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Old 09-25-2007, 11:59 AM   #1
AC7179
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Three of a Kind Meet Pop Century and WDW! (Trip Report September 14-21, 2007!)

I first began dreaming of this trip last year when all the whisperings of free dining came out. How fun it would be to go to Disney World and eat, eat, eat, all for free! We like to eat at our house, especially at Disney, and so this deal sounded fantastic.

Last April, my family traveled to Florida to meet up with family and take in the sites. Our party consisted of myself (28 year old school teacher), my hubby (35 year old computer programmer), my stepdaughter that lives with us (13 year old 8th grader at the time), my daughter (2 years and kicking), and my stepdaughter's half sister on her mother's side (Do we sound like rednecks yet?), who we love and were glad she was able to meet us in Orlando. We live in Texas, and she lives in Michigan, so this was a special treat. She also doesn't have the best life in Michigan, and doesn't get to travel a lot, so this was a great opportunity for her to get to travel and see us, of course. So, last April we stayed at the Hyatt Grand Cypress and were able to go to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. The rest of the time was spent with family and we had a good time. It was at this time, however, that free dining came out. My two year old had loved the Magic Kingdom soooo much , that I had dreamed about being able to spend more time there with her.

Hmmm, let me back up. My daughter Victoria is 2. She's not exactly deprived. When she was six months old we went on our first trip to Disney World with her. Then when she was 18 months we went to Disneyland for a week. Then last April, at the age of 2, she headed back to Disney World one more time. I need to explain, though, that these trips to Disney World were because my husband's mother had moved to Florida. We came from Texas to see her, and his sister came from Michigan, and we met in Orlando, two hours away from where his Mom lives. It was great fun, but you know, for Disney fans, doing Disney with a huge group of people that aren't into it as much as you are can be difficult. So, I just told myself it was family time, not Disney time, and we had a fantastic time. Everything we did was just a bonus, but I didn't consider them true DISNEY trips. Our trip to California when my daughter was 18 months old was a true DISNEY trip, and we had a great time. I also know that this is sacrilege on this board, but we really and truly prefer Disneyland to Disney World. However, when free dining started being tossed around, it seemed like a perfect deal. I found out it had been offered while we were on our Disney trip, and called and booked it from our room at the Grand Cypress!

Wait......let me back up. Right before our trip in April, my husband had bought himself a motorcycle, against my wishes. > Not that I cared that he had a motorcycle, but he had already bought a scooter last year that he had only ridden once or twice. It sits in our garage in perfect condition. So, my issue was that there was no reason to buy yet another bike to sit in our garage. Little did I know at the time, was that the reason he never rode his Vespa anymore was because his frends at work had dubbed him "Scooter Boy." Eye roll. Anyway, he bought the bike, I was a little peeved, and to make it up to me he promised me a fully financed trip to DISNEY. I was over it. I wanted to take my mom and my daughter, because my husband had to work and my stepdaughter had just made the dance team for her high school and couldn't miss school. So, we would miss them tons, but I knew we could still have a fantastic time. I thoguht we could drive, from Texas, to keep costs down, and we booked one room at Pop Century from September 15-21st.

Then I get started on Expotv. I make so many videos that all of a sudden, flying doesn't seem like such an impossibility. Mom had budgeted $350 for gas and travel, and so if I added $350 of Expotv money that Mom and I had made, all of a sudden we could fly! AND, we could get there a night earlier! I played around with airfare until I found it from our small town, to Dallas Fort Worth, to Orlando for about $200! WOW....the cheapest I could find the airfare direct for DFW was about $190! What a deal! I took it, and we would now leave our town Friday at 4:17, then make it to Dallas by 5:00, then depart for Orlando at 6:00 and be there by 9:30 Orlando time. I was a little concerned about the one hour connection and worried about delays, but hoped that all would be fine!
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Old 09-25-2007, 12:47 PM   #2
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Day One, Friday, September 14, 2007

Day One
Friday, September 14, 2007

Well, today was a school day like all others.........EXCEPT that at 4:17 that very afternoon, we would get to head to ORLANDO! (By way of Dallas, of course.) My daughter Victoria would be turning 3 the day after we returned from this trip (gotta go while she's free, right?) and she had been SO excited to talk about our upcoming vacation. I like to keep her informed. So, I told her that we were going from our town, to Dallas, and from Dallas, to Orlando. So, she looks at me, with big, wide eyes, and excitedly said, "DALLAS and ALICE! Mama! Those RHYME!" Hmmm, well indeed they do! So, she was very, very, excited to get started on her HUGE adventure with her Mama and her Mimi!

I finally get through the day at school, head over to her school to pick her up, and her teachers informed me that she had taken a nice, long nap. Ugh. Perfect, just perfect! Now she's going to be wide awake for both flights! Not the most desirable situation, but hey, we are way too excited to be upset about something like that. So, we head to the airport to meet Mimi! She is already there, waiting on us, and calls me to tell me to drop Victoria off at the front, with her at the terminal, and then go park. So I pull up next to a sign that says, "DO NOT LEAVE BAGGAGE UNATTENDED." Mom is nowhere to be found. I call her and tell her to come get Tori, and she says, "I can't. I'm inside. I can't leave my baggage. You come inside."
"I can't, I can't leave my baggage."

