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Old 01-14-2010, 10:44 AM   #1
Ellester
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How to Lose Your Child Without Even Trying....A VERY delayed trip report

Yes, I will admit that this trip report is extraordinarily late, like approaching a year. But, better late than never, right? I have been a DIS member for a long time, but life sometimes interferes with my DISing. We had a new baby a year ago in December and what better way to welcome her to the world than with a trip to Disney! Our newest arrival was just seven weeks old when we took her. She was a piece of cake, the easiest of our four to please on the trip. Just keep her fed and in a clean diaper and she was good to go! The other three, well, they take a bit more upkeep to stay happy. But we aim to please in our family, so on with the show.

Our cast was the same as previous trips, with the addition of our newest.

Me – Ellen, homeschooling, stay-at-home mom to our growing brood. I was still 39 on this trip, I'm a tad more mature now. Been going to Disney since this pic was taken in front of the Crystal Place with my mom (then a buffeteria) in 1973.



DH – John, just the other side of 40. Dearest husband and love of my life for over 20 years. He came to Disney later in life, his first trip was when he was 22 and we were dating. Puts up with my Disney addiction but is happy to drag everyone to rope drop with me most days.



DM – Marcia, a young 65 on this trip. My mom. At the time she was still living in Charlotte, NC where we moved from in 2006. She has since relocated to be close to us, I'm her only child so my kids are her only grandkids. She is the DVC owner although she has passed all planning on to me. DVC is our defacto gift for all holidays and birthdays.



DD1 – Anabelle, 10 on the trip. Our firstborn and pure tween. Loves the thrill rides and coasters. This was her 6th trip to Disney.



DD2 – Rebecca, 7 on the trip. Our little live wire. This girl is pure drama. Another thrill ride lover. This was her 4th trip to Disney.



DS1 – Andrew, 4. Our little man. He is not quite as outgoing as his sisters, but he is as sharp as a tack. He still remembers almost every detail of our last trip when he was only two. This was his 2nd trip to Disney.



DD3 – Natalie, 7 weeks on the trip. Our sweet little sweetpea. She is such a doll and a joy to us all. At this age, she was really like a little baby doll. So petite and adorable. She's still adorable, but she's a chunky monkey now! This was her first trip.



Where to start on a trip report for a trip that took place 11 months ago. Well, I guess I'll start 18 months ago or so. Our last trip to Disney was in January 2007. It was a great trip barring the visit of a stomach bug to my then 2yo son and mother. We were shooting for our next trip in October of 2008. Then we had a little hitch, another baby was on the way! She was due in December, so the October trip could still take place but I would be 7 months pregnant. On our trip in January of 2004, I was 5 months pregnant with our son and while doable it was tiring. It was decided to wait until after the baby was born and we pushed our trip to February 2009. Since we are DVCer's, we try to travel at low point times. We also homeschool, so school breaks are not a constraint. Points are very high from February through April due to spring breaks and Easter, so we were down to February or May. We decided for February since May can be on the warm side. So, I made reservations for our first stay at the Villas at Wilderness Lodge for February 7th through the 14th.

Our newest addition, Natalie Grace, was born on December 16th. She is a cutie pie and the kids love her to death (as do her mommy and daddy!). She would be 7 weeks old for our trip. Traveling with a newborn is always interesting, but really not too bad. At the time, she was totally breastfed, so we didn't have to worry about bottles, formula, or baby food. She spent most of the week in her sling just chillin' in the World.

Next up: travel day!
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:27 AM   #2
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I'm in! Your little kiddos are cuties! Waiting to read more.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:17 PM   #3
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I'm in too! The title hooked me!
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:41 PM   #4
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I'm in for this one! You have a beautiful family!
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Old 01-14-2010, 06:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3prettyprincesses View Post
I'm in! Your little kiddos are cuties! Waiting to read more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateFairy8 View Post
I'm in too! The title hooked me!
Quote:
Originally Posted by dismagiclover View Post
I'm in for this one! You have a beautiful family!


