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Old 08-16-2011, 07:05 PM   #106
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You've got me on the edge of my seat! And while we laugh about your boys going back to the room, and your checking on them, I still want to know that DD27 is home safely - and she doesn't even live at home anymore. I guess it's just part of our programming.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:01 AM   #107
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You've got me on the edge of my seat! And while we laugh about your boys going back to the room, and your checking on them, I still want to know that DD27 is home safely - and she doesn't even live at home anymore. I guess it's just part of our programming.
My DD's first year in college in Florida took about five years off of my life. She had to text me every night when she was in her dorm safe for the evening. Some nights she would forget and I would get alarmed. I guess I watch too much Nancy Grace. HA HA.

You really never stop being worried about them I guess?
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Old 08-18-2011, 02:44 PM   #108
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new not so new

Hi i like your TR very much... i almost never post a replay because my English is not that good but i like it so much i wanted to let you know.. cant wait for the rest of it
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:30 PM   #109
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those babies had fun

Thank you thank you thank you for taking excellent care of the babies. They all had a great time. I realize that it did take three of you to manage their needs, but that allowed us to have a really romantic dinner at Vic & Albert's that cannot be duplicated. What a great night. And, didn't you know that toddlers can still grow on just air and water?
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Old 08-28-2011, 10:02 AM   #110
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Star Wars Weekend-Friday

Welcome to another Star Wars Weekend day and the final Friday of our trip. We begin the day with a spirited walk from the Dolphin hotel along the Boardwalk to Hollywood Studios. We walked down the path, leaving a trail of Pop Tart crumbs as we made our way as quickly as possible to the front gates thinking that the boats and busses werenít running at 7 a.m.

We made the peaceful yet rapid pace walk over to the park. As we rounded the turn where the offsite buses drop off, we were getting warm and tired from walking and noticed a Caribbean Beach resort bus dropping off guests. Awww, really? There are busses running this early? Busses but no boats and the Dolphin doesnít have a bus to this park.

Today, our target for celebrity fastpasses was the human embodiment of Darth Maul Ė Mr. Ray Park. He is the star that we captured via Stalkerazzi last weekend. I really wanted Peter Mayhew but the boys wanted Park so thatís what we did.

We were actually EARLY enough that we got to stand in line at the turnstiles and soak in the Star Wars vibe. This you might say is the sweet spot and is where the money that you spent becomes worth it. Goose bumps when you hear the Star Wars themed music. The little songs from the Cantina Band on the soundtrack. Storm troopers standing guard on the roof. You know that everyone here is a Fan and is standing around in nervous anticipation of todayís events.

Waiting at the Gates
Please open the gates!

Today we forego our traditional running of the bulls to Toy Story Mania because Nick would like to make it into Jedi Training. When we promise not to tell anyone, the Storm Troopers open the gates and we race to the tables to get him registered for a training class. We walk-ran right up and got a purple slip of paper for his class.

So far, so great! Guaranteed face time with the legendary Ray Park AND a Jedi Training reservation accomplished by 8:15. We tucked the paper away for safe keeping and walked towards Mania. Here is the line as we ventured away from the registration desk.


You really need to be quick as this event is survival of the fittest/fastest! We scanned the line for DSis but didnít see her. She is attending today and wanted to get Matthew signed up as well. She texted me shortly thereafter saying that she couldnít sign up Nick because he had to be with her to sign up. Weíre good but thanks anyway! She got Matthew signed up for a very late class even though she was only minutes behind us.

We had pretty much killed the list for meet and greet last weekend so today, we wanted to knock out all the seminars. We attended all three today "Stars of the Saga, Behind the Force, and A Visit to the Maul". The boys were enjoying it and I was fine with focusing on the seminars as it was 150 degrees today with the heat and humidity. There wasnít much more that I wanted to do today anyway besides stand in the shade drinking $3 bottles of lemonade or sit in the air conditioning.

We somehow ended up being in the right place at the right time after the Star Wars parade. We were on our way thru Pixar Place to redeem a Toy Story fast pass and ran into this amazing photo op.




They were making their exit from the parade and walked down the ramp on the way to Pixar Place. It was just the coolest thing to see this squadron walking thru the park like it was perfectly normal. Only at Star Wars Weekend!

We then got stopped by a CM who was holding up traffic. We stopped and ended up seeing thisÖ.

And this.

And this.


Really too many pictures to post in this update.