We laugh, and then decide to meet in the middle. I take Tori and walk as far away from my car as I am comfortable with, and she comes as close to the doors as she can, and Tori runs from one to the other. Yay! We meet in the middle. I park out in Egypt, of course, and hike back to the airport. We check our bags and I hold my breath as they weight my suitcase, also known as THE BEAST. THE BEAST must have been under the 50 lb limit, because they take him without a problem and send us on our merry way.

We head through security. Since I have traveled more since 9/11 than my mom has, I am the resident expert on security matters. I had already instructed her about the quart-sized bag and made sure she followed all the rules. You know, I wouldn't want to be embarrassed by her ineptness. This morning, I had already cringed in exasperation as she told me that all her liquids wouldn't fit in her quart sized baggie, so she moved it to a gallon sized. After an exasperated reprimand from me, the boss, she found a quart-sized bag, but REALLY! I thought to myself, "My word........how hard is it to just get your stuff in a baggie? The rules aren't that hard to follow!"

I'm sure you know where this is headed. Mom and Tori make it through security fine. Who gets stopped? ME! THE BOSS!!!! My carefully planned quart sized bag was still safely in my backpack. I had forgotten to declare it. Mom was kind though, and didn't smirk at me, although I am sure she wanted to, and I would have definitely done to her if our positions were reversed! I have to say; it was a little embarrassing, though. Security was nice and waved us through.

Then, it was time to board the teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy little plane that would fly us to Dallas. Did I mention Mom has claustrophobia? I was really worried about her getting on that plane, but she did great. I was worried about Tori having a fit, but she did great and chatted nicely. Are you seeing a pattern here? I tend to worry about everybody else and then I'M the one who usually has a problem. Well, as the plane bumped up and down, I started feeling a little nauseous. I put my head and in my hands as Tori rubs my back and helpfully shouts, "YOU GONNA BE SICK MAMA??? YOU GONNA FROW UP?" I'm sure the other passengers were pleased to hear those questions. I was glad to hit Dallas, and once I was on real land I found my stomach again.

We wait for Tori's stroller to make it through gate check, grab it, and WE'RE OFF to our next gate, which of course is in another terminal. I'm very worried we won't have time to catch our plane, or that I will navigate us wrong. Well, yet again my worries are for naught. We make it through the terminal change and are patting ourselves on the back. We grab some quick McDonald's and board our next plane in plenty of time. It was scheduled to take off at 6:00, and we are on the plane and ready to go. We wait. We wait some more. Remember, my fear of flying with a 2 year old was not being able to keep her occupied for the 2 and a half hour flight, but I am PREPARED! Then, there is the announcement.

You know, THE ANNOUNCEMENT! The one you dread when you are traveling, and the one you REALLY dread when you have a 2 year old with you.

"Ladies and Gentleman, I apologize for the delay. We were doing a routine maintence check and found a leak in the hydraulic fluid. The flight will be delayed while we tend to the leak, but we hope to be on our way very soon. Thanks for your cooperation."

Well, hrmph. I was frustrated that we had to wait, but pretty glad that they had found the leak BEFORE we were a bazillion feet in the air. So.....I keep Tori entertained and visit with Mimi. We're on the plane about 45 minutes, with Tori behaving surprisingly well, when another announcement comes on.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I have some bad news. The leak we found was actually a CRACK in the pipe, and this plane will be non-operational tonight. We will need to disembark. Please stay at the gate and await further instructions."

GRRRRR...This is throwing a dent in plan of being at POP by 10:30 and heading to Dreamland for an early morning at the Magic Kingdom! Although, again, I am grateful that CRACK wasn't discovered mid-flight!

So, we get off the plane, and are informed that another plane will be here at 800, and we hope to depart at 830. Well, that's not terrible news, I suppose. That would put us in Orlando around midnight Orlando time. We'd be at POP around 12:30. Not exactly a good night's sleep, but whatever.

So at 8:10, we re-board the plane. 8:30 approaches.........and here is another announcement. >

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I have some bad news. While waiting for this flight to depart, our flight attendants timed out of the number of hours they can work today, so we have to wait for another crew. It will take them about 45 minutes to get her."

Okay, I have to say at this point I was angry, tired, and frustrated. I'd been entertaining a two year old, trying to keep her quiet, for FOREVER now! This two and a half hour flight was taking years! And are you going to tell me there is a reason they didn't foresee this problem before RIGHT NOW? Why didn't they call the crew earlier! GRR!

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/16325170@N00/1456544050/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1059/1456544050_09f8e8c8a6.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Are we there YET?" /></a>

