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Old 03-26-2010, 08:40 PM   #31
cajunfan
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I am liking this "YES!" trip report! Thanks for the update. Can't wait for more!

By the way...I have been meaning to thank you! I saw the shirts you made for the trip and asked the DISigners if we could use them for the Big Give and they said yes! So thanks!

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Old 03-26-2010, 09:01 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cajunfan View Post
I am liking this "YES!" trip report! Thanks for the update. Can't wait for more!

By the way...I have been meaning to thank you! I saw the shirts you made for the trip and asked the DISigners if we could use them for the Big Give and they said yes! So thanks!

Lynn
HURRAY! Ours were perfect, and it really let people know what was happening
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James PTR-http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2397705
TR-THE WEEK OF YES!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2428215
GKTW-3/10 ASMO-2/11 Disney Wonder-2/12Disney Wonder-11/12Disney Magic-1/13
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:04 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noahsketomom View Post
Amber, I just love your TR so far! I feel like I'm one of your family...along for the ride!
I'm so glad you feel that way...we LOVE family! But hold on, this ride gets BUMPY

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Originally Posted by pnutallergymom View Post
Great Report Amber!!! The pics are awesome and your kids are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!
Some of those awesome pics are from the stock pics GKTW gave us, I'm a little cheater But as for the kids I will take full credit
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TR-THE WEEK OF YES!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2428215
GKTW-3/10 ASMO-2/11 Disney Wonder-2/12Disney Wonder-11/12Disney Magic-1/13
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Old 03-27-2010, 02:20 AM   #34
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What a relief it must have been to finally arrive! I bet the kids were blown away. by all the yeses. I'm not sure I can let go of the control to that extent, but I'll try.
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:17 PM   #35
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Great update!! I love the themed buildings, everything looks bright and kid friendly. Our friend's daughter who is three years old has be in and out of the hospital since she was born and Make a Wish just gave them a trip to Disney but she was put back in the hospital so they had to postpone there trip till May.
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Old 03-28-2010, 09:08 PM   #36
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What beautiful accomodations! Can't wait to hear more!
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Old 03-30-2010, 02:58 PM   #37
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Trip report

Congrats for your Daughter winning 3rd place :-) YEAH!!!!!!

Love the pics.. Poor James was sleepy on the plane but I hope he got some great rest for the activities to come.
Poor DH.. How Awful.. I hope it was some bad food and he got better quickly and no one else got sick

Hurray for comping the bags, food, etc.. on the plane WOOO HOOOO
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:17 PM   #38
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DAY ONE at GKTW and WDW

MORNING AT GKTW
Mike woke me up at 7am, with coffee and an offer to sit with him on the porch for some alone time. I asked how he was feeling and he assured me he was much better. Looks like he just needed some good sleep. Our villa was directly across from Mathews Playground and the little lake and fountain next to it.
these are pictures from our porch:


It was a beautiful warm Florida day and we just rocked in our chairs and soaked it all in. Finally we decided we had to wake the children. I had heard it takes a full day to do the Magic Kingdom, and we wanted an early start. The problem with this plan is that, if you do not have a rental car, and are using the shuttle, you are a slave to the shuttles time schedule…which means any day we were going to WDW we had to get on the shuttle at 10am. Then when you’re ready to return, you have to call the shuttle 2 hours before you want to come back. This was our second clue that the shuttle kind of sucked for us. We woke the kids up about 7:45am, mind you this is 3:45 am Alaska time…and everyone was so happy they jumped up and started getting dressed/showered. Can I just add that four bathrooms and 8 people is HEAVEN!!!! We called the desk and asked how we get to the Gingerbread House from our villa….all the way at the other side of the village. She said a shuttle comes around every few minutes, so we went outside to wait and instead we just started walking toward the main part of GKTW. We were at the Gingerbread House in 5 minutes, no shuttle needed! Now we had a tough decision to make. Do we go into the Gingerbread House like a good healthy family, or go to the Ice Cream Palace? No brainer, we had Ice Cream sundaes for breakfast. Here’s the funny thing about kids. After we finished our ice cream, the kids wanted to know if they could still have some breakfast for dessert. So we went over and ate an amazing breakfast. There were grits, oatmeal, two kinds of eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, fresh fruit, yogurt, and every kind of pastry and bread, and juice, coffee and milk. All this after we’ve already had ice cream. Each child was assigned a tray carrier “Angel” and they all felt very special. You mommies know how we heard our children first, and then help ourselves, so naturally I’m last getting my food, and everyone is waiting for me at the table. I am a Weight Watchers girl, and have been eating “right” for about 6 months. BUT this is the week of YES so WHO CARES!!!! I ate eggs with peppers and cheese, bacon, fruit, a cinnamon roll and an English muffin with BUTTER, oh yeah and DR Pepper. It was fabulous. Best of all I got my own angel and joked that I felt like a queen having my food carried, so she offered to parade me around the room. Of course I did what any proper mother would do…I paraded around the room like Queen Elizabeth! I was even offered an apron as a robe, but that would have been silly!
We had a little time to play so we rode the carousel.


