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Old 09-12-2010, 01:36 PM   #1
AWilliams
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OMG! Our 10th Anniversary Trip w/ Our 2 Princesses- 9/20 Rain & Princesses in Norway

We've only been home from our Disney trip for a couple of weeks and I'm already stating to plan our next trip to the World! In the meantime, I thought I'd write a trip report to share some of wonderful experiences and pictures from our vacation.

Our last trip to Disney was in October of 2007, nearly 3 years ago. It was Emily's second trip to the World, her first was at 1.5. I'd love to go to Disney every year and I can usually convince Joe to go every 2 years, but with the arrival of Chloe, we both agreed that we should wait until she was closer to 2 for our next trip. It was a long wait in between trips, but well worth it! Emily started kindergarten this year and though we usually go in September/October, I didn't want her to miss time the first few months of school. We decided to travel the last week of August and booked our trip in February of 2010 (6 months in advance). We both love the Polynesian, so it was easy to pick where we were going to stay. I did lots of planning over the next few months as the park hours were released, dining reservation windows opened, Southwest released their schedules and fares, Disney released new discounts, etc. I used a site/service called Tour Guide Mike and found it really helpful!! I started sewing again and made a few new outfits for the girls to wear too.

Our trip dates were from Friday, August 20th until Saturday, August 28th. We had 7 day park hopper passes and planned to tour just the 4 main parks. We were not doing the dining plan, but I had made dining reservations for some places we really wanted to try:
Crystal Palace (Dinner)
Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus (Dinner)
Chef Mickey's (Dinner)
Yak & Yeti (Lunch)
California Grill (Dinner)
Cinderella's Castle (Breakfast)


Cast of Characters

Joe (DH) and I (Amy) honeymooned at Disney World in 2000, so this was our 10th anniversary trip. We both love Disney and have been 6 times in the last 10 years! We really enjoy the resorts and have stayed at the GF, Poly, WL, Y&BC, AKL, and CSR. The Poly and Y&BC are both our favorites. Here is a family photo from our honeymoon and this trip for comparison:
2000


2010


Emily, DD 5.5, has been to Disney twice before at 1.5 and 2.5. She loves all the characters, but in the last year she has really moved out of Playhouse Disney and into Tinkerbell and the Princesses. She loves rides and just hit 40", so we were hoping she'd be able to ride some of the bigger kid rides this year.

Chloe, DD almost 2. This was Chloe's first trip to Disney! She knows "Pooh", Cinde"Rella", Mickey "Mouse" and many of the other characters from books and toys, but this would be her first time meeting the characters.




UP NEXT: Finally the day of our trip arrived!
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2011 Wine & Dine Half TR
8/14 CBR, 2/14 AKL, 8/13 BCV, 8/12 AOA, 9/11 BC, 8/10 Poly, 10/07 Poly-CSR, 9/06 GF, 4/04 WL, 5/03 AKL-CSR, 9/00 YC

Last edited by AWilliams; 09-20-2010 at 01:00 PM. Reason: 9/20 Update
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Old 09-12-2010, 01:46 PM   #2
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The day of our trip finally arrived and Joe left for work early and would be home around 11am. I was up early to try and finish some last minute packing and planning before the girls woke up. I had been packing for about a week, and both suitcases were all ready to go. We were going to check three bags and then have one carry-on and the single stroller.

We were flying Southwest out of Manchester, NH. We live about an hour from either Boston, Manchester, or Providence, but I like the Manchester airport the best. The fare on Southwest was the best from there too! We left our house just after 2:30 and got to the airport around 3:30. I dropped Joe off with the bags and stroller and then drove with both girls to the parking lot. We took the shuttle back to the terminal and met Joe where we dropped him off. Chloe went in the stroller and we rounded up the bags and headed for the check-in line. I was nervous about the weight of our big suitcase and it was just under the limit at 48 pounds! We also had to show Chloe's birth certificate to get a boarding pass for her since she didn't have a seat. It didn't take long, but they told us there was a 30 minute delay for our departure time. We headed through security with no line and then looked for a place to eat. We had plenty of time so we went to the restaurant. The girls (and I) were all a little anxious for our flight, so after waiting for our food we ate a bit and then headed to a small play area that was in the airport. The play area at Logan is much nicer than this one, but the girls still were able to run around for a while. They met another little girl named Chloe too! I let Emily use our small camera and she was having fun taking pictures of the two Chloe's playing.



