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Old 07-09-2006, 03:24 PM   #61
Tanya90210
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Subscribing.... loving your reports so far...
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Old 07-09-2006, 09:16 PM   #62
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Subscribing.... loving your reports so far...

thanks Tanya I will be there the week after you for my birthday as well. it will be my 38th! Anxious to see Jack Sparrow!
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Old 07-10-2006, 06:41 AM   #63
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Still Too Excited Too Sleep Part V 5/28 As Much As I Try, I Just Can’t Tame These Bea

You guessed it, at 6:00 a.m. Stitch calls out wakey wakey. We have a day planned, according to Tour Guide Mike’s Best Pick, at Animal Kingdom. I get myself dressed letting the kids sleep as long as possible. When I am completely ready I fill the backpack with the necessities for the day. I really want the boys to get some extra sleep but I also want to get to the park early. I begin to worry that I am pushing them too much. Do I wake them or let them sleep? The thought of the Expedition Everest line helps me to decide. To ease my guilt, I get all of their clothes together and even put the toothpaste on their toothbrushes. I gently wake Drew first. He surprises me by jumping up and he is ready to go! Stevie follows with the same bright attitude. I am so pumped. They are ready to go and do not seem tired at all. It will be a magical day where the wild things are.

After the same routine of dressing Rachel and placing her in her stroller, it is time to go. When we got to the car I realize we are parked in a spot marked Pargo Parking. I had not seen that sign the night before. As we headed out I wondered what a pargo was.

Of course I took a wrong turn and headed in the wrong direction. What I have failed to mention is that I have made several wrong turns during this trip. The good thing is there are many signs in Disney to redirect you. Even when you pull into the parking queue the cast members are very polite when they redirect you to the right park. They may want to say lady did you not see the 476 PURPLE signs pointing you in the right direction???? They never do though.

We arrive at Animal Kingdom and park in the very first spot in the Unicorn area.



I am thinking a quick load up of the princess and we will be heading toward the gate. This is where the magic began to taint. Already and we had not even made it to the gate of Animal Kingdom, Drew’s favorite park. It was sweltering hot that day and the sleeping Disney Diva was awakened when we placed her so carefully in her stroller.

I am actually happy that she is already awake. I ignorantly assume this is a good thing. I will have time to really build up the excitement for what lay ahead. We headed toward the gate with me excitedly telling her about the plans for the day. I tell her about the show with Flik and Hopper. She happens to love that blue ant.



I also explain that we will see animals and lots of them in a real African safari. There is also a great water ride and a Lion King Show, Pocahontas and . . . . “I want to do KHALI! I do not want the safari, the bugs OR any more shows or parades. They are a waste of time. I only want to do rides!” Such became the theme for the rest of our trip. She found a fondness for the rides and that was that. When she is asleep until she goes where you want her to be she does not have the ability to debate you on anything.

It was also on the way to the gate that we first heard the second theme of the trip. Son, no skating in the park.” A cast member was walking in along with us and noticed my sons skating their way to the front. See my kids did really well in school so as a reward they got really expensive shoes with wheels. They were really thrilled to get these to wear to Disney. Remember I have worked in the largest trauma center in Houston for the past 18 years. I know accidents happen when you think they won’t. I felt in my intuitive bones, however that the boys would be fine with those wheels on their heels. The Cast Members had a different idea though. They apparently were strictly told that they were to stop any guest found rolling through the park on these skates disguised as tennis shoes. I still felt it would be okay and I told my sons to skate, but don’t get caught. Okay flame throwers, these are my kids remember??? I did tell them that they should respect the cast members telling them not to skate. They were after all looking out for their safety. Maybe that should have been an alert for this the coolest but not smartest mother in the whole 5th (now 6th) grade. As much as I warned the boys not to get caught, they did. Over and over again I heard “no skating in the park.” Now sometimes this phrase was even accompanied by a several minute lecture about the injury that could result if they did skate in the park.

