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Old 01-02-2007, 04:55 PM   #61
swankybeth
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Enjoying your report, looking forward to the next installment.
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Old 01-02-2007, 05:44 PM   #62
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Chapter Five: Does Southern Charm Work on AKL Cast Members?

So I was up. One of the most critical moments of your entire vacation. Check-in. Finding out about your room. And on this particular day, finding out if it’s clean and ready to be occupied. Which at that point, was far more important to me than where it was located.

“Good morning! Welcome to Animal Kingdom Lodge. May I help you?”

“Yes maam, thank you so much. I’m here to check in. The last name is NM. At least that's what they call me on the DIS. That's Disney Information Station if you haven't heard. It's a website for Disney dorks. These are my adorable children – fans of all things Disney – and this is my Disney-lovin’ man. If there was ever a family worthy of your best upgrade, a family deserving of a room that is clean and ready for check-in right now, it’s us. By the way, there’s a little sumpm sumpm in it for you if you can hook us up.” (NM flashes a hundred dollar bill and the CM starts serious pecking on the keyboard.) “Let’s see what I can do for you, Mrs. NM.”

OK. I don’t have to tell you that’s a lie. In fact, it’s as far from the truth as saying Paris Hilton has talent.

Well, maybe not that far.

But here’s the deal. In the heat of the moment, I choked. Bombed. Became a piece of milquetoast. Did not flirt or bat my eyes. Although I did make sure my kids were standing close by looking all cute. Smiling their Disney-poster-children smiles. Just in case the CM was still deciding if she’d upgrade us to bunk-beds.

What I’m sayin’ is this. It was crowded that day at AKL. I could have smiled, flirted, batted my eyes and spoke Southern niceties until the cows came home and I’d have still been told there were no rooms ready.

Although had the CM been a man, I would have at least tried. With Mr. NM's blessing.

So when I stepped away from the counter, all I had was a phone number to call after 3 o’clock to get my room assignment. And a big, fat packet of info with everything I needed to know about the AKL. Like I hadn’t already read everything I needed to know about the AKL before I booked it. I could have saved her the paper, except that I’m just geeky enough to read every detail in the packet anyway.

Now that we still didn’t know anything about our room, all of the questions that were rolling around in my head went unanswered. Will we breathe the exhaust of Disney busses from our standard view balcony all weekend? Will Moses’ 40 years in the wilderness pale in comparison to the time it takes us to walk to the room? Will we be disappointed with the Animal Kingdom Lodge? And – dare I even think it – will we be upgraded?

I wouldn’t find out until that evening when we returned from MGM.

It was time for Plan B. Plan A had been to “git sicheeated” in the room and pack The Back Pack before heading off to the park. That obviously wasn’t gonna happen.

So the NM’s are now in uncharted territory. We’ve never done the faux check-in. You know, when you receive room keys but have no room to open with them. We’ve never unloaded our car and left a full cart of belongings behind a door labeled “Bell Services”. And, quite frankly, we weren’t comfortable with it. I mean, if the Poly can lose Frick’s Suburban, what makes us think they can keep up with our cart full of luggage? Plus, we still have to pack The Back Pack. I can’t go to a park without it.

DH approaches the bell stand.

Bellman: “May I help you?”

DH: “Um…yes. We just unloaded our car and tried to check in, but our room isn’t clean yet.”

What Bellman said: “OK. How can I help you?”

(What Bellman thought: “So what did you expect? Can’t you see all the freakin’ people checking in right now? What do you want me to do? Clean a room myself?”)

DH: “Well, we are heading to MGM and we need a few things from our luggage.”

What Bellman said: “OK, sure. Just go through the door and find your cart. You can get whatever you need from it.”

(What Bellman thought: “Rookies. You should have been more prepared. Take a peek at all of those carts of luggage in there. See how long it takes you to find yours. Bwaaaahaaahaaa.”)

DH: “Great. Thanks.”