We finally headed down to the gate and on to the plane. I checked us in online right at 24 hours, so we had a good place in the line. We got settled in the plane with Joe by the window, Emily in the middle, and me and Chloe on the aisle. We picked up some treats from the airport gift shop and were able to get Chloe's soy milk through security, so the girls were busy snacking while the plane was departing. Both of them watched out the window as we took off and did great the whole ride down. I bought a couple of new movies for Emily and set up the laptop for her to watch them on. I had a couple of new Disney books for Chloe and read them to her. They came around with peanuts which Emily really liked and cheese-its which Chloe liked. Chloe fell asleep about half way through the trip. We landed and got Chloe's stroller and made our way to the Magical Express check-in. It was just before 9:30pm, so I checked to make sure our luggage would be picked up and they said it would. We got right on the bus and it left right away. Chloe sat with Joe and fell back asleep and Emily sat with me and watched the cartoons that they played on the bus. The bus stopped at the Wilderness Lodge, the Contemporary, and then finally the Poly! I didn't notice what time it was, but it didn't seem to take that long.

I had originally planned for us to stay the first night right at the airport since we were arriving so late. Joe wanted to go right to the Poly, so with the 40% room discount a regular room at the Poly wasn't much more than the airport would have been. Joe didn't know that I had a Club level room booked at the Poly, so we would still have to move rooms. I did the online check-in, so our package was all ready for us. The CM said our room was in Hawaii and I asked if he was sure that was right. He said it was, so we had a nice upgrade that first night! I also got our room number for the rest of the trip and it was on the first floor as we requested. Yeah!! I told the CM that we'd like our luggage delivered that night even if it was going to be late and asked if they'd deliver it to the room if we were sleeping and he said yes.
We were all very tired at this point and made it to our room just after 11pm. I did take a quick peek around the room and out the window, but then we all fell right to sleep! I knew our luggage would be coming, so I did keep waking up every now and then and was listening for the door. I finally really fell asleep!

UP NEXT: Would our luggage ever arrive? Our first day at the MK and dinner with Pooh at CP.
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2011 Wine & Dine Half TR
8/14 CBR, 2/14 AKL, 8/13 BCV, 8/12 AOA, 9/11 BC, 8/10 Poly, 10/07 Poly-CSR, 9/06 GF, 4/04 WL, 5/03 AKL-CSR, 9/00 YC
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Old 09-12-2010, 05:31 PM   #3
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Great Start!! We are planning a trip to WDW and the POLY next August with our 2 girls!!!

Keep going - you have at least 1 reader!!
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:15 PM   #4
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Whereís our Luggage? At least weíre at Walt Disney World!

Whereís our Luggage? At least weíre at Walt Disney World!

I woke up at 7am to no luggage in our room. Everyone else was sleeping, so I snuck out to check out the lounge. We were on the second floor with a garden view room for that first night, so the lounge was just down the hall. I think I just had a coffee and sat for a few minutes. I headed back to the room and everyone was just starting to get up. I called bell services to check on our bags and they told me they would look into it and call me back. The news was not good! Our bags didnít arrive the night before, so they wouldnít be here until around 10-11am. A few minutes later the phone rang again. This time the news was worse, one of our bags was missing! It was one of the green suitcases, but they didnít know which one. I had only packed the carry-on with our PJs and stuff for the airplane since I expected our bags before morning. We had nothing with us and now I wasnít even sure what might be missing! The phone rang and this time it was the general manager for the Poly. He wanted to assure us that they were doing everything they could to get our bags to us and offered to get us anything we needed that morning. I thanked him and told him we werenít sure yet what we were going to do. Our original plan was to hang out at the resort, swim, unpack, etc. Obviously that wasnít going to happen now.

I had to check us into our new room and wanted to see if there was anything else the concierge staff might be able to do, so I went out to the desk area. They checked the notes on our file and said that the case was a top priority and there were already lots of notes in our file (on the computer). I got the keys to our new room with our park hoppers on them. Our room wouldnít be ready until afternoon, but they were going to text us as soon as it was ready. We all went up to the lounge and Joe and the girls had some breakfast. The girls really liked the little tables and TV! Like I said, our plan for this morning was to hang out at the pool and relax, but we didnít have our bathing suits and with our suitcase missing I certainly couldnít relax!! Emily really wanted to go to "Walt Disney World" to go on the rides, so we decided we would go to the Magic Kingdom until 11 when we had to be back to check out. I didnít have sunscreen for the girls, so I stopped at the information desk in the main building (GCH) and she got the general manager that I spoke with that morning. for us. He was very nice and told us to go and get the sunscreen and also pick out t-shirts for all of us and they would cover the cost. I definitely was feeling the Disney magic! We went to the shop on the main floor and I grabbed the sunscreen and shirts for me (Mickey) and the girls (Tinkerbell). Joe was looking for a tank since it was hot, but he didnít find one, so he didnít get anything.

