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Old 06-07-2011, 12:07 AM   #46
Sunset Cliffs
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Angelyn ~ Thanks for all of those pictures! I hadn't seen a lot of them. I forgot how beautiful the decorations were upstairs at the Poly. It makes me want to go back again.

I also forgot that you ate at Kona Cafe that night. For some reason I thought our lunch ADR was the first time you all had eaten there. I think I prefer lunch over dinner at that restaurant. Good picture of you & Bryan together!
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:44 PM   #47
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Supplement - Day 2

The next morning we got up bright and early, got delicious Kona coffee from Captain Cooks, and grabbed the monorail to be at the Magic Kingdom early. (I believe around 8:30 or 9 a.m.)

Our plan was to meet Alison, Todd & Dylan that night for late EMR, so we wanted to tour the Mountains in the morning, do what we could until it got hot or crowded (or until we got hungry!). Then we would leave and nap or swim or whatever, to preserve our energy for a late night park visit.

What a gorgeous day! It was going to be a hot one, but we were still there early enough to not be sweating (yet).

We rode Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain just before the crowds started coming in.

A few observations about Magic Kingdom in WDW vs. Disneyland.
A couple people have asked me about this because we've been longtime Disneyland passholders, but haven't really visited WDW (it was my husband's first time). But here are a few things we noticed that morning. In addition to the frequently-mentioned fact that the MK is bigger / newer / more spread out, we noticed:
  • There is a lot more "waving" going on by Cast Members at the MK. That morning we must have waved at almost a dozen CMs who had obviously been trained to smile and wave. When we first arrived that morning, there were CMs who, it seemed, were there just to smile and wave! (Including a few of the custodians and shopkeepers who were standing on the streets of Fantasyland.)
  • Better at MK: Definitely Big Thunder Mountain and Peter Pan and of course THE PEOPLE MOVER!!!
  • Better at Disneyland: Splash Mountain (don't like getting splashed by the stinky water in the MK!), Pirates and Space Mountain
  • A Wash: Haunted Mansion - we love the different features at the MK, but the exterior building at Disneyland better
After this, we got fast passes for Space Mountain and took the People Mover for a leisurely cruise through Tomorrowland while we discussed the rest of the day.





Around this time it was getting crowded AND we were hungry, so we decided to leave for lunch. While walking back out of the park, we came upon these singers performing "Right Down the Middle of Main Street USA." I thought I recognized the song from having heard it before, but I didn't realize it was a live performance too!



We took the monorail over to have a late breakfast / early lunch at the Contemporary Cafe, in the concourse at the Contemporary Hotel.



We'd not previously done the touch-screen ordering at a counter service restaurant but it was easy and the food was decent. We love the concourse, so we spent some time there walking around.







Then we hung out in the 'lounge' area of the concourse, finished our coffee and watched the boats, and Elijah took a little nap while we went outside on the deck area (near where the fireworks viewing area is located) and got a couple of photos of the monorail.







After this Elijah was still sleepy, so he went back to the room for a nap and I took Bryan on a monorail ride to Epcot so that he could see the WDW property during the day and catch a glimpse of Epcot.



Unfortunately that was where the monorail decided to stop - as in, not leave the TTC station - but they closed the doors and essentially "trapped" all the people standing inside for like 10 minutes with no air conditioning! At this point it was a hot day and the people inside (and their kids) were getting panicky. After one kid's major freakout-meltdown, we were trapped RIGHT next to the parents and kids while they all screamed at each other and the parents kept threatening they were going to "turn around and go home," while other people pretended not to listen to them all screaming.

But we finished the loop and headed back for an afternoon nap.





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Old 06-12-2011, 05:55 PM   #48
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Supplement - Day 2, Part Deux

Oops! Double post...
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Last edited by Purple Opal; 06-18-2011 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:02 PM   #49
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Supplement - Day 2, Part Deux

To get us caught up to the part where we meet Alison, Todd & Dylan at the MK, we have just a bit more to go!

