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Old 10-31-2010, 05:22 PM   #106
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Epcot with preschoolers continues:

Even though we weren't doing Turtle Talk we wanted to do a little bit of The Seas. Ariel, when she was 2, LOVED the aquarium and cried and cried when we made here leave. So our plan was to just let Jack-Jack and Boo wander around till they got bored. We started with the picture you simply must get:

Suzy braved the madness inside Bruce while I snapped photos with all the cameras. For future reference the kid before her was about 9 and hung his legs out of Bruce's mouth at about the waist. This was very effective and hilarious. Stay tuned for either Suzy's trip in November or all of us in March because we will do this. It's an excellent idea and actually looks like the shark is eating you.

Which, as a little side note, I'm not planning on TRing Suzy and family's November trip. I'll just keep you posted about it and add any super cool things that happen to them as well as, I'm sure, her telling us her impressions of the Poly and other pertinent tips. But she is more of an "adder" than the primary writer and it seems goofy for me to write about someone else's trip but I know magical moments will happen and we promise to tell you all about those!

Also, SHE GOT HER MICKEY PAPERS!!! Woohoo! Once you get the luggage tags, you're actually going to Disney World. Where they will acquire Annual Passes!

These eels were crazy. The kids had no interest in them but Mom and I were fascinated and I came home with 20 pictures of them. All of them low quality pictures.

Also impossible to film were dolphins who were doing a little show. So Suzy put her hand up so it flashed on that instead of the glass and it's still a pitiful photo but at least you can tell it's a dolphin:

This was how Boo looked almost the entire time we were here (which was a long time.)

Mom found a "hidden" Mickey and was proud of herself. Suzy made a bit of fun. It's really not that hard to find:

We also watched (no good pictures of this) a little crab who had fell over onto his shell and was stuck. It took him forever but he finally flipped himself over. There was quite the little group watching him by the time he was successful and we all cheered and clapped when he was right side up. It was a nice moment. Humanity does appreciate nature, even if they continue to destroy it.

When we were done eyeballing the fishes, it was time to explore the World.

Can you enjoy Future World with preschoolers? I say "yes!" Just don't expect it to take very long.

Suzy and Jack-Jack ran across the park. I can't remember why but something was lost, maybe? She'll tell us, I'm sure.

Whatever she was doing, Mom and I headed into the stores to look Buzz Lightyear wings which Jack-Jack "needed." This was the one thing he asked for over & over but they were $49. for the costume and you couldn't buy them any other way that we saw. He never did get them. When we came home Mom made him some from recycled materials only to learn that if you make a 2 year old wings, they will try to fly. Whoops. Shoulda seen that coming.

But Boo had lots of fun shopping. We didn't get any thing. I know that Boo's presents need to be bought at DTD or AK. She just can't find anything she likes anywhere else. I mean, likes enough to want to own it. She's three. She likes every toy made:


We caught the tail end of the Beatles group and enjoyed grooving to the music. Mom, of course, was there during the real Beatle mania. So she was in her element. But all too soon it was over. Since we only got there for the last half any way. We headed in to see who was in Britain since Boo had not been interested in Pooh the night before. And sure enough, he was there with no line. Mom was amazed at my Disney knowledge that I could find a Pooh in such a random corner and had herself a lovely Magical Moment taking lots of pictures in her own private corner with Boo and Pooh in merry, ole England:

In the next store, the tea shop, I bought some tea. And we met up with Suzy and Jack-Jack. And we continued: shopping across the world.

And Jack found Buzz gloves! Surely only a 2-5 year old boy would like these, so why are they so big a 7 foot man could wear them?

Butterfly garden!

Then we crossed the English Channel and were in France! Boo was on a mission to meet Marie as she hadn't gotten to the last year. She'd been terrified of characters and it was an important meet for Ariel so I left her with her daddy outside. So she had coveted the photos in our house of Mulan and Ariel with Marie since Marie is HUGE in our house. Your scales and your arpeggios is song very often sung. And our last cat was named after Marie despite being a boy. Boo just didn't care. It was a cat & it should be named Marie.

We made Jack-Jack wait so Boo could have her own special moment. Then he got his moment. And truth be told, with those adorable sunglasses and his cute face, Marie loved him way better. But we didn't tell Boo.

Then we went and saw the France movie. We had to reassure Boo over & over that no water sprayed in your face and there is no pollution is France. She loved it. Best movie ever! We wandered around the store and I bought a beautiful France hair clip that had a Monet lily pad picture on it and was half off clearance. I've gotten numerous compliments on it in the past few months and wish I had bought the other 3 types they had.

And then it was snack time!

The Napolean is mine. And it was delish!!!! But HUGE. I didn't eat nearly enough of it. Wish I had it right now so I could have more.

Here was our table with four cute seats:

And here was Mom, who unexplicably sat at a different table. This would have fine if she just wanted some alone time. But she wanted to talk. So she and I just hollered back and forth about the real France so pretty much anyone near the Epcot France could hear us. Suzy finally couldn't take it anymore and said, "Mom, why don't you just move your chair over here?" But Mom didn't. And she also didn't stop talking. And I didn't stop answering her. Even though it would have made logical sense.

We didn't dance with her, but we did watch for a bit:

And into Japan:

I had a mission in Japan to get some bento box supplies for my girls. But their bento box stuff was lame and expensive. I scoured the entire, gigantic store twice and moved all possible bento box supplies into a little pile. It was a pitiful little pile. And when all was said and done I knew I could do better online. Turned out I did better in Ohio once we came back. Kinda sad, Japan. Bento boxes are genius and if they had a big display with the cool book they had in the book section I bet they would sell a lot. Oh well. My children have been eating lunch just fine since we came home so no loss to us, but just a little disappointing.

