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Old 01-08-2010, 11:44 AM   #1
MHTeacher
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A 16th Birthday/New Years Celebration(with 75,000 friends)updated 1/27

First let me say that I have never written a pre-trip or trip report for the past 9 trips to WDW (5 years as a DIS member). However, being "snowed" in and having school canceled(yes, in Alabama, 1-2" of snow will do that), has given me time to read other trip reports and get inspired to do one of my own.
So here goes!

First some facts----

THE CAST:
1. Me--Michelle, a teacher and Disney fan
2. DH--Kevin, a HR manager, who grumbles about the money we spend at WDW, but has more fun than anyone!
3. DD#1--Elizabeth, the birthday girl
4. DD#2--Rachel, sister to the birthday girl
5. DS--Reid(nephew who's lived with us for 3 years)



The Trip:
December 29, 2009-January 1, 2010

We had always avoided going to Disneyworld during this crazy time, but DD1 has always wanted to go to Disneyworld for her birthday. However, her birthday falls between Christmas and New Years---the busiest, craziest time at Disneyworld! But since, this would be a BIG birthday, her 16th birthday, DH and I decided to go for it.
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Hold my umbrella while I find your poncho-May 2012 TRhttp://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...64&postcount=1
Disney Dining, DIS Meets, and WAIT-Why is that lady holding onto my husband?May,2010 TR http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...45&postcount=1
DON'T CRY OR WE'LL RIDE DINOSAUR AGAIN! March, 2010 TRhttp://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post35995716
A 16th Birthday/New Years Celebration(with 75000 of our closest friends) Dec. 2009 TR-http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=34927152


All Star Sports 2001 Coronado Springs 2003 Wilderness Lodge 2005 Polynesian 2007 POR- 2007 POR 2008 Polynesian 2009 Yacht Club 2009 POR 2010 Beach Club 2010 Polynesian 2012 POP 2013

Last edited by MHTeacher; 01-27-2010 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:50 AM   #2
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This post is saved for indexing the trip report.
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Hold my umbrella while I find your poncho-May 2012 TRhttp://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...64&postcount=1
Disney Dining, DIS Meets, and WAIT-Why is that lady holding onto my husband?May,2010 TR http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...45&postcount=1
DON'T CRY OR WE'LL RIDE DINOSAUR AGAIN! March, 2010 TRhttp://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post35995716
A 16th Birthday/New Years Celebration(with 75000 of our closest friends) Dec. 2009 TR-http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=34927152


All Star Sports 2001 Coronado Springs 2003 Wilderness Lodge 2005 Polynesian 2007 POR- 2007 POR 2008 Polynesian 2009 Yacht Club 2009 POR 2010 Beach Club 2010 Polynesian 2012 POP 2013

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Old 01-08-2010, 12:12 PM   #3
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Day 1--Part 1

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

So day 1 is sort-of day 2. We actually left our house in Alabama the day before, Monday afternoon around 3:30 p.m. We drove to Tallahassee, FL, which is about a 7 hr. drive. This is a good time to ask, "How in the world did our parents do it with no DVD players, iPods, or Nintendo DSs in the car to occupy us for 10 hour car trips?!?!) We stopped and spent the night and left the following morning around 9a.m. After grabbing lunch to go and eating in the car, we arrived at DisneyWorld around 1:00pm. YEAH, we were finally here!



No matter how many times we visit Disney, my kids want to stop and take a picture of this!

We were staying at Yacht Club, our first time at this resort. I had booked a GREAT group rate from them back during August(---it was definitely the way to go during this peak season)



I had checked in online at the 10 day mark, so check in was very easy. There was one thing the YC did, that I had never had happen(even at the Poly)...when we walked up to the front of the resort, a CM met us outside, and greeted us. When we told her we were there to check in, she escorted us inside , to the check-in desk. I thought this was very nice. Back to check-in. It took all of 2 minutes, they already had our folder prepared, with room keys. Our room was ready, so we went up to check it out.
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Hold my umbrella while I find your poncho-May 2012 TRhttp://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...64&postcount=1
Disney Dining, DIS Meets, and WAIT-Why is that lady holding onto my husband?May,2010 TR http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...45&postcount=1
DON'T CRY OR WE'LL RIDE DINOSAUR AGAIN! March, 2010 TRhttp://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post35995716
A 16th Birthday/New Years Celebration(with 75000 of our closest friends) Dec. 2009 TR-http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=34927152


All Star Sports 2001 Coronado Springs 2003 Wilderness Lodge 2005 Polynesian 2007 POR- 2007 POR 2008 Polynesian 2009 Yacht Club 2009 POR 2010 Beach Club 2010 Polynesian 2012 POP 2013
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:20 PM   #4
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Day 1---Part 2

So I left you at check in .....We were assigned room 3175, a water view room. I had secretly hoped for some great big upgrade to a suite (Hey, a girl can dream!), but alas, we got the view we had paid for...and that was just fine!

