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Old 09-15-2009, 08:28 PM   #1
jana616
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"Stop drinking out of that puddle!"-our first family trip with 2 and 4 year olds!

Well, we did it! We survived (and mostly thrived) our first family trip to Disney World. If you are interested in learning more about us, or the planning of this trip, please feel free to read my PTR, http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2190617. We stayed at POP from 9/7-9/14, and enjoyed 7 days in the parks with free dining. And yes, one of my children did indeed drink out of a puddle. Don't you want to keep reading now?

The quick cast of characters was
-me, Jana, the planner and group leader. I celebrated my 32nd birthday the first day of the trip.
-my husband, Chad, the laid back, go with the flow daddy
-my older son, Griffin. He will be 5 in November, and the trip was really for him
-my younger son, Cooper, who is 26 months old. I just wanted him to not be unhappy!
-my mom, Kathie.
-Chad's mom, Sue. Both of the grandmas really wanted to come to be able to experience the kids' first trip, and we were thrilled to have the extra help!

And we're off! Sunday we tried to tucker the boys out as much as humanly possible, in the hopes they would sleep well that night. It mostly worked. Once they were asleep, I worked on packing up the last of things, and then Chad brought what we could down to the car. This was our room that evening.


Our alarm went off bright and early Monday morning at 4:30 am. We had both woken up on our own around 3:30, which actually made getting up easier. The plan was to do as much as possible, then ease the boys into the car and maybe get them a little more sleep. Not so much...Griffin woke up at 4:45 and came in to see if today was finally the day! He was very excited to hear that it was! One thing I am so glad we did was dress them in their clothes to sleep the night before. In the morning, Griffin just had to potty, and we changed Cooper's diaper when we got to the airport, so it was super easy getting them out the door. We loaded them into the car, then drove the 6 miles to my parents house. We picked up my mom, and my dad took over to drive us to the airport-our minivan was packed to the gills! We had originally thought of driving to WDW, and seeing the car packed up convinced me that it was the dumbest idea ever. So glad we flew!!

We met Sue at the curbside check-in, got our checked bags taken care of, and were off to security. We found out that somehow Sue had paid for 3 bags instead of one (she's a little ditzy!), so we were able to check two of our carry-ons. This was a nice surprise. Security was super easy, and I was surprised that they said we could take the kids' sippy cups of milk through.

We ate Munchkins and donuts while we waited, and a short while later, we heard the boarding call!

The flight was uneventful, which, when you're traveling with small kids, is perfect! Griffin sat with the grandmas, and Cooper sat with Chad and I. He was a little bored, and would have done much better with his carseat (we didn't want to haul it just for the plane). He watched a DVD about firetrucks for a while, and kind of hung out. Griffin was an angel. After only 2 hours, we were in Orlando at 9:17 am!!

We stopped to potty, and Griffin had the first of our week's tears when he banged his head on the stroller and cut his temple somehow. I put a band-aid on him, which was a lovely addition to our pictures the first couple of days! We found DME easily, and were ushered right onto a bus with no wait at all. Awesome.
Griffin and Grandma Sue

Grandma Kathie

Chad and Cooper

Me (taken by Griffin, who did pretty well!)

The ride was great and the kids liked the video. Around 10:30 we pulled into POP and went off to check-in.

I had done online check-in, and we had no wait at all to check-in. I had faxed some room requests a few days prior, and we were thrilled that all of them were honored. I hadn't specified a section, just top floor, quiet, connecting rooms that were hopefully ready early. All were met, and we were put in the 90's section, rooms 8422 and 8423. I wasn't thrilled with this since they were so far away from Classic Hall and the bus stops, but we quickly learned that if we walked through the parking lot, the walk wasn't bad at all. I got the water I had ordered from Costco, and we went off to find our rooms.

A long, meandering walk through several decades later, we made it to the big laptop icon and found our building. Our rooms were great, clean, and we had towel animals waiting in the windows.


I was able to take a couple quick pictures before the kids destroyed the room!

I'm going to take a break for the night, but will try to finish day 1 tomorrow. Up next, Crystal Palace, Spectromagic, Wishes, and two whiny kids!!
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2009 trip report-"Stop drinking out of that puddle"-our first family trip with 2 and 4 year olds!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2285467


2009 PTR! 100 Days til Our First Family Trip!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2190617

Last edited by jana616; 09-15-2009 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:07 PM   #2
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Hi! I happened to catch your PTR this morning and spent my evening reading through it! Woo-woo! Thrilled to catch the TR now!

