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Old 06-26-2008, 09:03 PM   #1
nena
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First visit to WDW w/ comparisons to Disneyland!!

PRELUDE

I know DISNEYLAND like the back of my hand. But DISNEY WORLD, that is definately foreign territory. I had this dream 10 years ago, when my DS was born, that one day I would take him to WDW. In his 10 years, he has been to Disneyland 15 times. So, last summer I began planning this adventure. Luckily a co-worker, Rosie, had just been to WDW. As our girls had swimming lessons, she began to tell me all of the things I better start planning. Her biggest advice, join tourguidemike, get on the DISboards and book my ADR's within 180 days.

When I first got on the DIS, I thought, Oh my Gosh, there is so much to plan, where do I start. But with great suggestions from fellow DISer's I began to make my own choices. Not only was I planning for my family of four, but also DMom, DDad, DSis and DNeice. We were now a party of 8 aka a GRAND Gathering!!
I wont bore you with all my pre trip plans, I now know I could have done that along time ago. But I will tell you this, learn as much as you can from the DIS.
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:13 PM   #2
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Chapter 1

It's June 18th, 7am!! We are on the highway headed towards the airport. DSis was able to check in online. But wouldnt you know, we had to check in at the airport. An hour later we are at SJ International airport leaving our trucks in the Long Term Parking. Our flight departed at 11:39 and then arrived in Atlanta, GA at 7:30. The long flight was fine, each child had their own backpack with things to keep them entertained. The food offered from delta sounded gross and apparently was, because we saw alot of food being thrown away. We had a connecting flight from Atlanta to Orlando and some how had time to get McDonalds.

When we arrived in Orlando, we headed towards the Disney Magical Express Welcome Desk. Then followed the RED carpet to the bus. Our ride to Pop took about 45 minutes.
Getting off the bus, the first thing we noticed was the Humidity!!! After chicking in at POP, we got our KEYS to the WORLD and we were off to our rooms. The map and directions we were given walked us all around the hotel, later we would find a shortcut!!
Our room was nice, it had two double beds and air conditioning!! It was lights out, until morning!!
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:36 PM   #3
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Chapter 2

Be at the park by 8:40, are you kidding me! We were still on CA time, which was 5:40. I forgot to mention we were starving from the day before, since we didnt have a chance to eat dinner. So we had breakfast at Everything POP. DD had a kids plate with Mickey Waffles. DS had the Waffle
plate, I had the french Toast plate, and Dh had a Breakfast Platter. That plus 2 refillable mugs was $50, which we used our Visa Rewards Card so FREE!!

We made it to the bus stop by 8:30. We arrived at Hollywood Studios by 9:15. Not too bad. Ok...here comes the CHAOS!!! I had no idea where I was going or what I was doing. Somehow my Sample Tour didnt give me directions for this park. So we did it our way.

First we saw the Little Mermaid. While the family saved my seat, I ran to secure Fast passes for Rockin Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. How did I get both, well there are 8 of us, 6 were going to ride Rockin Roller Coaster and two of us Tower of Terror. After Mermaid, we went to TOY STORY MANIA. The standby line said 35 minute wait. We decided to wait, since we already had used up our fast passes. This turned out to be a BIG mistake. We waited an HOUR!!! I forgot to mention I had been goin to Physical Therapy for a torn ligament in my heel. So standing in line for an hour did a number on my foo!!! We all actually LOVED the ride and got fast passes when we got off. Also, this would be the only ride we would wait in the standby line for. LESSON LEARNED!!!

Then we went to Rockin Roller Coaster, DNeice6 cried. Next up Tower of Terror. This was DS and I's second ride. I always forget how quickly and unexpectedly the elevator lets you drop. Both of these rides are at CA Adventure, the other DISNEY park in Anaheim. Rockin Roller Coaster is called SCREAMIN and part of the ride is outside and you do a loop de loop inside the circle of Mickey's face, doesn't have a Welcome from AEROSMITH... but TOT is exactly the same!!

During this time, the rest of the group was taking a break in the shade. Ddad had found the Turkey Leg Hut. You should know that my Ddad loves DISNEY TURKEY LEGS. When we go to Disneyland the only souvenirs he wants are Turkey legs.
DDad Turkey Leg Count #1!!