The room was somewhere over the lobby/registration area of YC, on the 3rd floor. We had a view of Crescent Lake, with Boardwalk in the background. Here are some pics from our balcony.




We headed downstairs, to purchase a 3 day tix for my nephew. (The rest of have APs). We got that taken care of, and it was time to walk to Epcot.

Next up---Epcot
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Hold my umbrella while I find your poncho-May 2012 TRhttp://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...64&postcount=1
Disney Dining, DIS Meets, and WAIT-Why is that lady holding onto my husband?May,2010 TR http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...45&postcount=1
DON'T CRY OR WE'LL RIDE DINOSAUR AGAIN! March, 2010 TRhttp://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post35995716
A 16th Birthday/New Years Celebration(with 75000 of our closest friends) Dec. 2009 TR-http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=34927152


All Star Sports 2001 Coronado Springs 2003 Wilderness Lodge 2005 Polynesian 2007 POR- 2007 POR 2008 Polynesian 2009 Yacht Club 2009 POR 2010 Beach Club 2010 Polynesian 2012 POP 2013

Last edited by MHTeacher; 01-09-2010 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:43 PM   #5
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Day 1---Part 3

We walked from Yacht Club to Epcot entering through International Gateway. We've stayed at the Poly the past few visits, so I was a little worried about staying somewhere off the monorail, but I shouldn't have worried so much. We loved the short walk to Epcot, and enjoyed seeing some scenery we haven't seen before.

We walked into Epcot around 3pm. World Showcase didn't seem too crowded around then. We decided to walk toward Soarin' and check out the tip board in that location.----Now, I had TRIED to prepare my bunch for the fact that the stand-by lines would be long, but little Reid just couldn't comprehend how long. Check out these wait times:





No way I tried to explain to a little 7 year old boy were we standing in a line for 180 minutes for a ride we've ridden before(not to mention, we'll be back in 5 months).


We decided to walk through the contries and catch the 4:15 performance of the Voices of Liberty. They are mine and DH's faves. We got in the theater and got a seat right on the front. They were dressed as "Dickens carolers" and sang some Christmas songs. They were great as always.


By now it was almost 5 o'clock and I really wanted to watch Candlelight processional. Back four years ago, we had visited during the holiday season and paid for the CP dinner package. Of course right after it had started, the rains began to pour down and we had no umbrellas, raincoats...nothing. We had to wind up leaving our seats and standing under the umbrellas at the outdoor tables behind the theater.So.....I've always hated that I missed most of the program. I was determined to watch all of one.

The stand-by line was crazy, so we just decided to stand right at the back near the rope, the choir passes by, and watch. Angela Bassett and Courntey Vance were the narrators. It was a beautiful and very moving show.

By this time, it was 6 o’clock, so we walked toward China since we had dinner reservations around 7. While we were waiting around, we saw something we’ve never seen before. A CM who appeared to be sweeping, stopped and started dipping her broom in water. Then she began to “draw” out Minnie and Mickey. It was amazing. She later explained that when it’s cooler, the pictures will stay for a few hours, because the water doesn’t evaporate. I have a sneaking feeling that this girl’s real job is not just sweeping.


Here’s something else crazy…while standing here, we look over and notice our neighbors! In a crowd of how many thousand, it was just funny that we see people who live around the block!
It was finally time for our dinner at Nine Dragons. I had honey sesame chicken, DH had king pau chicken, DD1 had fried rice w/grilled shrimp, and DD2 and DS had kid’s sweet/sour chicken. No pics of the food though. DH and I had eaten here before on an anniversary trip, but it was the kid’s first time. They really liked it and want to eat here again.
We walked to Future World, to see if there was anything we could ride. Wouldn’t you know it…Figment’s imagination was a walk on. This ride really annoys me and DH. But it made a little 7 year old boy happy. So we all grinned and got on.
Afterwards, it was time to get a spot for Illuminations. We got a spot near Canada and watched. Now I have to be honest…Illuminations is not my family’s favorite thing, BUT I do love the holiday part where they play “Let there be peace on Earth”. That part just makes me cry every time.

