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Old 11-17-2008, 05:23 PM   #1
podsnel
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We don't wanna go home!!! Nov 1-8, 2008 Magic Western

Hi there! I'm finally starting our trip report, it has taken over a week to get over our post-cruise-blues and back into life as we know it, which as it turns out, is complete chaos! No wonder we were all so sad to leave the Magic just a week and change ago....

A little backround on us- we are a family of 5, and I am the queen in a houseful of testosterone! DH & I have been married 22 years and have 3 sons, DS14, DS11 & DS9. We love Disney. Ok, THEY love Disney. I am certifiably insane about anything and all things Disney related- drank too much of the kool-aid, I am probably just like YOU! So what took us so long to go on our first Disney cruise? We were waiting. You see, we were hoping we would all be going. Our DS14 is autistic, and we were waiting for him to be ready to spend a few days on a ship. Because he LOVES Disney. But, puberty is a crazy time, and this year he decided he would not be sleeping anywhere but his bed. Period. No sleepaway camp, no overnights at friends houses, no trips on airplanes to Grandma's in Destin. And DEFINITELY no cruises. But he's ok with that. And we're ok with that because we have our cousins, Sherree and Henry, who are so ok with that, they stayed here with him while the other 4 of us went to explore the western Caribbean!

Here we are in 2003, our first trip with all three boys-


And this is us 4 years later, Nov 2007 at the Brown Derby for lunch-


One more thing to know about me, in case we haven't met before- I LOVE food and I LOVE photos, so I promise to give you alot of both!!

I'll be back in a bit to start with our first trip home to AKV, a fast Boma dinner, and Halloween at MNSSHP!

See ya real soon,
Ellen
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Old 11-17-2008, 06:28 PM   #2
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Can't wait to hear more!!!
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Old 11-17-2008, 07:38 PM   #3
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Happy Halloween!

We are from NJ, and that means we LOVE to go to WDW the first week of November when we have Teacher's Convention, and the kids are off from school for a couple of days no one else is. We booked this cruise on Nov 29th last year, I remember this because it's my birthday! We were all excited to be going on the Western, and I spent the following year preparing by obsessively reading everything ever written on this board and sleeping with my passporter under my pillow each night- well, almost. Anyway, it dawned on me about 5 minutes after booking the cruise that we could absolutely head down to WDW the day before the cruise and coincidentally stay at AKV for the first time! And, also by coincidence, go to our first MNSSHP and trick-or-treat in the Magic Kingdom ON Halloween!!!! I couldn't WAIT to share my brainstorm with my boys!!! And their response?

"Um, that's ok. We don't want to miss the Scotch Plains candy."

WHAT??????!!!!! I offer you the Holy Grail of all Trick-or-Treat nights, and YOU turn it down???!!! Who's kids ARE these, anyway????

So I did a little research here on the DIS, and SELECTIVELY showing them only the reports that spoke of candy beyond all candyliciousness, they were convinced. THAT was a close one!

Time flew (read- dragged) by, and before we knew it, I was packing (and packing and packing) for our trip! A few days before we left, we had THIS incentive to get out of Dodge-



And DH and I got to go to this concert 2 nights before we left-



I LOVE The Who- I've seen them many, many times, but this was the first time I had such close seats that were legitimately mine! . Thanks, Tom & Evie!



OK- sorry for sidetracking...

We were flying out of JFK instead of Newark because of the $$$$ factor during NJ week- even though Newark is 20 minutes from home. But we were lucky, we hit no traffic and the whole thing was painless. PLUS we were on a very cool Delta jet that had individual tv's, and we could play trivia with the whole plane- very fun! Even better, we struck up a conversation with the nice family sitting in front of us, who were from NJ, going to stay at AKV, going to have dinner at BOMA, heading to MNSSHP, and going on the Western!!! Like sitting behind myself... Before you could say, "BOO", we were on the ME and headed to AKV. My men were totally amazed by the grand expanse of the resort! Our room was ready, so we headed up to have a look at studio #5239 on the Arusha Savanna.









