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Old 05-31-2011, 07:50 PM   #1
Sundancer UK
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I found my home! My true home across the pond...



Hey all! This is my first *ever* trip report!!!

There's more in that ^ line than you may first think, by the way. Take a look at my Pre-Trip Report to get an idea of how very much this vacation meant to me, and how we never ever expected that we would be able to visit again after this.
Well, I'm not saying we are ever going to be able to afford it again, but I will tell you that unless I die first - I am going back!


I'm editing in post links here - obviously post number one is below these links!
Post 2 - The flight, the journey


I'll give you the basics now, but I'm afraid I shall have to come back to the rest later as it's almost midnight and I have guests over in the morning! (I shall be bragging about our trip, be assured )
In order to give you more recent pics of us (my babies are growing far too fast for my liking!) I'll have to use our holiday ones, so you're kinda getting an early preview

OK, me:

Elaine, mum of 3 boys, 1 girl, huuuUUge lover of Disney and confirmed internet addict (though my obsessions has now kinda been replaced, I'll explain later)
I'm 30, I have red hair and I like dressing up because secretly, I'm not really thirty, I'm about 10.

That's Robin with me, and with him is Woody.
Baby Robin is my almost 2 year old darling *star* and I was unsure how he would find a change of country, timezone, culture, environment, etc. More on that later...
Woody is a character from Toy Story (surprise? ) and this doll was my oldest son Frazer's toy. Robin adopted Woody while we were away, and Woody had a great adventure - more on that later...!

This is my hubby:

Love of my life, charming english gentleman, police officer, fantastic dad and serious law student.
His name is Liam and I wouldn't change him for the world. Althoouugh... I was interested to see how he would fare at 14 days of Disney! From what I had heard, that was enough for the average person, and - well lets just say this probably wouldn't be Liam's first choice of holiday, if it wasn't for me
He hired a posh new camera from work so the bulk of our photos should be lovely - the rest will be weird ones taken on my battered old falling apart camera

Thing number one: my oldest son. Meet Frazer
He is now 10 days away from becoming 10! Oh my, that's getting big, right??

So guess what we celebrated while away? More on that one later...


Thing number two: Forever clever, often annoying and usually getting away with it, 8 year old Scarlett:

After me, Scarlett was probably the most outwardly excited about this trip, and kept her school friends updated on plans right up until the day before we left.
Did she bug me right the way through our vacation? Did we manage to get along swimmingly, discovering a magical mother-daughter bond, never to be angry with each other again? Hmmm, we shall see...


Ahh and yes, here's thing three:

Observe closely, because you will have to look hard to find Rowan in most of our Disney photos!
He's 6 years old and he's a cynical grump. Will he find magic at Disney? Or is he destined to remain a 40 year old in a child's body? You guess it -
...more on that later!


The plan is:

Tuesday May 10th: Catch Virgin Atlantic flight to Orlando, Florida.
Catch Disney's Magical Express to Walt Disney's All Star Music Resort

11th - 24th May: Enjoy, have fun, be merry, play, imagine, make wishes, feel happy, dance, take photos, sing, Love.
As you can see, I never ended up making concrete plans, although we did hope that we would fit in a trip to Hogwarts at IoA and a visit to each park at least once or twice


And yeah, that's pretty much all you're getting from me now, as it's almost 1am! (Those pics took a long time uploading )

See you soon I hope!



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Mum to 5, wife to 1, owner of a cat and dog. UK based Mouse house.

I've decided I'm not a Disney fan as everyone thinks I am - No, I'm a Disney Geek!

