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Old 04-19-2008, 10:37 PM   #1
All7OfUs
We too are so very NOT into traipsing through the dark when a bucket will do just great
What a fun way to meet new folks and say howdy
 
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The "Are you CRAZY?!! April trip with 2 moms, 7 kids and 2 grouchy, grandparents TR

Hi Everyone, Welcome to my trip report! The title above pretty much sums it all up. We just returned on Tuesday from our WDW extravaganza, and I've just now finally figured out how to post pictures. Seems like the longer I wait to get this trip report done, the more I am forgetting!! I really want to include as many details as I can, as I know the ones I was reading leading up to our trip were so very helpful.

For those of you who want to cut right to the chase without the chit-chat, here's a handy dandy little linking dealy bob...

Screamers, Spuds, and Sandwiches!
Hoop De Doo to you too!
Bailout- Take Two, Pizza Included!
Jack, Jack, He's My Man...
Round 'em up, Baby!
Trees that Talk, Mountains that ROCK!
All Kinds Of Critters
Calling All Fairies
I Thought Princesses Wore More Clothes?!
Space Aliens and Other Creepy, Weird Stuff
You Want to do WHAT?!!
Around the World in About 5 Minutes
Some Final Thoughts...

First, let me introduce you to the cast...

Me, the initiator, and ultimately, the one and only planner/organizer for the whole trip- which at times, really p*ssed me off! (which I'll explain later).

My 5 kids: DS, 17, DD, 15, DD, 12, DS, 9, and DD, 5

My sister, who was supposed to head up the entire camping end of things, and who I thought was as enthusiastic and excited as I was about going.

My sister's 2 very coddled and picky eater girls, 5 and 3.

My parents, who spent about $600 to pop into the parks to catch some lunch and leave. Those were probably the most expensive hot dogs ever sold on this planet!! (more later on that whole thing)

Now, don't get me wrong... Our family (myself and my kids) had a more than wonderful time. What a completely different trip one can have if you spend EVEN JUST A LITTLE TIME PLANNING!! We made a tidy little plan of what we really wanted to see and do this trip, and despite some Major!!!! upsets, we did almost everything we had planned on, mostly because we knew what was happening when! Sheesh, some of the crazy things I had to deal with because they didn't listen to me months ago. Just wait until Day 3 (our first day in the parks) when you'll hear some in our party say, "What do you mean we can't eat at a table service place- you mean they actually book up??"

Okay, enough of that. Let's move into our first day!

Friday, April 4th- Travel Day!!
Yeah! We're finally on our way. The excitement is high, so getting everyone out of bed at 5:30 so we can be on the road by 6:00 is no problem. The little ones can sleep for the first few hours, and the teens can eat all of the snacks we packed before lunch, right?

Some of those, even on these boards, told us it takes about 10 hours from Knoxville. Maybe they don't have 3 girls 5 or under, and a son with a major bladder problem, and 2 coffee lovers who need the facilities even more than the littlest members of the entourage. Added to that we have those who weren't really hungry at 6:15 when we stopped at Hardees, but instead were hungry at 10:30, and again at 1:30, and again, at 4:30, and again at.... you get the picture... On top of that we hit a helacious (sp.) thunderstorm just outside of Orlando that literally stopped traffic for about an hour. I've never seen a harder downpour or lightening that struck a bush on the median just feet from our car!!! Okay, so by now you're asking, "so how long did it take you to get from Knoxville to Orlando?" No, not 10, but 14 hours!! We were exhausted, almost too tired to put that tent up and climb into bed.

But we did; and no sooner did we have it up that it started raining again, and thundering and flashing. This was NOT according to plan! Yes, I know it rains in Florida, but well, this was not starting out well. To make matters worse, my darling little niece decides to pitch a terrific tantrum at 10:30 at the off-site KOA that we were to stay in our first 2 nights. Too tired, missing Daddy, afraid of the weather, never slept in a tent- you know the drill. Is anyone sleeping yet?? I was just thankful we didn't get thrown out after all that screaming!