Bathing suits were put on in a hurry, but first things first- we were hungry! So we made our way to the Mara. DH had some stew-



DS11 had pepperoni kids pizza-


DS9 had chicken fingers


And I had a burger-


It was all fine- nothing outstanding. EXCEPT for dessert- my kids LOVED those zebra domes!!!




At the pool in the next post-
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:03 PM   #4
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Great start to your report....I am sooooo getting hooked on trip reports. My family is going on our first Disney cruise in January.
Love your pictures!
Renea
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:18 PM   #5
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Halloween cont.

We were anxious to park ourselves at the pool, so that is exactly where we headed next-





I had gotten an underwater camera (Olympus 850) right before this trip (based on recommendations made on this board, of course! Wasn't that lucky I read THAT one! I didn't even know I NEEDED an underwater camera! ). Really, I am VERY glad I got this camera, it came in very handy on the trip and it was fantastic not to worry about my camera getting wet.









After saying hi to our friends from the plane, and enjoying a frosty African beer and cocktail, we went back up to the room to watch some animals-









So funny, the white pelicans walk in formation!


As a new AKV feature, it seems they have added character visits to the rooms!


I wonder what package THAT comes with!

Observing those animals from your own balcony is priceless- the DS's were in heaven, they thought it was too cool.

Our luggage had arrived while we were at the pool, so we got ready for our big night! We dressed in our costumes, which a friend of mine who had been to MNSSHP before had suggested- we went as an all-sports team. DH-baseball, DS11 football, DS9 soccer and I was a cheerleader. Not the most elaborate costumes, but we were all a theme, and they were easy to wear on rides. Also, very easy to organize since we already had all the stuff- my kids play a ton of sports, and DH coaches alot of them. But first, we had an early ADR at Boma-



Wow, is there a LOT of food at this buffet! It probably would have helped if we had not just had lunch a few hours before....but we had a schedule to keep! I tried 4 of the 5 soups, and they were all yummy-


DS11 had fruit before the rest of his meal-


Some of everything-


Obviously, I was not yet in full-vacation-food-porn-picture-taking-mode, sorry about that- it gets better on the boat!

But we weren't here for the food- we were here for the party!
On to MNSSHP!!!
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:25 PM   #6
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Yeah, El, way to add to the greatness of the EDC trip!! Can't wait to hear all about YOUR cruise, since I barely ran into you on the ship at all!!

As for DS, I thought since you gave out the Autism Awareness magnets in our Fe that DS may be Autistic, and I could sorta tell in the pictures, but I didn't want to ask and seem like a crazy loon! Its awesome your cousins' would stay with him, it is so hard for those kids to break from routines. I came home and told many of the families in our center that there were several children onboard with Autism, and they were hopeful that they too may be able to do the trip sometime. Sorry your DS wouldn't go this trip, but maybe next year? Pictures are worth 1000 words and a year's worth of preparation!!

Looking forward to hearing more! And now I'm off to update on mine! (I've been slacking!)

TTFN!
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Old 11-17-2008, 09:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E&BMom View Post
Can't wait to hear more!!!
Thanks! I'll do my best!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReneaB View Post
Great start to your report....I am sooooo getting hooked on trip reports. My family is going on our first Disney cruise in January.
Love your pictures!
Renea
I totally understand- the TR's are addictive- before your 1st cruise because you can't wait to see what it's like, and then after....so you can relive it again and again before you go on the next one. The cruise EXCEEDED our expectations, it was AMAZING- you will love it!!!

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Yeah, El, way to add to the greatness of the EDC trip!! Can't wait to hear all about YOUR cruise, since I barely ran into you on the ship at all!!