So on this walk to the gate my sons were distraught that they may have to remove their long sought after beloved wheels and Rachel was miffed that she may have to see a show or parade. (Once the parades and shows started she was always fine. It was the waiting and not riding that she struggled with). What do kids do when they are not happy with life? They take it out on each other. Hence the real fighting began. Now my kids fight often. The problem is that I have a sort of allergic reaction when they fight. The reaction causes me to have Turrets Syndrome. You know the condition where obscenities may fly from your mouth without any ability to control it. That is not always looked at highly. This is the part of the trip that makes me look like a not so good mother. I really am a good mother and I control myself most of the time. It felt 95 degrees before nine a.m. and the humidity in Animal Kingdom is out of control. Combine that with fighting kids and I lose a little of my cool.

I remind the kids of my allergy to their fighting and ask them to control themselves during this day in one of the four happiest places on earth. We get to the front and are one of the first groups in line. We have about 40 minutes until opening so I take out the keep ‘em busy stuff. That talking tree even comes out to entertain, but the fighting still persists. “Guys I really hate to leave the park before it opens but you know I will.” I would rather spend the day in the room than being humiliated by their arguing.

We call a truce and head into the park to have fun even if it kills us. Throughout the day the Tony Hawk kids would have to be reminded they were in a skate free zone at least 20 times. Rachel would annoy and be annoyed at least twenty times. I would cuss a few times but only under my breath and we would manage to ride some fun rides and even see a times a wasting show or two.

Okay, it was here, the moment I had been waiting on for two years. Since the announcement of Expedition Everest I have been watching them build it with such anticipation. I watched the frame go up and the mountain layers get added. I watched as they added track and even walked past it before they cutoff the pathway just over the bridge. I even begrudgingly gave up my Tarzan show so they could build an indoor fishy theater for Nemo, his lost father and absent minded friend. I was soooo ready for my expedition.

This was all planned out. We would get fast passes. We would let the boys ride (me if possible, but I did not see a way). We would ride Khali and then get fast passes for the safari. It did not matter if the safari passes were for later because we could go to Camp Minnie Mickey and see Pocahontas and Simba while we waited.

I knew Rachel was not tall enough and I was resolved to simply watch Drew and Stevie’s expressions as they rode if I HAD to. I oh so hard prayed however that there may somehow be a way for me to ride this today. We walked straight toward Asia where we were right up against the rope for the second drop. I know there is a lot to see on the way to the mountain. It will all be there later in the day but now is the only a chance to ride without an hour long wait.

The cast members release the rope but still keep it at their waist level. They are walking us to the queue. They are reminding us to not run. By the time we see the line up area they are practically begging and pleading with the crowd to not trample them in haste to get those fastpasses. We made it to the queue with hardly anyone in front of us. We stopped and grabbed those fast passes. The boys then walked right through the doorway. Drew was so excited to finally be going on this ride. He has also watched them build it with anticipation. He has been online and viewed all of the pictures and soaked in any info he could find. Steven was also excited but I knew he was also a little scared. He likes the big rides but he is always a little worried at first. He kept a brave face and I bid them adieu as they rushed in.

The cast member said those perplexing words. “Would you like a child switch so you can ride next?” Should I take one? Should I? What if I did not get to ride? Would it be a big Disney sin to let the boys ride it twice? Would I have to go before a jury of Disers? If found out would I lose my Annual Pass privileges? It would be my turn they were taking anyway. I took the ticket not knowing if I would get to ride and not knowing if I would let them take the free ride. I mean, there were so many people anticipating the same ride. We had met many people who were local and had come to the park that day just to ride this. Would it be fair to send those boys to the get in free line with a ticket meant for me?

Without knowing which way I would go I went to the ride exit (in the Bazaar of course) and watched the ride photo wall to see their picture pop up. I had a coupon from the on-line game for a free photo. I had told them we would get the photo if it was a good one. I struck up a conversation with the cast member at the exit whose name I will not mention. She was very nice and seemed as excited for the riders as they were for themselves. She asked if I was going to ride and I told her I was worried about leaving my daughter in the care of only one of her brothers who were only ten and eleven.