Luckily, the tent only leaked a little overnight, and was mostly dry by the next afternoon.

The only highlight of our first evening at our campsite was the 2 little baby alligators in the canal by our tent. The kids spent a few minutes watching them before tucking in to their bags, and my DD, 5, thought they might like to eat orange peels, so she threw them a couple to try. This was before someone told us it is VERY illegal to feed the gators. Here's a picture of the kids looking for those little gators in the morning and checking out the fish and frogs. What better way for a family to spend time together than camping in the fresh air and hearing frogs croak and fish jump right next to your tent!!??



So, my plans to be set up by 5:00 PM were totally dashed! I had planned a simple (and cheap) campsite meal that evening, then a quick trip to DTD that evening for dessert at Rainforest Cafe. Didn't happen! But that's okay, read the next installment for Day 2's excitement, and you'll find out why
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Old 04-19-2008, 10:46 PM   #2
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Well, I must say, I am looking forward to that next report! I hope it goes a little smoother! It IS entertaining, though!
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Old 04-20-2008, 06:13 AM   #3
2goofycampers
Sounds like something a camping trip could cure
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[QUOTE=PolynesianPixie;24595635]:

I agree with PP,,looking forward to next report....Frank
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Old 04-20-2008, 07:20 AM   #4
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I love the photo of the kids looking for the alligators! Very cute! Looking forward to the rest of the story!

Teresa
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Old 04-20-2008, 07:50 AM   #5
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This one sounds like it's going to be good. What happened next!?
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Old 04-20-2008, 07:52 AM   #6
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Oh, I am just waiting to know what happened next!
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Old 04-20-2008, 08:00 AM   #7
All7OfUs
We too are so very NOT into traipsing through the dark when a bucket will do just great
What a fun way to meet new folks and say howdy
 
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Hi Guys! Thanks for your feedback; I'm really glad you're enjoying the report so far.

I wanted to add a little addendum to last nights report, as I want to include a short list of lessons learned, or things I'd do differently next time...

Here they are for Day #1:

1) ALWAYS have a backup plan. It will save a lot of money and stress and hassle factor! The fact that we ended up in places that we hadn't planned on due to rain screwed up tons of stuff.

2) Make it more than abundantly clear that, if you are traveling with multiple families (even if they are part of your family- does that make sense?), they are free to do what they want, and that you want the freedom to do what you have planned and are comfortable with. We kept a "Disney on crack pace" (that IS a direct quote from my DSis), and she just wasn't able to with 2 very little ones. If they seem to be burning out on Disney Parks, encourage them early on to do other stuff, like the beaches, or the NASA museum.

3) Plan on WAYYYY more time for travel than you think, and be pleased with good time if you make it, and don't be too surprised if it takes you hours more than you thought it would. Plan for the extra expense of those extra travel hours too

Okay, next installment coming up soon. Not sure if it will be everyday, but certainly regularly. There's much more to come, as the entire trip was 10 days!

Have a great day
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Old 04-20-2008, 12:43 PM   #8
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Yea! I was waiting and watching for your trip report! I can't wait to read more and see your pics!
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Old 04-20-2008, 12:51 PM   #9
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This looks like it will be a 6 beer report!

For me that is.
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Old 04-20-2008, 12:53 PM   #10
All7OfUs
We too are so very NOT into traipsing through the dark when a bucket will do just great
What a fun way to meet new folks and say howdy
 
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Okay, found a little time today to get off another installment... Here comes another fun-filled, exciting fix for ya'll.