I have a blog. I've posted a little. If people look I might be prompted to do more...

http://aurorasjoy.blogspot.co.uk/

Last edited by Sundancer UK; 06-05-2011 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:19 PM   #2
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Your kids are quite cute--we were there part of the same time, May 5-14! Sounds like a great trip!
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:56 PM   #3
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Awesome, I'm in
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:08 AM   #4
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Glad you are back and posting. Can't wait to hear all about your trip!!
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:02 PM   #5
nilla
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As a self-professed "nutter Yank", I LOVE English jargon, and your attitude towards your kids (or should I say, "army of kids" - wow!) is great, too. Your red hair makes me think you're going to have some interesting things to say in this TR. Stereotyping? Maybe. Either way, I'm following now!
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by appleorchard View Post
Your kids are quite cute--we were there part of the same time, May 5-14! Sounds like a great trip!
Cool! The amount of people I wondered if I might 'know' from the Disboards - it would have been fantastic to say hi Did you have a totally awesome time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Belle83 View Post
Awesome, I'm in
Hey there - thanks! I'm a bit erratic in posting (did you guess?) but my children are on half term holiday - that means they get a week off school in the middle of the term. They go back tomorrow, either this will make life busier or easier! Who knows...

Quote:
Originally Posted by clayfolks View Post
Glad you are back and posting. Can't wait to hear all about your trip!!
Well, I'm here and there! I think part of my issue is not wanting to admit it's done Plus I've been getting slightly obsessive about WDW!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilla View Post
As a self-professed "nutter Yank", I LOVE English jargon, and your attitude towards your kids (or should I say, "army of kids" - wow!) is great, too. Your red hair makes me think you're going to have some interesting things to say in this TR. Stereotyping? Maybe. Either way, I'm following now!
LOL at the English jargon - I avoid it when posting on here if I can! And wow you should have seen me trying to hold my tongue and think before I opened my mouth, in case I said something totally bizarre as I'm mad enough to the average Brit, let alone factoring in those small cultural differences - oh, wait until you get to the 'cotton candy' incident

Quote:
Originally Posted by Queenofallthings View Post
Yay you started!! Love the new pics and can't wait to hear all about your 2 weeks in the World
Hiya! Glad to have you 2 weeks of being in a whole new world - and I didn't get how true that was until I was there!


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Elaine XX
Mum to 5, wife to 1, owner of a cat and dog. UK based Mouse house.

I've decided I'm not a Disney fan as everyone thinks I am - No, I'm a Disney Geek!

I have a blog. I've posted a little. If people look I might be prompted to do more...

http://aurorasjoy.blogspot.co.uk/
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:13 PM   #8
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The Flight, The Journey




The journey was not nearly as terrible as I thought it would be, but it probably should have been! I just have a generally positive outlook

To start with, Robin threw up on me. Twice. I had to take my leggings off and almost hose out my shoes (mercifully they were my 'Water ride' shoes! Skechers Calis). It's all because of his cough, which still wasn't budging.
Also, mother nature hit me full force the night before, and I was in pain
Of course Rowan and Scarlett both spilled a fair bit of food (the vegetable chili was particularly impressive in terms of mess) and a decent amoutn of drink, and Scarlett moaned a fair bit. Often about having a wet seat. Robin got bored a few times but it was ok. If by OK you mean that you don't mind being hit in the head with a Sonic Screwdriver.*


For me, my first flight was amazing. A huge cross between fear and excitement during take-off, with the realisation that surely no theme park ride could be as exhilarating, or even as dangerous, as this!?
I felt better when we were over water, not only were we more stable in the air by then, but it feels more like we will survive a crash! I went to Air Cadets when I was at school and once flew a 2-man plane - why is it that crashing never occurred to me as a teenager? Ignorance of youth? A smaller plane? Or is it the worry I carry because I have children now? I had to say a few quiet prayers that we would be seen safely home, particularly my babies.
The dips in flight made my belly drop, and required many reassurances to myself that we would indeed be ok, that this happens all the time - that this is only small in fact! and that the staff all seemed happy and calm. And the wings! We were at windows right next to the wings and I couldn't believe how much they wobbled, not the sturdy unmovable steel structure you'd expect, but again, I was assuring myself this was probably a good thing, maybe more ridgidness means more breaks...?