About that time the cast member started laughing and pointed out one of the photos. There were these two boys in the photo. One of them had red hair and one had sandy brown. They were both pulling their hair and had the most frightened expressions on their faces. They looked so funny and vaguely familiar. About that time the boys came running from the coaster frantically looking for their photo. Can you guess which photo was theirs? I still can not figure out how they knew when to pose, but I am glad they did. This warranted the free 5 x 7 for the scrapbook and a poster for their room.

The cast member started talking to them and sharing her knowledge of Yetis and such. She also shared facts about hidden Mickey’s and other details from the ride. It was about that time that she took a bucket of Pixie Dust and spread it all over me. Not literally, it is just an analogy people. She pointed out a doorway that led right to a closet that was next to where she was stationed. She said that two of my kids could wait inside the doorway away from the crowd. I asked Drew if he would mind waiting since he was the oldest. He blasted me with his own bit of pixie dust by replying that he wanted me to be able to ride it really badly. I grabbed a little book about the Yeti and he began reading it to my daughter.

Stevie and I ran to the fastpass line and were on the ride within seconds. We did not stop to look at any scenery. I did not want to be away from them any longer than I had to. I know there are many people who leave kids younger than Drew to wait while they ride, but I do not like them out of my sight. I rode but honestly I was so worried about them I did not enjoy it at all. I was so glad when we reached the end I leaped out and rushed to my waiting kids. I decided I would never do that again.





We left with our poster purchased and headed to Khali. Passing the queue I noticed there was already a 50 minute wait or the ride. By the length of this part of the report it seems as though the park should be closing soon, but it was not even 9:30 yet! We went to ride those rapids. This has always been one of Drew’s favorite rides. I can remember (on a previous trip) one cold morning in January when we rode it 9 times in a row without getting off. There was no line so we just kept going around. Of course there was no line—it was 45 degrees! My husband had so much fun with us riding, but cut us off at nine times.

Because the queue was not opened yet there was a line going down that little side street. The kids were still arguing a little but they were pretty good. This is where it happened. This is where we got in line in front of Grumpy. You have all probably met Grumpy and you have perhaps even had the pleasure of being stuck in a place within earshot of Grumpy with no escape. Grumpy was a local. In fact, he lived within ten minutes of Animal Kingdom. He had an Annual Pass and came to the parks at least one weekend a month. I can’t quite figure out why though. It was about five minutes before the queue opened up giving us room and an excuse to move away from him. The five minutes was spent listening to him complaining about all that is Disney. I do not believe there could be one thing about Disney that he actually likes and enjoys.

Because Rachel is now tall enough to ride she got a big black stamp across the back of her hand that read Khali. The intent of the stamp is to alert the people at the front of the ride that she has been measured and passes the height requirement to not ride in the special seat. When we get on the boat that stamp is a problem. See when Rachel was not tall enough she was told that was a princess seat. Well, my diva wants what is coming to her and that special seat is hers. We waited for the next raft, one that had a princess seat and the cast member happily accommodated her. We pointed out the Tiger shaped rock and smelled the burning logs and felt the familiar heat on our faces. We scared those riding with us announcing THIS is the spot where you will get wet. Of course we did not warn them when it was really coming. We got sprayed by some elephants and reached the exit where we all announced in unison AGAIN.

When we reached the queue again Rachel held her hand out for her stamp. The cast member tried to explain she did not NEED another stamp. With Disney Divas it is not always about what you NEED sometimes it is about getting what you think you deserve.

After the second ride we went to retrieve those safari passes. On the path from Asia to Africa we saw DeVine. She was walking along the path stopping to hug trees and blend in to the woodwork. We took a couple of photos and suddenly a crowd was upon her. Whew! We had just gotten some photos without having to wait or get caught up in the crowd. It was right at ten o’clock.

Fastpasses in hand we set out for Camp Minnie Mickey.



Along the way we stopped so Rachel could feel what was in the log at the kidspot.




