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Old 09-28-2007, 11:23 PM   #31
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I'm adding pictures and changing the text to a couple entries, by the way.

And now I have a massive headcold, which is very obnoxious. DS has it, too. DH must fight it.


Oh, and as a semi-conclusion to the JCPenney thing, despite saying they could NOT help us like the phone person said they would, they DID take care of the situation.

And just as we were ready to go, replacement shorts in hand...the clerk noticed that the Arizona brand TAG stated "surfer chick print". Surfer chick.

I really really want to post a picture of those trunks, but I fear being dinged by the mods, b/c it's really just silhouettes of nekky ladies.

Surfer chicks...

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Old 09-29-2007, 02:42 AM   #32
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part of this was posted earlier, but I've moved it and added to it

Wednesday the 19th, was nowhere near as action packed.

Lilo was good, but DS was still full from dinner, and he was just too hyper to sit.

This picture is just about the speed he was moving.



Continuing with the bleah pineapple reaction I've been having, I was NOT thrilled with the much-complimented pineapple scone. boohoo

The potatoes, however, were EXCELLENT.

Eamon liked the drums!

After that, we went to DL to upgrade to APs. THANK YOU Sunshine Rewards, for the Disney Gift Cards for that!!!

DH says we went on Matterhorn, which DS hated (I didn't enjoy it much this trip, either).



And then, we went to DCA, and spent all day, but did very little.

Although this moment almost came at the expense of a broken finger (he was in line then went running off, I went to grab him and SLAMMED my finger STRAIGHT into a pole, OMG the pain), and although they started leaving and Eamon took the initiative and went chasing after them pellmell...he did get to meet a chipmunk.



And he met Flik.


DS had an INCREDIBLE time in one of the water play areas, the one where water squirts up out of the ground. We didn't (should have) change him into his swim trunks ahead of time, but he was wearing one of those "rash guard" sorts of shirts...he got absolutely, positively, completely and totally, drenched. And he had just the best time.

It started so innocently.



And just got waterlogged.





I think he played for an hour, just running and laughing and narrowly missing running into other children. Well, two times he had a collision with other boys, which resulted in a fake-looking *bounce off, fall on bottom, get back up and keep running* moment, but all was well. And then the older teens/young 20somethings showed up, and they had to be told twice by a CM (the friendly Rudy) to calm down. While he was talking to them a second time, DS had his last fall, when a 12-ish year old was barreling through and smashed into him (remember DS is 3), which caused a full on knee-and-palm fall. Oh no! That ended his fun, but got him an Honorary Citizen button from Rudy, which was sweet. Then I toweled DS off in the bathroom (a lovely CM cleaning the bathroom suggested I use the baby-station thick pads, and then got me a trash bag to put his sopping wet clothes and sandals in) and changed him, but DS was still not happy.

So we tried to warm him up, kissed his hands and knees, got him ice cream, and bought him Buzz tennis shoes (it was that or go back to the room, and none of us wanted that, PLUS Robert wanted some Crocs and I had a 10% off purchase of $50 coupon from Costco, so really we couldn't pass up those cute shoes). THEN he was happy. Of course, that took about 2 hours. (continues our theme of things taking FAR longer than they should have done)

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Old 09-29-2007, 02:59 AM   #33
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The 19th, continued.


All dry with new shoes.



Why have I never seen the moving waterfall mentioned before? People talk about the sun all the time, but that "wave" waterfall is very very cool.

Or maybe that's my latent Californian coming through (even though I have NEVER surfed or even wanted to).






Who knew that candy corn grew like this?

Stinkin' candycorn...by the end of the trip, we had practically taught DS to read "corn syrup", so that he really really really KNEW that we weren't just being mean, when we refused to let him have something. In that DL candy store (with all the little penny squishing machines and other machines), EVERYTHING I checked started off "sugar, corn syrup". Except for rock candy, and that had at least 3 artificial dyes in it (we don't know how he deals with those yet). HARUMPH.

I don't mind sugar, I really don't. And I never intended to be the mother of someone with such a problem, but the day DS attacked me not 20 minutes after eating a lollipop, I knew that I HAD TO pay attention to the evil ingredient.

So sugar I don't care about. But, as we explained to him, corn syrup (and high fructose corn syrup) turns DS into a dragon, and NO ONE wants to be around a dragon...



OK so anyway...

Marching.


He saw this "ad" and yelled "Woody!"



Yep. Based on the sleeve. Yowza kids notice EVERYTHING.


We went to Flik's Fun Fair, and had a really good time. The bumper cars, the ladybug twirly ride, the Chew Chew train (I went once with the guys, but they went on at least two more times at DS's request), the round-and-round ride in the food boxes...all good. I feel as though I'm missing one, though...hmm.

We wandered, used the bathrooms, I drooled over the concept of having a margarita (but I don't usually drink liquor b/c it's so expensive, and this was no exception).

My dad has almost always lived in Santa Cruz, CA, home of the Beach Boardwalk. And I love that place. So you know I adored the Paradise Pier section of DCA! We didn't go on anything, but still, I loved it.

We went out the GC exit/entrance, and despite questionable signage to get out the right way, we got out with the help of Alex-the-DVC-scheduler (who got us scheduled, LOL).

Left to go to the mall, to take care of the swim trunks nonsense. We were all hungry, and the inner dragon came out of DS at Subway, which was embarrasing, but totally understandable, considering how very little he had had to eat (since he zoomed around at Lilo instead of eating, and refused all food all day).

He had a little bit of "safe" juice, a couple bites of food, and passed out HARD in the car. We stopped at Von's (my navigation skills with two partial maps and FOUR sets of directions to the mall, all of which were DIFFERENT from each other, were impressive!) to get some essentials, and the males napped in the car while I gathered the foods.

