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Old 06-15-2010, 07:37 PM   #1
sailbill
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"Wishes do come true" or "A survival guide for parents of a 3 yr old" 7/22/10

Welcome to my trip report. At the bottom of the first page are links to each chapter. Enjoy.


Introduction: The Five Ws, plus an extra one

Who: Myself – Bill, my wife – Sarah, and our daughter – Olivia (Livvy) (age - a few weeks shy of three). Both Sarah and I have been to the World in our younger days, but never as adults, so our memories of what to expect before this trip were a bit fuzzy and surely outdated.


Myself, The Big Cheese, The Queen, and a slightly grumpy Princess


What: A family trip to Disney World, partially to celebrate Livvy’s third birthday and partially to get a trip in while she was still “free”

Where: Port Orleans French Quarter

When: May 27th to June 2nd, 2010 (6 Nights)

Why: Well, besides the obvious, it’s DISNEY WORLD! (Believe it or not, some people needed more explanation than just this) We got this trip in our minds about six months ago. This past Christmas my family decided to forego the usual Christmas celebrations and all go on a cruise together instead (If you have read John Grisham’s book Skipping Christmas you have a pretty good idea of what I am talking about) Besides my parents, I have three adult siblings none of whom are married or have children. Anyway, Sarah, Livvy and I traveled down to Florida two days early thinking we would just spend time on the beach before the cruise. Well, as you may have read in other trip reports the weather in Florida this past Christmastime was anything but beach weather. So, since we were a mere 45 minutes away from the Holy Land we decided to drive on over to the World one morning. We looked at going to one of the parks, but knowing that we only had half a day to spend there the cost of two single day admissions seemed a bit high. Instead we spent the morning and part of the afternoon at Downtown Disney and knew almost instantly that we would have to come back and come back soon. Shortly after returning from the cruise and getting through the holidays we picked some dates that worked for us and booked this trip to Disney. We figured now or never as Livvy was just shy of three years old at the time of the trip and thereby “free.” So, with just a taste of the magic this past December we were hooked.

Why (2.0): This being the additional “W” in the title. Why am I writing this trip report? The answer is three-fold. One, I am an obsessive planner (ask my wife) and spent many hours researching this trip. The most useful research tool I found – the DISboards Trip Reports. All the other info out there is great, but people’s own experiences, told as a story, were the best for me. I give a special shout-out to BrookElizabeth and all of Henry’s adventures, as well as GreatBiscuit, whose epic trip report is revivaled only by Homer’s The Odyssey. I found these useful in planning how to travel with a three year old and am writing my trip report to “give back” in the hopes that someone else will find mine as equally helpful. Second, this trip report will serve as my guide for our next trip, whenever that may be. Hopefully I will remember lessons past learned if I have them actually written down somewhere. Finally, and most importantly, I take a page from GreatBiscuit and write this report for my daughter. If she has any memories of this trip they will be mere mental snapshots at best. By writing down in detail our trip I hope to leave her with a sort of companion to all the pictures and video we recorded. By publishing it here I have committed myself to actually finishing the report.
Well, that’s the basic info about our trip and us. Up next, a few more details and our start from the hot and humid mid-west to the hotter and more humid central Florida.

Chapter 1 - Down the Middle of the Road
Chapter 2 - Direct to Disney with No Stops In Between
Chapter 3 - A Princess Sees a Castle
Chapter 4 - Our First Rope Drop, Back to the Magic Kingdom
Chapter 5 - An Unexpected Dinner Location and More Princesses

A Note About Pictures

Last edited by sailbill; 07-22-2010 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:18 PM   #2
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Doing some DIS Research on my own and can't wait to hear about your experience at POFQ... we are heading there in 7 months.
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:10 PM   #3
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How great that you were able to go while DD was still free.
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Old 06-16-2010, 02:51 PM   #4
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How I miss the days of the free under 3! Can't wait to hear about your adventures!
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:24 PM   #5
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We are going in September and our little girl turns 3 in October.

