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Old 12-21-2010, 04:32 PM   #16
DisneyRed95
Earning My Ears
 
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I actually did the College Program twice. The first was Summer of 2000 and I drove the trams in the Magic Kingdom Parking Lot (TTC). Then I went back after I graduated from college and did Summer & Fall in 2001 where I worked Merchandise at the main entrance of the Magic Kingdom. It's been awhile for me as well, but it was a blast! Looking forward to hearing about your trip!
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:32 PM   #17
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I'm here!!! Yay!

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Originally Posted by Daddy_of_Princesses View Post
I'm in.

I see you had some record breaking lows while you were down there too. Maybe we should all get t-shirts that say "I survived the Great Florida Freeze of 2010" Maybe we could get someone on the DISigns board to create an image of Mickey wearing a Parka, gloves, winter boots, etc...
That would be AWESOME!

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Originally Posted by exwdwcm View Post
LOL, no kidding. No one even got to see all my cute shirts, they were always covered up with a coat!
IKWYM. I packed Disney shirts for every day of the week and was so upset b/c in most of my pics, all you see is my pink hoodie!!
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:15 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by exwdwcm View Post
WELCOME ALL!!!! Thanks for reading along. I'll be posting up our first day tomorrow when I can work on it tomorrow while work is dead. I know, my trip report isn't on my 'project list' at work, but it is now! Shhhhhh, don't tell anyone! Enjoying some fabulous weather here in TX- it is supopsed to be upper 70s today! Warmer than Orlando even, in fact they say Dallas is one of the warmest spots in the country today, nuts, right? At least it gets chilly for Christmas. Is all of your shopping done yet? I have a few more things, but mostly done. I work today and then hopefully get off at 2pm tomorrow, then off Thursday, Friday and Monday. I so need the time to recover still from the trip. Sad to say, but by day 8, i was pretty ready to come home. Knowing we have another trip booked already, makes it all the better though.

Welcome! i subscribed to yours too- can't wait to read!

Welcome!

LOL, no kidding. No one even got to see all my cute shirts, they were always covered up with a coat!

Hi Emma- welcome!!!! How is the weather over there- still lots of snow?

Hi Sara- how is life with two now? Hope it is going great!

Hey there- you made it!!! Welcome!

woo hoo! welcome!!!

Welcome to the craziness! so excited for you- you will have a fabulous time and the crowds should be great for that time of year too! Do you have a PTR?

WELCOME!!! When did you do your program and where did you work? I can't believe it has been 14 years since mine- seems like yesterday. We did run into my old roommate there too- so fun!

woo hoo- welcome aboard!

So glad you are here! and yes, definitely lime green!
Hit 85 at our house today!
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:46 PM   #19
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Joining in! I am right there with you on the FREEZING FL weather. I can't complain though.... it was in the negative wind chill here while we were there!
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:08 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by wdwislife View Post
I'm reading! Another December DISer here!
Reading your TR is definitely going to get me even more excited for my trip on Saturday, if that's even possible.
Welcome! 3 days, wow, you are going to have a ball!! I'll get up my first real chapter on day 1 this afternoon or tonight (hopefully work lets us out at 2!).

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Originally Posted by antnyh View Post
Following along. We are recent DVCers as well. Can't wait until our first trip home to BLT next March. Until then I'll live vicariously through you.
woo hoo! We really enjoyed our first trip home....BLT isn't really our 'style', we are more traditional in our tastes, think Wilderness Lodge or AKL....we are not 'modern/contemporary' design type folks, but we love BLT for the short walk to the MK since we have a little one and access to the monorail since we love dining at CR, Poly and GF. We really enjoyed the resort and can't wait to go back in October (studio). What type of room do you have booked in March?

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Originally Posted by DisneyRed95 View Post
I actually did the College Program twice. The first was Summer of 2000 and I drove the trams in the Magic Kingdom Parking Lot (TTC). Then I went back after I graduated from college and did Summer & Fall in 2001 where I worked Merchandise at the main entrance of the Magic Kingdom. It's been awhile for me as well, but it was a blast! Looking forward to hearing about your trip!
so cool!! So you were just a few years behind me. I worked at Hollywood and Vine Cafeteria- they were only open for breakfast/lunch back then and it was cafeteria style dining, no characters. It was hard work (lots of bussing tables, serving food cafeteria lady style to non-english speaking guests- playing sign language back and forth!). Two of my roomies were on their second program as well and in fact, the one still works there, 14 years later.....yep, so much for her finishing college! The other ended up working in guest relations and later Disney Weddings and her ex-partner was one of the Disney World ambassadors in the early 2000s too (they only pick 2 per year). At least the rest of us went back and finished college. How was working in transportation? Did you live in Vista Way? Here is a pic of my lovely costume from back in the day. This was me goofing off in costume at the apartment! did you have good roomies? Mine were the best- still keep in touch with all 5 and our neighbors from across the hall too.