Back to hotel. Ate Subway. Slept.

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Old 09-29-2007, 12:23 PM   #34
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Since the hotel handed us a printed sheet stating quite clearly that guests had EE every day it was offered during the stay, we knew that we had a second EE on Thursday the 20th.

This time we went to Fantasyland.



DS was a little bit cold and tired still.



But the people in line for Peter Pan were nice! They were Mariners fans who were wearing their colors, b/c they were going to a game that night. So that made DH happy.

I don't remember having ever been on PP, and it was a good ride! I liked the difference of hovering, rather than being ON a track underneath.

Then we went on Mr Toad's, which was great, and DS loved it.

Then the carrousel, and maybe some Dumbo and teacups to finish up the EE hour...I don't know b/c I went to Main Street to wait for my brother, who came up to visit for the day. He said he parked on time, got a tram on time, but as usual when we have waited in the ticket line...the people in front of him seemed to be conducting super-secret state business at the ticket sales windows, with transactions taking upwards of 10 and 20 minutes. When he got to the window, it was bing-bang-boom super-easy, perhaps a minute in total, but the people in front of him just took ages. So he was late. Bwa ha ha...he's NEVER late.

Tomorrowland was next, and since I had already had my fright from Space Mountain (turns out that the front car doesn't suit me, as I have very frightening mental images while riding it! actually, the coasters and I didn't do well in any way on this trip. ironic, b/c we put a halt to trying for a baby, so that I could enjoy my coasters at DL, and then I hated the coasters!), I sat that out with DS while my brother and DH went.


We had an 11:30 PS for Blue Bayou, and they didn't have a problem adding a 4th to the table, whew. DH and I split the portobello dish, and it was filling even split into two, but far too vinegar-y. Brother had the monte cristo, and couldn't finish it (he's a runner with a big appetite). DS had the mac and cheese ordered for him, but would NOT touch it. Smart boy! I tried it later, and it was NASTY. I think they ran out of REAL cheese and substituted velveeta, so it was not the taste sensation it should have been there.


Wander, wander...then I know we went towards Splash. While the men went on that, DS and I waited for Pooh in line. Halfway through the line, we were told that Pooh had to visit Christopher Robin but Eeyore would come out. DS didn't like it, but he did like Eeyore, so it was fine. And as Pooh was leaving, Brer Fox showed up, and DS thought that was fun (though he has NO clue who that is).

DH weighs over 300. My brother does not. DH was put in the very front of the log, with my brother behind him, thinking that DH would protect him. Ha. They looked like drowned rats when they got off that ride!

Sopping wet shirts, shorts just dripping water...

I felt bad for them, but not bad enough to not giggle a bit. After all, I *had* ponchos; THEY had just forgotten about them!

After some drying off and wandering, we made our way to the Island, where DH discovered that wet, new, Crocs will cause blisters. Oh what fun.

DS met Captain Jack, but haven't seen the pictures because it's on Photopass and I'm part of a share that I don't want to mess up.



When we got back to the mainland from the rafts...we discovered something. DS's pirate hat, the one with no name on it (he didn't want it), was missing entirely from the stroller.

We didn't tell Eamon at that point, wanting to make sure it wasn't there. We did buy him a blue Mickey balloon inside the clear balloon. I love those things...

Shortly after that, we all went back to the hotel. I got DS to sleep, then called DH and brother back up to the room. My brother and I then went back to the park, while DH and DS napped.

We spent that entire time walking to the parking structure so that brother could change shoes, and riding Nemo. Well, OK, standing in line for Nemo. Sign said 60 minutes, but it was more like 40, and the line seems to be a fast one. It was worth that wait, too. Maybe if we'd had DS with us it wouldn't have been worth it, but just the two of us siblings, it was fine.

The family that got on Nemo before us was a mom, dad, and toddler. The wife was on very first, and therefore was at the very end. As soon as she realized how far in she was, she panicked. We figured out what was going on, and helped to get her out of there. The husband and toddler were fine, and we all felt so bad for the woman. I felt a hint of terror just *thinking* about going into those tunnels on Pirate's Lair/TSI (and I refused to go in), and you're not even going under water in those!

By that time it was nearly parade-time, and DH and DS had entered the park. We were not able to meet up for it, so brother and I watched it from near Astro Orbiter, while the other males watched it from in front of Gibson Girl ice cream shop. (shoppe?)

Brother and I ranted about the parents who feel the need to put their kids on their shoulders, wondering why those kids get to have that view, when even parents don't. And why they tend to do it RIGHT in front of people like me who are 5'3" and can barely see anything anyway... Brother also was rammed SEVEN times by the SAME stroller-wielding parent, and I can't believe he said nothing at all to them. Please note we were away from the traffic of the parade viewers, there was NO need for anyone to be that close to him! There was lots of room to manuever, so why that person hit him even once with a stroller is mystifying.

Once the parade passed us, we crossed the street and made our way over to the others.

Where we saw, to my horror....
Yes, that's DS on DH's shoulders...HOWEVER, to DH's credit, he was in the very very back of the viewing area, so he wasn't impacting anyone behind him.

Then we had some treats, looked around the candy shop, pressed some pennies (with my LAUNDRY quarters, I was chagrined to find out, GRR), and waited for crowds to disperse. They finally did, and we left. Brother back to San Diego, the three of us to our last night at PPH.

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Old 09-29-2007, 01:17 PM   #35
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On the 21st, Friday, I got us up early for MTTMM.

Moods were surly, attitudes were in the toilet. I sent the males down to swim while I packed things, not having remembered to pack the night before.

I was VERY rude to DH, blaming our late starts on him-him-him, and managing to imply that I was having a dreadful time (despite plenty of evidence to the contrary) and it was all HIS fault for causing us to leave 10 minutes late each morning.



