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Old 09-25-2006, 07:39 PM   #1
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Sept. 16-23: First family trip, or: DH + Crush 4-ever! w/pics

Okay, I know I have ridiculously few posts here, but I've been lurking obsessively ever since I booked our trip last spring, and you all have inspired me...so I hope no one minds me butting in with a trip report.

The Family:

Me: 31, the catalyst for our trip. I’ve been obsessed with making it to Disney for years now, but for one reason and another, never managed to make it happen until now. My WDW fixation is sort of strange and out of character, actually, as I’m generally far too cynical for such things. I was worried that I’d built the trip up in my head too much and it would be a let down. But no! We had a great time! I loved WDW in all of its consumerist glory! I managed to maintain my non Disney identity enough to make occasional ironic comments, but, other than that, I was completely sucked in.

Dave: dh, 30. He would have been content to never go to Disney World, but, lucky for me, he’s very open to suggestion. He had a great time, too!

Ari: ds, 5. I read a description in the Unofficial Guide early on in my trip planning about the type of kid NOT to take to WDW, and Ari fit the description exactly. He is shy, moody, and easily overwhelmed. But he did really well! He’s a cautious kid, but he constantly surprised us with how much he was willing to try. Now that we’re back, he’s hard at work making a chart with tiny pictures of all the rides he went on.

Milo: ds, 3. My relatively easygoing child, though he can throw a tantrum like nobody’s business. Became obsessed with space travel just days before our trip, which made some parts of Dis-a-ney World (as he calls it) all the more exciting.

Gus: ds, 9 months. The stereotypical laid back third baby. He is difficult to faze and is nearly always in a good mood. We discovered on the ride home that he’d popped out a new tooth while we were at WDW, but we’d heard not a word of complaint out of him about it. Angelbaby. He’s never going to grow up into a tantrumming, defiant toddler. Nope, not my Gussie.

Saturday and Sunday: Driving/Magic Kingdom and Epcot

We left around 9 (from somewhat north of Atlanta) on Saturday, which was precisely when we planned to leave, so things started off smoothly. Dropped Lucy the dog off at the kennel then hit the interstate. Then hit a lot of traffic for about 30 minutes. But that was the only traffic we saw on the way down, so all in all not bad. We took things slowly and stopped a lot…stopped at an outlet mall at lunchtime, then at the Florida welcome center for free orange juice, then for dinner at Cracker Barrel. I had read on the Disboards about someone’s “family tradition” being to stop for free orange juice and thought, “ooh—I want that family tradition, too!” So now I have it. It had been years since I ate at Cracker Barrel. It is much, much worse than I remembered. We originally planned to drive somewhat more than half way and stop at a hotel, but at the last minute we decided to do the whole drive at once and booked a room at an Amerisuites in Orlando on Priceline (for $35…whoo hoo!) Everyone went to sleep and was up again by 6 the next morning. We went down for the free breakfast and then were all ready to go by a little after 8. We drove uneventfully over to the Wilderness Lodge and checked in. It being just after 9 AM our room was not ready. Okay, so now what? We had no plans for the day until our 4:50 dinner reservation, but we had shiny new park passes burning a hole in Dave’s pocket, so we decided to take the boat over to the Magic Kingdom and check it out. There was a boat waiting for us when we walked up to the dock. Hooray! Traveling with monkey boy Milo makes me wonder how it’s possible that children don’t die in freak accidents every day at Disney World. How can so many 3 year olds go on that boat every day and not a single one of them manages to climb out of the window and drown? Is it more an issue of parental vigilance or of most 3 year olds being less inclined than mine to climb every vertical surface they encounter? Perhaps some combination thereof?

Anyway, we made it to the MK without losing a single member of our party and caught our first glimpse of the castle. It should be noted that both of my speaking children had been, up until this point in our trip, acting pretty much exactly as I would have predicted based on their respective personalities. Ari, my jaded, cynical, and grumpy child, dubbed WDW “yucky world” and spent a lot of time doubting aloud that he would have any fun at all. Milo, the easily enthused, on the other hand, could often be heard saying, in the days leading up to the trip, “we’re going to Dis-a-ney World! And I’m going to be EXCITED!” (although it was clear that he didn’t really understand the concept terribly well when he asked me, a few days before we left, “is Disney World inside or outside?”) Their initial reactions to seeing the castle up close and personal fell right in line.

We went to the stroller rental place and paid for a length of stay rental for a double stroller, perhaps the best money we spent the whole week. I had read that the strollers were more or less worthless for babies, but Gus could sit in it just fine; I don’t really see why any baby who’s sitting well independently wouldn’t be able to. He still wound up spending most of his time in the Ergo on my back, but when he did ride in the stroller it was fine).