Well, instead of 45 minutes, it took over an hour, but we FINALLY depart. Lordy! Thankfully, Tori falls asleep and sleeps the entire flight. She awakens when we hit Orlando and is in great sprits, having rested. I was so grateful for small favors. We head to the Magical Express, get checked in, and are on the bus with another family or two. We are congratulating ourselves on not having to wait for our luggage (have you noticed the pattern of us congratulating ourselves and always ending up regretting it?) Anyway, we wait, and we wait, and we wait. It is after 2 in the morning now. Why are we waiting? For the people who were on our flight who decided to go get their luggage themselves! Their luggage was tagged with the yellow DME tags and everything, they just didn't want to have to wait for it to be delivered and we all had to wait for them. I was a little grumpy. I don't know if that is how DME always works, or if it was just late at night, but the whole reason I let them get my luggage was so I could get to the resort faster! Bleh! I admit that I was probably quite grumpy because of the airplane debacle, but still. Anyway, we finally get to POP, get checked in, and get a room in the 1970s building, ground floor. We are pretty close to the Main Building, and so I tell myself that tomorrow, when I check out and check back in for our WDW travel package, I will ask to keep the same room. They guy behind the desk tells me it shouldn't be a problem, but their computers are down and I will have to come back sometime after 7:00 the next morning. No biggie. We love the look of POP! SO neat and fun. We head to our room, put Tori down on a bed (I had asked for a crib, but it wasn't in there), and she asks me to cuddle with her. I do, until she falls asleep, then I try to move in bed with Mimi, since Tori moves and hits and kicks in her sleep. She wakes up when I try to move, so I am stuck sleeping at the foot of her bed like a dog, while she spreads out all over the place. At this point, I am so tired, I don't even care, and I fall into a deep, dreamless sleep!

Last edited by AC7179; 09-29-2007 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 09-26-2007, 12:41 PM   #3
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Day One!

Sunday, September 15, 2007

After our late night last night, I decided we should sleep in. Even though it went against every fiber of my very being, I understood it might not be a grand idea to keep a two year old up to 3:30 a.m. and then wake her up for rope drop in the morning, Magic Kingdom calling or not. So I slept in until about 830, and then got up to go to the bathroom. Mimi woke up and so I told her I was going to head to the main building and check out/check in, because I thought the earlier we did that, the better. Tori was still sleeping, so I quietly snuck out of our room in the 70s, noting how close it was and reminding myself to ask to stay put! Before we left, we had seen a show on the travel channel that included Pop Century, and Tori was amazed at the bowling pin pool, but I told myself it would be so much more convenient not to move.

The line for check-in wasn't long, so when it was my turn I asked if I could stay in the same room. The CM told me, "No problem!" and so I breathed a sigh of relief. Thank goodness we wouldn't have to be out of our room for four hours today! The CM left, and then came back. "I have bad news."
"OH, no," I thought. "What now?"
"You booked a one night stay through Travelocity, but it was for a preferred room. Your WDTC package includes a standard room. I was doing everything I could to keep you in your room, but our preferred rooms are all booked for the night. But is there anywhere else you would like to stay? I can try to keep you in the 70s building."
I appreciated her trying to keep up in the same room, and understood about the difference in preferred and standard. She was so friendly. I figured since we were going to move anyway, I might as well ask for the 50s.
"I can put you in a 50s room facing the bowling pin pool, and our luggage assistance will transfer your luggage from your old room to your new room, and we will also have Magical Express deliver your airline baggage to the new room."
WOW! This was no hassle at all! How wonderful!

I stopped by Everything POP to get our refillable mugs, filled mine with Diet Coke and Mom's with coffee (black, just the way she likes it) and headed back to our room to pack everything up. When I got to our room, I noticed Tori was still sleeping, which never happens. It was about 9:15, and after I came in she finally woke up. I turned on some Playhouse Disney and got her dressed for our first day in the parks! I called Luggage Assistance, then left our bags in our room and headed out to the busses.

The busses. Sigh. What can I say? You already know that we really prefer Disneyland to Disney World. When we go to Disneyland, we have always stayed at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. The walk to the gates of Paradise Pier is about five minutes. The walk to the front gates of Disneyland is about seven minutes. We were not used to a 15-minute bus ride to the Magic Kingdom. Don’t get me wrong; we loved almost everything about Pop. The hotel was nice and clean. Sure, the rooms were a little smaller than Paradise Pier, and had exterior hallways, but I loved the theming of the resort, the pools, and the food court! The distance to the parks was our only real complaint, but it really was a long bus ride to the MK. Keep in mind, also, that we had a bulky stroller and a 2 year old to transport on all these bus rides, and you might begin to see why they weren’t our favorite part of the trip.
Anyway, we had a bout a 10-minute wait for our ride to the Magic Kingdom. Mom, who is 60, climbed into the bus, followed by Tori and myself. There was one seat available for Tori, so we sat her down while Mom and I both stood. When the bus started on its merry way, Tori was happy, and I had no problem, but I guess Mom’s balance isn’t what it used to be because she leaned, stepped, and stuttered the entire 15 minutes. Of course, being the sympathetic daughter, I did what anybody in my position would do.

I laughed.

A lot.

She kept shooting me dirty looks, but then if she worked too hard on the dirty looks, she would lose concentration and stumble again, causing me to collapse in laughter again. It was a vicious cycle, I tell ya. A vicious cycle.

Let me pause this report for another tangent about the busses. I was amazed at the number of people who did not give up their seats for small children or the elderly! This isn’t a personal complain of mine, because we made sure that Tori, and after that first day, Mimi, always had a seat on the busses, even waiting until another bus came to ensure it. However, when we would sit, if I noticed a small child standing (by small I mean around 5 or under), I would always offer my seat. Mimi would sit down, holding Tori in her lap as to not take up an additional seat, and I would stand if there was a child that needed my seat. Maybe it’s because I’m a mom and I see how hard it is for the little ones, but there were so many people who appeared healthy (and they might not all have actually been healthy, but there is a good bet that most of them were), that would just sit there and watch as parents would struggle to keep their kids on their feet. We even had a bus with a transmission problem that was lurching and jerking all over the place, and a young couple sat in two seats and put their BACKPACK on a vacant seat while people, including small children, were standing. Hopefully, they were just excited and oblivious, and not intentionally being unkind.

