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Old 05-17-2008, 03:38 PM   #1
juliana_sd
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Talking Our mother/son, too much fun, SURPRISE ENDING vacation! May 7-13, 2008

Cast:
Mom, 30, born and raised 15 minutes from Disneyland and former CM. Been to WDW once and to Disneyland too many times to count.
Kid, 4.5, has been to Disneyland 2x. Precocious and often overdramatic, but loves to be silly. Is most excited about: eating ice cream while waiting for the parade :-)

Background:
I decided last year that we should do a big family vacation (my parents, brother & gf, sister & BIL) this year, and WDW was one of the options. That didn't work out because we couldn't all coordinate our schedules, but after some thought, and a trip to Sea World by ourselves, I had an epiphany and realized that DS and I should just go. He's starting kindergarten next year, so this is kind of our last chance to go when everyone's in school. Plus I just finished paying off all my credit cards and had cash available to pay for the trip, so I started watching airfares, and booked it!

I'm a super-over-analytical person so this is right up my alley. I found the DIS, bought the Unofficial Guide and subscribed to TGM and went to town. I started dreaming about itinerary-planning charts. I read the UG cover to cover. I waited with bated breath for Pirate & Princess Party dates to be released. I made spreadsheets to determine if the DDP was a good value for us (no) and if I'd planned enough hours of sleep each day (hope so!). I resisted the Baggallini. (Luckily I already owned Crocs and a Volo. otherwise either the budget would have been sunk, or I'd be a DIS-reject.)


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ASMo May 2008 - We're baaa-aack
Our mother/son, too much fun, SURPRISE ENDING vacation!

Last edited by juliana_sd; 05-27-2008 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 05-17-2008, 03:52 PM   #2
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Day 0 - May 6 - Driving to Gramma & Grampa's

We were flying out of Los Angeles in order to get a non-stop flight and we live about 2 hrs away. My parents are about 45 mins from there, and were willing to do airport taxi duty, so we headed up there the day before. I'd spent much of the weekend packing so we just had last-minute stuff to throw in, and we headed out just after lunchtime. We went out to dinner for an early Mother's Day. Then home for bath and bed. DS was soooo keyed up that we didn't get him to sleep until 10 pm!! We had to leave at 6 am for the airport... our flight was at 8:30.

I was sooooo nervous about the trip. I hadn't been on a vacation myself in years, let alone take DS somewhere by myself! If we did go anywhere, it was to visit family. I was worried about not having a car to be able to get things we needed, so I packed practically every medicine either of us had ever used I didn't know what we would use in the parks or in the room... let's just say I was lucky to not have the one-bag-per-person restriction on my airline.

I decided pretty early on to bring the stroller. We haven't used it at home in ages but I figured if we didn't need it we could leave it in the room. I also had misting fans, regular fans, light-up fans The weather was forecasted to be in the 90's while we were there If I wanted 90's I would have booked August! Oh well. We were going to Disney World!!
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Old 05-17-2008, 04:23 PM   #3
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Day 1 - May 7 - We're on our way

We were up bright and early to go to the airport. My mom wouldn't let me load the car the night before ("someone might break in!" lol) so I showered, had breakfast, made snacks for the plane, loaded the car, got DS up, fed, and dressed, and we were on our way!! Things went smoothly at the airport - we checked in curbside, tipped the guy well and he took the bags to screening for me The lines inside were INSANE... we had zero wait at curbside. I don't know why more people don't do that. We tried to make our way upstairs to the gate but they wouldn't let us on the escalator with the stroller, even though DS wasn't riding in it. So.... we found the elevator, got thru security in 5 mins, and got to our gate.

Being Los Angeles, of course we had minor celebrities on our flight. In this case it was some animals who had been on Leno the night before They were headed back to Sea World/Busch Gardens... some kind of baby opossums and monkeys? Their crates were covered. There was a keeper and a producer-type person with them. They all sat in first class. The large crate got its own seat! They had them board first, and the one lady joked "yeah we should be first, we paid full price for these seats!'

Our 5-hour flight was pretty uneventful. DS slept for maybe 20 mins. At one point they called for a dr or nurse on board and there was some commotion in first class. I was worried they would make an emergency landing since we were only about halfway through the flight! But things calmed down and the paramedics came on in Orlando and got the person taken care of. I never did find out what happened.

Funny story. DS has a baby doll. I was holding it as we boarded the flight, and the FA stopped me with a concerned look on her face. Then she started laughing. She said "I thought that was a real baby, and I didn't have him on the list!" The last hour of the flight was entertaining because we'd been over the Gulf of Mexico, and DS was straining looking out the window for land, because he knew that would mean we were almost there. He finally spotted it and yelled "Land HO!!!!" and everyone within earshot cracked up.

We landed on time (4:15), were on the ME bus by 4:45, and were driving at 5. The bus ride was fun. I got a little weepy at the movie when Walt said "this is a place where dreams come true" or something like that. Stupid movie. As we passed under the arch, DS said "This is NOT even a DREAM!" It was so cute!!!