Right after our "off time" I don't remember why we did it this way, but we took the boat from the MK to the Wilderness Lodge for dinner. (I don't remember if there was not a direct boat from the Poly?)

Either way, the short boat trip was one of my favorite parts of the trip, because it was peaceful, beautiful and happened right around sunset.







Sometimes the cell phone camera works out - I think the hazy-ness of the picture actually added to the "look" of the WL entrance this time...

We spent some time checking out the hotel lobby and grounds before what was to be one of our best meals of the trip: Artist Point.













I didn't take any photos at the restaurant, but the food, drinks, bread, setting - all were AWESOME! Specifically my favorite: the Portobello Mushroom Soup

After dinner we took the boat over to the Contemporary, and caught the monorail back to the Poly.



We got into some warmer clothes and headed out to the MK to meet up with the fam.
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:18 PM   #50
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We thought the MK water smelled bad too! lol. We noticed it other places in Florida too. Gross.
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:54 PM   #51
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All caught up! Alison, I can't believe you guys made it til 3 am, very impressive. I'd have been VERY crabby about the bed rails though, they definitely should have been more realistic about the time.

Dylan already looks like he's having a blast!

Angelyn, from the Poly to get to WL the only options, I think, are either via MK by boat like you did or monorail to the Contemporary and then boat to WL from the Contemporary.

I agree with you about the waiting area for Kona, it's ridiculous.
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:41 PM   #52
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These are fun updates - I like the joint TRs. I am bummed we didn't get a chance to try Artist Point. We debated it at the last minute towards the end of our trip, but then would have to give up another ADR and couldn't figure out what to drop. Next time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunset Cliffs View Post
I know that I always say this too, but I really wish we could get our kids together. I think they would be instant friends.

Tunnel fear is right. I had forgotten about the dark area on Peoplemovers, but I am surprised by the effect that it had on him. For the rest of the trip he would ask "Is there a tunnel?" for almost every ride. We tried to downplay things but it was a real concern to him.

I love the carousel pic too. On top of being happy to be at the MK, he was so proud that he rode the horse without me standing next to him. I rode the horse beside him and he was a "big boy all by myself."
Yes, I also think they would be so much fun to watch together (once she got over her initial shyness). They would definitely be on the teacups together!

The tunnel question cracks me up as that was what she said during our May trip - "Is it a ride?" We totally traumatized her on Pirates with the drop the first day. Oh well, we learned our lesson.
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:51 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Sunset Cliffs View Post


That is so weird. I was going to email you today & tell you that I started it. I have really not been on here since our trip. Over the long weekend, I decided to just start. It has been so much fun looking at all of the pictures. I am trying to sort the pictures for each day as I am writing about it. There are certain things that I have where we all took exactly the same picture! So I'm trying to pick the best one & delete the others. It will be slow going, but I will gain space back in my computer.

I feel like I am missing pictures, but it could be that you just didn't take any during that time. I am missing the whole first 4 days from mom, so I am working on getting those too. Hope you enjoy reading, and if you feel like you have good pictures to add after I finish an update, you should add them!
I also don't have Mom's first 4 days of photos; did she give them to you? I think we didn't start swapping photos till after day 4, and we were having camera problems the whole time. Now that I've looked back through them, we have a couple days with TON of photos and then they were sporadic the rest of the time.

The only reason I have a lot of photos from the first 2 days is because you asked me to text you with photos, so I tried to take a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunset Cliffs View Post
We headed over to the Peoplemover next. I hadn’t been on this ride in a long time and there was no line so we walked right on. Have I mentioned that aside from Autopia, we barely waited in a line all night? Now I can see why people love EMH so much!

The CM put us into 2 different cars right next to each other. We were talking back and forth over the cars while we were in the loading area.



All of a sudden, our vehicle took off….and they were still back at the loading area. The CM had put us in totally different vehicles! Ha, ha. I was so confused at first because I couldn’t figure out why they weren’t coming with us. Todd took this picture right as we started to pull away.



