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Old 02-13-2012, 12:59 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by tinkerbellandeeyor View Post
Lovely update can't wait to read more
Are you under 6 weeks away from a WDW trip?

Super cool!
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:06 PM   #62
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The Haunted Mansion

I have to go back briefly, I know I'm always going back and correcting myself. But this is a how to thread, after all, and even though you probably won't be able to use all this FP info after March 7th, I still want to give it to you.

Before we left FL, I got PP FP with an 11:30 return time. If they really do enforce the ending time +15 minutes I'll tell you this: We would have done HM and then Splash & BTMRR. And then had lunch and ridden PP.

But they weren't enforcing it. So that is NOT what we did. Cause we had all day to use any of those FP's.

Except for the HM part. We did do that next. It's just logical in the progression around MK.





I'm not a really big fan of HM. I know, I know. But I think perhaps I've mentioned on here that I really don't like to be scared. Not even goofy scared. Not even Luigi's Mansion scared. No scaring. Mulan is just like me. And Emmy didn't like it either. Obviously, it's like the best themed ride in the world. But even the most themed ride in the world, if you don't like the theme, isn't that much fun.

But, because I'm such a Walt Disney freak, I make myself ride it every few years to be impressed at what a genious the man was.

I did like all the improvements. Both in the line and in the ride, I felt they really did enhance it, without ruining anything.

While we were doing that Donald had taken Boo to buy more Vinylmations.



The girls had liked the ones at the end of the last trip and so we agreed we'd just buy new ones. Once we got off HM, Donald presented the boring ones and they all went to trade them. They didn't score big, which honestly is for best because trading is the fun part and you don't really want a cool one at the beginning of the trip because then what are you supposed to do?



We then rode Pirates. Nice, as usual, but nothing really to say. Just one comment about this photo:


You know I normally like to follow the rules. But every once in awhile, when I really want to, I break them. And I took a flash photo in the loading area knowing full well multiple CM's would yell at me. Which they did. But I risked it because you can never get a good shot of Pirates so I never have any and we LOVE this ride and I wanted to show how happy we are without ruining people's actual ride experience. As you can see, we almost fill a car. So I more than likely could have taken a flash photo while the ride was actually going and not gotten yelled at. But that actually would have negatively impacted other's Pirate's experience. So I took my spanking, ruined no one's Pirate experience, and have a great photo.

And then we went to Tortuga for lunch. We got 2 chicken burritos, nachos, and a kid quesadilla and then split the fries, grapes, and cookies.



We opted to eat outside, despite the heat, because the fans & shade made it cool and empty.

And now, I tell you something that I'd prefer you all keep to yourselves. Donald and Milo bring in rum to MK. So into our Diet Cokes went a bit of rum. Less rum in mine than theirs. Really, it's just wrong to ride Pirates and eat in a tavern and NOT have rum, right? What did I say about me liking to follow rules? I withdraw it. I like to do what I like to do unless it truly is going to hurt someone else's Disney magic.



While I was relaxing and being happy, Donald ran to get Jungle Cruise FP.

We then all used the potty and lokked at the jewlry and rings and pirate store, etc. Just chilled. Whenever everyone was cool, fed, and pottied we headed to BTMRR. I hope when they switch to the new FP enforcement rules they put their A game people on the FP return and not the girl we got this day. Not the girl at the enterance, but the one actually taking them before you board. We had 12 people. Now, I know it's a lot of people. But we wear matching t-shirts to help the CM's out. And we stay together, calm, and organized. But this girl, bless her heart, could not count past 8. She would count those FP's up to 8 & then start over. I finally counted for her. Starting at 7 I said, "8-9-10-11-12" I then stood by her and let the family pass counting them with her until finally I was left & I pointed to myself "12." And she waved her hand as if to say, "I'm pretty sure you are cheating the system, I just don't know how."

Here's my morning's work right before we started using them:








Boo was VERY happy on this ride whereas Jack-Jack was pretty sure he never needed to ride that ride again. The rest of us, naturally, LOVED it.

Up next: Splash
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:42 PM   #63
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Are you under 6 weeks away from a WDW trip?

Super cool!