Saturday, April 5th- Day 2; DTD, and around the Fort

Everyone was up around 8:30, and our goal was to finally get to DTD, since we missed it the night before. It was a miracle that we could get up that early, after having been kept up all night with a screaming kid, intermittent rain and thunder, and crowded sleeping conditions!!! Yesterday, I forgot to mention that since we knew we'd only be at this site for 2 very short nights, we only put up one tent for ALL 11 of us!!!! Yes, you heard that right- 11 people in an 8 man tent. Granted, there were a lot of little ones with us, but can you imagine how fast the stale air (ie. bad breath air) can accumulate in a small tent??!!

Okay, we were groggy... but the excitement was mounting, because we knew we'd be on Disney property in a couple short hours! We quickly got our showers, ate some breakfast (I can't imagine feeding my kids spaghettios (sp?) at 8:30, but that's what my sister chose for her kids

After, breakfast we finally headed out the "tent flap".

Now, here comes that bit I told you about earlier concerning going with foodies. Now, I have nothing against foodies, at all. I border on being one myself, but when you travel with folks who are over-the-top foodies, and you are not one- BEWARE! You will notice a pattern developing, starting here. The minute we pulled up to DTD, my parents started screaming "We're hungry!, What's there to eat here?" They immediately noticed Fultons (who wouldn't?). I knew, from the wealth of info. here on the boards, that there were several other great places to eat at DTD, so I suggested Earl of Sandwich, and we ended up there. I think we ended up paying about $40 for 11 of us instead of $100. Our family (5 kids, and 1 adult, although I'll count my 17 year DS as an adult eater) split 3 sandwiches, and it was just right. Really, one sandwich would easily fill up 2 light eaters with a bag of chips. We got water to drink, as we did with most of our meals. The sandwiches were excellent- we got a couple of originals and one blue cheese.

After lunch, we went straight to Once Upon a Toy Story to get our Mr. Potato Head pieces. We had a great time deciding what should go into the box, and what we could do without. I haven't counted, but I think we must have gotten almost 20 new pieces into the box. When we went to pay, I pointed out the the CM that we could probably fit a few more in, and she said just help ourselves, and that the lid didn't have to perfectly close. I think it's a great bargain! My DS, 10, enjoyed the computerized create-a-Mr. Potato Head much better, and DD, 5 loved playing with the My Little Ponies play area a ton!



After OUaTS, we hopped over to Rainforest Cafe and happened upon a little bird show, and then a few steps further we stepped into Cap'n Jacks to get DD, 15, first Pressed Penny she wanted.

A little more wandering around, and we were ready to head over to the Lego Store, where we spent almost an hour!! ALL of my kids LOVE this place. DS, 10, spent forever building a car, but alas, there were no wheels to be found. DS, 17 chose to buy a tub of specialty parts for $20 of his own money. The little girls all played on the play structure there by McDonalds until they started to sunburn, so we knew it was time to head over to FW to hang around until it was time to check in for HDDR.

Here's a couple more pics. of the DTD area that I thought were cute and turned out okay.







Well, enjoy! Next time, I'll tell you all about our 1/2 day at FW and Hoop de Doo Revue! What a hoot!
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Old 04-20-2008, 01:32 PM   #11
All7OfUs
We too are so very NOT into traipsing through the dark when a bucket will do just great
What a fun way to meet new folks and say howdy
 
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Hey Al,

Grab another, my friend, and fellow Fort Fiend...

Lots more to follow!!
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Old 04-20-2008, 01:38 PM   #12
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Those are great pictures! Cute kids. But they're all cute until they get to be old enough to drink all your beer!
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Old 04-20-2008, 03:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntsammy5 View Post
This looks like it will be a 6 beer report!

For me that is.
aren't you already on #4?
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Old 04-20-2008, 03:12 PM   #14
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I thought this was a thread for a trip report? Aw shucks, it doesn't matter everybody's doing it!!! It is afterall a church day............

BTW ALL7OUs-

Great trip report, can't wait to read more!
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Old 04-20-2008, 03:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuburnJen92 View Post
aren't you already on #4?
7 now. Went to church, but left after communion -- too much yard work to do.
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