Mackenzie loves the carousel and it was here we met our first DISer Katie (the lurker) was the angel on the carousel. Then we wandered the village until it was time to head over to the shuttle. We walked out front and saw a huge bus the size of a Grey Hound. There was already a line of people in front of us, and two with wheelchairs. When it came time for us to load they informed us that there was no more room for wheelchairs. UMMM are you seriously telling me that the shuttle/bus from GKTW to Disney only has room for two wheel chairs? So what do you want us to do? She said we could get on if his chair could be stowed underneath. So my DH and oldest son carried my embarrassed little boy onto the bus. I’m not sure why it’s more embarrassing to be carried than to be in a chair, but then again, I’ve never had to do either, so he wins and can own his embarrassment.

The bus itself was very plush and had a Disney (what else?) movie playing.
Here’s James on the bus

We boarded at 9:50am, and this was a 10am shuttle. The shuttle actually left at 10:40am, getting us to Disney World after 11am. Here I am, the overly scheduled mom, freaking out that we will no way have enough time to do ANYTHING!!! DH steps in and says “Then let’s do what we can”. Stupid husband and his wise ways. We were dropped off in the “transportation” section and had to walk over to the monorail to the MK. This was our first button experience and we not even in the park yet. The line for the monorail was already pretty crazy. I saw the DW staff, and kind of confused like asked her how to get James’ wheelchair up the ramp, DUH…she saw the button and walked us to the front of the line. WOW that thing really is magic! Once we were in the MK we got the free stroller for Mackenzie, and bee lined for the Wish lounge. So here’s my two cents. GO TO THE WISH LOUNGE! It was quite, air-conditioned, with a TV, couches movies and ice cold bottles of water. Best of all you can use the bathroom there, which means no lines, and James could manage his chair without dodging a bunch of guys. James’ stoma was weeping and the nurse got us some gauze and tape. We took a quite minute to look at the park map and decide where we were going. JUNGLE CRUISE  Then we did Aladdin’s magic carpet…..


I’d have to say the hardest part of WDW was pushing a wheelchair through the crowds. People would walk in front of us and stop, making us ram into their ankles with his chair. This happened so many times I cannot count them. We made our way over to the Jungle Cruise, and again, the magic button did its thing, right to the front we went. The Jungle Cruise is one of those rides that if it’s not busy, it’s almost faster to not use your button if you have a wheelchair. This is because you have to wait for the “handicap” boat to come around. We found a few other rides like that and found out at the end of our trip to tell the cast member we just want the next available car/boat/spaceship.
We had just come off Pirates of the Caribbean, when we saw a little commotion on a stage in front of it. We decided to belly up to the rope. It was a Captain Jack Sparrow show. He looked into the audience and who do you think caught his eye?....

our sweet Macylea! That’s her in the yellow shirt.

Here’s something I noticed during the show. My five year old was memorized AND my 17 year old was memorized. My too cool, too proper too old boys were completely immersing themselves in everything.