Our airline was Virgin Atlantic, and our plane was called 'Hot Lips'. I rather like that, good old Branson eh?



The staff were really lovely and looked after us well from airport to flying to landing. I did have a panic that our luggage would be too heavy - we had weighed and it was close! But it all got through. We all were scanned easily enough too, with no dodginess in our hand luggage, no needing to remove shoes.

I had probably over packed for the children's hand luggage. I could barely shut their cases.

I wanted them to be well entertained you see, but it turned out that half of what was in their specially bought Disney cases (Scarlett had Dalmations, Rowan had Buzz Lightyear and Frazer had a cool looking Club Penguin case) wasn't seen as there wasn't enough room to maneuver. They were pleased with what they had and I don't think that much/any got lost on the journey.

There were quite a few families on the flight, which made me feel better about traveling with four young children. The woman behind our big three seemed very nice, and had three seats to herself. There were a few spare seats in fact, which is what led to me asking if there was any chance we could move to the row in front of my big three, rather than across the aisle in the same row. We weren't really allowed to, as it turned out that section was extra leg room and required an extra £30 per seat! But the stewardess told me to go for it, as Robin kept heading for the window and we were there anyway. It was much easier to be in front of my children rather than our original seats, but it also gave us an extra one for all our stuff! I don't know what we will do on the way back if we are limited to only one seat each, we were over flowing as it was!

Once landed we had to get to the main terminal. This was simple enough, although we were hampered in our journey slightly with the large cases and the crowds of people - this airport didn't seem quite as well managed as Gatwick. We had to get a shuttle across and I'll tell you the funniest thing was getting off that shuttle and realising that all this time we had been in the man-made comfort of air conditioning - when those shuttle doors opened and we were hit with a wall of hot humidity I really thought it wasn't real! I was reminding myself that Florida is hot, but I didn't realise this was it! Yikes!

Then we had to queue to get through security. Instantly I was entertained by spotting the americaness all around, from the huge flags prominently displayed, to the smiling looped help videos, the accents, the decor.
We had a very stern looking security official. He seemed ok, but obviously not going to take any silliness from anyone. So of course when he said hello to Robin and my baby chose this moment to blow the hugest wettest raspberry ever, I was quite proud. And slightly scared!

From here we collected our bags, but it took a little walking to get to the part of the airport we wanted. We asked at the airport Disney Store for directions to the Magical Express point, and the women there were entranced with my children's cases! Apparently you don't get them like that in the US. Rowan took this moment to lose some of his shyness as he rushed to pull the wings out on his Buzz Lightyear trolley, producing even more exclamations and squeals from the Disney staff.

So finally we found the big we were looking for - Signs with the big mouse's name on. We came to a woman waving a big white gloved Mickey hand, and she pointed us to a lovely woman called Elaine. Guess why I remember her name?
It was at this point that I became so excited I actually forgot my own name.
Yep, Liam had to remind me. To be fair, I was pretty sure that it was probably either my maiden or married surname, but I wasn't sure!

Oh yes, the reason I was answering these questions, and that of the security official, was because Liam was now choosing to communicate in only hand gestures and whispers. His ears blocked as our plane landed, and while I managed to pop mine (more than once, painful but worth it), he can't, and even the day after one wasn't right. But the really odd thing was his reaction! Why would you whisper when deaf? Surely you go the other way, right? Wrong, apparently!



We were directed by a man named Wally (again waving a large white gloved hand) to the bus. *The Bus* - the one I had been waiting to see! Oh yikes, this is it, this is the wonderful 'Mickey's Magical Express' bus that would take us to our resort. This means I had done it - we had managed money, booking, flying and arriving. Now all we had to do was sit back and watch the promotional material they were playing, and I could let the joy bubble up until it spilled over in the form of tears of joy.