I have two boys as well (4-1/2 and 18 mo) and we're leaving next week Tuesday, staying at AMu. We also have the free dining and lots of ADRs for the week/weekend.

Had to ask... people were getting upgraded to SSR or OKW from the Values? Hellooooo? Where was my phone call?! Wuahhh! I'd LOVE to get upgraded!

Anywho, your boys are precious and I can't wait to hear your trip. I'm glad you mentioned that your oldest loved BTMRR. I would love for mine to ride it, but am afraid he'll get scared and then not want to ride anything. I'm hoping to do it towards the end of the night.

We're also doing the Pirates League (DS4 is a big fan), so that's the big highlight of the trip.

Looking forward to more! YAY!
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:07 PM   #3
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I'm in. Can't wait for any updates.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate Chica View Post
Hi! I happened to catch your PTR this morning and spent my evening reading through it! Woo-woo! Thrilled to catch the TR now!

I have two boys as well (4-1/2 and 18 mo) and we're leaving next week Tuesday, staying at AMu. We also have the free dining and lots of ADRs for the week/weekend.

Had to ask... people were getting upgraded to SSR or OKW from the Values? Hellooooo? Where was my phone call?! Wuahhh! I'd LOVE to get upgraded!

Anywho, your boys are precious and I can't wait to hear your trip. I'm glad you mentioned that your oldest loved BTMRR. I would love for mine to ride it, but am afraid he'll get scared and then not want to ride anything. I'm hoping to do it towards the end of the night.

We're also doing the Pirates League (DS4 is a big fan), so that's the big highlight of the trip.

Looking forward to more! YAY!
Aww, thanks for the compliment about my boys. I know, I was seriously bummed when all the upgrades were happening and we didn't get one. But truly, while we were there I didn't even think about it. My oldest definitely did love BTMRR. Has yours ridden any fast ride like that before? Griffin did a roller coaster we have at our zoo about a week before we went, so I was pretty sure he'd love it. I would start with Goofy's Barnstormer first (it's short and more mild) and see how he does. If he likes it, you'll know to try BTMRR next.

We saw several kids who had done the Pirates League. They all looked so cool! He'll love it!

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I'm in. Can't wait for any updates.
Great, thanks! Hopefully I can actually get us to the MK in my next update tomorrow. All depends on how naptime goes!
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2009 trip report-"Stop drinking out of that puddle"-our first family trip with 2 and 4 year olds!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2285467


2009 PTR! 100 Days til Our First Family Trip!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2190617
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:06 PM   #5
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YAY!! I'm in!! Can't wait to hear more!!
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:55 AM   #6
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I am here now too. Cant wait to read more.
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:58 AM   #7
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We were in the 90's section too!

Did YOU have problems with hearing all the toilets flushing (like they were in your room) and showers running?????

I don't want to bash the entire resort for that one thing and maybe it was worse because we were on the ground floor

We had pretty cruddy sleep.....and yes we walked through the parking lot too. If it weren't for the nighttime noise I would recommend Pop but no can do now

Can't wait to hear about your trip
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Old 09-16-2009, 08:31 AM   #8
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Hey ! I'm here I'm here Great start so far. Can't wait to hear all about it...

So, can you please explain the benefits of online checkin?? I don't understand how it works. If you have a sec to explain, I would appreciate it
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:44 AM   #9
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Just found your TR and am loving it. Our YDS's are almost the same age and we are going in 10 days so I am excited to hear about your journey with him. I also found your tips and your packing list and copied them down to use
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladybugmom View Post
YAY!! I'm in!! Can't wait to hear more!!
Yay, thanks for sticking with me through the whole PTR and now joining me over here! And thanks for all your comments on the facebook photos, it was nice to know someone looked at them!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyof2Pirates View Post
I am here now too. Cant wait to read more.
It's coming, I promise. I'm going to work on the rest of day 1 now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabrielsbigtrip View Post
We were in the 90's section too!

Did YOU have problems with hearing all the toilets flushing (like they were in your room) and showers running?????

