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Old 07-25-2013, 08:33 PM   #1
My2Qtz0205
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A December 2012 Trip Report via my scrapbook!

Hi, everyone.
I have put off writing this trip report for a couple of reasons. 1. I didn't finish my first trip report. Oops. 2. I was a bit frustrated by this trip. Seven months have gone by, and I've been able to reflect on that, and now I realize that the frustration was largely of no fault but my own.
I just finished the scrapbook for this trip, just in time for an impromptu visit next month! Yay! So, I thought I would do a different sort of trip report. Instead of sorting through my pictures for my favorites to show you, I already have them all together on my scrapbook pages.
I hope that you enjoy my different-sort of trip report, and if you are going in December, learn from my mistakes.

First, an introduction:
This trip was our second trip as a family. We were celebrating DD's 7th birthday. We took the kids out of school half-day on 12/7. Everyone in the school knew where we were going, and were excited for us. I fretted a lot about the attendance policy in our district, whether we would get hate mail or pulled into a meeting with administration (awkward since I work there!). We had NO PROBLEMS at all.
Our travel party consisted of:
me, Dawn, age 36 (I have to do the math on that now)
DH, Matt, age 37
DD, Camdyn, turning 7 on the trip
DS, Quade, 10
MIL, 60's
FIL, 60's
BIL, 30's
SIL, 30's
DNiece, 7 months

We rented a house in Windsor Hills. It was a great location, not far from the parks. I went through VRBO, and fretted a lot about that, too (can you tell I'm a worrier?), but the owner was great about responding to my questions and concerns, and everything was fine once we got there.

Here's our itinerary. Forgive the large pics. I don't know how to resize in Photobucket.
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My December 2012 Trip Report via my Scrapbook: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....5#post49171745
My Almost a Grand Gathering, 10th Anniversary Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2#post34138322
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:48 AM   #2
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Cute scrapbook.
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:11 AM   #3
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Yay, a reader! I'll upload more in a bit.
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My December 2012 Trip Report via my Scrapbook: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....5#post49171745
My Almost a Grand Gathering, 10th Anniversary Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2#post34138322
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:56 AM   #4
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Joining in!! Great scrapbook, I had to laugh seven months is nothing. I have over a decade of pictures I haven't got to. Figured if I bought the Cricut I would get more done, nope not a chance.
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:10 PM   #5
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Love your page!
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:17 PM   #6
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Argh. Wrote up half of our second day, thought I had posted it. Don't know what happened. Don't know if I'm up for posting it from my phone. Will try again when we get home on Sunday. *sigh*
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My December 2012 Trip Report via my Scrapbook: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....5#post49171745
My Almost a Grand Gathering, 10th Anniversary Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2#post34138322
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:54 AM   #7
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What a great idea for a TR! I'll join in I am impressed that you have a scrapbook done already! I went in December 2012, but I have a good 6 scrapbooks on the go right now, and so it is pretty slow going
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Dec 1988 - First Trip! * 1989 * 1990 * 1992 - Polynesian * 1996 - ASMu - Dance Trip for Disney's Magic Music Days * Dec 2002 - DCL Wonder & ASMo * March 2004 * March 2005 - Pop * August 2007 - ASMu * September 2010 - Grand Floridian - Wedding/Honeymoon Trip! * August 2011 - AKL Kidani Village * December 2012 - CSR

Krysten Michael Evelyn and Scarlett Mommy to an Angel

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Old 07-28-2013, 01:14 PM   #8
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Days 1 & 2

DAY ONE: TRAVEL DAY
Our flight left Norfolk at 4:30pm and arrived in Orlando around 6:30. It was, thankfully, an uneventful flight. I am a very nervous flier. DH showed me how I could track the plane's progress via my iPad, so that helped.
After we debarked, DD was still complaining of her ears hurting. I had tried every trick in the book: gum, candy, drinking out of a straw, lollipops. Nothing seemed to work. Her ears finally cleared as we were picking up our rental car. Here she is before her ears started bothering her:

I had pre-ordered PP+, so we headed over to DTD to exchange our voucher. I could have done this in the parks, as well, but we had a pre-park opening ADR at Tusker House the next day, so I wanted to have it in hand. DTD was SLAMMED! It was crazy! We finally found the shop we needed, and I am listening intently to the CM about the PP+, and DD starts tugging on me, doing "that dance" we moms of little ones know so well. I will the CM to get through his speech quickly, then DD and I head off for the bathroom. My original intent was to eat at EOS while we were there, since it was dinner time. One look at that line, and I knew there was no way. We ended up grabbing something QS from a cart.
Lesson #1: Do not attempt to do DTD on a Friday night in December.
DAY TWO: ANIMAL KINGDOM

We got up bright and early for our 8:20 ADR at Tusker House. Because there were so many of us (9 total), we took 3 cars. I followed the GPS, and ended up at the gates for AKL. We turned around, took the next left, and we had arrived at our intended destination!
Now, I have never traveled to WDW with an infant, so I had forgotten how much STUFF that comes along with them. I was anxious to get into AK to get our shot with the Tree of Life when there weren't many people around. BIL and SIL were getting everything out of their trunk, trying to decide if they should put DN in the front carrier or in the stroller? Attach the car seat to the stroller or leave the car seat in the car? Grab diaper bag, high chair cover, toys....
Finally we made it in, we got our picture, and headed on to check-in. We headed around the back to get our pictures with Donald. He was very nice, allowing us to get pictures of all the kids together, just our immediate family, and each family group.
As we were escorted in, we were ushered past the room of the buffet stations. SO MUCH FOOD! We were seated, and the characters started coming around. DN did great with her first character interactions. She loved Daisy's eyelashes!

The adults took turns going to the buffet stations. I don't remember exactly what I had, but everything I had was good! There was so much food that there were some stations I didn't even get to!
After we exited the restaurant, BIL and SIL went to collect their stroller, and then we headed towards the safari! The posted wait was 10 minutes, but we walked right on. The animals were active. The lion even came up on his rock and growled at us!

After the safari, BIL and SIL headed for the Baby Care Center to change/feed DN. They loved these centers. SIL said they were clean and quiet. DN was even able to catch a cat nap!
We headed for the trails next, which DD considered "boring." I enjoyed taking pictures, at least. DD had seen a face painting station outside of the safari, so we allowed her to get her face painted in "princess kitty". She had not wanted to get her face painted the last time we came, so I was happy she was coming out of her shell a bit.
Next on our agenda was Rafiki's Planet Watch/Conservation Station. This was our first time here. We got on the Wildlife Express train and passed the animals' nighttime enclosures on the way. The kids stopped for a photo op once we got there, then we headed for the building. There were CMs set up at stations along the way, but the kids were not interested in what they were doing.
We headed on into the building, and got in line to see Rafiki. After he had given us his autograph, we watched the vets perform an ultrasound on a meerkat. A couple of the meerkats had gotten sick, so all of the meerkats had been taken off of exhibit.

We looked around at the exhibits a bit more, then headed outside to the petting zoo area. DD proclaimed this "boring" as well, so we decided it was time for lunch, i.e. a Mickey bar (hey, it's vacation!)

We ran into BIL and SIL at a food kiosk, and agreed to meet up at Flights of Wonder for the next show in 45 minutes. We decided to kill time by walking the Maharajah Jungle Trek. The tiger was very active! It was pacing, and jumping on and off its waterfall.
We arrived about 5 minutes late for the FoW show, so we didn't sit with the rest of the family. The kids LOVED this show. We got buzzed by a hawk.
DD wanted to ride some rides, so we headed for Dinoland USA. The plan was for the rest of the group to ride Triceratop Spin while DS and I rode Primeval Whirl. The line for PW was too long, however, so we all rode TS.
After this ride, the rest of the family left. The kids had seen video of the Boneyard on our planning DVD, so they were excited to check that out. We spent about 30 minutes there, letting the kids play and dig. Good down time for everybody.
Next, we headed to Camp Minnie Mickey. I wanted to see the different Christmas trees. We met Pocahontas and Minnie.

We made it back to Discovery Island just in time for the Jingle Jungle Parade. It was fun, and we had pretty good seats (beside a gift shop).