The magic door was opened for us and we walked into a huge room that contained more luggage carts than you’ve ever imagined. Not empty luggage carts. Full luggage carts. Being the nerd that I am, this was a little piece of behind the scenes action that was interesting to me. How do all of these get to the right room? What kind of system keeps track of all of this? Why haven’t I done a behind the scenes tour of the Magic Kingdom? And then it hit me that if all these carts needed clean rooms, we’d be lucky if our room was ready by the time we returned to the resort that evening.

There were bellmen milling around all over the place, busy as bees, and the four of us felt very in the way. So we quickly found our very colorful stuff (who's laughing at my choice of luggage fabric now, honey?) in a sea of black and navy suitcases and pilfered through all of it to pack The Back Pack.

Quick aside: I know there might be a time that we don’t carry the one hundred pound back pack through the parks all day. But right now, The Back Pack is key. Camera, video camera, Advil, antibacterial wipes, jackets, water bottles, granola bars, antibacterial wipes, Purell, autograph books, Mickey head pens, antibacterial wipes…it’s all crammed in The Back Pack. I’d be lost without it. In fact, it’s probably more for The Back Pack than the kids that we invest in the length of stay coupons for a double stroller. Aside over.



Here is a picture of DH wearing The Back Pack. I found it in the bottom of my picture of the MGM hat – that’s why it’s so blurry.

Anywho.

So, The Back Pack was ready, and we exited the luggage room ready for action. It was now about noon, and all of a sudden I wasn’t feeling so laid back about this day. I could just feel the FP return times for RNR and TOT running out as we walked to the bus stop. No form of transportation – Disney or ours – was gonna get me to MGM as fast as I wanted to get there. I was now worried that we’d spend the day wandering around MGM like – GASP!! – a non-planner. Oh the horror.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for a laid-back vacation mentality. But the day before Thanksgiving at Disney World is not it. Not for the NM’s, anyway.

Our first experience with the AKL bus transportation was positive and we were at the gates of MGM in no time.

Then came the moment I had been waiting for since last March.

Mr. NM walked up to the ticket counter and purchased AP’s for he and the kids. We were officially a family of PASSHOLDERS. Sweet.

Let the fun begin!

Next Up - MGM with NO PLAN!!! Next Chapter
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What I learned from the DIS - Spring Break 2006 (with pics!!)

Are We Turkeys? - Thanksgiving 2006 at WDW


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Old 01-02-2007, 06:22 PM   #63
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Sweet! I have a good feeling about what comes next for the NM's. You've got The Back Pack after all. I see your hubby carrying it, but here's a tip. Next time, rent it a stroller. You'll have the dual advantage of not having your (or the Mr.'s) back get all sweaty, AND you'll tick off the people who are annoyed at strollers. It's probably the only thing more irritating than putting a 7 year old in a stroller. Unless it's pushing around a completely EMPTY stroller.
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Old 01-02-2007, 08:21 PM   #64
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Yeah!! A new installment! I love your description of getting all psyched up to charm the CM at check-in, followed by the classic wimp-out. That's all me, baby. And probably why I never get the upgrades. Can't wait to hear how yours turns out. Oh! And this:

Quote:
We’ve never unloaded our car and left a full cart of belongings behind a door labeled “Bell Services”. And, quite frankly, we weren’t comfortable with it. I mean, if the Poly can lose Frick’s Suburban, what makes us think they can keep up with our cart full of luggage?
...was FOFF.

Thanks for keeping it up, NM. I'm looking forward to the rest. Your kids are back to school soon, right?! So you're sure to have LOTS of time on your hands!!
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Old 01-02-2007, 08:56 PM   #65
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Fo Shizzle My Izzle. Oops. Wrong TR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NM
Now that we still didn’t know anything about our room, all of the questions that were rolling around in my head went unanswered.
Okay, since I did so well with the acronyms thing (or did I?), I'm gonna take a shot at these...

Quote:
Will we breathe the exhaust of Disney busses from our standard view balcony all weekend?
I'm guessing you breathed in some exhaust allright, but it wasn't from the busses. And just for the record, I'm talking about the animals, not your DH.

Quote:
Will Moses’ 40 years in the wilderness pale in comparison to the time it takes us to walk to the room?
If Menudo's still hangin' around, most definitely.