We headed up to the monorail and were on our way to the Magic Kingdom!! We only had the single stroller for Chloe, but Emily was excited and stayed right with us walking the whole morning. We arrived right as the Park was opening and caught the very end of the opening show! I hadnít even planned that! Emily wanted to go on the rides and I know the Chloe loves "Pooh" so we decided to do that one first. They both liked it. Next we did Peter Panís flight. Again, they both liked it. Emily wanted to go see Mickey and Minnieís houses so we headed that way, but Toontown wasnít open yet. Emily and I went on the Speedway. We waited for about ten minutes for this one since only one track was open. They finally opened another track and then the line picked up. Emily wanted to go on the Tea Cups and Chloe seemed happy just checking everything out from the stroller, so Emily and I went on alone. We missed the rope drop for Toontown, but werenít going to see the characters anyway. All four of us checked out Minnie and Mickeyís houses and then Emily and I went on the Barnstormer. I thought Emily would love it, but she thought it went "too fast" and wasnít sure sheíd go on it again.



It was getting hot, but Emily really wanted to go to the Playground and I knew Chloe would like to run around too, so we made our way over to Toon Park. I checked my phone to see what time it was and saw that I missed a text. It was from Magic Strollers letting me know our double stroller had been delivered. That was great, but not the news I was hoping for. It was 10:30, so I knew we had to start heading back. Joe went to grab some bottled water for us to share and we made our way back to Main Street. Emily didnít want to leave, but I told her we were going to get our bags (hopefully) and then go swimming. That made her happy!

The girls both loved riding the monorail (Chloe called it the "train"). It was nice and cool inside and didnít take long to get back to the Poly. We headed back to our room to pack up the carry-on. It was almost 11:00, so we were cutting it close with check-out. No luggage had arrived, no messages on the phone or my cell, so we packed up the carry-on and went to the concierge desk to see if they had any more information. They didnít see anything else in our file so they called up to bell services to check. They were busy and had to call back. It seemed to take forever even though I know it was only a couple of minutes. Our luggage still wasnít here, but there was good news! They had found all three bags!!! Yeah, I was sooo happy!! They still werenít sure when the bags would arrive though.

I had told Emily we would go to the pool and she isnít one to forget these things, so I wasnít sure what we were going to do now. For some reason I did have a bathing suit for Chloe in the carry-on, but nothing for Emily. At this point I knew the luggage fiasco was Disneyís (the Magical Express) fault, so I asked the concierge if they would cover the cost of a bathing suit for Emily. He thought that was a great idea and they were happy to help us. All four of us headed in to the gift shop again and Emily picked out a purple Tinkerbell suit. It was really cute and not that expensive either. I took both girls into the bathrooms outside of Captain Cooks and got them changed. We were going to grab some food at CCs, but no one was really that hungry so we headed right out to the pool.

I loaded some more sunscreen on everyone and Emily was off right into the water. Chloe hung out on the edge with me and Joe went to grab us some drinks. In less than a minute Emily had already made a friend and they were playing with some princess diving circles. I was still in my clothes from yesterday, but fortunately I had on some lightweight shorts and a tank top. Joe had on a heavier short sleeve shirt and shorts, so I know he was hot! Both the girls were happy in the bathing suits in the water. Chloe headed in deeper and deeper and I had to roll up my shorts to keep up with her! Joe finished off his drink and switched places with me so I could have mine. It would be my first of many Pina CoLavas. It was a frozen Pina Coloda with some Raspberry syrup added and a slice of pineapple on the rim. Yum!

All of a sudden it started to downpour. The girls and Joe didnít seem to care since they were in the pool. I was at a table with an umbrella and tried to keep our carry-on dry. The rain only lasted a minute or so and it seemed to cool everything down just a bit. I checked my phone again and had another text. Our room was ready!!

UP NEXT: The luggage fiasco continues. Our room and dinner with Pooh at CP.
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2011 Wine & Dine Half TR
8/14 CBR, 2/14 AKL, 8/13 BCV, 8/12 AOA, 9/11 BC, 8/10 Poly, 10/07 Poly-CSR, 9/06 GF, 4/04 WL, 5/03 AKL-CSR, 9/00 YC
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:34 PM   #5
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Wow - what a rough start to your trip!! Your girls are so adorable - you all are a beautiful family

A co-worker that I helped with his family's first trip to WDW in May ended sort of the same - they rented points at Villas at Wilderness Lodge and their luggage didn't arrive until after midnight (and their flight landed around 2a.m.). They didn't pack a carry-on (like I suggested) so had only their travel clothes to sleep in). I don't think they even got comped from the front desk even though they complained.

Was your husband surprised at your new room? I would love to stay concierge someday and esp at Poly!
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:44 PM   #6
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:03 PM   #7
AWilliams
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heaven2dc View Post
Was your husband surprised at your new room? I would love to stay concierge someday and esp at Poly!
We were all tired that first night, so I don't think he got that we were staying Club level until the next day. He was suprised and really happy! It was a bit of a splurge, but we didn't do the dining plan and ate a lot in the lounge! Being able to just run upstairs for breakfast and getting the soy milk for the girls was really great.
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2011 Wine & Dine Half TR
8/14 CBR, 2/14 AKL, 8/13 BCV, 8/12 AOA, 9/11 BC, 8/10 Poly, 10/07 Poly-CSR, 9/06 GF, 4/04 WL, 5/03 AKL-CSR, 9/00 YC
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:17 AM   #8
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Thatís not our Luggage! Going from stressed to dressed.