We then checked out the new place in Italy. Very cool.

Definitely will eat there soon. But not this day. Because we had a date with some super hot girls! Which 4 of us didn't appreciate. But trust me, I have photographic proof that Jack-Jack already appreciates himself a fine looking lady.

Stay tuned! I've got two parties I'm planning, a Minute to Win It anniversary party next weekend and a second wedding reception the following weekend so you're all gonna have to wait to meet the princesses.
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:43 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by estherhead View Post

Which, as a little side note, I'm not planning on TRing Suzy and family's November trip. I'll just keep you posted about it and add any super cool things that happen to them as well as, I'm sure, her telling us her impressions of the Poly and other pertinent tips. But she is more of an "adder" than the primary writer and it seems goofy for me to write about someone else's trip but I know magical moments will happen and we promise to tell you all about those!

Also, SHE GOT HER MICKEY PAPERS!!! Woohoo! Once you get the luggage tags, you're actually going to Disney World. Where they will acquire Annual Passes!
Only 4 weeks away!!

Suzy and Jack-Jack ran across the park. I can't remember why but something was lost, maybe? She'll tell us, I'm sure.
We were on the look out for Buzz Lightyear sunglasses. Boo had cute glasses and it was so sunny that Jack-Jack kept taking mine. So I offered to buy him some Buzz sunglasses. Why, oh why, would I offer to buy my 2 yr old mythical sunglasses that didn't exist??? So we went to 2 kiosks and finally Mousegears asking everyone we saw if they had Buzz Lightyear sunglasses. No one had such a thing. So we bought Lightning McQueen sunglasses and a little Buzz action figure to appease the 2 yr old. Thank goodness, Jack-Jack is an easy kid or else this could have ruined our day.

On our way to meet up with Perla and Mom in UK Jack-Jack and I were walking between Canada and UK when several CMs ushered us into this area where we got our pictures with these guys.

Doesn't Jack-Jack look awesome in his new glasses?

Also, While the kids were getting their picture with Marie, I ran to the potty in Morroco. On my way back I saw:

I took his picture because I knew that Boo and Jack-Jack would never want to meet him but like him just the same. I was right. Even today Jack Jack was talking to me about Belle and the Beast and he looked at me knowingly and said, "And you saw him Mom."
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:45 PM   #108
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Ah yes, I remember now. I tried to talk Suzy into going to the two stores Mom & I went to to look for glasses as I had hung out in them a lot during the drenching of Epcot the year before. I seem to spend a lot of time in driving, cold rain at Disney. And I don't go in the winter/spring! Anyway, I knew the one store right at the beginning of WS next to Canada had a bunch of Toy Story and Mickey stuff. Which they did. But Suzy was determined that a bigger store would have more selection. Wal-Mart shoulda taught her that that's a lie!
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:30 PM   #109
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March's Trip Comes together:

Those who have been keeping up with all our multiple trips know:
1) Suzy, Jack-Jack, Mom, Boo, and I went to WDW in September.
Donald, Mulan, and Ariel met me there the day Mom & Suzy went home.
This is the TR we are currently in the middle of.
3) Donald and I went on a surprise trip to DL while in California for a wedding.
This TR is done.
4) Suzy and her family are going to WDW at the end of this month.
This trip will not have a total TR but just a few highlights.
5) Suzy and her family and me and my family are going to WDW in March.
This trip will have a TR and is what this thread is actually about.
6) Suzy & I and our gangs will go AGAIN in June.
That trip is not planned yet: but we have ideas.

So point #5:
We made Fort Wilderness reservations quite awhile ago. But we aren't really camping families. And by that I mean, we aren't experienced. Donald and Milo are not interested in camping but are willing to try. And we have all the stuff.

So we are rewarding them for letting us camp at WDW with 3 nights in the Grand Suite at the Dolphin! This is, of course, more than we expected to spend on our hotel but you may have noticed, there are 11 of us. That's a LOT of kids. And we need room. Thus the three rooms at ASMu last year, the campground, the Suite. This is me after making a decision to spend $300.00 more than I had intended to spend. Not because I love throwing money away, but because on Peak week at WDW I'm only spending $1000.00 on accommodations & three of those nights are in a GIANT room and ALL of them are on property.

When I called to cancel 3 nights at the campground the lady told me I could get the DDP without tickets because we have AP's. Suzy & I talked and talked and figured out how much we would spend without the DDP and the reality is, it'd be about the same for less food. And if we had the DDP we'd eat a LOT better. For the same money. I haven't bought it yet, but I think we're settled. And we made Dining plans.

My girls are going to be princesses (bought 50% off after-Halloween costumes) and get made up at BBB. So we're going to go to Cinderella's dinner after that, assuming we get the DDP. And maybe even if we don't.

Getting very excited. I WDW!
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:31 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by estherhead View Post
Yup, you like us, will just have to go back! Our plan is to take our entire family in summer 2012. Boo will be 5 years old and able to ride mostly everything and the other girls will be 11 & 12. Still young enough to love it, but also old enough to remember Hollywood, Yosemite, San Francisco. We're saving our airplane miles (we have half saved already) so that would be free and we have friends who live in Thousand Oaks so our plan is to ship our camping gear to their house. Then we'll fly to LA, do Hollywood & sights for two days, DL for 3 days, and national parks for 5 days. Then finish in San Fransisco and fly home from there (shipping our camping gear back home.)

