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Old 04-05-2006, 12:45 PM   #46
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I am really enjoying your trip reports and looking forward to the next one.
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Old 04-05-2006, 01:58 PM   #47
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Thanks for the info, and confirmation that HDDReview is a good thing. My vague memories of it from 21 years ago (yikes!) are accurate after all, and it's on the agenda for our first night at DW. Now I know to get there early enough to let the kids play on the playground, and to skip the campfire "sing-a-long" afterwards.

Okay, I'm pretty retentive, and the 3-ring binder/passporter thing holds appeal to me. But for the first time in seven years, I don't have to tote around a diaper bag, so am eager to travel light--I've already got the fanny pack! So do you carry around all this info every day, or just pull the appropriate sheets for the day's activities and leave the rest in the room? I'm also cheap, so I don't want to waste the money on something I'm going to end up abandoning because it's too cumbersome to use! HELP!
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Old 04-05-2006, 02:26 PM   #48
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Great trip report!
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pretrip report 11/2013 We Need a Good Dose of Our "Happy Place"http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3166569
My 2007 September Trip Report:Our trip to our "happy place" w/ pics and video
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Old 04-05-2006, 02:40 PM   #49
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Old 04-05-2006, 03:20 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skent10
Thanks for the info, and confirmation that HDDReview is a good thing. My vague memories of it from 21 years ago (yikes!) are accurate after all, and it's on the agenda for our first night at DW. Now I know to get there early enough to let the kids play on the playground, and to skip the campfire "sing-a-long" afterwards.

Okay, I'm pretty retentive, and the 3-ring binder/passporter thing holds appeal to me. But for the first time in seven years, I don't have to tote around a diaper bag, so am eager to travel light--I've already got the fanny pack! So do you carry around all this info every day, or just pull the appropriate sheets for the day's activities and leave the rest in the room? I'm also cheap, so I don't want to waste the money on something I'm going to end up abandoning because it's too cumbersome to use! HELP!
Yep - I'd skip the campfire. But that's just us.

As I type this, I realize just exactly how nerdy this will sound. But this is what I did. In the morning as we had coffee, I would review the activities of the day that were in the notebook. I really like to read, so it was enjoyable for me and not cumbersome. I even had menus from Allears! I'd make sure I knew where restaurants were located, what time to be where, etc. But really we didn't have much scheduled for each day. Usually one, maybe two, table service meals and the times for the parades/fireworks at the park we were going to. The YC printed out all our ADR's, so I just folded that and kept it with me just in case. It was the only thing I took with me - it will easily work with your fanny pack! Total investment was less than $5 for the notebook if you don't count the TGM subscription! Happy planning!
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Old 04-06-2006, 09:50 AM   #51
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"hoochies" That is exactly the way I feel about my 5 year old son!! I know I should be ashamed but somehow it's even different with him than it is with my 17 year old son! I'm loving your reports and yes I also took a ride on the surrey bike around Crescent Lake ONCE!! I'm glad you enjoyed the YC too!
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Old 04-06-2006, 10:20 AM   #52
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I'm with ya on the sweet tea thing- can you believe they don't have it at Whispering canyon either? I had to have diet Coke with my ribs!
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Old 04-06-2006, 11:24 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolemarie
Yep - I'd skip the campfire. But that's just us.

As I type this, I realize just exactly how nerdy this will sound. But this is what I did. In the morning as we had coffee, I would review the activities of the day that were in the notebook. I really like to read, so it was enjoyable for me and not cumbersome. I even had menus from Allears! I'd make sure I knew where restaurants were located, what time to be where, etc. But really we didn't have much scheduled for each day. Usually one, maybe two, table service meals and the times for the parades/fireworks at the park we were going to. The YC printed out all our ADR's, so I just folded that and kept it with me just in case. It was the only thing I took with me - it will easily work with your fanny pack! Total investment was less than $5 for the notebook if you don't count the TGM subscription! Happy planning!
Oh not nerdy at all!

I actually printed out menu's and had them in a book at our room. When we needed to decide on a restaurant, I gave DH "the book" and he decided where we should go based on the menu's. Also had "tear-out" daily sheet from my binder, with the day's itinerary and ADR confirmation already on them!

You are in good company here!
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Old 04-06-2006, 05:08 PM   #54
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Day Three – Monday 3/26 Epcot, Maelstrom is a Fastpass?, and more Epcot

You know, I’m beginning to panic a little. Today was the first day since I began planning our trip that I have not been on the computer much at all. Sure, I have checked in on the DIS here and there, made a couple of posts, worked a little on my TR. But I fear the magic is fading – that I am returning back to a pre Disney-trip-planning normalcy. And that makes me sad. I guess it’s time to plan a new trip.