Then we made our way up Main Street and through the castle. Milo spotted the carrousel right away and of course wanted to ride. Let’s look—no line? Sure, why not?! We have no plans! After the carrousel, we talked the kids out of Dumbo (not much of a line, but we were coming back at least twice, so we didn’t really want to wait at all). We opted for the lineless It’s a Small World instead. I commented at one point to Dave, “this looks like the sort of ride we could set up in our basement” what with all the thin plywood cutouts doused liberally with glitter that would have fit right in at a high school homecoming dance…but the kids were quite enamored. Gus sat perfectly still in my lap and gazed around, enraptured, the whole time. It turns out Gus is the ideal Disney World companion. He’s sort of like a heavier and less informative version of Pal Mickey. I found myself wishing we’d gone when Ari was 8 or 9 months old, too, so we could have enjoyed the advantages of a portable baby without cute yet demanding older children around. After Small World, even Ari was excited. We crossed the street and rode Peter Pan. Milo was temporarily freaked out by the dark, but by the end was talking giddily about how much he liked it. Since everyone seemed to enjoy sitting in a vehicle and looking at animatronic dolls, we checked out Winnie the Pooh next. I think we waited about 5 minutes for that one, our first wait of the day (it was a little past 10 by now).

(I know this is blurry, but it's us getting ready to ride Small World, and it demonstrates the very different personalities of my two eldest pretty well, I think).

Then we went over to Toontown. This is where our extra morning came in handy; I wanted to put Ari and Milo on Goofy’s Barnstormer and see how they did to get an idea of how they’d do on some of the bigger rides. Milo was hesitant (at that point we weren’t sure he’d even be tall enough for anything more intense than that, so I definitely wasn’t going to push it if he didn’t want to go on) but he finally decided to give it a try. I waited with Gus while Dave took the kids on….when they came out Milo was as enthusiastic as ever but Ari declared it, “NOT my favorite ride. It was my MEDIUM ride.” Good enough.

The kids spotted Donald’s boat next and wanted desperately to run through the fountains there, but I wanted to eat lunch soon, preferably without dripping wet kids, so I vetoed that idea to loud protests. We went quickly through Mickey and Minnie’s houses (“I think Minnie will like PINK,” Milo had guessed before we got there and was happy to find he was right. Pink is also Milo’s favorite color). Then we went over to the train and took it two stops to Frontierland….I had it in my head that we were going to eat lunch at Columbia Harbor House, but I couldn’t remember where it was. We wandered a bit and then Dave asked for directions and we finally found it. It was after noon by now, so it was fairly crowded inside, but the kids and I found a table upstairs easily while Dave got the food. Milo was melting down quickly and there was some sort of hold up on the chicken fingers, but we finally managed to get everyone recharged and happy again. We left intending to head back to the hotel, but then I spotted the Haunted Mansion across the street. Hey—hardly any line—why not? Because Milo’s three is why not. He started screaming as soon as we got inside, so Dave went straight across to the exit and took him out. I stayed with Gus and Ari. The stretching room freaked Ari out a bit; he was pretty mad that he hadn’t left with Dave, but he was fine about 2 minutes into the ride and was having a great time by the end. Two days later, he keeps asking when we’re going to go back to the ghost ride.

Now we left for the hotel for real (well, after stopping to let Milo buy a cheap plastic sword and to get embroidered mouse ear hats for all three boys).

(very excited about the mouse ears, as you can see)

The boat was once again waiting for us when we got to the dock; Milo again managed not to fall to his death, and our room was finally ready! (we had called a couple of times while we were gone and it hadn’t been; in the end it turned out they had been waiting on two rooms together, as no one had bothered to forward the info to them that my mother in law, originally slated to come with us, had cancelled her trip months before. We got up to our room (2030; second floor, north wing, very close to the elevators) and were all pleased. We would later discover that we could see Wishes through the trees, too, which was a nice bonus. The kids had bunk beds and immediately started climbing all over them. We tried to get them to lie down and rest, but it was hopeless. We settled for some semi-quiet TV watching while Dave went down to get all the luggage up to the room.

By now it was getting to be time to head over to Epcot for dinner. We took the bus (without the same stellar timing luck we’d had with the boat, sadly), and found crowds at least as light at Epcot as they had been at MK. We had a few minutes before our ADR, and the kids were pretty intrigued by Spaceship Earth, and, of course, there was no line, so we hopped on that. Milo had a moment of panic before we went in, insisting that it was going to be scary and he didn’t want to ride. “I promise it’s not scary,” I told him. “is it going to be fast?” he asked. I assured him it was very slow (even if Spaceship Earth had not been one of the few rides I vaguely remembered from my childhood trip to Epcot, the signs all said “SLOW MOVING” in big, underlined letters, so I was pretty confident about this). We got on, and Dave started to put Ari and Milo in a front car and then get in back with me and Gus. “What are you doing?!” I asked, shoving him back towards the front. Perfect opportunity for Milo to climb out and get lost amidst the animatronic figures averted. I kept leaning forward to check on Milo during the beginning of the ride, since I had foolishly PROMISED him it wouldn’t be scary when, really, there’s little rhyme or reason to what scares or delights a three year old. But I needn’t have worried; Milo LOVED it. “We’re in SPACE!” he shouted gleefully at the end. Ari liked it, too, in his own, considerably more reserved, way.

