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Old 09-14-2009, 08:48 AM   #256
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OMGosh, what wonderful pictures! Looks like a terrific time, despite the dreary weather.
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Old 09-17-2009, 05:51 PM   #257
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Originally Posted by jordanyosh View Post
You are a great mom to wait in those lines! Great pix and the red hair on Shae...so cute!
Thanks, Jordan! I hope Shaelyn grows up and remembers all of the sacrifices I made for her!!

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another awesome update, we really hope to make the pixie hallow this year, lines were over an hour for us last year...we will be going ther first thing for sure.
I'm not sure when the best time to go is! Probably RIGHT at rope drop? Every time we go over there, the lines are ridiculous.. but worth it IMHO!

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Great pictures of Shae with Ariel and the fairies.
Thanks!

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What cute pictures of Shae with Ariel. The pictures with the Fairies are just precious. Sounds like you had a fun morning, although I do give you credit for waiting so long. So were the boys enjoying all the Wild Rides?
Funny.. I have no idea what the boys did... probably a bit of Captain Jack and some Buzz Lightyear. Oh.. YES.. they did Splash Mountain! I forgot all about that! A ride I've never been on yet.. and they rode it without me!

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OMGosh, what wonderful pictures! Looks like a terrific time, despite the dreary weather.
Thanks... I just love this group of pics, too!! Now that they revealed the new Fantasyland pics, I'm DYING to get that finished so I can get some adorable pictures in there.. Shae will be six when it opens!!
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Old 09-17-2009, 07:57 PM   #258
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Shaelyn just hadn't had enough of Princesses and Pixies, so we ventured over to another little show that I'd never seen before. It was the story time with Belle show, tucked away near the TeaCup ride. We got there abour 30 minutes before show time, and, boy, am I glad we did! It filled up VERY quickly, and soon, folks were standing around the edge of the seating area, continuing to encroach every so slightly onto the stage. Every few moments, a CM would have to come by and tell people to find elsewhere to stand... and every few moments, more people would try to sit or stand on the stage...
Really people?! Really?

The most entertaining pre-show activity happened right in front of us:



Please take note of the following:
1. The CM on stage asking people to, yet again, MOVE!
2. The lady lounging on the bench in front of us. Now, because I'm observant, I knew she was reserving seats for the 2 or 3 small children with her. They were roaming around the seating area, bothering other guests... ahem... I mean, entertaining themselves.
3. The lady in the red shirt. She walked straight up to the lounging lady and said ((snippy voice on))"You can't lie on a bench and take up all those seats. There are people behind you that are standing" --notice her pointing to said standing people--((Snippy voice off))

It was quite comical. As you can imagine, lounging lady got very defensive and told red shirt lady that she had children sitting with her, thank you very much! Just one of those situations I think could've been avoided if people, A.) weren't rude and B.) were more observant!

Here are some shots from the show. I thought it was VERY cute, LOVED the crowd involvement, and Shae was intrigued throughout!










We had made it through a long and fun-filled morning. It was time to head back to the resort to nap, and prepare for our evening at T-Rex and La Nouba. On our way out, we stumbled on the new "Block Party Bash"-esque parade/show. Here are some shots from that experience:










Everyone is joining in and dancing here. Looked like a good time!



Shaelyn opted to stay up here, tho.


She was exhausted and ready for a nap. Honestly, so was I! So we bailed early, and didn't watch the rest of the show!

Off to bed and on to DTD!!
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:52 AM   #259
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i would have told the lady, want a seat, get here early next time.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:14 AM   #260
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Hmmm....the lady not controlling her kids or red shirt coming up and actually calling her out...wow!
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Old 10-01-2009, 05:09 PM   #261
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FauntleroyFAN07 View Post
i would have told the lady, want a seat, get here early next time.
For REAL! She was just lookin' for a fight, I think!

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Hmmm....the lady not controlling her kids or red shirt coming up and actually calling her out...wow!
Yeah... prime examples of idiocy!!
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:04 PM   #263
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Alright, alright, Jordan! Here we go!

I really can't tell you what Matt and Ty did while Shaelyn and I spent such a wonderful morning together at Magic Kingdom. But, seriously, does it matter? They don't even have a camera, so I have no documentation of what occurred!

We all met back up at our villa to rest, shower, and get fancied up for our night at DTD. Tonight was TRex and LaNouba with our friends. We were so excited to experience something new, and then share one of our favorites with Dean, Adrianna and Abby!

We had no trouble meeting up with them outside of the ever-so-popular restaurant.


