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Old 12-14-2008, 10:31 AM   #16
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Mom, My Hand's Smell--A First Timer's Trip Report--Now Complete
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:05 AM   #17
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I'm in! You speak to the planner in me! I can't wait to hear more!

Hah! I love the walmart comments. I never get why people think it's okay to just stop and park their cart in the very center of the aisle. Umm, Hello I'm trying to shop too!
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:43 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProudMommyof2 View Post
Signing on. Soo impressed with your organizational skills! Can't wait to hear more.


Also- don't wish to be "Kate", your family sounds much closer and pleasant.
Why can I be so organized on vacation and not at home? I just signed up for Flylady to give me some help and am killing time playing on the computer (and watching football) instead of working on my laundry room which is still in disarray from a mini-flood we had & fixed in August! Hmmm, how many months is that? 4 months & I've not even touched it. So I vowed to spend 15 minutes today. Flylady says anything in 15 minute increments. But looking at that horrid mess I have my doubts.

As for Kate, I really like her. I feel sorry for her with all her quirks. But all parents are doing their best, ya know? And they laugh a lot. I always give people who laugh a lot props.

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Originally Posted by earthfaries View Post
All caught up! Wow, what a great TR so far!! Your trip started off so perfect ~ hopefully it stayed that way too
The house looks nice and the vans too. I have a Sienna, a 2002. My mom just got an 08 Sienna, and she loves it. I love the burgandy color! We also love staying offsite. We had a condo for our first offsite visit a couple of years ago and just can't go back I love all the space and eating my own food and being able to just throw our dirty laundry from the day in the washer after returning from the parks.
Your daughter's are so cute I can imagine how nice it was having a quiet evening that first night ~ and the chips, yummy! Why don't they have them where you live? I can't find my fave anywhere here where I live either. Dorito's Natural . Yum

I can't wait to hear more! Great report

Ah yes, I forgot about how much I loved just doing laundry & not having it be such a big deal. I did laundry at All Star Sports last year & it was fine. I got up early and had my choice of washers & dryers and read a book in the sunshine. It was a nice moment for me. But it was still 2 hours early, early in the am and the dryers didn't really dry everything so we had slightly damp laundry which was a little unpleasant. This was sooooo much better.

Donald does not appreciate this at all. He had brought so many clothes this time & mainly just wore the same ones that he didn't need laundry done & didn't want to "burden" me with doing laundry on vacation. Of course then he came home where our laundry room is a mess & downstairs and emptied his suitcase into our hamper. Still folded. Like at home it isn't a burden because we have little laundry elfs that do the laundry here. I then dragged it downstairs, washed it, dryed it, folded it, carried it back upstairs, and put it away in his drawers. No, certainly I wouldn't have preferred to do it there where it was easy! And where he would have had to put it away himself. And he was sleeping while I did laundry at All Stars. So he doesn't get the perks of a house/condo vs. the resorts.

As for the chips, I don't know. We have a store that will order stuff for me and I've asked them to get the Baked Lays in this flavor since we have Baked Lays in other flavors. And Frito-Lay says no! They say we aren't in their market. Go figure. Ohio isn't a sour cream & onion market.

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Suzy here!

Subscribing
Hey Suzy! Welcome. Feel free to comment at any time. Especially about things & places where I wasn't. I'm quite sure Donald will pop on at some point to throw in his 2 cents. Good thing I don't let Mulan on here unsupervised. Suzy, Donald, and Mulan are my very own force of accuracy police. I wish I could say I didn't need accuracy police, but darn it if they aren't normally right.

As a total side note, I have a very close friend, after my immediate family she is my best friend, who is at Magic Kingdom right now! I called earlier (at 9:37 a.m.) and they had just done Buzz & AstroOrbiter. Space Mt. had been closed & they had FP's for later. Laugh Floor was opening at 10 a.m. so I told them to do the cars while they waited (their with all boys.) I made them an itinerary and am on-call for questions this week.

I was just so excited for them and they said they'd already had a ton of fun in just the first 37 minutes. And not jealous at all. Cause I just got back! Now ask me how I'll feel about my friends visiting in 6 months!

OK, more to come. I hereby promise this TR will enter Walt Disney World property by the end of the night.
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:55 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by NotSoEvilStepmother View Post
Subbing.
Welcome, welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by overthemoon4mickey View Post
I'm in! You speak to the planner in me! I can't wait to hear more!

Hah! I love the walmart comments. I never get why people think it's okay to just stop and park their cart in the very center of the aisle. Umm, Hello I'm trying to shop too!
Oh good, I was hoping I wasn't just being cranky & others could relate. There really is a marked difference between the chaos at Wal-Mart in Kissimmee & Wal-Mart where I live. The one on the other side on 192, like near Medieval Times, I refuse to enter. So many times someone has almost killed me in the parking lot. I always say a vacation where I have to enter that Wal-Mart is simply not a vacation.
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Old 12-14-2008, 02:17 PM   #20
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Day 2:

Do you guys know the movie Stuart Little well?

The very opening before theyíve gone to the orphanage & George is so excited to be getting a new brother. And he comes just a runniní out of his room & all around yelling:
ďItís today, itís today, itís today, itís today!Ē

And then his dad says, so logically, ďItís always today, George.Ē

And then George says, ďI mean, this is the day!Ē

That is how I felt on this day. So many months of planning. And then the whole day of airplanes & shuttles & rental agencies & grocery stores.

But today, today is the day.

Today Iím at Disney World.

Because of this, and because of my early start the day before and therefore my nap & early to bed the night before, I woke up at 4:00 a.m. Now I donít know about you, but personally I almost never need to be up at 4:00 a.m. Only when I have an early flight which is like once ever 3-5 years. Other than that, I like to be sleeping at 4:00 a.m.

But today, today is the day.

And I couldnít sleep.