Time for dinner. The waiting area of the Coral Reef was packed when we got there. I theorized hopefully that this was because it was so early that they hadn’t started seating yet and, sure enough, within 10 minutes or so nearly everyone waiting had a table. We were on the second level, so we had just an okay view of the fish; the kids were mostly unimpressed until the divers showed up. Those they liked. Kids were restless, so dinner was not as relaxed as one likes, but the food was good. We were delighted by the $150 tab that cost us all of nothing.

We decided to push our luck a bit more after dinner and try to get Turtle Talk out of the way so we wouldn’t need to worry about it the next day. We turned up just as one show was starting, so we had awhile to wait (the kids were wild and frenzied so Dave took them over to terrorize the manatees while I waited in line) but scored front row seats when the theater opened. Ari and Milo were relatively unimpressed (Milo kept jumping around restlessly and only got interested toward the end when Dory showed up. He really loves Dory. Ari watched politely but didn’t seem terribly entertained. Gus exhibited his first signs of impatience with Disney World). Dave, on the other hand, LOVED it. Quotations from Dave about Crush: “I was laughing so much I was crying.” And, later in the evening, “I can’t stop thinking about Crush.” So it was a definite magic Disney moment when….Dave got to talk to Crush! “How about that kind of tallish dude in the front row with the dark shell,” said Crush, and the woman with the microphone headed straight for Dave. Crush asked Dave his name, referred to him as “Wavy Dave” and wanted to know whether Dave liked to swim fast or slow. (slow). Dave was completely star struck.

Now it was well past the ideal time to head back to the hotel. The kids were fascinated by the monorail, so we decided to take it to the Ticket and Transportation center and catch a bus from there back to the Wilderness Lodge. This may not have been the best idea we had all day, but we did finally make it back and got everyone off to sleep with minimal protesting.

Leaving Epcot:

Next up: back to the Magic Kingdom!
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Old 09-25-2006, 08:17 PM   #2
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Okey .....I am pooped........you sure did alot in a short span of time......that is wonderful. Thanks so much for takingthe time to do the photos too.....I love the cute little faces.......thanks again

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Old 09-25-2006, 10:39 PM   #3
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thanks, pumba

I was, it turns out, just kidding. Next up is Epcot again. I get confused sometimes. Apparently I forget to take any pictures sometimes, too, as I don't have any exciting ones from Monday.

Monday: Epcot

Our first official full day! (although Sunday had ended up being a de facto full day). The plan was to be at Epcot for the rope drop, see Future World, rest at the hotel for awhile, then do…something or other that evening. We made it out the door by right around 8 and went to the bus stop. There was a pretty big crowd gathered for the bus, but when the Epcot bus showed up, hardly anyone else got on. “I guess they’re all going to Animal Kingdom,” I said to Dave, “it’s having an extra magic hour this morning.” “But won’t that be halfway over by the time they get there?” he asked. Yes it would. Shrug. Whatever—more room at Epcot for us! We got there by 8:30, got through the bag check, and waited by the turnstiles with a small crowd of other people. They let us through about 10 til 9, Dave went to get the stroller, and then we waited right in front of the rope. The opening ceremony started and Goofy tried to interact with the kids. Ari, who does not talk to strangers, pretended it wasn’t happening. Milo covered his eyes with his hands. Goofy took the rejection well. Countdown and rope drop, and we headed off to Soarin’. There really wasn’t all that much of a crowd behind us; by the time we dropped our stroller off it was all in front of us. So much for getting there 30 minutes early. We went to Soarin’, got a parent swap for me, and measured Milo to see if he was going to make it on. At the beginning of the summer, I was sure he wouldn’t hit 40 inches in time, but he had a huge growth spurt and was measuring 39 ½ inches barefoot a few days before the trip, so I thought with shoes he had a good shot. He was pretty clearly hitting the 40 inch mark on the measuring thing, but the guy seemed kind of nervous about it and measured him about 3 times before he let him through (even the people behind us in line were speaking up for Milo, “oh sure—he’s tall enough!”). So Dave set off with Ari and Milo while I waited by the fastpass machines with Gus. Gus was happy to have a chance to get out of the Ergo and stretch his legs. They came out a few minutes later all smiles. In what was fast becoming a trend, Ari liked it okay and Milo thought it was the greatest thing ever. Only Milo wanted to go back on it with me, so we got back in the line (the same guy measured Milo AGAIN). Milo chattered away happily while we waited about how great Soarin’ is, then we got on (first row—yay!). I agreed with Milo that it was a great ride, and he was just as impressed the second time. I remember reading about Soarin’ before the trip and being worried that Milo would somehow wriggle out from under the restraints and fall. So I was happy to see a center strap to put the seatbelt through (specifically for smaller kids), making that virtually impossible. Though I still had to keep reminding myself throughout the ride that it was just a movie and I hadn’t really agreed to dangle my child hundreds of feet over the ocean.