I wish but my ticker is for something else my two favorite shows are coming back The secret life of the American teenager and Make it or break it.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:03 PM   #64
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I have spent the last few days (and nights) reading up on your year of Disney - wow! Lots of great tips and pics and laughs!
I especially love the pic of Emmy and Boo in your introductions - looks familiar

If you ever have a spare moment, I could use some pointers as I am planning our very FIRST WDW stay for this September/October and we will have myself and DH (29 & 30 respectively) DS1, who will be 5, DS2, who will be less than 3 months, and my inlaws! We are going to celebrate their 40th anniversary (and, let's face it, because I want to!)

Can't wait for your next update!
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:01 PM   #65
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I wish but my ticker is for something else my two favorite shows are coming back The secret life of the American teenager and Make it or break it.
Awww, too bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by graysmommy View Post
I have spent the last few days (and nights) reading up on your year of Disney - wow! Lots of great tips and pics and laughs!
I especially love the pic of Emmy and Boo in your introductions - looks familiar

If you ever have a spare moment, I could use some pointers as I am planning our very FIRST WDW stay for this September/October and we will have myself and DH (29 & 30 respectively) DS1, who will be 5, DS2, who will be less than 3 months, and my inlaws! We are going to celebrate their 40th anniversary (and, let's face it, because I want to!)

Can't wait for your next update!
Welcome!

We absolutely can give you tips, though I'd probably wait until after we see what is happening with FP's on March 7th before we give you too many park touring tips.

Where are you guys wanting to stay? Any plans at all done?
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:50 PM   #66
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Welcome!

We absolutely can give you tips, though I'd probably wait until after we see what is happening with FP's on March 7th before we give you too many park touring tips.

Where are you guys wanting to stay? Any plans at all done?
So far we are booked at POP Sept 29-Oct 6, with 5 day base tickets and Dining Plan that has 1 TS, 1 QS, and 1 snack/day. We have 2 rooms. We figured on 5 days of tickets since none of us have been immersed in Disney before, and several of us (not me) get overwhelmed. I figure 1 day for each park and 1 more to go back to our favorite.

I want to do at least one character meal, but I'm not sure how many ADR's I want to book - might like to preserve a measure of flexibility considering our wide range of ages and needs.

We took DS1 to MK for a day last October, and he did great! (Once he got over the fact we were in Magic Kingdom even though we 'don't believe in Magic') He wouldn't do any pirate stuff, or anything dark, and hated Splash Mountain because of 'the bad fox' Poor, sheltered child

DH's parents took him once when he was about 8, nobody remembers what they did or saw though.

We had been planning on a cruise or all inclusive, but MIL has some health concerns and can't spend hours on end in the sun. I think that there will be enough indoor type rides/movies/attractions that she can enjoy.

We are coming from the Toronto area, and will be flying (we will let the IL's decide if they want to fly, or if they want to make a longer trip out of it for the 2 of them and drive) so we are somewhat budget conscious. I am really, really, REALLY hoping for Free Dining in September, even willing to change our dates a bit for that, because then we could upgrade to POR/POFQ! The bigger beds and fridges would be HUGE!!!

Anyway, at this point, any and all pointers would be great - thanks for listening!

And sorry for the HUGE thread hijack!
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:56 AM   #67
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So far we are booked at POP Sept 29-Oct 6, with 5 day base tickets and Dining Plan that has 1 TS, 1 QS, and 1 snack/day. We have 2 rooms. We figured on 5 days of tickets since none of us have been immersed in Disney before, and several of us (not me) get overwhelmed. I figure 1 day for each park and 1 more to go back to our favorite.

I want to do at least one character meal, but I'm not sure how many ADR's I want to book - might like to preserve a measure of flexibility considering our wide range of ages and needs.

We took DS1 to MK for a day last October, and he did great! (Once he got over the fact we were in Magic Kingdom even though we 'don't believe in Magic') He wouldn't do any pirate stuff, or anything dark, and hated Splash Mountain because of 'the bad fox' Poor, sheltered child

DH's parents took him once when he was about 8, nobody remembers what they did or saw though.

