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Old 03-22-2006, 12:04 AM   #1
B&Lmom
Earning My Ears
 
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Texas goes on Spring Break---our spring break trip report **finally completed!**

Wow.... I have been "lurking" here for a long, long time and decided to break out and write a trip report!!! So..... here goes my very first trip report and actually my very first post (as I just joined the boards officially today!) Nothing like being ambitious and diving right on in! Hopefully I'll figure it out as I go along...... so on with the show.....

CAST:
Me- 41, love Alice in Wonderland and the Disney Magic
DH- 46, as of a few days before the trip, loves Disney like an 8yr old,tho
DS- 14, is he too old for Disney magic? (answer comes later in trip)
DD- 11, thinks she is the ultimate disney princess (in a pre-teen cool sort of way)

Trip details: Sun, Mar. 12- Sat, Mar. 18
5th trip for us, last trip Feb. 2003
Five nights at the Swan, and one night at the Hard Rock(gasp!)

Sunday, Day 1
All systems GO!!! Today finally gets here. We all need a vacation SO MUCH! We haven't been to Disney since Feb 2003 and that just seems forever ago!!! In fact, that trip started on a sad note.... we left on Feb. 1, the day that the space shuttle blew up over Texas. We live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.... as we were getting ready we heard a loud boom, so loud that it rattled the windows and things on shelves in the house. Living so close to DFW airport, the first thing you think of is the worst.... a plane crash. Our plane that day took off on time, believe it or not, but our pilots were very moved by the tragedy. They gave (I don't know what you call it.... forgive me) for lack of better words a "tipping of the plane wings"once we were in the air. It was very moving for everyone on board. We always think about the space shuttle tragedy when we think of leaving for Disney. Today, three years later we were praying for only wonderful Disney magic!!!
Our Disney magic began when we entered into the airport parking lot! As we pulled up to the express north parking lot, the attendant said "hey, I'm giving out coupons today for anyone who wants to park in the terminal parking for the same price as express! $9 instead of the usual $16 to park there! SCORE! We parked right at our gate and walked right on in to the American check-in. No dragging all of our luggage on a bus and stopping at every gate, waiting for people to get on and off in slow motion of course, all the while checking my watch hoping we have enough time to get through check in and security. As you may have guessed..... I get crazy when it comes to getting to the airport on time. BUT, I've never missed a flight! My family would if it weren't for me!!
I'll spare you the details of the flight. My kids are veteran fliers and came armed with their own rolling carry-ons full of the requisite teen items: gum, iPod, game boy, travel pillow.... Everything went well and we land in MCO on time if not a little ahead of time. Worth noting.... after getting off the plane we have our first trip to "whizneyworld". That is our family name for any restroom in Orlando. (Don't worry, fellow readers, I will not document every trip to "whiz")! I scrapbook, so I do have a page about it!! OK, we are a weird family....
We pick up our luggage without problem, we rent our car from National without incident..... we are Hertz people, but in Orlando, I do NOT LIKE riding out to the off-property site. I feel like I am wasting valuable Disney magic time. We rent a car because we like the freedom of having our own transportation in case the bus transportation gets dicey and we are also going to Universal(Gasp!).
By this time it is around 10pm. We drive out our favorite toll road and onto the Cross Roads to find a restaurant. We know we better eat before we get to the Swan, (It's not known for convenient fast food). We eat at TGIFridays and it kills me to see Disney just over there across the road..... "hurry kids and eat..... we've got to hurry and get on the property!" We then finish our meal quickly and drive across the road into the magical world of Disney where the rest of the cares of the world melt away! We do not leave the property until we have to.... Friday.... We check into the Swan. We are staying there because we are using Starwood points to stay for free for five nights (more money to spend on Disney pin trading, but more about that later, oh boy.....). Nothing is a suprise, because we have stayed there before. Our room overlooked the interior courtyard and the walkway to the Dolphin. No moldy room smell in our room (as noted in some other reports I've read on the internet). The beds are awesome..... we jump into them as fast as we can as soon as we get into our pj's! Do we need a wake up call???? NO WAY! We're too excited to sleep! (as the adorable boy on the commercial says!) We are just so happy to be here!
NEXT UP: Day One at MGM- Getting crazy on the TOT
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Last edited by B&Lmom; 03-29-2006 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 03-22-2006, 12:52 AM   #2
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Sounds like this is gonna be fun
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:45 AM   #3
B&Lmom
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Day One

Yeah! I actually posted something... that is so cool to see it on the boards!

Ok, "is everybody neat and pretty? On with the show!" Day one MGM!