We get to the main gates of the Magic Kingdom.

“I see the castle!” Tori yells excitedly. Mimi and I exchange a smile. This is what it is all about, folks!

We head through the gates, scan our fingers, and are in the Magic Kingdom! It’s about 11:00 in the morning on a Saturday……”Hmmm,” I think to myself. “I thought September wasn’t supposed to be crowded!”

Well, it wasn’t super crowded, but it was definitely busy. We headed over to Fantasyland and get a FP for Peter Pan, since the wait is over 50 minutes! We ride Tori’s former favorite ride, “It’s a Small World.” As we are walking over to the ride, Tori stops and says her feet hurt. Oh no! We only just got here!

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/16325170@N00/1456546848/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1366/1456546848_a8aba50cbc.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Come On!" /></a>

I look at her Mickey Crocs and decide they look a little small, so I take the strap from around her heel and switch it so they are slide-ons to give her a little room. As we wait for Small World, Tori wants to see everyone getting into the boat, so she asks her adored Mimi to pick her up. Mimi obliges (of course) and carries her. Well, as we wait to get into our boat, Mimi is still carrying her. Are you seeing what is coming? Yep, sure enough, while they are boarding Small World, Tori’s foot hits rail and her shoe goes flying into the water.
At least Crocs float.

“MY SHOE! MY MICKEY SHOE!” Tori cries.

I tell Mom to flag down a cast member for help, but nope, this Mimi is on a mission. She hits all fours, sticks her hand in the water, and retrieves the errant shoe, much to the delight of Victoria.

What a day, and we haven’t even ridden our first ride.

Small World was great as always, and so we decide to get something to eat at the Village Haus while we wait for our Fast passes to mature. Mimi says that she has found a table (the place was busy!) but Tori wants to go look through the windows. We let her look, then head for the table. I see a couple positioning a child in a stroller that look like they are leaving. We get the table, sit down, and I see the mom of the family give me a horrible look. I mean, this look could kill. Seriously. Anyway, I don’t understand why she gave me such a horrible look, and then it hits me. I look at the dad, since I’m kind of scared of the mom at this point.

“Oh,” I say…..”We’re you guys going to sit at this table?”

Dad gives me a kind of embarrassed, awkward, nod. I apologize profusely to Mom, who thought we were table snatchers! I explain we thought that they were leaving and we will find another table. Hopefully they understood we weren’t trying to be rude and it was just a misunderstanding.

Whenever I saw people being rude during this trip, I hoped it was a case like that in which the people weren’t intentionally trying to be rude, they were either just too excited or oblivious to what was going on to pay attention. I was sad that we appeared to be table snatchers, but I hope we explained ourselves well and we made our way to another table.

I ordered the food. We ordered a vegetable pizza, a turkey panini meal with Baked Lays, two Diet Cokes, and two strawberry shortcakes! Yum! It was delicious! Tori picked all the veggies off the pizza (eye roll) but loved the strawberry shortcake (of course!). We decide we want to come back here before our trip is over.

So we head outside in the hot, hot sun. (Did I mention HOT sun?) It was so hot that I cannot even put it into words, and we are from Texas, so I know my heat. But, we’re at Disney so not much can bother us! We head over to Tomorrowland and grab a fast pass for Buzz Lightyear. We got a bonus Fast pass for Carousel of Progress, which I thought was pretty cheap. There’s never a wait anyway, so it seemed kind of like a trick. Here, look; we’re giving you a bonus fast pass to a ride that doesn’t have a wait anyway! Just thought it was funny. Anyway, while we wait, we ride the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. We loved the Peoplemovers from Disneyland and are glad to see it at the Magic Kingdom in this form. J After that, we wait in line to see the REAL Buzz. He was by the Carousel of Progress.

Mimi surveyed the situation and said, “Look, it says Fast pass entry over there!”

“Mom, that’s for the Carousel of Progress. We’re in line to see Buzz Lightyear.”

“Oh, okay,” she says.

Then as people move past us to get on the Carousel, Mimi nudges me. “Hey, they’re getting in front of us!” she whispers indignantly.

“They’re going on the ride, Mom. We’re waiting for Buzz Lightyear.”

“Oh, okay,” she replies again.

We take a great picture with Buzz, and then start to head out.

“Hey,” Mom exclaims. “We never rode the ride!”

She was so confused. I just looked at her and laughed, and she looked at me sheepishly as it all made sense.

“We weren’t in line for that ride?”

I shake my head.

“We were just in line for that critter?”

I shake my head again.

Ding ding ding! The light went on! We have a winner, folks!

We chuckled and decided to ride the TTA one more time before we rode Buzz. It was fun, again, and then we rode Buzz. Mimi beat Tori and I, by quite a bit. She rocks at Buzz. Anyway, we headed over to Main Street to get a spot on the curb for the 3:00 parade. We find a nice spot and the wind has picked up and the sky has gone cloudy giving us a very welcome retreat from the heat!