So I grabbed my Quest Trio cartridge and my Nintendo DS & ducked under the covers (like when I was a kid with a flashlight and a book) and played. I was really hoping to getting sleepy again. Not to mention our house was freezing. Because the tístat was inexplicably behind the biggest entertainment center Iíd ever seen.

Fortunately, I did go back to sleep. But at 5:45 I was awake for the day. I laid there in the silence pondering the joy and at 6:00 a.m. I heard little feet and excited little voices in the living room. Finally, I could get up.

And quite obviously, we would have no problems following the first cardinal rule of not waiting in lines. Get there early.

I made coffee, Folgerís chocolate coffee which Donald felt tasted like chocolate milk instead of coffee. Maybe thatís because he puts so much sugar & milk in his coffee & drinks it lukewarm. Then we had cinnamon Bagelfuls.

OK, side note, this is an unpaid advertisement for Bagelfuls. But these are delish. And filling. And warm. And take 30 seconds to nuke. I LOVE cinnamon Bagelfuls. And warm cup of flavored brew. It just feels like you are pampering yourself. MmmmmmÖ

Then I braided Mulanís hair and we painted & lipsticked up the kids with glow in the dark lipstick and fingernail polish and spray. It was fairly cool. My fingernails glowed the rest of the week at night. It was a little disconcerting to wake up at 2 am and have your hands glow. But it was somewhat fun on the rides. We didnít do again, but it was worth it the first day.

It was a great start.

We piled into the vehicles and zipped to the TTC.







We parked in Pluto/Chip & Dale which is pretty close to the front but we still decided to ride the tram. We only had one giant stroller this day. Let me tell ya, those giant, double, In-Step strollers are tricky to get into trams. But more on the strollers later.

The tram scared Boo to death. I was not paying attention to her as I was making sure we had all our bags & all the children were in the center and safe. And all of the sudden we take off and she was not prepared for it as she doesnít understand English well enough to hear the tram driver do his announcement. Scariest ride of the trip.







McQueen on the other hand, had a huge grin on his face and said, ďThis is even better than the game!Ē We had been playing the board game, ďThe Magic KingdomĒ which is basically a map of Magic Kingdom with all the rides & you race the other teams to do the rides & get back to the entrance. Itís a really fun game, but obviously not like living it. Kind of like in Toy Story 2 when Rex says he doesnít need to play the video game anymore because he lived it!

I have to say, Iíve had some great tram rides. At AK on one trip weíd had a hilarious tram driver. And once I had a really cool moment with a tram driver who was rushing because she was a mom trying to see her daughter in a school play and I got to see a little bit of the inner workings of Disney. But of all the good tram rides, that was the best. Because of Boo & McQueen, it felt more like a ride than a simple tram.

Because it was chilly we opted to take the Monorail when we got to this choice:





Milo and I stopped to record the moment.



And when we got to the monorail we realized that we had been left behind.



Oops. Bye-bye. I guess some of us were a little excited to be at MK! Fortunately, the monorail is a pretty good place to lose your family as you know where to wait when you get off.

McQueen just chitchatted and chitchatted as we waited for the monorail. He was a blast this day as he really did not remember being here. Only from photos and videos had he been to WDW. He was just bursting with fun.

We knew the day after Thanksgiving would be crowded but the crowds still took us a little off guard. We had followed the websiteís advice perfectly. Here was the point where Suzy & I pondered if no advice would help us avoid waiting in lines. LOTS of people. Yikes.

See all the people?


After bag check, OK, wait, I just want to say something about bag check. I remember life before bag check. Loved it! Hate bag check. Ruins my magic before I ever even get to the park. But, since there is bag check I just have to tell you that I am a master at choosing a perfect bag check line. I hardly ever wait at the bag check line. I just have a knack for it. You have to scan the area, see how many bags each person has, how careful the security guy/girl is being, etc. Often I will get in a little longer line & still be out way ahead of Suzy. Iím an excellent bag check line finder.

Donít want to wait in line to get your bag checked? Follow me!

OK, so after bag check we watched the little show. Iíve never seen this before. I always get here right at 9:00 a.m. and the train is leaving the station. I really enjoyed watching this & Boo loved this. Just a pointing away. There were all her favorite characters from Disney together. And they were waving at her! Hiya Mickey!







And then, it was time to go inside. We grabbed a few maps and show schedules, though we didnít need them this day. This day it was a day to do things we were very familiar with. I took a few photos. And though we had prepurchased the Photopass CD we didnít waste our time this day to get shots.





And here Buzz who at 8 years old & a Disney veteran thought he had everything figured out proclaimed this his first animatronic animal:




We did pause as this very nice CM braved the crowds to hand our babies stickers. They were excited. Even at MK stickers are a good thing.





And on to Fantasy!!! Land, that is. We were already in the fantasy. And it was only 9:01 a.m.!
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:25 PM   #21
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Day 2, cont.

Along with the excitement of this day, Suzy & I also had trepidation. We were really unsure and had debated thoroughly (and over and over) whether touring together was feasible. Or even in any way something intelligent people would do. We have 7 kids. The 1 year olds hate each other. The two men like to be completely independent. One kid has Aspergerís. One kid is prone to have fits when things change. And two moody elementary school girls. Can you say attitude?

The thing that kept drawing us to the plan to stay together was threefold.

One, she and I like each other. And we like shared experiences.

Two, the kids, and especially Buzz and Mulan, adore each other and are fairly inseparable. We were pretty sure they would like to tour together.

And third, and most important, we would get to ride all the big rides with our entire family. If we traveled separately she & I would spend our days sitting on a park bench with our respective 1 year olds while our families had fun. Boring! With baby swap and by staying together, one of us would sit out with both babies while the other rode with the whole group. Then we would swap. This way the kids would ride all headliners twice and she and I would get to actually experience Disney World with our big kids instead of from a park bench chasing a baby.

It really seemed the best way to go. Except for the 7 tricky kids, 2 independent men, and various attitudes. And by attitudes I mean negativity.