We finally got sick enough of each other that he sent us off to go to the lines while he packed the car (we had confirmation that hotel guest parking didn't "expire" until MIDNIGHT the day you check out!). When he was on Splash the day before, his phone got a bit wet, and for a few days it refused to ring or alert him at all that someone was trying to contact him. Frustrating!

Especially b/c it meant I had to do a massive OOPS "my bad" into the messages (where he could keep it forever), when DS and I got through security and saw scads of people entering already. No EE, WHAT are those people doing getting in? What the?

oh. Friday. First time I've been there on a Friday as an adult. Managed to forget that it opened an hour earlier than it had been.

So we're half an hour late for MTTMM.

Big ol' OOPS from me to the hubster. Worse yet was that I *thought* we had missed it entirely! It took a few minutes to covertly read (I didn't want strangers to realize I'd messed up) the voucher, to find out (again) that there was one on Saturday. Whew.

But he couldn't answer the phone, and was still packing the car or walking through DTD, so DS and I went back to ride IASW at least once. That ride sort of re-set me. Me, not DS. Just me.

DH finally got there, and the three of us rode IASW. I have always loved that ride and song.

Then TT was open for the masses, and we went in.



Went on Roger Rabbit, and had a breakdown at the VERY end. DS and I were in the car and the "exit" door was open, we were about to go through, and it just stopped. Turns out that if you're in that spot, you're going to be the LAST people "evacuated"! While waiting, we got to hear a father borderline-abusing his 3 or 4 year old DD who was completely and totally FREAKING OUT b/c she wasn't in the car with her mom, and she was scared. I think DH and I almost jumped out of our cars a few times, to get that scared kiddo away from her mean, mean dad.

We got out, DS played in Goofy's house, then got Goofy's signature.


Do not blame me for the Elmo shirt that day. I didn't dress him, and decided that a beggar (please please DH get him dressed?) couldn't be a chooser (though I did pack another shirt for later, LOL).

Went on the Go Gadget coaster. Had our first encounter with wannabe line cutters, as some pre-teens tried to get from behind us to in front of us...I put my hand out and said something like "oh come on, guys, NO", in my low dog-training voice, and they went back to their spots, tails between their legs. Silly guys. One spot ahead.

DS wasn't a big fan of this coaster. He wasn't talking, and was running out the exit as soon as we got out of the car, but I saw him holding his tummy and I knew it was b/c of the *stomach in throat* feeling that I had too. He doesn't have that feeling in normal life, you know? He will now tell you it made his "tummy feel funny".

Went to Donald's boat, and he got WAY too territorial. He's got a certain set to his chin in this pic.



Then we got to have a super-fun (not!) *take the kid off the boat NOW* moment. I realized that he hadn't yet eaten (he was refusing food despite our offering it, I promise he had access to food!), so we went and had an "emergency" pizza at Daisy's Diner.

He played a bit more.

Then the guys went on Dumbo and TeaCups twice, while I went to find a hat. It was roastingly hot that day, and I any burn I got it was from those few hours before I got a hat.

And at some point between trying on hats, going back out to wait for Dumbo to be done, then taking the guys into the hat store to give their opinions on the hats I'd found...I lost my camera.
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Old 09-29-2007, 02:00 PM   #36
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more of the 21st

OMG I lost my camera! With my new 1GB memory card in it!

Now, it was only THAT day's worth of pictures on it, because I had been uploading the pix to the 'puter each evening, but still.

I was flipping out. Ran back to Dumbo and searched all around, while DH had a family searching the Hat store. They were SO nice. Just as frantic as I was, only a bit calmer in the way they were searching.

They kept telling me to check with the CMs, but I kept insisting that there had been NO time for someone to turn it in. Just no time.

They insisted over and over, and finally to placate them, I jumped to the head of the line and asked about a camera.

"What kind of camera?"

me, stunned that this was the question instead of just being told NO "um, an Olympus, digital camera."

"I'll be right back!"

And he brought it out, along with the map and entertainment guide I had left, somewhere, with the camera.

DH had me check on the memory card, and it was there along with the batteries and everything. I must have just set it down while grabbing the hats to show Robert, and someone must have come by right then, "found" it, and turned it in. Wild.

I nearly fainted at that point.

Felt so good, after recovering from near fainting, that I bought my hat (silly little "trendy" tinkerbell hat...but then DH wanted me to buy the PINK-with-tiara COWGIRL hat, so the hat I bought was less "out there" than what I could have gotten, LOL) AND we bought Eamon a "replacement" for his hat, the Mickey ears with the red pirate bandana. Put his name on it instantly.

Ah, shade for my eyes...

There's a big blank spot in my notes for what happened next, but I know that I had some issue with my AP. I went to get FPs for something, and noticed that mine said that my AP hadn't been used that morning, so I couldn't get a FP. Hmm. Odd.

I went to the info desk near the castle to find out where I could go to get this taken care of, and had one of those bad customer service experiences that would have NEVER been cleared up outside of Disney.

The info guy wasn't understanding me, and I wasn't understanding him, and we were going around and around about it...he actually mumbled something about my having missed the whole first part of his reply...d'oh! I assured him that I had not, but there was something I wasn't getting, and we needed to figure it out.

I finally figured out that he was telling me to go to City Hall to pick up a ticket for that day, to be used in the FP machines. He was using the phrase "Fast Pass Ticket". To me, that meant a "Fast Pass". I thought he was sending me to City Hall to get one FP for the one ride I wanted it for, which sounded awfully useless to me!

