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Old 08-02-2006, 02:06 PM   #1
MickeyDee
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The NEVERENDING Trip Report 7/20-7/31/06 ***Updated 5/26/08***

The PRE-Trip Report

Cast of Characters:

Me, Deedee, 30 years old, 4th grade teacher, refers to self as cute and adorable on a frequent basis. Maybe the fact that I’m a Leo has something to do with this? Has many nostalgic memories of childhood vacations to WDW and has grand hopes that the magic will still be there in her old age.

C'mon, see how cute I am!

My sister, Parrish, 25 years old, retail manager, co-host of the “Deedee and Parrish Show”. Only memories of WDW are from pictures, really, as was too young to remember much. In the personality and thoughts department, my sister and I are pretty much twins, born 6 years apart.

My sassy sister

My gorgeous girlfriend, Joy, 33 years old, district manager for a video store chain, the yen to my yang...the one who gives me “the eye of scorn and exasperation” whenever I refer to myself as “cute and adorable”. Went to WDW once in high school with friends. More of a Vegas kind of gal, but willing to give Disney another try for yours truly.

A ham for the camera, I tell you!

A very brief amount of background knowledge – my girlfriend and I will be celebrating our 8th anniversary in November. We lived together for 5 years in Massachusetts, her home state. About a year and a half ago, we decided for financial reasons to move back in with our respective parents, her in Mass., me down here in Texas. Fortunately, I’ve since moved out on my own. So, needless to say, I do not get to see her at all as often as I would like!

Joy & I have been discussing this vacation – okay, mostly I’ve been discussing this vacation and she’s been listening (or tuning me out along with the rest of my family, I'm not really sure which) – since early in 2001. When we were living in our apartment, we were way wicked poor, so it never worked out. That added to the fact that she has about 5 billion siblings and they all kept having destination weddings, so those would preempt any attempts at going to Disney. When I moved back to Texas, I finally, after 5 years of working minimum wage-ish jobs, began to work on getting my teacher certification and completed my first year teaching 4th grade this past year. I always said my reward to myself for all the hard work involved would be our trip to Disney, so in February, I booked it! I was anxious about it, because of the financial commitment and also the fact that Joy wasn’t sure she’d be able to get the time off, but I figured I could always change the dates if need be and if Joy absolutely couldn’t go, I’d just take my sister.

I have been to the World 3 times prior. The first two trips were with my parents and my maternal grandparents. The first was in 1982, following first grade for me and when my baby sister was only a year old. We stayed off-property and there was only the MK, no EPCOT Center yet! Though, they were in the process of building it and we did get to see the building in action from the roadway as we drove by. The next trip was in 1984, and this time EPCOT was up and running. And just a word to the wise, yes, I am so obsessive compulsive about details that when refering to the early years of what is known today simply as "Epcot," I refer to it by it's then proper name "EPCOT Center". You may want to know about said compulsion before continuing to read this epic I'm working on, as I am sure it will rear it's ugly head throughout. Anyway, I LOVED that park and I was a mere 8 years of age at the time, which from what I understand is unheard of, as it was then so very learning oriented and children apparently don't like to learn on vacation. Parrish was around three by this time, but when interviewed (by me), she can’t decide if her memories are legit or if they are memories from viewing pictures.

My third visit involved my college theatre troupe. We were on tour in Florida for the second year and after much begging....by me and my friend, Danielle...our director finally relented and we got to visit the Magic Kingdom for a mere four hours. It was during spring break time, so it was crowded and further complicated by the fact that Danielle had fallen and twisted her ankle earlier that day and thus was being pushed around in a wheelchair by yours truly (a skill that would prove useful on this very vacation I'm writing about as you will see!) I think we managed to hit two attractions…Alien Encounter (pre-Stitch) and Space Mountain, which made my brain hit against the insides of my skull. I’ve never been a coaster fan, so that was a first for me.

So, back to this trip. I had planned this vacation for Joy and myself. Well, being long-distance again and all (with no end in sight), we broke up at the end of May and I immediately changed all my reservations to include my sister instead of Joy. Well, long story short, the breakup lasted about week, as Joy and I just cannot exist without one another, and I wasn’t about to uninvite my sister, so Joy decided she would pay her own way and meet up with us there. Then, of course, there was the whole debacle where she thought she wouldn’t be able to go at all because of some work issues, but that was quickly settled. She would be arriving Saturday, the 22nd and leaving Wednesday, the 26th. Which was sad, because I wanted my lady there the whole time, but I'll take 5 days over none any old day. ??? Meanwhile, Parr and I would have a considerably longer stay, arriving Friday, the 21st and not leaving until Saturday, the 29th.