Bring on the helpful hints!
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:33 PM   #6
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I can't wait to read more. We have our first trip to WDW next month with our 2 year old. What a loving tribute for your DD.
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:15 PM   #7
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Chapter 1 - Down the Middle of the Road

Chapter 1 – Down the Middle of the Road

Like all things in life our original idea of how to go about this vacation is nothing like how we ended up visiting “The World.” The vacations I remember growing up were never a simple affair by any means. They usually involved visits to multiple places with a variety of flights, cars, and accommodations along the way. The trip that most sticks out in my mind was a driving tour of the west coast that involved my family’s van and camper being driven by relatives from Georgia (we lived in Ohio) to Las Vegas, where we flew to pick it up and drove from L.A. to Seattle and back where a different set of relatives swapped us van for plane and drove the travel weary Dodge Astro back to the Midwest. I never understood how my best friend and family, growing up, could once a year fly to one city, rent a car, spend exactly one week in that one city and return. Needless to say, I am somewhat bred for having a “unique” set of travel plans. That being said, by first idea was as follows. My parents have a vacation home in Florida that is available to us whenever we can find some time to travel there. It is about two hours from Disney, on the Gulf coast. I figured we could stay at my parent’s place, spend some time at the beach, and drive over to Disney for a night or two, once or twice during the time we were down there, figuring an assortment of rental cars for while we were not on Disney property. As I started thinking about the logistics of such an endeavor and all the things we would want to do at Disney it became apparent that the best route was total Disney immersion.

Our first step was using the trip planner on Disney’s website. Yes, it was just like those commercials Disney runs where the Mom and Dad sit down at the computer after the kids have gone to bed and see that they can get seven nights in a room at the Grand Floridian over looking the Magic Kingdom for about a thousand dollars (with airfare). We clicked “book it” and then Tinkerbelle flew through our house and we were on our way. Well, not really. In reality there were so many choices of hotels, dining options, park tickets, etc. that I ended up making several spreadsheets in Excel to compare all our options and spent a few weeks mulling it over before we booked. In the end here is what we got: Six nights at Port Orleans French Quarter, we thought a moderate would fit us best and POFQ is considered to be the quietest of the four, which it certainly seemed to be; Seven day park hoppers, but no water parks. Livvy doesn’t care for swimming all that much and we had plenty to do in the rest of the World. Also, because of Disney’s “interesting” pricing structure on their tickets once you by 3 days you might as well by 10, they cost about the same, so why not by tickets for the day you leave even if you only spend two hours in a park?; The Quick Service Dining Plan, although Livvy does well at sit down restaurants we were unsure about trying that every day and the QSDP seemed like a good way to try out Disney dining; Magical Express from the airport to our resort. Why not? It’s free and eliminated any need for a rental car or a car seat on the trip; Finally, the bonus. Because of the time of year we traveled and the hotel we booked Disney was kind enough to give us a $500 gift card upon check in. This was the perfect incentive because it allowed us to use the gift card for any souvenirs or additional expenses we had so absolutely everything about our trip was paid for well before we left. It was nice to travel and not come home with an empty wallet, especially to a place like Disney.

So, as you can see, we booked a moderate hotel, with a moderate meal plan, moderate tickets, for a moderate amount of time, hence the title of this chapter. All in all we thought this to be a good idea because we could “test out” this middle of the road level of travel and plan for things we want to spend more or less on in the future, as we knew before we went that we would be back many times. After much anticipation, and a plethora of Disney facts forced upon to Sarah by myself, late May finally arrived and we were off to Disney.