Once we figured that out, we both apologized, I told him that that was the difference between Disney customer service vs other places (that they would stick it through with you to get it worked out), and he gave me a "get on any ride for the day, up to 5 people" pass, so I didn't HAVE TO go to city hall that minute. NICE! Later I did put in a compliment for him at City Hall. And hopefully he won't use that phrase to other guests who might not get it!

On my way back to FL, I saw Mary Poppins and Burt. Never really got into that movie, but I love swingy skirts like that, so I watched for a few minutes.

I don't know what might have been between that and the next stuff I remember, but we ultimately ended up on the monorail (which had been down each time/day we checked before), to go back to the hotel.

We got to the car, moved to HoJo, checked in. DS went to sleep, and I assume DH did too.

I was still sooo cranky, and not tired, so I went back to the park (the walk from HoJo is SO much shorter and more straight forward!) for some alone-time. Should have gone swimming in the HoJo pool (our patio overlooked it), but I didn't.

I had decided I wanted my own lanyard by that time, so I went searching for the "perfect" one. Bought it in NOS, then got some vegetarian gumbo (my absolute favorite food at Disneyland), and just sat. And sat and sat and sat.

Then the guys called, and it was approaching the time that one *could* think of snagging spots for Fantasmic (shh, to those of you in the know, shh), so we started thinking casually about doing just that.

The guys went off to get food for themselves (DH wanted to eat what was left of the breadbowl from my gumbo), and a young woman sitting nearby started talking to me.

And very kindly let me know that Fantasmic wasn't that night, but that the fireworks would be, and let me know where to go for them. I was SO glad she told me. There were other people obviously getting spots for it, so I wasn't alone, but because she told me, I found out earlier rather than later, and I cannot thank her enough for that! She said she's a SeaWorld employee, someone who wears a blue shirt and whose job it is to answer questions and make guests' visits extra-special, so if she's a Dis'er as well as a SeaWorld employee, THANK YOU!

We got over to IASW just as they were starting to set up the poles and ropes (approx one hour before fireworks), and we got to see some bad behaviour by the guests, and to see how saintly the experienced CMs have to be.

While the CMs were stringing rope up (a process that took many tries, b/c for some reason it seemed to be more complicated and less labeled than perhaps it should have been), people were lifting the ropes and going by, in whatever direction they felt like going. Since there's nowhere to go but to TT in one direction, and TT was already closed, we got to see them come back through.

I cannot believe how NASTY some people are about IASW being closed before the fireworks! It's astonishing. I mean, I'm a fan of the ride, but if it's closed I don't have a steaming hissy fit, you know?

Robert offered his services as an unpaid CM, and until he got WAY too frustrated, he "helped" fellow guests figure out that they were doing wrong, and what way they needed to go. But then he was getting too stern, and I was picturing a newspaper headline about one guest getting into a fight with another, and I asked him to stop helping them. He wasn't happy with me, but I think eventually he saw my point.

Then we started chatting with the CMs as they did their best to stop people from ducking under the ropes.

Because of the nap, Eamon was a changed boy.

Yay! He was chatty and lovely, and required less "translation" than usual (3-year-old to English is the translation I mean). By that time we had told him about his hat, and that bad, non-Disney, pirates had taken his first hat. He wasn't happy with that, and wanted to "find them, and fight them, and find them!" So that is what he talked about with the CMs, one after another.

We talked about our experience with Rudy at DCA, and how great he was at watching over the little kids in the water area, and talked about how the hat stores were sympathetic, but nothing else, about the stolen hat.

An older CM, his name tag said *something* Leo, asked if I had spoken with a lead, b/c they should have helped me. I hadn't, and I felt foolish for not escalating to a lead. He told me that if a lead heard about it, they would do something about it.

All of a sudden, two other CMs descended on our little group all at once. One, JJ, said he had something for Eamon, and he pulled out an Honorary Citizen badge. DS was sweet and didn't say " oh I have one already", he was just pleased as punch to receive it and the high 5 that JJ gave him, for being such a nice little kid waiting for the fireworks.

Then Jenny O spoke, and she said how bad she felt that (non-Disney) pirates had taken DS's hat, and that she wanted to make up for it, and that she was writing out a Pinocchio ticket to replace it.

(I took a picture of that paper and want to post it, but suddenly am not sure that I should. I think I won't, but I have the picture to look at and feel warm and fuzzy.)

I started crying! Just a little bit, but still, there were tears. "____ Leo" nudged me and said "see, I told you a lead would take care of it".

So after all that was done (DS folded up the ticket and put it in his buttoned shorts pocket) and we thanked her profusely, "___ Leo" was left.

And then HE told Eamon how good he had been, how fun he had been, and that he had something for him! E was almost on "tilt" with all the gifts he was being given. He couldn't believe it! __ Leo gave him a Tinkerbell pin, the kind CMs have to give (usually with the "one to give" matching one). Eamon loved it.

And then a few minutes later, he came back and handed two more pins (the full "one to keep and one to give" card) to me and Robert, because we had been so fun and helpful to them. Wow!

And we hadn't even seen the fireworks yet!!!!!!

Last edited by bumbershoot; 09-29-2007 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 09-29-2007, 02:44 PM   #37
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more of the 21st

The fireworks...were amazing. I loved that everyone sat down for them. (I was told that you can sit in IASW, but at the castle you have to stand) I loved that you could swivel your head and see things on both sides of you.

We looked just in time and saw a little blob that was Tinkerbell "flying" down.

DS wasn't a big fan of the NOISE of the fireworks, but I talked low and quietly in his ear (a trick I learned in years of going to Seattle clubs, LOL, works much better than yelling OVER the noise) and he enjoyed the visuals.

Although the projections on IASW were hard to figure out, it was cool.

I'm quite sure I cried just a little bit during the fireworks.

