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Old 11-26-2008, 09:38 PM   #1
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4 Parks + 5 Staples in the Baby's Head = 9 Magical Days!! (9/17 The Last Hurrah!)

Yes, the title is correct but that comes a bit later.
This is my first TR but I wanted to give back to the DIS since it helped me become the insane planner I am today.
I’ve been to Disneyworld about 5-6 times in the past, most recently with our family of four for my oldest’s 4-year birthday.
Apparently that started a precedent so here we are again for my 2nd child’s 4-year birthday.
We went for a 9-day whirlwind tour of EVERYTHING!!
We splurged this time around and got the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan.
We also planned an "excursion" for each person and some extra surprises Dad had thrown in.

Before I start, here’s the cast of characters:

Mr. Anal Planner himself.
Loves all things Disney save the rollercoasters and big thrill rides (re: Tower of Terror, etc.)
But I’m a big geek and addicted to the “Disney” rides with all of the audio animatronics

My DW (nicknamed “Mom”) and partner in crime who let me have fun doing all the planning.
Mom is a big Pooh Bear fan and was looking forward to the Food & Wine Festival and all the new restaurants.

DS6 now going back for his 2nd time and looking forward to the stuff he remembers.
He is also excited about the promise of a new park in EPCOT - we skipped that one last time.
Also, DS is a Legomaniac and HUGE Pooh Bear fan and never leaves home without the stuffed Pooh Bear he got when he was 1.

DD4 is the princess and very much looking forward to her birthday trip!
She had a small party on her real birthday about a week and a half earlier but this was the event she was waiting for.

DS2 (actually 20 months) and the one who caused the commotion.
He was well primed by watching lots of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and My Friends Tigger and Pooh at home.
Rather than using DS6 and DS2 throughout, lets call them DS and X (which is DS2’s nickname anyway).

Just so you know, I have a double-sided schedule with rides planned to the minute or so.
I prided myself on no-waits for anything (especially since the little one couldn’t handle it) but knew we’d have to push a bit to get to everything.
The theory was next time we go (most likely for the little one’s 4th), everyone will be in school.
We won't be able to take the same amount of time so let’s splurge now and see EVERYTHING.
Also, since we planned 11/1-11/9, I knew the end of the week would involve the descent of New Jersey onto the parks so I wanted to hit everything early.
With all the research, I figured I could re-arrange my schedule on the fly (and did so many times) but at least I knew the general plan and knew when we’d be back this way or that. And since we were on the deluxe plan, we had more sit-down ADR’s than I’m used to so I wanted to make sure we were where we needed to be (and have the confirmation numbers handy just in case). The meals also counted as a way to slow down and take a break every once in a while.

Last edited by thecapells; 09-17-2009 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 11-26-2008, 09:46 PM   #2
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T-Rex Cafe

An early flight got us to Orlando to try our luck with Magical Express.
I was so convinced it would never work but it is, indeed, magical.
We boarded the bus toward Pop Century (the kids call it “Pop!”) and the kids were excited to watch the video.
Upon arrival, everyone was busting but they knew we had to check-in and get settled.
With the great deals this month, we were able to get attached rooms in the 80’s with a not-too-far walk to the bus stop through the parking lot.
Since we’re not a “stay-at-the-hotel” family who uses the pool or anything, close to the buses is the perk we shoot for.

We got to our rooms, unloaded, changed into our afternoon clothes (we spent months on ebay coordinating all of our clothes for the events
of each day – that was my wife’s project), and headed off to Downtown Disney.
It’s always a tradition to not waste a park ticket for the 1st afternoon and enjoy it downtown exploring the shops.
With DS being a Legomaniac and all of us souvenir-hungry, it’s usually a good warmup before the parks.

We took the bus to Pleasure Island since that was closer to T-Rex and we wanted to try to see if we could get in for lunch.
We had Cap’N Jack’s reserved for dinner (Mom was upset after learning about the discontinuation of the lobster tails) so we figured we’d just grab appetizers. Since they were not taking ADR’s, I thought we’d give it a shot because we would be arriving around 2 and that’s not a popular lunch or dinner time. We were in luck and got right in and seated in the Ice Cave.

