Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Trip Planning Forums > Disney Trip Reports > Completed Trip Reports
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read





 
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 03-17-2012, 08:14 AM   #121
knitster
DIS Veteran
 
knitster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 573

Quote:
Originally Posted by estherhead View Post
He definitely had brown hair, but I don't really remember. I probably wouldn't have noticed him looks wise alone, but him not having a British accent & then his engaging personality made him stick out. I thought I'd have a picture of him since he was so involved in this moment, but somehow he didn't make it in any shots.
I think I have a slightly blurry picture of him. I'll go wade through my iPhoto and see if I can find it. It will drive me crazy not knowing if we're talking about the same guy!
knitster is offline  
Old 03-17-2012, 08:18 AM   #122
knitster
DIS Veteran
 
knitster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 573

I know that I had a picture of him all sprawled out on the floor after the sword fight, but it was blurry and I must've deleted it. This is the only one I could find - too bad it's of the back of his head!



and this is what I said about him in my TR

"Then we met my very favorite Cast Member of the whole trip. We walked in and the kids, of course, headed straight for the swords and shields. He challenged them to a duel, and let my kids beat him into the ground. Literally. This dude was at least 6ft 4in and he flung himself on the ground, in a tiny shop, and let my kids wail on him. Then, in the middle of the battle, Presley noticed that he had pins and started pin trading with him while he was on the ground. It was hilarious! Then he spent some time talking to Hendrix and talking to me about where we were staying and if we’d seen Wishes and all sorts of stuff. He was great! "

It's gotta be the same guy, right?! I need a life - this intrigues me far more than it should.

Last edited by knitster; 03-17-2012 at 08:25 AM.
knitster is offline  
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 03-17-2012, 08:32 AM   #123
estherhead
DIS Veteran
 
estherhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,296

Our plan was to chill out in the France movie. But Boo spied a certain cat that made us continue being outside. But hot or not, Marie is always worth it.



Evidently Jack-Jack also enjoys Marie:






Awww, don't you love that snuggly cat? I do. And so do my kids.

After this we went into France. We saw the movie and then enjoyed the Kidcot. And by enjoy, I mean not really. Why does France continue to pick people to man this Kidcot station who sincerely do not enjoy children? I have met many French people. I have been to France. And they are enjoyable, lovely people. So why on earth have mean people consistently work the Kidcot?



But when you have 12 people, you can pretty much just take over and not care. We got yelled at here for who knows what, we weren't coloring properly. Grrrr. I don't like to get yelled at for coloring outside the lines. Or for coloring too loudly. Or whatever.

And don't pull out your camera in this theater either. Why you would want a picture of the movie, I don't know, but I've looked at photos in here and gotten yelled at. And tried to take a picture of us before the movie and gotten yelled at. No looking at your camera. No texting. Nada. Grrrr.

So after our French lesson, we headed to the potty in Morroco.

Into the Tangerine for coffee.


Milo has a coffee he adores in here. So we just chilled while he grabbed that. Then we went to Japan and into the store. Last year I packed bento box lunches for my girls and though the bentos in here are way too expensive, I like to look. And they had new bento boxes books as well. I'm not packing bentos anymore, my girls are big enough to pack a healthy lunch themselves so they just do. Which is really nice for me. But just the same to look at those books and imagine my life as the perfect little stay at home mom with time to make adorable little faces in my girls lunch pails, well it's nice.

Donald agreed to watch Boo in this store. When I got done looking at my books and searched them out I thought Donald's head was going to explode. So I grabbed Boo and went to find Emmy who had tried on a kimono. She REALLY wanted one, but they are expensive and she just couldn't justify it. Then, surprisingly, Jack-Jack had a fit. I walked in on it so I'm not sure what it was over, but obviously we needed to take a little break since Jack-Jack isn't a fit kind of person. That's when you know you need a break. When your easy going kids are done.

So we went outside and found a shady spot and handed out fruit chews. Everyone was a little happier. It was time to go to Mexico.

On our way:




On this short walk, Emmy's purse broke. And the team was just feeling done with walking so they all hopped a boat. Donald and I ended up not getting on the boat. Emmy was pushing Boo (so her purse could be in the stroller) so Donald & I walked all by ourselves. I'd like to say it was nice. But the difference between the shade and direct sunlight was about 20 degrees. Shade maybe 90 and direct sun 110? So once we reached the pyramid we were more than thrilled to sit outside the Cava in the air conditioning.



We thought we'd have a little moment, but the walk and boat ride were pretty similar in timing. So they all arrived pretty shortly after us. Certainly not as peaceful after they got there. We checked in to the San Angel before our 5:15 ADR.

