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Old 02-24-2008, 11:16 PM   #31
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You're off to a great start with this report! You're family looks like they know how to have a good time! I can't wait to read the rest of your report. You're a great dad to spring for cruise for your son! Now if I could only get mine to do that for my birthday.... .

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Old 02-24-2008, 11:31 PM   #32
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Your son is so cute!!! He looks like he is having THE time of his life. There is nothing better in this world than the look of joy on a child's face.

What a great idea to have him do a Disney journal. We're heading to AKL next October with my family, my sis, and her kids -- I may have to incorporate that idea for the cousins who are old enough.

Great pics, too....I'll be following along on your report...
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:34 PM   #33
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great TR! I want to stay at the AKL so bad!!
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Old 02-25-2008, 01:19 AM   #34
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Day 2 (Continued) - Animal Kingdom

After breakfast at Bomas I felt like I was bigger! "The walking in Animal Kingdom will be some much needed exercise," and my DW said ditto.

Once again we waited no more than 10 to 15 minutes for our bus to Animal Kingdom and the bus ride was just a few minutes from the AKL. The fun began as soon as we hit the entrance. We stopped to take pictures by the AK Christmas tree and another moment materialized that made me kick myself for not bringing the camcorder. I was snapping a few pics of the Christmas tree when I noticed my DS break out into a brisk walk towards me. He was standing next to a Palm Tree in a planter that started talking to him. "What's your name kid?" Not knowing that the tree could move DS moved very briskly away from the tree. The tree matched every move that my startled DS made. "Why didn't I bring the camcorder," I asked myself as I tried to keep from laughing too hard . DW was laughing so hard she had to turn her face away . I told my DS to stand still so that I could get a picture of him and the talking tree. He would move away from the tree three steps, stop, and smile. Then the tree would move up and stop next to him and he would stop smiling long enough to move away. After DS and the talking palm tree did this dance a few times DS stopped long enough for me to take a picture. He didn't say it but his half cocked smile indicated that he was saying to himself, "will you hurry up and take the picture already?" DS could not comprehend a moving, talking, Palm Tree in a planter and was ready to move on . Here are a few pics of that moment...............



"Hey, wait up kid. I don't bite!"


Can you see DS looking out of the corner of his eye to see how close the Palm Tree ws getting to him. The couple behind him in the red and green thought it was pretty funny too. I am just glad that we did not run into the vine lady once we got into the park because he would have really freaked out!

Here are some Photo Pass pictures that we took at the entrance.


DS was too busy making sure that The Palm Tree didn't get too close.


I know, I know....I'll have some sun shades next trip.

For those of you who have never been to Animal Kingdom let me give you some good advice. You need to PLAN YOUR DAY for this park. Especially if you are trying to see all of the shows, ride Kilimanjaro Safari, and the extremely popular Expedition Everest. We had fun but if I had planned better I would not have missed the Safari ride and the new Finding Nemo show. I also did not get to go on the Maharajah Jungle Trek and see the Tigers. We got in late the night before from the MVMCP and slept in longer than we wanted to for day 2. If we would have got to the park earlier I think we would have been able to do those things. Oh well, more reasons to go back right?

Now to the things that we did do. We went to Chester and Hester's Dino-Rama and I was pleasantly surprised by Primeval Whirl. I loved that ride! I didn't think it would have been that much fun just looking at it but we were all pleasantly surprised [**Just a quick note here for all the big guys... I am 6' 00" and 300 lbs. and I tend to size up rides to see if I will be able to fit in them. I had no problems fitting into any rides at WDW.**]. We also rode Triceratop Spin ( just like the Dumbo ride only with Dinosaurs) and then we took this picture....



DS wanted to go over to the Boneyard and play so DW and I rested there while DS ran, jumped, slid (now that I am writing this I realize that I have a camera missing because I know for sure I took some pictures of DS playing here. I'm also missing pics of my food at the Flame Tree Barbecue and a pic I took at the top of Expedition Everest...sorry everybody!). We headed over to the Finding Nemo Show but the line was too long so we moved on to Dinosaur. DW rode this ride and I had to sit this one out because DS was not getting on that. That darn talking palm tree had DS paranoid about just about everything in Animal Kingdom. DW said that Dinosaur was loud and scary and she was not getting back on that.

We rode Kali River Rapids and I GOT SOAKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now I was wishing for some of that 90 degree Florida weather to get dry. Here is a picture we took 45 minutes after the ride and our clothes were still wet.



