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Old 03-27-2011, 09:07 PM   #1
kathleen27
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Crossing over Crocodiles, Runaway Trains, & Birthday Wishes Updt 10/18

We spent 9 wonderful days at Disney! We did some brand new things on this trip, which is always exciting. We also did lots of old favorites of course!

We crossed a bridge out of Indiana Jones (crocodiles and all!), took a forbidden journey with Harry, celebrated my birthday, Dined in the castle, floated down a lazy river, Rode our favorite ride over and over, Had a princess makeover, met a few characters, defeated Zurg, and took lots of photos. No promises on the quality, but we got quantity.

9 days was definitely not long enough! There was so much we didn’t do! Which just means we’ll have to go back, right!


Here we are in AK: Me (Kathleen) and my two sweet, fun kids – Hannah and Jacob.


Jacob and I are both Disney addicts and can’t get enough Disney vacation. We see Hidden Mickey’s everywhere & are constantly reminded of Disney. It is really nice to have someone around to talk Disney with whenever I feel like it! Hannah once told me she likes Disney “like a normal person”.

Jacob is now 15. He is a lot of fun to be around, and can always make me laugh. He likes to draw, which is one of the reasons he loves Disney so much. He really knows a lot about the history of Disney movies & parks. (He chose Walt Disney to do a report on for National History Day a few years back). He helped plan and write a trip report for our last trip in Sept. 2008. This year he’s been super busy with school – 10th grade with lots of honors classes - and I've been busy with work, so there was a lot less planning. He loves all sorts of rides, from the coasters to the classics.

Hannah turned 13 a week before the trip. I sometimes call her “cute & crazy” because it describes her personality. She can get really silly! She uses her cuteness to get her own way. On our first day, when she started to unpack I commented that she had only brought one stuffed animal. She explained she would have brought more, but she wanted to have room for all the new ones she was going to be bringing home. Hannah rode her first roller coaster at an amusement park with a friend this summer, and we were looking forward to getting her on a few new rides. She was really into meeting characters & princesses this trip!

Less than three weeks before the trip, Hannah was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes – an autoimmune disease. Her immune system had destroyed the cells in her pancreas that make insulin. She started insulin treatment, and we would be counting carbs, giving shots, and checking her blood sugar on the trip. This was a new challenge that caused a few stressful moments.

Also spending a little time with us at the end of the trip were My Dad & stepmom who live in Florida. They are terrific grandparents!

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Old 03-27-2011, 09:08 PM   #2
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Intoduction

Sat 2/19 - Day 1 - Travel, Beach Club, Magic Kingdom

Traveling to Disney
Beach Club
BC & MK
Adventureland and Frontierland
Jungle Cruise & Pirates
The Magic, the Memories, & You

Sunday 2/20/11 - Day 2 - Animal Kingdom

Pizzafari & Asia
Wild Africa Trek - part 1
Wild Africa Trek - part 2 - Across the River 1 0f 3
Wild Africa Trek - part 2 - Across the River 2 0f 3
Wild Africa Trek - part 2 - Across the River 3 0f 3
Wild Africa Trek - part 3 - Safari Ride
Resting on the Savannah
Hannah's Everest photos (shopping)
Jacob's Everest photos (the queue)
More Animal Kingdom

Monday 02/21/11 - Day 3 - Typhoon Lagoon & Epcot


Typhoon Lagoon Part 1 - The Lazy River
Typhoon Lagoon Part 2 - Shark Reef
Typhoon Lagoon Part 3 & Epcot

Tuesday 02/22/11 - Day 4 - DHS & Beach Club

DHS Part 1 - Boat ride and arrival
DHS Part 2 - Andy's Toys and Narnia
DHS Part 3 - One Man's Dream
DHS Part 4 - Character Meets
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:18 PM   #3
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We woke up much too early on Saturday morning after being up much too late on Friday night. Nothing like packing at the last minute! After all the snow we’ve had this winter, I was so happy to have a clear, mild day. We headed for the airport, and luckily had short lines at check-in and security. I was nervous about going through security with Hannah’s supplies – insulin (a liquid) and lots of needle. It was no issue. Once we got to our gate, I was surprised to see the plane was already boarding? Later I realized the reason – it was the first flight of the day – and the plane was there overnight. No Breakfast, not the best start. I was worried about Hannah – but she reminded me she was allowed to skip a meal, eat her meals at any time of day, plus she wasn’t hungry yet & she had some zero carb food with her – hardboiled egg & cheese sticks. She ended up having the egg, and some snacks that didn’t add up to enough carbs to need insulin.