When the show was over, we stood a few minutes and let the crowd thin out. Then we made our way toward International Gateway. As we walked to YC, we decided to take a detour into Beach Club and check out the chocolate carousel. AMAZING!


After staying and looking for too long, we got up to our room and cleaned up. It was almost midnight and tomorrow was going to be an early and a big BIRTHday!
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Hold my umbrella while I find your poncho-May 2012 TRhttp://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...64&postcount=1
Disney Dining, DIS Meets, and WAIT-Why is that lady holding onto my husband?May,2010 TR http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...45&postcount=1
DON'T CRY OR WE'LL RIDE DINOSAUR AGAIN! March, 2010 TRhttp://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post35995716
A 16th Birthday/New Years Celebration(with 75000 of our closest friends) Dec. 2009 TR-http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=34927152


All Star Sports 2001 Coronado Springs 2003 Wilderness Lodge 2005 Polynesian 2007 POR- 2007 POR 2008 Polynesian 2009 Yacht Club 2009 POR 2010 Beach Club 2010 Polynesian 2012 POP 2013

Last edited by MHTeacher; 01-08-2010 at 03:36 PM. Reason: added text and pics
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:12 PM   #6
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OMG---that picture of the tip board is insane. 180 minutes for Soarin'???

Sounds like you all had fun. Can't wait to read more.
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Old 01-08-2010, 05:59 PM   #7
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OK, I found you! Subbing and going back to read!
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:08 PM   #8
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All caught up! Sounds like it was crowded and if you didn't get there early you weren't getting on the rides without a long wait!
We flew out on the 28th so missed you by a day.
Can't wait to read more!
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:06 PM   #9
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Awesome so far, cant wait for more...
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:41 AM   #10
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Day 2--Part 1

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Well, today started out bright and early. Elizabeth (our DD and birthday girl) had chosen Magic Kingdom for the park to visit on her actually birthday. MK had EMH and was opening at 7am. The night before, I had told the family, I’d like to be at the bus stop at 6:30…….But alas, as always, we never quite make it at the time I shoot for! We actually did fairly well for our bunch though. We left the room at 6:45 a.m. and a bus came almost immediately. We reached MK just a few minutes after 7.
The first thing we did was head to guest services to get Elizabeth’s birthday pass. We didn’t need the free ticket since we have APs and my sweet, unselfish girl chose not to take the gift card. She wanted the fastpass for our party so that we could enjoy some rides on a crowded day. Here’s a pic of the birthday fastpass.



Our great CM took care of us quickly and we were headed into the park by 7:15 a.m. Here are some pictures we took. We couldn’t believe how empty Main Street and the hub were at this time.





I couldn’t believe how empty this area was at this time. We walked right toward Space Mtn. and there was already a 35 minute stand by line. We decided we didn’t want to use all of EMH on that ride, so we grabbed fastpasses and headed over to Buzz Lightyear. We rode this with no wait. We walked through to Fantasyland and rode Peter Pan. Standby line was only 10 minutes. We immediately went across to It’s a small world.



After we did that, we headed into FrontierLand. We all rode Big Thunder Mtn. using stand-by. The line was only 15 min. long. We were saving those fastpasses for later that night when it would be packed. DH (Kevin), DD2 (Rachel) and DS(Reid) wanted to ride Splash Mtn., but Elizabeth and I didn’t want to get wet while it was still so early and a little cool out for us. AND, it was a good thing…They did get wet! (When you see the next picture, you can compare Rachel’s hair to her hair in the previous IASW pic. The nice flat-ironed hair from the first pic is a little fuller after it got wet! )

We waited on them and then headed into Liberty Square to find Princess Tiana. Elizabeth, my birthday girl, had recently seen this movie and loved it.


By now it was almost 11 and my bunch was hungry. We decided to try to beat the crowds at CS and headed into Pecos Bills for some food. After finishing lunch, the crowds were getting a “little” heavier.



DH, Kevin, decided to head back to BTMR and grab some birthday fastpasses to save for later that night. I took the kids and we staked out a spot for the noon “Mickey’s once upon a Christmastime Parade”. We grabbed the corner in front of the Liberty Riverboat, across from the Liberty Bell near Liberty Square. As we waited, Reid goofed off and spent some energy.



We waited and waited for Kevin to return…It was getting closer to time for the parade. I sent him a text asking what was taking so long. He sent back this pic of the area in front of the fastpass machines there. YIKES!



Yes….those were the lines just to get a fastpass!!!