Since it was there and all, we got on Living With the Land next. Gus thought it was too long, but Ari and Milo were entertained enough. It is, oddly enough, one of the rides I can remember a little about from when I was a kid—I remembered the hydroponics part, specifically.

We went next door and rode Journey Into the Imagination next. Eh. Ari got pretty into some of the exhibits after the ride, though. There’s one where you can “conduct” Figment by moving your body. It took much encouragement to get him to move at all to see what it was all about, but then there was no stopping him. We finally managed to drag him away. Milo spotted a stand in the gift shop on the way out selling empty plastic tubing which you could fill with your choice of flavored sugar. “I need that!” he announced earnestly. “Milo,” I said, “I promise you; if there’s one thing in the world you do not need, it’s a giant tube of sugar.” I suppose I am naïve about such things (and I was no stranger to the ways of Pixie Stix as a child), but I am kind of horrified that someone came up with the idea of marketing big tubes full of sugar to children and can still live with him/herself.

Next we hit the (practically empty as it was still early—just after 11, I think) Electric Umbrella for lunch. The kids and I got a table, while Dave went over to Test Track to pick up fastpasses to use after lunch. After lunch, we decided to see Ellen’s Energy Adventure. We were rather nervous about this, as the kids are not so much fans of Ellen as we are and we knew it was quite long. They do like Bill Nye, though. I also remembered reading that some kids are scared by the dinosaur part, so I think I played that all wrong—made too big of a deal out of them beforehand, thus planting the idea that they might be scary in Milo’s head. He was freaked out from the beginning (“it’s too loud!”) and spent much of the ride with his face buried in my shirt. Ari kept trying to get him to look at the dinosaurs (“don’t worry, Milo—that dinosaur’s not a meat eater!”), but nothing worked. Ellen was funny. Dave and I would probably have enjoyed the ride a good bit had we not been preoccupied with a squirming baby and a terrified toddler.

We were well into our Test Track fastpass return window by then, so we went next door. Dave took Ari and Milo in (no one even bothered to measure Milo for this one), but came out 3 minutes later to deposit Milo with me as he’d changed his mind about going on. I guess the ride broke down or something while they were in line, so it took most of forever for them to come back, but Ari was very enthusiastic when they finally did. Milo, inspired by Ari’s good review, decided he wanted to give it a try after all, so I hopped back in line with both older boys. I was worried Milo would panic at the last second, but he was fine. Ari, our resident Test Track expert, kept up a running commentary of what was going on and what would happen next throughout the ride. After the ride, Ari asked Milo something about which parts he hadn’t liked and Milo said, “I liked ALL of it.” His favorite part was when it went outside and went really fast. Most commonly heard sentence from both Ari and Milo for the next couple of days: “I LOVE Test Track!” They are difficult to predict, those kids are.

Dave wanted to check out Mission Space, but I wasn’t much interested in it, so he and Ari went that way while I took Milo and Gus on Spaceship Earth. We met back up outside Spaceship Earth and hopped on the bus back to the hotel. We planned, as all the guidebooks recommend, to have the kids take naps in the afternoons before going back out for dinner and evening fun. But here we ran into a snag in our plans: Milo (who gave up naps at home months ago) fell asleep within minutes of being tucked in; Ari could not, would not fall asleep for anything. The frustrating end result of this was a cheerful, well-rested Milo every evening accompanied by a completely past exhausted, wired
Ari. Gus, with his baby superpower of being able to sleep anywhere still intact, was not a problem. I added being able to stay out late without wanting to strangle my oldest child to my mental list of things to look forward to on Disney trips 5 years or so in the future.