A lady with two little girls in strollers rolls in beside us. The little girl is crying, “I’m tired, I don’t want to watch the parade!”

“Shut up! You are watching the parade and that is all there is to it!” The mom snaps.

I’m sure it had been a long day for them, but it really gave new meaning to The Happiest Place on Earth!

It starts to rain a little during the parade, but it feels nice and Tori is protected in the stroller, so we don’t care!

After the parade, we are tired. It has finally hit us that we got no sleep the night before. It’s 3:30 and our ADR is for Chef Mickey’s at 530. We ride the monorail for a while to kill some time and appreciate the air conditioning and then get off at the Contemporary at 4:15. We wait for a little bit before deciding we are too dang tired to eat. Even Tori says she would rather go back and swim instead of eat with Mickey and so we do.

Our new hotel room is ready and we get in with no problems. It is a fantastic room on the 2nd floor of the Lady Building facing the bowling pool. I think the room number is 1266. Our luggage is already there when we check out the room, and there is a towel animal in the window!

Last edited by AC7179; 09-29-2007 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:51 AM   #4
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Saturday, September 15, 2007 Continued

Saturday, September 15, 2007 Continued

So we settled into our new home, sweet home. I loved the room. Really. I had been afraid. Very afraid. The Pop- Motel 6 comparisons didn’t do much for me. I’m not such a Motel 6 fan. We found the Pop rooms to be more comparable to a Fairfield Inn than a Motel 6 or Super 8. Not really fancy, but clean, tidy, and new feeling. I could see no signs of wear and tear in the room, it was spotlessly clean, and the window in front was fantastic! When open, it let a delightful light into the room. When closed, the curtains overlap so that so that it is really dark in the room. Nice! We were facing the pool, and we found that we could hear the music during the day, but it wasn’t loud enough to keep anybody from sleeping, so it worked out well.

First, we went down to the POP food court and ate. I had the chicken fettuccine. It was okay. Tori loved it. Mimi had the vegetable lasagna. It was yum! After we ate, Mimi decided she would rest and I would take Tori out to the pool. She was so excited, and the water felt so nice and refreshing after the heat and rain of the day! We floated around for about an hour, enjoying the balls and noodles that are provided for the guests. I was seriously just thinking to myself how peaceful it was and how it could not get any more perfect. Then, disaster struck from the mouth of a precocious and naughty little two year old.

A man swam close to us. He didn’t speak English, at least natively, and if I had to guess I would say he was from Brazil or a Latin American country. He was friendly, smiling at Tori, and she stared back.

Then she smiled, looked at me, and proclaimed loudly, “LOOK MAMA! THAT MAN HAS FUR!”

I smiled in apology while trying to die inside, and tried to redirect Tori. It wasn’t working so we got out of the pool ASAP and dried off. Tori had been up so late the night before, and hadn’t napped today, so I knew she would be ready to sleep early!

Around 8:00, I put Tori in bed, she had a pack n play, and turned out the light. Mimi went to her bed and turned on the light to read. J Finally, about 20 minutes later, Mimi looks at me and says, “Maybe we should turn the light off?”

Excellent idea.

So, the idea is to turn the light off, wait until Tori goes to sleep, and then turn it back on to visit. Well, Tori is asleep in five minutes, so I whisper over to my partner-in-crime, “Mimi, she’s asleep. “

“Zzzzzzz,” she replies.

Seriously! How can you be asleep at 8:20 in Disney World! Argh!

“Well,” I thought to myself, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! At least we’ll be up early enough for the Little One’s Extra Magic Hour at the Magic Kingdom tomorrow!”

I rolled over in bed, pulled the covers up, and fell asleep thinking about our fun, but tiring, first day at Disney World.
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:13 PM   #5
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Sorry

I will try to update by Monday..........life had been crazy! I haven't forgotten those of you who are reading.....(is there anybody out there?)
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:54 PM   #6
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Hi! I'm really enjoying your report.

I do have to agree with you about rude people on the busses. I always give up my seat for an elderly person or someone with a young child. It amazes me when people don't do that. I know we are all tired at the end of the day, but come on!

Glad your first day was so much fun! You certainly deserved it after your looooong travels.
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Old 09-29-2007, 06:21 PM   #7
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Hi I am reading too, we stayed at Pop from 9/1 to 9/8 we were in the sixties section but in between the Hippy and bowling pin pool. Loved the room location, second floor, first floor would have been a little better but no biggie.

We loved the bowling pin pool, tried the Hippy pool but it was just too big for me to keep a close eye on my eight year old. The bowling pin pool being narrow in places made it easy for him to swim from side to side and easier on mom!

The food court was a nightmare in the mornings and the frozen drink machines always broke. Also why were there no bottles of coke to buy? I love diet coke in the 20 oz bottles. We loved the pizza and I loved my shrimp lo mein.

Hope to hear the rest of the story...

