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Old 03-02-2014, 02:03 PM   #1
Imbri
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UPD: 07-17! A Princess, a Tinker Fairy, and an Artist! - A Princess Half Marathon TR!

Hi all! Welcome to my trip report and thanks for reading! Hope you all enjoy the show!

A Princess, A Tinker Fairy and an Artist! - A Princess Half Marathon TR!

Pre-Trip report is here: It All Started With (An Elaborate Plot to See) A Mouse

Our trip was from Feb 20th - 26th, 2014. It was my son's first trip, but the main purpose of it was for me to run my first Half marathon and my first Disney race!

The characters:


Me! I try not to do real names online, so I just go by Imbri. I've been to Disney 3 times now, 2008, 2010 (honeymoon) and 2014!


My husband, Baloo. He's been to Disney at least 3 times (his memory is faulty at times, so it could have been more...), 1998(ish), 2010 and 2014.


Last but not least is the star of our show, our little Stormy (Dr. Who fans may get this reference...) This was his first trip to see the Mouse! It was touch and go with him, but he loved it, despite all his meltdowns (He hates buses and lines. Don't we all, Stormy? Don't we all.)

Disclaimer: I maaaaay have borrowed the first post formatting from STLMickeyMom....Maybe.

This was my first time with the Magic Bands and My Disney Experience, and I loved them both! Besides the signal being a bit wonky at times (and with so many people, it's to be expected, I think), I had no problems with anything. I changed our FastPasses at least once in each park on my phone with no issues, and I think we got a bit more done than I initially expected with our 21 month old on board. The downside is I keep reaching to check that my band is on my wrist.

OK. Everyone all set?

Off to Neverland!

Last edited by Imbri; 07-17-2014 at 06:39 PM. Reason: formating, title
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Old 03-02-2014, 02:03 PM   #2
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Day 1, Part 1: Can We Make It On Time (And without a hospital visit)?!?
Day 1, Part 2: Pop Century!
Day 1, Part 3: Do you want to build a...Something?
Day 1, Part 4: Fit for a Princess Expo and Downtown Disney!

Day 2, Part 1: To THE FUTURE!
Day 2, Part 2: Are you making me a Seaweed Sandwich?
Day 2, Part 3: In which Stormy becomes a Viking
Day 2, Part 4: The Greatest Invention
Day 2, Part 5: Dancin' in the Street!
Day 2, Part 6: Omnom, Crepe!

Day 3, Part 1: In the Big Blue World!
Day 3, Part 2: The Pennies are Legal!

Day 4, Part 1: Ready, Set...
Day 4, Part 2: Just Keep Swimming!
Day 4, Part 3: No, I don't work here...
Day 4, Part 4: A night of Beauty and the Beast

Day 5, Part 1: An Artist is (re)born!
Day 5, Part 2: Everything's Better at Night!

Day 6, Part 1: An Unfair Advantage
Day 6, Part 2: In Search of Tangled Bathrooms!
Day 6, Part 3: Meeting Fairies and Princesses!

Last edited by Imbri; 07-17-2014 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 03-02-2014, 03:10 PM   #3
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I'm here!! So excited! And feeling pretty honored to be mentioned in the first post! Can't wait to hear how everything went and what stormy thought (I hear ya on those lines, kid. Don't people know you are ready for your turn?!? Geesh! ). I'm glad the magic bands and app worked out so well. I really liked them way more than I thought I would.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:33 PM   #4
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Joining in, planning on doing PHM in 2015!
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:22 PM   #5
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OOOH, OOH, I was there for the PHM too!!!