We had made the ADR's for a table of 4 and a table of 8. The table of 8 got seated first close to the restroom. It was quiet and not the pitch dark of near the pyramids. So we liked our spot.



I got my tostadas de Tinga as always. They were smaller than normal but I figure that just means I can have more food at a different country later! Donald got a tequila flight (I'm not really into tequila) which comes with a sangria recipe. Very cute. And the kids entertained themselves by toasting the tortilla chips on the lanterns.





The other table on the other side of the restaurant.


When I came back from taking that picture, I decided I was still hungry and finished Boo's rice and beans. And then I was too full. Drat. No other WS kiosks for me.

Everyone needed to potty & pay the bill, etc. So I took Boo, Jack-Jack and Buzz on their first Three Caballeros ride while everyone took care of necessary business. Man do they love this ride.

Look! It's Donald




As we were getting off, everyone else was done so we hopped back on. As we were getting off the second time, McQueen realized he had left his stuffed Duomo in San Angel. Ugh! So many kids and stuffed animals I felt like we were always either looking for a lost toy or picking up buckets of toys on this entire trip.

Once that was settled, we split into two groups. Donald took Mulan, Ariel, Buzz, Boo, and McQueen (yup, all the kids) to Spaceship Earth. They traded Vinylmations on the way. We headed to a free concert in America! 3rd row seats and I suddenly had a peaceful, easy feeling.



I'm sure they had the fan going to keep them cool not for a Jennifer Lopez moment since they weren't really very sexy. But the hair went flying nonetheless.


Look at all those instruments:


Jack-Jack wasn't having too much fun but the rest of us were a singing and a clapping.


I texted a little video to Mom who was halfway to Florida, eating Mexican food and drinking a Dos Equis. She liked out style and said she was ready for some fun. So we better be prepared to keep the party going.

We went to Germany, went to the potty, and looked at the train. We sat in the shade and looked up good Illuminations viewing spots on Disboards as we normally view from the other side of WS.

We also, of course, got caramel corn. It's fast going right up there with my Grand Marnier slushie as a must have at WDW.

Suzy realized she needed an ATM and "ran" to Italy to get some cash. There are only two ATM's in Epcot, upfront and in Italy. Italy doesn't seem far from Germany, but it was so hot, less hot than mid-day, but still warm. She came back drenched. I used my time to advise a woman who had been mis-charged in Germany on her KTTW. She had wanted to use a snack credit, but they charged her. They can't really fix it there in Germany, but they can at the concierge back at your resort. Just keep the receipt.

And then on to Norway. We had gotten FP's to Maelstrom (is this why Donald and I walked? I don't know but it makes sense.) And with them the wait was almost nonexistent.

And then played in the store.




Obviously, Duomo is fine:


By this point it was 8:15. Who would volunteer to save our spot? Now, you may have read on the Theme parks board that this is no small job. It may SEEM like a cake job: you get to sit for 45 minutes at WDW which should be something every adult jumps on. Sitting. But sadly, saving a seat for a nighttime show involves staking claim to an area and shooing away people. And Donald, Suzy, Milo, and Emmy are all introverts. Only I am extroverted and assertive without being mean. So, as usual, I got the job. And true to form, I staked my claim, positioned my strollers, put out the blanket while the others did Test Track. It ended up being 2 rows deep all around the lake. That's a lot of people to keep away from little area section of railing. And they didn't get there until 10 minutes before it started meaning it was kinda stressful because people were really stacking up.

But there is just something about me that makes people not pick fights. It works for me at work too. I have a presence and a tone to my voice. Serious and determined but friendly and nice. Really, I can't explain it. I just know that I have it. They all got back and I handed out drinks and glow sticks and prepared to relax. As is my norm, I chose 2 kids from the 2nd row and invited them into our spot. Why should their parent's lack of knowledge about staking claim, ruin their viewing?

The little girl was adorable and made friends with my girls. But the boy ended up being REALLY annoying. His parents kept chastising him but he was clearly into pushing limits and would climb the rail, stand right in front of Boo, jump around and then look behind him to see if they were watching. They normally were and would yell at him & try to rein him in. But just the same Boo's viewing was blocked for over half the time. My mistake. Fortunately, she didn't care one twit. He was just as entertaining to her as the show. So once I realized that, I just let his parents yell at him and enjoyed the show.

We had an absolutely amazing spot.





It's outside Mexico, to the left of the new restaurant.

Right before Illuminations started, Suzy and I asked the group who would like to see Fantasmic? Only Mulan volunteered. Can we do it? Can we see Illuminations and Fantasmic in the same night?

You'll have wait to find out.

