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Old 04-17-2014, 06:26 PM   #76
danceintherain
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Here's one of my little princess' newborn photos. I lucked out the day she was born when the photographer I was planning on hiring, but kept forgetting to contact, posted about needing a baby girl model for a bunch of vendor props she agreed to photograph, so I got a free session.


I wish family, or at least sibling, photos would have been an option, but since it was free, I didn't push the issue, and now I'm pretty excited about the pumpkin patch family photo session concept I have in my brain for this year.
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Well Begun is Half Done...When Plans Go Awry: April 2013 Trip Report
Me (27) DH (27) DS (3) DD (born Feb 2014)
NEXT TRIP: SoG Dec 28-Jan 4, 2015 ~ POFQ Apr 13-20, 2013 ~ CBR: Nov 7-12, 2010 ~ Doubletree Guest Suites: July 8-14, 2009 ~ AKL: Jan 4-13, 2009 ~ Off-Property: New Year's 2006-2007, Spring Break 2001, Florida Resident 1991
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:49 PM   #77
wendy3
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Honestly, the question you should be asking is "how did you get so much done with 2 adults in tow?"


Well, your kids are adorable. And, thank you and your lucky husband for his service to our country (and your sacrifices as a military spouse).

Looking forward to hearing about BOG, when you have time!
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:26 AM   #78
danceintherain
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Well, your kids are adorable. And, thank you and your lucky husband for his service to our country (and your sacrifices as a military spouse).

Looking forward to hearing about BOG, when you have time!
Thanks!
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Well Begun is Half Done...When Plans Go Awry: April 2013 Trip Report
Me (27) DH (27) DS (3) DD (born Feb 2014)
NEXT TRIP: SoG Dec 28-Jan 4, 2015 ~ POFQ Apr 13-20, 2013 ~ CBR: Nov 7-12, 2010 ~ Doubletree Guest Suites: July 8-14, 2009 ~ AKL: Jan 4-13, 2009 ~ Off-Property: New Year's 2006-2007, Spring Break 2001, Florida Resident 1991
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:45 AM   #79
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Be Our Guest

They had to call up to the entrance to check on “early check-ins” as they called it, but they told us we could be checked in as long as our whole party committed to waiting on the bridge.
We didn’t have anything else to do, so we waited. In hindsight, we probably should have walked down and done the Little Mermaid ride again or tried our luck with the Little Mermaid M&G, but the view of all the castles was quite beautiful at night.
It was 9:58 when our buzzer went off, so we were seated about 5 minutes “early.”

The restaurant is quite beautiful. The late ADR was definitely worth it. We probably waited just as long as we would have at lunch, but it was significantly cooler at 9pm than it would have been during the day.
Our server seemed a little cranky, but otherwise the service was adequate.

I ordered the Strip Steak to share with G($32.99). Logan got the Rotisserie Hen ($17.99). Kami got the Garden Salad appetizer ($4.99).
My steak was good, but I preferred the one I paid half the price for at Universal earlier in the week. Also, I don’t particularly like fries with steak. I’d rather have mashed potatoes. I didn’t bother to check on a substitution, because I thought G might eat my fries.
Logan didn’t care for his chicken much, but it was ok.
Kami’s salad was awful. I suppose you can’t expect much from a salad you only pay $5 for at Disney, but you would think they could do a slightly better job. I don’t like salad, but there’s no way I would have eaten what they brought her.

It didn’t take very long for our food to come, but by that point G was over being out for the evening. It was already passed even his bed time in Kansas, and he was cranky. He decided that he needed to sit on my lap to eat, which of course made it difficult for me to do so. He finally did calm down a bit and eat some steak though.