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Originally Posted by PRmamiDEdos View Post
I'm here!!! Yay!

IKWYM. I packed Disney shirts for every day of the week and was so upset b/c in most of my pics, all you see is my pink hoodie!!
Welcome, so glad you made it! I know, don't you hate it, i had all these cute clothes that no one saw. they only saw my jacket!

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Hit 85 at our house today!
woo hoo- yeah, i hear that was the final high for us and record breaking at that! at least it is chilly today- i like my christmas to be a little cold.

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Originally Posted by Tinker_Tam View Post
Joining in! I am right there with you on the FREEZING FL weather. I can't complain though.... it was in the negative wind chill here while we were there!
yeah, i was shocked how darn cold it was, but hey, a cold day at disney is better than anything else.
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:57 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by exwdwcm View Post
so cool!! So you were just a few years behind me. I worked at Hollywood and Vine Cafeteria- they were only open for breakfast/lunch back then and it was cafeteria style dining, no characters. It was hard work (lots of bussing tables, serving food cafeteria lady style to non-english speaking guests- playing sign language back and forth!). Two of my roomies were on their second program as well and in fact, the one still works there, 14 years later.....yep, so much for her finishing college! The other ended up working in guest relations and later Disney Weddings and her ex-partner was one of the Disney World ambassadors in the early 2000s too (they only pick 2 per year). At least the rest of us went back and finished college. How was working in transportation? Did you live in Vista Way? Here is a pic of my lovely costume from back in the day. This was me goofing off in costume at the apartment! did you have good roomies? Mine were the best- still keep in touch with all 5 and our neighbors from across the hall too.
I love the picture! Trust me, I have similar ones! I still keep in touch with most of my roomies from the second program and we're actually trying to organize a reunion trip one of these days. Transportation was tough at first. I wasn't very excited about being placed there and having to drive the trams, but it grew on me. (And I got a pretty good tan that summer! ) I actually lived at Chatham both times. I think it opened in 2000. It was a nice place, but there were 8 of us in one apartment, which always made things interesting. I love coming across current College Program kids at WDW and chatting with them about my experience. I'm definitely glad I did the program.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:50 PM   #22
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In your PTR, you said y'all were supposed to see Remy at Le Chefs de France, right? Just wondering if you know what times he is out. I'm trying to help a friend plan her trip, and she wants to eat at one of the French restaurants, and I know her girls would LOVE this! Can't wait for the first installment!!
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:35 PM   #23
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subscribing in!
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:21 PM   #24
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@exwdwcm we are staying in a 1-bdrm lagoon view. I hope to be on the outer curve and maybe be lucky enough to get a partial MK view as well. We'll see.
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:53 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by DisneyRed95 View Post
I love the picture! Trust me, I have similar ones! I still keep in touch with most of my roomies from the second program and we're actually trying to organize a reunion trip one of these days. Transportation was tough at first. I wasn't very excited about being placed there and having to drive the trams, but it grew on me. (And I got a pretty good tan that summer! ) I actually lived at Chatham both times. I think it opened in 2000. It was a nice place, but there were 8 of us in one apartment, which always made things interesting. I love coming across current College Program kids at WDW and chatting with them about my experience. I'm definitely glad I did the program.
wow, 8 in one apartment- 4 bedroom i hope? ouch! lol sounds like transportation turned out to be not so bad in the end. I've heard people say it isn't so bad. i am so glad i got to experience the program too, it was a highlight of my life so far!

Quote:
Originally Posted by khertz View Post
In your PTR, you said y'all were supposed to see Remy at Le Chefs de France, right? Just wondering if you know what times he is out. I'm trying to help a friend plan her trip, and she wants to eat at one of the French restaurants, and I know her girls would LOVE this! Can't wait for the first installment!!
funny you should ask, that is the one meal/ADR we ended up skipping. We changed our plans that day and did DTD instead and Earle. So we missed it. I am hoping we can do it in October though when it is just the 3 of us. I even watched the movie before the trip for the first time (very cute), so was sad to miss it.

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subscribing in!
welcome and thanks for reading!

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@exwdwcm we are staying in a 1-bdrm lagoon view. I hope to be on the outer curve and maybe be lucky enough to get a partial MK view as well. We'll see.
good luck! i read to request an even numbered room to try and get the better view- i requested even number, north facing. we actually got south facing- overlooking the marina and CR pool and CR. plus the lake. it wasn't that bad though. originally they tried to give us a lower floor (2nd) and i said um, no, i want higher! we got 7th floor. It wasn't what i hoped for, but it is a busy time (early Dec) for DVC, so i am sure there wasn't much to pick from.

