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Old 02-27-2013, 01:40 PM   #61
Chelley00
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October 16
Universal
Where to go? What to eat?

We had later dinner reservations at Margaritaville, but after the heat, being stuck on the ride, and the fact that our Universal/IOA food experiences had been less than happy, we decided to cancel that reservation and head someplace else to eat. We figured we'd be safe at Downtown Disney.

We took the water taxi back to RPH, walked to the parking lot to our car and headed that way. When we got to DTD we looked at the map board to get an idea of where to go and a lovely CM asked if she could help. We said we were just looking for some place we could get in without reservations and she pointed at Raglan Road and said she had heard they weren't very full that day. Having never eaten there, we went there and were led right to a table.



You really can't go wrong with fish and chips (especially gluten free)


We weren't in the main room, but the dancers came back to do a demonstration and then teach the kids a few steps. My kids wouldn't go (and they are half Irish!), but there were quite a few kids who did.



We elected not to do any DTD shopping since we had a couple of evenings planned later in the trip, but since I couldn't have any dessert at Raglan Road, we decided on one last stop before heading back to WBC.

Ghiradelli





We got back to the condo just in time to see this




After letting the kids each take a bath in the jacuzzi tub, we skipped the fireworks and went straight to bed as we had an extra early morning ahead of us.

Y.E.S we did.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:59 PM   #62
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October 17th
Epcot
Y.E.S we are here to learn about sea turtles!


In trying to make the trip as cheap as possible, I tried to get as many of our tickets at a discount as I could. When I ran across the YES program, I knew my kids would enjoy it and the discount was the best I could find anywhere. We ended up registering the kids for the Ocean Discoveries class at Epcot with me as their chaperone. Granny got the morning to sleep in as the rest of us headed over for an early start at Epcot.

We met by the flagpole and as we checked in met another DISer and her daughter and then a family who lives just a few miles away from us. Both ended up being in our group.

We met with our leader, Stephanie. We were fitted with our earpieces and radios and then given a lanyard with our name tag on it to keep our clips for answering questions correctly.


We walked over to The Seas and into a classroom to try and "eat" like turtles by using chopsticks to pick up garbanzo beans. Impossible. Then we headed to The Seas to sit on the floor for other activities:

Sorting good from bad after just scooping out stuff from the "ocean"


Building turtle safe nets with just a handful of materials and then we had to present our ideas


Demonstrating the actual turtle safe net


A quick ride on Nemo


and then we went outside to play "Predator vs Turtle" tag. It really emphasized how hard it is for turtles to actually survive...before they even hatch


We headed back to The Seas for some exploration on the aquarium with charts we were given.




After that we listened to a talk on the manatee and then we were done. We had to turn everything back in and were given a bookmark with sea turtle facts. The whole thing was very interesting and very informative and the kids enjoyed it, although it did run a little long for DS. He was ready to GO at the end It was definitely worth taking 2 hours for class for the ticket discount.

Our guide Stephanie was wonderful. Very patient and really knew her stuff. She was great about giving all the kids a chance and even making the parents participate.


One quick picture with Bruce before heading out to find my mom, who had just arrived at Epcot courtesy of the WBC shuttle. She said it wasn't bad, other than the fact that it runs so infrequently.


Next up, we're off to eat our way around the world.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:15 PM   #63
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October 17th
Epcot
We're off to eat around the world


We caught up with Granny and decided to make snacking around the Food and Wine Festival our lunch. But first on our way back a quick ride on one of DD's favorites


Now, I'm not sure if it was that they were hungry, tired, hot (it was really muggy this day) or what the deal was, but DD and DS were really being pains today. Not so much loud obnoxious stuff, but grumbling and picking on each other.

That's why my next two decision went so totally wrong.

#1 Let them work together to make a character to email to their dad. I snapped this about 2 seconds before she pressed a button to erase something and he shoved her. Such a proud mom


#2 When your kids are fighting, don't decide to do the new Perry the Platypus missions because they have to "SHARE" the phone




So, buy the end of the mission I was so tired of them nitpicking and complaining, I did what any good mom would do




As we were walking, I heard my name being called (and I have a very unusual name) and it was the girl from our youth group that I knew was coming to WDW. I told her we hadn't met Flynn for her but she said her parents had decided to go to the party the next night! I was so excited for her. The problem was she didn't have a costume, but since she is really teeny I offered to drop off DD's pirate costume for them at AKL later so she would have something to wear. We took a quick picture to rub in where we were to the rest of the youth and then parted ways.