For dessert, I ordered the Passion Fruit Cream Puff, Kami got the Double Chocolate Cupcake, and Logan got the Strawberry Cupcake (each $3.99). Total = $76.82+tip
I liked both of the other desserts better than I liked mine. I probably should have gone with the Lemon cupcake, but I wanted to try something a little different. Passion Fruit was the wrong choice for me. It was ok, but not really my kind of dessert.
G was very cranky at this point, but I didn’t want to skip our photo op with the Beast. As soon as we walked in the room, they announced that he was “going to check on dessert,” and asked us to wait.
Well…Beast does this thing where he walks through all the dining rooms, so his “breaks” end up being longer than most of the continuous characters. The whole thing was made worse by my cranky child.
The photopass CM chatted with us and tried to get G to cheer up, but he was having none of it.
When the Beast finally returned, G got a bit scared. The Beast was really great, and tried to cheer him up too. Eventually, he was a little more compliant, so we took our group photo (the only photo we got with all of us in our matching shirts)


When we got outside the building…it was immediately apparent that the fireworks had started. G perked up immediately at the sounds and lights (I guess living his whole life within a few miles from military bases has desensitized him to loud noises). Luckily, that meant he wasn’t too cranky as we rushed out of the park. I kind of felt bad that I didn’t plan on staying for the fireworks at all during our trip. He was quite fascinated.

I wish they would somehow create an alternate exit route for during parades and fireworks, because it’s truly quite frustrating to be trying to get out of the park during those events. They try to keep a path clear, but it’s nearly impossible with that many people all clustered together. We got out about a minute before the last fireworks blasted, and made it to the bus stop before too many people had gotten there. A bus came up immediately, but the driver sat and waited until it filled up.

I think G stayed awake for the ride, but he was definitely tired and crashed out as soon as we got back to our room.
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Well Begun is Half Done...When Plans Go Awry: April 2013 Trip Report
Me (27) DH (27) DS (3) DD (born Feb 2014)
NEXT TRIP: SoG Dec 28-Jan 4, 2015 ~ POFQ Apr 13-20, 2013 ~ CBR: Nov 7-12, 2010 ~ Doubletree Guest Suites: July 8-14, 2009 ~ AKL: Jan 4-13, 2009 ~ Off-Property: New Year's 2006-2007, Spring Break 2001, Florida Resident 1991
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:18 AM   #80
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Hurray for an update! Sounds like you had a frustrating night. We snagged a FP+ for BOG lunch, but I don't think I will go. Our group is big (8 of us) as it is a graduation trip for my son and his 3 best friends, my daughter and her boyfriend, and my oldest son, Cameron. Cam and I are picky eaters so we prob won't eat at BOG. Nothing on the menu that looks good. However, everyone else is looking forward to eating there. I would like to see the restaurant and see the Beast (oooooh, scary!), and eat a cupcake. But don't want to waste a counter service meal if all I will eat is a cupcake.

Cam sounds a lot like your sister (is she married? My son is 23 and single ) Sounds like G hung in there as long as he could, but when children are done, they are done. I remember those days!

Thanks again for taking the time to post an update with all you have to do! Looking forward to the next one
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:03 PM   #81
danceintherain
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Originally Posted by wendy3 View Post
Hurray for an update! Sounds like you had a frustrating night. We snagged a FP+ for BOG lunch, but I don't think I will go. Our group is big (8 of us) as it is a graduation trip for my son and his 3 best friends, my daughter and her boyfriend, and my oldest son, Cameron. Cam and I are picky eaters so we prob won't eat at BOG. Nothing on the menu that looks good. However, everyone else is looking forward to eating there. I would like to see the restaurant and see the Beast (oooooh, scary!), and eat a cupcake. But don't want to waste a counter service meal if all I will eat is a cupcake.

Cam sounds a lot like your sister (is she married? My son is 23 and single ) Sounds like G hung in there as long as he could, but when children are done, they are done. I remember those days!

Thanks again for taking the time to post an update with all you have to do! Looking forward to the next one
You could just plan on paying out of pocket for dessert at BOG (I'm assuming you're getting a dining plan, and that's why you're hesitant). My original plan for that day had us eating dinner at a counter service place much earlier, and just getting dessert at BOG, but no one was hungry early enough.