Quote:
Will we be disappointed with the Animal Kingdom Lodge?
As if.

Quote:
And – dare I even think it – will we be upgraded?
I already know the answer to this so I'm gonna keep my mouth shut. Or you know, just not type the answer.

Loved your ode to the back pack. What would we do without that thing? I'd be lost without it. That and antibacterial wipes. And those cute little lime green Purell containers that clip on the back pack. Cause those are a mom's best friend.

NM, I can't believe yall were let into the luggage vault. That is so cool. Tell the truth. You wanted to mess with somebody's stuff, didn't you? You know, snap a picture of your smiling family with somebody else's camera and then put it back unharmed on their cart. Not that I would ever want to do that or anything, but I'm guessing you probably did.

Or did you?

All kidding aside, I loved it, my girl. I can't wait to hear how your day at MGM turns out.



Laundry. It's the new moped.

Last edited by LaLa; 01-02-2007 at 08:59 PM. Reason: Word up.
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Old 01-03-2007, 05:48 AM   #66
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Was that only half an installment?? I think it was a whole installment and a fine one at that! If ZZUB can make a trip to the Roarin Fork and the gift shop a whole installment I definitely think this qualifies.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolemarie View Post
I could have saved her the paper, except that I’m just geeky enough to read every detail in the packet anyway.
I think a tree dies for every packet they put out to on-site guests. You read all that stuff?
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolemarie View Post
So we quickly found our very colorful stuff (who's laughing at my choice of luggage fabric now, honey?)
I've got you figured for a Vera Bradley girl? Am I right? Very cool that you got to go back there but agreed it doesn't make you feel any better about how your stuff gets to the right place. I don't ever want to go behind the scenes at baggage claim at the airport.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolemarie View Post
The Back Pack is key. Camera, video camera, Advil, antibacterial wipes, jackets, water bottles, granola bars, antibacterial wipes, Purell, autograph books, Mickey head pens, antibacterial wipes…it’s all crammed in The Back Pack.
I knew I forgot something when I described the contents of my bag! We call it "squirty squirt" because that's what they called it at James' preschool but aka antibacterial gel. I have one in the bag, one in my purse, and an extra in the room. Don't touch ANYTHING until you are sanitized, kids!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolemarie View Post
I could just feel the FP return times for RNR and TOT running out as we walked to the bus stop. No form of transportation – Disney or ours – was gonna get me to MGM as fast as I wanted to get there. I was now worried that we’d spend the day wandering around MGM like – GASP!! – a non-planner. Oh the horror.
That was me EVERY day. I was always at least 5 yards ahead of the rest of the family...afraid one more person would get their fastpass before me!
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolemarie View Post
Mr. NM walked up to the ticket counter and purchased AP’s for he and the kids. We were officially a family of PASSHOLDERS. Sweet.
Sweet, indeed! You're so lucky to have a Disney lovin' man! Can MGM be done with no plan???? I think it can. And I've got my money on the upgrade!
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Old 01-03-2007, 07:20 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolemarie View Post
We’ve never unloaded our car and left a full cart of belongings behind a door labeled “Bell Services”. And, quite frankly, we weren’t comfortable with it. I mean, if the Poly can lose Frick’s Suburban, what makes us think they can keep up with our cart full of luggage? Plus, we still have to pack The Back Pack. I can’t go to a park without it.
Tee hee! I made it into your trippie again! Yes, after what happened to me, it causes you to think twice about a few things doesn't it!

The same situation happened to us. Checked in. Room's not ready yet. Scramble to properly pack THE backpack from the 800lbs of luggage in the back of the car. Yes, we left our luggage in the car all day and then had to lug it in to our room after a long day at Epcot. I am thinking you did the right thing by letting your goods hang out in the luggage vault and get delieverd to your room. I'm remembering that for next time.

I've also had a revelation about the backpack after reading Melinda's and seeing your backpack picture. I carry my cute little Vera Bradley rooster print backpack. DH wouldn't be caught carrying it. If I got a nice blue one like yours, we could share the load.

Enjoyed it!!!