We called it a day after that was over.
Next up: DD's birthday! A very long MK day.
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My December 2012 Trip Report via my Scrapbook: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....5#post49171745
My Almost a Grand Gathering, 10th Anniversary Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2#post34138322
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:21 PM   #9
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Great update! I am loving your scrapbook so far
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Dec 1988 - First Trip! * 1989 * 1990 * 1992 - Polynesian * 1996 - ASMu - Dance Trip for Disney's Magic Music Days * Dec 2002 - DCL Wonder & ASMo * March 2004 * March 2005 - Pop * August 2007 - ASMu * September 2010 - Grand Floridian - Wedding/Honeymoon Trip! * August 2011 - AKL Kidani Village * December 2012 - CSR

Krysten Michael Evelyn and Scarlett Mommy to an Angel

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Old 07-28-2013, 03:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disney9.9.10 View Post
Great update! I am loving your scrapbook so far
Thanks!
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My December 2012 Trip Report via my Scrapbook: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....5#post49171745
My Almost a Grand Gathering, 10th Anniversary Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2#post34138322
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:07 PM   #11
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DD's birthday! Part 1 of MK Day 1

DAY THREE: CAMDYN'S BDAY AT MK!
Our day started out pretty rough. I had been making the kids take gummy vitamins to ward off the winter illnesses. DD had hers on an empty stomach, and ended up throwing up in the parking lot as soon as we parked at MK. Happy birthday, baby girl!
DD had an appointment at BBB first thing in the morning, but she was already on the fence about it. She does not like drawing attention to herself, normally. This episode in the parking lot (and trying to corral 9 people in at one time), ensured that we were not going to make it in time, anyway.
Here we all are heading into MK! DN was in the spirit and dressed as Cinderella.
(Those funny faces are not in my scrapbook. I put them on there to cover their privacy in another setting)
We strode into MK and headed straight for FLE.

Enchanted Tales with Belle was already at a 40 minute wait, so we rode Little Mermaid. The posted wait was 10-15 minutes (it changed while we were standing there), but the line went very fast!
Bonus pics not in my scrapbook!

We were going to meet Ariel after this, but the wait jumped to 25 minutes as we tried to decide what we were going to do next. We abandoned that line. BIL and SIL headed for the Baby Care Center with DN, and we headed to Gaston's Tavern. We got a delicious, HUGE cinnamon bun that fed all four of us!
The line for Peter Pan was at 20 minutes, so we waited standby for that. Next, we went to It's a Small World. I felt badly not waiting for BIL and SIL to get back, but they said they would text me when they were done feeding DN, and they hadn't texted me yet.
We rode the carousel and the kids tried their hands at the Sword in the Stone. They tried really hard, and when one couldn't get it, they decided team work was the best way to go.


Next, we saw Philharmagic. DD does not like 3-D movies, but she admitted that she enjoyed this one once it was over. We found BIL and SIL after this. They had decided to let DN take another cat nap. She had not been sleeping well at the house, and seemed to be coming down with a cold.
We went together to get FPs for Pooh. We got bonus FPs for Dumbo, but we didn't need them. The kids wanted to play in the new play area at Dumbo, but the CM said we would lose our place in line (I guess because the line was so short?) I hope they'll be allowed to play next month when we go if the line is a bit longer. Not sure how this whole buzzer thing works there.

We still had some time before our Pooh FPs were good, so we had some ice cream. DH and I shared a Strawberry Shortcake Sundae with holiday-flavored ice cream. It was very good.
We rode Pooh. DN was alert and seemed to enjoy it.
A couple more bonus pics!

We were ready to head back for our mid-day break. DD asked if she could get her Belle costume from Castle Couture. BBB was supposed to be her birthday present, so since she was sick at the time of her appointment, I let her just get the costume and accessories. I was disappointed not to get the BBB picture package, though. I paid for the costume, and the CM said that DD could put the costume on in the dressing room. After DD was transformed into Belle, a kind CM wandering the store sprinkled her with pixie dust.
As DD and I were doing this, DS had found the queen of transformations along the castle wall!