That’s not our Luggage! Going from stressed to dressed.

I told Joe that our room was ready and he got the girls out of the pool. The text had our room number and we already had our keys so we were able to go right to the room. We dried the girls off and grabbed our stuff. The main Hawaii building entrance is just a couple stairs up from the volcano pool. You have to use your room key to access the building since they have the concierge lounge available only to guests staying there. It was nice that the door opened automatically, especially with the stroller! Our room (1510) was on the first floor which was what I requested. I love not having to take the elevator with the strollers and I love having the patio so Joe and I can sit out there and take turns at the pool while the girls nap.

The interior of this room was just like the one we were in the night before. Two beds, a couch/daybed, lots of storage, great big bathroom, fridge, dvd player, etc. Our view was amazing! We looked straight out onto the castle!! It was just perfect. Now we were all a bit hungry, so we headed to the lounge for a snack. We all had our first of many chocolate chip cookies!! They also had goldfish crackers, gummy bears, trail mix, ect. They had a fridge stocked with soda, so I was happy to always have my diet coke nearby. Emily enjoyed the lemonade and I requested soy milk for Chloe and they had that available for us every time we asked. It was after 1:00 and Chloe needed a nap, so we headed back to the room. Joe stayed with the girls and I headed up to the GCH to check on our luggage and to grab the double stroller.

View from our room

Hallway outside our room

Hawaii Building – Lounge End

It was raining again, so I walked through the other longhouses on my way to avoid getting too wet. Lots of people were checking in that day and it seemed like they were all using my idea to stay dry – the hallways were busy. My first stop was at bell services. The guy I had been talking to this morning was there, so he quickly called to check on our luggage. It had arrived at the Poly and he sent someone to load it and get it to our room! He sent me to guest services to get the stroller. There was a line, but someone came around the corner and asked if she could help me. She had to go in the back to grab my stroller and then brought it around. The stroller was in a bag and she helped me get it out and set up since it would be easy to get back to the room that way. She was really nice and helpful. We rented a City Mini Double stroller from http://www.magicstrollers.com and it worked out great. They included a rain cover which you will read was a necessity on this trip. The stroller was easy to push, had great storage, cup holders, and fit both girls wonderfully. They both liked it. It was also really easy to fold and carry on to the buses. I highly recommend it as a rental or to purchase – loved it! I headed back to the room using the same route as before. The stroller was a bit of a squeeze through a single doorway, but it did just make it.

The girls were both asleep and Joe was napping too, but I told him the luggage was on the way so he was happy to hear that. A few minutes later there was a knock at our door. Joe opened it and I could hear something was not right. I went over and the bellman had the wrong bags! He had two green bags, but they weren’t ours. I couldn’t believe it. I went from being so happy to back to stressed out. The last name on the bags was ours, but the first wasn’t. He said these were for another room and ensured us that he did have our bags on his cart too. I told him our bags had been missing and that I was really anxious to get them. The next ten to fifteen minutes seemed like an eternity. I couldn’t take it any longer and eventually went to wait out in the hallway. At long last the bellman returned and all three of our bags were on his trolley. I was so happy! We gave him a huge tip just because we were so grateful to finally have our luggage.

Both Emily and Chloe are pretty sound sleepers, so I was able to start unpacking right away. Joe was thrilled to finally be able to take a shower and put on fresh clothes. All our clothes were packed in large Ziploc bags, so it was easy to move them from the suitcases to the drawers. I had found a place for everything and was all settled in about an hour. Joe went to grab us two more drinks and we sat out on the patio while the girls were still napping. It was still raining on and off, but with the heat (and now that we had our bags) I didn’t really mind the rain. We just relaxed for a while and watched the boats go back and forth. At 4:00 I went inside to shower and put on fresh clothes. It felt great!

UP NEXT: Dinner with Pooh at CP and Tomorrowland!
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2011 Wine & Dine Half TR
8/14 CBR, 2/14 AKL, 8/13 BCV, 8/12 AOA, 9/11 BC, 8/10 Poly, 10/07 Poly-CSR, 9/06 GF, 4/04 WL, 5/03 AKL-CSR, 9/00 YC
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:22 AM   #9
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Dinner with Pooh and into Tomorrowland!

Dinner with Pooh and into Tomorrowland!

