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Old 06-28-2010, 01:25 PM   #1
timandlesley
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Timandlesley's The Sum of Our Thrills TR w/ tons of pics&video 9/27 PTR link pg.58

Hello ladies and gentleman, thanks for joining the “timandlesley” crew for another trip report. If you didn’t follow us over from our pre trip report, here is the link in case you want some background information…:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2391144
To re cap for you quickly before we begin. It was myself (Lesley), my husband Tim, my son Luke (9) and my daughter Lauren (6) on this trip. We decided to DRIVE from Cincinnati this year to take our time going down to Orlando and doing some fun off property things before our check in at Animal Kingdom Lodge. We were surprising the kids with a visit to the Nick Hotel (they had NO clue and had been begging to stay there), a stay at Buena Vista Suites and a Blue Man Group Show all scheduled before our check in. (so yes, the first day of this trip report will be devoted to our off property experiences, but we will get to Disney so stay with us). We stayed 8 nights/9 days at Animal Kingdom Lodge. As always we took a TON of photo’s and even shot some great video this year so it should be a FUN RIDE!!!!
So……… let’s begin shall we……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
This first installment will be a LONG one, I will summarize our entire trip down and days before Disney.
Our fabulous trip began BRIGHT and early at 7 a.m. on June 13th, don’t we look so excited to be on the road to the happiest place on earth:

The kids had NO clue where we were even staying the first night, obviously no clue about the Nick Hotel so they were just along for the ride knowing Disney was on the horizon at some point.
Here were my crazy traveling companions:

Tim was behind the wheel at first:

The goal for that first night was to drive 11-12 hours to Valdosta Georgia so we’d only have 3-4 hours the next day since that was the day we were checking into the Nick Hotel, so we had to make it to Valdosta. It was a long long day in the car. The kids were WONDERFUL and we didn’t hit any major snags UNTIL the air conditioning stopped working. It was barely breathing cold air and it was getting HOT. We stopped and some man stopped and talked to Tim about it. We called Ford dealerships, etc. but no one was open- we were in the Bible belt on a Sunday, just wasn’t going to happen, so we trugged on. Well about 5 hours in (at the time of desperation since it was a scorcher on this day) a white pellet came flying out of the air vent at us and miraculously the air started working. YEAH!!!!
We took turns driving in 3 -4 hour shifts:

When I wasn’t driving, I got comfy:

Lauren enjoyed her new coloring books:

It was wonderful that the kids were old enough to entertain themselves this trip, really made the car ride down painless.

Tim turned on some music and let the kids have a dance party in the back seat:

Finally we were getting close, check out the GPS:

We made it to Valdosta, checked in and went out to dinner. At check in I realized my check card (visa card, the ONLY one we use) was MISSING!!! PANIC MODE!!!!!!!! Long story short, called a neighbor who searched the house, no card. Went t online banking, looked like it wasn’t stolen since no transactions had taken place. We realized the last place I had used it was a restaurant the night before in Cincinnati. We called them in the morning. CARD FOUND!!! PHEWWWWWW!!!! I could breathe at this point.
Kids enjoyed the pool at Valdosta, and we headed to Orlando for the BIG Nick Hotel Surprise.
We were on the road by 8:30 that morning and I was so excited about the surprise. When we got close (which seemed so quick, that car ride was a breeze) we started seeing the Disney/Orlando signs:


The kids started begging to go to Disney for the day, I kept saying “we’ll see”. Well they had BEGGED the night before to stop by the Nick Hotel just to look around (can you believe it!?!) we said, sure we’ll pull in and look around in the parking lot but you can only go in if you are a resort guest. So we made our way towards the hotel and the kids saw it and started screaming, “THE NICK HOTEL!!! Can we just go in and look around!?!” I said: “sure, I’ll pull in”. So we did.

Tim kept saying “man, this sure looks nice, maybe we’ll stay here next year guys”, the kids just kept oohing and ahhing over the outside of the hotel. Well, I’ll let you watch this video of their reaction (I need to preface this by explaining what Luke says in the video. He looks at me and says “pedicure?” He isn’t asking for a pedicure. The day before we left I had to take him with me and Lauren when we got our pedicures and he was complaining. I told him that at one point in the trip I would look at him and say “pedicure” and he would know it was pay back in a good way for what he had to endure)
click on it to get it to play:

As you can tell, they were SO excited and just FLOORED, we totally surprised them, they had NO idea! Here are some pics of them right after the surprise:


Needless to say they didn’t ask about Disney the rest of the day.
Tim and I went into this hotel with low expectations based on what we had read online. We were both PLEASANTLY surprised. I can’t say ANYTHING negative about this hotel.