You have to remember that that day had started SO terribly! Bickering, nastiness, being late with only myself to blame...the meltdown at TT, the camera, the Info center guy...sure, things had worked themselves out, but that doesn't totally erase the negativity.

Before the fireworks started, and because we were the first people there, respected the ropes, and chatted with the CMs, they had us move to where they were going to open the ropes up for IASW post-fireworks. So we were sitting right there (stroller was actually blocking it from sneaking people, LOL).

Back to the fireworks...just beautiful. I can't imagine their budget! We love our 4th of July fireworks over Commencement Bay, and I once spent a 4th near the Washington Monument and saw THOSE fireworks...but these were different.


So at last it was done, and I think people applauded.

And then the snarking started again!

When is IASW going to open again, where's the bathroom, can I go to TT now (um, no, what part of TT closes early did you not catch an hour ago?), and so on and so forth.

At one point a CM mentioned that the delay was a Fire Marshall thing, which makes total sense, and they should say that with EVERY answer. People weren't liking the "I can't let you in until I'm told to" answer, but people were better when they heard "I can't let you in until the Fire Marshall inspects everything to make sure there are no FIRES".

Someone tried to snake in front of DH, but he's big and blocked it, and we were OBVIOUSLY there the whole time and long before those people got to the area even before the fireworks, and they stepped back graciously.

And we all shared a laugh as a woman came up from nowhere to berate the CMs with questions. When it's IASW open, how long with that be, how long will the line take, how long does the ride take. WEIRD.

When she walked away, the women behind us started "telling" her exactly how long it would take her to walk ALL the way to the end of the line, where she had started from, and some other things that I won't repeat here.

And then...the all clear was given. I love the way the line was controlled! Of course, it helped that WE were the first ones, because I'm all about law and order, not running, and keeping things under control. DH had to veer off to park the stroller, but the CM walking backwards in front of us knew that, and kept things really SLOW, so he could catch up easily.

So we were the FIRST on the ride, on the FIRST boat, in the FIRST row!

And hey, there were JJ, Jenny O, and ___ Leo, all running IASW!!!! No wonder they were so incredibly nice, they hang out in the most mellow area of the entire property!

It was really special. We kept saying "we haven't been Dreamed, but this is all dreamy".



After that, we walked dreamily over to the Mad Hatter hat shop (site of the earlier camera-misplacement), got DS an exact replacement for his stolen hat, and put his name on that puppy.



We had already made use of the First Aid area for Robert's blisters twice, and on the way out, we stopped in for me. I had had a headache ALL day. I don't use allopathic medicines very often, and I can endure quite a bit, but I'd finally had enough, and they were kind enough to give me ibuprofen and an ice pack. Ice packs are about the ONE thing I appreciate from the medical profession. They can make 'em like no one's business. Crushed ice, plastic bag, wrapped and taped in the sort of waterproof-backed paper you have placed on your chest at a dentist's office.

Both really helped me.

Walked back to HoJo's, where I passed out (because I rarely take it, I'm sensitive to pain relievers, and I took 2 200mg pills) along with DS. We needed clothes washed, so my hero went to Von's for some supplies, then washed clothes for us, and stumbled into bed at something like 2am. Thank you, Robert, for washing our clothes again!!!!! (he had done so at the DLR coin op laundry a few days before, b/c he didn't feel that I would be as safe as he would be in the middle of the night)

And at last we all slept.
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Old 09-29-2007, 03:46 PM   #38
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Before I get into the 22nd, I wanted to talk about the light "chaser" we got the night before.

When I went on my search for a lanyard, I also went in search of all the fun light spinner/chasers. DS wanted everything he saw, and of course we're not going to get him ALL of them...I mean, we were, on this trip, treating him like the "only" child he is (indulging more than usual) at this point, but there are SOME limits.

I personally figured he'd love the Buzz one the best, and he did like it, but they had some seriously cool Stitch ones as well. I think DH wanted that one. Next trip, I think we'll budget for a light chaser for each of us.

While I was looking for lanyards, I found myself in the Pooh store, and saw a simple, clear blue, Mickey-head-shaped one with really fun lights inside. Interestingly, it was MORE than the others, which I found odd.

I thought "wow that's the one I wish he'd get, but I'm sure he'll get Stitch or Buzz."

So later, before the CMs started setting up their ropes and whatnot, while the area was still accessible, DH and DS stopped in the toy shop. And came out with...the ONE spinner DS wanted, the one that caught his eye of all the others...the Mickey head one I spotted earlier!!!

That light chaser is really fun.
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Old 09-29-2007, 04:17 PM   #39
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Saturday the 22nd!


Woke up at HoJo's.

I've read that there were storms the night before, but I was in an ibuprofen coma and didn't know. Woke up to a wormy-smelling outdoors (I've figured that it's the smell of ozone, but it smells like worms to me!)

Since DH was out and about doing laundry, he tells me that it was indeed storming, but like I said, I was unaware.

Of course, the weather wasn't unfamiliar to us, in fact I said it felt like Spring in Tacoma! Damp, cool, some sun behind the clouds...just lovely.



Once again we marveled at the quick walk. I can't imagine staying at PPH again, unless we got a great concierge rate (aka food included, LOL). I can *barely* imagine staying at DLH, but I'm willing to try it out. I have a feeling that GC could NEVER be worth it, to us, despite the close proximity (we're willing to try it out, but not willing to stretch ourselves financially for it). Nope, I think we're an off-site family for most of the future, and I think we'll be quite happy in it!

We got there early this time, early enough to get in ontime for MTTMM. Yay!

We got in, walked, got to the slightly open gates of TT, showed our vouchers, and were welcomed in.