We got to All-Star Movies at 5:45 and were checked in and in our room by 6:15.



We were in Mighty Ducks and I loved our location! We were facing away from the pool, equally close to the stairs and the elevator, on the second floor, and close to the Music bus stop This was our view:



We had to walk through the Dalmatians area to get to the main building so I have about 400 pics like this one.



I had planned for us to go to Epcot and see Illuminations (our only chance) this first night, but DS insisted on Magic Kingdom. Who am I to deny him!! So we headed over. Now, our trip started out with some bad bus karma for some reason. We waited about 20 mins and arrived around 7:30.



DS had a one-track mind: Buzz Lightyear. (Little did I know it would become an obsession.) There was a 20 min wait, and FP return was 30 mins, so we got FPs and rode Carousel of Progress, got a snack, then Buzz with our FP's. Buzz wait was down to <10 mins now, so we rode a few more times.



Then it was almost time to find a spot for Wishes and we wanted ice cream. Not knowing where anything was yet, we headed to Main Street since I'd seen a cart. By this time, we were both cranky, not finding ice cream, Main Street was packed, and we just wanted to get out of there. We headed for the bus, picking up some souvenirs on the way and watched Wishes on the ride back to Movies. The bus was a big hit:



Back at the hotel, we were not ready for bed. It was 9:30, but only 6:30 to us, even though we'd gotten up so early. We stopped at the food court for ice cream cones and had a wonderful leisurely walk back to the room. When we got there, we found that our luggage had arrived, so we decided to go swimming!! It was the perfect end to a looong day and we finally crashed at midnight after finding the classic cartoons and sing-along-song channel on tv (this was DS many mornings and evenings lol)

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ASMo May 2008 - We're baaa-aack
Our mother/son, too much fun, SURPRISE ENDING vacation!

Last edited by juliana_sd; 05-17-2008 at 10:21 PM. Reason: adding more pics
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Old 05-17-2008, 06:46 PM   #4
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Stumbled upon your TR, we were there same time as you (and you're in my photopass share group). Can't wait to hear more.

We were there 5/7-12 and stayed at Pop but I know we'll have some similarities in our trips since my BFF and I were there with our 2 4yoDDs.

Can't wait to see how your trip plays out...
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Old 05-17-2008, 06:47 PM   #5
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Loving it so far

Can't wait to read more and see more pics
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraceLuvsWDW View Post
Stumbled upon your TR, we were there same time as you (and you're in my photopass share group). Can't wait to hear more.

We were there 5/7-12 and stayed at Pop but I know we'll have some similarities in our trips since my BFF and I were there with our 2 4yoDDs.

Can't wait to see how your trip plays out...
Hi, thanks for reading! There is a surprise in my pics (once I get them entered) so don't give it away k?

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Originally Posted by PopArtGal View Post
Loving it so far

Can't wait to read more and see more pics
Thanks, welcome!!

(YES!! I multi-quoted!!)
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ASMo May 2008 - We're baaa-aack
Our mother/son, too much fun, SURPRISE ENDING vacation!
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:27 PM   #7
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Sounds like fun so far! I am signing on to read your tale! I have a 5y DS so I know how fun that age can be!

Allyson
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Old 05-18-2008, 06:50 AM   #8
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Lovin' your report! Keep it coming
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Old 05-18-2008, 07:23 AM   #9
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Joining in... sounds like a great trip!!
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Old 05-18-2008, 08:03 AM   #10
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I'm definately going to be reading this... I'm planning a trip for just me and my DS6 in October and can't wait to read all about your trip! Looks great so far!
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MomofCKJ View Post
Sounds like fun so far! I am signing on to read your tale! I have a 5y DS so I know how fun that age can be!

Allyson
Welcome! Aren't they a crack up??

Quote:
Originally Posted by jake&samsmom View Post
Lovin' your report! Keep it coming
Thanks! Working on the next chapter now

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xcited2sleep View Post
Joining in... sounds like a great trip!!
Hi! It was great and I can't wait to get it all written down so I don't forget

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonaldDuckFan View Post
I'm definately going to be reading this... I'm planning a trip for just me and my DS6 in October and can't wait to read all about your trip! Looks great so far!
You guys will have a ball. We had SUCH a great time.
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:29 AM   #12
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Day 2 - May 8 - Adjusting expectations @ Epcot

Like I said before, I had planned this trip out to the max. I had plans for where we were going each day, what time we were getting there, and a list of what we were doing and what time we were doing it.

Yeah.

This day we had an 11:20 ADR at Garden Grill, and were to spend the afternoon at World Showcase hitting the Kidcot stops and seeing as many of the street performers as possible.