After Milo’s nap and Ari’s “rest” we caught the bus to Downtown Disney. We had considered going back to Epcot and seeing the World Showcase, but decided to save it for a day when we’d had a less packed morning. This was our night without an ADR, so we ate at Rainforest Café. I had a pizza and was unimpressed. Milo needed to hide in the bathroom during the fake storm. After dinner we walked over to Once Upon a Toy as the kids had some Disney money from various relatives to spend. When they have money to spend, Milo wants to buy everything he sees while Ari passes over toy after toy waiting for the absolute perfect thing to come along. So Ari bought nothing, and Milo filled up a box with Mr. Potato Head pieces. Dave waited outside with the more and more out of control Ari while Milo chose his pieces agonizingly slowly. Dave reported that Ari decided the Buzz Lightyear statue outside was HIS Buzz and got hysterical when other kids got near it. In light of this, we opted to skip a trip to the Lego store and get our little hellion back to the hotel. In a reversal of naptime, Ari fell asleep immediately while a well-rested Milo chattered happily in bed long after we’d turned the lights out.

Next up: the Magic Kingdom for real this time!
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Old 09-25-2006, 11:15 PM   #4
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Hey KOKOTG!! I saw you last week!! We were in MGM at the "Honey I shrunk.." playground and I remember seeing your Milo and hearing his name. He is one cutie pie! I was sitting by the water fountain when Milo got a drink of water. Not that you would remember me because your hands were full with three boys, but anyway..

OK, now I look forward to reading the rest of your report! I'll start mine one of these days....

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Old 09-26-2006, 08:58 AM   #5
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hey, I guess it really is a small world! (okay, I'm sure I'm not the first person to have made THAT joke here). very cool!
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:04 AM   #6
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Tuesday: Magic Kingdom

Tuesday we were up and ready to go in plenty of time to make it to the rope drop at the Magic Kingdom (one advantage to having early risers for children; getting ready to go by 8 is laughably easy). We took the boat over and were through the turnstiles by about 8:30.

Ari covered his eyes through the opening ceremony.

They let us onto Main Street; Dave ran to pick up the stroller while the kids and I started toward the castle.

We hooked back up inside the castle while we waited for them to let us into Fantasyland. Then we headed straight for Dumbo and got on the third ride. We were first in line to get on, so Milo had no trouble getting on a pink Dumbo just like he wanted. Dumbo was a hit with the kids, and I was happy to have it out of the way. I knew better than to attempt to take Milo on anything with the word “scary” in the name, so Ari and I got on Snow White alone while Dave took Milo off to Peter Pan. After all the “it’s SOOOO scary hype, I must say I was a little underwhelmed by Snow White. I expected the witch to actually jump out at you instead of just lurking menacingly in the scenery. We had planned to meet Dave in front of the carousel, but he wasn’t there yet when we got off Snow White, so we went over to the Peter Pan exit to wait for him. And we waited and waited and waited. Maybe they decided to go on Small World instead. Okay, but they’d still be finished by now. I looked back over at the carrousel. A ha! Turns out Milo hadn’t wanted to go on ANYTHING, so they went to the bathroom then came back out to wait for us. We hadn’t seen Mickey’s Philharmagic yet, so we popped in there. Everyone liked it except for Milo, who declared it “too loud.” I have to say I kind of agree…I’m not sure why everything at Disney is designed either for the hard of hearing or to make the rest of us that way.

We’d now been through most of Fantasyland twice, and Ari was itching to go on “the ghost ride” again, so Dave took him and Gus to the Haunted Mansion while Milo and I went to get fastpasses for Splash Mountain. The cast member at the entrance chided me for getting them, since there wasn’t any wait, but I had big plans to ride Big Thunder Mountain and come back later, so I persisted. It turned out he was right; there wasn’t any wait when we came back later, but better safe than sorry. Milo and I shared a frozen lemonade while we waited for everyone else (I thought at the beginning that we’d end up with tons of leftover snack credits, especially since we brought a lot of our own bottled water with us, but we used them all and could have used more. We can’t really sustain good blood sugar on two huge meals a day, so we usually skipped appetizers or desserts or shared counter service meals and then snacked at other times). Ari and Milo both agreed to try out Big Thunder Mountain with me (again, no one bothered to measure Milo). They didn’t much care for it, though (too jerky, I think). I knew it wasn’t supposed to be a particularly wild coaster, but I was surprised by just how tame it was. I told Dave he wouldn’t be missing a whole lot if he skipped it (we did a lot more parent swapping than we thought we would, and it’s really a huge time suck, so we tried to be judicious about it). Next we took the raft over to Tom Sawyer Island, which the kids really enjoyed. We found the playfort with the rope swing and telescope, and the kids could have spent 30 or 40 minutes there.

We didn’t even make it to a lot of the island. I added “sitting at Aunt Polly’s having a drink while kids play” to the list of things to enjoy in 5 years. We took the boat back across. It was getting very, very hot by now and I sensed our content kid window was closing. Dave took Ari on Splash Mountain. He liked it well enough, but didn’t want to go on it again, so we decided to go ahead and get lunch. I was a little disappointed to miss Splash Mountain, but also pretty hungry. We went to Columbia Harbor House again for lunch. It was right around noon now, and the lines were pretty long but moved quickly. The upstairs was nearly deserted again.