We then watched the HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL parade/show. DD and DN are both big fans. When it was over, we had plenty of tiime to get to the Indiana Jones Show. Boy were we wrong!!!!
Let me put it to you this way, the FASTPASS Return line was around the corner!!! I didnt think you needed a fastpass to watch a SHOW! But apparently you do!! So we got fastpasses and went off to find something else to do. We found Lights, Motors Action got fast passes and then went to get a snack and something COLD to drink. DH and DMom got me cups of ice, so I could ice my foot, since it was THROBBING!! The men loved the show, I enjoyed it, because it was it the shade and I was still icing my foot!!

Next we headed back to Indiana Jones to catch the show. DH was picked to be one of the EXTRA's in the show. I thought he might get a button, but all he got was a glass of cold water!! After the show we decided we didnt want to miss our ADR, especially because we didnt know how to get there.
So, we left hollywood Studios which made me happy, because I wasnt lost anymore. Note: Disneyland doesn't have a show, it has a RIDE!!!

After waiting forever (25-30 minutes) we finally got on the bus to the POLYNESIAN RESORT. That is a very nice resort, but there was no time to see it, because, we were just in time for our ressie at OHANA's!!! We were immediately greeted with Lei's. Oh fun!!!
OKay, first let me say, this is not a LUAU or a SHOW!! It is a dinner buffet served family style. First we started off with a yummy salad, then appetizers. My favorite were the fried dumplings. Then we had all we could eat of turkey, chicken, pork and shrimp kabobs!!! De-li-Ci-o-So!! We finished the meal off with mouth watering bread pudding!!! Since we were celebratin DS's 10th Birthday, they brought him out a BIRTHHDAY cupcake with ice cream!!!
We completely missed the fact that it had rained during dinner. Didnt bother me much cause we were inside. We then had to catch the bus again to take us back to POP for the night. We decided that if we wanted to see FANTASMIC, we could see it again at Disneyland. So it was off to bed. Good, cause we were all tired.
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:46 PM   #4
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Hi fellow Disneylander

Ok so I want to hear about the rest of your trip.
I too have been to DIsneyland a zillion times. We are from Jersey but I have family in Cali and as a young girl my mother would take me with her when she would go to visit her sister for months at a time so I was the same way the first time we went to The World. Its so much different, don' t you think?
Ok well fill me in on the rest of your adventure. Hope you had a blast.
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:08 AM   #5
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Chapter 3

Ok, so the day before I was LOST in Hollywood Studios. But this day, Oh I was prepared. First we were all decked out in our shirts that PAT from the DISign Thread made and our first visit buttons. My advice from Tourguidemike was real handy. The bus ride from PoP to MK is long, but amazingly we got there in time to see the opening. So I sent the family off to Fantasyland...Dumbo, Pooh, Peter Pan. I went off to get fast passes for Space Mountain.
I caught up to my group as they flew off on Dumbo. Dmom was no where to be seen. Well, I found out she was in the restroom, because she had taken 2 Ex-Laxes the night before !! So we left Dh and Ddad to wait for her, while we hurriedly ran to POOH. I noticed there were alot of BLACK sections (or what I called unfinished) compared to the Disneyland version, but DD still enjoyed it.
On our way out of Pooh DSis just missed getting DREAM fastpasses. They said hello and escaped through a back rope!! Then I told Dsis what she just missed. So it was off to Peter Pan, we passed by Dumbo and picked up Dh and DDad, but still no Dmom.
Mom was waiting for us at Peter Pan Yay we are all together again!! We then got on Space Monutain, this time DD cried, while Dneice enjoyed it. I wont go through our whole list of rides, but rather talk about a few moments. First, during The Laugh Factory, DH was picked as THAT GUY!!!! He got a sticker that says "I was that guy at the laugh factory", which will be going in the scrapbook.
Ddad Turkey leg count #2!

Here are some differences I noticed compared to Disneyland:
Disneyland's It's a Small world is bigger and a longer ride. By bigger I mean, it looks like another castle, the clock is outside and every 15 minutes toy soldiers come out and play music.
There are alot more rides in Fantasyland at Disneyland, like Frog and Toad's Adventure, Storybook Telling Boat Ride and Alice in Wonderland. Dut there isnt a Mickey's Philharmagic! or a Laugh Factory!

