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Old 05-14-2010, 10:57 AM   #1
Dieting my way to Disney!!
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I'll never stay off property again!! April 22-30th TR!!

Hello friends!!

I got back from the World 13 days ago and my ENTIRE Trip Report stands finished....waiting in Word for me to cut and paste it over here and add the pics!!

I'm so proud of myself!

My PTR link can be found in my signature. It also contains a mini TR from last year's off-property trip.

Here are the particulars of this trip:

April 22-30
2 nights at SSR with DxDDP
6 nights at AKL with DDP

All nights were on a DVC reservation that we rented from fellow DISers.

Cast of Characters:

Me (34), DH (35), DD (6) and DS (5).

Gonna leave this area open for links, so let's get started!!

Jumping right in!
Checking in and checking out DTD!
What do you mean you didn't like Ohana??
Are we ever going to find our way around this place without getting lost?
Excited at Epcot!!
Scheming, screaming and hippo butts!!
How many times can you hear, "Mommy look!" before it loses all meaning?
What do you eat when you aren't on the Disney Dining Plan?
Gettin' WILD in the Animal Kingdom!!
Ending on a high...note?

Last edited by stayhomemom77; 06-30-2010 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 05-14-2010, 03:51 PM   #2
Dieting my way to Disney!!
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Jumping right in!

So, I'm going to just jump right in and begin on April 21st...departure day:

I woke up a few minutes before the alarm (darn bladder) and thought, “yippee…it’s time to go.” Turns out DH was also awake and he grinned at me when I turned my head to look at him. He wasn’t too excited…we had a “long friggin’ drive” ahead of us (as he put it) but I was nearly dancing. He let me use the washroom first and I had the honour of waking up the kids while he took his turn in the bathroom.

I got the kids up and moving with very little difficulty but somehow fifteen minutes got wasted with unimportant stuff (I dunno what really) so we pulled out of the driveway a touch later than I had hoped to be leaving (6:45 a.m.). Then we were held up at the border for quite a while with a real jerk for a customs officer. Once we made it to the I-75 we began to feel as if we were truly on our way (now 25 minutes behind schedule) and then we stopped dead in traffic.

I-75 was closed ahead due to an accident and we hadn’t had enough time to tune the radio to get the head’s up to avoid it. Thankfully, they were able to clear the wreckage after only about 20 minutes of us sitting there (I feel sorry for the folks who had to wait well over an hour while they took care of it) and we were through Michigan before we had finished discussing the jack at the border!!

There must be something about Ohio…because DD threw up there again, not far from the place where she got sick last year. This time she used her sand pail in the car and as soon as her stomach was clear she was ready to eat some junk food. She was fairly displeased with us when we told her she had to be nausea free for two hours before she could eat anything and even then we only let her have crackers at first. However, as before she felt better once her stomach was emptied and there were no reoccurrences after that.

We stopped for gas and lunch around 1 p.m. in Lexington, Kentucky. DD had chosen Taco Bell for our first vacation meal and DS, the picky eater made an attempt to eat what we ordered him but didn’t like anything other than his nachos and cheese so DH ran next door and grabbed him some nuggets and sweet and sour sauce from McDonalds. Anxious to get back on the road, we wrapped up what the kids had not yet eaten and had them finish it in the car.

DS cracked us all up a few minutes later, when he whistled and said “I’m all spiced out!” Apparently, he needed to cleanse his palette from all the sauces, because what he meant was that he needed a drink! I like having a funny five year old, although he doesn’t always appreciate the things that we find funny.

We had to bypass Knoxville due to another car accident which was backing up the traffic on I-75. This time we were prepared and had tuned into the traffic update station so we missed the entire thing. We were keeping our stops to a minimum in an attempt to make good time and compensate for the early delays and shortly before our dinner stop DD piped up with “my leg hurts…like it’s BROKEN!!” I rubbed it for her and told her to try and stretch it out a bit and that seemed to heal the bone because she said it felt all better.

We stopped shortly after clearing Dalton, Georgia for dinner and spent only $14 at Checkers for the four of us. We filled up after we ate and used the gas station restrooms (WHAT a ghastly experience…the doors didn’t even lock…we got walked in on while we were washing our hands) before getting back out on the road.

We got to the hotel in Lake Park, Georgia at 11:30 p.m. and we were exhausted.

By the time everything with check in was settled it was after midnight before we were able to climb into bed. I woke up at six, the kids woke up at seven and DH was awake in the five o’clock hour due to noise outside our room. He and I stayed in bed though trying to fall back to sleep…at least until the kids awoke.

We threw on our beach attire and had breakfast in the hotel lobby area before heading out for the last leg of our journey towards Daytona Beach. The spread was pretty good for a budget hotel: hard boiled eggs, special K and Frosted Flakes in individual packages, waffles, juice, applesauce, muffins, bagels and bread as well as cream cheese, jam, PB, milk, syrup, butter, etc. Oh, and of course coffee (I don’t drink it so it’s an afterthought for me.)

We were on the road by 8:30 a.m. and got to Daytona three hours later. We found a spot on the street and threw $2 in nickels, dimes and quarters into the meter for two hour of parking. We had made it all the way to Florida and I hadn’t had to take the wheel once!!

Both kids were tumbled by the waves and went all the way under the water but it didn’t seem to deter them too much. We also spent some time playing in the sand and we ate our remaining travel snacks at 1:30 p.m. so that we could avoid stopping for something to eat on the way to Saratoga Springs. We it a Walmart for some necessities…water, cereal, beer for DH before heading to Orlando.

LONGEST HOUR AND A HALF OF MY LIFE!!! It seemed to take FOREVER to get there. But, get there we did! We arrived at SSR at 4 p.m. and checked in quickly.

(I'm having photo troubles so I'll get back to you when they are fixed...

