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Old 11-18-2008, 04:16 PM   #1
MJAJmom
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Just mom and her 2 little boys 10/19-25, MNSSHP, lot of character meals

Our first trip report!!! This trip was just me, travelling without DH, and my 2 boys. I really wanted to see WDW at Halloween time and was excited about MNSSHP. We're staying at the Grand Floridian (needed a monorail resort for easier transportation). This is our second trip this year, the boys first trip ever was in April and it was wonderful!

Introductions
Me - I'm a stay at home mom taking care of the house and our 2 boys. Just this year, the Disney bug has bit and now I want to take the boys to Disney all the time!! I'm a mega planner and love to read all the books/websites about rides, shows, dining places, photo ops, etc.. Luckily, planning the second trip was a lot easier than the first! I'm a good boy's mom - I like sports and superheroes. Goals for this trip - see if I can manage the 2 boys on my own, try not to yell too much, try out some new rides/show/dining, see minnie/mickey in their halloween costumes.

DS6 - Matthew (MJ from now on) started kindergarten this Fall. He loves sports, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Spiderman, and POTC. He's been dressing up as Jack Sparrow for several months now. He's very easy going. His favorite park is HS. This trip we'll be trying pin trading for the first time. MJ will also be in charge of our autograph pages (another first for this trip). His goals are to ride Buzz, see PowerRangers and check out TSM

DS3 - Andrew (AJ from now on) is a full charge boy. He can be Mr Affection with lots of hugs and kisses. He can also be Mr Drama when he's tired, throwing himself on the floor in utter frustration. He loves to play with all his little people, and loves to get his hands in the dirt. He willingly rides the roller coasters and has no fear of the characters. He still naps each afternoon, so we'll be planning a mid-day break. This time around he's fully potty trained, last trip he was still in diapers, so we'll need to wisely manage our bathroom breaks. He loves Indiana Jones, wearing his hat and satchel bag and carrying a whip around the house. His goals are to see June and Leo of Little Einsteins.

Here's a picture of the boys (a sneak peak picture taken at the GF photo shoot)


Our scheduled plan of attack -- We're early risers so we'll start at rope drop, early EMHs or early breakfast ADRs. Leave after lunch for naps, then head out again for dinner and more touring...
Sun - arrive at night and check in
Mon - HS, nap, back to HS
Tue - Epcot early EMH, nap, MNSSHP
Wed - MK, nap, back to MK
Thu - MK early EMH, nap, MNSSHP
Fri - AK, nap, GF photo shoot, dinner at Chef Mickey
Sat DTD, head to airport

We love character meals, so I scheduled a bunch. I like TS and wanted to try out a few new places. Here is the lineup of ADRs planned:
Mon - Hollywood & Vine Bfast, Sci-Fi lunch
Tues - Coral reef lunch, Tony's Town Square dinner
Wed - Ohana bfast, Crystal Palace lunch, Liberty Tree dinner
Thu - Liberty Tree lunch, GF Cafe dinner
Fri - Donald Safari Bfast, Rainforest Cafe lunch, Chef Mickey dinner
Sat - Cape May Cafe Bfast, Fulton Crab House lunch

The weather forecast was for mostly sunny days, high in mid 80s, but rain scheduled for later in the week. I packed umbrellas, held off on buying ponchos, so we'll see what happens.

I printed several autograph pages from the creative folks on DISsigns. Got started late making matching shirts for us, but did manage to make 4 sets for the boys. I ordered a double stroller from Orlando Stroller Rentals, it's supposed to be delivered to the hotel - hope that work out.

OK, I think that's enough intro before we get started! Next up - our first flight on JetBlue, arrival into Orlando and hotel check-in.
__________________
Me DH DS(9) DS(7)
View my 6/09 Disney digital scrapbook HERE and April 2010 photobook HERE

June 2014 - DL planning in the works!
June 2011 - POFQ, Star Wars Weekends, Universal
April 2010 - CBR pirate room, 3rd time for just mom & 2 boys, Universal
June09 - CBR, Star Wars Weekends, just mom & 2 boys, more character meals - Trip Report - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2208908
Oct08 - GF, MNSSHP, just mom & 2 boys, lots of character meals - Trip Report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2013585
Apr08 - GF - 1st trip for family

Last edited by MJAJmom; 01-11-2009 at 06:45 PM. Reason: edits added
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Old 11-18-2008, 06:51 PM   #2
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JetBlue flight, Arrival and hotel check-in

Sunday October 19 -- All packed and ready to go!! Can I say how wonderful it was NOT to have a stroller to check through airport security, and to check at the gate! First time not to have a stroller! I'm feeling like we've grown up in our travels -- no longer travelling with babies. Wow, this is kinda cool!!

