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Old 09-24-2010, 05:19 PM   #1
2BoysMom
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1st trip to Disney, 1st Christmas. Celebrating our new daughter!

Hello Everyone-

So much has been going on in our lives. My family and I went to China in August to adopt a 5 year old girl. Things have been going very well and we are very blessed (although I am typing this to you from her Kindergarten class, as she is too afraid to be left alone in school ).

Before we even left for China, I was surfing the DIS boards wanting to plan a special trip for her. I knew as a family we needed another Disney trip, and I SO wanted a trip that celebrates her, our new family and her first Christmas.

Because I was hoping for a late November, early December trip, I began to have difficulties in finding a resort to stay at due to the short notice. As you can see by my signature, we have gone to WDW many times. The first time we brought our twin boys to celebrate their 1st birthday, we stayed at CR. I love all Disney resorts, but I wanted a special monorail resort for my daughter's 1st trip as well. Last minute research = difficulties, difficulties. Spoiled by FL Resident discounts = not wanting to settle for high rates.

Finally on a whim based on what I read on someone else's PTR, I checked Expedia, not expecting to find anything there as well. YIPPEE! I was wrong. I found a great rate at the Poly!! My first choice. Neither a TA nor Disney could get us into the Poly.

We have never stayed at the Poly!! I am so psyched. I got the dates that I wanted as well, November 28-December 1. It's only 4 days, but with three 6 year olds, and because we live in Florida and usually go about two or three times a year, 4 days is plenty for us.

Here are some pictures of our cast of characters:
Me-Donna
DH-Dave
Twin Boys-Nathan and Alex-6years old
This was the moment that our adoption became legal in China. Her brother Alex does not normally look like Popeye.

Here is Jade-Rose:




And the moment she landed in San Francisco and became a US Citizen!


This will be a short PTR as our trip is in just over 2 months! YIPPEE!

Disney is always asking "What will you be Celebrating?" I think our Celebration trip is for a pretty wonderful reason.
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PTR & TR-1st trip to Disney, 1st Christmas. Celebrating our new daughter!

Coronado Springs Jan. 2004, Contemporary & POFQ May 2005, POR & Disney cruise Aug. 2005, POFQ Sep. 2006, Ft. Wilderness cabin May 2007, Boardwalk-Christmas Dec 2007, POR March 2008, Ft. Wilderness cabin May 2008, Pop & Coronado Spgs - Halloween Oct. 2008, Offsite-Princess half-marathon March 2009, AsMov spontaneous 1 nighter April 2009, Disney Cruise May/June 2009, Offsite-business trip Jan 2010, Poly-Christmas 2010, Bonnet Creek May 2011, Bonnet Creek - Halloween Oct 2011, Wilderness Lodge 10 yr. Anniversary weekend Jan 2012, POR & Swan /Dolphin Oct 2012.

Last edited by 2BoysMom; 09-25-2010 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:36 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2BoysMom View Post
Hello Everyone-

So much has been going on in our lives. My family and I went to China in August to adopt a 5 year old girl. Things have been going very well and we are very blessed (although I am typing this to you from her Kindergarten class, as she is too afraid to be left alone in school ).

Before we even left for China, I was surfing the DIS boards wanting to plan a special trip for her. I knew as a family we needed another Disney trip, and I SO wanted a trip that celebrates her, our new family and her first Christmas.

Because I was hoping for a late November, early December trip, I began to have difficulties in finding a resort to stay at due to the short notice. As you can see by my signature, we have gone to WDW many times. The first time we brought our twin boys to celebrate their 1st birthday, we stayed at CR. I love all Disney resorts, but I wanted a special monorail resort for my daughter's 1st trip as well. Last minute research = difficulties, difficulties. Spoiled by FL Resident discounts = not wanting to settle for high rates.

Finally on a whim based on what I read on someone else's PTR, I checked Expedia, not expecting to find anything there as well. YIPPEE! I was wrong. I found a great rate at the Poly!! My first choice. Neither a TA nor Disney could get us into the Poly.