Last edited by estherhead; 03-17-2012 at 10:30 AM. Reason: So it made more sense.
estherhead is offline  
Old 03-17-2012, 09:49 AM   #124
Schmoodle
DIS Veteran
 
Schmoodle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 637

Once again, Susie, I am very much enjoying your trip report! Your experiences in France are odd. Maybe manning the Kidcot Station is a punishment for naughty CMs, and that's why they're grumpy. I have spent quite a bit of time in France, and am married to a French guy and I can tell you that the French folks I know do not like what they consider to be silly rules. So if there is a no-smoking sign, they will stand right under it to smoke. And in general, French people seem to adore children. So the anti-kid Kidcot and rigid no-electronics rule enforcement seems very out of character. Go figure. I prefer Japan and Morocco pavilions anyway, probably because I've never been to those lands IRL.
I am always amazed by what you're able to accomplish with all those kids along!
__________________
My first and only dining report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2303371

1974 - Family Camping Trip
January 1991 - Family Trip to Westgate Vacation Villas
May 1996 - Best Girlfriend's Trip, Vacation Villas at Fantasy World
July 1998 - Hottest Trip Ever! Parkway International Resort
December 2002 - Multi-Family Dance Trip to Sheraton Vistana Resort
December 2004 - Anthony and Gabbie's First Visit (Can't remember the name of the condo and don't want to try)
October 2008 - The Kids and I stay at Marrott Grande Vista
September 2009 - The Quest for Grownup Food and CSR (First On-Site) stay
January 2010 - Gabbie's Birthday Trip to Carribean Beach Resort and Wilderness Lodge
March 2010 - Sneaking away from work for a day at Epcot and the Boardwalk Inn
August 2011 - Cheating on Mickey Trip

Schmoodle is offline  
Old 03-17-2012, 10:37 AM   #125
estherhead
DIS Veteran
 
estherhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,296

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmoodle View Post
Once again, Susie, I am very much enjoying your trip report! Your experiences in France are odd. Maybe manning the Kidcot Station is a punishment for naughty CMs, and that's why they're grumpy. I have spent quite a bit of time in France, and am married to a French guy and I can tell you that the French folks I know do not like what they consider to be silly rules. So if there is a no-smoking sign, they will stand right under it to smoke. And in general, French people seem to adore children. So the anti-kid Kidcot and rigid no-electronics rule enforcement seems very out of character. Go figure. I prefer Japan and Morocco pavilions anyway, probably because I've never been to those lands IRL.
I am always amazed by what you're able to accomplish with all those kids along!
That is very funny about them not liking silly rules & openly rebelling. Maybe I'm French and didn't know it? We're pretty close friends with this guy from Provence (he married a close friend of mine) and he is very conservative but he adores our kids and definitely breaks rules. He would be amazing as a Kidcot guy. Softspoken with a friendly smile and a cute accent. Oh well. Maybe next time they'll have this situation figured out. Between the dumb Duffy bear hand out, the permanent Sharpies to color with, and the not always friendly CM's, Kidcot has become a little less enjoyable for me the last 2 years.
estherhead is offline  
Old 03-17-2012, 11:36 AM   #126
estherhead
DIS Veteran
 
estherhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,296

I found my explanation of why I'm chosen to save our spot unsatisfying after I was done with that last chapter. After all, this is a thread of TIPS on getting you through WDW. And to offer up some "magical power" I have is not very useful to you.

Perhaps, it is just something that can't be taught. But a little bit of it I've learned over the years. And the part I was born with, I betcha could be taught. Ok, here's my strategy to get people to do what I want, which in the case of saving a spot for night time shows, is to leave me and my spot 100% alone.

1) Use the strollers and a blanket so there are obvious boundaries to your territory, and don't be greedy with that. Take only the minimum of what your group will need.

2) You have to have inside your heart empathy for them. They don't have a spot, you do. No pondering that you have a spot because you've been there 30 minutes. See it from their point of view with no judgement. You have a big spot and they don't. And they'd like to share your spot.

3) Have absolutely no emotion, edge, attitude to your voice when talking to them. This is the part that I think I was born with as Suzy and Mulan have it too. Donald and Milo DON'T. Nor does Ariel. Think of a Jedi. "These are not the droids you're looking for." The tone is 100% neutral. If you think your tone is neutral but your family often reacts emotionally back towards your voice, record it and listen back to it honestly. Ariel and Donald would swear up and down they don't have abrasive tones of voice but when I threaten to voice record them on my iphone, the tone magically changes. Because then they have to face the truth. They wouldn't like that tone of voice talking back to them. So keep it 100% neutral. "I'm sorry, these seats are saved." Not abrasive. No attitude. Not sickeningly sweet that comes off as demeaning or condescending.