Stormy, I feel ya on the lines. I hated waiting too.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:58 PM   #6
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Def. here!! Can't wait!
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:28 PM   #7
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STLMickeyMom View Post
I'm here!! So excited! And feeling pretty honored to be mentioned in the first post! Can't wait to hear how everything went and what stormy thought (I hear ya on those lines, kid. Don't people know you are ready for your turn?!? Geesh! ). I'm glad the magic bands and app worked out so well. I really liked them way more than I thought I would.
Haha! I had your TR open, and was like "Ooo, this is a nice first post. Imma take it! Should probably credit it, though..."
The only thing about the bands was the first couple days I kept getting jumpy that something was gonna go wrong with them, so whenever they didn't scan right away, I tensed up. I loved the app so much. Especially with Stormy, we were sort of at his mercy for schedule and speed, so a bunch of times we stopped for him and let him play, I'd just open up the app and swap out some FP times to make sure we'd make it. =D


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Originally Posted by momabaarjo View Post
Joining in, planning on doing PHM in 2015!
Yay! Hi!
I remember reading some of your scrapbooking TR with ToT 10 Miler, and that was going to be my next Dis run, but I loved PHM so much that I'm about 99% sure I'm going to do it next year (except just go down for the weekend, then Baloo, Stormy, and I will do a full vacation for ToT 10 Miler next year too! I'm really trying for 2 Disney visits in 2015, hehe!)
Also. I want to try Tonga Toast cuz of your TR now too. Yummmmy. (I forgot to on this PHM trip. So much going on, lol!)

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Originally Posted by ZNA223 View Post
OOOH, OOH, I was there for the PHM too!!!

Stormy, I feel ya on the lines. I hated waiting too.
Awesome! Did you just do PHM or did you do the GSC? And what corral were you in? I'm on a couple FB groups for the 2014 PHM and met some fun people there, I think half of why I liked the PHM so much was the extensive community it has. I'm a bit of a hermit, it's been since college that I've really actively met new people and I forgot how fun it is.

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Originally Posted by Tinker326 View Post
Def. here!! Can't wait!
Glad to see you! I'm still working on catching up on yours. Between our trip and unpacking and work, I can't seem to find enough time for just sitting, haha!

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Originally Posted by blueangel2 View Post
Hiya! Welcome! I hope you enjoy my TR.


I'm working on our travel post! Also half working on Baloo's resume, found some good paralegal jobs for him to apply to. He got his paralegal cert a bit ago, but because of the economy, I guess a lot of lawyers are taking paralegal jobs, boo.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:18 AM   #9
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Day 1, Part 1: Can We Make It On Time (And without a hospital visit)?!?

Thursday February 20th, 2014 - Can We Make It On Time (and without a hospital visit)?!?

Morning came both too quickly and not soon enough for me. We had to be out the door by no later than 5:15am (preferably earlier), as we had to get to VALET Connections (where we'd park our car) and catch their shuttle over to the airport to allow the 2 hours the airlines recommend.

We left around 5:30am. Obviously off to a great start.

Although it was a good 3 hours before Stormy's normal wake up time of 8:30am, he was bright eyed and bushy tailed when we got him up and ate his breakfast of milk, nutrigrain and Bah-na! (banana) in the car on the drive. Myself and Baloo each had a nutrigrain bar in the car, but planned for McD's, once we got to the airport, since we'd have time.

We made it to VALET Connections by just shy of 6:00am (thankfully it was an easy freeway drive over and that morning was clear and warm...ish. Warmer than it had been the last couple weeks, anyway!)

We pulled in just as a shuttle was pulling out. Fantastic, we'd be waiting for the next one ("Leaves every 15 minutes" Suuuuure). Baloo got out of the car and...

Immediately slipped on the ONLY patch of ice that could reasonably have survived the warm morning. He caught himself with his elbow on the door of our car, sprang up and promptly declare "OK!"

We brought Stormy and the first round of bags inside (note to self. Never pack more than you can carry, while pushing a stroller. It doesn't end well) and checked in at the desk. Right after us about 3-5 more people arrived. Baloo ran out to the car (and naturally, found ANOTHER patch of ice) for the second round of bags.

And then, the waiting began.

After 10 minutes, one couple was particularly anxious. "Will they refund us if we miss our flights? Our flight is at 6:30!!" I try not to judge, but these people showed up after us, and they thought they'd just waltz in at 6:05am and somehow make a 6:30am flight?? I just don't understand.

Soon that couple ran out, having decided to park at the airport (for double what VALET charges). Farewell, strange couple!

We waited some more.

