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Old 10-07-2009, 01:02 PM   #1
tricia
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First Time Free Dining and AKL Sept. 26 - Oct. 3

OK, first off, the cast.


Me, DH (Bill) and Sons Liam (12) and Ty (8)
Also DSIL Barb, DBIL Gilles and kids Vicky (20) and Zach (9)

This is the only pic on my camera with me in it. I guess I will have to get the pics off of Vic's camera too.
I am the main Disney lover, but my boys (all 3 of them) tell me 'you did this to me' everytime they find a hidden mickey, mention something about WDW etc.



Bill


Oooh, bad pic. Oh well, he never reads the boards.

Had never been out of Canada till we married. I took him to WDW for our honeymoon. Even though it was over 4th of July weekend, he loved it. We had been booked to stay at Caribbean Beach, but they had just built WL, so they upgraded us to there. We had a king bed room on the first floor just by the pool. (Talk about spoiling him on his first trip)

Liam (12)



I thought he might grow bored, or get too old for Disney, but I should not have worried. He still loves it just as much.


Tyler (8)



Still a baby in my mind. Loves everything Disney, but is a big Chicken poop when it comes to rides.

Barb DSIL


That's her on the left. Another bad pic. I don;t take many pics of the adults, the kids are much cuter.

First time to WDW, only second time out of Canada.

Gilles DBIL

First time to WDW, although he did live in Florida for a while.

Zach (9)

First Vacation ever, had never even flown before.



Vicky (20)

First time to WDW, although has been in Florida.




OK, well I want to see how that looks, so this is it for the introductions. Next up, getting there.
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Last edited by tricia; 10-08-2009 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 10-07-2009, 01:34 PM   #2
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Getting There

We flew out of Buffalo (which means a 10 hour drive for us to get there), since the price from there was $740 for our family of 4, and the price from here was $3900 for our family of 4. So, even with the extra day at each end, gas, meals and hotels, we are still like $2700 ahead by doing it this way. Since there were 8 of us we took 2 vehicles. My family and Zach in the minivan (for better movie watching capabilities), and the other 3 in Gilles’ Pickup.

The drive down was uneventful as was the border crossing. Arrived at the Clarion in Buffalo about 7:30pm. I checked everyone in, and then Vicky and I took off to Joanne’s and Walmart to fabric shop before they closed. The rest of the crew went for a swim and ordered Picassos pizza for dinner. I picked up some Disney fabric since I can’t get any here. Nothing special, just some princesses, mickey, and pooh stuff for my stash. Oh, and Halloween print that I just loved, but don’t have any plans for yet.

Barb’s family did not book at the same time as us, and so ended up booking Delta instead of the SW direct flight we had. We flew out of Buffalo at 7:55am, and landed at MCO by 10:30am. Little bit of turbulence, but nothing major. Orlando was hot and sticky (surprise, surprise). We took ME to AKL and arrived there by about 12:30. The plan was to go to Downtown Disney and see Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs in 3D at the AMC theatre there. (We don’t get the 3D movies where I live either) Kids decided they just wanted to swim at the pool. Trouble was, I hadn’t packed the bathing suits in the carry on cause the plan was to go to the movies.

We had never stayed at AKL. We got a Pool View Bunk Bed room. Exactly what I had asked for. It was on the second floor. I generally prefer a higher floor, but this way we never had to take an elavator. One floor down for pool level, and one floor up for lobby.





And we had a room that connects. No problem from a noise point of view, but it made the table and chairs really, really cramped, cause everything was shoved down there to make room for the door. (which is just off this pic to the right)
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Old 10-07-2009, 01:52 PM   #3
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First Evening in WDW

We went down to the Mara for lunch, and wandered around a bit, and I got the postcards for Tadamom, then we went back to the room and I wrote out the post cards and the kids watched some TV. As I was done and was ready to go mail them out, the luggage arrived, so we quickly changed and went down to the pool. I had made us an ADR at Kona for dinner, so after the swim we headed over there. Dinner was great and so was dessert.



By now the kids were itching to go into a park (they have a hard time being at Disney and not DOING SOMETHING) So, we took the monorail over to MK and headed in. It was pretty busy cause it was a Sat. night and Spectro and Wishes were that night too.





We walked over to BTMRR, but stopped at POTC first as the wait was only 10 minutes. Then we got FP for BTMRR, and headed over to HM using the bridge path, as the street was very busy cause Specto was starting soon. Rode HM and went back to use our BTMRR FP.




