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Old 01-19-2007, 04:18 PM   #91
Frickles
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It's a good thing I really like popcorn!

I'll just do the laundry while I wait.
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Old 01-19-2007, 04:25 PM   #92
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OK, Frick....I'll eat the popcorn while you do the laundry.

Last edited by lexmelinda; 01-19-2007 at 04:26 PM. Reason: Hate the popcorn bloat! Why is there no cotton candy?
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Old 01-19-2007, 04:26 PM   #93
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Chapter Seven - A Road Race I Wasn't Counting On...

It took me a minute to completely wake up on this first morning at Disney, and for a quick second, I wondered why I felt anxious at home in my own bed. And then I remembered.

Oh yeah. I’m not in my own bed. We’re at Disney. And it’s Thanksgiving Day.

I was excited, of course. I mean, the joy you feel on your first full Disney day is practically cliché. But this was different. I was excited and anxious. Really anxious. Was this going to be a complete waste of time? Would the crowds turn the usual happy-as-all-get-out-because-we’re-at-Disney NM’s to the arguing I-told-you-it-would-be-crowded-and-miserable NM’s? Would my kids be whiny when we couldn’t do everything they wanted to do today?

Or worse.

Would I be the first Disser in DIS history to think that a good day at home is better than a bad day at Disney?

I couldn’t wait to find out. I got up to get my shower while DH went to fill our mugs. We had a quick cup of coffee together, discussed the Plan of the Day (POD), and got the kids up and ready. We didn’t have to worry about breakfast, because we were eating with Donald and the Gang at the Animal Kingdom. We just had to worry about getting there on time. Our ADR was for 8:00.

With everyone dressed and ready, and The Back Pack filled up and strapped on, we stepped out of the room and looked over into the lobby for a crowd check. Wow. People were everywhere! My anxiety was reaching Xanax levels. Not that I’ve ever taken a Xanax. But I’ve heard about it. And I’ve often thought it might be a good thing to have in The Back Pack. Anyway, these crowds might be worse than I had prepared myself and my family for.

But I didn’t let my concern show, and we happily headed off for the bus stop. Once there, I did a quick survey of the bus stop dynamics, and I determined Tour Guide Mike to be worth four times his subscription rate. He knows of what he speaks and I saw it right there with my own two eyes.

A bus for Magic Kingdom was pulled up as we arrived. It was filled to capacity with AKL guests, and left this many folks at the stop waiting on the next one.

I lightened the pic a little so you can see all the folks milling around.



And this is what it looked like at our stop. For Animal Kingdom.



Yep. Just us. The NM’s had the place to ourselves.

As we watched family after family come down the walk to the bus stops – then pass us by and go to the MK stop – my anxiety began to lessen. We might be OK. And Tour Guide Mike might just be Da Man. Sorry ZZUB.

After a short wait, the bus for Animal Kingdom arrived. Two for two on positive bus experiences if you’re counting. We hopped on, spread out among the empty seats, and gloated a little at how much smarter we obviously were than the rest of the Thanksgiving Day travelers.

Yes Siree Bob. I love me some Tour Guide Mike.

We arrived at the Animal Kingdom with time to spare, so of course I whipped out my camera for some shots of the Christmas decorations.





Then we made our way to the turnstiles where they were checking ADR’s for the Donald Breakfast. Not to be confused with breakfast with The Donald. Or even Rosie O’Donnell.

The line was moving a little slow, so we stood there for a minute just waiting. I was in front of my family, with DH behind me settling the kids into the stroller. The stroller is key at Animal Kingdom. My sweets babies could never keep up with the pace if we couldn’t push them at breakneck speed in the stroller. Sorry if that offends you. Or if I’ve severed your Achilles’ in the process.

Anyway, I turn to DH to say something, and as I did, I saw a sight that made my heart skip a beat. And though my man can still have this effect on me after fourteen years, it wasn’t him that I saw.

It was a member of The Dream Team coming right toward the NM’s. I may be a dumb redneck, but at least I’m a Disney informed dumb redneck. And I knew what this character had in his magic bag. So in my mind, our day was all of a sudden gettin’ really good.

I didn’t even have time to prep DH for what was happening before the nice man was making conversation with us. I had read on the DIS that the prizes awarded are not random. That there is a method to the madness. So I wondered if we fit the criteria this guy was going for. I made a quick mental checklist of things he might be looking for.

Wearing Disney logos? No.

Disney rookies? Clearly no.

Adorable children in love with The Mouse and worthy of the Dream Fastpass? Of course.