We have never stayed at the Poly!! I am so psyched. I got the dates that I wanted as well, November 28-December 1. It's only 4 days, but with three 6 year olds, and because we live in Florida and usually go about twice a year, 4 days is plenty for us.

Here are some pictures of our cast of characters:
Me-Donna
DH-Dave
Twin Boys-Nathan and Alex-6years old
This was the moment that our adoption became legal in China. Her brother Alex does not normally look like Popeye.

Here is Jade-Rose:




And the moment she landed in San Francisco and became a US Citizen!


This will be a short PTR as our trip is in just over 2 months! YIPPEE!

Disney is always asking "What will you be Celebrating?" I think our Celebration trip is for a pretty wonderful reason.
Congrats!!!! What better way to show her a bit of America than Disney???!!!! You have a beautiful family!

My children study Mandarin at their school. They would love to go to Disney Hong Kong!
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Old 09-25-2010, 07:22 AM   #3
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Those are the MOST adorable pictures!!! They bring tears to my eyes. You have a beautiful family. I'm looking forward to following along with your PTR. Does your daughter know who Mickey Mouse is?
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Old 09-25-2010, 01:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRmamiDEdos View Post
Congrats!!!! What better way to show her a bit of America than Disney???!!!! You have a beautiful family!

My children study Mandarin at their school. They would love to go to Disney Hong Kong!
Quote:
Originally Posted by hstrickland View Post
Those are the MOST adorable pictures!!! They bring tears to my eyes. You have a beautiful family. I'm looking forward to following along with your PTR. Does your daughter know who Mickey Mouse is?
Thanks for jumping on board my PTR! We actually flew out of Hong Kong to return home from our China trip. We did meet some adoptive families who were stopping at Hong Kong Disney before flying home. We weren't sure how well our daughter would be doing, so we did not plan for it. But actually she has done incredibly well, even from our first day. I do regret not going there first before getting on our plane home. I will make sure we do it when we go back to China for a Heritage Trip.

Hi Heather! Thanks for stopping by. Jade-Rose does know who Mickey Mouse is. And ever since she has come home, I have been trying to do the "Disney-Indoctrination" with her!
We are a big Disney family. You should see how many Disney clothes I have for her in her closet.
Here is a picture of us at her school where she is wearing one of her Minnie shirts.


I am so excited for this trip!
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PTR & TR-1st trip to Disney, 1st Christmas. Celebrating our new daughter!

Coronado Springs Jan. 2004, Contemporary & POFQ May 2005, POR & Disney cruise Aug. 2005, POFQ Sep. 2006, Ft. Wilderness cabin May 2007, Boardwalk-Christmas Dec 2007, POR March 2008, Ft. Wilderness cabin May 2008, Pop & Coronado Spgs - Halloween Oct. 2008, Offsite-Princess half-marathon March 2009, AsMov spontaneous 1 nighter April 2009, Disney Cruise May/June 2009, Offsite-business trip Jan 2010, Poly-Christmas 2010, Bonnet Creek May 2011, Bonnet Creek - Halloween Oct 2011, Wilderness Lodge 10 yr. Anniversary weekend Jan 2012, POR & Swan /Dolphin Oct 2012.
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Old 09-25-2010, 05:15 PM   #5
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Interesting Polynesian Trivia

I found this tidbit on all.net.

Why are Cast Members at the Polynesian so friendly?

"In addition to the special Disney training all Cast Members go through, Polynesian cast members also attend classes in traditional Polynesian values. These classes emphasize the helpfulness, hospitality, and welcoming attitude of the traditional South Seas culture. Cast Members also have access to a special Polynesian reference library. The Polynesian has one of the largest percentages of original Cast Members anywhere in Walt Disney World. Around 16 cast members have stayed with the Polynesian since opening day, and the entire Polynesian cast represents about 1000 years of service at the resort."