Up next, Chapter 2 – Direct to Disney With No Stops In Between

Last edited by sailbill; 06-22-2010 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:37 PM   #8
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Direct to Disney With No Stops In Between


Chapter 2 - Direct to Disney With No Stops In Between

We are fortunate to live within an hour of three major airports. For this trip we found tickets on Delta Airlines direct to Orlando, I'll say that again, DIRECT to Orlando. By some amazing stroke of luck we were able to fly Delta and not have a layover in Atlanta. Not only was the flight direct, but was also the best price we could find and it left late morning, not at some hour that is as much the night before as the morning of. We left our house around 7:30am on Thursday, hit a little bit of traffic on the way to the airport (we did have to go through a large city during rush hour), and arrived around 9:00am for our 11:00am flight. We parked off site in the economy lot and (this is the only reason I am telling you about our parking) found the shuttle to the airport sitting right next to our parking spot waiting for us to just walk on and go. This would become a trend for the week, but more on that later. We had checked in for our flight online the day before, so we only needed to drop off our checked baggage, free might I had thanks to Sarah's frequent flier status, and head through security. Sarah travels enough for her job that she has the airport security thing down pat, and Olivia, although just three, has inherited her mother's efficiency for security procedures. So, it was I who held up the line and received scowling looks from both of my Princesses as I emptied the $12 worth of change from my pockets, removed my shoes and belt, and fumbled with the assortment of carry-ons and electronic devices I was holding. Finally through, we had time to grab breakfast, or brunch as the hour might dictate, and made our way to this one of a kind Scottish establishment at our airport called McDonalds. We ate at a table next to the windows overlooking the planes taking off and landing and this increased Olivia's excitement level to near combustion. We remembered that we did not have headphones for Livvy to use on the plane so we searched out the typical airport stores and were lucky to find pink child sized ones that were not greatly overpriced. I had somewhat of a relief in the fact that we forgot to bring headphones, because you know with all the planning and list making and double-checking that you do you are still going to forget something and this seemed like a relatively minor item to forget to bring compared to what we could have forgotten.


Did I mention Olivia is a natural traveler?


We boarded and had a very uneventful flight down to Orlando. Livvy spent almost the entire time watching Disney movies with her new pink headphones. We landed on time and enjoyed the first of many perks to staying on property - Disney's Magical Express. We had no trouble finding DME and were greeted by plenty of Disney personnel to make sure we went to the correct bus. If you have never used this service before I would say it is one of the last things you need to worry about for your trip. They are very organized and are not going to let you "do something wrong." Once again we walked right onto our bus with no wait. The ride itself was uneventful but also not really magical. The driver really didn't say anything other than what resort we were stopping at next and no videos were shown on the screens in the bus. But, nothing to worry about, we just relaxed and anticipated our vacation.




The first thing we saw was not a resort or a Disneyworld sign, but the hot air balloon that takes people on tethered rides at Downtown Disney. Livvy spotted it in the air and for the rest of the bus ride wanted to see it again every time it was obscured by trees or a building. She ignored all the other sights upon our arrival and was only interested in where the balloon went. This is not what I expected her first bit of amazement in The World to be, but few of those magical moments turn out to be what you expect them to be.

POFQ was the third stop for ME following Old Key West and Saratoga Springs Resorts. There was no line for check in and I went right up to the counter while Sarah and Livvy took a quick look around. I had originally requested a room in Building 6 hoping to get a water view, and was told this is what we had but it would be another three hours before the room was ready. I pulled the “we have a toddler who needs to take a nap before we get a meltdown” card and the CM found a room in Building 2 that was ready. We took it and it turned out to be a great room it was close to the pool and main building but on the side opposite of the action so we never heard any noise from these areas.

We dropped off our stuff in the room, freshened up, and then headed to the food court at POFQ for a late lunch. It took us a minute to figure out how the dinning plan worked, but all the CMs were more than willing to answer any questions we had. The CM who checked us out made the mistake of charging all three of our meals as dinning plan credits when we wanted to pay for Livvy’s out of pocket since she wasn’t on a plan. While this was easily remedied we learned to just all place our food order separate from Livvy’s in the future and never had any further confusion. Lunch was good and probably tasted even better as we were all hungry. At first we thought that we would eat and then head to the parks, but Livvy really was in need of a nap so back to the room we went. She had no trouble falling asleep and Sarah and I had time to unpack and get settled in. Around 5:00pm Livvy woke and we prepared to tackle the parks for the first time.