BIL and SIL decided to stay instead of heading back to the house because they would not be returning for MVMCP. We, however, needed a rest. It was going to be a long night!
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My December 2012 Trip Report via my Scrapbook: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....5#post49171745
My Almost a Grand Gathering, 10th Anniversary Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2#post34138322
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:34 PM   #12
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A birthday dinner fit for a princess

DAY THREE, PART 2. BDAY DINNER AT CRT
We returned to MK between 4 and 5pm. We rode the Magic Carpets, and managed not to get wet. Woohoo!
We rode Jungle Cruise next. It is one of the few rides both MIL and FIL will ride. It was about a 20 minute wait. The skipper was very funny. She sang the Happy Birthday Song to Camdyn and another girl on our cruise.
Our final ride before our 6:45pm ADR was PotC. We went left! It was about a 15 minute wait, the longest I have ever waited for this ride. We saw an obnoxious cheerleading group, but they were 2-3 boats ahead of us, so they didn't bother us too much.
It was time to make our way back to the castle. We saw the end of the castle lighting show. Loved it! I think I have it on video (if I do I will upload it here).
We walked around to the back of the castle, where BIL, SIL, and DN were waiting for us.
A little background: on our last trip, DD was 3 1/2. She did NOT like the face characters. In fact, when we had breakfast at CRT, she hid under the table! We had asked her, in preparing for this trip, if she would do that this time. She assured us she would not. We would see.
We headed into CRT and stood in line to get our picture with Cinderella. DD walked right up with a shy smile on her face. Yay!
I had ordered the Princess package for DD's special occasion. Our table had a princess balloon waiting for us, but no confetti on the table. No big deal. I can sympathize with what a pain that is to clean up. After our server took our drink orders, he motioned to me that he was about to bring out DD's special tiara. I had upgraded the package from a barrette-style tiara to a full-size tiara. Our server brought it out on a pillow, and motioned for me to do the honors of crowning my princess. It was very sweet.

As for the food, I had a salad and the chicken pasta. I wanted to try the tomato risotto, but our server, Nadil, (who was wonderful, by the way!), told me that numerous people had sent that dish back to the kitchen. DH got the cheese plate and beef tenderloin. DS had just turned 10 six weeks prior, so was now considered a "Disney adult". I was worried about his food selections, because he definitely still has a child's tastebuds! Nadil said that DS could order whatever he wanted, that he was there to make us happy!
After our food was ordered, the princesses began to make their rounds. Snow White was first. She said hello to DN first, then came to DS and DD. DD jumped right up and handed her the autograph book! Snow White was the only princess, however, to acknowledge DN at all. Maybe they had had bad luck with babies?
With the Princess Package, we ordered a chocolate Ariel cake. Nadil took everybody's dessert order except for DD. I had the trio, MIL had the sorbet. I think everyone else passed. Nadil brought out the cake and allowed us to take pics. DD blew out her candles after we sang (Nadil and the host also sang!), and I cut the cake. It was a HUGE cake for 8 people, especially since we were stuffed! We got a box for the leftovers and MIL and FIL took it back to the house with them since they had decided they would not stay for MVMCP afterall.
Pics from Camdyn's baby/birthday album:


Next: MVMCP! Would the kids make it?
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My December 2012 Trip Report via my Scrapbook: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....5#post49171745
My Almost a Grand Gathering, 10th Anniversary Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2#post34138322
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:13 PM   #13
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Mvmcp

DAY THREE, PART 3: MVMCP
We finished our dinner at CRT at 8:45pm. It was a MVMCP night, so the foyer outside of CRT and BBB was roped off. We had wristbands for the party, as did MIL and FIL, but they had decided to go home with BIL and SIL instead, who had not bought party tickets.
Lesson #2: Do not make a dinner reservation at MK on a party night unless you have tickets. Just don't do it. I heard from people that said we were wasting valuable party time while we were eating, but since we had been at MK all day, we did not feel that way. We still had many hours to enjoy the party. We did not have the desire to stand in a long line to see the 7 Dwarves, so YMMV.
Anyway, MIL, FIL, SIL, BIL, and DN waited 45 minutes to be escorted from CRT to the front of MK because the parade was going on. They were LIVID. Thankfully DN did not have a total meltdown, but some adults did. They said they felt like scum because they were told to follow the CM in a single-file line, and they were escorted around the outer edges of the park just so they didn't see anything. MIL said it was so crowded that they did lose some people in their group in the crowd. Looking back, though, I don't know what I would have done differently, given the circumstances. This was DD's birthday dinner, on her actual birthday, and she wanted to eat at CRT. I suppose we could have done a lunch ADR. It is definitely harder planning for these things when you have a large group to plan for, and not everyone wants to do the same things.
My immediate family had said goodbye at the foyer of CRT, so we were not aware of all that was going on with our non-party going family members. Our first stop was Enchanted Tales with Belle, because the line had been so long that morning. The wait was posted at 40 minutes, but the CM said it was more like 25 minutes. DD started doing "that dance" again once we got out of line, so I left DH and DS in line while I headed to the bathrooms beside Pinocchio's. We saw Cinderella, Prince Charming, and the Tremaines along the FLE wall with very little wait. If we weren't going to see them later in the trip, I would definitely had stood in line for them then! When we got back to the line at ETwB, DH and DS were almost up to Maurice's Cottage. I will tell you that we will probably never do this attraction again. Why? Was it that horrible? No. IT WAS THAT AWESOME! DS was chosen to be the Beast! It was SO. MUCH. FUN! My heart did hurt a little for DD, who was given a part last, and thus became a dish. I thought she was really upset at that, especially since she was dressed as Belle, but actually I think she would have been happier if she had no part at all. Remember I said she doesn't like attention drawn to herself? Yeah, she lost it when it was time for the parade of dishes and I had to jump up and walk around with her. Unfortunately, this meant that she did not get her picture taken with Belle. Bummer. DS got some great PP shots, though:

When we exited ETwB, it was time for Holiday Wishes! We watched them from beside the carousel, which was closed. It was a great spot, because fireworks were going off all around us! DD was ticked at me, though, because she had wanted to watch them from in front of the castle, and there was no way we were going to make it through the crowd in time. We did miss the projection show, which I think is what she really wanted to see. Cue our first meltdown during fireworks (would not be the last).
After Holiday Wishes was over, we headed through Tomorrowland. We watched a bit of the dance show. My kids didn't want to dance, but I had fun watching three brothers let loose the dance moves. The PP photographer was all over them, so I hope their mom had bought the CD!
We got in line for Space Ranger Spin, and it was a walk-on. DS beat all of us! What a shot!

We saw Phineas and Ferb posing for pictures, but the line was long, so we moved on towards Main Street to wait for the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. I had chosen to watch the later parade so maybe some of the crowds would have dispersed, so it was pretty late for my crew. DH was having stomach problems (probably from fatigue), and DS sat on the sidewalk to wait. A stranger beside me poked me and pointed to DS, who was literally asleep sitting up. I am such a mean mom! I did not want to miss the parade, though.

After the parade was over, I finally let my poor tired and grumpy family head home to get some sleep. At least the next day was our sleep-in day. We would be heading to Epcot for the World Showcase opening at 11.
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My December 2012 Trip Report via my Scrapbook: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....5#post49171745
My Almost a Grand Gathering, 10th Anniversary Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2#post34138322
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:10 PM   #14
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DAY 4: The day I messed up

Moving along...gotta finish this before our next trip in 17 days!

DAY FOUR: EPCOT WORLD SHOWCASE (the one where I mess up)



Since we had a late night last night, I decided we would take it easy today and make it to Epcot in time for the WS opening at 11. We got to the International Gateway shortly before 11. The kids were second in line to sign up for the Agent P Adventures. DH had left us in the line so he could shop at MouseGears for some new sunglasses. This is important because you need to show your park ticket to do Agent P, and DH was carrying our park bag with the tickets inside it. So, I had to run to MouseGears and try to find him in the store so the kids could sign up. No big deal, the CM was ready for me when I got back with the tickets.

DD did her adventure first. We decided to start in England. We passed right by Canada, and got her started on her adventure, which led us through the shops and streets of England. Very cute. While MIL and FIL waited on a corner, the World Showcase Players came along, and roped FIL into being King Arthur! It was great! He was a good sport, and maybe even had fun with it.



We started DS on his adventure next, in France. FIL and MIL took a rest on a bench across from where Pere Noel stands, while I walked around with DS. I also managed to get DH to scout out a chocolate "something" from the bakery. I ended up with a mousse, and it was good. After DS finished his adventure, we sat and listened to Pere Noel. The kids were not as captivated as I had hoped, so when he finished speaking we moved on.
One of my missions for this trip was to listen to every storyteller I could find. I had the times written down on my index cards, and a general sense of which order we would see them in on which days. So after France, we trucked along to the next stop, America. The Kwanzaa storyteller had just started her story, so I listened to that and took pictures. I wanted to head on to the next stop, but this is where things got ugly. MIL and FIL are three years older than they were when we last came to the World, and they were having a hard time keeping up with my touring plan. DH blew up at me for marching everyone through the pavilions, and I blew up at him for not appreciating the work I put into planning this vacation. I decided after that to pitch the touring plans. We went inside the America pavilion, looked around, and listened to the Voices of Liberty sing Christmas carols. DD was bored because we weren't doing rides (not many rides today, sorry!), but I enjoyed it.