I finished getting ready a little after 4:00 with plenty of time still before our reservation at Crystal Palace at 5. The girls were still sleeping and I knew they were tired and I didnít want to wake them up. The rain had stopped, but it was still really cloudy, so I got out the rain cover for the stroller to make sure I knew how it went on. It was really easy and covered the whole thing well. I kept it on, but pulled it back behind the hoods. Now I had to get stuff together to bring out with us. I had my camera bag that held the camera, my iPhone, sunglasses, me and Emilyís room cards, and $20. I brought some XL Ziploc bags with us that had a cut out handle. It was great to be able to get through security easily (though they often didnít even check under the stroller which is where I kept the bag). Each day we pretty much brought the same stuff to the parks; an insulated bottle with water for each of the girls, sunscreen stick (weíd cover them before we left, so we didnít need the whole bottle), autograph book & pen (once I bought it), and the escape pod which had a couple of diapers, wipes, disposable changing mat, and hand sanitizer. I also had two stroller fans that either went in the bag or were clipped to the stroller hoods.

Joe was getting hungry and it was getting closer to 5:00, so we did wake the girls up. They were both still tired so a bit cranky. Emily was excited to get pack to "Disney World" and Chloe was full of energy quickly too. I got them dressed and showed them the stroller. They really liked it! Chloe took the right side and Emily had the left. We made our way to the monorail and the stroller fit on with no problems. The lines for the bag check and entrance were only a few people deep, but it did always seem a bit tricky to get our cards through and the stroller since they had to turn the turnstile even though we walked through the gate.

CP looked packed and there were a ton of people waiting outside. I went with Emily and checked us in. We got the buzzer and then headed into the shop that was closest to the restaurant. This shop pretty much runs the entire length of Main Street. We were all starving at that point, so we really werenít looking to buy anything. If I had been thinking I would have picked up the autograph book and pen! It was only about ten minutes before our buzzer went off. I parked the stroller and covered it with the rain cover. It wasnít raining, but it was still really cloudy.

We were seated on the right side of the restaurant and only a couple tables from the buffet. Our waitress came right away and took our drink orders. Emily and I headed to get some food! Emily got a sample of stuff from the kids station and I grabbed a few things for Chloe there too. I also got a variety of salads, rolls, and some potatoes. Joe went up when we got back. He came back with two plates full! It was all really good. We were almost finished eating when the first character made their way to our side of the restaurant. It was Tigger! Chloe grabbed onto Joe for dear life. She didnít remember Tiggerís name, so she kept saying "no Pooh, no Pooh". I could see she was afraid, but I had to laugh at her expressions. Emily said she really doesnít like the Pooh characters anymore. She asked me if they were real and I said, of course they are. She seemed a bit nervous too, but I think she was still tired and I knew she really wanted to get out and onto the rides.

Chloe first sees Tigger (in the mirror)



I took Emily over to get a dessert and Eyeore was making his way over to our side. Emily looks at me and says mom, look, I know that is just a costume. You could pretty clearly see where Eyeoreís headpiece met the body in the back. So I said they are not real animals, but they are real characters and that is how they look. She didnít argue with me, so I think she might have bought it. We came back to the table with ice cream and cookies for everyone. Chloe relaxed a bit and enjoyed her dessert. As soon as she was done though she was ready to get out of there. Emily was too. I didnít have the autograph books yet and it looked like it would still be a while before the characters got to us, so we decided to just get our check and head out.

I got the girls in the stroller and all of a sudden it started to rain. I covered them with the raincover and they had their fans going under there too, so they were both dry and happy. We planned to go to Tomorrowland, so even with the rain that was still a good place to be. The wait for Space Ranger Spin was about 20 minutes, so I grabbed fast passes which were about 30 minutes later. Chloe had spotted the people mover "train" and that looked like the perfect ride at that point. The stroller parking in Tomorrowland is almost all covered, so that was nice too. We headed up the ramp to the PM and there wasnít really a wait, but more of a moving line. Lots of people had the same idea as us. The Space Mountain part is really really dark and both girls were a little nervous, but overall they really liked it and seeing all the sights. By the time we got off we were able to use our fast passes for Buzz. Joe and Emily shared a seat and I had Chloe. The ride got stuck for about 5 minutes while we were in the tunnel near the end, but the girls didnít seem to mind. They did turn the sound off after a couple minutes, so it wasnít that bad. You couldnít see Chloe or Emily in the pictures since they sat too low. Over the past few months I had been telling Emily about the Stitch ride. I made up a bedtime story that revolved around it and it didnít giver her nightmares, so I thought we could try the ride. Emily really wanted to see Stitch. We made our way through the preshow and then the second preshow where they have the Level 1 and Level 2 bad guys. That was enough for Emily and she was holding on to me for dear life! We made our way towards the theater and I asked if there was a way out and we were shown the door. Emily was happy to be out of there! We found Joe and Chloe and decided to call it a night. It was still raining and I wanted to get everyone in bed early for a good nights sleep.

