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Old 07-24-2010, 07:10 PM   #1
Hoosier Mom
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January 2010 Trip Report - Just the facts and photos

Sorry this review is so late. Hopefully it's helpful to someone planning a January trip in the future. Photos to follow as soon as I can upload them.

Just the facts & photos of our January 2010 with our 4 year old

· (Me) Cheryl 44
· (DH) Eric 45
· (DS4) Dustin age 4 1/2
· Karen - my sister
· Ellen - my cousin

Previous Trip to Disney
We went to Disney in September 2006 when Dustin was 18 months old. We stayed at CBR that trip.

This is our first vacation with no diapers, pull-ups, sippy cups, stroller, etc. I'm even hoping to get by with no tote bag, only a small baggallini cross-the-body purse. My husband is taking two different size camera cases, big and small. I vote for the small one.

The 2006 trip was HOT and buggy (lovebugs). We decided we wouldn't be back until a January when it was cooler, and when Dustin was big enough not to have to be carried everywhere.

Details of this trip
·Flying non-stop on Southwest
·Staying at the Wilderness Lodge for 6 nights
·Have 6 day park hopper tickets and the dining plan.
·Celebrating our 8th anniversary and my husband's 45th birthday
·Karen and Ellen were doing their own 10 day trip and staying at CBR. We had two meals planned with them. Also we spent a few hours riding rides together.

Preparations for the trip:
·Purchased a Kodak video camera for this trip. It was on sale at Target and is about as small as a deck of cards.
·Read and re-read all the menus on Allears. Have a list of snacks I want to try at each park!!
·My sister and my cousin decided they'd go at the same time we are. We will meet up with them 2 or 3 times during the trip, otherwise we're on our own.

Planning to eat at (reviews to follow):
·Roaring Forks (counter service at WL) - new to us!
·Cosmic Rays (MK)
·Coral Reef (Epcot)
·Sci-Fi Theater (DHS)
·Mama Melroses (DHS) - a new one for us!
·Rose & Crown (Epcot)
·Chef de France (Epcot) - another new one for us!
·LeCellier Steak House (Epcot)
·Whispering Canyon Café (breakfast) - also new to us!
·50's Primetime Café (DHS)

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Pros & Cons of our trip

Getting there:
Our Southwest non-stop flight was great. However, once we landed it seemed to take a long time to actually arrive at Wilderness Lodge. We walked down to Magic Express and waited quite a while for the next bus. Then there were about three stops before we arrived at Wilderness Lodge. We had breakfast at our home airport. No lunch. I gave Dustin a bag of crackers to eat while we walked down to Magic Express. We arrived at Wilderness Lodge and went straight to Roaring Forks to eat. I think it was about 3:30 or 4:00 pm for lunch.

Our resort: Wilderness Lodge! Loved it! I loved that it was all in one building. No going outside to go down to breakfast. Loved the pools. We found out that the pool around by the Villas is less crowded. The marina gave us a life jacket for our son to use all week. I loved that we got off the buses in the evening and the lanterns were glowing and the music was playing to welcome us back to the Lodge. We only rode the boat across to Magic Kingdom once. The rest of the time we took the bus. I got a virgin strawberry daiquiri at the outside pool bar. But it must have had yogurt in it. It was awful. It was more of a smoothie than a frozen daiquiri.

Our room was nice. We got a towel anniversary cake in our room one day. Lovely view of the Wishes each night out our balcony door. We had a standard room and had requested the north wing.

In our room, Dustin could not reach the faucet to wash his hands, so we turned the copper trash can over and he used it for a stool. Worked just fine.

We visited the toy store at the Star Tours ride in DHS the most! We have a Star Wars crazy kid. We had one delivered to our room and he worried about that toy until it finally arrived the next day. The gift shop had it. I think they called us and we ran down to claim it.

Dustin was 23 pounds last trip. This trip he was 45 pounds. We chose not to bring a stroller. He is just about to turn 5. He doesn't use a stroller at home. We decided if he got tired in the parks, we would just find a bench and rest. That worked most of the time. There were times waiting in line that he wanted to be carried. We got a little bit tired of that.

The weather:
We wore jeans (or Capri's for me) and short sleeve t-shirts. We needed jackets in the mornings and in the evenings. In the afternoons we had to shed the jackets and carry them. Eric and Dustin swam in the pool, but it was too cold for me in that water. I hit the hot tub for a while. I wish they would heat the pools just a tad warmer. I think we might have worn shorts one day.

The parks in general: There weren’t many lines. January is a great time to go. We were there the last week of January. The only rides that had lines were the premium ones (Toy Story Mania, etc). Our son's favorite rides were Big Thunder Mountain, Star Tours, and Test Track. He was measuring 40 ½ inches tall. So he just barely made the height requirement in time for our trip.

We collected pressed pennies. Also we got a lanyard and bought a couple pins. Ellen and Karen also each bought a pin for Dustin. I think he wore his lanyard for one day for a while. I ended up wearing it for a while too. It did get sort of heavy. He has it here at home in his treasure box on his dresser. He was not interested in trading, even though he had two bus pins.