I thought it was so funny that there were no other people on the ride and it was obvious that we were one big group, yet the CM put us in totally different vehicles. We sat back and enjoyed the ride. The only part that Dylan didn’t like was the area going through Space Mountain that is pitch black. He got scared of “the tunnel” and this set up some future problems on the trip.




By the way, speaking of photos, I realized from this update that you have a bunch of photos from the first night at the MK that we don't have - I need to get those from you!

Also, do you remember the weird girl that was "hiding" in the People Mover when we got on?

While we were waiting for our car, I thought I saw someone ducking as the ride ended. Once they put us on the ride, she sat up! She'd been hiding in the car and hoping they would just let her ride again and they did. At first I thought they knew her?

But then she kind of squatted (or hunched) down again and stayed that way, half-hidden for the rest of the ride! She was in the booth behind us in the same car.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunset Cliffs View Post
Angelyn ~ Thanks for all of those pictures! I hadn't seen a lot of them. I forgot how beautiful the decorations were upstairs at the Poly. It makes me want to go back again.

I also forgot that you ate at Kona Cafe that night. For some reason I thought our lunch ADR was the first time you all had eaten there. I think I prefer lunch over dinner at that restaurant. Good picture of you & Bryan together!
I don't think I have many more photos remaining that you don't have. But I think you have some of the Poly that I don't have! We didn't realize until we were there that our camera was starting to slowly die.

Now that i have a camera that works, I am realizing more and more how bad our camera was on this trip.
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:03 PM   #54
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We thought the MK water smelled bad too! lol. We noticed it other places in Florida too. Gross.
At the time, I wasn't aware of this, but later when I mentioned it to Alison she said that is a common complaint! I guess Florida is known for this. We noticed it in our bathroom at the Poly, too, and realized that it was the water, not the bathroom. After a few days I must have gotten used to it because I stopped noticing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
Angelyn, from the Poly to get to WL the only options, I think, are either via MK by boat like you did or monorail to the Contemporary and then boat to WL from the Contemporary.

I agree with you about the waiting area for Kona, it's ridiculous.
Oooookay, that makes sense! I know I tried to plan the reservation for a time when the boat ride would take place at sunset, but I couldn't remember why we went from the MK docks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LilAnn View Post
These are fun updates - I like the joint TRs. I am bummed we didn't get a chance to try Artist Point. We debated it at the last minute towards the end of our trip, but then would have to give up another ADR and couldn't figure out what to drop. Next time!
It is totally worth it! And it wasn't crowded either - all in all it was a lovely way to visit the WL. Tranquil boat ride, check out the lobby and then an incredible meal in a beautiful setting. It was one of my favorite parts of the whole trip! The staff and the service were awesome too.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:10 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belle83 View Post
We thought the MK water smelled bad too! lol. We noticed it other places in Florida too. Gross.
I remember our first trip to Florida when I was a teenager and we checked into a cheap motel for 1 night. It smelled so bad and we kept saying it was the bathroom. After we moved to a different hotel, we realized that it was the water. It's funny the things that stand out as memories...and one of mine is the gross smelling water in Florida!


Quote:
Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
All caught up! Alison, I can't believe you guys made it til 3 am, very impressive. I'd have been VERY crabby about the bed rails though, they definitely should have been more realistic about the time.

Dylan already looks like he's having a blast!

Angelyn, from the Poly to get to WL the only options, I think, are either via MK by boat like you did or monorail to the Contemporary and then boat to WL from the Contemporary.

I agree with you about the waiting area for Kona, it's ridiculous.
I can't believe we made it that late either. I think it was total adrenaline after being cooped up on a plane all day. Although, once we got back to the hotel it was a total crash. It's funny to remember how crabby we were about the bedrails now, but when it was happening it was NOT funny at all. lol. All they had to say was that they would get them to us in the morning and we would have been fine with it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LilAnn View Post
These are fun updates - I like the joint TRs. I am bummed we didn't get a chance to try Artist Point. We debated it at the last minute towards the end of our trip, but then would have to give up another ADR and couldn't figure out what to drop. Next time!

