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Old 09-20-2010, 02:04 AM   #77
annmarieda
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Can't wait to find out how your room was!!!
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Old 09-20-2010, 02:31 AM   #78
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for arriving at the Poly, although slightly worried as you said something different in my PTR
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Old 09-20-2010, 04:07 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by Joyciemc View Post
Day 3: We made $20 bucks!

Our third day at Universal began just before 7AM. We must've been well rested because we got up ahead of the alarm. That almost never happens for me. We made use of the Keuring again and I moleskinned up my feet. They were pretty sore in one spot from my Crocs, but my feet in general felt so much better with those on that I just moleskinned the crap out of them and kept wearing the Crocs.

We learned our lesson from yesterday and did not skip breakfast. Instead, we headed to the Trattoria before heading to the parks. This meal definitely did its part to break the bank- we ate some very expensive French toast and an egg burrito. On the plus side, this was the best French toast I've ever had!

We had decided that we would use today to re visit our favorites at both parks. The low crowd levels meant that we wouldn't need a 4th day at Universal. We now planned to leave early the next day to head to Disney!

We headed to Universal first, and the park was eerily empty.



We were heading in the general direction of MIB when we were stopped by a lady who wanted us to participate in a TV show preview and give our opinions of this show. It would take an hour and they'd pay us each $10. That's half the cost of my French toast!
Since we had the time, we decided to do it. We walked into this store front:



And each sat down at a computer with headphones to watch a new sitcom. Man, oh man, $10 was not enough to be paying people to watch this show. It was bad. Really bad. Not funny, not entertaining. The pilot actually premieres this Wednesday- I can't imagine it will go on much more than the one episode...

I finished answering the survey questions pretty quickly and headed out to wait for Ben. He took a bit longer, and I grabbed some pictures of the storefronts in this area (is it New York? San Francisco?)





I thought the themeing here was great- much more detailed than the DHS streets. After a bit, Ben walked out. We got our money in cash and continued on with our day.
MIB was empty- we had the car to ourselves. They were only loading one track. We ended up never being able to ride the other side, which we was a little disappointing.
Of course we had to see the Simpsons again- and saw a bunch of things we had missed the first time.


This shows most of my shirt- Frosted Flakes! I heard 'They'rrrrrrre Great' a lot this day! It seemed like our wardrobes were destined to get us plenty of attention this trip.

After riding the Mummy a couple of times, we used the single rider line at Ripe Ride Rockit on our way out of the park at 11:45AM. It was time for our daily pool break, so that is what we did. It was Saturday and the pool was more crowded now. Not too bad, but I needed a chair in the shade and only found one in the kids' pool area. Funny enough, there were hardly any kids in that section and it was very relaxing! Ben headed off for a message at the Spa (I didn't want one- after a very public and windy message in Jamaica, I prefer to skip messages when on vacation) and I stayed at the pool to read.
He loved his message and said the spa was really nice.

We were pretty hungry and decided to get some food at the poolside pizza place. The food was good, but not amazing. After lunch we headed to IOA for the last time. We had a list of pictures we wanted to take (including the Beetle Baily Baby Bath you saw in the last post) as well as some rides we wanted to re visit. We used the single rider line for the Forbidden Journey (the stand-by line was over an hour) and got on pretty quickly. This line bypasses all the cool stuff in Hogwarts, so I wouldn't do it if you have'nt seen the rest before!
We wanted to stop for another drink at the Hog's Head, so we weaved through the crowd and walked up to the door. Two CMs were standing there and asked if we were getting a drink. When we said we were, they pointed to a line going around the corner from the building. Looking inside, there were only about 15 people in the bar. So I'm not sure what that was all about, but we just laughed and said 'Nevermind!'
We passed Poseidon's Fury Stuntshow and figured we'd check it out. The building was really elaborate and we thought that much effort for a stunt show must mean it would be pretty good. Boy, were we wrong! After waiting for a while, we were led into a room. Throughout a ridiculous plot with a weak story, we moved from room to room with a crowd of people. We actually almost got squeezed out of one room... I wonder what would've happened to us if we were left behind?
The one redeeming thing was the water hallway. Otherwise, it was bad. And it won the title of the worst attraction ever. Ever.