Downtown Disney: We went here on the first evening we arrived…a Sunday night. I was so disappointed. It was crowded. The Lego store was overrun with kids. We had dinner at the McDonalds. We did some shopping (mostly browsing). Dustin found a Disney bus and plane. I think they were Matchbox brand, but had the Disney logo on them. We found out later that Ellen & Karen went to the extra magic hours at MK and it wasn't crowded at all. We should have gone to MK and skipped Downtown Disney.

Magic Kingdom: Got to see the Wishes at 8:00 one night. Excellent! I think we enjoyed this park the best. Favorite ride here Thunder Mountain.

DHS: Enjoyed the movie ride, the muppets, Playhouse Disney, Mermaid, and Toy Story Mania. We only got to ride Toy Story Mania once and then the fast passes were all gone. Our son wasn't very impressed so it was just okay. We rode Star Tours too many times to count.

Epcot: Lots of walking here. We did the Mexico boat ride 2 or 3 times the first evening. No one was in line so the employees let us stay on and ride over. We did the Norway ride too. We stayed for Illuminations but I was a bit disappointed in comparison with Wishes. His favorite ride here was Test Track. He did Soarin, but wasn't too impressed.

We saw Pooh & Tigger at the toy store. And Mary Poppins had a little talk with our son. She was really sweet.

Animal Kingdom: We skipped this park.

Meals:

We have a very picky eater. He really only eats chicken nuggets or PBJ sandwiches. So I packed some Jif-to-go, and we purchased a loaf of bread at the resort gift shop. Each day I would put 2 pieces of bread in a baggie and put them in my jacket pocket along with a Jif-to-go. That way if we went somewhere that did not have chicken nuggets, then I fixed him a PBJ sandwich. He like the "make your own sundae". They seemed to have that at all the table service places. Also they had fresh fruit on the dessert list. So since kids meals come with an appetizer, they let us choose fruit for the appetizer, and the sundae for dessert.

We used snack credits at the resort to get items for breakfast. We soon learned that full meals at the Roaring Forks food court was too much for us for breakfast. I started using snack credits to get oatmeal, bananas, blueberry muffins, etc. The bowl of Frosted Flakes was huge. So I would get an empty bowl each morning and put some of my frosted flakes in it. I stretched that container of Frosted Flakes 3 days. Then we also used snack credits for milks and juice. At the end of the week, we used the rest of our snack credits in the gift shop. We got some of the cookies in a bag, but they didn't taste very good in my opinion. I loved the boxes of the shortbread cookies that had Mickey pictured on them. Those were delicious. Also there was peanut butter at the food court near the jelly. So I would take a slice of bread down and make toast for Dustin for breakfast. He likes peanut butter toast.

Other snacks included: A kakigori from Japan (shaved ice). Two candy bars from United Kingdom…A Crunchie (yuckie), and a Curly Wurly (was okay, it was thin caramel with chocolate coating).


The restaurants:
·Roaring Forks (counter service at WL) - new to us! As always, no place in Disney can make crispy bacon. The blueberry muffin was pretty good. Didn't care too much for the pecan roll. We were a bit worried about finding a table each morning, but we always seemed to find a table. It has a really small seating area.
·Cosmic Rays (MK) We loved this place in 2006. We were disappointed this time. The burgers didn't seem as good and they have the new buns that sort of disinegrate while you are holding them.
·Coral Reef (Epcot) This was our favorite all week. Had dinner here. My steak was great. It was so relaxing to watch the fish while we ate.
·Sci-Fi Theater (DHS) We were disappointed in the food. We paid out of pocket here. The burgers and shakes were nothing special. There are better shakes at Steak & Shake.
·Mama Melroses (DHS) - a new one for us! We each had the Parmesan Chicken. It was pretty good.
·Rose & Crown (Epcot) We had the fish & chips here. We loved it in 2006. This time it tasted a little bland and greasy.
·Chef de France (Epcot) - another new one for us! We asked our server if we could meet Remy! And a man rolled out a platter and we got to meet him!! Dustin had fallen asleep sitting up and missed the whole thing. We were in the room that is solid windows. People started gathering outside to watch Remy. The man stated he was hoping they were not inspectors. It was so funny. We video taped the whole thing. Remy wanted to eat Dustin's food since he was not going to be awake to eat it! About the food, it was okay. Our server said he would bring me potatoes that were purple. I thought he was kidding. But sure enough, the potatoes were blue, purple, and I think orange. They were sort of bland.
·LeCellier Steak House (Epcot) Our second favorite place! We had a nice meal here. Dustin tried his first virgin strawberry dacquiry. I think they let him have that for his beverage. I can't remember for sure. Maybe it was his dessert. I forget. Anyway, he liked it.
·Whispering Canyon Café (breakfast) - also new to us! What a delight! We loved the food. Karen & Ellen joined us here. Eric got an omelette. Dustin got pancakes. The rest of us got the skillet full of breakfast food. All very good.
·50's Primetime Café (DHS) Also very good, as usual. I got the fried chicken. Eric got the meatloaf. We paid out of pocket here.