Just at the end of the ride it started to rain lightly. We decided that was enough cause it had been a long day and I was supposed to meet Barb and her family at ASSp and started to head out of the parks. Well, by the time we reached the bus stops it was a torrential downpour. We were soaked.
I took the bus to ASSp to meet Barb etc. Just as I got off the bus I rec’d a txt from Barb ‘ well, we are lost already, we are supposed to be in room xxxx in the Hoops bldg” I headed over that way and found them at the back of the surf’s up building just heading towards Hoops. I brought them to their room. Then brought them back to the food court to show them where to catch the bus the next morning and explain a bit how the dining plan worked as they were hungry. I took a cab back to AKL for $7.15, as I didn’t want the hassle of taking a bus and transferring etc.
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:04 AM   #4
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Animal Kingdom Park

We got there just at opening and met Barb’s family without any trouble. I gathered up everyone’s tickets cause I would be the FP runner. So I sent them with Bill to meet me at KS, while I ran past EE to get FP. Lots of animals out at KS, actually got to see the cheetahs for the first time.










Then we walked the jungle trek and went back to use our FP’s on EE. Oh, I forgot to mention, on my way from EE to KS, this is how many people I saw.



But I did see some of the wild life.







Sorry, forgot about the lense fog in the humidity.


We had lunch at the Yak & Yeti CS place. I had the Shrimp Lo Mein. Everything was great. The Kung Po was very spicy, and the guys really liked it. I had gotten a FP for KRR before lunch so we headed there. Did Dinosaur 2x, and Primeval Whirl 2x and It’s tough to be a Bug, all as walk ons. It rained a bit on and off in the afternoon. It was getting hot and rainy and we had ADR at Boma that night so we headed to AKL early to change and have a swim before dinner.

The AKL pool is great, and the kids always had a good time on the slide.

Dinner at Boma was excellent (except for the 45 min wait). This was the meal I was most worried about. I knew my family would be OK, but I worried if Barb’s family would be as adventurous. They ended up loving it and asked if we could eat there again. Of course, since this was free dining we could not get anything on such short notice. They took a cab back to ASSp and we agreed to meet at DHS before opening the following day.
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Last edited by tricia; 10-08-2009 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:12 AM   #5
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Nice trip report! Can't wait to hear more.
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:27 PM   #6
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Disney’s Hollywood Studios

We met before opening and headed in. It was still before 9:00am, so we had to wait a little longer for the show on the street to be over. Now of course everyone wants to ride TSMM, so Ty and I headed straight there to get FPs. We sent the others to do RnRC in the meantime, since Ty does not ride this. Yep, the line up for FPs seemed longer then the ride line, but within about 15 minutes we had FPs with a return time of about 10:30am. Headed over to meet the rest of the crew and ride ToT. Ty does not do this either, so Bill stayed with him while I rode. Barb really did not like this, and was practically crying at the end. She really doesn’t like that falling feeling, but had promised her son she would try everything once.

Ate at the Studio Catering place, but not a thing that Ty would eat. So, I ran to Pizza planet, grabbed a pizza for him and came back to eat with everyone. (I know, ½ of you think I am spoiling him rotten and the other ½ think I am mother of the year, but I don’t want to fight with him over what he eats on vacation, so this is the easiest way.)

After lunch (at 12:00) I ran to get another FP for TSMM, but missed it by like 5 minutes, they had just run out. I was a little ticked at myself, cause I had waited twice that long for everyone else to finish eating and get going, so I could have gotten them had I just gone by myself. Anyway, we did ToT, RnRC, and Barb & Ty did Muppets. Then LMA at the 2:00pm show. I headed over to the Jedi Training Academy with the little ones to try and get them in the show. They had on their Star Wars Shirts.



At the show we were at they only picked really, really little ones. There was no one over the age of 6 on the stage. I was a little disappointed, but the kids had fun watching anyway. We rode Star Tours 2x. By now it was almost time for our Mama Melrose ADR, so we started over there. We arrived in the area early, so we caught Muppets, then had dinner.