Free from that ADVENTURE, we ended up at the Backwater Bar on the way out of the park. It was happy hour and we got a couple of cheaper beers. Universal was very strict about carding and sticking to their one drink per ID rule. I had to get up and wave for Ben to get two beers.
This was a relaxing place and we enjoyed it.



He wasn't really grumpy- just modeling!

We were planning on getting sushi at the Royal Pacific, so we left IOA and headed over there. As we got off the water taxi, we found the tiki bar outside of the Tchoup Chop restaurant. It was still happy hour so we got more cheap drinks and soaked up the atmosphere. This felt like a little sneak peak of the Poly.




After this, we headed up to the sushi bar. We ended up eating at a bar near the actual restaurant. Our food was amazingly good! It was accompanied by a few more drinks.





Once back at the Portofino, I wanted to see if the gelato place was still open. Somehow we got sidetracked and ended up at the Bar American. The bartender, Manuel, was great and we had a lot of fun talking to him. We also drank too much. This evening ended up costing a lot of money. Lots. Alcohol is not cheap at the resort. Neither is food. But it was a lot of fun and we met some great people. Once we made it back to the room, I collapsed into bed. We didn't set the alarm- we had no plans the next day until dinner at 'Ohana at 7:40PM.

Overall, we really enjoyed our trip to US. Having time to relax at a beautiful resort was a bonus- we got a couple hours of pool time each day!
The parks are great and offer some awesome attractions. But Ben and I agreed that they lacked something. Whatever it is about Disney parks that makes us want to just hang out there even without riding rides. I can't put my finger on it, but it was missing at US. Ben thinks it has to do with nostalgia- we just don't have the sentimental attachment to these parks because we've never been before. I think the music was too loud and un-themy. But that's just me.

We probably won't be back here anytime too soon, but I really hope that wasn't our last stay at the Portofino!

I finished a whole day in one post!
Up next will be Day 4: You just drank too much at Universal, where are you going to go now?
Forget the bill, you guys look sooo happy in the last pic. I hope that memory stays with you forever.
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Old 09-20-2010, 07:02 AM   #80
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Oh No! I dont like using the word 'reality' when referring to Dis and the Magic. Im SO hoping that everything works out for you.

... and you better get Tonga Toast!
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Old 09-20-2010, 09:50 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by klacey1 View Post
5 pages in and I didn't know? Whaaaaat? Excited to be here now and can't wait to catch up!!
For reals, where ya been?
Glad you're here, hope you enjoy it!

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Originally Posted by DisneyCrafter View Post
Ugh! Great cliff hanger! I'm interested to know, is Portofino more or less expensive than Poly???
Portofino is about $274/per night during the time we went. Not sure if that includes taxes or not...
Poly is $385/per night according to the Disney website. We went with a 40% pin.

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Originally Posted by SOUTHERNtinkerBELLE View Post
Oh, no - I'm getting nervous! I hope the room wasn't bad!
I debated posting this cause I didn't want my Poly-bound DIS friends to get nervous! Don't worry, I will post the rest soon!

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Originally Posted by annmarieda View Post
Can't wait to find out how your room was!!!
Can't wait to post it!

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Originally Posted by Stefy View Post
for arriving at the Poly, although slightly worried as you said something different in my PTR
That's right, I did post it on your PTR! Stay tuned...

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Originally Posted by Hootiss View Post
Forget the bill, you guys look sooo happy in the last pic. I hope that memory stays with you forever.
Awww, thank you so much! It was money well spent- we had a great trip!

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Oh No! I dont like using the word 'reality' when referring to Dis and the Magic. Im SO hoping that everything works out for you.