I think it sounds do-able and fun. That's why this year we are just doing Disney with our Annual Passes, which we paid for with 2010 vacation money. 2011 should be a cheap vacation year and we take that extra money and do a killer 2012 California trip. And in addition to everything we saw there will be the Little Mermaid ride and Carsland and the Goofy coaster. I think that would really round out CA and make it equal (actually, superior) to DHS. Which makes the DL complex a clear 3 day trip, perhaps even more.
That sounds like a great trip! We've been talking about possibly doing a similar trip sometime in the next few years too. I've actually driven up the coast of CA a couple of times myself when I was young and single, visiting friends and sightseeing. Such a great place to vacation and so much to see and do! Your kids will love it, I'm sure!

Originally Posted by estherhead View Post
I just said: "you like us." Instead of: "you, like us," I really don't know if you like us or not. But you should go back to DL in 2012 like we will be doing which is the point I meant to make!
What's not to like? DL is definitely on the radar, just not sure exactly when.

So exciting to be putting together your upcoming WDW trips! It's kinda sad for us because it's starting to feel like our Year of Disney is almost over...only two more trips (maybe 3 if some great airfare comes out of nowhere). It's fun when it's all ahead of you. But I'm still excited!
Me (37) DH (36) DD (born 9/20/12) Bailey Kitty
Nov. 7-16, 2014: Aulani ("Happy in Hawaii") TR In Progress! | Aug. 30-Sept. 1, 2014: Pop Century ("I Like Warm Hugs!") TR In Progress! | June 10-13, 2014: Offsite
Dec. 7-14, 2013: Polynesian ("Bear Hugs & Piggy Kisses - Baby's First Trip") TR Complete! | Oct. 5-12, 2011: Pop Century ("Poor Unfortunate Souls: So Wet, So Full")
Dec. 10-19, 2010: Poly Club! ("How the Other Half Lives") | Nov. 10-14, 2010: Pop/BCV ("100 Eats & Drinks in 3.5 Days!")
Aug. 20-22, 2010: ASMu ("The Last-Minute Super-Bargain Bonus Trip") | June 3-7, 2010: Pop/AKL ("Star Wars Nightastically Delicious!")
Jan. 16-25, 2010: Poly/WL/POR ("The Magic and The Misery") | Sept. 9-14, 2009: Pop Century ("The Prequel") | March 10-17, 1990: Offsite ("A Disney Walk Back in Time...on Four Paws")

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Old 11-17-2010, 11:46 AM   #111
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Epcot with the princesses:

We'd been having a great day, way better than I expected. Epcot with preschoolers is awesome!

But coming up was the best part for sure!

We decided to hop a boat to Mexico & change Boo into her Belle dress there.

Mom took on the roll of getting Boo to look cute. Sadly, I had forgotten the safety pins, and Boo is the opposite of feminine and graceful. She loved looking like a princess but it was beyond imaginary to think she looked anything like a princess. I really just wanted to take the dress off and forget it, but that wasn't her preference either.

Either way, she was adorable. But not graceful. Nor elegant. Nor princess-like. OK,OK, I was disappointed. Disappointed that I hadn't brought safety pins and stuff to make her hair cute (cause I'm not very princessy either) and I was disappointed that she was just, well, not transformed. She was just still Boo. I know, I know. It was stupid. But I couldn't help it. I was, well, I wanted her to pretend. And she just isn't an actress. If I were Belle, I would have pretended. I'm pitiful, I know. But sometimes, don't you just want to be a kid again? And do it properly? And wish your kids would do it properly so you could live vicariously through them?

So prepare yourself for our frumpy pictures of a very cute and happy little girl.

We had a bit of time to kill so we decided to do the Mexico ride.

This ended up being Boo's favorite ride of the entire trip!

When we came out Mexican Donald was out and Boo was so excited!

Mom spent some time and got Boo looking respectable. And this is the best it got, wearing the cute crowns Mom had bought earlier in England. Boo still wears hers. But on this evening, not so much.

It wasn't a long wait but it felt an eternity because I just wanted a nice shot of Boo as Belle with Belle. Let me just say straight up, it may be the worst photo ever. I don't have it digital yet but trust me, not framable, not cute. Both Jack-Jack and Boo are glaring and Belle looks downright frightening. I was beginning to think it was a huge mistake to insist we ate with the princesses.

Here is Mom's plate of appetizers. The asparagus was super yummy. I don't eat fish so I couldn't comment.

Playing & playing. Boo & Jack-Jack had a great time with their toys. This restaurant is loud. Thank goodness! Because our table, right next to the buffet, was absolute chaos.

Our entrees came quickly. I was a bit worried since I'm not familiar with Norwegian food and Donald is picky so I've never gone with my family. But I knew Mom wasn't overly concerned with the food (it was her idea to eat with the princesses) and Suzy isn't picky at all.

Shockingly, we LOVED the food. I had the pork chop which I loved:

Mom got the mahi-mahi

And Suzy got the Kjottkake. I tasted it and it was yummy! Like the best meatloaf you ever had.

But I still liked mine better. I love a well done pork chop.

Boo's food was yummy, but she just wasn't interested. She was playing and the princesses came and this was just basically untouched.

About halfway through our entrees, Cinderella came. This was the best princesses we'd ever met.

I, of course, had the video camera, the regular camera, and my iphone. And she was on the opposite side of the table and very soft spoken so I missed a lot of what they were talking about. But she wanted to know all about Jack-Jack's toys and was more like a preschool teacher than a princess. Maybe that's what she becomes once she's married to the prince: a teacher.

Then dessert was brought out. I can't remember which was better. And we didn't do a good job eating it anyway as princess-mania was still happening.

Snow White was next:

Stay tuned for a surprise Jack-Jack picture. I'm at my picture limit for this post.
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:37 PM   #112
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Hilarious! Snow White gave him a big ole smackeroo and he loved it. Boo was jealous so she got a kiss too but most of the lipstick went to Jack-Jack.