He finally got finished and found his way back to us about 5 minutes before the parade was due to start. I took this picture just to show how many people were lined up to watch the parade.



When the parade was finished, we decided to walk back toward TomorrowLand and use a fastpass for Space Mtn. When we got there, there was NO line…..The ride was shut down at the moment and they didn’t know when it would reopen. So we decided to grab some more fastpasses for Buzz and see about getting into Monsters, Inc. Well….that was not going to happen! This is a picture of the crowd in the area around Monsters, Inc., Buzz, etc…..The time was around 1-1:30 p.m.



I later heard that MK was at a stage 3 closure---Only people with resort IDs or APs are allowed in the park. Kevin and I took one look at each other and knew that it was time to return to our room for a rest.

Coming up…Day 2, Part 2—Elizabeth’s 16th Birthday Dinner
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Hold my umbrella while I find your poncho-May 2012 TRhttp://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...64&postcount=1
Disney Dining, DIS Meets, and WAIT-Why is that lady holding onto my husband?May,2010 TR http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...45&postcount=1
DON'T CRY OR WE'LL RIDE DINOSAUR AGAIN! March, 2010 TRhttp://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post35995716
A 16th Birthday/New Years Celebration(with 75000 of our closest friends) Dec. 2009 TR-http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=34927152


All Star Sports 2001 Coronado Springs 2003 Wilderness Lodge 2005 Polynesian 2007 POR- 2007 POR 2008 Polynesian 2009 Yacht Club 2009 POR 2010 Beach Club 2010 Polynesian 2012 POP 2013
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:56 PM   #11
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Day 2--Part 2

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We returned to our room at the Yacht Club, around 2 p.m., and it had already been cleaned. Here are some pictures of the room. Our “mousekeeper” had set up all the stuffed animals. We didn’t get any towel animals for our three nights there, but she always did something cute with all the kids’ stuffed animals.








The kids all zombied out on their Nintendo DS or iPods, while Kevin and I snuck a little catnap in. Around three, we freshened up, and Kevin went out to take some “Sweet 16” pics of Elizabeth.








Thanks for indulging my proud mother moment. It’s hard to realize I have a 16 year old child. She’s driving legally now! She’s a good girl, smart and very kind. I’m very proud to be her mother.

We caught a bus fairly quickly to MK. The bus ride from YC to MK was only about 10 minutes. I had worried so about being at this resort as opposed to the Poly. I was afraid we’d miss the monorail, but I shouldn’t have worried so much. Walking to Epcot, taking the water taxi to DHS, and the short ride to MK makes this a great resort. I think we may be there again in May. But alas….I stray……

We arrived at MK, and walked to the resort monorail. I had made reservations at 1900 Park Faire for Elizabeth’s birthday dinner. She loves Cinderella’s step-sisters, so I thought this would be a good pick. Plus, I had wanted to order a custom birthday cake, and thought the GF’s bakery made some awesome custom cakes. We rode to the Grand Floridian (and of course, passed by my beloved Polynesian.) It was our first time to actually see the GF’s gingerbread house in person. WOW!!



We had the first dinner reservation...4:30 p.m., because I wanted to be finished and back into the MK before late. I was a little stressed about being “locked” out of the MK, if it should close due to capacity. The dinner at 1900 Park Faire is a character dinner, with Cinderella, her Prince, Lady Tremaine, and the step-sisters. Unfortunately, the step-sisters were delayed and were not present while we were at the restaurant. Here are my children with the three that were there.







I found the food to be very lackluster at this dinner buffet. Because of holiday pricing surcharges, the adult price was about $40/ a person. Reid’s child price was $20 and all he ate was pizza! *SIGH*…Oh well…This meal was about the atmosphere, the characters, and of course, the custom cake!

If you’ve eaten dinner here before, you know that there is a time where there is an announcement to stand up if you’re celebrating a special day. Well my Elizabeth stood up, and while she was standing, our server (Patti---and by the way, she was great!) brought out her cake.



I don’t think she realized there was a cake at her place until she sat down. I think she was surprised!



Here are some close ups of the cake. I’ll leave them larger, so you can see the details better.





Here’s one last picture of my sweet kids with the cake—



The cake was beautiful and we hated to cut into it, but it’s all about the cake on a birthday, so we did it and it tasted yummy!