I've been meaning to write a report since we got back, but sleep deprivation with a newborn has moved into exhaustion from chasing a toddler! Not much free time. But, I enjoy putting down the memories, helps me relive the fun and prepare for the next adventure!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Time to go! We got on the road in pretty good time. We packed up breakfast and lunch to eat on the road. The quickest route for us to I-75 involves traveling through the south Georgia countryside. Not much in the way of fast food (or anything else for that matter) other than the occasional small town gas station. The baby was a great little traveler. I woke her up at both our stops to change and nurse her. As I mentioned, the facilities for the first part of our journey were lacking, so all baby care was done in the van. No changing tables at the Kwikie Mart in Ellaville, Georgia! The I-75 Welcome Center was much more family friendly, and free OJ to boot!

A little aside here, my dd's noticed that quite a few people were coming into the Welcome Center in their PJ's. This was midafternoon, and they have noticed it before. Now my oldest dd wants to wear her PJ's all the way to Florida on our next trip. What is up with that? I know it's vacation and all, but I just don't think I'll ever be comfortable wearing flannel pants in public even if the chances are good I'll never see these people again. I'm not sure if I'll let my kids do it or now. What do you all think?

The baby was good as gold the entire trip. I had visions of her screaming for hours on end, but thankfully that did not come to pass. I don't think she cried once the whole way! We pulled up to the Wilderness Lodge shortly after 2pm. My mom had already arrived on the Magical Express and checked in. She met us in the lobby and we piled the enormous amount of luggage on the baggage cart and in the stroller and headed up with the bell man. We tipped him well, he had that cart piled to the rafters!

Our Villa was perfect for the week. We are definitely spoiled with the 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, and full kitchen. DH, the baby, and I were taking the master bedroom this trip. It is so nice having a king sized bed, just like at home. DH and I are both tall (I'm 5' 11” and he's 6' 3”) and it is a VERY tight fit for us in a double. He really doesn't fit length ways in a smaller bed. Anyway, that left the three other kids with my mom in BR number 2, which had 2 queens. After much arguing, it was decided that Anabelle would get her own bed (not too spoiled, is she?), Rebecca would sleep with my mom and Andrew would take the floor. Of course, he could have had the fold out bed in the living area, but he was set on being with the other kids and wanted to camp on the floor. I let my visions of creep crawlies go and said that was fine if he was happy.

On the way to our villa:



That settled, we changed for church and headed out to check out the resort before we headed out. I had never been to the Wilderness Lodge so I was excited to check out the gorgeous lobby! What a beautiful place! The Villas are apart from the Lodge, connected by a long covered walk way. We walked around the pool area to check it out and then piled in the van.



Our GPS said it would take less then 10 minutes to get to the Mary, Queen of the Universe, Shrine (we're Catholic, if you haven't guessed). Several times on this trip the GPS tried to take us down restricted service roads on WDW property. We decided to stick with the maps and signs after being told the third time to take a road that was blocked off by a security bar. Once we got off property, traffic was crazy and it took us about 20 minutes just at one light to turn left onto Vineland form 535, into Lake Bryan. We made it just in time for the beginning of Mass. The place was packed and it was really an interesting service since the church is basically there for the tourists.

After Mass, we checked out the huge gift shop and the kids ran around the gardens. By now it was approaching 8pm and we were starving. We stopped at Carrabba's to see how long the wait was and quickly vetoed that idea since we wouldn't be sitting down until after 9. A little too late for the kiddos! We ended up heading back to the Lodge and grabbed our first meal at Roaring Fork. It was really very tasty, they have an awesome salad with grilled chicken, nuts, dried cranberries and cheese. Yummy! Back to the villa, we sent everyone to bed with visions of Disney Studios dancing in their heads!

Tomorrow, we lose a child. Which one? I'll give you a hint, it was not the baby!
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:26 PM   #6
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I love the Wilderness Lodge. One of these years we're going to stay in one of the villas there!
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:28 PM   #7
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Your family is beautiful.. I'm in!
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:17 PM   #8
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I love the Wilderness Lodge. One of these years we're going to stay in one of the villas there!
I've long wanted to stay there. It was really beautiful, I love the lobby and pool area. I even loved the rugs!




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Your family is beautiful.. I'm in!
Thank you! I like them pretty well. Welcome aboard!
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:30 PM   #9
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Sunday, February 8

We woke up nice and early, got the kids up, everyone fed and out the door in good time.

All ready for the day!



Well, maybe not everyone.....