We saw Jesse and Woody and a very very long line and decided we should just go for it. We went up to the handler, and she immediately got us in the front and we had our picture taken. We gave them the Photo Pass we received at orientation and the photographer gave us a hint. He said to put the photo pass into our lanyard with the bar facing out and then it could be scanned through the plastic. This was a neat trick, and we stopped for every character after that. Including Buzz Lightyear who is suddenly Mackenzie’s “boyfriend”! Buzz and Caelan bonded over Caelan’s t-shirt, which Buzz was very fond of. The shirt said “tell you girlfriend I said thanks”…yeah, I know…teen-agers!
We ended up covering over half the park and were hungry, I mean we started at 11am and it’s what….3pm. HMMMM 3pm? And we’ve done half the park? We must have done the quick half. So we went back to the Wish Lounge, used the restroom grabbed some water bottles from the fridge and had a mini break. DH and I looked at the food service places and took a poll. Kids wanted burgers, so we went to the burger place over by the Buzz Lightyear ride. We had the oldest boys watch the others at a table out in the sunshine, while DH and I grabbed the food. You should have seen the girls face when Mike and I ordered 8 cheeseburger meals! We really like this place for lunch because they gave us mounds of fries, the burgers were huge and there was a condiment bar with fresh tomato’s, onions, lettuce, pickles, grilled onions and mushrooms and every thing else you could ever want on your burger. There was also cheese sauce for the French fries. It took a whole tray just for the condiments, tehe. So for all that, for 8 of us we paid about $70 for lunch, a bargain we thought considering everyone was full and we even had to throw away the extra fries. At this lunch a group of teen-age girls became smitten with my teen-age boys. My oldest Dakota is too proper for such non-sense, I mean, he is going to be a Trooper for heaven sake, geesh. But the 15 yr old Caelan was super OK with it!
Caelan with the girls


Once we deflated Caelan’s head enough to go on some rides, we took off for Space Mountain. Which ended up being Mackenzie’s favorite ride. We had already put her on Splash Mountain, which she loved until the “splash”, and Big Thunder Mountain which she cried all through. We had decided to do a rider swap with her, and all the rides told us if James wanted to go again he could, we were to just tell them at the dis-embarking area we were going again. So we decided to let Dakota watch Mackenzie when he got off and ride Space Mountain with James again. Then Mackenzie said if daddy would sit in the front and hold her feet, and I would sit behind her and hold her hands she would try it. Oh the things you do for your babies  So this is how we rode Space Mountain and she loved it. Then we did the auto-topia, which I think is called something different at WDW.
This is Caelan and through the headrests you can see DH Mike

And Mackenzie driving her car


We were in our last land, Fantasyland, when we looked at the map, and the time. It was 6pm and we had gone on every single ride in MK except Peter Pan and It’s a Small World. We had done the entire park in 7 hours! We were getting hungry again (gotta love teens) and James was fading fast, but here’s the rub…we were suppose to call the shuttle two hours before we want to get picked up, which meant 8pm before we could leave.
Even in Fantasyland, my kids all rode Dumbo without once saying it was lame, or too young

Here’s Macylea and me in Dumbo

Here’s DH Mike and Elijah

Caelan and Mackenzie

Dakota and James


We finished of Fantasyland, went back to the Wish Lounge to change James’ gauze, and then just sort of moseyed out of MK to the shuttle. We did skip a couple things I wanted to see, mainly because James didn’t want to, and it was his trip. One was the Hall of Presidents, and to show you how important the other was….I can’t even remember what it is!
Dakota was so great and a huge help with his siblings, especially Mackenzie. I think one of the really great things that happened on this trip was that Dakota was giving the opportunity to be an enormous help to us. It really showed me that this boy, who is soon to be a man, is on the right track. He helped in all area’s, not just with Mackenzie, but transferring James into rides, watching the kids when we grabbed food, and really just being a third parent. At home Dakota is so busy, he’s a Junior in high school, he’s taking college classes, he is in foot-ball and wrestling, and because of a torn rotator cuff he goes to PT twice a week. He also volunteers for the youth football league and has music lessons once a week. We never see him except at dinner, then he’s off to his room to work on homework. This trip really helped the kids bond again with him.
Dakota with Mackenzie