Last edited by stayhomemom77; 05-14-2010 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:05 PM   #4
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I'm in!! Great job writing out the whole thing, wow!

I live on the west coast and some friends of ours drove for three and a half days to get to WDW!! I sure am impressed with you for braving a carsick kid
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:51 PM   #5
Dieting my way to Disney!!
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Checking in and checking out DTD!!

Here was my attempt at getting a pic of the sign as we turned onto the street for DTD. I have skills.

We had the sweetest trainee from Hawaii at the check in desk and got birthday buttons for the two kids. We headed to the Grandstand area to room 9247 and dumped our stuff, checked out the new digs and then showered/bathed and changed for DTD and Ohana.

Some pics of Saratoga Springs...

DD was getting her Princess makeover at BBB so she changed into her Cinderella dress and looked four times as fancy as the rest of us but she looked so sweet and cute we didn’t really mind looking like slobs next to her.

We drove over to DTD since we were going to be leaving from there to go to Ohana and didn’t want to use the buses for it. The snacks from the beach had long since worked their way through our systems so we used one adult and one kid credit and shared sandwiches from Earl of Sandwich to tide us over until our 9:30 p.m. Ohana reservation.

Earl of Sandwich was not what I expected. Lots of people raved about it on the DIS (and with good reason) and plenty of people described it in their trip reports, but I still didn’t get the full picture despite all the help. I paid close attention when I was there, so that I can hopefully give an even fuller picture of what to expect for first timers who come across my TR.

So, they have a winding horizontal line that leads up to the far left corner of the counter and there is a CM there to answer questions and give directions as needed. Since this was our first experience with the dining plan I had her explain it to us (more for my husband than anything else but it was nice to know the specifics of that particular eating establishment.) When she was done her spiel, I realized that my hubby hadn’t even been listening so I had to relay it all to him myself anyway.

So when you get to the front of the line at the far left corner of the counter there are baskets you can use for your desserts, drinks and side dishes…which is convenient since most of them are sort of grab and go along the front of the counter. A CM takes your sandwich order and you get a pager that goes off after a bit to let you know that your order is ready. Anyway, you move on down the line and grab your sides and then hit the cash register and settle up. The counter then turns right and continues on to the wall where you can grab straws and napkins (etc) and I think your fountain drinks (we ordered milk). DH settled up and I took the kids over to a free table and we sat down.

The tables were nice…no formica topped nightmares here…they were dark stained wooden ones that were heavily glossed and shiny, and there were carnations in vases in the center of each table. There was also salt, pepper, mustard (both yellow and brown) and HP sauce in a container on the table. Our seating arrangement was two two-person tables pushed together to form a foursome but I noticed that there were booths along the walls and other table configurations in varying numbers.

We ate quickly, Lori and I had to head over to BBB soon and I didn’t want to rush that part so we ate fast and left the boys behind. I explained to Randy that I just wanted to snag a few bites of whatever he ordered. My goal was to put just enough in my belly to keep it from grumbling until we were having our real dinner at Ohana. So he ordered the Montague and we got a PB&J for the kids. We chose fruit as one side and got a brownie for the other. We also got 2 large milks (one for each meal) to share. I had some fruit and about four bites of the sandwich (very tasty). The kids’ sandwich was also toasted (I dunno why I was surprised by this but I was) and DS made a mess of himself but DD was very careful and stayed clean and free from drips. Of course I had to reminder her to be careful more than once but it worked beautifully.

I’m estimating that the adult sandwich was about six inches long and the kid one was about four inches…a very good size for sharing in my opinion. They come cut in half and DH kept trying to get me to eat the entire half he handed me but my fruit and the four bites filled me up enough and I gave the rest back to him. Then he tried to get me to split the dessert with him…I finally agreed to one bite so I could write about it. The brownie was amazing…very rich, one bite was enough for me. There were two round brownie “cookies” for lack of a better word, about three inches across with some chocolate icing sandwiched in between. There were also crunchy bits of chocolate mixed in with the icing. It was really tasty but very rich and DH shared it with the kids too.

So the boys were still finishing up their food when we ladies ran off to keep our appointment with a fairy godmother in training.
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:36 PM   #6
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I'm in! Great start so far - can't wait to read more

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Old 05-17-2010, 09:12 PM   #7
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So far, so good. I can't wait to
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:02 PM   #8
Dieting my way to Disney!!
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Thanks friends!! It's taking me quite a while to cut and paste and add the photos...I feel for the folks that do their updates old school and just write them on here. I'd lose total continuity if I did that. I did on my PTR completely.

Anyway, will add another update soon!!
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Old 05-19-2010, 02:37 PM   #9
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What do you mean, you didn't like Ohana??

So the boys were still finishing up their food when we ladies ran off to keep our appointment with a fairy godmother in training....

We entered World of Disney where the pirate skeletons are trying to get out and they would have scared DD silly if I hadn’t rushed her through there on our way to the princess section. We found the right area without trouble and checked right in. They make you a see through name tag sticker that they affix to the brochure that you get which shows the girls their choices between the three makeovers. There’s the princess makeover, a pop princess makeover and a diva makeover. DD went for the traditional princess makeover without hesitation. I cannot convey to you just how excited she was to be there…which is surprising since she’s most comfortable in sweats and HATES me touching her hair.

Our fairy godmother in training came to claim her just as the podium CM was telling us to have a seat so we had no wait whatsoever. We were led over to her station and she was great with DD. She kept telling her she was doing great and kept addressing her as “Beautiful” and “Princess” throughout the experience.

I was sitting on a round couch in the middle of the room watching the transformation and there was a female photopass photographer there who was AMAZING!! She took tons of shots of DD during the procedure and acted as though she was just as excited by the experience as the girls she was photographing.