Our reservations were for Pop Century and included the Dining Plan. As vacay time approached (my sister and I are notorious for shortening words, in this instance, vacation becomes “vacay”) I became more and more nervous about the DDP. I LOVE food, but would we really be able to cram in all this food that we’ve prepaid for? Would having all these insane ADRs make me and everyone else crazy, having to turn around every 5 seconds to rush to another restaurant? What about breakfast? Would snack credits suffice or would we be shelling out mucho cash every morning? Ahhh!!! The pressure!!

I was also stressing over the whole transportation issue. We’d have a car with us, but I knew we’d want to use Disney transportation as much as possible. Potential issue – my anxiety about crowded motor vehicles. I had one too many bad experiences cramming myself into the “T” up in Boston and nearly falling over on other passengers, toes being stepped on, elbows in my back. The memories are causing me to have a panic attack even now!

And finally, there was the anxiety about adding an extra person to our room. Should I phone ahead and see if I can add her for the $10 a day fee? Will they make me pay for an entire third package even though she'll only be there for a few days? Should I take my chances and just show up and beg and plead? Is Joy going to end up having to sleep in a cardboard box on the side of the road during her vacation? What's a girl to do?

I know you are thinking to yourselves, "Oh my goodness! How will it end? Will Joy be sleeping in the car or will a kind CM allow her to stay in the room for a small fee? Will Deedee find the Disney magic she has so desperately dreamed of? And what of Young Parrish? Will any memories from infancy come flooding back once she sees the spires of Cindy's Castle?"

Well, I still have 13 rolls of film to develop (I’m not kidding) and as I would like to include photos with my trip report, this may be a slow process. I already have some digitals, so being the impatient person I am, it is possible I will go full speed ahead with my report and include linkage to photos as the become available, using the few digitals I have for illustration. Decisions, decisions!

Stay tuned for Day 1 – The Great Drive Across the Southern States. Coming soon! (See how I'm stalling to the best of my ability to allow ample time to get those 13 rolls of film developed???)


****I'm trying to be trendy, so I've added an index. It's also due to the little bit of hope that I'm holding on to that my TR thread will grow and grow! *****
INDEX:

Day 1 - On the Road - page 1 (Post #10)
Day 2 (Part 1) - Arrival - page 1 (#13)
Day 2 (Part 2) - Epcot and Fun with EMH at MK - page 2 (#17)
Day 3 (Part 1) - Epcot and Flight Delays - page 2 (#26)
Day 3 (Part 2) - The Grand Entrance of Joy - page 3 (#31)
Day 4 - Puking at the Animal Kingdom - page 3 (#32)
Day 5 - Spoodles, Golf balls, and Hooping It Up - page 3 (#33)
Day 6 - MGM and Fannnntasmic - page 3 (#34)
Day 7 - Magic Kingdom and Bidding Adieu to My Lady - page 3 (#37)
Day 8 - MGM and Magic Kingdom by Night - page 3 (#38)
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2006 - July 21-29 - Pop Century!!! Neverending trip report here!

July 26-31, 2008 -Pop! Pretrip Report Here!...DUDE! I need to update bigtime....

2009 - Mom and Me at WDW

2011 - Pop Again

June 2013 - Me, my mom, my dad, my sister, and my niece. Our first time at Port Orleans French Quarter!

Last edited by MickeyDee; 05-26-2008 at 10:38 AM. Reason: For Update
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Old 08-02-2006, 02:23 PM   #2
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Great start, can't wait for more!!
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Old 08-02-2006, 02:35 PM   #3
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Let's have more.. SOunds good.
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Old 08-02-2006, 03:01 PM   #4
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Old 08-02-2006, 03:16 PM   #5
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Well you have ME hooked now! Hope you get to share the room with your gf without too much trouble
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Old 08-03-2006, 02:09 AM   #6
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Looking forward to your trip report!
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Old 08-03-2006, 08:41 AM   #7
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Thanks everybody for reading! I'm aiming to get Day 1 up today or tomorrow.
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2006 - July 21-29 - Pop Century!!! Neverending trip report here!

July 26-31, 2008 -Pop! Pretrip Report Here!...DUDE! I need to update bigtime....

2009 - Mom and Me at WDW

2011 - Pop Again

June 2013 - Me, my mom, my dad, my sister, and my niece. Our first time at Port Orleans French Quarter!
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Old 08-03-2006, 12:30 PM   #8
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Fellow Texan here (Dallas)

enjoying your report so far, can't wait to find out how it turns out!
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Old 08-03-2006, 01:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exwdwcm
Fellow Texan here (Dallas)

enjoying your report so far, can't wait to find out how it turns out!
Well, hello, neighbor! I actually work up in Ft. Worth! And thanks for reading!!
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July 26-31, 2008 -Pop! Pretrip Report Here!...DUDE! I need to update bigtime....