Yes, my sister is single. I'm sure she'd love to find someone who likes Disney...
I lucked out with Logan. He could have gone either way.
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~*Becca*~
Well Begun is Half Done...When Plans Go Awry: April 2013 Trip Report
Me (27) DH (27) DS (3) DD (born Feb 2014)
NEXT TRIP: SoG Dec 28-Jan 4, 2015 ~ POFQ Apr 13-20, 2013 ~ CBR: Nov 7-12, 2010 ~ Doubletree Guest Suites: July 8-14, 2009 ~ AKL: Jan 4-13, 2009 ~ Off-Property: New Year's 2006-2007, Spring Break 2001, Florida Resident 1991
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:22 PM   #82
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Hollywood Studios Part 1

The next morning, I decided to let everyone else sleep in a little, but I still wanted to make it to Rope Drop, if nothing else but because it’s cooler first thing in the morning, and Logan was progressively spending less and less time with us in the parks.

Around 7:45, Kami and I went to the food court to get breakfast to bring back to Logan and G. We all got the same things as we had gotten for the rest of the week.

The morning went smoothly, so we managed to get to the bus stop in time for a bus that dropped us off right around 8:45. When we got to the gates, the park was already open, so we headed back to Toy Story Mania. I grabbed FPs for later
while Logan helped G get out of his stroller then we walked into the ride.
I think the posted wait was 10 minutes, so it’s nice that they no longer automatically post 40 minutes as the wait time from the beginning of the day.
I rode with Kami and Logan rode with G.
I forgot how jerky that ride is, but Logan said G did fine. Logan, of course, got the highest score of the 3 of us. I didn’t do very well at all.

After that we kind of just winged it. Since none of us had done the Legend of Jack Sparrow attraction, we decided we’d try it. I think we were the first show of the day, and we ended up waiting several minutes before they let us in. We probably should have just come back later, but oh well. It’s a fun little attraction, but there’s not anything particularly intense about it. Everyone just stands around while the scene plays out before you. Of course, I’m partial to anything with Johnny Depp, so I’d probably go see it again if I ever found myself in DHS in the middle of the day with nothing to do.
G thought it was great fun, but there’s cannon fire that might unnerve a normal child.
I held him the whole time and we were at the front of the pack, so we all could see really well.

Logan had a hard time standing still for such a length of time, so afterwards he opted to sit on a bench outside while we went in to the Disney Junior Live! show. I had seen a video or two of it (we’ve always skipped it on previous trips) so I knew that the “seating” involved everyone sitting on the floor, and he didn’t feel up to doing that. After I got in there, I saw that there are benches around the outside wall, but the show started pretty quickly and I didn’t get a chance to retrieve him.


G absolutely flipped over this show. He LOVES Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and is moderately familiar with the other shows (we don’t have cable, but our parents do). The adults in our vicinity got a kick out of him, because he was up dancing and singing from the very beginning of the show.
It was a lot of fun to watch him enjoying himself.

This is where my timing fell through. Instead of doing Disney Junior first, we probably should have headed into the Animation Building to wait for Sorcerer Mickey, but we didn’t, and when we got there, the line was already kind of long, and we had TSMM FP to use.
Logan decided that he didn’t want to do it again, and G of course couldn’t care less, so I suggested they go to the Honey I shrunk the kids playground to wait for us. Logan decided he’d rather going shopping in Tataooine Traders.

Before our trip, Logan had insisted that I “let him” build his own light saber and one for G this time around. I told him it wouldn’t be a problem, but I guess he was anxious. When Kami and I found them, they were not in fact building light sabers, but Droids. Logan decided that he liked the droids better, and thought it was great fun that G could build one for him.

We made their purchase then headed towards the Muppet show.
I have a soft spot for this show. I’m not exactly sure why. I do hope that since Disney owns the Muppets now they will revamp it a bit, but I still like it in the form it is now. It was only a few minutes until the next show started, and then we walked into the theatre.
G wouldn’t wear his 3D glasses again, but he seemed to enjoy it.

At this point, Logan decided that he was done for the day and offered to take G with him. I indicated that I just wanted to make one more stop: at Starring Rolls for cupcakes. He agreed to come with us, so we could all travel back to the room together.

I’ve been trying to fit Starring Rolls in for a long time, but it has never been convenient. It doesn’t open with the rest of the park, and it closes at 4pm every day. Honestly, I had it in my head that it was only open between 11:30 am and 4pm, which of course is right around the time we usually take our break. It actually opens at 10am or something, but I didn’t know that. Either way, it’s not convenient for dessert, which is the bulk of what they sell in there. Ultimately, I figured that if I wanted to do it, I pretty much needed to do so in lieu of lunch, so that’s what we did.