I don't want to bash the entire resort for that one thing and maybe it was worse because we were on the ground floor

We had pretty cruddy sleep.....and yes we walked through the parking lot too. If it weren't for the nighttime noise I would recommend Pop but no can do now

Can't wait to hear about your trip
That's so funny, I wonder if we saw each other! We did hear toilets flushing (not so much showers), but I remembered reading on here to close your bathroom door, and that helped a lot. We also had a white noise machine, and that helped too. I think being on the top floor made things much quieter. I bet you heard showers above you, but we didn't have that problem, you know? We had pretty cruddy sleep, but it had more to do with Griffin kicking me in the shins (I slept with him, and Chad slept in the other bed in an effort to keep Cooper from climbing out of the pack n play next to it), and Cooper woke up several times a night coughing or singing, and Griffin apparently yells things in his sleep (did not know this!). My favorite was "I need my lunch back!" at 2:30 am. He doesn't even eat, ever, so that was really funny!

I would definitely recommend POP. My biggest problem was the food court, which I found crowded and chaotic most of the time. But our rooms were clean and comfortable, and every employee we encountered was awesome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyTiger View Post
Hey ! I'm here I'm here Great start so far. Can't wait to hear all about it...

So, can you please explain the benefits of online checkin?? I don't understand how it works. If you have a sec to explain, I would appreciate it
Yay, glad you're here! The only real benefit of online checkin that I found (but I've never done it any other way, so I have nothing to compare to), was that all our stuff was ready as soon as we walked up. We'd put a CC on our room already, they had all our info, our packets were totally ready. Plus there was no line, but there was at the regular checkin. You CAN'T make building/room requests online (just fridge or pack n play, and even then the PnP wasn't in our room, Chad had to go get it), but I faxed that ahead of time and it seemed to work. HTH! Let me know if you want more info!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan_&_Blake's_mom View Post
Just found your TR and am loving it. Our YDS's are almost the same age and we are going in 10 days so I am excited to hear about your journey with him. I also found your tips and your packing list and copied them down to use
Welcome!! If there is anything specific you want to know about going with a 2 year old, just ask. Honestly, he had fun, but I didn't feel like he got that much out of it. He liked meeting the characters at meals, and he LOVED the splash areas at each park. He also really, really loved the Nemo ride. That was fun to see, him actually begging to go on again because he loved it. Once we figured out he was allowed to steer his car on the Speedway at MK, he LOVED that too. Oh, he really liked IASW too. But other than that, he just kind of went along for the show. He took a solid 1 1/2 to 2 hour nap each day in the stroller. Our plan had been to take breaks, but they were so wired by the time we got back to the room, we wasted 45 minutes getting them sleepy. Easier to just let him crash when tired.

Glad the tips, etc. were helpful! You must be getting so excited!!
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2009 trip report-"Stop drinking out of that puddle"-our first family trip with 2 and 4 year olds!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2285467


2009 PTR! 100 Days til Our First Family Trip!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2190617
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:00 PM   #11
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Arrival Day, continued!

When we left off, we had arrived at our room around 11:15 am, and the kids were wound up! We'd promised them swimming and lunch, then a nap. We really wanted to stay through Spectromagic at 9 pm that night, since it would be our only chance to see it. My hope was that if we all took a rest for a couple of hours, the kids would make it.

We had signed up for a fridge swap, so the grandmas took the kids to start swimming while Chad and I got the fridge from the nice gentleman who had it before us. It was kind of a pain, we had to check out a cart, wheel it back to the room, drop off the fridge, then drop off the cart. Whew...worth it for a free fridge though! While we were doing all this, we realized the pack n play we requested wasn't in the room. So Chad went to the front desk, and I went to help the grandmas with two very hyper boys.

I met up with them at Goofy's Splash Fountains, which were really cute.




After a little while, we headed over to the kiddie pool. Can I just say that my boys loved this pool all week? Perfect for their age, cute, and they loved the water jets shooting up. They had a blast!



When Chad got done retrieving the Pack n Play, he and I went to get us and the kids lunch, and bring it back to the tables by the pool. We figured this would avoid meltdowns about having to stop swimming. We told the grandmas we'd be right back. Well...that food court was insane! It was 12:15, prime eating time, and it was so chaotic and crowded. Plus it was our first meal, so trying to figure out what was a CS credit was a little complicated. Eventually we did figure it out, but we were both exhausted! I got the Chicken Penne Alfredo with Tie Dye Cheesecake for dessert, Chad got the Shrimp Lo Mein and a blueberry muffin, and we got the kids a kid's cheeseburger meal to share. It was all really good. It took us so long the grandmas thought we'd been abducted, but eventually they got their food as well, and we all sat and ate poolside, which was nice.