2009 - Mom and Me at WDW

2011 - Pop Again

June 2013 - Me, my mom, my dad, my sister, and my niece. Our first time at Port Orleans French Quarter!
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Old 08-03-2006, 07:26 PM   #10
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Day 1 – Thursday, July 20th

As this is a non-Disney day, I won’t bore you all too much with the details. My plan was to get up by 5 and be on the road before 6. We were driving, taking Parrish’s car, as it is fairly new and my car is a junk heap that I worry will make it down my street on a daily basis. I had done all the packing, including getting the cooler of beverages ready to go and had filled up the car and vacuumed it out the day before. So, it was shower, throw the last minute items into the suitcase, toss it all in the car and go.

Well. Almost. We had to stop for coffee and breakfast first, because that just sounded fun and vacationy to me. Grab a coffee and donut at 7-11 on the way out of town. Our first expense of our trip! Yay! Then we were off! Well. Okay, first had to drop the Netflix movie off in the mailbox, then seriously, we took off on the highway towards Dallas. And it wasn’t even 6 AM yet! An even earlier start than planned!

Today, my hope was that we would drive like mad women and get to Pensacola at least before stopping. That way we could get up and leave by 6 again on Friday and get to WDW as early as possible so we could spend the evening at Epcot.

For those of you that are sticklers for details – we took I-35 to Dallas and then I-20 to Shreveport, Louisiana before heading south towards LaFayette and hopping on I-10 for the journey towards Florida.

Some Louisiana Swamp-age

Roadtrips are never very exciting to report on unless there are frequent stops to fabulous places or bouts of illness, but since we had neither on this leg of the trip, there’s nothing much to say.

Once we got to Mississippi, we drove through Gulfport looking for fuel and noticed tons of signs were still damaged from Katrina.



Some of the damaged signs in Gulfport

This is also where I learned my first valuable lesson of my vacation. I am no good at driving a standard in stop and go traffic. We were caught in traffic trying to find our way back to the interstate and Parrish was rather annoyed with me, thus nearly causing our first sisterly fight of the trip.

We kept on through Mississippi and Alabama. It started raining, which is always fun to drive through. Seriously. I love drives in the rain. As long as I'm not driving, which, I might add, I wasn't! At this point.

The Battleship in Mobile, Alabama

Well, we carried on, reached Pensacola around 6 PM and decided to keep on truckin’. If I had felt REALLY adventurous, I know we would have made it all the way to Tallahassee. But I’m kinda lazy and get bored easily, so the fact that we stayed in the car for a full 14 hours is close to miracle status. We ended up stopping about an hour and a half away from Tallahassee, grabbed some Burger King on the way to the hotel we decided to check in at for the night, and settled in.

So far, so good. We managed to get PAST where I’d planned to stay for the night with nary a flat tire, empty gas tank on the side of the road, nor fist fight between feisty me and feisty sibling. Yay!

My hope was to arrive at Disney in the early afternoon, preferably before 1 PM. I figured we would have about 7 or 8 hours to go the next day, plus we would be losing an hour with the time change, so I stated we would be getting up at 4:30 and leaving by 5. Now saying you’re going to wake up bright and early and actually doing it are two different things….

Find out what happens in: Day 2 – Our First Magical (?) Disney Day!

Let it be noted, all day long, I quoted my favorite WDW commercial ever, “I’m too exccciiitttteedd to sleep!”

Lessons learned today:

Lesson Number 1 – I am happy my crummy car is automatic and I will never buy a standard transmission vehicle ever again.
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1982 - WDW offsite

1984 - WDW Contemporary Resort

1999 - WDW Magic Kingdom Whirlwind College Theatre Troupe Four Hour Visit!

2006 - July 21-29 - Pop Century!!! Neverending trip report here!

July 26-31, 2008 -Pop! Pretrip Report Here!...DUDE! I need to update bigtime....

2009 - Mom and Me at WDW

2011 - Pop Again

June 2013 - Me, my mom, my dad, my sister, and my niece. Our first time at Port Orleans French Quarter!
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Old 08-03-2006, 09:15 PM   #11
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ohhhhhhh....i wish there was more!!!
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdis
ohhhhhhh....i wish there was more!!!
Thanks for your enthusiasm!! hehe I'm workin' on it! I am!
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1982 - WDW offsite

1984 - WDW Contemporary Resort

1999 - WDW Magic Kingdom Whirlwind College Theatre Troupe Four Hour Visit!