JetBlue - This was our first time flying JetBlue, was hoping that the flight would not get cancelled because there is only 1 flight a day from Austin to Orlando. The flight left at 3:45pm with no problems. Armed with a PSP, DVD player, colorbooks, toys, snacks and more snacks, we were off!!! The boys get to bring their small backpacks with a few toys, mostly little people in them. Each seat has their own TV screen to watch - how awesome is that!!! MJ watched SpongeBob the whole flight and AJ watched SpongeBob and an animal show. They had on their headphones and munched snacks and drinks for 2 hours. Very smooth, very proud of my boys!

Arrival - We got our bags, headed over to Hertz to pick up our rental car. In the good old days, they would already have the car seats installed for you when you picked up the car. Now they hand you the seats at check-in (am I supposed to balance these on my head while trying to find the spot where my car is parked???). Thankfully, an agent helped carry the 2 car seats to the car for me, while I dragged 2 suitcases and 2 boys who were now bored. OK, so now were are driving. I realize that I had directions to the hotel from the airport, not the car rental place. Ooops, not sure where to go, so I had to pull over for a minute to figure out which way to drive. Back on track, it's an easy drive to the GF hotel. The bellman grabs our bags, yes thank you we will valet the car, and now to the check-in desk.

Hotel Request Made a Week Prior to Check-in - When I made my reservation at the GF for a garden view room, I made a room request of "Marina view, corner room, Conch Key". Last time we got upgraded to a tower room in Big Pine Key (it had an extra sitting area with couches/chairs/TV). Three days prior to departure, I got an email confirmation from Disney Destinations stating all the details of the room, and it said "Castle view room". Wow, I thought, did we get upgraded here? So I had high expectations when I arrived at the check-in desk.... What would happen???

Hotel Check-in - Well, I wondered if I should say something about the email, but I didn't. The CM said we had a marina view room, and so I thought OK fine, I guess the castle view just wasn't going to happen. We headed out to Sago Cay building, room 5137, which I thought was on the fifth floor. Tired and not paying attention, we head to the elevators, only to realize that the "1" means we are on the first floor. My boys LOVE to ride the elevators, they fight over who pushes the buttons each time, how will we deal with no elevators??? Not sure I like the idea of being on the first floor. My boys are confused, "mom, why are we not going up the elevator???" OK, so we head down to our room, it's the normal garden view room, very pretty and roomy, the view is of the marina, plus we are close to Gasparillas. It's dark out, so hard to really assess our view. OK, so we'll try it out for the week. I've never stayed on the ground floor, ask me later if we liked it or not!

Bedtime - After unpacking and getting settled, it's time for bed. We've got a busy week planned and we're looking forward to having a magical time. The boys are a little bit wild after being confined on the plane and car for so long. While they are trying to sleep, I gather up my notes and make sure I've got our Monday planned out.

Trading Pins - I bought a bunch of pins online, got a lanyard for each of us (although not sure DS3 was old enough to manage a lanyard full of pins). Since this was our first experience with pin trading, I wasn't quite sure how many pins to plan for each day. I put 12 pins on my lanyard, 6 on each side, and hoped that would be enough for our morning. I would manage the lanyard the first day and not worry about the boys having a lanyard until midweek. Now I can go to bed.

Next up - Our first day will be Hollywood Studios. We start off with an 8:10am ADR at Hollywood and Vine......
__________________
Me DH DS(9) DS(7)
View my 6/09 Disney digital scrapbook HERE and April 2010 photobook HERE

June 2014 - DL planning in the works!
June 2011 - POFQ, Star Wars Weekends, Universal
April 2010 - CBR pirate room, 3rd time for just mom & 2 boys, Universal
June09 - CBR, Star Wars Weekends, just mom & 2 boys, more character meals - Trip Report - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2208908
Oct08 - GF, MNSSHP, just mom & 2 boys, lots of character meals - Trip Report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2013585
Apr08 - GF - 1st trip for family
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Old 11-19-2008, 01:02 PM   #3
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10/19 Day 1 - DHS, bfast at Hollywood & Vine

Alarm goes off! Ugg, didn't sleep well. New bed, new pillows, OMG we're at disney, thinking about our plans, never sleep well the first night of a trip. Time for a shower. Forecast says sunny and warm today - perfect!

The boys start waking up, they are excited. I show them the trading pins and try to explain how you find a CM with a pin necklace, find a pin you like, and swap. They don't get it, don't seem interested. This will need "on the job training to demonstrate"!