The shuttle came on time, but we had made a decision, we were getting a rental car the next day! My DH sat up front with the driver and asked him all about Florida’s economy. We were back at GKTW by 8:30pm. We decided on Katie’s Kitchen and had meatloaf, mashed potato’s, cinnamon apples, mac and cheese, corn bread and chicken for dinner. It was delivered tour room in about 15 minutes. When we got into our villa the gift Fairy had come and brought us some Disney Movies, we didn’t have any of them and the kids were all very happy. The kids ate dinner quickly and begged to go swimming. The pool closed in half an hour, but we said YES! Because this is GKTW, they ended being able to swim until about 9:20 when I told them if they wanted ice cream they better dry off. The family went dripping wet to the ice cream palace and had our final ice cream of the day.
We went back to the villa, where everyone fell into bed. Day one over.

Next: back to the airport already?
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DS-22 DS-19 DS-17 DD-17 DS-14DD 10
James PTR-http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2397705
TR-THE WEEK OF YES!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2428215
GKTW-3/10 ASMO-2/11 Disney Wonder-2/12Disney Wonder-11/12Disney Magic-1/13
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:48 PM   #39
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I love your report :-) Awesome...

So sorry James felt embarrased But so happy your DH felt better :-)

Dakota sounds like my twin Brothers's. They are 18 and in their senior year. I paid them to babysit my kids over the summer and still some during this school year. My kids LOVE them .... They are so helpfull :-)
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:55 PM   #40
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Yeah an update!

Teens...they are a special breed aren't they?! Espicially teen boys...

I am really enjoying the pictures and hearing about your trip. I hope the retal car helps!

Lynn
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:59 PM   #41
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Fabulous trip report. One of the best I have read. I can't wait to hear more. Sounds like you had a great time so far. Thanks for all the pictures too.
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Old 03-30-2010, 05:14 PM   #42
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Great update I'm sorry about James feeling embarrassed. Ty is that way too. He doesnt like attention being called to him. How cool to be picked for the pirate show I love your villa view. Dumbo is My all time favorite ride. I cannot wait to ride it.
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Old 03-30-2010, 06:24 PM   #43
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Amber,

I am so loving your trip report! Not only is it extraordinarily fun to read, but it's really informative for those of us going on wish trips in the future. The info you've provided re the shuttle is in the "really good to know" category, and it's truly nice to see that things can go "not as planned" and you can still get a whole lot done and really have fun. It relieves my stress level a bit, for sure (especially since I haven't really planned much yet, and we're leaving in less than three weeks...).
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Visited BC 4/15/12 - 4/22/12 and had a fabulous time!

Wonderful MAW trip to GKTW on 4/17/2010!!!

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Old 03-30-2010, 06:42 PM   #44
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Great update! I'm glad the village buildings are in walking distance. The shuttle does seem pretty inconvenient. Especially if they only have room for two chairs. Don't they keep track of how many people don't get rental cars? I'm glad they are so generous as to give rentals to anyone who wants one.

The girls flirting cracked me up, as did the excitement to ride even the most childish rides. Looks like a great day!!!
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Old 03-30-2010, 07:48 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtopher4 View Post
I love your report :-) Awesome...

So sorry James felt embarrased But so happy your DH felt better :-)

Dakota sounds like my twin Brothers's. They are 18 and in their senior year. I paid them to babysit my kids over the summer and still some during this school year. My kids LOVE them .... They are so helpfull :-)
Just when they become helpful they leave, how fair is that?! And you are blessed with two 18 year old brothers! My second oldest is pretty great too, and has a wonderful sense of humor, which is always appreciated
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TR-THE WEEK OF YES!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2428215
GKTW-3/10 ASMO-2/11 Disney Wonder-2/12Disney Wonder-11/12Disney Magic-1/13
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