~Donna
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Old 09-29-2007, 07:58 PM   #8
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I am reading your report too. We were at Pop from 9/18-9/25 and had a wonderful stay. My kids loved the place. I was very impressed with the food court!
I also have to agree with you about the buses and seemingly healthy people not giving up there seats to kids. My poor 3 yr old dd was literally falling asleep standing up one night on the bus, and between that and all the complaining from my 6 yr old ds, I had to sit down with both of them in the aisle. We were towards the back of the bus near the step, so we were able to sit down and out our feet on the step. My dd was like a bag of sand, just slumped over sleeping, and it was hard to hold her up. No one offered us their seat. My dh was SO mad, and it takes a lot to get him upset. I let it go, b/c we survived it and after all we were in WDW!

Jill
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Old 09-30-2007, 05:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneBoy/OneGirl View Post
II also have to agree with you about the buses and seemingly healthy people not giving up there seats to kids. My poor 3 yr old dd was literally falling asleep standing up one night on the bus, and between that and all the complaining from my 6 yr old ds, I had to sit down with both of them in the aisle. We were towards the back of the bus near the step, so we were able to sit down and out our feet on the step. My dd was like a bag of sand, just slumped over sleeping, and it was hard to hold her up. No one offered us their seat. My dh was SO mad, and it takes a lot to get him upset. I let it go, b/c we survived it and after all we were in WDW!

Jill
ive found this every time ive been to pop one time we had to stand and the chair i was leaning against held a big diaper bag and the mom never moved it so we could sit !!
i have sat with both my children on my lap and they are 9 and 6 !!
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Old 09-30-2007, 11:35 AM   #10
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Yep

Isn't it crazy that people think their BAG is more deserving of a seat than a PERSON?
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Old 09-30-2007, 12:10 PM   #11
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Don't you love plane delays. Didn't you feel like yelling, "your messing with my WDW vacation."

I remember your last Trip Report. Thanks for sharing this one with us.
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Old 10-01-2007, 12:02 PM   #12
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Sunday

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Wow, six thirty came early this morning! Even though we had been in bed early, it was still hard to roll out of bed. Tori slept while Mimi and I got ready. My HOPE was to be out of the room by seven so that we could make it for opening of the Little Ones' Extra Magic Hours, but it didn't happen, we were in line for the busses at POP around 7:30 and got on a buss around 7:45. We didn't make it inside the gates until 8:15. I was kind of bummed, but what can you do? I just made a note to be there extra early for the next Little Ones' Extra Magic Hour.

We made it through the gates, and started walking down Main Street. Mimi wanted to stop and look at the window displays. Now, God love her, but there is a time and place for everything, and your Extra Magic Hour is NOT the time to look at windows. Just kidding.........well, not really, but this trip was for ALL of us, so I ohhed and ahhhed over the windows, which really are fantastic. I also need to put a disclaimer out there that I tend to be a little commando........ that doesn't work very well when you have a 2 year old, so I was really trying to stop and smell the roses this trip, and I think I succeeded, even if it did go against everything about my commando self. If you've never stopped and looked at the Window displays down Main Street, you have really missed out. They are fantastic.

Anyway, after THAT, Tori needed to potty, so it was probably at least 8:30 by the time we got to Fantasyland. The first thing Tori wanted to do was ride the carrousel, and we noticed that Chip and Dale were riding! How cool! Tori found a horse by Chip (or Dale) but before she could get on it, another lady put her hand on it and yelled at her son, "HURRY!" Mimi's eyes got big and she opened her mouth, but she showed remarkable restraint and stayed quiet........ however, we couldn't find another horsier. Tori whimpered, but Mimi told her we would just wait in line and get to pick first on the next ride.

We were so glad we did, because the next person to ride was GOOFY! And Tori got a seat right next to him! It was awesome. I got a fantastic picture of him beside her and an even better one of her looking at him with wonder in her eyes. How cool is this! This is her watching Goofy. http://www.flickr.com/photos/16325170@N00/1455803221/ And here's Goofy! http://www.flickr.com/photos/16325170@N00/1455794951/

We got off of the ride and I got a Fast Pass for Peter Pan, then we headed over to Winnie the Pooh. On our way there, Tori stopped to play with Tigger and Pooh. They played "Red Light, Green Light." It was very cute, although 500 games of "Red Light, Green Light" later, it's starting to lose its appeal. http://www.flickr.com/photos/16325170@N00/1455820059/

We loved Pooh, and from there we headed over to do Small World before our fast passes for Peter Pan. Tori wanted to do Dumbo, but the line was already crazy long. We finished those rides and then it was almost time for Toon Town to open!

We headed to Toon Town and were the first ones there. I was hoping Tori would be picked to open Toon Town, but then another family came to wait. Their little girl was Tori's age and they let her play beyond the rope. Tori asked if she could, and I said no, and she started to whine. Really, it is hard for a two year old to understand why she can't play in the place where another kid is playing because it is against the rules.

Anyway, while we waited, we saw Minnie Mouse! They opened the rope and Tori ran and hugged her. Minnie took her hand and led her to her house. http://www.flickr.com/photos/16325170@N00/1456695768/ It was so perfect. Tori just kept looking at her. Tori was the first person to meet Minnie, and the whole thing was so special. After Minnie, we went in and met the Princesses. She kept telling all of them, "Hi Princess. I'm Tori and I'm 2." http://www.flickr.com/photos/16325170@N00/1455806619/ You can see in all of her pictures she is holding up 2 fingers. It was tooooo funny. She was in such awe. After that we rode Goofy's Barnstormer. I was nervous but Tori loved it and wanted to ride again! So, Tori and I rode again and Mimi got us a drink because it was HOT outside!

