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Old 04-20-2006, 10:33 AM   #91
nicolemarie
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Day 6, Thursday, 3/30

First and foremost, thanks to all of you who have read my trip report. And special thanks to those of you who have posted encouragement. It really has been a fun thing to do, and I’m a little sad that it’s almost over. I guess it’s time to plan another trip…

Day 6, Thursday 3/30 – Animal Kingdom, finally figuring out the best way to get to the parks early, and replacing RnR with my new favorite ride

Here we are. Day 6 of the Best Vacation of All Time That is Quickly Drawing to a Close. And it’s my birthday. I wake up first, but determined not to go get my own coffee on my birthday, I make just enough noise to wake up DH, but not the kids.

DH says, “Happy Birthday, sweet and beautiful wife! Instead of a sweaty day at Animal Kingdom – you’re least favorite Disney park – I have arranged the full spa package at the Grand Floridian and your massage is first. We love you! Enjoy your day!”

NOT!!!!!! He does go get me a refillable mug full of Disney coffee, though. Isn’t that good enough? Before you assume him to be the thoughtless, scrub of a husband I am making him out to be, he did actually offer for me to take some time and head to the GF for a couple of spa treatments. Which I declined. I was grateful, but I politely explained that we have spas in Macon – I can get a massage, manicure, pedicure – whatever – at home. In Macon we have no character breakfast with Donald. Or Expedition Everest. Or irreplaceable family memories. So only Animal Kingdom for me on my 36th birthday. I’d have it no other way.

Well, as Disney-savvy as I think I am, I am so ashamed that it was this far into the week that I had our first character breakfast ADR. You see, I reasoned that it would waste valuable stormtrooping time to be eating instead of getting in some rides before the crowds arrive. Not only that, but character meals stress me a little. I am the only one in my family who takes pictures OR video. It’s not that DH wouldn’t if I asked him to, he just isn’t worthy. I’m a little neurotic about it. No one does it like I want. So instead of eating, I am frantically taking pictures of the character approach, the character interaction, and finally the character posing for a picture. Thank goodness this year I have upgraded my technology, and have a video camera that can also simultaneously take still shots.

Anywho - the only reason we were at THIS character breakfast was because I let each of my children pick one character meal to attend. DD wanted the Princess Storybook in Norway, and DS wanted to eat with Donald Duck. Since Restaurantosaurus in AK is the ONLY Donald character meal, I reasoned we would break down and book as early an ADR as possible, eat quickly, and still be motorin’ to the EE fastpasses at 9:00 with the rest of the mob. So I booked an 8:00 ADR. Little did I know, that by 8:45 we’d be finished with a very tasty breakfast, have 4 new autographs in each book, way too many photos and video, and a head start to EE since we were already in Dinoland. This is GENIUS!! Instead of standing around watching minutes pass like hours at the turnstiles, we were happily enjoying the company of Donald, Mickey, Goofy and Pluto. And instead of eating Pop-tarts and drinking boxed milk back in the room, we were feasting on eggs, bacon, French toast, and fruit. This is a NO BRAINER!! In fact, this is so brilliant that we call the Crystal Palace to try our luck at an ADR for 8:00 tomorrow since we will be at Magic Kingdom. No luck, though. We’ll know next time!

Breakfast is over and I have received my mission from DH, watches are synchronized, and we were off. Me pushing the kiddos in the stroller to Safari, and DH sprinting to EE for fastpasses, and then BACK to safari to join us. Now, I have to say a little somethin’ here. I have read many debates on these boards about the appropriate age to stop putting your children in strollers. And I read them for the sheer entertainment value of it. It makes me laugh to hear the arguments. But the truth is, I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU DO!!!!! It is, to me, one of the most ridiculous subjects debated on the DIS! Oh the jabs, the barbs, the marathon-runnin’ 4 yr olds who don’t need a stroller, the obviously fat and lazy 6 yr olds who do…yada, yada, yada. Why do folks get so worked up over whether someone chooses to let their child ride in stroller? Unlike “refillable for the length of your stay” mugs, or “no pool hopping from resort to resort” – there is NO RULE!! No age limit! If you are willing to pay, they are willing to give you a stroller for the day. And yes – my very healthy, gymnastics takin’, soccer playin’, long and lean 7 year old rides in one. A double one. Not all day every day, but certainly when we are in stormtrooping mode. She hops in with her brother. Who is also very healthy but 3 yrs old and slow as molasses. So flame away – but do so on another thread, please.