Time to head out. Being on the first floor, we just zip out the hallway and out the doors. No waiting for an elevator, no fighting about pressing buttons. OK, that's nice. I checked out the view, the marina is pretty. When we walk past Gasparillas, you can see the MK castle across the water. Now that is way cool!!

We drive to HS, park up close, not many people around at the gates. We check-in for an 8:10am breakfast at Hollywood & Vine and are seating within minutes. Last trip, we had lunch here, so let's see how the breakfast buffet is.

Our coffee, milk and chocolate milk come quickly. Now we all have to do the buffet line together since DH is not here. I get some eggs, bacon, potatoes, waffles, muffins for me, the boys get waffles and bacon. Buffet has lots of the basic breakfast foods, fruits and pastries. It's a breakfast buffet, so you really can't ruin it unless everything is cold or run out.


In no time, the characters are out. Goliath first, then JoJo. Leo and June were working the other side of the dining hall. The boys love hugging them, giving them hi-fives. I got out the autograph pages and put them on the clipboard I decorated. MJ is in charge of getting the characters to sign the page. After they sign it, he's amazed at their signatures and keeps wanting to look at them - he's hooked now!!







The characters break and do the little song/dance/parade show, the boys watch but they don't want to go out and dance. Then it's time for June/Leo to work our side. AJ just can't wait he's so excited - he loves the Little Einsteins and these 2 are his favorites. Neither of them is really eating their breakfast, they're too busy looking around at the characters. Leo comes by first, big hugs. I just love these character meals, it's such an easy way to see the characters! June comes by, then it's song/dance time. This time, both boys are out waving their arms, clapping and jumping with June and Leo. Yes VISA, it is priceless! And yes, we'll be paying for this trip on our Disney VISA, yes priceless.







Our first meal is a huge success. AJ is thrilled with seeing June and Leo. Check the watch, 5 till 9:00, we are out for rope drop. We'll navigate with the rest of the salmon swimming upstream to TSM. Lots of people in the street area getting to Pixar Place. Tons of people line up for the FP line, this is crazy. We head to the standby line and will get a FP after the ride. I must say, the queue line is cool and keeps your mind off waiting. We waited 25min in line, not bad. The talking Mr Potatoe head is funny. The ride is cool and very well done. Sometimes the ride would stop for a extra minute for the cars to catch up, then you'd get more time shooting. The boys loved it, I sat in the middle and they each got their own gun, I helped AJ aim and he pulled the cord. This will become a favorite - oh yeah! The FP line was only 4 deep, so we grabbed a TSM FP to use later.



Next we head over to Star Tours. The boys love Star Wars so this is a no brainer must do. The ride seemed more jerky than last visit. It's Star Wars, so the boys love it. After the ride, we go through the gift shop and find the picture place where you get your faces put on a star wars character. We pick out a picture that has 2 young jedis with light sabers and they take MJ and AJ picture and crop to show only their face. The picture was cool, expensive but VISA thinks it's priceless, so we'll buy it!

We head over to find where the power rangers are for the 10:30 meet and greet. According to the CMs, there were 4 lines, one for each colored ranger. We wanted the white ranger and got lucky to be second in line. Here comes the car with 4 rangers in it and they jump out, do a few power punches and split off into the lines (red/blue rangers had twice as many people in line as the pink/white rangers did). The white ranger was cool with the boys, they did their action poses together.





Now, can we get in line for the pink ranger or do we need to head over for the Indiana Jones show at 11:00??
__________________
Me DH DS(9) DS(7)
View my 6/09 Disney digital scrapbook HERE and April 2010 photobook HERE

June 2014 - DL planning in the works!
June 2011 - POFQ, Star Wars Weekends, Universal
April 2010 - CBR pirate room, 3rd time for just mom & 2 boys, Universal
June09 - CBR, Star Wars Weekends, just mom & 2 boys, more character meals - Trip Report - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2208908
Oct08 - GF, MNSSHP, just mom & 2 boys, lots of character meals - Trip Report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2013585
Apr08 - GF - 1st trip for family

Last edited by MJAJmom; 12-03-2008 at 11:17 PM. Reason: added pictures
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:02 PM   #4
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DHS, lunch at Sci-Fi and lots of characters

So, here she is, the Pink Power Ranger. Snapped a quick picture since her line was next to the white ranger, but that was as close as we could come, the line was too long. We needed to head over to catch the 11:00 Indiana Jones show. The boys saw the show last year and loved it. AJ is a huge Indy fan!


We munch on some snacks while watching the Indy show. AJ's favorite part is where Indy grabs the golden idol (he calls it "the treasure") and the giant ball rolls down after him. This scene is recreated in our house at least 10 times a day. He has a few Indy action figures that get chased by baseballs, tennis balls, basketballs. In the end, he always crushes Indy with the ball. Too funny!