She came over to discuss the photopass process with me but since I knew all about it she simply got the card ready and started snapping. They have a little slot on the table at each station for the card to rest in to make it easier for her…I thought it was a great idea! I did take quite a few pics with our camera but since she was doing such a great job of capturing everything I put it away towards the end and just enjoyed the experience.

I'm sorry to say that I can't post any of the pics of the kids on here. DH said he was uncomfortable with that idea...which severely limits how many photos will actually appear in this TR because we just didn't take a lot of non family photos. Still, what I have is better than nothing!!

In about 30 minutes, DD had her hair, nails and makeup (shadow, blush and gloss) done and her FGIT had pinned her BBB sash to her dress. Then they did a big reveal where she was turned around to see herself in the mirror. She was thrilled (Mommy cried a little…but only a VERY little) and we paid and she went back to tip her FGIT who took her over to the wishing well as I finished my transaction at the counter. Then we hit the World of Disney to shop!!

I just want to say that DD had a really great FGIT but there was a bit of inter-godmother discussion going on (even with her) which detracted a bit from some of the magic. The godmother next to ours asked her whose shift she was covering and they chatted for a minute or two about that (ours hadn’t been scheduled to come it that day, I guess). It didn’t bother me really, but I could see how it could take away from the experience. That same FGIT that started the conversation also chatted quite a bit with the CM on her other side after that and I felt bad for the little girls who were getting their makeovers at the time. C’mon people you can chat and stay in character at the same time!! Sorry, rant done.

Anyway, the ladies got to shop on their own for a little bit which was really fun…especially since my little princess got TONS of attention being all made up and gorgeous. She immediately found a Bolt stuffy and just HAD to have him. He was a constant companion for several days.

I got a white notebook with red Mickey’s on it so I could take it around with me and record things for this report. I also picked up an autograph book and pen set (I love that you get them for cheaper if you buy them together) for the kids and I even found some Mickey and Minnie stuff (coasters and a salt and pepper shaker set) for my MIL’s birthday.

After this we had to head to the Lego store to meet up with the boys. DD had to pause for a while to build and race some Lego cars and when we met up with the boys DS had found some things he wanted to buy too. The kids wore their birthday buttons on their hats and in the Lego store DS got a phone call from Goofy wishing him a happy birthday. DH said that DS had trouble hearing the call (it was really loud in there) so DH had to explain to him what was happening and it wasn’t quite the magical experience that the CM was going for. Still, DH thought it was neat…I hadn’t mentioned that to him so he thought it was cool that they did little things like that for the kids. At World of Disney, DS had found a pirate treasure chest filled with goodies and an Eve figurine from Wall E that he wanted so once we found one another again the boys ran back in there to make those purchases while we waited for them on a bench.

At this point the kids were DYING to check out Goofy’s so we headed over there. The sun had gone down and it was starting to get dark and somehow this made DTD seem so much cooler and so much more fun. I dunno why but I do know I wasn’t the only one who felt it. We were all having a great time so far…it was awesome.

We knew that we didn’t need our snack credits for the SSR stay so we determined to use them for souveniers at Goofy’s for my nieces and nephews back home. Goofy’s was a lot smaller than I expected it to be. There was a TON of candy and sweets in there but it was more packed in that I had expected it to be, I guess. We got 10 treats for the cousins (various things) and a water to share as we were quite parched. By this time we were ready to head over to the Polynesian to check it out a bit before dinner.

DD asked me at least five times that night, “Do I look beautiful, Mommy?” And I would solemnly assure her that she did. It was cute as heck!!

So, on to the Polynesian....

There is good signage on the roads to assist you in finding what you are looking for and we got to the other resort without any trouble. DH was surprised that we needed to go through the MK parking booths to get to the other resorts. We had our parking pass so we were waved through but he wondered whether or not you had to pay the parking fee if you were going there for dinner but staying off site. He didn’t think this it was fair to have to pay $14 to eat at one of their resort restaurants but couldn’t figure out how they’d keep track of things otherwise.

We took a few pics as we walked up to the front of the building and the kids found the cartoons as soon as we walked through the lobby doors and parked themselves in front of the t.v. I updated my notes beside them for a few minutes while DH looked around and then I went into the store to browse while he kept an eye on the kids. They ended up watching three cartoons and then we dragged them away.

We checked in at 9:10 p.m. for a 9:30 p.m. reservation and checked out a store upstairs (where one of the kids made a purchase…I think DD) while we waited for our pager to go off. It buzzed at 9:20 p.m. and they took us as soon as we reported back at the podium. We had no view of the fireworks from our table…in fact we overlooked a bit of the grill and a door to some storage area or something but we loved the ambiance and looked forward to the food. Our server was Toan...we didn’t see him much that night.
Other people brought us the food so after our drinks had been taken care of he was sort of a non entity for a while.

DD and DH got up and joined in the hula and got a lei each for their trouble. So first the coconut bread, the dips for the meat and the salad come to the table. Things came fairly quickly at the beginning. DD hears the word coconut and goes on a hunger strike. She HATES coconut and refuses to eat ANYTHING for fear of tasting the dreaded stuff. On the other hand, DS the FUSSY eater of the family actually tries some of the food. WTH???

Our one Ohana food pic!!

Wait I lied! This was DD's meal at Ohana!

Not one of us liked the bread…at all. The boys and I started with a small piece each and I was the only one who actually finished mine. Even DH took one bite and left the rest, but then he doesn’t like coconut either. I didn’t care for it so the rest of the loaf sat untouched. I didn’t like the salad either…I’ve never been a fan of sweet dressings and the honey lime dressing was just that…sweet. DH didn’t like it either, but he doesn’t like honey so I didn’t imagine that he would. Neither kid would try it..they do like salad but they are particular about their dressings, so they passed.