Shaelyn was wearing her pretty Minnie dress, that was actually handed down to her from Abby! Adrianna really enjoyed seeing the dress get lots of good use. I'm not sure if Shae is ROARING here.... or just yawning!


But I'm pretty sure Ty and Abby ARE roaring! We loved the huge dinos in the restaurant:



We were seated in the 'ice cave' section. I immediately began to panic a bit because long exposure to crazy lighting situations often trigger my migraines! For example, if I am sitting at a restaurant facing a window with mini-blinds, and the sun is shining through the blinds.... you can pretty much guarantee a migraine!

But everyone else was so excited about it, I just decided to suck it up, take a Midrin as a precaution, and enjoy my experience.


Fortunately, I made it through the meal, several light color changes, and a couple of meteor storms with NO headache. Whew...

Here is our appetizer TOWER:

Dean looks ready to attack, doesn't he?

The food was actually pretty decent. As always, I like to let folks know that NO ONE in our family considers them self a connoisseur. We are very simple eaters. So take that for what it's worth! We enjoyed everything, especially these babies:


Here are a few more shots from the restaurant:



Happy Shaelyn:


Performing Shaelyn:


Ty and Abby with full bellies:

I'm gonna chalk Ty's face up to Disney GLEE!

Shae was getting pretty antsy. I didn't DARE go into the Build-A-Dino store, because I KNEW I'd come out of there with something. So, while Matt finished up with the rest at T-Rex, Shae and I walked around DTD a bit. We found these lovely ladies:



Eventually, we all made our way to LaNouba. Now, the last time we went, we were taken as guests of the Music Travel Company that Matt's HS Band uses when they travel. So we were being pampered for sure. We had EXCELLENT seats very close to the stage. This time, we were paying for it ourselves, so we were considerably farther away. I was worried about how this would affect my enjoyment of the show.

We were trying to keep Shae entertained while we waited for the show to begin. She was playing with my camera and took this:'


Then this:


Then the usher came FLYING out of nowhere... he was quite freaking out about NO PHOTOGRAPHY!!!

Calm it, dude... the show doesn't start for 15 minutes. Seriously?!

But, being the law-abiding Disfolks that we are, we quickly put the camera away and tried to find new ways of entertaining the girl.

La Nouba did not disappoint. The talent and entertainment value are definitely top notch. What DID disappoint were my seats. Now, there really is NOT a bad seat in the house, but when you've had the BEST seats... well... you know... I just prefer to be closer to the action. But we all enjoyed it, the kids were very well-behaved (which isn't hard to do when you're thoroughly entertained!), and we all hit the bed happy... and that's what is important, right?!

Next up, our last day... including my American Idol experience (no pictures, sorry... but I'll explain everything that happened if you care to know!)
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Old 10-03-2009, 11:57 PM   #264
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I chuckled when you said you folks weren't food connoisseurs (I had to look that word up to see how to spell it). I am not either. I am generally pretty happy with most food.

I would love to hear about your American Idol experience.

Is La Nouba worth the price? I've seen a Cirque show many years ago in Portland. I really liked it.
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:29 AM   #265
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I chuckled when you said you folks weren't food connoisseurs (I had to look that word up to see how to spell it). I am not either. I am generally pretty happy with most food.

I would love to hear about your American Idol experience.

Is La Nouba worth the price? I've seen a Cirque show many years ago in Portland. I really liked it.
Thanks for hanging in for this extended, i-just-can't-seem-to-finish report, Jordan!!

I'm going to try to get in the American Idol update tonight, since it really doesn't involve any pictures!

I think La Nouba is worth the price, at least once. If you're going to do it, do it full out and get the best seats! To me, the little Asian girls alone are worth the ticket price. Peeps with tricks... AWESOME!!
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:14 PM   #266
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wow, those pictures of TRex are excellent we are going to go there someday but it's dissappointing it isn't on the dining plan- maybe in spring we will finally get there
I saw it when they were biulding it, passed it in June- can't fit it in in nov. so hopefully in feb.
thanks for updating- i have loved following this report!
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Old 10-04-2009, 07:26 PM   #267
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wow, those pictures of TRex are excellent we are going to go there someday but it's dissappointing it isn't on the dining plan- maybe in spring we will finally get there
I saw it when they were biulding it, passed it in June- can't fit it in in nov. so hopefully in feb.
thanks for updating- i have loved following this report!
The kids just loved TRex. I probably wouldn't search it out for adults, but the kids truly loved every loud moment!!

Thanks for following along. I appreciate it!
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:14 PM   #268
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LONG story ahead... warning!