Up next, A Princess Sees a Castle

Last edited by sailbill; 07-21-2010 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 06-23-2010, 07:53 PM   #9
sailbill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my2disneyboys View Post
Doing some DIS Research on my own and can't wait to hear about your experience at POFQ... we are heading there in 7 months.
It's a great resort and just the right size for those with younger children. The best part is during the busy times of day (morning and evening) the buses only stop at POFQ and there is a separate system running for the four stops at POR. So, when you get on the bus you go directly to the park and when returning go directly to "your" stop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by disney<333 View Post
Joining in!
How great that you were able to go while DD was still free.
Barbara
Quote:
Originally Posted by xoprincessmomxo View Post
How I miss the days of the free under 3! Can't wait to hear about your adventures!
Yes, we lucked out that personal timing and discount period wise we were able to go just weeks before she turned 3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessCooper's Mom View Post
We are going in September and our little girl turns 3 in October.

Bring on the helpful hints!
Quote:
Originally Posted by wed100105 View Post
I can't wait to read more. We have our first trip to WDW next month with our 2 year old. What a loving tribute for your DD.
We really learned a lot about toddlers and Disney, I'll try to focus on that topic as much as I can. I'll say it because I feel the need to, but I know you have heard it and lived it a thousand times before - Be Flexible.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:12 PM   #10
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Chapter 3 - A Princess Sees a Castle

Chapter 3 – A Princess Sees a Castle

When we last left off, we had made it to Disney quite uneventfully, quickly got checked into our resort, had lunch, and were ready to hit the parks, when nap time hit…of course. While the excitement to get to the Magic Kingdom was close to unbearable at this point, stopping to take a break/nap was a “must do.” Livvy was in a great mood when she woke up and Sarah and I were settled into our room, so, we were off. Of course, as we walked to the bus stop a Magic Kingdom bus pulled up and we got on with zero wait. This was the third time this had happened today! At the Kingdom we figured out the whole insert ticket, scan finger, pass off toddler, do it again dance and the obtained a stroller rental for the week. A note about Disney strollers – They Are Wonderful. Easy to push, durable, clean, and low to the ground so Livvy could jump in and out by herself without Sarah or I’s assistance. The rental price seemed a bit high at $15 a day or $13 a day if you paid for all the days you needed in advance, but much better than carrying a tired toddler on a hot day. Anyway, a stroller was obtained and then, it happened. The moment others said would make the whole trip worth it. Livvy saw Cinderella’s Castle. She had the smile, pointed, and was speechless for a moment, exactly like one would imagine it to be. Most of the times things are not like that. The most memorable moments from our trip are not the ones I expected them to be, but this one was.





We had managed to arrive during the afternoon parade/dance party that was taking place in front of the Castle. We watched for a bit but the crowds, hot afternoon sun, and the fact that we were still trying to get our bearings meant we didn’t last long at the party. We went around the left side of the Castle and quickly got into Fantasy Land and headed for Livvy’s first Disney ride – Dumbo. Why this ride is so magical I am not sure, there are three almost identical rides in WDW none of which were ever crowded why we were there, but it is and we, Livvy included, had decided before we left that Dumbo would be a great way to start the trip. The line was around a half hour long so Livvy and Sarah jumped in while I went to figure out the fastpass system and get a lay of the land. The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was the first fastpass attraction I came to so I grabbed some and got some surprise FPs to Mickey’s Philharmagic. It was so warm out I felt the need to grab some cool wet paper towels from a restroom and bring them over to Sarah and Livvy who were only shaded part of the time during their wait. They ended up waiting close to 30 mins, but Livvy loved the ride so it was worth it. It was my turn to take our Princess on her next adventure, so Livvy and I rode the Carrousel, which was a walk on at the time. We all followed this up with It’s a Small World (cheesy, but cool temperature wise) and the Teacups, which everyone agreed was their favorite of the evening. Actually, my favorite video segment from the trip is Livvy spinning in the teacup saying “Weeeee!” and “Wooooowww!” over and over.