Now back to the hotel and out of the heat. Milo fell asleep immediately again and Ari, again, did not. Dave finally took him down to the pool to swim. Then it started raining, so they came back upstairs. This was the only rain of our trip, but it lasted all night and into the next day. We had 5:00 dinner reservations at Kona, so we drove over to the Polynesian. I really liked Kona, but Ari was having a tough evening, didn’t seem to feel well, and didn’t eat any of his pasta. Oh well. So we left before dessert, but got a couple boxed up to take with us. We drove back to the WL, gave the kids baths, and put them to bed early.

Next: Even MORE MK: this time with Little Ones Extra Magic Hour action!
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:12 AM   #7
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you are still doing alot in a short span of time.....that is so wonderful. Hope we get that lucky when we go again. I imagine that heat and sun and go go go makes even the kids in us pooped.....thanks again for your photos and your trip

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Old 09-26-2006, 10:09 AM   #8
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I'm enjoying your report very much. Reminds me of visits when our older girls (twins) were 4 and our youngest was an infant.

We were there last month for the first time since those days and it is SO different when the kids are older!
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Old 09-26-2006, 10:22 AM   #9
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I'm enjoying your trip reports! I've never been with little ones--dd was 5 the first time we took her to DL. I'm seriously considering taking my niece and her kids (10, 3, and 1) on an upcoming trip so I love hearing what rides worked for your kids. Thanks so much!
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Old 09-26-2006, 11:03 AM   #10
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Can it get any better than that?!
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Nice TR! Definitely reminds me of when my kids were younger. DD loved it all (esp the characters) and DS was less enthusiatic. However, we have managed to brainwash him so that he is now a Jr DISer!

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Old 09-26-2006, 02:37 PM   #11
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subbing... I love reading reports with 3 kids like us, We are also thinking of going next sept exact time . We live south of Atlanta ... can't wait for the rest!
ME DH (15) (13) (10) (twins 5)

lots of trips as a kid ...
Feb 20-22 2005 Asmov (left little one behind)
June 8-16 2008~POR (first whole family trip)
Sep 18-20 2009~POP~ mommy and DD6 bday trip
June 6-8 2010~POR~ GAD trip with Ds,YDd ,sister and nephew
May 2014 for the twins first trip.. first offsite WBC
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Old 09-26-2006, 03:25 PM   #12
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thanks for the comments everyone!

Wednesday: Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom

We had another day at the Magic Kingdom planned—this time starting off with a Little Ones Extra Magic Hour. I had read great things about it, so I was pretty excited…and a little disappointed to wake up and find it was still raining. But we and a few others were down waiting for the boat by a few minutes after 7. It was actually kind of chilly out. Milo kept slipping and falling all over the place on the wet ground. I was worried that it was going to be a miserable day. But by the time the boat reached the Magic Kingdom, the rain had stopped (as if by magic!) We waited for the much abbreviated opening ceremony (it seems they play the same tape as for the regular opening ceremony, and then cut if off abruptly when it gets to the part about the guest family on the train). A cast member handed out Mickey confetti to all the kids to throw when they did the countdown. But then Milo refused to throw his because he didn’t want to lose it, so I still have it tucked into a pocket of our backpack. There were very few people, and we didn’t much care if we got to ride Dumbo again anyway, so we strolled slowly down Main Street and stopped to take some pictures.

We had forgotten twice now to take Milo on the Mad Tea Party (aka the only ride he expressed any interest in before the trip), so we went there right away. It was running completely empty when we first got there, and then we had it all to ourselves when we got on.

As we were leaving, we ran into the Mad Hatter himself, who invited us to come and ride the tea cups again with him and Tigger. Unfortunately, this would have been torture for the very shy Ari, so we kept going. We noticed that half the Dumbos were empty, so we decided to ride it again after all. It was very wet, but lovely nonetheless.