We had been planning on a cruise or all inclusive, but MIL has some health concerns and can't spend hours on end in the sun. I think that there will be enough indoor type rides/movies/attractions that she can enjoy.

We are coming from the Toronto area, and will be flying (we will let the IL's decide if they want to fly, or if they want to make a longer trip out of it for the 2 of them and drive) so we are somewhat budget conscious. I am really, really, REALLY hoping for Free Dining in September, even willing to change our dates a bit for that, because then we could upgrade to POR/POFQ! The bigger beds and fridges would be HUGE!!!

Anyway, at this point, any and all pointers would be great - thanks for listening!

And sorry for the HUGE thread hijack!
If you could get free dining that would be AWESOME! Your IL's might want to spring for the extra money to stay closer to the main building if they have health problems. Both at Pop and POR it can be tiring just getting to the buses. And it's definitely a walk in the sun.

I'm going to private message you. But we'll keep the tips coming in this thread too.

Currently, I'm running around like a mad person packing for a long weekend trip. And I won't have any wi-fi So sad. But when I come back, I'll pick up where I left off.
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:19 PM   #68
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So glad to see you're back!!! I ran into your TR through a link from someone else's and finally caught up just when you went on vacay . What awesome info and tips . We're finally planning a trip for June 2013 and I so cannot wait . Unfortunately my DH does not share my love of all things Disney and merely tolerates our trips (so he says, but somewhere in there I think lies a closet Disneyphile ). I always do something special and unexpected for DH and DS13 so I'm just sorting through some ideas to make this next trip truly magical. Hope you had a great weekend...
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:07 PM   #69
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So glad to see you're back!!! I ran into your TR through a link from someone else's and finally caught up just when you went on vacay . What awesome info and tips . We're finally planning a trip for June 2013 and I so cannot wait . Unfortunately my DH does not share my love of all things Disney and merely tolerates our trips (so he says, but somewhere in there I think lies a closet Disneyphile ). I always do something special and unexpected for DH and DS13 so I'm just sorting through some ideas to make this next trip truly magical. Hope you had a great weekend...
I'm surprised you could even find me on another TR, I've been so absent lately around here. And now with our DL I've been reading their TR's instead and I really don't have much to say since I'm not very intelligent on the subject of DL.

DH's who aren't super into Disney can be changed. Just like Milo. We converted him big time and now he's the one wishing on a dream.

What's he into in his normal life?

As for you, graysmommy, I think family members who get overwhelmed is a reason to get MORE days on your tickets, not less. That way you can do Disney in small snippets. You also can leave part of the family to relax or shop or whatever they like to do, while you spend your days enjoying more time at the parks.

The delightful thing about being on site is the freedom it gives everyone. You don't have to stay together. Donald and Suzy are absolutely obsessed with Disney Parks. Since it seems many of you have just read all of our TR's you'll notice many times I'm off with children at arcades or enjoying street performers or pools. Because I LOVE Disney. LOVE. However, I also love reading Agatha Christie novels on vacation in the sunshine. I love all kinds of things. I'm multifaceted.

And to me the parks (shhh... don't tell Suzy & Donald) can start to run together if I only do them.

But when we are offsite, for example the trip I got really sick, and I stay away from the parks and have no access to a bus, I am at their mercy to come home and get me.

And really, that is not always going to happen. Because they have to TEAR themselves away.

So I vote for a really basic plan for your entire group, with 6 day tickets, and a secret plan of what you really want to do.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:20 AM   #71
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Joining in. I love your TR's and how informative they are. Your family is lovely and all of the kids are growing so fast. I hope things are going well with the business and that your Dad is doing well. Looking forward to reading more.
Thanks.

I guess I should give a Dad update, thanks for asking. He is doing SO much better. He'll never be the young father that I had, but he's back. His memory problems seem to be fading and he is stronger every day. I still worry a tiny bit, but really I think the year of 2011 is behind us.

And that goes for our business as well. Right now is our super slow season so it's hard to say, "Oh, yes, the business is on fire." But even if sales don't recover this year from the economy, we have made the changes to our overhead to live with our current much lower sales. And I work a lot more, but I've settled in to it and enjoy it (mostly) versus being totally stressed out every day. And not being on the verge of bankruptcy certainly helped take the stress out. Suzy might laugh & say I still cry from time to time, which is true, but it's not like the 6 months I went through this spring and summer. It's just the normal wear and tear that life brings with it.