I didn’t take any photos in the morning, or on the plane. Just plain tired and hungry!

But the kids did!

One of Hannah’s plane photos:


One of Jacob’s plane photos:



We arrived in Orlando, and had breakfast at the terminal. When we headed over to the little monorail, one had just left. When the next one arrived, we entered the middle car, and had it all to ourselves! There were only 2 people in the front car and a family of 4 in the back car. I had to pull out my camera for empty monorail pics.



At the airport, we slowly made our way to ME. Stopping because Hannah wanted to take lots of photos!

So excited about this!




Hi ya folks!




Hannah takes a lot of self portraits.


Hannah had never been on ME before! She was very excited. She was also amazed that we didn’t have to get our luggage. She (jokingly) asked if Mickey picked up the luggage himself, and I told her no Mickey’s in charge, he makes Donald pick up the luggage.












On the ME bus:
Hannah liked the seats, but she thought they should have Mickey shaped head rests with ears!

Notice the iTouch - They had them out constantly - and ALL their photos were taken with these. I have to admit I am slightly addicted to mine too.





On our drive we spotted the hot air balloon over Downtown Disney! Very cool to see!
I thought we will be there soon!

Then I looked up and saw the sign!
I told the kids to look, and others on the bus started pointing it out too.
The driver on the other hand never said a word.



Yeah!!! We are at Disney!!!
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:46 PM   #4
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Wow...Am I the first one???

I remember our first ME experience....and I still love it till this day. Can't wait to hear more.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:50 AM   #5
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great start, looking forward to reading more Love all the photos, especially the empty monorail ones, I've never seen it as empty.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:01 AM   #6
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subbing I may have missed it, but what were the dates of your trip? I'm looking at early 2012, trying to figure out the best time to go....
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:16 AM   #7
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Looking forward to reading along! How fun to be on an empty monorail
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Old 03-28-2011, 04:08 PM   #8
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I'm joining - loved reading so far and look forward to more!

How cool to be on an empty monorail - it looks deserted!

I can't believe the bus driver never mentioned that the sign was approaching so you could get pictures - at least you noticed
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Old 03-28-2011, 04:22 PM   #9
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I'm in Can't wait to read the rest .... I wish one of my boys would talk Disney with me---they think I'm CRAZY!!!
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:21 PM   #10
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Welcome everyone & thanks for reading!!!
The first day isn't too exciting, but Day 2 we will have an adventure!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Luvmepluto View Post
Wow...Am I the first one???

I remember our first ME experience....and I still love it till this day. Can't wait to hear more.
You are first!
She was really excited! She wanted to know if it was the bus with the character's in the back window. She loved the cruise line windows though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by taylor91 View Post
great start, looking forward to reading more Love all the photos, especially the empty monorail ones, I've never seen it as empty.
Thanks! We have another empty photo coming up very soon....
The monorail back to the terminal at the end of our trip was pretty crowded though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdd View Post
subbing I may have missed it, but what were the dates of your trip? I'm looking at early 2012, trying to figure out the best time to go....
We were there 2/19 - 2/28.
That included the president's day holdiay. It was really crowded!!!
We have been 3 times that same week (its our school vacation) and this year was definately more crowded than any other year. It was a little better the last few days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jessily View Post
Looking forward to reading along! How fun to be on an empty monorail
Lots of fun! It was a nice little bit of excitement to start off!


Quote:
Originally Posted by TanzUnited99 View Post
I'm joining - loved reading so far and look forward to more!

How cool to be on an empty monorail - it looks deserted!

I can't believe the bus driver never mentioned that the sign was approaching so you could get pictures - at least you noticed
Thanks!
It was cool to have the car to ourselves, all three of us took photos of it.

I was so surprised to see the sign. Jacob & I had taken ME once before, and the driver made a big deal of it, and said anyone could come up front & take photos.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyf2 View Post
I'm in Can't wait to read the rest .... I wish one of my boys would talk Disney with me---they think I'm CRAZY!!!
Sometimes Hannah thinks I'm crazy! Maybe more than sometimes.
Jacob & I are a lot alike, we definatley think the same way! On the trip I asked when he wanted to go back - and he said April vacation.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:32 PM   #11
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Beach Club

We had a great ride on ME and arrived at Disney, there was a resort or two before us, and they started to show a Donald cartoon on the TV screens. The kids were really enjoying it. I was really hoping we wouldn’t reach our stop before the cartoon ended.