This Snow White was the same one we got before and we loved her before. She spent a lot of time this time too, going through each one of the kid's toys including Boo's very frightening Madame Alexander doll from McDonald's that Snow White thought was Alice in Wonderland. But last year Boo wouldn't interact with Snow White. This year quite the opposite!

Next up was Jasmine. She was very nice but what we noticed most was she had a great figure. Of course she does, look at what she has to wear. But, the reason we noticed was the Jack-Jack noticed. Evidently, he has a thing for the ladies. And Jasmine was right up his alley.

Next up was Ariel. Even though Cinderella was obviously the coolest, Ariel was my favorite. She played hide and seek with them and she played with Boo's toys. She also took the comb I had out and pretended to eat with it. Then took a fork and pretended to comb her hair with it! I loved her. Great princess!

By the time we had met all the princesses our table looked crazy and we had blocked off an entire entrance to the buffet. Don't eat when we eat!

So we were done and packed up our circus and headed home. Akershus had been a super wonderful time and is high on my list of great places to go at Epcot. My first time had been stressful. My second was fantastic. Akershus is super, duper awesome. Good food, reasonable prices for a character meal, and wonderful servers and characters. Thumbs way up!

We then headed home. It was an easy trip home and as always our walk to our room was easy since it was sooo close to the main building!

As we were walking through the gift shop Mom pointed out to Boo some toys and things she thought Boo might like. But for some reason Boo had no interest in the things Mom was pointing out. Suzy, I believe, had taken Jack-Jack around as she tried to avoid stores (and demands to "buy this.")

Boo & Jack-Jack took a long bubble bath.

And then because the children hadn't eaten their dinner, Suzy got them a chicken tenders meal to share and I'm pretty sure Alka-Seltzer for Mom. Her tummy was still not a happy tummy. They scarfed it down.

And then it was sleep time. I was TIRED! So I slept well! Epcot had been a fantastic day. As an adult I found it much MORE enjoyable with preschoolers as I got to do it in a nice relaxing way instead of the insanity. Plus, not having to spend any time in the very loud Innovations buildings may have added to that feeling. Don't worry, I pay up in Innovation time later in the week. There is no escape!
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:04 PM   #113
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Suzy's trip to the Poly is coming up!!!

Suzy did on-line check in today!!!

Yup, she's packing and doing all the little details. With a family of six it takes awhile. And they are not flying Southwest which means they have to pay for bags which means you have to really have a good plan. Also, they are renting a car for only 2 days (Thanksgiving & black Friday) and then are returning it & checking in to the Poly for the last 5 days of their trip.

AND they are upgrading to AP's this trip. So it's confusing and Suzy is right at that point where excitement morphs into the realization that planning isn't enough. You must actually pack. And pack in such a way that you have what you need and no small kids have to drag around big bags and you know which stroller you are taking and you have Band-Aids in your purse without having an entire pharmacy in there you have to lug around. You get the idea. It's complicated.

And though Milo is one of the best dads around (after Donald, of course) he has finals to give and other things to wrap up and also, ahem, how should I say this? He's not really great at packing. So it mostly all falls on Suzy. Fortunately, he's great at CARRYING packed bags. Just not the actual filling of them in a useful, practical way. Just telling it like it is. And did I mention they have four boys? COMPLICATED!

Good luck Suzy! I'll be over here sitting on my booty writing my trip report. Work hard!
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:11 PM   #114
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What we've been doing

And now to explain myself. I know I've been bad about updating lately. I know, I went to the beach, I went to California, but I've also been planning parties. So I just wanted to post 2 pictures so hopefully you will forgive me. Donald & I made a 30 minute gorgeous movie that we are really proud of.

We showed it to a crowd of 150 in a really ugly, brown room. Which Suzy & I spent 2 days transforming:

And here is the cake I made, pina colada flavored with white chocolate shells. Fed 150.

We also are putting a new roof on our house, beginning this weekend.

So please, I beg of you, forgive me for not giving all my attention to this TR. I do love it. And I love all my readers. But ya know, life has a way of interfering with the best laid Disney plans.
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Old 11-17-2010, 03:32 PM   #115
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Chillin' at the DHS

Even though we hadn't had a late night the night before, we took it easy this morning. We had a late night planned, well, late for 2 & 3 year olds with a Fantasmic viewing so we didn't want to get up and at in the morning too. But just the same we were up, dressed, and breakfasted by 8:30. Mom had had her quiet time and Suzy and I had plastered our hair to our head with hairspray and we were ready to go by 8:45.

I realize that to get a ride on TSM you have to be there at the break of dawn. But I have experienced in my years of experience (tip ALERT!) that if you can't be at DHS by 8:15 so you get in that front crowd in the Mania March and you are going to be at DHS till Fantasmic and so are just getting FP's it's actually better to be there a little bit later. There can be lines to get FP's for up to 20 minutes first thing in the a.m. So if you get there at 9:30 ish the lines have dispersed at the FP machines but there are still FP's.

So even though we were pretending to be all chilled out and "late" it really was a planned late arrival. No need to let Mom experience the Mania March. She already thinks Disney lovers are bordering on crazy. No need to confirm that belief.

Boo found more "mangos" and watched them as we walked to the bus.

This bus came pretty quick and we were on our way. And right on target. By 9:15-9:20 we were getting our pics with the hat! We were actually ahead of schedule, not that we were on a schedule.

I separated from the group and went to snag those TSM FP's while the rest of the gang went to take Jack-Jack to meet the Cars. If you get there when it first opens no one is around and you get first crack at it. Suzy & I had planned on doing this and then getting in line for Buzz so that we were at the 10:20 Playhouse Disney show. We just thought it would make the rest of our day cake if we got those three things out of the way by 10:45ish.