We made our way to the monorail and back to the Poly and our room. Tinkerbell had been in our room and left chocolates on our pillows. Emily was so excited!! She sampled one of the chocolates right away. We dropped off the stroller and headed up to the lounge for some milk for the girls and I was hoping to sample the punch that I had read great reviews on. There were lots of great looking desserts, but I was still full from dinner. The punch was there though and I poured myself a glass to try. It was very good! Joe tried it too, but thought it was too sweet. So, I dug up the recipe and plan to make it at home (Joe bought me some tiki glasses at the Poly gift shop which will be perfect to drink it out of). Hereís the recipe (Thanks Tikiman!):

Kuíuleiís Punch
  • 3 bottles of white zinfendel
  • 12 oz chardonney
  • 6 oz grand marnier
  • 6 cans Sprite
  • 6 cans frozen cranberry juice concentrate
  • 1 can frozen pineapple juice concentrate
  • 2 cans frozen orange guava passionfruit concentrate
  • 5 cans water
  • ice cubes (2- one gallon pitchers full)
  • 1 orange cut up
  • 1 can pineapple tidbits with juice
Makes 3 gallons

I got soy milk for the girls and we sat in the lounge for a few minutes, then back to the room and right to sleep!

UP NEXT: AK: Wet and Hot in Asia and Dinoland
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8/14 CBR, 2/14 AKL, 8/13 BCV, 8/12 AOA, 9/11 BC, 8/10 Poly, 10/07 Poly-CSR, 9/06 GF, 4/04 WL, 5/03 AKL-CSR, 9/00 YC
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:03 PM   #10
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Hurray!! You got your luggage finally

The picture of Chloe seeing Tigger in the mirror is priceless!!
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Old 09-18-2010, 12:15 PM   #11
AWilliams
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AK: Wet and Hot in Asia and Dinoland

AK: Wet and Hot in Asia and Dinoland

Animal Kingdom is my favorite park so I was really looking forward to today. I woke up around 6, but stayed in bed until 6:30. I was ready to go at 7am, but everyone else was still asleep and the park didn’t open until 9, so I headed up to the lounge. I attempted to make an ice coffee, but it turned out just to be warm coffee. It wasn’t great, but I drank it along with my mini blueberry muffin. I spent some time looking at the iPhone apps that I had download a few days before we left. The parks weren’t open so there were no wait times yet, but they still had great information on park openings, early entry, etc. I also found an Orlando weather site with radar and linked to that. It looked like today was going to be similar to yesterday – nice in the morning with afternoon storms.

At 7:30 I went back down to the room with a coffee for Joe. He and Chloe were awake. Joe wanted to shower, so I took Chloe up to the lounge for some breakfast. She was still in her jammies, but she was hungry and needed her milk!



We headed back to the room and Joe was all ready and Emily was just getting up. I brought some cereal back to the room for Emily, so she ate and watched a cartoon while I got the stroller and stuff ready for the day. Once that was set I got the girls dressed and we were on our way to the bus. It was about 8:30 and we waited about 5 minutes for our bus. Joe took the girls and I folded up the stroller. It worked just as it said, super easy! It was still pretty heavy, but I got it on the bus and slid it in between some seats. The bus stopped at Blizzard Beach first and I asked Emily if she would want to go there and she said no. We weren’t planning to this time anyway, so that was a good thing.

We arrived at Animal Kingdom just as the arrival show was ending. Great timing!! I wanted to get on Everest and so we made our way to Asia. I got in line and then grabbed a fast pass for Joe from the machine next to the cue. There was no wait and I wound up in the first car with a middle school aged boy. I’m not sure which one of us was more excited! The ride was great and I loved the first car perspective. You hang a bit at the end of the first hill while the other cars are still climbing, you have a great view when you exit the mountain, and you can see more of the track in front of you when you go backwards and then flip to forwards. Such a great ride!! I also saw and waved to Joe and the girls when we were going down the hill.

Next stop was the Jungle Trek to see some animals. We knew it would be hot so we wanted to do this early. We brought the stroller through with no problems, but Emily walked the whole time and Chloe for most of it too. At the start of the jungle trek Emily decided she would be the tour guide for the day. She got lots of attention and offers to come back when she’s older to join the cast. I wouldn’t mind that! The girls loved seeing the tigers playing with the big ball and they weren’t afraid of the bats at all.



Next up I was going to take Emily on Kali River. I wasn’t sure what she would think of it, and I told a bit of a fib that it was the boat that would take us to Dinoland so she was eager to get on. She met the height limit, but was in a range where she had to get a wristband and handstamp and they had to swing a bar down in front of her for extra protection. We wound up in a boat with a family that had just been on twice in a row and they were soaked! Emily told them this was her first time on the ride and they told her she would love it. We didn’t get wet on the first couple of dips and Emily saw the other kids getting wet and laughing and she thought it was great. Our turn came soon and we were both drenched she loved it!! We got off and she asked why we weren’t in Dinoland? We met up with Joe and Chloe and headed to Dinoland. First up was Triceratops Spin. Emily was too short for the coaster and I knew she’d be scared of Dinosaur, so we headed to the Boneyard. Emily had been eager to play there. All four of us went in a played on the footprints that make sounds and through the caves. Emily had to go potty, so I took her out to go. When we were done Joe was talking to the Disney Vacation Club rep who had given Chloe some buttons. I took the girls back to the playground and let the rep try to convince Joe to buy into DVC!



