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Old 04-05-2013, 12:36 PM   #16
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Joining in! Loving your TR so far!
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:28 PM   #17
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I'm in!!! Great posts so far. We are heading to POR in August. We love it there and have no desire, except maybe Poly, to stay anywhere else. Looking forward to reading more.


The Poly would be my dream resort. But I was surprised by how much POR appealed to me. It was just so quiet, calm, and beautiful! And DH doesn't see the appeal of the Poly at all (except for the monorail), so I'm glad I found someplace else that appeals to both of us!


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Joining in! Loving your TR so far!
Glad you could come along! I'll hopefully have more later today/tomorrow. Spring break is almost over for me, so things will get a little busier!
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:22 PM   #18
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Good friends and Multiple Trips Through Space

(I’m sorry it’s been a while since I’ve updated! Going back to work after spring break got crazy when I added a nasty sinus infection to the mix! This one is short, but I’ll get another one up tomorrow. It’s already written, but I’m done messing with Photopass tonight!)

It was time to celebrate – we were on a Disney bus, headed to a park! We enjoyed the ride – we’re that family that loves Disney transportation. Ok, we don’t love waiting for Disney transportation so much, but we love being on the buses. (Apparently we were REALLY excited about being on the bus, because none of us had pictures!) And there wasn’t much of an issue about waiting for this particular bus, so there were no complaints from us – especially when we realized how short the bus ride from POR to Epcot was!

We got through the bag inspection line and the entrance quickly…that’s what happens, I guess, when you don’t get to a park until after 3 in the afternoon. We decided to get our photopass CD started right away (I’d pre-ordered ours) so that we could get Spaceship Earth and the Food and Wine display in.






This one ended up as our Christmas card photo.



He tried to get both boys to kiss Haley…you can see how that worked.



A few of me and the hubby…





After the pictures, we decided to divide and conquer. This is where the multiple trips through space comes from. Bryan had checked the Disney app on his phone while we waited for the Photopass photographer to be available and found that a certain ride was only a 10 minute wait! The first of Jack’s thrill rides – and there would be many – was calling his name.



Jack was determined to ride it, which made Bryan’s day.

I’ve ridden it before, but wasn’t dying to do it again, and Haley wanted nothing to do with it. So she, Will, and I decided to try Spaceship Earth.



It was something I hadn’t done since spring break my senior year of high school – somehow, it always got skipped. So we were excited to board our little time-travel device and take off. Other than the pitch black at the beginning with Will in the front with Haley freaking out, everyone enjoyed our little trip through the history of communication. Afterwards, we headed to the Food and Wine center in the old Body Wars building to get my Food and Wine Festival card. This was my gift to myself, so I’d put aside spending money for it. I was seriously looking forward to sampling some of the food offerings. I’d never been in the Festival center before – the areas set up for demonstrations looked very inviting. I really enjoyed the different merchandise areas they had, as well. And it was nice to cool off for a little while while we waited for the guys. But, even with all that…no pictures! I have to get better at this.

I’d sent Bryan a text to let us know when they were done with the ride, but hadn’t heard anything yet, so we camped out on a bench in the shade next to Mission Space. Because of that, I got to see Jack’s face as he exited the ride. I didn’t think to take a picture (ugh), but this is him getting ready for the mission.



He’d loved it! Un had enjoyed it, too, which was good since it was the first time he’d ridden it as well. I’d been texting back and forth with my friend Jen all this time, and they’d camped out in China to watch the acrobats, so we headed that direction next. We ended up splitting up when Haley had a an unexpected bloody nose as we cut in front of the Odyssey. We had our first of many great experiences with a cast member at this point. There was a woman there making sure the restrooms were clean, and when she saw us using the hard, scratchy paper towels to take care of Haley’s nose, she went into a storage area and brought us two cloth washcloths to use instead. Something small, but it made all the difference for Haley!