The pot stickers and chicken wings came next. DD was still on that hunger strike and refused everything I offered to her despite reassurances that there was no coconut in or on them. I took one of each and liked them both. I liked the pot stickers so much that I ended up eating two more. Then came the noodles and the broccoli. The broccoli was a little undercooked for my taste but the flavours were nice and the noodles were excellent. I took a small amount of each and then sat back to wait for more food. I warned hubby to pace himself…that there was still a ton of food to come but he didn’t quite listen to me and began to fill up on the wings, pot stickers and noodles. He particularly liked the wings and felt guilty that we were wasting so much food so he ate a lot!!

Even DS the picky eater ate some of the noodles…I got pics to prove it. DD loves broccoli but wouldn’t go near it. At this point I knew we needed to order them a kid’s meal so once we were able to flag down Toan (when he went past us to take the drinks to a nearby table) I asked him to bring a PB&J for DS and a cheeseburger for DD. It took quite a while for them to come so it was close to 10 pm before their food was in front of them. They didn’t eat much…they were tired and ready for bed.

In the meantime the meat skewers began to arrive at our table. I took one small piece of turkey but passed on the pork tenderloin. DH said it was quite good and tried to get me to try some but I don’t like pork much so I passed. The turkey was cold and dry…I was disappointed but I knew more was coming. After a while the steak and shrimp arrived and I got three shrimp but asked for only one piece of steak which shocked the server. He started at me for a minute before only giving me one…he put a whole bunch on DH’s plate though!!

The steak was delicious but again…not very hot and the shrimp although tasty was lukewarm at best. I was quite disappointed overall. I forgot all about the dips but DH tried them and said some were good and some not so much. I stole a French fry from DD and tried the mustard dip…I thought it was disgusting!! I like yellow mustard in small quantities and brown mustard not at all so it’s no surprise. I also wasn’t a huge fan of peeling my shrimp…it kinda grossed me out to be honest and things only went downhill from there. Each one of us had a kid in our lap as soon as we finished our meat and we waited for a WHILE to see if we could catch Toan as he made his rounds.

A server came by after about 15 minutes and cleared up the table for us and asked about dessert. It was fairly late by this time so we told him we’d skip dessert and could he tell Toan for us (was he on a smoke break? Where the heck was he?) that we would just like the check. He started at me for a minute after I told him we didn’t want dessert…you’d think I’d been speaking a different language…he was obviously flummoxed and he said, “You don’t want dessert?”

I told him that the kids were exhausted and gestured to the princess in my lap as proof and told him that we just wanted to settle the bill and get them to bed. “Can you please find Toan and ask him to get our bill for us.” He said he would do that and disappeared with our dishes. We never saw him again.

Toan came by about fifteen minutes after THAT with dessert (!?!?) and I had to ask him to bring us the check right away as the kids were falling asleep in our laps. I think the fact that his tip hung in the balance must have shown on my face because he came back fairly quickly with the bill and I settled it as fast as I could so we could be on our way. I was annoyed…we waited thirty minutes after finishing our entrees for our dessert. That seems a little excessive to me and we didn’t even SEE our server in all that time (and we were looking, I promise you) so we could flag him down.

Since it was already at the table, DH decided to try the bread pudding even though he was uncomfortably stuffed. He said it was okay…not amazing but not terrible. I wouldn’t touch it because it was full of bananas (gross)!! Neither of the kids were interested in trying it either…they were barely conscious. We hurried out to the parking lot and got back to the resort a few minutes later and it was 11 p.m. before they were sleeping.

Overall, I was severely disappointed in this meal experience. Part of it was our fault…we had made a late reservation and we knew that the kids would be tired but I do think that we waited far too long for dessert and that the total disappearance of our server for that length of time was intolerable. I also didn’t care for where we had been seated…in my opinion we were sitting at the worst table in the restaurant which in and of itself isn’t such a big deal but put together with such poor service and the lukewarm temperature of the food made me sorry we had decided to dine here.

After discussing it with my DH we decided that we would be willing to try it again on another trip but only if we had a good time slot and if we had already tried all the other restaurants that we are interested in but didn’t have a chance to sample this time around.

The balcony of our room.

Looking straight out.

Looking right...see the treehouse villas?

Looking left.

As for the SSR...we liked our room a lot. We had a really nice corner room overlooking the treehouses and the golf course on the second floor. The beds were quite comfy and it was clean and spacious. The bathroom must have had some kind of sensor because the fan turned on automatically when it detected any movement…something DD did not appreciate and there was no switch to turn it back off. There was an adjustable shower head (an important feature for me as I have thick hair and need better than average pressure in order to rinse it properly) and we had more than enough room for all of our luggage without clogging up all of the living space.

We were close to a quiet pool but pretty far from the main building and really far from the playground. It wasn’t a big deal but I think without the car we would have found it really inconvenient to take the time to walk or utilize the internal transportation to get around the resort. I don’t think we’d stay here on our own dime again…being close to DTD was not the perk we thought it was going to be and we couldn’t rationalize why it was so many more points than AKL for any reason other than this. We did enjoy it though…it was quiet and beautiful and peaceful so we have no complaints.

Stay tuned for our first full day of Disney...
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:51 PM   #10
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Hi, I am enjoying your trip report,like your style and very detailed. My family and I have had both good and bad experiences at Ohana,it is not very consistent and wait staff always seem to disappear. If you do give it another try,check-in early and ASK for a window table. Even if it means waiting an extra 10 minutes or so,a window table does seem to make Ohana a NICER experience! Joan
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:54 PM   #11
Dieting my way to Disney!!
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Thanks for the tip...I'll do that next time.
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:20 PM   #12
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Just wanted to say hi and I'm loving your report!!! Great start!! Can't wait to read more!!