4) Don't give an explanation nor any excuse. This allows them a tiny window to know they can get to you. "I'm sorry these seats are saved." No more. No, "I've been here 30 minutes, these seats are saved." This then sounds like an accusation to them (you should have been here 30 minutes ago) and allows them an angle to get you riled up and start a fight. No, "I've got 12 people, these seats are saved." Same thing. "Then they should be here." Keep it short and NO explanation as this gives them no way to get to you.

5) Silence is your friend. After you've said in your friendly but neutral tone "I'm sorry, these seats are saved," there will be silence. They have no idea what to do with this since there is no way to get back at you. So there is an awkward silence where they glare at you. Welcome this and DO NOT under any circumstances fill that silence with an explanation. The silence is your power as the huge majority of people can't handle the awkward silence. You can. Because you are a Jedi knight. They will leave. Sometimes even leaving your area altogether.


The above rules work in my job as well. When I have to give someone terrible news I say I'm sorry sincerely and honestly in a non-emotional way. And then they yell at me and I continue to simply say, "I'm sorry." Totally neutral, no further explanation of my error. When they run out of emotion to yell at me, and I say my last "I'm sorry," it falls silent. And 9 times out of 10 they say, "Well.." just that word. They just don't know what to do with that kind of Jedi lack of emotion. And then I say, "I can't change the error, what would make you happy?" And then they tell me. And usually it's a pretty reasonable request and then we've kept them as a customer.

Anything other than this has the potential to turn you into Anakin Skywalker and we all know how that turned out.

It is stressful, I will admit that. But because no fight has happened, as soon as the relief of your family coming back is there, no lasting damage is done to your evening. The only emotion spent was the emotion it takes to be not emotional.

Good luck!
estherhead is offline  
Old 03-17-2012, 12:11 PM   #127
estherhead
DIS Veteran
 
estherhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,296

So. Spot saved. Time to get to the good times. Caramel corn:


Look at it! Look how YUMMY!


It's a lot of work to keep that tiny area clear:










Doesn't that just put you in a good mood? Doesn't it? It's amazing!!!!! Spectacular. Any other words you can think of.

But back to the question: Who would like to see Fantasmic?

Illumination was at 9 pm. The second Fantasmic was at 10:30. Is it possible to thoroughly enjoy a spectacular viewing of Illuminations at a great spot between Mexico and Norway AND enjoy a super viewing of Fantasmic on the same night?

Well, since we'd been rained out of Fantasmic and it's Jack-Jacks favorite show and it was the last trip of our year of Disney, Suzy and & I were willing to find out.

We knew if this were truly to be our plan, we needed to have pulled it together before the end of Illuminations. The group settled on us two, Mulan, Jack-Jack, and Boo. We packed up during the boring earth part of Illuminations. We made sure everyone knew where they were going and Donald had the keys. And as soon as the finale was done, Suzy & I hit the road.

TIP TIME: To exit Illuminations before the crowd, stay to the left of the walkway. Everyone will be headed the same direction. And probably because of highways, slower walking traffic always seems to gravitate right. So just stay to the left. Walk behind people until you see open space and BOOK it through the open spaces until you get slowed down behind slow moving people.

As soon as we cleared the actual Epcot exit, we took off running. And I mean running. I had Boo in her stroller and Suzy had Jack-Jack in his. So that left only Mulan. No need to hold on to her. We RAN as fast as we could to the van. And practically threw the kids in the van. We put the strollers in the back without folding them.



I tried to organize our tickets and direct Suzy at the same time but we've never tried to get to DHS from Epcot late at night and one of the signs doesn't direct you so there was a moment of panic when we thought we missed our turn, which would be a disaster in such a time crunch.

But no, the next turn was ours and we whipped in. We flashed our AP at the parking gate and zipped into the parking lot. There were no CM's since it was 9:40 and we just went to the front and found ourselves our own spot super close to the front. We threw the strollers back out of the van and RAN to the front. At 9:43 we hit the front gate and there was no bag check. Our tickets went into the only turnstyle open and we were back to speed walking.



The mass DHS exodus:


I checked my watch again as we his the Fantasmic line and it was 9:45. We'd done it in 23 minutes flat. From the last firework of Illuminations to the line of Fantasmic. 23 minutes. Look how close we are to the front of the line!



Pretty darn impressive. But we were sweaty as even at 9:45 pm it's darn tootin' hot in June in Florida.



Victory is ours!


They didn't let us in until 10:15 so we actually stood in line 30 minutes. I started getting nervous as there were sincerely 6,000 people in that line. How will they get 6,000 people in the theater in 15 minutes? But they did! They did it, those Disney amazing people.

And we got front row.