2006 - July 21-29 - Pop Century!!! Neverending trip report here!

July 26-31, 2008 -Pop! Pretrip Report Here!...DUDE! I need to update bigtime....

2009 - Mom and Me at WDW

2011 - Pop Again

June 2013 - Me, my mom, my dad, my sister, and my niece. Our first time at Port Orleans French Quarter!
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Old 08-04-2006, 10:19 AM   #13
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Day 2 – July 21, 2006 (Part 1)

The alarm went off at 4:30 and guess what? I got up! I took a shower! I got dressed! I woke my sibling up! And then….even more amazing – she got up! She took a shower! She got dressed! And further more, we were in the car and on the road by just after 5 AM! We must have seriously been excited about getting to Disney.

We stopped once we got to Tallahassee and grabbed some breakfast. Did I mention Parrish had slept the entire hour and a half it took to get to Tallahassee? Well, she did.

Then we were back on the road! And I was still driving. And Parrish stayed awake just long enough to eat her breakfast in the car and then she was out like a light once again.

Well, the time change happened and we lost our hour and then the most amazing thing EVER happened! You won’t believe it! Seriously!

Okay, really, it’s not actually that amazing, but it was pretty exciting. To me. At the time. We were in Orlando! Already! And dude! It was only like 11 AM. And yes, I had remembered to move the clock up an hour. And ohmygod…there were signs for Disney! Ack! I couldn’t believe it! I figured we’d be able to pre-check into our room, get our “Keys to the World” and head out to Epcot for a bit before coming back and settling in once our room was actually ready. Pretty exciting, right?

And then. I started freaking out. And not because it was so exciting. I wasn’t freaking out in a good way, friends. No, not at all. I started freaking out because I didn’t know what was going to happen as far as Joy being able to stay at Disney. Full…blown…panic…attack. My sister remained calm and later told me it was only because she didn’t want to freak me out more. And then Joy called and I tried to remain calm. And then we were at Disney World.

Close....

Closer....

Let’s recap a bit here: I’m freaking out. Joy is on the phone. We are at WDW.

And then, wonder of wonders, due to the WONDERFUL job Disney has done with directional signs, particularly for Pop Century, we were exiting the opposite side of WDW from where we had entered. Please note the heavy use of sarcasm when I say “due to the WONDERFUL job Disney has done with directional signs….”

Freaking out. Joy on phone. At Disney. Lost. Not at Disney. Still freaking out. Joy still on phone.

So, Parrish took over the phone conversation at this point. And somehow we managed to find our way to Pop and Parrish informed Joy that I was a bit worried. All I could say, repeatedly was, “What if they don’t let her stay for $10 a night? What are we going to do? What if they say I have to buy an entire whole other package? Where is she going to stay? Will she even still come here?” Folks, I pretty much cry at the drop of a hat…and surprisingly, no tears were being shed during my panic attack, but my stomach felt like it was living in my feet. Then, I bid adieu to my true love on the phone and told her we’d let her know what was going on. Parrish and I conferred at one point and decided maybe it would be best to wait until Saturday when Joy actually got there to talk to whatever Pop CM was available instead of doing it now when we checked in. Okay, calming a little, but not much. Procrastination….ahhh…my old friend!

I was so distressed that I couldn’t even fully enjoy all that I was seeing as we pulled into the Pop drive way…all the cool little signs and the icons at the 50s buildings that we could see through the trees. We drove up to security and the guard asked, “checking in?” and I, of course, replied, “yes!” Then she asked my name, I gave it to her, she checked me off, and off we went. Oh, dear….see the stickler for details thing rearing its’ ugly head again? You didn’t really need to know about driving through the security checkpoint! Seriously!

We find the check-in parking lot. I, being the overly organized (but only for Disney) girl that I am, gather all the paperwork that I might find myself needing at check-in and off we go! And find a HUGE line of other people arriving before check-in as well. But you know what? It moved fast! And during that fast-moving line, I had a sudden burst of courage and decided I was going to get the whole adding-another- person-to-the-room thing out of the way NOW! Procrastination, be darned! So, I explained the situation to the wonderful CM at the desk and asked, “Will I be able to add her for the $10 a day fee?” And you know what? She said, “yes.” And you know what else? The $46 and change that I handed over to her to pay for Joy’s stay was the happiest $46 and change I’ve ever spent in my life. I was literally on cloud nine for having spent that money. Oh, the relief! Oh, the bliss! I had a big goofy grin on my face for at least a half-hour after checking in…the same grin that would return the next day, but I’ll get to that later.