Next we headed on to Germany. The storyteller was not out, but the kids had not done a Kidcot stop yet, so we popped into the shop to do that. DD wanted a teddy bear, but we were not paying those prices!



Next stop: Italy. We did catch La Befana. The kids did their KidCot stop, then we all decided we were hungry (despite DH getting a turkey leg in America). We decided to try out Tutto Gusto. It was dark and cool in there. The kids got mozzarella cheese sticks, and the adults sampled the meats and cheeses, and some wine, of course! We would be back on Thursday for dinner at Via Napoli!

We continued meandering around the World after DH and I had made peace, and we were all much more relaxed after our downtime in Italy.
We caught the Norwegian storyteller in the middle of her story, so we were back in the crowd a bit. After this we decided to ride Maelstrom. I may have mentioned that MIL does not ride anything that spins, leaves the ground, or has a big drop. I did not remember exactly how Maelstrom went, but I remembered that it wasn't scary, so I told MIL she would be fine. It's just a boat ride. I forgot about that bit where you think you're going to go over backwards. Her eyes were big as saucers, and I assured her we'd be fine (I think), so I was so relieved when we went forwards again.
We were dumped into the gift shop afterwards, where DD found some jewelry to go with her Belle costume (that, incidentally, would come off her body only while she was swimming or sleeping, for the duration of our trip).

DS got a shield:


My take-away from today, in looking at our pictures: We did not spend nearly enough time exploring World Showcase this time, because I was so worried about seeing as much storytellers as possible. Epcot was our favorite park last trip, and I was making it into a death march (not really, but definitely not pleasant!) Take time to smell the roses!

DH and I had a dinner date at 5pm that night at California Grill. We had our anniversary dinner here 3 years prior, and we both loved it, so we were excited to be going back.

We asked for a table by the window and got it. We took our time eating and drinking, and were able to watch the castle lighting and Wishes while we ate. (Wishes was at 8pm that night).

Our view of the castle:


We started with the cheese board:


DH's sushi dinner:


My goat cheese ravioli:


What we look like when we're overstuffed and tipsy:


Our server had been working at CG ever since it first opened. I think about her, with it being closed for refurbishment. I hope the new CG is even better than it was before, and not a disappointment.

Anyway, after our dinner, we waddled out and headed downstairs to check out the gingerbread creations. They were selling gingerbread, also, but we were too stuffed to even think about it!
Incidentally, SIL, BIL, and DN did not join us today. Today was to be their off-day, and they were going to spend it at Downtown Disney, but DN slept in, and took an extra long nap. Baby needed her sleep!

Coming up: DAY FIVE: our trip to the Dark Side!
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My December 2012 Trip Report via my Scrapbook: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....5#post49171745
My Almost a Grand Gathering, 10th Anniversary Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2#post34138322
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:00 PM   #15
My2Qtz0205
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Day 5: We travel to the Dark Side!

DAY FIVE: IoA. We're going to Hogwarts!


(I found our tickets and added a ticket to the bottom left-hand corner)

I've got to say that we were really looking forward to this day! I read the first Harry Potter book with DS last summer, in preparation for this day. DD didn't care so much about Harry Potter. She was more looking forward to Seuss Landing, so I was excited for that, too.

We arrived at Universal so that we could be at the turnstiles at opening time. We found, however, that we did not have to wait to get in. There were actually plenty of people in ahead of us. No big deal. I had researched the shortcut to the Harry Potter section, so I told my family to follow me (it was just our nuclear family of 4 today).

The Wizarding World was everything I had hoped it would be, including NOT MOBBED. We waited in line for Olivander's first. I'd say it was about a 10 minute wait. We saw the wand show, did not get picked, and got dumped into the gift shop. Of course we bought two wands.