It took a little while to find Jen and her family, but once we did everyone was all smiles. The kids were trying to catch each other up on everything they’d done and seen so far, which was fun to watch. We didn’t stay together long, as they had decided to hop over to Hollywood Studios to catch Fantasmic that evening. But we did manage to get a Photopass picture in before they left!



At this point, our kids were starving. Will, in particular, is not pretty when he’s hungry! So we decided to head to a place where we knew we could get something our picky children would like…the American Adventure. I know, I know – Food and Wine is going on, and we head to the American Adventure to get chicken nugget meals for our kids to eat??? Welcome to our culinary world when we’re with our picky eaters. At this point, however, we just wanted to get something we knew they would eat (as well as give them a chance to cool off a bit). This first day is always a long one when you consider how early we get up to get to the airport. I was trying hard not to push them.

When they were done, we headed back the way we came. I grabbed some potstickers as my dinner from one of the kiosks as my first food card purchase – yum!



(I was really bad about taking food pictures this trip!) It was getting dark out, and DH took these great pics:




(I love that Haley's taking a picture in this one!)



We ended up knocking one of the kids’ top must-dos off right away. Can you guess what it was? I'll leave you with a clue...

(Not the greatest fit, but I needed the musical notes. He's humming "Dooby-dooby-doo-ba...")
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:45 AM   #19
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I want an Un! (Actually I'm probably the age of Un.) I agree w/ you about the Indy airport. I grew up in Plainfield and my mom still lives there. I love how there are direct flights to Orlando for our daughter and two grand kiddos. Anyway, I'm in! Let the fun continue. Oh, and I think POR has the best food court on property.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:28 PM   #20
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I want an Un! (Actually I'm probably the age of Un.) I agree w/ you about the Indy airport. I grew up in Plainfield and my mom still lives there. I love how there are direct flights to Orlando for our daughter and two grand kiddos. Anyway, I'm in! Let the fun continue. Oh, and I think POR has the best food court on property.
Glad you're coming along!

We love Un. He's very kind and patient with the kids, despite the fact that he doesn't live with kids every day! He's always been another father figure for DH and his brother, and he's one of our biggest cheerleaders. It's been so much fun to introduce him to Disney and see him fall for it like we have! And I really did miss the old Indy airport this trip - especially when we came back from Florida October weather to Indy Ocotober weather!


I still have my other update...and a busy schedule this week! I'll get back as soon as I can!
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:12 PM   #21
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Dooby-Do-Ba-Doo-Ba...

(Yes, the title is my attempt at the Agent P theme song.)

Our kids did the Kim Possible activity on our 2010 trip and had loved it. They are big time Phineas and Ferb fans, as well, so when they heard that the activity they’d enjoyed so much actually used characters they were familiar with, this hit the top of their to-do list in Epcot! We found a kiosk still open and jumped right in. The CMs were great – of course, my husband tends to bring out the best in them, since he has no qualms at all about giving people a hard time, even those he’s just met. And the lady at this kiosk was ready to dish it right back at him, which ended up being a lot of fun!


Getting their training:



Taking the oath:



She was a really good CM – she had them all laughing!

Following the clues:





By the time we were done, it was really dark. But the adventure itself was a lot of fun, and we all agreed that we ought to come back and do another one when it was light out so that we could get all the effects. We never got around to it, unfortunately. One of these days, we're going to build in THREE Epcot days during a trip. Maybe then we'll get to see/do everything we want to (but knowing us, probably not )

Once our adventure was done, we decided to explore the shop there in China a little more. I’d also made the kids passports (with a pattern I found here on the DIS) and the older two were excited to get some stamps.



Will wasn’t sure about it at first, but ended up being proud of his stamp in the end!




Then we explored the shop. Now, you need to understand – there is shopping in my husband’s blood. My mother-in-law is the best bargain shopper you’ve ever seen. She can find clearance items that no one else can! I don’t have the patience for it, unfortunately. But shopping is a recreational activity with my in-laws. I often tell people that DH is a better shopper than I am, and I’m serious. The kids have all inherited his love of wandering around stores – which, in Epcot, I’m all for! Jack found a set of weapons that looked impressive.



