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Old 04-02-2011, 12:38 AM   #1
IamTrike
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Our Land and Sea Vacation 3/21-27 Update 7/5 P.16 The last night

Overview and Cast of Characters.

First off, thanks for reading my trip report.. My wife has assured me that there is no way anyone will read this much about our trip. I guess that means I don’t need to worry about my grammar. In the event that you do decide to read this through, I’m pretty sure you deserve a special pin. It could be like the galactic hero pin, only less interesting.

Here’s the cast of characters. We’ve been labeled for your browsing convenience.


Sis: She’s 5. She loves princesses and fairies and fairy princesses etc… Her favorite color is pink and her favorite princess is Aurora. She loves Disney and has about a bazillion stuffed animals that she sleeps with at night.

Bro: He really likes video games. He’s a talented dummer, which comes from mom’s side. He’s also a bit of an extrovert (he’s been known to hug random cashiers as we leave stores), and that comes from my side of the family. (The extrovert part, not the hugging random strangers part).

Mom: She’s an awesome mom. She’s a semi-professional photographer, a cancer survivor, a strong Christian woman and my best friend. I’m very happy that she puts up with me. (While mom shot many of the pics I’m going to include, she hasn’t done any editing to them. They may not be up to her standards and in no way should reflect on her skills)

Dad. That’s me. I’m usually either working, hanging out with my family, at church or working out/running. I really enjoy mountain biking and playing video games, but don’t have much time for either. On this trip I’ll be playing the part of FP runner.

Here’s the plan:
Road trip from NC and arrive in Florida on Saturday.
Spend the weekend with Family
Sunday night stay offsite in Orlando.
Make Rope Drop at Epcot Monday.
Spend Monday and Tuesday Night at POFQ
Spend Tuesday and Weds at MK
Weds evening drive to Port Canaveral
Spend Thurs-Sunday on the Dream.

This is what actually happened:
Thursday night tired and jetlagged we started the final packing preparations. It was your typical Disney road trip stuff. Lots of suitcases, enough electronics to build lunar landing command center and a pilates reformer. (I really like to stretch the ole abs before we hit the buffets). Yes, I did actual pack a reformer. Friday afternoon the kids climbed into the car while I was loading the final suitcases.


They look happy here, but they started complaining about being bored before we pulled out of the driveway. Thankfully DW had a "Groovy plan". Yup all 5 seasons of the Brady Bunch on DVD. While you start humming the theme song to yourself, I'll skip ahead to the Disney stuff.

Actually I do want to include one pic from the extended family stuff.


This alligator hangs out in the pond by my Aunt and Uncle’s house. Neighbor kids feed it shredded wheat. I think feeding alligators things with “Shredded” in the name sends a bad message to them.

We also picked up these friends in the Disney Character Premiere Outlet in St. Augustine.


They're gonna hang out with us for the rest of the trip.

Now its on to the real Disney stuff.
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Last edited by IamTrike; 07-05-2011 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:31 AM   #2
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Day 1 Epcot (morning)

Monday Morning I woke up at 5am giddy that we were going to DW. I forced myself to stay in bed till 6 am then I snuck to Port Orleans to pick up our KTTW cards so that we could make it to Epcot for a 9am rope drop. I had read online that you can’t check in at a hotel and pick up your cards until 7am, so I was pleasantly surprised to have completed check in and have our tickets by 6:45.
I headed back to the Doubletree, where we let our kids in on the surprise that we were going to WDW. Their response was a very excited eye-rub and yawn. (Our kids are not morning people) Oh well, I was more than enough excited for all of us. We made it to rope drop and found a good place right on the rope.


It was the perfect spot as we got to high 5 a bunch of the characters.


As soon as the rope dropped we headed to Soarin. I grabbed the FPs and as soon as I finished we jumped in line. On our first ride we were in the middle row on the far left hand side facing the screen. You really do notice the screens curve a lot more when you are on the outside edge of the ride.

We left Soarin and had a little bit of time before I could grab our next set of fastpasses. We had a trip plan, but it didn’t have Sum of All Thrills on it. Since it wasn’t a fastpass ride we decided to do that next. (it worked out well because there was no wait for us and the line was 45 minutes later in the day).

When I think thrilling, I think Raytheon.

Sum of all Thrills is a new simulator ride in Innoventions. You and a partner get to design your own ride, choosing among other things, height, speed and curving/looping elements. After the design is finished you get to ride your ride in a simulator. (think Luxo Jr. but you go where the lightbulb should go.) Here’s a pic of one of the simulators.



After Sum of All Thrills I ran to get FPs for TT while Mom, Sis and Bro walked over to Nemo. There was no line at this point in the morning for Nemo so they were already riding it before I got back. I didn't get to ride it with them, but I did get to wind through the queue looking for them and then skip through to the exit. That's almost as good, right?

No nemo pics (it's a dark ride and we're considerate) so you'll have to image them. Just think orange fish, or you could go watch the movie. This'll be waiting when you get back.

After Nemo we walked back into the land to use our Soarin FP’s and have a snack. This time we were on inside end of a row. It was a much better ride.


We walked out of Soarin and were going to hop on Living with the Land. Who can resist the siren song of hydroponics and aquaculture? The line was long so a CM offered us FP’s for it if we would come back after 12. We gladly accepted and headed back out into the parks.

Someone wanted to see the fairies( Uhhh no, not Bro) so we walked over to Pixie Hollow.




We still had a couple minutes before our TT FP’s could be used so we walked over to Mission Space. Sis and Bro don’t love thrill rides, so we decided to ride green as a family. It worked out well because Green was pretty much walk on, but there was a 30 minute wait for orange. I’d like to thank Disney for providing that valuable life lesson “Chickens don’t have to wait in line”.