I thought this was fascinating. I have wanted to stay at the Polynesian for many years, and I am so happy that I finally get to experience this wonderful resort.

One of the reasons that I wanted a monorail resort is to be able to take advantage of and appreciate the resort as much as possible. I also thought it was a good thing in case the crowds and new experiences that my daughter experiences becomes too much for her. She and I can have a relaxing time just walking around the resort, laying in hammocks together or watching fireworks from the beach.

Does anyone have any special tips that I might not know about the Poly? I'm all EARS....
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PTR & TR-1st trip to Disney, 1st Christmas. Celebrating our new daughter!

Coronado Springs Jan. 2004, Contemporary & POFQ May 2005, POR & Disney cruise Aug. 2005, POFQ Sep. 2006, Ft. Wilderness cabin May 2007, Boardwalk-Christmas Dec 2007, POR March 2008, Ft. Wilderness cabin May 2008, Pop & Coronado Spgs - Halloween Oct. 2008, Offsite-Princess half-marathon March 2009, AsMov spontaneous 1 nighter April 2009, Disney Cruise May/June 2009, Offsite-business trip Jan 2010, Poly-Christmas 2010, Bonnet Creek May 2011, Bonnet Creek - Halloween Oct 2011, Wilderness Lodge 10 yr. Anniversary weekend Jan 2012, POR & Swan /Dolphin Oct 2012.
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Old 09-26-2010, 02:15 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 2BoysMom View Post
Does anyone have any special tips that I might not know about the Poly? I'm all EARS....
Don't forget my request for Polynesian Tips! I would love to hear them.


I have spent most of a rainy Sunday making last minute ADR's and tentative itinerary plans. I'm not the type to hold to a stringent timetable, but I do like a general idea to start our day and then go with the flow based on how we feel. Having to manage twins over the years, and now three 6 year olds, I try to reduce stress factors as much as possible. Seeking perfection, doesn't do anyone any good, particularly a Mommy with Multiples.

Here is what I have so far:

Sunday, Nov. 28
Polynesian Resort and Magic Kingdom


Hollywood Studios has the Extra Magic Evening Hours
My goal is to see the Osborne Christmas Lights with the EMH.
MVMCP is tonight at MK.

Monday, Nov. 29
Magic Kingdom opens at 9am
Breakfast - Crystal Palace - 8:05am - before Park opens!


Magic Kingdom has the Extra Magic Evening Hours
Animal Kingdom has the Extra Magic Morning Hour

Tuesday, Nov. 30
Epcot opens at 8am. Extra Magic Morning Hour.
Lunch - Nine Dragons - 12:00pm


Illuminations is at 9:30pm
MVMCP is tonight at MK.

Wednesday, Dec. 1
Hollywood Studios opens at 9:00am
Lunch - 50's Prime Time - 11:10am


Animal Kingdom has the Extra Magic Evening Hours


I SO wanted a Character breakfast at Ohana. One, because we did one when we did the celebratory 1st birthday for my twin boys, but also because we are staying at the Poly. I wasn't able to get one.

I may try calling Disney Dining as we get closer and closer to our dates to see if I can catch a cancellation, but I'm not exactly sure. I wasn't overly thrilled with Crystal Palace as a character breakfast choice because we really haven't introduced our daughter to the Winnie the Pooh characters. However, I have never entered the MK before the parks open before, so that appeals to me. I think it might make for some great photos.

Again.... I will just be going with the flow... and seeing how it all works out.

PS: I made a note of the MVMCP dates during our trip. But we will not be going to the party. I did consider it, as I have done the MNSSHP one year and that was a BLAST! But since the MK has EMH in the evening on the 29th, after resting a bit at the resort, we will go back to MK and have fun with the evening events.
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PTR & TR-1st trip to Disney, 1st Christmas. Celebrating our new daughter!