Today will be a busy day since it's our first day back from our long weekend away, but I hope to get going on this TR tomorrow.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:43 AM   #72
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Our afternoon

From Big Thunder, we headed to Splash. It was getting really hot and crowded and I was all about being on Splash Mt.



Sadly, however, Splash was not to be the cool oasis I was hoping for as when everyone was entering our log, Ariel, Emmy, and I ended up in one seat. This, let me tell you, was NOT ideal. I lost that butt lottery big time. And now with the new lap bar there wasn't a lot of wiggling I could do to get comfortable. By the time we got off, my right leg was so numb I could hardly get off the ride.

Others, however, had more fun:






I did end up being the perfect level of wet, however, which was a very good thing as once my leg had circulation, it was time for me to head to Space Mt. to get FP's. It was actually overdue. So I headed off to go to the most opposite place from where I was. On a SUPER hot day in June. Ugh!

Who can be cranky here though?


Move It, Shake It was happening in the hub and I was so disgustingly hot I wondered how on earth they could be in those costumes dancing. Very impressive. Lots of sweaty CM's in that parade.

Our return time was for 2:55 which was pretty much perfect. Since it was just me and no one was really waiting on me I decided to slow down my pace and go through the rose garden.





If I had more money, and not even a lot more money. Just a little more money, I would spend it on a gardener. I love gardens. I just love them. That's why I enjoyed Epcot in March so much. So amazing. But I don't really enjoy gardening myself. It takes so much skill and consistency. If I'm going to put in THAT much work digging and leveling and carrying and wheelbarowing, I can't also have to perfectly water things every day. It's just a lot of caregiving.

But man do I love gardens.



There are more photos, but I won't torture you with them. I headed back across the hot hub to Adventureland.



Do you think those skulls are from people who died from heat exhaustion?


While I was shaking my booty to get Space FP's everyone else had ridden Aladdin and gone into the Treehouse. I discovered them not looking very adventurous at all but sitting in the shade watching Mulan and Buzz get wet at the Tiki gods.

We hopped the next boat to Cruise the Jungle.


We look hot and tired.


Jack-Jack had fallen asleep so Suzy also did not cruise with us. The cruise cooled us a little bit, it was shady and the backside of water is nice. But not so thoroughly that the moment we were off, we were super hot again. So Philharmagic had to be next. Ariel does not deal with heat well and wanted a drink. But the crowds were all eating lunch and I wasn't about to stand in a hot line. I told her she could have a drink of the now hot Coke in the stroller. She declined and I promised a break soon.

Boo did NOT want to go into Philharmagic. The corks and 4D effects scare her like you cannot believe. But she was going. Period. No way any of we adults were willing to sit out our one air conditioned show all day!



It ended up being fine. She covered her ears and put my hands over the little wind things that make it seem like puffs of air hit you. She LOVED it.

So that's my TIP TIME for today: If you are going to a 4D show (Philharmagic, It's Tough to Be a Bug, Muppets, etc.) with a toddler sit them on your lap (so they can't feel the air puffs by your ankles.) Have them cover their own ears so they can be in control of how much loud noises they hear, don't make them wear their glasses, and put your hands over the air vents on the back of the chair in front of you. They look like speakers.

In these circumstances she LOVED the show. It really is so fun and she loves Lion King so that is fun for her.

Because of Jake and the Neverland Pirates riding Peter Pan is now a priority in our lives. Boo LOVES it and feels sincerely like she is Izzy while we are riding it.

But there was no way we could all go any longer without something to drink. I've gotten ice cream before in Fantasyland in the summer and it is a disaster. It melts while they are handing it to you. But I spied an ice cream cart with a very short line in the shade near Pinocchio's Haus. So we got ice cream and ducked in the back door to the air conditioned luxury of Pinocchio's. I went to the food area and got a big cup of ice for Donald.

This was GREAT! We all got cooled all the way down and were so refreshed. I had gotten a frozen banana and it was just the ticket.