... and you better get Tonga Toast!
I know! It isn't supposed to be reality, this was our dream trip!
Speaking of Tonga Toast, I could go for some right now. Guess I'll settle for some cereal...
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:54 PM   #82
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Opening up the door better turn into something along the lines and we were inside Cinderella's castle suite!

Don't disappoint me now!
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Old 09-20-2010, 01:20 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by tankgirl427 View Post
Opening up the door better turn into something along the lines and we were inside Cinderella's castle suite!

Don't disappoint me now!
I've been trying to start writing this all morning, but just couldn't get going on it. Here it comes...
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Old 09-20-2010, 02:16 PM   #84
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Day 4: What is behind that door?

A refresher:


Don't I look happy? And excited? We were about to begin our highly anticipated Polynesian stay!
Neither of us had stayed at the Poly before, but it was a dream resort for both of us. On our last trip, we ate a few meals here and really enjoyed spending time at the resort.
Here we are on that 2007 trip, relaxing before our 'Ohana dinner:


When we decided to make this a fancy-pants trip, the first thing we knew was that we were going to stay at the Poly. And it was finally here!
I opened the door, and there it was- our room.....







Where are the pictures? Well, I was so stunned by what I saw I didn't think to take any. But I can tell you my first thought was: 'Huh, we didn't request a Pack N'Play'
My second thought was, 'I wonder why there's a half full (see, I'm an optimist!) bottle of Coke on the desk.' Then I noticed that there was also some trash and papers strewn on the desk, too. But the beds were made, and I think that was what was confusing me. This all happened in a matter of seconds. Ben never even made it into the room because he was behind me and I stopped short at the threshold. I thought we were in someone else's room and I quickly backed up and closed the door.
Then it dawned on us that it was a room someone had checked out of, but had not yet been cleaned. I could feel all my Poly excitement leaving me and I was fighting pretty hard to hang on to it. I did take off my lei, though- it was mocking me! We stood in that cramped dark hallway (a fact which I had ignored along with the elevator on the way in because we were at the Poly and I was going to love it!) and looked at each other. A maintenance CM happened to walk by and Ben stopped him to explain the situation. Unfortunately, the CM didn't speak much English and wasn't really understanding us. Finally, he used his radio to call someone. We were still standing there outside the room and he walked off toward the stairwell. After a little bit, he came back and said someone was coming to clean the room and we could wait right there. Um, you mean wait in this hallway for housekeeping to come over and hurriedly clean this room? No.... that doesn't sound like a super fun way to spend vacation time. I looked at Ben and asked that we go to the front desk. So we headed out, and passed the CM who insisted that we wait, it would only be 10 minutes. We thanked him for trying to help, and headed out.

When we got to the front desk, it was still mostly empty. We explained the situation and the CM helping us apologized. He made a few phone calls and then offered to move us to a different room, explaining that it was in the more newly renovated Tahiti and that we would now have a balcony. We accepted and waited for our new keys to be printed. Before we left, he gave us a $50 credit to the room. It was a nice gesture, but I think a room upgrade would have made us feel more 'taken care of'. Given how expensive the Poly is, $50 is not that much for a 7 night stay! We were calm and collected and maintained our sense of humor, so I can see why the CM didn't see the need to offer us more. By this point, we just wanted to get to our room, so off we went.
The map I was holding was not making any sense at all to me. I blame this on how hungry and grumpy I was. After a few wrong turns, we finally ended up at Tahiti. Walking up to the building, I could see Space Mountain through the windows near the elevator and that helped me feel a little better. Maybe we had received an upgrade after all? Had our garden view turned into a theme park view?

This elevator was an exact copy of the Samoa one. But at least the hallway was much wider and even a bit brighter. Once we found our room, I put the lei back on to recreate the photo from earlier:

See? Still smiling, only slightly forced. But my right eye was definitely more red and puffy by now... a sure sign that I needed to relax!