ASMU '95WL '05POP/POFQ '06ASMU '07POLY CL '09WL CL June '10ASMu Suite Nov '10CSR June '11POR Princess 1/2 '12ASp/CSR/AKL '12 ToT 10 Miler CSR '13
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:16 AM   #13
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Can't believe I'm just finding you!!!! ARGH!

I really need to get in line and get on the DIS more. GEESH!

Glad DS enjoyed her BBB experience and that you guys liked DTD. I love it at night too!!

So sorry you guys didn't like 'Ohana. We love it!! Though neither of our experiences has been without a few issues. I agree the time of night was probably a contributing factor to the slow service and lukewarm food. At least I hope that's the reason!! I'd hate for it to be going downhill.

I understand about your DH not wanting the kids pics up. Maybe you could experiment with putting a star in front of their face so that they aren't completely visible?? I know a lot of people that do that for internet uploads.
Just a thought!

I can't can't can't wait to hear what you think of AKL!!!!!! I'm biting my nails over here to hear what you thought.

I'll send you a PM to explain more about WISH!
gellybean aka Elastigirl (32) Mr. Incredible (34) Dash (9) Jack Jack (4) Violet (15mths) Hannah Chuy

Read all about our special needs, miracle daughter Violet @ http://youjustmightfindyougetwhatyouneed.blogspot.com/

September 2012 PTR - I actually just squealed with excitement!! We are going back! Baby girl's 1st trip!! Nemo Suite at AoA
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Old 05-26-2010, 06:23 PM   #14
Dieting my way to Disney!!
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Are we ever going to find our way around this place without getting lost?

We had hoped that the kids would sleep in a bit the following morning given their late night but they were up just after seven. We had a contingency plan for this…we had decided already that if they didn’t sleep in very late we would come back to the room in the early afternoon for a family siesta. We took our time getting ready for the day (DD had slept in her bun so I fixed it a tiny bit…she was determined to see Mary Poppins and Alice “made up”).

We headed over to the Grand Floridian early so we could check it out feeling confident…after all, there were signs aplenty telling us how to get there and we had been next door just last night so we should get there no problem, right? Wrong!! Apparently we were so confident we were cocky and forgot to look for those signs and ended up turning left when we should have turned right and then DH wouldn’t turn around and backtrack so we were like 15 minutes AWAY from the area before I could convince him to turn around and go back. We ended up turning around on the 192!! As a result we made it to the FAR parking lot with 5 minutes to go before our reservation time so we threw a kid each up on our shoulders and practically RAN to the lobby. We checked in at 9:45 a.m. for a 9:45 a.m. reservation.

The food was excellent…we were seating in dining area closest to the doors but on the opposite side of the room next to the wall. The kids got lots of attention because of their birthday pins and the servers were great. They loved the Mickey head plates and breakfast food is their favourite so they really loaded up! I like that they have the kid food on lower counters so that they are able to see it and reach it on their own. I love little touches like that. We had lunch reservations at 2:15 p.m. so I told DH to eat light or he wouldn’t be able to enjoy lunch properly but he ignored me again. The food was so good that he loaded up a second plate and was feeling quite full once again by the time we left.

Our first character visitor was Pooh Bear, followed closely by Mary Poppins. DS decided to pose for pics with Pooh and give him a quick hug but had no further character interaction at all during that meal. In fact besides Pooh, only Lightening McQueen got a pic with DS during the entire trip!! Pooh and Mary signed our autograph book and DD was really very sweet with Mary…we got a great picture with her.

Alice and the Mad Hatter came into our room and DD got very nervous. She climbed into my lap (which at nearly seven she is far too big for) and watched him like a hawk. Alice came first and she thawed bit and spoke to her. Alice wanted to know what was going on and when I explained that DD was afraid of the Mad Hatter, Alice explained that she was afraid of spiders (8 is too many legs for a creature) and spoke kindly to her for a minute or two before moving on.

My food was getting cold so I offered to switch spots with DD so she could sit next to the wall (DS on the other side of the table had already claimed that position putting DH next to the characters) and she agreed. We spoke to the Mad Hatter when he stopped by and he signed the book and posed alone for the picture and then moved on. DD didn’t really fully relax until he left the room.

Somehow, Tigger had overlooked us so we told our server, Karen so she would send him over. In the mean time they brought cupcakes and placemats for the kids and sang happy birthday to them. It was a nice touch. DS pronounced his cupcake, “delicious” but we never did get to meet Tigger. Pooh came again…I guess she sent the wrong character so we have his signature twice in our book. We decided not to wait for Tigger and we left to check out the resort.

I would do 1900 Park Fare again in a heartbeat. I liked the character interaction and the entire meal experience was wonderful. I’m interested in trying the dinner here and should we feel the need to eat with Cinderella again, I’m going to suggest we do it here.

We took some pics and wandered around GF a bit and although the resort is beautiful and DD and I particularly loved it DH couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. He says that the Disney transportation makes getting around effortless and paying all that extra money just to be on the monorail line doesn’t seem worth it to him. I have to agree...the Polynesian and the Grand Floridian ARE beautiful but I’m certainly content to just visit and eat there and stay at a less expensive resort and use the bus system.

DD showing her best side!!

We then headed back to SSR for our nap. I took out DD’s hair and made DS sleep with Daddy so that the giggling would stop and I took his place on the pull out. While not as comfortable as a full mattress, it was fine for what it was and I was able to snooze a little beside “the child who would not sleep.” She stayed quiet and the boys had a lovely long nap but she flopped around quite a bit and sighed and whispered to Bolt enough to keep me from doing more than catch a couple of ten minute stretches of unconsciousness.