Dinner was great, and DH was very happy cause he got to have Tira Misu for dessert. Everyone still wanted to do TSMM again, and Vicky wanted to do ToT. So, her and Gilles went to ToT, on FPs I had gotten earlier, and the rest of us went to Standby on TSM. The sign said 50 Min. and it took 50 min. Go figure. We exited just at closing at 7:00 pm. Met up with Gilles and Vic and left for the day.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:37 PM   #7
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Epcot

Met up at Epcot first thing. Vicky was a bit sick of the crowds, so she did not come with us this day. She also wasn’t feeling well, so she stayed at the hotel and sat by the pool, and surfed the internet, etc.

I gathered the tickets again and ran for FP for soarin while the others were walking to TT to meet me. We did TT and MS as walkons, then grabbed a FP for TT for later, then over to Soarin for our FP. Everyone loved this ride. Over to the Seas, and did the Nemo ride and then Crush. Back to Sunshine Seasons for Lunch.

I must say that I was really disappointed in the kids dessert choices at all of the CS locations. Last time we were there we were at least able to get Ty a brownie here and there, but this time it was only prepackaged fruit, or a small cookie. Ty is the biggest chocolate eater of all of us, but he was stuck with the worst desserts. I had to share with him most times, or promise him popcorn soon after. (behind chocolate, popcorn is his second favourite food.

Everyone else had a great lunch. We ended up just staying in Future World for the rest of the day. The heat was intolerable, so we tried to stay in all indoor rides, Figment, HISTA, Universe of Energy, Spaceship Earth. Should have gone back for a swim, but by the time we thought of that it was too late cause of our 6:00pm at Le Cellier. Anyway, the crew thought I did a good job of keeping them on cool stuff most of the time.

Le Cellier was great. I had the Mushroom Risotto, and Bill had one of the Chef’s Specials, so I got some of his Cheddar Cheese Soup as well. Talk about win-win. Zach started to feel a little sick at dinner, so they went back to the resort as soon as we were done. We were still OK, so went and staked out a spot for Illuminations. The guys stayed put while I took off to Mousegears to try to buy a Swim Suit for Liam. He had ripped his in the pool, and our resort had only small and XXL, and Liam is somewhere in between that. I could not find a Swim Suit anywhere. We watched Illuminations, Bill video taped it. It is his favourite fireworks show. Then headed back to the resort. I think we were all tucked in bed by 10:30, so not too bad.

I had told Barb’s family that we could sleep in a bit tomorrow, as they seemed to be getting really tired. Their idea of a vacation is to relax. We had another MK day planned for later in the trip anyway.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:42 PM   #8
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Magic Kingdom

So, we slept in a bit today. That meant waking at 8 instead of 7:30am. We brought the kids to the pool for a quick dip and I ran to Mara to pick up 2 big breakfasts with 4 drinks and we shared off of that.

We ended up getting to MK by about 10am, and there were hardly any crowds. I got FPs for splash and they were for 40 min later. Rode BTMRR stand by and then did the same with splash. Then got another set of FP for BTMRR. Ran back to the entrance to Adventureland to meet up with Barb’s Family. Went on Pirates, and the got FP for Jungle cruise. (FP were 40 minutes ahead for everything, so I just kept getting them as soon as my window opened)

We broke for lunch around 11:30 and tried CHH for the first time. Food was really good, I had the fish, kids and Bill had the chicken. I ran to get FP for Peter Pan (it was for 1.5 hrs later, ) Did HM, JC, SM, BTMRR. Head on over to Fantasyland for Peter Pan, Small World, Philharmagic. (I told them they could not say they had been to WDW if they hadn’t done Small World) Getting closer to dinner, so started heading towards front of the park. Hit Buzz and Stitch on the way out. Dinner tonight was at Chef Mickeys. Everything was good as usual. First couple of characters were there before we got up to get food. Then we had some time to eat, and had to wait a bit after eating to catch the last couple of characters.





Headed back to MK so that we could catch Specto and Wishes. Turns out no one really wanted to see a parade, so we did a couple of more rides (Astro Orbiter, Buzz, Laugh Floor) and then found a spot for the fireworks.



Back to the resort to sleep cause Epcot tomorrow.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:46 PM   #9
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Epcot

Well, I guess I tired out Barb and her family. They texted me that they were sleeping in and would meet us later. They did end up meeting us, but wanted to do different stuff, so we split up for the day.