So on this first day she & I were a bit nervous. I really hate making Milo angry. And I have done so many a time. Especially on vacation. Especially when I go off task. He justÖ is an irritating angry person. I hate making anyone angry. But Milo especially is irritating when irritated. I was sure he would be angry on this trip. But I sure didnít ever want to be the person who made him that way.

Also, Donald on one of our previous trips had some kind of weird fit when Suzy stopped inside the gate, yes AFTER rope drop, because she had forgotten to put sun block on her very pale children and I stopped and waited for her. He was appalled that she would delay us with her lack of planning. It was fairly ugly and the day ended poorly. So Suzy felt similarly about making Donald angry.

Also, Jack-Jack was ill. Very ill. This certainly, had we been at home, would have been the day we took him to the doctor. First thing. But we werenít at home. So he was given some treatment and we were off. But it was worrisome.

So. Today is the day. And it has already been a great day with no conflict. But until we got the first hour under our belt, Suzy and I were a bit nervous.

Here is, just backing up a little because I forgot this photo in the last post & it is still appropriate here, here I am coming through the turnstile.



After getting the stickers we headed left around the castle. I distinctly remember taking in every single moment of this. I almost ran into the curb a few times as I was inspecting the castle and the moat and all the people. Oh it was just so magical. And beautiful. And the castle was absolutely covered in twinkle lights, turned off of course, but I was inspecting those too.

But before I knew it we were in Fantasyland. The plan was for Charming & I to hit up Peter Pan and get FPís so I was given all the tickets, a responsibility I had most of the week, and the rest of the crew rushed to Dumbo. Mulan decided that it was just too early for her to ride Dumbo and opted to stay with Charming and I. We zipped to Peter Pan and scored FPís for shortly thereafter. Then Charming and I came up with a camera plan of how to record the first Dumbo flight of the trip. While we were standing there a very nice CM came up and said, ďAriel has no wait whatsoever and will have an hour or more wait within the hour.Ē

Refer to the paragraph where Milo gets irritated. This is EXACTLY the kind of thing that would irritate him. Not this thing, in particular, but if they got off Dumbo and could not find us because within the first 10 minutes of being in the park we went off schedule to do something not important (like, he would not have cared if we were in the bathroom, he isnít some crazy unreasonable person) but just some random, not really care kind of thing. It could potentially ruin the trip. In the first 10 minutes.

And I could not have cared less about Ariel. Met her a bunch. Donít care.

But I was not alone. No. I had Mulan standing next to me. Sweet, adorable Mulan. And when she was three we met Ariel right there in Arielís Grotto and Ariel gave Mulan a huge kiss and told her she loved her. And Mulan refused to wash her face for the whole day. And I would look at her and she would be touching her cheek where the precious kiss was. And then last year Ariel saved the day when Mulan was sobbing after her evil mother made her ride ToT. Ariel was Mulanís absolute favorite Disney character. And she was not on our schedule at all because we were going to meet Tink instead.

Sigh.

So there was Mulan looking at me with puppy dog eyes. And there was no way to get word out as I had no cell phone signal and had already sent Charming to video tape.

Whatís a mommy to do?

Forget Milo. I risked it.

Unfortunately, by the time the puppy dog eyes reached my cold heart, there were three other families in line. So then I was really nervous. I really, really didnít want to mess this up in the first 10 minutes!!! The whole time we were in this line Mulan was jumping up & down in excitement and I was trying to peek through the rocks to see if they were on Dumbo yet.

Finally we were up there and Mulan loved it and Ariel was great and our Photopass photos are amazing (sorry donít have the CD yet.) It was a great start to Mulanís day. And I was very happy later as Mulan had kind of a hard day this first day.

So we came out & I had service and they hadnít got on yet. They were next! So everything worked out perfectly. I even took photos!

When Donald got off he laughed and said it was the best documented Dumbo flight ever as all 4 adults and Charming had recorded the whole thing. So we have 3 cameraís worth of photos and 2 videos. Very well documented.

Here is Donald trying to get a photo of all of them & getting just himself. Ever tried to hold onto a wiggly 1 year old & snap a self portrait? Bet it would turn out just like this!


And a better try:


This is my absolute fave! LOVE this photo:


And from my angle:


And another:


Bored yet?


Now is the time to point out that this is only a tiny fraction of the Dumbo photos we have. This is only from 2 cameras. And not all of them from those two. And we had 3 more cameras going. We were a little excited.

Here is the final photo of Dumbo for this TR. And the final photo of Dumbo taken:


Goodbye sweet Dumbo. Until next time.

And that is where I leave you tonight, my dear readers, loyal, I can only assume since it is to early to tell.

Having successfully arrived in the Magic Kingdom and ridden one ride. Successfully. And not stood in any line longer than 10 minutes. With no one being irritated. And no sunblock that I know of. Since we were all in sweatshirts.
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:30 PM   #22
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Already updating the last post to say that this is me being at BAG check where I chose the best line. Donald is recording my genius!

Also, the time stamp on Donald's camera is off by two hours so I think we may have gotten to the park at 8:41 & ridden Dumbo at 9:19. If anyone is keeping track for their own step-by-step plans.

And I noticed typos, commas missing, etc. But ya'll will have to put up with those.

Oh, and I edited this so you could all see if Suzy is checking her watch in that last photo. I swear she is. Ha! Watch checking to make sure we were making good time. Hilarious. We're doing good, Suzy, it's only 9:18!

Last edited by estherhead; 12-14-2008 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:16 PM   #23
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A couple of things to add.....

9:18 and off of Dumbo with a character visit and FP's to Peter Pan in pocket on the side? Impressive!!

It's actually my camera that I'm obsessing with. For some reason it had been set on "close up." So all my Dumbo pictures were blurry people with crystal clear Dumbo's hat!! This was driving me crazy.

