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Old 11-05-2011, 01:25 AM   #1
Jey12
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The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men...go great when at WDW w/ Pictures! 10/26-11/1

This was our first official trip to WDW. I led a deprived life until last year when we booked a Disney Cruise with friends and now I'm in love! After 4 days on the Disney Wonder and 8 blissful hours in MK for MNSSHP last year I could not wait to go back. We did not think it would be just a year later, but that's the way it worked out.

A brief history of what brought us back to Disney so soon is we were looking to adopt and add to our wonderful family. After a few situations that were not a good fit for us we decided that private adoption just is not the road we are meant to take this time. We adopted DD5 in less than a month and we were meant to be a family. Due to the issues we kept running into I felt in my heart that the way we are supposed to add to our family this time will be through foster to adopt. So let's take a grand family trip to Disney and then head down that exciting road was our thinking! Disney bound we were!

A friend had already made plans for the end of October, plus there was free dining, and everything just fell into place. We would be joining them!

So here we are the cast of characters
Me(DW) Jen
DH Jason
DD5 Jordyn
my DM Sandi

Aside from our 8 hours of MNSSHP DH was the only one of our group that had ever been to WDW. He was 9 when he went and AK and HS weren't even there so technically we all considered this to be our first trip. We booked a room at Pop Century and added the quick service dining and started the countdown.

Here we are our first night at Epcot.




We left home at 4am and headed to the airport for a 6am flight. I like to get where I'm going. I picked whatever airline Disney suggested, and figured it didn't matter as long as we got there. I was wrong, but that's later in the story. We pack up the car, kiss the dogs goodbye and jump into the car to go pick up my DM. We landed in Orlando at 1130am and found our way to the magic express.

DD on the bus to Pop Century. I love the excitement in her face!



I almost bounced out of my seat when we passed through this sign!


Finally Pop Century was in our sight!



DD is a hula hoop champ and as soon as we stepped off the magical express there was a selection of hoops waiting for her. She almost flew out of the bus and grabbed one.



Check in was painless (we'd done online check in) and everything was ready and we found our building easily.



Our room was ready so we dumped off our carry on bags and went to the food court for lunch and met up with our friends who had arrived about a half hour after we had. DM's needs a scooter and that was ready and waiting for us as well. Everything was off to a great start! After lunch our bags had already arrived as a bonus! Now I like to plan. I'm not an over planner by any means but waiting to wake up and then decide what we're going to do that day makes my eye twitch so I had a basic game plan of what we were doing on what days. OK fine I had printed schedules right down to what foods and locations of where to eat on what days, but I'm flexible so it doesn't count as over planning. My original plan was to rest up since we had been up most of the night and then head to Epcot but no one was resting we were ready to go! We headed down to the bus area and were Epcot bound!



Having no clue where we would go first, spaceship earth seemed to make sense. I mean it's huge and pretty much right there in front of you so of course that's where you head. After I stood and just stared at the marvel of it of course. DH told me to wipe the drool off my mouth from the excitement and gave me a shove and off we went!

It was mid day and even though there were EMHs that night I didn't see what I'd call a huge crowd. We easily rode Soarin', Living with the Land and headed to the World Showcase. There we found the crowd! It was around 7pm by this time and people were starting to grab spots for Illuminations. I figured we might as well and we grabbed a spot just outside of the Mexican Pavilion. I had heard Illuminations was a must see, but I just had no idea how wonderful it is! I was very happy we'd decided to grab front row to see this. For one I'm short and it never fails that I get stuck behind a basketball player for shows. So I was thrilled to stick myself right up on the railing to watch.



View before the show.








After the show we made our way out of the World Showcase. We almost missed the character spot. Now that would have been another parenting award I would have had taken away from me if I had. I mean how do you miss this with a 5 year old? In all of my planning I hadn't planned in character meets. Plus did I really think I wouldn't want to meet Mickey and his friends? So we hop in line and it moved fast and soon there we were all smiles and hugs.