We decided to take a break back at POP, because we would be back to watch Spectromagic and Wishes, both were great. We got there 30 minutes early to get a good seat!!
Ddad Turkey leg count #3!
Leaving MK was a NIGHTMARE!!! Oh my gosh, just picture 1000's of people all trying to exit the park at the same time other people are trying to get to a different section of the park. I felt so bad for people in Wheelchairs or pushing a stroller, because no one was letting them through.
Eventually we made it out and then waited in line to get on the bus to take the long ride back to POP.
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:06 PM   #6
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Thought I would join in. Like hearing the differences between the two parks. Maybe I will make it to Disneyland one day.
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My DH wants another trip to WDW?!?! MNSSHP, F&W, and Diagon Alley A PTR for Sept 2014

Minions take over the MK and cause havoc at Gringott's
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:37 PM   #7
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Great report so far. CRT sounds like fun, we will probably try it out on our next, next trip as DD isn't going next time & I've already made my ADRs for Sept.
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:45 PM   #8
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Chapter 4

Day 2 at MK started off just the same as Day 1. We were there early, but the family went straight to the Car ride, in Disneyland its called AUTOPIA, while I went to get Fast passes for Splash Mountain. I thought we would have time to go to TOONTOWN, but we had ressies at 10 that we didnt want to miss.

6 months ago I woke up at 3:45 in the morning to get ressies for CINDERELLA'S ROYAL TABLE!!!First we had our Picture taken with Cinderella. It was later delivered to our table in a very nice folder: 0ne 8x10 of cinderella's castle, one 8x10 pic w/ cinderella and four 4x6's of pic w/ cinderella. Since there were 8 of us we got 2 poses!! The kids also got Wishing Stars, wands for the girls and a sword for DS.
We were seated in a Grand Ball Room, referred to as my lady, princess, etc. Jay was our server and he was magnificent!! First we were brought Fruit bowls and baskets of pastries. I saw that the fruit bowl had mango, which I am allergic to. So I asked Jay if I could have a bowl without mangos. Jay brought the Chef over, who confirmed with me any other allergies I had. Then Jay brought me my very own fruit bowl with the freshest, sweetest fruit I have ever had. Then we were served by the plate, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes and some fruit pastry. The kids got french toast with scrambled eggs. To drink we had our choice of coffee, oj, apple juice served in a goblet, milk and bottled water. The best thing was, it was ALL YOU COULD EAT!! All we did was tell Jay what we wanted and he just brought us more. DS9 is a big eater and Jay not only brought him more french toast, but also an adult plate which he ate every last little piece of.
Slowly but surely, Snow White, Jasmine, Belle and Aurora made it to our table for autograph's and pictures with the kids. This was definately worth $313!!










Ddad's turkey Leg count is the same. He was too stuft from CRT!!
So then we went over to Adventure Land and Frontier land again. We got on our favorites from Disneyland: Jungle Cruise (same), Pirates, and then the Haunted Mansion. The Haunted Mansion has a different entrance at Disneyland, but WDW had other sights like the library. And Pirates of the Carribean also has a different entrance. There are also two drops in Pirates and I remember the Battle of the Ships being towards the end of the ride.

Everything was working out wonderfully until we used our fastpasses to get on SPLASH MOUNTAIN. We were on the ride sooner than you know it. As our log ventured out, the falling log SPLASHED us with what seemed like 500 GALLOONS of water!!!! We so didnt expect it and were so wet it felt like we had jumped in a pool with our clothes on. OK, so I will admit, WDW Splash mountain is better than DL's. It has more drops!!

So we get off of Splash Mountain and then it Starts POURING!!! It didnt help that we were already wet. Plus of all days, we forgot our PONCHO's and UMBRELLA's. We did have 2 for the kids, but it didnt help the Thunderour storm we were in. We decided we had had enough, so it was time to head back to the hotel. We stopped at Emporium and did some shopping!
We got back to POP so wet, all I wanted to do was get into some dry clothes. The kids decided they wanted to go swimming. Yes, swimming in the rain!!! Then we met up at everything pop for dinner. That is where I had my first of many DOUBLE BACON CHEESEBURGER's!!! YUMMY!! It also came with ever so tasty FRENCH FRIES!! DD had the Kids Meal with Chicken Nuggets, grapes, fries and chocolate milk. She ate every last little piece!! It was off to bed for an early morning the next day!!
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:48 PM   #9
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Great trip report! I feel like I'm right there with you. Keep it coming, I want more.
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneydreamer5 View Post
. Its so much different, don' t you think?
It is very different, but the DISNEY feeling is still the same, MAGICAL!!
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmskinner View Post
Thought I would join in. Like hearing the differences between the two parks. Maybe I will make it to Disneyland one day.
I hope you do get a chance to visit DISNEYLAND!! IT's not as BIG as the World, but you can get the BEST of The BEST in 2 parks not 4! A 3 day trip is perfect!! A day to see each park and then a day to hop between the two parks!! Hopping is a definte MUST and DOABLE because the two parks are only divided by the Security check. Plus, when you get off the TRAM you get left at the entrance to DOWNTOWN DISNEY!! Everything is so close, where as WDW everything is in a seperate place.
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:23 PM   #12
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Great report so far! I too have been to DLR many times (more than I can count) but only 13 times to WDW. How many times did you get asked the question-"Why are you going to WDW if you've already been to Disneyland?" Oh, I get so tired of that questions. I just say, "It's completely different, that's why.:

I'm impressed that your family got up so early. When it was just my DM and myself, we would go to the parks early. But now with my DD8, we've never tried to get there before the opening (except BB and TL). On her first trip she was just shy of 3 and I couldn't bring myself to wake her up to go to the parks. There were a few times when she would fall asleep in the parks as early as 9-10 a.m. Poor thing!.

One good thing about being on Calif. time is that we take advantage of EMH p.m. and later dinners. Works for us.

I hope you went to at least one of the waterparks. Nothing we have here in So. Cal. comes close. We love TL and BB.

Sorry to hear about taking the bus back to POP. Everytime we go to WDW we rent a vehicle. It's so much easier to get to ADRs at other resorts and we can go off-property for water, snacks, souvenirs, etc. Plus my DM likes to leave Disney for a day, or so, to see the "real" Florida-go figure!

Glad to hear CRT was a good experience for you. We haven't done it yet-I haven't wanted to get up so early to call.

(Oh, and just a minor thing before someone else points it out-DCA doesn't have RnR, we have Screamin'. Similar, but different. Besides RnR having Aerosmith, it's also inside while Screamin' is outdoors. Yes, the Indy show is fun to watch but the Indy ride is the best!

Keep 'em coming!
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizneydaz View Post

(Oh, and just a minor thing before someone else points it out-DCA doesn't have RnR, we have Screamin'. Similar, but different. Besides RnR having Aerosmith, it's also inside while Screamin' is outdoors. Yes, the Indy show is fun to watch but the Indy ride is the best!

Keep 'em coming!
YOU'RE RIGHT!! I had forgotten the name and since the music is the same I felt like it was the same ride. LOUD and FAST!!!! I will correct my report. Thanks!!
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:32 PM   #14
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Chapter 5

Day 1 at Animal Kingdom!!

We managed to get there before the park opened and got to see the preshow with Mickey and the gang. It was very crowded. They did let us in 5-10 minutes early, so we could rent strollers/ wheelchairs. Then eventually Mickey and the Gang headed off on their Safari Truck and it was mad chaos. The family went to the right and headed towards Dinoland to ride Dinosaur. I headed left to get fast passes to the Kilimanjaro Safari. I got the fastpasses and met up with the family at Triceratop Spin. DS10 and I then went to ride Dinosaur with a Ride Pass!!

Ok... I cant tell you enough, put away all your belongings in closed pockets before riding Dinosaur. I lost my glasses and cel phone while on this bumpy ride. So, my first trip was not fun at all as I worried about my lost phone and prescription sunglasses. When we got off the ride, I asked about my phone and someone had actually already turned it in. They looked for my glasses, but that is hard to do in the dark. And they arent very well going to shut down the ride to look for them. They told me to check with Guest Relations at the end of the day.

The rest of the day went better. We ended up riding the Safari 3 times!! We really liked it!! After walking through the trek...the rain surprised us, so we decided to have an early lunch.
After reading the menu's at allears.net, I knew I wanted to eat at Pizzafarri!!



I ordered the ham and cheese pannini, which came with chips. DH ordered the same and the kids ordered pizza. The pannini was full of meet and cheesy, very filling!! We bought one of the souvenir cups and just paid for refills. But then we had to lug it around for the rest of the day. DH paid a $1 to help save the rainforest. Then the rain was gone, but only temporarily. We desided to tough it out, since we were in the Animal Kingdom and in the rainforest, it rains all the time anyway. We headed towards the Lion King show and made it just in time. The show was absolutely amazing!!! As we exited, we saw that the characters were taking pictures. So we decided to get in line. Little did we know what would be waiting for us as we exited.

