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Old 10-02-2009, 05:57 AM   #16
jdd
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Okay - second try at Epcot day!

Rope drop for Epcot was at 9am, do we were able to sleep in (a little!). I had brought my Mickey waffle iron, so this was the morning to make Mickey waffles! Another blurry picture, but you get the idea...



We drove over to Epcot and made it right in time for rope drop. Soarin' was first on the list. The line for FP was enormous, so we went ahead and rode (about a 10-15 minute wait) and then picked up FP on the way out. Once again, CJ (who laughed/giggled/smiled through the entire ride) declared that he didn't like Soarin' and wouldn't ride it again! What's up with this kid??

The line at Test Track was much too long (30 minutes - and my kids are spoiled) so Brad and I rode Mission Space while the other three hit the Advanced Training Lab. After that we decided to spend the rest of the morning at Innoventions (the kids' favorite area!).

The Great Piggy Bank Adventure is new, and really fun, but Brad and Ed's favorite thing was starring in their own video game. This is really cute, and you can log on and play it when you get home. We also did Don't Waste It! and made velcro frogs. We grabbed FPs for Test Track, then headed to the Electric Umbrella for a quick lunch.

After lunch, we used our Soarin' FPs (Dad took CJ to Imagination while we rode, and I took him to Living Seas while they rode - still being a stinker!) We met up at Spaceship Earth (one of my favorites). Then the boys decided they wanted to do Nemo, so we headed back there, and spent a good hour just looking at the fish tanks. By 3pm we were all ready for a break.

This is the only photo I got all day - I tend to start having fun, and forget to take pictures!!
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March 2002, May 2003, Nov 2007 - ASMo, Nov 2005 - CSR, April 2007 - CBR, Oct 2008 - POR, Aug 2009 - FW Cabins/Beach Club, Dec 2009 - ASSp (mom/son trip), Aug-Sept 2010-POR/Poly CL, Sept 2011-Poly (mom/son trip), May2012-CBR(anniversary trip), Aug2012-WWoHP and AKL-Kidani, Aug2013-PolyCL, Feb2014-CBR, Feb2015-CBR, Aug2015-PolyCL
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Old 10-02-2009, 06:33 AM   #17
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Sorry for the interruption - had to get the kids up for school!

So, we got back to the resort around 3pm, and hung out at the cabins pool for a couple of hours. Then we did a quickie dinner of hot dogs and mac n cheese.

Quick note here - for our family, I would not do the dining plan when staying in the cabins. It's much easier for us to do breakfasts, and several dinners "at home". My kids aren't big eaters, so a hot dog or grilled cheese sandwich is great for them for dinner. And we really liked grabbing a bowl of cereal (or Mickey waffles) before we got to the parks. If we stay in the cabins again (and I'm sure we will - it was everyone's favorite resort so far!), I'll look for a room discount, not the free dining. Just my opinion...

Dad and Brad decided to head back to Epcot around 6:30 (it's their favorite park). Ed had been asking since we arrived when he could do the campfire, so we decided to do that. This is a really great activity if you have time. There were lots of kids - my guys found friends right away - the sing-a-long is fun and it was a neat way to get a couple character autographs (Chip and Dale). Ed loved the campfire too - toasted lots of marshmellows! It was a laid-back evening, really relaxing - something we don't normally do in Disney. We didn't stay for the movie - it was Wall-E which isn't a favorite, and we had an early morning breakfast at Crystal Palace, so we wanted to get to bed. I did take pictures - but with my phone (as DH had the camera with him!) and I can't figure out how to upload them....

I think everyone was in bed by 9:30, which was awesome since we had our second day at MK coming up....
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Old 10-02-2009, 03:01 PM   #18
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Now we're up to day 3 at WDW, and we're back to MK. I wanted to get our MK days in before Free Dining hit on Sunday, the 16th, and the crowds increased (which they did!)