We went to explore the other side of the playground and the girls led the way up the stairs. Chloe was slow and Emily got way ahead of us. I didn’t know if she had slid back down or gone over the bridge. I stood and yelled/looked for her and then headed to the dig site. She was there. I made her get out and told her that she had to keep me in sight at all times. She said okay so she went back to digging. Chloe went in too, but the sand-like stuff was getting in her shoes and she didn’t like it. It was also super hot in there, so we didn’t stay long. We went back out and played in some of the other areas and Joe came in and met us. He wasn’t convinced to buy into DVC. He grabbed some water since he knew we’d be hot getting out of there.



I had hoped to see the Nemo show today, but the timing didn’t work out. We had dinner with the princesses tonight, so we decided to head back to the hotel for lunch and a swim. Joe wanted to look around the gift shop for a hat and I certainly didn’t object to shopping! Emily was missing her pound puppies from home and so I asked if she’d like to get Pluto. She said yes (of course). We have a collection of the plush Disney Princess dolls, but are still missing a couple so I picked up Snow White for Chloe. They were both happy! AK wasn’t that busy and we walked over to take a closer look at the tree of life. I was going to have Joe take my picture with the girls, but someone offered to take a family photo and it turned out great!



We took a peek at some of the animals along the way out and then out to the bus stop. Chloe was ready for a nap, but Emily was ready for the pool! It took a while for the bus to come, but we stayed under a fan so the girls were comfortable. The bus stopped at Blizzard Beach on the way back so it took a while to get “home”.



Up Next: How to get to Norway in the Torrential Rain! Dinner with the Princesses and The Living Seas.
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2011 Wine & Dine Half TR
8/14 CBR, 2/14 AKL, 8/13 BCV, 8/12 AOA, 9/11 BC, 8/10 Poly, 10/07 Poly-CSR, 9/06 GF, 4/04 WL, 5/03 AKL-CSR, 9/00 YC
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:56 PM   #12
AWilliams
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How to get to Norway in the Torrential Rain!

How to get to Norway in the Torrential Rain!

We were all hungry when we got back to the Poly so we went straight to Captain Cooks. I love the computerized ordering system there. It was just before noon and there was no line and lots of seats available. The girls had kids meals. Emily enjoyed picking her two sides with her meals. She usually chose carrots and pudding. Chloe loved the applesauce and grapes. I had the adult gilled cheese which was delicious!! I liked the Polynesian chips too! Iím not sure what Joe had, he tried several different things on the menu during our stay and enjoyed all of them. After lunch we headed out to the pool. The water wasnít as warm as it had been yesterday and it was really nice! We explored the pool are a bit more and walked up to the top of the slide. There was a six year old girl who saw that Emily was nervous about sliding. She told Emily that she was scared when she was 5 too, but now sheís 6 and sheís not scared anymore. Emily says sheíll go down once she turns 6. I think Chloe would have gone down if I had let her! We checked out the bathroom under the waterfall and it was freezing in there! Chloe was getting tired so Joe took her back to the room for a nap and I stayed and swam with Emily. Emily loved the pool activities and the dance music that they played! She has just recently started diving under the water, so she really liked the game where they threw in all these little critter animals and all the kids had to dive down and collect them. I liked that the winners were pretty random based on finding a certain animal in their collection. All of a sudden black clouds started to appear and they got everyone out of the pool.



Emily and I headed up to the lounge for a snack and then went back into our room, quietly. Chloe was sleeping and Joe was just relaxing. We all went to sit out on the patio and Joe went to grab some drinks from the bar. The ducks saw us sitting outside and headed over towards us. We had some goldfish crackers from the lounge and Emily fed them a couple. Once the goldfish were gone she was bored with sitting around, so I let her watch a show quietly inside. Joe came back with our drinks and we sat outside with them. I went inside to check on the girls at 3:30 and they were both asleep! I got myself ready and then ran up to the lounge for some bottled water for the girls cups. It was sprinkling out, so I put the raincover on the stroller and got everything else ready to go. Chloe woke up around 4:00 and I gave her a quick bath and got her dressed. I had to wake Emily up, but she was excited to go to a new park and meet the princesses!