I wake up around 8:30.... it is so great sleeping in because it's really 9:30 Texas time to us.... whoa... wait a stinkin' minute! WHO SLEEPS IN AT DISNEY???? everybody up NOW!!! I turn into commando mom and demand that Mickey is waiting and we must get up NOW! Do other people have a hard time getting their sleepy family out of bed? I get ready first and run down to the lobby to buy park tickets while everyone else gets ready. The people at the desk were extremely helpful while I figured out the new ticket pricing system. It feels more complicated than before.... but, I'm so excited to get to the parks that maybe my brain was in overdrive... The big question is?????????? Do we buy three day hopper passes for Mon-Wed and go to Universal (Gasp!) on Thursday and Fri.... or do we go with the four day passes?????? I wish everyday was full of these kind of wonderful dilemmas! I go with the three day passes because I thought for sure that my teen and preteen lovely children would be bugging us to hurry and get to the big roller coasters over at that "other place". I get back to the room and push everyone out the door.... "yes, you look great..." We then discuss the game plan for the day. Our only ADR's for today are for O'Hana's at 8pm. We can do anything we want until then. Our main MISSION for this trip is to enjoy our favorite rides, go on some new ones, but not feel like we have to go on every single thing. We have been with our kids at Disney at all ages.... preschool through now teen..... this time was more about rides and less about characters. in fact, we didn't even do autographs. Oh, but we started a new hobby.... Lord have mercy on us..... PIN TRADING!!! more later about that.....

By popular vote..... (Voting took place right in the hallway of the Swan).MGM was the first park we visited. We headed over to the Dolphin for a fast breakfast at Tubbies..... oh, guess what...... Tubbies is closed and being remodeled.... drats... we are starving and by this time it is 10:15. So, as we sadly walk back to the Swan, the boat is pulling up to the dock headed for MGM. SWEET! No breakfast, but no waiting for the boat. We get to MGM and the lines by this time are not bad at all to check bags and get into the park. We head straight for the TOT fast pass machine. By this time the times are for 1:30-2;30. Ok, we are still starving.... we vote again on lunch (we are such the diplomatic family--- hahaha). We head over to Prime Time Cafe without an ADR, praying the whole way.... "oh Lord, please... let there be an opening.... I know it's spring break and all..... oh please don't make me eat a turkey leg...." We get to the front desk... We can be seated in 15 minutes! Yeah! The angels in heaven break out into song! By now it is 11:45. We where seated by noon. We had the best waiter we have ever had. The one next to us was also a blast. We were thoroughly amused by all their jokes and made friends with everyone in the room.... by the waiter's insistance.... The funniest thing was when the people next to us asked for a "to go" box. I won't give it away if you haven't seen it before.

After a fun lunch, (what a great way to start our Disney fun) we rode TOT. This is my kid's favorite ride for some reason. They rode it several times that day. I'm good for 2X and then I'll be happy to sit it out and people watch at the exit. The longest line we stood in was for Rockin' Roller coaster. It was 50 minutes. Our fast passes were tied up because of TOT. We had another hour before we could get new ones. We also rode the Great movie ride, star tours, and saw the new stunt show. All in all, it was a relaxing, fun day. Let me just add here that I wish I had a $1 for every TX longhorn national champion t-shirt that I saw this week. I could then pay for another Disney trip this year. The parks were just full of Texas people. The entire state of Texas was literally on break. It was kind of cool. Everyone was extremely friendly and fun and talkative. While waiting for my kids to ride rides, I had many conversations with friendly people hanging out waiting for their kids.

After MGM, we headed over to Ticket and Transportation to catch the monorail. I know we could of caught the POLY bus directly from MGM, but you just don't feel like you are officially at Disney until you've been on the monorail. (and we had an hour to kill). We took a chance once on the monorail to see if we could ride up front with the driver. This is also a disney family tradition of ours. My kids still get a kick out of riding up front! I hope they never out grow that! SCORE! at the Grand Floridian someone gets out of the front and we can get in. We ride all the way around from there to the POLY. We get there a bit before our ADR, thinking they might seat us early... no such luck. Our ADR was for 8pm and we are seated about 8:20. My DD and I kill time at the gift shop and look around the lobby, while my DH and DS rest their weary feet and read some old Orlando newspaper left on the waiting area table. DROP THAT PAPER DUDE! We are NOT allowed to know what's going on in the REAL world. Just kidding..... but, I don't want my magic spoiled so I only read the Life section and not the front page.