We were able to get an 8:10 Crystal Palace reservation (we do CP every year) which allowed us early entry to the park. We were up early, and once again drove to the TTC and got a monorail to the park. We arrived about 7:45, and only waited a few minutes before we were allowed in. It is really cool being in the park in the early morning - there were still people, but no crowds, and we were able to get some great pictures!



the first time I've gotten the kids with Roy and Minnie:


The kids were in rare form - really hamming it up! Here're my baseball fans:





And some cool shots of the little statues around the Walt/Mickey statue:







Then, the shots of the castle itself...




add the boys,


Ed is my map-reader...


This one, I think, is actually from Thursday, but it's a cute picture, so I'm putting it in here!


Had to get a crowd (or lack of) shot:


Also took some pics on the walkway in to CP


We had a great breakfast at CP, but the kids don't eat enough at breakfast to really justify it. We usually do lunch or dinner there, and I think we'll stick to that in the future. However, hitting the park before opening is definitely worth doing at least once. And DH and I filled up! The characters, as always, were fabulous!







Around 8:55, we still hadn't seen Tigger, or gotten our check, but everyone was finished, so DH took Brad and Ed to BTMRR and Splash. CJ and I waited for Tigger:



and then headed over to Dumbo. I know it's a silly carnival ride, but there's just something about riding Dumbo on a bright Florida morning, with the Castle in view and the whole day at MK ahead of you.....no, I didn't cry, but had a goofy grin on my face the whole time!

Unfortunately, my TR falls apart a bit here - I was sure I kept my "journal" each day, but I can't find the page for our second MK day! Basically, in no specific order, we did Jungle Cruise, POTC, Peter Pan, Philharmagic, Winnie the Pooh, Snow White, the Barnstormer, and Buzz Lightyear. Then we headed over to Toontown, and CJ really wanted to see Mickey and Minnie. I took him through Mickey's house and waited in line in the Judge's tent. This turned out to be our longest wait of the entire trip - at least 45 minutes! He was an angel, though - I kept asking if he was sure he wanted to wait, and he kept saying yes... In my opinion, this wasn't the best character interaction we've ever gotten (the Mickey at DHS last year was phenomenal!), but he was happy and we got our pics:







The whole family then took a leisurely walk through Mickey and Minnie's houses. I have to take this picture every year - we have a really cute one of Ed from our first trip in 2002 - he was 1 1/2.



We stopped around 1:30 for a quick lunch at Cosmic Ray's (another tradition). It was getting pretty hot by then, and we needed the break. We actually saw a girl pass out in Cosmic Ray's - the paramedics came, but it seemed to be a case of dehydration. I came very close to this myself on Sunday (more on that later!)

After lunch, we went on the Carousel of Progress - another closet favorite of everyone's - and then hopped on the railroad. CJ decided he was done for the day, but we still had FPs for Splash and BTMRR, so DH took him back to the resort, and the rest of us rode over to Frontierland and used up our FPs. We also got more for Splash, in case we decided to go back after dinner. We were whipped by then (the heat starting to get to us) so we took the ferry back to the resort.
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Old 10-02-2009, 03:17 PM   #19
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great reoprt so far, thanks
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:37 PM   #20
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Okay, so I left off on our second MK day - middle of the day break. We took a walk over to the main pool area, but the splash zone was down again , so we just went back to the cabin. Made dinner out of leftovers (we were checking out in the morning - so wanted to clean out the fridge) and Brad and Ed decided they wanted to head back to MK. DH took CJ back to the main pool and was able to get a bit of time in at the splash zone/pool before heading back for an early bedtime.

Brad, Ed and I decided at the marina, that we would hop on whatever boat came first (MK ferry or Contemporary ferry). The CR ferry came first, so we took that and walked around that resort a bit. I'd never been to their pool area, or through the "back" of that resort, and it was fun. We got the monorail to MK, and decided to take the railroad over to Frontierland (our feet were getting pretty tired by this point!) We did Splash with our FPs, but the waits for most other rides were pretty long - 30/60 minutes. We walked all over the park, and the only short line was for Stitch, so the boys rode that (I browsed in the gift shops, as I'm not a Stitch fan). As we were leaving, we caught part of the Spectro parade. Kind of a wasted evening, but it's always fun being in MK at night.