I turned off the alarm just before it went off and woke the boys. This time we decided to check out the resort AFTER eating so we didn’t have time to get lost on the way over to the resort but get lost we DID!! AGAIN!! Although this time he realized the mistake quickly and we corrected it right away but we were still behind schedule and by the time we checked in for lunch at 2:20 p.m. we were five minutes late for our reservation. They sat us immediately and the kids looked longingly at the Lincoln logs but we rushed them by and towards our table.

Our server, Doc Willis (?? That's what is says on the receipt) came over after six minutes and there were only five other tables occupied by other diners so it was pretty quiet in there. They came over after a couple of minutes to acknowledge the kids’ birthdays and we were invited to participate in the singing of “If you’re happy and you know it” and the waitress held the microphone out to DS to shout “yeehaw!!” but it was a no go so Mom had to step up and fill in for him. It was borderline humiliating quite frankly and I’m not sure if a crowded restaurant would have made it better or worse.

This was another BIG meal because of the Deluxe plan. DH ordered nacho chips for an appetizer, trout for his entrée and a vanilla shake to drink. I order the pork spring rolls, the skillet and a chocolate shake. The kids got chocolate shakes too and DD ordered a cheeseburger while DS ordered the skillet and they each got a fruit cup and a cookie.

A chef was going by the table, noticed the kids’ birthday buttons and wished them a happy birthday. They did not respond with much enthusiasm. I didn’t like that they had paper napkins instead of cloth ones…this stuck out as something noticeable for me and if I’m going to spend $100 on dinner, I think I deserve a cloth napkin. It’s not that important, I know but it’s just one of those little details that kind of irked me although not something that would keep me from going back or anything.

Our waiter was nice but a bit over the top. He had a noise maker in his apron that squeaked like a mouse so he told the kids that it was his friend and that they needed to share their cookies with him. He also kept pointing to the windows (which we were nowhere near) and telling them to look for wildlife but he talked so fast that half the time we didn’t really understand what he was saying. I could have done without this banter to be perfectly honest…it began to annoy me after a while.

We had a ton of food left over so we asked for containers so we could pack it up and also ordered our desserts to go. I got the cheesecake and hubby got the chocolate cake and we brought it all back to the room. It barely fit into the fridge and I joked that dinner was covered!! We were done in the restaurant by 3:30 p.m. but we had to stop in the front lobby area so that the kids could play with the Lincoln logs for a bit first.

I really liked this restaurant too…I’d like to come back and try it again for dinner. I think it would be an even funner experience when the restaurant is fuller and there are a lot more shenanigans going on. We missed out on everything they do just because they were shutting down before dinner. This restaurant is on my list for next time but I hope we get a different server.

Our lone Wilderness Lodge photo.

We dragged the kids away from the Lincoln logs at 4 p.m. and decided to forego checking out the grounds as we were anxious to get back to SSR so the kids could play at the playground and we could all get our mugs and go for a dip. We changed into our bathing suits and threw some clothes on over top and walked to the main building. We got there and filled our mugs and then the kids began complaining about walking further to the playground…DD had a blister and DS just wanted a piggy back ride. DH offered to run back and get the car so we could drive over to the other side of the resort so we waited at the main building for him and he picked us up a few minutes later.

I think we spent close to an hour at the playground and in the end decided to skip the main pool as we had first planned on visiting and go to the Grandstand quiet pool instead. DH was particularly interested in showing the kids the splash pad with the sprinklers and horse water guns. We had a ton of fun and had to drag the kids (and ourselves) out of the pool area to clean up and change back at the room for another visit to DTD. We told them it was time to change and DS thought we meant “right now” because he stripped off his bathing shorts right there at the pool and flashed the neighbourhood.

This was one of those times where he got annoyed that Mommy and Daddy were laughing at him. Still, trying to yank his wet shorts back up over his tushy (and more) was not an easy task especially as I was attempting to be discreet so as not to attract any more attention than he already had so I can’t be blamed if I allowed a few giggles to escape now and then.
So once we were clean and dry we drove over to DTD once again…and parked in Idaho!! We were in lot H (as opposed to lot C from the night before) and DH was surprised that it would be that busy until I reminded him that it was Friday night!

We hit Once Upon a Toy (it was fun) and the kids got a few more items. We were only two days into our Disney vacation and they had spent roughly 2/3 of their spending money, but they were thrilled with their purchases so neither DH nor I did more than remind them that they only had X amount of dollars left each time they selected an item to buy.

DTD was a ZOO!! I was not having as much fun as I had the night before because it was mobbed with people but we stayed for a bit longer to ensure that the kids got what they wanted and saw everything that they were interested in seeing. I was relieved when we finally left.

We got back to our building around 10 p.m. and realized that we had left two frosted cookies from Goofy’s (that we had bought the night before) in the hot car all day and the icing melted and ran and ruined the cookies. Since we weren’t sure they were safe for eating, we just threw them out and realized that we had to replace them as they had been set aside as souvenirs for the cousins back home.

We threw out most of the leftover food from WCC. We hadn’t been especially hungry at dinner time so we just nibbled on a bit of food once the kids were in bed and threw the rest away. I only had a bit of the cheesecake. It was really tasty but DH hadn’t realized that he had a chocolate whiskey cake so he was disappointed when I told him. (He offered to share with me and I had to explain why I was turning down chocolate.) I can’t remember if he tried it or not because I hopped in the shower but I left him the rest of my cheesecake and it was gone when I came out of the shower.

So that was our first full Disney day, and it didn't disappoint. This was one of our favourite days...we had a ton of fun in the pool and the food experiences were top notch!!

Stay tuned for our first park day!!
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Old 05-26-2010, 06:46 PM   #15
Dieting my way to Disney!!
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Courtice, ON
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Excited at Epcot!

We packed up the room fairly quickly the following morning and DH loaded the car while I finished getting the kids ready. They were excited for our first park day. I love that you don’t have to check out…as long as your bill is correct you can just leave…we did it both times and it was great!!