*sigh*

Only it wasn't quite like that. Scarlett was cranky and moody. Rowan was cranky and moody. Robin wanted to be out of the sling, and Liam looked like he was about to die.
I tried so so hard to feel the joy, to let it rush over me and wash all sanity away, but all I could see was poor Liam's red and sick-looking face in his hands. His ears and head were hurting, and sadly they continued to give him much grief even up until the next morning.


They weren't awful though, maybe in my excitement I was expecting too much?

It was exciting to see the slight differences in environment, from the luxury of the bus window. The way the trees are taller there, for example, and that the greens are slightly different, the bugs bigger and strange looking, the birds all different too.
As we drove along eventually I noticed the road signs were pointing out distances to different Disney related places, and when I told the children that we had passed under the big Mickey and Minnie sign I really did have a wobble in my voice - just not quite crying, as I had expected (as everyone expected I think!). We passed All Star Sports first, with it's giant american football and cup of coke outside.

Then we came to our hotel. Our lovely hotel all smothered in music notes, stars and instruments. It's so pretty. But I'll tell you more later...









*If you don't watch Doctor Who you wont get this.**

**if you don't watch Doctor Who you should. I know you guys get it over there, try the BBC channel
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Elaine XX
Mum to 5, wife to 1, owner of a cat and dog. UK based Mouse house.

I've decided I'm not a Disney fan as everyone thinks I am - No, I'm a Disney Geek!

I have a blog. I've posted a little. If people look I might be prompted to do more...

http://aurorasjoy.blogspot.co.uk/
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Queenofallthings View Post
Great update! I love the kiddies cases...they are adorable!
Awh yes, I love them too. The kids were very excited indeed when I bought them (seems like aaaages ago now!) to the point where I had to confiscate them for fear of them being ruined before the holiday!
I know my first picture isn't of great quality (actually, a few are poor phone quality, but it's the journalistic aspect ) but I loved the shot of my boys watching planes, with a Mickey attached to the Club Penguin case


Quote:
Originally Posted by Queenofallthings View Post
I love the picture of you and the children at the hotel....ASMu is one of our favorites!!
Thanks, I love that pic too! I'm hoping my husband might be able to work some photoshop magic to make it frame-worthy, as it's one of those shots that really captures a feeling. I Love that hotel, it's so pretty and full of good happy thoughts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Queenofallthings View Post
Great update!
...
I cannot wait to hear more!
Phew, it's ok then?! LOL
I'll own up now and say that this one and my next might be a little odd. This was written while we were away and amended by me last night, my next one was written shortly after we got back - so when I was jet-lagged
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Elaine XX
Mum to 5, wife to 1, owner of a cat and dog. UK based Mouse house.

I've decided I'm not a Disney fan as everyone thinks I am - No, I'm a Disney Geek!

I have a blog. I've posted a little. If people look I might be prompted to do more...

http://aurorasjoy.blogspot.co.uk/
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:41 AM   #11
nilla
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Wow, not the way you want to arrive, is it?

It took me at least two days to get my ears to pop. When we rode IASW on our first Magic Kingdom day, I was wondering if they had turned the volume down from the year before

Great TR so far!
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:12 PM   #12
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Fun so far...cannot wait to read more!
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Old 06-07-2011, 04:27 PM   #13
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Hi Elaine!!

I'm here, sorry I'm late to the party. Soooo excited that you've started this!!

You have the right outlook, the journey could have been worse. I am truly sorry to hear about poor Liam's ear troubles. That's never a fun way to start.

That picture of you and the children is great!!! I cannot wait to see more of those family portrait photos!
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Last edited by dekkerdisneydreamer; 06-07-2011 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:42 PM   #14
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Hi Elaine! While waiting for all my subscribed TRs to update, I went hunting for a new one to read, found yours and now I'm adding you to that subscribed list. I feel like I can hear the excitement in your voice as you tell your story. Can't wait to read more!
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:11 PM   #15
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Great start, can't wait to read more!
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