The Dream Team member was a precious older man with white hair. His countenance was sweet and he sidled up to our family and said “Good morning! How are you all doing today?”

I used my fake non-redneck accent and tried to look as Disneyfied as I could without the help of a fanny pack and Walt Disney World 2006 T-shirt. “We’re great!” I said. “We’re looking forward to our day – especially getting to ride Expedition Everest.”

Which we could really use a Dream Fastpass for, I said with my eyes.

The nice man said “Ooooh. You’re gonna have a great time. Is this your first visit to Walt Disney World?”

My hope faded faster than a summer tan because I knew that was probably my magic criteria. It would have to be our first visit to get the Fastpasses. Snap. We are far from first-timers.

My Dream Fastpass was gonna be awarded to some rookie who wouldn’t appreciate it. Who would mumble an insincere “thanks” for something they couldn’t realize the value of.

But we’re so deserving! We just bought Annual Passes! We just committed every vacation dollar we spend for the next year to The World! GIVE ME THE FREAKIN’ FASTPASSES!!!!!

The sweet man knew nothing of the monologue in my head, especially when I smiled at him and responded “Oh no, it isn’t our first time. In fact, it’s our third. In just one year. We’ve been to Disney many times. We love it.”

My daughter piped in that she had just had her birthday and that she’s spent her birthday at Disney World three times.

Oh yeah, baybee!! That’s my girl! Certainly cute little blonde girls with beautiful blue eyes and great conversation skills can score the Dream Fastpass!

“Well, I’ll tell you what,” he said. “I may have a little something in my bag for you.”

My hope sprang forth again. The Fast Pass!! We’re getting the Fast Pass!!

He dug around in his messenger bag and pulled something out.

“Here you go. Happy Birthday!”



It was a Birthday button. A freakin’ birthday button. My daughter, not realizing what had just slipped through our Disney-lovin’ fingers, was truly gracious and excited. And she felt really special when he handed her a Sharpie and told her to write her name on the button so everyone would know who the Birthday Girl was.

Not to exclude the rest of the family, the Dream Team member dug around in his bag some more and gave DH and I “Honorary Citizen” buttons and my son an Incredibles button that was for Magical Gatherings. I’m not sure when a family of four became a “Magical Gathering”, but my son can’t read so he was thrilled.





By this time, we were at the turnstiles and we bid our new friend goodbye. We checked in with the host and made our way to Dinoland for breakfast.

We’ve had the breakfast here before, and while breakfast food in buffet style brings me great joy, this character meal was booked for one reason only.

Strategic placement for the Power Walk to Expedition Everest. Which is my girl and I’s favorite ride in the entire World. Or the entire world even. It’s AWESOME. And we wanted to ride stand-by and score some Fastpasses in one fell swoop that Thanksgiving morning.

Because of the child-swap, this strategy would ensure my daughter of at least three rides on this incredible coaster. And five rides if the Fastpasses weren’t gone by the time our next FP availability time came around.

As stressful as this whole commando approach to the first ten minutes of our day at Animal Kingdom may seem to you, it’s actually a lot of fun for the NM’s. We love to formulate a good battle plan. And we love it even more when it works with great success. Which at that point in our Disney history, it always had.

So breakfast was good, and we were parked at the rope in Dinoland by 8:50. Chatting it up with the CM’s that held all The Power. The CM’s that carry the rope to Everest. With a herd of wild Disney commandos power walking behind them. Competing to beat the herd of wild Disney commandos behind the OTHER rope that comes from the park entrance. Both herds headed to the most coveted destination in the Animal Kingdom. If the adrenaline involved in that race could be used in my everyday running, I’d be the next Flo Jo.

So 9:00 finally arrived. And the CM’s started walking and carrying the rope. And reminding everyone that we HAD to walk. Jovial protests came from the crowd. “But the crowd at the park entrance will beat us!” The CM’s responded “You’ll be seconds ahead of them!” Not good enough. We all wanted to be first by a long shot! I had a feeling we weren’t the only ones who used the Donald Breakfast as a battle strategy.

I wish I had taken a picture of the madness. That’s really the only way to describe it. But it was happy madness. Everyone was having fun. In fact, I enjoy running in road races here and there, and this whole scene reminded me of the energy and excitement that proceeds the gun going off before a race. But to take a picture would have possibly cost me some time, so I’ll just have to use what I have.

Picture our group coming over the bridge on the right, as the other group approaches the ride from the left. Who would win?



We would. But only by seconds.

BOOYAH!!!