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Subbing!! I can't wait to hear more!!
welcome Steph- just saw your notes on your return- can't wait for you to start your report too!
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:04 AM   #27
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Saturday, Dec 4

Be prepared, i am LONG WINDED! so these won't be quick and short updates. I like to go over every detail I can remember, more so for my own memories and journaling it than anything else, so sorry for the length!

Well I’ve kept you in suspense long enough, so finally, day one! We had waited for this day for so long, it seemed unreal! So while this is day one, let me start with the night before to set the scene. My mother in law lives in Oklahoma, about 2-2.5 hours north of us in Plano/Dallas. So she picked up Lindsey (who also lives in OK) and they made the drive down. I was hoping to get off work a bit early on that Friday and managed to leave only about 15 minutes early at 4:45. I picked up Will and got some KFC for dinner and headed home to wait for everyone else.

I did some last minute packing and was ready! My MIL finally arrived about I think 7:30pm or later. They unloaded and had already eaten. I found the Disney holiday HGTV special on Verizon FIOS and put that on as we chatted and my MIL unloaded her bags to actually pack them- she hadn’t really organized yet, just had thrown all her stuff in the bag. I think at 10pm or so, she was still packing/organizing. Everyone took showers and I finally settled into bed by about 11pm. I had planned on going to sleep much earlier, but I felt bad turning in while she was still up. I had put down Will about 8:30pm though.

So everyone was snug in their beds and I had all the bags in the foyer ready to go. Alarm set……..for 3:30am! OUCH! Crazy, I know and Alan has already ensured I know that he will NOT be taking an early flight like that again. Well there goes that plan for October then. I actually prefer to go early and get started, I hate arriving late in the day and feel like I am wasting a whole day of vacation. I work hard all year long, so I just hate wasting a day sitting there in anticipation for a later flight.

Anyhow…….so already considering flying in the night before in October- that way we still get a full day on Saturday and aren’t exhausted from an early flight. So back to regularly scheduled programming……….everyone is sound asleep and I have a nightmare that I don’t wake up in time for our car pick up. Anyone else have those crazy dreams?

So it is officially Saturday, December 4th, the day we had been counting down for almost a year, since buying DVC!! I couldn’t believe the day was here when the alarm went off at 3:30am. I quickly jumped up and woke up my MIL and Lindsey. I got dressed, brushed teeth and packed last minute toiletries. So glad I had set out my clothes and all the night before. Made it very easy this am.

The last thing I did was get up Will, quickly had him go potty, brush teeth and get dressed. Ready. Something else to note on our trip, which explains part of our trip report title……….We had been working to potty train Will for quite a while, but he wasn’t quite ready. Finally on November 20th, I spent the day really working with him a lot. A bribe of a kitchen toy he wanted finally did the trick and he went potty! We were so excited. Just in time for the trip. But my concern was, do we put him in underwear at the world or pull ups. So those 2 weeks before the trip, he did great, he finally was going potty regularly, once he got it, he got it.

And a week before the trip, he finally also went #2. I know, TMI, right, but hey, for all you parents out there, you get how big of a deal that is when potty training! LOL It’s the little things in life. Even poop. So he was doing so well- going in public bathrooms and all, we decided to just do full on underwear and only have pull ups for emergencies and nighttime as needed. So Will is in his big boy (Disney of course) underwear and ready to go.

I noticed the car service was already waiting outside at 3:45am. So we started taking bags out and more bags and more bags…..wow people, are we moving or what? Since MIL hadn’t flown in a while and Lindsey had never flown, I had to go through with them how much they could carry on vs. check etc. MIL had decided to check 2 bags and then carry on 2 each, in fact, they had to really consolidate to make the 2 carry ons. Alan and I had one large checked bag, one carry on suitcase, Will’s CARS carry on roll aboard, my backpack, Will’s backpack, the computer bag, my purse and the car seat and stroller.

This was much more than I had planned on taking, but given the recent weather reports, I knew we had to plan for the cold. We each had a coat too. I think the driver was a little overwhelmed with all our crap too. He was driving a large Yukon- we all managed to get in with our bags too. I was wondering how on earth we would fit all of this in our full size car rental in Florida! Somebody might have to ride on the roof at this point.