By now we were hungry and headed over to Flaming Tree Barbeque. I saw this place on the Travel Channel and could not wait to try it. FTB lived up to all the hype. IMO the food was excellent. DW and I both had the 1/2 Slab of St. Louis Ribs served with baked beans and corn muffin. The ribs were seasoned with Flame Tree Special BBQ Rub! They had barbeque sauce but we didn't need it. I didn't want it either! The meat was tender, full of flavor, and falling off of the bones. If we did not have reservations to eat at Jikos that night I would have ordered another 1/2 slab! DS had the Baked Chicken Wings and they were good too.

After we ate we headed over to see "It's Tough To Be A Bug." On the way we encountered these talented guys.



As we started winding around the line of The Tree Of Life, DS had this look on his face as if to say, "O.K. what's the deal with this tree?" The wait in the dark by the doors to the theatre did not help matters either because it gave DS's imagination too much time to wonder about all of the bad things that could be beyond those doors.

DS did fine until Hopper came out. For those of you who have not seen the show I will not spoil it for you but I have to tell you about this one part of the show. There was this one part of the show when the room filled up with smoke ( and DS thought it was something that was going to get him) and air was blowing , and lights were flashing, and..... "MOMMY GET ME OUT OF HEEEERRRRRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" DS put a G.I. Joe grip on my DW's left arm after he threw his 3D glasses across the auditorium and popped some other kid in the head! That kid started screaming because he/she thought Hopper did it! The kid behind us started swinging into the smoke trying to hit Hopper but hit DS in the back of his head which lead to DS swinging and................O.K. but DS did yell, "MOMMY GET ME OUT OF HEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and throw his 3D glasses off and G.I. Joe Grip DW's left arm.

One mom after the show said, "Disney ought to be ashamed of themselves scaring all these kids like that!" I personally thought the show was great but I guess it can be a little intimidating for younger kids.

From the Bugs Life Show we tried to get to the last Safari ride but got held up in the parade crowd and got there too late. This bummed me out because I knew that DS would have really enjoyed it. The last time we were on it he was two and does not remember going on the Safari ride.

DW wanted to go into a gift shop along the parade route while DS and I watched the parade go by. I am so glad we did! DS was on my shoulders and was really getting into the parade. It was the Christmas version of the Jammin' Jungle Parade. The costumes, music, dancing, and floats were simply awesome. Disney really paid attention to detail on the floats and costumes. My DW came out of the gift shop as the end of the parade was going by and DS took this pic while we marched behind the end of the parade towards the the theatre for the Lion King Show.



The Lion King Show was my kind of show. The cast were very entertaining and IMO captured the essence of Disney. I can't wait to see that show again!! We took pictures but of course they came out very dark. I'll submit a few right here anyway just so that you can get a glimpse of our day.

Here is DS dancing with a Cast Member of the Lion King Show.


Here we are after the LK show. DRY CLOTHES!!!!!


After the Lion King Show we began our trek over to Expedition Everest because it was time to use our fast passses. On the way over DS wanted to stop and play these drums.




"Alright! It's time for Expedition Everest!" As we approached the front of the fast pass line DS asked, "Daddy is the Yeti in that mountain? I don't think I want to ride this today. You said that I don't have to ride anything that I don't want to ride and I don't want to ride this." "Honey, I'll wait here with DS and you go on. I'll ride when you get off." So DW gets on the ride while I'm sitting with DS trying to convince him that the ride is not that scary.

One of the EE cast members over heard our conversation and tried to do some convincing of her own but DS was not buying it. Then she sprinkled some pixie dust and said, "I'm going to let you do something that hardly anybody has ever done before. How would you like to see the Yeti on our security cameras so that you can see that he isn't all that scary?" "O.K.," DS said. The EE Cast Member ( I wish I could remember her name) walked us through the que and through a door into the security room that allowed the Cast Members to monitor the attraction from various camera angles. Wow! She asked the CM sitting down in front of the cameras to pull up the camera with the Yeti and she showed DS how fast the coasters go under the Yeti and that he never touches anybody. DS was fascinated but still was not getting on EE.

I thanked the CM and she pulled out another Fast Pass that would allow me and three other people to go to the front of the line anytime we wanted to that night. "Just in case he changes his mind," she said. I thanked the CM at least 10 times 10 different ways as she walked us out to the front of EE.

I really felt special right about then and I told my DW what happened when she exited the ride. I got in line and the CM at the fast pass entrance told me to keep the ticket and just go on. When I got off of the ride I had an opportunity to spread some Disney Magic myself. We were walking to the exit when we came across a family of 6 people. They were looking at the long wait to get on without a fast pass and it was too late to get one. I told my family to stop and I gave them our fast pass for four that the CM gave us, I gave them my DS's fast pass that he did not use, and the fast pass that the CM at the fast pass entrance would not take. None of the fast passes had expired. They were looking at me as if I was Mickey Mouse himself! They thanked us and ran to fast pass entrance for EE.