The day I had been waiting for had arrived. It was time for me to give the new American Idol Experience a try. The family was beat, they were ready for a morning to sleep in, so I took advantage of the situation, got up early, and headed out on my own to rope drop at DHS!

Fortunately, the weather was PERFECT for sleeping in:


Yep, that is POURING down, non-stop, Florida rain. Not so perfect for traveling solo to DHS... but at least I didn't feel like I was taking away from great weather in the parks as a family!

I sat on the porch of the Yacht Club until the rain let up enough for me to dash to the boat dock. Here are two little shots from my restful wait in the rain:



It was a wet, soggy, hair-destroying trip over to the Studios. But the crowds were T-H-I-N. Thin, I'm tellin' ya. Thin like a supermodel on a diet!

Which made my chances of making it onto the stage pretty darn good!

I walked around to the auditionee's entrance, where a wonderful CM asked me if I'd like to audition. I told her I would, even tho' I looked like a drowned rat. She said the wet hair was a great look for me. She was a pretty bad liar!

I walked straight into the facility, completely by myself. I had to stand with another CM and watch a video introduction done by Ryan Seacrest. It was pretty funny because it was obviously designed to welcome the masses of folks auditioning today.. but it was just me standing there!

Next, the CM lead me down a hallway, and right into a room. There was a man behind a desk, ready to hear me sing. It was crazy! I literally walked off the sidewalk and into an audition. In a way, it was great, because I had no time to second-guess myself.

The 'producer' guy asked me a few get-to-know-you questions, then asked me to sing away. I sang "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" by Whitney Houston. Apparently, I did pretty well, because he sent me straight over to the "Coke Lounge".

In here, there are places to sit with iPods and headphones. The iPods are loaded with 100 songs from which you choose your performance tune. The first 'producer' I sang for told me to stick with the song, since they have it available and not too many people use it. Ok! So I sat down and started to nervously listen to the arrangement they were going to have me use for my next round of auditions.

I began to look around the room, where there actually were other folks... guess they got in SUPER early. Anyway, I noticed a guy that looked SUPER familiar... like.. I had seen him on TV. He caught my eye and smiled at me. I said, "You look like someone who was really on American Idol!" He just gave me this adorable smirk and looked down. I continued, "You know what I'm talking about?" Again.. smirk.. and look away. I dropped it. Obviously, he had been compared to this guy before...

Next to me, the whole time I was in this room, was a guy who just belted his heart out OVER and OVER and OVER with his iPod. I was shocked at #1.. how good he really was and #2 why he felt it was to his benefit to keep doing it again and again and again as loud as he possibly could. I, on the other hand, quietly sang to myself, trying to learn the new 'shorter' version of my song.

The loud guy was called in, and after about 10 minutes, came out cheering. I guess singing loud and obnoxiously gets you in. Uh oh. Next, the guy who looked eerily familiar went in.. and came out successfully. Then, it was my turn. Could I make it 3 in a row?

I went into a small room with a very professional looking lady sitting behind a desk. It had a fancy computer system with a flat-screen TV behind her. This was where the words were projected for my song. She also asked me a few small talk questions, then asked me to sing. I have to tell you, as many times as I have performed on stage, this was EXTREMELY intimidating. Just you and the CM in close quarters.. wow.. I really had to stretch out of my comfort zone.

She spent a good 10 minutes with me. She had me try my back-up song (Shania Twain's "Man, I Feel Like a Woman") and then my original tune in different keys. She would make suggestions, I would try them. I couldn't believe how much time she spent with me. FINALLY, she told me that Ryan Seacrest had something to say to me. She pressed a button on her computer, and up popped Ryan on the TV screen behind her. He said to me:

"You know, most people who audition for American Idol want to hear the words 'you're going to Hollywood'. ((pause))... well.. you're not going to hear those words today ((darn.... another pause...)) But you will hear these... 'you're going to be on stage at the American Idol Experience!!!' Congratulations!!"

Hooray!!! I made it!! Then panic set in.. really?! I am going to sing on that stage?!

They walked me out to another CM who was scheduling the singers for the day. As she wrote my name in the 11:00 show, I saw the names of the two other singers who would be in my round.... KAI KALAMA!?!? NO WAY!!! It was the guy from the lounge... you know, the one that looked familiar?!

Well... he really WAS on American Idol!!! He was in the top 36 from the last season. I KNEW he looked familiar. And I have to sing in the same show as him!??!
(Go ahead, Google him!!)