Also, a tip for anyone traveling wanting to try our "rider switch" strategy. Perla kept trying to ruin this for us. The CM's are pretty careful about handing these out to prevent any abuses. You have to show your baby and which adult will be sitting out. We were not cheating the system, we really did have two seperate families with two seperate babies. We should be able to get two "swaps." Unfortunately, the two families were dressed alike in matching shirts thanks to our planning. So Perla, kept wanting us to go up and show the two babies together and then get the two passes. But the CM's could hardly handle this. It was obvious we were all together so why would we need two baby swaps???? After the first few rides, we finally figured out to go up as different groups. It was still hard because we would get the passes and then take a step back to arrange ourselves. And the CM's really want you to separate in front of them so they can see the group getting in line and the other parent sitting but we're not known for our conformity so we just took a step back and 3 parents and all kids that wanted to go would get in line while the other parent waited with the baby swaps and an extra fast pass and then we would switch. That way we could ride with our spouses everytime which was awesome.

Also, a comment about Jon & Kate...... because it was really weird, people would walk by and mutter to each other "Jon & Kate +8." Especially when we were sitting at our table for 11 I think it just emphasizes the spectacle that we all were - wrangling and organizing our kids (did I mention the matching T-shirts?) (and did I mention "spectacle"?). If you like to fly under the radar, our families would not be for you!
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Old 12-15-2008, 06:34 AM   #24
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What a great start you all had ~ perfectly smooth! Your DH's sound like my dad. One little thing off schedule, like the sunblock thing would set him off and ruin the day for him Glad everyone was organized so no one got mad!

I have to say, I was going to mention it before, but you have your own DS? Cool! Me too ~ I have the new pretty shiny rose one, I love it so much My sister has the gold Zelda DS and the kids all have their own. Yes, 5 DS's It's neat to see other adults who enjoy playing video games when they have time.

I love all your pictures ~ they turned out super. I can't wait to hear about the rest of your day ~ I bet it was great

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Old 12-15-2008, 07:01 AM   #25
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9:18 and off of Dumbo with a character visit and FP's to Peter Pan in pocket on the side? Impressive!!

It's actually my camera that I'm obsessing with. For some reason it had been set on "close up." So all my Dumbo pictures were blurry people with crystal clear Dumbo's hat!! This was driving me crazy.

Also, a tip for anyone traveling wanting to try our "rider switch" strategy. Perla kept trying to ruin this for us. The CM's are pretty careful about handing these out to prevent any abuses. You have to show your baby and which adult will be sitting out. We were not cheating the system, we really did have two seperate families with two seperate babies. We should be able to get two "swaps." Unfortunately, the two families were dressed alike in matching shirts thanks to our planning. So Perla, kept wanting us to go up and show the two babies together and then get the two passes. But the CM's could hardly handle this. It was obvious we were all together so why would we need two baby swaps???? After the first few rides, we finally figured out to go up as different groups. It was still hard because we would get the passes and then take a step back to arrange ourselves. And the CM's really want you to separate in front of them so they can see the group getting in line and the other parent sitting but we're not known for our conformity so we just took a step back and 3 parents and all kids that wanted to go would get in line while the other parent waited with the baby swaps and an extra fast pass and then we would switch. That way we could ride with our spouses everytime which was awesome.

Also, a comment about Jon & Kate...... because it was really weird, people would walk by and mutter to each other "Jon & Kate +8." Especially when we were sitting at our table for 11 I think it just emphasizes the spectacle that we all were - wrangling and organizing our kids (did I mention the matching T-shirts?) (and did I mention "spectacle"?). If you like to fly under the radar, our families would not be for you!
In defense of my Baby swapping, I only messed it up the entire first day. The 2nd day we only got FPs at Everest & I was doing it the right way. I went to the CM with my family of 5 and asked for a Baby Swap. He didn't ask me, "Which parent is sitting out?" like normal. He asked, "Is this your entire party?" Which threw me for a total loop. In the silence he said, "Obviously not, how many baby swaps do you really need?" At this point Suzy came up & explained to the CM that I kept messing up the Baby Swap thing. Then, the CM launched into this HUGE explanation of how Everest is different and people try to cheat the system. It really did go on & on. But more on that later.

By day 3 we had the Baby Swapping down and didn't mess it up anymore. We really did need the two baby swaps as which kid would we make sit out the next time? It would be totally unfair.

It really isn't that hard. We just have to make everything a little harder by having 4 strollers, 2 babies, and general confusion.

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What a great start you all had ~ perfectly smooth! Your DH's sound like my dad. One little thing off schedule, like the sunblock thing would set him off and ruin the day for him Glad everyone was organized so no one got mad!

I have to say, I was going to mention it before, but you have your own DS? Cool! Me too ~ I have the new pretty shiny rose one, I love it so much My sister has the gold Zelda DS and the kids all have their own. Yes, 5 DS's It's neat to see other adults who enjoy playing video games when they have time.

I love all your pictures ~ they turned out super. I can't wait to hear about the rest of your day ~ I bet it was great

Ah, I wanted the rose one but I got mine at a ToysRUs deal and had to take what was available which was white. But then I bought a case that came with Mario Princess stickers for it so it is all decked out and mostly purple. I my Nintendo DS. We had 5 on this trip too, not sure, I get confused. My mom has one too that she loves. We're a pretty gaming oriented family. And we're pretty Nintendo loyal too.

As for my dh, he really is a sweetheart, it's just the strangest things that send him off. I never know. Nowadays he goes off a lot less often. I guess 3 daughters do that to ya. Guess what? You are not it control of your destiny. You aren't even in control of the next 5 minutes. That's what having kids teaches you.

Thanks about the photos. I was pleased as well. I think I'm getting better at WDW photos.