Coming up next: How many Pack N'Plays does this room have?
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Old 09-20-2010, 02:41 PM   #85
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Augh I feel for you. Seriously what right do they have to tell you your room is ready and it hasn't even been cleaned yet. Nasty!!!!!
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Old 09-20-2010, 02:53 PM   #86
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Joining in! Fun to read about your US and IOA portion of the trip, it looks like we were there just a couple of weeks before you and it is interesting to see the difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyciemc View Post
By now we were starving. Those egg sandwiches were a long time ago. We ran into the closest place- a bakery near the entrance. I got a ham and cheese croissant and Ben got... something else. I didn't take pictures of food- even though I meant to! They weren't amazing, but they did the job.
Good to know, it looked cute from the outside but we never went in.

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Originally Posted by Joyciemc View Post
We headed off, our noses buried in a park map. ET was first up and our first chance to use the Express Pass that was our room key. The crowds were almost non-existent, but there were enough people waiting that is was neat to go right on in.
That Express pass was a godsend for us (we were at the HRH) but with the earlier dates, places were a lot more crowded, especially IOA. How can you not love ET!

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Originally Posted by Joyciemc View Post
Our circle of the park brought us to Amityville next. This was a really well themed area, but the first time we noticed the heat. Up until now, we were really comfortable outside. But this side of the park was sun-tastic and hot!

And that brings us to Jaws. Jaws, Jaws, Jaws. The guy driving our boat looked about 14, and I don't doubt he was trying to sell it. But man, that was not a good ride for us. Oh well, at least we didn't wait for it (this is also a recurring theme for the trip).
Lightening when we were there so we didn't get to go on it, bummer you had a lame driver.

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We moved on to try Disaster! After Jaws, we were skeptical of this one. But it turned out to be a lot of fun. Not something we'd need to repeat, but a well done show. And I love Christopher Walken, so that helped!
we really enjoyed this one, a very pleasant surprise.

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Originally Posted by Joyciemc View Post
Mummy was next on the agenda and it did not disappoint. It was after this ride that Ben and I started to wonder how Universal managed to get fire into so many of its attractions. Next time you go to the parks, check it out- they've got fire all over the place!
I couldn't agree more, it got obnoxious actually
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Our next stop was unfortunate... Twister was a complete puzzle to us. We actually waited longer for this than anything else because we had just missed a show starting. There was a lot of fire, but not much else. We just didn't get it.
Agreed, lame.

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Originally Posted by Joyciemc View Post
Continuing our circle of the park, we found ourselves at Shrek 4D. We were confused by the pre-show... it was all about how we were about to be tortured but that never happened. I mean, the show wasn't great, but it certainly wasn't torture. Again, at least we didn't wait for it.
the whole thing didn't make much sense to us, even the kids.

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Originally Posted by Joyciemc View Post
We had one last thing to do on our way out: Ripe Ride Rockit. This is one of the rides that doesn't have an Express Pass so we were expecting to wait.
what a difference a week or 2 makes. The wait was about an hour I think when we were there. We didn't wait.

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We headed to the pool and were very pleasantly surprised. The lounge chairs were nice and comfy and there were plenty of them. There was a fun pool slide, too. We each took a couple of turns on it.
We pool hopped on our last day to the PH and the kids loved that slide.


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Originally Posted by Joyciemc View Post
Day 2: Beers for Breakfast!

We both started getting ready because we had somewhere to be: Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened at 8AM for Universal Resort guests. We thought that meant we should be heading over to IOA by 7:30.

They let us in right at 8AM. The only part of the park open was the Hogsmeade area, so that is where everyone went. Ben and I kinda moseyed along taking pictures. Some people were running, but there just weren't enough people for us to feel like we needed to rush.

Plenty of elbow room, no craziness at all. I felt like we were in an alternate universe.
Very cool about the tickets. When we were there they were letting resort guests in even earlier, like at 7:35 and the difference in getting there at 7:35 versus 8 was pretty huge.

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So we took a turn on the Dragon Challenge. I don't know what the queue area was like when this was Dueling Dragons, but I really like the Harry Potter themeing they had around the ride. I usually don't like up-side down coasters because I hit my head back and forth on the restraints. This was actually pretty smooth and I had fun!