The drive to the airport was short enough….after all not much traffic this time of day (4am) on a Saturday. The driver has me a little nervous as he takes a back way to the airport, which he says is a shortcut, but I think it actually takes longer than the way we go. Finally we are at DFW, at our terminal, being dropped off. We are in the INTL terminal, which is the newest and nicest. We get unloaded, which takes a while, given the amount of crap we have. We tip the driver (I think a $20, car service was about $100 one way that am- about 25 minutes from our house to DFW) and try and wrangle all these bags inside. You should have seen it, it was like a circus act. I have Will in the stroller, trying to hold my purse, coat, his coat, his backpack, my backpack and his little roller bag. Alan had the large checked bag, the other suitcase and trying to hold the car seat too. It was a mess. Fortunately, the American Airlines counter is right there.

I apologize i have no pictures from this point- i am usually very good about constantly taking pics (ask Alan, he gets pretty annoyed with it!). But there was just too much going on to even think about it!

We finally get up there and I use the self service machines, which I use all the time when travelling on business. So I swipe my CC and it brings up Lindsey’s reservation. I had booked Lindsey just a month ago for this flight, as she was a last minute addition to our trip. That was fine, I got her boarding pass printed, but then it wouldn’t let me bring up the other reservations for some reason, since they were booked separately.

Originally, my MIL was bringing her hubby along, but due to some issues on his part (and some restraining orders), they are divorcing. If you fly with American, you know how unfriendly their cheaper fares are. If you booked the lower fare available, there is no refund. You can try and rebook the ticket and pay the change fee- but I think the change fee is now $150, plus you have to pay any difference in fare. So we never did anything with his ticket, after all the drama happened and they split, it was his responsibility if he wanted to try and do something with it and I guess he didn’t. We had booked our airfare back in like March when we saw a good deal for about $300 RT, non stop for all 5 of us originally (including her ex).

So we have Lindsey’s boarding pass and have to head up the counter to get the rest of ours……easy, right? Not when you have all the crap we have and are lugging around. Have I mentioned DH is not the most patient of travelers? Well he isn’t. He hates getting to the airport early, hates dealing with all the waiting etc. So this was certainly not his scene- our circus like dance of luggage and shuffling around. We make it to the counter and she prints out our boarding passes, calling our names for our ID.

Then she calls my MIL’s soon to be ex. It was a little um, awkward. My MIL told the kind agent that he was not travelling with us…………and winked and the agent smiled. My MIL said something else to the effect of how glad she was that he was not travelling with us etc. and so the agent made a big show of tearing up the ticket multiple times and trashing it. LOL, too funny. I am sure my MIL needed that laugh after this rough year.

Btw- her ex-hubby is not my DH’s dad, he was out of the picture pretty much when my DH was a baby. So we had no really close tie to this hubby, they had only been married about 2 years. So we all had a good laugh and managed to shuffle our crap over to security which was not far away. I knew DFW had some of the new security machines and they had one at this checkpoint, but we not using it. They didn’t have all lanes open and they 2 they did have open they were just using the regular x-ray method.

So now began the madness of unloading all our mess of bags through security and trying to juggle a toddler, stroller, car seat and two people that never travel and don’t know the rules or what to do. So I got everything unloaded, including shoes, coats and the laptop and get the stroller folded and through. Will and I get through and then Alan follows, but I guess he hasn’t travelled in a while or was flustered because he forgot to take off his shoes and belt. Rookie mistake for sure!

So I am holding Will and watching bin upon bin of our stuff pour out. Of course the stroller is the last thing, but I am just trying to get everything else off the belt and packed up while holding Will’s hand so he doesn’t run off. Finally we all make it through security, no one was pulled aside or anything either. We finally manage to re-pack our loads of crap (yes, I call it crap a lot as I was pretty tired of lugging it all around!) and we head towards the McDonald’s for breakfast.

Our flight is at 6:20am. It was originally a 7am flight, but AA rescheduled it about 4 months before our trip for some reason. Which I didn’t mind, get us in earlier to Disney, why not- sign me up! Alan on the other hand, not so excited. So the car had left our house about 4:10am, we had arrived about 4:45am and it was now about 5:15am or so. We parked it at McDonald’s and all got some fuel to start the day. I am not a coffee drinker, so I had a large coke, my caffeine of choice and definitely a downfall for me- my addiction! I don’t do diet either. Alan had a coffee and we all had something to eat as well. I shared with Will as I am not a huge breakfast eater – I prefer something light and not something greasy. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast since we had time.

We knew the flight would be boarding about 5:50am, so we finally headed down to our gate, just a few gates down from McDonald’s, thankfully! We found some seats by the window so Will could check out the planes and I notice a couple sitting by us has the UnOfficial Guide to WDW. I was so tempted to give them some tips, but kept my mouth shut. I guess it was obvious where we were going too, with my WDW hoodie, Will’s Disney clothes, my monogrammed mickey backpack, Will’s buzz backpack- our mickey luggage tags, my homemade laminated address lime green mickey heads etc. I am sure MIL and Alan were a bit embarrassed by it all, but they go along for my sake. Sweet, huh?