We jumped in the Clone Wars meet and greet to meet Commander Cody? I had no idea who he was but they boys did. The line felt really slow today while we waited for the Commander to show up. We had just missed the previous set so we waited in the line for the next one. We needed to be finished in half an hour because Nick had to report at least 15 minutes before his training session time or he would lose his spot to a wait list-er. So that stressor mixed with the heat made the wait oppressive. We developed a strategy as we were standing in line. They would pose with the characters, I would snap ONE photo and they would travel together with the little purple piece of paper to the Sounds Dangerous theater to check in. When the Commander (who was delayed for whatever reason according to the CM) did return to work, he brought with him an extra guest (Rex) which was our bonus today for standing so long in the heat. We went over directions to the theater with a CM so they were familiar with how to get there.



The minute that I snapped that photo and the Photopass photog fired off a few, they took off. I took the time to put the lens cap back on, get the Photopass card scanned and hoisted the BPFH on, choosing to save time by hand carrying the light sabers and the trivia/autograph book instead of stuffing them back in the BPFH. What we do for our kids, right? It might not sound like a lot but it with the heat and time constraint, it felt like a lot and I looked like I was reaching the pinnacle of Disney he*&. I exchanged knowing looks from other pack mule parents doing the same thing.

I made my way and found Nick lined up with all the other padowans ready for class. Alex and I walk over to the stage and I ask a CM where I should stand if my child is in the next class. There is a roped off area that is reserved for ONE parent per child. I asked if I could go ahead and stand there and she said the other parent walking over with my child wonít be able to join me. I explained that there isnít anyone waiting with me and she raises her eyebrow and scoffs and says ďUsually, we have a parent waiting with the child.Ē Heís 12. There are other CMs babysitting the line. Iím not sure why I would need to hold his hand on the way over??? Maybe I missed the part about parents having to remain with the children when I had Alex check him in. Maybe itís my inability to hear and follow directions. Maybe itís the ringing in my ears from carrying all that stuff across the park in the heat. I donít know.

Continued with Jedi Training and our Meet and Greet with Ray Park
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Old 09-09-2011, 06:29 AM   #111
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We really want more

Your trip report makes me think of the song at the end of the Hoopla:

"If you really want more-- scream it out louder"

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Old 09-09-2011, 08:09 AM   #112
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What a relief - I can finally quit holding my breath, ah, another wonderful installment. We need to take you with us in December so that you can write our trip report - you have a talent.!
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:37 AM   #113
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Hi! Remember me? I'm going to get another installment up this week. I promise.

The rest of the story is worth waiting for.
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:39 AM   #114
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What a relief - I can finally quit holding my breath, ah, another wonderful installment. We need to take you with us in December so that you can write our trip report - you have a talent.!
Oh I think you'll do just fine without me.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:24 AM   #115
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I leave next week for another adventure - just Nicholas and I on this one. I really am going to finish this report before I leave!

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Old 11-30-2011, 06:53 AM   #116
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I leave next week for another adventure - just Nicholas and I on this one. I really am going to finish this report before I leave!
I'll tell ya Bizee, your enthusiasm for Disney, your kids, and life in general certainly shine through in you TR - and in fact, this is uplifting for me, and I suspect for others. Thank you for your TR - and I'll be even more thankful when you finish it!

Have a great time down at WDW - I'm only sorry that our trips didn't match up to be able to meet you in person. Hopefully another time!
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WDW: October 1976 - Offsite, January 1979 - CR, September of 2007 - POFQ, Christmas 2011 - CR, MNSSHP and F&W - October 2012 - AKV, Flower & Garden - April 2013 - BLT, and MNSSHP and F&W - October 2013 - BLT (our DVC home resort) AKV-Kidani.
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:29 PM   #117
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Oh Yeah! I really hope you do finish this one! Glad to see that you haven't forgotten us!
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:59 PM   #118
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Jedi Training

When I last left you in a galaxy far, far away, we were waiting for Mr. Nick to learn the skills needed to defeat the Empire. The kiddos are escorted by the CMs that have been babysitting them and are divided into two groups when they get to the stage. Half get to battle Darth Vader on the stage. The other half battle another villain on the concrete in front of the stage. Last time we did the JedI training in 2005, all 3 boys participated and ended up in the ground group battling Darth Maul. This year, Nick ended up in the ground group again and battled Veentress. I had no clue who this purple lady was but I found out afterwards that she is featured in Clone Wars.