Ah, lovely empty streets:

That is one nice thing about a packed out Pixar Place. The rest of DHS is empty till noon. And my plan of waiting 20 minutes to get FP's was perfect. I was only second in my line and very quickly had FP's for 2:00 p.m. Could not have been any better.

So, one thing that Boo was adamant about is: "I don't like Buzz Lightyear." Even though she had been enjoying the characters this time I was worried about pressing my luck with a character that is huge in person and that she kinda hates. But it was a must do for Jack. A MUST DO! So by 9:45 we were in line (maybe third family in line?) Boo was not fooled and knew we were in line to meet Buzz and Woody. To distract her I sat on the ground and put on a little play with her & Jack-Jack's toys. This is something I do regularly (I'm a bit of a player ) and she loves. So she was very happy. And Jack-Jack was thrilled. But in Pixar Place there are a lot children and I had a lot of spectators. I was glad when it was time to go inside. It had been a long 15 minutes for me. It's not that I'm shy (obviously) it's just hard to be at the top of my creative game with a bunch of kids & parents watching you.

So we wandered past the really well themed line and Boo started getting stressed. "I don't like Buzz Lightyear!" Mom and I came up with a plan to just scooch past the room. It was her job as I would be video taping. But she didn't really want to miss seeing Jack meet Buzz so she would just kind of shield Boo while still watching Jack.

It worked pretty well. Though the handler kept trying to get Boo up there too and I could hear a bit of a scene behind me while I was taping and Mom saying, "She doesn't like Buzz Lightyear," and "She's scared and doesn't want to." So not sure exactly what was going on behind me but I know Boo wasn't traumatized afterwards and Mom had enjoyed watching Jack-Jack and I had good video and pics so all things considered, it went fine.

This took all of 5 minutes so once we gathered our things and walked over to Playhouse Disney it was only 10:10 and we still had 10 minutes before the show started. Which was good. Because when I turned around to see where Suzy was parking her stroller she was no where to be found. So I texted her, "Where r u?" And in reply she texted me a picture of these guys:

Only not that picture, but a picture of them putting on a show starring Jack-Jack! So I wandered back over there but it was over by then. I guess as they were walking by the soldiers recruited him to their army. And then gave orders, like Simon says, for a line of people to follow. Only Jack-Jack couldn't follow any of them so the other people in line helped him. It looked cute. Suzy said it was long but I have to believe that is two-fold: one, she was trying to make the 10:20 show, and two, it was already super hot. And Pixar Place always feels hotter to me than other places. So she and Mom were pretty sweaty by the time I found them.

Anyway, we still made it to Playhouse Disney in plenty of time and settled in to pretty good seats.

The show got started and the lead girl comes out and asks everyone their name. Then she says it wasn't loud enough and asks us our names again. Then it got weird. She asked us our names like 6 times. Really? Pretty sure you can't hear us when we all scream our names so I'm not really sure why you need to hear it 6 times.

Then a few other weird things happened. The microphones didn't work and the lights weren't right. And then they announced: "This show will now be closing."

Can you imagine? I've been in a lot of attractions that break down. But a room full of toddlers and preschoolers! Yikes!

I was afraid Boo would melt down but I told her we'd come back and she and Jack-Jack took it totally in stride.

I then had the genius idea to take them to a playground since playground trumps TV everytime. They thought it was a grand idea and off we went.

To the dumbest playground ever. I'm not sure whose brainiac idea the DHS playground is but whoever it was had creativity to spare and had never been to a playground with a kid there entire lives. I have 3 kids aging 3-10 and I've been going to WDW with them for years and not one of them at any age ever enjoyed this playground. Plus, as a parent, at no time can you ever see your kids so it is just one heart attack after another.

Mom volunteered to take them up the slide. They got up to the top and something growled at them. Boo burst into tears and down they came:

Amount of time we enjoyed this playground: 5 seconds.

Yes, it was a genius idea.

So then Suzy took a stab at a great idea and decided we should switch our whole plan and go do the 11:00 American Idol which was a priority because Mom American Idol.

This was an actual genius idea with no sarcasm involved as I type that. It's air conditioned. It's fun. It was open. Though there were only 2 singers since it was a slow day and it was the first show.

I don't remember who won. I know neither of them was very good. I felt bad for the judges and wished that I had a desire to try out. I'm pretty good on stage and know the quality of my voice so would be fine when "Simon" told me I couldn't sing. But it wasn't that kind of a day. And really, what if I won a round? Then I'd be stuck all day hanging around.

We'll just have to wait for Charming to be ready this coming year. Then we can have a singer on stage and one adult to hang out with him all day.

We then went to get lunch at the place next to Jedi Academy. Boo kept being afraid we were going to make her meet Darth Vader but once we were inside she felt safe and ready to eat.

Here we are before any trouble started:

Everybody's happy. Suzy is eating her veggie sandwich she loves so much and the kiddos are sharing chicken and fries. But this all shortly changed when they got too wiggly and those giant chairs tipped over and threw them onto the cement floor. Not sure who went first or exactly what happened but I know preschoolers and tall chairs and cement floors were a very bad combo. We chose this room as it had easy access to Darth Vader (so Jack-Jack could see him) and was mostly empty. But had I to do it over again, I would have picked a different room and table.

After we checked for bleeding and perhaps handed out a few Band-Aids, Boo and I headed over to the 12:45 showing of Beauty and the Beast. Boo LOVED this show last time so it was a big priority.

Amazing, as always.