We only have a few minutes to wait before they start calling us, but not before we make our second stop at the potty that morning for Will. He had already gone before McDonald’s too. So would be the bane of my existence on this trip. I would see every single bathroom in Walt Disney World. At least they are usually clean and some are even themed (remembering the cute Alice themed bathroom in DL with queen of hearts on the walls etc.). Will is also obsessed with escalators, so he loved riding back on the flat escalator walkway thing from the bathroom.

As soon as we get back, we board. We are in group 5 I think (out of 6). Usually I am so impatient, I can’t wait, but I have gotten better about it and not trying to push to the front. We just waited and went once the crowds died back some. Checked the stroller and booster seat at the gate and got on the plane- not sure how I managed to get down the aisle without knocking anyone’s head off, but I did. We find our seats and I am curious if they will resell the ex’s seat or not? They did, since a lady ended up sitting next to my MIL on both flights. I guess there are even standbys at 6:20am in the morning?

So this first chapter (yep, it is a book, isn't it? LOL) comes to an end. Stay tuned, NEXT- we finally fly and land and check out more potties (what is potty plural anyways, ies, s??? ). And I PROMISE, finally some pictures!
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WDW College Program-Fall 96
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:05 AM   #28
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:08 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by justakrazymom View Post
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welcome and thanks for reading along!!
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WDW College Program-Fall 96
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84, 86-FTW, 93-FTW, 97, 98-OFFSITE, 00-POR, 03, 04, 05-GAYLORD, 04-POFQ, 05-POR, 06-CBR, 07-AKL, May 09-DIS Podcast Cruise, DEC 09-DAP/WL, Sept 10-DL, DEC 10 BLT, FEB 10 JOINED DVC! AUG 11 DLH, OCT 11 BLT, NOV 2012 BLT
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:26 AM   #30
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SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4TH, PART II!

We get comfy and Will is just sitting in a regular seat. He is 40inches tall and just turned 3 on October 30th. We felt comfortable with him just riding in the seat. We brought along a booster car seat for the car rental, but I had read online they typically don’t allow those on the plane as they don’t offer any real benefit (only a typical standard car seat would). After lugging around that huge car seat last year, no way were we doing that again given his size.

We needed it last year, but he was just fine in his own seat this time. I am sure some safety nut will regale me on how wrong that was, but in the end, it is what we did and what I see a lot of other toddlers his age doing too- no car seat. Anyhow- so much less stressful than last year when it took us like 20 minutes to get that stupid car seat installed.

So we are comfortable and the flight takes off. Lindsey sits by the window and my MIL sits next to her in a middle seat with a stranger next to them. We are in front of them with Will between us and me by the window. Stupid me, we should have sit behind MIL, instead of in front of her, so if Will kicked the seat, it wouldn’t be a huge deal. Luckily he was pretty well behaved on the flight there.



I had brought some coloring books and other entertainment, but he wasn’t interested in much. He played with my iPhone some- I have tons of toddler games loaded on there. The flight was about 2 hours, 10 minutes or so. And yes, we did have to go to the bathroom at least once. And I can’t for the life of me figure out how two adults could ever fit in that tiny bathroom for well, you know what I am talking about…….it was hard enough fitting myself and a 3yo in there. Will was obviously not comfortable going in there either, but he made due.

Finally about 9:30am, we are touching down at MCO! Lindsey enjoyed her first flight too! We get off the plane and head to the first ride of the trip as we like to say, the little monorail ride to the main terminal. Lindsey thought that was cool. It was pretty packed as it always is. We then headed to baggage claim and immediately got one of those smart carts, the best few bucks I ever spent.

Our bags come pretty fast and I promptly drop one on my toe…….which was injured already. I had a pedicure earlier that week during my lunch break and for the first time ever, the lady nicked me, on my big toe. Took off a little bit of skin and it hurt like hell and I kept stubbing it, Will kept stepping on it and now here I was dropping a bag on it. It was like that Family Guy moment where he bangs his knee and says “OWWWWW” for like 5 minutes. Who knew a toe could hurt so bad- great for all the walking we were about to do.

We play a game of Tetris with our bags and manage to fit them all on that priceless luggage cart and head towards the elevators to get down to the parking garage. But of course, as it always my luck at the grocery store, we get a bum cart that has a crazy front wheel. So Alan is struggling (and cursing) as he pushes it around.