Now, this was a wonderful way to start off the vacation.
By the end of the trip, this was still one of the top 5 highlights for everyone.
The dinosaurs were awesome (once the kids got over the fact that we were sitting right next to a baby dino who kept calling for his mama),
the changing color of the Ice Cave was very cool, and the meteor showers just made the place go nuts.
It is a bit noisy but the atmosphere is awesome. And surprisingly the food was great!
We got the really big appetizer combo with the ribs and one kids meal.
The kids meal had EIGHT nuggets and 2 sides of applesauce so the kids shared that while Mom, X, and I split the appetizer tower.
The food was much better than I had expected from a chain restaurant. Here's some pics:

With the baby dino sitting behind us:

The fossil in the Ice Cave:

And the restaurant's namesake:

Off to the rest of Downtown Disney!

Last edited by thecapells; 06-04-2009 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 11-26-2008, 09:52 PM   #3
My Prince uses a power wheelchair!
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You pulled me in with your title. Great TR so far, you have a beautiful family, can't wait to read more .
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:01 PM   #4
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Sounds great~!

I'm always surprised when I read about husbands who do so much planning.
I bet you all have an amazing time.....minus the stiches for poor baby.
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:39 PM   #5
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I'm glad I got some followers - it really was one heck of a way to start the trip. Let me post another bit to bring you up to speed.
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:49 PM   #6
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Downtown Disney

DS’s eyes lit up as soon as he saw the huge lego robot outside Lego Center.

We knew it would be hard to get him out of there.
We did the create-a-minifigure and DS and DD each made one. Mom made one for X.
DS also got one of the create-your-own-set boxes so he filled it with pieces he needed for his creations at home.
This was a great surprise for DS but all the kids loved it.

X thought these were really cool:

Next up was World of Disney of course (see hats pictures at the start of the thread). We usually hit this for some souvenirs from the trip.
DD got a special 2008 shirt, we grabbed some Disney Racers for DS and X and made it out without too much fanfare since I was aching to get to Once Upon a Toy. DD had to pose with the princesses first:

Now it was lightsaber-building time!
Another surprise for DS (we tried to get him his fill since most of the trip was designed around princesses for the birthday girl).
Mom took X and DD into the back to fill up a box of My Little Pony accessories while DS and I went to work.
With a little help from a CM, we got both his and mine (yes, I wanted one too!) assembled and were excited!

Dinnertime at Cap'N Jack's and the story behind the title coming up next...
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:49 PM   #7
yep, that almost sent snot flying out of my nose
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i'm reading!
Kait S.

"I believe in naps."
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Old 11-27-2008, 12:50 AM   #8
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Great report so far! Can't wait to read more!
Alan Renfroe

1200 pics, 1100 miles, 15 deluxe dining meals, 7 days, 6 nights, 1 great time at POR May 29-June 5, 2014 - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3289594

Past trip reports:
Team Renfroe's 2nd Trip Report, May 15-22, 2009 - 1500 pictures, dining reviews and DISmeets! - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2187084
Pre-Trip Report for May, 2009 - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1884986
First trip report with TONS of pics - May, 2008 - http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1841491
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Old 11-27-2008, 04:38 AM   #9
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I'm in. Can't wait for more.
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Old 11-27-2008, 12:17 PM   #10
Thanks very much for the extra pixie dust
I spent the whole time watching the "giant" bugs crawl around the table
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Great title.....can't wait for more.
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Old 11-27-2008, 02:03 PM   #11
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Cap'n' Jack's

Dinnertime at Cap’N’ Jack’s! We weren’t terribly hungry after T-Rex since there was more food than we expected there.
So we had salad and picked a bit at our entrees. I got the Penne Pasta Alfredo with chicken,
Mom got the Shrimp and Penne Pasta (in lieu of the lobster tails), X had my berried treasure smoothie,
and the kids got mac & cheese with berried treasure smoothies for dessert.
They were really looking forward to those since I had read them the menus before we left.