I woke up at 7 (4 am California time!) and dozed on and off for a bit. I finally got up at 9 and started getting ready for the day. I figured to make our ADR we needed to leave the room no later than 10 (All-Stars are FAR from Epcot/Magic Kingdom - the bus ride is almost 30 mins and that doesn't include waiting or walking time). Well - DS woke up at 10 and was slow to get moving. Poor guy, can't blame him! It was a busy day the day before, and he usually gets up at 7 am anyway.

I gave up on my Garden Grill character lunch () and we headed for the Movies food court. Now people rag on this, but we liked it! Had plenty of variety and sure it wasn't gourmet but we didn't expect gourmet! However, *somebody* had a meltdown in the food line. Being Super-Mom, I convinced him that it was a MAGICAL grilled-cheese sandwich and it made bad attitudes disappear!! (I love 4 year olds.)

Anyway, we survived lunch, and got in line for the Epcot bus.



He had fun running around the planter bed while we waited, until he cracked his head on a low branch I pulled some kids Tylenol out of my magic bag and all was well with the world.

After waiting forever for the bus, again, we finally made it to Epcot!!



The Flower and Garden Festival was in full swing, and so was my camera:






So, we got our Soarin' Fastpasses (it was about noon?? and the return time was 3:40). We discovered the jumping fountains:



Then we headed over to Norway for Maelstrom (for which he refused to even enter the line) and ran into Caballero Donald on the way! (Pics are on Photopass.) We headed into Mexico and rode Gran Fiesta Tour.... 3 times in a row. DS: "This is the best ride in the whole Disney World!!!!" There were 4 ladies sitting behind us on one trip... "I know who Donald is but who are those other two characters?" "Oh those are the Three Amigos."

DS was fading fast by this point. I don't know if it was the heat or the excitement, but we needed some ice cream, stat. We found some at the Outpost and continued our trip around the world. I really wanted to catch a lot of the street entertainment but had forgotten to get a times guide . DS refused to get out of the stroller for anything (exploring countries, taking pics, etc) - there should be a funny one on Photopass of him with a dripping ice cream in the stroller. The photographer said "uh, you may want to get him in the shade to eat that or he's going to become one with the ice cream I loved the photopass photogs. They were all so nice and friendly. We heard some music as we passed Italy and caught most of Sergio's performance.



DS finally finished the enormous ice cream and we got him cleaned up.

I finally got a times guide and saw we had 10 minutes until Serveur Amusant (the "chair guy") who I had reeeeeally been wanting to see. I got me a Gray Goose slushie, found a fountain and gave DS some pennies, and sat down to wait. DS was bouncing all around (hmm I wonder why? giant ice cream had nothing to do with it ) and a lady who had seated herself next to me was worried about him spilling her coffee. I was thinking, why did you sit here then? But she turned out to be nice and we chatted a bit.

We watched the show



and finished walking past the rest of the countries. Off Kilter was just starting, but DS was determined to get back to those darn jumping fountains.

Now it was time for our Soarin' ride. DS was getting nervous. I knew he'd like it, I just had to find the right tactic to get him on. He finally agreed if we found a kid who was smaller than him who didn't think it was scary, then he'd go. We found a family with an adorable little girl who was too shy to talk to us, but her mom told us it was her FAVORITE ride. He was still apprehensive but ready to go after that (and I bribed him with pirate gear, lol). He liked it!!! Hooray! I've ridden at California Adventure many times (though not in years!) but didn't want to miss it here. (It's the EXACT same if you were wondering.)

Then we hit the fountains ONE more time, walked past the Seas



and headed for the exit. We took our first Monorail ride to the TTC and back



then we headed back to Movies, catching the bus just on time for once!. The plan for the evening was to swim and then order pizza for dinner. First though, we called maintenance about our TV remote. Someone had "borrowed" the batteries and it interfered with our relaxation to have to get up and change the channel!!

We were done swimming by 6:30 and called to order the pizza. The phone rang and rang. The front desk button got me the pool phone. I tried both numbers several times over an hour with no luck. DS was in jammies and refused to get dressed to leave the room. I was at my wits end!! Finally I called the main resort number from my cell phone and they connected me to pizza. Whew! It came in 15 minutes, it wasn't very good (smelled WAY better than it tasted) but it wasn't terrible. The box was really cute, excuse the terrible pic:



We were in bed by 9... tomorrow's going to be a busy day: rope drop at Animal Kingdom and Pirate and Princess Party!!
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ASMo May 2008 - We're baaa-aack
Our mother/son, too much fun, SURPRISE ENDING vacation!

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Old 05-18-2008, 12:11 PM   #13
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cool.

I do enjoy the pizza... oh well hehehe

Can't wait to see more
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Old 05-18-2008, 03:56 PM   #14
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Great report can't wait to read more your son is really cute.
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Old 05-18-2008, 04:49 PM   #15
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Loving your trip report, your son is ADORABLE!!!!

I think we've all done the "magic food" thing with our kids. I can't even explain what I told my daughter scooby doo vitamins would help with!!
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