Coronado Springs Jan. 2004, Contemporary & POFQ May 2005, POR & Disney cruise Aug. 2005, POFQ Sep. 2006, Ft. Wilderness cabin May 2007, Boardwalk-Christmas Dec 2007, POR March 2008, Ft. Wilderness cabin May 2008, Pop & Coronado Spgs - Halloween Oct. 2008, Offsite-Princess half-marathon March 2009, AsMov spontaneous 1 nighter April 2009, Disney Cruise May/June 2009, Offsite-business trip Jan 2010, Poly-Christmas 2010, Bonnet Creek May 2011, Bonnet Creek - Halloween Oct 2011, Wilderness Lodge 10 yr. Anniversary weekend Jan 2012, POR & Swan /Dolphin Oct 2012.
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:35 PM   #7
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Here are some other ideas I have decided on for our upcoming trip.


Because we live in Florida and get Seasonal Passes, we are able to get the TIW (Tables in Wonderland card) card for $75 instead of $100. We have used this card many times in the past and feel it is a good money saver as we go to the parks more than once a year. Once upon a time, the card was $50 (when it was DDE, Disney Dining Experience card). We always made our money back and then some on a first trip in those days. I think now it will take a second trip for us to take true advantage of the discounts. The rest is all gravy....


Another nice (new) perk for FL residents is we can now buy Annual or Seasonal passes in 12 monthly payments without interest. That helps us, who have to buy 3 FL Seasonal Passes for the kids. Mine and Dave's are still good through January. Instead of paying $747.63, all at once, out of pocket, we can spread out the payments. Much easier on the pocketbook.

One of my goals for this trip, besides celebrating Jade-Rose joining our family, is to have a special "Christmas" trip, with the idea of getting some nice family pictures. Hopefully one good enough for a Christmas card, etc. I found out that you can get Santa Claus pictures at Santa's Chalet in Downtown Disney. So, if the children are willing, we may try to see if a photo with Santa is also in our future at Disney World.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that Jade-Rose will be willing to sit on the lap of the strange looking bearded man and want to smile.... My... what we are willing to put our kids through sometimes.....

Go Santa Go Santa Go Santa
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PTR & TR-1st trip to Disney, 1st Christmas. Celebrating our new daughter!

Coronado Springs Jan. 2004, Contemporary & POFQ May 2005, POR & Disney cruise Aug. 2005, POFQ Sep. 2006, Ft. Wilderness cabin May 2007, Boardwalk-Christmas Dec 2007, POR March 2008, Ft. Wilderness cabin May 2008, Pop & Coronado Spgs - Halloween Oct. 2008, Offsite-Princess half-marathon March 2009, AsMov spontaneous 1 nighter April 2009, Disney Cruise May/June 2009, Offsite-business trip Jan 2010, Poly-Christmas 2010, Bonnet Creek May 2011, Bonnet Creek - Halloween Oct 2011, Wilderness Lodge 10 yr. Anniversary weekend Jan 2012, POR & Swan /Dolphin Oct 2012.
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:25 PM   #8
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Anecdote maybe some of you can relate to:

I was in the grocery store with Jade-Rose this afternoon, and as I was loading the groceries onto the belt from the cart, the cashier asked us if "we were a Disney family?" I was delightfully surprised as I often refer to us as "a Disney Family."

I said, "Yes, how did you know?"

He said, "You are wearing a sweatshirt that says Disney, and she is wearing a shirt with Ariel."

Oh. duh.
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PTR & TR-1st trip to Disney, 1st Christmas. Celebrating our new daughter!