As for DS, I thought since you gave out the Autism Awareness magnets in our Fe that DS may be Autistic, and I could sorta tell in the pictures, but I didn't want to ask and seem like a crazy loon! Its awesome your cousins' would stay with him, it is so hard for those kids to break from routines. I came home and told many of the families in our center that there were several children onboard with Autism, and they were hopeful that they too may be able to do the trip sometime. Sorry your DS wouldn't go this trip, but maybe next year? Pictures are worth 1000 words and a year's worth of preparation!!

Looking forward to hearing more! And now I'm off to update on mine! (I've been slacking!)

TTFN!
Hi Jen!

Yes, i gave out those magnets as part of my FE gift because of DS14...I hope people will put them on their cars at home. They are actually a fundraiser for Autism Awareness. I do know autistic kids who have gone on DCL and had a ball- I just am not sure my DS is one of those kids. It's alot of unexpected commotion, and he might end up wanting to spend the cruise in the cabin where it's less chaotic.
Thanks for saying hi!
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:20 PM   #8
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Hi Jen!

Yes, i gave out those magnets as part of my FE gift because of DS14...I hope people will put them on their cars at home. They are actually a fundraiser for Autism Awareness. I do know autistic kids who have gone on DCL and had a ball- I just am not sure my DS is one of those kids. It's alot of unexpected commotion, and he might end up wanting to spend the cruise in the cabin where it's less chaotic.
Thanks for saying hi!
Totally understand hon. Totally understand. Make one false move, and your world becomes a Topsy Turvy dance in trying to calm a child who can't get his system together, while staving off stares from onlookers who don't understand. Its a careful balance of Ying and Yang, but where there is alot of grey!! (((hug)) I'm sure he had a good enough time in his secure predictable world at home, while you explored! Good for all of you!
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:32 PM   #9
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Great trippie. The view of the animals from your room was incredible. Also liked the underwater ones. Can't wait to hear about MNSSHP!
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Old 11-18-2008, 06:59 AM   #10
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Hey El:

You GO girl!

Great trip report!

I gotta get back 2 mine. But my ears & eyes don't won't to cooperate.

Looking forward to your next installment!

wuv tigger
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:55 AM   #11
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Mnsshp

We waited about 5 minutes for the bus to MK- you KNOW we were lovin'
that! We were walking through the gates a little before 6 pm, which I thought was pretty good. Our 4 passes-



And a quick pic out front-



I was really looking forward to seeing the Halloween decorations. In 4 or 5 previous November trips, we have seen a lot of Christmas in various stages, but never this.



Is head tilting genetic, or is it a gender thing?




We asked the boys where to first, and of course, they replied, "the 3 mountains!".



The waits did not appear to be bad- maybe 20 mins for SM. And just as we were getting in line, a VERY nice young man said- "Hey, you guys want our FP's?" So a 20 min wait became a 5 min wait, and we were hootin and hollerin on our 1st mountain. It is such a fun ride, but doesn't SM feel like all the nuts and bolts holdin' it together are going to pop out all at once and it's going to smash apart just as you're going the fastest?
Anyway, that left us to get over to the other 2 mountains in Frontierland. Of course, we had to stop for my favorite pic, DS11 in front of IASW. Nothing on the planet embarrasses this kid more than knowing there was once a time, in a lifetime far, far away, that he enjoyed this ride. So we always make a point of stopping here to sing to him and take a pic!


What can I say? It's fun for at least 3 of us!

Now I know there was alot of talk on these boards about how insane sold-out MNSSHP would be, and that the crowds would be unbelievable. Well, it really wasn't so bad! As a matter of fact, we walked RIGHT ON Splash Mountain. I have to tell you, and I am embarrassed to confess, this was my first ride on SM. I hate big drops. And when we are here as a family, someone always needs to stay with DS14, since he also- hates big drops. And I ALWAYS volunteer to fill that position! But this was a special time- it was the one time we could all go on all 3 mountains together- so I sucked it up, and went for a ride-



I have to say, it was really fun! And while I had DS9 calmly telling me every step of the ride, "Ok, Mom, here comes a little drop, it won't be bad!", I also had DS11 telling me "Here it comes! The hugest waterflume drop there is!!" But I would definitely go again- next time with my eyes open!