We made our circle around the world, stopping where ever someone saw something good.

Just a sample of what we got
DS


Mine


DD


Mom


We took our time listening to the entertainers when we ran across someone


and the kids did ALL the Kidcot stations


At this point it was getting crazy crowded. It was an evening EMH for Epcot. I would have never gone there on an EMH day but it was the only day our class would work.

We stopped for a photopass picture and then headed out. The kids were being such cranks that we informed that it was mandatory nap day. My brother, SIL and nephew had texted that they had arrived and tonight we were meeting the rest of the family for dinner with the mouse!
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:24 PM   #64
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Great update...that food looks so good!
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:28 PM   #65
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October 17th
Chef Mickeys
The best Disney surprise

We always meet my brother's family at Chef Mickeys on the night they arrive. It keeps the kids entertained and the food is usually good. Since I don't have their permission I'm going to be very careful about not posting pictures of their family.

When they arrived we met them outside the entrance. I noticed my nephew was wearing a "Super Big Brother" shirt and wigged out. It took my mom a second later, but what a great way to start off dinner....to find out I get to be an auntie again!

We were seated quickly, the chef walked me through the buffet, everyone else got food and the characters started in. They brought my nephew a cupcake with a candle in it since his birthday was the day before.







My SIL got a picture with Mickey pointing to her belly

We finished up our meals and their family went to monorail back to MK to hitch a bus to Pop and we walked out to the Contemporary parking lot where we got to watch this




While we were at Epcot, DH had texted me that I needed to get gas Apparently he had been stalking my OnStar account. I snapped this picture just to show him I hadn't gotten gas yet. I was being all daredevil.



We drove to AKL and dropped off the pirate costume, bought zebra domes (YUM) and showed Granny and DS the pool and savannah and fire pit. DD and I stayed at AKL on our girls only trip and I would love to stay there again. I loved it.

We did stop and get gas on the way back to WBC and headed straight to bed. The next day my brother's family was heading to IOA for a little Harry Potter and we were off to see Shamu!
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:44 PM   #66
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Yay for lots of updates! All sounds good apart from sibling fights and getting stuck on The Mummy!
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:02 PM   #67
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October 18th
SeaWorld
Stingrays and Dolphins and Shows, Oh My

This was our first ever visit to SeaWorld. I scored $35 tickets off a travel site on line. DD was super excited. She's our future vet and she loves all things animals. When I told Mom about Seaworld, she asked if she got to swim with dolphins. I had thought about Discovery Cove, but it's so expensive. I promised her she could feed dolphins and that made her happy.

First up was a quick entryway picture with Shamu. As we walked away, DD declared it "lame"


Our first stop was to feed the stingrays. Since we got here right at opening there wasn't anyone in line and they were hungry. They swarmed quickly when they saw we had food!






and when the food was gone, they were still begging!


Next up was the dolphin feeding. The line for this gets really long, so I'm glad we did it so early.


DD, our animal lover, was so timid. Now, last year on a cruise we swam with dolphins in Bermuda, fed them, touched them etc. It was an up close and personal deal with 7 different dolphins. Somehow in a year, they now freak her out.


DS loved it. He actually used all his fish and then fed them min


My mom was most happy too






This is the professional picture from across the water


The whole thing is very organized. They place your tray on a ledge, and the give everyone instructions (do not pick up the tray, touch the dolphins under the chin and then drop the food in) they blow a whistle and you walk up and the dolphins pop up with mouths open. When the food is gone, they disappear There are trainers behind you and photographers across from you. We were there not long before the little girl got bitten. I feel so bad for her, but they are very firm about not picking up the tray ever at all and they repeat it over and over.

After we washed our hands, we walked over to watch the dolphin and bird show Blue Horizons. We got there right as it was starting and so we were seated facing the sun and it was H O T. This turns out to be probably the hottest day of our trip. The show was super cool, but it would have been better to not be facing the sun.