Anyway, here goes Day Three – I hope to capture all my memories before they fade. Sniff, Sniff.

Day Three – Monday 3/26 Epcot, Maelstrom is a Fastpass?, and more Epcot

I am an early riser – whether at home, on vacation, or visiting family. Notice “vacation” and “visiting family” are not one in the same. Just kidding. Good bed, bad bed, early night, late night. Doesn’t matter. I’m still up early. This particular morning is no different – except that I’m at Disney. And already I have the twinges of “only six more days.” This is the longest Disney trip we’ve ever taken and I can only think of how soon we’ll be heading back home. All of the weeks of planning, packing, calling 1-407-WDW-DINE and pressing “1” since I wasn’t making a reservation at Victoria & Albert’s, checking the DIS, making sure TGM hasn’t updated anything lately – it will all be over so soon. Does anyone else ruin a perfectly incredible vacation by thinking about how the time is ticking away and there’s nothing you can do to stop it? I quickly realize how bratty that is – send up a prayer of gratitude, and get a quick shower.

If you aren’t careful, there is a certain prideful attitude that can come from DISing. All of a sudden you are clearly much better at a Disney vacation than the majority of Disney vacationers. Yes, the DIS may be the most popular message board on the World Wide Web (I actually read this somewhere – The Unofficial Guide, maybe?), but on my entire Spring Break, I never saw a lime-green Mickey head. Now, I didn’t sport one, either. As fun as it is to communicate with you all on line, I fear the personal interaction might be awkward. Those of you who have attended a DIS meet – please chime in. Anyway, I think DISers are in the minority at the World. Most people that come to Disney, come WITH NO PLAN!!! Now, I know there are all kinds of DISer’s – get to the parks at opening DISer’s, sleep late DISer’s, DISer’s who stay at a value for the weekend, DISer’s that spend two weeks at the GF RPC, DISer’s who ride rides, DISer’s who walk around taking it all in. But there is no DISer who comes to Disney uninformed. Regardless of how you choose to vacation at Disney, you are doing so with lots of info under your belt. Don’t get me wrong, I am truly grateful for the uninformed – “them” as Tour Guide Mike puts it. Because if everyone knew all the TGM and DIS tricks, well, they wouldn’t be tricks anymore and we’d all be in the same boat. Competing for ADR’s with the folks who think you can just walk up and get a table at California Grill right before Wishes like you can at the Outback in your hometown. Actually, at the Outback in Macon, you can’t just walk up and get a table. I’ve never really figured out why. I mean, it’s a decent restaurant, but I will NEVER wait an hour to eat there. Anyway, if everyone knew about all the tricks, they wouldn’t work for us anymore. So while I am glad the non-planners will always be the majority, I still don’t understand it.

So my months of researching, planning and becoming informed, have forced me to conclude that despite the close proximity of the Epcot resorts to the International Gateway entrance at Epcot, and despite the fact that you can either walk or take the boat to said entrance – very convenient – this entrance will not position you properly for a rope drop sprint to Soarin’. This will foil my plan. The only option that will allow a ride on Soarin’ at park opening, is taking a taxi to the front entrance of Epcot. So at 7:55 we are at the valet at YC requesting a taxi, at 7:58 the taxi arrives, and at 8:08 we are third in line at the Epcot turnstiles. With 52 minutes until opening. That’s a long time for a 7 and 3 yr old. It is only later in the week that I discover a much more productive way to be at the parks early.

But since we are 3rd in line, DH and DD are aboard the first of the Soarin’ liftoffs, and DS and I head over to TT and MS for FP’s. Boy, if you don’t DIS, you could never interpret that sentence. Thanks again to the friendly monorail driver, I score extra FP’s for MS – which we never need because neither myself nor DH will ride it for fear of needing the barf bag. We did the energy thing with Ellen – DS thought the dinosaurs were cool. We did Turtle Talk with Crush – it was pretty cute.

But my feelings on Epcot are complicated. There are plenty of reasons to love it. In my opinion, it is aesthetically the best park of the four. The architecture of the buildings in the World Showcase, the food, the lake, the fact that it is spread out and never looks all that crowded – it makes it a really nice park. But for kids, there just isn’t that much to offer. DD loved Soarin’ – and so did we (especially Puddy (sp?) doing the pre-flight check). Test Track was good, too. But we didn’t try Mission Space, and other than that, the rides are pretty lame. So we have covered plenty of territory in two hours and are ready for our ADR at Akershus at 11:20.