After the initial shock wore off, I began to feel good about the situation. This was our last night here, and if I won my round, I would've had to be back at DHS at night to sing in the finale. As cool as that would be, it would completely throw off our traditional last night of Epcot and Illuminations. So, Kai could win.. that would be great.. I'd still get to sing on a Disney stage and be a part of an amazing new attraction.

I called Matt, slightly freaking out, and asked him if he and the kids could get here for the 11:00 show. He immediately called Dean and his family to make sure they were there, too.

I just had enough time to get a quick bite to eat before I had to be back at the stage door for my 'prep' session. When I arrived, there was Kai, and an adorable 14-year-old. I said, "I am SO sorry for calling you out in the audition room!" He gave the sweet little smirk again and said it was no problem.

The three of us were escorted into a 'green room' with more iPods, drinking fountain, and cubbies to keep our belongings. We were going to go through 3 'stations' during the next 30 minutes. 10 minutes in hair/makeup. 10 minutes with a vocal/performance coach. 10 minutes in the green room with the iPod for rehearsal. While one of us was at one station, the other 2 were in the other 2 stations. It worked out beautifully!

While I was in hair/makeup, the vocal coach room was right next to me. Kai was in there singing his little heart out. HOLY COW>>> he was phenomenal!! My session with the coach was, once again, intimidating!! He was extremely energetic, supportive, upbeat, and complimentary... it was just so intimate. Again, had to stretch out of my comfort zone. I was glad my last 10 minutes were quietly waiting in the green room. It gave me a chance to calm down and COMPLETELY appreciate what was going on. Such a whirlwind of activities!!!

Finally, it was time to get on stage. They walked us through every little detail. Completely spoon feeding us each little thing. We met our host and we each had a practice run of our song on the stage. As I was finishing up mine, Matt, Ty, Shae, Dean, Adrianna, and Abby came in to sit in the audience (They let family members/guests of the contestants in early for primo seats!!) I was SOOOO nervous when I saw Matt. He makes me more nervous than anyone!

Show time came up very quickly. Again, I was the first one on.. so I didn't have much time to get too nervous. I tried to remember all of the advice from the vocal/performance coach, and I tried not to think about Matt in the audience making me nervous... I did a pretty decent job.. for a 35 year old teacher/mommy from the midwest!!

The judges were complimentary... mostly about my smile The judge playing the 'Simon' role told me that my performance was 'condescending... like I was singing to a bunch of children.. and he wanted some milk and cookies and a nap'. I'm not sure if they knew what I did for a living, but he pretty much nailed my performance on the head. I spend every day talking to children, so I'm sure that's hard for me to get rid of!

The other two contestants were fabulous... Kai, of course... but the 14-year-old was REALLY REALLY good! In the end, she beat both of us! I know, right? Kai, the REAL American Idol, taken down by a 14-year-old! She was a sentimental favorite... she was cute, young, it was her birthday, and she truly was very talented!

While we were backstage, I was trying to figure out why Kai was here. I was assuming he wanted to win so he could get a front row pass to the next AI audition. HE said he was in FL for a cousin's wedding. He had NEVER been to Disney before. He had one day here, so he chose DHS. Then decided to audition. Not sure if I'm buying it. But, nonetheless... he was a VERY kind young man. Extremely polite, respectful, and humble. Seriously.. he was a professional next to me, but he had fun with the whole experience, like any other park goer.

So, why no pictures? Well, I gave Matt the camera, so I had none backstage with me. Then, during the show, he just got caught up in it all and didn't take any. Here is the only evidence (other than the paraphernalia I got to bring home)


Nice picture, right? That's me on the left, the winner in the middle, and Kai on the right.

When we left the theatre, my family and friends were there waiting for me. Tyson was a SOBBING MESS. He just couldn't believe that Mommy didn't win. My little guy... bless his heart... I just kept trying to explain to him that if I would've won, our whole evening would've been shot. It was GOOD that I didn't win!! It took him a while to recover!

Bottom line... I HAD A BLAST!!! It is something I will NEVER EVER forget doing!! When the host asked me, after I sang, how I felt, I just gushed into the microphone "I JUST SANG ON A STAGE IN DISNEYWORLD!!!!"

Next time, I promise, I'll take pictures. Hope you enjoyed the LONG story!

I'm sure I've left stuff out.. if you have any questions, let me know!

So... what's next. Oh YES!! We wrap up our last full day at Epcot... what else?
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Old 10-04-2009, 10:23 PM   #269
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Ohhh my gosh! Love it! What a great experience! even in the out of focus pic it looks great!!!! Sweet Tyson! Awww what a guy!
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:23 AM   #270
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very cool experience to read about, where are the pictures of the swag you got for competing
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