Next installment: turtles again?
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:09 AM   #68
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Catching up with your TR now. I'm really enjoying it, you have a lovely balance of details and pics, without, you know, listing every time someone goes potty.

Keep it up, I am looking forward to the rest! We are doing two-week Flexpasses (Universal/Seaworld parks) plus Legoland in August. Curious to read about your trip to Legoland.

We haven't been to Disney since...2009 (I had to look it up in my sig!). Seems like more has changed than Fantasy Land. The "Perry" missions you mention, is that the former Kim Possible thing? My kids were big Kim fans, but I thought it was puzzling that they started the KP attraction when the show had already ended. But then, Stitch is still everywhere!

Too bad your dd didn't get picked at Ollivander's. We went to the show twice, the first time a teen/young adult who was either not that keen or shy, was picked. Second time my son got picked. Which means this time we will be lining up as many times as it takes for my dd to get picked; she is 10 now and old enough for her first wand...

Also I don't remember having to not touch the food for the dolphins...I wonder if that is new? Clearly the response to, well, a kid getting bitten or something. Good tip to do the feeding early when the critters are hungry and the lines shorter. <Note to self...>
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:14 AM   #69
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Wow, so many updates!!! I'm glad to see you back and updating too!

We were entertaining the idea of spending one night at Royal Pacific to have FOTL privileges at Uni/IoA for our day trip there. From your updates, it seems like that is the way to go! With only 1 day to hit WWoHP and see the highlights, skipping almost all of the lines looks like the best way to get it done. I couldn't remember from before, but did you get early entry into WWoHP also?

I also LOVE all of the character pics you got in Uni! Paxton loves characters, so I'm hoping we can catch some interesting ones while we are there too. The last time we were there was just DH and I, so I didn't really notice if there were many characters out because we weren't worried about stopping for pictures with them.

The Y.E.S. class seems like it was a lot of fun for the kids, and what a great way for you to save a little money on tickets.

I had to laugh a little at DD thinking Shamu was lame. He does look kind of silly compared to Disney & Universal characters! I think I have a picture on the computer somewhere of DH as a little kid being pushed around by Shamu in his umbrella stroller!

The dolphin encounter looks awesome!
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:36 AM   #70
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I have a sick kid home today too and had a nice long period of quiet time to read your TR

I have a future vet on my hands too, she's 11.5 and would love to feed those dolphins at SW!

Thanks for the fun report!
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:10 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coastgirl View Post
Catching up with your TR now. I'm really enjoying it, you have a lovely balance of details and pics, without, you know, listing every time someone goes potty.

Curious to read about your trip to Legoland.

The "Perry" missions you mention, is that the former Kim Possible thing?

Also I don't remember having to not touch the food for the dolphins...I wonder if that is new?
I didn't add in potty stops because DS apparently has a teeny bladder or he likes to check out all the bathrooms. I made the comment I bet he's been in every WDW bathroom.

We liked Legoland. DS was the perfect age for it.

The Perry mission is the former Kim Possible. A few different clues too.

You can touch the food, they just don't want you moving the trays because the dolphins think it's food and will try to eat it. The little girl who got "bit" was moving the tray around and the dolphin tried to eat it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khertz View Post
I couldn't remember from before, but did you get early entry into WWoHP also?
We did get an hour early into WWOHP. That made all the difference as we did everything in there, including shop, before the park even opened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daisymomof4 View Post
I have a sick kid home today too and had a nice long period of quiet time to read your TR
I still have 2 sick ones, but since it's just fever and no "fluids" my ILs came to sit with them so I could get a little work done today. DS still has a pretty high temperature, so I'm thinking a trip to the pediatrician might be in order for tomorrow
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:25 PM   #72
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October 18
SeaWorld
Turtles again?

We followed the path around and came up the new Turtle Trek.



You go in to hear a presentation and then look at the turtles in the tank. People were talking very loudly and you couldn't hear the lady doing the presentation even with her microphone. Kids were banging on the glass. I really wanted to yell "Shut up" It's sad how some people allow their kids to act, and even sadder how some adults act.



The next part I don't have pictures of, but it was honestly one of the coolest things ever. You go into a dome, almost like a big observatory and stand. Then a show starts like you are a sea turtle and the dome is an egg. The "egg" starts to split and the scenes above and around are what a sea turtle would see. It's amazing and so life like. You really feel like you are floating and turning and spinning. If the line wasn't so long later, we would have ridden it again.

