-thing. This time, the ride was in daylight, so it was even more exciting, in that one could see PLANES!!!! Imagine that at an airport.

We got to our terminal and found a Mexican place for lunch - something sorely lacking in small town Ontario. While we were waiting for our food, Conor asked nicely if he could play with his Space Shuttle, so I got it out for him.

He was almost instantly joined by Ben, who, in short order, reported that he was 5, had been to Disney, was flying home to New Hampshire on Jet Blue, and that he knew all this stuff because he was in Kindergarten. In short, we met Conor's kindred spirit. Ben's Dad was watching luggage and a younger sibling, and he was trying to get Ben back to the table, but we assured him that we didn't mind, and heck, we had a version of Ben. The two of them investigated the shuttle, the rockets, the astronauts, and exchanged views about school, flying, and space shuttles, but did not talk about Disney, interestingly. As Ben was persuaded to leave with his family, he and Conor agreed to speak again.

After lunch, we meandered off to our gate, while DH stopped at duty free to buy some old bottle of scotch or other, to join the collection of old bottles of scotch that live in my house. It came in a nifty container, that shall reappear later in this tale.

And, with that, dear readers, I shall retire for the night.
Thanks for this fantastic and detailed TR....you have answered soooo many questions...and we not typical disney somewhat of non- disney folks, too. I mean. The children are young (5,5, and 8) and have been a couple times, but we are very lo key when we go. Your perspective is helpful.


Anyway, I am curious about getting your baggage and checking in at MCO.....I guess I thought that when you did DCL transfers that you didn't have to deal with anything other than your carry on again after customs in port, but you seem to have been " reunited" with all your luggage several times and wait In the usual check in lines........is this different because you are traveling to Canada or have I just misunderstood all along?

Thanks, Whirl
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:08 AM   #156
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Thanks for this fantastic and detailed TR....you have answered soooo many questions...and we not typical disney somewhat of non- disney folks, too. I mean. The children are young (5,5, and 8) and have been a couple times, but we are very lo key when we go. Your perspective is helpful.


Anyway, I am curious about getting your baggage and checking in at MCO.....I guess I thought that when you did DCL transfers that you didn't have to deal with anything other than your carry on again after customs in port, but you seem to have been " reunited" with all your luggage several times and wait In the usual check in lines........is this different because you are traveling to Canada or have I just misunderstood all along?

Thanks, Whirl
Thanks for reading, and I'm glad things are helpful.

As I understand it, (and I might be wrong), you have to be on a participating airline (for on-board check-in) for the bags to magically move along - I'm pretty sure I looked and Air Canada was not, but I also think that it's only something they can do for US-bound flights. I'm sure someone can help out and clarify.

(I guess I'm saying - it's not the DCL transfers that makes bags move along without you from port to airport - it's the on-board airline check-in process, if you qualify.)

Despite this (and despite my whining), the only issue really was that we weren't allowed to check in right away. Otherwise, the porter (TOTALLY worth it, and we only had 1 kid) dealt with the luggage from port to the bus. DH just popped into MCO to find a cart, and we loaded up the cart to get from the curb into MCO to do our rearranging. Normally, we would have pushed the cart to the check-in lines and said good-bye to our bags.

(In an ideal world, we would have been able to do the advanced check-in thing, but as I mentioned earlier, we're rarely allowed - not sure why - but that would have put us in the much shorter "baggage drop off" line.)

So, it was really just a minor nuisance to have to walk about with our bags for an hour. I just whine a lot!

Have a great trip!
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:46 AM   #157
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Loved the report!
Thanks!
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:11 PM   #158
Whirl
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Originally Posted by Conorama

Thanks for reading, and I'm glad things are helpful.

..........

So, it was really just a minor nuisance to have to walk about with our bags for an hour. I just whine a lot!

Have a great trip!