Stormy read the walls


And inspected the plants


And the chairs


FINALLY. A wild shuttle appears! While we gathered our things, everyone rushed to pack in, naturally leaving the very back seat for Baloo, Stormy, and myself. I do not apologize for any of their heads that got hit by my carry-on, as I tried to squeeze into the 4th row of a crowded shuttle-bus. Not one bit.

Stormy was given a bit of his 'emergency KitKat bar'. So very early in the day for that....


Finally we made it to the airport. And were greeted by this:

*not my picture, it belongs to a girl from my FB group, who flew out with me (although we didn't know we were on the same flight! I was right next to her when she took this pic, asking about the tiara she was wearing <3 )

More waiting, but thankfully Southwest had all kiosks open and were getting through the line quickly. I think we waited less than 20 minutes, but by that time it was 7:15am (our flight left at 8am) and we still had to get through security, which was just as long. When we got up to the counter, the employee said that our seats hadn't been pre-assiged, blamed it on me using my points to book the flight, then said we'd have to talk to the people at the gate to see if we could be switched near each other. Awesome.

We got in line to go through security.

If you ever have to travel, I HIGHLY recommend traveling with a baby. We got put into the "Pre-TSA" line. I didn't know what it was the first time, but we got put in it again coming home, and the TSA agent there said that the people in that line had "won the TSA lottery". In this line, you don't remove your shoes, belts, jewelry, etc. You don't have to take your laptop out of it's bag. You just toss anything in your pockets and hands into a bin, fold up your stroller and walk through the scanner, no muss no fuss.

I totally took off my shoes. Pre-programed, I guess. Oh well, it didn't cause any issues, other than the TSA agents going "You didn't need to do that"

We were through security in less than 10 minutes! Which was great, because it was now 7:35am!

Stormy was getting antsy after not one but TWO lines, so I stopped at a small play place (how great is that to have in the airport??) and Baloo went to get some McD's.





It was 7:45am when Baloo got back and we walked over to our gate (which I could see from the play area). They were already loading zone 5! We went up to the counter to see if anything could be done about our seating arrangement (here is where the employee told me that booking with points shouldn't have made a difference, if they were booked together, they SHOULD have been assigned together. Apparently not!). She did the best she could, and at least we were near each other (I was in row 29, Baloo in row 30, in the seat directly behind me. It ended up working out well, when Stormy decided he just HAD to kick the seat, I passed him back to Baloo).

As we settled into our seats, Stormy realized he was tired and promptly passed out on my shoulder. Thank goodness. I was able to scarf down my very belated McD's breakfast.

Only for 45 minutes, though.

In-flight shenanigans.


After several long hours we had FINALLY made it to Florida!


And now we had no ticking clock bearing down on us, we walked slowl-oh heck, who am I kidding? MAGICAL EXPRESS IS THAT WAY. WHY AREN'T YOU SPEED WALKING, BALOO?!? I KNOW YOU CAN MOVE FASTER THAN THAT.

After a quick "monorail" and elevator ride, and walking what seemed like an eternity (seriously, why is ME the VERY LAST ONE DOWN?) we got to ME to check in.

Oooooh the lines going to Pop/Art of Animation! It wound through 2 turnstiles, but happily, we made it on the second of 2 buses that showed up together for Pop/AoA. We scanned our MagicBands no problem (which was great, because I was having a hard time finding the pocket I'd stashed our hardcopy of the ticket info in!) and were on the bus!

This is one of my personal favorite sights to see! I know everyone goes for the first glimpse of Disney World, but I LOVE the buses! And I'm always super disappointed when it's not a ME specific bus (one year I got a cruise bus, and I felt crushed!) Today it was a ME bus! Yipee!


Bring on the ME selfie!


Stormy, occupying his time. While the title mentions an artist, it does not refer to Stormy's propensity to scribbling (which he did a LOT on our trip). That story is yet to come!


And soon enough, we'd entered the Mouse's kingdom! (I told you I don't pay much attention to this picture. I barely had enough time to get the camera out and on to get this one. My priorities are out of whack, I guess!)


Stopping at AoA, but we would not get off here (someday!)