He is definitely one of the oldest participants. I guess there’s no denying that next year, he will be too old for this activity. In case you are wondering, he’s the Padawan in the snappy Adidas.



What do you do with a Padawan to celebrate the triumph of good over evil? At Hollywood Studios, you visit ABC Commissary with your Mommy to get a cupcake as big as your head!



After cupcakes and light sabers, it was time to meet Ray Park. We queued up and it was HOT. Yes, I found a use for my guide map and I was cranky in the heat. So what?!!!


Yes, not my most flattering photo but I’m including it hoping that it will demonstrate how hot it felt that day.

It wasn’t too long until we were meeting and greeting with Mr. Park. The boys were fascinated with him. He was soooo nice to us. I can only imagine how many people he has met over the weekend and yet he’s patient and respectful. Being quite cute with an adorable accent didn't hurt my opinion either. I was impressed.





We did some ‘normal’ Studios activities - like backlot tour


He looks awfully calm for a kid about to be in the middle of a large explosion.

I took a picture of this sign.

It struck me as so funny. Say “Theater of the Stars” in your best show bizzy voice. THEATER OF THE STAHRRRRRRZZZZ. Restrooms. . THEATER OF THE STAHRRRRRRZZZZ. Restrooms. The contrast cracked me up and I just thought it was silly that they chose to share the space on this sign with two polar opposite destinations.

Ok. Up to now you thought that bizeemom4 was really nice. Right? Yep. Ok so this confession may disappoint you. I took a picture of these people. I don’t know them. Their outfits were just bizarre! I saw the girl wearing the tutu and cowboy boots and thought weird but then when I saw her boyfriend, brother, friend, whatever also wearing a tutu, I just had to snap it.



On the way out of the park for the evening, I passed the first ones in line for the park opening TOMORROW. Or, now that I think about it, she could have been there to rest up for the walk back to her car. I get how tired touring the parks can be in this heat!


Yes, that is a full sized blow up mattress!

We took the boat back to the Dolphin and walked in to our room. As I cracked the door open, we could hear very loud voices discussing something inside the room. What is going on and who is in our room????

Next Up: Our evening at the Dolphin
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:27 PM   #119
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Here I am, on the edge of my seat, bearly hanging on by my fingernails, and what - we pause for a commercial?!! No !!!!!

Thanks for another great installment.
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:29 PM   #120
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We took the boat back to the Dolphin and walked in to our room. We could hear very loud voices discussing something inside the room. What is going on and who is in our room? How did someone get in our room?

Where are the voices coming from? Oh. It sounds like they are Star Wars characters. That makes no sense. We left that behind at Studios. I turn on the light. We didnít leave the TV on. No one could get into our room anyway with the trap that bell services had left the night before (that we were apparently too busy to clean up).

Somewhere out there, Alex is wandering the World in just one sneaker.

We open the curtains and step out on to the balcony. Itís even louder out here. Aha. The staff at the Swolphin have moved my lounge chairs out from under the waterfall and replaced them with a large movie screen. They are showing the Phantom Menace! We can hear it from inside the room. Out on the balcony, itís as loud as if you were at the theater. The building acts like an amplifier for the sound.


Boys+Star Wars Weekend +Movie by the pool. Yeah. We had to go. We changed into swimsuits and headed down. The towel cabana was closed for the day so there was not an option that I could find for getting fresh towels and we didnít bring them from the room. We nix the idea of getting in the pool because it would be a long, chilly walk back to the room through the lobby, passed the palm trees, along the bank of elevators, down the escalators, through the casino to our room.


We sat for a bit and soaked our feet in the pool and watched the movie. I had promised ice cream tonight so when I suggested that we leave to get it, they agreed but were reluctant and continued to watch the movie while putting on their sandals. ďThis is a goooood part.Ē Like they had not seen that scene 100 times before???


Turtle Milkshake and Peanut Butter and Jelly milkshake. Nick got a kids sundae with sprinkles (not pictured here).

We took our treats back upstairs to the room and they finished the movie from the balcony while I relaxed on the heavenly beds and watched it through the open balcony door.





I had no idea that this was going to happen. It was one of those unexpected awesome moments at Disney that doesnít get planned for or listed on a spreadsheet but ends up making the entire trip that much more special. I think this was a top 5 moment for us. Maybe top 3. Definitely magical.

Tomorrow we take the magic back to the Kingdom and then say goodbye to DSis and family.
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