Tired, but happy


So from the best seats in the house at Illuminations to the best seats in the house at Fantasmic. 8:15 to 10:30. Unbelievable. It was SUCH an amazing and magical 3 hours.





"This is MY dream!"






If you are travelling by car, and nighttime shows are 1.5 hours apart, you can see them both. MK will be harder. But I think we could have made it.

This was one of my favorite 3 hours of the whole year.

We were home by 11:30 pm, Donald, Emmy, and Charming were playing darts. Boo and I hopped in the shower and were dead asleep together in my big bed by midnight.

Would it be possible to hit a rope drop the following morning? Are we THAT amazing?
estherhead is offline  
Old 03-17-2012, 04:59 PM   #128
reelmom
If I don't get tagged, I am gonna hold my breath until I am blue!
Didn't work. The tag turned blue instead!
 
reelmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Newnan, GA
Posts: 5,624

I am not sure how I missed this TR but I am reading it now. I love your TR's. So informative and entertaining.
reelmom is offline  
Old 03-17-2012, 07:07 PM   #129
Torrance
Earning My Ears
 
Torrance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northern CA
Posts: 72

That is so cool you guys got to see Illuminations and Fantasmic in one night! Definitely not as easy as at Disneyland (we usually watch the fireworks from our Fantasmic viewing spot after seeing them in front of the castle the first night). It looks like an awesome evening for you guys. I'm so glad you made it -- and front row too!
__________________
Me DH

Currently Planning: Jul '14 My Birthday Bash at DL, Jan '14 DL Tinker Bell 1/2 Marathon,Dec '13 Mommy-Daughter DL Trip, Sep '13 "Girls Only" DL Trip, Dec '12 Mommy-Daughter DL Trip, Jun '12 Honeymoon at WDW! Sep '11 Married at DL! Jun '11 DL, Aug '10 DL, Jun '10 "Engagaversary" at DL! Pre-'10 Numerous Family DL Trips.
Torrance is offline  
Old 03-17-2012, 10:25 PM   #130
Mommy2BnB
Mouseketeer
 
Mommy2BnB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Middle Tennessee
Posts: 229

Amazing. Again! Wow! Sounds like a fabulous night. We missed Illuminations on our June trip, unless you count watching it from the 4th floor balcony at Pop. It is definitely on my must do list for next time.
Mommy2BnB is offline  
Old 03-18-2012, 12:16 PM   #131
estherhead
DIS Veteran
 
estherhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,296

Quote:
Originally Posted by knitster View Post
I know that I had a picture of him all sprawled out on the floor after the sword fight, but it was blurry and I must've deleted it. This is the only one I could find - too bad it's of the back of his head!



and this is what I said about him in my TR

"Then we met my very favorite Cast Member of the whole trip. We walked in and the kids, of course, headed straight for the swords and shields. He challenged them to a duel, and let my kids beat him into the ground. Literally. This dude was at least 6ft 4in and he flung himself on the ground, in a tiny shop, and let my kids wail on him. Then, in the middle of the battle, Presley noticed that he had pins and started pin trading with him while he was on the ground. It was hilarious! Then he spent some time talking to Hendrix and talking to me about where we were staying and if we’d seen Wishes and all sorts of stuff. He was great! "

It's gotta be the same guy, right?! I need a life - this intrigues me far more than it should.
Ok, I'm still not sure from that photo. Let's just it WAS the same guy and then you can stop obsessing. Obviously, UK is where to meet Pooh. It's a great spot and setting, Pooh is there, AND there is always a great CM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reelmom View Post
I am not sure how I missed this TR but I am reading it now. I love your TR's. So informative and entertaining.
Thanks! Informative I am definitely shooting for. Entertaining just happens when you have this many kids!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torrance View Post
That is so cool you guys got to see Illuminations and Fantasmic in one night! Definitely not as easy as at Disneyland (we usually watch the fireworks from our Fantasmic viewing spot after seeing them in front of the castle the first night). It looks like an awesome evening for you guys. I'm so glad you made it -- and front row too!
I know, right??? I'm still waiting for the DL times and then I'll see if we are going to do two shows in one night there. We are staying at the HOJO and I sprung for a DL view. So I'm hoping to watch fireworks from there too. I've read that there were palm trees obstructing the views but that they've cut some down now. So we're hopeful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommy2BnB View Post
Amazing. Again! Wow! Sounds like a fabulous night. We missed Illuminations on our June trip, unless you count watching it from the 4th floor balcony at Pop. It is definitely on my must do list for next time.
If you do get a chance to go, look at Robo's map on this thread.
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2422342

We normally watch from 6(the bridge between England or France) or somewhere near there. I have a feeling this is because I used to like to get either a Grand Marnier Smoothie or a French pastry. It's a great spot but if it's taken there can be too many trees in the areas around it. Or in Canada, as that allows a very easy exit.