It still wasn't time for our 2:55 FP return for Space so we traded Vinylmations to kill a little time and went to check out Buzz's standby line. It was only 15 minutes. Ariel had been pottying and I told everyone to just go ahead and hop in line. She's a slow poke and it was too hot to rush. Plus, Buzz isn't either of our absolute faves, so we just went on the TTA. It was relaxing. I journaled. But it wasn't cool enough.

We sat at the end of Buzz waiting for our people. Yup, right on the floor with the wheelchairs. It wasn't a long wait.



Suzy got a 400,000 and Mulan beat Emmy by 100,000. They all had a great time. Milo took the little ones to ride the TTA, a top priority with them. The rest of us were off to Space.

The FP return areas kept having congestion around them and hot, hot lines outside. Not sure what that was about, but it felt like we stood in the hot sun for too long. The crowd there was just new to Disney and in groups and totally clueless. So it was annoying. FP definitely slows down when every person in the line asks questions to the CM's.

I took my moment in the hot sun to scout out a group of 3 teens getting in the standby line. I handed them the FP's and they joined us behind the clueless people.

We were so hot from the outside 10 min, that the long hot hallway seemed eternal. But FINALLY we were ready to ride. It really was probably 15 minutes, maybe 20. Which I know is nothing but when it's over 100, 20 minutes seems a lot longer.



I got the front. Woohoo!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you think I'll ever get too old? My Grandma didn't. She loved Space Mt. I was glad Milo hadn't ridden though as he had a bruised rib and it really is too rough if you are having and current back/rib/spine problems.

As we got off the teenagers stopped me to thank me. So nice.

It was good timing with the TTA. They were getting off just as we were. We took the long hot walk towards the front. Donald stopped to trade Vinylmations. It took forever. But probably because I was tired and cranky and ready to LEAVE. I had a ton of stuff to actually accomplish this evening and didn't want to be delayed.

When we got to the monorail station they were pulling one in right after another. I think we were joining the mass exodus of people leaving the heat. Our tram driver was from Boston and we enjoyed him thoroughly. Bossy as all get out, but funny.

We trekked to the vans on the hot asphalt. I have no idea how hot it was, but it would have given you a 2nd degree burn if you'd been barefoot. I'll tell you that. Our van has a thermometer in it. It's not overly accurate, but it said 102. And 99% humidity I swear. Whew.

We drove to 192 via AK and I was CRANKY. Donald was trying to be happy and positive but the welcome center to get the keys to our house was almost to highway 27 and it was hard to find. And I was melting down. Bless Donald's heart, he never snipped back.

By the time we got to our house it was 6:30 pm. And we needed to get dinner, unpacked, and groceries. Not to mention showers. Ugh.

But that is for another chapter.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:42 PM   #73
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Great update! Our last trip we went over Memorial Day weekend - and it was hot, hot, hot - so I could totally commiserate with you on this one...
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:08 PM   #74
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Great update! Our last trip we went over Memorial Day weekend - and it was hot, hot, hot - so I could totally commiserate with you on this one...
Oy! We've been in September before so we've done hot before. But this particular June day was brutal! I think the rest of the days were as hot as well, but I don't remember being personally that consistently hot. Or it might just be that I need to be settled. It wasn't ideal to not be able to check into our house the day before our first big park day. I'm spontaneous. And I'm happy. But I need to be settled and have a home base to be either of those things. So cranky I was.
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:09 PM   #75
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Thanks.

I guess I should give a Dad update, thanks for asking. He is doing SO much better.
That's great to hear.

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DH's who aren't super into Disney can be changed. Just like Milo. We converted him big time and now he's the one wishing on a dream.

What's he into in his normal life?
Converting my DH would be a major miracle ! What's he into ... Civil War artifact collecting, history stuff (we're going to Williamsburg, VA this summer, he'll be in heaven). He's not much into rides or heat for that matter. We always stay onsite b/c he always fizzles out and needs to go back to the room to nap, chill out which is fine with me. He can take Disney in small doses which is ok too. He really does love Epcot though, and we've never really spent alot of time in World Showcase, so that's a great option for him.
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