Around 1 p.m. I took the boys back to the room for a nap. This was where the first meltdown of the day (mine!) was about to occur. Chad was going to stay by the pool and relax-I wanted a nap! Well, after the winding walk back to our room, I discovered that the luggage people had plopped our suitcases immediately in front of the door (not so cool when you're pushing a stroller into the room), and Chad had dumped the pack n play onto the bed without setting it up. So I had two wet, tired, cranky boys, I wanted them to take a nap so we could go to the MK already, and the room was a disaster. Oh, and Chad was off sunning himself by the pool. I got cranky too! After moving stuff, setting stuff up, and finding them clothes, I went to put them down, only to discover that they were absolutely wired! Like literally bouncing off the walls! I could see the whole plan going down the drain for the day, so I turned into Mean Mommy. You know, the one who yells at her kids for having too much fun at Disney World? It wasn't pretty, but by 2:15 they were both out. I rested a little, but Cooper woke up at 3:30, waking Griffin up too, of course.

I called everyone to get ready. My mom had rested in the connecting room next door, and Chad and his mom had relaxed by the pool. My Ridemax plan had us getting to the Magic Kingdom at 4 p.m. (what I thought was a reasonable goal), but it was 4:25 before we even left our room! This was when I quickly realized that planning only takes you so far, and I needed to just let go of my Type A ways and go a little more with the flow. I really did very well with this for the rest of the week. At least, that's what I say!

Finally, we were on our way to the Magic Kingdom!

Note: sorry there haven't been too many pictures. I really did take over 1100, so there will be more, I promise!
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2009 trip report-"Stop drinking out of that puddle"-our first family trip with 2 and 4 year olds!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2285467


2009 PTR! 100 Days til Our First Family Trip!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2190617
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:27 PM   #12
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First Stop: Magic Kingdom!

We headed to the bus stop, and waited only a minute or two before a MK bus pulled up. Our first time loading the kids, strollers, and stuff onto the bus was a bit of an adventure, but none of us really minded. We were finally on our way!!

We got there, and I went to Guest Relations to get my Birthday Fun Card ($79 gift card). I had my birthday button on, and it was so fun to be wished Happy Birthday by everyone we came across. Those cast members were all over it! We made our way through bag check and the turnstiles, and who was waiting for us? Pluto!

What a fun bit of pixie dust. There was no one around him, and it was literally like he was just waiting for us to get there and visit with him.

We decided to at least start by following the Ridemax plan, although we were a full hour later than the start time. It had us getting Buzz Lightyear fast passes first, so we were off to Tomorrowland. Here's our first glimpse of the castle.

I wish I could say the boys were impressed, but they didn't find it very cool. They're boys, after all!

This is where the plan went out the window, but not in a bad way. We couldn't find the FP return time, so we just got them. Then we learned it was less than 10 minute stand-by line. Oops! So we went ahead ahead and rode. My mom kicked some Zurg butt! She was really good. I, on the other hand, was terrible.



Next up was, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. We all really liked it, although Cooper got restless after 10 minutes or so. He loved the beginning when Mike Wazowski keeps getting hurt though! Strange child! Then we headed back to Buzz, and used our fast passes for a second ride.

We were getting ready to head to Crystal Palace for our 6:30 ADR when we ran into Rafiki. He was just getting into position, so we were the second family to meet him. The Lion King is my all-time favorite Disney movie, so I was excited! The boys broke out their autograph books, and we got some pictures.



I checked in at CP, and the boys enjoyed watching the ducks while we waited to be called.


Only a few minutes later, we were seated at our table, and the characters started coming by. First up was Tigger.


Then Eeyore (my favorite Pooh character, so Chad took my pic too!)



Then Piglet, whom the boys just loved for some reason!


We were able to go up to the buffet in between, but they came pretty fast and furious, and I was worried I would miss one. The food was good, and it's really pretty inside with all the glass windows.



I love the topiaries too!




They did the parade, which was cute
, and then brought out a birthday cake my mom had ordered for me ahead of time. This was so sweet, but a total waste of money. We were stuffed, so we only each tried a sliver. We brought the rest back with us, but were never hungry enough to eat it the whole week! Still, such a sweet idea!


Finally, Pooh himself stopped by!


We finished our meal around 8 pm, a little later than I had expected. I found that all of our character meals took longer than I would have expected, but the break was nice on the hot, muggy night.

