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Old 04-22-2011, 01:15 AM   #1
Whaler54
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Just Got Back - Lots of Firsts

Just got back from 6 nights at SSR and 2 nights at a friend's house in Orlando. This was a fantastic trip - incredible weather and lots of firsts for us. Our group consisted of myself, my DW, MIL, DD - 7, DS - 4 and DD - 2. It was the 2nd trip for the two youngest and 5th trip for the oldest.

We flew out of Hartford on a 7AM flight on April 13. We kept telling the kids we were going on Thursday because we were afraid they wouldn't sleep the night before it they really knew when we were leaving, so a surprise 5:30 AM wakeup kicked off the trip. Things got even better when we got to the airport and found out we had 5 seats in the last row of the plane and 1 seat somewhere in the middle of the plane. The engines were so loud my son started crying when they revved them up for takeoff. The flight was great though and at the end my 2 yr old said "I loved the rocket ship ride!"

We checked in at SSR and that night I walked over to Downtown Disney to get takeout from Worlfgang Puck Express (one of my favorite spots to eat.) As I'm walking along the path I hear a hawk screeching and see one flying towards me and up into a tree. I thought that was pretty cool. As I'm walking back from DD (along the road, before getting on SSR property) I hear screeching again and then something whacks me on the top of the head from behind. It literally felt like someone threw a basketball at my head and I initially thought someone driving by threw something at me from their car, but there were no cars. I looked up to see a hawk flying away. I got back to my room and felt the top of my head and looked in the mirror - I had a long scratch right down the top of my head. Its a week later and I still can't believe it. (My dad said I'm lucky I wasn't vacationing in Yellowstone NP this year.)

Day 2 we headed to Magic Kingdom. We wanted to get the parks done early in the trip since spring vacation was the next week. We were able to get walk right onto Peter Pan and Its a Small World before our breakfast at CRT. the kids had a great time with the princesses and the food was great. My youngest daughter (who doesn't eat a ton) ignored the princesses coming to the table while she was eating. By the time the third princess came around I said "Go see Ariel." Her response was "No, I'm eating." We spent the rest of the day at MK doing as many rides as possible. Lines were pretty short and we were able to do a bunch of "first time" rides for the kids - Splash Mtn and Haunted Mansion for DS and Space Mtn for my oldest girl. You could see Belle's castle above the construction walls in Fantasy land. We also checked out the parades since my kids love giving high fives to the characters as the walk by.

Day 3 we went to Epcot. Again the lines were pretty short and we did Soarin through the standby line. There were no lines at all for Nemo, Turtle Talk, Figment, Spaceship Earth and the Mexico ride. We used Fast Pass for Test Track (first time for DD and DS). Of course we also had to do the darn garden ride in The Land - my kids LOVE that ride every time we go. Oh yeah - Margarita's in Mexico, how could I forget them?

Day 4 was Chef Mickey in the morning. We took a bus to Epcot (we saw the MK bus driving away as we were walking to the stop) and then monorails to Contemporary Resort. My oldest daughter was ecstatic to see a deer from the monorail. Breakfast was great and with no other agenda for the day we took our time heading back to SSR by using a combination of monorails, the big ferry from the transportation center and buses. The rest of the day was spent at the pool at SSR. they had lots of activities going on like homemade ice cream, dancing, hula hoop contests and Goofy bingo. It was Saturday and we could tell the crowds were starting to arrive. One of the maintenance people told us that SSR has 1600 rooms and had 400 checkins on Saturday. My wife and I were able to sneak away to Paradiso 37 at DD for beer and appetizers at night. Pretty good food and a real interesting menu, I'd like to try it for dinner sometime.

Day 5 we headed to Downtown Disney in the AM and the pool in the afternoon. My son loved T-Rex at DD (his favorite restaurant now.) We did the Characters in Flight hot air balloon. We have been looking at that balloon for years and finally got a chance to go - what a view from up there!