We practically ran into a Butterbeer stand. I was so excited to try some!

I thought it was so neat that the Butterbeer kept a foamy head the whole time! As for the taste, it was really sweet. It tasted like a cream soda float. I actually liked the frozen one better- it was a little less sweet. We switched and headed over to the Forbidden Journey which was now open. But I had a full frozen Butterbeer to get through. I did my best and ended up with not just a brain freeze, but a full body freeze. While I was working on my drink, we popped into the Hog's Head for a minute. It was already open, and the bartender asked what we wanted. Ben talked to him about the Hog's Head Ale and I really thought he was going to order one. Before 9AM. But he didn't and we decided to stick with our fake beer and come back later for an adult version. I will say that it was very funny to see all the kids walking around drinking 'beer'.
The frozen was MUCH better I thought, but no way could have had a whole one. Three of us split it for breakfast.

Dueling dragons didn't really have much themeing to it before, they did a great job with it, much better now!

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We got in line and walked right through. It was kinda sad to have to skip by all of the amazing things going on in Hogwarts.

By now it was 9AM and the park was open to all guests. The difference in crowds in Hogsmeade was unbelievable. It looked kinda like this (this was taken after lunch- picture about 10% less people for what it was like at 9)


It was claustrophobic and really uncomfortable. Now I was worried to see what the rest of the park would be like!
It was SO much worse earlier! We went on FJ at about 7:50 the first time, by the time we came out it was up to a 20 minute wait. We went on it again and by the time we came out, still before 9, it was up to 45 and then just went up from there.

The "running" to WWOHP was wild, especially our first day there. It was better the 2nd as I think more kids had gone back to school.

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Originally Posted by Joyciemc View Post
[B]

The first ride you come to is that big green coaster, The Hulk. So that is where we headed. I had heard some good things about it and I was pretty sure it was a launched coaster, which are usually my favorite. This was yet another walk on and all I can say is thank goodness we did not wait for this ride. My notes about this ride were: "OUCH! Hated it" It was so painful, slamming my head back and forth in the restraints. I didn't find it thrilling or scary, it just hurt! I took a moment to recover, and when I felt up to it we headed to Spiderman.
Not only did we not wait, we had the whole car to ourselves! This was a ride that lived up to my expectations. And it had plenty of fire.

We did ride Jurassic Park, because it didn't seem to be to big on the splishy-splashy.

Look, more extra fire!
This was a great ride. I love the music! We only got sprinkled, not wet at all.
too bad you didn't like the hulk, we really love it. Spidey rocks! You must not have been in the front of the boat for JP. We got DRENCHED!

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Originally Posted by Joyciemc View Post
After standing in Margaritaville's gift shop for a while, we finally could go in to eat. This place was fun- good atmosphere and we had a friendly server. I had the crab cake sandwich and Ben ordered fish tacos.
Having already had a beer (well, a fake one...) I figured it had to be 5 o'clock somewhere...
If the waiter hadn't carded me, I would've sworn this was a virgin margarita. Which is probably not a bad thing except that it cost $9.
This was an expensive lunch, but we were lucky to get our AAA discount- $3 dollars off! Woohoo, we're rich!

I'm glad we ate here, but probably don't need to go back.
Oh that's a bummer. It is pricey but the burgers are fabulous. We stuck to lager in the restaurant and then did the half price margaritas at happy hour at the lone palm airport outside.

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Bluto's Bilgerat Barges were up first. We got drenched and had a blast. One of the best raft rides I've been on!
Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls was next. This may have been my favorite Universal ride... definitely top 3. It was funny and well themed and we got wet all over again.
Both of those looked like a lot of fun, I didn't do either but my kids got completely drenched on the barges.


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Originally Posted by Joyciemc View Post
We finally made it into the castle... and got to experience the best queue ever. I'm not going to talk about anything in there. Plenty of spoilers can be found if you want to know, but I really enjoyed being surprised.
The ride was still great!