DD5 is a Pluto fanatic. She learned to write Pluto before she did her own name.


Now that I could get my parenting award back we headed to Club Cool to sample the sodas of the world. Let's just say "Beverly" was not a big hit with DD.


and on that note we decided with plans for Magic Kingdom and MNSSHP the next day we'd better head back to the hotel and get some rest. I said my goodbyes to Spaceship Earth for the night and off to bed we went.




Up next day 2. Parade fastpasses, Barber shop, a princess line straight out of the Evil Forest and MNSSHP!

Last edited by Jey12; 11-08-2011 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 11-08-2011, 03:38 PM   #2
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Day 2. Original plans were to head to MK early, just after rope drop and then take an afternoon break before our MNSSHP party that night. As soon as we walked into the park we were given a parade FP and we just couldn't resist staying for the entire day.

DD had an appointment at the Harmony Barber Shop at 9:30 so we headed there fisrt. She got a haircut, and styled into a princess bun with some pixie dust. She was told Tink sneezed in her hair. She loved it!




Now that her hair were in order we headed out to explore MK. First thing we saw was Daisy so off we headed!


Next there were performers on Main Street so we stopped to watch the show. It was great!


We decided Tomorrowland would be a good place to start and first thing we saw there was Push doing his thing. Very funny! He even was gracious enough to allow a picture.


We rode Buzz, the People Mover and then headed to Space Mountain. DD just hit the 44" mark right before the trip so she thought she'd give this ride a try. She wasn't so sure by the time she was seated, and at the end of the ride told me "Mom I almost peed my pants!" She loved it.


Next we met with Buzz and helped defend the galaxy.


DD wanted to drive at the speedway. I sent DH with her because I have had the experience of her inability to turn a wheel since she first rode anything with wheels from the age of 1 on. She simply runs her vehicle, bicycle, etc...into a tree, wall, fence or whatever, then turns it around and goes on. I don't think I will ever hand her my car keys! She did great on this ride according to DH, never once hit the track part. Of course she didn't. She just saves the nerve racking driving things for me. We then see Tigger and Pooh off to the side and head to their line. DD bounces up to meet her pals.



Waiting for Pooh and Tigger


After meeting with Tigger and Pooh DD decides she wants to get into pin trading. Of course that's the first thing I think of after bouncing with Tigger. When you're 5 I suppose that's how things go. Thanks to family and friends she had a good chunk of Disney cards to use on this trip and so she buys a lanyard with some pins and runs for the first CM she sees. The CM was so wonderful and patient with her and explained how the trading works. DD was so excited and picked the pin she wanted to trade for. Next trip I'm going to have to take pictures of the name badges of all of the wonderful CM's. I thought I could remember their names, but just can't. Of course I wonder how taking pics of their badges will go over because the name tags are on their chest and I'm afraid I'd get thrown out of the park. I'm sure I can come up with some tactic that won't make me look like a nut.



DM needed a rest from the travel so she'd stayed at the hotel for the morning and was going to join us in the afternoon for MNSSHP, so we decided to save COP for her. We moved into Fantasyland and kept a close eye on the time for our super cool FP parade time. We tried our hands at the sword in the stone and had fun but no luck.


Then I couldn't help but notice the new Beauty and the Beast Castle being built. Perfect reason to plan our next trip!



The line for Small World was surprisingly short so we hopped on. I know so many of you love this ride. It scares the bezezus out of me! I feel like I've OD'd on nyquil or something. DD and DH loved it, and I thought about swimming to safety when our boat stopped with many others in the last room.



That song is still in my head.

By now it was time for lunch and then to head to the FP area for the parade. I had read about the FP test going on while we were at the park and here on the DIS and also the concerns over it ended up being a special area that was no less crowded than anywhere else. Our experience on that day was we arrived in the middle of the time and had great front row seats right in front of the castle! With MNSSHP being that night possibly the crowd level was abnormally low, but I really enjoyed the FP and would love to have some again! This is pre parade from our viewing spot.