The plan today is to do a bit of Future World, and then head to the WS to snack around the world with F & W festival snacks for lunch. So we FP Soarin, did TT and MS, and then back to Soarin. Then on to the F & W festival. Bill, Liam and I grabbed a snack and shared it at several of the booths. All were really good. I grabbed some chicken nuggets and Nachos for Ty at the Mexico CS. Then we did a Kim Possible Mission. Very cool. Quite time consuming, and if it was cooler, or we had more days to spend we would have done more missions.

We circled the WS quickly so that we could go back to the resort for a swim.

After the swim we headed back to Epcot for dinner at Teppan Edo. Stopped to use our FP for TT first. Dinner was really good and the kids loved the antics of the chef. Tyler didn’t remember being here before as he was quite young the last time. Tired afterwards, so we hustled out of the park before Illuminations started.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:51 PM   #10
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Magic Kingdom – Last Day

The main plan today was to see the Jack Sparrow thingy and ride a couple of rides before heading back for a swim. Barb and Family woke up all tired and cranky so they told us to go on ahead. So, we did TTA, Buzz and Stitch and then headed to CP for brunch. It was all very good. We had all breakfast, and they were just starting to put the lunch stuff out when we were leaving. The character interaction was good, but we don’t need much as my boys are just about beyond caring about that.



Walked to POTC just in time to see a Jack show already in progress. I asked a CM what time to be back at and he told me 12:15. So we rode POTC and BTMRR to kill time.



Went back around noon to wait for the show.

Now, Tyler had on a shirt that I had made him with a large Jack Sparrow on the back, and Will Turner on the front. I was really hoping for him to get picked. He was very proud of the shirt and showed the CM right away. Then when Jack came he turned his back to Jack to show the shirt. I wasn’t sure but I thought Jack kept looking back at Ty. When it came time to pick some kids for the fight tutorial Tyler was picked first. Then he picked 3 other kids. The other 3 kids did their mini sword fight with the other pirate, Mac, but when it was Tyler’s turn Jack said that he got to fight him. Then he turned Tyler’s back to the crowd and said, “now who is that handsome devil on the back of your shirt? Oh, look at that, it’s me!”


Then Tyler got to do the mini sword fight with Jack himself.



When they picked a bunch of others Liam was picked also to take the oath. That was kinda nice, cause he is 12, so he still enjoys all the magic of Disney, but he is 5’4”, and is often mistaken for older. They actually picked a couple of adults here too.





Well, that was our goal accomplished for the day. Back to the resort for a swim.

On the way to the resort Bill sees one of the DVC ads and says, we should really look into that. I’m thinking, whoa, who are you?!?!? I bring him over to the booth once we get to AKL and he gets some info and books us to be picked up at 4:30 and then dropped at Polynesian afterwards for our dinner.

We all went for a swim and then got ready for our tour and dinner. The DVC tour was great, and I think that we could really like it, but not this year. We just found out we need to replace our chimney and our shingles, so no room in the budget right now. I think I will keep the info and look again next year though.

We met up with Barb and family for dinner at ‘Ohana. Barb had checked us in already (she is learning fast) so we were seated almost as soon as we got there. Again, since I don’t like to push Tyler to eat stuff he doesn’t like on vacation I let him order the chicken nuggets. Everything was great. I didn’t like the noodles so much, but everything else was wonderful. (oh, and I don’t like the bread pudding either, but everyone else did) So sad, that is it for our vacation. Got back to the resort and packed up for departure tomorrow.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:56 PM   #11
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Leaving

Our plane left at 11:30, so we had the 8:30 ME scheduled. Worked well for us, not getting up in the middle of the night to make a 4:00am ME as we have done before. Flights and shuttles were uneventful. Back at the Clarion in Buffalo for the night. Bill, Liam, Gilles and Barb went to see the Sabres vs. Canadiens. Me, Vic, Zach and Ty stayed back, swam, went to walmart and watched a movie.

I guess that sums it up. I don’t have any of the photopass pics yet, so you have to settle for the ones I took.

If you have any questions feel free to ask. I have never done a whole trip report before, so am probably leaving out a ton of stuff people could be interested in.
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:50 PM   #12
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sounds like a great trip! Nice score on the direct flights from Buffalo - we had trouble finding those, so we are leaving from Detroit. Your trip and my upcoming one sound so similar - AKL, Boma, Le Cellier, Teppan Edo, Chef Mickey's and O'Hanna!!! Oh, and a fellow Ontarian! Glad it worked out so well for your crew. If you have any pool pictures, I'd love to see them.
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