We make it to the parking garage and typically we have to go up the elevator to get to National Car Rental, but not this time- they must have reorganized all the car rentals since last year- I know they brought more on site- like Hertz so National was now on the first floor- score! No juggling all that crap on the elevator again. I am a National emerald aisle club member for work, so we just have to walk out to a car and get in and go, no waiting at a desk in a line or anything. Love it. I even got a great deal last minute. I had booked it months ago – a full size car at $225, using one discount. Well I checked again thanks for a DIS moms friend and managed to rebook the exact same reservation with a new coupon for $157 for a week. Lucky us, the Impalas are the first row and we take the second one we see so we don’t have to carry ‘the crap’ any farther. Now more Tetris, can we fit all the bags in the trunk? Yes, somehow we make it work, including the stroller. We do put a few carryons in the car with us.

So we get in and I drive and off we go- no line for the exit, so a quick show of the CC and ID and we are out. We made pretty good time getting out of the airport in all. I always take 528 to Orlando, then onto I-4 (the way closer to the convention center). It’s just the way I always went when I lived there and when I travel there on business (often at the convention center). We make it through the two tolls and soon enough see the Disney billboards! I think I am more excited than anyone else.

Finally on I-4 and we take the 535/Downtown Disney exit. I used to live in Vista Way just across the highway on 535! Soon enough we are seeing the signs for Disney at the entrance to the DTD area. I can see Lindsey is excited now. Our first stop is DTD actually. It is about 10:45-11am now. Parking is always a nightmare at DTD, but I know taking a bus here is a pain too. We drive around for a while before making it down closer to the west side to park- just on the other side of the World of Disney. We unload and start our first Disney day! Finally…………see told you I am long winded!

With stroller in hand and Alan carrying the backpack, we wander on in. We take some pics of the Lego creations and Will sees the playground and immediately begs to go, but we have one location in mind. Earle of Sandwich.



Enough said. It is a Saturday at lunchtime, so I know we need to get there fast before it becomes too crazy. Well too late, it was already crazy. But the line there moves fast. We found a table outside and MIL held it for us as we went in. This would be a trend the entire trip- she doesn’t eat that much apparently. I guess I haven’t traveled with her enough to see that. She is an awesome cook and usually eats okay when we visit for holidays etc. But she just didn’t eat much- I know she has some stomach issues too, so maybe that had something to do with it.

So it was convenient to have her scout out a table and guard our ‘crap’. We went in and the line moved quickly. I ordered my usual ham and cheese and tomato soup. I am a strange one, but I love their tomato soup. I actually don’t like chunky tomatoes in anything and don’t like actual tomatoes, but I love ketchup, tomato juice, runny salsa, anything tomato-based without chunks- so love this soup. Alan had his usual Hawaiian which he loves and Lindsey had a child’s turkey and swiss. We got some fruit for Will too. Alan and I shared a drink since there are free refills here. I think we also got a DVC or AP discount here- which was like 10% I think. WE enjoyed a great meal, but Will had to sit on my lap as we didn’t have enough chairs and it was packed outside. I also saw a ton of POP Warner cheerleaders, which shocked me, as we had visited years ago during POP week and never saw them in the parks at all, only at our resort (POR).

They were definitely out in full force this week- saw tons of the football players too. Lindsey really enjoyed her sandwich and said it was her first time eating swiss cheese and she liked it. MIL had a few bites of ours too and loved the bread as well. So with tummies full, we made a stop at……….you guessed it, the potty! We headed to Goofy’s candy company next and grabbed a few treats. I got some chocolate covered marshmallows (not freshly made) and got Will a pink cupcake he asked for- it was either pink or blue and I figured pink was easier to clean up than having blue stained all over his face. He only ate a bite or two and we put our snacks in the bottom of the stroller until later………remember this. see in the pic, the large pink cupcake.......yep.

We just strolled around a bit, but before long it was time for Lindsey’s 12:20pm BBB appointment. I had tried to get her one at the MK, but they were booked solid. Since she was a last minute addition to our trip, I didn’t have the luxury of booking it early- only like 6 weeks out. Alan took Will over to the lego store while we headed to BBB.

We got Lindsey checked in and were called back almost immediately. MIL and I sat and watched and she didn’t seem that pleased. Then the PP came around the Lindsey shooed him away and then the tears started. Lindsey was crying. And these were not tears of joy. Apparently, unbeknownst to me, she is EXTREMELY tender headed, so the poor fairy godmother brushing her hair was putting her in too much pain.

Before- happy and fine
After- starting to get upset....

She had tried to be brave and do it for us I guess, thinking we really wanted her to do it- I had told her this was her Christmas present, but finally she couldn’t hold back and was crying. We told the lady to stop and asked her if she wanted to continue or not- Lindsey said no. Luckily they had not done anything other than comb her hair out so far. She has really thick wavy hair. BBB was so kind, they let us leave, gave her the free brush and comb in a bag and didn’t charge us a thing. I tried to tip our fairy godmother, but she turned it down and I remembered that they couldn’t take tips. I felt bad- as something we had planned to be special ended up being awful for her- and it was one of our first experiences of the trip and we had Lindsey in tears. Good news is, she didn’t cry the rest of the time at least.