Our destination?


We had (finally!) made it! Home sweet home!

Last edited by Imbri; 03-07-2014 at 12:29 AM.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:35 AM   #10
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eventful travel day I read your pre-trip report and am very curious about how your actual trip went. My family is leaving in 61 days (FP+ tomorrow!). My ds is going to be lap sitting with us on the plane (he will be 18 months old when we go). Since you just got back do you have any advice for the plane trip? Anything work (or not work) for Stormy as a distraction? Any advice at all would be very much welcomed
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:06 AM   #11
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Yhea first entry!

Ok, first off- even by paying at the aiport- that couple wasn't making their 6:30 flight. What in the world were they thinking?

How well I remember flights with toddlers. I'll be honest- there ain't one bit of me that misses them! Hahahahahaha!!

Funny story regarding the back seat, hitting people with carry ons.. when we were in China..we had to take a flight from Beijing to Gauongzhou where the US consolute was located.. about a 3 hour flight on "Chinese" airlines. China, in general, has completely different social customs/boundries than the US that were VERY hard for me to adjust to. As the flight was landing. Like still in the air coming down... people started getting up to get their luggage to stand in the aisle to get off the plane. We hadn't even hit the ground yet. And apparnetly no laws in China against this......

We finally do land and I try to get out of my seat. I am holding Charlie who won't walk, my carry on, her carry on & another bag. The doors were not open. No one could go ANYWHERE- sothis man comes barreling down and shoves me out of the way to pass.....like literally hand to my shoulder pushes me, my kid & all my bags aside to pass the narrow aisle.

I was SO ticked... we get off the plane.. and there he is.. NOT WALKING on the moving sidewalk. Just taking his time... So I grabbed my backpack, put it on my shoulder to one side.. arrange Charlie so her feet are that way... walked by him and just wailed him with my bag and my kid's feet as I passed..... It felt SO good. So I completely get that! Hahahaha!

Yhea for sign of ME! And yhea for getting to Pop!

Woo, vacay is HERE!
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:11 AM   #12
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:51 AM   #13
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oh, what a morning! (what was up with the people getting to the airport so late? have they never flown before? you're not getting on your flight, people!) we got to go through the super fast TSA line on our trip too. i'll be sad when the girls are too big for us to through that line anymore. it was great! DH did the same thing you did, had his shoes off, belt off, etc and they were like "uuhhh....not necessary"

LOVE the ME! we've never not had the mickey bus, but I always keep my fingers crossed that it's not the yellow mears bus in our line! silly, but what can I say?

seems like stormy did a really great job on the trip, even if he was kicking the seat a little. way to go, stormy! what a seasoned traveler!

I can't wait to see pics of pop! we've never been there.




and, I just have to say.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinker326 View Post
I was SO ticked... we get off the plane.. and there he is.. NOT WALKING on the moving sidewalk. Just taking his time... So I grabbed my backpack, put it on my shoulder to one side.. arrange Charlie so her feet are that way... walked by him and just wailed him with my bag and my kid's feet as I passed..... It felt SO good. So I completely get that! Hahahaha!
hilarious! I would so want to do that too! karma, dude!!
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:49 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by blueangel2 View Post
eventful travel day I read your pre-trip report and am very curious about how your actual trip went. My family is leaving in 61 days (FP+ tomorrow!). My ds is going to be lap sitting with us on the plane (he will be 18 months old when we go). Since you just got back do you have any advice for the plane trip? Anything work (or not work) for Stormy as a distraction? Any advice at all would be very much welcomed
The biggest thing that helps on the plane is sadly not in our control, and that's having understanding seatmates. On our flight the seating was 2 seats, then the aisle, then 3 seats, and of course, we got sat in the 3 seat across side, so had other people to sit with for the 3 hours. The flight there, it was a family (a mother and daughter in my row, her husband and son in Baloo's row). The daughter was enamored with Stormy, and he so loves attention, so that occupied him pretty well and both parents were great, saying they remembered that age, and isn't it so hard little Stormy? You just want to run around, don't you? The flight back we were next to each other (thank goodness!) and the man next to us said he had a 3 year old at home and took Stormy's restlessness in good stride (the guy slept most of the flight too, lucky guy!) If you're able to select seats and it's just the three of you, I'd go for the 2 across side. If you've got a bigger family, just get 'em all seated in the row with you/around you, and that'll make it SO much easier.