We got into the first showing of The Lion King and Pocahontas





and returned to the safari. Before the safari we fed Stevie’s obsession with pretzels. That is okay though we tolerate that obsession because he has spent much time in the Dole Whip line for me and Rachel. We saw a lot of animals and I was kind of amazed by how much my children got into the whole story line even though they have been on this ride so many times. We got some decent pictures of some animals and of the upside down tree.

[IMG]http://i6.tinypic.com/1zgz5ae.jpg[/IMG

We were getting hungry and headed to Flame Tree for lunch. We would need to order three meals but only wanted two to share. I had learned that if you want an extra drink they charge you for the entire meal or you can use your snack credits. We were quickly using our snack credits but would have lots of meal credits left. I was willing to burn a counter service meal credit for a bottle of water but if I could help out a complete stranger with their trip budget I would prefer to do that. I told the man in front of us I would order one of his meals and he would only have to buy his drink. He readily agreed. We exchanged the food and I threw in the three deserts because I knew they would go to waste on us. He was very happy with his bonus items and I heard him as he happily told his wife and kids.

We found a table near the water and sat down to our feast. We met a family at the next table that had been very anxious to ride Expedition Everest only to discover fast passes had run out before they had gotten any. They decided to eat before they got in the 90 minute line. Drew quietly, so only I could hear, suggested that we give them ours. I asked him if he was sure he would not want to ride again today. I knew I wasn’t riding again if it meant leaving any kid behind. He wanted to ride again, but he also wanted that family to be able to ride without giving up so much of their time. I asked Stevie what he thought. He agreed and was just anxious to get to the Dino Dig Site! I let the boys go over and give those four hard fought for passes to the other family. My kids were so happy to be sharing the magic they had grown up visiting. The family was so grateful. They just kept thanking us.

The table that we chose was next to the water and had a great view of the newest Disney Mountain. We stopped on our way out to take some pictures with the mountain in the background. That is when we saw a boat in the water and Goofy and Minnie were in the boat. We rushed to the barrier and could see Minnie looking at us through binoculars. That is what is so Disney about Disney. They do so many little things that they do not have to do but that add so much to your experience.





After lunch we went back in time and visited some of our prehistoric pals. We went and rode Dinosaur and guess what Rachel declared? I will never ride that again! Stevie and Drew agreed with her declaration this time. Now all of my kids have ridden this many times. Last trip they all loved it and we rode it over and over. Fickle little kids! After the ride we stopped to listen to a cast member give an education talk on Dinosaur Sue and walked through the statues in the garden area.

The boys went on Primeval Whirl while Rachel cashed in her I am not tall enough to ride so they give me a free carnival game ticket at the Comets and wins a stuffed dinosaur with a lot of help from the very nice cast member. The free coupon entitles her to three free balls. After eleven balls she finally gets one in a prize color. With her loot in hand we go back to wait for the whirlers. A quick spin on the Triceratops (We named ours Sarah like in Land before Time) and we were off to dig in dem bones, dem bones, dem dinosaur bones.







I love to watch my boys who are closer in age to becoming sullen teenagers than they are to being little kids enjoying the parts of Disney that they enjoyed as toddlers. In fact, do not tell his classmates but Stevie still dances at Playhouse Disney Live on Stage, a little anyway. We spent plenty of time at the dig site. I called a few of my friends and husband and caught up with them while the children buried one another and just took advantage of the coolness of those tiny pebbles.

When they had uncovered all of the bones and their shorts and socks were surely full of those little rocks it was time find a spot for a times a wastin’ parade. My daughter had so many rocks in her hair that it looked brown!

We passed the characters from Winnie the Pooh and stopped for a few photos.



We grabbed Mickey Bars and ice cream cookie sandwiches and went toward the It’s Tough to Be a Bug entrance. The goal was to watch the times a wastin’ parade and go straight into the times a wastin’ Flik show. The kids enjoyed their ice cream and Rachel made a few friends while we waited. The family next to us saw our ice cream and their kids started asking for some as well. The father gave in but I think he wished we would have eaten ours not within the eyeshot of his kids; especially when the daughter was soon covered in the sticky mess that was once a Mickey Bar. The parents looked dazed about how they might clean up their child. I offered my travel pack of wipes and they gladly accepted.