We checked in and I got an AWESOME (159 a night for normally 249 a night rooms) teacher rate. Well I didn’t know you needed a teacher i.d. and of course had cleaned out my purse before we left and didn’t have one. I was nervous they weren’t going to give me the rate. She left the counter and came back and said she could “do $169 for the night”. I’LL TAKE IT!!!!
The kids had fun exploring the lobby while I checked in:



The lobby was really cool, as was the rest of the hotel:

It was only 11 a.m. at this point and we were surprised our room was ready. They gave each of us wrist bands to wear (you have to have them on when on property) and each of the kids got a Captain Underpants book as an added bonus. We got a Jimmy Neutron Suite, we headed up to check it out.
CONTINUED IN NEXT POST
__________________

ALL NEW"Keep Moving Forward" TR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2907120
DISNEY DREAM/AKL CONCIERGE JUNE 2011 TRIP REPORT "TimandLesley's If The Boat's A Rockin' Don't Come A...........TR with TONS of pics and video!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2752980
Nov. 2010 Adults Only TR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2601328
"SUM OF OUR THRILLS" June 2010 TR:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2497427
ALL GIRLS TR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2454788
Tim's Disapalooza guys only TR:http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2362085
First Times TR
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=34183633&posted=1#post34183633
18 DAYS IN DISNEY!!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2224335
Read my blog: www.livinglifeaslesley.blogspot.com

Last edited by timandlesley; 09-27-2010 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:26 PM   #2
timandlesley
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First Post Continued

The room was very clean and we noticed right away they were HUGE! You walk in and there is a living room with a pull out sofa:

A flat screen t.v.:

A table and chairs and a kitchenette with a fridge, sink and microwave:

The bathroom was huge.

The kids suite was awesome with a table and chairs, bunkbeds and their own t.v.

The cool thing was that by each of their heads they had a speaker with volume control for the t.v. and a light with an on off switch, they INSTANTLY were in heaven.
bums/j133/timandlesley/IMG_7134.jpg[/IMG]
What was so nice though is how appreciative our kids were. I think I heard “thank you mom and dad for taking us here” about a 100 times, so that was a wonderful thing.
Tim and I had our own room with our own flat screen t.v., computer desk and a safe.We were instantly impressed.


So now that we were impressed with the room we needed to grab lunch and then wanted to go swimming.
We headed to the “mall” area for some food:

Lauren saw the kids spa and the begging began:

They had a big shopping area:

We went to the food court and grabbed some WAY overpriced pizza that was pretty gross (our worst dining experience there by far). Luke just sat there at the food court on cloud nine:

We were done with lunch and the water area was calling our names. We went to the room and quickly got into our suits and headed down to the pool.


We swam and did the slides for hours, it was great. We enjoyed the pool side entertainment (weren’t picked to go up, but had fun watching). I loved how the bar tenders approach you while you are IN the pool and serve you drinks. Tim and I enjoyed some beverages and we splurged and got the kids “big time slime smoothies” which they enjoyed. I will warn you though ladies, don’t stand directly under the big dumping bucket. I was running from slide to slide with Lauren and the bucket dumped (without warning) and COMPLETELY tore my swimsuit top down. HUGE embarrassing moment, but luckily there weren’t any witnesses (at least that’s what I’m telling myself) : )
We stayed in the water poolside until the “mass sliming” at 4:30. The kids were SO excited about this. They got their spots about 20 minutes before.

(Luke is in the brown camouflage shorts) Lauren got a spot down below and we couldn’t get her on film this round).
The bucket started filling with Slime:

They do a cool countdown.
The slime starts to fall fast and furious:




The kids dream of being “slimed” had been fulfilled


CONTINUED IN NEXT POST
__________________

ALL NEW"Keep Moving Forward" TR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2907120
DISNEY DREAM/AKL CONCIERGE JUNE 2011 TRIP REPORT "TimandLesley's If The Boat's A Rockin' Don't Come A...........TR with TONS of pics and video!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2752980
Nov. 2010 Adults Only TR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2601328
"SUM OF OUR THRILLS" June 2010 TR:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2497427
ALL GIRLS TR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2454788
Tim's Disapalooza guys only TR:http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2362085
First Times TR
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=34183633&posted=1#post34183633
18 DAYS IN DISNEY!!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2224335
Read my blog: www.livinglifeaslesley.blogspot.com
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:28 PM   #3
timandlesley
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First Post Continued

It was time to head upstairs and get dressed for dinner. They don’t allow you to make reservations for dinner so we had no plans. We walked back to the “mall” and the sit down restaurant had an awesome buffet.