I have been around the boards for a little over a year and have caught myself reading through numerous stroller discussions. Maybe this pic can help? It seems sometimes everyone needs a break and ride.



Sorry couldn't resist.




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Old 11-08-2011, 03:39 PM   #3
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Who knew you were limited to the amount of pics posted? I do now. Anyway...

Now for our wonderful parade view!




















We rode a few rides after the parade and then found the Fairy Godmother behind the Castle. Bonus!



Next we wandered through mainstreet and met DM. She promptly bought DD a bucket of popcorn and it was time to start getting our plans together for MNSSHP!

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Old 11-08-2011, 08:38 PM   #4
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great start so far look forward to reading more
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:32 PM   #5
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great start so far look forward to reading more
Thank you! It's great to relive the trip now I'm I'm in post vacation depression mode.
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:13 PM   #6
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MNSSHP and the Princess line...

DM arrived at MK around 4pm so we went and showed our MNSSHP tickets at the front and received our party wristbands. We decided to head back over to tomorrowland so DM could ride COP. She loved it! This is one of my favorite rides. Afterwards we wandered over to Liberty Square and Frontierland watched a few shows and around 6pm decided to start working on way through our party schedule. We had seen a line for Rapunzel earlier in the day but I had told DD that she could wait until the party and then see the princess with Flynn. DD just loves Flynn so she happily agreed. I had read here on the DIS about the lines for rare characters and such so we decided to start our night with the MNSSHP princesses.

We arrived at the Theater just before 630 and the sign said there was a 60 minute wait. I asked the CM if that was for the regular or party princesses and she said this was for the party princess line. Cool, we jumped in line. Didn't expect it to really move before 7pm. Well the line didn't move at all, period. We were just in the 2nd loop of the line outside of the main waiting room to see these ladies. A group ahead of us that had been to this event several times said yes it would be around an hour from that point. Again no problem, we expected it. We didn't get in to see the princesses until 830pm! I don't know what was going on, I was told how slow the line was moving was abnormal, and at times it seemed it was moving so slow we were actually going backward.

By the time we made it into the main room to wait I noticed they were letting around 2-3 kids go in at a time, and then there was about a 5-10 minute wait before the next group was allowed in. I was done by this time. I just wanted to leave. Not just the line, but the whole park and go back to the resort. I had seen parents scream at their kids, little girls about to wet themselves, and one poor little one did. The girl behind us was hot in her costume, tired and not feeling well after close to an hour and a half waiting by this time. Poor little thing vomited all over herself and snagged part of my shoe. Thankfully I used to work in a veterinary clinic and that didn't bother me at all, I figured there were worse things on my shoes than that. I just really felt bad for the little girl. After all of that she wasn't going to be able to see the princesses. After the poor little one left I got to talking with the group that was behind them. The mom tells me how she's so glad she didn't waste money on buying party tickets if all you'd get to do is stand in a line. She was just thrilled to be able to get into the line before 7pm and see the party princesses and then she was heading back to her hotel. Thankfully I was too tired to come unglued, but I did finally take a good look and noticed a large amount of those waiting with us were not wearing party wristbands. When we were about 10 people back from finally getting to go in DD tells me she's done, she doesn't want to see a princess and she wants to leave. I wanted to ask if she was out of her mind?!?! That we'd been in line for close to 2 hours and now she doesn't want to meet them? Nuh uh. Instead I calmly explained to her we were very close and how proud I was that she'd been so patient, even though I'd left my patience somewhere in the other room. Finally we get to the door and the CM asks how many in our party, I was so scared of giving her the wrong number and having to wait a minute more I said one kid, 2 adults and thought about tossing every number I could think of until I hit whatever the right answer was going to be. Thankfully whichever number I mumbled at this point worked and we were in like Flynn! Sorry couldn't resist.