Thank so much. I appreciate the clarity. Of all things I have really Ben stressing abut this one mater of transportation....
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:20 AM   #159
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Thank so much. I appreciate the clarity. Of all things I have really Ben stressing abut this one mater of transportation....
Oh, I hear you! Feel free to ask more - we do take Conor a lot on trips (my work, family trips, plus our one 'for us' vacation per year), so we've figured out tricks (or rather, we've had enough problems that we now know how to anticipate .... most of them anyway!)

One other tip if it's luggage you're worried about - we love the Heys bag we have for Conor - he's been pulling it since he was 2.5, and it's really well designed. We like that half of it is a zippered compartment (no spillage) and it opens the right way for you to leave it open under the seat in front on the plane and you can still nab things from it. If he won't pull it (rare) it's easy for us to manage.



It is, unfortunately, the one we forgot in the closet one time, but that's not its fault.

We've used it extensively for 2 years, and it's going strong.

Just a thought!
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:07 PM   #160
Whirl
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Originally Posted by Conorama

Oh, I hear you! Feel free to ask more - we do take Conor a lot on trips (my work, family trips, plus our one 'for us' vacation per year), so we've figured out tricks (or rather, we've had enough problems that we now know how to anticipate .... most of them anyway!)

One other tip if it's luggage you're worried about - we love the Heys bag we have for Conor - he's been pulling it since he was 2.5, and it's really well designed. We like that half of it is a zippered compartment (no spillage) and it opens the right way for you to leave it open under the seat in front on the plane and you can still nab things from it. If he won't pull it (rare) it's easy for us to manage.

It is, unfortunately, the one we forgot in the closet one time, but that's not its fault.

We've used it extensively for 2 years, and it's going strong.

Just a thought!
Each of our 3 have one of those heys and they are (virtually!!!....ha, ha) indestructible....although, we only have 2 of the 3 remaining; The one that broke was clearly abused since my oldest was wheeling the younger ones around it like a ride-on toy, which proved just too much for the telescoping handle....yes, they have a 7 year warranty, but this was undeniable misuse and not the intended treatment, so we just pitched it.

We actually don't use them anymore and have now made the kids each carry their own lighter backpack, for which they must take FULL responsibility for contents and carrying and mom and dad are not picking up the slack anymore. With 3 of them lugging one of those, since they are bit bulky, they take up a fair amount of luggage space and were too difficult to carry and add to load if one ( or heaven forbid 2, or 3) gets too "tired".

I guess we worry most about the luggage and the lines...adding to the 3 children are 2 80-somethings in the mix, so talk about a lot of bathroom breaks! So we need to stay nimble and flexible....we have gone back and forth with disney transport versus our own ( on another thread) trying to really sort things out....so overall its a quest for maximum convenience ( not as concerned about cost, more concerned with minimization of lines and crowds and most direct means to our destination).

Its tough to judge from others, because what denotes "convenience" can be surprisingly pretty subjective.....

Anyway...again great report from a familiar perspective and the details help sort through some questions....
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:38 PM   #161
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It took me 3 days to read (among other life activities) but - as a full on Disney fan (and many other forms of entertainment with characters and superheroes) since the age of 2 (I'm 36 now) - I found your thread informative, entertaining and brilliant!

I most appreciated you knowing your family's limits and making no attempts to force "the magic" as opposed to many other non-Disney families I've seen over the years at various Disney venues.

I have to add...like many other readers I am also a fan of "sneaky pee". And I thought "mouser boat" was too cute!

If you ever start a blog other than on DIS please post the link here. Looking forward to reading that too!
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:10 PM   #162
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Each of our 3 have one of those heys and they are (virtually!!!....ha, ha) indestructible....although, we only have 2 of the 3 remaining; The one that broke was clearly abused since my oldest was wheeling the younger ones around it like a ride-on toy, which proved just too much for the telescoping handle....yes, they have a 7 year warranty, but this was undeniable misuse and not the intended treatment, so we just pitched it.

We actually don't use them anymore and have now made the kids each carry their own lighter backpack, for which they must take FULL responsibility for contents and carrying and mom and dad are not picking up the slack anymore. With 3 of them lugging one of those, since they are bit bulky, they take up a fair amount of luggage space and were too difficult to carry and add to load if one ( or heaven forbid 2, or 3) gets too "tired".