We spent a lot of time trying to decide where to stay this trip. So many choices. Jacob and I stayed at Pop Century a few years ago and loved it. With 3 of us this time I wanted a little more space – and a bigger bed. On previous trips we have always stayed off site. My family (my dad) has owned two weeks at a timeshare in Orlando for over 25 years. Living room, kitchen, two bedrooms (3 beds) & two bathrooms. Lots of space. It really only gets used when we go to Disney, though I believe my Dad sometimes trades it. But we really wanted to stay on site so we could ride the buses (no rental car) & stay for EMH.

We ended up deciding on the Beach Club, and were able to get the 35% off.
I booked the room at the very end of December, a couple of days before the discount expired!
We had a regular room, not one of the villas.

When we arrived we were greeted by a very friendly CM, who walked us to the check-in desk, and chatted with us for a bit. When it was our turn to check-in, they tried to find us a room that was available now. That sounded real good. After a couple of calls, they determined a room was not ready. We sat down in the lobby, and started to reorganize our stuff to check some bags. Within minutes though we had the text with our room, so we headed off to find it!

I never did quite figure out the Beach Club corridors. By the end of the trip, I would still make wrong turns if the kids weren’t with me.

Here is our room- I took these right away, but not fast enough - the kids were in & claiming their beds by bouncing off it and dropping their stuff.













What I liked about the room:

The room itself was a nice size. Comparing it to general hotel rooms it was pretty big.
There was a lot of storage space, I don’t think the photos really show how much. Lots of drawers & lots of closet space.
The beds were really comfortable, even sharing with Hannah.
The vanity area was very roomy – we did like having two sinks. Much easier to all get ready.

What I didn’t like-
The bathroom itself was tiny. In fact, when you opened or shut the door, you actually had to push it past the toilet. It would bump right into it. Jacob commented, “You would think that would be a design flaw.” I meant to take a video, it was just so ridiculous.
The small size made it difficult to get changed in there, and the outside vanity was open to the room – no curtain or anything.
The refrigerator was small, which is fine, but you pretty much had to lay the bottles of water down in a certain section or they’d roll out before I could shut the door.
The balcony was tiny, & I couldn’t sit out there. ( I LOVE balconies). But I didn't actually request one, so I can't complain too much about that. The door would only stay open if propped, so I would hold it open with the desk chair. Often sitting on the chair so I could half sit on my mini balcony.


I started to get settled in (I like to unpack a little – but at the moment just had time to get a few things organized) while the kids explored, crashed, & got ready for the pool.

We were going to check out Stormalong Bay – one of the main reasons we had chosen the Beach Club.
We thought the parks would be packed & we’d be better off waiting until night time.
Would this be a good plan for a crowded day or not???
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathleen27 View Post
the outside vanity was open to the room – no curtain or anything.
This is one of the reasons I really didn't like the Beach Club. I always get up early, get ready and take a walk around the resort in the morning before the kids/DH get up. At the BC, I had to get ready in the dark, an very quietly so I didn't wake anyone up!

I also wasn't thrilled with walking through the lobby/elevators with wet bathing suits after visiting SAB. BC is a beautiful resort, but it just wasn't for us...
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:02 AM   #13
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My cousin and his family stayed at the BC last year for 2 weeks and he mentioned the same thing about the bathrooms. It seems they would have designed the bathrooms a little larger. Anyways, the rooms still look nice!

Keep em' coming!
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Old 03-29-2011, 01:57 PM   #14
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Love the pics of the BC room. Thank you for listing the what you liked and didn't like about the room!
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:14 PM   #15
kathleen27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdd View Post
This is one of the reasons I really didn't like the Beach Club. I always get up early, get ready and take a walk around the resort in the morning before the kids/DH get up. At the BC, I had to get ready in the dark, an very quietly so I didn't wake anyone up!

I also wasn't thrilled with walking through the lobby/elevators with wet bathing suits after visiting SAB. BC is a beautiful resort, but it just wasn't for us...
I'm glad to hear you say that, because I thought the same thing. For various reasons, I felt it wasn't the right choice for us ... at least not for this trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luvmepluto View Post
My cousin and his family stayed at the BC last year for 2 weeks and he mentioned the same thing about the bathrooms. It seems they would have designed the bathrooms a little larger. Anyways, the rooms still look nice!

Keep em' coming!
It was a fairly big room, so they definatley could have come up with some other options in the same amount of space.
I was thinking of the Carpenter's sayng "Measure Twice"


Quote:
Originally Posted by TanzUnited99 View Post
Love the pics of the BC room. Thank you for listing the what you liked and didn't like about the room!
Thanks!
I like reading specific things in reviews, I know everyone has different preferences & needs.
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