We stopped for a quick potty break (DD needed to change into her costume, she didn't want to be in costume when she met the princesss) and then wandered out of the theater, not even sure what day it is anymore. The first thing I see? The group behind us, standing on the steps watching the 1st parade! Ugh.

The next order of business was supposed to be to hit the characters in the hub but I'd developed a condition regarding character lines at this point. We decided the best thing would be to go enjoy a ride. We head to HM, grab our pics with the hearse out front and then jump in line. DD wants to see the cemetery so we head to the left and while wandering through there we hear some loud bangs. Confused I look up and see fireworks. It's Hallowishes. I really really wanted to cry. It's no one's fault by my own but somehow in the mess of the neverending princess line I was all a mess over times and forgot about the time of Hallowishes. We had seen it last year and it was amazing, I really wanted DM to see it, and DD because she slept through most of it last year. I just hung my head and continued through the line to HM, listening to the fireworks and amazing show. I tried so hard to not let this ruin our night, I really did, I mean it was nobody's fault but my own, and yet I just could not get into the spirit of the party for the rest of the night. We did still manage to have a good time, but I did feel like I had wasted money on tickets at this point, but I was going to save this night! We were getting a spot right then and there for the next parade! Perfect spot, great view, and DD falls asleep!



Oh well the parade was great! and DD got a nap. DH rolled her back behind the crowd and 3 little ones came up and were able to see the parade better. Pretty much a win/win for everyone.













Last edited by Jey12; 11-10-2011 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:27 PM   #7
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Woo Hoo we're back on track now! DD wakes up just as the Goofy candy float goes by and we head over to the Diamond Horseshoe for the dance party. It only took her a few minutes to wake up and party!







We all then realized we were starving! So we head to Casey's for some grand hot dogs and just sit down and relax. There was a large mass of people leaving by this point and we decided with DD's nap we might as well just take our time.

I'm still bummed about missing Hallowishes, but all in all it was a fun night.





I have heard the line for the princesses was about 20 minutes long later in the night. Of course.




We fell over once we returned to our room and slept in a bit, 8am, before heading out to discover AK the next day!
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:06 PM   #8
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Just caught up on your TR! Great photos of Illuminations from your first night!

I really think Disney needs a better plan in place to get the people without wristbands OUT of the park, or at least not let them see the characters!!! Only fair ya know!??!


Can't wait to read more of your TR!
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:22 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by BridgetR3 View Post
Just caught up on your TR! Great photos of Illuminations from your first night!

I really think Disney needs a better plan in place to get the people without wristbands OUT of the park, or at least not let them see the characters!!! Only fair ya know!??!


Can't wait to read more of your TR!
Thank you so much! I loved Illuminations! When we got back home I just had to track down the music and I've been listening to it while I organize pics and any other chance I get. I agree about the wristbands. It didn't seem to make a big difference at the time, but when I missed Hallowishes I realized every minute in that line counted. Oh well, just another reason to plan a return trip.
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:49 AM   #10
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Animal Kingdom and the Pluto "incident"

When we woke up this morning I couldn't believe we were already on day 3! Time was flying by. We slept in a bit, until 9am, and headed out. There was a slight rain on and off, but nothing you needed a poncho for or anything. I have to admit I gave very little planning or thought to AK. The friends we were there with had said this was a one day park, if that, and I had only planned on the main attractions and nothing much past that. I was way off. We loved this park. I now wish I had looked at a map and made a better plan of attack, because I feel like we spent the whole day there and saw very little. We have several great zoos near us at home, and I'm a veterinary technician so sometimes on vacations the last thing I want to do is look at an animal. I really just kind of blew this park off as a Disney type of zoo. It might be, but Disney sure knows how to design a zoo!

My "plan" was to go to the Camp Mickey and Minnie meet and greet area and do exactly that, meet and greet with some characters. I was in awe as soon as we entered the park and saw the Tree of Life. It is amazing!