So, Joy would be staying in the room and not in the car or in a cardboard box. Yay! Which meant I would also be staying in the room and not in the car or a cardboard box with her. And guess what else? It was barely 12 and our room was already ready too! In July! The busiest time of the year! Things were going exceedingly well so far. Surely troubled waters were not far ahead, right?

Then we dragged our luggage from the car to our room on the 3rd floor of building 4 in the 1960s section. An exercise in anger management, toting heavy bags all the way across the resort to our room. Sure, we could have gotten luggage assistance to help us or gone and gotten one of those little luggage rack things, but hey! We didn't! We're weird that way.

Our room overlooked Hourglass Lake and we would find that we could see some of the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom from the walkway to our room. How exciting! We also noticed on our walk to the room how all our neighbors had towel animals in their windows! Ohmygoodness! Just like I’d heard about on the Dis! So exciting!

We dumped our luggage, I called Joy and told her about the happily spent $46 and change. Parrish called our parents to let them know we were here…or there. (Yes, they still need to know our every moves at 25 and 30, but it’s only because they are such great parents! Hi, Mom & Dad!) And then, it was time to eat. Which meant using our first counter service credits of the trip at Everything Pop. Okay, you need to know that I am painfully shy in new situations and always afraid I’m going to do something wrong and look like a fool, so this prospect of using our first meal plan credits made me nervous, because…well, I’m kind of a nerd. So, I wasn’t sure if we could get bottled drinks or they had to be fountain drinks and if cheesecake counted as a dessert with counter service. Oh, goodness! It was horrifying. So, we got our meals, our bottled Diet Cokes, and I wouldn’t let Parrish get anything for dessert but a cookie, because I was too worried that we would look stupid if we got something else and the CM said it wasn’t covered.

….I have many issues and much baggage, folks.

So, we go to check out and I tell the CM that we just arrived and I wasn’t sure if I was doing “this right”. He was super friendly and explained it all to me again…which I already knew, but I’m always second-guessing myself like a goober….and we were off with our foodage! Except then we decided we’d better go ahead and get our refillable mugs, so Parrish grabbed three (with different colored lids, for differentiation purposes) and we paid for them…and then we were really off with our foodage. I had a delicious hot dog with very cold fries and a sugar cookie that I couldn’t finish. And Parrish had a delicious cheeseburger with un-cold fries and a sugar cookie that she couldn’t finish. I think we were both way too excited to really eat and just wanted to get the heck of Dodge and get to Epcot.

At this point, I felt it was necessary to coach my sister on some Disney terminology. Specifically that WDW employees are not “employees”…they are “cast members”. She laughed at me, implying I was a complete dork, but by the end of the trip, she was throwing the term, “cast member” around left and right. 5 points to Parrish! But I’m just not sure what game it is she got the points for. It just sounded good.

We ran back to the room…threw the mugs on the table…and off we went….first to move the car to the 60s parking lot and then to the buses! Phobia of mass transportation, be darned! And you know what? It was great! I didn’t have to worry about getting lost. I didn’t have to worry about stalling out while driving Parrish’s standard transmission automobile in stop and go traffic. And we had a really cool bus driver who had just started working at Disney, so he was especially friendly and excited to be there.

After a brief drive, we arrived at my most beloved Epcot! We whipped out our cards, marched up to the entrance, had my bag searched, and got in line to insert card, insert fingers, take card, enter turnstiles. And then we did just those very things! Yay! We were IN Epcot. Our Disney vacation had officially begun!

To be continued.....
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1982 - WDW offsite

1984 - WDW Contemporary Resort

1999 - WDW Magic Kingdom Whirlwind College Theatre Troupe Four Hour Visit!

2006 - July 21-29 - Pop Century!!! Neverending trip report here!

July 26-31, 2008 -Pop! Pretrip Report Here!...DUDE! I need to update bigtime....

2009 - Mom and Me at WDW

2011 - Pop Again

June 2013 - Me, my mom, my dad, my sister, and my niece. Our first time at Port Orleans French Quarter!

Last edited by MickeyDee; 08-04-2006 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 08-04-2006, 11:31 AM   #14
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:51 PM   #15
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JUNE 1996 & JUNE 1998 JUNE 2005 DLP - Camp Davy Crockett
AUGUST 2000 & OCT 2002 SEPT 2008 DLP - Offsite
JUNE 2001 AUGUST 2003 & 2007, SEPT2010 WDW - Offsite
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