DH and Little Man went to the Fastpass machine, while my daughter and I hopped in line. And guess what? The dadgum rollercoaster was having some problems. But I was certain it would be up and running shortly, and when it was, we were gonna be some of the first ones on the train. After the boys secured the Fastpasses, they came around to stand with us until the CM could see that we qualified for the child swap. We got the blessed child swap pass, and the guys went to Dinoland.

While the girls waited. And waited. And waited. My daughter was so excited she could hardly contain herself.

Finally they made the announcement. The coaster was ready to go. And we started into the queue. It’s so well themed in there, but we didn’t have time to look. We had a train to catch.

We boarded the train and I looked at my daughter and grabbed her hand. We grinned from ear to ear and squealed like only girls can do. As we pulled out of the station, I knew that no matter what else we were able to do that Thanksgiving day, we’d already done enough. We'd done what we came to do.

And it was worth every minute of the effort.

Next Chapter
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"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 03:26 PM. Reason: DH found a typo...
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Old 01-19-2007, 04:52 PM   #94
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NM!!!! Wow! I appreciate you posting that installment one minute after I started eating my popcorn. Thank you! And good job, girl. Lotsa funny today!
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolemarie View Post
My anxiety was reaching Xanax levels. Not that I’ve ever taken a Xanax.
Nicolemarie: Xanax Junkie. Nope. Doesn't fit. Thanks for clearing that up.
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Originally Posted by nicolemarie View Post
And Tour Guide Mike might just be Da Man. Sorry ZZUB.
I'll second that!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolemarie View Post
It was a member of The Dream Team coming right toward the NM’s. I may be a dumb redneck, but at least I’m a Disney informed dumb redneck. And I knew what this character had in his magic bag. So in my mind, our day was all of a sudden gettin’ really good.
This was so exciting. I just knew something great was gonna happen!
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Originally Posted by nicolemarie View Post
GIVE ME THE FREAKIN’ FASTPASSES!!!!!
Commando NM slays Laid Back NM again!
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Originally Posted by nicolemarie View Post
It was a Birthday button. A freakin’ birthday button.
NNOOOOOOO!
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolemarie View Post
We’ve had the breakfast here before, and while breakfast food in buffet style brings me great joy, this character meal was booked for one reason only.
The Timing.....is everything! Good job!
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Originally Posted by nicolemarie View Post
And it was worth every minute of the effort.
Cool! Something to be thankful for! I must say the "other" TGM entrance worked well for us, too! I can understand your concern though on Thanksgiving Day.
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Old 01-19-2007, 05:14 PM   #95
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Quote:
As we watched family after family come down the walk to the bus stops – then pass us by and go to the MK stop – my anxiety began to lessen. We might be OK. And Tour Guide Mike might just be Da Man. Sorry ZZUB.

After a short wait, the bus for Animal Kingdom arrived. Two for two on positive bus experiences if you’re counting. We hopped on, spread out among the empty seats, and gloated a little at how much smarter we obviously were than the rest of the Thanksgiving Day travelers.

Yes Siree, Bob. I love me some Tour Guide Mike.
Isn't that the BEST feeling? Bwaahahaaaa!!!

Quote:
My daughter piped in that she had just had her birthday and that she’s spent her birthday at Disney World three times.

Oh yeah, baybee!! That’s my girl! Certainly cute little blonde girls with beautiful blue eyes and great conversation skills can score the Dream Fastpass!

“Well, I’ll tell you what,” he said. “I may have a little something in my bag for you.”
My heart was pounding here. I just knew you were heading to the front of the EE line. Y'all had to be the cutest, most deserving family there that day.

Quote:
Strategic placement for the Power Walk to Expedition Everest. Which is my girl and I’s favorite ride in the entire World. Or the entire world even. It’s AWESOME. And we wanted to ride stand-by and score some Fastpasses in one fell swoop that Thanksgiving morning.
Now I have just learned something here. I have never thought of this little strategy! I am guessing Mr. NM is not a coaster man either? I guess he didn't have a choice that day! I love EE!
Your pic and story are awesome!

Happy Thanksgiving.
Jam
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The Fixer and The CookMaster...backstage pixie dust!!
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3/07 BC CL,9/07 BC CL , Jan. 2008 AKL, June 2008 Windsor Hills(!), Sept. '08 Poly, Thanksgiving '08 CR CL!

Last edited by jamal; 01-19-2007 at 05:15 PM. Reason: wretched typing
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Old 01-19-2007, 05:26 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NM
Well, I’ll tell you what,” he said. “I may have a little something in my bag for you.”

My hope sprang forth again. The Fast Pass!! We’re getting the Fast Pass!!