On our way to the meet and greet DH knew I had to be going the wrong way. This is common discussion among us. Usually like all good men, he's wrong and I'm right. He saw Eeyore and knows DM loves Eeyore and so that had to be the meet and greet area. We head down a path that I didn't think was the right way, but in pursuit of Eeyore we went. Finally we found the entrance to where Eeyore and his friends were. After going all over the place, following DH's lead I might mention. It was pretty well hidden, but as we got closer I saw the bright orange of Tigger and there was Eeyore, he was headed up the path on his way out. DM reached over and gave him a high five and he was nice enough to pose for a quick pick.



We head down to meet with Tigger and Pooh and there's a very short line. After the princesses I could bounce with joy with the short line. Right before it was our turn Eeyore returns so we get to pose with everyone!



DD loves to bounce as much as Tigger so they were like two lost souls finding one another.



I have to admit to DH his character spotting was right on, and we discover we are pretty much right in front of the entrance to A Bug's Life so might as well head in to investigate this show.

DD all ready to go into the tree!



DD did really well during the show, I'd heard it could scare little ones, but she's pretty fearless. That was she was fearless right up until the part where the bugs start attacking. She was glued to me and ready to go. Once the maggots and other bugs were excused first, she about climbed on top of my head. I loved the show, but a minute longer and I would have been wearing a 5 year old for a hat. Next we make our way to the meet and greet trails. We were lucky to find Daisy with Goofy! Her handler said she only comes out for short periods of time.



After meeting with Daisy and Goofy the Lion King show was starting to let people in for the next show and that was one we didn't want to miss. On our way there we see Chip and Dale. DD about flipped! We spent 4 days on a Disney Cruise last year and we kept missing Chip and Dale. They were the only characters on our last trip we never were able to meet and get autographs with. I had promised DD this year she would finally get to meet these two guys and here they were. We sent DM to wait in line for the Lion King and we jumped into the Chipmunk line. About 10 minutes later I realize we're just not going to make the show if we don't abort the chipmunk mission. I explained to DD that we were going to leave the line and go watch the show, but I promised, even it if meant spending the rest of the day waiting we would see Chip and Dale before we left. I just hoped I could make that happen. So off to Lion King we go! One of the most amazing shows! We all loved it! DD wasn't upset about leaving the line so that was nice and I am so glad she enjoyed the show as much as we all did!

We were seated in the lion section and DD was selected to lead our group in learning the proper roar. She did a great job! She still talks about getting to be "part" of the show.





Once the show started we were all completely mesmerized and wanted more!



The tumble monkeys were great!







After the show a CM had told us the line to Chip and Dale was right outside the exit and we headed out as fast as we could. Chip and Dale could wait no longer! We explained to the CM how long DD had been waiting to see these two and she passed along the information to the boys.

DD making up for lost time and rubbing noses with Chip. So darn cute!



Of course we all had to pose with these cute little furry dudes!



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Old 11-17-2011, 03:25 AM   #11
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After the excitement of meeting with Chip and Dale we figure we're hungry and go to find some food. We head back to the Bug's Life area for some great BBQ. After eating we realize we're close to parade time, so might as well go grab a spot. The parade was amazing! So fitting for this park.







Now for the Pluto incident. I might have mentioned what a nut for Pluto DD is. She loves him! She taught herself to write Pluto's name before she could write her own. She sleeps in her Pluto ear hat and w/ her Pluto stuffed dog most nights. So during the parade here comes Pluto. He's high fiving the kids and she sticks her little hand out. Just before he gets to our group he switches sides of the parade route. DD turns to me in a pout and I tell her he has to see the other kids and can't see everyone. I mention she's met him already and maybe he was going over to a kid that hadn't had that chance yet. Oddly enough she was good with that. Then here comes Pluto back over to our side! DD sticks her little hand out once more and is bouncing with excitement Pluto wouldn't miss her! Then.....he turns and heads to the other side again. One kid before DD. Like any premenapausal 5 year old she bursts into tears. Her heart is just broken. At this point I'm not going to explain my way out of this and just pick her up until the parade is over. Finally I explain to her that he just didn't see her with all of the kids and the parade and that he'd want to meet with her later on so they could have less of a crowd to hug and meet one another. He didn't do it on purpose, and well anything else I could come up with. Then I just tell her it's enough crying and we're going on a safari. She wasn't happy but at least she'd stopped crying. I don't know what it is with her age, but her tears can come quicker than a 55 year old woman in the middle of a hot flash watching a Hallmark commercial while watching a Lifetime movie.