By now we were tired and needed to get back for our Jiko reservations and prepare to go on the Disney Wonder the next day. DW stopped in the gift shop outside of the entrance by Rain Forest Cafe and found some Disney 2007photo albums for $5.00!!!!!!!!! I'm telling you that nobody can smell a sell like my DW!

We took the bus back and got ourselves cleaned up for Jikos. I ordered the Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon with macaroni and cheese and red wine sauce. DW ordered the Berbere Braised Lamb Shank with toasted couscous, baby spinach, and berbere sauce. I don't remeber what DS had. Jikos gets two . Fabulous dinning experience and I have no complaints! I love the ambiance of Jikos! I can't wait to try this again one day so that I can try some other things on the menu.

Well, back to our room so that we can go to sleep and dream of...................................


Noooo! I didn't say have nightmares!!! I said, "go to sleep and DREAM of....................."


Up next.........Day 3 - The Disney Wonder!
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Old 02-25-2008, 01:39 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiamondDiva305 View Post
Enjoying you TR. Can't wait to hear more.
Thank you so much. It's been fun reliving the trip through this TR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tksbaskets View Post
OK, I was chuckling when the 'Pixie Dust was on your hair' thinking "this guy thought we might be bored??" NEVER. Then you had me about falling off my chair LOL (hope I didn't wake up my DH) as I read the above quote I was glad I hadn't taken a sip of my Diet Pepsi at that moment.

Many thanks for sharing your trip with us. I'm looking forward to more
You are too kind. Thanks for taking time to read my TR. You are giving me the fuel I need to write on!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fraggle551 View Post
You're off to a great start with this report! You're family looks like they know how to have a good time! I can't wait to read the rest of your report. You're a great dad to spring for cruise for your son! Now if I could only get mine to do that for my birthday.... .

Kate
I hope you can go on a Disney Cruise! It was truly WONDERful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by themilesfamily View Post
Your son is so cute!!! He looks like he is having THE time of his life. There is nothing better in this world than the look of joy on a child's face.

What a great idea to have him do a Disney journal. We're heading to AKL next October with my family, my sis, and her kids -- I may have to incorporate that idea for the cousins who are old enough.

Great pics, too....I'll be following along on your report...
Wait until you see the pics of DS at Castaway Cay! The expressions of joy on his face were worth every $$$$$$. Also, he has told me almost every day that I am the BEST DAD ever. Just a few days ago he said, "Daddy you're the best dad ever and you are irreplacable." BROKE ME DOWN!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicole786 View Post
great TR! I want to stay at the AKL so bad!!
I know the feeling! We had been waiting 6 years to stay at the AKL and finally got the chance. You will love the place!!!
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Old 02-25-2008, 04:25 AM   #36
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Great update. Love the photos!
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:11 AM   #37
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Keep it coming big guy--You are doing a great joB!! I'm reliving our last two trips through your story. We went Christmas 2 or 3 years ago and then of course last summer. We ran into PUSH the talking garbage can in MK. I had a conversation with it while trying to call the family back. I finally got the wife to come back, but the girls still don't believe me-even though I got it on video.


Still can't get my Dis dads club sig straight. I can get the words in but not Goofy
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:39 AM   #38
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That was so sweet of the cm to show your ds the yeti!
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Old 02-25-2008, 05:34 PM   #39
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great chapter -- your DS sounds like my brother when it comes to rides! I had to practically carry him on screaming to space mountain and of course he loved it
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Old 02-25-2008, 08:28 PM   #40
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Excellent trip report
I've really enjoyed reading this chapter and great pics.... Look forward to hear about your family's experience on the Wonder
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:27 PM   #41
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TOO funny about the talking tree I enjoyed joining your family at AK. We love It's Tough to be a Bug but I can see where it might freak out some youngsters. Looking forward to hitting the ocean with you all!
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:39 AM   #42
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Post WHaaaattttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can not believe I just sat here and typed, and uploaded pictures for 3 hours and lost that chapter of my TR. I hit the submit reply button and a message from Alex came up saying the boards would be down for a while. I'm exhausted! I'll retype everything later. Good night everybody.

No, I'm back. I feel like I finished a term paper that was due in the morning and with one click of a button it was gone. Well, here it is again.....


I woke up early in the morning to because I was too sleepy the night before to do anything. Yes, I am a husband that can and will do laundry. The laundry room in the AKL was the best hotel/resort laundry room that I've ever seen. It was very clean, large, had comfy furniture, cable TV, and a view of the Kudu in the Uzima Safari when the sun came up. A laundry room with a view better than most hotel rooms. Wow!