My kids were waiting in the shade but I was in the direct sunlight desperately trying to save enough room for all of us. I had backpacks and the stroller saving spots. After forty minutes in the sunlight I was getting pretty hot. The parade was starting and I lined my kids up in front of me. That of course is when IT happened. A father who had been back in the shade waiting pushed his kids in front of mine. I explained that we had been waiting a long time and really wanted to keep the spots I had sweated for. He had his own symptoms of Turrets but I held our ground and jammed in the jungle with Mickey and those really cool big lizards.



After the parade the kids did not want to see the bug show, they wanted to take a break before heading to the Magic Kingdom. On the way out we stop for another pretzel for Stevie. Stevie really loves pretzels and has to have one every time he sees a cart that sells them or every time he sees someone else with one.

On the way to the front we passed Flik and stopped for a photo. Felt we owed him that for skipping his show and all.

I remember that my kids fought this entire day. I know that but as I am writing this I can truly not remember many of the detail of the fights, the turrets or even the frustration of the fighting. All I can remember is the fun and magical things that happened.

When we meet up again we will be heading toward the Magic Kingdom where we have 7:50 dinner reservations to share a hunny pot with some guys from the 100 Acres Woods.
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Old 07-10-2006, 07:50 AM   #64
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Quote:
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thanks Tanya I will be there the week after you for my birthday as well. it will be my 38th! Anxious to see Jack Sparrow!
Hehe... I may still be there when you get there
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Old 07-10-2006, 10:45 AM   #65
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Great photos and I am really impressed at how you've taught your boys to spread the joy while at Disney.
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Old 07-10-2006, 10:55 AM   #66
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TICTOC! You are so cute! Look at you! I LOVE that your buddies gave up their EE fast passes! I bet you are proud of them! I cant wait to go in Sept for my b-day(39th!!) with my family! I have three boys ages 6 and 8 and 17 and one lil'princess age almost 2! My 17 year old is my ride swap kid. I LOVE when you describe being angry!!! That tends to happen to me when my kids fight and wont stop pestering each other

Keep up your awesome report! I'm sad your DH doesnt join in the fun! MEN!!!

I wanted to ask if you liked your PAl Mickeys??? We want to get those for our 2 little boys next trip.
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Old 07-10-2006, 11:21 AM   #67
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Another great installment!!

Looking forward to your thoughts on the rest of your trip!
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Old 07-10-2006, 02:25 PM   #68
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Keep up your awesome report! I'm sad your DH doesnt join in the fun! MEN!!!

Believe it or not my DH has agreed to go in Aug/September for my birthday trip. We will be there for 7 nights and he has agreed to go for 5 of those nights. I hope that it is so magical that he will get bitten by the bug again. I am not going to push it though!


I wanted to ask if you liked your PAl Mickeys??? We want to get those for our 2 little boys next trip.

We love that Pal Mickey. We actually (shamefully) have three! The fighting over one was just toooooo much!

Thanks for reading
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Old 07-11-2006, 10:10 AM   #69
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Hi Rhonda,

I know I posted a response to you and I don't see it. I wonder why??
Let's see if I can see this one.
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Old 07-11-2006, 01:35 PM   #70
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Smile

Rhonda, I'm really enjoying your report. Your pictures are great!
What a nice family! To bad dh doesn't enjoy the magic like you
all do, he is missing out on a lot of fun. Can't wait to hear more!!
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Old 07-11-2006, 02:28 PM   #71
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Hi Rhonda- I think we really are kindred spirits. I have the same allergy to kids arguing, and with 4 of them I get lots of "allergic tourettes." My worst being at the Gallows in Liberty Square when the 2 older boys couldn't seem to get on the same side of the gallows for a picture....after 3 other groups jumped in while the boys circled each other I was almost screaming...and definetly mumbling bad words.
I love your trip report and can't wait for more. - Sheli

oh, and great photos..definetly helps to see the story
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Old 07-12-2006, 06:34 PM   #72
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Day 4 Continued