I’m convinced that the building needs rehab. The ordering area is very small and disorganized. I walked in and began looking at the display case, and ultimately chose the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake ($3.99) and Kami got the Butterfinger Cupcake ($3.99) before I realize that there was a whole other case with Lemon cupcakes in it. I figured no one wanted a cupcake I had already touched, so I got it, even though I’m not a huge chocolate fan, and I knew I would have liked the Lemon cupcake better (a similar thing happened at Be Our Guest). Logan got a parfait, and we planned on feeding G once we got back to the room. Total: $11.48

The other issue I have with Starring Rolls is that they serve GIANT cupcakes, but the boxes they have for them are the wrong shape. Luckily, a cupcake being smashed doesn’t adversely affect the taste, because both cupcakes were VERY good. I wish they would have been less chocolaty, but I suppose most of the world probably likes chocolate more than I do.

We were back in our room by noon.

Some of you may be wondering about the American Idol Experience (is anyone who read my PTR still here?) I had posted about auditioning in my Pre-Trip Report, but the logistics didn’t work out during this trip. The way the show works is that they have auditions in the morning. The first show is usually around noon with another show every hour or so until the final show of the day that I think was scheduled at 7:30 during our trip. It occurred to me early on that the only way it would work out is if I was selected for the 1st show of the day, because I wanted Logan and G to be there for my performance, and the likelihood that I’d actually “win” my show was low. Not being able to perform for my own family kind of sucked the fun out of it. Logan probably would have stayed in the park longer if it had gone well, but I knew that would be really hard on him, and if Kami and I both got chosen, it would leave Logan to attend to G alone for several hours that day. If I DID win my show, then we would have had to cancel our dining reservation at Mama Melrose that evening, which I was loathe to do since we were so Table Service light during the trip as it was.
When I woke up that particular morning, I knew that G really needed his nap after skipping a nap and having a late bedtime the day before, and being in the park to see his Mommy sing wouldn’t make that happen. In general, I was having a hard time picking a song that fit my voice, and illness preceding our trip made it less than optimal for a public performance.
Maybe I’ll get to participate in the future, but I suspect that the circumstances aren’t going to change much in future years, and other things will become priorities (e.g. Jedi Training Academy for G).
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Well Begun is Half Done...When Plans Go Awry: April 2013 Trip Report
Me (27) DH (27) DS (3) DD (born Feb 2014)
NEXT TRIP: SoG Dec 28-Jan 4, 2015 ~ POFQ Apr 13-20, 2013 ~ CBR: Nov 7-12, 2010 ~ Doubletree Guest Suites: July 8-14, 2009 ~ AKL: Jan 4-13, 2009 ~ Off-Property: New Year's 2006-2007, Spring Break 2001, Florida Resident 1991
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:34 PM   #83
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Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano

It was nice having an extra long break that day. G slept very well, and since our ADR at Mama Melrose wasn’t until close to 6:30, we had the luxury of time. I had also become apparent the night before that Logan did much better in the evenings after it had cooled off, so I figured we could accomplish a few more things.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to do any of the major shows at DHS, because we left so early and didn’t return until less than an hour before our ADR. I think G would have really enjoyed them, but none of the rest of us were disappointed enough to get moving more quickly that afternoon.

We left POFQ around 5pm, and since we had a little time before we needed to check in, Kami and I decided to do Star Tours. I hadn’t been on it since the refurbishment, and I definitely like the new version(s) better. They also seem to have synced the whole thing up better, so I didn’t get motion sick at all. When we came out Logan and G were….

...buying another droid!
I guess Logan decided the first one needed a friend.

At this point, our ADR time was coming up soon, and we were all hungry, so we decided to go see if we could get in a little early.

I think I’m done checking in early for ADRs from now on. It was a little after 6 when we checked in for our 6:25 ADR. We probably should have waited a little longer before checking in and gotten in line for Phineas and Ferb, but I was hoping we wouldn’t have to wait too long for our table. Boy, was I wrong.