So back to Animal Kingdom. I am pushing the stroller to the safari and DH is in the OPPOSITE direction getting our EE fastpasses. We approach the entrance to the safari and I am talking to DH on the phone to obtain his status and position. The CM – that thinks he is Eddie Murphy – tells me to get off my cell phone because I am on vacation. Not that I need to explain myself to him, but I say I am discussing Fastpass Management with my husband who is at EE. He says that is acceptable vacation conversation. Thanks, glad you approve. Anyway, since EE is the furthest possible thing in Animal Kingdom from the safari, we wait while hoards of people pass us and enter the line. By the time a very tired and sweaty husband arrives, the standby line is at 20 minutes – the longest line of our week. Being the detail geek that I am, I set the stopwatch on my watch and am happy when we board the safari in a mere 12 minutes. With four FP’s for Everest. That means four rides for DD and two for each of us. If that math doesn’t make sense to you, think Rider Swap.

On the safari, my daughter buys into the Big Red/Little Red saga hook, line and sinker, and actually clapped when she realized all was well. Bless her heart. We saw lots of animals and everyone was entertained, but I have to say that the safari just doesn’t do it for me. So we could say “been there, done that” and move on.

And move on we did. We went ALL THE WAY BACK to Asia for our first ride on Everest. I’ve told you all before, I am a Disney geek. We all are, aren’t we? Why else would we post every detail of a trip to Disney on a public internet forum? Anyway, because I am a Disney geek, I have watched all the ride videos of Everest, seen the pictures of the Yeti, read the reviews…I was not expecting to be surprised. But I was. Maybe it’s because it’s so different. Maybe it’s because it’s new. But I absolutely LOVED that ride! By the end of the day, my daughter had ridden it 10 times – 5 of those with me. She says now that Animal Kingdom is her favorite park at Disney. This saddens me, of course – the Magic Kingdom girl that I am – but I understand her joy. She’s found a new favorite ride and so have I.

Sprinkled within our rides on EE, we do the Festival of the Lion King, (great, as usual) the Triceratops Spin, (good Dumbo substitute) the train to wherever, and the Primeval Whirl (not fun). Lunch at Pizzafari was mediocre, but filling, and we decided to head back to the Yacht Club before the parade, as it was hot and we were tired.

We partook in the afternoon rituals of swimming, resting, and ice creams on the balcony, and got gussied up for dinner. We were meeting some friends from home for dinner at California Grill. A little background here: We have been friends with this couple since they moved to Macon as a newly married couple over ten years ago. We’ve shared the births of our children (each of us have a son and daughter), trips to the beach, teaching 1st grade Sunday School, dropping off our daughters at camp in North Carolina last summer and crying all the way home – we love this family. And their son, who just turned 8, shares my birthday. So I want to make it special. And since we “know” Disney – and they KNOW we know Disney – it is upon ME to plan a way to celebrate both our birthdays. Of course, I do what all good DISers do, and and I take to the boards to research. I learn about Wishes cruises. I book a Wishes cruise. That’s a great idea, right? But then I reason that they have just returned from a Disney cruise, so certainly an over-priced pontoon ride and a not-so-perfect view of Wishes won’t be a special event. Especially since it costs MORE than a nice dinner at say, California Grill, and you don’t get anything to eat. So I decide on California Grill. We can time our dinner around Wishes, enjoy a wonderful meal together, and I will have succeeded in creating a magical experience for us all.

Now, it’s probably at this point that you all are expecting me to say something went horribly wrong – no such luck. We DID have a magical evening, a great meal, and a beautiful view of Wishes. Our server was very attentive to our party – especially the kids – and for me and my birthday buddy, there was yummy birthday cake with a piece of chocolate that said “Happy Birthday from the California Grill” stuck on top. It really was a special night and a great way to end my day. Happy Birthday to me…

Next Up: Day 7, Our Final Park Day, Let’s finish strong at Magic Kingdom…

What I Learned from the DIS:

1.That even though Expedition Everest was not scheduled to “officially” open for another week, it would be open when we were there and we would get to ride it.

2.That Donald’s Breakfastosaurus was the only character meal that featured Donald Duck.

3.That I was probably getting condescending stares from DISers who thought my daughter was too old for a stroller.

4.That there is such a thing as a Wishes Cruise. And while it does appear to be really special, it might be a little downer after coming off a Disney Cruise.

5.If you mention that you are celebrating a birthday, Disney, on most occasions, will make sure something special happens for you.
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What I learned from the DIS - Spring Break 2006 (with pics!!)

Are We Turkeys? - Thanksgiving 2006 at WDW


Last edited by nicolemarie; 04-20-2006 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 04-20-2006, 10:44 AM   #92
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I am enjoying your report for some many reasons:

1. Becasue we were at AK the same day as you, and I also had DH running to EE to get FPs while we waited at the Safari....We probably saw each other, because I also let about a thousand people go in front of me waiting for him!