He dug around in his messenger bag and pulled something out.

“Here you go. Happy Birthday!”

Ahahahahahaha! You got me! I was sure you got the life time Disney Passes or the DVC membership. I am sooooo sorry it was just a dang button. But a Happy Birthday button at Disney is better than a birthday cake at home!

Can't believe I missed this TR. Wait a minute, yes I can. I don't come around these parts much anymore.

I AM IN!
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A Day at the Punkin Patch-A Celebration of a New England Fall Day
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Old 01-19-2007, 06:07 PM   #97
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Oh! That is too funny! I'm surprised the Dream Squad CM didn't see the Dream Fastpass 'look' in your eyes and run the other way! (Like they did with us!) A button! I can't believe it! At least you guys got something! We talked with about a half dozen of those dream bagged people and didn't get a d*mn thing! Sheesh!

Nothing like Everest first thing in the morning on a full stomach!

Great chapter!!!

-Michelle
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Old 01-19-2007, 06:21 PM   #98
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Great installment, NM! Trust me. When you are part of a Magical Gathering that includes the entire family, Xanax is a MUST. If only for those few days. I think percoset would have worked well, too.
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Old 01-19-2007, 08:38 PM   #99
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Woo Hoo! I love me a new NM installment!

Okay, so I have yet to have a run in with these supposed "Dream Team" members. But I'm starting to think that part of their jobs is to frustrate the heck out of those of us who are "in the know"! I'm hearing way too many stories about Dream Team fake outs. Buttons, Certificates, blah, blah, blah. Give us some frickin (NOF) Dream Fastpasses!! Well, except for Kimmie, cause she already got some. We need someone "on the inside" to let us in on the "secret ingredients" that they're looking for. Mark, Rhonda, c'mon, make some phone calls!!!

Love all the TGM kudos, too. I just re-upped for the third time!! He's awfully dorky, but the man knows his stuff!! (And, besides, dorky isn't all that bad, is it?)
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Old 01-20-2007, 04:37 PM   #100
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All this time I had no idea I was rubbing elbows with an Honorary Citizen!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolemarie View Post
Would I be the first Disser in DIS history to think that a good day at home is better than a bad day at Disney?
I think the fact that you refer to yourself as a "Disser" is a pretty strong indication that the answer to this one is gonna be no.

Quote:
Not that I’ve ever taken a Xanax. But I’ve heard about it.
Okay, this killed me. So borg. I refer to Valium and Xanax all the time. But I've never taken either. That I know of anyway.

Quote:
Ahhh, memories....

Quote:
Then we made our way to the turnstiles where they were checking ADR’s for the Donald Breakfast. Not to be confused with breakfast with The Donald. Or even Rosie O’Donnell.
Now that's a character meal I'd love to see them implement. One thing's for sure. It wouldn't be boring. Ugly for sure. But not boring.

Quote:
Wearing Disney logos? No. Disney rookies? Clearly no.
Isn't that an oxymoron during The Year of a Million Dreams Promotion/Celebration? Frankly, I'm surprised at you.

Quote:
“Well, I’ll tell you what,” he said. “I may have a little something in my bag for you.”

My hope sprang forth again. The Fast Pass!! We’re getting the Fast Pass!!

He dug around in his messenger bag and pulled something out.

“Here you go. Happy Birthday!”



It was a Birthday button. A freakin’ birthday button.
OH NO! NOT A BIRTHDAY BUTTON! That stinks. I am so sorry, my girl. I feel your pain. But I gotta tell ya, that smokin' Honorary Citizen button and Magical Gatherings button more than makes up for it I think. Cause who wouldn't want a couple of those?

Quote:
We boarded the train and I looked at my daughter and grabbed her hand. We grinned from ear to ear and squealed like only girls can do. As we pulled out of the station, I knew that no matter what else we were able to do that Thanksgiving day, we’d already done enough. We'd done what we came to do.

And it was worth every minute of the effort.
NM my girl, I loved this. I can hear the girly squealing and I can see the grins. And in my mind's eye, yall are too cute. Glad you got the jump on the competition first thing that morning. I can't wait to hear how the rest of your Thanksgiving Day in the World turned out.


Last edited by LaLa; 01-20-2007 at 04:42 PM. Reason: Admit it. The typo he found was the word "cliche" wasn't it? You misspelled it at first didn't you? It's okay though. That's a tricky one.
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Old 01-20-2007, 07:38 PM   #101
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You had me thinking you got something good. A birthday button....

Oh will the your daughter was happy. A special moment in her eyes I bet.