Seriously the BEST buffet we’ve had in a while, way better than any Disney buffet and much cheaper. They even had a station where they were cooking made to order pasta with tons of fresh ingredients you could choose. We had a wonderful dinner.

After dinner we headed to the Nick theatre for a show. I REALLY wish they would have told us more at check in but if you stay here SIGN UP FOR EVERYTHING. There is a sign up to be in the shows and a sign up to watch the shows. We had to stand in a standby line to watch the show and luckily we got in. The show was fantastic, the people who work here are great, just like the high energy Nick people you see on t.v.

Luke enjoying the show:

Tim OF COURSE got picked to go up and participate.


It was so funny. He had to put as many pairs of underwear as he could on over his shorts in two minutes.




He got 13 pairs on but the other guy got 14, good try Tim!
After the fun show we hit the arcade for a while:



The kids had fun with that (I ducked outside to call my parents and Diane to tell her about my embarrassing pool bucket incident : )
Then we went to the food court and got some over priced snacks, headed to our room to relax and watch some t.v.
At this point I started crunching numbers for our trip. I had spent a lot more at the Nick Hotel than originally planned. I ended up cancelling two of our Disney ressies we were going to pay out of pocket for. The Crystal Palace breakfast was now cancelled and the (GASP) Princess Lunch. I REALLY struggled with this one, but I talked to Lauren about it and we had a character Nick breakfast scheduled the next morning that the kids REALLY wanted to do and I promised her we would see lots of princesses at Disney (mommy would wait in line with her… and I did!)
The next morning (my birthday) we had the character breakfast. Again, better than any Disney buffet we had ever had, tons of character interaction and cheaper than a Disney character meal. We really enjoyed ourselves, the kids had a blast!
The characters all come out and they do a song and dance around the restaurant with the kids like they do at the one’s in Disney, very fun!

Got to see Little Bill:

Dora:



Luke was thrilled Ang from Avatar was there:


CONTINUED IN NEXT POST
__________________

ALL NEW"Keep Moving Forward" TR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2907120
DISNEY DREAM/AKL CONCIERGE JUNE 2011 TRIP REPORT "TimandLesley's If The Boat's A Rockin' Don't Come A...........TR with TONS of pics and video!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2752980
Nov. 2010 Adults Only TR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2601328
"SUM OF OUR THRILLS" June 2010 TR:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2497427
ALL GIRLS TR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2454788
Tim's Disapalooza guys only TR:http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2362085
First Times TR
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=34183633&posted=1#post34183633
18 DAYS IN DISNEY!!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2224335
Read my blog: www.livinglifeaslesley.blogspot.com
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:30 PM   #4
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First Post Continued

They also saw Pablo from Backyardigans:

Spongebob doesn’t go table to table so you see him at the front of the restaurant:


After that I looked at the times guide and realized they were doing another mass sliming at 10:30 and checkout was 11:00. We decided to let the kids stay to get slimed one more time before we left.
We headed down to the pool:

They were getting slimed again before we knew it;

Happy kids covered in slime:


Then we high tailed it up to the room and were out with 5 minutes to spare.
We headed to Walmart to stock up on supplies for our Disney week and to Delish bakery for a stock pile of bagels for the week.

After we had loaded up with everything we needed (got tons of stuff for a little under 100 dollars) we headed to the Buena Vista Suites to check in.

Tim and I had honeymooned there in 1998 and I was excited to stay there again. The room wasn’t ready (bummer!) so we had time to kill so where did we go??? DOWNTOWN DISNEY of course!!!
Felt great to see those Disney signs:


We had a yummy lunch at Earl of Sandwich


and shopped around for a bit.

Tim got a call our room was ready so we headed back to the hotel. We checked in and the room was just gorgeous and my WONDERFUL husband had arranged chocolate covered strawberries for my birthday in the room. SO yummy!