Ran to catch the bus just as we were walking up to the bus stop. We had fabulous bus service this trip. I don't think we waited more than 5 minutes ever. Anyway, we made it to the park in plenty of time for rope drop. With the rest of the throng, we made our way back to Toy Story Mania. I ran ahead and got in the Fast Pass line. What a zoo back there! By the time the rest of the crew made it back there with the stroller, the stand-by wait was approaching 45 minutes. This was during a low crowd week, 10 minutes after rope drop! We passed on the stand-by and set off.


My mom took the baby and Andrew to see the Playhouse Disney show and John and I took our thrill seeking girls down Sunset Boulevard. Last trip the Rockin' Rollercoaster was down for rehab (Just like Steven Tyler, apparently!), much to our disappointment. This would be the girls first time and they were EXCITED to say the least. They loved the ride and the dump shop. I enjoyed it too, but I think once a trip is enough for me these days.
Next, we hit their all time favorite ride, Tower of Terror! I think it's my favorite too now that I'm losing my ability to ride coasters without repercussions.

Rebecca is pretending to be scared. She loved this ride when she was five and loved it even more at seven! I told you the girl is all drama.




Andrew pouting about something. He has a fixation with guitars, I think maybe I wouldn't buy him something expensive and guitar-ish. He bought drumsticks and an alarm clock with his own money at the RnR dump shop.



That down, we met back up with my mom and the littles and had some lunch over at the area on Sunset Strip. Everyone wanted something different, so after about 200 visits to the various counters, we ate. By now it was time for our TSM FastPasses so we headed back that way and thoroughly enjoyed our first time on the ride. This was Natalie's first ride as well. She was snug in her sling and rode quite contentedly.



Not sure the exact sequence of events next, but after wandering about (I think we saw the Muppet Movie and hit the HISTK playground) John decided to take the kids over to Star Tours and my mom, the baby and I headed over to Starring Rolls for a nursing/coffee/muffin break. I mean, what could go wrong? John is a grown man and a great dad to four kids, surely he can bring three of them back safely? (Insert foreboding music here )
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:33 PM   #10
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oh no! you left me hanging!
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:36 PM   #11
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Very cute kiddos! I am looking forward to your report, because I was there at the very same time, celebrating my ??th birthday. (P.S. That baby is a darling little peanut!)
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:46 PM   #12
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I am so in!

I can't wait to hear all about it. I betting that the lost person was DS...
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A trip report of my family's first visit:
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http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2366773


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Old 01-15-2010, 07:14 AM   #13
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It sounds like the mystery of your trip report title is going to be revealed sooner rather than later All of your kids are adorable, but the pictures of your baby are just killing me! They just start out so little and adorable. And then they grow up
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:43 AM   #14
Ellester
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Originally Posted by PirateFairy8 View Post
oh no! you left me hanging!
It won't be for too long, I promise!

Quote:
Originally Posted by soldiersmom View Post
Very cute kiddos! I am looking forward to your report, because I was there at the very same time, celebrating my ??th birthday. (P.S. That baby is a darling little peanut!)
Thanks! It was a great week to be there, wasn't it? The weather was perfect the whole time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by A&Bmama View Post
I am so in!

I can't wait to hear all about it. I betting that the lost person was DS...
Hmmm, maybe yes, maybe no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dismagiclover View Post
It sounds like the mystery of your trip report title is going to be revealed sooner rather than later All of your kids are adorable, but the pictures of your baby are just killing me! They just start out so little and adorable. And then they grow up
It will be revealed very soon!

They do grow up so fast! She was a very petite little baby. She ended up being a very weak nurser and was supplemented from four months on. She only weighed 9lbs 4oz at her 4 month check up but after supplementing she doubled her weight in two weeks! My other three were great nursers, I really didn't expect problems with number four! This is Natalie on her first birthday last month, she has certainly grown!

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Old 01-15-2010, 09:18 AM   #15
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When I am out and about with my kids, they generally trail behind me like little ducklings and being the mama duck I am constantly checking behind me to make sure all are accounted for. Not to say that I never slip up. Once I left Andrew at CVS. Of course, we had only gotten to the van before I realized he was missing and dashed back in to find him playing with the sand toys I told him I wasn't buying for him. On our last trip in 2007, my nephew had gotten lost at Downtown Disney for about 15 minutes or so after he wandered off. Security was called and he was fairly quickly found. (He has a habit of wandering off, very nervewracking!) With this in mind, we had prepped the kids with what to do if they got lost. Find a CM, tell them you are lost and they will help you find us. I had planned to put notes with our names and our cell phone numbers in their pockets, but I forgot. My kids are usually not the type to wander off, so I really wasn't too worried. Complacency is a evil enemy. That said, on with the story!