We have a 12:45ADR at Sci-Fi, so we'll head that way to see if we can get in earlier to eat. Along the way, we hop on the Star Wars land cruisers and check out Lightning McQueen and Mater.





The hostess at Sci-Fi is very grumpy and tells us we cannot check in until 12:45pm for lunch. I ask MJ if he wants to go on a ride or see more characters. He surprised me and says he wants to see more characters. He's really getting into the autograph pages. So we head to the Animation Building to find Sorceror Mickey and the Incredibles. AJ spots Quincy and June by PHDisney so he head there first. He keeps asking "Where is Annie??". Trying to explain that it's not her shift quite yet and the characters rotate every 30 minutes would make no sense to a 3yo, so I just promise him that we will find her later today.



Heading inside, we make our way downstairs and find Sorceror Mickey. I just love his red robe and wizard hat. There were only 4 people in line, so we got to see him pretty quick. The Wall-E background was right next door.




Coming up the stairs, we saw Frozone all by himself. Poor Frozone, nobody was in line to see him. So we went over to say hello and get a photo. I really wanted Mr/Mrs Incredible, but again, it's not their shift!


Coming out of the building, I was so hoping that Annie and Leo were out, but nope, it's not their shift, June/Quincy were still there. Now we're on our way to try out Sci-Fi for lunch.

We've never been to Sci-Fi before, I've heard good and bad things about the place and the food. Grumpy hostess still there, and yes, she's still grumpy. My first reaction is wow, this place is really dark! I like the car seat tables and the boys love the movies. They sit us up front in the first row. (Make a note for next time.... don't sit up front, it's too hard to see the movie screen. Ask to sit in the middle or back). I order the turkey sandwich and a chocolate milkshake. Boys will split pizza. All 3 of us squeezed into one carseat, the hostess offered us 2 carseats but I thought I better sit with the boys. (Make a note for next time, use the 2 seats because the table part is not very deep so you can barely fit your plate and drink in front of you). Milkshake was great, sandwich was just OK. It was really dark and the table light was not bright enough to read the menu or for the boys to color. They liked watching the monster movies, but the darkness was making them sleepy.

Since I made a promise to AJ to find Annie, we headed back to PHDisney after lunch to find her. Luckily Annie and Leo were out so we got in line. AJ was so excited he could hardly wait his turn. I was so thrilled that they had 2 characters together. I just love watching my boys meet the characters, especially when I know it's a special one to them. For AJ, we hit the jackpot here!



So we head for the exit, AJ is getting very tired so it's time for a nap. As we head out, we stop at the PhotoPass guy in front of the mickey hat for a quick pic. The boys don't really want to, but mommy makes then, and so you get a grumpy picture as a result:

They really loved their matching black star wars lego shirts. So many people asked where I got them and where they could buy one, mostly moms of boys. Star Wars is popular, but Star Wars Lego rocks!!

After naps, we head back to HS for dinner and to see Fantasmic for the first time!
__________________
Me DH DS(9) DS(7)
View my 6/09 Disney digital scrapbook HERE and April 2010 photobook HERE

June 2014 - DL planning in the works!
June 2011 - POFQ, Star Wars Weekends, Universal
April 2010 - CBR pirate room, 3rd time for just mom & 2 boys, Universal
June09 - CBR, Star Wars Weekends, just mom & 2 boys, more character meals - Trip Report - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2208908
Oct08 - GF, MNSSHP, just mom & 2 boys, lots of character meals - Trip Report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2013585
Apr08 - GF - 1st trip for family
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:09 AM   #5
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Back to HS for Fantasmic!

The boys napped for 2 hours, now to figure out where to eat. I wanted to try out Toy Story Pizza Planet, but the boys ate pizza for lunch. MJ can eat pizza all day long, but let's try something else, let's try Gasparillas for a quick dinner. We stayed at GF in April but I never even knew where Gasparillas was. Inside, AJ and MJ immediately spot the games and the race cars and could not focus on anything else for the rest of dinner. They split chicken nuggets and I got a chicken sandwich. Again, they can barely eat because they so badly want to jump back into the games.

Back to HS, we still have our TSM FP to use, we're past our window but I know that you can still use it. We walk by the Buzz/Woody meet & greet, the line is 40minutes long - yuck. Let's do TSM first. TSM is just awesome, what a fun interactive ride - we all loved it.

Checking on the characters, it's now a 30min wait, better so we gotta do it. The 2 CMs out front are great and we chat with them for a bit. MJ trades some pins with them, he's was shy at first but now he likes picking out a pin. AJ need help with his manners, he points to a pin and then tries to rip it off the CMs lanyard. Still, each time I make them both say "Would you like to trade please?". They like it because they have total control in picking out their pin.