Day 6 we went early to MK as we expected the lines to be bad and we still had a few rides we HAD to do. We had one of the best bus rides ever on the way. The driver was great and kept playing the recordings through the speaker system throughout the trip. He got a good laugh when he played the "The MK has reached capacity and it no longer allowing entry to the park" recording. The park opened at 7AM and we were there by 8:30. We walked right onto Jungle Cruise and only has a short wait for Splash Mtn. My son had to go pee real bad just as we were loading onto the raft for Splash Mtn. They let us go the restrooms and go straight back to the front of the line - Disney is great. We did the Pooh ride (first time I've seen all the interactive stuff in line, what a great idea), Snow White and the Carousel 3 times for my youngest daughter. The lines really started to pick up around noon and we decided to get out of there.

After MK we headed to Hollywood Studios as we had reservations for the Fantasmic dinner package that night. Toy Story line was over 100 minutes and Fast Passes were gone by noon, but we were able to get Fast Passes to ToT for 8:20-9:20PM (YIKES!). The kids loved the Playhouse Disney, Little Mermaid (amazing how they do the thing with lasers to make you feel you are underwater) and Beauty and the Beast shows. To escape the heat we went on the Great Movie Ride, our luck we were front row and my oldest daughter has a fear of fire. She practically jumped out of the car when the fire breaks out in the bank robbery scene. Dinner at Hollywood and Vine was good and getting the passes for Fantasmic was huge, the line was massive at 7:00 (show at 8:00.) My two oldest LOVED Fantasmic, the youngest was real scared. My son started to cry when the witch from Snow White tried to "steal his imagination and hurt Mickey." I looked down at him and thought it was because he was scared of the show, but it was because he didn't want to lose his imagination and lose his favorite dreams. He was so excited when Mickey won. Things like that just tug at your heart. Afterwards my oldest daughter and I did ToT to close out the night. She had no idea what kind of ride it was beforehand and had a blast. We dropped 5 times on the ride. It is so much better at nighttime when it is dark and the park is all lit up.

Day 7 was our checkout of SSR day. We rented a van (for anyone staying at SSR, Dollar has a rental at the Wyndham, right across the street from DD) and went to Whispering Canyon for lunch. The food was good, but the lunch took 2 HOURS! It was ridiculous and I'm glad we had nothing else planned for the day. We were spending the next two nights at a friend's house in Orlando so headed over there afterwards.

Day 8 we went to Showcase of Citrus in Clermont. Its only about 15min from Disney and has pick your own citrus as well as a Monster Truck Safari. The safari was pretty good, it goes through their 2500 acre grove and cattle ranch. We saw 3 gators, a bunch of birds, fed oranges to cattle, and did a lot of driving through swamps.

Day 9 we flew back home. Better seats on the plane (one question though, how come on Delta the row number isn't the same on the left and right sides of the plane?) but an equipment malfunction had us sitting on the plane for 45 min with no AC. High winds in Hartford gave us "medium turbulence, nothing to worry about" on our approach. My oldest daughter said it felt like ToT and was laughing like crazy while I did my best to pretend like I was amused too.

All in all we had a great time. The weather was beautiful, lines weren't nearly as long as we thought they would be and a great time spent with the family.
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:05 AM   #2
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Perfect.

Love the Fantasmic Story!
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:15 AM   #3
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Great report Whaler!!
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:47 AM   #4
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good job whaler! it would take me 2 weeks to type all that out.
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:30 AM   #5
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Thanks guys. I was still on the post-Disney high so I stayed up waaaaaaaaay past my bedtime writing it all up. We got my daughter a journal on the trip, so to help her out with it, every night we would both write about what happened that day. It made the TR easy to do.
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:27 PM   #6
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DELTA=Doesn't Even Leave The Airport.


I took a Delta flight to Savannah and the let us pick our seats when I booked. Did you have that option.

I was at WDw a few days before you were, and we noticed the low lines too.
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:02 AM   #7
Whaler54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhMari View Post
I took a Delta flight to Savannah and the let us pick our seats when I booked. Did you have that option.
Probably. I know we were concerned when we first booked the flight that we didn't have seats so we called to make sure we were not overbooked. I think one problem may have been that our original flight was in the afternoon and they kept changing the departure time later and later that we switched to a morning flight. We did that over the phone and didn't select seats then. The family one row in front of us did the same thing.
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Old 04-23-2011, 10:41 PM   #8
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Sounds like a great trip. The balloon ride at DD seems like it would be a really neat thing to do and so do the monster trucks at the citrus groves.
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