After this I took Boo to see Playhouse Disney. Honestly, I can't remember but I think I did this by myself. Maybe Suzy skipped? She really hates it. Not sure. I do know that Boo and I hustled to get there and again, were there in plenty of time. Handy Mandy was out but Boo wouldn't meet him. And I chitchatted with a single dad and his son, who were there celebrating his kid's 5th birthday. He probably thought I was hitting on him since it must have seemed like I was a single mom with a daughter (I don't wear a wedding ring) but oh well. We were just Disney talking and since no flirting went on it would have been awkward to be all, "Hey, I'm married." But I did make sure we sat on the opposite side of the room from them lest he get any weird ideas.

I believe Mom & Suzy took Jack-Jack over to Lights, Motors, Action at 1:20. Mom enjoyed that, her first time seeing it. But she felt as I always do about that place: it was HOT! HOT HOT HOT. And not in a good way. In a loud and crowded way. Where the heat gets you so hot you're kind afraid of it making you sick.

But I'll talk more about that in the next post. First I have to go ask Suzy where she was and make sure the above is accurate. Because I do believe I also did the Animation Studios without them and I distinctly remember being very happy and content and them being boiling hot and miserable. So surely I spent all that time in blissful air conditioning alone.

Back later!

Last edited by estherhead; 11-17-2010 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:42 AM   #116
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Our DHS day continues

OK, I've conferred with the expert. And indeed I did these things with just Boo and me. Boo is scared of scary music. That's the thing that tips her off, not scary images or scary things happening, it's the music. So I'm careful.

Suzy & Mom took Jack-Jack to Sounds Dangerous and Lights, Motor, Action. While I did Beauty and the Beast and Playhouse Disney and Animation Studios.

Here's a few Playhouse Disney pictures.

The great thing about Playhouse Disney in the off season is they don't make you sit so close together. They only told us to move closer once and Boo and I really had plenty of room to move around.

Boo loved the papers flying from the ceiling and the little green leaves and she collected a little pile of them. She carried a green leaf around the rest of the afternoon.

I still hadn't heard from the other three when this was done so to avoid the heat Boo and I headed in to the basement of Animation Studios to check out the lines. They were substantial and I figured we only had 15 minutes or so.

So I took this picture, let Boo watch a few kids meet Mickey, and played on one of the computers.

Suzy texted me shortly after we grabbed a computer so we just finished up and met them at Toy Story!

They were kinda cranky. Boo and I had been in air conditioning and the B&B theater which has big fans and is nice and cool. They had been in those hot stands where they show you scenes of fire. Not the same experience.

So Toy Story Mania was air conditioned and we had FP's. We all took our own cars as Boo and Jack Jack are big enough to want to shoot and the rest of us love video games too much to give up our shooters.

Boo didn't do very well, but she had fun! Her score is the 0:

So the plan was to see Block Party Bash. I'd researched a spot to stand where the Toy Story Characters would be right in front of you dancing. But as we exited TSM a wall of humid heat hit us. And we found ourselves heading for the exit and not our special spot.

By the time we got to our bus stop there was quite the line which I always see as a good sign because it means a bus hasn't been by in awhile. Sadly, this was not a good sign on this day. It took FOREVER for a bus to come. Ok, Ok, it probably took 10 minutes. But every bus stop, even those who had no people waiting got a bus before us and our stop had quite the line by the time it came.

And so the bus was crowded. And Jack-Jack really doesn't like crowded buses. So he sat on Suzy and played with her neck to calm him from being in a tight area with a bunch of strangers. And it was so calming he fell fast asleep.

All told it only took an hour from the time we walked into Toy Story to the time we walked into our hotel room, which I realize isn't bad. But dear God, it was HOT.

Boo doesn't nap. She almost never has. But Grandma had sown seeds of desire by pointing out two frogs earlier and indicating that she might be willing to purchase them. Boo had pondered that all night and as we walked by on our way to fill up our refillable mugs she grabbed them and held them up to Grandma, who was thrilled. So off they went to buy them.

Also, that first night I was there I had bought some chips and a $10.00 thing of caramel popcorn. It had annoyed me at the time because I make caramel corn all the time and it's cheap. So it seemed outrageous. But that caramel corn was good and we all munched on that all week. Yum.

We chilled out for an hour or so and got thoroughly relaxed. And then I called for a taxi to take us to Beach Club. But when we got to the front our taxi was gone or had been taken by someone? Not sure. There was this other lady there who got in a big taxi van and it is my opinion that that was really our taxi. But I just called again and they were there in no time so it wasn't a big deal.

And off we went to the fabulous Beach Club! If you have to do a resort to resort evening meal, in my opinion, it's always worth just paying the $10-20.00 to get a taxi.

Coming up later: dinner and a show!
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:01 AM   #117
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And Suzy got the Kjottkake. I tasted it and it was yummy! Like the best meatloaf you ever had.
Here's the picture if any one is interested. This was delicious if you like meat and potato kind of food. (which I do )

Then as we were leaving Epcot, Perla finally stopped and was able to get her tickets upgraded to the Annual Passes. While the rest of us waited, I had another embarrassing moment with mom.

Yes, that's her with her feet in the fountain at Epcot. Do you think in 30 years I will still embarass my kids?

the rest of the gang went to take Jack-Jack to meet the Cars. If you get there when it first opens no one is around and you get first crack at it.
There was literally not another soul in sight while we got to meet McQueen and Mater. I had to go up with the kids because they are constantly revving their motors and it can be a little scary.