Summary - We had a great time! We had park hoppers this time, but it took a tremendous amount of time to switch parks. I'm not sure we'll do that again. We will definitely do the dining plan again. We will definitely stay at Wilderness Lodge again. We skipped Animal Kingdom this time and we didn't miss it. Next time we are skipping Downtown Disney. It was a total time-waster. Loved flying down the evening before so that we could get a start into the parks first thing in the morning! I did learn that my husband and kid poop out after supper. So if we want to do any late hours, it will have to be the first day or two. We walked so fast the first couple days and by the end of our trip, we were walking so slowly! We became the slow walkers that I was so annoyed with when we first arrived! To us, Disney is an exhausting trip, but fun!
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:14 PM   #2
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Our standard room at Wilderness Lodge, north wing.
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:18 PM   #3
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Our first trip to the parks on this trip...Magic Kingdom!! The train is bringing the characters up to open the park!
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Dustin and myself
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My cousin Ellen, myself, and Dustin waiting on my sister to come back from the restroom so we can ride our very first ride....It's A Small World! Let the vacation begin!!
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My cousin Ellen and my sister Karen
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My sister Karen and myself
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Eric and Dustin on Dumbo
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:22 PM   #4
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The talking trash can at MK. He is singing Happy Birthday to Ellen & Karen. You can see the voice man with the hat and glasses behind them and to the left.
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:25 PM   #5
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My sister, Dustin, and myself on the TTA (People Mover)
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My sister Karen, and my cousin Ellen
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At Coral Reef:
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:34 PM   #6
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Make your own sundae (one of many this week). This was also Coral Reef. My dessert is the virgin strawberry dacquiri and it was delicious!
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Epcot
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Our birthday/anniversary "cake" we found in our room!
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:39 PM   #7
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At Sci-Fi in DHS (less than thrilling food, but it was fun sitting in the car and eating.)
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Meeting the Einsteins (at DHS)
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:44 PM   #8
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Hi there! Just wanted to sat hello and your trip report is off to a good start! I too am in the midst of doing a very late January trip report. I hope you enjoyed the Wilderness Lodge, it was one of our favourites!

Looking forward to reading more!
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December 2007- Wilderness Lodge
January 2009-Birthday Trip-Animal Kingdom Lodge
April 2009-Yacht Club
Yacht Club Trip Report 2009
January 2010-Birthday Trip-The Boardwalk Inn
Boardwalk Inn January 2010 Trip Report:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2512974
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:47 PM   #9
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Back at Wilderness Lodge...you can see a little of the detail on the headboard.
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The lobby at Wilderness Lodge
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Still Wilderness Lodge:
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The geyser, which we never saw actually go off.
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the boat from Wilderness Lodge to MK
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the dock
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol17 View Post
Hi there! Just wanted to sat hello and your trip report is off to a good start! I too am in the midst of doing a very late January trip report. I hope you enjoyed the Wilderness Lodge, it was one of our favourites!

Looking forward to reading more!
Thanks! Wasn't it great going in January! I think we'll try for January again some time.
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:56 PM   #11
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At Epcot, waiting at the Rose & Crown for our name to be called.
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Another "make-your-own sundae", this time at Rose & Crown.
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The tart!
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Meeting Pooh & Tigger at the UK toy store (Epcot still)
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The hug...
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A little talk with Mary Poppins.....
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Hear ye hear ye! These guys were taking volunteers by order of the Continental Congress....I believe they had children come up to do the Pledge. Our son wouldn't go so we moved on.
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The trains at Germany....thought we wouldn't get him away from them. We lingered a long time here.
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:05 PM   #12
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Meeting Remy at the french restaurant in Epcot. Our son slept thru the whole thing. He was so tired he fell asleep sitting up.
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Back at MK
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At Minnie's house:
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Minnie's backyard
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The Barnstormer ride
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Swiss Family Robinson tree house (caution, take your kid to the bathroom before you get clear to the top...coming down is single file and takes a while) It happened to us!
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The afternoon parade in MK
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:10 PM   #13
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Back at Epcot outside LeCellier area in Canada.
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Back at Wilderness Lodge, the ranger is hiding behind the totem pole.
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Eric's omlette at the Whispering Canyon Cafe
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View out the back of the Wilderness Lodge.
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:13 PM   #14
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Back at Epcot....are they janitors? No siree, they are the Jamitors...a percussion group....
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Last table service meal of the trip....can't you see the exhaustion in our eyes! This was at Primetime 50's at DHS.
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:15 PM   #15
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Okay that's it for pictures.....it was a nice trip. Next time I'm taking my own camera. I got tired of asking my husband for the camera. So for my birthday in April he got a Nikon Coolpix 6000 for me! It is about as big as a deck of cards. Very similar size to our video camera. So next vacation, we'll both have pictures! We can just snap snap snap away at the same time!

Next trip is Alaska!!
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