We are seated in the side area, not the main dining room area. That's ok this time. We've been here before when the kids where smaller and did all the races and etc. We love this place because we love Hawaii. Besides WDW, Hawaii is our other favorite vacation spot. The food was great. This is the first trip that we have had to pay for four "adults" when it comes to tickets and dinners.... ouch..... "but, Mr. Waiter..... my dd still eats like a nine year old..... please ignore the fact that she's 5ft. 2in." We leave O'Hana's stuffed like the humumumumu...... fish (whatever that fish is called in Hawaii that is spelled with about 25 vowels). Oh no.... how do we get home to the Swan.... I don't have a lot of Disney transportation experience with the bus system..... ok.... our brains have checked out and we are very sleepy and tired by this time..... we ride the monorail to T&T and look for a Swan bus.... what????? no hotel buses? This is the Ticket and Transportation center isn't it? The CM suggests we ride the MGM bus and then take the boat or walk from there. Or, we can go back to MK and take the Swan bus from there.... Well, MK is out because by that time the Wishes crowd is pouring out of the gates.... so MGM it is.... We take the boat back to the Swan. On the boat...... I have my first of many unfortunate encounters this week with someone who is VOMITING. NO JOKE! I was the vomit magnet. It was quite the family joke by Saturday. A poor little girl behind me was vomiting into her mom's hand and the floor. Mother, father and daughter were very upset. I offered them an entire pack of cheap tissues. You know the kind that rubs your nose completely raw by the second rub.... but very sturdy when it comes to throw up clean up. They were very thankful and couldn't believe that I would give them the entire pack. I was happy to help what little I could BUT just tried to hold my breath for the rest of the boat ride so we wouldn't get the stomach thing going in our family. When we got back to the room, I made everyone sanitize their hands and faces! I'm not a germ crazy mom or anything.... Ok. that's it for day one --on to MK tomorrow!!! Even if no one reads this report... so far it has been so much fun to write and relive everything!
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Old 03-22-2006, 06:11 AM   #4
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Welcome to the DIS, B&LMom!

Sound like your trip is up to the good start (despite the vomit). You had some good meals. Yum.

Thanks for posting.
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Old 03-22-2006, 08:52 AM   #5
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Welcome to the DIS Boards. I'm glad you are posting a trip report. It amazes me how people explain how they get from one place to another. I would have no clue either, I would be asking someone. I am learning though.
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Old 03-22-2006, 09:20 AM   #6
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Welcome to the Dis

Enjoying your reports ~ Thanx for taking the time to post them
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Old 03-22-2006, 11:14 AM   #7
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Enjoying your report! We will be at Disney beginning Sunday with our two "adults" (ages 13 and 10). Were the crowds manageable overall? We've been in June before, but never during spring break. I'm a little nervous.
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Old 03-22-2006, 05:36 PM   #8
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Great Report!!

We leave Saturday and I am soaking up all the Spring Break advice I can get - sounds like you were having a great time so far!
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Old 03-22-2006, 06:02 PM   #9
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Enjoying your report!

When Columbia exploded I was driving with my roomie to the Texas Tech University Theatre for a rehearsal, we saw it go over head and it was surreal, we didn't know what it was. About 10 minutes later my dad called me to let me know what had happened; he was really upset, Rick Husband, the commander, had been a very good friend of my dads when they were both in the Tech Engineering department in the 80's. When ever anyone mentions the play "Angels in America" I have flashbacks.

Anyway, nice to meet a fellow Texas girl on the boards!
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Old 03-22-2006, 07:31 PM   #10
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great report so far!
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Old 03-22-2006, 09:20 PM   #11
B&Lmom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankenpooh
Enjoying your report! We will be at Disney beginning Sunday with our two "adults" (ages 13 and 10). Were the crowds manageable overall? We've been in June before, but never during spring break. I'm a little nervous.
Frankenpooh---
Ohhhh.... I'm so jealous!!! I wish we were going back on Sunday! To answer your crowd question..... We have only been in what I would consider "off-season". Especially during our Feb. '03 trip. We walked onto everything then. We were also nervous about the potential spring break crowds. We went thinking the worst and packed our patience thinking we were just happy to be in WDW! Overall, I think the parks were moderately crowded, with the exception of of AK. That place was a zoo (literally) on Wednesday. Epcot was practically empty except for the Soarin' area and later before the fireworks. MK & MGM were moderately crowded but we used the Fastpasses to the max... so on the big rides like the 3 mountains in MK we NEVER waited. As soon as we could get another fastpass we imediately got a new set.... so we constantly had them coming. DH and I weren't interested in riding space moun. and splash moun. more than one or two times so our kids (14 and 11) were able to use our fastpasses also within the timeframe and get to go twice in a row. It was also so great to be there when the parks are open late. MK was open until 11pm every night except Wed. and Fri. Have a great time! If you have anymore questions let me know!
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Old 03-22-2006, 09:57 PM   #12
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Welcome to the Dis! Please tell me your son still enjoyed WDW-I don't want to think about a day when they are too old.
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Old 03-22-2006, 10:37 PM   #13
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DAY TWO-- MK HERE WE COME!

(I am writing this installment while watching Lost. If I start mumbling about "the others" and start inserting references to the "numbers", just hang in there my fellow readers... 9pm will be here soon and the show will be over).