While we were walking out, my mom got a text that her BFF had arrived at the gate. She and my mom have been best friends since junior high. Linda lives outside of Orlando now so they only get to see each other when she comes to FL with us. Last trip mom and Linda spent a lot of time sight seeing, so this time Linda decided to hang out at a couple of parks with us and she had today free. We let the kids check out the alligators while we waited for her to find us.



We continued on our walk around and Granny stopped to play a game with the grandkids, and beat them both


Next post: Those (#*$&#* birds!!
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:45 PM   #73
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October 18
Seaworld
Those (**#@)*@) birds!!!!




The next stop was the sea lion area. We could hear them making noise before we even got close and we were the only ones there. We had bought a package that came with 3 trays of food each and we had one left (using one for stingray and another for dolphins) so we got our food trays. The lady at the counter told us to be very careful because the birds would take it. There are signs everywhere that say "Aggressive Birds" and there was a worker out by the fence that again said "be careful, the birds will take the food".

As soon as we got to the fence line, the sea lions came right up


DS tossed the first piece of fish, and one of those *@*** birds swooped and caught it midair.


DD tried, and again a (*#)*)@) bird caught it


My mom tried throwing a piece of fish next to a sea lion and a *)#)*($# bird dove into the water for it


At this point the sea lions are basically screaming at us


We finally figured out that you basically have to throw the fish as hard as you can directly at the sea lions head, and even then it's a crap shoot of whether or not the sea lion will actually get to it before the )@)(*)** birds do.

I thought the kids would have left there frustrated, but we were all laughing at how bad we were at it, that it turned out to be one of the most fun thing all day! For days after anytime DS saw a white bird, anywhere, he would go "stupid bird".

Since we had fed all the animals, we figured it was now time for us to be fed and headed to Spice Market for lunch (which was a good choice!) before doubling back for some rides. DD loves coasters but won't make me ride them with her always, so she was happy to have Mom's BFF with her, because Linda will ride anything and everything, and she was happy to have DD as a ride buddy!
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:13 PM   #74
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October 18
Seaworld
Feeling Hot Hot Hot



Now that Granny's BFF was here, we headed back towards the rides we had passed by earlier.

One thing we noticed as we were hoofing it back to the beginning for rides it that it was getting really warm. SeaWorld seems to be pretty open with lots of concrete, not a lot of shade or indoor places to cool off. I checked my handy weatherbug app and it was 88 degrees. Blech.

Since it was so hot, Journey to Atlantis looked really really nice.


We head to the lockers and my mom decides to chicken out. Really? She says it's too high. We try to explain that it's not any higher than Splash Mountain and she loved that.

Now, I'm not sure if it's higher than Splash or not. She can't chicken out, not in front of her grandkids or her BFF! A little more talking and we convince her (or basically we take her pack from her, put it in a locker and *gently guide* her to the entrance)

Somehow I ended up in the front row, which was nice because I didn't get wet at all. The others in the car, not so much luck! I snapped this over my shoulder, and even with the crappy quality, it turns out it's one of my favorites of the trip


Journey to Atlantis is actually a very nice ride. There's the big hill and you think you are done and then the voice asks you where you are going and there is a whole other portion of the ride to go yet.

DD and Mom's BFF decide to brave Kraken. No way will the rest of us ride it, so we find a Dippin Dots cart and a place in the shade behind a construction wall and hang out to wait.



DD comes off a little shell shocked. That's a lot of loops and inversions for anyone, never mind an 11 year old girl. They decided to skip Manta, they grab some Dippin Dots (fair is fair!) and stop to watch, as DD put it, "some guys banging on grills"


We check our map and times and realize we are getting close to time for the Clyde and Seamore show, which was my one must do of the day.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:22 PM   #75
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Funny about the birds! Poor sea lions! (Not that they look malnourished or anything!) We loved Journey to Atlantis, definitely at the top of our list for rides. Great pic, your dd is clearly NOT impressed!
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Universal/WWoHP in Sunset Lakes villa Feb 2010 Same again Aug 2013 in Emerald Island villa

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TR: First visit to Universal/SeaWorld Feb 2011
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