You'll have to stay tune for the rest of our day. It certainly did not turn out how we had planned!
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Old 12-15-2008, 07:27 AM   #26
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Ah, I wanted the rose one but I got mine at a ToysRUs deal and had to take what was available which was white. But then I bought a case that came with Mario Princess stickers for it so it is all decked out and mostly purple. I my Nintendo DS. We had 5 on this trip too, not sure, I get confused. My mom has one too that she loves. We're a pretty gaming oriented family. And we're pretty Nintendo loyal too.

As for my dh, he really is a sweetheart, it's just the strangest things that send him off. I never know. Nowadays he goes off a lot less often. I guess 3 daughters do that to ya. Guess what? You are not it control of your destiny. You aren't even in control of the next 5 minutes. That's what having kids teaches you.

Thanks about the photos. I was pleased as well. I think I'm getting better at WDW photos.

You'll have to stay tune for the rest of our day. It certainly did not turn out how we had planned!
I hope it didn't turn out a bad way!

We are all love games in our family too. We also love Nintendo. We have had the gamecube for years and have TONS of games, I mean like 100 Then we bought the Wii a couple of months ago for an early Christmas present for the family. We have collected quite a few games for that too ~ as for the DS's my first one I guess about a year and a half ago was the pink one. Then my oldest son got the red and black one for Christmas last year. Then I bought the blue and black one earlier this year for myself since mine had been played a lot and I just wanted a new one. I gave the pink one to my daughter and after buying the blue one I saw the rose one and had to get that so I gave the blue one to my other son. My sister got hers for christmas from my dad last year. It all worked out great ~ everyone loves their DS and actually my two little ones switched their DS's, my son took the pink one and my daughter the blue one. Then she bought a pokemon skin for hers and he bought Lego Star Wars for his
I love to play Harvest Moon and RPG games. I also like diner dash and cake mania.

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Old 12-15-2008, 07:31 AM   #27
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I'm loving reading this and waiting anxiously for the next installment!!
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Old 12-15-2008, 08:29 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthfaries View Post
I hope it didn't turn out a bad way!

We are all love games in our family too. We also love Nintendo. We have had the gamecube for years and have TONS of games, I mean like 100 Then we bought the Wii a couple of months ago for an early Christmas present for the family. We have collected quite a few games for that too ~ as for the DS's my first one I guess about a year and a half ago was the pink one. Then my oldest son got the red and black one for Christmas last year. Then I bought the blue and black one earlier this year for myself since mine had been played a lot and I just wanted a new one. I gave the pink one to my daughter and after buying the blue one I saw the rose one and had to get that so I gave the blue one to my other son. My sister got hers for christmas from my dad last year. It all worked out great ~ everyone loves their DS and actually my two little ones switched their DS's, my son took the pink one and my daughter the blue one. Then she bought a pokemon skin for hers and he bought Lego Star Wars for his
I love to play Harvest Moon and RPG games. I also like diner dash and cake mania.

We'll end up with more too. We have 2 for our family of five right now. Dh said he didn't want one as he had his eye on something else, but of course he plays almost every night! And now the baby has fallen in love with mine and I see her wandering around just a tap-tapping away. She has no idea what she is doing but they are so easy to use she still manages to play little games just by randomly tapping!

So we'll probably have a third by the end of '09. Mulan is saving up for a few games right now. We have 6 total right now.

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Originally Posted by StampMom View Post
I'm loving reading this and waiting anxiously for the next installment!!
Comin' right up!
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Old 12-15-2008, 09:59 AM   #29
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Day 2 cont. cont.

So after Dumbo our plan was to do all of Fantasyland. We had not written anything down as we have this pretty well figured out. The three rides that have lines in Fantasyland before 10:30 a.m. are Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh, and Peter Pan. So if you get FPís for either Winnie the Pooh or Peter Pan and you ride Dumbo first thing, you can do the rest at your leisure. Peter Pan FPís in our grubby little hands, we felt confident.

Fantasyland was all but conquered!

So we started with Snow White. I havenít ridden this in awhile and I was anxious to as I had bought a new Hidden Mickeyís book and wanted to check out if I could find Hidden Mickeys. I read where they could be located to everyone in the line and then we were off.

I found one Mickey pretty quick. But then I kind of gave up because this ride scared Boo to death. So I focused on that and made a mental note that we wouldnít not be riding Haunted Mansion!

The rest were pretty tricky to find, so said the crew. I think we would have to ride it a few times to find all the ones in that book and Iíve heard tell there is another book with even harder to find ones! Hidden Mickeys are really hidden.

No photos of this ride as it is really dark and I didnít have any photos turn out so I just deleted them all.

Then we rode Winnie the Pooh. I was a bit worried about Boo in here, but this ride she ADORED. Boo rode with Donald so I was glad she liked it.



I also read the Hidden Mickeys to everyone and we actually found some. Can you find the Mickey in this photo?



And it was over too soon.



After this we decided to see about the line to Tink, even though it wasnít on the schedule, we just thought if it was small we would hop in. Suzy went to check while some others went to the potty and we settled in to ride the Teacups. And by we I mean not me. Sorry, no spinning Teacups for me. Not a lot gets my tummy in a bunch but riding the Teacups can sincerely ruin my day. It takes me HOURS to recover. Tink, by the way, had a line as Toontown had opened at 9 a.m. so we would have had to rush right there. Oh well, plenty of time to meet Tink later.

Donald bravely asked the CM how many kids he was allowed to take in one cup as we really had smallish kids to be in their own cup. And the nice CM told them as many as would safely fit. No rules. Well, theyíre all pretty skinny so a lot of tiny butts fit in one cup.





They had an absolute blast. I was laughing just watching them. And Boo was desperate to get in that cup. ďMommyĒ as she was tugging on me, ďWhy am I out here?Ē Of course she canít talk, but Iím pretty sure this is what she was saying.



Getting going really fast:


As McQueen stepped off those spinning cups he proclaimed, ďThat was the craziest thing that has ever happened to me!Ē What a hoot he is.

After that we went to ride the carousel. First we stopped to try to get the sword out of the stone. Charming, if anyone, should certainly be able to.