After the clothes were all packed we had Mickey Waffles at Mara. We love those waffles! Next DW did some shopping in the Zawadi Marketplace (The Gift Shop) and then we waited for the DCL Magical Express in the Sunset Overlook facing the Sunset Savannah. While we were there my DS saw an Ostrich and tried to take some pictures of it. He actually got some decent shots of the construction of the AKL Villas that are going up.

12/20/07




We boarded the DCL Magical Express and I felt relaxed, anxious, and excited all at the same time. DS was litterally bouncing from seat to seat. His long wait was just about over. It had to have seemed like an eternity for a 7 year old to wait a whole year to go on a Disney Cruise.

On the way to Port Canaveral we saw a video on the bus of Mickey and all the Disney characters going to Port Canaveral via the Magical Express. Minnie was hillarious! We all thought it was entertaining. Here are a few pics of that bus ride.





There she is!!!!!


We were painlessly wisked through security and finished some paperwork for checking in. Before we boarded DS and DW posed for this picture.



And these photos too...




When we boarded one of the CMs made an announcement to the other CMs to welcome us aboard the Disney Wonder. The CMs lining the Atrium applauded and it made us feel real special. That is a very nice touch to be welcomed aboard like that.

The atrium was awesome and we just stood there for a moment taking it all in before we navigated to Stateroom 2564. I had one more surprise for DS and DW. When we opened the door there were birthday decorations, birthday cake, and a bottle of sparkling cider waiting for us inside. I also ordered some chocolate covered strawberries for DW but they were not there. Now that I'm thinking about it ..... that problem was never resolved by DCL. Oh well, I'll just have to surprise her with that the next time.

DS's DCL birthday cake.






After the above picture was taken DS came over to me and gave me a hug and said once again, "Daddy you are the best daddy in the world." "That's because I have the best son in the world! Happy birthday big guy! Honey, the bottle in the ice bucket is for you."

After we got settled in we went to the Beach Blanket Buffet to eat. The food here was WONDERful. They had shrimp, paninis (is that spelled right?), decadent desserts, and ......you get the idea.


We were told that we had just missed the launch of a rocket carrying a satellite from Cape Canaveral. That would have been cool to see. After DW and DS were done eating they went back inside of the Beach and Blanket Buffet to find me. My DW was so embarresed. I had handcuffed myself to the dessert station and was kicking at all the CMs surrounding me saying, "Get Back..It's mine, it's all mine!!!!!!!!!!!! Hey, there's my wife! She'll tell ya I paid for all of this! Honey tell 'em!!!!!!!!! O.K. Again, it did not happen like that but I did grab a few more cookies as we passed by.

Now it was time to get our PFDs (Personal Floatation Devices) from our stateroom for the safety drill and go to our designated area.

Mr. Florida Sun was kicking our butts. I'm back there hiding behind my DW.

After the Safety drill was over we put up our gear and headed back up to deck 9 for the Sail Away Party. This was classic Disney entertainment. Lots of fun and interactment with the characters.

When the characters came out DS was yelling out there names trying to get their attention.


He got Minnie's attention and we snapped this picture.








The Sail Away Party was so much fun! I wish I was there right now. Here we are sailing off into the sunset. We don't look happy do we?


After the Sail Away Party I sat down to relax and enjoy the sea breeze while DS and DW played ping pong.


Our first night at dinner was at the Animator's Palate. We had great servers that interacted with the kids well. We loved the dinner show and loved the food. No complaints here. Here is my dessert plate.

After dinner the CMs sang happy birthday to DS.


I just loved the way DS was getting the royal treatment. That smile on his face made this trip worth every $$$$$ (and the fact that he told me every night that I was the best daddy in the world).

After dinner DS wanted to go to the Oceaneer's Lab (the kids club) while DW and I went to see the Hercules show. I don't know if it was because I was tired or what but I didn't like that show that much. DW said that she enjoyed it. After the show we headed back to 2564 to enjoy each others company while DS was at the Oceaneer's Lab. In a few hours I went to pick him up and I had to almost drag him out of that place. He told me that he was having the most fun and wanted to stay there the whole cruise. Wow! I was impressed with the CM's there. They really do a good job of making sure all of the kids are safe and having a good time.

Next......Day 4 in Nassau.
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Old 02-26-2008, 06:16 AM   #43
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Awww you're such a great dad! It looks like you and your family had so much fun. I think I'm going to have to try the DCL.

Did you do a Grand Gathering for your family reunion? We're thinking of doing one but not sure if a Grand Gathering is the way to go.
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Old 02-26-2008, 06:52 AM   #44
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I remember our first lifeboat drill. The next time I remembered shades for everyone Thanks for sharing!
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:54 AM   #45
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I'm loving your tr! It makes me want to try a Disney Cruise! It looks like so much fun. Can't wait to read more.
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