So once I reassured her that I didn’t care if she did it or not, she seemed better. I promised her we would get her some gifts instead she picked out for her Christmas and pick a pearl in Japan. So we spent some time browsing through the World of Disney store, but I don’t think we bought anything really as we planned to come back later in the trip. We did then head out to the car, as fatigue was already setting in. Who planned this silly 6:20am flight anyhow???? So we head back out to the parking lot and fold up the stroller………yep, the stroller with a giant pink cupcake in the bottom of it. Yep, now we have a pink mess everywhere. Alan sure loved that. More cursing.

We pile in the car and head towards our home for the next week and our new DVC home, Bay Lake Towers! I know my way around WDW pretty well from working there (I had a car on the college program and drove a lot). So we head towards the MK, go under the gate and are on our way to the Contemporary! We pass through security with no problems and head to the front to unload at checkin.

This turned into a slight circus too…….i had asked Alan to see about unloading all our bags with the hotel while I went to check in with Will. The girls just stayed in the car. So I go to the online check in desk- we did online check in the day before thanksgiving! There is a small line for regular check ins. The check in CM’s were extremely nice. Will was a little unruly, so trying to hold him and check in was not easy. This trip really made me respect parents of 2 kids or more and we saw a lot of them. I can’t imagine juggling 3 kids at WDW- just one toddler was hard enough. LOL! So we get checked in, and she says they won’t have a room until later, nothing ready yet. Bummer, we were really hoping to take a little rest/nap. It was about 1:30pm or so at this time. Check in isn’t really until 4pm I think- so she said she would text us our room info when ready.

So I head back out to the car, expecting all our bags to be loaded on a cart with bell services and stored until we check in. Nope. Not sure where communication broke down, but Alan had gone off and the guy had only unloaded like 2 bags and left. So we found another bell services CM to unload the rest and get our ticket. Then the arguing began……this is what happens when you’ve been up since 3:30am I guess…….again, another reason why we will try going in the night before next time.

We argued about what to do next, which is a first for us. Mrs Commando that I am, usually we have everything planned, not attractions per say, but at least which park or resort or whatever. But now we had time to kill and we were not sure how much time that would be exactly. I argued we were all so darn tired that we should just head up stairs in the CR to the quiet lounge areas upstairs where we could relax and even let Will nap in his stroller or on a couch up there. If you have been up there near the Cali Grill check in- you know there are a ton of seating areas up there that are usually empty and very quiet.

But no, Alan wanted to go ahead and go to a park. I wasn’t on board with that idea, as we were planning to go to Epcot later on anyhow that night for dinner, so I didn’t want to go to a park and have to leave an hour later, take a quick break and get out again. While the MK was a quick walk away, it wasn’t an option since I knew the Christmas parade was taping today and it would be a total madhouse. No way, no thank you. Neither Alan or I can stand the huge crowds. I mean, we know we are at WDW and there are going to be lines and crowds, but he goes along with all my crazy planning because he knows it helps us avoid a lot of that. However, there is no planning that can get you around the simple waves and masses of humanity just packing the walkways and streets. No thank you. So MK was out.

I came up with another plan- why don’t we park the car, take the monorail and tour the holiday décor at the resorts on the loop- at least the GF? So we all agree and park the car and head up to the monorail station! Off we go and we head straight to the GF, instead of getting off at the Poly. We are eating at the Poly later on in the trip, so we decided to hit the GF first.

We hop off at GF and head in and take some pictures with the amazing tree in the background.



MIL and Lindsey really were in awe- it is a beautiful resort. We next head down to the gingerbread house area and take a few shots of it too, there was a huge line for folks buying cookies etc.



We are a little hungry now for a snack and a drink, so we head to the fast food place and grab some milk, water and find a spot to sit outside. Will has to check out the trash cans of course too. And he is even more amazed when he sees a custodial CM come by and empty the trash.

At home, he really loves to take out the trash and put in a new bag. So he was in heaven watching her. So let me explain this trash thing a little, the second part of our title. Will loves trash cans. Don’t ask me why. Did I watch too much Oscar the grouch while pregnant or something? Who knows. The kid is obsessed. For some kids, it is trains, or cars, or Barbie dolls. For him, trash cans. Want to bribe him with a toy- nope, he prefers a trash can. Even Santa brought him a trash can for Christmas and it was the first gift he ran to. He loves pointing out trash cans in public too- and saying “look mommy, this one is full”. He was a trash can for halloween (yep, made the costume myself!)