After MS we walked over to TT. TT is one of our family’s favorite ride. Technically there is one person in our family who doesn’t like it quite as much as the others. Bet you can’t guess whom.


Yeah, it’s sis. She’s about like this on most of the thrill rides. At home she’s a daredevil though, so hopefully she’ll grow into them.

After TT we headed back to the Land to use our LwTL land FPs. Boy do we spend a lot of time in that pavilion. As we were walking in a lady handed us 4 FP’s to Soarin. Score! We used those FP's and then hopped on the Land.

I love this ride but one plant in particular always makes me chuckle.

I bet this really is the breakfast of champions.

After that ride we headed back to POFQ for a little break before dinner.
As a side note we have a newer Garmin GPS and for some reason it had issues with identifying how traffic could flow on Bonnet Creek Parkway and it didn't seem to recognize the cut through from Epcot Center. As a result all directions it gave to POFQ were much longer than they needed to be.

Coming up: More pics, Less talking. Dinner and World Showcase.
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Old 04-02-2011, 04:34 PM   #3
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I think my husband will be one of the disdads in the future... our Dec Trip was his first trip ever, and before the trip he made it CLEAR that we wouldn't return (like our friends) until our bun in the oven was at least 2.5 (like our DD was for her first trip). Just yesterday, he mentioned something about our trip "next year." Um... Bun in the Oven is still not born yet...

I like reading from a man's perspective- it helps me get an idea of what my husband would find important about the trip! And way to go dad waking up so early to get checked in... so the WDW part of your trip was a surprise? Did the kids think they were just going on a cruise?
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Old 04-02-2011, 05:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by francis6306 View Post
I think my husband will be one of the disdads in the future... our Dec Trip was his first trip ever, and before the trip he made it CLEAR that we wouldn't return (like our friends) until our bun in the oven was at least 2.5 (like our DD was for her first trip). Just yesterday, he mentioned something about our trip "next year." Um... Bun in the Oven is still not born yet...

I like reading from a man's perspective- it helps me get an idea of what my husband would find important about the trip! And way to go dad waking up so early to get checked in... so the WDW part of your trip was a surprise? Did the kids think they were just going on a cruise?
Thanks for stopping by Francis. I hope things go well with kiddo #2. From what I remember with my DW have a bun in the oven during summer can sometimes be hard.

It's weird how becoming a Disdad kind of sneaks up on you. I was not really that excited about our first trip. I thought about how much money it would cost for tickets and then how much money it was going to cost for food. On that trip we only had 1 day in the parks, and we didn't have a plan. we enjoyed it but I didn't think we'd go back again. Several years later we went back and spent a week at the beach club to celebrate my DW being pronounced cancer free. We planned that trip for months in advance. It made a world of difference, and being on the dining plan that trip meant I didn't have to stress about money. Those 2 things made it so that I could actually enjoy the parks with the kids and experience the magic with them. After that I was hooked.

I think the we won't come back till the kids are "older" mindset is sort of related to the perceived value of the trip. If you don't get Disney you can think if the kids not going to remember it, then there is no value. If you are a Disney person you tend to think its not just the children that are making memories. I'll always look fondly back on these time with my daughter in her princess stage, and I'm sure that they'll be some of the memories that flood back when I'm watching her get married. For me, there's a lot of value in that, whether or not she remembers.

The kids new about the cruise we gave them the cruise as their big Christmas present this year. They thought we were going to Orlando to go to downtown Disney and the outlets for a couple of days. I'm not sure if that should make me worry about our families shopping habits or their reasoning skills.
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:28 PM   #5
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I agree... having the dining plan and an idea of what you are going to do in the parks does help you just relax and enjoy the trip! I love the fact that everything was already paid for (well, and we had free dining) so when we got there, it just took the vacation to a new level!

And I also agree about the "value" of the trip. My 2.5 year old STILL talks about the trip, so I'd say she has plenty of memories of Disney! Of course people don't believe me when I say that...
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:23 PM   #6
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Old 04-02-2011, 09:25 PM   #7
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Hey, look what I found! It looks like your trip is off to quite a nice start and you've got some good mojo going with the Soarin' FP freebies! You've got a good looking family and I'm glad you're all labeled to avoid confusion. I love the dedication to get up early to go get your KTTW cards. Hadn't ever thought of that little trick, but it makes a lot of sense.

I look forward to seeing more!
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Old 04-03-2011, 02:12 PM   #8
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Enjoying your report so far! We were on the Dream and at WDW shortly before you, so I'm curious to see how your family enjoyed it!
My younger DD never liked any thrill rides, and now she's a big fan of BTMRR and TT (after an hour of being scared in line!). Hope your DD grows into them too!
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:54 PM   #9
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Love your daughters face on Mission Space. LOL. Love the T-shirts with the Mom, Dad, Bro and Sis. Too cute.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:05 AM   #10
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You trying to keep this TR a secret? Post a link on the Dad's Club in Big Bold Letters The way that thread is running it's about the only way to get noticed!

Anyway - I'm here for the trip and can't wait to read more!
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:49 AM   #11
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Great... ANOTHER TR that will get done before mine! It's off to a good start!
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:25 AM   #12
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Joining in! Can't wait to hear all about the new ship.
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:05 PM   #13
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Subscribing! Can't wait to hear about your trip!
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:16 PM   #14
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I'm hooked. Can't wait to read more. I had no idea about some of those rides in Epcot, thanks for sharing
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:03 PM   #15
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Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Ya'll made my day.

Don't worry about speed Don, you got quality on your side.
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