We didn’t make rope drop at any park this year…although we were entering the park right at nine on two or three occasions. It suited me just fine though, I was much more relaxed in the mornings and we had a stress free time because of that. I think our latest arrival was 9:30 a.m. and most of the time it was between 9 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. so it was close enough!!
So, we got to Epcot at 9:30 a.m. and were serenaded by a security attendant in the parking lot. It was funny to see her singing Happy Birthday to the kids from her Segway. The kids thought it was neat though and we headed quickly to the park.

Our first order of business was to get Soarin’ fastpasses. They had a return time of 12:12 p.m. Then we headed over to Mission: Space so the boys could ride. I tried to coax DD into going on with me but she was adamant. We didn’t know if DS was going to be tall enough and we had prepared him for the chance that he was not so imagine our surprise when he was granted access. He was thrilled and left us beaming.

DD and I hung out in the gift shop for a bit while we waited (it was only a 10 minute standby time for the green side) and then headed back out to meet the fellas. DS was thrilled…he had really liked the ride. After an unsuccessful attempt by both DH and DS to convince DD to give the ride a try, DS agreed to go back on it with Mommy! Unfortunately, although we passed the first two measuring spots, when we were ready to board the ride they measured him one last time and said he was a full inch too short. WTH?? He was just on!!

We were denied access to the ride and he was crushed!! “They tricked me,” he said. I felt really bad. Poor little guy! We told him we could try it again later but I guess he couldn’t stand the thought of possible rejection because he didn’t want to attempt it any more times.

At this point we needed to find a restroom and we had to trek ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE FRONT GATE to find somewhere to pee. We couldn’t find the closest bathroom, the second one was closed for renovations so by the time we found one that was open we were at the front of the park again…and we had left the strollers parked outside of Mission: Space. DH offered to run back and grab them so we didn’t all have to backtrack so we waited for him near Innoventions in the shade.

He came back a minute or two later with only one stroller…his!! I have one that’s a bit taller that I push because I can’t comfortably push the one that’s shorter or my back gets really sore but apparently the steel bolt that held it all together was snapped in half (don’t ask me how that happened) so he told me it was useless. He’d just left it near the garbage thinking someone would figure it out and toss it.

So now, we were short a stroller which meant we’d be going at a slower pace and the kids would have to switch off taking turns walking (something they were loath to do.) I thought they’d be alright with this situation but they actually ended up being really sucky…and we took lots of breaks so I don’t really know why. Anyway, the loss of the second stroller became a constant headache and in retrospect we should have just run to the local Walmart (or whatever) and replaced it that first night.

We headed to The Seas…did the ride and looked at the marine displays for a bit before heading to The Land.

I (like an idiot) thought that we had plenty of time to fit in a quick ride on Living with the Land before our fastpass window opened up for Soarin’ so by the time we were off of Soarin’ we were late for our lunch reservation for Teppan Edo. For some reason we decided to abandon the stroller and just make a run for it. We ran for a bit and then just tried to speed walk with a kid each on our shoulders. Eventually I just gave up and said…we get there when we get there and slowed down to a comfortable walk so I didn’t DIE.

We DID get there…20 minutes late for our reservation but they checked us in right away and we were seated by 1:30 p.m. Teppan Edo was a lot of fun!! The kids were turning their noses up at the food, although they did like their chopsticks and didn’t brighten up until the chef arrived and began cooking.

Then there were smiles on their faces. They didn’t love their food but they did enjoy the entertainment so it was a good meal overall. Our server was Aya but I forget the name of our chef. He was really funny though and told us that he was from Jacksonville, which made everyone laugh (he obviously WAS Japanese-American) because he was like the only one at the restaurant that was born in the States.

I ordered a salad with Asian dressing for my appetizer…I didn’t like the dressing but salad was nice and fresh and I just ate around the really saturated parts. DH got the tempura plate…I shared a bit with him, it was extremely tasty. The kids ordered the tempura meals and kind of picked at them. DD ate more than I had expected but DS did what I anticipated he would do and stuck to what he knew.

I got scallops for my entrée (nice and light) and DH ordered chicken and shrimp. The food was delicious and I nearly cleaned my plate…a first for me thus far on the trip. I tried all the dips and neither loved nor hated any of them.

The kids were given chef hats because of their birthday buttons as well as free desserts!! They brought a ginger cake as well as a green tea pudding to add to the ice cream that DH and I ordered. We sort of shared everything…expect the pudding…DH had that all to himself. I had a couple of bites of the cake at DH’s insistence (it was delicious). I had been avoiding it due to the ginger (I hate ginger) but he assured me that you couldn’t taste it and so I gamely tried a bite. It was really good and DD polished most of it off leaving the ice cream for DS and one more for all of us to share.

Overall this was one of my favourite dining experiences of the trip. The food was great and it was good fun!! The service was impeccable and the décor beautiful. Two thumbs waaaaay up from each member of my family. I’m so glad they took us even though we were late. I thought we were out of luck for sure but they never even said a word when we checked in. We have a few other Epcot restaurants that we want to try next time but if we can’t get into the new places…this one will be high on the list.

We then shopped downstairs. I was getting a pearl for Mother’s Day, DD wanted one of her own and we were getting one for my niece who turns five this month. I had ordered the Cinderella carriage pearl cages off of ebay shortly before we left and they came the day before departure so I tossed them into the park bag so that we could wear our necklaces right away upon picking our pearls.

DS picked out the pearl for me, I chose the one for my niece and DD chose her own. I loved the ceremony…there were tons of people hanging around watching the process. Mine was 7 ¼ mm pink tinge, my niece got 7 ¼ mm orange tinge and DD got a 7 ¾ mm ivory one. We were all very pleased with our purchases. Alas, we had left our stroller back at The Land before the 20 minute dash for lunch so we had to wait a bit to don them.
DH decided to get a Samurai sword letter opener and DS got a Pikachu for his best friend back home. He used his own money and everything and insisted that this was the very gift for his chum. It was very sweet.