We met up with our local Disney friends Darlene and Ken and headed to the Blue Man Group show. We had never been to the City Walk area, so we walked around and took it all in. So different from Disney how everything is so close together, you can walk to everything from the resorts and see the parks from the Citywalk area. I have never been to Disneyland but it’s how I imagine it being.



We would love to book a few days at a Univeral resort after our Disney cruise next summer to experience it. We had a blast walking around and experiencing it that night.


They had all of the Harry Potter Merchandise out in the stores:


The kids had fun modeling hats in the store:

CONTINUED IN NEXT POST
__________________

ALL NEW"Keep Moving Forward" TR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2907120
DISNEY DREAM/AKL CONCIERGE JUNE 2011 TRIP REPORT "TimandLesley's If The Boat's A Rockin' Don't Come A...........TR with TONS of pics and video!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2752980
Nov. 2010 Adults Only TR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2601328
"SUM OF OUR THRILLS" June 2010 TR:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2497427
ALL GIRLS TR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2454788
Tim's Disapalooza guys only TR:http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2362085
First Times TR
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=34183633&posted=1#post34183633
18 DAYS IN DISNEY!!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2224335
Read my blog: www.livinglifeaslesley.blogspot.com
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:34 PM   #5
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We made our way over to the Blue Man Group Theatre:

The gate to the Universal park was RIGHT there and you could see the new Rip Ride Rocket coaster going by, that ride looks so fun but that first hill goes STRAIGHT up!
I was so excited to see the show:

Our friends had gotten us great seats, we were in the second row on the left of the stage. You can’t take pictures or video inside but let me just say if you haven’t seen this show, SEE IT!!! We had a blast as a family, we laughed out loud like crazy, and danced in our seats and just had a GREAT time!!!! Afterwards the kids got “inked”:

The guys will “sign” your tickets with blue if you ask them too:

They took it a step further with Lauren : )

What a great birthday night. We headed back to the hotel after the show . We had asked our friends what a great local pizza joint was and she said “Flippers” so we had it delivered to the room. OMG it is the BEST pizza and their breadsticks are incredible. So we inhaled the pizza. (as a side note, I saw them delivering to the Animal Kingdom Lodge later in the week, something to keep in mind)….
So our time off property had come to a close. It was such fun experiencing some different off property things with the family. Disney was calling our names………………………

COMING UP NEXT:
Dance moves with Tiana
Really!?!!? I can DRIVE???
Puffle Crazy

CLICK HERE TO READ IT: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=37193511#post37193511

__________________

ALL NEW"Keep Moving Forward" TR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2907120
DISNEY DREAM/AKL CONCIERGE JUNE 2011 TRIP REPORT "TimandLesley's If The Boat's A Rockin' Don't Come A...........TR with TONS of pics and video!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2752980
Nov. 2010 Adults Only TR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2601328
"SUM OF OUR THRILLS" June 2010 TR:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2497427
ALL GIRLS TR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2454788
Tim's Disapalooza guys only TR:http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2362085
First Times TR
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=34183633&posted=1#post34183633
18 DAYS IN DISNEY!!http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2224335
Read my blog: www.livinglifeaslesley.blogspot.com

Last edited by timandlesley; 07-01-2010 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:37 PM   #6
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:45 PM   #7
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YAY YAY YAY!!! I love your reports girl, so you know I am here!
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:47 PM   #8
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So excited to read another one of your TRs!! I love seeing your kids reactions to all the magic disney has to offer!!
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:50 PM   #9
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I'm here and all ready to read!!!!! I just know that your trip HAD to be AWESOME!!!!
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:52 PM   #10
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Awesome start to your trip! Looks like great fun as always!
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:54 PM   #11
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Great start!!
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:55 PM   #12
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Whoo hoo you started!

What a great review of the Nick studio! Someday if I have grandkids...
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:57 PM   #13
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Awesome first update!!!
The Nick Hotel looked amazingly fun!
Glad that The Blue Group Show was fun!!
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:03 PM   #14
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Yeah! Happy to hear you had another great trip! Can't wait to follow along!
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:04 PM   #15
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Joining in!!!

The Nick hotel looks like so much fun - if they had more characters from when I was little, I'd probably want to stay there. I don't know this new generation of Nick stuff. But the pool area looks so much fun and it was really nice of you to surprise your kids. I love doing stuff like that. Well, can't wait for more!
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