So this time we watched near Mexico (since caramel corn is my new Illuminations snack and I can get it anytime and just save it) between C and 10. Any of those spots without trees would work. The globe was much cooler from this spot than our normal spot.

So magical. Such a magical, magical night.
estherhead is offline  
Old 03-18-2012, 01:46 PM   #132
estherhead
DIS Veteran
 
estherhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,296

The Kingdom of Animals.

After my 10 pm 2 mile jog and falling asleep at midnight, I was not at all sure I'd be able to pull myself out of bed the following morning. But true to form, I awoke at 6:30. I was a little tired. But the good, happy tired. Not the tired I had been as we drove out of Ohio. I laid in bed and read the plan for the day. AK. Ak. I love AK. However, I do believe that it is much hotter than the other parks. And since several times the day before I thought I would melt into a little puddle on the ground, I was a bit concerned.

After contemplating that for a bit, I got up and just had cereal for breakfast. Simple and cool. I didn't even make coffee, which is my job. I got in a bit of trouble for that, I'll tell ya. When you're a well oiled machine like we are, you better pull your weight. But it was so HOT. I went back upstairs and got a very tired Mulan up for the shower. She hadn't showered the night before and I knew she'd want one.

Boo woke up and started singing Lion King songs at the top of her lungs. But this didn't seem to get a fire burning under any adult's booties. By 8:00 am, all 6 non-teen kids had eaten and gotten dressed and were gathered in the family room. Donald, Milo, Emmy, and Charming, however, were any thing BUT ready. At one point their lack of motivation along with the children's singing and shenanigans cause Suzy to holler loudly, "You four really ARE the rebel spies. I KNEW it!"

Despite this, though, we still arrived at the AK parking lot at 8:30 as Windsor Hills is very close to Animal Kingdom if you take the Sherbeth shortcut. It's just right there a hop, skip, and a jump away. We got a great parking spot (score!) and pulled out the strollers and bags. The CM's were absolutely insistent that we get on the trams. But this is silly as AK was right there. Why would I get on the tram?

I don't like to follow stupid directions, so we walked as always. They had changed the walking pattern here but we ignored that too as it was just with orange cones and didn't make much sense.

Once we were safely to the actual front, we had an easy bag check and entry.

The reason to get to AK early, is they often actually open early. DHS never does this. But AK does. And true to form it opened about 10 minutes early. Woot! I was again the FP runner but normally it just involves speed walking. We were in the middle of the pack so I just wiggled my way around the family groups and was quickly at the beginning of the pack. But for some reason, the EE FP runners this morning, actually ran. I had taken a little jog in the heat the night before and no intention of getting that hot and sweaty at 8:50 in the morning. So I just power walked, which believe me got me sweaty plenty!

When I got to EE, though, I was shocked to see the HUGE lines at the FP machines. Wow. Welcome to the summer. The line for actual ride wrapped around the FP machine area and then each FP machine had it's own line. So there were lots people here. LOTS! But there is one machine that is tucked in behind this crate. I had to fight through the main line to get there, and hop over the crate, but the actual FP machine had no line at all. What I couldn't figure out is why the people waiting in the main line didn't stick their tickets in as they walked by as that is what I would have done. Then you could ride with a 10 minutes wait first thing and come back an hour later (after riding Dinosaur and getting breakfast, for example) and ride again. Having ridden 3 rides in the first hour. But people aren't like me. So I was able to use their lack of cognitive ability and not stand in any line at all. FP's for 9:40. Perfect.

I also couldn't figure out why the people at the beginning of the other FP lines, didn't do what I had just done. I assumed that once I trailblazed that FP machine, others would leave their long lines and follow me. But no one did. Maybe no one had made them coffee this am either. Or maybe they thought the crate was there for a purpose? But it was just decor. I've actually sat on that crate before as it's a shady spot and once the main rush of morning is over, quiet.

Now that I was running with the bulls to get FP's, I took my pace WAY down to a more appropriate strolling pace. Others, however, continued to run past me to get, I'm assuming, EE FP's. Clearly no one told this guy he had chosen the longest route possible. No running was going to get him around the giant line. I didn't stop him and tell him about the secret machine either.



I bet Louie wouldn't even want man's red fire on this day:


I slowed down even more as I got to KS as I wasn't really sure the plan. The family had already gotten in line, but I hadn't been able to get them to text me back so I wasn't sure WHERE in line. Other FP runners were having similar issues and there were a lot of people looking for people in this line. There is the FP line and the regular line but there were purposeful gaps in the rope and the EE FP runners were walking in the KS FP area searching for their families and then joining them in the line. I've never seen this done before and am quite sure many on these boards would be furious. But that is what everyone was doing. There must not be cell phone signal or something as we all were also looking at our phones.