Walked up the "road". We weren't the first people there, but nothing was happening yet. Since it was so empty and it's so broad in there, we were spread apart from each other. DH and I saw Mickey, and told Eamon.

Eamon was in his pirate outfit, with sweatpants and a warm shirt, and when he saw Mickey he opened his arms wide, and went running for him! It was like a commercial, I wanted someone to film him.

And then, suddenly, he saw the Trolley. Which he adores. More than Mickey, it turns out, b/c he veered off away from the Mickey trajectory, and ran for the Jolley Trolley.

Where he sat and "drove".



Honestly, I don't know how I got that picture, because I don't remember being that close. DH was closer. And he heard two CMs talking. One said, while looking at Eamon, "so, him?" And the other said "yes, he'll be perfect."

And then DH and DS were approached, while I "parked" the stroller.

I guess their eyes were caught by the



And they asked if we would like to be the honorary family that day in TT, to help with the opening ceremony.

Oh gosh yes!

Here they are, spiriting us to a table (we followed behind like good stage parents, LOL).

It was actually pretty simple, no big deal, but still, don't turn it down if you're asked.

We sat up front, they did their song and dance number.

The deputy mayor welcomed people to TT.

The he introduced us, though they only used MY last name for our family. Neither DH nor I changed our names, and DS is hyphenated, so we have no "family name", and I just said my last name, and that is what is written down, and how they introduced us.

We went up on stage, and here's where I must apologize to the DLR guests....just as soon as they asked where we were from, and IMMEDIATELY after I said "Tacoma, WA", the skies opened up and it started POURING like I hadn't experienced since I lived in Huntington, WV or Spartaburg, SC. Huge, fat drops of rain!

So yeah, sorry for causing the rain. Next time I'll say "San Diego". ha ha

The rain caused the ceremony to be made smaller, no parade, but a mad dash to the characters' houses.

DS got Mickey, Minnie, and Donald's signatures, and Goofy again on the same page as Donald, I think.

But this is what he really wanted to do.
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Old 09-29-2007, 06:28 PM   #40
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22nd continued.

DH and DS went on Roger Rabbit again, or maybe we all went, I'm not 100% sure. Then they played in Goofy's house while I took pictures of weird berry type of plants.



We left eventually, and E and I went on Dumbo. While on, I saw people appearing with Dream ears, and I spotted the Squad and pointed them out to DH (while I was still on the ride!). He went over, but they refused to give him any, because he wasn't with his family (he had the stroller, they could have looked up at us). Serious bummer, relatively speaking.

While wandering the other day (I went on BTMRR during one of my solo travels) I took a "wrong" turn and found Woody's RoundUp and the petting zoo area. So I wanted to show that to the guys!

We got there right as it should have opened, but they were still clearing up from the storm the hour before. That was fine, it should have been obvious, but the CMs manning the rope kept trying to let us in, while the woman in charge of Woody's kept yelling at them to stop it. Not pleasant in any way. I mean, the rope CMs were nicer than the lady, but the CMs should have just WAITED. They were using big squeegees on the tablecloths for goodness sakes! There were no crayons...it was very easy to see that they weren't quite ready for guests.

So we chatted and waited. DH traded his Tinkerbell pin with a preteen girl, and then traded what he got from her with the CM, and ended up with a very cool Incredibles pin. I had purchased a Mr Incredible pin for DH, because the body types are similar (both out of shape and in shape, LOL), and because I was so impressed that he was working SO hard to get the money for this vacation. Awwwww. So he has a good connection to Incredibles stuff.

We were finally let in, DS colored, then decorated mini-pumpkins with eyes. We started talking about his Picassos, because there were multiple eyes on many planes of the face.

He met Buzz.

But it had been a LONG week, and he was tired.

We also had a DVC presentation to get to. We had rescheduled it from a day or so before b/c of persistent crabbiness. This day was just tired, and we were VERY much looking forward to putting DS in the kidcare for an hour or so, while we relaxed with the presentation.

Plus, since we booked it while staying at PPH, we got a $50 gift card at the end of it, and although we didn't *need* that card, it was going to make things a little easier. So we really did feel the need to go.

On the way, DS wanted to rest his feet on the rocks. We let him.


Went to the presentation (it's on DLH property in easy sight of PPH, and shares its building with Disney Weddings). DS loved the kidcare. Our guide was very nice, and was a good salesperson who made you WANT to buy, but didn't MAKE you buy. We look forward to buying in the future, but did not that day. It turned out to be a good 2 hours, and DS just hated leaving.

They gave us the giftcard, and we went to Lego. Oops, misunderstood...they take Disney Dollars, but not giftcards. Luckily, we found a big ol fat NOTHING in there that DS wanted. Lego is so boring now, it's just kits! Even the boxes of big blocks are still kit-ish. You can't just build a house, or a car, or whatever, all the parts are meant for other things. Harumph.

But while there, he saw a foam sword and shield that he liked. We had seen them at DCA the other day (when buying a box-of-potato-head, LOL), and they of course took gift cards!

Off we went to DCA.

Bought the "Prince Philip" sword and shield, so now DS can be a pirate OR a knight.

Saw the Incredibles.





We got FPs for ToT, then DS met Lightning and Mater. Got FPs for Grizzly, then had pizza from Pizza Oom Mow Wow. At first I thought the restaurant was going to be good, but YUCK. The marinara fusilli was very good, but the rest was just BAD. If we had spent a few more dollars we could have gotten another Stitch-serving-pizza AP-spending-30+dollars pin, but we did not.

The kid's sized pizza meal, which is for kids 3-9, was pathetic. The pizza was approximately 2 inches round. And it didn't taste good. Very disappointing!


We wandered around (very easy to do that at DCA!). I went on Triton's carousel with DS, and he enjoyed it. They even had a photopass person there!