At this point we were all hungry and dinner was in order. While I had researched the many places I had wanted to eat that offered something a bit different than “theme park food,” the nearest counter service to us was Cosmic Ray’s, so in we went. I had hoped to go the whole trip without eating a burger and fries, but ended up ruining that goal on only our second meal there. Oh well, the food was good and we were ready for more park fun. We went and used our FPs for Pooh and then began a search for a spot to watch Spectromagic. It was getting so crowded that I had to abandon the stroller and just carry Livvy so we could make our way down Main St. We found a spot near the bakery and while waiting Livvy saw the light up toys. I had read the advice to purchase these in advance at a reasonable price and bring them to Disney but had never found the time before the trip. Of course if I was going to buy one I wasn’t just going to get your basic light up and ended up with a spinning multi-colored Tinker Bell toy that Livvy loves, and actually will still plays with at home. While it wasn’t cheap, it was a good move to buy a toy the first night and just bring it the other night’s we were in the park. She was always more than happy with her toy and never really asked for another one. The parade and music were awesome just as everyone says they are. Holding Livvy on my shoulders and watching the parade with her and Sarah will be a memory I will never forget.

We joined the heards leaving MK after Spectro and decided to save Wishes for another night. The bus corral was packed, and we were still getting used to Disney “procedure,” but, low and behold, we walked right onto a POFQ bus with no wait again (time #4). Back at the resort Livvy saw the pool and wanted to swim. This was an unusual request as she really doesn’t like to swim at all, but even though we were all tired it sounded like a good idea. We were only at the pool a few minutes as it was raining just a bit. Back at the room it was time for bed and then, out of no where, a little Disney magic fell my way.

Before describing what happened, let me tell you something about myself. I am a nerd. Always have been, always will be. While physics and rocketry (you might see where this is going) are not my chosen fields of study, I do find them interesting none the less. Back to our story, as I was about to get into bed, Sarah turns on the TV, which had been previously left on a local station. The local newscasters had just “interrupted your regularly scheduled programming for a special announcement.” It seems NASA was T-minus 10 seconds away from launching a rocket. Seeing something blast into space, besides any slightly illegal fireworks I may obtain in early July, is on my “to do” list. My, equally nerdy, brothers feel the same way which one time led to them and my Dad driving across the state of Florida and sitting in the sun all day only to see a shuttle launch get scrapped at the last minute. They had dinner at Hooters so the day was not a total wash. Anyway, Sarah yelled at me to get outside and see if I could see anything as we were in the same state at least as the launch. I ran out the door, in my PJs mind you, and did a quick internal compass, look at the stars, Boy Scout skills don’t fail me now, job of orienting myself to the west, which was on the other side of our building. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to even see the rocket and was expecting to see a moving star type object, kind of like what an airplane high in the sky at night looks like. Well, let me tell you, I had no trouble finding the rocket. Even at 60+ miles away the rocket looked bright and had visible flames leaving the back of it. I was pretty excited to have seen the launch and figured there must have been some Disney magic in the works.

It didn’t take long for all three of us to fall asleep that night. I fell asleep thinking our first day had been pretty successful. We did more at the Magic Kingdom that I thought we would have time to do. One item of note, you’ll notice that we collected FPs to Philharmagic and didn’t use them, we also didn’t have the thought to give them away. This won’t be the last time this trip where we return to our room for the night and take unused FPs out of our pockets. I know this is probably some sort of Disney sin, I can only blame inexperience and the overwhelming nature of it being our first visit.