We walked over to the ticket & transportation center and caught the monorail straight to Epcot. Thatís one of the reasons I like the Poly, the location is great for getting to Epcot and the Magic Kingdom! We made it though the gates and all of a sudden more black clouds come rolling in. We headed for Norway, but the rain was heavy with lots of lightning near by. We made it to the underpass by Innoventions East and waited there for a while. It looked like this was going to last a while, so we headed into Innoventions. There was a really cool ride in there that you design yourself. It had a height limit and a 20 minute wait, so we just watched it for a few minutes. Emily saw a girl playing a game that looked fun with no line, so she waited for the next game. It was similar to the game "Operation" where there are shaped holes in a board and you have to find the pieces that go into them. It was on a much larger scale and the theme was in case of emergency. The parts included batteries, flashlight, bottled water, etc. It was fun for the smaller kids to play. We headed back out to check the weather and it was still raining hard. It was already 5:00 (our reservation time), so I decided to go into MouseGear and grab a poncho. I asked Joe if he wanted one, but he didnít. I headed to the checkout counter and spotted the autograph books. Good thing I came in to get the poncho or I would have totally forgotten that Emily still didnít have a book. I went out to grab Emily so she could pick which book and pen she wanted. She decided to stick with the Mickey characters and matching pen. It looked like lots of people were in there waiting out the storm because it was packed!

Outside the rain wasnít as heavy and there was no lightning in sight so we made our way to Norway. The girls were fine in the stroller and I was dry but hot under the poncho. Joe got wet, but he had on a moisture wicking shirt so it wasnít so bad. Thankfully Norway wasnít too far away. We found a spot under an overhang for the stroller and grabbed the girls and ran for the restaurant. We checked in and waited in the lobby. There were only a couple other families in front of us, so it looked like others got trapped by the rain too! We were called to stand in line to get our photo with Belle. This was Chloeís first princess interaction, so I wasnít sure how she would react. I decided it would be best to get my picture taken with both girls and Belle. Belle had a quick chat with Emily and signed her book and then we took a couple of photos.



We were seated right away sort-of in the middle of the restaurant. I was nice because we could see the buffet and where all the princess were in the various other parts of the restaurant. Our server took our drink order and explained how the meal works. There was an appetizer buffet, then each person selects their main course, and then a shared dessert sampling. We waited for our drinks and then placed our main course order. I wound up getting the kids ravioli since I didnít like their vegetarian offering. Joe order a pork dish and the kids got pizza and a hot dog. Emily and I went to the buffet, but there wasnít much to choose from. I picked up some cheese, crackers, fruit and rolls. Emily, Chloe, and I all shared a plate. Joe came back with a plate full, but said most of it wasnít great. Our main dishes and the desserts werenít great either. But we didnít really come here for the food anyway, so more about the princesses. Emily waited patiently for the princesses to come and she watched them all and would point when she spotted another one. They all came in between our appetizer and main course and we had seen them all before dessert was even served.

Chloe didnít care for the princesses either, but at least they didnít terrify her! She and Emily sat on the outside of the table closest to the princesses. Chloe was occupied with her food most of the time too. She actually did seem to enjoy bits of all of our meals. All of the princesses signed Emilyís book and took time to chat with her. It was a really great experience and she was so happy! Cinderella was definitely her favorite this trip.



It was just sprinkling when we left the restaurant. We left the stroller and ran with the girls over to the Mexico pavilion. The tile floor in there was really wet and slippery so we didnít look around too much. We headed to the boat ride and there was no wait so we got right on. Both girls liked it! When we got out we saw Donald and from a distance Chloe pointed and seemed happy to see him, but when we walked over closer she changed her mind! Emily had been really excited to go to the Living Seas, so we headed out of World Showcase and back that way. It was still raining, but not heavy enough to put my poncho back on. The girls did keep the raincover on the stroller though.

We parked the stroller by the Living Seas and put the raincover on tight since it was really out in the open. There was no wait for the Nemo ride so we went right in. I was wet and it was freezing inside! We all rode in one clamshell together and I held Chloe. We had been on this ride our last trip, but I forgot about the scary area with the fish with the sharp teeth. Neither of the girls was scared of it though and the really loved seeing Nemo and the music at the end of the ride. We got our and started exploring the aquariums.



I went to check what time the next Crush show was and it was starting in just ten minutes. There were only a few people waiting, so we went across to the play area for a few minutes and then back to the Crush waiting area to look at the fish there. The girls also played the computer game they had set up. Before long they opened the room and let us in. Emily sat on the carpet right up front and Joe, Chloe, and I were all in the first row on the bench. The show was only about half full when it started. I really liked this show and Emily loved it! It was still sprinkling when we got out. Joe really wanted to go on Soaring and Test Track and he thought that with the earlier rain there might not be lines for them. We walked over to the Land pavilion and he ran in to check. It was still an hour wait, so we decided to call it a night and head back to the Poly.

We hit the lounge again for some punch, milk, and a few desserts. Tinkerbell had also left some more chocolates on our pillows and we had a chocolate postcard from the Polynesian as well. Another magical day!

Up Next: The Dumbo Dash, Chef Mickeys, and Kidcot
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8/14 CBR, 2/14 AKL, 8/13 BCV, 8/12 AOA, 9/11 BC, 8/10 Poly, 10/07 Poly-CSR, 9/06 GF, 4/04 WL, 5/03 AKL-CSR, 9/00 YC
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