We checked out the rest of Japan.

We strolled over to Morocco, just looking around and taking our time and then we decided to take the boat back to Canada.

Once again DH volunteered to be the runner to pick up the stroller. It was getting quite hot and the kids were getting flushed so I asked him to get some cold drinks for them on his way back. In the meantime, the kids and I hung out in the Let’s get Moving play land. They played and I rested in those comfy deck chairs that are available. I even had one in the shade!! DH came back with two frozen drinks, one strawberry and one blue raspberry. Just like last year, the boys were more interested in the drinks than the girls were and DD and I had very little of them.

We dragged them away from there after a little while and took them to Sunshine Seasons so that they could have a bit more to eat. We still have a couple of credits left and decided this was the best use for them. I think they got PB&J’s (what else?) and then it was time to head back to Canada to check in for our dinner at Le Cellier.

Our reservations were for six p.m. and we ended up getting to Canada a touch faster than we had counted on. The ladies at the podium let us check in a touch early though and we went to the kidcot station to wait for them to call our name. We checked in at 5:40 p.m. and they called us at 5:50 p.m. The kids were mad that they didn’t get a chance to finish decorating their masks but reluctantly followed us into the restaurant.

First of all, I want to say that the restaurant WAS small, but it was bigger than I had expected it to be. I heard the ladies (there were two) at the podium turn away a walk up, telling him that they were fully booked, so I was quite surprised to see several vacant tables that remained so during our entire meal.

Overall, I liked this restaurant a lot. Our server, Patrick was really nice but he was a serious dork. As a fellow Canadian, I claim the right to call him that. We were there about an hour…didn’t feel rushed or held up which was nice and still stuffed ourselves so silly that we had to bring our leftovers and desserts (chocolate moose) home again.

We began with drinks, of course. I got the Red Maple…very tasty and DS and DH got the Niagara Refresher. I don’t remember what DD got…probably milk or juice. It’s not listed on the receipt.

DS got a steak and fries, DD got a cheese pizza, DH started with the cheese soup and I started with tomato stack. I have to say, the tomato stack was delicious!! I gobbled up every bite. DH liked his soup but didn’t think it was amazing or anything. DS didn’t want the steak so we brought it home but he ate his veggies and fries and down his Niagara refresher…he LOVED it! DD ate her pizza and sides (celery and carrot sticks) and for our entrees DH got the Mushroom filet and I got the NY strip. I ate every last bite too…even though it practically killed me. I tasted my potatoes and I liked them but I just didn’t have the room for them. DH RAVED over his mushroom filet. He ate most of it and brought home what he couldn’t finish to eat later that night.

Patrick came over when I was sorting out the bill with a moose hat on and waited for me to notice him (he was right behind me). I jumped and the kids practically fell off their chairs with laughter. They had seen him come over and had to actually say to me, “Mommy, look behind you!” I left a few bucks more for the tip. Anyone silly enough to wear that hat in a public place deserves a little extra even though I thought he had a screw loose!

Once finished, we made the long trek back to the car and then on to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I have to admit I was practically beside myself with excitement during this short car ride. We found the place without incident (didn’t get lost once…fancy that!) but parked in the lot instead of pulling up to the doors for check in and to unload the luggage. I checked us in without incident and we went up to the room and got the kids into the bath immediately. DH went down to the car with someone from the valet area to help him unload the 9 pieces of luggage!! He came up with only the handheld bag (sadly, NOT the one I told him we needed for the kids to change) and explained that I had to call down for them to deliver our stuff. I did that and had the kids dry off and hop into bed in their towels until the bags came up with their pj’s. It was really quick and soon the kiddies were decently dressed and tucked in.

With DH’s help, unpacking and arranging our things took only about half an hour (although it felt like a lot less time had passed) and we went out to enjoy the night on our balcony. I had only paid for a standard room here too but just like SSR we were given something other than a parking lot view. We were in room 5012 with a partial view of the pool. I didn’t find it loud at all in the room, even when the pool was quite busy and even when we were out on the balcony we didn’t find the noise excessive or disruptive in the least.

Okay gelly girl, this is it...the part you've been waiting for...

Can I just say, I LOVE AKL!!!!! I do not feel the need to stay anywhere else. I do want to see what BLT is like but I don’t know that I’ll ever feel the need to stay there. I only saw it from a distance though, so I can’t say for certain until the next time we go and I get the chance to officially check it out. But our family, particularly DH loved, loved, loved this resort. On a scale of 1 to 10 it was a 15!!

The room was so comfortable and I loved our bed (even if you needed a ladder to get up onto it). The pictures don’t do the room justice. Our bathroom and kitchenette had marble top counters and it was impeccably clean. I can’t WAIT to come back here.

Okay, enough of that. At some point after getting to the hotel but before putting the kids to bed, I was asking DD why she had reneged on her promise to go on Mission: Space if her brother gave it the thumbs up. She told me at the park on more than one occasion, “No Mommy, I’ll go on it later.” Well, later came and went and she never went on the ride. Anyway, as I was asking her about this again at the hotel she said to me:

“Mommy, when a woman says later…she really means NOT EVER!!”

If you haven’t seen The Princess and the Frog, you won’t get why DH and I couldn’t stop laughing. In short, it’s something that Charlotte says to a potential suitor about dancing with him (or NOT dancing with him) because she is waiting for Prince Naveen to arrive. But my little baby TOTALLY said it with a little accent and the exact imitation of Charlotte’s inflection and everything. Too cute!!

Up next: Hollywood Studios!!

Last edited by stayhomemom77; 05-26-2010 at 07:31 PM.
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