Ok, ok Mickey..... so we didn't get to MK on Tuesday before 11:45.... I wake up and get ready. No matter how loud the blowdryer is, my family is still not awake. I go over and check everyone's breathing... because, surely if you are still asleep this late and you are at WDW, and we are heading to the Magic kingdom,and you are still in bed, well surely you must be dead! Thankfully everyone is still alive and I "encourage" everyone to get up and get moving..... NOW! If only I had pots and pans to bang! I'm sure our hotel neighbors would of appreciated that.... oh wait..... they're already at the parks! We catch the bus from the Swan straight to MK. As we learned last night.... buses go right to MK. We like to consider ourselves quick learners!

We get there and of course there is NO line to get in because everyone is already in! Once again, we have not had breakfast and it is now lunchtime. We head straight for Splash and grab fastpasses. The crowds at that time, around noon, were very large around the splash and thunder mountain entrances across the bridges. We decide to find the first counter service that we come across... which happened to be the huge hamburger place between frontierland and adventure land. I just can't recall the name, it was that memorable. We all had cheeseburgers, fries, and cokes. I haven't had a coke in almost a year 'cuz I'm an iced tea girl. Wow, those things are strong! Innocently enough, I told my family "whoa, I'm coked out" not really realizing what that could imply! After drinking my large coke I was readytogogogogogogogo! Come on family, let's get moving! We had a little bit of time before the splash fastpass, so we headed to one of my favorite rides, Haunted Mansion! The wait said 40 min. and it was about 20. As we were riding, I realized where the poster 1000th Happyhaunts gets her name. How clever! It feels great to be clued in

We head to Splash. I get out my emergency giftshop plastic bag for these very occasions. You see, us southern girls like to look good, love our hairspray, you get the picture. Honey, we don't want to get our big Texas hair messed up and dripping wet! In the ride picture, I can hardly be seen. I am scooted way, way down in the seat with a giftshop bag over my head! This also is a family tradition. My husband has never, ever considered buying one of those overpriced end-of-the-ride pictures until our 2003 trip. It was a complete riot. You see, I tried to put my head and my big Texas hair into a little gift shop bag. Hey now, it's all I had at the time! It was such a hysterical picture that he bought it right on the spot... that is after we all could see straight because we were laughing so hard. If someone will tell me how to put pictures into my report, I will include it for you amusement! Well, I can be proud that only my jeans are wet, but otherwise I am completely dry (as compared to my family and the other family on the boat).

I won't go into detail about all the rides we went on that day. We hit the highlights of MK and saw Mickey's Philharmagic for the first time. It is the best 3D show in WDW. My eyes didn't feel "crossed", you know what I mean?

In the meantime, my DS (14) is checking out... not the chicks, but the people wearing the pin lanyards. Oh no, the pin trading bug has hatched in his brain. He is thinking about it, but not ready to jump in yet.... still thinking, still checking it out. He's a very cautious kid when it comes to doing new things!

Our ADR for dinner was Liberty Tree at 6:55. We could of been seated immediately, however, we had an "incomplete party". My DH had run to splash for another set of FP's. Once we were complete again, we were seated and starving. Bring on Thanksgiving dinner! That's what my kid's call this place... "oh that Thanksgiving food place". Yum, we ate and ate. They were even so accomodating to bring me out my own little dessert in my own little bowl because I can not have ice cream. The characters came by our table many times and were very fun. They pay attention to big kids too which made me happy. Funny thing, two little preschoolers were dressed up in costumes in the room next to us. One like Peter Pan and the other like a princess. My DS went over to "Peter", who was about 4yr old, and asked him for his autograph, totally playing along that he thought he was really "Peter Pan". This kid was so excited and gave him an "autograph" on a napkin. The parents were so pleased that they actually took a picture of my son and her son doing this. She must be a scrapbooker! I can spot a fellow scrapbook mom a mile away!

We rode more rides. We watched WISHES and stayed for the 11pm parade. It was practically empty in LibertyLand. They opened up the primo spots that are usually handicap areas once the lights went down. We got a great seat and watched the parade. It was so empty it was almost like a personal parade viewing! We left MK around 11:45ish and caught the bus back to the Swan. Tomorrow our plans are for AK and ADR's for donald's breakfast at 9:20. Do you really think I can get my sleeping sickness family up and going? Stay tuned.....
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Old 03-23-2006, 11:30 PM   #14
B&Lmom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dismom9761
Welcome to the Dis! Please tell me your son still enjoyed WDW-I don't want to think about a day when they are too old.

Hey dismom9761---
Yes, I was afraid that the Disney magic would be over for my DS(14). But it WASN'T! He also discovered pin trading! I think WDW holds great memories for them and they love to relive the feeling. Don't we all!
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Old 03-23-2006, 11:35 PM   #15
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I can just see a mother trying to coax her teenagers out of bed for Mickey Mouse!!! The looks they gave you must have been somethin' ...


thanks for posting~~I like reading your report!
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