Thanks to wearing matching, bright blue t-shirts I saw my family almost ready to board. There was absolutely no way I was getting there. So I just stopped moving in the FP line. I now was almost to the front and clearly I had no FP and really, no one else did either as it was 9:10 in the morning. I was hesitating trying to decide what to do. I didn't feel right about just hopping in line there since it would be just one person line hopping which is clearly in every way wrong. And I've ridden this a lot, so I decided I'd just skip it. But that seemed daunting as well since there were people behind me and it's quite a long queue, should I just walk out the stroller area? I wonder which stroller area our strollers are in? I was so undecided. The CM guarding that corner also noticed my family in the front of the line and my indecision. There was a family dressed similarly to me and as they walked by us she winked at me, and opened the rope, letting me in. I know, I know. It's still line jumping. But I chose to view it as a little CM magic.

But here is the true horror of my line jumping. Also watching was a little boy, maybe 7 years old. And he could NOT believe my absolute blatant cheating. He was shocked. He tried to get his mom to notice and be annoyed but she was enjoying her morning and had no idea what he was talking about. And he was being divided into the other area away from me so his mom couldn't even see me. She tried to shoosh him. But he, the CM, and me knew that I had just walked the entire length of FP line without an FP and been rewarded. Two of us felt pleased. I was happy to have such a nice CM. The CM was happy to have made my day which is her job. But the little boy may have been morally stunted forever. Sorry, kid. That's how the cookie crumbles. Life's not fair.

Because I was just a one, I had a lovely seat.


Honestly, I think this was the nicest KS I've ever had. No offense to my family, but it was just so stress FREE! Lovely, lovely. The animals were all eating. It made me think of Jurassic Park and the goat. Put the food right out there where we can see them eat it. Genius. "Where's the goat???"





I even actually saw the lions:


It was so delightful I cannot even tell you. The most peaceful 20 minutes of my entire day. The family got off right in front of me. I wish I could have become invisible as things were not going well with the family. Mulan was dog tired and she really doesn't like animals. Milo is never shy about his dislike of Animal Kingdom. And McQueen, who loves drama and is severely ALLERGIC to animals, was the loudest in protesting any walking down trails.

Guess who volunteered to walk back across the park and get Dinosaur FP's? Yup, me. It may be hot and tiring work, but no one argues with you about it. And wanted to keep my peaceful, easy feeling.

Donald took Boo and Emmy and went on ahead, leaving Suzy to deal with the complaints and whining of the rest. Sorry, Suzy.

The FP machines at Dinosaur ate my first FP so I used another machine and that too was eaten ad there was no CM in sight. It's an out of the way spot and despite walking around, I couldn't find one. I only needed 10 anyway and the third machine worked so I just left the 2 eaten ones.

Because I hadn't stuck around to see how the animal trail thing ended, I had assumed they had followed the written schedule and were at the Maharajah jungle trek since that is the only one with tiger and thus the only one that really mattered. So I bought 2 amazing donuts and water and Diet Coke and found a delightful shady spot to reward my family with. But they had done the Pangani Trail and found their own spot. Darn.

I headed off towards them and many people were lost. Since I was feeling happy and I love Newbies anyway, I stopped and took the time to tell them where to go.

There they are:




We got stuffed pretzels and lots of drinks and people started to perk up a bit.

In the fall and winter none of us want to do Kali River Rapids. It's just no fun in blue jeans and sweatshirts. So we wanted to make sure we got it in this time. After TSM, this is my favorite themed ride. It's just beautiful.



There was no line to speak of which makes it better because you get to enjoy the entire queue instead of just the boring FP line. I wasn't sure about Boo and her height but I was distracted from that by Emmy and her stress over her shoes. She was not prepared for a water ride and had her brand new tennies on. She almost didn't ride this and the entire length of the line I was reassuring her that despite all of us being in water appropriate shoes, her non-water appropriate shoes would be fine.

I was taken off guard, therefore, when they stopped us for Boo and Jack-Jack. I knew they were tall enough. But they arm band them so the lap bar is used. Kinda cool.

Suzy and I and the little ones got in first. The rafts hold twelve so we all fit in one raft. We laughed and laughed and laughed. This may have been the most laughter of the entire trip. Milo didn't have as good a time as this did hurt his boo-boo'ed rib.

And many got drenched.






Emmy's shoes, by the way, were fine as I had her wrap a poncho around them. Otherwise, they would NOT have been fine.

I didn't get wet at all. Oh yeah, I'm like that.