Then the kids all took a turn investigating the Chinese fans.







We were in stitches for this last one. Ever the performer, Will grabbed this fan, opened it, and proceeded to put a hand on his hip and fan himself while stating, “I do declare!” I couldn’t figure out where he got it from, but he soon explained it. “Tasha did that on Backyardigans, Mommy!” Heaven help us – if it’s on TV or in a song, he soaks it up like a sponge!

We were debating at this point – Illuminations, or no Illuminations? I’d had this quandary when I was planning. This would be our best bet for seeing the show. We would be back to Epcot, but not in the evenings. But it had been a really long day, and the kids were starting to tire out. Illuminations is one of my favorite things at the parks – I had missed it four times before finally getting to see it in 2008, and I’d made a point to see it every visit since. Un hadn’t ever seen it before, either, and was willing to stay to see it too. We ended up deciding to split up – Bryan would take Haley and Will back to the resort and get them cleaned up and ready for bed. Jack decided he would like to stay with us and see the fireworks. But before we split up, we had time for one more never-done-before activity:



Yes, this was another one that we’d skipped each visit. I don’t think my kids had ever even been inside. They were pretty impressed once we got in there. We also got to ride the Donald boat ride, which the kids adored.



And we got one more stamp in their passports as well.



Then we split up. Un, Jack and I headed over towards the front of World Showcase to find an easy-to-exit-from spot for viewing Illuminations, and Bryan headed back with the other two. He stopped for a few pictures along the way:





I was a lot worse about taking pictures…I have none from our stay for Illuminations! But we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Once we got settled, I got a slushie for Jack and a cup of the LeCellier cheese soup for myself, and we got Un ready for Illuminations. My absolute favorite moment is when the narrator is ending his little intro and welcomes us to Illuminations: Reflections of Earth…and “blows out” all the torches. It sends chills up my spine every time!

Since we’d stayed close to the walkways to Future World, we were able to make a fairly quick exit. I love going in the fall – we were able to find a spot where we could all see with less than 20 minutes to go before the show started. It wasn’t a perfect spot, but we were able to enjoy the show, and it offered us a quick exit. We were able to hit the buses before the lines got too long, and were back at POR before we knew it. In no time at all, this was what we saw.







Tuckered out kids! We’d decided to hit AK the next morning for EMH, so we wanted to make sure they got as much rest as they could. As they drifted off, I finished unpacking and made a realization.

I’d never forgotten so much on a trip before. EVER.

First the stroller.
Then the sunglasses.
Now I realized that I’d left the medicine bag on the kitchen counter after the disaster with the Tylenol. We’re an allergy family – everyone takes allergy meds of some kind. I guessed I’d be making a trip to the gift shop in the morning. My souvenier money was rapidly disappearing! At least it was all stuff I could replace.

Up next: Thrills, chils…and tears…in AK!
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:01 PM   #22
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first i didnt know that you had this report going on, glad i looked in your signature for it.


second, so many fun things to comment on...

running around like a decapitated chicken....been there.

usually mine is, i lock things up, go to the car, then knowing i locked things up, have to go back inside and check again.


the time thing is something i would do, freak out i missed the flight when it was an hour away.



hope you were able to get many more samples at the food and wine fest...we loved all the items there.


did u ever go into the festival center when it was an attraction?

i loved cranium command and the other things in there.
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:14 PM   #23
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first i didnt know that you had this report going on, glad i looked in your signature for it.


second, so many fun things to comment on...

running around like a decapitated chicken....been there.

usually mine is, i lock things up, go to the car, then knowing i locked things up, have to go back inside and check again.


the time thing is something i would do, freak out i missed the flight when it was an hour away.



hope you were able to get many more samples at the food and wine fest...we loved all the items there.


did u ever go into the festival center when it was an attraction?

i loved cranium command and the other things in there.
Hey there! Glad you stopped by!