Disney did a great job decorating the queue area for Buzz/Woody. There were lots of pictures and cutouts to entertain the kids, and I'm glad they have the 2 characters together for pictures. The boys are thrilled to see Buzz and MJ really likes Woody.









To end the day, we head to Fantasmic. We are there 30minutes early and there are plenty of seats. We've got a drink and snacks so we'll be happy for a short while. I brought a tube of glowsticks I bought from the dollar store. They boys get 2 each and of course start playing lightsabers and weapons. MJ makes friends with a boy in front of us and they are chatting and playing. Since we've not seen the show before, I'm excited to finally be here.

Fantasmic was super! The dragon is so cool! And I love sorceror Mickey. I had to explain a few parts to the boys, about mickey fighting the bad guys. Overall, great show, the boys seemed to like it. It's closing time to we slowly make our way back to the car.

Reflecting on our day at HS, I'm so glad we got to see TSM and Fantasmic. We never made it to PHDisney, Lights/Motor or Great Movie Ride, but we saw lots of characters and that made MJ very happy. Next trip I'd like to schedule 2 days at DHS.

Tomorrow we get up early for EMH at Epcot, then it's MNSSHP!!
__________________
Me DH DS(9) DS(7)
View my 6/09 Disney digital scrapbook HERE and April 2010 photobook HERE

June 2014 - DL planning in the works!
June 2011 - POFQ, Star Wars Weekends, Universal
April 2010 - CBR pirate room, 3rd time for just mom & 2 boys, Universal
June09 - CBR, Star Wars Weekends, just mom & 2 boys, more character meals - Trip Report - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2208908
Oct08 - GF, MNSSHP, just mom & 2 boys, lots of character meals - Trip Report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2013585
Apr08 - GF - 1st trip for family
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:57 AM   #6
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Star Wars Photo

I wanted to show the picture taken at the Star Tours gift shop of the boys as young Jedis. They crop out the boys faces and paste them onto the picture. You have to buy the photo and it cannot be put on your PhotoPass card (bummer). The picture turned out really cute. MJ loved how he had a light saber and looked like Anakin Skywalker, he had to be the one with the blue lightsaber. The pictures are expensive, $40 for an 8x10. But hey, Disney VISA says it's priceless! So we bought it!

__________________
Me DH DS(9) DS(7)
View my 6/09 Disney digital scrapbook HERE and April 2010 photobook HERE

June 2014 - DL planning in the works!
June 2011 - POFQ, Star Wars Weekends, Universal
April 2010 - CBR pirate room, 3rd time for just mom & 2 boys, Universal
June09 - CBR, Star Wars Weekends, just mom & 2 boys, more character meals - Trip Report - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2208908
Oct08 - GF, MNSSHP, just mom & 2 boys, lots of character meals - Trip Report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2013585
Apr08 - GF - 1st trip for family
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:41 PM   #7
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Day 2 - Epcot early EMHs

April was our first trip with the boys, we stayed for 4 days and I decided to skip Epcot (we did MK twice). So this trip I was excited to check out Epcot even though it was just for a half day and just doing FutureWorld.

I love early EMH, we are up early anyways and can get so much done before 10am with minimal crowds. I brought some packages of mini-muffins with me, so the boys ate those for breakfast along with a granola bar. I got a muffin at Gasparillas and we were off to Epcot.

At rope drop he headed straight to Soarin and got right on. That is a cool ride! The huge screen ahead of you, dropping down into the river and rising up over the fireworks - yeah that was awesome. We grabbed a FP for Soarin and headed over to FastTrack. The boys thought all the car stuff was cool in the queue, they were bored to tears with the saftey video in the small room. We really had no idea what to expect. MJ loved the part where you almost crash into the wall. Then the fast part zipping around the outside track - loved that!


It was nice to just scan your photopass card for the TestTrack ride photo, wish the other rides could do that!! The boys wanted to do TestTrack again so back in line we go. It was about a 10minute wait so that was great!

MJ wants to see some characters so we find the character spot, lots of people in line but MJ wants to wait. It was a 45 minute wait


MJ was excited that there was going to be 5 characters to see, that meant 5 more autographs! The characters were Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto and Goofy, all with cool backgrounds and a PhotoPass photographer. Very nicely done.





Matthew thought it was hilarious that Pluto had to put the clipboard way up high above his nose to sign the autograph pages.




Donald was very silly grabbing the boys heads and covering their eyes!