By then it was lunchtime so we went back to Pinocchio's and were able to snag a table by a window overlooking Small World. Tori liked that, and I went to get in line. Their pizza and panini machines were down, so I just ordered a sandwich for Mom and I to split, and Tori got cheese and macaroni. The one meal was more than enough for Mom and I to split. With the dining plan, for counter service restaurants, you get a drink, entree, and dessert. So we had a large diet coke, a sandwich that came with apple slices, and some strawberry shortcake! Yum, and DEFINITELY enough food for two (chunky) people.....(Okay, I might be chunkier than Mom......but still. Neither one of us is Twiggy!)

After that we decided to go back to the resort and rest so we could stay for fireworks at night. (We had only done THREE rides. My inner-commando was dying, but I controlled it.) You know......the one bad thing about POP is the bus service. Not so much about Pop, but just being so far out there. It would sometimes take us 45 minutes to get from the Magic Kingdom back to our hotel. That is a LONG time for a two year old, and it takes a big chunk out of your park time when 4 hours straight in the park is pushing it, as far as staying happy and meltdown free.

Anyway, we took the bus back to our hotel (and Tori learned to read her first word! POP spells POP!), and put Tori down for a nap. Mimi hid in the bathroom and I turned all the lights off and lay on the bed. Tori fell asleep in about 15 minutes and Mimi and I played some cards and just chillaxed. When Tori woke up I took her swimming in the bowling pin pool, and then we got back to the room and got dressed to go back to the Magic Kingdom for our 5:00 reservations at the Crystal Palace.

We are in line for the Magic Kingdom at 4:15. A bus doesn't come until 4:45. While we are waiting, it starts to rain. Nice. So we are all ponchoed up. When we finally get on the bus, I call to tell them we will be a little (like maybe 10) minutes late. The guy who answered the phone at the Dining number told me they wouldn't hold a table for 10 minutes, but they connected me to the Crystal Palace who said it was fine.

We dash to Crystal Palace, in the rain, and check in and wait for thirty minutes or so. When we go inside, we are seated and Tori is excited to see the characters from Pooh! The food was okay, but we really disliked the Crystal Palace. We finished our meal and waited, and waited, and waited to see a character. We had been there for an hour, and were totally finished and STILL had not had a character by our table. Not one! I talk to our server who says it's not his department and his hands are tied. > So we wait a little longer and finally I flag down the manager who takes us personally to all the characters. http://www.flickr.com/photos/16325170@N00/1456679474/ The manager made it right, but our server was really bleh! Bad attitude and he was the only server who I think had the "My tip is already included" mentality with us. Bleh! We weren't impressed with Crystal Palace.

After we ate, we walked through Adventure Land where we met Captain Jack Sparrow! He was awesome! Soooo in character! Tori was afraid to go in, so I gave her an "I'm not scared" tag, that would keep her from being scared. Okay, I know it's lame, but whatever works, right? Well, her "I'm not scared" tag was removed from our stroller and said "GATE LUGGAGE." Tori showed Captain Jack her "I'm not scared" tag. He had a field day, to put it mildly.

"Gate Luggage? Hmmm. Interesting. And what did you say this does for you, love?" he asked.

Ha!

As we left I called out, "Thanks Captain Jack!"

"That's Captain Jack Sparrow, love." He replied.

I replied, "Oh, okay, Captain Jack Sparrow LOVE."

He said, "No, dear, I was calling you love."

I said, "I know, and I was calling YOU love, because you're HANDSOME!"

He said, "Err, oh, well, I'm actually kind of........seeing someone and....err.. QUICK, SOMEONE DIVERT HER!" and ran and hid.

It was hilarious.

From there we rode pirates, and then Haunted Mansion. After Haunted Mansion, the fireworks were going on, so we stopped and watched. Tori was amazed. She thought it was SO COOL. From there, we were headed out, but Tori started to cry because she wanted to say goodnight to Mickey. A cast member stopped by us and I explained the problem. She promised to say goodnight to Mickey from Tori. It was very sweet.

By this point we were way too tired to stand in the POP bus line, so we headed over to the Contemporary and hopped into a cab. It was totally worth it. Tori fell asleep in the cab on the way home. We all fell into bed that night, very tired but also very happy.

Last edited by AC7179; 07-01-2008 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 10-06-2007, 05:19 PM   #13
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Hi, I just found your report. We were also there the 14th to the 22nd. So far, we haven't had any park days that are the same. We were at Chef Mickey's on the 15th, so if you had decided to come, we would have seen each other!

Waiting for more!

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Old 03-26-2008, 02:48 PM   #14
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...

Monday- AK- 8 (EE) to 5
Tuesday- Epcot- 8 (EE) to 9
Wednesday- MK 8 (EE) to 8
Thursday- MK 8 (EE) to 9

The next day was Monday, and we were up and off and headed to Animal Kingdom. We had reservations at Donald's Breakfastasauras, and Animal Kingdom had Morning Extra Magic Hours, so we were there early. We were in line for opening, and headed straight to the safari.