I think running around like a decapitated chicken is a prerequisite for being a parent! I did get a few more samples at Food and Wine, but nowhere near as many as I'd like to. Just means I'll have to go back again!!

I know we did the ride - Body Wars? - when I was a kid, so I know we were there. I can't remember much except for the fact that it was really rough. My dad and I rode it...we were the brave ones. I'm thinking it made my mom sick, though that wouldn't have been very unusual. I know it's a great venue for when they have festivals, but you'd think they'd have done something else with it by now!
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:12 AM   #24
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I'm in!

I have a question for you, I saw where you mentioned that you ordered groceries from Garden Grocer. I've not heard of this. Is this something that Disney does? We take a cooler with groceries from home, but it would be so much easier to order and have it delivered! Thanks for the info!
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:04 PM   #25
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:34 PM   #26
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I'm in!

I have a question for you, I saw where you mentioned that you ordered groceries from Garden Grocer. I've not heard of this. Is this something that Disney does? We take a cooler with groceries from home, but it would be so much easier to order and have it delivered! Thanks for the info!
Happy to have you along!

This was the first time we'd ordered from Garden Grocer. I'd actually heard about it several times from another person I follow on here. It's not a Disney service, but we had a good experience. It's pretty easy - you go to their website, select what you want, and let them know when you want it delivered. There's a fee for delivering it, of course, but I felt like it was reasonable. We always eat cereal/poptarts in the room, and since we were back to flying (and there is no way DH would pass up Magical Express! ) it was the only way I could figure out to get it there without a taxi cab (and lost park time)! We were able to have bottled water for the parks this way, too. They did actually make a small mistake with our order, but I called them and they came back the same afternoon to fix it. The mistake wouldn't have been made if there hadn't been a recall on our cereal and they had to make a substitution, anyway. Like I said, I didn't even have to wait on them - they were very prompt!

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Old 04-27-2013, 09:51 PM   #27
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Mission: Everest!

I was excited to cross something off my own personal to-do list on our first day in the parks. You see, Animal Kingdom is not really our favorite park. Or, if you talk to my husband, he’ll tell you he’d pretty much rather do anything at Disney than go to Animal Kingdom. He says we can go to the zoo in Indianapolis and see the same things without experiencing temperatures that, in his words, are “hotter than the face of the sun.” Ok, so maybe he borrowed that phrase from the DIS Unplugged podcast…and maybe I agree with him. But there were several things in Animal Kingdom that at least some of us hadn’t ever done, and I was determined to hit a few of them this trip. Number one on my list:


Expedition Everest!

I am a roller coaster fan. My dad and I always would ride the coasters at King’s Island in Cincinatti while my mom and brother sat out. It was something we did together. Bryan and I had actually visited Bush Gardens in Tampa for our 5th anniversary (pre-Disney obsession) and had ridden every single one of their coasters. As long as it’s not a wooden coaster (they give me a headache), I’ll ride it. But when you have small kids, sometimes hitting those thrill rides isn’t a priority. Bryan had ridden it in 2007 on a family trip – he and his brother had visited AK for that reason only, then left. This trip was my chance to ride. And Jack was excited about riding it as well, which made me even more excited. Even Haley said she’d give it a try…though I was pretty sure she was only saying that because we were meeting up with my friend and her family, and she is great friends with their oldest (who loves thrill rides). Since Bryan had already ridden it, I’d get to go with the two older kids.

Monday morning hit pretty early, but we had no trouble at all getting going.

Well, at least the folks in OUR room didn’t have any trouble getting going. See, Jack is not really a morning person. And when I say not really a morning person, I mean that sometimes it would be easier to find the actual Yeti than to get that kid up and out of bed. We didn’t think we’d have a problem at Disney, but we were wrong! So while our room was ready, the other room in our party was not. So we didn’t exactly get out of the room when I wanted to. (Does that sound familiar???) My best friend can’t understand what our deal is…I tell her I can’t, either! She was texting me as they got on the bus when WE were supposed to be there, too. I guess it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. We were only 15 minutes behind them.