Up next….Day 2, Part 3…MK and the NYE preview fireworks
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Hold my umbrella while I find your poncho-May 2012 TRhttp://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...64&postcount=1
Disney Dining, DIS Meets, and WAIT-Why is that lady holding onto my husband?May,2010 TR http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...45&postcount=1
DON'T CRY OR WE'LL RIDE DINOSAUR AGAIN! March, 2010 TRhttp://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post35995716
A 16th Birthday/New Years Celebration(with 75000 of our closest friends) Dec. 2009 TR-http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=34927152


All Star Sports 2001 Coronado Springs 2003 Wilderness Lodge 2005 Polynesian 2007 POR- 2007 POR 2008 Polynesian 2009 Yacht Club 2009 POR 2010 Beach Club 2010 Polynesian 2012 POP 2013
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:45 PM   #12
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That cake is beautiful! They did a great job.

Love the sweet 16 pics, she's a pretty and photogenic girl, you have good reason to be proud of her.

MK was packed that day! Whoa!!! Weren't the crowds alone amazing to experience? We did MK on the 28th and it was busy, but not that bad!

I went through Epcot quickly on New Year's Day and saw this wait time for Soarin':





And 45 minutes for Figment?! No thanks!
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wigdoutdismom View Post
All caught up! Sounds like it was crowded and if you didn't get there early you weren't getting on the rides without a long wait!
We flew out on the 28th so missed you by a day.
Can't wait to read more!
Thanks for reading wigdoutdismom!

It was crowded, but not as bad as I had mentally prepared myself for. It is definitely NOT the time to do Disney if you're a first timer!


Quote:
Originally Posted by serrotak View Post
Awesome so far, cant wait for more...
Thanks serrotak for reading. This is my first time to ever write a TR and my biggest fear was that no one would read it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brookelizabeth View Post
That cake is beautiful! They did a great job.

Love the sweet 16 pics, she's a pretty and photogenic girl, you have good reason to be proud of her.

MK was packed that day! Whoa!!! Weren't the crowds alone amazing to experience? We did MK on the 28th and it was busy, but not that bad!

I went through Epcot quickly on New Year's Day and saw this wait time for Soarin':





And 45 minutes for Figment?! No thanks!
Thanks brookelizabeth. I'm a little prejudice to her I guess. The cake was beautiful wasn't it? I was very pleased with the way it turned out and Liz loved it as well.

Oh my word at that wait time for Soarin' on New Year's Day!! I thought it was bad on the 29th around 3 in the afternoon. And I have to agree with you on the Figment comment. Any wait time is too much wait time for that attraction!
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Hold my umbrella while I find your poncho-May 2012 TRhttp://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...64&postcount=1
Disney Dining, DIS Meets, and WAIT-Why is that lady holding onto my husband?May,2010 TR http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...45&postcount=1
DON'T CRY OR WE'LL RIDE DINOSAUR AGAIN! March, 2010 TRhttp://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post35995716
A 16th Birthday/New Years Celebration(with 75000 of our closest friends) Dec. 2009 TR-http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=34927152


All Star Sports 2001 Coronado Springs 2003 Wilderness Lodge 2005 Polynesian 2007 POR- 2007 POR 2008 Polynesian 2009 Yacht Club 2009 POR 2010 Beach Club 2010 Polynesian 2012 POP 2013
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:27 PM   #14
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Great Trip Report

Just happened across your trip report. Great job. I was at Disney World from 12/29 to 1/2. It was supercrowded. But a lot of fun. Happy Belated Birthday to your daughter. The cake looked fabulous and she looks happy.
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MouseloverJD View Post
Just happened across your trip report. Great job. I was at Disney World from 12/29 to 1/2. It was supercrowded. But a lot of fun. Happy Belated Birthday to your daughter. The cake looked fabulous and she looks happy.
Thanks! It seems we were at Disney during the same crazy time. I have to agree---supercrowded, but manageable IF you know what you're doing.

Of course, all the great things Disney does for you during this time makes up for all the stresses of the crowds. We all agreed that we had one of the best times we've ever had at Disney.
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Hold my umbrella while I find your poncho-May 2012 TRhttp://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...64&postcount=1
Disney Dining, DIS Meets, and WAIT-Why is that lady holding onto my husband?May,2010 TR http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...45&postcount=1
DON'T CRY OR WE'LL RIDE DINOSAUR AGAIN! March, 2010 TRhttp://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post35995716
A 16th Birthday/New Years Celebration(with 75000 of our closest friends) Dec. 2009 TR-http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=34927152


All Star Sports 2001 Coronado Springs 2003 Wilderness Lodge 2005 Polynesian 2007 POR- 2007 POR 2008 Polynesian 2009 Yacht Club 2009 POR 2010 Beach Club 2010 Polynesian 2012 POP 2013
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