My mom, Natalie, and I were sitting, relaxing, and enjoying our view of the parade from outside Starring Rolls. John called and said they had ridden Star Tours and were stuck on the other side of the parade, but they would be there shortly. Well, the parade ended and we see John, Anabelle, and Andrew crossing the street toward us. I innocently ask, “where's Rebecca?”. John replies, “well, she's right here behind me”. Only, she's not. She is gone, no where to be seen. We only see the mass of people dispersing after the parade, no Rebecca. OK, do not panic. She has been instructed to approach the nearest Cast Member if she becomes lost and tell them she cannot find us. Well, best laid instructions..... We left the other kids with my mom and set off to look for her. John starts patrolling the area and I run into the nearest store and tell them we are missing an 7 year old. The CM was awesome, she immediately called in Rebecca's description and left the register to walk around with me. I was unbelievably calm at this point, I think I was in “mommy-shock” mode where you just do what you have to do without much emotion. John searched all the way down towards ToT and back towards Star Tours.

It has been about 45 minutes by this point. The CM checked in with security several times while we were searching. I just kept telling myself that we would find her soon, she was fine, they find kids all the time in Disney, no one had taken her, she was fine, etc. I was praying like crazy for her safety and that we find her quickly. The CM and I headed down to Guest Services at the front of the park to make sure she hadn't been taken there yet. Nope, no child. Ok, now I am starting to get a bit upset. It's been almost an hour.

Finally, walking back up Hollywood Boulevard, I see a CM walking with Rebecca towards us. OK, now time for tears. Rebecca sees me and I see her and I grab her up and we both start sobbing. It was like a flood gate being released, tears everywhere! I called John to say she was safe. Rebecca apparently saw someone she thought was me after being distracted by the parade and followed them all the way down to Tower of Terror before she realized it wasn't me. Then she just stood there in the middle of the street bewildered. Some teenage boys (I wish I could gush over them to their mothers, thank you sweet boys!) saw her distress and stopped to help. They offered to call our cell phone, but Rebecca couldn't remember the number. (Doh! Needless to say, she and Andrew had our numbers in their pockets each day the rest of the trip! Anabelle knows ours and has her own phone.) The boys took her to a CM and made sure she was OK. The CM offered her ice cream, which she declined since she didn't know if she had permission from us(what a good kid!). They were walking her to guest services when I spotted her. The CM's were so nice to her, they both gave her the pick of pins from their lanyards. I cannot say enough about how great they were when we were frantically searching!

I asked Rebecca why she didn't go to a CM and she said she looked but didn't see any! I guess she was expecting one to be in the middle of the street. We had to expand the instructions to tell her to go into a store if she needed to to find a CM. John, of course, felt terrible for losing a child on his watch. Even Anabelle was shaken up. She hugged Rebecca so hard when she saw her, usually they are like cats and dogs! I guess getting lost is good for sibling relations (although I don't recommend it). The rest of the week Anabelle was making sure Rebecca and Andrew were right with us all the time. Rebecca, for her part, stuck to us like white on rice after that. The extra sibling love has since worn off, but it was sweet while it lasted!

We began to wonder if DHS is cursed for us. Our last trip, both our visits to DHS were altered by a stomach virus Andrew had. Not a pretty picture. But, now with all children accounted for we could get back to enjoying our vacation. We headed back towards Star Tours for the Jedi Training Academy and got Rebecca some ice cream to celebrate our reunion. Mickey Bars make everything better!



We hit ToT and RnR a few more times and then the girls wanted to check out the new American Idol show which was having its soft opening. It was fun, two of the singers were actually pretty good and the judges were hilarious! Afterwards we decided we had had enough excitement for one day and headed back to the Lodge for some pool time. With the baby, we figured this trip would not involve too much in the way of fireworks and late nights. We had our second dinner at Roaring Fork, let the kids enjoy the pool and called it a night.


Now the suspense is over! Child has been lost and found. Hopefully, you'll stick around for the rest. Nothing else quite to exciting, though, thankfully!
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