--
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:00 AM   #102
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Woo hoo! A NM 3-fer whilst I was away! Good to come back to.

I am so happy for your family -- the room upgrade, the bunks, gift baskets from LaMickey, the early AM conquest of EE, and the icing on the cake ... the birthday buttons.

Not to give anything away, but the Dream FP's are a "right place at the right time" thing. Nothing to do with rookie vs. Disney Dork, or even with cuteness. Luckily for me.

Keep rockin' it, NM!
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:30 AM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolemarie View Post
My anxiety was reaching Xanax levels. Not that I’ve ever taken a Xanax. But I’ve heard about it. And I’ve often thought it might be a good thing to have in The Back Pack.
Xanax attached with a band aid to a small airline bottle of booze works well, so I heard

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolemarie View Post
Then we made our way to the turnstiles where they were checking ADR’s for the Donald Breakfast. Not to be confused with breakfast with The Donald. Or even Rosie O’Donnell.
Again, book that and pack this, Xanax attached with a band aid to a small airline bottle of booze

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolemarie View Post
Anyway, I turn to DH to say something, and as I did, I saw a sight that made my heart skip a beat. And though my man can still have this effect on me after fourteen years, it wasn’t him that I saw.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolemarie View Post
Picture our group coming over the bridge on the right, as the other group approaches the ride from the left. Who would win?



We would. But only by seconds.

BOOYAH!!!
I am imagining Mel Gibson in a kilt at the top of the hill
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Old 01-21-2007, 12:39 PM   #104
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LOVE this TR!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolemarie
Both of my kids suffer from that middle of the night ailment known as leg cramps. If your child doesn’t get them, say a prayer of thanks right now.
Amen to that! My dd6 has this same kind of ailment, only it affects her hands. She is, nevertheless, every bit as vocal about it as your son. Just insert the word HAAAAAAAAAAND where LEEEEEEEGGGGG appears below, and you'll get the idea...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolemarie
“MOOOOOMMMMMYYYYY!!!!!!! MY LEEEEEGG HUUUUUUURTS!!!! OW! OW! OW! OW! OW! OW!”
And I so relate to the eyes tearing up thing talking 'bout your babies. I do the same thing. People get tired of hearing about my child, but I can hardly help it.

Quote:
He pretty much closes the door. Says he is not down with it.

And being the submissive wife I am, I go ahead and call Disney to see what resort has the best AP rate for the Thanksgiving weekend.


Quote:
So I made up my itinerary in Excel, made lots of ADR’s, and started scouring the boards for stories on how the crowds are at Thanksgiving.
I've always suspected that great minds really do thing alike, and LaLa, surely NM's Excel itenerary IS color coded! She's not an amateur, you know! I am vastly relieved to discover that I am not the only ridiculously obsessed uberDisNerd who does this. And so sorry, Lexmelinda, but it's Excel, Excel, Excel all the way for the itenerary, Word is for your packing lists and such.

Quote:
Conservatives from the Bible Belt will surprise you sometimes.
Love it!

I'm just now catching up, but loving every minute! Thanks for all the








I am very anxious to hear about your Thanksgiving trip, b/c I myself have toyed with the idea of visiting at this time of year. But yeah, the crowd thing just gives me hives. Still, TGM is a force to be reckoned with, especially where crowds are concerned, so maybe it would work...?
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Old 01-21-2007, 02:27 PM   #105
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[QUOTE]
“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.[quote]

DUDE...you call that guy your friend??? Your like a pirannah!! Why not help him out and TELL him about his fastpass?!?!?!?!?!?!
I guess I would never win a season of Survivor Disney....

Quote:
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.



I had TONS to be thankful for.

This really made me cry. I am emtional today, my kids are away...and it reminded me of our love for each other as IF (haha decipher that one!!) AND our love for WDW. It makes me realize how special a trip is now that I have made such connections with peeps like you...
mad love to you NM. And your mad skillz. NICE ROOM.
__________________
mom and dad
4 dancing princesses
POLY 2005, 2006, 2008
POR AB March 2007
Beach Club Sept '07,CR Tower September '09
SSR2BR March '10~~ Baby's first trip
Grand Floridian Club Level Feb '11...another 1st! return to GF Oct '11
Kidani Village '12 (big, fat family vacation!)
Sugarloaf Oct '12, Yacht Club CL 2013 FWF
Beach Club Villas '13


Last edited by Disfan3; 01-21-2007 at 02:27 PM. Reason: Sorry about that first quote problem...lala is the one who taught me how to quote...NO LIE!! REMEMBER la??
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