The rule for the trip was the kids were only allowed mac one meal per day (otherwise they’d have it 3 times a day).
Mom and I were looking forward to lots of new and fun restaurants this trip with the Deluxe Plan.
And I had booked lots of character meals to avoid having to wait on line for chars throughout the trip.
Unfortunately, without the lobster tails, Cap’N’ Jack’s was mediocre at best. It ended up being a good thing that we filled up at T-Rex earlier.
Still, everyone was having fun. Outside, we got a great pic outside with Pooh Bear:

X found a hat he fell in love with (please excuse the drool from dinner):

And DD and DS had fun with a dalmation:

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Old 11-27-2008, 03:20 PM   #12
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The Big Bang!

We were finally in Disney after months of planning and having a blast!
But it was getting late and we had an early Breakfast with Pooh in the morning so we were excited to get back to Pop and get to bed.
So, with Mom making the bath in the kids room, I started to unpack, and the kids got undressed.
However, the kids were a little more excited than we thought and started running around.
Before we could stop them, DD knocked into X and he slammed his head on the metal plate of the adjoining room doors.
We didn’t think much of it until we saw the blood begin to gush out. Now, it looked a lot worse than it actually was but it looked bad.
After grabbing some towels and thinking it was deep, we called ‘911.’
First on the scene was the manager of Pop Century to help.
Then the emergency crew came and took Mom and X away while the manager tried to see if there was anything else she could do.

There wasn't and I was fuming/panicking all at the same time.
After calming myself down and realizing I was helpless at this point, I managed to bathe the kids and get them into bed.
Then I unpacked everything, set the room up, and got out our clothes for the next day.
Mom called shortly thereafter and informed me that it wasn’t as deep as we thought and they were going to put 5 staples in to close it.
We’d have to get them removed in 8 days. The bigger issue was getting her back to Pop since we had no car.

She called a cab company and explained the situation but the cab arrived with no carseat.
She and I both spent the next hour trying to get her a way home.
She had the front desk of the ER call another company to make sure they could bring a cab with a carseat.
I worked with the Pop frontdesk to see if there was some transportation we could send like the Magical Express.
Finally she got a cab with a carseat and got back home. Pop covered the cost of the cab.
The manager even left a message on the phone the next day checking to see if X was okay – it’s the little things that make you love Disney.
We got X into his pack-n-play and we were in bed by midnite.
It was hectic and insane and I assumed my schedule was now garbage as we’d need to take it easy and sleep in.
However, Mom said the docs told her it wasn’t too bad, the staples were merely to prevent a bad scar,
and X should be good to go with the pain meds they gave him.
And tomorrow was Breakfast with Pooh Bear - Mom made it clear that after all that, she was not missing her Pooh Bear Breakfast.
So we set the wake-up call for 6 AM and went to sleep. How’s that for a first day?
I guess we can always say that X was so excited, he cracked his head open.
And, as you'll see by the end of the report, Mickey is the best medicine!

I have to go help set up for Turkey Day but I hope to post more tonite and this weekend.
For now, here's a shot of the poor little guy (like I said, looks worse than it was):
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Old 11-27-2008, 06:54 PM   #13
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oh !!!! my what a day !!!
Poor little one a big outch !!!!
Your have a nice family !!
Can wait for the rest of your TR and hope no more staples ...
You got me hooked
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Old 11-27-2008, 11:57 PM   #14
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I'm in for the adventure, too! My goodness! X's melon looks Frankenstein-ish. Poor fella. Hugs to the little trooper. Those head splits always seem so horrible because they bleed sooooo much. My youngest popped his open, too, (many years ago) and you woulda thunk his head was coming clean off by the amount of blood that poured out.

Looking forward to the rest of the journey! Happy Turkey Day!
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Old 11-28-2008, 03:55 PM   #15
Thanks very much for the extra pixie dust
I spent the whole time watching the "giant" bugs crawl around the table
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Wow....that photo is scary. What a way to start your trip....

I am looking forward to hearing about breakfast with Pooh.
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