Then we went on, with no lines whatsoever, Peter Pan, Small World, and the tea cups one more time. It was just before 9 now, and the rest of the park was about to open. Ari wanted to go on Pooh again, but Milo was still scared of that nasty storm, so I took Ari on it while Dave went over with the other kids to get Space Mountain fastpasses. We met up with him afterwards at Buzz Lightyear and hopped on that. Milo adores Buzz, so he was in heaven. Ari was frustrated trying to get the hang of the shooting thing, but grudgingly agreed to go on it again. The second time, he started getting really into it and soon declared it was his favorite ride at Disney World because “you get to do stuff.” We went on it 4 times in a row. We still had a little while before our fastpass return time, so we got on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority for a pleasant spin around Tomorrowland. The kids had spotted Astro Orbiter, and were eager to try it out, so we did that next. Then we walked over to Space Mountain. The fastpasses were, again, completely unnecessary. There was absolutely no line. We’d originally thought Space Mountain and Ari would be a bad combination. My Dad swears that it was a ride on Space Mountain as a kid that turned me off of roller coasters for years, and Dave has a distinct memory of giving his grandfather a bloody nose on it (though given how the seats are configured, this doesn’t seem possible; did they used to be different?) But he’d handled everything so far in stride, so we left it up to him. We explained what it was and told him he could try it if he wanted to. He said he wanted to go, so I took him on while Dave waited with the little boys. I was very worried about how he was behind me, and I wouldn’t be able to comfort him at all if he freaked out, but he was completely fine. I asked him how he was doing at one point and he said, “good. But I’m not going on this again.” So Dave went by himself while the kids and I had some popcorn. It was still, incidentally, remarkably cool. The rain turned out to be the best thing that could have happened. It made the morning very pleasant, temperature wise, and kept the park even less crowded than it would have been otherwise. It was still not quite 11, but we decided to pop into Cosmic Ray’s for lunch. Believe the hype—they do give you a ton of food here for your counter service credit! We easily shared 2 meals between the 4 (and a half) of us. Then we went for one more ride on Buzz (still no wait—they didn’t even have the fastpass machines open), and started toward Adventureland. Okay, now it was getting hot. We climbed up the Swiss Family Treehouse. The kids really liked all the climbing, but didn’t want to stop and look at anything, so the grown-ups didn’t much out of it except some exercise. We peeked at Jungle Cruise and saw…a line. A line? Why would we wait in one of those?! It was early, but we’d had a great morning and seen a lot, so we decided to go back to the hotel for a rest. Nothing else to see in Adventureland anyway, right? Oh, we remembered too late, except for Pirates of the Caribbean. Oops. I’m pretty sure Milo would have been terrified by it anyway, so perhaps it’s better left for next time.

The kids rested for awhile back at the hotel, then Dave took Ari and Milo down to the pool while I let Gus crawl all over the hotel room and stretch his legs. Reservations that night were at Boma; we checked in and then went outside and saw some giraffes for a few minutes before our pager went off.

(I forced the kids to wear long sleeves in Florida in September because these outfits (Ari had a coordinating one w/ a lion) were so perfect for Animal Kingdom. At least it was in the evening!).

I had originally scheduled several more buffets than we wound up with. We enjoyed Boma and will likely go back, but I’m glad I didn’t do too many buffets with 3 kids who can’t yet get their own food. By the time we get food for everyone and sit down to eat our own, the kids are finished with round one and ready to go back for more. Argh! I had picked Boma for Wednesday night because that was extra magic hours night at the Animal Kingdom, so I figured we could just pop over there for a bit after dinner. But I eventually realized that Animal Kingdom was still only open until 8, and it was almost 6:30 by the time we finished eating….we went anyway, got there a bit before 7, and took off for the safari. Closed. Okay, so we moved on to Everest. Milo was very relieved to be too short for it (“I’m not tall enough, right?” he confirmed over and over), but Ari was up for trying it. Dave took him on it (5 minute wait) while I waited and fretted about how I should have reminded him to warn Ari about the Yeti and the going backwards and everything. But Ari was, again, fine. But he also didn’t want to go on it again, so I went by myself. It was fun! I haven’t been on a real roller coaster in years (the summer before I got pregnant with Ari was my last trip to Six Flags); I’m glad to discover I still like them in my old(er) age. We felt bad that Milo hadn’t gotten to ride anything, so we went over to Dinoland and took all the kids on Tricerotop Spin twice before we went back to the hotel for the night. This was our first activity-intensive evening, and it went pretty smoothly. I had a lot more nighttime plans than we actually ended up carrying out. We never even made it down to the beach at WL to watch the Electrical Water Parade (though we definitely heard it every night!); it was just too late for the kids since Ari wouldn’t nap. I’m glad we took it easy, though—everyone was still in a good mood and sad to leave by the end of the week rather than completely exhausted.

Next: Our pretend "rest" day that was really an MGM day
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Old 09-26-2006, 03:54 PM   #13
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Way too far north for comfort
Posts: 80

Greetings from another member of the "My 3 Sons Club!" Your trip sounds wonderful, and it's bringing back memories of when my guys were small and cute. (Now they are 18, 20 and 23). Can't wait to hear more!