Not sure when this picture was taken, but it belongs on the 2nd MK day, so here it is:



Tomorrow morning, we check out of FW, have our DHS day, and check into the Beach Club!
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:58 PM   #21
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Okay - we're up to day 4 -DHS day! Since we had to switch our trip from September to August, we weren't able to get Fort Wilderness for our entire trip - so we needed to check out on Sunday, 8/16. As you can tell, we weren't happy about that:



For those of you who don't know, Sunday 8/16 was the start of the fall "free dining" promotion. Up until this point, we had enjoyed moderate to low crowds - much like the crowds we've experienced in Oct/Nov. However, that was to change today!! I did choose to do DHS on a Fantasmic! day, which may not have been the best choice, but it was either that or an EMH day, and I wasn't sure which would be better.

We arrived, once again, at rope drop, and headed straight for Toy Story Mania. The line for FPs was enormous, so we decided to take our chances in the stand by line. The posted wait time was 30 minutes (remember, this was approx 9:03am ) and the actual wait was pretty close to that. This is a really fun ride, though, and the queue is entertaining (and air-conditioned!) so we didn't really mind. After riding, we grabbed FPs and headed over to the Backlot Tour.

We've never done this ride before, and it was good to see - probably wouldn't have to do it again, though. The best part was the walk through "museum" of movie props, and the gallery at the end. CJ is a MAJOR Star Wars fan (his brothers say obsessively) so he was thrilled with the SW display:



Next up was Star Tours - CJ's favorite ride (for obvious reasons) - and once again we were looking at a 30 minute wait. Now, DHS is not my favorite park, and there's not a lot that appeals to our family there, so it wasn't so bad waiting for the couple of rides we like. But, if the lines had been like this at MK, I would have freaked!! We got a cute pic of CJ and DH in line (with C-3PO in the background):



and, after the ride, shots of the three boys on the speeder outside:





You can see Ed's new double light saber that he built in the gift shop just following the Star Tours ride.

DH, Brad and Ed then decided they wanted to catch the Muppets 3-D show, but once again, CJ was being difficult and refused to go. Soooo, he and I waited outside by Pizza Planet. By the time they came out, it was lunch time, so we grabbed some pizza. Near the end of lunch, I checked our times guide, and realized we could just make it to the 12:40 Jedi Training Academy show.

CJ and I took off to get a good spot. Since the crowds had been so big all day, I had little hope of getting close to the front, but I had to try - it would mean SO much to CJ to get into that show.

Amazingly, we walked right up to the front (there's a masking taped line on the pavement). There were a few other people, but definitely not crowded. DH, Brad and Ed came about 5 minutes behind us, and we able to join us. CJ had on his Star Wars shirt, and I was holding my breath as the Jedi Master came out. We were directly in his line of sight, and I could tell he was looking right at CJ! Unbelievably, he was the second one picked! Lots of pics....

Trying to get his jedi robe on (upside down at first!)


getting his initial instructions:


with his lightsaber (he tells me he was Mace Windu, since it was purple!)




Getting personal instruction from the Jedi Master (I LOVE this picture)


Readying the kids to meet Darth Vader:


Darth appears:


CJ in line to face Darth (the last one):


Here's Darth trying to turn CJ to the dark side:


And the fight (afterward he told me he was trying to knock DV off the stage):


This was such a magical moment for us! I was shaking and on the point of tears the whole time! CJ was so serious - he thinks he faced the real Darth Vader. The kids received a Padawan certificate, so now CJ tells everyone that he's really a Padawan, and will be a Jedi when he grows up. It was just a fantastic moment

Not much could top this, and it was getting REALLY hot, so we just decided to hit a couple of rides and head out to check into the Beach Club. We did the Great Movie Ride (another first - fun to do, but not a favorite) and used our TSMM FPs. It was around 2pm at this point, so we got our car, and headed to the Beach Club.


Next time, Brad saves my life!! (okay, that's a little dramatic, but he did help me a lot!)
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