But since he couldnít, we decided to kill My Pal Mickey instead. Sacrificial Mickey.



And then to celebrate, we rode the carousel. Boo had a great time on the carousel until she didnít. And then she wanted OFF. So I illegally unbelted her & rushed to sit down next to Jack-Jack and Milo. It really was a fairly safe transition but I didnít want to get yelled at. Iím very anti-getting yelled at.

Here is the series of photos where "Yea, this is fun! Breaks down into, "Yuck, this is awful."



Weee!


Weee?


Wahhh!!!


So we sat here:


After our spin around the cups and our gentler spin around the carousel we decided we need to sit and hopped into Mickeyís Philharmagic. Our timing was absolutely impeccable as the doors opened about 1 minute after we grabbed our 3-D glasses.

We found some seats, which was not as easy as you might imagine since no one, naturally, followed the directions to move to the end of the row. Come on, people, just move to the end of the row. Please? Please?



It was great. Boo was sitting on my lap & I didnít put glasses on her so it didnít get too intense. But even still the water and air surprised her. It made me remember years ago when Ariel was this age & I took her to Itís Tough to Be a Bug and one of the effects surprised her so much that she jerked backwards and knocked her head into mine. I had a headache the rest of the day that day.

But no headache here. Jack-Jack, who, remember, felt horrid, had a little ďsnackĒ as he is still nursing and this was a perfect opportunity. He felt much better after said snack. And Milo said the apple pie smell reminded him that he could use a little snack.

So we grabbed a few snacks from our coolers in our strollers and carried on our Fantasyland mission.

Itís a Small World!!! Charge! By this point it was close to our 10:30 a.m. deadline as there start to be lines. Small World was about 5 minutes which gave me time to read the Hidden Mickeyís. Peter Pan was 45 minutes. Whoís the smarty with the FPís, eh? Lookiní pretty darn smart now, ainít we?

I love Itís a Small World. When I was a kid (I donít remember this) we got stuck on Itís a Small World for a very long time and my father consequently hated this ride for a long time. He said it was pure torture to be imprisoned in this ride. I was influenced by this as Iím easily influenced until I had children of my own. Itís just such a great, feel good ride. And you can teach them about other cultures. And itís cool. And happy. And Iíve never been stuck.

Milo kept saying, "Smile and wave, smile and wave," like the penguins is Madagascar this day because photos were constantly being snapped. But I thought it was especially appropriate for this girl. That was a huge part of her day.



Welcome!


And my blurry, no flash photos:





Don Quixote:



Can you find the Hidden Mickey here?



And this is where we explained to McQueen that this is just lights and fans shining up on paper and not really fire coming out of volcanos. He is so funny. He was equally interested in how things worked. Usually, I'm all for keeping the fantasy alive for kids, but for McQueen he was fascinated with how you could create fantasy. He really liked the idea of fire that wasn't fire.



And on to Utopia:


After this we did Peter Pan. I really like this ride but it always baffles me why it has such a long line. I really donít think it is that much better than the other rides in Fantasyland. Winnie the Pooh I get. Itís a new, really cool ride. But why does Peter Pan have a 45 min standby time at 10:30 a.m.? No clue.

And not really bothered by it as we popped into the FP line and barely had time to read the Hidden Mickey book. Mulan and Donald had sat this one out. Mulan was starting to be very quiet and moody by this point and something funky was going on. I would have to deal with that later. For now, Iím flying in a boat off to Never-never-land.

Here are my bad photos.





And at that point Fantasyland was done. And what time was it? 11:20 a.m.

Oh yeah, we're good.

To sum up:

Parked, trammed, monorailed, bag checked, ticketed, watched the pre-day train show, Dumbo, met Ariel, Snow White, Winnie the Pooh, Teacups, Carousel, Philharmagic, Small World, Peter Pan.

All before 11:30 a.m.

And we didn't break a sweat.

The day after Thanksgiving.

Told ya so. Don't want to wait in lines? Follow me!

Next up, we risk the great Frontier.
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Old 12-15-2008, 04:09 PM   #30
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Day 2 cont. cont. cont.

With Fantasyland under our belt we decided to do a few bonus things. We would be back so we didn’t have to do all of MK this day and we were trying to avoid crowds. The original plan was to grab lunch and then ride Haunted Mansion, Thunder, and Splash and then go ride the train to the front gate around 2:00 p.m. We figured by this point the park would be packed and we wanted to go relax at home.

Well, we had just had a snack and it was just a little early for lunch. So we decided to do Haunted Mansion before lunch. Mulan had firmly said she was not doing it and Boo obviously could not do it since Snow White had terrified her. I wanted some alone time with Mulan so I volunteered to sit it out.

We decided to use our spare time to go get FP’s for Splash Mt. It was a nice walk and we were just looking at the sights. It was pretty empty over there in the far frontier. It may have been a bit earlier than 11:20, I’m not sure as there was no photo stamp anywhere of this portion. So we got our FP’s for Splash and wandered back to the Columbia Harbor House.





She and I were feeling hungry and found a bench under a tree, even though it was cooler we still found we wanted the shade. In under 5 minutes the rest of the family came walking our direction and we all opted to eat right there. It was 11:45 which is right before the lunch crowds so there was only 2 people in front of me in the food line. Milo & I & Charming were to get food and the rest went to find us tables upstairs. They managed to find a quiet little corner with two tables all to ourselves which was very nice.



And this is where the day took a 90 degree turn in the wrong direction.

Milo & I are standing in our respective lines and Suzy starts giving him directions on what to eat and then asks me to help him. I’m sure all 3 of us involved in this exchange would remember it differently, but this is my take.

There was a just a bit of an edge to her voice, ya know? Still polite, but edgy. As she walked away, Milo started mumbling under his breath about the exchange & I said, “I’m sure you’ve got it handled,” thus distancing myself. He simply replied, “Don’t tell me to take care of it and then tell me how to take care of it. I’ll take care of it if I say I will take care of it,” not really talking to me, but talking to the invisible Suzy. Again, edgy.