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Old 01-05-2007, 08:14 AM   #68
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LOL

Seriously - I enjoyed your report so far. I just haven't had time to read anything - until last night.

Blessings!
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Old 01-05-2007, 08:54 AM   #69
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I always just check the "user cp" too see the updates on the subscribed theads. But I was needing a dose of Disney magic today and what did I stumbled upon but a NM trip report

Can't wait for the rest
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Old 01-05-2007, 09:31 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolemarie View Post
So I was up to pack The Back Pack.

Quick aside: I know there might be a time that we don’t carry the one hundred pound back pack through the parks all day. But right now, The Back Pack is key. Camera, video camera, Advil, antibacterial wipes, jackets, water bottles, granola bars, antibacterial wipes, Purell, autograph books, Mickey head pens, antibacterial wipes…it’s all crammed in The Back Pack. I’d be lost without it. In fact, it’s probably more for The Back Pack than the kids that we invest in the length of stay coupons for a double stroller. Aside over.

Hey! I finally made it over to your TR!!! Great start!!! I can't wait to read more. MGM without a plan!?! Oh, the horror! I'm lost without my plan! LOL! Anyway, just wanted to tell you, we still use The Back Pack, even though my kids are teenagers! You'd think you would have less stuff to carry around when the kids are older - but it's just not true. We're the WDW bag check security guys worst nightmare! HA HA HA! (evil laugh)

Keep the trippie coming!

-Michelle
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Old 01-05-2007, 07:23 PM   #71
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NM, my sweet March 06 borg sister,

My heart was literally racing with excitement for you! You got to go backstage in the luggage storage? Sweet!

You are so making me want an AP. I mean, an AP!! All the coolest DISsers are AP holders, it seems. I think it's a requirement for you GA and FL residents. Maybe someday...

I can't wait to read what's next. I am very curious about the crowds and your navigation skills.

Keep it coming!
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Old 01-08-2007, 05:54 AM   #72
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Old 01-08-2007, 09:33 AM   #73
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Hey friends!

Thanks so much for the replies!! I'm working on the next installment. Hopefully, I'll have it ready today.

Lexmelinda - I hope you don't take the encouragement you give other TR writers lightly. Your comments are always so sweet. I've said it before, but you know first hand how nice it is to have folks read your stuff and comment on it. So I thank you very sincerely for the time you take to encourage other writers. You are a blessing!!

And yep. You pegged me on the Vera Bradley thing. But unlike Frick, I know better than to use the matching back pack in the parks. NOF!!

Jami - Yeah, it's pretty cool to have an AP. It makes a little "Whirlwind" trip seem free. Thanks for reading and I can't wait to share our "crowd navigation skillz"! They were mad ones, indeed!!

Mlill - Thanks for reading! I can't wait to hear all about your trip. If that ain't a dream vacation, I don't know what is. I'm looking forward to more of yours!

Minnie - Thanks for popping in! There are so many trip reports better than this one! So many thanks for reading and posting. I'm looking forward to telling our tale.

Marky Mark - You caught me, didn't ya? You sly dog. That makes me laugh. And thanks for the post. Get out and enjoy the nice weather we finally have, kay?

Frickles - Yes girl! Get rid of that feminine Vera Bradley backpack!! Plus, those things don't have good dividers. You can't have everything all thrown in the same compartment!! Take notes, my girl.

LaLa - Yeah, I'm just waiting on the Trip Report that comes along with this pic on it. Then I'll know we were successful.



Ash - The wimp-out was classic. And so typical. Somebody mail me a backbone. I need it.

KPK - Girl, you are close - so, so close!! I hope you'll come back with another tale of the Mean Mama. But TFI - you ain't foolin' nobody.

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Thanks again for the comments, folks. They are so appreciated. I enjoy sharing my trip with friends.

Y'all have a great day...

NM
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What I learned from the DIS - Spring Break 2006 (with pics!!)

Are We Turkeys? - Thanksgiving 2006 at WDW

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Old 01-09-2007, 09:15 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolemarie View Post
LaLa - Yeah, I'm just waiting on the Trip Report that comes along with this pic on it. Then I'll know we were successful.