We tried to cross the park in time for the next Crush, but were too late. The parade was supposed to be blocking things, so I took a weird route to avoid it, but it turned out to be unnecessary, b/c it hadn't even left the Sun area.



Since we were running into a time crunch, we decided to forgo Alladin. DS has never seen the movie (heck, neither have I!), and we decided to let it go.


Then we went into the Crush building, watched some of the screens in that main area, then went into Crush.

Very cute! NOT so cute was the woman *flirting* with Crush? I mean, WHY does Crush talk to a grown person anyway? And then starts asking if she can swim, and how fast can she swim, can she swim a long time, blah blah blah, with her answering in a sultry tone "oh yeah, baby, I can swim a LONG time". It was just ooky. Then Crush asked the woman next to her, later, if she had a question, and she said that her friend wondered if he had a girlfriend. Um, ew?

DS kept randomly yelling "yay!!!!" Which was hilarious.

I wanted to go to the animation lesson, but the time really was NOT on our side. Actually I wanted it for DH, but he wanted to do another ride more than he wanted to draw.

So DH went on ToT while I took pictures of the surroundings.





When Robert came out of ToT, he informed me that the Wee Boy had fallen asleep in his stroller. I didn't know! He almost never does that.

So we wandered out slowly, getting ourselves a hot chocolate and some sort of treat to eat later.
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Old 09-29-2007, 06:47 PM   #41
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The 23rd. I never really planned to go to the parks that day, but once we missed the 17th entirely, and once every other day was not as packed with rides etc as I expected, I felt the need.

The main reason was Monsters, Inc. When DS fell asleep the night before, it meant he missed that ride. So I felt a strong need to make that up to him.

Well, since we were going in anyway, and since DCA opened later, we might as well get all packed and then go over to DL first, right?

So that's what we did.

We headed to Tomorrowland, to TRY to find Buzz for an autograph. We had one more page open in the book. Alas, we couldn't find him. My notes for this day are on another page, and my head cold is preventing me from tipping my head down to look through the backpack, so I'll just have to wing it.

Ok I think I have it.

Robert and Eamon went on Astro Orbiter, while I tried, for the first time ever, Star Tours! I loved loved loved it! It had all the fun of a coaster, but without the hideous fear that a beam has fallen in the dark and will take off your head. I only wished I could have gone more often, and that I had "found" it earlier in the week. The line is great, though there was no actual "line", so I zoomed past it all. Terrific ride.

While I was in there, the guys went on Buzz as well. Then the adults swapped, and I went on Buzz again while DH did S.T. (he's been on it before, but reported it was BETTER than he remembered!). I had a bunch of stuff in my hand...backpack on a shoulder, pirate hat, knight sword, autograph book (in case of a Buzz sighting)...I just couldn't turn the car in Buzz. About halfway through, I see DS's little hand snake up to the controller, and he steered us around and around perfectly.

After that, the guys went on Autopia while I went to the restroom and continued to look for Buzz. I finally gave up on that.

Next stop? To go back to Woody's Round-Up and actually see the Woody's Adventures show.



DS decorated yet another mini-pumpkin, loved the show, it was a good time for all. He didn't want to wait in line to see Jessie, so we left.

We were getting cranky again, and DH was feeling stunned at the amount of items on my list. Uh oh!

So I fed the boys a veggie burger to share among the three of us (OK well the adults shared the burger and the Boy ate the fries) at the Hungry Bear.

Went on Pooh one last time, had a lovely time. Then saw that Pooh was giving signatures, so we got in line and were successful! Yay.

The one ick moment, similar to the near finger-break days before, was that I was wearing Crocs (more comfortable than most shoes on me, but still painful, as are ALL shoes for my hobbit feet) and DS suddenly tried to JET out of my sight. I went running after him, slammed my foot down, and felt my whole foot just smoosh down. OUCH.

But this has happened before, so I walked it off.

Ending DL with some perfect moments (other than the foot), we zipped over to DCA after a First Aid stop for another ice pack.

Have I mentioned how intensely crowded it was at DL on Sunday the 23rd? We hated that.

DCA was a bit lighter, but not ALL that much, compared to how it had been before Sunday.

We went straight to Monster's Inc, the three of us went on it once, and the guys did it a second time while I sat out, putting ice on my foot.

Walked to HoJo's, got in the car, drove away.

And that, unless I remember more things later, is our trip report!

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Old 09-29-2007, 07:19 PM   #42
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Loved your trip report! The pictures are great, your DS is adorable, thanks for sharing! I am a bit concerned, however, about PP...how long would you say the walk is? You say the walk from HoJo's is so much quicker....how much of a difference is there approximately? We are at PP concierge in November on the AP rate, $169, I'm hoping it will be worth it to us. We are a family of 5, kids 7, 10, and 14 who are big eaters for the type of breakfast foods that concierge serves, so I'm hoping that will add value to us even if the walk is a bit farther.
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Old 09-29-2007, 07:25 PM   #43
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Things I learned.

Don't start the trip by visiting my crazy family. Well, actually, just don't STAY with them.

Ask one of my half-sibs to come with us, so we could have a couple hours of them watching DS (for money) and DH and I could get out on our own a bit. We haven't felt the need for that quite yet (though the DVC presentation was nice!), but as he gets older I can see it.

If we're not going to swim, don't stay at a hotel with a pool! But the better idea is...swim.

Get a place with continental breakfast, OR have some disney dollars or giftcards DEDICATED for food.

Plan the food better! This trip I discovered that most of the food there just doesn't do all that much for me. The veggie gumbo is my fave. Plan for that, don't experiment with my own food.

Don't order kid's mac and cheese at Blue Bayou. Feed DS beforehand, then just get him dessert and call it good.