Just when we thought we were done with the character spot, we walked through the doors and there were more characters around the backside!!
AAAAAhhhhhh more characters!!!
__________________
Me DH DS(9) DS(7)
View my 6/09 Disney digital scrapbook HERE and April 2010 photobook HERE

June 2014 - DL planning in the works!
June 2011 - POFQ, Star Wars Weekends, Universal
April 2010 - CBR pirate room, 3rd time for just mom & 2 boys, Universal
June09 - CBR, Star Wars Weekends, just mom & 2 boys, more character meals - Trip Report - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2208908
Oct08 - GF, MNSSHP, just mom & 2 boys, lots of character meals - Trip Report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2013585
Apr08 - GF - 1st trip for family

Last edited by MJAJmom; 11-20-2008 at 12:43 PM. Reason: more photos
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Old 11-20-2008, 05:44 PM   #8
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In search of Timon, lunch at Coral Reef, VISA Meet & Greet

Boy, I thought we hit the jackpot with the Fab5 at Character Spot, but then we turned the corner and ..... OMG there are 4 more characters! It's Belle, Marie, Timon and Stitch. WOW!!! MJ spots Timon and is very excited!!

We start off with Belle. This should be interested because we have never encountered a talking character before, and this is a princess too. Belle is very sweet. The boys are nervous, they are very slow to meet her. MJ goes first, she asks his name, don't know if he answered. MJ gave her the autograph page to sign, then she grabbed his hand to pose. His eyes went wide - she's touching me!! AJ was next and mostly looked at the floor while she talked to him. I think they were terrified.



Next in line is Marie. But then we get some bad news, the CM tells us that the 3 furry characters are leaving and will be back in 30 minutes. Oh no, I gotta tell the boys "it's not their shift" again. MJ is crushed, he wants to make sure that we will come back to get Timon. Yes, I promise!

We go to the Nemo ride, doesn't seem like a long line at first, but it winds throughout inside and we end up waiting 25 minutes that felt like forever. Frankly I thought the ride was kinda lame. The boys are not Nemo fans so they weren't thrilled. We find the Bruce the shark area and goof around there for a short bit. The boys loved climbing on all the shark structure. Great picture places too.

Taking a snack break before the Nemo ride:






We still have some time before lunch. I want to do Soarin again, MJ just wants to find Timon. Unfortunately, right now is the 30minutes they are off, so Timon won't be there (Again, it's not their shift....) We use our FP for Soarin, this time we're on the highest row. Great ride, I like this one!

Finally now its time for our lunch at Coral Reef. This is the meal that I've been looking forward to most! We get seated right away. We're in the back row of booths, furthest away from the fish tank (note for next time, ask up front to sit close to the fish tank). We watch the fish, turtles and sharks swim by - very cool! MJ reminds me we still have to get Timon. Jayne is our server and she is FABULOUS! I had the lobster salad and creamy lobster soup. Both are excellent. The boys split the kids pizza. They get ice cream sundaes for dessert where you get a bowl of chocolate sauce, sprinkles and M&Ms and mix your own. They thought that was great. I tried the chocolate wave for dessert, the cake part was delicious but the creamy liquor center was way too rich for me. This really turned out to be a fabulous dining place. Must come back next time!!

Now back to the hunt... can we find Timon?? We go over to the character spot and.....and... and.....he's there! Yipee! MJ is relieved! Nobody is with Stitch so my boys play with him, Stitch chases them and they goof around. Then MJ gets to see Timon. Major hi-fives going on and big hugs. So glad we got Timon.





The Disney VISA Meet & Greet starts at 1:30 so we try to find the place. We are 15 min early but there are already 8 people in line. They were very secretive about which characters and how many character were behind the black curtain area. They took our VISA card to write down our card number, making sure we only would get 1 free picture a day. They let the groups in 1 at a time, so you had no clue who was back there. Finally at our turn, we enter the room and there was Mickey, Minnie and Goofy!! How cool to get them all in one group. The boys get all their hugs in and high-fives, MJ gets all the autographs and we pose for pictures. I thought it was a great benefit for Disney VISA cardholders. OK VISA, so yes this was priceless!!




Well, I just had to cram in 1 more picture. I wanted to go to ImaginationWork and get the picture where they put you flying with Mickey over the castle. It was getting late for AJ and he was getting tired. My mom sense knew better that we should just declare victory right now and go back for a nap...... but I pushed it and we went to try to picture.

You have to lay on your tummy on a wood block putting your arms out front like your flying and lift up your legs. Nearly impossible for a young 3yo who's tired and cranky. Somehow the photographer caught a decent pose and we got it. Now we have to pay for it. Only 2 people in front of me, but it took 30 minutes to checkout. Meanwhile, both my boys are having a melt down, they are wild, cranky, cannot stand still. I almost just tossed the photos and walked out... we really needed to leave. And no VISA, that experience was not priceless!!