After that, we walked right on BTMR- yes, that's right, at 6:40 pm, on Halloween, at sold-out MNSSHP. Even better, we had our pick of seats- and the boys chose the back car. And even better than that? When we pulled into the station, we were asked, "Do you want to go again?" because there was NO LINE. So, we rode again!

When we got off, it was 7pm, and you know what THAT means....time to Trick-or-Treat!!!



We went through the first line really quickly, but apparantly an off-duty wicked-somebody-or-other was managing that stop, so we got ONE PIECE OF CANDY EACH. And were told we couldn't go in the line next to her! Uh-oh....we need mega candy or else there is going to be a serious mutiny before we even get ON the ship!!! Fortunately, pixie dust had been sprinkled liberally over the rest of the CMs and future grabs were much more generous. Especially as the night went on. Ridiculously so. If there was a long line at one stop, we just went to another line, and came back- then that line was gone and we could step right up! I have to say, by the end of the night, we could barely lift the bag- and we were only there until 10:30! And the candy- it was the candy from your childhood you had not seen in 30 years (some of it) which was really kinda cool, because people at home hand out the same stuff every year, and this was SPECIAL. Bit o Honey, Sugar Babies, Hot Tamales, Mike & Ike, Oh Henry, Whoppers, Clark bars...and all those Ghiardhelli squares handed out as you left the party, along with the regulars (skittles, etc)...cool!

Next it was on to the Boo-to-You parade...which starts with the ride of the Headless Horseman...














Continued in the next post...
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:06 PM   #12
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Hi Ellen! I found your TR! It was great meeting you although too short...I will be back to read - I have a horrible headache and trying to get this place clean for thanksgiving...

All the best!
Lauren
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:39 PM   #13
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Sounds like your pre-cruise stay was fabulous! Can't wait to read more.
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Old 11-18-2008, 01:04 PM   #14
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El:

What do the letters SPF stand for on your jersey?
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:12 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Mom2PrincessesLinSy View Post
Totally understand hon. Totally understand. Make one false move, and your world becomes a Topsy Turvy dance in trying to calm a child who can't get his system together, while staving off stares from onlookers who don't understand. Its a careful balance of Ying and Yang, but where there is alot of grey!! (((hug)) I'm sure he had a good enough time in his secure predictable world at home, while you explored! Good for all of you!
You have summed it up exactly right!

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Great trippie. The view of the animals from your room was incredible. Also liked the underwater ones. Can't wait to hear about MNSSHP!
The animals were very cool to look at at all times of day- and my kids were REALLY impressed! Which I was truly glad about, because prior to this trip, they had only ever stayed at BC, which is a very tough act to follow.

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Hi Ellen! I found your TR! It was great meeting you although too short...I will be back to read - I have a horrible headache and trying to get this place clean for thanksgiving...

All the best!
Lauren
Hi Lauren! Thanks for coming out of lurkerdom to post on my trippie!! A million miles from now, YOU will be a part of it!

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Sounds like your pre-cruise stay was fabulous! Can't wait to read more.
Thanks! It was ALLL fabulous!

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What do the letters SPF stand for on your jersey?
Hi Judy! I'm so sorry you're still not feeling right! Did you use the patch? I think I read somewhere around here that that sometimes happens with bonine. When we slept at the BWV post cruise, we felt like the bed was moving all night (we don't get sea sick, so we like it!) and we were so disappointed to wake up and be on land- even in the gorgeous BWV villa! Hope you're feeling better, soon.

SPF stands for Scotch Plains/ Fanwood. Our two towns (Fanwood is a little one) share schools and teams, but we have separate stuff as well (different mayors, rec depts, taxes).
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