Up next, Our First Rope Drop – Back to the Magic Kingdom


Last edited by sailbill; 07-20-2010 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:24 PM   #11
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Chapter 4 - Our First Rope Drop, Back to the Magic Kingdom

Chapter 4 – Our First Rope Drop, Back to the Magic Kingdom

Our first day at Disney had been successful and we had accomplished more at MK than we had planned. Would this mean we would take it easy on our first full day? Not a chance.

A little disclaimer before we begin. We are Mac users in our house, and while I have the disease that makes me want to buy whatever Steve Jobs is holding, on stage, in front of his black turtleneck each year, I now must admit that Macs are not perfect. And I can admit that because our Macbook’s hard drive crashed last week. Crashed and burned really. While we had most of our important data backed up I did loose my notes from our trip. That’s right, I didn’t actually memorize everything in this report, I wrote it down, twice a day during our trip in fact. So, from here on out in the report I rely solely on my very faulty memory and what I can gleam by looking at our pictures and video. Back to the action.

We were up early this first morning and can report the beds at POFQ were plenty comfortable for our liking. In fact the whole room was pretty comfortable and well designed given its small square footage. We got dressed, grabbed a bite to eat in the room, and headed down to the bus stop. I believe we walked right on to a MK bus again (I’m not sure anymore thanks to Mr. Faulty Hard Drive). While I didn’t think we were going to make the rope drop, thanks to a short or zero wait for a bus and smaller crowds today we actually ended up catching most of it. Livvy’s favorite part of the opening ceremonies was seeing the train pull in with Mickey and the Gang on it. My favorite part (remember, it’s been previously established that I am a nerd) were the men in custodial outfits who emerged mere seconds after the streamers were shot from the train at the end of the countdown and retrieved said streamers from the bushes with extended poles before anyone had a chance to see something “not perfect” at Disney World. It’s the little things.

Our first stop was the bakery so Sarah could grab some coffee. It ended up being the same instant stuff found all over the parks and that we could have gotten for free with our mugs back at the resort, but oh well, it seemed to do the trick. I hung a right at the castle and grabbed some FPs for Space Mountain while Sarah and Livvy walked straight to Dumbo. When I caught up with them they were on Cindy’s Carrousel. The line for Dumbo had been too long to warrant standing in. That’s right, we were at the rope drop, grabbed a stroller (which we had already paid for) and a coffee and did not make it to Dumbo in time to beat the crowds. Plan on standing in line if you want to ride a flying pachyderm, that’s all I got to say. We regrouped and rode Peter Pan’s Flight, which we missed the night before because it had long lines. After enjoying our flight throughNeverland we left Fantasy land for the first time this trip and made our way to Adventure Land taking in the sights and sounds along the way.


I include this photo only because it seems to be required on the Boards that you have a balloon picture


There were a few Disney classics that we knew Livvy would not do well on, but weren’t high enough on our list to warrant Sarah and I riding them individually. Of these were two we past on our way, The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. Both I ones I would have loved to ride, but you can’t do it all, so we saved them for next time.

We all enjoyed the Jungle Cruise, although I was the only one out of the three of us who seemed to enjoy the humor that comes along with the ride. When we finished we found Aladdin’s Magic Carpets had zero wait, so we jumped on. Of course this ride is exactly the same as Dumbo, but it seems everyone prefers elephants to flying carpets. So, since there was no line, we rode twice. Afterwards we decided to take the train to Mickey’s Toon Town Fair. It is a little hard to find the entrance and for a moment it seemed that we were boarding Splash Mountain instead of the train, which let me tell you, would have been quite the adventure with a three year old.