So, for my family, I opted to get a fish meal and a chicken meal and cups of ice as we had our own drinks. Not sure what Milo got and as things turned out, it probably wouldn’t have mattered what he got.

I went and got ketchup & other misc. things and carried it upstairs to my fam. I then dashed back outside to our stroller to grab a soda.

When I came back I was both surprised and dismayed to find the fish completely gone and 2.5 chicken nuggets left. I really had barely been gone a minute. So I took my 3 french fries and one chicken nugget amidst much glaring from Mulan and Ariel. Obviously, I hadn’t ordered enough. Which wasn’t that big of a deal since we’re at WDW and there is food everywhere.

Until Donald said, “Wow. It’s a really good deal when you can feed a family of five at Disney World for under $15.00. And I’m completely stuffed!” Which made Mulan, Ariel, myself, and perhaps even Boo glare at him. Come to find out Ariel hadn’t liked the fish so he had eaten that meal basically all by himself, minus a few fries. That left the four of us sharing a single meal. Ha! I guess Milo should have helped me order as I wasn’t very good at judging my growing family’s needs. The first few days I struggle with amounts and finally on day 4 I got the hang of our appetites. But the first 3 days I was pretty much hungry.

Take one for the team.

So, while all of that was going on, the other table in our corner with us was undergoing some stress. A lot more stress than simply having 1 full person and 4 hungry people. I wasn’t involved but this is my take. Milo had come up from getting the food irritated. And Suzy had been sitting there while he was getting food realizing that Jack-Jack had turned the corner, as we like to say, and was having trouble breathing.

A little background, McQueen spent a week at a children’s hospital with pneumonia and has asthma and Jack-Jack has also gone to the hospital with repertory issues so Suzy is pretty good at knowing exactly when the corner has been turned. Thus the edge to her voice earlier. But Milo had not been aware of said corner. And so was off to continue the conversation that had irritated him. Suzy wanted none of this as she had rounded an unpleasant corner and could not care less about said lunch. Anyhow, you know how it is in this situation. In a different city, a sick kid, and the stress.

So they decided to go ahead and let the kids ride Splash and then she would get Jack-Jack to a doctor ASAP. We went to change diapers, which I wanted to do the unthinkable and just change them on the floor in our private corner, but Suzy talked sense into me. Sometimes I like efficiency over anything else. But the bathroom was close and it was good anyway as when we came out of Columbia Harbor House Donald and Mulan were sitting waiting (they had left while we were talking about Jack-Jack) and I could see on Mulan’s face that she was seconds away from crying.

I looked at her with my mom look and she said, “I’m bored.” What? That doesn’t even make any sense. So I took her with me and while Suzy went to the bathroom Mulan helped change the babies and sobbed briefly. It was just so disappointing. Ariel and McQueen and Buzz think it’s real and she didn’t and it just wasn’t as fun as she was thinking and she’s just so tired and just wants to go back to the house. I gave her a big hug and told her she was just overwhelmed and it would be fine.

In truth, I think she was a little embarrassed that she hadn’t ridden Haunted Mansion. She was the only kid not brave enough. Though the other things were true as well, I think the embarrassment and disappointment in not doing it is what pushed her over the edge. Also, she just isn’t good with change. And Disney World is a pretty big change from normal life.

But she wiped away her tears, because if there is one thing Mulan is, it’s a trooper. She sucks it up and moves on. She’s a team player too.

Here is Donald taking her well in hand to comfort her as we walked to Spalsh:



And another shot of the view:


And here are Suzy, Milo, and Jack-Jack trying to work out the plan. No smile on Jack-Jack's little face.



Once at Splash there was a LOT of confusion at the entrance as we waited for our baby swaps. First, we did it really wrong, because of me, but also it was crazy because there were a zillion people (I swear, it had been empty 30 minutes earlier and there were at least 5,000 people there when we went to ride) and strollers and scooters, etc. The plan was for me to stay with the babies and call Suzy’s insurance company to find a local doctor. Then I would ride while Suzy called the doctor and then we would ride the train to the front, go back to the house, and then they would go to the doctor.

But things didn’t work out that way.

Here they are still thinking things are going to work out perfectly:



The first issue was her insurance company was closed due to the holiday, even though it wasn’t a holiday. So I couldn’t find an in network provider. Then I called my mom & asked her to just find one on-line. 20 minutes later she still hadn’t called and they were off the ride.

So the kids and us went on and Suzy called Mom. There was a Walgreens right on 192 that had a little clinic in it. Perfect, it was right next to our house. But unfortunately when Suzy called the number they didn’t take babies. Added to this, because of the confusion earlier at baby swap Milo and Suzy had lost one of their strollers. THANK YOU STROLLER CM’s! It had been parked in stroller parking but for some inexplicable reason another stroller was parked there and their stroller was miles away. This wouldn’t have been nearly as stressful if in the utter chaos of trying to call the doctor and insurance company and get baby swap tickets, etc they hadn’t absent mindedly dropped the bag which had their cameras in it in this stroller. It’s the kind of thing you never do unless utterly stressed out.

So Milo spent the entire 20 minutes we were riding searching for that stroller and Suzy spent it trying to find another place to take the baby.

By the time we got off the ride (which I thoroughly enjoyed, by the way) they were frazzled beyond belief.

So we decided to hop the train and head out of Dodge City. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t let us take our giant double stroller up the wheelchair ramp and Suzy had had enough. We were splitting and they would see us at the house.

We missed the first train and so had to wait for the next train. I felt bad for Suzy and Milo but I was still having a lovely time and was really looking forward to a train ride.

It came and we hopped on. All aboard! Then Mulan cracked me up, “Little Miss I know It’s All Fake and so Disappointing,” with a huge grin on her face says, “Have we ever ridden a real train before? I’ve never, have I mommy?” Soooo cute.