Coronado Springs Jan. 2004, Contemporary & POFQ May 2005, POR & Disney cruise Aug. 2005, POFQ Sep. 2006, Ft. Wilderness cabin May 2007, Boardwalk-Christmas Dec 2007, POR March 2008, Ft. Wilderness cabin May 2008, Pop & Coronado Spgs - Halloween Oct. 2008, Offsite-Princess half-marathon March 2009, AsMov spontaneous 1 nighter April 2009, Disney Cruise May/June 2009, Offsite-business trip Jan 2010, Poly-Christmas 2010, Bonnet Creek May 2011, Bonnet Creek - Halloween Oct 2011, Wilderness Lodge 10 yr. Anniversary weekend Jan 2012, POR & Swan /Dolphin Oct 2012.
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:58 AM   #9
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Too bad you can't get an Ohana breakfast...that's one of our favorites. The kids really enjoyed it, as well as my parents.

Did you book a TPV or GV? One thing you certainly want to do is watch Wishes from the Poly beach. That's something you can't miss...very magical for the family. And don't forget to have a Dole Whip...super yummy! We only had one, but it was great.

I've been looking into an annual pass...too bad we can't get the discount that y'all get. With a pass, can you get discounted rooms at anytime?
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:49 PM   #10
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Yes, with the Seasonal and Annual passes we can get room discounts, but I have always found that the straight "FL Resident rates" always give us the best deals.

That's why when I first started this process, both before going to China and then once we came home, I was having a hard time booking a resort. I always use a TA, and they have always found me the best rates. But I was working with a TA and calling Disney direct, and no one could get me Poly, or CR. And I could only get GF the week of December 12th. Since I am a magazine publisher, that week really cuts into my deadline week. I was finding no deals for the weeks that I wanted, or even resorts at rack rate for the weeks that I wanted.

That's why finding a great rate on Expedia was such a shocker to me. I called Disney right after I saw the price online, and the CM on the phone told me even if she had the availability, she could never give me the rate I was quoted. So, it all turned out well, but certainly not my typical vacation planning M.O.

Believe me, living in Florida, you get spoiled pretty quick with the FL Res. discounts. If we ever move out of FL, I don't know what I would do. I guess I would have to wait for the ever elusive "Pin Code" (which I have never received by the way, I have a feeling it never goes to Florida addresses).

I've also never taken advantage of the Bounceback offers. I think I am going to do that this time. I almost always kick myself afterwards for not taking advantage of them.
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PTR & TR-1st trip to Disney, 1st Christmas. Celebrating our new daughter!

Coronado Springs Jan. 2004, Contemporary & POFQ May 2005, POR & Disney cruise Aug. 2005, POFQ Sep. 2006, Ft. Wilderness cabin May 2007, Boardwalk-Christmas Dec 2007, POR March 2008, Ft. Wilderness cabin May 2008, Pop & Coronado Spgs - Halloween Oct. 2008, Offsite-Princess half-marathon March 2009, AsMov spontaneous 1 nighter April 2009, Disney Cruise May/June 2009, Offsite-business trip Jan 2010, Poly-Christmas 2010, Bonnet Creek May 2011, Bonnet Creek - Halloween Oct 2011, Wilderness Lodge 10 yr. Anniversary weekend Jan 2012, POR & Swan /Dolphin Oct 2012.
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:53 PM   #11
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Sorry about that Heather, it appears I have just rambled on and on....

Yes, I think Annual pass discounts are pretty consistent all year. That is certainly the feeling I get whenever I do any discount searching...

And I do love the Ohana breakfast. I was disappointed I couldn't get an ADR for that, especially with us being right there. But who knows.... we may just do a walk up!
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Coronado Springs Jan. 2004, Contemporary & POFQ May 2005, POR & Disney cruise Aug. 2005, POFQ Sep. 2006, Ft. Wilderness cabin May 2007, Boardwalk-Christmas Dec 2007, POR March 2008, Ft. Wilderness cabin May 2008, Pop & Coronado Spgs - Halloween Oct. 2008, Offsite-Princess half-marathon March 2009, AsMov spontaneous 1 nighter April 2009, Disney Cruise May/June 2009, Offsite-business trip Jan 2010, Poly-Christmas 2010, Bonnet Creek May 2011, Bonnet Creek - Halloween Oct 2011, Wilderness Lodge 10 yr. Anniversary weekend Jan 2012, POR & Swan /Dolphin Oct 2012.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:42 PM   #12
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Thanks for the info! I'm going to have to research this annual pass thing before dishing out that kind of money.....but makes total sense if you go to Disney at least twice a year. Perhaps we will look into this on our next trip, which by the way is in less than 2 weeks!
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:47 PM   #13
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Heather- I sure hope you will do another TR for your upcoming trip. I LOVED your last TR. Are your parents going again? Will you be doing the MNSSHP?