Over at Toon Town Livvy immediately was pulled to the playground area. I couldn’t help but think of all the time the Disney Imagineers put into every last detail on some of the amazingly complex rides and here was their target audience enjoying what is basically your run of the mill playground with as much enthusiasm as anything else in the park. It is kind of like how the cardboard box gets as much play time as any expensive toy on Christmas morning. After Livvy wore herself out we checked out Mickey and Minnie’s houses and then tried to find an open popcorn cart. We were a bit early for popcornbut our FP window for SM had opened up. I went to ride first as Sarah was a little apprehensive if she would like it. While I was gone Sarah and Livvy rode the rollercoaster in Toon Town and Livvy was quick to report on my return that she did NOT like it. Sarah and I switched duties and LIvvy and I finished the popcorn she and Sarah had found and then rode the incredible slow race cars in tomorrow land. I’m pretty sure that not just I, but Livvy could have walked faster than these cars moved. But, Livvy has a thing for cars, so she loved it. When Sarah returned we both agreed that SM got a good rating in terms of fun, but even more in terms of uniqueness.

Lunch was had at Columbia Harbor House. The food was okay, not burgers and fries, but not much more than that either. Also, like a good portion of the QS restaurants the dessert selection leaves something to be desired. At most of these places there are only two choices from a pool of about seven prepackaged options found around WDW. Would it really be that hard to throw a couple more boxes in the cooler? I know there is themeing to consider, but with dessert supposedly adding “value” to the dinning plan I would have liked to have had more selection. The advantage to eating here is the upstairs area that was almost empty even though the first floor was completely full. So, as a place to enjoy the A/C and get away from some crowds, this place ranks high.

Up Next – An Unexpected Dinner Location and More Princesses

Last edited by sailbill; 07-22-2010 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:44 PM   #12
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stopping in to say hi, love your report, cant wait to read more
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:47 PM   #13
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A note about pictures

So I figured out the whole Photobucket procedure and went back and added pictures to my previous posts. This got me thinking about pictures and cameras and vacations. Sometimes on vacation or at special events I feel burdened by the need to take photos. We purchased a DSLR camera before Olivia was born and love it for its ease of use and quality of pictures. However, it is large and heavy. But, with the ability to take thousands of pictures before needing more memory and a rapid fire shutter that can take several photos a second, it seems we end up with more photos of events than we will ever go back and look at. Its not like the days of film where the photographer had an actual cost to each photo and a limit on how many they could take. There just seems to be this force that pushes us to take more and more pictures.

I really felt all of this while we were watching Wishes on our second night at MK and Sarah and I took turns taking pictures of the fireworks, of Livvy, and each other, of the other two watching Wishes, etc. It seems as if our camera was recorded every second of the show, but we missed the whole thing. So, when do you pull out the camera and when do you just enjoy the moment and not worry about preserving it anywhere but your memory?

A year ago Sarah and I went on a cruise to celebrate our five year anniversary. It was a similar cruise to what we enjoyed on our honeymoon and basically went to the same ports and was a similar ship. Acting like the rebels we are, we chose not to bring a camera. WHAT! you say. Yes, we had a great vacation and nothing to record it with. However, this was a wonderful decision. We didn't spend time taking pictures of a boat that would have looked just like the pictures we took five years earlier and, while in Belize, we had to just sit and enjoy watching the monkeys that played in the rainforest, not try in vain for the perfect shot of a moving target. This is not to say never take a camera anywhere, but, like all things, it seems balance is needed. Obvious recording my princess's first visit to WDW is worth the burden the camera brings.

Also of note, we bought a small, digital, point and shoot camera before the trip and this helped with photos tremendously. The DSLR takes better photos, but having something you can just keep in your pocket and have ready in a moments notice is key in a fast paced amusement park setting.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:11 PM   #14
kimmylaj
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this is my 1st trip lugging the dslr, i love it but i am concerned about the weight. i keep joking i finally am past the diaper bag stage so to make up for it i am lugging around a camera bag instead.
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:28 PM   #15
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What a great trip report so far! Sounds like you are having a wonderful time. Livvie is adorable. So cool that you got to see a rocket launch!
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3 year old, family of 3, first time, port orleans



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