Aren't y'all cute!


Now I am wondering what Vera Print you have. My backpack doens't match the rest of my VB luggage I have the red and white Nantucket print. Well I think that is what it is called.

I'm ready for some more turkey! Get to it girl!!!

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Old 01-09-2007, 09:50 AM   #75
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Chapter 6 - MGM with NO PLAN!

So with FOUR Annual Passes in hand, the NM Family of Disney Suckers rolls through the turnstiles. With “Will Pay Too Much for a Good Time” stamped across our foreheads. We know it. And we own it. It’s OK with us. ZZUB sad it well in one of his recent TR installments. It’s not necessarily the “Disney Magic” that makes our trips so great. It’s the “family magic”. And for the NM’s, Disney is a place where our family magic is really on its game.

But here’s a little something – as opposed to a little sumpm sumpm – that I’d like to tell you about the NM’s. We ain’t totally stupid. And we don’t go around “in real life” with the wanton spending mentality we have at Disney. In fact, we’re big fans of the late Larry Burkett and have tried our best to employ his teachings in our home.

So even though I’m a stranger to most of you, it’s important to me that you know how grateful to God we are that we can take our kids to Disney. And that although we blow it out on our Disney vacations, we don’t take lightly the stewardship of the resources with which we’ve been entrusted.

My husband started his own little business in the spare bedroom of our home several years ago. And times were REALLY lean. We went from some good DINK (dual income, no kids) to big time NIAAWOK. Yeah, that one isn’t a widely recognized demographic abbreviation, but it stands for No Income At All With One Kid. And it also stands for If This Doesn’t Work Out, We’re Moving to California.

For reasons we’ll never understand this side of Heaven, the Lord blessed that business. And blessed us with the ability to afford something that for a long time, we didn't think we'd ever be able to afford – our trips to Disney. But we don’t use that who-cares-what-it-costs-as-long-as-we’re-having-fun mentality in real life. I just wanted you to know that.

OK. Now that the long aside is over, back to the story.

So we’ve just entered MGM and it’s about 12:30. On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. In case you're wondering, 12:30 is usually when we are exiting the parks for an afternoon swim and rest time. And usually about this time, we are puffed up with pride over the precision execution of our TGM plan that morning. In fact, on any other Disney day at 12:30, we are throwing the “L” to all of the rookies entering the park to long ride lines and crowds.

This role reversal may make me look like one of “them”, but trust me. I am not.

But it’s cool. Really. It is. I’m gonna set the commando skills aside and we’ll enjoy the “other stuff” that we never do. Plus, we are really here just for the Obsorne Lights. Everything else is gravy. Laid Back NM is on the scene.

We walk up to the stroller rental and DH goes to the counter to purchase our length of stay tickets.

Then, out of nowhere, in a stealth move that Laid Back NM never saw coming, Commando NM slays Laid Back NM. And now it’s on like a chicken bone. I bark orders to DH.

“Honey, I’ll handle the stroller rental! Run like the wind to the fastpass distribution for RNR and TOT! We’ll get the stroller and meet you there. GO!! And call me when you’ve scored!!”

DH accepts the mission gladly – he was never into the “take it easy” plan in the first place – and bolts off for the thrillers.

I settle the kids into the stroller, pick up a Times Guide, and quickly assess what we have time to do. We are here for the Osborne Lights, and I want to be there when they come on at 6:00. We’d like to see the Lights, Motors, Action show because we’ve never seen it. And we’ve missed Beauty and the Beast the past couple of times we’ve been at MGM. So that needs to be worked into the plan, too.

My brain, which is often challenged by trying to remember what I had for breakfast, executed a plan with surprising ease. We head off in the direction of the thrill rides to catch up with DH and begin our day.

We had almost reached the Rock n’ Rollercoaster when DH “yo’d” me on the Nextel.

“Yo. Where are you?”

“Hey. We’re almost at the RNR. Did you score?”

“Yeah. RNR return time is 6:20. TOT is 6:00.”

“Cool. We’ll see the Osborne Lights and then ride those on our way out. I got a Times Guide and made a plan. We’ll go over it when we get there.”