Finally back to the hotel for naps. They are exhausted. Did I just totally ruin them for MNSSHP tonight... God I hope not.....
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View my 6/09 Disney digital scrapbook HERE and April 2010 photobook HERE

June 2014 - DL planning in the works!
June 2011 - POFQ, Star Wars Weekends, Universal
April 2010 - CBR pirate room, 3rd time for just mom & 2 boys, Universal
June09 - CBR, Star Wars Weekends, just mom & 2 boys, more character meals - Trip Report - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2208908
Oct08 - GF, MNSSHP, just mom & 2 boys, lots of character meals - Trip Report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2013585
Apr08 - GF - 1st trip for family

Last edited by MJAJmom; 11-20-2008 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:38 PM   #9
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Awww. What cute pics of the boys (Star Wars and Flying with Mickey) I would love to go to Disney with just the kids but DH would not hear of it. He LOVES Disney more than Mickey Mouse I believe! You guys lucked out at the character connection huh!? I wonder if they're going to start doing this all the time now?
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:00 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by OneTreeHillAddict View Post
Awww. What cute pics of the boys (Star Wars and Flying with Mickey) I would love to go to Disney with just the kids but DH would not hear of it. He LOVES Disney more than Mickey Mouse I believe! You guys lucked out at the character connection huh!? I wonder if they're going to start doing this all the time now?
Hello and thank you for the compliment on the boys. It was very special going with just the boys, something that I will certainly remember as a wonderful shared moment of their lives. Since that was our first time at Epcot, I don't know if the other characters around the corner at character spot was a new thing or something that always happens. They were only there for 30 minutes then a 30min break, so you had to time it right (as we found out in our hunt for Timon)!
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View my 6/09 Disney digital scrapbook HERE and April 2010 photobook HERE

June 2014 - DL planning in the works!
June 2011 - POFQ, Star Wars Weekends, Universal
April 2010 - CBR pirate room, 3rd time for just mom & 2 boys, Universal
June09 - CBR, Star Wars Weekends, just mom & 2 boys, more character meals - Trip Report - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2208908
Oct08 - GF, MNSSHP, just mom & 2 boys, lots of character meals - Trip Report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2013585
Apr08 - GF - 1st trip for family
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:53 PM   #11
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Your little guys are adorable! Right now my oldest is 3 and his name is Andrew too! Unfortunately for us though, he's only 38 inches so he couldn't go on some of the rides.

I subscribed to your trip report because I'd love to take a trip like this with them. I'll have to wait until the younger one is 3 or older though.
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Old 11-21-2008, 12:47 AM   #12
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Hello and thank you for the compliment on the boys. It was very special going with just the boys, something that I will certainly remember as a wonderful shared moment of their lives. Since that was our first time at Epcot, I don't know if the other characters around the corner at character spot was a new thing or something that always happens. They were only there for 30 minutes then a 30min break, so you had to time it right (as we found out in our hunt for Timon)!
I've never seen them there. Once we ran into Goofy coming back to the CC and he stopped for a pic with us but I've never seen other people over there and we go a lot. I'll be sure to check it out in December!
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Old 11-21-2008, 04:24 AM   #13
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Hi we hunted for Marie no success your trip report is great.Next time i will hunt Marie my daughters favorite.
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Old 11-21-2008, 01:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meeska Mooska Mom View Post
Your little guys are adorable! Right now my oldest is 3 and his name is Andrew too! Unfortunately for us though, he's only 38 inches so he couldn't go on some of the rides.

I subscribed to your trip report because I'd love to take a trip like this with them. I'll have to wait until the younger one is 3 or older though.
Love your user name! AJ loves to recite the beginning of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and then shouts out "Meeska Mouska Mickey Mouse!!!" So cute! Andrew - great name huh?!! Luckily AJ was 40in tall so he was able to ride a few more rides, they did measure him a few times. They grow so fast, in no time your son will be 3!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanzanite View Post
Hi we hunted for Marie no success your trip report is great.Next time i will hunt Marie my daughters favorite.
Hi Tanzanite! We just stumbled onto Marie. I'll have to fess up and admit that when I first saw her I had to think hard "OK, who's the big white cat???" Then I remembered she was Marie!! I've not seen the movie. I thought Marie was also in France. Good luck finding her on your next trip!
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View my 6/09 Disney digital scrapbook HERE and April 2010 photobook HERE

June 2014 - DL planning in the works!
June 2011 - POFQ, Star Wars Weekends, Universal
April 2010 - CBR pirate room, 3rd time for just mom & 2 boys, Universal
June09 - CBR, Star Wars Weekends, just mom & 2 boys, more character meals - Trip Report - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2208908
Oct08 - GF, MNSSHP, just mom & 2 boys, lots of character meals - Trip Report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2013585
Apr08 - GF - 1st trip for family
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:50 PM   #15
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10/21 Our first MNSSHP!!! Hooray!!