We left off as we were leaving the Animal Kingdom. We had pretzels and water bottles in hand and walked toward our car. When we pulled back in at the Pop there was plenty of spots available right in front of our room. I still wondered what a pargo was though. Do you think that is another name for a rented Trailblazer? Hmmmmm

After a brief rest we head to the Magic Kingdom via the WDW Transportation buses. We walked straight to the bus stop where the bus was waiting for us. It kinda makes you feel like someone is saying back up people—Mickey’s very Important Guests are coming through. I know we are not more important than anyone else but it kinda felt that way between the bus waiting just for US and the special parking spot and all. You may question whether the bus was waiting just for us but I know that it was because as soon as we boarded the bus took off.

Through those magical gates we walked but without much of an agenda other than dinner ressies and an evening EMH. I did want to make sure we squeezed in Wishes and Spectro tonight. Guess what as we walked in the female Cast Member named Betty said “No skating in the park please.” Her request was accompanied with the gruesome tales of what may happen if you do. We said yes ma’am and went into the park. I really was trying to get the kids to stop skating. I think the kids really were skating subconsciously. I did not know at the time that those wheels come out!
After Splash Mountain it was time to check in at the Crystal Palace. It was a very hot day and they had a cooler of water for the guests waiting for tables. While we waited we read, and relaxed on the benches.


We were seated within a few minutes and the kids relaxed and ate a meal in the cool restaurant while waiting for the characters to come by. When it was time for the parade through the restaurant my daughter was led to the middle by Piglet. Drew followed the parade so that he was sure she would not get lost. We relaxed and took our time at dinner knowing we had plenty of time for the evening.



After dinner it was time for Wishes. We set up right outside of Crystal Palace against the fence and waited for the show while we visited with all of the other families waiting as well. The friendly family next to us was also from Houston. They had two little girls with whom Rachel quickly made friends.


Wishes is always beautiful and I like this spot. You can get a good view of Tinkerbell even though it is from the side. You do not get trampled by the crowd and there are benches to sit on while you watch. I like Wishes and I was staying at the Grand Floridian during the debut. At night after the park closed they would rehearse the fireworks. From the beach outside our Sugarloaf room we watched the show for three nights before we watched it from inside the park. My nostalgic side still misses Fantasy in the Sky. I have the music from that show on CD and still play it in my car.



After Wishes we went to get the armbands but my son mentioned the VMK store again. It is not that I was ignoring him, but I thought that it was just a store and we would have plenty of time to shop. Boy would I pay for this line of thinking. We rode a few more rides and my camera card was getting full. I had brought two gig cards but they were both now full. The intent was to transfer the photos onto the computer at night but I left the tools that I needed to do this at home. I went to the Kodak Expo store on Main Street and had over 900 photos moved from my cards onto CDs. They emptied one card and gave it back to me so that I could get pictures of the late Spectro parade. While I watched the parade they emptied the second card and burned the pictures onto CDs. When the Cast Member said that he was going to burn the pictures Rachel got very upset!



After Spectromagic we drug our tired bodies towards the bus and back to the room. It was around one o’clock when we finally made it in the room and I put the already sleeping Rachel into her bed. I turned on the television to unwind before falling asleep and guess what was on! I drifted off to the sounds of the Power Rangers saving the world from all that is evil.
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Old 07-12-2006, 07:28 PM   #73
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Great updates! I am still really enjoying this thread!
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Goofy's Great Birthday Bash!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2308007
Stitch's Great Escape...A Mom and Me Birthday Celebration!http://www.disboards.com/showthread....9#post31035609
17 Days of Wishes Come to Life- A Sept. 08 WDW and DCL Adventure http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1976201
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Old 07-15-2006, 09:48 PM   #74
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Posts: 1,436

Did you ever find out what a Pargo was?

Can't wait to read more!!!

And- great fireworks pics...WOW!
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Old 07-16-2006, 10:14 AM   #75
SmithFamily2003
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Herculaneum, MO
Posts: 226

Great trip report and great pics. How many digital pics does Disney put on one CD?
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