The first thing we saw as we entered WWoHP:


From there we rode the Flight of the Hippogriff. This was a walk-on. DD loved it! Our next stop was Hogwarts. I had read that Forbidden Journey could badly affect people prone to motion sickness, and DH is one of those people. I had also read that it had giant spiders. DS and I are arachnophobes. With DD being too short for this ride, we decided it was best if we just skipped it altogether. We chose to do a walk-through tour instead. It was really neat to see all of the things you've read about in the books. I don't know if we took a wrong turn, but we did not go through the greenhouse. Our tour ended at the loading area for the ride. I didn't even realize we had missed something until we got home that night.

After our journey through Hogwarts, we window-shopped. It was only about 9:45-10:00 by now, but I wanted us to get a butterbeer! DH and DD declined, but I got DS to try one! I thought it was really good. I don't remember if we got it frozen, and I can't tell from the pictures.

We also walked through Zonko's (cram-packed), and we each got a little treat in Honeydukes. Well, DD's treat wasn't small. It was a caramel apple about the size of her head. We threw most of it away.

Hogsmeade:


Hogwarts:


A couple more photo ops, and we were headed to Seuss Landing. As I mentioned, DD was very excited for this. So excited that she took off running in her Crocs, on wet sidewalks, and ended up flat on her back beside a photo op. Poor thing. I hated to see her so upset when she had been so excited just a minute ago. A Who came along and tried to cheer her up. I thought that was very sweet.



The first thing we rode in Seuss Landing was the trolley. No pictures allowed. Why? From there, with a cheered up DD, we headed to the gift shop, where we saw the Grinch posing for pictures! I bought a couple of copies of How the Grinch Stole Christmas for him to sign--one for DD's teacher and one for us to keep. He willingly signed them, then said something snarky to DD who was looking timid, which made her cry! All we could do was laugh. (You'll see I'm too cheap to pay for the backgrounds to these pictures!)



The Grinch told us his show was about to begin, so we rode Caro-seussel then made our way to see the stage show, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It was a lot of fun. DD especially loved the Grinch's dog, Max.

After the show we stopped for lunch in Circus McGurkus. I was not thrilled with the counter-service options at IoA, but this was convenient when everyone was hungry, and it wasn't horrible.

After our meal we headed for One Fish, Two Fish (like Magic Carpets of Aladdin) and The Cat in the Hat. That ride spins a lot more than I was aware of, and I was concerned for DH, but he made it out ok.

One last stop, to the If I Ran the Zoo playground. Again, just good downtime for the kids. I saw a cast member and asked when the Cat in the Hat would be out, as I had bought DD a Cat in the Hat outfit to wear for the occasion, and she gave us a time that was about 2 hours away. Off we went to our next adventure, with my deadline to be back for character greetings.

Superhero Island was next. We popped into a gift shop and met SpiderMan. Then we went across the street to the SpiderMan ride. Again, it was a walk-on. This ride was AWESOME! I will admit that I screamed towards the end. It was a bit too scary for DD, who shut her eyes and held on tight, and said she never wanted to do that again. DH and DS immediately wanted to ride it again, and I told them to go ahead, but they decided to move on since DD didn't want to ride it.



We went into a comic book shop and bought a tamer one for DS, after much browsing. While we were doing this someone stole my camera bag off the back of the stroller. Thankfully it was empty, so the joke is on them.

Riding the Hulk was out, and I couldn't find the other ride on Superhero Island, so we moved on to Jurassic Park. The only two things I wanted to do here was to explore the playground and ride the Pteranodon Fliers. I sat on a bench while the kids explored for 30-45 minutes. Finally we made our way to the Fliers. The wait was 30 minutes--the longest wait I had seen all day! That is usually longer than I would wait for a ride, but it looked cool, and this would be our last ride of the day. It was ok. Worth the wait? Meh. Maybe just to say you've done it once.

After we got off the Fliers, we booked it, and I mean BOOKED IT back to Seuss Landing. The Cat in the Hat was out, as well as the Lorax, Thing One and Thing Two. DD got a little shy, but I insisted she join us in pictures. The Cat in the Hat loved her outfit!

At this point it was about 3pm. That was a pretty full day for us. Before we headed out, we got the kids some ice cream, and I shopped for our souvenir Christmas ornament.

We went back to the house and DH and I enjoyed some wine and the hot tub, while the kids played in the pool.

The next day we were heading to Hollywood Studios!
__________________


My December 2012 Trip Report via my Scrapbook: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....5#post49171745
My Almost a Grand Gathering, 10th Anniversary Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2#post34138322
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