I guess we worry most about the luggage and the lines...adding to the 3 children are 2 80-somethings in the mix, so talk about a lot of bathroom breaks! So we need to stay nimble and flexible....we have gone back and forth with disney transport versus our own ( on another thread) trying to really sort things out....so overall its a quest for maximum convenience ( not as concerned about cost, more concerned with minimization of lines and crowds and most direct means to our destination).

Its tough to judge from others, because what denotes "convenience" can be surprisingly pretty subjective.....

Anyway...again great report from a familiar perspective and the details help sort through some questions....
Re: Heys - oh my, I see. Yes - carrying 3 of those puppies would just be awful. Or, 2, rather, after the, um, off-label use of the suitcase as a child transportation device.

Re: Lines and luggage - I get it! I work in geriatrics, so I really get it! The Hyatt/DCL combo was great on the way down for that for sure. (I'm glad someone appreciated my stories about being able to take luggage carts to check in at the Hyatt ... because these are the things that matter to us too.)

I can't comment, though, on other transportation much except to say... there did seem to be a big ugly line of people waiting for other transportation at port on disembarking day - and I have read stories about the horrors of getting to one's rental car, which seemed to depend on who was telling the story. I confess to a small amount of gloating as, in our DCL bus, we drove by the masses standing in line outside the port for something or other. That kind of thing sends my anxiety over board - how do I find OUR car? Or our (non-DCL) bus? DCL transportation won out there - I barely needed to engage my brain.

So, not sure if that helped, but your post reminded me of that aspect of things. In those moments, I *like* being a sheep - just lead me, oh shepherd that is Big Mouse, and don't make me think!
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:24 PM   #163
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It took me 3 days to read (among other life activities) but - as a full on Disney fan (and many other forms of entertainment with characters and superheroes) since the age of 2 (I'm 36 now) - I found your thread informative, entertaining and brilliant!

I most appreciated you knowing your family's limits and making no attempts to force "the magic" as opposed to many other non-Disney families I've seen over the years at various Disney venues.

I have to add...like many other readers I am also a fan of "sneaky pee". And I thought "mouser boat" was too cute!

If you ever start a blog other than on DIS please post the link here. Looking forward to reading that too!
Thanks so much! 3 days is a lot of time when life is interfering, so I'm honoured!

It's an interesting nature/nurture question - is it just Conor's nature to not be interested in characters, or did we make him that way? (If we did - it wasn't on purpose... honest!) We never forced him to sit on Santa's lap either - didn't want to line up when he was 6 months, at 1.5 it would have been torturing the kid so we didn't try, and at 2.5 we got this far:



(What do you mean, not everyone goes to see Santa in a fire fighter hat, carrying a spatula? Did I miss that section in the ever-missing manual that was supposed to come with the kid?)

His "magic" is talking to people not dressed up in costume (complete strangers are good for this, particularly), and his imagination - best if these two are combined. We like to say we nurture his nature, and we're all happier for it. Plus, it's fun, because you get to hear about the near-famous sneaky pee.

And with that, we must have our always-entertaining family supper. Last night, when DH and I were discussing my sister's recent, um, tailbone injury (she fell at Winterlude in Ottawa), Conor proclaimed: "We should not be discussing other people's bottoms at the dinner table. It's bad manners." So, tonight, we'll just discuss our own rear-ends, it seems.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:54 PM   #164
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Smile Never stop blogging!

Now that's what we're talking about! We want more of that! You should have hosted the Oscars! You and Conor! Maybe next year?!
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:34 AM   #165
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Now that's what we're talking about! We want more of that! You should have hosted the Oscars! You and Conor! Maybe next year?!
I watched about 30 seconds this year, and ... went to bed. Seemed appropriate. Not nearly as fun as hearing the rules from the 4.5 year old male version of Ms. Manners.
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