So by 9:45 we were in line (maybe third family in line?) Boo was not fooled and knew we were in line to meet Buzz and Woody. To distract her I sat on the ground and put on a little play with her & Jack-Jack's toys. This is something I do regularly (I'm a bit of a player ) and she loves. So she was very happy. And Jack-Jack was thrilled. But in Pixar Place there are a lot children and I had a lot of spectators. I was glad when it was time to go inside. It had been a long 15 minutes for me. It's not that I'm shy (obviously) it's just hard to be at the top of my creative game with a bunch of kids & parents watching you.
Look how much fun you are having? Is it any wonder that others might want in on the action??

I guess as they were walking by the soldiers recruited him to their army. And then gave orders, like Simon says, for a line of people to follow. Only Jack-Jack couldn't follow any of them so the other people in line helped him. It looked cute.

When Jack Jack so this picture just now, he said, "that place is scary"

After we split up and Perla went to do Beauty and the Beast, Playhouse Disney, and Animation studios, Mom and I and Jack Jack stopped by Sounds Dangerous because I thought Mom would enjoy it which she did. And then we made our way to LMA. This was miserable. The show was fine. But it was soooooooooooo hot and crowded (and Jack Jack is a kid that likes to be on me if at all possible ) that I really did not know if I was going to make it to the end.

On the way back there we stopped and got this picture.

Then here it is.

And can you see how hot it is just by looking at this face?

After this, we met back up with a cool, chilled out Perla and Boo.
Me DH DS (17) DS (14) DS (10) DS (6)

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Old 11-18-2010, 10:23 AM   #118
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Two comments:

She put her feet in the fountain? I have NEVER seen anyone do that. Why? Why don't people do that like they do in any non-Disney fountain? Glad I wasn't there!

Second, the Annual Pass upgrade. The people here on Disboards made this seem soooo easy. And it should have been. "Hey, Disney, I'd like to give you more money." And Disney says, "No, I refuse to take more of your money."

This makes no sense. But seriously, upgrading a free dining ticket to an Annual Pass was annoying. And of all the CM's I met all week, and many were truly lovely and knowledgeable, the ones at the Epcot customer service were the most knowledgable. Good job, Epcot CM's. This makes up for knowing absolutely nothing about Kim Possible the first year it came out and irritating me.
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:25 AM   #119
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AND, that is an adorable picture of you all in front of the cars! I'll have to get it before I do the scrapbook.
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:47 PM   #120
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DHS finishes:

From the moment we began planning this trip in earnest, after Suzy visited Disneyland and Jack fell in love with Fantasmic, I stressed out about this day. About this night.

Here's the situation. Suzy came over the day she got back from California and showed me her pictures of Disneyland. And because I'm a Disney freak we did it blow by blow, slowly, savoring every picture. Boo was on my lap & Jack was on Suzy's and we huddled around the computer soaking in every bit of every shot.

And we had a delightful time of it. Suzy telling me what she loved there & what was better at "our" Disney. How the FP's worked there. How the two parks were really just one. And planning our family's trip there in a few years. And talking about them going back. Just a great way to reconnect post-Disney separation.

Delightful. Until, that is, the picture of a scary dragon and Mickey Mouse came onto the screen. It was at this point that Jack and Boo screamed simultaneously. Except Jack screamed in excitement, "Mickey kill the dragon!!!" and immediately became Mickey Mouse slaying a dragon with full motion of his entire body and arms. And Boo screamed. Just plain, ole screamed. In terror. Of a picture of Mickey Mouse.

Seriously, it wasn't that scary.

So it was with great fear that I myself had begun this day. This trip was all about Boo & not making her do things she didn't want to do. She'd already skipped Wishes and hadn't seemed to care. Which, though I'd prefer to have seen it, was so not a big deal.

But Fantasmic WAS a big deal. Not for me, though I'd skipped the year before because of her fears so I did want to see it, but it was a big deal to Jack-Jack. A HUGE deal. He loves Mickey Mouse, the slayer of dragons. And could be heard wandering around at all times of day saying, "This is my dream!" ever since June. And Jack-Jack is Boo's best friend. So she wants to share in his joy and his loves.

Even though she was terrified and constantly had reminded me of two things for months before this trip: "I don't like Buzz Lightyear, I like Rex," and "I don't like dragons," she also didn't want to miss seeing Mickey Mouse kill the dragon so she could see why Jack was so over the moon about it all. And every day for weeks before this trip she would make me watch Fantasmic on Youtube or if home on our tv where her daddy had taped it the year before (for me when I had to stay back with her.)

So all day I agonized over this evening. Should I skip dinner and Fantasmic and just take the boat to DTD, me and Boo? Should we go to another park, eat at MK together? Should we swim and stay at the resort? Should we go to dinner with everyone and then we split and go to Epcot? I just couldn't decided? And Boo was no help because one minute she'd want to see it, and the other she wouldn't. Plus, she's three and really, what do three year olds know?

Finally, after months of indecision, I decided to do the whole evening with everyone together and sit or stand in the back of Fantasmic, letting her know we would leave the very moment she got frightened.

So it was with that decision that I found the five of us in a taxi on our way to Kouzzina.

Can I get a shout out from all you fellow Food Network freaks? Come on, admit it. You love Alton Brown and Bobby Flay. You love 'em and you know it.

Ever since we heard Disney and Cat Cora in the same phrase, we wanted to eat here. But it's not really convenient to where we normally stay. So not until this trip did it really happen. We hopped out of our taxi, paid our $12.00 plus tip (it was cheaper than I was expecting!) and moseyed on over to Kouzzina.