Trip to Disney World: X thousand dollars
Picture of Gus in Mickey Ears: priceless!
(Oh--all your boys are adorable--it's just that particular picture got to me)
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Old 09-26-2006, 04:36 PM   #14
Nee Nee and Biddy
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Missouri
Posts: 306

I am loving this report! Little boys are great, aren't they?
Me DH DS:8 y/o DD:6 y/o
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:52 PM   #15
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The picture I forgot to post before...I had to get a shot of Gus the mouse in the castle for Gus the baby:

Thursday: “Rest” day

Umm, that was the plan anyway. We had a breakfast reservation at 10:00 at Chef Mickey’s. So we actually did sleep in Thursday morning, by our standards, anyway; I think we were all up by a quarter to 8. We took the boat to the Contemporary and started eating. “I love hash browns,” mused Milo. I had a couple more character meals planned in the original draft of my WDW schedule but then I got to thinking about how Ari was quite likely to spend much of a character meal hiding under the table. And, indeed, this is what he did. When Minnie visited, he merely covered his face with a napkin.

But Dale put him over the edge; he dived under the table while Dale focused on Gus.

Milo didn’t feel a need to hide, but he was a little unnerved by the giant characters himself (even Gus, who was perfectly fine while Minnie was actually present, rubbing noses with him, sobbed briefly after she left). But, all in all, no one seemed too scarred by the experience.

We were supposed to take it easy for the rest of the day, bum around at the pool, maybe take the boat over to check out the campground, etc. But everyone was actually feeling relatively well-rested, thanks to the easy evenings and the afternoon breaks, so we got on to check out Disney Studios instead. It had sounded too show intensive for my short attention span children (2 geminis and one 9 month old equals 3 kids who can’t sit still), but Dave hated to miss out on seeing one of the parks. We got there and headed right for Tower of Terror. Again, we hadn’t intended to take Ari on anything this intense, but, again, we explained it to him and gave him the choice. He decided to try it. It was my turn to go first, so off we went. There was pretty much no line; we walked right into the pre-show. Ari knew all about the “pretend scary” concept after the Haunted Mansion, so he was fine with everything. We got on our elevator, and he enjoyed the ride just fine until the drops at the end. I could tell he was a little scared when I looked over at him, but all he said at the end was, “I’m NOT riding this with Daddy.” I, on the other hand, loved it. I think it was probably my favorite ride at WDW. I don’t usually like drop type rides, as heights and I do not mix well, but the hanging out, looking down, about to fall thing is so brief on TOT that I was fine with it. Dave went on it next, then we went next door to Rock N’ Roller Coaster. Even if Ari had been interested in this one, he wasn’t tall enough, so Dave and I were on our own. I got popsicles for the kids while Dave rode, then he took them over to the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground while I rode.

I walked over to meet them afterwards, and we decided we should probably head out soon as it was really, really hot (this was the first day we’d been out in the sun mid-afternoon, and I wasn’t liking it one bit). We went to the Muppets 3D movie first. Milo thought it was too loud. We all thought it was not as good as Mickey’s Philharmagic.

After resting for awhile at the WL, we drove over to the Polynesian once again for our ‘Ohana reservation. The whole place was packed. It was the first time we had to wait much past our ADR time for a table (maybe about 20 minutes), and it was also the most crowded place we’d encountered. It really made me realize how very glad I was that we’d come during such a slow season; I get short-tempered and exhausted very quickly in large crowds. ‘Ohana was okay. It wasn’t our favorite place, but we might have enjoyed it more if things hadn’t felt so hectic. We were seated off in a corner and couldn’t really see or hear any of the hula dancing, coconut races, etc. Cousin Joe seemed sort of impatient with us when we did stuff like ask for water. ‘Ohana, we were told repeatedly, means “family,” but it kind of felt more like an awkward extended family gathering where you don’t know the people very well and you’d rather just go home.

I’d been promising Ari a trip to the Lego store all week, so we drove over to Downtown Disney. Big mistake. It was completely mobbed (WHERE did all these people come from?), the kids were exhausted, and Ari didn’t want any legos. We went next door to the Disney store, but I had to get out of there fast; it was like the mall at Christmas time (and I started doing most of my xmas shopping online years ago just so I never have to go to the mall at Christmas time). Milo had spent the last of his Disney fund on a Buzz Lightyear doll the day before and now spent all of his time spotting things he wanted and saying excitedly, “I think Ari wants THIS!” He suggested repeatedly that Ari should by a Woody doll so they could “make up stories” with him and Buzz. Ari, however, refused to spend his money on anything. If I suggested something, he’d ask, “how much money would I have left?” and, whatever my answer was, it always seemed to be enough to keep him from parting with another cent. We had an enormous day planned for Friday, our last full day, so we rushed back to the hotel and got the kids in bed as quickly as possible.

Next: Animal Kingdom and Epcot
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