We walk through the World Showcase and as we turn the corner to check in at Norway, DH looks at the Maelstrom entrance. “Maelstrom is a Fastpass?” he says. WHAT? This is my DH – the man I share everything with. How could he have not told me he is a DISer! What could his screen name be? “DisneyDawg” would fit. Or is it “MyDWisahottie”? I keep my cool and cut my eyes over to him as he looks at the ride, and I see that he is just innocently amazed that this ride - with a 5 minute wait during a Spring Break week - is a Fastpass. I don’t really keep up on the Maelstromer’s thread on the CB – it moves a little fast for me now that I’m not DISin’ as much – but no matter what those folks think of the ride, we actually enjoyed it. So there.

After a mediocre lunch at Akershus, we spend a good bit of time in the Norway shop. DD’s school mascot is the Vikings. DS – who cries everyday that DH and DD leave for school without him – will get to start there next year. And he’s very proud of that fact. So he HAS to buy a Viking hat and sword. I take a picture of them both in the Viking attire – it will be cute in the school newsletter, and on my TR if I knew how to post pics – and we head back to YC for a swim.

Stormalong really is a great pool. The big waterslide, the lazy river, and the “beach” area lived up to our expectations. We had a great time there all week and were happy with our decision to stay at the YC.

I have to pose this question, though. Am I the only one who looks at the teeny boppers in their “barely there” bathing suits – WITH THEIR PARENTS – and wonders “What are you thinkin’ letting her sit out here NAKED?” Granted, my DD is still 7. And I control what she wears. No short shorts. No shirts that say “Flirt” (yes, these are available for 7 yr olds) or “Cutie” or “I Stole Your Boyfriend”. In fact, she only wears bikinis in our pool when no one else is there. And she has no “equipment”. But it continues to amaze me at the downhill turn in clothing for young girls – I hope I’m not eating my words when DD is 14. But I digress.

Back at the room, we have the kids take a rest, and while they do, DH goes to Beaches n’ Cream to get us each an ice cream. Another ritual for the week is having a treat on the balcony each afternoon as the kids rest. However, the magic is somewhat squelched on this day as it is Monday and the work on the YC back entrance that wasn’t going on Saturday or Sunday, is now being done right under our balcony. I don’t mean we can hear it a little, or we can see it a little, or “Isn’t that the sound of someone using a saw in the distance?” Nope – right under us. Bubba (rednecks can make fun of other rednecks) and his crew are hollerin’ instructions to each other, using the loud, electric saw and pointing out that “that level on the ladder cost 80 bucks – don’t let it fall and get broke”. Now there is nothing against these hard workin’ men. They were just doing their job, and probably as quietly as they knew how. But this going on RIGHT UNDER MY NOSE really bothered me. So much so, that I called the front desk and expressed my displeasure. I could not look forward to the afternoon delight on the balcony everyday if my background music was construction conversation. I am left on hold for literally 15 minutes while they supposedly check to see if another room is available. This call is obviously futile, so I walk to the front desk and have great luck with a nice CM. He sets me up to move into a room further away from the action, and I leave very pleased. I get back to the room and share this happy news with DH.

Me: “We can have everything packed up tomorrow morning and bell services will store it until we return in the afternoon and check in to the new room.”

DH: “We’re not moving.”

Me: “But the guy showed me what room it was, and even had me walk down to it to make sure I thought it was OK – it is even better than the view we have here and it will be so quiet.”

No dice. Type-A, already settled-in and not in the mood to start over DH says the noise isn’t that bad and he doesn’t want to move. After some thought, I unfortunately agree that it is lots of trouble, and head back out to the balcony.

The kids wake up, we go back to Epcot via the International Gateway entrance because we are in no hurry, and have a good time puttering around until Illuminations. WOW – I love that show. I don’t remember being as impressed with it last time, but it really is good stuff. Back to YC for bed and next up – Magic Kingdom.