And it is so true about EE being the furthest point away from the Safari

2. It was extremely hot in AK that day(I think they must pump heat in there)

3. My DD is an altheltic 8yo who walks slower than you think is possible, and I kept asking her if she wanted a stroller....hey by noon, I was ready for a stroller.

4. I also am a MK girl, and DD is now an AK girl....


I can't wait to read the rest. We also went to MK on friday!
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Old 04-20-2006, 01:08 PM   #93
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This is too funny -- of course, we were also at AK on Thursday and MK on Friday morning.

If only we'd all had lime green mickeys, maybe we would have spotted each other. Except that I'm not exactly sure what people do with them. I actually did look for one at the local Home Depot, and they were out of that one color.

I guess that's something I can learn from the DIS for our next trip!
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Old 04-20-2006, 01:30 PM   #94
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I'm so glad to hear that the Donald's breakfast plan for EE works because this is what I have done for our August trip, an 8am ADR for me and DH. Sounds like I was thinking along the right lines. Glad you had such a magical birthday,
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Old 04-20-2006, 04:58 PM   #95
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Quote:
I am a Disney geek. We all are, aren’t we? Why else would we post every detail of a trip to Disney on a public internet forum?
How else are you going to kill time between trips to Disney World?! Oh wait, having to kill time between trips pretty much makes us geeks, doesn't it? Nevermind.

I literally had no idea that there was a debate about appropriate ages for children in stollers. Seriously, Who cares?! How does that affect anyone? And on what basis does a person decide someone else's child is too old? What's the criteria??? I am frequently surprised by the unbelievably small things people choose to work themselves up over. What's next arguing over the color of socks?

Re: your visit to Cal Grill. Um, we're gonna need more details. What time was your ADR? Where did you sit? Did you have a window table and if so how did you secure it? What did you eat? What did everyone else eat? What did it all cost? What time was Wishes? Did they pipe in the music? How was your check in experience? Would you do it again? Did anyone throw up? And if so, where? How much? Color? Texture? etc.

This just feels right.
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Old 04-20-2006, 05:48 PM   #96
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your trip reports are wonderful. It sounds like you had a great trip with your family.
Looking forward to the rest.
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Old 04-20-2006, 07:30 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankenpooh

If only we'd all had lime green mickeys, maybe we would have spotted each other. Except that I'm not exactly sure what people do with them. I actually did look for one at the local Home Depot, and they were out of that one color.

Okay, maybe I am dumb, but what are you talking about? Did I miss something, because I am relatively new around here...
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Old 04-20-2006, 08:45 PM   #98
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Home Depot sells a Disney line of paint. The lime green Mickey's are their paint samples. We all take a few home and use them on our luggage or backpacks or whatever to identify us as DISers.
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Old 04-21-2006, 12:54 AM   #99
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We rented a double stroller last time for DD 5 and DD who had just turned (OMG, don't flame me) 9 !!!!

We loved the CG...ADR's were for 7:30pm, we got a window seat and we went outside to view Wishes ...it was beyond Magical... We're going again in Oct.

Love your TR Nicole...
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Old 04-21-2006, 07:09 AM   #100
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Thanks Angelrose. Sounds like a great idea! Do you laminate them to make them more sturdy? Just an idea because I know those samples are cardstock.
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Old 04-21-2006, 11:47 AM   #101
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Heck, after a few hours in the parks, I need a stroller!
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Old 04-21-2006, 04:28 PM   #102
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Old 04-21-2006, 05:01 PM   #103
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Nicolemarie, I love your report. I have a plan in mind for our next trip ... and it involves Breakfastosaurus and EE. Thanks to you!

Just in case anyone is wondering, purple striped socks are the only right ones. If you are putting your child in any color socks OTHER than purple striped, you are obviously at best, ignorant, and at worst you might actually be committing pediatric podiatric abuse. Think about it. I'll be starting a thread about this on the "Who thinks they're the best parent and everyone else sucks" board. Where is that again?

Up for discussion: stroller age limits, milk: does it really do a body good?, and sock color as it relates to IQ. See you there!
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Last edited by kpk89; 04-21-2006 at 05:02 PM. Reason: people, just love your kids and let everybody else love their kids. Is that so hard?
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Old 04-21-2006, 09:19 PM   #104
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I have laminated some and others I just glue back to back to make them sturdier. I think I like the laminated ones best.
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Old 04-21-2006, 09:49 PM   #105
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