After that, I took some advice from Lori (STLMickeyMom) and hit up a dollar store and made a little packet of stuff. Food worked best for Stormy, we had a couple packets of pretzels, a container of goldfish (that doubled as a toy. it's a cookie monster shaped holder, and he loves Sesame Street), some chocolate (for emergencies) and then a small toy, a coloring book (which is how he spent most of his time) and then I have "The Monsters at the End of This Book" downloaded on my phone, he loves that too.

A direct flight, if at all possible, is also pretty awesome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinker326 View Post
Yhea first entry!

Ok, first off- even by paying at the aiport- that couple wasn't making their 6:30 flight. What in the world were they thinking?

How well I remember flights with toddlers. I'll be honest- there ain't one bit of me that misses them! Hahahahahaha!!

Funny story regarding the back seat, hitting people with carry ons.. when we were in China..we had to take a flight from Beijing to Gauongzhou where the US consolute was located.. about a 3 hour flight on "Chinese" airlines. China, in general, has completely different social customs/boundries than the US that were VERY hard for me to adjust to. As the flight was landing. Like still in the air coming down... people started getting up to get their luggage to stand in the aisle to get off the plane. We hadn't even hit the ground yet. And apparnetly no laws in China against this......

We finally do land and I try to get out of my seat. I am holding Charlie who won't walk, my carry on, her carry on & another bag. The doors were not open. No one could go ANYWHERE- sothis man comes barreling down and shoves me out of the way to pass.....like literally hand to my shoulder pushes me, my kid & all my bags aside to pass the narrow aisle.

I was SO ticked... we get off the plane.. and there he is.. NOT WALKING on the moving sidewalk. Just taking his time... So I grabbed my backpack, put it on my shoulder to one side.. arrange Charlie so her feet are that way... walked by him and just wailed him with my bag and my kid's feet as I passed..... It felt SO good. So I completely get that! Hahahaha!

Yhea for sign of ME! And yhea for getting to Pop!

Woo, vacay is HERE!
I honestly don't know what they were thinking! The other people that stuck it out were getting antsy too, and implied that they had a flight within the hour as well (7ish?) and I'm just wondering when it got ok to not leave 2 hours before your flight. They all seemed to be a group, they all had golf clubs they were taking, so they HAD to have flown before!

Hah! That's amazing! I can't believe he actually shoved you, that's crazy! Glad you were able to get him back.

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Yay! Welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by STLMickeyMom View Post
oh, what a morning! (what was up with the people getting to the airport so late? have they never flown before? you're not getting on your flight, people!) we got to go through the super fast TSA line on our trip too. i'll be sad when the girls are too big for us to through that line anymore. it was great! DH did the same thing you did, had his shoes off, belt off, etc and they were like "uuhhh....not necessary"

LOVE the ME! we've never not had the mickey bus, but I always keep my fingers crossed that it's not the yellow mears bus in our line! silly, but what can I say?

seems like stormy did a really great job on the trip, even if he was kicking the seat a little. way to go, stormy! what a seasoned traveler!

I can't wait to see pics of pop! we've never been there.
I've never had the Mears bus either, it's always at least been a Disney bus. I'm pretty sure if there was a Mears bus pulling up for me, I'd be pulling us out of line going "Nope, nope! We need to uh...go check a gift shop...yeah. We'll be back in an hour"

As long as those 3 hours were, he really did do well on the flight, and I'm glad. I know it could have been soooo much worse! Stormy has a knack for being frustrating to mommy and daddy, but not nearly bad enough that anyone realizes he's acting out. Little punk.
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:57 PM   #15
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Thanks for the advice SO in other words, lots of treats, and patience...It will be me (with ds), dh, and dd all in one row and then my parents in front of us. I figured if the kids are kicking a seat Id rather it be my parents than anyone else
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