We went in and it was almost empty. The waiting area is adjacent to the candy store which is adjacent to the Flying Fish. We've eaten there before so were familiar. Jack-Jack wanted candy since he was hungry and had slept through our snacking. But Suzy held off. Ok, so she didn't. She ended up buying suckers. To reflect what she is: a sucker. They sat us in the waiting area on this giant bench. Not just giant lengthwise which I wouldn't have remembered, but giant depthwise. Which made it difficult to sit on and Boo was a little bit frightened because it was a cloth seat that had holes in it. Or maybe it was just lunch time flash backs.

Regardless, in a mostly empty restaurant we didn't sit there very long. But were quickly ushered into a wonderful space:

I got a wine flight. Mmmmm....

I intended on telling you all about these but I can't remember now. Two of them were great and one wasn't my favorite. My intention was for all of us to share but Mom was still struggling with her tummy and Suzy helped some, but not enough! I was feeling quite "calm" by the time the entrees came.

The bread was yummy. And because of the wine, I had quite a bit to make sure I wasn't soaking too much alcohol into my bloodstream. Due to Suzy's great planning, Boo and Jack-Jack had suckers while we waited for our meals which made them quite happy. Jack had been a GROUCH up until that point since he starving so I can't complain too much.

I was a very happy camper with my entree:

I adore sweet potatoes in all form so these fries did not disappoint. The green stuff was an herb sauce which was overpowering but yummy. And steak, how can you wrong?

Boo took an interest in the kitchen. When orders came up the chefs all yelled, "OOmpa!" She loved this! Must be from her Mommy watching Iron Chef from the moment she was conceived. We all had to go and watch the cooks and even to this day she will say, "Oompa!" from time to time when things are exciting.

For dessert she enjoyed this:

And I enjoyed these:

Oh my goodness! I'm not really a donut person. But these were little honey donuts with delish delish sauces! I shared with Mom and Suzy, though I could have eaten them all myself. I didn't want a sugar high, and I wanted them to appreciate the wonderfulness of these donuts. I'd come here again for sure!

Sweet potato fries and honey donuts in raspberry sauce. What's not to love?

And I got coffee. Double yum.

Here's Jack-Jack's dessert. See the red sucker?

After this Suzy took the kids out to play on the Boardwalk while I went to the restroom and paid up. With the free DDP and the TiW card and dividing the part we had to pay for by three it was confusing. By the end of the week I was ready to let it all just go but Suzy had been methodically tracking every expense so well that by the end, once she kicked my math skills to the curb, we came out to the penny. I would not have been so methodical, but she works with taxes and money all the time. So it didn't ruin her trip to be bothered by it.

So I settled and signed and handed her the receipt and we headed to catch a boat to DHS.

We were in no hurry, since we didn't care if we had seats since I didn't think I'd be staying long anyway. So we shopped. With the new Marvel acquisition Suzy wanted to grab some comic books for Buzz but he has so many she needed his help to know which to get. This required multiple stores and phone calls. I got quickly bored and found myself with two strollers and two kids on a bench outside.

I sat there about 15 minutes and began to panic as soooo many people flocked into the Fantasmic theater. Mom wandered past going between stores and I flagged her down and told her I wanted to go in and was panicking. I didn't feel like I could go in with both kids and both strollers. So she searched out Suzy (who wasn't responding to texts because she was trying to talk to her boys and get her task done quickly.) But Suzy wanted us to just hold off as she was almost done.

By the time we headed in, it was about 20 minutes before the show and standing room only. I didn't know what to expect as I always get there early.

So we follow the heard of cattle in front of us (I feel like cattle often at Disney) "Moo!!!" to a standing room only area which is a little cement area where you can sit before the show and aren't blocking walkways but then stand during the show.

Had we waited another 5 minutes we would have gotten to be in the middle standing room only area which would have been perfect for us. But we were on the far end.

See how far over we were?

So we had a spot and for my purposes, it was a perfect spot as it would be easy to escape. To help Boo calm down I took her to get a light up toy. We had to track down a cart as evidently the guys selling them don't come up into the cheap seats. Which was at the very bottom of the theater, close to the water. Boo really freaked out and I was afraid she would want to leave.

But she sucked it up and picked out the boringest light up toy on the cart and we headed back up to our seats.

Behind us was a Portuguese or Brazilian family. There little boy was fascinated with Jack-Jack and Boo's toys and Boo was annoyed by this. But he was really good and very cute. I used my itranslate ap to say hello to him.

And then the show started. We all stood up and I held Boo close and she LOVED it. When the scary parts happened I held my hand tightly over her ears and pressed her other ear into my shoulder. When the snake/dragon scene came she started screaming, "I want to leave, I want to leave!!!!" So I, naturally, started making my way to the exit. At which pointed she started shrieking, "NOOOOO!!!! Stay with Jack-Jack!!!!!" So I headed back up. And after that she just watched. She really enjoyed it and kept pointing things out. She loved it. In spite of herself.

Being in the cheap seats and not having a car, we opted to start walking out to beat the crowds to the buses as the boats came out. So we got a great, closer view of them as we rushed to the strollers. Only at Disney would that Fantasmic stroller parking lot exist.

Our strollers had been parked at the furthest corner ever and were hard to get out. I somehow managed despite one of them being folded up and hanging on the wall and one of them being lodged in a corner and we almost were running as we saw the wall of parents swarming in to get their strollers. Escape! Escape!!!

Whew, we made it.

Instead of going to the buses, though, Mom wanted popcorn. To be honest, I have no idea why. But she did. So Suzy, in her all knowing way, knew where a popcorn stand was and we grabbed popcorn and drinks and headed with the swarm to the buses. But really, it wasn't bad.

All in all the Fantasmic decisions had been the right one. But it wasn't a piece of cake. I felt beat up afterwards. It was a full contact sport.

When we got home Boo got Jack to watch a Mickey movie on my iphone in her "theater" under the table. She's so weird.
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