Up next: Spectro and Wishes!
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2009 trip report-"Stop drinking out of that puddle"-our first family trip with 2 and 4 year olds!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2285467


2009 PTR! 100 Days til Our First Family Trip!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2190617
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:29 PM   #13
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Spectro and Wishes

We all left Crystal Palace stuffed and ready for the rest of the night. It was 8 pm, and so far, the kids were doing great. We decided to play it by ear and see how long they stayed happy.

We headed over to Adventureland, stopping first to grab a picture of the Castle at night. It's just so pretty!

We walked right on Aladdin's Magic Carpets. The boys loved this ride, so we did it a second time!



We rode the Jungle Cruise, which the adults thought was funny and the kids found only mildly interesting. It was around 8:45, so we stopped to decide where to watch Spectro, and finally wandered back to Liberty Square. We stopped right in front of Hall of Presidents. I would highly recommend this spot to anyone. The air conditioning blasted out of HOP onto our backs, which was awesome! They had the rope up on either side of the entrance, so we hung out in the second row of spectators there. But right before it started, they put up the rope in front of the entrance as well. So we darted over there and got a front row view. Unfortunately, other people crowded in as well and kind of smushed us, but still, the spot was perfect! I held Cooper and Chad took pictures, but I'll only post a few.



We loved Spectro, and I'm glad we stayed to watch it. In hindsight, though, I think we would have been better off going back right after it. Instead, we decided to go ahead and push things and stay for Wishes as well. I broke out the lollipops for the kids, and we headed down Main Street to be closer to the exit. We stopped right in front of the Watch Shop, which was a fine location. I loved Wishes, but Cooper was very much done by that point. Once they started he watched, but I don't think he enjoyed them!





As soon as they were over, we hightailed it to the buses. Luckily we got there ahead of most of the crowd, and we waited only a few minutes for a bus. We made it to the hotel, got the kids off to bed, and crashed as well in just a little while. We had a 7:20 wake-up call for the Magic Kingdom the next morning!

Up next: the story of the puddle-drinking...it's even worse than it sounds!
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2009 trip report-"Stop drinking out of that puddle"-our first family trip with 2 and 4 year olds!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2285467


2009 PTR! 100 Days til Our First Family Trip!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2190617

Last edited by jana616; 09-17-2009 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:20 PM   #14
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What an amazing first day and birthday. I too love eeyore. He is my all time favorite. I was cracking up at your not so nice mommy moment. Yes we all have them. It somehow escalates when you know your husband is just lounging somewhere. I was reading this and my boys are here with me and ryan was asking me who you were. I was explaining how I have been talking to you about disney and you were just there. I told him griffin was his age and had a great time. He is so sweet he asked if we can come see you. I told him you live far away from us and he said "thats ok will just fly on an airplane" Gotta love kids. they just think life is so easy. I wish I could go back to that age again, where there are no worries.

Well I cant wait to hear how the next day went.
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:47 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by mommyof2Pirates View Post
What an amazing first day and birthday. I too love eeyore. He is my all time favorite. I was cracking up at your not so nice mommy moment. Yes we all have them. It somehow escalates when you know your husband is just lounging somewhere. I was reading this and my boys are here with me and ryan was asking me who you were. I was explaining how I have been talking to you about disney and you were just there. I told him griffin was his age and had a great time. He is so sweet he asked if we can come see you. I told him you live far away from us and he said "thats ok will just fly on an airplane" Gotta love kids. they just think life is so easy. I wish I could go back to that age again, where there are no worries.

Well I cant wait to hear how the next day went.
Oh, I know, life is so simple at 4! If you want to see someone, hop on a plane. I bet they'd get along great. Ryan is going to have such a wonderful time. I think that age is absolutely perfect to get the magic of it.
And yep, I had some serious Mommy Guilt over screaming at my children to shut up and lay down while we were at the happiest (or is it most magical?) place on earth. Luckily we improved, and I only had one other Mean Mommy moment all week that I can think of. Of course, maybe I've blocked them out!

I'm going to try to get to the next day soon, maybe tomorrow. I barely remember now what we did each day (and I definitely don't remember the order), so I need to get it written down soon. I feel like I should get as much as possible done before you go! I know I'd want to read yours before I went, if you'd gone first!

Oh, I got the postcards in the mail today. Crossing my fingers that they get there by Saturday-I bet they will!
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2009 trip report-"Stop drinking out of that puddle"-our first family trip with 2 and 4 year olds!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2285467


2009 PTR! 100 Days til Our First Family Trip!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2190617
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