What I learned from the DIS:

1. That Maelstrom is a FASTPASS!
2. To take a taxi to Epcot’s front entrance since it is a long walk from International Gateway to Soarin’.
3. That if I don’t like my room, I can request a change – even if I don’t take it.
4. That ice cream from Beaches n’ Cream is a must-do.
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Old 04-06-2006, 05:47 PM   #55
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Quote:
And already I have the twinges of “only six more days.” This is the longest Disney trip we’ve ever taken and I can only think of how soon we’ll be heading back home. All of the weeks of planning, packing, calling 1-407-WDW-DINE and pressing “1” since I wasn’t making a reservation at Victoria & Albert’s, checking the DIS, making sure TGM hasn’t updated anything lately – it will all be over so soon. Does anyone else ruin a perfectly incredible vacation by thinking about how the time is ticking away and there’s nothing you can do to stop it?
Yes! I was having the same feelings, that same day across the park from you at the Poly!

Quote:
If you aren’t careful, there is a certain prideful attitude that can come from DISing. All of a sudden you are clearly much better at a Disney vacation than the majority of Disney vacationers. Yes, the DIS may be the most popular message board on the World Wide Web (I actually read this somewhere – The Unofficial Guide, maybe?), but on my entire Spring Break, I never saw a lime-green Mickey head. Now, I didn’t sport one, either. As fun as it is to communicate with you all on line, I fear the personal interaction might be awkward. Those of you who have attended a DIS meet – please chime in. Anyway, I think DISers are in the minority at the World. Most people that come to Disney, come WITH NO PLAN!!! Now, I know there are all kinds of DISer’s – get to the parks at opening DISer’s, sleep late DISer’s, DISer’s who stay at a value for the weekend, DISer’s that spend two weeks at the GF RPC, DISer’s who ride rides, DISer’s who walk around taking it all in. But there is no DISer who comes to Disney uninformed. Regardless of how you choose to vacation at Disney, you are doing so with lots of info under your belt. Don’t get me wrong, I am truly grateful for the uninformed – “them” as Tour Guide Mike puts it. Because if everyone knew all the TGM and DIS tricks, well, they wouldn’t be tricks anymore and we’d all be in the same boat. Competing for ADR’s with the folks who think you can just walk up and get a table at California Grill right before Wishes like you can at the Outback in your hometown. Actually, at the Outback in Macon, you can’t just walk up and get a table. I’ve never really figured out why. I mean, it’s a decent restaurant, but I will NEVER wait an hour to eat there. Anyway, if everyone knew about all the tricks, they wouldn’t work for us anymore. So while I am glad the non-planners will always be the majority, I still don’t understand it.
More of my 'my thoughts exactly,' NM!

Quote:
I have to pose this question, though. Am I the only one who looks at the teeny boppers in their “barely there” bathing suits – WITH THEIR PARENTS – and wonders “What are you thinkin’ letting her sit out here NAKED?” Granted, my DD is still 7. And I control what she wears. No short shorts. No shirts that say “Flirt” (yes, these are available for 7 yr olds) or “Cutie” or “I Stole Your Boyfriend”. In fact, she only wears bikinis in our pool when no one else is there. And she has no “equipment”. But it continues to amaze me at the downhill turn in clothing for young girls – I hope I’m not eating my words when DD is 14. But I digress.
A-M-E-N...

Love your report. I'm still on the Dis and remembering last week. Keep it up!
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Old 04-06-2006, 05:51 PM   #56
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You are too funny! Yes, we are all alike us disers! I work full time but most of my day here is spent right here talking to people about Disney! I learn something new every day. I love planning our trips. As a matter of fact, Disney needs to pay me for all the iteniaries I have made for everyone. The only thing that is bad is right when you get back from your trip, you have to wait for the next one. Well, our next trip is in 9 months and I had the iteniary done a month ago. I see you bought the AP. We are getting ours in Dec. and I'm so excited. I didn't realize you could save so much on the hotels!!!
Have a magical day!
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Old 04-06-2006, 06:37 PM   #57
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Hi

I am staying at the BC in alittle over a week!!! What is the "coffee walk"? My husband has to have a pot of coffee every morning!
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Old 04-07-2006, 07:51 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tink 232
Hi

I am staying at the BC in alittle over a week!!! What is the "coffee walk"? My husband has to have a pot of coffee every morning!
I don't want to plagarize from Zzub, but it is his description of that sacred time in the morning at Disney when you take your refillable mug to fill with coffee. Not good coffee, mind you, but coffee nonetheless.
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Old 04-07-2006, 08:47 AM   #59
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Great report - keep them coming!
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:27 AM   #60
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Just wanted to sub to this great report. BTW, totally with you on the tweens with tatooed butts syndrome thats taking over the world lately. My DD6 was bought a two piece sweat suit with sexy chic across the butt by her grandmother for goodness sake!! She thought she was being hip and trendy, I decided its time for the medication It went back to the shop next day.
Kepp up the great writing,
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