We hopped on a bus – hardly any wait today – and were off. We spent the ride getting their pin lanyards ready to go.







Bryan had ordered a bunch of traders on Ebay. I collect the pins – not so great at trading them, because I only buy what I want. I’ve spent the majority of my fun money at Disney on them, and have quite the collection to prove it. But the kids said they were looking forward to trading. Before long, we were at the park!



I’d been texting back and forth with Jen and knew they’d headed for Everest as soon as they’d gotten there. We were all hoping to meet up to ride the safari together. When we got there, Bryan and I decided to divide and conquer. He and Un took the kids to wander back towards the safari (still no stroller – we decided to try and put it off, since we knew we’d only been in AK for a half day or so) while I ran to Everest with our cards, got Fastpasses, and then met up with them.

Bryan took several shots along the way.


(I love EMH if we're not planning on staying the whole day! So nice to almost have the park to ourselves...)





(He actually took several more of the little details that we’ve never paused to take in at AK. Maybe the park was growing on him?)


I, meanwhile, power walked to Asia. I did try and take some pictures of some monkeys that were pretty active (didn’t turn out at all), but I got a few of the scenery.





Then – who did I run into as I came up to the ride but my friend and her family! We all got Fastpasses so that they could ride along with us later, and then headed over to the safari to meet Bryan and the others while I heard all about how the girls had enjoyed the ride. When we all met up, we got in line for the safari – I can’t remember what the wait was, exactly, but it was less than 30 minutes so we decided to go ahead and jump in line.

Waiting’s not hard when you’re with friends.


Even the boys were enjoying shooting the breeze (though they don’t all look like it here).


I didn’t write down what the wait was, but we didn’t mind it and before we knew it we were boarding our rickety safari vehicle. We saw a lot of animals – including several we hadn’t seen before! Between the three of us, we actually got some good shots!











(continued next post)
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:03 PM   #28
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I am in! Great trip report so far!
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:11 PM   #29
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A few more animal pics...


(The back end of the cheetah is better than no cheetah, right? )




(Ok, see the bottom of this pic? That's the railing in front of me in the car. This guy seemed WAAAYYY to close for my comfort!!)


Couldn't resist this one!

The kids enjoyed taking a few shots, as well.




Once we left the safari, it was time for our Fastpasses! Bryan took Will and rode...


And we headed to Everest! We stopped to take this one on the way...don't you love how the girls are all banding together and Jack's just trying to fit in the picture somehow?? That's the unfortunate thing about being the only boy (except Will, who's always seen as the baby and so isn't always counted by the big kids).


Unfortunately, neither Un or I took any more pictures. I think I was too busy giving Haley a pep talk…Jen’s daughters were freaking her out a bit as they were talking about the ride. We got to the entrance and buzzed right through with our Fastpasses. It almost went too fast – I remember saying to Un that I’d read so much about the details in this queue, but we were going through so fast I couldn’t take any of it in! No wonder I don’t have more pics.

So, the verdict on Everest?

Jack and I gave it two enthusiastic thumbs up.
Haley says she’ll never go on that ride again.

To give her credit, she was ok until it started going backwards. But, as she and Un were sitting right in front of Jack and I, I could tell she was just tolerating it. It wasn’t her cup of tea. But when we came to a stop at the broken tracks, she started saying she wanted it to be over. Un, bless his heart, spent the rest of the ride trying to comfort her. She was in full tears by the time we pulled back to the unloading area. There wasn’t much I could do but hug her hard and reassure her that she did NOT have to go on that ride again if she didn’t want to (one of the other girls was insisting that they were riding again, and she was afraid she’d have to go with them). Time for some calmer rides! We headed towards Dinoland, since the rides there were more her speed.

Up next: time with the dinos, and my kids finally see a show I've wanted them to see since 2005!
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:16 PM   #30
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I am in! Great trip report so far!
Welcome aboard! Hope to update a little more frequently soon...mid-terms go home this week, and I'm currently in the thick of grading science reports!
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