It was amazing! Mimi and Tori loved it so much. The animals were out and in rare form. We headed off the tram and I had to go to Kali River Rapids to get a VMK card stamped for my older stepdaughter who had stayed at home because of school. Quite a trek just for a stamp! While I got her a stamp, Mimi found some COOL wind chimes to pick up for my hubby. They sound very cool and can take you right back to Animal Kingdom when you listen to them.

We headed to breakfast and got in without a wait. Compared to Crystal Palace, this place was heaven. The characters came by without too much of a wait, and had really good interaction with Tori. We liked it!

We headed out and Tori wanted to do Dinoland. Not my bag of tea, but she enjoyed them.

After that, we were so hot. It was still morning and we were soaking wet. It was bad. I really can't explain it. Anyway, we decide to go to It's Tough to Be a Bug before we head over to see Festival of the Lion King.

Did I mention Mimi is claustraphobic? She's done the show before, but it was in California, where the theater is not the inside of a tree. Anyway, we get it, and we are the first ones in for the next show. People keep crowding behind us, and the ceiling is low.

Mimi starts to panic. "I think I need to leave," she says. I laugh a little, thinking she's joking.

"No, SERIOUSLY," she says. I sigh, and we try to make it past the ocean of people coming in behind us to get back to the front entrance. We get there, and they tell us we still have to wait until the doors open and then go through the theater. I think Mimi is going to come unglued, but she holds it together.

Much to Tori's confusion, we keep walking right through the theater and head to Lion King. We're about 30 minutes early so we stand outside. It's SOOOOOOOOO hot. Really, words can't describe it. So we all start to get a little grumpy.

After the doors open, though, the air-conditioned theater and WONDERFUL Lion King show perk us all up! I'm an ex-gymnast, so I loved all the skills the performers threw, and Tori was enchanted. Mimi loved it all, too. This was her favorite thing we did all trip!

After the show, Tori was getting cranky and really it was just too hot to stay outside. It's about 2, and we decide to just give up and head back to the room. Tori melts down on the bus ride back to POP (and we stopped at a waterpark? Kinda random), but we head straight to the food court and buy lunch. She gets blue slushy in our refillable mug and watches Disney channel while Mom and eat and discuss. We did enjoy Animal Kingdom and wished we had more time for it. It closed at 6 though, so we decided not to head back.

We head back to our room and Mom rests while I take Tori back to the pull. I want to keep her from taking a nap so she will go to be early and be ready to wake up in the morning. We swim and relax at the bowling pin pool. So fun. Mimi showers, and then stands and waves at us from our door.

We get out, get dressed, and take a walk around POP. We let Tori play in the playground (neat!) and take some bread and go feed the ducks at the lake. Tori loved this down time just as much as she loved any park time, so I'm glad we chillaxed for the afternoon.

She went to bed early, and Mom and I sat in bed giggling over tv and funny stories. It was wonderfully great just QUALITY time for all of us, even though we weren't doing anything substantial.

We hit the hay early as well, so we could be ready for an early morning at Epcot.
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:46 PM   #15
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Epcot

The next morning, we were at Epcot for the rope drop. We headed as fast as we could to The Land to get fast passes for Soarin'. Tori was just barely tall enough to ride, with tall shoes, so we figured we'd try later. After that we headed to The Seas to ride Nemo. Tori loved it and ohh'd and aww'd throughout. We headed out of the ride and explored The Seas for a while, then we headed over to our Princess Breakfast in Norway! This was fabulous. Tori was dressed in her Belle dress, and Belle was the Princess that greets you as you arrive.

We were seated, and Breakfast ensued. It tasted good, but more importantly, Tori got to see all the princesses without us having to stand in long lines again, so it was worth it for that alone. She was definitely star struck, and we bought the pictures that came with the meal.

After that we headed back to The Land and rode Soarin'. This was Tori's first big girl ride and she loved it. The lady made her a Magical Moments certificate, along with giving her a card that said she measured up and wouldn't have to be measured again. It was definitely iffy, and she was stopped by another CM later, but we flashed the card and were a-ok. I thought that was interesting.

Anyway, we headed out into The Land, and Tori wanted to ride "one more" ride before we headed back to the hotel. We compromised with Living With The Land, which made Mimi SO happy, since she has a green thumb. We thought it was so cool to see the pumpkins grown in Mickey heads and the other parts of the tour. Tori enjoyed just riding in a boat.

After that, it was definitely time to go. Tori was getting fussy, so we headed out. We stopped at the store by the exit and got her some cotton candy, so she was a hot, sticky mess by the time we got to POP.

We headed in and hung out in the food court drinking our refillable mugs and watching cartoons. Well, Tori watched the cartoons. We visited.

We relaxed in the room for a bit before heading back to Epcot to see World Showcase. We ate dinner in Mexico, rode the Mexican Boat Ride, and headed on. We stopped somewhere, not much further, and Tori played with some drums. A kid sat down and looked at her funny and Tori started to cry. Then said kid also got an ice cream, and we had a meltdown on our hands. She was just hot, tired, and exhausted so we decided to scrap Epcot for the night and head back to the hotel. Even though it KILLED me to do it, I knew it was a good idea if we wanted to be up and about for Little Ones Extra Magic Hour the next morning. As we headed off to the busses, we got caught in a massive downpour.

We got to Pop, dried off, and made it an early night.
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