The Hog's Head wasn't very busy, so we stopped in for a beer. The special ale made for this place was actually pretty good! We had fun in there- it has a great atmosphere. It made the list of things we wanted to re-do before leaving.
I agree, about the queue and the hogs head red!

[/QUOTE]

The soiled baby...EEW!

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Day 3: We made $20 bucks!

And each sat down at a computer with headphones to watch a new sitcom. Man, oh man, $10 was not enough to be paying people to watch this show. It was bad. Really bad. Not funny, not entertaining. The pilot actually premieres this Wednesday- I can't imagine it will go on much more than the one episode...
Ugh, the 20 bucks is cool but drag that you lost an hour to that.


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We passed Poseidon's Fury Stuntshow and figured we'd check it out. The building was really elaborate and we thought that much effort for a stunt show must mean it would be pretty good. Boy, were we wrong! After waiting for a while, we were led into a room. Throughout a ridiculous plot with a weak story, we moved from room to room with a crowd of people. We actually almost got squeezed out of one room... I wonder what would've happened to us if we were left behind?
The one redeeming thing was the water hallway. Otherwise, it was bad. And it won the title of the worst attraction ever. Ever.
Not sure about EVER but it was pretty awful.

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Free from that ADVENTURE, we ended up at the Backwater Bar on the way out of the park. It was happy hour and we got a couple of cheaper beers. Universal was very strict about carding and sticking to their one drink per ID rule. I had to get up and wave for Ben to get two beers.
So true, I had to wave at my DH as well at the Lone Palm Airport and I definitely don't look like I need carding!



What a drag about your less than magical arrival at the Poly...I hope it gets better though by the pack and play comment fear it does not.
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:02 PM   #87
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I don't think that I could have remained calm as much as I would have wanted to. I remember when we saw our room in Vegas and it wasn't a king bed but two queens and in order to see the strip you had to lean over the chair...I lost it. I was a hot mess!

Another cliff hanger?! I want to see the room already!!!!!
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:12 PM   #88
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Augh I feel for you. Seriously what right do they have to tell you your room is ready and it hasn't even been cleaned yet. Nasty!!!!!
In the moment, it was all so strange that we weren't even all that upset- just super confused!

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Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
Joining in! Fun to read about your US and IOA portion of the trip, it looks like we were there just a couple of weeks before you and it is interesting to see the difference.
Welcome
I liked hearing your views on US/IOA! Having never been before, I didn't know if I was hating beloved US rides or not... glad to know that in most cases I'm not alone in the assessments! I really don't know what happened with Hulk. But it hurt, a lot!

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Originally Posted by DisneyCrafter View Post
I don't think that I could have remained calm as much as I would have wanted to. I remember when we saw our room in Vegas and it wasn't a king bed but two queens and in order to see the strip you had to lean over the chair...I lost it. I was a hot mess!

Another cliff hanger?! I want to see the room already!!!!!
It's almost a problem with me- I want to keep everything 'ok' and almost never get outwardly upset in situations like this. I need to learn to be a bit more assertive and speak up for myself sometimes!

Sorry about the cliff hanger! I had to write that last post twice cause it got eaten and just didn't have it in me to make it any longer. But since this is my 'weekend', another post should be along this evening- never fear!
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:19 PM   #89
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HAA HAAA HAA you and BF are on the same weekend schedule. I'm sitting here at work and he's at home enjoying the beautiful day!

Now show us the new room!!!!!!!!!!
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Last edited by tankgirl427; 09-20-2010 at 06:39 PM. Reason: I wrote I was at home not work,but I was at work.
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:57 PM   #90
Joyciemc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tankgirl427 View Post
HAA HAAA HAA you and BF are on the same weekend schedule. I'm sitting here at home and he's at home enjoying the beautiful day!

Now show us the new room!!!!!!!!!!
I am at the end of my rope with my work schedule. I wish I could get a Mon-Fri job... but I would feel so guilty leaving the shelter... ugh.

Anyway, nothing helps avoid real-life problems like writing a trip report...
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