After taking our picture with Donald and Goofy we were approached by none other than THE DREAM TEAM!!! Yes, we finally won something!!! We ended up winning a DREAM HOUR in the park. Normally the park closes at 7. But for a lucky 1000, the park would remain open from 7:30-8:30!! We were so excited!!! Normally there are 22,000 guests in the park. Our Dream hour would allow us access to Asia and Dinoland. We would be able to get on the rides with little to no wait. Even though it started to rain again, there wasnt anything that would rain on our parade.

We kept busy during the rain catching all the shows. We really enjoyed Finding Nemo, get there early, because the line was long. Amazingly, they can fit alot of people in that theatre. We also saw a Bird show and then managed to get a good spot to watch Mickey's Jungle Jam Parade. DD got a bird's eye view on daddy's shoulders.

One thing I noticed, is that unless you are looking for the food courts/kiosks you wont find them. They seemed hidden into the natural look of the park. Sometimes I wasnt sure if we were passing a store or a kiosk. Of course DD would find his treat. DD turkey leg count #4 plus #5 to take back to the hotel!!



I know, you want to know how EVEREST was!! Well, you are going to have to wait a little. Just like DS and I waited. We were the only 2 out of the 8 of us that wanted to ride EVEREST!! It didnt seem fair to make everyone else wait for us. We figured we would just come back later in the afternoon.


We ended up buying umbrellas, cause the rain would come down hard, but then go away just as quick as it came in. But we werent going anywhere!! We went to Rafiki's Animal Watch. The kids were able to take pics with Rafiki and Pocahontas with very little wait. Bu now we were kind of hungry. So I decided I would take the family to RAINFOREST CAFE!!! My parents, sis and neice had never eaten there so they really liked it. As always it was a great experience for us as well. We were a little tight on time because we had to get to Dinoland by 7:00 for the DREAM Hour Celebration. We decided to eat at 2 tables and let our waitress know we were on a deadline. They took our order and brought our food quickly!! Then we were surprised by my dear parents who picked up our tab!!!! They said they wanted to thank me for all the planning, preperations and leadership on our trip. It was so good to hear that they appreciated the hard work I put in to plan this great experience for all of us!!

Then we were off to Dinoland. It felt good to pass by the entrance and see all of the people exiting and know that they wouldnt be in line for the rides We had our lanyards on, which they made sure we had on, when we entered Dinoland. Then we were given buttons that say "Where my dream came true....Walt Disney World....The year of a million dreams!!! When we arrived, they had a DJ and all of the characters were dancing with the kids. Other people were winning DREAM HATS, but not us!! We were still happy. As the music played on we knew we needed to get to Dinosaur before there was a line. As we waited for 7:30 we could hear the countdown from the dj and when it hit one we heard and saw fireworks light the sky!!!!

Then, they let us in. I was determined to enjoy Dinosaur this time and I made sure I put my phone away. All 8 of us ended up riding Dinosaur 3 times. Then we went to Dinosaur Spin and rode that 4 times. Then the adults needed time for their stomachs to rest and the girls wanted to dance with the characters. It was the perfect time 8:15, we had 15 minutes to go ride EVERST!!! So, DS and I headed off to ASIA and left the rest of the family at Dinoland.
I was a little nervous getting on Everest, I wasnt sure what to expect. Riding it in the dark was a thrill in itself because you couldnt see which way you were going. IT WAS AWESOME!!!!! It was, fast, thrilling and fun!! We exited and of course you go through a store. So we bought DS an I rode EVEREST pin for his new lanyard!! then DS said, can we ride it again???? Well, they did tell us there would be little to know wait and they were RIGHT!!! We ended up getting on and off 3 MORE TIMES!!!! By now it was 8:40!!! And although DS could have gotten on one more time, I knew we had to head back to the family. DMom called to say they had been moved to the front of the TREE of Life. By now, we were 2 of the few people left in the park!!! I didnt even see other guests, I only saw cast members. As DS and I walked onr the bridge that overlooks the TREE of LIFE, he grabbed my hand and melted my heart. Even now as I write this memory down, tears roll down my cheeks, because this moment alone was worth every penny!!!!! This was definately OUR DREAM COME TRUE!!!!

Oh, after we met up with the rest of the family, I stopped by GUEST RELATIONS and they HAD MY SUNGLASSES!!!! That was definately icing on the cake!!!
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Last edited by nena; 08-10-2008 at 01:51 AM.
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:02 AM   #15
tink1957
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Welcome back, great update. I hope you got your sunglasses back. I can't wait to read about the rest of your AK night, it must have been awesome getting to ride all the rides with so few people in the park.
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