My personal opinion (and it's only that, folks!) is that the Mickey's Boo-to-You parade is the BEST parade that WDW puts on. There, I said it.
Yes, the BEST parade!

As a means to get you excited about your upcoming trip, and in a way to live vicariously through you because I love to go to WDW in October.... here are some pics of when we went to MSSHP in 2008 with my twin boys. They are 4 in these pictures.

Two adorable Mickey Pirates!


Really beautiful decorations throughout the park at this time of year.


Oh no, the parents dressed up, too? How Disney-crazy are these folks?
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Coronado Springs Jan. 2004, Contemporary & POFQ May 2005, POR & Disney cruise Aug. 2005, POFQ Sep. 2006, Ft. Wilderness cabin May 2007, Boardwalk-Christmas Dec 2007, POR March 2008, Ft. Wilderness cabin May 2008, Pop & Coronado Spgs - Halloween Oct. 2008, Offsite-Princess half-marathon March 2009, AsMov spontaneous 1 nighter April 2009, Disney Cruise May/June 2009, Offsite-business trip Jan 2010, Poly-Christmas 2010, Bonnet Creek May 2011, Bonnet Creek - Halloween Oct 2011, Wilderness Lodge 10 yr. Anniversary weekend Jan 2012, POR & Swan /Dolphin Oct 2012.
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:28 PM   #14
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Ok...I LOVE the costumes and your pics!!! DH actually said he would like to dress up for MNSSHP, but don't think we will do it this time... don't have adult costumes. The kids are definitely doing the costume thing. We are super excited about the mini vacation. My parents aren't going this time...they are back in Mexico, but they are looking forward to our June trip.

Your boys are adorable in those pics! I'm sure your family is excited about putting a little sister into new Disney pictures!
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Old 10-06-2010, 01:43 PM   #15
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It's actually really fun for the grownups to dress-up, too. My DH went as Capt. Jack Sparrow and I went at Princess Aurora's Queen Mother (unfortunately, that character doesn't have a real name except "Queen." )

The CM's called me "Princess" all night. I wanted to say, "Hey, I'm in my 40's calling me Princess is a little ridiculous. Has no one heard of a QUEEN??" But I didn't, I remained my ever cheerful Disney self.

My DH is an attorney. The only reason that I mention this, is that while we were all dressed up in our Halloween finery, we bumped into old co-workers of his from when he worked at a fancy-shmancy Miami lawfirm. They looked at us like we had lost our minds!!

Although my DH is not the Disney "enthusiast" that I am, he took it all in stride with a smile on his face.

Fun memories!!! I just LOVE going to WDW in October.
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Coronado Springs Jan. 2004, Contemporary & POFQ May 2005, POR & Disney cruise Aug. 2005, POFQ Sep. 2006, Ft. Wilderness cabin May 2007, Boardwalk-Christmas Dec 2007, POR March 2008, Ft. Wilderness cabin May 2008, Pop & Coronado Spgs - Halloween Oct. 2008, Offsite-Princess half-marathon March 2009, AsMov spontaneous 1 nighter April 2009, Disney Cruise May/June 2009, Offsite-business trip Jan 2010, Poly-Christmas 2010, Bonnet Creek May 2011, Bonnet Creek - Halloween Oct 2011, Wilderness Lodge 10 yr. Anniversary weekend Jan 2012, POR & Swan /Dolphin Oct 2012.
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