I was super excited about going to MK to see all the halloween decorations. I wondered how the crowds would be and if the boys could last later into the night. Since we also planned to go to MNSSHP on Thursday too, I didn't feel tons of pressure to see it all in one night. My goal was to see Mickey, the parade and fireworks, anything else we did would be frosting on the cake.

We hopped on the monorail for a quickie ride to MK. Each time, I ask if we can sit in the front with the driver, but it's also been full. Bummer, full this time too! When we get off the monorail, there sure seems to be lots of people exiting the park. I just get goosebumps looking at the main railroad building decked out in orange banners, and big pumpkins around. Oh yeah, this is gonna be great! The weather was sunny and warm -- perfect again.





After the ticket check-in, we get our MNSSHP wristbands and our treat bags. We walk through the tunnel and onto main street. AAAAhhhhh, so festive, it's so pretty!!! I love all the scarecrows in the cirle area!! Orange banners line all the building.




We had a 5:20pm ADR at Tony's Town Square, and got seated pretty fast. Lots of people were dressed up in costumes, adults and kids. Lots of men were dressed as Jack Sparrow!! Our server was very good, very attentive. I got chicken parmigiana and the boys split spaghetti. I always just order one kids meal for the boys, they don't eat very much! My meal was good, not great, the boys were happy with their spaghetti (even though they wanted pizza, mom made them get spaghetti). I learned after we got back that you can give them an autograph page for Lady/Tramp and they will stamp it with a paw print - have to remember that for next time.

I asked the boys if they were ready to put on their costumes now. Strangely, they said no, not yet. Guess they needed time to soak it all in. We headed to POTC ride, didn't get to ride it last year. MJ is much more into pirates now so he's excited. It's a very dark ride on the boats at the beginning, both boys were taking it all in with wide, suspicious eyes. Then the big drop in the total dark - WHOA that took us by surprise!! But super fun. Then you see all the pirates and pirate ships and then Jack Sparrow - the boys were in heaven!! We rode it again, there was barely a 5 minute wait. Great ride!

Time to head over to Toontown to see Mickey. We got in line in Mickey's house at 6:50pm and there was already 12-15 people ahead of us. Then I hear the words I've been dreading for 2 days now...... AJ says "Mom I have to go to the bathroom!!!". Was waiting for when that would happen. What ride would we be in line for when AJ had to pee. OK, is it an emergency, do we need to poop?? No, good. Then you start thinking, how long is this line going to take and can he hold it that long??? Ummmm, no not a prayer! Alright, out we go down the street to the bathroom and then back to Mickey's house. Drats, another 8 or so people more since we left the line. Takes us about 45 to finally get to Mickey but it was a must do!



Mickey's house backyard was decorated, this was next to where Mickey was standing. I just love the Mickey ghosts!


The parade starts at 8:15pm so we better start heading over towards Liberty Tree Tavern, my spot for the parade. We've never been to a parade before, they boys are always napping or it was too late in April. I read that a good place to see the parade was in front of LTT. We go through a few trick/treat spots along the way so now the boys have candy to munch on. We stake out a spot right at the flags circle area by LTT. A family asks us if my 2 boys wanted to sit in front with their boys, very nice of them, now my boys were in the front row and had friends. I break out the glowsticks, pass them around, and everyone is happy while we wait.

Can I please tell you that my best purchases on this trip were the glowsticks and pop-up hamper from the dollar store (thank to this board for all the tips). Will not leave home without them from now on!!

They announce the headless horseman, we wait..... and then there he goes galloping by, very fast I might add. Man, that was awesome!!! And the music starts..... Boo to you and you and you.....Happy Halloween!!! I just love this place!!!

Next up... Parade pics and more characters!
__________________
Me DH DS(9) DS(7)
View my 6/09 Disney digital scrapbook HERE and April 2010 photobook HERE

June 2014 - DL planning in the works!
June 2011 - POFQ, Star Wars Weekends, Universal
April 2010 - CBR pirate room, 3rd time for just mom & 2 boys, Universal
June09 - CBR, Star Wars Weekends, just mom & 2 boys, more character meals - Trip Report - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2208908
Oct08 - GF, MNSSHP, just mom & 2 boys, lots of character meals - Trip Report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2013585
Apr08 - GF - 1st trip for family

Last edited by MJAJmom; 11-21-2008 at 06:59 PM. Reason: pics added
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