Yes, I also think they would be so much fun to watch together (once she got over her initial shyness). They would definitely be on the teacups together!

The tunnel question cracks me up as that was what she said during our May trip - "Is it a ride?" We totally traumatized her on Pirates with the drop the first day. Oh well, we learned our lesson.
Dylan has the gift of becoming instant friends with the kids he plays with. Unless he is tired or cranky. Then he gets that shy thing too. But I know that the word Teacups would overcome any shyness he had.

I remember the "Is it a ride?" question from your last TR. That is exactly what it was like. We tried to force the issue a couple of time (especially if it wasn't an extended dark period on the ride). It worked out ok but I definitely did not see it coming since he had never been scared of tunnels before.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:19 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Opal View Post
I also don't have Mom's first 4 days of photos; did she give them to you? I think we didn't start swapping photos till after day 4, and we were having camera problems the whole time. Now that I've looked back through them, we have a couple days with TON of photos and then they were sporadic the rest of the time.

The only reason I have a lot of photos from the first 2 days is because you asked me to text you with photos, so I tried to take a lot.

Mom just came to visit and I got the photos from the first 4 days that I thought I was missing. I haven't gone through them yet, but I will start to do it now that I am getting close to them joining us on the trip.

We would do the same thing...take a ton of pictures at one time and then at others I would skip half of the day. That is why I was hoping that you & mom had taken some to fill in where I skipped out.



By the way, speaking of photos, I realized from this update that you have a bunch of photos from the first night at the MK that we don't have - I need to get those from you!

Let me know which ones you want and I will figure out how to get them to you.

Also, do you remember the weird girl that was "hiding" in the People Mover when we got on?

While we were waiting for our car, I thought I saw someone ducking as the ride ended. Once they put us on the ride, she sat up! She'd been hiding in the car and hoping they would just let her ride again and they did. At first I thought they knew her?

But then she kind of squatted (or hunched) down again and stayed that way, half-hidden for the rest of the ride! She was in the booth behind us in the same car.

No!! I don't remember that at all. How creepy!! She was in the car right next to yours?? I could understand if she was hiding so that she could go on the ride again, but to squat down & hide for half of the ride...I would be a little freaked out by that!




I don't think I have many more photos remaining that you don't have. But I think you have some of the Poly that I don't have! We didn't realize until we were there that our camera was starting to slowly die.

Now that i have a camera that works, I am realizing more and more how bad our camera was on this trip.
Yeah, some of the pictures from your camera were weird, with lines through them or just really overexposed. I wasn't sure if my computer had just imported them incorrectly.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:38 AM   #57
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The Wall of Water

Sorry for the delay in updates! We just got back from a vacation in Las Vegas that was so fun! We spent most of the time by the pool at our timeshare resort, Tahiti Village, but we were able to see 2 different Cirque du Soleil shows that were so great! We saw The Beatles LOVE show, and then we saw the Viva Elvis show a few days later. At the Elvis show we were bumped up to FRONT ROW SEATS!!! It was so amazing and we literally had people performing about 5 feet away from us. Todd had one girl practically sit in his lap while doing part of her performance. It was an amazing vacation. If I have some time I will post a few pictures.

Monday, November 22, 2010

You would think that after a very long day of traveling and then a late night at the park, I would be able to sleep in. Going to bed at 4:15 am means that I should have slept in on my first full day of vacation. Nope! I woke up at 9:45 am. Both Dylan & Todd were sound asleep, so I rolled over & tried to force myself back to sleep. It wasn’t happening. The problem is that I was starving. The shared meal from Casey’s the night before did not hold me over through this morning. Once I realized what the problem was, I knew I was not going to be able to go back to sleep. I rolled back over and just laid in bed for a while, checking out the room. We really loved the exterior grounds at POR, but I had not really liked the rooms from the pictures. Now that I was seeing it in person, I liked it a little better but not much. There are plenty of nice details to the room. I really liked the picture of the boat right next to the beds. It is just not my style. A little too fancy I think. And I’m really not big on floral bedspreads at all. But it was still a very nice room and I was pleased that we had chosen to stay here.