Here are some views of our very real train ride's very real views:







It was just a wonderful ride, and I was so very grateful so not have to fight the crowds to the front.

Main St.'s not too crowded:


As we were exiting at the main gate who should we run into? Suzy & Milo and the gang. Together again.

Here they are waiting for the monorail still trying to find an easy clinic that is open the day after Thanksgiving and takes babies:



After the monorail, we hopped the next tram and Suzy is starting to get really concerned that Jack-Jack is going to get checked into a hospital or something. We’ve been planning this trip for a year, ya know? This can NOT be happening. And she still does not know where to take him. Milo has been saying from the beginning that we should just take him to the Disney clinic but I felt sure that was only for Disney resort guests.

But at this point the panic on their faces made me grab my cell phone. I try not to get too involved as I know with my own kids I like to be in charge so I can make the sudden decisions. But this was desperate and I'm in marketing and generally can talk strangers into doing whatever it is I want them to. It's just kind of a random skill I have. I try to use it sporadically as it is a skill which should not be abused. But this was definately the time for it to be pulled out.

The night before I had call Pop Century to make sure the opening of Magic Kingdom hadn’t been changed and so the number was still in my call log. I dialed it and got a nice American lady at the front desk. She was utterly baffled by my questions but eventually I got connected to the clinic. I explained our situation and the very nice lady gave me their address and said to come right over. We were worth their time, resort guests or not.

All of this was done while the tram announcer announced and announced. He must have announced we were leaving the station 10 times before we actually left. It was extremely annoying as I kept making the people I was talking to repeat themselves. But they both assured me that they were used to talking over crazy bus & tram announcements.

So I handed the address to Suzy (we both had GPS’s so no need for directions) and we agreed that she & Milo & the baby would go from there and we would take the rest. Thank goodness for those huge vans with lots of seats!

Here we are trying to calmly race to the vehicles:


On our way back to the house we decided that since it was going to get cooler later in the week we would take the kids to Blizzard Beach. I still had their tickets from the FP’s earlier. I called Milo & Suzy to ask if it was OK and they kind of said yes which I ran with.

At 3:00 we arrived at our house and ran around like mad. It took us only 11 minutes to change into swimsuits, grab towels, and pile back into the van. Poor McQueen had had to rush so much his shoes were on backwards. “I knew something wasn’t right, “ he said when we pointed it out. And Buzz’s sandals were a little too small so he mainly just was barefoot.

By 3:30 we were on the beach chilling.

The big kids all went to ride big rides. Only Buzz and Boo and I remained at the wave pool. It was so delightful and the water was warm. Lots of tubes were left and we just floated around. Then Buzz said he had to go to the bathroom and this was the one stressful point of my day, where I personally was stressed and not just having empathy stress.

We went to the potty which is really close to us. There was a party going on behind us with hula hooping and great music. So Buzz goes in and Boo and I are dancing, etc. Good times, good times. Then I realize that time is really ticking away. Tick, tick, tick. It was like 20 minutes. So I start to panic. Could there be another exit and he is wandering around lost? So I send in a nice guy and ask him if there is another exit. He goes in and proclaims, nope, this is the only exit.

He sees the wild look in my eye and asks me my kid’s name. And then he goes in to find him. His son and I are then standing there for like 5 minutes. It seemed like FOREVER. And finally he comes out with Buzz in hand. And Buzz says, I kid you not, “Sorry for the delay.” Ha! Sorry for the delay. What a hoot. He’d just really taken that long.

So we head back to the beach I drop into a chair and Boo starts playing with the tubes. Giggling and laughing. Tubes are fun. And then the waves started and a tube ran her all the way over. Tubes are NOT fun. From that point on she sat on my lap and glared at the tubes. Bad tubes. By this point the rest had come back and we all enjoyed the waves for awhile. It was delightful. On our way out our kids played hopscotch.

This was hilarious to me as they are not the most athletic and they were the first 4 out. Well, except for this kid who really had been out and refused to quit playing. They might not be athletic, but they at least play by the rules!

By this point the park was closing and we were getting hungry. Especially those of us that had really only had a single chicken nugget for lunch. We headed home. Suzy & Milo were done with their appointment and Jack-Jack had passed his oxygen test so no hospital stay needed. Whew! He had double ear infections and breathing issues. They picked up his prescriptions and Milo stopped to get himself a little bar. A badly needed martini was on his to do list. Jack-Jack was back to his old smiley self in two days.

Maybe Suzy can give you details on the Disney clinic.

For dinner, the adults ordered from Red Lobster and we made frozen pizzas for the kids. We ate at 6:30 p.m. which was just way past when we should have eaten. It was not good. (Edited to add that the Red Lobster was delicious, it was the 6:30 p.m. feeding of the by then totally starving children that was not good.)

Suzy and Milo had been supposed to have a date night this night, but obviously that didn’t happen. We just rescheduled it for a different night. We checked the weather and watched Top Chef and went to bed at 10:00 p.m.

So, over all, our first in park day had gone well. We had ridden tons of rides, gone to a water park, laughed and played, and felt the magic. Suzy and Milo had about 6 hours of a very bad time. I had overall maybe an hour of a very bad time.

But we had discovered we could tour together without being ticked off. And we could follow a step-by-step plan where we only waited in lines under 10 minutes. And it was really fun to ride rides with my family.

But Milo had said all day, "Where is the party switch?" and the kids were supposed to say, "It's in the oooooon position." It's a Spongebob saying. But as they were leaving the park I believe it was in the off position. Ours was still in the oooon position. But as he was showing me his liquor purchases later he said it was firmly, and unchangingly, in the ooooon position. And for the most part, that proved quite true.

Tomorrow, we party in Animal Kingdom.

Last edited by estherhead; 12-15-2008 at 05:28 PM.
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