Do NOT end the trip by visiting my family in any way!

I continue to be OK with my use of EE strategy along with being VERY flexible. Because we tend to go off season and during the week, we CAN be flexible, so don't feel guilty about it. It's not like Hydroguy is watching over our every move!

Don't buy a trendy hat. Buy a simple, straightforward, baseball cap. Or buy the pink, rhinestoned, cowgirl hat and be happy with it.

See fireworks from IASW.

Buy more balloons inside balloons! $7 is spendy, but to me they bring more joy than that $7, and it's sad to see them start to deflate.

The BabyTrend stroller we bought at the last minute (one half-brother works at Toys R Us and we went in to find something else, and came out with a stroller) was GREAT! We are NOT stroller people, we only bought a jogger once DS was two and I couldn't take power walks with him on my back in the Ergo anymore, but this was a really good stroller for Disney.

I need more time in DCA. We really liked it, but barely cracked the surface of it. It's not a halfday park, it's not a one day park. I could easily spend 3 solid days in there, looking, exploring, riding... We're definitely fans of it. Even though we barely rode ANYTHING in it, outside of bug' land.

Bring shoes along with extra clothes, if you have a water-loving little kid at DCA. And bring a TOWEL.

Expect to get the NASTIEST looks from other parents, the ones actually feeling the need to control their kids at the water play area, the ones who didn't plan ahead, and are telling their children "if you get wet, you'll be wet ALL DAY!" Ooh we got some nasty looks, and not because DS was going wild. But just because he was DRENCHED, and we were laughing and loving his fun. Bad influences, you know.

I can't wait for DS to be tall enough for Star Tours!

Buzz is a nice ride, though you'll have the songs in your head ALL DAY LONG. It's worse than IASW in that respect, though I actually don't MIND either one.

I hope DS isn't into autographs when we go in the future. He's met most of them, got their sigs, I hope he's done. Doubt it, but I can hope.

We really don't need to stay onsite.

Oh yeah, I just remembered something else we did on the last day. We had beignets at Ralph Brennans. So, what we learned from that was (well, what I learned, since I know the difference and the guys don't yet) do NOT get beignets outside of the actual New Orleans. They were sooooo not worth it. And more expensive than I remember them being at Cafe du Monde.

Don't look at the creepy moving heads at the ESPN Zone. Bleah.



OK, I'm too sick to write any further. Dang this cold is a NASTY one. I had DH come home from work today, to work from home and help take care of DS, after I realized I could barely move my arms at one point. I'm better now from that point, but I'm still really sick and weak, and DS is a day or two "behind" me in the cold, and needs more help than I can give.

In fact I think a fever is coming on right now (yay! fevers are good! body is working!), and I need to get this laptop battery off of my knee, b/c it's just heating me up even more.
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Old 09-29-2007, 07:32 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy4Disney72 View Post
Loved your trip report! The pictures are great, your DS is adorable, thanks for sharing! I am a bit concerned, however, about PP...how long would you say the walk is? You say the walk from HoJo's is so much quicker....how much of a difference is there approximately? We are at PP concierge in November on the AP rate, $169, I'm hoping it will be worth it to us. We are a family of 5, kids 7, 10, and 14 who are big eaters for the type of breakfast foods that concierge serves, so I'm hoping that will add value to us even if the walk is a bit farther.
The kids should handle it just fine.

My biggest problem with the walk is that it's so curvy, and it goes by all the DTD shops. You've probably already worked out how you deal with the kid wanting things, but we're still in the early stages of that, and haven't yet figured out what works best with DS. He would buy something from every store, every time we went past, if he could, and those questions get annoying.

I also don't like curvy walks. I want straight forward walks with no real choices. And that's not what the walk to PPH gives you. You can walk next to Rainforest Cafe, or away from it. You can cross to that side or the other. And so on. That's just a weird *thing* with me, but it did really bug me, so it made it into my report.

I don't know how often the concierge lounge offers food, but if you have to go back, say, three times a day, that's going to be quite a bit of walking. Perhaps you could send a runner. But for three kids of that age, and heavy eaters to boot, I bet that will give you quite a bit of value for that price! DH and I are working to lose weight, had *just* completed a cleansing fast (so we physically could NOT eat all that much), and our one DS was just so overwhelmed he couldn't eat much...so 169 for AP concierge vs the 62.10 at HoJo wouldn't have been worth it. Let alone for whatever we paid for the four days at PPH with our Costco travel package (and it was NOT concierge).

But with those ages, and hoping you have happier feet than I do on a normal basis, I'm sure you'll be fine with the walk.


OMG I'm heating up more and more with this sickness, gotta go lie down or drink something or do something OTHER than sit with a laptop on my knees!
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Old 09-29-2007, 07:44 PM   #45
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I'm planning on using the concierge lounge for breakfast and take a couple bottles of water for the day, and then if we happen to be back to swim or something, we will stop in, but I won't give up park time to go back for the 'free' food since it's mostly just snacks. It closes early, 8:00 I think, or maybe earlier, so I'm sure it will be closed when we come in for the night because with kids our kids ages, we are staying out longer than 8:00.

Thanks for the info on the walk, I remember the days with a young child and how frustrating and overwhelming it can be for them when they see so many things they want. Mine were about 4 before they really got the concept that they couldn't have it all, they know that on a vacation they can pick one thing at the end of the trip. Now they are all older and have their own money so they can spend that however they wish, but we still buy them just one thing at the end of the trip or maybe two if I want to get them a shirt or sweatshirt or something, then they get that and something they picked out.

Get some rest, I hope you feel better soon! Very often I get sick when we get back from vacations, it's like you push and push your body and your resistance is low and it finally decides to tell you enough is enough!
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