I decided to get up and take a shower. After my shower I needed to dry my hair but I was worried that I would wake up the boys. I shouldn’t have been worried. Neither of them budged the whole time I had the hair dryer running and I was only about 10 feet away from them. In fact, I don’t think Dylan moved the whole night.





Angelyn texted me to see if we wanted to keep our ADR at Kona Café for lunch at 12:15. It was 11:00 by this point, so I woke up Todd to ask him what he wanted to do. He said yes, let’s keep it so I let her know and I packed up our stuff for the day. Our plan was to just hang out over at the Polynesian since we had never seen the rooms in person or used their pool before. Once Todd was almost ready we tried to wake up Dylan at 11:30 and he was not moving. I finally had to shake him to wake him up. Poor kid!

We wanted to get some refillable mugs so we got in our car and drove over to the main building. This was our rental car.



We got our mugs and I think I got some fruit since I was so hungry. We also needed to get Dylan some sunglasses since we had forgotten his. We made our way into the gift shop, which is much bigger than I thought it would be, and found him some Mickey Mouse glasses. Walking outside to the car, it was a beautiful day and it was getting hot. We drove over to the Polynesian and got there at about 12:00. As we were parking, we noticed that it was windy and clouds were rolling in. In about 15 minutes it had gone from really hot to overcast. Florida weather is so unpredictable!

We walked into their building and went up the elevator. I believe they were in the Rapa Nui building. I have to say that it was really nice to have interior hallways and it was really pretty inside.



The room itself felt huge compared to ours (and I didn’t think that ours felt small!). My favorite parts of the room were the big balcony and the closet doors. Ha, ha. We were cutting it close for our ADR, so we just dropped our stuff and walked out the door. We walked across the beautiful grounds to the Great Ceremonial House. We checked in right on time and were told it would be a few minutes so we waited near then entrance.







I love this lobby! There is so much detail while feeling very relaxed. I really enjoy just sitting and listening to the waterfall. We only waited about 5 minutes and they called us in. We have eaten her a few times before, but I didn't think Angelynn had been there yet (I didn't realize that they had eaten here the night before for dinner). Everything was new to Bryan since it was his first trip to WDW. We have always thought that their food was good here so we were excited to try it again.

We had a very friendly waitress who took our order quickly. It was a relaxing lunch and we didn’t feel rushed since we really had nowhere to be. Dylan was playing with toys from his backpack and we had some great conversation.

Sisters



Elijah playing with one of Dylan’s toys.







We got our food and dove in. I got the same thing that I always get…Stir Fry Asian Noodles with Chicken. I wish I could have that right now. Yum!



Todd got the Sticky Wings appetizer.



Elijah got the fish tacos, which he said were really good.



I don’t have a picture but I’m pretty sure that both Angelyn & Bryan got the Angus Chuck Burger. All of our food was very good, and the waitress was very attentive. I think Dylan charmed her because she offered to take him to go look at the monorail through the window. To my surprise, he stood up, took her hand and walked away. (!!!!!) Apparently we need to train him a little better about strangers. LOL. They were gone for about 5 minutes and it was cute watching them have a conversation about the monorail.



They came back and she went to get our bill. When she came back, she gave Dylan one of the light up Buzz Lightyears that come on the kid’s cups. That was so nice of her and Dylan was so excited about how it lit up.



After lunch we were stuffed and we thought a relaxing ride around the monorail loop sounded like a good plan. Dylan loves the monorail and it was his first ride for this trip.