So began our search for every trash can in disney. We discourage him from actually touching trash cans, saying how dirty they are, but sometimes he does before we can stop him. Thankfully, at WDW, the trash cans are probably the cleanest of anywhere you could go!

his best 'cheese' face
By now, it is getting windy and a bit chilly. We had been fine in short sleeves earlier, but time to break out the hoodie! We finish exploring the resort, check out the beach area and hear music and pool games going on. We spent some time just enjoying the beach area for a bit and it was a nice relaxing time.



One of the few times I wasn’t rushing everyone around to the next thing. Bad bad habit of mine, especially since we were with ‘newbies’ and I wanted to show them everything, which is simply impossible as you know. I am really looking forward to next year with just the three of us when we can go at a slower pace.

So after our visit at GF, we headed back to the monorail and decided to head back and check on our room. It was about 3:30pm as we headed back out- pretty disappointed we hadn’t received a text yet. So we get off at the CR and I head down to the desk again while you guessed it, Will goes potty. And explores more trash cans, in the potty too.

As I go to the desk, they text me. She says she has a room ready and hands me the map and info- saying it is on the second floor. WOAH there lady, this is our first stay as DVC…..surely you can do better than 2nd I usually am not one to speak up about stuff, but there is no way I wanted 2nd floor. So I asked if they had anything else available. She checks and finds a 7th floor, but that was the best she could do. I figured it is better than 2. And we got our even numbered room request, which usually means on the side facing the MK (I think), but once we got up there, our 1 bedroom lakeview room actually was on the south end, facing the marina- we weren’t on the side facing straight out to the lake, but at the southern end overlooking the skyway bridge, marina and the lake. I tried to lean my head out to see if I could see fireworks, but we were too far back on the end to see. Oh well, it was fine and I knew requests were just that, requests. Especially at such a popular DVC time. I guess they were fully booked from what the desk CM said. floor?

So we go over to the main lobby of the BLT and are unsure of where to go now- so we see the DVC CMs in the lobby and they stop us- I am expecting another upsell or something and quickly brush him off………….boy did I feel bad about that….bad michelle! He was actually trying to do a magic moment for Will- he saw Will’s birthday button (which we got at check in) and said he had a phone call for Will. I guess Mickey came on the phone to wish him a happy birthday. Very sweet. Then he got a ton of DVC stickers too- wow did I feel like a dope after that. A tired, exhausted, up since 3:30am dope, but a dope nonetheless. The kind CM points us the way and we head to the elevators and up to the 7th floor. We are down at the end pretty much.

Our room is so nice and large! Very excited to check it out. We’ve only stayed at two deluxe resorts, the WL and AKL.

Our view:



So this was only the third deluxe. We are thrilled with all the room it has and quickly start exploring everything, including how the beds fold out etc. I call down for bell services to bring up the bags, and our garden grocer order. I also call the business center, as my MIL had shipping a box that had some snacks and stuff in it too. There was a $5 charge on our hotel bill for the shipping fee for that.

We get everything brought up pretty quickly and put away the groceries. I had about $100 in groceries, including breakfast items, like milk, cereal, applesauce, bananas, water, cokes and some lasagna and salad for a dinner in one night. We also start unpacking some. Alan and I take the master bedroom and it is so nice. Love the bathroom too- shower is large, but it is really dark in the bathrooms- not great if you like a lot of light for makeup. I don’t wear a ton, so wasn’t a big deal, but still pretty dark. Of course the famous sliding doors were a pain too- ours kept getting stuck and it wasn’t very private, especially the guest bathroom. Will walked in on my MIL more than once since they don’t lock. We loved the little breakfast nook table and used it quite a bit. The balcony was nice too, although too cold most of the trip to really enjoy it much. The bed was plenty comfy too. I found the drawers space a little lacking in the master too though. Overall it was clean and in good shape.





Next up- end of our long 19 hour day.......(good job on the 3:30am flight there michelle.....doh!). Our first park experience- Epcot!
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MY TRIP REPORTS: NOV 2012 PTR OCT 2011 BLT TR DEC 2010 BLT TRSEPT 2010 DL TR DEC 2009 WL TR AUG 2006 TR
ME (Michelle) , DH, DS (3), Tink & Sassy



WDW College Program-Fall 96
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84, 86-FTW, 93-FTW, 97, 98-OFFSITE, 00-POR, 03, 04, 05-GAYLORD, 04-POFQ, 05-POR, 06-CBR, 07-AKL, May 09-DIS Podcast Cruise, DEC 09-DAP/WL, Sept 10-DL, DEC 10 BLT, FEB 10 JOINED DVC! AUG 11 DLH, OCT 11 BLT, NOV 2012 BLT
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