Since he was already wet, Donald and McQueen soaked their heads:


Despite having ridden the rapids, this little water spout proved too much for Jack-Jack and he avoided it.



And now, totally soaked, we carried on. But you'll have to wait. I've got a party to go to tonight and a cake to make.

See ya'll later in the Kingdom of Animals.

Last edited by estherhead; 03-18-2012 at 04:34 PM.
estherhead is offline  
Old 03-18-2012, 11:43 PM   #133
Torrance
Earning My Ears
 
Torrance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northern CA
Posts: 72

You guys had a busy AK morning! How did you not get wet when everyone else looked soaked?! I'm going to remember that about the FP machine behind the crate for our trip, thanks!
__________________
Me DH

Currently Planning: Jul '14 My Birthday Bash at DL, Jan '14 DL Tinker Bell 1/2 Marathon,Dec '13 Mommy-Daughter DL Trip, Sep '13 "Girls Only" DL Trip, Dec '12 Mommy-Daughter DL Trip, Jun '12 Honeymoon at WDW! Sep '11 Married at DL! Jun '11 DL, Aug '10 DL, Jun '10 "Engagaversary" at DL! Pre-'10 Numerous Family DL Trips.
Torrance is offline  
Old 03-19-2012, 11:37 AM   #134
estherhead
DIS Veteran
 
estherhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,296

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torrance View Post
You guys had a busy AK morning! How did you not get wet when everyone else looked soaked?! I'm going to remember that about the FP machine behind the crate for our trip, thanks!
It's possible I wore a poncho.
estherhead is offline  
Old 03-19-2012, 12:22 PM   #135
estherhead
DIS Veteran
 
estherhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,296

After getting soaked we thought it would be smart to go into Nemo and get 100% cooled off. This was perhaps not the most intelligent idea. Many of us started shivering quite quickly upon entry and never really stopped. But it was a great show.





I had grabbed more EE FP's on the way by, by the way, and I also spent some time putting BandAids on my blisters. We aren't a blister prone family but many of us did this trip and I wonder if it's the heat.

Once done with Nemo, it was noon as we were hungry. We chose to eat lunch at Restarauntasaurus which I've never done before. I got a burger. They have great toppings here but having never eaten here, I didn't realize how huge the burgers would be. WAY too big for just me to eat and for one of the first times ever, we ordered too much food and I ate to my hearts content. I put bacon, onions, and BBQ sauce on mine.



Because we got so chilled in Nemo, we opted to eat outside under shade. It was so nice and quiet and peaceful it just extended my relaxed and happy mood.



Jack and Boo mostly hung out in the stroller this lunch break.


After lunch we decided to head on over to the playground.



In many a TR I've complained about this playground. When you have little ones it is, in my opinion, a horrible playground with a terrifying slide, roaring dinosaurs, and it's easy to lose your kids. But I don't have a baby or a toddler. I have big kids. And this is a GREAT playground for big kids:




After his Kali River bumping along, Milo's rib was aching so he opted out of EE. Which meant the rest of us could ride twice!










Oh, yeah, people. I love me some EE. I ask again, do you think I'll get too old? Because right now I simply can't imagine. Happy sigh.

When we came out the little ones were ready for some ice cream, so ice cream it was.



Then we headed off to Lion King. And finally they all went to see It's Tough to Be a Bug.

I've made Boo do this many a time. But truth be told I'm not a huge, huge fan either. She loves bugs and it had an amazing theme, but we both hate spiders. Enough to skip it.

So we just checked out the shops. It was fun and relaxing except for some unknown reason there is no cell phone signal in here. So I had to keep going to a door to see if I'd gotten a text that they were done. This stressed Boo out as she would be playing and then I'd leave her (just a few steps) and go to a doorway. She'd think I was leaving and panic. It would have been perfect if it'd have had signal.

I bought here some things for work. Since I was spending more time there I wanted to have a few little Mickey things. It's been 9 months and I still LOVE the things I bought here.

I bought: a 2 tbsp Mickey measuring spoon for coffee. We girls at the office love this thing, it's really well made and makes making the perfect cup of coffee a breeze. Mickey magnetic clips. I use these to post notes to my guys on my magnetic schedule board. It amuses me greatly to tell my tough guys important stuff with Mickey ears. Mickey pens (2 have run out, still using the rest.) And a Mickey note pad that I also am still using. And the best thing is they were cheap things that bring me daily pleasure.

We pondered buying this, but in the end Boo opted to not get it.


I also almost bought this for a friend:


We did end up buying her a t-shirt but decided this one was too sparkly. She loves it and wears it often.

And then I checked my text: and they were out! We found each other and headed out. We had date plans!
estherhead is offline  
 



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:41 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.