A couple of shots from the monorail





We got back from the ride and walked back to their room to change into our swimming suits to head to the pool. It was still overcast but we figured we would make the best of it. I took the time to snap a few shots of their room.

You can see how much space there is from this picture.





The closet doors that I liked so much



The balcony with my 2 favorite boys



The view from the balcony looking both ways





Continued in the next post.

Last edited by Sunset Cliffs; 06-22-2011 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:42 AM   #58
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We walked over to the pool and claimed some chairs that were on the sand. That was when I realized that I had left my camera in the room and I didn’t want to walk all the way back over to get it. So I have no pictures of the pool and I am bummed about that. We had a lot of fun in the pool. The entry to the pool is sloped so there were a lot of little kids playing in that area. We moved down to the other side near the exit to the slide. Everyone decided to try out the slide, but Dylan didn’t want to so I stayed with him while they all went up. It was pretty breezy by that point and they all looked like they were going to freeze to death while standing in line.

There was a group of parents waiting at the bottom of the slide to catch their kids. Most parents were staying within 10 feet of the bottom of the slide. Todd had said that there were kids that were crowding the line at the top of the slide so they just let them go ahead of them. Todd was the first of our group to go and when he came off the slide, he made a HUGE splash with his arms. All of the parents that were waiting at the bottom of the slide for their kids got COMPLETELY soaked by him because they were so close to the exit. I almost died laughing. It was like a huge wall of water came crashing down over them. He popped up & swam over to us, having no idea of the path of destruction that he had just caused. You can tell that there were mom’s that were not very happy about having their hairdos ruined by him. I am still laughing as I am typing this remembering the expressions on their faces when they got hit with the wall of water.

Since he was the first to go down, no one else in my group got to see it so I was telling them all about it after they came down the slide too. We just swam around our area after that and Dylan had so much fun. He kept jumping in from the side and then he & Angelyn would have a race to the side of the pool. He was really starting to warm up to them and again, he kept making sure that Bryan saw everything that he was doing. All the boys wanted to do the slide again so Angelyn stayed with me so that she could see how big Todd’s splash was. He did not disappoint. He proceeded to soak everyone again, but there were less people around this time.

It finally got too cold to keep swimming and we went back inside to change our clothes. Right after we got inside it started to rain so we had good timing. We hung out in their room for a while longer and then made a plan for the evening. It was so nice to have enough space for 5 adults and one kid to hang out in the room and not feel cramped at all.



Showing Bryan his drawing



It was about 4:00 by now and Angelyn needed to pick up her rental car, so we dropped her & Bryan off at the Car Care center on the way back to our hotel. When we got there, Todd felt like the smell in the room was getting stronger. It did not bother me as much and I really didn’t want to pack up all of our stuff again, but I knew that it was bothering him. Also, the room had been cleaned but they had not left any bed rails for Dylan which was very frustrating. Our plan had been to come back & change, let Dylan rest for a bit, then head over to DHS.

What did we end up doing?
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:29 PM   #59
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Dylan looks so big in all of those photos! Crazy! I think that's fun that you got to enjoy the day at the Poly. I'm not sure I would have been able to do a monorail loop and not get off at MK. Pretty sure I wouldn't have been the only one clamoring to go out too. I have been hearing on a daily basis that we never got a chance to meet rapunzel and Flynn Rider so a relazing monorail ride would be out of the question if there was no park entry planned.

That's a cute story about the waitress at Kona and Dylan. I love that she gave him the little light up toy too! I think we have 2 Tinks and 1 Buzz from various trips. Hard to resist splurging on vacation when your little one gives you the "eyes" and is on good behavior.

By the way, thinking our Cali trip may not happen as we started pricing out tickets for all three of us. But on the bright side.....we may have a quick Orlando trip in the future (and of course I'm trying to sneak in a day at WDW if possible). Keeping my fingers crossed on that front.

My guess is you will complain and change rooms.......
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