We catch up with DH and I turn the stroller around in the middle of the street. Very carefully so as not to be the object of a “jerk stroller driver” thread. The four of us are headed toward the hat when we hear someone yelling our names.

“HEY!! NM’s!!”

It’s a friend of ours from college that we haven’t seen in a couple of years. He’s headed at lightning speed in the opposite direction towards the TOT. We share hugs and compliment each other’s kids, and DH and I start leisurely chatting with him. After all, how cool is it to bump into someone you know at Disney? We've got time to chat. It becomes quickly evident that our friend doesn’t have time to chat, as he hasn’t really stopped walking toward the TOT. He’s just talking to us as he walks in the other direction. We keep talking. Clearly frustrated that we aren't reading his body language, finally he says, “It was great seeing y’all, but our Fastpasses expire in five minutes so we’ve got to run or we won’t make it!” And he's off like a flash.

We wave his rookie self good bye and laugh like hyenas at him the rest of the day. If you don’t think what he said is funny, well, I’m just glad your kind is out there. You make our Disney trips a little easier.

We reach the hat and I take the obligatory picture. You’ll notice DH and the kids in the bottom left of the pic. (DH is wearing The Back Pack.) He doesn’t waste time waiting on me anymore because I’m constantly stopping, so I run to catch up with them once I’m finished.



We reach the entrance for Lights, Motors, Action and stand in line for a little while until they start letting folks in. I’m pretty sure this is a Fastpass attraction, but it didn’t appear to me that we’d need one. Which was good. Because I wouldn’t have used one for it. We got settled into the bleachers and realized two things. It was cold and we were hungry.

The Back Pack makes its debut as I break out the snacks. I passed them around while we waited on the show to start. Oreos for the boy. Chips Ahoy for the girl. Sweet and Salty Bars – peanut, not almond – for me and DH. A bottled water for everyone, and we were ready for the show.

I have to admit that I wasn’t all that excited for this. It was a little anti-climactic as our first “Disney” experience. But once it got started it was pretty cool.



After the stunt show, we walked over to the Backlot Tour. We’d never done this either. And while none of us were blown away with excitement, it was cool to see something we had never made time for.



Yeah, I know that there are far cooler things to take a pic of on the Backlot Tour, but not to my airplane-obsessed son.

The Backlot Tour is long, so the snacks we’d had at the stunt show were wearing off. DH sent me and the kids to the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground while he got us a late lunch at Studio Catering Co.

Lemme just say right here that I’ve now sworn off this playground and the similar one at Animal Kingdom unless there is man-to-man defense. Me being there with both the kids was just too much stress. Despite the fact that like most other moms, I do have eyes in the back of my head, I couldn’t keep up with both the kids. I lost my son for a good five minutes that felt like 50. So after that, I made the kids stay together. Even to go down the slide.



Shortly, DH buzzed me to let me know our lunch was ready. I gladly gathered up the kids from the Playground of Stress and we met him at Studio Catering Co. I was starving by now and ready to dig into my first greasy counter service meal. A cheeseburger with fries sounded good. Or a hot dog. At a minimum, a sandwich with fries. I was disappointed to find that DH had ordered me a Chicken Caesar Wrap. Crap. What a letdown. A mental note was made that he no longer had power of attorney for my food orders.
DH claimed at the time that there weren’t really any good choices. I have since perused the menu for Studio Catering Co. and found that I could have had a pulled pork sub or a chili cheese hotdog instead. Maybe DH was just trying to prevent a recurrence of the MGM Throw-Up Episode of 2001. I still say that one was due to my pregnancy, but he’s doubtful.

We ate our lunch and moved on to the Beauty and the Beast show. As always, it was well done, and Four for a Dollar displayed some serious a capella talent in their pre-show.





We rode Great Movie Ride before our supper at ABC Commissary.

At the commissary, I finally had my first vacation food - a cheeseburger - and it was yummy. And now it was time to move in the direction of the Osborne Lights. I had been watching a video on YouTube for a couple of weeks, and I was really looking forward to seeing these lights. One of my favorite “Christmassy” things to do is to hop in the car with mugs of hot chocolate, and ride around town looking at lights while we listen to Christmas music. So I had high expectations for this show. And I wanted a hot chocolate or cappuccino for the experience.