We waited….
and waited….
and waited…

Finally, they led us to our table at around 6:40.

Our server was very pleasant, and even told Logan that he could get free cups of ice water at counter service locations when Logan mentioned how thirsty he was. Even though I already knew that, I was happy that the CM was open with the information.

It took a while for our food to come out.
I got the Chicken Parm ($17.99) Kami got the Spaghetti & Meatballs ($18.99) Logan got the Chicken Pizza ($13.99) and we got a Cheese Pizza for G ($5.99) I also ordered the Spaghetti & Meatballs Cupcake, because it intrigued me, even though it wasn’t one of the included desserts with G’s kid’s meal.

My food was very bland. It was edible, but definitely not the best Chicken Parm I’ve ever gotten. I thought the one at Tony’s was better when we ate there. Even the Chicken Alfredo I had at POFQ earlier in the week had better flavoring. I was a bit wary of ordering G his own meal here, because we probably could have scraped together enough for him on our plates, but he pointed out the pizza himself, and ended up eating most of it. Logan got a to-go box for the rest of both pizzas and finished them off later. He wasn’t feeling very well again.
The cupcake was excellent. It was chocolate cake (why can’t I get vanilla anywhere?) with white chocolate “spaghetti” frosting, chocolate “meatball” and strawberry “marinara” sauce. It was soo good. I ate most of it, but got a box for it so I could finish it later. I forgot to take the box with me. After such a bland entrée, I was pleasantly surprised by how flavorful it was.

After that I wanted to make sure G got to meet one of his favorite Disney characters – Lightening McQueen. Logan was ready to leave at this point, but I convinced him to come with us, so he could take G with him when we were done. Kami and I decided to stay back and do a few more things before we left. We considered keeping the stroller, so he would only have to deal with G on the bus, since we could just park it somewhere and go back to get it when we were leaving but it occurred to me that unencumbered, we could easily stop by the Magic Kingdom to pick up some more Sorcerer’s cards (you can get 1 pack per day per park admission). He agreed that it would be worth it, so he took the stroller.

G enjoyed meeting Lightening McQueen & Mater and we stopped for a pressed penny nearby.
G LOVED the pressed pennies. We got several throughout the trip, and I think it will definitely be somewhat of a tradition from now on, since they're inexpensive souvenirs.

Then we walked with G and Logan to the front of the park and sent them on their way.

Apparently, they ran into another DISer on the bus. I’ve never actually met anyone else, because it’s never been convenient, but Deb (pwdebbie) made the connection that they belonged to me, so she walked up and introduced herself. They chatted for a minute then headed back to their respective rooms.

Our main goal for the evening was the Animation Academy, which is why we didn’t want to keep G. He may have had fun drawing, but it was already getting late.
It’s my favorite attraction at Disney, and while I was ok skipping most of the thrill rides in favor of family bonding, I really wanted to make sure I got to do this.

The waiting area was pretty full when we got there, and there were a few minutes left until the next class, so Kami and I competed to see who was better at figuring out the “which character?” drawings on the screens above the area. We were pretty well matched, but I’m pretty sure I “won.”

Pretty much everyone in our class had done the academy at least once. Most of us had done it multiple times, so it took a while for the instructor to settle on a character to draw. I was pretty excited when we landed on Donald Duck, because he is G’s favorite and I knew he’d get a kick out of it.
Both our drawings turned out well. I’m always perplexed by how to get the pages home in one piece though.

We thought about seeing the Voyage of the Little Mermaid after that, but the next show wasn’t for a while, so we decided to head towards the Great Movie Ride instead....
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Well Begun is Half Done...When Plans Go Awry: April 2013 Trip Report
Me (27) DH (27) DS (3) DD (born Feb 2014)
NEXT TRIP: SoG Dec 28-Jan 4, 2015 ~ POFQ Apr 13-20, 2013 ~ CBR: Nov 7-12, 2010 ~ Doubletree Guest Suites: July 8-14, 2009 ~ AKL: Jan 4-13, 2009 ~ Off-Property: New Year's 2006-2007, Spring Break 2001, Florida Resident 1991
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