Here you can see the incident was captured on film. In the bottom left hand side of the picture you see DD's hand with her pretty little red nails just waiting for Pluto and you'll see Pluto making a sharp left to the other side of the crowd. I'm in no way blaming Pluto. Honestly we just kind of laugh about "the Pluto incident" now. Well ok we laugh when DD isn't around.



So off to safari we go! DD gets happy in the same pants she was sad in on the way there. It was raining a little more by now and we were happy to have an enclosed ride. The rain did seem to keep the crowds away and the temp was just perfect for our day!



These are just the coolest trees!





Even the lion came out to see what we were up to.



It's getting close to being time for us to leave for the day. I can't believe we'd missed so much and we could either go for Dinosaur or EE. DH opted for Dinosaur and I was fine with either. DM took DD to play in the boneyard while DH and I went to spend some quality time together racing through time to rescue a dinosaur.



I'd read here on the DIS that the Dinosaur ride can be kind of rough and even scary. I didn't find it to be either. We rode it twice it was so much fun. I did notice I was bumped around much less in the front of the car on our first trip than when we rode in the back row on our second go round. So for anyone hesitant to ride because of how bumpy you hear it is, maybe try the front car? As for being scary, for me I knew about the dinosaur at the end and it wasn't an issue. After reading reviews on here I really was expecting more. Maybe I just need the dinosaur to actually swallow my head to get my blood racing? I'm not sure. After parenting a 5 year old a dinosaur eating my head just doesn't seem all that scary is my thoughts.

We leave AK and head to AKL to catch the bus to Downtown Disney. I have a friend from high school who lives in the area and was meeting us for dinner. I wish I could remember where we ate at DTD, it was a place that had fresh burgers, wraps and other things right next to the Lego place. If you can figure it out I highly reccomend it. The wrap was huge and the Turkey buger sliders DH ordered were wonderful! We browsed around the area, stopping in the Lego store for a few minutes. It was crazy busy and I was happy DD isn't into legos. Then we head into the huge and I mean huge Disney Store. Anything Disney you could ever imagine, they have it. We grabbed a few gifts and were in zombie mode by this time. It was late and we were exhausted. We just had to stop in Once Upon a Toy because I wanted a few boxes of potato head parts and DD wanted to make her own Light Saber because Jedi Training was on her list of must do's. Great store, and I wish this day just could have been longer and maybe have a nap added into it.

Buzz at the Lego store



The first time I walked by this guy I didn't even notice he was made out of Legos! Totally cool!



DD finally was able to meet and take a pic with Aurora. Ok not really, but hey whatever works!



DD getting some expert help on how to build the perfect Light Saber.



She's ready to battle the forces of the dark side!



She seemed to be over the Pluto incident and was happy to make up with her buddy.



We were so ready to head back to the resort and get some rest. While waiting for the bus DD was challenged to a battle. The CM was a Jedi as well! Who knew?



Finally the long day is over. Hearts were broken and mended again. We all needed some sleep. We had planned to spend most of the next day at Epcot eating and drinking our way around the world, and then head to MK for the evening and see the Electrical Parade. We talked and decided with DD's young age it would be better to head to MK for the full day since we had missed quite a few things we'd wanted to see during MNSSHP. The magic is there no matter what your age is, but at the age of 5, that magic is just different and MK seemed like the better choice for DD. After all we plan on returning someday. We just don't know when, but hopefully soon! So MK it is! Coming up....Oh yes we did. We went to MK with EMH and on a Saturday and lived to tell the tale!

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