Evidently, that was the same idea the 50 people in line ahead of me at Writer’s Stop had. But we had plenty of time and my kids love browsing in book stores, so I hopped in line. It was 5:30 and certainly I would have time to get something hot and yummy to sip while I watched my Christmas lights. It was 5:40 and certainly I would have time to get something hot and yummy to sip while I watched my Christmas lights. It was 5:50 and certainly I would have time to get something hot and yummy to sip while I watched my Christmas lights. At 5:51, I realized I wouldn't make it and I gave up. Bummer. So we walked down to the Streets of America and waited with a HUGE crowd of folks for the lights to come on.





And when they did, they did not disappoint. The dancing part was wonderful! There was snow, Christmas music and lots of lights. NM was happy. I would have been happier with a hot chocolate, but I was still pretty happy. We walked the length of the street, took lots of pics and let the Christmas feel set in. When we reached the end, we saw this.



It was breathtaking to me. I stood and looked at it for several minutes and thought about how much I had to be thankful for. I remembered that tomorrow was Thanksgiving day, and I wanted to be sure we had some down time to reflect on the holiday and the things we had to be thankful for. I stood looking at the Nativity and prayed that Christ would be at the center of the NM family Christmas.

And then my moment was over – but not forgotten – and it was time for the thrillers!!

We beat a trail to the Tower of Terror and Rock N Rollercoaster and I got to ride with my daughter first.

Now this is what I’m talkin’ about! Oh yeah, baby!! It finally felt like we were at Disney.





With the thrill rides under our belt and a couple of consolation prizes for the boy, we headed out of the park to finally check-in to the AKL. I had called and gotten our room number – 4202 – as my son and I waited on Daddy and Big Sis to ride Tower of Terror. So I knew it was ready. But where was it?

The bus line for AKL was really long and we didn’t make the first bus, so we took a taxi to the AKL.

I took the kids and room key, and DH went to the bell services desk to tell them where to bring our luggage.

It was the moment I had been waiting for. We took the elevator to the 4th floor and stepped out. We followed the sign for the room and found it. 4202. Overlooking the lobby. And from what I could tell, it did not appear to overlook the parking lot.

DH exited the elevator right as we were sliding the room key in the door.

We walked in and there they were. Bunk beds.

My kids went nuts. They had not expected this and didn’t even know it was a possibility. Look closely at the pic – my daughter is trying to push my son out of the way as he breaks in front of her to claim the top bunk.



Sweet. We had a deluxe room. Bunk beds. Day bed. Savannah view.

OK. So there was a wall in front of the balcony and all we could see of the savannah were the tops of the trees. But it was all good. It was still a great room. And a sweet upgrade from the standard room I had paid for.

And what is this? Two Mickey’d up gift baskets? One for the kids. One for us. We ripped into them to find all kinds of treats and treasures for our trip. The kids were crazy with excitement between the goodies in the basket and their bunk beds. I read the cards and it said the baskets were from Mickey and the gang.

I knew better, and shot a quick thank you to my girl LaLa for the treats. And I thought about how different a Disney trip was with all of you in my mind. How much more fun it was sharing it with you.

We got the kids bathed and in bed, and DH went to purchase and fill up our mugs. I finally got my hot chocolate, and we sat down and reflected on the day and anticipated what tomorrow would hold.

Tomorrow was Thanksgiving day. And I knew no matter what the crowds were like, no matter how many times we could or couldn’t ride Everest, and no matter whether or not I was disappointed with our Thanksgiving dinner at Jiko, I would have a great day.

I had TONS to be thankful for.

Next Chapter
__________________

NicoleMarie
____________________________________

"Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere." Psalm 84:10

What I learned from the DIS - Spring Break 2006 (with pics!!)

Are We Turkeys? - Thanksgiving 2006 at WDW


Last edited by nicolemarie; 05-23-2007 at 03:23 PM.
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